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Saudi Crown Prince to not buy Manchester United football club

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While denying reports that said that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is seeking to buy Premier League football club Manchester United, the kingdom’s media minister said on Monday, that there had only been a meeting with the Saudi wealth fund regarding sponsorship.

Reports that Mohammed Bin Salman intends to buy the club are “completely false”, the minister, Turki al-Shabanah, wrote on Twitter.

He was reacting to reports which said that the prince had sought to tempt the Glazer family to cede control of the club.

“Manchester United held a meeting with PIF Saudi to discuss (a) sponsorship opportunity,” Turki al-Shabanah said, adding that no deal has materialised.

On Sunday, British newspaper- The Sun said that the crown prince was in a £3.8-billion ($4.9-billion) takeover bid for one of football’s most popular clubs.

The paper said a bid was first submitted in October but the fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s embassy in Istanbul put the “skids” on a potential offer.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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Asia

US and FATF pressure led to the arrest of Hafiz Sayeed in Pakistan

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Pakistan is badly baffled and furious after its defeat in the International Court of Justice in Hague, Netherland, where 15 out of total 16 judges have accepted India’s pleas in Kulbhushan Jadav’s matter and rejected Pakistan’s contentions.
The court held Pakistan responsible for several deliberate breaches of international Vienna conventions and reprimanded it for not granting Kulbhushan Yadav consular access. ICJ also reprimanded Pakistan for not informing India while arresting Kulbhushan on the frivolous charges of spying. They also questioned the death sentence awarded to Jadhav by a Pakistan court, etc.
Despite now being in a defensive position after the ICJ verdict,  Pakistan is rather trying to misuse its media by claiming its victory instead of a clear cut defeat at ICJ.
All of Pakistan’s channels are showing news fully laced with falsity about the victory of Pak in ICJ, thus misguiding its countrymen.
After the ICJ’s judgment reprimanded Pakistan, Pak’s PM Imran Khan tweeted the following and took credit of its so-called victory in ICJ:
‘Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law.’
Meanwhile, it has again  enacted another drama to bring to the world’s notice the arrest of Jamat Ul Dawa chief and international terrorist Hafiz Sayeed, to not only misguide the United Nations and the member countries but to also impress upon the Financial Action Task Force of UN and US President Donald Trump as to how seriously it’s honoring the US directives to curb terrorism and arrest hardcore terrorists on its land.
There is a bounty of 10 million US dollars on the head of Hafiz Sayeez for arresting him dead or alive imposed by the United States of America.
He is not only responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attacks which claimed 161 innocent lives but along with Azhar Mehmood is also the chief culprit of Pulwama massacre, both dreaded international killers on US’s most wanted list.
After the news of Hafeez Sayeed’s arrest reached US President Donald Trump, he tweeted:
‘After a ten-year search, the so-called mastermind of Mumbai Terror Attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure had been exerted over the last two years to find him.’
Sources reveal that Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has enacted this drama just two days before his US visit to impress upon the American president about Pakistan’s seriousness to deal with terror with a heavy hand as directed by the US.
Moreover, since Pakistan’s economy is in extremely bad shape and the country is banking on massive loans from the World and Asian Development Banks, if it does not act on the directions of FATF and puts hardcore terrorists like Masood Azhar and Hafiz behind bars it would be denied financial aid from these international banks and US. Without these financial aids, Pakistan’s economy will be badly crippled.
The Indian external affairs spokesman Ravish Kumar has meanwhile termed Hafiz Sayeed’s arrest in Pakistan as a mere cover-up to misguide the United Nations and the US. He has stated that Pakistan is trying to misguide all the nations by showing that it is now serious towards curbing terrorism with a heavy hand.
He unambiguously said that till Pakistan does not eradicate terrorism and terror sanctuaries from its soil inch by inch, India will never have any deliberations with Pakistan.
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Pakistan’s ill concieved design to smuggle drugs to India to fund terror

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The drug menace in India is a protracted problem which has percolated down to the grassroots destroying the younger generation irrespective of class and categories of the society.
There was the time when drug consumption was allegedly considered to be the forte of the affluents and the rich children through expensive rave parties in hotels but today it has percolated down in the children and youth of the lowest ebb of the society spoiling the health and career of the children and the youths of the country.
Punjab being the border state of Pakistan had been the worst sufferer during the last three decades where smuggling of narcotics/drugs from neighboring Pakistan has not only made the domestic smugglers highly rich and affluent but has also spoiled the majority of the young generation by way of making them horrible victims of this dreaded menace, further leading to enhancement in crimes, mortality rate and spoiling of myriad families.
The drug menace in Punjab is so extensive that even names of politicians involved in this rapid money making drug syndicate have come to the fore.
The local police, politicians and drug syndicates’ alleged nexus has further spread the tentacles of narcotics smuggling in Punjab ultimately leading to the spoiling of families and future of the nation, the youths.
A full-fledged feature film titled UDTA PUNJAB was made by Bollywood highlighting the lavish drug trade of Punjab and subsequent spoiling of myriad families due to this dreaded menace.
The worst phenomena about the drug trade are, it also accompanies terrorism with it, as the massive money earned through the smuggling of drugs, especially its finest form Heroine, which fetches a whopping Rs. one crore for a kilogram in the international market is clandestinely used to fund terrorist activities in the country by way of purchasing and acquiring illegal arms to kill innocents and the law enforcing agencies personnel behind them like the police, paramilitary and the Army troopers and the officers.
A report by senior journalist Shishir Gupta in HT highlights the investigative details about increasing activities of Pakistan’s drug smugglers in India whose primary aim is to fund terror activities in India through the handsome earning from drugs smuggling.
According to the news report, Pakistan’s ISI has strengthened its drug smuggling activities to pump them in India through three countries viz Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India Coast guard.
These drug smuggling syndicates of Pakistan in league with the ISI are resorting to massive narcotics smuggling to fund terror activities in Pakistan says his report.
To substantiate this contention there was a major haul of 50 kg of heroine from a Pakistani boat in Sri Lankan Coast Guard on Indian authorities’ input in the nation’s exclusive economic zone on July 10th.
Similarly, on May 21st the Indian Coast Guard seized 218 kilograms of Heroine from a Karachi registered Pakistani shipping boat AL MADIA of Jakhua in Kuch districts of Gujarat.
In all 6 crew members were arrested with 194 packets of heroine smuggled from Karachi Pakistan.
Sr. journalist Shishir Gupta’s report further mentions that around the same time the Maldivian police seized an Iranian boat with Pakistani national on board on May 26 with a large quantity of drugs.
In Gujarat seizure though the boat was set ablaze by the Pakistani smugglers, the intelligence reports revealed that the consignment was handed over by the Pakistani agent Hamid Malik to boat captain Mohammed Aslam to be delivered to a Mumbai resident Badruddin Shiekh.
The report further reveals that the role of narcotics smuggling from Pakistan to India and its use in funding terrorists in India was first revealed by the Laskare Tayyeba terrorist of US origin David Colemen Headly while being interrogated in 2010 for his direct involvement in the deadly Mumbai attack on 26/11 diabolically killing 161 innocents including a senior police officer Hemant Karkare.
This is a new strategy adopted by the ISI to smuggle a massive quantity of drugs in India worth hundreds n thousands of crores through Maldives and Srilanka in order to fund terror misadventures in India.
The total cost of the earlier seizures of drugs amounts in hundreds of crores as per the rates in international markets.
Similarly, as per another report of journalist Anil Sharma, the border village of Punjab just few hundred meters near the Pakistan border quite infamous for massive heroine smuggling from across the border has till now 106 cases of drugs smuggling against 48 families under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act least worried for stringent jail terms.
Located at the stone’s throw from the Indo Pak border’s barbed wire fence and merely forty kilometers from the district headquarters, Havelian village had been in the news after the custom authorities at the Attari check post found 532 Kg of Heroine and 52 Kg of mixed narcotics concealed in the consignment of rock salt from Pakistan on June 29th.
The total cost of this consignment if sold in the international market would be whopping 570 crores or more.
Except for 6 to 8 families of Havelian village in Taran Taran, all of them are allegedly involved in drug smuggling making an easy buck.
About 20 families in the wanted list after earning handsomely in this trade had shifted elsewhere like Amritsar, leaving their lands barren.
This village has become the main conduit for smuggling heroin since the last four decades as per Anil Sharma’s report in HT having started opium smuggling after partition on a low key.
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Terrorism by Pakistan was the central theme of PM’s talks with Xi Jingping and Vladimir Putin at SCO summit in Kyrgystan

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current member countries of Shaghai Cooperation Organisation are : Xi Jingping, Peoples Republic of China, Narendra Modi, Republic of India, Kassim Jomart Tokayev Republic of Kazajistan, Soron bay Jeebekov, Republic of Kyrgyztan, Imran Khan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Vladimir Putin, Russian Federation, Republic of Tazikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan
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Prime minister Narendra Modi after wining the second term as prime minister has his moral very high in the SCO summit in Bishkek capital of Kyrgystan where he’d not only impressed upon the the Chinese president Xi Jingping about instructing Pakistan to close its terror sanctuaries completely and bring hard core international terrorists JEM chief Asad Masood and LET and JUD chief Hafiz Sayeed to real justice by not only arresting them but also severely trying them in courts for incessant terror deaths in Mumbai, Kashmir,Pulwama and other parts of the country.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has explicitely told the the father of Pakistan China that India will not hold any talks with Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan till Pakistan mends its ways and puts a complete stop to aiding and abetting terrorists in India.

Prime minister Narendra Modi held two rounds of dialogues with Chinese president Xi Jingping and Russian president Vladimir Putin including with the heads of other countries in Kyrgystan emphasising on a single point of global terrorism and its immediate stoppage.

He also convinced other nations to dwell on this important issue of terrorism first than talking on other bilateral matters, as safety and security of humanity is the first and foremost duty of the world leaders.

If there will be global peace only then will everyone be able to talk on other developmental issues. The Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was seen to have been completely sidelined in the sense that it being the only country in the world supporting and abetting terrorism was viewed by every world leader with doubts and losing credibility.

While prime minister Modi spoke on every bilateral matter with both Xi Jing Ping and Vladimir Putin, his centre of emphasis was on ending terrorism globally and by Pakistan in Asia.

As for now, Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi has outrightly and specifically denied holding any type of bilateral talk with Pakistan’s premier unless or until to shows actions and commitment to free its land from terror sanctuaries completely not just a cover up to misguide the world community.

It may be recalled that China considered to be the God father of Pakistan in every way which was earlier scuttling the measures of US, UK n France by using VETO against them favoring Pakistan by not allowing JEM’s Masood Azhar to be included in the UN terror list has to finally bow down to international pressure and India’s diplomatic dexterity. China withdrew its VETO and the UN declared Masood as designated International terrorist.

This could only be possible due to the hard work done by India’s diplomats in UN and the capable leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi. The leaders of current member countries of Shaghai Cooporation Organisation are : Xi Jingping, Peoples Republic of China, Narendra Modi, Republic of India, Kassim Jomart Tokayev Republic of Kazajistan, Soron bay Jeebekov, Republic of Kyrgyztan, Imran Khan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Vladimir Putin, Russian Federation, Republic of Tazikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan

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Today marks World Day Against Child Labour  

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Wednesday, 12 June 2019: While the World Day Against Child Labour is being observed today (Wednesday, 12 June) throughout the world in an appropriate manner to raise awareness about the plight of child laborers global.

Almost every year 100 of children drop out from school to help their parents for livelihood, and many are forced into child labour by crime rackets, while many never get to see school because of poverty.

In India, eradicating child labour, creating awareness and discouraging the issues and demands for child labour comes a long way.

Child Labour

In line with this goal, In 2002, the International Labor Organization (ILO) introduced June 12 as the World Day Against Child Labor every year, to give visibility that affects children around the world.

This year’s theme is ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams’.

ChildLabourdreams

ILO defines this goal to generate awareness and encourage the basic changes so that no child is deprived of the opportunity of accessing education, health, recreation, and basic freedoms.

According to a report by the National Child Labour Survey, some 1.2 million children are still trapped with the trouble of child labor. And the number is astonishing- around 218 million children between the age 5 to 17 years are in employment, of which 152 are the victims of child labor.

We will be able to stop child labour together if we no longer accept it. Not in mines, not in agriculture, not in factories, not in the household and not in the products we buy.

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Africa

The Vulture and the Little girl: The stark reality of Poverty, Hunger and Child Malnutrition

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In the contemporary world, the naturally most advanced creation, human beings are delimited by numerous adversaries and miseries. Amidst such unwelcoming adversaries, poverty, hunger, and malnutrition are the biggest threat to the human race. Taking a cue from such rarest of rare demons and difficulties, I will love to pen down a beautifully narrated and highly acclaimed incident from the third world country named South Sudan in Africa.

The memorable event, The vulture and the little girl, also known as “The Struggling Girl”, is a photograph by Kevin Carter which first appeared in The New York Times on 26 March 1993. It is a photograph of a frail famine-stricken boy, initially believed to be a girl, who had collapsed in the foreground with a vulture eyeing him from nearby. The child was reported to be attempting to reach a United Nations feeding center about a half mile away in Ayod, Sudan,(now South Sudan), in March 1993.

In 1993, Kevin Carter snapped the now famous photo in South Sudan while covering the famine plaguing the country, as well as the international relief efforts in response. When the picture first appeared in The New York Times, it ignited a firestorm that included both condemnations and congratulations for Carter. Most notably, the photo won him the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. Not long after, Carter committed suicide, unable to process the horrors he had witnessed in South Sudan. His end adds yet another layer of tragedy to this somber tale.

While on the way to a United Nations feeding center, a young boy – initially mistaken for a girl – had stopped to rest, exhausted by starvation. As his parents had likely gone ahead to collect food, the emaciated child lay vulnerable, attracting the attention of a vulture. Many people are familiar with this picture from the South Sudan famine, but few know that the tragedy reaches far beyond the picture itself – it extends to the photographer, Kevin Carter.

Putting aside the allegations and agitations of the picture and tale, one thing which must mull over in the current scenario is that whatever may be our miraculous achievement in every walk of life by the human beings, still the stigma of hunger and malnutrition prevails and persists across the globe. By no means, the people of third world countries have made themselves free out of its grief grip. To substantiate our discussion, we must make a detailed study of hunger and malnutrition.

Hunger defines a short-term physical discomfort as a result of chronic food shortage, or in severe cases, a life-threatening lack of food. (National Research Council, 2006)

World hunger refers to hunger aggregated to the global level. Related terms include food insecurity and malnutrition. Food insecurity refers to limited or unreliable access to foods that are safe and nutritionally adequate (National Research Council, 2006). Malnutrition is a condition resulting from insufficient intake of biologically necessary nutrients (National Research Council, 2006). Although malnutrition includes both overnutrition and undernutrition, the focus for global hunger is undernutrition.

Malnutrition rates remain alarming: stunting is declining too slowly while wasting still impacts the lives of far too many young children.

Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition; undernutrition puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of such infections, and delays recovery. We are still far from a world without malnutrition.

Measures of child undernutrition are used to track development progress. In the Post-2015 Development Era, estimates of child malnutrition will help determine whether the world is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – particularly, goal 2 to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”.

Poverty, Hunger, and Malnutrition:

Child malnutrition hurts cognitive function and contributes to poverty by impeding people’s ability to lead productive lives. Poverty is the leading cause of hunger, but poverty also results from hunger, in a cyclical relationship. In spite of the importance of childhood nutrition and significant progress in the last 25 years, global childhood hunger is still rampant.

  • According to WHO sources, Overall, 5.6 million children under age five died in 2016, nearly 15,000 daily. The risk of a child dying before five years of age is highest in Africa (76.5 per 1000 live births), about 8 times higher than in Europe (9.6 per 1000 live births)
  • As per the report of UNICEF approximately 3.1 million children die from undernutrition each year ). Hunger and undernutrition contribute to more than half of global child deaths, as undernutrition can make children more vulnerable to illness and exacerbate the disease.
  • Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body’s ability to convert food into usable nutrients
  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, 23 million who live in Africa, which greatly impacts their ability to learn (World Food Programme [WFP].

Source: Mercy Corps, 2018

Every year Welthungerhilfe together with Concern Worldwide publishes world hunger Index to make aware of the impoverished and malnourished. Still, crores of children die out starvation and deprived of basic amenities. Rich nations instead of increasing their imperialism must pay attention to such vulnerable and gut-wrenching issues. It is a wakeup call for all of us.

 

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Migrants held in El Paso, Texas, enclosure as surge overwhelms city

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Hundreds of migrants are being held in a chain-link enclosure in El Paso, Texas as the number of families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the city overwhelms U.S. Border Patrol facilities, the agency said on Thursday. The enclosure holds migrants crossing the border illegally in metropolitan El Paso as they wait to be processed at a nearby Border Patrol station, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ramiro Cordero said by phone.

How long they remain in the enclosure, set up late last month below the city’s Paso del Norte International Bridge to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, depends on how many migrants cross the border, he said.Right now, they are crossing at an average of 570 people per day in that area.

“It could be a couple of hours, it could be more than that, it could be overnight, I can’t tell you, it’s just too many people for me to tell you an exact time or time frame,” Cordero said.

The enclosure was put up to help Border Patrol cope with a surge in mainly Central American asylum seekers that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been predicting for “some time,” agency head Kevin McAleenan said at an El Paso press briefing on Wednesday.

Migrants at the “transition center” are given silver thermal blankets and can get shelter, food, water and a medical evaluation, officials said. A Reuters photographer saw children sleeping outside in the enclosed area on Sunday night when the low was around 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius).

More than 1,000 migrants were arrested in the El Paso sector on Monday, bringing the total number in CBP custody – including the enclosure – to almost 3,500 Wednesday. The migrants are in facilities built for far fewer people and designed for single adults who once formed the bulk of arrests, McAleenan said.

Families and children now form the majority of apprehensions across the Southwest border, with a record 55,000 family units apprehended or encountered in March, McAleenan said. McAleenan said “soft-sided buildings” with walls of canvass and plastic would provide a stop-gap measure to house migrant families before a planned $192 million processing facility is built in the city. But those buildings have yet to be put up, according to the Border Patrol’s Cordero.

El Paso migrant shelters are receiving around 700 people a day from immigration authorities, compared with a previous high of 2,000 a week (less than 300 a day) in late 2018, said Dylan Corbett, director of El Paso’s Hope Border Institute which advocates for migrant rights.

“It’s not sustainable right now, that’s why everyone is really nervous, because this just can’t last,” said Corbett by phone.

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US approves secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia

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US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The Trump administration has quietly pursued a wider deal on sharing U.S. nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants. Several countries including the United States, South Korea, and Russia are in competition for that deal, and the winners are expected to be announced later this year by Saudi Arabia.
Perry’s approvals, known as Part 810 authorizations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power ahead of any deal but not ship equipment that would go into a plant, a source with knowledge of the agreements said on condition of anonymity. The approvals were first reported by the Daily Beast.
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in the document that the companies had requested that the Trump administration keep the approvals secret.
“In this case, each of the companies which received a specific authorization for (Saudi Arabia) have provided us written request that their authorization be withheld from public release,” the NNSA said in the document. In the past, the Energy Department made previous Part 810 authorizations available for the public to read at its headquarters.
A Department of Energy official said the requests contained proprietary information and that the authorizations went through multi-agency approval process. Many U.S. lawmakers are concerned that sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia could eventually lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if its rival Iran did. In addition, the kingdom has occasionally pushed back against agreeing to U.S. standards that would block two paths to potentially making fissile material for nuclear weapons clandestinely: enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel.
Concern in Congress about sharing nuclear technology and knowledge with Saudi Arabia rose after U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Part 810 authorizations were made after November 2017, but it was not clear from the document whether any of them were made after Khashoggi’s killing.
Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a congressional hearing on Wednesday to release the names of the companies that got the approvals by the middle of April, and

Pompeo said he would look into it. Sherman also said the Trump administration had attempted to evade Congress on sharing nuclear power with the kingdom. Pompeo said the administration was working to ensure any shared technology nuclear power would not present proliferation risks.
Last month, Democratic House members alleged in a report that top White House aides ignored warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials in a group called IP3 International to advance a multibillion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.
IP3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it was one of the companies that got a Part 810 authorization. Separately, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, accepted a request by Senators Marco Rubio, a Republican and Bob Menendez, a Democrat, to probe the administration’s talks on a nuclear deal with Saudi, the GAO said on Wednesday.

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NASA scraps all-women space walk for lack of well-fitting suits

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The US space agency NASA scrapped Monday a planned historic spacewalk by two women astronauts, citing a lack of available spacesuits that would fit them at the International Space Station. Christina Koch will now perform tasks in space Friday with fellow American Nick Hague — instead of Anne McClain as originally planned.

Had Koch and McClain done their spacewalk together, it would have been the first ever by two women astronauts. Until now, male-only or mixed male-female teams had conducted spacewalk since the space station was assembled in 1998 — 214 spacewalks until now.

McClain worked outside the station last week — with Hague — when she realized that a “medium”-sized upper half of her spacesuit fit her better. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it,” NASA explained.

The spacesuits aboard the ISS are in fact assemblies of several parts put together as best adapted to each astronaut’s body, explained Brandi Dean, spokeswoman of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where American astronauts are based.

She said two upper parts in each of the three available spacesuit sizes are currently held at the ISS: medium, large and extra large.

“We do our best to anticipate the spacesuit sizes that each astronaut will need, based on the spacesuit size they wore in training on the ground, and in some cases astronauts train in multiple sizes,” she said in explaining the problem that hampered Friday’s planned spacewalk.

“However, individuals’ sizing needs may change when they are on orbit, in response to the changes living in microgravity can bring about in a body.

“In addition, no one training environment can fully simulate performing a spacewalk in microgravity, and an individual may find that their sizing preferences change in space.”

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Mozambique Cyclone: Death toll rises to 750, fighting diseases new challenge

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Cyclone Idai’s death toll has risen above 750 in the three southern African countries hit 10 days ago by the storm, as workers restore electricity, water and try to prevent the outbreak of cholera, authorities said Sunday.

In Mozambique, the number of dead has risen to 446 while there are 259 dead in Zimbabwe and at least 56 dead in Malawi for a three-nation total of 761.

All numbers for deaths are still preliminary, warned Mozambique’s Environment Minister Celso Correia.

As flood waters recede and more bodies are discovered, the final death toll in Mozambique alone could be above the early estimate of 1,000 made by the country’s president a few days after the cyclone hit, said aid workers.

Nearly 110,000 people are now in camps more than a week after Cyclone Idai hit, said Correia, the government’s emergency coordinator. As efforts to rescue people trapped by the floods wind down, aid workers across the vast region are bracing for the spread of disease.

“We’ll have cholera for sure,” Correia said at a press briefing, saying a center to respond to cholera has been set up in Beira though no cases have yet been confirmed. Beira is working to return basic services, he said.

Electricity has been restored to water pumping and treatment stations by the government water agency, so Beira and the nearby city of Dondo are getting clean water, he said.

Electricity has been restored to part of Beira and the port and railway line have re-opened, he said.

Repairs and bypasses are being built to the main road, EN6, which links Beira to the rest of Mozambique and the road should open Monday, said, Correia.

The restored road connection will allow larger deliveries of food, medicines and other essential supplies to be brought to Beira and to flooded areas like Nhamatanda, west of the city.

“People are already going,” the environment minister said of the newly accessible road.

Malaria is another looming health problem that the minister said was “unavoidable” because large expanses of standing water encourage the spread of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Asked about his country’s current corruption scandal and whether the diversion of money has hurt the rescue efforts, Correia bristled, saying the government’s focus now is on saving lives.

“We are doing everything to fight corruption,” he said. “It’s systematic, up to the top,” he said of the anti-graft drive.

Two large field hospitals and water purification systems were on the way, joining a wide-ranging effort that includes drones to scout out areas in need across the landscape of central Mozambique, said Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, deputy director of the UN Humanitarian operation.

The scale of the devastation is “extraordinary” not only because of the cyclone and flooding but because the land had already had been saturated by earlier rains, he said.

A huge number of aid assets are now in Mozambique, Stampa said: “No government in the world can respond alone in these circumstances.”

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Thailand: Polls open for first election since 2014 military coup

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Polls opened on Sunday for Thailand’s first election since a 2014 military coup, a vote that is being seen as a contest between the country’s junta leader who wants to stay on as elected leader and a “democratic front” of anti-junta parties.

About 51.4 million people are eligible to vote in the election, which analysts say is likely to be inconclusive and could usher in a new phase of political instability.

More than 93,000 polling stations in 77 provinces will be open until 5 pm.

The election commission has said that the first unofficial results will be available three hours after voting ends.

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