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World Culture Day: Nigerians call for protection, promotion of cultural heritage

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Some Nigerians resident in the FCT, have called on government at all levels to take responsibility by protecting and promoting Nigeria’s cultural heritage, as the World marks the 2020 Day for Cultural Diversity.

Some of the respondents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Thursday in Abuja, said the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage was imperative if the country would completely liberate itself from the clutches of imperialism, which was clearly destroying the country’s natural values.

Mr Nnamani Ogbonna, a civil servant, said the preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage such as; respect for elders, traditional marriage systems and abhorrence for gay relationships, was imperative.

“We should not allow foreign influence on our culture. Their cultures, such as indecent dressing, is not part of our culture.

“Section 21 of the Constitution puts a responsibility on federal and state governments to protect, preserve and promote Nigeria’s culture.

“Government at all levels should not forget that responsibility,” Ogbonna said.

He also called on the National Assembly to enact laws that would abolish cultures that were alien to us as a black, decent race.

He commended the National Assembly for halting plans to legalise gay relationships, which he described as alien to the Nigerian culture.

Mr James Kindness, a businessman, said that the benefits of cultural diversity could not be listed.

“In those days, women only wear beads on their waist, tie a piece of clothe to cover their breasts, and there were no issues, but today, diverse positive cultures have been imbibed.,” he added.

Mr Ola Joel, also a civil servant, advised Nigerians to appreciate and promote the country’s diverse cultures, adding that cultural diversity was significant for national growth.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development, is celebrated every May 21. (NAN)

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

 

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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Sport

Tennis’ world number 11 undergoes surgery on both ankles

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World number 11 Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles on Saturday to cure a long-standing problem.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old Italian tennis player said he had hoped the two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic would have improved his situation.

“I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three and a half years now and it’s an issue I’ve learnt to cope with,” Fognini said. “Then my right ankle started playing up in the last two years as well.

“After a medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on an enforced break. I will have surgery today`(Saturday).”

No professional tournaments have been played since the start of March because of the pandemic, and the ATP Tour has been suspended until at least the start of August.
OLAL

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Entertainment

Florida officials approve Walt Disney World reopening plans

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Florida officials have approved plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World (DIS.N”>DIS.N) in Orlando, starting on July 11, according to a memo from a state agency released on Friday.

The successful reopening of its parks is a signal event for Disney and the rest of the world as governments and companies strategise how to move out of lockdown while the novel coranavirus is still a threat.

The state also cleared Sea World Entertainment Inc (SEAS.N”>SEAS.N) to reopen on June 10, said Halsey Beshears, secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in a memo sent to officials in Orange County, Florida.

When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks.

The resort will suspend parades, fireworks displays and other activities that create crowds.

Disney will encourage contactless payment systems and expand its existing mobile order systems in restaurants, it said on Wednesday.

It plans to restrict the number of guests who will be required to reserve their park passes ahead of time.

Starting in January, the media and entertainment giant closed theme parks around the world to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company had estimated it lost $1 billion at its theme parks division, from January through March.

On Wednesday, Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Chapek told CNBC the company currently has about 20,000 people per day visiting Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened on May 11, with mandatory masks, temperature screenings and social distancing for visitors and employees.

Disney is soon expected to reveal plans for reopening its Anaheim, California, Disneyland amusement park, the company’s original themed attraction.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/ (NAN)

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Foreign

World Bank approves 15 mln USD for Cambodia’s pre-service education system for health professionals

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The World Bank has approved a credit of 15 million U.S. dollars for Cambodia to strengthen pre-service education system for health professionals, said its press statement on Saturday.

The Southeast Asian country faces a shortage of qualified health professionals, especially in the public sector, the statement said.

The kingdom has only 1.4 doctors and 9.5 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people, it said, adding that these ratios are significantly below the average of 9 doctors and 19 nurses per 10,000 people among low-and lower-middle income countries in the East Asia and Pacific region.

In Cambodia, doctors typically work at secondary-and tertiary-level facilities, while primary care facilities are almost entirely staffed by nurses and midwives, the statement said.

While a majority of general practitioner doctors work at the provincial level (63 percent) and most specialists are deployed to hospitals at the central level (79 percent), it added.

To help Cambodia address these challenges, this project will support the Ministry of Health to strengthen the governance of health professional education, including regulations and standardization for health professionals’ education, national competency-based exit examination, and technical assistance and knowledge exchanges on health professional education, the statement said.

It added that the project will also support the development and delivery of competency-based training programs by the University of Health Science and Regional Training Centers in six health professional programs, namely general medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, midwifery, and laboratory.

“Investing in capacity building for health professionals by equipping them with better knowledge and skills to deal with emergencies such as the COVID-19 outbreak and strengthening health sector governance are crucial for Cambodia’s health service delivery system,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank country manager for Cambodia.

The World Bank is committed to help Cambodia improve healthcare for the Cambodian people, particularly the poor and the most vulnerable,” she added.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

World Bank says COVID-19 epidemic poses greatest threat to Cambodia’s development

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia’s economy in 2020 is expected to register its slowest growth since 1994, contracting by between -1 percent and –2.9 percent, according to the World Bank‘s latest Economic Update for Cambodia released on Friday.

Titled Cambodia in the Time of COVID-19, the biannual report said the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Cambodia’s main drivers of economic growth — tourism, manufacturing exports, and construction — which together account for more than 70 percent of the country’s growth and almost 40 percent of paid employment.

Poverty in 2020 could increase among households involved in key sectors like tourism, construction, trade, manufacturing and the garment industry by between 3 to 11 percentage points higher than at baseline, or in the absence of COVID-19, the report said, adding that the fiscal deficit could reach its highest level in 22 years.

It said the collapse of growth drivers has hurt economic growth and put at least 1.76 million jobs at risks.

The report also warns that capital inflows are tapering off, which in turn is triggering the easing of real estate market prices, likely ending the construction boom.

It added that with the current large outstanding credit to the construction, real estate, and mortgage sector, nonperforming loans could rise.

In response to the COVID-19 shock, the report recommends policy options that aim at providing urgent economic relief and public health protection in the immediate term, underpinning an economic recovery in the short term, and fostering macro-fiscal and social resilience in the medium term.

“The global shock triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Cambodia’s economy,” Inguna Dobraja, World Bank country manager for Cambodia, said in a press release.

The World Bank is committed to helping Cambodia deal effectively with the COVID-19 crisis and strengthen the economy for recovery and future resilience,” she added.

The report also includes a special focus section on the importance of quality of education as a key to human development and sustainable growth in Cambodia.

The special focus also highlighted key policy recommendations to improve the quality of education in Cambodia such as strengthening accountability in public schools, linking salary increase and promotion to performance, and further upgrading the capacity and quality of teachers.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Brazil registers world’s fifth highest death toll from COVID-19

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Brazil has the fifth highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world, after registering over 1,000 deaths in 24 hours and raising the total to 27,878, the government said on Friday.

According to the country’s Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours, 1,124 deaths were reported, leading Brazil to surpass Spain as the country with the fifth highest number of fatalities, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France.

In the last 24 hours, Brazil reached a record milestone for 26,928 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide total to 465,166.

The state of Sao Paulo, the most populous in the country, has been the most heavily affected region, with 7,275 deaths and 101,556 cases, followed by Rio de Janeiro, and Ceara.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

Federer is world’s highest-paid athlete, Forbes says

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Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic knocked football’s Lionel Messi off top spot, according to the annual Forbes list released on Friday.

The Swiss tennis great, owner of a men’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, earned 106.3 million dollars in the last 12 months, including 100 million dollars via endorsements.

This helped him to move up four places and become the first player from his sport to top the list.

Football players Cristiano Ronaldo (105 million dollars), Messi (104 million dollars) and Neymar (95.5 million dollars) and American basketball player LeBron James (88.2 million dollars) rounded out the top five.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for football stars Messi and Ronaldo. It cleared the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth 100 million dollars a year for the tennis great.”

Japan’s Naomi Osaka (37.4 million dollars), who was ranked 29th on the list, surpassed fellow tennis player Serena Williams (36 million dollars) as the world’s highest-earning female athlete.

Osaka and Williams were the only women on the list.

Basketball players led all sports with 35 players among the top 100.

American football occupied 31 spots, none higher than six-times Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (45 million dollars) who was ranked 25th.

Football was the next most represented sport with 14 players, followed by tennis (six), boxing and mixed marital arts (five), golf (four), motor racing (three), and baseball and cricket with one each.
OLAL

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Foreign

World’s largest fusion reactor project sees its base positioned in “a new record in history”

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After two days of delicate work, the 1,250-ton soup bowl-shaped cryostat base — the heaviest single piece — of the International Thermonuclear Fusion Experimental Reactor (ITER) was positioned in the so-called tokamak pit near Cadarache in southern France, marking the official start of the main equipment installation of the largest international scientific research cooperation project in the world, a Chinese group participating in the project told Xinhua on Friday.

The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion.

“The base was placed into its position with very high precision. The success of this unique, one-of-a-kind operation wrote a new record in our history,” a spokesperson of China Nuclear Power Engineering (CNPE) told Xinhua, referring to the exciting moment on Thursday when the first and heaviest component of the ITER machine was positioned.

The base is one of the most crucial components of the 30-metre-deep, 30-metre-in-diameter ITER cryostat, which will act as a thermos, insulating the magnetic system at cryogenic temperature from the outside environment.

“With the installation of the first major machine element, humankind was taking a decisive step toward the realization of fusion energy. And by providing clean, safe and unlimited energy, fusion has the potential to alter the course of civilization,” said ITER in a press release.

The ITER project, second only to the International Space Station in scale, is reputed as an “Artificial Sun” mainly because the way it generates energy can be likened to the way the Sun emits light and heat. It is jointly funded by the European Union, China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, India and Russia.

(XINHUA)

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Finnish ministry wins World No Tobacco Day Award

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As the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) draws near, Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has received this year’s World No Tobacco Day Award issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry said in a press release on Friday.

The award recognizes the ministry’s long-term commitment to work on tobacco control and its exemplary actions to protect the public, particularly young people, from exposure to smoking.

Back in 2010, Finland amended its Tobacco Act and the objective of reducing smoking was changed to ending the use of tobacco products in the country by 2040. In 2016, the act was updated with the new objective of ending the use of tobacco and other nicotine products in Finland by 2030.

As of May 20, menthol has been officially banned as a flavoring of tobacco products throughout the European Union, and also in Finland, to keep teenagers from taking up smoking.

To reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes among young people in particular, Finland has also strictly regulated the use of e-cigarettes and prohibited characterizing flavors in liquids for e-cigarettes.

The WHO recognizes Finland’s efforts in curbing tobacco use, and considers the country’s anti-tobacco policy exemplary in Europe. Finland has also globally led the way in implementing successful anti-tobacco policy measures under the direction of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Every year, the WHO recognizes individuals or organizations for their achievements in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of World No Tobacco Day Awards.

According to the WHO, tobacco kills about eight million people around the world every year.

World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated worldwide by the WHO and its member states on May 31 every year since 1987. The theme of this year’s No Tobacco Day is protecting young people from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.

(XINHUA)

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