Diego Costa slapped with a 3 Match Ban

The Spanish striker was charged with violent conduct after an alleged stamp on Emre Can earlier this week and has now been hit with a suspension by the Football Association

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been banned for three matches by the Football Association after failing with his appeal against a violent conduct charge for a stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can on Tuesday.

Spain international Costa was challenging for the ball by the touchline in the first half of the second-leg League Cup semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge when he forcefully stood on Can’s shin.

The incident went unpunished during the match, which Chelsea won 1-0 to progress 2-1 on aggregate, as referee Michael Oliver did not see the challenge.

The FA subsequently charged Costa with violent conduct, a decision the player contested.

However, an FA Independent Regulatory Commission has now chosen to uphold the original ruling and handed out a three-match ban.

“Diego Costa will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission on Friday 30 January 2015,” an FA statement read.

“The Chelsea forward had denied the charge in relation to an on-field incident involving Liverpool’s Emre Can which occurred in the 12th minute of the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 27 January 2015.

“The incident was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.”

The news is a huge blow to Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Costa is also set to miss out on the trip to Aston Villa on February 7 and the home match with Everton four days later.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho defended Costa after the game and the ban is sure to irk the Portuguese, who stated the coming together with Can was “accidental”.

Mourinho said: “Maybe you [the media] are already influenced by the campaign on the television with certain pundits saying that Costa has crimes – they must be nuts, the guy who says that.

“I have to say that he goes for the ball, he chases it, the opponent [Can] goes to the floor and he puts his foot there when he is looking at the ball… What you call stamps, and Sky calls crimes, I have to say accidental.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers took a different view of the incident, and called for the FA to take action.

“These things happen in the game but I think anyone watching it would not like to see what we’ve seen Diego Costa do,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

“Not just on Martin Skrtel but on Emre Can, a young player who was clearly stamped on. You don’t want to see that. There’s no need for it.”

Costa has proven an instant hit at Stamford Bridge, scoring 17 Premier League goals since joining in a big-money move from Atletico Madrid in the close-season.

However, his on-field behaviour has come under the spotlight due to Costa picking up eight bookings in all competitions, including a caution in a 6-3 win at Everton in August where he squared up to goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Source: Goal.com

Mugabe now AU Chairman

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has been appointed the new chairman of the 54-nation African Union.

Friday’s announcement was made during the African Union’s two-day heads of state summit at the organisation’s headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The 90-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled his country since 1980, succeeds Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

“During my tenure as chair,” he said, “I will deliberately provoke your thoughts to pay special attention to issues of infrastructure, value addition, agriculture and climate change”.

The ascension of Mugabe, one of Africa’s most divisive figures, to the rotating position has drawn criticism.

“Frankly I don’t believe the elevation (Mugabe’s appointment) is anything than symbolic,” said Piers Pigou, Southern Africa project director for the International Crisis Group. “His elevation sends a negative signal of African solidarity with leaders who’ve misruled their countries.”

Obert Gutu, a spokesman for the Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said that Mugabe “has trashed democracy in Zimbabwe and he and his party have ruined the economy”.

“He lacks the political legitimacy to lead an Africa that should be looking to consolidate democracy and good governance.”

Traditionally, the AU chairmanship is given to the leader of the country hosting the next summit, but exceptions have been made as in 2005 when it was the turn of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir but African leaders bowed to international pressures in the uproar over killings in Darfur.

They passed over al-Bashir and instead kept Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo for a second year.

Zimbabwe, a once-prosperous nation of 13 million people in southern Africa, has struggled since Mugabe’s government began seizing farms owned by Caucasian people in 2000.

The president is also accused of using widespread violence to win several disputed elections, according to human rights groups. The country had suffered hyperinflation until it abandoned its currency for the US dollar in 2009.

Source: Agencies

Bruce Jenner Is ‘Transitioning into a Woman’

His changing look has been a much-buzzed-about topic for months, and now PEOPLE has confirmed that Bruce Jenner has been quietly making a very personal change. The former Olympian will soon be living life as female.

“Bruce is transitioning to a woman,” says a source close to the family. “He is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he’s doing. He’s in such a great space. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do something like this.”

And according to a different Jenner insider, the 65-year-old reality star is filming his momentous journey, to be shared with viewers on a docu-series this year. “It will air when he is ready to be open about his transition,” the source tells PEOPLE. “But he’s acting more and more confident and seems very happy.”

Jenner’s much-documented physical appearance (he’s been photographed with longer hair, manicured nails and wearing makeup) has led to much speculation, but according to the insider, Jenner’s decision to transition slowly was made in part so that his family would have time to adapt to the change.

“He’s being very smart about and also respectful about his transition,” the insider says. “Instead of completely shocking everyone, his changes have been subtle, and his family has had the chance to slowly get used to his new looks and life.”

And his family, including children Cassandra, 34, Burt, 36 (with ex wife Chrystie Crownover ) and sons Brandon, 33 and Brody, 31 (with ex wife Linda Thompson), as well as daughters Kendall, 19 and Kylie, 17 (with Kris Jenner) are adjusting to the new Bruce. “The [kids’] concern seems to be Bruce’s happiness, and he acts very pleased with his new life,” says the insider.

Admits the family source: “It is an intense thing. Of course not everyone is 100 percent on board. Different people have different reactions. But everybody loves him.”

When asked about Jenner on ET, his stepdaughter Kim Kardashian simply said, “I think everyone goes through things in life, and I think that story and what Bruce is going through, I think he’ll share whenever the time is right.” And when reached by PEOPLE, son Burt would only say his father is “doing awesome.”

“The family is really giving this space and time to Bruce. This is his story and they want him to tell the world the way he wants,” the source close to the family says. “They really want to empower him to tell his story so that hopefully he can help other people too. That’s the goal.”

Now it appears that Jenner, finally happy in his own skin, will soon be ready to live life out in the open. “He has come out to those closest to him,” says the family source. “He’s so happy and excited. He gets to lay down a huge bag of bricks. He’s been through a dark period and is coming out on the other side.”
Numerous requests for comment from Jenner and his representatives were met with no reply.
Source: People.com

Kpa Kpa Kpa Originator demands Gh¢50,000

Late last year, a Multi TV video of an interview of a man went viral on social media. The man, an unemployed father of five, was asked how he had managed to meet the challenges of the tough economic situation that the country found itself.

In his response, the man, Ayitey Mohammed, credited his survival strategy to a “kpa kpa kpa movement”. According to him, “kpa kpa kpa” was not about stealing or using nefarious means to survive but using all available legitimate means to make ends meet.

Almost overnight, the video went viral and the phrase “kpa kpa kpa” caught on like wild fire becoming a slang for one’s ability to survive despite the odds. The slang entered everyday Ghanaian usage and not long after, it started appearing in works of art as well.

Various shops began referring to their reduction sales and giveaways as “kpa kpa kpa”. Hiplife artiste, Guru, released a single titled, “kpa kpa kpa” and lately telecommunications company, Glo, launched a promotion with the same slang.

With the popularity of the “kpa kpa kpa” slang on the rise, Ayitey Mohammed, the man in the viral video is demanding financial compensation from businesses and other commercial users.

In an interview with Accra based Neat FM, Ayitey Mohammed demanded Gh¢50,000 from Hiplife artiste, Guru, as royalties to be paid to him for making the song with the slang without seeking prior permission.

In an interview with Showbiz on Wednesday, Ayitey Mohammed expressed his anger at Guru and his management team for not discussing terms with him before using the slang in a song. He, however, admitted that he received an amount of GH¢160 and a hamper as well as other presents from the artiste at Christmas but he did not consider that as adequate compensation.

“I deserve more than just a hamper and GH ¢ 160, as we speak, my three kids are in the house and I need to pay their school fees,” he said.

According to him, although he has not registered the term, “kpa kpa kpa”, he should still be having some cash in his pocket.

However, Frank Agyekum, artiste manager for Guru, told Showbiz: “I really do not know what Ayitey Mohammed wants. The fact that you are the origniator of a term doesn’t mean no one else can use it. At least, we have compensated him with some cash, hamper and other items,” he said.

Michelle Obama Refuses to wear a Headscarf in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman greeted President Obama as he arrived with first lady Michelle Obama in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The president cut short a trip to India to pay his respects after the death of King Abdullah. (Reuters)

Barack Obama was in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay his respects to the late Saudi King Abdullah. His visit, for which he cut short a much-hyped trip to India, underscores how important the U.S.-Saudi relationship remains to the American leadership. On social media, however, much of the attention has focused on something else: His wife’s attire.

As noted by the Associated Press, Michelle Obama did not wear a headscarf or veil Tuesday. In Saudi Arabia, that’s unusual: The country is one of the few on Earth where women are expected to cover their heads, and many Saudi women wear niqabs.

Exceptions are made for foreigners, however, and Michelle – who did wear loose clothing that fully covered her arms – appears to have been one of them. In photographs from the official events, other foreign female guests are also shown not wearing headscarves. In the past, Saudi leaders have met with a number of other foreign females without headscarves in the past.

More than 1,500 tweets using the hashtag #ميشيل_أوباما_سفور (roughly, #Michelle_Obama_unveiled) were sent Tuesday, many of which criticized the first lady. Some users pointed out that on a recent trip to Indonesia, Michelle had worn a headscarf. Why not in Saudi Arabia?

The response wasn’t entirely negative – Ahram Online notes that some Twitter users said Michelle shouldn’t be criticized too much, it being a short, impromptu trip and all. Saudi state television did show images of Michelle and her uncovered head, despite some claims that they had digitally obscured her (a widely circulated video with the first lady entirely blurred seems to have been an amateur production).

Still, the Obamas’ trip to Saudi Arabia comes at a time of remarkable international criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, prompted largely by the flogging of blogger Raif Badawi for insulting Islam. The trip was apparently designed to be a political – Obama has said he was “unlikely” to discuss Badawi’s case with the new Saudi king.

But in Saudi Arabia, the simple act of not covering your head can be political, intentionally or not.

Okro woman Arrested with WEE


A 22-year-old lady has been arrested by the Volta Regional Police Command for possessing substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, otherwise known as Indian hemp.

The lady who has been identified as Angela Boakye had hidden the suspected illegal substance in a basket full of fresh okro.

But for the vigilance and strictness of the police personnel at the barrier, the young lady would have eluded the security personnel.

Narrating the incident to DAILY GUIDE, the Volta Regional Police Commander, DCOP Peterkin Yentumi Gyinae, said that the woman was arrested last Sunday, 25th January, 2015 at about 1:30pm in a Hohoe-Accra bound commercial bus. The bus had the registration number GS-4055-13.

On reaching the Kponvie barrier, which happens to be the last police checkpoint in the Ho Municipality, the officers on duty stopped the vehicle for routine checks.

The basket, which had a green cloth covering it, attracted the attention of the police who searched it and found the 35 slabs of compressed Indian hemp in it.

The driver in charge of the vehicle identified Angela as the owner of the basket, to which she owned up. She initially denied knowledge of the Indian hemp, but admitted being the owner of the basket of Okro.

The Regional Commander however noted that after interrogation, she admitted knowledge of the substance. Angela claimed she took custody of the consignment from Ve-Kolenu in the Afadjato South District and was conveying it to one Alhaji in Accra.

The Regional Crime Officer, Chief Superintendent James Kofi Abraham, confirmed that she was being processed for further action.

Surprise! Rihanna Drops New Song With Kanye West and Paul McCartney

What better way to celebrate the weekend than with a brand-new Rihanna song?

On Saturday afternoon, the 26-year-old singer dropped the latest track from her upcoming eighth studio album featuring the talents of Kanye West and Paul McCartney. With an excited tweet – “FIRST GLIMPSE AT MY NEW MUSIC!!!” – Rihanna directed her fans to iTunes via her website to check out the new song.

Titled “FourFiveSeconds,” the bare-bones tune clocks in at a little over three minutes and is a slight departure for the Barbados beauty.

McCartney accompanies on guitar, while Rih Rih sings verses like “I think I’ve had enough, I might get a little drunk/I say what’s on my mind, I might do a little time/Cause all of my kindness, is taken for weakness.” West, meanwhile, provides support crooning lyrics like “Woke up an optimist, sun was shining I’m positive/Then I heard you was talkin’ trash/Hold me back I’m bout’ to spaz” in the duet.

Asamoah Gyan’s last kick gives Ghana hope in AFCON 2015

Group C was tagged as the “Group of Death” based on the strength of the teams that are in the Group, however, the second round of matches in Group C in the ongoing AFCON champions came off on Friday as Ghana pip Algeria by 1-0 with Senegal and South Africa game ending 1-1.

In the first game between Ghana and Algeria was full technics and tactical play displayed by the players and the two coaches.

From the blast of the whistle in the first half it was a balance game as both side mostly passes the ball around in midfield with the two goalkeepers virtually on holiday but Ghana looks as the poised side in the game.

In the second half Ghana took control over the game as they were searching for the opener with the likes of Jordan Ayew, Asamoah Gyan and Dede Ayew missing those half chances they had.

But Gyan waited for a perfect time to restores Ghana’s hope in the ongoing tournament when he scored(90+2) late in the game after receiving a 45 yard pass from Wakaso Mubarak to beat M’bohli who is in post for the Algerians as the Black Stars wins the day to blow Group C wide.

In the second game of the day, Senegal drew 1-1 with South Africa as it was delight game to watch.

South Africa drew the first blood in the 46 minute courtesy Mathews Oupa Manyisa but the Senegalese pulls even 13 minutes later thanks to Kara Mbodji powerful header as the game ended 1-1.

At the end of second round of games in Group C, Senegal top the table with 4 points, Algeria 3, Ghana 3 and South Africa 1.

 

A Must Read: Robbery takes on a Different style in Ghana

The Director General of the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Reverend David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, has advised the general public to appreciate what they had and not be greedy as there were tricksters around taking advantage of people who want to cut corners to make quick money.

The DCOP spoke to The Mirror in relation to smart or ‘magic’ thieves who rely on their brains and brawn to steal from their victims because all they (thieves) need is attention for victims to willingly hand over their valued assets.

In some cases, unsuspecting victims had gone to the extent of borrowing items or money they did not have, to give to the thieves who are said to be operating by means of hypnosis.

Hypnosis 

Hypnosis is an induced sleep-like state in which a person is deeply relaxed but the mind responds easily to external suggestions. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions.

Process 

Narrating her ordeal, a young lady who gave her name as Nana Ama, said she was approached in Accra Central by two young men who asked for directions to a popular bank around the Makola shopping mall.

Unaware of their agenda, she directed them to the bank but just as she was turning around to go away, one of the gentlemen informed her he had pure gold in his possession and asked if she was interested.

“I don’t sell gold or deal in gold but for some strange reasons, I told him I wanted to have a look at it so we moved to a less busy area around the shopping mall. Then he asked if I had GH¢1,000 on me,” she narrated.

Nana Ama said without any hesitation, she quickly pulled out her purse and handed over GH¢ 300 to the gentleman as that was the only amount she had on her at the time.

The gentleman then handed her a white handkerchief and instructed her to hide it since it could be easily snatched by thieves.

It was after the men had left that she regained consciousness and realised she had been duped as the handkerchief contained an old washed-out necklace.

Another victim 

A mobile phone recharge card seller at Adabraka also told The Mirror that she was in her shop when a young lady she knew came to buy recharge cards.

She said the lady who was speaking to someone on the phone requested for GH¢ 60 worth of the cards which she gave her.

She said the lady then scratched the cards and called out the digits to the person on the other side of the line.

She said she got worried when the lady asked for more cards and kept talking to the person on phone.

“This lady kept sending the phone credit to the guy he was talking to but because I know her, I didn’t say anything. It was when the amount reached GH¢400 that I told her to pay before asking for more.

“I overheard the man she was talking to tell her he would send the money through mobile money. That was when I realised she had been duped. So I held her and demanded my money. Just when the guy hang up, it looked like she had just woken up from sleep, she had no money on her.

“She then told me she received a message telling her she had won some money and that she needed to send some credit so her prize money could be sent to her,” she continued.

The card seller said she followed the lady home and collected the GH¢400 from her parents.

Police advice

DCOP Ampah-Bennin said the police had received several reports from victims on loss of property and money to strangers.

“The commonest of their tricks is to tell you they have gold or diamond and then lure you into giving them money or an item to the value of the gold,” he said.

He cautioned the general public, especially females, to be careful of how they interact with strangers, saying “if you meet a stranger and he or she asks for directions, do not follow the person.

“Just point to the general direction and move away. If you are not lucky, you could also be harmed or sexually abused in additionto being duped,” he stressed.