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Twisting tower to become Australia’s tallest building

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So long as it secures the necessary planning permission, the Green Spine, the brainchild of Dutch company UNStudio and Australia’s Cox Architecture, will become the focus of Melbourne’s skyline in the early 2020s.

The striking design features a glass facade and twisting cascades of greenery among two towers rising above Melbourne’s Southbank neighborhood, located just across from the city’s Central Business District and Royal Botanic Gardens.

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A publicly accessible terraced park is also part of the design, as is a botanic garden atop the tallest of the two towers. The Green Spine includes space for apartments, a hotel, offices, restaurants, bars, and a “BMW experience center.”

‘A city in itself’

The designers describe the ambition of the Green Spine as twofold: “A building that is a city in itself, with its multitude of programs and connectivities, as well as being fully integrated in the existing city network of cultural, entertainment, leisure, and commercial offerings.”

The winning proposal, which was selected last week by a panel of seven judges, beat six other shortlisted designs that included entries from other major architecture firms, among them Bjarke Ingels Group and OMA.

Beulah International executive director Adelene Teh praised the winning effort for its bold yet thoroughly considered efforts.

“At the macro scale, the two-tower silhouettes with twisting forms provide a new, site responsive and elegant visual beacon in the precinct,” Teh said.

He added: “In its details, the scheme displays a strong intent for well-considered public and private amenity, and at street level, the proposal displays qualities that will truly transform the public realm by eroding the hard edges that is prevalent in Southbank.”

Cox Architecture director Phil Rowe said it’s the city’s public spaces and civic infrastructure “that makes Melbourne ‘Melbourne,’” adding, “Our green spaces are key to this … they are our city’s lungs, its shade from the sun and our verdant green.”

Rowe said that such features “must be retained, nurtured and allowed to grow with the city … and that is the driving idea behind the Green Spine.”

Australia’s current tallest building is the Gold Coast’s Q1, which stands at 322 meters. The Green Spine, should the building work go ahead, will rise 24 meters higher. As a comparison, the Empire State Building stands at 381 meters (443 meters to the tip).

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Nigeria: Ohaneze charges youths against violence in 2019 Election build-ups

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The Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, an apex Igbo socio-cultural group, has called on youths to shun violence and hooliganism throughout the electioneering period in the country.



The President of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo Enugu State Chapter, Chief Alex Ogbonna, gave the advice while receiving the Governorship Candidate of United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Ekele Uzodinma, in Ohaneze National Secretariat, Enugu on Tuesday. 

Ogbonna noted that the body wanted youths to embrace tolerance and peace in this period, adding that political parties must stick to issue-based campaigns and “not campaign of character assassination and hatred.’’ 

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“We are appealing to all candidates, especially their youthful followers, to conduct themselves with dignity and shun violence, thuggery and hooliganism in all forms. 

“We are working towards a peaceful and development-oriented electioneering in the entire South-East,’’ he said. 

According to him, for now, Ohaneze only know that two candidates are contesting the governorship seat in Enugu State; and they are Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Ekele Uzodinma of UPP. 

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“It is only these two candidates that have deemed it fit to notify us of their ambitions and seek our prayers as an apex body and highest Igbo collective authority, with the `offor Ndi-Igbo’ (staff of prayer and authority of all Igbo-land),’’ he said. 

Ogbonna noted that he was impressed with Uzodinma’s articulated programmes to revamp and reposition Enugu State, adding; “I can see you have good layout of programmes, which can be followed practically.’’ 

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US: Two Somalia airstrikes leaves 37 Militants dead

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The US military killed 37 militants in two separate airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia, on Monday, according to a statement from US Africa Command, which oversees military operations on the continent.



The strike targeted the militants associated with al-Shabaab, al Qaeda’s largest affiliate.
A US defense official told CNN that the strikes were carried out by unmanned drone aircraft and that the target of the first strike was an al-Shabaab camp.
Africa Command said the “precision strike was a planned and deliberate action” that killed 27 militants in the first strike and a subsequent strike the US says they killed an additional 10 militants.
“These precision airstrikes were conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia as it continues to degrade al-Shabaab. Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region,” the statement said.

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The US military currently assesses that the airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.
While the US has now conducted 31 airstrikes against al-Shabaab in 2018, the strikes usually target small groups of militants.
The last major strike against al-Shabaab took place last month and killed some 60 al Qaeda-affiliated fighters.
In March of 2017, President Donald Trump authorized the US military to carry out precision strikes targeting al-Shabaab in an effort to bolster the federal government of Somalia.
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Prior to that, the US military was only authorized to carry out airstrikes in self-defense of advisers on the ground.

The US has some 500 troops in Somalia, primarily in advisory roles.
While the Department of Defense recently announced plans to reduce the number of US troops in Africa, the Pentagon has said that US forces in Somalia will be unaffected by the drawdown.
A senior US defense official told CNN last week that the US was concerned about international terror threats emanating from East Africa which is one of the reasons US counterterrorism forces in Somalia were shielded from the cuts.
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