Africa MENA Press Releases PRNewswire South Africa

Hisense Brings Its Most Family-friendly Big-screen 90L5H Laser TV to South Africa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Leading global electronics brand Hisense is preparing to deliver a revolutionary viewing experience to homes in South Africa with the local launch of its 90L5H 4K Laser TV. Featuring a palette of more than 16.7 million colors, the product brings true-to-life pictures with outstanding realism and accuracy.

Billed as the company’s most family-friendly big-screen TV, the 90L5H packs quite the punch with a 90-inch screen and 8.3 million pixels featuring the company’s groundbreaking X-Fusion Laser Technology and Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound. The product is the perfect choice for a wide range of customers, whether they are avid movie fans looking for the best big-screen experience, sports fans trying to get closer to the action, or gamers looking for the best way to view graphics. The six-foot-wide 90L5H has something to offer users across a diverse mixture of demographics, from kids and teenagers to professionals who enjoy the finer things in life.

By employing a combination of the company’s X-Fusion Laser Technology and ultra-short throw projection technology, Hisense achieves razor-sharp imagery on the 90L5H TV, bringing families a unique atmosphere in their own homes that is not dissimilar to the full-on cinematic experience. Despite its size, the product really punches above its weight in terms of performance. It features a reflective display and low-blue light to ensure that users will not feel the strain on their eyes during prolonged viewing sessions and all this comes without sacrificing the original display quality.

However, Hisense’s investment in performance does not stop there. The company used its Ambient Light Rejecting technology to strengthen colors further, and users don’t need to kill the lights to ensure a crystal clear and striking picture quality. Additionally, the high native contrast with a native rate of 3,000:1 makes those on-screen highlights even more punchy, delivering for users in terms of depth and realism for shadowy imagery on screen.

The team at Hisense pursued a sleek and attractive ergonomic when designing the 90L5H, and the result is a product that would not look out of place in most rooms anywhere in the house. Under the hood, the sturdy aluminum frame and scratch-resistance surface combine a favorable aesthetic with solid performance, and it all weighs only 20 pounds.

In terms of flexibility for users, the TV supports HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision while leveraging High Dynamic Range to transfer its ability to display such strong colors to supported content. Additionally, Filmmaker Mode is on hand to bring users a more authentic viewing experience. The mode deactivates some of the picture and motion technology settings to revert the viewing experience back to how the creator intended it to be, putting the user completely in control of image quality.

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Africa extremely vulnerable to climate change, WMO warns

ADDIS ABABA— The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that Climate change continues to strike Africa with extreme weather events.

The WMO Secretary-General, Professor Petteri Taalas in a statement says the devastating drought in the greater horn of Africa, including parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia is manifestation of the impacts of climate change.

“More than 13 million people are facing severe food insecurity in the horn of Africa and the health of 6 million children from these countries is affected by malnutrition,” said Prof. Taalas who spoke during the conference of heads of National Meteorological and Hydrological (NMHSs) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, says the failure of five rainfall seasons has had devastating effects of crops and this could impact the harvests.

Prof. Taalas told the meeting attended by Heads of National and Meteorological and hydrological Services, regional and global experts in weather, climate and water services with decision-makers in Africa that more than 3 million livestock supporting the livelihoods of pastoral communities have died in the Region.

He told the meeting that is discussing the need for enhancing digital transformation of the Hydro-Meteorological Services in the Region that digital transformation of the NMHSs “will make accessing severe weather warnings and alerts easy,” he said and added that, “Technology transformation will strengthen and modernize NMHSs to perform their public weather functions for the safety of lives and property.”

The Secretary-General noted that the digital transformation of the Meteorological services in Africa will help fasten data transmission speed “and increase the ability to create products and services for realtime, exchange of information, critical for forecasting and warnings of hydro-Meteorological hazards, so as to warn the public and enhance safety.”

In his remarks, the Ethiopian State Minister for Water and Energy, Dr Abraha Adugna, noted that the frequency and intensity of hazards on the continent is significant adding that the impacts are having pressure in socioeconomic sectors.

Dr. Adugna said that the Ethiopia government in partnership with the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute (EMI) has established a modernized network for collecting meteorological data for early warning services in a bid to improve lives and livelihood.



Ukrainians in South Africa Protest Russian Battleship

A group of Ukrainian protesters have sailed a yacht close to a Russian warship docked in Cape Town ahead of South Africa-hosted wargames with the Russian and Chinese navies. Critics say South Africa’s hosting of Russian warships for drills at the one-year anniversary of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine pokes holes in its claim to neutrality.

Military men in uniform stood on the deck of Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate Tuesday and watched protesters aboard a yacht, which bore the Ukrainian flag.

Fearless, the group of eight, mostly women, shouted and held signs reading Stop the War.

The Russian news agency Tass quoted an unnamed official saying the hypersonic Zircon missiles carried by the Admiral Gorshkov will be test-fired during the drills.

Because of their speed, the missiles cannot be detected by existing missile defense systems.

The South African National Defense Force did not reply to requests to confirm the test firing.

Protester Dzvinka Kuchar of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa says human rights activists and environmentalists are begging the South African government to stop the war games.

“Russian state media which is fully controlled by Russian government has already said that they are planning to fire Zircon missiles during those trainings (sic),” said Kuchar. “We understand that this is pure propaganda to take attention away from what Russia is doing in Ukraine. And what Russia is doing they’re killing civilians, they’re destroying hospitals, they’re destroying the lives of millions of people.”

Kuchar says South Africa, which has chosen to take a neutral stance in Russia’s war on Ukraine and abstained on several United Nations resolutions condemning the onslaught, is simply being used by Vladimir Putin.

“I know South Africa says we are a sovereign country, and we can be friends with any country that we want. And this is true,” said Kuchar. “But if you choose to be friends with a country that is running a war, it also sends a message about yourself. You can be friends but at least say to your friend that is causing gender-based violence “Stop beating your wife.”

The mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, who belongs to the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, replied to a tweet by the Russian Consulate in Cape Town and told the ship to “Voetsek.” That is an impolite Afrikaans word that means go away.

He said the ship is not welcome and that the city would not be complicit in Russia’s evil war.

Political analyst Daniel Silke, Director of the Political Futures consultancy, says if South Africa keeps making decisions to side with Russia, there could be consequences in terms of its global standing.

“I think South Africa is entering a mine field of attempting to find a balancing act here,” said Silke. “But I do think that when it comes to assistance and aid from the United States perhaps from even some Western countries, I think there may well be a reluctance, there may well be a frowning on South Africa’s stance on this particular issue.”

The Admiral Gorshkov left Cape Town harbor Wednesday and is making its way to the site of the military drills off the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province.

The exercise is scheduled to take place from February 17 to 27.

This is the second naval exercise South Africa is carrying out with Russia and China – which are two of its four partners in the BRICS alliance. The first took place in 2019.

Several anti-war protests against the drills are planned.

Source: Voice of America


UK, US guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’ over Chagos Islands: HRW

LONDON— Britain and the United States are guilty of crimes against humanity in the forced displacement of indigenous people from the Chagos Islands, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

In a new 106-report, the US-based rights group added that the UK’s “racial persecution, and continued blocking of their return home”, with Washington’s support, constituted an “ongoing colonial crime”.

The two countries should provide full reparations to the Chagossian people, including their right to return to live in their homeland in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, HRW urged.

“The UK is today committing an appalling colonial crime, treating all Chagossians as a people without rights,” said Clive Baldwin, its senior legal adviser and lead author of the report.

“The UK and the US, who together expelled the Chagossians from their homes, should provide full reparations for the harm they have caused.”

London decided in 1965 to separate the archipelago from Mauritius, which was then part of the British empire, and set up a joint military base with the United States on Diego Garcia, the largest of the isles.

It continues to administer them but Mauritius, which became an independent Commonwealth country in 1968, has long fought to return the islands to its territory and has gained international support for its cause.

A 2019 International Court of Justice ruling backed its claim and said Britain should give up control of the remote archipelago.

Later that year, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favour of a resolution recognising that “the Chagos Archipelago forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius” and recommended Britain withdraw within six months.

London and Mauritius have begun talks over the islands’ sovereignty, the Mauritian prime minister said last month, after the UK confirmed in November that it had agreed to discuss its future.

However, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a written ministerial statement at the time that the countries had agreed the military base on Diego Garcia would continue to operate whatever the outcome.

HRW noted that there had been “no clear commitment to meaningful consultation with the Chagossians and to guarantee their right to reparations, including their right to return, in any settlement”.

The New York-headquartered organisation interviewed dozens of people, including Chagossians and UK, US, and Mauritian officials, and reviewed numerous documents for its report.

It said it had identified three crimes against humanity: a continuing colonial crime of forced displacement; the prevention of their return home by the UK; and their persecution by the UK on the grounds of race and ethnicity.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) responded to the claims by saying “we respect the work Human Rights Watch does around the world, but we categorically reject this characterisation of events.

“The UK has made clear its deep regret about the manner in which Chagossians were removed from BIOT in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”

The US State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the HRW report.



Malpass Sets Plan for Early Departure as World Bank Chief

World Bank President David Malpass on Wednesday said he would leave his post by the end of June, months after running afoul of the White House for failing to say whether he accepts the scientific consensus on global warming.

Malpass, appointed by former President Donald Trump, will vacate the helm of the multilateral development bank with less than a year remaining in a five-year term. He offered no specific reason for the move, saying in a statement, “after a good deal of thought, I’ve decided to pursue new challenges.”

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen thanked Malpass for his service, saying, “The world has benefitted from his strong support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, his vital work to assist the Afghan people, and his commitment to helping low-income countries achieve debt sustainability through debt reduction.”

Yellen said the United States would soon nominate a replacement for Malpass and looked forward to the bank’s board undertaking a “transparent, merit-based and swift nomination process for the next World Bank president.”

By long-standing tradition, the U.S. government selects the head of the World Bank, which provides billions of dollars a year in funding for developing economies, while European leaders choose the leader of its larger partner, the International Monetary Fund.

Malpass took up the World Bank helm in April 2019 after serving as the top official for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department in the Trump administration.

Last autumn, he came under fire by the White House after he declined to say he supported the scientific consensus on climate change. He later apologized and reiterated his view that human activity contributes to climate change.

More recently, Yellen has launched a major push to reform the way the World Bank operates to ensure broader lending to combat climate change and other global challenges.

A source familiar with his thinking said Malpass had informed Yellen of his decision on Tuesday.

The end of the fiscal year was a natural time to step aside, the source said. The World Bank’s governors are expected to approve the bank’s road map for reforms, with only minor changes at the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank set for mid-April.

Source: Voice of America


WFP helps half a million people recover from loss and damage with climate insurance in West Africa

ROME – The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) is preparing to support 490,000 people in Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Mali who were impacted by drought in 2022. WFP has received US$15.4 million worth of insurance payouts from African Risk Capacity (ARC) Limited that will provide a cash transfer to affected people from March to May 2023, enabling them to recover from the impacts of drought, for example by buying food or supplementing incomes to avoid having to sell productive assets.

“Communities in Mali contribute very little to the climate crisis, yet the impacts are forcing them into a food crisis,” says Eric Perdison, WFP Country Director in Mali. “This funding will enable WFP to reach hundreds of thousands of food-insecure people affected by climate-induced negative impacts, with cash and nutrition assistance.”

Farmers in West Africa suffered losses and damages to their crops and livelihoods due to extensive drought impacting the 2022 agricultural season. This has knock-on effects throughout the region as food availability is reduced and prices soar. Climate insurance enables communities to recover from losses and damages, preventing them being pushed into hunger.

The insurance scheme is part of the ARC Group – a specialized agency of the African Union that helps Member States manage climate and disaster risk. WFP is receiving payouts of US$7.2 million for Burkina Faso, US$187,600 for The Gambia and US$8 million for Mali. Assistance will also include nutritional support for children aged 6-23 months and pregnant and nursing women.

“Thanks to support from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, WFP has purchased insurance policies that enable us to work with local governments to minimise losses and damages caused by climate impacts” says Mathieu Dubreuil, WFP Head of Climate Risk Insurance. “We need to scale up such initiatives to protect more people on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”

Since 2019, WFP has protected 4.8 million people in six African countries with insurance policies from ARC. To date, WFP has received eight payouts totalling US$25.4 million for five countries, which provided cash and food assistance, nutrition support and emergency asset creation to more than 790,000 people.

“The cash transfer came at a moment when I had difficulty buying food. I live alone with the children and we needed to eat. So, I bought rice and millet”, said Aissé, a widow from Mali who received money from payouts for the drought in 2021.

Source: World Food Programme