"How to digest the reality of 1,500 dead migrants when most of the victims are lost to the sea; their hopes, dreams and even their names drowned with them?
Blame is of course being assigned; or rather deflected, divided, avoided. British stinginess, smugglers' greed, ISIL's savagery, European racism, the oppression of the Amazigh and the vagaries of war - each has its measure of truth. And however tragically dramatic, the present large-scale migration across the Mediterranean is only the latest in at least half a dozen cycles of mass global migration in the modern era.
Global capitalism and global war have always driven large-scale human migration..."
Friday, 24 April 2015
End deaths on the sea by ending the wars around it - Al Jazeera English
Monday, 20 April 2015
Farafenni identified as one of Africa’s ‘Boom Towns’ - The Point Newspaper, Banjul, The Gambia
The town of Farafenni in the North Bank Region of the Gambia has been identified by DHL as one of Africa’s ‘boom towns’ and cities that are enjoying growth on the back of growing industries and providing opportunities for African businesses.In a statement issued in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday, DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) described Farafenni as being situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, about 120 kilometres inland from the capital Banjul.It said the town is home to numerous banks and insurance firms and that it is experiencing fast growth mainly due to its geographical location on the main road between Dakar and Casamance (the southern area of Senegal), and its close proximity to the ferry crossing on the Gambia River...
Billion dollar ivory and gold trade fuelling DR Congo war: UN - Times LIVE
"Militarised criminal groups with transnational links are involved in large-scale smuggling" of "gold, minerals, timber, charcoal and wildlife products such as ivory" of up to $1.3 billion each year from eastern DR Congo, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said.
The revenues finance at least 25 armed groups -- but up to 49 according to some estimates -- that "increasingly fuel the conflict" in the war-torn region, the report read.
Control over the mineral-rich areas is a key factor in the conflicts that have raged in eastern DR Congo for decades.
"These resources lost to criminal gangs and fuelling the conflict could have been used to build schools, roads, hospitals and a future for the Congolese people," said Martin Kobler, UN chief in DR Congo, and head of the 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, MONUSCO...
Thursday, 9 April 2015
A Flight Instructor's Journal: Mnemonics and Acroynms
Mnemonics and AcroynmsMnemonics and acronyms – those little cryptic collections of letters and words that help us remember things. As pilots we certainly collect more than our share of them, and we all have our favorites that we tend to use, and teach. Some of my favorites include the following. They are not listed in any order or preference – just as I happen to think of them.
GUMP, BGUMP, BCGUMP, or BCCGUMP -- all variations of the same thing. Generally used as a pre-landing checklist, the letters stand for the following:...
Brian's Flying Blog: My Pilot Mnemonics and Acronyms
"Flying made easy"
"Flying made easy"
The science of sexiness: why some people are just more attractive - Telegraph
A new study suggests that long-distance runners are more attractive because they have greater levels of testosterone which makes them more manly and fertile.But there are other biological and evolutionary triggers which are constantly drawing us to certain individuals, even if we don’t realise it is happening. Scientists in Geneva discovered that determining whether we are attracted to someone is one of the most complex tasks that the brain undertakes. Here are the scientific secrets of attraction:
SymmetryCharles Darwin once wrote: "It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any universal standards of beauty with respect to the human body."However recent research suggests that there are universal agreements about beauty which hold true across all cultures and even throughout the animal kingdom.Probably the most important is facial symmetry...
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Thai man jailed for 25 years over royal insult posts on Facebook
A Thai military court on Tuesday jailed a man for 25 years for posting pictures on his Facebook page deemed insulting to Thailand's monarchy, in one of the toughest such sentences in recent years.Thailand's lese-majeste law is the world's harshest and makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen or heir to the throne or regent.Since taking power in a May coup, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a staunch royalist, has repeatedly vowed to vigorously pursue royal insult cases and try those perceived to be anti-monarchists.In the latest case, Tiensutham Suttijitseranee, a 58-year-old businessman, was found guilty of posting defamatory content in a closed-door court sentencing, his lawyer told Reuters."The court decided that because he posted five pictures with captions last year that the court deemed defamatory, he would be sentenced to a total of 50 years; ten years for each picture posted, reduced by half to 25 years," lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan told Reuters, adding that the term was halved because Tiensutham pleaded guilty.The court did not allow his relatives and reporters to attend the verdict, she said...
Friday, 20 March 2015
Why overpraising may be responsible for a generation of narcissistic children - Independent.ie
"A new study - carried out by Eddie Brummelman and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam - suggests that the constant praising of our children's smallest accomplishments may have the unintended side effect of creating over-inflated egos.
The study evaluated more than 560 children between the ages of seven and 11 over 18 months. It found that parental overvaluation was the largest cause of narcissism in a child, but did not necessarily provide them with good self-esteem.
So, while we think that telling our children they're fantastic all the time is building up their confidence, it doesn't necessarily have that effect.
"People with high self-esteem think they're as good as others, whereas narcissists think they're better than others," said Brad Bushman, the co-author of the study.
"Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society."
Parents need to be careful. Raising a child who thinks they are superior to others and believes they deserve special treatment can have serious consequences, both in childhood and later on in life..."
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong - NYTimes.com
"TERRORISM is increasing. According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks, in 2013.Since 9/11, the study of terrorism has also increased. Now, you might think that more study would lead to more effective antiterrorism policies and thus to less terrorism. But on the face of it, this does not seem to be happening. What has gone wrong?The answer is that we have not been conducting the right kind of studies. According to a 2008 review of terrorism literature in the journal Psicothema, only 3 percent of articles from peer-reviewed sources appeared to be rooted in empirical analysis, and in general there was an “almost complete absence of evaluation research” concerning antiterrorism strategies..."
How to Make the Sustainable Development Goals Work | Foreign Policy
"The two of us met for the first time more than a decade ago, in 2003, in the small rural village of Momemo, an hour’s drive and a world away from the urban bustle of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital and largest city. We were there to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of malaria on the lives of villagers in areas particularly hard hit by the disease.But as we sat outdoors talking with a small group of villagers, the conversation covered a range of issues about the health and well-being of women and children in the village. How early did women marry here? How many children did they have? How many children had they lost to illness? Could they work and care for children severely sick with malaria?
Although the two of us came to that conversation with very different life experiences, we were drawn together by a common mission: enabling a healthier and more productive life for women and children in the poorest countries. Now we’re coming together again — this time to carry the voices of women like those we met in Momemo to a different conversation, one that will affect women everywhere for a generation to come.
As you read this, world leaders are engaged in discussions about a new global development plan that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire at the end of 2015..."
BBC News - Mali helicopter crash: Two Dutch UN peacekeepers die
A Dutch UN helicopter has crashedThe Apache helicopter made a forced landing during a military exercise, the
near Gao in northern Mali, killing its two crew members, the Dutch defence
ministry has said.
UN force in Mali said in a statement.
The Dutch armed forces chief, Gen Tom Middendorp, said: "Everything points to
this being an accident."
The aircraft was from the Minusma mission charged with peacekeeping since
Islamist fighters were forced out.
One crew member survived the crash but died later of his injuries at a French
field hospital, Gen Middendorp told a news conference in The Hague.
Gen Middendorp said an investigation into the cause of the crash was under
Friday, 6 March 2015
BBC News - 'First human' discovered in Ethiopia
Scientists have unearthed the jawboneThe 2.8 million-year-old specimen is 400,000 years older than researchers
of what they claim is one of the very first humans.
thought that our kind first emerged.
The discovery in Ethiopia suggests climate change spurred the transition from
tree dweller to upright walker.
The head of the research team told BBC News that the find gives the first
insight into "the most important transitions in human evolution"...