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With a large number of observers in attendance, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation continued into its fourth day of hearings, considering a claim from the Ministry of Justice to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
 
The Court announced a recess late in the afternoon, and the hearing will resume on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.
 
Attorneys for Jehovah’s Witnesses opened with arguments in defense of the Administrative Center, followed by a cross-examination from attorneys representing the Ministry of Justice. Reacting to evidence presented by the defense, the judge requested the Ministry of Justice to identify the specific legal basis for liquidating Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Administrative Center.
 
The attorneys for the Ministry of Justice were unable to provide a response to the judge’s request and other related questions. The day’s proceedings concluded after hearing testimony from witnesses for both parties.
 
Next week, the court is expected to begin their review of the case materials.
 
Media Contacts:
 
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
 
Russia: Yaroslav Sivulskiy, +7-911-087-8009
 
Source: jw.org

NEW YORK—The third day of the hearing before the Russian Supreme Court has concluded, and the Court has declared a recess until Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. 
 
During today’s proceedings, the Court heard the testimony of four of Jehovah’s Witnesses,who presented key arguments against the Ministry of Justice’s claim to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses and ban their activities.
 
The judge directed multiple questions toward the Ministry of Justice, asking them to produce evidence regarding their accusations that Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremists and distribute extremist literature. 
 
The Ministry of Justice was unable to do so. Vasiliy Kalin, a member of the presiding committee for the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, stated while addressing the Court: 
 
“I want to remind the Ministry of Justice that your request to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses would hurt the very people who wish you a peaceful, happy life.”
 
Media Contacts:
 
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
 
Russia: Yaroslav Sivulskiy, +7-911-087-8009
 
 
Source:jw.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A group of Chinese women recently made headlines after being photographed while lying in shallow graves on the outskirts of Chongqing City.
It was revealed that they were taking part in a bizarre ritual called “graveyard meditation” which allegedly helps them cope with divorce.


Graveyard meditation is the brainchild of Liu Taijie, a 30-year-old divorcee who now helps other women get over romantic breakups. After getting married at the age of 19, and having a baby at 21, Liu went through a hard divorce in 2015, after also failing to launch her own business.


It was a tough time, but she managed to pull through, and she now wants to help other women understand that life goes on and they have to put the past behind them, where it belongs.


“I know how a woman felt when she was feeling abandoned. I had the thought of committing suicide when I got divorced,” Ms. Liu said. When a person is desperate, he or she could almost feel they’re near death.


By lying in the grave, my students could try to experience death. This will remind them that they have not done many things in their life and that they need to forget about the past and start a new life.”


Liu said that it took her a year to recover from her divorce and start fresh, and in order to help other female divorcees get back on their feet faster, she will be holding free graveyard meditation classes every few months. All they have to do is reach out to her by calling the number on the big red banner shown in the photos.

graveyard-meditation2


“Failure is not scary. I want all the divorced women to live their own lives and to achieve their own goals,” Taijie said.

graveyard-meditation3


This sort of death simulation has actually become quite common in China and other Asian countries in the last few years. Whether to help depressed people get over their problems and appreciate life more, or just as a creepy theme park attraction, the practice has become pretty popular.

 

Source: oddity central

 

A Ugandan civil servant instructed his wife to bury him with a cash amount of 200 million Ugandan shillings (equivalent to $55,000).


The money was meant to redeem his soul before God. The 52-year-old Charles Obong until his death was a senior personnel officer at the Ministry of Public Service for a decade (2006 – 2016). His son-in-law confirmed that his will stated that his wife should deposit a huge amount of money in his coffin.


The money was to be given to God on the Day of Judgement as an offertory so that his sins could be forgiven.
Even though the exact sin was not stated, he asked his brother and sister to ensure that his wife does as he instructed.


Uganda’s Daily Monitor news portal reported that he died after a protracted illness and was buried in his ancestral home in the northern Lira district of the country.
The portal added that the metallic coffin he was buried in cost 20 million shillings ($5500).


His Will was however ‘violated’ over the weekend after his remains were exhumed and the money removed by his clan members.

 

Source: cambellsblog.com


 

The Bauchi State Police Command have arrested four persons, Bala Mohammed, Dauda Damina, Mohammed Ahmed and Dahiru Mato for their involvement in the gang raping of a housewife in Yali, the Ganjuwa area of the state.


Reports say, the suspects on November 28, had the couple’s residence and attacked the husband, Abubakar Mohammed, before taking turns to have sex with the wife.
It was gathered that, the hoodlums demanded N150,000 ransom but the husband could only afford N35,000–which they collected before fleeing the apartment.


The suspects were arrested on New Year’s day by detectives of the Ganjuwa Division after an intelligent tip-off, the Police Spokesperson SP Haruna Mohammed, told reporters while parading the suspects on Wednesday.


He added that “The suspects were arrested round 8pm on the New 12 months’s Day following an intelligence report. They have been nabbed by the detectives hooked up to the Ganjuwa division in collaboration with a vigilance group.


“Armed with cutlasses, the suspects went to the residence of one Abubakar Mohammed and raped his spouse after which they threatened to kidnap his mom.
“He gave them a sum of N35,000, and pleaded with them to not kidnap his mother following their threats.


“The suspects, nevertheless, seized his bike pending when he would pay the excellent ransom.

 


Source: informationnigeria
 

Jackson has at the age of 50 given birth to her first child, a baby boy, her publicist has confirmed.


A statement said the musician and her Qatari businessman husband, Wissam Al Mana, were “thrilled” to welcome the infant, Eissa Al Mana.
“Janet had a stress-free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably,” the publicist added.


Speculation about her pregnancy surfaced last April when she postponed her Unbreakable tour.


She posted a video on Twitter at the time in which she told fans that she was postponing the tour because “there’s been a sudden change”.
“I thought it was important that you be the first to know,” she said, adding: “Please, if you can try and understand that it’s important that I do this now.”


She said she wanted to focus on planning a family with her husband, whom she wed in 2012.
Jackson had earlier been spotted in London shopping for baby essentials.

Antonio Conte

Sports

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said he took responsibility for failing to motivate his side in Sunday's defeat by Manchester United.
 
The Blues lost 2-0 at Old Trafford and are now just four points ahead of Tottenham at the top of the table, having led by 10 points in March.
"We didn't play a good game and United deserved to win the game," said Conte.
 
"They showed more desire, more ambition, and more motivation. In this case the fault is of the coach."
 
The Italian added he had not been able to "transfer the right concentration, desire, ambition to win this game".
 
Spurs have put themselves into title contention with a run of seven successive league wins, while Chelsea have had two losses in their past four games.
The teams meet at Wembley on Saturday (17:15 BST) in the first of the weekend's FA Cup semi-finals.
 
"I have concern because we have to work together and find quickly the right ambition to win this title," said Conte.
"If someone thinks it's normal for Chelsea to win the title, we started as underdogs after 10th place last season.
"Tottenham is in good form and playing with enthusiasm. We must find the same."
Title run-in
Chelsea                                                                                                             Tottenham
Southampton (h) - 25 April                                                                         Palace (a) - 26 April
Everton (a) - 30 April                                                                                   Arsenal (h) - 30 April
Middlesbrough (h) - 8 May                                                                        West Ham (a) - 5 May
West Brom (a) - 12 May                                                                             Man Utd (h) - 14 May
Watford (h) - 15 May                                                                                   Leicester (a) - 18 May
Sunderland (h) - 21 May                                                                            Hull (a) - 21 May
 
Chelsea's preparation to face Jose Mourinho's side was disrupted when goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois injured his ankle during the week.
The Blues also lost full-back Marcos Alonso just minutes before kick-off because of illness.
 
Conte was asked about reports Belgium international Courtois was injured while playing basketball at a promotional event.
"After a defeat it is not right to go into this situation," said the Italian.
 
"Courtois had an injury during the middle of the week and for this reason he wasn't available but I think it is right to focus on the game and not to find excuses."
Antonio Conte has not had to deal with defeat often in an outstanding first season as Chelsea manager - and none carrying the significance of the loss at Manchester United.
 
Chelsea's lead over Tottenham has been reduced to four points after this reverse so Conte's response to a setback that has thrown the Premier League title wide open was always going to be intriguing.
 
Conte's reaction was to deflect all criticism away from his players and take sole responsibility himself.
 
Time will tell if Conte's approach was correct but it felt the right move. He was downcast but remained calm and his players will surely appreciate and respect his willingness to take sole responsibility by moving front and centre to shield them from the measured criticism that would have been deserved after this rare lapse.
 
If Conte was frustrated, he hid it well as he spoke of six cup finals awaiting Chelsea in the closing weeks while also underlining how far they have progressed from the struggles of last season and indeed the early weeks of this campaign.
 
Conte wisely felt his players have given him more than enough this season to allow him to shoulder the burden of the Old Trafford loss and perhaps put them even more in the mood to repay his faith in next Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley, as well as Chelsea's next Premier League game at home to Southampton the following Tuesday.
 
The Italian has barely put a foot wrong since setting Chelsea on course for the top of the Premier League after a home loss to Liverpool and a 3-0 beating at Arsenal in September - and he showed plenty of confidence in a squad that still remains title favourites.
 
 
Source: BBC

Frank Nuttall

Sports

Scottish trainer Frank Nuttall was left frustrated after seeing Hearts of Oak forced to settle for a point against Elmina Sharks at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Hearts of Oak were made to endure a frustrating day after being held to a 1-1 draw by a gritty Elmina Sharks. 
 
Winful Cobbinah cancelled out a second half strike by Joseph Mensah to salvage a point and save Hearts from defeat despite a dominant performance at home and that did not go down well with Nuttall.
 
“We worked very hard throughout the game and we were unfortunate not to come away with the three points. It is the difficult when the opposition don’t come and play football.’’
 
“I’ve seen this before but this attitude was extreme. If the Ghana Premier League is going to get better, they need more teams like Hearts who are ready to play and don’t waste time, “Nuttall said in a post-match interview.
 
He added:”So we came to play football and we need both teams to do that and there is responsibility to the Ghana’s football that the teams play in the right spirit.”
Hearts move up to third despite failing to win.
 
 
Source: Ghana/Joy Sports

Joseph Lamptey

Sports

Ghana Football Association Referees Appointment Committee chairman Eddy Doku is livid at referee Joseph Lamptey's life ban by Fifa for match manipulation.


Lamptey has been indefinitely suspended from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for "unlawfully influencing the match result" during the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal on November 12 last year.


The Ghanaian was earlier slapped with a three-month ban by Caf for the incident at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.


''I just read the communique from Fifa and after reading it, I don't think that I'm happy with the decision of Fifa to hand Joseph Lamptey a life ban,'' Doku told Boss FM.
''I'm not a lawyer but I know that you cannot punish someone twice for one offence.


"He accepted a three-month suspension earlier on by Caf, so why another life ban? Is it because we are blacks?
''We have seen worse officiating in some of the European and Fifa competitions, but no referee was given a life ban. I don't think it's the best.''


In the fateful game, the Ghanaian awarded a penalty to the Bafana Bafana for a handball by Kalidou Koulibaly, but TV replays showed that the ball came off the defender's knees.


Thulani Hlatshwayo converted the resulting penalty, which gave the home side a 43rd-minute lead, the match eventually ending 2-1 in favour of South Africa.
Senegal subsequently lodged an official complaint to Caf and Fifa against the immigration officer.

In 2011, Lamptey was handed a six-month ban by Caf for allowing a controversial goal in a Caf Champions League game between Esperance of Tunisia and Al Ahly of Egypt.

 

Source: Goal.com
 

J.O Lamptey has been handed a life time ban

Sports

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to ban the Ghanaian match official Joseph Odartei Lamptey from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for life. 
 
The official was found guilty of breaching art. 69 par. 1 (unlawfully influencing match results) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal on 12 November 2016.
 
On the other hand, all charges against the Ghanaian match official David Lionheart Nii Lartey Laryea, whose behaviour had also been the subject of investigations, were dismissed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
 
Further information concerning the South Africa v. Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding.
 
FIFA follows a zero-tolerance policy on match manipulation and is committed to protecting the integrity of football. As a result, FIFA will continue with its ongoing efforts to combat match manipulation through a variety of initiatives, which include the monitoring of international betting and a confidential reporting system with a dedicated integrity hotline and e-mail address.
 
 
 
Source: fifa.com

Ahmad Ahmad, head of the Madagascar Football Assocation (left) and CAF president Issa Hayatou

Sports

Ahmad of Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset on Thursday, ousting Issa Hayatou, the long-serving president of the Confederation of African Football, in an election at the organization's congress in Ethiopia.


The 57-year-old former government minister, who goes by just a single name, won the CAF presidency by 34 votes to 20 in the poll, bringing to a surprise end the 29-year tenure of the 70-year-old Hayatou, who is from Cameroon.


The result was greeted by cheers at the CAF Congress as Ahmad was carried on the shoulders of jubilant supporters to the podium after the result was announced.
Ahmad, previously minister of sport and minister of fisheries in his home country, had been given little chance just a month ago when he announced his candidacy.


But he offered voters a fresh face to a younger generation of soccer association presidents that have emerged.


Hayatou’s long career in soccer is now at an end, although he is still an International Olympic Committee member.


"It is not that bad," Hayatou, who was first elected in 1988, told reporters as he departed the hall.

 



Source: ahramonline

The vice-president of the Ghana Football Association George Afriyie

Sports

The vice-president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) George Afriyie says his outfit is yet to settle on winning bonuses for the Black Stars at the AFCON in Gabon.

Afriyie revealed that the GFA Is waiting to sort the bonuses issue out with the administration after the inauguration ceremony on January 7.

The Stars bonuses issue has been a problem to the Ministry of Youth and Sports after the Nii Lante Vanderpuye took over as Minister.

In an interview, coach Grant said "We have not settled on any bonuse package yet". "We will have a meeting with the new administration and sort everything out," he added.

 

Source:Footballghana
 

President and Executive Chairman of Eurostar Global Limousine Limited, Mr. Oscar Yao Doe has strongly condemned how the British High Commissioner in Ghana is handling the alleged visa fraud case against four Ghanaian Members of Parliament.
 
According to the Ghanaian Business Mogul, the British High Commissioner must treat our MPs with respect and follow basis diplomatic rules and stop criminalizing the issue.
"Our MP'S Deserves Respect, Oscar Doe : Ghana News Media Please Do Not Encourage This Nonsense From the British High Commissioner in Ghana!
 
 Our MP's What's Wrong When An MP Apply Visa For His Family Members? There is No Case of Fraud Here Not There! 
Did The British High Commission Notified The MPS About the Overstayed Situation of Their Family Members Before Going Public?
 
 It's About Time Ghanaians Stand Firm to Fight The Numerous Nonsense That is Going From Some of Our Development Partners. 
This Disrespect to Our Honourable Men of Parliament Is Unacceptable. PLEASE GHANA MEDIA IGNORE THIS NONSENSE FROM THE BRITISH HIGH Commissioner to Ghana".
 
Mr. Doe also said the British High Commissioner and other Diplomatic entities needs to be Educated about Ghanaian Culture:
"For Example in Ghana Every Member of Parliament takes their whole Constituency members as family and sometimes cater for their Education, health, and others. So our culture needs to be respected by all regardless of your Nationality and that no Diplomatic mission can change our unique culture of bounding together as family".
 
Mr. Doe asked how can you cancel a member of Parliament diplomatic passport because his or her family member has overstayed in another country?
Mr. Doe also appeal to the Foreign Minister not to waist her time on discussing the MP'S Diplomatic status because it's not the fault of the MP'S that their family members overstayed in the UK. 
 
He Said Ghanaians are not the first to overstayed their visa duration? Even Americans, British Citizens, European citizens does same and that is not the fault of any person it should be purely the fault of the individuals involved.
 
"The Commissioner  just feels he can push Ghanaians around because he realized Ghanaians are peace loving people. Our MP'S goes through a lot of pressure in their constituency. 
 
They cater for people's school fees, hospital bills, pocket money, and also request for visa assistance, etc this is nothing new all the MP'S experience same am surprised non has come out to defend their colleagues", Mr. Oscar Doe emphasized.
 
He questioned why Ghanaian leaders seat idle and our MPs treated with so much disrespect.
"Can you imagine a Ghana High Commissioner to UK Subjecting Members of the UK Parliament to this kind of humiliation? Where was High Commissioner Jon when multiple British MP'S were involved in a massive spending claim scandals? This issue here is if our MP's are not perfect we cannot rely on a Foreign diplomat to drag their reputation into the mud whiles prominent Ghanaian leaders seat idle"
 
The Eurostar Limousine boss also admitted that there was some discrepancies on their visa forms but he insists that, it still does not merits such disrespectful treatment.
"It is possible there could be some discrepancies on their visa forms and if that is the case, it is not a big deal because it could be that the who person filled the form could be the MP's assistant or secretary. 
 
The British High Commissioner has a responsibility to notify the MPs to come and rectify any discrepancies they may have noticed on their visa application. 
As a veteran travel agent these are normal travel occurrences and it has nothing to do fraud. 
 
The fact that they are even Members of Parliament they could have being given the due respect and honour to have notify them to rectify it because they are MPs" .
Below is a copy of the letter from the British High Commissioner to the speaker of Parliament:
Dear Mr Speaker.
 
The British High Commission (BHC) would like, in confidence, to bring the following matters to your attention, regarding the apparent involvement of three serving MPs and one former MP in visa fraud directly affecting the United Kingdom.
 
In doing so, we note the powerful words in your impressive inaugural address as Speaker, to the effect that, for Members of Parliament, holding a Diplomatic Passport is both a privilege and responsibility which should not be abused: and that those who abused that trust would be appropriately dealt with.
In that regard:
 
1. On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father but remained until 06/01/2017.
 
In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter’s travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.
 
2. On 27/11/2015 the Honourable MP for Bia East Richard ACHEAMPONG applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001490. The Hon ACHEAMPONG stated in his application form that he would travel to the UK for a two-week holiday with his “wife” Esther TIWAA. On 10/12/2015 Mr ACHEAMPONG and Ms TIWAA were issued with UK visas.
 
On 24/12/2015 Esther TIWAA travelled to the UK, but alone: the Hon ACHEAMPONG did not accompany her as both his and her visa applications said that he would. She has hot left the UK since that time, and is therefore now there illegally.
 
The Hon ACHEAMPONG did not declare the illegal presence of his wife in the UK until he was challenged with the facts by us on 10/10/2016 He then repeatedly promised me personally that he would bring documentation to prove that Esther TIWAA was, indeed, his wife, but has consistently failed to do so Neither has he been prepared to share any useful information to help us track down Ms TIWAA’s current whereabouts.
 
Should Mr ACHEAMPONG now apply for another UK visa at any point up until 08/12/2025 his previous actions with regard to Esther TIWAA will weigh heavily against his application and he is likely to be refused.
 
3. On 06/04/2016, the Honourable MP for Asutifi North, Joseph Benhazin DAHAH applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001459 to go on a two week holiday. 
The Hon DAHAH slated that he was travelling with his wife Gloria DANSU and his niece Beatrice MENSAH On 11/04/2016 the visas of the Hon DAHAH and Gloria DANSU were issued; the visa of his niece Beatrice MENSAH was refused. On 13/05/2016 the Hon DAHAH applied in another country for a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland with his wife and daughter. 
 
The identity of his wife had changed from Gloria DANSU in the UK application to Ruyling APPAU in the Irish one.
 More significantly, a birth certificate was submitted showing that Beatrice MENSAH was now his daughter and not his niece as she had been described when applying to visit the UK. 
 
The Hon DAHAH’s UK visa was cancelled and a 10-year UK visa ban has been imposed on him. He has been informed of this.
4. On 20/06/2016 the Honourable MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Johnson Kwaku ADU applied for visas for himself, his wife Grace YEBOAH and their 16-year old daughter Emmanuella ADU in order to visit London for a ten day holiday. 
 
The Hon ADU applied using Diplomatic Passport number DX002267; all three visas were granted on 07/07/2016. The family of three travelled to the UK on 25/07/2016. 
The Hon ADU left the UK just two days later on 27/07/2016 leaving behind his wife and child, if that indeed is what they are, who have not left the UK to date and are therefore now illegally resident there. 
 
This is in some ways the most serious of the cases outlined in this letter, given the possibility that Hon ADU knowingly facilitated the movement of a minor – who cannot currently be traced – into the United Kingdom.
 
 That has been noted with alarm by UK authorities.
The British High Commission considers the actions outlined above to be completely unacceptable.
 In some cases, these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature.
 
 As already outlined, administrative measures have been taken to ensure that the Honourable members mentioned here will most likely not be granted visas for the UK within the next 10 years.
 
 I should add that the Party affiliation of these MPs is, in this context, irrelevant to us: we simply state the facts as we have discovered them.
We are continuing to investigate whether any other current or former MPs have engaged in similar behaviour and will inform you if we discover any further such cases.
Furthermore, the British High Commission has information that points strongly to some of the aforementioned Honourable members having used the same unofficial visa agent (also known as a‘Goro boy’) in their applications, specifically a gentleman called Appiah. 
 
We are sure that Mr Speaker shares our view that an institution as respected and vitally important as the Ghanaian Parliament should not be a location where unregistered visa agents approach Honourable Members and act as a conduit for them to participate in visa fraud. 
 
The British High Commission will happily cooperate fully with any parliamentary and law enforcement investigation into such agents operating in the vicinity of the Ghanaian Parliament.
 
Given what has transpired, the British High Commission would request the Ghanaian Parliament to be aware of the following:
a) we will henceforth only entertain and prioritise requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office who should verify that there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit;
 
b) however, MPs wishing to make private visits to the UK or to be accompanied on official visits by non-official relatives must apply online and through our Visa Application Centre at the Movenpick Hotel like any other applicant;
 
c) could you kindly confirm whether and why it is legitimate for ex-MPs to continue to possess and use diplomatic passports, in some cases for many years after they have ceased to be parliamentarians? In that regard, we would humbly like to ask, Mr Speaker, what procedures are in place to ensure that diplomatic passports are removed forthwith from all those 133 former Members who have just ceased to be MPs?
 
d) the net effect of such visa fraud by a very few Honourable MPs as outlined in this letter is to raise the bar of suspicion against all such applicants, which is of course regrettably to the huge disadvantage of those very many MPs who do act honourably at all times.
 
The British High Commission looks forward to a constructive relationship with yourself, your officers and the new Parliament in general and on specific issues, such as the work currently being sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to bolster Parliament’s research capacities.
 
We hope, at the same time, that measures taken by us all collectively will prevent any repeat of the sort of cases described in this letter. We would warmly welcome your views on the issues raised in this letter, both in regards to the specific cases and generic issues.
 
I am copying this letter to your Protocol Office, and to the Executive Secretary and Chief-of-Staff to the His Excellency President; and to the Ministers-designate of Foreign Affairs and National Security. We are also circulating this letter widely to other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana in the expectation that some of them will consider similar action to ourselves against the above-named individuals.
 
May I take this opportunity to repeat to you assurances of our very high regard for you and your office; and to wish you, Mr Speaker, every success in your new role. Please be assured of our commitment to collaborate with you, and through you with Parliament, wherever we can usefully be of assistance.
 
 
 
Source: peacefmonline.com

Threatened with an imminent ban on their worship in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses are responding with a direct appeal to Kremlin and Supreme Court officials for relief through a global letter-writing campaign. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is inviting the over 8,000,000 Witnesses worldwide to participate.
 
On March 15, 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Justice filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to label the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia as extremist and liquidate it.
 
The claim also seeks to ban the activities of the Administrative Center. If the Supreme Court upholds this claim, the Witnesses’ national headquarters near St. Petersburg will be shut down.
 
Subsequently, some 400 registered Local Religious Organizations would be liquidated, outlawing the services of over 2,300 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
 
The branch property, as well as places of worship used by Witnesses throughout the country, could be seized by the State. Additionally, individual Jehovah’s Witnesses would become subject to criminal prosecution for merely carrying out their worship activities.
 
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the claim on April 5.
“The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants to heighten attention to this critical situation,” states David A. Semonian, a spokesman at the Witnesses’ world headquarters.
 
“Prosecuting non-violent, law-abiding citizens as if they were terrorists is clearly a misapplication of anti-extremist laws. Such prosecution is based on completely false grounds.”
 
The Witnesses’ global campaign is not without precedent. Nearly 20 years ago, Witnesses wrote to defend their fellow worshippers in Russia in response to a smear campaign by some members of the government in power at the time. Additionally, Witnesses have initiated past letter-writing campaigns to motivate government officials to end persecution of Witnesses in other countries, including Jordan, Korea, and Malawi.
 
“Reading the Bible, singing, and praying with fellow worshippers is clearly not criminal,” adds Mr. Semonian. “We hope that our global letter-writing campaign will motivate Russian officials to stop this unjustifiable action against our fellow worshippers.”
 
 
Source: JW.org

President Akufo-Addo

Politics

The ten deputy regional ministers nominated by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have been approved by Parliament following their vetting by the Appointments Committee.

The include:


1 Elizabeth Sackey: Greater Accra

2. Amidu Issahaku : Upper West

3. Elizabeth Agyemang: Ashanti Region

4. Adongo Fusieni : Upper East

5. Evans Opoku : Brong Ahafo

6. Joseph Tetteh : Eastern Region

7. Eugenia Gifty Kusi : Western region

8. Thomas Agyei Baffour : Central Region

9. Maxwell Blagogee : Volta region

10. Solomon Boar Bunkpurugu MP: Northern region

Nana Obiri Boahene, Deputy General Secretary - NPP

Politics

The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party has justified the takeover of the Kintampo Waterfall by the Invisible Forces, a vigilante group affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party.


Nana Obiri Boahene is suggesting the takeover is nothing more than sweet revenge for what happened to him in 2009.


According to him, his company managed the Kintampo Waterfall in 2008 until hoodlums in the NDC forcibly took over the facility in 2009 when the party won elections.


"Those who want to probe further should find out what happened in 2009... NDC activists, NDC hoodlums, NDC sympathisers invaded the place, chased my workers out, beat them up, vandalised the place, broke into offices and they used the police. No police man was able to touch them," he said.


The management of the Kintampo Waterfall has become a subject of debate after 19 people lost their lives under bizarre circumstances on Sunday.
A tree was said to have crashed the revelers, mostly students, who had gone to the Waterfall for an excursion.


Questions have been raised about the competence and the professionalism of the managers of the facility during the incident.
It emerged that the Invisible Forces, a militia group within the NPP had added the Waterfall to the list of assets it took over immediately the NPP won power in 2016.


Without any training and competence in managing a tourist facility critics have blamed the militia group for last Sunday's national disaster.
But Obiri Boahene has mounted a spirited defence for the militia group even though he claims the party did not sanction the takeover.


"We don't know anything about it. The party is not involved. The party has never directed, instigated, encouraged, facilitated any individual to takeover," he said.
"Personally, speaking for myself, and what happened to me in 2009, I don't think there is anything wrong if for one reason or another some NPP sympathisers have taken over in a tit-for-tat affair," he added.


He argued those questioning the competence and professionalism of the Invisible Forces to manage the facility should have done same when the NDC hoodlums took over in 2009.


The Waterfall has however been shut pending further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the disaster.

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

 
The accident at the Kintampo Waterfalls in the Brong Ahafo Region which claimed 18 lives could have an adverse effect on the country’s tourism sector, Frank Siaw-Otu, PRO of the Ministry of Tourism, has said.
 
“We believe and know that it will affect us, but as a ministry and GTA, we will do our best to assure that our sites are safe,” he said on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show.
 
The dead, together with some 22 others who are seriously injured, were swimming at the base of the Kintampo Waterfall when a tree fell on them following an earlier rainstorm in the area. The incident is said to have happened on Sunday March 19 at about 4:30pm.
 
Fifteen of the deceased are from Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and three from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
 
But Mr Siaw-Otu maintained that tourism sites in the country were safe and “we don’t often hear about this happening at our tourist sites and it is a plus for us”.
 
He told the host Moro Awudu: “This (the accident) is a natural occurrence, something that happened out of the blue and it is not something we envisaged and did nothing about it.”
 
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Abelema Afeku, has expressed her condolences to relatives of those who lost their lives in Sunday’s Kintampo Falls accident.
 
Mrs Afeku, in the aftermath of the incident, has issued a statement, saying: “We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured who have been rushed to the Kintampo and Techiman General Hospitals.”
 
The Evalue Gwira MP further assured that the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) “will work closely with the Ghana Police and the Kintampo district assembly to ensure the families receive the needed support and information” while urging the media to be “circumspect” in their reportage on the matter, especially in the “sharing of images of the dead and critically injured”.
 
 
 
 
Source: classfmonline.com

President Nana Akufo-Addo has been criticised widely for appointing 110 ministers

Politics

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has urged critics to spare President Akufo-Addo of any backlash concerning the number of ministerial appointments he has made.


According to NUGS, “it is very premature in lambasting the government since it is still under formation and the Union wishes to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time”.


The union said what was important was for students “to have better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises”.
This was contained in a statement released by the leadership of the union on March 16.


Mr Akufo-Addo has appointed a record 110 ministers to help him govern the country for the next four years. His critics, mainly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have said the size of the government is too huge and will affect the country’s finances, but NUGS thinks otherwise.

Below is the full statement:

Thurs, 16th March, 2017

NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS (NUGS)
BETTERMENT OF STUDENTS' WELFARE IS MORE IMPORTANT TO US THAN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT -- NUGS OPINES


The debate as to the size of government is rather inappropriate and too early for Ghanaians and stakeholders. We believe strongly that what really matters' to Ghanaian students is to have a better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises.


It is very premature in lambasting the government since its still under formation and the Union wish to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time.


HUGE GOVERNMENTAL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES


We can agree Nana Addo's administration has come up with so many projects and programmes aimed at bringing about radical transformation that would be felt at every corner of the nation. This naturally calls for the deployment of a lot of resources including human resources with respect to skills, experience and Numbers.


HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DIVISION OF LABOUR


Strategically identifying key skills needed to execute the future success of government business. That is why some companies poach employees from other organizations at a huge cost. There are people with some specialities whose skills and experience are urgently needed for specific and Strategic tasks towards speeding up the Ghana project.


Division of labour is highly required for effectiveness and specific tasking. People can be held accountable and responsible for their performance.


OUR MAJOR CONCERNS


As a Union, we have several concerns and what really matter to us are as follows;


1) The unemployed graduate, teachers, nurses and midwifery trainee being employed


2) Reduction of taxes that will ease the tax burden and encourage us into entrepreneurship hence not relying on government for employment.


3) The needy but brilliant student benefiting from free SHS to be able to further his or her education at the second cycle.


4)The poor patient being able to access quality health care at an affordable cost courtesy NHIS reducing child mortality amongst others
FALL OUTS

We however, charge the government to check corruption likewise misuse of state funds since that will go a long way to affect the vision of the government.
We wish to state emphatically that we shall never relent on lambasting the government if impacts are not felt by the ordinary Ghanaian.


CONCLUSION


There is a clear cut difference between a LEADER and a MANAGER.


Managers maintain the status quo but Leaders adjust to suit the situation at hand. Managers act to the rules and lines set but Leaders take bold decisions and always ready to take responsibility.


Nana Addo has shown leadership by not being afraid to take radical decisions that are necessary to achieve results though appear unpopular and we recommend him as we seek for great results that impacts lives.


ALUTA CONTINUA!!! VICTORIA ASCERTA!!


.............signed……...


KWASI FRIMPONG


Press and Information Secretary


YIADOM BOAKYE EMMANUEL


Coordinating Secretary


LUQMAN ABUBAKARI


(PRESIDENT)

 
Upbeat multiple award-winning Ghanaian artiste and philanthropist, Kwame Nsiah-Apau, of career name, “Okyeame Kwame” has received a United States Presidential Volunteer Service Award for an outstanding humanitarian effort.
 
The award was pinned on him on Sunday 19th March, 2017 in Ohio by USA’s immediate Ex-President Barack Obama, in recognition of his Hepatitis B campaign in Ghana.
 
The Presidential Service Award, the highest civilian honour is granted to US citizens and permanent residents for their voluntary community service towards development.
Starting in 2009, the awardee has in partnership with MDS-Lancet Laboratories spearheaded and funded the screening, vaccination, sensitisation of over 7,000 beneficiaries against the deadly Hepatitis B disease in his country. The cause, worth applauding lands him the recognition herein.
 
Presented to him by Dr. Pauline Key, on behalf of the former president was a congratulatory plaque with an inscription, “Outstanding Humanitarian Service in Ghana”.
 
The artiste expressed his appreciation to President Obama for the honor and pledged even greater intensity of his campaign towards ridding Africa of Hepatitis. The OK management has announced, earlier this year that plans were advanced to extend their Hepatitis activations to West African countries in the ensuing months.
 
Not long ago, he had received a key to the city of Cincinnati for the same reason, as well as an appointment as an iconic figure by the World Hepatitis Alliance.
 
OK, bent on inspiring creative difference takes this laurel in the midst of an overwhelming public excitement at his recent music projects, “Best Rapper Alive” and “Saucing” (which features his children Sir and Sante).
 
 
Source: Razzonline

Award winning young actor, Abraham Attah, has congratulated President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, for his victory in the December 7 polls.
The 'Beasts of No Nation' star wrote on his Facebook wall:


“Congratulations to the President Elect H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo. Thank you to everyone who contributed towards a peaceful election. God bless our homeland Ghana”


He also commended Ghanaians for their contributions towards a violence-free election and urged them to maintain the peace the country is enjoying.
The actor in May 2016, paid a courtesy call on the president-elect Nana Akufo-Addo at his Nima residence with his management team to inform him about his Peace campaign project in July 18.


Attah made his feature film debut in Beasts of No Nation (2015) and was awarded the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.

 

Source: Ghana/StarrFMonline.com/103.5FM/Miriam Hayford
 

Legendary Ghanaian artiste 'Daddy Lumba' has featured in a facebook video recording a song endorsing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Charles Kwadwo Fosu alias 'Daddy Lumba', a perennial endorser of the NPP leader is heard in the song glorifying NPP policies such as 'one-district, one factory'.

 

Daddy Lumba's pro-NPP songs is staple food for the main opposition party's campaigns. His songs in 2008, remixed for 2012 'Nana ye winner' became an instant hit.

The governing National Democratic Congress had the last laugh however after it won the 2008 and 2012 general elections.


Source: MyJoyOnline

Ghanaian hiplife group Praye have confirmed their comeback as a group in the music industry, saying they are here to stay forever. They started as individual artistes and later merged as a group because of the Nescafe Africa Revelation held some years ago.

They, however, broke away in 2013 after a misunderstanding ensued between them. The group have been back for just over a year now and have released two singles titled Kpotoo and Christina. Speaking exclusively to 3news.com, Praye Tietia disclosed that they are back for good and looking forward to giving their fans what they deserve.

 

“We are back and to show our fans that we are really back, we chose a record label or an emblem that supersedes all that has happened in the past. “We can assure our fans that we are back and will be doing music forever and if we are to break up now then it means none of us will do any song again.”

According to Praye Tintin, a lot of thought was put into the group’s decision to make a comeback, stating the hard work they put in to make ‘Praye’ a music force in the country some years back as one of the reasons for the decision.

 

“We were once there and time took us away to do our solo things which didn’t work so we are back now with full force to keep the fire burning so people should expect more,” he added.

He said, “I play my own beats and I play good beats which I think is a plus to the group and the future is bright and clear. “We know our fans have missed us and it’s obvious there is a lot more work to be done so they should expect good music from us”.

 

Source: 3news.com

It is often said in Nigeria that there’s no party like a Lagos party. Now, it seems Premium vodka, Skyy is about to further elevate that credential with a clever, ambitious and lavish all night gig holding this Friday, November 25 at an exclusive location in Lekki.

As the year-end holiday season draws near and Lagosians begin to seek opportunities to relax and mix, c, using a combination of young hitmakers and globally celebrated DJs.

 

Don Jazzy‘s protégé and Headies Next Rated winner, Reekado Banks will entertain guests, drawing from his repertoire of solo and group hits. He’s already promised everyone ‘an unforgettable night’. Also, DJ Obi, who played his way into the World Records after performing 240 hours non-stop, will be the official music guide.

‘This will prove to be unprecedented and unbelievable, and we are sure guests will relive the amazing experience for many weeks to come.’

 

With 2016 Life In The Skyy Party, the vodka brand continues its tradition of redefining the Nigerian nightlife landscape, creating fun experiences that are impossible to forget, as seen in the highly successful 2014 and 2015 editions.

Reekado Banks and DJ Obi are joined by Mr 2Kay, with several other performers, alongside Skyy Vodka lovers to party this weekend.

 

Source: Thenet.ng

We bring to you the official music video for Life, a song performed by Ghana's highlife artiste, Bisa Kdei and Nigeria's VP label act Patoranking.

The audio for the song was released days ago, and because of its deep message from both artistes and groove added to it by Masta Garzy, Life is gradually becoming the latest party starter song and the video here will just give you another million reasons to fall for the song.

The video was directed by Xbillz Ebenezer.

Watch below:

Source: GH Joy

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Investigators have warned consumers they face potentially fatal risks after 99% of fake Apple chargers failed a basic safety test.

Trading Standards, which commissioned the checks, said counterfeit electrical goods bought online were an “unknown entity”.

Of 400 counterfeit chargers, only three were found to have enough insulation to protect against electric shocks.

It comes as Apple has complained of a “flood” of fakes being sold on Amazon.

 

Apple revealed in October that it was suing a third-party vendor, which it said was putting customers “at risk” by selling power adapters masquerading as those sold by the Californian tech firm.

The Trading Standards tests were performed by safety specialists UL.

They applied a high voltage to the chargers, which were bought online from eight different countries, including the US, China and Australia, to test for sufficient insulation.

‘Life-threatening’
Leon Livermore, the chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, urged shoppers to buy electrical goods only from trusted suppliers.

“It might cost a few pounds more, but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one,” he said.

 

A separate operation found that of 3,019 electrical goods bought second hand, 15% were non-compliant.

Officers said the unsafe electrical items, which came from charity shops, antique dealers and second-hand shops, had failings such as counterfeit plugs and basic insulation.

How to spot a dangerous fake charger
Plug pins – Plug the charger into a socket, but don’t switch it on or connect to a device. If the charger does not fit easily, the pins may be the wrong size. There should be at least 9.5mm (0.3in) between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger.

Markings – Look for a manufacturers’ brand name or logo, model and batch number. Check for the “CE” safety mark, but be aware it can be easily forged.

Warnings and instructions – User instructions should include conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electric safety guidance and details of safe disposal

 

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Counterfeit electrical goods are likely to be poor quality and in the worst cases unsafe.

“Look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks – all genuine electrical items made in the EU should have a CE mark on them.”

Consumers were also urged not to overcharge appliances and to never cover devices when charging or use a charger with a cracked case or frayed cable.

There is no suggestion the company involved in the Apple case sold the chargers used in the Trading Standards tests.


Source: BBC

Eric Seddy Kutortse presenting the key to the pickup to Dr Roberta Lamptey, CEO of KBTH. With them are some staff of the company.


First Sky Limited, a Ghanaian-own company engaged in construction, commodities and hospitality, has cleared the debts of patients totaling GH¢620,000 at the Renal Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).


The company also presented an amount of GH¢2 million to aid kidney patients who could not afford the cost of dialysis.
First Sky Limited also gave the unit a brand new Toyota Hilux pickup to be used for its day-to-day transport services.


Eric Seddy Kutortse, Group Chairman of First Sky Limited, presenting the money to the leadership of the unit, said the company had been supporting institutions and individuals over the years in various ways, adding that the donation to the unit was its way of giving back to society after a successful business year.


“Last year, we built 60 churches for the Assemblies of God Ghana where we announced that 30 percent proceeds from First Sky Group Net will be spent on humanitarian grounds,” he added.


Mr. Kutortse explained further that the attention of the company was drawn to a patient of the unit who could not afford treatment and paid the full bill after which the company decided to help others in a similar predicament.


“That is why we have decided to pay off all their debts and also make a seed fund of GH¢2m to make treatment free for all; so we are announcing to those owing this unit that all their debts have been paid and now the treatment is free,” he underscored.


Receiving the money, Dr. Vincent Boima, Head of the KBTH Renal Unit, explained the magnitude of the problem in healthcare delivery.
He said the cost of treatment of renal ailments is beyond the reach of many people, especially the younger patients.


“Those who have advanced stages of the disease known as chronic kidney disease, those on stage five usually go on dialysis; but ultimately kidney transplant is the treatment of choice. The early stages like one and two, what is done is to manage their risk factors so they do not migrate to higher stages,” Dr. Boima asserted.


“Kidney transplant started in 2008 and continued until 2014, but it is not done because of logistical problems that would soon be solved for transplant operation to start again,” Dr. Boima said.


He expressed appreciation to First Sky Limited for coming to the aid of the unit, adding that the donation would save lots of lives, especially the young people who are silently passing away because of the disease.

 

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
 

Price of fuel at the pump likely to be increased


The Institute of Energy Security has said fuel prices are likely to go up by 2% from December 16 to December 31, 2016 per the second pricing window.
Speaking to Benard Nasara Saibu on the Morning Starr, Principal Research Analyst at the Institute of Energy Security, Richard Rockson said consumers should brace themselves for an increment of not less than 2%.


According to Mr. Rockson, a market scan of the petroleum sector for the second window indicates prices going up.
”For the first window in December we predicted that prices are going to fall and it did happen but in the second window unfortunately we are looking at prices of fuel going up.


The dollar rate at now is about Ghc4.25, before this window it was ghc4. When you look at crude oil prices, they have gone up on the world market. When you take crude, our forex and our reserves what we have now is an all-time low…diesel will not take us up to three weeks in all we have about 100 to 200million of fuel stock in the country at the moment.

When you put all these together and do the indices we are looking at 4 to 6% of prices going up not less than 2% no matter what prices will go up between December 16 and December 31 in the second window.”

 

-Starrfmonline
 

Jehovah Witness

General

Jehovah’s Witnesses have launched a global campaign to invite the public to an event the Witnesses consider to be the most important of the year, the Memorial of Christ’s death, which will take place at all kingdom halls of Jehovah’s witnesses.
 
This year’s memorial anniversary of Jesus’ death which according to the bible’s lunar calendar falls on Tuesday, April 11 has the theme “Peace, Health and Prosperity everyone’s Dream”.
 
According to the Witnesses, the commemoration will include a discourse explaining why Jesus’ death which occurred almost two thousand years ago is relevant in modern times and how it inspires hope for the future.
 
“We would like as many people as possible to benefit from the spiritual guidance this ceremony will offer,” they said.
 
They said the event would enable all in attendance to reflect on the value of the two greatest expressions of love shown in the universe.
 
“Firstly, the love shown to mankind by our heavenly father Jehovah God by allowing his only-begotten Son to die for us; and secondly the love Jesus showed in giving up his life willingly for our salvation.”
 
Throughout the campaign, some eight million Witnesses around the globe will personally visit their neighbors to invite them to this event. Last year, nearly 20 million people attended the Memorial observance.
 
The Witnesses hope to reach a new all-time peak in attendance for this year’s Memorial, which will be held on Tuesday, April 11, after sundown.
Many who have attended the memorial have been impressed with the orderliness with which the meetings had been conducted and the way family members sat close to each other.
 
Jesus celebrated the Passover with his apostles, dismissed Judas Iscariot, and then instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal.
 
This meal replaced the annual Jewish Passover and therefore Jehovah’s Witnesses rightfully observe the Memorial of Christ’s death once a year.
 
The witnesses appealed to families, friends, relatives, acquaintances and the public to attend the event at the nearest Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness.
The event will be followed by a special Bible Talk entitled “How to cultivate peace in angry world” on Sunday 16th march 2017.
 
 
 
source: Ghana/Adom News/Kofi Assan
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