Rashford brace helps sink Arsenal

Teenager Marcus Rashford scored twice and set up the third as Manchester United derailed Arsenal's Premier League title challenge at Old Trafford.

Rashford, who scored twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland on Thursday, steered in a loose ball for the opener then headed in three minutes later.

Danny Welbeck nodded Arsenal back into the game, but Rashford picked out Ander Herrera whose shot was deflected in.

Mesut Ozil's volley gave third-placed Arsenal hope, but United held on.

Arsenal - who have not won the title since 2004 - remain in third place, five points adrift of leaders Leicester having now played the same number of matches.

The Red Devils moved back into fifth position with their first win in three Premier League games.

Follow all the post-match reaction here

Rashford makes his Marc again...

Barely anyone outside Old Trafford had heard of Marcus Rashford less than week ago - now the teenage United striker is a household name across the country.

Two goals on his senior debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League catapulted him into the national spotlight.

But, many asked, how would he fare against a Premier League title-chasing side in the heat of a battle between two fierce rivals? Coolly, calmly and clinically, as it turned out.

Rashford showed signs of his youthful exuberance in the early stages, darting inside a pair of Arsenal defenders from the left touchline before being hauled down on the edge of the penalty area.

The opportunity of that set-piece was not taken by the Red Devils, but it mattered little as Rashford soon put them into a two-goal lead.

The young Mancunian pounced on a poor clearance by Arsenal centre-back Gabriel to slot in his first Premier League goal, then waltzed into space to powerfully head in Jesse Lingard's floated cross.

But it was not just his finishing that caught the eye. Rashford showed great awareness and composure to pick out the run of Herrera, whose 20-yard shot took a wicked deflection off Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.

No wonder he was given a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd when he was replaced in the 80th minute.

Former England winger Trevor Sinclair on BBC Radio 5 live:
"It's not just about the goals with Marcus Rashford. He has a cultured touch, his awareness is great and his link play is very good.
Something else impressed me too; the way he went to close down Petr Cech when the Arsenal goalkeeper received a back pass.
"Most young players would just close down the keeper, but Rashford shut off the pass out as well, and Cech ended up giving away the ball. That tells me he has been coached properly."

More to follow.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Source: bbc.com

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Spurs came from behind to beat Swansea

Tottenham moved back to within two points of Premier League leaders Leicester after battling back from behind to beat a dogged Swansea side.

Alberto Paloschi gave the visitors the lead after Angel Rangel's shot fell to him via team-mate Jack Cork.

Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made a series of superb saves, before Nacer Chadli deflected in Kyle Walker's shot to equalise with 20 minutes left.

Danny Rose then drove in the winner after Swansea failed to clear a corner.

More to follow.

Source: bbc.com

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Man City beat Liverpool in a dramatic shootout

Willy Caballero was Manchester City's hero as they beat Liverpool on penalties to win the Capital One Cup at Wembley.

The 34-year-old Argentine goalkeeper spectacularly rewarded the faith of manager Manuel Pellegrini with saves from Lucas, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in the shoot-out after he was selected ahead of first-choice Joe Hart.

Fernandinho put City ahead just after the break after an error by Liverpool's otherwise heroic keeper Simon Mignolet. But two glaring misses from former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling opened the door for Coutinho's late leveller.

In the shootout, Fernandinho hit a post with City's first kick, but Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero were on target as Caballero made his decisive saves, allowing Yaya Toure to convert the winning penalty.

Pellegrini's loyalty rewarded

Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini made a huge call in selecting the veteran Caballero ahead of Hart, particularly in the light of his dreadful display in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a week earlier.

City's manager has always trusted the keeper he coached at Malaga before bringing him to Manchester - and it was repaid with interest as Caballero made a magnificent stop from Divock Origi's header before defying Liverpool in the shootout.

The temptation would have been to reinstate Hart after Caballero's struggles last Sunday but Pellegrini kept to his tried and trusted policy in this competition - and came out a deserved winner.

It ensured at least one trophy for the Chilean coach in his final season before Pep Guardiola takes over, with success in the Premier League and Champions League still a possibility.

Mignolet's mixed bag

Liverpool keeper Mignolet showed the inconsistency that brings him as much criticism as praise.

The Belgian was badly at fault for letting Fernandinho's shot slip under his body but redeemed hlmself - and more besides - with some stunning stops from Aguero, and also dived bravely into a six-yard box scramble to clear as City threatened once more.

This, it seems, will always be life with Mignolet in goal but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp trusts the keeper the extent that he was recently awarded a five-year contract.

It still remains to be seen whether he is the long-term solution because he simply cannot eradicate important errors from his game.

Relieved Raheem

If Raheem Sterling joined Manchester City's celebrations with even more gusto than his team-mates, it may have been through relief as much as joy.

This is because if City had lost, the forward who made an acrimonious £49m move from Liverpool in the summer would have carried a large portion of the blame.

Sterling was guilty of two dreadful misses when City were 1-0 up and seeking the second goal that would have eased their path to victory.

The England international steered wide of an open goal when it seemed so much easier to score, then was off target with another perfect opportunity after being set up by Aguero.

Sterling, whose every touch was jeered by Liverpool's fans after the manner of his departure from the club, got away with it but this was further proof that the weaknesses that have lingered in his game, namely finishing and decision-making, still exist. A work in progress.

Manager reaction

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "We feel down but now we have to stand up. Only silly idiots stay on the floor and wait for the next defeat.

"We will strike back. We have felt how it is to lose. It is not the best moment but on Monday morning maybe we can change everything.

"We will go on and we will get better. We have to work really hard, carry on and there is light at the end of the tunnel. This important."

Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini: "I was concerned about the amount of chances we missed. After that we played better in extra-time.

"It's a very important moment, and it's always very special to win a title at Wembley."

The key stats

  • Manchester City have won four of their five League Cup finals (1970, 1976, 2014 and 2016)
  • Liverpool lost a League Cup final for the fourth time (1978, 1987, 2005 and 2016)
  • Fernandinho has scored in his last two League Cup appearances - having failed to score in his previous seven
  • Philippe Coutinho has scored in five of his six appearances against Manchester City in all competitions
  • This was only the fourth time that Liverpool have lost a penalty shootout - having faced 18 in total
  • Liverpool had previously won all five cup finals that had gone to a penalty shootout
  • Jurgen Klopp has reached a cup final in each of his last five seasons as a manager, but has lost the last four

What next?

There's little chance for Liverpool and Manchester City to catch a breather before they meet each other again - in the Premier League at Anfield on Wednesday.

Source: bbc.com



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Quata out with “One Life to Live” Visuals

Bakus Entertainment artiste Quata Budukusu has released his brand new music video for "One Life to Live", a single from his forthcoming "Quantum Album". To view the video clip from the ladies favorite, visit his official YouTube channel, quatabudukusu. After being out of the public for almost a decade, Quata is out with visuals from his single “One Life to Live” as a comeback. In the video, you will see Quata being himself and performing under the direction of Nana Asihene. The video is one of the best videos to hit the markets of Ghana as the director, Nana Asihene, transition Quata from one life to another level of life.

The song which was written years ago has emerged as one of the fans’ favorite. “One Life to Live" was directed by Award-Winning filmmaker, Nana Asihene of the NKACC fame. The energetic and up-tempo song fits the vibrant and fun colors of the video. The video is also inspired by the use of colors and interesting compositions as well as special effects. The song does however feature a bit of an edge and to accompany that, an open space was chosen to allow for more creativity and movement as seen in the video.

In the past, Quata has had quite a few storyline videos; videos that made people engage with the concept through questions and figuring them out. This video by far has less to figure out, and he opted to convey and communicate a feeling, rather than an explicit message.  “This video doesn't tell an explicit story through storyline, but rather tells an implicit story through color and composition” (Quata, 2016).

"One Life to Live" showcases a great cast of performers and other choreographers all looking for their big star moment. With a simple story line, the video is filmed from various directions. First, a giant body builder is seen carrying the world on his back. Attention is then focused on Quata as a king. A sword wielding lady emerges and an enemy is seen spilling what looks like blood. Clad in white, Quata is finally seen pulling the enemy who is in shackles, which is an indication of victory.

People would have expected a musician who had been out for a while to look very bad in appearance, but, one can tell from the video, even though Quata was out of the music scene, he had something better going and he took very good care of himself. One cannot tell from his look whether he was just in Ghana or out of the country. His costume was on point likewise his personal appearance throughout the video. Quata looked great and with his colorful body arts, this video will be worth watching. One can tell he is back to stay in the game he started and to continue from where he left off.

In a phone interview with Quata, he stated that, even though he was out of the music scene for a while, he kept up with the modern trend as he was just taking a leave and he is now ready to take his rightful place. He emphasized that, the modern trend is a continuation of where he left off and he is not new to the trend and he is in no competition with anyone. He is willing to give off his best for his numerous fans as he is aware of what they want.  If you’re a lover of good music, then you have to listen to this song by watching the video.


Bakus Radio, USA

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Quata out with “One Life to Live” Visuals

Bakus Entertainment artiste Quata Budukusu has released his brand new music video for "One Life to Live", a single from his forthcoming "Quantum Album". To view the video clip from the ladies favorite, visit his official YouTube channel, quatabudukusu. After being out of the public for almost a decade, Quata is out with visuals from his single “One Life to Live” as a comeback. In the video, you will see Quata being himself and performing under the direction of Nana Asihene. The video is one of the best videos to hit the markets of Ghana as the director, Nana Asihene, transition Quata from one life to another level of life.

The song which was written years ago has emerged as one of the fans’ favorite. “One Life to Live" was directed by Award-Winning filmmaker, Nana Asihene of the NKACC fame. The energetic and up-tempo song fits the vibrant and fun colors of the video. The video is also inspired by the use of colors and interesting compositions as well as special effects. The song does however feature a bit of an edge and to accompany that, an open space was chosen to allow for more creativity and movement as seen in the video.

In the past, Quata has had quite a few storyline videos; videos that made people engage with the concept through questions and figuring them out. This video by far has less to figure out, and he opted to convey and communicate a feeling, rather than an explicit message.  “This video doesn't tell an explicit story through storyline, but rather tells an implicit story through color and composition” (Quata, 2016).

"One Life to Live" showcases a great cast of performers and other choreographers all looking for their big star moment. With a simple story line, the video is filmed from various directions. First, a giant body builder is seen carrying the world on his back. Attention is then focused on Quata as a king. A sword wielding lady emerges and an enemy is seen spilling what looks like blood. Clad in white, Quata is finally seen pulling the enemy who is in shackles, which is an indication of victory.

People would have expected a musician who had been out for a while to look very bad in appearance, but, one can tell from the video, even though Quata was out of the music scene, he had something better going and he took very good care of himself. One cannot tell from his look whether he was just in Ghana or out of the country. His costume was on point likewise his personal appearance throughout the video. Quata looked great and with his colorful body arts, this video will be worth watching. One can tell he is back to stay in the game he started and to continue from where he left off.

In a phone interview with Quata, he stated that, even though he was out of the music scene for a while, he kept up with the modern trend as he was just taking a leave and he is now ready to take his rightful place. He emphasized that, the modern trend is a continuation of where he left off and he is not new to the trend and he is in no competition with anyone. He is willing to give off his best for his numerous fans as he is aware of what they want.  If you’re a lover of good music, then you have to listen to this song by watching the video.


Bakus Radio, USA

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Nigeria's ex-Interior Minister Abba Moro charged over stampede

Nigeria's ex-interior minister has been charged with fraud over a botched recruitment drive, which resulted in stampedes that left 20 people dead.

Abba Moro led a scheme which encouraged young graduates to apply for jobs in the immigration ministry in March 2014.

Stadiums, which were being used as test centres, were overwhelmed by huge crowds of people turning up to apply.

Mr Moro has pleaded not guilty to his role in an alleged $2.5m (£1.8m) fraud, involving missing application fees.

There is a high level of unemployment in Nigeria, especially among young people.

Court papers filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allege that more than 675,000 people were defrauded by the scheme, which required them to pay a $6 (£3.50) application fee to take the initial recruitment test.

The case has been adjourned until 2 March.

On 15 March 2014 deadly stampedes occurred at stadiums in the Nigerian cities of Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt, as well as a school in Mina city, as people scrambled to apply for the new jobs.

Many Nigerians online have been commenting on the irony that a former minister in charge of the country's prisons is facing a lengthy stint behind bars if he is found guilty.

abba moro

At the time, Nigeria's interior minister rejected calls for him to step down and initially refused to accept any responsibility for the disaster.

He blamed the officials in charge of the stadium for the deaths, as well as the job seekers themselves.

Source: bbc.com

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Nigeria government's audit removes nearly 24,000 non-existent workers

The Nigerian government has removed nearly 24,000 workers from its payroll after an audit revealed they did not exist, the Finance Ministry has said.

The move has enabled a monthly saving of around $11,5m (£8m).

The audit is part of an anti-corruption campaign by President Muhammadu Buhari, who took power last year.

Corruption and mismanagement have long been a challenge to Nigeria's growth, and the government has promised to cut costs to face an economic slowdown.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy and the continent's top oil producer, and its finances are under strain due to the recent collapse in oil prices.

The country has also faced rising inflation, a stock market slump and the slowest pace of economic growth in more than a decade.

Nigeria's budget fiasco

Is corruption Nigeria's biggest challenge?

Profile: Muhammadu Buhari

The audit started in December used biometric data and a bank verification number to identify holders of bank accounts into which salaries were being paid, Reuters news agency reports.

This process allowed the identification of some workers who were receiving a salary that did not correspond to the names linked to the bank accounts.

Nigeria's economy

  • Africa's largest economy, biggest oil producer and most populous nation
  • Oil-rich, but facing worst economic crisis in years after falling oil prices
  • 62.6% of its 170 million population live in poverty
  • Average annual earnings - $1280 (£850)

Source: UN

It also revealed that some employees were receiving salaries from multiple sources.

Some 23,846 non-existent workers were removed from the payroll, an adviser to the finance minister was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Periodic checks and electronic audit techniques will be periodically carried out to prevent new frauds, the ministry said.

Officials have said the savings resulted from the anti-corruption measures will help the country tackle its crisis and prevent job cuts.

Source: bbc.com

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Mahama congratulates young actor Abraham Attah

President John Mahama has joined the long list of Ghanaians and other well wishers abroad commending and encouraging young Ghanaian actor Abraham Attah, for his strides in the global film industry.

Attah has recently featured prominently on various global awards stages and picked some nominations and awards including the best male lead at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Venice film festival.

The icing on the cake perhaps was the opportunity to present an award at the Oscars.

He wore a customized pair of TOM shoes to the event and in return, the company will donate 10,000 pairs to needy children in Ghana.

The move has attracted applause from a cross section of Ghanaians and President Mahama was also impressed.

The President said on Twitter, “Congrats @AttahNii. Such a positive positioning of the Ghana Brand. We can do with many more Abraham Attah’s. #BeastsOfNoNation”

The 15-year old, who was assisting his mother by selling on the street with no acting background, shot to fame after getting a role in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ a movie shot in Ghana by Netflix.

Attah acted alongside celebrated Hollywood Actor, Idris Elba. The movie has since won several awards both in Ghana and Europe.

Attah and Idris Elba have picked several individual awards. Over the weekend, the two picked up another award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Attah also had the rare privilege of being at the Oscars where he was selected to present an award.

Awards so far

Attah has won the prestigious Venice International Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Best Young Actor Award, the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, and the Black Film Critics Rising Star Award.

He also picked up two awards at the Ghana Movie Awards, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer.

More important for Attah however, is the fact that he has secured himself another movie role via American director Shane Carruth’s adventure film, “The Modern Ocean” where he will be starring alongside Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Chloe Grace Moretz, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield and Jeff Goldblum.

He will also star in a short film titled “Out of the Village,” by a first time director called Jonathan Stein.

Source: citifmonline.com

The 15-year old, who was assisting his mother by selling on the street with no acting background, shot to fame after getting a role in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ a movie shot in Ghana by Netflix.

Attah acted alongside celebrated Hollywood Actor, Idris Elba. The movie has since won several awards both in Ghana and Europe.

Attah and Idris Elba have picked several individual awards. Over the weekend, the two picked up another award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Attah also had the rare privilege of being at the Oscars where he was selected to present an award.

Awards so far

Attah has won the prestigious Venice International Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Best Young Actor Award, the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, and the Black Film Critics Rising Star Award.

He also picked up two awards at the Ghana Movie Awards, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer.

More important for Attah however, is the fact that he has secured himself another movie role via American director Shane Carruth’s adventure film, “The Modern Ocean” where he will be starring alongside Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Chloe Grace Moretz, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield and Jeff Goldblum.

He will also star in a short film titled “Out of the Village,” by a first time director called Jonathan Stein.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/03/01/mahama-congratulates-young-actor-abraham-attah/#sthash.eGWJfHiC.dpuf


The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough
The Breakthrough

President John Mahama has joined the long list of Ghanaians and other well wishers abroad commending and encouraging young Ghanaian actor Abraham Attah, for his strides in the global film industry.

Attah has recently featured prominently on various global awards stages and picked some nominations and awards including the best male lead at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Venice film festival.

The icing on the cake perhaps was the opportunity to present an award at the Oscars.

He wore a customized pair of TOM shoes to the event and in return, the company will donate 10,000 pairs to needy children in Ghana.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/03/01/mahama-congratulates-young-actor-abraham-attah/#sthash.eGWJfHiC.dpuf
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Mahama grants charter to Central University to award degrees

President John Dramani Mahama has granted a Presidential Charter to the Central University College, making it a fully-fledged university that can now award its own degrees.

The institute becomes the fourth private university to achieve this feat after Valley View University, Trinity Theological Seminar and Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Research Institute.

Central University was accredited as a private university college in 1998, but in 2009, was turned down by the National Accreditation Board when it applied for the Presidential Charter. Five years down the line, the President has approved an application submitted by the NAB to grant a Charter to the school.

It is required that every university college, after operating for a minimum of 10 years, sends an application to the NAB for a comprehensive assessment of the institution, its programmes, facilities and finances; and a report is presented to the Minister of Education for onward recommendation to the president.

When the application is approved by the president, he then grants that institution a Charter, which enables it to award its own degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablarkwa, who disclosed this to the media, said the NAB is very careful about which schools it recommends to the president for a charter, as it wants to protect the country’s tertiary education system’s dignity and integrity.

He therefore urged authorities of private universities to support the NAB to protect the accreditation system so as to ensure holders of certificates from Ghanaian universities get value when they enter the global job market.

“They should understand the strict guidelines from the NAB. It is for a good reason that the NAB is so stringent in accreditation assessment. We don’t have to open the floodgates; we need to protect the accreditation system’s integrity,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Council of Independent Universities of Ghana has described the affiliation system in the country as a “grand exploitation” scheme, designed to rip-off nascent tertiary institutions and make private university education “expensive”.

They argue that the affiliation system where a private university college understudies a public university until the private university college becomes mature and receives a Presidential Charter to run its own graduate programmes, has become a major source of revenue for the mentor universities, as exorbitant fees are charged for it.

Source: citifmonline.com

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Leicester held at home by West Brom

Leicester missed the chance to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League as West Brom came from behind to claim a thrilling draw.

Salomon Rondon shrugged off Robert Huth to give West Brom the lead, but a Danny Drinkwater deflected shot levelled it.

Andy King finished a wonderful move to put Leicester ahead only for Craig Gardner to equalise with a free-kick.

Leicester twice hit the bar at a raucous King Power Stadium, but could not find a winner.

The draw leaves the Foxes three points ahead of Tottenham, who can go top with victory at West Ham on Wednesday, and six ahead of Arsenal, who face Swansea.

West Brom, who have now lost only two of their past 10 league games, stay 13th - 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

Relive Leicester's thrilling draw with West Brom

No more late drama

Leicester were below their best on Saturday but still managed to beat Norwich thanks to a late winner - here they were much improved, but could not conjure similar drama despite laying siege to the West Brom goal.

West Brom may have planned to concede possession and defend deep, and they were duly bombarded by wave after wave of Leicester attacks, mainly down the flanks through the excellent pair of Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton.

On Saturday, the Foxes had 13 attempts on goal - here they had 22, with headers from Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki hitting the woodwork.

Ben Foster also saved well from Jeffrey Schlupp and Wes Morgan, while Leonardo Ulloa could not repeat his weekend heroics when the ball flashed across the face of goal in the very last minute.

Baggies forced out of their shell

West Brom could have been forgiven for thinking that allowing Leicester the lion's share of possession was a sound approach.

Against Norwich, Leicester had the majority of the ball for only the third time this season and struggled. Whether by design or necessity, the Baggies were happy to sit back in the first period, especially after Rondon got on the end of Darren Fletcher's through ball to put the visitors ahead.

However, even with nine red shirts behind the ball, Leicester still found a way to lead, meaning West Brom had to make more of the play in the second half. It worked to their advantage as, after Mahrez needlessly handballed, Gardner curled in a sublime free-kick.

Rondon could even have won it but somehow turned over from inside the six-yard box, and the Baggies ultimately needed some fortune to hang on at the end of a breathless night.

King of the King Power

King was making only his seventh league start of the season, in the side for the injured N'Golo Kante.

The Welsh midfielder is the only member of the Foxes squad remaining from their time in the third tier seven years ago and has winners' medals from both League One and the Championship.

Here he looked to have taken a stride towards adding a Premier League medal when he met Mahrez's athletic back-heel to finish sharply past Foster.

But in the end the odds on King completing an unlikely hat-trick lengthened - and Leicester could be back to second in the table as early as Wednesday night.

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "I am very pleased with our performance. They played so well - there was no panic after the first goal. We played much better than against Norwich. I am satisfied with the performance. Just sometimes you can do everything but the ball doesn't want to go in.

"I want to create a lot of chances and sooner or later we score. Tonight wasn't the right moment but we are alive and we fight to the end. Everybody is ready to fight, to play well, to create chances. Only the victory was missing.

"We tried to do everything and well done to my players. We never never give up. We always try the best in every situation. Every team plays football and we have to find the solution and try to win. It is important not to lose the match too as they could have counter-attacked."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "Leicester are a good side. They ask questions of you.

"It's another point on the way for us. It's important for us to get to 40 points and we are happy with the way things are going. We need the hunger and desire to get to 40 points. We should have kept the ball better tonight. I'm really pleased with the players though.

"I'd love to see Leicester win the title."

The stats

  • Leicester are the first Premier League team this season to score 50+ goals in the competition.
  • Two of Leicester's three top-flight goals from outside the area this season have been scored by Danny Drinkwater.
  • Leicester's record as the only Premier League side not to concede at home in 2016 ended.
  • Riyad Mahrez has had a part in a league-high 25 Premier League goals this season (14 goals, 11 assists).
  • Salomon Rondon has scored in three of his past five Premier League games, having failed to score in his previous nine in the competition.
  • Andy King is the fourth Welshman to score on St David's Day in Premier League history (also Pembridge, Saunders and Collison).
  • Craig Gardner has had a role in three of the Baggies' last five Premier League goals (scored two, assisted one).
  • Gardner has also scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since last April (also v Palace and Leicester).

What's next?

Leicester travel to Watford on Saturday, while West Brom welcome Manchester United on Sunday.

Source: bbc.com



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Chelsea send Norwich into relegation zone

Norwich fell into the Premier League relegation zone as Chelsea continued their impressive form under Guus Hiddink with victory at Carrow Road.

Blues full-back Kenedy drilled in from 20 yards after 39 seconds - the fastest goal of the Premier League season.

Diego Costa doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time, running from an offside position to lift the ball home.

Cameron Jerome hit the bar before Nathan Redmond scored as Norwich lost for the eighth time in nine games.

The Canaries have taken just one point from a possible 24 - finding ugly form at the wrong time of the season.

Though they rallied late on, with Redmond and substitute Gary O'Neil going close, Norwich needs points, not performances, with just 10 games to go.

Look back on how Chelsea overcame Norwich

All the reaction from Tuesday's Premier League matches

Norwich going down?

The downward momentum Norwich have will worry both playing staff and board members, as missing out on an enhanced Premier League TV deal next season would be a tough financial pill to swallow.

But the reality is Alex Neil's side are coming up short. They have scored in just four of their past eight league games and, for all their effort, seem light up front when it matters.

Jerome hit the bar early from six yards in the second period when he should have scored and his lack of killer instinct summed up a display which was admirable if uninspiring.

Fellow relegation strugglers Sunderland and Newcastle visit Carrow Road in the run-in, but Norwich - 18th in the table on goal difference - must find their form soon.

Before Chelsea's visit they had fewer touches in opponents' area than any other side in the league. So is a change in style needed? Or are Neil's side simply doomed?

Blame the referee?

Redmond's strike - from a Wes Hoolahan pass - and performance will be one positive, and perhaps Norwich fans can draw some comfort from their early misfortune.

Referee Lee Mason was a clear target of home fans' frustration in the opening period as a succession of 50-50 calls went the way of the champions.

Thibaut Courtois seemed to pick up a clear backpass and Costa was a yard offside in running onto Bertrand Traore's pass in first-half injury time.

It proved key and was tough on the Canaries, but they must look at their own shortcomings too as Kenedy's early rocket arrived after the full-back was given plenty of time to fashion his shot.

Being undone inside a minute was exactly what Norwich did not need on a night when they were desperate to right a poor run of form. Another worry will be an injury sustained by Alexander Tettey, while Gary O'Neil suffered a head wound as he collided with Robbie Brady.

"Gary has a nasty gash and needs a few stitches, Robbie's lost two teeth and Alex is getting an X-ray on his leg," Neil said afterwards.

Chelsea have their groove back

Focus on the relegation zone could overshadow the fact Chelsea - in eighth - are in the top half for the first time since the opening week of the season.

Their remarkable slump under Jose Mourinho is long finished, with key players returning to form to fashion a run of 12 league games unbeaten.

Hiddink is yet to lose a league game since returning to the club and deserves praise for starting Kenedy and Traore.

Costa seems hungry again and has eight goals and four assists in his past 10 league games, while Cesc Fabregas looked in control in midfield throughout.

Hiddink is concerned his side will lose focus in league games with one eye on Champions League commitments but they showed they have the talent to come through such tests when not at their best. A top six-finish looks possible.

"Now with the ambition of Chelsea we must set a new target and see what we can do in the direction of Europe," Hiddink said afterwards.

What the managers said...

Norwich manager Alex Neil: "The first goal is a real disappointment for us. We have six behind the ball and the left back scores. The second is offside and you expect the officials to get that. The fact is we didn't really get exposed for the first goal but didn't deal with it and shut down quick enough."

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink: "We didn't want to go into the battle but they forced us. We were sloppy in the first half, starting well with a beautiful goal and I think we could have finished it in the first half. We were complacent in the last pass. They made our life difficult."

The stats you need to know

  • Chelsea have won three successive Premier League games for the first time since April.
  • Eden Hazard ended a run of 17 Premier League games without an assist by setting up Kenedy for Chelsea's opener.
  • Nathan Redmond scored his first Premier League goal since October.
  • Wes Hoolahan has recorded his best season for assists in a Premier League campaign with eight.

Up next?

Norwich travel to Swansea - who are three points above them - on Saturday, while Chelsea host Stoke four days before their Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris St-Germain.

Source: bbc.com

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If you love NPP, accept the result – Addison to Nii Noi

The newly-elected Parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Klottey Korle constituency, has called on Nii Noi Nortey to put aside his personal interests and join his campaign to reclaim the seat from the NDC.

According to Addison, no one’s personal ambition should supersede the overall interest of the party.

Nii Noi lost out to Addison in a re-run of the August 2 primary, the outcome of which the latter had contested in court.

Reports from his camp indicate that Nii Noi is considering taking legal action to have the results from Saturday’s primary overturned.

However, Addison believes that despite excessive the media ‘hype’ built around Nii Nortey, the delegates chose him instead to represent the party in the November polls.

“He had free reign on the media and was being hyped and talked about as a grassroots boy, well it’s been decided,” he said.

“It’s always inevitable that when you lose an election of this nature, people feel hurt. It takes time to bring them around.”

Addison added that only a united NPP can prevail in the elections, and called on Nii Noi to join him to ensure that is made possible.

“Before this election, I had pledged that whoever emerged victorious, I would work with that person so that the party will take the seat. I expect that he [Nii Noi] will reciprocate that pledge and also come together so that we work for the party.

“We can only hope that they will come together, if they love the party. At the end of the day. it is the party that is Supreme and we want to take the seat from the NDC. We can only do so if we are united.”

Source: ghanaweb.com

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Adam Johnson guilty of child sex charge

Ex-England footballer Adam Johnson has been found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a girl aged 15.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court found Johnson guilty of a charge of sexual touching, but not guilty on a charge relating to another sexual act.

The former Sunderland player had previously admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity.

Judge Jonathan Rose has warned Johnson he faces jail and told him to "say goodbye to your daughter".

Reaction to Adam Johnson's conviction

In a statement, Johnson's victim said she had been through the "hardest year" of her life.

She said meeting her hero felt "surreal" at first but she now feels "used and let down" by Johnson.

She said: "I have had to face so much abuse after he claimed his innocence and I was made out to be a liar.

"What happened in his car has turned my life upside down.

"There are people who have made assumptions about me and this has been hard to deal with... Him being found guilty shows everyone I was telling the truth."

'Significant sentence'

The judge said his preliminary view was that the case falls into the category of a five-year prison sentence with a range of four to 10 years.

He said: "The defendant must understand there is a very high probability of a significant custodial sentence."

The judge told Johnson he would be released on bail so he could get his "affairs in order".

He said: "You can say goodbye to your daughter. A prison sentence will mean you will not see her for some time."

Johnson, 28, showed no emotion as the verdicts were delivered and he has been granted bail until his sentencing, which is due to take place in two to three weeks.

Johnson met up with the girl on 30 January 2015 after agreeing to sign football shirts for her, the court heard.

The player admitted kissing the teenager but told the jury the encounter in his Range Rover "went no further".

However the girl told the court the former winger "put his hands down her pants" and she performed an oral sex act on him.

The jury, which had been deliberating since Tuesday morning following a three-week trial, cleared Johnson over the oral sex claim but convicted him by a 10-2 majority on the sexual touching charge.

Johnson was sacked by Sunderland after admitting on the first day of his trial that he had kissed the girl.

'Gifted' footballer's fall from grace

He began communicating with the girl at the very end of 2014 while his partner, Stacey Flounders, was heavily pregnant with their first child.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a Sunderland season ticket holder and was "infatuated" with Johnson.

Johnson told the jury that when she sent him a friend request on Facebook he recognised her as a Sunderland fan.

After he accepted the request he began a communication which involved 834 WhatsApp messages in little more than a month before the exchanges moved on to SnapChat and were not recorded.

During the trial, prosecutors accused Johnson of delaying his admission to the lesser offences until the start of his trial so he could still play for Sunderland, from whom he earned £60,000 a week.

Johnson told the court the club knew he had kissed the girl, but in a statement issued after the verdict Sunderland denied the claim.

The club said it played no part in Johnson's plea decisions and only became aware he had kissed the girl when he admitted it in court, at which point they sacked him.

Sunderland's statement said: "Had the club known that Mr Johnson intended to plead guilty to any of these charges then his employment would have been terminated immediately.

"Indeed, upon learning of the guilty plea on 11 February 2016, the club acted quickly and decisively in terminating Adam Johnson's contract without notice.

"This has been an extremely difficult time for all involved. The victim and her family have endured an unimaginable ordeal in the last 12 months and we trust that they will now be allowed to move on with their lives without further intrusion or public scrutiny."

Speaking after the verdicts, Det Insp Aelfwynn Sampson from Durham Police praised the victim for her bravery.

She said: "In our football-obsessed region, Adam Johnson had a responsibility as a professional footballer to be a role model, a role he did not fulfil."

Children's charity the NSPCC also condemned Johnson after his trial.

A spokesperson said: "Adam Johnson cynically used his celebrity status as a professional footballer to groom and sexually abuse an impressionable schoolgirl.

"His behaviour throughout was inexcusable, made even worse by the fact his not guilty pleas forced his young victim to suffer the harrowing experience of giving evidence in court."

Source: bbc.com

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Student charged after sharing nude photos of teacher

A high school student who went through his teacher's cellphone, found a nude picture of her and posted it online has been charged with a computer crime and voyeurism, authorities said Friday.

Union Public Safety Department Chief Sam White said the student, who is being charged as a juvenile, was taken into custody at Union High School without incident.

The 16-year-old is charged with a count of violating the state's computer crime act in the second degree and a count of aggravated voyeurism.

He is being held in juvenile detention for a hearing in family court. There have been no other arrests, but the investigation is continuing, the chief said.

Officials say it's not clear how many people may have seen the social media postings of the photo.

The teacher, Leigh Anne Arthur, has quit her job teaching mechanical and electrical engineering and computer programming at the school's vocational center.

Arthur, 33, told police on Feb. 18 that while she stepped out of her classroom, a boy took her unlocked smartphone from her desk, opened the photos application and found a nude selfie she had taken for her husband as a Valentine's Day present.

An online petition has been started, urging school district officials in the community in northwestern South Carolina to give Arthur her job back. The superintendent has said it was the teacher's fault for leaving students unattended during a four-minute break between classes.

The Associated Press left a phone message with Arthur on Friday seeking comment on the arrest.

The voyeurism charge makes it illegal, for the purpose of sexual gratification, to record or make a digital file of another person without his or her consent. The computer crimes charge makes it illegal to take possession or deprive the owner of a computer of computer data.

Both charges are misdemeanors for a first offense. But if the teen is convicted on both counts he could be sentenced to a maximum fine of $10,500 and four years in prison.

Source: foxnews.com

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LA police testing knife found buried at OJ Simpson's former estate

A knife found buried under O.J. Simpson’s former Los Angeles estate where he lived at the time of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman is undergoing forensic testing, Fox News confirmed Friday.

TMZ reports a construction worker found the knife years ago and gave it to an off-duty cop who kept it in his home before finally turning it over to police in January. TMZ did not specify when the knife was found, but reported that it may have been around the time the home was destroyed in 1998.

"It is being treated as we would all evidence," LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman said Friday. He added that police were "quite shocked" to learn about the knife after so many years.

Simpson's property was in the Brentwood section of LA. In 1995, a jury found him not guilty of murder after the so-called "Trial of the Century" dominated the media for months. Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, her friend, were found stabbed to death in June of 1994.

In 1997, a jury found Simpson civilly liable for the slayings. He's now imprisoned in Nevada on a robbery-kidnap conviction.

The weapon used in the killings has been a mystery for decades. Law enforcement sources told TMZ the blade is a folding Buck knife. It's now being tested for hair and DNA after it was handed over to the LAPD’s Robbery and Homicide Division.

NBC News, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported
that it was a smaller, relatively inexpensive utility-style blade typically carried by construction workers or other laborers and inconsistent with it being the murder weapon.

"We discovered it and our investigators immediately followed up on it," Neiman added. Simpson likely cannot be prosecuted again for the stabbings because of constitutional protections against being charged for the same crime twice, or double-jeopardy.

One source told TMZ the knife appeared to have blood residue on it, but it’s extremely rusted and stained, requiring further testing.

A member of Simpson's legal "dream team" in his murder trial called the find "ridiculous." Attorney Carl Douglas told the Los Angeles Times, "It's amazing how the world cannot move on from this case!"

The cop who kept the knife, an officer assigned to the traffic division, was off-duty at the time and never alerted higher-ups to the discovery, TMZ reported.

In late January the cop reportedly contacted a friend in the homicide division and told him he was getting the knife framed for his wall.

According to TMZ, the cop even asked his friend to get the department’s record number for the Simpson-Goldman murder case so he could engrave it in the frame. He was forced to surrender the knife to LAPD when the friend told superiors.

Sources told TMZ authorities are keeping their investigation top secret and under wraps, even logging the case into a computer system outside the official case file.

Source: foxnews.com

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Major donor calls for ouster of Wounded Warrior Project executive

A major donor to the Wounded Warrior Project veterans’ charity called Thursday for the nonprofit’s CEO to resign in light of allegations of lavish spending on staff meetings, according to a CBS News report.

Fred and Dianne Kane, the parents of two Iraq War veterans, have donated $325,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project since 2009 through their personal charity, Tee-off for a Cause.

Slightly more than half of the Kanes' donations directly benefitted veterans, according to CBS News.

But after recent tax forms reflected questionable spending by the veterans’ charity on staff expenditures, including $26 million on conferences and meetings at luxury hotels in 2014 alone, Fred Kane called for CEO Steven Nardizzi to be fired.The expenditure on conferences and travel was up from just $1.7 million in 2010, according to reports.

“Hearing that there was this waste of money, donor dollars that should have been going to servicemen and women that were injured, and that it was spent on [Wounded Warrior Project staff] having a good time—it’s a real disappointment,” Dianne Kane told CBS News.

The Kanes also initiated an online petition calling for a public audit of the Wounded Warrior Project in addition to canceling the next golf tournament Tee-off for a Cause was to hold to benefit the Project.

In January, Charity Navigator, a group that oversees nonprofit organizations, placed Wounded Warrior Project on its watch list, Fox News reported, citing a separate CBS report.

Army Staff Sergeant Erick Millette, who returned from Iraq in 2006 with a bronze star and a purple heart, told CBS News at the time that he admired the charity’s work and took a job with the group in 2014 but quit after two years.

"Their mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors, but what the public doesn't see is how they spend their money," he said.

Millette said he witnessed lavish spending on staff, with big “catered” parties.

Also in the previous interview, two former employees, who were so fearful of retaliation they asked that CBS News not show their faces on camera, said spending has skyrocketed since Nardizzi took over as CEO in 2009, pointing to the 2014 annual meeting at a luxury resort in Colorado Springs.

"He rappelled down the side of a building at one of the all hands events. He's come in on a Segway, he's come in on a horse,” one employee told CBS News.

Fred Kaine, in the recent interview, questioned Nardizzi’s apparent public absence while his organization has been under scrutiny.

“Where is this guy? You lead from the front—good or bad—you don’t hide,” he said, “If no one is going to talk about this right now and it has to be me, then it has to be me.”

Kane said he has cut charitable ties with the Wounded Warrior Project, embarking on a new charge to effect change at the organization.

Source: foxnews.com

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Fla. woman won't face charges after drownings in filthy pool

Prosecutors say a central Florida woman won't face criminal charges in the drowning deaths of her daughter and grandson.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that a State Attorney's Office memorandum released Thursday says there is "insufficient evidence" that Martha Jenkins exhibited a "gross and/or flagrant violation" while caring for the 2-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy.

Sheriff's investigators say Ashton Jenkins and Shana Cavanaugh died July 30 after slipping out of a sliding glass door and falling into a filthy backyard pool. Investigators had recommended two counts of aggravated manslaughter of a child after interviewing Jenkins' relatives and seeing their poor living conditions.

Officials say 33-year-old Jenkins, of Holly Hill, near Daytona Beach, was sleeping when the children left the house. Jenkins' mother told officials the door was left slightly open so cats could come and go.

Source: foxnews.com

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Mixtape: Dj Baddo BabaNla Finally PickUp Mix

World Famous Multiple Award Winning Pro Disk Jockey "Dj Baddo" Return With Another Dope Hot Mixtape Tittle “BabaNla Finally Pickup”
Another Hot mixtape, Dj Baddo known for his mind blowing, creative and deep sense of
music makes him distinctive among other DJs, Enjoy,Download & Share
1. Adekunle Gold - Pick Up
2. Wizkid - Final Baba Nla
3. Olamide - Eyan May Weather 
4. Sarkodie ft Castro - Adonai Rmx
5. Dj jimmy jatt ft Wizkid - Feeling The Beat
6. Masterkraft Ft Flavour & Sarkidie - Finally
7. Kiss Daniel X Wizkid - Good Time (DjBaddo Remix)
8. Wizkid - Good Time
9. Mc Galaxy ft stonebwoy - Go Gaga
10.Victor ft lil kesh - skibi dat
11.Reekado banks - Oluwa ni
12.Humble smith ft davido - osinachi 
13.Runtown - walahi
14.Lilkesh- Ibile
15.Dj Baddo Ft Skales - Finally 
16.Flavour Ft Psquare - Sexy Rosey
17.Lamboginny ft Chidinma, Clayy - I A Winner 
18.Olamide - Don't Stop  
19.Orezi Ft Wizkid - Ogede
20.Olalakeside- Collectti 
21.Patoranking - make am
22.Reekadobanks- Conner 
23.Davido Ft Olamide - The Money 
24.Flexy - So Happy
25.Terry G - Nonesense 
26.Dj Baddo Ft SmallDoctor- Kelegbe 
27.Lilkesh- Ft Patoranking- Is It Because I Love You
28.2t Boiz - Customer Dada
29.Terry G - Totori
30.CDQ Ft Wizkid - Nawo E Soke
31.HarrySongz ft Olamide,Kcee,Iyanya, - Reggae Blues
32.Skales - Mujo
33.Tekno- Duro Remix
34.Pepenazi Ft Olamide - Illega 
35.Phyno- Connect 
36.Timaya - I Concur 
37.Tekno- Wash
38.SmallDoctor Ft Olamide - You Know
39.Ege - Ajansare 
40.SmallDoctor - Gbera
41.Dj Baddo Ft Olumix - Samba Dance 
42.Lilkesh Ft Ycee - Cause Trouble 
43.Ycee Ft Olamide - Jagaban Remix
Source: Bakus Radio, USA
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Loko - Mr Confident Prod By LokoBeatz

The Song Addresses CONFIDENCE something that No one Could Do without.

Without Confidence one could Never Achieve Anything In Life

This is One Good Motivational Song , A Hit for 2016 and Beyond

Loko - Mr Confident Prod By LokoBeatz


Source: Xplusx Ghana

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Nancy Reagan death: President Obama leads tributes

US President Barack Obama has led tributes to former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who has died at the age of 94.

Mr Obama and his wife Michelle said they were "fortunate to benefit" from Mrs Reagan's "proud example".

Mrs Reagan, who died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles on Sunday, was also praised by other senior US politicians and foreign leaders.

Her 52-year marriage to Ronald Reagan was once described as the US presidency's greatest love affair.

From 1981-89 she was one of the most influential first ladies in US history; initially criticised for an expensive renovation of the White House, but later becoming a much-loved figure.

Nancy Reagan: Her husband's greatest supporter

Praise for 'devoted' First Lady

'Gracious first lady'

In a statement, the Obama family said: "Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course.

"But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice. Our former first lady redefined the role in her time here."

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneytweeted that "with the passing of Nancy Reagan, God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home".

Former President George W Bush said: "Mrs Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting."

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a Democratic presidential hopeful, said: "Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan - her Ronnie."

Stepson Michael Reagantweeted: "I am saddened by the passing of my stepmother Nancy Reagan... She is once again with the man she loved. God bless..."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "I remember Nancy as a noble woman who supported President Reagan and stood by his side. She will be remembered as a great friend of the state of Israel."

Anti-drugs campaigner

Mrs Reagan will be buried next to her husband, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, the library said in a statement.

Like her husband, Mrs Reagan was a former Hollywood performer who made it all the way to the White House.

As Nancy Davis, she was an actress during the 1940s and 1950s and married Mr Reagan, a prominent film actor, in 1952.

She served as first lady of California during her husband's stint as California governor from 1967 to 1975 before moving into the White House after his decisive victory over Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

As first lady, she sought to emulate the style of one of her predecessors, Jackie Kennedy.

To this end, she extensively redecorated the White House, and accepted designer dresses worth $1m (£600,000) and a 4,732-piece set of china worth $209,000.

But this spending spree provoked a huge outcry from people outraged by what they saw as profligacy and waste while millions of Americans were losing their jobs.

Public opinion was also swayed by accusations that Mrs Reagan had a frosty personality, often consulted astrologers, and ordered the dismissal of White House chief of staff Donald Regan in 1987.

"I see the first lady as another means to keep a president from becoming isolated," she once said.

Mrs Reagan's best-known project as first lady was the anti-drugs "Just Say No" campaign.

After her husband died of Alzheimer's in 2004, she became a champion for Alzheimer's patients, raising millions of dollars for research and breaking with fellow conservative Republicans to argue for stem cell studies.

Source: bbc.com

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US election 2016: Sanders beats Clinton in Maine caucuses

Bernie Sanders has beaten Hillary Clinton in the Maine caucuses, the latest contest in the battle to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

With 91% of the vote counted, Vermont Senator Mr Sanders is polling 64%, while former Secretary of State Mrs Clinton has 36%.

In the Republican race, Marco Rubio easily won Puerto Rico's primary, beating billionaire Donald Trump.

Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump remain overall leaders in the nomination campaigns.

Sunday night saw Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders clash on a number of issues in a CNN-hosted debate in Flint, Michigan.

They traded accusations on economy and trade, with Mrs Clinton saying her rival voted against a bailout of the US car industry in 2009.

Results as they come in

Clinton v Sanders: The progressive battle

Trump and Cruz seek "one-on-one" battle

How radical are Trump and Cruz?

"I went with them. You did not. If everybody had voted the way he [Sanders] did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking four million jobs with it," Mrs Clinton said.

Mr Sanders countered by saying: "I will be damned if it was the working people of this country who have to bail out the crooks on Wall Street."

He described the measures taken at the time as "the Wall Street bailout where some of your [Clinton's] friends destroyed this economy".

In Saturday's round of voting, Mr Sanders took two states - Kansas and Nebraska - but Mrs Clinton maintained her Democratic front-runner status after a big victory in Louisiana.

'One on one' call

While the win in Puerto Rico - a US territory - will boost Florida Senator Mr Rubio's campaign, it sends just 23 delegates to the Republican convention which nominates a presidential candidate.

Republican hopefuls need the votes of 1,237 delegates to get the nod for the presidential race proper.

Mr Rubio still trails well behind Mr Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Speaking after wins in the Republican Kentucky caucuses and Louisiana primary election on Saturday, Mr Trump told a news conference: "I would love to take on Ted Cruz one on one."

"Marco Rubio had a very very bad night and personally I call for him to drop out of the race. I think it's time now that he dropped out of the race. I really think so."

Meanwhile, Texas Senator Mr Cruz - who won Republican caucuses in Kansas and Maine - said he believed that "as long as the field remains divided, it gives Donald an advantage".

Election calendar: Next races

  • 8 March: Michigan and Mississippi primaries: Democratic and Republican; Hawaii and Idaho caucuses: Republican
  • 15 March: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio primaries: all Democratic and Republican

The full primary calendar

Source: bbc.com

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Migrant crisis: Leaders gather for Turkey-EU summit

Turkish and EU leaders have gathered in Brussels for an emergency summit on tackling Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

The EU has pledged €3bn (£2.3bn; $3.3bn) to Turkey in return for housing migrants and stemming the flow.

Last year, more than a million entered the EU illegally by boat, travelling mainly from Turkey to Greece.

Some 13,000 are stranded on Greece's border with Macedonia as European states seek to restrict entry.

Nato is expanding its naval mission against people-smuggling in the Aegean Sea to cover Turkish and Greek territorial waters, and will also increase its co-operation with the EU's border agency Frontex in the region.

The UK has announced that the amphibious landing ship RFA Mounts Bay will join naval vessels from Germany, Canada, Turkey and Greece in the area.

Migrants, many of them fleeing war zones in Syria and Iraq, continue to make the hazardous sea journey from Turkey to Greece's outer islands.

The human cost of the crisis was brought home again on Sunday when a boat capsized off Turkey with the loss of 25 lives.

EU states are divided over their response to the crisis with strains showing this year even in Germany and Sweden, seen as the countries most open to refugees.

Anti-migrant parties won a general election in Slovakia on Saturday which saw the far right gaining seats.

Turkish promise

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met their Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, at the Turkish embassy in Brussels late on Sunday to prepare for the summit.

The 28 EU states are expected to ask Turkey to take back thousands of migrants who do not qualify for asylum.

Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk said he had been told by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his country was ready to take back all migrants apprehended in Turkish waters.

A draft summit statement seen by the Associated Press news agency pledges to "stand by Greece in this difficult moment and will do its utmost to help manage the situation''.

"This is a collective EU responsibility requiring fast and efficient mobilisation," it adds.

More than 2,000 migrants continue to arrive daily in Greece from Turkey, hoping to reach the richer EU states to the north.

But Macedonia, which aspires to EU membership, is blocking them on its border, now fenced off with razor wire and watchtowers.

A ramshackle tent camp that has grown up around the Idomeni frontier crossing has become the focus of the crisis.

On Sunday, reports from the area said Macedonia had stopped allowing entry to anyone from areas in Iraq and Syria it did not consider to be active conflict zones.

Many migrants in the camp rely on food distributed by volunteers and items like firewood are scarce.

"We have been here five days, or six - who remembers the days anymore?" asked Narjes al Shalaby, 27, from the Syrian capital Damascus, in conversation with AP.

She is travelling with her mother and two daughters, Maria, five, and Bara'a, 10. Her husband and third daughter are already in Germany.

"All we do here is sleep, wake up, sleep," she said. "We get hungry, we wait in the queue for two hours for a sandwich, we come back, we sleep some more."

Migrants scuffle over firewood near Greece's Idomeni border crossing with Macedonia, 6 March

As many as 13,000 migrants are camped near Greece's border with Macedonia, many of them in tents. These men were collecting firewood

Source: bbc.com


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Peyton Manning: Denver Broncos quarterback retires from NFL

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has announced his retirement, ending a sparkling 18-year career in the NFL.

Manning struggled to hold back tears as he confirmed the news at a media conference in Denver on Monday.

He said: "I fought a good fight. I finished my football race. After 18 years it is time."

Manning, who turns 40 on 24 March, played his last game when he helped the Broncos win the Super Bowl in February.

It was his second Super Bowl win, the first coming in 2007 during a 14-year spell with the Indianapolis Colts.

One of the game's most prolific passers, he was voted the NFL's most valuable player a record five times.

Manning retires as the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (539), passing yards (71,940) and quarterback wins (186, tied with Brett Favre).

His teams made the play-offs in 15 of his 18 seasons.

"You don't have to wonder if I will miss it. Absolutely I will," Manning added.

"There are players who were more talented - but none could out prepare me. I have no regrets."

'Perfect way to end a career'

One of his biggest rivals, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, said Manning "set the standard for how to play the quarterback position".

He told Sports Illustrated: "What just happened, winning the Super Bowl in his last game, is a perfect way to end a career. But what he's accomplished through all these years, what makes it so admirable, is the pressure he's had on him his whole life.

"Who has lived up to the expectations year after year after year as well as Peyton? He's done it so gracefully, so admirably."

Recently, Manning has also faced controversy. Before this year's Super Bowl, the NFL began an investigation into allegations that banned substance human growth hormone was sent to his house when he was recovering from neck surgery in 2011.

He has described the allegations, made by broadcaster Al Jazeera, as "complete garbage".

During his retirement news conference, he also denied allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from his college playing days at Tennessee.

"I did not do what has been alleged and I am not interested in re-litigating something that happened when I was 19," he said.

In defeating the Carolina Panthers on 7 February, Manning became the oldest quarterback to win the showpiece event - and the first starting quarterback to win it with two different teams.

It had been rumoured the surprise 24-10 victory would be his last game, but he said afterwards he would "take time to reflect".

source: bbc.com

Justin Tuck tweet about Peyton Manning

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Quata Budukusu, the originator of tongue- twisting rap in Ghana has evolved and poised to take back his rightful position in the music scene.  He said, he is back and ready to take his place.

Following his quick comeback into the music scene after spending close to six years in hibernation, Quata urged Ghanaians to expect the best from him.

The tongue twisting rapper who disclosed to Frederick Noamesi in an exclusive interview, said, the kind of music he is coming out with has never been done in the whole world.

“I am an element of surprises and the level of music I am bringing right now is different from what everybody is doing. I am actually bringing hundred percent intellects into music now. Basically from the onset of Ghanaian music, it has been basic till now. Nothing innovative, nothing educative, you can’t listen to a song and actually researches about it before you understand.”

The rapper further mentioned some academia disciplines which he has fused into his music, noting that Ghanaians should get ready to do a lot of research before they understand his music.

“You need to research on some of the topics before you understand my music. It got science, it got chemistry, it got physics, it got Geography, it got psychology, it got native Twi language and English.”

“My music is also informative, educative and good for business. I am urging my fans to expect the best from me.”

The ‘Baby’ hit- maker who is currently under the management of Bakus Entertainment has released four singles, namely; ‘Wind N Go Low’ and ‘One Life to Live’ produced by Diaz Qlasik, ‘Pum Pum Shots’ produced by Vegas Ace and ‘Ohia’ produced by King Joe.

Rounding up, Quata has stated categorically that he is back and poised to take his right place. He mentioned that he will be doing some collaborations with some artistes as well.

Source: fredericknoamesi.com

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Ghana music industry is structured in such away that when an artiste fades off the scene, it takes lot of effort and motivations to comeback.

If an artiste does bounce back, regaining the general public acceptance and acknowledgement of success is not easy. Some artistes have made great come-back after re-branding and succeeded entering into the scenes again.

Mildred Mark- Hansen who is popularly known as Shegee Styla aka “The Godmother of Ghana Dancehall” has also path her way back into the music scenes.

She spends some years in obscurity,and after successful comeback she shares her story in biography video. In the new trending video she said Shatta Wale has been her greatest motivation and inspiration.

The ‘Let’s Go’ hitmaker said, she was challenged by the successful comeback of Shatta Wale (Bandana) who also spent close to ten years in obscurity.

She ended the year 2015 on a good note with hit singles like “Let’s Go” and “Survival” which qualifies for Vodafone Ghana Music Awards this year. If nominated for the Awards, she will be in the same categories with Stonebwoy, Samini, Iwan and likely Shatta Wale.

Since the beginning of the year she has released a single titled “Knock Out“. The song was produced by a Ugandan producer called Analytical Alz & Nase. Look forward for her latest single yet to be release with Shatta Wale.

Watch the bio video below!!!

Source: fredericknoamesi.com

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Ankara bombing: President Erdogan vows to bring terror 'to its knees'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to bring terrorism "to its knees" after an attack in the capital Ankara that killed at least 34 people.

Mr Erdogan said the suicide car bomb would serve only to strengthen the resolve of Turkey's security forces.

The explosion, in Guven Park in the Kizilay district, a key transport hub, wounded at least 125 people.

Interior Minister Efkan Ala said an investigation would conclude on Monday and those responsible would be named.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but government sources are casting suspicion on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The Kurdish rebels have carried out a series of attacks on Turkish soil in recent months. The so-called Islamic State group has also targeted Ankara recently.

Mr Erdogan said in a statement that terror groups were targeting civilians because they were losing the battle against Turkish security forces.

Calling for national unity, he said Turkey would use its right to self-defence to prevent future attacks.

"Our people should not worry, the struggle against terrorism will for certain end in success and terrorism will be brought to its knees," he said.

According to Turkey's state-run news agency, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has postponed a visit to Jordan following the bombing.

The United States condemned the attack. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: "We reaffirm our strong partnership with our Nato ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism."

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack, saying there was "no justification of such heinous acts of violence".

Turkey's pro-Kurdish political party issued a statement condemning the attack. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said it shares "the huge pain felt along with our citizens".

The HDP is frequently accused of being the political wing of the PKK, an accusation it denies, and of not speaking out against PKK violence.

The blast happened at about 18:40 (16:40 GMT) on Sunday and the area was evacuated in case of a second attack.

Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told a news conference that 30 people were killed at the scene and four died later in hospital. Two of the dead are believed to be the attackers.

Mr Muezzinoglu said 125 people were being treated at several hospitals in Ankara, of whom 19 are in a critical condition.

Last month, a bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara killed 28 people and wounded dozens more.

That bombing was claimed by a Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK). It said on its website that the attack was in retaliation for the policies of President Erdogan.

Turkey, however, blamed a Syrian national who was a member of another Kurdish group.

Last October, more than 100 people were killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Istanbul said three attacks in the Turkish capital in less than six months show the multiple security threats that Turkey now faces.

The country that was the stable corner of the Middle East and the West's crucial ally in a volatile region is now at a dangerous moment, he said.

Source: bbc.com

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Ivory Coast: 16 dead in Grand Bassam beach resort attack

Al-Qaeda-linked militants have killed at least 16 people in a gun attack on a beach resort in southern Ivory Coast.

The attackers fired on beach-goers in Grand Bassam, about 40km (25 miles) from the commercial capital Abidjan.

The resort is popular with both locals and foreigners. Four of the dead were Westerners, including a French and a German national, officials say.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed the attack. The gunmen have been "neutralised", officials say.

Ivory Coast was once one of the most stable countries in West Africa.

However, a civil war broke out in 2002, pitting the mainly Muslim north against the largely Christian south. Since then, peace deals have alternated with renewed violence.

Analysis: Tomi Oladipo, BBC Africa security correspondent

The attack confirms the fears of the Ivorian government, which has attempted to beef up security, particularly in its northern border regions, to keep Islamist militants out.

Grand Bassam is all the way to the south on the Atlantic coast, though. That shows that the militants have not just crossed the border but they might have even have a greater presence in the country. It furthers prove the capacity of jihadists to blend into the public and strike soft targets.

This threat is spreading across West Africa. To halt it, regional governments would need to step up their act in policing, as well as gathering and acting on intelligence individually and collectively.

France, too, is likely to boost its military campaign to protect its vast and entrenched interests in its former colonies.

A witness to Sunday's attack told AFP news agency that "heavily armed men wearing balaclavas" had opened fire near the L'Etoile du Sud hotel, which was full of expats.

Fourteen of those killed were civilians and two were soldiers, officials say. Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko four of the civilians were Westerners, and included a French and a German national.

There is no word on the nationalities of the other victims. French President Francois Hollande condemned the "cowardly attack".

BBC regional reporter Maud Jullien says Ivory Coast has been identified as one of several countries in West Africa at risk of being targeted by Islamist militants.

AQIM claimed deadly attacks on luxury hotels in Mali in November and Burkina Faso in January.

The group, which has its origin in Algeria's civil war of the 1990s, has expanded across the Sahel regions south of the Sahara in recent years.

Source: bbc.com

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Syria conflict: Damascus under pressure ahead of peace talks

Western powers have condemned efforts by the Syrian government to set limits to the agenda of fresh peace talks starting on Monday.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday ruled out any discussion of presidential elections.

US Secretary of State John Kerry responded by accusing Damascus of "trying to disrupt the process".

The UN-led talks represent the first serious diplomatic intervention since Russia began air strikes in September.

At the Geneva talks, diplomats are hoping to build on the fragile and partial truce, which has reduced the level of violence in Syria since it came into effect at the end of February, notes the BBC's Bethany Bell.

But expectations for the talks are low, she adds.

Mr Kerry met foreign ministers from France, Germany and the UK in advance on Sunday.

A cessation of hostilities agreed by most participants in the conflict began late last month. It excludes so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda's branch in Syria.

The purpose of the partial and temporary truce was to enable the warring sides and their foreign backers to launch a fresh attempt to end the five-year conflict.

More on this story

The story of the conflict

What is a cessation of hostilities?

How Putin is succeeding in Syria

But the latest diplomatic row began when Mr Muallem said that any talk of a new presidential election was off the agenda. "This is an exclusive right of the Syrian people,'' he said.

The main Syrian opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said the pre-conditions could halt the talks before they had even started.

On Sunday Mr Kerry said Mr Muallem was "clearly trying to disrupt the process", adding that Syria's allies, Russia and Iran, had made clear "there must be a political transition and that we must have a presidential election at some time".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Syria's "provocations" were a "bad sign and did not reflect the spirit of the ceasefire".

On Sunday the HNC said it would push for an interim government in which President Bashar al-Assad and the current leadership would have no role.

The indirect talks in Geneva are mediated by the United Nations. UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has said he wants presidential elections to be held in the next 18 months.

The fate of President Assad has been one of the main stumbling blocks in previous talks. The last round collapsed in February without agreement.

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and about 11 million people have been forced from their homes in five years of Syria's civil war, which began with an uprising against Mr Assad.

Government forces, supported by Russian air strikes, have made gains against rebel fighters in recent months.


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Google car crash 'not a surprise' - US transport secretary

The recent crash involving a Google self-driving car and a bus was "not a surprise", the US transport secretary has said.

Anthony Foxx told the BBC that accidents were inevitable, but that the emerging technology should not be compared "against perfection".

Nobody was hurt in the crash, but it was the first time Google's on-board computer has been blamed for causing a collision.

Secretary Foxx was attending the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Texas.

He announced that seven US cities - Austin, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland and San Francisco - had reached the final stage of a competition to receive $40m in government funding for "smart" technologies.

Secretary Foxx agreed that smart technologies could put some people out of work.

"Driverless technology presents a lot of potential for disruption on a number of fronts," he said.

"It's unclear to me now exactly how that future unfolds."

Relative comparisons

Secretary Foxx is leading efforts to bring self-driving cars to US roads. The Obama administration has committed $4bn to that goal - which includes attempts to develop standardised regulations for autonomous cars across the entire country.

On the public perception of self-driving cars following the February Google crash, he said: "It's not a surprise that at some point there would be a crash of any technology that's on the road.

"But I would challenge one to look at the number of crashes that occurred on the same day that were the result of human behaviour."

"I think the question here isn't comparing the automated car against perfection, I think it's a relative comparison to what we have now on the roads which is you and I, and our eyeballs, and our brains."

One challenge would be to tackle the legal issue of responsibility when crashes occur - and whether the passenger should be liable, or, given that the computer was driving, the companies behind the software that failed.

"That's precisely the type of question that we're hoping over the next several months to provide feedback to both the states and the industry on."

Source: bbc.com

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Letter from Africa: Ghana opens doors to other Africans

In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene reflects on Ghana's decision to remove visa requirements for citizens of all African countries.

After President John Dramani Mahama delivered his State of the Nation address two weeks ago, most of the discussions were on local and internal affairs, and this being an election year in the country, the debates were heated and will continue for a long time.

But hidden somewhere in the speech and lost in all the discussion was a major foreign affairs initiative which slipped by without media reporting or analysis and it seems likely people may have missed this completely.

Ghana's new visa-on-arrival policy for citizens of African Unity member states, to be introduced from July, only came to light after an announcement from the African Union.

Nationals from African countries complain loudly about the humiliations they go through to get visas for Europe and the United States but the process for African visas is often just as frustrating.

Anyone who has tried to cross borders on the African continent will have experienced the difficulties with travelling in Africa.

Air fares cost more than anywhere else and few roads or railways connect the countries to each other.

The immigration and police check points turn the journeys into veritable obstacle courses.

Displaced people who fled the anti-immigrant violence are seen in a camp on April 19, 2015 in the village of Primrose, 15 kms east of Johannesburg

South Africa is one country where other Africans do not always receive a warm welcome

We no longer have to go through Europe to fly to each other's countries, but flight connections are so few and so random, you are tempted to resort to the old routes through Europe to go to the country next door.

However, this is nothing compared to the hassle one has to go through to get visas for another African country.

Business people trading in the continent felt frustrated in the past at spending weeks trying to get visas for each country.

They pointed out that once armed with a European Schengen visa, they could travel through many European countries and conduct business without hassle.

Pointless bureaucracies

Unsurprisingly Ecowas, the West African regional body established in 1975 was at the time considered an attractive union due to the introduction of visa-free travel among member states.

Continental organizations like the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), formed to foster cooperation between African states and its successor the African Union (AU), launched in 2002, have few passionate supporters these days in Ghana as they are seen as pointless bureaucracies that have no bearing on the lives of people.

President Mahama's policy could boost AU's significance once again.

African unity was taken very seriously here in Ghana. It was our first President, Kwame Nkrumah, who was the driving force behind the establishment of the OAU back in 1963.

During the struggle for independence, Ghana provided a place of refuge for many freedom fighters, especially from South Africa with many being given Ghanaian passports.

As countries gained independence, Ghanaians were dismayed to discover they were not particularly welcome in these countries.

In the early years of Ghana's independence, and before the establishment of Ecowas, there were visa exemptions for "persons of African descent" born in the neighbouring west African countries, and members of the Casablanca group, which consisted of Guinea, Tunisia, Mali, United Arab Republic, Morocco and Algeria.

But these arrangements were scrapped after the overthrow of President Nkrumah.

With the new visa policy, Ghanaians will be watching to see if the number of non-Ecowas African nationals coming to Ghana will rise.

We in Ghana have a reputation for restless feet and are always trying to find new destinations to get to.

Obtaining visas for travel is often the greatest obstacle to travel and any country that makes it easier for us to enter becomes very attractive.

Whilst many here will be feeling that Ghana is taking a lead in implementing an AU directive, there will be greater interest in knowing how many other African countries will be allowing Ghanaians to enter their countries on a visa-on arrival policy.

Source: bbc.com

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Trump predicts 'riots' if Republicans deny him the nomination

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said his supporters would "riot" if he was denied the Republican nomination despite winning the popular vote.

Some Republicans have signalled that they would be open to a brokered convention, where party officials, not voters, would chose the nominee.

That would only take place if Mr Trump fell short of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

It is unclear if he can hit that threshold before the convention.

"I'm representing a tremendous - many, many millions of people, in many cases first-time voters," Mr Trump, the front-runner, told CNN. "If you disenfranchise those people ... I think you would have problems like you've never seen before," he said.

Delegate maths

Mr Trump has at least 646 delegates and is favoured to win many coming contests, but challenges from opponents Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich have blunted his momentum.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump won primaries in four states - Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. Yet a win by Mr Kasich in Ohio raised the possibly that Trump's delegate count could fall short.

Mr Cruz, who is currently in second place in the race, is also opposed to a brokered convention.

Where did Marco Rubio go wrong? - A bruising night for the establishment hope, and other takeaways from our US correspondents

Winners and losers on Super Tuesday II - John Kasich and Hillary Clinton have big nights

Clinton 'shouting' comments spark sexism row - Mrs Clinton gets some unsolicited advice and Twitter responds

Mr Cruz currently has 397 delegates and Mr Kasich has 142.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, once thought to be a promising Republican choice for nominee, dropped out of the race on Tuesday after a poor showing in state primaries.

Mr Trump also said he would not be participating in a Fox News Republican debate set for 21 March in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mr Kasich's campaign said they would not participate if Mr Trump did not, so the network then cancelled the debate.

The billionaire businessman with no prior political experience has come under fire by his fellow Republican candidates, along with Democrats, for encouraging a culture of violence at his campaign rallies.

Criticism over violent Trump rallies

He called off a rally to be held in Chicago after clashes between protesters and supporters.

He has said no one gets hurt at his "love-fest" rallies and that he denies responsibility for any violence.

Source: bbc.com

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Migrant crisis: 'Many issues' in way of EU-Turkey deal

EU leaders are to meet to finalise a deal with Turkey to help ease the migrant crisis.

European Council President Donald Tusk admits a "catalogue of issues" in the way of an agreement remains unresolved.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is due to join the summit on Friday.

The proposed plan would see all migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey sent back. For each Syrian returned, a Syrian in Turkey would be resettled in the EU.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have travelled through Macedonia over the past year, heading north, the vast majority of them arriving after making the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey.

No 'cast-iron' incentives

At a meeting last week where the plan was initially proposed, EU leaders said that in return for action on the migrant crisis, visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens would be available from June.

They also promised to speed up financial aid promised last year and to make a fresh push on talks over Turkey's eventual membership of the EU.

However, in the latest draft of the deal the incentives being offered to the Turkish government appear to be far less cast-iron than Ankara would like, the BBC's Chris Morris reports from Brussels.

There is no guarantee that Turkey's EU membership bid will be speeded up - only a commitment to prepare for further negotiations as soon as possible.

Secondly, visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Turkish citizens by the end of June will depend on Turkey complying with all 72 conditions that the EU has set out.

Finally, there's no certainty that financial aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey will be doubled to €6bn - only a promise to consider it, if the first tranche of money produces positive results.

In addition to these points of potential disagreement, there is continuing criticism of the legal basis for the idea of returning all irregular migrants from Greece to Turkey, our correspondent adds.

The Spanish foreign minister has said Spain will oppose the "blanket return" of refugees to Turkey.

Despite the obstacles, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said ahead of the summit that he was "cautiously optimistic" a deal could be reached.


Meanwhile UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to warn the summit of a possibility of a fresh wave of migrants coming to Europe from Libya this summer.

Although recent attention has been focused on migrants arriving in Greece, the sea route to Italy from Libya has also been a key route for migrants including refugees fleeing conflicts and oppression in Syria, Eritrea and other countries.

Libya has suffered from chronic instability and lawlessness since forces backed by Nato countries including the UK and France overthrew long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.

Last week, US President Barack Obama suggested Mr Cameron had become "distracted" in the aftermath of the intervention. "I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya's proximity, being invested in the follow-up," he said.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Source: bbc.com


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Brazil's Lula to be President Rousseff's chief of staff

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has appointed her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as her new chief of staff.

The move shields Lula from possible prosecution by a federal judge investigating a massive corruption scandal named Operation Car Wash.

The move sparked protests in several cities by those angry at the decision.

But Ms Rousseff said that protecting Lula from prosecution was not the motivation for the appointment.

"Lula's arrival in my government strengthens it and there are people who don't want it to be stronger."

Under Brazilian law, cabinet members can only be tried by the Supreme Court.

On 4 March, Lula was briefly detained and questioned over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash, a massive investigation into corruption at the state oil giant, Petrobras.

He denies the allegations and says they are aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.

In a taped telephone conversation released by the judge overseeing the investigation, Ms Rousseff offered to send Lula a copy of his appointment "in case of necessity" - interpreted by some as meaning in case he needed it to avoid arrest.

Hours after the announcement of Lula's appointment, protesters gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Brasilia and in at least three other cities.

"I'm tired. I'm not the police; I'm a Brazilian who is tired of so much corruption," one protester in Brasilia told Reuters.

In Congress, opposition politicians gathered around a microphone during a chaotic session and chanted "resignation".

Protesters outside the Planalto Presidential Palace in Brasilia

Some 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Brasilia on Wednesday evening

Demonstrators protest against Lula's appointment in Sao Paulo

Protesters also turned out in Sao Paulo

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, presser, Brasilia

President Rousseff dismissed claims that Lula's appointment was aimed at shielding him from a corruption investigation

Ms Rousseff says the appointment is due to Lula being a "skilful political negotiator" and experienced leader who will help kick off economic recovery.

During his time in office, the Brazilian economy experienced unprecedented economic growth and wealth redistribution.

"I believe [former] President Lula, who was in charge of the country for eight years, cannot have his reputation destroyed in this manner," added Ms Rousseff.

Lula in the spotlight

Fight against impeachment

Lula and other ministers appointed on Wednesday are expected to be sworn in at 10:00 local time (13:00 GMT) on Thursday.

As chief of staff, Lula is expected to lead the fight against moves in Congress to impeach President Rousseff over allegations she manipulated Brazil's account books to hide a growing deficit.

Analysts say President Rousseff is hoping that Lula will use his political nous and influence with members of Congress to block impeachment proceedings.

The two politicians have been close for decades. Lula was Ms Rousseff's political mentor and she is his hand-picked successor.

Lula: 'Man of the people'

Lula at a campaign rally for President Dilma Rousseff in October 2014

  • Born 27 October 1945 into a poor, illiterate family in Pernambuco state
  • Worked in Sao Paulo's car industry
  • Achieved national fame leading strikes during Brazil's dictatorship
  • In 1980 he founded the Workers' Party (PT), the first major socialist party in Brazil's history
  • Elected president in 2002 at the fourth attempt and went on to serve two terms
  • Pumped billions of dollars into social programmes such as Bolsa Familia that benefited tens of millions of Brazilians
  • When he left office in 2010 he said: "I am leaving government to live life on the streets. Man of the people that I always was, I will be more of the people than ever before"
  • Currently under investigation over his deals with construction firms

Source: bbc.com


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US Federal Reserve holds interest rates

The US Federal Reserve has decided to keep interest rates at between 0.25% and 0.5%.

The central bank said the labour market was strengthening, but it was still looking for inflation to reach its 2% target and expected the US economy to continue to "expand at a moderate pace"

The US central bank last raised rates in December, saying it expected to raise rates four times in 2016.

It now says it expects to raise rates just twice this year.

"Proceeding cautiously will allow us to verify that the labour market is continue to strength given the economic risk from abroad," said the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, speaking at a press conference after the announcement.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Fed's Open Market Committee - which decides the level of interest rates - said that while the US economy was seeing some improvement, weaker global markets were having a dampening effect.

"Household spending has been increasing at a moderate rate, and the housing sector has improved further; however, business fixed investment and net exports have been soft," the committee said.

Analysis: Michelle Fleury, North American Business Correspondent

As one Fed watcher put it, this amounted to easing of monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve scaled back the number of times it expects to raise interest rates this year, warning that global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks.

Fed officials publish their forecasts for the central bank's key interest rate on a chart known as the "dot plot".

By pencilling in just two hikes this year - instead of the four assumed back in December - they were sending a message: they think the US needs more time to recover.

Fearing that financial markets might get ahead of themselves, Chair Janet Yellen in her new conference warned that the "dot plot" was not a promise and that policy was not on a pre-set course.

A message that may not have got through given the reaction on the S&P which closed at a high for this year.

An unexpected rise in underlying US inflation has led many investors to view June as month when the Fed will raise rates.

The Fed said its target of 2% inflation could be reached over the medium term, however, due to the effect of falling oil prices.

Labour market

Inflation and the job market have been the two key factors in the Fed's decision to raise rates.

The US labour market has been improving. The unemployment rate fell bellow 5% in January. Ms Yellen stressed that the labour market participation rate - which measures the number of people looking for work - had also improved, a further sign of a strengthening economy.

Ms Yellen stressed that "policy is not on a pre-set course" and would change "as shocks positive or negative affected [economic] forecasts".

In December, the Fed downgraded its growth expectations for the US economy from 2.4% to 2.2%.

Oil prices

Energy prices have been a significant factor in the Fed's decision.

The price of oil has risen from an 11-month low of below $30 a barrel to just under $40.

Ms Yellen said this had eased concerns about the health of some companies and foreign markets that rely on oil production.

At the same time lower oil prices have allowed US households to spend in other areas.

Source: bbc.com

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Oscars diversity debate: Academy appoints 'diverse voices'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, has added "diverse voices" to its board after a row about ethnic diversity.

Three new governors have been appointed, including African-American producer Reginald Hudlin and Korean-born director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

The move comes after several Hollywood figures boycotted this year's Oscars.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the board now had "much more of a diversity to it".

Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett-Smith were among those who objected to there being no non-white nominees in the acting categories and the row saw the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trending for several days after the nominations were announced.

The Academy has also appointed six new committee members, which include Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal and African-American producers Effie Brown and Stephanie Allain.

'Very sorry'

Boone Isaacs said: "We set out, even a few years ago, to have more inclusion and certainly have stepped it up.

"We just want to keep this process going, and so were really happy that were able to announce these additions."

Other changes announced include limiting Oscar voting rights to those active in the movie business.

The Academy also apologised after criticism from some Asian academy members who were offended by a skit during the Oscars show in February.

Activists accused host Chris Rock of perpetuating racial stereotypes when he introduced a group of accountants, who turned out to be three Asian children in suits. One of the children was also given a Jewish surname.

Rock then said: "If anybody is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids."

Boone Isaacs said she was "very sorry" people had been offended, adding: "I can understand the feelings and we are setting up a meeting to discuss, because as you well know, no one sets out to be offensive.

"I think so much is achieved with dialogue, so much is achieved. And that is what we'll continue to do: have dialogue, listen and just keep fixing.''

Source: bbc.com

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Migrant crisis: EU agrees joint position to put to Turkey

EU leaders have agreed a joint position to put to Turkey in an attempt to reach a deal over the migrant crisis, Luxembourg's prime minster says.

Xavier Bettel said the common EU position would be put to Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday morning.

The proposed deal would see all migrants travelling to Greece from Turkey sent back.

In return it is thought the EU might offer Turkey financial aid and visa-free access to Schengen countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Turkey had to meet international standards of protection for all migrants, Reuters reports.

She said that legal resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey to the EU under the deal could start a few days after the first returns from Greece.

However, she added that the EU needed to be ready to start returning migrants from Greece to Turkey rapidly to avoid a "pull factor" creating a surge of migrants before the new system takes effect.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has warned that the plan to return people to Turkey is "on the edge of international law" and difficult to implement.

Mr Davutoglu has said he will not accept Turkey becoming an "open prison" for migrants.

To meet concerns over the plan's legality, the leaders discussed providing assurances that each person claiming asylum will be given a full hearing in Greece, the BBC's Damian Grammaticas reports from Brussels.

French President Francois Hollande warned that "I cannot guarantee that there will be a happy outcome" to the search for a solution.

Since January 2015, a million migrants and refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece. More than 132,000 have arrived this year alone.

Tens of thousands are now stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked.


Under initial proposals, for each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, a different Syrian would be resettled in the EU directly from the country.

In return, the EU had suggested it would double financial aid to Turkey promised last year, make a fresh push on talks over Turkey's eventual membership of the EU and offer visa-free travel to Europe's Schengen states.

However, those proposals have since been watered down, lowering expectation on greater financial help and talks on EU membership and linking visa-free travel to 72 conditions to which Turkey must agree.

A number of EU countries have raised concerns about what is on offer to Turkey amid a clampdown by the Ankara government on academics and journalists.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Source: bbc.com

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Brazil judge blocks Lula appointment to government

A Brazilian judge has blocked the appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor, Dilma Rousseff, shortly after he was sworn in.

The judge's injunction said there was a risk a federal investigation could be derailed if Lula was a minister.

In Brazil, cabinet members can only be investigated by the Supreme Court, not by federal courts.

Lula is under investigation in connection with a corruption scandal.

The government has appealed against the decision.

Legal battle

Prosecutors filed charges against Lula last week accusing him of money laundering and fraud, which he has denied.

Brazilians get that sinking feeling as crisis deepens

Brazil tumbling like 'House of Cards'

Lula: Most hated and loved man in Brazil

Why is Lula caught up in scandal?

Lula's nomination as chief of staff has divided Brazilians.

Some said it was a move to shield him from prosecution while others welcomed his return to active politics.

Ahead of his swearing-in ceremony, groups of supporters and opponents of the government clashed outside the presidential palace.

The ceremony itself was interrupted by a protester who cried "Shame!".

The protester was drowned out by supporters of the governing Workers' Party, who shouted pro-government slogans and Lula's name.

During the ceremony, President Rousseff praised Lula, who she said was "not just a great politician, but a great friend and comrade of many battles".

"We've always stood side by side," she said.

A visibly angry Ms Rousseff then criticised federal Judge Sergio Moro, who is leading the investigation into a massive corruption scandal at state-oil giant Petrobras.

On Wednesday, Judge Moro made public a taped phone conversation between President Rousseff and Lula which has been interpreted by some to show that Lula was given the post of chief of staff to shield him from prosecution.

In the conversation, Ms Rousseff told Lula she would send him the official decree naming him as minister "just to use in case it's necessary".

President Rousseff said Judge Moro had violated the law and the constitution by releasing the tape and that she would order an investigation.

President under fire

President Rousseff herself is under considerable political pressure.

Rousseff facing a perfect storm

Her critics want to impeach her over allegations she manipulated Brazil's account books to hide a growing deficit.

On Thursday, members of the lower house of Congress approved the creation of a 65-member committee to look into the ongoing impeachment.

It will examine the issue over the next few weeks and make a recommendation on whether Ms Rousseff should or not be impeached.

The final decision on her political future will be taken by the Senate.

Brazil's former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hugs Brazil President Dilma Rousseff as he is sworn in as the new chief of staff in the Planalto Palace on March 17, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil.

President Rousseff showed her support for her mentor at his swearing-in ceremony

Analysts say she named Lula chief of staff so he could use his influence with members of Congress to convince them to vote against her impeachment.

As more and more members of her Workers' Party are being investigated over corruption at Petrobras, she is also facing increased questions about what she may have known.

Ms Rousseff was head of the board at Petrobras from 2003 to 2010 and has always denied any wrongdoing.

On Sunday, a record number of people took part in anti-government marches across Brazil.

An estimated three million people called for an end to corruption and for Ms Rousseff's impeachment.

There have also been rallies in support of the government, but they have been smaller than those opposing the administration.

The political upheaval comes at a time of economic problems, with Brazil going through its worst recession in more than three decades.

Source: bbc.com

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North Korea fires ballistic missile into sea

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea, South Korean and US officials say.

They say the missile, launched off the east coast, flew about 800km (500 miles) and fell into the water. North Korea has not commented on the report.

A US defence spokesperson later said a second missile was launched.

US President Barack Obama earlier imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang, after its recent "illicit" nuclear test and satellite launch.

His executive order freezes North Korean government property in the United States. It bans US exports to - or investment in - North Korea and also greatly expands powers to blacklist anyone, including non-Americans, dealing with North Korea.

The 6 January nuclear test and 7 February satellite launch were violations of existing UN sanctions.

'Pre-emptive nuclear strike'

South Korea's Yonhap news agency also cited unnamed sources saying a second missile was detected but it may have disintegrated in mid-air.

They appeared to be medium-range Rodong missiles fired from road-mobile launch vehicles.

With a maximum range of 1,300km, the Rodong would have the capability to reach all of South Korea and parts of Japan.

Lt Col Michelle Baldanza, from the US defence press office said after the latest launch: "We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region."

Amid the heightened tensions, the North sentenced a US student to 15 years hard labour on Wednesday for "severe crimes" against the state.

The US demanded North Korea immediately release Otto Warmbier, 21, who was arrested for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel while on a visit in January.

The US and South Korea are also holding their biggest annual military drills this month, which routinely generate tension.

But this year North Korea threatened to launch a "pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice" against the US and South Korea.

Source: bbc.com

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United crush out of Europe

Philippe Coutinho's brilliant solo goal killed Manchester United's hopes of a Europa League comeback and sent Liverpool into the last eight in comfort at Old Trafford.

Jurgen Klopp's side were protecting a two-goal lead from the first leg at Anfield but Anthony Martial's 32nd-minute penalty offered United brief hope after he was fouled by Nathaniel Clyne.

Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata had missed clear opportunities for United but Liverpool were also a threat as David de Gea saved superbly from Coutinho while Daniel Sturridge hit the bar with a free-kick and Jordan Henderson missed an open goal.

The away goal Liverpool threatened, and which left United needing four on the night, came right on half-time when Coutinho beat Guillermo Varela with ease before lifting a near-post finish past De Gea.

It ended the game as a contest with United unable to rouse themselves again as Liverpool completed the formalities to win the first European meeting between the two clubs.

Sadly, the final stages of the match were marred by clashes between supporters near the Liverpool corner of the ground - and it remains to be seen if Uefa take any action.

Too little too late for Man Utd

Manchester United, in the first half at least, played with a pace, and showed a spirit and endeavour, that has rarely been displayed at Old Trafford this season - but the task was too much.

And that was down to the lamentable performance at Anfield last Thursday when Liverpool dominated every facet of the first leg to secure a two-goal lead that could actually have been much more.

It left United vulnerable to one goal from Liverpool that would leave them needing four, and so it proved when Coutinho's brilliant dribble provided that crucial away strike.

United, from that point on, looked like the team they have been for most of this season - pedestrian, uninspired and struggling to illuminate an Old Trafford stage that has suffered much this season.

And there was suffering in hearing songs of celebration from 3,000 Liverpool fans tucked away in one corner of the stadium as their arch-rivals celebrated victory in the first European meeting between the two sides and a place in the last eight of the Europa League.

It was also further evidence that, for all those who still feel United might be better off without Wayne Rooney, that this team still misses him very badly as he was reduced to watching the game from the stands with his son as the England captain recovers from a knee injury.

Can Liverpool go all the way?

Liverpool are progressing rapidly under Klopp, who is putting his imprint on the side six months after he succeeded sacked Brendan Rodgers.

And some of the old European anticipation will be rising at Anfield as they contemplate Friday's quarter-final draw.

Time for some perspective, though, and a warning that Klopp is embarking on a rebuilding programme that will not be a quick fix.

There are still some tasty potential opponents lying in wait, none more so than Klopp's old club Borussia Dortmund, tournament favourites and impressive winners against Tottenham over two legs.

The notion of Klopp facing Dortmund is an enticing one and he would be guaranteed a rapturous reception at the club he took to two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League final.

And that is before you even get to Sevilla, winners in the past two seasons and who cruised into the last eight against FC Basel.

Young guns offer hope for Man Utd

This was another disappointing night in a disappointing season for Manchester United - and there will be extra pain in losing a European tie to such fierce adversaries.

If there is some comfort, it can be gained in the performances of young strike duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Rashford, just 18, never gave up at any point, chasing lost causes endlessly while trying to provide United's lost spark.

Martial, 20, tormented Clyne with his pace in the first half to earn - and score - the penalty that gave United some hope.

They are small crumbs of comfort on a miserable night for United but they need all the hope they can get after this.

'Punches and seats thrown'

Liverpool's on-field celebrations were marred by trouble in the stands in the closing minutes and after the final whistle.

BBC Radio 5 live commentator Ian Dennis had a clear view of the disturbances in the crowd and said he saw fighting and seats being ripped out.

"Punches are being traded by rival supporters," he said.

"I have seen three red seats from the Liverpool section being thrown into the Manchester United fans.

"There are about 10 Liverpool supporters sat on the front row of the top tier and there is a human wall of police officers in luminous clothing protecting the Liverpool fans sat in the Manchester United end.

"Uefa will take action - mark my words."

What the managers said

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal: "I am not angry, I am not frustrated. I was very proud of my players.

"They gave everything and I was very pleased the fans recognised that. They applauded after the match despite us being out - that was remarkable I think.

"I hope Man City is the catalyst. We have to beat City and we have a chance to still qualify (for the Champions League)."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "They got a penalty - it was a penalty - and Phil had a genius moment.

"I love it two minutes before half-time because he twice reacted quicker than his opponent.

"It was the most unexpected that he could do in a situation like this."

What next?

Manchester United will travel to the Etihad for a Premier League derby against neighbours Manchester City on Sunday, the same day as Liverpool play Southampton.

The stats you need to know

  • Anthony Martial has scored in back-to-back games for Manchester United for the first time since September 2015
  • Coutinho has equalled his best goals tally in a season for Liverpool (8) in all competitions, a feat he achieved last season
  • The Red Devils have been eliminated from the Europa League at the last-16 stage in both of their appearances in the competition (also 2011/12 versus Athletic Bilbao)
  • Liverpool have reached the quarter-final of a European competition for the first time since 2009/10, when they faced Benfica in the Europa League on their way to the semi-finals
  • Jurgen Klopp is the first Liverpool manager since Graeme Souness in October 1991 to avoid defeat in his first game at Old Trafford as Reds boss

Source: bbc.com

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Hulk Hogan awarded $115m in Gawker sex tape case

A Florida jury has awarded Hulk Hogan $115m (£79m) after the gossip news website Gawker published a sex tape of the retired professional wrestler.

Mr Hogan's legal team argued the New York-based website violated his privacy and the video was not newsworthy.

The case, which pitted freedom of the press against a celebrity's right to privacy, has been closely watched.

The video was posted in 2012 after Mr Hogan was secretly recorded having sex with his friend's wife.

Lawyers for Gawker argued that although jurors might find the website's actions distasteful, the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold.

Mr Hogan's lawyers said Gawker did not contact him or the woman in the video before the video was published.

"This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who's been victimised by tabloid journalism," Hogan lawyer David Houston said outside the courtroom.

Gawker, known for its acerbic tone and aggressive coverage of celebrities, maintained that Mr Hogan's private life was newsworthy because he made it part of his public persona.

"He has consistently chosen to put his private life out there, for public consumption," Gawker's lawyer Michael Sullivan said during the trial.

However, Hogan lawyer Kenneth Turkel said during the trial that Gawker typified the often anything-goes world of internet publishing.

The verdict could lead to more caution among Internet news websites, which frequently have less editorial oversight than traditional media outlets.

Gawker's founder Nick Denton and journalist AJ Daulerio were held liable in the lawsuit.

Even before the verdict was announced, Gawker said in a statement that an appeal was likely. Large jury awards are often reduced during the appeals process.

Mr Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, said the release of the sex tape hurt his career.

He was one of the most popular professional wrestlers of the 1980s and 1990s and later starred in his own reality television show with his family.

In recent years, Mr Hogan's personal problems have conflicted with his one-time child-friendly persona.

His longtime employer World Wrestling Entertainment cut ties with Mr Hogan in July after he was recorded using racial slurs.

Source: bbc.com

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Lyrical Wars Did Not Do Me Any Good – Quata

Undoubtedly, Quata Budukusu is one of the few names that will always come to mind when artistes with the records of throwing derogative punch lines to other artistes, but after bouncing back from his hibernation he has noted in an interview with Flex newspaper that all those lyrical wars or attacking other artistes did not help him.
We can all bear witness to the fact that beefing or better still lyrical fights are very rampant in our entertainment industry nowadays.
According to Quata who believes that he has been in hot waters and he knows how hot it was for him to engage in lyrical fight or step on people’s toes, he says some DJs in Ghana who always put his songs on replay stopped playing them.
“I will never like to see any colleague of mine toe the same line. Take it or leave it, we are still here in the game because of the mercies of God and the talent,” he stated. He said his new brand has now earned him some love from DJs and that they have started playing his new songs like Ohia, Kudi, One Life to Live, Pumpum Shot, Wind and Go
Low and more my only hope is that they will keep it up. I am a brother and also I am here to keep it clean. Fans of Quata and the whole Ghana should watch out for the greatest comeback concert which will happen at the Independence Square and Quata is charged up to set the record straight with this concert.
One surprising thing is that Quata will be the only act to entertain folks who will make it to the event back to back with hit songs that will blow your mind.

Listen to Pumpum Sshots by Quata below;

Source: Flex newspaper

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Russia plane crash: Dozens killed in Rostov-on-Don

A passenger jet has crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don killing all 55 passengers and six crew on board, officials say.

The FlyDubai Boeing 737-800, coming from Dubai, missed the runway as it attempted to land at 03:50 local time (00:50 GMT) on Saturday.

It is not clear what caused the crash but poor visibility and high winds are being considered as a factor.

There were reports of a fire or an explosion on board.

Most of the passengers on board flight FZ981 were Russian, the regional governor said on television.

Another official said three foreigners were on the passenger list, Reuters reported, but this has not been confirmed.

About 700 rescue workers are at the site of the crash and the fire has been extinguished, media reports say.

Other flights have been diverted away from the airport.

A CCTV video showed what appeared to be a plane landing at the airport before being engulfed in a huge fire. Its authenticity has not been verified.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the airliner confirmed the "tragic accident" and said an emergency response has been put in place.

Boeing said on Twitter its team was working to gather more details.

FlyDubai, a low cost carrier launched in 2009 with a hub in Dubai, operates flights to some 90 destinations.

Source: bbc.com

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Mitt Romney: Vote for Ted Cruz over 'Trumpism'

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney will vote for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, saying he is "repulsed" by Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Mr Romney said in a Facebook post that the only way to nominate a Republican is to have an open convention, in which party officials choose the nominee.

He campaigned with Governor John Kasich in Ohio but said voting for Mr Cruz is the only way to stop "Trumpism".

He joins other Republican leaders coalescing around Mr Cruz.

Mr Trump has won the most state contests and holds 678 delegates - 1,237 are needed to win the nomination.

"Mitt Romney is a mixed up man who doesn't have a clue. No wonder he lost!" Mr Trump said on Twitter.

However Republican leaders are concerned that his controversial comments about immigrants, women and Muslims would make him a weak candidate in the general election in November.

Some also feel that the onetime Democrat cannot be trusted to implement conservative policies.

"Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism," Mr Romney said. "Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these."

Analysis: Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America Reporter

It turns out Mitt Romney's speech roundly condemning Donald Trump two weeks ago was just an opening salvo in what could be a long war against the New York businessman.

With the Utah primary days away, the 2012 Republican nominee, still highly respected among the state's large Mormon population, is casting his lot with - and personal ballot for - Ted Cruz in a last-ditch attempt to stop "Trumpism" from taking over his party.

Mr Romney and the Texas senator are certainly strange political bedfellows. One is the face of the party's genteel establishment; the other a bomb-throwing backbencher who has spent more time condemning his party's leadership than courting it.

The goal for Mr Romney continues to be a political street fight at an open Republican convention. The former Massachusetts governor has apparently concluded that this necessitated sticking the knife in Mr Trump's other opponent, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and going all-in with Mr Cruz.

His efforts prior to the last round of voting did little to slow Mr Trump's momentum. It remains to be seen if his latest moves will be any different.

Earlier, he gave a speech outlining why he was against Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman with no political experience, calling him a "phoney" and a "fraud".

Mr Romney's home state of Utah holds its presidential contest on Tuesday.

A group of conservatives including well-known talk radio host Erick Erickson met on Thursday to discuss ways to defeat Donald Trump, including launching a third party campaign to challenge the New York businessman.

"We encourage all former Republican candidates not currently supporting Trump to unite against him and encourage all candidates to hold their delegates on the first ballot," he said in a statement, put out on behalf of the group.

"We believe that the issue of Donald Trump is greater than an issue of party. It is an issue of morals and character that all Americans, not just those of us in the conservative movement, must confront."

More on the US presidential race

Where did Marco Rubio go wrong? - Tuesday was a bruising night for the establishment hope, and other takeaways from our US correspondents

Jorge Ramos on Donald Trump's rise - Meet the Republican front-runner's nemesis

Who is funding the US election? - Money is a big issue in the 2016 US presidential race

Many party members have also misgiving about Mr Cruz because he has repeatedly and publicly denounced Republican leaders.

However, more prominent Republicans are throwing their support behind Mr Cruz in a last-ditch effort to stop Mr Trump.

Popular South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and senators Mike Lee of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have recently endorsed Mr Cruz.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who left the Republican race on Tuesday, said this week would not be endorsing any of his former rivals.

He also said he had no interest in becoming a vice-presidential nominee.

Mr Trump won four out five primaries on Tuesday, but the race in Missouri has not been called for the Republicans yet.

Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won the state's Democratic primary after her opponent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders decline to pursue a recount.

Source: bbc.com

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Cuba visit: Obama and Castro spar over human rights

Cuban President Raul Castro and US President Barack Obama sparred over human rights issues including the American prison at Guantanamo Bay and Cuba's political prisoners.

At a historic news conference, Mr Castro said if he was given a list of political prisoners, he would "release them tonight".

The White House has said it has given Cuba lists of dissidents in the past.

Mr Castro does not view the prisoners as dissidents, US officials said.

That disagreement is central to the conflict between US and Cuban officials.

More needs to be done to lift the US embargo on trade with Cuba, Mr Castro said, adding that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp must close.

Mr Obama, the first serving US president to visit Cuba since 1959, said the trade embargo would be fully lifted.

"Cuba's destiny will not be decided by the United States or any other nation... The future of Cuba will be decided by Cubans not by anybody else," Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were later welcomed at a state dinner, along with some members of US Congress and senior White House staff.

The Failde Youth Band entertained the guests, who dined on shrimp mousse, cream soup flavoured with rum, and traditional pork with rice and plantain chips. Waiters passed round Cuban cigars after dinner.

Earlier on Monday, Mr Castro defended Cuba's record on human rights and pointed to problems in the US.

"We defend human rights, in our view civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, inter-dependent and universal," Mr Castro said.

Mr Castro is not usually subject to any aggressive questioning from reporters and called the prisoners question "not polite", later ending the news conference by saying "I think this is enough".

"Actually we find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and ensure the right to healthcare, education, social security, food provision and development," he said.

Speaking to ABC News after the conference with Mr Castro, Mr Obama did not directly say he would be giving Mr Castro a list of political prisoners.

"We have given them a lists in the past and they have responded intermittently to our engagement," he said. "And this I think is an example of why it was my belief that this would be a more successful mechanism for us to advance the values that we care about than an embargo and silence and no communications."

Analysis: Tara McKelvey, BBC White House Reporter

President Obama and his aides hoped that the Cuban President, Raul Castro, would approach the news conference with an open mind.

The White House officials also hoped that Mr Castro would be receptive to new ideas and to new ways of doing things. Specifically, the US officials hoped that he'd take questions from reporters. Surprisingly enough, he did, marking a departure from his past.

The two men joked around during the question-and-answer period, and they worked out some of their differences. When one of Mr Castro's aides interrupted his boss during the conference, for example, Mr Obama looked annoyed. But he and Mr Castro moved on, talking about the future of Cuba.

In a similar way, Mr Obama and his aides hope they can overcome other issues, including difficult ones such as human rights, as they forge a new relationship between the two countries.

Mr Obama could not say exactly when the trade embargo would be lifted, but recognised it was necessary.

"The reason is what we did for 50 years did not serve our interests or the interests of the Cuban people," he said.

His administration has done what it can on lifting trade restrictions, he said, but further action will require Congress which is "not as productive in an election year".

He also said further easing of the trade embargo will depend on actions Cuba takes on human rights.

More on Mr Obama's visit to Cuba

Mr Castro and Mr Obama were congenial but had some disagreements about human rights

Mr Castro and Mr Obama were congenial but had some disagreements about human rights

Six sticking points to better relations - Guantanamo Bay, human rights and media freedoms are among the unresolved issues

Cuba's DIY economy - A new generation of Cuban entrepreneurs are launching private businesses

Internet access still restricted in Cuba - Only about 5% of Cubans have web access at home

Mr Obama said it is not just Cuba that the US has "deep disagreements" about human rights with - it also has disagreements with China and Vietnam.

"I believe if I engage frankly, clearly, stating our beliefs but I can't force change on any country - it ultimately has to come from within - that is a more useful strategy," he said. "I have faith in people".

Reporters described the press conference as "tense" and "remarkable".

Karla Olivares, an independent journalist from Cuba, told the BBC's Tara McKelvey Mr Castro "talked more than usual" and the claim that Cuba does not have any political prisoners "complicated".

Before the speech, it was announced that Google was opening an online technology centre for free Internet access at much higher speeds than what is available on the island now.

Google hopes the centre will be part of a larger effort to improve Internet access in Cuba.

Source: bbc.com

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FBI 'may be able to unlock San Bernardino iPhone'

The FBI says it may have found a way to unlock the San Bernardino attacker's iPhone without Apple's assistance.

A court hearing with Apple scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed at the request of the US Justice Department (DOJ), Apple has confirmed.

The DOJ had ordered Apple to help unlock the phone used by San Bernardino gunman Rizwan Farook.

But Apple has continued to fight the order, saying it would set a "dangerous precedent".

Rizwan Farook and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last December before police fatally shot them.

UN human rights chief backs Apple

Apple boss hits back at FBI conduct

McAfee offers to unlock iPhone for FBI

Analysis: Dave Lee, BBC North America technology reporter

Ever since this issue arose, security experts have been saying "surely the FBI can do this themselves?" Well, maybe now they can.

An "outside party" - you'd assume a security company, but we don't know for sure - has approached the FBI and said it could unlock the phone.

If they can do it, the court case is irrelevant. The FBI gets what they need. But if it doesn't work, we'll find ourselves back here to resume the trial.

Apple's legal team told reporters it wasn't treating it as a legal victory. The issue still looms large over the company. If the FBI has found a way, who's to say it'll always work? Apple will, as any software maker would, frantically try and fix the flaw. After all - if the FBI can do it, so can any other hacker privy to the same information.

If this method works, then what? With each new iteration of iOS, Apple could find itself back in court.

The technology industry, led by Apple, has called for the matter to be debated in Congress. This case may be on the brink of going away, but the debate is just starting.

Prosecutors said "an outside party" had demonstrated a possible way of unlocking the iPhone without the need to seek Apple's help.

"Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook's iPhone," a court filing said.

"If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple."

DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in a statement that the government was "cautiously optimistic" that the possible method to unlock the phone would work.

The government said it would update the court on 5 April.

Attorneys for Apple told reporters that the firm had no idea what method the FBI was exploring to try to unlock the phone.

They said they hoped that the government would share with Apple any vulnerabilities of the iPhone that might come to light.

The FBI says Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik were inspired by so-called Islamic State and that the encrypted iPhone may contain crucial evidence.

It wants to access the data but the device can only be unlocked by entering the correct passcode.

Guessing the code incorrectly too many times could permanently delete all data on the phone, so the FBI had asked Apple to develop a new version of its operating system that circumvents some of its security features.

Last month the DOJ obtained a court order directing Apple to create that software,

But Apple has fought back, stating that creating a compromised version of the operating system would have security implications for millions of iPhone users and would set a precedent.

The company has received support from other tech giants including, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, as it resisted a court order to unlock the iPhone.

Source: bbc.com

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US Election 2016: Donald Trump names foreign policy advisers

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has revealed the first members of his foreign policy team.

The advisers include academics and former military officers with expertise on the Middle East and energy issues.

Mr Trump told the Washington Post that he would name more advisers in the coming days.

Several of his advisers have served as experts for other Republican presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney and Ben Carson.

On Monday, Mr Trump named retired Lt Gen Keith Kellogg, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and retired Gen Joseph Schmitz.

The team is led by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama who has helped shape Mr Trump's policies, most notably on immigration.

Mr Trump has come under criticism in recent days over his policy credentials. When cable news network MSNBC asked him who was advising him on policy, Mr Trump named himself.

Analysis: Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

Donald Trump recently boasted he was his own top adviser on foreign policy matters, noting that he had a "good instinct for this stuff".

After more than a month of hints and promises, however, the Republican presidential front-runner has announced who else has his ear on international affairs.

The names are hardly a who's who in the Republican foreign policy firmament - which could be good or bad news depending on one's perspective.

Mr Trump's positions on trade deals and military intervention put him decidedly outside the Republican Party establishment, and this list of advisers will do little to change that perception.

If Republicans hoped they could bend Mr Trump to party orthodoxy, this may be their latest Trump-related miscalculation.

While some of his team are not well known in Republican academic circles, others are seen as controversial figures.

Gen Joseph Schmitz resigned from the military in 2005 amid accusations of misconduct. However, Mr Schmitz was never charged with wrongdoing.

Another adviser, Walid Phares, was criticised when he was named as part of Mr Romney's foreign policy team in 2011.

Muslim advocacy groups took issue with Mr Phares's close ties to right-wing Christian militia groups during the Lebanese civil war.

He is an outspoken critic of Sharia, or Islamic religious law, and has appeared on Fox News and other conservative media outlets as an expert on the Middle East.

More on the US presidential race

Jorge Ramos on Donald Trump's rise - Meet the Republican front-runner's nemesis

Who is funding the US election? - Money is a big issue in the 2016 US presidential race

Could Hillary Clinton face jail time? - The case of David Petraeus may signal how she will fare

George Papadopoulos recently served as an adviser to Mr Carson, who dropped out of the race in February. Mr Papadopoulos has worked as a consultant for energy companies in the Middle East.

Also on Monday, Mr Trump told the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue that he believes the UK may leave the European Union when a referendum is held in June.

"I think they may leave it based on everything," Mr Trump said. "I have a lot of investments in the UK, and I will tell you I think they may leave based on everything I'm hearing."

He also said the US should spend less money on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato).

"We are paying disproportionately," he told CNN. "It's too much and frankly it's a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea."

More on the advisers:

Retired Lt Gen Keith Kellogg

  • Served under Coalition Provisional Authority leader Paul Bremer during the Iraq war
  • Vice-president at defence contractor CACI International

Carter Page

  • Long time energy industry executive
  • Expert on the Caspian Sea region and economic development in former Soviet states

George Papadopoulos

  • Director of the London-based Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security
  • Research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank

Walid Phares

  • Professor at National Defense University
  • Adviser to members of Congress

Retired Gen Joseph Schmitz

  • Former inspector general at the Defense Department
  • Former executive at defence contractor Blackwater

Source: bbc.com

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Machine that 'unboils' eggs may help fight cancer

A machine that can "unboil" protein-rich egg whites, winning an Ig Nobel Prize in 2015, may also have important medical applications, its inventor says.

Prof Colin Raston, a chemist from Flinders University in South Australia, has discovered that his Vortex Fluidic Device (VFD) can also slice tiny carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to uniform length with unprecedented precision.

Individual CNTs, which are just a few nanometres in diameter or about the width of a small virus, have incredible properties - they are 200 times stronger than steel yet five times more flexible, and conduct electricity five times more efficiently than copper wires.

But an inability to consistently create nanotubes with uniform lengths and properties has been one of several obstacles that has frustrated scientists' efforts to harness these materials, which can be used for highly targeted drug delivery in cancer therapy.

"When you make CNTs normally, they're entangled - it's like a bowl of spaghetti. They're all stuck together and they're different lengths," Prof Raston told the BBC.

Shortening them currently requires toxic chemicals, which can chemically alter the surface of the CNTs, changing their properties and limiting their functionality.

Prof Raston's VFD, which mixes fluids inside a rapidly spinning glass tube, could offer a cleaner, faster alternative for cutting CNTs down to size, also opening up applications for electronics.

"What our device does is untangle the carbon nanotubes and then slices them, so you overcome two problems in one go," he says.

Carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes resemble a "bowl of spaghetti" when created and must be cut down to size

Using just water, a liquid solvent, and a laser, his team was able to consistently produce CNTs with an average length of 170 nanometres, without degrading their properties. The results were published in Nature's Scientific Reports.

"It's one of highest tensile strength materials, and yet you put it in a liquid, and you spin it in a special way and with a laser you can cut it down," he says.

Prof Raston says his sliced CNTs are small enough for drug-delivery vehicles, and could also improve the efficiency of solar cells.

Eureka moment

The idea for the VFD was conceived on a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney in 2010. Prof Raston wanted a small machine to use for continuous flow processing, a type of manufacturing where chemical reactions take place between fluids mixing inside a tube.

"It was a eureka moment," recalls Prof Raston. "I came up with the idea for the device, and I drew the plans on the plane."

The VFD has what looks like a glass test tube, about 20mm in diameter, tilted at a 45 degree angle. This tube is spun at very high speeds, up to 9,000 revolutions per minute.

"While you're spinning it, you actually add liquid to the bottom of the tube through stainless steel jet feeds," explains Prof Raston. "The speed of the spinning tube coupled with the incoming flow creates intense, highly dynamic micro-mixing."

This mechanical energy means the machine can create bio-diesel without adding any heat, and can also unravel and correctly fold proteins, he says.

Prof Raston and his colleagues demonstrated protein unravelling by successfully unboiling an egg, reverting gelatinous whites back into liquid form. It was an achievement that in 2015 earned the research team an Ig Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

The tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobels honour scientific research that seems unusual or funny at first glance but on closer inspection has merit.

That same protein-folding mechanical energy is what enables the device to manipulate CNTs: "Because of the complex way the liquid moves it has intense shear [force], and therefore it bends the nanotube," says Prof Raston.

This creates a kink in the structure - with the nanotube bent, his team added vibrational energy, using a near-infrared laser to slice through the weakened kink where the tube was folded.

Like a washing machine

Assoc Prof John Stride from the University of New South Wales in Sydney is an expert in carbon nanostructures, and says "if the researchers can reliably slice the CNTs 'to order' then this is a real advance".

"Anything that allows us to control and manipulate these nano-objects will be of use in developing applications," he says.

"The beauty of the approach is the relative low-tech aspect of it essentially being a spinning column of liquid that does the initial work… with a near-infrared laser providing the energy to cut the tubes.

"It's almost like laundry in the washing machine being spun out… it's very simple to picture what's happening, but of course that's occurring on the molecular scale, which is really quite intriguing."

Prof Stride also says that, if they're proven to be inert, shortened CNTs may provide an "effective mechanism for drug delivery to the inner cell region".

"It's a nice finding. I don't think it will completely revolutionise carbon nanotube research, but it's a significant advance in the field."

Source: bbc.com

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Sven Mary: The 'scumbag's lawyer' acting for Salah Abdeslam

Sven Mary has earned the nickname "avocat des crapules" ("scumbag's lawyer") from his work defending a series of notorious criminals in Belgium.

But now his profile is set to go international through his latest client - Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Mr Mary was once a youth footballer at top Belgian side Anderlecht before suffering an injury and it would appear he has channelled the same competitive spirit needed in professional sport into his new vocation.

"If someone is described as public enemy number one, I want to fight that abuse of authority," Belgian paper Metro quoted him as saying.

And few would accuse him of shying away from a fight. He had to repeat the first year of his law degree three times but went on to be regarded as one of Belgium's best legal professionals.

Former clients include Fouad Belkacem, who led the Sharia4Belgium group and was convicted of sending jihadists to fight in Syria.

He has also defended Michel Lelievre, an accomplice of Belgian serial killer and paedophile Marc Dutroux.

Mr Mary suggested as far back as in January he would be prepared to represent Abdeslam, after he was contacted by someone close to him while still on the run, Le Soir reported.

The fugitive was finally captured in a dramatic raid in Brussels last week and is now fighting extradition to France.

Abdeslam does not deny his presence at the brutal Paris attacks last November. Indeed, Mr Mary told L'Express he would be "bothered" by having to defend such a line - and was not prepared to do so.

Instead Mr Mary has focused on procedure, accusing the Belgian foreign minister of political interference and the French authorities of legal overreach by seeking his client's extradition.

"We have to stop kneeling, to stop this guilt complex that seems to exist in Belgium over the attacks in France," the lawyer told La Derniere Heure newspaper.

He has also said he will sue French prosecutor Francois Molins after the official revealed that Abdeslam said he had abandoned plans to blow himself up during the attacks, something Mr Mary said was a violation of judicial confidentiality.

Despite this Mr Mary said his client was co-operating with the authorities and that there "is no single reason that he won't go to France".

Salah Abdeslam's luck runs out

Is Molenbeek a haven for Belgian jihadis?

What happened during the Paris attacks?

Who were the Paris attackers?

The Belgian will not be the first or last lawyer to be accused of lacking principles. But is "avocat des crapules" fair?

His actions do not fit a template. He has acted for the victim of a horrendous sulphuric acid attack and has said he will not represent members of the extreme right.

All defendants have the right to an advocate, however abhorrent their crimes may be - it is an essential part of a fair trial.

Not everyone believes he is just a man doing his job of course. Comments on social media have labelled him "inhuman" and "callous", and of cynically exploiting a tragedy for his own publicity.

Mr Mary says he is motivated by "the fight against impunity and the abuse of power".

"Do you remember the live press conferences by the federal prosecutors in the days, and even nights, after the attacks?" he told Le Soir.

"I was sickened by the way by the way they exploited fear just to gain more power."

Source: bbc.com

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Pianist's estranged wife charged with killing daughters in US

The estranged wife of world-renowned concert pianist Vadym Kholodenko has been charged with killing their two daughters in Texas, US officials say.

Authorities suspect Sofya Tsygankova last week killed one-year-old Michela and Nika, five, and stabbed herself at the family home near Fort Worth.

Ms Tsygankova, who is originally from Russia, now faces a mental evaluation. The charge can bring the death penalty.

Mr Kholodenko, a Ukrainian musician, is not a suspect, the officials say.

Last Thursday, Mr Kholodenko, 29, called emergency services after finding his 31-year-old estranged wife in an "extreme state of distress", as well as the bodies of his two children.

The children were found in their beds in Benbrook with no visible signs of trauma. A post-mortem examination will determine the cause of death.

Ms Tsygankova, who also performed as a concert pianist, is currently being treated at local hospital.

On Monday, Benbrook police Commander David Babcock said: "We have probable cause, reason to believe that she committed the homicides."

He added that police had collected physical evidence at the scene.

Mr Kholodenko won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth in 2013 and has performed with a number of major orchestras.

He married Ms Tsygankova in 2010. They moved to Fort Worth from Moscow in 2014.

The couple divorced in November, according to court records.

The children lived with their mother, but Mr Kholodenko would routinely pick up the girls from the home in the mornings, police said.

Source: bbc.com

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Rob Ford, Toronto ex-mayor, dies aged 46 from cancer

Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has died at the age of 46 after fighting cancer, his family has said.

Mr Ford, who battled drug and alcohol addiction, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2014.

He gained international notoriety after admitting smoking crack cocaine in 2013, but he was loved by supporters.

"A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto," his family said in a statement.

He could not run for re-election as mayor in 2014 due to his cancer diagnosis, but won a city council seat in a landslide result.

His image contrasted sharply with Canada's usual calm, buttoned-up politics.

Profile: Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto ex-mayor: Everyone makes mistakes

Reacting to his death, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "Rob Ford fought cancer with courage and determination. My condolences and best wishes to the Ford family today."

The current mayor of Toronto, John Tory, said in a statement that "the city is reeling with this news".

"He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had.

"I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.''


While serving as Toronto mayor, Mr Ford was videotaped and photographed intoxicated in public areas.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," Mr Ford told reporters. "But... do I? Am I addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago."

Despite the crack-smoking scandal, his popularity remained high with fans lining up to take photo with him.

He appealed to conservative, working-class people with his populist message. Many of his supporters in the 2010 Toronto mayoral election came from the outer suburbs of the city.

One of his key campaign promises was to "stop the gravy train" of government spending and he pledged to end "the war on the car".

During Canada's national election last year, Mr Ford threw his support behind former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who lost to Justin Trudeau, a liberal.

Mr Harper tweeted on Tuesday: "Rob was a fighter throughout life & dedicated public servant who will be remembered for his courage, love for Toronto & his family."

New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair tweeted also his condolences to Mr Ford's family, saying "46 is far too young to lose a loved one".

Mr Ford grew up in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, dropping out of university after one year to work in his family business.

He is survived by his wife Renata and his two children, Stephanie and Doug.

Source: bbc.com

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