Monday, April 22, 2019

Prince Harry and Meghan To Move To Africa

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry considering to move to Africa by 2020, preferably in Botswana.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have just settled into their new home, a cottage near Windsor Castle, as they await the birth of their first child. But according to the Sunday Times of London, they may be packing their bags again soon. The Times reports the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could move to Africa following the birth of their baby. 

News of the possible move broke as members of the royal family attended an Easter Sunday church service on Queen Elizabeth's 93rd birthday. Buckingham Palace has already responded to the report with a statement. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are currently awaiting the arrival of their first baby, thought to be due at the end of April 2019.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend Awards for excellence in adventure and conservation on 26 October 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Jame D. Morgan.
And despite having only just moved into their new residence, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, The Sunday Times is reporting that Meghan and Harry could be planning to leave England in the not-too-distant future. The Sunday Times labels Meghan and Harry as "rock stars" within the royal family. Royal reporters Tim Shipman and Roya Nikkhah write, "Courtiers have drawn up plans to hand the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a major international job that could see them moving abroad after the birth of their child."

The publication reports that "Discussions are at an early stage, but the plan is to find a new way of using their soft power abilities, most likely in Africa." But according to The Sunday Times, "a decision on where they would be based is unlikely to be taken until 2020 when they have settled down with their new baby which is due within days."


Africa has always been a special place for Meghan and Harry, with the couple spending a lot of time there, both together and separately, prior to getting married. Their romantic vacation to Botswana in August 2017 was caught on camera. And when the couple announced their engagement in November 2017, Harry explained in a TV interview that their third date ever had been in Botswana in the summer of 2016: "We camped out with each other, under the stars." He continued, "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other."



Prince Harry teaching the school kids at the public park centre during their 2017 trip to Botswana.
According to a source (via The Sunday Times), Prince Harry's advisers have apparently been discussing questions such as, "How do we harness Harry and Meghan? How do you harness this phenomenon that has emerged? You make it productive." The so-called "bespoke" role would allegedly see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue their work within the Commonwealth, while also working with local charities.

According to Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer via Twitter, "Buckingham Palace is not denying a report that officials have discussed sending Harry and Meghan to Africa as a way of capitalizing on their appeal to young people in the Commonwealth — and of putting further distance between them and the Cambridge." And Palmer also released a statement from Buckingham Palace which said, "Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles." Buckingham Palace continued, "The Duke will continue to fulfil his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador."

It truly is the end of an era now that Harry and Meghan have left Kensington Palace. But for now, at least, it's unclear whether the duke and duchess will be leaving England for Africa.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

China's Toxic Trade

Xuecheng Hou, a wealthy Chinese businessman who linked to wildlife contraband trafficking, has also emerged as a major player in the illegal trade in rare African timber in sub-Saharan Africa.
Evidence shows Chinese timber loggers took advantage of a legal loophole that allows rural communities to harvest the timber such as the rosewood, Mukula (bloodwood trees) for their own domestic use. According to a four-year investigation conducted by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an advocacy group indicated that illegal logging activities haunted most part of Sub-Saharan African in south-eastern Angola, northern-east Namibia, Zambia, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The (EIA) discovery pointing out more extensively on Chinese firm that used political bribery, corruption, tax evasion and cheating the environmental law. None of the African countries benefited from Chinese logging beside ecosystem destruction.

''According to evidence collected by EIA, the (Chinese) Group has continuously broken the most fundamental forest laws, has turned timber trade regulations upside-down, and has diverted millions in unpaid taxes from the governments of Gabon and the Republic of Congo,'' the report said. EIA said the company operated by Xu Gong De manages 1.5 million hectares of rain forest in the two nations while logging with illegally obtained licenses and routinely overharvesting timber. EIA said there are several affiliated companies involved in the harvest, transport, processing and export of timber, including Sino Congo Forêt (SICOFOR) “Forest crimes covered by high-level corruption tightly linked to the inner working elites.

NAMIBIA

Exports of Namibian timber to China have increased tenfold, from just 22 truckloads in 2015 to more than 208 truckloads this year. In total, 3200 tonnes of Namibian timber exported to China in 2018 alone. This figure has doubled to 7500 tonnes during January and February this year 2019. These figures, obtained from the Namibian Ports Authority chief executive, Bisey/Uirab, have provided yet more evidence of how Namibia's rare raw timber is being shipped to China at a faster rate than ever before. 

The statistics also show that the trees being cut down by mainly political elites for sale to the Asian superpower are used to produce luxury furniture and traditional Chinese house decorations. Namport's statistics show that around 800 tonnes of Namibian timber were exported through Walvis Bay to China in 2015; 22 tonnes were shipped out in 2016; and about 200 tonnes in 2017. The 800 tonnes are equal to about 22 legal truckloads on a Namibian road. A truckload weighs approximately 36 tonnes. 

Data shows that around 302 truckloads of Namibian timber were exported to China from 2017 to 2019. Alpheus !Naruseb who was appointed as agriculture and forestry Minister in 2018 indicated that the statistics paint a picture of how Namibia – a dry country– is selling its rare trees to Asian countries.  The Environment Ministry has pointed a finger to the Agriculture Ministry of dishing out permits to well-connected Namibians at Rundu to cut down forest trees in the north-eastern part of the country. Namibian ports were further used to export 430,700 tonnes of timber from 2013 to 2019, including wood from other southern African countries. This is equal to 12,000 fully loaded trucks.

Zambia tops the list of countries which have exported its timber through Namibia. The other two countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. The statistics from Namport show that 2760 timber truckloads from that country were exported through the Walvis Bay port. Zambia reportedly banned the harvesting and transportation of rosewood to stop its rapid loss, fuelled by the growing demand for the timber in Asia. According to an article found on the www.conversation.com, rosewood is a generic name for several dark-red hardwood species found in tropical regions, and fetches high prices because it is strong, heavy, has a beautiful red hue, and takes polish very well.

Reuters news agency reported in 2017 that Zambia banned the export of logs from all three species of rosewood in 2015, and now only gives export permits for processed or sawn wood, saying it wants to boost the country's timber manufacturing sector. According to media reports, a ton of timber is sold for N$240,000 (SGD 902.80) in China. The secretary of the Mpungu District Farmers Association in Kavango East, Elia Kamati, has defended the sale of timber to China. “They opened the economy to them and everyone else. It's a free market. We are just selling our products to those who are in the market. 



The farmers are not the ones who brought Chinese here in Namibia. It is them who signed contracts with foreigners, so they come to do business here,” he said. Kamati said he is disappointed that the government has banned the harvesting of timber, adding that they are now being branded as criminals when all they did was follow the procedure permitted to them by the forestry ministry. He also complained that the environmental management plan which they were given to raise revenue from timber will expire in a few years' time without any work done. They are losing time and hope, he said. /Uirab told The Namibian in March 2019 that their mandate is to process the loading and exporting process at the Walvis Bay and Lüderitz ports. 

He said the duty to ensure that permits are issued before the harvesting and exporting of timber lies with state agencies, such as the agriculture and forestry ministry, and the Department of Customs at the finance ministry. /Uirab said all timber exports were made with the required documents. “If Namport detects suspicious import or export items, such incidents are brought to the attention of relevant law-enforcement agencies,” he stressed. Under the headline ''Entitled elite'' The Namibian reported that a group of elites from Rundu had flooded the government with applications to cut down 200,000 trees in Kavango East. 

Such applicants include parliamentarians, government officials, councillors, police bosses, as well as traditional and church leaders who are among 230 individuals who since November 2018 have wanted to cut down rare rosewood trees on land spanning 570,000 hectares. This is more than the combined size of Windhoek and Okahandja. The government banned the cutting and transportation of timber in November this year because of concerns that timber was being harvested without following the correct procedures, as well as broader concerns over damage to the environment caused by logging – mainly in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions. Rosewood is protected worldwide because of over-exploitation. Experts note that some species of the tree take 100 years to reach maturity. In Namibia's sub-continental forests, some of the trees being harvested are 400 years old.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

There’s a moratorium on logging concessions in place in the Congo – a freeze was put in place because there were so many bad contracts handed out in the 1990s. But logging is still being done by certain big companies. There is still a big demand for wood from the DRC, in particular for a tropical hardwood called Wenge, which is actually banned for export from, for example, Cameroon. So people want to come to DRC to export this species. Because they can’t get new concessions, the solution that has been found is to give out what are called artisanal permits to industrial loggers. These permits are intended for communities who want to log in their forest on a small scale, but in reality, they are being given out to industrial companies, to foreign investors, often from China and elsewhere sometimes from Europe, coming to DRC to do industrial-scale logging. 

The DRC government has not respected its own laws when it has been giving out its own permits. The law is quite clear about how many permits should be given out and to whom. But these rules are not being respected at all levels. Obviously, logging is one of the few things that drive small inward investment in DRC. This is one thing that foreign companies are keen to come here to do. It is economically driven. Our researchers found that what logging leaves behind in terms of development is actually very small. The taxes paid by the companies are actually very small – a few thousand dollars for a permit. It’s not a huge input, but it’s seen as something that can benefit the state or an individual official who allowing the logging.

Timber transported from Lambarené to the processing factories in Libreville, Gabon. The code allows to identify where they were harvested and is proof of legality. © Deng Jia / WWF.
Genuine artisanal logging permit doesn’t necessarily have a huge environmental impact because the people involved don’t have destructive capabilities with magnitude to open up new roads into the forest. But with the way these permits are being used industrially, the foreign companies often bring in heavy machinery like bulldozers. They’re opening logging roads into the forest, and after that, the forest becomes degraded quite quickly. It also allows for illegal loggers and poachers to follow them in. It has a very serious environmental impact on the ground. 



There are more and more Chinese people in DRC involved in logging activities, using these kinds of permits. It isn’t just China – there are also Lebanese and some Europeans – but the majority are Chinese. The analysis shows that 20-25% of Chinese luxury hardwood processed products, for example, go to America and Europe. In Bandundu Province, where the research conducted, the two biggest logging companies ''we visited were Chinese. The main one is called TERCO. It’s a registered Congolese company but it’s a partnership between a Chinese businessman and a Congolese businessman. Quite a lot of companies here work in that way, through partnerships''. The companies understandably they have a permit signed by someone in high authority. ''Actually, they don’t feel like they’re breaking the law.

But we would say that all sorts of companies working here have the responsibility not just to go to the authorities, get a piece of paper signed by someone and start working. In a lot of African countries, you can get a permit signed by an official, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are following regulations. The artisanal logging permits should be for the local loggers, and not for foreign companies. 


Namibian Student Held Over Sexual Abuse In U.S

Namibian graduate student charged in alleged sexual rape at Iowa State University in the U.S
Namibia graduate student charged in two different accounts with sexual abuse at Iowa State University, United States. police have arrested Namibian student accused him of sexually abusing two women earlier this month at his university apartment. 

Jona Shitaleni Paulus was busy doing his internship works at the Department of Animal Science with the same University. Jona specialised in Animal Science, he also involved in a current project that investigating and testing the viscoelastic oxidative properties of rice bran and higher oleic soybean oil (HOSO). 

Iowa State University of Science and Technology generally known as Iowa State is an agricultural research university established in 1858, located in Ames, Iowa in the United States of America.
Jona Shitaleni Paulus, of Ames, was charged Thursday with third-degree sexual assault. He was being held in Story County Jail on $50,000 bond. According to a criminal complaint, Paulus committed a sex act with a woman who was in his apartment in the University Village complex during the early morning hours of April 6 while on top of her, holding her down against her will. 

Police said she was eventually able to push him off of her and then began recording him with her phone as she was leaving. In the recording, she can be heard telling Paulus "I told you no," followed by him replying "I know. I know," according to the complaint. When police interviewed Paulus three days later, he admitted a sex act had occurred but told authorities it was consensual. 

ISU spokeswoman Annette Hacker said there is an "open, ongoing police investigation" into Paulus. A search warrant application by university police additionally says Paulus is the subject of an investigation into a second sexual assault that took place the night of April 6 at Buchanan Hall. According to the warrant application, a woman met Paulus on MeetMe, a popular social media app that allows people to meet people nearby. The woman invited Paulus to her apartment to "cuddle and sleep only,"

but he proceeded to commit multiple sex acts against her will during the course of the night and took photos and video, according to the warrant application. After Paulus fell asleep, she looked through the pictures stored on his phone and found photos and videos "similar in nature with a lot of different girls," according to the application. The Story County Attorney's Office didn't return a request for comment about how many additional charges may be filed.

In the U.S particular there is a MeToo fanatical movement which trying to perfecting the art of sex as a weapon against what perceived to be a patriarchy system and indemnifying any black person. You, rather not make a joke to a woman in such a society where every woman wants to be part of MeToo and prove is more feminist that pushing the social parity and its political ploy thereof.  We hope this, not a trap (#MeToo) because he is so political agitated person and could be easily be targeted. 


Monday, April 15, 2019

Namibian Student From University Of Johannesburg Hi-Jacked.

A first-year Namibian student studying Ophthalmology at the University of Johannesburg robbed.
A 19-year-old student from Namibia is shaken but determined to continue her studies after being shot at and dragged by the hair while being hijacked in Randburg, Johannesburg. The young woman was on her way to visit family friends when she was ambushed at the gates of a security complex at the weekend. The Namibian student has been in South Africa since January.

Ester van Rensburg, the family friend who was being visited, said the student is studying Ophthalmology in Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg. Van Rensburg said the driver stopped at security gates at the entrance to a residential complex about 4pm on Saturday. "There have been many burglaries in the past in our complex, so we put up a huge security gate and cameras at our entrance." "In the footage, you can see she pulls into the gate and reaches for her phone to phone us to open the gate for her," said Van Rensburg.


Her husband went out to see if their visitor had arrived but returned to say she had not. Van Rensburg said the alleged hijackers drove into the back of the woman's car with a white BMW X3. "It made a hell of a noise and she saw the guys jumping out and thought they wanted to come and say sorry. Her doors were locked. They tried and wanted her to open the door and she didn't want to. "She started screaming in the car." Van Rensburg said a person about to exit the complex saw what was happening. "He started shooting and she also started hooting the car. The neighbours came running but then the guy shot through her window. Fortunately, she wasn't harmed only fled with the car after she was dragged out of her Volkswagen Polo by the hair and the hijackers speed off. "All the neighbours responded immediately and tracking the vehicles.


We could see the registration number on the footage and that is when we alerted everyone. Van Rensburg said her car was found within 40 minutes. Which is good!  "It is just her phone that was missing, but fortunately her laptop with all her assignments and student stuff and purse were in the boot and they didn't take that.
At first, the young lady refuses to open the car door and after several moments one of the hijackers is seen shooting through the window, shattering it. He then opens the door and pulls out the young woman by her hair.
"She was actually okay on Saturday but last night [Sunday] was very bad for her, but she got a lot of support now and we are organising counselling for her. The Van Rensburg family had since taken the student in. "She is a strong girl and I took her to university because she wanted to go. She said she is writing a test tomorrow [Tuesday]." Her mother is expected to land in the country on Thursday. Police did not immediately comment about such an incident. The perpetrators are still on the run. But, stupidity the thugs know no limits. They committed a hijacking under the cameras next to the security complex entrance. It is just a matter of time when they will be caught.
Thuli Phakathi commented: She’s so petrified, she will never recover from this. SOUTH AFRICA! Lorraine Teixeira added: "Problem is, they allowed to get away with it! There is no punishment in this country. Prince Khumalo wrote: "Absolute sickening disgusting behaviour, that young lady's life will never be the same again.
South Africa crime rate and violence target vulnerable people has increased literally.  Recent shootings have dominated headlines in that country. From the xenophobic attacks, rampage shootings, car hijacking attempts to apparent hit assassinations.


Brave Warriors Ready For The 'Group Of Death’

Brave Warriors landed in Group D and will face Morocco, the ''Atlas Lions" on 23 June 2019.
Brave Warriors coach Riccardo Mannetti says the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw turned out as he expected it to and he welcomes the challenge. Namibia was pitted against Côte d'Ivoire, South Africa and Morocco in what is called ‘the group of death’ at the Afcon draw held in Egypt on Friday.

 The Brave Warriors coach felt that it was not only going to be tough for Namibia but all the teams involved in group D, given the talent that will be on display. “We did not expect an easy draw because there are no small teams anymore in Africa since anyone can surprise you at any given time. ''Yes, the group is tough for us, South Africa, Côte d'Ivoire and Morocco,'' Mannetti said. The competition will be held in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July, with Namibia kicking off their first encounter of the tournament against Morocco on 23 June. 

Namibia will play their second match of the tournament against neighbours South Africa on 28 June before closing off their group encounters with a match against Côte d'Ivoire on 1 July. It is no secret that the Brave Warriors will be the underdogs of group D because they are the lowest ranked team in the group. But Mannetti is more optimistic that his squad can pull off a huge upset at the tournament even if all the odds are against them. ''We know our place and we know that we are the underdogs of the group and we are not going to be ahead of ourselves.'' 

Mannetti asserted that ''we will not have unfair expectations from the team but we will concentrate on doing better than we did before.'' The coach felt that the draw provided them with a perfect challenge for a country that goes in the competition as the dark horses of African football. “I said to other guys that this is a perfect draw for the underdog because this is where the underdog should come out and surprise Africa and the world.” Namibia seeks its first ever win in the competition after having failed on two occasions in the 1998 and 2008 competition. 

Group D is almost a repetition of the 1998 Afcon tournament in Burkina Faso when Namibia was drawn against Côte d'Ivoire, South African, with Angola the only missing team from the parcel and Morocco the team added. In 1998, Namibia finished at the bottom of the table with only one point from three matches as Côte d'Ivoire and South Africa topped the group. In 2008, Namibia also finished at the bottom of the group which included Ghana, Guinea and Morocco. 

Namibia’s two only points from the Afcon have come at the expense of Angola (1998) and Guinea in (2008). Cameroon is defending champions after winning the 2017 final against Egypt 2-1, courtesy of goals from Nikolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboukabar. Only South Africa (1996), Congo (1968) and Zambia (2012) have been able to bring the trophy to Southern Africa. There are six groups. The top two teams in each group, along with the four best third-placed teams, will advance to the round of 16.


Ivanka Trump Paid Tribute To Ethiopia

Ivanka Trump (pictured) attending the event to pay special tribute to the victims of the air disaster which claimed the lives of all 157 passengers on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight last month.
Ivanka Trump honors the 157 victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash at a special ceremony before laying a wreath to the dead during her tour to Africa.


Ivanka Trump honored victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Monday by attending a special ceremony and laying a wreath to the dead. During her visit to Addis Ababa, Ivanka stopped off at a cathedral in the Ethiopian capital to pay tribute to the 157 people killed when the plane crashed soon after takeoff last month. The president's daughter and senior adviser visited Holy Trinity Cathedral, where she met with religious leaders and laid a wreath to mourn the dead. 

A total of 21 United Nations staffers and 12 aid workers were killed last month when the Boeing 737 Max crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi. Airlines and countries around the world have grounded Boeing 737 Max jets or banned them from their airspace following the crash. A similar crash involving the same Boeing model plane crashed into the waters off Indonesia last October, killing all 189 on board.


 Ivanka greeted by the Ethiopian members as she arrives for a ceremony at Holy Trinity Cathedral.
American Airlines announced on Sunday that it was canceling 115 flights per day through mid-August because of ongoing problems with the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The announcement made American the second domestic major carrier to cancel Max flights through the busy summer season. Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of Boeing jets, announced last week that it would cancel its Max flights. The U.S. and around another 40 countries grounded Boeing's 737 Max plane in mid-March after the deadly plane crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

The First Daughter touched down in Addis Ababa early on Sunday and took to Instagram to share photos of her first meeting the head of the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The WGDPI initiative aims to train women worldwide to help them get well-paying jobs. Ivanka is due to visit Ethiopia and Ivory Coast over the next three days and is via flying commercial airlines, rather than using a US State Department aircraft.

Her schedule includes a women's economic empowerment summit in Ivory Coast as well as site visits and meetings with political leaders, executives and female entrepreneurs in both countries. Yesterday she visited a coffee shop and textile company in Addis Ababa. It was her first stop in Africa on a four-day trip to Ethiopia and Ivory Coast on behalf of a White House project intended to boost 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.




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