Daily Archives: January 2, 2019

Chinese university names Seychellois as special expert for coconut carving

Seychellois Donatien Freminot has been appointed as special foreign expert of Hainan Provincial Arts and Crafts Society for coconut carving.

For the next five years, Freminot can represent the Chinese university anywhere in the world.

Freminot’s appointment by the Qiongtai Normal University comes after participating in a one-week exhibition at the university in the city of Haikou on Hainan Island in South China.

The exhibition was organized as part of a twinning programme between Victoria � the capital city of the Seychelles – and the city of Haikou. Freminot, who was displaying around 20 pieces of his carvings, also received a certificate as Seychelles’ ambassador for coconut carving arts exchange.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

I was not expecting this because I followed a course by the university way back in 1980, when I started to get interested in carving, especially coconut shells. The skill acquired is one which I hope to relate to others, especially the younger generation so that they too can become ambassadors of what they do, said the Freminot.

With nearly 40 years’ experience in wood and coconut shell carving, the arts teacher said that his Chinese counterparts were impressed with his art works.

They are so advanced in coconut carving and have factories producing such artifacts. And I think we have so much to learn. We too can produce our own, instead of importing artifacts and other products made from coconut shell, added Freminot.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

Raw material is not an issue as coconut trees grows in abundance in Seychelles � a group of 115 islands in the western of the Indian Ocean. What is needed is for those with an interest to persevere and develop themselves, said Freminot, who is prepared to share his expertise.

The mayor of Victoria, David Andre, said Freminot was chosen by his office to represent Seychelles at the exhibition as he has in the past had training in coconut carving at the same university.

On behalf of the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design, Andre signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Qiongtai Normal University.

The MoU will include exchange in sharing of ideas and expertise in arts between students and teachers of the two institutions, said Andre, adding that it is an honour for Seychelles to not only sign an MoU with the university but also to have a Seychellois artist as a special representative of a foreign university, to represent the university worldwide.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

The coconut shell carving expert said that he is now better equipped to train students in different arts subjects from handicrafts, textile, fashion, fine arts among others.

Also during the exhibition I got the chance to network with well-known Chinese coconut carving artists, as well as interact with students of the university, said Freminot, adding that this will benefit him in the works he plans to do with the Institute of Art and Design.

Freminot said his plans for the future is to continue to sell his creations at different local outlets, and organizing a local exhibition is also a possibility as well as replanting his coconut plantation which was recently destroyed by fire.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Chinese university names Seychellois as special expert for coconut carving

Seychellois Donatien Freminot has been appointed as special foreign expert of Hainan Provincial Arts and Crafts Society for coconut carving.

For the next five years, Freminot can represent the Chinese university anywhere in the world.

Freminot’s appointment by the Qiongtai Normal University comes after participating in a one-week exhibition at the university in the city of Haikou on Hainan Island in South China.

The exhibition was organized as part of a twinning programme between Victoria � the capital city of the Seychelles – and the city of Haikou. Freminot, who was displaying around 20 pieces of his carvings, also received a certificate as Seychelles’ ambassador for coconut carving arts exchange.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

I was not expecting this because I followed a course by the university way back in 1980, when I started to get interested in carving, especially coconut shells. The skill acquired is one which I hope to relate to others, especially the younger generation so that they too can become ambassadors of what they do, said the Freminot.

With nearly 40 years’ experience in wood and coconut shell carving, the arts teacher said that his Chinese counterparts were impressed with his art works.

They are so advanced in coconut carving and have factories producing such artifacts. And I think we have so much to learn. We too can produce our own, instead of importing artifacts and other products made from coconut shell, added Freminot.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

Raw material is not an issue as coconut trees grows in abundance in Seychelles � a group of 115 islands in the western of the Indian Ocean. What is needed is for those with an interest to persevere and develop themselves, said Freminot, who is prepared to share his expertise.

The mayor of Victoria, David Andre, said Freminot was chosen by his office to represent Seychelles at the exhibition as he has in the past had training in coconut carving at the same university.

On behalf of the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design, Andre signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Qiongtai Normal University.

The MoU will include exchange in sharing of ideas and expertise in arts between students and teachers of the two institutions, said Andre, adding that it is an honour for Seychelles to not only sign an MoU with the university but also to have a Seychellois artist as a special representative of a foreign university, to represent the university worldwide.

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

The coconut shell carving expert said that he is now better equipped to train students in different arts subjects from handicrafts, textile, fashion, fine arts among others.

Also during the exhibition I got the chance to network with well-known Chinese coconut carving artists, as well as interact with students of the university, said Freminot, adding that this will benefit him in the works he plans to do with the Institute of Art and Design.

Freminot said his plans for the future is to continue to sell his creations at different local outlets, and organizing a local exhibition is also a possibility as well as replanting his coconut plantation which was recently destroyed by fire.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

BOAT CAPSIZE KILLS AT LEAST 12 IN NORTHERN ETHIOPIA

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, At least 12 people were killed after a boat capsized Monday night, in Tana Lake, in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state, state media reported, on Tuesday.

It was not clear how many people were on board the boat, which also carried goods, Amhara Mass Media Agency, (AMMA), said.

Police blamed overloading for the tragedy, AMMA said.

Rescue crew are searching for possible survivors and retrieving drown victims on Ethiopia’s largest lake, police said.

Source: Nam News Network

Trump ‘looks forward’ to new meeting with N.Korea’s Kim

President Donald Trump is looking forward to another summit with Kim Jong Un, he said Tuesday, after the North Korean leader warned Pyongyang could change its approach to nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

“I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!” Trump said in a brief tweet.

The two leaders made global headlines with an unprecedented summit in Singapore in June, where they signed a vaguely-worded pledge on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

But progress has since stalled with the two sides disagreeing over what the declaration means, and the pace of US-North Korean negotiations has slowed, with meetings and visits cancelled at short notice.

The North is demanding relief from the multiple sanctions imposed on it over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and has condemned US insistence on its nuclear disarmament as “gangster-like.”

Speculation of a second Trump-Kim summit has ebbed and flowed, with the US president saying that he hoped it would take place early this year.

But a proposed visit by Kim to Seoul before the end of December did not materialize.

Culminating in late 2017, the North has carried out six atomic blasts and launched rockets capable of reaching the entire US mainland, but has now carried out no such tests for more than a year.

In his New Year speech Kim called for the sanctions to be eased, saying that the North had declared “we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them,” and urged the US to take “corresponding practical actions.”

If Washington instead continues with the measures, he added, “we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state.”

He was willing to meet Trump at any time, he said.

Kim’s remarks were “apparently designed to revive the momentum of the negotiations,” South Korea’s centrist Hankook Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial Wednesday.

But he was also “signalling that he would never be pushed around”, it added.

Joshua Pollack of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies tweeted that Kim was insisting “the onus is now on the US to deliver”.

“The bottom line: Kim remains dug into the same positions on nuclear diplomacy he has occupied over the last six months,” he added.

– Leather armchair –

Kim delivered his speech sitting in a leather armchair in a book-lined office with a patterned blue carpet, presented as being at the headquarters of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

Large paintings of Kim’s predecessors, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, looked on and a white phone lay on the side table next to Kim’s chair.

It was a marked departure from previous New Year speeches — always a key moment in the North Korean political calendar — which Kim has usually delivered much more formally, standing at a podium.

One thing that was different from past speeches by the North Korean leader was that it was “a relaxed, indoor setting, with him sitting in a comfortable chair rather than standing and speaking in a huge square,” the Korea Times said.

“It seems North Korea was once again trying to establish a new identity as a normal country on the global stage and distance itself from the image of the impoverished authoritarian state that the rest of the world associates it with.”

– Southern comfort –

Kim dedicated most of his 30-minute speech to calls to shore up the nation’s moribund economy and curb chronic power shortage — a goal impossible to achieve without lifting of the sanctions.

South Korea — a key US ally in Asia and the North’s capitalist neighbor — praised Kim’s speech, calling it a reaffirmation of Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearisation.

Seoul and Washington have at times pursued divergent approaches to the Pyongyang, with the South pushing cross-border co-operation projects, including connecting railways and roads across the heavily-fortified border and upgrading the North’s tattered infrastructure.

But such plans also require some of the sanctions to be lifted.

The South’s dovish President Moon Jae-in, who played a role of peace broker between the two mercurial leaders, met Kim three times last year — twice at the border truce village of Panmunjom and once in Pyongyang.

Kim sent Moon a message on Sunday, vowing to meet him “frequently” to discuss denuclearisation.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

In Yemen, World’s Worst Cholera Outbreak Traced to Eastern Africa

LONDON Scientists have found that a strain of cholera causing an epidemic in Yemen � the worst in recorded history � came from eastern Africa and was probably borne into Yemen by migrants.

Using genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at Britain’s Wellcome Sanger Institute and France’s Institut Pasteur also said they should now be better able to estimate the risk of future cholera outbreaks in regions like Yemen, giving health authorities more time to intervene.

“Knowing how cholera moves globally gives us the opportunity to better prepare for future outbreaks,” said Nick Thomson, a professor at Sanger and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who co-led the work.

Nearly four years of war between a Saudi-led coalition and the Iranian-aligned Houthi group have crippled health care and sanitation systems in Yemen, where some 1.2 million suspected cholera cases have been reported since 2017, with 2,515 deaths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in October that the outbreak is accelerating again with roughly 10,000 suspected cases now reported per week, double the average rate for the first eight months of 2018.

To explore the origins of the outbreak, the Sanger and Pasteur team sequenced the genomes of cholera bacteria samples collected in Yemen and nearby areas.

They included samples from a Yemeni refugee center on the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border and 74 other cholera samples from South Asia, the Middle East, and eastern and central Africa.

The team, whose findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature, then compared these sequences to a global collection of more than 1,000 cholera samples and found that the strain causing the Yemen epidemic is related to one first seen in 2012 in South Asia that has spread globally.

However, the Yemeni strain did not arrive directly from South Asia, the scientists found, but was circulating and causing outbreaks in eastern Africa in 2013-14, prior to appearing in Yemen in 2016.

“Genomics enabled us to discover that the strain of cholera behind the devastating and ongoing epidemic in Yemen is likely linked to the migration of people from eastern Africa into Yemen,” said Thomson. He added, however, that from the samples available, the team was not able to pinpoint exactly which countries in eastern Africa the strain had come from.

Source: Voice of America