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World Bank approves $48m to help Uganda contain locust plague

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The World Bank said its board of executive directors has approved $48 million to help Uganda fight a desert locust invasion threatening livelihoods.

The funds, under the Emergency Locust Response Programme, will help Uganda monitor and manage locust swarms to limit the growth of existing and new desert locust populations, the bank said in a statement.

The funds will also provide livelihood protection and restoration to the affected households, communities and vulnerable groups.

“The project is expected to support 950,000 direct beneficiaries and about 1.2 million indirect beneficiaries in the locust-affected districts,’’ the bank said.

“The outbreak could undermine development gains and threaten the food security and livelihoods of millions of Ugandans.’’

With support from other development partners, Uganda has started the fight against the migratory insects.

The country deployed over 2,000 soldiers and 835 civilian personnel, including agriculture extension workers, to contain the locusts.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Foreign

World food prices drop to 17-month low as coronavirus pandemic limits market demand

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World food prices fell for the fourth consecutive month in May, hitting their lowest point in nearly a year and a half as the global coronavirus outbreak continued to erode demand and slow supply chains, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported Thursday.

The overall index dropped 1.9 percent in May compared to April, reaching its lowest point since December 2018.

Four out of five sub-indexes fell in May, with the index for grains and cereals — the largest component in the index — slipping by 1.0 percent. Prices for wheat and corn fell based on lower demand, but rice prices bucked the trend, rising slightly as demand for Japonica and Basmati rice saw demand rise compared to recent months.

Prices for vegetable oil slipped 2.8 percent to their lowest levels in ten months, pushed by lower palm oil prices.

Dairy prices were 7.3 percent lower based on lower demand for cheese and butter, though FAO said increased demand from China helped stabilize prices for powdered milk.

Meat prices saw a modest 0.8-percent decline, as rising supply was nearly offset by increased demand in Asian markets.

Only sugar prices rose in May, up 7.4 percent after falling 14.6 percent in April. FAO said up-and-down sugar prices were a reflection of unpredictable export levels from India and Thailand.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year. The next index is scheduled for release on July 2, 2020.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Australian science agency announces research of 3D print stents in world-first

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Australia’s national science agency said researchers have made it possible to 3D print tailor-made stents for blocked or narrow arteries in a world-first.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced the breakthrough on Thursday, describing it as a “paradigm shift” for the 16-billion-Australian-dollar (11 billion U.S. dollars) global stent manufacturing industry.

The team of scientists at CSIRO’s Lab22 made the breakthrough using Selective Laser Melting, a 3D printing process that allowed them to create complex products with high geometric accuracy that are patient specific.

It means that nitinol stents, which are used to keep arteries open, could be made on-site under the direction of a surgeon to suit an individual patient’s requirements.

Until now surgeons have been restricted to “off-the-shelf” stents for operations.

The ability to 3D print stents is expected to improve sizing options, preserve essential anatomy, and enable diameters and shapes to suit individual patient requirements, according to CSIRO.

“Nitinol is a shape-memory alloy with superelastic properties,” CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Sri Lathabai said in a media release.

“It’s a tricky alloy to work with in 3D printing conditions, due to its sensitivity to stress and heat.

“We had to select the right 3D-printing parameters to get the ultra-fine mesh structure needed for an endovascular stent, as well as carefully manage heat treatments so the finished product can expand as needed, once inside the body.”

A new company has been established to oversee commercialization of the technology.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Annual World Bicycle Day marked in Manila, the Philippines

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Policemen prepare to ride their bicycles along the newly-installed bike lane on the annual World Bicycle Day in Manila, the Philippines, June 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

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Sport

Coach decries effect on COVID-19 on World Cycling Day celebration

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Head Coach, Cycling Association, Edo Sports Council, Orogho Bello, has decried the low-key celebration of World Cycling Day in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Bello told the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Wednesday, that the pandemic prevented the association from showcasing the benefits of cycling .

 

According to him, the 2018 and 2019 editions of the World Bicycle Day were celebrated in the state in conjunction with the Federal Road Safety Corps and other stakeholders.

 

“But there is no activity to mark this year’s celebration because of the pandemic.’’

 

He noted that cycling as a sporting event could be done by both young and old as there were different competitions for different age groups.

 

“Riding bicycle keeps you fit and healthy. Cycling is not only for the youths, anybody can go into cycling as a sport. We have the amateur, professional and elite category,’’ he said.

 

Bello said that the pandemic had also affected the association’s mode of training, adding that cyclists have to train individually to ensure social distancing.

 

NAN reports that World Bicycle Day is celebrated every year on June 3 with the first celebration held in 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

 

The World Bicycle Day aims at developing a culture of cycling for basic transportation, commutation, and strengthening physical and mental health.

 


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

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Foreign

Vietnam world’s 5th largest instant noodles consumer in 2019

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Vietnam was the fifth largest instant noodles consumer in the world in 2019 with 5.43 billion servings, up 4.4 percent year-on-year, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.

Ahead of Vietnam were China with 41.5 billion servings, followed by Indonesia, India and Japan, Vietnamese online newspaper VnExpress cited the association as reporting on Wednesday.

Vietnam ranked third regarding per capita consumption with 56.9 servings, following South Korea with 75.1 and Nepal with 57.6.

This is the third year in a row that Vietnam ranked fifth in overall instant noodles consumption after being fourth in 2015 and 2016. In the country, instant noodles are popular for breakfast and night snacks.

As many as 106.4 billion servings of instant noodles were consumed in 2019, according to the association. Among the top 15 consumers, 10 are from Asia, where more than 80 percent of instant noodles are consumed.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

China shares anti-epidemic experience with world | COVID-19 timeline

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China has timely shared anti-epidemic efforts and measures with countries and international and regional organizations around the world. #COVID19timeline

(XINHUA)

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Metro

ICAO adopts new COVID-19 aviation recovery ‘Take Off’ guidelines to reconnect the world

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has adopted a new report and recommendations aimed at restarting international air transport system and aligning its global recovery.

ICAO Council President, Mr Salvatore Sciacchitano, revealed this on the official tweeter handle of the organisation @icao.

According to the president, the COVID-19 report and guidelines were produced by the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART).

He said the report and guidelines were developed through broad-based consultations with countries and regional organisations, and with important advice from the World Health Organisation.

He noted that the key aviation industry groups including; International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI World), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).

“The world looked to the ICAO Council to provide the high-level guidance which governments and industry needed to begin restarting international air transport and recovering from COVID-19.

“We have answered this call today with the delivery of this report, and with its recommendations and Take-Off guidelines which will now align public and private sector actions and mitigations as we get the world flying again.

“Also, in full accordance with the latest and most prudent medical and traveller health advice available to us. The world needs aviation and aviation today is in great need of ICAO,” Sciacchitano said.

He said global cooperation through the organisation had helped countries to connect the world to their mutual benefit for over 75 years which as well now helping to reconnect the world.

He noted that solidarity among all countries and regions and industry sectors would be critical going forward, pointing out that ICAO was where to achieve the goal for global aviation.

CART Chairperson, Amb. Philippe Bertoux, noted that the CART guidelines were intended to inform, align and progress the national, regional, and industry-specific COVID-19 recovery roadmaps now being implemented, but not to replace them.

“These guidelines will facilitate convergence, mutual recognition and harmonisation of aviation COVID-19 related measures across the globe. They are intended to support the restart and recovery of global air travel in a safe, secure and sustainable way.

“In order to be effective, we need to take a layered and especially a risk-based approach. Measures will be implemented or removed as needed based on the wide ranging medical and other factors which will be at play,” Bertoux said.

Bertoux, who was also representative of France to the ICAO Council, said countries and operators needed autonomy and certainty as they took action to get the world flying again.

According to him, the CART guidelines are therefore designed to serve in both these capacities as a common reference, while remaining adaptable.

He said CART guidelines was a type of ‘living guidance’ which would be continuously updated based on latest risk assessments of the progress monitored to reconnect the world.

He said CART’s report contained a detailed situational analysis and key principles supported by a series of recommendations focused around objectives for public health, aviation safety and security, and aviation economic recovery.

He reinstated that the content was supplemented by the report’s special ‘Take Off’ document which contained guidelines for public health risk mitigation measures and four separate modules relating to airports, aircraft, crew, and air cargo.

ICAO Secretary-General, Dr Fang Liu, welcomed the CART’s accomplishment and highlighted that ICAO would continue to develop implementation packages to assist member states to restart the operations and recovery.

“Restoring public confidence in air travel has very broad benefits. This isn’t only about operational and economic viability of air transport sector, but of entire societies and regions having their economic livelihoods and stability restored.

The full CART Report is available as part of ICAO’s COVID-19 platform, and will be regularly reviewed and updated based on the latest data and information received from all stakeholders,’’ she said.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

Fiji launches environment week to celebrate World Environment Day

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Fiji launched on Monday the Environment Week to celebrate the World Environment Day which will fall on Friday.

According to a Fijian government statement, speaking at the launch of the Environment Week in the Fijian capital Suva on Monday, Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy said while national movement and individual responsibility are vital to address environmental threats, global involvement and collaboration is also vital especially for developing countries.

The World Environment Day has become a powerful platform for environmental advocacy to help accelerate, amplify, and engage communities, he said, adding that protecting a safer and healthier environment for a future generation can be attained through a collaborative partnership and individual responsibility and involvement to deliver the common environmental vision.

“We have been working with nations around the globe and will continue to take leadership to ensure that global action is meaningful and nations take action to address environmental challenges that affect the globe,” Reddy said.

“We are looking at ways to address the impact of climate change, including taking immediate actions to save the planet we call home.”

The minister hoped through various organized events this week, the Fijians will gain insight into the significance of taking urgent actions to protect the environment.

The Department of Environment continues to work on Fiji’s position on a number of issues and will be calling for stronger action at a global level to protect marine and terrestrial biodiversity.”

With the theme “Biodiversity”, this year’s World Environment Day will be a week long commemoration for Fiji’s Department of Environment.

The purpose of the week-long program is to provide a platform for environmental advocacy to help accelerate, amplify, and engage scientists, communities, governments and the private sector to take actions on the dangerous and unprecedented environmental challenges that the world is facing.

The World Environment Day is held each year on June 5. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Dangote wins World Travel Market Award with CNN commercial 

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Barely a week after emerging the most admired brand in Africa, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has won another award through its television commercial on the Cable Network News (CNN) detailing its business processes.

The company said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that Dangote Industries won “Most Compelling Agency Story” award by the World Travel Market (WTM) with its ‘Farm to Table’ commercial.

The commercial, which is part of the ‘Touching Lives’ documentary aired weekly on CNN, detailed the process of food metamorphosis from the farm as raw material to final process as food on the tables at home.

According to CNN International Commercial Account Executive, Varshmi Arasalingam, the award recognises powerful storytelling capabilities.

He affirmed that the Touching Lives Farm To Table campaign holds a prominent socio-economic impact for which Dangote Industries continues to empower and improve the lives of people in Africa.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that Dangote Industries and CNN International Commercial are the winners of the WTM Africa Awards for the ‘Most Compelling Agency Story.

Dangote Industries is one the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa, with multiple entities impacting the daily lives of most of the continent’s population.

“The company provides the population with employment opportunities that are also self-sustaining through basic needs, such as food, cement, construction, agriculture, and technology.

“Through a branded content production, CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) wanted to showcase Dangote Industries empowering Africans through employment and self-sufficient opportunities.

“Filmed and produced by CNNIC’s award-winning branded content studio Create, the campaign promotes Nigeria and the wider continent through the stories of real people, and focuses on the connections people have with each other, be it in their work and daily lives.

“The character-driven story helps to change perceptions and encourage global audiences to visit Nigeria (and the African continent more generally) so they can experience and understand its culture and hospitality.

“It also shows that we should not look at the travel and tourism as a narrow sector, but instead view it as part of a larger socio-economic project.

“In this way, travel and tourism can empower and improve the lives of people in Africa – and all over the world – a goal Dangote is dedicated to realizing,” he said.

In his comment on the award, DIL Group Chief Branding and Corporate Communications Officer, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was delighted at the award and it only showed that the company was living up to its billing as the most diversified conglomerate in Africa.

He said the Commercial shot by the CNN which has won the award depicted the businesses of the company and gave vent to how we arrive at our mission statement of meeting the expectation of the people by providing for their basic needs.

“It simply demonstrates how it starts from the farm through which our people are engaged in every process before it gets to table at home.” he said.

Editing Wale Ojetimi

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

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