Items filtered by date: Thursday, 08 August 2019
Cocaine worth millions of dollars has washed up on a New Zealand beach with police urging the public Thursday to hand in any more packages that may turn up.
 
Police were called to Bethells Beach in West Auckland on Wednesday evening when packages of the drug were found along the shoreline.
 
“Police attended and located approximately 19 packages, which testing has confirmed contained cocaine,” detective inspector Colin Parmenter said.
 
He estimated the street value at NZ$3 million dollars (US$2 million).
 
Local media reported said the packages were contained in netting and the presence of shells indicated they had been at sea for some time.
 
“There is a small possibility that further packages may turn up on the beach and we ask any members of the public to contact us immediately if they do,” Parmenter said.
 
“And we will be sending regular patrols in the coming days to continue to check for further washed up items.”
 
It is not the first time a large amount of drugs has been found on a New Zealand beach.
 
In 2016, 500 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of nearly NZ$500 million, was found on a beach in the far north of the country.
 
Published in Business
The Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Nigeria, Mrs Toure Maman, has called for deeper economic cooperation with Nigeria to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.
 
Maman said this while addressing participants on the occasion of the country’s 59th Anniversary of the Independence of Cote d’Ivoire in Abuja on Wednesday.
 
She said that the country had maintained growth of its Domestic Gross Product (GDP) despite political crisis recorded in 2011 for the seventh year consecutively.
 
According to her, the growth exceeded 7 per cent and should reach 7. 2 per cent this year, because of reforms carried out by the Ivorian Government to improve the business climate.
 
Maman said, “The private sector has become the main driver of growth, notably through massive investments in the telecommunications, agro-food and Public Works Building (PWB) sectors.
 
“This is an opportunity for companies and business people based in Nigeria and other parts of the world to do business in Cote d’Ivoire with the security index at 1.1.
 
“The economic upturn will not have been possible without cooperation with Nigeria; Indeed, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria maintain excellent ties of friendship and cooperation, since the diplomatic relations in 1961.
 
“Our bilateral relation has deepened in recent years by the will of President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.”
 
The envoy put the total volume of trade between both countries at $600 billion.
 
She revealed that the country would organize its first international forum titled “Made in Cote d’Ivoire” in Eko Hotel, Lagos from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, 2019.
 
She said that the Ivorian Government had made arrangement to ensure smooth conduct of its 2020 presidential election through the adoption of the new Independent Electoral Commission.
 
She listed the establishment of a bill to promote 30 per cent of women representation in elected assemblies and provision of social infrastructure to major achievements by the government in 2018.
 
In a message of goodwill, Mr Mustapha Sulaiman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the relationship between both countries had been cordial.
 
According to him, both countries have crossed over from being just friends to becoming brothers.
 
“We look forward to improvement in this relationship, we are not only brothers as nationals, but we are also brothers in ECOWAS, African Union and all international participations.
 
“This is why I cease this opportunity to convey Nigeria’s best wishes to Cote d’Ivoire and we look forward to many more successful anniversary celebrations.
 
“We look forward to strengthen Cote d’Ivoire/Nigeria relations, by supporting one another in brotherhood, to enable our citizens enjoy doing business in both countries,” Sulaiman said.
 
The event which attracted stakeholders from the Diplomatic community in Abuja featured traditional dances and video documentary about history of Cote d’Ivoire independence.
 
Published in Business
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to provide policy guidelines on how to protect valuable soil and combat global warming, while preventing hunger and economic decline.
 
This will be the highlight of a scientific UN report that is set to be presented on Thursday in Geneva.
 
Some of the scientists who drafted the document have spoken of the need to curb consumption in general, in particular meat consumption, as animals such as cows emit greenhouse gases and use up land that could be used to grow foodstuff or forests.
 
Leading politicians are expected to consider the IPCC’s findings at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 in New York.
 
The IPCC warned last October that limiting global warming to an average temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is only possible with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes.”
 
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees – ideally no more than 1.5 degrees – compared to pre-industrial levels of the 19th century.
 
The dangers of climate-related land destruction have been highlighted by the recent heat wave and forest fires in the northern hemisphere, dpa news reported.
 
Published in World

MTN Group’s interim financial results for the six months to June 2019 show that its South African business is under pressure as the result of new sector regulations and the weak economy.

Ebitda margin fell by 1.9 percentage points in the past year to 33.3% as a result of lower out-of-bundle tariffs and the onboarding of Cell C as a roaming customer. (Ebitda is a measure of operational profitability.)

The company improved service revenue, with growth in the wholesale and consumer post-paid segments, but this was offset by a 5.5% reduction in prepaid service revenue coupled with “Cell C adjustments made”.

Weakness in the prepaid business was mainly the result of Icasa’s new data services regulations and the reduction of out-of-bundle tariffs. The weak economy also exerted downward pressure on the numbers.

However, the consumer post-paid business “remained resilient in tough conditions”, growing service revenue by 7% year on year.

“Consumer additions were muted on the back of stricter vetting rules targeting a reduction in credit risk due to tougher economic times,” MTN said.

“A combination of changes in the acquisition strategy in consumer post-paid as well as the discontinuation of the 1GB acquisition promotion in prepaid … resulted in a 1.9 million decrease in the subscriber base from December 2018 to a closing subscriber base of 29.2 million,” it said.

Operating expenses rose due to Eskom load shedding, battery theft and site vandalisation. “These, together with the progressively expanding network footprint, resulted in a 3.7% increase in total costs year on year.

Work continued on turning around MTN South Africa’s long-struggling enterprise business. This led to lower service revenue reductions of -7.8%, from -11,3% in the 2018 full year, “as we stabilised churn and added new corporate customers”.

 

Credit: NewsCentral Media

Published in Telecoms
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