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Adrian Piper: The thinking canvas

NEW YORK — “Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965-2016” at the Museum of Modern Art is a clarifying and complicating 50-year view of a major U.S. artist’s career.

Despite the show’s retrospective cast, we find fiery issues of the present — racism, misogyny, xenophobia — burning in MoMA’s pristine galleries.

The reality that art and its institutions are political to the core — both for what they do and do not say — comes through. And the museum, for once, seems intent on asserting this.

For the first time, it has given over all of its sixth floor special exhibition space to a single living artist.

The artist so honored is a woman, who has focused on, among many other things, the hard fact of racism and the fiction of race.

Piper was born in New York City in 1948 to parents of mixed racial background. (Her father held two official birth certificates. In one, he was designated white; in the other, octoroon, one-eighth black.) Raised in a cosmopolitan environment, she studied at the Art Students League in her teens, and in 1966 enrolled at the School of Visual Arts. The MoMA show opens with a salon-style hanging of figurative paintings, including self-portraits, from that time, influenced by 1960 psychedelic graphics and by her youthful experiences with LSD.

The idea of consciousness altering — and raising — would remain essential to Piper’s thinking. While at art school she immersed herself in the practice of yoga, a lifelong pursuit that would lead to an intensive study of Hindu thought. In 1967, she dropped out of the School of Visual Arts and enrolled in the City College of New York, where she majored in philosophy. (In 1981 she completed a doctorate in the field at Harvard.) More or less simultaneously, she shifted from figurative to minimalist-style abstract painting and sculpture. Then, attracted to conceptualism’s privileging of ideas over conventional forms, she began using arrangements of words, sometimes as instructions for actions, as a medium.

But abstraction, in several varieties, proved to be double-edged. On the one hand, it seemed to offer a new, expansive utopian dimension for art, beyond social, racial and aesthetic particularities. At the same time, it was inadequate to deal with undeniable realities of life in the Vietnam era. Traumatized by political events of 1970 — the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, the killing of students at Kent State and Jackson State — she began to come to grips with her own identity as an African-American in a violent, racist society.

The initial work that resulted from this awakening wasn’t overtly topical, but it was about as far from being abstract as she could get. She used her own body as a primary image in a series of unannounced public performances. For one, she walked New York streets soaked in wet paint; for another she rode the subway wearing odoriferous clothing; for a third she broke into spontaneous dance — in bank lines and libraries — to the internalized sound of Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.” She turned herself into a disruptive alien, an outsider, a disturber.

A few years later, she gave the alien a racial identity and a name. Wearing an Afro wig, a fake mustache and mirrored sunglasses, she enacted the stereotype of an aggressive young African-American male whom she called the Mythic Being. Sometimes, he showed up in public, and verbally confronted passers-by. He also existed in hand-altered photographs. In one such picture, published as a paid-for insertion in The Village Voice, he is made to think the words: “I embody everything you most hate and fear.”

Almost inevitably, Piper has become best known over the years for her art about racism, and for good reason: it’s powerful work, brilliantly varied in form.

Some of it draws on her considerable graphic skills. In a series of 1980s charcoal drawings called “Vanilla Nightmares,” she inserts scowling, sexualized black-skinned figures into news stories and upscale advertisements from The New York Times.

In a 1991 installation called “What It’s Like, What It Is, #3,” she continues to explore direct-address performance. Here, in what might be considered a Mythic Being update, an African-American man, seen on a video monitor surrounded by bleacherlike seating, slowly recites, and rejects, a long list of racial slurs: “I’m not pushy. I’m not lazy. I’m not noisy. I’m not shiftless. I’m not crazy. I’m not servile. I’m not stupid.”

Piper has also, over the decades, consistently used her own image in inventive, distanced, self-mocking ways, as in two well-known self likenesses done several years apart, one, a pencil drawing titled “Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features” (1981) the other, a crayon-enhanced photograph called “Self-Portrait as a Nice White Lady” (1985). In these images, as in all of her work, her aim is not to assert racial identity but to destabilize the very concept of it.

And she has fun playing with it. In her exhilaratingly witty 1983 film “Funk Lessons,” she coaches a class of mostly white graduate students in the how-tos of soul dancing (shake your head, lift your leg), as if blackness were a personal style that could be learned by instruction. And in a quietly scathing 1988 video installation, “Cornered,” she treats racial identity as both a delusion and an entrapment.

Playing a role, as she usually does — very little of her work is directly autobiographical — she speaks directly to us, a very likely white art world audience, with the measured tone of a newscaster. She informs us that, despite her light complexion, she is black, and that chances are good, given the U.S. history of racial mixing, that we are black too. This reality has negative fallout in two directions. It means that white listeners lose their politically privileged identity, and she — now a self-declared “black artist” — is trapped in hers.

Because race has often been her subject, a frequent and career-shaping assumption is that it is her only one, a misperception that this retrospective makes a serious and successful effort to correct. It devotes considerable space to her early, abstract work. It reminds us that the references in her subsequent topical work has been broad-based, ranging from the war in Vietnam to poverty in America. We are reminded that the images of difference generated by the performances were images not defined by ethnicity, and that the original Mythic Being series was as much about gender as it was about race.

Misogyny has always been one of Piper’s targets. In 1986, she designed a business card intended to be passed out at opportune moments to defuse instances of sexual aggression. The card read: “Dear Friend, I’m not here to pick anyone up, or to be picked up. I am here alone because I want to be here, ALONE.”

The show also reminds us of the multidisciplinary texture of Piper’s career. Professionally, she is both, and equally, a visual artist and an academic scholar. (She taught philosophy for decades in U.S. colleges and universities and teaches it now in her new permanent home in Germany.) Walking through the show you can see thinking happening right before your eyes. And certain strands of her more recent work have a meditative, existentialist cast — a reminder of Piper’s initial hopes for the transcendent potential of abstraction.

A decade-spanning project called “Everything” (2003-2013) has three parts. One is a series of informal photographic portraits in which the faces have been obliterated and replaced by the words “Everything will be taken away.” Another is a set of images of U.S. political martyrs (Medgar Evers, Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.) accompanied by the same phrase. A third is an installation of four schoolroom blackboards on which that phrase is repeatedly written in chalk, like a lesson meant to be drilled into memory.

The mortality-redolent words also form an essential tenet of Hindu philosophy: Everything — lives, eras, identities, art — will change.

The great emblem of change is Shiva, the divine yogi, dancing his circular dance of life and death. His image appears repeatedly in Piper’s recent art, most notably in a 2004 film documenting a spectacular iteration of “Funk Lessons.” And at the end of the MoMA show, just outside the final gallery, we see a projected 2007 video of Piper soul-dancing in a public plaza in Berlin, alone except for pedestrians on their way from here to there.

The image brings the retrospective full circle, back to Piper’s solo performances of outsiderness of many decades ago. It’s to the credit of the show’s organizers — Christophe Cherix, chief curator of the drawings and prints department at MoMA; David Platzker, a former curator in that department; Cornelia H. Butler, chief curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and Tessa Ferreyros, a curatorial assistant at MoMA — that they’ve been careful to make such links, and by doing so point up the fierce, steady logic of this artist’s career.

It’s even more to their credit — and a boon to the future — that they’ve kept that career’s difficulty, and toughness, and nowness to the fore. Historically, institutionally, MoMA has favored smoothness and symmetry, whiteness. It has tended to shave off the awkward corners of art, sand its sharpest edges down. In this case, the corners and edges stand firm in an art and a career that is entirely about them.

Music: Tekno samples classic song on new single, ''Jogodo''

Afro Pop act, Tekno goes retro as he samples the classic Danfo Driver hit 'Kpolongo' on new single 'Jogodo'.

In keeping up with the tradition of Throwback Thursday, Tekno aka Slim Daddy who has constantly delivered hit bangers goes retro on new tune titled, ''Jogodo''.

The song which samples the 2005 hit record ''Kpolongo'' by the Ajegunle duo of Mad Melon and Mountain Black was also produced by Tekno, who outside scoring hit records is renowned for his beat making skills.

This is one joint that will be jumping on the charts from this weekend.

'Fearless girl' to move, and she may take the wall street bull with her

NEW YORK — She stared down the iconic “Charging Bull” of Wall Street — and now she could make it move.

The statue known as “Fearless Girl” will soon be moved from its spot at the southern tip of Broadway to a spot facing the New York Stock Exchange, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.

And if the city has its way, the bull will eventually go with her.

Though visitors had posed with the bull for years, larger crowds had gathered since the “Fearless Girl” statue, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based financial firm, was placed in front of the bull at the narrow corner atop Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan last March.

So after deciding to allow the sculpture — placed temporarily at the spot — to remain for a year, city officials came to the conclusion that the number of pedestrians spilling into the streets created a safety hazard. Also, after the deadly attack with a truck last year in Lower Manhattan, officials said they worried that crowds around the two statues could present a tempting target for a terrorist behind the wheel.

The new location by the stock exchange is an area that is already heavily restricted to traffic, where huge numbers of pedestrians but few cars pass through.

“I am thrilled ‘Fearless Girl’ will remain in New York,” Kristen Visbal, the sculptor behind the roughly 50-inch-tall, 250-pound bronze statue, said in a statement released by City Hall.

Not included in the news release, which quoted the financial firm’s president and various elected leaders: the artist Arturo Di Modica, who created the roughly 7,000-pound bronze bull and, in 1989, deposited it downtown without permission.

Di Modica was not pleased when “Fearless Girl” appeared nearly 30 years later, and in an emotional news conference last year threatened to go downtown and turn his bull around, so that it would no longer be facing the new statue. His lawyers have argued that “Fearless Girl” had altered the meaning of the original work, and that the city infringed on the artist’s rights in doing so.

“The idea of connecting the two statues together is the legal vulnerability that the city has had for 13 months,” said Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer representing Di Modica.

“This once again is an example of wealth and power taking precedence over what is right and fair,” he added, citing the city’s apparent consultations with both State Street and the New York Stock Exchange, which issued its own news release on Thursday welcoming the “Fearless Girl” statue.

Siegel said that he and Di Modica have been discussing whether to go to court to keep the bull in place. “The message to Mayor de Blasio is that you have no right to unilaterally move the bull,” he said. “They don’t own the statue.”

Fernando Luis Alvarez, the owner of a Connecticut gallery where Di Modica shows his work, defended the bull as a symbol of optimism and said the meaning of the original had been distorted. “It’s not about gender,” he said. “It is really disgusting how political this has become.”

The decision to move the statues is not part of de Blasio’s commission on monuments, which met several times and, after recommending that the statue of 19th-century surgeon who conducted experimental operations on female slaves be moved from Central Park, disbanded.

If the bull were to be moved to the area in front of the stock exchange, it would be a return of sorts: Di Modica originally placed his artwork there under cover of night. The police at the time said it was a traffic obstruction; it was later moved to its current location.

A spokesman for de Blasio said that it was important to the mayor, who has posed with “Fearless Girl” and spoken of its meaning to young women and girls, to keep the two works together.

“The mayor felt it was important that the ‘Fearless Girl’ be in a position to stand up to the bull and what it stands for,” said Eric F. Phillips, the mayor’s press secretary. “That’s why we’re aiming to keep them together. The bull has also always been a traffic and safety issue the city’s hemmed and hawed over. The moves achieve a few goals.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

J. DAVID GOODMAN © 2018 The New York Times

Troops burn down Benue village in revenge for soldier's killing

The armed men burnt down several houses and destroyed properties worth millions.

Soldiers of the Nigerian Army allegedly invaded Naka village in Gwer West local government area of Benue state on Thursday, April 19, 2018, and began burning houses in retaliation for the killing of a soldier by a local mob.

The armed men burnt down several houses and destroyed properties worth millions during the raid that had residents running for their lives.

Chairman of the LGA, Francis Ayagah, told Premium Times that the attack by the soldiers was a reprisal over the killing of one of their colleagues, identified as Private Danlami Gambo, near the community on Wednesday, April 18.

He said, "A soldier was killed by hoodlums yesterday, but I met with the brigade commander around 4:30 a.m. today. He gave me a list of suspects and we arrested five of them overnight. It was while we trying to take them to the brigade that soldiers stormed the town and started burning houses.

"A whole part of the town has been completely burnt down and we're appealing for help and understanding from the soldiers."

Ayagah reported that most of the homes burnt by the angry soldiers belonged to innocent people and not the suspected killers of the soldier.

 

According to an earlier statement by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Major Olabisi Ayeni, the slain soldier had been killed and buried in a shallow grave by some youths in Naka.

The statement read, "On 18 April 2018, at about 3:30 pm, troops of 707 Sf Brigade deployed at Naka in Gwer West LGA of Benue State observed the absence of PTE Danlami Gambo from his duty post. The soldier’s rifle was however found at the location.

"It was gathered that the soldier was last seen receiving a phone call but left in search of network and did not return. Troops immediately conducted patrols to search for the soldier during the search, at about 6.10 pm, our troops observed blood stains along a footpath leading to a newly dug grave.

"They immediately dug out the grave and the dead body of the missing soldier was found butchered. The corpse was later exhumed and deposited at the Nigerian Air Force mortuary, Makurdi."

He further disclosed that preliminary investigations showed that some locals were involved in the killing which led to the dispatch of a team of troops that effected the arrest of some suspects.

Theresa May approved the controversial billboards while on holiday in Switzerland.

Exclusive: Former senior Home Office official rubbishes claims by May's former aide that the vans were approved without her knowledge while on holiday.

  • Exclusive: A former senior Home Office official tells Business Insider that Theresa May personally intervened to ensure " the controversial "go home or face arrest" immigration vans were "toughened up".
  • The source rubbishes claims by May's former chief of staff Nick Timothy that May had actually been opposed to their use and that they had been approved without her knowledge.
  • "The Home Secretary [was] spoken to on holiday in Switzerland and the wording was slightly changed. It had been toughened up slightly."
  • The revelation comes as the prime minister comes under fire for her "hostile" immigration policies.


LONDON — Theresa May personally intervened to ensure the language on the Home Office's notorious "go home or face arrest" immigration vans was "toughened up," a former senior Home Office official has told Business Insider.

The prime minister's former chief of staff Nick Timothy wrote in the Telegraph this week that the decision to approve the controversial billboard vans, which were targeted at undocumented migrants in 2013, had been approved while the then home secretary was on holiday in Switzerland and that she had actually been opposed to their use.

However, a former senior home office official who was involved in the discussions at the time, has told Business Insider that the then Home Secretary had actually spoken to aides about the vans while she was away and insisted that the language on them be "toughened up."

Timothy, who was May's adviser at the time, claimed on Thursday that May had "opposed" the proposals.

"Theresa May was criticised for the notorious "go home or face arrest" vans that were deployed in 2013," Timothy wrote.

"In fact she blocked the proposal, but it was revived and approved in a communications plan while she was on holiday. She killed off the scheme later that year but by then the damage had been done."

However, the former Home Office source told BI that emails at the time suggest May had actually discussed the vans with her advisers while away.

And not only did she approve the proposals, May also requested that the language of the slogans was "toughened up" before the vans were rolled out.

"The submission had gone to the Home Secretary outlining what was happening with the vans," the source told BI.

"The email came back that said the Home Secretary had been spoken to on holiday in Switzerland and the wording was slightly changed. It had been toughened up slightly."

Asked about Timothy's claims in the Telegraph, the source replied that he was "either being untruthful or forgetful."

Hostile environment

Home Office emails seen by Bloomberg also suggest that May was actively behind the project. According to their report May and her special advisers were sent plans and publicity images for the vans as early as March 2013. The emails suggest that May’s then private secretary Matthew Bligh warned that the images were possibly too soft on illegal immigrants.

"The Home Secretary has commented that it is right to advertise enforcement action but we should not be advertising that we will pay people to leave, which is the effect of the proposed advertisements," he wrote according to Bloomberg.

"Please can officials consider how the material can be revised to get the messaging right and not expose the Agency to criticism for giving tax payers’ money to illegal migrants?"

Downing Street sources distanced themselves from Timothy's comments on Thursday, endorsing official accounts that May had been aware of the project being approved at the time.

A spokesperson for the Home Office declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

The row comes as May comes under fire for her involvement in the Windrush citizens scandal and her wider involvement in creating a so-called " target="_blank"hostile environment" for immigrants in the UK.

Wande coal releases captivating video for 'Oh No No'

Award-winning singer-songwriter Wande Coal is back with brand new visuals for single "Oh No No".

Black Diamond honcho, Wande Coal returns with the visuals for the single he released late last year titled, 'Oh No No', which was produced by CheekyChizzy.

Also Read: Singer responds to child abduction allegations

Wande has enjoyed a recent spell of commercial success following the mainstream acceptance of songs like ''Iskaba'' and ''Turkey Nla'' and the talent vocalist aims to continue in the same fashion this year.

Earlier in the year, he had released the video to 'Will You Be Mine' featuring Leriq.

The new video which was directed by popular cinematographer, Director Q goes the unique way of featuring only Wande Coal and a couple of female vixens during the entire duration of the video.

Nixon lands early punch, but a bigger fight awaits

In the drama-laden race for the Democratic nomination for governor of New York — a contest that, although only one month old, has seen more fireworks than many campaigns ever do.

The party’s decision Saturday assured Nixon of a ballot line in November, gave her early bragging rights over the two-term incumbent, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and solidified her progressive bona fides.

The endorsement also served as a catharsis to WFP’s leaders, who likened it to breaking off a borderline abusive relationship.

“You know the way you feel when you know you’ve done the right thing?” said Bill Lipton, the WFP’s state director. “You sleep better at night.”

As the dust settles on the party’s choice, the question remains how, in practical terms — and how much, in political terms — the WFP endorsement will help Nixon, an actress and educational activist making her first run for political office.

The WFP, a small but influential alliance built by labor unions and progressive activists, has become a force in local races, offering candidate and staff training, paid canvassers and organizers to fledgling campaigns.

But as the party prepared to endorse Nixon, two powerful and prominent labor groups, with the governor’s blessing, pulled their support from the WFP — a blow to the finances of the party, which has a $1.7 million yearly budget and a statewide staff of about 15 people.

The party still has some labor groups in its corner. But the unions that withdrew Friday — Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, and Communications Workers of America District 1 — count more than 150,000 members in New York. The state’s biggest union, 1199 SEIU, which represents health care workers, has also endorsed Cuomo, as have other major unions like the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

And several other union leaders, including some that had supported Lipton’s group in the past, were already speaking of the WFP in the past tense, and speaking ill of its current leaders.

“The WFP was a good concept,” said Mike McGuire, a construction union official and former treasurer of the WFP, adding that Lipton and others had turned it into “an irrelevant, impotent, money-hungry engine for their own personal agenda.”

Lipton said that although the departure of the governor’s labor allies had cost his party “millions in funding,” both now and in the future, the WFP still had ample power to promote Nixon’s message through volunteering, canvassing, phone banking and social media. The party had already been using such methods in recent efforts to expel former members of the Independent Democratic Conference, a recently dissolved group of Democrats who cooperated with Republicans, from the state Senate.

“We just had a dress rehearsal for this,” said Lipton, noting 120,000 anti-IDC phone calls and a half-million anti-IDC text messages sent this winter. “And we think this is going to be much bigger.”

There are early indications that the alliance with the WFP, and a range of community groups whose funding were also threatened by Cuomo’s labor allies, may offer Nixon a bevy of surrogates with which to attack the governor.

On Wednesday, for example, Nixon’s campaign distributed a statement from Make the Road Action, a progressive community-action group that focuses on immigrant issues. The statement accused Cuomo of a “recent pattern of falsehoods and exaggerations about his life story,” citing the governor’s suggestion that he was the son of “poor immigrants” — his father, Mario M. Cuomo, was a lawyer and three-term governor — and the fact that he was “a middle-class guy,” something belied by his $173,000 salary, hefty investment portfolio and a lucrative book deal for his memoir. On Thursday, the Nixon campaign debuted an email attack on Cuomo’s credibility, calling out his “lie of the day.”

“There’s a reason Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon both fought so hard for the endorsement of the Working Families Party,” Rebecca Katz, an adviser Nixon’s campaign, said. “Their ballot line sends a clear signal to voters about which candidate is the most committed progressive.”

As Katz tells it, the WFP endorsement could also help offset Cuomo’s profound financial advantage — his campaign coffers contain some $30 million — particularly by appealing to small donors, who have been almost completely ignored by the governor’s past fundraising.

The two unions were not the only entities to pull out of the WFP; the night before Nixon won the endorsement, Cuomo’s campaign — sensing the party’s inclination toward his opponent — announced that it would not seek the endorsement after all.

Abbey Fashouer, a spokeswoman for the Cuomo campaign, underscored what she characterized as his “unmatched progressive record,” citing his work on securing a $15 minimum wage, marriage equality, gun-safety laws, a free college tuition program and paid family leave.

“After nearly a decade of discord, we have a united Democratic Party and the governor is focused on maintaining that unity to win the state Senate, take back the House and fight Trump in Washington,” she said.

Supporters of Nixon say the WFP is more aligned with the anti-Trump sentiment that is expected to send waves of Democratic voters to the polls to punish Republicans — and maybe some moderate Democrats. “We’re going to electoralize the resistance,” Lipton said.

This argument is backed by a recent Marist College poll showing that Nixon does best among “highly enthusiastic” voters, the type that typically would find their way to polling stations for a September primary. Still, Cuomo has hefty leads in every public poll thus far.

In the 2014 Democratic primary, an underfunded candidate, Zephyr Teachout, mounted a surprisingly vigorous bid to unseat Cuomo, pulling in 34 percent of the vote.

Lipton pointed out that the WFP — which counts about 46,000 registered voters — has drawn at least that many people to the party’s line in recent elections, including in 2016, when Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., won 241,672 votes on the party’s line. All told, fewer than 600,000 Democrats voted in the 2014 primary, about 10 percent of all those registered.

But several political analysts warned that the unions’ traditional muscle in turning out voters should not be underestimated.

Kenneth Sherrill, an emeritus professor of political science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, said the two unions that withdrew from WFP, CWA and 32BJ, were “powerhouses” that could make a difference in September.

“The most powerful labor unions are able to deliver votes,” Sherrill said. “And this clout is undoubtedly more powerful in the primaries than in the general election.”

Héctor J. Figueroa, president of Local 32BJ, said his members were strongly behind Cuomo — citing accomplishments like a hike in the minimum wage and a paid family-leave program — and could bring as many as a quarter-million voters, including union members’ families and friends, to bear on the race. “We intend to do what we do with every election,” he said. “We have a very robust program.”

It remains to be seen if Cuomo’s more traditional campaign efforts — ratcheting up labor backing, doling out support for liberal causes and staging governmental events seemingly designed to promote the governor — can be offset by Nixon’s social media popularity and of-the-people campaign style. A video of Nixon declaring her support for legalizing marijuana has been viewed 3.7 million times. A subsequent Twitter post about the issue garnered more than 180,000 likes.

Charles Tien, a professor of political science at Hunter College, said the schism in the WFP. showed less an ideological difference between unions and progressive activists — “ideological soul mates” — than differing opinions on how those ideals had or had not been fulfilled.

The answer, Tien said, would determine which group could drive higher turnout.

“Their candidate is the status quo candidate,” he said of the unions’ support for Cuomo. “Are people feeling that the status quo isn’t working? If yes, I think that’s where you have the potential for a challenger to be successful.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

JESSE McKINLEY and VIVIAN WANG © 2018 The New York Times

Be honest and genuine in your actions.

Are you in a friendship for a reason?

How do you maintain a good friendship? What makes you a good friend?

What would be your response?

Sure you would say; one who is supportive at all times through thick and thin right? Everyone needs good and true friends, but how do you find and keep these good friends?

First, you should know that friendship is personal. Oh yes it is. Have you ever been in a room with a close friend or friends and just hangout without really speaking to each other but genuinely enjoying each others company? You should try it if you haven't and feel what I mean.

Then you should also ask yourself his question;  Are you in a friendship for a reason?  Like For the convenience, for friendship sake, for the glam life, for everyone to know you know this person,  for the gossip and gist or for through thick and thin?  Which are you?

You can really make good friends and maintain true friendship, if you're nice enough. But with what's going on in the world today, it might be difficult unless we try to break the hate barrier that surrounds us. For now, everyone is busy minding their business. I'm sure there are so many responses or reasons to why it is so.

 

Read Also: Science says the difference between a friend and a best friend comes down to two things.

True Friendship.

That's why it is best to make friends with one who can support and comfort you. Someone that you can trust. One who can speak to you and be open minded about issues they don't like. One you can always get comfortable around with and act yourself and they do care like you do for them. The way you treat others too determines what you're in search for.  It's simply just the attitude you have because you can't always think of people as less than you are because they are not. A little advice, choose your friends with caution.

Maintain good friendship because no matter the circumstances or differences you might have, they're going to be friends with you no matter what others think about you. I know you don't believe that but that's what to do when you're friends. Friends stick together and are trust worthy. They do not go AWOL on you in time of need or deed.

How should/do you support your friends?

This is very essential to your success and happiness. You tend to become like those whom we admire and they are usually our friends.  Associate with those who genuinely like you and value the things that matter most. Respect each others opinions or ideas toward certain things. A true friend is understanding and you can always rely on.

What would you learn from these friends?

You're not going to make good friendship when you're not yourself.  If they're are only there for  the convenience then trash them.  Be more open and be true to yourself.  You can still be a good friend,  help your friend out-of love and respect,  not with any hidden motive or expectation. Be honest and genuine in your actions.

 

The fact of the matter is that, we really and truly need each other.  But the hateful world is giving us the side eyes that it isn't  possible. Naturally, we seek friendship, support, companionship. We have so much to learn from one another and we often let self imposed barriers keep us from enjoying  associations which could be among the greatest blessings in our lives. 

If there are barriers, it's because you created them.  Stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common, then we can begin to realize our greatest good in this world.  We need deep,  satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. Be a good friend.

Written by Odawayi Ukandu.

Odawayi Ukandu is a creative writer, lover of arts&culture, food, traveling and is addicted to cakes and ice cream. You can link me up on Instagram; @odawayi,  twitter;@amakaukandu and on my personal blog lifestyleofanaijagirl.wordpress.com

Daniel Craig donates customized $230,000 Aston Martin car to charity

Interestingly, the car is numbered 007 in the series of the specifically designed 100 DBS to celebrate Aston Martin’s 100th year.

 

  • James Bond actor, Daniel Craig has donated his one-of-a-kind Aston Martin valued at $230,000to charity at an auction.

  • The car is one of the specially built 100 Aston Martin to pay tribute to the company’s first 100 years in 2013.


James Bond actor, Daniel Craig has donated his one-of-a-kind Aston Martin to charity at an auction.

The car auction is meant to raise funds for a charitable organisation known as The Opportunity Network in New York.

Craig reportedly donated his prized car because he believes in the cause of the charity though he reportedly felt bad letting the prized car go.

 

The Opportunity Network work with students from historically and systematically underrepresented communities to harness their skills & passions to reach their college & career goals.

Aston Martin DBS 007

 

The car is one of the specially built 100 Aston Martin to pay tribute to the company’s first 100 years in 2013.

Interestingly, the car is numbered 007 in the series of the specifically designed 100 DBS to celebrate Aston Martin’s 100th year.

The Aston Martin DBS featured in Casino Royale as well as the opening scene of Quantum of Solace.

According to Aston Martin: "The DBS is not of the understated elegance of a DB9, nor the youthful agility of the V8 Vantage. It is explosive power in a black tie and has its own unique character which will equal that of James Bond."

'carousel' dances are a new feather in the enigmatic justin peck's cap

When Justin Peck emerged as a professional choreographer in 2012, he seemed immediately a master of his trade. His dances for the new revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel,” at the Imperial Theater on Broadway, are yet another feather in his cap.

Peck remains a dancer (soloist rank) at New York City Ballet, where he has been the resident choreographer since 2014.

He makes at least two new ballets for the company (and others around the world) each year, often to new or modern music.

His works, polished and contemporary, are energetic through each individual body and in striking ensembles; and they often ask gender questions, with both opposite-sex and same-sex pairings.

His main dance language is ballet. But he has also set dancers moving with tap steps in sneakers; in “Carousel,” they’re sometimes barefoot.

In almost every piece he tackles, he adds to his already impressive accomplishments. In “Carousel,” he and the director, Jack O’Brien, handle dancers so that there’s no clear division between them and other actors onstage.

And yet he gives us real dance virtuosity and ensembles containing speed and elaborate geometry. Still, although exuberantly executed, the dances don’t stay with me as most of this “Carousel” does.

The hardest part of “Carousel” for a choreographer to bring off is the Act 2 ballet, witnessed by the dead Billy Bigelow. He sees Louise, his teenage daughter, becoming an angry and bitter outsider, alienated from the social world of her upbringing. This psychodrama can easily seem the most dated part of “Carousel.” Film exists of the original choreography by Agnes de Mille.

But even de Mille’s tendency to overemphasize catches the dream quality that earns this ballet a special place in the overall drama of “Carousel.” Kenneth MacMillan — the master of sex, violence and acrobatic lifts in late 20th-century choreography — went further when he made the dances for Nicholas Hytner’s 1992 production (which reached Broadway in 1994). (MacMillan’s “Carousel” pas de deux still makes a vivid impression when performed out of context, as it did when the Royal Ballet brought it to New York in 2015.)

Vulnerable, ardent, defensive, Louise — danced by Brittany Pollack, a City Ballet soloist — encapsulates the inner conflicts that make “Carousel” so touching. Her darker feelings are shown with an expressionistic blend of upper-body gesture and lower-body steps; the most rapturous moments of her duet with the Fairground Boy (Andrei Chagas), beautifully timed to the music, are caught in formally academic-ballet terms — notably, an upright lift in which one leg is classically extended to the side, as if catching both her expansiveness and her aspiration to orthodoxy. Wanting fulfillment in love, she behaves like a ballerina in her partner’s arms.

Still, the de Mille and MacMillan versions have more sheer force. Peck fills in the “Carousel” prescription fairly, correctly, inoffensively.

He’s usually at his best with ensembles and with male dancers. That’s generally true here. As Jigger Craigin, Amar Ramasar (another import from City Ballet) has several jumping phrases in which the way he immediately rebounds back up into the air and onto the beat is breath-catching.

A male ensemble in “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” begins with a terrific “helicopter” jump (the working leg sweeps out and round while the dancer is in the air, then carries him into further turns).

Nowhere in “Carousel” do we ever feel a dance is a mere divertissement or set piece. The numbers keep changing format. In the high-energy “Blow High, Blow Low,” a dance for 11 men becomes one for 10, then subdivides into smaller groups before suddenly swelling to 14. Masculine, maritime energy bursts forth throughout this item: Although on dry land, these men become sailors, nets, ropes, voyagers.

More remarkable yet, at several points in the show, is Peck’s talent for complex group tableaus. This is at its most poetic when Billy and the Starkeeper (John Douglas Thompson) make their way through one formation after another, as if through shifting strands of mist. But other, larger-scale patterns also show true mastery.

The overall impression of these dances only adds to my sense of Peck’s skillful anonymity. Although I love some of his work, I still can’t recognize any Peck hallmarks or characteristics. I keep finding more to admire in what he can do; I remain largely unsure of who he is.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

ALASTAIR MACAULAY © 2018 The New York Times

Redacted Comey memos delivered to lawmakers

President Donald Trump spoke in intimate and candid terms to former FBI Director James Comey about some of the most sensitive matters before the agency.

The redacted and declassified memos — running 15 pages in total and sent to Congress from the Justice Department on Thursday night — detail a series of phone calls and encounters between the two men in the months leading up to Comey’s firing.

They offer an extraordinary look at the private interactions among leaders at the highest levels of government.

Trump seized on the memos in a Twitter message posted late Thursday to repeat what has become a constant refrain, that there was “NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION.”

“Will the Witch Hunt continue?” he added.

In one previously undisclosed exchange, according to copies of the memos obtained by The New York Times, Trump told Comey that he had reservations about Flynn: “The guy has serious judgment issues.”

The president shared an anecdote that shortly after the inauguration, a prominent foreign leader had called to congratulate him. Flynn told the president that he had scheduled a return call for the next Saturday — far too late in Trump’s estimation.

The Times reported at the time that Trump was irritated at Flynn for delaying such a call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Flynn was eventually fired for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about the details of a conversation with a Russian ambassador. Soon after, Comey was again at the White House for another meeting. This time, he wrote, Trump told him that Flynn “hadn’t done anything wrong” in calling the Russians and asked him to wrap up his inquiry.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said, according to the memo.

Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those conversations and is cooperating with investigators for the special counsel who inherited the investigation from Comey.

That exchange and other broad outlines of the memos, which were first published by The Associated Press, have already been reported by The Times and were relayed by Comey in testimony before the Senate and in his recent memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.”

But they are believed to be evidence in a possible obstruction of justice case against Trump being pursued by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

The memos are exacting in their specificity, including details about who was sitting where, the precise times that conversations began and their durations. In some cases, Comey shared his accounts with others immediately afterward.

These details add credibility to Comey’s account of events. Trump has disputed some parts, including asking Comey to shut down an investigation into Flynn.

“What follows are notes I typed In the vehicle Immediately upon exiting Trump Tower on 1/5/17,” Comey writes at the beginning of his first memo, sent the next day to his deputy director, chief of staff and the FBI’s chief counsel.

Select lawmakers have been allowed to view redacted versions of the memos at the Justice Department. But three House Republican committee chairmen requested last Friday that they be sent to Congress and made clear this week that they were willing to issue a subpoena if the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, did not comply.

The Justice Department relented Thursday and is expected to deliver unredacted versions of the memos via a secure transfer Friday.

In a letter to lawmakers Thursday, Stephen Boyd, an assistant attorney general, wrote, “In light of the unusual events occurring since the previous limited disclosure, the department has consulted the relevant parties and concluded that the release of the memorandums to Congress at this time would not adversely impact any ongoing investigation or other confidentiality interests of the executive branch.”

The three chairman — Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., of the Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., of the Oversight Committee — issued a joint statement Thursday night taking aim at Comey’s character and the import of the memos. The documents, they said, show Comey was “blind with biases” and demonstrated bad judgment.

While Comey “went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation,” they wrote.

Democrats reached the opposite conclusion. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, argued that the documents were the effort of a prudent law enforcement official alarmed by the president’s behavior.

The memos include other previously undisclosed conversations that shed light on the FBI’s Russia investigation and Trump’s views of it.

Regarding a Feb. 8 meeting with Reince Priebus, then the White House chief of staff, for example, Comey writes that Priebus asked about the contents of the dossier produced by a former British spy that lays out a vast conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the election. In the days before the inauguration, Comey briefed Trump about the document and its contents, including a supposed encounter between Trump and Russian prostitutes.

Portions of that section of the memo were redacted, but in speaking with Priebus, Comey makes clear that the bureau was taking the allegations seriously.

“I explained that the analysts from all three agencies agreed it was relevant and that portions of the material were corroborated by other intelligence,” Comey wrote. He then defended his decision to share it with Trump, saying again that “much of it was consistent with and corroborative of other intelligence.”

Later in the conversation, Priebus asked Comey if their discussion was private. When the director replied that it was, the White House chief of staff asked whether the FBI had ever wiretapped Flynn.

Comey told Priebus that the question was inappropriate and should be directed through other channels. His response was redacted.

The two men then proceeded to the Oval Office, where Comey said Trump denied that he had consorted with Russian prostitutes, as the dossier claimed.

“The president said ‘the hookers thing’ is nonsense, but that Putin had told him ‘we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world,'” Comey wrote. He said Trump did not specify when the conversation with Putin took place.

Other memos add details to well-known exchanges. In the same meeting that Trump asked Comey to end the Flynn investigation, the men bonded over leaks of sensitive government information.

“I said I was eager to find leakers and would like to nail one to the door as a message,” Comey wrote. But, he explained, prosecuting journalists “was tricky” for legal reasons.

Trump told Comey to talk to “Sessions,” referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “and see what we can do about being more aggressive.”

Trump asked Comey on two separate occasions whether his deputy, Andrew McCabe, “had a problem with him” and mentioned a large donation made to his wife’s political campaign by an ally of Hillary Clinton.

Comey defended McCabe as a “true pro” and said Trump would come to agree.

Instead, Trump would go on to lavish criticism on McCabe, arguing he was biased against him.

McCabe was fired by the FBI in March for reportedly lying to investigators about his contacts with a reporter in an unrelated matter. Federal prosecutors are examining whether they have sufficient evidence to open a criminal investigation based on a report by the department’s inspector general.

And they show that Trump and top aides were eager to discuss with Comey the details of another consequential FBI investigation: the inquiry into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. Priebus told Comey that he believed the Clinton campaign had mishandled the investigation and pressed him for an explanation of why Clinton had not been charged.

“At some point, I added that it also wasn’t my fault that Huma Abedin forwarded emails to Anthony Weiner,” Comey wrote, referring to a top Clinton aide and her husband.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

NICHOLAS FANDOS © 2018 The New York Times

The president has once again opened the country up to international embarrassment.

While standing next to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, unarguably one of the most powerful women in the world, President Muhammadu Buhari told the international community that his wife, First Lady Aisha Buhari, belonged in his kitchen.

"I don't know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room," he 'joked'.

The First Lady had publicly dragged Buhari's competence through the mud when she claimed that his administration had been hijacked by a cabal and the president issued his no-holds-barred response much to the measured annoyance of Chancellor Merkel. This was in 2016.

 

Fast-forward to two years later, and it appears the president still can't help himself from causing a stir under the gaze of the international community.

While speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, President Buhari said Nigeria's youthful population is reliant on the notion that the country is an oil-rich nation. As a result, he remarked that a lot of them wait on handouts from the government.

"More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven't been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free," he said.

Basically, a convoluted way to say they are lazy.

 

The president has received a lot of backlash from Nigerians, on social media and from political opposition, who have criticised him for his careless remarks about the nation's youthful population.

This episode is just another in the president's long list of embarrassing blunders he commits anytime he's compelled to speak off the cuff, especially when he's abroad.

When the president was asked how he hoped to solve the security challenge in the Niger Delta region during a visit to the United States in 2015, his first remarks were about how the region shouldn't expect to be prioritised because it didn't contribute much to his electoral victory.

He said, "I hope you have a copy of the election results. The constituents, for example, gave me 97% (of the vote) cannot, in all honesty, be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%. I think these are political reality."

 

Again, this moment of insensibility came just weeks after the president had mistakenly referred to Merkel as the President of West Germany.

Perhaps, the president's worst moment came when he shared a 'joke' with Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, during a meeting in February 2018.

After close to 100 people had been killed in Benue in attacks linked to cattle herders reported to be the president's kinsmen, Governor Ortom had publicly clashed with the federal government over its commitment to secure the lives of people in the state.

When the president shook Ortom's hand in the Presidential Villa, he smirked as he asked the governor rhetorically, "How are your cattle rearers?"

 

What all of these embarrassing episodes have in common is that the president was on his own to respond to situations and questions without a script that has been cooked and seasoned with caution by his communications team.

It almost appears as if the president cannot be trusted to be left to his own devices without him trying to burn down one thing or the other. Without screenings from his media aides and throngs of assistants, the president is almost always struggling to emerge with any sort of dignified responses.

 

The president has time and again displayed a streak of reckless statements that tend to embarrass the average Nigerian, and his inability to steer away from ill-thought out responses has been rumoured to be the reason why he speaks so little to the media since he was sworn in in 2015.

A scripted statement here, a scripted statement there, and the president has managed to limit the terrible exposure that comes from his speaking off the cuff in public.

However, his handicap has not escaped the glare of annoyed Nigerians.

With President Buhari set to embark on a re-election campaign for the 2019 presidential election, he needs all the goodwill he can get, but he won't help himself with more moments like dragging Nigerian youths through the mud in a foreign land.

A president's representation of a country is a very important touchstone by which the international community judges it. It's no secret that Nigeria already does not enjoy a stellar reputation the world over, and President Buhari has not helped it much since 2015.

This is why when former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described Nigeria as "fantastically corrupt", the outrage didn't last long because our own president had more or less been saying the same thing for weeks, scripted or unscripted.

A re-election campaign is going to open the president up to more moments like the one he just had in the United Kingdom, and it's really interesting to see how he'll wade through it without torching a few more of his declining goodwill.

His track record without a script is laughably poor and when he isn't hilariously goofing, he's being annoyingly insensible.

The problem is that the president is not the only casualty of these transgressions, Nigeria continues to be a laughing stock. More than the usual, anyway.

Keep a lid on it, Mr President.

Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook lobbying spend hits record high, questions over Netflix's original content plan, and a machine that destroys iPhones.

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

1. Facebook doubled its European lobbying spend to $3 billion. The firm faced multiple crises last year, including the spread of fake news, terrorist content, and election interference.

2. Netflix is betting billions on its original shows and movies — but this analyst warns it's a far riskier gamble than investors realise. The bull case for Netflix has a big flaw.

3. Leaked video shows Theranos employees playing the video game they created where you shoot at the reporter who exposed the startup's problems. The firm once valued at $9 billion is in trouble — and some staff blame a Wall Street Journal journalist.

4. A prominent tech investor says arrogance in Silicon Valley has reached fever pitch. He's constantly embarrassed by what people say.

5. Apple has a new iPhone-destroying robot called Daisy. It can disassemble 200 iPhones an hour.

6. Apple might have a new iPhone SE in the works. The company raised hopes of a next-generation iPhone SE with a regulatory filing in Russia.

7. Jeff Bezos explains why he will never be satisfied with Amazon's success. He loves that customers are "divinely discontent."

8. YouTube ran ads from hundreds of brands on extremist channels. CNN found ads from companies including Adidas, Amazon, and Facebook on channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, paedophilia, conspiracy theories, and North Korean propaganda.

9. The International Monetary Fund chief has warned that US tech giants wield too much power. "Too much market power in the hands of the few is not helpful to the economy or to the wellbeing of individuals," Christine Lagarde said.

10. Amazon buys exclusive UK rights to the US Open. Amazon's five-year deal is worth $40 million, according to The Guardian.

Sign up here for WhatsApp updates from Business Insider.

Peace House DMZ

South Korea will use the building on Tuesday and Thursday, while North Korea rehearses there on Tuesday or Wednesday.

  • North Korea and South Korea will take turns rehearsing for their joint summit in the same venue where they're scheduled to meet.
  • That venue is the Peace House in the "truce village" of Panmunjom, along the DMZ.
  • South Korea will use the building on Tuesday and Thursday, and North Korea will rehearse there on Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • It's unknown how Kim Jong Un will arrive for the meeting, but officials are reportedly preparing for a historic walk across the Korean border.


North Korea and South Korea will take turns rehearsing for next week's historic summit in the "truce village" of Panmunjom.

The Inter-Korean summit will be the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in more than a decade with Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in meeting at Peace House on South Korea's side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Ahead of the meeting, South Korea will use the building to hold rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday next week. And, according to Moon's spokesman Kim Eui Keyom, North Korea will also hold rehearsals in the same building on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Organizers from the South's preparatory committee, which is overseeing the agenda, communication, promotion, and operational support of the summit will attend on Tuesday, while Thursday's rehearsal will be more detailed. To prepare for the event, South Korea has been refurbishing the building with extra security measures and a new paint job.

It will also create two situation rooms, one on the third floor of the Peace House and a second for Moon's presidential office in the nearby Freedom House.

A third situation room will be established in another city to host the 2,800 journalists who have registered to cover the summit, more than twice as many as at the last two summits in 2000 and 2007. The Koreas have also agreed to stream some of the summit live.

Ahead of the April 27 meeting, Moon and Kim are expected to speak over the phone. A direct phone line will be established on Friday but a date for the call has yet to be confirmed.

It's unknown how Kim will arrive at the Peace House, but officials are reportedly preparing for him to make the symbolic walk across the DMZ, a first for any North Korean leader.

Spring Makeup Vlog

Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.

My Spring Makeup Vlog Series.

Spring Season.

The spring season is the time where the sun warms and encourages the earth to birth its bloom.

This season is the time when fresh buds bloom, animals awaken and the earth seems to come to life again.

Just as the flowers in the field bloom, so is the tale of our lives and this Spring Makeup Tutorial reflects just that.

Tutorial Goals.

It shows how you can go from a dull face to a bright face, full of life and the colors of spring to give your face a happy lift and adorned with flowers for the season.

Since Spring Season is here,I am so happy to create this Spring Makeup Tutorial to this effect.

I hope that you see the joy of spring in this makeup tutorial.

Produced by Oluwakorede Johnson.

Oluwakorede Johnson is an artist who loves to bring people to the perfection of beauty through makeup and fashion. She is a YouTube personality and uses her channel to create lifestyle beauty content to encourage others to love who they are giving a positive energy  towards  life.                                                                                                                                 

Water fight China

The bright yellow bollards politely remind pedestrians that "crossing is dangerous" and use facial recognition techn to shame jaywalkers on a public screen.

  • One city in China has built bollards that spray jaywalkers with water, and tell pedestrians that "Crossing is dangerous."
  • The system also uses facial recognition technology to capture and shame wayward walkers.
  • Facial recognition technology is being used more frequently to target jaywalkers because of a high number of road fatalities and traffic jams.
  • But in an increasingly strict China, police may want to clamp down on overt law breakers.
  • Jaywalkers may soon lose points on their social credit score.

China is so desperate to stop jaywalkers it's turned to spraying them with water.

In Daye, in the central Hubei province, one pedestrian crossing has had a number of bright yellow bollards installed that spray wayward pedestrians' feet with water mist.

The pilot system works by using a laser sensor that identifies movement off the curb when the pedestrian light is still red. The bollard then emits its water spray, set to 26 degrees Celcius, and announces, "Please do not cross the street, crossing is dangerous."

Unsurprisingly, the bollards are also equipped with facial recognition technology and photographs of jaywalkers are displayed on a giant LED screen next to the crossing.

The use of facial-recognition technology is soaring in China where it is being used to increase efficiencies and improve policing. AI is being used to find fugitives, track people's regular hangouts, predict crime before it happens, but, most commonly, to stop jaywalkers.

While many Chinese cities are displaying jaywalkers' photos, names, and identification numbers on giant public screens, and even government websites, some cities are becoming more creative.

Shenzen has begun immediately texting jaywalkers after they commit their traffic infringement, while other cities only allow pedestrians to have their photos removed from public screens after helping a traffic officer for 20 minutes.

But why, of all crimes, does China focus so heavily on stopping jaywalkers?

Crossing roads in China can be very dangerous, and local governments are likely trying to minimize traffic jams and change pedestrians' behaviours for their own safety.

According to the World Health Organisation, China had more than 260,000 road traffic deaths in 2013.

An anecdotal contributor to this number appears to be the country's compensation system. In China, drivers who injure someone customarily pay expenses, but paying up to $50,000 for a funeral or burial is far cheaper than what may be life-long medical bills. So for some drivers its more frugal to ensure a victim is deceased.

There could also be less altruistic reasons for the clamp-down.

When one city built pedestrian gates at a busy intersection it was linked to attempts to strengthen "public morals." In a country where the government attempts to — and largely succeeds in — censoring its citizens behaviour in accordance with morality and socialist values, the constant flood of jaywalkers flaunting the law and creating havoc is hardly an ideal scenario.

And while the new water spray system seems like a light-hearted solution to these problems, the consequences could be severe.

If Daye's system is rolled out across the city, Global Times reported that the behaviour of repeat jaywalkers may lower offenders' social credit scores. People with low social credit scores can be blocked from travelling, applying for certain jobs, sending their kids to certain schools, and even throttling internet speeds.

I just don’t understand the concept of wearing sunglasses indoors at such events.

I observe at least 30% of all males between the ages of 20 and 35years at a wedding with sunglasses on. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC!!! But nobody else seems to be worried. Am I the only one panicking…I want to go home!

Weddings, weddings, weddings: they are pretty much a permanent weekend agenda item for nearly everyone in Nigeria, all age groups and demographics included... and why not?

The Perks of Weddings.

Who could possibly say no to free food - including small chops and sometimes gelato; free drinks - including champagne; availability of hotties - with the promise of finding a future husband or wife (for the singles); and more popularly these days through destination weddings (if bank accounts are buoyant), the opportunity to travel?

…oh and of course, celebrating the happy couple.

Analysing Weddings.

In the past, attending weddings and especially crashing them was a lot of fun. I enjoy “people-watching” and this always presented a great opportunity to observe different characters in over 500 people and interactions amongst them all together under one marquee in just a few hours. These days, weddings are a little more meaningful to me because more and more of my close friends and relatives are getting involved in them as the bride and/or groom or close friends or relatives of the bride and/or groom.

Read Also: The compassionate Alpha Female.

So it is definitely a more intimate set up. I actually make the effort to attend church ceremonies (even when I am not a member of the bridal party) and the traditional events. So yes, my attitude to weddings has changed, I see things from a different perspective…BUT one thing that has stayed the same is my inability to crack the mystery of men (especially those in the bridal party) who wear sunglasses indoors or in weather that does not require sunglasses.

I have been running this wedding circle for over 5 years now, so it is safe to say that I am a veteran. However this issue of wearing sunglasses indoors has remained quite a tough code to crack.

Understanding Sunglasses at Weddings

So here is the drill:

Before the church service, you see the groomsmen looming around the venue in their tuxedos and sunglasses. At this point, even if the sun is not out, I try to build the theory that maybe, just maybe they might still be recovering from the activities of the previous night and might just be a little sleepy or hung-over and wouldn’t want that to show in the pictures.

The ceremony at church starts, and the sunglasses come off. Okay, the guys look pretty decent…not so bad (Gosh men really don’t need to do much to not look like they were in a car wreck after what I assume was a crazy night out).

 

As soon as the people walk out of church, the sunglasses come on again. At this point, I think, “Well, this is mid-afternoon. It is really quite sunny.” But then it’s time for pictures, and the sunglasses stay on. “Don’t they want to be recognised in the pictures?” Out of my continued state of confusion, I start to build a theory “Is there an infection going around that nobody has told me about? Do I need to fetch some antibiotics?”

But then, I think that this theory is rather ridiculous until we arrive at the reception venue, where I observe at least 30% of all males between the ages of 20 and 35years with their sunglasses on. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC!!! But nobody else seems to be worried. Am I the only one panicking…I want to go home! But then I calm down when I realise that I might be overreacting…crazy hypochondriac.

Some Reasoning Behind the Sunglasses.

In order to make some sense of this, I reached out to some friends, and here is the general feedback I got, summarised in the following statements:

Maybe they think they are celebrities”

“They think it makes them look cool

“It adds to their swag

“They kind of look silly

“They think it creates an air of mystery that draws the ladies in”

“It’s their own version of makeup

…quite a wide array of responses, so it is difficult to draw a conclusion.

I just don’t understand the concept of wearing sunglasses indoors at such events. But I might be biased because I have the peculiarity of having to wearing glasses or contact lenses and the thought alone of additional eye gear when it is not necessary brings me a lot of stress and discomfort. So I ask myself, “What exactly is the purpose of SUNglasses again?”

Then I remembered the lyrics of the song, Like to Party, by Burna Boy: “You see my dark shades on like I can’t see you, but you know say me fancy you. Might say hello, don’t be surprised when I say hello…” Then it all started to make sense. To be honest, I have observed some guys staring at me through their sunglasses at weddings, but I always ignore a “staring gesture” if there is no follow up with a “talking gesture”.

Read Also: Respect for Children.

Potential Conclusions.

Additionally, I have to give it to women in Nigeria who make the effort and spend a great portion of their income on looking absolutely stunning when they attend such functions. So maybe men might find this a little intimidating and seek comfort through hiding behind their sunglasses in the presence of beautiful women so that they can stare at them discretely.

Maybe it is their way of attempting to look cool. Maybe they think it adds to their swag, creating that air of mystery that they think women are supposedly intrigued by. Or just maybe it is their own way of wearing makeup to hide facial defects.

I don’t know what the rule of thumb for wearing sunglasses at an indoor event is, but in my opinion, men are better off without them!

Written by Oyin Egbeyemi.

Oyin Egbeyemi is an engineer-turned-consultant-turned-educationist, runner and writer.

Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017, in Washington, DC.

The memos, which detailed private conversations with President Donald Trump, outlined interactions with Trump that Comey found questionable.

Former FBI director James Comey's memos are out.

Shortly after the Justice Department sent copies of former FBI director James Comey's memos to Congress at the request of a group of House Republicans, news organizations got ahold of the 15-page, partially redacted documents.

The memos, which detail private conversations Comey had with Donald Trump before and after he took office, outline interactions with Trump that Comey found to be questionable.

Here are the biggest revelations from Comey's memos:

Trump railed against Andrew McCabe

According to Comey, Trump blasted former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and referred to him "your guy" in conversations with Comey, on several occasions.

"He asked (as he had at our dinner) whether my deputy had a problem with him, and recounting how hard he had been on the campaign trail," Comey wrote in the memo.

Trump bristled at McCabe frequently throughout his first year in the White House, often taking aim at him and his wife on Twitter.

Comey responded to Trump's comments by giving McCabe a positive assessment: "I again explained that Andy McCabe was a pro," Comey said in the memo.

McCabe was fired in March, amid an internal investigation over the manner in which he conducted himself during the FBI's Hillary Clinton email probe.



Trump said Mike Flynn had 'serious judgment issues.'

According to Comey, Trump complained about former national security adviser Mike Flynn by saying "the guy has serious judgment issues."

During a dinner, Trump recalled a conversation where Flynn had not properly informed him of a congratulatory call from a world leader after his inauguration.

"In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said 'the guy has serious judgment issues,'" Comey said in the memo.



Who called to congratulate Trump?

Trump's reported source of ire for Flynn took a twist after Comey's memos were published.

According to Comey's account of Trump's story, Trump was giving a toast to UK Prime Minister Theresa May and explained she had been the first to congratulate him after he won the presidency. However, Flynn interrupted Trump to inform him that another world leader had called first.

The identity of the leader who first called Trump was redacted in the memo, however, people familiar with the situation said it was Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Thursday.

Flynn said a return call to that leader was scheduled, however, Trump appeared to have been irritated by the delay.

"Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [redacted] of a country like [redacted]," Comey wrote of Trump's account of conversation.

"This isn't [redacted] we are talking about," Trump said, according to Comey.



Russian President Vladimir Putin told Trump that his country had 'some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.'

Comey wrote that he and Trump discussed a salacious rumor that Trump allegedly entertained prostitutes and witnessed a sexual act while in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room in 2013.

"The President said 'the hookers thing' is nonsense," Trump said at the time, according to Comey, "but that Putin had told him 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world."

Comey qualified his account and said that Trump "did not say where Putin had told him this."



Trump 'clearly noticed' Comey had directly criticized him

In another conversation, Comey wrote that Trump had broached the subject of a controversial interview he gave to former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

In the interview, Trump said he respected Russian President Vladimir Putin and waved off the host's characterization of Putin as a "killer."

"There are a ton of killers," Trump said during the interview. "We've got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country's so innocent?"

Trump's response was immediately rebuked by US officials across the political spectrum, but Comey said that Trump did not see his words as controversial.

"He said he does respect the leader of a major country and thought that was the best answer," Comey wrote. "He then said, 'You think my answer was good, right?'"

"I said the answer was fine, except the part about killers, because we aren't the kind of killers that Putin is," Comey continued in his memo. "When I said this, the President paused noticeably. I don't know what to make of it, but he clearly noticed I had directly criticized him."



Trump wanted to 'go after the leakers'

Trump was so bothered by the number of leaks to news organizations, including his classified phone calls with foreign leaders, that "he replied that we need to go after the reporters," Comey wrote in the memo.

Comey, who also agreed that "about the leaks being terrible," wrote that Trump touched the phone on the desk and said he assumed that the calls made on 'this beautiful phone,' were confidential.

Trump then alluded to a time when "we put them in jail to find out what they know, and it worked," Comey wrote.

"I explained that I was a fan of pursuing leaks aggressively but that going after reporters was trick, for legal reasons and because DOJ tends to approach it conservatively," Comey said in the memo.

According to Comey's recollection, Trump said: "They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk."

Comey wrote that he "laughed" at the comment.



Donald Trump James Comey

Trump has long talked about jailing reporters in the US for writing news articles that the president finds unflattering.

  • President Donald Trump said he believes reporters who write about leaks should spend "a couple days in jail."
  • The remark was noted in newly released, partially redacted memos former FBI director James Comey wrote after his early interactions with Trump in 2017.
  • The memos were sent to Congress on Thursday, following a request from the Republican chairmen of several House committees.
  • The release comes the same week that Comey's memoir, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership," was released.

President Donald Trump has long been known to float the idea of putting news reporters in jail for writing stories that he finds unflattering, but he made that pitch in extraordinarily specific detail during a conversation with James Comey.

The former FBI director documented the interaction in several memos written in 2017. On Thursday night, 15 pages of partially redacted copies of Comey's memos were leaked after the US Justice Department delivered them to Congress.

Trump had been bristling over troubling leaks surrounding his campaign, his presidential transition and, later, his administration — which often led to news articles that he found unflattering.

Comey noted in one memo a conversation he had with Trump about that issue, during which Trump talked about finding leakers:

"I said something about the value of putting a head on a pike as a message," Comey wrote, adding that Trump replied that it may involve putting reporters in jail, the memo reads.

"They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk," Trump said according to Comey's recollection.

Comey originally recorded the memos to preserve his memory of private interactions he had with Trump. Comey testified to Congress last year that he felt some of those conversations were inappropriate and could compromise his neutrality as then-director of the FBI.

2 sheriff's deputies are killed while eating at North Florida restaurant

Two sheriff’s deputies in North Florida are dead after a gunman walked up to the window of a Chinese restaurant where they were eating on Thursday afternoon and shot them, the authorities said.

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. Eastern time in Trenton, Florida, about 30 miles west of Gainesville.

When additional deputies responded to the restaurant, Ace China, they found both the deputies dead inside it, and the suspect — John Hubert Highnote, 59, of nearby Bell — dead outside, according to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.

The office said that the suspect’s motive was unclear, and Sheriff Bobby Schultz declined at a Thursday night news conference to confirm whether he had killed himself. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating.

Schultz identified the victims as Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25. Ramirez was married with two young children, and Lindsey was unmarried but had a girlfriend.

“I made contact with the families, and as you’d expect, you can never be prepared for something like this,” Schultz said. “But make no mistake, they’re proud of their families. They understood when their loved ones pinned on the badge and they strapped on the gun that this was a possibility.”

Trenton, the seat of rural Gilchrist County, is a small town of around 2,000 residents, but the killing of the deputies drew the attention and condolences of national officials.

“My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of the two @GCSOFlorida deputies (HEROES) who lost their lives in the line of duty today,” President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday evening.

The Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi, expressed her “deepest condolences and prayers” and said in a statement, “The daily risk that law enforcement officers take to protect our communities is overwhelming.”

In his news conference, Schultz said his department would “honor these men by doing our jobs.”

“We haven’t been through anything quite like this before, but what makes our county unique is that we’re a family,” he said. “We’re going to grieve. We’re going to get upset. We’re probably going to cuss a little bit. But at the end of the day, we’re going to remember those two men for who they are. They’re heroes.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

MAGGIE ASTOR © 2018 The New York Times