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Malawian president appoints Michael Usi as new Vice President

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Malawian president appoints Michael Usi as new Vice President

Lilongwe, June 21 (IANS) Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed Michael Usi as the country’s Vice President, replacing Saulos Chilima who died in a plane crash on June 10.

The President announced on Thursday through Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba, adding that the new Vice President will be sworn in on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Usi was the Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change until he was appointed Vice President.

He is also the Vice President of the United Transformation Movement, a political party that Chilima founded and led as President.

Born in 1968, Usi is known for his significant contributions to the entertainment industry as an actor, playwright, and filmmaker. He is also known for his development work in Malawi.

In addition to his entertainment career, Usi has extensive experience with non-governmental organisations, focusing on community projects in health, education, and economic development.

Throughout his career, Usi has been an advocate for social justice, education, and community empowerment, earning him widespread respect and popularity among Malawians.

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His appointment is reportedly seen as a strategic move to harness his charisma and experience to address the nation’s challenges and promote development initiatives.

–IANS

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Death toll rises to 14 after flash flood in China

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Death toll rises to 14 after flash flood in China

Death toll rises to 14 after flash flood in China

Chengdu, July 22 (IANS) Rescue workers have found the bodies of 14 people following a rain-triggered flash flood in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, with 25 others still missing, local authorities said on Monday evening.

Rescue personnel continue to search for those who remain missing, aided by drones, sniffer dogs and life detector equipment, according to the local disaster relief headquarters.

The disaster occurred at approximately 2:30 am Saturday, when heavy rain led to the flash flooding of a local river, seriously damaging over 40 houses in Xinhua Village, which is located in Ya’an City’s Hanyuan County.

Fifteen people sustained injuries and were sent to nearby hospitals, with none in life-threatening danger. Six have already been discharged following treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

Electricity has been returned to more than 5,000 households in the flooded area, and a road leading to the village has been restored after it was destroyed by the flash flood, officials have said.

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–IANS

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German exports to non-EU countries down 2.6 per cent in June

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German exports to non-EU countries down 2.6 per cent in June

German exports to non-EU countries down 2.6 per cent in June

Berlin, July 22 (IANS) German exports to countries outside the European Union (EU) continued to fall in June, declining by 2.6 per cent month-on-month to 58 billion euros (63.2 billion US dollars), according to the country’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Monday.

Compared with a year ago, the decrease in June reached 4.5 per cent, Destatis reported. Exports to Germany’s most important trading partners, including the United States and China, recorded sharp declines of 6.2 per cent and 9.9 percent year-on-year, respectively.

These figures reflect a recent survey among businesses conducted by the IFO Institute for Economic Research, which indicated that sentiment in the German export industry deteriorated slightly in June, with expectations turning negative once again.

“No clear direction is currently emerging,” said IFO expert Klaus Wohlrabe, adding that the country’s export economy still needs significant improvement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dirk Jandura, president of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), remarked earlier this month that the weakness of German foreign trade is “largely home-made.” He urged Germany to take a leading role in promoting free trade, warning that without such action, “nothing will happen here in the future.”

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Jandura also cautioned against the European Commission’s tariffs on electric cars imported from China, saying that these measures are not in Germany’s or Europe’s interests. “We must accept international competition rather than isolate ourselves from it,” he added.

–IANS

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25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

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25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

Kathmandu, July 22 (IANS) Twenty-five bodies of the passengers have been recovered while 37 others have remained missing since their buses were swept away into a river by landslides on July 12, a local official said on Monday.

The number of people traveling on the buses was first put at 65, but revised to 62 after verification.

“While three passengers managed to swim out of the river, the dead bodies of 25 have been recovered,” said Indradev Yadav, chief district officer of Chitwan, Xinhua news agency reported.

The whereabouts of the other people and the two buses are still unknown, Yadav told Xinhua, adding that Nepali security forces and a 12-member Indian team are continuing the search operation.

Around 130 people have been killed in rain-triggered incidents in Nepal since the monsoon season started on June 10, according to Nepal Police.

–IANS

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Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

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Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

Jakarta, July 22 (IANS) Indonesia has welcomed a new baby Sumatran orangutan, born at Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Jantho Nature Reserve in the Aceh province.

“The yet-to-be-named female baby was born to Mama Wenda and is in good health,” head of the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Ujang Wisnu Barata, said on Monday.

The baby orangutan is believed to be about two weeks old, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jantho Nature Reserve, home to a variety of wildlife, has seen its seventh orangutan birth since the reintroduction program began in 2011. ■

–IANS

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Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

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Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

Hanoi, July 22 (IANS) Vietnam’s cargo output through seaports is expected to reach 1.2-1.4 billion tons by 2030, according to the country’s detailed planning of seaports, harbours and water areas towards 2050 submitted by the Ministry of Transport.

It is forecast that the number of domestic and international passengers passing through the seaports by 2030 will be 17 to 19 million, Vietnam News Agency reported Monday.

The investment capital need for the seaport system by 2030 will be about 351.5 billion Vietnamese dong (13.8 million US dollars), including 72.8 billion dong (2.8 million dollars) for public maritime infrastructure and 278.7 billion dong (11 million dollars) for ports, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country’s cargo output through seaports in the first five months of this year was estimated at over 346 million tonnes, increasing by 17 per cent year on year, said Vietnam Maritime Administration.

–IANS

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