Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How Illicit Financial Flows Drain African Economies | Open Society Foundations (OSF)

How Illicit Financial Flows Drain African Economies | Open Society Foundations (OSF)



"African economies have lost between $597 billion and $1.4 trillion in illicit financial flows in the past three decades. That’s nearly equal to the entire continent’s current gross domestic product. This plunder results in missed development opportunities, increased poverty, and continued injustice.

While many African nations are experiencing unprecedented economic growth, illicit financial flows (IFFs) prevent this growth from translating into better overall living conditions for Africans..."

Monday, 21 April 2014

Euro-Zone Fiscal Colonialism - NYTimes.com

Euro-Zone Fiscal Colonialism - NYTimes.com



"...LONDON — Last Tuesday, the European Parliament finally approved a mechanism for restructuring and closing down failed banks across the euro zone. But the system, which will not be established until 2015, is unworkably complex and leaves a veto power with national governments. Six years after the financial crisis began, Europe has still not resolved its banking mess.

Despite the hoopla in bubbly financial markets, the crisis continues to inflict grave hardship. Zombie banks are still curbing credit to businesses in Southern Europe. Millions of people in sickly economies have lost their jobs or must scrape by on slashed wages, while they struggle with huge debts and pay higher taxes for worse public services. Many have lost that most precious commodity: hope for a brighter future..."

Flying in West Africa - a set on Flickr

Flying in West Africa - a set on Flickr

To Reduce Inequality, Start With Families - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

To Reduce Inequality, Start With Families - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

"...Inequality among families isn’t just about financial means, however. It’s also about the care parents can provide, the food they can prepare, and the amount and the nature of the time they can spend with their children. But today, the ability of parents to make the most basic time investments in their children — taking time for parent-teacher conferences or setting a schedule that permits a parent to sometimes be home in the after-school hours — is sharply divided by income level.
The lack of availability of parental time has serious detrimental effects on children’s behavior, ability to learn and emotional development — all of which affect performance in school and, eventually, the workplace..."


Thursday, 17 April 2014

A good man in Rwanda

A good man in Rwanda



Capt Diagne, the subject of the BBC documentary A Good
Man in Rwanda
, was "the greatest hero the UN has ever had" and the medal
must be named after him, Prince Zeid told the UN Security Council.


The BBC's international development correspondent Mark Doyle says the story
of Capt Diagne is still not very well known.




But after extensive research a BBC team was able to conclude that he had
personally saved hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide in which an
estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days.

President Obama's Message to the Young African Leaders Initiative


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Happiness and Its Discontents - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

Happiness and Its Discontents - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com



What does it mean to be happy?
The answer to this question once seemed obvious to me. To be happy is to be satisfied with your life. If you want to find out how happy someone is, you ask him a question like, “Taking all things together, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole?”...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tragic reality exposed: Rhinos 'will be extinct by year 2020' | Nature | News | Daily Express

Tragic reality exposed: Rhinos 'will be extinct by year 2020' | Nature | News | Daily Express



[The slaughter of both white and black rhinos has soared in six years. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached, but last year that number rose to 1,004.

Criminal gangs, and even terror groups like Al Qaeda, are making millions of pounds a year by hacking the animals to death for their horns.

Many of the horns are ground into powder and used as traditional medicine in the Far East to treat ailments such as hangovers.

Will Travers, chief executive of the Born Free Foundation, warned last night: “There are now just 20,000 white rhino and 5,000 black rhino left in the wild. If poaching carries on at the rate it is now for six more years it will devastate the numbers.

“There will probably be no free-living rhinos as the remaining numbers will be fenced off in military-style compounds which are alarmed and heavily guarded by armed patrols.”]

The root causes of the Ukraine crisis go all the way back to 1991 | Russia Beyond The Headlines

The root causes of the Ukraine crisis go all the way back to 1991 | Russia Beyond The Headlines



"Amidst escalating tension over Ukraine, the newest Russia Direct Monthly "A five-step program for fixing the Ukraine crisis" examines the root causes of this ongoing crisis, focusing on five key factors responsible for the current state of affairs. Only by addressing these root causes can both the West and Russia arrive at a possible solution to the standoff..."
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines - http://rbth.com/international/2014/04/14/the_root_causes_of_the_ukraine_crisis_go_all_the_way_back_to_19_35899.html)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Importance of sleep for early learning highlighted

Importance of sleep for early learning highlighted



"Sleep plays a vital role in the early learning and development of babies and young children, a study has found.

Infants who nap are better able to apply lessons learned to new skills, while sleeping appears to help toddlers retain learned knowledge.

The US researchers looked at the ability of young children to recognise something similar but not identical to what they have learned and apply it to a new situation. Known as “generalisation,” examples include recognising the letter ‘A’ in different fonts, or understanding a word regardless of who speaks it.

“Sleep is essential for extending learning to new examples,” said study leader Dr Rebecca Gomez, from the University of Arizona..."

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

How Nigeria Became Africa's Largest Economy Overnight - Uri Friedman - The Atlantic

How Nigeria Became Africa's Largest Economy Overnight - Uri Friedman - The Atlantic



"Something strange happened in Nigeria on Sunday: The economy nearly doubled, racking up hundreds of billions of dollars, ballooning to the size of the Polish and Belgian economies, and breezing by the South African economy to become Africa's largest. As days go, it was a good one.

It was, in fact, a miracle borne of statistics: It had been 24 years since Nigerian authorities last updated their approach to calculating gross domestic product (GDP), a process known as "rebasing" that wealthy countries typically carry out every five years. When the Nigerian government finally did it this week, the country's GDP—the market value of all finished goods and services produced in a country—soared to $510 billion.

To celebrate the occasion, Nigeria's National Bureau of Statistics released a pretty entertaining PowerPoint presentation—an admixture of sober economic pronouncements and clip art. It includes this depiction of the long road to $510 billion:.."