Friday, July 3We Break the News
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Author: KATENDE SHARIF

A professional News and video editor. sharifakakatende@gmail.com
Coronavirus: Uganda provides a safe haven to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) refugees amid COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus: Uganda provides a safe haven to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) refugees amid COVID-19 lockdown

AFRICA
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 3, 2020/ -- UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the decision by the Government of Uganda to give safe haven to thousands of refugees fleeing escalating violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They have been stranded in a remote, inaccessible area in Mahagi Territory since late May. The new arrivals were previously part of a larger group of approximately 45,000 people, according to local DRC authorities, who had attempted to flee towards the Ugandan border with the DRC shortly after deadly militia attacks on civilians in Ituri province on 17 and 18 May. While some have been able to return to their area of origin, thousands remained close to the border. Some 1,500 asylum seekers entered Uganda today through Guladjo and Mount Zeu cro...
Coronavirus – Africa: Quarantine Measures threaten Aviation Restart in Africa and the Middle East

Coronavirus – Africa: Quarantine Measures threaten Aviation Restart in Africa and the Middle East

HEALTH
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 3, 2020/ -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments in Africa and the Middle East (AME) to implement alternatives to quarantine on arrival that would allow economies to re-start while avoiding the importation of COVID-19 cases.Government-imposed quarantine measures in 36 countries across Africa and the Middle East (AME) account for 40% of all quarantine measures globally. With over 80% of travelers unwilling to travel when quarantine is required, the impact of these measures is that countries remain in lockdown even if their borders are open.  “It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving p...
There’s no room for politics in the Kazi Mtaani program, President Kenyatta cautions

There’s no room for politics in the Kazi Mtaani program, President Kenyatta cautions

AFRICA
NAIROBI, 3rd July 2020 (PSCU)-President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned against political interference in the forthcoming national roll out of the Kazi Mtaani youth employment program. The President said the initiative was mooted to assist Kenyan youth whose livelihoods had been disrupted by the Covid-19 health crisis. “The program will be free of any political interference. It’ll not be a process which politicians will use to get votes,” he cautioned. The Head of State spoke yesterday at KICC in Nairobi, at the close of a two-day training workshop on Kazi Mtaani for Regional and County Commissioners. President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at KICC in Nairobi yesterday Following the successful pilot phase of the program, the national roll out of the youth employment initiative will sta...
Coronavirus: Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio commissions Covid-19 Care and Treatment Facilities, recognises Partner Interventions in Healthcare Systems

Coronavirus: Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio commissions Covid-19 Care and Treatment Facilities, recognises Partner Interventions in Healthcare Systems

CORONAVIRUS
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, July 3, 2020/ -- His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has commissioned Covid-19 care and treatment facilities, the pilot distribution of equipment and uniforms to healthcare workers in Bo, southern Sierra Leone, where he also praised the interventions of partner organisations. “Enhancing the capacity of healthcare personnel goes beyond simply recruiting and training nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is about making them more efficient in speedily and accurately diagnosing and treating disease conditions presented to them. We also believe that in the absence of accurate diagnosis, the health, and possibly, lives of patients are at grave risk,” he said. President Bio further noted that diagnostic testing was central to disease surveillance a...
Coronavirus – Africa: UN torture prevention body – COVID-19 shows need to strengthen national preventive mechanisms

Coronavirus – Africa: UN torture prevention body – COVID-19 shows need to strengthen national preventive mechanisms

CORONAVIRUS
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 3, 2020/ -- The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has called for the role of domestic monitoring bodies, officially known as National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs), to be strengthened, highlighting the importance of monitoring the conditions of people deprived of liberty in critical situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The SPT, which monitors places, including prisons and other confined institutions, where people are deprived of their liberty, has been unable to carry out its normal mandate given restrictions on international travel over coronavirus concerns. Instead, the Subcommittee has been remotely assisting local NPMs to help safeguard detainees from torture and other ill-treatment. During its last meeting, conducted online fro...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Human Settlements Chairperson concerned about continued evictions in Cape Town

Coronavirus – South Africa: Human Settlements Chairperson concerned about continued evictions in Cape Town

AFRICA
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 3, 2020/ -- The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Machwene Semenya, has denounced the continued evictions happening in Cape Town. The actions of the city are both inhumane and inconsiderate, especially considering that it’s winter, as well as it is undermining the regulations of the national state of disaster in the fight against Covid-19, which prohibit evictions. Ms Semenya also emphasised that this is concerning considering the number of times this has happened in the city since the declaration of national state of disaster.“We call on the city to show humility and compassion to its residents, especially the poor, by reducing its appetite for evictions. While we do not, in any way, condone illegal occu...
New reports suggest that a Significant number of people may have some natural immunity to coronavirus

New reports suggest that a Significant number of people may have some natural immunity to coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS
Large numbers of the population may have natural immunity against coronavirus even if they have never been infected, scientists believe. Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, who is leading an Oxford team to develop a vaccine, said there was likely to be a "background level" of protection for a "significant number of people". Recent studies have suggested the immune system can be primed by other coronaviruses, such as the common cold, giving the body a head start in fighting off Covid-19. Research shows that a separate part of the immune system, T-cells, respond to chains of amino acids produced by different types of coronaviruses and may be responsible for stopping the virus in people who never show symptoms. Crucially, those T-cells die off...
Catholic priest suspended for comparing BLM to ‘maggots’

Catholic priest suspended for comparing BLM to ‘maggots’

INTERNATIONAL
CARMEL, Ind. — A bishop suspended a suburban Indianapolis Catholic priest from public ministry on Wednesday for comparing the Black Lives Matter movement and its organizers to “maggots and parasites” in a recent church bulletin. Bishop Timothy Doherty, of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, took the action against the Rev. Theodore Rothrock, of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, for comments that the pastor wrote Sunday in the weekly bulletin. Rev. Theodore Rothrock, of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel “The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote. “They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are...
Coronavirus: New Zealand minister resigns after breaking lockdown measures

Coronavirus: New Zealand minister resigns after breaking lockdown measures

CORONAVIRUS
New Zealand's health minister has resigned after criticism of the government's response to coronavirus and his own breaches of lockdown rules. David Clark had already been demoted after breaking rules to take his family to the beach. He said continuing in his role was distracting from the government's overall response to the pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Thursday that she had accepted his resignation. New Zealand has been hailed as a success story when it comes to tackling the coronavirus. The country has recorded 1,528 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and 22 people have died. Last month, all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation was declared virus free. David Clark confirmed on Thursday that he had resigned from his post as New Z...
Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift

Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift

INTERNATIONAL
Australia says it will significantly increase military spending and focus on the Indo-Pacific region amid rising tensions between the US and China. PM Scott Morrison pledged A$270bn (£150bn; $186bn) to Australia's arms budget over 10 years - a 40% boost. He said Australia would acquire long-range missiles and other capabilities to "deter" future conflicts. It was necessary because the region was the "focus of the dominant global contest of our age", he added. Australia's naval operations will be focused more on its region Mr Morrison named several areas of tension including the border between India and China, and conflict over the South China Sea and East China Sea. It follows deteriorating relations between Australia and China - which are widely seen to be at their...
Ex-Canada PM Mulroney calls for revised relations with China

Ex-Canada PM Mulroney calls for revised relations with China

INTERNATIONAL
Canada must have an "urgent rethink" of its relationship with China, former prime minister Brian Mulroney said Wednesday as tensions build over the possible extradition to the United States of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Conservative Mulroney backed his Liberal successor Justin Trudeau's rejection of any exchange of Meng, who was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018, for two Canadians who were detained in China in apparent retaliation. Mulroney said Canada's hope that China would emerge as a constructive partner in international relations had been proven wrong, referring in particular to Beijing's militarization of the South China Sea. "You can see it everywhere from the South China Sea to our two citizens who were bundled off to jail for no reason at all except to protest a...
Former Pope Benedict’s brother Georg dies at 96

Former Pope Benedict’s brother Georg dies at 96

INTERNATIONAL
MUNICH - Georg Ratzinger, the brother of former Pope Benedict who nurtured a very close relationship over decades to his sibling, has died at the age of 96 in the German town of Regensburg on Wednesday, the local archdiocese said. In June, Benedict, aged 93, had spent five days in his native Germany to visit his ailing brother, who was also a priest. It was the first time that Benedict left Italy since 2013, when he became the first Pope to resign in six centuries. Pope Benedict XVI prays with his brother Mons. Georg Ratzinger in his private chapel at the Vatican Benedict was not present when his brother died because he had returned to Rome earlier, the archdiocese's spokesman Clemens Neck said. "He died at his house in Regensburg today, surrounded by people close to him." ...
NASA Delays Perseverance Rover Launch. Again.

NASA Delays Perseverance Rover Launch. Again.

TECHNOLOGY
NASA announced in a memo that the long-awaited launch date for the Perseverance Rover, which will blast off atop United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, has slipped to no earlier than July 30. The launch window has been extended from August 10 to August 15. "A liquid oxygen sensor line presented off-nominal data during the Wet Dress Rehearsal, and additional time is needed for the team to inspect and evaluate," the memo read. ULA's president and CEO, Tony Bruno, confirmed via Twitter Wednesday that it was a faulty sensor that had caused the delay. Yes. Misbehaving sensor. We have retrieved it, found the cause, and are repairing it now.— Tory Bruno (@torybruno) July 1, 2020 This is the third delay for the r...
Joe Biden Raises $141 Million  For Second Straight Month

Joe Biden Raises $141 Million For Second Straight Month

INTERNATIONAL
Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $141 million in June, his campaign announced Wednesday night, topping the total haul of President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee for the second straight month. Trump and the RNC combined to raise $131 million.  Both campaigns massively improved upon their fundraising from May, when Biden and the DNC banked $80.8 million and Trump raised $74 million. Biden has now outraised Trump in both months since reaching a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC in late April, which allowed him to raise much larger sums from a single donor. Trump and the RNC have had a joint fundraising agreement for years. The Trump campaign, which is trailing by s...
Mark Zuckerberg addresses boycott by more than 500 advertisers over the company’s hate speech policies

Mark Zuckerberg addresses boycott by more than 500 advertisers over the company’s hate speech policies

TECHNOLOGY
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees that the company would not change its approach on hate speech despite more than 500 advertisers boycotting the platform this month, The Information reported Wednesday. "We're not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue," Zuckerberg said during a virtual town hall last week, according to The Information. "My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough," he said, according to The Information, adding that the boycott was a "reputational and a partner issue" rather than a financial one because most of Facebook's revenue comes from small businesses vs large brands. Facebook saw $60 billion in marke...
AU Special Representative congratulates Burundi on its Independence Day

AU Special Representative congratulates Burundi on its Independence Day

AFRICA
Mogadishu, 02 July 2020—The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, has congratulated the people and the government of Burundi as the country commemorates its 58th birthday as an independent nation. “I congratulate the people and the government of Burundi, as they celebrate their country’s 58th independence anniversary,” Ambassador Madeira said. “Burundi is a special friend to the people of Somalia. When Somalia was under siege from the brutality of terrorist organizations, Burundi became the second country to join AMISOM and has since sacrificed immensely so that Somalia can achieve peace, stability and prosperity, he added.” Burundi first deployed troops to join AMISOM in Dece...
SA PARLIAMENT: NCOP PASSED THE CYBERCRIMES BILL, CIVIL UNION AND THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LAWS AMENDMENT BILLS

SA PARLIAMENT: NCOP PASSED THE CYBERCRIMES BILL, CIVIL UNION AND THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LAWS AMENDMENT BILLS

TECHNOLOGY
Cape Town, Parliament, 2nd July 2020 – The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) at its sitting this morning has passed three Bills, the Cybercrimes Bill, The Civil Union Amendment Bill and the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill.The Cybercrimes Bill was initially introduced as the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill in 2017. It was referred to the fifth democratic Parliament’s Select Committee on Security and Justice from the National Assembly on 27 November 2018. The Bill was thoroughly advertised for public participation in 2019, where substantive inputs were provided by various stakeholders and individuals. However, it lapsed at the end of the fifth Parliament and it is among the Bills that were revived by the NCOP through a resolution on 17 October 2019. The objectives of the...
“One” WASH program improves well-being of vulnerable communities in Ethiopia

“One” WASH program improves well-being of vulnerable communities in Ethiopia

HEALTH
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 2, 2020/ -- Ethiopia’s ‘One’ model, under which the government runs its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) National Program, (https://bit.ly/2Bif7lh) has steadily improved the well-being of the country’s rural and urban communities, top local officials say. “The ‘One’ here means we have one account, one budget and one report in one consolidated WASH Account,” says Tadesse Masresha, Coordinator for the Regional WASH Coordination Office in Oromia Region. The scheme combines the construction of infrastructure to extend access to water and sanitation to new areas and the revamping of disused equipment such as pumping stations and pipelines. The program also provides technical training to maintenance personnel and users to ensure the sustainability of the inf...
International Energy Agency’s Africa Dialogue Needs to be Inclusive for a Workable Africa’s Energy Transition

International Energy Agency’s Africa Dialogue Needs to be Inclusive for a Workable Africa’s Energy Transition

AFRICA
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 2, 2020/ -- The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) takes notes of recent initiatives taken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support Africa’s energy transition and salutes the leadership of the IEA in this dialogue. Such conversations notably echo the Chamber’s recent statement on African Lives Matter, questioning the OECD and IEA’s recent call to phase out fossil fuels. While the conversation of Africa’s energy transition continues, the Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty. Unfortunately, the Africa Ministerial Roundtable organized this week has sidelined key stakeholders and actors within Africa’s energy sector, preventing its ab...
Coronavirus – South Africa: SASSA on review of declined Coronavirus COVID-19 grant applications

Coronavirus – South Africa: SASSA on review of declined Coronavirus COVID-19 grant applications

CORONAVIRUS
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 2, 2020/ -- The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has taken a decision to relook declined COVID-19 grant applications and get to the bottom of the reasons for rejection. The high numbers involved raised questions and SASSA decided that it would be wise to reconsider these before subjecting them to an appeal process, which comes at a cost and resultant delays, given the urgency to pay out the grant during these trying times for poor people impacted negatively by the national shutdown. In early June close to 50% of processed applications did not qualify in terms of the criteria. Over 70% of those that did not qualify were either receiving or qualifying for UIF benefits according to the database that SASSA was using then to sift through the applica...