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Venezuela to strengthen bilateral relations with Nigeria – says Envoy

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Relationship

Abuja, March 13, 2019 Mr David Neives Velasquez Caraballor, the Venezuelan  Ambassador to Nigeria, has said that  the country is determined  to strengthen  relationship with Nigeria for meaningful growth.

Caraballor, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday  in Abuja, described the relationship between  Nigeria and Venezuela as cordial and mutual.

He said the two countries shared common interests in areas such as oil and gas, agriculture andmining.

“Nigeria as the giant of Africa is a very important economy to us and we have similar capacity in oil, mining and agricultural sectors, which are special areas.

“We look forward to improving relationship with Nigeria in big capacity in these sectors and we hope to invest in these areas of economy, to promote our bilateral trade.

“We have a historical relationship with Nigeria; Venezuela and Nigeria are members OPEC, now Nigeria holds the Secretary-General position.

“We are now working energetically in the oil sector corporation; we are working to solve similar problems.

“In Venezuela we have more than 20 Nigerian students studying Medicine; two years ago we had more than 16 of them in the Agricultural field and other areas.

“Our position now has further deepened in in terms of foreign and individual relationships; we are working to establish a new level of bilateral relations with the Ministry of Foreign, ” he said.

He said agreement had been established between the two countries in area of fight against illicit drugs through ECOWAS.

He noted that more than 500 Nigerians were resident in Venezuela, while less than 120 Venezuelans live in Nigeria.

The envoy said that 19 Venezuela Embassies had so far been established across Africa and that efforts were ongoing  to improve on the number.

He added that  efforts were being made to ensure  direct air flights from Nigeria to Venezuela and vice versa.

“We do not have any direct flight; we do have agreement to have a direct flight between Venezuela and Nigeria or other African countries, we are working on this area.

“Also, we will continue with the social plans on partnering with Nasarawa State in the promotion of social cooperation in the area of education.

“We are working to increase the number of Nigerian students in Venezuela, to improve the mechanism for recognising their certificates and also working to improve on our cultural bilateral cooperation.”

He identified health, education and sport as priority areas Nigeria could benefit from in the relationship.

“We have planned to increase to a high level the bilateral relation between Venezuela and Nigeria, this year we hope to have a joint commission meeting to check all these agreements.

“This is to ascertain what has been signed or pending to sign or on need for new proposal, to promote our bilateral relations,” he added.

Foreign

Burkina Faso, Cape Verde says climate change affects the region

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Climate

-Edeni

Abuja, Nov.21, 2019( NAN) Parliamentarian from Burkina Faso and Cape Verde on Thursday said that Climate change was one of the major challenge affecting the countries.

The Parliamentarian said this during their countries reports at the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament held in Abuja.

Hon. Jeremie Sankara, Member of the Parliament from Burkina Faso said that Climate change has adversely affected the rural development due to the constant decline in rainfall.

He said that degradation has affected 34 per cent of land in the country which represents more than nine millions hectares of arable lands.

“Climate change is adversely affecting rural development, owing to the constant decline in rainfall in terms of volume and quality of precipitation as well as high temperatures, upsurge in the number and intensity of floods, droughts and wind storms.

“These extreme weather conditions hampers the performance of agricultural, livestock and animal production systems which had lead to increase population movement as well as serious humanitarian problems and economic losses.”

According to him, the government is set to implement a specific action plan to improve on the agricultural production.

“To improve the living conditions as well as the production and consumption patterns of the people to prevent environmental degradation and the degradation of the living environment.

“The government has fast-tracked the implementation of Specific actions and measures defined in the second National Rural Sector Programme (PNSR 11) to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production in the country.”

He said that to facilitate the transition to free economy, the government would take actions to improve environmental governance, promote the reduction of green house gas emissions and enhance the resilience of grassroots communities to climate change.

Hon. Carlos Delgado from Cape Verde delegation said that Climate change is a major challenge in the country.

He said that integrated policies are being implemented in the field of environment, aiming at ensuring greater environmental sustainability, competitiveness and territorial organisation.

“It should also be noted that Cape Verde faced three conservative years of drought with very low rainfall; the country has faced and continues to face serious problems with lack of grazing for animals.

“The government has been required to implement emergency mitigation plans to address years of drought, fortunately, it has been able to count on some of its partners.

“Cape Verde continues and will continue to participate in global and regional environmental research networks, particularly those dealing with investigation of its effects of the phenomenon of climate change.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament which commences on Nov. 20 will end on Dec. 14.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Morocco seizes 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in anti-smuggling raid

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Morocco seizes 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in anti-smuggling raid

Cannabis

Rabat, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) The Moroccan police on Thursday said  that they seized 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in an anti-smuggling raid near the Northern city of Nador.

According to a police statement, two suspects, aged 37 years and 40 years, with connections to international drugs rings were arrested during the raid late Wednesday.

The statement said that investigations are underway to uncover more accomplices.

A car and a large quantity of equipment were also seized.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said that in spite of efforts to crack down on cannabis cultivation in the past decade, Morocco remains one of the world’s largest producers of the narcotic plant.

The Moroccan security authorities seized more than 112 tonnes of cannabis and its derivatives by Sept. 15 this year, official statistics show.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Chinese scientists develop lab grown meat from animal cells

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Meat

Nanjing, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Chinese scientists have produced 5 grams of meat cultured from animal muscle stem cells, according to a university in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The Nanjing Agricultural University announced this on Thursday that the team led by Zhou Guanghong harvested the meat after cultivating pig muscle stem cells for 20 days.

It is the first meat developed from muscle stem cells in China, according to the China Association of Agricultural Science Societies, which conducted an evaluation of the technology.

Current manmade meat mainly refers to plant based meat that is made by extracting plant proteins from soybeans, peas, wheat and other vegetables and grains with a similar taste to that of meat fibers.

Cultured meat, however, is produced by painlessly harvesting animal cells and nurturing them to create muscle tissue.

According to Zhou, the cultured meat they developed has similar texture and color to ordinary minced pork, but safety evaluations and large scale production technology are required before it hits the market.

Plant based meat has already come onto the market.

Impossible Foods Inc., an American company that develops plant based substitutes for meat products, made its debut on the Chinese mainland at the second China International Import Expo earlier this month in Shanghai to seek opportunities in China.

A Chinese team in Beijing also introduced plant based meat into the market in September by selling mock meat stuffed moon cakes.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim downing of spy drone near Saudi border

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim downing of spy drone near Saudi border

Claims

Sanaa, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Thursday claimed they shot down a spy drone near Saudi Arabia border.

The group’s al-Masirah TV reported “our air defense downed a spy drone belonging to the Saudi-led coalition in al-Sawh area near the border of the Southern Saudi region of Najran.’’

There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen for over four years.

The coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 to support the internationally-recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. (Xinhua/NAN)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Acting Lega serie A chief named after 2018 election irregularities

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The Italian football federation (FIGC) has appointed a provisional president of the Lega Serie A to replace Gaetano Micciche, who resigned after the revelation of irregularities in his election. The federation on Thursday approved the appointment of Mario Cicala, the head of FIGC’s supervision body, as acting Lega chief until the Serie A clubs vote in a new president in an election set for December 2.

Cicala would take full charge only in case the Lega fail to appoint a new boss; he would then have to organize new elections before March 2020.

Micciche quits his job this week before the FIGC closed investigations into his election in March 2018.

Federation president Gabriele Gravina said that no counting of the votes followed what was described as an election by acclamation, which contravened Lega’s secret ballot rules and invalidated the procedure.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Foreign

Toddler in India dies after falling into hot curry pot

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Toddler

New Delhi, Nov.21, 2019 The police on Thursday told dpa  that a four-year-old boy in India fell into a hot pot of curry and later died of injuries.

The police said the accident happened on Monday when the child was playing near the pot.

The family, from the city of Shabad in the state of Telangana, were holding a party at the time.

The boy died a day later in hospital because of severe burns.

The police are now investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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