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An official statement from Kefee's UK publicist confirming her passing.

Find it below:

On behalf of the family….It is with a great sadness but grateful hearts that we announce the passing to glory due to lungs failure this morning of our God’s mouth piece, chorus leader, daughter, wife, sister, friend Kefee Branama Queen … May her beautiful, gentle and precious soul rest in perfect peace. Amen!!

PS: In contrast to all earlier rumors and stories in circulation, I do state that Kefee wasn’t 6 months pregnant and neither did she have pre-eclampsia.

For the family
Adeline Adelicious Adebayo, (Kefee’s UK Manager) AJETUN


A few weeks ago, news broke that Nigerian gospel singer, Irikefe Obareki, better known as Keffee, had collapsed on an airplane on her way to Chicago, USA.

Nigerians and fans of the Branama singer went into serious prayers for her, wishing her well and a speedy recovery.

Few days later, the doctors came out with the verdict that she had suffered what they called a pre-eclampsia-pregnancy induced high blood pressure and that she had very little chances of survival.

Just yesterday, it was reported that she had come out of her long coma but early this morning, we got the shocking news that the much loved lady had lost the battle and had given up the ghost.

Pulse.ng put a call to her manager who confirmed the sad news, saying that Keffee died in the early hours of today. Her younger brother also confirmed the very disheartening news.

We are deeply saddened at the sudden death of the singer and pray God to grant her soul eternal repose while wishing her husband, Teddy Esosa Don Momoh, family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Rest in peace Keffee.

who should i believe now different stories, well kefee RIPP but let's see what linda has to say cos i know people trust her so much with all this kind of TATA FO

Feeling so sad today...lost my vibe! One minute you're here happy, making plans, looking forward to a great future...and the next minute it's all over! May your beautiful soul rest in peace. You'll be missed.


well that's from linda she isn't happy so nothing to say 

Full List of Winners at the MTV Africa Music awards 2014

Full List of Winners at the MTV Africa Music awards 2014 (MAMA Awards 2014)

Nigeria reigned supreme at the MTV Africa Music awards 2014 last night with Davido, Tiwa, Flavour, Clarence Peters winning in their various categories..

The List of Winners at the MTV Africa Music awards 2014 below:

Artist of the Year:
Davido (Nigeria)

Best New Act
Stanley Enow (Cameroon)

Best Rap artiste
Sarkodie(Ghana)

Song of the Year:
Mafikizolo feat Uhuru ‘Khona’ (South Africa)

Best Female Artist
Tiwa Savage(Nigeria)

Best Group
Mafikizolo(South Africa)

Best Music Video
Clarence Peters(Nigeria)

Personality of the Year:
Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya)

Transform Today Award
Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

Best Live Act
Flavour (Nigeria)

Best Collaboration:
Uhuru feat DJ Buckz, Oskido, Professor, Yuri Da Cunha – ‘Y-tjukutja’ (South Africa/Angola)

BREAKING NEWS: Ex-NAFDAC Boss, Dora Akunyili Is Dead

Dora-ForAward
Former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and former Minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyili has died at the age of 59.
In a statement sent on behalf of her family by former Anambra state Governor, Peter Obi, it says that Dr. Akunyili died in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India on Saturday morning, after a two-year battle with cancer.
In spite of her illness, she was unwavering in her belief in a better Nigeria, that was why she defied her condition and was part of Anambra State Handover Committee and a delegate at the National Conference.
“Dr. Akinyili was full of concern for Chibok girls, security and other challenges facing the country, she remained prayerful for the release of those girls and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing the nation.
She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children”.
Dr. Akinyili was born on July 14, 1954 in Makurdi, Benue state; she was a renowned Pharmacist and administrator.
She once ran for the Senatorial chair for Anambra Central on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2011 but lost.
Until her death, she was a delegate at the ongoing National Conference.
Source: CHANNELS

Soon You Won't Have To Type In Your Credit Card Number On Your iPhone

Apple plans to make online shopping a little easier this fall.
iOS8, the new iPhone operating system that's coming out later this year, will let you scan your credit card when buying something in Safari. Instead of typing in numbers, you'll be able to hold up your card and have the iPhone automatically recognize the numbers and punch them in for you.
Here's what it will look like, with photos courtesy of 9to5 Mac:
iphone credit card
Apple debuted both the new iPhone and Mac operating systems in San Francisco on Monday. Though you can't get the updates until this fall, a few developers already have access -- and the credit card feature is just one of several changes that are coming to your phone and computer. The company also has plans to make texting easier, and might be changing the font on the Mac for the first time ever.
Some apps like Uber already use similar technology to the new card-scanning option, allowing you to hold your credit card up to your phone and get the information off of it. PayPal recently bought the app Car.dio, which does just that.
In iOS 7 (what you have now), Safari can save your credit card info when you enter it, and then auto-fill it for you when making your next purchase. The iOS 8 update will also let you scan and save cards to auto-fill for future purchases, 9to5 Macreports.
We have to wonder how hard it would be to take a surreptitious pic of your neighbor's card -- say, while paying at a restaurant -- and use it for a purchase. But that probably wouldn't be any easier than just looking and writing down their number.

10 Buildings That Look Like Penises (PHOTOS)

In an episode from the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," Ted's firm designs a skyscraper for a bank. The only problem is that it looks like a giant penis.
Architects in real life can't seem to avoid the same aesthetic.
Here are 10 buildings that look like penises. Two of them are twins.
Feel free to construct your own puns. Nothing moves a list like this along like double entendres.
  • Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
    The headquarters of the People's Daily newspaper in Beijing, China, gave people the shaft daily while it was under construction. Sadly, the finished building became this.
  • Dwight Burdette/Wikipedia
    The Ypsilanti Water Tower was, ahem, erected in 1889, but its builders might not be too thrilled with its colorful nickname. Locals call it the "brick dick," according to Cabinet Magazine, which bestowed the edifice the title of "Most Phallic Building In The World."
  • Moment Editorial/Flickr Vision/Getty Images
    Torre Agbar, the 466-foot-high home of Aguas de Barcelona in Spain, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. No, he didn't call the style "Modern Illuminated Dildo."
  • Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images
    "Johnson" and "Johnson"? Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur proudly rise 452 meters above street level.
  • Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images
    London's 30 St Mary Axe, affectionately known as "The Gherkin," keeps a stiff upper well, you know. It's 180 meters tall but girth counts too, doesn't it?
  • Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
    HK magazine wrote that Two International Finance Center in Hong Kong is alternately called "The Shaver" and "The Giant Penis." No kidding.
  • Universal Images Group/Getty Images
    Buffalo City Hall in New York seems to get less mention as an architectural schlong, but if you just use your (dirty) imagination a bit...
  • Education Images/UIG/Getty Images
    The Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka comes with its very own Cupid-like archer at its reservoir tip. (OK, it's a Kansa Indian warrior, but go with us on this one.)
  • Moment Editorial/Flickr Vision/Getty Images
    When The New York Times calls you a "great phallic monster of truly monumental ugliness," you know you've been accepted as a member. Congratulations, Oriental Pearl TV & Radio Tower in Shanghai.

First couples wed across country in same-sex marriages



Gay couple Neil Allard and Andrew Wale after they were married. Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor



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The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales have begun after a change in the law has given gay and lesbian couples the right to marry for the first time in history.
The law changed at midnight, with a number of gay couples getting married within seconds in Britain.


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LOVE this pic of Sheffield's first equal marriage at midnight.Congrats Kyle & Richie! @sheffieldstar#sheffieldissuper http://t.co/xlvQ5d6PxN
Bj5b6qiicaerrej




Larry Lamont and Jerry Slater take part in a symbolic same-sex marriage outside the Scottish Parliament. Credit: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Scotland passed a similar law in February; the first same-sex marriages are expected there in October. Northern Ireland has no plans to follow suit.


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Once vows were exchanged at 00:00am this morning, John and Bernardo were legally wed #samesexmarriage http://t.co/Kg9tGWCMKV
Bj3tllgciaalutf




Peter McGraith (L) and David Cabreza marry in Islington Town Hall. Credit: REUTERS/Olivia Harris
A rainbow flag flies with the Union flag above British Cabinet Offices. Credit: REUTERS/Neil Hall.
Gay couple Neil Allard and Andrew Wale after they were married. Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor



Cfc2fbdd07b59678165f0a30eef5ca8e_normal

today the flag has been raised around Parliament Square. proud to be living my life in this country. #equalmarriage http://t.co/L9C1l6LBfD
Bj4x_rbiqaarogi


More than 2,000 people and a host of famous faces gathered to see comedian Sandi Toksvig and her partner Debbie renew their wedding vows at a public ceremony to celebrate the introduction of gay marriage in the UK.


Sandi Toskvig (Right) and Debbie Toskvig dance during a mass sing-along of Bring Me Sunshine.Credit: Justin Tallis/PA Wire

We're still crazy about each other. I can't believe my luck - look how gorgeous she is. I want a piece of paper to say she won't ever leave me.
– SANDI TOKSVIG

Facebook Begins Its Quest To Replace Reality

occulus rift

Now, logging onto Facebook means looking at photos of a friend’s birthday party. With Facebook’s latest acquisition, it soon might mean joining the party itself. Or at least feeling as if you’re doing so.

Imagine you slip on a pair of goggles, fire up Facebook and immediately have the sense you’re stepping into someone’s home. When you turn your head left, you see your friend's living room and a half-dozen people leaning against his couch. Take a few steps forward and you’re staring at champagne glasses in the kitchen, listening to Daft Punk pound over the din of cocktail party chatter. At the end of the night, your skin tingles with pleasure as you enjoy a passionate kiss with your date. Yet back in the real world, there's still no one around you.

It may sound futuristic, but Facebook’s new deal signals nothing short of Steven Spielberg-level ambitions. With its acquisition of virtual-reality headset creator Oculus VR, Facebook suggests that it hopes to make reality obsolete -- that the social network is looking ahead to a future in which face-to-face communication is indistinguishable from Facebook-to-Facebook communication.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it would pay $2 billion for Oculus VR, a two-year-old, Irvine, Calif.-based company that has developed a virtual-reality headset meant to give video game players the most realistic possible experience of digital worlds. Slipping on the Oculus Rift headset “provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favorite game and explore new worlds like never before,” wrote Engadget in a recent review.

While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the first step will be to help Oculus VR develop as a platform, his ambitions for the technology extend far beyond that to mimicking real-life experiences -- from giving people the impression they’re looking at chalkboards in a classroom to simulating the sense they're in a thundering stadium at a live sports event.

“After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home,” wrote Zuckerberg in a post on Facebook. “This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

Zuckerberg already sees the simulacrum universe created by Oculus VR as a convincing stand-in for real-world interactions.

“The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people,” he wrote. “People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.”

Of course there also has to be gold in them virtual hills to warrant Oculus VR's 10-figure price tag. Oculus could make money for Facebook through the sale of its headset and Rift-specific games. But a more natural route for Facebook, which has never produced its own hardware, would be to sell ads in its lifelike world. Picture Budweiser cans -- paid for by the beer maker -- popping up in your virtual party. Or sponsored Pottery Barn furniture replacing your friends' retro chaise. At the very least brands like Zara or Hyatt might create immersive worlds for Rift-wearers to explore.

Though the Oculus acquisition came as a surprise to many, it’s not so far in a sense from Zuckerberg’s original vision of his social network: Facebook began on college campuses as an online abstraction of offline relationships. People connected with friends and classmates, not strangers. They used real names, not pseudonyms.

With virtual reality and the Oculus Rift, Facebook is continuing the push to move the "real" world onto the Internet. And there's no telling where that stops. Instead of mirroring our offline interactions, Facebook's next move could be to replace them entirely.
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Facebook buys Oculus Rift VR company for $2 billion

Mark Zuckerberg has described VR as the ‘next major computing platform after mobile’, as Notch pulls support for Minecraft.
Virtual reality has an unexpected new champion, as Facebook announces it has bought Oculus VR for $400 million cash and 23.1 million Facebook shares, plus another $300 million in potential bonuses. Not bad for a company that first shot to fame with a Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift headset.
The obvious question though is what does Facebook want with what was a start-up company aimed primarily at hardcore PC gamers?
‘Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,’ said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. ‘Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.’
‘The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives’, wrote Zuckerberg on Facebook.
‘Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform,’ he added.
‘We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this’.
The response from hardcore gamers and developers has been predictably reactionary, with Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson immediately cancelling an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft. In fact he got so angry about the whole deal he then went on to write a blog about how virtual reality is going to change the world but Facebook is ‘creepy’.

Many ordinary Kickstarter backers have also been demanding their money back, but as you might imagine gaming isn’t really what Facebook is interested in.
‘This is just the start’, wrote Zuckerberg. ‘After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.’
‘Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us’.
All of which is fair enough, but $2 billion does seem an awful lot when virtual reality has been a commonplace idea for many years now and Oculus VR don’t own any important patents on the technology. This is evident from Sony’s recently unveiled Project Morpheus, which many have already described as superior to Oculus Rift.


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Microsoft Is About To Leave One-Third Of All Computers Vulnerable To Hacking

Hundreds of millions of computers running everything from ATMs to the power grid will be vulnerable to hacking next month when Microsoft stops supporting its old Windows XP operating system.
Hackers have been holding onto flaws in Windows XP and waiting to exploit them until after the software giant stops issuing security updates on April 8, experts say.
Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm, said it was “fairly dangerous” to continue using the 12-year-old operating system because after the deadline “victims can’t defend themselves.”
“I certainly wouldn't run Windows XP after the 8th," Meyers said in an interview.
Microsoft announced six years ago it will no longer provide security patches or technical support for the out-of-date software. Yet about one-third of computers around the world -- or about 500 million PCs -- still run Windows XP.
On Microsoft’s website, a clock ticks down to next month’s Windows deadline and a note warns customers that after April 8, not even anti-virus software will protect PCs that run the obsolete operating system.
“Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information,” the site says.
In a statement, a Microsoft spokesman said consumers should upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, which costs $120 to install. The company will continue to update anti-malware products for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. “We realize there are some who are still completing the migration process,” the spokesman said.
A wide range of institutions will face increased security risks next month because they still run the old software.
For example, hundreds of thousands of federal government computers still operate Windows XP, including many PCs that contain classified military and diplomatic information, according to The Washington Post.
About half of the estimated 4,000 electric utilities in North America also still use computers with the outdated Windows software, according to Patrick C. Miller, founder of the nonprofit Energy Sector Security Consortium.
Miller said many utilities still run Windows XP because it costs millions of dollars and takes years to upgrade all of their computers to newer software. To pay for the upgrade, utilities must ask state commissions to increase rates on consumers, and some of them have been denied, he said.
Miller said his biggest concern is a hacker attacking the unpatched Windows software in order to cause a blackout on a hot summer day. "And we don't know how long the blackout would last because there's no fix from the vendor," Miller said.
Nadya Bartol, a cybersecurity expert at the Utilities Telecom Council, said most of the country’s utilities have computer networks with multiple layers of security. She said the hacking risk depends on where those PCs are located within the network.
“We should be concerned and we should replace these operating systems,” Bartol told HuffPost. “But we shouldn’t be alarmist.”
In addition, only 38 percent of the nation’s some 425,000 cash machines will have upgraded from Windows XP by April 8, according to David Tente, the executive director of the ATM Industry Association.
Some banks have negotiated extensions with Microsoft or paid the company for custom support after the deadline. Still, numerous IT technicians are visiting ATMs around the country to replace the outdated Windows software by hand, a process that takes about an hour each time, Tente told HuffPost.
ATMs running the software pose little risk to consumers, but could cost banks if a hacker finds a way to trick the machines.
“There have been cases where hackers have fooled the ATM into thinking it’s dispensing dollar bills when it's really dispensing twenty dollar bills,” Tente said.
He said such risks are unlikely to increase immediately after April 8.
“But over time, there’s a greater risk of flaws that can be taken advantage of because you don’t have those patches coming in,” he said.
Microsoft introduced Windows XP in 2001. Back then, reviewers praised the software for being easy to use and not crashing as often as previous Windows versions. The operating system remained on millions of computers for years because its replacement, Windows Vista, was plagued with numerous problems.
Now, Microsoft is trying to adapt to a landscape that is less focused on desktops and more focused on mobile devices. Windows 8.1, which was released last fall, includes many touch-screen features and was designed for both tablets and desktops.
But even as Microsoft pushes customers to upgrade from Windows XP, the company has struggled to keep up in a post-PC world. In the months after the Windows 8 was release, PC sales dropped 14 percent.

Malaysia Prime Minister: Flight MH370 Ended In The Indian Ocean


Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday that according to new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
The prime minister said that analysis by a British company has concluded that the last position of flight MH370 was in the southern Indian Ocean.
"This is a remote location ... it is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Razak said.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing more than two weeks ago after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with more than 200 passengers on board. French and Chinese airplanes looking for debris of the jet had spotted several objects in the ocean on Monday.
More from the Associated Press:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.
The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8.
But with the location of the plane itself still unknown — most likely somewhere at the bottom of the sea — profound questions remain about what brought down the aircraft and why.
Dressed in a black suit, Najib announced the news in a brief statement to reporters late Monday night, saying the information was based on an unprecedented analysis of satellite data from Inmarsat.
He said the data indicated the plane flew "to a remote location, far from any possible landing sites."
"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
Selamat Omar, the father of a 29-year-old aviation engineer who was on the flight, said some members of families of other passengers broke down in tears at the news.
"We accept the news of the tragedy. It is fate," Selamat told The Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur.
Selamat said the airline hasn't told the families yet whether they will be taken to Australia, which is coordinating the search for the plane. He said they expect more details Tuesday.
Search teams from 26 nations have poured over radar data and scoured a wide swath of Asia for weeks with advanced aircraft and ships in a deeply frustrating attempt find the plane.
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement to the families that "our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time."
"We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain," the airline said. "The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain."
A Malaysia Airlines official, who declined to be named citing company policy, said there are no plans to fly the families to the Australian city of Perth until wreckage is found.
The plane's disappearance shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on a routine flight to Beijing has baffled investigators, who have yet to rule out mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.
Officials have said that the plane automatically sent a brief signal — a "ping" — every hour to the Inmarsat satellite even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down.
The pings did not include any location information, but an initial analysis showed that the location of the last ping was probably along one of two vast arcs running north and south.
Najib said Inmarsat had done further calculations "using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort," and had concluded that the plane's last position was "in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth."
On Monday, ships rushed to the location of floating objects spotted by Australian and Chinese planes in the southern Indian Ocean close to where multiple satellites have detected possible remains of the lost airliner.
One ship was carrying equipment to detect the plane's vital black box, but it remained uncertain whether the vessels were approaching a successful end to the search or another frustrating dead end.


By: Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines
As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najjib Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on 8th March.
Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.
This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.
This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.
By: Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines
I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.
We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love. It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.
And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.
Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.
In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support programme. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.
In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since 8th March and that will continue.
Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of USD 5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.
This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.
For past statements, click here.