16 AFRICA Wednesday, July 19 2017 | NEW ERA alala meets er ‘Chibok eroes’ in Nigeria ABUJA Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on Monday called for a “state of emergency for education” in Nigeria, as she visited the country and met some of the Chibok schoolgirls whose cause she championed. The 20-year-old global education campaigner made the suggestion at a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja. Nigeria has some 10.5 million children out of school – the most in the world – and 60 percent of them are girls, according to the UN children’s fund, Unicef. Many of them are in the country’s northeast, where the Boko Haram insurgency has devastated education in the last nine years, damaging or destroying classrooms and schools. Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in her native Pakistan in 2012 for insisting girls should go to school, told reporters: “I highlighted a few issues. The first was to ask the government to declare a state of emergency for education, because the education of the Nigerian girls and boys is really important. “The federal government, state government and local government should all be united for this. Secondly, the spending should be made public and thirdly, the Child Rights Act should be implemented in all states.” Yousafzai said there was a “positive response” to the suggestion from Osinbajo, who has been standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari since he left on open-ended medical leave in early May. The most high-profile symbols of the attack on girls’ education are the more than 200 students,who were abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the remote town of Chibok in April 2014. Yousafzai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, joined politicians, celebrities and campaigners from around the world to support the online #BringBackOurGirls movement to demand their release. On a previous visit to Nigeria in July 2014, she urged the then-president Goodluck Jonathan to meet the girls’ parents. On the first anniversary, she called the missing girls “my brave sisters” and wrote in an open letter that she could not wait to meet and hug them. “You are my Photo: Nampa/AFP On a mission... Pakistani child rights activist Malala Yousafzai (left) shakes hands with Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo as she arrives for a courtesy visit in Abuja on July 17. Yousafzai has called for a “state of emergency for education” in Nigeria and met some of the Chibok schoolgirls whose cause she championed. heroes,” she said. A total of 106 of the kidnapped girls have been released, rescued or escaped after more than three years in captivity, while 113 are still being held. Yousafzai said she was “very happy” to see some of the girls, who are staying at a government-run facility in Abuja. “I’m really excited to see them going back to their homes and to their families and continuing their education,” she added. “But I hope the other girls who are still under abduction of Boko Haram are released.” – Nampa/AFP Eight Malian soldiers killed in ambush The Road Fund Administration (RFA) is a statutory organization, established under Act 18 of 1999 to manage the Road User Charging System (RUCS) with a view to secure funding required to achieve a safe and efficient road network in Namibia. In its quest to fulfil its fiduciary responsibilities towards the road network, the RFA herewith invites applications from suitably qualified, experienced and professional persons for the following position: DUTY STATION: Windhoek Purpose of the position: VACANCY GOVERNANCE AND LEGAL OFFICER PATTERSON JOB GRADE – C4 To manage the office of the Company Secretary/Legal Advisor. 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Enquiries: Ms. Lydia Mpinge on 061- 433 3038 Closing Date for applications: Friday, 28 th July 2017 at 17h00 All applications should be addressed to the Human Capital Executive by the date and time shown above, and should be accompanied by a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae, employment reference and particulars of the applicant’s current/previous employment. Please take note, only short listed candidates will be notified. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be considered. JOHANNESBURG Islamist extremists are believed to be behind an ambush which killed eight Malian soldiers in the West African nation’s desert north. The bodies of the soldiers were discovered on Monday. They went missing a week ago after their convoy was attacked on the road between the towns of Gao and Menaka, the Voice of America (VOA) reported. “They were killed in the fighting last week. There are eight of them. I have two nephews who were killed,” said Badian Ag Hamatou, a member of parliament from Menaka. “They were encircled by the jihadists.” A team sent to the scene had identified the bodies of the missing soldiers who were subsequently buried where they were found. Malian soldiers are regularly targeted in attacks by Islamist groups, some of them with links to Al Qaeda. In 2012 extremists seized northern Mali but were later driven back by French-led military intervention in 2013. However, they remain active despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping mission and a 4,000-troop cross-border French operation to stamp them out. Leaders of five countries in West Africa’s Sahel region launched a multinational force this month with the primary mission of tackling the Islamist militants, who have spread their violence beyond Mali’s borders to neighbouring states. The new regional anti-terror force includes as many as 5,000 soldiers, with one battalion from each of the G5 Sahel countries, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. France contributed million to the new force as well as contributing 70 vehicles. The European Union (EU) pledged another million, while Paris is seeking additional funding from partners, including Germany and the United States. At the beginning of the month an Al Qaeda-linked group in Mali, Nusrat Al Islam wal Muslimeen, released a video proving that South African hostage Stephen McGowan, and six other foreign hostages, were still alive, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. The video showed McGowan, Elliot Kenneth Arthur of Australia, Iulian Ghergut of Romania, Beatrice Stockly of Switzerland, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez of Colombia and Sophie Petronin of France. The South African has remained in captivity since June 2015 despite the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate with the militants for his release. Gift of the Giver’s chairman Imtiaaz Suliman said the Al Qaeda-linked group had demanded millions of rand for McGowan’s release, a sum the group could not afford. – Nampa/ANA
Wednesday, July 19 2017 | NEW ERA WORLD 17 US health care reform collapses as two more Republicans say no WASHINGTON Two more US Republican senators announced their opposition Monday to their party’s efforts to revamp Obamacare, derailing the controversial legislation in its current form and potentially dealing a monumental setback to President Donald Trump. Republican leaders are desperate for a major legislative victory this year – and keen to fulfil Trump’s campaign pledge to dismantle the 2010 health care reforms of his predecessor Barack Obama, formally called the Affordable Care Act. B u t t h e y h a d no votes to spare. Republicans control 52 of the chamber’s 100 seats. Democrats are united against the controversial legislation, while Republicans Susan Collins and Rand Paul declared their opposition last week. So when Senate conservatives Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announced late Monday they could not support the bill, the news sent shockwaves across Washington. “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran – who faced considerable opposition at home in Kansas to the measure – said in a statement, adding that the new bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs.” For Lee, “in addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.” Their defections mean that the bill has no chance of even getting a vote on the Senate floor unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decides to make significant changes to woo skeptics back into the fold. “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” Trump tweeted after Lee and Moran made their opposition known. In a statement McConnell acknowledged “regretfully” that his effort had failed. But he wasn’t giving up. “So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up ... a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period,” he said, without setting a date. “Inaction is not an option,” added a White House spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We look forward to Congress continuing to work toward a bill the president can sign to end the Obamacare nightmare.” O v e r t h e w e e k e n d , McConnell delayed a vote to proceed on the bill, after Senator John McCain, 80, underwent surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye and said he would recuperate at home in Arizona for at least a week. But McCain’s absence is now a moot point. Several Republicans had already expressed concern that the new bill could slash funding for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and the disabled. The new bill would gradually roll back the program, a move that some Republicans warn could lead to millions losing coverage. The latest defections also show that conservatives are frustrated that the new bill does not repeal the Obamacare taxes. Democratic reaction was swift. This failure is proof “that the core of this bill is unworkable,” said top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer. Republicans should instead “start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our health care system.” Republican leaders are eager to notch a major victory for Trump in Congress as he nears the sixmonth mark of his presidency. Congress could also address tax reform and infrastructure – but the Senate must first deal with a logjam dreammore With low admin fees and tax-free interest for individuals, at NamPost Savings Bank, you’ll always save more. With our Fixed Term Deposit periods ranging from 3 - 12 months, you have more choices to let your money grow. The best part is, you can make top-ups whenever. Visit your nearest Post Office today and find out how you can save more. NamPost Savings Bank Tel: 061 201 3115/3080/3214 Fax: 061 235 526 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.nampost.com.na of urgent business, including whether to raise the federal borrowing limit. Some fear that repealing Obamacare could adversely impact millions of Americans on Medicaid, or make health costs soar for people with preexisting health conditions. There is little institutional support for the bill, and even less for an amendment introduced by Senator Ted Cruz that would allow insurers to offer barebones plans that do not comply with Obamacare’s coverage requirements. The chief executives of America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue We Deliver More. Cross Blue Shield Association called it “simply unworkable in any form.” A Post poll released Sunday showed Americans preferred Obamacare to the Republican plan by 50 percent to 24 percent. Despite the Republican setback, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said his Republican colleagues will not easily give up. “There’s a couple wheels off the bus right now,” Murphy told MSNBC after the announcement from Lee and Moran. But “they are not going to give up on it,” he added. – Nampa/AFP With a Fixed Term Deposit account that offers you guaranteed returns.