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AU calls on African countries to establish climate change early warning systems

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Harsen Nyambe, AU Head of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management Commission on Tuesday called on African countries to quickly put in place early warning systems to respond swiftly to effects of climate change.

Nyambe said the continent had been reactive to effects of disasters for a long time hence the need for systems to detect disasters early.

The AU official said time had come for the region to put in place measures that will help in tackling emergency of disasters, according to state-run news agency, the Zambia News and Information Service.

According to him, early warning systems will help countries to plan properly on how to deal with disasters.

“The AU is coming up with the continental framework that links up with the global initiatives that will surely avert the effects of climate change as highlighted in the Agenda 2063,” he said.

He further said the AU was working with regional economic communities such as COMESA to enhance the tree planting and conservation exercises which were key ingredients towards ending climate resilience.

Mclay Kanyangarara, COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, said the adverse effect of climate change had resulted in insufficient power generation at some power plants in the region, resulting in power cuts.

He said countries needed to come up with resilient mechanisms because the effects of climate change were real.

Foreign

Putin, Erdogan agree to step up counter-terror efforts in Idlib

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Agreement

In a phone conversation initiated by Ankara, Putin and Erdogan discussed Russian-Turkish cooperation in stabilising the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

They also discussed other aspects of the Syrian settlement, including the ongoing efforts by Russia, Turkey, Iran and the UN in the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, a body designated to amend Syria’s current constitution.

YI/TA

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China to impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports worth $75b

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Tariff

Based on laws approved by the State Council, a total of 5,078 U.S. products would be subject to additional tariffs of 10 per cent or five per cent.

The tariff hikes would be implemented in two batches and would take effect from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 respectively.

The U.S. government announced on Aug. 15, that it would impose additional tariffs of 10 per cent on Chinese goods worth about $300 billion, effective from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively, in two batches.

However, the U.S. move had led to a further escalation of bilateral trade frictions, greatly damaging the interests of China, the U.S and other countries.

The move would also gravely threaten the multilateral trading system and free trade principles.

The commission would continue with the work of exempting certain items from additional tariffs.

China’s imposition of additional tariffs was a forced response to U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism.

China, however, reaffirmed once again that cooperation was the only correct choice for China and the U.S. and that only a win-win situation would lead to a better future.

It was hoped that both countries resolve their differences in a manner acceptable to both sides on the premise of mutual respect, equality, good faith and consistency of words and deeds, the statement said.

The two sides are expected to actively build a new balanced, inclusive and win-win Sino-U.S. economic and trade order, jointly safeguard, reform and improve the multilateral trading system.

YI/AIB

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Turkey calls for world coordination on Syrian refugee crisis

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Turkey calls for world coordination on Syrian refugee crisis

Refugee

Turkey hosts four million refugees, the largest number staying in any single country in the world.

More than 3.6 million of these came from neighbouring Syria after a devastating conflict began there in 2011.

“We need to coordinate with the international community to help solve the Syrian refugee crisis in a secure and safe way,” Turkish Foreign Minister ,Mevlut Cavusoglu, said at a news conference in Beirut on Friday.

He said the international community has to be more sensitive when it comes to the basic needs of those Syrians, who return to Syria, and offered to set up a joint forum with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq – other neighbours of Syria.

Lebanese Foreign Minister, Jubran Bassil, said that there should be close coordination between Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to find “the right solution” for the return of Syrians refugees to their country.

“Lebanon is always committed to the dignified return of the Syrian refugees to their country,” Bassil said.

Lebanon has some one million registered Syrian refugees.

Lebanese officials have repeatedly said that the influx of refugees from Syria placed a massive burden on the country’s ailing economy.

Cavusoglu arrived in Beirut earlier Friday and met Lebanese President, Michel Aoun and House Speaker, Nabih Berri.

He is due to hold talks later Friday with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Turkey has set up 12 observation posts in Syria’s north-western province of Idlib since a truce deal was reached in September between Moscow and Ankara to establish a demilitarised buffer zone in the Idlib enclave.

The September agreement provides for the creation of a 15-to-20-kilometre-wide buffer zone to separate government troops and rebels in Idlib and adjacent areas.

The Russian-Turkish deal has since been repeatedly violated amid an exchange of blame between the Syrian government and the opposition. (dpa/NAN)

FAT/AFA

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Sri Lanka withdraws emergency law imposed after Easter attacks

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Law

Colombo, Aug. 23, 2019 Sri Lanka on Friday withdrew an emergency law imposed after Easter Sunday attacks, a military spokesman said, signifying the return of calm to the island nation, which is set to vote in a new head of state later this year.

President Maithripala Sirisena imposed emergency law in April after more than 250 people were killed and 500 wounded in militant bombings across churches and luxury hotels on Easter day.

“The army will continue to assist police for internal security,’’ Military Spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters.

The emergency gave police and military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

Almost all militants, suspected to have links with the attackers, have either been arrested or killed, Sirisena previously said.

AIB

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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

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Tariffs

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.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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