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General News (9023)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that Europe's migration crisis is putting the EU at grave risk. Mr Valls told the BBC Europe could not take all the refugees fleeing what he called terrible wars in Iraq or Syria. "Otherwise," he said, "our societies will be totally destabilised." More than a million migrants, mostly refugees, arrived in Europe last year, many making perilous journeys. On Friday, at least 21 people were killed as their boats sank off Greek islands. Mr Valls also said that France would seek to keep its current state of emergency until a "total and global war" against so-called Islamic State (IS) was over. The measures were introduced after the IS-led Paris attacks on 13 November and then extended for three months. Cologne incidents Mr Valls was speaking to Lyse Doucet, the BBC's chief international correspondent, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Europe, he said, needed to take urgent action to control its external borders. "If Europe is not capable of protecting its own borders, it's the very idea of Europe that will be questioned." Asked about border controls inside Europe which many fear put the passport-free Schengen zone at great risk, Mr Valls said the concept of Europe itself was now in very grave danger. He did not directly criticise Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel for her welcoming message last year to refugees. Mr Valls said she "had courage", but it was clear he believed her message was wrong, our correspondent says. "A message that says 'Come, you will be welcome' provokes major shifts" in population, says Mr Valls. He added: "We know clearly that after the Cologne incidents that with the continuous flow, not only to Germany but the countries of Northern Europe, Austria, the Balkans are confronted with this influx, that's why we need to find practical solutions for our borders." Mr Valls was referring to attacks in the German city on New Year's Eve - largely attributed to foreigners - that have sparked 800 complaints, 520 of them relating to sexual crimes. Mrs Merkel will later hold talks on the migrant crisis with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Berlin. EU countries hope Turkey will help to control the flow of migrants reaching the EU from Syria and other conflict zones. On Friday, at least 21 people, including eight children, died when their boats sank off the Greek islands of Farmakonisi and Kalolimnos, the Greek coastguard said. Some 48 survivors reached shore but a number of other migrants were reported missing, it said. 'Eradicate IS' On the issue of the state of emergency, Mr Valls said France was "at war", which meant "using all means in our democracy under the rule of law to protect French people". The measure gives police more power to conduct raids and impose house arrests. When asked how long he envisaged the state of emergency remaining, Mr Valls said: "The time necessary. "As long as the threat is there, we must use all the means," he said, adding that it should stay in place "until we can get rid of Daesh", using an acronym for the IS group. "In Africa, in the Middle East, in Asia we must eradicate, eliminate Daesh," he said. "It is a total and global war that we are facing with terrorism," he added. "The war we are conducting must also be total, global and ruthless." Mr Valls said France "could see attacks again", adding that six plots had been foiled over the past few months. Attackers linked to IS killed 130 people in co-ordinated assaults across Paris in November, leading to the first declaration of a state of emergency in France in 10 years. The measures are set to expire on 26 February. This week, a group of UN human rights experts said they were "excessive and disproportionate". Source: BBC
A section of the Ghanaian public have challenged President Mahama to dismisss all ministers found to be corrupt although they congratulate him for dismissing Justice Adjet Nasam and Justice Obimpeh. The two High Court judges were fired after following President Mahama’s acceptance of the recommendations of a Five- Member Impeachment Committee that investigated their conduct in accordance with article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.  The two Justices are among the High Court Judges against whom TigerEyepi submitted a petition for their removal from office on grounds of stated misbehavior. But some section of the public who spoke to Nyankonton Mu Nsem says although they welcomed the decision, President Mahama should also sack all his corrupt ministers to show his committment. According to them, the judges cannot be used as scape goat hence there is the need to axe any government official who is found culpable.
The Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor has said the role of the security agencies is very crucial for a towards a peaceful election. According to him, the role of the various agencies is to plan and ensure security before, during and after the November, 7 polls. Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on the sideline after the inauguration of the election security task force,  John Kudalor said the election is fast approaching with Ghanaians ready to go the polls to cast their ballot. He noted this year's election is no exception hence the need for all the various security agencies to ensure a peaceful poll. ''You will agree with me that election plays a crirircal role in our democratic dispensation...and our role as security agencies is to plan and ensure security before, during after election.'' The meeting saw the presence of personnel from the Police, GNFS, BNI, Immigration,CEPS, Interior and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. On his part the deputy commissioner of the Electoral Commission, Amadu Sulley said the EC was committed to ensure a free, fair and transparent election come November 7, 2016.       
The Eastern regional police commander  DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni has debunked that he declared his unflinching support  for the demonstration organised by Labour Unions in the region. According to him, he was misquoted and dared anyone with evidence that he declared his unflinching support to make it available. “I will urge you to impress upon your people to do what will not drag us into confrontation.” He continued: “...I wouldn't like our action to destroy the beauty of what you are doing, we are all workers, let me be very frank with you, if it goes well it goes well for me, but I cannot go out there and demonstrate,'' the commander told demonstrators yesterday. However, the police commander said his speech has been misinterpreted by Joy Fm who carried out the story. Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem in an interview, the commander who was angered by the story has challenged Joy Fm to play back his voice or else he will sure them. ''I am going to the media commission and Joy should play back my voice. There were other journalist apart from Joy Fm. You can cross check from all the other journalist who came there and see  whether i said i had unflinching support for them.'' DCOP Awuni also explained why he provided demonstrators with police band saying  ''i gave them the band because it was a public relations ploy,'' and i succeeded in ensuring a peaceful march. The commander who himself is a trained journalist felt scandalized over what described the story as negative journalism which tarnishes the image of the profession. ''Fortunately for me, i am a trained journalist from the Ghana Institute of Journalism and have headed the Police Public Relations for fifteen years...I will sue Joy Fm...I didn't make make money in the police service...Joy will make me money.'' DCOP Awuni hinted of a press conference latest by tomorrow to address the matter.  
Consumers of electricity are paying above the 59.2% increment announced by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission. This due to the energy sector levies passed in parliament in December, last year. The 10% extra charges include a 5%  for a street light levy and another 5%  for the national electrification charge. A letter signed by the Executive Secretary of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Samuel Sarpong confirms this.  
A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and MP for the Atwima Mponua, Hon. Isaac Asiamah has advised the governor of the Central Bank Paul Wampah to immediately resign from office if he thinks he can no longer bear the heat. According to him, the governor's refusal to appear before the committee when he was summoned show's gross disrespect and contemptuous. Dr. Paul Wampah and his two deputies were to appear before PAC to explain adverse findings against the Central bank of Ghana as captured in 2011-2013 audit report.    But he failed to appear before them due to busy schedule. However, Hon Asiamah noted any public official is answerable to PAC at anytime. The legislator indicated the committee will evoke all the powers that be should the governor refuse to appear before them again.   We have warned him for the last time and should he fail to appear before the committee, we will deal with him routlessly. He should advise himself, Hon. Asiamah warned. He insisted the Public Accounts Committee has an oversight responsibility to demand for accountability from state institution and officials when the need arises. Auditing is all about effectiveness, efficiency/economy and value for money therefore as the head of the Central Bank, he is in the best position to answer questions relating to their operations. Hon. Isaac Asiamah said there was about 83 million Ghana cedis payed to some banks which should have gone into the consolidated fund for disbursement which was delayed between six to a year hence the need for explanation from the governor. He said the delay could possibly mean that either the banks used the money to do business to gain profit hence the need for clarity.
A member of Organised Labour in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Kofi Asare Siaw has said if labour knew of the recent increment in tarrif and petroleum, they would have demanded above the 10% increment in wages. Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, he indicated government cannot slap labour with the killer tariffs. According to him, the entrenched position by authorities not to withdraw the petroleum prices and reduce the percentage in utility is insensitive. Mr. Siaw noted the demonstration organised by labour across the regions was not meant to sabotage government but to ensure their demands are met. Labour yesterday took to the streets to demand for an immediate withdrawal of the 27% petroleum price hikes and reduction of the 59.2%  and 67.2% for electricity and water respectively. Government remains adamant with no intention of withdrawing the petroleum hikes. A number of meetings had hit the rocks with no agreement reached between both parties. Labour and government are currently in a meeting to negotiate on the way forward. However, Mr. Siaw said authorities must come clean with a position that will be accepted by the various unions. He added members of  labour are people with an insight in policy drafting and implementation hence when government implements or drafts a policy which they think is unrealistic, they need to make inputs.  
Archaeologists say they have unearthed the earliest evidence of human warfare between hunter-gatherers, at a site in northern Kenya. The 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people found at a remote site west of Lake Turkana show that they met violent deaths. They were left to die there rather than being buried. Many experts have argued that conflict only came about as humans became more settled. These people, by contrast, were apparently nomadic hunter-gatherers. The archaeologists, who have been working on the site at Nataruk since 2012, discovered that the victims were clubbed or stabbed to death in a single event. The dead included male and female adults, as well as children. The evidence, published in the journal Nature, does not reveal exactly what happened but the fact that so many people died at the same time suggests it was the result of "some sort of conflict", according to Cambridge University Professor Robert Foley. A handout photo provided by Nature on January 19, 2016 shows a detail of the skull of skeleton KNM-WT 71255 after excavation. It is believed that the group was attacked by rival hunter-gatherers armed with wooden clubs and arrows or spears tipped with sharpened obsidian, a rare black volcanic rock. Speculating on the causes of the attack, Marta Mirazon Lahr, who led the Nataruk study, said the "massacre may have resulted from an attempt to seize resources... whose value was similar to those of later food-producing agricultural societies, among whom violent attacks on settlements became part of life". Many experts have argued that conflicts only arise "once people have things worth fighting over, [such as] herds of livestock, stores of grain... things that you can both defend and attack," Professor Foley told the BBC's Newsday radio programme. It has been assumed that hunter-gatherers were less likely to engage in such conflicts because they can move away, but the Nataruk find shows that "before we have settled life, groups were competing over resources", Professor Foley added. Source: BBC
There is no country with the capacity to manage terrorist attacks. If America and France had capacity, they would not have been attacked, says peace ambassador, security and political analyst Ibrahim Ibard. Speaking in an interview with Rainbow Radio, the security expert said Ghanaians should have faith in our security apparatus to deal with any possible threats on our nation. According to him, no country in the globe has the capacity to mange any take but one would have to put in place measures to ensure citizens live in peace which he said Ghana is working on. Experts have warned that Ghana could be a possible target for terrorist, however Mr. Irbard disagrees with that assertions saying Ghanaians should not be worried. The debate of whether the agreement between Government of Ghana and the United States to give the two former Guantanamo Bay Prisons detainees pose a threat on us on still ongoing with many  suggesting that we government has risked the nation by signing the deal. President Mahama in his address to the press said the deal or agreement with the USA was as a result of the relationship between the two nations. He [President Mahama] said Ghana and the USA are allies and  based on the non-surrender treaty signed in 2003. This some says it puts Ghana under serious threat for a possible by Al-Qaeda who sees countries aligned to the USA as enemies. But Ibrahim Irbard explains Ghana will not be attacked because we are allies to America. Before a country will be attacked by a terrorist group, then it means you may have assited America by sending troops to fight them, this Ghana has not done, he said. Ibrahim Irbard opined that the president had not breached any law in bringing Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.  
South African police have opened an inquiry into the death of five children who are thought to have suffocated after trapping themselves in a freezer.   The five cousins, aged between three and seven, were discovered by their grandmother in Kakamas town, Northern Cape province, on Tuesday, police say.   Police do not suspect foul play.   In a separate incident on Tuesday, two children died from suffocation after getting locked in a car that was awaiting repairs outside Johannesburg.   Police have urged parents and guardians not to allow children to play unaccompanied in places where their safety could be at risk.   In a statement about the deaths in Kakamas, they said they believed the freezer, which was turned off, locked while the children were playing inside it.       Source: BBC    
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