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Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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EU launches initiative to address climate change-related crises

Climate change

The European Union (EU) has begun an interventionist project aimed at protecting residents of coastal towns in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region from the severe consequences of climate change.

The Security Component Coordinator of the project known as “Coping with Climate Change as a Cause of Conflict in Coastal Communities of West Africa (C7-West Africa),” Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi, announced this during a two-day Inception/Ceremony and Cooperative Planning Event in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Explaining further, Air Commodore Abdullahi promised that the EU will render support to the affected area in the best possible approach, just as it will get commitments from state and non-state actors regarding the project.

The Governor of Bayelsa state, Sen. Douye Diri, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Gideon Ekeuwei, called on the European Union, to intensify their support approach in helping coastal communities from negative effects as a result of climate change.

Ekeuwei also thanked the Italian Shipping Academy for appointing the Nigeria Maritime University as the local implementing partner, adding that the state government is ready to partner with the EU to ensure the success of the project.

Fielding questions from journalists, leaders of coastal communities expressed optimism of better days ahead for their people who suffer negative impacts, as well as, conflicts that are induced by climate change.

Also present at the event are Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff and Director-General of the National Environmental Standards, Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council who applauded a train the trainers’ workshops scheduled to hold in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, and Cross River States soon.

Transfer Jubilee Holdings’ shares to GNPC – Minority to govt

Transfer Jubilee Holdings' shares to GNPC - Minority to govt

The Akufo-Addo administration has been urged by the minority caucus in parliament to transfer Jubilee Holdings Limited’s (JOHL) shares to the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC).

The transfer of shares, the Minority believes will make Ghanaians confident that an appropriate oversight is being exercised on the assets.

It said it will also go a long way to ensure proper accountability and effective monitoring of the revenues accruing from petroleum resources.

The Minority in a statement signed by its Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, stated “By this statement, the Minority calls on the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government to transfer the shares held by JOHL to GNPC without delay, in order that Ghanaians can be assured that appropriate oversight is being exercised on these assets by Parliament and other stakeholders. This will only go a long way to ensure proper accountability and effective monitoring of the revenues accruing from our petroleum resources”.

The Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, claimed that GNPC under the Chairmanship of Freddie Blay is working on a transaction to relinquish about 50% of the shares of Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited to PetroSA, the state-owned oil company of South Africa.

Moscow drone attack aimed to provoke and scare Russia – Putin

A Moscow building was damaged by the drone, with residents of two blocks being evacuated

As stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a drone strike on Moscow earlier today was directed at civilians with the intention of inciting the nation.

The incident, which resulted in minor building damage in the Russian capital and forced evacuations, has been attributed by the Kremlin to Ukraine.

Kyiv hasn’t responded, but yesterday the military intelligence chief of Ukraine, Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, issued a warning about a quick response to prior strikes on Kyiv before sunrise.

Minority orders gov’t to Transfer JOHL shares to GNPC without delay

Minority leader in parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson
Minority leader in parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson

Upon the resumption of Parliament, the Minority declared its intention to submit an urgent question seeking clarification regarding the proposed divestment of Ghana’s stake in Jubilee Oil Holdings (JOHL) to the Petroleum Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA).

It has been alleged that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) under the Chairmanship of Mr Freddie Blay, is working on a transaction to relinquish about 50% of shares of JOHL to PetroSA.

Mr Blay has, however, denied any wrong doing.

Reacting to this claim, the Minority said apart from filing an urgent question for clarification of this saga, it is concerned with the manner in which the JOHL assets are being held and managed.

The Minority in a statement signed by its leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson claimed that the JOHL revenues are currently being used as “slush fund” to pursue all manner of business that has not been approved by Parliament under the usual GNPC budget approval process.

“The recent lodgment of $100 million of oil revenues in the accounts of JOHL which sparked concerns about the state being deprived of taxes accruing from these revenues leads credence to our concern,” the statement stated.

Even more troubling, according to the Minority, is the Energy Minister’s references in his letter to the Executive Secretary to the President, an attempt to try to refinance GNPC’s current debts by using JOHL’s asset to do so with LITASCO.

The Minority noted that it can presume that the intent is to forward sell JOHL’s production share to raise money.

To this end, they are calling on the Akufo-Addo-led government to transfer the shares held by JOHL to GNPC without delay, in order that Ghanaians can be assured that appropriate oversight is being exercised on these assets by parliament and other stakeholders.

This they say will ensure proper accountability and effective monitoring of the revenues accruing from the country’s petroleum resources.

Read details of the statement below:

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Man gives up after shooting family member at party

Man surrenders after deadly shooting at birthday party over Memorial Day weekend Provider

After reportedly shooting a woman at a birthday party and killing a relative, a man handed himself in.

Delvin Diaz, 33, hosted a birthday celebration in his Brooklyn flat, and Geoliver Tineo, 23, reportedly attended. Police informed the New York Post that the argument started because Tineo, the nephew of Diaz’s sister-in-law, was either not invited or brought a visitor who was not invited.

Tineo is suspected of shooting at Diaz on Saturday night in front of his residence on Drew Street near Stanley Avenue. According to police, Diaz was hit numerous times.

In addition, a 31-year-old woman was grazed in the head. It was not immediately known if Tineo was targeting her.

Delvin Diaz was shot several times and died
Delvin Diaz was shot several times and died (Picture: Facebook)

Diaz was transported to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he died of the wounds. The woman was also taken to the same hospital and is in stable condition.

Tineo surrendered to law enforcement officials early Sunday, about four hours after the 9.30pm ordeal.

He has been charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

In addition, a 31-year-old woman was grazed in the head. It was not immediately known if Tineo was targeting her.

Delvin Diaz was shot several times and died
Delvin Diaz was shot several times and died (Picture: Facebook)

Diaz was transported to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he died of the wounds. The woman was also taken to the same hospital and is in stable condition.

Tineo surrendered to law enforcement officials early Sunday, about four hours after the 9.30pm ordeal.

He has been charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

We are killing people to get gold – KKD fumes on the use of cyanide in galamsey

Media personality, KKD and an image of sodium cyanide

Renowned Ghanaian broadcaster, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD), has once again sparked a fervour of discussion with his unfiltered and candid remarks.

During his appearance on the Joy News AM Show with host Benjamin Akakpo on Monday, 29th May 2023, KKD passionately voiced his concerns over what he perceives as a lack of attention from the Akufo-Addo administration towards the use of cyanide in illegal mining activities, commonly known as galamsey, in Ghana.

Cyanide and mercury are hazardous substances widely employed in illegal mining operations. They have posed significant environmental and health risks to the country’s natural resources and people’s well-being.

The host who interrogated KKD on the performance of the Akufo-Addo administration, as well as several other economic and social issues, brought up a conversation about galamsey and the use of hazardous chemicals in the mining process.

In an effort to address these issues on fair grounds, Mr. Akakpo mentioned that the government has introduced the gold catch-up programme, targeting the use of cyanide. However, KKD questioned the effectiveness of such measures.

KKD expressed his concern that the government was not doing enough to regulate the use of cyanide and other harmful chemicals used in galamsey. To him such practices essentially mean that, “now we are killing people for gold.”

The severity of the situation, according to Benjamin Akakpo, has reached a point where even the Ghana National Fire Service is encountering challenges in providing water to extinguish fires caused by galamsey activities. The widespread pollution has rendered water sources murky, prompting concerns from the fire service.

“…it is becoming so destructive that the Ghana National Fire Service has said that even water, it’s got to the point where it’s so murky in some places that the Ghana National Fire Service is struggling to get water to douse fires, it’s got to the point where a professor at the KNUST is saying you know is saying we’re having children with deformities so many things are happening, and they are more exposed,” the host contributed.

KKD further highlighted the implications on water quality, as Ghana Water asserts that treating the contaminated water has become increasingly expensive. The escalating costs of purification may soon render drinking water unaffordable for the affected communities.

“Ghana water is saying the water is getting so bad it’s getting too expensive to treat it to make it potable. So very soon water will be too expensive to drink. The people going to the galamsey sites are buying bottled water to take there,” he lamented.

Expressing his frustration, KKD condemned the ‘selfishness’, ‘greed’, and ‘irresponsibility’ exhibited by those in positions of authority. He urged Ghanaians to awaken to the realization that elected officials should possess not only knowledge but also goodwill and compassion. Without these qualities, he argued, individuals should not be chosen for leadership roles.

“So if I talk of this selfishness and greed and total irresponsibility in positions of authority Ghanaians must wake up and understand that when we elect people we choose them as our brothers as our kinsmen who have some knowledge, but we also have goodwill and compassion to come and serve. If they don’t have knowledge we shouldn’t choose them at all.”

KKD emphasized that the pursuit of wealth, avarice, and material gain should not overshadow the genuine needs and concerns of the populace. He called for a collective voice against injustice and greed, as remaining silent would only allow the few greedy individuals to prosper while the majority of the needy continue to suffer.

“If they don’t have knowledge, we shouldn’t choose them at all. But if they have knowledge, but they have no compassion, if they have knowledge, but they have no wisdom, and if they have knowledge, but they are not truthful, and if they have knowledge but all they are worrying about is their wealth and their avarice and greed so that they can fly in an aeroplane that they cannot afford and within three months of flying in that expensive aeroplane all of a sudden we realize we have no money. And we are all sitting there like you can’t be angry,” KKD said with visible distaste.

The gold catch-up programme in Ghana is an initiative of the Bank of Ghana to buy domestically produced gold from selected gold aggregators and mining firms and pay in local currency at the prevailing market price.

The gold catch up programme in Ghana is related to cyanide because cyanide is one of the chemicals used to extract gold from ore by some mining firms that participate in the programme.

According to the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, cyanide leaching is a process that dissolves gold from ore using a dilute solution of sodium cyanide.

Cyanide is a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that can dissolve gold from low-grade ore. It is commonly used in leaching processes where cyanide solution is sprayed over huge heaps of crushed ore or mixed with ore in large tanks. Cyanide can cause environmental and health impacts if released into water sources or soil. Cyanide use in gold mining requires careful management and control to prevent these impacts.

Guardiola reaches out to ‘hot cake’ Neymar via phone call

Neymar and Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has allegedly reached out to Neymar via a phone call, suggesting that the Brazilian superstar is increasingly inclined to depart from Paris Saint-Germain in the upcoming season.

This conversation between Guardiola and Neymar comes shortly after news surfaced indicating that Manchester United could be among the clubs expressing interest in acquiring the winger’s services.

Neymar had an exceptional individual season in France before his involvement was hindered by an ankle injury, cutting short his further participation.

Neymar suffered ankle injury in 2023 1
Neymar suffered ankle injury in 2023

PSG were then eliminated from the Champions League, provoking angry reactions from the club’s ultras, who have now demanded that Neymar and Lionel Messi leave the club.

While Messi will be a free agent, Neymar remains contracted until 2027 and it remains to be seen if the French side will want to cash in on him.

As L’Euipe reports, Guardiola checked in on the 31-year-old, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Manchester City will move in for him.

On paper, Manchester City are among the few clubs that can pay the astronomical wages of the former Barcelona man. The Mirror adds that Manchester United are also tempted by the possibility of bringing Neymar to Old Trafford.

How Guardiola could line up with Neymar

Despite his injury concerns, Neymar is a world-class player who would readily walk into any team.

Should Guardiola’s phone calls turn into a move to the Etihad, Sports Brief takes a look at how he would fit Guardiola’s plans. The Spanish manager has shown over the years that he is not afraid to tweak his system.

1. As a left winger

This is the Brazilian’s position of strength. he has played a majority of his career from the left wing due to the lethal nature of his right foot. Jack Grealish has, however, made this position his own this season after initially struggling since joining from Aston Villa.

2. As a secondary striker

Should Guardiola stick with Grealish on the left wing, Neymar could easily be moved into a secondary striker position.

It is the same position he adopted under Tite in the Brazil national team set up to allow for Vinicius Junior’s inclusion into the team.

Guardiola’s 3-2-4-1 formation would see him play alongside Kevin De Bruyne, just behind Erling Haaland and just in front of a double pivot midfield, usually of John Stones and Rodri, with Grealish and Bernardo Silva covering the flanks.

This could also solve the Ilkay Gundogan issue. The skipper is yet to agree a new deal with the club.

3. As a number 10

This is highly unlikely given that Guardiola rarely uses the 4-2-3-1 formation to allow for the number 10 to play behind the striker. However, De Bruyne slightly dropping in deep could allow Neymar to play in between two wingers, just behind the main striker.

Guardiola could as easily come up with a different position for the talented forward. It would be exciting to see what he adds to the current Manchester City team should he join this summer.

Neymar skips title celebrations

Sports Brief has also reported that Neymar elected not to travel to Strasbourg, where a solitary Lionel Messi goal secured a 1-1 draw for the Parisians and confirmed their second successive Ligue 1 title.

The Brazilian instead attended the showcase Formula 1 event in Monaco and was pictured alongside Hollywood superstars like Tom Holland, Orlando Bloom, and Michael Douglas – a decision that has not gone down well with the club.

Neymar’s absence from their title celebrations has reportedly been seen as an ‘act of provocation’ by the PSG hierarchy, as his exit this summer appears increasingly likely.

Trapped illegal miners can exit on foot – AngloGold

Trapped illegal miners can exit on foot - AngloGold

AngloGold Ashanti has denied claims that 300 illegal miners have been confined and unable to escape from one of the company’s mine shafts.

A statement from the mining firm explained that the trapped miners have not been confined and can exit on foot via the existing ramp from the mine.

“Unauthorized persons underground are able to exit on foot, via the existing ramp, through the main access of this mining area. No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open.

“Obuasi Gold Mine’s management team has notified the relevant authorities and public security services and is working closely with them.”

The company added that seven illegal miners exited through this main access point on foot and are in the custody of the Ghana Police Service.

The miners reportedly entered the underground shaft in search of gold deposits but were unable to come out after all exit routes were closed.

One of the illegal miners, Ali Tijani who spoke to the media said some of his colleagues are unconscious as they have run out of food and water.

“We went to the AngloGold mine to work, but the place was closed down. For four days now, we are just in there. We don’t have any food or water. And they do not want to give us water. We are about 300. We went there on our own.”

Below is the full statement by AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Provides Update on Media Reports

AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s Obuasi Mine is aware of media reports alleging that illegal miners may have been trapped underground in the northern areas of the mine, remote from current active mining areas.

Unauthorized persons underground are able to exit on foot, via the existing ramp, through the main access of this mining area. No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open.

Obuasi Gold Mine’s management team has notified the relevant authorities and public security services and is working closely with them.

Yesterday, seven illegal miners exited through this main access point on foot and are in the custody of the Ghana Police Service. Any unauthorized person underground is encouraged to leave the mine at any time by the exit points where public security personnel remain on standby.

The intrusion of illegal miners into underground areas remains a significantly dangerous activity and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana is working alongside authorities to ensure that only authorized mine personnel and contractors can access underground work areas.

The safety and security of our employees and community members remain our top priority and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana stands ready to provide any assistance required by the authorities in ensuring the safe exit of any unauthorized persons underground.

Russia will participate in SA meeting at ‘appropriate level’

President Cyril Ramaphosa with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

Questioned on whether Russian leader Vladimir Putin will attend the Brics summit in South Africa in August, a Kremlin spokesman has said Russia will take part “at the proper level”, Reuters reports.

The Russian president was invited to the gathering earlier this year, but a warrant subsequently issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) means South Africa would be expected to arrest him if he attends.

The Brics alliance represents some of the world’s leading emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

“Russia attaches enormous importance to the development of this format of integration. And Russia will take part in this summit at the proper level,” Reuters quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying at a briefing.

When pressed further about the arrest warrant, he said: “Of course we count as a bare minimum on partner countries in such an important format not being guided by such illegal decisions.”

South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to officials attending the summit, but a foreign affairs spokesman added that such immunities were standard for international gatherings and did not override warrants issued by international tribunals.

Bawumia enters NPP Presidential race

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has officially entered the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential race, as members of his camp on Tuesday picked up a nomination form for him.

This comes after national executives of the party rejected an earlier attempt by members of the ‘Bawumia Fun Club’ to pick the form for him, accompanied by a cheque for the mandated GHS 50,000.

The group had on Friday, May 26, attempted to pick the presidential nomination forms for Dr. Bawumia to contest the presidential candidacy of the ruling party, however, the party said it had no authorisation from the campaign team of the vice president to receive the endorsement.

Speaking to JoyNews after picking up the form on Tuesday however, former Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority, Fred Oware who was accompanied by the Director-General of the National Lottery Authority, Sammi Awuku, said they were authorised to do so.

Explaining why the team was not flanked by party supporters, Mr. Oware said it “was a private assignment.”

Bawumia picks NPP flagbearer nomination form

Backing this stance, Mr. Sammi Awuku added that, Dr Bawumia will be ready to communicate with the media after filing the form.

On May 3, 2023, the Vice President declared his intention to lead the NPP in the 2024 general election.

The Vice-President told the Majority Caucus in Parliament last Tuesday of his intention to contest the presidential primary slated for November 4, this year.

This disclosure to the Majority Caucus in Parliament was reiterated at an informal meeting with NPP supporters in Hohoe over the weekend.

“I want you to know that I appreciate your support. We are going to break the 8. First of all, we are going to file for the flagbearership which I’m going to do, win the flagbearership, break the 8, and go to Jubilee House. That is what I’m going to do,” Dr. Bawumia noted.

Bawumia picks NPP flagbearer nomination form

The Vice-President is in the race with former Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; former Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Agyapong, and a former MP for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai Nimoh.

The rest are a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General and MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey; a former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyepong; Former Trade Minister Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku and former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.

The party is expected to elect one of the nine as its presidential candidate for the 2024 election. 

Already, six people have picked up forms to contest in the flagbearership race.

Nomination for the presidential primary began on May 26 and is expected to end on June 24, 2023.

The party’s parliamentary primaries are scheduled for February next year.