Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the foreign affairs
ministry to ban entry to nationals from countries hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak, state media said on Wednesday.
The ban will focus on countries hardest hit by the virus such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan.
South Korea has become one of the most affected countries with more than 1,200 cases reported as of Wednesday,
leading to fear that visitors from the nation could bring the virus back to Vietnam.
There are currently 83 people in quarantine in Ho Chi Minh City and the coastal city of Da Nang who recently
arrived in Vietnam on flights from Daegu, the South Korean city at the centre of that country’s outbreak.
Eighteen South Koreans who refused quarantine upon arriving in Vietnam were sent home on Wednesday.
Vietnam also announced that cargo ships arriving from South Korea at the northern port city of Hai Phong will
be screened for infection.Out of the 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Vietnam, all patients have now been cured and released from quarantine.
The last patient, a 50-year-old man, was given the all-clear and left hospital on Tuesday.
There have been no officially confirmed cases of coronavirus in Vietnam in the last two week.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyuhttps://nnn.ng/vietnam-bans-entry-from-virus-hit-nations-sends-back-18-koreans/
United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo
The United States has initiated the so-called snapback process to restore almost all previously lifted UN sanctions against Iran, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said.
He said the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions became effective at 8 pm Washington time (0000 GMT).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United States move, saying that the snapback mechanism and reimposed sanctions were invalid.
“This step is not supported by the UN Security Council because the United States is no longer in the nuclear agreement and accordingly no longer plays a role in UN resolution 2231,” Zarif said referring to the resolution in which the UNSC backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.
The move by Washington was merely a “propaganda trick” ahead of the United States election, Zarif said on Iranian state television.
Washington’s plans to reimpose international sanctions on Iran have been met with overwhelming opposition from other countries.
Other members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including key United States allies who are part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, have rejected Washington’s move and have vowed to ignore it.
Under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
“Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” Pompeo said in the Saturday statement.
“Virtually all @UN sanctions have returned on Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This includes a permanent extension of the arms embargo. This is great news for peace in the region!” Pompeo added on Twitter.
He later added that Washington would soon “announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran.”
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” he said.
United States special representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams had already signalled Washington’s determination to reimpose sanctions on Tehran earlier this week.
The United States launched a formal bid in August to revive the UN sanctions under the “snapback” mechanism included in the Iran deal.
Those sanctions include the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire in October.
But few countries believe Washington’s move is legal, as United States President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018.
Washington said it would provide more information this weekend and next week on how the United States intended to enforce the global sanctions.
“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in Saturday’s statement.
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo asserted.
Trump is likely to address Iran in his speech next week to the UN General Assembly’s largely online meeting of world leaders.
The stand-off between the United States and other member states over the issue threatens a diplomatic crisis at the world body.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
1,000 fans at Italian Open better than none, says Djokovic
World number one Novak Djokovic on Friday welcomed the Italian Government’s decision to allow up to 1,000 spectators for the final two days of the Italian Open in Rome.
Professional sports events in Italy have been played without fans since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said fans would be allowed to attend the closing stages of the tournament on Sunday and Monday.
Apart from the tennis masters, two Serie A matches this weekend and the Formula One race at Imola in November are also set to allow up to 1,000 spectators.
“I hope that is true. If we are going to have 1,000 people, it is better than no people.
“We all miss the fans; part of our professional careers in sport is playing in front of them and for them as well.
“I am really glad that that is going to happen,” Djokovic told reporters after he advanced to the quarter-finals with a 7-6(7) 6-3 victory over fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic.
Djokovic also said he hoped the matches would be played on centre court as he preferred the surface on the main court at the Foro Italico.
“I heard also they are considering to use Pietrangeli or NextGen court for semi-finals and finals.
“I hope it is not the case, because the quality of the clay and quality of the centre court is, in my opinion, much better than the other courts,” he said.
Djokovic will take on German Dominik Koepfer, who ended Italian teenager, Lorenzo Musetti’s dream run with a 6-4 6-0 win.
Musetti, 18, had beaten Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in the first two rounds.
Second seed Rafa Nadal, seeking his 10th title in Rome, also advanced with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic to set up a clash with Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
In the women’s field, top seeds – Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova – moved into the quarter-finals with straight sets victories while Yulia Putintseva beat Kazakh compatriot Elena Rybakina 4-6 7-6(3) 6-2. (Reuters/ NAN)
Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
WTO leadership race: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 others advance to second round of election
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate aspiring to the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has won the first run of elections and has àlong with four others advanced to the second phase..
The other contestants, who are from Kenya, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, on Friday advanced to the next round of voting after six days of confidential consultation with members.
Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO General Council in a briefing on the outcome of the election told the Head of Delegation meeting that the entire organisation’s membership was committed and fully engaged in the consultation process.
“Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process.
“Members consider all the candidates highly qualified and respected individuals.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they, their delegations, and their governments have conducted themselves in this process.
“Their willingness to engage, especially at these challenging times, has been greatly appreciated, and the organisation is in their debt,” Walker said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the consultations, Walker alongside his co-facilitators in the election process, posed to each delegation one question: “What are your preferences?”
Members then submitted four preferences to the “troika” of ambassadors.
The facilitators are Amb. Dacio Castillo, Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Amb. Harald Aspelund, chair of the Trade Policy Review Body.
The consultation process taken by facilitators has been set by guidelines established by the General Council in a 2002 decision.
Based on the guidelines, the key consideration in determining which candidate is best poised to achieve consensus is the “breadth of support” each candidate receives from the members.
Walker said that the second phase of the consultations would begin on Sept. 24 and end on Oct. 6.
“During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Up to 1,000 fans to watch Italian Open
Up to 1,000 fans will be allowed to watch each of the final two days of the Italian Open tennis tournament as Italy begins to open up stadiums for sports enthusiasts.
Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the assurance on Friday.
Professional sports events in Italy have been played without fans since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although some supporters have been allowed into pre-season soccer friendlies.
“At last, starting from the semi-finals and finals of the Italian Open), a thousand spectators will be able to attend all the sports competitions that will be held in the open air,” Spadafora told reporters.
He said the fans must respect the rules on spacing, mask wearing and seat reservations.
The minister said it was the first, but significant step toward returning, hopefully soon, to normality in sports.
The semi-finals of the men’s and women’s tournaments will be on Sunday with the respective finals on Monday.
Spadafora did not make any mention of the Serie A football championship which starts at the weekend.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ijeoma Popoola