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The New Patriotic Party’s petition and allegation number three of disparity in the total number of registered voters provided by the EC at different times during the 2012 election cycle, was also denied by the electioneering body in their response to the elephant family. According to the NPP, there was some disparity on the register and inconsistencies however the EC denied these claims with details and reasons. The Electoral commission had denied the allegations and claims by the NPP who called on the EC to But the electioneering body noted the call by the party was ‘’unconvincing’’.   EC’s position on disparity in the total number of registered voters   The process of compiling the voters’ register is divided into 4 stages; • Stage 1: Collection of biographic data (using polling stations as registration centers) • Stage 2: Compilation of the Provisional Voters Register (PVR) from collected data • Stage 3: Exhibition of the PVR (for scrutiny, correction of personal details, inclusions and objections) • Stage 4: Production of the Final Voters Register (after corrections arising from the exhibition). This clearly means that until all the stages have been completed, all figures related to the register are provisional. In many cases the stages overlap due to the duration of adjudication of challenges and objections after registration (stage 1) and Exhibition (stage3). Indeed in a few cases requests are made for inclusion just before the production of the PVR and being mindful of the ruling of the Tehn Addy case, the Commission usually takes action on requests when possible. The practice is to provide information on the voter numbers, as the EC goes through the various stages, to the political parties. In the case of the compilation of the 2012 Biometric Voter Register the process was as follows; Stage 1: In a briefing to Parliament after collecting the biographic data of applicants’ in the mass registration, the Chairman of the EC reported the results of the registration as follows; i) Mass registration (4 phases) 24th March – 5th May 2012 PHASE TOTAL 1 4,817,561 2 3,710,076 3 2,871,530 4 2,229,650 Total 13,628,817 ii) Registration of Prisoners REGION      # of INMATES               REGISTERED Western          1,268                              28 Central              1,687                           35 Greater Accra      352                            36 Volta                 879                              2 Eastern             4415                            201 Ashanti             2612                            88 Brong Ahafo     1093                             24 Northern          497                               30 Upper East       229                               28 Upper West        199                             4 Total               13,231                         476     iii) Mop –up Registration REGION                                   CENTERS VOTERS Western                                        4,660 Greater Accra                                1,555 Volta                                             237 Eastern                                         149 Ashanti                                         1,185 Northern                                       6,178 Upper East                                    2,506 Upper West                                   342 Total                                           16,812     He further stated that he expected the total figures to go up because of wrongly coded entries and planned late registrations that was to cover: • Ghanaians abroad who were eligible for registration (Security Personnel on peace-keeping duties, diplomats and students on government scholarship) • Persons whose registrations were challenged and were under review   Stages 2 and 3   Following de-duplication and correction of the several wrongly coded entries recorded during registration, a PVR with total registered Voters of 14,060,573 was displayed at all registration centers. During the Exhibition 8,955,882 voters representing 63.7% visited their centers to check their personal details in the register. The addition of late registrations and receipt of substantial returns from the adjudication of registration challenges and exhibition objections increased the number of registered voters on the PVR to 14,158,890.     Stage 4; The total number of registered Voters for the FVR was 14,031,793. This outcome was as a result of the final decisions to recommend inclusions/deletions from the various adjudication committees across the country. Consequently, only one register was used by the EC for the 2012 elections and the EC did not present different registers to political parties during the election cycle.      
Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been recaptured and sent back to the maximum-security prison he escaped from six months ago. He was paraded before cameras before being bundled into a helicopter to Altiplano prison in central Mexico. He escaped from there in July through a tunnel dug in the showers. Guzman was arrested on Friday in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa - which he had come to dominate through the drugs cartel he led. During the early-morning raid, he managed to flee through a drain but was later caught by marines in a shootout. Six people, including one marine, are reported to have been killed. Part of the reason he was tracked down was because he contacted actors and producers in the hope of making a film about his life, Mexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez said. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto described Guzman's arrest as a "victory for the rule of law". The US congratulated the Mexican government but did not indicate whether prosecutors would seek Guzman's extradition. In a statement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Guzman had caused "significant violence, suffering and corruption on multiple continents". Guzman's July escape was his second - he was first arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and escaped from Puente Grande jail in 2001, reportedly in a laundry basket after bribing officials. He was on the run for 13 years before being held again in 2014. CCTV footage of his 11 July escape showed Guzman pacing his cell several times before heading into the shower area and disappearing at the maximum-security Altiplano jail. A huge manhunt followed, with flights suspended at the nearby airports. The US government had offered a $5m (£3.2m) reward for information leading to his capture. Authorities located him several days ago based on reports that he was in the Los Mochis area. In October, Mexican officials said they had "broken up" and arrested the group responsible for helping him escape. Guzman's wealth is estimated at $1bn. Despite being the leader of one of the world's most powerful and violent drug cartels, Guzman was seen by some in Sinaloa - where there are few job opportunities - as a modern-day Robin Hood figure who could offer more security to people than the government. Following his escape, shopkeepers began selling souvenirs such as baseball caps branded with "El Chapo" (Guzman's nickname, meaning "Shorty").    Source: BBC
Motivation can be hard to come by, especially in the face of challenges or difficult work. When you’re thinking about implementing that new idea, or starting that new company or beginning that new regimen -- this is the new year, after all -- it’s easy to talk yourself into procrastinating. Or worse, avoiding your goal altogether.   Thoughts are powerful, and negative thoughts can prevent you from achieving your goals. The flip side is that positive thoughts can be just as powerful. The next time you feel unmotivated, use any of these 50 positive thoughts to reenergize yourself. Really: They work!   1. I can do anything. It’s a simple phrase, but it helps to remind yourself -- you really can do anything you set your mind to.   2. This is why I can. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t do something, give yourself reasons why you can.   3. I deserve more. You deserve a better life -- whether that means a better job, a healthier body or more money. Work for it.   4. It’s never too late. No matter how old you are or how many opportunities you’ve passed up before, it’s never too late to make a decision and get a fresh start.   5. There will always be challenges. No matter what you do in life, there will always be challenges -- don’t let one set get the better of you.   6. There’s no "perfect" time. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, forget about it -- there’s no such thing.   7. There’s no perfect plan. There are some definite flaws in your plan -- but there are in every plan.   8. Everybody starts somewhere. Nobody is born successful. Everyone starts somewhere, and usually from the bottom.   9. One step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Reduce it to baby steps.   10. It can only get better. If it’s hard at first, it can only get easier.   11. Failure is temporary. If you fail, you’re in good company -- most successes come only after several rounds of failure.   12. Mistakes are learning opportunities. If you mess up, you can only become better for it.   13. Today is all I can control. Forget about what you did yesterday. Today is what matters.   14. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Nothing worth doing is easy.   15. “Someday” is today. If you’re like most people, you use the word “someday” to describe your goals and desires. Make today that someday.   16. Negative thoughts can’t stop me. Your negative thoughts are just thoughts -- nothing more.   17. I’ve done harder things. Think back to a time when you succeeded against the odds.   18. Everything has to be earned. You can’t get anything in this life unless you work hard for it.   19. Action is a better regret than inaction. Making the wrong decision is always preferable to regretting never having done anything at all.   20. I don’t need anyone’s permission. If people think you’re crazy, so be it.   21. I’m in control of my own destiny. You can decide whom you want to become.   22. There is no pass or fail. Nobody is grading you. You can’t objectively “fail” at life unless you never try anything.   23. Boring decisions get boring results. Make an exciting decision.   24. The risk is worth it. Know that risks are real, but the potential benefits are worth them.   Related: The 10 Biggest Motivation Killers and How to Fix Them   25. Discipline feels better than regret. Discipline is hard, but it’s easier to deal with than regret.   26. Many good ideas seem crazy or impossible at first. Yours is no different.   27. I’ve got support. Friends, family, colleagues -- even if they think you’re crazy, you can always find support in networking groups, support groups and other community resources.   28. Experience is always valuable. Even if your mission doesn’t turn out the way you'd expected, you’ll walk away with experience.   29. Hard work is its own reward. You’ll feel good just for making the attempt.   30. Every day counts. Today, tomorrow and the next day are all steps toward your end goal.   31. What I see matters more than what others see. Forget about what others think -- prioritize what you think.   32. There is no problem that can’t be overcome. Everything can be solved or worked around.   33. Ordinary actions make an ordinary life. Nobody wants to be ordinary. Don’t let yourself be.   34. Everything can be improved. Even if you start out rough, you can always make improvements to your approach.   35. I can learn whatever I need to know. Free resources are plentiful.   36. I can master whatever I need to do. Practice can make you good at anything.   37. Willpower is all in my head. You can have all the willpower you want -- you just have to want it.   38. I know what I want. Know what your end goals are, and visualize them.   39. Feelings are the product of thoughts. If you’re scared or unsure, know that these are feelings generated by your thoughts; then you can control them.   40. Trying and failing is better than doing nothing. This is universally true.   41. I am whomever I want to be. There’s nothing stopping you from being whom you want to be.   42. I can’t win unless I try. Effort is the only way to get results.   43. My life is a product of my decisions. Make the ones that matter.   44. I’m better than I was yesterday. You’re older, wiser and more experienced than you’ve ever been before.   45. Nothing great happens overnight. Work and patience are your friends.   46. Once I get started, it will be easier. You’ll feel more motivated once you get rolling.   47. I’ll reward myself when I’m done. Even small rewards can be great motivators.   48. I’m doing this for more than just me. Maybe it’s for your family or community -- whatever "it" is, external motivation can be powerful.   49. There are always more chances. If you screw up, you can always try again.   50. If nothing else, this will make for a good story. You’ll walk away with great memories and interesting anecdotes.     The power of positive thinking isn’t just an adage -- it’s scientifically proven that positive thoughts (and the elimination of negative self-talk) can improve your mood, feelings, and performance. These thoughts should get you started doing whatever it is you need motivation to do. The rest is up to you. Source: 
A recorded tape purported to be that of the Acting General Secretary cum- National Organizer and member of the campaign team of Nana Akufo Addo, John Boadu is making rounds on various social media platforms with the latter allegedly making very damming statements against his party. The less than a minute tape which is alleged to be of the acting chief scribe described the opposition NPP as a party that has fallen apart. According to the speaker in the voice, he is so surprised that the ruling NDC has failed to part his back like it did for some of the national executives who are now on suspension. This voice has raised concerns among many political pundits describing the situation as worrying. Meanwhile others have called for the head of John Boadu following a similar situation that led to the suspension of the General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong who was suspended for allegation of going ‘going in bed’ with the NDC. However a deputy national organizer of the NDC, Mahdi Jibril says the NDC is not surprised at the so-called leaked tape because some leaders of the elephant family are enjoying goodies from the umbrella family. He charged the NPP to take immediate action into the matter just like they did in the case of Mr. Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong as well as Sammy Crabbe.    
The United Zongo for Bawumia has described calls made by Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the NDC to arrest Dr. Bawumia as reprehensive, devoid of maturity and lacks dignity. Addressing a press conference today, the director of communications for the group, Mr. Ibrahim Adjei said Asiedu has proven time and again that he is nothing more than a joker in the pack of an NDC house of cards that is falling apart and has lost the ability to lead Ghana. Mr. Asiedu Nketiah in a similar press conference chided the three times running mate of Nana Addo for ‘’falsifying documents’’ to back their claims for the compilation of a new voters register. The NPP led by Dr. Bawumia in September last year alleged that about 76, 000 Togolese were on the register. They petitioned the EC with evidence to support their claim which led the EC to empanel a five member committee to look into the matter through a two day forum were stakeholders came to argue the need for or against the compilation of a new register. The EC after the committee concluded their work ruled out the possibility of a fresh saying the allegation by the NPP was ‘’unconvincing’’. This Asiedu Nketiah said was misleading on the part of Dr. Bawumia for deceiving the public by presenting to the EC a falsified document hence the need for his arrest. However the United Zongo for Bawumia thinks otherwise calling on the BNI to rather arrest he [Asiedu Nketiah] for allegedly aiding some breakaway members led by Robert Adjase of the NDC to register some Togolese nationals. The group believes BNI needs to immediately arrest Asiedu Nketiah over the allegations made against him.    “On August 20th 2015 a group of NDC activists engaged the media to communicate how they have been financially resourced by the leadership of the NDC, led by its General Secretary to illegally recruit over 10,000 Togolese citizens to register on the Ghana electoral roll in 2012,” Adjei alleged. “The revelations by Adjase and his colleagues clearly affect national security yet the institutions that protect our state - in this case the BNI are sitting idle… so we urge the security services to exercise the authority that the State has invested in them and in light of the revelations of Adjase and his colleagues about how the NDC party financed the illegal registration of Togolese citizens – proceed forthwith to arrest Johnson Asiedu Nketia,” Adjei said.
President John Dramani Mahama has said the achievements of the ruling National Democratic Congress will win them the 2016 general elections. Speaking with officials of government at a two day retreat in the Volta region, President Mahama said the NDC stands a better chance of winning the elections come November 7, 2016. According to him, interventions by government in solving the nation’s problems is evident for all to see across the country. He chided the opposition for accusing government of running Ghana into debt. President stressed government had run Ghana into debt rather loans taken by his administration had being put to productive purposes. He charged his appointees to concentrate on how they will work hard to ensure victory for the NDC because the NDC government has done enough to clinch victory on November 7, 2016. “What we must do and what I am thinking must come out of here is to have an analysis of what our strengths are and what are weaknesses are and to also look at what our opportunities and what the threats are and once we do that we come up with a road map on how we can all work together to ensure that we win 2016. ‘’We have done sufficient. In 2016 we should have being going in a better place than we did in 2012 because there is a track record to point at. There are things that we have delivered. I feel very proud, sometimes I don’t know we did it. You go to a community and the Chief is praising you to high heaven for some school or some clinic I didn’t even know had been put there. But everywhere you go they say we see the development, we have a good road, we have enough water.  “In Brong Ahafo alone, there is water for more than 300,000 households in about 27 communities … There is a lot that has been done in every sector…There is a track record, there is a strong performance when it comes to development and infrastructure that we can defend. We will this election. I’m confident that we will win this election,’’ President Mahama added.    The retreat, which is also being attended by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Presidential Advisers and Staffers, will be an opportunity to review strategies for the implementation of key policies earmarked in the 2016 Budget and other initiatives outlined for outdooring in the State of the Nation Address.     The Ho retreat will end with a health walk on Saturday.  
Deputy National Organizer of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mahdi Jibril has alleged that the National Youth Organizer of the opposition NPP, Sammy Awuku has been bought with a salon car hence his inability to defend the elephant family. Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on rainbow radio, the fire brand leader challenged Sammy Awuku to come out and refute the allegations. According to him, some of the leaders at the helm of affairs within the NPP are not faithful to the party because they are aware that the Danquah-Dombo tradition is dead and non-functional. He charged the leadership of the NPP as a matter of principle and fairness deal with Sammy Awuku and John Boadu who is also alleged to have made very damming statement against the party. Sammy Awuku is known to be an attacker of the NDC government but we have silenced him and that is why he cannot talk anymore. I challenge him to come out and deny the allegation, Jibril stressed. The deputy organizer was speaking in relation to an audio tape purported to be that of John Boadu calling on the NDC to part his back like they were alleged to have done for the suspended General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong. All attempts to reach Sammy Awuku to comment on the allegation proved futile.      

ADB boss bows out

Jan 08, 2016
  The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) Stephen Kpordzih has resigned from the bank. In a letter dated 4 January, 2016 to the board, Mr. Kpordzih said he does not intend to extend his contract which is pending an expiration January 31, 2016. “In view of the expiration of the extension of my contract of employment on January 31, 2016, I write to notify you of my decision not to seek any further extension. “I would therefore like to proceed on leave effective January 11, 2016,” Kpordzih wrote.    “We wish to state emphatically that there has not been any communication from the board to the Managing Director about the non-renewal of his contract.”
An Islamic State militant carried out a public "execution" of his mother because she asked him to leave the group, activists say. Ali Saqr, 21, killed his mother, Lena al-Qasem, 45, outside the post office in Raqqa, Syria, eyewitnesses said. Raqqa has served as IS' de facto capital since the group captured the city in August 2013. IS does not tolerate any dissent and imposes brutal punishments, often carried out in public. The UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS) reported the incident. RIBSS however said that the woman was killed for the crime of apostasy. Lena al-Qasem had reportedly told her son that the US-led military alliance fighting IS would "wipe out" the group, and tried to convince him to leave the city with her. Her son is then said to have informed the group of her comment. They then ordered that she be killed. Ali Saqr is reported to have shot her outside the post office where she worked, in front of hundreds of people. IS, a jihadist group which follows its own extreme version of Sunni Islam, took over large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Since then the group has killed more than 2,000 people for reasons including homosexuality, and for the alleged practice of magic and apostasy, according to the SOHR.
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