UN Secretary General António Guterres has expressed concern over rising tensions in the gulf region, calling on all actors to exercise “maximum restraint”.
UN spokesperson, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, conveyed Guterres’ message while briefing correspondents in New York on Wednesday.
“The Secretary General is following with growing concern recent incidents and hardening rhetoric in the gulf region which threatens to further destabilise an already volatile situation.
“In particular, he condemns the recent attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and stresses the need for further investigation to determine the facts and hold accountable the perpetrators.
“He also condemns the drone attacks on oil facilities in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility,” Dujarric said.
Tensions are high in the region following a decision by the U.S. to end exemptions from sanctions for major importers of Iranian oil, according to the BBC.
In April, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it was prevented from using the waterway, through which about a fifth of the oil consumed globally passes.
On Sunday, four commercial ships were attacked off the UAE in the gulf near Fujairah port, outside the Strait of Hormuz.
Neighbouring Saudi Arabia said two Saudi oil tankers were affected in the incident, described by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a “sabotage attack”
The U.S. has deployed warships to the region in recent days to counter what it called “clear indications” of threats from Iran to its forces and maritime traffic, the BBC reported.
Iran dismissed that allegation, calling for a full investigation into the attacks.
The drone attack in Saudi Arabia, which occurred on Tuesday, targeted the Aramco East-West pipeline that stretches across the country to the port and oil terminal at Yenbu.
The Ansar Allah fighting group, also known as the Houthis, claimed responsibilities for the attacks, which reportedly caused minor damage but rattled the international community.
Guterres recalled that recalls that attacks targeting civilians and infrastructure violate international humanitarian law.
“The Secretary General calls upon on all actors to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tension,” the spokesman said.
Zimbabwe police ban people from traveling into city center to curb spread of COVID-19
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Tuesday introduced a stricter COVID-19 enforcement regime where many people were barred from entering the city center, as positive cases spiked to 203 from 63 seven days earlier.
Most of the new cases are however imported and local transmissions have remained very low.
Many motorists and passengers using public transport were reportedly turned back home as the police insisted on particular “essential services”, despite some having documents showing that they were also covered under the COVID-19 Level 2 lockdown regulations.
“The ZRP urges members of the public to observe that the country is still under Level 2 national lockdown in order to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Only essential services, businesses in the formal commercial and industrial sectors were exempted to operate during this period,” it said.
“The rest of the public should stay at home in order for the nation to curtail the increase in new COVID-19 cases being recorded. Please note that it is not everyone who should be in the Central Business District. Let us all be security and health conscious in view of the increase of COVID-19 cases,” the police said.
Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana also reminded citizens that the country was still in lockdown.
“Government has not pronounced a change in lockdown regulations. We are still on Level 2 lockdown and permitted economic activity should go ahead. Police are only enforcing the pronounced and gazetted Level 2 conditions,” he said on Twitter.
He allowed industry and commerce to reopen under strict health regulations while informal businesses bars and gymnasiums remained closed.
There is also a ban on inter-city and cross-border movement, except transportation of cargo.
COVID-19: Cititrust donates N1m for provision of PPE
The Cititrust Holdings on Tuesday donated N1 million to Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health workers at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Adefisan said that the company was operating in 13 African countries and still expanding its globe.
He said that the company had made donations in other Africans countries.
The group chief executive said that the company would continue to donate to the state governments for materials and PPE.
He hoped that the equipment would get down to the right people to help support the vulnerable and those suffering from COVID-19.
Receiving the donation, Mr Paschal Achunine, Executive Director, HEI, said his NGO recognised that timely provision of PPE was critical to winning the war against COVID-19.
“We have been working with hospitals in the last five years and we know their touch points, every Kobo committed to us get maximum value,” Achunine said.
He said that HEI had been consistent in 27 hospitals in Lagos, including Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja and Isolation Disease Hospital (IDS), Yaba.
The executive director said that his NGO had been providing support and resuscitation for indigent patients and accident victims when taken to the hospitals.
He said that resources were limited and challenges were there, urging companies and individuals to key into the emergency trust fund.
Achunine appealed to the masses to take precautionary measures, stay alive and note that the landscape had changed.
Aviation stakeholders seek review, sustainability measures as airports reopen June 21
They appealed to the government to ensure that the resumption of flights would be in compliance with approved protocols for safe operations by the airlines.
The President of ASRTI, Dr Gbenga Olowo, said that the sector required more initiatives than just reopening the airports.
“Three weeks is good enough to do the needful by all stakeholders, because we never stopped strategising and talking all through the lockdown. It’s time to walk the talk.
“It is expected that all states should open up their economies and indeed all countries should open simultaneously their activities because aviation connects economies.
“So, while we continue to battle with the virus, our economic life line must not be destroyed. The two are directly related. Just as disease can kill, hunger can also kill and even kill faster.
“Hunger destroys the immune system and makes citizens susceptible to Covid and non Covid attack,” he said.
Olowo said that airlines had been advancing in technology prior to COVID-19 on social distancing through self service for online ticketing and payments, self service check in, self service security and passport controls,among others.
Olowo said: “Face masks, handwashing and sanitisation will be a necessary and sufficient condition for travel.
“Health certificates valid for at least 14 days, scannable on phones just like boarding pass, should be a necessary condition for travel to avoid isolation at the destination.
“This is a challenge for port health.
Olowo said that on board, social distancing would be quite challenging except aircraft would be configured to all first class seating arrangements for economic operations.
According to him,no airline can ever break even with less than 40 per cent load factor at the extremely low fares prevalent in the market, where pasengers pay less than 100 dollars per hour on jet engines.
“The dichotomy is, can the passengers afford higher levels of tariff ?
“This is where government’s intervention in airline economics is needed in Nigeria by deliberate application of subsidies on fuel, taxes, airport charges,VAT, five per cent or lower interest rate on loans, and quick foreign exchange (FX) availability in order to lower airlines’ cost of operations,” he said.
Also, the Secretary General, ASRTI, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd), said that government’s non-fiscal monetary bailouts for aviation operators should only be given to airlines not indebted to the government’s service providers.
Ojikutu said that the industry was going through a hard time under the pandemic, adding that the stakeholders needed to make sacrificial efforts instead of insisting on financial bailouts from government.
He said: “We may come out worst of the present situation than we are now.
“Government on the other hand should give the operators palliatives but it must not be monetary because previous financial interventions running to hundreds of billions of Maura giving to the domestic airlines are yet to be recovered fully after almost 10 years.
“Government should make airport landing and parking free, free air navigational charges for not more than three months for domestic airlines only after easing of lockdown on operations.
” Fifty per cent Passengers Service Charge (PSC) discount for three months on all domestic passengers only should be considered.
“Gradual charges reversal and the incremental of all the service charges to 50 per cent of the normal charges in the next three months on all services provided by the government’s service providers should be considered .
“The next three months will attract 75 per cent changes of the normal charges. The next three months after the first one will attract 100 per cent revert to the full charges.
“The Passenger Service Charge will also revert to 100 per cent after the first three months of concession”.
Also, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, a member of the association, said that the resumption of airlines was normal which should be subjected to the directives and the guidelines of the airports’ authority for effective safety procedures.
Ohunayo said that social distancing and nose masks’ wearing should be enforced before boarding and while on board.
He added that serving of food should be stopped on board, while sanitisers should be given to passengers.
“The cabin crew should also put in place measures to ensure effective safety procedures within the three weeks’ window before reopening.
“Training and retraining of operational staff should be in compliance with government’s regulations,” he said.
Namibia’s arts industry continues to be hampered by impact of COVID-19
Namibia’s highly competitive art exhibition, the Bank Windhoek Triennial, which celebrates visual art in the country, has been shifted to next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the organizers announced Tuesday.
Staged every three years, the triennial showcases the quality and diversity of artwork produced by Namibian artists and is sponsored by Bank Windhoek and organized by the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN).
As a result of the impact of COVID-19, the new deadline for artists to submit their artwork is Nov. 6, 2020, and judging of the artworks will take place in early February 2021, while the official opening of the Bank Windhoek Triennial is in April 2021, they said.
“The pandemic has severely affected the visual arts industry. Thus, prompting the decision to allow visual artists more time to work on their submissions to ensure they submit quality artwork,” said Bank Windhoek’s Head of Corporate Social Investments, Sponsorship, and Events, Bronwyn Moody.
Despite the setback, NAGN’s Chief Executive, Snobia Kaputu said they look forward to innovative works of art, and therefore encourage all artists who meet the qualifying criteria to enter the competition.
The triennial aims to celebrate visual art in Namibia, while providing a continued platform for the development and promotion of the visual art industry. The first event took place in 2008.
Portraits of May 2020
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A COVID-19 patient shakes hands with a nurse as he is moved out of an ICU ward of a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Francisco Avia/Xinhua)
596 new COVID19 cases reported in UAE, 35,788 in total
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday announced 596 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 35,788.
The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said in a statement the new cases, of many nationalities, are in a stable condition and receiving medical treatment.
The Ministry also confirmed three more death, pushing the country’s death toll to 269.
Environmentalist raises concern about effects of climate change
Odubote, a climate change enthusiast, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
He appealed to government at all levels to treat the issue of climate change with utmost urgency and not with lip service.
“When we checked efforts in combating the effects of climate change in the country, we observed that government had embarked on a lot of advocacy efforts.
“Nothing is really being done to combat the growing effects of climate change. Government needs to view effects of climate change with an urgent necessity.
Odubote also called for a time-based action plan aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in Nigeria as done in other African countries.
“We should not just stop at advocacy but we need to act. Government knows likely areas of greenhouse gas emissions and should provide a time plan to curb it.
“The cars release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, while the industries that generate a lot of gas should be looked into.
“We need a sustainable plan to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we generate as a country to tackle climate change effects,” Odubote said.
2 Turkish journalists injured in United States police raids on protests
Two journalists from Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT World were injured in police raids during the protests in the United States over the death of George Floyd, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported Tuesday.
Sally Ayhan, a Washington-based correspondent of TRT World, was injured in the chest and the leg by plastic bullets during live coverage, Anadolu said.
Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the United States after a video went viral of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the midwestern United States state of Minnesota a week ago.
Namibian gov’t condemns brutal killing of African-American citizen in United States
Namibia’s Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in a statement issued Tuesday said it has been following with great concern the events surrounding the death of George Floyd.
The Namibian government has since expressed its solidarity with the African-American sisters and brothers and has called on all to exercise restraint in venting their legitimate and justified anger.
“Racism is a crime against humanity and should have no place in any society anywhere in the world,” Namibia’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said in the statement.
Nandi-Ndaitwah meanwhile called on the government of the United States to deploy all efforts at ensuring that the rights and human dignity of all its citizens, including in particular the African-Americans and all other minorities are upheld, respected and protected under law.
- Zimbabwe police ban people from traveling into city center to curb spread of COVID-19
- COVID-19: Cititrust donates N1m for provision of PPE
- Aviation stakeholders seek review, sustainability measures as airports reopen June 21
- Namibia’s arts industry continues to be hampered by impact of COVID-19
- Portraits of May 2020
- 596 new COVID19 cases reported in UAE, 35,788 in total
- Environmentalist raises concern about effects of climate change
- 2 Turkish journalists injured in United States police raids on protests
- Namibian gov’t condemns brutal killing of African-American citizen in United States
- Delta Commissioner raises alarm over coronavirus patient
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- German Govt. debates huge coronavirus stimulus package
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- Israeli PM says discussing West Bank annexation plan with United States
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- Spotlight: Silver linings of COVID-19 in Singapore
- Table tennis latest sport in Germany to recommence
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- Archbishop wants children to be law abiding law
- German police investigate after poisoned drinks found in supermarkets
- UNRWA provides food at refugee camp in Gaza City
- Kano State Fire Service saves 73 lives, N704m goods in 1 month
- China vows consistent financial policy to curb housing speculation — Central Bank
- Children play at Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre in Lisbon
- Wuhan authorities say they tested 9.9m people for COVID-19
- Gov. Ortom pledges to revive Ameladu Water Works
- German diocese to pay victims of abuse up to € 75,000
- Liverpool will not ease up after sealing EPL title —- Klopp
- UK Prime Minister hosts global vaccine summit June 4
- Over 127 journalists die from COVID-19 globally: PEC
- Thai army to assist in repatriating more citizens stranded overseas
- Lockdown: Osun to meet religious leaders on worship centres reopening
- Indonesia tells Hajj pilgrims to stay home amid COVID-19 uncertainty
- Palestine says seeks UN resolution against Israel’s annexation plan
- Police arrest suspect over threats against Israeli prime minister
- Accelerating increase of COVID-19 cases seen in South Asian countries as Bangladesh records biggest daily jump
- Gov. Makinde’s first year achievements impressive, says Oyo CAN
- Nursery schools reopen in Belgium
- Floyd’s death to inspire change in America: Ghanaian president
- COVID-19: Bauchi State begins testing in new molecular laboratory – Official
- Philippine gov’t says Hong Kong affairs “purely a Chinese matter”
- Negative interest rate likely in Australia despite central bank’s insistence otherwise: economists
- Vietnam records no new COVID-19 cases, 5 more patients cured
- COVID-19: BUA Foundation donates N200m, 5 ambulances to Lagos govt
- Sri Lanka reports second leopard death within a week
- Police seek information on kidnapped poultry farmers in Oyo
- Bosnian interior minister quits amid fights on migration, corruption
- Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatics team fly over Rome on occasion of Republic Day
- Kuwait records 28,649 COVID-19 cases, 226 deaths
- Spanish gov’t assures State of Alarm extension after pact with Ciudadanos party
- Australian government launches national domestic abuse inquiry
- Turkey vows to continue drilling activities in Eastern Mediterranean
- China to further boost financing for small businesses
- Buhari approves ministry’s request for security of telecoms infrastructure
- Olowo assures Nigerian Army of more support
- News Analysis: Most expect Italy’s economy to rebound later this year, but few agree on how much
- French economy likely to contract 11 pct in 2020 due to coronavirus: minister
- Investors showing more confidence in Thai economic recovery: Thai Capital Market Org
- Sri Lanka begins PCR tests for COVID-19 at int’l airport
- COVID-19: Bayelsa records second death
- Iran close to containing forest wildfire in southwestern region
- IPMAN urges members to comply with new petrol price
- Osun court remands man over alleged threat to life
- ICAO adopts new COVID-19 aviation recovery ‘Take Off’ guidelines to reconnect the world
- Pandemic expands investment opportunities in Africa’s health sector: report
- Turkey, Russia hold 14th joint patrol in Syria
- Russian guards detain drunk Ukrainian serviceman for illegal border crossing
- Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 150,000 mark: Africa CDC
- BACCIMA appoints 4 directors
- Iran’s confirmed COVID-19 cases hit 157,562 with 3,117 new cases recorded
- Court remands 3 over alleged robbery, arson in Osun
- Rapper M.I lends voice to Violence against women in society
- Landslides claim 20 human lives in India’s Assam state
- Post-COVID-19: Expert tasks parents on discipline
- Kwara records 23 new cases of COVID-19
- Roadside bomb kills 3 civilians, wounds 4 in Afghanistan’s Sari Pul province
- Britain, EU start fourth round of trade talks for post-Brexit era
- Namibia cancels 2020 Mining Expo due to COVID-19 outbreak
- FIFA asks leagues to use ‘common sense’ over Floyd protests
- FBN Holdings completes sale of Insurance to Sanlam
- Bayelsa records 2nd COVID-19-related death
- Rorh must win trophies, not just qualifying for tournaments – Akanni
- 10 killed, 28 injured in strong winds across Myanmar in 2 months
- People have fun at Pacifica beach in San Mateo County, United States
- ADB expands trade finance program to support Bangladesh private sector
- Principals, essential partners in reviving education standard – Ogun govt.
- Indian PM says India to get growth back despite COVID-19 impact
- Wait times for elective surgeries “through the roof” in Australian hospitals due to COVID-19
- Chinese workers, engineers building Belt and Road projects amid COVID-19
- Four South Sudan soldiers shot dead by Ugandan military in contested border area
- Germany adds 213 new COVID-19 cases, total at 182,028
- Istanbul’s nostalgic tram resumes services as COVID-19 pandemic eases
- Four St. Louis police officers hit by gunfire in violent protests — police
- Uganda reports 32 new cases of COVID-19
- Nigerian celebrities mourn late Majek Fashek
- Nigeria to resume film production under coronavirus guidelines
- Over 2,800 Myanmar nationals arrive home by relief flights
- Zimbabwe records 26 new COVID-19 cases, raising total number in country to 203
- Interview: Floyd’s death highlights racial discrimination in United States — expert
- Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu, ASUU hail Unilag VC at 60
- Nigeria yet to reach peak of contagion as COVID-19 cases cross 10,000: official
- Indian 2-wheeler sales decline by 70-83 pct in May as COVID-19 bites
- Philippines’ overall BOP position post 448 million United States dollars surplus in March
- Indonesia reports 609 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 22 new deaths
- National Museum and National Gallery of Australia reopen after COVID-19 closure
- Plateau Speaker salutes Rep Wase at 56
- Minister, Buhari’s Aide, others react as Majek Fashek dies in New York
- Nigerian newspaper decries African American glass ceiling
- Africa’s COVID-19 cases hit 150,000 – WHO
- COVID-19: Islamic forum urges scholars to live by example
- 13 killed in landslides in India
- Bangladesh reports highest daily rise of 2,911 COVID-19 cases, death toll tops 700
- Activist says Buhari’s achievements excites opposition
- COVID-19 cases in Philippines climb to 18,997 with 359 new infections
- Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality group re-opens hotels as lockdown eases
- S. African ruling party deplores racial discrimination in United States
- Russia’s COVID-19 cases top 420,000, deaths over 5,000
- Medical Council validates 4 COVID-19 test kits – Registrar
- Over 10 die in landslides in India’s Assam state
- Alert sounded in India’s western coastal areas ahead of Cyclone Nisarga
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- Spotlight: Unrest over Floyd’s death continues across United States as protests go global
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- UK PM unveils “limited” easing of coronavirus lockdown measures
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- Philippine airline companies to resume limited domestic flights starting June 3
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