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Σκεπτόμενοι μόνο τα τελευταία δέκα χρόνια και την τεράστια οικονομική κρίση του 2008 που παραλίγο να γκρεμίσει το σύγχρονο οικονομικό οικοδόμημα, καταλαβαίνουμε ότι μια κατάσταση γενικής ισορροπίας του οικονομικού συστήματος, συνεχής και σταθερή είναι από δύσκολο έως αδύνατο να υπάρξει.

Η οικονομία λειτουργεί ως ένας ζωντανός οργανισμός, αλλάζει και εξελίσσεται (αλήθεια, ποιος ήξερε τριάντα χρόνια πριν, τα περίπλοκα δομημένα ομόλογα που έβαλαν σε περιπέτειες σχεδόν ολόκληρο τον πλανήτη;) και μέσα από αυτή την εξέλιξη ένα πράγμα είναι «περίπου σταθερό». Η ανισότητα, που μέσω αυτής καταφέρνει τελικά να διατηρείται μια ιδιόμορφη «ισορροπία του τρόμου» στις σύγχρονες οικονομίες. Γιατί όμως ισορροπία του τρόμου;

Ο γάλλος οικονομολόγος Thomas Piketty με το βιβλίο του «Το κεφάλαιο τον 21ο αιώνα»[1], μας έδωσε μια καλή εικόνα των σημερινών ανισοτήτων. O Piketty, επικεντρώνεται στις σημερινές κοινωνικές ανισότητες με κυριότερη αυτή του 1% του παγκόσμιου πληθυσμού το οποίο συγκεντρώνει και το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό πλούτου. Χαρακτηριστικά αναφέρει ότι το 1910 το πλουσιότερο 1% έλεγχε το 60% του εισοδήματος στη Γαλλία, ενώ στην Αγγλία το αντίστοιχο ποσοστό έφτανε στο 70%! Σήμερα, αυτή η κατάσταση, μετά από μια φάση υποχώρησης τις δεκαετίες του ΄50 και του ΄60, τείνει να διογκωθεί. Σύμφωνα με την Oxfam περίπου το 80% του παγκόσμιου πληθυσμού δεν μοιράζεται παρά μόνον το 5,5% του παγκόσμιου πλούτου! Η ανισότητα στις ΗΠΑ έχει φτάσει σχεδόν στα επίπεδα των αρχών του 20ου αιώνα[2], ενώ ακόμα και η (κατά τα άλλα ανθρωποκεντρική) Ευρώπη ακολουθεί σταθερά, με τις μεγάλες διαφορές μεταξύ βορρά και νότου να είναι πλέον κάτι παραπάνω από εμφανείς.

Μοιραία έρχεται στο μυαλό η φράση – ορόσημο του σύγχρονου καπιταλισμού από τον Gordon Gekko “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good[3]. Είναι δεδομένη λοιπόν η ανάγκη για μια καλύτερη διανομή του πλούτου.

Ο βασικότερος μηχανισμός αναδιανομής του εισοδήματος είναι το ίδιο το κράτος, με την παροχή υπηρεσιών στους πολίτες του, την παροχή ασφάλειας και εθνικής άμυνας, δημόσιας παιδείας, δημόσιας υγείας κλπ. Όμως το κράτος σήμερα δεν είναι μόνο του σε αυτή την προσπάθεια. Δίπλα στα κράτη πλέον στέκονται αυτόνομα παγκόσμιες επιχειρήσεις – κολοσσοί, οι γνωστές πολυεθνικές, με μεγέθη που πολλές φορές ξεπερνάνε οικονομίες κανονικών κρατών. Σύμφωνα με την Παγκόσμια Τράπεζα, από τις 100 μεγαλύτερες οικονομίες του πλανήτη (σε όρους εσόδων για να εξασφαλιστεί συγκρισιμότητα), οι 69(!) είναι παγκόσμιες επιχειρήσεις[4]. Χώρες πλούσιες και ευημερούσες όπως η Ελβετία ή η Νορβηγία, βρίσκονται στην κατάταξη κάτω από επιχειρηματικούς κολοσσούς όπως η Apple και η Toyota. Θα λέγαμε ότι μάλλον «κάτι σάπιο υπάρχει στο βασίλειο της Δανιμαρκίας[5]», άλλωστε και η ίδια η Δανία βρίσκεται στη 41η θέση της κατάταξης κάτω από την Daimler…

Η ερώτηση που έρχεται σχεδόν αυτόματα είναι «όλα αυτά τα υπερκέρδη που συγκεντρώνουν οι επιχειρήσεις – κολοσσοί του πλανήτη πού πάνε; Ποιος τα καρπώνεται;».

Με μια μικρή έρευνα στο διαδίκτυο θα δούμε ότι αυτά τα υπερκέρδη πάνε σε υπερβολικά υψηλούς μισθούς και bonus[6]μια μικρής σύγχρονης ελίτ. Τα παραδείγματα πολλά και εξοργιστικά. Ο Jamie Dimon, CEO της JP Morgan πήρε το 2015 (μόλις επτά χρόνια μετά την μεγάλη κρίση του 2008) bonus 27 εκατομμύρια δολάρια ενώ ο ετήσιος μέσος όρος αμοιβών του συνόλου των εργαζομένων στην Goldman Sachs αγγίζει τα $300.000 το χρόνο ανά εργαζόμενο! Ποιος άραγε αξίζει τόσα χρήματα, και πώς μετά να γίνει κουβέντα για ισορροπία του συστήματος, εταιρική κοινωνική ευθύνη των επιχειρήσεων και ισότητα ευκαιριών;

Προφανώς αυτά τα νούμερα, και άλλα πολλά που είναι εύκολο να αλιευθούν από το διαδίκτυο και δεν αφορούν μόνο επενδυτικές τράπεζες αλλά και άλλες εταιρείες – κολοσσούς, ενισχύουν τα ευρήματα του Piketty και μας αφήνουν μια πικρή γεύση μαζί με μια τεράστια απορία. Λέγεται ότι οι λαοί έχουν τις κυβερνήσεις που τους αξίζουν, αλλά μήπως ισχύει και το ανάποδο;

[1] Thomas Piketty, (2013) Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Éditions du Seuil (και Harvard University Press, 2014)

[2] Το Γραφείο Προϋπολογισμού του Κογκρέσου υπολογίζει ότι ο συνολικός αριθμός των ανασφάλιστων Αμερικανών, θα φτάσει μέχρι το 2026, τα 49 εκατομμύρια!

[3] Στην κινηματογραφική ταινία του 1987 WallStreet, σε σκηνοθεσία Oliver Stone

[4]https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/world-s-top-100-economies-31-countries-69-corporations

[5] William Shakespeare, (1602) Τhe Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke

[6] Ενδεικτικά μόνο δυο άρθρα από ένα τεράστιο πλήθος παρόμοιων που μπορεί κάποιος να αλιεύσει στο διαδίκτυο: http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/18/markets/thebuzz/index.htm και https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/03/wall-street-ceo-pay-2015


          Comment on On Personal Liberty And Vaccination by DrDaveT      Cache   Translate Page      
@<a href="#comment-2391486" rel="nofollow">An Interested Party</a>: <blockquote>What!? You mean that libertarianism is something that can’t really work in the real world!?</blockquote> No, it's worse than that. Libertarianism isn't a thing. People who claim to be libertarians really mean that they place more weight on personal liberty than other people do -- but when pressed for why they do that, or asked to apply those principles in specific cases, they revert to arguments that appeal to other, more fundamental principles. (Or they just assert a preference with no argument, turning their libertarianism into an aesthetic preference, as opposed to a philosophy.) The slippery slope adjacent to libertarianism is the steepest and iciest in all of political philosophy. One step away from Somalia takes you all the way to the bottom of the chute.
          2 NorCal Brothers Traveling Before 1 Became a Dad Among 157 Killed in Ethiopian Jet Crash      Cache   Translate Page      
Two California brothers on a world adventure before one of them became a dad this spring were among those killed in an Ethiopian Airlines jet crash, friends and relatives said. Melvin and Bennett Riffel, of Redding, were on vacation and had been in Australia and Somalia before traveling to Ethiopia, family and friends said. Melvin’s wife, Brittney, also was vacationing with the brothers, but she had returned to California after they all visited Australia, family friend Jake Mangas, a friend […]
          Somali Woman Charged With Terrorizing North Dakota Neighborhood Previously Tied to Human Sex Trafficking Case      Cache   Translate Page      
Cultural enrichment from Somalia. Via PJ Media: A woman recently charged with terrorist threats in a small North Dakota town claims she is innocent and being targeted because of her race and religion. But a local news station reports that not only has she been repeatedly charged with crimes in multiple states, she was previously arrested […]
          Nancy Pelosi: "I'm Not for Impeachment."      Cache   Translate Page      
Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a wide-ranging interview to Joe Heim at the Washington Post yesterday, and there was a lot of good stuff there, but this exchange is obviously very concerning for a whole lot of people, myself included:
There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I'm not for impeachment. This is news. I'm going to give you some news right now because I haven't said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I've been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it.
So, let me start by saying I will give Pelosi a very little bit of wiggle room here, on the possibility that this is a strategic move.

If, for example, House Democrats have already uncovered something actionable in their investigations that they think is a more solid avenue to disempower Donald Trump than impeachment, or if they have something on Trump and need to save impeachment for Mike Pence, then it makes sense to take impeachment off the table for now — and an argument could be made that doing it publicly is part of that strategy.

But if something along those lines doesn't materialize quickly, then this is some bullshit.

And, to be frank, I frustratingly haven't seen any evidence that House Democrats, since reclaiming the majority, have any interest in investigating Pence. Which I find deeply troubling.

So there's a strong chance this is just a straightforward statement in which the Speaker rejects impeachment as a tool, because it's "divisive."

And, yes, it is. Except the country is already divided — into people who support a vile authoritarian bigot whose agenda is undiluted malice and who is subverting our democracy to turn the country into a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kremlin, and people who are resisting this relentless nightmare with everything we've got.

Trust that I understand there is little hope of success without bipartisan support. I understand the risk of pursuing impeachment and losing, when you only get one bite at that apple. I understand that a big swing and a miss could leave Trump even more powerful and convinced of his own unrestrainable domination than he is now.

And if I still believed we had free and fair elections the outcomes of which Trump would respect, or unbiased courts through which we could seek legal remedies, then I would be advocating against impeachment for all of those reasons.

But I don't see whence will come relief anymore. The longer we wait, the longer Trump and the Republican Party has to consolidate their power. And they are exploiting every second for maximum gains.

Meanwhile, people are dying — in the United States, along the southern border, in Syria, in Somalia, in Yemen, and elsewhere around the world — because of the Trump Regime. Pelosi may be right that Trump really isn't worth the potential costs of using every tool in the drawer, but they are.

I have trusted Speaker Pelosi to know what she's doing, and she's come through time and again. I sure hope she knows what she's doing this time, because we can't afford for her to be wrong.
          Shelter Cluster Somalia Fact sheet Feb 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
The factsheet  highlights interesting events or actions regarding shelter in Somalia. It provides an update on the overall objectives, challenges and needs, response, and also includes focus stories and innovative approaches
          Two California Brothers Killed in Ethiopian Airlines Jet Crash; Feinstein Seeks Aircraft Grounding      Cache   Translate Page      
Melvin and Bennett Riffel, of Redding, were on vacation and had been in Australia and Somalia before traveling to Ethiopia, family and friends said.
           Qatar Airways unveiled seven new upcoming destinations       Cache   Translate Page      
Qatar Airways concluded a spectacular week at this year’s ITB Berlin, at which the airline revealed seven new destinations to be added to its global route network in 2019, in addition to unveiling a newly enhanced Economy Class product to hundreds of trade and industry representatives as well as members of the international media.At a packed press conference on the opening day of ITB, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, announced an array of forthcoming global destinations the airline will launch in 2019, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Langkawi, Malaysia; Davao, Philippines; Izmir, Turkey and Mogadishu, Somalia.Also on the opening day of the exhibition, Qatar Airways revealed its new Economy Class experience, featuring a world-class seat with an innovative 19-degree recline system, additional legroom,  dual trays, 13.3-inch 4 K widescreens and type ‘C’ fast charging USB port. The airline’s new in-flight dining experience ‘Quisine’, redefines Economy Class service, with all new retail-style tableware, a menu offering more choices, 25 per cent larger main courses, 20 per cent larger appetisers, and 50 per cent larger desserts.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We have enjoyed a tremendously successful week in Berlin, and are particularly excited to announce these many new additions to our global route network. These new European, Asian and African gateways will offer our both our business and leisure travellers even greater choice and flexibility, and clearly demonstrate that Qatar Airways is moving forward with its robust growth plans.“Qatar Airways passengers in Economy Class will now enjoy even greater meal choice as well as larger appetizers, main courses and desserts. Our new Economy Class experience revealed here in Berlin this week proves our commitment to offering the very finest experience to all of our passengers, no matter what class they are travelling in. We thank the many guests who visited our stand in Berlin last week, and we look forward to welcoming all passengers on board.”Qatar Airways’ new Economy Class proposition sees a significant increase in rotable, recyclable and biodegradable products and reduction in single-use plastic. Economy Class passengers will also be able to enjoy improved connectivity, including up to 10 times faster broadband, as well as more than 4,000 entertainment options on Qatar Airways’ Oryx One in-flight entertainment system.Present at the unveiling of Qatar Airways’ new Economy Class experience were FC Bayern München stars Corentin Tolisso, French international and World Cup winner in 2018, and Lothar Matthäus, former German international who captained his nation to victory in the 1990 World Cup. Last year Qatar Airways signed a five-year partnership agreement with leading German football team FC Bayern München, making the airline the Official Airline Partner of FC Bayern München until June 2023.At ITB 2017, Qatar Airways launched its revolutionary Business Class seat, Qsuite, which features the world’s first-ever double bed in Business Class. Qsuite takes cabin innovation to a whole new level with its quad configuration, providing passengers even more choice, privacy and personalisation in their travel experience. Since its launch, Qsuite has won a host of awards, including the prestigious Skytrax awards in 2018 for ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’.ITB Berlin 2019 showcased a range of travel exhibitors from more than 180 countries and five continents, providing more than 160,000 visitors with the latest information on new products, services and facilities in the tourism industry.

Source: Transportweekly
          Write a paper on the rising cases of cancer in Kenya and Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Write a comparative 4-page essay on the rising cases of cancers in Kenya and Somalia (Budget: $10 - $30 USD, Jobs: Article Writing, Report Writing, Research, Research Writing, Technical Writing)
          EEUU afirma haber abatido a 8 militantes de Al Shabab en Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
MOSCÚ (Sputnik) — Al menos ocho militantes del grupo islamista Al Shabab fueron eliminados en una serie de ataques aéreos lanzados por las fuerzas de EEUU en Somalia, comunicó el mando militar para África del ejército estadounidense (Africom).
          A hundred camels : a mission doctor's sojourn and murder trial in Somalia by Miller, Gerald L., 1937-      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Individual prognosis at diagnosis in nonmetastatic prostate cancer: Development and external validation of the PREDICT Prostate multivariable model      Cache   Translate Page      
by David R. Thurtle, David C. Greenberg, Lui S. Lee, Hong H. Huang, Paul D. Pharoah, Vincent J. Gnanapragasam Background Prognostic stratification is the cornerstone of management in nonmetastatic prostate cancer (PCa). However, existing prognostic models are inadequate—often using treatment outcomes rather than survival, stratifying by broad heterogeneous groups and using heavily treated cohorts. To … Continua la lettura di Individual prognosis at diagnosis in nonmetastatic prostate cancer: Development and external validation of the PREDICT <i>Prostate</i> multivariable model
          Commenti su Nuovi inglesi chiedono ‘asilo’ in Somalia: “Londra troppo pericolosa” di Antonio Stramonio      Cache   Translate Page      
Sòmari...Somària......e Somàri.....andate....che le banane da quelle parti, crescono a cespi e non c'è pericolo che s'ammoscino
          MKUTANO WA AFRICA NOW WAFUNGULIWA LEO JIJINI KAMPALA      Cache   Translate Page      


Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akihutubia kwenye mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 ulioanza leo kwenye hoteli ya Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo jijini Kampala, Uganda. (Picha na Ofisi ya Makamu wa Rais).

Rais wa Uganda Mhe. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni akihutubia wakati wa ufunguzi wa mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 ambapo viongozi wa Afrika wanakutana kujadili masuala mbalimbali ya utengamano katika kuleta maendeleo endelevu barani Afrika ambapo Tanzania imewakilishwa na Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan
Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan (kushoto) akiwa na mwenyeji wa Mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 Rais wa Uganda Mhe. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pamoja na Rais wa Somalia Mhe. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (kulia) wakati wakielekea kwenye ukumbi wa mkutano katika hoteli ya Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo jijini Kampala Uganda.

          Army captain from Matteson who died in Ethiopian Airlines flight was 'doing what he loved to do,' mother says - Chicago Tribune      Cache   Translate Page      
Army captain from Matteson who died in Ethiopian Airlines flight was 'doing what he loved to do,' mother says  Chicago Tribune

Matteson native Antoine Lewis was one of 157 people who died in Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash in Somalia.


          Jeanine Pirro’s history of anti-Muslim attacks       Cache   Translate Page      


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

During her March 9 show, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro suggested to viewers that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) hijab was "indicative of her adherence to sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution." Amid widespread criticism of her hateful remarks, Fox News responded that the network “strongly condemn[s] Jeanine Pirro's comments,” but took no further public action. Pirro herself claimed that her “intention was to ask a question and start a debate" and that “of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.” But this isn’t the first time Pirro has made hateful and extremist comments about Muslims while appearing on Fox News.

Here are some of Pirro’s prior attacks on Muslims:

Just last month, Pirro suggested that Omar should be grateful to be in the United States because “she is an empowered Muslim woman, while many Muslim women aren't allowed to be educated and they just started driving.” From the February 16 edition of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine
 

JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): And the amazing part is she’s a freshman congresswoman, and I believe she came to the United States as a refugee, and now she’s in our Congress claiming that the Jewish state -- that Israel and Jews are what? Evil?

PIRRO: Have you heard that anyone who is going to move to remove her from Foreign --

QANTA AHMED (CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST): No. And I think this presents a dilemma for the left. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, just like American Muslims have a liability in this woman, they have a liability in this congresswoman. She is showing the marriage of left-wing politics in the Democrats with Islamism. Bernie Sanders congratulated her and said he stands with his Muslim brothers and sisters. To me, he stands with Islamists, and they do not distinguish between the two. It's very problematic. The Islamism only succeeds by portraying itself as a victim and left-wing politics thrives on victimization, victim ideology. She's no victim, as you said. She came as an asylum seeker. She's moved to one of the highest offices in the land within 23 years. What other country gives a refugee that opportunity?

PIRRO: She is an empowered Muslim woman, while many Muslim women aren't allowed to be educated and they just started driving.

During an unhinged rant in 2015 about “radical Muslim terrorists,” Pirro repeatedly fearmongered about Islam and Muslims. She claimed that “this Islamic cancer metastasizes throughout the world” and argued that Muslims “have conquered us through immigration” and “through interfaith dialogue.” In the same screed, she claimed “there is a reverse crusade in progress” and said that “there will be efforts to limit our First Amendment, our free speech, to comply with Sharia blasphemy laws.” From the January 10, 2015 edition of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine

JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): We need to kill them. We need to kill them. The radical Muslim terrorists hellbent on killing us. You’re in danger, I’m in danger. We’re at war and this is not going to stop. After this week’s brutal terror attacks in France, hopefully everybody now gets it. And there’s only one group that can stop this war: the Muslims themselves. Our job is to arm those Muslims to the teeth, give them everything they need to take out these Islamic fanatics. Let them do the job. Let them have at it. And as they do, we need to simply look the other way. It is time for this to be over, and stop sending American dollars to any Arab country that does not support this mission. Pakistan at the top of the list. Force Arab nations to choose: They’re either with us or they’re against us. And stop with this nuclear negotiation nonsense. They don’t operate the way we do. You can’t negotiate, you can’t mediate, and you can’t bargain. You can’t even reason with these people.

Now I’ve been telling you for a year that they’re coming for us. That there is a reverse crusade in progress -- a Christian genocide. Hundreds of thousands of innocents killed in the Middle East. Seven months ago, I said that we need to bomb ISIS, as it began its steamroll through Iraq -- bomb them, bomb them, and bomb them again -- for which I was roundly criticized. Our country’s response to this threat? The FBI destroys tens of thousands of documents deemed offensive to Islam. The CIA removes the word “Islamic” before “terrorist” in those Benghazi talking points. The Fort Hood massacre, the Oklahoma beheading? Both “workplace violence.” Are we morons?

And as we cower to these Islamic fanatics, our president and former Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton say they will prosecute the man who made the video, free speech be damned. They call murders accompanied by “Allah akbar,” “workplace violence.” This surender is nothing more than a coward's response to the fear of this fanatical terrorism. And this political correctness will be the death of us. They can kill us but we can’t hurt their feelings? I’m surprised the president hasn’t signed a new executive order that simply says, “Don’t offend Muslims.” And make no mistake -- as sure as I’m talking to you, there will be efforts to limit our First Amendment, our free speech, to comply with Sharia blasphemy laws which call for death to those who slander the Prophet Muhammad.

Our government’s response to the terror threat is to have an interfaith dialogue to try to understand and empathize with the enemy. And when they want to shut us up, they call us Islamophobes. Muslim groups like CAIR and the Nation of Islam have been integrated into our society, Muslims invited to worship at our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. We’re directed by a political correctness that is so bizarre, so disconnected from reality that it does nothing but assist our enemy in our own destruction. They have conquered us through immigration, they have conquered us through interfaith dialogue, and they have conquered us by co-opting our leaders into a position of embarrassment.

As this Islamic cancer metastasizes throughout the world -- Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, Al Qaeda, ISIS -- and as it goes through Europe, it is headed our way.

"Stop defending Islam, start protecting Americans": After Obama noted violence carried out in the name of religion isn't limited to Islam, Pirro furiously listed off violent attacks by Muslim perpetrators. Pirro cited violent incidents by Muslim perpetrators (while ignoring that right-wing terror was considered the main terrorist threat in the U.S.), asking, “Mr. President, please identify what other violence is being committed against Americans in the name of any other religion -- or is it just a coincidence?”

JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): Mr. President, what’s most interesting is that with the crusaders you so easily identify them as Christians. Why is it so hard for you to identify today’s jihadi terrorists as Muslim? Throw a rock at Christians, no problem, but never speak of Islamic terrorists. Mr. President, aside from the obvious that was then and this is now, the Quran is interpreted by some as demanding jihad, the taxing or killing of nonbelievers, and a worldwide caliphate. And surprise -- today’s terrorists are beheading, imposing that same jizya tax, and in their march to create an even bigger Islamic State. Stop apologizing and stop pussyfooting around with this language dance. We get it -- not all Muslims are terrorists. It was Egypt, a country of 90 percent Muslim that rose up against the jihadists who were also Muslim.

Consider this: The first World Trade center attack in 1993 -- by Muslims. The USS Cole bombers were Muslim. The Fort Hood shooter was Muslim. The shoe bomber was Muslim. The underwear bomber was Muslim. The Boston bombers were Muslim. The September 11 hijackers were Muslim. Mr. President, please identify what other violence is being committed against Americans in the name of any other religion -- or is it just coincidence?

You identify terrible deeds in the name of the Christ. Why not identify terrible deeds in the name of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam? Calling Fort Hood “workplace violence” is a joke. People can’t believe that that’s how you characterize it. But then again, your administration erases words out of reports identifying terrorists as Islamic. Stop defending Islam, start protecting Americans. Stop saying what Islam doesn’t stand for, and start saying what you as our president intend to do about this.

During a 2016 appearance on Fox’s Hannity, Pirro suggested Middle Eastern refugees were violent and couldn’t assimilate. She said this about Middle Eastern refugees: “We've got these guys beating their wives, you've got domestic violence, you've got them hating gays, and we are bringing them to this country. We think they're going to assimilate. They are not.” She also agreed with host Sean Hannity that “this is a clash of cultures.” From the September 20, 2016 edition of Fox News' Hannity

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I honestly think that the issue of not saying "radical Islam," Jay -- and there's such a difference between Hillary and Donald Trump -- the issue of vetting refugees and allowing people that come from cultures that clash -- directly clash with our Constitution, that Americans fundamentally understand that we have to know if they're coming here to become American and assimilate or do they want to proselytize and bring their value system, which is the opposite of ours, with them?

JEANINE PIRRO: It is insane. It's insanity. But when we've got these guys beating their wives, you've got domestic violence, you've got them hating gays, and we are bringing them to this country. We think they're going to assimilate. They are not. And what we've got to do, they've got to move their citizenship --

HANNITY: This is a clash of cultures.

PIRRO: Exactly.

During another appearance on Hannity, Pirro claimed the United States needs to know if refugees or immigrants “believe in Sharia law,” arguing that if they do, “that means it is inconsistent with the Constitution. You do not believe in free speech, you do not believe in women's rights, you do not believe in gay rights.” From the May 24, 2017 edition of Fox News' Hannity

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): How is it that if somebody comes from a country with what I call a clash of cultures -- where they literally believe men should tell women how to dress, and men should tell women if they can go on an airplane and travel or leave the house without a male relative, where gays and lesbians are killed, where Christians and Jews are persecuted -- I'm trying to fully and completely understand why, if you come from that country, we need to know -- do you believe that? Do you want to proselytize us or do you want to join our family?

JEANINE PIRRO: You know, Sean, that is exactly the issue. Do you believe in Sharia law, and if you believe in that, that means it is inconsistent with the Constitution. You do not believe in free speech, you do not believe in women's rights, you do not believe in gay rights. All the things that they would trash you and me for if, God forbid, we didn't believe in those rights, we are willing to allow people that we know are individuals -- actually, we don't know who they are -- to come here, stick to their own rules, and then say, “Gee, if they kill us, well, we have to make sure that nobody commits a crime of hate.” This is hogwash, Sean. And what is happening in the U.K. --

HANNITY: See, you're xenophobic, you're homophobic, you're a racist.

PIRRO: I am not.

HANNITY: Well, that's what the left says.

PIRRO: I am none of those things.

HANNITY: Neither am I.

PIRRO: And I'll tell you why, Sean, and neither are you. The problem is that we expect these people to integrate. And one of the issues is -- and assimilate. One of the issues is they don't want to. And now we've got people in Congress saying because they are de facto segregated from the rest of us that we have to understand that they’re angry with us. We let them in the country.

In 2016, Pirro argued that “we’ve got to start having a conversation about surveillance in mosques” and said she agreed with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich that the United States should “test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported.” From the July 15, 2016 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

JEANINE PIRRO: I agree with [Newt Gingrich]. I totally agree with him. We have a president who is an apologist. Look, I'm an amateur and in June of 2014 when I first heard about ISIS, I said bomb them, bomb them, and then bomb them again. I took some heat, but I was right. They were the JV team then. If we had done something, if this president would stop apologizing for what we do, what we are, and stop saying, “You Christians, it's your turn,” as he did at a prayer breakfast, then maybe America would be united in a way where we understand that they're coming. They're here, we're next. I've got to tell you I'm as aggravated as everyone who sat in this chair today. If we've got people standing in the blood of innocent victims when they go for an innocent celebration, then we've got to recognize that we've got a problem at the top of this country.

Our president didn’t want to support [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi. Thirty-five million Egyptians stood up and said, "We don't want the Muslim Brotherhood. We are Muslims, we don't want the Muslim Brotherhood." And this president would prefer to give tanks and airplanes to [former Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood, forget that. Right now, they are here, they're going to kill us. Women, children, it doesn't matter. We have got to declare war on them. We've got to start having a conversation about surveillance in mosques. We've got to make sure that in the jails these imams are going in and radicalizing people, they just want to kill us. I mean, how dumb are we? And Newt is right. We're sheep saying, “Why are the wolves killing us?” Or, “Be nice to the wolves, not all wolves are bad.” Baloney!

While guest hosting on Hannity, Pirro asked an imam if “Muslims here in America need to speak out more to try to prevent [terrorist] attacks from happening?” and then cut him off and told another guest that “the Muslim community is not coming forward.” From the December 27, 2016 edition of Fox News' Hannity

JEANINE PIRRO (GUEST HOST): That was President-elect [Donald Trump] during his recent thank you tour vowing to fight radical Islam. After the latest terror attack in Europe and the radical Islamist threat growing around the world, do Muslims here in America need to speak out more to help to try to prevent these attacks from happening?

PIRRO: We have got this Islamic threat. You don't deny that?

IMAM MOHAMMAD ALI ELAHI: Well, judge, before I start --

PIRRO: That's a yes or no. Let’s start with a premise, there is an Islamic threat facing the United States, correct? Yes or no?

ELAHI: Well, let me answer this way. First of all --

PIRRO: No.

ELAHI: I'm going to answer your question. But let me first of all say, I mean, to the Pope Francis prayer for peace in Christmas ceremony --

PIRRO: I'm happy for the Pope.

ELAHI: Peace for Syria, peace for Yemen, peace for Iraq, peace for Holy Land, for Africa. And also peace for America, an America free of racism and hatred and intimidation and violence and crimes, and everything.

PIRRO: What’s your point?

ELAHI: My point is that first of all the expression of “Islamic radical” is kind of hijacking the identity of the Muslims.

PIRRO: OK, all right, you don't like the term. You don't like the term.

ELAHI: It is like somebody --

PIRRO: Can I ask you a question? Who is responsible for the World Trade Center? Who is responsible for San Bernardino? Orlando? Paris? All right, Imam, you know what, you got all your time.

PIRRO: Brigitte, the Muslim community is not coming forward. So Imam, I'm going to give you another chance, I'm going to give you another chance. Otherwise we're going to finish totally with Brigitte. All right, here is the chance. Should the family of the San Bernardino attackers, who saw the weapons, who saw all of the instruments that they used, should they have said something and why didn’t they?

In 2017, Pirro claimed that President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is targeted at “Joe Schmo Muhammad,” who is from a country where “they promised to send in individuals and jihadists to kill us.” From the February 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

JEANINE PIRRO: This is -- and let me make one thing perfectly clear: If you are not a citizen of the United States of America, you do not have the right to come to the United States, period, end of the story. The president has a plenary authority, the power to determine who comes into this country. And all this talk about constitutional rights -- if you are from Somalia, I got a news flash, you do not have constitutional rights in this country. And Congress has agreed with the plenary power authority of the president in terms of national security and immigration with, what is it, 8 U.S.C., what is it, 1182-F. When they said that the president at any time can make a decision to block an alien from coming to this country. So it's not about people with green cards. It's about Joe Schmo Muhammad, who doesn't have any vetting from another country that -- where they promised to send in individuals and jihadists to kill us.


          Qatar- QRCS launches third phase of mega development programme in Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched the third phase of its integrated rural development program (IRDP) in three regions of...
          Sodomy Laws in the US and around the World      Cache   Translate Page      
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes. The precise sexual acts meant by the term sodomy are rarely spelled out in the law, but are typically understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be "unnatural" or immoral. Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex and bestiality. In practice, sodomy laws have rarely been enforced against heterosexual couples (Wikipedia)


Sodomy arrest sparks controversy… 34 years ago

Michael Hardwick is arrested for sodomy after a police officer observes him having sex with another man in his own bedroom in Georgia. Although the district attorney eventually dropped the charges, Hardwick decided to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia’s law.

“John and Mary Doe,” who joined in Hardwick’s suit against Michael Bowers, the attorney general of Georgia, maintained that the Georgia law “chilled and deterred” them from engaging in certain types of sex in their home. But in 1986, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruling by a 5-4 vote that states could continue to treat certain types of consensual sex as criminal acts.

Apparently, Justice Byron White had characterized the issue not as the right to privacy in one’s own bedroom, but rather as the right to commit sodomy. Viewed in this narrow manner, it was no surprise that he was unable to find such a clause in the Constitution. Justice Lewis Powell, who also voted to uphold the law, later called his vote a mistake.

In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law under which two men had been arrested for having consensual sex at home. The 6-3 Lawrence v. Texas decision reversed the infamous 1986 Bowers decision and finally dealt a death blow to sodomy laws throughout the country.

In its landmark ruling Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws —sometimes referred to as “crimes against nature” laws — are unconstitutional. But 12 states continue to keep such laws on their books. Of 14 states that had anti-sodomy laws, only Montana and Virginia have repealed theirs since the Supreme Court ruling, while anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.



You may believe anti-sodomy laws are not harmful because they can’t be enforced. But they are an important symbol of homophobia for those who oppose LGBT rights. What’s more, the laws create ambiguity for police officers, who may not be aware they are unconstitutional.

If a policeman looks it up, he will see that sodomy is a violation of Louisiana state law, for example, according to Marjorie Esman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.

Sodomy Laws around the World

In the recent years, sodomy related laws have been repealed or judicially struck down in all of Europe, North America, and South America, except for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

There have never been Western-style sodomy related laws in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, or Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were part of the French colony of 'Indochine'; so if there had been any laws against male homosexual acts in those countries, they would have been dismantled by French colonial authorities, since male homosexual acts have been legal in France and throughout the French Empire since the issuing of the aforementioned French Revolutionary penal code in 1791.

This trend among Western nations has not been followed in all other regions of the world (Africa, some parts of Asia, Oceania and even western countries in the Caribbean Islands), where sodomy often remains a serious crime. For example, male homosexual acts, at least in theory, can result in life imprisonment in Barbados and Guyana.

In Africa, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan, and some parts of Nigeria and Somalia. Male and sometimes female homosexual acts are minor to major criminal offences in many other African countries; for example, life imprisonment is a prospective penalty in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. A notable exception is South Africa, where same-sex marriage is legal.

In Asia, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen; but anti-sodomy laws have been repealed in Israel (which recognizes but does not perform same-sex marriages), Japan, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and Thailand. Additionally, life imprisonment is the formal penalty for male homosexual acts in Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Qatar.





Sources and Additional Information:

          British humanitarian worker, 45, named as British crash victim      Cache   Translate Page      
Oliver Vick (pictured), who was described as 'inspiring' and 'well-loved' by relatives, was on his way to Somalia when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed near Addis Ababa.
          SECURITY OFFICER       Cache   Translate Page      
Level : F-6
Job ID : 113376
Job Network : Internal Security and Safety
Job Family : Security
Department/Office : United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia
Duty Station : MOGADISCIO
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 3/12/2019
Deadline : 3/26/2019
          Comment on Jihad Jew-hating Rep Ilhan Omar: Trump not human by ed      Cache   Translate Page      
And she is somalian-mozzlem......she is NOT human.
          Somali Parents Fly Sons To Africa To Escape Deadly Knife Violence In Khan’s London      Cache   Translate Page      
Spiralling knife, drugs, and gang crime in London has been leading many concerned Somali parents to send their teenage offspring, who grew up in Britain, away to Africa for their own safety. With 50 to 70 per cent of members of the Somali community in Islington, north London, “directly affected” by knife violence and ‘county lines’ drugs crime, mothers who arrived from the troubled African country during the 1990s told the Observer they felt they had “no choice” but to send their children away from an increasingly dangerous UK. Sadia Ali, the treasurer of the Islington Somalia Forum and a...
          Regional Representative at Norwegian Church Aid      Cache   Translate Page      
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has been working together with strong partnerships in Somalia for almost thirty years in order to make positive changes within different thematic areas. We have worked in the region for even longer and hope to be part of a lasting and meaningful transformation in the area. Our main programmes are currently WASH, Economic Empowerment, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and Education for Peace with an annual budget of around 70 MNOK. As our new Regional Representative, you will adeptly represent programme priorities to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the NCA program team of around forty highly qualified staff members. The role is a hands-on position and your success will be determined by the level of direct engagement in program development, oversight of projects, fundraising for new projects and representing the agency to stakeholders. As Regional Representative, you make use of your excellent communications skills in retaining and developing relations, internally and externally with the head office in Oslo, have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, and thrive in evolving and challenging environments. In NCA, we seek leaders who are motivated by our vision, our work and our values, and who wish to take part in developing our organizational- and leadership culture. In order to reach our goals, we need leaders who are able to set direction, lead change, develop organizational culture and use our human and financial resources in the best possible way.
          Comment by "Mr. Anon" on One Cheer for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishupolis), by John Derbyshire      Cache   Translate Page      
one can’t have US come to Somalia either . US has been coming since 1991 and earlier to that . US has excuses so does Somalian .
I agree. The US never should have gotten involved there.
          The Aliens Are Not Here World Mix      Cache   Translate Page      
I'm just here to tell you that there are no aliens on this planet. Let's move on! LOL. So yeah, there's a lot of great talented artists on this planet. And they're here on display for you. We travel to foreign lands to bring you some outstanding talent for the comfort of your ears. Blame us, yep it's our fault. Scream and yell all you want. You know how we do. Stop worrying about aliens and concentrate on what you can see and hear right know. Don't believe me. Click the mix!!! 00:00 - Bazarro intro 01:55 - Nothing 2 Lose (East Africa) - Napoleon da Legend ft. Dj Modesty 04:59 - Big Homie (Jamaica) - DLP presents Labba Ranks ft. DV Alias Khryst 07:55 - No One (Dominican Republic) - Vvs Verbal ft. Boone Bixby & Louie Skaggs 11:16 - High Castles (Italy) - Lil Vic 14:59 - Up & Down (Toronto, Canada) - Cesar Comanche ft. Eternia 18:32 - Say A Prayer (China) - China Mac 21:51 - Bazarro Mic Break 22:55 - The Smoking Man (South Africa) - Jean Grae & Quelle Chris 26:47 - Neva Die (Puerto Rico) - Pearl Harba ft. Oathe 29:25 - Speak Peace (East Africa) - Napoleon DA Legend ft. Recognize Ali 32:06 - Live Ya Own (Toronto, Canada) - RKa ft. Cesar Comanche 35:16 - Zur (Switzerland) - Dj Ace ft. EKR & P Moos 35:16 - What's Happenin (Dominican Republic) - Louie Skaggs ft. Barbosa 39:43 - Bazarro Mic Break 40:50 - Been Nice (China) - China Mac 43:32 - Para Alem Da morte (Portugal) - Mundo Segundo 47:23 - Los Yumas (Spain) - Los Foreign 51:49 - Dime/Dame (Madrid, Spain) - Xero Ysern 55:59 - Bazarro Mic 57:00 - Mecca (Somalia) - K'naan 59:48 - Finish
          It Is Not All About AIPAC      Cache   Translate Page      
Over the last few weeks, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been vilified for criticizing the disproportionate power of the pro-Israeli lobbying group AIPAC. Omar, a Black Muslim refugee from Somalia, was initially smeared as anti-Semitic by the Forward’s Batya Ungar-Sargon and subsequently attacked by both Republicans and Democrats. Omar was making an important and valid […]
          Heinous Act Overshadowed Women’s Day in Puntland      Cache   Translate Page      

A Somali woman walks alone in central Mogadishu.

© 2013 Samer Muscati/Human Rights Watch
Ten days before the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, the brutal rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Puntland, Somalia sparked protests across the country and outrage on social media. Aisha Ilyas Adan went missing on February 24. Her body was discovered the next day near her home in North Galkayo, Puntland. According to multiple media reports, Aisha was raped, mutilated, and strangled to death. Several suspects are reportedly in detention in connection with this incident.

Sexual violence against women and girls is prevalent in Somalia and often goes unreported due to a climate of impunity, as well as stigma and fear among female survivors to speak out. Puntland passed the Sexual Offences Act in August 2016, being the first regional state in Somalia to issue such a law. But justice continues to elude victims of sexual violence.

The law did improve Puntland’s legal framework for victims of sexual violence, establishing complaints procedures and strengthening support to survivors. But it also contains problematic provisions that limit options for meaningful justice, including a narrow definition of rape, and the definition of a child as anyone below 15 years of age. International standards define children as under 18.

The law also includes the death penalty for aggravated cases of rape, which Human Rights Watch opposes in all circumstances as it is inherently cruel and irreversible. Last week a court in Garowe sentenced five young men to death for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Galkayo.

Overall, convictions under the law have been rare. Many cases are resolved by traditional elders or sharia courts outside of the protections accorded by the law, which risks limiting survivors’ access to meaningful justice, particularly if they are from marginalized communities. In 2017, authorities condoned a Sharia court hearing for a group of young men accused of gang-raping two girls in Goldogob town instead of pushing for government prosecution under the law.

Puntland authorities have too often failed victims of sexual violence. To honor Aisha, they should make sure those responsible for her rape and murder are held to account in a fair, credible trial, and provide safe services and meaningful justice for all survivors of sexual violence.


          Al menos 5 muertos al estallar una mina en un mercado de ganado en Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Fuente Unión Radio La explosión de una mina en un mercado de ganado en la localidad de Gofgadud Burey, en el sur de Somalia, causó hoy al menos 5 muertos y 8 heridos, confirmó a Efe el gobernador de la región de Bay, Ali Wardhere Bay. “El enemigo ha dejado un artefacto explosivo en el […]
          Comment on Kempffr by Kempffr      Cache   Translate Page      
This scammer was dumb enough to answer the phone and appeared to be at a call centre in Somalia. Don't think they do any duck hunting there.i called him out on scam and he had a melt down. I hope the owner of this website shuts his profile down. Be careful there are way to many of these losers out there.
          MKUTANO WA AFRICA NOW WAFUNGULIWA LEO JIJINI KAMPALA      Cache   Translate Page      

Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akihutubia kwenye mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 ulioanza leo kwenye hoteli ya Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo jijini Kampala, Uganda. (Picha na Ofisi ya Makamu wa Rais).

Rais wa Uganda Mhe. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni akihutubia wakati wa ufunguzi wa mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 ambapo viongozi wa Afrika wanakutana kujadili masuala mbalimbali ya utengamano katika kuleta maendeleo endelevu barani Afrika ambapo Tanzania imewakilishwa na Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan
Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan (kushoto) akiwa na mwenyeji wa Mkutano wa Africa Now Summit 2019 Rais wa Uganda Mhe. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pamoja na Rais wa Somalia Mhe. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (kulia) wakati wakielekea kwenye ukumbi wa mkutano katika hoteli ya Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo jijini Kampala Uganda.

          Al menos ocho muertos por una bomba en un mercado de ganado en el suroeste de Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Al menos ocho personas han muerto por la explosión de una bomba en un concurrido mercado de ganado en una localidad en la región de Bay, en el suroeste de Somalia, según ha informado este miércoles un responsable local.
          EE.UU. emite nueva advertencia de viaje para Venezuela; el país queda en el mismo nivel de Corea del Norte, Afganistán y otros      Cache   Translate Page      
Al deterioro de las relaciones diplomáticas entre Estados Unidos y Venezuela se suma la nueva alerta de viaje del Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. que insta a sus ciudadanos a no viajar al país sudamericano. Esta advertencia pone a Venezuela en el mismo nivel de alerta de viajes que comparten solo 12 países más, entre ellos Afganistán, Somalia, Corea del Norte, Sudán del Sur, Iraq, Irán y otros.
          Japan - Saga 1 of 2      Cache   Translate Page      


This entire year there has been a trend of serious disasters everywhere that we go. Here's the list so far:

Mexico - Large scale drug war
USA - Economy crashing, government bankrupt
Canada - Hockey riots
England - More riots
Greece - More economy crashing & riots
Cyprus - Surrounded by Turkish battleships over oil discovery
Egypt - Mass protests & anarchy
Kenya - Officially at war with Somalia

This brings us to Japan and their tragic tsunami & nuclear crisis earlier this year. We nearly cancelled our Japan leg because of this disaster but it turned out to be an amazing country and a highlight of the year. We researched it on www.smartraveller.com.au and sifted though government food testing stats. We concluded that the country was safe, however, we shouldn´t drink any green tea which had a few positive radioactive results country wide.


Our first impression of Japan as we arrived in Tokyo was of awesomeness. These people were far more welcoming and friendly than they were in Hong Kong. Everything is extremely clean and we discovered that many people wearing face masks in public areas were not doing so because of pollution, but out of courtesy if they had the common cold or flu.

Japan has a whole army of 'Hoy Hoy' guys who were always ready to assist lost or confused looking tourists like us.


Everything was well ordered in this society i.e trains timed to the second, signage, shops, traffic and pedestrians. When ever something got out of order within an instant a Hoy Hoy man would appear. In a blur of finger pointing and 'Hoy Hoy' noises, all order would conveniently be restored.


With the assistance of the friendly hoy hoy staff we negotiated with the complicated train system and made it to the Asakusa Smile hostel. We went out to an amazing sushi train restaurant and checked out an ancient temple.




Along the way back we found a games arcade just the way we imagined, what with the flashing lights, crazy noises and cute stuffed animals. 'Japan invented that shit!'. This became a common saying of ours for the next month as it applied everywhere. There's heaps of stuff we like back home that Japan invented. Pokemon, dragonball Z, tamagochis, hot girls with killer legs wearing skirts, maaaaaaan, they invented that shit!! you see them doing anything whatsoever in a fashion better than westerners, yep, thats because they invented it.



 



Yep.. Japan invented that shit :D
At the smile Asakusa hostel bar we met super friendly locals Hikari, Saki, Miyako and Sara from China.  If you ever go to Tokyo we highly recommend you stay at the Asakusa smile hostel:

http://www.hostels.com/hostels/tokyo/asakusa-smile/31305?source=hostelscomhostelnames2&kid=00106812&aid=3&gclid=CIH_7ZzkqK4CFYVMpgodyy0KPQ
questions@asakusasmile.com

Hikary

Sarah

Saki left, Miyako right

Lara from Spain


That monkey gets all the luck..
^.^ Hikari and Rhafiki <3
It's probably worth noting that Japan are an extremely disciplined and hard working race relative to western societies. In Japan no workers will NOT go home until the boss is finished working. It is also common for many people only to have 3 holidays a year. When you tell them you are staying in Japan for 10 days they cannot believe you got so much time off work. It is sad in one way, but it explains how they built up such a 1st class country given their large population.

Japan is know for being expensive but we quickly found the dirtbag option at the local 100 yen Lawsons shop. You can get anything for 100 yen ($1.25), all sorts of wierd pre-packaged meals, exotic seafood's, endless arrays of sushi and crazy biscuit ice creams.


When you are in a Lawsons it feels like you are literally inside a Pokemon gameboy game. There's flashy lights, cute beepy noises going off in every direction, attractive girls in strange attire and a bunch of strange energy potion's for sale.

All of this stuff is also readily available in the super vending machines strategically located EVERYWHERE. In fact in front of some restaurants is a vending machine, you choose your meal, it spits out a number on a tab and you go inside the restaurant to the counter and get your dinner. Ingenious.



We really had no idea what to do in Japan at first. A photo posted on our facebook page by George Ioannou (Steves Dad) provided the first idea. Snow Monkeys!!! This arbitrary mission to see the snow monkeys lead to the discovery of Nagano, Shibu Onsen and a local guide named Zeno. If you go to Japan you must visit this region.

Zeno

If you go to Japan check out Zeno's webpage. We can't thank Zeno enough for the help he gave us. He knows alot about the Shibu Onsen area and is happy to provide advice and tours. His tours are extremely convenient and well priced. This is Zeno's web page:

http://www.yudanaka-shibuonsen.com/

We left Tokyo for our rendezvous with the famous Zeno. Using our handy Japan Rail pass we boarded the Shinkansen (bullet train) and headed west at some 300km/hr. We arrived on shedule to the very second. Japan invented that shit!


Zeno took us up into the mountains to see an ancient temple in amongst a forest of cedar trees.










We then went to a real Ninja village. The sole reason for this visit can be traced back to my (Beric's) childhood obsession with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.





Real Ninja's are sitll in existence and train at this place.

The next stop was an exclusive tour of one of the best Bonsai gardens in the world. It is no tourist arrtaction but infact a lucrative buisness and Zeno had the inside connection to get us in. This garden featured the oldest two bonsai trees in existence:

 


These were at least 600 years old and passed down from generation to generation in one family. Some of the trees were worth in excess of $300,000 each and it was a huge privilege to see them.













This guy from Canada was doing like a 5 year apprenticeship in learning how to look after the bonsai's:

 

The last stop on our adventure was a Saki brewery. We tasted a variety of Saki's. Not to be confused with our lovely friend Saki from Tokyo.



That night we stayed in a traditional Japanese Ryokan in the Shibu Onsen Village which Zeno helped organise. It was autumn in the village and very lovely site to see after all the concrete in Tokyo.



There are many Ryokan's to stay at but the best is Matsuya. This is the link to their site:

http://www.yudanaka-shibuonsen.com/matsuya_ryokan
The owners were extremly kind and take great care of their guests. The hospitality they gave was above any other payed accomodation we have ever seen in the world. This Ryokan is very traditional and surrounded by temples and natural hot springs so you will get a real taste of Japanese culture.

The room was made from paper, we slept on the floor and shoes were absolutely forbidden. Steve and I experienced their first naked Japanese hot spring. More on these naked spa's in Saga 2.




Whilst staying in the Shibu Onsen region we ate lots of traditional Japanese food. I gotta say, Japanese food is easily one my favourite food's I have had around the world. Healthy and tasty!


In the Ryokan I (Beric) met his match with a fangel dangle highly advanced toilet:

<< insert creepy violin noise, RI RI RIN RIN, RU RU RU RU RU >>

I  sat down to go to the toilet, just like any other time in my life. However, this time was different. There was this crazy control thing with a bunch of buttons all labeled in Japanese. There was no toilet paper to be seen so when the time came to wipe I pressed the button with the image that appeared to symbolise but cheeks being squirted water.


ARRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I got the shock of my life man! This thing was super high pressured and the nozzle was precisely aimed at close proximety for maximum effect. Reminded me of a gerny. I literally scream out loud and started laughing uncontrolable. I couldn't turn this thing off. In attempt to relieve the laughter I sat forward monentarily and thing thing sprayed right up on the the roof. I had to do something quick, I hit a few more buttons and after some time it stopped.

The next mission was to flush. I took a gamble with a strange lever tucked around the side. To my astonishment the toilet flushed and a tap started flowing from above the toilet. This open stream of water went straight into a bowl with a hole on top of the toilet. These japanese people are ingenious! The water used for refilling the toilet is utilsed with a second purpose as a tap for washing your hands.


The second night we stayed at a the Yudanak Rhyoken. The owners here were also lovely and drove us all over to see the local tourist sites at no expense:

http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/HostelNumber.13178
Yudanaka Yamanouchi-Town Shimotakaigun
simaya@mvh.biglobe.ne.jp


We went up into the mountains to see the infamous snow monkeys. These monkeyes are unique in that they are the only ones in the world to habbitate in such a cold location. The main reason they are able to survive there is because of a series of natural hot springs. The crazy monkeys sit around like kings in this springs. They are completly wild and you don't always get to see them. When we fist arrived there were no monkeys to be seen for a while and then out of no where they all came tearing down from the hills and surrounded us. There's no fences and these cheeky buggers will steal your stuff if you turn your back.

















 KAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

MEEEEEEEEE
 HAAAAAAAAAA MEEEEEEEH
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

(natural giser)

I was getting some close up shots of this big monkey. The monkey didn't take kindly. I was staring at it through the lense. In a flash it sprung right towards right at my face ad punched me in the side of the head. My reaction during this snap event was to hold down the shutter button so I actually captured a shot before and after the smack down:

Peaceful one moment

Yep he punched me good

I got the message..

You can watch these monkeys for many hours without getting bored. Their behaviours are very interesting what with all the fighting and mating. The alpha monkeys with the huge red ball sacks basically prance and around and beat the crap out of any monkey that doesnt scatter when they come close. Reminds me of high school. To end the shibu onsen adveture I went and sat naked in a natural hot spring on a big hill and watched the sun set over the autum hills. Nomad and Steve didn't come. They weren't overly keen on the naked spa thing. I'm starting to question how confident they are with their own sexuallity.

Next morning went to a town called Osaka to stay with some good friends of ours Satoko, Chisato, Samo and Toshiaki . From there we went back to Tokyo and hung out with Hikary. Hikary was kind enough to give us a tour of Tokyo.

Stay tuned, This will all be covered in the next blog Saga!

Can Goku hang on? will the battle be over?
or will plaent Namek explode and Freezers wrath continue to destroy our universe!!

TO BE CONTINUED..



          25 anni senza Ilaria e Miran: tre giornate a Roma per chiedere verità e giustizia. Domani alle 17.30 conf. stampa alla Camera per presentare le iniziative      Cache   Translate Page      
Ilaria Alpi e Miran Hrovatin morirono assassinati il 20 marzo del 1994 in Somalia. Quello che accadde alla giornalista del tg3 e al cineoperatore fu un’esecuzione in piena regola, ma in questi 25 anni non c’è stato modo di mettere un punto definitivo alla ricerca di verità e giustizia su un terribile omicidio che sconvolse […]
          Somalia: Secretary-General Appoints Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon Special Envoy for Horn of Africa      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: UN Secretary-General
Country: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

SG/A/1864-BIO/5191

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon as his Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga brings with him extensive experience with the United Nations, having served most recently as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). In 2015, he served as Coordinator of the United Nations Headquarters response to the Boko Haram Crisis, prior to which he was Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and System-wide Senior Coordinator on Burundi (2012-2014).

Between 2007 and 2012, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga was the Director of the Office of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General. Previously, he served as Special Adviser to the President of the sixtieth and sixty-first sessions of the United Nations General Assembly (2005‑2007), as well as Chef de Cabinet to the President of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly (2004‑2005). From 1998 to 2004, he held a variety of political and managerial positions at the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna and New York.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga was the acting Secretary to the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee for Security Questions in Central Africa. He also served as First Counsellor for Disarmament and Political Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Gabon to the United Nations in New York.

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga holds a post‑graduate degree in political science from Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University and a master’s degree in sociology from l’Université Omar Bongo in Libreville, Gabon.

Born in 1960, he is married and has three children.

* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1624-BIO/4804-PKO/554 7 January 2016.

For information media. Not an official record.


          Somalia: Heinous Act Overshadowed Women’s Day in Puntland      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: Human Rights Watch
Country: Somalia

Somali Authorities Should Ensure Justice for Rape, Murder of 12-year-old Girl

Samatar Abdi
Research Assistant

Ten days before the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, the brutal rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Puntland, Somalia sparked protests across the country and outrage on social media. Aisha Ilyas Adan went missing on February 24. Her body was discovered the next day near her home in North Galkayo, Puntland. According to multiple media reports, Aisha was raped, mutilated, and strangled to death. Several suspects are reportedly in detention in connection with this incident.

Sexual violence against women and girls is prevalent in Somalia and often goes unreported due to a climate of impunity, as well as stigma and fear among female survivors to speak out. Puntland passed the Sexual Offences Act in August 2016, being the first regional state in Somalia to issue such a law. But justice continues to elude victims of sexual violence.

The law did improve Puntland’s legal framework for victims of sexual violence, establishing complaints procedures and strengthening support to survivors. But it also contains problematic provisions that limit options for meaningful justice, including a narrow definition of rape, and the definition of a child as anyone below 15 years of age. International standards define children as under 18.

The law also includes the death penalty for aggravated cases of rape, which Human Rights Watch opposes in all circumstances as it is inherently cruel and irreversible. Last week a court in Garowe sentenced five young men to death for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Galkayo.

Overall, convictions under the law have been rare. Many cases are resolved by traditional elders or sharia courts outside of the protections accorded by the law, which risks limiting survivors’ access to meaningful justice, particularly if they are from marginalized communities. In 2017, authorities condoned a Sharia court hearing for a group of young men accused of gang-raping two girls in Goldogob town instead of pushing for government prosecution under the law.

Puntland authorities have too often failed victims of sexual violence. To honor Aisha, they should make sure those responsible for her rape and murder are held to account in a fair, credible trial, and provide safe services and meaningful justice for all survivors of sexual violence.


          Somalia: EU and partners launch the ''Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED)’’ Programme in Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: European Commission
Country: Somalia

Kismayu, 12 March, The EU Delegation to the Federal Republic of Somalia jointly with the Federal Government of Somalia and the hosting Jubaland State government, today launched the Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) Programme. The event was graced by President of Jubaland H.E. Ahmed Islam Madoobe, Federal Minster of Planning, H.E. Gamal M Hassan, EU Charge D' Affaires to Somalia Mr Fulgencio Garrido-Ruiz, Ministers of Planning from Federal Member States, international donors, implementing partners as well civil society organisations.

Worth €83 million, funded in the framework of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) for Migration, ILED is a multi-sector programme whose objective is to contribute to stability in Somalia by an integrated territorial approach supporting local governance and stabilisation, promoting inclusive economic opportunities and protecting the most vulnerable.

_''This programme along with the recent Budget Support sets an important improvement in the EU partnership with Somalia and its strategy in the country, based on an increasing engagement with the national and local institutions and strong focus towards local implementation and service delivery.''_said EU Chargé d’Affaires, Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz during the launching event held in Kismayu.

The Programme will ensure alignment with national and local priorities and will be implemented along specific selected areas or corridors covering most of the country and showcasing those political, economic, social challenges and opportunities to be addressed in order to achieve stability.

The Jubaland President, H.E. Ahmed Islam Madoobe, appreciated the ILED approach, highlighting the need for supporting security, reconciliation and re-integration efforts made by both federal and state Governments with services and economic opportunities for the people.

“We are proud of the results of our ongoing cooperation and we welcome the ILED initiative to support our long-term efforts to build a better future for all Somalia as well as to promote investments and economic relations with our European partners”, expressed Minister of Planning H.E. Gamal M. Hassan.

The programmes will be tailored to the political, security and social needs of the targeted areas and a specific technical structure will be established to ensure the participation of Somali partners in the design and implementation of the specific actions along with the selected implementing partners.

For More Information

Links:https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/horn-africa/somalia/inclusive-local-and-economic-development-iled_en


          Somalia: Somalia: Drought Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF n°: MDRSO007 / PSO037      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
Country: Somalia

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Dry hot conditions continue to prevail across Somaliland, leading to rapid deterioration in rangeland resources as well as access to water and food security across Somaliland (FEWS NET Feb 2019).The consensus forecast released at the end of August 2018 by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF50), indicating a greater likelihood of normal to above-normal Deyr (Oct-Dec) rainfall, did not materialize. Indeed, the Deyr rains started late and were significantly below average across most of the country, with large parts of central Somalia and some parts of northern Somalia receiving 25 to 50 percent of average rainfall according to IPC 15/02/2019. Driven by the impacts of below-average Deyr seasonal (October to December 2018) rainfall and large-scale destitution and displacement from the 2016/2017 drought and protracted conflict, more than 1.5 million people in Somalia are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse through June 2019. In addition, 903,100 children under the age of five are likely to be acutely malnourished in 2019, according to findings from the post-Deyr seasonal assessment conducted in November and December 2018 by FNSAU, FEWSNET, Government Authorities and humanitarian actors.

Pastoral populations face depleted rangeland resources and limited saleable animals, while agropastoral households harvested below average Deyr agricultural production. Little to no rainfall is forecast in the coming weeks, as is typical during the Jilaal (January-March) dry season.
In view of the above, the food security situation in Awadal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool in Somaliland is worsening (OCHA 13/02/2019). Across Somaliland, 1,336,000 people are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions, 673,000 are in Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3), while 52,000 are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) conditions.

Some of these regions have experienced drought for several seasons. Households have lost their means of survival, while others are still recovering from the damage caused by Cyclone Sagar in May 2018 (OCHA 05/02/2019). Areas of particular concern include Northern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, which are experiencing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) conditions, and Sanaag and Sool which are experiencing (IPC Phase 2) conditions (USAID 29/01/2019). This deterioration in food security outcomes is expected to continue until June 2019. Many northern agropastoral and pastoral livelihoods zones will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by April (OCHA 05/02/2019). Food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while browse and water conditions are below average in parts of Northern Somaliland. Increased livestock migration is anticipated as surface water and pasture resources are depleted, until the onset of the Gu rains (April-June) which is expected to improve livestock productivity, increase the number of saleable animals, and improve agricultural labour opportunities. (FEWS NET Feb 2019.
To note, interventions classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse require interventions aimed at:

(i) Reducing food consumption gaps,

(ii) Eradicating acute malnutrition rates,

(iii) Saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

Some 180,000 children under age 5 in Somaliland are estimated to be acutely malnourished, including 26,000 severely malnourished (SAM), as per FAO,FSNAU 03/02/2019. Aid agencies in Somaliland, where security and access are relatively good, have called for early funding to sustain aid operations as well as scaled-up development interventions. (OCHA 05/02/2019 Acute food security is projected to continue in Somaliland for (i) farmers and pastoralists who lost most of their livestock assets during the 2016-2017 drought, (ii) Populations affected by flooding and Cyclone Sagar in 2018 and (iii) IDPs, who constitute a significant portion of those in need and have lost their livelihood support through displacement. Through January - May 2019, the situation is expected to deteriorate further if humanitarian assistance is not provided urgently.
Additionally, other vulnerable groups include female-headed households, children (particularly acutely malnourished children under the age of 5), the elderly, people with disabilities and marginalized communities. These groups are at risk and equally face protection concerns.
The following areas of concern are considered hotspots and in urgent need of nutrition and health interventions. They have a critical prevalence of acute malnutrition (>15% GAM) or >10.7 percent of children have a mid-upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) below the 125-millimeter threshold.


          Uganda: UNHCR Expresses Appreciation, Urges More Solidarity for Uganda’s Refugee Response      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

Concluding a five-day trip to Uganda, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T. Clements expressed appreciation to Uganda for its open door policy for refugees, and urged more global solidarity for the Ugandan people currently hosting more than 1.2 million refugees.

“I’ve been extremely impressed at how Uganda’s inclusive policies have improved the lives of refugees and the communities hosting them,” said Clements of her visit. “Uganda represents the Global Compact in action, but the country can’t do it alone. More global support is needed, particularly in the areas of education, economic opportunities and the environment.”

She visited refugee settlements in Adjumani, Moyo and Yumbe districts and met with refugee groups, district authorities, high level government officials and ministers including the Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Health Care. She also met with Uganda’s First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet K. Museveni, where she praised the national Education Response Plan, which fully integrates refugees into national and district planning in refugee-hosting areas.

Education is a major priority in the Uganda refugee response for 2019 and beyond. More than half of refugee children, and over one third of Ugandan children in refugee hosting areas, are out of school.

In Palorinya refugee settlement in Moyo district, Clements met with teachers, students and their parents and noted the myriad of challenges they face. She was moved by the story of a 22 year-old refugee woman, who committed suicide after learning she would not be able to pay school fees to complete her last year of secondary education

“We all want to prevent a generation of young people from being lost because they feel the future holds so little for them,” said the Deputy High Commissioner. “It is in places like Palorinya that more global solidarity with countries and people hosting refugees must be demonstrated.”

As part of a focus on education, Clements announced that UNHCR would re-allocate of 100,000 USD to ensure young students can continue studying in secondary school in the Palorinya refugee settlement.

The funds will cover school fees for more than 500 refugee and Ugandan youth who cannot afford to stay in school otherwise. This new support will also help to improve conditions in secondary schools and provide small, but critical supplies that can affect school attendance, like sanitary pads for female students.

In Adjumani, Clements visited a market with businesses owned by women entrepreneurs and heard from refugee and host community representatives. Education, health and environmental issues were the primary concerns raised during her interaction with the refugees and district authorities.

The Deputy High Commissioner’s visit highlights UNHCR’s priorities and needs for Uganda’s nearly 1.2 million refugees coming from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Rwanda living across 30 settlements and Kampala.

Media contact

Duniya Aslam Khan, phone number: +256 772 701101, email: khand@unhcr.org


          Somalia: Somalia: Shelter Cluster Factsheet, Feb 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Shelter Cluster
Country: Somalia

CLUSTER SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

SO1: Contribute to the protection of newly displaced people, IDPs / refugee returns / host community and those affected by natural hazards. (NFIs, ESKs)

SO2: Improve the living conditions and contribute to local reintegration of the protracted internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees returning back to their place of origin (Transitional shelters, Permanent shelters, NFIs)

SO3: Improve the quality of shelter assistance and ensure accountability through effective mechanisms (AAP, M&E)

NEEDS ANALYSIS

• Somalia faces an enormous internal displacement crisis, fueled by drought, conflict, forced evictions and floods. There are around 2.6 million people are internally displaced in Somalia currently residing in urban and peri-urban informal settlements.

• About 2.3 million of the IDPs are living in crowded settlements, without sufficient access to basic services, with poor shelter conditions that raise protection and health concerns. The IDPs remain in need of improved Shelter and NFIs support.

• The IDPs have limited access to livelihoods and poor chances to durable solutions.

GAPS / CHALLENGES

  • Low funding is an outstanding challenge is Shelter response in Somalia;

  • There is another imminent drought crisis in Somalia. Severe droughts in Somalia result in massive displacements of persons.

  • There are no prepositioned shelter/NFI stocks in case of high influx of IDPs;

  • Eviction of IDPs undermines the humanitarian services invested in the sites.

RESPONSE
* During the month of February 2019, Shelter Cluster assisted:

  • 6,000 people with emergency non-food items (NFI) kits.
    Standard emergency non-food kits consists of core relief items for daily household use and include plastic sheets, blankets, jerry cans, sleeping mats and kitchen sets.

  • 600 persons were assisted with Emergency Shelter Kits. An emergency shelter kit includes plastic sheets, supporting poles and a rope for tying down the structure

  • 1,008 persons with Transitional Shelter. This is an incremental shelter assistance for affected that seek to maintain alternative options for their recovery.

  • 774 persons were assisted with Permanent Shelter


          Somalia: Cross Border Movements - Somalia (February 2019)      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: International Organization for Migration
Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen

In February 2019, a total of 18,236 movements were observed at Flow Monitoring Points. This represents a significant decrease in comparison with January 2019 when 23,396 movements were observed. Specifically, five FMPs recorded a decrease in movements (Bossaso, Buuhoodle, Cabudwaaq Harirad, and Lowyacado) while two FMPs (Dollow and Dhobley) saw an increase in movements. Decrease in movements observed this month is likely due to a relative stability and security improvements in the Somali region of Ethiopia, as well as increased interventions aimed at weakening trafficking and smuggling networks in northern Somalia. Similarly to January 2019, the majority of flows identified (54%) were incoming against 46% outgoing. Unlike for previous months, Buuhoodle Flow Monitoring Point (Togdheer region at the border with Ethiopia) recorded the highest levels of incoming flows for February, while Bossaso continued to record the highest number of outgoing flows. Migrants identified were mostly Somali (62%), Ethiopian (34%), and Djiboutian (3%).


          Niger: Niger: Country Operation Update, February 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Algeria, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan

KEY INDICATORS

2,491 Refugees evacuated temporarily from Libya to Niger as part of the ETM (Emergency Transit Mechanism) from November 2017 – February 2019

1,675 Persons profiled by UNHCR in Agadez seeking asylum

62,671 Persons internally displaced in the Tillaberi & Tahoua regions

Operational Context

The key situations include:

  1. The Mali situation: began in 2012 with the outbreak of conflict in northern Mali. The regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua bordering Mali and hosting most of the Malian refugees are increasingly affected by insecurity and terrorism. A State of Emergency was declared in 2017, and extended and further expanded to areas bordering Burkina Faso at the end of 2018. There are currently 55,496 Malian refugees in Niger. The Government of Niger and UNHCR seek to accelerate the socio-economic integration of these refugees and the closure of the camps through urbanization by the end of 2020. An EU Trust Fund supported regional project as well as a GIZ supported project are supporting these efforts at local integration and development in Tillaberi and Tahoua regions.

  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 on Niger territory in 2015. There are almost 250,000 displaced persons in the region (including 118,868 refugees, 104,288 IDPs, and 25,731 returnees). The majority live in spontaneous sites or with the local population, while UNHCR manages one refugee camp, with 15,136 people. In 2018, despite a complex security context, all actors agreed on the need to engage strongly in development oriented interventions. The Government of Niger, UNHCR and the World Bank are working closely in that direction. Additionally, an EU Trust Fund supported project is ongoing in Diffa region, aimed at supporting economic recovery and long term solutions through urbanization and 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. However, since the beginning of 2018, the IDP situation in Niger has become more complex with increasing insecurity in the regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua, bordering Mali. In 2018, and into 2019, attacks and insecurity in the area have resulted in the internal displacement of at least 62,671 people. Protection monitoring, advocacy, capacity building and coordinated efforts with humanitarian actors are ongoing to ensure an adequate response to the situation. In December 2018, the Government of Niger adopted a national law for the assistance and protection of IDPs based on the Kampala Convention.

  4. Mixed Movements: Niger is a major crossroads of migratory movements northwards towards Libya, Algeria and the Mediterranean. These migratory flows constitute mixed movements, 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. 1,675 persons, mostly Sudanese, are currently registered by UNHCR in Agadez. 25% are minors and 180 are unaccompanied or separated children. The majority are seeking asylum in Niger. The situation has become more complex, with the addition of downward movements from Libya and Algeria. A new Humanitarian Centre was built to accommodate and screen those seeking international protection in the second half of 2018. Over 1,200 asylum seekers are now accommodated at the centre, while the most vulnerable (around 200 people) are supported in 3 guesthouses in the city of Agadez.

  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 predominantly Eritrean and Somalian. 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 and women and girls at risk. To date, 2,491 persons have been evacuated to Niger – 1,271 of whom are still in Niamey while the others have already been resettled. With the support of the EU Trust Fund, a new transit centre is being built near Niamey to host the evacuees while they await resettlement to third countries. It is expected that the first group of evacuated refugees will be transferred there in March.


          Somalia: QRCS kicks off 3rd phase of mega development program in Somalia [EN/AR]      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: Qatar Red Crescent Society
Country: Somalia

March 12th, 2019 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched he third phase of its integrated rural development program (IRDP) in three regions of Somalia.

The purpose of the program is to help the farmers and returnees to restore their livelihoods, by providing agricultural materials for the coming rainy season, as well as facilitating access to welfare services, by rehabilitating the agricultural, water, and education infrastructure.

The program covers the rural regions of Banaadir, Lower Shebelle, and Middle Shebelle, which suffer fragile economies, lack of services, and inadequate infrastructure.

After five years of intermittent rains, the drought weighed heavily on the traditional lifestyles of farmers and shepherds. What is more, the prolonged armed conflict undermined the living standards, production assets, and infrastructure, driving more than 400,000 people to city outskirts and camps.

In cooperation with partners and local community leaders, QRCS distributed agricultural input to 3,000 farmer families, such as seeds and hand tools. Other activities included land preparation, canal rehabilitation, subdivision, etc. Also, the farmers were trained in how to use ploughs, produce their own tools, and select and store seeds for the next season.

Over the course of the program, the staff performed assessment and follow-up to ensure the optimized use of agricultural input. By the end of the harvest season, each farm had produced 2-3 tons of crops. This amount is big enough for the family consumption over the year, with surplus that could be sold to purchase other needs like clothing.

Many farmers utilized the provisions very well, so they could meet the targets. To ensure food security, the families sell their own production and buy the kinds of cereals they do not have. This builds up the household cereal stocks by 40%. At the same time, QRCS built the capacity of local community, particularly the blacksmiths who make the traditional hand tools. Divided into groups, they were awarded a contract to make 6,000 hand tools.

In Bal'ad District, the iron makers attended technical and administrative training courses and held coordination meetings with other NGOs.

End of Text

About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)

Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.

QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 190 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.

QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.


          Somalia: Think local. Governance, humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding in Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: European Centre for Development Policy Management
Country: Somalia

Alfonso Medinilla, Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw and Pauline Veron, ECPDM paper, March 2019

This study seeks to understand the incentives and interests – or lack thereof – for collaboration and coordination across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sectors, as the call for a ‘nexus approach’ grows louder. It does so by looking at the practical experiences of the international community, including non-traditional donors in Somalia.

The political situation in Somalia is changing. Relative stability should not be mistaken for lasting peace, yet recent progress in the federalisation agenda gives Somalis and external partners hope for long-term recovery and economic development in the country. As Somalia remains heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance, pursuing the ‘nexus approach’ to bridge the divide between humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peacebuilding is generally seen to be a critical condition for maintaining what has been achieved in the past few years.

Humanitarians, together with the private sector and clan networks, have long been the primary providers of basic services and social protection in Somalia. While this continues to save lives, it has pushed NGOs and implementing partners to deepen, rather than broaden, their expertise and delivery of assistance. In some cases, their interest in securing their niche within the Somali aid environment is greater than their incentive to pragmatically respond to the needs of their beneficiaries.

Relative stability has allowed for innovation at the local level, and we identify several opportunities for further advancing integrated approaches in practice. As the Somali statebuilding process takes root, the real starting point for nexus approaches may well be at the local level, through collaboration among a range of actors from government officials to clan elders, and from civil society to humanitarian, development and peacebuilding practitioners.


          Somalia: Japan contributes to Explosive Hazard Management in Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: Government of Japan, UN Mine Action Service
Country: Japan, Somalia

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

The Embassy of Japan to Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya

United Nations Mine Action Service, Somalia Programme
Mogadishu, Somalia

Mogadishu, 11 March 2019 - Explosive hazards continue to have a detrimental impact on peacebuilding and state building in Somalia. Over the past years, extremist groups have used improvised explosive devices (IED) as their preferred weapon against the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission to Somalia. In addition to the IED threat, indirect fire, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and mines left behind from the civil war continue to endanger the lives of the civilian population.

The Government of Japan has renewed its commitment to promote human security and stability in Somalia by contributing USD one million to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action. This important contribution will enable the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to reduce the threat posed by explosive hazards and support the establishing of a safe, secure and peaceful Somalia. Over the past five years, Japan contributed USD 7.3 million to mine action in Somalia.

The generous contribution from the People of Japan will strengthen humanitarian mine action by supporting risk education programmes and by providing additional training to the Somali Police Force to clear and manage explosive devices.

According to a spokesperson at the Embassy of Japan in Kenya, “Japan has supported the Somali people through mine action activities in partnership with UNMAS. This assistance demonstrates our strong and faithful commitment to contribute to the social stabilization and security of Somalia”.

“We are very grateful to the People of Japan for their on-going support to our work in Somalia”, explained Ms. Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai, the UNMAS Programme Manager in the country. “UNMAS appreciates Japan’s continuous commitment to support humanitarian mine action in Somalia. The contribution will certainly help reduce the explosive hazard threat in the country”.

-End-

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai, UNMAS Programme Manager, Mogadishu, QuratulAinS@unops.org

Mr. Kurt Chesko, UNMAS Donor Relations Officer, New York, chesko@un.org

The Embassy of Japan to Kenya, Nairobi, jinfocul@nb.mofa.go.jp


          Somalia: Agency for Assistance and Development of Somalia-AADS-Strategic-Plan-2019-2023      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: Agency for Assistance and Development of Somalia
Country: Somalia

The three main directions determined as areas of focus for the next five years include geographic expansion, diversification of areas of focus and founding sources and standardization of institutional capacity. The mission and vision have been reviewed and goals and objectives set.


                Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. Airstrikes Kill Hundreds in Somalia as Shadowy Conflict Ramps Up
By Eric Schmitt and Charlie Savage
New York Times
March 10, 2019

WASHINGTON — The American military has escalated a battle against the Shabab, an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, in Somalia even as President Trump seeks to scale back operations against similar Islamist insurgencies elsewhere in the world, from Syria and Afghanistan to West Africa.

A surge in American airstrikes over the last four months of 2018 pushed the annual death toll of suspected Shabab fighters in Somalia to the third record high in three years. Last year, the strikes killed 326 people in 47 disclosed attacks, Defense Department data show.

And so far this year, the intensity is on a pace to eclipse the 2018 record. During January and February, the United States Africa Command reported killing 225 people in 24 strikes in Somalia. Double-digit death tolls are becoming routine, including a bloody five-day stretch in late February in which the military disclosed that it had killed 35, 20 and 26 people in three separate attacks.

Africa Command maintains that its death toll includes only Shabab militants, even though the extremist group claims regularly that civilians are also killed. The Times could not independently verify the number of civilians killed. The rise in airstrikes has also exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in the country, according to United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations working in the region, as civilians are displaced by conflict and extreme weather.

“People need to pay attention to the fact that there is this massive war going on,” said Brittany Brown, who worked on Somalia policy at the National Security Council in the Obama and Trump administrations and is now the chief of staff of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization focused on deadly conflicts.

The war in Somalia appears to be “on autopilot,” she added, and one that is drawing the United States significantly deeper into an armed conflict without much public debate.

U.S. Airstrikes on the Rise in Somalia

The United States has escalated its airstrike campaign against Qaeda-backed Shabab militants in Somalia during the Trump administration.

Somalia, a country that occupies a key strategic location in the Horn of Africa, has faced civil war, droughts and an influx of Islamist extremists over the years. The growing United States military engagement stands in stark contrast to the near-abandonment not long after the “Black Hawk Down” battle in 1993, which left 18 Americans and hundreds of militia fighters dead.

The intensifying bombing campaign undercuts the Trump administration’s intended pivot to confront threats from great powers like China and Russia, and away from long counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns that have been the Pentagon’s focus since 2001.

Analysts suggested that the increase in American strikes may also reflect an unspoken effort by American commanders to inflict as much punishment on the Shabab while they can.

“Many of our commanders probably see a renewed urgency to degrade the enemy quickly and forcefully,” said Luke Hartig, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, the head of Africa Command, said planned cutbacks elsewhere would not affect what the military is doing in Somalia.

“We’ll maintain our capability and capacity there,” General Waldhauser told the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday. Africa Command is scaling back American forces nearly everywhere else on the continent in a move that poses a particular threat for West Africa, which is grappling with a range of extremist groups.

The Shabab formally pledged its allegiance to Al Qaeda in 2012. But long before that, it fought Western-backed governments in Mogadishu as the group sought to impose its extremist interpretation of Islam across Somalia. In defending the fragile government, the United States has largely relied on proxy forces, including about 20,000 African Union peacekeepers from Uganda, Kenya and other East African nations.

The United States estimates that the Shabab has about 5,000 to 7,000 fighters in Somalia, but the group’s ranks are fluid. A State Department official, citing interviews from Shabab deserters, said that the number of hard-core ideologues may be as few as 500.

There are also now roughly 500 American troops in Somalia. Most are Special Operations forces stationed at a small number of bases spread across the country. Their missions include training and advising Somali army and counterterrorism troops and conducting kill-or-capture raids of their own.

The Shabab has proved resilient against the American airstrikes, and continues to carry out regular bombings in East Africa.

A range of current and former American officials said no seismic strategic shift explains the increased airstrikes and higher body count; the mission remains providing security so the fledgling Somali government will have time and space to develop its own effective military and security services.

But they noted a range of contributing factors for the rise in tempo and lethality of the military campaign.

Taking a page from counterinsurgency tactics developed in Afghanistan, American forces have helped Somali soldiers build several outposts across Somalia, about 20 percent of which is still controlled by the Shabab. One is named for Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, of Chandler, Ariz., who was killed in a mortar attack last year while he helped to build it.

The Shabab views the outposts “as an irritant, and masses to go after it,” Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, the Africa Command’s director of operations, said in an interview.

In turn, that has put attacking Shabab fighters in the cross hairs of American airstrikes to defend the Somali forces.

Several officials said intelligence operations — including aerial surveillance, electronic intercepts and informant networks — have improved over the past year.

American troops with the secretive Joint Special Operations Command have built up informant networks that lead to raids and strikes, after which they collect cellphones, laptops and documents to generate information for more.

The drawdown of American military operations elsewhere in the world — including in Syria and, to a lesser immediate extent, Afghanistan — also has most likely freed up more drones and other gunships for use over Somalia, several former United States officials said.

“We were geared up for counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, and now there are more resources to do it, so we’re doing more of it,” suggested Stephen Schwartz, who served as the United States ambassador to Somalia from 2016 to 2017, although he cautioned that he had no current insider knowledge.

“It could be there is some well-thought-out strategy behind all of this,” Mr. Schwartz added, “but I really doubt it.”

The loosening of Obama-era constraints on using force in Somalia, as approved by President Trump in 2017, has also contributed.

Shortly after taking office, Mr. Trump declared Somalia to be an “area of active hostilities” subject to war-zone rules. That freed the United States military to carry out offensive operations whenever Shabab militants presented themselves — including against foot soldiers without special skills or roles.

Mr. Trump also delegated authority to commanders to carry out strikes without high-level interagency vetting. But Africa Command was initially slow to embrace it, waiting months before it carried out its first strike in 2017 under the new rules.

Now, however, it has opened the throttle, according to military data compiled by Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who has tracked counterterrorism airstrikes for more than a decade on his Long War Journal.

Many of the recent airstrikes have targeted large groups of suspected fighters, killing more than 10 people in a single fierce swoop. Africa Command has disclosed strikes and estimated death tolls in a series of terse news releases, earning scant attention from Congress or the news media.

Along with the European Union and the United Nations, the United States also has continued to invest in so-called soft power assistance to Somalia, providing humanitarian aid such as food to drought victims, and development programs on education and training.

Officials cited signs of recent incremental progress in efforts to help the Somali government build a functional national army. And in December, the United States re-established a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia for the first time since 1991. The current United States ambassador to Somalia, Donald Yamamoto, lives in Mogadishu, although the mission consists of a windowless bunker at the well-guarded airport.

There is good reason for caution. In 2013, Shabab militants carried out a deadly attack at the Westgate mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. In January, they attacked a luxury hotel and office complex in Nairobi, killing 21 people. And in late February, the Shabab claimed a double bombing and the siege of a hotel in Mogadishu that killed at least 25 people.

General Olson said the military would continue to go after the Shabab as long as that is its mission.

“We go after the network when the network presents itself, whether a single node or a concentration,” he said. “We’ve developed intelligence and are sussing out the relationship between the leadership and those being led; between those being led and those being trained or recruited or massed for an attack.”

“We understand the network better than we have in years past,” General Olson said.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting.

Follow Eric Schmitt and Charlie Savage on Twitter: @EricSchmittNYT and @charlie_savage.

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Ethiopian Airlines Crash Kills 157, Spreads Global Grief
'Where are you, my son?': Ethiopian Airlines crash kills 157 people from 35 countries.

March 10, 2019, at 9:01 p.m.
Associated Press

Members of the Ethiopian community take part in a special prayer for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada Saint Mary Cathedral in Toronto, on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, including 18 Canadians. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BY ELIAS MESERET AND YIDNEK KIRUBEL

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — An Ethiopian Airlines jet faltered and crashed Sunday shortly after takeoff from the country's capital, carving a gash in the earth and spreading global grief to 35 countries that had someone among the 157 people who were killed.

There was no immediate indication why the plane went down in clear weather while on a flight to Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. The crash was strikingly similar to that of a Lion Air jet that plunged into the sea off Indonesia minutes after takeoff last year, killing 189 people. Both accidents involved the Boeing 737 Max 8.

The crash shattered more than two years of relative calm in African skies, where travel had long been chaotic. It also was a serious blow to state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, which has expanded to become the continent's largest and best-managed carrier and turned Addis Ababa into the gateway to Africa.

"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world. At this stage we cannot rule out anything," CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters. He visited the crash site, standing in the gaping crater flecked with debris.

Black body bags were spread out nearby while Red Cross and other workers looked for remains. As the sun set, the airline's chief operating officer said the plane's flight data recorder had not yet been found.

Around the world, families were gripped by grief. At the Addis Ababa airport, a woman called a mobile number in vain. "Where are you, my son?" she said, in tears. Others cried as they approached the terminal.

Henom Esayas, whose sister's Nigerian husband was killed, told The Associated Press they were startled when a stranger picked up their frantic calls to his mobile phone, told them he had found it in the debris and promptly switched it off.

Shocked leaders of the United Nations, the U.N. refugee agency and the World Food Program announced that colleagues had been on the plane. The U.N. migration agency estimated some 19 U.N.-affiliated employees were killed. Both Addis Ababa and Nairobi are major hubs for humanitarian workers, and many people were on their way to a large U.N. environmental conference set to begin Monday in Nairobi.

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route links East Africa's two largest economic powers. Sunburned travelers and tour groups crowd the Addis Ababa airport's waiting areas, along with businessmen from China, Gulf nations and elsewhere.

A list of the dead released by Ethiopian Airlines included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India and Somalia. Kenya lost 32 citizens. Canada, 18. Several countries including the United States lost four or more people.

Ethiopian officials declared Monday a day of mourning.

At the Nairobi airport, hopes quickly dimmed for loved ones. "I just pray that he is safe or he was not on it," said Agnes Muilu, who had come to pick up her brother.

The crash is likely to renew questions about the 737 Max , the newest version of Boeing's popular single-aisle airliner, which was first introduced in 1967 and has become the world's most common passenger jet.

Indonesian investigators have not determined a cause for the October crash, but days after the accident Boeing sent a notice to airlines that faulty information from a sensor could cause the plane to automatically point the nose down.

The Lion Air cockpit data recorder showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, though the airline initially said problems had been fixed.

Safety experts cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday's disaster.

The Ethiopian Airlines CEO "stated there were no defects prior to the flight, so it is hard to see any parallels with the Lion Air crash yet," said Harro Ranter, founder of the Aviation Safety Network, which compiles information about accidents worldwide.

The Ethiopian plane was new, delivered to the airline in November. The Boeing 737 Max 8 was one of 30 meant for the airline, Boeing said in July. The jet's last maintenance was on Feb. 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The plane crashed six minutes after departure , plowing into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Addis Ababa, at 8:44 a.m.

The jet showed unstable vertical speed after takeoff, air traffic monitor Flightradar 24 said. The senior Ethiopian pilot, who joined the airline in 2010, sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return to the airport, the airline's CEO told reporters.

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration said it would join the National Transportation Safety Board in assisting Ethiopian authorities with the crash investigation. Boeing planned to send a technical team to Ethiopia.


The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger flight was in 2010, when a plane went down minutes after takeoff from Beirut, killing all 90 people on board.

African air travel has improved in recent years, with the International Air Transport Association in November noting "two years free of any fatalities on any aircraft type."

Sunday's crash comes as the country's reformist young prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centered economy.

Speaking at the inauguration in January of a new passenger terminal in Addis Ababa to triple capacity, the prime minister challenged the airline to build a new "Airport City" terminal in Bishoftu — where Sunday's crash occurred.
__

Yidnek reported from Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

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Government Officials, Doctors Among Ethiopian Crash Victims
The crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa shattered families and communities

In this image taken from video, rescuers search through wreckage at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Sunday, March 10, 2019. The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo/Yidnek Kirubel)

Associated Press
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Three Austrian physicians. The co-founder of an international aid organization. A career ambassador. The wife and children of a Slovak legislator. A Nigerian-born Canadian college professor, author and satirist. They were all among the 157 people from 35 countries who died Sunday morning when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya. Here are some of their stories.

———

Kenya: 32 victims

— Hussein Swaleh, the former secretary general of the Football Kenya Federation, was named as being among the dead by Sofapaka Football Club.

He was due to return home on the flight after working as the match commissioner in an African Champions League game in Egypt on Friday.

— Cedric Asiavugwa, a law student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., was on his way to Nairobi after the death of his fiancee's mother, the university said in a statement.

Asiavugwa, who was in his third year at the law school, was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. Before he came to Georgetown, he worked with groups helping refugees in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the university said.

At Georgetown, Asiavugwa studied international business and economic law.

The university said Asiavugwa's family and friends "remembered him as a kind, compassionate and gentle soul, known for his beautifully warm and infectious smile."

———

Canada: 18 victims

—Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian professor with Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, was on his way to a meeting of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council in Nairobi, John O. Oba, Nigeria's representative to the panel, told The Associated Press.

The author of "Naija No Dey Carry Last," a collection of satirical essays, Adesanmi had degrees from Ilorin and Ibadan universities in Nigeria, and the University of British Columbia. He was director of Carleton's Institute of African Studies, according to the university's website. He was also a former assistant professor of comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University.

"Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy," said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton's president and vice chancellor.

Adesanmi was the winner of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.

Mitchell Dick, a Carleton student who is finishing up a communications honors degree, said he took a first- and second-year African literature course with Adesanmi.

Adesanmi was "extremely nice and approachable," and stood out for his passion for the subject matter, Dick said.

—Mohamed Hassan Ali confirmed that he had lost his sister and niece.

Ali said his sister, Amina Ibrahim Odowaa, and her five-year-old daughter, Safiya, were on board the jet that went down six minutes after it took off from the Addis Ababa airport on the way to Nairobi, Kenya.

"(She was) a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly. Had a lot of friends," he said of his sister, who lived in Edmonton and was travelling to Kenya to visit with relatives.

Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and her daughter Sofia Faisal Abdulkadir

The 33-year-old Edmonton woman and her five year-old daughter were travelling to Kenya to visit with relatives.

A family friend said Odowaa has lived in Edmonton since 2006.

— Derick Lwugi, an accountant with the City of Calgary, was also among the victims, his wife, Gladys Kivia, said. He leaves behind three children, aged 17, 19 and 20, Kivia said.

The couple had been in Calgary for 12 years, and Lwugi had been headed to Kenya to visit both of their parents.

———

Ethiopia: 9 victims

— The aid group Save the Children said an Ethiopian colleague died in the crash.

Tamirat Mulu Demessie had been a child protection in emergencies technical adviser and "worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crises," the group said in a statement.

———

China: 8 victims

———

Italy: 8 victims

—Paolo Dieci, one of the founders of the International Committee for the Development of Peoples, was among the dead, the group said on its website.

"The world of international cooperation has lost one of its most brilliant advocates and Italian civil society has lost a precious point of reference," wrote the group, which partners with UNICEF in northern Africa.

UNICEF Italia sent a tweet of condolences over Dieci's death, noting that CISP, the group's Italian acronym, was a partner in Kenya, Libya and Algeria.

—Sebastiano Tusa, the Sicilian regional assessor to the Italian Culture Ministry, was en route to Nairobi when the plane crashed, according to Sicilian regional President Nello Musemeci. In a statement reported by the ANSA news agency, Musemeci said he received confirmation from the foreign ministry, which confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

In a tweet, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said it was a day of pain for everyone. He said: "We are united with the relatives of the victims and offer them our heartfelt thoughts."

Tusa was also a noted underwater archaeologist.

—The World Food Program confirmed that two of the Italian victims worked for the Rome-based U.N. agency.

A WFP spokeswoman identified the victims as Virginia Chimenti and Maria Pilar Buzzetti.

—Three other Italians worked for the Bergamo-based humanitarian agency, Africa Tremila: Carlo Spini, his wife, Gabriella Viggiani and the treasurer, Matteo Ravasio.

———

United States: 8 victims

———

France: 7 victims

—A group representing members of the African diaspora in Europe is mourning the loss of its co-chairperson and "foremost brother," Karim Saafi.

A French Tunisian, Saafi, 38, was on an official mission representing the African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe, the group announced on its Facebook page.

"Karim's smile, his charming and generous personality, eternal positivity, and his noble contribution to Youth employment, diaspora engagement and Africa's socio-economic development will never be forgotten," the post read. "Brother Karim, we'll keep you in our prayers."

Saafi left behind a fiancée.

———

UK: 7 victims

— Joanna Toole, a 36-year-old from Exmouth, Devon, was heading to Nairobi to attend the United Nations Environment Assembly when she was killed.

Father Adrian described her as a "very soft and loving" woman whose "work was not a job — it was her vocation".

"Everybody was very proud of her and the work she did. We're still in a state of shock. Joanna was genuinely one of those people who you never heard a bad word about," he told the DevonLive website.

He also said she used to keep homing pigeons and pet rats and travelled to the remote Faroe Islands to prevent whaling.

Manuel Barange, the director of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations fisheries and aquaculture department, tweeted saying he was "profoundly sad and lost for words" over the death of the "wonderful human being".

— Joseph Waithaka, a 55-year-old who lived in Hull for a decade before moving back to his native Kenya, also died in the crash, his son told the Hull Daily Mail.

Ben Kuria, who lives in London, said his father had worked for the Probation Service, adding: "He helped so many people in Hull who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law."

Waithaka had dual Kenyan and British citizenship, the BBC reported.

———

Egypt: 6 victims

———

Germany: 5 victims

———

India: 4 victims

———

Slovakia: 4 victims

—A lawmaker of Slovak Parliament said his wife, daughter and son were killed in the crash. Anton Hrnko, a legislator for the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party, said he was "in deep grief" over the deaths of his wife, Blanka, son, Martin, and daughter, Michala. Their ages were not immediately available.

Martin Hrnko was working for the Bubo travel agency. The agency said he was traveling for his vacation in Kenya.

President Andrej Kiska offered his condolences to Hrnko.

———

Austria: 3 victims

—Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Guschelbauer confirmed that three Austrian doctors in their early 30s were on board the flight. The men were on their way to Zanzibar, he said, but he could not confirm the purpose of their trip.

———

Russia: 3 victims

—The Russian Embassy in Ethiopia said that airline authorities had identified its deceased nationals as Yekaterina Polyakova, Alexander Polyakov and Sergei Vyalikov.

News reports identify the first two as husband and wife. State news agency RIA-Novosibirsk cites a consular official in Nairobi as saying all three were tourists.

———

Sweden: 3 victims

— Hospitality company Tamarind Group announced "with immense shock and grief" that its chief executive Jonathan Seex was among the fatalities.

———

Israel: 2 victims

———

Morocco: 2 victims

———

Poland: 2 victims

———

Spain: 2 victims

———

Belgium: 1 victim

———

Djibouti: 1 victim

———

Indonesia: 1 victim

———

Ireland: 1 victim

— Irishman Michael Ryan was among the seven dead from the United Nations' World Food Programme, a humanitarian organization distributing billions of rations every year to those in need.

The Rome-based aid worker and engineer known as Mick was formerly from Lahinch in County Clare in Ireland's west and was believed to be married with two children.

His projects have included creating safe ground for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and assessing the damage to rural roads in Nepal that were blocked by landslides.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said: "Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme."

———

Mozambique: 1 victim

———

Nepal: 1 victim

———

Nigeria: 1 victim

—The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it received the news of retired Ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashu's death "with great shock and prayed that the Almighty God grant his family and the nation, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss."

Bashu was born in Ibadan in 1951 and joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1976. He had served in different capacities both at Headquarters and Foreign Missions such as Vienna, Austria, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire and Tehran, Iran. He also served as secretary to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

At the time of his death, Bashu was on contract with the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa.

———

Norway: 1 victim

—The Red Cross of Norway confirmed that Karoline Aadland, a finance officer, was among those on the flight.

Aadland, 28, was originally from Bergen, Norway. The Red Cross said she was traveling to Nairobi for a meeting.

Aadland's Linkedin page says she had done humanitarian and environmental work. The page says her work and studies had taken her to France, Kenya, South Africa and Malawi.

"People who know me describe me as a resourceful, dedicated and kindhearted person," she wrote on Linkedin.

The Red Cross says in a news release that it "offers support to the closest family, and to employees who want it," the organization said in a news release.

———

Rwanda: 1 victim

———

Saudi Arabia: 1 victim

———

Serbia: 1 victim

Serbia's foreign ministry confirmed that one of its nationals was aboard the plane. The ministry gave no further details, but local media identified the man as 54-year-old Djordje Vdovic.

The Vecernje Novosti daily reported that he worked at the World Food Program.

———

Somalia: 1 victim

———

Sudan: 1 victim

———

Togo: 1 victim

———

Uganda: 1 victim

———

Yemen: 1 victim

———

U.N. passport: 1 victim

———

          THE ESTABLISHMENT EYES CENTRAL AFRICA FOR MORE MISSION CREEP      Cache   Translate Page      

As if the United States wasn’t already pursuing enough murky and dubious military missions in such places as Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen, a push appears to be underway to expand Washington’s involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa.

U.S. troops are more deeply engaged in “anti-terror” in Niger, Somalia, and other countries than most Americans realize. When four American Special Forces personnel died in Niger in 2017, even members of Congress were surprised.

A lobbying effort now seems to be taking place for U.S. intervention to alleviate suffering in the Central African Republic (CAR), because of that country’s ongoing civil war. NBC News took the lead with a story on the March 6 Today show and followed it up with a more detailed segment on the Nightly News that same evening. Cynthia McFadden was the lead journalist for the report that included searing footage of suffering in one UN-run refugee camp.

The media treatment would be familiar to anyone who recalls the preludes to U.S. military interventions in such places as Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria. There is extensive video of starving, disease-afflicted children and their anguished parents.


          Somali Night Fever: the Little-known Story of Somalia's Disco Era      Cache   Translate Page      
'In the 1970s and 80s Mogadishu's airwaves were filled with Somali funk, disco, soul and reggae. Musicians rocking afros and bell-bottom trousers would perform at the city's trendiest nightclubs during the height of the country's golden era of music. But it was short-lived: a brutal civil war began, musicians fled to all corners of the world and the vibrant music scene came to an end. Habib and Abdulkadir, two former band mates and best friends, lost touch after the war started, and neither knew if the other was alive. But both kept playing music. Somali Night Fever tells the story of the people keeping Somali music alive, including these two friends, separated by war but united by the music of the golden era.' -- Guardian Culture


          China-Somalia fishing deal may revive sea piracy      Cache   Translate Page      
The deal has made local fishermen vulnerable to poverty as Chinese fishing companies are likely to outcompete them and also trigger another round of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Somalia has the longest national coastline (3,025 km) in Africa with an estimated shelf area of 32,500 sq km. But this coastline is not safe […]

Source


          US on track to nearly triple airstrike record in Somalia      Cache   Translate Page      
If the current pace of strikes continues, the US will strike Shabaab 130 times in 2019. Is this a prelude to disengagement?


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