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The European Union (EU) has introduced retaliatory tariffs on US goods as a top official launched a fresh attack on President Donald Trump's trade policy. The duties on €2.8bn (£2.4bn) worth of US goods came into force on Friday. Tariffs have been imposed on products such as bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said duties imposed by the US on the EU go against "all logic and history". India, meanwhile, has said it will raise taxes on 29 products imported from the US - including some agricultural goods, steel and iron products - in retaliation for the wide-ranging US tariffs. The new duties will come into effect from 4 August and will affect US almonds, walnuts and chick peas, among other products. India is a top buyer of US almond exports and so the move is expected to hurt farmers in America. The Trump administration announced in March that it would introduce tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imported into the US. After being deferred, the duties on steel and aluminium went ahead on 1 June and affect the EU, Canada, Mexico and other close US allies, including India. European Commission president Mr Juncker, who has previously criticised the move, said on Thursday: "It goes against all logic and history. Our response must be clear but measured."Addressing the Irish parliament in Dublin, he added that "we will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard" the EU. The majority of US goods targeted by the EU, such as tobacco, Harley Davidson motorcycles, cranberries and peanut butter, will now carry a tariff of 25%. However, the EU has introduced a 50% duty on goods such as footwear, some types of clothing and washing machines. The new duties have been imposed as tensions over trade continued to grow between the US and China. Earlier this week, Mr Trump threatened to impose 10% duties on an additional $200bn (£150bn) worth of Chinese goods which he said would come into force if China "refuses to change its practices". However, China accused the US of an act of "extreme pressure and blackmail" and said it would respond with "strong countermeasures". Why is the US imposing tariffs? President Trump believes that if you have a trade deficit - if you import more than you export - you are losing out. He is especially irked by the hefty deficits in US trade with China and Mexico, but has indicated that he will not let any country "take advantage of us on trade anymore". The US trade deficit has increased in recent years, running at around $50bn (£38bn). However, this could be the result of a stronger economy, with US consumers buying more goods from overseas. Trump and the US economy in six charts The new tariffs are meant to correct this imbalance. There were confrontational scenes and words after the recent G7 summit in Quebec, at which the other major world economies challenged Mr Trump's tariffs and trade policies. A photo from the summit went viral, showing the leaders of the other member nations standing over the president, sitting with his arms crossed. The US tariffs, and retaliatory measures from other states, have caused fears of a trade war, weighing on global stocks. In the past however, President Trump has said trade wars are good and "easy to win", despite a jittery response from the markets. Source: BBC
The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Madam Gloria Akuffo has told parliament that , the copyright office is in a process of amending section 19 of the copyright Act 2005 (Act690) to include provisions for the blind and visually impaired persons. According to the minister, the amendment of the law will enable the blind and visually impaired persons to have access to published works in accessible formats like Braille, audio, books and large prints. She said this in response to a question filed by the Member of Parliament for Krachi Ntwumuru, Mr John Majisi seeking from her the extent to which the Marrakesh treaty has been implemented in Ghana since it's ratification The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on June 27, 2013 in Marrakesh and it forms part of the body of international copyrighttreaties administered by WIPO. It has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension and its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled (VIPs). Ghana received compliments from the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on May 11, 2018, of its instrument of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The said Treaty will enter into force, with respect to the Republic of Ghana, on August 11, 2018.
Maverick politician and Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, has set Wednesday June 27, 2018 to premiere his ‘Who Watches the Watchman’- a purported video recording containg allged confessions and corrupt activities of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas. The legislator, who was recently sued for defamation by Anas who is demanding GHc25 million says the evidence available to him, will shock Ghanaians and expose the alleged corrupt nature of the award winning journalist whose latest Number 12 video, has led to planned dissolution of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) whose former boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi was captured allegedly taking bribe. Kennedy Agyapong had accused Anas of using a third party to demand an amount of $150,000 in order to rescind his decision in premiering the video. According to him, Mr. Nyantakyi managed to raise $100,000 but Anas went to show the video because Nyantakyi had told others about the demand he [Anas] made. However, Anas has flatly denied ordering anyone to demand or receive the money on his behalf. Kennedy Agyapong insisted that mondus operandi is the best and an entrapment.
A medical doctor has been slapped with a 10-year-jail term for defrauding the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Dr N.K. Ametewee, the former Medical Superintendent of the Essikado District Hospital was yesterday jailed 10 years by the Sekondi High Court for defrauding the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS) to the tune of four hundred and fifteen thousand Ghana cedis (GHC415,000). Dr Ametewee was convicted and sentenced together with his accomplice and brother Francis Ametewee who served at the records department of Dr Ametewee’s private dental clinic in Anaji in Takoradi. Francis was given a 5-year jail sentence. They were found guilty by the court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante after the NHIA reported a case of fraud and forgery to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in 2014. The two were subsequently picked up by the Police in January 2015. The doctor was found to have submitted claims of about 500 NHIS card users whom he claimed had patronised the services of his private clinic, West Anaji Dental Clinic, in the Western Region. An inspection conducted by the NHIA exposed him in 2014 over the false claims he had submitted. It was also established that, between the period of January-December 2013, the doctor submitted the same names of NHIS card users for claims for the Essikado District Hospital and for his private clinic. He was ordered to refund the payment he received under the period. Aside that, it was also established that, Dr. Ametewee offered a bribe of GH¢5,000 to the NHIA’s Director of a clinical audit team at the time to cover up his activities but the official rejected it. The GH¢5,000 ‘bribe’ had a note attached to it and read: “Dear Doc, this is something small for your hard work. It is not a bribe. Take it and relax. In Ghana, everybody ‘chops’ from his work side. From your friend, Doctor Ametewee.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his commitment towards the fight against corruption. Speaking at the end of a two-day conference organized by the African Center for Economic Transformation held in Accra, Nana Akufo Addo said the culprits who are found culpable will not be spared and will be dealt with according to the laws. “Equality before the law means exactly that so if you are a president who misconducts yourself, the law should be able to deal with you. In the same way, if you are businessman who misconducts himself, the law should be able to deal with you.”
The use of drones for the distribution of drugs and blood to hospitals across the country was expected to start in September 2018 but Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has given a new timeline. The second gentleman of the land in April this year announced that, Ghana will by September 2018 use drones to distribute blood and other essential medicines to remote parts of the country as part of efforts to ensure quality healthcare delivery. But the vice president says the project will start in 2019. Speaking at the 2018 Annual Health Summit in Accra, the Vice President said the government would sign a Memorandum of Understanding this week to put the technology into effect. “We by the grace of God; there is ongoing discussions, we are looking at innovative ways to deliver blood supplies as well as essential medicines to remote areas. As the rains come in, some areas are going to be cut off… Do we allow mothers to die because we can’t have blood supplies or essential medicines? Ghana this week, will be signing an MOU and by the middle of this year or by September, we will join Malawi and Rwanda with using drone technology to deliver blood supplies and essential medicines. So we are going to do so that this year,” he said. But speaking at a forum organised by the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) on Thursday, stated that the move will take off in 2019. “By early 2019, we will be joining Rwanda in using drones to deliver critical medical products. Blood products, medical cargo, emergency vaccines, life saving and other essential medicines on demand to every part of the country regardless of the terrain or road infrastructure.” The Ministry of Health some few months ago signed a Letter of Intent with the developer and operator of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, popularly known as drones, to offer a drone-enabled supply chain solution in Ghana that will ensure secure, reliable and timely deliveries of essential health care products to hospitals and other health facilities. The Service, which will be designed, installed and operated by USA-based Zipline International Inc. in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, will leverage technology to improve the supply chain of critical medical supplies, reduce waste and save lives. Zipline was one of the many companies with cutting-edge technology who met and held discussions with the Vice President and the founders and leaders of a number of Ghanaian ICT firms a few months ago during H.E. Dr Bawumia’s working visit to Silicon Valley, California, USA. A number of companies based in the ICT hub of Silicon Valley have also indicated their readiness to explore partnership opportunities with their Ghanaian counterparts after the trip to design and implement Ghanaian solutions for Ghanaian challenges.
The Supreme Court has asked the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo to file her written response to the suit challenging Ghana's defence cooperation agreement with the United States of America in seven days. Ghana's defence agreement with the US is to allow US military and civilian personnel access to certain facilities in Ghana and provide them privileges, exemptions and immunities equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961 Ghana is expected to benefit from aid package amounting to $20million from the USA in the areas of training and grant. But the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Yaw Brogya Genfi thinks that was a bad deal for Ghana. He has subsequently gone to the Supreme Court asking that the agreement should be nullified, as the ratification by Parliament, in his opinion, is unconstitutional. His argument is that, the agreement is invalid because the President of Ghana failed to execute the agreement as prescribed by Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution before sending it to Parliament for ratification. The writ filed on Monday, March 26, 2018 has the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo and Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul as the first and second defendants. According to Mr Genfi, the two government appointees breached several laws in their bid to have the controversial Ghana-US military agreement ratified. A Principal State Attorney who represented the AG in court on Thursday applied for an extension of time to enable the AG file a response. Source: GraphicOnline.com
The Ghana Police Administration has selected some 2,000 interested individuals for medical screening, a statement from the security firm has said. The prospective applicants are expected to pay an amount of GHc400 as cost for the screening, the statement added. The statement signed by David Eklu, police PRO said "All qualified applicants are to note that the cost of Medical Examination is Four Hundred Ghana Cedis [GH₵400.00]. Details of the cost will be made available when they report for the medical screening. Meanwhile, applicants notified for each day of the screening will be required to report at the Police Headquarters, near the Ghana National Fire Service Headquarters on the Ring Road, Accra before they proceed to the Police Hospital." The statement further directed that all enquiries or concerns about the recruitment process should be addressed through the official Ghana Police Service social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and its live-chat page on the website - www.police.gov.gh. The screening will start on Monday June 25-July 5, 2018.
Acting General Secretary for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has advised General Secretary for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, to vent his anger on the Minority in Parliament over the criteria for the Ghana card registration. The aspiring general secretary in the upcoming NPP national executive race says the Minority in parliament endorsed the Act that paved way for the National Identification Authority (NIA), to demand for birth certificate and passport as documents for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card. But the NDC and other political parties including the PNC, APC and UFP are against the criteria and want the NIA to consider the Voter’s ID card as part of the documents. Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm he suggested the cold blooded war that hit neighboring Côte d’Ivoire may hit Ghana should the NIA fail to allow such category of Ghanaians register. "We will not agree with the NIA to exclude the Voter’s ID card…Why should Ghanaians be prevented from registering? If people will sit somewhere and prevent Ghanaians from registering, then it would be better not to register. People fight with their blood in places where these things have occurred. Go to Côte d’Ivoire, one man, Alhassane Outtara prevented somewhere from registering his name. It brought civil war in that country and the country was destabilized for more than ten years. It took several efforts before the country was stabilized and today, the man who was prevented is the president of that country.’’ "The people you are preventing from registering their names, do you know the number of presidents in that number?" he queried. But reacting to the comments, John Boadu slammed Asiedu Nketiah and advised him to blame the Minority for failing to address the issues before the law was amended and passed. The NDC and their surrogates he noted cannot do anything and are only making ugly noises. The NIA has said only birth certificates and passports will be used as identification for acquisition of the card, as provided for by the National Identification Amendment Law 2017 (Act 950). As a result of the above and to achieve a full enrolment, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has recruited and trained 2,700 commissioners of oath to operate alongside staff of the NIA during the registration for the Ghana Card. The NDC last week issued a statement calling on the NIA to accept voters’ ID card as a form of identification for the registration.
An aspiring Naasara Coordinator in the upcoming national elections of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sulemana Akakpo has said, Zongo communities are the embodiment of every society. Zongos he noted have always been special in our lives and the major political issues, are in the Zongo communities and there is nothing government can do without the Zongos. Zongo constituents he said are a united people; they have focus, have self love, vision, we have intelligent people and we are also sincere. Sulemana Akakpo said there are a lot of qualities in the Zongo communities but politics has over the years caused disunity and mistrust but ‘’thank God Nana Addo has created a special ministry to bring us together so we will sell our culture to the world so they will know we have a great culture,’’ Appearing on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the aspirant told Kwame Tutu that, the Zongo communities forms a population of the Ashanti region and if any political party gets 50 per cent from the Zongos, ‘’you are automatically forming government.’’ According to him, there is no government that is ready to give attention to the Zongos but President Akufo-Addo has taken Zongo project as a priority.’’ For him, when communities are well developed, it will generate enough revenue for the country through tourism and culture. ‘’If we are going to take Zongo serious, the only tourism Zongo can give us is Zongo Gangara. Lets us modernized it and sell it to the foreigners and see the revenue it will generate for us,’’ he stated. ‘’People pay plane tickets and come to Ghana for the Zongo Gangara. Let us modernize it and make it attractive so it will generate more revenue for the country…We have a lot of talents in our Zongos and Nana Addo has asked that we develop these talents and export them for money.’’ Zongo Gangara is a special ceremony of Zongo chiefs that follows the Sallah celebration. The Zongo Development Fund and Ministry he posited needs proper coordination so they can help fulfill Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise for the Zongo communities. ‘’We don’t want to revisit the SADA case. I am saying this because Zongo is bedeviled with a lot of challenges…The CEOs appointed should work as a united body and push this agenda of Nana Addo forward,’’ he advised. Contesting a position being fought by 13 others, he expressed strong optimism in winning the race due to his experience and sacrifices for the party.
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