Congo Catholic bishops doubt Tshisekedi's victory, urge calm

1 week ago

The Catholic Church in DRC, CENCO, has reacted to the declaration of Felix Tshisekedi as president-elect of the country.

The church said results announced by the elections board, CENI, did not match with tallies it had through its observers.

CENCO had last week declared that its records from the vote showed that there was an outright winner from the December 30, 2018 elections. It’s declaration was slammed by CENI and the ruling coalition.

They did not mention who was the winner in their tallies but its widely believed to be Martin Fayulu who leads an opposition coalition, Lamuka. Fayulu has rejected the results and called for observers to publish their figures.

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DRC opposition candidate Martin Fayulu rejects election result [The Morning Call]

1 week ago

An opposition candidate has been declared winner of the contentious presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The electoral commission in the wee hours of Thursday declared Felix Tshisekedi winner of the country’s December 30 presidential election.

Now this news has been greeted with some surprise and in fact in what is the latest Martin Fayulu, another top opposition candidate, who had been tipped by many and thought to be in the early results lead has rejected the election results.

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Wide variety of robots at Consumer Electronics Show 2019

1 week ago

A robot as customer receptionist at super markets, a visit to Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, a robot cat to cuddle and another to accompany autistic children.

These are among a wide variety of robots at this year’s consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

“Retailers are always trying to get one more item in basket. When Wall Street is looking at say, Walmart or Target or any of these big retailers, they know they can’t get more foot traffic but what they’re hoping they can do is get one more item in the basket and that delivers in effect the things that they need to deliver on Wall Street’s expectations”, said Steve Carlin, Strategy Manager, Softbank Robotics.

Children suffering autism also have robots that innovators say can help them be independent in the future.

“Children with autism they can’t relate to a specific facial expression to some emotion. So this emotional training and social skills learning are very important for those children to learn to be independent in their future life”, said Luxai’s Yang Yang.

And if you love pets but skeptical about the real ones, innovators have you covered.

Jitu Das is co-founder of Zoetic Artificial Intelligence.

“Kiki is a robotic pet. It’s a companion and you can take care of it. So you can pet it and you can feed it. You feed it by drawing on a tablet and it guesses what you draw”, he said.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, is a week-long event that showcases upcoming products and services from around the world. This year’s show features rollable TV’s including thousands of eye-catching items.

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'Star Wars' locations boost Tunisia tourism [Travel]

1 week ago

Reviving tourism in Tunisia

Tourism in Tunisia is an industry that generates around 8 million arrivals per year, which makes the country among the ones that attract the most tourists in Africa. According to The New York Times, Tunisia is “known for its golden beaches, sunny weather and affordable luxuries.”

But tourism to Tunisia dried up after the country’s revolution during the Arab Spring in 2011. Terrorist attacks in Tunis and Sousse in 2015 made matters worse, prompting the UK and other European governments to advise against travel to Tunisia. The overall impact had been devastating however an improvement could be noticed in 2018.

Film tourism aids industry in Tunisia

So many reasons can be attributed to the reviving tourism industry in Tunisia but an interesting one stands out. Its known as film induced tourism. Film-induced tourism is defined as tourist visits to a destination featured on television, video, or cinema screen.

So what link does film induced tourism have with Tunisia? Well, in the mega hit space opera franchise, Star Wars, Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine’s galactic coordinates might be unknown, but Tatooine is a real place. And if you want to visit, you don’t even need to jump through hyperspace – just make your way to southern Tunisia.

‘Star Wars’ locations boost Tunisia tourism

Between 1977 and 2005, seven Tunisian cities were used as stand-ins for Tatooine, across the Star Wars films. But again the Arab Spring caused the number to drop dramatically. However, Tunisia’s Star Wars fan club joined “forces” with the Tunisian National Office for Tourism hosting official tourist events. For instance festivals such as the International Meeting of Star Wars fans caused an increase in the number of tourists and the volume of reservations in the region.

Ong Jmel lies in the southwest of Tunisia. To Star Wars fans, the location is better known as Mos Espa, where Luke Skywalker got to know the smuggler Han Solo, with whom he would embark on his adventures. It’s also where Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker – who later became Darth Vader – was born.

For many years, tourism in these locations was booming then terrorism came to Tunisia. The regional tourism organisation CDTOS continues work to protect the film set from being forgotten and turning the region into a tourist magnet – complete with a convenience store, museum, film screenings and festivals.

Indeed, the desert of southern Tunisia could yet prove to be a goldmine.

@NyashaKMutizwa

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