Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2015 Contents A25
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Photos of Nigeria's first lady
wearing an expensive watch
led some Nigerians to ask
whether they undermine
President Buhari's "man of the
In March, Muhammadu
Buhari was elected as Nigeria's
new president after a
campaign which took a strong
anti-corruption stance. Buhari
underlined his humble
credentials by raising money
from ordinary voters. He even
had to stretch his finances to
pay the fee to register as a
This image was diluted
somewhat when his wife,
Aisha Buhari, was pictured
wearing an expensive-looking
watch at her husband's
inauguration last week and
these images were shared on
the Instagram account of the
photographer George Okoro.
Nigerian press described it as
a Cartier Baignoire Folle 18-
carat white gold diamond
timepiece that was estimated
to cost around $50,000---more
than £30,000 or about 10m
Nigerian naira. Others, however,
pointed out that knockoff
versions are available for as
little as $100. (BBC)
Nigerians upset over first lady's flashy watch
More than 7,000 men and boys have
died in Nigerian military custody during
its fight against Boko Haram over the last
four years, Amnesty International says.
They are among more than 20,000 people
who have been arrested during operations
against the Islamist militants, the rights
The military has rejected the allegations,
calling the report biased and the statistics
At least 17,000 people have died in the
conflict since 2009, says Amnesty.
That means around 40 per cent of all
deaths have been in military custody.
About 1.5 million people have also been
displaced and hundreds more abducted since
Boko Haram launched its violent uprising
to impose Islamic rule in 2009.
Amnesty International and other human
rights groups have accused Nigeria s security
forces of carrying out many atrocities before.
But this report goes further as the UK-
based rights group names several senior
officers---including major generals and
brigadier generals---and calls on them to be
investigated for murder, torture and enforced
disappearance, he says.
In response, military spokesman Maj Gen
Chris Olukolade said the report "went out
to gather names of specified senior officers,
in a calculated attempt to rubbish their rep-
The report, entitled Stars on their shoul-
ders, Blood on their hands, says the senior
officers should either be investigated for
carrying out the war crimes themselves or
for being in command of subordinates who
Amnesty International says more than
1,000 people have been unlawfully killed.
It says in some cases captives were delib-
erately starved in custody and boys as young
as nine years old have been detained.
The human rights group calls on President
Buhari to end the culture of impunity in
the armed forces.
This year Nigeria s army---backed by
regional forces---has recaptured many towns
and villages from the militants.
But the group is still holding many
women, girls and children captive, including
219 schools girls it kidnapped from a school
in Chibok in April last year. (BBC)
Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving
a knife at law enforcement officers Tuesday, had
originally planned to behead a person outside Mas-
sachusetts, but decided instead to target the "boys
in blue," a reference to police, according to court
Police shot Rahim multiple times as he wielded a
large military-style knife, officials said. Rahim is
believed to have been radicalised by ISIS and other
About two hours before Rahim s confrontation with
anti-terrorism officers on a Boston Street, he allegedly
told an associate he was "going to ... go after them,
those boys in blue. Cause ... it s the easiest target,"
said an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston
The 26-year-old security guard at first allegedly
plotted to kill a person outside the state, possibly
beheading them "like thinking with your head on your
chest"---an apparent reference to the practice of some
terror organizations of beheading targets and placing
their heads on their chests in propaganda videos,
according to the documents. But he later abandoned
that plan, saying, "I can t wait that long."
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said
the surveillance video shows four or five officers
approach the suspect without their weapons drawn.
The officers backtrack as Rahim comes after them
and gets "close enough to cause imminent harm"
when they eventually draw their weapons fire at him.
Hopes are fading of any more survivors being
found inside a cruise ship which capsized on China s
Just 14 of the 456 mostly elderly people on board
the Eastern Star have so far been rescued, after the
vessel overturned in bad weather on Monday.
Officials say they will keep looking for survivors,
but it could be China s worst boat disaster in decades.
In a new development, maritime agency records
show the ship was investigated for safety violations
two years ago.
State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV)
said 26 bodies had so far been recovered. Some of
the few survivors were found trapped in air pockets
inside the submerged hull of the ship.
"As long as there s even a little hope, we will give
it 100 per cent and will absolutely not give up,"
Transport Minister Yang Chuantang said, before
adding that rescuers were in "a race against time."
Premier Li Keqiang urged divers to keep searching
the ship in an "overnight battle" to find more survivors
after at least two remarkable rescues on Tuesday,
including one of a 65-year-old woman.
The captain, who survived and is now in police
custody along with the chief engineer, said the vessel
had been caught in what he termed a cyclone. Chinese
media said meteorologists had confirmed that a "sud-
den, strong and violent" storm hit the area.
A Russian defence firm says an old
Buk missile it used to manufacture
brought down Malaysia Airlines flight
MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July
The Almaz-Antey firm said the Buk
M1 guided missile was fired from an
area south of Zaroshchenske.
The statement is in line with previous
Russian claims that Ukrainian forces,
not the rebels, fired the missile.
The destruction of MH17---a Boeing
777---killed all 298 people on board.
Ukraine blamed the pro-Russian rebels.
There is controversy about who con-
trolled the Zaroshchenske area at the
time. The Russian military said the town
was under Ukrainian military control,
whereas Ukrainian officials insisted it
was already held by the rebels.
Almaz-Antey said it had analysed
shrapnel damage and identified the mis-
sile as "9M38M1 of the Buk M1 sys-
The firm s CEO, Yan Novikov, said
the missile was withdrawn from pro-
duction in 1999 and "the concern and
its companies could not have supplied
these missiles to anyone in the 21st Cen-
BEIRUT---A US official said yesterday
that more than 10,000 Islamic State
fighters have been killed by American-
led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in nine
months, offering a body count for a
campaign that has yet to blunt their
Deputy Secretary of State Tony
Blinken s figure came after a Paris con-
ference on how to stop the extremists
ended without any new strategy to halt
their campaign. It also comes months
after the Pentagon dismissed such counts
as "simply not a relevant figure" in the
fight against the Islamic State group.
Speaking Wednesday to France Inter
Radio a day after the Paris conference,
Blinken said the airstrikes have been effec-
tive. "We have seen enormous losses for
Daesh," Blinken said, using an Arabic
acronym for the group. "More than
10,000 since the beginning of this cam-
paign. That will end up having an effect."
In September, the CIA said that Islamic
State group has up to 31,500 fighters,
meaning that could represent a loss of a
third of its forces. (AP)
'Old Buk missile
used' to down
US: Airstrikes killed
10,000 ISIS fighters
Hopes fade of finding
BOKO HARAM CRISIS
Nigerian army accused
of murder, torture
Pope Francis walks past a floral carpet as he arrives for his weekly general audience in
St Peter's Square at the Vatican, yesterday. Today Catholics worldwide are celebrating
the Feast of Corpus Christi. AP PHOTO
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