In Ghanaian society, it's ordinary to see Christians paying offerings, that is 10% of their pay to ministers and chapels.
Will Smith has won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard in the tennis biopic "King Richard".
53-year-old man took home the trophy just minutes after he went viral for slapping presenter Chris Rock on stage after he had made a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith referenced the moment in his speech and later apologized to the Academy before going on to thank the Williams family.
How it happened
The exchange began when Rock took aim at Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying, “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” Rock’s reference was made from the 1997 film “G.I. Jane,” starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy Seal candidate.
Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The joke missed, badly.
Smith who laughed at first then walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “G.I. Jane” joke — and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth,” and the crowd hushed as it became clear this was no act.
But once Smith returned moments later to accept his first-ever Academy Award, he delivered a tearful apology.
Smith shared what Denzel Washington told him earlier: “At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.
"I’m hoping the Academy invites me back," Will Smith said, as he concluded his on-stage remarks.
Chris Rock announced he wouldn't press charges against Will Smith for the Oscars assault.
The confrontation overshadowed Smith’s milestone accomplishment. He was previously nominated twice for best actor, for his role in “Ali” in 2002 and “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2007. In those films, he portrayed real-life characters: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Chris Garner, a homeless salesman.
This time, Smith won against formidable competition including Andrew Garfield, Javier Bardem, Benedict Cumberbatch and Denzel Washington — who won his first and only best actor Oscar award in 2002 over Smith for “Training Day.”
King Richard follows Williams’ relationship with his daughters, as well as their development into tennis stars. Smith also served as a producer for the film.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday to create a new African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia.
The new mission, Atmis, replaces the current mission of nearly 20,000 military, police and civilians that will be gradually reduced to zero by the end of 2024.
The purpose of the new mission is to continue the fight against Shebab jihadists.
The US Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Richard Mills, described Shebab extremists as "representing a formidable and adaptable threat to Somalia and East Africa more broadly".
Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been the scene of multiple terrorist attacks.
Two separate attacks last week in the centre of the country resulted in at least 48 deaths.
Somalia has been waiting for parliamentary and presidential elections for over a year.
The mandate of the current head of state, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as President Farmajo, expired in February 2021
The United Nations Population Fund just published its annual State of World Population Report. This year's document focuses on unintended pregnancies, prengancies occuring to women who did not intend to have anymore children or not at this moment in their life. The reaseach reveals that they concern 121 million women worldwide each year with 60 percent of them leading to safe or unsafe abortions and 5 percent to 13 percent to maternal deaths. A global phenomenon that affects the african continent.
"If young people are affected by unintended pregnancies, development is hindered, their education is hindered, their contribution to socio-economic life is hindered, explains Dr. Jean-Pierre Makelele, Deputy Resident Representative UNFPA Senegal, In short, somewhere along the line, in terms of cost, it is a loss".
Therefore, the UNPF decided to highlight the problem of unplanned pregnancies, particularly in West and Central Africa, in this year's report. The UN agency is calling on public authorities and all sectors of the African population to take global action.
"If we want to take advantage of the demographic dividend, it is time to act on the levers that will accelerate the reduction of all the psychological, medical, economic, social and ediucational consequences of unintended pregnancies", says Huguette Gnakadja executive secretary of the Beninese Institute of women.
The report stresses the link between the developement of women's rights and unplanned pregnacies and for activist Kadiatou Konaté, the main solution for it is a real political engagement."If decision-makers are willing to enforce laws, we will evolve. It's not enough to pass laws, you have to enforce them", insists the young activist, Executive director of the Young women leader's club in Guinea.
In order to avoid this situation, the UN emphasizes on the importance of contraception and claims to have distributed tens of millions of forms of contraceptives in 2020.
The opening match is scheduled for November 21st.
The host nation, Qatar, will face Ecuador to kick off the tournament in Group A that also includes Senegal and the Netherlands.
The African champions will also have to face the hosts, Qatar, and Ecuador for a place in round 2.
In Group D, Tunisia will be playing against defending champions, France and Denmark plus an unknown opponent that could be Peru, Australia or the UAE.
In Group F, Morocco faces a battle against Canada, Belgium and Croatia.
The Atlas Lions are currently being managed by Bosnian Vahid Halilodzic.
Record holder Brazil is in Group G and will face Cameroon, Switzerland and Serbia.
The Indomitable Lions are under the supervision of Rigobert Song. It is the eighth time that Cameroon gains a place in the competition. For many, the question is how far the Lions will be able to go this time.
Finally, in Group H, Ghana will face Portugal on November 24th. Uruguay and South Korea are the two other teams in the same group.
All eyes will also be on Group E where Spain and Germany will be facing each other.
A courier company, ShaQ Express, has started piloting the use of electric (e) bicycles for the delivery of items in Accra.
The company deployed its first set of two e-bikes in Accra last week as part of efforts to operate in a sustainable manner and also to cut down on its recurrent expenditure, particularly fuel.
Although a burgeoning business with dozens of delivery companies in operation, not many courier operators use e-bikes – making ShaQ Express one of the first companies to do so in the country.
Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anthony Owusu-Ansah, said the pilot phase was going on well with emissions and fuel turning out to be the two main areas of improvement.
Announcing the piloting phase, Mr Owusu-Ansah said “the future is here and it is indeed electric.”
“We have started piloting the use of our new e-bikes for deliveries as our small way of contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seven and 13, by cutting down on carbon emissions in the environment,” he said.
“This is going to be a game changer in reducing our dependence on fuel and creating a way of serving you better economically,” he added.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said while the bikes performed just like the fuel-driven motorcycles on long-distance journeys, they emitted less to no carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that were found to be dangerous to the environment and humans.
This, the CEO of ShaQ said made e-bikes the appropriate vehicle to use in delivering food and other health essentials such as medications.
Mr Owusu-Ansah Express said the company was beginning to also realise that the use of e-bikes could help it make savings from its fuel expenditure, leading to a reduction in prices for consumers.
“The deployment will reduce our dependence on fuel and generally reduce our operation cost by about 50 per cent to 60 per cent. That will help with the pricing to our end user,” he explained.
He said the savings could also be ploughed back into the business through the creation of more jobs for riders.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said the e-bikes did not require the purchase of petrol or diesel but charging from an electricity source.
He said they could be charged from almost anywhere, provided the electricity source had the appropriate socket to take the charging system of the motor.
According to him, this made the e-motorbikes convenient and more cost-effective to use.
Morocco has inaugurated the International Center for Research on the Prevention of Child Soldiers with the aim of contributing to the fight against the recruitment of child soldiers, through the dissemination of research to be carried out by the Center.
Speaking at the inaugural conference of the Centre, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita stated that the creation of the Center, was to contribute to the debate by formulating concrete proposals for the security-development and coordination of efforts of the international community.
Mr. Bourita added that the objective of the Center is to provide accurate, qualitative and quantitative data to formulate an informed action through academic research.
The Minister further noted that the Polisario-forced recruitment of children in the camps of Tindouf fuels instability in North Africa and the Sahel.
He said the indoctrination and enlistment of children by the “Polisario” armed militia is an inhuman crime, and a denial of the basic rights of the children recruited, as well as a flagrant violation of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council on this matter, he said.
Mr. Bourita further called for an end to impunity for those responsible for the recruitment and criminal use of children and other grave violations, by supporting systematic UN monitoring and reporting of child rights violations in conflicts.
He stated that the proportion of children living in conflict zones who are at risk of recruitment and use by armed groups has tripled from less than 5% in 1990 (99 million children) to more than 14% in 2020 (337 million children).
“The problem of child soldiers is neither marginal nor circumstantial and contrary to popular belief, this phenomenon is not exclusive to Africa,” he added, noting that children take part in 75% of conflicts in the world, more than 460 million children live in a conflict zone in 2022 and more than 15% of child soldiers are girls.
“In the last 25 years, 170,000 children have been released from armed groups. However, only a limited number of former child soldiers have been identified in a limited number of countries surveyed,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Center, Abdelkader Filalion his part stressed that the Center will focus its missions on studies, research and consultations on the prevention and exploitation of children in conflict zones.
Mr. Filali, also a professor at the University of Ottawa, noted that this structure will be equipped with mechanisms for international advocacy within United Nations organizations in the various fora, in collaboration with civil society around the world and civil authorities working in this area.
Mr Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice has stressed the need for the court and Member States to fashion out a new approach in enforcing the court’s judgements.
Currently enforcement of the judgement of the ECOWAS Court has been a big bane with the court recording about 30 per cent enforcement of its judgements.
The President of the ECOWAS Court was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Court's 11th external sitting held in Accra, said notwithstanding the provisions of methods of enforcement of the decisions of the court in the Protocols as amended, the compliance rate with judgements remained unsatisfactory.
He said it was important that ECOWAS relies on the national courts for the enforcement of decisions because both courts represent the "cornerstone of the community's legal order and they create the enabling legal environment for the attainment of the objectives of the community.
The external sitting which started on March 21 and ended on April 1, 2022, constituted an egalitarian activity of the court designed to among others, bring justice closer to the people: expose lawyers in member states and engage stakeholders of the court.
It also affords an opportunity to engage the national courts of member states in achieving the full intent of the Communities integration process.
Justice Asante said Article 24 (3) of the Supplementary Protocol of the court provides that each member state should appoint a National Authority for the purpose of reception and processing of execution o judgements.
According to him "only six members have complied.... this poses a challenge for the enforcement of the judgements of the court.
However, it is noteworthy that some countries that are yet to appoint national authorities have complied with decisions and judgements of the court."
According to the President of the Court, "No Member State has communicated to the court the status of decisions and judgements complied with so far. However, the court has been able to get unofficial information from lawyers and parties involved in some cases."
He said enforcement of the court’s judgements would require close collaboration with national courts and institutions of member states as well as fashion out a workable formula that would respond to the procedures of the court.
Justice Asante said the Accra sitting had achieved 90 per cent success as it was able to deliver 20 judgements.
He recounted that the 20 judgements were the highest so far in the history of the court as it previously gave out only 11 judgements during its sittings.
China says it will back neighbour Myanmar "no matter how the situation changes", in the latest show of unequivocal Chinese support for the ruling military council that seized power last year.
China "has always placed Myanmar in an important position in its neighborly diplomacy" and wants to "deepen exchanges and co-operation", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin on Friday, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.
The sides should accelerate work on the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, step up construction of "major landmark projects" and "deepen solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic", Wang said during the meeting in Tunxi, in east China's Anhui Province.
"No matter how the situation changes, China will support Myanmar in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions," Wang said.
Myanmar's military, which ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021, has continued to face resistance that now amounts to what some UN experts have characterised as a civil war.
The government is also facing genocide accusations at the International Court of Justice.
In return for Chinese diplomatic support and material assistance, Myanmar has been a loyal ally of Beijing within the nine-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
However, Myanmar's military leader has not been allowed to take part in ASEAN meetings following the army's seizure of power and violent suppression of opposition.
China pursues what it calls an independent foreign policy of peace that generally prioritises its own narrow interests, with little or no consideration for a country's human rights record or other internal controversies.
China has refused to criticise Russia over its invasion of Ukraine while blaming the West for provoking the conflict.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has suggested that he might not accept a vote to oust him, a move he alleged was being orchestrated by the United States.
Opposition parties say Khan has failed to revive an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic or fulfil promises to make his government more transparent and accountable, and have put forward a no-confidence motion due to be voted on on Sunday.
"How can I accept the result when the entire process is discredited?" Khan told a select group of foreign journalists at his office on Saturday.
"Democracy functions on moral authority - what moral authority is left after this connivance?
"The move to oust me is blatant interference in domestic politics by the United States," he said, terming it an attempt at "regime change".
Khan has already lost his parliamentary majority after key allies quit his coalition government and joined the opposition.
Hours before he spoke, the head of the army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had said Pakistan wanted to expand its ties with Washington.
US President Joe Biden has not called Khan since taking office, but the White House has denied that it is seeking to topple him.
Bajwa told a security conference in Islamabad that "we share a long history of excellent and strategic relationship with the United States, which remains our largest export market".
He noted that Pakistan had long enjoyed close diplomatic and business relationships with China, but added: "We seek to expand and broaden our ties with both countries without impacting our relations with the other."
The US embassy in Islamabad did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The head of Russia's space program says the future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after the United States, the European Union, and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for lifting sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, told reporters that the state agency is preparing a report on the prospects of international cooperation at the station, to be presented to federal authorities "after Roscosmos has completed its analysis."
Rogozin implied on Russian state TV that the Western sanctions, some of which predate Russia's current military operations in Ukraine, could disrupt the operation of Russian spacecraft servicing the ISS with cargo flights.
Russia also sends manned missions to the space station.
He stressed that the Western partners need the space station and "cannot manage without Russia, because no one but us can deliver fuel to the station."
Rogozin added that "only the engines of our cargo craft are able to correct the ISS's orbit, keeping it safe from space debris."
Later on Saturday, Rogozin wrote on his Telegram channel that he received responses from his Western counterparts vowing to promote "further cooperation on the ISS and its operations."
He reiterated his view that "the restoration of normal relations between partners in the ISS and other joint (space) projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting" of sanctions, which he referred to as illegal.
The Canadian Space Agency declined to comment. NASA and the European Space Agency did not immediately return emailed requests for comment.
Space is one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Western nations.
US-Russian negotiations on the resumption of joint flights to the space station were underway when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last month, prompting unprecedented sanctions on Russian state-
On Saturday afternoon, a bright red tanker carrying 33,000 tonnes of Russian diesel sailed up the Thames and delivered its cargo in Grays, Essex.
Its arrival - which doesn't violate sanctions - highlights the UK's dependence on Russia, which supplies nearly a fifth of the country's diesel.
The UK has pledged to stop importing Russian diesel by the end of the year: until then, the deliveries continue.
Russian-owned or flagged vessels are now banned from UK ports.
But the STI Comandante's journey from Primorsk on the Baltic sea does not flout the Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia, because the ship is owned by the US firm Scorpio Tankers and flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, a nation in the Pacific Ocean.
Some shipping lines including the global giants Maersk and MSC have chosen to suspend most deliveries to and from Russia.
Others have decided that as long as the trade is still legal and safe, they will continue.
It's a controversial choice. “This shipment of diesel, along with the other fossil fuels that have been allowed to enter the UK since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is filling Putin’s coffers and helping to fund the war. It has to stop,” said Emily Armistead, programme director at Greenpeace UK.
Greenpeace has set up an automated tracker to monitor movements of tankers leaving Russia, loaded with oil and diesel.
The STI Comandante was chartered by ST Shipping, a subsidiary of the commodity giant Glencore. Glencore doesn't necessarily own the diesel on board, though - it may well have been bought and sold many times while the boat was on the water.
Diesel prices rising faster than petrol
Phasing out Russian oil will be extremely hard, and diesel will be particularly difficult. Russia supplies 8% of the UK’s oil needs but 18% of its diesel, according to government figures.
Diesel is essential to a modern economy. Besides fuelling more than a third of UK cars, it powers trucks, buses, some trains, farming and construction equipment, and is used for generating electricity.
Perceived gunman arrested
Reference the above, the person involved in attacking the motorist has been arrested and the weapon retrieved.
Full details will follow soon.
Facebook's owner Meta Platforms saw its stock market value slump by more than $230bn (£169bn) on Thursday, in a record daily loss for a US firm.
Its shares fell 26.4% after quarterly figures disappointed investors.
Meta also said that Facebook's daily active users (DAUs) had dropped for the first time in its 18-year history.
The company's share price slide saw chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's net worth fall by $31bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The drop in Mr Zuckerberg's personal fortune was equivalent to the annual gross domestic product of Estonia.
Even after that drop, Mr Zuckerberg has an estimated net worth of almost $90bn, which means he is still one of the richest people in the world.
That came after Meta revealed that Facebook's DAUs fell to 1.929bn in the three months to the end of December, compared to 1.930bn in the previous quarter.
It was the first time ever that this measure of activity on the world's biggest social network had gone into reverse.
Meta's stock market slump came on the eve of the 18th anniversaryMeta also warned of slowing revenue growth in the face of competition from rival platforms including TikTok and YouTube, while advertisers were also cutting spending.
Mr Zuckerberg said the firm's sales growth had been hurt as audiences, especially younger users, had left for rivals.
The firm forecast revenues of between $27bn and $29bn for the first quarter of this year, which was lower than analysts had expected.
Although the company has been making investments in video services to compete with TikTok, owned by Chinese technology giant ByteDance, it makes less money from those offerings than its traditional Facebook and Instagram feeds.
nding of Facebook