Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Make 18 years the consent age to sex – Prof Sai tells Parliament

Population and sexual health expert, Professor F.T. Sai is advocating that Parliament harmonizes the existing law on the Children’s Act that puts the minimum marriage age in Ghana at 18 years but allows girls to engage in consented sex at age 16.

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According to him, consent to sex should be fixed at age 18 and marriage should be fixed at 18 years and above.

The amendment to the law, Prof. Sai said on Monday, is key to preventing forced marriage within the country.

Prof Sai noted that due to the Ghanaian custom of permitting parents to give away their children in marriage, there is the need for vigorous education in homes and communities in order to overcome forced marriage in the country.

The Population and sexual health expert is supporting campaigners against forced marriage with his proposal to amend the Children Act of 1998.

If the proposed amendment to the Act is successful, then having consented sex with a-16-year-old girl may land one into jail.

Campaigners against the current age of consent are convinced that changing to 18 years will be a positive start to tackle forced marriage, a common practice in parts of rural Ghana.

Speaking on the issue, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsuaem, Eugenia Kusi, indicated that expressed consent of young girls, who find themselves in such forced marriages are usually not sought.

To her, teenagers lacked the mental capacity to make informed decision about their marriage partners.

Available statistics indicate that over 277,000 women in Ghana were forced into marriage in 2010 and the number is expected to hit almost 500,000 by 2030 if measures are not implemented to address the menace.





Credit: iNewsGhana

19 Quotes That Will Make You Fall in Love With Books All Over Again

Bust out those e-readers, dust off your bookshelves, or head to your local library -- Monday, March 3 marks the 17th annual Read Across America Day. Hosted by the National Education Association and held in conjunction with Dr. Seuss' birthday (March 2), Read Across America Day applies the football pep rally mentality to books, aiming to get children just as excited about cracking open a book as they are about scoring a touchdown.

In honor of Read Across America Day -- and just because we love books -- we've rounded up the best quotes about reading. These 19 quotes express the undeniably unique power books possess to entertain us, comfort us, challenge us, and inspire us. Reading is truly amazing, and while it's always in the back of our minds, sometimes life's distractions get in the way of hunkering down with a large cup of coffee and a really great book. Let these quotes serve as your reminder. And, because it's only fitting, we'll start with a quote from Dr. Seuss himself!

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

"A book is a device to ignite the imagination." ― Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

"The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead." -- Clarence Shepard Day 

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"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home." ― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers." -- Charles William Eliot

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was." - Ernest Hemingway

"I read my eyes out and can't read half enough... The more one reads the more one sees we have to read." - John Adams

"Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed." - Joseph Addison

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"A book, too, can be a star, 'explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,' a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." - Madeleine L'Engle

"If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid down at my feet in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would spurn them all." - François Fénelon

"A book is a friend whose face is constantly changing. If you read it when you are recovering from an illness, and return to it years after, it is changed surely, with the change in yourself." -
Andrew Lang

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"The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense." - J.A. Langford

"The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one." - Oliver Goldsmith

"No matter what his rank or position may be, the lover of books is the richest and the happiest of the children of men." - J.A. Langford

"The habit of reading is the only enjoyment I know in which there is no alloy. It lasts when all other pleasures fade. It will be there to support you when all other resources are gone. It will be present to you when the energies of your body have fallen away from you. It will last you until your death. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live." - Anthony Trollope

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"A first book has some of the sweetness of a first love." - Robert Aris Willmott

"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting." - Lady M. W. Montagu

"Of all the things which man can do or make here below, by far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy are the things we call books." - Thomas Carlyle 




Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bookbub/18-quotes-that-will-make-_b_4875816.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

The Unbelievable Story Of Why Marlon Brando Rejected His 1973 Oscar For ‘The Godfather’

On March 5, 1973, Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his gut-wrenching performance as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” — for a very unexpected reason.


Here’s how it went down.
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The Movie That Brought Brando Back

In the 1960s, Brando’s career had slid into decline. His previous two movies  — the famously over-budget “One-Eyed Jacks” and “Mutiny on the Bounty” — tanked at the box office. Critics said ”Mutiny” marked the end of Hollywood’s golden age, and worse still, rumors of Brando’s unruly behavior on set turned him into one of the least desirable actors to work with.

Brando’s career needed saving. “The Godfather” was his defibrillator.

In the epic portrayal of a 1940s New York Mafia family, Brando played the patriarch, the original Don. Though the film follows his son Michael (played by Al Pacino), Vito Corleone is its spine. A ruthless, violent criminal, he loves and protects the family by any means necessary. It’s the warmth of his humanity that makes him indestructible — a paradox shaped by Brando’s remarkable performance.

“The Godfather” grossed nearly $135 million nationwide, and is heralded as one of the greatest films of all time. Pinned against pinnacles of the silver screen — Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, and Peter O’Toole — Brando was favorited to win Best Actor.
Drama At The Awards Show

On the eve of the 45th Academy Awards, Brando announced that he would boycott the ceremony and send Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. A little-known actress, she was then-president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee.

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AP: Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place, to address the American Indian rights movement
On the evening of March 5, when Liv Ullman and Roger Moore read out the name of the Best Actor award recipient, neither presenter parted their lips in a smile. Their gaze fell on a woman in Apache dress, whose long, dark hair bobbed against her shoulders as she climbed the stairs.

Moore extended the award to Littlefeather, who waved it away with an open palm. She set a letter down on the podium, introduced herself, and said:

“I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you … that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry —”

The crowd booed. Littlefeather looked down and said “excuse me.” Others in the audience began to clap, cheering her on. She continued only briefly, to “beg” that her appearance was not an intrusion and that they will “meet with love and generosity” in the future.

Why He Did It

In 1973, Native Americans had “virtually no representation in the film industry and were primarily used as extras,” Native American studies scholar Dina Gilio-Whitaker writes. “Leading roles depicting Indians in several generations of Westerns were almost always given to white actors.”

But they weren’t just neglected or replaced in film; they were disrespected — a realization that crippled Brando’s image of the industry.

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Associated Press: Brando was 48 when he became the second person to reject an Academy Award for Best Actor.
The following day, The New York Times printed the entirety of his statement — which Littlefeather was unable to read in full because of “time restraints.” Brando expressed support for the American Indian Movement and referenced the ongoing situation at Wounded Knee, where a team of 200 Oglala Lakota activists had occupied a tiny South Dakota town the previous month and was currently under siege by U.S. military forces. He wrote:

“The motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing him as savage, hostile and evil. It’s hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children … see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.”

A tsunami of criticism toppled over Brando and Littlefeather following the Oscars, from peers in the industry and the media.

Still, Brando lent the Native American community a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of their fight in front of 85 million viewers, leveraging an entertainment platform for political justice in unprecedented fashion. His controversial rejection of the award (which no winner has repeated since) remains one of the most powerful moments in Oscar history.



Credit: http://worldobserveronline.com/2014/02/28/unbelievable-story-marlon-brando-rejected-1973-oscar-godfather/

'We can't prove sex with children does them harm' says Labour-linked NCCL

http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/1/590x/patricia_hewitt-462604.jpgEVIDENCE has emerged that the views of the Paedophile Information Exchange influenced policy-making at the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was run by former Labour Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

PIE members were lobbying NCCL officials for the age of consent to be reduced and campaigning for “paedophile love”.

Their view that children were not harmed by having sex with adults appears to have been adopted by those at the top of the civil liberties group.

Today we publish extracts from an NCCL report written for the Criminal Law Revision Committee in 1976 when Mrs Hewitt was general secretary.

It says: “Where both partners are aged 10 or over, but under 14, a consenting sexual act should not be an offence. As the age of consent is arbitrary, we propose an overlap of two years on either side of 14.

“Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage.

“The Criminal Law Commission should be prepared to accept the evidence from follow-up research on child ‘victims’ which show there is little subsequent effect after a child has been ‘molested’.

“The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage.

“The present legal penalties are too high and reinforce the misinformation and prejudice. The duty of the court should be to inquire into all the relevant circumstances with the intention, not of meting out severe punishment, but of determining the best solution in the interests of both child and paedophile.”

Mrs Hewitt, 65, was general secretary between 1974 and 1983. After days of intense pressure, the former Labour MP for Leicester West finally admitted last week the NCCL was “naive and wrong” over its ties to PIE.

    "Where both partners are aged 10 or over, but under 14, a consenting sexual act should not be an offence" - The NCCL Report

She said: “Any suggestion that I supported or condoned the vile crimes of child abusers is completely untrue.

“As the NCCL archives demonstrate, I consistently distinguished between consenting relationships between homosexual men, on the one hand, and the abuse of children on the other.

“When Jack Dromey, as NCCL chairman in 1976, vigorously opposed PIE at the NCCL AGM, he did so with the full support of the executive committee and myself as general secretary.”

However Labour MP Dromey’s opposition to PIE has been questioned by its former chairman, convicted paedophile Tom O’Carroll, who claims he felt “welcome” at NCCL meetings where he sat on the gay rights sub-committee.

Mr O’Carroll said: “While they did not like PIE and did nothing to support our objectives, they were afraid of appearing insufficiently ‘right on’.

“Consequently they were nothing like as strenuous and public in their efforts to distance themselves from PIE as they are now claiming.

“Dromey is quoted as saying ‘I was at the forefront of repeated public condemnations of PIE and their despicable views’. That’s news to me. Maybe by ‘public’ he meant imprecations muttered to cronies at his local pub.”

Dromey’s wife Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour party, was legal officer at the NCCL between 1978 and 1982. She has expressed her “regret” over the NCCL’s involvement with PIE but has pointedly declined to apologize.


Credit: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/462604/We-can-t-prove-sex-with-children-does-them-harm-says-Labour-linked-NCCL