Monday, 18 August 2014

Is the World Falling Apart? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Is the World Falling Apart? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The world can be an awfully dangerous and unpredictable place. As news was breaking that the United States initiated airstrikes against militants in Iraq, fears were mounting about the Russian troops amassed near the border with Ukraine, momentarily eclipsing headlines of the war in Gaza, the insurgency in Syria, tensions in Asia, and other global concerns. And every day seems to bring more bad news as instability rages on. But is the level of turmoil really unique? Or does it just feel like it?

Carnegie experts from around the world assess the situation and today’s foremost geopolitical hotspots. It’s some much-needed sober analysis during heady times....

Saturday, 16 August 2014

By Sea and by Ladder, Africans Seek Entry to Spain - NYTimes.com

By Sea and by Ladder, Africans Seek Entry to Spain - NYTimes.com

Migrants from Africa continued to pour across the Mediterranean this week, and Spain’s sea rescue service picked up 681 people traveling in 70 small boats across the Strait of Gibraltar. Above, a Red Cross worker helped with a feeding at a sports center in the Spanish port of Tarifa. Below, new arrivals stormed border fences with ladders to try to enter Spain’s northwest African enclave of Melilla from Morocco. Around 50 stayed on one of the fences for hours...

Friday, 8 August 2014

Billions promised to Africa - here's how it would be spent | Africa | Africa | Mail & Guardian

Billions promised to Africa - here's how it would be spent | Africa | Africa | Mail & Guardian

"IT is summit season in Africa. The US-Africa Leaders Summit is the second major meeting this year, following the EU-Africa summit in March, and comes hot on the heels of similar summits with France, Japan and Arab nations last year.

Later this year India will hold its second triennial summit with African leaders, as Beijing’s flagship Forum on China-Africa Co-operation waits in the wings for next year.

These summits have recently been similar in that they are carefully wrapped in varying degrees of “co-operation” and “equal partnership” talk, but despite this the headlines are usually around the money and investment promised.

We take a look at the numbers announced so far: (Quoted exchange rates reflect the time the deal was announced.)

1: United States, ($33-billion), August 2014

President Barack Obama has become the first American leader to convene a summit of such magnitude with African heads of state, with the US-Africa summit themed around investment, security and rights issues.

On Tuesday, Obama announced $33-billion in commitments, with American companies planning $14-billion worth of investments in Africa, and his Power Africa drawing an additional $12-billion in commitments to go with the initial $7-billion it had attracted..."

What the Gaza War Means for the Middle East - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

What the Gaza War Means for the Middle East - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

With intensifying international pressure to end hostilities, a brief lull in fighting currently prevails in Gaza. But a formal ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has proven elusive and the death toll continues to mount following sporadic attacks.

Carnegie experts assess how the crisis will impact Palestinians, Israelis, and the rest of the Middle East.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Africa: Behind the smokescreen of charity - Counting the Cost - Al Jazeera English

Africa: Behind the smokescreen of charity - Counting the Cost - Al Jazeera English


Africa receives billions in aid from wealthy countries, but a new report suggests that
notion is actually a smokescreen for politicians and corporations to plunder
Africa's vast resources.
Aid to Africa amounts to less than $30bn but it is losing $192bn a year and it
still remains unclear how much there is in illicit money that is squirelled
away in tax havens and money loans to other governments.
So, does aid make a difference to the poor in the region? And are the different nations
taking more than they are giving?
Counting the Cost discusses this and more with Martin Drewry, the director of Health Poverty Action.



http://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/imagecache/89/135/mritems/Images/2011/8/18/201181875011907371_20.jpg
Watch each
week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330;
Monday: 1630.  Click here  for
more  Counting the Cost .   
 

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
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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