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          11-7-1405: Laksamana Muslim Cheng Ho Temukan Benua Amerika Lebih Dulu dari Columbus?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Liputan6.com, Beijing - Jauh sebelum Christopher Columbus mencapai 'Dunia Baru' dan Ferdinand Magellan berlayar mengelilingi Bumi, Laksamana Cheng Ho (Zheng He) asal Tiongkok menjejakkan kaki ke tanah yang belum dipijak Bangsa Eropa.

Hari itu, 11 Juli 1405, Laksamana Cheng Ho angkat sauh dari Nanjing, ibu kota Tiongkok pada awal pemerintahan Dinasti Ming. Armadanya terdiri atas 200 kapal dan 28 ribu kelasi, jauh lebih besar dari kepunyaan Columbus, yang pada 1492 hanya membawa tiga bahtera: Nina, Pinta, dan Santa Maria.

Teknik navigasi dan kapal yang dimiliki Cheng Ho juga amat canggih pada masanya.

Dari Nanjing, Cheng Ho berlayar melintasi Asia dan Arabia, hingga mencapai lokasi yang kini menjadi pantai Somalia.

Wilayah yang ia jelajahi konon lebih luas dari itu. Sebab, antara tahun 1405 dan 1433, pemerintahan Dinasti Ming mensponsori tujuh perjalanan eksplorasi, di mana Cheng Ho menjadi komandannya. Tujuannya adalah memperluas pengaruh China di tanah asing dan jaringan perdagangan.

Seperti dikutip dari nationalgeographic.org, perjalanan ketiga Cheng Ho membawanya ke wilayah yang kini dikenal sebagai Vietnam tengah, pulau Sumatra dan Jawa di Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India selatan dan barat, serta Thailand.

Ia bahkan disebut-sebut sebagai penemu benua Amerika dan Australia.

Seperti dikutip dari New York Times, pada 2006, seorang pengacara dan kolektor terkemuka asal Beijing, China mengungkap sebuah peta lama yang konon membuktikan bahwa bangsa Eropa bukanlah orang pertama yang berlayar ke seluruh dunia dan menemukan Amerika.

Peta lawas tersebut digambar pada tahun 1763, namun ada catatan di dalamnya yang menyebut bahwa dokumen tersebut adalah reproduksi dari atlas yang berasal dari tahun 1418.

Liu Gang, nama kolektor bersebut, mengaku membeli peta itu seharga US$ 500 di sebuah toko di Shanghai pada 2001. Namun, baru belakangan ia menyadari arti pentingnya.

"Isu utamanya bukanlah peta itu sendiri," kata dia dalam sebuah konferensi pers. "Namun, informasi di dalamnya berpotensi mengubah sejarah," kata dia.

Sekelompok cendekiawan dan penggemar sejarah, yang dipimpin oleh Gavin Menzies, mantan komandan kapal selam Angkatan Laut Inggris, berpendapat bahwa Cheng Ho melakukan perjalanan lebih jauh daripada anggapan kebanyakan sejarawan China dan Barat.

Menzies bahkan mengklaim, Cheng Ho mengunjungi benua Amerika pada 1421, 71 tahun sebelum Columbus.

Dalam bukunya yang terbit pada 2003, 1421: The Year China Discovered America" (William Morrow/HarperCollins), Menzies mengungkapkan sejumlah bukti yang menyebut, Cheng Ho berlayar ke wilayah yang kini menjadi pantai timur Amerika Serikat pada 1421. Ia bahkan meninggalkan jejak permukiman di sana.

Pencapaian Cheng Ho telah menjadi spekulasi selama bertahun-tahun. Sebab, banyak catatan sejarah yang sengaha dihancurkan ketika para kaisar Tiongkok mengubah pikiran mereka terkait hubungan dengan dunia luar.

Liu Gang mengatakan, jika koleksinya tersebut benar-benar berasal dari tahun 1418, peta itu mengungkap pengetahuan tentang garis bujur dan garis lintang serta bentuk dasar dunia, termasuk fakta bahwa Bumi itu bulat, yang tidak mungkin berasal dari informasi dari bangsa Eropa.

Namun, para sejarawan belum menemukan kata sepakat soal peta yang yang konon didapat dari pelayaran Cheng Ho.

Gong Yingyan, sejarawan sekaligus ahli peta dari Zhejiang University mengatakan, atlas milik Liu Gang terlalu penuh dengan anakronisme, untuk disebut sebagai buatan dari Abad ke-15.

"Saya memiliki harapan besar ketika pertama kali mendengar tentang keberadaan peta semacam itu," kata Gong. "Tapi saya bisa melihat sekarang bahwa itu adalah peta yang sepenuhnya biasa yang tidak membuktikan apa-apa," kata dia soal peta yang diklaim jadi bukti penjelajahan Laksamana Cheng Ho.

 

 

Saksikan juga video berikut ini:

 

Laksamana Muslim

Laksamana Cheng Ho#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Cheng Ho (Zheng He) terlahir pada 1371 dengan nama Ma He. Pria yang lahir di Yunan tersebut adalah keturunan diplomat besar asal Rusia Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar -- yang dipilih sebagai Gubernur Yunnad di masa pemerintahan Dinasti Yuan.

Sementara, buyutnya, kakek dan ayahnya, semua bertugas di garnisun Mongolia di dekat Yunnan.

Ayahnya tewas pertempuran ketika Dinasti Ming naik ke tampuk kekuasaan dan orang-orang Mongol diusir dari Yunnan. Cheng Ho yang kala itu masih berusia 11 tahun dijadikan kasim atas perintang seorang jenderal Ming dan dikirim ke istana.

Cheng Ho kemudian membantu Kaisar Yongle atau Zhu Di, menggulingkan Kaisar Jianwen. Atas jasa dan kesetiaannya, penguasa baru mengangkatnya sebagai komandan angkatan laut. Cheng Ho juga punya posisi dan pengaruh kuat di istana.

Seperti dikutip dari gbtimes.com, Zhi Di punya kebijakan asing yang aktif sekaligus agresif. Ia mendambakan perluasan wilayah Tiongkok.

Sebagai bagian dari upaya mencapai tujuannya, ia mengirim armada raksasa ke Asia Tenggara untuk menjelajahi rute perdagangan baru. Dikomandani Cheng Ho, armada tersebut membawa membawa barang dan pasukan, yang mencapai negara-negara Asia Selatan, Afrika Timur dan Arabia. Pelayarannya memicu salah satu periode pertukaran perdagangan dan budaya yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya dalam sejarah Tiongkok.

Namun, para sejarawan menduga, ada alasan lain di balik itu. Sang kaisar diyakini mengirim armada dalam rangka mengejar kaisar yang terguling, Jianwen yang kala itu jadi buron.

Ia diduga tak tewas selama Pertempuran Nanjing namun bersembunyi di suatu tempat di barat laut China -- sembari terus melancarkan perlawanan pada kaisar baru.

Selama 1405 hingga 1433, Cheng Ho berlayar ke Laut Barat (Samudera Hindia) tujuh kali dengan armada yang terdiri atas 317 kapal dengan hampir 28 ribu awak.

Kapal terbesarnya berukuran panjang 130 meter -- yang jika dibandingkan, bahtera utama milik Columbus, Santa Maria, hanya mirip sekocinya saja. Kisahnya bahkan konon mengilhami dongeng Petualangan Sinbad, Sang Pelaut dalam Kisah 1001 Malam.

Pada 2005, peringatan 600 tahun pelayaran Cheng Ho diperingati di China, negara asalnya.

"Dinasti Ming ... tidak perlu menaklukkan atau merampok negara lain, melainkan mencoba mempromosikan perdagangan dengan negara-negara miskin untuk membantu mereka berkembang, "kata pejabat China, Laksamana Muda Zheng Ming seperti dikutip dari Sydney Morning Herald.

Namun, Geoff Wade, sejarawan dari National University of Singapore berpendapat apa yang dilakukan Cheng Ho adalah misi militer dengan tujuan strategis, seperti kekuatan kolonial lain.

Selain awal perjalanan Cheng Ho, sejumlah peristiwa bersejarah terjadi pada 11 Juli. Pada 1970, ssebuah roket Angkatan Udara Amerika Serikat jatuh di Daerah Sunyi Mapimí, Meksiko, selanjutnya menimbulkan legenda urban bahwa di daerah tersebut sinyal radio tidak dapat diterima.

Sementara pada 11 Juli 1995 terjadi Pembantaian Srebrenica. Sekitar 8.000 orang Muslim Bosnia dibunuh tentara Serbia-Bosnia pimpinan Jenderal Ratko Mladić.

 

 


          11-7-1405: Laksamana Muslim Cheng Ho Temukan Benua Amerika Lebih Dulu dari Columbus?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Liputan6.com, Beijing - Jauh sebelum Christopher Columbus mencapai 'Dunia Baru' dan Ferdinand Magellan berlayar mengelilingi Bumi, Laksamana Cheng Ho (Zheng He) asal Tiongkok menjejakkan kaki ke tanah yang belum dipijak Bangsa Eropa.

Hari itu, 11 Juli 1405, Laksamana Cheng Ho angkat sauh dari Nanjing, ibu kota Tiongkok pada awal pemerintahan Dinasti Ming. Armadanya terdiri atas 200 kapal dan 28 ribu kelasi, jauh lebih besar dari kepunyaan Columbus, yang pada 1492 hanya membawa tiga bahtera: Nina, Pinta, dan Santa Maria.

Teknik navigasi dan kapal yang dimiliki Cheng Ho juga amat canggih pada masanya.

Dari Nanjing, Cheng Ho berlayar melintasi Asia dan Arabia, hingga mencapai lokasi yang kini menjadi pantai Somalia.

Wilayah yang ia jelajahi konon lebih luas dari itu. Sebab, antara tahun 1405 dan 1433, pemerintahan Dinasti Ming mensponsori tujuh perjalanan eksplorasi, di mana Cheng Ho menjadi komandannya. Tujuannya adalah memperluas pengaruh China di tanah asing dan jaringan perdagangan.

Seperti dikutip dari nationalgeographic.org, perjalanan ketiga Cheng Ho membawanya ke wilayah yang kini dikenal sebagai Vietnam tengah, pulau Sumatra dan Jawa di Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India selatan dan barat, serta Thailand.

Ia bahkan disebut-sebut sebagai penemu benua Amerika dan Australia.

Seperti dikutip dari New York Times, pada 2006, seorang pengacara dan kolektor terkemuka asal Beijing, China mengungkap sebuah peta lama yang konon membuktikan bahwa bangsa Eropa bukanlah orang pertama yang berlayar ke seluruh dunia dan menemukan Amerika.

Peta lawas tersebut digambar pada tahun 1763, namun ada catatan di dalamnya yang menyebut bahwa dokumen tersebut adalah reproduksi dari atlas yang berasal dari tahun 1418.

Liu Gang, nama kolektor bersebut, mengaku membeli peta itu seharga US$ 500 di sebuah toko di Shanghai pada 2001. Namun, baru belakangan ia menyadari arti pentingnya.

"Isu utamanya bukanlah peta itu sendiri," kata dia dalam sebuah konferensi pers. "Namun, informasi di dalamnya berpotensi mengubah sejarah," kata dia.

Sekelompok cendekiawan dan penggemar sejarah, yang dipimpin oleh Gavin Menzies, mantan komandan kapal selam Angkatan Laut Inggris, berpendapat bahwa Cheng Ho melakukan perjalanan lebih jauh daripada anggapan kebanyakan sejarawan China dan Barat.

Menzies bahkan mengklaim, Cheng Ho mengunjungi benua Amerika pada 1421, 71 tahun sebelum Columbus.

Dalam bukunya yang terbit pada 2003, 1421: The Year China Discovered America" (William Morrow/HarperCollins), Menzies mengungkapkan sejumlah bukti yang menyebut, Cheng Ho berlayar ke wilayah yang kini menjadi pantai timur Amerika Serikat pada 1421. Ia bahkan meninggalkan jejak permukiman di sana.

Pencapaian Cheng Ho telah menjadi spekulasi selama bertahun-tahun. Sebab, banyak catatan sejarah yang sengaha dihancurkan ketika para kaisar Tiongkok mengubah pikiran mereka terkait hubungan dengan dunia luar.

Liu Gang mengatakan, jika koleksinya tersebut benar-benar berasal dari tahun 1418, peta itu mengungkap pengetahuan tentang garis bujur dan garis lintang serta bentuk dasar dunia, termasuk fakta bahwa Bumi itu bulat, yang tidak mungkin berasal dari informasi dari bangsa Eropa.

Namun, para sejarawan belum menemukan kata sepakat soal peta yang yang konon didapat dari pelayaran Cheng Ho.

Gong Yingyan, sejarawan sekaligus ahli peta dari Zhejiang University mengatakan, atlas milik Liu Gang terlalu penuh dengan anakronisme, untuk disebut sebagai buatan dari Abad ke-15.

"Saya memiliki harapan besar ketika pertama kali mendengar tentang keberadaan peta semacam itu," kata Gong. "Tapi saya bisa melihat sekarang bahwa itu adalah peta yang sepenuhnya biasa yang tidak membuktikan apa-apa," kata dia soal peta yang diklaim jadi bukti penjelajahan Laksamana Cheng Ho.

 

 

Saksikan juga video berikut ini:

 

Laksamana Muslim

Laksamana Cheng Ho#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Cheng Ho (Zheng He) terlahir pada 1371 dengan nama Ma He. Pria yang lahir di Yunan tersebut adalah keturunan diplomat besar asal Rusia Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar -- yang dipilih sebagai Gubernur Yunnad di masa pemerintahan Dinasti Yuan.

Sementara, buyutnya, kakek dan ayahnya, semua bertugas di garnisun Mongolia di dekat Yunnan.

Ayahnya tewas pertempuran ketika Dinasti Ming naik ke tampuk kekuasaan dan orang-orang Mongol diusir dari Yunnan. Cheng Ho yang kala itu masih berusia 11 tahun dijadikan kasim atas perintang seorang jenderal Ming dan dikirim ke istana.

Cheng Ho kemudian membantu Kaisar Yongle atau Zhu Di, menggulingkan Kaisar Jianwen. Atas jasa dan kesetiaannya, penguasa baru mengangkatnya sebagai komandan angkatan laut. Cheng Ho juga punya posisi dan pengaruh kuat di istana.

Seperti dikutip dari gbtimes.com, Zhi Di punya kebijakan asing yang aktif sekaligus agresif. Ia mendambakan perluasan wilayah Tiongkok.

Sebagai bagian dari upaya mencapai tujuannya, ia mengirim armada raksasa ke Asia Tenggara untuk menjelajahi rute perdagangan baru. Dikomandani Cheng Ho, armada tersebut membawa membawa barang dan pasukan, yang mencapai negara-negara Asia Selatan, Afrika Timur dan Arabia. Pelayarannya memicu salah satu periode pertukaran perdagangan dan budaya yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya dalam sejarah Tiongkok.

Namun, para sejarawan menduga, ada alasan lain di balik itu. Sang kaisar diyakini mengirim armada dalam rangka mengejar kaisar yang terguling, Jianwen yang kala itu jadi buron.

Ia diduga tak tewas selama Pertempuran Nanjing namun bersembunyi di suatu tempat di barat laut China -- sembari terus melancarkan perlawanan pada kaisar baru.

Selama 1405 hingga 1433, Cheng Ho berlayar ke Laut Barat (Samudera Hindia) tujuh kali dengan armada yang terdiri atas 317 kapal dengan hampir 28 ribu awak.

Kapal terbesarnya berukuran panjang 130 meter -- yang jika dibandingkan, bahtera utama milik Columbus, Santa Maria, hanya mirip sekocinya saja. Kisahnya bahkan konon mengilhami dongeng Petualangan Sinbad, Sang Pelaut dalam Kisah 1001 Malam.

Pada 2005, peringatan 600 tahun pelayaran Cheng Ho diperingati di China, negara asalnya.

"Dinasti Ming ... tidak perlu menaklukkan atau merampok negara lain, melainkan mencoba mempromosikan perdagangan dengan negara-negara miskin untuk membantu mereka berkembang, "kata pejabat China, Laksamana Muda Zheng Ming seperti dikutip dari Sydney Morning Herald.

Namun, Geoff Wade, sejarawan dari National University of Singapore berpendapat apa yang dilakukan Cheng Ho adalah misi militer dengan tujuan strategis, seperti kekuatan kolonial lain.

Selain awal perjalanan Cheng Ho, sejumlah peristiwa bersejarah terjadi pada 11 Juli. Pada 1970, ssebuah roket Angkatan Udara Amerika Serikat jatuh di Daerah Sunyi Mapimí, Meksiko, selanjutnya menimbulkan legenda urban bahwa di daerah tersebut sinyal radio tidak dapat diterima.

Sementara pada 11 Juli 1995 terjadi Pembantaian Srebrenica. Sekitar 8.000 orang Muslim Bosnia dibunuh tentara Serbia-Bosnia pimpinan Jenderal Ratko Mladić.

 

 


          Maxay Tahay Sababtii ka dambeysay Xilka Qaadistii Afhayeenkii wasaarada amniga Somalia ?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Comment on US soldiers of “Black Hawk Down colonel” say we were ordered to kill Iraqi civilians by petrel41      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
July 12, 1993: A US attack force of 17 Cobra helicopter gunships and Blackhawk helicopters struck a neighborhood in the center of the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Firing 16 missiles and more than 2,000 rounds of 20-millimeter cannon fire, the fleet of warplanes laid waste to a building which housed large numbers of civilians. Somalis reported 73 dead and more than 200 wounded in the attack. Many of the victims were women and children. Crowds of enraged Somalis responded to this unprovoked sneak attack by setting upon Western journalists, killing four of them. This became the near-exclusive focus of media coverage, ignoring the bloodbath that triggered the popular anger. US military spokesmen presented the attacks as pinpoint strikes that had hit their targets, killing “only” 13 Somalis. This soon proved to a lie. Both the International Red Cross and journalists verified the Somali reports of scores killed and hundreds wounded, simply by checking with local hospitals in the Somali capital. US officials justified the slaughter by claiming that the target was a compound serving as “command and control center” for Mohammed Farah Aidid, the leader of the United Somali Congress, which has demanded an end to the US-United Nations occupation of Somalia. A Pentagon spokesman in Washington described the raid as part of a US effort to “trim General Aidid down to size.” The US military rampage also had the effect of virtually halting the relief operations to feed starving Somalis, which were the ostensible pretext for the US intervention in the first place. Hundreds of tons of food rotted in warehouses around the city, while relief workers fled to avoid the violence. The chaos in Somalia was exacerbated by a falling out among the imperialist powers participating in the intervention. The Italian government, the former colonial power in the country, threatened to withdraw its 2,600 troops, the second largest component, after the UN demanded the removal of General Bruno Loi, the Italian commander, over his alleged refusal to follow US orders. After the scale of the July 12 attack became clear, the Italian government called for a suspension of all combat operations by the “peacekeeping” forces deployed in Somalia. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/07/09/twih-j09.html#top
          'We laugh, sing and play music': the rise of Mogadishu      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A new wave of artists, activists and entrepreneurs are trying to improve Somalia’s capital city

The surprising sounds of a late evening in Mogadishu: surf on the beach, laughs of revellers, clinking of cups and glasses, oaths of harassed waiters and the soft melodies of the oud of Aweys Kabanle.

Kabanle, a 45-year-old former dressmaker turned musician, is playing traditional Somali music at the luxury Mogadishu Beach View hotel at the city’s Lido to a smartly dressed audience in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

Continue reading...
          QM Iyo Imaaraadka Carabta Oo Ka Wada Hadlay Taageeridda Ammaanka Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Danjiraha Dowladda Imaaraadka U Jooga Somalia, Maxamed Axmed Al-Cuthmaan Waxa Uu Kulan Khaas Ah La Qaatay Ergayga Gaarka Ee Xoghayaha Guud Ee QM Ugu Qaabilsan Arrimaha Somalia, Michael Keating, Sida Ay Baahisay Wakaallada Wararka U Faafisa  Imaaraadka Ee WAM. Labada Mas’uul Oo Ku Kulmay Dhismaha Safaraadda Imaaraadka Ee Muqdisho Waxay Ka Wada Xaajoodeen Xiriirka U Dheexeeya […]

The post QM Iyo Imaaraadka Carabta Oo Ka Wada Hadlay Taageeridda Ammaanka Somalia appeared first on warkii.com.


          Average internet speeds rose 23 percent last year      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With Google Fiber's public mission to destroy the cable companies on hold and 5G networks properly launching only in 2019, you'd be forgiven for thinking that internet providers have been treading water for the last year. But new data from M-Lab, a research partnership between Google, Princeton, and groups like the Open Technology Institute paint a very different picture about what's been happening on a global scale. In the period from 30 May 2017 to 29 May 2018, global average internet speed as measured by 163 million individual speed tests rose by 23 percent. The average broadband connection now clocks in at 9.1Mbps, up from 7.4Mbps in the year before. News was particularly good for the United States, which moved up from the 21st-fastest country in 2017 to the 20th-fastest country in 2018. That might not sound like much of an improvement, but it was achieved by increasing speeds from an average 20Mbps to nearly 26Mbps, a bigger increase than the average. The US's improvement is a consistent story at the top of the table. Singapore, which held the first place in 2017 and 2018, increased its mean download speed from 55Mbps to 60Mbps. Denmark, in third place, added a full 10Mbps to its average download speed to go from 33 to 43Mbps. Unfortunately, the improvements at the top of the table also hide the stagnation at the bottom. China dropped to 141st place (from 134), with a download speed of just 2.4Mbps, and the slowest countries like Syria and Somalia are stuck under 1Mbps. "With average broadband speeds rising by 23% in just one year it would be easy to assume an overall positive global picture, said Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable. "However, a closer look reveals the acceleration is concentrated towards the top end: the faster countries are improving more quickly, with those towards the bottom end of the table verging on stagnation. Europe, the United States and thriving economic centres in the Asia-Pacific region (Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong) are leading the world when it comes to the provision of fast, reliable broadband, which suggests a relationship between available bandwidth and economic health. Those countries leading the world should be congratulated, but we should also be conscious of those that are being left further and further behind."
          Terroristas eco-friendly: Al-Shabab prohibió las bolsas de plástico en Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Más noticias de internacional La organización terrorista africana Al-Shabab, que jur
          Terroristas eco-friendly: Al-Shabab prohibió las bolsas de plástico en Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
La organización extremista, asociada en 2012 a Al-Qaeda, controla parte del territorio del centro y el sur de Somalia. Quiere proteger el medioambiente.
          Uganda: Uganda: UNHCR Operational Update, June 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

During the month of June 2018, 8,729 persons from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and other countries, arrived in Uganda—the majority from DRC. The humanitarian situation remains unpredictable in South Sudan, DRC and Burundi.

Refugees from South Sudan report fleeing primarily out of fear of being killed by fighters from either side of the conflict inside the country, while those from DRC report inter-ethnic clashes and fears related to the upcoming elections.

Burundians indicate several reasons for leaving their country, related to security concerns and fears around the referendum in Burundi.

Operational Highlights:

A peace agreement was signed in Khartoum, on 27 June, between the government of South Sudan and the opposition leader Riek Machar, which includes a permanent ceasefire, building a national army, improvement of infrastructure and security of the oil fields. The ceasefire is however being threatened by reports of renewed armed hostilities between the two groups, with each reportedly accusing the other of violating the agreement.

UNHCR and partners commemorated World Refugee Day (WRD) in all refugee hosting locations in Uganda. The national celebrations were held in Nakivale, on 20 June, as the settlement was also celebrating 60 years of hosting refugees in Uganda.
The occasion was presided over by the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Hon.
Hillary Onek. During the occasion, UNHCR handed over 02 vehicles to Isingiro and Kyegegwa Districts to support the capacity of refugee hosting districts as part of CRRF. WRD events in all locations attracted a wide array of representation of government, including district officials and LCs, UN agencies, foreign missions, who joined refugees in the celebrations.

On 17 June a quarrel between refugees in Tika Zone, Rhino camp escalated into an ethnic fight between refugees of Dinka and Nuer communities, claiming the lives of four refugees. The incident caused displacement of families from the village to nearby location. Following the incident and after the fruitless reconciliatory effort by police,
OPM, UNHCR and partners, it was agreed to separate the two communities. 3,390 Nuer refugees were relocated to Omugo zone while Dinka refugees were moved back to Tika village. Following the incident, the UNHCR Representative in Uganda has called on partners to prioritize labour-intensive initiatives to create employment for youth in refugee settlements and adjacent host communities. He characterized failure to attend to the needs of refugee youth as a time bomb, noting that recourse to anti-social behaviour is in large measure the product of lack of opportunities to engage in productive activities.


          World: Energy for Crisis Recovery: Solar Solutions for Crisis-Affected Communities in the Arab Region      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: UN Development Programme
Country: Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, World, Yemen

I. Introduction: The energy challenge in crisis contexts

Sustainable energy is a critical element for achieving goals of immediate recovery and longer-term resilience in fragile and crisis contexts. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Arab region, where countries have experienced an expansion of conflict, drought and an unprecedented level of displacement. The ability of communities to cope with and rapidly recover from crisis hinges in many ways on their ability to regain sustainable access to energy.

Energy fuels communities access to water, to social services like health and education, to transport and communication needs, and is critical for regenerating livelihoods and local economies. But too often countries affected by crisis are unable to bring back online the type of energy systems needed for an effective recovery. In such contexts, decentralized energy solutions are now receiving greater attention, as a way of meeting the needs of affected communities and setting the foundations for resilience.

As countries seek new bridges between humanitarian and development interventions, and new resilience-based approaches to crisis recovery, the role of sustainable energy solutions has come into greater focus. Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) on energy calls on countries to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Among those most in need are the record numbers of individuals globally and in the Arab region affected by conflicts, droughts and disasters. Many countries suffering the impacts of crisis are also energy poor, relying heavily on energy imports for economic and social needs. In these contexts, expanding sustainable energy solutions is seen not as an end in itself, but as an enabler on the road from fragility to resilience. This is particularly important in the protracted situations of conflict and displacement faced in the Arab region.

Globally, the number of people forcibly displaced by conflicts and disasters has reached record levels. The world now has a record 65.3 million forcibly displaced persons, including over 21 million refugees crossing borders, and over 40 million internal displacements within countries. In 2016 alone, there were 31.1 million new internal displacements associated with conflict and disasters globally, of which 24.2 million were internally displaced by disasters and 6.9 million by conflicts. In the past eight years, the world has recorded more than 203 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around the world, an unprecedented increase.

To make matters worse, the vast majority of refugees and IDPs are hosted in developing countries which already face strained levels of energy security. Constraints often exist to extending energy access to displaced communities, either owing to ongoing conflicts and destruction of power grid infrastructure, or from lack of fiscal space and limited ability to expand already-stretched energy supplies. In such communities, expanding use of decentralized energy solutions is important not only for short-term needs, but from a longer-term development perspective as it helps reduce pressures on host communities and fiscal pressures on the State.

Across the Arab region, a lack of access to energy is hindering the ability of crisisaffected communities to earn a living, access food and water, or access health and education services, and is an important obstacle to recovering from crisis. As further elaborated below, in many countries in the region, expanding access to solar solutions has emerged as one potential enabler of resilience building for affected communities. The ability to scale-up sustainable energy solutions in crisis contexts is in many ways a litmus test for the aspired goal of bridging the humanitarian-development divide and crafting ‘resilient recovery’ solutions – priorities that have come into strong focus in recent years in global and regional fora.

The SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development call for more integrated and resilience-based approaches to development. Energy is a key factor in helping individuals, households, communities, society and the State bounce back effectively from crisis and shocks, ensuring that crises do not lead to a downturn in human development indicators, while also helping communities transition to long-term resilient pathways.


          Somalia: EU Support for Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: European Commission
Country: Somalia

European Commission - Fact Sheet

Brussels, 10 July 2018

Political relations

The EU, together with Somali authorities and international key partners, is engaged in Somalia through an integrated approach based on active diplomacy, support for political change, improving security, development assistance and humanitarian aid.

  • For the period 2015-2020, the cooperation of the EU and the Member States amounts to more than €3.5 billion, and includes development aid, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations.

In line with the New Deal principles for fragile states and the Somali Compact (2013-2016) endorsed at the 2013 EU-Somalia summit in Brussels and guiding the relationship between Somalia and the international community, Somalia undertook several reform efforts.

With the end of the Somali Compact and with the newly elected President Farmajo and a new Somali government in place, the London Somalia Conference in May 2017, set the new framework for relations between Somalia and the international community. The meeting agreed on the Security Pact – based on the Somali agreed National Security Architecture and setting out the vision of Somali-led security institutions and forces and international support, and endorsed the New Partnership for Somalia, in support of the National Development Plan - the first in 30 years.

Peace and security

The EU plays a significant role in supporting Somalia's efforts to become a peaceful, stable and democratic country and to take progressive ownership over its own national security.

Through the **three** **EU security and defence missions**, the EU is contributing to capacity building within the Somali Security Sector:

  • The Military Training Mission (EUTM), which directly supports the build-up of the Somali National Army through training, advising and mentoring activities

  • EU Operation ATALANTA has made a significant contribution to deterring/repressing acts of piracy through continuous at sea presence and contributing to prevent other international crimes through information exchange with partners. It lead to a reduction in piracy: in 2011, 174 merchant vessels were attacked and 25 ships pirated with 736 seafarers held hostage. In 2013, 7 ships were attacked, none pirated. In 2014 two ships were attacked. There were no attacks in 2015 and one in 2016. In March 2017 a ship was pirated and held for 4 days.

  • EUCAP Somalia, which aims to improve Somalia's maritime security capacities.

The EU is committed to remaining an important partner of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and supports its current reconfiguration to align with the Somali Transition Plan. The EU is one of AMISOM's main financial contributors, having committed more than €1.73 billion for AMISOM over the period March 2007 to December 2018.

Over the past ten years, AMISOM enabled Somalia's considerable peacebuilding and state-building progress and it will continue to play an important role throughout the transition process which should lead to the gradual hand-over of security responsibilities to the Somali security institutions, as laid down in the Transition Plan.

Development cooperation

The EU is one of Somalia's key development partners, providing comprehensive support to the country in different areas such as stabilisation, state building, security, basic services and job creation. The EU supports the country in achieving its development goals with €286 million for the period 2014-2020. It reflects the priorities identified by the Somali Compact:  state-building and peace-building (€100 million); food security and building resilience (€86 million); education (€60 million); measure in favour of civil society (€14 million); and support measures (€26 million).

This funding is complemented by other allocations from the EU budget such as the EU Trust Fund for Africa, covering specific issues such as: democracy and human rights, boosting local government, training, food security, and energy and water supplies.

To help Somalia expand its trade the EU's National Indicative Programme is being deployed to improve productivity in the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sector. Programme interventions also seek to support growth by nurturing Somalia's private sector and business environment.

Humanitarian aid

The EU has supported humanitarian aid operations in Somalia since 1994. The assistance is essential as the country has been struggling with internal conflict and natural disasters for decades.

In 2017, the EU, together with other donors, provided flexible and early funding enabling to successfully avert the famine looming in Somalia. The EU indeed mobilised considerable funding for the drought response, totalling €119 million for that year. These funds allowed partners to provide life-saving aid to persons in the regions hardest hit by the water and food shortages, as well as disease outbreaks. The EU prioritised the delivery of cash assistance to respond to most vulnerable people's basic needs, proving to be an effective and dignified way of giving assistance. Together, the European Union and its Member States currently provide approximately 60% of all humanitarian aid in Somalia.

Economic relations

The EU is committed to helping Somalia develop a strong, sustainable economy which can support the country's state and peace-building processes. Relations in this area are guided by the Somali CompactNew Deal process and the National Indicative Programme. Objectives, priorities and actions are also closely linked to the Somali government's Economic Recovery Plan.

EU engagement therefore aims to revitalise and expand the Somali economy with a focus on improving livelihoods, generating employment, and encouraging inclusive growth. Special attention will be paid to improving economic opportunities for women and young people, ensuring they have greater access to profitable, income-generating activities.


          Somalia: Situation Report for Acute Watery Diarrhoea/Cholera, Epidemiological Week 26 (25th June -1st July 2018)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: World Health Organization, Government of Somalia
Country: Somalia

Highlights

• A total of 344 new cases AWD/cholera were reported in week 26 compared to 304 cases week 25.

• 33% (115) cases were reported from flood affected regions of Lower Shabelle and Lower Jubba regions

• 1 new death were reported in week 26 compared to 3 deaths reported in week 25

• The AWD/Cholera death reported in week 26 occurred in Banadir region.

• A cumulative total of 5,582 cases including 40 deaths have been reported since December 2017

• The new AWD/cholera cases reported in Beletweyne started in December 2017. In 2018 new outbreaks were reported in Banadir, Kismayo, Jowhar, Bulobarde, Merka, Brava,kurtunwarey and Afgoye

Key Figures

• 44 new cases and 1 new death in week 26

• 49% of the new cases were female

• 40% of the cases were below 2 years

• Cases reported in week 26 did not receive cholera vaccine in 2017

• 23 districts in 4 regions have reported new AWD case s ince December 2017

• 5,582 cumulative cases including 40 deaths since December 2017 (CFR 0.7 %)


                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The ANC Commends Eritrea and Ethiopia on the Watershed Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship Between States
10 July 2018

The African National Congress commends and congratulates His Excellencies, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. AbiyAhmed Ali on the successful conclusion of the Asmara Summit's watershed "Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia", which was signed on Monday, July 9 2018.

The ANC concurs with the Asmara Joint Declaration that over the past twenty years some forces have denied the opportunity to build a bright future based on common heritage for their peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia. We stand ready assist our sister countries in making up for lost opportunities and creating an even bigger golden opportunities including, where required, to facilitate intimate political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation that serves and advances the vital interests of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

We are elated that transport, trade and communications links between the two sister countries will resume and that diplomatic ties and activities will restart in earnest. We note with joy, the announcement by Ethiopian Airlines that regular flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara will begin next week and that direct telephone calls between the two capitals are now operational.

We note the positive implications of this emerging regional Ethiopian-Eritrea partnership will have, in advancing the challenging road ahead to regional peace, development and cooperation, most notably in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia. The ANC looks forward to successful implementation of the provisions of the 2000 Algiers Agreement and the 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission's final and binding decision. 

The ANC also warmly compliments the decisive Ethiopian Prime Minister's formal request to the UN Secretary-General for the lifting of the US-led, UN Sanctions on Eritrea. We are certain that victory belongs to the masses.

Viva the leadership and peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia!

Amandla!!

ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

Enquiries:

Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4975

                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
East African Bloc Lauds China-built Free Trade Zone in Djibouti 
 ADDIS ABABA. — The Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has lauded the China-built International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) in Djibouti.

The Horn of Africa nation last Thursday inaugurated the DIFTZ at an august ceremony in Djibouti.
“This is a clear demonstration of regional economic integration that the member states have been working towards,” IGAD said in a statement yesterday.

The $370 million project consists of three functional blocks located close to all of Djibouti’s major ports, and the pilot zone will have four industrial clusters, focusing on trade and logistics, export processing and business support.

Estimated to handle over $7 billion worth of trade in the next two years, the Free Trade Zone will house manufacturing, warehouse facilities, an export processing area and service centers that will create over 15,000 job opportunities, IGAD has noted in the statement.

President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti stated during the launch that the Free Trade Zone is a place of hope for thousands of young job seekers.

The importance of this Free Trade Zone extends beyond the IGAD region to the rest of the African continent, as was well articulated by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who noted that it will not only serve Djibouti but wider regions of the continent.

This was also echoed by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and chair of IGAD, Abiy Ahmed; the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed; the President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who have graced the launching ceremony.

Speaking during the inaugural ceremony, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia expressed his country’s support to Djibouti in efforts to speed up regional economic integration.

“The IGAD Secretariat is proud of this important milestone in regional integration and associates with it as it contributes towards the realization of the aspirations of the ongoing discussions on the IGAD free movement protocol and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” said the East African bloc.

– Xinhua

          Post-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater Festival      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

C.A. Johnson's Thirst, receiving its world premiere at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, feels a lot like a Shakespearean tragedy. In a Southern county, Terrance (Ryan Nathaniel George) has restored order after a national war over natural resources, and because of his command of the communal well, he is effectively the local warlord. It is good to be king, and Terrance's community is on the verge of celebrating the first anniversary of the peace Terrance has restored. But there is a thing he can't let go of, like Lear, like Othello, like Richard II. And if you're a tragic hero and you can't let go when you ought to, then bad things will happen to you and those you are close to.

In this case, what Terrance cannot let go of is his claim on Samira (Monet), his wife who left him for another. That the other, Greta (Jessica Savage) is female and white, while Samira and Terrance are black, is not of great significance to Terrance; that Greta stands in the way of an imagined reunion with Samira is the only thing that matters. Terrance should know that his pursuit is hopeless. His war minister Coolie (Justin Withers) tells him: "[S]he was gone Terrance. Even before she run off into them woods and leave you, she was long gone. Wasn't nothin' for you in her eyes." But Terrance clings to the insane notion that the mere status of husband endows him with a right to her, even when there is no longer a legal system either to establish or enforce any rights, and when the trauma of losing their children in the apocalyptic times has fully severed Samira's bond with him.

Nor is Terrance the only one who can't let go. Samira, who has begun a new family at a clearing in the woods with Greta and an orphan named Kalil (Jalon Christian), clings to her notion that she can completely avoid dealing with Terrance, even though he controls the water and is the most powerful person in the vicinity, and is seeking a confrontation with her.

Terrance and Samira's obsessions, and their separate failures to acknowledge realities and balance their obsessions with other considerations, will cost everyone, not just themselves, dearly. And though most of the play is in African American dialect, and the story numbers among its concerns contemporary things like race relations and same-sex relationships, the dynamics are pure classical tragedy. And the classics are the classics for good reason; they have discovered much of what works in the theater. Thirst's power largely derives from an underlying classical structure.

At the same time, Johnson has appropriated some potency from a more modern mythos, that of social breakdown. After a century or more of imaginings of a world where law and order have broken down, of Sarah Kane's Blasted and Lynn Nottage's Ruined and the Mad Max movies and A Clockwork Orange, not to mention the real-life example of failed states like Yugoslavia and Somalia, we expect that kind of breakdown to be accompanied by nearly meaningless violence. There is a good deal of that here as well, and it is the more horrifying because it and its consequences are graphically depicted (kudos to fight director Aaron Anderson and assistant Joe Myers), and because Terrance, the one who has the potential to continue protecting his entire community from it, is the one who brings it back in again with him.

Dramatic works about social breakdown generally incorporate a story about the efforts of individuals to restore or at least to hang onto the vestiges of civility and order, even if it is only on the family level, motivated by a yearning somehow to return to the way things were before. We see that here as well, including the efforts of Terrance's brother Bankhead (William Oliver Watkins), an unexpected protector of human decency (pictured above with Jessica Savage).

There is much more to say about all of this, but it would require too many spoilers. I would merely observe that the resolution is credible and disheartening, but not entirely without hope. Audiences will find Thirst, like its classical predecessors, harrowing but also cathartic.

Naturally, a work of the ambition of this one will not come off properly without first-rate acting and direction (a hat-tip to Adrienne Campbell-Holt), and great technical support. The Festival, as is its wont, supplies all these things.

If you are not doing all of this year's Festival, this is surely one of the shows not to miss.

Thirst, by C.A. Johnson, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, presented by the Contemporary American Theater Festival through July 29 at the Marinoff Theater, 62 West Campus Drive, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. Tickets $35-$65 at 800.999.CATF or 304.876.3473 or http://catf.org/tickets/ . Smoke, lethal violence, gunfire, gunshot trauma.

Photo credit: Seth Freeman.


          Remittance rip-offs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

All over the world migrant workers are sending money home to their families. The money pays hospital bills and school fees, buys land, builds houses and sets up small businesses. The cash goes from the US back to Mexico, from the Gulf back to India, from the UK back to Somalia, and from South Africa back to Malawi, Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa. 

But what these workers probably do not realize, since they usually only ever send to one country, is that the cost of sending money varies greatly. Now a study of the cost of remittances, carried out by London's Overseas Development Institute with support from the fund-raising charity Comic Relief, has revealed that transfers to African countries cost around half as much again as the global average, and twice as much as transfers to Latin America. 

The ODI estimates that if remittance charges were brought down to the world average, the money saved could educate an extra 14 million primary school children, half of all those currently out of school on the continent.

The bulk of this money goes through money transfer companies rather than banks, since the recipients are unlikely to have bank accounts, and transfer companies are quick, efficient and have a wide network of agents. But just two big international players dominate the business in Africa, Moneygram and Western Union, and participants in a meeting to launch the research were highly critical of the way they seemed to be abusing their market dominance.

Rwanda's High Commissioner in London, Williams Nkurunziza, said he was shocked at what the report revealed. “If you look at the remittances, 30 or 40 percent of the money that goes to Africa goes to rural areas,” he said. “This money goes to the people who are most needy, and you are allowing a multinational corporation to take bread out of the mouth of hungry children. This is not what I would call responsible capitalism!”

Glenys Kinnock, opposition spokesman on International Development in the upper house of the UK parliament, who chaired the meeting, called on the country's financial regulatory authority to intervene over the issue of excessive charges. “It is not a technocratic issue,” she said, “although it may sound like one. It is also about people's lives and the future of their children... These things have to change. We can't put up any longer with the prospect of its making things so difficult, very often impossible, for people who have such needs.”

At the end of last year, when the ODI did its research, the fees and charges to send money to most of Africa were around 12 percent - a bit less to Zambia or Tanzania, a bit more to Uganda, Malawi and the Gambia - against a world average of just over 8 percent. Even that is quite expensive; the governments of the G8 and G20 countries have pledged themselves to working towards reducing this to 5 percent.

It found that in more than 30 countries the two big players had more than 50 percent of the market; and in 10 countries they had more than 90 percent. Sometimes either Moneygram or Western Union had an effective monopoly, but even where both companies were present it did not necessarily mean that customers had much choice; one company could still have a monopoly of outlets in a particular area, and the companies habitually make their paying-out agents sign contracts promising not to also act as agents for their rivals. 

Somalia different

Significantly, the one country where the big two are absent - Somalia - has far lower remittance charges; transfers go through a number of smaller, competing companies.

Competition has been limited by the fallout from the US “war on terror”, with the banks who do bulk international transfers citing money-laundering and anti-terrorism regulations as the reason they are reluctant to extend facilities to smaller companies. Now only the biggest of the Somali companies, Dahabshiil, still has an account with a major British bank (Barclays) and even that concession was forced by a court case and is only until other arrangements can be put in place.

Inter-Africa transfers cost most

But if charges to send money to Africa from outside are steep, the cost of sending money from one African country to another can be eye-watering. 

Dilip Ratha, who works on these issues for the World Bank says exchange controls are one of the reasons the rates are so high; in some places sending money out of the country is illegal. “So if you are sending money,” he says, “let's say from Benin to Ghana, it is actually allowed (in some countries it's not even allowed) but first the CFA has to be passed through into euros or sterling or dollars, and then it has to be transferred back into the local cedi, and in both cases you pay commission. Some sort of regional currency market really needs to be created.” 

"So if you are sending money, let's say from Benin to Ghana, it is actually allowed (in some countries it's not even allowed) but first the CFA has to be passed through into euros or sterling or dollars, and then it has to be transferred back into the local cedi, and in both cases you pay commission. Some sort of regional currency market really needs to be created"  

The report found 10 routes with bank transfer charges over 20 percent. Charges from Nigeria to Ghana were 22 percent. To send from Tanzania to the rest of East Africa, or from South Africa to its near neighbours is particularly expensive, peaking at 25 percent for bank transfers between South African and Malawi. Some of the fees charged by money transfer companies are even higher; if you send money that way from Ghana to Nigeria you may have to pay a staggering 39 percent.

In some places mobile phone based systems like M-Pesa have made in-country transfers much easier and cheaper, but they haven't really taken off internationally, largely because conservative, inflexible regulatory systems insist that all international transfers must go through conventional banks. And African banks tend to have very high charges, often because they are forced by governments to finance government projects or make uncommercial loans. 

Chukwuemeka Chikezie of the Up Africa consultancy told IRIN a lot of the responsibility lay with African governments. “One of the reasons M-Pesa took off in Kenya was because the authorities nurtured and enabled innovation. If you look at other countries the regulators have tended to stifle innovation. They are very risk-averse and they don't enable even limited experiments to prove that the markets can absorb technical innovation.”

In addition, money-laundering regulations are putting impossible demands on systems designed to serve the poor, requiring, for instance, “know your customer” procedures like taking copies of ID documents for anyone receiving an international payout. Selma Ribica of M-Pesa points out this is an impossibility for agents in rural areas with no power supply. She told IRIN she would like to see a more realistic, tiered approach with much lighter regulation for small international transfers (under, say, US$200-300) which are most unlikely to have anything to do with money laundering.

Beware Facebook, Walmart

M-Pesa depends on moving money between different customers' mobile phone accounts. Now people are beginning to think of other kinds of electronic “purses” which might be linked in the same way. 

Facebook has just proposed allowing transfers between customers who have accounts with the company which they normally use to make payments for online games. So far this is only proposed for payments within the European Union, but Facebook has a huge geographical spread and has said it is keen to extend its reach in Africa. 

And the big profits made by the transfer companies are tempting other players into the market. The latest to announce it is starting money transfers is the US supermarket chain Walmart, with recipients being able to pick up their cash from any shop in the chain. To start with this will only work within the United States and Puerto Rico, but Walmart is an international group with nearly 350 stores in South Africa, and it also has a presence in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Mozambique, opening up the tempting prospect of a new, and cheaper way for workers to send money home.

All these new ways of sending money aim to undercut Moneygram and Western Union. Now Western Union has responded by offering so-called “zero-fee” transfers to Africa if the money is sent from a bank account rather by credit card or cash. This would mean a saving of just under £5 ($8.40) for someone sending $100 from the UK to Liberia. The company would still make money (nearly $4) by using a favourable exchange rate, but it would bring the cost down to just below the G8/G20 target. 

For African's hard-pressed and hard-working migrants and their families back home, change may - finally - be on the way.

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99977 201404221522570983.jpg Feature Politics and Economics Remittance rip-offs IRIN LONDON Angola Burkina Faso Burundi Benin Botswana DRC Congo, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Cameroon Colombia Cape Verde Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Ghana Gambia Guinea Equatorial Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Liberia Lesotho Morocco Madagascar Mali Mauritania Mauritius Malawi Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Seychelles Sudan Sierra Leone Senegal Somalia Sao Tome and Principe eSwatini Chad Togo Tanzania Uganda Samoa South Africa Zambia Zimbabwe
          New Zealand Humanitarian Assistance For Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New Zealand has approved $5.2 million in humanitarian funding to address significant humanitarian needs in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. The ongoing conflict in South Sudan, and prolonged drought, recent heavy rains and pockets of violence in Ethiopia and Somalia, have contributed to deeply concerning humanitarian situations in all three countries. New Zealand’s support will …

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          Somali Govt Troops Cordon Off Mogadishu Streets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Somalia’s Federal government forces were reported to have cordoned off several main streets in Mogadishu days after deadly attack on the headquarters of the interior Ministry in the capital. The troops from Mogadishu Stabilization force were spotted on the roads on Wednesday morning ahead of the arrival of the country’s President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who …

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          African Union And United Nations Reiterate Their Commitment To Help Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations have reiterated their commitment to help develop capacity of the Somali national security forces to address all forms of human rights violations. The two organizations promised to continue mobilizing resources and providing specialized training to the Somali national security forces, during the transition period, …

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          EU provides over $100M humanitarian aid for Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
EU provides over $100M humanitarian aid for SomaliaAid will target most vulnerable and provide life-saving support to those affected by climatic shocks and internal conflict
          Wasiir Ka Tirsan Dowladda Soomaaliya Oo Sheegay In La Soo Dhaweynayo Maalgashiga Caalamiga Ah      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibedda Iyo Iskaashiga Caalamiga Ee Somalia, Ambassador Axmed Ciise Cawad Ayaa Hadalkaasi Ku Sheegay Wareysi Uu Siiyey Mid Ka Mid Ah Telefishinadda Ugu Caansan Dalka Shiinaha. Wasiirka Oo Ka Qeybgalay Shirka Wasiiradda Ee Golaha Ay Ku Mideysan Yihiin Dowladdaha Carabta Iyo  Shiinaha  Ku Yeesheen Magaalladda Pejing Ayaa Sheegay Inuu Dalka Somalia Ku Habboon […]

The post Wasiir Ka Tirsan Dowladda Soomaaliya Oo Sheegay In La Soo Dhaweynayo Maalgashiga Caalamiga Ah appeared first on warkii.com.


          Somalia Partnership Forum stöttar positiv utveckling i Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
För att stötta freds- och demokratiprocessen i Somalia står utrikesminister Margot Wallström och EU:s höga representant Federica Mogherini tillsammans med Somalias president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed som värdar för en konferens i Bryssel 16-17 juli.
          Kooxda Shabaab oo gacanta ku dhigtay sarkaal ka tirsan Ciidanka Kenya..      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Taliyaha Booliska magaalada Gaarisa David Kerina ayaa sheegay inay la’ yihiin sarkaal ka tirsanaa ciidankooda ka dib markii ay dagaalamayaal Al-shabaab ka tirsan habeen hore weerar ku qaadeen Bar kontrol oo Booliska Kenya ku leeyihiin Tuulladda Hamey oo ku dhow xuduudka Kenya iyo Somalia. Al-shabaab ayuu sheegay iney horey u kaxeysteen Sarkaalkaasi, kadib, markii uu […]
          Uganda Oo Ku Baaqday In La Soo Af-Jaro Dagaalladda Aan Dhamaadka Lahayn Ee Somalia Iyo Dalal Kale…      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Taliye-Xigeenka Ciiddanka Dhulka Ee Milliteriga Uganda, Sarreeye Gaas Sam Kavuma Waxa Uu Hadalkaasi Sheegay Isniintii La Soo Dhaafay Mar U Ula Hadlayey 70 Xubnood Oo Ka Kala Socday Milliteriga 13 Waddan Oo Afrikaan Ah, Kuwaasi Oo Haatan Kulan Ku Leh Magaalladda Jinja Ee Galbeedka Uganda. Ka-Qeybgalayaasha Waxay Diyaarinayaan Qorshihii Ugu Dambeeyey  Carbiska Taliska Hoggaaminta Oo […]

The post Uganda Oo Ku Baaqday In La Soo Af-Jaro Dagaalladda Aan Dhamaadka Lahayn Ee Somalia Iyo Dalal Kale… appeared first on warkii.com.


          The Sustainable Development Cabal of the United Nations is Meeting Again      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Sustainable Development Cabal of the United Nations is Meeting Again
By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh 
“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” - Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the U.N. Earth Summit, 1992.

The U.N. Agenda 21 adopted in 1992 and signed by 178 countries has morphed into Agenda 2030 adopted in 2015 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 “specific targets.” As Alex Newman described it, it is a recipe for “global socialism and corporatism/fascism” foisted upon the world by the United Nations.
My 2012 book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” explains the U.N. effort to rearrange the way we live, the way we do business, an effort to redistribute our wealth to all third world nations, friends and foes.


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be found at this site which is labeled “post 2015” Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. Indoctrination into global socialism may be subtle and euphemistic, but the message of controlling everything is clear.
SD is a U.N.-led effort to reduce consumption, force social equity (social justice), and preserve and restore biodiversity through economic, social, and environmental policies integration.
“Sustainablists” insist that every decision made in all societies must be made taking into account the impact on the environment. Global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction must be controlled and “harmonized.”
Social equity (social justice) is described as the right of all people “to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.” This includes redistributing wealth and treating private property and national sovereignty as socially unjust while seeking universal health care as a right.
At the local and state levels one organization, Local Governments for Sustainability, previously named International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), has been responsible for introducing Public Private Partnerships (PPP), special agreements between government and corporations that receive tax breaks, grants, and eminent domain through government’s power to implement sustainable policies.
Tom DeWeese described these public-private partnerships as “government-sanctioned monopolies.” Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Center, has been fighting property rights infringements by ICLEI and their visioning committees for years.
Local sustainable polices include Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, STAR Sustainable Communities, Green Jobs, Green building codes, Going Green, Alternative Energy, Local Visioning, regional planning, historic preservation, conservation easements, development rights, sustainable farming, comprehensive planning, and growth management. Outside facilitators that no locals have ever met or heard bring “consensus” to a local government and the pre-determined “visioning” of the “visioning committee” and its invisible “stakeholders” is being imposed on the local population that has not voted on nor had it been informed of the plan and the outcome.
In addition to ICLEI that some local communities and cities pay dues to, there are other groups that aid in the implementation of world-wide Sustainable Development:  American Planning Council, the Renaissance Planning Group, International City/County Management Group, U.S. Mayors Conference, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Association of County Administrators, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and official U.S. government agencies.
Executive Order #12852, issued by Bill Clinton in 1993, created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development to “harmonize” U.S. environmental policy with U.N. directives as outlined in U.N. Agenda 21,” and directed all federal government agencies to “reinvent government” with the help of state and local governments.
Each year U.N. Agenda 21, which has morphed into 2030 Agenda,  is imposed on the participating countries, including the U.S., at the local, state, and federal level under the infamous Sustainable Development (SD).
Wealth redistribution is not the entire U.N. Agenda 2030. They want to control population size, to engineer where we live through high-rise mixed-use urban settlements and forced mass migration (Europeans are already experiencing a dose of this forced migration and so are Americans), eliminating borders, and nudging governments to seize control of the means of production, directly or through fascistic decrees. The U.N. is telling us clearly, “We commit to making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services.”
Continued below...


Who is going to decide what are “sustainable patterns of consumption and production” and what will the consequences of non-compliance be?
Alex Newman described Agenda 2030 as a “the UN plot ...aimed at ‘transforming’ the world. The program is a follow-up to the last 15-year UN plan, the defunct “Millennium Development Goals,” or MDGs. It also dovetails nicely with the deeply controversial UN Agenda 21, even including much of the same rhetoric and agenda. But the combined Agenda 2030 goals for achieving what is euphemistically called “sustainable development” represent previous UN plans on steroids—deeper, more radical, more draconian, and more expensive.”
The “principal UN body mandated to review implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” is the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). HLPF examines every year the progress made. This year’s meeting in New York on July 9-18 will discuss SDG 6 (clean water and safe sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (inclusive and sustainable cities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 15 (life on land), and SDG 17 (partnerships for the global goals).
The meeting, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,” is co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO), the Geneva Water Hub, the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, the United Nations University—Institute for Water, Environment and Health, and U.N.-Water, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Federal Government of Somalia to the U.N. Who knew that a country known for its pirates is now making policy for the rest of the world?

Discussion topics will include:
  • “Vanishing Waters and Drying Lands: Impacts on Migration,” focusing on “migration, environment and climate change nexus”—(even though the global warming/climate change has been debunked for its faulty data and lack of scientific evidence)
Policy responses will be drafted in regards to water, land, and migration.
  • “Migration Governance in the GCC: Towards Inclusive, Safe and Resilient Societies” will be hosted by the Philippines and Bahrain Permanent Mission at the U.N. and Migrant Forum of Asia (an NGO) and explore “Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration as it intersects with Sustainable Development Goals.”
  • Launch in January 2018 of the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement—“130 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, natural disasters, and other complex global challenges.”  This global plan is “non-binding” but represents “concrete recommendations” to give “safe access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all displaced people by 2030.” The western and developed world will no doubt foot the bill for this new third world bureaucracy and its “harmonizing” philanthropy.
As is always the case, the United Nations third world SD cabal includes third world governments, business, “civil society leaders,” private sector, academia, and other never named “stakeholders” which usually translates as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), “non-profits” with a well-paid and well-traveled staff.
Assisting Member States to achieve the migration objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs for a “dignified and humane migration,” the International Office for Migration (IOM) provided input to the 2018 HLPF.


          El fascismo financiero y la irreformabilidad del sistema      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Por Alfredo Apilánez

Texto elaborado para la ponencia homónima desarrollada en el marco del Foro que, bajo el título “El derecho a la vivienda frente al capitalismo financiero”, organizó la Asociación 500×20 del barrio de Nou Barris de Barcelona los días 7 y 8 de julio de 2018.

Introducción

Un sistema que, cuando no tiene problemas, excluye de una vida digna a la mitad del planeta y que soluciona los que tiene amenazando a la otra mitad, funciona sin duda perfectamente, grandiosamente, con recursos y fuerzas sin precedentes, pero se parece más a un virus que a una sociedad. Puede preocuparnos que el virus tenga problemas para reproducirse o podemos pensar, más bien, que el virus es precisamente nuestro problema. El problema no es la crisis del capitalismo, no, sino el capitalismo mismo. Y el problema es que esta crisis reveladora, potencialmente aprovechable para la emancipación, alcanza a una población sin conciencia y a una izquierda sin una alternativa elaborada
Santiago Alba Rico

Quizás no haya ningún ámbito de la realidad social donde sea mayor el desconocimiento existente sobre los procesos que inciden en la vida de la gente que en todo lo relacionado con las finanzas modernas. Podríamos decir que hay una relación inversamente proporcional entre la relevancia de los formidables efectos que producen sobre la vida cotidiana de las personas y el conocimiento que se tiene del funcionamiento de esos mecanismos: no entendemos las fuerzas que mueven el mundo en el que vivimos. El papel de la banca en la planificación de la actividad económica, el funcionamiento de los omnipotentes mercados financieros, la teoría económica con mando en plaza en todas las plataformas mediáticas y cátedras académicas y los resortes ocultos de las políticas austericidas neoliberales son incomprensibles para la mayor parte de la población, directamente afectada  por sus efectos. Todo ello dista mucho de ser casual. La incomprensión de los mecanismos a través de los cuales se ejerce el poder social efectivo es perfectamente funcional a la docilidad y la alienación que propician el alejamiento de las clases populares de la peligrosa tentación del antagonismo. Las reglas que rigen el poder real son ajenas a cualquier control mínimamente democrático.

 

Pero es precisamente esta colosal e inducida ignorancia la que facilita la difusión de la errónea creencia de que los pilares de la política económica neoliberal son absurdos o malévolos, causando un sufrimiento innecesario que sería fácil de revertir a través de políticas sensatas desarrolladas por fuerzas razonablemente progresistas. ¿Cuántas veces escuchamos la cantinela de la necesidad de acabar con la austeridad o con los abusos de los fondos buitre, esos desalmados especuladores que atentan contra el derecho a la vivienda, como si fuera posible modificar sustancialmente las despiadadas reglas del juego del sistema capitalista a través de cambios legislativos o de reformas gradualistas? Sin embargo, lo cierto es que semejante entramado de “crueldad” y de sufrimiento humano es esencial para mantener la rentabilidad del capital, que es al fin y al cabo lo que cuenta en el reino de la mercancía.

La gran novedad respecto a épocas anteriores es la amputación de la posibilidad de intervención, al menos en el corazón del sistema, por parte de los poderes públicos representantes de la soberanía popular. Sobran los ejemplos ilustrativos de cómo las palancas “técnicas” a través de las que el estado burgués podía atenuar el embate del capital (destacadamente, la política fiscal redistributiva de tipo keynesiano financiada a través del banco central público) han sido cercenadas por la ofensiva neoliberal. He aquí, en la probada impotencia de los representantes del pueblo soberano para resistir los ataques crecientes contra las condiciones de vida de la clase trabajadora, la prueba de la hegemonía del fascismo social, que ejerce su poder destacadamente en el ámbito de las finanzas globales. La conclusión lógica de cara a las vías de acción política de las clases populares es contundente: si el sistema es irreformable por la vía legal-institucional, la insistencia en esta vía por parte de las llamadas fuerzas del cambio y los movimientos sociales reformistas sólo puede producir desánimo y frustración ante la impotencia de realizar transformaciones de calado respetando las reglas del juego. El viejo reformismo, mil veces fracasado, con su utópica ilusión de alcanzar un capitalismo con rostro humano, para paliar con microavances el desastre en ciernes, no sería pues más que un freno a las auténticas aspiraciones emancipatorias. ¿Existen otras vías?

Como cierre de esta pequeña introducción voy a hacer una aproximación al concepto de fascismo financiero, entendido como una de las formas del fascismo social, desarrollado por el escritor y sociólogo portugués Boaventura de Sousa Santos: “Todas las formas de fascismo social son formas infra-políticas, no son parte del sistema político, que es formalmente democrático, pero condicionan las formas de vida de los que están abajo a través de desigualdades de poder que no son democráticas, que son inmensas y permiten que los grupos que tienen poder obtengan un derecho de veto sobre las oportunidades de vida de quienes están más abajo. Hasta ahora, políticamente, las sociedades son democráticas. Hay libertad de expresión, relativa pero existe. Hay elecciones libres, por así decirlo, con toda la manipulación. Pero los asuntos de los que depende la vida de la gente están cada vez más sustraídos al juego democrático. El mejor ejemplo es el fascismo financiero. El fascismo financiero tiene una característica especial: permite salir del juego democrático para tener más poder sobre el mismo. O sea, alguien con muchísimo dinero o una gran multinacional, puede ponerlo en un paraíso fiscal. De este modo sale del juego democrático de los impuestos, pero al salir se queda con más dinero y más poder para poder influenciarlo y además darles consejos a los ciudadanos de que no deben gastar tanto, que están viviendo por encima de sus posibilidades, que el Estado está aumentando peligrosamente el déficit, precisamente porque no está siendo financiado con los impuestos que podría recibir si esta plata estuviera en el país. Se crea una corrupción de la democracia: los que huyen de las reglas democráticas son los que se quedan con más poder para imponer las reglas democráticas a los otros. Esa es la perversidad del fascismo financiero. Las siete economías más ricas del mundo son paraísos fiscales, auténticos pozos sin fondo de los flujos financieros del capital global, y su ingreso per cápita entre el inicio de la desregulación neoliberal en 1980 y el 2015 creció más que para el resto del mundo.

Comenzaré con una serie de ejemplos históricos que sirven de botones de muestra del fascismo financiero.

A continuación, describiré los instrumentos a través de los cuales se ejerce el fascismo financiero. Su origen histórico, las instituciones que lo simbolizan, la teoría económica basura que lo legitima y algunas de las profundas transformaciones sociales que provoca.

Y para finalizar unos breves apuntes sobre las enormes consecuencias para la lucha política y el activismo social que resultan de esta configuración de poder

1) Miscelánea histórica de fascismo financiero.

1a) Las dictaduras militares del cono Sur. “Haced gritar a la economía”

Podríamos decir que el primer experimento de aplicación del potro de tortura neoliberal fue la política desarrollada por el gobierno chileno de Pinochet tras el golpe de estado contra Allende en 1973. El objetivo habitual en otras fases del imperialismo de extirpar de raíz el mal ejemplo de un gobierno progresista y antiimperialista se combina por primera vez con la aplicación del tratamiento de choque neoliberal.

Los documentos desclasificados de la CIA revelan diálogos en los días posteriores al triunfo electoral de Allende de 1970, en los que Nixon le comunica al secretario de Estado Henry Kissinger que hay que hacer aullar a la economía chilena” mediante sabotajes y todo tipo de mecanismos de guerra económica. Una vez consumado el golpe militar, los encargados de desarrollar el experimento que iba a tener como cobaya a la sociedad chilena fueron los Chicago Boys de Milton Friedman, el arquitecto intelectual de la ofensiva del monetarismo neoliberal.

Su ilustre colega y fundador de la sociedad Mont Pelerin  -cuna del pensamiento neoliberal anti Welfare State de la posguerra-  Hayek, quien tenía al menos el don de la franqueza, declaró en 1981 a un periódico chileno: “Mi preferencia personal va a una dictadura liberal y no a un gobierno democrático donde el liberalismo está ausente”. Friedman expresó, con más cinismo que Hayek, el objetivo real de la nueva receta de política económica: “A pesar de mi profundo desacuerdo con el sistema político autoritario de Chile, no considero pecaminoso para un economista proporcionar consejo económico técnico al gobierno chileno, más de lo que consideraría pecaminoso para un médico entregar asesoría técnica al gobierno para contribuir a poner término a una plaga”.

Como botón de muestra de los procedimientos de aplicación del tratamiento de choque de los cachorros de Friedman valga la respuesta que recibió, de un coronel empleado en el ministerio de economía, un patrón de una pequeña fábrica que solicitaba  un crédito al gobierno militar para pagar los salarios: “dígales a los obreros que vendan los televisores que su querido Allende les regaló. Y si esto no les satisface, fusilaremos a unos cuantos y ya verá cómo obedecerán”.

“Han pasado tres años desde que el experimento comenzó en Chile y existe suficiente información para concluir que los discípulos de Friedman fracasaron – al menos en sus objetivos macroeconómicos explícitos- y particularmente en sus tentativas de controlar la inflación. Pero han tenido éxito en su propósito más general: asegurar el poder político y económico de una pequeña clase dominante mediante una transferencia masiva de riqueza de las clases bajas y medias a un selecto grupo de monopolistas y especuladores financieros”. La cita anterior está extraída de la ‘Carta abierta a la escuela de economía de Chicago a propósito de su intervención en Chile. Capitalismo y genocidio económico’ del economista chileno, antiguo discípulo de Friedman en Chicago, André Gunder Frank

El paquetazo neoliberal resultante, esparcido a los cuatro vientos por el “brazo ejecutor” del neoliberalismo, el FMI, extendió por doquier las despiadadas políticas de “ajuste estructural” que allanaron el camino del fascismo financiero.

En otra carta, redactada magistralmente por el escritor argentino Rodolfo Walsh, asesinado inmediatamente después de la publicación de la misma, se resume el idéntico contenido del tratamiento de choque administrado por la sanguinaria junta militar argentina tras el sangriento golpe de 1976.

“En un año han reducido ustedes el salario real de los trabajadores al 40 %, disminuido su participación en el ingreso nacional al 30 %, elevado de 6 a 18 horas la jornada de labor que necesita un obrero para pagar la canasta familiar, resucitando así formas de trabajo forzado que no persisten ni en los últimos reductos coloniales. Congelando salarios a culatazos mientras los precios suben en las puntas de las bayonetas, aboliendo toda forma de reclamación colectiva, prohibiendo asambleas y comisiones internas, alargando horarios, elevando la desocupación al récord. Han retrotraído las relaciones de producción a los comienzos de la era industrial, y cuando los trabajadores han querido protestar los han calificado de subversivos, secuestrando cuerpos enteros de delegados que en algunos casos aparecieron muertos, y en otros no aparecieron”

Lo que este “potro de tortura” económico ha supuesto para sus víctimas en el Tercer Mundo lo expresa Davison Budhoo, ejecutivo “arrepentido” del FMI, cómplice necesario de los ajustes duros en Chile y Argentina que, en su carta de renuncia a su jefe, describe así su honorable tarea: “Para mí, esta dimisión es una liberación inestimable, porque con ella he dado el primer gran paso hacia ese lugar en el que algún día espero poder lavarme las manos de lo que, en mi opinión, es la sangre de millones de personas pobres y hambrientas. […]; tengo la sensación de que no hay jabón en el mundo que me pueda limpiar de las cosas que hice en su nombre”.

Quiero mencionar estos ejemplos, aparentemente tan lejanos, para resaltar las similitudes –salvando las distancias- entre las políticas económicas que actualmente se desarrollan en el mundo “rico” y las que sufrieron en sus carnes los pueblos del cono sur en los años 70.

1b) Primer Mundo: La bancarrota del reformismo socialdemócrata.

En todos los relatos habituales sobre los orígenes de las políticas neoliberales aparecen siempre los gobiernos de Thatcher y Reagan, a principios de los 80, como ejemplos paradigmáticos de la aplicación de las nuevas recetas de política económica. Sin embargo, lo realmente novedoso no es que la derecha aplique la política del capital sino que lo haga la izquierda socialdemócrata renunciando a su adn redistributivo y de mayor justicia social.

1b1) Francia, 1981. La palinodia de Mitterrand “Hemos comenzado la verdadera ruptura con el capitalismo”, declaró eufórico Mitterrand tras su sonora victoria electoral. Las promesas electorales se convirtieron en leyes: los trabajadores franceses consiguieron una quinta semana de vacaciones pagadas, la edad de jubilación se rebajó, la jornada laboral se redujo, se restringió el despido, aumentaron el salario mínimo y los subsidios dirigidos a las familias más pobres, Se implantó un impuesto a las grandes fortunas y un proyecto de renta básica, el Estado contrató a cientos de miles de funcionarios y, en lo que fue la medida estrella, el Ejecutivo nacionalizó más de 30 bancos, compañías de seguros e industrias estratégicas del país.

Los bazokas de las finanzas globales se aprestaron a sabotear el experimento reformista y a darle una lección de real politik al peligroso radical, nostálgico de la grandeur. En el verano del 82 todos los indicadores económicos se pusieron en rojo. El franco –siguiendo el modus operandi habitual en estos casos- era objeto del ataque desaforado de los financistas y entraba en caída libre. EL paro y la inflación estaban por las nubes. Las tensiones en el gobierno se dispararon. La izquierda socialista y los comunistas querían que Francia abandonara los límites de cambio fijados por el Sistema Monetario Europeo -el embrión del euro-, así el franco podría flotar libremente y el Gobierno continuar con sus políticas económicas expansivas. El ministro de Economía Jacques Delors –futuro presidente de la Comisión Europea– se oponía frontalmente. Si Francia salía del SME, el franco caería por los suelos y el Gobierno se vería obligado a pedir un humillante rescate al FMI. ¿Adivináis quién se llevó el gato al agua? Un año después del glorioso triunfo electoral, en junio del 82, “El Elíseo aprobó su primer programa de austeridad: congelación durante cuatro meses de precios y salarios, limitación del déficit presupuestario al 3% y compromiso de reducir la inflación por debajo del 8%. Aunque el Ejecutivo no quería admitir el cambio de dirección y la palabra ‘austeridad’ era tabú”, lo cierto es que la durísima presión de Alemania y de los mercados obligó a Francia a permanecer en el SME y a seguir disciplinadamente la agenda neoliberal. A los dos años de su presidencia, Mitterrand consumaba un giro radical. Como sentencia, premonitoriamente, el personaje de Mitterrand en la película biográfica ‘Presidente Mitterrand’: “Soy el último de los grandes presidentes. Después de mí solo vendrán contables”. ¡Cuánta razón tenía!

Un año después, el primer gobierno de Felipe González ni siquiera hizo ademán de desarrollar tímidas políticas de reformas socialdemócratas y lo único que nacionalizó el neoliberal ministro de economía Miguel Boyer fue la esperpéntica y catastrófica Rumasa. Al contrario, el “gobierno del cambio” fue desde el principio un fiel cumplidor de la nueva agenda neoliberal embarcándose en la brutal reconversión industrial, en la flexibilización del mercado laboral y en las privatizaciones de los monopolios públicos a mayor gloria de la libertad de mercado.

¿Han cambiado las cosas en treinta años de neoliberalismo? Veamos cómo el BCE y la infausta Troika cumplen la misma función en el Primer Mundo que los Chicago Boys en las dictaduras del Cono Sur: la aplicación del potro de tortura neoliberal con métodos típicos del fascismo financiero.

1b2) Zapatero con cara de suicida. España, mayo 2010.

Ante el embate de la brutal crisis de 2008 la reacción del progresista gobierno de Zapatero fue tímidamente socialdemócrata: el Plan E (2008) y el ‘cheque bebé’ estaban inspirados en las directrices de la corriente económica keynesiana, de estímulo económico de la demanda a través del gasto público para combatir el desempleo galopante. No tardó en recibir una dura lección. En pleno colapso de la colosal burbuja inmobiliaria y ante el ataque desaforado de los “mercados” en la crisis de la prima de riesgo, la inacción intencionada del BCE, al dejar la deuda pública soberana a los pies de los tiburones de las finanzas globales, obliga a Zapatero a claudicar y a imponer los mayores recortes en gasto social de la democracia. Con cara de suicida, como lo describía el magnífico escritor Rafael Chirbes, anunció que iba  a pedir ‘un gran esfuerzo a todos los ciudadanos’. La medida, tan dolorosa e impopular, le provoca “desgarro interior”, según cuenta uno de los colaboradores. Si tanto desgarro le produce, ¿por qué no dimite? Esta reiterada actitud de aguantar el chaparrón común a los líderes de la socialdemocracia y de la llamada nueva izquierda –por un mal entendido sentido de la responsabilidad y del servicio al país- es un fallo pedagógico gravísimo. En lugar de denunciar las intolerables presiones y abandonar el barco, Zapatero, alias ‘Bambi’, se limitó a reconocer patéticamente quién gobernaba en realidad la democracia española: “estábamos en manos del BCE”.

Un año después se consuma la rendición: la frase inicial de la carta-ultimatum (estrictamente confidencial) que dirige el presidente del BCE a Zapatero es un ejemplo extraordinario de los métodos del fascismo financiero y del papel de comparsas reservado a las instituciones soberanas del Estado-nación: “el consejo gobernante (del BCE) considera que para España la acción enérgica y apremiante de las autoridades es esencial para restaurar la credibilidad de la firma soberana en los mercados de capitales”. Dicho sea de paso, ¿la sagrada independencia del BCE sólo rige para evitar presiones de los gobiernos pero no a la inversa? ¿Qué legitimidad tiene el presidente del Banco Central –un cargo técnico y no político- para dirigirse con esas ínfulas a un mandatario soberano? Sin embargo, aún no bastaba con la batería de medidas antisociales para aplacar al guardián del euro. Había que consumar el golpe –abriendo el parlamento en pleno mes de agosto-a la soberanía popular con la reforma constitucional del artículo 135, para garantizar la estabilidad presupuestaria y el pago de la deuda. El artículo reformado es una oda  a la sumisión absoluta de las cuentas del Estado a la dictadura de la ‘renta financiera’: “Los créditos para satisfacer los intereses y el capital de la deuda pública de las Administraciones se entenderán siempre incluidos en el estado de gastos de sus presupuestos y su pago gozará de prioridad absoluta”. El hecho de que haya sido un gobierno socialista el que se ha plegado a esta exigencia de reforma constitucional no hace sino confirmar el carácter fascistizante de la ideología neoliberal.

1b3) Grecia y la bancarrota de la ‘nueva izquierda radical’. Junio 2015

Tras años de políticas ‘austericidas’, que causaban el brutal empobrecimiento de los sectores más débiles de la población, y de sufrir la humillación de ser gobernados por la Troika, a través de gobiernos títeres de los viejos partidos de la casta, los griegos votaron por la coalición de la izquierda radical de Syriza, con la promesa de acabar con los formidables recortes y renegociar los durísimos términos del llamado “rescate”, tratamiento de choque neoliberal a la griega. Había que darles una lección a los parásitos (Grecia, junto con Portugal, Italia y España, formaba parte de los PIGS) del sur de la vieja Europa por elegir a populistas. Varoufakis, el mediático ministro de finanzas del nuevo gobierno del cambio, relata la siguiente conversación, en el seno del Eurogrupo, con el ministro de finanzas alemán. Varoufakis defendía la urgente necesidad de atenuar la dureza de las medidas económicas impuestas por la Troika con la legitimidad popular adquirida por el nuevo gobierno tras su contundente triunfo electoral. Tenemos que creer la versión de Varoufakis ya que las reuniones del Eurogrupo son secretas. El ministro de Finanzas de Alemania, herr Schauble, inmediatamente intervino: “Las elecciones no pueden cambiar nada”, dijo. “Si cada vez que hay una elección las reglas cambian, la zona euro no podría funcionar”. A lo cuál Varoufakis, con tono amargamente sarcástico, contestó: “Si es cierto que las elecciones no pueden cambiar nada, debemos ser honestos con nuestros ciudadanos y decírselo. Tal vez deberíamos modificar los Tratados europeos e insertar en ellos una cláusula que suspenda el proceso democrático en los países obligados a pedir prestado a la Troika y a aplicar planes de ajuste estructural. ¿Por qué debemos someter a nuestro pueblo a unos caros rituales electorales si las elecciones no pueden cambiar nada?

La sentencia de muerte para la democracia griega se produjo unos días después: a pesar de la rotunda victoria en el referéndum del rechazo a las condiciones durísimas impuestas en el mal llamado rescate, el primer ministro Tsipras–con cara de suicida, como Zapatero-, ignorando soberanamente la voluntad popular, aceptó el humillante tratamiento de choque en medio de un clima de golpe financiero perpetrado por el BCE al provocar el dramático corralito causado por el cierre de la banca griega. Misión cumplida.

2) Causas e instrumentos del fascismo financiero.

2a) ‘El mecanismo se encasquilló’: Nixon Shock, 1971

En los años 70 se produce la crisis más grave del capitalismo desde la segunda guerra mundial. El mecanismo se encasquilló. Después del auge casi inagotable de los ‘treinta gloriosos’, las economías occidentales entran en la fase de estancamiento conocida como estanflación, con altos niveles de inflación y desempleo. El sueño de un capitalismo estable, con crecimiento sostenido y un cierto equilibrio entre el trabajo y el capital y gestionado a través del Estado del bienestar y las políticas redistributivas de tipo keynesiano se truncó abruptamente. El desplome de la rentabilidad provocó un cambio drástico en la política del capital. Era necesario como siempre aumentar la explotación del trabajo para restaurar la maltrecha tasa de ganancia. Pero la cuestión era cómo lograrlo sin erosionar gravemente el consumo y la capacidad de reproducción del sistema. Fue en ese momento cuando el «capital ficticio», como lo llamaba Marx, levantó el vuelo. ¿Por qué se produce esa explosión del capital financiero? El resumen que hace el economista marxista Michel Husson de la génesis de la financiarización es inmejorable: “De este modo, la falta de oportunidades para sostener una acumulación rentable, a pesar de la recuperación de los niveles de ganancia gracias a la ofensiva neoliberal sobre los trabajadores, movilizó una masa creciente de rentas financieras en busca de valorización: allí es dónde se encuentra la fuente del proceso de financiarización”.

El crecimiento desorbitado del crédito y del casino financiero sería, por tanto, una consecuencia de los obstáculos del proceso de acumulación “real”, una fuerza que contrarresta la tendencia al estancamiento y que ayuda a sobrevivir al sistema más allá de su fecha de caducidad. Como explica Husson: “El consumo derivado de ingresos no salariales (rentistas) y el recurso al crédito deben compensar la caída drástica del consumo salarial. He aquí, por cierto, la raíz del brutal aumento de la desigualdad”.

Se acabó la ‘buena forma de hacer ganancias’ y comienza la podredumbre del capitalismo senil que cada vez se basa menos en actividades productivas y más en el casino financiero global: la pérdida de dignidad del capital, como la califica Toni Negri, una de las luminarias de la posmodernidad.

Si hubiera que elegir una fecha simbólica para el inicio de la contrarrevolución neoliberal y del proceso de financiarización ésta sería el 15 de agosto de 1971 (“el día en que la historia financiera del mundo cambió para siempre” en los solemnes términos de Alejandro Nadal).  En el llamado Nixon Shock el gobierno estadounidense suspendió la convertibilidad entre el dólar y el oro, dinamitando el mecanismo regulador del comercio y las finanzas internacionales surgido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los circuitos financieros se vieron anegados de dólares imprescindibles en el comercio de las fuentes de energía y materias primas estratégicas. Los petrodólares y eurodólares que fluían hacia la banca de Wall Street proporcionaron el combustible para el crecimiento exponencial de las “innovaciones” financieras y fueron el sustento de las formidables burbujas inmobiliarias y de la geopolítica actual basada en el binomio dólar-oro negro. Hipotecas y drones. He aquí las bases del imperialismo decadente del Tío Sam y su inseparable billete verde. Como explica el experto financiero estadounidense Michael Hudson: “Ante el hecho de que cerca de la mitad de los gastos discrecionales del gobierno de EE.UU. son para operaciones militares, no sería descabellado afirmar que el sistema financiero internacional está organizado de tal manera que financia al Pentágono”

¿Cómo se canalizan los enormes flujos de riqueza real que son necesarios para restaurar la ganancia del capital y sostener la maltrecha arquitectura del capitalismo senil?

2B) Máquina de succión: Deuda pública y privada volcando ingentes flujos de riqueza real al casino que nos gobierna

2B1) Banca Central independiente: la mamporrera de las finanzas globales

En el corazón de la economía política global está el sistema de la banca central independiente de los gobiernos. Y el control de la banca central global representa sin duda uno de los ejes de la geopolítica imperial.

Según Ellen Brown, el general estadounidense Wesley Clark se refirió a siete ‘estados forajidos’ –Irak, Libia, Somalia, Sudán, Irán, Siria y Líbano- que serían objeto de ataque luego del 11-S de 2001. “¿Qué tenían en común estos países? Además de ser islámicos, no eran miembros ni de la Organización Mundial del Comercio ni del Banco de Pagos Internacionales y todos tenían banca central pública que les permitía salir del circuito cerrado del dólar estadounidense.

Precisamente los golpes financieros que hemos visto en los casos de Grecia y España se basan en la pérdida de soberanía monetaria de los Estados y la consiguiente dependencia de los mercados privados para la financiación de la deuda pública ante la prohibición del BCE de financiarles directamente.

La esencia del funcionamiento, aparentemente absurdo, de la máquina de succión comandada por la banca central independiente queda espléndidamente resumida en la siguiente afirmación: “Es una idiotez que el estado permita al banco central fabricar el dinero, para tener que pedir luego prestado este dinero y pagar intereses por él”. El resultado es un volcado ingente de recursos públicos al casino financiero. En 2011, el gobierno federal de los Estados Unidos pagó 454.000 millones de dólares en intereses sobre la deuda federal (casi ¡un tercio! del total de 1.1 billones de dólares pagados en impuestos sobre la renta ese año) en una colosal transferencia de rentas del trabajo hacia la expropiación financiera. ¿Por qué cuando la FED pone dinero nuevo en el mercado lo hace contra deuda pública en manos de la banca privada con intereses que asume el estado?, ¿existe alguna justificación “técnica” de tan depurado y clamoroso latrocinio? El reputado economista James Galbraith nos lo aclara: “¿Podría el Tesoro ahorrarse este galimatías y pagar sus cuentas sin la existencia de los bonos? Económicamente, claro. ¿Por qué no lo hace? La respuesta es simple: al hacerlo revelaría que la “deuda pública” es una farsa. En España los pagos de intereses de la deuda ascendieron a la astronómica cifra de 30000 millones de euros en 2017, un 10% del gasto público destinado a engrosar las arcas de los dueños del casino. Así resume el economista marxista belga Eric Toussaint el cambalache en la vieja Europa: “Desde 2010, el BCE compra títulos de la deuda pública en el mercado secundario: no los compra directamente a los Estados sino a los bancos que, a su vez, los compraron en el mercado primario a los Estados, y que no saben cómo desembarazarse de ellos. (…) Si el BCE comprase títulos públicos en el mercado primario, se aportaría una financiación directa a los Estados”. “El resultado es que en la eurozona los Estados se encuentran privados de la existencia de un prestatario de última instancia y dependen de los mercados para su financiación. De este modo ha podido instalarse el gobierno de la renta a través de la deuda soberana, una dictadura de las finanzas globales que dicta las políticas económicas de austeridad y de expropiación de las instituciones del bienestar social”. Como explica Nadal: “Los estados modernos están de rodillas frente a los caprichos de los mercados financieros. Los poderes soberanos se han degradado al rango de clientes del sistema financiero internacional”.

¿En qué se basa ideológicamente el cambalache? En el concepto sagrado del monetarismo friedmaniano: el Estado despilfarrador creador de inflación y destructor de la iniciativa privada al que hay que alejar de la impresora de billetes. Gran parte de la literatura académica a favor de la independencia de los bancos centrales se basó en los modelos de expectativas racionales, donde se suponía que los gobiernos tienen incentivos para engañar al público con sorpresas monetarias, a fin de conseguir aumentos transitorios en el empleo o para reducir la carga de la deuda pública. Había pues que tomar medidas al respecto: en el tratado de Maastricht de 1992 se consagra la prohibición de financiar a los gobiernos por parte del BCE, dejando a la banca privada el escandaloso privilegio del monopolio del crédito al sector público.

2B2) Deuda privada: la banca comercial como planificador económico.

Comenzaré con una anécdota altamente ilustrativa de la función real, casi esotérica en su fabulosa simplicidad, de la banca privada en el capitalismo senil.  El economista mejicano Alejandro Nadal relata este curioso episodio judicial ocurrido en Estados Unidos en 1969.

El señor Daly –tras retrasarse en las cuotas y recibir la demanda de la entidad bancaria acreedora- reclamó paralizar la ejecución de su hipoteca y el consiguiente “lanzamiento” de su vivienda con el inverosímil argumento de que el banco “no había usado dinero real, sino virtual, para efectuar el préstamo”. El abogado Daly contó, en el juicio posterior, con un apoyo inesperado: “en el proceso fue llamado a declarar el presidente del Banco reclamante. En su testimonio declaró que, en efecto, su banco había creado íntegramente los 14 mil dólares al inscribir una entrada en su contabilidad acreditando dicha suma al señor Daly, tal como si éste hubiera realizado un depósito por esa cantidad: ‘tanto el dinero como el crédito comenzaron su existencia cuando fueron creados de esta forma’”. “Me suena muy fraudulento,” expresó el juez. La sentencia fue favorable al demandante al quedar acreditado que el contrato era nulo -“al carecer de una contraprestación legítima por parte del banco”-  y el señor Daly conservó su casa y se le condonó el resto de la deuda.

La esencia del sistema monetario contemporáneo es la creación de dinero, de la nada (“out of thin air”), por los préstamos a menudo insensatos de la banca privada. Esta es la función clave que desempeña la banca en el sostén de la tasa de ganancia en el capitalismo senil volcando enormes flujos de riqueza real al casino y planificando la actividad económica hacia las burbujas inmobiliarias. Con una diferencia de enorme relevancia social con la banca tradicional: actualmente la actividad principal de la banca se basa en el crédito personal y no productivo. Las finanzas dirigidas a los ingresos personales apuntan a satisfacer necesidades básicas de los trabajadores -vivienda, pensiones, consumo, seguros, entre otras-. Difieren cualitativamente de las finanzas dirigidas a la producción capitalista o la circulación. Los individuos se concentran en obtener valor de uso, mientras que las empresas apuntan a la expansión del valor de cambio.

La inferencia lógica es de una relevancia tan abrumadora como ignorada: los bancos crean dinero para el principal del crédito pero no para los intereses. Éstos se tienen que pagar con más créditos a interés compuesto y más extracción de riqueza real, lo que convierte la espiral de la deuda y la sobreexplotación laboral en las conditio sine qua non de la actual fase parasitaria de la acumulación de capital –no hay crecimiento sin deuda creciente- y, a la vez, en su límite principal. Tal configuración agudiza la fractura social entre los que disfrutan de rentas financieras, y los que están condenados a sufragarlas mediante los menguantes ingresos salariales.

Un concepto que pasa completamente desapercibido pero que quizás nos ayude a entender el mecanismo de funcionamiento de esta máquina de succión de riqueza social que representa la hegemonía absoluta del dinero-deuda de la banca privada (97% de los medios de pago) es el de los intereses ocultos. Todos los productos o servicios incorporan cargas de intereses ocultos necesarios para la financiación de su producción: bienes de consumo, suministros o servicios públicos contienen una importante carga de intereses de las deudas crecientes contraídas  para producirlos. Se trata de una transferencia colosal de rentas financieras desde los que son sólo consumidores, que gastan lo que ganan con sus crecientemente magros ingresos salariales, hacia los rentistas y los poseedores de títulos de propiedad. Una estructura generadora de las enormes cotas que alcanza actualmente la desigualdad social.

2B3) El casino que nos gobierna

Gran parte de esta máquina de succión (al fin y al cabo, átomos de trabajo humano valorizado) que acabamos de describir acaba en el casino de las finanzas globales. Los productos financieros derivados que circulan por los canales opacos de la banca en la sombra suponen al menos diez veces la riqueza real producida por la encasquillada maquinaria del capitalismo actual. Las siglas incomprensibles (CDO, CDS, swaps) y los tecnicismos propios de la jerga financiera camuflan lo que son simplemente apuestas para exprimir al máximo los hilillos de riqueza real tratando de multiplicarlos hasta el infinito y así sostener las ingentes ganancias especulativas causantes de las burbujas colosales y de las crecientemente violentas crisis económicas. Veamos algunos ejemplos de la surrealista operativa de las finanzas en la sombra.

Con la comida sí se juega

Pocos ejemplos más ilustrativos que el enorme crecimiento de los mercados de futuros de alimentos y materias primas para entender las dramáticas consecuencias de la financiarización a muerte.

“No es un negocio agradable, pero se gana mucho dinero”. Declaraba un broker, con cierta conciencia moral, del mercado de futuros –el más importante del mundo en cuanto a la especulación sobre commodities– de Chicago. Dicen que el parpadeo de un ordenador en Sidney puede mover miles de millones de euros en base al precio futuro de un quintal de maíz en el mercado de Chicago.

Prácticamente 2.000 millones de personas utilizan más del 50% de sus ingresos para adquirir alimentos. El Parlamento Europeo ha admitido que los movimientos especulativos son los responsables de casi el 50% del aumento del precio de los alimentos. La entrada en el mercado de derivados financieros basados en productos alimentarios, por parte de poderosos inversores, ha sido posible gracias a la liberalización, a partir del año 2000, de las normas en los mercados de derivados financieros de materias primas.

En 2010 y 2011, el fulgor del estallido de las revueltas populares en el Norte de África y en Oriente Medio tuvo entre sus principales detonantes la escalada artificial del precio de los alimentos.

“El mercado de los alimentos se ha convertido en un casino por una única razón: hacer que Wall Street gane todavía más dinero” declaraba un investigador de la ONU.

Patriotismo versión banca española: apostar por la quiebra de tu propio país

Bajo el críptico término de CDS (permutas de incumplimiento crediticio, producto que asegura al comprador una indemnización en caso de impago o reestructuración del crédito subyacente) se esconde una de las armas de destrucción masiva –como definió Warren Buffet a los derivados- que fueron un elemento clave en la crisis financiera de las primas de riesgo de los países del sur de Europa a partir de 2010.

Estos productos, aparentemente tan sofisticados, equivalen en realidad a comprar un seguro contra incendios para la casa de tu vecino para luego hacer todo lo posible para prenderle fuego y quedarte con la pasta. Si sustituimos la casa del vecino por la deuda pública griega o española, eso fue precisamente lo que ocurrió en la crisis de la deuda pública que provocó la implementación de la agenda dura neoliberal de reformas estructurales y recortes sociales que describimos anteriormente. Los bancos españoles, rescatados con dinero público, especulaban comprando CDS de deuda soberana que hacían subir la prima de riesgo y ocasionaban enormes pagos de intereses al erario público, apostando a favor de la quiebra de su propio país.

¡Pálmala que me forro!

El megabanco alemán Deutsche Bank diseñó en 2012 un peculiar fondo de inversión denominado “brújula de vida 3“. Quien compra una participación está apostando contra la esperanza de vida de uno de los 500 norteamericanos escogidos para este menester. Si uno de los integrantes muere después de la fecha escogida por el inversor, gana el banco, si fallece antes de esa fecha, gana el inversor. Se desconoce si los afectados dieron su consentimiento a que alguien pudiera tener interés en acelerar su paso a mejor vida. Este negocio “especulativo” es “perfectamente legal”. La oficina de Defensor del Pueblo de la Asociación de Bancos alemanes, a la que no pertenece Deutsche Bank, calificó el creativo producto financiero como “difícilmente compatible con la dignidad humana”.

2c) Monetarismo y tótem de la inflación: la teoría económica basura detrás del potro de tortura neoliberal

Veamos ahora someramente los “profundos” fundamentos de la teoría monetaria ortodoxa con la que se lava el cerebro a los estudiantes en las facultades del mundo entero.

La siguiente parábola la formuló el ínclito mister Friedman -alias ‘helicóptero Milton‘- como ilustración de las nefastas consecuencias de caer en la tentación de activar la “impresora de billetes”.

“Imagínate que una mañana te despierta el sonido de un helicóptero que sobrevuela tu barrio. Te asomas a la ventana y ves que de él están arrojando paquetes que caen frente A cada una de las casas de tu calle. En cada paquete hay 10.000 dólares en billetes nuevos, un regalo de tu gobierno. ¿Qué harías?

Friedman utilizó esa metáfora para tratar de entender lo que pasaría si el gobierno transfiriera dinero en efectivo a los ciudadanos (a través de pagos electrónicos o de rebajas fiscales, el helicóptero servía de jocosa metáfora) para reactivar la demanda en la economía. “Es fácil ver cuál será el resultado final. Sólo se conseguirá con esto una subida de los precios. Los nuevos billetes no crean ninguna capacidad productiva adicional”

Aquí tenemos al malo de la película. El Estado derrochador keynesiano pretendiendo interferir con su querencia dilapidadora en el libre desarrollo de los mercados desregulados.  El causante de las ineficiencias que provocan el peor de los males económicos. Recordemos que el único objetivo del BCE es el control de la inflación.

El brillante economista postkeynesiano Nicholas Kaldor explica el triunfo del monetarismo en la Inglaterra de Thatcher y sus implicaciones profundas en el vaciamiento de soberanía del estado democrático: “Sin duda alguna los monetaristas habían ganado la guerra ideológica ya que en todo el mundo se ponía en práctica la política monetaria, de manera exclusiva, para combatir la inflación. Además su victoria se vio reforzada por el modo en que se les concedió la “independencia” a los bancos centrales siguiendo las líneas marcadas por la Reserva Federal. Era una independencia entre comillas puesto que los bancos centrales eran más dependientes que nunca de los caprichos de los mercados financieros internacionales. Simplemente habían sido liberados de la supervisión de los políticos democráticamente elegidos”

Kaldor explica asimismo la agenda oculta que esconde la lucha contra la inflación y el déficit público: “la subida de tipos de interés y los recortes brutales de gasto habían derrotado a la inflación reduciendo la demanda. Era pues la contracción en la producción y el empleo lo que había derrotado a la inflación. El control de la oferta monetaria y la lucha contra la inflación no eran más que unas convenientes cortinas de humo que daban una coartada ideológica para medidas tan antisociales”.

Así pues, Thatcher, como Pinochet o Videla, incluso compartiendo consejeros como sus admirados Hayek y Milton Friedman, basaba su discurso tecnocrático en la coartada de la lucha contra la inflación y el estado derrochador como pantalla perfecta para encubrir el tratamiento de choque neoliberal al uso.

El programa práctico que ofrece pues el monetarismo neoliberal es enfrentar abiertamente a los trabajadores con el desempleo, eliminando los colchones amortiguadores del Estado del Bienestar, a fin de fracturar su capacidad de resistencia y desarticular los sindicatos. Luego, la fuerza del mercado libre, la fuerza del desempleo, sería el árbitro de la relación salario–ganancia. Una interpretación marxista diría que se trata de vendarnos los ojos y suscitar el temor a la inflación para justificar el mantenimiento del ejército de reserva, arguyendo que se intenta evitar que el crecimiento de los salarios inicie una espiral’ salarios-precios’. Nunca se oye hablar de una espiral renta-precios’ ni de una’ espiral intereses-precios’ que son precisamente las vías de la máquina de succión rentista para volcar riqueza social hacia el casino.

Incluso la medida estándar de la inflación, el IPC, oculta los ámbitos reales donde se desarrolla la desposesión rentista de las clases populares: el precio de la vivienda no está incluido en la ‘cesta de la compra’ del IPC al no considerarse bien de consumo. Sin embargo, los intereses pagados al banco por un préstamo hipotecario son gasto puro aunque no estén incluidos en el IPC. Para más inri, el gasto en alquiler ( un 2,5% en la cesta de la compra) está enormemente infravalorado al ser abrumadoramente mayoritario en España el parque de vivienda en propiedad. ¿Nadie se ha preguntado por qué la brutal subida del alquiler que se está produciendo en las grandes ciudades españolas en los últimos tiempos no dispara la inflación? De este modo, los gastos más importantes –hipoteca y alquiler- en las capas humildes de la población no se incluyen en el IPC y por tanto no es necesario reducirlos en la cruzada antiinflacionaria encabezada por la banca central global.

3) Efectos sociales y políticos del fascismo financiero

3A) Rentismo, precariado y ascenso del populismo criptofascista

El economista británico Guy Standing analiza los profundos efectos sociales del rentismo derivado de la estructura socio-económica neoliberal. “El sistema de reparto de beneficios se ha roto parcialmente Había una ley no escrita que decía que había un equilibrio entre las rentas del capital y las del trabajo, y durante mucho tiempo, ciertamente, hubo un equilibrio. Pero desde que los rentistas se han apoderado del sistema económico mundial, los beneficios que van al capital, y especialmente los beneficios que se sacan de las rentas, ha crecido mucho, con el brutal aumento de la desigualdad subsiguiente”.

Y hay otro problema: “la parte más privilegiada de los asalariados también obtiene crecientes beneficios de rentas que la fragmentan entre un proyecto conservador y uno progresista. La clave de esta nueva configuración social es el llamado precariado”.

El peligro ideológico que se deriva de esta transformación social radical es que los populismos retrógrados, que ofrecen soluciones demagógicas –inmigración, seguridad, corrupción- que no mejoran en absoluto las condiciones de vida de las clases populares pero les ofrecen una protección aparente contra el abismo de la precariedad, no tienen rival en el discurso blandamente reformista e ineficaz ante el embate del fascismo financiero por parte de la nueva izquierda. Si estos grupos consiguen captar la atención del precariado y de las masas crecientes de desclasados con los cantos de sirena que llevan a la guerra entre pobres nos esperan tiempos muy oscuros.

3B) Rasgos del nuevo reformismo y activismo blando: la izquierda se ha olvidado de ser anticapitalista

¿Existe alguna posibilidad de revertir tales procesos de aguda expropiación financiera a través de las palancas institucionales o de reformas legales? Carlos Fernández Liria, uno de los fundadores de Podemos, piensa que sí: “Algunos pensamos que a ese caudillismo del capital financiero es posible aún pararle los pies por vía parlamentaria”. Sin embargo, la clásica apelación reformista a poner orden en el libre mercado y a “pararle los pies” al capital con reformas legales choca de lleno con el “talón de hierro” con el que la dictadura de la “renta financiera” ha triturado las palancas de la soberanía nacional. En las sabias palabras de Miren Etxezarreta del Seminari Taifa de Economía Crítica: “No mandan los políticos, hay poderes fácticos mucho más importantes detrás. Hay que innovar en las maneras de hacer política y de transformar la sociedad. Crear partidos nuevos no supone otra cosa que volver a lo viejo, a las formas de los siglos XIX y XX, y a reforzar la dinámica del capitalismo que queremos cambiar”.

El best seller ‘El capital en el siglo XXI’ es una excelente muestra de este utopismo reformista de querer ‘pararle los pies al capital financiero’ con el brazo de la ley y el Estado de derecho. Toussaint pone el dedo en la llaga de las decisivas limitaciones de semejante enfoque: “La crítica fundamental que se le puede hacer a Thomas Piketty es que piensa que su solución –para revertir el brutal incremento de la desigualdad- puede funcionar aunque se mantenga el sistema actual. Propone un impuesto progresivo sobre el capital para redistribuir las riquezas y salvaguardar la democracia, pero no se cuestiona las condiciones en las que estas riquezas se originan ni las consecuencias que resultan de ese proceso. Su respuesta sólo remedia uno de los efectos del funcionamiento del sistema económico actual, sin atacar la verdadera causa del problema. Pero sobre todo no nos puede satisfacer un reparto más equitativo de las riquezas, si éstas son producidas por un sistema depredador”.

El mito de la renta básica universal, proclamada como panacea asistencial-redistributiva por la nueva izquierda reformista, emerge como la coronación de este fútil intento de construcción nostálgica de un capitalismo con “corazón”.

Esta crítica light del capitalismo arremete sólo contra los abusos de las finanzas, consideradas las únicas responsables de la crisis – en la misma línea de los defensores de la casi olvidada tasa Tobin, un impuesto a las transacciones financieras que dio origen a la fundación de ATTAC-. La «economía real» estaría sana, de ahí la insistencia en potenciar la economía social, el Tercer Sector y el cooperativismo como formas de inocular poco a poco una economía de rostro humano en el capitalismo senil de los especuladores y los buitres. Se pretende constituir de esta suerte un campo de juego casi “neutral”, que logre colar la ilusión de que, con el timonel adecuado, el simple control del Estado o de un ayuntamiento del cambio será capaz de alterar las relaciones de poder a favor de las clases subalternas.

Si, como señalan Castro y Martínez, el neoliberalismo es producto de la conquista de las instituciones por parte de las élites económicas y el poder financiero”, la vía para reapropiarse de lo común usurpado pasaría necesariamente por su reconquista para ponerlas al servicio de la ciudadanía. El marco anacrónico y desenfocado, basado en la tozuda insistencia en la verosimilitud de la posibilidad de recuperación del viejo estado redistribuidor fulminado por el neoliberalismo, queda, en fin, ejemplificado de nuevo en la siguiente declaración programática:La reapropiación de los bienes comunes ha de plantearse como un problema institucional, como la necesidad de defender, diseñar, implementar y asumir un conjunto de derechos, normas, obligaciones y compromisos para reapropiarse de lo enajenado y garantizar las condiciones materiales de subsistencia y reproducción social”.

La deletérea consecuencia de este idealismo y huida de la realidad de la izquierda legalista se aprecia en el creciente acento, ante la impotencia manifiesta de realizar cambios de calado, en las cuestiones identitarias, culturales y simbólicas. He aquí,  una de las raíces del rápido crecimiento de los populismos criptofascistas que, sin apuntar en absoluto al alivio de los problemas materiales de la población dada su condición de aliados vergonzantes del gran capital, al menos ofrecen un sucedáneo de protección a las capas populares más desvalidas en el repliegue hacia los nacionalismos excluyentes y las políticas reaccionarias.

El magnífico historiador y teórico anarquista Miquel Amorós resume el desencanto característico de la impotencia reformista, refiriéndose a la gestión de los ayuntamientos del “cambio” de la nueva política: “Así pues, el modelo de ciudad no ha cambiado un ápice con los nuevos consistorios: es cada vez más difuso, gris, destejido, gentrificado, jerarquizado, clasista,… Sin embargo, es la ciudad perfecta para ir de compras, de playa y de copichuelas. Esta actitud de repliegue reformista se justifica con el argumento de conseguir una intervención real en la vida política, sobre una teoría de etapas y gradualizaciones, que, muy al contrario, lo que logra es un resultado negativo al tender este reformismo sin meta a producir en los activistas una pérdida de voluntad y perspectiva de cambio real”.

El corolario, en los nuevos movimientos sociales, de este reformismo ciudadanista es el activismo “blando”, representado, en la ciudad de Barcelona, por la PAH y el Sindicato de Inquilinos.

El mérito indudable de llevar a la esfera pública una violencia extrema del sistema –la progresiva destrucción de los derechos de los inquilinos en la aberrante regulación legal del alquiler en España- contrasta con la blandura y la tibieza de las demandas y la insistencia machacona en la “exigencia” de reformas legales. El análisis desenfocado y pusilánime olvida, como en el caso de las fuerzas del cambio, que la violencia inmobiliaria es un rasgo esencial de la matriz de rentabilidad del capitalismo rentista que ha cercenado además, como hemos tratado de exponer, las palancas institucionales que lo podrían embridar.  “La defensa del derecho a la vivienda y a un alquiler asequible, estable, seguro y digno” constituirían, según el    Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

La Unión Europea ha anunciado este miércoles una partida de 89 millones de euros para ayudar a Somalia a hacer frente a las "extremas y prolongadas condiciones climáticas" que han asolado el país durante los últimos meses y años, según ha informado la Comisión Europea en un comunicado.
          Somalia: EU steps up humanitarian aid in Somalia with €89.5 million      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: Djibouti, Somalia

The European Union has released €89.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia and Djibouti, as millions are grappling with the consequences of prolonged extreme weather conditions.

The funding comes ahead of the Somalia Partnership Forum co-hosted by the European Union taking place next week over 16-17 July.

"The devastating effects of two years of drought and the recent intense flooding are taking their toll on the livelihood of millions of people in Somalia," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. "Our aid will target the most vulnerable and provide life-saving support to those affected by climatic shocks and internal conflict."

Out of the aid package, €89 million in emergency assistance will be channelled in Somalia to reach communities displaced by severe drought, focussing on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, water supply and livestock protection, as well as health measures against epidemics.

A further €500,000 is going to Djibouti to support refugees in the country (mostly fleeing the conflict in Yemen, but also from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea) by providing water, sanitation and protection to the communities living in the Ali Addeh, Hol Hol and Markazi refugee camps.

With €119 million allocated to Somalia in 2017 alone, the EU has drastically scaled up its humanitarian assistance to the country, helping to avert a catastrophe similar to the 2011 famine which resulted in 260,000 deaths.

Background

About half of Somalia's 12 million inhabitants are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance, while an estimated 1.2 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished during the course of 2018. The country has 2.6 million internally displaced people, and the situation worsened following the April 2018 floods, which affected 427,000 people and left 175,000 displaced. In addition to climate shocks, conflict remains at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia with insecurity and violence taking a heavy toll on civilians for decades, affecting livelihoods and hampering economic progress and development.

In Djibouti, the European Union provides humanitarian aid to the refugee population as well as the host communities. Since 2012, over €10 million in emergency assistance has been allocated to the country. Humanitarian funding from the European Union provides refugees with access to clean water and sanitation as well as, protection.

Emergency assistance links up with longer-term development strategies to mitigate the impact of climate shocks and promote resilience among the affected communities.


          Egypt: Getting by on the Margins: Sudanese and Somali Refugees - A Case Report of Refugees in Towns; Cairo, Egypt      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: Tufts University
Country: Egypt, Somalia, Sudan

Paul Miranda

Introduction

This case report explores the Sudanese and Somali refugee experience in Cairo, focusing on Kilo Araba wa Nus1 and Hay el Ashr, two adjoining neighborhoods on the eastern outskirts of the city with large concentrations of Somali and Sudanese refugees. The case report pays particular attention to the role of social prejudice and racism in the everyday lives of Cairo’s refugees and how this affects their integration. There is extensive research on Cairo’s refugees, including studies of “closed-file” refugees, livelihoods, identity formation, and the relationship between UNHCR and Cairo’s various refugee populations.2 These studies discuss physical security, racism, exploitation, and violence, but seldom show how these issues affect the integration of refugees in Cairo. Yet, these are the issues refugees themselves raise with outsiders as the most pressing concerns within their communities.
This report begins with a brief history of forced migration in Egypt and the legal regime governing refugees in Egypt. The next section explores the urban impact and experiences of Sudanese and Somali refugees in Cairo’s migrant-hosting neighborhoods, focusing on Araba wa Nus and Hay el Ashr. I end with an assessment of the future outlook for Sudanese and Somali refugees in Cairo.


          Niger: Niger: Country Operation Update, June 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Algeria, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan

KEY FIGURES

  • 1,536 Refugees evacuated temporarily from Libya to Niger as part of the ETM (Emergency Transit Mechanism) from November 2017 – June 2018

  • 2,013 Persons profiled by UNHCR in Agadez seeking asylum

  • 17,758 Persons internally displaced in the Tillaberi region

Operational Context

The key situations include:

  1. The Mali situation: began in 2012 with the outbreak of conflict in northern Mail. The regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua bordering Mali and hosting the majority of the refugees are increasingly affected by insecurity and terrorism. A State of Emergency was declared last year, and extended for a further 6 months in February 2018. There are currently 58,035 Malian refugees in Niger. UNHCR aims to support the socio-economic integration of these refugees and the closure of the camps by the end of 2019 through urbanization and other programmes aimed at integration. A regional EU Trust Fund project was recently launched aimed at strengthening the resilience of displaced populations in northern Mali and supporting peaceful coexistence between communities.

  2. The Nigeria situation: began in 2013, with the arrival of the first Nigerian refugees across the border fleeing Boko Haram. The situation deteriorated with the first attacks in Niger territory in 2015. There are over 250,000 displaced persons in the region. The majority live in spontaneous sites or with the local population, while UNHCR manages one refugee camp, with 14,130 people (as of 3 July 2018). Another EU Trust Fund project is ongoing aimed at supporting economic recovery and municipal investments through the construction of durable housing.

  3. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): The displaced population in the Diffa region is extremely mixed, including refugees, IDPs and Returnees. Efforts are underway to complete biometric registration of all displaced persons, including IDPs, who are often faced with similar protection risks as refugees. However, the IDP situation in Niger has become more complex with increasing insecurity in the region of Tillaberi, bordering Mali. In 2018, attacks and insecurity in the area have resulted in the internal displacement of at least 17,758 people so far. Protection monitoring, advocacy, capacity building sessions and coordinated efforts with humanitarian actors are ongoing to ensure close follow up on the situation.

  4. Mixed Migration: Niger is a major crossroads of migratory movements northwards towards Libya,
    Algeria and the Mediterranean. These migratory flows constitute mixed migration, including economic migrants as well as persons in need of international protection. In Agadez, UNHCR works to identify asylum seekers within the migratory flows and works with the government, as well as IOM and NGOs to provide these persons with information and assistance. 2,013 persons, mostly Sudanese, are currently profiled by UNHCR in Agadez. 24% of them are minors and 202 are unaccompanied or separated children. The situation has become more complex in the last months, with the addition of downward movements from Libya and Algeria.

  5. Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM): This unique programme aims to provide life-saving protection, assistance and long-term solutions to extremely vulnerable refugees trapped in detention in Libya, through temporary evacuation to Niger. The aim is to deliver protection and identify durable solutions, including resettlement for these refugees, who are mainly Eritrean, Somalian, Ethiopian, and Sudanese. Their profiles mainly include survivors of torture or other forms of violence in the country of origin and/or transit countries (e.g. Libya) and others with compelling protection needs. Many of them are unaccompanied children (approximately 260) and women and girls at risk. To date, 1,536 people have been evacuated from Libya to Niger and a total of 203 individuals have departed for resettlement from Niger to France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Other countries offering resettlement places are Germany, the UK, Finland, Canada,
    Belgium, Malta, Norway and the USA.


          Comment on £3,000 EU Undergraduate Scholarship At University Of Northampton In UK-Apply by Indho Indho      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
My name is abdirisak I am from Somalia special northern Somalia I went to opportunity chance
          Ungrateful bipeds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Congo languishes at the very bottom of just about every comparative international metric. Apart from one. You see the Congo holds the coveted prize of The Worst Country In The World For Women. Even the Guardian concedes it to be "the rape capital of the world where women are raped while going go to the fields or on their way to market to trade, or also on the road to the stream while going to fetch water". Far from protecting the women, the forces of law and order are in fact the worst offenders.

A recent Oxfam report denounced the shocking scale of domestic sexual violence. 'Women ... are treated as second-class citizens with few opportunities to enter politics and make a difference in gender relations. Forced marriages of girls under 18 remain a severe obstacle to education." Over vast areas of the country the Congolese live in mud or grass huts without sanitation, power or medical services (apart from witch doctors who'll prescribe albino body parts as a remedy for most ailments). Malnutrition and even starvation are endemic.

You'd imagine then (well actually you wouldn't if you were paying attention) that a woman who managed to escape that country and get United States citizenship would be eternally grateful to her new country and its institutions. Enter stage left Patricia Okoumou, the woman who blocked the Statue Of Liberty to protest at Trump's immigration policies.  "Trump has wrecked this country apart [sic]. I can say a lot of things about this monster, but I will stop at this: His draconian zero-tolerance policy on immigration has to go."

Can you just imagine what life would be like for us if and when primitive ingrates like her achieve numerical dominance in our countries? To get such a sense cross the Atlantic to Sheffield, one of England's largest cities. Once the centre of a proud engineering and steel manufacturing tradition, Sheffield has seen its fortunes decline as traitorous globohomo leaders outsourced the work to foreign shores. As the White working class goes into sharp decline its place is being taken by a motley mob of Third World bottom feeders. One of whom, a Somali asylum seeker with the good old English name of Majid Majid, has been elected by these citizens as the city's Mayor.

Is he grateful to his new country for such an extraordinary development? Not a bit of it. He openly despises Britain and its institutions, including the Mayoral office that he holds, dressing in ghetto gear and threatening to remove the portrait of the Queen in his office and replace it by that of his (presumably burka-clad) mother. And now on behalf of the British people he has banned President
Trump, whom he labelled a “wasteman”, from Sheffield during his forthcoming visit. Citing the “Muslim ban” and the detention of children at the border as the reason behind it he tweeted: "I Magid Magid, Lord Mayor & first citizen of this city hereby declare that not only is Donald J Trump a WASTEMAN, but he is also henceforth banned from the great city of Sheffield! I further declare July 13th to be Mexico Solidarity Day!" 

Doesn't that reek of Third World demagoguery. The kind you'd find in, well, the Congo or Somalia. Pint-sized Idi Amin in the making. But such people are infesting the corridors of power throughout Britain and it gets worse every day. When will the Saxon begin to hate?

          Navy SEAL posthumously honored by hometown      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Navy Band Great Lakes (NBGL) traveled three hours south to the small town of Chillicothe, Illinois to assist in the dedication ceremony of their post office building to a fellow shipmate. Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens enlisted in the Navy in 1998 after graduating from Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe, where he joined the Navy and was eventually assigned to the Navy SEALs. Senior Chief Owens gave the ultimate sacrifice during his final deployment in Yemen on January 29, 2017.

“He is from my hometown and went to my high school,” said Lt. Patrick Hill, director of NBGL. “These aren’t the kinds of jobs that we ‘enjoy’ doing, but there is nothing more sacred than honoring a fallen shipmate and his family.”

Owens was posthumously promoted to Senior Chief a week after his death and awarded the Silver Star for actions during a three-day battle in Somalia in July 2015, in which he led a 12-man team alongside African forces against 400 Al Qaeda militants. His citation states that he was ambushed with “small arms, machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and improvised explosive devices” and that he “repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire,” helping eventually secure the town that had been under militant control for 10 years. Senior Chief was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by his wife and three children.

“I would like to thank the extended family and friends in attendance today for coming from near and far to support the kids and I,” said Carryn Owens, wife of the honoree. “The constant phone calls and messages from everyone have helped me immensely in the last year and a half since his passing.”

According to Mrs. Owens, Senior Chief had last visited the town in the year of 2016 when he drove in from a training exercise in Chicago he was participating in to visit his parents’ graves, both of which he hadn’t seen since losing their respective battles to cancer and spent time with his grandmother who most recently passed in April of 2018. To Carryn, Senior Chief Owens showed immense love and pride for his hometown and passion for his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL.

“He was one of those humble warriors you will never read a book or see a movie about because he lived it,” she said. “His career and those of his teammates who were by his side, many of whom are still fighting for our freedoms, are the story you will never hear.”

After speaking about him for a bit, Carryn spoke to guests and family members about the last time she heard from her husband. He called her a couple days before departure and sent an email the night before he left. She tearfully recited the last email he sent and the atmosphere was solemn.

“It was nice to hear you happy yesterday. I know these times are tough with me gone and everything, but it will get better when I get home. I will be out of touch for a few days, but I want you to know that I love you and will call/email you when I get back to my old location. Tell the kids that I love them and I am unbelievably proud of all that they do. I am excited to be home with us a family and look forward to the future. I’m getting out. I love you, see you in a few weeks.”

Upon finishing the email, small cries and teary eyes from could be seen and heard from guests, family members and service members in attendance as they all took a moment to grieve. When she could speak again, Carryn finished her speech with personal insight.

No one will ever understand what the kids and I lost, and having felt it this past year and a half, it is a sacrifice I would never make again,” she said. “So please don’t forget the sacrifice of Memorial Day because it is not a happy day, it’s a solemn one, and there are families that gave up their entire world, for this country.”

After the speeches were complete, the family and post office officials unveiled the sign for the building. In addition to the building, the portion of Route 29 through Chillicothe will be renamed the “Senior Chief Petty Officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens Memorial Highway” and named the day in the town in his honor.


          World: Security Council: Climate-Related Security Risks      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: UN Security Council
Country: Iraq, Somalia, World

SC/13417

11 JULY 2018

SECURITY COUNCIL

8307TH MEETING (AM)

Note: A complete summary of today's Security Council meeting will be made available after its conclusion.

Briefings

AMINA MOHAMMED, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared: “It is clear that climate change is a real threat and is proceeding at a relentless pace.” The years 2015, 2016 and 2017 were the three warmest years on record, carbon dioxide levels continue to rise and resulting droughts, wildfires, heat waves and floods are being witnessed around the world. While no country will be spared from those effects, they disproportionately impact socially vulnerable and marginalized groups. “We must act together, with a joint vision and a commitment to multilateral cooperation,” she said, stressing that the impacts of climate change will go beyond the strictly environmental and “is inextricably linked to some of the most pressing challenges of our time”. Fragile countries are at risk of becoming stuck in a cycle of conflict and climate disaster; where resilience is eroded, communities may be displaced and exposed to exploitation. Citing the drastic shrinking of Lake Chad — by more than 90 per cent since the 1960s — she said the resulting environmental degradation, socioeconomic marginalization and insecurity affects some 45 million people.

Recalling that she had grown up in that region, she emphasized that she had seen the impact of climate change with her own eyes — “it is real”. Meanwhile, the Boko Haram insurgency in north-east Nigeria and neighbouring countries has left more than 10 million people displaced and resulted in massive destruction of infrastructure, health and educational facilities, commercial buildings, private houses and agricultural assets. The multidimensional nature of those crises underlined the complex relationship between climate change and conflict, she said, urging Council members to view climate change as “one issue in a web of factors that can lead to conflict”. It acts as a multiplier, applying additional stress on prevailing political, social and economic pressure points. Acting on climate change is urgent, and an integral part of building a culture of prevention and ensuring peace, she said. Outlining various ways the United Nations is currently tackling the risks posed by climate change — in particular in the Lake Chad Basin, West Africa, the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa — she said the Organization takes seriously its responsibilities and stands determined to fully mobilize against the phenomenon.

In that vein, she cited the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report in conjunction with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), which will report on recent developments including the climate-security nexus in the region. The recalibrated United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel is also taking a climate-oriented focus, prioritizing building resilience, improving the management of natural resources and decreasing malnutrition and food insecurity. At the international level, the United Nations helped to connect efforts to combat climate change and ensure that its related frameworks are linked up and complement one another. In September, the Secretary-General will convene a climate summit to galvanize greater climate ambition for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Going forward, she said, the world also needed to push towards getting its greenhouse‑gas emissions under control — namely, well below the 2°C target — and to pursue the 1.5°C target as agreed in the Paris Agreement. Further work must place women at the heart of such efforts, as they remain disproportionately affected by climate change, and the United Nations should work to build institutional capacity and foster partnerships in impacted regions.

HASSAN AL-JANABI, Minister for Water Resources of Iraq, said the debate is a step forward regarding international responses to new challenges, as climate change has a negative impact on the pillars of peace. Rising temperatures exacerbate other threats and risks, increasing their complexity and intensity while making it impossible for countries to implement the Sustainable Development Goals amid growing numbers of displaced persons and migrants desperately looking to improve their lives. Major river basins in Iraq and the rest of the region are subject to the greatest ever threat, resulting from climate change, as well as competition for shared water resources.

He said the absence of implementable bilateral and multilateral agreements or regional frameworks for the equitable use of shared water is contributing to potential conflicts that could and should be avoided. The combined effect of climate change consequences, including a reported 25 per cent decline in rainfall and snowfall, and the operational modes of large dams that reduced the rate of inflows by 50 per cent in the Euphrates River since 1998 has triggered desertification, shrinking green cover and rising temperatures while reducing land productivity. This is true for the whole region, as climate change and water depletion are destroying soil fertility and causing food insecurity.

The international community must intervene to enhance resilience and stability in fragile areas, he said. In taking proactive and preventive actions, the global community can avoid humanitarian tragedies, typically most heavily felt by women, children and vulnerable groups. Many of the measures required may be legally binding on member States of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and compatible with commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals. Providing an example, he said excessive water use and the diversion of ancient rivers are among factors that led to the environmentally deteriorating Iraqi delta of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Efforts to revive marshlands at the confluence of the great rivers in Mesopotamia have returned life and the native population to the area after decades, leading the area to be enlisted in 2016 as a World Heritage Site. In the face of current water scarcity, the Site could only be saved if effective and cooperative regional approaches are implemented and Member States’ obligations to relevant conventions are met.

Turning to other threats, he said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) has wreaked havoc on the population and the land and its resources. An approach to the phenomenon of terrorism requires a coordinated, international and regional approach to extinguish hotspots threating peace and security, with Goal 13 on climate change being beneficial to the region. Iraq fully supports diplomatic means to solve water scarcity issues, including through “water diplomacy” and similar initiatives intending to maintain the security of the planet with a view to creating an environment of trust and cooperation.

HINDOU IBRAHIM, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, said that the Security Council must address climate change as a security risk. Climate change is humiliating millions of people by trapping the poorest in poverty. In the Sahel, 90 per cent of the economy relies on agriculture and pastoralism. A heat wave and drought has the potential to immediately hurt the economy and the people, she added. At the regional level, climate change contributes to reinforcing terrorist groups as they take advantage of poverty to recruit the youngest and most fragile. Climate change also creates insecurity at the international level. Take a man in the Sahel, for example, she said. He must take care of his family, feed them and pay for his children’s education. He has two choices: either he can join a terrorist group, that can pay him with money coming from illegal activities, or he can try to cross the Mediterranean Sea to find a job in Europe.

Even in the smallest nomadic community you can find a bottle of Coca Cola, but you cannot find electricity or a radio, she said. “Why give them things that are useless, but not things that can help them and keep them in peace,” she asked. Invest in the local development, she urged the international community, stressing also the need to directly invest in local people and their well-being. Development projects are often limited to big cities, ignoring the people living far from town. She urged the international community to give hope to the young in the Sahel. “They do not have a choice but you do have a choice,” she stressed, adding: “You must give them something beyond hope, because they do not deserve to just survive, they deserve a life.”

Statements

MARGOT WALLSTRÖM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and Council President for July, spoke in her national capacity, noting that, during her recent visit to the Sahel region, she met with people dealing first hand with the everyday consequences that a changing climate was having on peace and security. Migrants and refugees are displaced by droughts and floods and traditional livelihoods, such as fishing and farming have evaporated, giving rise to tensions.

“The link between climate and security continues to be a priority for Sweden in this Council,” she said, calling on the organ to “catch up with the changing reality on the ground”. It has been seven years since the Council last debated climate and security, and it is far past time to further discuss how climate change interacts with the drivers of conflict. In that regard, she stressed that the Council first needs to better understand climate-related security risks themselves; it must develop improved tools and reporting on the issue; it should support the establishment of an institutional home for climate and security‑related issues within the United Nations system; and it must frame its response based on the efforts of countries on the front line, learning from their experiences and good practices.

EUGENE RHUGGENAATH, Prime Minister of Curaçao, speaking on behalf of the Netherlands, said that, where climate change threatens international security, the Council has a responsibility to act, pressing delegates to imagine if, 15 years ago, they could have foreseen the millions of people in the Lake Chad region needing relief from water stress, or those in Somalia displaced by severe drought. By responding in a timely manner to warning signs of climate-related security risks “we can adequately address root causes, prevent instability and conflict, and sustain peace”, he said. The Council must ensure action by the United Nations, both in New York and in the affected countries, notably through greater analytic capability, needed for risk assessments, conflict analysis and early warning. It also should encourage conflict- and climate-sensitive prevention and development efforts, as well as encourage the Secretary-General to include climate‑related risks in his reports to the Council, when appropriate. Institutionalized cooperation, properly coordinated across the Organization, was also vital.

YERZHAN ASHIKBAYEV, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, said climate change is becoming a central theme throughout the world community. It poses a risk as a “threat multiplier”. Calling for “climate diplomacy” to become a part of the United Nations overall conflict prevention efforts, he said it should also be treated as an underpinning concept in sustaining peace — not an end process, but one which ran parallel to prevention, resolution, recovery and rehabilitation. He also called for better climate-related security risk assessments and management strategies, stronger international cooperation, more joint projects to build the capacity of developing countries and investments in new diversified economies. Kazakhstan, for its part, has taken voluntary action to cut its use of fossil fuels by 2030 and replace it with renewable energy by 2050.

KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said the nexus between climate and security “is not an abstract risk” but one that already threatens lives and livelihoods around the world. The shocking estimate that 720 million people are at risk of being pushed into poverty by 2050 by climate change could also mean reversing the major gains of recent years. “We are working against ourselves if we don’t take action against this,” she stressed, noting that the United Kingdom is committed to championing efforts to build greater resilience to climate change in collaboration with a range of actors. It has also committed $7.7 billion in international climate finance, and is among the first countries to carry out a national climate risk assessment.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) underscored the vital importance of understanding the humanitarian crises and conflicts sparked in part by climate change, as well as the threats they pose to international peace and security. The Council must strengthen and harmonize its coordination with those United Nations bodies and agencies charged with addressing the impacts of climate change while fully respecting the mandates of those offices. Spotlighting Peru’s particular vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, he said the retreat of High Andes tropical glaciers has led to floods and other serious challenges. The Council must better shape its decisions, on a case-by-case basis, informed by a stronger understanding of such evolving, modern challenges as climate change. In that vein, he asked the Council to consider a correct assessment of climate risks — as well as the tools required to mitigate them — and to collaborate more closely with a wider range of partners.

JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States) said the Council should consider phenomena such as natural disasters — as well as others that impacted populations and caused widespread displacement — in its work. “In response to these crises, we are all on the same side,” he said, noting that the United States currently applied innovative solutions to assist countries around the globe. In that regard, he described projects aimed at restoring access to water and electricity to Iraqi communities formerly under the control of ISIL/Da’esh, adding that it had contributed $265 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization in Iraq since 2015. Outlining a range of other joint projects — including alongside the Governments of the Netherlands and Sweden — he said the United States is also listening carefully to developments in the Lake Chad Basin region and recognized the special challenges faced by small island developing States.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said that not a day goes by without someone falling victim to the adverse effects to climate change, whether it be drought, salinization or other threats. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the situation,” he said, urging the international community to tackle this existential challenge. “Each lost day heightens the magnitude of the threat,” he warned. The fact that Council Members are here discussing climate change in no way undermines the Paris Agreement and other multilateral frameworks on climate change. Each country must establish ambitious climate policies. This way, the international community will be positioned to keep the average global temperature in check. The international community must decide to cooperate to tackle the impacts of climate change. It is time to craft recommendations and measures that will be implemented by Governments worldwide to address the adverse impacts of climate change and protect and restore biodiversity.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said today’s Council meeting is disappointing and not because his country objects to collective efforts to address climate change. The meeting is another attempt to link the issue of environmental conservation to international peace and security. “We are creating an illusion that the Council will tackle climate issues and that there will be some kind of turning point,” he added, stressing that this is simply a “misguidance”. Climate change is a grave threat, however, the Council does not have the expertise or the mechanisms to effectively counter its effects. Climate change is not a universal challenge to be addressed as a matter of international peace and security. It should be addressed within national borders and with specialized approaches and solutions. Each United Nations agency and department must operate within its area of responsibility. Some say climate change is a threat multiplier, yet fail to acknowledge the adverse consequences of violent military operations and unilateral sanctions, as evident from experiences in Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria. No one today has mentioned the great damage caused by bombings or the subsequent health hazards caused to the people living there. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombing of Yugoslavia caused a spike in cancer among people living in the affected area. In Libya, the bombing of oil fields led to significant damage to the atmosphere, he said, also noting the adverse effects of the intervention in Syria and the fighting in Donetsk, Ukraine. The Russian Federation stood ready to and is already contributing to efforts to combat climate change. However, today’s discussion is a departure from practical action.

VERÓNICA CORDOVA SORIA (Bolivia) said developing countries continue to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. Between 2000 and 2013, 211 million people were affected by extreme and catastrophic disasters. Some of the most industrial countries are shirking their responsibilities, she said, stressing the need to address the capitalist and excessive consumption models. Climate change represents an existential threat, loss of biodiversity and a loss of food security. The shortage of natural resources can further flame tensions. The adverse impact of climate change brings in its wake a range of direct and indirect consequences, violating many basic human rights. “We need to pursue a cooperative and coordinated approach,” she added, expressing concern that large military empires have destroyed entire civilizations to seize oil and other resources. The inequality between States is immoral and intolerable, she added.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) called on Council members to draw lessons from today’s meeting, especially regarding the need to “not be partial” on such critical issues as climate change. He called for concerted global action and described the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as “multilateralism at its best”. In some circumstances, climate change could create conditions leading to conflict or exacerbate it, he said, spotlighting the high risk of cross-border conflicts or tensions around natural resources. However, it is important to note that climate-related environmental changes do not automatically result in conflict. In that regard, he called for enhanced efforts to address the root causes of such climate-induced problems as mass migration and displacement. Such global accords as the Paris Agreement are prerequisites in that regard, he said, noting that developed countries should fulfil their commitments under those agreements, assisting developing nations to meet their climate change mitigation needs.

MA ZHAOXU (China) said the international community should work together to address climate change by “actively rising up to existing challenges”. That means providing assistance to developing countries, including through technology transfer. Meanwhile, States must uphold the international principles of equality and justice, respect global climate-related agreements, reject “zero-sum mentalities” and promote win-win outcomes. The international community should implement the Paris Agreement while also adhering to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respecting differences in the circumstances of States. Calling on the global community to build a new concept of common, comprehensive security and sustainable development, he said China has long participated in global action on climate change, including in the context of South-South cooperation, and remains committed to assisting other countries going forward.

ILAHIRI ALCIDE DJEDJE (Côte d’Ivoire), noting that the impact of climate change could create fertile ground for the activities of extremist groups, he said the Lake Chad Basin and Sahel regions symbolize the environmental challenges being faced across the entire African continent. Against that backdrop, United Nations bodies should “go beyond usual divisions” in an effort to reverse the arc of climate change, he stressed, calling on the Council to effectivity analyse the root causes of climate-related conflicts and take action to address them. Describing a large and alarming depletion in Côte d’Ivoire’s forest cover, as well as instances of drought and water scarcity, he said such challenges could compound demographic shifts, displacement and food insecurity. This is especially true where Boko Haram and other criminal networks have taken root, he said, associating himself with the outcomes of a recent African Union Peace and Security Council public debate on the nexus between climate change and conflict. Those include calls for more support for African nations struggling with those issues, as well as more action at the subregional level, he said.

ANATOLIO NDONG MBA (Equatorial Guinea) said international peace and security are threatened by many factors. Climate change exacerbates existing risks and has a direct impact at the core of human life. It shrinks the availability of resources, flaming conflict and tensions. Climate‑related issues should be mainstreamed in all reports submitted to the Council. This would help Member States tackle its adverse effects. He urged the need to improve the analysis and information available on climate change to help the United Nations make informed decisions.

MARIUSZ LEWICKI (Poland) said the Security Council is instrumental to enhancing United Nations response towards conflicts, in particular in the context of conflict prevention in regions affected by adverse effects of climate change, such as the Lake Chad Basin, West Africa, the Sahel and Somalia. The Council should also underline the need for better climate-related security risk assessment and management strategies. “We cannot overestimate the critical role of reliable data about climate‑change‑related risks which is key to avoid conflicts, build resilience and prevent natural disasters,” he said. Regular discussions on climate change and security in the Council could complement other deliberations being carried out throughout the United Nations.

For information media. Not an official record.


          Govt Troops Cordon Off Mogadishu Streets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Shabelle] Somalia's Federal government forces were reported to have cordoned off several main streets in Mogadishu days after deadly attack on the headquarters of the interior Ministry in the capital.
          African Union and United Nations Reiterate Their Commitment to Help Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Shabelle] The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations have reiterated their commitment to help develop capacity of the Somali national security forces to address all forms of human rights violations.
          Suspected Shabaab Militants Raid Police Post, Officer Missing      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Shabelle] Suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked a police post in Garissa on Tuesday, county police boss David Karina said. The militants attacked Hamey Police Post which is located near the Kenya-Somalia border at 2 am.
          New Zealand Humanitarian Assistance for Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Shabelle] New Zealand has approved $5.2 million in humanitarian funding to address significant humanitarian needs in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.
          Kenya MP Files Petition to Pull KDF Out of War-Torn Somalia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Shabelle] An MP has petitioned National Assembly to order the immediate withdrawal of Kenya Defence Forces from war-torn Somalia. Mandera East lawmaker Omar Maalim wants the soldiers who have been in Somalia for seven years recalled.
          China Pledges Support to Somalia's Official News Agency      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Focac] Mogadishu -China on Monday promised assistance amounting to some 22,600 U.S. dollars to the Somali News Agency (SONNA) to modernize operations at its Mogadishu office.
          In Gemeinschaftsunterkunft randaliert und Polizisten angegriffen      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
KITZINGEN. In der Gemeinschaftsunterkunft haben am Dienstagmorgen zwei Männer aus Somalia randaliert und im Anschluss Polizeibeamte angegriffen. Gegen 05:00 Uhr am Morgen wurde der Sicherheitsdienst auf die Randalierer aufmerksam und verständigte die Polizei. Beim Eintreffen der Beamten waren die zwei Männer sofort aggressiv gegenüber der Polizei. Ein 23-jähriger rannte zu einem Fenster und drohte sich […]
          Respect the Straw Ban      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On Monday, Starbucks announced it would eliminate plastic straws from more than 28,000 stores by 2020, becoming the biggest player in a surging movement against straws. The company will slowly start serving all iced beverages except Frappucinos in recyclable plastic sippy cups—and Frappucinos will come with a paper alternative.

It’s another liberal gesture from the company that brought you nondenominational holiday cups, entreaties to discuss racial divisions, and, back in 1996, a $3 weekly pamphlet of magazine takes hotter than steamed milk. As the company’s trademark green straws go out of production, they will also get out of the garbage. Straws are suddenly at the vanguard of a campaign against single-use plastics like bags, bottles, cups, utensils, and wrappers. Because none of these items can be easily recycled, a shocking number wind up in the sea and then inside the bellies, throats, and organs of sea turtles and other large ocean dwellers.

Straw bans took off after a video of an olive ridley sea turtle with a straw wedged up its nose went viral in 2015. Viewed more than 30 million times, the video launched a movement and inspired a leading paper-straw company, Aardvark, to develop a white paper straw printed with green turtles. Alaska Airlines abandoned straws and plastic stirrers in May (the company used 22 million a year); Seattle became the first major city in the U.S. to ban plastic straws earlier this month.

So far, the movement against single-use plastics has focused mainly on plastic bags, a larger and more pernicious plastic foe. Single-use plastic bags have been restricted in a handful of countries, including China, and in several U.S. cities and states. Even Shabab, the Islamist terror group at war with the Somali government, banned plastic bags for environmental reasons last week. But bag bans in the United States have been subject to fierce resistance from plastics manufacturers and the Republican politicians they support as well as, in a more humdrum way, people who order a lot of takeout.

Measures like these, which are always to some degree good for the planet and inconvenient for consumers, fall somewhere around the intersection of two axes: environmental gain (usually in the long term) and consumer cost (usually immediate). Indoor smoking bans, for example, were high in the right quadrant, as they instantly improved the air quality inside bars and restaurants with few repercussions for the general population. (Smoking rates were already plummeting.) The 1990 Clean Air Act fought acid rain at no perceptible cost to the average American.

Anti-straw advocacy is a more middling proposition. Yes, straws are an invention so frivolous they would appeal, among our ancestors, only to a hunter-gatherer trying to sip from an eddy in a stream. Popularized during the early 20th century as part of a “Yankee mania for sanitation,” the disposable straw now primarily serves the comically bourgeois function of letting us sip from iced drinks without getting ice in our mouths. (That’s good for your teeth too, but only because everything we drink is so full of sugar.) Needless to say, the serious public health benefits of straws have long since been obviated by modern advances in public health (though for Americans with disabilities, access to straws remains vital). Meanwhile, according to a global survey of beach cleanups conducted by the Ocean Conservancy, straws and stirrers are the seventh-most-common item of beach trash after cigarette butts, plastic bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, and plastic lids.

On the flip side: Straws are less likely to distract turtles than, say, bottle lids that resemble surface insects or fractured balloons that look like jellyfish. By weight, straws likely constitute a minuscule fraction of ocean waste, and therefore, make up a tiny fraction of the so-called plastic soup that constitutes the ocean’s biggest hazard. “My big concern in a global context is micro plastic,” said Brendan Godley, a conservation scientist at the University of Exeter. “All these big bits are breaking down into smaller bits and converging on areas where baby turtles live, and if we don’t reduce that, we’re going to have baby turtles all eating plastic messing up their insides.”

Seattle announced the prohibition last fall as part of a business-led campaign, “Strawless in Seattle,” to promote biodegradable alternatives. Led by the Lonely Whale Foundation, a clean-ocean project co-founded by the actor Adrian Grenier, the monthlong effort kept 2.3 million straws out of the garbage. In their place came biodegradable straws, of varying quality, in such a rush that manufacturers are struggling to keep up.

“We see straws as a gateway,” Grenier told me. The foundation, he said, had been pushing Starbucks to commit to straw reduction for about a year and a half. (It also partnered with Alaska Airlines.) “Plastic is so engrained in our lifestyle and our culture that to ask people to make absolute, grandiose change is unrealistic.” In other words, giving up straws may not change the world, but you don’t have to change the world to give up straws.

Critics sense a trap lies in these kinds of proud, visible, but globally inconsequential acts of environmentalism. At Grist, Shannon Osaka writes that a straw ban—like, say, letting your A/C hum along at 74 instead of 68—risks functioning as a “moral license” that allows back-patting liberals to take their strawless iced latte and climb back into their SUVs with a clean conscience.

This is, of course, possible. But there’s something encouraging about the way strawlessness seems to be trickling across businesses and customers, from Starbucks and Alaska Airlines to upscale New York restaurants to the Chicago White Sox. At first, the movement appears to resemble the soda taxes that have spread to several U.S. cities in recent years—the confiscation of something we like even if it’s bad for us (our teeth, or our planet). Each tactic smells of nanny statism, a metaphor embellished by the fact that the formerly straw-punctured lids of Starbucks iced lattes are being replaced with a high-design, disposable iteration of a cup for babies.

But they are in other ways opposites: A soda tax is the quintessential egghead health policy—popular and sensible in the minds of the academy, but with no clear constituency of consumers rooting for it. Not using a straw, by contrast, is apparently something that makes people feel good. And that’s important: Taxes, bans, and other environmental initiatives don’t work unless they have broad popular support. In California, a grassroots gas-tax recall is gaining steam because Democrats have failed to tie the surcharge to quality-of-life improvements. In China, a 10-year-old plastic bag ban appears to be floundering. The prohibition on superthin bags has had unforeseen effects: At KFC in Beijing these days, every meal comes in a thick, white, single-use plastic bag—nearly all of which are thrown away immediately.

The most effective change, in other words, starts from below and rises to the top. That way, it’s already socially enforced by the time it’s codified. An example of this is the way environmentally conscious Americans cut up six-pack rings in the 1970s and ’80s. Vermont voted to ban nondegradable six-pack rings in 1976. In 1988, Ronald Reagan signed a bill requiring they be manufactured to degrade in sunlight. (This, by the way, is a story of social awareness leading to regulation, not environmental success: Six-pack rings may not strangle dolphins anymore, but they do degrade into plastic soup.) Six-pack rings, like straws, were once considered a “hidden hero” of modern design; today, as Massachusetts Rep. Gerry Studds put it, they epitomize the plastic-pollution problem, as “a highly successful product that is functional and durable, yet ugly and deadly when improperly discarded.” He might as well have been talking about straws.

Does it make a difference to the future of the planet if you don’t take a straw? Maybe not. But Starbucks removing 1 billion plastic straws a year from circulation? That’s something. Straws going out of fashion would be something more. And once you’re not taking a straw with your cup, maybe you’ll remember to think twice about grabbing that plastic bag too.


          Comment on Prime Minister Abiy’s Call Triggers Cautious Optimism by Blink      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dear Sara The Somalians know him well .
          EU steps up humanitarian aid in Somalia with €89.5 million      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
BRUSSELS, 11 July 2018 / PRN Africa / -- The European Union has released €89.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia and Djibouti, as millions are grappling with the consequences of prolonged extreme weather conditions.


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