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Adopt a Pet shelter in Philippi to close after 17 years



By Ashraf Hendricks for GroundUp

Since its opening in 2003, Adopt A Pet has found permanent homes for thousands of neglected, rescued and rehabilitated dogs and cats. But with the death of founder and funder Cicely Blumberg last year, the shelter is to close its doors. Staff are desperately searching for homes for the remaining 43 dogs and six cats.

“It’s very emotional, but I think right now I am more focused on seeing these animals get good homes,” said Desiree Harris, the Kennel Manager.

The privately run non-profit organisation, which opened in Milnerton in 2003 and moved to Philippi in 2014, found homes for 300 animals in the last 12 months. Harris, who has been with Adopt A Pet for eight years, said that the stream of animals needing rescuing is constant. “It never ends,” she said.


Many of the animals come from the surrounding townships, and the main reasons they are brought in are financial issues or neglect. “It’s a lack of education,” about nutrition and pet health care, said Harris. “Some people truly love their animals, but don’t know how to look after them.”

Recently many people have lost their jobs and have tried to surrender their animals, but Adopt A Pet is not in a position to foster, said Harris.

Karin Reissenauer, volunteer and coordinator, said that the organisation had been struggling for some time. Expenses including wages, rent, pet food and healthcare like vaccinations and sterilisations cost between R120,000 and R150,000 a month. It costs around R1,500 per month to keep a dog and some also need medical care including surgery.

Reissenauer said Adopt a Pet was asking other organisations such as TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society) for assistance with fostering, but ideally the animals should go to permanent homes. Adoption fees have been waived and instead they are asking for a donation.

Reissenauer is glad that she has been able to help but, “it’s not really feasible to do something like this 24/7 without income”.

“It’s exhausting. You can’t shut down. You actually don’t have a personal life any more.”

No closing date has been finalised, but once Adopt a Pet closes, other options nearby include the Animal Rescue Organisation. Protection Status

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Asia & Americas

The US and Israel are changing the narrative on Palestine through Trump’s legacy



“An unprecedented place,” is how Israel Hayomdescribed the Trump administration’s scheming with Israel against the Palestinian people, during an interview with outgoing US Ambassador David Friedman. Unprecedented, that is, if we isolate the Trump era from decades of US and international foreign policy.

This distinction was reinforced by Friedman in his assessment of the recent years juxtaposed against that of the Obama administration and its last minute, symbolic gesture of voting in favour of UN Resolution 2334 regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements and expansion. According to Friedman, Trump’s aim was to achieve a resolution “on the basis of just a dispute between two people with competing claims to territory that should be resolved as disputes get resolved, not that one side is an illegal occupier and the other side is a perpetual victim.”

No mention of the fact that Israel is indeed an illegal occupier; that it was created upon ethnic cleansing and colonisation; and that the international community invented the “conflict” to promote a changed narrative that generates impunity for the occupation state. Throughout Trump’s term of office, the aim was to alter the narrative further and use the term “conflict” in a way that marginalises Palestinians to the point of disappearance from the political process that has stolen their land. Hence the normalisation agreements which allow Israel and the US to determine the new conflict narrative, even as the forced absence of Palestinian political demands makes it easier to perceive the illegalities of colonisation and the non-existence of alleged “competing claims to territory”. Had there been any symmetry in the parties to this dispute, the Palestinians would be given an equal platform and powerful interlocutors — perhaps even arms — to fight their case.

READ: The PA’s ‘hope’ masks the reality of the two-state compromise

In December, the Times of Israelreported that, once in the White House, Joe Biden would not be prioritising Israeli-Palestinian initiatives. So far, indications suggest that Biden will pursue a fusion of Trump’s policies and two-state politics, in a boost for Israel and its plans to continue normalising relations with Arab states. The US Embassy will remain in Jerusalem; there is no intention, it seems, to annual Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s undivided capital and thus America’s acceptance of its illegal annexation by the settler-colonial state.

Which narrative will Biden now pursue? What will it mean when he opposes settlement expansion, as he is likely to do — albeit rhetorically — but supports the normalisation of relations with Israel despite such deals being an important part of its de-facto annexation agenda?

If Biden does not overturn Trump’s concessions to Israel, the two-state compromise changes, and the international community needs to clarify the covert adjustments. The constant pressure on Palestinians to sacrifice their demands for the sake of “peace” and make concession after concession has only brought a steady deterioration of territory, bolstered by the Palestinian Authority’s internationally-funded and totally spineless politics.

How much visibility is Biden willing to allow the Palestinians in the international arena? Will it be influenced by the “conflict” rhetoric, or will they have the opportunity to demand an end to the colonial violations that the Abraham Accords have normalised? If the US proceeds with hailing the Arab normalisation of relations with Israel as a positive step forward, just as the UN did last year, then Biden will be prolonging and promoting Trump’s legacy in favour of the occupation state, leading to the complete obliteration of Palestinians at a political level.

READ: UNRWA and Palestinian refugees are the next targets of normalisation deals with Israel

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500 Hospitalized as Covid-19 Cases Rise to 100,193



  • 141 people have tested positive for Covid-19 from a sample size of 3,571 tested in the last 24 hours. This takes the cumulative confirmed positive cases to 100,193.

    Since the start of the pandemic, 1,162,491 samples have been tested for the virus across the country. From the positive cases, 121 are Kenyans while 20 are foreign nationals. 81 are male while 60 are female.

    The youngest of the cases is a one-year-old child while the oldest is aged 87.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the Nation about Corona Virus outside Afya House on March 17, 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the Nation about Corona Virus outside Afya House on March 17, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu

    The Ministry of Health announced that 207 patients have been discharged after recovering from the virus.

    15 are from various health facilities across the country while 192 are from the Home-Based Isolation and Care programme. The total recoveries now stand at 83,625.

    6 patients have succumbed to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours pushing the cumulative fatalities in the country at 1,750.

    Currently, 500 patients are admitted to various health facilities countrywide, while 1,340 are on Home Based Isolation and Care. 

    25 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 14 of whom are on ventilatory support and 10 on supplemental oxygen. 1 patient is under observation.

    Another 17 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen with 10 of them in the general wards across the country. 7 patients are in the High Dependency Unit.

    In terms of County distribution ; Nairobi 87 , Kilifi 8 , Kwale 7 , Taita Taveta 6 , Siaya 5 , Nyeri 4 , Uasin Gishu 3 , Kericho 3 , Mombasa 3 , Nakuru 3 , Garissa 2 , Turkana 2 , Kiambu 2 , Kisumu 2 , Machakos 1 ,
    Makueni 1 , Murang’a 1 and Bungoma 1.

    In terms of Sub County distribution; the 87 cases in Nairobi are from Dagoretti North 42, Kibra 7, Lang’ata 6, Westlands 5.

    Kasarani 4 , Embakasi Central , Embakasi East and Starehe recorded 3 cases each, Dagoretti South , Embakasi South , Embakasi West , Kamukunji and Makadara recorded 2 cases each, Embakasi North, Mathare, Roysambu and Ruaraka recorded 1 case each.

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    14 knowledge-based firms willing to produce COVID-19 vaccine



    14 knowledge-based firms willing to produce COVID-19 vaccine

    The Director-General of Center to Supervise Medicines Production at Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) Heidar Mohammadi broke the news on Tuesday and reiterated that some 14 domestic knowledge-based companies are applicants for producing COVID-19 vaccine.

    Of total knowledge-based firms, three of which have conducted laboratory production of the vaccine, he said, adding, “In addition, two of these knowledge-based firms have conducted feasibility studies for vaccine production in human phase.”

    Speaking at the First Conference of Biotechnology Products, held at the venue of Tehran Olympic Hotel, Mohammadi stated that knowledge-based companies in Iran will soon produce two biotechnology drugs, albumin and “IVIG”, which is a great achievement. Of course, there were problems in registering biotechnology drugs in the list of drugs that will be solved soon.

    With Iran’s progress in the field of biotechnology, the flu vaccine will be produced in the country soon next year (to start March 21, 2021), he added.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is ranked first in the region and 12th in the world in the field of producing biotechnology medicines.

    Elsewhere in his remarks, the director-general of Iran Food and Drug Administration pointed to the high potential and capability of Iran in the field of biotechnology and put the current value of the domestic biotechnology market at about $600 million.

    Turning to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, disease in the country, he added, “Only $246 million and $483 million worth of fund was spent in the country for importing coronavirus-related equipment and medicines respectively since the outbreak.”


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