GhanaAgent

The Ministry of Education is blaming District Directors of Education in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies for the challenges they encounter in the provision of education materials and logistics to schools across the country.

According to the Ministry, lack of information flow from schools that lacked the needed infrastructure and educational materials accounts for the delays in supporting such schools.

“We have identified the fact that in some districts, the DCEs, district directors of education have been regular with information and their management functions, and we commended them. But there are others that the information flow is very slow. We met recently in Kumasi to ensure that the system works.”

The Deputy Minister’s concern follows an intervention by the Vice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia, who ordered 500 desks to be made for the pupils of the Kperisi Primary School in the Upper West Region, who have been learning on bare floors for months.


The school’s plight came to light after the State of the Nation Address last Thursday, where the President had boasted of massive achievements in the educational sector.

The Wa Municipal Assembly in the Upper West Region after the public outcry hurriedly initiated moves to provide  desks for the pupils. But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, a Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said “we expect the heads of schools, the district and regional directors of education to bring us up to date with timely reports to that effect because we cannot be everywhere at the same time. There are only three ministers of education; there is only one director general at the Ghana Education Service and two deputies.

We have said that it is important for them to let us have quarterly reports and emergency situations for instance, a flood has happened and the roof of a school has been ripped off. When we wait for the media to come there or politicians to come there before you talk to the media and say that you are helpless, it is instructive to say that you are helpless.”

The Barcelona centre-back admits his time at Manchester United means he would not be able to bring himself to join the Red Devils' arch-rivals

 

Gerard Pique says his love for Manchester United makes a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City impossible. Barca academy product Pique spent four years at Old Trafford before returning to Camp Nou in 2008, where he has enjoyed a trophy-laden eight years - including three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and two Champions League medals won under the stewardship of Guardiola.

The former midfielder has since gone on to enjoy further success in charge of Bayern Munich and will take on a fresh challenge at the Etihad Stadium next season.

However, Pique insists that a return to the Premier League with City is something he could never contemplate despite the respect he has for Guardiola.

"My love for [Manchester] United is too strong to go to City," he said on Periscope. "I don't see myself in their shirt even though Pep is a great coach."

 

Jordi Mestre insists none of the Catalans' players would blame defeat on their team-mates as the Real Madrid star appeared to do on Saturday

 

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has criticised Cristiano Ronaldo for blaming Real Madrid's La Liga woes on his team-mates, claiming none of the Catalan club's players would ever do the same.

Madrid slipped to a 1-0 defeat to city rivals Atletico on Saturday thanks to a second-half strike from Antoine Griezmann.

That result, combined with Barca's 2-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday, leaves Madrid in third place, 12 points adrift of Luis Enrique's leaders.

And Ronaldo was quick to point the finger at his colleagues following their loss at the Santiago Bernabeu, saying "if everyone was at my level, perhaps we would be first".

Ronaldo has since attempted to clarify his comments, insisting he was referring to the club's injury situation and not performances.

However, Mestre told Movistar : "Our team's players would never say what Cristiano said. The club monitors a lot of things before signing players.

"Honestly, I could not imagine one of our players saying what Cristiano said."

Asked about Barca's commanding eight-point lead over Atletico at the top, Mestre added: "La Liga is not won at the end of February. That's not a cliche, it's true because we could slip up and I'm sure Real Madrid will bounce back. There are no free meals here."

The France striker could miss games against Levante, Celta and the Champions League last 16 second leg meeting with Roma after picking up a knock against Atletico Madrid

 

Real Madrid are set to be without Karim Benzema for at least their next three matches after the club confirmed that the striker has suffered a hamstring injury.

Benzema was withdrawn at half-time of Saturday's derby defeat to Atletico, with Borja Mayoral replacing the France international forward who was only passed fit for the match on Thursday having been suffering from a hip problem.

Indeed, the 28-year-old was absent from the 1-1 draw with Malaga and is now set for a further spell on the sidelines that could see him miss La Liga fixtures against Levante and Celta Vigo, as well as the Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Roma.

A statement on Madrid's official website read: "After tests at the University Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja the player Karim Benzema has been diagnosed with a muscle injury to his right hamstring."

 


Benzema has scored 23 goals in all competitions for Madrid in the 2015-16 campaign but has only struck once in his last four games for Los Blancos.

The striker joins Gareth Bale on the sidelines although the Welshman could be close to a return having started individual training on February 25 as he steps up his recovery from a calf problem.

A statement on Madrid's official website read: "After tests at the University Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja the player Karim Benzema has been diagnosed with a muscle injury to his right hamstring."

Benzema has scored 23 goals in all competitions for Madrid in the 2015-16 campaign but has only struck once in his last four games for Los Blancos.
 

The striker joins Gareth Bale on the sidelines although the Welshman could be close to a return having started individual training on February 25 as he steps up his recovery from a calf problem.

Last Saturday night on February 27 at the Manchester Arena, Lancashire, UK, Carl Frampton fully dominated Scott Quigg to unify the WBA – IBF super bantamweight belts. According to reporters present at the Manchester Arena the atmosphere was awesome, but the main event disappointed due the lack of effort from Quigg during the first 7 rounds.

As the readers already must know, Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux is scheduled to fight against James Dickens on March 12 at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, UK as part of the undercard for the main even headed by WBO lightweight Terry Flanagan vs challenger Derry Mathews.

 

Quigg just had surgery to repair the broken jaw suffered in his fight against “The Jackal” Frampton and I don’t believe he would be eager to fight Rigondeaux any time soon. There seems to be no interest form the WBA – IBF Carl Frampton to fight “El Chacal”, because Frampton just called out WBA featherweight Leo Santa Cruz and there is interest in Leo to fight against Carl in a near future.

After a struggle against Cesar Juarez last December to win the vacant WBO super bantam belt stripped from Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire is scheduled to fight next April 23 against low ranked Zsolt Bedak. Although it would be great to see the Filipino Flash rematch Chacal, after seen Donaire get to fight for a manufactured paper belt and hand pick his last 3 opponents, I suspect that Nonito will never fight Rigondeaux again.

I think that for Guillermo Rigondeaux the last opportunity to get a big fight at the super bantamweight division has just disappeared. The only way Rigondeaux could get a chance to get a big fight is that he looks great defeating James Dickens. But by great, I don’t mean a superb boxing exhibition, but instead to please the crowd which can be hard due Rigondeaux fighting style. If it was the other way around Chacal would head the event and would not be relegated to the undercard.

On paper there aren’t any more big fights at the super bantam division to be made soon. Carl Frampton could end moving up to the featherweight division to challenge Leo Santa Cruz for his WBA title, and I would also include another potential big UK fight between Frampton and feather IBF Lee Selby. Scott Quigg will be out of action for a long time due his broken jaw, and he also could end up moving up to the featherweight division if Frampton moves up to try to get a very lucrative rematch this year.

The top names at the featherweight divisions include: IBF Lee Selby, WBA Leo Santa Cruz, former champions Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel, WBC Gary Russell Jr, WBO Vasyl Lomachenko and possibly former feather WBA Nicholas Walters, if you add Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg then the featherweight division would be stacked with many potential great fights to be made.

Maybe it is time for Rigondeaux to take a big risk and move up to featherweight division, hoping to get any of the big names interested to fight against him. Perhaps Chacal is too small to move up. Possibly with the exception of Vasyl Lomachenko the rest of the big names will not have interest to fight him. But for sure Rigondeaux at 35 years of age can’t give himself the luxury to waste more time.

When past great Cuban boxers fought, they were able to attract the attention from all fight fans and not only form the boxing purist. The names of Sugar Ramos and Mantequilla Napoles always come to my mind when I think of great Cuban boxers, but sadly, I think the name of Guillermo Rigondeaux won’t last long in my memory, if he isn’t able to change his fighting style and do the full transition to prize fighting and understand that he must please the crowd.

IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury really worked over WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and the unbeaten heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua this weekend. In an interview, Fury said that he’s hoping Joshua wins his fight against IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin on April 9, because he’d like to face Joshua in a mega-fight in the UK.

However, he does not see Joshua winning the fight. Fury thinks Joshua is little more than a bodybuilder/weight lifter, and he doesn’t think those guys can fight. Fury notes that Joshua was gassed out by the 5th round in his fight against Dillian Whyte last December. Fury thinks Deontay will beat Joshua when/if the two fighters face each other. However, he thinks Wilder is just a skinny guy.

As for when Fury will face Wladimir in a rematch, he is not sure. Fury is not even sure if he’ll fight Wladimir next or not.

 

“I have no information about the rematch at all,” Fury said to Radio Raheem about his rematch with Wladimir. “I’m just waiting on confirmation, so who knows? I hope he [Joshua] wins [against Charles Martin], because it sets up a mega-fight in the UK for me. AJ [Joshua] is what you call a ‘weight lifter, a body builder.’ Body builders ain’t fighters. I’m the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I beat a man [Wladimir] that nobody could beat. Don’t mention a 15-fight novice [Joshua] in the same breath as the number one heavyweight on the planet; the best fighter on the planet. I tell you what I’d do to him [Joshua]. I’d take him apart like a lion, ripping a Gazelle’s throat out. I think Wilder would knock AJ out, but Wilder’s only a [expletive] anyway. So he is what he is. He’s a skinny [expletive]. They’re all [expletives]. I’m the best heavyweight on the planet; the best fighter on the planet,” said Fury.

I do agree with Fury about Joshua being a bodybuilder rather than a fighter. I think Joshua got a little out of hand with his weight lifting after he won his controversial gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, and he’s put on a lot of useless muscles that has slowed him down and not improved him as a fighter. If anything, I think Joshua was a better fighter back in 2009, when he fought Dillian Whyte for the first time at 220. I also agree with Fury about him thinking that Deontay will beat Joshua. I think it’s pretty much academic at this point that Deontay is the faster fighter with the better punching power than Joshua. When you look at Joshua’s fights, he comes across as very slow, mechanical and robotic. He pushes his punches and doesn’t seem capable of throwing explosive shots like Deontay.

 

As far as I can tell, the only reason why Joshua has so many knockouts on his resume is because his opponents, which his clever promoter Eddie Hearn digs up for him, tend to foolishly back up against the ropes and this lets Joshua just tee off on them. They fight like sparring partners, bad sparring partners. The only good fighter that Joshua has fought thus far was Dillian Whyte, and he came into the fight with a bad shoulder injury to his left shoulder.

Joshua looked a better back then with more speed, and he wasn’t gasping for breath after throwing a handful of punches like he’s doing now. Joshua has packed 30 pounds of muscle since then, and it doesn’t appear to have helped him at all. I think IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin is a better fighter, and he doesn’t have any of the muscles that Joshua has. He’s actually a little flabby looking, but he’s not muscle bound like Joshua.

“I have no idea when the next fight is, who it is going to be, no idea,” he said. “So that is a bit of an update for everybody,” Fury said to skysports.com. “I don’t know who it is going to be, to be honest [if Wladimir will be next]. I have no confirmation on if it is going to be Klitschko, Fred Flintstone or Batman, I have no idea.”

 

I think Fury has to fight Wladimir next because of the rematch clause, but who knows? If Fury is allowed to fight someone else next, then that’s good too, because he could then face the winner of the Deontay vs. Alexander Povetkin fight in a unification. I expect Deontay to beat Povetkin without any problems. That should be an easy fight for Deontay no matter where the contest takes place. They can stage it in Russia, and I see Deontay winning the fight with ease.

Not surprisingly, Fury does not think a fight against Joshua will be a big deal once Charles Martin beats him. The fight is only meaningful while Joshua is unbeaten. The British boxing public won’t be excited if Joshua’s record is marred by a glaring defeat.

IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) says he’s having his best training camp ever in preparing for his unification fight against IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) on October 17th.

Lemieux has left no stone unturned in preparing for everything that the 33-year-old Golovkin can bring to the table in their fight on HBO pay-per-view. Lemieux says he’s been watching video of Golovkin, and he knows what to expect from the Kazakhstan fighter. Lemieux believes that Golovkin will fight as he always does by coming out fast looking to entertain the crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York.

 

But that’s where Lemieux believes he has a chance to score an upset by taking advantage of Golovkin’s attempts at trying to please the boxing fans by catching him with one of his own big shots to get him out of there.

Lemieiux is confident that his punching power will make his fight against Golovkin a 50-50 fight with it being fought on even terms from start to finish. Golovkin hasn’t had to face this kind of adversity in the past, Lemieux feels. He doesn’t see anyone on Golovkin 33-fight resume that has the kind of huge punching power that he possesses.

 

“I’m David, he’s Goliath,” Lemieux said to Fighthub. “It’s going to be a very tough fight. He’s a very good fighter, but I’m coming in ready. I’m not coming to fight him. I’m coming in to beat him. I’m in a different mindset, and I’m going to be more than ready for the fight. I know where the numbers are and I’m going to change that very soon against a guy like Golovkin, because he’s very strong. He’s a very complete fighter, but I’m coming to make sure I come in expecting everything and no surprises left in the ring,” Lemieux said.

Lemieux showed a lot of maturity in his last three fights in beating Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado and Fernando Guerrero. Those were all good fighters, but Lemieux beat them all with relative ease in going after them and was able to KO two of the three fighters.

The only fighter to make it the full 12 round distance was N’Dam, and the only reason he lasted the entire fight was because he stayed on the outside through most of it and was able to avoid Lemieux’s big shots. In the first seven rounds, Lemieux was able to get within punching distance of N’Dam to put him down four times.

After the 7th, N’Dam finally figured out how to stay upright by staying totally on the outside and moving frequently. It was strategy that saved him from being knocked down any additional times, but it was a losing strategy. There was no way that N’Dam could win while on the outside, especially with him having been knocked down four times in the first seven rounds of the fight.

I don’t think Golovkin will have any surprises for Lemieux on October 17th. With Golovkin, it’s what you see is what you get. He’s going to come right after Lemieux like he’s done against his past opponents. I do think Golovkin will choose to fight Lemieux much like he fought Curtis Stevens in 2013 by sticking to the outside for the most part and choosing to jab and throw pot shots a lot. Lemieux might have problems with this kind of fighting style if he’s unable to get near enough to throw his left hook. Lemieux couldn’t do anything with N”Dam when he went to the outside, so I suspect that we’ll see the same struggles from Lemieux against Golovkin if he goes to the outside.

 

“I’m working very hard with my team right now. It’s been my best camp ever,” Lemieux said. “We’re coming into this fight ready. The guns are loaded. I’ve seen him fight a lot also. I know he loves to give people a great show, but let’s see how he reacts when faced with similar adversity. He’s a very strong fighter. Let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit also. It’s going to be a tough fight. It’s going to be a war. I’m going to surprise the world. I didn’t train for nothing. On October 17th, my words will be put in motion. It’s going to be a great fight. It’s going to be a historical night. I’m leaving Madison Square Garden with my belts,” Lemieux said.

Golovkin is going to get hit with some tremendous shots in this fight. The only question is will he be able to handle the power from Lemieux that other fighters couldn’t handle? Golovkin is only human after all, and the kind of power that Lemieux has would give anyone in the division problems. Lemieux punches more like a light heavyweight than a middleweight. His left hook is out of this world.

Apple has unveiled its newest iPhone, the iPhone 6S, which it hopes will repeat the success enjoyed by the iPhone 6 from 2014.

V3 has rounded up all the key information on the iPhone 6S, covering its release dates, prices, specs and key features, and we'll update this article regularly as more information comes to light, so check back to keep up to date.

Release date
Apple opened the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus for pre-order on 12 September, and demand seemed to be huge from the off. Several versions of both models had their delivery dates pushed back by as much as four weeks.

Apple said that the pre-order numbers put it on track to smash the 10 million opening weekend sales from 2014, and that it is working hard to reduce the backlog of orders, particularly for the iPhone 6S Plus.

The phone went on sale on 25 September in the UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the US. A total of 130 countries should have the phone on sale by the year's end.

There were big queues when the phone went on sale at the firm's stores, although not quite as big as last year, suggesting the more incremental updates to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus did not excite as many people.

Price
Apple said that it will charge the same launch price for the iPhone 6S as the original iPhone 6. This means the iPhone 6S will cost £539 for the 16GB model, £619 for the 64GB model and £699 for the 128GB model.

All the UK's top operators and phone sellers have confirmed that they will offer the phone, and various 12- and 24-month deals will no doubt be offered with smaller upfront fees than simply buying the phone outright.

Specs

iPhone 6S comes in rose-gold and has 3D Touch featuresThe 3D Touch technology supports different pressure touches

The iPhone 6S retains the same 4.7in screen as its predecessor but it now supports Apple's new 3D Touch technology, that allows different types of interaction based on the different levels of pressure applied to a touch on the screen.

The iPhone 6S also has an improved camera lenses with the front-facing FaceTime lens now 5MP, up from 1.2MP. The rear-facing lens is an 12MP iSight lens, up from 8MP. The iPhone 6S can also shoot 4K videos thanks to this new camera lens.

The iPhone 6S also has a new A9 processor, which Apple said provides 70 percent faster CPU and 90 percent faster GPU performance than the A8. This is also said to improve battery life.

One change which is surprising is that the iPhone 6S actually weighs more than the iPhone 6, at 143g, rather than 129g, while it is also ever-so-slightly thicker, with the dimensions for the iPhone 6S 138x67x7.1mm compared to 138x67x6.9mm.

The new devices also support Cat6 LTE+ services to support high-speed 4G services from the likes of EE that go as high as 150Mbps.

Battery life is said to last 14 hours on 3G use and 10 hours on 4G and 11 hours on Wi‑Fi.

One new feature Apple has introduced on the iPhone 6S is the new Hey Siri function that means you can ask Siri questions without having to be physically holding the device.

Apple has added a new colour option to its range, called pink gold, which will no doubt appeal to some buyers. The other options remain the same space grey, gold and silver.

iPhone 6S comes in four colours
A new rose gold option colour option has been made available

Below is the live blog from the event on 9 September. Feel free to relive the news as it was covered

8:10: That's a wrap folks! Thanks for reading along as we've followed all the Apple news. Keep checking back on V3 regularly for more insights, analysis and reviews of all things Apple in the coming days.

8:05: Pre-ordering begins 12 September and launches 25 September in the UK, US, China, France and Germany, among others. It will reach 130 countries by the end of the year.

8:00: The iPhone 6S will cost $199, $299 and $399 for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage on 24-month contracts and the iPhone 6S Plus from $299, $399 and $499 for the same storage option.

7.55: The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus include a new A9 chip, which Apple says is 70 percent faster than the A8 in processing tasks, and 90 percent faster in graphics tasks. A 12MP iSight rear camera has been added on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, which offers faster autofocus than previous iPhone cameras.

7:40: New iPhones unveiled. iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with a raft of new features. 3D Touch shown using 'Peek' gesture to preview emails without navigating away from the main inbox; swipe up to open Action menu; update Facebook status or upload to Dropbox straight from the home screen.

7:23:
Apple TV remote communicates via Bluetooth 4.0, so don't need to 'point' it at the TV. Also has volume controls. Lasts three months on charge. Lightning connector to recharge, so no need for batteries.

Apple TV comes in 32GB for $149 and $64GB for $199. Cue also announces tvOS is available for developers now. Customers can get new Apple TV from late October and 100 countries by the end of the year.

7:20: Now an Baseball man is up - showing how you can use the tvOS app to watch games via its app, showing it at 60fps, and bring up loads of live data on the match live in a multi-screen mode, so you can watch the match and stats at the same time.

It also offers look-in information so you can recieve updates on other games while watching another. No doubt other sports franchises will get on that too. Looks impressive.

7:15: Now shopping using a shopping app to view clothes and buy them via the TV, basically creating another major retail channel. Something for retailers to start thinking about.

7:13: Some apps already ready for tvOS include AirBnB and road-crossing game CrossyRoad.

7:10: Cue is back, talking about the new operating system for the tv, called tvOS. Based on iOS and built for the TV. Touts potential for developers to create new services for the Apple TV system.

"We can't wait to see what apps they bring to the big screen."

7:08: You can also answer questions during watching TV to get information displayed along the bottom of the screen, such as weather or spots scores. If you want to bring it full-screen, Apple TV will pause in the background.

Switching apps is also shown-off, such as moving from watching a movie to the music app using Siri.

7:05: An Apple TV team head honcho is now on stage showing off the Siri search functions, such as being able to find a particular episode from a show and 'scrubbing' search to find key moments in an episode.

Siri can also be used to skip the show ahead by, say, seven minutes. It also has a 15-second backskip function and turn on subtitles if you miss a certain moment.

7:00: Eddy Cue come on stage and show off new remote. It has Siri controls and a touch-enabled area similar to the iPhone screen. Siri will search iTunes, NetFlix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime, with more to come, Cue said.

Apple unveils new TV Siri remote and Apple TV box

6:57: Cook unveils the new Apple TV, with Siri intro, and Apple remote-controlled interface.

6:55: We're on to Apple TV now. Cook says innovation in the TV world has stopped while mobile world has passed it by. "Today, we are going to do something about that," he says.

"We believe the future of television is apps."

6:50: The iPad Pro will launch in November and cost from $799, $949 and $1079 with storage options ranging from 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. It will come in three colours: silver, gold and space grey.

6:40: Microsoft joins Apple on stage to talk about the benefits of using its tools such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Then Adobe, showing how powerful it is for using its design and editing software.

Clear from these demos that Apple is hoping the iPad Pro will be a major business tool. Third demo shows medical benefits of such a large-screen, touch-sensitive device, helping show patients injuries in 3D and understanding human anatomy.

6:30: Device will come with a stylus called Apple Pencil and keyboard attachment to help boost productivity of the device.

6:20: Cook back now, onto iPad. Does this mean a big iPad Pro? It does. Cook announced iPad Pro with a dramatic space-age trailer. Phil Sciller comes up next to talk a bit more about it. Here are some key specs.

He confirms a 12.9in screen and touts the new multi-tasking features that iOS 9 brings as being “designed with this iPad in mind” for things such as typing, playing music and watching videos.

6:15: Apple now talking about partnering with Hermes for some watch bits like strips and faces. Not the most thrilling thing we'll hear tonight. Ah, they've just annoucned Watch O2 2 launches 16 September.

6:12: A demo now, Airstrip - a healthcare app used by doctors and nurses to share information with each other and patients and monitor health information.

6:10: There are now over 10,000 apps for the Watch, Williams adds. Reveals Facebook Messenger will be launched for the Apple Watch as well as iTranslate and GoPro, so Apple Watch can be a viewfinder for the camera.

6:05: We begin with Apple Watch. Apple CEO Tim Cook says device is "changing people's daily lives". Customer satisfaction is 97 percent, he says.

Jeff Willams then comes online, talks about the next generation fo the watchOS, such as new watch faces and 'third-party complications', an odd term for referring to how apps can provide information direct to your wrist, and maps updates. Cue applause.

5:50: The iPhone 6S event is just minutes away from starting and the excitment levels are high as we await to see what Apple has to show off. You can follow the live stream of the event on Apple's website via Safari or on iOS, or Windows Edge.

Ailing smartphone maker BlackBerry has confirmed it is soon to launch an Android-based device, which will feature a slide-out physical keyboard in addition to the usual touchscreen.

Due to be available "late in the calendar year", the smartphone will be marketed as the BlackBerry Priv, with the name reflecting the fact that user privacy will be a key selling point, according to the firm.

"Priv will be the solution for smartphone users who are learning daily of the lack of privacy they have on their current devices," wrote BlackBerry chief executive John Chen on the Inside BlackBerry blog.

"Priv will be the answer for former BlackBerry users who miss the physical keyboard but needed apps. And, we're responding to current - and prospective - BlackBerry users who need it all: choice, innovation, security, privacy and productivity."

Chen added that his firm is working with Google to bring "the best of BlackBerry security and productivity to the Android ecosystem". This seems to extend to bringing many of the BlackBerry features to Android on the Priv, including the BlackBerry Hub that brings together all updates from email text messages and social networks into one place, and supporting Android for Work with BlackBerry's BES 12 enterprise mobility platform.

"Launching an Android device is a tremendous new market opportunity as we continue our focus on building a cross-platform strategy," Chen said.

It's a terrific proposition for dedicated Android users who are seeking greater productivity and powerful privacy features. And we are advancing our own platform, redefining the expectations of mobility in today's age of risk and cybercrime so that we can serve customers even better."

That BlackBerry was working on an Android handset codenamed Venice had been rumoured for some time, but of late photographs and even purported technical specifications have been cropping up on gadget and mobile news sites.

These details point to a device with a screen about 5.4in in size with a resolution of 1440x2560, and a Qwerty keyboard that slides down from behind the screen. It is said to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB memory and 32GB of flash storage, and based on a build of the Android 5.0 Lollipop version of Google's operating system.

BlackBerry has had a difficult few years, but Chen, who was made chief executive in 2013, remains upbeat about the company's future prospects.

"BlackBerry is a new company. We have new life. And we plan to continue to surprise our customers and the industry. This is just the latest move along that path," he said.

However, BlackBerry said it remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be delivered in March 2016

Here's your weekly roundup of Apple goodness, in case you were on your summer holidays last week and missed all the excitement from Cupertino. 

Apple's workforce still mostly white and male despite more diverse hires

Apple remains a white male-dominated technology company, although it has made some headway with hiring more women and people from ethnic minorities in the past 12 months.

Apple's second diversity report revealed a minor increase in the overall diversity of the company compared with 2014, seeing a rise in the proportion of women from 30 percent in 2014 to 31 percent this year.

However, Apple claimed that 35 percent of its new hires globally in the past 12 months were women, a 65 percent increase over 2014 and representing 11,000 women joining the company.

Apple looks to the enterprise to reverse faltering iPad sales 

apple-ipad-mini-2-retina

Apple is looking to reverse sliding iPad sales with a new-found focus on the enterprise market.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is working with more than 40 unknown enterprise app developers in an initiative known internally as the 'mobility partner programme'.

The partners have not yet been named, but the report claims that the list includes accounting firm Xero, digital cash register firm Revel Systems and field-service software outfit ServiceMax.

Apple unleashes Windows 10 Boot Camp for Mac users

Windows 10 is available now as a free upgrade

Apple has announced the availability of Windows 10 for Macs using Boot Camp.

The option to install Windows is available on all Mac versions with OS X Yosemite, and El Capitan when it arrives. Users will need to get their own copy of Windows 10 - specifically the 64-bit version - and a licence key.

iPhone 6C tipped to debut at Apple's 9 September event 


Apple will reportedly launch the iPhone 6C at an event in September.

Notorious Twitter leaker @evleaks claims to have the scoop, posting that Apple will launch the iPhone 6C alongside the iPhone 6S/iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S Plus/iPhone 7 Plus - names to be confirmed - later this year, probably at the mooted 9 September event.

Apple Music bugs squashed in iOS 8.4.1 release 

Apple Music

Apple has released iOS 8.4.1 to iPhone and iPad users, an update that delivers a handful of fixes for Apple Music.

Apple Music users have been complaining about the bug-ridden service since its debut in iOS 8.4 at the end of June. The firm has finally moved to squash these bugs with the release of iOS 8.4.1, which is available to download now.