Tag Archives: world

Gambia Government Denies Rumours Of Legalizing Homosexuality For Foreign Aids

The Gambia government has denied the widely circulated rumours of plans to soften homosexuality laws in the country in exchange for foreign aids.

Ebrima Sankareh, government spokesperson said this in a statement that that the news is false political propaganda orchestrated to score cheap political points,

He said the Gambia’s government continues to be guided by “the norms of its people” and there is no plan to entertain a review of laws on homosexuality.

Sankareh held that homosexual activity is illegal in The Gambia, where a conviction can carry a hefty prison sentence.

Tuesday’s statement follows weeks of pressure on the government to respond to apparently pro-gay social media posts from the European Union’s delegation in the Muslim-majority nation.

On May 17 — the international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia — the EU delegation in The Gambia uploaded posts urging that gay people not be excluded from society.

But this spurred speculation that the EU would seek to tie aid funds to protecting LGBT rights, prompting uproar from religious leaders and opposition politicians.

Talks over revising The Gambia’s constitution, held under Barrow, have also sparked discussion about gay rights in the former British colony of some two million people.

America Backs Down, Allows Chinese Airlines Landing Permit

The United States of America government has backed down from a ban threat issued to Chinese airlines saying the airlines will now be given limited of flights to the U.S

The decision came one day after China appeared to open the door to U.S. carriers United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resuming one flight per week each into the country.

The Transportation Department said it will let Chinese passenger airlines fly a combined total of two round-trip flights per week between the U.S. and China, which it said would equal the number of flights that China’s aviation authority will allow for U.S. carriers.

Delta praised the U.S. government for trying to “ensure fairness and access to China.” United said it was reviewing the matter.

Neither said whether the latest development in the dispute between the two countries would affect their plans. Both had hoped to offer more flights.

The Transportation Department said it might further ease restrictions if China does the same. Officials are concerned, however, about conditions China is imposing that could affect whether U.S. airlines resume their flights.

Those requirements include taking temperatures of all passengers in mid-flight and suspending an airline’s future flights if five or more passengers test positive for the coronavirus after arriving in China.

China’s embassy in Washington did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The dispute between Washington and Beijing over airline service has been building for weeks and is part of broader trade and diplomatic tension between the world’s two biggest economies.

Covid-19: China Reports Zero New Cases for the First Time Since January

China on Saturday reported zero new coronavirus infections for the first time since it started reporting data in January , a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated “ major achievements” in the virus fight .

The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year , but cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid- February as the country appears to have brought the virus largely under control .

The official death toll in the country of 1 . 4 billion people stands at 4 , 634 , well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries .

However , doubt has been cast on the reliability of China ’ s numbers and the United States has led the charge in questioning how much information Beijing has shared with the international community.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China ’ s rubber – stamp parliament , the National People’ s Congress , where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “ made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID- 19 . ”

However , he warned that the country still faced “ immense ” challenges.

Authorities in Wuhan have come under fire for reprimanding and silencing doctors who first raised the alarm about the virus late last year , and repeated changes to counting methodology have cast further doubt over China ’ s official data.

Beijing has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up , insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and other countries in a timely manner.

Since first emerging in Wuhan the virus has spread across the world , claiming more than 335 , 000 lives globally

Analyst States Reasons Why Foreigners Are Not Ready To Buy Nigerian Stocks

Financial analysts have linked the dwindling inflow of foreign investments in the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) over the past few months to fears by investors of likely poor yield or returns on such investments.

Specifically, they said that as the COVID-19 continued its disruptive impact on businesses globally, foreign investors were not eyeing the bourse for new investments, resisting reduced valuations on some of Nigeria’s biggest companies and also concerned that a shortage of dollars may restrict their ability to realize any profits.

Commenting on the development, Temi Popoola, the Head of Renaissance Capital’s local unit, said: “Foreigners are net sellers and locals are net buyers, as assets look very cheap in naira terms. If you are a foreign investor, you still have the currency risk. It is not clear what direction we are going.”

According to data from the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the Lagos-based platform that oversees foreign-exchange trading, foreign investors’ purchases of Nigerian stocks and bonds dropped to $266 million in March and the first half of April, the lowest since the Investors’ and Exporters’ Foreign Exchange Window was opened in 2017.

Local investors are positioning for dividend payments from Nigerian blue-chip companies, unworried by the paucity of foreign exchange, caused by the crash in crude oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited, said: “We believe the intensified sell-off by foreign investors was due to the elevated global risk aversion for EM/FM assets, triggered by the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Stocks at the exchange have just wrapped up their best week since January, but it’s no thanks to foreign investors. The country’s benchmark index jumped 7.2% last week, closing out a seven-day rally.

The sell off by foreign investors pushed the share prices of major bellwethers to historic lows, providing an attractive entry point.

Also, dollar trading has remained quiet in Nigeria’s interbank foreign exchange market, while foreign exchange reserves have dwindled 12% this year to $33.9 billion.

An analyst at Old Mutual Investment Group in Cape Town, Randolph Oosthuizen, was quoted as saying that the outlook for foreign interest in Nigerian equities would depend partly on how the government sets about to revive the economy from the ravages of the coronavirus.

He stated: “The next few quarters will be very difficult for Nigeria, but we await more granular information on policy responses. New inflows will in large part probably be based on how these are received by the market.”

US Slams WHO Over Covid-19 Failure

The United States on Monday slammed the World Health Organization ’ s “ failure ” to obtain and provide vital information on COVID- 19 that could have reined in the pandemic and saved many lives .

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in a video address to the WHO ’ s main annual meeting: “We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: there was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed , and that failure cost many lives , ”

Azar insisted the WHO had to change and become more transparent , as he backed an independent review of “ every aspect” of the UN health agency ’ s response to the pandemic .

Washington is locked in an increasingly bitter spat with Beijing over the new coronavirus pandemic , while it has also taken aim at the WHO.

The outbreak , which emerged in China late last year, has killed and infected more people in the United States than in any other country by far.

Washington has suspended its funding to the WHO , accusing it of being too close to Beijing , and covering up and mismanaging the pandemic.

“ In an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak , at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations, with tremendous costs for the entire world , ” said Azar.

“ We saw that the WHO failed at its core mission of information sharing and transparency when member states do not act in good faith.

“ This cannot ever happen again . The status quo is intolerable . WHO must change , and it must become far more transparent and far more accountable . ”
Azar said that while countries were focused on the immediate response to the pandemic, they needed a “ more effective WHO right now ” to help win the fight .

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