News in the Humanosphere: Plagiarism scandal mars Ghana’s presidential inauguration

Ghanaian presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo paying homage to Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Nana Akufo-Addo was inaugurated as Ghana’s fifth president, in another milestone for the firmly Democratic state in west Africa. Then he did this. Akufo-Addo lifted lines in his 30-minute speech word for word from the inaugural addresses of two U.S. presidents. The first came from George W. Bush’s speech in 2001. “I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building your communities and our nation,” he said. And then came a line straight from Bill Clinton’s 1993 speech, substituting Ghanaians for Americans: “Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people. And we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/2iXihzs)

RIP, Rafsanjani…Iran’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died Sunday after a decades-long career in the ruling elite, where his moderate views were not always welcome but his cunning guided him through revolution, war and the country’s turbulent politics. The political survivor’s life spanned the trials of Iran’s modern history, from serving as a close aide to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the 1979 Islamic Revolution to acting as a go-between in the Iran-Contra deal. He helped found Iran’s contested nuclear program, but later backed the accord with world powers to limit it in exchange for sanctions relief. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2iXjWW1)

Truck attack kills four in Israel…A Palestinian truck driver on Sunday rammed his vehicle into a crowd of Israeli soldiers at a popular Jerusalem tourist spot, killing four people and wounding 17 others in the deadliest single attack of more than a year of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The attack came at a time of heightened tensions in Jerusalem, where Palestinians have warned of dire consequences if incoming President Donald Trump follows through on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy to the city. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2iXdmib)

Top Stories

The streets of Ivory Coast’s second-largest city Bouake were calm and the military presence was gone, residents said on Sunday, after a two-day soldiers’ mutiny calling for bonus pay and better living conditions took over the city. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2iXq2FN)

Suicide bombings at two marketplaces in eastern Baghdad killed at least 20 people – the latest in a spate of attacks in the Iraqi capital that have left dozens dead in recent days. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2iXkg7b)

A South Korean Buddhist monk is in critical condition after setting himself on fire to protest the country’s settlement with Japan on compensation for wartime sex slaves, officials said Sunday. (VOA http://bit.ly/2iXhTAY)

The Mexican authorities have arrested the alleged gunman who shot and wounded an official from the US consulate in the western city of Guadalajara, prosecutors said Sunday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iXcbyZ)

#BringBackOurGirls: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday he was hopeful the remaining 195 Chibok schoolgirls will be rescued, as he marked 1,000 days since the mass abduction by Boko Haram that drew global attention to the jihadist insurgency. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iSqDYZ)

Germany threatened on Sunday to end development aid to countries that refuse to take back rejected asylum seekers, a response to failings which kept the suspected Berlin attacker from being deported. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iXud4j)

President Nicolas Maduro is raising Venezuela’s minimum wage by 50 percent. But that’s not very much relief in a nation where inflation is forecast by the International Monetary Fund to reach four digits this year and food shortages are widespread. (AP https://yhoo.it/2j72HOZ)

Peace talks between Colombia and the ELN rebels will resume next week after the group asked to postpone them in November, the government said Sunday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2i68TVL)

The United Nations is investigating more observers for taking part in a New Year’s Eve party at which leftist FARC rebels were present, a UN source said Saturday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2i6aSt9)

Blizzards and dangerously low temperatures persisted in parts of Europe on Sunday, prompting Pope Francis to draw attention to the homeless suffering in freezing weather. In Serbia, aid workers scrambled to help hundreds of migrants sleeping rough in parks and makeshift shelters. (AP https://yhoo.it/2j78wfw)

Officials in Beijing have announced a new environmental police squad to root out illegal burning in the city, the latest government response to the widespread public anger over China’s persistent problems with smog. (VOA http://bit.ly/2iXr8RL)

Opinion/Blogs

Cutting UN Funding is Like Punishing Madison Square Garden When the Knicks Lose (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2iXzYz1)

Five myths about cash transfers (IRIN http://bit.ly/2iXv0Cw)

Why African Growth Could Take Off (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2iSDI2a)

Africa’s Human Rights Court and the Limits of Justice (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2i7QnQ9)

Should the WHO split in two? (Devex http://bit.ly/2iXx4dC)

Nigeria Could Teach the West a Few Things (Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/2iXAb5h)

The 10 things that guide how I give to charity (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/2i3VJNN)

Global Buzzwords That Will Keep On Buzzing In 2017 (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2i3TY3r)

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