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UNGA 77: Guterres urges world leaders to fight climate crisis

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on world leaders to bring hope to a fractured world and increase efforts to fight the climate crisis.

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Guterres made the appeal at a news conference on Wednesday as hundreds of Heads of State and Government prepare to fly into New York for the General Debate of the new General Assembly, starting from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27.

The UN chief promised to address the many challenging issues facing the planet, in his speech next week to the General Assembly, which would also contain concrete recommendations for lasting solutions, and a call to action.

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He recalled the devastation he witnessed on his recent trip to flood-hit Pakistan, which he described as a window into a future of permanent and ubiquitous climate chaos on an unimaginable scale.

Guterres, who is from Portugal, noted that the flooding covers an area three times the size of his homeland.

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He expressed dismay over the global response to the climate crisis as inadequate, unjust and, at its heart, a betrayal.

“Whether it’s Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, small islands or Least Developed Countries, the world’s most vulnerable – who did nothing to cause this crisis – are paying a horrific price for decades of intransigence by big emitters”.

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Targeting the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations, the UN chief reminded them that they were responsible for the vast majority of climate-related emissions and, even though they are also heavily impacted.

He wondered aloud if the reaction would be different if one third of G20 countries, rather than Pakistan, were currently underwater.

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All countries need to cut emissions every year – with the G20, as the leading emitters, leading the way until the global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Citing Pakistan, Guterres insisted that the country, and other climate hotspots, need flood-resilient infrastructure now, arguing that at least half of all climate finance, must go to adaptation and climate resilience.

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That funding, he said, must come from the leading economies.

“Lower the temperature — now”, he said. “Don’t flood the world today; don’t drown it tomorrow.”

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The UN has hailed the success of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has enabled food and fertiliser supplies to finally leave war-torn Ukrainian ports, and played a part in reducing global food prices, as they reached record highs following Russia’s invasion.

However, there is still a real risk of multiple famines this year, Guterres warned.

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The secretary-general pointed out that, at a time of high geopolitical tensions, a lack of action to halt the climate crisis would have severe knock-on effects, such as mass migration and increased instability.

“This year’s General Debate must be about providing hope; that hope can only come through the dialogue and debate that are the beating heart of the United Nations,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Foreign

Putin calls on Ukraine to agree to ceasefire and negotiations

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Ukraine’s government needs to agree to a ceasefire and return to the negotiating table, says Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“We are ready for this,” Putin said as he declared the parts of Ukraine occupied by Moscow’s forces to be part of Russia.

Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions are to be incorporated through “treaties” signed with the states, which Moscow has recognised as independent.

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Putin stressed that the people in these regions are now “our citizens forever.” He stressed that there would be no negotiations with Ukraine concerning the annexed territories, citing referendums conducted in the areas.

Putin invoked the “right of self-determination” of the people living in the four areas, despite reports of Ukrainian residents in the occupied territories having been forced to vote.

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University Teachers In UK Embark On Strike Over Pay + VIDEO

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Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35 per cent and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9,000.

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Some staff of the Lewisham College in the United Kingdom on Monday protested and shut down the college to express their displeasure over the poor pay in the sector.

This was seen in a viral video obtained by SaharaReporters, where the teachers were complaining that their salaries could no longer pay their bills and this has been affecting their emotional and mental health.

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Lewisham College is a further education college in the London Borough of Lewisham, south-east London.

It was established in 1990, having previously been known as SELTEC (South East London College of Technology since the early 1970s, which was run by the Inner London Education Authority.

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The college has two campuses, its main one on Lewisham Way in Brockley, and another one in Church Street.

Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35 per cent and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9,000.

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Peter Bicknell, a librarian at the College, said he was going on strike because wages had been frozen for too long and his finances were worsening.

He said, “Going into my overdraft is frequent for me now. The energy price increases and cost of food has made it so difficult.

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“Enough is enough. We’ve seen [pay] freeze after freeze after freeze. It’s been building for months, some of my colleagues are in a much worse position than me. Hopefully this will have an impact.

UCU has said unqualified college teachers earn as little as £21,000 whilst qualified teachers earn as little as £26,000.

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In June, employer representative, the Association of Colleges made a pay recommendation of 2.5 per cent, while RPI inflation is now at 12.3 per cent.

Staff and Lewisham College are employed by the education organisation NCG.

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One of the teachers, Georgi Bochevski, said, “When you can’t pay the rent, your transport, you have to find the solution to start doing any extra work.

And if you don’t have time for extra work then you can take credit cards or overdrafts. And when you can’t meet these basic needs, you start to struggle mentally.”

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Another teacher, Portia Tertullian, said it is worrying her because she doesn’t know how long the situation would be without resolution.

The students were also seen backing their teachers during the protest. For Instance, one of the students, Millicent Zwane said, “I support it 100% because it is not fair on the teachers.

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Because I came this morning to study and I found out there is a strike because they are not being paid enough.”

See video below:

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My husband has PhD in coup d’etats – Sierra Leone First Lady

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Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Fatima Bio, has controversially stated that her husband holds a PhD degree in staging coups.

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Her comment was to buttress the point that nobody can overthrow Julius Maada Bio, who will be seeking a second and final term in office during upcoming general elections.

According to reports, she made the comment last weekend at a fundraising event in the US.

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“Maada Bio has a PhD in coup d’état, can you remove him?” The man has a PhD in [staging] coups, how can you remove someone who teaches people how to stage a coup?,” the First Lady stressed in a video shared on Facebook.

Violent protests took place in opposition strongholds last month leading to death of 31 people including six police officers.

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Maada Bio in an address to the nation, blamed the incidents on opponents despite reports indicating that it was over high cost of living. He subsequently changed the security chiefs.

The president is known to have been involved in two coup d’etats in the West African nation’s history.

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First, he came to power in April 1992 as part of a group of young military officers who overthrew the civilian government of Joseph Saidu Momoh of the All People’s Congress, APC.

Four years on, in January 1996 he staged a palace coup and succeeded Captain Valentine Strasser as head of state. Two months later he held elections and handed over to a civilian rule.

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Maada Bio came to power in 2018 on the ticket of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). He beat the then candidate of the ruling APC, which had Ernest Bai Koroma as outgoing president.

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