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Berlin , the capital and the most largest city of Germany has suffered a rather gruesome attack about an hour ago killing 12and injuring 58 people . Eyewitnesses at the scene said a huge truck from no where drove into the people who were having fun with family and friends in a Christmas market ( Weihnactsmarkt) ,in the west of Berlin .

Police say the driver of the vehicle who is on the run after causing such a disheartening scene today ,Monday 19th ,2016 at about 20:00hrs .Investigations so far has discovered a bomb in the truck which for some reason did not work out .This makes it obvious that it was a deliberate attempt made to claim nnocemt lives hence a terror attack .Observers say how he drove over the people who were in the christmas market living them lifeless or severly injured was an unpleasant scene.

The christmas market is said to be located at Breitscheidplatz close to kufurstendamm ,which happens to be the main shopping street in the west of Berlin.

This is a really a big scare to the residence in Germany and might go a long way to affect the joy of christmas and the tradtion ,where friends and family mostly do meet talk and have fun markets to have a taste of glue vine which is taken hot to keep one warm and put fear in them ."Weihnactmarkt" as Germans call it is an area or square decorated with lights and several tents that sell food ,drinks and items to the people that srtroll in and almost always considered as a tradion ,hence the name "Weihnacht" meaning "Christmas"

Families of the victims both death and injured are being contacted to identfy the bodies and injured persons .Please call a friend or family member to find out if they are safe or not .

This incidence reminds us of what happened in France . 

Let us all stay safe this christmas 

EFFIYA AGYEIWAAH 

Young people from immigrant backgrounds suffer severe disadvantages at German schools, according to a study. While one third of German students graduate from university-track high schools, just one-tenth of students who have what is called Migrationshintergrund make it that far, the study by Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband, an organisation dedicated to social justice, found. 

“Not even three percent of those at German universities are foreigners who have completed their entry qualifications here,” said the organisation’s leader Barbara John at the launch of the report in Berlin. “Most of the foreign university students bring their high school qualifications from abroad.” 

John, who served as Berlin’s integration commissioner from 1981 to 2003, said the gravest problem lies among young immigrants who drop out of school, regardless of whether it is a university-preparatory school or vocational training institute. Some 15 percent of immigrant pupils drop out - more than double the German dropout rate of 6 percent, the study found.

The main reason lies with the rigid public school system, which funnels students into one of several different tracks based on their abilities after elementary school between the ages 10 and 12 - an age John said was too young.

“The waste of talent that we’re driving cannot go on,” she said. “Some children learn in spite of the schools. But they should be learning because of the schools.”
Source: The Local

One of the tragedies of the Berlin Christmas market terror attack is that, in hindsight, it seems to have been so preventable. But putting the terrorist behind bars wasn't so simple. When Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri drove a truck into a crowd of people on Breitscheidplatz, killing 11 people, Germany’s domestic intelligence and police were already well aware of who he was.

He had first come to the attention of anti-terror authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), when he took part in a training session for potential Isis recruits a year before his deadly attack.Since then he repeatedly appeared on the radar of authorities in NRW and Berlin.But a legal system which requires a high burden of proof and a Tunisian state unwilling to take back a known extremist prevented him from being caught, two newspaper reports from Thursday claim.

THE ABU WALAA CONNECTION

When Amri took part in a 16-kilometre walk through the west German countryside on December 23rd 2015, carrying a heavy backpack on his back, he was doing so under the supervision of Abu Walaa, the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger (KSA) reported on Thursday.

Real name Abdulaziz Abdullah Abdullah, Abu Walaa is considered one of the most influential and dangerous Islamist preachers in Germany.In November 2016, he was arrested along with four associates on suspicion of supplying fighters to Isis in Syria.But according to the KSA’s security sources, Abu Walaa and his men had been preparing attacks in Germany, too.

During investigations into the group, police managed to smuggle two informants into their network, who reported that by autumn 2015, they had already bought guns and hand grenades in preparation for an attack on a police station. Another source reported that the extremists wanted to fill a truck with petrol and explosives before driving it into a crowd of people.Nonetheless, police never gathered enough proof of concrete attack plans to satisfy Germany's judiciary that the group should be arrested.

CALLS TO ATTACK

It was in the Abu Walaa milieu that Amri became radicalized, first intending to travel to Syria to wage jihad for Isis, according to the KSA. But by early 2016, investigators had become aware that the 24-year-old was calling on other extremists to join him in an attack on German soil.

Amri looked up on the internet how to build bombs, he tried to get hold of automatic weapons, and according to one undercover agent, he boasted that he would carry out a blood bath. But again, a lack of concrete evidence that he had taken steps to carry out such an attack meant that police could not arrest him, according to the KSA. 

In July 2016, the high burden of proof required by German law seemed to again prevent authorities from taking Amri off the streets. Paragraph 58a of the deportation law allows for a “special risk” person to be deported at speed. But intelligence services decided that they didn’t have a case against Amri that would convince a judge.

The nail in the coffin for investigators came in September. Berlin police had been tapping Amri’s phone since he moved to the capital in March. But when they went to a judge to ask for an extension, the only evidence they had that would stand up in court was that he was involved in drug dealing.German law allows for drug dealers to be tapped for a maximum period of six months, so the wire tap was stopped.

Without enough proof to have Amri detained under paragraph 58a of German deportation law, the best chance to make him leave was to have Tunisia send over the paperwork proving he was a Tunisian citizen.This should have been straightforward enough. Amri’s asylum application had been rejected in the early summer of 2016, but because he wasn’t carrying his real Tunisian ID, he couldn’t be sent back to his homeland. But Tunis failed to respond to repeated requests from Berlin for a quick resolution of the situation, despite Germany emphasizing in July how urgent the matter was, the Süddeustche Zeitung reported on Thursday.

In October the Tunisians finally gave their response. There had been a mistake: Amri was not a citizen of their country, they told their German counterparts. It was a reply Germany had heard before. Tunisia has been hit repeatedly by bloody terror attacks in recent years and is reluctant to take back problem cases like Amri.

Three days later, Germany made a new request for papers, this time using a fingerprint from Interpol to prove that Amri was in fact a Tunisian citizen. On December 21st, Tunisia finally delivered the official paperwork, two days after Amri had killed 12 people in west Berlin.

Source: The Local

Are you planning to come to Germany for a short period to visit relatives, attend a meeting or seminar, or simply for holidays? If yes, you can apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa. A Schengen Visa entitles the holder to an accumulated stay of up to 90 days within a period of 6 months for 26 European Countries.
You are advised to submit your application for a Schengen Visa to the representative of the country which is your main destination – considering length and purpose of your intended stay. In this case it is Germany.

Required Documents
Application form
• One completed visa application form (which you can download from the website of Germany Embassy in your home country)

Passport
• Passport valid for at least 90 days after expiry of requested visa
• 2 copies of pages containing personal information
• Copies of pages with recent Schengen visa(s)
• One recent biometric passport picture

Document confirming employment
• Employees: Letter of employment
• Self-employed: Company registration/letter from accountant
• Students: Proof of school/university attendance, confirming that student is exempt from attending lectures during requested travel period

Documents reflecting the nature of the trip
• Signed letter of invitation from private person + passport copy, or
• Legalised letter of invitation or concert/sport event tickets, or
• Package Tour/Cruises/Individual Trips (proof of accommodation for every day) or

Documents confirming sufficient funds are available for the trip
• Current 3 months stamped bank statement of private bank account, or
• Current 3 months stamped bank statement of business account, or
• Legalized letter of obligation + written statement explaining the relationship between the inviting party and the applicant

Flight-ticket and hotel reservation
• Flight reservation and travel itinerary
• Hotel reservation with full address for the entire time of stay in Schengen State(s)
• Signed Invitation letter from a host/company in Germany with full address

Medical insurance
• Medical insurance valid for the duration of the requested Visa
• Minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 and repatriation

For accompanying minors (younger than 18 years of age)
• Unabridged birth certificate (displaying father’s and mother’s name )
• Guardian’s declaration of consent signed by both guardians/parents
• Copy of first page of the minor’s passport

Visa Fees
The fee for a Schengen Visa is 60.00 Euro.

Where and how to apply?
After completing the application form, you have to take it to the German Embassy in your home country.

You are advised to apply for a visa at least 3 weeks before your travel date to meet any processing delays.

Important for information for applicants
• Only complete applications can be accepted; Non-submission of necessary documentation may lead to a refusal

• False or falsified documents will lead to refusal of visa and/or further consequences

• The German missions reserve the right to ask for further supporting documents/information

• Visa extensions within Germany are generally not possible

• Applicants may not apply for permanent residence in Germany while on this Visa

• The German Mission may shorten the validity of the Visa without prior consultation

• Have you already had your fingerprints taken at an earlier application for a C-Schengen visa? If so, it may not be necessary for you to apply in person. The above article has been prepared using information provided by the German Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa

Source: http://www.afronews.de/

The dawn that the masses hoped for and dreamed of or could be barely wait for has finally being sealed .Few weeks ago , Ghanaians went all out in one voice,heart and peace and elected the one individual who they will hand-over the mandate of being the next President of Ghana.Hence the innaugration of the next President of Ghana in the year , 2017 on the 7th January ,2017.

The Innaugration ceremony  took place yesterday ,Saturday ,7th January 2017 at Black Star Square in the great Nation Ghana after a 30- days transition period from the outgoing government to the incoming government 

The Black Star Square was beautifully decorated with tents that was built with the colours of the Ghana flag with firm security to ensure safety and order. The swearing -in ceremony was attended by over 6000 people , most in white or beautiful kente clothing, waving white handkerchiefs signifying their joy and satisfaction alongside traditional drumming ,dancing and the sound of vuvuzels.
 
The president Elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo arrived , gracefully clothed in a beautiful colourful Kente like " the coat of many colours " at the event .Not forgetting the beautiful firts lady of Ghana ,the   vice -president his excellency Mahamudu Bawumia and his beautiful wife who obviously carried the title of the day,as the "Best dressed " at the ceremony .
 
But can one take a minute to imagine the thoughts that went through the mind of President elect while he recited each sentence after the chief justice Georgina Theodora Wood furing the swearing in.If could look back at how the journey began forbthe president elect right from giving free legal assistance to the poor in the society to becoming a national organizer of NPP , Campaign Manager ,member of parliament, cabinet minister ,Attorney  General and minister of Justice , foreign minister , chairman of the security of justice ,Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo ,having been beaten twice for this same title he was about to be sworn in after 8years of long wait, was indeed inspiring .
 
The historical swearing -in ceremony which was led by Chief Justice of Ghana, Madam Georgina Theodora Wood, President Elect of Ghana took the oath of the office of presidency repeating gorgeously after the Chief Justice.The first sentence by the then Preident elect was followed by an applaud from the faithful civillians that gathered regardless of signs of cough and katarrh while he spoke .
After the swearing ,His Excellency , President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo waved at the people before proceeding to hold the stuff which signifies the authority and mandate that Ghanaians have entrusted into his hands .
 
For the first time in 2017 ,the National Anthem was played at exactly 11:11am on the first saturday of the year dated 7th January ,2017, sounding the beginning of the dawn of the new era.Change has indeed come .
 
It is therefore official , that His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo is from henceforth the head of state and government  of the Republic of Ghana as well as commander in Chief of Ghana Armed Forces .
 
Unlike any other ceremony the presence of dignitaries including Parlimentarians ,cabinet ministers,Associated Justices , officials of Government and over 16 Ghanaian heads of State and former heads of state and government in the persons of Former Vice President  Paa Kwesi Anissa Attah , Former Secretary General of the UN ,Mr Kofi Annan , Former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Akonadu Agyemang Rawlings ,Former President John Agyekum Kuffour and  few other African heads of state namely ; 
 
President of Côte d'Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Quattera (Guest of Honor)
President of  Equitorial Guinea,His Excellency Teodiro Obiang Nguema
President of Algeria,His Excellency  Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President of Egypt,His Excellency Abdul Fattah el-Sisi
Sierra Leonian President ,His Excellency  Ernest Ellen Koroma 
Ethiopian President, His Excellency  Mulatu Teshome 
President of Chad,His Excellency Idriss Déby
Liberia's President,Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 
President of the Central African Republic,His Excellency Faustin Theodora 
President of Burkina Faso,His Excellency  Mark Christine Gabore 
Vice Presidrnt of the Islamic Republic of Iran,His Excellency Mohammed Madora
 
There was a speech delivery by the special guest of Honor,His Excellency Alassane Quattara, President of Côte d'Ivoire and the President  of Liberia , Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is the chairperson of Ecowas.She delivered a good-will message on behalf ECOWAS, which congratulated Ghanaians for allowing peaceful to reign and coming together as one after the elections .She also congratulated the Mahama administration for a good job done and encouraged the the President of Ghana ,His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo -Addo on the responsibility that lies ahead of  him and his administartion ,hoping for a cordial relationship between Ghana and  the ECOWAS.
 
The most epic moment was the speech delivered by Ghana's 5th President of the 4th republic which captured a biblical quote in Galatians 6:9 and made the following mind liberating statement that should be every Ghanaian citizen's principle of life which says " LET US WORK TILL THE WORK IS DONE".
 
Ghana has a new President and a new direction .You and i can only wish the President of Ghana , His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo - Addo and his administration a productive first four-year term and contribute our quota to help him fulfil his promises of hope and change.
 
 
NANA GHANA FO MA WO AYEEKO , WA BR3 MO NANSO AFEI NA WO MMERE NO ASO NTI DE WO HENE ! !!!
LONG LIVE THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA !!!  LONG LIVE OUR MOTHERLAND GHANA  !!!
 BY EFFIYA AGYEIWAAH

Many of the refugees in Germany are better educated than expected and in a good position to find work, Frank-Jürgen Weise, the director of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has said.
A new study shows that around 50,000 refugees found work in Germany between September 2015 and September 2016, and some 30,000 earn enough to make them subject to social insurance contributions. Most of their jobs are in logistics, warehousing, and agriculture, DW reported.

The results of the study were confirmed by Anis Baroudi, a Syrian refugee who works as an IT manager for a Red Cross refugee shelter near Munich. “I know a lot of engineers who came to Germany last year,” he told DW. “I know a lot of people who worked for a long time in big companies in Syria.”

He said that many of the refugees who came to Europe or Germany last year “have a lot of experience,” adding that they are “well-educated” and have university degrees.
The findings of the study have however been questioned by some expects.

A similar study conducted by the Cologne Institute of Economic Research (IW) on the education levels of refugees in March came to different conclusions.

“I was very baffled by the report,” IW senior economist Wido Geis told DW. “Most of the data we know show that we actually have a very unfavorable qualification structure [among asylum seekers]. From the numbers we have until now, between a fifth and a quarter of people have no more than primary school level education.”

He added: “We do see that the overwhelming majority has poor qualifications, and is not yet active on the market.”

Source: http://www.afronews.de/

The violent death of a 23-year-old woman in 2014 shook millions across Germany. Now the young man convicted for the assault could soon be deported to Serbia.
An administrative court in Wiesbaden on Wednesday agreed with immigration authorities that the convicted assailant Sanel M. should be deported from Germany. The 20-year-old can still appeal the decision within two weeks.

Sanel M. was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison in 2015 for gross bodily harm with fatal consequences after he hit a woman in the head, ultimately leading to her death.

In November 2014, Tugce Albayrak had confronted the young man in a carpark in Offenbach for harassing two young girls inside a McDonald’s. Sanel M. struck her across the head, causing her to hit the ground and fall into a coma. The scene was captured on surveillance video and broadcast on national media, bringing greater attention to the attack.

Days later her family switched off her life-support system on her 23rd birthday, sparking a wave of sympathy in Germany amid widespread revulsion over the assault.

About 1,000 mourners attended Albayrak's funeral and a mass online petition called for her to be posthumously awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Order of Merit) for her bravery. Chancellor Angela Merkel called Albayrak a “role model” and President Joachim Gauck said she shows “bravery and civil courage in an exemplary way”.

The Wiesbaden immigration office ordered Sanel M, in September 2016 to be expelled from Germany for eight years and called for his immediate deportation. He then brought a complaint to the administrative court.

The court agreed that Sanel M. presented a public security threat if he stayed in the country, in part based on his original conviction and a psychological assessment conducted in prison. Not only had Sanel M. violated prison rules multiple times, but his actions there had also prompted disciplinary and criminal procedures.

Though he had shown more positive change over time, he was still considered to be a long-term risk. And while Sanel M.'s family lives in Germany, the court said that he could still be able to form new bonds in Serbia, though it would at first be difficult.

Source: https://www.thelocal.de/

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