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Indian born teen earns title in New Zealand’s Race Unity Speech Competition

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Racism is a global phenomenon which is influenced by a range of historical, social, political and economic factors. It takes different forms in different contexts and as a result has been defined in many different ways.

Racism has its roots in the belief that some people are superior because of the particular race, ethnic or national group they belong to. The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one.

An India-born teen, Kimberly D’Mello of class 12 earned the title in the national Race Unity Speech Competition for her prescription to combat racism at Tauranga’s Aquinas College in the North Island, New Zealand. The competition was held at the Te Mahurehure Marae in Pt Chevalier, Auckland on Saturday night.

D’Mello was born in India but was brought up in New Zealand. She made it through regional finals and vanquished the other eight at the speech competition to win NZ$1,000 for her school and NZ$1,000 for herself.

During her seven minute speech she said, “Do not wait for someone else. Do it yourself. Do not get someone else to fix the problem. Do it yourself and don’t rely on the Aussies.”

“We are all responsible for the kind of country and community we live in,” she added.

“D’Mello had captured the fundamental essence of human rights,” said Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner, who was one of the judges.

On her experience of sharing her views on racism, D’Mello said “It was good to perform in front of such a large audience.”

D’Mello admitted that she has not experienced racism yet but have seen people discriminating on the basis on color and name.

The theme of the night, however, was about bringing people together, so that was what she focused on, she said.

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US to Work with Australia, Canada to Cut Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements is controlled by one country

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US, Australia, Canada
FILE - Samples of rare earth minerals (L-R): Cerium oxide, Bastnasite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate are on display during a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. VOA

The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce global reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, including mobile phones, electric vehicles, batteries, and fighter jets.

“Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements — is controlled by one country,” the State Department said in a fact sheet outlining the effort, which it has dubbed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative. “Reliance on any one source increases the risk of supply disruptions.”

US, Australia, Canada
The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world. VOA

Under the plan, the United States will share mining expertise with other countries to help them discover and develop their resources, and advise on management and governance frameworks to help ensure their industries are attractive to international investors.

Doing so will help to ensure global supply for the minerals can meet world demand, which is projected to surge alongside the growing take-up in high-technology goods. “Demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1,000% by 2050,” according to the fact sheet.

Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview that tensions with China show the United States should be producing more rare earth minerals and help others ensure a secure supply. “We need to do more and we are not alone in this,” Fannon said.

Canada and Australia, two major mining countries, were partnering in the effort and other allies could join later, a U.S. official said.

Also Read- In Hot Water? Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Canadian officials have met with the State Department several times to discuss critical minerals and environmental issues around global mining and he looks forward to advancing the initiative.

Representatives of Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plan was first reported on Tuesday morning by the Financial Times.

The plan comes a week after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended urgent steps to boost U.S. domestic production of “critical minerals,” including by providing low-interest loans to mining companies and requiring defense companies to “buy American.”

US, Australia, Canada
Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports. Pixabay

The Commerce report also recommended that U.S. agencies review areas that are currently protected from development and assess whether those restrictions should be lifted or reduced to allow for critical minerals development. (VOA)