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International Women’s Day: Scientists urge women, girls to believe in their capabilities

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In commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), some female scientists have urged

women and girls to believe in their capabilities, pursue their dreams and ensure the opportunities they deserved come by merit.

The scientists made the call on Friday in Abuja in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria .

IWD is celebrated annually on March 8 as movement for women’s rights, after the Socialist Party of America organised a Women’s Day on Feb.

28, 1909 in New York and in 1910, the International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested an annual Women’s Day.

Meanwhile, the 2019 International Women’s Day has “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” as its

theme.

The theme focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, social protection systems,

access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

Dr Rakiya Babamaaji, the Head, Natural Resources Management Division, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)

said women should believe that they could venture into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) careers.

She said “those courses are not reserved for men. Women and girls should believe that with hard work, they can break any

barrier. Girls should have that confidence.

“Women should always be ready to mentor younger women, guide them and give back to the girls in secondary schools, in the university and be an inspirational story

to them.”

Babamaaji urged government at all levels to sponsor more science programmes and give more grants and equal opportunities to women.

According to her, the best should always win irrespective of sex.

“Government should do more awareness creation in the development of science and technology for women, equip science labs in schools with up-to-date facilities.

“Government also needs to encourage more exhibitions, excursion because you catch them as they are young.”

Mrs Olayinka Fagbemiro, the National Coordinator, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) complained about “discrimination against

women especially in sub-Saharan Africa.”

She said that some parents believed that the girl-child would end in the kitchen, hence no need waste resources training her.

She added that women should invest in themselves and attain their desired goals in spite of hurdles in the society.

“I encourage women globally to pursue their dream; do not let your dream die by virtue of gender.

“Women should be ambitious, no one should limit you, the society should not limit you, put in much effort so you gain opportunities by merit.

“Women should nurture themselves healthwise because there are peculiar health issues with women.

“If you are in the right frame of mind, mentally stable, physically stable, you can pursue your dreams,” Fagbemiro  advised.

Mrs Nwanneka Ibekwe, the President, Women In Aerospace Nigeria (WIAN) also compelled women to get involved in science and technology development.

She said “women, girls have all it takes, they should believe in themselves and get involved.”

She, therefore, urged government to deliberately encourage girls and women to study STEM, stressing that “education is the bedrock of every achievement.

There will not be development without knowledge, so, efforts should be made to educate girls for overall development of societies.” 

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China’s Guangzhou to host international anti-epidemic supplies expo

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The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou will host an international expo featuring anti-epidemic supplies on June 10, the municipal government said on Tuesday.

The expo has attracted more than 400 enterprises, as well as 65 consulates and 30 foreign commerce groups based in Guangzhou, said Yang Yong, director of the Guangzhou branch of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Photo taken on March 21, 2020 shows packed medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Tian Jianchuan)

Photo taken on March 21, 2020 shows packed medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Tian Jianchuan)

So far, more than 5,000 visitors, most of them potential buyers, have signed up for the event, the first off-line exhibition to be hosted in Guangzhou since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The expo will set up 850 booths in four exhibition halls, with a total exhibition area of about 36,000 square meters.

Organizers will assist foreign buyers with customs clearance and delivery of anti-epidemic supplies, taking advantage of an international distribution center located in Guangzhou’s Nansha free-trade zone.

The expo will also feature live streaming events in which participants of the expo will share their experiences of fighting the epidemic.

(XINHUA)

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Toronto Pearson International Airport implements new health and safety measures

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Concrete barriers with painted new policies are seen at Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, on June 1, 2020. Toronto Pearson International Airport implemented new health and safety measures such as mandatory face coverings and the barring of “meeters and greeters” from inside its terminals to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on Monday. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

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Namibia’s beef exports to international markets not affected by COVID-19

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Namibia’s beef exports to international markets have not been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, a major beef export company said Monday.

According to Mwilima Mushokobanji, CEO of the Namibia state-owned meat processing firm Meatco, some of the countries hard hit by the pandemic have since closed their meat processing plants thus experiencing a deficit in food supply, which has resulted in a high demand for Namibia’s beef.

“Our logistical routes remain competent and open and we can still export to China, Norway and the United States through Capetown,” he said.

He said he however fears that export beef availability might reduce as farmers did not restock enough after the drought.

“This is going to be a tough year because the throughput has been very low because farmers de-stocked in bigger numbers last year so some of the farmers are busy rebuilding their herds,” he said.

Namibia’s main beef export countries are China, European Union and the United States of America.

(XINHUA)

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Myanmar’s airport extends restriction on operation of international air services to mid-June

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The restriction of operating international air services at the Yangon International Airport was further extended to June 15, according to a notice from the Yangon Aerodrome Company Limited (YACL), operator of the airport on Friday.

Aiming to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the suspension of international air services was first set from March 30 to April 13 and later the effective period was extended thrice, to April 30, to May 15 and to May 31, respectively.

Meanwhile, domestic air travel remains operational at the airport, the notice said.

The Yangon International Airport handled 1.46 million passengers in the first quarter of 2020, down by 17.14 percent compared to the corresponding period of last year, due to the travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Angola extends deadline of Port of Luanda terminal international tender

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Angola has extended to June 30 the deadline for the submission of bids for the concession and operation of the multipurpose terminal of Port of Luanda, the Concession Evaluation Commission said on Friday.

The extension of the deadline results from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission said.

Launched on Dec. 16, 2019, the international tender had previously set March 30 this year as the deadline for the opening of the bids.

The terminal has an annual handling capacity of about 2.6 million tons per year. The company to win the international tender will manage the terminal for 20-25 years.

The main aim of the tender is to promote development and improve efficiency of the port activity through the participation of seasoned private firms in this sector.

Local and international companies with experience in port management are invited to take part in the international tender, the commission said.

Luanda port terminal handles both general cargo and containers. It has an annual handling capacity of 2.6 million tons.

(XINHUA)

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UN declares Sept. 9 International Day to Protect Education from Attack

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The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday proclaimed Sept. 9 as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.

President of the Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, said in a statement that the proclamation came through Resolution 74/275 adopted by member states under the “silence procedure”.

In the resolution, the member states reaffirmed the right to education for all and the importance of ensuring safe and enabling learning environments in humanitarian emergencies.

They decried growing attacks on educational institutions, their students and staff, in contravention of international humanitarian law.

The resolution strongly condemned such attacks, which it said impede the “full realisation of the right to education, in particular of women and girls”.

It expressed concern about the use of schools for military purposes in contravention of applicable international law.

According to the resolution, military abuse of schools might also affect the safety of children and teachers and the right of the child to education

The document also conveyed the “deep concerns” of member states about “school-related violence against girls, including sexual violence and harassment on the way to and from, and at school”.

Such act “continues to deter girls’ education and, in many cases, the transition to and completion of secondary education”, it stated

The resolution said those risks might influence parents’ decision to allow girls to attend school.

It urged “all parties to armed conflict to fulfil their applicable obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law”.

These include respect for civilians, including students and educational personnel, and civilian objects such as educational institutions.

The document called for efforts to promote safe and protective school environments in humanitarian emergencies.

It urged all Member States, the UN and other international and regional organisations, civil society and all other stakeholders to observe the day.

It invited the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund(UNICEF) to facilitate observance of the day

The cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the resolution should be met from voluntary contributions, the resolution stressed.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Suing China over COVID-19 against international law: expert

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Some U.S. officials’ attempts to sue China for causing the COVID-19 pandemic are outright violations of international law, according to an article carried by Wednesday’s People’s Daily.

According to media reports, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against China in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, demanding that the Chinese government take responsibility and make compensations for the global pandemic.

It was a gross violation of China‘s national sovereignty and the principle of sovereign equality which is widely acknowledged by the international community and the UN Charter, according to the article under the byline of Huang Jin, president of the Chinese Society of International Law.

Huang criticized the move as an illegal act which is totally against international law.

China‘s coronavirus response is a kind of sovereign or public action instead of a commercial action and should be protected by sovereign immunity, according to Huang.

The lawsuit was based on groundless ideas that China should be held accountable for the pandemic and that the Chinese government was hiding the outbreak, Huang said.

“These accusations have no factual or legal basis in international law,” he said.

The origin of the coronavirus is a matter for scientists to study and answer and shall not be politicized, said Huang, noting that according to international law, the question on the virus’ origin has nothing to do with state responsibility.

Huang pointed out that the Chinese government’s efforts in releasing information and epidemic prevention and control have complied with the International Health Regulations.

The coronavirus damages in the United States were caused by the missteps of the country itself and have no causal relationship with China‘s COVID-19 response, Huang stressed.

China itself is a victim of the virus, Huang stressed. “We strongly oppose any attempt to politicize the pandemic and stage a farce of illegal accountability.”

(XINHUA)

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Kenya’s ex-rugby international Allan Makaka dies in road accident

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Kenya’s rugby fraternity is in mourning following the sudden death of former Kenya Sevens international Allan Makaka in a road accident.

Makaka, who was working for Royal Media Services, was killed when his vehicle rammed into a stationary trailer from behind on a deserted highway in the capital Nairobi on Friday. He was 37.

The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) confirmed his death on Saturday while leading tributes to the former international, who was hailed as one of the fastest wingers to ever wear the national team shirt.

“A warm individual off the pitch, Allan’s death is indeed a huge loss to his family, friends, colleagues and the rugby fraternity,” the KRU wrote in a statement.

Born on June 28, 1982, Makaka was a former Kenya Sevens international and was part of the squad that played at the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

He made a total of 57 appearances in the Sevens World Series, scoring 28 tries to rank 21st overall amongst Kenya’s all-time try scorers in the World Series.

Fiji’s sevens legend Waisale Serevi once described Makaka as one of the fastest players that he had ever come across.

“The Royal Media Services (RMS) family mourns the death of our colleague Allan Makaka following a tragic road accident on May 22, 2020. His family has lost a loving husband, father and son, while RMS and the world have lost a vibrant creative genius,” his employers posted on Twitter as Kenyans took to social media to pay tribute to Makaka.

(XINHUA)

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Ethiopian Jewish immigrants arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Ethiopian Jewish immigrants arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport near central Israeli city of Tel Aviv amid the COVID-19 pandemic on May 21, 2020. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

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

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