UN Seeks to Combat Human Trafficking

June 30th marks World Day against Trafficking in Persons, and the United Nations has called on countries to increase efforts in cracking down on human trafficking.

The UN estimates that close to 21 million people are affected by human trafficking globally for labour, war and sexual exploitation.

Of these people, one third are believed to be children. Approximately 71% of all people being trafficked across the globe are women and girls.

The UN initiated World Day against Trafficking in Persons in 2013 at a General Assembly, when the organisation decided to dedicate an annual day to raise global awareness on the issue.

In 2015, the UN proposed the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which encourages member states to reach certain goals in their efforts to end human trafficking.

Ahead of World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the United States released their annual Trafficking in Persons report on Tuesday. The report chronicles US efforts to combat human trafficking, as well as the efforts of various other countries.

In the report, the US States Department places countries onto one of three tiers “based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”.

In 2016, Myanmar in Southeast Asia was one of the world’s worst offenders in human trafficking. However, the US State Department has promoted the small country in their 2017 report, applauding their increasing efforts against the recruitment of child soldiers.

Myanmar and Iraq were removed from a list of countries that use child soldiers.

China, on the other hand, was demoted to the report’s lowest ranking over it’s human trafficking record. The report said that China was not meeting the minimum standards to stop trafficking and was ‘not making significant efforts to do so’.

China is now in the same category as countries such as North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe.

US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that human trafficking is a massive, global problem.

“Regrettably, our challenge is enormous…Human trafficking is becoming more nuanced and more difficult to identify. Much of these activities are going underground, and they’re going online,” he said.

The UN has also established a voluntary trust fund for victims of human trafficking which aims to help those who manage to escape their enslavement.

2017/2018 EPL Transfer Round Up

As we etch closer to the start of the 2017/2018 English Premier League, let’s have a look at what has been happening with transfers thus far.

While there haven’t been many new signings, several EPL clubs have made some notable additions to their teams.

Chelsea

Chelsea have not signed any new players as of yet, but have released and sold quite a few team members, including Juan Cuadrado to Juventus for £17.3 million, Bertrand Traore to Lyon for £8.8 million, and Christian Atsu to Newcastle for £6.2 million.

They have also released veteran Chelsea player and former captain, John Terry.

Arsenal

Arsenal suffered a blow yesterday when their bids for Alexandre Lacazette and Thomas Lemar were rejected. However, they have managed to acquire Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a free transfer.

Everton

Everton acquired Jordan Pickford from Sunderland for £30 million and Davy Klaassen from Ajax for £23.6 million.

They have also sold Tom Cleverley to Watford for an undisclosed amount.

Liverpool

Liverpool most recently signed Mohamed Salah for £34.3 million from Roma, as well as Dominic Solanke from Chelsea, whose fee is by tribunal.

Manchester City

City has made two notable acquisitions thus far: Bernardo Silva from Monaco for £43 million and Ederson from Benfica for an undisclosed amount.

They have let go of quite a number of players, including Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Enes Unal, amongst others.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho’s side has only made one acquisition thus far, namely Victor Lindelof from Benfica for £30.7 million.

Celebs Who Had Weird Jobs Before Fame

It’s easy to forget that celebrities are just normal human beings. With all the glitz and glam surrounding their lavish lifestyles, it’s hard to imagine them doing everyday things.

However, everyone has to start somewhere and some of these celebrities had some pretty interesting jobs before they found their place in Hollywood!

Whoopi Goldberg

Before she was an Oscar-winning actress, Whoopi Goldberg worked as a bricklayer for a construction company.

After quitting her job as a bricklayer, she went on to become a morgue beautician. Yes, Whoopi would dress up corpses before their funeral…

Kanye West

Before he was the ‘greatest rock star of all time’ (his words, not ours), Kim Kardashian’s hubby used to work as a sales assistant at Gap.

We guess his passion for fashion started at an early age. We just wonder if he was friendly to the customers.

Matt LeBlanc

Before he became a household name playing ‘Joey’ on the hit sitcom, ‘Friends’, Matt was a carpenter that used to make furniture.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel worked at McDonald’s for a whopping three years before she got her foot in the door in Hollywood!

She has said before that while she may have worked at the fast food restaurant for quite some time she ‘wasn’t a very good employee’.

Regina George would never approve.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole worked as a massage therapist in her native Australia before heading to the US and marrying Tom Cruise, divorcing Tom Cruise, winning an Oscar, and eventually starting a life in Nashville with husband, Keith Urban.

Johnny Depp

Hollywood’s favourite bad boy, Johnny Depp, used to sell ballpoint pens over the phone before he became one of the world’s most desirable heartthrobs.

Image being sold pens by Captain Jack Sparrow.

Ketumile Masire Praised at Memorial Service

Former Botswana president, Sir Ketumile Masire, was praised for his dedication to democracy at a memorial service held for him in the country’s capital yesterday.

Masire passed away in hospital last week at the age of 91.

The memorial service for the late president was held in Gaborone yesterday and was attended by several African dignitaries, presidents and former presidents.

Former Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza, arrived in Gaborone on Wednesday, alongside former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa, and former South African president, Thabo Mbeki.

Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, arrived in the country on Wednesday. He was accompanied by nine of his cabinet ministers as well as other Zimbabwean business leaders.

Lesotho’s King Letsie III also arrived on Wednesday.

Speaking at his memorial, Masire’s successor, former Botswana president, Festus Mogae, praised Masire for his determination in bringing social and economical reforms to Botswana. He called his leadership ‘democratic to a fault’.

Mogae also said that Masire had a passion for farming and food production in Botswana.

“[Masire] was a workaholic whose obsession was farming and food production…he would ring at 03:00 and say ‘by the way did we agree we would do this next week’[sic],” Mogae said of Masire’s work ethic.

Current Vice-President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said that Masire’s legacy will never be forgotten and that he had laid the foundation for a thriving democratic country.

“He leaves behind a solid foundation of Botswana’s sustainable economy. We will indeed miss RaGaone’s hearty signature laughter. He had a good reputation as a mediator within the region…His principles of peace resolution and respect for human rights will forever remain rooted in our lives as Batswana. As Batswana, we are extremely blessed to have had a leader of his repute,” Masisi said.

US President Donald Trump sent his condolences to the people of Botswana, calling Masire ‘one of the giants of African peace and democracy’.

Masire’s body lay in state in Botswana’s parliament yesterday. He will be buried in his hometown of Kanye today.

Lyon, Monaco Reject Arsenal Bids

Arsenal was handed quite a blow to their summer transfer hopes, when both Lyon and Monaco rejected the club’s bid for Alexandre Lacazette and Thomas Lemar respectively.

The two players were at the top of the English club’s target list.

Lemar had an excellent season with Monaco, helping the club win the Ligue 1 for the first time in 17 years. His versatility as both a winger and a centre player has earned him praise from critics.

The 21-year-old made his debut for the French national team in November of last year and was included in the team’s starting lineup in their international friendly against England two weeks ago.

It is believed that Arsenal offered Monaco close to £30 million for the services of Lemar, but were eventually turned down.

As for Lacazette, it is not known exactly how much Arsenal offered him, but Lyon club president, Jean-Michel Aulas, said in an interview last week that the club would consider offers around the £50 million mark.

Lacazette previously said that he would only move to a club playing in the Champions League – something Arsenal failed to qualify for last season.

Lacazette was also tied to a move to Atletico Madrid.This deal fell through after Atletico was banned by FIFA from signing new players this season, after being found guilty of breaking international transfer rules for U-16 players.

Arsenal is reportedly still interested in another French player, Kylian Mbappe, although there has been no official word on a possible transfer deal.

Lamar Talks Khloe and the Kardashians

Lamar Odom has spoken openly for the first time about his failed marriage to Khloe Kardashian and his relationship with the rest of the Kardashian family.

Lamar and Khloe famously tied the knot in 2009 after just one month of dating. However, their relationship took a drastic turn when Lamar started doing drugs. His drug habit would eventually land him at death’s door and ultimately led to the couple’s divorce.

The former NBA star appeared on the ‘Wendy Williams Show’ on Wednesday, and opened up about his marriage to Khloe and what his relationship with the rest of the Kardashians is like now.

When asked whether or not he would get back together with Khloe, Lamar had this to say:

“No. I say that with no offense to her—that would be the best for both of us you know what I’m saying…We have to keep our distance,” he said.

He continued, acknowledging that Khloe is in a relationship with Tristan Thompson.

“They seem happy together…good for them,” he said.

Host Wendy Williams then went on to ask him what he thinks of Khloe’s body transformation since they split up (the reality star notably lost a lot of weight and got into shape after her marriage to Lamar crumbled).

Lamar said that she does look great but that ‘she [has] always been beautiful to me’.

During their marriage, Lamar was very close with Khloe’s brother, Rob, who lived with them at the time.

“[Rob] has a child – I haven’t met his child yet or anything,” he said. When asked why they haven’t spoken in a while, Lamar said:

“I guess it’s maybe because I hurt his sister too much…I would have a problem with me too…I mean if she was my sister”.

Lamar is currently getting his life on track after being in and out of rehab since he recovered from his coma.

Natural Ways to Cure a Cold

During winter, most people will unfortunately have to deal with a common cold.

The best way to prevent yourself from falling victim to illness is to boost your immune system with lots of Vitamin C, eat healthily and keep warm.

While it may be easier said than done, there are natural ways to cure yourself without pumping your body full of medicine and antibiotics.

These old school recipes to fight a cold have been around for generations, so why not give it a try?

Honey & Onion Syrup

We know this sounds extremely gross, but it works wonders, especially if you are suffering from a phlegmy cough.

Honey is great for soothing a sore throat, while onion has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to loosen phlegm in your chest.

In a small jar, layer onion slices at the base, cover with 3 tablespoons of organic honey, and add a little sugar (if you prefer the mixture sweeter). Continue layering until the jar is full.

Allow the mixture to stand overnight. Then, dose yourself with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the syrup a day, or whenever you need to suppress your cough.

Throat Remedy

This mixture is an excellent remedy for soothing a sore, inflamed throat. It will also help to remove harmful bacteria from your throat.

Mix the following ingredients together in a large flask.

1 cup boiling water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons dried sage leaves

Place the sage leaves at the bottom of the container and add the liquid ingredients. Mix the salt in last.

Gargle 2 to 3 times a day while the mixture is warm.

Menthol Bath Salt

This homemade bath salt is a wonderful way to clear your sinuses and treat an aching body at the same time.

Mix all of these ingredients together in a glass jar.

1 cup Epsom salt
4 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
4 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix well and let 3 to 4 tablespoons of the salt mixture dissolve in a hot bath. Relax in the tub and breathe in the vapours.

Grenfell Tower Fire Investigation Intensifies

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called for a ‘major’ investigation into the Grenfell Tower inferno that left 79 people dead.

The fire, which broke out in the West London apartment block on 14 June, has been described as the worst fire in the UK in at least 60 years.

May chaired a meeting with the Grenfell Tower taskforce on Monday. Following the meeting, she called for the launch of a ‘major national investigation’ into the use of the flammable cladding that was used on the outside of the building.

Following an initial investigation of the cause of the Grenfell Tower fire, investigators found that the cladding used was extremely flammable and caused the fire to spread rapidly throughout the block.

Since then, 60 other building across Britain have been deemed unsafe. Evacuation processes have started at many of these buildings.

The government has appointed a panel of experts to advise them on immediate safety action, which will be chaired by former London Fire commissioner, Sir Ken Knight.

Knight was previously the British government’s Chief Fire and Rescue adviser. The rest of the panel is said to be made up of fire safety and building experts. The panel is expected to meet before the end of the week.

An identification process of the victims of the fire is still underway, and dozens of families still await news on their missing relatives.

Bird Flu Affects SA Poultry Exports

Following a serious outbreak of bird flu, South African poultry imports have been banned in four of its neighbouring countries.

The latest outbreak of the pathogenic avian influenza, known as the H5N8 strain, has spread rapidly throughout South Africa.
It the first outbreak of this specific strain of bird flu in the country and it has severely affected two major poultry farms in the Mpumalanga province.

Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique banned poultry imports from South Africa last week, and yesterday, Namibia became the latest country to join in on the ban.

In addition to this, the South African government introduced a nationwide ban on the sale of live poultry on Monday.

“The department has established a 30km control zone in Mpumalanga and the Free State. The provinces are conducting surveillance in the control zone for other affected properties. All provinces have been notified and are on high alert [sic],” a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

The South African government has also ordered the culling of close to 25 000 affected chickens in order to contain the disease. The eggs of these chickens will remain in quarantine on the affected farm.

The outbreak of the disease serves a big blow to South Africa’s already fragile poultry industry, and the rapid spread of the disease has placed many farms at risk.

“All poultry farmers are at risk, and should take precautionary measures to prevent introduction of the disease to their flocks…we are talking about a disease that is transmitted by wild birds…The birds could have migrated from affected areas, or been in contact with migratory birds from infected areas [sic],” Department of Agriculture spokesperson, Bomikazi Molapo, said.

It is not yet known whether other farms in the area or in the rest of South Africa have been affected.

Craig Cathcart Signs New Watford Deal

Irish international, Craig Cathcart, has signed a new deal with English Premier League club, Watford, that will see him stay with the club for the next four years.

The Hornets announced the news of Cathcart’s contract extension on their official Twitter account this morning.

Cathcart has become quite the favourite with fans since he joined the club in 2014 from Blackpool.

Prior to this, Cathcart played for Manchester United between 2007 and 2010. However, he failed to make a lasting impression at the club under Sir Alex Ferguson and was rarely included in the starting lineup. He was then transferred on loan to both Royal Antwerp and Plymouth Argyle, as well as future club, Watford, before signing with Blackpool.

However, since permanently joining Watford, the 28-year-old seems to have come into his own and has made 86 appearances for the club.

He was also chosen to remain with the club by new Watford manager, Marco Silva. Silva replaced ousted manager, Walter Mazzarri, at the end of last season.

Silva mentioned that he wants to build a stronger defence team, and that Cathcart will fit perfectly into that vision.