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Soccer’s Beckenbauer Undergoes Heart Surgery

Former soccer great Franz Beckenbauer has had open-heart surgery and received at least one bypass, according to a report in a German newspaper.

Beckenbauer’s management team has not responded to a request for comment on his health following a report Monday in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper.

Bild said the surgery took place Saturday and had been planned for several weeks.

The 70-year-old Beckenbauer left for a clinic in southern Germany on Friday, one day after his home in Salzburg, Austria, had been searched by authorities acting on a request by Swiss prosecutors. Beckenbauer is among several people under a Swiss criminal probe into suspected corruption around the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The Swiss criminal case, formally opened last November but confirmed only on Thursday, has caused turmoil at the soccer federation of world champion Germany and tarnished the reputation of a World Cup that was a popular success. In Germany, the 2006 tournament has become known as its “Summer Fairytale.”

It also threatens to wreck the reputation of Beckenbauer, arguably the nation’s greatest player ever. The former Bayern Munich and New York Cosmos defender captained and coached West Germany to World Cup titles, then organized the tournament.

Switzerland’s attorney general’s office opened criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee.

The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.3 million) to FIFA � soccer’s international governing body � in 2005.

Beckenbauer’s lawyers said he was cooperating with “all authorities involved.”

Beckenbauer headed his country’s bid to win the hosting rights in 2000 in a vote of the FIFA executive committee. Germany won 12-11 in a final-round vote against a South Africa bid backed by Nelson Mandela. Beckenbauer then chaired the organizing committee.

Source: Voice of America

Special Envoy for Climate Change Travel to Dakar, Abuja, Johannesburg, and Pretoria

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Dr. Jonathan Pershing will travel September 4 � 9 to Senegal, Nigeria, and South Africa. His trip is an important opportunity to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement, and advance climate and clean energy efforts with leaders across Africa ahead of this year’s UNFCCC annual climate conference, COP-22, in Marrakesh, Morocco, on November 7-18.

Special Envoy Pershing will travel to Dakar, Senegal, on September 4 for meetings with government officials and civil society to highlight our strong partnership based on common interests in addressing climate change and how it impacts coastal communities, food security, power production and inclusive economic growth.

On September 6, Special Envoy Pershing will travel to Abuja, Nigeria, for meetings with government officials and civil society to discuss climate finance and investment, youth engagement on climate change, and the importance of joining and implementing the Paris Agreement.

Special Envoy Pershing will then travel to Johannesburg and Pretoria on September 8 for meetings with South African government officials, private sector, and civil society to discuss climate negotiations, leadership on renewable energy, and priorities going into COP-22 in Marrakesh later this year.

Source: U.S. State Department.

U.S. Government Malaria Hotline Leads to Joint Police Action in Malawi

LILONGWE, Malawi, Sept. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — This week, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the Malawi Police Service took joint action to secure evidence of theft, diversion, and resale of U.S. Government-funded antimalarial commodities.  The police action resulted from information provided through hotlines […]

News in Brief (AM) – Geneva

This is the news in brief, from the United Nations in Geneva

Cholera fears for the Democratic Republic of Congo

A massive cholera vaccination campaign is gearing up in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.

The central African country last saw an outbreak in 2011 which lasted two years and claimed more than 400 lives.

Concerns are high because the disease has become established in the west of the country, where fatality rates are unusually high.

It has already taken hold further east along the Congo river, making a vaccination campaign less effective, as the WHO’s Dr Dominique Legros explains:

“In Mbandaka it was too late, you do the vaccination really at the beginning, when it starts, if you wait too long the impact is very limited. So here you really here have an opportunity to contain it. It’s only two weeks old � of course the time to organise it will be about a month, a bit more � that should have a better impact.”

The plan to vaccinate 300,000 people in Kinshasa gets under way later this month.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.

Florida’s hurricane Hermine a taste of things to come

Hurricane Hermine, the first major storm to make landfall in the US state of Florida in 11 years, is almost certainly the first of many batterings the region should expect from Mother Nature, the UN said Friday.

Fifty-one counties in Florida have been put on alert and schools closed, after forecasts of 100 kilometre-an-hour winds, four-metre high storm surges and 50 centimetres of rainfall.

Denis McClean from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said that the hurricane would be “the most severe test” of the region’s disaster resilience since Hurricane Sandy struck four years ago.

“We would urge people to guard against complacency and understand that partly because of climate change these events cannot be on the same scale of past experiences. We’re going to see greater storm surges because of rising sea levels and increasing temperatures.”

Until now, the El Nino weather phenomenon which is associated with warmer sea temperatures has been seen as having a dampening effect on storms in the Caribbean region.

Mediterranean Sea deaths rising a year after tragic toddler Alan

And finally, it’s been exactly a year since the world woke up to pictures of drowned toddler Alan Kurdi on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, highlighting the plight of migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe.

Marking the date on Friday, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said that in that year, little has changed.

The agency estimates that since Alan’s death, more than 4,100 people have either died or gone missing in the Mediterranean; an average of 11 men, women and children every single day.

And in a call for governments to provide legal pathways for refugees and migrants to reach safer shores, UNHCR warns that while arrivals in Greece have dropped dramatically, the North Africa to Italy route is as busy as ever.

It’s also more deadly the agency says, with one person dying for every 42 crossings, compared to one in every 52 journeys in 2015.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’11?

Source: United Nations Radio.

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