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London youths who made ‘drill music’ jailed for planning gang attack

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Five London gang members who made ‘drill music’, a niche form of hip-hop that glorifies violence and has been linked by police to a surge in knife crime, received jail sentences on Monday for planning an attack on a rival gang.

The young men from the Notting Hill area of west London, aged between 17 and 21, were arrested last November armed with machetes, baseball bats, masks, balaclavas and gloves.

They initially told police the items were props to make a drill music video, but later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder. They had been embroiled in a feud with a gang from nearby Shepherd’s Bush.

The court was shown seven drill music videos, which prosecutors said demonstrated how the group had been promoting violence.

One song called “No Hook” included sounds of gunshots and lyrics about shooting and stabbing such as “Ching (stab) Splash (stab) aim for his lungs,” police said.

The five received sentences ranging up to three-and-a-half years.

Prosecutors are also seeking criminal behavior orders that would ban the men from making drill music for three to five years. A hearing on that issue will be held on Friday.

An increase in knife crime pushed London’s murder rate over that of New York in February and March, for the first time in modern history. [nL5N1RG3LU]

Some social workers have disputed the link between drill music and gang violence, saying cuts in youth services due to fiscal austerity measures are likely to be a more direct cause.

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Govt Releases Full List Of 400 Schools To Operate Double-Track

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The government has released the list of all 400 Senior High Schools to operate the double-track system from September this year.

The list, published here, gives a strong indication of government’s resolve to implement the new system amid concerns.

The double-track, according to the government, will allow 400 out of the 696 senior high schools to accommodate more students within the same facility.

Statistics available show that from 2013 to 2017, a staggering 493,016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates qualified to pursue secondary education but could not do so because they were not enrolled.

It is estimated that 24,993 of this year’s BECE candidates will miss out on secondary education if the government, through the Ministry of Education, does not adopt an innovative way of accommodating all qualified candidates.

Click this link to access the full list.

Below is a snapshot of the list of schools in Accra.

DOUBLE-TRACK-LIST-accra

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Don’t Tell Your Wives When You Impregnate Another Woman : Counsellor Lutterodt

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Counsellor Lutterodt

Counsellor George Carstensen Lutterodt says cheating or adultery in marriage is a personal decision and that husbands are not obliged to inform their wives when they impregnate other women out of extramarital affairs.

He said this in relation to the marital issues discussed on Abrabo with Maame Akua Austin on Asempa 94.7 FM’s midmorning show.

The outspoken Counsellor also said wives should not blame husbands for extramarital affairs, saying they should try and know the reason why their husbands went into such extramarital affairs and correct them for better marriage lives.

He said although men are responsible for their actions, ladies must know that pregnancy out of adultery does not guarantee marriage so they must always protect themselves when they are having sexual affairs with other ladies’ husbands.

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Dr. Mensa Otabil Breaks His Silence; Reveals He Was Invited By EOCO

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Dr. Mensa Otabil

Dr. Mensa Otabil has finally broken his silence on the ongoing Capital Bank collapse as majority of people have blamed him as well as he was the Board Chairman of the bank before its collapse and as such, one expects that, he knew of every decision that was taken by the bank and has an idea of how the Ghc610 money from BoG was spent.

Dr. Mensah Otabil who is the founder of International Central Gospel Church ( ICGC) in a statement released on Tuesday morning, has stated that he was been invited by EOCO to answer some questions and he’s willing to help the institution conduct its investigations, so as to understand what happened.

He also stated that, he had a non-executive role as a Board Chairman of the bank and that, there were some decisions that were made that turned out well while some did not turn out as well as had been anticipated.

“As far as I can tell, everything was done with the best of intentions and the interest of various stakeholders in mind.

“My foremost concern, as has been the case over the past year, is for the well-being of those who lost their jobs and those who may have been adversely affected in any way as a result of these developments. My heart goes out to them and to their dependents. I continue to pray for God’s guidance and sustenance as they navigate the course of their lives,” he stated in the nine-point statement.

He concludes in the statement, published in full below, that he will continue to cooperate with the state institutions probing the collapse of the bank.

Capital Bank, along with another indigenous bank, UT Bank, collapsed in August last year due to liquidity challenges and all their assets taken over by state-owned GCB Bank.

Capital Bank received GHS 610 million from the Bank of Ghana to cure its liquidity struggles, funds allegedly mismanaged, leading to its collapse.

The full statement is published below.
Re: Capital Bank And Related Matters

Greetings!

1. I have observed with concern, the ongoing media discussions regarding developments in the Banking Sector and my role either directly or indirectly.

2. I accepted to be Board Chairman of Capital Bank in a bid to help strengthen a promising Ghanaian enterprise that had potential but also challenges. I was excited about the prospects of a young man from a disadvantaged background who was daring to create opportunities and employment.

3. My position was a non-executive role. I was therefore not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank.

4. In the course of time, some decisions made turned out well while some did not turn out as well as had been anticipated. As far as I can tell, everything was done with the best of intentions and the interest of various stakeholders in mind.

5. My foremost concern, as has been the case over the past year, is for the well-being of those who lost their jobs and those who may have been adversely affected in any way as a result of these developments. My heart goes out to them and to their dependents. I continue to pray for God’s guidance and sustenance as they navigate the course of their lives.
6. Since the takeover of the bank exactly a year ago today, various mandated state institutions have been investigating and working to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of what happened, why it happened and who was responsible for what. I have been invited by EOCO and I have submitted myself to their processes and answered all their questions faithfully.

7. For some time now, many discussion platforms have made varied references to me and to my perceived role. Some have reached out to me for clarifications regarding issues that have been raised. I have preferred not to respond in the public domain, not as an admission of guilt, but out of respect for the due process and the ongoing investigations.

8. Notwithstanding some unforeseen outcomes, I remain resolute in my belief in the Ghanaian and African entrepreneurial spirit. I will therefore continue to lend my support and mentorship to inspire others who dare to dream and work towards the promise of Africa’s growth and transformation.

9. Meanwhile, as a believer in the rule of law, I will continue to cooperate with the mandated institutions of state as they complete their investigations. I am confident that in the process, the national interest and the rights of all parties involved will be protected.

Shalom, peace and life to you.

Signed, Pastor Mensa Otabil. 14th August, 2018.

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