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It’s all systems go for this year’s G7 summit
10 June 2021, 7:42 PM

Leaders of G7 nations are preparing to travel to a remote part of England for their first in-person meeting in two years.

The three-day summit is taking place in Carbis Bay, in the southwest of the country, where UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will be joined by US President Joe Biden, as well as the leaders of France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and guests India, South Africa, South Korea and Australia.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend too. “I think that it’s generally understood and appreciated that South Africa through this pandemic has done an extraordinary amount of work, research and collaborations in order to try to be part of the conversation around weakening this virus… So I think it’s for reasons like that that Prime Minister Boris Johnson thought we had a place at the table,” says  South African High Commissioner to the UK, Nomatemba Tambo.

This is an opportunity for private discussions to take place on the world’s most pressing issues and with economic recovery from the pandemic high on the agenda.

Experts say it’s no accident South Africa has been asked to join them. “South Korea, Japan, they’re also joining…I think Prime Minister Johnson see these countries as like-minded and really wants to get them on board with the agenda being promoted, it can’t just be the G7 countries, it needs to expand further and South Africa represents an anchor in Africa in many ways and so I think getting these countries on board will really help push forward the agenda that they’re trying to set,” says Director-General at the Royal United Services Institute, Karin Von Hippel.

With coronavirus cases rising once again in areas including the UK, and parts of South East Asia.
Health experts say the G7 and guest nations meeting here, will need to galvanise progress made so far.

“This could go on still for some time – we are going to need new and possibly evolved vaccines as we go forward so need to start building those capacities now. In sub-Saharan Africa, parts of the middle east, parts of Asia in particular. So all of those are going to be required – which means the G7 sharing not just money, not just vaccines, but technical know-how and knowledge,” says World Health Organisation’s Dr Bruce Aylward.

US President Joe Biden has already announced a commitment to sharing 500 million doses with 100 countries over the next two years. But could more promises be coming?

There have been repeated calls from South Africa and India -both guest nations at this year’s Summit for Intellectual Property Rights on vaccines to be waived.

The nations say it would allow those countries that currently have little access to vaccine doses, to manufacture them more easily and allow a greater proportion of the world’s population to be immunised more quickly.

With many G7 nations well ahead when it comes to vaccination programmes, they could face pressure to do more. -Reporting by Laura Makin-Isherwood

 

G7 Summit  to focus on recovering from COVID-19 and Climate Change: 

 

Cape Town ICC to become one of three mass vaccination sites in Western Cape
10 June 2021, 5:03 PM
The Cape Town International Convention Centre will open as one of three mass vaccination sites in the Western Cape in the next few weeks.
“This as we move from the existing band of the 60-year-olds and above to the 50 and 59-year-olds, following by the 40 and 50-year-olds – that we have mass existing sites available for vaccinations. This site is due to open in the next few weeks. It will be able to handle around 4 000 vaccines per day.”

Premier Winde says he is concerned about the increase in COVID-19 infections in the province and is calling on residents to take every step to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
He says according to the Resurgence Monitor, there is a week-on-week percentage increase in new cases at over 20% for the last 12 days.
The number of active coronavirus cases in the Western Cape has increased to more than 5 300.
Infographic: latest COVID-19 cases in South Africa:

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Gupta family central to the looting of state resources: Frank Chikane
10 June 2021, 4:15 PM

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says while it welcomes South Africa’s ratification of an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the laying of criminal charges against the Gupta brothers, it’s still concerned about the implementation of the treaty.

The Foundation held a picket outside the UAE embassy in Pretoria on Thursday. It’s called for the extradition process to take place speedily.

Protestors want the UAE and South African governments to ensure that the treaty signed to bring the Gupta brothers and their wives back to South Africa is implemented.

 

Among those who picketed outside the United Arab Emirates embassy in Pretoria is former Director-General in the Presidency, Reverend Frank Chikane. He says those who are accused of corrupt activities that threaten the economic standing of the country must be brought to book.

Chikane says the Gupta family was central to the looting of state resources.

“One of those families that are critical in this regard is the Gupta family and they were critical because they seem to have been the centre, although there are many other families, there were many other business people, but they seem to have been the centre and and access to the president, access to our ministers and what angers sovereignty and our dignity.”

The Gupta name has become synonymous with accusations of state capture. The family has been linked to allegations of corruption at parastatals and provincial governments, to the tune of around R49 billion.

Arrest warrant for Guptas

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority has requested Interpol to assist in arresting Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta, as well as their wives. The NPA wants them to be charged for fraud and money laundering.

 SABC correspondent in Delhi Neha Poonia reports further in the video below:

Antonio-Gutteres.
Antonio Guterres recommended for 2nd term as UN Secretary General
8 June 2021, 9:30 PM

The United Nations (UN) Security Council has adopted a resolution by acclamation, recommending Antonio Guterres for a second-five year term as Secretary-General.

The recommendation goes to the General Assembly that is expected to endorse the Council’s decision by late next week.

Guterres’ current five-year term ends on December 31st.

The process of selecting the next UN Chief began in February with Portugal presenting Guterres as their candidate for the position and a 2022-2026 mandate.

The General Assembly will have the final word – expected on June 18th – a step largely seen as a rubber-stamp of the Council decision where the five permanent members had the power to veto his nomination.

The incumbent was the only candidate formally nominated by a member state – a key criteria for anyone seeking the UN’s highest office.

The Council decision was communicated by its President, Estonia’s Ambassador Sven Jürgenson.

Laying out a vision statement for a second term in May, Guterres called for a surge in diplomacy for peace while urging member states to avoid a new type of cold war while stressing the linkages between the climate threat, nuclear proliferation and the pushback on human rights globally.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch called on Guterres to energetically promote human rights in his second term by using the UN bully pulpit to call out powerful governments responsible for systemic abuses while criticising his non-confrontational approach, particularly where the major powers were involved.

The position has never been held by a woman and it appears inevitable that the wait will continue for at least another five years.

Video| Re-election of Antonio Guterres as UN Secretary-General: Sherwin Bryce-Pease

Anderson says England players accepted Robinson’s apology
8 June 2021, 7:34 PM

England players have accepted Ollie Robinson’s apology for racist and sexist comments he posted on social media as a teenager, fast bowler James Anderson said on Tuesday.

Robinson has been ruled out of England’s second test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday after historic tweets came to light last week when he made his test debut at Lord’s.

The 27-year-old fast bowler had apologised “unreservedly” in the dressing room for the 2012-13 Twitter posts and Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, told reporters that was accepted.

‘The language and things talked about are obviously not acceptable,” he added.

“He stood up in front of the group and apologised, and you could see how sincere he was and how upset he was.
“As a group, we appreciate that he’s a different person now. He has done a lot of maturing and growing since then and he’s got the full support of the team.”

Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said on Monday that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had gone “over the top” by suspending Robinson.

Retired Jamaican fast bowler Michael Holding told Sky Sports television on Tuesday, however, that he felt the ECB had taken the right course of action.

“I think the ECB are correct to suspend him and investigate the matter,” he said. “I am not too sure they should be suspending him for a very long time.”

The ECB is also investigating a second England cricketer for historical “offensive” social media posts, cricket website Wisden.com reported on Monday.

Wisden said it had uncovered a racist tweet but chosen not to disclose the identity of the player because he was under 16 when it was posted.

“It has been brought to our attention that an England player has posted historic offensive material on their social media account,” a spokesperson for the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

“We are looking into it and will make a further comment in due course.”

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