Akanu Ibiam Airport Closure Criticised For Bad Timing, Waste Of Resources|RN


By Ike A. Offor

Palliative repair work on the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, started on Thursday, 14 December, 2017. This caused some excitement in aviation sector, but not without criticism about its intention to carry out such works now, the busiest period of year.

Air Peace, a major carrier on the route has commended the Federal Government for the work.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) had begun work on the runway with the first phase scheduled from December 14 to 21. This was written ont he website of FAAN.

Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu in a statement on Thursday announced the decision of the agency to commence a “palliative repair” on the runway of the airport which airline owners have repeatedly complained as posing a threat to the takeoff and landing of aircraft.

Mr Henrietta Yakubu said during the repair of the runway, the airport would operate at half its capacity as flights would only be allowed into the airport between 7am and 3pm.
But the stakeholders  who are members of the Aviation Round Table (ART) have expressed worry on the timing of the shutdown of the airport for repair (the Yuletide season where traffic is at its peak) and they also faulted the decision to do a palliative work and not a total maintenance of the runway.

FAAN was also criticised for failing to disclose how much it was investing the palliative repair of the Enugu airport runway.

It could be recalled that the Senate Committee on Aviation had a tour of the airport and lamented bitterly about the poor state of he airport. The Senate committee recommended that the airport must be repaired and brought to the same standard of an international airport as found in other climes.

So, it should be recommended that the government listened to the recommendations by the Senate and ordered for the palliative repair works.

This move could not go without sharp criticism from citizens of the region, who condemned the timing of the repair works.

Some South East citizens have complained that the closure during the high season, when many sons and daughters of the region make the yearly holiday home-coming is  conspiracy to take the economic benefits away from South East.

One critic, Mr Joseph Ikunna  wrote on his Facebook wall, ” it is self-explanatory that it is intended to rob the region of the taxes to be paid to the airport”. He also said that it is also very painful and financially burdensome for South Easterners and others to use Lagos or other airports and make the tedious and dangerous journey home via the road.

It is very obvious that the police and army check points on the roads increase as one approaches the region of South East. And it has been lamented by Ohanaeze President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo that these checkpoints are merely used to extort money from  passengers and vehicle owners from the region in a very shameless manner in broad day light.

So, Mr Ikunna has some reason to nurture such suspicions and fear for the safety and extortion of South Eastern road users by the men in uniform on our roads.

But aviation analysts, John Ojikutu and Olu Ohunayo who are also top executives of the Aviation Round Table (ART) told journalists that the palliative repair was a waste of scare resources.

“The palliative repairs can only sustain the landing of Boeing 737 aircraft weight and not for the landing of bigger aircraft that foreign airlines who are flying into the airport use,” said Ojikutu.

“If FAAN does not want to continue to waste its scarce fund on the runway, or cause a disaster in the airport, it should prevail on the political interests that opened the airport to international flights to allow runway to be closed for a complete reconstruction and upgrade its load classification number (LCN) from 50 to at least 80 if not 100. A word is enough for the wise,” Ojikutu added.
“Before the rushed  designation of the airport for international flight was implemented, was the strength of the runway not factored in the process?” queried Ohunayo.

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Baby Born With Heart Outside Her Body Survives Surgery |The Republican News

Three-week-old Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who was due to be delivered on Christmas Eve before an incredibly rare condition, in which the heart grows on the outside of the body, meant she had to be born prematurely by caesarean section on November 22, is caressed and touched by her parents Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, after surviving, in what is believed to be a UK first. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)


A baby, Vanellope Hope Wilkins, born with her heart outside her body has survived surgery to insert it back into her chest, CNN has reported.

The baby who now three weeks old, was delivered by a team of 50 medical professionals at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, UK, on November 22.

She was born with ectopia cordis, a rare congenital condition causing her heart to grow outside her body.

To correct the condition the team of surgeons put the baby girl through three intensive surgeries to put her heart inside her chest. She is now recovering under strict medical watch.

Naomi Findlay, Vanellope’s mother, said she had prepared her mind that anything could happen, and that was how she could cope with feelings that came with the situation.

“I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it. I had brought an outfit to hospital that she could wear if she died,” Vanellope’s mother said in a statement on Tuesday.”I genuinely didn’t think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been amazing.”

Dr. Frances Bu’Lock, consultant in pediatric cardiology at Glenfield Hospital said, “I deal with babies with heart problems all the time, some of them very complicated.

“This is only the second case in 30 years that I’ve seen this particular condition, it’s extremely rare,” she said. “Vanellope is the first baby to survive this operation in the UK.”

The condition was first discovered at nine weeks of pregnancy after an ultrasound scan showed that the heart and bowels were growing outside the body. Another scan at 16 weeks showed that the bowel had gone back inside but the heart did not.

Four teams of doctors at Glenfield — which is part of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) — were scheduled to deliver the baby on November 22 by caesarean section to reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of injuring the infant’s heart.

After birth, Vanellope was placed in a sterile plastic bag to reduce infection risk to her heart and keep exposed tissues moist.

“Vanellope was born in good condition. She cried at birth and coped well with the early stabilization and her heart continued to beat effectively,” said Glenfield Consultant Neonatologist Jonathan Cusack.

“At around 50 minutes of age, it was felt that Vanellope was stable enough to be transferred back to the main theatre where she had been born to the waiting anaesthetists, congenital heart disease and pediatric surgical teams who began the task of putting her entire heart back inside her chest,” he said.


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NDA Cadets Drop Uniforms With Fulanimen, Disappear – Residents |RN


Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Nigerian Army has said it will investigate an allegation that some cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna State, sneak out of the camp and drop their uniforms with Fulani residents.

The army announced this on its Twitter handle on Wednesday while reacting to some aggrieved Nigerians who said such practice by the cadets had allegedly become common in the NDA.

One of the commentators, who gave her name only as Raliyah, said the danger of cadets dropping their uniforms with Fulani gatemen before sneaking out of the camp, could lead to hoodlums using the camouflage to perpetrate crimes.

Raliyah, who claimed to have seen the cadets on several occasions, said, “I noticed the happenings in the NDA which could be a big threat in the nearest future if something is not done about it. Cadets, who are meant to go out only when it is official, tend to sneak out of the premises. But this is not a problem.

“The issue is that they sneak out in their military uniform. They then go to some Fulani gatemen around the academy to change into casual wear. They leave behind their uniform, boots and so on with these Fulani men for as long as three days.

“My concern is how the cadets leave their military wear behind. Sooner or later, the uniform may be used to commit atrocities in society if they have not even started doing so. The rate of robbery, kidnapping and killings by uniformed men is alarming. We want the appropriate authorities to do something immediately.”

Another commentator, identified only as Musa, said, “This is absolutely correct. There are ways for the cadets to go out for days without the academy authorities knowing. Though checks can be conducted, there are ways to cover up even on parade. When they are caught, they are punished and even dismissed, but it happens.

“My boss and his driver, while they were coming from the airport after his flight was postponed, escaped being attacked by some Fulanimen in army uniform. The army should investigate this.”

The army, in its reaction, said necessary actions were being taken on the issue.

The army said, “Thanks for your concerns. Necessary actions are being taken as we speak. Issues of internal and national security are everyone’s interest. Once again, thank you for the intelligence.”  (Punch)

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Overweight Men Last Longer In Bed Than Slim Men – Research |The Republican News


Move over, slim men! When it comes to sex, a new research has given the prize for ultimate performance to obese men!

In fact, despite the numerous disadvantages that being obese confers on anyone, a new research suggests that men with excess fat around their stomachs actually have more stamina in the bedroom!

In a recent study, obese men were found to last for around one minute and 30 seconds longer than their slimmer peers.

Scientists at Erciyes University in Turkey, in a study entitled, ‘Insight on pathogenesis of lifelong premature ejaculation,’ suggest that there is a correlation between a man’s physical size and his endurance during sex.

The researchers note that overweight men have a heightened level of estradiol — a female sex hormone which inhibits the male orgasm and therefore enables the fat man to push on a little bit longer.

In an ironic twist, the researchers also found that slim men are more likely to suffer from lifelong premature ejaculation.  Ooops!   (Punch)

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Arrives Nigeria With All Female Crew |The Republican News


By Louis Ibah

Ethiopian Airlines has announced it would be flying an all female-manned crew aircraft into Nigeria on December 16,2017 as part of efforts to encourage the participation of more Nigerian women in the aviation industry.

“We are proud to announce our first all-women flight to Nigeria which is expected to leave for Lagos, Nigeria from Addis Ababa on December 16, 2017,” the airline said in a statement made available to Daily Sun.

“Women are expected to fill every role on the flight; from the pilots and cabin crew (air host and hostesses), to the in-flight ramp operators, as well as flight dispatchers on ground will all be women.

This will also be the first time Ethiopian Airlines will be operating an all-women flight in Africa,” the airline added. The statement quoted the Pilot-in-Command of the flight, Captain Amsale Gualu (Ms) as saying “This flight shows us that if women get equal opportunities and work hard I am sure they can achieve whatever they want in all fields including the aviation industry.”

The all female crew has Ms. Tigist Kibret as First Officer (Co-pilot) and both female pilots will be flying the latest Boeing 777 into Lagos. In a continent where few women have dared to enter the highly male-dominated profession of piloting, Captain Amsale Guale, in 2010 become the first Ethiopian female captain that flew an Ethiopian Airlines Bombardier aircraft from Addis Ababa to Gondar.
Ethiopian Airlines says it wants to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African women to pursue careers in the aviation industry with the all female flight into Nigeria.    (The Sun)

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China Builds World First Solar-Powered Highway |The Republican News

The world’s first photovoltaic expressway has begun to take shape in the city of Jinan, east China’s Shandong Province.

The expressway is set to open to the public in December this year.

The photovoltaic panels, which look like pieces of glass, pave Jinan’s city ring expressway and can hold middle size vans with strong friction.

With the capability of generating electricity under sunlight, photovoltaic roads can release power to electric vehicles passing on them. They are also able to instantly melt winter snow covering on the road.

The roads are also designed to provide technical support to unmanned vehicles in the future.

China’s first road test section with integral photovoltaic technology was completed in September 2017. The 160-meter-long, 660-square-meter test section was equipped with screens to show the power generation. Another photovoltaic road began testing in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province in November 2017.

The United States started research on solar-powered roads in 2006. However, the first solar road, for pedestrians and bicycles only, was completed in Netherlands in 2014. Solar panels are installed on some roads in Germany and Italy. France has launched a project to construct a 966-km photovoltaic road in 5 years.


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Mystery: 13 Human Feet Wash Ashore In Canada |The Republican News


A coroner is inspecting a human foot found on Vancouver Island.        © Prisma Bildagentur, UIG via Getty Images A coroner is inspecting a human foot found on Vancouver Island. 
The exceptionally high tides this time of the year off British Columbia can turn the rocky western coast of Vancouver Island into a graveyard. Bones from gray whales, sea lions and killer whales wash ashore, piling on the beach along fallen evergreens.

But on Thursday morning, Taz, a 6-year-old Rottweiler, sensed something different about a bone tangled in a bed of kelp. Taz darted away from her owner, Mike Johns, to inspect it, sniffing a piece that jutted out on a beach in the hamlet of Jordan River.

Her instincts were right. Mr. Johns followed behind her and pushed away the kelp, revealing his dog’s find: a tibia and fibula attached to a left human foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe.

In any other part of the world, a sneaker with a human foot washing ashore might be a terrifying discovery, enough to frighten residents and stir fears of a gruesome murder or a serial killer on the loose. But not in British Columbia, where these discoveries have become so common that they are tracked. It was the 13th foot to wash ashore since 2007.

“It’s just a freak thing that it happened to be here,” said Mr. Johns, 56, who lives in Jordan River, a surfer’s village about 70 miles southwest of Vancouver, Canada.

Mr. Johns said he called the police and then used a stick to pick up what remained of the leg, carried it back to his property and locked it in his greenhouse. He worried that if it remained on the beach, it would have washed back into the ocean or attracted the bear hanging around town or an eagle from the nearby nest.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police retrieved the remains on Friday, the authorities said, and they are being inspected by the Coroners Service of British Columbia. “We’ll try to get a DNA sample,” said Andy Watson, a spokesman for the service.

During winter months, British Columbia experiences what are known as “king tides,” unusually high tides that can cause coastal flooding. The tides, along with strong currents and the fact that shoes are buoyant, mean that the remains could belong to someone as far north as Alaska or as far south as Oregon, Mr. Watson said.

“Our search won’t stay in Canada,” he said.

Mr. Watson said it was too soon to determine how the person died.

Since the first severed foot was discovered in August 2007, the cases have caught the attention and imagination of Canadians across the country. By July 2008, five feet had been retrieved in the Strait of Georgia, part of the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver and Washington State.

The 12th foot was discovered in February 2016, a right foot in a black and blue New Balance sneaker that was found about 20 miles west of last Thursday’s discovery. (One foot discovered in 2008 turned out to be a hoax.)

At first, people’s theories for how the feet came to their final resting spot ran from the logical to the hysterical. Maybe they died in a plane crash or fell overboard, some surmised, or they were dumped in the ocean by a serial killer or human traffickers.

But in reality, the explanations were far less sinister. The authorities have identified eight of the 12 feet as belonging to six people, and none died by foul play.

Joshua Constandinou, who owns the Cold Shoulder Cafe in Jordan River, about a half-mile from the site of the foot, said residents were not rattled by the discovery.

“At the beginning, it seemed more strange, but now it happens so many times,” Mr. Constandinou said.

He said people understood that science could explain the mysteries.

“It makes sense to me that if a body is in the ocean and decomposes, you end up with a shoe that floats and an ankle where it would disconnect from the tibia and fibula,” Mr. Constandinou said. “That is what they are finding on the beaches.” (The New York Times)

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