World

VOTERS REGISTRATION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP GOING INTO THIS YEARS ELECTION.

A forty-two minutes conversation on GN Radio this morning was the Executive Director for Kandifo Institute, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah on topics related to the voter registration and importance of leadership in this year’s election. Beginning his interview, the host inquired his view on the Presidential address to the Nation on 16th August 2020, where the Electoral Commission was applauded by the President for a clean job done during the voter registration. Mr. Boakye- Danquah commended the Electoral Commission for their mob up exercise and giving Ghanaians a credible voter register. He argued that a country with about thirty-one million people cannot have a population of roughly twenty million people above eighteen years. Statistically, if the old voter register was going to be in use, it means Ghana has two-thirds of its population above eighteen and cannot be.  The old voter register, which had about 16.6 million people would have risen to about 20 million people if additional names were introduced. However, the new register has about 16.9 million names and this shows that the Electoral Commission has done a credible job.

The GN Radio host then asked; what can be done to ensure that the work done by the EC does not go vain. The Executive Director of the Institute replied saying, “…citizens must be involved, engaged, interested, take development into their own hands and ensure that in exercising their civil rights, they should not introduce other persons that do not live in the country, do not understand the country, do not have the DNA of the country or do not contribute to the country. They should be more patriotic and lift up the patriotic agenda…” The host wanting to know more on how development can be taken into hands by citizens, Mr. Boakye- Danquah added that effective governance is the marriage between the ruling and the ruled. It is a journey which needs a moral involvement, a constant stakeholder involvement or engagement. Effective governance is a collective agenda and both citizens and the leader must know that none of them can thrive independently. Given the opportunity to speak on the Ghana Elections Watch project, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah said the data-driven website gives facts and figures from the 1992 Elections to date and analysis on voting trends, where to focus on, floating areas and others. The database includes manifestos from the various political parties as well.

Mr. Boakye- Danquah says he is unfolding conversations on governments to be allowed to go beyond serving for two-terms but rather three-terms. This means that a political party under the same flagbearer can run three times and get elected into office; twelve years in total for an elected individual to steer the affairs of the country. He believes a credible, globally respected, goal-driven leader and one who brings conversations of the deprived-on board should be allowed the lead the country. Adducing a family setting where there are less resources per available heads, the elderly son, who is tried and tested and has proven faithful would undoubtedly be given the available resources because there is a brighter future for all as compared to an aberrant son. He added that people with audacious visions should come up front because we need actors and not comedians as a country. Desire and passion driven individuals, who are burdened with the state of the country, people with great foresight and are determined to see the country move on are the ones who should participate in the elections. All others who think they stand a chance and are not well prepared should fall back and head institutions and businesses with about 200 persons not a country with over thirty million people.

Ending his conversations on GN Radio, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah added that the potential opening of boarders by the President is a good call and that citizens should comply to the safety protocols COVID-19 has left the world with. Though there would be no wearing of face masks, citizens should wash hands regularly and disinfect their surroundings frequently. He concluded by pleading with all political institutions to educate electorates on how to vote because there is a noticeable rise of rejected ballots every electioneering year.

Joseph McCann guilty of sex attacks on 11 women and children

A man who carried out a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children across England over two weeks has been found guilty of 37 offences.

Joseph McCann’s victims were aged between 11 and 71 and included three women who were abducted off the street at knifepoint and repeatedly raped.

The 34-year-old also tricked his way into a woman’s home before tying her up and molesting her son and daughter.

McCann, of Harrow, was found guilty of offences including rape and kidnap.

The convicted burglar had been released from prison following a probation error in February before he embarked on a cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage.

McCann’s “spree of sex attacks” started in Watford before moving to London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire over two weeks in April and May.

Hundreds of officers from five forces were deployed in the manhunt before he was finally caught while hiding in a tree.

Det Ch Insp Katherine Goodwin, who led the investigation, described him as “one of the most dangerous sex offenders the country has ever seen”.

Jo Farrar, chief executive of HM Prisons and Probation Service, “apologised unreservedly” for “failings” which led to McCann being released early, adding that “strong and immediate action” had been taken against those involved.

It can now be reported that four men and two women have been arrested on suspicion of assisting McCann while he was on the run from police following the initial attacks in London.

They have been released under investigation.

On 21 April, McCann grabbed a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint as she walked home from a nightclub in Watford.

She was bundled into a car and taken to a house where she was raped until being released later that morning.

Four days later, a 25-year-old woman was abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight.

She was driven off in a car then repeatedly raped in a number of locations over 14 hours, including outside a school where McCann told her he “wanted to make her rape a child”.

Later the same day, and while still holding the woman prisoner, he snatched a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister. She suffered a similar fate to the 25-year-old woman.

The pair finally managed to escape when McCann drove to Watford, where he had booked a hotel room, and one of them hit him over the head with a vodka bottle before they fled to get help.

In the early hours of 5 May, McCann tricked his way into the home of a woman he had met in a bar in Greater Manchester.

Once inside, he tied her to a bed and molested her 11-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, who he told “you are going to Europe tomorrow, you are mine”.

The girl, who said she feared becoming a “sex slave”, managed to escape by jumping naked from a window and alerted police.

At about 13:30 the same day, he pounced on a 71-year-old woman while she was loading shopping into her car outside a supermarket and abducted and raped her.

Three hours later he also abducted and assaulted a 13-year-old girl in the same car before both managed to get away at Knutsford service station.

At about 18:30 on 5 May, McCann abducted two 14-year-old girls after threatening to “chop them up with a machete”.

He was filmed at a garage buying condoms but was spotted by a police patrol who pursued him while the girls were inside the car.

After crashing into a Mercedes, he fled on foot, then caught a taxi.

The car was stopped at a police road block but he fled across a field and was finally caught in the early hours of 6 May.

The 12 jurors decided the fate of Joseph McCann without ever seeing him in the dock. Only once did he leave his prison cell for the Old Bailey – and that was to answer questions from the judge when the jury wasn’t there.

McCann opted out of court proceedings from the moment he was charged in May, refusing to appear before chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.

Instead, in an unprecedented move, she travelled to Belmarsh Prison and convened the hearing there.

Before and during the trial, hours were wasted waiting for updates about McCann, with barristers and the judge in almost daily discussions about whether he would turn up and why he had not.

Letters were sent to his cell and prison officers were called to give evidence by videolink to confirm he had received them.

At one stage, McCann requested a four-week adjournment because he hadn’t had enough sleep.

Even towards the end, with the prosecution case nearly completed, the jury was kept waiting while McCann weighed up whether he was going to go in the witness box.

There were concerns about his health – he didn’t eat for days and threatened suicide – but the court’s main preoccupation was ensuring he had a fair trial and understood the process even though he chose to be absent from it.

However, in the face of overwhelming evidence, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that McCann was playing the system because that was the only option left open to him.

Presentational grey line

Scotland Yard believe McCann used contacts across the country to evade justice as he moved across five police force areas.

However, it has been revealed police forces involved in the hunt for McCann failed to share information, meaning he was not identified earlier.

On his arrest, McCann even told officers: “If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn’t have happened.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary identified him the day after the first attack in Watford and added his name to the police national computer.

But the Met did not identify McCann as being involved in the two London attacks until 28 April after a call from a member of the public, despite them liaising with their Hertfordshire counterparts on 25 April.

McCann, who is facing a life sentence, is due to be sentenced on Monday.

After the verdicts were reached, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they wished to acknowledge the bravery of the victims and the hard work of the police forces involved.

The 34-year-old never appeared in court during the trial but was convicted of:

  • Ten counts of false imprisonment
  • Seven counts of rape
  • One count of rape of a child
  • Two counts of causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
  • Seven counts of kidnap
  • One count of attempted kidnap
  • Three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
  • Three counts of assault by penetration
  • One count of sexual assault
  • Two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent

Clifford Aboagye thankful to everyone for support during accident

Ghanaian midfielder Clifford Aboagye has spoken for the first time after being involved in a fatal crush while driving on the streets of Mexico.

He shared an update on events that took place last Sunday when his yellow Chevrolet saloon car was involved in a crush.

Through the Twitter account of his club, Querétaro they published a video of the Ghanian midfielder in which he thanked the people who worried about his health.

“I want to thank you very much for your messages. Yes I had an accident, but there was no physical damage to me, people, I feel very well, thank you all very much,” he said.

Caroline Wozniacki announces she will retire after Australian Open

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki has announced she will retire after the Australian Open in January.

The 29-year-old is currently ranked 37th in the world and last competed in the China Open in October.

Wozniacki, who enrolled at Harvard Business School in September, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018.

However, the Dane says her retirement has “nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye”.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, the 2018 Australian Open champion says she plans to focus on her life away from tennis, including plans to start a family with her former Golden State Warriors player husband David Lee.

Wozniacki’s career includes 30 WTA singles titles, reaching world number one in 2010, a WTA Finals victory and competing in three Olympics.

“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realised that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court,” she wrote.

Bloomberg denies trying to buy White House election

Michael Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men and a candidate to take on President Donald Trump next year, has denied trying to buy the White House.

Mr Bloomberg’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have accused him of doing exactly that.

The ex-New York City mayor entered the race in late November with one of the largest political ad buys ever.

Despite his late entry to the race, he is currently polling fifth on 4% out of 15 candidates.

Asked to respond to the claim he was trying to buy the election, Mr Bloomberg told CBS of his rivals: “I’m doing exactly the same thing they’re doing, except that I am using my own money.

“They’re using somebody else’s money and those other people expect something from them.

“Nobody gives you money if they don’t expect something. And I don’t want to be bought.”

Liberal Democratic White House front-runners have been criticising Mr Bloomberg, who used to be a Republican.

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently snapped up a TV ad spot on Mr Bloomberg’s own network – Bloomberg TV – accusing him of trying to buy the election to avoid paying higher taxes.

Auschwitz visit: Angela Merkel says Germany must remember Nazi crimes

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany has an unending responsibility to remember the Nazis’ war crimes, as she made her first trip while in office to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

The responsibility was “part of our national identity”, she said.

Her visit comes amid a rise in German anti-Semitism and ahead of the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

The Nazi regime murdered an estimated 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them Jewish, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

What did the chancellor say?

Mrs Merkel was accompanied on her visit by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and a death camp survivor, 87-year-old Bogdan Stanislaw Bartnikowski.

She walked through the notorious “Arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free) gates at Auschwitz and then held a minute’s silence at the so-called Black Wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed

She then moved to the Birkenau site where she gave her speech.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks through the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, accompanied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Image captionAngela Merkel is the third German chancellor to visit the site

“Remembering the crimes… is a responsibility which never ends. It belongs inseparably to our country,” Mrs Merkel said.

“To be aware of this responsibility is part of our national identity, our self-understanding as an enlightened and free society… a democracy.”

Germany continued to have “deep shame” for what happened in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“There are no words to express our sorrow,” Mrs Merkel said.

Angela Merkel in Auschwitz-Birkenau
Image captionMrs Merkel acknowledged the rise of anti-Semitism in her country

“I bow my head before the victims of the Shoah,” she told the gathered Holocaust survivors.

Mrs Merkel also acknowledged the rise of anti-Semitism in her country, saying to combat it “the history of extermination camps has to be shared”.

Mrs Merkel was also accompanied by the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, and the head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose.

Why is Merkel visiting now?

Major events are planned for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops on 27 January.

But Mrs Merkel has chosen to go to the site now, and to attend the 10th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, a group that tries to preserve the camp as a memorial and a warning for future generations.

As part of her visit, Germany’s federal states announced a €60m (£51m; $66m) gift to the foundation.

Though she has been to other camps, including Dachau and Buchenwald in Germany, this is the chancellor’s first visit to the most notorious Nazi death camp, located west of the Polish city of Krakow.