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German President Joachim Gauck said on Friday he had been so deeply troubled by the NSA spying revelations that he had wondered whether it was still safe to send emails and talk openly on the phone.

“I never thought that the fear that secure communication was no longer possible could ever arise in Germany again,” he told the paper. But he said this was exactly what had happened in the past weeks.


“The scandal has really troubled me,” President Gauck told the Passauer Neue Presse regional newspaper on Friday. "To be honest with you, I've also thought about whether I can still talk on the phone or send an email openly at all,” he said.

The state had a duty to protect citizens from the threat of terrorism, which Gauck conceded means sometimes limiting their freedom in order to keep them safe. But this must always be done with respect for the right to private communication guaranteed in Germany's constitution, he said.

“It's very clear that it must always be kept in proportion,” he told the paper. “What is proportional when and why should be dealt with very carefully.”“The fear that our telephone calls or emails will be intercepted and stored by foreign secret services limits our feeling of being free,” he added.

It was up to Germany, he said, where strict data protection and privacy rules developed as a bullwark against the abuses of the Stasi and Gestapo secret services, to pass on these lessons to the rest of the world. “It could be that the Americans and the Germans have different perceptions of data protection.

But we Germans have had to live through abuse of state power with secret services twice in our history,” said Gauck, who himself came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany.

“That's why we're particularly sensitive on this issue, and that's something our American friends, among others, are going to have to put up with.”

The president also subtly sent a message of support to fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, whose revelations over the past weeks had brought the scandal to light."Whoever brings [information] to the public and acts on grounds of conscience deserves respect," he said.

In a further rare intervention into politics, Gauck demanded Angela Merkel's government enter into binding agreements with Germany's allies to secure these freedoms.“We have to make sure that even our allies' secret services respect the boundaries we find necessary here,” said the president. A binding international agreement - if that was what was needed - “should be created urgently to safeguard civil rights,” he added.The Local/jlb

Each year 20th of June, the United Nation and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day. A day mapped out by the UN to honor the courage,strenghth and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

As the world celebrate today, the focus in Hamburg is what is now termed" Hamburg Refugees Crises". The brave stranded refugees from Libya,  manage to organise a press conference to highlight their plight in Germany.
The conference was held at POLITTBÜRO steindamm 45 in the city center of Hamburg, major Germany media houses, like the the NDR, Hamburg 1, RTL and TopAfric  were there to report. Some civic and human right organisations, churches and individuals who surely support the refugees right to live in Germany were present to ascertain the latest information on the way forward.
The conference started exactly at  11 am,  with Miss Latoya Manly Spain moderating, she quickly ask the gathering to observe a minute silence for those who had lost their life fighting for human rights all over the world.
She said "where is freedom and where is the solidarity required to fight for human right"
She pleaded to the media to do its utmost best in assisting the refugees to get justice in their fight to be allowed to stay in Germany.
Thereafter followed the leader and co-ordinator of the refugees Mr.Asuquo Udo, who sounded a note of warning of their resolve to match on in the face of adversity. He accused the politicians of playing politics with their life by deviating from the main issues to chasing and discouraging those he believed were helping fight for their right.
He enumerated their plight from Libya to Italy and gave lucid account of what they passed through in Italy and how they were settled and granted permits by Italian authorities who gave some of them money, others bus tickets  to proceed to other European countries.
Finally he thanked all those who had support them from the churches to few individuals organisations and human right lawyers who he had assured them of their right within the law of the european union to leave and work in Germany.
Regretly,From one refugees to few who were allowed to speak,all recounted their pathetic ordeal in Libya.The terror,emotional and psycological disaster the war, and particularly the involvement of NATO allied bombs caused them. One of the refugees who spoke last during the conference squarely blamed the European Union and US authorities for actively been instructmental in what they describe as worst humanitrian crises that befalled African in recent times.  
As the the conference came to an end, Almost everybody including the journalists,reporters lawyers and human right activist all agreed the plights of the refugees are geting worst and something needs be done about it before its late.
By Adams Kennedy Chidi

 

We are told to call the police, run to the police for help and that the police is our friend, especially in times of need. But sincerely speaking what should one do, if one finds himself been brutally beating by four heavily armed uniform police officers. Sadly enough these officers have committed no crime against humanity!

Immigrant families are far less likely to send their young child to day care than German parents, largely because they have different priorities for child-raising, a new study suggests.


From August 1st this year, every child in Germany will be guaranteed a place in a pre-school nursery. Yet just 14 percent of immigrants are taking up the offer before their child's third birthday, compared to 30 percent of German parents, Der Spiegel magazine wrote this week.

Members of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) set out to find out why immigrants were shunning German day care, and found it was largely down to cultural differences. 

The study of 1,875 mothers and fathers with children between one and two years old found that immigrant families disagreed with Germans about the best time to send a child to be looked after outside of the family, said the report.

Turkish immigrants in particular are unfamiliar with the idea of early child care - with just 12 percent of children in Turkey being sent to nursery.

More important to these parents is establishing a good relationship with their offspring during these early years and they place less emphasis than Germans on encouraging independence and early learning, said the authors.

Other immigrant parents – especially those of the first generation - said they simply weren't happy with German nurseries. Group sizes at German nurseries were too large, they said, and children were not properly prepared for school.

Also many immigrants did not think cooperation between parents and staff was good enough and called for nurseries to employ more bilingual staff.

However, the study found that the longer immigrant families had lived in Germany, the more likely they were to send their kids to nursery early on. Among second-generation immigrant families, almost as many children were sent to nursery as in German families, wrote the magazine.

Like German parents, many immigrants would like to send their children to day care but hit problems such as high fees and unsuitable hours. However, religious or cultural reservations as well as the language barrier conspire to make things even harder for immigrants than native parents to get their kids a place. 

Previous studies have shown that children from immigrant backgrounds sent late to nursery or not sent at all often do worse at school – mainly because they struggle to get over the German language barrier.

Only 19 percent of children from Turkish families who have been to day care for more than three years before starting school later need extra language tuition to get by, compared with 61 percent who didn't go to nursery, said the magazine.

The Local

The integration of more adults with migration background into Hamburg´s labour market – this is the aim of NOBI, the Regional Network of Hamburg. Eleven partners co-operate in NOBI, in areas in which there is a need for action.

Assessment and recognition

The recognition of foreign occupational qualifications is a field of action which opens new chances for migrants through the so called „Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Feststellung und

Anerkennung im Ausland erworbener Berufsqualifikationen“ (= Professional

Qualifications Assessment Act) “. There is a lot to do so that these chances can be of use. NOBI is informing skilled workers with migration background and employers about the potentiality which is offered in the Assessment Act, to link offers for recognition advisory services and to develop new procedures for recognition within the craft sector. Occasionally, after the professional recognition a further qualification is essential in order to equate foreign and German qualification. NOBI offers skill training within the craft sector and develops new proposals for medical and health care and for engineer professions.

Rethinking and linking

In addition to practical offers for adults with migration background, NOBI works mainly to improve structural conditions for occupational integration.      

In order to provide the migrants for instance with a better access to offers, NOBI informs urban projects, other stakeholders for integration, the Muslim Community Hamburg, African churches and further ethnic groups. Together with its partners it also strives to clarify the importance of professional qualifications. Or in order to strengthen the welcoming culture and recruitment of foreign students, college teachers and students are addressed and suitable

schemes are planned. Two examples to show how to organize cooperation and support networking together with institutions, authorities and further partners of the occupational integration. In addition NOBI offers to its partners intercultural trainings, especially to employment services and jobcenters team.arbeit.hamburg.

Collective and open-minded

Another aim of NOBI is to work in Hamburg not only for, but above all also with migrants for the improvement of professional integration – for example together with migrant organisations. They are partners of NOBI and they support the target group and improve the performance of migrant organisations. Finally, the work on anti-discrimination plays an important role by NOBI – a change in perspectives should be achieved by all parties involved, so that Hamburg´s diversity will become a benefit to all.

NOBI´s partner

Arbeitsgemeinschaft selbständiger Migranten e.V. (Working Committee of self-employed migrants e.V.)

basis & woge e.V.

Bildungs- und Beratungskarawane e.V. (Educational and advisory “Karawane” e.V.)

Handwerkskammer Hamburg (The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts)

Interkulturelle Bildung Hamburg e.V. (Intercultural Education Hamburg e.V.)

IMIC e.V.

passage gGmbH

Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf )

NOBI is part of the nationwide support programme “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Employment Service.

The Supreme Court Judgment on the “Isofoton” case raises interesting issues for discussion and consideration. One of the key issues that the Court’s judgment has brought up for discussion is the absence of parliamentary approval of the Isofoton contract as initially awarded by the Government. The Court essentially relied on the absence of parliamentary approval to order a refund of all monies paid to “Isofoton’ as a result of the earlier judgment debt that the company had secured.

The Supreme Court’s decision however does not appear to have laid the matter to rest as much as we think. Indeed what the court’s decision has done is rather to open up the Government to another case of negligence based on its failure to secure parliamentary approval for a contract that it awarded to “Isofoton”. The court’s decision has therefore brought up to focus on judgment debts to the root causes of these cases, that is the arbitrary and politically motivated cancellation of Government contracts by especially the previous NPP Government as is the case in the “Isofoton” matter.


The real question to ask going forward is who had the responsibility for securing the needed Parliamentary approval.
Martin Amidu’s effort to set aside the “Isofoton” judgment debt may only have given the Government a brief reprieve. This is especially so if the main ground for setting aside the judgment is that the contract was not backed by Parliamentary approval. Obviously it is not the responsibility of “Isofoton” to obtain parliamentary approval and therefore the company should not be made to suffer for the failure of Ghanaian officials to do their job as required. It is therefore reasonable to expect the Ghana Government to reimburse Isofoton for any monies it refunds due to the Judgment.
If eventually any monies are paid to “Isofoton” this raises a clear cut case of causing financial loss to the state in that officials who failed to secure parliamentary approval for the Isofoton contract are the real cause of any loss which the nation Ghana might incur in this case

The lesson going forward is that judgment debts that are set aside solely on the ground of lack of parliamentary approval obviously and impliedly raise issues of official negligence and leave the door open for Government to be sued  in another case for recovery of any monies that companies are made to refund by the Supreme Court.


In essence cancellation of contracts by politicians on grounds that are not watertight eventually cost the nation needless and avoidable losses that result in unwarranted judgment debts. The NPP especially should refrain from throwing mud at the current Government for payment of Judgment debts, which debts arose from wrongful decisions that they have taken in the past.


Forward ever, backwards never.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Report By: Mensah Dekportor
(NDC- Germany Communication Director)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It was very spectacular being at the “Tag Der Immobilienwirschaft 2013”, organized by ZIA, on Wednesday the 5th of June, in Berlin Tempelhof. I can’t wait to be invited next year. One needs to witness this extraordinary display of uniqueness.

The conference attracted over 1,200 executives from the real estate industry, politics, media, entrepreneurs, diplomats and academicians. The motto of the conference was "New Tasks and Duties” “Neue Aufgaben und Abgaben”.
The Federal Minister of Building -/Construction of Germany, “Bundebauminister” Dr. Peter Ramsauer was the special guest of honor.

It is our desire to establish affordable buildings and energy efficient housing units throughout the country. This we believe could be achieved through perfect cooperation between politicians and entrepreneurs working hand in hand.

The president of the ZIA, Andreas Mattner in his welcome address, insists politicians’ remains strategic and critical partners of the real estate industry.

At the forum was the Malawian ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Prof. Dr. Isaac C. Lamba, accompanied by Mrs. Sylvaina Gerlich of Hamburg Integration Council. According to him, he was there practically to woe Investors to Malawi.

He emphatically said his country needs more investors in the areas of real estate development, road network, and he equally challenged the Europeans to have a rethink over their investment policies on Africa.

He also intensively discussed with Prof. Dr. Kay Poggensee from Institute of International Business Management (Kiel), as to how best to establish a partnership with the University of Malawi. He also had some pep talks with Mr. Oliver Herrmann (DTZ), seen by many as a global player in the real estate industry.
 
The Ger­man Pro­perty Fede­ra­tion or ZIA, is a regu­latory and eco­no­mic lobby group for policy in the pro­perty sec­tor, and remains one of the most influential institutions in Germany. At Euro­pean level the ZIA is rep­re­sen­ted in Brus­sels and is estab­lis­hed there as the Ger­man Pro­perty Fede­ra­tion. 

Other speakers at the occasion were, the finance minister Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble and Peer Steinbrück, Kanzler candidate of the SPD.

Desmond John Beddy
www.topafric.com

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