Three Million Americans Carry A Handgun Daily – Study

As many as three million people in the United States carry a loaded handgun daily, while nine million do so at least once a month, according to a US study Thursday.

Most of these gun-toting Americans are young men, live in the south and say personal protection is a top reason for walking around with a deadly weapon, said the report in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study is the first in 20 years to look at gun-carrying habits in a nation that has been repeatedly seen fatal mass shootings at schools, concerts, and workplaces, researchers said.

“It was important to study handgun carrying because about 90 percent of all firearm homicides and nonfatal firearm crimes for which the type of firearm is known are committed with a handgun,” said lead author Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

“An important first step to examining the consequences of firearm carrying at the national level is an accurate measurement of the occurrence of this behavior and characterization of those who engage in it.”

The data came from a 2015 nationally representative survey that assessed handgun-carrying behavior of 1,444 gun owners.

“Compared with handgun owners who did not carry, those who did report carrying handguns tended to be younger, and more often male, live in the southern United States, have grown up in firearm-owning households, self-identify as politically conservative, and own more than one type of firearm,” said the report.

The survey found that 80 percent of surveyed handgun owners who carried their handgun had a concealed-carry permit.

Two-thirds said they always carried their handguns concealed, compared with 10 percent who said they always carry their weapons openly.

Some owners reported carrying a concealed handgun without a permit in states in which doing so was illegal.

Nationwide, state laws on handgun carrying have generally become less restrictive over the last 30 years, said the study.

Co-authors on the study came from the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Colorado and Northeastern University.

AFP

EFCC Clamps Down On Former Governors, Politicians In South-South Nigeria

EFCC, NigeriaThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria’s south-south zone has begun investigating some individuals in the area, including former governors.

The anti-graft agency says they are being investigated in matters of fraud and money laundering.

The South-south Zonal Head of the EFCC, Ishaq Salihu, made the disclosure to journalists on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He said those found wanting after the investigation would be charged appropriately.

Mr Salihu revealed that at least 50% of the one billion Naira recovered so far in the last 10 months was from politicians.

He added that among those that have been nabbed was an internet fraudster who defrauded Europeans and Americans, posing as the former Chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Larmode.

The EFCC zonal head also informed reporters of the case of a school certificate holder who had practiced for years as a senior lawyer.

Hillary Clinton Vows To ‘Call Out bigotry’ As Feud With Trump Deepens

Hilary-Clinton-and--Donald-TrumpThe presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the United States of America, Hillary Clinton, has said she will keep “calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric”, as a feud with Donald Trump deepens.

The Democrat made the promise in a statement on Saturday where she apologised for suggesting half of the Republican’s supporters were “deplorable” people.

“Grossly Generalistic”

Mr Trump had responded by saying the comment was “insulting” to “millions of amazing, hard working people”.

Mrs Clinton accepted that she had been “grossly generalistic” and that it was never a good idea.

She made the apology in a statement tweeted on her Twitter handle.

Polls released earlier this week suggest Mr Trump is gaining on Mrs Clinton, and the rivals are neck and neck in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

Also commenting on Mrs Clinton’s statement, Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said: “They are not a basket of anything. They are Americans & they deserve your respect.”

Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, said Mrs Clinton had shown “her outright contempt for ordinary people”.

Millions of Americans, he said, supported the Republican nominee because they were “sick of corrupt career politicians like Hillary Clinton”.

The BBC reporters that other Republicans mocked Mrs Clinton, sharing photos of the crowd in the Florida venue where Mr Trump spoke on Friday.

The hash tag #BasketOfDeplorables has been trending on social media as indignant Republicans attack Mrs Clinton.

“A candidate who writes off half the country as a #BasketOfDeplorables should be disqualified”, was one comment on Twitter.

Apologising, Mrs Clinton said: “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.”

“As I said,” she added, “many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them.”

But for most of the statement, she attacked her rival, accusing him of building “his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia” and giving a national platform to “hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people”.

“David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values,” she said in the statement.

It was, she said, “really deplorable” that her Republican opponent was linked to people from the right-wing “alt-right movement”.

President Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attack In Florida

buhari-sadPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida, describing it as ‘‘criminal’’ and ‘‘cowardly’’. 

In a letter to the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria, James Entwistle, President Buhari conveyed Nigeria’s heartfelt sympathy to President Barrack Obama and the people of United States of America.

The President also assured the United States of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

‘‘President Buhari extends his most sincere condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the victims.

‘‘The President condemns such criminal, cowardly attack, wherever it might occur, as an attack on all decent, democratic, peaceful people.

“Every terrorist attack only strengthens Nigeria’s resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States and other countries in the frontline of the war on terror,’’ the letter, which was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari read.

President Buhari also called ‘‘on all peace-loving nations to commit themselves whole-heartedly to multilateral cooperation and collaborative actions aimed at eradicating the scourge of international terrorism.’’

Various Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

Obama, Biden Others React To Orlando Killings

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, OrlandoVarious Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

In a statement by his spokesman, Vice President Joe Biden “offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims”.

“Grudge In His Heart”

US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her part said the attack was a tragedy that required a serious response.

Also reacting to the shooting was the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus who issued a statement saying they were “horrified by the tragic shooting”.

Seddique Mateen, the father of the attacker, Omar Mateen, said he did not know that his son had a “grudge in his heart”.

Omar was shot dead by the police.

Mr Mateen said he did not understand why his son carried out the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

He had earlier said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

According to the BBC, in a statement posted online and addressed to people in his native Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen said his son was “a very good boy”, who had a wife and a child.

“I don’t know what caused it,” he said. “I never figured out that he had a grudge in his heart….I am grief-stricken.”

Obama To Take Unilateral Action On US Gun Violence

obamaPresident Barrack Obama has vowed to to tackle the problem of gun violence in the United States.

In his first weekly address of 2016, Mr Obama said he would meet Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to discuss possible actions.

He said he would seek to use his executive powers as President because the US Congress had failed to address the problem.

Analysts say that there will be a backlash from gun activists and Republicans.

But Mr Obama told Americans that he had received too many letters from parents, teachers and children, to sit around and do nothing.

“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence,” the president said. “But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?”

In December 2015, a Texas police chief warned the President that trying to disarm Americans could spark a revolution.

Previous efforts to introduce stricter gun control laws had repeatedly foundered despite the large number of people dying in gun attacks.

A joint Democrat-Republican bill following the 2012 shooting of 20 children and six adults at a primary school in Connecticut failed to get the 60 votes needed to broaden background checks and ban assault weapons.

September 11 Anniversary: Americans Remember Lost Lives

Americans remember lost livesAmericans on September 11, remember the lives lost when terrorists hijacked passenger planes and rammed into New York City’s World Trade Center, in Washington.

14 years ago, terrorists killed 2,977 people in one of the deadliest attacks on American soil.

Tears flowed as the nation marks a dark day in sorrowful yet hopeful ceremonies.

On September 11, 2001, terrified strangers became friends as Americans united on a day that changed the world forever.

Today, like every other anniversary, a resilient nation looked forward to the future, but remembered the past.

In 14 years since the September 11  attack, the face of terrorism has changed out of recognition. To many experts, the threat of Islamist terror is in some ways greater and in some ways diminished. It is geographically more diverse and organisationally more divided, and leverages on social media and the internet since 2001.

In the West, Islamist terrorism is often more inspired than organised and directed. Its menace is also more fluid and unpredictable than it was on that bright autumn morning in 2001, but the tools to combat it are also more plentiful, from ever more sophisticated and accurate drones to financial intelligence and algorithms for chewing terabytes of data in the pursuit of suspicious communications.

The likelihood of an attack on the scale of September 11,  has receded. But the probability of more frequent though less devastating attacks have increased.

France President, Francois Hollande Honours Train Heroes

franceThe President of France, Mr Francois Hollande has honoured three Americans and a Briton with France’s top honour, the legion d’honneur.

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Briton’s Chris Norman, who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train on Friday, received their medals from Mr Hollande at a ceremony held at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday morning.

Mr Hollande pinned the medals on the chests of the four passengers at the ceremony in Paris on Monday morning.

Before the awards, he said: “We are here to honour four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives.

“In the name of France, I would like to thank you. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom”.

The passengers overpowered a suspected radical Islamist on a high-speed train bound for Paris.

Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel and the US Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, attended the ceremony, along with the head of the French rail firm, SNCF.

Two other unnamed passengers are also billed to receive the honour at a later date.

The Legion d’honneur was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

We Were Lucky To Have Rescued Two Kidnapped Americans- Naval Chief

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, on Monday confirmed how lucky the Joint Military Task Force were in negotiating the release of two kidnapped Americans in the south south region of Nigeria two weeks ago.

Although he refused to comment on the terms of their release he gave the assurance that security agencies are working towards a crime-free maritime space.

According to him “what we do is secure our maritime space; is done to the best of our ability” adding that “it is a herculean task, but given Mr President’s mandate and support, we have continued to do the needful, to ensure that we emplace a secure maritime space”.

He however noted that “criminality is synonymous with human nature particularly in our own environment where we have socio-economic issues to deal with”

He said luck was on their side during the operations that led to the release of two Americans that were kidnapped in the region.

“For the Americans that were captured or kidnapped, we were lucky that we got them out alive” insisting that “the methodology we adopted should be best kept as a secret” alleging that “if we let it out of the bag, then the bad guys will be two steps ahead of us”.

He further appreciated the efforts of other security agencies in ensuring a robust information gathering system that has aided their operations. Vice Admiral Ezeoba was speaking with journalists after the commissioning of projects within navy town in the Ojo area of Lagos state.

Kenya Foreign Minister Says Americans, Briton Among Mall Attackers

Kenya’s foreign minister, Amina Mohammed, on Monday said that two or three Americans and one Briton were among those who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall.

A report by Associated Press (AP) records that during an interview with PBS’ “NewsHour” program, Mohammed disclosed that the Americans were 18 to 19 years old, of Somali or Arab origin and lived “in Minnesota and one other place” in the U.S. The attacker from Britain was a woman who has “done this many times before.”

More than 60 people have been killed in the assault on the upscale mall, which lasted for three days.

The foreign minister said Authorities in Kenya were trying to wrap up their bloody standoff with al-Shabab, a group allied with al-Qaida.

However, U.S. officials said they were looking into whether any Americans were involved. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki on Monday said the department had “no definitive evidence of the nationalities or the identities” of the attackers.

While White House spokesman, Ben Rhodes said U.S. officials have seen “reports coming out of al-Shabab that indicate information along those lines,” referring to possible involvement of Americans in the attack.

“But we have to run those to ground, of course,” he said. “We do monitor very carefully and have for some time been concerned about efforts by al-Shabab to recruit Americans or U.S. persons to come to Somalia.

“This is an issue that has been tracked very closely by the U.S. government, and it’s one that we’ll be looking into in the days ahead.”

Furthermore, Mohamed said Kenya needs to work with other governments to fight the increasing terrorist threat and “much more with the U.S and the U.K., because both the victims and the perpetrators came from Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States. From the information we have, two or three Americans and so far I’ve heard of one Brit.”

She added: “That just goes to underline the global nature of this war that we are fighting.”

Six Attackers Killed

Kenya’s Citizen TV reported on Tuesday that troops had killed “six of the remaining attackers” but did not give further details and the report was unsourced.

“Security forces killed six of the remaining attackers,” the channel said in a brief headline. Officials earlier said three of the 10 to 15 people who stormed the building on Saturday had been killed.

The government said it was in control of the mall, although there was another burst of gunfire at 9.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) and two security personnel at the scene said security forces were still searching the mall.

 

SSS Arrests Terrorists Gathering Information on Prominent Abuja Hotels

The Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Service, Marilyn Ogar

The State Security Services (SSS) on Wednesday in Abuja paraded three persons suspected to be terrorists who engage in espionage activities for foreign terrorist organisations.
Parading the suspects, the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Service, Marilyn Ogar said the service stepped up measures to curtail the spread of terrorist activities and its impact on the peace and stability of Nigeria through sustained covert operations on suspected terrorists.

The suspects, Abdullahi Berende, Sulaiman Saka and Saheed Adewumi who claimed to be working for some Iranian handlers were arrested while trying to gather intelligence on public places and prominent hotels frequented by Americans and Israelis to facilitate attacks.

Ms Ogar said  the leader of the team, Mr Berende was asked by his sponsors to establish a small business in Lagos, using that as a cover for his activities.

The three suspected terrorists will soon be charged to court according to Marilyn Ogar.

 

Williams sisters arrive Nigeria for women’s rights tour

American tennis super-stars Serena and Venus Williams on Tuesday arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos at about 3p.m (local time) with officials of ‘Breaking The Mould,’ BTM campaign who were on ground to receive them.

The visit of the Williams sisters is part of a two-nation tour that will see them play exhibition matches and train kids is aimed at promoting women’s rights.

The sisters having shared 22 major women’s singles championships between them are amongst the world’s and United States’ most successful athletes and their trip is aimed at promoting “the role that women play in shifting perceptions and encouraging development at all levels across the African continent”.

The sisters could only say a few words to pressmen at the airport as security operatives whisked them away immediately they arrived.

The Williams are scheduled to pay the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola a courtesy at the State House on Wednesday, after which they will head to a tennis clinic at Ikoyi Club, visit a puberty education class for girls then play an exhibition match and head to South Africa on Friday, November 2nd.

The Williams sisters have played each other competitively in 23 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 13 of these matches. Their overall head-to-head series is 13–10.

Serena who is currently ranked number 3 in the world has played Venus 12 times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and 11 times in other tournaments (including 11 finals).

They have met in eight Grand Slam finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, which was the first time in the open era that the same two players had contested four consecutive Grand Slam finals.