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World Bank grants Liberia $43m to improve secondary education

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The World Bank on Friday offered to finance the improvement of secondary education in Liberia, with a grant of 43 million dollars.

The grant was offered as part of the World Bank’s support to the government-proposed “Improving Results In Secondary Education (IRISE)” project.

The project takes a system-based approach to addressing some foundational issues and challenges facing the secondary-level education in the West African country.

The grant will focus on improving the quality of secondary education services, especially for adolescent girls.

At a signing ceremony in Monrovia, the World Bank’s country director Pierre Laporte said the IRISE project was important because it would contribute to improving Liberia’s human capital base and be critical to the development of the country.

According to Laporte, secondary education not only enables individuals to further enhance their learning, but it also makes them more productive and increases more qualified labour to better meet the growing needs of the modern-day labor market.

He said the World Bank funded the project to further provide the foundation to enable young people to further their professional careers in life.

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Merkel wants German aviation industry to lead in climate protection

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Merkel wants German aviation industry to lead in climate protection

Climate

“This also includes making Germany a leading location for climate-friendly aircraft technologies.

“Criticism of air traffic was growing and it is more important that the industry can show that growth is not always associated with more growth in climate-damaging emissions,“ Merkel said.

She, however, praised the aviation industry’s commitments to maintaining a steady aircraft emission level after 2020 and reducing it to 50 per cent of 2005 levels by 2050.

She said cutting aviation emissions would require, for instance, the production of synthetic, climate-friendly fuels or the switch to electrically-powered aircraft.

Merkel emphasised that her government was not only focusing on electric mobility, but also on hydrogen as a propulsion medium for aircraft.

She also noted that a German hydrogen strategy should be developed by the end of the year.

“We want to take an open technological approach to things, noting that the potential of hydrogen for aviation is far from being tapped.

“The aviation industry is of considerable overall economic importance to Germany as well over a quarter of its export value is transported all over the world by air freight.

“In Germany, 850,000 people are directly or indirectly employed in the aviation industry,“ Merkel said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Riga considers charging tourist tax of one euro per night

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Riga considers charging tourist tax of one euro per night

Tax

Riga (Latvia), Aug. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) The local authority of Latvian capital city Riga is considering introducing a tax on the nights spent by each tourist in the city’s hotels and guest houses.

The city council’s financial and administrative affairs committee announced the measure on Wednesday.

According to the proposal, all hotels and other tourist facilities would have to pay one euro per overnight stay of each tourist.

The maximum rate charged on tourists staying for more than 10 days would be 10 euros and no tax would be charged on Zero to 12-year-old children.

Hospitality services providers will be required to submit monthly reports on the number of guests accommodated and the amount payable in tourist tax.

The city council believes the tourist tax will help develop tourism and increase the number of visitors in Riga.

Rough estimates suggest that the new tourist tax may bring around 3.5 million euros into Riga’s budget annually.

According to the data of the national statistics office, the time both foreign and local tourists spend in Riga’s hotels and guest houses tends to be growing. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Former Zimbabwe Vice President Mphoko appears in court

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Mphoko

Mphoko had been on the run after fleeing from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers at a Bulawayo police station on Monday.

The former VP was remanded out of custody, granted 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars bail and ordered to report to the police once a week.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport, not interfere with state witnesses and reside at his given address until the matter is finalised as part of his bail conditions.

Mphoko, who on Saturday refused to cooperate with ZACC officers and instructed them to leave his home after they tried to arrest him, is being accused of criminal abuse of office.

He allegedly instructed junior police officers to free the then Zimbabwe National Road Administration acting Chief Executive, Moses Juma.

Juma had been arrested on criminal abuse of office charges and was being held at Avondale Police Station in Harare.

Mphoko allegedly committed the offence in 2016 when he was still vice president of Zimbabwe.

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Indonesia sends police reinforcement to unrest-stricken province

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Indonesia sends police reinforcement to unrest-stricken province

 

Reinforcement

According to police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal protesters set a market on fire and threw stones at buildings following a series of violent rallies in the province over perceived discrimination.

“The extra police personnel will be deployed to major towns following information and prediction of intelligence.

“We are giving top priority to a persuasive approach and communication with community and religious leaders. The situation in the province has been under control,“ Iqbal said.

Thousands of people took to the streets in West Papua province and torched several government buildings following arrest of Papuan students in East Java province.

According to media report, a prison was also stormed that led to the escape of no fewer than  250 inmates.

West Papua is home to insurgency of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) which emerged since 1960s.

However, the OPM’s emergence sought an independent state through guerrilla war while civilians, soldiers and foreign firms had been targeted by the separatist group.(Xinhua/NAN)

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Zimbabwe’s monthly inflation fell in July

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Inflation

The monthly inflation rate, at 4.4 per cent in March, rose to 5.5 per cent in April, 12.5 per cent in May and then shot up to 32.96 per cent in June.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, on Aug. 1, suspended the publication of annual inflation figures until February 2020 to avoid miscalculation of the country’s inflation.

He said the suspension was done due to the changes in functional currency from the U.S. dollar to Zimbabwe dollar in June.

In June, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rose to 175.66 per cent, the highest in a decade. (Xinhua/NAN)

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