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EU lawyer: Goods from Israeli-occupied territories must carry label

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The court stressed that this factor might inform consumers’ choices.

The EU has long criticised Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian Territories.

An EU requirement from 2015 is that goods from the region must be labeled as such and this has been a sore point between the two sides.

In this particular case, a Jewish organisation and a company producing wine from the occupied territories went to court over a French rule requiring products from the occupied territories to reflect their origin.

The French Council of State turned to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in interpreting EU laws.

Advocate General Gerard Hogan noted that EU rules on geographic labeling aim to help consumers make choices on the basis of “health, economic, environmental, social and ethical considerations,’’ the court said in a statement.

He found that the Israeli settlement policy “is regarded as a manifest breach of international law’’ and stressed that some consumers may see this as an “ethical consideration that influences their consumer preferences.’’

Failing to indicate that goods come from the occupied territories could “mislead’’ consumers, he added, while drawing parallels with a boycott of South African goods during the pre-1994 apartheid era.

Hogan is one of several advocates general who provide legal opinions to the ECJ.

The judges generally follow their advice. The verdict will follow at a later date.

 

 

Foreign

9 killed in collision between goods truck and car in India

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At least nine people were killed in a deadly collision between a goods truck and car in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Friday, police said.

The accident took place at Pratapgarh district, about 166 km southeast of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

“This morning a collision took place between a car carrying passengers and a goods truck here in which nine people were killed,” a police official in Pratapgarh said. “The victims comprised of four men, three women and two minors.”

Police officials said the crash badly damaged the vehicle and rescuers have to use gas cutters to pull out the bodies from the mangled car.

According to police officials, the victims were on their way to Bihar from Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the accident.

Deadly road accidents, often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving, are common in India.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Finland to modernize northwestern railways to streamline Arctic-Asia goods transport

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Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka on Wednesday said that modernizing a section of railway in northwestern Finland will facilitate the transport of goods from the Arctic coast to Asia.

His remarks came one day after the Finnish government reconfirmed its commitment to modernize the cross-border rail connection to neighboring Sweden.

Speaking at a press conference, Harakka said that the Europe-Asia connection would be created by bridging the current gap.

“I am sure the modernization of the rail connection will offer major possibilities, when ready, for transportation to and from the Arctic coast,” Harakka said.

He pointed out that there are already container services on the railway that extends from Finland via Kazakhstan to China.

He noted that with the present technology, even cold storage products can be shipped by rail for long distances, and, if the Arctic route could be created, it can be used, for example, for the transport of Norwegian fish to the Chinese market.

Currently, the last 20 kilometers of the cross-border rails on the Finnish side are still not electrified. Harakka said the construction could begin in 2021.

The modernization program and a new cross-border bridge would cost an estimated 40 million euros (45 million U.S. dollars).

(XINHUA)

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General news

Kano State Fire Service saves 73 lives, N704m goods in 1 month

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The Kano State Fire Service on Tuesday said it had saved 73 lives and property worth N704 million in 56 fire incidents in May.

Alhaji Saidu Muhammed, the Service Public Relations Officer, made the disclosure in a statement in Kano.

He disclosed that 17 deaths were recorded and property worth N85.5 million were destroyed by fire during the period.

Muhammed said that the service received 50 rescue calls and 17 false alarms from residents.

He attributed the incidents to road accidents, open water, well, and the use of inferior electrical materials.

Others were use of boiling rings, poor handling of electrical appliances, cooking gas and fireplaces.

Muhammed enjoined parents to warn their children from going to the local swimming ponds to avoid jeorpardising their lives.

He advised the general public to handle fire with care to avoid inferno.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos govt says Lekki Free Trade Zone exported $30m goods in one year

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The Lagos State government says the multi-billion Naira Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) has exported goods worth US$30 million in the last 12 months.

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande made this known on Thursday, during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating one year in office of the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

Akande said that 19 new companies were at various stages of deployment at the Free Trade Zone.

She said that the Lagos State Government owned 40 per cent while China Africa Lekki Investment Ltd (CALIL) owned 60 per of the Lekki Free Trade Zone Development Company (LFTZDC).

”For any Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to succeed, it must have an efficient access for inward and outward shipment of goods and materials.

”It is in recognition of this fact that the Lagos State Government went into partnership with NPA(owning 5 per cent), Tolaram Group (owning 24 per cent), China Harbour and CHEC -owning 51 per cent and Lagos State owning 20 per cent.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port will be the deepest port in West Africa with a depth of 16 metres, which means the port can accommodate bigger ships,” Akande said.

The commissioner said that the state’s public-private partnership on mixed industrial-residential development, also known as Alaro City, had attracted 24 companies with business value estimated at $250 million.

She said that the companies would engage about 2,050 employees in the first phase of their operations.

According to her, the Alaro City project, located at Epe on a 2,000 hectare piece of land, comprised a mix of industrial concerns, homes, offices, healthcare facilities, schools and hostels among others.

The commissioner said that there were 24 new companies at various stages of development in the zone with the very first factory to set up there, Ariel Foods, opening for business in January 2020.

Ariel Foods is the largest ready-to-use therapeutic food factory in Africa. Its investment in Alaro is a US$15m multi-sector investment, including investment in housing, soap and detergent production.

”The ground-breaking ceremonies for other investors at Alaro City such as ASB Valiant, Starium (BUA Group), Kenol, HMD, Loatsad, Sana and Universal Homes also took place in January 2020,” she said.

Akande said that the infrastructure in place including roads which would open up access to 55 per cent of the site, a 1.4km dual carriageway asphalt road with four-metre median, storm water drains, street lighting and cycling lanes, are 90 per cent completed.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Science & Technology

Jumia partners Int’l Breweries, Unilever for easy access to consumer goods

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Jumia says it has partnered with International Breweries and Unilever to make consumer goods and beverages accessible to Nigerians on its online platform during the COVID-19 era.

Jumia Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Massimiliano Spalazzi, made the disclosure on Thursday.

He noted that in addition, both companies would be offering free deliveries on selected products on the Jumia platform.

Spalazzi said that with the partnership, customers on the Jumia platform would be able to order a range of Unilever and International Breweries products.

“Both companies’ products include Trophy Premium, Budweiser Lager Beer, Omo detergent, Knorr seasoning, Pepsodent and Lux, among others,” he said in a statement.

Speaking on the partnership, Spalazzi said it was a reflection of Jumia’s commitment to soften the effects of the movement restriction imposed by the government to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

“This partnership is in line with our “Stay Safe” campaign. We strive to continue operating so that customers can be safe at home by using e-commerce to shop at this trying time.

“We are proud to partner with Unilever and International Breweries as part of our commitment to provide customers easy access to essentials such as food and beverage products in the face of this pandemic.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Jumia has been an online channel for Nigerians to access the essentials needed for daily upkeep.

“We also implemented contactless delivery for prepaid packages on the platform that enable consumers to make prepaid payments for products online and get them delivered without a direct body contact,” he said.

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Kano State Fire Service saves 77 lives, N820m goods in 1 month

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The Kano State Fire Service on Friday said it had saved 77 lives and property worth N820 million from 108 fire incidents in April.

 

The Service’s  Public Relations Officer (PRO) , Alhaji Saidu Muhammed, disclosed in a statement in Kano.

 

Muhammed said  that 26 died and property worth N254 million were destroyed by fire within the period.

 

He noted that the service received 54 rescue calls and 15 false alarms from residents.

 

He attributed the incidents to road accidents, open water, wells,  and the use of inferior electrical materials; use of boiling rings, as well as poor handling of electrical appliances and cooking gas.

 

The PRO advised the general public to always handle fire with care to avoid inferno.

 

He implored parents and the general public to warn their children from going to the local swimming ponds.

 

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

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Foreign

UK confirms new checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain

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The British government on Wednesday confirmed that animals and food products entering Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain will face new checks as part of the Brexit deal.

In a command paper, the government sets out how Britain will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol — upholding Northern Ireland’s place in Britain and respecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The infrastructure at ports in Northern Ireland where checks on animals and food products are already carried out will be expanded, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told MPs.

Gove also said implementation of the protocol will not involve new customs infrastructure. Any processes on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum, he added.

“Although there will be some limited additional process on goods arriving in Northern Ireland, this will be conducted taking account of all flexibilities and discretion, and we will make full use of the concept of dedramatisation,” according to the command paper.

Businesses in Northern Ireland will have unfettered access to the rest of Britain’s market, and there will be no tariffs on goods remaining within Britain’s customs territory and no new customs infrastructure, said the paper.

Northern Ireland businesses will be able to benefit from the new free trade agreements that Britain will strike with countries around the world, said the paper.

“The command paper outlines how the protocol can be implemented in a pragmatic, proportionate way: one that protects the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland, recognises Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom and its internal market, provides appropriate protection for the EU Single Market, and respects the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland,” said the government in a press release.

The protocol arrangement will only remain in force as long as the people of Northern Ireland want to keep it, with elected institutions in Northern Ireland deciding whether to extend or end the arrangements in a vote every four years, starting in 2024, said the government.

Trade arrangements on the island of Ireland was one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the protracted trade negotiations between London and Brussels.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

East African truck drivers praised over delivery of goods amid COVID-19 crisis

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The East African regional business and private sector watchdog on Wednesday praised truck drivers for their continued delivery of essential commodities across the east African borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The East African Business Council (EABC) based in Tanzania’s tourist city of Arusha said in a statement that the truck drivers were among those risking their personal health to keep products moving to stores, hospitals, homes and elsewhere during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, truck drivers continue to deliver essential commodities including food, personal protective equipment(PPE), medicines, raw materials within and across the East African Community (EAC) borders, said the statement.

“The EABC appreciates and recognizes the selfless dedication of truck drivers who are delivering goods to health facilities, factories and consumers,” said the statement signed by Peter Mathuki, EABC Executive Director.

“This will boost the availability of medical, PPEs and food crucial to protecting the health of our citizens and improving food security in the region,” said the statement.

The statement said stigmatization against truck drivers should never be an option, as this may lead to a disruption in the supply chain in the EAC member countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, thus affecting further trade and investment.

“Let us support our truck driver in the region, our unsung heroes on the wheel delivering essential cargo into and out of our countries,” said the statement.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Turkey hikes import tariffs on more goods to help ailing economy

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Turkey on Wednesday temporarily raised taxes on a wide range of goods, the second series of tariff hikes in a week as the country struggles with the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

According to the decision published in Turkey’s Official Gazette, additional tariffs of up to 30 per cent will be imposed on over 800 imported items for the next four months.

“The items include construction materials, car parts and iron and steel products.

“The new tariffs will remain in place until October and could later be reduced by up to 10 per cent,’’. Turkey’s Official Gazette noted.

Turkey began easing coronavirus restrictions recently, but the already ailing economy will have to reckon with falling income from tourism and exports in the coming months.

Recently, Turkey introduced sweeping tariffs of up to 30 per cent on a range of imported goods including home appliances, jewellery, agricultural machinery and musical instruments.

ACO/

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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