The YNaija Ticker

The YNaija Ticker

Forbes recognizes Linda Ikeji

Popular blogger, Linda Ikeji, debuts in the August edition of Forbes Africa magazine, where she is dubbed Nigeria’s highest paid blogger.

The businesswoman and former model, is celebrated in the article ‘Beauty, Brains and the Business of Blogging’, as the August edition recognises the struggle for women in business.

“This edition also includes the Forbes list of Africa’s most prominent women as well as interviews and inspirational stories of some of the continent’s most powerful woman to date.” the managing editor of Forbes Africa Chris Bishop said.

Donning the cover on the August issue is one of Africa’s richest women Wendy Appelbaum as she talks about ‘why women in the boardroom should be making noise’.

-BusinessDay

The end of an era? The Pope drops Catholic ban on condoms in historic shift

After decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the Pontiff has ended the Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms.

He said it was acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to “reduce the risk of infection” from Aids.

While he restated the Catholic Church’s staunch objections to contraception because it believes that it interferes with the creation of life, he argued that using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage.

Asked whether “the Catholic Church is not fundamentally against the use of condoms,” he replied: “It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution. In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality.”

He stressed that abstinence was the best policy in fighting the disease but in some circumstances it was better for a condom to be used if it protected human life.

“There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to redevelop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes.

“But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”

The announcement is in a book to be published by the Vatican this week based on the first face-to-face interview given by a pope.

In the interview, he admits he was stunned by the sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church and raises the possibility of the circumstances under which he would consider resigning. The 83-year-old Pontiff says in passages published exclusively in The Sunday Telegraph today that he is aware his “forces are diminishing”.

However, he appears determined to fight for the place of faith in the public domain.

His language in attacking the use of recreational drugs in the West and its impact on the rest of the world is particularly striking.

He describes drug trafficking as an “evil monster” that stems from the “boredom and the false freedom of the Western world”. Most significant, however, are his comments on condoms, which represent the first official relaxation in the Church’s attitude on the issue after rising calls for the Vatican to adopt a more practical approach to stopping the spread of HIV.

The Pope’s ruling is aimed specifically at stopping people infecting their partners, particularly in Africa where the disease is most prevalent.

However, it will inevitably be seized upon by liberal Catholics in Britain who oppose the Church’s stance against contraception.

High profile Catholics such as Cherie Blair have stated publicly that they use birth control.

The Pope’s comments are surprising because he caused controversy last year by suggesting that condom use could actually worsen the problem of Aids in Africa.

He described the epidemic in the continent as “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”.

The Vatican amended an official version of the remarks to indicate that he said merely that condoms “risk” aggravating the problem.

However, there have been growing calls for the Church to clarify its position.

Theologians suggest that condoms are not a contraceptive if they are intended to prevent death rather than avoid life.

The Pope’s comments in the book, Light of the World, are likely to be welcomed by Catholic leaders in the West who have struggled to explain its current teaching.

Asked last year whether a married Catholic couple should use condoms where one of them had Aids, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, head of the Church in England and Wales, disclosed the confusion over the issue. “Obviously that’s a sensitive point and obviously there are different views on that,” he said.

Hardline Catholics are likely to be surprised and dismayed by the Pope’s comments as they argue that condoms can be used only as contraceptives.

There has been great anticipation before the book’s release, heightened by its author, Peter Seewald, who said in a teasing comment that it could be “a big sensation”.

“It is the first time that a Pope gives an account of himself in this form,” he said.

“It is the first personal interview with a pope in the Church’s history.”

The Pope gives his most personal account of the distress caused to him by the clerical sex abuse scandal, with particular reference to Germany and Ireland.

He says: “It was really almost like the crater of a volcano, out of which suddenly a tremendous cloud of filth came, darkening and soiling everything, so that above all the priesthood suddenly seemed to be a place of shame and every priest was under the suspicion of being one like that too.” He did not consider resigning over the crisis but does raise the possibility of a pope resigning if he were to lose his mental capacities.

“If a Pope clearly realises that he is no longer phys-ically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” He tells of the last time he saw Pope John Paul II, his predecessor; talks of his reluctance to be Pontiff; and speaks of his increasing frailty.

“I had been so sure that this office was not my calling, but that God would now grant me some peace and quiet after strenuous years,” he says. While the Pope stresses the importance of dialogue with Islam, he nevertheless says the religion needs to “clarify … its relation to violence” and suggests it can be intolerant.

The Pontiff is highly critical of the “craving for happiness” in the West.

“I believe we do not always have an adequate idea of the power of this serpent of drug trafficking and consumption that spans the globe,” he says.

“It destroys youth, it destroys families, it leads to violence and endangers the future of entire nations.

“This, too, is one of the terrible responsibilities of the West: that it uses drugs and that it thereby creates countries that have to supply it, which in the end exhausts and destroys them.”

He continues: “A craving for happiness has developed that cannot content itself with things as they are.”

Talking about sex tourism, he says: “The destructive processes at work in that are extraordinary and are born from the arrogance and the boredom and the false freedom of the Western world.”

-The Telegraph

Mum sues over breast-feeding video-turned-porn

When MaryAnn Sahoury agreed to appear with her month-old daughter in a breast-feeding instructional video, she saw an opportunity to help women who had trouble getting their babies to nurse.

Instead, Sahoury found herself in a nightmarish situation: Someone took the footage of Sahoury nursing her daughter and spliced it with pornography posted on the Internet.

“It was terrifying,” Sahoury told The Associated Press.

Last week, a federal court judge in New Jersey ruled that a lawsuit Sahoury filed against Meredith Corp., an Iowa-based media and marketing company that shot and produced the video for Parents TV, could proceed.

The lawsuit claims Sahoury was verbally assured her full name would not be used in the video; instead, it displayed Sahoury’s full name on screen, the suit said. Meredith claims Sahoury signed a release on behalf of herself and her daughter allowing the company to use their “image, voice and name.”

“While Meredith is not responsible for this,” the Des Moines-based company said in a statement, “we deeply regret that this has occurred to Ms. Sahoury and her family.”

When her daughter was born in December 2009, Sahoury had trouble nursing and used a lactation consultant. The following month the consultant asked Sahoury if she wanted to appear in an instructional video to talk about her breast-feeding experiences and demonstrate nursing techniques. Sahoury agreed because she wanted to help other women overcome their fears about breast-feeding.

“I didn’t get paid to do this. I didn’t want to be some sort of celebrity,” said Sahoury, 35. “I did this to help other moms.”

Sahoury said she was asked to sign a piece of paper while she was leaving the shoot with the baby. She admits to not reading the document and said she believed it backed up the assertion that her full name would not be used.

In July 2010, Sahoury – who had not yet seen the video – Googled herself. She was shocked by what she saw: numerous links to pornographic sites and videos containing her name. She clicked on one and saw the video edited to include a woman with “similar features and stature” performing sex acts. Sahoury then Googled her infant daughter’s name, and the search returned pornographic links.

The lawsuit claims the video was posted on YouTube, when Sahoury was told it would only appear on Parents TV and cable. The video has since been removed from all Meredith properties, including Parents TV, and YouTube, the company said.

The lawsuit also states a video filmed with another woman that day did not use her full name.

The suit seeks an order prohibiting Meredith from using the video featuring her and her daughter for any purpose; it also seeks attorney fees.

Sahoury said the emotional toll was immense. She described spending days and nights sitting on her couch, searching the Internet trying to identify and report websites. She was successful at removing some and believes she found the perpetrator, the lawsuit states, but was unable to shut him down.

Meredith initially “exhibited a sense of urgency and a willingness” to help Sahoury, the suit said, sending her daily updates on where the video was being shown and what got shut down. The suit claims the company’s “interest in attempting to mitigate the damage” started to wane. Sahoury then sued.

In a statement, Meredith said it is “appalled” that the video was misused and it has hired lawyers to file take-down demands and Internet specialists to clear online caches and has helped improve Sahoury’s online reputation. It continues to provide the services, the statement said.

“We are confident that the steps we have taken are helping to mitigate the issue,” the statement said. “We have taken these actions even though Ms. Sahoury signed a full release for herself and her daughter.”

Sahoury said she hopes her situation leads to a greater awareness of Internet safety and exploitation and increased protections for breast-feeding mothers.

“Sometimes I want to crawl into bed and say, `God I wish it wasn’t me,’ but it was me for a reason,” she said. “I need to be as strong as I was when I made the video and say, look, I’m still supporting mothers everywhere, our rights to breast-feed wherever and whenever we want and not be exploited by major corporations or any kind of perverts.”

-Associated Press

Tina Campbell from Mary Mary has a new baby boy

Tina Campbell from Mary Mary just gave birth to a newborn baby boy.  The baby was born Saturday in Los Angeles.  Earlier this year, her sister Erica brought a girl into the world.

Tina and Erica are credited for building a platform for urban contemporary gospel music.  Their breakout hit “Shackles” practically created a new genre and it’s been nothing but success ever since. The sisters were born Erica Monique Atkins and Tina Evette Atkins in Inglewood, California.

Coming from a family of nine, both Tina and Erica appreciate the value of family.  Because their ages were close in proximity, the two sisters were very close to one another.  They even both married men with the last name Campbell, with both men being unrelated.

The sisters have been criticized by some for their willingness to work with secular artists.  For example, they worked with the artist T-Pain when creating their song “God in Me.”  They’ve also said that they would like to work with even more secular artists, including the rapper TI.

-Black Blue Dog

Brown envelope journalism: Google and Oracle paid off bloggers for their opinion?

A judge has ruled that Oracle and Google must reveal the names of bloggers and reporters that they’ve paid.   The demand was made in the US in response to an intellectual property case being fought out in court.  The judge says that he is “concerned” about financial influence of information that is ultimately printed out on the Internet.

The companies have until August 17 to reveal the list.

Oracle filed a copyright challenge against Google, alleging that the company owes it a billion dollars for the use of its Android Operating System.  The jury, however, ruled that the patents had not been breached.

When it comes to revealing financial relationships with bloggers, Oracle says that it’s “always disclosed all of its financial relationships in this matter, and it is time for Google to do the same”.

Bloggers are regularly paid by companies if their blogs are influential.  One example is Florian Mueller, a patent consultant in Germany.  Although he admits that he was paid by Oracle, he says that he was never told what to say.

“There was never any request to say please do this or that,” he said.

“We agreed I would still express my views and pick my topics. I wrote all the blog posts independently, and they did not see draft posts.”

But even though companies may not explicitly state that they would like a specific type of content, this “soft influence” worries some who feel that paying off members of Internet media has become the norm.

Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent, says that this case says a great deal about what’s been happening with corruption in Internet media.

“One of the key aspects that this highlights is the crucial difference between bloggers and professional journalists,” he said.

“Journalists are professionals who understand their obligation to their listeners and viewers – not the interested parties about which they are writing. Many bloggers ignore that distinction.”

- Techyville

#InCaseYouMissedIt: Rihanna loses endorsement deal for “being too wild”

It seems that her wild ways are starting to catch up with her.  The singer Rihanna has been dropped by the CEO of Nivea for being “too wild.”  Stefan Heidenreich, the CEO of the company that says it will no longer pay any of the singer’s bills, seems to feel that Rihanna is not an adequate role model for young women, and therefore needs to hit the bricks.

Rihanna signed her deal with the company back in 2011 and the company even used one of her songs, “California King Bed” in its commercials.   All the while, Rihanna continued her Whitney Houston ways, smoking marijuana in public, running with bad boys with the last name “Brown,” and all kinds of other things that don’t quite make her the most wholesome woman in the block.  That’s when the new CEO said “enough.”

“Rihanna is a no go … I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna,” Heidenreich said.

Heidenreich also said the following:  ”Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.”

Apparently, Rihanna isn’t happy with the company’s decision.  She tweeted a photo of the CEO, stating, “No caption necessary.”

- Your Black World

Father writes a nasty letter to son, son just came out of the closet

The media has been abuzz about a father’s letter to his gay son. The father uses words such as; “degrading” and  ”unnatural” to describe his son’s lifestyle. He makes it very clear that he no longer wants any ties with his son- who claims he was an ‘excellent student’ and ‘obedient’ throughout his childhood- and tells him his friends and family will ‘understand’ if he doesn’t come to his funeral. The father’s letter is below:

James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our time together, but that is all in the past. 

Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. 

You made your choice though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. 

If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand.

Have a good birthday and a good life.

No present exchanges will be accepted.

Goodbye,

Dad.

- Naturally Moi

Woman arrested for trying to steal a new-born in a tote bag

A woman was arrested in a California hospital on Monday after police say she tried to steal a baby.  The case is eerily similar to another case that occurred in Harlem, where the woman stole the baby and kept her for nearly 20 years.

Disguised in scrubs, the woman was caught trying to steal a newborn girl from a Southern California hospital in a tote bag after sensors attached to the baby alerted employees, Garden Grove police said.  Had the security measures not been in place, the woman might have gotten away with her crime.

Grisel Ramirez, 48, was arrested at Garden Grove Medical Center wearing scrubs as a disguise.  Authorities took her into custody after the incident and are reviewing security protocols to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Employees at the hospital were able to stop the kidnapping when a sensor connected to the baby girl alerted them. This system is typical in many hospital wards and is used to help keep track of patients, including newborns, or those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, which could cause them to wander. The system notifies staff when patients have left a certain perimeter.

“At this point we don’t have a solid reason why she stole the baby,”Lt. Jeff Nightengale said at a press conference.

Authorities say Ramirez posed as a nurse, came into the room of the baby’s mother and told her to take a shower before a doctor came to examine her.  The sheer audacity of the crime has police shocked.

Once the mother was out of the room, Ramirez allegedly put the newborn in a purple tie-dyed tote bag and tried to leave.

“An alarm went off when the baby crossed an imaginary line” in the hospital that set off a sensor, Nightengale said.

The baby is now back in the care of her mother.

- Just Khaotic

“You are going to be on reality TV” – Robbers tell customers of a pizza bar as they film the crime

Two Pennsylvania pizzeria workers who were held up early Sunday told police their assailants recorded the incident on a cell phone and claimed they were taping for a reality TV show called “We Just Got Robbed,” authorities said Monday.

There was no TV show, but there was a robbery — the assailants made off with $20, police in the town of Indiana, Pennsylvania, said.

The two workers at Fox’s Pizza Den, about 60 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, were able to alert police while the incident was underway. Officers saw the robbery in progress, chased two fleeing suspects on foot and arrested both suspects, according to Indiana Borough Police Detective Scott Schuller.

The two workers were outside the pizzeria about 1:20 a.m. checking a faulty fire alarm when they were confronted, Schuller said.

It was not clear whether weapons were used or whether the assailants really did record the incident on a cell phone.

There were no injuries, and the two suspects were jailed on charges including robbery, simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. One suspect also was charged with underage drinking, police said.

- Madam Prezident.

MIT Student scams lottery, total haul of $8m

The MIT “brainiacs” have been at it again, using their superior math skills to run a scheme that some say violated the public trust.

Ten years ago, a professor and some students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology were able to extort money from Las Vegas casinos by counting cards. Now, a new scam team has emerged again at MIT. A researcher and some students have run a scam on the Massachusetts Lottery.

The researcher and students were not the only ones behind the scam; the Massachusetts Lottery knew and was also cashing in on the scam.

The scam started when the students were working on a school project and two of them realized that buying $100, 000 in tickets guaranteed a win in the Cash WinFall game. When the jackpot went up to $2 million, the members of the group contributed to the seed money and they shared the winnings.

According to the Boston Globe, by 2005,the group’s winnings were close to $8 million. The Globe reports that even after the Massachusetts Lottery officials realized what the MIT students were doing, they allowed them to buy tickets by the hundred of thousands.  But there are some who say that the students weren’t scamming anyone, and were instead utilizing superior mathematical capability to take advantage of a natural arbitrage opportunity.

The scheme basically worked because when the jackpot in a lottery did not produce a winner, the money carried over to the next jackpot drawing which was even more money. If there were no exact matches, the jackpot was redistributed to the ticket buyers in smaller cash prizes.

According to a report by State Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, the plan paid the MIT group of students so well that they stopped working “normal jobs” and invested their time in working the system full time. The students even found investors who gave them money to buy tickets and then shared in the winnings.

As some people found out about what the students were doing, they also played the game with them, but by 2010, the MIT group had created a new system which guaranteed them a win with just one drawing.

The Boston Globe got their hands on an e-mail in which a lottery supervisor asked:”How do I become part of the club when I retire?”

Considering that some of the people who were involved in the plot were employees of Massachusetts Lottery, people who have been playing the lottery in the state may have cause to sue.

- The360experiment

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