- No political party or coalition won a simple majority in Malaysia's 15th general election, according to results posted on the country's electoral commission (EC) website on Sunday morning.
Of the major political coalitions contesting the 220 seats in the lower house of parliament, Pakatan Harapan won 82, Perikatan Nasional won 73, Barisan Nasional won 30 and GPS, the party group for Sarawak state in north Borneo, won 22. according to the EC.
As of 4:30am local time, a seat has yet to be accounted for in the northern Borneo state of Sabah.
The rest of the 220 seats were won by smaller groups and independent candidates.
The lower house of parliament has 222 seats and voting on the remaining two seats has been postponed, one due to the sudden death of a candidate and another due to flooding that interrupted voting. ■
Tunisia and France signed an agreement of 200 million euros (about 206.9 million dollars) on Saturday to meet Tunisia's financial needs on the sidelines of the 18th summit of the Organization internationale de la Francophonie.
The agreement was signed between the Tunisian Minister of Economy and Planning, Samir Saied, and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, according to a statement issued by the Tunisian Ministry of Economy and Planning.
The financing agreement is intended to support the implementation of the government's reform programs.
"The agreement shows France's willingness to continue its support for Tunisia in the concretion and implementation of its reform programs," said Saied during the signing ceremony.
"This initiative will help the country to recover its financial balance, boost growth and energize a sustainable economy," he continued.
For her part, the French Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the reform program launched by the Tunisian government, which "will help Tunisia gradually recover and overcome socio-economic difficulties."
The 18th summit of the Organization internationale de la Francophonie, commonly known as La Francophonie, began on Saturday on the southern Tunisian island of Djerba.
A total of 89 delegations from across the francophone world, including those from France, Canada, Senegal and the European Council, as well as 31 heads of state and government, attended the two-day event. ■
President Joe Biden welcomed guests to the White House Saturday for the wedding of his granddaughter Naomi — an unprecedented ceremony that was closed to the press.
Naomi Biden, a 28-year-old lawyer in Washington, married Peter Neal, 25, a law graduate, on the White House South Lawn, suiting decorated with white flowers, as invitees in rows looked on, according to photos taken from far away by AFP.
Biden is the daughter of the president’s son Hunter.
It is not unheard of for the presidential mansion with America’s most stately address — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — to be decorated with white flowers for a wedding.
The White House Historical Association says 18 weddings have been performed at the mansion, including those of Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia in 1971 and Barack Obama’s official photographer, Pete Souza, in 2013.
The association says four times the White House has also hosted receptions for weddings held elsewhere, for instance, that of George W.
Bush’s daughter Jenna in 2008.
But this is the first time a president’s granddaughter is getting hitched there.
– ‘Pop’ –The White House has given few details on this wedding, which is classified as strictly private and is closed to the press.
This has raised some eyebrows.
“The White House press has covered weddings held there through history because the space belongs to the American people and a president’s participation is an event of national interest,” Kelly O’Donnell, an NBC reporter slated to become the next president of the White House Correspondents Association, said Thursday on Twitter.
The New York Times has reported a few tidbits about the bride and groom and the wedding: Biden and Neal are actually living at the White House for the time being, and they will exchange vows before a luncheon, to be followed by a big gala dinner in the evening.
Naomi Biden announced her wedding plans in September on her Instagram account, which features photos of vacations, the Biden clan and her day-to-day life.
Biden is very close to his grandchildren, who call him Pop and are often seen with him, even at some official events.
Naomi is named after the president’s first daughter, who died as a baby in a car crash in 1972 that also claimed the life of his first wife.
US press reports have said Naomi Biden plays an important role in the president’s inner circle and pressed him, for instance, to run for president in 2020.
COP27 host Egypt scrambled to salvage UN climate talks Saturday with the European Union and Pakistan signalling a breakthrough over the contentious issue of “loss and damage” funding for climate-vulnerable nations.
Nearly 200 countries’ representatives have gathered at the COP27 in Egypt for two weeks with the aim of driving forward action to fight climate change as the world faces a worsening onslaught of weather extremes.
But the talks stalled over the terms under which wealthy polluters provide “loss and damage” funding for countries wracked by climate disasters, as well as over ratcheting up ambition in tackling global warming.
After the European Union roundly rejected a document shown by Egypt overnight because of concerns it was weak on curbing emissions, a source from the bloc said at least the loss and damage issue was “agreed” as far as it was concerned.
A European source confirmed, “a deal has been reached on loss and damage which targets the fund to vulnerable countries”.
The agreement was still subject to confirmation at a closing meeting.
Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said she was “hopeful of a positive outcome” on loss and damage, with the last details still being worked out to get the final agreement over the line.
She said a deal would be the culmination of a 30-year campaign by developing countries.
“If that happens today, that will be a historic reminder to vulnerable people all over the world that they have a voice and that if they unite… we can actually start breaking down barriers that we thought were impossible,” she told AFP.
Pakistan — struck by devastating heat waves and floods this year — chairs the G77 and China bloc of 134 developing nations, which has campaigned strongly for a fund for loss and damage to be agreed upon at COP27.
With around 1.
2C of warming so far, the world has seen a cascade of climate-driven extremes in recent months, shining a spotlight on the plight of developing countries faced with escalating disasters, as well as an energy and food price crisis and ballooning debt.
The World Bank has estimated the Pakistan floods alone caused $30 billion in damage and economic loss.
– Temperature check –But with countries continuing to raise concerns over ambitions on cutting emissions and tackling global warming, the outcome of the climate talks remained uncertain.
An informal coalition of “high ambition” countries has called for strong language on cutting emissions, moving away from planet-heating fossil fuels and reaffirming the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.
5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.
Scientists say this is a far safer guardrail against catastrophic climate impacts, with the world currently far off track and heading for around 2.
5C of warming under current commitments and plans.
Colombian Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said to be “viable” the climate talks would need both a loss and damage fund and a commitment to 1.
5C with clear signals that the world was not “going back”.
Tom Evans of the think tank E3G said a draft document covering ambitions for curbing planet-heating emissions is “a copy-paste” of the agreement made at Glasgow, without building on the agreement made a year ago.
Earlier, the EU indicated it was willing to walk out of the negotiations altogether over the issue.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans warned that if not enough is done to slash emissions and keep 1.
5C alive, “there is no amount of money on this planet that will be able to address the misery that will occur through natural disasters, etc.
that we’re already seeing”.
– ‘Fragile’ first –A draft decision document on creating a specific loss and damage fund was published by the Egyptian presidency on Saturday.
It takes some language from three earlier proposals — from the EU, Britain and G77 — and appears to kick some of the thornier issues, particularly over the sources of funding, into next year.
“The draft decision on loss and damage finance offers hope to the vulnerable people that they will get help to recover from climate disasters and rebuild their lives,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International.
An agreement on loss and damage would mark a major shift for wealthier nations, which have long resisted the idea of loss and damage over fears of open-ended liability.
The EU has called for the fund to prioritise the most climate-vulnerable countries as recipients.
They also said the money should come from a “broad funder base” — code for countries including China and Saudi Arabia that have become wealthier since they were listed as developing nations in 1992.
China’s envoy Xie Zhenhua told reporters Saturday that the fund should be for all developing countries.
However, he added: “I hope that it could be provided to the fragile countries first.
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has urged boat operators and ferry service providers to adhere to safety rules and regulations to avoid accidents.
Mrs Elsie Egwuatu, Head of Marine Operations, NIWA, made the appeal at the training of the Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association of Nigeria (WABOTAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 120 boat operators and ferry service providers received training and certificates on safety on the inland waterways.
Egwuatu said that adherence to the rules and regulations safety would ensure the safety of all concerned on the waterways.
“If we don’t train them, don’t blame them because if they don’t know what is expected of them, there is no way they can adhere to the safety rules and regulations on the waterways.
“WABOTAN just came on board and I must say that they hit the ground running, their efforts to impact society are commendable.
“NIWA is always desirous of keeping the waterways accident free, we are ready to collaborate with anybody or association that is keeping into this endeavours as safety is everybody’s business both regulators, operators and the passengers,” she said.
Egwuatu advised other associations to bring up initiatives that would impact society noting that most of the accidents that happen on our waterways are caused by human errors.
“If we can catch operators for them to know what is expected of them on the waterways, we will be able to achieve the safety we are clamouring for,” she said.
Also, Mr Patrick Ike, the Assistant Director, District Surveyor, of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that the programme was supposed to address some greater problems of mishaps on the country’s waterways.
“Unfortunately, when we that are supposed to come and enlighten the operators to imbibe the safety culture in them are called we don’t attend, at the end of the day, we blame some of these mishaps on negligence, incompetence.
“We that have the key and suppose to do something about this are not doing so, what do we expect, the rate of the mishap will still continue.
“I give WABOTAN kudos for organising this and charge them not to relent, they should include all agencies and stakeholders the next time they are hosting the training to ensure safety on the waterways,” he said.
Mr Damilola Emmanuel, General Manager, of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said that they are happy to support any intiatives that would bring the development of inland waterways.
According to Emmanuel, the training will help prevent possible incidents of mishaps on the waterways and equip the operators with the skills and necessary knowledge needed.
“When WABOTAN was starting operation, I told them that they need to ensure that they put their money where their mouth is, ensure that they do all they have said they will do.
“It gives me great joy that it has not been up to two months and they are doing this initiative,” he said.
He pointed out that on their part, LASWA had partnered with Yamaha to train boat operators.
“We have the emergency and control room, we also go to jetties and ensure that we carry out different sensitsation programme for them rather than calling them together to train them,” he said.
Mr Ngozi Njoku, Commandant of, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Fire Service, noted that the hunger to do things right and professionally should be the concern of all participants in the training.
“Improve yourself daily, whatever you learn today should be praticalised so that it becomes part and parcel of your system of operations,” Njoku said.
Also, Mr Sunday Avoseh, President, of Seaman’s branch, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), noted that there was nothing as dangerous as working with an untrained worker, applauding the association for the training.
“For our waterways to be safe, all stakeholders must be involved in this training as this will ensure boat owners have peace of mind, and workers and passengers are also secured on the waterway.
“We all witness what happens on our waterways, accidents and so curbing this is what we are doing today by this training,” he said.
President of WABOTAN, Comrade Tope Fajemirokun, said that the exercise was necessary because of the usual rush of the ember months in water transportation and the attendant mishaps.
“We are in the ember months now, and it is believed in some quarters that accidents usually increase in December but we don’t pray for it to happen.
“So, we want to create safety awareness for our members and place them on high alert,” he said.
- As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention", a lack of satisfactory communication with a close friend with a speech disability made a 21-year-old senior at the University of Business and Applied Sciences think Malawi (MUBAS).
The young student, Madalitso Mnduwira, has ended up devising gloves that, when worn and used in sign language gestures, interpret speech communication using English or local languages.
Mnduwira, who studies Information Technology at the University, said in a recent interview, with the innovation, he hopes that people with disabilities who require the use of sign language to communicate will be able to do so effectively.
"The speaking gloves, which were made from low-cost, locally manufactured materials, will help bridge the communication gaps between the hearing impaired and the public," explained the innovator.
The prototype of the invention has been tested and, according to Mnduwira, it has proven to be accurate and effective.
The innovative student, who fell in love with scientific subjects since his high school days, intends to produce as many gloves as possible to facilitate communication between people with hearing or speech impairments and the public.
"This is just a prototype of the product to come," he explained. "I hope to find sponsors to finance the mass production of the product so that many people can be assisted."
Mnduwira's innovation has already caught the attention of many, including hearing and speech impaired people who rely on sign language to communicate.
A 26-year-old businesswoman living in the market town of Blantyre in Malawi, Mercy Kathemba, is among those praising the new innovation.
The woman was born deaf and said that communicating with her customers using sign language has always been daunting.
"It's always complicated and difficult to communicate with my clients: most people in my area can't understand sign language and it's always expensive to hire someone to interpret my sign language," the woman explained.
"I strongly believe that this development will provide solutions to most of our communication problems. I hope these speaking gloves will become more affordable to reach many people," he added.
The Malawi Council for the Disabled (MACOHA) has also raised eyebrows at the anticipation of advanced communication through 'talking gloves'.
Council public relations officer Harriet Kachimanga also noted that many people are unfamiliar with sign language and that Mnduwira's innovation will make it easier for people who cannot sign language to understand gestures.
"This is a very good development: there are people with hearing and speech disabilities with knowledge and skills that can drive the development of the country, but they do not fully contribute to society due to communication limitations," Kachimanga explained.
"We believe that the development of such innovations will make it easier for people with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate personally with the public and contribute to matters of national interest," he concluded.
According to the African Sign Language Resource Centre, Malawi has very few trained interpreters and most of them are not accredited.
Out of a population of 52,000 deaf people, there are only 11 interpreters, who work as volunteers and are not salaried. ■
- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Saturday that it was deeply concerned about the violence in South Sudan's Upper Nile state.
The UN mission said fighting in Fashoda county between armed Shilluk youths and Nuer elements is affecting the lives of many civilians, with reports of further displacement to the towns of Malakal and Kodok, where the situation remains tense and volatile. .
“Tensions and sporadic violence between different groups that began in these areas in August 2022 have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people, as well as the harassment and killing of others, and the destruction of property,” UNMISS said in a statement. a statement issued. in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
UNMISS called on government authorities, key community leaders and Shilluk and Nuer elders in Jonglei and Upper Nile states to use their influence to stop the brutal violence and prevent further civilian suffering. .
In addition, he urged the South Sudan People's Defense Forces based in the city of Kodok to intervene urgently to reduce the violence.
The Mission said it will continue to safeguard humanitarian access, establish temporary operating bases and intensify patrols in critical areas to deter violence. ■
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is participating in the 18th summit of the International Organization of Francophonie in Djerba, Republic of Tunisia.
Armenia chaired the organization during the last four years.
At the beginning of the event, President of Tunisia Kais Saied and Secretary General of the International Organization of Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo welcomed the leaders of the countries, including Prime Minister Pashinyan.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leaders of dozens of other member states of the organization are participating in the summit.
Afterwards, a video recording ceremony of the participants of the summit took place, immediately after which the summit started.
In his speech, Prime Minister Pashinyan said:"Your Excellency, Honorable President Kais Saied, Dear colleagues, Heads of State and Government, Heads of delegations, Madam Secretary General of Francophonie, Ladies and gentlemen,First of all, I would like to express my satisfaction for being here in Djerba, Tunisia in such an intimate and valued francophone environment.
I thank President Saied and the people of Tunisia for organizing such an important meeting and for showing warm hospitality.
By holding this Francophonie summit for the first time in Tunisia, we pay our respects to one of the founding fathers of Francophonie, President Habib Bourguiba.
Your Excellencies, dear colleagues, Madam Secretary General of Francophonie,Four years have passed since the last Francophonie summit held in Yerevan, an exceptionally long period of the current presidency, which, however, the Republic of Armenia has fulfilled with honor, unconditionally implementing all the commitments undertaken.
I would like to thank the General Secretary of La Francophonie, dear Louise Mushikiwabo, for managing our organization so effectively during this process, as well as for the quality relationships that have been established.
I am glad that we were able to work together in complete harmony.
I would also like to welcome her efforts to shape a new image of La Francophonie and make the OIF a firmly future-oriented organization with ambitions commensurate with the challenges facing the world.
The world was subjected to major upheavals in recent years.
The horrible Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, the resumption of wars and their consequences on global food and energy supplies have left their deep mark on the formation of a new international environment.
At the same time, the listed challenges have come to reveal the exactness and relevance of the approaches and values that underpin our responses.
In the face of pandemics and urgent climate challenges, we must continue to promote enhanced cooperation between countries, emphasizing the principle of solidarity.
The latter should assume that the proposed programs and initiatives can be beneficial to the most vulnerable countries, as well as the population in vulnerable situations.
Faced with the activation of hate speech and intolerance, today we are once again convinced of the relevance of the slogan of the Yerevan Summit "Live Together" and the need to promote respect for human rights, equality and cultural diversity.
Finally, facing the multiplication of crises and conflicts, we welcome the Francophonie's commitment to multilateralism, which guarantees the existence of an international system based on law and respect for the sovereignty of states.
In the recent period, unfortunately, we have to record that the fundamental principles of the UN Charter have been violated, in particular, the principle of not using force against the territorial integrity of any country, on which the collective security of all of us is based, thus gradually imposing the Law of the Strongest.
The aggression carried out by Azerbaijan, to which the Republic of Armenia fell victim on September 13-14, is a vivid manifestation of this reality.
Azerbaijan's totally unjustified and unprovoked aggression led to the occupation of a part of Armenia's territories, causing death and suffering to the civilian population and causing considerable destruction.
The established ceasefire, however, has not yet put an end to this country's ambitions for other territories of Armenia.
Faced with new threats, we expect the international community to make a fair assessment of the situation our country has appeared in today, condemning the occupation of some parts of the Armenian territory and demanding the return of Azerbaijani forces to their initial positions.
Armenia, for its part, is firmly committed to contributing to the process of achieving a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, as well as ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Your Excellencies, dear colleagues, Madam Secretary General of Francophonie,Armenia, as the current Chair of the Francophonie Summit, has consistently continued its activities within the framework of Yerevan’s Francophone call to live together, initiating the resolution on living together during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was adopted in November 2020 by the Francophonie Ministerial Conference.
Our country has carefully pursued the activities of La Francophonie in the digital and economic domains and the significant progress achieved under the leadership of the Secretary General.
In this regard, we expressed our gratitude to the OIF for its efforts to develop economic cooperation between different regions of the French-speaking world.
I would also like to emphasize the importance of the declaration to be adopted on the French language, which will become a significant document on the French language, recording its role in uniting all Francophone countries.
Finally, Armenia has accompanied and supported the Secretary-General in the implementation of these reforms, and it’s good that our organization is now working towards the implementation of the road map based on the main priorities of Francophonie and implemented in a reaffirmed and new strategic framework.
Armenia is convinced that this declared universal aspiration will allow to ensure the recognition of Francophonie at the international level, as well as the spread of its values and ideas, to which my country continues to remain deeply committed.
Your Excellencies, dear colleagues, Madam Secretary General of Francophonie,Concluding my speech, I would like to once again express my gratitude to the Secretary General for her willingness and involvement.
Now it’s time for me to hand over to you, Mr. President, the presidency of the Francophonie Summit, wishing you every success.
Thanks for attention".
After the speech, the presidency of the International Organization of Francophonie was transferred from Armenia to Tunisia, with a symbolic handshake ceremony between the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Tunisia.
- The South African government welcomed on Saturday the draft outcome text of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27).
COP27 was held in Egypt from November 6 to 18. The South African government said it captures many issues that were discussed, including the urgency of climate change.
"The draft correctly frames the climate crisis and its solutions in terms of sustainable development goals and just transitions, leaving no one behind, and the need for broader financial sector reform to achieve them," said Peter Mbelengwa, Department spokesman. Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.
Mbelengwa said South Africa expects the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to take decisive action to scale up climate finance in 2023 and make their institutional arrangements fit for purpose.
South Africa believes that more urgent action is required to meet the obligations of developed countries, Mbelengwa said.
Mbelengwa said the country welcomed urgent new financial arrangements and a mechanism to address the damage caused by climate change for developing countries. ■
A senior Tanzanian government official opened the joint Tanzania-South Africa cultural festival in Dar es Salaam on Friday night.
Mohamed Mchengerwa, Minister of Culture, Arts and Sports, said the week-long cultural festival between the two countries will also take place in the Coast, Morogoro and Dodoma regions, and Zanzibar.
Mchengerwa said the festival will include a chain of events, including displays of the southern African liberation struggle in which Tanzania played an important role, the culture and traditional norms of the two countries, African music and traditional dances. .
"Visitors to the joint cultural festival will have a golden opportunity to learn about the history of the liberation struggle in southern Africa," he said at the Mlimani City Mall in the port city of Dar es Salaam, the festival's venue.
Mchengerwa said the festival was also a platform to cement the cultural, artistic and sports cooperation established by founding leaders Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
The minister said that during the festival, visitors will be able to visit areas in Tanzania that were used for liberation struggle activities in the Dar es Salaam, Coast, Morogoro and Dodoma regions. ■