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Huge numbers of young people join unprecedented day of climate action

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 Children and teenagers walked out of classes all over the world on Friday to participate in a massive global climate protest.

In Sydney and other large Australian cities, tens of thousands of young people and adults joined the protests to demand no new coal or gas projects and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“They say ‘stay in school,’ ‘get good marks,’ but what is the point of that if our future is being ruined,” said 16-year-old Freya Croft in Sydney’s beach suburb of Manly.

In Bangkok, some 200 protesters marched through the city to submit an open letter calling on the Thai government to do more to mitigate climate change.

The Climate Strike Thailand group, which included participants as young as 7, demanded that the government declare a climate emergency.

The same demand was made on Friday by students at two major universities in the Philippines.

In South Africa, several hundred people gathered near the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg to join those around the world calling for more action against climate change.

With the sweltering heat seeming to back their demands, a colourful crowd sang, chanted and held up homemade posters with slogans ranging from “Don’t be a fossil fool” to “Let us now pause for a moment of science.”

Similar peaceful protests were held in Kampala in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya.

Organisers in Britain said some 200 protests were planned across the nation, including one in central London close to the British parliament.

Climate change activists Extinction Rebellion planned a separate event in London.

Activists were also participating in acts of protest further afield.

Civil society group 350.org post photos of young people “arriving now via boat in Marovo in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands ready for their #climatestrike #MatagiMalohi event today.”

The Solomon Islands is made up of hundreds of tiny islets that are some of the worst affected by rising sea levels and unpredictable seasons.

YEE

Emmanuel Yashim

Entertainment

Majek Fashek’s death, a huge loss to creative industry – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has described the death of late international reggae star Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly called Majek Fashek as a huge loss to the Creative Industry.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister said Majek Fashek’s death came at a time the creative industry has taken a hit from the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The statement was made available to newsmen by Mr Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of Tlthe Minister of Information and Culture

In the statement, the minister said Majek Fashek was an archetypal musician, who blazed the trail not just as a singer but also a song writer and a guitarist.

‘He blazed the trail not only for today’s reggae artists but for the entire generation of musicians in the country.

Makej Fashek will particularly be remembered for his groundbreaking album, ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, which featured timeless songs like ‘Send Down The Rain’, ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘Afrikans Keep Your Culture

” Long after his demise, Majek Fashek’s voice will continue to echo across space and time, thanks to those iconic songs,” he said.

The minister expressed condolences to the family, friends and fans of the late musician, as well as to the entire creative industry, and
prayed to God to grant repose to his soul and comfort his family.

”One of the best tributes we can pay to Majek Fashek is to do everything we can to ensure the rebound of the Industry, to which he
gave so much, from its present state, occasioned by the effects of the
pandemic,” he said.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Foreign

German Govt. debates huge coronavirus stimulus package

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Germany’s governing coalition is about to debate an economic stimulus package possibly worth 80 billion euros (89 billion dollars)  to soften the blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, made up of the conservative CDU and CSU parties and the centre-left SPD, were set to meet at the chancellery at 2 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday for a marathon debate that sources said was likely to last all night.

The parties are still at odds about how best to deploy the money.

Some of the options under consideration are up to 3 million euros per company to subsidise losses; premiums to encourage people to buy cars, thereby supporting the country’s all-important car industry.

Other options include a 300-euro payment per child to support families; additional funding for municipalities as they deal with growing unemployment; and a 28 billion euro investment in infrastructure projects.

Another point of contention is how much new debt the government should incur in the process of stimulating the economy.

Markus Soeder, the head of the CSU, said that not more than 100 billion euros of new debt should be incurred, a limit strongly rejected by the SPD.

The stimulus package would be one of the largest in the country’s history.

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the German government disbursed some 90 billion euros to support the flagging economy.

Once it has been agreed, the package still requires formal approval from Merkel’s cabinet, as well as the country’s lower and upper houses of parliament, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

The German economy is expected to contract by 6.6 per cent this year, the Ifo research institute said late last month.

By 2021, Europe’s largest economy is expected to rebound from its coronavirus-induced crisis to grow by 10.2 per cent


Edited By: Halima Sheji and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

 

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Foreign

1st LD Writethru: Seven killed in huge roadside blast in Somalia

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At least seven people were killed and others injured in a huge roadside blast in the Hawa Abdi area on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital here on Sunday morning, police and witnesses have said.

According to a police officer who declined to be named, the incident happened when a minibus carrying passengers to Mogadishu from Afgoye town, about 30 km southwest of the capital, hit a land mine planted along the road.

“So far, we can confirm that at least seven people were killed and others injured in the blast, but the figure could rise,” the officer said.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Several passengers killed in huge roadside blast in Somalia

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Several passengers were killed and others injured in a huge roadside blast in the Hawa Abdi area on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital here on Sunday morning, police and witnesses have said.

The police said the incident happened when a minibus carrying passengers hit a land mine planted along the road.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

U.S. blueberry growers see huge opportunity in China

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U.S. blueberry growers got a ray of sunshine when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced last week that blueberry was one of the agricultural products approved to be exported to China.

Exporting to China is a huge opportunity,” blueberry grower, Kourtney Ketterhagen of Mitchell Organics, told Xinhua Wednesday.

Ketterhagen, a third-generation blueberry farmer, with her kids set to become the fourth generation, grows high-end organic blueberries in Arlington township, Michigan, the leading state for cultivated blueberry production in the United States.

“The acidity of our soil dictates the rich flavor and hardiness of the berry,” Ketterhagen said. “Our premium berries are organic, we weed and trim by hand, and manage our plants and harvest very carefully. Demand always outstrips supply.”

The United States is the largest producer of blueberries in the world, and, according to United Nation‘s FAOSTAT, is responsible for over 56 percent of global production, or more than 700 million pounds (about 318 million kilograms).

A recent press release from the USDA said that U.S. blueberry exports to China could total 62 million U.S. dollars annually, reported Agweb, a U.S. agriculture news website, on Sunday.

Fresh blueberries from Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and North Carolina may be exported to China after treatment, according to the release. Blueberries from California, Washington and Oregon can export to China if growers use a systems approach to control pests.

USDA officials and Chinese plant health officials signed a work plan in May outlining the pest screening measures that blueberry producers must comply with to ship to China, according to the release.

Growers said that the latest move is very helpful to them, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak where supply chain disruptions have hit the blueberry farmers pretty hard.

Ketterhagen said her family had managed to weather the outbreak so far because they grow only premium blueberries but she saw the Chinese market as providing a potential lifeline for other growers.

China could be a real boon for our blueberry farmers in these difficult times,” she said.

(XINHUA)

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Huge potential for Singapore firms to enter China despite COVID-19 crisis: business experts

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Despite the economic fall-out from COVID-19, enormous business opportunities lie ahead for Singapore companies to venture into China – from the food tech space, transport and logistics to medical services, said Singaporean economists and business leaders on Tuesday’s webinar.

The “Beyond COVID-19: Mitigating the Impacts and Preparing for New Business Opportunities in China” webinar was organised by the Singapore Business Federation.

The panellists included Alex Capri, visiting senior fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS); Bert Hofman, director of East Asian Institute at NUS; and Eugene Wong, chairman of Singaporean tech company CrimsonLogic.

With regards to China‘s economic outlook over a period of the next two months to the next two years, Hofman said that initial growth of 2 to 3 percent is “possible” and will be largely driven by domestic demand. If nothing “disastrous” happens in the next year, there may be 6 to 7 percent growth for China to be “back on track,” he said.

Amid the restructuring of the global supply chain, Singapore will be an attractive destination for supply chains to relocate to, said Capri.

For instance, it has a high-tech semiconductor sector, is building its own 5G infrastructure as well as new capabilities in artificial intelligence and drones, said Capri.

On emerging business opportunities in China, Wong of CrimsonLogic said Singapore companies can look at sectors like technology, seek to raise the efficiency of China‘s transport and logistics industry, work with Chinese companies to improve healthcare services and develop food technology solutions for sustainability, and offer e-financing services.

“These are the few areas which are bright spots in the post-COVID period,” said Wong.

Post-COVID, the rise of telecommuting and e-commerce will also change the way Chinese and Singapore firms do business, said Wong.

Singapore firms should also tap on intergovernmental projects such as Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, and work with more private sector enterprises instead of state-owned enterprises, he added.

Capri reminded that Singapore companies have to think about an “In China, For China” strategy to better cater to the Chinese market.

(XINHUA)

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Gov. Oyetola mourns New Telegraph editor, says death huge blow to journalism

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Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has described the death of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Saturday Editor of The New Telegraph Newspapers, as “a devastating blow and a great loss to his immediate family and journalism in Nigeria”.

Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Monday in Osogbo, commiserated with Bakare’s family, friends, colleagues, the Journalists’ Hangout family and the management of The New Telegraph Newspapers over the loss.

The governor described Bakare as a hardworking, talented, cerebral and an accomplished journalist that would be sorely missed by all.

“I received with great shock the passing of Alhaji Waheed Bakare, Editor, Saturday New Telegraph.

“His death is not only a loss to his family, but also to the journalism profession.

“As people who believe in God, we should take it in good faith and give gratitude to God that the late journalist ran a good race and gave a good account of himself as a newsroom leader and gatekeeper.

“As a professional and a devout Muslim, Bakare showed class in the discharge of his responsibilities.

“My deep condolences go to the entire family, the New Telegraph management as well as all journalists in Nigeria. He will be sorely missed.

“I pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljanah Firdaus. I also pray Allah to comfort his bereaved family and loved ones,” Oyetola added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bakare died on Sunday after a brief illness.

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We have invested hugely on primary healthcare, says Edo Dep. Gov.

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The Edo Deputy Governor. Mr Philip Shaibu, says the state has  invested heavily on its primary healthcare system to meet the health challenges of the state.

Shaibu stated this shortly after he inspected the ongoing renovation work on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) holding centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, on Monday.

“For us in Edo, we have invested a lot on our primary healthcare system. The vision of this government was to improve all our sectors both in education and primary healthcare.

“We are using all our various healthcare centers across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

“Assuming we didn’t invest in our healthcare system, during this period of coronavirus pandemic, it would have been difficult for us to fight against the disease.

“We are upgrading and putting facilities in place to improve the system. It is obvious that Edo will become the hub for medical tourism in the country with the step we are taking now.

“The expansion and the renovation of this facility will further strengthen our healthcare system. We are looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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UNDP highlights huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with, recover from COVID-19 crisis

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday released two new data dashboards that highlight the huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic is more than a global health emergency. It is a “systemic human development crisis,” already affecting the economic and social dimensions of development in unprecedented ways, UNDP said.

Policies to reduce vulnerabilities and build capacities to tackle crises, both in the short and long term, are vital if individuals and societies are to better weather and recover from shocks like this, it said.

UNDP’s Dashboard 1 on Preparedness presents indicators for 189 countries — including level of development, inequalities, the capacity of a healthcare system and Internet connectivity — to assess how well a nation can respond to the multiple impacts of a crisis like COVID-19.

While every society is vulnerable to crises, societies’ abilities to respond differ significantly around the world, UNDP said.

For example, the most developed countries — those in the very high human development category — have on average 55 hospital beds, over 30 physicians, and 81 nurses per 10,000 people, compared to seven hospital beds, 2.5 physicians, and six nurses in a least developed country.

And with widespread lockdowns, the digital divide has become more significant than ever. About 6.5 billion people around the globe — 85.5 percent of the global population — still do not have access to reliable broadband Internet, which limits their ability to work and continue their education.

Preparedness is one thing. But, once a crisis hits, how vulnerable are countries to the fallout? UNDP’s Dashboard 2 on Vulnerabilities presents indicators that reflect countries’ susceptibility to the effects of this crisis.

Those already living in poverty are particularly at risk. Despite recent progress in poverty reduction, about one in four people still live in multidimensional poverty or are vulnerable to it, and more than 40 percent of the global population does not have any social protection.

“The COVID-19 pandemic also reminds us that disruptions in one place are contagious, triggering problems elsewhere,” UNDP noted.

(XINHUA)

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

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