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U.N. Set to Cut Force in Darfur as Fighting Rises – NYTimes.com

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U.N. Set to Cut Force in Darfur as Fighting Rises – NYTimes.com.

UNITED NATIONS — Under intense pressure from the government of Sudan, the United Nations is planning to shrink its floundering peacekeeping force in Darfur, even though renewed fighting there has chased more people from their homes this year than during any other in the past decade.

The withdrawal plans come right after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she had decided to suspend the genocide case against Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, because world powers have done nothing to secure his arrest.

The twin retrenchments are emblematic of the limits of international attention at a time when Darfur has been overshadowed by newer crises and conflicts around the world, from the civil wars in Syria and South Sudan to the Ebola epidemic…

These 11 Speeches from the Last Two Centuries Changed the World

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TIME

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

The Hypocrisy of American Slavery

Who: Frederick Douglass

When: July 4, 1852

Why it matters: On the day marking American Independence, Frederick Douglass delivered a cutting speech denouncing American society. In the speech he demands to know how a people who pride themselves on liberty and equality can rightfully celebrate these ideals when millions are enslaved. Douglass chastises every American as a hypocrite, noting the irony in the 4th of July festivities taking place as he spoke.

Memorable quote: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? 

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

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ISS Africa | Africa in 2014: the good, the bad and the ugly

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ISS Africa | Africa in 2014: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Africa is not a country. What might have been an excellent year for some was a disaster for others. For protesters in Burkina Faso who have known only one ruler for the last 27 years, 2014 was a very good year. The peaceful overthrow of Blaise Compaoré at the end of October was a victory for democracy. Whether the strong positioning of military officials in the transitional government will undermine the democratic gains remains to be seen.

Compaoré’s ouster inspired those rejecting their own leaders’ bids to stay on beyond their legal term limits, like in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo or Burundi – and sent a clear warning to leaders in countries like Zimbabwe, Uganda and Angola. The African Union (AU), which should give itself some credit for ensuring that Compaoré was replaced by a civilian-led government in Burkina Faso, also had quite a good year.

AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma got the private sector to contribute to AU programmes, notably the AU Support Mission to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. Following a fundraising meeting on 8 November, South African cellphone giant MTN came out tops with a sponsorship of $10 million for the fight against Ebola and Masiyiwa’s Econet donated $2,5 million…

Tips For Your Current And New Credit Card

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Tips For Your Current And New Credit Card.

Strictly Come Dancing 2014 final: Who won? Caroline Flack lifts the trophy following a closely fought final

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Poor nations ‘lose $1 tn in dirty money’ – Americas – Al Jazeera English

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Poor nations ‘lose $1 tn in dirty money’ – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

Developing countries are losing nearly a trillion dollars to crime and corruption, with the disappearance of dirty money hitting some of the world’s poorest regions hardest, a new report has found.

A record $991bn in unrecorded funds left 151 developing and emerging economies in 2012, up nearly five percent from a year earlier, a US-based watchdog that exposes financial corruption said on Monday.

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) found that, between 2003 and 2012, the estimated amount of illicit funds shifted from developing countries totalled $6.6tn and rose at an inflation-adjusted 9.4 percent a year – roughly double global GDP growth…

Renewable Energy: The Untold Story of an African Revolution

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Renewable Energy: The Untold Story of an African Revolution.

“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.

Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”

He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.

According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.

“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said…

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