African climate activists press leaders on ‘life or death’ choices
Climate change presents world leaders with “life or death” choices, the Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate said on Wednesday as she pressed them to treat it as an urgent crisis.
Poverty, hunger, conflicts, disease and violence against women were some of the knock-on effects she cited.
“The people and the planet must come first before anything else,” Nakate said.
“If you do not treat climate change as a crisis then you will not do what is necessary for us to get out of this mess. It is time for leaders to leave their comfort zones and see the danger that we are in and do something about it.”
“We need to stop being passive, we need to stop putting each other down and criticising each other,” Ayakha Melithafa, a South African climate activist, said.
“We are powerful beyond measure and together we will truly make powerful and effective change.”
Vanessa Nakate, a vocal young activist who has demonstrated with Greta Thunberg, was giving the annual Desmond Tutu peace lecture.
In are-recorded speeches due to the coronavirus pandemic, activists warned that the world is entering “the decisive decade” for climate and environment and called for climate justice globally.
According to organisers, MultiChoice Nigeria, the winner of the season 5 edition will be going home with N85 million worth of prizes.
The breakdown of the grand prize is as follows;
N30M CASH PRIZE; A TWO-BEDROOM APARTMENT COURTESY REVOLUTION PLUS; A TOP OF THE RANGE SUV FROM NIGERIAN AUTOMAKER, INNOSON MOTORS.
A TRIP TO DUBLIN COURTESY GUINNESS; HOME APPLIANCES COURTESY SCANFROST; A TRIP TO DUBAI PACKAGED BY TRAVELBETA; A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF INDOMIE NOODLES, MUNCH IT AND COLGATE TOOTHPASTE; A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF PEPSI, A BRANDED CHILLER AND A TRIP TO WATCH THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALE; AND A BRAND NEW OPPO MOBILE SMARTPHONE.
With regards to winning, the spotlight has been on one of the finalist, Olamilekan Agbeleshe better known as Laycon.
Many fans of the show have prédicted that among the 5 finalists, the 26-year-old singer and rapper would emerge the winner.
The rapper has been in the spotlight since his 1st day on the show, making him the first contestant in the show’s history to amass 1 million followers on Instagram while in the house.
As at Friday September 25, the housemate has garnered a sum of N7 million in cash prizes from different tasks he excelled in on the show, including a trip to Scotland.
According to many online polls, Laycon has been mostly voted for as the winner.
This is followed by Dorathy Bachor, who is also often commended for her team spirit, her performance and interaction with other housemates.
Disqualified Big Brother Housemate, Erica has been involved in an audio money saga with the Instagram big boy, Chidi Mike Cars popularly known as CMC after he failed to fulfil his pledge of 2million naira and a Benz.
Trouble started after the management of Erica brand called out the acclaimed big boy, CMC for posting on his Instagram that he had redeemed the pledges he made to Erica which was untrue.
In a video that has gone viral, CMC can be pictured using inane words on both Erica and her management calling her bastard and insisting he is not Otedola to give out cars with Erica signing a contract.
China warns of necessary measures to safeguard interests of its companies after US bans downloads of TikTok and WeChat.
China has accused the United States of “bullying” and threatened to take “necessary” countermeasures after Washington banned downloads of the Chinese video-sharing app, TikTok, and effectively blocked the use of the messaging super-app, WeChat.
Separately, Beijing also launched on Saturday a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities that it deems a threat to its sovereignty and security, in a development seen as retaliation to US penalties against other Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.
The latest Chinese moves come as tensions with the US escalate on a range of issues from trade and human rights to the battle for tech supremacy.
In a statement on Saturday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce condemned Washington’s decision on Friday to ban TikTok and WeChat from US app stores, saying: “China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease its wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order.”
It then warned: “If the US insists on going its own way, China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
The US Department of Commerce announced the bans in response to a pair of executive orders signed in August by US President Donald Trump, in which he said the two Chinese-owned apps presented a threat to the country’s national security.
China and the companies, however, have denied US user data is collected for spying.
WeChat app would lose functionality in the US from Sunday onwards, while TikTok users will be banned from installing updates but could keep accessing the service through November 12.
WeChat developer Tencent Holdings called the order “unfortunate” and said it “will continue to discuss with the government and other stakeholders in the US ways to achieve a long-term solution”.
The owners of TikTok, which has 100 million users in the US, said it will challenge “the unjust executive order”.
‘Very, very popular’ Friday’s order follows weeks of deal-making over TikTok, with Trump pressuring ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations to a domestic company to satisfy Washington’s concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.
California tech giant Oracle recently struck a deal with TikTok along those lines, although details remain foggy.
Trump said on Friday said he was open to a deal, noting that “we have some great options and maybe we can keep a lot of people happy,” suggesting that even Microsoft, which said its TikTok bid had been rejected, might continue to be involved, as well as Oracle and Walmart.
Trump noted that TikTok was “very, very popular,” said “we have to have the total security from China,” and added that “we can do a combination of both”.
ByteDance has now asked a US judge to block the action against it, according to Bloomberg News.
Amid the escalating row, the Chinese commerce ministry issued on Saturday regulations for its “unreliable entity list” aimed at foreign companies it says endangers its sovereignty, security or development interests.
Companies that end up on the list could be banned from importing or exporting from China, and may be barred from investing in the country. Other measures include imposing fines, entry restrictions on employees into China, and revoking their work or residence permits.
The launch of the “unreliable entities list” ups the ante in the escalating commercial fight with the Trump administration, which has used its own “entity list” to bar Huawei from the US market on national security grounds.
The Chinese announcement did not mention any specific foreign entities, but in May, state-run tabloid Global Times reported the measures would target such US companies as Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Qualcomm Inc, while suspending purchases of Boeing Co aeroplanes.
Authorities will set up a working mechanism and an office to help implement work related to the list, the ministry added.
Foreign firms could be removed from the list if they correct their behaviours and take steps to eliminate the consequences of their actions, it said.
Chemical signature of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is only associated with life, has been spotted in Venusian clouds.
Astronomers have found a potential sign of life high in the atmosphere of neighbouring Venus: Hints there may be bizarre microbes living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of the hothouse planet.
Two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile spotted in the thick Venusian clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is only associated with life, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Astronomy journal.
Several outside experts – and the study authors themselves – agreed this is tantalising but said it is far from the first proof of life on another planet.
As astronomers plan for searches for life on planets outside our solar system, a major method is to look for chemical signatures that can only be made by biological processes, called biosignatures.
Three astronomers in Hawaii decided to look at the closest planet to Earth: Venus. They searched for phosphine, which is three hydrogen atoms and a phosphorous atom.
On Earth, there are only two ways phosphine can be formed, study authors said. One is in an industrial process. (The gas was produced for use as chemical warfare agent in World War I).
The other way is as part of some kind of poorly understood function in animals and microbes. Some scientists consider it a waste product, others do not.
Phosphine is found in “ooze at the bottom of ponds, the guts of some creatures like badgers and perhaps most unpleasantly associated with piles of penguin guano”, Clements said.
Study co-author Sara Seager, an MIT planetary scientist, said researchers “exhaustively went through every possibility and ruled all of them out: volcanoes, lightning strikes, small meteorites falling into the atmosphere … Not a single process we looked at could produce phosphine in high enough quantities to explain our team’s findings”.
That leaves life.
The astronomers hypothesise a scenario for how life could exist on the inhospitable planet where temperatures on the surface are about 425 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit) with no water.
“Venus is hell. Venus is kind of Earth’s evil twin,” Clements said. “Clearly something has gone wrong, very wrong, with Venus. It’s the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect.”
But that is on the surface.
Seager said all the action may be 50km (30 miles) above ground in the thick carbon-dioxide layer cloud deck, where it is about room temperature or slightly warmer.
It contains droplets with tiny amounts of water but mostly sulfuric acid that is a billion times more acidic than what is found on Earth.
The phosphine could be coming from some kind of microbes, probably single-cell ones, inside those sulfuric acid droplets, living their entire lives in the 16km-deep (10-mile-deep) clouds, Seager and Clements said.
When the droplets fall, the potential life probably dries out and could then get picked up in another drop and reanimate, they said.
More proof needed Life is definitely a possibility, but more proof is needed, several outside scientists said.
Cornell University astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger said the idea of this being the signature of biology at work is exciting, but she said we do not know enough about Venus to say life is the only explanation for the phosphine.
“I’m not sceptical, I’m hesitant,” said Justin Filiberto, a planetary geochemist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston who specialises in Venus and Mars and is not part of the study team.
Filiberto said the levels of phosphine found might be explained away by volcanoes. He said recent studies that were not taken into account in this latest research suggest that Venus may have far more active volcanoes than originally thought.
But Clements said an explanation would make sense only if Venus were at least 200 times as volcanically active as Earth.
NASA has not sent anything to Venus since 1989, though Russia, Europe and Japan have dispatched probes.
The US space agency is considering two possible Venus missions. One of them, called DAVINCI+, would go into the Venutian atmosphere as early as 2026.
English actor, Robert Powell starred in the original ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ movie produced in 1977, where he gained worldwide fame after acting the role ‘Jesus’.
His character got people referring to him the real Jesus who lived and died 2,500 years ago. Robert Powell actually disclaimed that he is the Jesus they have believed and told fans not to see him as one.
Robert Powell actually disclaimed that he is the Jesus they have believed and told fans not to see him as one. “I am not Jesus, I never cease to say and repeat it to the world since 1977 that i am not jesus christ.
Am just an actor and a British comedian. It hurts me and am tired of seeing my photos displayed in places of worship and, others worship and pray to me. I just made a film for a living.
So People should stop loving and praying to me. Burn my pictures and worship the only God in truth! Amen” 43 years after his dazzled believers and unbelievers with his performance that brought unbelievers to Christ, Robert Powell looks strong although he is aging.