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Global Wildlife Group Approves Ban on Capture and Transfer of Wild African Elephants to Zoos

The group that regulates the global trade of wildlife has approved a nearly complete ban on the capture and transfer of wild African elephants

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FILE - A herd of elephants walk past a watering hole in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, Oct. 14, 2014. VOA

The group that regulates the global trade of wildlife has approved a nearly complete ban on the capture and transfer of wild African elephants to zoos, despite strong opposition from the United States and some African countries.

Member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva approved the near total ban Tuesday after heated debate.

A version of the ban that was slightly weakened by the European Union was approved after it was cleared by a required two-thirds majority vote.

The ban prohibits the transfer of all captured wild African elephants to so-called captive facilities, such zoos, circuses and other entertainment venues. The ban restricts the trade of elephants caught in the wild from Zimbabwe and Botswana to off-site conservation locations or secure areas in their natural habitats.

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FILE – Visitors watch an elephant at the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin, July 3, 2019. VOA

The EU amendments included a loophole that allows the transfer of the elephants in “exceptional circumstances” and “in emergency situations” that require consultation with the CITES Animals Committee and the elephant specialist group the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The amendment also states that wild caught elephants already in zoos could be transferred to other facilities outside of Africa.

The U.S. opposed the original and the revised proposals.

Zimbabwe, which has captured and exported more than 100 baby elephants to Chinese zoos in the last seven years according to the Humane Society International, also opposed the decision.

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Humane Society International/Africa director Audrey Delsink praised the vote as “momentous” despite the EU’s “compromised language.”

“Public sentiment is shifting, and people are increasingly outraged at the senseless and cruel practice of snatching baby elephants from the wild to live a life as a zoo exhibit,” Delsink added.

CITES previously banned the trade of elephants in western, central and eastern Africa, citing the need for protection. Some trade, however, has been allowed in southern Africa, where elephant populations are healthier. (VOA)

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Global Telecom Operators Launch ‘Open Test and Integration Centre’ Initiative

The participants were collaborating on "multi-vendor interoperability and validation activities

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The operators and vendors are China Mobile, Reliance Jio, China Telecom, China Unicom, Intel, Radisys, Samsung Electronics, Airspan, Baicells, CertusNet, Mavenir, Lenovo, Ruijie Network, Inspur, Sylincom, WindRiver. Pixabay

Global telecom operators, including the Indian major Reliance Jio here on Wedneday launched the ‘Open Test and Integration Centre’ (OTIC) initiative to accelerate multi-vendor, open and disaggregated next-generation 5G wireless infrastructure.

The operators and vendors are China Mobile, Reliance Jio, China Telecom, China Unicom, Intel, Radisys, Samsung Electronics, Airspan, Baicells, CertusNet, Mavenir, Lenovo, Ruijie Network, Inspur, Sylincom, WindRiver, ArrayComm, and Chengdu NTS, Reliance Jio said in a statement.

The participants were collaborating on “multi-vendor interoperability and validation activities for realising ‘O-RAN’ compliant disaggregated 5G access infrastructure that leveraged open software and hardware hardened for commercial deployments”, it said.

“The OTIC initiative is an operator-led collaboration with the aim to facilitate OEM and other open source products and solutions to be functionally compliant to the specifications of the O-RAN Alliance, through verification, integration and testing of disaggregated RAN components and to deliver the desired architecture that supports a plug-n-play model,” it said.

Global, Telecom Operators, Initiative
Global telecom operators, including the Indian major Reliance Jio here on Wedneday launched the ‘Open Test and Integration Centre’ (OTIC) initiative to accelerate multi-vendor, open. Pixabay

Said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio, “Jio has been able to fundamentally disrupt the telecom space. However, we realise that disruption and innovation is a continuous process. We are fast-tracking our efforts in 5G and Open technologies by developing and working with OTIC to accelerate the adoption of industry standard, interoperable O-RAN based deployments.”

The OTIC was an important step toward enabling the commercialisation of the Open RAN platform and the new model for wireless networks, he said.

The initiative aims to expedite how the industry develops ‘open RAN’ technologies and products that are hardened and supported for real-world deployments. The initial focus is to ensure RAN components from multiple vendors support standard and open interfaces and can interoperate in accordance with O-RAN test specifications, the statement said

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“Additional partners are invited to join to advance creation of ready-to-implement blueprints for RAN Solutions conforming to the O-RAN specifications to realise open and disaggregated 5G networks,” it said. (IANS)