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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  2. <rss version="2.0">
  3. <channel>
  4. <title>Seychelles News Agency</title>
  5. <link></link>
  6. <description>Real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Seychelles news.</description>
  7. <language>en</language>
  8. <copyright>2019 Seychelles News Agency</copyright>
  11. <item>
  12. <title>Teachers in Seychelles to get new climate change curriculum guide focusing on island nation's situation</title>
  13. <link></link>
  14. <guid>10367</guid>
  15. <category>General</category>
  16. <pubDate>Sat, 19 Jan 2019 11:05:01 +0200</pubDate>
  17. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  18. <description><![CDATA[<p>A new climate change curriculum guide for teachers of primary five to secondary five classes which takes into account the situation for Seychelles will soon be introduced in schools.</p>
  19. <p>“The aim of the guide is to educate the population. For you to be able to educate the people on climate change, we need to start with the younger population,” said Betty Victor, the project manager for the Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) to climate change. </p>
  20. <p>As a small island developing state, Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, salt-water intrusion, flooding from heavy rains and coral bleaching. Therefore educating the public about the causes, impacts and actions needed to address climate change is a critical step. Many schools are already educating the students on the subject through science, geography and extracurricular programmes.</p>
  21. <p>The guide will provide ideas to teachers on how to integrate active and inquiry-based activities about climate change into different subjects in the curriculum. It will contain puzzle games, activities and worksheets on climate change-related topics, and a list of other resources, organisations and websites that would be useful to teachers.  </p>
  22. <p>A Seychellois consultant involved in the project, Terence Vel, said the guide will also contain pictures that will show vulnerable sites where the climate has impacted locally.</p>
  23. <p>“The pictures will be more interactive and during lessons, students will be more aware of the sites that are vulnerable and will be able to make a difference in their community to help reduce human interference,” said Vel.</p>
  24. <p>During the workshop, teachers were able to test some of the activities and provide feedback that will be incorporated into the final version, due for completion in February.</p>
  25. <table style="height: 64px;" width="628">
  26. <tbody>
  27. <tr>
  28. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  29. </tr>
  30. <tr>
  31. <td>A group of teachers were able to test some of the activities and provided feedback. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: <a href="">CC-BY</a></td>
  32. </tr>
  33. </tbody>
  34. </table>
  35. <p>“I am very happy that our consultants are consulting with teachers to have their input. It is not only something that we want to just drop with teachers at school. The output, in the end, will be something that the education sector has contributed towards,” said Victor, the project manager  </p>
  36. <p>A participant in the workshop, Veronica Souyanne, said that the guide will be a useful tool for teachers.</p>
  37. <p>“There are a lot of interactive pieces in the guide that will surely help to create awareness on climate change. As a teacher I am ready to make use of this guide in the subjects I teach,” she said.</p>
  38. <p>The project is being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). It is being financed by the Adaptation Fund. The Fund was established in 2001 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries parties to the Kyoto Protocol, that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. </p>]]></description>
  39. </item>
  41. <item>
  42. <title>Conversation with Alexia Amesbury, a human rights crusader in Seychelles</title>
  43. <link></link>
  44. <guid>10362</guid>
  45. <category>The Interview</category>
  46. <pubDate>Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:39:45 +0200</pubDate>
  47. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  48. <description><![CDATA[<p>Seychellois lawyer and politician Alexia Amesbury is aiming for a post on the soon to be set-up Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Committee.</p>
  49. <p>Amesbury, 67, was the first Seychellois woman to contest a presidential election in Seychelles in 2015 after setting up the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSD). She later joined the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) in a coalition to contest for the National Assembly election in 2016, where the opposition won the majority of seats. </p>
  50. <p>SNA caught up with Amesbury to learn more about her political career and her future plans.   </p>
  51. <p> </p>
  52. <p><strong><em>SNA: Tell us how and when did your interest in politics start?</em></strong></p>
  53. <p>AA: During 1991, I was in the United Kingdom (UK) doing my Master’s degree in Human Rights. It was there that for the first time I went into a library and was able to get access to the new 1979 constitution of Seychelles, approved through a referendum. I saw in the constitution that there were no fundamental human rights. There was only a preamble. I later stumbled across a leaflet derived from the then opposition party -- Parti Seselwa.</p>
  54. <p>The content of the leaflet triggered something in me politically. The idea of me going back to my country to give a helping hand never escaped me. I felt that I needed to help change the political scene, which was at the time a socialist one-party state. Feeling enthused I sat down and started preparing myself for the leap. The biggest way in was to have people listen to you.  My message and battle cry centred on human rights itself. I knew that this subject was going to tick man’s blood and get people thinking. I wanted to make the country better.</p>
  55. <p> </p>
  56. <p><strong><em>SNA: You have a background in human rights. Why didn’t you concentrate on helping set up a Human Rights Commission when you first return to Seychelles?</em></strong></p>
  57. <p>AA: At the time I never felt that the country was ready for it. In my opinion, I feel that a law must be as good as the person enforcing it. In that same angle, I have always felt that a commission is as credible as the people appointed to make it work. Unfortunately, we did not have the capable people at that time with appropriate know-how.</p>
  58. <p>When the new Human Rights Commission came into being last year, I thought that this one, I will be able to contribute to it. I applied for a post to be told later that I am an active political leader and the law governing the commission will not allow me the position I have sought for unless I resign as leader of my party and stay out of politics for one year.</p>
  59. <p>I took the next step and challenged the law. The part of the law that said that me being out of politics for one year is unjust and violated my rights to equal protection. In the meantime, I heard that there was a bigger challenge on the Committee on Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity. I withdraw my application from the commission and vied for a post as chairperson on the committee.</p>
  60. <p>The interesting thing is that as the case reached an end, I realised I had partly lost and partly won. What I did not expect is that now the President and the Attorney General have appealed against that part of the judgment. If the Court of Appeal says that me staying out of politics for one year before applying is constitutional, then I will go back to square one. It will mean that I have resigned from the party for nothing. I feel that this has been a vicious and a dirty game to get at me.</p>
  61. <p> </p>
  62. <p><strong><em>SNA: When you had to resign, was it difficult to choose between your political career and the Commission?</em></strong></p>
  63. <p>AA: The thing is I did not choose a political career to gain something out of it. Aside from the experience, I gained nothing from politics. In fact, the only thing I got was victimisation and bad mouthing. </p>
  64. <p>At the end of the day, it is not a matter of choice. Once you take the political route there is no getting out really and choosing does not become an option. Yet again, if the Court of Appeal rules that the one year is constitutional, it will leave the door open for me to get back as the leader of Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy.</p>
  65. <table style="height: 64px;" width="626">
  66. <tbody>
  67. <tr>
  68. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  69. </tr>
  70. <tr>
  71. <td>Amesbury was the first Seychellois woman to contest a presidential election in Seychelles in 2015. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  72. </tr>
  73. </tbody>
  74. </table>
  75. <p> </p>
  76. <p><strong><em>SNA: How do you see the whole aspect of human rights in the Seychelles given the recent cases of human trafficking and illegal foreign workers?</em></strong></p>
  77. <p>AA: I have given some advice in regards to the issue of foreign workers. I can tell this loud and clear that every employer in Seychelles is violating article 35 of the constitution which says that the state shall ensure that you get equal pay for equal work. We don’t have that in Seychelles. Expatriates are getting twice as much as the Seychellois.</p>
  78. <p>With regards to foreign workers, gruelling as it may sound, the state says that the minimum pay before tax is SCR 8,500, then why is it that foreign workers in the labour force are paying 15 percent on the minimum pay? At the end of the day who is the biggest human trafficker? It is the government itself. They put in place policies that allow these abuses to take place.</p>
  79. <p> </p>
  80. <p><strong><em>SNA: What importance do you think </em></strong><strong><em>the Committee on Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity has for a country like Seychelles?</em></strong></p>
  81. <p>AA: Again throughout my political campaign my passion and vision were to heal the nation from the ordeal of the past. The only way in my view that this could be made possible is if we take the approach of reconciliation, truth and national unity. The truth will set you free and through forgiveness, we can heal the nation. This has been in my manifesto.</p>
  82. <p><strong> </strong></p>
  83. <p><strong><em>SNA: Going back to your political party, why did you set it up and what have been the major achievements?</em></strong></p>
  84. <p>AA: Looking back at the political situation, I did not know if the Seychelles National Party (SNP) was going to contest the last election since they boycotted the previous one. So my idea was to give the people a choice if ever they did not want to vote for the party in power. I am proud of the achievements we have made as a political party. However, in order to know all about the achievements one needs to look at my manifesto. I have talked about decriminalization of the drug issue as it is a health problem.</p>
  85. <p>Today the government is giving methadone as part of a detox programme. Everyone now is talking about social justice and I have talked about poverty.  Today we have a secretariat for poverty. It has become a national issue. Daringly, these are the things I pushed forward even if it was still taboo. We have been a small party, but we have been able to move mountains.</p>
  86. <p> </p>
  87. <p><strong><em>SNA: Has it been easy for you as a woman to lead a political party? </em></strong></p>
  88. <p>AA: As a woman in politics I have had a lot of support. The greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of the people. We need to look at people as people, but not by their political affiliation. The good thing is that I have been able to learn what power can do to people. Power corrupts. People you think you know, that you have dealt with, as soon as they get to a position of power, they change dramatically. Today they are unrecognisable and they are the one stomping on you. I am seeing it and living through it.</p>
  89. <p><strong> </strong></p>
  90. <p><strong><em>SNA: Do you think that you leave your party in capable hands?</em></strong></p>
  91. <p>AA: Stepping down, I know that I leave the party in capable hands to continuously fight for democracy and justice. I know that the work we have done together, and the values the party stand for, will continue long after me. There will be new members coming forward too.</p>
  92. <p><strong> </strong></p>
  93. <p><strong><em>SNA: What about the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) coalition your party is part of?</em></strong></p>
  94. <p>AA: LDS was not made up by me as a person. It was a meeting of different political parties joined for a common objective. When we came together, it was not for us to stay together forever. It was to stay together until we have attained our objective and this was to remove Parti Lepep in power.  </p>]]></description>
  95. </item>
  97. <item>
  98. <title>UK PM May refuses to rule out 'no-deal' Brexit</title>
  99. <link></link>
  100. <guid>10364</guid>
  101. <category>General</category>
  102. <pubDate>Fri, 18 Jan 2019 12:30:00 +0200</pubDate>
  103. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  104. <description><![CDATA[<p>British Prime Minister Theresa May scrambled to put together a new Brexit strategy after MPs rejected her EU divorce deal, and insisted she could not rule out a potentially damaging "no-deal" split.</p>
  105. <p>The world's fifth-largest economy is in political turmoil and grasping for solutions that could smooth its planned departure from the bloc after 46 years just 10 weeks from now.</p>
  106. <p>Governments across Europe are triggering plans designed to avoid logjams at ports and airports when trade barriers go up should London fail to find a Plan B.</p>
  107. <p>The government held individual talks with MPs from rival parties after narrowly surviving a confidence vote brought on by the crushing defeat over her old deal with Brussels on Tuesday.</p>
  108. <p>But Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour party, called the talks a "stunt" and refused to meet May until she ruled out the possibility of Britain crashing out without any future arrangements in place.</p>
  109. <p>In a written response to him Thursday, the prime minister said it was "impossible" for her to rule out no deal without stopping the process altogether.</p>
  110. <p>"It is not within the government's power to rule out no deal," she wrote.</p>
  111. <p>May will present her new approach to the House of Commons on Monday. MPs will then have a chance to submit amendments before a full debate on January 29 -- exactly two months before Brexit date.</p>
  112. <p>Downing Street on Thursday said May would miss next week's annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, which she was scheduled to attend, to focus on Brexit negotiations.</p>
  113. <p>Meanwhile, leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage urged Leave campaigners to prepare for the event of a second referendum as Britain's deadlock continues.</p>
  114. <p>"I don't want it anymore than you do but I am saying to you we have to face reality," he told a Leave Means Leave rally in London on Thursday night.</p>
  115. <p>"Don't think the other side aren't organised. Don't think the other side aren't prepared. Don't think they haven't raised the money. Don't think they haven't got the teams in place. They have."</p>
  116. <p><strong>- Terms and conditions -</strong></p>
  117. <p>Opposition MPs are pressing May to abandon the main principles that have guided her Brexit strategy for the past two years.</p>
  118. <p>Corbyn insisted she must "ditch the red lines" that keep Britain from forging closer trade relations with Europe after Brexit.</p>
  119. <p>He specifically mentioned maintaining a customs union with the EU that some businesses favour but May rejects because it limits Britain's ability to strike its own trade deals.</p>
  120. <p>"Theresa May has to ditch the red lines and get serious about proposals for the future," the Labour leader told supporters in the southeastern town of Hastings.</p>
  121. <p>Corbyn has previously accused May of trying to force MPs to back her plan by running down the clock until it is the only alternative to no deal.</p>
  122. <p>British media reported that Corbyn was also asking party members not to engage with May's ministers as they hold separate lower-level talks across party lines.</p>
  123. <p>He warned that Labour intended to hold another confidence vote "if necessary" as part of his bid for a general election that he says would resolve the impasse.</p>
  124. <p><strong>- 'Ball in May's court' -</strong></p>
  125. <p>May's meetings late Wednesday with the pro-EU Liberal Democrat party and the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties also yielded fresh demands.</p>
  126. <p>The Scottish National Party (SNP) is trying to rule out "no-deal" and secure a second referendum for which Brexit would need to be delayed.</p>
  127. <p>"For any discussion between your government and the SNP to be meaningful, these options must be on the table," its parliamentary leader Ian Blackford said in a letter to May released after their meeting.</p>
  128. <p>The Liberal Democrats are specifically seeking a referendum that includes the option of scrapping Brexit and keeping the UK in the EU.</p>
  129. <p>"The government now needs to get serious about making significant changes to their own position," the Liberal Democrats said in a statement Thursday.</p>
  130. <p>"The ball is ultimately in their court."</p>
  131. <p>May hinted on Wednesday that Brexit might be postponed if London rallies around a single set of proposals that it could present to the EU.</p>
  132. <p>EU negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday that Brussels would welcome proposals about a "more ambitious economic relationship" from May.</p>
  133. <p>"I remain determined in the name of the European Union to work for an organised withdrawal," Barnier said in Lisbon.</p>
  134. <p><strong>- No stopping Brexit -</strong></p>
  135. <p>The British pound has rallied over the course of the week on expectations of a postponement that keeps Britain from crashing out of the world's largest single market.</p>
  136. <p>May's spokesman on Thursday conceded that EU officials had raised the issue.</p>
  137. <p>But he added that a delay had not been formally discussed "because we do not wish to do it". The UK government maintains that Brexit day is March 29.</p>
  138. <p>EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said EU leaders would only address the question if May decides to ask it.</p>
  139. <p>Nevertheless, several diplomatic sources in Brussels confirmed that informal discussions of a delay had taken place while they wait for her next move.</p>
  140. <p>The prime minister would face intense opposition from Brexit supporters in her Conservative party to any delay -- as she also would if she abandoned any of her key negotiating principles.</p>
  141. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  142. </item>
  144. <item>
  145. <title>New envoy stresses need for UN-backed solution to Syria war</title>
  146. <link></link>
  147. <guid>10365</guid>
  148. <category>General</category>
  149. <pubDate>Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:45:00 +0200</pubDate>
  150. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  151. <description><![CDATA[<p>The new UN envoy to Syria ended his first visit to the war-torn country Thursday, stressing the need for a UN-brokered political solution to the eight-year conflict.</p>
  152. <p>Geir Pedersen, a seasoned Norwegian diplomat, concluded his three-day visit and headed to the Lebanese capital Beirut, a UN source told AFP.</p>
  153. <p>The new envoy on Twitter late Wednesday said he had a "constructive meeting" with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during his stay in Damascus.</p>
  154. <p>During it, he stressed the need for a "Syrian-led and -owned political solution facilitated by the UN", he added.</p>
  155. <p>Pedersen, who started his new job last week, is the fourth UN envoy to seek a solution to Syria's conflict, after endless rounds of failed UN-brokered peace talks.</p>
  156. <p>In recent years, UN-led efforts have been overshadowed by separate negotiations led by regime allies Russia and Iran, as well as rebel backer Turkey.</p>
  157. <p>After Damascus, Pederson said he was off to meet the Syrian Negotiations Committee, Syria's main opposition group.</p>
  158. <p>But he "agreed to come back to Damascus on a regular basis to discuss commonalities and progress on points of disagreement", he added.</p>
  159. <p>On Tuesday, Muallem expressed Syria's "readiness to cooperate with him... in his mission to facilitate Syrian-Syrian dialogue with the objective of reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis", a foreign ministry statement said.</p>
  160. <p>Pederson takes over from Staffan de Mistura, a Swiss-Italian diplomat who stepped down at the end of last year over "personal reasons".</p>
  161. <p>Officials in the government of President Bashar al-Assad had set the tone for the new envoy's tenure shortly after his appointment was announced in October.</p>
  162. <p>"Syria will cooperate with the new UN envoy Geir Pedersen provided he avoids the methods of his predecessor," Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Meqdad said.</p>
  163. <p>De Mistura ended his four-year tenure with an abortive push to form a committee tasked with drawing up a post-war constitution.</p>
  164. <p>Syria's war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since the war started with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.</p>
  165. <p>With key military backing from Russia, Assad's forces have retaken large parts of Syria from rebels and jihadists, and now control almost two-thirds of the country.</p>
  166. <p>A drive to bring the Syrian regime back into the Arab fold also seems underway, with the United Arab Emirates reopening their embassy in Damascus last month.</p>
  167. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  168. </item>
  170. <item>
  171. <title>Seychelles Supreme Court to hear case of former tourism minister at the end of January</title>
  172. <link></link>
  173. <guid>10360</guid>
  174. <category>General</category>
  175. <pubDate>Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:06:16 +0200</pubDate>
  176. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  177. <description><![CDATA[<p>The Seychelles Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would hear the case of former tourism minister Alain St Ange against the government of the island nation starting at the end of January.</p>
  178. <p>Three witnesses testifying on behalf of the government will take the stand at the trial being heard by Justice Melchior Vidot.</p>
  179. <p>St Ange is suing the government after his candidacy for the post of secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) was withdrawn. He resigned from his ministerial position in December 2016 to run for the position but his candidacy was abruptly pulled out of the race by the Seychelles Government only two days before the elections following demands made by the African Union.</p>
  180. <p>The withdrawal of St Ange’s candidacy was announced by Vice President Vincent Meriton in a meeting with reporters.</p>
  181. <p>Meriton told reporters that: “The government received a note verbal from the African Union dated the 8th of May 2017 asking the government to remove its candidate for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO.”</p>
  182. <table style="height: 64px;" width="631">
  183. <tbody>
  184. <tr>
  185. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  186. </tr>
  187. <tr>
  188. <td>Alain St Ange the former minister of tourism, civil aviation, port and marine (State House) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  189. </tr>
  190. </tbody>
  191. </table>
  192. <p>In <a href="">an interview with SNA</a> in May 2017, St. Ange said that he is disappointed with the Foreign Affairs department, as there are steps that could have been followed.</p>
  193. <p>“At the AU there is a sanctions committee. We could have asked that committee about the letter and confirm that yes the note verbal is from the highest level of the African Union,” St. Ange told SNA.</p>
  194. <p>He added that the whole issue was humiliating in the light that he had used a lot of his resources to campaign for the post.</p>
  195. <p>As the plaintiff, St Ange is asking for damages caused in the decision taken by the government.   The case is also questioning the worth and commitment of the word of the government.</p>
  196. <p>SNA contacted the office of the Attorney General for a comment; there was no immediate response.</p>
  197. <p>The elections for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO were held on Friday, May 12, in Madrid, during the 105th session of the UNWTO Executive Council. Members voted for Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia. </p>]]></description>
  198. </item>
  200. <item>
  201. <title>The 5 most-read stories from SNA in 2018</title>
  202. <link></link>
  203. <guid>10353</guid>
  204. <category>Seychelles Buzz</category>
  205. <pubDate>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:35:14 +0200</pubDate>
  206. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  207. <description><![CDATA[<p>As the news begins its charge into 2019, SNA takes pauses to look back at the five most-read articles of 2018.</p>
  208. <p>The entire SNA team thanks all of our readers in our great island nation as well as news hounds from around the globe. We hope you will keep following news and sunny feature stories from Seychelles!</p>
  209. <p> </p>
  210. <p><strong>5. Muslims in Seychelles mark end of Ramadan</strong></p>
  211. <p>Muslims in Seychelles joined the global Islamic community in <strong>Eid-ul-Fitr</strong> celebrations Friday, June 15 to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. For the fifth consecutive year, various Islamic groups in the archipelago of 95,000 people came together at ‘Stad Popiler’ in the capital, Victoria.</p>
  212. <p><a href=";thequery=Muslims+in+Seychelles+mark+end+of+Ramadan">Link: </a></p>
  213. <p><strong>Readers: 14,964</strong></p>
  214. <table style="height: 64px;" width="625">
  215. <tbody>
  216. <tr>
  217. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  218. </tr>
  219. <tr>
  220. <td>(Louis Toussaint) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  221. </tr>
  222. </tbody>
  223. </table>
  224. <p> </p>
  225. <p><strong>4. Experts protecting Seychelles from parasite that could devastate bees – and agriculture</strong></p>
  226. <p> Seychelles received help from two experts from the neighbouring island of Reunion to educate beekeepers and relevant local authorities about the threat of varroa mites -- a parasite that attacks bees. The external parasitic mite can bring down a bee colony, reducing the population of bees available to pollinate flowers and produce honey.</p>
  227. <p><a href="">Link:</a></p>
  228. <p><strong>Readers: 15,220</strong></p>
  229. <table style="height: 64px;" width="626">
  230. <tbody>
  231. <tr>
  232. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  233. </tr>
  234. <tr>
  235. <td>(Wikipedia) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  236. </tr>
  237. </tbody>
  238. </table>
  239. <p> </p>
  240. <p><strong>3. Fish exports rise in Seychelles, giving boost to economy</strong></p>
  241. <p>Exports of fresh and frozen fish are up in the first six months of the year and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture said this is contributing positively to the economy.</p>
  242. <p>According to the figures of the Seychelles’ National Bureau of Statistics released in September, the exports of fresh and frozen fish from January to June rose to 5,025 tonnes -- an increase of 116 percent compared to the 2,451 tonnes of the same period last year.                       </p>
  243. <p><a href="">Link:</a></p>
  244. <p><strong>Readers: 16,726</strong></p>
  245. <table style="height: 64px;" width="626">
  246. <tbody>
  247. <tr>
  248. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  249. </tr>
  250. <tr>
  251. <td>(Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  252. </tr>
  253. </tbody>
  254. </table>
  255. <p> </p>
  256. <p><strong>2. L’opposition ne ratifiera pas l’accord entre l’Inde et les Seychelles – dit Ramkalawan</strong></p>
  257. <p>L’opposition seychelloise ne rattifera pas l’accord signé entre les Seychelles et l’Inde pour la construction d’infrastructures militaires sur l’île de l’Assomption.</p>
  258. <p>C’est le dirigeant de l’opposition, à l’Assemblée nationale Wavel Ramkalawan qui a fait cette déclaration ce mardi lors de la reprise des débats.</p>
  259. <p><a href="">Link:</a></p>
  260. <p><strong>Readers: 19,482</strong></p>
  261. <table style="height: 64px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="626">
  262. <tbody>
  263. <tr>
  264. <td><img src="" alt="" /></td>
  265. </tr>
  266. <tr>
  267. <td>(Rassin Vannier Seychelles News Agency) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  268. </tr>
  269. </tbody>
  270. </table>
  271. <p> </p>
  272. <p><strong>1. President expresses gratitude to all Seychellois who worked for island nation’s independence </strong></p>
  273. <p>The President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, expressed his gratitude on Friday, June 29 to all Seychellois who he said worked with courage, dedication and determination to realise the nation’s dream of independence.</p>
  274. <p>Faure wished all Seychellois here and all around the world a happy Independence Day in his address as the island nation celebrated 42 years since it gained independence from the British.</p>
  275. <p><a href="">Link</a></p>
  276. <p><strong>Readers: 24,803</strong></p>
  277. <table style="height: 64px;" width="625">
  278. <tbody>
  279. <tr>
  280. <td>
  281. <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></p>
  282. </td>
  283. </tr>
  284. <tr>
  285. <td>(State House) Photo License:<a href=""> CC-BY</a></td>
  286. </tr>
  287. </tbody>
  288. </table>
  289. <p> </p>]]></description>
  290. </item>
  292. <item>
  293. <title>Body of trapped Indian miner found after 36 days</title>
  294. <link></link>
  295. <guid>10359</guid>
  296. <category>General</category>
  297. <pubDate>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:00:00 +0200</pubDate>
  298. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  299. <description><![CDATA[<p>Indian emergency workers said Thursday they have found the body of one of 15 miners trapped inside a so-called "rat hole" mine for over a month.</p>
  300. <p>The illegal and dangerous mine in the remote, mineral-rich state of Meghalaya in India's north-east was flooded on December 13.</p>
  301. <p>The Indian Navy said they spotted the body inside the deluged shaft at a depth of 160-210 feet (50-65 metres) with the help of a remote-controlled probe.</p>
  302. <p>"The body has been pulled up to the mouth of Rat-hole mine and shall be extracted out of the mine under the supervision of doctors," the Indian Navy said in a tweet.</p>
  303. <p>The breakthrough comes after several attempts by navy divers to reach the trapped miners inside the treacherous mine. Efforts to pump out water have also failed.</p>
  304. <p>"Our operation is continuing," S. K. Singh, in-charge of the national disaster relief force, told AFP.</p>
  305. <p>Indian authorities were criticised for being slow to respond to the emergency, including from the Supreme Court which called for rescue operations to be stepped up.</p>
  306. <p>Rat-hole mines are deep vertical shafts dug mostly into hillsides that branch out into narrow tunnels to reach and retrieve coal and other substances.</p>
  307. <p>A federal environment court banned wildcat mining in Meghalaya in 2014 after local communities complained it was polluting water sources and putting lives at risk.</p>
  308. <p>But the practice continues, with mine owners and the state government challenging the ban at India's Supreme Court.</p>
  309. <p>At least 15 miners were killed after they were trapped in a flooded rat hole mine in Meghalaya in 2012. Their bodies were never recovered.</p>
  310. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  311. </item>
  313. <item>
  314. <title>Brocade fashion show a highlight of this year’s Seychelles-China day</title>
  315. <link></link>
  316. <guid>10356</guid>
  317. <category>Arts &amp; Culture</category>
  318. <pubDate>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:10:44 +0200</pubDate>
  319. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  320. <description><![CDATA[<p>A brocade fashion show of Chinese costumes and makeup, with the participation of both Seychellois and Chinese models, is on the programme for the sixth edition of the Seychelles-China day.</p>
  321. <p>The January 25-26 event is organised annually as a celebration of the rich cultural and historical links between the two nations.</p>
  322. <p>The 2019 edition is organized jointly by the Chinese embassy, the Culture Department, the Chinese Association of Seychelles and the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA).</p>
  323. <p>“The Nanjing Yun Brocade Fashion Show will kick off the celebrations. The event will see Chinese costume being paraded, models will also wear Chinese make-up. That evening will see the participation of local model agency – Telly Modelling Agency – alongside their counterparts from China,” Gustave Decomarmond, the deputy Chief Executive of the Agency, told the press on Tuesday.</p>
  324. <p>Chinese brocade is rich in colour and texture with patterns usually from Chinese folklore. “Yun in Chinese means cloud. Nanjing Yun Brocade was so named because it is as beautiful and as gorgeous as colourful clouds,” said the newly accredited Chinese ambassador to the island nation, Guo Wei.</p>
  325. <p>Wei added that the event with the costumes, Chinese designers and makeup artists, will be a beautiful one.  The opening ceremony with the fashion show and an exhibition will be held at the Eden Bleu hotel at Eden Island.</p>
  326. <p>Other activities on the programme include a cultural show by the Inner Mangolia Art Group. The group hails from Inner Mongolia which is in the north of China – a place known for its colourful cultural heritage.</p>
  327. <p>The show to be held at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles will showcase folk music, songs and dance from that region.</p>
  328. <p>“Right after the show we will open the spring festival and Chinese bazaar,” explained Robert Chong Seng, the chairperson of the Chinese Association in Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.</p>
  329. <p>The spring festival or the Lunar New Year is the grandest festival in China. According to Chong Seng, “the family-oriented bazaar will showcase traditional performances such as the dragon dance, as well as the sale of handicrafts and the much loved Chinese food.”</p>
  330. <p>This year the bazaar will be held early in the evening to allow organizers to recreate a Chinese ambience using lanterns.  For the first time, the embassy will have a stall amongst the 22 others where the public will have the choice to buy crafts and enjoy authentic Chinese gastronomy.</p>
  331. <p>In 2019, the Chinese New Year falls on February 5, and according to the Chinese zodiac, this will be the year of the pig, which signifies wealth.  </p>]]></description>
  332. </item>
  334. <item>
  335. <title>France to 'accelerate preparations' for no-deal Brexit</title>
  336. <link></link>
  337. <guid>10355</guid>
  338. <category>General</category>
  339. <pubDate>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:45:00 +0200</pubDate>
  340. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  341. <description><![CDATA[<p>France is speeding up preparations for a "no deal" Brexit after the British parliament overwhelmingly rejected a divorce agreement negotiated with the EU, the government said Wednesday.</p>
  342. <p>Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will meet with key ministers Thursday to look at a "possible acceleration so that state services are ready in the event of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal", government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said.</p>
  343. <p>Ministers had already scheduled a meeting to decide on France's response to the British parliamentary vote.</p>
  344. <p>"The scenario we don't want is a no deal and the risks multiplied yesterday," a source in President Emmanuel Macron's office said.</p>
  345. <p>France has like other European nations been preparing for a scenario in which Britain crashes out of the EU with no divorce deal, and has already been recruiting extra customs agents to be deployed in Channel ports.</p>
  346. <p>President Emmanuel Macron late Tuesday indicated there was a small chance of minor tweaks being made to the agreement which British Prime Minister Theresa May spent two years negotiating with Brussels.</p>
  347. <p>"Maybe we'll make improvements on one or two things, but I don't really think so because we've reached the maximum of what we could do with the deal," he said.</p>
  348. <p>France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said Wednesday that the EU could extend the deadline for Brexit beyond March 29 if Britain requested it.</p>
  349. <p>But she stressed that other EU nations considered the deal already on the table to be "the only one possible".</p>
  350. <p>French employers' group MEDEF called on businesses to prepare for "the worst".</p>
  351. <p>Some 30,000 French companies export to Britain, according to the French finance ministry, with goods worth some 31 billion euros ($35.4 billion) in 2017.</p>
  352. <p>The federation of French wine and spirits exporters (FEVS) expressed alarm at the possibility of exports to Britain being suddenly hit by high tariffs.</p>
  353. <p>Britain is the second-biggest export market for French wines, after the United States. France, for its part, is also a major importer of British spirits.</p>
  354. <p>"This vote is harmful to the long-standing and fruitful trading relationship between our two countries," FEVS president Antoine Leccia said.</p>
  355. <p><strong>- Macron warning on referendums -</strong></p>
  356. <p>Macron held up Brexit as a cautionary tale for "yellow vest" demonstrators in France who have been demanding citizen-sponsored referendums on proposals that prove popular with the public.</p>
  357. <p>"When there are difficult decisions to be made it's usually elected officials that take them because of the constraints involved. The hard decisions are rarely taken by referendum," he argued during a meeting with mayors in Normandy on Tuesday.</p>
  358. <p>"Look at what our British friends are going through," he said, adding that Brexit "speaks volumes... about what these referendums, which appear to be good ideas, can result in."</p>
  359. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  360. </item>
  361. </channel>
  362. </rss>
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