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  •  Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them
    Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them
     Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them
    Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them
    Foreign11 hours ago

    Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them

    Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the US Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo on Monday, alleging it recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers.

    The attorneys, along with two journalists joining the suit, are Americans and allege that the CIA violated their US constitutional protections for confidential discussions with Assange, who is Australian.

    They said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the WikiLeaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he met with.

    Assange is facing extradition from Britain to the US, where he is charged with violating the US Espionage Act by publishing US military and diplomatic files in 2010 related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

    Robert Boyle, a New York attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the alleged spying on Assange’s attorneys means the WikiLeaks founder’s right to a fair trial has “now been tainted, if not destroyed.

    ” “The recording of meetings with friends, with lawyers and the copying of his attorneys’ and friends’ digital information taints the criminal prosecution because now the government knows the contents of those communications,” Boyle told reporters.

    “There should be sanctions, even up to dismissal of those charges, or withdrawal of an extradition request in response to these blatantly unconstitutional activities,” he said.

    The suit was filed by attorneys Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek, and journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz.

    They all visited Assange while he was living inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London under political asylum, since withdrawn.

    The suit named the CIA, former CIA director and former US secretary of state Pompeo, and the security firm Undercover Global and its chief executive David Morales Guillen.

    It said Undercover Global, which had a security contract with the embassy, swept information on their electronic devices, including communications with Assange, and provided it to the CIA.

    In addition it placed microphones around the embassy and sent recordings, as well as footage from security cameras, to the CIA, the suit alleges.

    This, the attorneys said, violated privacy protections for US citizens.

    Assange is awaiting a ruling on his appeal of the British extradition order to the United States.

    The charges he faces could bring a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.

    Pompeo ‘approved’ the spying The suit said that Spain-based Undercover Global was recruited to work with the CIA in 2017 by officials from the Las Vegas Sands casino group.

    Las Vegas Sands was at the time controlled by the late tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a powerful conservative backer of the Republican Party who, the suit said, “had cooperated with the CIA on similar matters in the past.

    ” The suit said that while Undercover Global controlled security at the embassy, each visitor had to leave their electronic devices with a guard before seeing Assange.

    “The information contained on the plaintiff’s devices was copied and, ultimately, given to the CIA,” they said.

    “Defendant Pompeo was aware of and approved the copying of information contained on plaintiffs’ mobile electronic devices and the surreptitious audio monitoring of their meetings with Assange,” the suit alleged.

    It said the defendants became aware of the spying only when the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported in September 2019 that Morales and Undercover Global were under criminal investigation in Spain.

    El Pais revealed information on the London operations that had previously been sealed in the case.

  •  Minister Joe Phaahla announces fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa
    Minister Joe Phaahla announces fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa
     Minister Joe Phaahla announces fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa
    Minister Joe Phaahla announces fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa
    Africa16 hours ago

    Minister Joe Phaahla announces fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa

    The Minister of Health, Dr. Joe Phaahla, would like to announce that a fourth case of monkeypox has been identified through laboratory testing in a 28-year-old man from the Western Cape province.

    The patient has a history of travel to Spain and returned to South Africa in the second week of August 2022.

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was performed at a private pathology laboratory and samples were sent to the National Institute of Diseases.

    Transmissible (NICD) for sequencing analysis.

    Public health response measures have been instituted to prevent the spread of infection, including contact tracing.

    The fourth case follows three laboratory-confirmed unlinked monkeypox cases that were reported in Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo provinces, respectively.

    These cases were reported in men aged 30, 32, and 42 who have since completed the self-isolation and monitoring period without reporting further symptoms or health complications.

    Minister Phaahla will provide further details on the government's response to monkeypox at a scheduled press conference on Friday this week.

  •  FIFA World Cup officials continue their preparation for Qatar 2022
    FIFA World Cup officials continue their preparation for Qatar 2022
     FIFA World Cup officials continue their preparation for Qatar 2022
    FIFA World Cup officials continue their preparation for Qatar 2022
    Africa18 hours ago

    FIFA World Cup officials continue their preparation for Qatar 2022

    FIFA (www.FIFA.com) organized seminars for 129 match officials, on three continents; seminars were held in Asunción, Doha and Madrid, in May and June; the goal is to prepare referees to use technology only for support.

    Between May 31 and June 22, FIFA held three seminars to thoroughly prepare the 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials from the six confederations chosen to officiate at the upcoming FIFA World Cup. FIFA Qatar 2022™.

    The three-day seminars saw officials from each confederation meet in Asunción, Paraguay (CONCACAF/Conmebol), Doha, Qatar (AFC/OFC/CAF), and Madrid, Spain (UEFA), led by Pierluigi Collina, president of the Committee of FIFA Referees, and Massimo Busacca, FIFA Director of Refereeing.

    Match officials were put to the test in theory classes and on-field training sessions each day, allowing them to simulate and practice various live game situations.

    “Our goal is to prepare the referee as best as possible to avoid the use of technology, but the technology is there to reduce the possibility of human error that could affect the outcome of a match.

    Even the best referee can make a mistake; he is a human being, and we know it,” said Pierluigi Collina.

    The success of the seminars on three continents was particularly pleasing considering that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA refereeing had to move all education online (https://fifa.fans/3SUIPiX ).

    36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials appointed for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ (https://fifa.fans/3SPG4iS) For selected match officials, their participation in the FIFA World Cup FIFA Qatar 2022™ is the ultimate realization of a professional dream.

    For Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands, one that he had had since childhood.

    “When I received the invitation and the confirmation that he had been selected with my team, it was an incredible feeling.

    When I started as a referee, I was 12 years old and my goal was already that I wanted to reach the top, and I dreamed of the World Cup," said the Dutchman, who was also a video assistant referee at the World Cup final of the FIFA Russia 2018™ For assistant referee Karen Diaz (Mexico), she hopes to be one of six pioneering women, along with referees Stéphanie Frappart (France), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan), and assistant referees Neuza Back (Brazil) and Kathryn Nesbitt (USA: Participating in a men's FIFA World Cup will open up opportunities for more women.

    "I feel very happy and very grateful to all the people who have given me this opportunity."

    Diaz said.

    “We have to make sure that this time it doesn't become the only time women are selected, but the first of many to come."

    The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is now just over 100 days away As Massimo Busacca concludes: "It's like a football team; t They have to prepare everything very well for the most important competition we have in sport.

    I'm positive.

    I expect a great World Cup. We know what we are doing.

    The sacrifice we are making, the seminars, talking and talking, is because we want to achieve a goal.

    I'm sure the referees understand that.

    their message, and they will do very well.” Living Football, July 2022 (https://fifa.fans/3SLWWr3).

  •  One dead dozens hurt as gale hits Spain dance music festival
    One dead, dozens hurt as gale hits Spain dance music festival
     One dead dozens hurt as gale hits Spain dance music festival
    One dead, dozens hurt as gale hits Spain dance music festival
    Foreign3 days ago

    One dead, dozens hurt as gale hits Spain dance music festival

    One person died and dozens more were injured early Saturday as powerful winds hit a music festival near the Spanish resort of Valencia, causing the stage to partially collapse, medics said.

    The incident occurred shortly after 4:00 am (0200 GMT) at the Medusa Circus of Madness dance music festival on Cullera beach, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Valencia.

    “At 4:18 am, part of the stage at Medusa Festival collapsed in Cullera due to a strong gust of wind,” the 112 emergency services said on Twitter.

    “One person died and three were seriously hurt with multiple injuries,” it said, indicating 14 others sustained light injuries.

    The health authorities later raised the toll to 40 injured.

    Media reports said a young man in his early 20s died after being hit by parts of the stage as it collapsed at the event which had been expected to draw some 320,000 festivalgoers.

    They also said some of the large structures making up the festival entrance also blew down.

    Footage on social media showed powerful winds sweeping through the venue, trees and large structures bending dangerously, and debris flying everywhere as people fought to hold onto their tents and salvage their belongings.

    Spain’s AEMET weather service said the Valencian coast had been hit overnight by various “warm downbursts”, a weather event in which a powerful downward current of air hits land then spreads out in all directions.

    “We are completely devastated and appalled by what happened last night,” the festival management said in a statement on social media, conveying condolences to the victims and their family and friends.

    It said an “unexpected and violent gale” had ravaged certain areas of the festival just after 4:00 am, forcing the management “to immediately evacuate the concert area to ensure the safety of the festival goers, staff and artists”.

    Valencia’s regional leader Ximo Puig wrote on Twitter it was “a terrible accident that has shocked us all”, offering his “deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young man who died”.

  •  JA Worldwide and JA Africa Announce Partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation to Create Bright and Limitless Futures for African Youth
    JA Worldwide and JA Africa Announce Partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation to Create Bright and Limitless Futures for African Youth
     JA Worldwide and JA Africa Announce Partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation to Create Bright and Limitless Futures for African Youth
    JA Worldwide and JA Africa Announce Partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation to Create Bright and Limitless Futures for African Youth
    Africa4 days ago

    JA Worldwide and JA Africa Announce Partnership with the Z Zurich Foundation to Create Bright and Limitless Futures for African Youth

    Z Zurich Foundation (ZZF) announced today, International Youth Day, that it will partner with JA Worldwide and JA Africa (www.JA-Africa.org), building on already established relationships with JA Canada and Junior Achievement Spain (JA Spain).

    .

    ZZF has made a strategic decision to venture into and fund Africa, and has chosen us, Africa's largest and most impactful youth serving NGO, JA Africa, as its implementing partner.

    This three-year partnership will allow thousands of young people to access JA programs and put them on the path to success, not only as individuals but as leaders who will affect positive change within their communities.

    The partnership will also allow JA Africa to expand existing operations in four countries and launch operations in five new countries.

    According to the African Development Bank, every year between 10 and 12 million African students complete their education and compete for three million jobs (https://bit.ly/3pbVAZ0), making the youth of Africa sub-Saharan women become entrepreneurs out of necessity, not choice.

    The ZZF-JA partnership empowers young people in Africa to succeed as both innovative job creators and well-skilled job seekers, following the path that best suits their economic realities.

    “The partnership integrates the education and economic ecosystems of the countries we work in,” said JA Worldwide CEO Asheesh Advani, “leading to long-term sustainability.

    Over the next three years, this partnership will impact the lives of more than 550,000 young people in nine countries: Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

    resulting in increased capacity in JA Africa's current four countries and new operations in five more.” JA Africa is a trusted and highly respected NGO that has been partnering with local leaders and communities across the African continent for over 40 years.

    As part of the JA global network, JA Africa has the advantage of drawing on the best practices, curricula, pedagogies, effective governance models, fundraising, communications and financial management capacity of more than 100 JA member locations, five additional JA regions and a world headquarters, all of which provide the strong foundation on which this association is built.

    Grégory Renand, Director of the Z Zurich Foundation, agreed.

    “JA is best known for using volunteers to provide educational experiences.

    We are very proud of this new partnership, providing skills-based interventions and expertise with the aim of creating brighter futures in Africa, building on impactful programs we have already built with JA around the world.

    The Z Zurich Foundation's expertise in social equity and mental well-being nicely complements JA's track record in building resilience and self-efficacy in more than 12 million young people each year."

    JA Africa CEO Simi Nwogugu has led efforts in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa for more than 25 years.

    “Many young Africans are naturally entrepreneurial,” he said, “but they may have a limited ability to develop solutions to the challenges around them and capture the value of those solutions.

    The ZZF-JA partnership will help young Africans develop the resilience, problem-solving and design-thinking skills, and mental well-being they need to understand the region's complex problems and design sustainable solutions, and mentorship will play a big role.

    “Exposing young people from Africa to Zurich Insurance Group employees as global mentors,” continued Nwogugu, “as well as JA Africa alumni and role models like Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, who founded not one but two unicorns in Nigeria, will help to build the critical social society.

    skills and confidence necessary to validate your ideas and communicate them to a global audience of funders and clients.” The announcement was made today at an event through which members of the African media were able to ask questions, with a particular interest in scaling and accelerating business education in Africa.

    Panelists noted that Z Zurich Foundation, JA Worldwide, JA Africa and JA member countries in Africa are working to create a new generation of partnerships that develop an ecosystem of role models and mentors, working with youth through a combination of high technology.

    digital learning experiences; low-tech options like TV, radio, and podcasts; and face-to-face experiences.

    Then, after students graduate, regional and local vehicles connect students with employers or help young people start businesses through incubators and start-up grants.

    “For Africa to succeed as a continent,” said Nwogugu, “all of our youth need access to immersive education that leads to economic success.

    Through this partnership, we will create entrepreneurial ecosystems that work together to empower young Africans to become agents of change, creating businesses that solve the continent's challenges of climate change, food shortages and inadequate health infrastructure.

    and the education".

  •  International Youth Day 2022 The role of youth in driving financial inclusion in Africa
    International Youth Day 2022: The role of youth in driving financial inclusion in Africa
     International Youth Day 2022 The role of youth in driving financial inclusion in Africa
    International Youth Day 2022: The role of youth in driving financial inclusion in Africa
    Africa4 days ago

    International Youth Day 2022: The role of youth in driving financial inclusion in Africa

    The African Union defines 'youth' as ​​someone between the ages of 15 and 35.

    With 70% of sub-Saharan Africa's population under the age of 30, Africa has the youngest population in the world.

    With such a thriving young workforce, the continent's economy has the opportunity to grow exponentially, but only if the next generations are given the tools they need.

    It is crucial that young people are involved in decision-making processes and are provided with numerous opportunities for employment and innovation.

    Depending on their needs and stage of life, access to financial services can empower young people and improve their well-being in the right circumstances.

    According to research, children start developing good financial habits as early as seven years old.

    A study conducted by the OECD for the G20 Global Alliance for Financial Inclusion shows that young people are more likely to choose non-traditional financial service providers, as they often have weak ties to the formal banking sector, both in sub-Saharan Africa as globally.

    It should come as no surprise that this generation is driving fintech adoption globally given that they have never known a world without mobile, web and app-based services.

    The study further revealed that; one in three internet users worldwide is under the age of 18, and globally, 71% of young people and just 48% of the general population use the internet.

    Many national governments, including Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, and Spain, have explicitly recognized Internet access as a human right since access to online information and services has become so crucial.

    At Cellulant (www.Cellulant.io), we see fintech collaborations as a vehicle to promote financial inclusion, business expansion, and overall economic development in Africa.

    We work daily to open options for people to become financially autonomous and empowered by giving global, regional and local businesses the rails they need to own their financial journeys.

    We see collaborations with Fintech companies, especially those founded and led by young people, as a tool to promote financial inclusion and the growth of individual companies, as well as the economy of the African continent as a whole.

    As some of our recent partnerships demonstrate, Young African Founders in Africa is making significant strides across a variety of sectors to drive financial inclusion; In the Gig Economy: The one-stop financial platform for Africa's gig workers, ImaliPay (www.ImaliPay.com) has partnered with Cellulant for its payments infrastructure and solutions in Kenya and Nigeria.

    Founded by 2 young Africans, Tatenda Furusa (https://bit.ly/3QoO9tw) and Sanmi Akinmusire (https://bit.ly/3zQi3Q8), ImaliPay is driving financial inclusion by enabling ImaliPay users to access services faster through Cellulant's pay rails while building an ecosystem where temp workers can create a safety net around their work through savings, credit and insurance that boost their productivity and economic empowerment .

    Cellulant is also the payment processor for Gray (https://bit.ly/3JNRakz), a Y-combinator-backed fintech startup, powering thousands of Gray customers with their payments.

    Gray offers a unique international money transfer service that allows its users to quickly send and receive international payments without restrictions.

    Gray was launched in 2021 by Idorenyin Obong (https://bit.ly/3zK17uE) and Femi Aghedo (https://bit.ly/3zOl1Vr), who wanted to help Nigerians easily switch to local currency and access foreign currencies in your accounts Retail: Leveraging Cellulant's presence across the continent, where we have a presence in 35 countries, MarketForce (https://bit.ly/3AhDfzZ) has partnered with Cellulant to offer additional revenue opportunities for informal retailers by empowering them to be agents of major financial services, as well as access to payments, savings, investments, insurance, and buy now, pay later products.

    Founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu (https://bit.ly/3QmKE6O) and Mesongo Sibuti (https://bit.ly/3C3ZJG8), MarketForce is an all-inclusive B2B trading platform that enables informal traders in Africa digitally and conveniently source, order and pay for inventory, access financing, collect digital payments and earn extra money by reselling digital financial services like airtime, electricity tokens and bill payment through your RejaReja app.

    In the remittance industry: At Cellulant, our goal is to simplify the way payments are made by making sure they are made in the most seamless way.

    This fluidity is also needed in the remittance space, hence our partnership with Nala (https://www.Nala.com) to facilitate seamless cross-border payments and significantly reduce the cost of sending money from the UK and abroad.

    USA to Africa.

    Nala is a Y-Combinator-backed company, founded by Benjamin Fernandes (https://bit.ly/3SGQ7XL), that provides an app for Africans living in the UK and US to seamlessly send money to the continent .

    Cellulant continues to drive payments across the continent, one transaction at a time, helping businesses explore how the evolution of digital payment solutions can help create jobs, increase service delivery efficiencies and foster financial inclusion of our young population to develop payment in Africa.

    sector and promote economic development.

  •  New wildfire outbreaks feared as blazes rage in France
    New wildfire outbreaks feared as blazes rage in France
     New wildfire outbreaks feared as blazes rage in France
    New wildfire outbreaks feared as blazes rage in France
    Foreign5 days ago

    New wildfire outbreaks feared as blazes rage in France

    Officials warned Thursday that flare-ups could cause a massive wildfire to further spread in France’s parched southwest, site of the most intense blazes that have blackened swaths of the country this week.

    Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne was to meet with authorities battling the Landiras fire south of Bordeaux, and further reinforcements are expected for the 1,100 firefighters on site, the prefecture of the Gironde department said.

    France has been buffeted this summer by the historic drought that has forced water-use restrictions nationwide, as well as a series of heatwaves that experts say are being driven by climate change.

    “Conditions are particularly difficult: the vegetation and soil are exceptionally dry,” the prefecture said in a statement, warning that extreme dry heat is likely until at least Sunday.

    “There is a very serious risk of new outbreaks.

    ” Temperatures in the region could top 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Thursday, weather forecasters predicted.

    The Landiras blaze erupted in July — the driest month seen in France since 1961 — destroying 14,000 hectares and forcing thousands of people to evacuate before it was contained.

    But it continued to smoulder in the tinder-dry pine forests and peat-rich soil, and officials suspect arson may have played a role in the latest flare-up, which has burned 6,800 hectares (17,000 acres) since Tuesday.

    Currently eight major wildfires are raging in France and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who was also heading to meet Gironde officials Thursday, said Sweden and Italy were sending fire-fighting aircraft to help.

    President Emmanuel Macron added on Twitter that Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania and Austria are also providing help.

    “Across the country over 10,000 firefighters and security forces are mobilised against the flames… These soldiers of fire are our heroes,” he said.

    ‘Battled all night’“You’d think we’re in California, it’s gigantic… And they’re used to forest fires here but we’re being overwhelmed on all sides — nobody could have expected this,” Remy Lahay, a firefighter deployed near Hostens in the Landes de Gascogne natural park, told AFP.

    On several nearby houses, people hung out white sheets saying “Thank you for saving our homes” and other messages of support for the weary fire battalions.

    “We battled all night to stop the fire from spreading, notably to defend the village of Belin-Beliet,” Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Mendousse of the Gironde fire and rescue service told journalists in Hostens.

    Seventeen homes have been destroyed or damaged since Tuesday, and nearly 10,000 people evacuated, but no further orders to leave the area are expected “for the time being”, Mendousse said.

    Acrid smoke has spread across much of the southwestern Atlantic coast and its beaches that draw huge crowds of tourists each summer, with the regional ARS health agency “strongly” urging people to wear protective face masks.

    The smoke also forced the closing of the A63 motorway, a major artery toward Spain, between Bordeaux and Bayonne.

  •  Super Falcons defender joins Turkish Club
    Super Falcons defender joins Turkish Club
     Super Falcons defender joins Turkish Club
    Super Falcons defender joins Turkish Club
    General news5 days ago

    Super Falcons defender joins Turkish Club

    Glory Ogbonna, an ace defender of the Super Falcons has signed a one year contract with the Turkish women league champions, ALG Spor Kulűbű.  

    Ogbonna disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Calabar.  

    She said that the contract signed on Wednesday, would see her play the women version of the champions league with the club this season.  

    The former Edo Queens player said that the desire to play in the champions league was what motivated her to sign for the Turkish champions.  

    Ogbonna said she turned down offer to renew her contract with her last club, Santa Teresa in Spain and other offers before her decision to put pen on paper for the Turkish side.  

    “I have always been desirous to play in the champions league as such, I couldn’t resist the offer from ALG after rejecting several others across Europe.  

    “I want to make history with this club and I am happy to be here.

    I am feeling at home already with the warm reception I got when I came in.  

    “Santa Teresa was good for me but I needed a fresh start so, I had to reject their offer,“he said.  

    The defender featured for the Super Falcons in the just concluded Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco.

    NAN reports that ALG Spor Kulűbű based in Gaziantep, South Eastern Turkey, was founded in 1998 with Batur stadium as their home ground. 


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  South Africa Agriculture Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Negotiates Agreement to Clear Citrus Blocked in European Union EU Ports
    South Africa: Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Negotiates Agreement to Clear Citrus Blocked in European Union (EU) Ports
     South Africa Agriculture Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Negotiates Agreement to Clear Citrus Blocked in European Union EU Ports
    South Africa: Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Negotiates Agreement to Clear Citrus Blocked in European Union (EU) Ports
    Africa5 days ago

    South Africa: Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Negotiates Agreement to Clear Citrus Blocked in European Union (EU) Ports

    The Department of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD, for its acronym in English) confirms that it has managed to negotiate an agreement that will see the cleaning of citrus containers stuck at ports of entry in the European Union (EU).

    To date we have managed to dispatch more than 300 of the 509 containers and we are processing the dispatch of the remaining containers.

    The EU introduced new measures to regulate the risk associated with false codling moth (FCM) in citrus.

    The new measures include additional amended phytosanitary declarations for grapefruit and baby citrus and a revised cold treatment regimen for oranges.

    The measures were published on June 21, 2022 and came into force on June 24, 2022.

    This meant that shipments arriving in Europe from July 14 had to comply with the new measures.

    Taking the shorter sailing time to the EU meant that shipments leaving South Africa on June 24, 2022, three days after publication, should have been certified under the new measures.

    The DALRRD explained to the European Commission (EC) in a meeting and by written communication that the date was not reasonable.

    At the time of the publication of the new measures, there were shipments that were certified and had already left for the EU, as well as some that were in the process of being exported.

    DALRRD's claims were that changing the inspection and certification system within three days was not realistic.

    The reasonable date for compliance with the new measures would have been for shipments leaving SA on July 9, 2022, considering the required adjustments of the systems and the communication to the different regulatory sites, which required at least three weeks from the post.

    However, the EC insisted on July 14, 2022 as the implementation date.

    As anticipated, the DALRRD began receiving queries from exporters after the implementation date regarding the rejection of shipments at EU ports.

    The EU authorities needed phytosanitary certificates that would comply with the new FCM measures.

    The DALRRD segmented the cases into only documentation on grapefruit and tender citrus and compliance with the cold treatment on oranges.

    The deadlock was later resolved by replacing the phytosanitary certificates with the correct additional declarations as of July 22, 2022.

    The orange cases remained a problem until the industry in a meeting on July 25, 2022 presented DALRRD with possible measures.

    of equivalence with respect to the treatment applied to these shipments.

    under the South African systems approach to FCM.

    The DALRRD undertook to negotiate with the EU through the relevant National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) so that they consider these equivalent measures.

    The first official letter was sent to the NPPO of the Netherlands on July 27, 2022 and a positive response was received on July 28, 2022.

    Based on this agreement, it was agreed that replacement phytosanitary certificates will be issued for oranges with declaration of equivalent cold treatment.

    The issuance of replacement phytosanitary certificates for oranges began on Monday, August 1, 2022.

    In a meeting with the industry on August 3, 2022, the DALRRD agreed to include other ports of entry after receiving another positive response from Italy on the declaration.

    of equivalent cold treatment.

    The ports that the industry presented as those where South African oranges were rejected included ports in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

    More than 2,000 containers, with an estimated value of R 500 million, were affected by this blockade.

    So far, the department, with the information sent by the industry, is recertifying the orange shipments blocked in the ports of the Netherlands and Italy and we are receiving confirmation that the containers are being cleared.

    In addition, DALRRD held the meeting with the EC on 5th August 2022 on the handling of non-compliant shipment in EU ports and agreed on the interim measures, namely that the EU adhered to DALRRD's request to complete the cool down period.

    in the EU Provisional measures provide for shipments to be treated at EU cold treatment facilities and the department to notify other EU member states.

  •  Heat drought rekindle huge wildfire in southwest France
    Heat, drought rekindle huge wildfire in southwest France
     Heat drought rekindle huge wildfire in southwest France
    Heat, drought rekindle huge wildfire in southwest France
    Foreign6 days ago

    Heat, drought rekindle huge wildfire in southwest France

    A fire that destroyed thousands of hectares of tinder-dry forest in southwest France has flared again amid a fierce drought and the summer’s latest wave of extreme heat, officials said Wednesday.

    [AD] An additional 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of pine forest have burned in the so-called Landiras blaze since Tuesday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of around 6,000 people, Gironde regional officials said in a statement.

    “The fire is extremely violent and has spread to the Landes department” further south, home of the Landes de Gascogne regional park, the prefecture said, and further evacuations are likely.

    “It’s a major fire… much more intense and fast-moving” than at the height of the Landiras blaze that ignited in July, Marc Vermeulen of the regional fire-fighting authority told journalists.

    No one has been injured in the coastal area that draws huge summer tourism crowds but 16 houses were destroyed or damaged near the village of Belin-Beliet.

    The fire was spreading toward the A63 motorway, a major artery linking Bordeaux to Spain, with thick smoke forcing the road’s closure between Bordeaux and Bayonne.

    The Landiras fire was the largest of several that have raged this year in southwest France, which has been buffeted by record drought and a series of heat waves.

    Arsonists set some of the fires and officials initially suspected a criminal origin for the Landiras blaze.

    Police later released a suspect for lack of evidence.

    Around 500 firefighters are on the scene, supported by water-dropping planes.

    The Gironde prefect, Martin Guespereau, said Wednesday “the risks are very high” that adverse weather conditions will allow the fire to spread further.

    “The weather is very unfavourable because of the heat, the dry air, the record drought and the fact that there is a lot of peat in the ground… the fire didn’t go out in July, it went underground,” he told journalists.

    The Landiras fire and a second large blaze near Arcachon burned a combined 21,000 hectares and forced more than 36,000 people to evacuate before they were brought under control — but not fully extinguished.

    Wildfires have also ignited in the dry hills of the southeast and even in the normally lush areas of Brittany along the English Channel.

    On Wednesday, officials in western France said a forest fire near Angers and Le Mans has burned 1,200 hectares since Monday as nearly 400 firefighters struggle to contain it.