Colors: Blue Color

Barbados has announced that it intends to remove Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and will become a republic.

 

Following a statement by the Caribbean island nation's government which said: "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," it said that it aims to complete the process in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, in November 2021.

 

Prime Minister Mia Mottley further followed that by writing a speech saying that Barbadians wanted a Barbadian head of state.

 

The speech read: "This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving."

 

Buckingham Palace said that it was a matter for the government and people of Barbados.

 

A source at Buckingham Palace said that the idea "was not out of the blue" and "has been publicly talked about by many."

 

The statement was part of the Throne Speech, which outlines the government's policies and programmes ahead of the new session of parliament. While it is read out by the governor-general, it is written by the country's prime minister.

 

The speech also quoted a warning from Errol Barrow, Barbados's first prime minister after it gained independence, who said that the country should not "loiter on colonial premises".

 

His is not the only voice in Barbados that has been suggesting a move away from the monarchy. A constitutional review commission recommended republican status for Barbados in 1998.

 

Ms Mottley's predecessor in Freundel Stuart also argued for a "move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future".

 

Barbados would not be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic after Guyana took that step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain.

 

Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.

 

All three stayed within the Commonwealth, a loose association of former British colonies and current dependencies, along with some countries that have no historical ties to Britain.

 

 

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) and Dominica’s award-winning Secret Bay boutique resort are joining forces to support the professional development of the region’s hospitality workers.All proceeds from the raffle of a five-night stay for two at the exclusive property will go toward providing Caribbean hospitality industry workers with opportunities such as scholarships, continuing education programs and on-the-job training. 

“Advancing the education and training of Caribbean hospitality students and professionals has never been more important as we maneuver our lives, livelihoods and careers through these choppy waters,” said CHTAEF chairman Karolin Troubetzkoy. 

Situated on a spectacular clifftop in Dominica, known as the Caribbean’s “Nature Island”, Secret Bay is among the leading boutique resorts in the world. An acclaimed Relais & Châteaux property, the secluded six-star resort comprises elegant villas, each featuring a private plunge pool and dedicated villa host. Guests have access to a secret beach as well as an on-call concierge, chefs and guides. 

Conceptualized by architect Fruto Vivas, Secret Bay’s award-winning, open-air villas are known worldwide for an artistic fusion of high-level design and local craftsmanship. As a Green Globe-certified resort made entirely of sustainably sourced materials, Secret Bay takes environmental responsibility to the highest level while maintaining its commitment to guest comfort. 

“The Education Foundation has a stellar history of supporting hospitality professionals, and it is our honor to play our part, particularly during tough times,” said Gregor Nassief, Proprietor of Secret Bay, which was recently ranked the number one resort in the Caribbean in Travel + Leisure’s 2020 World’s Best Awards.

CHTAEF was established in 1986 as an independent nonprofit offering tax-exempt status for donations. As part of its mission, CHTAEF provides people throughout the Caribbean region with an awareness of the varied career opportunities in the industry, as well as technical and professional development through scholarships, special assistance initiatives and other training programs.

Today, CHTAEF volunteer trustees administer one of the largest scholarship programs available in the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry. Funds for these scholarships and grants are generated from corporate sponsorships, benefit auctions and special events, such as the Secret Bay raffle. The foundation also encourages the co-sponsorship of scholarships through companies that do business with the Caribbean, national hotel associations and individual resorts.

“The Education Foundation is committed to playing our part to ensure that our Caribbean hospitality professionals will have access and opportunity to complete their training and expand their skills,” said Troubetzkoy, who is also executive director of the world-renowned Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts in nearby St. Lucia.

Each US$50 purchase secures one entry for the five-night stay prize, which is valued at more than US$6,500. Entries will be accepted until 12 p.m. ET on September 30, 2020.

Jamaica's ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was re-elected with a landslide victory after Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for an early vote in what was seen as a bid to capitalise on people's satisfaction with his economic agenda and early response to the coronavirus pandemic. His centre-right party won 49 of 63 seats - one of the largest margins of victory in decades, but also one of the lowest voter turnouts at 37% - in the parliamentary election.

With face masks and temperature checks made compulsory in polling stations the campaign was dominated by discussions over the economy, how to fight crime and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the victory, he continues to face criticism amid an increase in coronavirus cases as restrictions in the country were lifted.

After seeing his JLP gain 16 seats he said: "There is cause for celebration, but there is also significant cause for consideration.

"There are many Jamaicans who did not participate, there are many Jamaicans, who for fear of the virus, did not come to the polls, but for other reasons, apathy, frustrations, decided not to participate."

Also, despite facing criticism over high rates of crime and violence, and alleged corruption among public officials, Holmes, who has been Prime Minister since 2016, did highlight that up to 100,000 jobs had been created during his time in office while 22,000 Jamaicans had had the chance to buy their own homes. He also highlighted tax cuts, and that poverty was at its lowest level in 10 years.

He defended his decision to call the election six months ahead of schedule despite the pandemic, and rejected claims by opponent and leader of the People's National Party (PNP), Peter Phillips, that he had ignored expert advice.

PM Holness became Jamaica's youngest prime minister, at the age of 39, in 2011, but lost an election to the country's first female leader Portia Simpson Miller.

 

Khadjou Sambe, Senegal's first female professional surfer, trains near her home in the district of Ngor - the westernmost point of the African continent.

"I would always see people surfing and I'd say to myself: 'But where are the girls who surf?'" says the 25-year-old. I thought: 'Why don't I go surfing, represent my country, represent Africa, represent Senegal, as a Black woman?'"

"I always think to myself, when I wake up in the morning: 'Khadjou, you've got something to do, you represent something everywhere in the world, you must go straight to the point, don't give up.'"

"Whatever people say, don't listen, go forward - so that everybody can get up and believe they can surf."

The surfer is now inspiring the next generation to defy cultural norms and take to the waves.

Sambe trains beginners at Black Girls Surf (BGS), a training school for girls and women who want to compete in professional surfing. She encourages her students to develop the physical and mental strength to ride waves and break the mould in a society which generally expects them to stay at home, cook, clean, and marry young.

"I always advise them not to listen to other people, to block their ears," Sambe says.

She is a proud Lebou - an ethnic group that traditionally lives by the sea.

Growing up in the coastal capital of Dakar, Sambe never saw a Black woman surfing the Atlantic swells. As a teenager, her parents refused to allow her to surf for two-and-a-half years, saying it brought shame on the family.

"My determination was strong enough to make them change their minds," she says.
Sambe started surfing when she was 14 years old.

She said: "The first time I tried surfing I wasn't scared at all, I was just so excited to get into the water.

"When you catch that first wave, you are so happy that you scream so that everyone can hear you - because you are content to have stood up and stayed standing. It was a bit tough at the beginning because I was the only girl surfing here, and people were a bit like: 'What is a girl doing here? This is a sport for boys.'

"Obviously that's not true, and other people really encouraged me and told me not to listen."

Residents of Ngor have become accustomed to seeing Sambe carrying her board through the narrow alleyways leading to the shore.

Sambe trains with her coach Rhonda Harper (below left), the founder of BGS.
Harper explains that Sambe arrived without a cent in her pocket, speaking no English and with a wild, free surf style that needed taming to conform to the structure of surf competitions.

"It's like trying to take a tornado and put a rope around it, wrangle that thing down, because she is such a dynamic surfer - it's hard," says Harper.

In recent months, she has used a house overlooking the ocean as a base whilst she trains.

"When I am in the water, I feel something extraordinary, something special in my heart," says Sambe.

India's former president Pranab Mukherjee has died 21 days after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The 84-year-old was in hospital to remove a clot in his brain when it was discovered he also had Covid-19.

Before serving as president between 2012 and 2017, Mr Mukherjee held several important portfolios during his 51-year political career. These included the finance, foreign and defence ministries.

His son, Abhijit, confirmed the news in a tweet.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Mr Mukherjee's contribution to the country, saying the former president had "left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation".

Mr Modi wrote on Twitter: "A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society".

The current president, Ram Nath Kovind, called Mukherjee "a colossus in public life" who served India "with the spirit of a sage".

The job of president is largely ceremonial but becomes crucial when elections throw up fragmented mandates. The president decides which party or coalition can be invited to form a government.

Mr Mukherjee didn't have to take such a decision because the mandate was clear during his presidency. But he showed his assertiveness in other decisions, such as rejecting the mercy petitions of several people who had been sentenced to death. He also served on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Most of his career was with the Congress party which dominated Indian politics for decades before suffering two consecutive losses in 2014 and 2019 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Mr Mukherjee joined the party in the 1960s during the tenure of then prime minister Indira Gandhi whom he had described as his mentor.
In 1986 he fell out with the Congress leadership and started his own political party, but returned two years later.

A parliamentarian for 37 years, Mr Mukherjee was widely known as a consensus-builder. Given that consecutive governments before 2014 were built on coalitions, this was an important and valued attribute. However, Mr Mukherjee's larger ambition - of becoming India's prime minister - was never realised. He was overlooked for the post twice - after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and after his party's unexpected election win in 2004.

Manmohan Singh, a trained economist who was chosen as the prime minister, later said that Mr Mukherjee had every reason to feel aggrieved.

Dr Singh said: "He was better qualified than I was to become the prime minister, but he also knew that I have no choice in the matter".

 

Zodiac signs and the Royal family are two of the most popular topics amongst the press/news. More recently the debate of a new star signs being introduced and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex settling into their new life after giving up Royal duties.

While it’s difficult to estimate how many of us believe in astrology, research suggests that 90% of adults know what their zodiac sign is. However, it isn’t just our own zodiac signs that interest us — have you ever wondered the secret to Queen Elizabeth’s and Prince Philip's enduring love story? Or was there celestial influence over Princess Diana becoming the ‘People’s Princess’?

With this in mind, Fulton Umbrellas have analysed the gender and star signs of current monarchs across the globe, to find out if there is a dominant “ruling” zodiac. They have also analysed 'next-in-lines’ to discover which star sign is most popular and least popular when destined to don the crown. 

Some of the key stats are as followed: 

70% of current rulers are Aries, Taurus, Leo, Pisces, and Aquarius - Queen Elizabeth II is a Taurus, who tend to escape from reality when they're emotional, which is something that the Queen doesn’t display in public.
Scorpio and Cancer are the next zodiac signs to rule the world, with 34% of heirs having these zodiac signs. - Cancers are said to be sensitive to their environments and extremely protective — will this reflect in the way monarchies will be protective of their people in a mothering sense? Whilst a Scorpio is driven by a relentless need for control — if they’re controlled by their egos, they risk self-destruction. 
The number of kings and queens currently stands at 91% men and 9% female, which will increase to 17% women when heirs come into their throne — will more female monarchs be a goal these progressive characters will strive to achieve for in the future, signalling transformation and a step forward for monarchies?

The data might help support any upcoming Royal Family/Zodiac pieces you may have or could be used in a stand-alone piece as there is global data too. If you would like to use the data could you please credit (https://www.fultonumbrellas.com/) as a source. I have attached the raw global data for your review.

The sister of George Floyd, whose death in police custody sparked months of racial turmoil across the US, has urged civil rights protesters to "be his legacy" as thousands gathered for a rally in Washington DC.

"My brother cannot be a voice today," said Bridgett Floyd. "We have to be that voice, we have to be the change".

Ms Floyd was one of several relatives of Black Americans harmed or killed by police to address the event commemorating a historic 1963 civil rights march.

Speakers demanded racial justice and urged people to vote. Jacob Blake Sr, whose son was shot in Wisconsin, told the rally they were holding court on racism in America - and the verdict was "guilty, guilty, guilty!"

Thousands of people gathered in Washington DC for the event that commemorated the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and in protest at police violence.

Called the ‘Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ - a reference to the murder of George Floyd, who died in May after a policeman knelt on his neck for several minutes - it follows renewed protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The event brought together generations of activists to call for police reform and to urge Americans to vote in November's general election. It was organised by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III - the eldest son of Mr King Jr.

The families of Black Americans shot or killed by police spoke at the same site where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I Have a Dream speech. The 1963 March on Washington was a seismic event in US history, credited with spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation the following year.

Some 250,000 supporters packed the 1.9 miles (3 km) strip from Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, making it one of the largest political gatherings the country had ever seen.

Rev Sharpton announced the 2020 march - which falls on the 57th anniversary of the 1963 event - at Mr Floyd's memorial service in June. His organisation, the National Action Network, worked with Mr King III to convene the rally.

"The nation has never seen such a mighty movement, a modern day incarnation of what my father called the coalition of conscience," said Mr King III.

"And if we move forward with purpose and passion, we will complete the work so boldly began in the 1960s."

The event comes in the wake of at times violent protests over Mr Blake's shooting that have left two dead in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr Blake was shot and injured by police.
Since Mr Floyd's death in May, marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and against racism and police brutality have swept the US and the globe.

Speakers during the morning's programming included congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who paid tribute to the activism of Black Americans of the past whose "sacrifice and self-determination shaped history and brought us to this moment".

"We are Black with a capital B," she said. "We are the manifestation of the movement. We are a symbol of social, political and cultural progress."

Other presenters included a young activist who called for an end to the gun violence that plagues Black communities, and representatives from unions, gay rights groups and Hispanic activism groups, who expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris addressed the rally virtually.
Harris, who grew up in an activist household, paid tribute to civil rights leaders of the past.

"Let's march on for our ancestors and let's march on for our children and grandchildren," she said.

Among the initiatives on the agenda were slavery reparations, defunding police departments and investment in healthcare, housing and social services in Black communities, organisers said. It was drafted by hundreds of delegates from across the country.

Lahti, a town in Finland, offering cake, free transport tickets and other rewards to locals who cut their carbon emissions, has developed an app that tracks residents' CO2 outlays based on whether they travel by car, public transport, bike or on foot. The app, called CitiCAP and developed with European Union funds, gives volunteers a weekly carbon quota.

If their allowance is not exhausted, participants get virtual money that can be used to buy bus tickets, access to the swimming pool or a piece of cake.

Ville Uusitalo, the project's research manager, said: "You can earn up to two euros (per week) if your travel emissions are really low. But this autumn, we intend to increase the price tenfold.” Currently, around 44% of trips in the city are considered sustainable.

Head of the project, Anna Huttunen, said: "Lahti is still very dependent on cars. Our goal is that by 2030 more than 50% of all trips will be made via sustainable means of transport”.

On average, a resident Lahti — population 120,000 people — "emits the equivalent of 21 kilograms of CO2 per week", according to Uusitalo. The app challenges users to reduce their carbon emissions by a quarter.

So far 2,000 residents have downloaded the app, with up to 200 of them using it simultaneously.

CitiCAP's developers hope similar tools in the future will help people manage their consumption-related emissions.

"Mobility is only part of our carbon footprint," Uusitalo said .

The town, which is also the EU's 2021 Green Capital, aims to significantly reduce its environmental impact over the next ten years.

Africa is to be declared free from wild polio by the independent body, the Africa Regional Certification Commission.

Polio usually affects children under five, sometimes leading to irreversible paralysis. Death can occur when breathing muscles are affected by the paralysis. There is no cure but the polio vaccine protects children for life.

The disease is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria is the last African country to be declared free from the disease, having accounted for more than half of all global cases less than a decade ago.

Polio is a virus which spreads from person to person, usually through contaminated water. It can lead to paralysis by attacking the nervous system. Two out of three strains of wild polio virus have been eradicated worldwide. On Tuesday, Africa is to be declared free of the last remaining strain of wild poliovirus.

More than 95% of Africa's population has now been immunised. This was one of the conditions that the Africa Regional Certification Commission set before declaring the continent free from wild polio. Now only the vaccine-derived polio virus remains in Africa.
This is a rare form of the virus that mutates from the oral polio vaccine and can then spread to under-immunised communities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a number of these cases in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Angola. Without a cure a vaccine developed in 1952 by Dr Jonas Salk gave hope that children could be protected from the disease. In 1961, Albert Sabin pioneered the oral polio vaccine which has been used in most national immunisation programmes around the world.

In 1996 poliovirus paralysed more than 75,000 children across the continent - every country was affected. That year Nelson Mandela launched the "Kick Polio Out of Africa" programme, mobilising millions of health workers who went village-to-village to hand-deliver vaccines.

Since 1996 nine billion oral polio vaccines have been provided, averting an estimated 1. The last communities at risk of polio live in some of the most complicated places to deliver immunisation campaigns.

Nigeria is the last country in Africa to have reported a case of wild polio - in Borno state in Nigeria's remote north-east, and the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurrection, in 2016. At the time it was a frustrating set-back as the country had made huge progress and had gone two years without any cases being identified.

Outside Nigeria, the last place to have seen a case of polio was in the Puntland region of Somalia in 2014. Conflict with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has made parts of Nigeria particularly difficult to reach, Borno state in particular.

More than two million people have been displaced by the fighting. Frontline workers, 95% of whom are women, managed to navigate areas of conflict like Lake Chad by boat and deliver vaccines to remote communities. Widespread rumours and misinformation about the vaccine have also slowed down immunisation efforts.

In 2003, Kano and a number of other northern states suspended immunisations following reports by Muslim religious leaders that the vaccine was contaminated with an anti-fertility agent as part of an American plot to make Muslim women infertile. Laboratory tests by Nigerian scientists dismissed the accusations. Vaccine campaigns resumed the following year, but the rumours persisted. In 2013 nine female polio vaccinators were killed in two shootings thought to be carried out by Boko Haram at health centres in Kano. It has taken decades to achieve eradication and overcome suspicion around the vaccine.
Winning the trust of communities has been key.

Misbahu Lawan Didi, president of the Nigerian Polio Survivors Association, says that the role of survivors has been crucial in persuading people to accept the campaign. "Many rejected the polio vaccine, but they see how much we struggle to reach them, sometimes crawling large distances, to speak to them. We ask them: 'Don't you think it is important for you to protect you child not to be like us?'"

From polio survivors, to traditional and religious leaders, school teachers, parents, volunteers and health workers, a huge coalition developed to defeat polio. Working together they travelled to remote communities to immunise children. Polio, or poliomyelitis, mainly affects children aged under five.

Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck and pains in the limbs. It also invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% of people die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.

Polio can be easily imported into a country that is polio free and from there it can spread rapidly among under-immunised populations. This happened in Angola, which despite decades of civil war, defeated polio in 2001.

The country remained free from polio for four years until 2005 when a number of cases were thought to have been brought in from outside the country. The WHO says that it is important countries remain vigilant and avoid complacency until there is global eradication.
If they let down their defence by failing to vaccinate, then wild polio could once again begin to spread quickly.

For all types of polio to be eliminated, including vaccine-derived polio, vaccination efforts will need to continue alongside surveillance, to protect children from being paralysed by the disease in the future.

Sandwell Museums are launching a project to remember the first Commonwealth arrivals to the UK. 

The ‘What’s in the case?’ project is funded jointly by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Windrush Scheme and Sandwell Council's Museums and Arts Service.

The aim is to collect the stories of the first wave of Commonwealth citizens travelling to Britain to live, work and make it their home in the years after the Second World War.

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member responsible for museums, said: “Sandwell and the rest of the UK would not be the diverse and culturally rich place it is today without the Windrush generations and every new Commonwealth arrival since then.

“We want to hear from that generation and their descendants, about their journey and the lives and experiences they have had since arriving.”

Cabinet member for Sustainable Transport, Cllr Jackie Taylor, who became the first African Caribbean councillor elected in Sandwell in 2014, said: "'What’s in the case?’ captures the dreams of my parents when they arrived in Birmingham in 1957.

"I am immensely proud of the bravery of that generation of people who travelled into the unknown from the Commonwealth. My parents arrived from Jamaica with not only the dreams for themselves and their families, but also that of British society and what they could contribute to it. I look forward to the project and richness of stories that I know will emerge, to inspire a new generation."

Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton added: “It’s important to remember the first Commonwealth arrivals to the UK and to celebrate diversity and the many cultures and people that make Sandwell great.”

Sandwell Museums would like participants to take part in a series of interviews via phone, Skype or Zoom to collect their stories and memories of their journey to Britain and of course, what they packed in their cases. 

To take part and request more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Costa Rica has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for the continuous efforts in developing and strengthening its sustainable tourism. The ‘GSTC-Recognised Standard’ status is related to the country’s Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) and further strengthens Costa Rica’s position as a global leader in sustainability.
 
Launched by the Costa Rica Tourism Board in 1997, the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) was created to provide guidelines for hotel properties and service providers to build their business model based on sustainable tourism practices. The CST is backed by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and, now, also by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
 
“As global leaders in sustainability, we are very pleased to receive GSTC’s recognition for the Certification of Sustainable Tourism Standard. Established more than 20 years ago, the CST is the result of the public and private sector’s collaborative efforts to recognise tourism companies for their sustainable practices,” said Gustavo Segura Sancho, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, who was a key player in the implementation of the CST in the country.
 
Costa Rica is well known as a global leader in sustainability – the country produces nearly 99% of its electricity from renewable resources and it is currently home to over 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica also aims to become one of the first countries to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
 
Achieving the GSTC-Recognised status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel. “CST is a well-established certification programme with a clever scheme of market incentives for participating businesses,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
 
Today, more than 400 tourism companies across Costa Rica are CST certified. The scheme is valid for two years. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all certificates will remain in place until January 2021 to support businesses during this extraordinary time, as long as companies keep up with their standards.

By: Emeka Alex Akwaeze

It’s yet another year when the youths globally come together in celebration of the Youth Day.

The place of the youths in the global economy cannot be over emphasized, considering their inputs in different sector of the economy. It is needful for the leaders of different nation to pay special attention in providing enabling platform for these youths, the Nigeria youths are known globally to be hard working and full of creativity, all that is needed is for the leaders to provide the needed enabling environment through which they can showcase their God giving potentials.

In this regard the former vice president of Nigeria and presidential aspirant in the last presidential election in Nigeria, in person of Former Vice President and the Presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri of Adamawa, in his good will message to the Nigeria youths as they celebrates with other youths across the globe, the 21st anniversary of the International Youth Day.

In his message where he saluted the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria, he noted that the theme for this year’s event ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ gives a clear picture of what the world perceives about the young people globally.

Stressing that this global perception about the youth has been a focus in his mind, where he took a decision of 40% inclusion of the youth in his 2019 presidential campaign, noting that, this was a promise he was determined to keep bearing in mind the futuristic benefits of our great nation Nigeria.

The former Vice President further noted that this era of Covid19, which face the whole world, the youth have a responsibility of guarding against being infected, as well as helping to stem the rate of infection by total observation of the set-out guidelines by the NCDC protocols of washing and sanitizing of hands, wearing of face mars mask, observing social distancing and avoiding crowded areas.
In addition he noted that human survival rests largely on the shoulders of the youths, noting that this global pandemic requires vigour to wear out the plague, stating that the vigor and spirit the youth embody will play a crucial role in the social-economic survival of the world, and its rejuvenation, post-Covid19.

He further admonish the youth stating that as a leader of today and tomorrow, he urge Nigeria’s youth to be preacher and practice peace, demonstrate patriotism at all levels; get themselves rid of nepotism and endeavor to promote competence above all forms of sentiments at all times, which is the only way we can truly have the Nigeria of our dream, he noted.

In his closing note he assured the Nigeria youths of his continue support, ‘‘I shall stay the course and continue to offer my shoulder for you all to clime because as youth, you are leaders of today’’ this he said.

 

On the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, which marks both the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War, leading vet charity, PDSA, paid their tribute to the brave hero animals ‘who also served’ and helped save countless lives during World War II.
 
The charity commemorated the milestone by sharing exclusive e-books which tell the remarkable stories of animal heroes honoured with the PDSA Dickin Medal**, known as the animals’ Victoria Cross. These include the incredible story of English Pointer Judy, who is the only dog to ever be listed as an official Prisoner of War in Japan, where she helped to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners and saved many lives through her intelligence and watchfulness.
 
The prestigious PDSA Dickin Medal recognises outstanding acts of gallantry and devotion to duty displayed by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units in theatres of war.
 
The Medal was instituted by the charity’s Founder, Maria Dickin, with the approval of the War Office and Imperial War Museum, to raise the status of animals and acknowledge the remarkable roles they play in society. It was first awarded to a messenger pigeon named Winkie on 3 December 1943.
 
PDSA’s Awards and Heritage Manager, Amy Dickin, said: “Throughout history, animals have made an extraordinary difference to the lives of so many, not only the men and women who serve, but also civilians who our military are protecting.

“Sharing the stories of these incredible animals this VJ Day is a great way to celebrate the incredible, life-saving role animals have played throughout history, and continue to play today.”
 

Saturday 15 August 2020 VJ Day which marks 75 years since victory over Japan and the moment that finally brought World War II to an end.

To commemorate this anniversary and remember those who served in the Far East, events will take place to highlight the significance of this anniversary and those who remember leaving home for an unknown country and an unknown enemy and how it feels to be known as the ‘forgotten army’ at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where a remembrance commemoration is taking place.

With a national two minutes silence led by HRH The Prince of Wales the commemorations close at Horse Guards Parade in London where the story of all those that served in the Far East is told.

Victory over Japan 75 years ago brought mixed emotions for those fighting in the malaria ridden jungles of the Far East. With the end of the war finally arriving relief, joy and sadness (at the human cost) was in abundance.

Those who had fought on through the final three months, largely forgotten by people at home, could finally look forward to returning to their loved ones, and some sort of normality.

But for many who had toiled for years in the brutal battlefields, or been prisoners, the end of the war didn’t mean the end of their suffering. The memories of what they endured and the loss of their comrades would live with them forever.

 

Following a rigorous selection process which took place between 15th – 19th July, Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) is pleased to announce the final team participating in the Walk of Oman expedition.

Formed of five ex-military personnel and one member still currently serving, all six of the team have physical or cognitive injuries and will tackle one of their toughest challenges yet, as they pull a custom-built cart weighing in excess of 300kg (around three times their own bodyweight) across the Omani desert.

Starting on November 20th and ending on December 11th 2020 the team will take on an epic trek inspired by Wilfred Thesiger. Thesiger, a British military officer, travelled across the Arabian Peninsula in the 1940s, and the trek will see the team embrace the same hostile conditions in the Omani desert. The expedition will end on Oman’s Armed Forces Day.

Highlighting the extraordinary courage of the men and women who have been injured, both physically and mentally, while serving their countries, the walk will showcase the need for continued support in aiding the transition from the Armed Forces into civilian life.

Experiencing extreme temperatures as high as 95°F and trekking between 20 km to 22 km per day in what will be an unforgettable three-weeks of strength, determination and grit, the team facing the desert are:

David Adams – David spent 13 years as an Aircraft Technician in the REME, serving in the UK, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Oman. David was medically discharged after a diagnosis of PTSD, following traumatic events whilst serving in Afghanistan.
Sean Gane – Joining the British Army in 1986 as an Infantryman, Sean served for 12 years between ’86 and 2014, leaving and later rejoining. He served on operational tours including Afghanistan and served his last tour in 2009. It was during this last tour Sean witnessed many traumatic events and was later diagnosed with PTSD and hearing and nerve damage. He was medically discharged in 2014.
Ben McComb - Ben joined the Army Reserves in October 2005 and served as a Private Solider until 2011, during which time he was selected for officer training. In 2011, he commenced regular officer training at RMAS and commissioned into the Royal Artillery. Ben has neural impingement and nerve damage in his lower limbs which is incurable. However, his condition is stable due to continuous self-rehabilitation management.
Brian O’Neill – Brian joined the British Army in 1990 aged 17 and served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Royal Military Police and Military Provost Staff Regiment. Brian served in 7 operational tours including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant during his 26 years of serving in the Armed Forces. He found the transition from military to civilian life exceptionally difficult.
Andrew Phillips – Having served in the Royal Air Force from 1983 – 1993 as a Junior Technician, Andrew was injured in the build-up to the Gulf War and eventually received a medical discharge due to a spinal cord injury. Struggling with the transition from military to civilian life, he became involved in the Invictus Games which helped him regain focus and a positive outlook on life.
Ashley Winter – Ashley served as a Challenger 2 Tank crewman serving in Kosovo and Iraq. He was diagnosed with Keratoconus ten years ago and has undertaken various physical challenges to inspire others.

The final team of six were chosen following a five-day selection process in which they hiked across different peaks in Grasmere, Cumbria. With the walks varying each day from 5 km to 20 km, the team were able to test their physical capabilities, whilst walking in an unpredictable climate and across tough terrains.

Ed Parker, CEO of WWTW said: “We are very excited to have been able to take all six candidates as part of the team from the selection week process. The team face an immense challenge ahead of them and each will be tested mentally and physically. Throughout the selection week process, each candidate embraced the task ahead and cemented the bond formed between them that will put them in good stead for the Omani desert.”

The Walk of Oman is supported by The Duke of Sussex in his role as the official Expedition Patron, along with support from the Royal Office of HM Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and in partnership with the Omani Armed Forces. The team will be followed by a support team in case of emergencies during the course of the expedition.


The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) has resumed business operations following the passage of Tropical Storm Isaias.  

The storm brought heavy rainfall, but with little to no impact to the Territory’s tourism infrastructure, the Department of Tourism has reported.

The overnight curfew has been lifted, major roads are clear, and government offices are open.

The Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix remain open with normal operations; however, inter-island commuter aircraft reported some delays and cancellations. Travellers are reminded to contact airlines for updates and advisories. 

Seaports have opened, however, the Wilfred "Bomba" Allick Port and Transshipment Center (The Containerport) on St. Croix remains closed to vessel traffic due to high surf conditions. Other maritime and seaplane operations have resumed.

“We once again thank our partners for working in lock step to prepare for this weather event, and pray that those who are now in the storm’s path will be safe,” said Joseph Boschulte, USVI Commissioner of Tourism.