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How you can make a difference in reducing Fort Wayne's youth violence

People who work with youth, families and law enforcement offer these suggestions on what you can do, no matter your role in the community:

PARENTS AND FAMILIES:

* Be involved in your childrens lives and fill their free time with activities and positive reinforcement, such as the many local options for summer camps and park programs, said Officer Michael Joyner, public information officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department.

* Ask questions when youngsters are leaving the house, Joyner said. Where are you going? Who are you going with? When will you be home? Set curfews for children to return home, and monitor their postings on social media, he added.

* Dont discipline by spanking because it teaches a child that the answer to a problem is hitting another person, said Rachel Rayburn, an assistant professor of public policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

* Ask about nurse-family partnerships, which gets a nurse involved with the family before birth to provide parenting and other training, said Rayburn, who teaches criminal justice and law classes at IPFW. The help has been shown to get children off to a good start in life.

* Emphasize the value of getting a good education, which the true way out of poverty and to a better life, said Monique Johnson, adult education coordinator at East Wayne Street Center.

NEIGHBORS:

* Get to know your neighbors so you are comfortable talking with another parent if his or her child does something wrong, Rayburn said. And dont be defensive if a neighbor tells you about a problem caused by your child.

* Stop and challenge a person if you see her or him doing something you dont think is right, Joyner said. If you dont feel comfortable doing it yourself, call police, who are out in the community 24/7. Both actions send a message to criminals that they are being watched, and they cant get away with crime, he said.

SCHOOLS:

* Place aides in more classrooms to give children more individual attention, said the Rev. Tim Hallman, Christian Emphasis director at YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne. This also would help students work through domestic abuse or other problems they may see at home.

* Provide free or low-cost pre-kindergarten programs for young families, Rayburn said. Some families may not be able to pay for pre-K programs offered by other providers. But research shows children who attend pre-K classes are less likely to grow up to be violent, she said.

* Reach out to support parents and family units, either directly or by helping families connect with social-service agencies that can assist them, Johnson said.

RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONS:

* Provide programs to involve and assist parents and youth, including in collaboration with other congregations, Hallman said. One possible program, he added, could be supporting people through the grieving process, including managing anger over the loss of a loved one or a major change in life.

* Work harder to encourage forgiveness and reconciliation among congregation members and in the community, he said.

* Be a support system for parents and families, and help them connect with helpful programs and services in the community, Johnson said.

BUSINESSES:

* Provide jobs or internships for youth, Rayburn said. If your business cant provide either, offer volunteer opportunities so young people can learn and develop job skills.

* Change parental leave programs to offer parents both mothers and fathers more time off following the birth of a child so they can be home and bond with the baby, Rayburn said.

* Donate money, services or volunteer time to help social-service agencies working with families, Johnson said. Agency staffs have the training and knowledge to help families.

* Consider locating on Fort Waynes south side, especially if you are a large business, Hallman said. Access to good jobs paying a livable wage can do a lot to raise up a community.

GOVERNMENT:

* Subsidize child care so parents dont have to leave children with sketchy day-care providers while they work, Rayburn said.

* Provide funding to ensure the Neighborhood Code Enforcement department and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department can keep neighborhoods and parks clean and well-maintained, Hallman said. Policy also could be changed to make it easier for people to make home repairs or improvements.

* Add more bike lanes and trails and more bus routes so people can travel more easily to jobs throughout the city, Hallman said.

* Be more responsive to neighborhoods, he added. For neighborhoods to feel that staying organized and active is worthwhile, government officials must try to address some of their needs and concerns.

* Reach out to social-service agencies more frequently for information and feedback on youth violence, Johnson said. We really have our finger on the pulse of the issue, she added.

* Decriminalize marijuana use to reduce chances youngsters will contact the black market and drug dealers, Rayburn said. Current sentencing and probation practices also make it difficult for young people to get their lives back together and to move on after a drug use mistake.

THE COMMUNITY:

* Pay attention to use of gender roles and terms, Rayburn said. American culture promotes that being a man means you have to be tough, and being tough involves violence or committing property crimes. Countries with more gender equality experience less crime, she said.

* Get involved in youth mentoring programs, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, Rayburn said. They work and put a positive influence in the childs life.

Ghana: MTN Investing US$96 Million in 2016

We are not complacent as a company, we are doing more to improve our services, she noted.

She also said MTN in 2015 paid an amount of 675 million cedis to the Ghana Revenue Authority representing 6 percent of the countrys revenue.

She also said MTN has created jobs for forty thousand people who are currently merchants for its mobile money services.



What does Brexit mean for you? Holidays, homes and jobs

Britain has voted to leave the EU. Some ramifications will take time to become apparent, but many of the implications are already becoming clear. So what does the Brexit vote mean for you, and where will you see the effects first?

Will my summer holiday be more expensive?

Sterling's overnight collapse pushed it down to a low of EUR1.20 against the euro, or 15% less than the EUR1.42 rate enjoyed by holidaymakers last summer. However, it recovered slightly in mid-morning trading, pulling back to EUR1.25, meaning the one-day fall is closer to 4.5%. Against the US dollar it is down more, by around 6.5%

In terms of spending, that means a family who last year got through £500 while on holiday will this year need to find around £65 more.

More immediately, holidaymakers trying to change their money into euros are finding it tough; Thomas Cook has temporarily suspended some dealing over its online travel money website. Tesco also called a halt to travel money services this morning but has since resumed.

Thomas Cook has also placed a temporary £1,000 limit per customer on purchases of foreign currency in its High Street shops.

"We have temporarily suspended our travel money website following unprecedented customer demand for foreign currency overnight and this morning," it said.

"We apologise to all customers affected. Our immediate priority is to ensure that we have enough currency in store to fulfill outstanding orders."

Most currency commentators say that holidaymakers should in any case hold off from buying euros for now.

Ian Hughes, of financial researcher Consumer Intelligence, said: "We would strongly advise anyone planning to buy foreign currency this weekend to hold off. And anyone, including small business owners, who has to make foreign currency payments should also delay if possible.

"The margins charged by banks and payments bureaux are likely to peak over the weekend if they are still quoting rates. By the middle of next week it should have settled down, although consumers may still lose out on euros."

As for freedom to travel, Britons will in all probability be able to enjoy visa-free travel to EU countries for the foreseeable future. Travellers in the coming months will continue to queue with EU passport holders when going to Europe, but be prepared to switch to the "All other passports" lane when we've left.

Is it a bad time to buy a house?


Speaker overrules proposals seeking to 'ban' mobile money services

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe- Adjaho has ruled to disallow a proposed amendment by the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Dr. Mark Assibey -Yeboah, to the Banks and Special Deposit-taking institutions bill, currently at the consideration stage.

The proposed amendment could have put a temporary ban on mobile money services until proper regulations are put in place by the Bank of Ghana.

The MP had asked Parliament to compel the Minister of Finance to bring before the House regulations governing mobile money transactions for amendment.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, argues that he was forced to take such a move in the interest of the country since there is no Legislative Instrument (LI) backing such transactions.

He explained that currently, the only rules governing e-money business which covers Mobile money transactions, are only administrative guidelines issued by the Bank of Ghana saying they are sometimes not adhered to.

"I am saying that the Minister of Finance should come to Parliament and do the proper thing by bringing a Legislative Instrument and Parliament setting up proper regulations governing e-money business...We shouldn't sit down idle and wait for some mishap to happen in the e-money business front before we set in," Dr. Assibey-Yeboah intimated.

But the passing ruling on the matter, the Speaker explained that the amendment was introduced at the wrong stage of the ongoing process even though his concern is legitimate.

"Indeed where we have reached now, it is too late in the day to go to where you ask us to go. We are on regulations and nowhere in the Bill did we make or mention e-money. We are making laws and sanctity of the law is a whole mark of a good law." He noted.

Edward Doe Adjaho further urged the MPs to consider relevant legislations on the matter and act on them accordingly.

"So let's look for the proper law that governs these issues and then we can then ask the Ministry of Finance or Bank of Ghana (BoG) to come out with that legislations and if it is not coming, we as a Parliament that is concerned will initiate a process and if it is not contrary to Article 108 of the constitution, I will allow it to go through."

Bankers demand clarity from BoG

The MD of CAL Bank, Frank Adu, and Banking Consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong have both urged that the Central Bank reviews its current guidelines on mobile money transactions in the country.
They believe this will clarify the apparent overlapping roles played by the telecommunications and financial institutions.

Meanwhile the head of Payment Systems at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Settor Amediku has assured of a review of the current guidelines in July this year.

Mobile money transaction

For the third year running, however, the value of Mobile Money transactions a substantial jump -- from GH¢2.4billion as at 2013 to about GH¢11.6billion in 2014.

When put into perspective, the value of mobile money transactions is more than a third of the total deposit liabilities of the 28 banks in Ghana as at the end of 2015.

Currently, only three of the six mobile telcos -- MTN, Airtel, and Tigo- are involved in the mobile money business, which has grown from a transaction value of GH¢171million in 2012 to the multi-billion cedi sector.



Tanzania: TRA Urged to Educate Public On New Taxes

The Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) on fee based financial services in order to widen the tax base and increase government revenue.

Also, Dr Mpango proposed extension of 10 per cent excise duty on charges or fees payable by people to telecommunication service providers in respect of money transfers to cover all commissions received in the provision of mobile money services.