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  •  The president attends the annual graduation ceremony of STA
    The president attends the annual graduation ceremony of STA
     The president attends the annual graduation ceremony of STA
    The president attends the annual graduation ceremony of STA
    Africa1 week ago

    The president attends the annual graduation ceremony of STA

    President Wavel Ramkalawan was the guest of honor at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) annual graduation ceremony held at the University of Seychelles (UniSey) Auditorium, Anse Royale, yesterday afternoon.

    Graduates who attended the morning session due to space restrictions joined the others in the afternoon.

    Two hundred graduates who have successfully completed their studies in Restaurant and Bar, Food Preparation and Culinary Arts, Lodging Operations and Services, Tourism and Tour Guides, Front Desk Operations and Services, Wellness and Spa, as well as Hotel Management.

    Ketsina William, who took the Advanced Certificate in Food Preparation and Culinary Arts course, won the President's Cup for Most Outstanding Student.

    The Director of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Mr. Terence Max congratulated the graduates “Dear graduates, the Seychelles Tourism Academy; Along with all of your partners and stakeholders, they have played their part in developing the skills and knowledge that will enable you to further your aspirations to become the quality talent the industry demands.

    In addition to technical and managerial skills, the Seychelles Tourism Academy strives to instill in its students positive customer and service attitudes and a passion for hospitality where the notion of service is not servile.

    Passion and pride in tourism and hospitality infuse everything we do.

    do at the academy.

    We have provided the springboard for you, however, it is important that you realize that you are the engine of your success in this competitive and formidable industry,” said Mr. Max. “As you move through the world of work, there will be times of despair, frustration, and discouragement.

    My advice to you is to never give up your quest to realize your dream.

    The cultivation of courage and perseverance is something that you, as future hospitality professionals, will need to develop and manifest, not only for your careers, but also for your success and personal growth.” Prizes were also given to the students with the best performance in various areas of the different courses, and those with an outstanding general performance during the duration of their training.

    In addition, for the second year in a row, the Confucius Institute award was given to the top five Mandarin students in the Advanced Certificate.

    During the ceremony, different recognitions were given to the graduates under the Certificate level; Best Academic Award, Best Practice Award, Best Effort Award and General Award.

    In Restaurant and Bar, the winners were Hilary Amouna and Christy Bistoquet.

    In Food Preparation and Culinary Arts at the Certificate level, Kharishna Pillay and Aaron Esparon won the awards.

    Under the Hosting Services and Operations Certificate, Aruna Rabat and Staelle Sinon were the best.

    Next, prizes were awarded to those who completed the Reception and Service Operation courses.

    Tia Savy, Marie-Michelle Hermitte and Marie-Eve Didon take home the awards.

    For the Advanced Certificate in Restaurant and Bar, awards went to Jefferson Pierre, Angel Belle, and Aury Leon. For the Advanced Food Production Certificate, Ketsina William, Ashley Nourrice, Joshua Chetty were the winners.

    The Best Chinese Performer was Franchesco Boniface.

    Under the Advanced Certificate for Wellness and Spa, Best Academic Lawraine Marie and Andria Antat won the awards.

    The Best Chinese Interpreter was Bryna Albert, while Haley Benoit received the Best Interpreter award.

    For the Advanced Certificate in Front Desk Operations and Services, Best Academic Performance and Best Overall Performance went to Corine Pierre.

    Awards were also presented to Jessica Monthy and Stephanie Laporte.

    Within the framework of the Advanced Certificate in Tourism and Tourist Guide, the Award for Best Academic and Practical Executor went to Gracy Labiche.

    Prizes were also awarded to Tiffanie Joseph, Dyniz Finesse and Gaetanne Camille.

    In the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management, the awards went to Antony Servina, Sherine Woodcock, Medhi Stravens and Martina Luther.

    In addition to the President's Cup of Prestigious Awards, Chantelle Cadeau and Hussayn Charles received the Directors Award for Most Improved Alumna at STA for 2022.

    The Minister's award went to three graduates of the Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Advanced Diploma programmes.

    This award recognizes students who have performed exceptionally well not only academically, but have also displayed exemplary behavior and job skills in both academia and industry.

    Students exhibit an exemplary attitude and have the potential to develop leadership skills.

    They were Aruna Rabat (Certificate level), Haley Benoit (Advanced Certificate level) and Martina Luther (Advanced Diploma).

    Angel Belle received the Governing Board Award.

    The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks on behalf of all the graduates by Aruna Rabat and Sherine Woodcock.

    In addition to President Ramkalawan, guests at the ceremony included the Minister of Education, Dr. Justin Valentin, the Minister of Employment and Social Affairs, Ms. Patricia Francourt, the French Ambassador to the Seychelles, Mr. Dominique Mas, Member of the National Assembly, Grand Anse Constituency, H.E. .

    Waven William, Senior Secretary for Tourism, Ms. Sherin Francis, Senior Secretary for Educational Services, Ms. Merna Eulentin, Senior Secretary for Education Sector Development, Mr. John Lesperance, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Seychelles Tourism Academy , Mr. Derek Barbe, Director, Seychelles Tourism Academy, Mr. Terence Max, Dr. Phyllip Smyth, Director, Shannon College of Hotel Management, Mr. Adrian Sylver, Deputy Director, Shannon College, Members of the Governing Board of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, hoteliers and STA staff.

  •  Survey shows Australians overwhelmingly trust science
    Survey shows Australians overwhelmingly trust science
     Survey shows Australians overwhelmingly trust science
    Survey shows Australians overwhelmingly trust science
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    Survey shows Australians overwhelmingly trust science

    To mark the launch of the National Science week in Australia, the nation’s peak body for science and technology, Science and Technology Australia (STA), has revealed the public’s high rates of trust in science.

    The results, released on Thursday, came from a global survey, the 3M State of Science Index, which was conducted across 17 countries in early 2022 with over a thousand respondents per country.

    It found that nearly nine out of 10 Australian respondents trust science and scientists, a higher rate than many other nations around 85 per cent in the United States.

    It has 87 per cent in Britain, and 81 per cent in Germany.

    “Australians strongly value and trust science, and we see clearly how important science is to our safety and prosperity,’’ said STA CEO Misha Schubert.

    “Science has saved us time and again during the COVID-19 pandemic and Australians appreciate science’s key role in helping us tackle major threats.

    ’’ Four in five Australians said they wanted to hear more from scientists, but just half believed science was important to their everyday life.

    Schubert said distrust in the media was leading to growing mistrust of science information, with nine in 10 Australians believing there is widespread misinformation on all topics on social media.

    “We live in an era of general wariness and distrust of information, especially on social media which is feeding into a rising tide of concern about social media misinformation.

    “The risks that are fuelling public scepticism in science unless we all act to safeguard it,’’ she said.

    Eleni Sideridis, managing director of 3M Australia and New Zealand, said the pandemic has allowed Australians to see the value in science.

    Both in the face of the current public health crisis and in tackling future climate change.

    “We have seen a global pandemic unfold, the impacts of climate change and increasing weather events firsthand.

    “The people of Australia know that science holds the solutions to many of these issues,’’ she said.

    She added that it was important the scientific community engaged the public in a clear and transparent way.

    The National Science Week runs each year in August and hosts a variety of events across the country to inform and entertain the public.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  China to defer social insurance premium payments for epidemic hit firms
    China to defer social insurance premium payments for epidemic-hit firms
     China to defer social insurance premium payments for epidemic hit firms
    China to defer social insurance premium payments for epidemic-hit firms
    Foreign3 months ago

    China to defer social insurance premium payments for epidemic-hit firms

     

    Premium

    Beijing, May 12, 2022 Chinese authorities has recently announced a new payment deferral of social insurance premiums for the sectors severely hit by the COVID-19 outbreaks.

    This is as a result of the latest move to alleviate the financial burden of these industries.

    The country had planned to temporarily defer the premium payments of old-age insurance, unemployment insurance, and workplace injury insurance for the hard-hit catering.

    Also, those in these categories; retail, tourism, civil aviation, highway, waterway and railway transportation industries to be deferred.

    This is according to a statement jointly released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Taxation Administration (STA).

    Individual businesses and workers in flexible employment that had difficulties in paying basic old-age insurance premiums in 2022 were allowed to defer the payments until the end of 2023.

    Zheng Wenmin, an official with the STA told a news conference on Thursday.

    The policies are expected to pump up over 80 billion yuan (about 11.89 billion dollars) for firms and individuals.

    They are to play an underpinning role in relieving cash strains for smaller firms and stabilising employment, Zheng said. (

    (NAN)

  •  Slovenia declares state of epidemic as infections surge
    Slovenia declares ‘state of epidemic’ as infections surge
     Slovenia declares state of epidemic as infections surge
    Slovenia declares ‘state of epidemic’ as infections surge
    Foreign2 years ago

    Slovenia declares ‘state of epidemic’ as infections surge

    Slovenia has declared a 30-day state of epidemic from Monday, paving the way for regional and local authorities to swiftly introduce measures against the surging number of coronavirus infections.

    The government made the decision in a Sunday night meeting, the STA news agency reported.

    The same measure was declared on March 12 and it remained in place until May 30.

    The authorities have not ordered additional measures on top of the restrictions in place since Friday, when movement was restricted within the region’s most affected by the epidemic and schools switched to remote classes.

    Slovenia, with 2.08 million inhabitants reported 726 and 897 new infections on Saturday and Sunday and now has 317 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days.


    Edited By: Halima Sheji/Ese E. Ekama
    Source: NAN

     

  •  Int l passenger air travel resumes in Slovenia s capital
    Int’l passenger air travel resumes in Slovenia’s capital
     Int l passenger air travel resumes in Slovenia s capital
    Int’l passenger air travel resumes in Slovenia’s capital
    Foreign2 years ago

    Int’l passenger air travel resumes in Slovenia’s capital

    International passenger air transport has resumed at the Ljubljana airport, Slovenia's largest international airport, following two-month travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported Friday.

    The resumption plan will be carried out in three stages, with the airport expecting most airlines to restart operations by early July, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported.

    The return depends on the progress in lifting border restrictions and promoting destinations, the STA quoted the airport operator Fraport Slovenija as saying.

    Slovenia has reported 1,473 COVID-19 cases, including 1,357 recoveries and 108 deaths.


    (XINHUA)

  •  Tourism dependent countries in Europe look to mid June D Day
    Tourism-dependent countries in Europe look to mid-June ‘D-Day’
     Tourism dependent countries in Europe look to mid June D Day
    Tourism-dependent countries in Europe look to mid-June ‘D-Day’
    Foreign2 years ago

    Tourism-dependent countries in Europe look to mid-June ‘D-Day’

    June 15 is Europe’s “D-Day” for tourism ahead of the summer season, Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, said as countries started opening up after three months of the pandemic lockdown.

    Tourism is important, if not the largest, generator of revenue for most European Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Spain, Croatia, Portugal and Greece.

    “We are working so that on June 15 we may be able to restart all together in Europe.

    “June 15 will be a bit like a European D-Day for tourism,’’ Di Maio told RAI public television, referring to a date being considered in Germany for lifting a travel warning.

    Germany plans to lift a warning for tourists planning trips to 31 European countries from June 15, ending an unprecedented directive against all international travel.

    Alongside Germany’s 27 fellow EU member states, the warning will also be lifted for Britain and the four non-EU members of the borderless Schengen zone, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, according to a draft policy proposal seen by dpa.

    The plan, contingent on continuing positive trends in the coronavirus pandemic, could be approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet as early as Wednesday.

    Italy was in talks with Austria over its refusal to open its shared border, Di Maio said, but he had been assured that tourists from Germany would be able to pass through.

    Meanwhile, Croatia, Slovenia and Greece have already lifted some travel restrictions and revealed plans to do more based on bilateral agreements and the epidemiological situation in individual countries.

    On Tuesday, Slovenia lifted entry restrictions for tourists from the EU and the Schengen zone, allowing anyone with a hotel reservation to freely enter the country, STA news agency reported.

    Nationals from other countries must still go to quarantine, with some exceptions, most importantly for those in transit.

    Slovenia on May 15 became the first in Europe to declare the COVID-19 epidemic to be over.

    Greece, with the continued recovery of its still-fragile economy hinging on tourism, already published a list of countries, some of them non-EU, whose nationals will be allowed to enter without tests or isolation from June 1.

    Croatia also said that it will open its borders without restrictions for tourists from multiple EU countries starting on Friday.

    In central Europe, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary will allow their nationals to freely travel between the three countries, though on condition that they return within 48 hours.

    Overstepping the time limit will still lead to a two-week quarantine and foreigners are not yet allowed to enter freely.

    Who oversees the many different arrangements and sets standards is an open question on the continent.

    Berlin is pushing for a common EU standard for countries to assess the situation and could propose using a metric already in place within Germany to track local infection levels.

    Under the method, a locality must turn to stricter measures if more than 50 new cases of novel coronavirus are reported per 100,000 people in a seven-day period.

    The German draft paper says the European Commission should develop a procedure to evaluate protective measures taken.

    AIB


    Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

  •  Slovenia closes school after teacher infected with Covid 19
    Slovenia closes school after teacher infected with Covid-19
     Slovenia closes school after teacher infected with Covid 19
    Slovenia closes school after teacher infected with Covid-19
    Foreign2 years ago

    Slovenia closes school after teacher infected with Covid-19

     Slovenian authorities on Wednesday closed a primary school after a teacher was infected with the coronavirus, the STA news agency reported.

    The school in Kamnik, 30 kilometres north of Ljubljana, was the first the country closed down because of the outbreak.

    The school is not due to reopen for at least two weeks.

    The children’s families have been told to remain under self-isolation and closely monitor everybody’s condition.

    Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus patients in Slovenia has reached 57.


    Edited By: Halima Sheji/Emmanuel Yashim
    (NAN)

  •  Court remands trader for allegedly smuggling 180 bags of banned foreign rice
    Court remands trader for allegedly smuggling 180 bags of banned foreign rice
     Court remands trader for allegedly smuggling 180 bags of banned foreign rice
    Court remands trader for allegedly smuggling 180 bags of banned foreign rice
    Judiciary2 years ago

    Court remands trader for allegedly smuggling 180 bags of banned foreign rice

    Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Monday ordered that trader, Kabir Folorunso, or allegedly smuggled-in 180 bags of banned foreign rice, be remanded in a correction centre, pending bail.

    Ajoku ordered the defendant, who hails from Ogbomoso, in Oyo  state, to be remanded in Agodi Correctional Centre after he had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

    She adjourned the case until April 23, for bail application and fixed Apri, 26  for commencement of trial.

    Earlier, Counsel to the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Musa Onimisi, told the court that the defendant was arraigned on a charge bordering on unlawful dealing in contraband.

    He alleged that the defendant committed the offence on Oct. 19, 2019, on the Ogbomoso-Igbeti road, Oyo State.

    He told the court the operatives of the customs service apprehended the defendant, as he allegedly tried to smuggle in the 180 bags of banned imported rice in an ash-coloured truck with Reg. no. STA11XA.

    The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 164 (A) of Custom and Excise Act 2004.


    Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Sadiya Hamza

     

  •  Slovenian PM Sarec resigns early election likely
    Slovenian PM Sarec resigns, early election likely
     Slovenian PM Sarec resigns early election likely
    Slovenian PM Sarec resigns, early election likely
    Foreign3 years ago

    Slovenian PM Sarec resigns, early election likely

    Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec on Monday resigned and called for an early election, saying his minority government could not push through important legislation.

    Opposition leader Janez Jansa, the head of the largest parliamentary party, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), told newsmen an early election was “by far the most likely option”.

    Parliamentary speaker Dejan Zidan said an election could be held in the second half of April.

    It will be Slovenia’s fourth early election in a row.

    The governing coalition of five centre-left parties, which took power in September 2018, held only 43 out of 90 seats in parliament.

    After losing the informal support of the opposition Left Party in November, it has found it increasingly difficult to get bills through parliament.

    “With this coalition, this situation in parliament, I cannot fulfill the expectations of the people, I would be able to fulfill them after an election,” Sarec told a news conference.

    Just before his statement, the national news agency STA reported the resignation of Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj.

    On Friday, Bertoncelj issued a statement protesting against new legislation proposed by Sarec’s LMS party, under which the national budget would cover possible losses of the country’s national health system.

    He, however, said that it would not be acceptable.

    Analysts said the SDS is likely to try to form a new government, adding an early election would take place only if that attempt fails.

    “The opposition will try to form a new government, but it is hard to say whether they will succeed.

    “What could work in their favour is that parliamentary members might be reluctant to go to election more than two years before their mandate expires,” Meta Roglic, a political analyst, told Reuters.

    Report says SDS holds 26 seats in parliament but could not form a coalition government after the 2018 election.

    Analysts believe it will try to form a government with the conservative New Slovenia party (NSI), which has seven seats, the centre-left Party of Modern Centre, which has 10 seats and some other parties.

    The head of NSI, Matej Tonin, told newsmen the best option would be an early election as any new coalition “would be weak”.

    However, Economy Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek, the head of SMC, which is a junior member of the outgoing coalition, told newsmen the prime minister’s resignation does not need to result in early election.

    According to Pocivalsek, he is open for talks in all directions.

    Meanwhile, Slovenian legislation said a new prime minister candidate can be nominated by President Borut Pahor or by parliamentary members.

    The next regular election is due to take place in the middle of 2022.

    The latest opinion poll, published by TV channel POP TV on Sunday, put prime minister’s LMS in the lead with support of 15.1 per cent, just before the opposition SDS with 14.1 per cent.


    Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim

     

  •  China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020
    China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020
     China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020
    China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020
    Foreign3 years ago

    China to strengthen tax and fee cut efforts in 2020

    China will on Monday take further steps toward consolidating and expanding its achievements in 2020 by cutting taxes and fees, according to the State Taxation Administration (STA).

    STA said efforts would be made to further optimise the tax business environment, improve tax administration efficiency, and deepen international tax cooperation.

    In 2019, China introduced unprecedented tax cuts and fee reductions.

    However, newly added tax and fee cuts exceeded 2 trillion yuan (or about 287 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for more than two per cent of GDP, contributing about 0.8 percentage points of GDP growth.

    According to the Head of administration, Wang Jun, tax cuts and fee reductions have effectively stimulated the vitality of market entities and enhanced confidence in economic development.

    However, Jun noted that with the deepening of the value-added tax reform, in particular, the average monthly net increase in the number of taxpaying entities came in at 88,800, nearly twice that before the reform.

    In 2019, Chinese tax authorities collected a total of 18.3 trillion yuan in taxes and fees, including 14 trillion yuan in tax revenue after deducting export tax rebates, up 1.8 per cent year on year.

    A total of 15.74 trillion yuan was refunded in export tax rebates, up 4.8 per cent year on year, offering strong support for the country’s exports.

    The authority said that efforts would be stepped up to levy taxes in accordance with laws and regulations, actively cultivate tax sources, and support the development and growth of private enterprises.

    Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim