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US-Africa Summit Opens Today in Washington

first_imgThe U.S.-Africa Summit aimed at consolidating relations between Africa and the United States begins today, Monday, August 4, in Washington, DC.The summit is the first of its kind, and is expected to bring together 49 sub-Sahara African leaders to meet with President Barack Obama and the Government of the U.S.Countries not expected to form part of the summit include Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Republic of Sudan and Central African Republic, because of their suspension from the African Union for instability and poor human right records.President Obama is expected to orient discussions toward the issues addressed in his 2012 U.S. Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa Strategy).The summit, according to an official release, will be divided into three topical sessions — Investing in Africa’s Future, Peace and Regional Stability and Governing for the Next Generation.This first and biggest conference to be hosted by the United States with Africa raises the concern as to why the U.S. has such an interest at this time.Many insinuate that because of China’s presence in Africa, the United States wants to solidify its status with the continent in order to maintain its influence and benefit of its economic resources.However, anofficial statement from the US government about the conference indicates that the Obama Administration has decided to hold the summit, in part, to help define and share U.S-African views on how to achieve common goals.Such goals, the US says, include accountable, transparent, democratic governance; stronger rule of law; greater mutual economic growth, and trade and investment; greater peace and security; and enhanced socio-economic opportunity and development outcomes.The summit signals both continuity in long-standing U.S-African cooperation and increasing U.S. development assistance to Africa since 2000.Some activities expected to characterize the summit include a bi-cameral Congressional reception for African Leaders and senior civil society leaders’ presentations, recommendations, goals, and demands of a series of African civil society thematic working groups.Independent sources have hinted to the media that the U.S. Government may announce an attractive aid package for Africa during the summit.Meanwhile, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr., representing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, departed the country on Friday, August 1, to join African Heads of State and Government at U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.President Sirleaf had announced that she would remain at home to oversee efforts to control the deadly Ebola virus disease that is spreading in Liberia and has killed many Liberians. In that connection, the President on Wednesday, July 30, launched the National Action Plan presented to the National Task Force on Ebola and announced an initial contribution of US$5 million by the government to begin the immediate implementation of the Action Plan.On August 5, Vice President Boakai will participate in the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, hosted by American philanthropist Michael  Bloomberg, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. He will later join other African leaders at a White House Dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Obama.Also on the Vice President’s agenda will be the following events, taking place on the margins of the Summit: the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Partner Round Table; Africare/ExxonMobil Breakfast; Mercy Corps Event highlighting Liberian Youth; a Panel, at Georgetown University on “the Future of Business and Development in Africa”; a Power Africa Event, on energy; and more. He will also attend a Congressional Reception for Heads of Delegation.Vice President Boakai will grant interviews to a number of media organizations, all of them keen to pose questions about Liberia’s management of the Ebola virus disease.While in Washington, the Vice President will also participate in a meeting entitled: “Achieving a Successful Post-2015 Development Agenda”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wants a general election in May 2020

first_imgMay 2020 “is the right moment” for a general election, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told Fine Gael TDs in a speech today. Speaking at the party’s annual away day in Cork, Varadkar said he had always believed that the next election should take place in the summer of 2020.“I think May 2020 is the right moment. It will allow to us to complete a full parliamentary session in the new year, discharge our Government duties around St Patrick’s Day and the March European Council and have a new Government in place well in advance of the next summer recess. “We should also, by then, have secured a Brexit Deal or have guided the country through the worst of No Deal. Though timelines, when it comes to Brexit, are unpredictable,” he said.The Taoiseach said it would also allow the government to spend the next few months concentrating on other items such as the Budget, Brexit, regional development, housing, health and climate action.“I believe we can win that election. In fact, I am sure of it even though it may not become apparent until the last week or ten days of the Election Campaign,” he told his party colleagues.Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Mr Varadkar wrote to Fianna Fáil Leader Mícheál Martin to say that a general election would take place next summer, in May or June. Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One Mr Coveney said the Taoiseach wrote to Mr Martin many months ago about the date of the next electionHe said the Taoiseach asked Mr Martin for the space to allow the Government to do what it needs to for the country in relation to Brexit planning.Mr Coveney said if there was a no-deal Brexit the Government wants to be in a position to try to steer and protect Ireland.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wants a general election in May 2020 was last modified: September 12th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Transfer window madness

first_imgThe silly season is upon us – and at Loftus Road it’s positively bonkers.For the past few days, QPR have single-handedly kept Sky Sports News in stories.Reports suggest their hardy reporter has abandoned the idea of commuting in from their HQ near Heathrow every time a Rangers story breaks and is currently holed up in a two-up two-down on the Uxbridge Road, ready to dash down at a moment’s notice.Never mind the Four-Year Plan, the four-week version is providing enough tittle-tattle to keep Dot Cotton going until Christmas.First we had the sacking of Neil Warnock, which had everyone raising their eyebrows apart from the man himself, who’s still searching for his. “If I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.”The tears had barely dried when Mark Hughes was unveiled as his successor – and then the real fun began.Tabloid football journalists have long been renowned for doing a lucky dip with players and teams – cobbling together a story about the first pair they pick out.In Rangers’ case they don’t need to bother.Granted, the Carlos Tevez suggestion may have been a little fanciful, but in the past week alone QPR are said to have been interested in (deep breath) Chris Samba, Andy Johnson, Alex, Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora, Wayne Bridge, Niko Kranjcar, Henrique and Taye Taiwo.The last time I saw that many links, Mr T was wearing them around his neck. It’s a good job transfer deadline supremo Jim White has already gone grey.As if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, there was also the small matter of the FA Cup replay against Milton Keynes Dons – or ‘McDons’ as my little girl likes to phonetically call them.Don’t laugh – it’s only a matter of time before they colonise Scotland – be afraid, Dons of Aberdeen, be very afraid.The magic of the Cup always throws up a major upset where the underdog has its day and this year was no different as unfancied QPR somehow scraped home for a first triumph in the competition since 2001, when Tony Blair was still in his first term as prime minister and Hear’say were the biggest band in Britain.Danny Gabbidon scored his first goal for seven years to silence the MK Dons, who regaled the home crowd with their hilarious rendition of “Sit down or we’ll steal your club.”I was a little disappointed the R’s faithful didn’t respond with that Leeds classic from a few years back: “Who did you support before?”The 1-0 win, setting up the small matter of a fourth-round tie with Chelsea (more on that next week) came three days after Rangers lost by the same score up in freezing Newcastle.While QPR fans were sensibly dressed like Scott of the Antarctic, some of their Geordie counterparts looked as though they were heading for the beach.For my sins, I was sat with my Magpie mate in the midst of the Toon Army – and if I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.Although fair play to them for the chant to Hughes at the final whistle: “You’re getting sacked in the morning!”Just to top the week off, Warnock raised his head above the parapet to have a thinly-veiled swipe at Tony Fernandes, Joey Barton and the tweeting culture within the club.Sparky’s mate Martin.It seemed a little odd to suddenly start having a pop now after he had exited with such good grace…until I suddenly remembered how many working days it takes for a redundancy cheque to clear.Meanwhile, the name Mark Hughes was popping up in so many places I half expected him to score for Barnet in an unlikely 3-0 win at in-form Accrington and blow me down, that’s exactly what happened.Fulham boss Martin Jol certainly had plenty to say about his predecessor, snapping: “If you look at all the clubs he has managed, it has been two years at most.” (Apart from the five years he had with Wales and the four-year stint at Blackburn.)Fulham’s topsy-turvy season continued as a 4-0 demolition of Charlton in the Cup was followed by a 2-1 reverse to 10-man Blackburn, but neighbours Chelsea had better fortune as they consolidated fourth place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.Fernando Torres was an inch away from scoring the goal of the season when his acrobatic volley cannoned off the bar to the grateful Frank Lampard, who gobbled up the chance like the fried breakfasts he used to put away in his youth.He might not have got the goal he craves, but Torres looks to have finally rediscovered his best form just in time for that little FA Cup encounter next week – oh joy.But we’ll leave the last word to Brentford fans on the Griffin Park Grapevine forum, who were asked to give their highlights of the 0-0 shocker with Walsall.‘Greenholme Bee’ wrote: “Staying at home watching the darts”, while ‘nocoat’ added: “Bringing my son. My life has been ruined by BFC and it is nice to be able to destroy his as well.”And a happy new year to you too.Follow Chris on Twitterlast_img read more

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Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront

first_img27 November 2009While the majestic Table Mountain and the internationally renowned Robben Island are among Cape Town’s best-known destinations, the V&A Waterfront – which is being transformed into a mega football village for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ – is fast catching up.With the 19th edition of the Fifa World Cup™ fast approaching, the Final Draw taking place on 4 December has presented Cape Town with an ideal opportunity to showcase its beauty.The term “must-see place” is, to many, overused. Few, however, will disagree that it is applicable to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.Situated at the shores of this breathtaking city, the V&A Waterfront is one of the most tourist-probing places in Cape Town, boasting state-of-the-art facilities that include shops, restaurants and a gorgeous harbour.It is also one of the city’s few locations where you will have so many options at your disposal rather than having to travel around to find various activities.There are several hotel, shops, restaurants and cinemas. The shops are divided between several locations and include specific areas set aside for crafts, art and small business development. They are generally open until 9pm daily.There are also plenty of leisure activities available at the Waterfront, such as air and sea charters. Open spaces throughout the precinct are to be used as hospitality and match-viewing areas, while the main shopping arena buzzes with activities.The Two Oceans Aquarium on the V&A Waterfront is ideally positioned to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found along South Africa’s long coastline. The Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town, and over 3 000 living sea animals – including sharks, fish, turtles and penguins – can be seen in this spectacular underwater nature reserve.The Maritime Museum is one of the popular places here, as it focuses on the history of shipping from prehistoric times to the present day. Boat trips around the harbour and along the coast are always some of the main attractions.At the heart of the Waterfront is the V&A Waterfront Marina, a residential development of prestigious apartments and penthouses, the quintessence of the Waterfront lifestyle.Some of the places to visit there include the Robben Island Embarkation Building, which was used to temporarily keep prisoners who were en route to Robben Island. Other places include the Clock Tower and Heritage routeSource: Fifa.comlast_img read more