February 24, 2014
Africa, Development, Gambia, MDGs, People & Society
ISS Africa | The post-2015 Development Agenda: new goals, no goals – or own goals?.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for all their doubtless faults, had this one great virtue: they encapsulated the whole, sprawling and often rather arcane development issue into eight universal, simple, concrete, comprehensible and measurable development targets, to be reached mainly by 2015.
From halving absolute poverty and hunger to reducing infant mortality by two-thirds, the goals were clear and tangible, which made them relatively easy to brand and market. Being measurable, they would, of course, quite clearly show success or failure. And as the deadline looms, it is apparent that in sub-Saharan Africa especially, failure will be far more common than success…
February 22, 2014
Africa, Conflict, Coups, Gambia, Peace & Security, peter singhateh, West Africa
Calculating Coups: Can Data Stop Disasters? | Think Africa Press.
In March 2012, junior officers stage a coup in Mali, throwing the country into disarray. A year later, rebels oust the government of the Central African Republic (CAR), paving the way for widespread violence that has made refugees out of a quarter of the country’s population. And at the end of the year in December, an internal political conflict in South Sudan’s governing party and army escalates into a full-scale civil war, killing ten thousand or more.
These conflicts differ widely in almost every aspect, apart from the sense of surprise and helplessness that they instilled in the international community. Mali was lauded as a democratic role model before some soldiers took power almost by accident. The French government, for decades the kingmaker of the Central African Republic, confessed to being taken blindsided by the speed and viciousness with which the conflict escalated. And in South Sudan, the regional organisation IGAD struggled to respond to the conflict, finding themselves unprepared and at odds over how exactly to proceed.
In all three cases the surprise greatly limited the influence of the international community, which if better prepared could not only have intervened earlier and more effectively but could perhaps even have taken pre-emptive measures. This unpreparedness was even more of a shame because in all three cases, the outbreak of conflict had been predicted by statistical models…
February 14, 2014
Sex and Candy – NYTimes.com.
“NOTHING is more symbolic of the romance of Valentine’s Day than a box of chocolates, traditionally a gift from Him to Her. Chocolate, with its luxurious texture and pleasurable taste, has become the edible correlate to love and desire. And although scientists haven’t discovered any definitive difference in the way men and women respond to chocolate, conventional wisdom is that women naturally crave the stuff…”
February 12, 2014
People & Society, peter singhateh, The Catholic Church, UN
Vatican Missteps and U.N. Blunders – NYTimes.com.
“The case against the church is clear. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child refers to tens of thousands of crimes by priestly abusers over several decades. It calls on the church to remove all abusers from active ministry, report them to the police and open its archives on the 4,000 cases which have been referred to the Vatican.
But the report naïvely, or ideologically, also blundered into a wider attack on Catholic teachings on contraception, homosexuality and abortion. That prompted the Vatican to respond with a forceful counterattack claiming the United Nations has gone beyond its proper area of competence — and, indeed, has violated the safeguards on religious freedom in its own Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ..”
February 12, 2014
Armed Forces, People & Society, peter singhateh, Veterans
You’ll have no one to shoot on civvy street: Cruel jibes aimed at war veterans looking for work | Mail Online.
“Soldiers seeking jobs after leaving the Armed Forces have been rejected by employers because they ‘won’t need to shoot guns on civvy street’, a report has warned.
Military personnel who risked their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan have repeatedly endured cruel put-downs while trying to find work outside the military.
Lord Ashcroft, the Tory peer commissioned by Downing Street to review troops’ transition to civilian life, found thousands risked being left in the dole queue..”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2557274/Youll-no-one-shoot-civvy-street-Cruel-jibes-aimed-war-veterans-looking-work.html#ixzz2t5WiV5LT
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February 11, 2014
Articles on Africa
Africa, Gambia, peter singhateh
Women on the Rise in African Politics.
DAKAR — Africa now has three female heads of state, after Catherine Samba-Panza of the Central African Republic took office in January. Though women leaders remain the exception in African politics, activists say things are looking up.
Women are breaking into the “boys club” of the African presidency.
February 11, 2014
peter singhateh, US Debt, USA
U.S. Debt Poses a Barrier to Economic Opportunity.
“…The most relevant result has been the massive rise in U.S. debt. From 2003 to 2013, the U.S. racked up more than $10 trillion in debt, bringing total debt from just under $7 trillion in 2003 to $17.4 trillion in 2013. U.S. debt amounts to $55,000 for every man, woman, and child living in the U.S., or $142,000 per household. Massive and growing deficits are projected to add to this burden, making it hard to imagine how the U.S. will ever be able to balance its books, much less pay down its debt…”