Pharrell Williams reveals the skincare secret to his youthful look

(CNN)Pharrell Williams has won Grammys, produced Oscar-nominated films and conquered the world of fashion.

But with all of his career accomplishments, his youthful visage has been one of the things that has most impressed fans.
At 44, Williams doesn't look his age at all. In a recent interview with Dazed, the musical artist and entrepreneur has revealed the skin care routine that helps him keep aging at bay.
 
 
"I exfoliate like a madman," he said. "When you exfoliate and you drink a lot of water, that does good for you."
The "Happy" singer seems to think he really needs it.
"To me, the key is just exfoliating, like a monster," Williams said. "There's a lot of dead skin. All the time. Like a narcissistic madman."
In 2014, his seeming lack of aging had the internet accusing him of being a vampire. It got so bad that Williams had to come out and deny he was a prince of darkness.
"No I am not (a vampire)," Pharrell told Time Out London in 2014. "I'm willing to go on record as saying that I don't drink people's blood."
In the Q&A with Dazed, Williams also talked about his relationship with fashion and its ability to serve as a catalyst for change. To add to his list of accolades and business pursuits, Williams recently launched a tennis apparel collection with adidas that evokes a 70s vibe.
Source:CNN.com

Serena Williams gives birth to baby girl, coach says

(CNN)Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl, according to her coach and the US Open's official Twitter account.

Her sister Venus Williams also confirmed the birth during an interview before her match at the US Open on Friday when asked about Serena having a baby girl and her feelings on becoming an aunt. She said, "Obviously I'm super excited, words can't describe."
The US Open congratulated Williams on its Twitter page, "@serenawilliams won a new title on Day 5 at the #USOpen: Mom."

Serena Williams gives birth to baby girl, coach says

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian at the Met Gala in May in New York City.
 

(CNN)Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl, according to her coach and the US Open's official Twitter account.

Her sister Venus Williams also confirmed the birth during an interview before her match at the US Open on Friday when asked about Serena having a baby girl and her feelings on becoming an aunt. She said, "Obviously I'm super excited, words can't describe."
The US Open congratulated Williams on its Twitter page, "@serenawilliams won a new title on Day 5 at the #USOpen: Mom."
Serena's coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced on his verified Twitter account, "Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion. Recover well & enjoy without limitation."
Source:CNN.com

New class of drugs targets aging to help keep you healthy

(CNN)Researchers have turned the spotlight on a new class of drugs that they say could "transform" the field of medicine -- and the drugs work by targeting aging.

The researchers, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, are calling for senolytic drugs to make the leap from animal research to human clinical trials. They outlined potential clinical trial scenarios in a paper published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on Monday.
"This is one of the most exciting fields in all of medicine or science at the moment," said Dr. James Kirkland, director of the Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic and lead author of the new paper.
As we age, we accumulate senescent cells, which are damaged cells that resist dying off but stay in our bodies. They can affect other cells in our various organs and tissues. Senolytic drugs are agents capable of killing problem-causing senescent cells in your body without harming your normal, healthy cells.
Senescent cells play a role in many age-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, most cancers, dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis and blindness, Kirkland said. Therefore, senolytic drugs are a possible treatment approach for such diseases.
As a practicing physician, Kirkland said that he has grown increasingly concerned for his patients who are sick with many of these age-related conditions.
"The same processes that cause aging seem to be the root causes of age-related diseases," he said. "Why not target the root cause of all of these things? That would have been a pipe dream until a few years back."
 
In 2015, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic, including Kirkland, identified this new class of drugs. In a study published in the journal Aging Cell, they described how senolytic drugs can alleviate symptoms of frailty in mice and extend the length of time the mice are healthy as they grow old.
Then, last year, the researchers demonstrated in a study in Aging Cell that clearing senescent cells in mice can improve their vascular health.
Fourteen senolytic drugs have been discovered and are being actively studied, 11 of which Kirkland's colleagues and their collaborators found, he said.

Are these age-modifying drugs ready for human trials?

Scientists have long known that certain processes influence your body's aging on the cellular level, according to the paper. Those processes include inflammation, changes in your DNA, cell damage or dysfunction and the accumulation of senescent cells.
It turns out that those processes are linked. For instance, DNA damage causes increased senescent cell accumulation, Kirkland said.
So an intervention that targets senescent cells could attenuate other aging processes as well, according to the new paper. That is, once such an intervention is tested for efficacy and safety.
"I think senolytic drugs have a great future. If it is proven that it can reduce senescent cells and rejuvenate tissues or organs, it may be one of our potential best treatments for age-related diseases," said Dr. Kang Zhang, founding director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the new paper.
Yet taking senolytic drugs from mouse studies to human ones is a "big leap," Zhang said.
"So we will have to wait for clinical trials to see whether this would work in humans," he said. "One possible clinical trial strategy is to test this class of drugs in an age-related disease, such as neurodegeneration, like Parkinson's disease, to see if it can reduce clinical severity of the disease and improve tissue functions."
In the new paper, the researchers wrote that potential clinical trial scenarios include testing whether senolytic drugs could alleviate multiple chronic diseases in a single patient or whether such drugs could treat conditions that involve senescent cell accumulation in one location in the body, such as osteoarthritis.
They also suggest testing whether the drugs could treat diseases for which there are no medicines proven to slow the progression of that disease, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a cell senescence-associated disease that affects the lungs.
Other potential clinical trial scenarios include testing whether the drugs could alleviate frailty in older adults or could treat conditions associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, since radiation can produce cellular senescence, Kirkland said.
For instance, "in mice, if you treat one leg with enough radiation, after three months, the mouse has trouble walking. If you give a single dose of these drugs, they're able to walk quite well, and that persists for two years," he said. "These drugs could mitigate the effects of therapeutic radiation."
Certain experimental cancer drugs already undergoing clinical trials, such as navitoclax and obatoclax, have been shown to have some senolytic properties, Kirkland said. If senolytic drugs prove to be efficient in treating humans and end up available for use, he said, they could cost about the same as some cancer drugs.
"Some of the drugs at the moment are moderately expensive," he said.
Cancer drugs can range in cost from about $20 a month to thousands a month. Venclexta or venetoclax, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has been studied in combination with navitoclax, has a monthly price tag of about $8,000, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
"If we're able to reduce hospitalizations ... the savings on the medical care and hospital side might more than offset the cost of these drugs by a longshot," Kirkland said, though it remains unclear what the dosage options would be for senolytic drugs for short- or long-term use.

What the future holds for senolytic drugs

As for how soon he thinks human clinical trials might commence, Kirkland said doctors could have an idea of how well senolytic drugs work for serious health conditions in about a year and a half or two years.
Once the drugs are tested in humans, researchers expect many companies to be lining up to develop or manufacture senolytic drugs. Some have already expressed interest.
One company, Unity Biotechnology, aims to be the first to demonstrate that removing senescent cells can cure human diseases, said its president, Nathaniel David.
"In the coming decades, I believe that health care will be transformed by this class of medicine and a whole set of diseases that your parents and grandparents have will be things you only see in movies or read in books, things like age-associated arthritis," said David, whose company was not involved in the new paper.
Yet he cautioned that, while many more studies may be on the horizon for senolytic drugs, some might not be successful.
Source:CNN.com

Is peanut butter healthy?

(CNN)Yes, peanut butter can be a nutritious diet staple, but some varieties are healthier than others.

Peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy fats and is a good source of protein, which can be helpful for vegetarians looking to include more protein in their diets. A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains up to 8 grams of protein and 2 to 3 grams of fiber. The nutty spread also offers vitamins and minerals including the B vitamin niacin, iron, potassium and vitamin E.
The healthiest peanut butter is made from just peanuts, while added salt, sugars and oils change its nutritional profile. For example, a peanut butter with salt added can have 100 to 150 milligrams of sodium, while an unsalted version is sodium-free. Sugars may be added too, especially in flavored varieties, and can contribute up to 7 grams, or 28 calories per serving.
 
 
Nuts, including peanuts (which are technically legumes), have been associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer and premature death.
Consumption of nuts and peanut butter has also been associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. However, one study that tracked more than 120,000 men and women from 1986 to 1996 found that while consumption of nuts and peanuts was associated with lower mortality rates among individuals, no protective effect was found for peanut butter.
"In the past, it has been shown that peanut butter contains trans fatty acids and therefore the composition of peanut butter is different from peanuts. The adverse health effects of salt and trans fatty acids could inhibit the protective effects of peanuts," researchers wrote in a news release on the study.
In fact, a 2001 USDA report found that peanut butter does not contain any detectable levels of trans fats in any of the 11 brands of peanut butters that researchers tested, which included both major store brands and "natural brands," even though small amounts of hydrogenated vegetable oils are added to commercial peanut butters to prevent the peanut oil from separating out.
Though it might seem that crunchy or chunky peanut butter might have an edge over the smooth kind, nutritionally speaking, they are pretty similar. Differences among peanut butters have more to do with a spread's ingredients, rather than its texture.
Linda V. Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine and a registered dietitian at Northwestern University, stated that commercial peanut butter formulations have been improved because the food industry is aware of the trans fat issues and has responded by reformulating those products. "Just remember to check the label for '0' trans fats and preferably '0' added sugars," she said. Fortunately, "there is no concern with ground-up peanuts ... otherwise known as 'natural' peanut butter."
eep in mind that most of the calories in peanut butter come from fat. While it's mostly the heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind, it does make peanut butter a calorie-dense food. A 2-tablespoon serving has approximately 200 calories, so if you are carefully watching calories, you can cut that portion in half. And steer clear of flavored peanut butters with added sugars and cocoa butter, which morphs a healthy nut spread into dessert.
Source:CNN.com
 

I fed and clothed my jobless husband for 8 months - Afia Schwarzenegger

It appears more and more drama and twists to Afia’s scandal keeps unfolding and as a blog that is neutral, we would share with you whatever we are able to learn about this whole Afia Schwarz’s scandal.

I believe by now, anyone who had doubts that, the story is not true, would have a change of mind–We don’t have time to do Fake news.

So, we’ve learned that Afia’s husband Lawrence Abrokwah has been assaulting Afia for sometime now, at least about 8 times and for that matter, the parents of Afia told him, they are no longer interested in letting their daughter stay in the marriage and for that matter returned the drinks he brought back to him.—–according to sources all of these events happened in June this year.

Afia Schwarz marriage is not even a year old, as she got married just last year October and it’s already crashed, as prophesied by Owusu Bempah, but she didn’t take him seriously.

Now, sources say that Abrokwah, was tipped by the maid in their house that day that, a certain man was in bed with Afia.

From, what the sources say, Abrokwah used to bang the maid too, reason why he had that close relationship with her, for her to have called him to gist him on what was happening in the house – Remember Abrokwah has been asked not to come to the house of Afia, as Afia says, she’s not interested in the marriage again.

But then legally, Afia is still married to Abrokwah, so stating by word of mouth that she’s no longer interested in him, does not warrant her to bring another man to the house.

As far as we are concerned, she never made any announcement on Social Media that she has divorced him and that she has suffered from any abuse in her marriage.

She painted a picture on Social media that all was well, in her marriage–Of course, she’s a DAMN liar and a hypocrite

Now, assuming without admitting that she ended the marriage in June like her team wants Ghanaians to believe, why the heck did she post a picture of herself and her husband just this past August, when she had an issue with Multimedia and Kiki Banson?

So, we have an audio, in which Afia was telling Abrokwah’s family that, she’s no longer interested in their son.

We could also hear her accusing Abrokwah of being a thief, unemployed and how she had to hustle to feed him since they got married.

Source:GhanaWeb.com

Ghanaians eating too much fish – Fisheries Alliance convener

The excessively high intake of fish among Ghanaians is one of the reasons the country has to import over 60 percent of its fish, according to the Co-convener of the Fisheries Alliance, Richster Nii Amarfio.

Ghana, which consumes over 950,000 metric tons of fish annually, imported $135 million worth of fish in 2016 because of the reduction in the country’s fish stock.

There are fears Ghana may soon lose its fishing stock if nothing is done to overturn issues confronting the country’s fishing sector.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Armafio attributed the state of affairs to failings in the post-harvest chain which contributes to Ghana’s 25 million population having a high fish consumption per capita.

“The fish we consume in Ghana per capital is way in excess of the world average. We consume between 25 and 27 kg per capita. The world average is around 11 to 13 kg per capita. So we are consuming about twice the world average consumption and only a few people consume that fish.”

But this lop-sided consumption can be corrected by investments into the post harvest sector of the fishing industry.

“We first need to look at the lopsided consumption in the fisheries sector and then develop a proper post-harvest sector that is able to attract investors into the country to now start the process of canning fish and if that happens, our consumption will go down and our earnings from the fisheries sector will grow.”

“ You can’t say that the 400,000 metric tonnes we are producing is not enough. It is the way we consume fish that is the problem because we have not developed the processes of storing fish,” Mr. Armafio added.

Impact of galamsey

Illegal mining activities have also contributed to this fish deficit as the inland contribution to fisheries “has completely been cut out.”

“People who were living in the North were depending on small streams and water bodies so they didn’t have to rely on imported fish. [But they] no longer have those fishes, so they now have to rely on imported fish because their fish and water bodies have all been destroyed by illegal mining activities.”

Aside from this, Ghana is also missing out on fish production from lagoons and mangrove swamps in Accra because “they have become industrial sinks.”

“Go to Accra, all the municipal drains are channeled into one water body or another and so the quality of water that we require in the lagoons to produce the brackish fish; we are losing them.”

Source:GhanaWeb.com

Ecobank Ghana launches its maiden housing and mortgage fair

Ecobank Ghana Limited, a fully networked commercial bank in Ghana with branches in almost all 10 regions of the country has held its maiden housing and mortgage fair at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra.

The fair which got launched today is a 2-day event starting at 10 am to 6 pm each day and ends on Friday the 8th of September. The fair is themed “Southern edition of the maiden Ecobank Housing Fair” and It features the nation’s top property developers, high-end estate agencies and premium vendors of home and office products and services like mortgage lenders, electronics, and home décor companies.

The Executive Director of Legal, Human Resource and Compliance at Ecobank Ghana, Morgan F. Asiedu said the housing fair forms part of Ecobank’s resolve to help government bridge the 1.7 million housing deficit and in doing so, his outfit will display mortgages with highly competitive interest rates to all customers with medium to long-term financial options.

"As the biggest bank in the country today, Ecobank deems it a privilege to join forces with the government and other stakeholders in the quest to provide decent accommodation for all and to assist in reducing the housing deficit", he said.

Ghana’s population is estimated to reach 32.2 million by 2020 and with about 57 percent living in urban communities, the current housing deficit which is 1.7 million units is expected to rise to 2 million units by 2018.

Experts are therefore of the view that the country would require about 200,000 housing units every year for the next 10 years to be able to bridge the gap. A recent online survey by Jumia Homes Ghana and Hacking Adulthood has revealed that 91 percent of Ghanaians are not property owners and therefore, either live in rented accommodation or with their extended families.

He, therefore, urged all would-be home owners to approach the Ecobank Mortgage team for their experts to help access the needs by proposing various options available and the types of financial arrangements that would suit their income level.

"We believe that with our unbeatable pricing models on offer, our customers will take advantage not only to own a house but to also make huge savings in their housing budget in the long run", he stated.

Source:Ghana Web.com

Ghana to generate US$10 billion from Non-Traditional Exports

Ghana is set to generate US$10 billion from Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in the next four years, Madam Gifty Klenam, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), disclosed on Wednesday.

To achieve the target, she said, the Authority was developing and promoting exports vigorously, by identifying additional products with significant export potentials in the various districts in the country.

The Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503) defines Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) to include all export products with the exception of cocoa beans, lumber and logs, unprocessed gold and other minerals, and electricity.

Madam Klenam said this in a speech read on her behalf, at a meeting on the implementation of the National Export Strategy, vis-à-vis the One - District-One-Exportable-Product in Sunyani.

It was organized by GEPA and attended by District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and other stakeholders in the export sector and aimed at identifying new export products in the various districts of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The National Export Strategy was launched in 2013 for implementation after extensive consultation and its key tenets advocate the identification, development, and promotion of at least one exportable product per district.

Madam Klenam indicated that the nation had all it takes to be the export hub of the sub-region, and underlined the need for stakeholders in the sector to help tap export products to transform the fortunes of the country.

She said currently GEPA was undergoing certain structural and fundamental realignment to be able to handle new responsibilities adding that very soon regional offices would be established for the full implementation of the one-district-one-export-product.

“This programme would complement as well as feed the implementation of the government’s overarching policy initiative of the One-District-One-Factory industrialization concept”, she explained.

Madam Klenam observed that Brong-Ahafo was vast and endowed with immense potentials for agribusiness, services and related export value chains.

“The region has been touted as the food basket of the country and the onus lay on us to translate this positive accolade into meaningful exports”, she told the participants.

Source:CNN.com

Black Stars divided into NPP, NDC groups - Boateng-Gyan

Veteran football administrator Yaw Boateng-Gyan has alleged senior Black Stars players are sharply divided on political lines - among the ruling New Patriotic Party and opposition National Democratic Congress.

The senior figure of the opposition National Democratic Congress claims captain Asamoah Gyan, the Ayew brothers, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Mubarak Wakaso have nailed their colours to the mast.

There have been widespread suspicion of massive division in the team which appears to have been escalated after the country's unflattering campaign in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The Ayew brothers pulled out of the World Cup qualifying return leg against Congo while injured Gyan traveled with the team to Brazzaville as they toasted the home team 5-1 on Tuesday.

But former Black Stars management committee member and Bofoakwa Tano chairman Yaw Boateng-Gyan has alleged the friction in the team has political undertone.

"Our boys in the national team including Asamoah Gyan, the Ayew brothers, my own nephew Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (who has been overlooked) and Wakaso and the others must stop the politicization of the Black Stars," he fumed

"If not, Kwesi Appiah should not call any of them. What I have heard is that my own nephew Asamoah Gyan calls President Akufo Addo because he is his friend.

"Then Dede and his brother also call former President John Mahama. How can you play any productive football with these mindset?

"You could clearly see the last time that they avoided passing the ball to each other. They are toiling with our heart!

"There is an iota of truth in what I am hearing and its best they put a stop to it. Politics is gaining roots in the national team.They are professionals and should leave the politics for us.

"Even those of us who are engaged in politics and football administrations at the same time dont get the two mixed up."

Politics and football rarely mix. In fact, perhaps the beauty of competitive sport in this day and age is the complete absence of political manoeuvre and personal societal gain.

While elements of political gossip do still occasionally crop up in football, it is normally at board room level regarding off the pitch matters.

It's believed asserting political beliefs divides an audience because there’s a sense of apathy towards politics amongst the demographic of men who make it as professional footballers.

Source:GhanaWeb

Black Stars players disappointed with government

The Black Stars of Ghana have expressed their disappointment with the government for failing to charter a flight for the team after their mauling of Congo by 5-1 in Brazzaville in the 2018 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Sports Ministry had promised to airlift the 21-man contingent to Accra in a chartered flight to enable them get to their various clubs in Europe so they either not lose their positions or face some financial sanctions.

But an hour to the crucial encounter it was communicated through Captain Asamoah Gyan that the team will be transported by a commercial flight which will have affected the foreign-based players drastically.

Gyan as a leader quickly had to resource a travel agent to get his team-mates a chartered plane to save players disappointment.

“I did this to keep the morale of the players high because these things destroy national commitment, and don’t forget there are young ones in the team so I just saved the situation but still I think government must fulfill their promises always,” he told Hot FM.

Source:GhanaWeb.com

Career advice: Which jobs have the fastest wage growth?

After six months of slowing wage growth, August turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Workers in the United States saw their annual median base pay grow by 2% year over year for the month of August, rising to $51,556, according to the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports. That's an improvement over July, when wages increased by only 1.7%, but still below January's peak of 3.4%.

"We will be watching eagerly to see if this starts a trend in the opposite direction," said Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain. "We are also closely watching retail, and while the holiday season is still months away, retailers are already making preparations to fill short-term positions in time for the holiday buying rush."

Jobs in retail have experienced above-average growth at least in part because of heavy demand for workers. Glassdoor shows more than 614,000 openings on its website if you include not just in-store positions like cashiers, warehouse workers, and store managers, but also jobs that support retail like truck drivers.

 

What jobs saw the biggest increases?

Truck driver, a position which has been steadily near the top in recent months when it comes to wage growth, actually took the crown in August. It saw a 5.7% jump to $52,079. That's better than store manager (up 3.2% to $48,422) and cashiers (3.7% to $27,701).

"We continue to see pay growth rise for truck drivers, in part because of increased demand for the rapid transport of consumer retail goods that have been purchased online," said Chamberlain. "While there is some concern that in the future self-driving trucks may negatively impact truck driver jobs, it's not happening today."

 

 

Rank

Job title

% wage growth YoY August

Median base pay

1

Truck Driver

5.7%

$52,079

2

Barista

5.7%

$24,194

3

Insurance Agent

5.7%

$43,652

4

Recruiter

5.2%

$50,483

5

Bank Teller

4.9%

$28,636

6

Restaurant Cook

4.7%

$28,628

7

Pharmacy Technician

3.7%

$30,592

8

Cashier

3.7%

$27,701

9

Producer

3.5%

$52,935

10

Server

3.3%

$33,654

Data source: Glassdoor.

Not every job shows wage growth

While it's good to be a truck driver, attorneys suffered the biggest decline in wage growth in August. To be fair, even with a 3% drop, the median salary for lawyers comes in at $92,241 a year.

"There has been a huge oversupply of law school graduates in recent years compared to how many traditional positions are open, and a lot of new lawyers are not finding jobs with law firms," said Chamberlain. "Instead, many are heading into more general business management, roles with nonprofits, journalism, government, or public policy."

Loan officers also took a hit in August, seeing media wages drop by 1% to $44,832, and operations analysts saw their median salaries decline 0.1% to $53,147. In both cases, Glassdoor blames automation reducing demand for human workers.

A labor shortage may be here

The American work force may simply not have enough workers to go around. Given that the unemployment rate sat at 4.3% in July, a tie for its lowest in a decade (with May 2017 being the only other month to equal that rate), it's possible that labor shortages will force wages higher.

That could push more companies to pursue automation. In theory, that could impact everything from retail and factory workers to truck drivers (although cashier-free checkout is a bit easier to bring about than driverless trucks).

This holiday season could be very positive time for U.S. workers, but higher wages could be temporary. Automation is not quick to implement, but once it happens those jobs don't come back. It may be years or even longer before the impact truly hits, but automation is already being used by retailers including Amazon and fast food chains including McDonald's.

Rising wages and a lack of workers to hire even at higher prices might be the tipping point for automation. That could make both the turnaround in wage growth and the low unemployment rates relatively short-lived.

More:Get started: Business owners upbeat, cautious about hiring

Wiles:When money issues hit workers, then employers pay

More:7 ways to improve your chances of getting hired

Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Source:USA Today.com

World Cup qualifier to be replayed after referee banned for life for match manipulation

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has ordered that a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal be replayed after the referee awarded a penalty for a non-existent handball and was banned for life for match manipulation.

FIFA on Wednesday ordered that a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal be replayed after the referee was found guilty of match manipulation and banned for life.

South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 in the qualifier last November, helped by a penalty awarded by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for a non-existent handball.

That result will be annulled and the game will be replayed this November, FIFA said, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the life ban for Lamptey.

FIFA found Lamptey guilty of breaching the rule relating to "unlawfully influencing match results" and banned him for life in March. The referee failed with appeals to FIFA's appeal committee and now to CAS.

Lamptey awarded a penalty against Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly in the game in Polokwane, South Africa, when replays clearly showed the ball struck Koulibaly's knee and then dropped to the ground.

South Africa scored the 42nd-minute penalty and went on to win — its only victory so far in the final round of qualifying in Africa.

Full details of Lamptey's case have not yet been published and it hasn't been confirmed if a betting scam was the reason suspected for Lamptey's decision to award the penalty late in the first half.

A penalty awarded late in a scoreless first half could raise suspicion by potentially triggering bets relating to the state of the game and goals scored at halftime.

Lamptey joined FIFA's list of international referees in 2005 but was never selected for a World Cup. He did officiate matches at the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

The Ghanaian referee has a history of suspicious performances.

He was previously suspended by the Confederation of African Football for allowing a critical goal to stand in an African Champions League semifinal in 2010 when it was clearly punched into the net.

His antics in an African Cup of Nations qualifier last year also were suspect. He allowed the game between Congo and Angola to continue for two minutes longer than the injury time displayed before awarding a disputed penalty to Angola. He blew for full time straight after Angola scored from the spot.

Africa, and South Africa, have fallen victim to referees manipulating games before.

Source:USA Today

Reggie Bush and Wife Lilit Avagyan Welcome Third Child: Find Out His Name!

A celebration is in order! Reggie Bush and his wife, Lilit Avagyan, have welcomed their third child together, E! News reports.

The dance instructor gave birth to a baby boy named Agyemang on Saturday, September 2.

Cutest Celebrity Baby Announcements

Avagyan announced the couple were expecting their third bundle of joy via Instagram on March 2, Bush’s 32nd birthday. “🍼🍫birthday love #HBD @reggiebush,” the model captioned a snap of the pair sharing a romantic moment.

A source also confirmed the pregnancy news to Us that same month: “Lilit is in her second trimester and the two are looking forward to having another baby together.”

Celebrity Babies of 2017

The running back and Avagyan, 29, who tied the knot in July 2014, are also parents of daughter Briseis, 4, and son Uriah, 2.

Avagyan, who isn’t shy about showing off on Instagram, shared an adorable pic of the group in June. “Happy Father's Day Blessed,” the proud mom wrote alongside a picture of Bush and their two children relaxing at the beach on Father’s Day.

Famous Fathers Who Had Kids Late in Life

Avagyan also shared a picture of her growing baby bump in July. “Almost there 🏁” she captioned a Instagram snap, dressed in a form-fitting black dress as she cradled her pregnancy belly.

Source:USA Today

Weapons cache found at Las Vegas shooter's home

(CNN)[Breaking news update at 10:16 p.m. ET]

Police recovered 23 guns from the Las Vegas hotel room of mass shooter Stephen Paddock, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo said. Fasulo said another 19 guns were found at Paddock's Mesquite, Nevada home.
Authorities said Paddock killed 59 people and injured another 527 early Monday in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
 
 
[Previous story, published at 9:07 p.m. ET]
Stephen Paddock, who sent bullets and terror down on thousands attending a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas, had an arsenal in his 32nd-floor hotel room and at his home 80 miles away, officials said.
In the hours after the retired accountant committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history -- killing 59 and wounding at least 527 -- authorities rolled out frightening new details, including the discovery of scopes on rifles at the resort and explosives at his home.
But what they couldn't explain is why the man who had never faced any notable criminal charges did it. There was no known motive late Monday.
Even Paddock's brother had no answers.
"We're still just completely befuddled. Dumbstruck," Eric Paddock said in Orlando, Florida.
-- A team of six officers spoke with security at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Paddock was staying, and searched the hotel floor-by-floor Sunday night before they found Paddock's room, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.
-- Paddock, 64, fired at the officers through the door, Lombardo said. A SWAT team broke down the door, but Paddock had already killed himself, Lombardo said.
-- Authorities recovered 23 guns from Paddock's room, said Clark County NV Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo. Lombardo said several of the rifles had scopes of them.
--Another 19 firearms, along with explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition in Paddock's Mesquite, Nevada, home. The gunman apparently had smashed out two windows to increase his range of targets.
-- The sheriff said a SWAT team was standing by at a house in northern Nevada. A law enforcement official confirmed the FBI is present in Reno.
-- Sandra Casey, a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, California, was killed, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said. "We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students," school board President Jennifer Cochran said.
-- Sonny Melton also was identified as among the dead. His employer, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, said Melton was a registered nurse. His wife survived the shooting.
-- Police had no prior knowledge of the gunman before the attack, Lombardo said. "I don't know how it could have been prevented," he said.
-- Paddock bought multiple firearms in the past, but investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally, a law enforcement official said. The official said initial reports suggest at least one rifle was altered to function as an automatic weapon.
-- Chris Michel, owner of Dixie GunWorx, in St. George, Utah, recalled selling Paddock a shotgun earlier this year, CNN affiliate KTVX reported. "He talked about how he just moved closer to where we are," Michel said of Paddock. "He said he was visiting local firearms shops." Paddock lived in Mesquite, Nevada, about 35 miles from St. George.

'Everyone's dying around me'

Witnesses described the horror that unfolded.
Taylor Benge said he "could see a guy with a bullet wound right in his neck, motionless," several feet away. "From there on ... people just started dropping like flies."
Alexandria Cheplak, 25, called her father as she ran from the bullets.
"Everyone's dying around me," Jon Cheplak recalled her saying. "Everyone's dying. They shot my friend ... I've got to get out of here."
Police said Paddock, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the resort, Lombardo said Monday.
Authorities are still piecing together a motive.
"I can't get into the mind of a psychopath," the sheriff said.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman described the gunman as "a crazed lunatic full of hate."
The massacre started about 10:08 p.m. Sunday (1:08 a.m. ET Monday) at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Lombardo said.
Benge was enjoying the concert with his sister when he heard a relentless onslaught of at least "200 to 300" bullets.
"The firing went on forever," witness Kimberly Chilcote said.
She and her husband ran in short bursts -- sprinting and hiding to avoid being targeted.
"There were purses and shoes everywhere ... there were bodies and blood," she said. "We just kept running."
Benge lauded the heroics of his sister, who "threw herself on top of me and said, 'I love you, Taylor,'" he said.
"Even after an hour and 30 minutes, I didn't know if I was safe."
Witness Bryan Hopkins said he survived by jumping into a walk-in freezer at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
"There must have been, I don't know, 23 to 30 of us inside this freezer," he said.
Corrine Lomas recalled the heroism of fellow concertgoers, risking their lives to save others.
"A lot of really good people (were) holding people's wounds shut, trying to help them while everybody was just ducked down," she said.

The investigation

Police said they believe Paddock acted alone. "Right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor," the sheriff said.
So far, the massacre has no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups, a US official with knowledge of the case said.
And a woman who was described as a "person of interest" after the attack is now not believed to be involved in the shooting, police said in a statement.
"Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. "LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip."
The gunman's brother, Eric Paddock, said he was stunned to learn Stephen was believed responsible.
He described his brother, a retired accountant, as "a wealthy guy. He liked to play video poker. He went on cruises."
The last time Eric Paddock spoke to his brother was when Stephen texted him, asking how their mother was doing after losing power from Hurricane Irma.

Eric Paddock said he knew his brother owned a few handguns and maybe one long rifle, but said he did not know of any automatic weapon.

Blood donations needed

With hundreds of victims still hospitalized, officials feared the death toll will rise.
The sheriff implored the community to donate blood. And hundreds of Nevadans did exactly that.
Source:CNN
 
 

Portraits of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting

Sonny Melton, 29, a registered nurse from Tennessee, was shot and killed in Las Vegas on Sunday night, according to his place of employment, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee.
His wife, Heather Melton, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Innovative Orthopedics, survived the mass shooting, the statement reads.
In an interview with CNN affiliate WSMV, Heather Melton said her husband saved her life amid the gunfire.
"He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back," she said. "I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe."
Sonny Melton graduated from Union University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Accelerated degree and was president of his BSNA class, according to the university.
"You know how when you met someone and you just know that they're good and kind? That was Sonny," said Christy Davis, assistant professor of nursing at Union. "He just had a sweet, kind spirit about him."
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam tweeted that he was praying for those affected by the shooting, including Melton's family.
"In particular, Crissy and I extend our condolences and prayers to the family of Sonny Melton from West Tennessee who was among those killed in this tragedy," Haslam said. "We know other Tennesseans were in attendance or performing at the event, and my thoughts go out to them as we grieve and process the enormity of this attack. Tennessee stands with Las Vegas during this difficult time."

Rachael Parker

Manhattan Beach Police records technician Rachael Parker was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
 
Rachael Parker, a 33-year-old records technician for the police department in Manhattan Beach, California, was shot in Las Vegas and later died at the hospital, Manhattan Beach Police Department said.
Parker had been employed with the police for 10 years, and "will be greatly missed," the department said.
She was one of four Manhattan Beach police employees who were off-duty and attended the country music concert in Las Vegas where the shooting occurred. Another police employee, a sworn officer, was shot and suffered minor injuries, the department said.

Angela Gomez

Angela Gomez was a "fun-loving, sweet young lady."
 
Angela "Angie" Gomez, who died in the shooting, was a "fun-loving, sweet young lady with a great sense of humor" who loved the stage, the Riverside Unified School District said in a statement.
Gomez attended Riverside Polytechnic High School in California and was a member of the class of 2015. She acted on stage with the Riverside Children's Theater, was involved in the middle and high school choir, and was a cheerleader for the high school, the school district said.
She challenged herself academically with honors and Advanced Placement courses, the school district said. And she "was always seen with a smile on her face whenever she was on campus."
"Angie was a loyal friend who loved her family and will be forever missed by all those who knew her," the district said.
Her English teacher and cheer coach Lupe Avila said the school was "deeply saddened by the loss of a wonderful young woman who had her whole life ahead of her."

Sandra Casey

Sandra Casey (left) was a "spectacular teacher" who died in the Vegas shooting.
 
Sandra Casey, a special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School, was fatally wounded in the shooting, according to Mike Matthews, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District Superintendent.
Casey had taught there for the past nine years and will be remembered for her sense of humor, passion for her work, devotion to her students, and her commitment to continuing her own learning and to taking on whatever new projects came her way, Matthews said.
"Our students, employees, and parents are devastated by Sandy Casey's death. We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students," Matthews said.
Several other members of the Manhattan Beach Unified School district attended the music festival as well but were unharmed, the school district said.

Jenny Parks

Jenny Parks and her husband Bobby were both shot.
 
Jenny Parks, a kindergarten teacher for the Lancaster School District in California, was killed in the Vegas shooting, according to Steven McCarthy, her husband's uncle.
"She was truly one of the most loving people you could ever hope to meet," McCarthy said. "She always went out of her way to help anybody."
He said that he never saw her upset, and never saw her sad.
Her husband, Bobby Parks, is currently in surgery after the bullet injured his arm and finger, McCarthy said. He said that Bobby Parks is responsive and aware that his wife passed away.
Jenny Parks has two brothers who lived in Las Vegas, and the couple was visiting them.

Neysa Tonks

Neysa Tonks.
 
Neysa Tonks, a Las Vegas resident and mother of three, lost her life in the Las Vegas shooting, her employer Technologent confirmed. Tonks leaves behind three sons -- Kaden, Braxton and Greysen.
"Neysa has brought so much joy, fun and laughter to Technologent -- she will be greatly missed by all!"
Technologent has established a GoFundMe page on behalf of Neysa's family. The effort has already raised more than $60,000.

Susan Smith

Susan Smith, a 53-year-old mother who was the office manager for Vista Elementary School in California, was killed in the shooting, according to Jake Finch, the Simi Valley Unified School District's media relations coordinator.
Smith, who had been with the school district for 16 years, was a "big country music fan" and had gone to Las Vegas with a couple of friends for the music festival, Finch said.
She was "always so welcoming," Finch said, and served as the "right hand to the principal."
Smith was married with two young-adult children, Finch said. Her own kids were once a part of the school district and she was very active as a parent, Finch said.
"Everybody knew her," he added. "She touched a lot of lives."
The PTA at Vista Fundamental Elementary School posted condolences for Smith on Facebook, saying "she was a wonderful woman, an advocate for our children, and a friend."

Bailey Schweitzer

Bailey Schweitzer.
 
Bailey Schweitzer was with her mother watching some of their favorite bands at the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas when the 20-year-old was shot and killed, according to CNN affiliate KBAK.
Schweitzer graduated from Centennial High School, where she was a cheerleader and played volleyball. She was also a member of the Valley Bible Fellowship Church and helped run her family's business, Bakersfield Speedway.
Matt Woessner, a family friend, watched Bailey grow up and said she "had a heart for people." He told KBAK that "the whole community has lost a great person in Bailey Schweitzer and she's going to be truly missed everywhere."

Jennifer T. Irvine

Jennifer T. Irvine.
 
San Diego-based attorney Jennifer T. Irvine, who was on vacation in Las Vegas to attend the concert, was one of the victims of the shooting, her publicist Jay Jones said.
Irvine practiced criminal and family law and owned her own boutique firm. Her website describes her as a "tenacious litigator" who is passionate about assisting clients during difficult times.
The website also notes other unique interests out of the courtroom. She earned a black-belt in taekwondo, enjoyed practicing hot yoga, was an avid snowboarder, and aspired to learn indoor rock climbing and to experience sky-diving, the site says.
Jones, her publicist, released the following statement:
"Remembering a dear friend & colleague whose life was cut short by an unspeakable tragedy. Our sincerest thoughts to those affected during this difficult time. May our unity & strength shine over the darkness."

Lisa Romero-Muniz

Lisa Romero-Muniz, a secretary for Gallup-McKinley County Schools in western New Mexico, was killed in the shooting, school district superintendent Mike Hyatt said.
She had worked for the school district since 2003 at three different schools and specifically worked as a discipline secretary, acting as an advocate for students during times of discipline.
"As many students have mentioned in some Facebook posts and to many of us, she was there for them and she respected them and tried to work with them as much as she could," Hyatt said.
He said Romero-Muniz was outgoing, kind, and considerate of all those she worked with.
"We cannot express enough the loss that our organization feels at this time, and the heartache we feel for Lisa's husband, children, grandchildren and family," Hyatt said.

Rhonda LeRocque

Rhonda LaRocque.
 
Rhonda LeRocque of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was one of the victims in the shooting, her family said.
Her mother, Priscilla Champagne, told CNN that LeRocque was a "beautiful woman inside and out."
"A truly great mother, daughter, wife, aunt, sister, worker, and a good, kindhearted friend. She had a great faith in Jehovah God, and had a wonderful family life. She loved Hawaii, Disney, and country music." she said.
"She was the best of the best. She was the hostess with the mostess ... the glue who kept our family gatherings together. She will be greatly missed by us all."
Her sister, Korina Champagne, said in a Facebook post on Monday that her heart was broken.
"My Beautiful Sister Rhonda LeRocque lost her life in the Las Vegas mass shooting," Korina Champagne posted. "My heart is broken, I'm numb, I feel paralyzed. This doesn't seem real. All I can do is turn to God's Word for comfort, just as she would want me to. May she rest now until her name is called and she is awakened in paradise."
She added a Bible passage to the end of her Facebook post, "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment."

Top Democrat suggests Wells Fargo should be shut down entirely

A powerful Democrat in Congress says regulators should consider shutting down Wells Fargo for abusing the trust of millions of its customers.

Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, issued a 38-page report on Friday slamming regulators for failing to punish the bank more severely for its recent scandals.

 

The report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the committee, described Wells Fargo as a "repeat offender" for, among other things, opening as many as 3.5 million potentially fake accounts, forcing up to 570,000 borrowers into unneeded auto insurance and allegedly discriminating in mortgage lending.

"When a megabank has engaged in a pattern of extensive violations of law that harms millions of consumers, like Wells Fargo has," the report said, "it should not be allowed to continue to operate within our nation's banking system."

Wells Fargo is highly unlikely to lose the banking charter that allows it to operate, analysts said, partly because of the enormous complexity involved in shutting down a big bank the size of this. Wells Fargo has 70 million customers and 271,000 employees.

But the fact that this argument is even being made shows how much political pressure Wells Fargo is under as it prepares for a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Wells Fargo declined to comment, but the bank has repeatedly apologized for making mistakes that hurt customers.

Related: Scandal 101: Equifax repeated Wells Fargo's mistakes

Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by regulators last year as part of a settlement over the fake accounts. But Waters says fines are ineffective with big banks like Wells Fargo because they are ultimately paid by shareholders, not the executives who preside over bad behavior.

The report argues that regulators should have considered harsher penalties: shutting down problem areas of Wells Fargo, removing executives and directors, banning personnel from working in the industry, revoking the bank's national charter, or even winding down the bank entirely.

"These underutilized authorities should be, but have not been in the case of Wells Fargo, exercised in order to adequately combat rampant, illicit activity by a bank," the report said. It added that Congress should consider passing laws that would require forcing regulators to use these aggressive punishments.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly urged the Federal Reserve to exercise its power to remove most of Wells Fargo's board for providing poor oversight.

Fed chief Janet Yellen recently called Wells Fargo's behavior "egregious and unacceptable" and said the central bank is considering whether more punishments are needed.

Jaret Seiberg, senior policy analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, said the Waters report will keep pressure on the Fed to crack down on Wells Fargo management and the board.

"We do not see any risk to the ability of Wells Fargo to be a bank," Seiberg wrote in a report. "This is really just about whether management can survive."

Seiberg warned that if Democrats took over Congress, the Wells Fargo controversy "could quickly escalate into a much bigger fight over the bank's future."

Related: Wells Fargo scandals are sabotaging Trump's deregulation push

Wells Fargo (WFC) CEO Tim Sloan, who took over a year ago during the scandal, faces a huge test on Tuesday when he is scheduled to appear before Warren and her colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee. Sloan plans to emphasize the progress Wells Fargo has made to fix its broken sales culture.

"The past year has been humbling and challenging," the Wells Fargo CEO said in prepared remarks provided by the bank on Monday. "We are resolving past problems even as we make changes to ensure nothing like this happens again at Wells Fargo."

Over the past year, Wells Fargo has taken a series of steps aimed at restoring trust with customers and reassuring regulators.

It replaced longtime CEO John Stumpf, revamped its unrealistic sales goals, tapped former Fed official Betsy Duke as chairman, fired numerous bank managers for sales problems, and reached a $142 million class action settlement with customers.

Source:CNN.com

Company News

It's official: Nike is going to open a shop on Amazon.com.

Goldman Sachs hinted last week that a Nike/Amazon deal was in the works. Now, Nike (NKE) CEO Mark Parker has confirmed the companies are currently testing out a partnership. He mentioned it during a call with investors Thursday afternoon.

 

"We're in the early stages but we really look forward to evaluating the results of the pilot," Parker said.

Nike's products can already be found on Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) via unlicensed and licensed third-party vendors.

But with a direct partnership, Nike will be able to "elevate the way the brand is presented" by gaining more control over how its products are marketed on the site, Parker said.

He said the shop will include a "limited" assortment of Nike products-- at least at first.

Parker added that Nike plans to make "big shifts in the year ahead to our business," indicating Nike's partnership with Amazon is part of an effort to revamp its sales tactics as brick-and-mortar retail continues to suffer. The partnership could mean bad news for sporting good retail stores, such as Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) and Hibbett Sports (HIBB). The Goldman report predicted that a deal could "offset" market share gains those companies expected to see after Sports Authority went out of business last year.

Nike has had a rough few months. The company said on June 15 that it's laying off more than 1,000 workers, and the company's revenues -- and stock price -- have suffered.

Investors got better news on Thursday with a favorable earnings report that showed the company's revenue was up 5% last quarter, bringing in $8.7 billion.

Nike's stock climbed nearly 4% during after hours trading.

Nike's top rival Adidas also appears to have a partnership with Amazon and seems to have a unique landing page on the site. Adidas has not confirmed to CNNMoney whether it has a relationship with Amazon.

Source:CNN.com

Why hacks like Equifax will keep happening

If it feels like 2017 is a banner year for cyberattacks, that's because it is. And the hits will keep coming.

"We're living in the beginning of an era of mass targeted attacks," said Nate Fick, CEO of security firm Endgame. "Things are bad and they're going to get worse."

 

In just the last month, we've learned of a data breach from credit agency Equifax affecting 143 million people, an intrusion into the SEC, and a hack at major accounting firm Deloitte.

Almost 2 billion records were lost or stolen globally in the first half of 2017, according to security firm Gemalto, an increase of 164% over the previous six months.

The spike in global cyberattacks is the result of a perfect storm. Some tools used by government hackers have become public, such as when the NSA hacking tools leaked online. And it's easier than ever for hackers to make sophisticated tools to spread malware, ransomware, or steal data from companies. Firms also frequently fail to patch holes in their systems, at least in a timely manner.

"It's increasingly easy for essentially anybody to wield the kind of capability that used to be reserved for nation-states, or required nation-state level of expertise and investment," Fick said.

Attacks by nation-states are undertaken by hackers working for a government, rather than a criminal enterprise.

No one has attributed the Equifax (EFX) hack to anyone, yet. But law enforcement has blamed nation-states for other high-profile cyberattacks such as WannaCry. In that case earlier this year, intelligence agencies linked the massive ransomware attack to North Korea. It infected about 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

Related: Equifax's legal and government troubles keep piling up

According to Andrea Little Limbago, Chief Social Scientist at Endgame, cyberattacks will continue as geopolitical tensions escalate.

In the past, nation-state hacks didn't have widespread collateral damage. In 2010, the Stuxnet worm damaged Iran's nuclear program, but Limbago said it was mostly contained.

Fast forward to 2017: The sophisticated NotPetya cyberattack, which Ukraine blamed on Russia, targeted Ukrainian tax software in June, but infected companies around the globe. FedEx said the attack cost the company $300 million.

Sophisticated attacks are a threat, but the biggest hacks can be the result of known vulnerabilities that don't get fixed in time.

Hackers infiltrated Equifax through a flaw in a tool called Apache Struts, which is used to build web applications. The flaw was identified and disclosed in March, but Equifax's machines were not all updated and protected even months later, allowing the hackers entry.

According to Kelly Shortridge, product manager at Security Scorecard, many companies don't maintain basic security hygiene to prevent cyberattacks. That includes regularly updating and patching computers, implementing mandatory two-factor authentication, and training employees to recognize phishing attempts.

"Unfortunately you can't just put a security box on the network and everything will be solved," she said. "You have to be rigorous in monitoring, and rigorously prioritize how you protect your assets."

Keeping computers up-to-date costs time, money, and expertise -- sometimes patching a server means taking it offline, potentially affecting customers or business operations. Skipping a patch over financial concerns could lead to a more expensive data breach in the future.

Data breaches, digital extortion, and identity theft are lucrative. According to research from Symantec, the average ransomware attack -- where hackers take control of a victim's computer and then demand money to return it -- made $1,077 last year, a 266% increase from the year before. Hackers buy and sell hacking tools, malware, and stolen identities on the dark web.

Related: A smart fish tank left a casino vulnerable to hackers

Sometimes stolen data doesn't need to be hacked. As we've seen multiple times this year, databases that are insecure due to human error can leave private data exposed to anyone who searches for it.

The number of devices vulnerable to an attack is growing. As millions of devices like smart coffee makers and connected light bulbs come online, there will be more opportunities for hackers to infiltrate homes and businesses.

For example, hackers recently tried to steal data from a North American casino through a fish tank connected to the internet. They managed to compromise the tank and send data to a device in Finland. Insecure devices are like unlocked doors into networks; if a hacker accesses one, they could move around the rest of the system and potentially steal private information.

Gartner estimates over 20 billion "internet of things" devices will be in use by 2020, up from an estimated 8.4 billion this year. Experts say many IoT manufacturers are notorious for shortchanging security and putting users at risk.

Shortridge says the Equifax breach may be a wake up call for businesses who don't prioritize security. Government agencies and members of Congress are currently investigating Equifax.

However, Fick said there's a lack of accountability when data breaches happen. The CEO of Equifax "retired" this week, following the retirement of the company's chief information officer and chief security officer.

"If you're the CEO or you're a board member, whether or not a breach is your fault, it's unequivocally your responsibility," Fick said. "You should be fired if it's egregious enough. You shouldn't be allowed to retire."

Source:CNN

Doing it for Ghana: Man's epic 4,900-mile road trip from Paris to Accra

(CNN)Flying from Paris to Accra takes six hours and 20 minutes, direct. But why fly when you can drive? One Ghanaian opted to take the road less traveled this summer, clocking 4,900 miles in just nine days. Why? For family and for country.

Twenty-nine-year-old mechanical engineer Nicholas Afedi Donkoh drove all the way from his house in France to his hometown in Ghana to prove a point: that everyone deserves an adventure.
"I just wanted the world to know that it's not only white people who can go on such trips, but we blacks, too, can do that as well," he says.
There was a secondary purpose also: "The whole idea was to make Ghana more popular and also make Ghanaians all over the world proud."
 
 
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Donkoh says he bankrolled the trip himself, denying earlier reports that he received sponsorships, while revealing he spent nearly $2,400 just on fuel.

Rough sleeping and unlikely hospitality

On the evening of Friday July 7, the Ghanaian loaded his car with 24 bottles of water, food and two spare tires and set off into the night, quad bike in tow.
Driving through France to the southern tip of Spain, Donkoh arrived at the port city of Algeciras on the Bay of Gibraltar. From there he hopped on a ferry to Tangier in northern Morocco. With the Atlantic to his right, he continued through Western Sahara, then Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso.
"I spent about three days driving on the desert," he says, describing the process as difficult. Donkoh bemoaned the border crossings and immigration systems: "Even if you have all your traveling documents valid, you still have to pay some money before you'll be allowed to cross the border. It was sometimes frustrating."
Then there was the terrain. In all, Donkoh says he lost seven tires to the road. At night he sought out gas stations in lieu of a room. "I initially planned to stay in hotels, but things didn't go on well, so I had to sleep in my car. It was only in Burkina Faso that I spent the night in a hotel," he says.
Despite the obstacles, he says it was still "a nice experience. I even met some Ghanaians in Mauritania who invited me over for a bowl of our local fufu dish in their home. I met amazing people during this journey."

Homecoming

Midafternoon on Sunday, July 16, Donkoh crossed from Burkina Faso to Paga in Ghana's Upper East region.
"That was the only border I wasn't delayed," he recalls. "The immigration officers were very surprised when I told them that I drove all the way from Paris. I was allowed to cross without going through any form of immigration checks."
Upon arriving he first paid a courtesy visit to Regional Minister Rockson Bukari in Bolgatanga, before heading to his hometown, Tarkwa, in the west of the country.
"When you travel by air, you don't really see anything," he says, reflecting on the experience. "You only arrive at the airport of your destination and disembark. But when you travel by road, you will see a lot of beautiful places and nice things on the way. It was a great experience traveling through the desert and all those savanna areas."

On the road again?

The adventure doesn't stop in Accra, says Donkoh -- nor does the flag-flying. He's set his sights on South Africa and wants to travel there in a Kantanka, a Ghanaian-made auto brand.
"We are currently discussing it with the manufacturers of Kantanka cars," he says, smiling. "I'd like to do this trip from Accra to Johannesburg just to promote Ghana."
As for Donkoh's beloved BMW, its fate is up in the air. The adventurer says he's unsure whether to drive it back to France, sell it or donate it to the Ghana Museum.
Source:CNN
 

Zimbabwe slaps vocal pastor with more subversion charges

Harare (CNN)A prominent critic of President Robert Mugabe is facing 20 years in jail if convicted of multiple counts of subverting Zimbabwe's government.

After posting a series of videos calling on Zimbabweans to demonstrate against fuel shortages and sudden price hikes, Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested Sunday.
In a court appearance Monday, Mawarire pleaded not guilty to subversion charges launched against him in February. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday regarding Sunday's charges.
 
 
#ThisFlag, Mawarire's social media campaign, gained momentum last year after he draped himself in the country's flag and called on Mugabe's government to address a failing economy and corruption in a series of videos.
The videos helped ignite the largest protests in several years in the once prosperous southern African country.
On July 12, 2016, Mawarire was first detained by police for "inciting public violence" -- a count that was subsequently amended to a much more serious charge of subversion -- but was released the next day under immense public pressure, when the court ruled the police had violated his rights.
The pastor fled the country, fearing for his life, spending six months in self-imposed exile in the United States. On his return to Harare in February, he was immediately arrested and again charged with subversion.
On Saturday, the US embassy in Harare issued a statement asking Mugabe's government to ensure Mawarire's fair trial in the case that came out of the February arrest.
"The United States is monitoring the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and intimidation for political purposes. We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect and to protect the human rights of all persons in Zimbabwe, consistent with international human rights norms," said David McGuire, the spokesman for the US Embassy in Harare.
Mugabe has called the pastor a fake, and said he was "foreign-sponsored."
Before his most recent arrest, Mawarire tweeted, "I'm just about to finish preaching and I'm told the police are waiting outside."
Inside the church, Mawarire told his congregants: "Zimbabwe, you will be free. There is no bondage or operation that will hold you back. We will not fear anybody. They (police) are outside here. They are waiting. I will not be afraid. I will not be put into fear. I will go outside now and see where this will lead us. I do not know what will happen."
Source:CNN

Serena Williams shows off her incredible post-baby body

(CNN)Get it Serena Williams!

The tennis superstar has snapped back in a big way since giving birth.
Her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., was born September 1 and is the first for Williams and her fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
 
 
On Thursday, she shared a selfie on her official Instagram account showing her slimmed down physique in a black t-shirt and what appears to be either black short shorts or a pair of undies.
"It has been said I don't belong in Women's sports -- that I belong in Men's -- because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it)," she wrote.
 
Williams showed off that powerful and very pregnant physique for a Vanity Fair cover story in the August issue. She appeared nude with her baby bump and marveled in disbelief about her pregnancy.
"It just doesn't seem real ... If you would have told me last year in October or November that I would have a baby, not be pregnant but have a baby, I would have thought you were the biggest liar in the world," Williams said at the time.
 

Isha Johansen to stand for re-election as president of Sierra Leone's Football Association

(CNN)Sierra Leone's Football Association president Isha Johansen has announced she will stand for re-election despite admitting that her decision will "infuriate a lot of people."

Johansen is the only female football president in Africa and one of only two females to have ever held the role as president of a football association.
 
"It will spark up more conspiracy theories and even actions," she told CNN Sport's Alex Thomas.
 
 
"Knowing the environment as I know it now, and the kind of environments I've been trying to work under and rise above, anything is possible.
"The fact that I'm here, willing to take the bruises and the knocks for and behalf of my country, that's applaudable. It's about good governance and putting Sierra Leone on the map for the right reasons."

'Ebola, infighting and political interference'

The 52-year-old was elected as her football association's president in 2013 but her reign has been a difficult one.
A match-fixing inquiry into a World Cup qualifier between Sierra Leone and South Africa in 2008 is ongoing, with 11 officials and four players, all of whom have denied wrongdoing, having been suspended by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) since 2014 pending investigation.
Moreover, two years of her term was dominated by the Ebola crisis as the deadly virus inflicted parts of west Africa, killing thousands and damaging the economies.
In Sierra Leone where, Johansen has said, football is "like a second religion" the sport was banned in an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus.
The last 12 months in particular have been personally challenging.
She spent the night in custody after failing to attend a hearing set up by the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in September 2016.
On 21 September, two days after this interview with CNN, she was charged with abuse of office and misuse of public funds by the ACC -- charges which she denies.
Last month, an interim court injunction -- subsequently overturned on August 31 -- temporarily stopped Johansen and three other executive committee members from running the country's football affairs until their legitimacy to govern had been proved.
Her mandate to govern expired on August 3 but no electoral congress has yet been held, with FIFA, world football's governing body, delaying the elections until integrity checks are carried out by a task force.
Johansen told CNN Sport: "It's taken a toll on my health, for sure, I'm actually here [in London] for my medical checks ... but at the end of the day, even though it's affected my health, it's made me stronger.
"It's difficult, it's challenging, but I'm very up for the task. It's been particularly difficult for my family, especially for my elderly parents.
"There have been some positives that I'm proud of in our Sierra Leone football development. Despite all the odds, the challenges -- the Ebola, the infighting, the political interference -- all of these have helped strengthen our cause and strengthen my resolve."
Until elections are conducted, FIFA has said it will recognize the leadership of the executives currently running SLFA.
In a statement, FIFA told CNN Sport: "We reaffirm our position for the need for integrity checks before the SLFA can proceed with its General Assembly.
"All current and potential SLFA members of the SLFA Executive Committee, including the president, must undergo integrity checks in line with the FIFA statutes and the FIFA government regulations.
"Until these integrity checks are done, we have no alternative but to continue with the current leadership and management of the SLFA in preparation of the General Assembly.
"Once all these requirements have been clarified, SLFA executives will be cleared for the election."
Johansen said she would be happy to stand for election tomorrow.
"I do hope that people would understand that it's not in an attempt to keep me in office for any longer time than is necessary," she added.
"It's because, after four years, it wouldn't serve anybody's good purpose, definitely not in the country's best interest, to continue in the same manner."

A controversial appointment?

FIFA's task force is comprised of representatives from FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the SLFA and the country's Ministry of Sports and is chaired by Musa Bility, the controversial president of the Liberian FA.
Bility was prevented from running for FIFA's presidency in 2015 after failing the governing body's integrity checks, though the world governing body did not make the reasons for his failure public.
In 2013 the Liberian received a six-month ban from football after CAF said he had "violated statues relating to the use of official documents."
Describing Bility as a "brother and a friend," Johansen said it was not her decision to put Bility on the task force.
"Poor old Musa, he's taking a bashing and I'm having to defend Musa," she said.
"It's not my decision and not my place to tell FIFA who to put and who not to put. Allegations are allegations.
"I was arrested ... it wasn't pleasant. Very scary, especially when you don't know why you're being held and you're innocent. I have to say this, even with this announcement, you can't put anything past anything happening."
Source:CNN

Could this 'miracle' grain from Africa become the next quinoa?

(CNN)As a child, Pierre Thiam didn't think there was anything extraordinary about fonio; a tiny-grained cereal he often ate on summer vacations at his grandparents'.

Decades later he sees it as the "miracle" grain that could replace quinoa and transform the economy of the Sahel.
Fonio has been grown for over 5,000 years and is possibly the oldest cultivated cereal in Africa. The gluten-free grain, native to Thiam's birth country, Senegal, has been touted as the next quinoa.
 
 
"It is nutritious, particularly rich in methionine and cysteine, two amino acids that are deficient in most other major grains: barley, rice or wheat to name a few," the chef said of fonio at the recently concluded TEDGlobal Conference in Tanzania.
And it is from exporting this grain that he believes the Sahel can turn its economy around.

(CNN)As a child, Pierre Thiam didn't think there was anything extraordinary about fonio; a tiny-grained cereal he often ate on summer vacations at his grandparents'.

Decades later he sees it as the "miracle" grain that could replace quinoa and transform the economy of the Sahel.
Fonio has been grown for over 5,000 years and is possibly the oldest cultivated cereal in Africa. The gluten-free grain, native to Thiam's birth country, Senegal, has been touted as the next quinoa.
 
 
"It is nutritious, particularly rich in methionine and cysteine, two amino acids that are deficient in most other major grains: barley, rice or wheat to name a few," the chef said of fonio at the recently concluded TEDGlobal Conference in Tanzania.
And it is from exporting this grain that he believes the Sahel can turn its economy around.
His study led him further down a rabbit hole of discovery.
Natives of Dogon in Mali believe it is "the seed of the universe" where the Earth sprouted, while in ancient Egypt the grain was found in the pyramids' burial grounds.
"I became more interested in this grain that was deemed worth taking to the afterlife by early Egyptians," he said.

Rich grain, poor land

Fonio is cultivated in Kédougou, a place Thiam describes as "one of the poorest regions of Senegal."
"Because of desertification and lack of job prospects, much of Kédougou's young population has left. They chose the deadly path of migration in search of 'better' opportunities. Often, they risk their lives trying to reach Europe," he said in his TEDtalk.
For him, exporting the resilient fonio, which "thrives where nothing else will grow," might be the answer to the looming poverty.
"Although we are still at an early stage of development, we are collaborating with an NGO called SOS Sahel to recruit, train and equip the youths throughout the Sahel region, including Kédougou. The youths are happy to have the opportunity of a paying job," he later told CNN.

One grain, many possibilities

Despite the great potential fonio has, he says there is a lot of work to be done in changing Senegalese locals' perception of it as "country-people" food.
In an effort to upgrade its status and share it with the world as a "world-class crop," Thiam struck a deal with the largest natural food chain in America, Whole Foods, which started selling packs of fonio this year.
The first location (Harlem) is selling really well and we are now planning to unroll through their 36 Northeast region locations," he said.
He is keen to continue pushing fonio even further, and his dream is to see his native grain developed into every food type on the market.
"We have developed several fonio products that we plan to gradually introduce to the market. Crackers, cereals and pastas."
If Thiam's dream comes true, fonio could rival quinoa around the world.
Source:CNN

While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was developing into one of the world’s best strikers, he simultaneously developed into something else: He had become somewhat of a mythical figure in the transfer market, the go-to name for rumor-disseminators when a superclub’s fans clamored for a new forward. But it was unclear how close he ever truly came to leaving Borussia Dortmund.

And now suddenly he’s gone.

He’s off to Arsenal for $78.5 million. He’ll reportedly earn $12.4 million per year plus bonuses. He’s the most expensive player in club history, and the truest replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

He’s also seemingly a bargain. It’s as if Arsenal paid Aubameyang’s 2016 price in a market that has long since left 2016 prices behind. The Gabon international has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in the world for years, and, disciplinary suspensions aside, has shown few signs of slowing down. His pace remains irreplaceable. His combination of that and predatory instincts have made him nearly unparalleled over the past few seasons.

And yet there is something unsettling about this deal. Something unsettling about its relative abruptness. Something unsettling about the market in which it was struck.

Aubameyang had long agitated for a move. He had long been the subject of interest from top clubs around Europe, or so we were led to a believe. And Arsenal, for ages, had refused to loosen Arsene Wenger’s purse strings. Now, in a span of a few weeks, Dortmund has heeded Aubameyang’s demands; Arsenal has written a big, fat check; and, curiously, no other European footballing power even considered writing a similar one.

That’s the slightly disconcerting question here: Why did the market dry up? Why didn’t Arsenal have price-inflating competition for Aubameyang’s signature? And why is Dortmund only now willing to sell at a price that surely hasn’t blown it out of the water?

There are several theories. Perhaps other clubs have been put off by Aubameyang’s attitude throughout his final months in Germany. He was dropped in November for “disciplinary reasons,” then again this month for missing a team meeting. Perhaps there is further intel that hasn’t been, and won’t be, made public.

Or, maybe, clubs have connected two easily discernible dots: One, that Aubameyang is 28; and two, that his game is heavily dependent on pace. Pace is often the first of a player’s attributes to go, and with it would go Aubameyang’s excellence.

Aubameyang is more than just a speedster, though. He very well could have three or four more prime years remaining in his legs. Thus, at less than $80 million, he would seem to be worth the risk.

The problem isn’t the risk itself; it’s that Arsenal is the club taking it. That’s where the disconnect lies. The Gunners have both the oldest and worst squad of the Premier League’s Big Six. They are not in contention for meaningful trophies, and aren’t all that close either. Aubameyang would represent an excellent short-term talent infusion for a club battling for a title. But a short-term talent infusion isn’t what Arsenal needs.

Arsenal needs a foundational rebuild. Instead, its first two building blocks of the post-Alexis Sanchez era were a 28-year-old and a 29-year-old that will cover up cracks beneath them. Oh, and they effectively cost more than $100 million. For a club previously so frugal, so careful to make good investments in the market, that’s a stunning 180-degree turn. And probably not a very smart or timely one, given the circumstances.

Could Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan recapture the magic of their Dortmund days? Sure they could. And sure, they could lead Arsenal to the Champions League via a comeback in the top-four race. (Aubameyang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Europa League.)

But to provide a worthwhile return on investment, they’ll have to perform beyond this year and next. They’ll have to be key pillars of the rebuild in their early 30s. That scenario isn’t implausible. But it’s not likely, either.

Arsenal must be confident in it. More confident than any of its Premier League or continental rivals. The Gunners are betting on their recently revamped scouting and recruitment departments. They’re betting on themselves.

It’s not the first time they’ve bet on themselves. And it wouldn’t be the first time Wenger has won such a bet. But it certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s lost one. So there is plenty of reason to be skeptical.

rsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing might not be the coup it appears

 

 

While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was developing into one of the world’s best strikers, he simultaneously developed into something else: He had become somewhat of a mythical figure in the transfer market, the go-to name for rumor-disseminators when a superclub’s fans clamored for a new forward. But it was unclear how close he ever truly came to leaving Borussia Dortmund.

And now suddenly he’s gone.

He’s off to Arsenal for $78.5 million. He’ll reportedly earn $12.4 million per year plus bonuses. He’s the most expensive player in club history, and the truest replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

He’s also seemingly a bargain. It’s as if Arsenal paid Aubameyang’s 2016 price in a market that has long since left 2016 prices behind. The Gabon international has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in the world for years, and, disciplinary suspensions aside, has shown few signs of slowing down. His pace remains irreplaceable. His combination of that and predatory instincts have made him nearly unparalleled over the past few seasons.

And yet there is something unsettling about this deal. Something unsettling about its relative abruptness. Something unsettling about the market in which it was struck.

Aubameyang had long agitated for a move. He had long been the subject of interest from top clubs around Europe, or so we were led to a believe. And Arsenal, for ages, had refused to loosen Arsene Wenger’s purse strings. Now, in a span of a few weeks, Dortmund has heeded Aubameyang’s demands; Arsenal has written a big, fat check; and, curiously, no other European footballing power even considered writing a similar one.

That’s the slightly disconcerting question here: Why did the market dry up? Why didn’t Arsenal have price-inflating competition for Aubameyang’s signature? And why is Dortmund only now willing to sell at a price that surely hasn’t blown it out of the water?

There are several theories. Perhaps other clubs have been put off by Aubameyang’s attitude throughout his final months in Germany. He was dropped in November for “disciplinary reasons,” then again this month for missing a team meeting. Perhaps there is further intel that hasn’t been, and won’t be, made public.

Or, maybe, clubs have connected two easily discernible dots: One, that Aubameyang is 28; and two, that his game is heavily dependent on pace. Pace is often the first of a player’s attributes to go, and with it would go Aubameyang’s excellence.

Aubameyang is more than just a speedster, though. He very well could have three or four more prime years remaining in his legs. Thus, at less than $80 million, he would seem to be worth the risk.

The problem isn’t the risk itself; it’s that Arsenal is the club taking it. That’s where the disconnect lies. The Gunners have both the oldest and worst squad of the Premier League’s Big Six. They are not in contention for meaningful trophies, and aren’t all that close either. Aubameyang would represent an excellent short-term talent infusion for a club battling for a title. But a short-term talent infusion isn’t what Arsenal needs.

Arsenal needs a foundational rebuild. Instead, its first two building blocks of the post-Alexis Sanchez era were a 28-year-old and a 29-year-old that will cover up cracks beneath them. Oh, and they effectively cost more than $100 million. For a club previously so frugal, so careful to make good investments in the market, that’s a stunning 180-degree turn. And probably not a very smart or timely one, given the circumstances.

Could Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan recapture the magic of their Dortmund days? Sure they could. And sure, they could lead Arsenal to the Champions League via a comeback in the top-four race. (Aubameyang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Europa League.)

But to provide a worthwhile return on investment, they’ll have to perform beyond this year and next. They’ll have to be key pillars of the rebuild in their early 30s. That scenario isn’t implausible. But it’s not likely, either.

Arsenal must be confident in it. More confident than any of its Premier League or continental rivals. The Gunners are betting on their recently revamped scouting and recruitment departments. They’re betting on themselves.

It’s not the first time they’ve bet on themselves. And it wouldn’t be the first time Wenger has won such a bet. But it certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s lost one. So there is plenty of reason to be skeptical.

 

GOP doctor-lawmakers rush to aid of injured after deadly train wreck

Minutes after the train slammed into the dump truck on Wednesday morning, Kansas GOP Rep. Roger Marshall tweeted that he was OK but was delivering first aid to victims.

“We are on our way to our annual GOP retreat, the train carrying members and spouses hit something. … I am helping those that are injured,” the physician tweeted.

Marshall, along with another doctor-lawmaker, Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, went on to perform CPR on the driver of the garbage truck, Marshall's office said.

According to officials, at least one person in the truck died in the accident that took place in Crozet, Virginia, near Charlottesville. Others in the truck were airlifted from the chaotic scene.

In the aftermath of the wreck, a number of lawmakers, including those who practiced medicine before politics, were seen caring for those with injuries. For some, it evoked memories of last June’s GOP congressional baseball-field shooting, when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others were shot during a morning practice.

As Scalise lay gravely injured on the field, Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who had experience as a combat surgeon, and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake were among those who rushed to his side to apply pressure on his wound.

On Wednesday, Wenstrup, Flake and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana – another physician – were part of a group carrying an injured person to safety after the train wreck.

“Two tragedies. Two times @JeffFlake & @RepBradWenstrup have rushed to the aid of the injured. These guys are the real deal,” Flake’s spokesman, Jason Samuels, tweeted.

Other doctor-lawmakers helping on the scene Wednesday included Texas Rep. Michael Burgess and Larry Bucshon of Indiana.

The chartered train had been carrying members of Congress to a Republican retreat in West Virginia. The crash threw some lawmakers from their seats.

Others on the train sustained head injuries, including Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis and an unnamed aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a spokeswoman.

The circumstances of the crash are not yet clear, but the truck may have been stuck on the tracks when it was hit, witnesses said.

"It was a very high-speed collision," Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., who was among those on the train, told Fox News. "There was no braking that was felt. We hit an immediate impact and went from 70 to zero very quickly."

Amtrak later said Wednesday that two crew members and two passengers "were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries."

 

The UVA Health System said one patient from the scene, not a lawmaker, is in "critical condition."

The retreat at the Greenbrier resort is expected to go on as planned. The train -- which had a functional engine on the other end -- was able to run in reverse back to Charlottesville, where members were taking buses to West Virginia.

SOURCE:FOXNEWS

Twitter Explodes as James Harden Records 1st-Ever 60-Point Triple-Double

James Harden has put together plenty of big games in the past few years, but he outdid himself with his historic effort Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic.

The guard finished with 60 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals while helping the Houston Rockets earn a 114-107 win.

He put himself in the record books in a few ways with the incredible showing:

 
 
 

Harden was nearly unstoppable throughout the game, shooting 19-of-30 from the field and 17-of-18 from the free-throw line:

 
 

Many were impressed by the showing:

 
 
 
 
 

Chris Paul was proud of his teammate's performance:

 

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade also praised their rival:

 
 

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey made sure to let people know he was there to witness the feat:

 

Harden's massive outing raised questions about how this changes the MVP race:

 

 

This was just Harden's third triple-double this year after he totaled 22 last season, but it was one of the best in NBA history. After one night of rest, he will hope to keep it going in his next matchup Thursday against the San Antonio Spurs.

 

Nikolas Cruz, identified as Florida high school shooting suspect, reportedly showed warning signs

The suspected gunman arrested in connection with Wednesday's shooting at a Florida high school, which left at least 17 people dead, was identified by the sheriff as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

Officials said the shooter was equipped with a gas mask and smoke grenades — in addition to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines — as he allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz had been expelled from for disciplinary reasons.

Police said Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.

A bomb squad from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reportedly plans to serve a search warrant at a mobile home park in Lantana, roughly 30 miles north of Parkland, which WPEC reports is related to the shooting.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating a possible explosive device at the mobile home related to the school shooting.

Cruz, according to student Daniel Huerfano, "was that weird kid that you see" at school, "like a loner." His adoptive mother, according to the Sun Sentinel, died in November at age 68 from an "unspecific illness."

Another student, Victoria Olvera who's a junior at the school, said Cruz was expelled last year after fighting with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. She said Cruz was abusive to the girl.

"I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him," Olvera said.

A former classmate told Fox News Wednesday night she recognized the suspected shooter as an employee at a dollar store.

An Instagram page apparently belonging to Cruz showed pictures of guns and knives. Israel said some of Cruz's social media posts were "very, very disturbing."

One student told WJXT that “everyone predicted” the shooting, which killed multiple people, according to police.

“Honestly, a lot of people were saying it was gonna be him,” the unnamed student told the news station. He said kids joked around that the student would be the one to “shoot up the school.”

“It turns out, everyone predicted it,” the student said, adding the suspect knew the layout of the school.

“Yeah, he was on the third floor. He knows the school layout, he knows where everyone would be at as of right now,” the student said. “He’s been with us in fire drills, he’s prepared for this stuff.”

FLORIDA SHOOTING AMONG 10 DEADLIEST IN MODERN US HISTORY

Another student told WSVN that the suspect is a "troubled kid" who has "always had a certain amount of issues going on."

"He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling," the unnamed student added.

More on the Parkland high school shooting...

While some teachers said he demonstrated warning signs, Superintendent Robert Runcie said he was not aware of any specific warnings the school district had received regarding the shooter.

Jim Gard, who said he was Cruz's teacher around August to September 2016, told Fox News he wasn't shocked to hear his former student's name circling around.

"It hit me like wow. ... Am I shocked? No, I hate to say it," Gard said. "Nothing's shocking anymore. And that's horrible."

Gard told the Miami Herald that Cruz was seen as a potential threat in the past, as he allegedly threatened students last year.

“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” the teacher said. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

'I SAW A BIG PILE OF BLOOD': STUDENTS DESCRIBE FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING

Another student told WSVN he “stayed clear of [the suspect] most of the time."

“My time in alternate school, I did not want to be with him at all because I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him, because of the impression he gave off,” the student said of the shooter.

Mike Watford, who graduated from the high school in 2016, told BuzzFeed News that "something definitely pushed [the suspect]" before he allegedly opened fire at the school on Wednesday.

Cruz, according to Watford, often said "how tired he was of everyone picking on him and the staff doing nothing about it."

Watford's brother, Giovanni, described Cruz to the news outlet as "a sketchy kid," who was "off" and "super stressed-out all the time and talked about guns a lot and tried to hide his face."

Another junior at Marjory High, Dakota Mentcher, said Cruz "started progressively getting a little more weird," and recalled how the suspect published Instagram posts about killing animals. She also said Cruz had talked about doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was the 25th deadly shooting at a U.S. elementary, middle or high school since — and including — Columbine in 1999. There have been a combined 98 deaths as a result.

SOURCE:FOX NEWS 

South Africa's Jacob Zuma resigns after pressure from party

South Africa's embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned after intense pressure from his own party.

In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his ANC party's decision.

The ANC had told him to step down or face a vote of no confidence in parliament.

The 75-year-old has been facing calls to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

Earlier on Wednesday, police swooped on the Johannesburg home of the powerful and wealthy Gupta family with whom Mr Zuma has close ties.

How did Mr Zuma announce his resignation?

He began his speech by laughing and joking with members of the press, asking them why they looked so serious.

After paying tribute to those whom he had worked with over the years, Mr Zuma said that violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect," he said.

"Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.

"As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served... all of my life."

Presentational grey line

'A very painful moment'

Analysis by Milton Nkosi, BBC News, Johannesburg

The resignation of president Jacob Zuma marks the end of an era. An era of one corruption allegation after another. An era of divisions, infighting and public squabbles. There are many people who are celebrating now, and not just from the opposition benches.

Some of President Zuma's fiercest political foes came from his own ANC party. Comrades who fought white minority rule in the same trenches as he did, could not wait to see his back. He is gone now.

There is a renewed sense of hope as Cyril Ramaphosa is taking over the reins of Africa's most industrialised economy. Some will miss him though, pointing to achievements like announcing free fees for higher education.

The ANC's Jesse Duarte summed up the mood for many supporters of Mr Zuma's when she said "this is a very painful moment".

Presentational grey line

The ANC (African National Congress) issued a statement saying Mr Zuma's resignation provided "certainty to the people of South Africa".

Deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte told reporters: "President Zuma remains a principled member of the ANC. The ANC wants to salute the outstanding contribution he has made."

Mr Zuma, a former member of the ANC's military wing in the days of apartheid, rose through the ranks of the party to become president. He led the country for more than a third of its time after apartheid.

But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa's economy in dire straits.

 

Media captionThe rise and fall of Jacob Zuma

What led up to Zuma's resignation?

A meeting of the ANC's National Executive Committee had announced its decision to recall Mr Zuma on Tuesday and gave him until the end of Wednesday to resign.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu then announced a parliamentary motion of no-confidence for Thursday, with Mr Ramaphosa sworn in as president as soon as possible after that.

Mr Zuma's resignation capped a day of fast-moving events.

It began with early morning police raids and arrests at the Johannesburg home of his close associates, the wealthy, Indian-born Gupta family.

Members of the Hawks special police unit stand guard outside Gupta homeImage copyrightEPA

Image captionThe Gupta family's walled compound in Johannesburg was sealed off during the police raid

The Guptas have been accused of using their close friendship with the president to wield enormous political influence. Both parties deny all allegations of wrongdoing.

Mr Zuma made no reference to the raid when he held a lengthy, unannounced, interview with national broadcaster SABC hours later.

But he said he had done nothing wrong and saw no reason to stand down.

Jacob Zuma's life in seven key dates

  • April 1942: Born into poverty in northern KwaZulu-Natal, he is raised by his widowed mother and receives no formal schooling
  • 1959: Joins the ANC. He becomes an active member of its military wing in 1962
  • August 1963: Aged 21, he is convicted of conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government and imprisoned on Robben Island, alongside Nelson Mandela, for 10 years
  • March 1990: After a period in exile, he returns to South Africa when a ban on the ANC is lifted - he is elected to chair the party four years later
  • June 1999: Five years after apartheid ends, he becomes deputy president of South Africa - he loses the position in 2005 after being implicated in a fraud trial
  • April 2009: Two weeks after corruption charges are dropped, Mr Zuma becomes president of South Africa
  • October 2017: The Supreme Court of Appeal rules he must face 18 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering

What happens next?

 

Media captionWho is Cyril Ramaphosa?

As deputy president, as well as ANC leader, Mr Ramaphosa is likely to step in.

But it is thought that he would not seek to remain as president, preferring to get his own mandate at next year's presidential elections.

The ANC, as the party in government, would then nominate a candidate to serve until then, and parliament would take a vote within 30 days.

Mr Ramaphosa was already the overwhelming favourite to win the 2019 election, one which Mr Zuma was barred from competing in, having served two terms.

Winter Olympics: Akwasi Frimpong - from illegal immigrant to Olympian

Akwasi Frimpong can still remember the Christmas Day when a bottle of cola felt like a special treat.

He also remembers living as an illegal immigrant in the Netherlands and the constant uncertainty of what the future held. Now he's about to compete at the Winter Olympics and make history.

Growing up in a one-room home in Kumasi, Ghana's second most populous city, Frimpong harboured dreams of becoming a professional sportsman... but he quickly had to accept his hopes might never be fulfilled.

Living with his grandmother and brother alongside eight other children, in a tiny room measuring just 4m sq, Akwasi went in search of a new life and, at the age of eight, followed his mother to the Netherlands, where he lived as an illegal immigrant.

Despite much adversity, including injury and the task of mastering three different sports along the way, Frimpong's long-awaited dream finally became a reality on Thursday, when he will made history as Ghana's first skeleton athlete at a Winter Olympics.

BBC Sport looks at the 32-year-old's journey to in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

A challenging childhood

Akwasi and his brother were raised by grandmother Minka after their mother fled to the Netherlands in search of a better life for her boys. Their cramped home took its toll, however, and Akwasi fled to follow his mother... and his dreams.

Determined to settle into his new lifestyle and communicate with his peers, Akwasi borrowed books from the local library in a bid to learn Dutch.

But Akwasi was hiding a secret: his family had entered the country illegally, meaning his lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics was in crisis. Competing internationally was impossible - something he admits he still cries about now.

Realising his potential

At his junior high school, Frimpong was recruited in track and field in 2001 and was coached by Surinamese Olympian Sammy Monsels. Akwasi went to the Dutch Junior Indoor Championships within two months, missing out on the 60m final by 0.01 seconds. That summer, he missed out on the 100m final, by the same agonisingly slim margin.

"I asked my coach what I needed to do to become a gold medallist. He spoke to me about self-discipline and it all started from there," said Frimpong.

In 2003, he became the Dutch national junior 200m champion at the age of 17.

"Within 18 months, not only was I the best in my city, but I was the best in my country and won my first gold medal," he says. "From then on, I knew anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and you want it bad enough."Akwasi Frimpong

Frimpong has overcome his fair share of adversity in order to compete in the Winter Olympics

Olympic dreams in tatters?

Unable to compete internationally, Akwasi told his coaches he had lost his passport and reluctantly turned down offers to compete for the Netherlands.

However, after confiding in his coaches, he was given a place at Amsterdam's highly regarded Johan Cruyff College in 2004.

Frimpong studied public relations, marketing and communications - and went on to become International Student of the Year.

However, his illegal status meant he couldn't travel to Barcelona to receive the award from the football legend, so Cruyff flew to Amsterdam to present the honour.

Switching things up

After a long struggle, Frimpong was eventually granted official residency in the Netherlands in 2008, meaning he could concentrate on training to qualify for the Dutch athletics team for the London 2012 Olympics. But just as quickly as his hopes were ignited, they were shattered all over again when he suffered a devastating Achilles injury.

Refusing to let the news crush his dreams, Frimpong toyed over his future for six months before deciding to trade the athletics track for the ice, securing a spot on the Dutch bobsleigh team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.Akwasi Frimpong

He says: "After missing out on London 2012, I was approached by the Dutch bobsleigh coach Nicola Minichiello about joining the team. I had my doubts, but then I remembered Cool Runnings and thought to myself, 'If Jamaicans can do it, so can I!'"

But more challenges were on the horizon after Frimpong was dealt another blow when he failed to make the cut. He decided to sell his car and sell vacuums door-to-door near his training base in Utah.

The road to Pyeongchang

Frimpong's bobsleigh coach told him not to give up and try a different sport - skeleton.

"I didn't think I really wanted to do it," he says. "A third sport trying out again, I was afraid of getting disappointed again. But my wife is the one that told me, 'Hey, I don't want you to be 99 years old and still be whining about your Olympic dream, so let's go for it'."

So Frimpong took part in a skeleton trial in Utah and immediately fell in love with the sport.

Mastering the sport usually takes four to six years, but Frimpong did it in less than two. By the end of 2016, he had reached 95th in the world rankings.

But his Olympic dream would only become a reality once he made it into the top 60, so he completed five races on three tracks around the world and successfully confirmed his qualification on 15 January 2018 - only two years after first racing.

Frimpong has now won eight gold, four silver and four bronze medals at local and international events.

 
Winter Olympics 2018: Guide to skeleton

The rabbit theory

Frimpong should be quite easy to spot on the ice, given his unconventional choice of headgear - a helmet featuring an image of a rabbit escaping from a lion's mouth - something he attributes to his former sprint coach. The analogy is based on the 'Rabbit Theory', in which a rabbit is in a cage surrounded by lions.

"When the cage goes up, the rabbit has to run away from the lions otherwise it will get eaten," explains Frimpong. "My coach referred to the lions as negative people, the bad people, the Dutch immigration; all the bad things that were going on in my life - those were the lions and I was not able to escape from them.

"So going to Pyeongchang after 15 years, I've worked really hard to eventually become the rabbit my coach always wanted me to be. So you see on my helmet a rabbit escape out of a lion's mouth."

Regardless of how he does in South Korea, his beloved fans in his native Ghana will always regard him as a hero. Or, as the locals say, "Ghana in 60 seconds".

SOURCE:BBC NEWS 

Stormy Daniels 'free to tell her story' after Trump lawyer statement

An adult film star who has been embroiled in allegations of an affair with President Donald Trump is free to tell her story, her manager has said.

Stormy Daniels is no longer bound by a non-disclosure contract after Mr Trump's lawyer admitted he paid her, manager Gina Rodriguez says.

Mr Trump's personal lawyer confirmed in a statement to media he privately paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£95,000) in 2016.

Ms Rodriguez says that acknowledgement allows her client to speak freely.

Collage photograph of Mr Trump and his wife, Melania and adult film star Stormy DanielsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionPorn actress Stormy Daniels alleged in 2011 that she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006

"Everything is off now, and Stormy is going to tell her story," Ms Rodriguez told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Her statement comes after Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told the New York Times he paid Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

"Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly," Mr Cohen told the New York Times.

He said he told the Federal Election Commission the same after a watchdog group filed a complaint about the payment, claiming that it had served as an "in-kind" political contribution to Mr Trump's campaign.

Presentational grey line

An X-rated cover-up?

Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington

Donald Trump's lawyer and all-around fixer Michael Cohen has said he doesn't plan "further comment" on his six-figure payment to Stormy Daniels. His statements, however, raise more questions than they answer.

While he said the money came from his "personal funds" and was not reimbursed directly or indirectly by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign, that leaves open the possibility that he was compensated by other parties - including Mr Trump himself.

Why, in his generosity, would Mr Cohen give $130,000 to Ms Daniels? The Wall Street Journal has reported that it was in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement about a decade-old affair between Mr Trump and Ms Daniels. Circumstantial evidence - that Ms Daniels had been in contact with media outlets prior to the transfer and has since gone silent - lends credence to this line.

Even though the alleged affair is long since past, a story about possible hush money and an attempted cover-up just weeks before the presidential election is much more dangerous for a White House already on its heels. And if it turns out there's more to the money trail than has been disclosed, an embarrassing situation could quickly morph into a criminal inquiry.

Presentational grey line

"The payment to Ms Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone," Mr Cohen said.

The lawyer has previously said Mr Trump "vehemently denies" it occurred.

The revelations on Wednesday follow US media reports that the porn actress known as Ms Daniels was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair.

She first said she had a relationship with Mr Trump in a 2011 interview.

In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she began a sexual relationship with Mr Trump in 2006, shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.

The reports re-emerged in January when the Wall Street Journal reported that she was paid to sign a non-disclosure agreement in the run up to the 2016 election, which prevented her from discussing the alleged liaison.

Ms Clifford was believed to be in discussion with US media about an television appearance to discuss Mr Trump at the time, the report said.

Responding to questions from CNN about why the payment was made, Mr Cohen said: "Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage."

"I will always protect Mr Trump," Mr Cohen added.

On 30 January, Ms Daniels' publicist released a statement in her name denying having an affair with Mr Trump.

But many - including Ms Daniels herself - were quick to note that the signature attached to that denial did not bear much resemblance to another copy of her autograph which had been attached to an earlier statement.

That denial had been released by Mr Cohen on 10 January.

Ms Daniels hosted a Super Bowl party last monthImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMs Daniels hosted a Super Bowl party last month

She has since made several public appearances on television and at strip clubs, but has remained tight-lipped when asked directly about Mr Trump in interviews.

Minutes after Mr Trump's first formal State of the Union address to Congress, she gave an interview to late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

In it, she refused to directly answer whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement, or if she had "ever made love to someone whose name rhymes with Lonald Lump".

SOURCE:BBC NEWS 

VODEC GHANA AND SKYVIEW HOSPITAL TO ORGANIZE FREE HEALTH SCREENING

Voice of Developing Communities, (VODEC) and Skyview Hospital is orgnainzing a free health screening at Domeabra and Windy Hill, two adjoining communities near Pokuase in the Ga West Municipality on 24th March, 2018.  

DO QUALITY MUSIC, COME TO VODEC ENTERTAINMENT

VODEC RECORDING STUDIO IS THE BEST LEADING STUDIO IN GHANA AND BEYONG IN THE WEST AFRICA SUB-REGION.

Christianity has been taken to ridiculous and bizarre heights: the Bible no longer relevant

I’m sure you are as worried as I am, dear reader, concerning what goes on in the country at this point in time, in the name of Christianity although in effect, this is all bunkum.

The word ‘Christianity’ is self-explanatory—a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. That is to say, a Christian must necessarily be a scrupulous adherent or follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ and such a person must subscribe to everything Jesus said or taught. Anything short of this will render a so-called Christian, unchristian.

Teachings

The art of teaching things about Christ is what Christianity should be about but this has been bastardized of late making many people including my good-self wonder what is amiss with the teachings and philosophy Jesus left behind to make the world free from evil, greed, wickedness, and all sorts of negative things.

Many people have formed their own churches and are doing exactly the opposite of the teachings of Christ. Christ abhorred the use of the church for commercial purposes but in our day and age, the church is the commercial house where the name of Christ is used to fleece money from gullible and unsuspecting church members. It happens in all the churches where money-grabbing from the congregation for the personal use of founders and pastors, has become the order of the day instead of the word of God.

Religious scene

A little over a decade and a half ago, several men and women burst onto the religious scene proclaiming themselves apostles, prophets, reverend ministers, bishops, etc., etc, pretending to be doing the work of God but in actual fact, duping people in the name of God and His son, Jesus Christ. Most of these so-called men and women of God hardly read the Bible and understand its contents. No wonder they have turned the Bible upside down and are doing their own teachings not recommended by Christ, the Son of God.

These so-called men and women of God know that the average Ghanaian is gullible particularly in these times when economic hardships are biting exceedingly excruciatingly and anything a so-called man or woman of God says to solve a problem, however temporarily, may be welcomed.

Funny enough, nobody consults a man or woman of God without parting with a fortune and yet they never shy away from doing that. One has to register and take a card like it’s done in the hospitals; then one is ushered in to see the man or woman of God where another payment is made, this time more hefty than the cost of the card. In doing the consultation, all sorts of oil and water are up for sale which one is compelled to buy for spiritual cleansing.

Consultation

So, before the consultation is over one may have spent well over Ghc500. Some so-called men and women actually advertise openly on radio and television what their consultation fees are and the cost of holy oil and water that are on offer and one would have thought this was not part of the teachings of Christ at all. But it’s done!

Funny names

Some of these so-called men and women have given themselves funny names by which they are called and one wonders whether they are serious preachers of the word of God or not. One man calls himself Spiritual Bulldozer, whatever that means. But it’s likely, as his name suggests, that he ‘bulldozes’ his way ‘spiritually’ over your supposed problems if you go to consult him. And this is done without reference to the Bible, presumably.

There are speculations that many church leaders go to seek help from juju men and that they are not genuinely teachers of the word of God but fraudsters who are using juju to deceive people in the name of God. A few of such supposed men of God have been exposed by their juju men when they failed to honour the agreement between them. Kwaku Bonsam, the fetish priest at Sapeiman near Accra, for instance, has come out openly to claim that pastors come to him for help before setting up their churches. Another fetish priest in Koforidua also exposed a fake pastor who went to him for help but failed to honour the contract between them.

Confidence

These fake pastors, in order to have the confidence of the people and attract them to be fleeced, go on the miracle-performing path. Theirs is to perform miracles and show video clips of such miraculous feats. But all these are stage-managed, if you care to know. I saw a pastor stomping on the tummy of a pregnant woman for deliverance and I thought this was very outrageous and should never have been done.

Another woman was brought to church with a supposed swollen jaw to be healed of her ailment. As the pastor recanted something, the swelling went down bit by bit until the entire swelling subsided completely and the whole congregation went ‘wild’ with jubilation, little did they know that it was fake.

Boiled egg

The lady had planted a boiled egg in her mouth disfiguring her face and as the pastor recited the words she nibbled at the egg until she finished eating the whole egg and was declared healed.

Many people have suggested that if really pastors of our times have the ability to heal people of their ailments through spiritual means as they claim they have, then, nothing prevents them from going to the School for the Blind, assemble all the blind children there and heal them. Or alternatively, go to the wards at Korle Bu or any other medical facility for that matter, and heal all the patients of their ailments. That will ease the job of the doctors and nurses. But they don’t do these.

These so-called healers and men of God avoid the hospitals because they don’t have the capacity to heal spiritually and are only deceiving the public with their stage-managed healing on television.

Change into animals

There is one so-called man of God who says he can change himself into animals and attack his spiritual enemies. He can turn himself into a snake; into a lion, and can even fly. Funny enough, when this man applied to the British High Commission for a visa and was refused because the High Commissioner himself told him to fly to the UK because he had boasted that he could, he took offence and was reported to have said that he would appeal against the decision.

So, you see, these half-baked men and women of God make empty claims and because Ghanaians are largely gullible, they believe them.

Most of them have very expensive cross-country cars; they and their wives. They also live in posh houses and use the latest electronic gadgets. Church buildings are also in their names, so they never lose, whichever way you look at it. How greedy they are!

Followings

Strangely enough, all of these supposed men of God have very large followings and you wonder whether there is something wrong with the average man or woman in the street when it comes to religious matters.

Why do people follow them? Why do people follow Bishop Daniel Obinim in spite of all the negative things we hear about him? Why do people follow Prophet Kumchacha? What does the name even mean? Why do people follow Pastor Dito Dito alias Bishop Lawrence Agyapong? Why do people follow Pastor Computer Man? Why do people follow all these pastors who can hardly tell the difference between a parable and an illustration in the Bible?

Is it because they can teach the word of God as contained in the Bible better than the Catholics; better than the Methodists, better than the Presbyterians, better than the Anglicans, better than the Adventists, better than Mensa Otabil or better than Duncan Williams? Or is it because they have a programme line-up from January to December which they follow to do their teachings and which ordinary members of the church can read and understand?

Programme line-up

None of the above! They hardly teach the word of God as contained in the Bible. Neither do they have a programme line-up for church activities from January to December each year. What they rather do is to proclaim that they can perform miracles and help people have their breaks-through—financial break-through; marriage break-through; business break-through; illnesses break-through and all other breaks-through that one can think of although all these are soluble by dint of hard work followed by prayer by individuals. Their solutions don’t come that easy especially by expected miracles. Miracles are unexpected events and any one who expects a miracle to happen to him or her will never get it if he or she never works hard to achieve their dreams.

The Bible

The Bible is the answer not expected miracles that never come. So, ignore what these so-called men and women of God are doing and saying and go strictly according to the Bible if you say you are a Christian. Christianity should bring peace to our country because that’s what Christ says; Christianity should bring love to our country; Christianity should throw away greediness from our midst as Jesus Christ asked the young rich man to go and sell his property and come and follow him.

I’m afraid if we throw away the Bible, we’ve thrown away a very valuable property. The Bible is the reference point for Christians and they must go by it. Good morning everyone. 

By: Nana Bram Okae II, former MCE, Ga West

Haters of Shatta Wale are animals - Kingfaya

The record must to be set straight, there are so many things happening in Ghana music industry and if one have to sit down aloof and will not comment about it, the excesses will be regrettable.

 I don’t know whether it is leadership problem on behalf of Ghana music.

The same people who killed TerryBonchaka and recently killed Ebony are still awake looking for ShataWale to destroy and kill him.

 

The KYERE ME BIBI HITMAKER who is out with another banger titled ME GBO added that all this nonsense has to stop in Ghana and it is a wake-up call to all members of Ghana music fraternity.

 

The selfishness of some Ghanaian musicians is paving way for illegality to prevail whilst everyone wants to go solo.

Some Ghanaian pastors should concentrate on their churches and stop visiting Mallams and Fetish Priest, whilst we also concentrate on our music. Pastors visit Mallams and fetish priests just to bring Shatawale down to the extends of killing him, then they come out with fake and bogus prophesies just to intimidate celebrities in Ghana.

You can’t do this in Germany, USA, Jamaica or any European Country. A threat to any musician in Ghana is  a threat to KINGFAYA he added.

I support Shata Wale burning any church or even any Pastor who is a threat to his life just to show as a signal to others.

Manchie Gari Processors Needs Support-Comfort Zomelo

We want to thank Africa Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) for their support over the years and without them things might have gone worse leading to the collapse of the only Gari Processing Company in the Ga West Municipality.

 

The production of a quality tasty Gari and highly nutritious soyabeans Gari involves a lot of technicalities which needs trained staffs motivated to move the industry to the next level.

 

Even for small scale entrepreneurs who are unable to participate in the international cassava export market, feeding the local African population with this most basic food stuff remains an interesting and highly lucrative prospect and the interesting thing is that as humans and industries, we compete for the valuable cassava crops, Madam Comfort Zomelo added

 

The annual consumption of gari in West Africa is valued at several million dollars (annually) and is expected to grow with the population explosion in the region. For as long as a large proportion of the population in the region remains predominantly poor, Gari will continue to be the preferred food product for many years to come. Gari has several applications in African cuisine and is prepared in very many ways across cultures and countries. It’s really well enjoyed and consumed by both rich and poor.

 

Gari and cassava production in Africa is an impressive business opportunity for the continent, especially West and Central Africa. Because it is such an important food in the region and an extremely versatile crop, it is commonly referred to as cornerstone of food security in Africa.

 

 It is also the most widely available source of carbohydrates and dietary energy in Africa.

Despite its favorable climate, fertile soils and cheap manpower, Africa is yet to fully exploit the huge returns from the global cassava trade.

 

Due to the very short shelf life of harvested cassava tubers, inadequate road and power infrastructure, most of the cassava produced in Africa is consumed locally, where it is still unable to address the growing consumption.

As a result, a lot of the cassava harvested every year in Africa become spoilt and never make it to the market. This wastage is estimated to be worth millions of dollars every year.

 

                                

 

Womens Are Their Own Enemies-Aisha Futa

Girls can be mean to other girls, but it is adult women who vie to destroy each other. For our numbers to be increased in political representative positions, the burden lies with us. We should assess and strengthen our weakness so we can fight without undermining ourselves before being judged by the electorates.

 

Compared to their male counterparts, electoral statistics indicated that women registered and voted in good numbers, even if it meant incurring costs to travel during elections.

 

It is still hard to understand why women continued to fail to support each other. “As women we should start to applaud and be proud of other women who want to represent women out there.

 

We may hate to say it, but women are their own enemies when it comes to voting candidates into political positions, women would rather elect men, who unfortunately often proceeded to keep them down.

 

Although society sought to articulate women’s agenda, women did not do much to help themselves, particularly by doing away with the “pull her down” syndrome which will disadvantaged them in terms of worthy representation.         

      

Women are afraid to make a move in the political arena in Ghana because the bashing alone from fellow women will discourage you.

 

It is important for women to see themselves as belonging to a new generation, faced with the demands of modern times. The dominance of men in party positions at the expense of the marginalized women must be reversed.

Making Cpp Attractive To Ghanaians -Hajia Hamdatu

We have to sacrifice to ensure the party grows for future generation. Any Party member who suffered for the party in every general election must be commended for their sacrifices. They worked hard and deserve to be treated well to motivate other youths to take up the challenge to work relentlessly for the party come 2020.

 

Young people didn’t know nor care about these new parties. Even if they knew a little bit about their left/right alignment, they still didn’t care. Every political party, no matter which colour or creed, was all disconnected decision-makers who didn’t understand young people’s actual lives.

 

Despite there being new and shiny political parties thrown into the mix, politics didn’t listen to, nor care about them, so why would they engage? Their problem was not a lack of faith in specific parties, but a lack of faith in the whole political system itself.

 

“No matter what we say, we climb those nine steps and we finally get the chance to say what we think, we going to be like ‘we’re going to do this anyway’.”

 

Much of the disquiet among the young, it’s often argued, is because we see so little opportunity for real change through the current political system. From academics to comedians, it’s become a sort of aphorism that the young don’t vote because they simply see no point in the political system anymore.

 

We have to believe in human development in making CPP more attractive in Ghana by committing ourselves to the task of getting the majority of the youth involved.

 

And we have to identify the strongholds of CPP in the country and get the youth involved in every political activities with enthusiasm to come to power in 2020.

We Should Have a Fruitful Ramadan-Hajia Hamdatu

Fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate. It is also a chance to kick addictions like caffeine and cigarettes.

The Ramadan fast, in which food and even water is prohibited, falls on especially long summer days this year for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.

During the day, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, sex, gossip and cursing, and are encouraged to focus on meditative acts like prayer, reading the Quran and charity. There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating, and people travelling.

Millions of Muslims around the world has begun the fasting month of Ramadan .

Say No To GMO-Nii Armah Akomfrah

Food Sovereignty Ghana and March Against Monsanto - Accra, have the pleasure to invite you to a march through some of the principal streets of Accra to highlight our desire for public awareness and participation in decisions regarding biotechnology in agriculture.

We strongly believe that such decisions must not be left in the hands of multi-national corporations and their local enablers using their GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, and seed monopoly lobby to influence the outcome of government policy.

We shall be assembling at Sergeant Adjetey bus stop near Artistes Alliance (La). The march begins at 7.30am. The route of the march, as notified to the police, is as follows: Starting point: Sergeant Adjetey bus stop, marching progresses through La Taxi rank - La market - Note: Education for community - Nyo Tsaana Road/La Kpanaa Road - Agus Road - New Life Road/Aklowa House Road - Kpogas Junction/Trade Fair Junction - End point: Trade Fair car parking area (Presidential Drive Way).

March Against Monsanto, is an international grassroots movement against Monsanto Corporation, in protest at the company's practices of using their affluence to influence the outcome of legislation, regulations, research findings, media narratives, etc. The movement was founded by Tami Canal in response to the failure of California's Proposition 37, a ballot initiative which would have required labelling of food products made from GMOs. Monsanto was reported to have poured in $7,100,500 to help narrowly defeat California's *Proposition 37.

Advocates therefore support mandatory labelling laws for food made from GMOs. We in Ghana however support the call for labelling but since GMOs are yet to be cultivated in Ghana, we go beyond the call for labelling in demanding an indefinite moratorium on or a ban on all GM foods in Ghana! We take note of the debate going on at the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Ghana, to introduce voluntary labelling rather than mandatory labelling of GMOs, and reiterate our demand for mandatory labelling of everything GMO in the food chain of Ghanaians.

Since our formation in 2013, FSG has marked the day without fail. The primary purpose of the march is to draw attention to our demands of the day. This year's march comes at a time where we are yet to see the mandatory labelling of GM foods, even though a court ruling clearly told us that, "The law is that GMOs should be differentiated from organic or natural cause, and should be labelled to enable consumers know the products to take an informed decision."

We still seem to live in a situation where our courts say there is a law, but that law appears nowhere to be found!

We are marching because even after overwhelmingly exposing the UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders' Bill, (PBB), as too rigid, unsuitable, and illegitimate, there are still forces ignoring our call for a "sui generis' plant protection system as required by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to protect the intellectual property of plant breeders. These unpatriotic forces are still calling for the passage of the ill-structured Plant Breeders' Bill without any changes!

As we prepare to march, FSG wishes to take the opportunity to salute Richard Mosiah Ababa Allen, a great comrade who embarked on a nationwide walk in January 2018. So far he has covered seven out of the ten regions in Ghana. Starting out in the Volta region he proceeded north toward Kete Krachi entering the Northern Region and continuing onto Upper East and then Upper West. In April, he toured Brong Ahafo and he is currently in the Ashanti region. He is expected to arrive in Accra by the end of June. Richard, a free-lance researcher on Human Behaviour continues to engage a wide spectrum of Ghanaian citizens, in championing and advocating for unity and progress for our nation, through this Educational Awareness Walk dubbed the Visitation Walk. The sole intention is to walk through the whole of Ghana to raise a high awareness on important agricultural issues which have not received much attention on the national agenda. In this effort he has collaborated with Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) who have been at the forefront of defending Ghana and her food and agricultural systems against the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

We are also marching to celebrate the victories we have chalked in our advocacy in the course of the year. The most notable being the systematic defeat of the pro-GMO lobby in all debate encounters with them.

We are marching because the passionate support from an overwhelming number of Ghanaians from various backgrounds tells us that history is on our side, and agroecology, not biotechnology, is the way forward!

Please, join us on Saturday May 19th to March Against Monsanto and Bayer, as we call for sustainable policy-making in our Agriculture!

 

Cameroon on Sunday marked 46th National Day amidst growing tension in English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions.

The day commemorates the 1972 national referendum when Cameroonians voted for a unitary as opposed to the existing federal state.

The government chose May 20 to celebrate former President Ahmadou Ahidjo’s abolishment of the federal system of government.

Activities of the day include speeches by the head of state, and other senior state officials, children all over the country singing and parades or marches around the various cities. The day is presided over by the head of state in Yaoundé and in the regional headquarters by the governor who represents the government.

However, armed separatist were threatening further attacks in the restive regions to frustrate the celebration.

The anglophone Cameroonians were agitating for secession after the predominantly francophone Yaoundé government reneged on a pre-unification deal.

Under the umbrella of the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGC), the anglophones have engaged in various violent acts to push their agenda.

AGC leader Lucas Cho Ayaba has previously pronounced his group’s responsibility for the abduction of national government officials.

Adopt A Common Position On Lgbt –Delle

The Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) has called for the African Union (AU) to adopt a common position on the emerging threat of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa.

 

      Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle, its Chairman and Leader, said “we need a collective position to withstand the threat and arm twisting tactics being adopted by some western powers to force this down our throat”.

 

     He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency ahead of this year’s celebration of the AU Day.

 

      He said as Africans commemorated the Day, “We must reflect and bring the issues strongly on the front burner of the AU agenda. Forces are gathering for and against LGBT, as Africans, we have our culture, traditions and norms which influence our way of life”.

 

      Prof Delle reminded African Leaders and Governments to protect the integrity of the African.

 

      “Our traditional, religious, civil society activities, parliamentarians, media, academia and professional bodies must join the debate and help policy makers adopt the necessary legislative reforms on the issues.”

 

      Touching on the AU Day commemoration, he recounted how the first Congress of Independent African States, was held in Accra, Ghana on April 15, 1958.

 

        This was convened by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah where he called for an African Freedom Day.

 

        Representatives from Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon participated in the conference.

 

        It showcased the progress of liberation movements in the continent and symbolized the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.

 

        Prof Delle said although the Pan-African Congress had been working towards similar goals since its foundation in 1900, the Accra Conference was the first time such a meeting had taken place on African soil.

 

        The meeting was notable in that it laid the basis for the subsequent meetings of Africa Heads of State and Government during the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group era, until the formation of the OAU in 1963.

 

       Five years later, on May 25, 1963, representatives of 30 African nations met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie, and it was at this meeting tha the Organisation of African Unity was founded, with the initial aim to encourage the decolonisation of Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia.

 

     At the 1963 Addis Ababa meeting a Charter signed by all attendees, with the exception of Morocco and Africa Freedom Day was renamed Africa Liberation Day.

 

      In 2002, the OAU was replaced by the AU and it was remained AU Day

 

      Prof Delle urged the current political leaders to continue the freedom struggle under new and emerging threats - work together “as our founding fathers did and fight for Africa’s interest”.

 

      He expressed excitement at the AU’s tagging of 2018 as African anti-corruption year and spelling out modalities for winning the fight against corruption.

Students Of Duke University Visits Ghana's Afro Jazz Centre

By Isaac Winful Dadzie

 

AfroJazz in Ghana is regaining an international outlook following the death of Ghana's music legend, Guy Warren (Ghanaba). Ghana was well noted for Ghanaba's afro beats that rocked the Americas in the 1980s. Ever since his death, effort has been made to resuscitate this admix of Western acoustics and traditional folkore until recently two of his prodigies, Nii Noi Nortey and Nii Otoo Annan released their album the 'Accra Train Station'. Out of their magnificent work they have gained international weight and penetrating into markets. 

 

As a result of five years experience in Ghana of an anthropologist, Prof Steven Feld, Nii Otoo Annan and Nii Noi Nortey's works have been recorded in a New York times endorsed book "Jazz Cosmopolitan in Ghana; Five Years of Musical Experience". The duo have since then received accolades across several musical scholars and artists. 

 

Last week Friday, students of the Arts Department of Duke University based in US visited the Anyaa Arts Centre to interact with the duo and have some musical lessons that can give them credit hours in their course. In an interaction with the students, they expressed joy in travelling all the way to Ghana to personally meet the duo and have a real feel of their music. Nii Noi Nortey, in an interview, mentioned that real African music is still alive and making waves across the world. He stated, it's time to revive AfroJazz in our theatre and schools. 

 

AfroJazz by the Anyaa Arts Centre is expected to bring excitement and some rejuvenation among the youth of Anyaa Area, a suburb of Accra. Many international scholars are gaining interest in their work and hopefully will help in projecting the country's music industry.

 

CPP’s 69th Anniversary-Speech Delivered By Prof. Edmund Delle

Story By Abroni Thomas

 

First, I wish to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our party leaders and our party members at the national, regional and constituency level, as well as our supporters across Ghana and all over the world. I particularly commend our Central Committee, and our Youth and Women’s League. Today, we celebrate the 69th anniversary of the Convention People’s Party. Before a teeming crowd of some 60,000 people, 69 years ago today, here in Accra, Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah launched the Convention People’s Party (CPP). Those so gathered, on that fateful day, were expressive of the prevailing mood of the country and especially of the youth that Nkrumah should break away from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) to form a party which will unite the country in a single voice to demand SELF-GOVERNMENT NOW through a non-violent programme of Positive Action. 61 years after Our Founder, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah led us into victory, an independent nation with the right to determine her own destiny, the challenge of living up to his vision and expectations remains ever so defiantly.

 

 

We contend with an assault on history and truth, a revisionist attempt to rewrite our history and rob our youth of the knowledge of the achievements of Nkrumah. But our detractors our misguided in as much as they are mischievous. Because the greatness of Nkrumah lies not in his history, in our history, but in our future. Because Nkrumah inspires us to build a party and a country to transform us from the nadir of hopelessness into the shining Black Star of Africa. Because Nkrumah compels us to unite together as Africans to transform our continent because our manifest destiny is inextricably linked together.

 

Yet our destiny is imperiled. We contend with an assault on our integrity and values as a nation. Comrades, throughout my travels, traversing the entire country, I have met with Ghanaians from all walks of life, especially those in the remote and rural areas, and I have been inspired. I have found in them, irrespective of religion, gender, creed, tribe or class, a resilient people with an unwavering belief and commitment to democracy, freedom, rule of law, peace, and unity in Mother Ghana. But I also find in them a people disappointed and disillusioned. A people tired of political rhetoric that isn’t matched with reality. A people disenchanted with the state of our nation. A people fed up with a healthcare system that causes a 70-year old man to lose his life because no hospital will give him a bed. A people angry at the international disgrace and shame that has befallen our great nation because of scandal upon scandal upon scandal of corruption, with no consequence. And God bless Anas who is a national hero and a beacon of hope for his courage in unveiling the evil depths of the cancerous corruption plaguing our society. A people tired of political robbery with no impunity. A people unsatisfied with free education but no jobs. A people unaccepting of the growing inequality, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. A people frankly fed up with the two major political parties who have failed us spectacularly. Our people are losing confidence in our judiciary, in our leaders across the political spectrum, and in our political institutions. We find ourselves in an abyss, with no clear moral compass guiding us out of the labyrinth of graft and corruption.

 

At this fork road of despair and a yearn for hope, there has never been a greater validation of the ideals upon which the Convention People’s Party was founded, there has never been a greater moment in our history where the need for a third party, where the need for an alternative to the two party system of entrenched corruption and failed leadership, where the need for a restoration of our dignity, of our values, of our purpose, has shined so brilliantly hope illuminating the darkness of our despair.

 

We must lead by example and start with our party and all Nkrumaists nationwide. On this 69th anniversary of the founding of the party that liberated our country from the shackles of colonial subjugation, I call on all Nkrumaists to unite for a new challenge to liberate Ghana once again, this time not from foreign rule, but from the shackles of corruption and failed leadership. Our struggle is a collective effort. We must ensure that we guard ourselves and the party against threats of division, which seek to work against our desire and our destiny to deliver a new type of leadership to our beloved country. We must strive to place the supreme interest of the party over and above any individual or group interest. As leaders, we must always remember that we are servants of the party and servants of our nation. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the Founder of the Nation; once said, “if our revolution must succeed, then every man and woman of good intention must be given a role to play”. Thus, every member of the party has a duty to play in our efforts to rebuild our party and liberate our great nation.

 

Comrades, the Convention Peoples Party is undoubtedly the answer to the people’s cries for change. It’s a party tied to the people of Ghana and our aspiration for a better and more promising life. The CPP must continue to be the vanguard for the realization of the collective dreams of our people. It is our duty, as a party of national liberation, to rise up to this time, to this unique moment in our history to capture political power and restore Ghana’s greatness.

 

In the words of our Founder, Osagyefo, "Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge - a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellences and the fullest greatness of man [and woman]. Dare we ask for more in life?"

 

Comrades, Countrymen and women, there have never been a task greater than the salvation of the soul of our country and the restoration of our dignity. Let’s get to work!