Tuesday, December 30, 2014

AirAsia Again !

On a trip to ten (10) different cities right now. I quickly checked my news update on the way and saw this news. 

Just two (2) days after an AirAsia airliner carrying 163 people plunged into the sea, another one carrying 153 passengers overshot the runway at an airport in the Philippines today December 30th, forcing passengers to disembark the aircraft on emergency slides. 

The incident occurred at Kalibo Airport in Aklan province in Philippines according to a journalist Jet Damazo-Santos who was on board and shared the photo above on Twitter. "Engine was shut immediately, we were told to leave bags, deplane asap. Firetruck was waiting,' she said

There have been no word from AirAsia officials about this latest incident but according to Jet, no passenger was injured in this latest mishap. 

The incident comes just hours after six bodies and wreckage were recovered from the sea off the Indonesian coast of Borneo Island following the disappearance of Air Asia flight 8501 on Sunday.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

An AirAsia Flight Carrying 162 People is Missing

An AirAsia Indonesia airliner flying from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board has gone   missing.

Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control at 06:24 local time (23:24 GMT Saturday) over the Java Sea.
The plane, an Airbus A320-200, disappeared midway into the flight of more than two hours from the city of Surabaya. No distress call was made.
 A total number of 155 passengers, two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer.  These included 138 adults, 16 children and one infant according to a statement released by AirAsia following the disappearance of the plane.

Indonesia's acting director general of transportation, said the last contact between pilot and the air traffic control was at 6.13 a.m. on Saturday) “when the pilot requested permission to deviate from its submitted flight plan route due to weather condition."

There was vigorous thunderstorm at the time. It's been hours now since the plane went missing and there has been no update on the plane's whereabouts.

AirAsia has since released a statement about the people on board. They said the people on board included 156 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one French person, one Malaysian and one Singaporean. But Britain has said one of their citizens was on board.

This has been a difficult year for aviation in Asia: Malaysia's national carrier Malaysia Airlines has suffered two losses - flights MH370 and MH17.
Flight MH370 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew. The wreckage, thought to be in southern Indian Ocean, has still not been located. MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board.

AirAsia has set up an emergency line for family or friends of those who may be on board. The number is +622 129 850 801.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eligibility for Tier 5 temprorary Visa to UK (Creative and Sporting)

The eligibility for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and sporting) visa depends on whether you’re a sports person or a creative worker.

Sports person;
You need to make a significant contribution to your sport at the highest level in the UK to be eligible for this visa.
You’ll also need all of the following:
·         a certificate of sponsorship reference number
·         £945 in savings - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’)sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

Creative worker
You need all of the following to be eligible for the creative category:
·         make a unique contribution to the UK labour market, eg you are internationally renowned or are required for continuity
·         certificate of sponsorship reference number
·         be paid the minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT or BECTU
·         £945 in savings - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’)sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

Certificate of sponsorship
You need a licensed sponsor to give you a certificate of sponsorship before you can apply to work in the UK.
A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.
Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.
They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid.
You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.

Changing your sponsor
You must apply again and meet all the eligibility rules if you want to change your sponsor within the same organisation or move to a new organisation.
Changing your sponsor doesn’t change how long you can stay in the UK. You can only stay the maximum length of time allowed by this visa.

Multiple entry
Your sponsor needs to give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship if you need to leave and come back to the UK as part of the job you are doing.

Multiple jobs when you’re a creative worker
Your sponsor can give you a certificate that covers the entire length of your stay, even if you need to perform at more than 1 engagement. If you’re working for more than 1 sponsor, you can get a certificate from each sponsor. There can’t be a gap of more than 14 days between each job.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Travelling and Asthma

Traveling with any health condition could be stressful, but the major key to dealing with asthma is prevention especially when it has become necessary to travel or leave your home to another place.
Do ensure to prevent yourself very well, you know ' Good health plays a significant role in our Life'.

Here are tips to ease your trip:
1. Traveling during the early morning or late evening is best as the air quality is often better and heavy traffic is less likely.

2. Take all medicines in their original pharmacy containers, and make sure the name on the bottles matches the name on the pack.

3. Carry a good supply of medications and your inhaler and nebulizer in your carry-on luggage, not in your checked bags.
Make enquiry on what medical facilities will be available at your destination. Keep their names and addresses handy.

4. Make sure your seat location inside the plane, is not close to smoking corner. Let the airline know about your health status in case you are unable to get available one online. They will provide you with a suitable seat if you inform them on time.

5. Travel with a dust-proof pillow and mattress cover. This can protect you from unfamiliar allergens on hotel beds. Monitor your breathing so that you can adjust medication and avoid problems while away, quickly.

6. Book a non-smoking hotel room, away from the pool and pet hair. It will help minimize a flare-up.

7. Plan for the first day on your itinerary to be for taking it slow to give your respiratory system time to adjust, especially when traveling to warmer climates or higher altitudes.

8. Plan low-impact activities. Walking, biking and snorkeling are usually well tolerated by asthmatics
Confirm whether your doctor recommends taking supplemental oxygen before your trip.

9. Request the allergist an extra written prescription in case medication is lost or destroyed.

10. Pack your insurance card and healthcare provider contact information.
Travel with both quick-relief and controller medications making sure that there is enough to last you through your stay and extra in case you get held-over unexpectedly.

Finally, remember to keep your inhaler in a conspicuous place in case of any emergency.

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Travel safely!

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Australian Cairns Stabbings: Mother Arrested for Murder of Eight Children

Queensland police consider murder charges against 37-year-old, mother to seven of the victims, as relatives tell of their shock and disbelief.

Queensland police said they were considering murder charges against a Cairns mother as relatives struggled to fathom how a woman who was a maternal figure to extended family and friends could be accused of killing seven of her own children, as well as a niece, in Australia’s worst ever such case.

The arrested woman, aged 37, remained under police guard in hospital on Saturday after the stabbing deaths of the eight children at her house in the north Queensland city’s suburb of Manoora a day earlier.

Read more

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eight Children Found Dead at a House in Cairns in Northern Queensland, Australian.

Eight children, the youngest of them only 18 months old, have been found dead at a suburban home in the northeastern Australian city of Cairns in a case that the country's Prime Minister has called "an unspeakable crime."
A woman who the police believe is the mother of the seven of the children is in a hospital suffering from serious injuries.

The discovery of the bodies added to a traumatic week for Australia after a deadly hostage-taking in Sydney only days ago

Police said they were called to the property in the Manoora area of Cairns on Friday morning after reports of an injured woman.
"During an examination of the residence, police located the bodies of the children, all aged between 18 months and 15 years," the Queensland Police Service said in a statement. The horrendous scene had been discovered by a 20-year-old brother of the children.

Police so far have no formal suspects in the case, said Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar, but he sought to allay fears among local residents about the deaths.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Immigration: Australia to Help Strengthen Border Control in Burma

The Australian government has announced a five-year plan to strengthen immigration and border control in Burma.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Australia will help improve areas of border management in the south-east Asian country, including governance, training and development, and systems and technology.
Some parts of the plan, including establishing an electronic visa for tourists, have already been successfully implemented.
“Threats to our borders are growing and a regional approach is vital to counter people smuggling, terrorism and transnational crime,” the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said in a statement on Saturday.
The measures would help Burma deal with rising numbers of travellers while promoting compliance with entry and stay requirements, he said.
“Australia has stronger domestic borders when the region has stronger borders,” Morrison said.

Australian Immigration Department: New 50% Increment on The Partner Visa Application Charge

Starting from 1 January 2015 the Partner Visa Application Charge (VAC) is going to increase in price.​​​This was a decision made by the Government in order to fund whole-of-government policy priorities.
The 50 per cent increase to most Partner Visa Application Charges change will apply to Permanent Partner Visa Subclasses (combined 309/100 and 820/801) and the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300).
The new fee will apply to Partner Visa applications lodged on, or after 1 January 2015.  The increment will not affect you if you have lodged a valid application prior to 1 January 2015.
You might consider applying for a visa under the skilled stream, which generally has quicker processing times. Visit  the SkillSelect area on their website to see if there is a skilled visa option for you.

What Is #illridewithyou? Sydney Siege Sparks Anti-Islamophobia Hashtag Offering Solidarity.

Australians are showing their support for the country's Muslim community, which has come under attack after a gunman took several people hostage in a cafĂ© in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday, forcing them to display a black Islamic flag. “#illridewithyou,” a hashtag on Twitter aimed at spreading a message of tolerance across the country, has been trending worldwide since Monday afternoon.

The hashtag, termed an anti-Islamophobia hashtag, was created after a veiled woman was abused on public transport during the hostage crisis, local media reports said. People around the world took to social media to display solidarity with Muslims in the country’s largest city.

The social media campaign was reportedly aimed at making Muslims in the country comfortable when they got out in public. Rachael Jacobs, a Sydney woman, inspired the campaign after she posted on Facebook about an encounter with a Muslim woman earlier in the day, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Jacobs reportedly saw the Muslim woman remove her “hijab,” a veil that covers the head and chest, on a train.

"I ran after her at the train station. I said 'put it back on. I'll walk with u'. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute - then walked off alone,” Jacobs reportedly wrote in her Facebook post. The post was reportedly circulated by another Sydney woman, who later created  the hashtag, which went viral within hours.

Twitter users from around the country have offered to ride public transport with Muslims. Several Muslim groups in the country have also condemned the incident and said that their thoughts go out to the hostages.

"We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being or to instill fear and terror into their hearts," Muslim officials said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse. "Any such despicable act only serves to play into the agendas of those who seek to destroy the goodwill of the people of Australia and to further damage and ridicule the religion of Islam and Australian Muslims throughout this country."


Alternative English Language Tests for Australian Visa Applicants

Starting from 23 November 2014, the Australian Immigration Department have been accepting English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across the Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Former Resident, and Work and Holiday visa programmes.

Scores from the Advanced Cambridge English (CAE) Test will also be accepted from a test taken on or after 1 January 2015 (to coincide with the launch of Cambridge English Language Assessment's new reporting system).

These tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET), and have been accepted in the Student visa programme since 2011.
Student visa applicants can continue to provide scores from the IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) tests.

You can click below for detail information on the acceptable English Language Tests in Australia:
PTE Academic visit Pearson
Cambridge CAE visit Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
International English Language Testing System IELTS
Occupational English Test OET

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tier 2 (Skilled Workers) UK Visa

The Tier 2 (Skilled Workers)  UK Visa has four categories:

1. General: This is for individual coming to the UK with a job offer that cannot be occupied by a resident worker, or applicants coming to the UK to fill a shortage occupation.

2. Intra Company Transfers : this is for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred to a skilled job in a UK branch of the organisation. 

3. Sportsperson: this is for elite sportspersons and coaches whose employment will make a notable contribution to UK and to sport at the highest level.

4. Ministers of religion: this is for an individual coming to occupy a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or member of a religious order.
Applicants under this tier that wishes to work in the UK, will need to have obtained a Certificate of Sponsorship and show that he/she has at least 70 points to qualify under the criteria for this scheme:
The points related to the Certificate of Sponsorship, which will be issued to them by the prospective UK employer to occupy a qualifying job. 

These two (2) control tests are included; 
1. maintenance requirement, which is £800 ( 167,000 naira equivalent) for initial out-of-country applications, including 2/3 of this amount for each dependent they intend to bring with them. (pass mark is 10 points). 

2. English language ability (Min 10 points);
If an applicant is applying for permission to enter UK under Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) or extending their stay under this category, English language requirement is not required, if their extension does not take the length of stay to more than 3 years.

Meanwhile, non-shortage positions are inherently worth 30 points, shortage positions will automatically receive 50 points. Individual applying for an Intra Company Transfer (ICT) will also receive 50 points.
Having obtained this Certificate of Sponsorship, applicants will then apply for entry clearance from the British High commission or Consulate in their home countries.
Address British High Commission office in Nigeria:
Address; 11,Walter Carrington Crescent
Victoria Island, Lagos.  For their website click here

Rules and Restrictions on a Holder of a Tier 2 permits 
1. You must have no recourse to public funds. 
2. You may not own more than 10% of the sponsor's shares, if the sponsor is a limited company. 

3. You are not allowed to take up any additional employment except working for the sponsor in the employment that the certificate of sponsorship specify. You are also allowed to take up supplementary employment and voluntary work. However, strict rules apply in this regard. 
4. You can apply for dependants to join you in the UK. Your dependants will be able to work without restriction in the UK. 

5. You are allowed to change employment within the organisation or with a new organisation, but this will call for a new application under Tier 2.

This visa leads to indefinite leave in UK, at the end of successful completion of a five(5) years period on a Tier 2 permit, you are qualify for indefinite leave to remain in UK.

Meet Nollywood actress, who have lived in 14 different countries

In our tradition of bringing you success stories, from the United State of America, Travel Army presents a Nollywood Actress, Singer and Entrepreneur. To get to where she is today, her story is one of sheer determination, hard-work, endurance and a long journey that took her across 14 different countries. She has been featured on BusinessWorld, ThePunch and many other magazines

Travel Army; Please, can we meet you?
Guest: My names are Monica Omorodion Swaida and I am a Nigerian living in the United States of America. I am a Nollywood actress, musician and an executive producer of music and movies. I also own an Insurance Company in Massachusetts.

Travel Army: Why do people migrate?                              
Mrs. Monica Swaida: Most people migrate to better their lives and future of family members and kids. Others migrate for religious reasons, political or for work.

Travel Army: And what do you think are common mistakes migrants make?
Mrs. Monica Swaida: Some of the common mistakes people make is that sometimes they leave their own countries for countries worse off than theirs. It's very important to do research before going to a particular country.

It is also very important to know the rules and regulations of countries one is going to, in order not to get stuck. Also it is important to learn about the languages, political stability, the economy and so many other factors.

Some people think that there are greener pastures everywhere else than where they live. Sometimes, it's not always the pictures that is presented that tells the full story of a country. Spend time doing researches before venturing out.

Travel Army: What are your advise to aspiring emigrants?
Mrs. Monica Swaida: My advise for aspiring immigrants is to make sure you do research on the country you plan on going to. Are you going for work? school? etc. If it is for school, find out if the country allows free education, scholarships etc. Look out at the rate of people getting citizenship. What are their rules etc.

If it is for work, look at the statistic of employment and unemployment, do research on the income per head of a family as compared to countries like England,Germany and America etc. What language do they speak? How do they treat immigrants? Read up on real life stories!

One last advise is make sure you have some money with you. Money enough to go back home if needed or money enough to stay in a hotel or student hostel until you are able to find yourself. Don't travel without money. Some airports will turn you back for not having enough travel money. I have lived in 14 different countries. Every country is different. Do your research!

Travel Army: Thank you very much. In fact experience is the universal mother of sciences. It is a great privilege to have you on the blog today. We sincerely, appreciate your advise and guides.

Mrs. Monica Swaida: You are welcome.
Feel free to know more about her and what she does here Monica Insurance Agency (one of the foremost insurance agency in Lowell, Massachusetts) and here Monicazation (her facebook page)
Click here to see her hit-track My Baby is Gone on iTunes

Information is pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience (Clarence Day, The Crow's Nest) 

I really enjoyed interacting with Mrs Monica Omoridion Swaida, the Executive Director of Monica Insurance Agency, a President and C.E.O of Monicazation Production (Music and Movies) and a Senior Director of Mary Kay Cosmetics. She is a woman of wisdom and have a very good human relationship. More grease to your elbow.                                                                                            
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Migrate Safe!

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in USA for International Students:

Hubert H. Humphrey  Fellowship Program in USA for International Students:

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright exchange activity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, brings accomplished professionals from selected developing and emerging countries to the United States for ten months of non-degree study and professional development. Nominated by U.S. Embassies or Fulbright Commissions at a mid-point in their careers, Fellows are selected through competitive review based on their potential for leadership, commitment to public service and professional expertise.
 The Humphrey Program was initiated in 1978 to honor the memory and accomplishments of the late Senator and Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey.

Areas of Selection:
Fellows are selected based on their potential for national leadership and commitment to public service, in either the public or private sector in the following Humphrey fields: Agriculture & rural development; Communication/Journalism; Substance abuse education, treatment & prevention; Economic development; Finance & Banking; Educational administration, planning & policy; HIV/AIDS policy & prevention; Human resource management; Law & human rights; Natural resources, environment policy, & climate change; Public health policy management; Public policy analysis & public administration; Teaching of English as a foreign language; Technology policy & management; Trafficking in persons, policy & prevention; and Urban & regional planning.

Basic Eligibility Criteria
An undergraduate (first university or Bachelor's) degree
A minimum of five years of full-time, professional experience
Limited or no prior experience in the United States
Demonstrated leadership qualities
A record of public service in the community
English language ability
Please contact the U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Section or Binational Fulbright Commission in your country of residence to learn about possible specific program requirements.

In 26 countries, the Humphrey Fellowship Program is administered by a Binational Fulbright Commission. In all other participating countries, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy is charged with the operation of the Program.

To find out if citizens of your country/region are eligible to participate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, click on your region. If your country/region appears on the list, you are eligible to apply click here:

What does the Fellowship provides?

Payment of tuition and fees at the assigned host university;
Pre-academic English language training, if required;
A maintenance (living) allowance, including a one-time settling-in allowance;
Accident and sickness coverage;
A book allowance;
A one-time computer subsidy;
Air travel (international travel to and from the U.S. for the Program and domestic travel to required program events);
A Professional Development allowance for professional activities, such as field trips, professional visits and conferences.

The Program provides a basis for establishing long-lasting productive partnerships and relationships between citizens of the United States and their counterparts in other countries, fostering an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.

Hosting universities:
Fellows are placed at one of the participating USA universities.  Fellows are not able to choose which university they will attend. Rather, they are assigned  to the most appropriate host institution based on their area of interest and professional field..Click here

In addition, the program is annually and the deadline for applications submission varies in different countries.

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For more information click here