Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic are among the tennis players who have joined the #BlackOutTuesday campaign against racial injustice.
This is coming as protests continue over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody.
Floyd died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.
Men’s world No. 1 Djokovic posted black screenshots on his Twitter and Instagram pages with the message “Black Lives Matter”, and was joined by Federer and Nadal, the other members of the “Big Three” of men’s tennis.
Grand Slam winners Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and Stan Wawrinka were among other players who signalled their support for the campaign.
Osaka, whose father is Haitian and mother is Japanese, said people should be doing more than posting “the black square”.
“I’m torn between roasting people for only posting the black square this entire week … or accepting that they could’ve posted nothing at all so I should deal with this bare minimum bread crumb they have given,” she posted on Twitter.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) posted a black screen shot, as well as a statement against racism on its social media handles.
The USTA, organisers of the United States Open Grand Slam said it was “extremely disappointed, angry, and heartbroken” at the hardships faced by communities of colour in the United States.
“The African-American community is an integral part of our tennis family and the USTA stands unwaveringly against racism and injustice of any kind,” it added.https://nnn.ng/big-three-join-blackouttuesday-campaign-against-racial-injustice/
NCDC, NIMR, partners to conduct COVID-19 antibody tests in 4 states
Abuja, Sept. 21, The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and their partners are conducting anti-bodies household surveys in four states in Nigeria.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja, the Director general of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the tests are being conducted to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
“These seroprevalence surveys, which will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos states would provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in the country.
“The seroprevalence surveys are used to identify the occurrence of disease in a population by estimating the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease.
“This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states.
“In addition to this, study participants will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive,” he said.
Ihekweazu, said, this is the first set of household surveys to be conducted for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as part of ongoing public health research activities.
“The surveys will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected.
“This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.
” The surveys will also estimate the proportion of people who have COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms, that is asymptomatic.
“Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households,” he explained.
By administering rapid malaria tests, he said, the surveys will also assess malaria infections and their possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The results from the surveys, he added, will inform the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
He also stated that the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London (supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) are supporting the NCDC and NIMR in implementing these surveys.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the surveys will be conducted between September and November, and preliminary results are expected to be released by December 2020.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza https://nnn.ng/ncdc-nimr-partners-to-conduct-covid-19-antibody-tests-in-4-states/
53 security personnel forces killed as violence escalates in Afghanistan
At least 53 members of the Afghan security forces were killed in overnight attacks by the Taliban in five provinces, officials said on Monday.
A further 51 were wounded in the clashes that occurred in the Afghan provinces of Uruzgan, Takhar, Kapisa, Maidan Wardak and Balkh, according to the officials.
The deadliest incident was in southern Uruzgan province, where more than two dozen Afghan security forces were killed, according to local media reports corroborated by a provincial councillor.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said that 98 civilians were killed and 230 others were injured by violence throughout Afghanistan in the past two weeks.
The surge in attacks comes in spite of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in the Gulf state of Qatar and as the world observes International Day of Peace.
The United States envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, who orchestrated the talks, called the escalation regrettable.
“Over the last few days, there has been a clear rise in violence in Afghanistan,’’ Khalilzad tweeted.
The Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, called on the Taliban to accept a ceasefire.
“Our homeland has been burning in war and conflict for more than 40 years and many lives have been lost in this endless war,’’ Abdullah said in a statement.
There is no doubt that people hate and are tired of the ongoing war and conflict in the country, he added.
Historic peace talks started on Sept. 12 in Doha, bringing together delegations from the warring sides for the first time in 19 years.
In spite of this, however, people in Afghanistan are killed every day.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
S/Africa seeks continent’s permanent representation at UN Security Council – Ramaphosa
South Africa advocates for the continent to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa said this ahead of his address for the high-level week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The 75th session of the General Assembly opened on Sept. 15. The high-level week will run from Monday until Sept. 29.
“We … need to strengthen bodies like the UN, ensure they are properly resourced and that they are representative.
“We must use this 75th anniversary to push ahead with the reform of the UN and particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world.
As South Africa, we will use our virtual presence in New York to continue to advocate for Africa – a continent of more than a billion people – to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” the statement read.
Earlier this year, a similar idea was voiced by Cairo.
In particular, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry proposed that two permanent seats be allocated to the African continent in the UN Security Council with full powers, including veto, following its reformation.
So far, there are five permanent members at the UN Security Council that have the right to veto — China, Russia, the United States, France and the UK.
The other 10 members of the UN body are non-permanent and elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
South Africa was elected as a non-permanent member for 2019 to 2020.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Suga hopes for ‘forward-looking’ ties with S. Korea in letter to President Moon
Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, expressed hope for “forward-looking” relations with South Korea as “important neighbors” in his recent letter to President Moon Jae-in, Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.
Suga sent a reply to Moon on Saturday for his congratulatory message, as he was sworn in as the successor of Shinzo Abe, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
He expressed the hope that the two sides would establish forward-looking ties by overcoming “difficult issues,” Kang added without elaborating.
Suga was apparently referring to longstanding disputes over shared history, especially compensating victims of forced labor and sexual enslavement of women during Japan’s colonial rule of Korea.
A combined image of South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Yonhap).
Moon earlier sent a letter to Suga, in which he proposed joint efforts to improve Seoul-Tokyo relations, shortly after his inauguration.
On Sunday, Suga reportedly had a phone conversation with United States President Donald Trump.
Cheong Wa Dae officials have not announced when Moon will also talk with Suga on the phone.
ited by Emmanuel Yashimhttps://nnn.ng/suga-hopes-for-forward-looking-ties-with-s-korea-in-letter-to-president-moon/