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Jun 24, 2018
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
Jun 24, 2018
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.
Jun 24, 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.
Jun 24, 2018
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.”
Jun 24, 2018
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.”
Jun 24, 2018
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.
Jun 24, 2018
A meeting between officials of the Ministry of Sports and FIFA officials has been suspended indefinitely, PRO for the ministry of sports, Elvis Adjei- Baah has stated. According to him, officials from FIFA wanted to meet with GFA officials before meeting with the sports minister but were informed a court injunction has prevented GFA from carrying out any activity in the name of the FA. Officials from FIFA were expected in the country on Thursday (June 21) ahead of a meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah which would have decided Ghana's membership status after an announcement by the government to dissolve the Ghana Football Association. Speaking to Graphic, the PRO said: "The meeting has been postponed, for now, till further notice.’’ "Well, we have craved the indulgence of FIFA to postpone that meeting so that it will afford us more time to satisfy our internal processes and consultations". "We have no idea (where the FIFA team are) because we sent this notification to them on Wednesday through various channels but the unfortunate thing is that they have not replied. "Aside from that, when they were coming the itinerary was that, they were to meet the GFA on Thursday then government on Friday but we made them aware of an injunction on GFA officials and their functions and that such a meeting was an illegality".
Jun 24, 2018
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
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