Angry passengers sit on tarmac in Abuja Yesterday

Angry passengers who were to fly to Adamawa and Gombe states from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja got so angry and decided to take over the tarmac and sit in protest after their flight was cancelled yesterday night. Some of the passengers said they were at the airport for their 9am flight but the airline kept delaying the flight until 9pm when they informed them that the flight had been cancelled.

Jesse Jackson Jr. at halfway house after leaving prison

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. arrived at a Baltimore halfway house late Thursday, hours after leaving an Alabama federal prison where he was serving a sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items.

Jackson arrived Thursday night with members of his family at the Volunteers of America halfway house, where he begins his transition back into society.

“I’m very very happy that I’m with my wife and children, I’ve missed them a very long time,” Jackson said as he pushed through a group of reporters to enter the halfway house.

Earlier in the day, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaking by phone shortly after picking up his 50-year-old son, described his release from the minimum security federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base as a “joyous reunion.” He added that the younger Jackson was doing “very well.” The civil rights leader was not with his son when he checked into the facility.

The halfway house has been in operation for more than 30 years in the same two-story brick facility in Baltimore, according to spokeswoman Danielle Milner.

The facility serves between 500 and 700 residents annually with housing, employment counseling and other transitional services. Some people are allowed to live in their own homes, but that’s up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, she said.

Jackson Sr. had said earlier Thursday that his son will be living at the halfway house for six months, but federal officials have not confirmed that.

“He is respecting the rules and the process,” the Rev. Jackson said. “He is not asking for any special privileges.”

Jackson Jr. said he didn’t know what would happen once he has checked into Volunteers of America.

Jackson began his 2 ½-year prison sentence on Nov. 1, 2013, and his release date is Sept. 20, 2015. After that, Jackson must spend three years on supervised release under jurisdiction of the U.S. Probation Office and complete 500 hours of community service.

At some point, it will be his wife’s turn to serve out her punishment on a related conviction.

Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received. In a concession to the couple’s two children, a judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences, with the husband going first.

Jackson served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012. In June 2012, he took medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.

The Jacksons spent campaign money on fur capes, mounted elk heads, a $43,350, gold-plated men’s Rolex watch and Bruce Lee memorabilia, as well as $9,587.64 on children’s furniture, according to court filings.

Jackson’s resignation ended a once-promising political career that was tarnished by unproven allegations that he was involved in discussions to raise campaign funds for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations.

Ascon Oil Company releases statement on the Lekki fire today

Ascon Oil released this statement of their official Facebook page. Read below…

Ascon Oil Fire Outbreak: No Life Lost. Fire Contained
The fire incident at Ascon Oil filling station at Lekki Phase 1 this afternoon has been contained. Contrary to earlier speculations, the main building and the reservoirs are unaffected. The incident emanated from a discharge at the point of offloading product from a tanker, engulfing two tankers and some vehicles parked by the road side.

It was an accident compounded by the current fuel scarcity in the country with ASCON OIL being one of the few stations with a reliable steady supply even in times of scarcity. No life was lost to the incident, the pumps are intact and emergency fire service officers were already on site containing the flames as at the time of this report.
ASCON OIL wishes to reaffirm its commitment to serving its customers even in the face of accidents of this nature for which a company of its pedigree is always prepared. Residents and passers-by showed solidarity with the company as they contributed in no small way to contain the flames.

Boko Haram crisis: The Nigerian truckers risking attack

Nigerian truck drivers who have survived a journey through Boko Haram territory relax out of the sun under the porch of a building.

Most of those in the group drive tankers of petrol, diesel or kerosene to and from Maiduguri – the city at the heart of the Islamist insurgency in the north-east and the capital of Borno state.

Gathered at the Ogere Trailer Park, about 50km (30 miles) north of Lagos, they say they have all been affected by the six-year conflict.

“We are all concerned about the situation, we have all lost relatives, wives and children are kidnapped and houses have been burnt,” says Atiku Abubakar.

Speaking in Hausa, he and his colleagues describe the perils of the route to and from Lagos.

It takes two and a half days when a tanker is empty and four and a half days when full.

They say it is dangerous enough without the militants to contend with as there are so many potholes.

“Ten of my colleagues who ply this route have been killed in the last three weeks,” says Mr Abubakar.

“The militants stopped them and cut off their heads with an electric chainsaw and burned the trucks,” he says.

“Boko Haram is usually only interested in commandeering smaller vehicles, sometimes the fighters will take the lorries, but most of the time they burn them.”

Lorries at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state - February 2015
The drivers can spend several weeks at Ogere Trailer Park as they wait to get clearance for Lagos port
A tyre being pumped with air at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state, Nigeria - February 2015
While there, they are able to get their vehicles checked over

Another truck driver chips in to say that if a driver looks “powerful” he may be kidnapped and conscripted as a fighter, but anyone looking “weak” will definitely “lose his head”.

“If you reach Damaturu by five in the afternoon, you dare not continue on the final leg to Maiduguri,” he says, explaining that a driver may not manage the last 130km before the sun sets, when they would be most vulnerable to attack.

‘Too traumatised’

The drivers tend to work for an owner who has about 20 tankers – each vehicle also has about two assistants to help with loading and guarding the cargo, known as motor boys.

Kullima Ali at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state - February 2015
Kullima Ali, who has worked as a motor boy for four years, lost two of his brothers in a Boko Haram attack

As the drivers and motor boys ease into the conversation they begin to open up about how the insurgency has directly affected them.

Driver Trap Bukar says he was in the town of Bama when it was captured by Boko Haram last September.

“It started early in the morning. Suddenly they came. There was shooting, in my presence I saw four people go down; the soldiers fled,” he says.

He lifts up his shirt to show what look like bullet scars on his upper torso

“I could tell you many unhappy tales,” he says, with tears in his eyes.

But he suddenly gets up and leaves the group and his colleagues say he is too traumatised by his memories to continue.

Kullima Ali, 18, who has been a motor boy for four years, says he is now his family’s only bread winner.


He says it is very difficult to tell the militants from soldiers, as they dress in camouflage – with only their eyes visible.

“They stole some food, killed my two brothers and burned our house in Maiduguri in January 2013,” he says.

“There’s only my mother and my sister now.”

He says he had wanted to go and study science, but he is unable to afford to continue his education.


“Many of the drivers have good qualifications,” says Umar Hussaini, 18, a motor boy who helps his driver brother.

Truck driver Ibrahim Abdullahi
Ibrahim Abdullahi studied civil engineering but can only find work as a trucker

He introduces me to Ibrahim Abdullahi, 25, a former university student who had been studying civil engineering at the start of insurgency.

He has been working as a trucker for the last five years as there are few other employment opportunities for young men, especially in the areas affected by the conflict.

“Yes I am scared, if there was other work I would find another job,” says Mr Abdullahi.

All the truckers express anger about the six-week postponement of the 14 February presidential election and are vocal in their criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s handling of the conflict.

Some even refer to him as “the chairman of Boko Haram” – seeing him as complicit in the group’s growth over the years.

Others say his complicity lies in his neglect of north-east.

“President Jonathan is just as guilty as those Boko Haram killers because he has chopped off all the money to repair the roads,” Mr Abubakar says.

Life is now a constant financial struggle for them, he adds.

For each trip, a driver gets a 10,000 naira ($50, £33) living allowance but this might have to last for several weeks as he waits at Ogere Trailer Park for clearance to go into Lagos port to collect cargo.

A ticket for Ogbere Ticket Park in Ogun state, Nigeria
It costs 500 naira ($2.50) for the trucks to stay at Ogere Trailer Park for two weeks
Washing drying on a truck at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state, Nigeria - February 2015
To stay in Lagos it could cost 1,000 naira a night – and vehicles would be at risk from thieves
A mosque at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state, Nigeria - February 2015
The truckers sleep outdoors in areas organised by the state – and there are mosques in some sections

Most of the truckers get a monthly salary of between $100 and $200 and the motor boys receive $2.50 a day.

Saleh Mohamed, a driver who has just arrived back from Lagos port with his shipment of petrol, sits down with the group under the porch looking exhausted.

“I spent four days in the queue in the traffic to the port – I haven’t slept for four nights because I had to watch out for thieves as they remove parts from the vehicle or steal the gas,” he says.

But he is only taking a short break of a couple of hours as he is anxious to put the coming dangers behind him.

“The killings are too much and have been going on for too long,” says his colleague Mr Abubakar.

“President Jonathan is not doing anything. We hope he will leave – we want change.

‘Hate Map’ shows where the most hate groups are in America


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released a “Hate Map” that shows where active hate groups are throughout the country. Every single state except Alaska and Hawaii had at least one active group, but California had the most.

The SPLC defined a hate group this way: “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Such groups included but were not limited to: the KKK, Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, racist skinheads, Christian Identity, Neo-Confederates, black separatists and general hate groups.

“Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list,” the organization wrote. “Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”

Hate Group Map

California topped the list, with 57 hate groups. Florida had 50, followed by New York with 44, New Jersey with 40 and Pennsylvania with 38.

On the positive side, hate groups seem to be on the decline, with the SPLC saying, “annual count found that hate groups declined by 17% between 2013 and 2014, from 939 to 784 groups, bringing that number to its lowest level since 2005.”

9 science-backed tactics for winning a negotiation

jordan negotiate argumentJonathan Daniel / GettyMichael Jordan was a master negotiator.

Whether it’s your salary or your cable bill, a lot of life is up for negotiation.

Here’s what works, according to the research.

Know your context.

Know your context.

Klaus M / flickr

Is the negotiation one-shot or long-term?

In “The Mind and the Heart of the Negotiator,” Kellogg management professor Leigh Thompson notes that the interaction between a customer and the waitstaff at a highway roadside diner is one of the few one-shot negotiations that happen in life — there’s little chance that patron or staff will see each other again.

But every other negotiation is long-term, with employment negotiations as a primary example. If it’s long-term, you need to manage not only monetary value, but the impression you’re making.

Make the first offer.

Make the first offer.

Andy Castro / flickr

It makes use of the anchoring effect.

If you start high, the hiring manager may adjust the figure down slightly. But that’s typically a stronger position than starting low and trying to negotiate up.

“Whoever makes the first offer essentially drops an anchor on the table,” Thompson tells Business Insider. “I might say that your opening offer is ridiculous, but nevertheless, unconsciously, I’ve been anchored.”

Make an aggressive offer.

Make an aggressive offer.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Columbia University negotiation scholar Adam Galinsky says that people are overly cautious when making first offers.

On HBS Working Knowledge, Galinsky likens negotiating a salary to selling a house:

Take the perspective of the seller: more extreme first offers lead to higher final settlements…

High-anchor offers lead buyers to focus on a negotiated item’s positive attributes. In addition, an aggressive first offer allows you to offer concessions and still reach an agreement that’s much better than your alternatives.

In contrast, a nonaggressive first offer leaves you with two unappealing options: Make small concessions or stand by your demands.

Before you go in, know the lowest amount you’d accept.

Before you go in, know the lowest amount you'd accept.

Christopher Furlong / Getty

Scholars call it the “reservation value,” or the lowest amount you’ll take.

“We always hope to do better than our reservation values,” writes negotiation expert Chad Ellis, “but it’s important to know what yours is, both to avoid accepting a deal you shouldn’t have and as a reference point for how much a current deal is worth to you.”

Having a firm grasp of your reservation value is important from a psychological perspective: If you anchor it into your mind, you’ll be less anchored by the other person’s offer.

Mirror the other person’s behavior.

Mirror the other person's behavior.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

When people are getting along, they mimic one another — mirroring each other’s accents, speech patterns, facial expressions, and body language.

A Stanford-Northwestern-INSEAD study found that people who were coached to mimic their negotiation partners behavior not only negotiated a better deal, but expanded the pie for both people.

“Negotiators who mimicked the mannerisms of their opponents both secured better individual outcomes, and their dyads as a whole also performed better when mimicking occurred compared to when it did not,” the authors wrote.

Emphasize your potential.

Emphasize your potential.

Michael Buckner / Getty

A Stanford-Harvard study recently cited on Marginal Revolution suggests that accomplishments aren’t what capture people’s attention — rather, it’s a person’s perceived potential.

“This uncertainty [that comes with potential] appears to be more cognitively engaging than reflecting on what is already known to be true,” the authors write.

Don’t demand a single number.

Don't demand a single number.

filmingilman / flickr

New research indicates that people respond best when given a “bolstering range offer,” where you state the number that you’re looking for — and a range above it. If you’re trying to get to a $100,000 salary, ask for $100,000 to $120,000.

Offering a range strikes people as more reasonable than standing firm on a single number, so you’re less likely to get hit with an extreme counteroffer, which suddenly become way less polite.

Tell them something about yourself.

Tell them something about yourself.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty

In a 2002 experiment cited by Adam Grant, Northwestern and Stanford students were asked to negotiate over email.

Some went straight to business, exchanging only names and email addresses.

Others went off-topic, “schmoozing” about hometowns and hobbies.

The schmoozers reached an agreement 59% of the time, while the business-only made it 40% of the time.

Keep all your options on the table.

Grant also notes the work of Neil Rackham, who found that skilled negotiators don’t “sequence” the topics within a negotiation — they keep everything on the table.

So instead of saying “Let’s resolve the salary first, and then we’ll move on to the other issues,” you resolve the components of the agreement all together — location, vacation time, or signing bonus.

“By keeping all of the issues on the table, you have the flexibility to propose trading location and bonus for a bump in salary,” Grant writes.

While you’re at it, start winning arguments, too.

6 times you shouldn’t take the job, even if it pays more

Money isn’t everything.

new job office interview waiting

Having the extra funds for foreign travel and designer shopping splurges can be nice — to say the least — but not when the tradeoffs include scientifically backed side effects such as insomnia, death, and divorce.

So if you’re facing a job offer that comes with an attractive salary bump, be sure the new gig won’t catapult you into any of the following problems.

1. The commute would kill you.

Americans spend more time commuting (100+ hours per year) than they do vacationing (80 hours).

According to research out of Sweden, long commutes also cause a wealth of horrible side effects, including neck pain, obesity, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia.

So if the twice daily traffic jam you’d have to endure to get to your higher paying gig seems likely to drive you mad, then it’s probably best to stick with the job you’ve already got.

Sure, the extra money would be nice. But research shows you very well may end up spending a good portion of that salary increase on your newfound needs for physical therapy, sleep doctors, and a divorce attorney.

2. The office culture is toxic.

If you’ve ever said, “My job is killing me!” — you could be right. Research shows that people in hostile work environments are more likely to die sooner than those who work in atmospheres that are more favorable. Death aside, toxic work environments are also known to provoke aches, stress, and signs of depression. So before accepting a new job offer with a dazzling salary, do your homework.

3. Your work-life balance would be out of whack.

China, Beijing, commutingBeltzner via flickrIf the commute will make you miserable, it might not be worth it.

Work has a way of getting in the way of what matters most: family time.

These numbers offer a glimpse at the epidemic: 55% of all employees say they don’t have enough time for themselves, 67% of employed parents say they don’t have enough time with their kids, and 63% of married employees say they don’t have enough time with their spouse, according to Families and Work Institute’s National Study of the Changing Workforce.

If a higher paying gig would mean severely under-serving yourself or your loved ones, it may be best to stick with a lower paying job that offers more flexibility.

4. You don’t believe in the work.

All the money in the world can’t make you feel pride in the job you’re doing unless you truly believe in the work. And if you’re being offered a better-paying gig at a company whose ideals are in conflict with your beliefs, be they religious, social, or otherwise, your time would be well spent to figure out how to reconcile that — which could mean declining the job. You’ll never reach your potential if you’re doing something you don’t stand behind 100%.

5. You don’t see eye-to-eye with your boss.

If the person who’s supposed to be raising you up seems set on bringing you down, it might be time to skedaddle. Studies show that unsupportive bosses affect how your whole family relates to one another, your physical health, and your morale while in the office. They also raise your risk for heart disease. No job is worth putting up with woes like that — no matter how many zeros are included in the salary.

6. The company is on the fritz.

There’s no need to go down with a sinking ship. If the company trying to pad your pockets is on its way out, it may be wise to stay in control and decline the job offer rather than suffer a layoff in the future.


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