Trump’s Childhood Home Becomes Weekend Retreat for Refugees in Charity Stunt


LONDON � A group of refugees stayed at U.S. President Donald Trump’s childhood home in New York over the weekend as part of a stunt to highlight the plight of people feeling conflict and persecution around the world, a charity said on Monday.

Aid agency Oxfam said it rented the house and invited refugees from Somalia, Vietnam and Syria as guests to call on Trump and other world leaders to do more to support refugees as they gather in New York for the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Trump’s administration has issued a ban on people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries that also limited refugee admissions.

“Lives are hanging in the balance while we wait to see if President Trump and other world leaders will fulfill their duty to uphold the rights of refugees and other displaced people,” said Shannon Scribner, director of Oxfam America’s humanitarian department.

Trump lived in the five-bedroom, brick-fronted home built by his father, Fred, in a wealthy enclave in the borough of Queens until age 4.

The Tudor-style house, which has a fireplace, a sun room and a paneled study, was purchased by an unidentified buyer for $2.14 million at an auction in March and is now up for rent on Airbnb.

Oxfam said its staff laid a mat emblazoned with the words “Refugees Welcome” and displayed a banner with the same slogan outside the property at the weekend, while four refugees shared their stories inside.

Abdi Iftin said he felt lucky to have been able to a build a new life in the United States after feeling conflict in his native Somalia.

“I had to leave my home and family behind, but here I can work hard and help provide for them,” he was quoted as saying by Oxfam.

The charity said it hoped the initiative would give a face to an issue that is too often politicized with myths, lies, and fears.

“What makes America great is our diversity of experiences, ideas, talents, and the opportunity for anyone to succeed,” Scribner said in a statement.

The world is grappling with the worst migration crisis in decades, with more than 65 million people driven from their homes by war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, according to U.N. estimates.

The U.S. Supreme Court is to hold a key hearing on the constitutionality of Trump’s controversial ban in October.

Source: Voice of America

Basic Education hosts Data Summit in Boksburg, 19 to 20 Sept


Department of Basic Education Partners with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to host the Data Summit 2017

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) will host the DBE Data Summit 2017 in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation on 19-20 September 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg. The summit programme will culminate into Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony to be addressed by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education Mr Enver Surty.

The summit follows the success of Data Champions Summit held in 2016 and will focus on making education data work for education officials with a particular focus on data quality and curriculum. It is also aimed at giving the DBE and the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) the opportunity to engage in the usage of data to make informed decisions, through data-focused learning and collaboration, to strengthen data systems in support of Curriculum and District Management, and learner outcomes.

The Director General Opening of the DBE Mr HM Mweli will deliver an opening address. Other speakers include the Executive Director of Discovery Insure Mr Themba Baloyi and Country Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Mr Dean Villet whose address will focus on Global Data.

Deputy Minister Enver Surtry will later deliver a keynote address at and present prizes at the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony which recognises EMIS Provincial officials on one school per province on their success in the implementation and rollout of SA-SAMS, and data as a whole.

Source: Government of South Africa

WHO: Too Many People Dying Prematurely From Non-communicable Diseases


GENEVA � The World Health Organization reports some progress is being made in reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases. But it says much more needs to be done to save the lives of nearly 40 million people who die every year from preventable causes.

In this latest global assessment, the World Health Organization reports cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes continue to be the world’s biggest killers. Every year, it says 15 million adults in the most productive period of their lives, between the age of 30 and 70, will die prematurely.

The biggest risk factors are tobacco, the harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity. WHO director for the prevention of non-communicable diseases, Douglas Bettcher, said the world is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of cutting premature NCD deaths by one third by 2030.

The window of opportunity to save lives is closing. This is playing out before our eyes in many ways, including increasing numbers of people, particularly children and adolescents suffering from obesity, overweight and diabetes. If we do not take action now to protect people from NCDs, we will condemn today’s and tomorrow’s youth to lives of ill health and reduced economic opportunities, Bettcher said.

Despite common perceptions, Bettcher told VOA premature deaths from non-communicable diseases are not just a rich country problem.

Eighty percent of the deaths are in countries that are already often stressed, their health systems are stressed with the usual, the conventional burdens of disease, communicable diseases, maternal-child health problems. And, then this is an added, extremely large burden for the health system, Bettcher said.

WHO reports Costa Rica and Iran lead the 10 best performing countries in reducing deaths from non-communicable diseases. It says six countries have achieved no progress at all. Five are in Africa: Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome Principe and South Sudan. The sixth country is Micronesia in the western Pacific.

Source: Voice of America

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs on elections of members of Local Houses of Traditional Leaders


Elections of members of local houses proceeding smoothlyThe process to elect new members of the Local Houses of Traditional Leaders (LHTL) has started in all six (6) Electoral Colleges of the Eastern Cape Province. The process is expected to be complet…