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  1. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has named a gender and disabilities rights activist Hauwa Ojeifo as its Changemaker Award winner for 2020. The 2020 Changemaker Award celebrates an individual who has inspired change using personal experience or from a position of leadership. It recognised Ojeifo for her work promoting gender equality (Global Goal #5). Ojeifo is a sexual and domestic abuse survivor and the founder of She Writes Woman, a women-led movement giving the issue of mental health a voice in Nigeria. The foundation made the announcement during the Gates Foundation Global Goalkeeper Award won by director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr. John Nkengasong. As part of its annual Goalkeepers campaign, the foundation also announced three other Goalkeepers Awards and launched two innovative partnerships that address the impact of COVID-19 on Kenya’s health and economy. Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates, praised Nkengasong and the Africa CDC for their commitment to the fight against COVID-19. Gates said: “Dr. Nkengasong and his team at Africa CDC are deeply deserving of this award. Their commitment to securing the latest innovations from elsewhere in the world as well as developing them themselves will go a long way towards ensuring that the continent has the vaccines and medicines it needs to fight COVID-19.” Besides Dr. Nkengasong, and Ojeifo, two other winners also emerged. They are: Bonita Sharma of Nepal, and the MASH Project Foundation based in India. “Each was recognised for playing a role in addressing the effects of COVID-19 in their communities. “The 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award recognises an established individual demonstrating significant commitment to health and development, specifically in response to the pandemic. The award was presented to Dr. Nkengasong, a central voice for Africa’s scientific community. As co-chair of the Africa CDC Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials (CONCVACT), Dr. Nkengasong is leading the securement of a variety of late-stage vaccine clinical trials on the continent by bringing together global vaccine developers, funders, and local facilitators.
  2. The United State Department of Commerce has announced that TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the as from Sunday, September 20, 2020. The new development comes days after American computer technology giant, Oracle Corporation reportedly won the bidding for TikTok’s US operations after the Chinese app rejected Microsoft. According to a press release on Friday September 18, the department stated: ‘In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.” The following transactions will be prohibited: “Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S. Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.” The statement added that as of September 20 for WeChat and November 12 for TikTok, the following transactions will be prohibited; “Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.; Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.; Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.; Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S. These measures ensure TikTok and WeChat will be removed from iOS and Google Play starting Sunday, preventing users from downloading the apps or updating them in the future.” President of the United States Donald Trump, has repeatedly said that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, poses a national security threat because of its Chinese ties. He advised that TikTok’s US operations be sold to an American company unless it will be banned in the U.S.
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