Boko Haram’s ICT expert arrested

The military has arrested a foreign computer expert who is said to be behind the several video shots sent to online media organization and foreign media houses by the violent Islamic sect,  Boko Haram, AIT reports.

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Microsoft unveils Windows 10 with Start Menu

Microsoft has disclosed the first details of Windows 10 – its next operating system (OS).

The name is a surprise bearing in mind it represents a jump from the last version – Windows 8.

The software will run on a wide range of devices from smartphones and tablets to PCs and Xbox games consoles, with applications sold from a single store.

It also marks the return of the Start Menu, which had been removed from Windows 8.

In addition to offering a list of the user’s favourite applications, the menu also brings up resizable tiles – similar to those featured in Windows 8’s touch-centric interface – on PCs and tablets.

These provide a quick view of notifications from relevant applications, such as details of new emails, Facebook messages and weather forecast updates.

The company said the facility was intended to make the software seem familiar to both users of Windows 8 and Windows 7.

The behaviour of the OS will depend on the type of device it is being used on. Unlike its predecessor, users will not need to switch between Desktop Mode and the touch-focused alternative.

However, they can still spread a number of “live tiles” across the screens of two-in-one laptop-tablet hybrids to make them easier to use with both a mouse and finger presses.

Windows 8 had been criticised for being too different to the previous version, which deterred some organisations from introducing it.

It initially lacked a Start button altogether, and when one was introduced it only switched to the touch-centric tiled interface or – if a long mouse press was used – provided access to the system’s control panel and other functions.

Businesses typically wait about a year after a new operating system’s release before offering it to workers to give IT staff a chance to get to grips with the new technologies involved.

But it has been nearly two years since Windows 8 first went on sale and adoption is still low.

“It’s extremely important for Microsoft to get Windows 10 right,” said David Johnson, who covers Microsoft for the consultancy Forrester.

“Windows 8 is only being offered to employees by about one in five organisations right now. Windows 7 is still the de facto standard for enterprise in the desktop environment.

“For Microsoft to continue to be able to get the best and latest technology in the hands of the enterprise workforce all over the world, it has to have a vehicle to do that – and Windows 9 is its best shot.”

Iran postpones execution of woman on death row

An Iranian woman due to be put to death for killing a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her is reported to have had her execution postponed.

Officials said on Monday that Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, had been transferred to a prison west of Tehran to be hanged.

But activists claimed on Tuesday that an online campaign had persuaded the state to give her a 10-day reprieve.

The human rights group Amnesty International said she was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation.

Ms Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.

She was placed in solitary confinement for two months, where she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer or her family, and was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

Amnesty said that although Ms Jabbari admitted to stabbing Mr Abdolali Sarbandi once in the back, she alleged that there was someone else in the house who actually killed him.

Her claim is believed to have never been properly investigated.

The authorities appeared to be pressing ahead with the execution on Monday, when they confirmed that Ms Jabbari had been transferred to Rajaishahr prison and would be hanged.

A campaign calling for a halt to the execution was launched on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #SaveReyhanehJabbari. Photographs of a protest outside the prison were also posted.

On Tuesday, activists and bloggers reported that Ms Jabbari’s execution appeared to have been postponed so that Mr Abdolali Sarbandi’s family could be consulted.

They cited a letter reportedly written by Ms Jabbari’s mother, Sholeh Pakravanin, thanking people for their support and efforts to save her daughter’s life.

The development comes after activists said a former psychologist had been executed for “corruption on Earth and heresy in religion” near the city of Karaj on Wednesday.

Mohsen Amir Aslani, 37, was arrested nine years ago after giving religious classes in which he provided his own interpretations of the Koran, they said. He was subsequently accused by the authorities of insulting the Prophet Jonah, the activists added.

Iran’s judiciary has denied that Mr Amir Aslani’s execution was linked to his religious beliefs.

Officials instead accused him of having had illicit sexual relationships with a number of people who attended his classes, the Guardian said.

Nigeria could have done better -Yuguda

Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State on Tuesday said Nigeria could have done better in its 54 years of independence but for military interventions and some other challenges.

He however said the nation was on the right track as the stage had been set for the country’s development.

Yuguda spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said there was no way some of the challenges the nation had encountered, which had led to a lot of problems, could be waved off.

He said, “We cannot discard some of the challenges we have had which have made the country to suffer a lot of problems which ordinarily would have made the country more developed.

“Politically, we have had a lot of military interventions in the last 54 years which had made it impossible to deepen our democracy but now we have 15 years of uninterrupted democracy and we are deepening democracy. Politically, you can see the effect of our journey towards being a democratic nation.

“For the other sectors, sadly we have also had some challenges. Economically, we have challenges when it comes to implementation of our development programmes and some of those interventions which made it impossible for us to implement development programmes.

“We certainly could have done better even when it comes to operating the structure that can fight corruption in the system, it is only as late as the year 2006, 2007 that some of these institutions that fight corruption were put in place. So even the infrastructure for fighting corruption has not been put in place for a very long time until only recently.

“You can see that some of the infrastructure that should be better managed that will lead us, improve from the agrarian status, the agricultural potentials of the country were destroyed at a point in time because so many river basins were all over the country but mismanagement of the part of the public service made it impossible for those infrastructure to survive, to drive the agricultural economy so that we would have been in a better state than we are today because all this issue of joblessness we are talking about today.”

I can’t go to jail over NFF election -Minister

The Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, said he can’t go to jail following the commencement of contempt proceedings in court against Tuesday’s conduct of Nigeria Football Federation board elections in Warri.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Danagogo’s comment comes on the heels of a reported court order, which was said to have restrained the NFF and its agents from going ahead with the election.

He told NAN in Abuja that he was not served the “Form 48 contempt proceedings” to warrant him going to jail.

He said, “I can’t speak for other persons whether they are heading for jail or not, but certainly I am not heading for jail.

“In law, documentary evidence excludes oral evidence, that’s what lawyers will tell you.

“If you come and tell me now that there is a court order against me, I can say it’s a gossip or rumour.

“I should not be told about a court order, I should be served. You must read in between the lines to properly interpret and know what directives you have been given.”

The minister, who justified his earlier intervention in the NFF leadership crisis, noted that the mandatory directive by the court led to an interim leadership in July.

Danagogo added, “The last time I intervened, a mandatory directive was given by the court for the most senior civil servant in NFF to take over, so you must understand why I have to intervene then.

“I looked at the issues and said ‘please let’s obey the court order while we seek further clarification from the office of the Attorney-General and possibly see how we can set it aside’.

“At a certain point, one party said there was a court order that he should take over; the other man said no, you could not take over because FIFA did not recognise Nigerian court order.

“But at the end of the day, lawyers will interpret the order and we will get to a position where we will decide on what should be and what shouldn’t be.”

Boko Haram: Probe Ihejirika, Sheriff, group tells FG

A civil rights organization, Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria, has given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum within which it should set up an independent panel to investigate the alleged involvement of former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. (Retd) Patrick Ihejirika and former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Modu Sheriff in the sponsorship of Boko Haram Islamic sect and other demands.

Should the government fail to do this, CAMON threatened to commence a prolonged nationwide protest until its demands were satisfied.

The organization specifically said that the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis and the Australian government should be invited to unravel the truth about financing of the terrorist Islamic sect.

The Convener of CAMON and former member of the House of Representatives, Otunba Dino Melaye, who stated these during a press briefing and public presentation of the group on Tuesday in Abuja, made 22 demands from the Federal Government including opening up on the $9.3 million impounded by the South African authorities.

“We declare that if within the next fourteen days, the Federal Government fails to respond appropriately to our demands, we shall commence and inspire nationwide protests which shall continue until our demands are met,” he threatened.

According to him, when the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan came into power both as an acting President and an elected President some six years ago, it was with great enthusiasm, expectations and co-operation that the Nigerian people, including the Save Nigerian Group and others, welcomed him.

He said, “However, six years down the lane, the confession from the mouth of every truthful Nigerian is that the Nigerian nation has never had it so bad. There is visibly lack of capacity, gross carelessness,  ineptitude, incompetence, unholy  romance with corruption and unwholesome disgrace of Nigeria’s sovereignty before the international ommunity by the cheap acts of lies and cover-ups as exemplified by the case where the Federal Government flaunted the laws of both Nigeria and South Africa, through the act of money laundering and arms black market racketeering.

“The Federal Government should constitute an independent panel to determine the involvement of the former Chief of Army Staff, Patrick Ihejirika, and former Borno State Governor, Modu Sheriff in the sponsorship of Boko Haram. Dr. Stephen Davis should be invited and the Australian government involved to unravel the truth.

“The Federal Government should come out clearly on the question of the $9.3 million impounded by the South African authorities since the laws of both South Africa and Nigeria have been expressly violated. So, the case of black market arms racketeering, money laundering and official corruption has been committed by the Federal Government of Nigeria having claimed ownership of the said $9.3 million. Those involved in the criminal act should be prosecuted and jailed for breaking our laws and the laws of a foreign country and bringing so much disrepute to our image as a nation.”

While condemning the provision of excessive military protection and security to Alimodu Sheriff who has been alleged to be a sponsor of Boko Haram, CAMON called on the Federal Government to ensure that the death sentence passed on the 12 soldiers accused of mutiny was immediately reverted “since the case of official corruption, perceived insensitivity and neglect has been established against the former Brigade Commander.”

Melaye said, “The government and military authorities should ensure adequate care and compensation for the families of our soldiers and men of other security agencies who have lost their lives in the course of defending the security, unity and integrity of our nation.

“The names of these our beloved fallen heroes should be published and their identities revealed so that the entire nation can honour them and show respect to their gallantry. They must not perish in obscurity and be reduced to mere numbers.”

CAMON insisted on good governance, accountability, transparency and demonstration of capacity.