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Maldives opposition wins tense poll, and Yemen may run out of food in three months

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French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity falls further, and Nepal set to achieve major tiger conservation goal.

Opposition claims victory in Maldives presidential elections

Maldives opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party has claimed victory in the country’s tense presidential election Sunday, The Maldives Independent reported.

According to a report in the Al Jazeera, after votes from 90 per cent of the ballot boxes had been counted, Solih emerged with a 58 per cent vote share.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority… I would like to call upon President Abdulla Yameen and ask him to respect the will of the people and immediately begin the smooth transition of power,” Solih is reported to have told the media in Male.

Yameen, who had sought re-election with a pledge to boost the island’s economy, entered the election after a term marred by allegations of rights abuses and corruption.

Yemen crisis: Country may run out of food in three months

Yemen has very little food left for its population, with supplies unlikely to last more than two to three months if the battle in the city of Hodeidah leads to its crucial port being blocked, charity CARE International has warned, reports The Independent.

The port accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s supplies.

“Once the harbour is blocked we are talking about millions and millions of people who will not have food,” the charity’s Yemen director Johan Mooij said.

“Even the smallest disruption to food, fuel and aid supplies through its vital port could mean death for hundreds of thousands of malnourished children unable to get the food they need to stay alive,” said Tamer Kirolos of the NGO Save the Children.

French President’s popularity slips further, say polls

French President Emmanuel Macron seems to be getting less and less popular in his country, or so project two recent opinion polls, reports Reuters.

According to one of the polls, conducted by market research firm Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche between 14 and 22 September among a sample of 1,964 people, only 29 per cent of the respondents said they were satisfied with Macron. The percentage fell from 34 per cent last month and 39 per cent two months ago.

The second poll, conducted by OpinionWay for LCI from 19-20 September on 1,061 people, showed that only 28 per cent were satisfied with Macron, down from 35 per cent in July.

Macron had won the 2017 election with 66.1 per cent of the vote share on the basis of a reformist promise to modernise the euro zone’s second largest power. But many voters complain that his policies mostly benefit the rich.

Major tech players at White House meet on quantum computing today

Several leading companies such as Alphabet Inc, IBM Corp, and JPMorgan Chase & Co will take part in a meeting organised by the White House Monday to discuss quantum computing, which promises to be millions of times faster than today’s computers, Reuters reported.

The White House seeks to boost quantum information science, which could revolutionise healthcare, communications, artificial intelligence, and weather forecasting, among other fields.

“The technology carries major national security implications because quantum computers potentially could break traditional internet security programs or other codes,” the report added.

According to a memo issued by the White House, quantum computing “will enable us to predict and improve chemical reactions, new materials and their properties, as well as provide new understandings of spacetime and the emergence of our universe”.

A bill cleared by the US House of Representatives seeks to set out a fund of $1.3 billion for the efforts through 2023.

Nepal set to be the first country to double tiger population

Nepal is going to be the first country to double its tiger population as part of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) ‘Tx2’ programme, reports Al Jazeera.

The programme aims to double the world tiger population by 2022, with 2010 as the base year. With four years remaining, Nepal is just a few steps away from its goal. According to the WWF, the country’s tiger population stands at 235, up from 121 in 2009.

“Protecting tigers is a top priority of the government,” Nepal’s secretary of the ministry of forests and environment Bishwa Nath Oli said.

Nepal conducted a national tiger survey between November 2017 and April 2018.
“This significant increase in Nepal’s tiger population is proof that when we work together, we can save the planet’s wildlife — even species facing extinction,” said Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, WWF-US board member and chairman of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which has funded tiger conservation in Nepal’s Bardia National Park and elsewhere since 2010.



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