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International Women’s Day: NGO urges FG to enforce laws prohibiting child trafficking

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International Women’s Day: NGO urges FG to enforce laws prohibiting child trafficking

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A non-governmental organisation, Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), has urged the Federal Government to enforce laws against child trafficking, especially the Girl’s Rights Act, and other irregular migration from the country.

Mrs Rosemary Adaji, Programme Officer of WFI, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Gwagwalada, to commemorate the International Women’s Day celebration.

According to her, the rising cases of child and human trafficking in the country are becoming worrisome and require immediate attention to curb the menace.

Adaji disclosed that victims of child trafficking are often forced into prostitution, pornography, child labour, suicide bombing and ritual activities at tender age.

“Child trafficking has contributed in great measures to the ongoing humanitarian crisis around the globe; there is need to make laws to end the menace.

“Child trafficking seems to concern only civil society organisations, may be because political leaders feel it does not affect them directly.

“There are many Nigerian children trafficked to Spain for sexual and labour exploitation.

“Nigeria has become a fertile ground for child trafficking due to lack of social protection for those living in poverty.

“So, I want to call on our government to put up good laws that will prohibit and, if possible bring trafficking to a complete end,” the WFI official said.

Adaji advised youths in the country to desist from any act that would warrant them being trafficked or lured into prostitution and other crimes.

Foreign

COVID-19 vaccine development requires international cooperation, say Israeli experts

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International collaboration is vital to quickly producing a COVID-19 vaccine to save lives worldwide, say Israeli medical experts.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, multiple groups of researchers around the world have been working hard to find the cure or treatment as early as possible.

Dina Ben-Yehuda, dean of the medicine school at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said one country could hardly achieve success single-handedly in the vaccine development.

“We need international collaboration to save the world. And I hope that nobody will forget it,” she stressed.

Ben-Yehuda praised China for transparency in sharing its research findings regarding the coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fact that Chinese physicians and scientists felt a responsibility to publish everything, even the bad results, helped many people around the world and saved lives,” said Ben-Yehuda.

China shared the initial information about the virus DNA with all other countries so that every one of them could work on vaccines and treatments. This kind of collaboration should continue for the benefit of all humankind, according to the professor.

Oren Zimhony MD, head of the infectious diseases unit at Kaplan Medical Center, said the international collaboration now on creating a vaccine is stronger than ever.

There are approximately eight main directions taken to work out a vaccine for COVID-19. Such a variety of possibilities increased the odds of finding the right way to the desired result, according to Zimhony.

“The major game-changer to overcome this pandemic is vaccine development,” Zimhony said, who believes that the first clinical implications of the intense vaccine research will be available in six months.

Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infection prevention control unit at Sheba Medical Center, believes that only a vaccine could stop the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“It seems there is no proper treatment for COVID-19 disease patients, and the only effective global cure would be a vaccine,” she noted.

The biggest challenge in the work, according to Regev-Yochay, is to find a completely safe vaccine for everybody and a reliable way to deliver it to all kinds of people with different health situations.

“We need to be very cautious with vaccines. It’s much more complicated than clinical trials with the drugs,” stressed Regev-Yochay.

Many COVID-19 patients don’t have symptoms or have mild ones, “so we need to make sure we don’t inject them with vaccines, drugs, or chemicals that could do more harm than good,” she said.

International sharing of information could help researchers compare the effectiveness of different vaccines and speed up the progress of the development.

According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, currently more than 130 COVID-19 candidate vaccines are being developed worldwide, with about 10 of them being already in clinical evaluation.

Among the vaccine challenges is also its mass production for the use of all of humanity, which calls for global cooperation.

“We need to vaccinate billions of people around the globe. Better to do it before the upcoming winter to prevent the dangerous effect of dual infection of influenza and COVID-19,” said Zimhony.

Ben-Yehuda said she believes new technologies of computational medicine and international sharing of big data could help create personalized medicine for COVID-19 infection, as the virus affects people differently.

(XINHUA)

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India pledges $15m to international vaccine alliance

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, pledged $15 million to “Gavi”, the international vaccine alliance, while participating in the virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020, said an official statement issued by the PM office.

Addressing the summit, Modi said India stands in solidarity with the world in these challenging times.

Referring to Gavi, he said it is not just a global alliance but also a symbol of global solidarity and a reminder of that by helping others we can also help ourselves.

“India has a vast population and limited health facilities and that it understands the importance of immunization,’’ he added.

He also stated that India had digitised its entire vaccine supply line and developed an electronic vaccine intelligence network to monitor the integrity of its cold chain.

These innovations are ensuring the availability of safe and potent vaccines in the right quantities at the right time till the last mile, he said.

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Kyrgyzstan prepares for resuming international flights

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Kyrgyzstan is preparing for the resumption of international flights, which was canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s headquarters for the fight against coronavirus said on Thursday.

Airports in Kyrgyzstan are planned to be ready for international flights from June 15 and the resumption of international flights will be carried out by a separate decision of the country’s government, the statement said.

The headquarters noted that foreign and domestic airlines should provide their plans about when and how many times they will carry out their flights.

The health authorities of Kyrgyzstan also plan to take additional sanitary and quarantine measures at the airports to prepare for the resumption of international flights.

At the same time, in order to prevent the import of the virus, the Ministry of Health has proposed to introduce the requirements for the mandatory medical report confirming the absence of COVID-19 from passengers received 3-5 days before they fly to Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, domestic flights in the country will be resumed from June 5.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

India pledges 15 million USD to international vaccine alliance

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pledged 15 million U.S. dollars to “Gavi”, the international vaccine alliance, while participating in the virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020, said an official statement issued by the PM office.

Addressing the summit, Modi said India stands in solidarity with the World in these challenging times.

Referring to Gavi, he said it is not just a global alliance but also a symbol of global solidarity and a reminder of that by helping others we can also help ourselves. “India has a vast population and limited health facilities and that it understands the importance of immunization,” he added.

He also stated that that India had digitized its entire vaccine supply line and developed an electronic vaccine intelligence network to monitor the integrity of its cold chain. These innovations are ensuring the availability of safe and potent vaccines in the right quantities at the right time till the last mile, he said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Thai agriculture ministry to join hands with Chinese e-commerce giant to tap into international online market

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Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on Thursday told the media that it is in discussions with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to tap into its online market, aiming to woo 260 million customers from 190 countries and regions.

“The ministry is coordinating with Alibaba company for the development of small and medium-sized agricultural entrepreneurship, farmers’ institutions and farmers to do business and sell Thai agricultural products to foreign markets on the Alibaba platform,” said Alongkorn Ponlaboot, the Ministry‘s advisor.

Alongkorn said the ministry and Alibaba had earlier named the project “Thai Agriculture going Forward to the World Market with Alibaba.com.”

He said there are hundreds of successful Thai entrepreneurs using the Alibaba platform as a channel to sell Thai products to the world market.

More than half of the Thai entrepreneurs launch their agricultural products onto the Alibaba platform. The agricultural products include cassava, rice, black garlic, pineapple, corn, as well as processed agricultural products from black garlic and sugar.

According to Stephen Kuo, Asia-Pacific head at Alibaba.com, more than 170,000 products from Thailand are already on the platform.

“And many more new Thai entrepreneurs also express interest to showcase their products on Alibaba platform,” Stephen Kuo said.

Thailand’s top five product categories are food and beverage, agriculture, beauty and personal care, apparel, and home and garden.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Thailand develops odour-proof boxes to store durian for international shipments

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The Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) on Thursday has unveiled a brand new fruit packaging innovation to store strong-odoured fruits like durian.

Since Thai durians have been classified as an export item, we need to ensure that we can store durians to retain its freshness as well as ensure that its odour don’t permeate outside the box,” said Chutima Eamchotchawalit, governor of TISTR.

“With this new innovation, e-commerce operators and fruit growers will be able to send durians via couriers without worrying that the latter would reject delivering highly perishable and smelly fruits,” Chutima said.

The TISTR governor said that the Thai government wants to push Thai signature durians into the world, and without a proper innovative packaging, the pungent smell would push customers away.

She said odor-proof boxes are well responded by wholesale and retail durian sellers as well as exporters.

Beside the odour-proof boxes for durians, the TISTR has developed new packages for mangoes that are strong enough to allow storage under load and ensure its strong packaging during shipment.

She said these types of innovative packaging are important as pungent durians when entering hotel, may get rejected before entering the venue.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, Thailand was the largest durian exporter in 2019, according to the Department of Trade Negotiations.

The Ministry of Commerce’s department said that Thai durian exports were valued at 817 million U.S. dollars last year.

“Therefore if we want to push Thai durians to remain number one in the world market, we must ensure that it packaging must remain unrivaled too,” said Chutima.

(XINHUA)

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Libya’s UN-backed government forces take over Tripoli International Airport

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Forces of Libya’s UN-backed government on Wednesday announced taking over the former International Airport in the south of Tripoli from the rival eastern-based army, as the armed conflict between the two parties continues.

“Our brave forces completely freed the Tripoli International Airport and are now pursuing the fleeing forces of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army) towards Qasr bin Ghashir in the east of the airport,” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement.

The spokesman added that the UN-backed government’s forces have launched ten airstrikes on the eastern-based army in the airport.

The UN-backed government’s forces on Wednesday launched an operation to “free Tripoli International Airport.”

For more than a year, the eastern-based army has been trying to take over Tripoli and topple the UN-backed government by leading a military campaign.

The fighting killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others, despite repeated international calls for cease-fire.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Afreximbank partners International Trade Centre to enhance businesses in Africa

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The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), says it is collaborating with International Trade Centre (ITC), to help businesses make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Amadou Sall, the Manager, Communications and Event (Media Relations), Afreximbank.

Sall said that Afreximbank would be teaming up with ITC to train small-business owners and young entrepreneurs in Africa to trade with other African countries as part of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the training would be focusing on how to export within the AfCFTA, a new free-trade area amid the economic strain of climate change and the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, the training will give business owners the knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively in cross-border trade under terms of the emerging free-trade area for Africa.

He quoted ITC Acting Executive Director, Ms Dorothy Tembo, as saying that Intra-African trade was structurally low at 15 per cent compared to Europe at nearly 70 per cent, for example.

And the AfCFTA will open a market of 1.2 billion people.

“Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 health and economic crisis, African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need support to take full advantage of the continental market.

“Through this partnership, African businesses will have the opportunity to learn, plan and succeed in growing their business by taking full advantage of the AfCFTA,” Tembo said.

Similarly, Ms Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, said the initiative was necessary.

According to her, increasing intra-African trade through exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the cornerstone of the AfCFTA.

“It signals an optimal strategy to aid businesses and develop regional value chains, which have become more relevant with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our joint initiative with ITC is a proactive way to support the implementation of the AfCFTA and to provide SMEs with the tools to respond more effectively to the economic and social challenges presented by the global pandemic,” Awani added.

She said that the training would be conducted through ITC’s popular multilingual SME Trade Academy platform, under the auspices of the Afreximbank Academy (AFRACAD).

She further explained that the programme would be piloted in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire and would be launched in close collaboration with trade promotion organisations of the three selected pilot countries.

Afreximbank and ITC will work toward increasing opportunities for small-business owners to export and supporting countries to achieve their overall trade goals at the regional, continental and global levels.

ITC is also partnering Afreximbank to support South Sudan in increasing its trade competitiveness, boosting its exports through economic diversification and creating investment opportunities through the development of a trade and investment promotion strategy

Awani noted that the promotion strategy would identify several priority sectors with a high potential for trade and increasing job opportunities, especially for women and young people.

ITC will work with the country’s ministry of trade, investment agencies and private-sector associations to ensure the strategy provides sustainable solutions for the country’s development,’’ she said.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Former Japan international Kanazaki tests positive for COVID-19

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Former Japan international footballer Mu Kanazaki has tested positive for COVID-19, his club Nagoya Grampus has announced.

The announcement was a hard blow for the J-League, which last week decided to resume the first division league season on July 4 behind closed doors.

Nagoya said that club staff will resume work from home because of Kanazaki’s infection.

Kyodo news agency said that the 31-year-old Kanazaki had a headache and a 38.5 degree celsius fever after a group training session on Friday. He underwent a test for the coronavirus on Monday, with the positive result being released the following day. He is currently hospitalized in the Aichi Prefecture.

The number of confirmed cases has continued to rise in Japan since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency two weeks ago. A total of 34 new infections were reported in Tokyo on Tuesday, marking the first time since May 14 that new daily infections topped 30.

(XINHUA)

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