OKOWA URGES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO PROVIDE CREDIT FACILITIES TO FARMERS

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OKOWA URGES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO PROVIDE  CREDIT FACILITIES TO FARMERS

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has challenged financial institutions to make the diversification of Nigerian economy a reality by introducing robust credit policies on agriculture.
The Governor made the call (07/10/15) when he gave out more than 25 tractors and implements to farmers and about thirty million naira to cooperative societies.
The occasion was the inauguration of the Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP) under the job and wealth creation scheme of his administration.
According to the Governor, “despite the acknowledgement that agriculture plays a crucial role in driving economic development, inadequate funding has, inexplicably, continued to be recurring decimal as the bulk of our small-scale farmers regrettably do not have access to credit finance and are therefore unable to invest in basic farming inputs such as implements, seedlings and fertilizers.”
While noting that due to the challenges of financing, “farm yields have remained abysmally low, leading to widespread poverty and stunted economic growth,” the Governor emphasised, “our financial institutions must rise up to the challenge of agricultural financing if we are serious about economic diversification and self-reliance".
"The banking sector must come up with robust credit policies in agriculture that will address credit turnaround time, the recruitment and training of specialist bankers who understand the dynamics of agriculture and agribusiness, especially the fact that they are time and season bound.” He added.
The Governor observed that Delta State has not tapped the abundant natural resources, very favourable climatic condition, vast arable land and fertile soil in agribusiness for economic growth, employment creation, import substitution and sustainable development.
He also disclosed that the PPSP was conceived “to help overcome the problems of resource scarcity, poor technology and infrastructure deficit.”
He added that his administration is determined to ensure that Delta State is not only able to feed herself but feed the nation as well. "We will be failing ourselves and the generation coming after us if we are unable to harness the abundant natural resources God has blessed us with and convert it to prosperity for our people.” He observed.
The Governor charged the first set of beneficiaries of the PPSP to apply themselves diligently to their business noting that the fortunes of many other people and small-scale businesses are inextricably tied to their success in their business.
Earlier, the Chief Job Creation Officer in the state, Prof. Eric Eboh had in an address said the PPSP would facilitate the inputs, equipment, technologies, microcredit and technical assistance to farmers, agroprocessors and agricultural value chain operators to increase outputs, productivity and incomes, “thereby creating jobs and wealth, towards prosperity for all Deltans.”
High point of the occasion was the presentation of cheques ranging from two million naira to cooperative societies, and presentation of tractors and other farm implements to beneficiaries.

PRESS UNIT
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA
OCTOBER 7, 2015

BAIL OUT FUND IS A LOAN- OKOWA

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BAIL OUT FUND IS A LOAN- OKOWA
… Charges LG Councils To Give Priority To Salaries.

GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa has debunked claims that the bail-out funds given to Delta State was a gift from the Federal Government saying, the amount which was about N10 billion was a long-term loan facility.
Dropping the hint  (07/10/15) in Asaba during the commissioning of an ultra modern secretariat of the Delta State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Governor Okowa disclosed that the state requested for more than N30 billion as bail-out fund to settle staff salaries of local government staff and pensioners who were being owed more than N30 billion naira, among others but got less.
The Governor stated that the clarification was necessary because the local government areas would be paying interests on the amount that will get to them from the fund. 
"We have heard continuously about bail-out money and it is important for us to realize that there is a limit of money that has been disbursed by the bank for the purpose of bail-out and the money that got to Delta State is not just for us to attend the needs of the state and the monies we owe, it is also to attend to the local government councils and pensioners the much we can," he said.
He also disclosed that, "we asked for a lot of money, we owe pensioners over N30 billion naira and putting everything together we asked for money to take care of some of the debts but what was approved for us was only a bit over N10 billion and we have to attend to the state, attend to local government, attend to the pensioners and we must realize that even that money is not free it is money that was loaned from the bank to the state for which we are making payments and we are paying interest and the much we can give to local government councils is also a loan."
"So for those who are abusing the processes thinking that there are some free monies coming from above, it is not true," he said, while using the opportunity to state that the Head of Personnel Management and Treasurer of Udu Local Government Councils would be sanctioned for flouting directives on the percentage of allocation meant for the payment of local government salaries.
According to him, from the month of October to the month of December all the local government councils in the state should spend 100 per cent of their allocations on staff salaries while they use their internally generated revenue for the operations of the councils.
"From the month of October through to December salaries should come before any other expenses, so, Chairmen, generate revenue to run the councils, 100 per cent of your Councils' allocation will now be devoted purely for salaries," the Governor said, stating, "in getting NULGE back to work, we sat down and agreed that, at least because of the very difficult times, 80 per cent of the money that we get at the end of every month must be put into staff salaries but, unfortunately some council chairmen have failed to do so and I frown at it, it is wrong because salaries is the first thing that we must pay."
"I have directed the chairman of the Local Government Service Commission to remove the HPM and TLG of Udu local government for assisting in disobeying the agreement on modalities for payment of salaries, they should be replaced by persons who will be reappointed to that office, to serve as a deterrent to others who will want to cooperate in sabotaging government's decisions."
Governor Okowa commended NULGE for judicious use of resources and urged other unions in the state to engage in viable investments to shore up their financial base.
Those who spoke at the occasion include the representative of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Wabba Ayuba, national President of NULGE, Comrade Khaleel Ibrahim, Chairman of NULGE in Delta State, Comrade David Ofoeyeno thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his labour-friendly policies.
In a related development, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has called for a united labour union in Nigeria.
Governor Okowa made the call yesterday (07/10/15) in Asaba when the Deputy National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Kiri Mohammed led labour leaders to pay  him a courtesy call.
According to the Governor, it was important for labour leaders to at all times, speak with one voice, assuring that his administration will continue to be labour-friendly and embark on projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people.
Comrade Mohammed had told the Governor that they were in Asaba for the commissioning of the secretariat of the Delta State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

PRESS UNIT
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA
OCTOBER 7, 2015

FISCAL AUTONOMY IS GOOD FOR JUDICIARY BUT… — OKOWA

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FISCAL AUTONOMY IS GOOD FOR JUDICIARY BUT…– OKOWA

Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has stated that his administration was not against granting fiscal autonomy for the Judicial arm of government but it must be on a realistic budget.

The Governor was speaking yesterday (6-10-15) when Judges in the state led by the Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro paid him a courtesy visit in commemoration of the 2015/16 legal year.

Senator Okowa said that the autonomy being sought by Judiciary Workers was in good faith but they must tarry awhile for the state to get a realistic budget as the present economic downturn in the country has made this year budget quite unrealistic.

"I have always said that l have nothing against the fiscal autonomy for the judiciary but it must be based on a budget that is workable, realistic but what we have found on ground is that the budgets we are running are not realistic.

"Until we start running a budget that is realistic and realizable it will be difficult to operate a system in which you say every amount of money that is appropriated in the budget has to be released, we will just be making a huge mistake and will be taken as a joke”, Governor Okowa said.

The Governor said that "in 2016, we will work within our limit to have a realistic and realisable budget, then I will release money to the Judiciary to spend  on their own “.

 The governor who said that the state government have a robust working relationship with the judiciary, promised to looking into their issues and called for speedy dispensation of justice

According to him " l am looking forward to a good relationship between government and the judiciary, I have a great respect for the Judicial arm of government as well as the legislative arm of government but those of us in the executive arm we take all the pains, l can tell you that by the special grace of God we have tried to manage the finances of the state in such a way that we have been able to keep the state afloat," he added

 "I know that matters that concern the judiciary as much as it is humanly possible we will take it seriously because we are definitely working in constraint times." He added.

Senator Okowa urged the judges to attend to cases coming from government fairly and speedily asserting " I have also appealed to the chief judge that cases coming from the state government should be treated fairly and in line with the law because  l have found that people have been going about defrauding government and believing that they could just quickly get bail and just come back to work and just resume their work.

"l have been working with the Office of the Head of Service to ensure that appropriate actions are taken but in situations where people just start to defraud the state government we cannot tolerate it, l thank God that some culprits have been reported and action has been taken and we will like to have speedy trials of such culprits so that they will not be in situations where they can corrupt other workers and make life more difficult for government." Senator Okowa noted.

He disclosed that government would provide the needs of the judiciary within available resources "I will take up the matter of security with the commissioner of police and we will see what can be done to ensure that armed personnel are provided. We will take this matter seriously because both in the courts and your residence l believe that you deserve to have some reasonable level of security"

Governor Okowa promised some level of support for the Prison Service in the state to help decongest the prisons and ensure that inmates were brought to courts as at when due stating " The state wide prison visit will give you a firsthand information on what is going on in the prisons and the number of people who await trial but from the picture that you have painted we are very worried because our prisons are overcrowded with inmates. "unfortunately we have all kinds of challenges that mitigate against being able to try people on time and eventually we are also not developing more and more prisons even when the population is growing even if the crime rate does not grow the population grows the number of persons will obviously grow in prison. We will see what we can do to offer some support."

Earlier, the State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro informed the governor, they were on the visit to him as part of the activities to mark the opening of the 2015/16 legal year and commended him for the support of the state government to the judiciary.

While assuring of diligent performance of duty by the judges, Justice Umukoro highlighted some issues mitigating effective dispensation of justice in the state.

PRESS UNIT
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA

OCTOBER 6, 2015

HELP ON THE WAY FOR DEIZIANI

Help could be on the way as we sported a group of nigerian lawyers heading to London yesterday, it was fun all the way as they looked unruffled by the situation. It could be recalled that this same people were called upon to join in the negotiation process after the girlnapping of 200 chibok girls,

They hope to make contact with deiziani later tomorrow their names were given as Mr John Okafor, Barr. Victor Osuagu whole the other lawyer declined giving us his name. It was also gathered that Barr. Okon SAN would be arriving later in the day.

To Nigerian's their advice was if we cant do it nobody can.

details of court proceedings will be aired on this site live

DIEZIANI’S ARREST NOT RELATED TO CASH SIEZURE – UK Crime Agency

ABUJA—The United Kingdom, UK, National Crime Agency has said that the £27,000 (N9,180,000) seized from the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was not related to her arrest.The agency, in response to an enquiry byVanguard, said that cash seizure in the UK does not need to be related to an arrest.

Furthermore, NCA’s Press Office confirmed, in an electronic mail sent to Vanguard in Abuja yesterday, that apart from the £27,000 recovered from the former minister, ‘smaller sums’ were also seized from two other individuals, who it declined to name.

On why it had not revealed the identities of those arrested along with the former minister, the agency made it clear that it does not confirm the identities of individuals it arrests unless there was specific operational requirement to do so.

Vanguard had written to the agency, Monday, asking to be availed of the time and place where the money was seized from Alison-Madueke and when she would be charged to court.

NCA’s maily

The agency replied yesterday, saying: “We can confirm that £27,000 was seized from Diezani Alison-Madueke at Westminster Magistrate’s Court along with smaller sums from two other individuals. But we are not providing any further detail at this time.

“Cash seizure in the UK does not need to be related to an arrest. The NCA does not confirm identities of individuals at arrest, unless there is a specific operational requirement to do so.

“There is no further information we are offering at this time.”

The agency skipped discussion on when the Nigerians, now on bail in the UK, would be formally charged for money laundering and bribery, fuelling speculations that the agency had not completed their findings.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has denied arresting one of the oil players in the country, identified as a close business associate of the former oil minister and Atlantic Energy Chairman, Olajide Omokore.

However, Vanguard learned that the commission interrogated Omokore and released him on administrative bail.

 

‘EFCC quizzed Omokore’

A source in EFCC told Vanguard that Omokore reported at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Monday morning, on the invitation of the agency.

The source told Vanguard, on condition of anonymity, that the oil baron denied any wrongdoing.

The source told Vanguard in Abuja last night: “Omokore came and was promptly grilled on many issues relating to what he did during the tenure of the former minister and was released on administrative bail.”

Contacted, the spokesman for EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “I am not aware of the development. Once I have information on that I will make it available to you.”

 Source Vanguard Newspaper

NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED – CHUNG MONG-JOON

South Korea's Chung Mong-joon has said he is facing a 15-year suspension by FIFA's Ethics Committee that has "sabotaged" his campaign for the FIFA Presidency, but he denied any wrongdoing and vowed to continue his bid to lead soccer's world governing body.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul on Tuesday, Chung read out a nine-page statement, addressing the charges against him, which he dismissed as a ploy "to prevent me from running for the President of FIFA."

"The fundamental reason why I am being targeted is that I aimed straight at the existing power structure of FIFA," Chung said.

Bound by confidentiality rules, FIFA's Ethics Committee has not made any statements on Chung's case and there was no immediate response to his comments on Tuesday.

Chung said he was being charged with violating six articles from FIFA's Code of Ethics, which he said stemmed from his "support" for South Korea's 2022 World Cup bid and his proposal to launch a Global Football Fund (GFF).

"Ethics committee is not charging me with criminal offense, and it is not charging me with 'bribery,' 'corruption' or 'conflict of interest,' he said.

"All that the ethics committee is relying on is that I have not fully 'cooperated' or 'collaborated' with the investigation and that I had violated 'confidentiality' requirements."

Chung said his proposals for the establishment of a GFF were in line with FIFA's rules at the time and had already been investigated and cleared.

He provided copies of two letters, dated 10 Nov. 2010 and signed by former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, stating that FIFA agreed the integrity of the bidding process had not been affected so the matter was deemed closed.

"Yet the Ethics Committee has now asked for 15 years of sanction for this," Chung said.

"With the campaign season starting, even issues that had been closed many years ago, have a way of being revived."

VINDICATION

The scion of Korea's Hyundai industrial conglomerate, Chung vowed to fight the charges, adding "ultimately, I will prevail and will be vindicated."

In November, Chung was named in FIFA's Ethics report into the bidding process for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022, in which South Korea made a bid to host.

The report followed an investigation led by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia and looked into letters that Chung sent, in late 2010, to FIFA executive committee members about a proposal to establish a GFF for soccer development.

"According to those letters, Korea intended to raise US$777 million from 2011 to build new football infrastructure and renovate existing facilities," said the report, which added that the fund was linked to South Korea's 2022 bid.

"There was nothing unusual about GFF. The GFF was perfectly in line with the football development projects that FIFA asked every bidding country to propose as part of their bid requirement," Chung said.

"No money or personal favors were exchanged in relation to GFF and no such charges were made against me."

Chung, a 63-year-old billionaire who previously served as a FIFA vice-president, formally announced in August that he was running for the FIFA presidency.

The incumbent, Sepp Blatter, is to stand down in February.

Blatter has run FIFA for the past 17 years and recently become the focus of a criminal investigation but has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Chung has been heavily critical of Blatter, saying from the outset that he feared his own presidential campaign would be undermined, describing the Ethics Committee as Blatter's "hitman".

"The true danger is that they are not only sabotaging my candidacy. They are sabotaging FIFA's election and FIFA itself," Chung said.

"As preposterous as it may sound, there are media reports that Mr. Blatter plans to stay on as President once all the presidential candidates are forced out.

"However, the election is in danger of being turned into a farce."

ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS

FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 competitions to Russia and Qatar is just one of the strands under scrutiny from U.S. and Swiss authorities investigating corruption in the organization that run's the world's most popular sport.

Scandals surrounding global soccer exploded in May, when 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives were indicted on U.S. charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud in relation to bribery schemes that dated back decades.

Last month, Blatter's right hand man Valcke was suspended following accusations regarding ticket sales at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Valcke denies any wrongdoing.

A week later, Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into Blatter on suspicion of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.

Some of soccer's major sponsors have since issued calls for the immediate resignation of Blatter but the 79-year-old has responded by saying he would not quit.

"In June, the European Parliament urged Blatter to resign. Recently, it was joined by the British government and some of FIFA's sponsors. I appreciate their efforts," Chung said.

"But they are friends of football, not the constituents of FIFA. The constituents of FIFA are the national associations.

"Therefore, it is not right for national association to remain bystanders. FIFA is much sicker than it looks."

DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT APPROVES 400 MILLION NAIRA FOR ITS BURSARY AWARD SCHEME

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DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT APPROVES 400 MILLION NAIRA FOR ITS BURSARY AWARD SCHEME
Promises to Rid the Scheme of Fraudulent Practices

The Delta State Government has approved 400 million naira for the state Students Assistance Scheme [Bursary] for about 32, 000 verified students for the 2013/2014 academic year just as it promised  to clean up the scheme of all shady and fraudulent practices

Briefing the press after the Executive Council Meeting [EXCO] which took place at Government House, Asaba  [06-10-15], the Commissioners for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah; that of Higher Education, Engr. Jude Sinebe and the Executive Secretary, Scholarship Board, Mr. Elijah Ologe said  EXCO approved the revalidation of the approval of 400 million naira for the payment of 2013/2014 bursary award to 31,859 verified students of the state origin in higher institutions after a verification of the list  by the Scholarship Board stating that the verification and biometric exercise was ongoing and subsequent payments would be based on the verified and realistic figure of students obtained by the Scholarship Board.

They explained that the verification exercise has brought down the number of beneficiaries to 31,859 from over 40,000 asserting that the verification and biometric exercise was ongoing.

The Commissioners also disclosed that the state government would blacklist students and institutions involved in sharp practices and shady deals in the Student Special Assistance Scheme [Bursary] and urged the National Association of Delta State Students [NADESSTU] to cooperate with government in the verification exercise to rid the scheme of sharp practices..

 The Commissioners stated that EXCO has approved the setting up of Internal Displaced Persons [IDPs] camps across the state to cater for those relocating from the flood impacted communities and announced that the state has witnessed its first casualty from the flood in Okpai community.

They informed the journalists that the state flood committee was working assiduously to ensure that those areas already impacted were relocated to higher grounds and IDP camps to avoid further casualties stating that the first verified casualty occurred in Okpai on Monday [5-10-15] where an 11 years old boy got drowned.

Commissioner for Information, Mr, Patrick Ukah specifically explained that presently Ndokwa East, Oshimili South, Ughelli South, Patani and Bomadi Local Government Areas have been impacted by the flood and appealed to the people of these areas to relocate immediately to the IDP Camps already opened, while other areas were being watched.

“Certain areas of the state have submerged by the flood, and Internal Displaced Persons camps have been opened in Ashaka and Utagba-Ogbe [Kwale] for people from Ndokwa East; Asaba Stadium  for people from Oshimili South especially Oko communities and Infant Jesus areas, camps have also been opened in Ughelli and Bomadi, we need to continue to sensitise our people on the need to relocate early from flood prone areas to avoid disaster. I want to assure that everything needed at the camps have been provided and security agencies and other non-governmental organisations are on hand to handle issues at the camps, also more camps will be opened in areas impacted as the need arises”, Mr. Ukah said.

PRESS UNIT
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA
OCTOBER 6, 2015

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR SUCIDE

Californian Brittany Maynard, the US woman with terminal cancer whose video about planning to kill herself on November 1, 2014 went viral. Photo courtesy of Compassion & Choices, The Brittany Fund © / AFP

Euthanasia also known as mercy killing has been described as the killing of someone or ones self to end suffering, in either ways it involves the consent of the person on whom the act is to be carried on it is generally cartegorized into two voluntary and non voluntary killing which is usually considered murder.
In some countries there is a divisive public controversy over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of euthanasia. Those who are against euthanasia may argue for the sanctity of life, while proponents of euthanasia rights emphasize alleviating suffering, and preserving bodily integrity, self-determination, and personal autonomy. Jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal include the Netherlands, Colombia, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Albania, the US states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Vermont and, starting in 2015, the Canadian Province of Quebec.

It is in this regard that lawmakers of the californian state assembly voted in favour of a bil to allow for terminally ill people to end their lives. This was approved on a 42-33 vote which saw the majority having a upper hand. The End of Life Option Act would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication, according to the Associated Press. Specifically, patients would be required to make two oral requests spaced 15 days apart, and submit one written request. All three requests would have to be personally received by an attending physician.

If passed into law, the act would sunset in 10 years, giving lawmakers a chance to review its merits and decide whether to grant an extension.

The bill’s advance comes after the highly publicized case of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, a California woman with brain cancer that moved to Oregon to legally take her own life, and who had ardently urged California lawmakers to pass the legislation prior to her passing.

However, California Governor Jerry Brown, a Catholic faithful from birth, has not said whether he will sign it into law, and sources claim this may be an hinderance in the application of this section of the law.

Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao to run for senate

MANILA, Philippines — Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao on Monday confirmed he is running for senator in the 2016 elections, radio reports said on Monday.

Reports said Pacquiao did not mention whether he is running as an independent candidate or under a party's banner. The boxing champion made the confirmation during a chance interview with reporters in his state of the district address

 Mr Pacquiao, 36, is currently a member of the country's lower house of representatives, the congress.He said on Monday evening that he would run for higher office in May next year, after his congress term ends.

“In the coming days, I will be embracing new levels of responsibility. I will be confronting tough challenges,” he told his constituents in Sarangani during his State of the District Address.“My second term as your congressmen will soon be over, but I will continue to be of service you and to our fellow Filipinos,” he added in his delivered speech.

The boxing champion is hugely popular at home. Earlier this year he lost to American Floyd Mayweather in one of the biggest fights in the sport.Mr Pacquiao made the announcement while addressing constituents in his home province of Sarangani in the south. He did not say which party he planned to join to run for the senate.

The athlete has pushed for several bills in congress, promoting social welfare and sport, but has also been criticised for having missed many congress meetings during his two terms.

Pacquiao is a favorite to land in the magic 12 of senatorial aspirants based on surveys that have been made locally. But the focus now turns on which political party he would be joining as advisers try to convince him to break his alliance with presidential candidate and current vice president Jejomar Binay.

Social media shared mixed reactions on the intent of Pacquiao, mostly questioning his attendance.

The candidacy of Pacquiao for senator is HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

— Jesus Andrew Balmas (@charcoalmethod) October 6, 2015

Currently a congressman, Pacquiao has been hardly visible during assemblies and many expect the trend to continue should he win as senator.

Pacquiao wants to run for Senate. He couldnt even work on his attendance in Congress. — MLAntoinette (@MLAntoinette) October 5, 2015

The more also poses a big question on his boxing career. Since being a senator could eat up his time.

Outside the political scene, Pacquiao is reportedly set to return to the ring in 2016 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.There were two names at the top of the list, Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse. The Argentine brawler Matthysse is deemed out of the running after losing to Ukrainian Viktor Postol last weekend via a stunning KO in the 10th round. With Khan likely to be the opponent for his return bout, further questions arise on how Pacquiao can campaign and train next year.Earlier word from Pacquiao’s camps suggested that the PacMan will likely take the ring once more before April, 2016.

With the elections to be held the month after (May, 2016), many are wondering how Pacquiao can focus on his return bout and campaign at the same time.

Apparently such would be living proof that Pacquiao will have commitment issues should he win a senate seat, something that is evident in his current position as congressman. Looking further ahead, this move could also be seen as a move of Pacquiao’s eventual exit from boxing.

Such was already widely talked about before with Bob Arum hinting that Pacquiao could be nearing retirement as he focuses on his political career which may go as far as running for his country’s presidency.

Why One Researcher Thinks Mothers And Infants Should Share Beds

Guidelines on co-sleeping from the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Institute of Health are pretty clear: babies should sleep alone, on their backs, and far from any suffocation hazards like blankets, pillows or toys. According to the AAP, co-sleeping is the biggest risk factor for sleep-related infant death, or the unexpected death of a baby younger than a year old. 

But James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, takes issue with this orthodoxy.

In a peer-reviewed report published in Acta Pediatrician, McKenna argues that we should return to "breast sleeping," the act of combining breastfeeding with infant sleep, a co-sleeping model that mothers around the world have been practicing for thousands of years.

"It may be 2015, and we may live in an urban, industrial setting, but this breast sleeping system has been humankind's oldest sleeping arrangement and feeding method," McKenna told The Huffington Post. 

Primarily, McKenna's pro-bed sharing stance revolves around the importance of accessible and easy breastfeeding. Sharing a bed increases the number of times a mother will breastfeed her child during the night. According to previous research by McKenna that was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, mother-infant pairs who shared a bed had twice the number of breastfeeding sessions during the night as those who slept apart. 

"It is odd to think that on one hand the AAP recommends six months to a year of breastfeeding," McKenna said. "And on the other hand they are trying to take away the very thing that makes many women achieve this goal: bedsharing." One of the other problems with the AAP's hard line stance, according to McKenna, is that it frames bed sharing as a black-and-white issue and doesn't leave any room for women to seek out information on how to bed share with their infant safely. 

"Mothers are removing themselves from their beds to avoid bedsharing, but end up sleeping inrocking chairs, recliners and couches, surfaces known to be much more dangerous than a women's own bed," he said. Instead, he recommends placing a mattress and boxspring in the center of the room on the floor.

Indeed, the AAP stresses the importance of breastfeeding in its literature, noting that breastfeeding can offset obesity, sudden infant death syndrome and gastrointestinal infections in infants, as well as carry maternal heath benefits such as a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. But instead of feeding on a bed, the organization suggests waking and finding alternate surfaces for feedings. They contend that infant safety is not possible with bedsharing.

 "Dr. McKenna does not provide any new evidence to support the contention that bedsharing is not without risk to the infant," Dr. Michael H. Goodstein, a member of the AAP's task force on SIDS and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Pennsylvania State University, told The Huffington Post.

"[His] commentary does not strike any new ground, except to coin a new term,"  he added, noting that the AAP recommends babies and parents sleep in the same room to promote bonding and breastfeeding, but on separate and safe sleep surfaces. 

McKenna and the AAP are in agreement on some elements of sleep safety, namely that infants shouldn't share a bed with another child, especially a toddler. Sleeping in waterbeds, soft mattresses, bed frames with holes or gaps between the headboard and mattress are also dangerous. And McKenna makes clear that sharing a bed with a premature infant can't be done safely. 

As always, check with your doctor before making any changes to your, or your baby's, health plan.   

 source: Erin Schumaker