Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran has “strong will” to resolve issues regarding an agreement on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal fairly if the Iranian nation’s interests are guaranteed.
According to the Iranian presidency’s website Raisi made the remarks on Wednesday in an address to the 77th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Raisi said Iran accepted an agreement in 2015 in good faith and with a solid intention, but the United States was breaking its promise and imposing sanctions, the most unprecedented sanctions in history.
“It was Washington that left the agreement, not Tehran,’’ the president said.
He said Iran’s negotiation logic is “adherence to commitments.
” Iran in July 2015 signed the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in return for removing sanctions on the country.
However, former U.
S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to drop some of its commitments under the pact.
The talks on the JCPOA’s revival began in April 2021 in Vienna but were suspended in March this year because of political differences between Tehran and Washington.
The latest round of the nuclear talks was held in the Austrian capital in early August after a five-month hiatus.
On Aug. 8, the EU put forward its final text of the draft decision on reviving the JCPOA.
Iran and the United States later indirectly exchanged views on the EU proposal in a process that has so far failed to produce any favorable outcome.
Russian investigative authorities have arrested the director of a major arms manufacturing company on suspicion of fraud, according to a media report.
“Yuri Shumsky, General-Director of the state enterprise ‘Sverdlov Plant, one of the country’s largest companies for the production of explosives, was arrested,’’ the daily Kommersant posted online on Monday evening.
The case was said to concern export transactions with NATO countries, which were carried out through intermediaries in Switzerland and Austria, among other countries.
Shumsky was only appointed director of the factory shortly before the war began.
Officially, it was a case of pure fraud: 7-10 per cent of the contract sum was siphoned off via letterbox companies, they said.
Duma deputy Dmitry Kuznetsov, who had called for the investigation, spoke of a self-cleaning of the industry after the arrest.
However, political motivation cannot be ruled out.
Kuznetsov had called for investigations into the export of explosives to Bulgaria, Britain, Serbia and Cyprus.
The explosives could have been used for military purposes in hostile NATO countries, he complained.
Shumsky had only been appointed director of Sverdlov Plant at the beginning of the year, after a series of explosions and fires in the manufacturing halls, among other things, had occurred under his predecessor.
Even after the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, there were a number of accidents in Russian defence companies, which led to speculation about sabotage.
Babi Dairou lost a third of her goat herd in 2019, when a viral disease that attacked small ruminants such as sheep and goats spread through northern Cameroon.
And he was among the better off, Dairou said, as many of his neighbors lost all their animals to the devastating disease, known by its scientific name of peste des petits ruminants (PPR).
But now the goats of this factory worker and part-time farmer, as well as those of others in his village, are safe from the disease, thanks to a mass vaccination campaign under the PPR Global Eradication Program , supported by the IAEA, the Food and Agriculture Agency.
United Nations Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health.
PPR is endemic in the region (its spread is facilitated by the movement of wild animals and domesticated herds across borders) and, despite previous control campaigns, has returned to Cameroon.
In the north, where a narrow strip of Cameroonian territory cuts off the southern edge of the Sahel, the borders with Chad to the east and Nigeria to the west are never far away, so transboundary animal diseases can quickly invade.
This part of the country, known as the north and far north, is home to 80 percent of Cameroon's livestock, said Gabriel Toumba, regional coordinator for the Livestock Development Project, a World Bank-backed program that coordinated the vaccination campaign in the land.
On average, 88% of small ruminants were vaccinated in each of the three years of the campaign, with vaccines produced by the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET), located just 15 kilometers south of Garoua.
LANAVET produces 25 million doses of vaccines each year to combat various veterinary diseases that affect cattle, small ruminants and poultry.
It performs diagnosis and quality controls through the application of nuclear and related technologies (see The role of nuclear and related techniques in the diagnosis of PPR).
In fact, as a tour of its 1,200-square-meter plant reveals, about half of its equipment has been donated by the IAEA through its technical cooperation program and the VETLAB Network, a global network of national veterinary diagnostic laboratories.
that promotes research and technology and information transfer.
coordinated by the Joint FAO/IAEA Center for Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture based in Vienna, Austria.
The IAEA's longstanding support, in partnership with the FAO, has included much more: the organizations have provided training and expert advice, as well as reagents and consumables to LANAVET to carry out its research and quality control work, Simon said.
Dickmu Jumbo, Director of the Department of Animal Diagnostics of the national laboratory.
This skills development, supplemented by regular advice from the IAEA, has led to the laboratory's successful accreditation as ISO 17025 compliant, the only veterinary laboratory of its kind in Central Africa.
As a result, it has been able to increase its capacity and now supports several countries in the region by exporting seven different veterinary vaccines.
Livestock farmers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana and Nigeria benefit from LANAVET's support, including regional trainings and fellowships that it now offers, through the IAEA, to veterinary researchers from these countries.
In addition to diagnosing diseases and producing vaccines, LANAVET also performs quality control tests on veterinary drugs imported into Cameroon.
This also uses nuclear and related technologies.
An outbreak that spread rapidly It was the diagnosis by LANAVET experts in 2019 that confirmed the epidemic: 44% of the animals surveyed were infected.
After the campaign that led to the vaccination of around 5 million small ruminants across the country, less than 5 percent of the surveyed sample fell ill and the proportion continues to fall, Jumbo said.
“This is proof that LANAVET fulfilled the main objective of the project with the IAEA: to help alleviate the poverty of small farmers through PPR control by supporting the national vaccination program and informing the country's vaccination strategy” Jumbo said.
While the campaign will end in January 2023, vigilance will be required, Toumba of the Livestock Development Project said.
The migration of wild ruminants and the mixing of herds herded across large tracts of land by pastoral farmers could trigger another outbreak at any time.
To mitigate this risk, the government will remain vigilant and use its vaccination and control strategy to quickly stop the thread of any new outbreak, he added.
Surveillance by farmers like Dairou will likely be necessary until 2030, the target year for global eradication of the disease set by the FAO, which supports countries in Africa in the fight against PPR.
“Only then can we be sure that PRPD does not come back from our neighbors,” Dairou said.
THE SCIENCE The role of nuclear and related techniques in PPR diagnosis Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are two techniques of nuclear origin used for disease diagnosis.
ELISA is easy to set up and use, making it suitable for any veterinary laboratory.
Scientists place a sample of diluted serum from an animal in a precoated microtiter plate and, if the sample contains antibodies to the suspected disease, it causes a change in the enzyme reaction that changes the colors of the fluid, confirming the presence of the disease.
ELISA is often used for initial testing and screening of large populations, but cannot be used to accurately identify virus strains.
PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus, in samples.
Originally, the method used radioactive isotope labels to visualize target genetic materials, but further refinement led to the replacement of isotopic labeling with specific labels, most often fluorescent dyes.
The second annual edition of Digital Finance Africa (https://bit.ly/3U6hevK) will take place on September 22, 2022 in Johannesburg.
The conference will be organized by IT News Africa (https://www.ITNewsAfrica.com/), under the theme; Bridging the gap between the future and the present through digital solutions.
Following a successful event in 2021, #DFAfrica22 (https://bit.ly/3U6hevK) will bring together more than 200 local and international BFSI industry leaders, fintech founders, industry regulators and technology service providers, to learn about cutting-edge innovations and participate in dynamic discussions that address how technology is redefining finance.
This year's Digital Finance Africa (https://bit.ly/3U6hevK) promises to be a hit as it plans to tackle topics such as central bank digital currencies, RegTech, crypto payments, digital transformation, and cold war-like rivalry.
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Confirmed speakers for Digital Finance Africa 2022 (https://bit.ly/3U6hevK) include: Tracy Bolton, Chief Operating Officer of SAP.
Tamara Mkula, Head of Corporate Information Security at Nedbank Abe Wakama, CEO of IT News Africa.
Shem Kakembo, Director General of EFCUG, Uganda.
Peter Neubauer, CEO of VIPASO, Austria.
Magda Milas, President of Alice in Blockchains, Croatia.
Moloti Nkune, Information Director of MICT SETA.
Michelle Beetar, Vice President and General Manager: MEA at FICO.
Sandy Rheeder, CIO of Mukuru.
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The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and Nigeria’s Ministry of Power are set to host a forum aimed at achieving sustainable energy targets in the region.
A statement by the Communication sector of ECREEE made available to the News Agency of Nigeria indicated that the theme for the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF 2022) is, “Achieving Sustainable Energy Targets in the ECOWAS Region: Moving from Resilience to Transition.
” The event, which is the seventh edition, is expected to hold from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 in Abuja with President Muhammadu Buhari expected to be in attendance.
The two-day event will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders from within and outside the West African region.
The expected participants include high-level representatives from government, regional and international development partners or donors.
Also expected to grace the event are regional and international private sector companies, financial institutions, academia and research and civil society representatives.
Participants would discuss and proffer solutions to the challenges hampering the development of a regional sustainable energy market.
They would also examine policies needed to improve the energy security and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7) targets, and what is needed to transition to a low-carbon energy trajectory in the region.
According to the statement, ECREEE is the specialised agency of ECOWAS with a mandate for promoting sustainable energy markets in the West African region.
ECREEE instituted the ESEF in 2016 to mobilise investment in the region’s sustainable energy sector.
The forum has since become the largest sustainable energy gathering in the West African region, providing a veritable platform for collaboration and transformative progress towards achieving the region’s sustainable energy targets.
The event would also feature an exhibition for organisations looking to showcase their products and services.
ESEF2022 would also host an innovative Business-to-Business (B2B) Matchmaking to serve as an avenue to foster partnerships, business development and investment.
The forum is organised in collaboration with partners including the Nigerian Ministry of Power, the Austrian Development Agency, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development.
Others are the Global Green Growth Institute, the World Bank Group, the Clean Technology Fund, the Government of the Netherlands.
Also listed as partners are the Sustainable Energy for All, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the United Nations Development Programme, amongst others.
The European Union has donated more than five million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine to protect the citizens against the risk of radiation, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.
With shelling ongoing near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the tablets are a pre-emptive delivery to protect citizens, Janez Lenarčič, EU commissioner for crisis management, said in a statement.
Lenarčič also thanked Austria for contributing 500,000 tablets towards the donation to bring the total amount to 5.5 million.
The commission said the EU’s donated tablets are worth more than five million euros.
The EU executive arm organised the donation of the tablets through the co-called EU Civil Protection Mechanism, a platform to coordinate and share emergency resources.
Potassium iodide tablets can prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid in the event of a nuclear accident.
In spite of the shelling at the sprawling Zaporizhzhya site, radiation levels remain normal, UN officials and the warring sides have recently said.
Austrian government on Monday pledged support to the utility that has more than two million customers as the country’s largest regional energy supplier, Wien Energie, is faced with financial problems.
Leonore Gewessler, the federal minister for climate action, environment, energy, mobility, innovation and technology said the energy supplier is company is faced with financial problems due to the electricity and gas crisis.
Gewessler said the appropriate aid has been promised.
Wien Energie is a subsidiary of the Vienna municipal utility company Wiener Stadtwerke.
Media reports suggested Wien Energie was facing liquidity pressure as it must deposit about 1.7 billion euros (1.7 billion U.
S. dollars) as collateral for energy transactions in the coming days.
The company denied media reports that it was insolvent, writing on Twitter on Sunday evening: “No, Wien Energie is not .
” Wien Energie and Wiener Stadtwerke are economically sound companies with top credit ratings, it said, while pointing to similar problems faced by energy suppliers across the border in Germany.
Russia on Friday prevented the adoption of a joint declaration following a four-week UN conference on a nuclear disarmament treaty, with Moscow denouncing what it said were “political” aspects of the text.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which 191 signatories review every five years, aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The nations had been gathered at UN headquarters in New York since August 1 participating in a month of negotiations, including a final session that was postponed for several hours on Friday.
In the end, the conference’s president, Gustavo Zlauvinen of Argentina, said it was “not in a position to achieve agreement” after Russia took issue with the text.
Russian representative Igor Vishnevetsky said the draft final text, which was more than 30 pages long, lacked “balance.
” “Our delegation has one key objection on some paragraphs which are blatantly political in nature,” he said, adding Russia was not the only country to take issue with the text.
According to sources close to the negotiations, Russia was opposed in particular to paragraphs concerning the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, which is occupied by the Russian military.
The latest draft text had expressed “grave concern” over military activities around Ukrainian power plants, including Zaporizhzhia, as well as over Ukraine’s loss of control of such sites and the negative impact on safety.
Neutral and non-nuclear Austria condemned Saturday the attitude at the talks of major powers, and not just Russia.
“While three-quarters of the 191 signatory states support credible progress for nuclear disarmament, it is mainly the nuclear-armed states, and above all Russia, which resisted,” the government in Vienna said in a statement.
It noted that contrary to treaty commitments, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are improving or expanding their stock of nuclear weapons.
“During the negotiations in New York, there was no perceptible willingness to meet the previously unfulfilled contractual obligations.
”The signatories discussed a number of other hot-button topics during the conference, including Iran’s nuclear program and North Korean nuclear tests.
At the last review conference in 2015, the parties were also unable to reach an agreement on substantive issues.
At the conference opening, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world faces “a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.” “Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” Guterres said.
Featuring cutting-edge technologies, including big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G communications, the digital economy has become increasingly critical as a key factor for economic growth in the digital era.
International organisations, industry representatives, experts and scholars gathered at the Smart China Expo 2022 from Monday to Wednesday, in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality.
It would be sharing the latest achievements in the global digital economy and exploring new cooperation opportunities in the international digital field.
More than 550 companies in the digital economy sector from 19 countries and regions are participating online and offline.
The expo witnessed the signing of 70 major investment projects, with the total contract value, reaching 212.1 billion yuan (about $31 billion).
The global digital economy has developed vigorously over recent years, with the total added value of the digital economy in 47 major countries around the world reaching $38.1 trillion in 2021. Out of the figure, China’s digital economy scale reached $7.1 trillion, ranking it second worldwide.
This is according to a white paper on the global digital economy released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).
A chess game was held at the exhibition hall during the expo.
One of the two chess players is iFlyGo Robot, a top chess player embedded with an AI algorithm and equipped with mechanical arms.
The robot was able to judge the level of the opponent through an AI algorithm and take corresponding steps, said Ni Junjuan, a demonstration specialist at iFLYTEK, an AI and speech-technology giant in China.
“The era of the digital economy has begun and digital transformation has become an inevitable choice for the development of human society,’’ said Mei Hong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
China’s digital economy grew at an average rate of 15.9 per cent from 2012 to 2021. During the period, the share of the digital economy in its GDP expanded from 20.9 per cent to 39.8 per cent, representing an annual average increase of about 2.1 percentage points.
The figure is contained in the data from the white paper released by the CAICT.
As one of the co-organisers of this year’s Smart China Expo, Singapore organised 56 enterprises to participate in the event, online or offline.
It focused on displaying its latest technology achievements in trade, innovation, sustainable development and other areas.
“We have strong faith in the Chinese market and the Smart China Expo provides a great platform that will effectively promote communication and cooperation between Chinese and Singaporean companies,’’ said Chng Ken Wei. Wei is the Centre Director (China) of Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore.
Furthermore, 10 enterprises from Austria in related areas, including intelligent environmental protection, intelligent healthcare and intelligent manufacturing, also attended the event.
The Austrian company M-U-T Maschinen-Umwelttechnik-Transportanlagen GmbH exhibited a small container-like sewage treatment system.
“The system can be tailored to different sizes according to different scenarios and be placed in remote mountainous areas, tourist attractions, highways and the like, according to the company.
In spite of the emerging uncertainties and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the headwinds encountered by economic globalisation, China has opened its doors wider and wider while demonstrating its attitude to sharing opportunities with the world,’’ said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies.
This year was supposed to confirm the world economy’s comeback from the Covid pandemic crisis.
Instead, the six-month-old war in Ukraine has sparked fears of recession.
Two ‘small’ economies rattle world “Six short months ago the macro landscape was markedly different from today,” the financial data firm S&P Global said in a recent report.
Both the United States and eurozone economies were expected to see strong growth, and elevated inflation levels were seen by policymakers and markets as transitory.
“Things have changed, and not for the better,” added S&P Global.
Global growth forecasts have been repeatedly cut, with the International Monetary Fund now expecting a 3.
2 percent expansion compared to nearly five percent earlier.
Russia and Ukraine together account for just two percent of global output and trade, according to the OECD.
But Russia is a major exporter of oil, gas and agricultural goods, while many developing countries rely heavily on grain from Ukraine, one of the breadbaskets of the world.
The war has disrupted those shipments, causing energy and food prices to surge worldwide.
Inflation has soared everywhere, prompting central banks to aggressively hike rates — a move that usually tames prices but slows economic activity.
Prices soar everywhere In Tunis, “low-income people are living a nightmare”, said Naima Degaoui, a 70-year-old former nurse.
“Prices on almost everything are rising: peaches, apricots, peppers for which the prices have quadrupled, red meat,” she added.
Some 11,000 kilometres (6,800 miles) away in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, 33-year-old social worker Nayib Pineira said “everything is much more expensive”.
He said local gasoline prices have risen to 1,300 pesos per litre (1.
42 euros per litre, $5.
50 per US gallon) — “nearly what Europeans pay, but with a European salary”.
In Europe, natural gas prices have soared as Russia has slashed deliveries to countries that oppose the war.
Oil prices have jumped, too.
The rise in energy prices has increased the costs of making and shipping an array of goods.
Energy-intensive sectors such as the chemicals and metals industries have been particularly hard hit, especially in Germany which had become extremely dependent upon cheap Russian natural gas.
Policymakers scramble to control situationFaced with surging inflation, developed nations have reverted to supporting their economies just when they were hoping to wean them off aid provided to help with Covid lockdowns.
With support for heating costs, cuts to gasoline taxes, price caps and windfall taxes on oil companies, European nations have pulled out the stops to cushion the blow to consumers from higher energy costs.
In the United States, Congress passed a $370 billion investment package called the Inflation Reduction Act that aims to contain health care costs and promote alternative energies.
Central banks, meanwhile, are expected to continue their aggressive interest rate hikes.
Stock markets have been spooked by the monetary tightening, with the S&P 500 index suffering its worst half-year performance in 14 years.
Global slowdown… then recession?
There is precious little optimism right now: US consumer confidence is nearly at a record low, while that for German investors is at a two-year low point.
The Chinese property market is in a severe crisis, adding to problems caused by strict Covid lockdowns.
In Europe, there are worries that if Russia reduces gas deliveries even further there could be shortages and rationing during the coming winter.
Coupled with the tightening of monetary policy underway by central banks, fears have been rising of a global recession, although the main forecasters have so far discounted this possibility.
That is because there are also signs of resilience in the global economy.
The labour markets in both Europe and the United States remain strong.
The Biden administration has pointed to the strength of the US jobs market to argue that the US economy is not in recession despite two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
The mixed signals prompted analysts at HSBC to compare the situation to the thought experiment by Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist Erwin Schroedinger to resolve a quantum paradox in which two states are simultaneously possible.
“In the same way that Erwin Schroedinger’s cat was both dead and alive at the same time, the global economy may be both in a recession and not — at least not yet,” they wrote.