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Nov 16, 2018
Lionel Messi may be laying the groundwork for a Premier League switch, while Everton are trying to lock up John Stones. Messi considering Premier League move - Could Lionel Messi leave Barcelona? The Sun understand that Messi has indicated to Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City that he is willing to listen to their offers. All three clubs have made informal contact with the superstar's representatives and believe he'd be willing to consider a move. Messi is intrigued by a try in England and while his €250 million buyout clause won't be met, it's possible that he'd move in the summer of 2017 when he's 30 and has just one year left on his contract. Paper Round's view - It would be bizarre to see Messi play for anyone other than Barcelona, but you couldn't blame a guy for wanting to try something new. A deal would be very difficult, in part because of the Catalans' reluctance to let him go, but also because of Messi's astronomical wages. It wouldn't be wise to bet on him joining a Premier League team because so much still has to come together, but it's on the radar now.  
Nov 16, 2018
An airstrike has killed a top al-Qaida commander and two other fighters in Syria, activists said Saturday, but it was not immediately clear whether it was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition or Russian warplanes.   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al-Charekh, a Saudi better known as Sanafi al-Nasr, was killed Thursday in an airstrike near the northern Syrian town of Dana, along with another Saudi and a Moroccan member of al-Qaida's local affiliate, known as the Nusra Front. Russian warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since Sept. 30. A U.S.-led coalition has been targeting the Nusra Front and the Islamic State group for more than a year.   The Observatory's chief Rami Abdurrahman said it was not clear if al-Charekh was killed by U.S. or Russian warplanes. The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, said an Egyptian commander escaped the bombing. It said all four men had been dispatched to Syria by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri.   Jihadi activists on social media say al-Charekh was killed by a U.S. drone strike.   Al-Charekh, the alleged leader of al-Qaida's operations in Syria, was one of six men that the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on last year. He was the 49th on a list of 85 most-wanted militants by Saudi Arabia who are outside the kingdom. The list, issued in 2009, includes 83 Saudis and two Yemenis.   "America is offering its services to the Safawi (Iranian) project in the region by removing every brain who confronts this project," wrote prominent Lebanese jihadi cleric Sirajeddine Zuraiqat on Twitter. Zuraiqat is believed to be in Syria and is wanted in his home country.   The U.S. killed top al-Qaida official Muhsin al-Fadhli in an airstrike three months ago. Some Arab press reports suggested that al-Charekh was a member of the Khorasan group, a secretive cell of al-Qaida operatives who U.S. officials say were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks against the West.   The Nusra Front's leader, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, has denied the existence of the Khorasan group.
Nov 16, 2018
President Barack Obama has confirmed plans to extend the US military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016, in a shift in policy.   Speaking at the White House, he said the US would keep 5,500 troops in the country when he leaves office in 2017.   Originally all but a small embassy-based force were due to leave by the end of next year.   But the US military says more troops will be needed to help Afghan forces counter a growing Taliban threat.   There are currently 9,800 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. Last week, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, Gen John Campbell, said the US must consider extending its military presence there beyond 2016.   The US forces will be stationed in four locations - in Kabul, Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar. Image copyright AFP Analysis: Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent   The slowing of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan means that President Obama will not be able to bring home all US forces before his presidency ends.   A US review of its troop presence there has been under way for some months and is not directly linked to the Taliban's recent success in briefly seizing the town of Kunduz.   But that episode illustrated the continuing need for the US training and mentoring of Afghan forces.   With al-Qaeda again operating in Afghanistan and the so-called Islamic State gaining a foothold, Washington is also eager to retain a small number of bases from which it can mount counter-terrorist operations.   Whatever the hopes of a full US withdrawal, it now looks as though Washington is set to have a continuing military commitment to Afghanistan, where US air power in particular plays an essential role.   President Obama had previously planned to reduce the number of troops left in Afghanistan to about 1,000 by the time he left office in January 2017.   A statement from the US National Security Council said the change in policy was the "result of an extensive, months-long review", and after Mr Obama had consulted "with his full national security team and our Afghan partners".   "This announcement in no way changes the fact that our combat mission in Afghanistan has ended, and we will continue to undertake only two narrow missions: counterterrorism and training, advising, and assisting our Afghan partners," the statement went on.   Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to publicly welcome the move, as he had been pushing for a slower withdrawal of US troops to allow Afghan forces to be better trained and equipped.   US Gen John Campbell expressed concern last week over the "tenuous security situation" and said an enhanced m   ilitary presence would be necessary if the Taliban were to be repelled.   He was speaking days after the Taliban briefly seized the northern city of Kunduz - their most spectacular military gain since being ousted from power in 2001. After the Taliban's surprise attack on Kunduz, Afghan government forces managed to retake control of key areas of the city with the aid of Nato special forces and US air strikes.   But the city's brief capture was seen as a setback for the Afghan authorities under pressure to show they can keep the country secure without the backing of international forces.   The south-eastern city of Ghazni has also seen fierce clashes between Taliban insurgents and US-trained Afghan troops in recent days.   Militant violence has increased across Afghanistan since Nato ended its combat mission there in December 2014, leaving a residual force - mainly US troops - used for training and counter-terrorism operations.   The shift in policy comes at the same time as three separate investigations - by the US, Nato and Afghan authorities - into a US air attack on an MSF-run hospital in Kunduz that killed 22 people.   The US said the bombing was a mistake, and President Obama later apologised.      
Nov 16, 2018
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will visit Ghana on Friday, October 16, to participate in high-level talks with government officials among others.   He will also launch a report on poverty in Africa, highlight Ghana’s progress toward ending extreme poverty, and commemorate End Poverty Day.   The president’s visit to Accra will be part of several activities this week focusing on ending extreme poverty by 2030.   The trip comes shortly after the release of a World Bank report earlier this month that projects for the first time that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world will fall below 10 percent in 2015 to 9.6 percent.   The Bank estimates that 702 million people still live in extreme poverty today around the world.   Several African countries have seen significant successes in reducing extreme poverty, including Ghana, which reduced extreme poverty to 25.2 percent in 2005/06, and from 47.3 percent in 1991/92 (under the $1.90 poverty line).   But the region as a whole lags behind the rest of the world in progressing toward the goal. Sub-Saharan poverty fell from an estimated 56 percent in 1990 to a projected 35 percent in 2015, according to the latest World Bank estimates which are based on an extreme poverty line of $1.90 a day.   Rapid population growth remains a key factor blunting progress in many countries.   During the first part of his visit, Dr. Kim will be joined by Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and other development partners as well as civil society leaders, private sector representatives, and student leaders to observe “End Poverty Day” in Jamestown, Accra, where they will together launch a regional flagship report, ‘Poverty in a Rising Africa’.   The report explores whether enough of the continent’s citizens are sharing in Africa’s rise, analyzes challenges related to poverty data, and provides an update on poverty and other trends related to human well-being.       Kim will also participate in a “Shared Prosperity Forum” in the afternoon at the University of Ghana, Legon, along with government ministers from Africa, civil society and private sector leaders to share thoughts on what it will take to end extreme poverty in Africa and the rest of the world by 2030.   Ghana’s own path toward prosperity will be among the topics explored.   The World Bank current portfolio for Sub-Saharan Africa consists of $11.6 billion for 103 projects.   This includes $1.2 billion in IBRD loans and $10.4 billion in IDA commitments.   The leading sectors are Public Administration, Law, and Justice; Health and other Social Services; and Transportation.   IFC, a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector, has a total committed investment portfolio of $10.3 billion in Sub Saharan Africa, including $8.7 billion for its own account and $1.7 billion mobilized on behalf of other investors.   IFC also provides wide-ranging advice to governments and businesses to help the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.   MIGA, the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, has a gross exposure of $3.3 billion in the region.   Both IFC and MIGA support a wide range of projects sponsored by private investors across industries: financial institutions; infrastructure and natural resources; and manufacturing, agribusiness, and services.   –   Source:  World Bank    
Nov 16, 2018
The US is to end its efforts to train new Syrian rebel forces and says it will shift to providing equipment and weapons to existing forces. Its $500m (£326m) programme was heavily criticised after it emerged that US-trained rebels had handed vehicles and ammunition over to extremists. It emerged last month that only four or five of the fighters were in Syria. The programme had aimed to train and equip 5,400 fighters this year and a further 15,000 in 2016. A senior administration official said the programme was being put on "pause" and said it could be restarted in future. The programme had suffered from "significant challenges", the official said, adding: "We had a very high bar in terms of recruiting". The US will no longer vet every individual recruit but just the leaders of the groups they decide to work with, who will face "very vigorous vetting". Of the initial two groups sent into the country under the previous programme, the first was rounded up by Jabhat al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, in July. The second handed much of its equipment over to the same group in September, reportedly in exchange for safe passage. Quoting an anonymous US Department of Defense source, the New York Times reported that the US would no longer recruit Syrian rebels to go through its training programmes in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Instead, it would establish a smaller training centre in Turkey, where "enablers" - mostly leaders of opposition groups - would be taught operational manoeuvres like how to call in airstrikes, the newspaper said. Speaking in a joint news conference with UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Mr Carter admitted that he "wasn't satisfied with the early efforts" of the training. The US was now looking at "different" ways to "enable capable, motivated forces on the ground to retake territory from ISIL and reclaim Syrian territory from extremism", he added, using another acronym for IS.   Russian missile 'malfunction' Mr Carter also said there were indications that four Russian cruise missiles that crashed in Iran before reaching their targets in Syria had malfunctioned. The defence secretary is the first US official to comment publicly on the reports that the Russian missiles crashed. Russia has denied the claim, saying all 26 missiles hit their targets. The missiles were fired from the Caspian Sea some 1,500km (930 miles) away, their route taking them over Iran and Iraq. They were launched in support of a major ground offensive by Syrian government troops in western Syria. Mr Carter accused Russia of running "fundamentally flawed" operations in Syria which would "inflame the civil war and therefore extremism". Moscow says it has been hitting IS positions and denies reports that Russian strikes have mainly targeted other opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  
Nov 16, 2018
Hours of torrential rains in Accra since Thursday night have led to parts of Accra and other areas flooded. Hundreds of residents are displaced due to the heavy downpour with some major streets experiencing gridlock. Homes and offices in communities including Abeka Junction, Dome Market among others have been submerged in water. The Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Lapaz, Kaneshie among others were also flooded in what has almost become a normal occurrence even at the slightest downpour. Over twenty shops along the Teshie Lascala Market Road were flooded as a result of heavy rains on Thursday and Friday.   Some roads in the capital were also inundated by the downpour leaving passengers stranded.Hours of torrential rains in Accra since Thursday night have led to parts of Accra and other areas flooded. Hundreds of residents are displaced due to the heavy downpour with some major streets experiencing gridlock. Homes and offices in communities including Abeka Junction, Dome Market among others have been submerged in water. The Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Lapaz, Kaneshie among others were also flooded in what has almost become a normal occurrence even at the slightest downpour. Over twenty shops along the Teshie Lascala Market Road were flooded as a result of heavy rains on Thursday and Friday. Some roads in the capital were also inundated by the downpour leaving passengers stranded.
Nov 16, 2018
  CAF president Issah Hayatou has taken over as the acting FIFA president after Mr Sepp Blatter’s suspension by the Fifa’s ethics committee for three months.   Blatter is said to have signed contracts which are not in good interest of world’s football governing body and had also paid monies to Uefa president Mr Michel Platini.   Below is Issah Hayatou’s statement   HAYATOU'S STATEMENT   Today, amid extraordinary circumstances, I have assumed the office of FIFA President pursuant to Article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes. I will serve only on an interim basis.   A new President will be chosen by the Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.   Until the Extraordinary Congress, I pledge that I will dedicate my best efforts to the organization, the member associations, our employees, our valued partners, and football fans everywhere. FIFA remains committed to the reform process, which is critical to reclaiming public trust. We will also continue to cooperate fully with authorities and follow the internal investigation wherever it leads.   Football has never enjoyed greater support throughout the world, and that is something everyone associated with FIFA should be proud of.  
Nov 16, 2018
The Okyenhene, HM Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin will host 80 seasoned golfers at the Tafo Golf Course in Akyem Tafo on Saturday, 10th October, 2015. The competition will begin with a tee off at 6:00am prompt, an awards ceremony at 4:00pm and a dinner dance to climax it all at 8:00pm. Okyenhene’s Invitational Golf Tournament is an annual event that gathers selected golfers and friends of the Okyenhene from around the country and beyond to a one-day round of the exciting game of golf at the evergreen Tafo Golf Course located on the premises of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana in Akyem Tafo. Since its inception last year to commemorate the 15th anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of the Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the tournament has received good response from participants, which has urgedus to organize it annually. This year’s event will witness, amongst other dignitaries, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr. Woon-Ki Lyeo as guest of honour and Sir Dr. Sam Jonah of special guest. Sponsors of this event include MED Mining, Kibi Goldfields, Enjoy Lifestyle Magazine, Regimanuel Gray Limited, Appro-Tech Impex Limited, Star Lite, Cal Bank, COCOBOD,Park Agrotech Ghana Limited and Ghana Rubber Estate Limited.   Even though participation in this event is strictly by invitation, all are welcome to watch in silence this Exciting tournament.
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