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[1/2] Climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a protest on the last day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2023. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannDAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Greta Thunberg and around 30 other activists braved sub-zero temperatures on Friday in a protest calling for climate justice as the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting wound up in Davos. Now" and "Fossil fuels have got to go", while Thunberg held up a sign saying "Keep it in the ground". The 20-year-old Swedish activist stuck to her stance against all new oil, gas and coal developments during the fringe event, that was not part of the official conference agenda. In 2019, the then 16-year-old Thunberg took part in the main WEF meeting, famously telling leaders that "our house is on fire".
Protesters target BNP in Paris over loan to oil company
  + stars: | 2023-01-20 | by ( )   time to read: +3 min
REUTERS/Sarah MeyssonnierPARIS, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Protesters from ecological movement Extinction Rebellion rallied outside a BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) building in Paris on Friday to oppose the French bank's loan to an oil major leading in an East African oil pipeline project. EACOP is the acronym for the $3.5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline, a project run by France's TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) whose construction licence was approved by Ugandan authorities on Thursday. BNP Paribas decided not to finance the EACOP project in 2021, but last year participated in a one-year liquidity loan of $8 billion to TotalEnergies as one of a dozen banks. One protester, referring to the loan, said "this blank check allows TotalEnergies to finance absolutely anything it wants, so yes BNP Paribas may not directly underwrite the project but it still remains the second-largest financial partner." The bank has a goal to finance 30 billion euros ($32.5 billion) of renewable energy projects by 2025.
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The world's most powerful activist confronted the man in charge of regulating global energy in Davos on Thursday, demanding an end to fossil fuel investments. Greta Thunberg urged IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol to stop the global energy industry and the financiers who support them from fuelling carbon investments. "As long as they can get away with it they will continue to invest in fossil fuels, they will continue to throw people under the bus," Thunberg warned. He also said he was less pessimistic than the climate activists about the shift to clean energy. Asked why she did not want to advocate for change from the inside, Thunberg said there were already activists doing that.
Guterres pointed blame squarely at the fossil fuel industry when addressing the Davos crowd, composed of billionaires, politicians and business leaders, including dozes of high level executives from the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. And like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held to account,” Guterres told the conference. A new report published on Tuesday by the campaign group Reclaim Finance revealed that dozens of banks and financial institutions with net zero pledges are still pouring money into fossil fuels. Since signing, however, it found members have invested hundreds of billions into fossil fuels. Guterres called on companies to “put forward credible and transparent transition plans on how to achieve net zero,” by the end of 2023.
Uganda Declares End of Deadly Ebola Outbreak
  + stars: | 2023-01-11 | by ( Nicholas Bariyo | )   time to read: 1 min
KAMPALA, Uganda—Uganda’s Ebola outbreak is over, the country’s health ministry said Wednesday, capping a nearly four-month struggle to contain a rare strain of the highly contagious virus for which there are no proven vaccines or antiviral treatments. Uganda’s Health Ministry said 42 days had passed since the last known patient diagnosed with the Sudan strain of Ebola was discharged from a hospital, taking the country beyond twice the virus’s maximum incubation period. Fifty-five people are confirmed to have died from the virus since September in the second-deadliest known Ebola outbreak in Uganda’s history, while at least 142 were infected. The ministry said another 22 people are believed to have died from the virus as far back as early August, but were never tested.
Uganda’s latest outbreak of the Ebola virus is over. Uganda’s government and the World Health Organization made the announcement Wednesday. The Sudan strain of the Ebola virus, unlike the Zaire strain that has caused outbreaks in neighboring Congo in recent years, has no proven vaccine. This outbreak was the first in a decade of the less common Sudan strain. Ebola, which can sometimes manifest as a hemorrhagic fever, spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials.
Uganda declares over Ebola outbreak that killed 55
  + stars: | 2023-01-11 | by ( Elias Biryabarema | )   time to read: +2 min
[1/3] Motorists and cyclists are seen at a traffic light intersection in Kabuusu area of the Lubaga division amid the Ebola outbreak in Kampala, Uganda November 16, 2022. "We have successfully controlled the spread of Ebola in Uganda," Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said during a ceremony to mark the outbreak's end. The outbreak killed 55 of the 143 people infected since September, according to health ministry figures. Unlike the more common strain of the virus, Ebola Zaire, which has been behind several recent epidemics in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, the strain behind Uganda's outbreak, Ebola Sudan, has no proven vaccine. Even so, experts said Uganda's experience battling previous outbreaks of Ebola and its viral cousin Marburg helped its response.
[1/3] Motorists and cyclists are seen at a traffic light intersection in Kabuusu area of the Lubaga division amid the Ebola outbreak in Kampala, Uganda November 16, 2022. "We have successfully controlled the spread of Ebola in Uganda," Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said during a ceremony to mark the outbreak's end. Aceng said this was Uganda's eighth Ebola outbreak since 2000, when the country recorded its first and most deadly one that killed more than half of the 425 people it infected. In the early weeks of the outbreak, cases spread beyond the epicentre of Mubende, 150 km (90 miles) west of the capital Kampala, to several other districts, including Kampala. Unlike the more common strain of the virus, Ebola Zaire, which has been behind several recent epidemics in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, the strain behind Uganda's outbreak, Ebola Sudan, has no proven vaccine.
Messaging platform WhatsApp will help users bypass repressive restrictions using proxy servers. This follows a string of internet shutdowns in Iran, imposed amid ongoing anti-government protests. The move follows a string of internet shutdowns by Iranian authorities in an attempt to quash dissent and clamp down on anti-government protests. WhatsApp's new feature will allow users to go online using proxy servers, which can help mask their location and bypass government-imposed controls and restrictions. This will enable people to keep using WhatsApp even if their connection is blocked or disrupted — and maintain contact with family, friends, or fellow protesters.
There is no evidence of a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus at The George Washington (GW) University Hospital in Washington, D.C., health officials told Reuters. Users online are sharing a claim that the hospital is no longer accepting patients out of concern over a possible Ebola outbreak. Examples of users sharing images of a tweet that reads, “BREAKING NEWS: GW HOSPITAL isn’t accepting no patients due to a possible EBOLA OUTBREAK. Also Washington Hospital Center has no bed space with a line out the door” can be seen on Facebook (here) and (here). There has not been a reported case of a patient who tested positive for the Ebola virus at GW Hospital, health officials told Reuters.
KAMPALA, Jan 1 (Reuters) - At least nine people including a 10-year-old boy suffocated to death as crowds rushing to see a New Year's firework display got stuck in a narrow corridor in a shopping mall near Uganda's capital, police said. People started pushing through a passage in the Freedom City Mall just after clocks struck midnight, the force said. In doing so, many people suffocated to death. People had been celebrating the New Year at the mall which is on a highway linking Kampala to Entebbe airport. Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Andrew HeavensOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A stampede occurred at a New Years concert and fireworks display in Uganda. Witnesses say the event occurred when people rushed down stairs to get off a platform. Nine people died during a stampede at a concert and fireworks celebration Saturday in Kampala, the country's largest city, the BBC reported. Sylvia Nakalema, a witness who got caught in the stampede, told The Guardian, that the fireworks show turned deadly when viewers descended stairs from a platform where they had been watching. One in Seoul, South Korea, during a Halloween celebration in the city left 150 dead.
[1/5] Workers at ARC Ride assemble an electric motorcycle at the company's warehouse in Industrial Area, Nairobi, Kenya November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah MwangiSummary Electric motorbike startups making inroads in KenyaSay battery swapping saves drivers time, moneyPlanning to expand model to Tanzania, UgandaNAIROBI, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Over recent months, sets of sturdy, brightly-branded battery swapping stations have cropped up around Kenya's capital Nairobi, allowing electric motorcyclists to exchange their low battery for a fully-charged one. "It doesn't make a lot of economic and business sense for them to acquire a battery...which would almost double the cost of the bike," said Steve Juma, the co-founder of electric bike company Ecobodaa. EXPANSION PLANSEcobodaa is just one of several Nairobi-based electric motorcycle startups working to prove themselves in Kenya before eventually expanding in East Africa. "We're putting over 200 swapping stations in Nairobi and expanding to Dar es Salaam and Kampala," said Hurst-Croft.
KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan court has charged an American couple with child trafficking in a case that might see them serve life in prison if convicted. The prosecution told the court the couple had been staying with three foster children, including the boy. The case has an element of child trafficking because the couple was allegedly keeping and using the children to solicit money from donors, said Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman Patrick Onyango. It’s not clear what the couple was doing in Uganda because they didn’t have work permits, he said. The law allows foreigners in Uganda to have foster children, Onyango said.
To see who's eating what this weekend, the culinary website Chef's Pencil created a map showing what it says are the most popular Christmas dishes around the world. Those headed to parts of South America can too — the map shows turkey is a top Christmas food in Brazil, Chile and Peru. Source: Chef's PencilItalians traditionally eat veal, while Rwandans grill both beef and goat for Christmas, the map shows. Carp, a freshwater fish, is popular in Central and Eastern Europe, while saltwater cod tops holiday menus in Italy and Portugal, the map shows. In a post about Christmas in Portugal, the travel website Portuguese for a Day states, "Christmas is not Christmas without codfish on the table!"
REUTERS/Abubaker LubowaKAMPALA, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. couple detained in Uganda on charges of aggravated torture of a 10-year-old boy face an additional charge of aggravated child trafficking which carries the death penalty if they are convicted, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday. The new charge sheet seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed the couple have additionally been charged with "aggravated trafficking in children". Attempts by Reuters to reach a lawyer for them via the court and the prosecutors' office were not immediately successful. Prosecutors accuse the couple of having recruited, transported and kept the child through "abuse of position of vulnerability for purposes of exploitation", according to the charge sheet. The first charge, aggravated torture of a child, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, reflecting the joint leadership of China and Canada, is the culmination of four years of work toward creating an agreement to guide global conservation efforts through 2030. A Congolese representative argued that developed nations should provide more resources to nature conservation efforts in developing countries. [1/6] The leadership of the U.N.-backed COP15 biodiversity conference applaud after passing the The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in Montreal, Quebec, Canada December 19, 2022. Developed countries will provide $25 billion in annual funding starting in 2025 and $30 billion per year by 2030. The agreement, which contains 23 targets in total, replaces the 2010 Aichi Biodiversity Targets that were intended to guide conservation through 2020.
MONTREAL, Dec 19 (Reuters) - A United Nations summit approved on Monday a landmark global deal to protect nature and direct billions of dollars toward conservation but objections from key African nations, home to large tracts of tropical rainforest, marred the final passage. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, reflecting the joint leadership of China and Canada, is the culmination of four years of work toward creating an agreement to guide global conservation efforts through 2030. "The parties which are developed nations should provide resources to parties which are developing," the Congolese representative said through a translator. The deal, which contains 23 targets in total, replaces the failed 2010 Aichi Biodiversity Targets that were intended to guide conservation through 2020. Investment firms focused on a target in the deal recommending that companies analyse and report how their operations affect and are affected by biodiversity issues.
Uganda president lifts all Ebola-related movement restrictions
  + stars: | 2022-12-17 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
KAMPALA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni lifted all Ebola-related movement restrictions on Saturday, saying the East African country had made progress in curbing the deadly disease. Museveni rescinded restrictions on the disease's epicentre in the district of Mubende, which logged 66 cases and 29 deaths, and in the Kassanda region with 49 cases and 21 deaths. In October, the Kampala government imposed travel restrictions and an overnight curfew and also shut places of worship and entertainment. Ebola causes vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea and spreads via contact with bodily fluids of the infected. The virus can sometimes linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of survivors and flare up years later.
Russia and Ukraine are not currently engaged in talks to end the fighting, which is raging in the east and south and reached Kyiv again on Wednesday. Zelenskiy said this week Russia should start withdrawing by Christmas as a step to end the conflict, Europe's biggest since World War Two. Moscow rejected the proposal outright, saying Ukraine must accept the loss of territory to Russia before any progress can be made. [1/5] Rescuers and police officers examine parts of the drone at the site of a building destroyed by a Russian drone attack, as their attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine December 14, 2022. DRONES STRIKE KYIVViolence returned to Kyiv, with the first major drone attack on Ukraine's capital in weeks.
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Banks in countries such as Ukraine and Turkey face a "very high" risk from restrictions on capital flows, weak international reserves and a high level of foreign currency debt, Moody's Investors Service said in a report on Monday. "The banks become vulnerable to an increase in defaults on foreign currency loans granted to unhedged borrowers which hurts the banks' profitability, while their liquidity and capital can also come under pressure." MSCI's index of emerging market currencies (.MIEM00000CUS) is on course for its sharpest drop since 2015. "Altogether 20 banking systems face high or very high foreign-currency risk," the report added. Foreign exchange risk is at the lowest in emerging markets such as Chile, Ivory Coast and Indonesia.
KAMPALA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has extended a quarantine placed on two districts that are the epicentre of the country's Ebola outbreak by 21 days, adding that his government's response to the disease was succeeding. Movement into and out of Mubende and Kassanda districts in central Uganda will be restricted up to Dec. 17, the presidency said late on Saturday. It was originally imposed for 21 days on Oct. 15, then extended for the same period on Nov. 5. The government's anti-Ebola efforts were succeeding with two districts now going for roughly two weeks without new cases, the president said. Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Kim CoghillOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Uganda recording downward trend in Ebola cases - official
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
[1/2] Motorists and cyclists are seen at a traffic light intersection in Kabuusu area of the Lubaga division amid the Ebola outbreak in Kampala, Uganda November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Abubaker LubowaKAMPALA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Uganda has recorded a drop in the number of new Ebola cases, with some districts going for at least two weeks without registering new infections, health ministry officials said. "We are also not seeing new cases in Kampala, in the greater Kampala metropolitan area, neither are we seeing cases in Masaka and Jinja," two other cities, she said. But three candidate vaccines against the Sudan strain are planned for a clinical trial in Uganda. The country has so far recorded 141 cases and 55 deaths, according to the ministry.
African leaders agree on ceasefire in east Congo from Friday
  + stars: | 2022-11-23 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
KINSHASA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - African leaders have declared a ceasefire in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo starting Friday, which is aimed in particular at stopping attacks by the M23 rebel group, they said in a statement. The declaration was issued by the leaders of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola, and former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, after a summit in Luanda on Wednesday aimed at finding solutions to the east Congo crisis. Eastern Congo is facing an insurgency by the M23, a Tutsi-led rebel group which the Congolese government claims is supported by neighbouring Rwanda. In addition to the ceasefire, the statement said the M23 must withdraw from its occupied territories or face intervention by regional forces. "If M23 does not withdraw the East African Community (EAC) heads of states shall authorize use of force to compel the group to comply," it said.
South African retailer Shoprite to close Congo operations
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
KINSHASA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - South African retailer Shoprite (SHPJ.J) has decided to shut its shops in Democratic Republic of Congo, a company statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed. The decision follows the closure of operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar as the group aims to focus more on its business in South Africa, Shoprite said. "The decision to close operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo during this period is regrettable but is part of the group's long-term strategy," its statement dated Nov. 21 said. South Africa's biggest retailer by market capitalisation launched in Congo in 2012 during a period of aggressive expansion push into African's frontier retail markets. Shoprite's three shops in Congo were among its 2,800 stores across 15 countries in Africa.
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