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Presidential hopefuls in Poland make final push ahead of Sunday vote



Presidential hopefuls in Poland make final push ahead of Sunday vote



Poland’s presidential hopefuls, incumbent Andrzej Duda and Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, will make a final push to mobilise voters on Friday, the last day of the presidential campaign ahead of the Sunday vote.

At midnight on Friday (2200 GMT), a pre-election silence sets in: The publishing of opinion polls and campaigning will be prohibited.

The period of silence ends at 9 pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday, when polling stations close and exit polls are published.

Duda plans to complete his campaign in the country’s south-east, where his support is the strongest. He is to start his day in the Subcarpathian region before travelling north to the city of Zamosc, where he will meet voters before midnight.

Trzaskowski plans to campaign in small towns in the south-west. These locations used to be the turf of his centrist Civic Platform party, but they have drifted away in recent years.

According to opinion polls, the election will be closely contested.

Polls from the recent week give Trzaskowski between 45 and 47.5 per cent support, while Duda can count on between 44 and 47.3 per cent of the vote. Some 5-11 per cent of the voters are still undecided.

The election is considered a plebiscite for or against the government of national-conservative party Law and Justice (PiS), which supports the incumbent.

A Duda win would consolidate the party’s grip on power, while his defeat could start the erosion of the PiS government.

According to some commentators, the stakes of the vote are even higher.

“It is not a choice between a more right-wing and left-wing option… This election is about Poland remaining a part of Western civilization or drifting further east,” political scientist Anna Materska-Sosnowska told dpa.

Duda’s actions, including infringements on the constitution or attacking court independence, are signs that “fundamental democratic values are not his priority.”

His win might lead to an “Orbanization” of the Polish political system, including a clampdown on the media or local governments, she said.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Emmanuel Yashim: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


Early voting in Belarusian presidential election begins



Polling stations for casting ballots in the Belarusian presidential election have opened in most regions of the country for citizens unable to vote during the national election day on Aug. 9, according to a Sputnik correspondent.

Early voting will take place from Aug. 4 to Aug. 8.

Polling stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (from 07:00 to 11:00 GMT) and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The voting is taking place in the presence of at least two members of the precinct election commission at the commission’s office.

According to the Belarusian Central Election Commission, more than 6.8 million citizens will be able to vote in the current presidential election, including 5,319 people currently residing abroad.

A total of 5,767 polling places have been set up for the vote, including 44 in Belarusian embassies and consulates in 36 foreign countries.

However, early voting is not being held in sanatoriums, preventoriums, hospitals, and other health organisations providing medical care in stationary conditions.

The presidential election in Belarus is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Five people are registered as candidates, including the current head of state, Alexander Lukashenko.

The campaigning started on July 14 and will last until Aug. 8.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Hurricane Isaias makes landfall with stronger than expected winds



Hurricane Isaias hit the United States east coast late on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometres per hour (km/h), according to the United States national hurricane service (NHC).

The hurricane made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach in the state of North Carolina, just after 11.00 p.m. (0300 GMT Tuesday) and had stronger winds than forecasted.

The NHC has warned inhabitants in affected areas of possible “life-threatening” storm surges, flooding and “dangerous winds”.

Further north on the United States east coast, New Jersey Governor Ryan Murphy announced a state-wide state of emergency, shutting down all state offices and advising people not to drive.

Earlier on Monday, the NHC reclassified Isaias as a hurricane and gave it level one hurricane status, the lowest level.

The hurricane was expected to ease on Tuesday over North Carolina and move further north-east near the coast.

Isaias had passed over parts of the Bahamas as a hurricane on Saturday, but weakened again into a tropical storm on its way towards the east coast of Florida.

The storm did not hit land in Florida, despite initial predictions it would. 


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Oil prices fall as rising coronavirus case numbers cast shadow over fuel demand pickup



Oil prices slid on Tuesday amid concerns that a nascent recovery in fuel demand could stall as a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections around the world sparks tighter lockdowns.

This is just as major producers ramp up output.

United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 30 cents, or 0.7 per cent to $40.71 a barrel at 0414 GMT, while Brent crude futures fell 37 cents or 0.8 per cent to $43.78 a barrel.

The slide comes after WTI rose 1.8 per cent and Brent climbed 1.5 per cent on Monday on better-than-expected data on manufacturing activity in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The activity is showing factories were emerging from the worst of the early coronavirus pandemic impact.

“On the demand side, we had quite encouraging global manufacturing (data) … but there’s still quite a bit of evidence of the oil demand recovery stalling in quite a few markets with a resurgence of COVID-19,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, Head of commodity research at National Australia Bank (NAB).

Denting fuel demand, cities from Manila to Melbourne are tightening lockdowns to battle new infections, while Norway has stopped cruise ship traffic in the latest European travel alarm.

In a further sign of a patchy rebound in demand, analysts estimate United States refined product stockpiles rose last week, according to a preliminary Reuters’ poll ahead of data due from the American Petroleum Institute industry group later on Tuesday and the United States government on Wednesday.

Five analysts estimated, on average, that United States inventories of gasoline rose by 600,000 barrels.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, likely grew by 800,000 barrels, while crude stocks fell by 3.3 million barrels in the week to July 31.

At the same time producers in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, are stepping up output this month, adding around 1.5 million barrels a day of supply.

United States producers also plan to restart shut-in production and inventories remain near historical highs.

“I think it is fair to say that most oil market participants expected more downward pressure on oil to start the week with COVID-19 ravaging the landscape and OPEC+ adding more barrels into play,’’ said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at AxiCorp, in a daily note.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Tougher COVID-19 measures as Melbourne closes retail shops, pubs



Tougher new measures have been announced in the COVID-19-ravaged Australian city of Melbourne, with retail businesses, shops, pubs, and hotels shut down amid rising coronavirus cases.

“All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable,” state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday.

All retail business, pubs and hotels, as well as manufacturing, will stop operations from 11:59 pm (1359 GMT) on Wednesday for six weeks to curb the recent spike in COVID-19 community transmission, Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“Retail will look very different than it has ever looked,” he said.

Only essential shops, like supermarkets, groceries, fuel suppliers, pharmacies and post offices, are to remain open. Some of the shops will be able to offer “click and collect” services or delivery.

Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, is Australia’s second-most populous city.

It has been hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic since June.

Thirteen people died from coronavirus overnight, driving the state toll to 136 and the national toll to 221, Andrews announced, with 429 new cases of the disease, with a vast majority of them being in Melbourne.

On Sunday, a “state of disaster” was announced, along with a slew of strict six-week-long restrictions, including a night curfew from 8 pm to 5 am in Melbourne, with on-the-spot fine of 1,652 dollars (1,179 US dollars) for anyone breaching it.

Residents can also not travel more than 5 kilometres from home to shop for groceries or exercise.

The state parliament has been suspended.

All recreational activities and weddings have been banned.

While the use of face masks is compulsory, restrictions are in place until Sept. 13.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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