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UN deputy chief urges `unequivocal’ global response to climate change



United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, called for “unequivocal’’ global response to climate change and funding gaps.

Mohammed made the call at a preparatory meeting in the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit billed for Sept. 21 in New York.

“The Climate Action Summit is not about negotiations for an outcome document.  It is about raising ambition and accelerating action.  We can no longer afford any delay.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spelled it out.  And so have the young activists who are taking to the streets in growing numbers.

“They want action, not words. When we reach the Summit, our response must be unequivocal,’’ she said.

The UN deputy chief emphasised that plans announced and initiatives launched must be clearly practical, viable and help to meet set objectives.

“That means limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and building resilience to the changes that are to come.

“The proposals must also bring with them the political leadership and determination with the means of implementation to make them a reality, she added.

Mohammed acknowledged the efforts of multi-stakeholders working together to develop initiatives capable of transforming economies and societies.

These, she said, include plans to make cities, which are responsible for 70 per cent of global emissions, greener, and to deliver on the Secretary-General’s call for no more coal‑fired power plants by 2020.

“This means creating viable alternatives to coal, and ensuring they are accessible to all, especially those left furthest behind.

“I have heard about steps being taken to rebuild our natural ecosystems. This will help us to cut emissions and protect us from the impacts of climate change.

“And underpinning all of this is the need to engage the whole of society in a just transition to enable the movement to a clean economy to bring all parts of society with us.

“So, we can be pleased.  But, the work is not over yet.  As the Secretary‑General said yesterday, we desperately need to mobilise the finance necessary to support this transition.

“This means replenishing the Green Climate Fund, and meeting the commitment of mobilising 100 billion dollars a year by 2020’’.

She noted that efforts to transform economies and societies would not succeed without the necessary funds.

Mohammed described 2019 as a defining year not only in meeting the 2020 carbon reduction goals, but also in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“ And let us be frank.  We are not on track so far to deliver on the ambitions we have set for ourselves on climate change or the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The aim of this meeting in Abu Dhabi is to take stock of where we are and identify what more needs to be done to bring ambitious, concrete and realistic plans to the Climate Action Summit.

(Edited by Emmanu Yashim)


China imposes extra 10%, 5% tariffs on $75bn worth of U.S. imports 




The State Council Tariff Committee said this in a statement on Friday.

The U.S. will impose additional 10 per cent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.

“The Tariff Committee of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China has decided to introduce additional 10 per cent and 5 per cent tariffs on $75 billion worth of imported U.S. goods,” the committee said.


(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Israeli teen killed by explosive device attack in West Bank 




Her 46-year-old father and 19-year-old brother were seriously injured in the attack, the army and the responsible hospital in Jerusalem said on Friday.

The attack took place near the settlement of Dolev, north-west of Ramallah.

Soldiers were searching the area and street blockades had been set up, according to a statement.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke in a statement of a “terrible terrorist attack this morning.”

“My heart and prayers are with the family at this difficult time, and for the recovery of those injured.

“We will continue to strengthen settlement. We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies.

“The security arms are in pursuit after the abhorrent terrorists. We will apprehend them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip, part of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Heat, drought in Germany lead to below-average harvests



Heat, drought in Germany lead to sub-par harvests


Omitting data from 2018 – a drought year – the harvest was about six per cent lower than the average of the crops from 2013 to 2017, the German Farmers’ Association said on Friday on Facebook.

“Overall, we see that the weather extremes are increasing,” Association President, Joachim Rukwied, said, noting that some regions had sufficient rainfall, while others recorded temperatures as high as 40 degrees in June and July.

“This,of course, puts pressure on yields,’’ he added.

Low rainfall and high temperatures in 2018 led many German farmers to record their worst harvest, with Agriculture Minister, Julia Kloeckner, saying the “national scale” of the drought inflicted damage that required federal assistance.

Farmers with financial problems have so far received around 228 million euros (252 million dollars) in state aid.

Payouts are possible until Aug. 31 of this year.

Germany’s federal and state governments had promised aid of up to 170 million euros each.

Germany’s Agriculture Ministry will present its harvest report on Aug. 29. (dpa/NAN)


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5 killed in stampede at concert in Algeria




The crash took place in a Stadium at the central Algiers before a concert by Algerian rapper, Abderraouf Derradji, also known as Soolking late Thursday.

The dead were two girls, two boys and a 21-year-old man, the civil defence added in a statement.

The concert went on as scheduled and was shown live on state Algerian television.

Around 45,000 fans, mostly teenagers, attended the concert, according to an Algerian news portal, Echorouk online.

Eyewitnesses said the scramble occurred when guards failed to direct people to entrances in an orderly manner. (dpa/NAN)


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UK PM deeply concerned about Amazon rainforest fires




London, Aug. 23, 2019 Britain is deeply concerned about fires in the Amazon rainforest and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the G7 summit to call for a renewed focus on protecting nature, his office said on Friday.

“The prime minister is deeply concerned by the increase in fires in the Amazon rainforest and the impact of the tragic loss of these precious habitats,’’ said a spokeswoman.


Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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