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US Arrest American Who Sold $8.5m Illegal Arms To Buhari’s Government |RN

An American identified as Ara Dolaria, has been arrested by the United States government over an illegal arms deal with the Nigerian government. The 58-year-old man who was arrested on May 15 and also stands accused of money laundering, and conspiracy, allegedly accepted approximately $8.3 million from Nigeria and SEI. A statement released by the U.S. attorney’s office on Monday, May 20, 2019, revealed that his Fresno-based arms brokering company, Dolarian Capital Inc. (DCI), had been denied licenses to broker international arms deals by the U.S. Department of State beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2014.

However he went on to execute sales contracts with Societe D’Equipments Internationaux (SEI), a French arms brokering company acting on behalf of Nigeria, for the purchase and transfer of high‑explosive bombs, rockets, military-grade firearms, and aircraft-mounted cannons worth more than $8.5 million. It was gathered that the Nigerian government funneled the funds, in part, through a purported furniture company in Hong Kong and then routed them through numerous shell accounts held by Dolarian and others.

Below is the tweet from the United States Department of Justice with regards to this case against the accused, Mr Ara Dolaria.

Former Fresno man allegedly attempted to broker sales of bombs, rockets, military firearms, and aircraft-mounted cannons from Eastern Europe and South Africa to Nigeria https://t.co/ioyCpIPRiA— EDCAnews (@EDCAnews) 20 May 2019

While the US government seized over $6 million that remained in Dolarian’s account with civil forfeiture proceedings related to that seizure currently pending, it was learnt that he used the funds to pay off personal expenses such as federal and state tax debts, and the purchase of a BMW SUV. The American who was arrested for $8.5m illegal arms deal with Nigerian government, had also tried to broker illegal arms deals with the Cameroonian government as well as Paul Malong, a South Sudanese warlord in Kenya.
(Culled from unclesuru, US Department of Justice)

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Belgian Monastery Monks Resurrect 220-year-old Beer After Unearthing Old Recipe RN

© Reuters Father Karel Stautemas: ‘We had the books with the old recipes, but nobody could read them.’

by Daniel Boffey in Grimbergen

It has taken more than 220 years but an order of monks living in Grimbergen Abbey, producers of a fabled medieval beer whose brand was adopted by mass producers in the 1950s, have started to brew again after rediscovering the original ingredients and methods in their archives.

In a sign of the significance of the moment for beer-loving Belgians, the announcement was made by the abbey’s subprior, Father Karel Stautemas, in the presence of the town’s mayor and 120 journalists and enthusiasts.

Uncasking the first glass, Stautemas said the development was the culmination of four years of research into the methods of the monks brewing in the Norbertine monastery before it was burned down by French revolutionaries in 1798. The monastery was later reinstated but the brewery and its recipes were thought to be lost to memory.

Stautemas admitted it might be best not to drink too much of the newly produced beer, which is 10.8% alcohol by volume. “One or two is okay,” said Chris Selleslagh, the mayor of Grimbergen, a town six miles north of Brussels.

The source of inspiration for the new microbrewery, located on the same spot as the original, was the discovery from 12th-century books of details about the original monks’ brewing methods, specifically their use of hops rather than fermented herbs, which put the monks ahead of many of their contemporaries.

The books were only saved in the 18th century thanks to an audacious move by the fathers, who knocked a hole in the library wall and secretly removed about 300 books before the abbey was set on fire.

“We had the books with the old recipes, but nobody could read them,” Stautemas said. “It was all in old Latin and old Dutch. So we brought in volunteers. We’ve spent hours leafing through the books and have discovered ingredient lists for beers brewed in previous centuries, the hops used, the types of barrels and bottles, and even a list of the actual beers produced centuries ago.”

Only some elements from the recipe books are being used by the monks. “I don’t think people now would like the taste of the beer made back then,” Stautemas said.

Marc-Antoine Sochon, the newly appointed master brewer for the abbey, said: “In those times, regular beer was a bit tasteless, it was like liquid bread.”

The lack of artificial additives, use of wooden barrels, and exploitation of particular local soil – or terroir – is being emulated.

Stautemas, who lives with 11 other monks at the abbey, said: “What we really learned was that the monks then kept on innovating. They changed their recipe every 10 years.”

The new beer is being made in partnership with Carlsberg, which produces the Grimbergen range of beers for sale around the world, and Alken-Maes, which sells it on the Belgian market.

The microbrewery will produce 3m 330ml glasses a year for a largely French and Belgian market.

Asked whether he felt comfortable with the commercial tie-up with big brewers, Stautemas said the royalties from all the Grimbergen beers would allow the monks to live in the monastery, make pilgrimages and help “those who come knocking on our door and need help”.

Grimbergen was founded in 1128 but burned down three times in all, giving it its symbol of a phoenix and the motto ardet nec consumitur – burned but not destroyed.

(The Guardian)

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US Introduces New Visa Application Procedure For Nigeria |The Republican News

United States Embassy in Nigeria

The United States mission to Nigeria has announced the indefinite suspension of interview waivers for visa renewals, otherwise known as the “Dropbox” process.

The embassy said visa applications will “no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria.”

It said all applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review.

Applicants are to appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal.

Those who have already submitted their passports via “Dropbox” to DHL for processing either at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, or the Consulate General in Lagos, will not be impacted by this change, the mission said.

Also, the processing of diplomatic and official (A, G, and NATO class) visa applications will continue unchanged.

The statement said, “Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications.

“The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travelers to the best of its ability.”

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MUST READ: A Short History Of The Igbo People Of Jamaica |The Republican News

BY NJIDEKA AGBO

Wah gwaan bredrin, everyting ire? Ever heard the word “red eboe” in Jamaica? Your suspicion is true. “Red eboe” was used to refer to the Igbo slaves in Jamaica because of their light skin.Jamaica witnessed the influx of the Igbo race between 1790 and 1809, a time when the British had just passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. The modern Igbo race dwelt in the Bight of Biafra in Nigeria. It was from here that the Igbos who were kidnapped and sold as slaves by the Europeans were taken to work on plantations.

While it is known that Virginia was the destination point of most slave ships from the Bight of Biafra, the majority of the slave ships from the Bight of Biafra that delivered the slaves to the Caribbean Islands landed in Jamaica.

Cultural Influence

Jamaica’s history cannot be discussed without mentioning the influence of the Igbos. The Igbos influenced the culture, music, the pouring of libation, the “eboe” style, idioms, language and way of life of the Jamaicans. While a large number of the Jamaican Patois is from the Akan language of modern-day Ghana, the Igbos, due to their inability to speak the language, the introduced some of their words which have now become infused into the Jamaican Patois. Some of these words include:

Unu – You people

Ima osu (Jamaica)  Imu oso (Igbo) – to hiss by sucking your teeth

Akara (Jamaica) Akàrà (Igbo/Yoruba) – bean cake

Soso (Jamaica) Sọsọ (Igbo) – only

Their yam festival, the Jonkonnu (A masquerade festival attributed to Njoku Ji (yam -spirit cult), Okonko and Ekpe masquerades”, was arguably introduced by the Igbos. Most of the Igbo/Akan -concentrated areas are found in the northwestern and southern sections of Jamaica. Some of these are Maroon Village, formerly known as Cudjoe’s Town (Trelawny Town), Montego Bay and St. Ann’s Bay. In Maroon, there are some songs called “Ibo”. The Jamaicans are akin to the ways of the Igbos such that it is not uncommon to see Jamaicans watch Igbo Nollywood films.

The Igbos showed themselves to be an organised sect. This is evident in slave owner Matthew Lewis’s confession after he noted that there was a time he “went down to the negro-houses to hear the whole body of Eboes lodge a complaint against one of the book-keepers”.

Exemplary Courage

Out of these people came individuals who left a mark in that period. A popular example is the author Olaudah Equiano who was very instrumental in maintaining law and order among the Igbos in Jamaica during the 1776 Mosquito Shore Scheme. He is also regarded as being one of the campaigners of the abolition of slave trade.

Anaeso, later rechristened Archibald Monteith, is another example. He wrote a popular autobiography of his kidnap from his homeland to Jamaica where he was converted to Christianity. Also, one of Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell’s ancestors is of Igbo origin and gave rise to the mixed-race Ford family.

Rebels

Known for their pride, the Igbos are said to have unwritten rules that even the slave owners were made to abide by. This maintenance of “unwritten rules of the plantation” arguably gave rise to the Obeah magic (the use of a Dibia in ‘predicting the future and manufacturing charms’).

The Igbo slaves were also popular for committing suicide as they believed it would return their spirits back to their homeland. This suicide was what made most slave traders sceptical of having them as slaves.

When they could no longer bear the slavery, 250 Igbo men in Saint Elizabeth’s Parish conspired to kill every white man in the land in what is now known as the 1815 Igbo conspiracy. The following year, that is 1816, another revolt tagged the Black River rebellion plot was uncovered after a novelist Matthew Gregory “Monk” Lewis took a recording of their song:

Oh me good friend, Mr Wilberforce, make we free!
God Almighty thank ye! God Almighty thank ye!
God Almighty, make we free!
Buckra in this country no make we free:
What Negro for to do? What Negro for to do?
Take force by force! Take force by force!

ALL

To be sure! to be sure! to be sure!

These two events massively contributed to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.

(The Guardian)

 

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Roasted Crickets To Go On Sale At London Food Chain Supermarkets|The Republican News

Rebecca Smithers
Roasted crickets                                   ©   Roasted crickets Roasted crickets
It brings a whole new meaning to grabbing some grub for lunch. Roasted crickets are to go on sale this week at outlets of a London snack brand – the first time in the UK edible insects will appear on the regular daily menu at a takeaway food chain.

The crunchy whole crickets, from Eat Grub, will be available in Abokado shops across London from Tuesday as part of the chain’s new spring menu. The sweet chilli and lime-flavoured snack will join its customisable range of toppings for fresh salads, poke bowls and hotpots, and also be available as bagged snacks alongside nuts, edamame and popcorn.

Environmental experts have long recommended insects as a sustainable food source that could help cut food poverty and reduce the damaging impact of meat production. Insects are also nutritious, containing essential proteins, fats, minerals and amino acids.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says at least 2 billion people regularly consume insects, and they could help meet the food needs of the world’s growing population.

Abokado’s managing director, Kara Alderin, said: “Abokado is all about customisation and offering our customers variety of different options to enhance their meals. We currently have a dozen unique toppings and dressings on offer, and this is an exciting addition to the range.” He said the roasted crickets were “quirky, but packed with flavour and protein they are the way forward in healthy, sustainable snacking”.

To win over prospective new shoppers who might balk at bugs for lunch, Abokado will be offering Eat Grub samplings in its 23 stores and as part of local street marketing.

Insect products from Eat Grub, a London-based food startup, can now be found in more than 700 outlets across Europe. Sainsbury’s, which was the first UK supermarket to start selling edible insects last November, stocks its Smoky BBQ flavoured crickets. In a report to be published this week, the supermarket is expected to highlight insect protein as a key food of the future.

In the UK, food choices are becoming increasingly important in the debate about climate change, reflected in the rise of “flexitarianism”, whereby a largely vegetable-based diet is supplemented occasionally with meat.

In the UK, edible insects have so far been predominantly limited to unusual pop-ups or online outlets and feature on a few restaurant menus. For consumers seeking an easier way into insect consumption, pasta, protein bars and granola bars made from insect flour went on sale in Selfridges in January.

Eat Grub’s co-founder Shami Radia said: “It’s great to have Abokado supporting us in spreading the grub love; the fun way they approach food and innovation is exactly what we need to make eating insects more mainstream.”   (The Guardian)

 

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Muslim Imam Warns Christians To Wake Up Before Radical Islam Consumes All Of Them |The Republican News

He is known as Imam of peace and has warned Christians to wake up otherwise radical Islam will consume all of them

Mohammad-Tawhidi

Mohammad Tawhidi, better known as the Imam of peace reiterated his warning to Christian leaders to wake up before it’s too late as it regards Muslim Jihad.The author Mohammad in an interviw with CBN News’ Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas, once again hinted America on how to combat the threat of radical Islam.As Sri Lankan authorities worry about the potential of more suicide attacks by the group behind the Easter Sunday bombings, one Muslim activist is issuing an urgent warning to Christians around the world about the growing and very real threat of radical Islam.“If Christians don’t wake up, if Christians leaders don’t wake up, then we Muslims who fled from extremists can’t help you anymore,” said Mohammad Tawhidi, a Muslim author from Australia. “We tried warning you.”Image result for Mohammad Tawhidi
Tawhidi, a third-generation Iranian-born Muslim and author of The Tragedy of Islam, says political correctness is allowing radical Muslims with their dangerous and deadly ideology, to flourish.“When we come to the West and try to warn the governments and intelligence agencies about what is happening, about the people we fled from, we have this new political correctness agenda that tells us that ‘oh, we are the racists, we are the ones who are traitors and the extremists need to be understood and embraced’.”Tawhidi says even though the Islamic terror group ISIS lost its territory in Syria and Iraq, the group’s followers and sympathizers are still actively planning mayhem.Image result for Christians

Mohammad-Tawhidi-with-the-Islamic-Turban-1
“We are fighting a real caliphate, not a so-called caliphate, this is the true extremist Islamist militant ideology that is taking over our lands and our countries,” Tawhidi warned.This week, a German newspaper published an exhaustive study of all Islamic terror attacks around the world since the September 11, 2001, strikes on America.According to the German newspaper Die Welt Islamic extremists have carried out 31,211 attacks in the last 18 years.Those attacks have killed 146,811 people around the world. Most of the victims have been Muslims.The newspaper analyzed all the information gathered by the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland to come up with the number of attacks and lives lost.Image result for Christians
The list concludes with the recent attacks in Sri Lanka that killed at least 253 people and injured more than 500 when suicide bombers targeted churches and hotels on the island nation.Tawhidi, who describes himself on his website as “Muslim scholar, thinker and educator,” says he’s on a mission to tackle the “spread of Islamic extremism” and believes the key is to reform Muslim societies and their mindset.Image result for Christians

Mohammad-Tawhidi
“Look, I’m a Muslim, but I cannot live in an Islamist theocracy,” Tawhidi told CBN News. “I can live in a Christian government, based on their constitution, because that is where peace lies. I cannot live in a place where ISIS rules the area.”“No Muslim with a brain that works would want to live under ISIS,” Tawhidi added.

SOURCE: CBN

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Why Finland’s Education System Is The Best In The World |The Republican News

Finland is consistently ranked at the top of the list of best education systems in the world. In fact, the World Bank recently declared the country “a miracle of education.”

On Universitas 21’s latest ranking of the world’s top universities, Finland finished top spot when levels of GDP per capita were considered – with impressive scores that exceeded expectations, given the country’s income level.

So, the big question is: What makes the Finland education system unique?

We did a close review and discovered some really interesting facts behind the success of this small and quiet north European country.

Less Formal Schooling

Contrary to the general norm nearly everywhere else on the globe, Finland believes less is more. And this philosophy is reflected in all facets of national life, including the education system.

Whereas the school starting age of kids in most countries keeps getting lower and lower, in Finland children don’t start formal school until they reach the age of seven. Yes, seven!

And, oh, for the record, that’s just about the oldest age to start school anywhere on the globe.

The children are given a lot of liberty. They are allowed to be children, to learn more naturally and informally through playing and exploring – rather than the formal system of children sitting locked up in a classroom with a teacher reading out instructional materials.

The goal and method of teaching are quite unique too. Teachers don’t focus on teaching pupils knowledge to help them pass a test or exam. Instead, the overall objective is to get the students to concentrate on things that will help them really understand the lessons and how to creatively apply the concepts in everyday life.

You may be asking: Won’t that approach slow them down? No, quite the opposite! The children start formal education when they are actually developmentally ready to learn and focus.

After the first year of school, the next stage for the child is nine years of compulsory schooling. At the end of the ninth grade, everything is optional and at the age of 16, the student can decide on any of three paths:

A three-year Upper Secondary School programme.

Join the workforce (Less than 5% of students follow this track).

Fewer Students, More Individual Attention

You probably already imagined this scenario. You guessed right. Fewer students in a class often mean the teacher can provide better care and attention to the pupils.

Typically, a Finnish teacher is assigned about 3 to 4 classes of 20 students a day, so they are responsible for between 60 to 80 students daily. This is a more reasonable number and a lot smaller than the average teacher in most other countries has to manage every weekday.

Less Time in School, Fewer Instructions

In Finland, school usually starts at 9 am or 9:45 am; and ends by 2 pm or 2:45 pm. Surprised? There’s more: The average Finnish teacher provides fewer instructions to his/her students in a day than the regular teacher elsewhere in the world.

When computed, the total instruction time clocks to about 600 hours a year or 4 lessons daily. But here’s the catch: The topics are fewer but more in-depth. The focus of the lessons is not in the period or number, but on creativity, skill acquisition, and real-world application.

The younger kids are allowed sufficient time to play, so they can discover, be creative, and learn in the process. When they are 7, they start formal schooling and are taught how to read and write.

For the older kids also, there’s a deliberate effort to avoid the pupils getting too tired or stressed so they can learn well. They are given only a reasonable amount of homework, have a fewer number of school days a term compared to other kids around the world, and take 10 to 20 minutes breaks between the lessons.

During the breaks, the children are allowed to go outside and play, so they can focus on studying again. The children also eat free, healthy lunch at school. The end goal is to ensure both the students and teachers are well rested and ready to learn/teach.

The System Prioritizes Play

We already mentioned that Finnish students get the least amount of homework in the world, as the focus is to allow the pupils adequate free time, play, breaks, and rest, so their minds are sharper and their body well relaxed and refreshed for learning.

Students in Finland typically don’t have afterschool tutors or lessons. It sounds ironic when you take into account that Finnish students score higher than students from Asian countries who receive tons of extra lessons or afterschool instructions.

Finnish students get the work done in class diligently, and teachers feel that is adequate. There are no pressures on the students to do more than what is necessary to learn a skill. And when there are assignments, they are often open-ended and not really graded.

Teaching as a Profession Is Revered

Most students in both developing and developed countries rarely think of teaching as a career choice, perhaps after observing the profession is generally undervalued and their teachers often underpaid.

The reverse is the case in Finland – specifically in terms of the treatment and respect accorded to teachers.

Teaching is a very prestigious profession in Finland. Teachers work fewer hours and are paid relatively well compared with their colleagues in many other countries. They are also entrusted with the authority to plan their teaching in a way they think best suits their students.

Teaching is an extremely selective profession in Finland, and it’s not easy to get accepted in the special programme to qualify as a teacher. In fact, you have to be well motivated and gifted to make the grade.

But before applying for the teacher’s education programme, it is mandatory you have a master’s degree in your subject. That is if you’re going to take any of the high school or middle school classes.

If you’re applying to be a kindergarten, preschool or elementary school teacher, you must also have a master’s degree or at least a bachelor’s degree.

No Standardized Testing

While the practice in most countries is that students take standardised tests and exams to track their progress, in Finland students take just a single test, called the National Matriculation Exam, during their entire time in elementary or high school.

However, the test assessment is more than just what the student scores. Rather, it measures the general academic maturity level of the student, which are standards by which a mature, educated person is evaluated in Finnish society.

Free Education at All Levels

Finland is one of the few countries in the world that offer absolutely free bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programmes — not only for its own citizens but also students from European Union and EEA countries.

Yes, you read right: International students from eligible countries studying any course in Finnish universities do not pay a penny in tuition. There are no fancy private schools or universities anywhere with their own study plans. Instead, there’s a national standard for what every school must teach.

In Finland, capitalism (which, for example, allows you to pay to get good education for your child or yourself) is seen as a system that produces a mass of ignorant people versus a small, well-educated elite; thereby making poor education/good education, and poverty/wealth divides kind of “hereditary.”

In summary, Finnish society is a welfare state and aims at taking care of everybody, not just those that can afford it. Naturally, it starts with universal healthcare, in which families receive medical care when needed in any of the comprehensive networks of child welfare clinics.

So, the much-lauded Finnish education system is only an extension of a grounded tradition of a welfare state. Besides, Finland appears to be very conscious of the important roles teachers play in moulding and influencing the next generation and consequently invests heavily (time, efforts and resources) in the recruitment process and general education system. (theischooler.com)

 

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