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Old Mutual Assurance donates Cleaning materials’ to Yabatech

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In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Company on Wednesday donated cleaning materials to Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech).

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos signed by Joe Ejiofor, Head of Public Relations, Yabatech.

The statement said that the company as part of its contribution to the cleanliness the College also contributed joined in the cleaning exercise of the surrounding area of the Administrative building.

It said that the exercise was coordinated and supervised by work amp  services unit of the institution.

The nine-man team of Old Mutual Nigeria, led by the Marketing Executive, Mrs Alero Ladipo said that that the company being an international firm decided to partner with Yabatech.

Ladipo added that the Institution is highly reputed in Nigeria  and has academically impacted the lives of students positively.

She noted that Old Mutual being one of the oldest insurance companies in Nigeria was delighted to associate with Yabatech for synergy,  to change the lives of the students for good.

“The institution has been identified as the environment where the company can make changes and contribute  its own quota to the institution’s development.
“The school is commended for the level of cleanliness in the College environment.
“The items donated to Yabatech are, five pieces of 240 Litre Waste Bins, five pieces of Safety Rubber Boots, five pieces of Safety Face Masks, 10 pieces of Safety Gloves and Corporate Gift items,’’ Mrs Ladipo said.

The Collage Librarian, Mrs Taye Adebowale, who received the gifts on behalf of the Rector, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, said the Management of the College was eternally grateful for the company’s generosity.
She thanked Old Mutual for chosing Yabatech out of numerous institutions in Nigeria for the kind gesture.

She also requested for more of  such gesture from Old Mutual.

BAO/IFY

Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole

Foreign

Mongolia’s capital holds annual book festival to promote reading amid pandemic

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The 27th annual Ulan Bator Book Festival is underway here to promote a reading culture, especially among children and youth, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day festival starting on Friday is held both online and offline for the first time, attracting around 500 authors, publishing houses, organizations as well as thousands of readers.

Co-organized by the city’s cultural department and non-governmental organization Nomiin Soyolt Yertunts (World of Book Culture) under the auspices of the country’s education ministry, the festival includes a wide range of activities such as meetings between authors and book lovers, book exhibitions and the launch of new books.

As of Saturday, Mongolia has confirmed 193 COVID-19 infections, including four foreign nationals.

All the cases are imported ones, mostly from Russia, with no local transmissions or deaths reported so far.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra holds first concert after COVID-19 lockdown

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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the golden hall of Vienna’s Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, on June 5, 2020. The first concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was held on Friday after a COVID-19 lockdown at Vienna’s Musikverein. Only 100 guests are allowed in the concert hall because of government regulations. (Photo by Dieter Nagl/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

4 soldiers killed, 17 wounded in clash with rebels in southern Philippines

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Four soldiers have been killed and 17 others wounded in a clash with about 40 suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels in a remote village in the Philippines’ Sulu province, a military spokesman said on Saturday.

Major Arvin Encinas of the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said the 40-minute fighting broke out around 8:20 a.m. local time on Friday in a village near mountainous Patikul town, a known stronghold of the extremist group.

Encinas said two Abu Sayyaf bandits were also killed in the fighting.

The troops are maneuvering for an assault when they engaged with about 40 Abu Sayyaf terrorists, he added.

Abu Sayyaf is considered the smallest but one of the most violent extremist groups in the southern Philippines. The group, which has an estimated 400 fighters, is active in the impoverished island provinces of Sulu and Basilan.

The group is responsible for the series of kidnappings, deadly bombings, ambushes of security personnel, public beheadings, assassinations, and extortion in the Mindanao region.

The group, which has been terrorizing the Philippines’ southern region since the 1990s, preys on foreign tourists, businessmen and fishermen not only from the Philippines but also from Indonesia and Malaysia, hiding them in Philippine jungles or remote islands.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Biden crosses threshold to clinch Democratic presidential nomination

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Former United States Vice President Joe Biden on Friday crossed the threshold for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to an estimate by the Associated Press (AP), locking up a contest for the White House with incumbent President Donald Trump.

The AP projected that Biden, now the sole remaining presidential candidate in the Democratic Party, has won 1,993 delegates to the national convention, surpassing the benchmark number of 1,991 needed for nomination.

The estimate came as Biden swept through primaries in seven states and the District of Columbia Tuesday. Although the votes were still being counted, Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who suspended his presidential campaign in April but remained on the ballot, failed to reach the 15-percent threshold, handing more delegates to Biden.

“It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded — and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party,” Biden said in a statement Friday night.

This year’s presidential election comes at a time when the United States is plagued by the coronavirus pandemic that has frozen the national economy, and, more recently, when nationwide protests against racial injustice have persisted for over a week following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the custody of white police in Minneapolis.

“The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that can bring us together,” Biden said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers over Israeli annexation plans

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A Palestinian protester holds national flags during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest against the Israeli annexation plans, near the West Bank city of Nablus, June 5, 2020. (Photo by Ayman Nobani/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg teams with Extinction Rebellion for climate change movie

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American actress Whoopi Goldberg has lent her voice to an Extinction Rebellion animated film highlighting the precarious state of the planet’s natural environment.

The three-minute film entitled “Gigantic Change” was released on Friday to coincide with World Enviroment Day.

It is set in 2050 and shows a girl asking her grandmother, voiced by Goldberg, to read a “happy” bedtime story.

After the grandmother chronicles a gloomy planet on the brink of environmental collapse back in 2020, the girl finishes off the tale, switching the narrative to one where the world came together to tackle climate change and protect nature.

While the ending is deliberately ambiguous, the film offers a message of hope.

The year 2050 is significant as it is when many nations have committed to becoming carbon neutral.

The film was created by Passion Pictures, the London studio behind the Rang-tan film for British supermarket chain Iceland, highlighting the threat of the palm oil industry to orangutans.

With the world slowly emerging from lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, climate action group Extinction Rebellion has been pushing the message that the human race must seize the opportunity to create a greener future.

The film ends with a caption saying that unless the human race changes course, by the year 2050, one billion people will be displaced and half of all species extinct.

Asked about Oscar-winner Goldberg’s involvement, co-director George Lewin said: “We thought her iconic voice would bring a perfect sense of gravitas to the performance.

“Plus she is outspoken on environmental issues and had the potential to inspire her followers to take action.

Gigantic Change went live on Extinction Rebellion’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram platforms on Friday.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara (NAN)
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Health

COVID-19: Red Cross supports 20,000 vulnerable households in 4 states

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has supported 20,000 vulnerable household farmers with seeds and cash to cushion the effect of COVID-19 in four states.

The ICRC disclosed in a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Dawobe, on Friday in Abuja.

The states are Cross Rivers, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Bauchi.

According to the statement, the seeds were distributed for the upcoming planting season.

“Distributions is also ongoing to another 16,000 families in Borno.

“Together with seeds, the farming communities also received cash to enable them to buy food during the lean season.

ICRC fears that without support, families could face a particularly difficult lean season, as COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, sending food prices up.’’

The statement quoted ICRC agronomist in Borno, Kouadio Kouame, as saying: “people have endured war and displacement and we are helping them to stand back on their feet.

The spread of COVID-19 made large distributions very difficult to organise.

“But if we miss the beginning of the planting season, it will take 12 months to catch up’’.

The UN estimates that in the North-East of Nigeria, 2.9 million people are food insecure and the figure could rise to 3.7 million by the June – August lean season.

People affected by the armed conflict and violence are particularly vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Prolonged, sometimes multiple displacements, insecurity, difficult access to land and other resources have tested their resilience, stretching it to the limit.

It said that ICRC had to revise its initial plan to adapt to the realities of the pandemic.

“Movement restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus added another layer of challenges to the complex security environment.

“At the same time, taking all the necessary measures to avoid people gathering in crowds and ensure handwashing doubled the duration of distributions,’’ ICRC stated.


Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Roundup: Palestinians hold mass rallies against 53 years of Israeli occupation

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The Palestinians organized on Friday mass demonstrations in the Palestinian towns and regions to mark 53 years of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of demonstrators joined a central rally organized by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and other factions in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, told the crowd that the Palestinian leadership’s decision to end all agreements and understandings with Israel “is serious.”

“The decision was a serious response to the annexation plan,” said Zaki, accusing the United States of being unjust toward the Palestinian people by backing Israel’s annexation plan.

Similar protests took place in other towns and villages in the West Bank, some of which even escalated into violent clashes with the Israeli army.

Medical sources said dozens of Palestinians were injured by the Israeli soldiers’ rubber bullets and tear gas in the clashes in the villages in the suburbs of Ramallah and in the west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

One Palestinian demonstrator was shot in his head by a rubber-coated metal bullet, while the other was shot in his chest, they said.

Dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling tear gas, the sources added.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called on the international community to turn its position against the Israeli annexation plan from words into deeds.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, said in a press statement that the international community should hold Israel accountable for its crimes.

He called on the international community to start practical steps toward recognizing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the territories Israel occupied on June 5, 1967.

Erekat accused Israel of allying itself with United States President Donald Trump to eliminate the Palestinian legitimate rights by declaring a plan to annex large areas in the West Bank.

“Israel is the one that started to annul the bilateral agreements by imposing facts on the ground through occupation,” he said.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas, which has been ruling Gaza since 2007, said in a press statement that the Israeli annexation plan “will never pass.”

All the attempts of the United States and Israel to take Jerusalem from the Palestinians, the Arabs and Muslims, as well as their attempts to uproot the Palestinian identity, will not succeed at all,” the statement noted.

(XINHUA)

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Kenya’s tourism stakeholders mull safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector players vowed on Friday to adhere to all safety and hygiene protocols against COVID-19 pandemic to instill confidence to both domestic and international travelers.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), a government marketing body, said hospitality has been among the first sectors in the country to be reopened with eateries and restaurants gradually reopening within set out guidelines of safety.

Betty Radier, KTB CEO, said safety measures against COVID-19 new normal operating environment is a priority which will be only achieved through well-defined industry protocols.

“The opening of travel will begin with domestic, here we should begin to show our preparedness and that we are ready to make sure that they are safe within our facilities,” Radier said during a tourism sector roundtable webinar hosted by the KTB.

The meeting brought together industry players to deliberate on the sector’s preparedness for resumption.

She pointed out that already facilities were picking and embracing hygiene and preparedness protocols.

“We have been able to see that with Nairobi National Park showing clarity in protocols and this has seen an increase in visitor uptake to the facility,” Radier said.

Kenya tourism is the third-largest source of foreign exchange, supporting about 1.5 million jobs especially in rural areas and dominates the service sector.

Mike Macharia, CEO of Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) said that he was confident that the industry is able to ensure that there is a set of protocols that are strictly adhered to by all to ensure that clients are confident with the services provided.

“As an industry, we have come up with a set of protocols. We believe that we can win this fight, we just need to focus. What is required is communication on behavioral change especially in other subsectors like transport to ensure that the numbers don’t continue to increase,” Macharia.

Alex Gitari, acting managing director of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), said that the organization is aligned to the measures that have been provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“I want to confirm that all the measures that we have come up with are in line with what ICAO provided. Some of them to mention a few are sanitization from the screening yard to the terminal building. We are also disinfecting the equipment within the airport as well as physical distancing within the premises of the airports,” Gitati said.

(XINHUA)

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