Items filtered by date: Monday, 05 August 2019
Huawei could showcase its Hongmeng OS as early as 9 August, according to a report by Global Times.
 
The newspaper, reported at the weekend that the Chinese tech powerhouse is busy testing its smartphone armed with self-developed HongMeng operating system (OS), and the phone could be put into the market at the end of this year.
 
It will target low- and medium-end markets and priced at around 2,000 yuan ($288.24) to attract software developers and users to join the ecosystem, sources said.
 
Huawei is set to release the much-anticipated HongMeng OS, an alternative to Google’s Android OS, at Huawei’s Developer Conference on August 9 in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province.
 
The Chinese company said that the first batch of devices to be equipped with HongMeng OS will be the Honor smart TV series, which will be put into market on August 10, according to tech news site 36kr.com. In the future, the HongMeng OS will be expanded into other fields including autonomous driving, remote medical services and industrial control.
 
Huawei executives hinted in earlier interviews that the HongMeng OS was primarily intended for the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial use. But they also noted that if Google insists on cutting off supply of its OS to Huawei, the HongMeng OS may expand to the smartphone business.
 
Sources said that one of tests Huawei is running on the HongMeng OS is its compatibility with Android applications. The system also has cryptographic functions that protect personal data better and prevent users’ privacy from being breached.
 
“The new Huawei phones with the HongMeng system will debut in the market in the fourth quarter, with up to several million units in stock. It is expected that the smartphone will show up along with the Huawei Mate30 series,” the source noted.
 
The price is expected to be set around $288, targeting the medium- and low-end market. In such a way, Huawei can deliver the device in a fast and convenient manner, while also growing the market and not causing an economic burden for users, analysts said.
 
In addition to smartphones and industrial use, Huawei has greater plans for the HongMeng OS: to make it run on many platforms and facilitate IoT. The source disclosed that unlike the Android system which is based on the Linux kernal, Huawei’s idea of developing HongMeng is similar to Google’s Fuchsia OS – based on a microkernel, can better accommodate artificial intelligence (AI) and can run on multiple platforms.
 
“The priority task for Huawei to achieve this ambition is to attract as many developers as they can to build an ecosystem,” the source noted.
Published in Telecoms
The Lagos State Government has begun the sale of its popular brand of rice, LAKE Rice, in preparation for the coming Eid-el-Kabir celebration, but at an increased prices.
 
The 50Kg bag of LAKE Rice, which used to sell at N12,000 is now N14,000; 25kg bag which formerly sold at N6,000 is now N7,000 while 10kg bag will go for N3, 000 instead of the normal N2000.
 
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, who announced the commencement of the LAKE Rice warned that the edible commodity should not be sold above the approved prices.
 
Onasanya noted that the LAKE Rice were available for sales at its sales centres across the State, including the Agricultural Development Authority Complex, Oko-Oba; Lagos State Agriculture Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA), Ojo and the Blue Roof at LTV Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
 
The Permanent Secretary added that other centres were the LAKE Rice Sales Center at Temu Farm Service Center, Epe; Odogunyan Farm Service Center, Ikorodu; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere; Ministry of Agriculture Area Office, Ajah and the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Center, Rowe Park at Yaba.
 
Onasanya reiterated the State Government’s commitment towards boosting food security in the State, stressing that government would continue to ensure the adequate production and fair distribution of the LAKE Rice across the State with a view to ensuring its availability to the masses in the various designated sales centers in the State.
 
While wishing Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general a very happy Eid celebration, the Permanent Secretary assured that the state government would continue to embark on agricultural policies and programmes that would enhance the availability of food in the State in line with the THEMES agenda of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration in the State.
 
 
Published in Business
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Americans must “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” after  gunmen killed 29 people in separate attacks in Texas  and Dayton Ohio, that authorities said appeared to be racially motivated hate crimes.
 
Trump did not directly address accusations that his anti-immigrant and racially charged comments have contributed to a rise in hate crimes.
 
“These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” he said in remarks at the White House. “Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
 
On Saturday, a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in what authorities said appeared to be a racially motivated hate crime. Just 13 hours later, another gunman in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killed nine people. Dozens also were wounded in the attacks.
 
Trump said he was directing the Department of Justice to investigate domestic terrorism, and propose legislation to ensure that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty.
 
 
Published in World

Dealing with the consequences of the 1904-1908 genocide, committed by German colonial troops in what was then called German Southwest Africa, remains unfinished business. Negotiations between the governments of Namibia and Germany are entering their fifth year. The main topics include the wording and modalities of an official German apology, as well as the compensation to be paid.

Until mid-2015 German governments had simply denied the genocide. After acknowledging the historical realities, bilateral negotiations between the German and Namibian governments resumed at the end of 2015. So far no official results have been announced. Germany made the wording of an apology a subject of the negotiations, and claims reparations are a no-go on account of legal formalities.

Relations between Germany and Namibia have always been strained. This is mostly because Berlin today has taken on the mantle of the former West Germany. In marked contrast, the anticolonial struggle by the liberation movement SWAPO received considerable material and ideological support from the former East Germany.

Efforts to resolve this complex situation weren’t helped with Daniel Günther’s recent official visit to Namibia. He is the prime minister of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and currently the president of the Federal Council. This makes him one of the five highest representatives of the German state. He was the first in this league to visit Namibia since President Roman Herzog visited the country over 20 years ago.

Günther has a reputation as a fairly liberal conservative, heading a federal government coalition with the Liberals and the Greens. He appeared to be a good choice for an encounter that it was hoped would strengthen parliamentary relations between the countries.

Günther paid his respects at a Swakopmund graveyard monument erected to commemorate the victims of the colonial concentration camp there. But he missed the opportunity to bend his knees. In 1970 West German chancellor Willy Brandt turned a history page with Poland through the Warsaw genuflection. In a spontaneous act of remorse Brandt went on his knees to honour those killed by the Nazi regime in the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto.

Germany praises itself for having declared a ‘special responsibility’ for Namibia since independence. It points to the highest per capita amount of development aid paid to Namibians.

But the relationship is viewed very differently from Windhoek, where Berlin’s attitude is perceived as patronising. It’s also seen as a way to deflect from the admission of historical guilt – and its consequences.

Setting the agenda?

During his official encounters Günther’s statements were indicative of the German approach. The genocide issue, while important, was far from the only topic on the agenda. This was clear from the fact that he was accompanied by a large business delegation from Schleswig-Holstein.

In a meeting with President Hage Geingob, Günther expressed an interest “in finding a quick solution to the genocide issue”. The Head of State responded that there is no need to rush the negotiation process. Rather, issues should be handled properly.


Read more: Genocide negotiations between Germany and Namibia hit stumbling blocks


Earlier in the negotiations the German side tried to push matters in ways that were considered undiplomatic by Namibia. For example, in July 2016 the German Special Envoy Ruprecht Polenz argued that there should be a speedy conclusion to discussions because of the general election due in Germany in 2017. Imposing constraints stemming from German politics was not received well.


Read more: Genocide negotiations between Germany and Namibia hit stumbling blocks


Günther’s foray may have reflected concern at slow progress. But it ignored the intricate subject matter as well as the unsolved contradictions. These include the German reluctance to accede to the terms of genocide and consequent reparations and the issue of legitimacy of the final outcome, since large parts of the victim communities insist on their claim for an autonomous role in the negotiations.

Unhelpful interventions

The prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein missed the opportunity to improve relations between the two countries in other ways too.

He dipped into the contentious – and unresolved – land debate in Namibia. Possible expropriation of land was raised at a national land conference recently. Günther chose to admonish the President about the necessity to respect property rights. Potential investors would not be forthcoming if property would not be protected.

This was viewed as wholly inappropriate. It showed ignorance of the nuanced debates in the country. These focus on the need to resolve the exorbitant inequalities in Namibian society which stem from colonial days. At the same time, the constitutional provisions to respect private property have never been in doubt.

He caused further offence during his address to the National Council. As the second chamber in Namibia, it is the institutional pendant to the German Federal Council, assembling elected councillors from the country’s 14 regions. This was Günther’s most official appearance during his stay.

He pointed out that 30 years ago East Germans in parallel to Namibians “forced the government to hold the first and only free elections”. He stated further:

I believe that people in the GDR and people in Namibia clearly showed their courage in their struggle for liberation.

Comparing the civil rights movement in the former German Democratic Republic with the anticolonial struggle under the liberation movement SWAPO was another sign of the German disconnect with Namibian realities. It is at best disrespectful to the human costs of two decades of war against an illegal regime and adds insult to injury. More than 40,000 Namibians fled into exile since the early 1960s, thousands were killed and the northern part of the country was under a curfew for almost two decades.

Günther has supplied one further instance of diplomatic insensitivity that marks the official German approach to the shared dire colonial past with Namibia. Instead of showing appropriate humility and listening, all too often, German officials lecture Africans on best practice and reveal ignorance of the basics regarding the real situation.The Conversation

 

Henning Melber, Extraordinary Professor, Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria and Reinhart Kössler, Professor in Political Science, Freiburg University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis
Monday, 05 August 2019 08:31

Zimbabwe fuel prices up again

The latest price hike announced by energy regulators on Saturday is the second last week and comes 48 hours after Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube increased the excise duty on fuel by 45%.

Gasoline now costs Z$9.01, up from Z$7.55, and diesel costs Z$9.06, up from Z$7.22, and reflects a 19% and 25% increase respectively from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority.

Ncube said fuel prices were too low in the southern African nation and needed to match the exchange rate between the local currency and the US dollar. On the official interbank market the rate is 9.28 per US dollar.

The hike in diesel, the most used fuel by companies and businesses which rely on it to operate generators, comes as power cuts lasting as much as 18-hours daily persist and is certain to put a further strain on business operations.

Econet Ltd, the largest mobile phone carrier in the country, said in a July 28th statement it needed 2 million liters of diesel monthly to run its 1,300 base stations, but fuel shortages meant it only had a quarter of its requirements met.

- The Zimbabwe Mail

Published in Economy
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