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UNESCO says access to information is a matter of life and death post COVID-19

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UNESCO says access to information is a matter of life and death post COVID-19

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has indicated that the menace of Coronavirus pandemic in the last six months has more awareness on the importance of ensuring access to reliable and accurate information and knowledge

The representive of the regional director UNESCO Regional office abuja Mr Salifou Abdulahi, spoke on Monday at the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2020 held st NCCE building Abuja.

He harped on the importance of making information accessible through building of more inclusive, sustainable knowledge societies, trust and saving lives.

He said,
“This is the message of the international Day for Universal Access to informatmn (IDUAI), focusing on the key role that access to information plays in taking forward the Sustainabie Development Agenda.

“The international Day for Universal Access to Information was proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly to be held on 28 September. “Initially the UNESCO General Conference designated the day on 28 September 2015, to raise awareness of the importance of universal access to information. “This year, the overall theme is ‘Saving Lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hopes”, focusing on the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and policy guarantees for public access to information through and beyond the COVID19 crisis.
He observed that Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart knowledge.

This right he said is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. “The media plays a vital role in informing the public about issues at interest and it relies much on the ability to seek and receive information.
informed citizens can make informed decisions, and the prerequisite of access to information is a cornerstone to pluralistic, equitable, open and inclusive knowledge societies.

He said the past six months of COViD~19 Pandemic in 2020 has shed light on the importance of ensuring access to reliable and accurate information and knowledge in the days and age of uncertainty as information itself is a matter of life and death, adding that the role of media and information literacy and open access is powerful instruments for mitigation of crises.
“In this time of evolvement in the media landscape, it has been witnessed that policy dialogue, the application of advanced technology, youth engagement, cultural diversity muitilingualism, and gender narratives and discourses are all involved. 

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Trump breaks record as first American President to be impeached twice

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Trump breaks record as first American President to be impeached twice

Donald Trump on Wednesday broke a record for becoming the first US president to be impeached twice

A bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted to charge him with inciting last week’s attack on the US Capitol.

Just seven days left dor Trump to leave office, 232 lawmakers, including 10 Republicans who broke with the president, voted to impeach the defiant Republican leader for high crimes and misdemeanors on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Impeachment triggers a trial in the US Senate, but the chamber is not expected to take up the matter until after Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20.

Scores of National Guard members besieged the seat of US democracy on Wednesday as congressmen and women proceeded with the impeachment process.
Democrats mobilised rapidly to begin the process to have Trump removed after he encouraged his supporters last Wednesday to “march” to the US Capitol and “fight”.
In a violent insurrection, the rioters stormed past outnumbered police, rampaged through and ransacked the building, and interrupted Congress as it was certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.
Political leaders across all continents have condemned Trump’s action, with many accusing him of dragging one of the world’s most respected and resilient democracy in the mud.

With Agency’s report

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More trouble for embattled Trump as Facebook bans him for two weeks

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More trouble for embattled Trump as Facebook bans him for two weeks

Embattled outgoing United States America’s President Donald Trump has restrained from the Facebook platform for at least ‘two weeks’.

The ban is not unconnected with his perchance for inciting violence.

The chief executive of the social media platform Mark Zuckerberg said the decision is necessary because of the US leader’s efforts to incite violence in the US capital this week.

The ban which was for 24 hours on Wednesday was extended because Mr trump was unrelenting in his ‘incitement’ efforts.

Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page that the ban was extended because Trump “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he wrote.

“Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

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Strong institutions diminish US historic crises as Biden gets winner affirmation

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Strong institutions diminish US historic crises as Biden gets winner affirmation

There is no doubt that the United States of America’s 2020 presidential election was faced with a historic crisis that fundamentally threatened the foundation of its democratic system of government.
In its tortous democratic history, the United States of America has never had it so rough.
However, its strong institutions came handy to rescue its over 200 years of democracy from being trampled underfoot by allegations of fraud.
The Congress presided over by Vice President Mike Pence this morning affirmed the election of former Vice President Joe Biden, while President Donald Trump after prolonged legal tussles on allegations that he was defrauded after refusal to accept defeat, promised an orderly transition.
Following a formal affirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, President Trump said the decision “represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history.”

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted.
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again,” Trump said while repeating false claims about the election that incited a mob to storm the Capitol.
Four people died and 52 were arrested, Washington D.C.’s police chief said, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

In a late night news conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee said 47 of the 52 arrests to date were related to violations of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 6 p.m. curfew, with 26 of those involving people arrested on U.S. Capitol grounds.
Several others were arrested on charges related to carrying unlicensed or prohibited firearms.
In addition, Contee said, two pipe bombs were recovered from the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committees, as well as a cooler from a vehicle on U.S. Capitol grounds that contained Molotov cocktails.
Contee declined to identify the woman a Capitol Police officer shot and killed, saying next of kin notification was still pending.
Three other people also died on Wednesday because of medical emergencies, he added, and 14 police officers were injured – two of whom remain hospitalized.
It was not clear if other federal or local police agencies, including the Capitol Police, had made additional arrests.
While the number of people arrested is expected to grow, the initial number pales in comparison to the more than 300 people who were arrested by police following the June 1 protests in the district related to the police killing of George Floyd.

In that incident, baton-swinging police and federal agents fired smoke canisters, flashbang grenades and rubber bullets to drive protesters farther from the White House, enabling President Donald Trump to walk across Lafayette Park and hold up a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.
While police faced staunch criticism for being too aggressive at Lafayette Square, however, the Capitol Police are now facing questions about why they did not do more to secure the Capitol and let many of the rioters later exit the building without arrests.

Bowser, the mayor, said police intend to ask the public for help in identifying rioters, many of whom posed for photos inside the Capitol and can be seen in viral videos on social media without face masks.

“We will be on the lookout,” she said. “Some of them, we think … have to be held accountable for the carnage.”

Late on Wednesday, the FBI also asked the public to submit tips, such as images, videos and other information to help agents identify people were “actively instigating violence.”

Bowser also extended a public emergency declaration for 15 days, an action she said will allow her to restrict peoples’ movements around the city if necessary.

**Additional report by France 24

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