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President Akufo-Addo exchanges greetings with Rihanna

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President Akufo-Addo exchanges greetings with Rihanna, an American artist, during an International Education Summit in Dakar, Senegal. According to Rihanna, Ghanaians ought to be proud to have a Head of State like President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Apparently, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo always gives outstanding speeches whenever he meets up with France’s 40-year-old Head of State. His superb speeches during such meetups earns him a standing ovation.

In his recent speech during the International Education Summit in Senegal, it appears as though President Nana-Akufo Addo has earned quite the fan, and none other than the American superstar and acting sensation, Rihanna.

During the ceremony, Rihanna graciously greets President Akufo-Addo, which makes a Ghanaian designer called Papa Oppong proud of the moment and communicates as such to Rihanna in a random private chat via Instagram.

Pen Hubs can infer from the Instagram chat between Rihanna and Papa Oppong that Rihanna was inspired by President Akufo-Addo’s speech and responded to Oppong’s message, “Your President was so well spoken and inspiring! He shook the room! You should be proud!”

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Bahrain activist jailed for five years over Twitter comments

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Bahrain has sentenced a well-known rights activist to five years in prison over his social media posts.
Nabeel Rajab – a key figure in 2011’s pro-democracy protests – was convicted over posts on Twitter about the alleged torture of prisoners in the country.
He also criticised Saudi Arabia’s actions in war-torn Yemen.
Amnesty International called for his immediate release, labelling the sentence “a slap in the face to justice.”
The prominent activist is already serving a separate two-year sentence for spreading “false or malicious” information.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights – of which Nabeel Rajab is president – said he was convicted on “trumped-up charges” following “a trial that was by itself a mockery of justice”.
Its president had denounced “the torture against detainees at Jaw prison” and “the killing of civilians in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition”, it said.
As a result, he was tried on charges of disseminating false rumours in time of war, offending a foreign country, and insulting a statutory body.
A Twitter account believed to belong to the activist’s son, Adam, also confirmed the news.
“His first reaction after the verdict was laughing and raising the sign of steadfastness,” he said.

It is not the first time the activist has been sentenced for a tweet – he was sent to prison for six months in 2015 on similar charges.
He has been in and out of jail since he helped lead a pro-democracy uprising in 2011. His current two-year sentence was handed down in July 2017 for “broadcasting fake news” after a court ruled that he had undermined the “prestige” of the kingdom.
He has suffered from poor health, however, and has been transferred to hospital several times. His recent applications for bail on the basis of his health have been denied.
Amnesty International said the sentence was “absolutely outrageous” .
“This sentence demonstrates the authorities’ ruthless determination to crush all forms of dissent and leaves no room for doubt about the extreme lengths to which they are willing to go to in order to silence peaceful critics,” regional director Heba Morayef said.
The rights group also pointed to similar pending charges against the activist.
He has been charged in connection with an open letter published in the New York Times, and over an Instagram post featuring an image of Bahrain’s king with an excerpt from the Koran, Amnesty said.

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South Africa police station raid: Five killed in Umtata

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Five police officers and a soldier have been shot dead during a raid on their station in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
In a statement, the South African Government News Agency said three officers were killed instantly.
The off-duty soldier was shot as the assailants fled, taking two other officers hostage. Their bodies were found 6km (4 miles) down the road.
A government statement said both men had been shot “execution style”.
The unknown group of armed robbers burst into the police station near Umtata, and opened fire early on Wednesday morning.
Police do not yet know the motive for the attack. The suspects are believed to have robbed a cash machine shortly before. They took 10 firearms and a police van from the station.
Gen Khehla John Sitole, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, has vowed to find the killers, saying he was “appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack”.

People on social media have been sharing their dismay at the attack.
One Facebook user, who was a family friend of the soldier killed, said: “An attack to the law enforcement institutions is an attack to the safety and security of our communities.
“This is a shock for the community. We now live in fear. If they can attack the people meant to protect the community‚ who are we? Who will we turn to?”
Research found the killings of police officers had dropped by 52% since the end of apartheid in 1994.

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Obamas’ official portraits unveiled

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Barack and Michelle Obama re-emerged on the public stage Monday in Washington, only this time for an event that has nothing to do with politics.

The National Portrait Gallery presented the official portraits of former American President Barack Obama and ex first lady Michelle on Monday.  The painting was made by African-American artists who were selected by the ex leader and his wife.

Former US President Obama said his portrait by Kehinde Wiley, who is known for his admiration for African-Americans was “pretty sharp”.

“Wow!” said Mrs Obama of her painting by Amy Sherald, another black painting artist, whose work labels social justice. Obama said Sherald expressed the “hotness” of his wife.

“I tried to negotiate less gray hair” Obama joked. The flowers in the background of Obama’s portrait depicts parts of Obama’s life, Wiley affirmed. The chrysanthemums are a reference to the official flower of Chicago; the jasmine “evokes” Hawaii.

Wiley and Sherald are the maiden African-Americans to be tasked by the gallery to paint official portraits.

Obama’s portrait is to be installed in the “America’s Presidents” gallery whilst Mrs. Obama’s painting, showcased in another area of the museum.

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