Friday, January 22

Central African Republic Begins 15-Day State of Emergency

Politics
A 15-day nationwide state of emergency began in the Central African Republic at midnight Thursday in response to rebel-inspired violence over last month’s disputed reelection of President Faustin-Archange Touadera. The state of emergency announcement Thursday came on the same day the head of the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, Mankeur Ndiaye, appealed to the U.N. Security Council to add more peacekeepers, warning the country was “at grave risk of a setback in terms of security and peacebuilding." Ndiaye also suggested that regional and international support should be sought to support the Central African Republic. Former president Francois Bozize has been blamed for the inflaming violence after the Constitutional Court rejected his candidacy in the...

Public Face of South Africa’s COVID-19 Fight Dies of Virus Complications

Medical
South Africa is mourning the sudden death of Jackson Mthembu, a cabinet minister and presidential adviser who was the public face of South Africa's fight against COVID-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa offered condolences in a statement Thursday, saying he was shocked and saddened that 62-year-old Mthembu had died from COVID-related complications. He is the first of six South African cabinet members infected with COVID-19 to succumb to the disease. Mthembu revealed last week that he tested positive for the virus during a checkup for abdominal pain. His death comes as South Africa battles a second wave of COVID-19 propelled by a virus variant believed to be more easily spread. So far, South Africa has confirmed more than 1.3 million infections and 39,501 deaths, according to John...

US Pledges to Join World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Global Vaccination Initiative

Medical
The leading infectious disease expert in the United States says the country will participate in the global initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to new U.S. President Joe Biden, told the executive board of the World Health Organization Thursday during a videoconference that the U.S. will join the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, an international alliance led by WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, an organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates to vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries. Fauci also said the U.S. would fulfill its financial obligations to the Unit...

Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Dies of COVID-19

Medical
Zimbabwe is mourning the death of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo. The government said the country's top diplomat died Wednesday after contracting COVID-19. Moyo gained international notoriety as an army general, becoming the spokesperson of the 2017 coup that ousted longtime President Robert Mugabe, who was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. Moyo is the third cabinet minister to succumb to COVID-19 in the past six months. Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Ellen Gwaradzimba died last week, and Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri died of the disease in July. The 61-year-old Moyo was reportedly getting weekly treatment for a kidney ailment at the time of his death. COVID-19 infections and deaths are on the rise in Zimbabwe, with...

HH Sayyid Shihab Receives GCC Secretary General

General
Muscat,  HH Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik bin Taimour al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs received in his office at Al Murtafaa Camp today Dr. Nayef Falah al-Hajraf, GCC Secretary General.   The meeting exchanged cordial conversations and discussed matters of common concern.   Dr. al-Hajraf praised the Sultanate's role in supporting peace and stability in the GCC region and the world at large. He also commended the Sultanate's endeavours and its constructive stances in extending bridges of understanding and cooperation among various world's countries.   The current visit of the GCC Secretary General to the Sultanate comes to give a lecture at the National Defence College (NDC) in the Ministry of Defence.   The meeting was attended by Air...

Lecture at NDC Discusses GCC Aspirations, Challenges

General
Muscat, The National Defence College (NDC) today organized a lecture titled “GCC Aspirations and Challenges”.   The lecture was delivered by GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Mubarak al-Hajraf as part of the curriculum of the NDC’s 8th batch. Air Vice Marshal Eng. Saleh Yahya al-Maskari, Commandant of the NDC, welcomed the GCC Secretary-General and the rest of the gathering.   In his lecture, al-Hajraf outlined the GCC role in tackling regional and international developments, elements of power and challenges influencing the GCC’s methodology of functioning as it performs its mandate of promoting its member states. The lecture also touched on the impact of the GCC moves on regional and international security, as well as the Council’s ability to explore or anticipate f...