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Defendants accused of anti-government plots and killing Oromia police officer on day after Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination.

On 21 September, federal prosecutors charged opposition Oromo Federalist Congress leader Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and 22 0thers with crimes including training a terrorist group in Egypt with the intention of toppling the government by force, attacking Amhara people and Orthodox Christian Church officials, as well as killing a police officer in the aftermath of the 29 June killing of singer Hachalu Hundessa.

Ten separate sets of charges are brought at the Federal High Court against the defendants under the Criminal Code, anti-terrorism, firearms, and telecoms proclamations.

The charges state that since September , Jawar recruited, organized, and trained youth groups from Oromia region in order to overthrow the government by armed struggle. On the night of Hachalu’s killing, he used Oromia Media Network (OMN), which prosecutors say he not only used to run but still indirectly controls, to accuse ethnic Amhara of the assassination and orchestrated a campaign of incitement to violence by journalists and other individuals against Amhara and Orthodox Christians.

The codefendants include OMN employees, as well as former diplomat Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni and academic-activist Tsegaye Regassa Ararssa, both of whom live abroad. Dejene Gutema, an OMN editor, is also being tried in absentia.

Prosecutors allege that, in contravention of a anti-terrorism law, in September Jawar recruited six former Oromo Liberation Front members with combat training and sent them to Egypt in order for them to train others. In April, the suspect is accused of recruiting more than people from multiple Oromia districts, and from Agew and Qimant in Amhara, and sending them to Egypt to terrorist camps in preparation for an armed rebellion against the Ethiopian government.

Transition on trial

By Leul Estifanos

The charges say that on 24 June, Jawar summoned 15 youths whom he enlisted from Harar city and the Arsi area of Oromia at the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) office around Mexico in Addis Ababa and told them “Members of Mahibre Kidusan [a sub-branch of the Orthodox Church] are Oromo killer, neftegnas [meaning musketeers, often from the north, during the imperial era]. They will be obstacles for our fight and we need to eradicate them” and gave order for the simultaneous assassination of five priests and two other church officials. The defendant is also said to have formed an unknown number of groups, each with 10 members, with the aim of assassinating several individuals.

In his comments to the court posted on the Oromo Cause website, Jawar said: “I’m proud to be charged as terrorist for standing for justice and equality. The goal of the charge is to eliminate opposition figures and political parties in order to win the election. They did this because they saw the support and influence we have from millions of people around the country. They have lost hope and know that they will not get a single vote from humans, nor rats for that matter.”

Responding to a question at a press conference yesterday regarding Jawar’s claim of politically motivated charges, Federal Attorney General Gedion Timothewos said: “There were hundreds of people who have been directly affected by the violence these individuals have instigated and incited. We have to distinguish between lawful political mobilization and the kind of rhetoric, the kind of ultranationalist militant violent political activism that results in death and injuries of citizens.&#;

Gedion added: &#;There might be a correlation between their political activity and the crimes they have committed, but we have to distinguish between causation and correlation. Some of the suspects, some of the accused, are politicians, but they not being charged for their political activity, they are being charge for their acts, their conduct, that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of citizens.&#;

Hachalu aftermath

According to the first charge, on the morning of 30 June, the day after Hachalu’s killing, Jawar gathered in Gulele Sub-City around St. Paul’s Hospital 30 leaders of groups he had previously organized and ordered the immediate demolition of the Menelik II statue in Piazza, attacks on Amhara individuals, and, finally, to go to Arat Kilo and unseat the government.

On the same day the defendant went to Burayu City in Oromia, and, along with Bekele and 16 other defendants, organized youth groups in the area and orchestrated attacks against police officers, while his guards opened fire, damaging the city administration building.

Afterwards the defendants took Hachalu’s body to Prosperity Party’s Oromia branch headquarters next to Meskel Square and while forcefully entering the compound killed one Oromia Special Police and injured three others, the charges read.

Bekele allegedly told his followers around Sebeta and Hageremariam town (official name Bule Hora) on 29 April, that “The neftenga system is strengthening, sacrifices need to be paid. Prepare for a fight.”

Jawar’s sickness leads to deadly unrest before disguised witnesses testify against him

Leul Estifanos

Bekele said in response: “They said ‘I told neftengas will not govern us’. I’ll say it here too: neftengas will not govern us. We will continue to fight for equality. The government saw the acceptance we have among the people so they pressed baseless charges and used their hired media to defame all of us defendants to make us appear as evil-doers. Many Oromo have been sacrificed in this very hall, now it’s our turn. I hope it will cease by our blood.”

Following the artist’s assassination, Bekele ordered the fifth defendant Dejene Tafa to organize youth around Burayu and ensure Hachalu’s body did not go past the checkpoint near Burayu.

Bekele went to Burayu along with the above-mentioned defendants and forcefully took the body to Addis Ababa. In addition, the defendant made a phone call to an unknown individual in Shashemene in Oromia and told them that soldiers have circled him and Jawar to arrest them and ordered Qeerroos to therefore pressurize the government.

As per the charge, the first nine of the 15 defendants and those listed from 16 to 24 were directly involved in the hijacking of the artist’s body from Burayu and the subsequent fatality and injuries of Oromia Special Police at the Prosperity Party office.

Media crimes

Defendants 10 to 12 are OMN itself and two of its editors, Dejene Gutema, who isn’t currently under custody, and Melese Deribssa. The charge states at the night of the artist’s assassination the editors invited guests who said in a live broadcast that “The assassination is carried out by ‘neftenga’ and we need to kill their icons as retaliation. Raise up arms and avenge Hachalu, we ought to show the Amhara people piles of bodies.” They said “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is resurrecting the ‘neftenga’ system and he is the one who had Hacchalu killed.”

The fourteenth defendant, Birhanemeskel, who resides in Seattle, U.S., accused Amhara on OMN of killing the artist and called on Oromo in Ethiopia and abroad to pay all necessary sacrifices including their lives to abolish the prevailing neftenga system.

The fifteenth defendant, Australia-based academic Tsegaye, said on social media on 30 June that “today isn’t a day of mourning. It’s a day of decision—now is the time when the people remove Abiy and his ministers.” Also, the following day, the suspect appeared on Kush Media Network’s You Tube channel and said “Dismantle all government institutions. All leaders of Prosperity Party, including Abiy, are enemies of the Oromo people.”

Charge details

While the first charge is against Jawar, Bekele and 13 others, the third, fourth and fifth charges are solely against Jawar and the sixth charge is only against Bekele.

The first charge relates to initiating ethnic- and religion-based conflict and violent revolution by using social and mainstream media, thereby violating Articles 32(1)(a) and (b), 35, 38 and (1)(a) and (b)(2) of the Criminal Code. It says that due to the clashes initiated by the first 15 defendants, 13 fatalities and property worth more than 48 million birr were damaged in Addis Ababa, and another fatalities, injuries and property worth more than four billion birr was damaged in Oromia.

The second charge against defendants is for violating Articles 32(1)(a), 35, 38 and (3) of the Criminal Code. It says the defendants participated in the action of the defendants under the first charge to initiate ethnic war before and after the 30 June. While the sixteenth defendant was armed with a handgun, the rest carried Kalashnikov rifles, which they used to open fire on police officers in Burayu. They also participated in attacking Oromia Special Police.

Amid defence objections, Ethiopian court grants pre-trial inquiry for Jawar et al

By Leul Estifanos

Under the third charge, which includes the training of rebels in Egypt, Jawar is accused of planning to advance his political agenda by terrorizing the population and pressuring the government, violating Article 6(2) of the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes Proclamation.

Under the fourth charge, Jawar is accused of violating Article 32(1)(a) of the Criminal Code and Article 9(1)(a) of the Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation. The suspect allegedly imported and installed at his residence electronic items which need authorization from the Ethiopian Communication Authority. The items are capable of creating a private network for cell phones and computers up to a range of 25 kilometers and accessing a satellite internet connection.

The fifth charge is brought against Jawar for violating Article 4(1) and 22(3) of the Firearms Administration and Control Proclamation. The charge states that police seized an unlicensed Kalashnikov and 19 bullets of a handgun his residence on 4 July.

The sixth charge on Bekele is for violating the above-mentioned articles of the firearms proclamation after two unlicensed handguns and 12 bullets were seized at his house on 2 July.

Defendants number 17 to 23 are all former Federal Police officers who became the personal security detail of Jawar.

Jawar Mohammed’s trial could begin at Ethiopian High Court within a week

By Leul Estifanos

Charge number seven, eight, and nine are instituted against defendants listed under the second charge () for violating Article 32(1)(a) of the Criminal Code and Article 4(1), 22(2 and 3) of the firearms proclamation for possessing and carrying unlicensed assault rifles and handguns.

The tenth charge regards only the tenth defendant. It states that two unlicensed handguns and 10 rounds were found by police on 30 June inside a car belonging to the suspect. However, the defendant is named as OMN, and the responsible individual might be added later.

At a hearing yesterday, the defense told the High Court that evidence gathered during investigation and recordings of witness testimonies from pre-trial hearings had not been given to them. The court gave the defense the copy of the prosecutors’ letter of request to conceal the witnesses’ identity.

The court was expected to read the charges at the hearing, but did not as two defendants, Dejene Tafa and Mestewarid Temam, had another court session. Prosecutors told the judges they want to terminate the other proceedings since the crimes are related and can be included under the charges presented at this trial.

Query or correction? Email us

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Correction: In fourth paragraph of &#;Hachalu aftermath&#; section, changed reference to Bule Hora to clarify that is the official name.

Editor: William Davison

Main photo: Jawar attending a ceremony for a street being named after him in Asella; 20 October ; Wikimedia.

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Sours: https://www.ethiopia-insight.com//09/25/ethiopian-prosecutors-charge-jawar-with-training-terror-group-in-egypt/

Watch Arizona State vs. Colorado: TV channel, live stream info, start time

Who's Playing

Colorado @ Arizona State

Current Records: Colorado ; Arizona State

What to Know

The Arizona State Sun Devils and the Colorado Buffaloes will face off in a Pac clash at p.m. ET Sept. 25 at Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field. ASU is expected to win again but is hoping to meet expectations this time.

The Sun Devils were hampered by penalty yards against the BYU Cougars last week. ASU took a hit to the loss column. QB Jayden Daniels had a memorable game, but not in the way you want to be remembered: besides failing to produce a single touchdown, he threw two interceptions.

Meanwhile, a win for Colorado just wasn't in the stars last week as the team never even grasped a temporary lead. They ended up on the wrong side of a painful 30 to nothing walloping at the Minnesota Golden Gophers' hands. Colorado was down 20 to nothing at the end of the third quarter, which was just too much to recover from.

This next matchup looks promising for ASU, who are favored by a full 14 points. They may be expected to win, but bettors beware: they are against the spread when favored.

The losses put the Sun Devils at and the Buffaloes at a reciprocal A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: ASU is th worst in the nation in passing touchdowns, with only two on the season. Colorado has experienced some struggles of their own as they are stumbling into the game with the nd fewest passing yards per game in the nation, having accrued only 91 on average. It's possible one of these Achilles' heels will wind up tripping the losing team up.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at p.m. ET
  • Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field -- Tempe, Arizona
  • TV: ESPN University
  • Online streaming:fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow:CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $

Odds

The Sun Devils are a big point favorite against the Buffaloes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a point spread, and stayed right there.

Over/Under:

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine's advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Colorado have won three out of their last five games against Arizona State.

  • Sep 21, - Colorado 34 vs. Arizona State 31
  • Oct 06, - Colorado 28 vs. Arizona State 21
  • Nov 04, - Arizona State 41 vs. Colorado 30
  • Oct 15, - Colorado 40 vs. Arizona State 16
  • Oct 10, - Arizona State 48 vs. Colorado 23
Sours: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/watch-arizona-state-vs-colorado-tv-channel-live-stream-info-start-time/
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Matchbox Cannabis unveils the history of ancient cannabis strains

Cannabis is an ancient plant that can be traced back for thousands of years and has grown both in the wild and farmed all over the globe. It is believed that the earliest species of the cannabis plant originated in Neolithic times (about 12, years ago) in either East or Central Asia.

Researchers have traced the modern hemp and recreational cannabis plants that are widely available today all the way back to cultivars that were grown approximately 4, years. Many experts believe that cannabis is the oldest cultivated crop in human history.

To Tatyana Parkanskaia, COO of Matchbox Cannabis, cannabis is normal part of her diet just like other common crops available. “Cannabis is a plant and I look at it like a vegetable, so I consume cannabis, whether I eat it, drink it, or smoke it,” she says.

Strains and their origins

Cannabis has a long history that has resulted in what we currently find in stores. According to the helpful staff at Matchbox Cannabis, the strains of cannabis that they currently stock are directly related to ancient cultivars from around the world.

Mexican Skunk

The popular strain of cannabis called Mexican Skunk can be traced all the way back to its origins in the southern province of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. This strain is a sativa and is currently available under the names Sensi Star, Pineapple Express, and Super Silver Haze. At Matchbox Cannabis, Mexican Skunk can be found in products by the brand Citizen Stash and in products like Sensi Star Pre-Rolls and Pineapple Express and PAX pod.

Columbian Gold

Columbian Gold is a sativa that also originated in Oaxaca and was grown in the Santa Marta mountains of Columbia. Find this strain in Jack Herer, Mango Haze, and Black Cherry Punch. Matchbox Cannabis carries a few Columbian Gold products including Color Mango Haze and Wana Mango Gummies.

Hindu Kush

This indica originated in the mountains between Central Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. Hindu Kush is currently marketed as Pink Kush, Ultra Sour, and Purple Kush and can be found in products like Wayfare cartridge Pink Kush, Rad Pink Kush shatter, Pink Kush by Pure Sunfarms, and Namaste.

Thai Haze

This strain, which is a sativa, originated in Northeast Thailand along the Khorat Plateau. Look for strains like Chemdog, Headband, and Lemon Barry to find cannabis related to the Thai Haze strain. Products like Houseplant’s Lemon Sparkling Drink fall into this category.

“The history of cannabis strains and how they relate to what we find in stores today teaches us that the future is greener,” says Tatyana.

For more information about the history and lineage of cannabis, visit the helpful staff at Matchbox Cannabis. They are keen to talk about this fascinating plant and all it has to offer. Matchbox Cannabis is located at Second Line West in Sault Ste. Marie or check them out on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sours: https://www.sootoday.com/spotlight/matchbox-cannabis-unveils-the-history-of-ancient-cannabis-strains

EastEnders' shocking transport errors from Kush's impossible murder on the London Underground to market bus crash

If nothing convinces you that transport is essential to the daily lives of Londoners, take a trip to Walford.

The fictional area of East London is the setting of the BBC One soap EastEnders. Inspired by Fassett Square in Hackney and shown on specially commissioned Tube maps for the soap in the place of Bromley-by-Bow, we can ascertain that if Walford were a real location it would likely be somewhere on the edge of the East End such as Bow or Bethnal Green, hence the name.

In the last decade, Walford residents have been subjected to bus crashes, Tube delays, unsolved murders at Tube stations, river boat disasters, speeding accidents, police corruption in transport-related investigations and chop shop car scandals. No matter what form of transport does it for you, EastEnders has served you well.

There's just one hiccup though.

The chances of these ever happening in London's actual East End are very, very slim or impossible. Here's some of the soap's best transport cock-ups from the past 10 years.

READ MORE:'I’ve had half my skull removed': Dad punched in the head at Waterloo station so hard his heart stopped beating

EastEnders opening credits on BBC One

Is your weekly dose of drama from Albert Square simply not enough? Do you find yourself scrolling through the social media pages of cast members, trying to guess what might happen next? Are you as well acquainted with the 'Enders as your are your own family?

If the answer to any of the above questions is a resounding yes, we have good news.

You can sign up for MyLondon's EastEnder's newsletter to get all the latest from Walford straight to your inbox twice a week - and it's absolutely FREE!

Make sure you stay ahead of the crowd and get all the gossip on upcoming storylines, off-screen gossip and updates about the cast by signing up.

To sign up to the EastEnders London newsletter, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that's right for you.

And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

The imperfect crime

In a current storyline, we're led to believe that Kush's death is being treated as an accident. We also know that he only died because Gray pushed him into the path of an oncoming Tube train. Presumably the CCTV at the Tube station was not working or the files were unavailable, seeing as Gray hasn't been discovered yet.

This is impossible. The Tube train which hit Kush is shown to be a stock Tube train which is used on the Northern line (even though Walford East is purportedly on the District and Hammersmith & City).

These trains can only run if CCTV is fully operational because they use a system which allows the driver to self-dispatch the train - if the CCTV is not working, the trains cannot stop there and the platforms are closed or the service is suspended.

The CCTV would have shown Gray push Kush and would have been visible in the station control room at the time. London Underground has over cameras and Transport for London (TfL) also has additional cameras at street level, many of which can even be viewed by members of the public.

Adding insult to injury (literally in the EastEnders world), for Gray to access the station, he would have tapped in an Oyster or contactless card. TfL would have been able to trace the card if it tapped in and did not tap out again or tapped out at the same station before travelling.

*That* bus crash

Ever heard of the bus? No? Good, because it would have to be the most unsafe bus route ever to have taken to the capital's roads.

In January , several characters were injured when a double-decker bus struck an entire market full of people and stalls then a low bridge. The driver is shown to be having a medical emergency but still negotiates a sharp left turn and continues for around metres.

Again, impossible. In London, each bus route has a service controller who monitors the service. If a bus driver has to divert, they tell the controller who advises them which way to go or what to do. They know where all the low bridges are in their areas to keep double deckers clear of them.

Almost every double decker bus in the UK has emergency door override buttons which can be pressed too operated via compressed air which allows passengers to escape. Very few people are injured in bus accidents - in June, there were injuries and 1 death on London's buses out of an estimated million journeys.

TfL also has dedicated emergency vehicles specifically for bus accidents on standby 24/7. The chances of a crowd of people having to lift the bus to remove someone trapped underneath are slim, even if the Daily Express reports that it has happened before.

Finally, the route wouldn't really exist. School bus routes in London are numbered or and is reserved for temporary, special or express routes. The bus shown has blinds which indicate it runs through Walford, Stratford and East Ham to Barking, which isn't too far away from what bus route does now.

For all the latest EastEnders gossip, spoilers, quizzes and nostalgia from MyLondon, just like our dedicated Facebook page.

We'll bring you the latest from the soap so you never miss a thing.

You can also follow us on Twitter.

Trouble on the Thames

This one is not impossible, but it is very unlikely. Since the Marchioness disaster in killed 51 people on the River Thames, safety has improved on the capital's biggest waterway, with four extra lifeboat stations, better communication systems and changes to evacuation procedures.

It means that even serious incidents such as fires on amphibious Duck Tour buses and collisions have not ended up causing loss of life. The evacuation procedure shown in the February episodes would have been different to what was shown with responders able to react within minutes of the first emergency calls. All boat staff on public boats which travel along the tidal section of the Thames are trained in evacuations.

Nonetheless, you can't fault EastEnders on the drama, the artwork and the realism which make it the successful soap we've all grown up with and learnt to love. We should probably love our capital's transport system just as much if not more, for sure though!

We've created a Facebook group for people who travel on London's bus, rail, Underground, Overground and DLR services.

We will keep you informed about the latest news that affects your daily commute to work, as well as at the weekend.

We'll also let you know in advance if there are any roadworks, railworks or closures you should know about, or if there are any problems on the city's tube network.

Join the group here.

Can you think of any other EastEnders transport bloopers? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow all of our EastEnders news stories, trivia and features on our dedicated page here.

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Sours: https://www.mylondon.news/lifestyle/eastenders-shocking-transport-errors-kushs

Media network today kush

Greenlane and KushCo Announce Commencement of Proxy Solicitation in Connection with their Previously Announced Merger

Greenlane to hold annual meeting on August 26, at AM ET, for its shareholders to vote to approve the proposed merger

KushCo to hold special meeting virtually on August 26, at PM ET, for its shareholders to vote to approve the proposed merger

Shareholders of Greenlane and of KushCo are encouraged to visit www.greenlanekushcotogether.com for consolidated information regarding the proposed transaction

BOCA RATON, Fla., and CYPRESS, Calif., July 06, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (“Greenlane”) (Nasdaq: GNLN), and KushCo Holdings, Inc. (''KushCo'') (OTCQX: KSHB) today announced the commencement of the proxy solicitation in connection with their previously announced proposed merger (the “Transaction”).

If approved, the Transaction will establish a leading ancillary cannabis company serving a premier group of customers, including many of the leading multi-state-operators and licensed producers, top smoke shops in the United States, and millions of consumers globally. Should approval be obtained from the shareholders of both Greenlane and KushCo, and if the other closing conditions are satisfied or waived, the Transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of

The Transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both Greenlane and KushCo, and by a special independent committee consisting entirely of Greenlane’s independent and disinterested directors (the “Special Committee”), which was appointed by the Greenlane board of directors. The boards of directors of Greenlane and KushCo have unanimously recommended that stockholders vote “FOR” the Transaction.

Greenlane will hold an annual meeting on August 26, at AM ET (the “Greenlane Meeting”), for its shareholders to vote to approve the proposals relating to the Transaction. Greenlane shareholders that have any questions or need assistance in voting their shares should contact Greenlane’s proxy solicitor, D.F. King & Co., Inc., by telephone at () (call collect) or () (toll free) or by email at [email protected].

KushCo will hold a special meeting virtually on August 26, at PM ET (the “KushCo Meeting”), for its shareholders to vote to approve the Merger Agreement. KushCo shareholders that have any questions or need assistance in voting their shares should contact KushCo’s proxy solicitor, Morrow Sodali LLC, by telephone at () toll-free or at () , or by email at [email protected]

The companies announced the launch of www.greenlanekushcotogether.com, a dedicated transaction website that consolidates the publicly available information on the Transaction for investors of both companies, including messages from both CEOs as well as a helpful section addressing frequently asked questions.

Investors are strongly encouraged to read the joint proxy statement/prospectus that was filed with the SEC on July 2, carefully before authorizing a proxy to vote, including, without limitation, the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 31 of the joint proxy statement/prospectus. Additional details can be found in the “Questions and Answers” section of the joint proxy statement/prospectus.

This press release shall not be deemed an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any shares of Greenlane common stock. The Greenlane Class A common stock to be issued as consideration in the Transaction shall be offered only by means of the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed by Greenlane with the SEC on July 2, , which forms a part of Greenlane’s effective registration statement on Form S-4 (File No. ). All Greenlane and KushCo stockholders of record as of July 1, will be mailed a copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus and a copy may be reviewed on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

About KushCo Holdings, Inc. 

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: KSHB) (www.kushco.com) is a premier provider of ancillary products and services to the legal cannabis and CBD industries. KushCo’s subsidiaries and brands provide product quality, exceptional customer service, compliance knowledge and a local presence in serving its diverse customer base, which consists of leading multi-state-operators (MSOs), licensed producers (LPs), and brands.

Founded in , KushCo has now sold more than 1 billion units to growers, brand owners, processors and producers across North America, South America, and Europe, specializing in child-resistant compatible and fully customizable packaging, exclusive vape hardware and technology, and complementary solvents and natural products.

As a pioneer in the industry, KushCo continues to work to create a positive impact on the environment, society, and community through CSR and ESG initiatives, such as: offering sustainable and compostable packaging; donating PPE supplies to healthcare workers on the frontline fighting the COVID pandemic; partnering with organizations such as Mission Green to offer social equity programs for industry inclusion; being one of the first in the industry to award paid time-off for all employees on November 3, (“Election Day”); and working to incorporate industry-leading corporate governance practices and a more diverse board makeup.

For more information on KushCo’s commitment to CSR and ESG initiatives, please visit the Company’s #KushCares page at www.kushco.com/kushcares.  

KushCo has been featured in media nationwide, including CNBC, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar, Los Angeles Times, TheStreet.com, and Entrepreneur, Inc Magazine. For more information, visit www.kushco.com or call ()

About Greenlane Holdings, Inc.

Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNLN) is a global house of brands and one of the largest sellers of premium cannabis accessories, child-resistant packaging, and specialty vaporization products to smoke shops, dispensaries, and specialty retail stores, as well as direct to consumer through its online e-commerce platform, vapor.com. Founded in , Greenlane serves more than 8, retail locations and has over employees with operations in United States, Canada, and Europe. With a strong global footprint, Greenlane has been the partner of choice for many of the industry’s leading brands, who chose to leverage its strong distribution platform, unparalleled customer service, and highly efficient operations and logistics to accelerate their growth. Greenlane’s curated portfolio of owned brands includes EYCE, packaging innovator Pollen Gear™, VIBES™ rolling papers, Marley Natural™ Accessories; K.Haring Glass Collection, Aerospaced grinders, and Higher Standards which offers both an upscale product line as well as an innovative retail experiences with flagship stores located in Chelsea Market, New York and Malibu, California.

For additional information, please visit: https://gnln.com/.

Important Information for Investors and Stockholders

In connection with the proposed transaction, Greenlane has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a registration statement on Form S-4 (File No. ) (as amended, the “Registration Statement”) that was declared effective by the SEC on July 2, The Registration Statement includes a preliminary joint proxy statement of Greenlane and KushCo that also constitutes a prospectus of Greenlane. Greenlane and KushCo also plan to file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant documents filed by Greenlane and KushCo with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed by the companies will be available free of charge on their respective websites at www.gnln.com and www.kushco.com.

Participants in Solicitation

This communication relates to a proposed transaction between Greenlane and KushCo. This communication is not a proxy statement or solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the potential transaction. Greenlane, KushCo and their respective directors and executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed Transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Greenlane is set forth in its joint proxy statement/prospectus dated July 2, for its annual meeting of stockholders forming a part of its registration statement on Form S-4 (File No. ), which was declared effective by the SEC on July 2, Information about the directors and executive officers of KushCo is set forth in its proxy statement for its annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on December 28, These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is not intended to and shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote of approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

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The Furthest and Most Frigid Parts of the Globe

Photo caption (above): Antartica - abandoned Wilkins Base and Observing Station (courtesy Sue Barrell, Australia)

Cryosphere

The word "cryosphere" comes from the Greek word for cold, "kryos."

The cryosphere is the part of the Earth ‘s climate system that includes solid precipitation, snow, sea ice, lake and river ice, icebergs, glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets and ice shelves, and permafrost and seasonally frozen ground. The cryosphere extends globally. It exists seasonally or perennially at most latitudes, not just in the Arctic, Antarctic and mountain regions, and in nearly countries. It influences the climate of the entire planet. Approximately 70% of the Earth’s freshwater exists as snow or ice.

The Second International Meteorological Congress, held in , drew the attention of meteorologists to the importance of measuring the variations Pin length and thickness of the glaciers. It recommended […]to institute continued glacier observations and to publish the results.

WMO has adopted a unified Earth system approach to ensure weather, water and climate decisions are better informed by an integrated monitoring and prediction of all relevant Earth system components. This includes extending its reach to the furthest and most frigid parts of the globe, the Arctic, Antarctica (Figure 1) and the high-mountain regions, where the cryosphere is a prominent feature (IPCC, ).

An integrated Earth system approach allows for a better representation of the complex interactions between different components of the system– atmosphere, oceans, hydrosphere and cryosphere. It strongly relies on coupled assimilation to ensure consistency and to enhance the exploitation of interface observations that depend on more than one component, for the benefit of numerical Earth system prediction models.

Data assimilation is a critical component of both uncoupled and coupled Earth system prediction models. As the spatial and temporal resolution of these models steadily increase, improved in situ and remote-sensing observations are required to provide the most consistent representation of the Earth system components. Improvements in the spatial and temporal resolution of observations, as well as extending the number of variables that are observed, are necessary to further improve the performance of numerical prediction systems.

In cryosphere regions – whether polar or mountainous – producing accurate and reliable predictions is more difficult at all timescales than it is for other regions. Our understanding of and ability to model some of the processes unique to these regions is limited, for example, for small-scale processes occurring during sea-ice formation, snowfall, solid precipitation and within mixed-phase clouds and stable boundary layers. The limiting factors currently include (i) the limited availability of in situ observations, in particular those on snow and ice, (ii) the sub-optimal assimilation over snow and ice-covered surfaces of satellite observations in polar regions, (iii) the limited availability of adequate remote-sensing and satellite observations over polar and mountain regions (snow cover, glaciers, etc.), and (iv) the limited reliable data exchanges and near-real-time access to the available data.

Cryosphere data for hydrometeorological and climatological information and services

Many applications and services within the mandate of WMO Members, as well as those across the wider scientific community, increasingly require sustained access to cryosphere data. Such data complements meteorological, hydrological and ocean data as well as data used in the modelling and reanalysis fields. Climate-related changes in regions with snow, sea ice, glaciers and permafrost could trigger feedback processes and changes in precipitation and freshwater regulation regimes over large regions – up to the continental and hemispheric scale.

Cryosphere data for data assimilation into Earth system models

Snow and ice observations are increasingly used for data assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and have substantial impact on the performance of these models. Data on snow, glaciers, sea ice and permafrost are also increasingly used for numerical climate prediction, seasonal forecasting, operational analyses, climate reanalyses and for model verification.

In the context of large-scale coupled models, and in particular for cryosphere data, the exchange of snow and ice data across institutional, sectoral and political boundaries is essential to advancing the development of hydro-meteorological and climate services (Helmert et al., ). Insufficient prediction capacity in remote mountain regions may seem irrelevant, but the impacts travel downstream via rivers and the socioeconomic consequences are felt by  communities living downstream and in lowlands.

Cryosphere data for hydrology

As all major rivers originate in mountains, these are often referred to as the “water towers of the world” (Immerzeel et al., ). The mountain cryosphere – glaciers, snow, permafrost and seasonally frozen ground – plays a fundamental role in providing and regulating freshwater resources for around half of the world’s population (Egan and Price, ). This notably includes those living in densely populated lowland areas, such as the Ganges–Brahmaputra Delta.

Snow, glaciers, permafrost and seasonably frozen ground act as reservoirs of freshwater. Data on melting snow and ice are essential for understanding the variability of water resources. The short-term cryosphere monitoring is critical for spring melt and flash flood forecasting, for hydropower production planning, for water availability in arid regions (e.g. Andes – Schoolmeester et al., ), and for irrigation, while the glacier melt is a key predictor for long-term water scarcity.

Contribution_Cryospehre_to_Water_Resources_Asia_Mountains_Nora_Krebs_MatthiasHuss_dpi.jpeg

Figure 2 - Contribution of the cryosphere to the water availability in the basins of major rivers in Asia, as estimated based on data from to as published by Huss et al., (illustration by Nora Krebs, WMO)

Many countries rely on snowmelt forecasts (one to several months in advance) to predict river run-off, flood potential and to provide flood alerts (Figure 2) . A rise in the frequency of rain on snow events increases the exposure to avalanche and flood risks. Whereas augmented river discharge into the Arctic brings huge quantities of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas, thereby influencing the oceanic circulation.

Further improvements to understanding and modelling the hydrological cycle for cold regions, are necessary. Access to observations is critical, for instance to better model the relationship between precipitation and run-off, including the contributions from permafrost and seasonally frozen ground.

Cryosphere data for ice forecasting and services

Reliable estimates of sea-ice extent and volume in the Arctic Ocean and in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica are needed for understanding climate change, for initializing numerical weather forecasts, for sea-ice prediction and in operational ocean–sea-ice reanalyses (Zuo et al., ).

Monthly and seasonal outlooks of sea-ice presence and dynamics are in great demand by the maritime industry for safe navigation and operation in polar waters (Figures 3 and 4).

day Arctic Ice Extent Change.pngFigure 3 - day Ice Extent Change in the Arctic, produced by the U.S. National Ice Center, on 27 September  (accessed on 28 Sept

day Arctic Ice Extent Change.pngFigure 4 - day Ice Extent Change Antarctica - produced by U.S. National Ice Center, on 27 Sept (accessed on 28 September )

Persistent reductions in Arctic sea-ice thickness and in multi-year sea-ice area lead to greater mobility of sea-ice cover and increased variability of sea-ice conditions. These changes necessitate a different approach to timeliness and horizontal resolution of ice charting and weather forecasting for marine transportation in high-latitude areas.

September_Arctic_Sea_Ice_SMP8_IPCCjpeg

Figure 5 - Fig:  September Arctic sea ice area in km2 based on satellite-based observations and CMIP6 model simulations. Very likely ranges are shown for SSP and SSP The Arctic is projected to be practically ice-free near mid-century under mid and high GHG emission scenarios. The figure is adapted from Figure SMP.8 in IPCC (). (Observations added by Prf Ed Hawkins (http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk//adding-observations/) – courtesy Thomas Lavergne (Norway))

Improvements in sea-ice (and coupled ocean–sea-ice) modelling, both for the Arctic and the Southern Ocean, are needed to overcome current limitations (Figure 5). These limitations are due partly to a general under-sampling of the polar oceans, especially for a wide swath of the Antarctic sea-ice zone, partly to difficulties in deriving accurate sea-ice products from currently available remotely-sensed data. As younger first-year ice is becoming more dominant – resulting in a seasonal ice regime in the Polar regions – it is critical that operational ice services incorporate more timely and accurate ice data in their monitoring activities.

Cryosphere and the changing climate

Data on the changing ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland (Figure 6) and on mountain glaciers are essential to understanding and modelling sea-level rise. More than a billion people – as well ecosystems – whether on small-island communities in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans or in the large coastal cities of the world, are concerned. Systematic climate datasets on snow and ice also are necessary for reliable engineering design of infrastructure in cold climates, for example, for transportation, buildings, water supply, etc. They are also essential for addressing the effects of coastal erosion and subsequent changes in coastlines. Data on ground-ice conditions are emerging as critical for land-use planning and for assessing the potential release of greenhouse gases.

Greenland village Sue Berrell.png

Figure 6 - Climate change significantly changes the infrastructure design conditions in the regions where snow and ice are present, and adaptive strategies are needed (Ittoqqortoormiit Village - Eastern Greenland), (Photo Kevin and Sue Barrell ())

Cryosphere changes and natural hazards

measurements_at_Palcacocha_glacier_lake_Peru.jpegFigure 7 - The Palcacocha Glacier lake (Peru) is drained using siphons to avoid Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) (courtesy Christian Huggel, Switzerland)

Integrated approaches to monitoring hydrometeorological changes  that include cryosphere information are essential for developing early warning systems to warn of impending related risks and extreme events. These range from avalanches, catastrophic snowmelt floods (Rössler et al., ), glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs or jökulhlaups), ice jams on rivers and lakes, river damming from surging glaciers, coastal decay, landslides and slope failure to the increased presence of icebergs on navigation routes, and other cryosphere related hazards. Glacial lakes have caused some of the world’s most devastating floods, for example, in the Andes (Huggel et al., ) and the Hindu Kush Himalayas. In a rapidly changing climate, access to accurate inventories and descriptions of past events and to robust climate datasets are critical to underpin hazard assessments (GAPHAZ, ) and prepare adaptation strategies (Figure 7).

Extending data exchange into polar and mountain regions

With its development of the Unified Data Policy, WMO is recognizing and responding to the need to broaden access to cryosphere data at a global level to further improve and sustain critical hydrometeorological and climate services provided by its Members.  The Policy will help realize the WMO vision and strategy for an integrated Earth system approach to monitoring, modelling and prediction. The end goal is to further inform and enable WMO Members to provide services critical to protecting the safety and well-being of their citizens.

The new Policy recognizes that, unlike long-standing weather, climate, and hydrological monitoring infrastructure and systems, the systematic monitoring of cryosphere has emerged only in recent decades, driven by climate system research, and mostly through a bottom-up approach.

However, despite the increased interest, many mountain and polar regions remain insufficiently monitored due to high costs, difficult access (Figure 8), extreme operating conditions, insufficient local capacity, multi-state jurisdictions, and weak or absent institutional mandates. Even meteorological stations are sparse in these regions. This shortfall negatively impacts model performance, leading, for example, to an altitudinal bias in precipitation forecasting in high mountains.

New Zealand High Mountains.png

Figure 8 - High Mountain Observations - Station Mueller Hut, m elevation, New Zealand - accessible only by helicopter and experiencing annual snow accumulations of over 4 metres. Image courtesy of Christian Zammit; contribution to the WMO Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (SPICE), WMO Report No. (Nitu et al., )

Progress has been made on addressing the cryosphere observing needs with space-based systems, mostly for polar regions, less so for mountain regions. Many gaps remain in what is observed as well as in the access to and the assimilation of cryosphere space observations.

In many countries, cryosphere observing systems continue to be operated by multiple institutions with diverse mandates – from research, academia, hydropower production agencies, naval and ice services to space agencies, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and others – with research entities continuing to play a key role. In many developing countries, cryosphere observations and research continue to be part of internationally funded projects with limited or no links to national institutions, including the NMHS.

Cryosphere data in the WMO Unified Data Policy

Data sharing is important for research organizations (Pan et al., ) in their quest to increase our understanding of the interactions among the atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. This is especially so as they seek to provide answers to increasingly complex questions on the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of unprecedented changes in the climate.

The international scientific community is actively taking steps to facilitate broader access to research data. The FAIR (Wilkinson et al., ) data principles, with four pillars – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable – provide a set of high-level guidelines for research data holders. FAIR places emphasis on enhancing the ability of machines to automatically find and use the data, in addition to supporting reuse by individuals, while attributing ownership and protecting intellectual property, for example, through licenses.

Through its Unified Data Policy, WMO recognizes the wealth of cryosphere data that exist across this broader scientific community and the contribution that these can make to the WMO Earth system strategic focus. The policy therefore emphasizes the need for strengthened two-way engagements and data exchange between operational and research agencies, and it seeks to articulate clearly its principles and the benefits it confers to all stakeholders. In particular, the unified data policy calls for priority Earth system data (i.e. both ‘core’ and ‘recommended’ data) to be freely exchanged by WMO Members, including for the purposes of public research, without conditions. This reflects the importance of research outcomes and insights on driving ongoing advances in capability across all aspects of WMO’s mandate.

The policy also calls on Members to honor requests for attribution of data ownership whenever possible, as a means to provide recognition and protect the intellectual property rights of the owner of the data as feasible. Where appropriate, Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) may be used for scientific data access, tracking, and citation. Recognition of ownership is mutually beneficial for owners and users of data, and citation allows the scientific community to show to document to their funding agencies how their data are used.

WMO Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) - facilitating access to cryosphere observations and data  

The WMO Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) acts as a convener for developing coordinated approaches across operational and research communities in support of key cryospheric in situ and remote-sensing observations as well as the access to data and information on the state of the cryosphere. The observing component of GCW is an integral part of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). The GCW Data Portal  is hosted by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and supported by the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (Switzerland). Through its Data Portal, GCW strives to provide access (Bavay et al., ) to cryospheric and ancillary data, both real-time and  archived (in the form of climate consistent time series), via cost-efficient mechanisms within the framework of the WMO Information System (WIS), by building on existing data exchange within and external to WMO. Complementary to WIS, GCW fosters the inclusion of cryosphere specific functions as part of the WMO Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS), supporting specialized services for polar and high mountain regions.

Svalbard_Observations_Ketil_IsaksenFigure 9 - Field work and installation of new sensors at the permafrost monitoring station at Janssonhaugen (78° N) on Svalbard on a cold day in mid-February. (Photo: Ketil Isaksen)]

Cryosphere data are sourced from NMHSs and from other operational and scientific entities (Figure 9), with the latter using a range of different data management approaches, often quite different from those used in the WMO community. GCW is using the tools and procedures available through WIGOS and WIS to establish links between the cryosphere scientific communities and WMO data providers and users.  These include (1) allocation of WIGOS station identifiers for observing facilities, (2) the use of WIGOS metadata to document observing facilities, (3) standardization and registration of cryosphere observing facilities alongside meteorological, climate and other observing facilities, in the WMO OSCAR/Surface database, (4) the documentation of cryosphere observing requirements and capabilities in the OSCAR/Requirements database, (5) standardization and interoperability supporting the discoverability of cryosphere datasets within WIS, (6) exchange of the cryosphere data for operational purposes through WIS, and (7) providing access to the free and unrestricted WMO data to the non-NMHS community.

The implementation of the WMO Unified Data Policy offers incentives to improve connectivity between providers of cryosphere data and NMHSs. While the adoption of tools brokered by GCW may come at a cost for many data providers, the aspiration is that they would benefit, in return, by gaining access to data for multiple providers and to capabilities to monitor what data are exchanged, the use and reuse of shared data as well as being able to influence further developments of tools relevant to them. The ability to report on the data available will also help to identify observational gaps and capabilities. For example, mutual benefits are anticipated if snow data collected at the regional level would be shared by default with agencies at the national level and NHMSs (Vionnet et al., ).

At the practical level, GCW supports and enables contributions from data providers with limited resources and capabilities for data management, by making a software package for transforming data from unstructured to structured NetCDF/CF (FAIR compliant) available through the GCW Data Portal (Bavay,Fiddes and Godøy, , ).

Partnerships for access to data from polar and high-mountain regions

Significant steps have been taken by GCW as a broker of data for polar and high mountain regions. For polar regions, the existing engagements between GCW and the joint Arctic Data Committee (ADC) of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), as well as the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Data Management (SCADM) of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) provide opportunities for enhancing the collaboration, leading to increased access to available data. It is notable that SCAR, as the scientific committee of the Antarctic Treaty System, is mandated to facilitate free and unrestricted access to Antarctic scientific data and information. As documented by ADC, data on the Arctic exist and flow independently within a complex Arctic Information Ecosystem (AIE – Pulsifer et al., ) of institutions and data centres, but it aims to build capacity to support relevant applications and link to the global data needs to meet regional needs and enhance disaster resilience in the Arctic. 

For high mountain regions, the data landscape is much more fragmented (Thornton et al., , Shahgedanova et al., ). Collective efforts are being made (Adler, Pomeroy and Nitu, ) to address barriers through mechanisms such as those facilitated by the Mountain Research Initiative and its flagship activity, such as GEO Mountains, and the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology (INARCH). In , GCW signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Third Pole Environment program, with a dedicated focus on establishing interoperability with the Third Pole Environment Data Center (Xin Li et all, , also # 10). Similar engagements are being pursued with other research data centres to further facilitate the access to critical streams of cryosphere and ancillary data.

These partners recognize that WMO is well-positioned to play a key role regarding data policies and practices by fostering greater integration beyond specific regions and domains. To this end, if enacted, the Unified Data Policy will translate into practice the principles of engagement between partners holding cryosphere data who are willing to share and exchange their data internationally. The Policy will once again set an example for partner communities, just  as was the case for the International Polar Year (IPY) – when WMO, jointly with the International Council for Science, established an innovative data management framework to underpin the goals of the stakeholder communities. Since IPY, the WMO-partner communities have made significant progress in data and information management, with the notable increased relevance of the FAIR guiding principles.

These areas of progress offer potential benefits for WMO Members, as the Unified Data Policy is designed to be fit for its current purposes and to adapt to future needs.

Mountain observation Western Pamir.pngFigure 10 - Sept installation of a new high mountain observation site in the Western Pamir, Tajikistan as part of the "Cryosphere Observations and Modelling for improved Adaptation in Central Asia" (CROMO-ADAPT) funded by the Swiss Development Corporation and co-led by University of Fribourg and WSL Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research SLF (Switzerland) (Photo Joel Fiddes, Switzerland)

Conclusions

The focus of WMO on Earth system monitoring, modelling and prediction is increasing the need to integrate cryosphere data in support of all weather and climate-related service delivery. The Unified Data Policy paves the way for a more systematic approach to the exchange and use of cryosphere data in conjunction with data from the more traditional domains of WMO. It is anticipated that the implementation of the Policy will be instrumental in enhancing data access and in fulfilling the spatio-temporal resolution required by users. At the same time, the current holders of those data, including cryosphere data, that reside outside the domain of NMHSs, will receive tangible benefits.

Mutual benefits to WMO, research and other communities are expected as a result of the improved data exchange triggered by the Unified Data Policy.  Access to descriptive inventories of past events and to robust climatic data that is the underpinning of hazard assessments will allow scientists and NMHSs to better help the global community with some of major challenges posed by a rapidly changing climate (Figure 10).

Strengthening of partnerships in support of effective cryosphere data exchange in the framework of WIGOS, WIS and GDPFS is essential for meeting the ambitious goals of the WMO Earth system approach. The benefits will be tangible and substantial, but success will critically depend on our ability to establish mutually beneficial engagements across the diverse community and data holders in the cryosphere domain.

Attribution of data ownership wherever requested, as called for in the Policy, ensures the recognition and the protection of the individual intellectual property rights and is an important aspect for improving the effectiveness and the longevity of partnerships.

WMO has a long-standing and innovative collaboration with the research community, and the success of the data policy of the International Polar Year – is a testament to this. The Unified Data Policy will set an example for the partner communities. It demonstrates a clear aim to ensure continued successful collaboration with the cryosphere community in the future.

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Authors

Árni Snorrason, Director General, Icelandic Meteorological Office and Chair of the Global Cryosphere Watch Advisory Group (GCW-AG)

Øystein Godøy, Senior Scientist, Norwegian Meteorological Institute and Chair of the Cryosphere and Data Interoperability – Global Cryosphere Watch

Sue Barrell, Chair, Study Group on Data Issues and Policies, co-chair of the EC Panel on Polar and High Mountain Observations, Research and Services (EC-PHORS)

Rodica Nitu, Global Cryosphere Watch - World Meteorological Organization)

Sours: https://public.wmo.int/en/resources/bulletin/furthest-and-most-frigid-parts-of-globe

Now discussing:

Ghana: What is going on with the controversial Agyapa gold royalties deal?

The proponents of the deal are under time pressure: if Agyapa Royalties has not been admitted to the London Stock Exchange by 31 December , the agreements will lapse, and the project will cease.

Four weeks before the deadline, the fate of the controversial project is unclear, as it has been returned to the Parliament. Presidential elections on 7 December add to this uncertainty.

But even if the parliamentary approval is obtained in time, the Agyapa Royalties deal is not going to be out of the woods just yet, as the UK Financial Conduct Authority will need to approve the London Stock Exchange listing of Agyapa Royalties shares.

In the absence of a thorough investigation into the allegations of corruption, the UK authorities should reject the project, upholding their mission to “regulate in a way that adds the most benefit to those who use financial services.”

The compliance departments of the corporate parties to the deal should also take notice. They should suspend their engagement on the project until the allegations are fully investigated. The investment banks JP Morgan and Bank of America – both of whom are involved in the initial public offering – and the law firm White and Case – who have advised the Ministry of Finance – should not partake in a deal fraught with corruption risks.

When an opportunity for a lucrative new project comes up, it is easy to forget about the normal people who rely on their country’s most valuable resource.

Allegations in a far-away continent may make it difficult for authorities, lawyers and bankers in London to visualise the impact on Ghanaian men, women and children. It is their future that is being mortgaged, however. The loss belongs to every Ghanaian who may never see roads, schools and hospitals being built because those outside the country fail to see through an “innovative financing solution” as a potential façade for embezzlement.

Sours: https://www.transparency.org/en/blog/ghana-what-is-going-on-with-the-controversial-agyapa-gold-royalties-deal


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