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Radio Gold, Other Closed Stations Back



The Governing Board of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has approved the grant of a total of One Hundred and Thirty Three (133) FM radio broadcasting authorisations which include new applications from entities whose FM radio stations were closed down after the 2017 FM Audit as well as existing stations which applied for renewal of their expired FM Radio broadcasting authorisations.

The approval was done at a Board meeting held on 11th October, 2021.

A statement issued by the NCA on Tuesday October 12 said this approval from the Board is subject to the applicants attending a sensitisation workshop on the terms and conditions of FM radio broadcasting authorisations.

“The workshop shall clarify the legal, regulatory, and technical requirements for the establishment and operation of an FM Radio Broadcasting station.

“Provisional authorisations shall be issued to the successful applicants at the end of the workshop and frequencies shall be assigned to the applicants only upon the fulfillment of the conditions of the Provisional Authorisation.

“The general public is reminded that per Section 2(4) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Act 775, a person shall not operate a broadcasting system or provide a broadcasting service without a frequency authorisation by the Authority.

“Offenders are liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both, as per Section 73 of Act 775 of 2008.”

The NCA shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, and several others.

A statement issued by the NCA in Accra on May 9, 2019, said the closures were carried out in line with Regulations 65 (1) of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L. I. 1991, which states that “A person shall not use a radio frequency without authorisation from the Authority.”

Referring to a 2018 ruling by the Electronic Communications Tribunal on the status of FM stations with expired authorisation, the NCA said “Companies whose authorisations had expired reverted to the same position as a fresh applicant,” adding that “these applications shall go through the required procedure for new FM Broadcasting Authorisation.”

The regulator did not mention the two stations, implying that it was a general exercise. However, only Radio XYZ and Radio Gold have been closed so far. Officials of the NCA, backed by armed police officers, stormed the premises of the radio stations to enforce the shutdown in the afternoon of May 9.

This is the second time in less than two years that the regulator has flexed its muscles against “defaulting stations.” In September, 2017, the NCA carried out a massive purge of the broadcasting industry that saw a total of 34 radio and television stations being shut down for various infractions, in enforcement of Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.

The regulator also imposed fines on a number of stations ranging from GHC50,000 (US$11,000) to GHC61,000,000 (US$13.8 million) depending on the infraction and the duration the infraction persisted.

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Benjamin Mendy ‘made kidnap joke’ before ‘attacking woman’; “he kept pulling me down”



Benjamin Mendy allegedly joked he would “kidnap” a woman he was partying with in a Manchester nightclub before he attempted to rape her at his house the next day, a court heard.

The jury at Chester Crown Court heard details on the third day of the Manchester City defender’s trial of his alleged attack on a 29-year-old woman in October 2018, for which he is charged with attempted rape.

The woman had met Mendy and a friend a year prior. She told police she liked one of Mendy’s friends, but Mendy took a liking to her. She then travelled to Manchester the following year to meet Mendy’s friend at the footballer’s house.

She joined Mendy, his friends and others at a restaurant where they played drinking games before heading to two nightclubs. The woman was with Mendy’s friend at the second of the clubs when Mendy is claimed to have told her: “When he is not looking, I’m going to kidnap you.” The woman told police during her statement made years later at Walworth Police Station in January 2022: “I thought he was joking.”

She said she was “drunk but aware” by the time she eventually returned to Mendy’s home in Cheshire, known as The Spinney, later that evening. The following morning she claims Mendy suggested she get a phone charger from his room, but she declined as she “had her own”. Then she claims she was taking a shower upstairs in the room she was staying in with the door ajar “so she could hear”, believing everyone else to be downstairs. She was “completely nude” and had music playing, when Mendy is alleged to have walked into the bathroom.

The woman claims she saw Mendy enter the room “out the corner of my eye” and told him “he had to leave” but he “held himself in his private area”. She wrapped herself in a towel and tried to grab some underwear “to protect myself”, but claims Mendy “kept obstructing me”, as she alleges there was a continued back and forth for around 20 minutes.

“He kept forcing himself to see me and take off my towel,” the woman tells the police officer in the video shared with the court. “I kept pushing him away to the point where he kept grabbing me back.”

Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, said the woman told officers: “He pulled his boxers down to his thighs to expose his penis. He pulled her down to the bed and started to sit her down and hold her on his lap.”

“I just kept trying to push him off. He kept pulling me down. We fell into the spoon position,” the woman says in the video. “That’s when he took off his boxers. He had his penis near as if almost to penetrate. He said, ‘Don’t worry’.

“I just kept trying to wriggle out. He got very close but I pushed him away as much as I could. I just kept thinking, ‘Where are his friends? Why are they not here? Should I scream? What am I going to do?”

“I did not scream because I did not understand what was going on,” she adds. “I just tried to struggle my way out of it.”

The woman told police she did not remember how the situation ended but quickly gathered her things, got dressed and left the house to call a taxi. Mendy then told her he would get a driver to take her. “It was just embarrassing. I just wanted to get out of there.”

She did not initially report the incident but had a telephone conversation with her GP in August 2021 where she explained how she’d been feeling “low and anxious” due to something being made public – though she did not want to give further details.

The following day she had a face-to-face appointment with her doctor saying she had not had sexual intercourse since 2018 when she was the victim of an attempted rape and that this was related to the current news story involving Mendy.

Mendy stands accused of eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies all charges.

He is currently standing trial alongside co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 41, who has also pled not guilty to charges of eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault between July 2012 and August 2021.

Prosecuting QC Cray told the court on Monday: “Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences. The fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer, or that they engineered situations where ‘no’ was not even an option, is something you will hear time and time again.”

The trial is expected to last three months.

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Atletico Madrid rejects Man Utd’s £114m bid for Joao Felix



Manchester United reportedly had a £114 million bid for Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix rejected as they seek attacking reinforcements.

Despite reports that the Portugal international was offered to Arsenal earlier this year, the Red Devils have been told categorically that Felix is not for sale.

To rub salt in the wounds, United were also informed that, like long-term target Frenkie de Jong, Felix has no desire to move to Old Trafford even if his club decides to sell him, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano further claims that United football director John Murtough has been in direct contact with Atletico about a potential deal, but was given a firm ‘no’.

The 22-year-old moved to Atletico from Benfica for a whopping £113million back in 2019 though has generally failed to live up to expectations, scoring just 30 times in his three seasons playing under the notoriously tactically rigid Diego Simeone.

United meanwhile are under intense pressure to bring in another player or two having started the season disastrously with back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Erik ten Hag is desperate for more numbers in midfield and some fire power up front, especially with the uncertainty hanging over Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment. Moves for Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot have both collapsed in the past few days and there’s now reportedly a sense of panic growing within the club.

Ten Hag is interested in Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, having worked with him at Ajax, though United’s board remain unconvinced. A loan move for Ziyech’s club-mate Christian Pulisic has also been rumoured, as has an approach for Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Whatever the case, United have just two weeks to get their house in order. Otherwise their poor start could quickly turn into a nightmare.

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Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he wants to buy Manchester United



Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, is interested in buying a stake in Manchester United, if the Glazers are willing to sell the crisis club.

Pressure is mounting on the American owners after yet another dismal start to the Premier League season. Former director Michael Knighton has already outlined his intentions to complete a hostile takeover, with boyhood United fan and Ineos CEO Ratcliffe now ready to join the consortium.

Ratcliffe was one of the parties interested in buying Chelsea this year and has previously distanced himself from acquiring United. But in a new statement, he has now declared he would be a willing investor. “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson told the Times. “If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”

The announcement comes just hours after reports have emerged that the Glazers, who have owned United for 17 tumultuous years, are considering selling a minority stake in the club. It is understood that preliminary discussions have taken place about offloading shares and bringing in fresh investment.

And Radcliffe believes a cash injection is required, to help fund not only an improvement off the pitch, but to upgrade the facilities off it. “This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

However, hopes of a rapid transferring of power remain faint, with the current owners steadfast they will not completely relinquish control. That is despite yet more protests planned by supporters, with a number of supporters set to demonstrate outside Old Trafford before Monday night’s game at Liverpool.

Knighton has spoken in clear terms about how he hopes to oust the Glazers, although there are reservations about his capacity to complete a deal having infamously failed in an attempt to buy them in 1989.

Nevertheless, he has revealed that he has been in discussions with a number of billionaires in an attempt to match the £6bn valuation and had stated he was hoping to “smoke out” Ratcliffe.

“They are small-time billionaires that I have been speaking to for three to four months now”, Knighton explained to ITV News. “When I was approached by some fan groups, oddly enough, saying ‘look, our club is dying on its feet’ would you please do something?’

“I made a few phone calls and I’ve been pulling this consortium together ever since. We are not the great Sir Jim Ratcliffe. We do not have those resources. We are not some nation state sovereign fund who has oil revenue of two billion a day. The point is: someone had to make a stand.”

On potentially including Ratcliffe in the takeover, Knighton added: “If we can smoke the great Sir Jim out to buy Manchester United my consortium will be punching the air because we’ve achieved what we want to do.

“We will make the bid with our own consortium but, I’ll tell you this, we do not have the resources available to do everything that is needed.”

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