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British-Ghanaian rapper, Solo jailed for raping four women 21 times

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British-Ghanaian rapper, Solo 45, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for repeatedly raping and assaulting four women.

The 33-year-old was convicted of 21 rapes and five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm by a court.

He was declared guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 30 charges relating to a two-year period.

The offences were committed between February 2015 and March 2017.

Police began investigating Anokye in 2017 after one of his victims reported to friends and police that she had been raped.

After his arrest, officers discovered harrowing footage filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone, and this led police to three other women.

It was learnt that the rapper met these victims at his gigs and started relationships with them before assaulting them.

One of his, Anokye’s victims, who testified in court, told the Guardian: “He kept me on the bed and put a flannel over my face and poured a bottle of water over it, which made me feel like I was drowning.”

Another victim narrated that she was stabbed in the thigh and held at knifepoint.

However, Anokye told the court that all the acts were consensual role played by the victims in a game called “catch me, rape me”.

According to prosecutors, he forced one of his victims to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, and also made another woman sit with a bottle of water tied to her finger with a shoelace.

Giving evidence, Anokye told the court he had dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears.

Passing judgement, Judge William Hart directed that Anokye will serve 24 years in prison and five on a licence.

The judge also ordered him to compulsorily sign the sex offenders register for life.

“You have no sexual boundaries or empathy for those concerned, you became addicted to the ‘perverted pleasure’ from abusing the women in the case.

“You have a background that includes gang associations and criminal violence.

“I’m entirely satisfied that your career as a music artist was flourishing at the time of this offending and that you would have gone to great heights.

“You were part of a well-known collective – Boy Better Know. The fellow artists from that collective have achieved great success,” the judge held.

The judge added that his convictions have deprived him of his music career but the fault is entirely his alone.

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Lebanon’s Prime minister Hassan Diab, government resign

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Lebanon’s prime minister Hassan Diab announced his government’s resignation on Monday, saying a huge explosion that devastated Beirut and triggered public outrage was the result of endemic corruption.

The Aug. 4 detonation at a port warehouse of what authorities said was more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6,000 and destroyed swathes of the Mediterranean capital, compounding months of political and economic meltdown.

“Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years,” Diab said in a speech announcing the resignation.

He blamed the disaster on endemic corruption and said those responsible should be ashamed because their actions had led to a catastrophe “beyond description”.

“I said before that corruption is rooted in every lever of the state but I have discovered that corruption is greater than the state,” he said, pointing to a political elite for preventing change and saying his government faced a brick wall on reforms.

While Diab’s move attempted to respond to popular anger about the blast, it also plunged Lebanese politics deeper into turmoil and may further hamper already-stalled talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a financial rescue plan.

The talks, launched in May, were put on hold due to inaction on reforms and a row between the government, banks, and politicians over the scale of vast financial losses.

President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation and asked Diab’s government – formed in January with the backing of Iran’s powerful Hezbollah group and its allies – to stay as a caretaker until a new cabinet is formed, a televised announcement said.

At the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump said the explosion had triggered what he called “a revolution,” but did not comment further.

Ahead of Diab’s announcement, demonstrations broke out for the third day in central Beirut, with some protesters hurling rocks at security forces guarding an entrance leading to the parliament building, who responded with tear gas.

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Poll: Protester killed, dozens wounded in Belarus unrest

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A protester was killed and dozens wounded when police in Belarus used stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse demonstrators disputing election results, a prominent rights group said on Monday.

The Viasna Human Rights Center said the young male protester suffered a traumatic head injury when he was hit by a police vehicle and medics were unable to save him.

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Lebanon information minister resigns over Beirut blast

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Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital.

“After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,” she said in a statement carried by local media, apologizing to the Lebanese public for failing them.

The head of Lebanon’s Maronite church meanwhile called on the entire government to step down over the August 4 explosion, a blast widely seen as shocking proof of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.

Lebanese protesters enraged by the blast vowed to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries.

Maronite patriarch Beshara Rai joined the chorus of people pressing Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet to step down over a blast he said could be “described as a crime against humanity.”

“It is not enough for a lawmaker to resign here or a minister to resign there,” Rai said in a Sunday sermon.

“It is necessary, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the immense responsibility required, for the entire government to resign because it is incapable of moving the country forward.”

Rai echoed calls by Diab for early parliamentary polls — a long-standing demand of a protest movement that began in October, demanding the removal of a political class deemed inept and corrupt.

He also joined world leaders, international organizations, and the angry Lebanese public by pressing for an international probe into an explosion authority say was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse, where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had languished for years.

President Michel Aoun on Friday rejected calls for an international investigation, which he said would “dilute the truth.”

At least six lawmakers have quit since the explosion.

Under increased pressure from the street and foreign partners exasperated by the leadership’s inability to enact reforms, Diab’s government is fraying at the edges.

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