September 2021 - Free 97.5 FM

Manila, Philippines (AP) -- Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is officially hanging up his gloves.

The eight-division world champion and Philippine senator on Wednesday announced his retirement from the ring.

“I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people, for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing,” the 42-year-old said in a video posted on his Facebook page. “It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement."

Pacquiao finished his 26-year, 72-fight career with 62 wins, eight losses and two draws. Of those 62 wins, 39 were by knockout and 23 by decision. He won 12 world titles and is the only fighter in history to win titles in eight different weight classes.

His retirement from boxing followed a disheartening defeat to Yordenis Ugas in Paradise, Nevada, on Aug. 21. The younger Cuban boxer beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision, retaining his WBA welterweight title. It was Pacquiao’s first fight in more than two years.

“Thank you for changing my life. When my family was desperate, you gave us hope, you gave me the chance to fight my way out of poverty," Pacquiao said in the video. “Because of you, I was able to inspire people all over the world. Because of you I have been given the courage to change more lives."

Pacquaio had hinted at retirement recently. It had also been expected because he is setting his sights on a bigger political battlefield. Earlier this month, he accepted his political party’s nomination and declared he will run for Philippines president in elections next May.

He has accused the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, his former ally, of making corruption worse in the Philippines. He promised to fight poverty and warned corrupt politicians they will soon end up in jail.

Pacquiao’s rags-to-riches life story and legendary career brought honor to his Southeast Asian nation, where he is known by the monikers Pacman, People’s Champ and National Fist.

He left his impoverished home in the southern Philippines as a teenager and stowed away on a ship bound for Manila. He made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight in 1995 at the age of 16, fighting his way out of abject poverty to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

Eddie Banaag, a 79-year-old retiree, said Pacquiao was his idol as a boxer and he watched almost all of his fights. But he believes the boxing icon should have retired earlier.

“He should have done that right after his victory over (Keith) Thurman,” Banaag said of Pacquiao's win over Thurman on July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Pacquiao's second-to-last fight. “It would have been better if he ended his boxing career with a win rather than a loss.”

Still, Pacquiao believes he will always be remembered as a winner. Hundreds of millions of dollars in career earnings and his record in the ring leave no doubt.

“I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life," Pacquiao said Wednesday. “I just heard the final bell. The boxing is over.“


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Published in Politics
Thursday, 30 September 2021 00:00

Eritrean Dies Aged 127 After Joyful Life - Family

A man in Eritrea has died at the age of 127, his family has said, expressing the hope that Natabay Tinsiew will earn a place in the Guinness World Records as the oldest person to have ever lived.

"Patience, generosity and a joyful life" were the secrets behind him living for so long, his grandson Zere Natabay told BBC Tigrinya.

Mr Natabay died peacefully in his village, Azefa - which has a population of about 300 and is in a gorge surrounded by mountains - on Monday.

His grandson said church records - including his birth certificate - showed he was born in 1894 - the year he was baptized - making him 127 at the time of his death.

But Mr Natabay's family believed that he was, in fact, born in 1884, but he was baptized 10 years later when a priest came around to their village. There were few priests at the time, and people waited for them to visit their villagers.

Father Mentay, a Catholic priest who served in the village for seven years, confirmed that records showed that Mr Natabay was born in 1894.

He said he was present when villagers celebrated his 120th birthday in 2014.

Mr Zere told BBC Tigrinya that he had already contacted Guinness World Records to validate the official documents of his birth, and he was waiting to hear from them.

It records French woman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, as the oldest person to have lived.

Mr Natabay got married in 1934. His wife died in 2019 at the age of 99.

During his lifetime, Mr Natabay was a herdsmen, who owned many cattle, goats and honey bees, and he had lived to see five generations of his family grow up.

Mr Zere said his grandfather would be remembered as an "extraordinary man", who was kind, caring and hardworking.






Source: BBC



Published in News
Thursday, 30 September 2021 00:00

France Visa Cut Hits Algeria, Morocco And Tunisia

Algeria and Morocco have reacted with anger to France's decision to slash the number of visas for their citizens.

France announced on Tuesday it would halve the number of visas available to Moroccans and Algerians, and reduce by a third those available to Tunisians.

It accused the three north African countries of failing to co-operate over the return of their nationals denied visas by France.

Algeria summoned the French ambassador to "formally protest" against the move.

Foreign Minister Amar Belani told the state news agency APS that France's decision was "disproportionate".

Meanwhile, Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita called the decision "unjustified", and said his country "has always acted responsibly on the issue of illegal migration".
There was no immediate word from the Tunisian authorities.

The French government's spokesman Gabriel Attal admitted on Tuesday that the decision to cut visas was "drastic" and "unprecedented".

"But one made necessary by the fact that these countries are refusing to take back nationals who we do not want or cannot keep in France," he told Europe 1 radio station

"There was dialogue, then there were threats, and today we're carrying out those threats."

When visa requests are denied, French authorities must still secure a consular pass in order to forcibly expel individuals to their home countries, AFP news agency reports.






Source: BBC


Published in Politics

Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen has affirmed that the government through the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) would continue to pursue measures which would make it possible for Ghana to assemble and later manufacture vehicles locally.

The sector Minister directly recalled the significant role the Authority played in the development of national automobile standards under the Ghana Automobile Development Programme which is being implemented by his Ministry.


Additionally, Mr Kyerematen disclosed that the GSA has developed over 30 standards for vehicles.

"This has permitted the homologation of vehicles making it possible for Ghana to assemble and later manufacture vehicles locally,"he added.


Mr Kyerematen disclosed this when he inaugurated the governing Board of Ghana Standards Authority yesterday in Accra.

He congratulated the individual personalities for their nomination by His Excellency the President of the Republic to serve as members of the Governing Board of Ghana Standards Authority.

"This is a call to serve your country in a very critical role. I am convinced that this call to service would not be taking lightly, particularly to industrial transformation which has since 2017 become the main driver of President Nana Addo Dankwa Addo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid," he said.

He stated that as they are aware, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, over the past four years have been implementing an aggressive Industrial Transformation programme, anchored on a Ten Point Plan which seeks to make Ghana the new Manufacturing Hub for Africa.

In this context, he pointed out that the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) which is Ghana’s national standards body, national metrology institute, national certification body for products and management systems which is also involved in trade facilitation at the ports of entry by carrying out inspection of goods being imported or exported plays a very critical role.

"It is in the light of the above that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has supported Ghana Standards Authority to strengthen its operations by acquiring the needed equipment for laboratories, building of Ghana and West Africa’s first AC testing laboratory, and procurement of equipment to check accuracy of fuel sold at retail outlets," he noted.




Published in Politics

The government is developing a standardised fee system for all public institutions to charge people seeking access to information under the Right to Information (RTI) Law, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced.

According to him, the absence of a unified fee system was one of the challenges facing the implementation of the RTI Law, for which reason the government was working on a proposal which would soon be laid before Parliament for consideration.

“I am aware of one review application that has been occasioned by disagreement over fees and charges. A proposal on the fees and charges has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and will soon be presented to Parliament,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah announced this at Ghana’s commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to information (IDUAI) in Accra yesterday.

Universal Access to Information Day

The event was organised by the RTI Commission, the statutory body mandated to safeguard the right to information, as enshrined in Article 21(1)(f) of the 1992 Constitution and operationalised by the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989).

September 28 was instituted as the IDUAI by the United Nations (UN)Ghana’s commemoration was on the theme: “Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989): A tool to ensure transparency, good governance, sustainable development in leveraging international cooperation”.

Controversy over fees

Act 989, which was passed in 2019 and came into force in 2020, helps people have access to information from public institutions.

Currently, there is no standardised fee system, which means public institutions use their discretion to peg their fees. This can, however, be reviewed by the RTI Commission.

 General Assembly in 2019 to create awareness of the significance of access to information.


Ghana’s commemoration was on the theme: “Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989): A tool to ensure transparency, good governance, sustainable development in leveraging international cooperation”.


Controversy over fees

Act 989, which was passed in 2019 and came into force in 2020, helps people have access to information from public institutions.

Currently, there is no standardised fee system, which means public institutions use their discretion to peg their fees. This can, however, be reviewed by the RTI Commission



In July this year, the Minerals Commission charged the Fourth Estate, an online news portal, GH¢6,000 as fees for access to information.

The Fourth Estate had asked the mining regulator for a list of companies licensed to undertake mining in the country between January 2013 and May 2021, and companies whose licences were revoked or suspended within that same period and the accompanying reasons.

Following a petition by the Fourth Estate, the RTI Commission annulled the fees and ordered the Minerals Commission to charge the news portal GH¢2.


“The commission directs the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr Martin K. Ayisi, to ensure the application of a charge or fee of either GH¢1.80 multiplied by the number of pages of information to be printed or GH¢1.90 if the information in its entirety is to be e-mailed to the applicant in PDF format,” the commission ruled.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the Minerals Commission dragged the RTI Commission to the Accra High Court seeking an order to quash the ruling.


Another controversy regarding the fees was the case of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Mr Ernest Norgbey, who sued the Electoral Commission (EC) in July last year over the EC’s failure to grant him access to information on certain procurements in connection with the biometric voter management system (BVMS).

The EC argued that inasmuch as it recognised the MP’s right to the information under the Constitution and Act 989, it could not honour the said request because Parliament was yet to fix the fees one had to pay in order to request for information under Act 989.

 The Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, upheld the MP’s case and ordered the EC to release the information to him at a cost of GH¢1,500.




Published in Politics

The ivory-billed woodpecker is among 23 species declared extinct by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

The service has proposed removing them from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which protects species under threat.


In all, 11 birds, one bat, two fish, one plant and eight types of mussel have been declared extinct.

The FWS said it had made the determination based on "rigorous reviews of the best available science for each of these species".

"Each of these 23 species represents a permanent loss to our nation's natural heritage and to global biodiversity," Bridget Fahey, who oversees species classification for the Fish and Wildlife Service, was quoted as saying in the New York Times.

"And it's a sobering reminder that extinction is a consequence of human-caused environmental change."

The ivory-billed woodpecker was once the US's largest woodpecker species but the last commonly agreed sighting was in 1944 in Louisiana. The species was officially listed as endangered in 1967.

Another bird declared extinct is the Bachman's warbler, which was one of the rarest songbirds in North America. It too has been listed as endangered since 1967


Eight species of birds from Hawaii and the Little Mariana fruit bat from the Pacific island of Guam are also on the list.

The FWS, in its statement, said the protections afforded by the ESA, which came into effect in 1973, had come too late for these species.

But it stressed the act has been successful at preventing the extinction of more than 99% of species listed, and its protections are needed now more than ever.

"The Service is actively engaged with diverse partners across the country to prevent further extinctions, recover listed species and prevent the need for federal protections in the first place," said Martha Williams, FWS Principal Deputy Director.
"The Endangered Species Act has been incredibly successful at both preventing extinctions and at inspiring the diverse partnerships needed to meet our growing 21st-century conservation challenges."






Source: BBC



Published in News

Angola and Spain are strengthening political and economic ties.

Angola's president João Lourenço visited Madrid on another stage of the international tour that has already taken him to the United States.

The Angolan president repays Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's visit in April, shortly after presenting an ambitious plan to increase Spain's influence in Africa.

João Lourenço was received at the Zarzuela Palace by King Felipe VI.

"With this visit, we intend to establish a true strategic partnership with your country. Strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation, and important areas of our economy" announced Angola's president, João Lourenço.

Pedro Sánchez reiterated the commitment of the Spanish government and the willingness of national companies to contribute to the diversification of the Angolan economy thus reducing its dependence on oil as explained by the minister for External Relations.

"Strategic partnerships are very important because from two partnerships we can not only attract investments, but also attract knowledge that participates in diversification. Diversification also implies 'know-how' for people, for technicians, for the young people that we must undertake... so you have to be a quality worker for us to really achieve the transformation we want" said Téte António.

Angola has become a strategic country for Spain's external growth in Africa.

The Focus Africa 2023 plan will channel institutional support for investments by Spanish companies in the continent.



Published in Politics

Zimbabwe's central bank has frozen the bank accounts of 30 people accused of illegally exchanging foreign currency through mobile phones and social networks, it said on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said in a statement on Tuesday it had identified 30 people "abusing mobile telecommunication services and other social media platforms" for "illegal foreign exchange transactions and money laundering".

Their accounts have been frozen and they are now banned from banking for two years. They also face being blocked by telephone operators.

The Zimbabwean government has been trying to promote the local currency since it was temporarily abandoned in 2009 in favor of the US dollar due to hyperinflation.

Faced with a lack of liquidity, the country printed new notes in 2016.

The local currency has continued to lose value and foreign currency is traded on the black market at cheap rates.

Zimbabwe is still reeling from decades of mismanagement during the Mugabe era. The southern African country has been in a severe economic crisis for years. Many Zimbabweans have watched helplessly as prices have soared and their savings have gone up in smoke.

Industry and exports have plummeted, while foreign currency is becoming scarce.




Published in Politics

For months, Acholo Jani was told to get a COVID-19 vaccination because it might save his life.

He hesitated, fearful of potential side effects, but the moment he was told it would save his job, Jani got in line.

"I was supposed to be at work right now, but now I'm standing here in the queue but they are not serving me very fast," said Jani.

The 43-year-old mechanic's employer is among many in Zimbabwe mandating shots for their staff, including the government, which is requiring the vaccine for its 500,000 employees.

That sets the southern African nation apart from nearly every other on the continent, where the most immediate challenge is still simply acquiring enough doses.

Zimbabwe, by contrast, says it has ample supply for now, mostly purchased from China, but that hesitancy is holding back its campaign - a problem that has also troubled other African countries, partly driven by a general distrust of authorities.

But Zimbabwe's strategy is raising worrying rights questions.

Critics say that, unlike in richer countries that have made use of mandates, Zimbabwe's rollout isn't up to the task.

Vaccination centers sometimes run out of supply, and poor urban townships and rural areas have often been starved of doses in recent months.

What's more, they say, it's cruel to put at risk the livelihoods of people who are some of the world's most vulnerable and already suffering during the pandemic.

At Jani's workplace, a vaccination card, a pocket-sized booklet with the government's emblem on the front, is now "your gate pass," he said.

Jani eventually got his first shot - after joining the line at 5 a.m. and waiting for seven hours - but others were not so lucky.


Some waited hours on end only to be told the vaccination center was closing early because of limited supplies or a lack of staff.

People eligible for second shots have also complained of being turned away from centers giving preference to those seeking first doses.

A new batch of vaccines arrived recently, and lines appear to be shortening.

Around 15% of Zimbabwe's 15 million people are fully vaccinated - well above the overall African rate of 4% but far from the government's goal of 60%





Published in Politics

It has emerged that highlife legend, Nana Ampadu, went into a coma after he was rushed to the hospital on December 2, 2020.

Highlife musician, Kaakyire Kwame Appiah, now the Benkumhene of Bosomtwe Asaman in the Ashanti Region, revealed this on Adom FM’s Kasiebo is Tasty.

The musician said this while reacting to the news of his death on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, but did not mention if he died while still in the coma.

According to him, they were working on a video for the Ghana Enterprises Agency (formerly NBSSI) when the deceased took ill.

He stated he was hopeful of his speedy recovery to enable them to finish the video but that never happened.

The condition, Kaakyire explained, got worse by the day and he couldn’t even open his eyes when people came visiting.

“He was at the hospital for several months and we couldn’t even get to shoot the video as it got to a time he could not even get up from bed.


“As an Evangelist, we thought God was giving him life-changing messages for us during his long stay in the coma,” he said.

He stressed the death is a big blow to the family, the music fraternity, and the nation at large, adding there will never be his kind of person.

“It is sad he is no more but he lived a fulfilled life that can be exemplary for upcoming musicians,” he eulogised.



Meanwhile, some fans have taken to social media to commiserate with the family members of the legend who blessed Ghanaians with awesome highlife tunes.




Published in Showbiz
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