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    Vatican Launches Probe Into How Pope’s Instagram Account ‘Liked’ Picture Of Semi Nude Brazilian Model…

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    The Vatican has opened an investigation after the Pope’s Instagram account was caught “liking” a raunchy picture of a Brazilian model posing in a sexy schoolgirl outfit, an official said on Friday.

    Reports and screenshots last week showed that the account of Pope Francis, which has 7.4 million followers, had hit like on the sultry snap of glamour model Natalia Garibotto, 27.

    “At least I’m going to heaven,” the model joked upon receiving the Pope’s unlikely blessing, which was removed by a member of his social media team a day later.

    “As far as we know the ‘like’ did not come from the Holy See,” a papal spokesperson told the BBC.

    He added that the holy father’s social media accounts are managed by a team of people, emphasizing that the horny double tap couldn’t have been executed by Francis himself. The Vatican has now turned to Instagram for answers.

    They added that the Vatican and Instagram were trying to establish where the like had originated.

    The Pope’s Instagram account – Franciscus – does not appear to have liked any other posts and does not follow any other accounts.

     

    Source: RT News

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    Africa Will Take Longer To Get Its First COVID19 Vaccine – Experts…

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    A man taking a swab test (courtesy photo)

    With the United Kingdom rolling out the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine this week and other clinical trials showing promising results, the focus has swiftly turned towards the distribution of the doses worldwide and which countries will get them first, and which will be pushed to the back of the queue.

    On Thursday, Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, John Nkengasong warned that “it will be extremely terrible to see” wealthy nations obtaining vaccines and African countries missing out, as he called on for an extraordinary United Nations session to discuss this “moral issue” and avoid a “North-South distrust in respect to vaccines, which is a common good”.

    Countries across Africa have largely been praised for their response to COVID-19 since the first infection was confirmed on the continent on February 14 in Egypt. Despite some observers initial doomsday predictions, the continent so far appears to have been spared the worst of the pandemic. Still, uncertainty remains and the threat of further economic pain due to the prospect of additional lockdowns have given the discussions about vaccine distribution extra urgency.

    There, have however been some challenges.

    Expressing concern over what it has branded as the continent’s “largest ever immunisation drive”, the World Health Organization has said the African region has an average score of 33 percent readiness for a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, well below the desired 80 percent.

    Meanwhile, Nkengasong has stressed that it is necessary to be realistic about immunisation campaigns due to challenges on how vaccines would be delivered across the continent, adding that it is unlikely that this will happen before the middle of 2021.

     

    What about Us?

    For Catherine Kyobutungi, epidemiologist and executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center, a big challenge regarding access to vaccines is “a lack of global solidarity”.

    “We’ve seen reports about countries like the US and UK securing a huge share of vaccine doses, which then leaves you wondering, what about the rest of us?”

    In a similar vein, the People’s Vaccine Alliance – a coalition of campaign organisations including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Global Justice Now – has condemned rich countries for “hoarding” vaccine doses to the detriment of poorer nations.

    “Wealthier nations have bought up enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations nearly three times over by the end of 2021 if those currently in clinical trials are all approved for use,” it said.

    “Canada tops the chart with enough vaccines to vaccinate each Canadian five times. Updated data shows that rich nations representing just 14 per cent of the world’s population have bought up 53 per cent of all the most promising vaccines so far.”

    Tied to all this are financial constraints and the huge investments required to roll out vaccination campaigns, noted Benjamin Kagina, a senior researcher in vaccinology at The Vaccines for Africa Initiative, University of Cape Town.

    WHO has said getting a COVID-19 vaccine to priority populations will cost nearly $5.7bn, a sum that includes an additional 15-20 percent cost for materials, training, logistics and community mobilisation.

    “Affordability of a vaccine given the high global demand is an issue, particularly in light of the economic impact of the pandemic,” said Kagina.

    Putting aside the financial factors, experts also pointed to the substantial infrastructure and logistical challenges.

    For example, the vaccine from Pfizer/BIoNTech needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit), while the one from Moderna has to be kept at -20C (-4F). In contrast, the inoculation developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford can be stored at standard refrigeration temperatures, leading experts to say that this vaccine candidate could be the “best” option for many African countries.

    Early this year, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance launched COVAX, a global initiative that aims to distribute low-cost vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.

    Once a vaccine does arrive, a number of other issues would also need to be addressed in order to ensure a successful roll-out.

    Based on an analysis carried out by the WHO, 49 percent of African countries have identified their priority populations and have plans in place to reach them.

    “High-risk groups like healthcare workers may not be difficult to reach, but most countries do not have a strategy in place to reach groups like the elderly, so new strategies will need to be developed,” said Kagina.

    Placing an emphasis on logistics, Kyobutungi noted: “In many African countries, vaccines are usually administered to children under the age of five; that’s a small segment of the population. Now we have to think about the entire population: For example how many syringes, healthcare workers, rooms, and clinics will be required for this?

    “Similarly, on a global level, in October UNICEF announced that it will be stockpiling 520 million syringes to guarantee initial supply for when the COVID-19 vaccine arrives; we have to consider the impact of demand for these essentials,” she added.

    Rolling out the vaccine in urban and rural areas is likely going to require slightly different approaches, particularly in terms of transportation, storage and education, and this would require government investment ahead of time.

    Another factor to consider is tailoring the vaccination campaigns to the way the majority of the population go about their daily lives, according to Kyobutungi.

    “Preventative healthcare services are usually accessed by women and children, men and older children generally seek healthcare when they are unwell. You will have segments of the population who will consider the opportunity cost of, ‘If I go to the clinic and have to queue there all day, will I lose a daily wage? Is this something I am willing to do?’”

    She said a potential solution to this could involve offering the vaccine at offices, events and places of worship. “Governments are going to have to think outside the box,” added Kyobutungi.

    As in other parts of the world, vaccine hesitancy is also likely to be an issue due to suspicion, fear and a history of medical colonialism. Countering this would require robust and ongoing advocacy to address public concerns, experts said.

    Regarding the potential effect of a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out on existing vaccination programmes on the continent, Kyobutungi said it would make sense for current systems to be repurposed and work in parallel with a COVID-19 campaign. This would require meticulous planning and careful resource allocation on the part of governments and the global health community, especially in order to ensure other services are not disrupted.

    So with all these factors at play, what does the timescale look like in terms of Africa and a COVID-19 vaccine?

    “It may take time but we will get there,” said Kyobutungi.

    “I expect that it will be the first quarter of 2022 by when a significant population of Africa will have been vaccinated,” she added, stressing the importance of “global solidarity in action”.

     

    By John Kenny Adeya

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    Married Man Who Was Nabbed By Wife Wedding Another Woman In Church To Face Up to 7 Years Behind Bars…

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    A Zambian man who was caught handed by his wife marrying another woman in a Church ceremony has been identified as Abraham Muhinda of Kabwata Site and Service.

    Mr. Muyunda who works for Zambia Revenue Authority at Head Office is married to Caroline Mubita and they have three children between them.

    Mrs. Muyunda narrated that on the fateful Sunday, yesterday, her husband left home in the morning and told her that he had gone out of town on duty.

    The wedding procession was taking place at a Catholic Church in Chainda when Mrs. Muyunda appeared just in time to stop the proceedings.

    Mrs. Muyunda was reportedly only tipped off by vigilant neighbours that her husband was about to wed another woman, after which she rushed to the said Church together with her kids and interrupted the ceremony.

    Mr. Muyunda looked embarrassed as kept looking down while his legitimate wife claimed him, in front of the Church and his illegal wife to be.

    Mr. Muyunda has now been handed over to Matero Police station where he is kept as the family discuses the way forward.

    He will be charged with Bigamy which is a criminal matter in Zambia, and may face up to 7 years in prison when convicted.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza Dies Of Heart Attack….

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    Burundi government statement on Twitter says outgoing President, Pierre Nkurunziza (55) has died at Karusi hospital after suffering heart attack.

    In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, the government announced “with great sorrow to Burundians and the international community” the passing of Nkurunziza, 55.

    The outgoing president died at Karusi hospital after suffering a heart attack on June 8, the statement added.

    In power since 2005, Nkurunziza was due to be replaced in August by political ally Evariste Ndayishimiye, who was declared earlier this month the winner of a May 20 presidential election.

    WHO IS NKURUNZIZA:

    • Nkurunziza was born in 1963 in Burundi’s capital city of Bujumbura.
    • He was raised in the province of Ngozi in northern Burundi.
    • His father, Eustache Ngabisha, was a Catholic Hutu connected with the royal family. His mother was a Protestant Tutsi assistant nurse.
    • Ngabisha was enlisted to the ranks of the pro-independence UPRONA party and elected to the Parliament of Burundi in 1965, later becoming governor of two provinces before being killed in 1972 during the Burundian Genocide of 1972 when ethnic violence claimed the lives of between 80,000 and 210,000 Burundians.
    • Nkurunziza attended primary school in Ngozi and pursued secondary education at Athénée in Gitega.
    • He later attended the Institut d’Education Physique et des Sports (IEPS) at the University of Burundi in the late 1980s and graduated in 1990 after obtaining his degree in sports education.
    • Before the civil war broke out, he became a sports professor at Lycée de Muramvya in 1991 while still studying psychology and pedagogy. Nkurunziza became a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi in 1992.
    • In 1995, he was threatened and joined the CNDD-FDD when hundreds of Hutu students were killed or forced to flee. After rising through the ranks, Nkurunziza was appointed deputy secretary-general of the CNDD-FDD in 1998.
    • In the late 1990s, he was condemned to death by court and trial in absentia. In 2001, he was elected chairman.
    • There was a split in the group in late 2001. He was reelected chairman in August 2004.
    • During the Burundian Civil War, Nkurunziza is said to have survived a near death experience.
    • He was wounded several times in the war and was given the nickname “Pita”.
    • Beginning in late 2003 and after the ceasefire agreement, he was appointed Minister for Good Governance in the transitional government of President Domitien Ndayizeye.
    • Following a series of CNDD-FDD victories in elections held during June and July 2005, Nkurunziza was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.
    • He was elected president by members of parliament (acting as an electoral college) with a vote of 151 to 162 on 19 August 2005 and took office on 26 August 2005.
    • He was reelected in 2010 with more than 91% of the vote amidst an opposition boycott and sworn in for his second term on August 26, 2010.
    • In March 2014, Nkurunziza banned jogging, due to “fears it was being used as a cover for subversion.”
    • In April 2015 Nkurunziza announced that he would seek a third term in office. The opposition said that Nkurunziza’s bid to extend his term was in defiance of the constitution, as it bars the president from running for a third term.
    • On May 13, 2015, Burundi Army General Godefroid Niyombareh declared a coup via radio while Nkurunziza was abroad attending a summit in Tanzania with other African leaders. Niyombareh had been dismissed from his post as head of intelligence in February 2015.
    • However, the controversial presidential elections were held on 21 July 2015. The electoral commission under pressure announced on 24 July 2015 that Nkurunziza had won the election with 69.41% of the vote with low voter turnout, the participation rate under 30%.
    • In March 2018, Nkurunziza was named “eternal supreme guide” by the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, in the run-up to a constitutional referendum on 17 May that year. The referendum’s proposed constitutional changes would allow Nkurunziza to stay in office until 2034.
    • On 21 May the new constitution was approved, allowing Nkurunziza to extend his term limits starting in 2020.
    • On 7 June 2018, Nkurunziza announced that he will step down after the 2020 elections.
    • Nkurunziza was one of seven siblings. Two of his siblings were killed after civil war erupted in 1993, and three others died while fighting in the CNDD-FDD. Only one of his siblings, a sister, is alive today.
    • He married his wife in 1994 and is the father of two sons.
    • Nkurunziza described himself as a born again Christian, though his rule has involved severely restricting religious freedoms for evangelical Christians and other groups.
    • Nkurunziza enjoyed playing football and cycling. He began playing football at the age of five, and played in a team at secondary school and his university.
    • In September 2019, a UN committee concluded that President Pierre Nkurunziza was personally accountable for serious violations.

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