Washington/Canadian-Media: As part of a tradition of festivals commemorating emancipation, African American contributions to American life, and freedom, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) virtually commemorates Juneteenth on June 19.
#War; #Peace; #Resilience; #Yemen
New York/Canadian-Media: Yemenis who have been displaced by years of conflict have been sharing stories of resilience and hope as their country endures what the UN has described as the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world”. More than 16 million of them will go hungry this year.
Abdullah, aged seven, has been displaced by the five-year-long conflict in Yemen. Image credit: © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Hend (age 12): “We were on the bus, the road was very arduous, there was bombing and we could hear the sounds of bullets. My life has changed. I miss my friends.”
Image credit: © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Hala, (11) “I have all my toys in Hudaydah, a car and dolls. What I prefer are my dolls. And my friend Maryam. I am happy when I go to school and play.” Her mother says, “if we eat breakfast, we do not eat lunch. And if we do not eat both meals, we eat dinner.” The UN says Yemen is facing full-on famine in 2021. Image credit: © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Angam (11) "We had to leave our home in Hudaydah because of the war. Bullets and shrapnel entered our house, so we left." Two million children are unable to go to school in Yemen. Image credit: © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Kamal (35) “My son has a heart disease. The treatment he needs is not available here; I bring it from Hudaydah. The thing that I am most proud of is my son, he keeps me going in life.” More than 80 per cent of Yemen’s districts are in severe need of extra health assistance. Image credit: © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Fatima (45) "We need to rent a room, we cannot live inside the tent because of the wind and heavy rain. We get wet sometimes and this is really hard". There are an estimated three million displaced people in Yemen. © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
Fathi (48): “I have five children and now I have no work due to my injured spine. I don't know how to manage all this now." The UN is appealing for $3.85 billion to support humanitarian assistance. © UNOCHA/Giles Clarke
#ESA; #Sardina; #Science; #Technology; #Exploration; #IodineThruster
Europe/Canadian-Media: An intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space, the European Space Agency (ESA) was established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris.
In this story ESA throws more light on Sardina, Italy; Science & Exploration; Iodine thruster.
Sardina, Italy. Image credit: ESA
Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.
Situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the west and south and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the east, Sardinia (also known as Sardegna) is the island 200 km west of the Italian Peninsula, 200 km north of Tunisia and around 12 km south of the French island of Corsica, partially visible in the top of the image.
The shortwave infrared band and the near infrared band has been used to process this image, which uses data from 11 October to 14 October 2019, to highlight crops and dense vegetation which appear in bright green in the image, while bare soil can be seen in various shades of orange and brown.
Grasslands and croplands with a higher moisture content appear more vibrant in the image. As water is a strong absorber of infrared, inland water bodies are delineated and can be easily spotted in black. Much of the Sardinia’s arable land is devoted to cereal cultivation and fruit growing.
Being mainly a mountainous region, Sardinia with its highest point Mount La Marmora in the Gennargentu massif is visible in the centre-right of the image. Sardinia, with over 1800 km of coastline is internationally renowned for its beaches including those along the Emerald Coast, or Costa Smeralda, Alghero and Villasimius. The coasts, particularly in the east, are high and rocky, with long stretches of coastline with bays, inlets and various smaller islands located off the coast.
The archipelago of La Maddalena, including the renowned islands of La Maddalena, Caprera and Santo Stefano, can be seen in the top-right of the image. Its islands are known for their pristine beaches and wild beauty. Cagliari, the island’s capital and largest city, lies on the southern coast of the island.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types as well as data on numerous plant indices, such as leaf area index, leaf chlorophyll content and leaf water content – all of which are essential to accurately monitor plant growth.
Science & Exploration: Keep this surface dirty. Image credit: ESA
A ‘do not touch’ directive applies to both a Matisse painting and this Matiss experiment on board the International Space Station.
Designed to test the antibacterial properties of hydrophobic (or water-repelling) surfaces on the Station, the sample holders of the upgraded Matiss-2.5 experiment have done their work for roughly a year on board and are now back on Earth for analysis.
Bacteria are a big problem in space as they tend to build up in the constantly-recycled atmosphere of the Space Station. For the six astronauts living in humanity’s habitat in space, keeping the Station clean is an important part of their life to avoid bacteria and fungus. Every Saturday is cleaning day, when the whole crew wipe surfaces, vacuum and collect waste.
Matiss or Microbial Aerosol Tethering on Innovative Surfaces in the international Space Station, driven by French space agency CNES, in collaboration ENS de Lyon and CEA-Leti, and commissioned in 2016 by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, examines the performance of five advanced materials in preventing illness-causing microorganisms from settling and growing in microgravity.
The experiment consists of plaques each containing the five materials to be tested plus a glass control surface. The units are open on the sides to let air flow naturally through and collect any bacteria floating past.
The first set of the Matiss experiment, known as Matiss-1, provided some baseline data points for researchers. Four sample holders were set up in three different locations within the European Columbus laboratory, where they remained for six months.
Once these samples were returned to Earth, researchers characterised the deposits formed on each surface and used the control material to establish a reference for the level and type of contamination expected over half a year.
A continuation of the experiment, known as Matiss-2, saw four identical sample holders containing three different types of material installed in a single location in Columbus. This study aimed to better understand how contamination spreads over time across the hydrophobic and control surfaces. The upgraded Matiss-2.5 aimed to study how contamination spreads, this time spatially, across the hydrophobic surfaces using patterned samples.
The materials are a diverse mix of advanced technology – from self-assembly monolayers and green polymers to ceramic polymers and water-repellent hybrid silica. The smart materials should stop bacteria from sticking and growing over large areas, and effectively making them easier to clean and more hygienic – but which one works best?
Understanding the effectiveness and potential use of these materials will be essential to the design of future spacecraft, especially those carrying humans father out in space.
The findings could also lead to the development and greater use of antimicrobial surfaces on elevator buttons and door handles, in bars, on public transport and in other high-traffic areas.
Iodine thruster used to change the orbit of a small satellite for the first time ever. Image credit: ESA
For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.
The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up.
The technology could also be used to boost the mission lifetime of small cubesats that monitor agricultural crops on Earth or entire mega-constellations of nanosats that provide global internet access, by raising their orbits when they begin to drift towards the planet.
The technology was developed by ThrustMe, a spin-off company from the École Polytechnique and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and supported by ESA through its programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES).
It uses a novel propellant – iodine – in an electric thruster that controls the satellite’s height above Earth. Iodine is less expensive and uses simpler technologies than traditional propellants.
Unlike many traditional propellants, iodine is non-toxic and it is solid at room temperature and pressure. This makes it easier and cheaper to handle on Earth.
When heated, it turns to gas without going through a liquid phase, which makes it ideal for a simple propulsion system. It is also denser than traditional propellants, so it occupies smaller volumes onboard the satellite.
ThrustMe launched its iodine thruster on a commercial research nanosat called SpaceTy Beihangkongshi-1 that went into space in November 2020. It was test fired earlier this month before being used to change the orbit of the satellite.
#ESA; #StormFilomena; #Colka; #lunarTelecommunications; #ARTES; #HubbleArchive; #XMMNewton; #BioAsteroid; #TanezrouftBasin
France/Canadian-Media: Originated in 1975, European Space Agency (ESA) is situated in the northeast of South America in French Guiana and is an overseas department of France and since then ESA has continued to fund two thirds of the spaceport's annual budget to finance the operations and the investments needed to maintain the top level services provided by the Spaceport. ESA also finances new facilities, such as launch complexes and industrial production facilities, for new launchers such as Vega-C and Ariane 6.
European Space Agency. Image credit: esa.net
European Space Agency week in images Jan 11 to Jan 15, 2021
Madrid Snowbound. Image credit: @contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 11 January 2021 at 12:14 CET, this image of Madrid in Spain appears to have been taken in black and white. In fact, it is a true-colour image – but the heaviest snowfall in 50 years has blanketed the region, turning the landscape white.
Storm Filomena hit Spain over the weekend, blanketing parts of the country in thick snow and leaving half of the country on red alert. Madrid, one of the worst affected areas, was brought to a standstill with the airport having to be closed, trains cancelled and roads blocked.
Although this satellite image was taken after the storm had passed, it is clear to see that much snow still remains, especially in the outskirts of the city. For example, some runways at the airport, which is visible in the top-right of the image, are still covered by snow. The unusual cold weather on the Iberian Peninsula is expected to last until later this week with temperatures forecasted to plunge to –12°C. The race is on to clear roads so that supplies of essential goods such as food supplies and Covid vaccines can be delivered.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission. Each satellite carries a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface in 13 spectral bands. Together they cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator.
Pool preps. Image credit: @ NASA EVA NBL
Prepping for a spacewalk typically means diving underwater to rehearse and fine-tune operations.
In 2016, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst performed such an underwater rehearsal for the Colka high speed radio, the brown box imaged above, that will be installed this month on the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover will integrate the small fridge-sized device outside the European Columbus module during a spacewalk scheduled this year. ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will be at NASA’s mission control directing the spacewalkers as Capcom. The Columbus Ka-band terminal, nicknamed ‘Colka’, will enable faster communication with Europe.
Orbiting the planet every 90 minutes means the Space Station is constantly making and breaking short links with ground stations on Earth as it passes over them at a height of 400 km.
With Colka, a European telecommunications satellite in geostationary orbit can pick up data sent from the Columbus module. This satellite is part of the European Data Relay System and will be able to directly relay the signals from Columbus to European soil via a ground station in Harwell, in the UK.
The current data relay system routes via USA, which results in longer data transfer times. The Colka upgrade will ensure faster communications between Columbus and Europe, speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s for downlink and up to 2 Mbit/s for uplink. This will allow astronauts and researchers to benefit from a direct link with Europe at home broadband speeds – delivering a whole family’s worth of video streaming and data for science and communications.
Colka will be installed just weeks after the announcement that Europe will start building a communications module in support of the Gateway, the next spaceship to be assembled and operated in the vicinity of the Moon by International Space Station partners. The ESPRIT High-speed Lunar Communication System will be launched on NASA’s Gateway living quarters, in 2024.
As humankind ventures farther from Earth and goes forward to the Moon, a robust communications infrastructure is necessary for the lunar economy and to return knowledge and benefits to Earth. ESA is working on this with the Moonlight project, a system for lunar telecommunications and navigation to reduce design complexity, liberating missions to concentrate on their core activities.
ColKa was designed and built by British and Italian companies, using products from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and Norway, some of which have been qualified under the ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES).
Spain's Chilly Blanket. Image credit: @ contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
The heavy snowfall that hit Spain a few days ago still lies heavy across much of the country as this Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite image shows.
While the idea of snuggling under a blanket in the cold winter months is very appealing, the blanket that covers half of Spain is not remotely comforting. This satellite image, captured on 12 January at 11:40 CET, shows how much of the country is still facing hazardous conditions following the snow that fell at the weekend – the heaviest snowfall the country has had in five decades.
Storm Filomena hit Spain over the weekend, covering a large part of the country in thick snow. Madrid one of the worst affected areas (see satellite image), was brought to a standstill with the airport having to be closed, trains cancelled and roads blocked.
People in central Spain are struggling as a deep freeze follows the heavy snow. Yesterday, the temperature plunged to –25°C in Molina de Aragón and Teruel, in mountains east of Madrid – Spain's coldest night for at least 20 years.
Copernicus Sentinel-3 is a two-satellite mission. Each satellite carries a suite of cutting-edge instruments to measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. For example, with a swath width of 1270 km, the ocean and land colour instrument, which acquired the two tiles for this image, provides global coverage every two days.
Hubble pinpoints supernova blast. Image credit: @ NASA, ESA, and J. Banovetz and D. Milisavljevic (Purdue University); CC BY 4.0
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed the supernova remnant named 1E 0102.2-7219. Researchers are using Hubble’s imagery of the remnant object to wind back the clock on the expanding remains of this exploded star in the hope of understanding the supernova event that caused it 1700 years ago.
The featured star that exploded long ago belongs to the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way located roughly 200 000 light-years away. The doomed star left behind an expanding, gaseous corpse — a supernova remnant — known as 1E 0102.2-7219.
Because the gaseous knots in this supernova remnant are moving at different speeds and directions from the supernova explosion, those moving toward Earth are coloured blue in this composition and the ones moving away are shown in red. This new Hubble image shows these ribbons of gas speeding away from the explosion site at an average speed of 3.2 million kilometres per hour. At that speed, you could travel to the Moon and back in 15 minutes.
Researchers have studied the Hubble archive looking for visible-light images of the supernova remnant and they have analysed the data to calculate a more accurate estimate of the age and centre of the supernova blast.
According to their new estimates, light from this blast arrived at Earth 1700 years ago, during the decline of the Roman Empire. This supernova would only have been visible to inhabitants of Earth’s southern hemisphere. Unfortunately, there are no known records of this titanic event. Earlier studies proposed explosion dates of 2000 and 1000 years ago, but this new analysis is believed to be more robust.
To pinpoint when the explosion occurred, researchers studied the tadpole-shaped, oxygen-rich clumps of ejecta flung out by this supernova blast. Ionised oxygen is an excellent tracer because it glows brightest in visible light. By using Hubble’s powerful resolution to identify the 22 fastest moving ejecta clumps, or knots, the researchers determined that these targets were the least likely to have been slowed down by passage through interstellar material. They then traced the knots’ motion backward until the ejecta coalesced at one point, identifying the explosion site. Once that was known, they could calculate how long it took the speedy knots to travel from the explosion centre to their current location.
Hubble also measured the speed of a suspected neutron star — the crushed core of the doomed star — that was ejected from the blast. Based on the researchers’ estimates, it must be moving at more than 3 million kilometres per hour from the centre of the explosion to have arrived at its current position. The suspected neutron star was identified in observations with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, in combination with data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Cosmic neon lights. Image credit: @ESA/XMM-Newton, L. Oskinova/Univ. Potsdam, Germany
This image shows a new type of star that has never been seen before in X-ray light. This strange star formed after two white dwarfs – remnants of stars like our Sun – collided and merged. But instead of destroying each other in the event, the white dwarfs formed a new object that shines bright in X-ray light.
A team of astronomers led by Lidia Oskinova of the University of Potsdam, Germany, used ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray telescope to study the object that was originally discovered in 2019. Back then, astronomers already reported that the object has very high wind speeds and is too bright, and therefore too massive, to be an ordinary white dwarf. They suggested that the object is a new type of star that survived the merger of two white dwarfs.
Based on new information from XMM-Newton, Lidia and her team now suggest that what we see in the image is a new type of X-ray source powered by the merger of two white dwarfs. The remnant of the clash – the nebula – is also visible in this image, and is mostly made out of the element neon (shown in green). The star is very unstable and will likely collapse into a neutron star within 10 000 years.
Tanezrouft Basin. Image credit: @contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Tanezrouft Basin – one of the most desolate parts of the Sahara Desert.
Zoom in to see this image at its full 10 m resolution or click on the circles to learn more about the features in this image.
Tanezrouft is a region of the Sahara lying in southern Algeria and northern Mali. The hyperarid area is known for its soaring temperatures and scarce access to water and vegetation, a reason why it’s often referred to as the ‘Land of Terror’. There are no permanent residents that live here, only occasional Tuareg nomads.
The barren plain extends to the west of the Hoggar mountains and southeast of the sandy Erg Chech. The terrain shows evidence of water erosion that occurred many years ago, when the Sahara Desert’s climate was much wetter, as well as wind erosion caused by frequent sandstorms – exposing ancient folds in the Paleozoic rocks.
The region is characterised by dark sandstone hills, steep canyon walls, salt flats (visible in white in the image), stone plateaus and seas of multi-storey sand dunes known as ‘ergs’. Concentric rings of exposed sandstone strata create a stunning pattern predominantly visible in the left of the image.
White lines in the right of the image are roads that lead to In Salah – the capital of the In Salah Province and In Salah District. Just above the centre-left of the image, an airstrip can be seen. An interesting, grid-like pattern can be seen in the bottom of the image and mostly consists of human-made clearings and roads.
This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured on 12 January 2020 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission – a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus programme.
Asteroids vs. microbes. Image credit: @ NASA
Inside one of the containers of this 40-cm-across miniature laboratory in orbit, a battle is set to start between asteroid-like fragments and rock-hungry microbes, to probe their use for space mining in the future.
The University of Edinburgh’s ‘BioAsteroid’ payload is one of multiple experiments running simultaneously aboard ESA’s Kubik – Russian for cube – facility aboard Europe's Columbus module of the International Space Station. It found its way to orbit via the new commercial Bioreactor Express Service.
The experimenters want to see how BioAsteroid’s combination of bacteria and fungi interact with the rock in reduced gravity, including to observe whether characteristic ‘biofilms’ will be grown on rock surfaces, comparable to dental plaque on teeth.
The microbes could in the future be cultivated to help mine resources. So-called bio-mining has potential on Earth and in space exploration to recover economically useful elements from rock, as well as creating fertile soil from lunar dust.
Technology image of the week
#USCustomsandBorderProtectionOffice; #PublicAffairs; #VisualCommunicationsDivision
United States/Canadian-Media: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs - Visual Communications Division said that it completed 450 miles of the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rio Grande Valley, TX. January 5, 2021.
Image: 450 miles of the border wall completed along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rio Grande Valley, TX. Image credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs - Visual Communications Division
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Pittsburgh seized a combined 60 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl rings in eight different parcels that arrived from China and were destined to addresses in Allegheny County, Pa. The rings arrived as six-ring sets and represented each of the Steelers six Super Bowl championships. The parcels arrived between December 9 and December 23, 2020. CBP officers suspected the rings to be counterfeit and detained them. CBP import specialist confirmed that the rings violated NFL and Steelers intellectual property rights trademarks, and officers completed the seizures on the rings through Thursday. If authentic, the Steelers Super Bowl rings would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $90,000.
#UN; #MigrantWorkers; #IOM; #Unemployed; #CovidPandemic; #Abuse; #FinancialHardships
UN/Canadian-Media: Migrant workers in Beirut have been left “destitute and in dire need of assistance” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating explosion which destroyed large parts of the port area of the Lebanese capital city. That’s according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Many migrants in Lebanon have lost their jobs as domestic workers.Image credit:IOM/MuseMohamed
Agnes, from Sierra Leone, a domestic worker says she was “kicked out” of the house she was working in and “left without work”, after the pandemic struck. Image credit:IOM/MuseMohamed
There are an estimated 400,000 migrant workers in Lebanon. Faruk, from Bangladesh also lost his livelihood as a day labourer, due to the COVID-19 lockdown. He took out loans from his family to pay for living costs. Image credit: IOM/MuseMohamed
The explosions in the Port of Beirut in August had devastating effects on many economically disadvantaged areas which host large numbers of migrant workers and refugees. Image credit: IOM/MuseMohamed
Tsigereda, a 25-year-old Ethiopian, has become a leader for migrants in the country suffering from exploitation and abuse at the hands of their employers. IOM/MuseMohamed
Many migrants are trying to return home. Kenyan citizen, Teresa, who is staying in a tent, says that in the meantime, her compatriots are supporting each other when they encounter financial hardship, abuse or other indignities. IOM/MuseMohamed
The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing some medical support as well as hygiene kits to protect against COVID-19, for stranded migrants outside the Kenyan Consulate. Image credit: IOM/MuseMohamed
Many are making it home, like Natalie who came to Lebanon to earn money to pay for her sibling’s education. She left her employers after they became violent towards her. She was sleeping on the streets until a local organization helped her find her way back to Kenya.
#UN; #WFP; #PhotoStory; #NobelPeacePrize
UN, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): The UN’s food agency, the World Food Programme, has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for “for its efforts to combat hunger”, and “for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas”. The ‘world’s first responder’: Nobel Peace Prize winner WFP, in pictures.
When natural disasters strike, such as cyclones in Mozambique (pictured), WFP mobilizes to feed affected populations. Image credit: UN Photo Eskinder Debeb
Established in 1961, WFP describes itself as world’s largest humanitarian organization, “saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.” Credit: UN Photo/Leonora Baumann
The UN’s emergency food relief agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel committee said WFP was recognized “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas, and for acting as a driving force to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. Image credit: UN Photo/Logan Abassi
The Nobel Committee said the COVID-19 pandemic would create more hunger and would leave 265 million people “starving people within a year”. WFP said that it would use its “vast expertise in emergency response and logistics and supply chain” to reach as many people as possible. Image credit: © WFP/Saiyna Bashir
WFP provides humanitarian assistance including food aid globally and in 2019 assisted 97 million people in 88 countries, including in conflict zones like Syria. Image credit: WFP/Khudr Alissa
The Nobel Committee said the COVID-19 pandemic would create more hunger and would leave 265 million people “starving people within a year”. WFP said that it would use its “vast expertise in emergency response and logistics and supply chain” to reach as many people as possible. Image credit: The Nobel Committee said the COVID-19 pandemic would create more hunger and would leave 265 million people “starving people within a year”. WFP said that it would use its “vast expertise in emergency response and logistics and supply chain” to reach as many people as possible: Image credit: © WFP/Saiyna Bashir © WFP/Saiyna Bashi
WFP works in some of the most dangerous and remote parts of the world and uses whatever means available to deliver aid: Image credit: UN Photo/Isaac Billy
Responding to the award, WFP Executive Director, David Beasley, said the agency was “deeply humbled” adding that “where there is conflict, there is hunger. And where there is hunger, there is often conflict. Today is a reminder that food security, peace and stability go together. Without peace, we cannot achieve our global goal of zero hunger”. Image credit: WFP/Marco Frattini
Mr. Beasley praised WFP staff emphasizing that their work is driven by “our core values of integrity, humanity and inclusion”. He said the “Nobel Peace Prize is not WFP’s alone” recognizing important partnerships with governments, organizations and private sector partners. Image credit: © WFP/Damilola Onafuwa
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said he was “delighted” by the decision of the Nobel Committee and described WFP as “the world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity”. Image credit: © WFP/Marco Frattini
#UN; #UNGeneralAssembly75thSession; #VirtualGeneralDebate; #PhotoStory; #Covid19GlobalLockdown
UN, Sep 30 (Canadian-Media): The first ever virtual annual high-level debate of world leaders ended on Tuesday at the United Nations, after the event was moved online because of the COVID-19 global lockdown, UN reports said.
Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, chairs the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Volkan Bozkir. Image credit: UN/Photo: Rick Bajomas
Delegates in the General Assembly hall sat at a safe social distance to prevent the potential spread of the virus and listened to mostly pre-recorded speeches provided by all UN Member States.
Image credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Some leaders, like the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, addressed the United Nations whilst promoting their country’s cultural, diplomatic and political heritage.
Image: Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Image credit: UN News/Daniel Dickinson
While others, like the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided on perhaps a more conventional approach using well-trusted diplomatic symbols as a backdrop…in the UK’s case, the Union Jack and the United Nations flags.
Image: Boris Johnson. Image credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
The General Debate lasts for six long days with speeches often continuing deep into the evening, although this year most of the pre-recorded speeches submitted by the UN’s 193 member countries kept to the 15-minute maximum length. Here, the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (right) and Vice-President of the General Assembly Adela Raz preside over the opening day of the debate.
Image: Adela Raz (left) and Amina Mohammed (right). Image credit: UN Photo/ Manuel Elias
The General Debate week is the busiest and possibly most consequential time of the year at UN Headquarters. This year the normally bustling corridors were largely deserted, however the stay-at-home order meant that more world leaders than ever before actually addressed the meeting, albeit virtually.
Image: UN Headquarters. credit: Manuel Elias
And even if the world’s biggest political and diplomatic movers and shakers were not there in person the international media did take up their normal position outside the UN campus on First Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan.
International media outside the UN campus on First Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan. Image credit: Manuel Elias
The UN has remained open for business throughout the pandemic as symbolized by the daily flying of national flags.
Image: National flags daily flying in UN. Image credit: Rick Bajomas
Image: Volkan Bozkir. Image credit: UN Photo/ Loey Felipe
#NASA; #ObserveTheMoon; #LickObservatory; #ESA; #Hubble
NASA, Sep 26 (Canadian-Media): Our Moon is Earth's only natural satellite, unlike several other planets in our solar system. For example, gas giant Jupiter has more than 70 known moons.
Learn more about the Moon and participate in International Observe the Moon Night.
Hubble Shoots the Moon: This image from 1991 shows Earth's Moon, with its dark basaltic mare, clearly visible in great detail. Image Credit: Lick Observatory/ESA/Hubble
#UN; #WorldLeaders; #Covid19GlobalLockdown; #PrerecordedVideos
United Nations, Sep 26 (Canadian-Media): The annual get-together of world leaders is underway at the United Nations, albeit virtually, with world leaders sending in prerecorded videos amidst the COVID-19 global lockdown, creating an event which the UN chief has described as “beyond recognition” compared with any previous year.
The General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly gets underway at UN Headquarters in New York. Image credit: UN Photo: Eskinder Debebe
Secretary-General António Guterres (left) speaks with Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly, as the General Debate of the 75th session of the Assembly gets underway on Tuesday. Image credit: UN Photo: Rick Bajomas
Addressing the debate in person, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “in a world turned upside down, this General Assembly hall is among the strangest sights of all”. Image credit: UN photo: Mark Garten
Only one delegate from each UN Member State was present in the General Assembly hall which is typically standing room only on the first morning of the debate. The delegates were spaced apart to observe social distance guidelines as part of measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Image credit: UN Photo: Rick Bajomas
President Trump of the United States addressed the debate in a seven-minute recorded message from the White House, an unusually short speech from the US leader and well within the 15-minute limit for speeches. Image credit: UN photo: Manuel Elias
Also, somewhat unusually, four (China, France, Russia and the US) of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council addressed the very first session. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s message was recorded against the backdrop of the Great Wall of China. The United Kingdom’s premier is due to address the debate on Saturday morning. Image credit: UN photo: Daniel Dickinson
Despite the virtual nature of the debate, UN security officers have continued to ensure that the UN premises and the essential staff who have been hard at work there for the General Debate, and throughout the pandemic, remain safe. Image credit: UN photo: Mark Garten
The normally bustling corridors of the United Nations are eerily calm as the world’s leaders and diplomats have stayed at home because of the pandemic. Up to 40 per cent of staff have recently returned to the UN campus in Midtown New York, adapting to the new normal of working during this once-in-a-century pandemic.The normally bustling corridors of the United Nations are eerily calm as the world’s leaders and diplomats have stayed at home because of the pandemic. Image credit: UN Photo: Mark Garten