Morocco and Tunisia reach WAFCON quarter-finals

Published by
Al-Araby

North Africa’s two contenders in the Women’s African Cup of Nations have made it through to the knockout stages of the competition, setting up two fiery quarter-finals as they vie for a spot in next year’s Women’s World Cup. Hosts Morocco, nicknamed the ‘Atlas Lionesses’, eased through the group stages with comfortable wins against Uganda, Burkina Faso and Senegal in front of packed home crowds. They have earned themselves a meeting with underdogs Botswana in the last eight on Wednesday. On the other side of the draw to Morocco, Tunisia now face tournament frontrunners South Africa in a tricki… Continue reading “Morocco and Tunisia reach WAFCON quarter-finals”

Shanghai plans more COVID testing amid fresh curbs across China

Published by
Reuters

By Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo BEIJING (Reuters) -Multiple Chinese cities are adopting fresh COVID-19 curbs, from business halts to lockdowns, to rein in new infections, with the commercial hub of Shanghai bracing for another mass testing effort after finding a highly-transmissible Omicron subvariant. The tough curbs by local governments follow China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” policy of promptly stamping out all outbreaks at a time when much of the world co-exists with the virus. China has said curbs must be as targeted as possible to reduce damage to the world’s No. 2 economy, after this year’s majo… Continue reading “Shanghai plans more COVID testing amid fresh curbs across China”

Vietnam’s leading dairy company Vinamilk commits to sustainable development with “Green farm” – the ecological dairy farm system at Global Dairy Congress

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, July 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — At the 15thGlobal Dairy Congress held from June 14-16 in France, Vinamilk, representative of Vietnam’s dairy industry, shared about sustainable development direction with Vinamilk Green Farm model and the green value chain.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: https://www.prnasia.com/mnr/Vinamilk_202206.shtml

Vinamilk's CMO presented at Global Dairy Congress

Coming from Southeast Asia, a region with limited advantages in dairy farming, thus the topic of “Green Farm – Vietnam and South East Asia’s next big step towards sustainability in dairy sector” from Vinamilk received much attention from representatives of other countries at the conference.

“Sustainable development is not just a destination, but a requisite journey that we destined to move forward. Preserving and initiating sustainable values have enable Vinamilk to create and bring to customers products that are not only nutritious but also friendly to the environment” Nguyen Quang Tri, Vinamilk’s CMO, shared with the audience.

Having built the Vinamilk Green Farm during the last two years despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vinamilk’s endeavor demonstrates the brand’s strong commitment in implementing sustainable development strategies.

“I’ve learned a lot about the Green Farm concept during this conference and I’m very impressed that Vinamilk is clearly a world class company. It’s doing things which are among the best in the world available today and I wonder when every farm in Vietnam and Asia will become a green farm because I think that it’s a great concept,” Mr. Richard Hall – Chairman of Global Dairy Congress commented on Vinamilk’s sharing.

Green landscape at Vinamilk Green Farms

Vinamilk Green Farm – a model of sustainable dairy farm development adapting to local natural conditions with regenerative farming techniques, is developed by Vinamilk following 3 major pillars:

  • Selective sourcing: The 3 Green farms are situated in 3 selective regions of Vietnam, where cow herbs are purebred imported and their feed is meeting GlobalG.A.P standard. These 3 farms are strategically connected to nearby factories to preserve the freshness and quality of raw milk during transportation.
  • Adopting regenerative farming practices to minimize the impact on the environment and communities, such as: utilizing renewable energy, preserve soil & water resources, reduce methane emissions and orders by atomic carbon,…
  • Sustainable practices with innovative technologies throughout the whole process, from breeding to production in order to ensure product quality, animal welfare and environmental goals.

Additionally, the farms and factories in the production chain have created sustainable values for the community, including employment for thousands of locals, improving the laborer skills through training and increased access to modern technology.

The Green Farms also drive local economic development through sustainable agriculture, specifically by purchasing corn and grass for cow feed from local farmers and supporting them by providing organic fertilizers, which plays a significant role in improving their household income.

Furthermore, Vinamilk also gives trainings and encourages farmers to practice sustainable farming methods that compliance with Global G.A.P standard.

Vinamilk has set sustainable development as one of four criteria in its 2022-2026 development strategies to participate in realizing Vietnam’s “Net-Zero” commitment by 2050 as outlined at COP26.

About Vinamilk:

Founded in 1976, Vinamilk is the leading dairy company in Vietnam which is listed among Top 40 largest nutrition companies in the world by revenue and Top 10 of the world’s most valuable dairy brands. Vinamilk’s production and processing units include 16 factories and 14 dairy farms in Vietnam and overseas. Its products have been exported to over 57 countries globally.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1843989/GDDH_MKT_chia_s__v____nh_h__ng_ph_t_tri_n_b_n_v_ng_v_i_m__h_nh_Trang_tr_i_sinh_th_i_Vinamilk_Green_F.jpg
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Vinamilk, la principale entreprise laitière du Vietnam, s’engage en faveur du développement durable avec « Green farm », le système de ferme laitière écologique, lors du Congrès mondial de l’industrie laitière

HÔ CHI MINH-VILLE, Vietnam, 11 juillet 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lors du 15e Congrès mondial de l’industrie laitière, qui s’est tenu du 14 au 16 juin en France, Vinamilk, représentant de l’industrie laitière vietnamienne, a partagé la direction du développement durable avec le modèle de la ferme verte Vinamilk et la chaîne de valeur verte.

Pour consulter le communiqué de presse multimédia, veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-après : https://www.prnasia.com/mnr/Vinamilk_202206.shtml

Vinamilk's CMO presented at Global Dairy Congress

Venant de l’Asie du Sud-Est, une région aux avantages limités en matière de production laitière, le sujet « Green Farm – Vietnam and South East Asia’s next big step towards sustainability in dairy sector » de Vinamilk a donc suscité beaucoup d’attention de la part des représentants des autres pays présents à la conférence.

« Le développement durable n’est pas seulement une destination, mais un voyage nécessaire que nous destinons à l’avenir. La préservation et la mise en place de valeurs durables ont permis à Vinamilk de créer et de proposer à ses clients des produits non seulement nutritifs mais aussi respectueux de l’environnement », a déclaré Nguyen Quang Tri, CMO de Vinamilk, à l’assistance.

Ayant construit la ferme verte de Vinamilk au cours des deux dernières années malgré les défis posés par la pandémie de COVID-19, l’effort de Vinamilk démontre l’engagement fort de la marque dans la mise en œuvre de stratégies de développement durable.

« J’ai beaucoup appris sur le concept de la ferme verte au cours de cette conférence et je suis très impressionné par le fait que Vinamilk soit clairement une entreprise de classe mondiale. Elle fait des choses qui sont parmi les meilleures au monde aujourd’hui et je me demande quand chaque ferme au Vietnam et en Asie deviendra une ferme verte parce que je pense que c’est un grand concept », a commenté M. Richard Hall, président du Congrès mondial de l’industrie laitière, à propos de la participation de Vinamilk.

Green landscape at Vinamilk Green Farms

Vinamilk Green Farm, un modèle de développement durable d’une ferme laitière s’adaptant aux conditions naturelles locales grâce à des techniques agricoles régénératrices, est développé par Vinamilk selon 3 piliers majeurs :

  • Approvisionnement sélectif : Les 3 fermes vertes sont situées dans 3 régions sélectionnées du Vietnam, où les herbes des vaches sont importées en race pure et leur alimentation est conforme à la norme G.A.P. mondiale. Ces 3 fermes sont stratégiquement reliées aux usines voisines afin de préserver la fraîcheur et la qualité du lait cru pendant le transport.
  • Adopter des pratiques agricoles régénératrices pour minimiser l’impact sur l’environnement et les communautés, telles que : l’utilisation d’énergies renouvelables, la préservation des sols et des ressources en eau, la réduction des émissions de méthane et des commandes par carbone atomique, …
  • Des pratiques durables avec des technologies innovantes tout au long du processus, de l’élevage à la production, afin de garantir la qualité des produits, le bien-être des animaux et les objectifs environnementaux.

De plus, les fermes et les usines de la chaîne de production ont créé des valeurs durables pour la communauté, notamment en créant des emplois pour des milliers de personnes, en améliorant les compétences des travailleurs grâce à la formation et en facilitant l’accès aux technologies modernes.

Les fermes vertes favorisent également le développement économique local par le biais de l’agriculture durable, notamment en achetant du maïs et de l’herbe pour l’alimentation des vaches auprès des agriculteurs locaux et en les soutenant par la fourniture d’engrais organiques, ce qui joue un rôle important dans l’amélioration du revenu des ménages.

En outre, Vinamilk dispense également des formations et encourage les agriculteurs à pratiquer des méthodes d’agriculture durable conformes à la norme G.A.P. mondiale.

Vinamilk a fait du développement durable l’un des quatre critères de ses stratégies de développement pour la période 2022-2026, afin de participer à la réalisation de l’engagement « Net-Zero » du Vietnam d’ici 2050, comme indiqué lors de la COP26.

À propos de Vinamilk :

Fondée en 1976, Vinamilk est la première entreprise laitière du Vietnam. Elle figure parmi les 40 plus grandes entreprises de nutrition du monde en termes de revenus et parmi les 10 marques de produits laitiers ayant le plus de valeur au monde. Les unités de production et de transformation de Vinamilk comprennent 16 usines et 14 fermes laitières au Vietnam et à l’étranger. Ses produits ont été exportés vers plus de 57 pays dans le monde.

Photo : https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1843989/GDDH_MKT_chia_s__v____nh_h__ng_ph_t_tri_n_b_n_v_ng_v_i_m__h_nh_Trang_tr_i_sinh_th_i_Vinamilk_Green_F.jpg
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In Spain, Culture Battle Rages over Store Signs

The red on beige sign outside La Torre shop advertises the kind of underwear earlier generations might have worn, mostly knickerbockers and girdles.

The shop — known as The Tower in English — has been a standard in Barcelona for more than 120 years, preserving a glimpse into the city's past.

La Torre has withstood the relentless march of Starbucks, McDonald’s, and other international corporate chains which, critics say, have eaten up the souls of downtowns. Other period shops, cinemas or libraries have not been so fortunate and have been forced to close.

Campaigners in Spain are determined to safeguard a form of heritage which they say is increasingly under threat: the shop signs which advertise small businesses often run by families.

Described as the “Indiana Jones of the Lost Shop Signs” by the Spanish newspaper ABC, they advocate for everything from the Art Deco cinema signs, old-fashioned flashing Buy Easy signs and the ornate golden shoe shop signs.

The commercial signs outside shops that have long shaped the identity of cities, towns and villages are a part of our past, said volunteers from the Iberian Network in Defense of Graphic Heritage, a collective of about 50 projects across Spain.

Heritage

To most people, heritage sums up the idea of castles, priceless paintings, and royal jewels. But these campaigners contend that the urban landscape which most people inhabit every day is as much a part of our treasured past too.

Heritage legislation in Spain protects everything from cathedrals to castles to bullfighting but not shop signs – so far. So, campaigners must first convince local councils to protect these symbols of everyday life.

“We are against nostalgia because it says that the past is better than the present or the future. We want to preserve these shop signs because they represent something from the past that we can use to learn about for the future,” Alberto Nanclares, of the Iberian Network, told VOA in an interview.

Nanclares said the organization began in 2014 after the then government abolished a law which guaranteed cheap rents to companies, driving many small shops out of business. He said they plan to open a museum to show off the signs they have saved.

“It should be very popular because it will attract designers, architects, elderly people who want to see the past and people who want to take their grandparents to see the place where they grew up,” he added.

Laura Asensio is a graphic designer who has been working for an organization called Valladolid with Character. They hope to stop Valladolid, a northern Spanish city, from becoming a bland version of many other cities across Europe.

Volunteers are mapping out the old shop signs which have been saved or at risk from being lost.

Asensio said she hopes to convince the city council to change local laws to preserve this part of the city's heritage. A book will be published with photographs in December detailing this part of the city life for future generations.

“The reason we started this organization is to stop shop signs from being lost to globalization. All over Europe, city centers are being dominated by McDonalds, Zara, or Burger King,” she told VOA.

Laura Arribas, an interior designer, and member of the Iberian Network, said younger people may not appreciate the value of the architectural heritage of their own cities.

“But if you don't value traditions and distinctiveness of your cities then Madrid ends up looking much like Barcelona or London with the same chains springing up due to globalization,” she told VOA from her home in Madrid. “We are not against globalization, but the architectural heritage brings value to your city because it makes it different to other places which is important for tourism and the quality of life.”

Source: Voice of America

New Coronavirus Mutant Raises Concerns in India and Beyond

The quickly changing coronavirus has spawned yet another super contagious omicron mutant that’s worrying scientists as it gains ground in India and pops up in numerous other countries, including the United States.

Scientists say the variant — called BA.2.75 — may be able to spread rapidly and get around immunity from vaccines and previous infection. It’s unclear whether it could cause more serious disease than other omicron variants, including the globally prominent BA.5.

“It’s still really early on for us to draw too many conclusions,” said Matthew Binnicker, director of clinical virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “But it does look like, especially in India, the rates of transmission are showing kind of that exponential increase.” Whether it will outcompete BA.5, he said, is yet to be determined.

Still, the fact that it has already been detected in many parts of the world even with lower levels of viral surveillance “is an early indication it is spreading,” said Shishi Luo, head of infectious diseases for Helix, a company that supplies viral sequencing information to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest mutant has been spotted in several distant states in India and appears to be spreading faster than other variants there, said Lipi Thukral, a scientist at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi. It’s also been detected in about 10 other countries, including Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. Two cases were recently identified on the West Coast of the U.S., and Helix identified a third U.S. case last week.

Fueling experts’ concerns are a large number of mutations separating this new variant from omicron predecessors. Some of those mutations are in areas that relate to the spike protein and could allow the virus to bind onto cells more efficiently, Binnicker said.

Another concern is that the genetic tweaks may make it easier for the virus to skirt past antibodies — protective proteins made by the body in response to a vaccine or infection from an earlier variant.

But experts say vaccines and boosters are still the best defense against severe COVID-19. In the fall it’s likely the U.S. will see updated formulations of the vaccine being developed that target more recent omicron strains.

“Some may say, ‘Well, vaccination and boosting hasn’t prevented people from getting infected.’ And, yes, that is true,” he said. “But what we have seen is that the rates of people ending up in the hospital and dying have significantly decreased. As more people have been vaccinated, boosted or naturally infected, we are starting to see the background levels of immunity worldwide creep up.”

It may take several weeks to get a sense of whether the latest omicron mutant may affect the trajectory of the pandemic. Meanwhile Dr. Gagandeep Kang, who studies viruses at India’s Christian Medical College in Vellore, said the growing concern over the variant underlines the need for more sustained efforts to track and trace viruses that combine genetic efforts with real world information about who is getting sick and how badly. “It is important that surveillance isn’t a start-stop strategy,” she said.

Luo said BA.2.75 is another reminder that the coronavirus is continually evolving — and spreading.

“We would like to return to pre-pandemic life, but we still need to be careful,” she said. “We need to accept that we’re now living with a higher level of risk than we used to.”

Source: Voice of America