Beauty Focus: Halloween Make-up

With just a few days to go until Halloween, our thoughts are turned to Halloween make-up. A great excuse to get creative and experiment, Halloween is a truly fantastic opportunity to create unusual and impressive looks, using a multitude of methods, products and tools.

The internet and social media platforms are ideal to gather inspiration from, and there are some truly spectacular examples of what can be done with make-up for Halloween out there. We’ve selected our favourite looks for Halloween in 2015…

Pretty Powerful…

Halloween doesn’t have to mean uneasy on the eye. A popular trend to emerge is the half and half look, with an area of the face made up to look creepy and the other half prettified making the look a lit

The Best High Street Sportswear Buys for 2015

Fitness is becoming more and more fashionable, with various high street stores launching their own sportswear collections. Before, we usually hit the high street looking for the latest fashion trends, but with an influx of sportswear collections, today our favorite fashion brands are ideal to pick up a high tech, highly responsive piece of gym kit.

Purchasing a new gym outfit can be great motivation, encouraging us to get stuck in with out workout. When we lack motivation to go to the gym, what better to do then buy a new funky sports bra or bright pair of trainers that we can’t wait to show off to our fellow gym go-ers.

Sportswear used to be pretty basic, in plain designs and colours. However, the high street is now full of fun and bold sportswear for us to get our hands on. From the gorgeous selection from Missgui

Self' Magazine Lays Off Several Staff Following Publisher Exit

WWD is reporting that Self laid off up to 15 editorial staffers on Thursday. A source close to the magazine confirmed to Fashionista that layoffs occurred, but did not specify a number. 

On Wednesday, Condé Nast announced that the company was combining Self and Glamour's sales and marketing teams under the direction of Glamour Publisher Connie Anne Phillips, and that Self Publisher Mary Murko was departing as a result. According to

Must Read: Tyra Banks to Leave 'FabLife,' Johnny Depp Worries About Lily-Rose Growing Up Too Fast

hese are the stories making headlines in fashion this Friday.

Tyra Banks to leave "FabLife" after two months
After just two months, Tyra Banks will be leaving "FabLife" — allegedly to concentrate on her beauty company. In a joint statement with ABC, Banks explained that it was "a very difficult decision, but necessary" and that she'll continue to support the growth of the show, albeit on the sidelines. Banks will stay on as the executive producer through December. {The Wrap}

Johnny Depp thinks daughter Lily-Rose is growing up too fast
Like any good father, Johnny Depp is concerned that his daughter is growing up too fast. Recently, he stated, "When I see her with makeup

Bakus Radio, a Ghanaian and an African oriented online radio, is a subsidiary of Bakus Group of Companies located in Texas, USA. The mission of Bakus Radio is to provide listeners with highly educative programs, solid entertainment and great music for their listening pleasure.

Ernest Annoh-Dompreh

Founder & CEO, Bakus Group of Companies

www.bakusgroups.com

Our Address: Hutto, Texas, USA

Tel: (+1)580-917-8001

IGP shakes up police service

The Acting Inspector General of Police John Kudalor has announced a new shake up at the top ranks of the police service.
As many as 29 changes have been made at the top hierarchy of the administration with the changes expected to take effect on December 1, 2015.
The changes follow the announcement of John Kudalor who replaced Mohammed Alhassan as IGP only few weeks ago.
COP Rose Bio Atinga, Director-General/ Administration is now the Director General , Research and Planning at the National Police Headquarters, a statement signed by the IGP, Friday has indicated.
COP David Asante Apeatu who was Director General Research has been moved to the National HQ as Director General ICT.
COP Ransford Ninson who heads the Central Region as Regional Commander has been moved to the National HQ as Director General Administration.
COP Seidu Mohamadu Zakaria who was Director General , hospital now becomes the Director General , Medics at the National Police HQ, Accra.
Director General Public Affairs, DCOP Nenyi Ampah Benin now heads the Police Investigations and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS), confirming SUP. Cephas Arthur as Director of Public Affairs.
Motor Traffic Department, Director General, DCOP Awuni leaves Accra to become the Eastern Region Commander.
The Regional commanders for Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Volta, Western, Upper East and Upper West remain unchanged. However, the Central Region will have a new commander in the person of DCOP Yaagy Akuribah.
- Source: http://myjoyonline.com/news/2015/November-27th/igp-shakes-up-police-service.php#sthash.ilX4rciB.dpuf

 

NPP invasion claims against government malicious- Omane Boamah

The government has described as malicious claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party that the government masterminded the invasion of its Headquarters, Monday dawn.
The opposition party at a press conference in Accra, Friday, alleged the government organised military and police personnel to invade its head quarters as part of an agenda to create the impression as though the party was in turmoil.
But a statement issued by the Communications Minister  Dr Edward Omane Boamah said the claims by the NPP are nothing more than a fabrication to shift the blame to government;
The following is the full government statement;

 STATEMENT ON NPP’s FALSE CLAIMS

Government is constrained to correct a wicked and malicious falsehood peddled by the New Patriotic Party to the effect that Government acting through the Military and Police invaded the party’s headquarters in Accra in the early hours of Monday, 23rd November, 2015.
For the avoidance of doubt, Government wishes to place on record that this claim is a deliberate fabrication by the New Patriotic Party calculated at shifting blame for the horrendous leadership it has had leading to its rapid descent into chaos, violence, lawlessness, brutal killings and total confusion over the last year or so.
We are aware that the NPP routinely dabbles in anti-government propaganda of the most undesirable kind, but this latest falsehood against government marks a new low in the party’s resort to outright untruths to pursue its objectives. As it is to be expected, they have once again failed to provide a scintilla of evidence to back these noisy claims.
Over the last few years, the Government of President John Dramani Mahama has demonstrated its commitment to the maintenance of law and order and respect for the rule of law. This is manifest in the amount of investment that has gone into the biggest retooling ever carried out by any government of the country’s security Agencies.
This retooling has positioned them to respond adequately to contemporary security challenges. But for this state of readiness on the part of our security agencies, more bloodshed would have been recorded at the NPP headquarters which has become an outpost of lawlessness and violence instead of the administrative nerve-centre of a political party.
Government notes that the Police has been investigating the matter under reference with a view to bringing the culprits to book. We call on the NPP to cooperate with the Police in this regard and desist from the ridiculous gambit of blaming others for their woes.
Government also urges the leadership of the NPP to end their total abdication of responsibility and take steps to halt the internecine feud that has left the party in shambles. The persistent bickering, open brawls and violent attacks within the party has the potential to undermine public safety and security.
The NPP must pause and sip from the cup of wisdom and peace that preaches that constantly peddling falsehood about government and seeking to foist blame on it at a time when the evidence of dysfunctional leadership within the NPP is glaring will not suffice.
The Government of President Mahama remains focused on executing its mandate of changing lives and transforming Ghana in a manner that will enhance the well-being of Ghanaians. We will not be distracted by untruths and fabrications emanating from the NPP.
Signed:
Edward K. Omane Boamah (Dr)
(Communications Minister)

Gov’t won’t pay for power from barge; consumers will – John Jinapor

The Power Ministry says consumers will be responsible for paying for power from Karpower barge. Government is only a facilitator.

Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor confirmed to Joy News government will not play any role in paying for the services of the power barge from Turkey.

“The payment will be done by the end-user. It will not be done by the government” he was emphatic.

The Karpower barge was reported to have set off on November 7 from Turkey and its progress on high seas has been keenly monitored by Ghanaian media.

Billed as an important saviour from an increasingly irritating power rationing regime, the barge will inject about 225 megawatts.

Government has been conscientizing consumers to expect to pay more for power.

 “Government is only a facilitator....but at the end of the day whatever power that will be generated ought to be paid by the end-user” Jinapor said.

He said government will only “assist the process to ensure that they [Karpower] have heavy fuel oil” to generate power

He said government was also working with "numerous" Independent Power Producers to augment Ghana’s weak generation capacity.

- Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/November-27th/govt-wont-pay-for-power-from-barge-consumers-will-john-jinapor.php#sthash.eIMZGzYE.dpuf

Planned Parenthood: Three die in shooting at Colorado clinic

A shooting at a family planning clinic in Colorado Springs has left two civilians and a police officer dead, with the suspected gunman under arrest.

Nine other people were injured during the standoff at the Planned Parenthood clinic, which lasted five hours before the suspect surrendered.

A number of people were trapped inside the building as shots were exchanged.

The motive remains unclear. The Planned Parenthood group has drawn anti-abortion protests in the past.

Colorado Springs Police Department identified the suspect as Robert Lewis Dear, from North Carolina.

"I want to convey to the loved ones of the victims, this is a terrible, terrible tragedy that occurred here in Colorado Springs today," Mayor John Suthers told a news conference.

"Obviously, we lost two civilian victims. We mourn the loss of a very brave police officer."

The dead policeman was named as Garrett Swasey, 44, who was married with two children.

President Barack Obama said: "We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Enough is enough."

He has previously expressed his frustration after other fatal shootings about not being able to do more on gun control.

 

Akyerekyerefo "The Teachers" music video: Victims

OpenMindz Productions shoots music video in Ghana for Bakus Records artist: Akyerekyerefo "The Teachers" song: Victims. Victims is a powerful song that brings awareness to Stopping Domestic Violence and ending Violence against women all over the world!

Akyerekyerefo - I No Dey Mind ft. Quata [Official Video] | GhanaMusic.com Video

PLEASE NOTE: Unauthorized upload of this video unto any YouTube channel is prohibited. (C) 2012. Bankus Linx. I No Dey Mind by Akyerekyerefo feat. Quata

Andy Murray levels Davis Cup final with win for Great Britain

Davis Cup final: Belgium v Great Britain
Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent Dates: 27-29 November
BBC coverage: Watch on BBC television, BBC Sport website, Connected TVs, tablets, mobiles and app and listen on Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra. Full details.
Andy Murray brought Great Britain level at 1-1 against Belgium in the Davis Cup final with victory over Ruben Bemelmans in Ghent.

The world number two won a feisty encounter 6-3 6-2 7-5, after David Goffin had earlier beaten debutant Kyle Edmund 3-6 1-6 6-2 6-1 6-0.

Andy and Jamie Murray are set to team up in the doubles on Saturday, before the reverse singles on Sunday.

Britain are trying to win the team title for the first time since 1936.

"Obviously on paper it's what people would have expected," GB captain Leon Smith said of the day one score.

He will now hope that a combination of the Murray brothers in doubles, and Andy Murray in the reverse singles, will secure Britain's first Davis Cup victory for 79 years.

Smith retains the option of bringing in James Ward for Edmund, should the contest come down to a decisive fifth rubber on Sunday.

The best-of-five tie takes place over three days at the Flanders Expo, with around 1,300 travelling fans among 13,000 in the arena, and security tight following the recent high state of alert in Belgian capital Brussels.

Ukraine punished by Uefa after fans' racist behaviour

Ukraine will play their next home game in Uefa competition in an empty stadium as punishment for their fans' racist behaviour in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
The Ukraine Football Federation was also fined 97,000 euros (£68,000) following crowd disturbances in a 1-0 defeat by Spain in Kiev in October.
Uefa's charge also related to the use of laser pointers and illicit banners.
Ukraine went on to reach next summer's tournament in France by beating Slovenia in a two-legged play-off.
They have already been ordered to play their next game in Fifa competition behind closed doors, and were last year forced to partially close their home stadium by Uefa for one match after similar disturbances.
On Wednesday, European football's governing body ordered Dynamo Kiev to play their next two European home games in an empty stadium after racist attacks on fans during a Champions League game against Chelsea.

source:http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/34949905

John Terry: Chelsea hopeful on fitness for Tottenham clash

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says there is a chance captain John Terry will be fit to face Tottenham on Sunday.

The 34-year-old defender injured an ankle during Tuesday's 4-0 Champions League win at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Mourinho had initially ruled him out of the game at White Hart lane but said on Friday: "Today he didn't train, but we have a little hope that it's possible.
"I don't want to say that it's impossible that he plays, because maybe he plays and you'll say I was hiding."
The Blues go into Sunday's game 10 points and 10 places behind their London rivals in the Premier League.
Spurs have a quick turn around for the 12:00 GMT kick-off, having endured a 2,500-mile return from Thursday night's 1-0 Europa League away win over Qarabag in Azerbaijan.
But Mourinho has shown little sympathy for Tottenham and recalled a hectic spell in April 2014, when his side played three key fixtures in nine days: facing Atletico Madrid in a two-legged Champions League semi-final either side of a league game against Liverpool.
"Our country decided that it was not a problem for us to play Saturday or Sunday, so we played Sunday, before the second leg of the Champions League, which is the biggest competition in the world," said Mourinho.
"If this country in that moment decided it was not a problem for Chelsea, why is it a problem now for Tottenham?
"It was not a problem for us. It's not a problem for Tottenham."

source:http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/34943664

Nominees for 2014/15 GN Bank Division One League Awards

The Division One League Board (DOLB) has announced nominees for the first ever Awards ceremony which will be held on Saturday, 12th December,2015 at Coconut Groove Hotel in Accra.

The Awards ceremony is to reward and recognize Players, Officials and Clubs who excelled in the 2014/15 edition of the GN Bank Division One League.

Below are the nominees for the 2014/15 GN Bank Division One League ceremony:

A. PLAYER OF SEASON

Mohammed Yakubu- Esperance FC

Enoch Atta Agyei- Windy Profs

Samudeen Ibrahim- King Solomon FC

 

B.​MOST PROMISING PLAYER OF THE SEASON

Saliu Babawo - Hotsteel FC

Enoch Atta Agyei - Windy Profs

Joel Fameyeh - Asokwa Deportivo

 

C.​GOALKEEPER OF THE SEASON​

Razak Iddrisu - Techiman City FC

Joseph Essam - Elmina Sharks FC

Ishmael Yahaya - Dreams FC

 

D.​TOP GOAL SCORER OF THE SEASON​

Ebenezer Agyapong - Techiman CityFC

Bright Lukman - Ebusua Dwarfs SC

Isaac Amoah - Amidaus Profs

 

E.​BEST DEFENDER OF THE SEASON​​

Smith Abedu - Guan United FC

Ebenezer Coleman - Elmina Sharks FC

Jacob Laweh - Tema Youth FC

 

F.​FAIR PLAY CLUB OF THE SEASON

Arsenals -​Berekum (Zone 1)

Gold Stars FC - Bibiani (Zone 2)

Tema Youth FC - Tema (Zone 3)

 

G.​REFEREE OF THE SEASON​

Eric Owusu Prempeh - Kumasi

Charles Buluu - Tema

Selorm Yaw Bless - ​Peki

 

H.​MATCH COMMISSIONER OF THE SEASON​

Samuel Asa Aboagye​-Suhum

Frank Agyei -Kumasi

Seth A. Quaye​Accra

 

I.​ASSISTANT REFEREE OF THE SEASON​​

Gordon Cudjoe- ​Berekum

Sumani Abdul Kadri​- Buipe

Emmanuel Awotey - Ho

 

J.​HONORARY AWARDS​​

Douglas Djarbeng​

Ntow Fianko

Nana Ntiri Denkyi (Posthumous)

Prof. Mawusi Dake (Posthumous)

 
 
Source: http://ghanafa.org/pages/divisiononeleague/201511/11140.php

I never called Jon Benjamin an extortionist - Afriyie

The High Commissioner, Jon Benjamin in an interview on Joy Fm's Super Morning Show on Friday accused members of the GFA including Mr. Afriyie and Communications Director, Sanni Daara of personal attacks after his comments regarding the lack of development in football citing the use of words such as "stupendous" and "extortionist".

"They said I was sacked from my last job which is untrue.I was promoted to Ghana from Chile. This has gone on for weeks.I don't want to continue.I got hundreds of messages from Ghanaians in support" High Commissioner Benjamin said.

In an interview with Pulse Sports, however, Mr.Afriyie has denied ever calling the High Commissioner an extortionist.

" I was interviewed on Citi Fm, and there was no point in that conversation where I called Mr.Benjamin an extortionist. I don't think Mr.Benjamin heard the interview, and somebody might have misinformed him about what transpired that day" he said.

"It is disappointing when some of these things happen and lead to further complications, but we at the GFA are focused on our task of developing our game.

Today, for instance, we organized a seminar for local coaches that was led by Black Stars coach Avram Grant to share ideas, and we hope to have more of such activities."

source:http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/I-never-called-Jon-Benjamin-an-extortionist-Afriyie-396989

'I started playing ball bootless'

Ghana left-back player, Baba Rahman, has revealed his first attempt at playing football was on the streets with 30 to 40 people at a time, without boots.

He said although it was tough it was fun.

“My mum told me that when I first set eyes on a football, and started kicking one, was when I started walking, so maybe one-and-a-half or two-years-old,” he told ChelseaFC.com.

The former Asante Kotoko defender said he loves Brazilian football, and, as a child, committed himself to learning the skills of Brazilians players.

In his view, it is awesome when a player makes a perfect long pass from one end of the pitch to the other, but bemoaned that people do not praise players that do so.

In response to a question about who his toughest opponents have been, outside Chelsea, Rahman said it was hard playing against Bayern Munich’s duo Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben.

The 21-year-old began his career at Dreams FC in the Ghana Division Two league. After impressive performances, he was transferred on loan to Asante Kotoko and subsequently moved to Greuther Furth in Germany in 2011.

He has played seven games in all competitions for Chelsea since his £21million transfer from German side FC Augsburg in August.

source:http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/I-started-playing-ball-bootless-396967

Amissah-Arthur Has Done His Best For Mahama; Stop The Lobbying – Hanna Tetteh

The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Madam Hanna Tetteh has asked people who may be lobbying President Mahama to nominate her to be his Running Mate for the 2016 elections to cease their actions.

“I would like to request those persons ostensibly lobbying His Excellency President Mahama to consider me as his running mate to cease doing so at once,” she wrote on a social media platform following a press statement making the rounds on same media platforms calling on the president to elect her his Running Mate.

While asking those behind the press statement to put a stop steer the affairs of the country. This, she said, makes the lobbying going on needless.

“I have great respect for His Excellency the president, and his right to make the choices he considers appropriate for any political office in his administration. I do not wish anyone to attempt to exert any form public pressure on His Excellency on my behalf. I believe His Excellency the Vice President has done his best to give our president the support that he needs, and there is no need for this kind of public lobbying.

The Foreign Minister who is also the MP for Senya Awutu West expressed gratitude to president Mahama for giving him the privilege to serve as Ghana’s Foreign Minister and pledged to do her best in that capacity.

“I appreciate the opportunity his Excellency President Mahama has given me to serve in his Government, it is indeed a privilege and I will continue to do my best in the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional integration in his Government and in the service of Ghana” The press statement to which the Foreign Minister has reacted to reads (note that it is published unedited);

H.E. John Dramani Mahama

President Of Republic Of Ghana

Flagstaff House

Accra-Ghana

His Excellency

Petition To Choose Hannah Tetteh As Vice Presidential Candidate For One Touch Victory In 2016

We the Concerned Youth For Mahama; A grassroots campaign team for JM in 2016 are calling on President H.E John Dramani Mahama to select Hon. Hannah Tetteh as the Vice Presidential Candidate for the 2016 election.

We believe Hannah Tetteh is the most ideal candidate to win us more votes in 2016 due to the following reasons;

1. Amissah Arthur is hardly been noticed in Ghana and doesn't have enough public appeal as he is not liked by many as compared to Hannah Tetteh.

2. The people of Central Region are so much in love with Hannah Tetteh as she won her parliamentary primaries with overwhelming 97% in her constituency.

3. Hannah Tetteh has proven to have a very fantastic working relationship with President Mahama.

4. We will get a good political capital for selecting a woman as vice president which is something our opponents the NPP have never dreamt of. Hannah Tetteh has a nice public appeal and a very intelligent woman who has performed creditably in her ministerial appointments and helped in the campaign. Let's not forget her efforts towards 2008 & 2012 elections.

It is time to get a woman who will increase our votes in central region and win women activists who are floating voters.

5.His Excellency, if you could remember, one of our own members closely related to your office (Hon.Halidu) spewed vitriols on some section of women in our country. Per our research findings, virtually 60% of women have vowed to register their displeasure at that particular invective by voting against us. To deflate that mess caused, we kindly request of you to deservedly appoint HON. Hannah Tetteh as the vice presidential candidate for the party in the lead up to the 2016 elections.

6. We have gathered some of our brothers from the volta region calling for Speaker Doe Adjaho. We want to state that their tribal politics will not win us any votes. Besides the people of volta region have been awarded by the NDC government than any other region in terms of projects and influential appointments. The central which contributes significantly to NDC votes can only boast of a Vice President. Any attempt by the party to take this seat from the region will be of great harm to the party.

By these we therefore call on you as a listening president to nominate immediately Hon Hannah Tetteh as the VICE Presidential Candidate who our grassroots researches have proved to be a better candidate than Amissah Arthur and Doe Adjaho and your victory in 2016 will be a "cool chop".

Any attempt to maintain Amissah Arthur will compel us and many well-meaning Ghanaians inclusive to withdraw our efforts in the 2016 election.

Thank you.

Signed

Abigail Kwakye-Ewuson
 
 
 
Source:http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201511/262222.php

I Have Considered Quitting NPP But,... - Arthur K

One time presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but now estranged for his non-conformist stance on issues affecting the party, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, believes if he had spoken in favour of "all-die-be-die”-- the removal of Afoko and Agyapong-- the insults of Kufuor and others -- the opening of secret bank accounts and other assaults on our constitution and traditions," no qualms would have been raised over his party membership.

According to him, at the height of his vilification last year, he considered quitting altogether came to the conclusion that the NPP rather needs to be saved from "extremists" so that "it can save Ghana from the NDC".

In the latest of his regular writings titled “The NPP must learn from history” in which he counsels wisdom in the party, Dr Kennedy expressed disappointment in one-time National Chairman of the party, Harona Esseku, who was suspended during his tenure for "adding his name to the charade" of purging the party of anyone not loyal to the Flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo

"He is a better man than the person portrayed by his involvement in this farce," Dr Arthur Kennedy stated.

He wrote; "Over the last year, in the face of the invectives and calumnies heaped upon me for my positions on the NPP and the counsel of well-meaning friends and family, I have thought long and hard about quitting the NPP. And I have prayed. I have concluded that it would be wrong to quit. The NPP needs to be saved from its extremists so that united; it can save Ghana from the NDC. My place, as a Ghanaian patriot and a true member of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition—is in the frontlines of that fight, on the side of principle, commonsense, courtesy, tolerance and the rule of law."
 

Below is his article in full


THE NPP MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY

The NPP appears bent on repeating its unhappy history. In 1979, with victory in plain sight, it divided into the PFP and the UNC and gave away victory to the Nkrumahist PNP, led by Dr. Hilla Limann. As Akenten Appiah-Menka told me, “That division could have been avoided by a more conciliatory tone. Those who stayed in the PFP thought those leaving to form the UNC did not matter and it cost us dearly.”

Currently, with 2016 approaching and another Nkrumahist party on the other side, we seem poised, once again, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We are on a strange mission, to purge our ranks and demoralize ourselves through suspensions, expulsions and designation of good members as traitors and/or agents of the NDC--- based on dissent. Those who disagree with the flag-bearer are called names and have their loyalty questioned. Former President Kufuor, Kwadwo Mpiani, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong, Wereko Brobbey, Nyaho Tamakloe and yours truly, to mention only a few have all been targeted.

Personally, in the last couple of weeks, I have been disowned by the NPP-USA, NPP of my home constituency, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese and the venerable former National Chairman, Haruna Esseku, who felt compelled, while sticking the knife in me to state that he is, like me, a Fanti! The chances that these denunciations of me are coincidental are just as much as the chances of a Fanti seeing kenkey, pepper and fish on his breakfast plate and thinking the three items got on his plate by chance. For a man who has been pronounced politically dead repeatedly, this pathological obsession with me, while flattering, is puzzling.

My standing in the NPP, to put it humbly, is self-evident.

I was in good standing when we were in opposition before the 2000 election.

I was in good standing while we were in government. Indeed, in 2007, I was vetted and found fit to contest the Presidency of Ghana on the NPP’s ticket. In fact, if the delegates at Legon had picked me number one instead of giving me one vote, I might have gone on to win the 2008 presidential elections and would be preparing to hand over next January.

I have been in good standing since we returned to opposition.

I have known and worked with every one of our Presidential candidates starting with Victor Owusu, as well as every General Secretary beginning with Agyenim Boateng. I have worked with activists ranging from Azorka through the Idris brothers to Alhaji Gibrine.

Throughout all these phases, I have poured my blood, my sweat and my treasure into the NPP.

My money and ideas were welcome whether I was in Accra or Milwaukee or Asebu. My membership card, like all others, has no expiration date. The NPP has never believed that a person’s contribution to party or country should be limited by where he lives. That is why we championed ROPAL.

It is, of course obvious that if I was celebrating “all-die-be-die”-- the removal of Afoko and Agyapong-- the insults of Kufuor and others -- the opening of secret bank accounts and other assaults on our constitution and traditions, no one would be questioning my membership. And that is a shame.

I am disappointed that Mr. Esseku would add his name to this charade. He is a better man than the person portrayed by his involvement in this farce.

Over the last year, in the face of the invectives and calumnies heaped upon me for my positions on the NPP and the counsel of well-meaning friends and family, I have thought long and hard about quitting the NPP. And I have prayed. I have concluded that it would be wrong to quit. The NPP needs to be saved from its extremists so that united; it can save Ghana from the NDC. My place, as a Ghanaian patriot and a true member of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition—is in the frontlines of that fight, on the side of principle, commonsense, courtesy, tolerance and the rule of law.

Respectfully, I urge Mr. Esseku and other elders to return to being true elders and to help unite our party for victory in 2016. They should stop being Nana Addo’s men and be once again, NPP men. Our party, if divided, cannot win.

To my party, I urge that we go into 2016 conscious of the eternal truth that we must attract numbers and votes to win. Let us heed Proverbs 24:6 “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in the multitude of counselors there is safety”. Let us be wise, my fellow elephants, let us be wise.

MAY God bless NPP and Ghana.

Arthur Kobina Kennedy
Irmo, South Carolina
26th November, 2015
 
 
 
Source: http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201511/262222.php

Mahama Has Demonstrated That He Is Capable Of Solving ‘Dumsor’ - Yamoah Ponko

NDC’s Kweku Afrifa Yamoah Ponko has said that – President John Dramani Mahama is working harder to end Ghana’s frustrating power crisis which has left many worried.

Yamoah Ponko who has been nominated by President Mahama for the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly Chief Executive in the Ashanti region after losing the NDC MP primaries has maintained that – the power crisis will be solved soon.

Ghana’s power-crisis is yet to resolve after almost five years – the Mahama-led administration is expecting a Power Barge in the country from Turkey to help curb the unbearable situation.

Speaking on NEAT FM’s morning show 'Ghana Montie', Yamoah Ponko was very optimistic that, President Mahama’s efforts to curb the power crisis will surely win him the presidency in 2016.

“The Power Barge is now in Ghana. This shows how serious the president is. The president's dream is to end 'Dumsor' and he has demonstrated that he is capable of solving that problem,” he said.
 
 
 
Source: http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201511/262150.php

Tonaton.com Launches Two New Services

Tonaton.com, Ghana's largest marketplace, has launched two new services to enable it meet the dynamic needs of its customers.

The two services, launched on Thursday 19th November, 2015, are Tonaton Delivers, a safe and efficient delivery service for Tonaton.com users to get the products they buy to be delivered to their front door and Tonaton Memberships, a value-added service to help businesses extend their footprints to increase their sales.

Speaking to the press, Managing Director of Tonaton.com, Sandra Abrokwa Owusu-Kyerematen said,Tonaton Deliversis focused on building confidence and trust of online marketplaces in Ghana.

“Quality of service and goods is one aspect we do not compromise on Tonaton.com. It is important to us that, our customers are pleased with the products they receive from their orders and that it also matches   exactly with what they viewed on the website and were expecting,” Sandra said. “As the online market industry still evolves in Ghana, it is important to us that customer trust is established and maintained, this can only be achieved by adding more valued services to our existing ones. The Tonaton Delivers service we are offering now clearly sets us apart from competition,” she added.

The pay-on-delivery service, the first for any e-marketplace in Ghana, will strive to eliminate certain burdens off both buyers and sellers.

“We are always looking to innovate on behalf of our customers and find ways to save them time and money. With Tonaton Delivers, we're relieving buyers and sellers of the inconvenience of traffic and the physical distance that exists between them. This is just another example of the value that Tonaton.com strives to provide its users,” Sandra added.

The service, being offered in Tema and Accra, is expected to be expanded to other areas in the coming weeks. With charges of GHs10 for Accra and GHs15 for Tema, Frederick Owusu, Head of Business Development and Category Management of Tonaton.com added that users of this service will see the value in time saved, not to mention the relief.

“This delivery service is a great service for people who are busy and don’t want to take the time to drive or meet buyers.  This represents the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way for customers to purchase items online.” he said.

How Tonaton Delivers Works
Once a seller posts a product ad on Tonaton.com and a buyer decides to purchase the item, the seller can book delivery by calling Tonaton Delivers. Tonaton Delivers will then pick up the item from the seller and deliver it to the buyer. After the buyer has inspected the item and shown satisfaction, they will proceed to pay Tonaton Delivers for the item.

Depending on the contentment of the buyer, Tonaton Delivers settles seller or returns unsold item to seller. Tonaton Delivers, “Fast, safe & convenient deliveries to you!” Call 0501509132 now.

The other service, Tonaton.com Memberships a value-added service to help businesses extend their footprint to increase their sales. The service comes with unmatched additional benefits for business ad posters depending the package subscribed on such as, a page dedicated entirely to one’s business- microsite, free featured listings, free customized shop stickers, free professional product photos, heavy discounts on banner advertising and free deliveries from Tonaton Delivers.

Speaking to the media, Frederick Fiifii Owusu, Head of Business Development and Category Management of Tonaton.com, said Tonaton.com Memberships comes in two packages. "The first package is "Business Unlimited", where users have full benefits and no limits on ads they can post on the site in a month. The second, "Business Plus", where users have the opportunity to tell the world about their business and products with limited ads."

Tonaton.com, Ghana’s largest market place looks forward to helping businesses grow as well making transactions easier and faster on the site through their initiatives

source:http://business.peacefmonline.com/pages/news/201511/261993.php

'As We Await Karpower Barge'

As Ghana welcomes the highly anticipated 225MW Karpower barge, a lot of Ghanaians have expressed their thoughts, pleasures and displeasures relating to its adoption and use in Ghana per our recurrent energy crisis.

Apart from the fact that power barge is not a sustainable answer to Ghana’s current energy crisis, it is need for us to know some operational history of the Karpower.
 
To start with, the key operational challenge of the Karpower barge has being the fuel quality. This is one of its main setback in the history of its operations in other countries.  

In April 2013, the Fatmagul Sultan, the electricity-generating barge stationed off the Lebanese coast, stopped producing electricity for over a month, yet Karpower had to demand 8 million dollars of back pay from the Lebanese state for this downtime.  

Interestingly, the Karadeniz Company, maintained that reason behind the stoppage was low-quality fuel. This same clause of paying for non-performance is found in Ghana’s contractual agreement with Karpower.   

Since the key challenge for Karpower’s continuous operation is the quality of fuel, the question then is between Karpower and Ghana, who is responsible for the fuel standards according to the contract agreement?

If Ghana is responsible for the supply of the Fuel, do we have the adequate fuel specification or standards for the Power barge not to breakdown?

Again, it is imperative that such key issues are resolved timely within contractual frameworks between the Ghana and the Karadeniz Company, since this has been one of the reasons for the power barge’s breakdown in some other countries previously.

Despite the fact that the $700million USD to be spent on this Karpower could have been used to build a 450MW solar power plant which equally could have supported our peak load demands, it is still need that we have value for money for this Karpower project.  

In concluding, let me re-emphasize the need for Ghana to pay attention to the mistakes others have made concerning their agreement on this power barge so Ghanaians do not suffer its ramifications.
 
 
 
 
Source:http://business.peacefmonline.com/pages/economy/201511/262211.php

Local businesses must exploit Instant Messaging to build their brands

It’s about time local businesses took advantage of the growing use of Instant Messaging (IM) to promote and build their brands.
Instant messaging involves real time exchange of text messages between individuals through a software application over the Internet.  The popularity of IM has soared over the past year, with a 12 percentage point uplift in daily usage as more Ghanaians opt for closed messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber. In Ghana, daily instant messaging has seen impressive growth, from 74% of Ghanaian internet users, to 86% in 2015.
Globally, over half of internet users (55%) are now using instant messaging every day, while three quarters are using it on a weekly basis, according to Connected Life, a study of over 60,000 internet users worldwide from global research consultancy TNS.
According to Adewale Obaseki, the Managing Director of leading Marketing Research firm,              TNS RMS, IM offers significant opportunities for brands that successfully move to a content model. He said this when he delivered a lecture on the topic –Integrated Marketing Strategy in a digital world - organized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – CIMG as part of its monthly series.
“Digital has come to stay, there has been more innovations in this in the last ten years than in the last seventy years and for Ghana we need to move to digital because our consumers are also changing their habits on a daily basis as well as their technology habits. Thus as marketers reaching them, it is actually important and the platform to reach them is digital.
“You need to understand your consumer and your target group. If your target group are the younger generation, they probably do not watch television as much as we do and so reaching them through digital is probably your only option. Now we have the average young digital user putting on his ear-piece  and then playing with his mobile all-day and so now companies whose targets are these consumers really need to connect with them through digital” he said.
Instant Messaging is particularly dominant in emerging ‘mobile-first’ markets, with daily usage rising even higher in markets such as Ghana, South Africa, China, Brazil, and Malaysia. By contrast, some Western markets are lagging behind in daily IM usage, including the UK and the US.
Despite this, social networking platforms are still rising in popularity on a global level with a 6% uplift in daily usage. Facebook has maintained its position as the world’s favourite social platform; almost one third of global internet users say they use it every day. In Ghana, however, daily usage of Facebook has plateaued, with a slight decrease in daily usage (from 66% in 2014 to 63% in 2015). Instagram and Twitter, however, have seen dramatic growth in Ghana over the past year, as social media behaviour starts to fragment over an increased number of social networking platforms.
This data shows that consumers are even more connected to each other, and across multiple platforms. While IM popularity is rising, traditional social media platforms are still holding strong, allowing content to go viral more quickly. The challenge for brands is to create content that consumers actually want to share.
Mr. Obaseki added “The mobile-centric nature of African markets presents enormous opportunity for marketers. Connected Ghanaians spend an average of over three hours per day on social platforms, with WhatsApp and Facebook the dominant platforms, but with newer platforms such as Instagram seeing rapid growth in popularity. The constantly connected status of digital users, and their appetite for relevant, engaging branded content is fertile ground for marketers to make a meaningful connection with their consumers”.
 Joseph Webb, Global Director of Connected Life, also noted “Apps like Snapchat, and WhatsApp are sweeping up new users every day, particularly amongst younger consumers who want to share experiences with a smaller, specific group, rather than using public, mainstream platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
“As people’s online habits become ever more fragmented, brands need to tap into the growing popularity of IM and other emerging platforms. The need for a content-driven approach across IM, social and traditional channels has never been clearer. Yet at the same time brands need to be very careful. Instant messaging is a more closed medium, meaning it is essential to share limited content that is genuinely relevant and valuable”
- Source:http://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2015/november-27th/local-businesses-must-exploit-instant-messaging-to-build-their-brands.php

Zambian businesses pummelled by power cuts

During an afternoon power cut in the Lusaka township of Bauleni, 52-year-old Stanford Mwanza does what work he can in his carpentry workshop by varnishing a wardrobe.
Among Bauleni's 15,000 residents little stirs on streets full of normally active welders, mechanics and tyre menders during business hours, as workers wait for power to return.
Elsewhere across the Zambian capital of 1.4 million, and throughout this hydroelectric-dependent country, businesses are suffering after an erratic rainy season from last October to March this year left reservoir water levels too low, resulting in load shedding - or planned power-cuts - lasting eight to 14 hours a day.
Not everyone, however, accepts the government's blaming of rains for the energy crisis that began shortly afterwards, but has worsened since August. Everyone agrees on the outcome, though.
"It is a hell of a problem," Mr Mwanza says. "The power went at 10 this morning and now we just have to wait. Normally it takes me three weeks to finish a wardrobe but this one has taken two months."
Poor rains
Zambia had one of Africa's fastest growing economies - expanding on average 7% annually over the past five years - driven by mining of its huge copper and cobalt reserves.

HIPLIFE ARTISTE QUATA “RESURRECTS” WITH OHIA AND WIND AND GO LOW FEATURED NOVEMBER 26, 2015 SHARE Rapper, Quata, won the admiration of many for his tongue twisting style but the man

Rapper, Quata, won the admiration of many for his tongue twisting style but the man who has gone missing on the music scene for almost six years is poised to resurrect his career.

And to prove how ready he is for his new “journey”, Quata, who gained prominence in 2004 is out with two new songs, Ohia (Poverty) and Wind N Go Low off his upcoming Quantus album scheduled for release in December.

Aware of the soaring interest in highlife among the new crop of artistes, Quata goes back to his Ghanaian music roots on Ohia, a highlife piece which was produced King Joe. The rapper may have found himself in an unfamiliar terrain on Ohia but his delivery on the song proves his seriousness to make a successful career this time.

He might not have the best of vocals to the listener but Quata, real name, Jacob Kwame Etroo, made a good impression on Ohia where he talks about how poverty brings disgrace to people.

For the man who had tasted fame in the past, Ohia might be a description of his struggles as he encourages people to work hard since poverty isn’t a good experience. He further entreats the younger ones to uphold the virtues of determination since that is the only way so push poverty away from them.

The former student of Aggrey Memorial School is not ignorant of the growing competition among the new crop of young artistes who are obviously flying the flag of Ghana high on the international platform but Quata, who has once upon a time enjoyed such fame said he is back for good.

“I’m not competing with anyone for the first position. I’m back to do what I love to do best after a long break and I know my fans would appreciate it,” he stated.

source:http://livefmghana.com/hiplife-artiste-quata-resurrects-with-ohia-and-wind-and-go-low/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Quata bounces back with Quantum

He won the admiration of many with his tongue twisting style when he hit the limelight in 2004 but rapper, Quata, who has been missing in action on the music scene for almost six years now is poised to resurrect his career.
And to prove how ready he is, Quata is out with two new songs, Ohia (Poverty) and Wind N Go Low off his upcoming Quantum album scheduled for release in December.
Aware of the soaring interest in highlife among the new crop of artistes in recent times, Quata goes back to his Ghanaian music roots on Ohia, a highlife piece which was produced by King Joe.
Read more from Graphic Showbiz...
- Source: http://www.graphic.com.gh/entertainment/celebrity/54086-quata-bounces-back-with-quantum.html

Reggie N Bolie hang out with Sarkodie, Sean Paul

X Factor UK favourites, Reggie N Bollie met Award-winning artistes Sean Paul and Sarkodie last night.

The duo were special guests at Fuse ODG’s concert held at the 02 Arena in London.

They performed an amazing cover of ODG’s ‘dangerous love’ last week on the reality music show.

Enjoy their video below.

source:http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Reggie-N-Bolie-hang-out-with-Sarkodie-Sean-Paul-396928

Benny Blanco Resigns From TV3

Television Presenter Benny Blanco has reportedly quit Kanda based TV3.

According to Ameyawdebrah.com, Benny Blanco has resigned from TV3. Benny, who was a host on the station’s morning show, New Day reportedly resigned Friday morning November 27.

His resignation comes on the heels of the resignation of former co-host, Nana Aba Anamoah, though there is not clear link between the two instances.

It is not clear where Benny is heading to yet.

source:http://showbiz.peacefmonline.com/pages/radiotv/201511/262213.php

MUSIGA Commends GhaMRO

The President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) President Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour has commended the leadership of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) on the strides GHAMRO has made so far.

The MUSIGA President was speaking at a meeting between the GHAMRO board and the newly elected national executive committee members of the Union. He also took the opportunity to thank GHAMRO for its support for the Union’s recent congress in Koforidua.

Obour noted that in line with MUSIGA’s mandate to improve the lives of musicians the Union appreciates effective collaboration with institutions like GHAMRO. He listed some of the areas of possible collaboration between the two organizations as anti-piracy campaigns, welfare issues and a pension scheme among other things.

On his part, the chairman of the GHAMRO board, Kojo Antwi advised the newly elected executives to ensure transparency and accountability in their operations. He indicated that GHAMRO will collaborate effectively with MUSIGA in a number of areas since the development of the music industry in Ghana hinges on the effectiveness of institutions like GHAMRO, MUSIGA and GAPI among others.

Other GHAMRO board members took turns to advise the new MUSIGA executives. Among the board members present were the GHAMRO Welfare Chairman Alhaji Bandex, Vice Chairman Nana Tuffour, Augustina Addision and Rev Dr Mary Ghansah as well as the Administrators of GHAMRO Abraham Adjetey and Jonathan Cudjoe.

Among the MUSIGA team was 1st Vice President Bessa Simons, 2nd Vice President Rev Dr Thomas Yawson, National Treasurer Samuel Agyemang and Director of Communications and Special Projects Ahuma Bosco Ocansey.
Also present were Seth Amponsah, Big Ben, Easyway, Teacher Redeemer of the Ghana Phonographic Industries (GAPI) and Rev Francis Boahene of REPAG.

source:http://showbiz.peacefmonline.com/pages/music/201511/262185.php

Idris Elba almost died in Ghana

Idris Elba almost died while filming scenes for his latest movie Beasts Of No Nation.
The actor, 43, was on set in a tense scene near a waterfall in Ghana when his foot slipped off a rock and the branch he held on to snapped.
Recalling the incident on The Jonathan Ross Show, Elba - who plays warlord Commandant in the Netflix film - said: "I nearly died. I was doing this scene - we decided to do this waterfall scene where all these child soldiers were walking behind this massive waterfall.


"Cary Fukunaga, the director, decided to shoot it for real. We went to this waterfall and in this scene my character is standing there watching all the child soldiers go past. Now in the setup of that, the stunt co-ordinator says, 'Listen everyone, this is a waterfall, that's a 90, 100 foot drop down there and the ground is very slippery, just be careful!'


- Source:http://www.myjoyonline.com/entertainment/2015/November-27th/idris-elba-almost-died-in-ghana.php

Adele's 25 makes UK chart history with 800,000 album sales

Adele's new album 25 has sold more than 800,000 copies in its first week of release - the highest ever figure for a single UK chart week.


The album shifted more copies than the next 86 albums in the chart combined, and has become the first album to sell more than 100,000 downloads in a week.
In fact, 252,423 of the album's 800,307 sales were digital with the rest on CD.
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot said: "The statistics surrounding the album are staggering."
He added: "No album has ever sold 800,000 copies to reach number one in the history of British music."
The previous record was held by Oasis's Be Here Now, which reached number one with sales of 696,000 in 1997. However that album only went on sale three days before the end of the chart week.

source:http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34948022

QUATA BOUNCES BACK WITH QUANTUM

He won the admiration of many with his tongue twisting style when he hit the limelight in 2004 but rapper, Quata, who has been missing in action on the music scene for almost six years now is poised to resurrect his career.
And to prove how ready he is, Quata is out with two new songs, Ohia (Poverty) and Wind N Go Low off his upcoming Quantum album scheduled for release in December.
Aware of the soaring interest in highlife among the new crop of artistes in recent times, Quata goes back to his Ghanaian music roots on Ohia, a highlife piece which was produced by King Joe.
Read more from Graphic Showbiz...
- Source: http://www.graphic.com.gh/entertainment/celebrity/54086-quata-bounces-back-with-quantum.html

Bakus

Founder & CEO, Bakus Group of Companies

Dj Kobby Kroniklez

The stress releaser behind the console.

Vincent Kuagbenu fired as YEA boss

Chief Executive of Youth Employment Agency Vincent Kuagbenu has been relieved of his post.

A statement signed by Chief of Staff Julius Debrah said Mr Kuagbenu has been asked to handover to his successor latest by Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

“H.E. the President has identified Mr. Kobina Beecham, whose curriculum vitae is attached hereto, to be considered for appointment as the chief Executive of Youth Employment Agency,” the statement dated November 27, 2015 noted.

Mr. Kuagbenu, has been asked to return to the presidency with immediate effect.

Prior to his appointment at YEA, Mr. Kuagbenu was assigned responsibility in the Office of the President to coordinate the rationalization and re-registration of Government vehicles.

Vincent Kuagbenu, a former National Service Secretariat (NSS) boss, took over from Kobby Acheampong in June this year when the President reshuffled a number of heads of public institutions and departments.
 

Source: http://myjoyonline.com/news/2015/December-1st/vincent-kuagbenu-fired-as-yea-boss.php

Can Nigeria's president defeat oil industry corruption?

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took power promising to tackle the "mind-boggling" level of corruption in his country's oil industry. But can he succeed?

Although oil is said to account for 75% of the Nigerian economy, no-one knows how much the country actually produces or refines because hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil are stolen every day, at each level of the supply chain.

President Buhari has taken personal control of the oil ministry and split the state-owned NNPC oil company into two entities in a move aimed at reducing corruption.

 

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34580862

 

Iraqis think the U.S. is in cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is hurting the war

 BAIJI, Iraq — On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.

Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion — one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis — that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.

“It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

U.S. military officials say the charges are too far-fetched to merit a response. “It’s beyond ridiculous,” said Col. Steve Warren, the military’s Baghdad-based spokesman. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

The perception among Iraqis that the United States is somehow in cahoots with the militants it claims to be fighting appears, however, to be widespread across the country’s Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, and it speaks to more than just the troubling legacy of mistrust that has clouded the United States’ relationship with Iraq since the 2003 invasion and the subsequent withdrawal eight years later.

At a time when attacks by the Islamic State in Paris and elsewhere have intensified calls for tougher action on the ground, such is the level of suspicion with which the United States is viewed in Iraq that it is unclear whether the Obama administration would be able to significantly escalate its involvement even if it wanted to.

“What influence can we have if they think we are supporting the terrorists?” asked Kirk Sowell, an analyst based in neighboring Jordan who publishes the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.

In one example of how little leverage the United States now has, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi pushed back swiftly against an announcement Tuesday by Defense Secretary ­Ashton B. Carter that an expeditionary force of U.S. troops will be dispatched to Iraq to conduct raids, free hostages and capture Islamic State leaders.

Iraq’s semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, where support for the United States remains strong, has said it would welcome more troops. But Abadi indicated they would not be needed.

“There is no need for foreign ground combat troops,” he said in a statement. “Any such support and special operations anywhere in Iraq can only be deployed subject to the approval of the Iraqi Government and in coordination with the Iraqi forces and with full respect to Iraqi sovereignty.”

The allegations of U.S. collusion with the Islamic State are aired regularly in parliament by Shiite politicians and promoted in postings on social media. They are persistent enough to suggest a deliberate campaign on the part of Iran’s allies in Iraq to erode American influence, U.S. officials say.

In one typical recent video that appeared on the Facebook page of a Shiite militia, a lawmaker with the country’s biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves apparently new U.S military MREs (meals ready to eat) — one of them chicken and dumplings — allegedly found at a recently captured Islamic State base in Baiji, offering proof, he said, of U.S. support.

“The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,” Warren said. “It’s part of the Iranian propaganda machine.”

The perception plays into a widening rift within Iraq’s ruling Shiite elite over whether to pivot more toward Iran or the United States. Those pushing the allegations “want to create a narrative that Iran is our ally and the United States is our enemy, and this undermines Abadi, who is America’s ally,” Sowell said.

Iraqi government officials say they don’t believe the charges and point out that Abadi regularly pushes back against them. But Abadi’s own position has weakened in recent months. He is battling for his political survival against a variety of Shiite militia leaders whose power has been bolstered by the increasingly dominant role played on the battlefield by the militias, collectively known as Hashd al-Shaabi, or popular mobilization units.

Iraqi officials complain that their task is hampered by what is universally perceived as the lackluster U.S. response to the threat posed by the Islamic State.

“We don’t believe the Americans support Daesh,” said Naseer Nouri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “But it is true that most people are saying they do, and they are right to believe that the Americans should be doing much more than they are. It’s because America is so slow that most people believe they are supporting Daesh.”

U.S. warplanes routinely fail to respond to requests for air support because of U.S. rules of engagement that preclude strikes if there is a risk civilians may be hit, he said. According to Warren, that standard frequently is not met. The United States has conducted more than 3,768 strikes in Iraq as of Nov.­ 19, according to the U.S. military, and the tempo of strikes has increased lately, U.S. officials say.

But it also appears that the fighters are unaware when they do receive U.S. air support. The U.S. military reported near-daily strikes in support of the offensive to recapture Baiji last month and continues to respond regularly to requests for strikes in the vicinity, Warren said.

The fighters there insist there have been no strikes by the Americans at all. “We’d be better off without them,” said 1st Lt. Murtada Fadl, who is serving with the Iraqi elite forces in Baiji. He said that the only air support had come from the Iraqi air force and that he wishes the government would ask the Russians to replace the Americans.

In a part of the world where outcomes are often confused with intentions and regional complexities enable conspiracy theories to thrive, the notion that the United States is colluding with the Islamic State holds a certain logic, according to Mustafa Alani, director of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. Most Arabs are too in awe of American might to believe that the United States is deliberately adopting a minimalist approach, he said.

“The reason is that the Americans aren’t doing the job people expect them to do,” he said. “Mosul was lost and the Americans did nothing. Syria was lost and the Americans did nothing. Paris is attacked and the Americans aren’t doing much. So people believe this is a deliberate policy. They can’t believe the American leadership fails to understand the developments in the region, and so the only other explanation is that this is part of a conspiracy.”

On the streets of Baghdad, most Iraqis see no other explanation.

“The image of the U.S. was damaged in the region, so they created Daesh in order to fight them and restore their image,” said Mohammed Abdul Khaleq, a journalist for a local TV station who was drinking coffee in a cafe favored by writers, most of whom said they agreed.

A rare dissenting voice was offered by Hassan Abdul-Wahab, 23, selling luggage in a nearby shop. “It is true that most people believe that,” he said. “But it’s not based on reason. It’s based on racism — because Iraqis don’t like Americans in the first place.”

 

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraqis-think-the-us-is-in-cahoots-with-isis-and-it-is-hurting-the-war/2015/12/01/d00968ec-9243-11e5-befa-99ceebcbb272_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_iraqhostility-920pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

 

 

Chicago police superintendent fired by mayor amid outcry over video of shooting

CHICAGO — The head of the Chicago Police Department was fired Tuesday amid widespread criticism over how authorities responded to the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer last year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said he formally asked Garry F. McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent, for his resignation on Tuesday morning, a week after video footage of the shooting was released and the officer was charged with murder.

“He has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction,” Emanuel said. He added that while he is loyal to McCarthy, whom he praised for his leadership of the department, the needs of the city are more important.

Even as the embattled Emanuel dismissed his police superintendent and made other vows of increased police accountability, announcing a task force to review police oversight, another Illinois official suggested that federal intervention was needed for the Chicago police. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wrote a letter Tuesday asking the Justice Department to investigate possible civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department.

Anger has erupted in Chicago since authorities released footage of Jason Van Dyke, a city police officer, shooting Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old, last year. In the video, Van Dyke is seen firing a volley of shots at McDonald, many of them after the teenager had already fallen to the ground.

Emanuel said he began talking to McCarthy on Sunday, after several days of heated protests, about “the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded.”

The end of McCarthy’s time atop the Chicago force marks a abrupt shift for a law enforcement officer who became nationally known as he worked in three of the country’s biggest police departments.

When Emanuel announced McCarthy’s appointment in May 2011, he praised him as someone who proved “reducing crime and working closely with the community are not conflicting goals.”

Before McCarthy, 56, came to Chicago, he served as the police director in Newark and was an officer and deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department. In New York, he oversaw the CompStat system, which is used to monitor crime data and was adopted by law enforcement agencies across the country. He spent a quarter of a century with the NYPD before the department said he retired in 2006 as deputy commissioner for operations and headed to Newark.

During his time in Newark, the number of homicides declined, according to FBI data. The same month his appointment in Chicago was announced, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the Newark police force, looking at reports of how officers used force and complaints of excessive force that occurred before and after McCarthy took over the Chicago police force. The Justice Department said last year it had found “patterns of misconduct” in Newark, releasing a report that did not mention McCarthy, and reached an agreement with the city to have its force overseen by an independent monitor.

When McCarthy arrived in Chicago to lead the country’s second-biggest local law enforcement agency, he was seen as an outsider who did not understand the nuances of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. He also stepped into a culture tainted by a legacy of police abuse going back decades. The city was struggling to confront that legacy through settlements with victims and an effort to rebuild trust on the streets — trust that, for many, was irrevocably broken. Gun violence also mounted: In his first year in office, homicides jumped above 500, creating a crisis that screamed across national headlines.

McCarthy also dealt with anger directed at the city’s top officials resulting from Emanuel’s decision in 2013 to close dozens of public schools as well as an ongoing foreclosure crisis that worsened neighborhoods that were already marginalized from booming development downtown.

Despite those challenges, police reform experts say McCarthy was a progressive in implementing preventive policing programs. Among them was the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy, a partnership funded by the MacArthur Foundation and led by several academic institutions, including the University of Chicago, that created a database to monitor gang activity to the granular level in order to predict and prevent violence.

Andrew Papachristos, a sociologist at Yale University who works with the Chicago Police Department in developing the database, said McCarthy was “a very forward-thinking cop” compared to his predecessors. He said McCarthy also implemented violence-prevention reform programs in Chicago that highlighted rebuilding trust and legitimacy before they took hold on a national level.

According to police data, civilian complaints against police have fallen 38 percent between 2011 and 2015.

“He was at the forefront of police leaders in this country,” Papachristos said. “From the research side of things, he opened the door and was one of the first people who said, ‘Let’s try this.’”

McCarthy had also been very outspoken about tightening gun laws, calling for harsher penalties for people who have violated gun laws and saying that illegal gun possession in Chicago was directly tied to the number of homicides.

“There’s very few police chiefs in the country that have his institutional knowledge of crime-fighting,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit that guides departments on policies and practices.

While Emanuel said Tuesday he had “a lot of confidence in the work” McCarthy has done in Chicago, he said the move was necessary to rebuild public trust and confidence in the police force.

City leaders and demonstrators had called on Emanuel to remove McCarthy, arguing that new leadership is needed to reassure a troubled public. Last week, a dozen members of the City Council’s black caucus gathered to reiterate these calls for new leadership.

 

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/12/01/chicago-police-superintendent-fired/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_chicago-1210p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Sammy Crabbe rejects NPP disciplinary c’ttee invitation

NPP Second Vice-Chairman Sammy Crabbe has rejected an invitation to appear before the party’s disciplinary committee after two party members petitioned for his expulsion from the opposition party.

Sammy Crabbe has questioned the locus of the committee to hear him after he refused to recognise Freddie Blay's appointment as acting National Chairman. The elected chairman had been suspended indefinitely.

NPP members Boye Laryea and Gladys Tsotso Mann-Deddey in their petition say Mr. Crabbe "failed, neglected and abandoned his duties as a member of the party, and has fallen short of the standard required of national officers".

However, according to the former Greater Accra NPP Chairman, the National Council is the only and proper party organ that can hear a complaint against a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

He quoted Article 4(3) (d)

A Member aggrieved by or dissatisfied with the conduct of any member of the Constituency Executive Committee shall file a complaint in writing to the Regional Executive Committee. A complaint against a member of the Regional Executive Committee shall be made to the National Executive Committee and in the case of the National Executive Committee to the National Council.
 

Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/December-1st/sammy-crabbe-rejects-npp-disciplinary-cttee-invitation.php

Ex-gratia payment: GNPC Board causes financial loss to state- MP

A Ranking Member on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs of Parliament is accusing the Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) of causing financial loss to the state in the payment of ex-gratia to four ex-employees of the Corporation.

Joe Osei Owusu avers there was no basis for the over 3 million cedis payment made to the four ex-employees including two former Chief Executives Tsatsu Tsikata and Nana Asafo Agyei.

His damnation of the Board of the GNPC is a new sting in the tale of allegations, confirmations and denials of payments made to former heads of the GNPC.

MP for Adansi Asokwa KT Hammond set the scandal off with an allegation that GNPC had ordered the payment of various sums of monies to Tsatsu Tsikata, Nana Asafo Agyei, Esther Cobbah and Mr Benjamin Dagadu who used to be the Field Evaluation and Development Manager of the Corporation.

According to the Asokwa MP, Tsikata and Asafo Agyei were each paid one million cedis whilst the wife of Tsikata, Esther Cobbah who was then the Public Affairs Manager at GNPC was paid 600,000 cedis.

He described the payment as criminal and illegal and demanded an investigation into the payment.

On Monday, the GNPC issued a statement confirming the Board's decision to make the payment to the four. While it will not disclose the exact amount paid to them, the Board stated the four employees had acquitted themselves well during their period of employment and that it was a "valid obligation" on the part of the Corpration to pay them their ex-gratia.

However, on Tuesday, Esther Cobbah issued a statement saying she was yet to receive any payment from the GNPC.

She claimed she was owed huge sums of monies in entitlements after she was removed rather unceremoniously in 2001 by the then Energy Minister.

She accused KT Hammond of plotting to deny her what is rightfully hers, professing "no weapon fashioned against me by the making of such unjustifiable attacks will prosper."

But it appears she may have to widen her scope of defence against what she described as unjustifiable attacks.

This is because Joe Osei Owusu is wondering how Madam Cobbah of all persons will be making ex-gratia demands on the state and the GNPC.

"In the case of Madam Esther Cobbah we learned that she actually abandoned her post. She was transferred to the Gas Company and never stepped there (GNPC). Is such a person entitled to make any claims?" he questioned.

He said the payment by the Board is not only baseless but he had received information, lawyers of GNPC had written a legal opinion against the payment of the ex-gratia.

He said the Board must be held for causing financial loss to the state for approving payments to the four.
 

 

Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/December-2nd/ex-gratia-payment-gnpc-board-causes-financial-loss-to-state-mp.php

Dr Amoako Baah’s Comment Is An Insult To My Personality And Profession – Kwame Dzokoto

Radio and television personality, Kwame Dzokoto has described as “insults”, a remark by Dr Amoako Baah, a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology which suggested that he should not go to parliament to joke if he is elected to represent the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency.

Dr Amoako Baah in an interview with Class FM stated that Dzokoto’s popularity made him win the National Democratic Congress (NDC) primaries and suggested he should not go to the law making house and joke as he is known to be a comedian.

“Some of the winners are just a bit worrying you know…when you have someone like Dzokoto, I mean what did he campaign on, ‘Edziban’ or something? I don’t understand it.”

“It becomes almost like a popularity contest because the candidates don’t actually debate each other for the voters to actually see what they are leaned towards….which is not good, and, so, in the end it becomes a popularity contest and Dzokoto is well-known, Edziban, and I’m sure it has a lot to do with why he won.

“I mean look, once you are a comedian, always a comedian. And you go to Parliament and people will see you from that perspective. You start saying something…important and they start laughing [at you] and it’s not a laughing matter in Parliament.

“I’m not saying ‘Edziban’ will not do well…I want him to educate himself and go and do the work he has submitted himself to do, not to go over there and engage in jokes or something,” Dr Amoako-Baah noted.

But speaking to Happy FM, Kwame Dzokoto who is also a voice over artiste expressed disappointment in the statement. According to him, the comments by the lecturer is an insult to the creative arts industry.

“I’m very disappointed in what the Dr said because he is a scientist and is expected to speak based on a research report. You should speak with a lot of facts. I don’t know if he has heard I joked with my responsibilities… so I was surprised for such comments because he is grown, he is a lecturer and a scientist. His comments shocked me because he portrayed me as someone who doesn’t know his left from right. It is an insult to my personality and profession. Some prominent people should advise him on what to say,”Dzokoto said.

The renowned presenter won with 1,450 votes to beat his contender Thomas Okyere, who managed just 398 votes.

 

Source: http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201512/262551.php

It’s on: The GOP primary becomes a free-for-all

 MANCHESTER, N.H. — As the first primary contests rapidly approach, a rash of bickering has broken out among several Republican presidential candidates, marking the beginning of a new, more serious phase of the race.

With just 60 days until the Iowa caucuses and then the New Hampshire primary, the sparring reflects an urgent push among the second- and third-tier GOP candidates to become the main alternative to resilient front-runner Donald Trump.

From immigration to government surveillance, guns and terrorism, the rivals are increasingly willing to draw distinctions — and call each other by name — as they move to secure the loyalty of early-state voters just starting to pay attention to the race.

The feuding is particularly notable among New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have shown signs of strength in recent weeks and are attempting to carve out distinct identities within the party.

Christie, who campaigned here Tuesday, pitches himself as a seasoned executive and former prosecutor with more experience than the two rookie senators. “I’m talking about anybody who doesn’t have the requisite experience to make the tough decisions they need to be president,” he said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” adding that Rubio, Cruz and others “have no experience in governing.”

Christie’s comments come as Rubio and Cruz are engaged in an increasingly bitter back-and-forth over immigration, surveillance issues and national security — sparring that has become more intense in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Rubio (Fla.), positioning himself as one of the most hawkish candidates in the GOP field, has taken aim at Cruz’s support for legislation halting the mass collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency.

“There are Republicans, including Senator Cruz, that have voted to weaken those programs,” Rubio said Monday on Fox News. “That is just part of the record, it is nothing personal.”

Cruz (Tex.) fired back by linking Rubio to the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner. “Senator Rubio emphatically supported Hillary Clinton in toppling [Moammar] Gaddafi in Libya. I think that made no sense,” Cruz said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics, decrying what he called “military adventurism” gone awry.

Christie, who emphasizes his experience as a U.S. attorney after the 9/11 attacks, dove into the Cruz and Rubio dispute by saying that Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), another GOP candidate, made the country less safe with their votes to limit the NSA surveillance program.

“I didn’t get briefed in some basement on Capitol Hill,” Christie said. “I understood based on my experience as a U.S. attorney that this is necessary to protect the homeland.”

The change in tone from several candidates underscores the difficulties they have had distinguishing themselves from the pack as Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have dominated the polls.

“Part of it is the large primary field that has created voter uncertainty in New Hampshire,” said Wayne MacDonald, chairman of Christie’s campaign in the state. “Citizens take their responsibility seriously here. They want to see the candidates, in many cases, or in some cases more than once. So that’s been part of the problem.”

The fight between Cruz and Rubio — both Cuban American freshman senators elected amid tea party waves — has simmered for weeks, boiling over in recent days.

Cruz has accused Rubio of supporting “massive amnesty” as a co-sponsor of an ill-fated bipartisan Senate immigration bill, while Rubio has singled out Cruz’s surveillance vote. Rubio and his backers believe that he can draw a clear distinction with Cruz on national security; a recent ad from a pro-Rubio group said Cruz was weak on security issues — an allegation called “despicable” in a Cruz response ad.

At a campaign rally in Guntersville, Ala., on Tuesday afternoon, where Rubio’s campaign estimated an attendance of more than 750 people, the senator from Florida never mentioned Cruz by name. But Rubio took a veiled shot at him during a lengthy warning about the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists.

“We have to have the ability to know more about them than they ever know about us,” he told the crowd gathered on a rec center basketball court. “And that’s why we have to have strong intelligence programs. It is unacceptable that today, because of disclosures and because of changes to the law, supported sometimes by Republicans themselves, we have lost the ability to find these people before they find us.”

Left largely out of the intraparty fray for now is former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who spends much of his time criticizing Clinton and President Obama rather than his GOP rivals. Campaigning in Waterloo, Iowa, on Tuesday, Bush dodged when asked whether Christie’s record on gun rights was sufficiently conservative.

“I think I have probably the best Second Amendment record of any person running,” he said, adding: “I’m going to focus on my record. I believe I’m going to win New Hampshire, to be honest with you. I honestly believe it.”

As for Trump, many of the candidates are dismissing his chances once voting begins. Cruz said this week that he doubts Trump will be the party’s nominee; in a new Bush ad featuring Medal of Honor recipients, one says that “this is no reality show” — a clear jab at Trump’s long career as host of “The Apprentice.”

Throughout much of the campaign, Trump has been the candidate most eager to lob insults at his Republican opponents, usually in biting and personal ways. Tuesday, he made his oft-repeated dig that Bush “doesn’t have energy,” and he questioned the temperament of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose campaign and super PAC have directly attacked him.

“This guy Kasich, he’s like a lunatic,” Trump said on SiriusXM. “You watch him on the stage, he can’t debate, he can’t talk.”

For the candidates, responding to Trump rarely pays dividends. When Christie was asked last week about Trump’s widely debunked claim that “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were seen celebrating in the streets after 9/11, he replied that he didn’t recall that, but added, “You know, there could be things I forget, too.”

He answered a similar question more forcefully Monday, apparently moving to neutralize Trump and the issue. He told reporters flatly that such mass celebrations “didn’t happen” and that Trump — who had called his initial response “weak” — was trying to intimidate him.

“I was there on 9/11. I wasn’t across the river in New York City. I was there,” Christie said in New Hampshire. “It didn’t happen.”

“The worst part about his claim is that he said he saw it on television,” Christie added. “No one has been able to unearth any video of any such thing happening.”

For his part, Trump noted this week that he has been monitoring the back-and-forth between his rivals closely.

“I’ve been watching this little debate between Rubio and Cruz, and I loved it because I haven’t been so involved,” Trump said on MSNBC. “It’s the one thing I haven’t been involved. Can you believe it?

“And they seem to be attacking themselves very strongly because somebody wants to be standing to challenge me,” he said.

Sullivan reported from Alabama. Jenna Johnson and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

 

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-candidates-sharpen-their-attacks-as-race-enters-a-new-phase/2015/12/01/fa896eb0-985a-11e5-94f0-9eeaff906ef3_story.html

ACEP predicts bleak future for Ghana’s oil industry

Think tank, African Center for Energy Policy, has forecasted a bleak future for Ghana’s oil industry due to what he says is refusal by companies granted production licences to explore for more oil.

ACEP Executive Director, Dr. Amin Adam, says the situation has arisen because there is an absence of proper due diligence on the companies’ capacity to explore oil before they are awarded licences.

Although Ghana is in its fifth year of oil production, Dr Amin Adam says the country may soon witness a decline in production unless companies with strong capacity are engaged to explore.

“When it comes to contract we still have very serious issues relating to how companies are evaluated. We have issues relating to open and competitive bidding process which other countries are using but we are not using," Dr Amin Adam said.

He has urged Parliament to push for full contract disclosure by government agencies that award exploration licences.

Dr. Amin Adam was speaking to Joy News on the sidelines of an international oil and gas training programme for journalist.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fears it may lose its highly trained staff to oil production companies operating in the country.

Although the EPA lacks adequate human resource to fully monitor activities of oil companies especially on the FPSO, the company says it is losing key staff multinational companies who offer better job opportunities.

EPA’s Deputy Director in charge of oil and gas, Kojo Agbenor Efunam, told Joy News the agency is under constant pressure to find ways to keep its staff.

Commenting on the issue, Dr Amin Adams said the problem at EPA must not be taken lightly.
 

Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/December-2nd/acep-predicts-bleak-future-for-ghanas-oil-industry.php