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Aid convoys are due to be sent to Syria's besieged areas, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has said. He said it would be a test of whether warring parties were committed to allowing in humanitarian supplies. Among the areas due to receive aid is the town of Madaya, where people have been dying of starvation. World powers last week agreed to seek a nationwide "cessation of hostilities" and to accelerate and expand aid deliveries. Madaya, Muadhamiya, Kafr Batna and Zabadani, all in the Damascus area under siege from government forces "It is the duty of the government of Syria to want to reach every Syrian person wherever they are and allow the UN to bring humanitarian aid," Mr de Mistura said after talks in Damascus on Tuesday. "Tomorrow we test this." The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad earlier approved humanitarian access to seven areas which are besieged, either by government troops or rebel groups. The areas are those deemed by the 17-member International Syria Support Group to be most in need of relief. Almost half a million people live in besieged areas, according to the UN. The cessation of hostilities - which does not apply to jihadist groups - is due to come into force later this week. But President Assad has cast doubts on the move, warning it would be "difficult" to implement and would not mean all parties would stop using weapons. Government forces, backed by Russian air power, have been advancing in the north towards Syria's biggest city and commercial centre, Aleppo. They are on the brink of encircling the rebel-held east of the city. Earlier this week, a series of rocket attacks on several hospitals and schools in areas close to Aleppo killed up to 50 people. Save the Children said seven healthcare facilities were hit - more than was previously reported. Turkey has blamed Russia for the strikes, which the UN has said could constitute war crimes. Russia said it "categorically rejects" accusations of war crimes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC that the only proof Russia would accept from the ground "comes from the Syrian authorities". Source: BBC
A ranking member on the Select Committee on Defence and MP for Nkoranza North, Major Yaw Oduro (rtd) has described President Mahama as a lie since he failed to come clean with the deal between Ghana and United States to resettle the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees. The legislator said the two detainees are of high risk to Ghana yet President Mahama failed to do due diligence before accepting the deal. He chided the president for disregarding parliament in accepting the detainees. He noted, although the constitution has invested some powers to the president in taking certain decision on behalf on Ghanaians, it must do so with the sole interest of Ghanaians. Hon. Major Derrick Oduro (Rtd) said the whole deal was shrouded in secrecy hence the need for Ghana to come clean with Ghanaians. “If it is legitimate agreement, you would not ratify an agreement in secrecy, that agreement should be in the public domain so that everybody will understand that we have not bargained off our security,'' a statement from the Minority at a press conference yesterday noted. He posited, Ghana risk a possible attack following our bad deal in accepting the detainees just like our neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali among other countries. Speaking to Kwame Tutu on what the Minority seeks to do on the matter, he noted, they await the response from the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh on the  explanation he will give parliament on Friday. President Mahama he noted, could face impeachment for his gross disregard for the constitution.    
The feud which led to the stabbing of two students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has been resolved following the intervention of the dean of academic affairs at the school. President of the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), Henry Boakye in interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem said the two students who admitted at the hospital have responding to treatment and they will be discharged soon. Narrating the incident leading to the feud, Henry Boakye said, some Kantanga hall boys attacked a hall member at the Unity  hall popularly known as Continental without any justification, this he said incensed the members of the Continental hall as pay back. Henry Boakye debunked rumours that, there was reprisal attacks among the two halls following the incident. He indicated, USAG has also engaged the two halls to resolve their differences and through the efforts, the school is calm with students going about their usual activities. ''The dean of the school has sent a text message to all students in the school and i speak to you now, the tension has subdued with students going about their usual activities. USAG is engaging the students to resolve the feud.'' Henry Boakye stressed the need for the media especially to be circumspect in their reportage because KNUST is a well respected institution with an excellent academic record and this feud should be taken out of context. The attacks is coming a week ahead of the annual hall week celebrations at the Kantanaga hall.
President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated his commitment to ensure that, the upcoming November, 7 polls is peaceful, free and fair. The president made this commitment when he was addressing the Ghanaian community in the Iranian capital Tehran, to round up his three day state visit to that country. “We are in an election year and of course there is a lot of political rhetoric and you should know that it’s normal. In election year, a lot of the political argumentation and debates heightens a bit but I can assure you that we will have a peaceful and successful elections and Ghana will continue to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.” President Mahama told the Ghanaian community in Tehran that Ghana is getting ready for the 2016 elections with the electoral management body positioned to run the polls effectively. He indicated, the EC had also released their timetable of the various activities that will lead up to the November, 7 polls. ''They’ve released the calendar and the unique thing about the election is that it’s been pulled forward to one month so instead of the first week of December, it will rather be in the first week of November.” The November 7, polls will be conducted in 29, 000 polling stations instead of the 30, 000 previously agreed at IPAC due to budget constraints of the EC.   
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has charged regional and constituency executives, as well as the party’s parliamentary candidates from the Western Region, to win the majority of popular votes and majority of seats in the region, as this will guarantee an NPP victory in 2016 elections.   According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s electoral history in the 4th Republic has shown that “you have to be able to win Western Region to be able to win a national election to be able to form a government.”   He noted that in as much as the people of Ghana are looking up to the NPP to win the November 7 election, the entire party is also looking up to the leadership of the party in the region to ensure that the Western Region becomes a stronghold of the party, once again.   The NPP flagbearer made this known on Monday, February 15, when he addressed regional and constituency executives of the party at the GNAT Hall in Takoradi, after the 1-week funeral ceremony of the late Ben Kwaw, former acting Western Regional NPP Chairman.    Nana Akufo-Addo, who indicated that the party must honour the memory of fallen patriots like the late Ben Kwaw with victory in the November polls, stressed that the party cannot afford to relinquish a single vote in the metropolis of the Western Region.    “Be it in Sekondi, Takoradi, Effia, Kwesimintsim, Essikadu Ketan, Ahanta West, Shama, Mpohor, Wassa, this year, we must get good news from all of these constituencies. If we are to get this, it depends on the hard work we must all do. The hard work means that in every part of the region, we must send the NPP’s message of hope to every Ghanaian voter,” he said.   He continued, “The nation is in tatters, but [President] Kufuor showed the nation that its fortunes can be turned around, and the country put right back on track. That is the message we must send to all – that we are coming to put Ghana back onto the path of progress and prosperity. We, in the NPP, have the men and women, with the knowledge and skill, to give this country a first class government which will lift the masses from abject poverty and deliver jobs and prosperity for all.”    Nana Akufo-Addo, in this regard, appealed for the support of all members of the party, adding that “this election is for us to lose. Let’s not do that. Let’s win it and form a government. What is happening in Cote d’Ivoire, next door, we can better than that in Ghana. Let’s all work together.”    To the new acting Chairman, Francis Ndede Siah, Nana Akufo-Addo admonished him “to stand firm and be resolute, for God is with you” on his assumption of the mantle of leadership of the party in the region and ensure that the party in the region is united and prepared to work hard for an NPP victory on November 7, 2016       
The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured fisherfolk across the coastal areas of the country of better times and improved conditions of work under an Akufo-Addo-led NPP government, when, God-willing, he wins the November presidential election.   Addressing fisherfolk at Apeosika, in the Evaluegwira constituency in the Western Region, on Tuesday, February 16, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that with Ghana’s fishing population accounting for 10% of the country’s total population, it is that important measures are put in place to stimulate growth in the sector.   This growth, he assured, will be achieved through deliberate and concerted efforts of his government aimed at increasing the contribution to GDP of the fishing sector from the current levels of 4.5% to 10% of GDP.   The first measure towards stimulating growth in the sector sector, he said, will be to tackle aggressively the phenomenon of light fishing activities across the country which is depleting the marine stocks of Ghana’s waters.   “Tackling light fishing has to be a priority of any government, especially in Akufo-Addo’s government. We will do this to help all of us, otherwise, not too far away in the future, there will be no fish left for us in our waters. We have to preserve the marine stocks of our country, and step one will be dealing with the situation of light fishing,” he noted.   The second measure, he noted, will be to establish landing sites and fishing harbours in Axim and in other parts of the coastal belt of the country.    Nana Akufo-Addo, prior to his encounter with the fisherfolk, paid a courtesy call on Awulae Atibrukusu III, Chief of Axim who, in his remarks to the NPP leader, stated that it was under the NPP, when the late Gladys Asmah was the Minister of Fisheries, that the sod for the construction of a landing site in Axim was cut.   “We didn’t get the additional term in office from 2008 to be able to complete this project, and others across the country. 8 years after we left office, nothing has been done by the NDC government to construct this landing site. Gladys Asmah is dear to the heart of the NPP, and what we can do to honour her will be to complete these landing sites and fishing harbours across the country,” he assured.   Thirdly, the construction of a sea defense wall to protect the citizenry of Axim, he noted, is of the utmost importance. He told the gathering that he had seen at firsthand the collapsed nature of the wall, which posed a threat to lives along the coast of Axim.    “There is no reason why the ancient city of Axim, home of Paa Grant, should not have a sea defense wall. It will be a priority of my administration,” he added.   On the issue of the rising cost of fishing inputs, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that the situation boils down to the mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy by the NDC government, stressing that “if you have good governance you can solve the problems of your country.”   He stressed that the increase in the price of an outboard motor, from GH¢2,950, at the end of 2008, to the current price of GH¢10,900, as per statistics obtained from the Ghana Canoe and Fishermen’s Council, is an example of the effects of economic mismanagement under the last 8 years of the NDC government.   “We (in the NPP) are bringing good governance to Ghana to solve the problems of the people of this country, so we can bring relief to all every Ghanaian,” he said, to loud cheers of approval from the gathering.   The NPP flagbearer was at a loss as to why the sale of premix fuel for fishing activities had been put in the hands of District Chief Executives and political appointees in the country.   “Let us leave it to the fishermen to deal with the premix fuel themselves. That way, there will be no politicisation or cronyism in this matter. We can only build Ghana when we all put our shoulders to the wheel. We (in the NPP) are not going to politicize issues of economic activities in this country. Whether you are NDC or NPP, we are all Ghanaians and we all have to join hands and work hard for the development of this country”, he added.   In concluding, Nana Akufo-Addo asked for the support of the fisherfolk of Apeosika stressing that “everything you can do to help me win the election, please do. I am appealing to you to have confidence in me and support me fully. This is my third attempt. Try me also and when, God-willing, you give me the opportunity, I promise that I will not let you down.”     
The Syrian government has approved humanitarian access to seven besieged areas, the UN has said. Convoys were being prepared to depart "as soon as possible", said spokesman Farhan Haq. Among the areas due to receive aid is Madaya, where people have been dying of starvation. World powers last week agreed to seek a nationwide "cessation of hostilities" and to accelerate and expand aid deliveries. After talks in Damascus on Tuesday, the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the Syrian government had a duty to allow access to whoever needed it. This obligation, he said, would be put to the test on Wednesday. Mr Haq named the seven areas as Deir el-Zour in the east, Foah and Kefraya, in Idlib province, and Madaya, Zabadani, Kafr Batna and Muadhamiya in rural Damascus. Earlier Russia said it "categorically rejects" accusations of war crimes over the bombing of hospitals in Syria. Turkey has blamed Russia for a series of rocket attacks on several hospitals and schools that killed up to 50 people. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC that the only proof Russia would accept from the ground "comes from the Syrian authorities". Source: BBC
Ghanaians have been advised to embrace themselves for an eminent water crises due to the changing patterns in weather conditions and land use. The situation if not curtailed may worsen the water crisis's nationwide. Some parts of the country have for some times now been encountering water crisis. Communities like Nsawam Adoagyiri, Dungu, Winneba among communities are facing acute water shortage for a close to a month now. However, the situation may rather get worse if precautionary measures are not taken to manage the current situation. In an interview with Mr. Ben Ampomah, from the Ghana Water Commission, he said Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use due activities of illegal mining among other things. Acute water shortage exposes people to diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses. Two million people, mostly children, die each year from diarrheal diseases alone. This Mr. Ben Ampomah noted, calls for concerns and strict measures to reverse the negative impact of an impending danger. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies.  Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.  
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Water Resources, Works and Housing  were at Nsawam Adoagyiri to assess the water situation today. Residents in the area for almost a month now had not water to either drink or cook as their main source of drinking water, the Densu river has dried up due to activities of farmers along the bank of the river. Their visit was to give them first hand information on the situation. Residents are still calling on authorities to with immediate effect adopt measures to provide them with portable water before any unforeseen incident occurs.
Sorewura Alhaji S.S Gbankulso, a sub-chief in the Mankpan Traditional area and his family from Buipe in the Central Gonja district of the Northern region who were banished by BuipeWura Abdulai Jinapor has hinted of petitioning President John Dramani Mahama since his life is currently under serious threat. The sub-chief was banished a fortnight ago for allegedly disrespecting BuipeWura Jinapor. John Jinapor is said to have  exacted the punishment after the sub-chief challenged his authority on a boundary dispute in the Mankpan Traditional area. The Chief directed that, nobody should anything to do with the sub-chief either to trade or engage him in any activity because he had been excommunicated from the town. His business including a mobile phone shop and other property were ransacked by some persons at the order of the Chief. Seaking in an exclusive interview with Kwame on frontline Tuesday morning at Kabripe a bush known to be dangerous for wild animals said the entire family numbering about 35 are struggling to survive because nobody seems to be showing concern over the matter. He indicated the matter which the Chief excommunicated him was before a competent court of jurisdiction hence the action by BuipeWura John Jinapor violates his human rights therefore he calls for the support of human rights lawyers to quickly intervened before he is killed. Registrar at Traditional Council denies knowledge of the BuipeWura's action The registrar to the Traditional Council, Kapori Abudu Gonja  denied knowledge of the banishment of the sub-chief. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwame Tutu in an exclusive interview, the registrar said they had not had not received an official document saying that Sorewura Alhaji S.S Gbankulso has been banished from the town. He explained, the Yaa Gbon Wura was also not aware of the banishment and therefore it would be very difficult for them to comment, however he indicated they will take steps to resolve the matter but attempts to reach him today at the time of filing this report p[roved futile. Police Command not ready to comment on the matter The Northern regional police commander when contacted if he had had information on the matter, declined to comment on it on public radio.        
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