8 Nigerian pirates arrested in Ghana waters

Eight Nigerian high sea robbers have been arrested by the Eastern Naval Command of the Ghana Navy in Tema for hijacking a fuel vessel in Nigeria.
The arrest took place at about 10:30am Saturday, according to Myjoyonline.com sources.
The vessel MV Mariam was carrying about 1500 tonnes of crude oil at the time the high seas robbers hijacked it.

The robbers then turned and entered the territorial waters of Ghana but the tracking device fixed on the vessel gave them up.
According to the owner of the vessel, named only as Mr Sunday, his offshore company alerted the Ghanaian navy command to be on the lookout, leading to the arrest of the eight robbers and the vessel at Tema.
The pirates have revealed they had wanted to use the vessel to carry out an attack at an undisclosed location.

source : myjoyonline

Rector - Ho Poly ready for conversion to technical university

The Rector of Ho Polytechnic Prof. Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi, is upbeat about the readiness of the his institution for conversion into Technical University.According to the Prof. Sakyi, Ho Polytechnic is more than 50% ready for conversion into Technical University.He said efforts  put in place by the Polytechnic towards the exercise are already yielding desirable fruits.

Polytechnics in Ghana are seriously bracing up for conversion into technical Universities, a policy which full  implementation will begin by September, 2016.
The Polytechnics are supposed to meet certain requirements to qualify for conversion as per the report of the Technical Committee for the Conversion of Polytechnics in Ghana to Technical Universities.According to Prof Sakyi, Ho Polytechnic have already begun implementing the recommendations of the Dr. George Afeti committee even before the committee submits its report.
Top among these measures are the expansion of the academic programmes especially the B'Tech programmes and industry collaboration to make programmes run by the Polytechnic more useful to industry.

The Polytechnic which currently runs three Bachelor of Technology Degrees in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Auto-Mobile Engineering and Agricultural Engineering hopes to introduce more degree programmes. All academic programmes of the Polytechnic are currently undergoing a review as a result of the resolve to make programmes of the institution more relevant to industry and also in readiness for takeoff as a technical University.
As part of the recommendations of the Technical Committee, for a polytechnic to be granted technical university status, it should be offering a minimum of four (4) B'Tech degree programmes in science and technology based disciplines.According to the Rector, he has directed all faculties of the Polytechnic to sign MOUs with industry players in his bid to forge a closer collaboration between Polytechnic and Industry which is one of the criteria for qualification for conversion to Technical University. The Polytechnic is also in collaboration with Felix Houphouet Boigny 'L'institut National Polytechnique' of La Cote d'Ivoire for exchange programmes.

The new Rector has also made mention of similar academic collaborations between the Polytechnic and the Vocational Institute for Technology (VIT), India and Pulaski Technical College, USA .
Prof. Sakyi was speaking at a press briefing in Ho on his 100 days in office as Rector.
Prof. Sakyi assumed office on October 1, 2014 as the Rector of Ho Polytechnic. 100 days in office has not been without challenges to confront.
The Rector has been talking about how he is surmounting some pertinent challenges he identified with respect to sanitation, erratic power supply, water and institutional weaknesses.
"The sanitation situation on campus has seen some considerable improvement, the workforce responsible for cleaning our facilities have now seen some level of encouragement to do the rights thing. The difficulty with  erratic power supply have also been addressed, a new switch over has been installed and proposals submitted and plans far advanced to acquire of two new plants specifically for Asogli and Afadzato blocks to facilitate Teaching and learning. There is also a proposal in the pipeline for us to get alternative power source preferably Solar.All these initiatives are being supported by supported by individual institutions and other philanthropic organizations.'' There are plans to drill two new mechanized boreholes to improve the water situation in the various halls of residence on campus. "Committees are also in place to facilitate the establishment of School of Research and Graduate Studies, An International Scholarly Journal, Centre for Entrepreneurial and Technology Transfer and  Endowment Fund for Staff development. Another ambitious project mentioned by the Rector is the start of Distance learning programmes at Akatsi, Aflao, and Hohoe", said Prof Sakyi.

Prof. Sakyi said his vision for the Polytechnic is "to create and strengthen administrative and academic institutions to support quality vocational and technical education'' that encompasses teaching, learning and research.
He is seeking to attain this vision by doing what he termed as institutional re-engineering which bring into effect the necessary technical and adaptive changes to make the polytechnic administrative structures more effective.

source: myjoyonline

President Mahama off to Germany on State Visit

President John Dramani Mahama has left Accra to  the Federal Republic of Germany on a State Visit.
The visit is expected to strengthen relations between the two countries and explore new avenues for cooperation. The President left Accra Sunday, January 18, for Berlin, and will on Monday hold discussions with the Federal President, Joachim Gauck, and the German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel. He will hold meetings with other German officials, institutions, businesses and address an Investment Forum on Tuesday.

Ghana and Germany established diplomatic relations in 1960 and have since enjoyed the cooperation and support of each other. Ghana is a priority partner country for German Development Cooperation and has benefited from German assistance in various facets including social, economic and political development. Germany is supporting Ghana's 2013- 2015 fiscal year with EUR130 million, comprising EUR 100 million for Financial Cooperation (FC) projects/ programmes and EUR 30 million for Technical Cooperation (TC). President Mahama, who is the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, will in his meetings also discuss issues of concern to the West African sub-region and the African continent. This include fighting terrorism, strengthening the regional blocs, and the establishment of emergency health alert systems.

Source: myjoyonline

2015 Oscar nominations: Complete list; ‘Selma’ snubbed; ‘Birdman’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ lead with nine

All of awards season has led up to this: The Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles.

Director Wes Anderson has crossed over from art-house darling to academy favorite. The auteur’s offbeat dramedy “The Grand Budapest Hotel” scored nine nominations, equaling Alejandro González Iñárritu’s unconventional, genre-defying film, “Birdman,” for the most nominations.

The most obvious snub was “Selma,” Ava DuVernay’s moving biopic about Martin Luther King Jr. Despite a nod for best picture and best original song (for Common and John Legend’s recent Golden Globe-winning “Glory”), the film’s director and actors were shut out in their respective categories.  David Oyelowo missed out on a best actor nomination, but more surprisingly, Ava DuVernay was not acknowledged in the best director category, a nomination that would have been the first for an African American woman.

source : washingtonpost

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Sack Portuphy or face me in court – Amoako Baah to Gov’t

Prof Richard Amoako Baah

A Political Scientist, Dr. Amoako Baah has threatened to resort to the court to compel the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Boss, Kofi Portuphy, to resign as the NADMO Coordinator.According to him, government’s decision to maintain him as the NADMO boss is a clear violation of Article 78, section 3 of the Constitution.There have been several calls for Portuphy to resign as the Coordinator of NADMO.Many have argued that his continuous stay in office, weeks after being sworn in as the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is unacceptable.In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Amoako Baah indicated that the government should get him out of office as NADMO boss or face him in court.“… the Attorney General should read the law and tell them you can’t do that, you ought to resign.”

According to him, government should seek further interpretation and permission from Parliament if it still wants to maintain Portuphy as the NADMO Coordinator.“…We have to go to Parliament for the Speaker to appoint a Committee and then look at the situation and come out and tell us that it is ok for you to hold this position…he cannot hold both positions at the same time.”Mr. Portuphy was elected the National Chairman of the NDC in 2014.

source : ghanaweb

Man walks from hospital without human heart

DFP fake heart (2).JPG

DETROIT — A 24-year-old Ypsilanti man has become the first person in Michigan to walk out of a hospital with a totally artificial heart.

The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is connected to two tubes in Stan Larkin's chest. They snake out from under his ribs and connect to a 13-pound compressor carried in his backpack.

It's an apparatus that provides Larkin a sort of sound track of his life right now — an ever-present, rhythmic gallop as pulses of precisely calibrated, compressed oxygen are forced into the pneumatic ticker.

"I guess I tuned it out after about three days," he said, chuckling.

Larkin was 16 when he blacked out playing basketball. He was diagnosed witharrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, or ARVD, which causes irregular heart rhythm.

Unlike many heart failures, ARVD affects both sides of the heart, making other, more common heart-supporting devices inadequate to keep him alive, said Dr. Jonathan Haft, a University of Michigan cardiac surgeon.

It's also one of several causes of sudden cardiac death among young adults. And as it turns out, his younger brother, Dominique Larkin, has the same condition.

For years, Stan Larkin had an implantable defibrillator that delivered electrical impulses when necessary to keep his heart going.

"One day it went off 26 times," Larkin said. About the same time, brother Dominique — 15 — also received a defibrillator.

Over time, both hearts continued to weaken. Stan Larkin could barely walk to the car, he said.

Time was running out.

In October, Stan Larkin was admitted to U-M where doctors told him, he said, "My heart was operating at about 15%." Dominique Larkin was there, too — awaiting a transplant.

With the older brother's heart failing rapidly, doctors told him there were few options left. In November, they implanted the Total Artificial Heart, connecting two tubes at that time to a 418-pound compressor known as Big Blue.

It's not the first time the compressor has been used. And yes, it's blue.

"About the size of a dresser," Larkin added.

More than a half-dozen patients have previously spent time on Big Blue as they wait for transplants, Haft said. But that means being confined to the big, clunky machine.

But the technology behind Big Blue can be packaged into smaller space. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Freedom Driver — a device that renegotiated Big Blue into something that fits into a backpack.

On Dec. 23, Larkin walked out of U-M to spend Christmas with his family, including his three toddlers, he said.

He has made trips to the mall. He plans to attend church in the coming days. And he visits his brother, who now has a Total Artificial Heart and — if all goes well — also will walk out of the hospital soon with a portable machine.

The younger brother said he's ready. There's only so much Family Feud and General Hospital he can watch, he said.

"This isn't easy at all — being away from your family and your life and everything so close but it seems so far way," Dominique Larkin said. But, "I'll sacrifice a few months for the long haul."

As for the older Larkin, he's happy to explain to curious passersby his noisy machine: "Honestly, it's pretty cool," he said.

In fact, it's been somewhat of a showstopper, said his mother, Voncile McCrae.

The retired autoworker had taken her son to a medical clinic for his twice-weekly blood work recently.

There, a little girl "had been crying her eyes out."

When she noticed the machine, things changed.

"She heard that noise and then there wasn't another teardrop from that girl's eyes," McCrae said. "It does make you take a look."

source : usatoday

Police place GH¢5,000 bounty on suspected robber

King Kong Armed Robber

The police have placed a GH¢5,000 bounty on the leader of the 12-member suspected robbery gang that allegedly engaged the police in a shootout, leading to the death of one policeman.

The suspect, Nathaniel Baidoo, alias King Kong, is suspected to have escaped during the gun battle with the police on January 7, 2015.

As a result of the exchange of gunshots during the anti-robbery operation, a 31-year-old policeman, Corporal Prince Charles Akattah, was shot, leading to his death.

In a statement made available to media houses, the Accra Regional Police Command said anyone who volunteered credible information leading to Baidoo’s arrest would receive the financial reward.

The police also entreated the public to assist with information which would lead to the arrest and prosecution of two of Baidoo’s accomplices who also escaped during the fire combat.

They are Effah Kojo, alias Obolo, and Kwabena Kuma, alias Kwabena Mark.

“Information on the whereabouts of the suspects should be directed to the Accra Regional Police Command, the nearest police station or police emergency lines 0302 773695, 0302 773906 or the Crime Fighters MTN and Vodafone short code 18555 or 919,” the statement said.

On January 7, 2015, the Accra Regional Police Command arrested six out of the 12 suspected armed robbers after the fire combat that left one policeman and two armed robbers dead.

The suspected armed robbers, with ages ranging between 21 and 28, were said to have exchanged fire with the police as the robbers hit a snag under hot pursuit near Weija at midnight.

source : ghanaweb

Ruby's mother for Court

Ruby Mother

Akua Adubofo, the 58-year-old mother of incarcerated drug baroness Nayele Ametefe aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, has been provisionally charged for assault and would be sent to court anytime soon.

Madam Adubofo, according to police reports, assaulted an official of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) who was on official duties, for taking pictures of the residence of Nayele Ametefe who is currently serving an eight-year-eight-month jail term in the United Kingdom (UK).

She was arrested in the UK on November 10, 2014 after using the VVIP lounge of the Kotoka International Airport to embark on the trip that led to her waterloo.

The NACOB official, who was in the company of his colleagues, was assigned to begin the process for possible confiscation of the properties suspected to have been acquired directly from the proceeds of the drugs trade by the suspect’s daughter, Ruby.

The NACOB officials had gone to the East Legon house of the convicted drug dealer to paste seizure notices on the building when the brawl ensued.

Madam Adubofo, the reports indicated, was unhappy with the conduct of the NACOB officials and allegedly slapped one of them.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that a tooth of the NACOB official fell off due to the intensity of the slap.

A formal report was then lodged with the Airport Police Command last Wednesday by the assaulted party and Madam Adubofo was invited and detained by the police on Thursday.

Superintendent Yao Tetegah, the Airport Police Commander, confirmed to DAILY GUIDE that Madam Adubofo was granted bail the same day since the offence was a bailable one.

“Police have since invited witnesses in the case to give their statements after which the matter will be sent to court for prosecution,” the police chief said.

Supt Tetegah said the duty of the police is to investigate any matter brought before them, irrespective of its nature, after which it will be sent to court for prosecution, if need be.

He could not tell when the case would be sent to court but added that it would surely happen unless the parties involved express their disinterest in the case.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abigail Akwambea Mensah, says the mother of Ruby must be interrogated on the cocaine saga.

Abigail Mensah, who contested for the deputy youth organiser position of the NDC with the result still pending after a dispute, said on Joy Fm Newsfile programme on Saturday that Ruby’s mother could not be completely unaware of her daughter’s illegal activities.

She said the state must subject Madam Adubofo to thorough interrogation to ascertain if there was any level of complicity.

Lawyers for the convicted drug baroness, in pleading for mitigation for their client, said Ruby had been introduced to a lavish lifestyle after divorcing her husband.

And with three children to take care of, as a single mother, she found the drug trafficking business quite lucrative.

But Abigail Mensah would not have any of that, insisting that the convict, who got married at 16, could have taken care of her three children without resorting to the peddling of drugs.

She said all of Ruby’s assets acquired through the proceeds of cocaine must be confiscated to serve as a deterrent to other young women who might see the drugs trade as lucrative.

While criticising Ruby, the NDC member said Madam Adubofo must also take some responsibility for what happened.

She said mothers must at all times guide their children and be vigilant as well as know what kind of businesses their children engage in.

She wondered how Ruby’s mother enjoyed the largesse from the cocaine proceeds without asking questions as regards where the money was coming from.

Another member of the panel, Afi Agbenyo, a social activist, however said NACOB officials ought to have been a bit more diplomatic in dealing with the mother of the convict.

She said already she might have been going through some trauma following the incarceration of her daughter and would obviously not be in a good mood if NACOB officials went to her house to begin confiscation processes.

source : ghanaweb

Mistrial for white ex-police chief in black man's death


ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a former small-town white police chief charged with murdering an unarmed black man in 2011.

Judge Edgar Dickson made the decision in the Richard Combs case just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, after the jury told him it remained deadlocked. Dickson thanked the jurors for their service, then dismissed them.

Combs shot and killed 53-year-old Bernard Bailey in May 2011, but wasn't charged with murder until last month.

An Orangeburg County grand jury indicted Combs Dec. 3, the same day a New York grand jury's refusal to indict an officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man set off demonstrations across the nation.

Jurors had been deliberating for almost 12 hours, and had three options before them: convict Combs of murder, convict on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, or acquit him outright. In the end, however, they couldn't come to an agreement on any of those choices.

The final vote was 9-3 in favor of guilt, but it's unclear if that was for the murder or involuntary manslaughter charge.

Just before 11:30 p.m. Monday, jurors first told the judge they couldn't reach a decision. At that point, the judge read them what's known as the Allen Charge, a special instruction that encourages jurors in the minority to reconsider their decision.

While it's unclear what hung up jurors, during deliberations, they asked the judge for the legal definitions of murder, manslaughter, malice, and reasonable doubt.

At one point in the jury's deliberations, at approximately 9:40 p.m., the jury sent the judge a communication to ask about the score of the college football national championship game between the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State. The Buckeyes ultimately took the title, 42-20.

Both the prosecution and the defense said afterward they were disappointed by the outcome, and members of the Bailey's family left the courtroom in tears. First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, who prosecuted the case, said he will pursue a retrial on the murder charge.

Combs killed Bailey on May 2, 2011, outside the Eutawville Police Department, the agency Combs led — and was the sole officer for — at the time. Combs and Bailey had a disagreement that arose after Combs ticketed Bailey's daughter, Briana Bailey, for a broken tail light in March of 2011.

When she was pulled over, Briana Bailey called her father from her cellphone, and he arrived a short time later. Combs said Bernard Bailey was aggressive once he got to the scene, and Combs weeks later pursued a warrant against the man for obstruction of justice .

Prosecutors, though, played dashcam video that they said showed him calmly walking around and even saying a cordial goodbye to Combs. Bailey's daughter testified that her father was compliant and never threatened the defendant.

During their deliberations, jurors asked to see that video another time.

On the day of the killing, Bailey went to the police station to see if he could get the ticket against his daughter dismissed. During his testimony on the witness stand, Combs said Bailey repeatedly tried to talk about his daughter's ticket, but Combs told him he would only discuss the matter with the daughter. Combs said Bailey then became very aggravated.

It was at that point that Combs revealed to Bailey that he had a warrant against him, and intended to arrest him. Bailey left the building, and Combs pursed him into the parking lot.

Prosecutors said repeatedly that Combs was unjustified in following Bailey. "He had a month and a half to cool off," Pascoe said during closing arguments. "And he didn't do it. This wasn't just a save face warrant for that night. This was a chief of police who'd been on the job for two weeks and he was going to make an example out of Briana Bailey's father. He did."

Combs' attorneys said he then attempted to handcuff Bailey, but wasn't successful, and dropped the restraints on the ground. After Bailey got in his truck, Combs reached through the vehicle's window in an attempt to stop him from leaving.

What happened next became one of the central focuses of the trial. Combs and his legal team maintained that Bailey reversed his truck, causing Combs to feel threatened, leading him to pull out his service weapon and fire three fatal shots at Bailey.

"He put the chief in the impossible position that he has to decide does he want to go home to his family or does he want to hope that his truck doesn't go over the top of him," said defense attorney Wally Fayssoux. "Does he want to hope he's not gravely injured. Does he want to hope that he's not killed."

In countering that claim, prosecutors zeroed in on the placement of the handcuffs that Combs dropped. They argued, using photographs taken at the scene, that the restraints should have been in front of the car, and not beside the door, if the vehicle had backed up several feet when Bailey reversed his car. They claimed that proved that Combs pulled out his weapon as soon as he got to the door of the vehicle.

Combs was originally charged with misconduct in office in August of 2013. The indictment accused Combs of unnecessarily using deadly force. Bailey's attorneys announced they planned to use the "stand your ground" defense in the trial on that charge. But the judge in the case denied the use of the defense on November 25, 2014, clearing the way for Pascoe to file the murder charge in December.

SOURCE :usatoday.com

Fifi Kwetey: ‘Otabil preaches doom when NDC is in power’

Pastor Mensah Otabil Icgc

Minister for Food and Agriculture Fifi Kwetey has accused the Head Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church Dr Mensa Otabil of deliberately altering his sermons to that of doom and despair anytime the ruling National Democratic Congress is in power.

He alleges, also, that the popular motivational speaker again changes his messages to that of hope and optimism when the main opposition New Patriotic Party assumes the governance of the country.

“Before the 2000 elections, virtually no day passed without Mensa Otabil talking about the leadership of Ghana being the problem and the need for a change in leadership.

“Suddenly, NPP comes into power and the narrative of Mensa Otabil changed; now it’s no more a leadership problem but the problem became the people of Ghana.

“So NPP comes into office and suddenly we have angels governing Ghana.So the message changed because some party was in power and as soon as the party goes, the problem then came back to the leadership,” the former deputy finance minister noted on Radio Gold Tuesday.

source : ghanaweb

Metro Mass investigations will restore public confidence – MD

Metro Mass Fleet

The Managing Director (MD) of the Metro Mass Transit Ltd, Mr Noble Appiah, has said investigations into the operations of the company should lead to the confidence of the public as they are aimed at putting things right.

“The alleged malfeasance that is being uncovered is at best dividends of good corporate governance that everyone must be equally held to,” he said.

Mr Appiah said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a workshop on effective transport management in Accra.

He said he appreciated the challenges associated with introducing change and added that although some workers in the company might want to resist the change that he intended to bring in the company’s operations, he was committed to the cause.

“I will remain focused and work in the best interest of the company and the public at large. The company will not detract from its objective of transforming into a modern public transport operator,” he said.

According to Mr Appiah, the management of the company has crafted a five-year strategic plan, with seven goals, which seeks to retool the company, make it more customer focused and financially sustainable with an improved working environment.

The strategic plan, he said, also stated the measures to be put in place to incorporate safety and risk management in all its processes and provide regular training and a reward scheme for staff.

The plan would also spell out several projects to make MMT customer friendly, including installing entertainment gadgets at its terminals and equipping frontline staff with good customer service skills, he added.

“The strategic plan also talks about expanding access by increasing our fleet of buses and introducing new routes while reorganising existing routes. The company also intends to diversify its services by adding international routes and specialised services for targeted clients,” he said.

Mr Appiah said another key goal of the MMT was to make itself financially sustainable. In that regard, procurement would be looked at and all revenue leakages blocked.

He said contrary to claims in recent times, the company was not in dire financial straits.

Mr Appiah said the company recorded a 100 per cent growth in its operating profit in 2013 and 80 per cent growth in net profit and was set on the path of profitability.

The company, he said, had been able to achieve that though its fares were 15 to 25 per cent lower than what pertained in the country.

According to him, the company’s terminals were currently being rehabilitated while moves had been initiated to procure new buses, some of which had been specifically built for intra-city services.

He spoke of his determination to transform the company and urged the staff to move in tandem with him.

He said systems were being put in place to reward hard work, as well as expose the bad lots.

SOURCE : ghanaweb

Obama to host summit to fight violent extremism

AFP 536193034 A GOV USA NJ

In the wake of terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere, the Obama administration announced Sunday it will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism next month.

The Feb. 18 event will "highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Officials from the United States and other countries will participate.

Earnest said anti-extremist efforts are "even more imperative" in light of recent terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Sydney, as well as last week's mass shooting at a satirical magazine in Paris.

The White House announced the summit at the same time as a massive counter-terrorism rally in Paris that drew a number of world leaders, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

The administration said its strategy includes confronting the threat of extremism within individual neighborhoods, with the help of social services providers, educators, mental health professionals, religious leaders, and law enforcement agencies.

Citing pilot programs in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Earnest said the summit to counter violent extremism "will highlight best practices and emerging efforts from these communities."

The summit will also feature officials from other nations discussing their projects, many of which focus on "the themes of community engagement, religious leader engagement, and the role of the private sector and tech community," Earnest said.

A list of participants and a specific agenda will be provided later, he said.

SOURCE :usatoday

Dagbon peace talks to resume

Asantehene Otumfuo

The Otumfour-led eminent chiefs committee mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute will this month (January) resume sittings at the Manhyia palace in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

The three eminent chiefs mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute are the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu, the overlord of Mamprugu Traditional Area, the Nayiri, Naa-Bahigu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga and the overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbon-Wura Tuntumba Boresa II.

They have over the past 10 years been working to resolve the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis.

The committee’s sitting stalled when representatives of the Abudu’s and Andani’s boycotted proceedings leading to the full implementation of the roadmap to peace in Dagbon.

This situation deepened the mistrust between the Abudu and the Andani Royals after the demise of the late overlord of Dagbon, Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II.

The Dagbon feud is not new and has worsened tensions in the area especially within the Yendi township.

But President John Dramani Mahama has promised that the Otumfour led three eminent chiefs’ committee will resume the peace talks this month.

He was speaking on the occasion of the 2015 Damba festival jointly celebrated by the Abudu and Andani Royals in Yendi.

The theme was, “Taking inspiration from our common heritage and culture in the struggle for peace and development.”

President Mahama admitted that the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute was a thorn in the flesh of all people of Northern origin, hence the need to find a permanent solution to the problem.

“All persons of northern heritage have been affected by the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute and this is making some people believe we are warmongers and people who hate peace.”

He thereby tasked the Abudus and Andanis to restore the dignity of the Dagbon Kingdom by taking active steps to give peace, reconciliation and unity a chance.

“Focus on the compromise that will sustain peace to make Dagbon attractive to investors: carry on and sustain your rich cultural heritage: live together peacefully, successfully and make Damba a central event to attract investors.”

Development projects

President Mahama reiterated his administration’s commitment to expand infrastructural development to uplift the image of the entire Northern Region.

He cited the construction of the Eastern Corridor Road, upgrading and reconstruction of the Tamale Teaching Hospital and upgrading of the Tamale Airport to international standard to buttress his point.

The President also promised to upgrade the Yendi District Hospital to serve as a major health referral facility in the eastern corridor.

He reminded all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive in the region of their responsibility sustain the National Sanitation exercise.


President Mahama said agriculture remained a major priority on his administration’s development agenda.

According to him, government was servicing the debt on fertilizer importation, hence the removal of the subsidy.

President Mahama reassured the nation’s cherished farmers of the restoration of subsidy on farm inputs particularly fertilizer.


The Dagbon Traditional Council conferred on President Mahama the chieftaincy title Zoo Maligu-Naa.

This was in appreciation of his care and respect for the sons and daughters of the Dagbon Traditional Area.

source :ghanaweb

Gov't to establish military base on Alavanyo-Nkonya border

Army In Training2

The Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has revealed that a permanent military training school will be established between Alavanyo and Nkonya in the Biakoye District of the Volta region.

“We plan to build a permanent military base here that will lead to training, improve the training [among military officers] and some of the other activities that the military people do.”

This move according to the Vice President is an attempt to end the century-old conflict between the two communities.

The Vice President made the announcement after a peace deal with the paramount chiefs of the two feuding communities in attendance was signed.

Amissah-Arthur added that government would budget for the military school by the end of this year.

“We are hopeful that the resources will be found this year in the budget to allow the beginning of this process of putting in permanent structures in the zone.”

The chiefs – Nana Kojo Asiakwa of Nkonya and Togbega Tsedze Atakora VII of Alavanyo – pledged their commitment to the fresh deal.

They were charged to ensure peace for the sake of the next generation.

source : ghanawe

Fuel prices to go down further - Transport council hints

Pump Fuel Into Car

The Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council has disclosed a decision by the National Petroleum Authority to reduce prices of petroleum products further.

The council is therefore instructing its members to comply with a directive asking them to reduce transport fares by 5% in line with last month’s 10% fuel reduction by the NPA.

Many have argued that the 10% reduction by the regulator was woefully inadequate judging the drastic reduction of world crude prices to about 50%.

Some commercial drivers who spoke to Joy News say they will disregard the directive because the 10% was too small, coupled with the cost of spare parts which they argued has not gone down.

But the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council is unhappy their members have refused to comply with the directive.

General Secretary of the Council, Alhaji Aliu Baba told Joy FM’s Top Story Friday that drivers who fail to reduce the fares will have their cars seized and banned from their routes.

He insisted that “Some of these things thwart our efforts. Remember when we gave them (drivers) the 15% why were they rushing to increase the fares? Now we have been given much more assurance by the NPA there is another 10% in the pipeline. Which may follow soon…

In his opinion, if the drivers were in a rush to increase fares when fuel prices went high, they should be willing to reduce said fares now that there has been a reduction. He saw their reluctance as an affront to the Council.

“Do they want to tell us we don’t know what we are doing? Any driver who does not obey we will sanction him.”

However, Deputy Transport Minister, Joyce Bawa Mogtari was not forthright about a possible 10% further reduction in fuel prices as hinted by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council.

She remarked: “There are some discussions going on presently about exactly what sort of reduction we should be anticipating. I have no prior knowledge and I am not privy to any such discussions but I know these things have come up.”

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, Stephen Okudzeto has insisted that the directive to reduce transport fares is binding and asked all drivers to obey.

He noted that the directive has been dispatched to all regional secretariats and confirmed that they have all received it. He however appealed to passengers to exercise restraint assuring that latest by Monday the new fares should take effect.

Madam Bawa Mogtari and Mr. Okudzeto agreed that the reduction in fares has delayed, which they said was occasioned by the timing of the fuel reduction.

The fuel reduction came when the executives were on Christmas holidays and they were only able to compile the list of new fares yesterday, Mr. Okudzeto explained.

SOURCE : ghanaweb

2 Years in office: Mahama falls flat on promises

Mahama 2014 Eid

Yesterday, January 7, 2015 was exactly two years when President John Dramani Mahama was sworn into office as the 4th successive President in the Fourth Republic of the country.

Until his investiture, President Mahama was the caretaker President, following the demise in July 2012 of Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, the then substantive President, to whom the former was his vice.

President Mahama won the 2012 General Elections by obtaining 5,574.761 votes representing 50.70 per cent whilst his closet rival, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP,) garnered 5,248.989 representing 47.74 per cent.

Mathematically, President Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the 2012 presidential elections with a difference of about 325 votes. And by that victory, though the NPP contested that result at the Supreme Court, political pundits argued that President Mahama’s campaign message was full of hope and that might have reposed the confidence of Ghanaians in him, hence his victory.

Indeed President Mahama in his inaugural speech waxed lyrical with great optimism for the country and pledged to keep the promises he made in on his campaign trail.

He emphasised that Ghana was on the road to achieving enormous transformation and was moving forward at a rapid pace with new resources and alliances being formed.

But two years down the lane after his assumption into the highest office of the land, Today can confidently say that most of the promises made by the Mahama administration to Ghanaians still remained unfulfilled. And only God knows when those promises will be fulfilled!

Among these promises were solving the unemployment situation, making the energy crisis a thing of the past, improving education and infrastructures; stemming down corruption and solving the water shortage problem.

Others were good governance, tackling the environment, making the economy strong and building strong institutions by way of resourcing them adequately.

However, a critical analysis by Today on President Mahama’s two years in office shows that the president’s performance has been nothing more than abysmal which has brought untold hardships on Ghanaians.


On the issue of energy, in the run-up to the 2012 elections at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Presidential Debate in Tamale in the Northern region, President Mahama who was also the presidential candidate of the NDC promised that load shedding would be a thing of the past by the end of 2013, claiming that 820 megawatts would be added to the generation mix.

He re-inforced his commitment to solving the energy crisis when in January 2013 in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament he averred “that I shall work to ensure that every household in this country will soon enjoy uninterrupted water and power supply.”

But two years after that pledge, load shedding has reached an alarming stage with unpredicted interruptions causing havoc to homes and industries.

The fact of the matter was that the energy crisis rather worsened in 2014 with no immediate end in sight.

There were several protests by Ghanaians as a result of that which saw many Ghanaians hit the streets and threatening to beat Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) officials. And following the power cuts many companies were compelled to lay off some of their staff as a means of cutting down operational cost.

In fact, that worrying situation compelled President Mahama to relieve the then Managing Director of ECG, Rev. Ing. William Hutton-Mensah of his post.


In dealing with unemployment President Mahama promised to provide meaningful jobs to Ghanaian youth to help rid off the incidence of armed robbery in society and also alleviate poverty.

He added to this promise that he would ensure that the Ghanaian youth would find money in their pockets by giving them decent and gainful employments. But the story is completely different as the unemployment situation has worsened under the current administration.

For instance, for the first time in the history of Ghana, an Association of Unemployed Graduates was formed under the watch of President Mahama.

Education and infrastructure

In the areas of education and infrastructure, what the president said in 2012 is contrary to the current situation.

In his 2013 State of the Nation Address President Mahama said: “Our young minds desirous of opportunities for basic and secondary education shall have the space in our schools and shall have quality, affordable education that will improve their career and life expectations.”

He further promised to improve the country’s education at all levels – however, the Basic Education and Certificate Examination (BECE) has recorded worst results since his assumption into office.

Instead, only tea cups embossed with the president’s portrait had been given to these pupils.

Further, in pursuance with continuity, President Mahama also promised to provide all basic school pupils with school uniforms and eliminate all schools under trees.

Nevertheless, contrary to these promises, after two years in office, in spite of the oil revenue, only 20 per cent of the pupils received free school uniforms while there are still a greater number of schools under trees.


Still on the plethora of promises by President Mahama, he assured Ghanaians that he would prosecute all corrupt ministers and appointees without asking for evidence.

And in spite of the president’s commitment to fight corruption, the country in 2014 recorded a number of corrupt scandals including the payment of over 7 million to non-existent national service personnel, wrongful payments of monies to private companies like Rlg, Subah Info-solutions and Zoomlion Company Limited.

Others were GYEEDA, SADA, the controversial sale of Merchant Bank and what broke the camel’s back was the decision by the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to spend about 200,000 US Dollars on rent alone.


On the economy, President Mahama, through his Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper, in the 2013 Budget boasted of having achieved macro-economic stability and growth on the basis of a strong real and external sector performance, including low rates of inflation and the build-up of substantial foreign exchange reserves.

“We have achieved these goals against the backdrop of the global financial crisis; we have also acted decisively to implement policies that address the challenges that occasionally confront our march forward,” Mr. Terkper was reported to have said on the floor of Parliament.

But statistics available show that the cedi depreciated considerably with inflation moving to double digits; there were also persistent power interruptions, accumulated debts to contractors, bulk oil distributors, payroll arrears, all these and others accompanied by periodic strikes and threats on the labour front.

These were ample evidence in the ratings by the Private Enterprise Federations (PEF).

For instance, PEF described the year 2014 as the most difficult year for businesses across the country.

What is more an Afrobarometer survey released in 2014 indicated that about 76% of Ghanaians blamed government for failing to improve their living standards.

It is also obvious that the Mahama administration albeit is two years, is the regime that is most hit by strikes and demonstrations in the annals of the Fourth Republic.

And notwithstanding the economic shocks Ghanaians had experienced in the first two years of President Mahama’s administration, Today can say without any form of contradiction that the country should prepare to face further wrangling in 2015 as symptoms of financial distress are quite imminent.

That, Today research further uncovered, was due to profligate expenditure by the executive and the high increase of public wage bill coupled with “ghost names” phenomenon in the public sector.

For example, the government in 2014 expressed worry over spending of 70 per cent of domestic revenue on public-sector salaries.

Despite an improvement in public financial management, our findings showed that consistent negative fiscal surprises had eroded investors’ faith in Ghana as the country awaits the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to support policy credibility and bring sanity in our structure.


On the issue of environment, President Mahama promised to clear all filth in the cities within 100 days.

That promise, again was re-echoed in his 2013 State of the Nation Address when he said; “that our inner cities shall witness significant renewal in sanitation and housing.”

But today, after two years in office, Ghanaians are battling with cholera as the country is ranked the second dirtiest in West Africa.

Indeed the cholera outbreak that hit the country in 2014 was so horrific that it claimed more than 150 lives and infected over 17,000 people—the worst in 30 years.

The country’s water bodies continue to be polluted due to the operations of illegal miners known in our local parlance as “galamsey.”

Though in the face of all these difficulties, information available to Today shows that President Mahama in his first two years in office made some positive strides within are worth noting.

For instance, President Mahama took the bold decision against all odds when on July 1, 2013 he ordered the removal of subsidies on fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Products (LPG) something his predecessor failed to do because of political expediency.

And as the result of the removal of fuel subsidies, Ghana was able to save 760 million cedis last year.

Among some of his achievements included the commissioning of Bui Hydro power project in May 2013 which provided about 133 megawatts of power to augment the energy supply in the county.

Others included the inauguration of the final phase of the $800 million project in the Brong-Ahafo region in December 2013 to complete the total 404 megawatts of power project and the commencement of work on the $100 million three-tier Kwame Nkrumah Circle interchange in Accra.

However, it is obvious from the analysis above that his failures outweigh his achievements in his first two years in office.

SOURCE : ghanaweb

Revealed: Ruby was arrested with $64,000

Nayele Ametefeh Cocaine

Nayele Ametefe aka Angel aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, who was arrested at the Heathrow Airport in London for possessing 12.5 kilos of cocaine, also had in her possession a whopping $64,000 at the time of her arrest.

Additionally, the 32-year-old was said to be in possession of £6,000 which were all confiscated by the British Drug Enforcement Administration upon her arrest on November 10 last year.

Nayele Ametefe, aka Angel was been sentenced at the Isleworth Crown Court in London on January 6, 2015 to an eight-year and eight months jail term for transporting cocaine into the UK.

Prior to her arrest, Nayele boarded British Airways flight number BA 078 from Accra to London on 9th November, 2014.

She had in her possession two suitcases of which only one of the suitcases was checked in (Baggage tag number BA 059801) and nothing of interest was found.

In the other suitcase which was believed to be hand carried onto the plane, 10kgs of cocaine was found among her clothing.

Ms. Nayele Ametefe travelled on Australian passport number P4187659 and not on Ghanaian Diplomatic passport.

According to reports, security officials and intelligence agencies across 23 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas had for the past three years been tracking Nayele Ametefe, who has managed in several instances to avoid arrest using various aliases.

The street value of the cocaine carried by Nayele was approximately 1.9 million Pounds.

source : ghanaweb

Nayele 8-years jail term insufficient - Freddie Blay

Freddie Blay NPP Vice Chair

First vice-chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has said that the 8 years, 8 months sentence handed to Nayele Ametefeh by a UK court is insufficient.

The Isleworth Crown Court in the UK on Tuesday sentenced Nayele to eight years and eight months in prison.

The Ghanaian/Austrian lady, Nayele Ametefeh, was arrested on November 10 at the Heathrow Airport after attempting to enter the UK with the cocaine in her hand luggage.

She was subsequently charged with Class A drug trafficking and was arraigned before court.

Forensic analysis of the cocaine showed 79% purity and the street value is estimated at about 1.8 million Pounds.

She admitted in her first appearance through video link that she is guilty of the charges leveled against her; carrying cocaine into the UK.

But the NPP First Vice-Chair on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen noted that, “I’m sorry, but the 8-year jail term against the lady is insufficient. To the families, I am sorry, but that sentence was unfair,” he said.

He questioned why the source of the cocaine was not mentioned during the trial and also why Nayele refused to mention names of the big men she dealt with.

“It is very unfortunate, but I think this 8-year sentence is insufficient and bias,” he opined.

source : ghanaweb

We won’t get angry over bonuses – Gyan assures Nation

Gyan Thinking Hard

Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan has assured Ghanaians there will be no bonus row this time around when they play in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea.

His assurance comes days after the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) revealed an approved $5,000 bonus package for players of the Black Stars.

There were earlier reports that the players were dissatisfied with the amount, but in an interview with Citi News, Asamoah Gyan dismissed all those claims and assured fans they were ready to die for the nation.

“We are happy everything has been resolved. We are not thinking about any money issues now. What we are thinking about is the African Cup of Nations,” he said.

Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil was fraught with near-player revolt due to the non-payment of bonuses due the players.

This forced the government to airlift about $3 million to the Black Stars to ensure their continuous participation in the tournament.

There were misunderstandings between the players and some officials of the GFA, which resulted in the suspension of two players.

Many football fans in Ghana and across the globe were disappointed with happenings at the World Cup, a situation which cost the team the needed support during their Nations Cup qualifications at home.

Nonetheless, the Black Stars captain says the players are ready to prove to Ghanaians and the world that “it is not about the money. We are just here to die for the nation because we are Ghanaians.”

He said the players are determined not to allow money issues to interfere with their work, “we are just playing with our hearts and then make sure we die for the nation.”

Asamoah Gyan was certain that the players “are happy with the money issues and everything has been resolved.”

source : ghanaweb

KKD rape saga: "May justice fall where it should" - Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa White

Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has waded into the raging controversy regarding the rape case against ace broadcaster, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD).

KKD has been charged with rape after a case was filed against him by a 19-year old girl.

The fashion icon was denied bail on his first court appearance on Tuesday December 30 following his arrest on the night of Saturday December 27, 2014.

The father of two – whose daughter is almost the same age as the alleged victim – has had a lot of bashing on social media for publicly admitting he had “consensual sex” with the teenager.

He, however denied raping her. The alleged rape took place in the bathroom of a suite at the African Regent Hotel.

Commenting on the development on Twitter, the former deputy information minister said it is his hope that the truth will emerge in the matter.

source: ghanaweb

BREAKING NEW : UCC Website Hacked

He was a  level 300 computer science student who was sacked for getting 3 E's and later gained a part-time job at T-poly where he created various software for their operations including their voting and internal networking interface . He was offered a  scholarship to pursue his  masters in Bangladesh Asia. He just hacked the UCC website as a payback to what UCC did to him and claims his next target is the schools student portal. The schools website remained hacked as at Sunday 4 January, 2014   3:38 pm


Obama sanctions North Korea for movie hacking

New sanctions are in direct response to North Korea's suspected role in hacking Sony Pictures

WASHINGTON — President Obama signed an executive order Friday imposing new sanctions against North Korea in retaliation for that nation's suspected role in cyber attacks and threats against the movie industry.

In signing the new sanctions order from his vacation home in Hawaii, Obama cited "the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014."

Sony was the distributor of The Interview, a satirical comedy that involving a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The studio received threats saying that theaters showing the film would be attacked. Sony initially canceled the premiere of the film, but later changed its mind. It is now available in certain theaters and online. Sony declined to comment on the sanctions Friday.


"Even as the FBI continues its investigation into the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, these steps underscore that we will employ a broad set of tools to defend U.S. businesses and citizens," said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. North Korea has denied any involvement in the hacking of Sony.

The United States has used sanctions against countries that have cracked down on internal dissent on the Internet, but this is the first time a country has been sanctioned for a cyber attack against U.S. business interests.

The new measures come on top of previous sanctions designed to punish North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. Indeed, three of the North Korean entities sanctioned Friday were already on the Treasury Department sanctions list: the spy agency Reconnaissance General Bureau, arms dealer Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. and defense research arm Korea Tangun Trading Corp.

In addition, 10 individuals — including North Korean agents operating in Namibia, Russia, Iran, Syria and China — were added to the list. Those sanctions go into effect immediately.

The Treasury Department would not publicly comment on whether it believed the targets of the sanctions had any direct involvement in the Sony hacking.

Indeed, the executive order is written so broadly that it can be used against any official or agent of the North Korean government, its ruling Korean Workers' Party, or anyone inside or outside of Korea who provides support to the regime. The sanctions allow the Treasury Department to block their assets or deny them entry into the United States.

There was no immediate response from North Korea, which has suffered its own Internet outages in recent days. The last story published by the party-controlled news agency reported Kim's visits to newly built vegetable greenhouses.

The White House had been threatening action for two weeks, with Obama telling reporters at an end-of-year news conference, "We will respond proportionally, and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the sanctions were only "the first aspect of our response."


Sonar detects two large objects on sea floor

Ndonesian officials were hopeful Saturday they were honing in on the wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501 after sonar equipment detected two large objects on the ocean floor, a full week after the plane went down in stormy weather.

Teams equipped with a remote-operated vehicle were battling high waves and strong currents as they tried to capture images of the suspected chunks of the plane for confirmation, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

An Indonesian navy ship detected the objects early Friday, and by midnight, searchers had zoomed in with a Geological Survey vessel to take dimensions

One of the objects was measured at 9.4 meters by 4.8 meters (31 feet by 15 feet) and a half-meter (20 inches) high. The other, found nearby, was 7.2 meters (24 feet) by a half meter (20 inches).

"I'm confident this is part of the AirAsia plane," said Soelistyo.

The Airbus A320 carrying 162 passengers and crew crashed last Sunday, halfway into a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, to Singapore. Minutes before losing contact, the pilot told air traffic control he was approaching threatening clouds, but was denied permission to climb to a higher altitude because of heavy air traffic.

Indonesian authorities announced the grounding of AirAsia flights from Surabaya to Singapore, with the Transport Ministry saying the airline did not have a permit to fly on Sundays, the day of the crash.

AirAsia, which began operations in 2001, quickly becoming one of the region's most popular low-cost carriers, said it was reviewing the suspension. The crash on Dec. 28 was the airline's first.

So far, only 30 corpses have been recovered, a few still strapped in their seats. Bad weather and waves, sometimes 4 meters (13 feet) high, have slowed efforts, scattering bodies and debris farther and farther away. An emergency exit door and slide were among the discoveries, as a backpack with food, camera and children's food.

It remains unclear what caused the plane to plunge into the Java Sea, though bad weather appears to have been a factor, according to a 14-page report released by Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

"Flight 8501 appears to have been trapped in bad weather that would have been difficult to avoid," the report said.

As part of the investigation into the crash, autopsies will be carried out on some of the bodies, including the pilot and co-pilot, whose remains have not yet been recovered, said Budiyono, who heads East Java's Disaster Victim Identification unit and uses only one name.

Generally, aviation experts say the more passengers, luggage and parts of the aircraft that remain intact indicate the plane hit the water in one piece. That would signal problems like a mechanical error or a stall instead of a midair breakup due to an explosion or sudden depressurization.

For family members, the seven-day wait has been agonizing with local media covering every development and theory, many of which have proved to be untrue — including a false report that a body was found wearing a life jacket, which would have indicated passengers had time to prepare for the impact or miraculously were able to put them on after hitting the water.

As more corpses start to arrive in Surabaya, some relatives said they were simply worn out. But they were encouraged by reports that parts of the plane had been found and hoped that everyone on board would be retrieved.

"Let's hope the news is true," said Ongko Gunawan, whose sister was traveling with her husband and their child. "We need to move on."

Vessels involved in the search for debris included at least eight sophisticated navy ships from Singapore, Russia, Malaysia and the U.S. equipped with sonars for scouring the seabed to pinpoint the all-important black boxes and the wreckage.

The U.S. Navy said it was sending a second vessel, one of the newest in the fleet, to help in the search.

The hope, officials say, is that the body of the plane will still be largely intact, speeding the investigation.

"Many of passengers believed to be still trapped inside the plane's fuselage and could be discovered soon," Supriyadi said, "God willing, we would complete this operation next week."

source: usatoday

Shanghai New Year's stampede : 35 dead, 43 injured

New Year's revelers jammed along Shanghai's historic riverfront stampeded about a half hour before midnight Wednesday, killing at least 35 people and injuring 43 others, Chinese media reported.

City officials said they had not yet determined what triggered the stampede about 11:35 p.m. in Chen Yi Square on the Bund, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported early Thursday. Many of the dead and injured were students.

A brief report on Xinhua's English-language site said celebrations "went astray" and "a stampede resulted in casualties."

A witness said people had scrambled to grab coupons resembling U.S. dollar bills that were being thrown from a third-floor window near the Bund.

It is the worst disaster in Shanghai in recent years.

new year stampede

The English-language Shanghai Daily noted that the stampede occurred near where a New Year countdown show was being held in the Bund Origin, a relatively enclosed area. Last week, officials canceled the scheduled 3-D laser show in an open area of the Bund because of crowd concerns.

This overhead view shows emergency vehicles in the

Nearly 300,000 turned out for last year's laser show. Authorities relocated the New Year celebration to the smaller area and limited attendance to 2,000 invitation-only guests . The local government had said the show was relocated "to improve traffic flow."

The Bund -- meaning embankment -- runs along the Huangpu River and features buildings from the city's pre-revolution heyday, when it was a financial center for Asia.

Video from CCTV America, the U.S. version of state broadcaster China Central Television, showed piles of shoes amid the debris. Photographs showed bodies lying on the streets and attempts to revive victims.

Angry family members clash with security personnel

source : usatoday

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