Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Who Aids Whom? Exposing the True Story of Africa’s $192 Billion Losses | Think Africa Press

Who Aids Whom? Exposing the True Story of Africa’s $192 Billion Losses | Think Africa Press

“It says something about this country. It says something about our standing in the world and our sense of duty in helping others… in short – it says something about the kind of people we are… And that makes me proud to be British.”

As exhibited by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who made the above comment on 8 June 2013, governments of wealthy countries like to tell tales of generous aid spending and a common responsibility to help those less fortunate in the world. But there is another story to tell. And it is not a story of what is given to continents such as Africa, but of what is taken away.

Research published today reveals that whilst the continent receives $30 billion in aid a year, this figure pales in comparison to the $192 billion leaving the continent via illicit financial flows, the repatriation of multinational company profits, debt repayments, loss of skilled workers, illegal logging and fishing, and the costs imposed as a result of climate change....

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Congo plane crash that killed British pilot may have been caused by escaped crocodile | Mail Online

Congo plane crash that killed British pilot may have been caused by escaped crocodile | Mail Online

A plane crash which killed a British pilot in Africa may have been caused by passengers panicking over an escaped crocodile, an inquest heard yesterday.
Chris Wilson, 39, died alongside 18 others when the jet he was co-piloting plunged to the ground during a routine flight across the Congo.

First Officer Wilson died instantly, alongside fellow pilot Danny Philemotte, and no cause for the crash has ever been established.

But today an inquest into his death heard a stampede may have broken out over an escaped crocodile in the cabin, which saw passengers surge forward, causing the plane to nose-dive...



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2689113/Plane-crash-Congo-killed-British-pilot-caused-escaped-crocodile-causing-passengers-panic-rush-causing-nose-dive.html#ixzz37ISyBfys
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Iraq Illusions - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Iraq Illusions - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The story most media accounts tell of the recent burst of violence in Iraq seems clear-cut and straightforward. In reality, what is happening is anything but. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), so the narrative goes, a barbaric, jihadi militia, honed in combat in Syria, has swept aside vastly larger but feckless Iraqi army forces in a seemingly unstoppable tide of conquest across northern and western Iraq, almost to the outskirts of Baghdad. The country, riven by ineluctable sectarian conflict, stands on the brink of civil war. The United States, which left Iraq too soon, now has to act fast, choosing among an array of ugly options, among them renewed military involvement and making common cause with Iran. Alternatives include watching Iraq splinter and the creation of an Islamist caliphate spanning eastern Syria and western Iraq. 


Much of this is, at best, misleading; some is outright wrong. ISIS, to begin, is only one of an almost uncountable mélange of Sunni militant groups. Besides ISIS, the Sunni insurgency that has risen up against the government of Nouri al-Maliki includes another jihadi group, Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), as well as the Military Council of the Tribes of Iraq, comprising as many as eighty tribes, and the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, a group that claims to have Shiite and Kurdish members and certainly includes many Sunni Baathists once loyal to Saddam Hussein...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

More Africans in extreme poverty than in 1990: UN - Yahoo News

More Africans in extreme poverty than in 1990: UN - Yahoo News

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - More sub-Saharan Africans are living in extreme poverty now than in 1990, said a major United Nations report Monday, warning the region will miss most of its development goals.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set in 2000, strive to halve extreme poverty and hunger in the world by 2015.
They also promote and track progress in tackling issues such as AIDS, maternal and childhood mortality, access to clean water, gender equality and education.
Many targets are within reach by the end of 2015, according to the United Nations' annual MDG progress report: if current trends continue, targets on malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment will be surpassed, while the hunger target also looks to be within reach, it said.
But it found that sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in its progress, with population growth, conflicts and a decrease in international aid making the timely completion of many goals unlikely...

- Best of - Pilot's Life


A-10 Warthog in Action


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa

The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa



"As heads of state meet Malabo on 1 July for the African Union (AU) summit, a substantial bombshell is due to drop at the gathering.

It will take the form of a no- holds-barred investigation into the multibillion-dollar losses that state treasuries are suffering across Africa due to what are euphemistically called 'illicit financial flows.'

A detailed research dossier on how these losses are engineered and the damage they do to Africa's development chances, along with some hard-hitting recommendations, will be released at the summit.

The report's authors hope the scale of the losses to African treasuries – $50-100bn a year at a time when the continent is scrabbling for development capital – will prompt serious and practical action from the assembled leaders.

These losses are the ill-gotten gains of grand corruption, criminal fixing of trade prices, tax evasion and money laundering..."



Read the original article on Theafricareport.com : The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa
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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant - NYTimes.com

Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — In a sweeping victory for privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest.
While the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies.
“This is a bold opinion,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. You can’t apply the old rules anymore.”

Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Systemic corruption has an unrecognized bearing on international security. Policymakers and private companies often pay insufficient attention to corruption when deciding what foreign and defense policies to pursue or where to invest. Greater understanding of the nature of acute corruption and its impact on global security would contribute to a better assessment of costs and benefits and therefore to improved policy and practice.

Security Implications of Severe Corruption

  • Acute corruption should be understood not as a failure or distortion of government but as a functioning system in which ruling networks use selected levers of power to capture specific revenue streams. This effort often overshadows activities connected with running a state.
     
  • Such systematic corruption evokes indignation in populations, making it a factor in social unrest and insurgency....

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Obesity crisis so severe parents face ‘burying’ their children - Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times - Mon, Jun 23, 2014

Obesity crisis so severe parents face ‘burying’ their children - Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times - Mon, Jun 23, 2014

The obesity problem among young people is so bad that the present generation of parents may be the “first to bury our children”, Department of Health secretary-general Ambrose McLoughlin has said.
He told an Irish Heart Foundation conference today that the State had to move away from treatment and towards prevention, adding that tackling obesity was now a “public health priority”.
“If we don’t deal with [obesity], we will be the first generation to bury our children,” he said...

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

17 aid workers 'abducted' in Sudan's Darfur region

17 aid workers 'abducted' in Sudan's Darfur region

Seventeen aid workers have been abducted in the Sudanese troubled Darfur region, sources said.
Irish NGO GOAL and local SAK reported that the abduction took place on Thursday.
They said three GOAL employees and 14 members of the Sudanese SAK were abducted in Kutum, North Darfur.
The sources said the three Goal employees included the country director.
The SAK members included the head of the Kutum branch and an engineer.
“Militiamen in three Land Cruisers stopped the GOAL country director and two staff members who were on their way to Kutum airport. They pulled them from their vehicle at gunpoint and took them to an unknown destination,” the sources, who asked not to be named because they are not authorised to talk to the media, told the Africa Review.
“At about the same time, gunmen in Land Cruisers abducted 14 employees of the Sudanese SAK organisation, in the Um Lyon in Kutum locality,'' they added...