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Index May 2012

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2012-05-01: Africa’s Biggest Landfill Site: The Case Of Bisasar Road;
2012-05-02: Foreign investment in the time of the telegram;
2012-05-03: France’s Enigmatic François Hollande: The Man Who Always Smiles;
2012-05-04: No obvious choice;
2012-05-05: Popular resistance and corporate landgrabbing in Sierra Leone;
2012-05-06: Refounding Somalia: Constitution and Islam;
2012-05-07: Der Lauf der Dinge – The Way Things Go;
2012-05-08: Rethinking Africa’s development;
2012-05-09: Somalia, Museveni and militarising the region;
2012-05-10: Saving the lost generation of Kurds;
2012-05-11: AFRICAN UNION: Instrument of Imperialist Rule;
2012-05-12: Struggles for the promised land: Letters from West African sisters;
2012-05-13: Fighting in Mali Adds Chaos to Troubled African Region;
2012-05-14: A Dam Brings Food Insecurity to Indigenous People;
2012-05-15: Proof of Progress;
2012-05-16: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting – Mutilation Génitale Féminine;
2012-05-17: Information request: National Youth Secretariat – Brazil;
2012-05-18: Bingu’s legacy and the political future of Malawi;
2012-05-19: OWS put inequality on US agenda;
2012-05-20: In the Name of My Father;
2012-05-21: The last stretch;
2012-05-22: Of flowers and thorns: Where has public gone in public service?
2012-05-23: Haïti, Africa, Aristide: The history of one humanity;
2012-05-24: Finding Punt: Africa’s last, lost great civilization is in Eritrea;
2012-05-25: On-line dialogue: Archiving Human Rights for Advocacy, Justice and Memory – now open;
2012-05-26: Cameroon: Forests pressured as leaders welcome palm oil investors;
2012-05-27: Solar suitcase aids doctors in developing world;
2012-05-28: The Miracle Next Door: Poland Emerges as a Central European Powerhouse;
2012-05-29: African unity: revisiting the popular uprisings of the North;
2012-05-30: Illegal Immigrants in Greece: At the Mercy of the People Smugglers;
2012-05-31: Egypt’s next president in the eyes of Palestinians.

Egypt’s next president in the eyes of Palestinians

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Gaza residents are captivated by Egypt’s presidential race, wondering what the result will mean for them – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Saleh Al-Naami, 24 – 30 May 2012.

… Social network websites were teeming with the opinions of Palestinians, especially the youth. Several Facebook pages were created in support of candidates, especially Abul-Fotouh and Mursi, while others supported Hamdeen Sabahi. A survey of conversations on these websites shows heated debate between the supporters of Mursi and Abul-Fotouh about the effects of the election of either candidate on the Palestinian situation.   Continue Reading…

Illegal Immigrants in Greece: At the Mercy of the People Smugglers

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Andreas Ulrich in Nea Vyssa, Greece, MAy 24, 2012.

… A Business Worth Millions:

  • Oyud, Yousuf and the others have been traveling for months. They have made it across seas, through deserts and over mountain ranges. They have endured hunger, thirst, heat, cold and physical abuse — all in the hope of a better life.
  • Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Africa have been crossing over the Evros by the thousands. Greece is the gateway to the West, and roughly nine out of every 10 people illegally entering Europe follow this route. On peak days, the figure can reach 500 people.   Continue Reading…

African unity: revisiting the popular uprisings of the North

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Awino Okech, May 24, 2012.

The most important question post-uprising is how to entrench a Pan-African agenda led by citizens that addresses the fundamental challenges hampering African unity … //

… ON OWNERSHIP AND BELONGING:

I must underscore that what I speak about here is not the instrumental debate of whether Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans consider themselves African. By virtue of geography and history they are African without a doubt.  Continue Reading…

The Miracle Next Door: Part 1 – Poland Emerges as a Central European Powerhouse

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Erich Follath and Jan Puhl, May 25, 2012 (see also the Photo Gallery).

Germans used to think of Poland as a country full of car thieves and post-communist drabness. On the eve of hosting the European Football Championship, however, the country has become the most astonishing success story in Eastern Europe. Relations between Berlin and Warsaw have never been better.   Continue Reading…

Solar suitcase aids doctors in developing world

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Published on Voice of America VOA, May 25, 2012. (Watch also the video, 2.46 min).

KANO, Nigeria – The World Health Organization WHO says the number of women who die from pregnancy and childbirth has been cut in half over the last 20 years.  While that is an encouraging development, about half a million mothers still die every year.  A California doctor and her husband are helping to save women’s lives with an ingenious invention.   Continue Reading…

Cameroon: Forests pressured as leaders welcome palm oil investors

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab (first on AlterNet), by ELIAS NTUNGWE NGALAME, May 23, 2012.

Yaounde — Cameroon is inviting foreign companies to expand lucrative palm plantations, pitting the country’s need for economic development against environmentalists who foresee the loss of important forests.

Since 2009 this West African country has witnessed a sharp rise in interest from companies seeking vast expanses of land for industrial palm plantations in response to increasing global demand for palm oil.  Continue Reading…

On-line dialogue: Archiving Human Rights for Advocacy, Justice and Memory – now open

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Received by e-mail, From: HURIDOCS, Date: 16/05/2012:

Join WITNESS and the New Tactics community for an online dialogue on Archiving Human Rights for Advocacy, Justice and Memory from May 16 to 22, 2012.  Archiving and preservation have long taken a backseat to more urgent aspects of human rights documentation and advocacy, but that is beginning to change. Human rights archives are increasingly playing a pivotal role in advocacy, restorative justice, historical memory, and struggles against impunity.   Continue Reading…

Finding Punt: Africa’s last, lost great civilization is in Eritrea

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Thomas C. Mountain, May 23, 2012.

After many years of often rancorous debate, Africa’s last, lost, great civilization, The Land of Punt, has been proven to be located in the modern East African country of Eritrea.

Using laboratory analysis of Baboon mummies from Punt found in ancient burials in Egypt, scientists have conclusively established that the nearest relatives to the Punt baboons are found in Eritrea on the Red Sea. The closest relatives were found in the hills behind the modern port city of Massawa, which lies at the mouth of Zula Bay behind which can be found the ruins of the ancient city empire of Adulis. Continue Reading…

Haïti, Africa, Aristide: The history of one humanity

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Jacques Depelchin, May 17, 2012.

The story of Haiti represents that of the Africa of today: trying to stand up, to reconstruct, to rebuild, she stumbles, hesitates, and sometimes retreats in the face of threats from the watchdogs seeking to liquidate humanity and replace it with a substitute known as humanitarianism.  Continue Reading…

Of flowers and thorns: Where has public gone in public service?

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Dale T. McKinley, May 16, 2012.

By the late 2000s, the bed had turned into a fully fledged forest. Not content with what were already very decent wage packages financed by the public purse, high-ranking politicians and public sector officialdom at every level were awarding themselves with super-salaries and a huge range of benefit sweeteners. Indeed, South Africa has to be one of the countries in the world where the majority of this public sector ‘cadre’ are made millionaires every year and that’s not counting what many of them make on the side … //   Continue Reading…

The last stretch

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Khaled Dawoud, 17 – 23 May 2012.

… Two opinion polls released this week, by the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) and independent pollsters Nazra, show Shafik and Moussa running neck and neck on 16 per cent or else Shafik slightly ahead of Moussa, followed by Abul-Fotouh on nine per cent, Mursi on six per cent and Sabahi with five per cent.  Continue Reading…

In the Name of My Father

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Requiem and renewal in the shadow of Wall Street, in the light of a Georgia spring – Published on Dissident Voice, by Phil Rockstroh, May 18, 2012.

On May 1, after a day of May Day activities on the streets and avenues of Manhattan, my wife and I and a troop of other OWS celebrants marched into Zuccotti Park to jubilant exhortations of “welcome home” from a throng of fellow occupiers. The next day, my wife and I boarded a southbound Amtrak train to join family gathered at my dying father’s bedside to bid him farewell … //

… My father’s song is almost at its end.   Continue Reading…

OWS put inequality on US agenda

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Published on RT.com, interview with Nobel prize-winner Kenneth Joseph Arrow, 10 May, 2012.

At first, OWS seemed ridiculous, but it has changed national attitudes to income inequality – a major problem in the US, says one of world’s best-known economists, Nobel prize-winner Kenneth Joseph Arrow. And that is a fine thing, he adds:

RT: The global economy is still not fully recovered from the recent financial crisis, and now we have many economists saying that we are going into another recession or that we’re going to have another wave of crisis hit us. What’s your take on that?   Continue Reading…

Bingu’s legacy and the political future of Malawi

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Steve Sharra, May 10, 2012.

The late President Mutharika was hailed at home and abroad. But after the 2009 landslide re-election victory, his quest to engineer the election of his brother to succeed him in 2014 and increased autocracy astounded many … //

… It started looking like President wa Mutharika was not fond of listening to opposing views. In December 2010 the Vice President, Mrs Joyce Banda, was expelled from the Democratic Progressive Party, for allegedly forming “parallel structures”, code for being ambitious to contest for the presidency in 2014.   Continue Reading…

Information request: National Youth Secretariat – Brazil

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Received by e-mail, From: Lilian Regina Almeida Bastos, May 15, 2012 – see also Questionnaire.ing.15.05.doc

Dear Sir, Due to the implementation of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), I am working as consultant to the National Youth Secretariat and I am doing a research on environmental NGOs networks and youth-led organization on southern countries.   Continue Reading…

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting – Mutilation Génitale Féminine

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Articles during the last some weeks – les articles parus depuis quelques semaines:

Proof of Progress

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Watch this video, 4.43 min, published on Andrew Cohen Blog, (also on YouTube), May 3, 2012: This past weekend I was interviewed by Nitamo Montecucco for an upcoming documentary called “Global Shift.” The filmmakers allowed us to publish this short clip, during which I share some of the interesting–and inspiring–new information I’ve read recently that supports the view that in spite of all our global problems, things are actually better for more people today than they ever have been …

Links:   Continue Reading…

A Dam Brings Food Insecurity to Indigenous People

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Patricia Baquero, May 12, 2012.

Long its 760-kilometer course, from the Shewan highlands in southern Ethiopia, down to Lake Turkana in Kenya, the Omo River supports half a million Indigenous People from more than two dozen different tribes, including the Bodi, Karo, Muguji, Mursi, Elmolo, Gabbra, Rendille and Hamar in the Lower Omo valley and around Lake Turkana. For generations, the Indigenous People have farmed sorghum, maize and beans along the lower Omo and around Lake Turkana region, depending on the annual flooding cycle of the river. The natural ebb and flow of the Omo River provides water for agriculture, livestock, and fishing.   Continue Reading…

Fighting in Mali Adds Chaos to Troubled African Region

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Horand Knaup, May 11, 2012. (Translated from the German by Ella Ornstein). See also the Photo-Gallery.

The military coup and ensuing fighting in Mali has resulted in the deterioration of an already bad situation in Africa’s Sahel region. Islamist extremists have gained the upper hand in northern Mali and now control Timbuktu. Al-Qaida and other militant groups now have free reign across vast swaths of Africa … //

… Ungovernable:   Continue Reading…

Struggles for the promised land: Letters from West African sisters

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Published on Pambazuka News, May 10, 2012.

These simple exchanges between two citizens of Africa show their dreams, pain, hope and civic action to ensure that the continent becomes the promised land where everyone can live in peace and justice, solidarity and prosperity.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letters are part of a moving and insightful exchange between two women who have been respected leaders of citizen movements in West Africa for decades.    Continue Reading…

AFRICAN UNION: Instrument of Imperialist Rule

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Published on libya360, by Alexandra, May 10, 2012.

Thomas C. Mountain:  The African Union has mutated into a particularly corrupt and brutal enforcer of western rule in Africa. When it comes to the interests of Pax Americana, you must start with the crimes committed in the AU’s “War on Terror” in Somalia, a.k.a., the War on the Somali people.

In 2006, the Somalis themselves under the umbrella of the Union of Islamic Courts brought about a miracle in many observers’ eyes and established a functioning government in the former capital of Mogadishu, bringing peace and security to the region for the first time in 15 years.    Continue Reading…

Saving the lost generation of Kurds

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The Kurds must be given full rights and treated as equals if there is to be any hope for future generations – Published on Al Jazeera, by Prof. Akbar Ahmed, May 8, 2012.

A blind toddler stumbles through a bleak and barren minefield, blissfully oblivious to the danger around him. A 13-year-old boy screams out directions in a frantic attempt to guide the child out safely. A group of children, many of them orphans, gather around them, paralysed with terror.    Continue Reading…

Somalia, Museveni and militarising the region

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Published on Pambazuka News, Interview with Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, May 3, 2012.

Everybody knows the solution in Somalia is political not military. Even if there is a military victory in Somalia, it will not be sustainable without a political solution … //

… THE INDEPENDENT: What are the implications for Uganda’s involvement in Somalia?   Continue Reading…

Rethinking Africa’s development

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Published on Business Day, by OLUWATOBA OGUNTUASE, MAY 7, 2012.

Hope, at the moment, is rising fast on the African continent. As the historic city of Addis Ababa prepares to host world leaders in public and private lives from May 9–11 at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2012, all eyes are now set on the continent once considered as naturally locked at the base of the world’s pyramid. In what seems to be an unprecedented reversal of the world economic order, even Paul Collier, the ‘bottom billion’ analyst himself, has described Africa as “the last resource frontier”.   Continue Reading…

Der Lauf der Dinge – The Way Things Go

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Watch this video in 2 speeds:

  • 1): on YouTube: the way things go, 7.25 min. This version is 4x faster than the Original and is set to the tune of the William Tell Overture;
  • 2): Same video in normal time and with the real material noises, on vimeo: Der Lauf der Dinge (1987), 29,45 min. The film is nearly 29 minutes, 45 seconds long, but some of that is waiting for something to burn, or slowly slide down a ramp.   Continue Reading…

Refounding Somalia: Constitution and Islam

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Abdulwahid Sheikhosman Qalinle, May 3, 2012.

The draft constitution is a considerable improvement from the Transitional Federal Charter. However, there are serious flaws in the draft which would make the operation of the system of government difficult and controversial … //

… ROLE OF ISLAM IN THE NEW POLITICAL DISPENSATION:

On April 18, 2009, the Somali parliament voted unanimously to adopt Shariah law. Article 8 of the Transitional Federal Charter reads, in part, “(1) Islam shall be the religion of the Somali Republic. (2). The Islamic Shariah shall be the basic source for national legislation”.   Continue Reading…

Popular resistance and corporate landgrabbing in Sierra Leone

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Published on Pambazuka News, Interview with Oakland Institute on Socfin investments in Sierra Leone, May 2, 2012.

A new report from the Oakland Institute examines a controversial land investment deal in Sierra Leone. Pambazuka News caught up with Oakland Institute Policy Director Frederic Mousseau to find out why the report has attracted so much attention … //

… PAMBAZUKA NEWS: Are communities in Sierra Leone against foreign investment?   Continue Reading…

No obvious choice

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Mohamed Abdel-Baky, 25 April – 1 May 2012.

Among the 13 candidates who remain in the race are Amr Moussa, Mubarak’s long serving foreign minister, moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Karama Party leader Hamdeen Sabahi. Among the 10 candidates disqualified by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) are Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, Mubarak’s vice president Omar Suleiman and Muslim Brotherhood deputy supreme guide Khairat El-Shater.    Continue Reading…

France’s Enigmatic François Hollande: The Man Who Always Smiles

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Mathieu von Rohr, May 1, 2012.

All eyes in Europe are on François Hollande, the Socialist candidate who could become France’s next president on Sunday. The reserved technocrat has become more confident and presidential during the campaign, and makes up for his shortcomings as an orator by showing genuine empathy with people. But even his friends say he is hard to fathom … //   Continue Reading…

Foreign investment in the time of the telegram

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by COLIN BETTLES, April 25, 2012.

AUSTRALIA’S foreign investments legislation was written when the telegram was a mainstream communication tool and needs a radical overhaul driven by an updated understanding of sovereign risk and national interest, with a strategic view, according to NSW Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan.     Continue Reading…

Africa’s Biggest Landfill Site: The Case Of Bisasar Road

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Published on ZNet (Source: Le Monde Diplomatique), by Patrick Bond and Khadija Sharife, April 29, 2012.

… In April 2010 there was a long debate about the merits of constructing the world’s fourth-largest coal-fired energy facility. Following this, officials from Eskom — South Africa’s biggest electricity provider — proposed the Medupi power plant as a potential CDM project. But by early 2012 it had not been taken to formal application stage. (In 2009 an attempt by Sasol to claim that a gas pipeline investment was ‘additional’ to pre-existing plans, so deserving emissions reductions credits, had been ridiculed by the Johannesburg activist group Earthlife Africa, based on an admission by a company official, and did not pass muster in the UN vetting process).   Continue Reading…