Retno calls on FPGH to be ‘positive force’ for equitable vaccine access

first_imgOther nations with more limited resources have opted to band together under multilateral initiatives to procure future vaccines or have secured bilateral agreements with vaccine-producing countries.Read also: New reckoning for WHO vaccine plan as governments go it aloneIndonesia is no exception, as it has ordered 30 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for delivery by the yearend and up to 340 million doses for delivery next year in deals with China and the United Arab Emirates.The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the ideal goal was for each country to receive enough vaccines to inoculate 20 percent of its population, starting with health workers and the most vulnerable groups regardless of nationality. Retno said that meeting domestic needs and securing access to affordable vaccines could go hand in hand, highlighting that a global effort was necessary to overcome and recover from the pandemic together.“[The FPGH] must continue to stand behind multilateral initiatives such as the global allocation framework [of] the COVAX Facility to speed up vaccine development and ensure equitable and fair allocation,” she said. “No one and no country should be left behind.”The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) is an initiative led by the Gavi vaccine alliance in coordination with the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to purchase 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for equitable distribution to countries around the world in 2021. It has secured 300 million doses to date, reports AFP.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who attended Thursday’s FPGH meeting, said that the COVAX effort had only managed to secure less than 10 percent of global needs.He also underscored the danger of “vaccine nationalism” in compromising equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.Read also: Efficacy and safety first: Experts urge government not to put vaccines on pedestal”Once we have an effective COVID-19 vaccine, it’s vital that we also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to ensure that some people in all countries receive it, rather than all people in some countries,” Ghebreyesus tweeted.The head of the global health authority lauded Indonesia’s efforts as the 2020 FPGH chair in advocating for “affordable health care for all”.The FPGH comprises Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand. Established in 2006, the forum has agreed to fully support global efforts to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic through global health and foreign policy harmonization.In a related development, Retno also attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Thursday, during which representatives of the world’s top economies sought international cooperation over easing travel restrictions and reopening borders.Read also: G20 foreign ministers discuss easing travel restrictions“This effort needs collective global leadership. Efforts to revive and reconnect our economic cooperation must be supported, [but] without sacrificing strict health protocols,” the minister said in her remarks.During the meeting, the ministers discussed the “importance of coordinating precautionary measures” across borders to protect lives and livelihoods, the G20 said in a joint statement following a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia.Topics : Indonesia has called on fellow members of the seven-nation Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) forum to push for equitable access to vaccines, especially at a time when poorer countries may lose out to their richer neighbors in securing access to any future COVID-19 vaccines.“Meeting the domestic need for vaccines is a necessity, but we must not do so at the expense of others. […] We must be a positive force for accessible and affordable vaccines for all,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in an official transcript of the forum’s virtual meeting on Thursday.Retno’s remarks come as a number of developed countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, European Union members, Canada and Japan, have reserved an estimated 3.1 billion doses of experimental vaccines for themselves, before the clinical trials have even finished.last_img read more

Boat house property hits market but there is no sign of water

first_imgMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.Port holes, a ship deck, masthead and bow as well as coloured glass and timber rafters are some of the nautical features. Vaulted ceilings combine with portside and starboard style bedrooms for the ship effect.The mastermind behind the construction is 74-year-old builder Barry Blunsdon who was recruited by the architect in 1989 to replicate a ship. 33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.BRENT and Bonnie Winters are throwing down the anchor and putting out a call for a new captain of their Gilston ship.Mr Winters is the third owner of the impressive house designed by renowned architect Peter Jansen as his personal abode almost 30 years ago. 33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.He said building the house was one of the hardest things he had ever done.“It was just me and my mate Harley Lomax working long days and long nights,” he said. “The timber joinery was really complicated. Back then Gilston was rural, there weren’t any homes around it was just all big paddocks. 33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.Sitting on a hill at 33 Banjo Cres, the home comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect in a normal boat. 33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.“We bought it seven years ago and when we first stepped inside it really blew us away,” he said.“Our friends were quite marvelled by it too, there is a boat engine design out the back with pipes to make it seem like you’re really sailing.” The Gilston house that was designed to look like a boat. Mr Barry Blunsdon the original builder . Picture Mike Batterham. Picture Mike Batterham“We had almost finished the home when it nearly went up in smokes from a bushfire.“Harley and I stayed up all night putting it out, luckily the bushfire only burnt the trees at the front of the house and we managed to keep it back.” The ship is set to sail at auction on August 26. 33 Banjo Crescent, Gilston.But according to Mr Blunsdon it wasn’t smooth sailing building the house.“I was building a house for Formula One driver Alan Jones when I met architect Peter Jansen,” Mr Blunsdon said. “When he asked me to build his home I was really hesitant and I knew it wouldn’t be easy but he insisted that he liked my style. I had no idea what I was in for.” The house was built within 18 months by a team of two, including Mr Blunsdon.Mr Blunsdon said the architect was strict about having no skirting boards, floorboards with no nails and angles in the ceiling.last_img read more

Nigeria: Otakikpo further increases production. Phase two in sight

first_imgAfrica-focused oil and gas company Lekoil has increased production at the Otakikpo field offshore Nigeria to 7,600 barrels of oil per day.Since starting production on February 20, daily production levels have steadily increased from 5,000 bopd to 6,400 bopd in October and 7,600 bopd through November 27.Lekoil said on Friday that additional perforations in one of two production strings at well-003 were recently performed before re-opening it for production.The Otakikpo joint venture partners, Lekoil as the financial and technical partner and Green Energy International Limited (GEIL) as the operator, agreed to hold production at current levels for a few more weeks to gather and analyze essential production and reservoir data and information before increasing production at the field.Funding talks As the field nears Phase One target production of 10,000 bopd, the joint venture is now focused on Phase Two of the field development plan which aims to increase production up to 20,000 bopd.Phase Two includes 3D seismic coverage of the entire Otakikpo field, neighboring prospects, and the incremental development of the rest of the field with new wells planned.Next steps will be to gather the 3D seismic data, process and interpret the data and subsequently release an updated competent person’s report. The company expects the Phase Two development to be fully funded by industry players, which the company is already in discussions with.Lekoil added that it completed five liftings so far and received cash proceeds within 30 days of each lift as prescribed by the terms of the crude sales agreement with Shell Trading. The company had an average premium for the Otakikpo blend of $1 or more above Brent pricing since inception. At current oil prices, the cash netback is above $30 per barrel.last_img read more

IADC Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure Conference in India

first_imgThe International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) has announced that their event, named ‘Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure Conference’, will take place on Friday, 18 October, 2019, at the Leela Palace Hotel in New Delhi, India.With growing environmental awareness and increasing climate pressures on low-lying deltas, modern-day society puts incredibly strong demands on the sustainability of water infrastructure projects, said IADC.“Classic approaches towards the design and implementation of such projects are no longer sufficient. Instead, radically different methods are needed. They demand multidisciplinary project teams to adopt entirely new ways of thinking, acting and interacting,” according to IADC.About the eventAt this conference, attendees will experience what it means to apply this new approach in practice. New avenues towards the development of sustainable water infrastructure will be explored.Key enablers to make this happen will be discussed, including the issues of:stakeholder engagement;valuation of ecosystem benefits;adaptive management of dredging projects;beneficial use of dredged materials.The speakers are industry experts, scientists, practitioners and project owners with backgrounds in engineering and environmental sciences. There will be many opportunities for participants to engage with each other during the program, enhancing knowledge exchange and transfer.last_img read more

New laws, fees & higher gas tax kick in July 1

first_imgIndianapolis, Ind. — Hoosiers will see changes July 1 following one of the most active Indiana General Assembly sessions in recent years. The new laws are designed to protect, educate and prepare state government for the future.The gas tax will increase by 10 cents and BMV fees will be increased and added. Registrations will now include a $15 transportation infrastructure improvement fee. Owners of electric vehicles will pay a $150 supplemental registration fee (SRF) and hybrid vehicle owners add a $50 SRF.State law will now require minors to wear helmets while operating any ATV or off-road vehicle or side-by-side off road vehicle on public or private property. This includes riders at Redbird and Interlake state recreation areas.Employees at public and private schools will be subject to more extensive background checks. Deeper, more thorough background checks could now result in an additional 30,000 investigations required annually. The bill also requires current employees to undergo the expanded background check every five years.The law requiring residents to obtain a license to carry a handgun has been repealed. Hoosier can now possess a handgun by following a list of guidelines. Handgun owners can now carry a weapon in a vehicle as long as it is unloaded and out of reach. State officials did clarify “out of reach” by saying, “In the trunk is out of reach, in the glove box is not.”New laws will also form a task force to assess services provided to the disabled and children. The task force has a November 1, 2018 deadline to quantify how many people are waiting for services and resources needed to bridge the gap.last_img read more

Sports in Lagos to Bounce Back from Covid-19 Stronger, Says Aiyepeku

first_imgBy Duro IkhazuagbeThe Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Sola Aiyepeku, has promised that sports would bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic -enforced break and even attain new heights in Lagos.Speaking on the effects of Covid-19 safety measures, Aiyepeku said athletes and businesses built around sports have had to face great difficulties but remained very proud of the level of compliance by stakeholders in the sector.“One can argue that only a few sectors were hit as hard as sports when the government took the responsible step of halting activities that involved large gatherings and contact. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) congratulating Sola Aiyepeku on his appointment as Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission …last November “Sports embody these things in many ways and as responsible citizens, we all have to comply. I have to say that I have been very impressed by the level of compliance by our athletes and other stakeholders in sports,” stressed the LSSC Chairman.He recalled that the pandemic did damage to the preparations the state’s athletes had made ahead of their participation at the National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Benin City last March.“I particularly want to commend our athletes because it is easy to forget that the lockdown measures were put in place a few days to the commencement of the National Sports Festival in Edo.“Our athletes had camped for weeks, they had trained really hard and all was set for us to go and compete. To see them adjust as well as they did was really impressive,” observed Aiyepeku who thanked the athletes for appreciating measures put in place by the commission to ameliorate the hardship occasioned by the lockdown.“We are grateful that they were very appreciative of our gesture to distribute palliatives such as foodstuffs and cash to help them cope.”On what the Lagos Sports Commission had been up to over the past months, Aiyepeku said he and his team had focused on developing a Lagos State sports policy and weekly virtual strategy sessions which had coalesced into clear plans that would be implemented once Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gives the go-ahead for sports to resume fully.“We have already designed Covid-19 compliant events in sports that require minimal contact and requires few participants. We have the WHO guidelines on sporting activities which has enabled the major leagues and some events in Europe and America resume and we have staff and capacity to implement them.“Our plan is to start with those and then scale up to full events as the government allows. Our main focus once sports resumes fully is actually school sports. We believe strongly that the future of sports in Lagos and Nigeria in the next 10 years depends on the steps we take now,” he further observed.Aiyepeku revealed that the LSSC had commenced discussions with the Ministry of Education to integrate sports and start a wave of interest and participation among students that will catalyse in the production of talented and well-trained athletes that will represent Lagos, Nigeria and themselves all over the world for years to come.Aiyepeku insists he remains confident on implementing lasting changes as he enjoys the trust and support of Governor Sanwo-Olu and has a very solid team driving his policy and agenda.“When you are appointed into government, your agenda is driven largely by your principal’s vision and this is where I consider myself quite lucky. Mr. Governor’s agenda for sports sync nicely with a lot of the ideas and thoughts I have always considered the way to drive sports in Lagos and Nigeria.“That is, sports should be a vehicle to achieve many things including talent development, job creation, citizen engagement, and ultimately, a significant contributor to the economy and GDP through sports events, products, and activities.“His support for us is demonstrated by some of the successes we have recorded between November and March before the Covid-19 lockdown.We hosted the South-west Zonal qualifiers for the first time in over 40 years. “We played our role as Host City of the Lagos City Marathon, one of the biggest Marathons in Africa and we delivered a world-class event as attested to by local and foreign athletes as well as observers.“We hosted the Beach Soccer Copa Lagos and other sports events in Lagos all within these four months.“In fact, plans were afoot to bring other world-class events to Lagos before the pandemic hit and those discussions are still ongoing to find new dates. All these could not have been possible without Mr. Governor’s unflinching support for sports.”Aiyepeku’s dream is to start the work of laying the foundations of building a sports industry in Lagos that will sustainably deliver social and economic dividends to the state.“By doing this, we will all benefit. Imagine a sports system where sports education and training begins in schools, there are decent and accessible facilities for professional, aspiring and recreational athletes to train, world-class facilities to host local, regional and global events, a vibrant sports equipment industry supplying the equipment and kits needed by millions of recreational athletes, regulated gyms and fitness centers and well-trained coaches, instructors, and trainers.“It is an entire ecosystem and our vision is to stimulate that growth spurt the ecosystem needs to develop into a fully functional system as we have all over the world. Our vision for sports in Lagos is big and we have used the period of this enforced break to fine-tune our plans and strategies so that when the safety measures are lifted and normalcy is being restored, sports in Lagos will make an even bigger and better return,” Aiyepeku concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Badgers chase outright WCHA title

first_imgWith a sweep of cross-state rival St. Cloud State over the weekend, Mark Johnson’s squad clinched a share of the WCHA title for the fourth time in the program’s 12-year history.[/media-credit]After clinching a share of its fourth WCHA title last weekend, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team is already looking ahead to next weekend to claim the entire crown for itself.Entering the final regular season series, the Badgers, sporting a 28-2-2 record (22-2-2-1 WCHA), can clinch an outright WCHA title and a first seed in the conference playoffs with one win over Ohio State this weekend. The win would give UW a two-game lead over rival Minnesota in the conference standings.Head coach Mark Johnson is looking forward to finishing the season strong at the Kohl Center against the Buckeyes and shook his head in disbelief that the regular season is already drawing to a close at his weekly press conference Monday.The 2012 seniors will be honored this weekend for their highly successful careers, and Johnson knows this weekend’s game comes rife with meaning and emotion.“The challenge will be coming out at 2 o’clock [on Friday] and have some energy and have some pace to our game, and know that if we’re successful our team will be rewarded at the end of the game,” Johnson said.Johnson stressed a key to success at the end of the season is being healthy, as he cited the return to health of junior defenseman Stefanie McKeough as a big plus to the lineup. McKeough boasts a plus-minus ratio of plus 20 and is sixth on the team with 19 points in her 21 games played.In addition to staying healthy, senior captain Hilary Knight, who will be playing her last series at home this weekend, has been instrumental to the Badgers’ largely victorious season. Knight, who is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer, has done things with the puck “that you don’t see too often in our game,” Johnson noted.And more than her on-ice ability to score big goals and create opportunities is the leadership Knight brings that will be sorely missed for next year’s team.“A lot of the little things that the public or fans don’t see is how she conducts herself on a daily basis, very similar to a lot of other successful players over the years,” Johnson said. “She does things the right way, whether it’s school, whether it’s taking care of herself, 24/7 of being an elite athlete … She does it very well.”Johnson went on to make the case that if Knight isn’t the best player in women’s college hockey this year, she’s at least in the top three, citing how she has played out of position and has made sacrifices for the betterment of the team. According to Johnson, having Knight at center rather than out on the wing has allowed her to carry the puck more and create chances for her teammates.Knight is up for consideration for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, annually given to the nation’s top female hockey player, and her biggest competition may come from her own teammates. Junior forward Brianna Decker is second in the nation in goals with 30 and total points with 66, while Brooke Ammerman is fifth with 62 points.Additionally, goaltender Alex Rigsby leads the nation with a .951 save percentage and is second in the country with a 1.40 goals against average.As the Badgers finish up the regular season, it will be difficult for them to keep their eyes on the prize and not slip into a mindset of complacency. Johnson is taking it one day at a time to keep his No. 1-ranked team in tip-top shape as they continue to ride an eight-game winning streak.“The team’s played consistent in the 32 games we’ve played, and for us to be in the position that we are in is a compliment to the players,” Johnson said. “As clich? as it is, we’re taking it one day at a time.”“We’ll go about our business like we have since September, and I’m sure the players will come out very excited and very enthusiastic about Friday afternoon’s game knowing what’s at stake.”last_img read more

Etisalat U-15 School Cup Season 3 Returns in October

first_imgAfter two successful seasons, Nigeria’s youth-friendly telecommunications network, Etisalat has concluded plans to kick off the third season of its Under 15 School Cup football competition, in October.The Etisalat U-15 School Cup is a national grassroot football competition designed to connect, engage and promote young football talents. It promotes national unity by connecting young and aspiring footballers to becoming future champions.According to the Director, Brand & Experience, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Ogiemwanye, the third season will provide exciting prospects of building on the success of the last two editions. “Our commitment to the nation is to support and create credible platforms that can contribute to the development of the country. Therefore, we are committed to developing a pool of young football talents. The success of the last two editions makes it even more exciting for us,” he said. The 2016 edition will start with state competitions where various schools will compete at the state level to win a spot at the regional group stage. The state winners will compete at the regional stage where 8 teams with the highest points will qualify for the National Finals happening in Lagos in November.The regional group matches will kick off with a Trophy tour around the host cities of Ibadan, Ilorin, Enugu and Kaduna to enable respective participating teams and their supporters catch a glimpse of the prestigious Champions Trophy and experience the Mobile Champions Studio which is an innovative platform created to enable participants take creative pictures of themselves as well as tell their own football stories to Nigerians.The impressive trophy was inspired by other international tournaments, predicated upon the belief that the competition will produce international champions in the near future. According to the Head, Events and Sponsorships, Modupe Thani, “the trophy has been designed to inspire our Etisalat School Cup Champions to believe in themselves and to dream of playing and winning bigger football championships as they grow their football talents and move unto professional football”.The tour also features the Etisalat Football Truck where school students will need to score goals into holes positioned on the vehicle. The tour promises to be exciting, engaging and very competitive.The maiden edition of the competition in 2013 was won by Keke Senior High School, Ijaiye, Lagos and the school was rewarded with N1million cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the 2nd edition was won by Government Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State going home with the star prize of N2 million educational award and N50, 000 each to players of the winning team.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Oscar Pistorius prosecutors appeal verdict

first_imgProsecutors in the Oscar Pistorius case are appealing against the conviction and sentencing of the athlete for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Last month parents her parents June and Barry Steenkamp told HELLO! they were relieved that the Paralympian had been given a five-year sentence for the killing of their daughter, which was ruled culpable homicide, roughly equivalent to a manslaughter charge in British law. Photo: © Getty ImagesOscar Pistorius is facing an appeal by prosecutors on ‘a question of law’However, the National Prosecuting Authority said it planned to appeal on a “question of law”. Spokesman Nathi Mncube  added: “The NPA will not be able to discuss the matter publicly until judgment is delivered by the court.”No date has yet been set for the hearing.Oscar admitted shooting the model, but said he mistook her for a burglar in the early hours of the morning. The champion sprinter is currently serving his sentence in the hospital wing of a Pretoria prison. He will be eligible to be released under house arrest in ten months.Oscar was also given a three-year suspended sentence for firing a gun in a restaurant.last_img read more