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  • Uganda’s Government Issues Strict Dress Code For Civil Servants

    Public servants in Uganda are facing a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to “dress decently”. Female staff have been told that dresses or skirts that are above the knees, sleeveless blouses or any clothing made out of see-through material will not be allowed. Braids and extensions have also been banned. Men must wear long-sleeved shirts and ties and not brightly-coloured clothes. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants. But there is a feeling that female staff are the main focus on the new rules. While women will be allowed to wear pant-suits, they have been warned not to wear any tight-fitting clothing or show cleavage. Flat, open shoes are also ruled out, except in cases where one can prove that it is for medical reasons. The circular is derived from Public Service Standing Orders on dress code, put in place in 2010. Read more

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  • KIA opens new auto mechanic training center in Ethiopia

    KIA Motors Corporation has opened its new community-run auto mechanic training centre in Ethiopia. The establishment of the new KIA-KOICA Green Light Auto Mechanic Training Centre is one of the latest steps in KIA’s ‘Green Light Project’ corporate social responsibility program. The KIA-KOICA training centre is located in the Lideta area of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Supported by about US$1.8 million investment by KIA Motors and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the centre is jointly operated by ‘World Vision’/ World Vision is a relief, development and advocacy non-governmental organisation dedicated to working with 100 million people in countries around the world. The facility employs residents from the local community, and plans to take on around 60 young trainees each year. The centre enables trainee mechanics to work towards a range of vocational qualifications, while providing a short-term training program for drivers. In addition to raising employment levels, the Green Light Project-backed facility increases the number of vehicle mechanics in the region. KIA estimates that the auto mechanic training centre will have a positive impact on the lives of over 2 000 local citizens. KIA plans to develop the site by supporting the establishment of an adjacent local repair shop, creating further jobs and opportunities in Lideta and Dandora. Ultimately, KIA and KOICA intend for the site to become a self-sufficient business. Also read: KIA teams up with DStv and Mzansi Magic for the inaugural Mzansi Viewer’s Choice Awards The ceremony in Lideta was attended by key individuals from the Ethiopian and Korean national governments, KIA, KOICA, and World Vision, including the director of technical vocational education and training agency of Addis Ababa, Ato Zaru Simur, World Vision Korea Board Chairman, Chul-shin Lee, and World Vision Ethiopia Chairman, Edward Brown. Speaking at the event, Soon-Nam Lee, Executive Vice President of KIA Middle East & Africa, KIA Motors Corporation, commented, “The Green Light Project was conceived to improve the lives of those with little access to medicine and medical care, education, and employment. This new facility joins others in providing local communities with the opportunity to build better lives for themselves, with the means and infrastructure to work towards independence. “Green Light Project centres such as these seek to reduce local unemployment and give disadvantaged communities the chance to establish and run their own businesses. An auto mechanic training centre will provide locals here in Addis Ababa with a valuable service, particularly in a region where so many people rely on their vehicles in order to thrive,” Read more

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  • Inmarsat dismisses court challenge over in-flight satellite Wi-Fi network

    lans to provide Wi-Fi internet access on planes across Europe could be grounded as satellite operator Inmarsat faces a court challenge from rivals. ViaSat, Eutelsat and Panasonic have lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice seeking an injunction on the proposed service, which is expected to be a lucrative new business for the FTSE 250 company. Inmarsat launched the required satellite last week and plans to switch on the Continent-wide European Aviation Network (EAN) towards the end of the year, after it gains clearance from national telecoms regulators. Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat chief executive, said EAN is destined to be one of its biggest revenue sources, eventually providing in excess of $1bn a year (£770m). Last year Inmarsat had total revenues of $1.3bn. But its rivals argue that the company has twisted the grounds on which its licence was originally granted in 2009. They say the S-Band radio spectrum granted was supposed to be used for rural satellite broadband, and that most connections will be from stations on the ground. The three companies have now resorted to the European Court, claiming the European Commission should have prevented national regulators from granting Inmarsat permission to use the spectrum for in-flight Wi-Fi. "The air to ground network that they're proposing is inconsistent with the procurement," said Rick Baldrige, ViaSat's chief operating officer. A number of telecoms regulators including Ofcom are still deciding whether to approve Inmarsat's proposals. Read more

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  • All Volvo cars will be electric or hybrid within two years

    It's the first major automaker to stop selling gas- or diesel-only vehicles. Volvo is best known for building cars that are safe and beloved by flower children, but it now has a new distinction. Every car it unveils by 2019 will have an electric motor, either as an all-electric EV, plug-in hybrid or hybrid, making it the first major automaker to stop selling cars with only gas or diesel engines. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson in a statement. Just last week, Volvo rededicated its Polestar performance division to electric cars, but the news that all of its vehicles will be electrified in some way comes out of the blue. Volvo has been behind the curve in that area -- so far, the it built a handful of hybrid cars, and not a single full-on EV. In 2015, it announced that its first series 40 electric cars would arrive in 2019. The company is planning to launch five EVs between 2019 and 2021 -- two will be rubber-burning Polestars, but three will be more sedate Volvo models. Those will be supplemented by gasoline and diesel plug-in hybrids that can run you to work or get groceries without using the gas engine. It'll also unveil new "mild-hybrid" cars that run mostly on gas or diesel, using the electric motor to save energy via regenerative breaking and coasting. Read more

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  • US: Ready to use force in North Korea 'if we must'

    US vows to defend itself and allies against North Korea's missile threat if necessary, but prefers to use trade clout. The United States vowed to use military force to defend the country and its allies against North Korea if necessary, but said it prefers to use its clout in international trade to address the growing threat. In a hard-hitting speech at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after Pyongyang's successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday said that "the world has become a more dangerous place" and China has a key role in promoting peace. China is responsible for 90 percent of trade with North Korea and Haley warned that Beijing risks its massive trade with the US if its business dealings with Pyongyang violate UN sanctions. She said the US doesn't seek conflict - "in fact we seek to avoid it". But she said the launch of an ICBM "is a clear and sharp military escalation" and the US is prepared to use its "considerable military forces" to defend itself and its allies "if we must". But Haley said the Trump administration prefers "not to go in that direction" but to use its "great capabilities in the area of trade" to address "those who threaten us and ... those who supply the threats." Read more

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  • Saudi-led group: Qatar not serious about demands

    Foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain voice regret over Doha's reply to 13-point list of demands. Four Arab nations that have imposed a blockade on Qatar for its alleged support for terrorism have issued a statement saying that Doha's response to their demands to end the crisis was "not serious". Wednesday's statement came after foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the Arab states involved in the dispute with Qatar — met in Egypt's capital after receiving Doha's response to their list of demands. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters at a joint news conference in Cairo that Qatar's response was "generally negative" and failed to "lay the foundation for Qatar's reversal of the policies it pursues" He also described Doha's response as a "position that reflects a failure to realise the gravity of the situation". "We hope wisdom will prevail and Qatar will eventually make the right decisions," Shoukry added. On his turn, the Saudi foreign minister told reporters that further steps against Qatar would be taken at the appropriate time and will be in line with international law. Adel al Jubeir said that the political and economic boycott will remain until Qatar changes its policies for the better. "The embargo will remain in place until Qatar rectifies its policies," he said. Read more

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  • Malawi football stadium stampede kills eight

    Eight people - including seven children - have died in a stampede ahead of a football match in Malawi, police say. Dozens more were injured in the crush at Lilongwe's Bingu national stadium. The stampede happened as thousands of people rushed for seats ahead of a friendly between top sides Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers. Despite the deaths, the match did go ahead in a packed stadium, although President Peter Mutharika did not attend as planned. He offered his condolences and said the government would do all it could to assist the families of the bereaved. He said he was shocked to learn of the tragedy. Read more

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  • India Just Planted 66 Million Trees In 12 Hours

    India has just broken its own world record by planting a staggering 66.3 million trees in just 12 hours last Sunday. Between 7am and 7pm more than 1.5 million volunteers flooded the area on the bank of the Narmada river, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, for the mass sapling plantation. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state chief minister for the region, tweeted after the event: “Thank people of Jabalpur for making tree plantation a huge success. You are not only saving Narmada, but also [the] planet.” Everyone from schoolchildren to elderly women got involved in planting 20 species of tree in 24 districts of the river basin (where the saplings were deemed to have the best chance of survival). “Children, youth, women, cutting across religion and class are participating in this noble cause of planting trees,” said Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The huge operation was part of a Guinness World Record attempt organised by the local government and overseen by officials from the organisation; and they are expected to confirm in the next couple of weeks that the campaign has broken records. Read more

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  • US carries out airstrike against al-Shabab in Somalia

    The U.S. military says it has carried out an airstrike against al-Shabab in Somalia as the Trump administration quietly steps up efforts against the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa. Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. Audricia M. Harris said the strike occurred Sunday afternoon Somalia time and the U.S. was assessing the results. She did not call it a drone strike. Somali officials have said the U.S. has carried out several drone strikes in recent years against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab. The airstrike follows one in June that the U.S. said killed eight Islamic extremists at a rebel command and logistics camp in the country's south. Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said Somali and partner forces destroyed the training camp near Sakow, in the Middle Juba region. President Donald Trump has approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, including more aggressive airstrikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities. The U.S. in April announced it was sending dozens of regular troops to Somalia in the largest such deployment there in roughly two decades, saying it was for logistics training of Somalia's army. The Horn of Africa nation is trying to rebuild after more than two decades as a failed state, and its chaos helped in the rise of al-Shabab. Now a new threat has emerged in the country's north with fighters claiming alliance to the Islamic State group. Al-Shabab last year became the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies. The extremist group has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it. Pressure is growing on Somalia's military to assume full responsibility for the country's security. The 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, AMISOM, which has been supporting the fragile central government, plans to start withdrawing in 2018 and leave by the end of 2020. The U.S. military has been among those expressing concern that Somalia's forces are not yet ready. Read more

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  • The Latest: Trump prepares for meeting with Putin

      HAMBURG, GERMANY — The Latest on President Donald Trump's second official visit to Europe (all times local): 1 a.m. President Donald Trump refuses to say if he will raise the issue of Moscow's meddling in the U.S. presidential election when he goes behind closed doors Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Still, he told a crowd of thousands Thursday in downtown Warsaw that he is urging Russia "to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran." Trump is also calling on Russia "to join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself." Trump then flew to Hamburg, Germany, where more than 100,000 protesters were expected to flood the city to stage massive protests against the Group of 20 summit. ___ 10:25 p.m. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is adding her name to the list of high-ranking Democrats who are demanding that President Donald Trump confront Russian leader Vladimir Putin over Moscow's election meddling. Pelosi says in a statement Thursday that Trump needs to tell Putin the United States will not tolerate any further interference in U.S. campaigns. Pelosi's statement came after Trump spoke in Warsaw, Poland, a day ahead of his first face-to-face meeting with Putin. Trump says Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, but has repeated his assertion that "other countries" may have done the same. Top Senate Democrats told Trump in a letter that it would be "severe dereliction" of his presidential duty if he failed to confront Putin over Moscow's meddling. __ 7:10 p.m. The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump have discussed issues including North Korea, the situation in the Middle East and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. A brief government statement gave no further details of Thursday's discussion, which lasted a little over an hour, other than to say they discussed "some issues on the G-20 agenda." It said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also participated. Merkel and Trump have met on three previous occasions. Merkel has visited the White House, and the two also participated in May in a NATO summit and the Group of Seven summit in Italy. ___ 7 p.m. President Donald Trump appears to still hold out hope that China can help to resolve tensions with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. Trump had hoped that Chinese President Xi Jinping would help to restrain North Korea after meeting with him in April. But North Korea raised the stakes by test-launching its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. The launch raised the prospect of the United States one day possibly coming under attack after trying to stifle North Korea's nuclear ambitions for several years. Trump raised questions about China's commitment afterward by noting its expanded trade relationship with North Korea. Read more

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