The fight of the “desert flower” continues

She really wants to eat a salmon sandwich now. But there is none in the office tower in Frankfurt where she came for a lecture. And actually the interview with the journalist should start. There is a nervous whisper, then a pack sets off: Waris Dirie, wearing a hat and sunglasses, her stocky manager with curly white hair ring, the two start-up founders who invited Dirie, and the journalist.

Waris Dirie is in her mid-50s and looks like she was in her early 40s. She has shiny, smooth skin and an impressively upright posture. It exudes glamor even in jeans and sneakers. When she laughs, the people around her laugh too, when she frowns, they get nervous. And if she wants a salmon sandwich, go look for it. A restaurant is found on Frankfurt’s Opernplatz, which at least offers pasta with salmon sauce.

You can find our most beautiful, most exciting stories from the time before Corona here:

In 1998 Dirie’s book “Desert Flower” was published. It was filmed in 2008. The book sold more than eleven million copies, and the film attracted more than a million people to cinemas in Germany alone. Before that, Waris Dirie was only a nomad child and a victim of mutilation, then domestic help and cleaning lady, later top model and actress. She then became a UN special envoy and human rights activist. And above all, the woman who stands all over the world for the fight against the cruel practice of female genital mutilation, in English Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM for short.

She wants interview questions in writing

How does it change a person to talk about this trauma over and over again, partly live on television? To be asked by people from all over the world whether you can feel anything down there? And to be attacked by your own family for betraying the traditions?

Finding out is not that easy. Dirie doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. She wants to have the interview questions in advance, then answers them in writing and very briefly through her manager. At the actual interview date, she has no desire to say more. She interrupts the question about current projects with her foundation with a burst of speech: “You see my heart, my soul and my passion, darling. I can’t stand it if anyone on this planet gets hurt, especially if it’s children or women. I don’t understand why people are just waiting, the world is just waiting. What is she waiting for I don’t understand it, and it’s not up to me to solve these problems on my own. ”By the time her food came, she had talked so furiously about the evils of the world that she barely touched it in the end.

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Berlin, Paris and Rome concerned about Libya conflict: joint appeal

Soldier in Tripoli

A soldier with a face mask as a measure against the corona virus stands armed on a street.

Berlin In view of the ongoing violence in Libya, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, together with his colleagues from France and Italy, and the EU foreign policy officer, made an appeal to the parties to the conflict. In a joint statement on Saturday, they expressed concern about the situation in the North African civil war country.

At the same time, they called on those involved to be inspired by the spirit of the fasting month of Ramadan that had just begun and to resume talks about a real ceasefire. In the interest of the whole country, the Libyan actors should act together against the common enemy – the coronavirus pandemic.

“The conflict continues unabated and developments in the past few weeks have increased concerns, particularly with regard to the long-suffering Libyan population,” said the statement by the SPD politician Maas, the Frenchman Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Italian Luigi Di Maio and the EU’s External Representative Josep Borrell.

They reaffirm their commitment to the decisions of the Berlin Libya conference in mid-January and support the call for a humanitarian ceasefire by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN Special Envoy Stephanie Williams.

A violent civil war has been raging in Libya for nine years. The fighting around the capital Tripoli had recently intensified. According to the UN, there have been more than 850 violations of the ceasefire negotiated in mid-January. At that time, Germany had held a conference to mediate between the conflicting parties.

More: The EU countries have approved the operation to monitor the UN arms embargo against Libya. It is intended to replace the “Sophia” operation.

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US stock exchanges hardly change – Gilead Sciences weighed down

Dusseldorf The US stock exchanges closed little changed on Thursday. Relief from US economic data initially supported Wall Street. A media report on disappointing test results with the remdesivir agent for the possible treatment of Covid-19 then depressed the mood in late trade.

The standard value index Dow Jones closed 0.2 percent higher at 23,515 points. The technology-heavy Nasdaq stagnated at 8494 points. The broad S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to 2797 points.

Last week, 4.4 million Americans applied for US unemployment benefits. In the previous week, however, the number of initial applications had been around a million higher.

The markets rated this as positive, even if a recession could not be averted, said Steven Blitz, chief economist for the USA at the research house TS Lombard. Investors appear to be betting that the economy will recover quickly if the restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic are relaxed.

However, Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Spartan, advised against excessive expectations. “The worst of the pandemic is probably behind us,” said Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Spartan. “But with the oil price at the current level, there is a threat of a wave of layoffs in the US energy sector, which will nullify the effects of a restarting economy.”

The US crude oil grade WTI rose 23 percent to $ 16.95 a barrel (159 liters) after its price fell below zero for the first time at the beginning of the week. At the beginning of March – before the outbreak of the virus crisis in the USA and before the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia – WTI had still cost twice as much.

This drop in price is a problem especially for shale oil producers. According to experts, because of the complex fracking process, they only work profitably at a price of around $ 50.

Focus on individual values

Nevertheless, investors also accessed these values. The shares of companies like marathon, Occidental or Apache won up to eleven percent. The papers of the oil multinationals Exxon and Chevron each advanced about three percent. The paper from the company active in health care was also among the top values UnitedHealth with plus 3.0 percent.

The titles of Las Vegas Sands, which rose by around twelve percent. The casino operator expects the important Asian business to recover quickly as soon as the travel restrictions there are lifted. Competitors’ shares Wynn and MGM won up to 8.6 percent.

Eli Lilly shares jumped to a record high at $ 162.56. With a smaller plus of 2.1 percent to $ 159.93, they finally went out of the day. Investors recognized the 40 percent year-over-year increase in sales of the blockbuster drug Trulicity for diabetes to a quarterly record of $ 1.2 billion.

By contrast, the shares of Target, even though the retailer’s online sales almost quadrupled in the past quarter, making up for lost business from closed stores. However, the company warned of shrinking profit margins due to wage increases for employees. Target shares lost 2.8 percent.

The titles of Crocs even slipped by more than 16 percent. Known for its rubber slippers, the shoe manufacturer fell short of market expectations with quarterly sales of $ 281.2 million and earnings of $ 0.16 per share. The company also warned of further losses in the current quarter due to virus restrictions.

Among the losers Gilead Sciences with a discount of 4.3 percent. The company denied a media report of disappointing test results with the remdesivir agent for the possible treatment of Covid-19.

The study in China was terminated prematurely due to a lack of participants and was therefore not statistically meaningful, the US pharmaceutical company explained. The Financial Times has presented the process inappropriately, the World Health Organization accidentally posted a draft clinical trial on the Internet. The UN organization confirmed the breakdown and said the document had been removed after the error became known.

Quarterly reports were also in view.

Air Products & Chemicals Withdrawn the 2019/20 financial year forecast for earnings per share from the figures. The industrial gases manufacturer’s paper then gave way by 1.5 percent.

The chip manufacturer’s quarterly report, which was announced after the market closed, was also eagerly awaited Intel, whose shares in the Dow lost 1.8 percent. Intel ultimately disappointed with its earnings outlook for the second quarter, whereupon the papers gave in even more after-hours.

The share certificates of Snap down. The makers of the photo app Snapchat want to get $ 750 million (695 million euros) of fresh money on the market in the face of the corona crisis via convertible bonds.

In the US bond market, trend-setting ten-year government bonds rose 5/32 points to 108 16/32 points and returned 0.603 percent. The euro exchange rate went up and down in US trade and ultimately slid below the $ 1.08 mark again. At the close on Wall Street, the common currency was $ 1.0771. The European Central Bank set the reference price at $ 1.0772 (Wednesday: 1.0867). The dollar thus cost 0.9283 (0.9202) euros.

More: Read here what moves the German stock market on Thursday.

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German soldiers off the coast of Libya (neues-deutschland.de)

Berlin. The German government plans to contribute up to 300 soldiers to the new EU operation “Irini” to monitor the UN arms embargo against Libya. A corresponding upper limit is provided for in a bill passed by the cabinet on Wednesday. The ministerial round also gave the green light for the planned tasks of the Bundeswehr in the mission. The federal government has offered international partners to provide staff for the mission and a reconnaissance aircraft of the P-3C Orion type with crew. The Bundestag has yet to decide on the mandate, which is to apply until April 30, 2021.

“Irini” is primarily intended to monitor the UN arms embargo against Libya, which has been fragile for years, from the air, via satellite and at sea. The declared aim is to stabilize the North African civil war country and to support the UN-led political peace process. The draft mandate mentions gathering information about the illegal import and export of armaments, checking ships when a violation of the UN arms embargo is suspected, and seizing and disposing of illegal armaments. The mission is also to prevent oil from being brought illegally from Libya. In addition, »Irini« is to support the Libyan coast guard in the construction.

The new mission replaces Operation Sophia, which ended on March 31 and had also ended in the ongoing dispute over the distribution of boat refugees in Europe. “Irini” is supposed to operate away from escape routes across the Mediterranean, so that migrants are not accepted by the EU mission.

The EU foreign ministers’ conference call on Wednesday also focused on the EU’s fear of further migrants and the deteriorating situation in Libya. Against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, Malta recently called for an EU humanitarian aid mission for the North African country. The United Nations had been extremely concerned on Tuesday with the deteriorating situation in the country and the increasing fighting there, including in the area of ​​the capital Tripoli.

Sevim Dağdelen of the Left Party criticized »Irini«. “If the German government wants to enforce the UN arms embargo against Libya credibly, it must finally stop its arms deliveries to the countries involved in the war in the North African country” – such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt, so that Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. Instead of irresponsible cooperation with Libyan militias who pretend to be coast guards and lock up refugees in camps, Dağdelen is calling for a civilian sea rescue program. nd/Agencies comment page 6

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The United States distances itself from the UN resolution because of the role of the WHO

Donald Trump

The US president has strongly criticized WHO and suspended payments to it.

(Photo: AP)

new York The United States first adopted a resolution to combat the coronavirus at the United Nations – and then distanced itself from formulating the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision of the General Assembly on international cooperation in the pandemic for medicines, vaccinations and medical equipment contained the wording that WHO played a “decisive leading role” in the crisis.

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UN wants fair distribution of vaccine (neues-deutschland.de)

New York. The 193 member states of the United Nations have called for “equal” access to future vaccines against the novel coronavirus. A corresponding resolution was passed unanimously by the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday. This calls for future medicines and vaccines against the virus to be made available in a “fair, transparent, equal and efficient” form to all countries with a corresponding need. This applies particularly to developing countries. The General Assembly appealed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres to make arrangements for a fair worldwide distribution of preventive agents, tests and future medicines and serums in the fight against the pandemic.

The resolution also highlights the “crucial role” of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fight against the coronavirus. In the past few days, US President Donald Trump had blamed the UN sub-organization for severe »mismanagement« in the corona crisis and one-sidedness in favor of China, and announced that US payments to the WHO would stop. Nevertheless, the current resolution of the UN General Assembly was also supported by the United States. The resolution text from Mexico had been introduced.

Meanwhile, the UN warned in a report released Tuesday of a starvation crisis following the corona pandemic. A total of 265 million children, women and men, particularly in poor countries, could suffer the worst forms of hunger this year, the World Food Program said. That would be an increase of 130 million people compared to 2019. Last year, according to the UN, 135 million people were worst affected by hunger. Sufficient international aid must be mobilized to avoid the escalation.

It is expected that more people will die as a result of the devastating economic consequences of the pandemic than from the disease itself. The lockdowns and the global recession have led to a large loss of income, especially among the poor. The situation is particularly worrying in Pakistan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yemen. nd / agencies comment page 4

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South Korea celebrates crisis manager Moon Jae In

Tokyo In the parliamentary election in South Korea, voters gave the moderate left ruling party head of state, Moon Jae In, a clear victory, thereby strengthening the government’s back in the fight against the coronavirus crisis.

The success of the Democratic Party (Minjoo) in Wednesday’s election also strengthens Moons ‘mandate, whose approval ratings had risen again due to the authorities’ decisive action against the virus. Despite the rampant infectious disease, the election commission’s preliminary figure was 66.2 percent – the highest rate for elections in Asia’s fourth largest economy in 28 years.

After counting just under 88 percent of the vote, Moon’s party was able to count on 159 seats, almost 40 more than previously in the 300-seat National Assembly, the national news agency Yonhap reported. Together with the satellite party Common Citizens’ Party, which could hope for 17 mandates, the government camp would even have 176 seats.

Moon’s victory also has a global political message, says Korea expert Kim Duyeon. “The victory shows other leaders in the world that their response to the crisis will determine their political destiny,” said the advisor to the NGO International Crisis Group. The pandemic covers all of the other issues that normally determine elections.

Moon has seen its approval ratings rise and fall in the past few weeks. At the beginning of the corona crisis, a strong outbreak of the disease in the metropolis of Daegu still seemed to cost him popularity.

But recently the approval rate for his cabinet, which fell to 40 percent last year due to the weak economy and scandals, rose to well over 50 percent. Because with a massive test program, modern data analysis and social distance, the health authorities managed to contain the epidemic quickly without curfews and other draconian measures.

Global praise for Korea’s viral fight inspires Moon

But more important for Moon’s growing reputation were international praise and the contrast program that Europe and the USA deliver with hundreds of thousands of infected people, tens of thousands of deaths and curfews. Even US President Donald Trump called on Moon to help fight the epidemic. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even praised in late March: “You have made a very effective effort.”

Polling booth in Seoul

Despite an increased risk of infection, turnout in South Korea is high.

(Photo: AFP)

The Japanese epidemiologist Kenji Shibuya, who teaches at London’s King’s College and advises the WHO on the pandemic, even describes Korea’s crisis protocol as the future of infection control. “South Korea uses a modern approach that uses mass tests, smartphone apps and the evaluation of Detects data, infected people and uses data-driven analyzes to investigate how Covid-19 is transmitted, ”he told the Handelsblatt.

The numbers are clear. In South Korea, fewer than 30 new infections were reported this week for the third time in a row. The government therefore wants to relax the previous measures. The implementation of the election was a milestone on the way to a new everyday life, which is however still dictated by the virus. The protection protocols during the elections already showed this.

Voters were asked to stand in line at polling stations more than a meter away. Everyone was wearing masks and had to disinfect their hands.

In addition, the temperature was measured at the entrance without exception in order to further reduce the risk of infection. With disposable gloves, people took the ballot paper and ticked the box in the voting booth.

The economic crisis and North Korea threaten Moon’s popularity

However, there is little time for Moon to celebrate. He is already in the middle of a new test in an area in which he has so far been unable to shine: economic policy.

The economy weakened even before the corona crisis. Moon has failed to reduce youth unemployment and alleviate small business concerns. South Korea’s economic growth is now threatening to shrink due to the looming global recession.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its economic forecast for Korea by three percentage points to minus 1.2 percent on Tuesday. This may seem mild compared to the USA, Japan and European countries – but for South Korea this is the worst slump since the 1997 Asian crisis. The economy did not shrink even during the global financial crisis eleven years ago.

The situation is also controversial for him in terms of foreign policy. In the negotiations over South Korea’s contribution to the costs of the stationed US troops, Moon has to try to fend off the quintupling of the contribution demanded by Trump. But above all, North Korea threatens to develop into a hotspot again after two years of relative silence.

Moon had won international stature as a peace-building diplomat as a successful mediator between Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. However, after the collapse of the negotiation of North Korea’s nuclear program, the country is currently testing record-breaking missiles despite United Nations sanctions.

US President Trump still lets North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un go unpunished for violations of UN resolutions. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. An escalation of the situation would be the definitive end to Moon’s policy of rapprochement to the north. Moon’s popularity today can quickly fade away.

More: What the corona pandemic means for South Korea’s elections.

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UN has to cut Yemen aid in half due to lack of funds


War, destruction, hunger: But the aid funds run dry.
Picture: dpa

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. But the United Nations must reduce aid. There is no money.

TDespite the dramatic humanitarian situation in Yemen, the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) has to drastically cut its aid to the civil war-stricken country due to lack of funds. The operation in Yemen suffers from a critical funding gap, you have no choice but to cut aid by half, a WFP spokeswoman said on Sunday. From the middle of April, families in need received support only every two months instead of monthly.

A civil war between the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government has been raging in the bitterly poor country in the south of the Arabian Peninsula for more than five years. The conflict triggered a humanitarian emergency in Yemen. 24 million people – around 80 percent of the population – rely on help, according to the UN. Many of them are starving. The United Nations speaks of the greatest humanitarian crisis in modern times.

The country also reported its first Corona case last week. Because of the humanitarian situation, observers fear a particularly large number of victims if the virus continues to spread there. An alliance led by Saudi Arabia supports the government in the conflict. The military coalition had surprisingly declared a two-week ceasefire on Wednesday. The UN Security Council called on the Houthis to make similar commitments. However, both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.

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UN conference on global climate postponed (neues-deutschland.de)

Geneva. The world climate conference in Glasgow planned for November is postponed to the coming year due to the corona pandemic. UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed in New York on Thursday that in view of the escalating corona pandemic, a new start was necessary. Federal Environment Minister Sven-ja Schulze (SPD) expressed her understanding of the shift in Berlin. A conference of this size, in which representatives from almost 200 countries came together and negotiated, could not be held as a video conference. Given the importance of the planned decisions, Schulze did not stress that the conference had been postponed.

A precise date for the 26th World Climate Conference with tens of thousands of participants should be set at a later date, said the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn. The decision to move was made jointly with host Great Britain and the host partner Italy. At the same time, Guterres emphasized that the world must continue to fight climate change decisively. The dramatic corona pandemic shows how vulnerable countries, societies and economies are in the face of existential crises.

Environmental and aid organizations have warned governments not to stop fighting global warming. The aid organization Care demanded that the climate protection ambitions, in particular of the richer countries, should not suffer under the pretext of the current crisis management. Greenpeace drew attention to the economic and financial policy responses to the corona pandemic: »If economic stimulus programs are now launched, the economic damage of the pandemic To make up for it, this money can create secure jobs and at the same time create a climate-friendly and sustainable economy, «the organization in Berlin explained.

At the ten-day conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, the states of the Paris Agreement of 2015 should present their new climate protection commitments. It was also planned to find answers to the complex questions of emissions trading. epd / nd

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UN climate conference in Glasgow is postponed to 2021

London, Glasgow, Brussels, New York The United Nations climate conference is postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The British government announced on Wednesday evening. The conference was supposed to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November. The decision was made jointly by the United Nations and the two organizers, Great Britain and Italy, the message said. The conference is now scheduled to be held next year. The exact date has not yet been determined.

“In light of the ongoing global effects of Covid-19, it is no longer possible to hold an ambitious, including COP26, in November 2020,” the reasoning says. COP26 is the abbreviation for the next climate conference.

“The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge, and states are rightly focusing their efforts to save lives and fight Covid-19. That is why we decided to postpone the climate conference, ”said Alok Sharma, UK Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.

UN Secretary General António Guterres supports the postponement. “When hundreds of thousands of people from Covid-19 get seriously ill and many die, the need to get the virus under control and save lives is our top priority,” Guterres said in New York on Wednesday (local time). However, the fight against climate change must continue.

“This dramatic human crisis is also an example of how vulnerable countries, societies and economic systems are to existential threats. Countries have to make an effort to protect the health of their people, and the planet has never been under threat. ”

Despite the rejection, the EU Commission intends to stick to its schedule and present a new European climate target for 2030 by September. This was announced by Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans in Brussels late Wednesday evening.

Currently, the EU wants to bring greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The commission wants to raise the brand to 50 to 55 percent, but first carefully examine the effects.

Timmermans expressed understanding of the postponement of the Coronavirus at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, originally scheduled for November. Diplomacy is currently being slowed down by the coronavirus crisis. The decision was made so that the conference did not fall short of expectations due to the lack of participation. “That makes sense,” said Timmermans.

The Greens in the European Parliament emphasized that the EU must now work even more for climate protection. “The postponement of the climate conference does not postpone the climate crisis,” said environmental expert Michael Bloss. “Our work must now proceed all the more thoroughly, goal-oriented and faster so that climate protection and the climate conference become a success.”

This year’s UN climate summit was particularly important: Until then, the states should make their climate protection plans more ambitious. In total, they are still far from being sufficient to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue, an annual international meeting in Berlin, is scheduled to take place despite the corona crisis. The meeting was moved to the internet. The climate dialogue, which Chancellor Angela Merkel also mostly attends, is planned for April 27 and 28.

More: The EU’s green deal is endangered by the corona crisis.

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