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Ministry to support NGOs to sensitise women on dangers of cancers

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The Ministry of Women Affairs on Friday pledged to support non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to sensitise Nigerian women on the dangers of breast and cervical cancers.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, made the pledge, while receiving COVID-19 protective materials from an NGO, OCI Foundation, in Abuja.

Tallen appreciated the organisation’s support to collaborate with the ministry and their selfless services in the advocacy for girls, women on cervical and breast cancers.

“The mandate of the ministry is to empower women and children resulting from crisis, humanitarian situations and indeed COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.

“I commend your efforts; what you are doing is in line with the UN advocacy for HeForShe as women cannot do it alone, we appreciate,” the minister said.

She, however, said that the ministry would continue to support the NGO morally and technically, in programming and advancing the course of women and vulnerable groups in the country.

Tallen said the ministry was committed to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to promote welfare and rights of vulnerable groups to access preventive and quality healthcare services.

Earlier, the Head of Advocacy of the Foundation, Mr Sam Agwa, said that their visit was to solicit the support of the ministry on their promotion initiative.

According to Agwa, the initiative seeks to introduce anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer teachings into the curriculum of all Nigerian senior secondary schools.

“It also creates anti-cancer awareness for our women and children in ways that facilitate early empowerment,” he said.

Ogwa also said the presentation of anti-COVID-19 materials, including hand sanitisers, handwashing soaps and customised face masks from the OCI Foundation, was to support the ministry as the workers are gradually resuming duty.

“We also join the Federal Government and other healthcare leaders in calling on every
Nigerian to practice preventive measures including safe social distancing, regular handwashing and sanitising, wearing of face masks, and staying indoors as much as possible,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

Foreign

Turkey kills at least 7 YPG, PKK members in Syria and Iraq: ministry

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Turkish security forces killed five members of the Syrian Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, and two members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, Turkey‘s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

Two PKK terrorists have been neutralized in Avasin region in an airstrike after they were determined by means of reconnaissance and surveillance. Our operations continue until the last terrorist is neutralized,” said the ministry in its Twitter account.

Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralize” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

In a separate statement, the Defense Ministry also said that the Turkish commandos “neutralized” five members of the YPG in northern Syria as they were trying to “infiltrate into the region of Peace Spring aiming to destroy peace and security environment.”

Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts. These operations are intensified in the past few months. PKK members often use northern Iraq to launch cross-border attacks in Turkey.

Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the PKK. The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Ministry confirms 1 new COVID-19 case in Enugu, discharges 5

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The Ministry of Health in Enugu State has announced one new confirmed COVID-19 positive case, bringing the number in the state to 19.

The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, announced this in a statement on Saturday in Enugu.

Obi also said that five old cases were discharged from the state isolation and treatment centre after tested negative to the dreaded virus.

He said that the state is now left with six active cases, having discharged 13 patients.

“One more positive case has been confirmed in the state.

“Total number of cases for Enugu State is now 19, with six active cases and 13 discharged.

“The new COVID-19 patient (Case 19) is a 40-year-old female, who hails from Igbo-Etiti LGA.

“The patient had returned home from Lagos State in violation of the restriction order on inter-state movement,’’ the commissioner said.

According to him, the ministry of health is providing treatment for the existing cases, responding to emergency alerts, carrying out contact tracing and following up on suspects.

He urged the public to strictly adhere to the directives of the Federal and Enugu State governments as well as the public health advisories of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and the state ministry of health.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Brazilian Economy Ministry predicts greater GDP decline in second quarter

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Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) will show a greater decline in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian Economy Ministry stated on Friday.

“The harmful effects on the health of the Brazilian population and our economy still persist. Therefore, the economic result of the activity will, in the second quarter, be even worse,” the ministry said in a statement, predicting an increase in unemployment, bankruptcy, and poverty in the country.

Economic activity in the country fell 1.5 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous three months, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics reported on Friday.

The ministry said that the government has adopted measures to cushion the country from the initial shock as well as the lasting effects of the crisis, but that prolonging the period of isolation could worsen the crisis and compromise the speed of economic recovery.

The ministry proposed a series of measures to mitigate the economic effects of the crisis, such as supporting structural reforms, modifying bankruptcy legislation and opening trade, among others.

The Brazilian government has said that, in the face of the economic impact of the pandemic, it intends to promote privatizations, concessions, and fiscal reforms.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Finnish ministry wins World No Tobacco Day Award

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As the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) draws near, Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has received this year’s World No Tobacco Day Award issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry said in a press release on Friday.

The award recognizes the ministry’s long-term commitment to work on tobacco control and its exemplary actions to protect the public, particularly young people, from exposure to smoking.

Back in 2010, Finland amended its Tobacco Act and the objective of reducing smoking was changed to ending the use of tobacco products in the country by 2040. In 2016, the act was updated with the new objective of ending the use of tobacco and other nicotine products in Finland by 2030.

As of May 20, menthol has been officially banned as a flavoring of tobacco products throughout the European Union, and also in Finland, to keep teenagers from taking up smoking.

To reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes among young people in particular, Finland has also strictly regulated the use of e-cigarettes and prohibited characterizing flavors in liquids for e-cigarettes.

The WHO recognizes Finland’s efforts in curbing tobacco use, and considers the country’s anti-tobacco policy exemplary in Europe. Finland has also globally led the way in implementing successful anti-tobacco policy measures under the direction of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Every year, the WHO recognizes individuals or organizations for their achievements in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of World No Tobacco Day Awards.

According to the WHO, tobacco kills about eight million people around the world every year.

World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated worldwide by the WHO and its member states on May 31 every year since 1987. The theme of this year’s No Tobacco Day is protecting young people from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

Abacha Loot III: Ministry of Justice opens technical bid for implementation monitoring

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The Federal Ministry of Justice on Thursday opened technical bids for Consultancy Service to monitor the implementation of Abacha loot III.

The News Agency of Nigeria that the Consultancy Service is to undertake the monitoring of the implementation of the tripartite agreement on the Sharing, Transfer, Disposition, Repatriation and Management of the Abacha Forfeited Assets.

Mrs Ladidi Mohammed, Head, Asset Recovery and Management Unit, Ministry of justice declared open the bidding process.

Mohammed said the process is in tandem with the Asset Return Agreement of Feb. 3 by the Nigeria government, the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

‘`This Agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets.

“The government is committed to supporting and assisting in expediting the construction of the three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria in the agreement.

“The projects are the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road, and the Second Niger Bridge,’’ she explained.

She said that the aim of the bid is to select a Civil Society Organisation Monitoring Team to oversee the implementation of the projects and report regularly on progress made to the public.

“This is to ensure transparent management of the returned assets’’.

NAN reports that the process for the engagement of the monitoring team commenced with adverts published in some media.

These include two Nigerian newspapers –Daily Trust and the Punch of March 4, and a Notice of Extension on April 17, the Federal Tenders Journal of March 9 and 23, and the Economist of March 14.

The adverts were also on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justicewww.justice.gov.ng.

Mr Nasiru Bello, a representative of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) while opening the bids noted that 17 organisations submitted entries for the technical bid.

He added that the bids will be handed over to the Evaluation Committee to ensure that due process followed all through.

The Due Process Mechanism is to establish and sustain an open, transparent and competitive procurement system that is integrity-driven.

NAN reports  that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had on May 4, confirmed the receipt of 311,797,866.11 million dollars of the Abacha assets repatriated from the U.S. and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

According to Malami, ` the amount increased from over 308 million US dollars mentioned in the press release issued in February to 311,797,866.11 million dollars following the accrued interest from Feb. 3 to April 28 when the funds were transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria’.

“These recoveries are transparently and judiciously deployed in supporting indigent Nigerians as specified in the agreement signed with the Switzerland and the World Bank.”

“In line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days.

The NSIA is responsible for the management and execution of the projects to which the funds will be applied’’.

NAN reports that the recovered funds were allegedly laundered through the U.S. banking system and then held in some bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

Calculating Mount Qomolangma height may take months: ministry

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It will probably take two to three months for scientists to calculate and release the exact height of Mount Qomolangma, the world‘s highest peak, said China‘s Ministry of Natural Resources on Wednesday.

An eight-member Chinese survey team reached the summit of the mountain on Wednesday morning, erecting a survey marker and installing a GNSS antenna on the snow-covered peak. This marked the completion of the measurement field work.

With the measurement data, scientists will use multiple traditional and modern measurement techniques to perform comprehensive calculations. After data analysis and processing, they will further carry out theoretical studies and repeated verifications to determine the accurate height, the ministry sources said.

Complex calculations are needed to eliminate errors caused by factors such as temperature, air pressure and the refractive environment.

At the summit, the team members conducted a GNSS survey, snow depth measurement and gravity survey.

The GNSS survey was assisted by China‘s home-grown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. The high-altitude gravity survey set a new world record as the highest of its kind.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

India’s COVID-19 fatality rate among lowest in the world: Health Ministry

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India has about 0.3 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 of population which is amongst the lowest in the world, against the statistics of 4.4 deaths per 100,000 population for the world, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Tuesday.

It further said that the relatively low death figures, both in terms of mortality per 100,000 population and case fatality rate, represented timely case identification and clinical management of the cases in India.

According to Tuesday morning’s official data, total COVID-19 cases and the total number of deaths stood at 145,380 and 4,167, respectively.

The federal government along with the states governments are taking several steps for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach. These are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, said the statement.

The focus continues to be on prevention and containment measures so as to limit the spread of infection. Following of required hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and effective sanitation of frequently touched surfaces are critical to avoiding getting the infection.

It also cautioned that there is a need to ensure appropriate behavior to tide over this crisis, including regular use of the masks/face-covers and working towards protecting the elderly and vulnerable.

Maintenance of physical distancing in public is the social vaccine the world currently has against the COVID-19.

India has rapidly grown its testing capacity and is on track to meet the emerging requirements. It is now testing an approximate 110,000 samples per day. Capacity has been increased by augmenting number of labs, shifts, RT-PCR machines and manpower.

As of Tuesday, India has 612 total labs, 430 run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and 182 in the private sector to test the population for COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 recovery rate in the country continues to improve and presently it is 41.61 percent. A total of 60,491 patients have so far recovered from COVID-19. The case fatality rate in the country is also showing a downward trend from 3.30 percent (as on April 15) to around 2.87 percent at present which is amongst the lowest in the world.

The global average for case fatality is presently around 6.45 percent.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Turkey kills 4 PKK members in northern Iraq: defense ministry

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The Turkish army killed four members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in an air-backed anti-terror operation carried out in Hakurk region in northern Iraq, the Turkish defense ministry said Tuesday.

“Four PKK terrorists were neutralized in Hakurk region in northern Iraq after they were detected by reconnaissance and surveillance activities,” the ministry tweeted.

Turkey’s anti-terror operations continue without letup, it noted.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists who surrendered, were killed or were captured.

Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Turkey launches financial package for exporters amid COVID-19: ministry

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Turkey has launched a financial support package to protect exporters from the impact of coronavirus, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced on Friday.

The package, called the Stock Financing Support Package, has come into use through Turkey’s Eximbank, according to a press release issued by the ministry.

“The stock financing loan will provide convenience for our exporters, whose stocks increased due to low demand and canceled orders,” Pekcan said in the release.

As part of the package, the Credit Guarantee Fund set a 10 billion Turkish liras (1.47 billion U.S. dollars) limit for Eximbank.

The 7.25 percent interest rate credit’s limit will be 25 million Turkish liras for SMEs and 50 million Turkish liras for other firms.

Trade with Ankara’s main partners in Europe and the Middle East were hit by measures to contain the COVID-19. Turkey’s exports fell 41.6 percent year on year in April, according to official data.

Turkey has so far reported over 153,000 cases of coronavirus and 4,249 deaths, but the number of daily cases is falling and there has been a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions to kickstart the economy.

(XINHUA)

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

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