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Muslims Commence Ramadan Fasting

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Muslims in Ghana have joined their counterparts around the world to commence the annual month-long 29 or 30-day fast.

Muslims follow the lunar calendar and so the commencement of the fasting which falls within the Ramadan month is not fixed but dependent on the sighting of the crescent of the moon.

The first watching for the moon as announced by the Hillal Committee – a body of Muslim clerics – was fixed for Saturday evening (4th May, 2019), which coincides with the 29th day of the Islamic calendar of Shaaban. Failing to spot it automatically suggests that the month is a 30-day one and so today (Monday) is the beginning of the month-long fast.

During the period, Muslims qualified to fast should mandatorily abstain from the eating of food, drinking of water and other bodily pleasures, such as sexual intercourse, from dawn to dusk. It is a month during which the faithful are enjoined to engage in bountiful acts of charity.

The date for the commencement of the fast has often been mired in controversy resulting in a non-uniform date for the start of the religious process. This year, it appears most Muslims in the country have started the ritual today.

Those who are not required to fast are persons who are infirmed but such persons would atone for the missing days by fasting for the equal number of days they missed the fast.

Those travelling and for whom engagement in the ritual is not ideal must also not fast but like the infirmed they too would atone when the rituals are over. It applies to lactating mothers and women experiencing their periods.

Those who as a result of chronic health conditions are unable to fast because if they do the ritual could have serious health implications on them should not fast but feed a prescribed a number of poor persons on a daily basis for the period of the religious process.

The month-long fasting is one of the five canons of Islam. The others are the declaration of faith in the monotheism of God, praying five times a day, zakat or giving alms from one’s possessions annually to the poor and performing the Hajj at least once in one’s lifetime.

National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu has on the occasion congratulated all Muslims in Ghana and around the world for living to witness another Ramadan month.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Sheikh Armeyaw Shuaibu, he said:  “Muslims should be mindful about the tenets of the religious process which are geared towards the attainment of the highest standards of piety, personal, social and moral discipline. We should be compassionate, be united and avoid unnecessary divisions and name-calling, hold each other’s hands so that Ghana can benefit from the blessings of this holy month.”

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World’s first Marijuana Mall opens in Colorado

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Developers Chris Elkins and Sean Sheridan deemed Trinidad as the perfect location to build their dream project given Trinidad’s views on law and tourism.

In an interview with local news station KRDO , Elkins said, “This town has a zero-foot setback, which allows us to put five dispensaries here right next to one another.

As far as we know, we are the only town in Colorado that can do this.”
Elkins and Sheridan have received city permits and have already purchased a building in downtown Trinidad on Commercial Street.

Their next step is waiting for City Council to give their approval.
According to Elkins, four of the five spaces have already been leased to marijuana-based businesses, and if the City Council gives their approval, they are hoping to open their doors to the public in May.

Along with their passion for marijuana, Elkins and Sheridan are also incorporating their entrepreneurial skills into this project, and they are excited about the benefits the mini-mall will bring to the town.

Elkins expects the mini-mall to boost the local economy, and it seems as though many local residents agree.
Mechelle Duran, a Trinidad local who lives nearby the mini-mall location, said, “I’m excited to see it open.

We have a lot of pot stores already and there is a lot of benefits.”
There are other locals who have expressed their concern with the mini-mall attracting homeless people and transients.

Tamara Johnson, a Trinidad local, said, “To be honest, I don’t have any problems with marijuana or marijuana users but I do know we have had a lot more problems with theft. I know Walmart is having problems. And transients, that’s becoming a huge problem.”

Regardless of the differing opinions of Trinidad locals, Elkins and Sheridan remain optimistic and anxiously await the grand opening of the world’s first marijuana mini-mall.

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See photos: Taiwan holds first gay marriages in historic day for Asia

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Tears flowed and bouquets flew on Friday as hundreds of same-sex couples exchanged vows in Taipei’s Shinyi District.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage when its legislature voted to approve the measure last week. Thousands gathered in the streets to celebrate the landmark moment for LGBT rights in Asia, where gay people can face stigma for varying reasons from religion to conservative values.

The new laws went into effect Friday, and hundreds of history-making Taiwanese couples planned to get married en masse. Here is a look at some of the first same-sex couples to wed in Asia.

Shane Lin and Marc Yuan became one of Taiwan’s first gay couples to tie the knot.

Taiwan's first gay couple Shane Lin (L) and Marc Yuan kiss outside the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019.

Taiwan’s first gay couple Shane Lin (L) and Marc Yuan kiss outside the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images

It was an emotional moment for the couple, who shed a few tears during the ceremony.

Shane Lin (C) is comforted by his partner Marc Yuan (R) and a friend during a wedding ceremony in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019.

Shane Lin (C) is comforted by his partner Marc Yuan (R) and a friend during a wedding ceremony in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images

Other couples waited their turn for their turn to wed.

Gay couple Cynical Chick (L) and Li Ying-Chien wait for wedding register at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019.

Gay couple Cynical Chick (L) and Li Ying-Chien wait for wedding register at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images

One couple showed off their marriage registration picture, an AFP reporter shared on Twitter.

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A Taiwan lesbian couple showed their new ID card to media after registered their marriage

Other couples posed for photos, as a DW reporter posted on Twitter.

Moving scenes that would just make you tear up so easily. 20 couples, all brave and happy. Many have been together for more than a decade. One told me “I used to hide the rainbow flag after pride parade, but now I gotta find a place to show it with pride.”

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Finishing off this happy day, I just want to say how fortunate I am to be able to document this historic moment for #Taiwan, all the couples who got married today and myself. Knowing that from this day forward, I’ll have equal rights to love and marry is a real comfort.

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View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

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Tanzania bans use of plastic carrier bags from next month

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The government Tanzania has banned plastic carrier bags from the first of next month.


However plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, construction industry, agricultural sector, foodstuff, sanitary and waste management are exempt from the ban.


Also, plastic carrier items known as “ziploc bags” that are specifically used to carry toiletries will be permitted as they are expected to remain in the permanent possession of visitors and not to be disposed of during their stay in the country.


In a statement, the government advised visitors to avoid carrying plastic carrier bags of any form in their suitcases or hand luggage before embarking on a trip to that country.


A Special desk will be designated at all entry points for visitors to surrender plastic bags upon arrival.


The statement adds that the Tanzanian government does not intend for visitors to the country to find their stay unpleasant and appealed to visitors to accept the inconveniences that this directive may cause, as it strives to protect the environment and keep the country clean.

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