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Wednesday:  July 23, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Tuesday
Apr032012

The World’s Happiest Countries (REPORT) 

(Happy Face/The Joy Project)(HN, 4/3/12) - On Monday, representatives at the UN took a day off from discussing the crisis and conflict engulfing the globe to talk about something totally different: how to be happy.

Holding a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly hosted by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - long ranked as the `Happiest Country on the Planet' - the world body looked at ways to put happiness on the global agenda at their gathering "Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm".

In partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the government in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu may just have a thing or two to teach our world leaders.

The first-ever World Happiness Report, is based on Gallup World Polls over a period of 2005-2011, with respondents aged 15 or in more than 150 countries asked to evaluate the quality of their lives on an 11-point ladder scale running from 0 to 10 - with the bottom rung of the ladder (0) being the worst possible life for them and 10 being the best possible.

The report generally shows that the world’s happiest countries are all in northern Europe -- Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands took the top four spots, in that order.  Canada came in fifth, well ahead of the United States at eleventh place. The least happy countries at the bottom of the list were Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Benin and Togo.

In advanced countries, women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed. Happiness is lowest in middle age.

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, initiated the idea of an alternate model to Gross NationalProduct as a measurement of national progress in the 1970's and the country has famously adopted the goal of gross national happiness over gross national product (GNP). 

The 800,000-person kingdom - where the per capita income is an estimated $670 - has become the center of development economics these days as Western policymakers seeking knowledge on national happiness in the globalized world look to Bhutan for answers.

Indeed the debate is growing over how to best measure the progress of countries beyond monetary valuations; and the `Happiness Quotient' ranks high in terms of quality of life.

According to the report - co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute, Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, and John Helliwell of the Economics Department of the University of British Columbia - on average, the world has become a little happier over the last 30 years; tho the rise in economic living standards has not always had a direct impact on happiness. 

(PHOTO: lovehkfilms) True - overall the happiest countries in the world are all in Northern Europe while the least happy countries are all in Sub-Saharan Africa; but it's not just wealth that makes people happy: political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are far more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries, according to the report.

The survey reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and more lack of misery as criteria for government and public policy making.  It also reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national status.

On a more personal level, the researchers argue that good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are all crucial to self-happiness.

UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at the High-Level meeting said "I commend the Government of Bhutan for initiating this important debate on the link between happiness, well-being and prosperity."

He commented that he had received a final report recently of the Global Sustainability Panel, in preparation for the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit citing the 56 recommendations of the panel and the importance of establishing a `Sustainable Development Index', or a set of indicators to measure progress towards sustainable development, including happiness and well-being.

Ban ki-Moon noted that such thinking dates back to the earliest times, and can be found, for example, in the teachings of the Buddha and Aristotle. More recently, measuring success by wealth alone has been questioned in the groundbreaking Brundtland Report of 1987, the Human Development Index and the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, established by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.

"We need a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development.  Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible.  Together they define gross global happiness," said the UN Secretary General. 

He called upon government ministers, policymakers, business and civil society leaders, and young people - to work together to transform our economies, to place our societies on a more just and equitable footing, and to protect the resources and ecosystems on which our shared future depends.

Connecting the dots between these issues - between water, food and energy security, climate change, urbanization, poverty, inequality and the empowerment of the world’s women - lies at the heart of sustainable development and he said, "The outcome from Rio+20 should reflect this". 

Countries in order of their `Happiness Factor' according to the report are in this order:

Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, US, Costa Rica, Austria, Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, UAE, UK, Venezuela, Iceland, Panama, Spain, France, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Kuwait, Germany, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Singapore, Belize, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, Jamaica, Colombia, Greece, Chile, Japan, Guyana, Taiwan, Malta, El Salvador, Slovenia, Uruguay, Malaysia, Thailand, Poland, Jordan, Slovakia, South Korea, Bolivia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Bahrain, Belarus, Honduras, Mauritius, Vietnam, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Kosovo, Cuba, Paraguay, Algeria, Estonia, Portugal, Myanmar, Moldova, Russia, Peru, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Romania, Libya, Laos, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Montenegro, Tunisia, Albania, Nicaragua, South Africa, Ukraine, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, India, Djibouti, Hungary, Namibia, Iraq, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Nigeria, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Morocco, Latvia, Syria, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Somaliland, China, Mauritania, Malawi, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Serbia, Mongolia, Palestinian Territory, Nepal, Armenia, Yemen, Sudan, Senegal, Cameroon, Macedonia, Uganda, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Angola, Guinea, Niger, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Georgia, Bulgaria, Congo, Tanzania, Haiti, Comoros, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Benin, Togo.

- HUMNEWS

Wednesday
Jan042012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 5, 2012

Afghanistan 

UN Helps Uzbekistan to Equip Border with Afghanistan

Argentina 

(PHOTO: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Mt Holyoke)Argentine president fine after thyroid cancer surgery

Saudia Arabia's buy 30,000 acres of prime land in Argentina

Australia 

The Melbourne filmmaker, the topless Ukrainian feminists and a brush with the KGB

Bahamas

Standing out from her peers

Bangladesh 

2 Bangladeshi workers die in UAE after falling from hotel  

Botswana 

Botswana nurses eye Namibian jobs

Bulgaria 

Bulgarian Nationalist Party Stops Newspaper, TV Station May Follow Suit

Cambodia 

Thailand, Cambodia agree to implement World Court border order

Chile

(PHOTO: Torres Del Paine, Patagonia. RANDOM FACT)Patagonian wilderness devastated as fire sweeps through Chile’s Torres del Paine

China 

In Chinese trading town, disputes and strains fuel mistrust of India

(PHOTO: China's Vertu `Year of the Dragon' edition phone. VERTU) Vertu's Year of the Dragon phone has roaring price

Christmas Island 

Detainees tell of Christmas Island punishment

Aussie PM Julia Gillard denies tough asylum seeker punishment move

Colombia 

Colombia receives $3.78B in remittances

Comoros

Comoros jails Muslim leader over booze bribe bid

Congo (DRC)

In DRC, Tshisekedi Asks for Protection, UN Tells Him Kabila Is In Change

In DRC, France’s RFI suspended over elections coverage

Congolese Plea for Conflict-Minerals-Free iPhone

Giving Congo's child soldiers a second chance

NBA Players Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Fan’s Look

Cook Islands 

Cook Islands fishing company fears Taiwan deal

(PHOTO: The Korgan Hotel in Yiwu in southern China, where two Indian traders were held in detention for two days. THE HINDU)Costa Rica 

100,000,000 Text Messages Sent During Holiday Season

British backpacker accused of murder in Costa Rica

Croatia 

Croatia prepares to join the world wine battle

Cuba

Cuban chess players well positioned in the global ranking

Nordic Brigade of Solidarity Visits Cuban Town

Cyprus

Turkey demands KKTC involvement in Cyprus talks

El Salvador

(PHOTO: Protestors arrest in El Salvador. PRENSA LATINA) Dozens of Demonstrators Arrested in El Salvador 

Ethiopia

The Film Oblivion: How Abduction for Marriage Ended in Ethiopia

New Ethiopian AIDS plan needs men (Perspective)

Falkland Islands

Argentina Ratifies Sovereignty Over Malvinas Islands

(PHOTO: Sappers Hill Corral, the large stone-walled corral, a Falklands’ landmark, remains behind minefield fences. MERCOPRESS)Falklands’ “land release” demining phase begins next week with 18 Zimbabweans

Fiji

UK calls for public dialogue on a new constitution for Fiji

France

French Foreign Minister to Visit Tunisia on January 5th

Gay Tunisian man fears being deported from France

Gaza and West Bank

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh Visits Tunisia

Germany

IDB, Germany to continue to offer development aid to Yemen

Oxfam criticises production of bananas and German Supermarkets 

Guam

GTA TeleGuam Airs Top Asian Networks

Guatemala

Iran’s president adds Guatemala to his tour of four Latin American countries

Guyana

Rural Guyana should get top priority in the planning corridors of Georgetown (Perspective)

Haiti

(PHOTO: Haiti Ambassador Duly Brutus, today assumed the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council for the next 3 months (right), taking over from the Permanent Representative of Guyana, Ambassador Bayney Karran. OAS) Haiti Assumes Chair of OAS Permanent Council

Haiti: From Displacement Camps to Community (Perspective)

Honduras

Unusual heavy rains hit Honduras

Hungary

Hungary’s New Constitution Lacks Rights For Gays, Bans Gay Marriage

India

4-day meet in city to focus on Persian culture

India, Tunisia to take forward MSME co-operation

Hotels Beware of Mixed Olive Oil

Indian businessmen manual to be published in the UAE

“Security wise, we are dependent on Sri Lanka” – Indian External Affairs Minister

Indonesia

Indonesia enjoys relations with almost all UN member states: FM

Iran

Turkey's FM in Iran for talks on nukes, Syria

(PHOTO: A new report says all Italian olive oil, isn't. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH) Iran: Tractor exports up 154%

Ahmadinejad will travel to Tajikistan in Noruz (Persian New Year)

Iranian photographer wins top prize at Slovenian contest

Ireland

Fall in asylum seekers linked to recession and tougher controls

Italy

'Four out of five' bottles of Italian olive oil debased - report

Ivory Coast

Cote d'Ivoire president meets Chinese FM on bilateral ties

Jamaica

Jamaica's first female PM set for office

Japan

Japan and China still at odds over islands (Video)

Japan Fights Virus With Virus

Jordan

(PHOTO: In the UAE, Iran sanctions are impacting traders in marketplaces and souks. THE NATIONAL) Gov't to hold conference on online media regulation 

Kyrgyzstan

Ethnic Kyrgyz Have Trouble Gaining Citizenship In Kyrgyzstan

Laos

PTT increasing investment in green business

Lithuania

Lithuanian office suppliers shun crisis, spur eco-product sales

Macau

Home for Autistic want tertiary college

Malaysia

(PHOTO: Ukraine holidaymakers Sergei (right) extending his gratitude to a Fire & Rescue Services Department officer for the assistance provided as Tanya and Igor look on. THE BORNEO POST) Ukraine holidaymakers safe on shore after ‘little adventure’

Maldives

Government lifts week-long ban on resort spas, massage parlors

Malta

Malta signs bilateral agreement with Saudi Arabia

Mauritania

Man of the Year 2011 in Mauritania

Emir of Qatar expected Thursday in Nouakchott  

Morocco

PJD leads new Moroccan government

Mozambique

Argentine institute to work with Mozambique’s agricultural sector

Myanmar

Burma Celebrates Independence Amid Criticism

Myanmar celebrates 65th independence day

Billionaire George Soros visits Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon

Namibia

Internet Fraud Cons the Country Out of N$3,5 Million

New Caledonia

New Caledonia government okays new air fares

(PHOTO: Ukraine asks for $9 bln gas discount from Russia to form joint transit consortium. RIA NOVOSTII)New Zealand

North Avocado growers face disaster (Perspective) 

Nicaragua

Nicaragua pursues loan with Venezuela to prevent higher electricity rates

Nigeria

Nigeria’s Archbishop of Abuja Dismisses Civil War Reports

Social Media Ginger Subsidy Protests

Norfolk Island

Air New Zealand to operate Norfolk Island flights

Norway

(PHOTO: The Black Sea © Flickr.com/Hans Dekker)Norway’s Statoil discovers one more oil field in North Sea

Pakistan

Pakistan-Tajikistan Discuss Electricity Exports

Papua New Guinea

Copper Drives Papua New Guinea Island’s Independence Movement

Paraguay

Paraguay Returns Land to Indigenous Peoples of Northern Chaco

Peru

Peru deemed better-positioned in LatAm to face global crisis

Barclays: Peru Needs Systematic Solution to Social Conflicts

(PHOTO: The Dakar Road Rally makes its way through South America.) Dakar Rally places Peru in the spotlight

Philippines

Philippines senator wants more disaster preparedness

Royal Dutch Shell donates $1M for Sendong relief, rehab operations

Poland

Poland orders more Kongsberg missiles from Norway

Qatar

Qatari PM, Ban Ki-Moon discuss US-Iran rhetoric about Gulf, Syria crisis 

Qatar- Drastic cut in carbon emission

Russia

Russian fuel tanker under way for ice-encrusted Nome, Alaska

Tons of scrap to be transported from Russian Arctic in 2012

Saint Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts-Nevis Moves Closer to Green Energy Goals

(PHOTO: In Korea, robots are now being used to control prisons. YONHAP)Saudi Arabia

Renewed Protests Defy Ban

Saudi poets slam ‘plague’ of extremism and poverty in Million’s Poet show

Seychelles

Chinese Troops In Seychelles (Analysis)

Sierra Leone

Youth Ambassador, entreprenuer Anthony Navo elected as Chairman of AWOL in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: Communities Divided Over Mining in Rainforest (Perspective)

Singapore

Singapore Poly transforms classrooms into work spaces

Slovenia

Slovenian court: referendum challenging same-sex ‘marriage,’ adoption law can proceed

(PHOTO: In Singapore, Singapore Poly is using technology to turn classrooms into schools. Singapore POLY) Somalia

Parliamentarians elect new speaker after fist-fight session

Crisis in Somalia: PM Mohamed Ali & his wife speak out

How a Somali rapper became the 'Face of Africa' 

South Africa

SA assumes UN Security Council presidency for second time

Unclear if Mandela will be at ANC party

South Korea

S. Korea adds cyber-security to defense plan

Robots Patrol South Korean Prisons at Night

South Korea’s SK Energy to buy more Iran oil in 2012

Cities of the Future: Songdo, South Korea – Episode 1 (By Cisco)

South Sudan

South Sudan's President Pledges Commitment to Resolve Conflict in Jonglei State

WFP Concerned By Violence In South Sudan

One Year Anniversary of South Sudan Referendum (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Aerial view of Kalma refugee camp in Darfur, Western Sudan. RADIO DABANGA)Spain

How Spain’s version of SOPA is setting the web on fire

Spain Launches Some of the Strongest Anti-Piracy Laws

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka expresses concern over France’s postal service publishing 4 stamps featuring Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka to conduct population census in March

Private company to develop the Sri Lanka's renewable energy industry

Sri Lanka 4th Best Economy in the World in 3rd quarter 2011, says report

Sri Lankan Hospitals to Go Paperless

Sri Lankan bank connects its 500th ATM (Press Release)

Sudan

Sudan, South Sudan to Resume Talks on Abyei in Addis Ababa

UN Seeks Access to War-Torn Sudanese States

Kalma refugee camp: no food aid for three months, 15 days

(PHOTO: Sudan shuts a third newspaper, The CItizen. AFRICA REVIEW) Sudan shuts third newspaper in media crackdown

Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Website created for polar bear attack inquiry

Swaziland

Coca-Cola urged to abandon Swaziland’s King Mswati III

Government Makes Small Loans for Young Entrepreneurs to Help Fight Crisis

Poorly performing schools to be under scrutiny

Most nabbed drunk drivers unmarried

Sweden

(PHOTO: Troubled Swedish carmaker Saab may have suitors in India, Turkey)Investors from India, Turkey could still save Saab

Filesharing Now a Religious Practice in Sweden

Gun laws may be tightened: minister

Switzerland

Switzerland's central bank chief accused of insider trading

Madonna Takes Family And Brahim Zaibat Skiing In Switzerland [PHOTOS]

Syria

Syria accuses US of interfering in Arab affairs

Syria, Iran to boost Agricultural Cooperation

Syrian National Council launched its official website

Taiwan

(PHOTO: A mass cycling event, “One Bike One,” in honor of the Taiwanese Republic's anniversary took place on Dec. 31. CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY) Taiwanese Set New Guinness Record for Their Anniversary

Taipei city government to expand Wi-Fi network of free access to Internet

Taiwan sparks up electric bike promotion efforts

Taiwan media regulator wants less Korean content on TV

A First Look at Conde Nast’s WIRED Taiwan

Taiwan's IT wizards turn to the movies

Taiwanese Engineers Arrested For Selling Intel Chips On eBay

Taiwan Mobile expects higher smartphone purchases in 2012

Taiwan's machinery exports likely to hit record high in 2011, surpass Italy

(PHOTO: WIRED Magazine gets ready to launch in Taiwan) Freedom differentiates Taiwan, mainland China: says MAC head

Tajikistan

Uzbekistan cuts gas supply to Tajikistan without notification – Tajik Foreign Ministry

Tanzania

20 Somali Migrants Found Dead in Tanzania

Mobile broadband modernisation underway for Tanzanian operator

Vodacom Tanzania says firm injects $100bn for facelift

Communities empowered to probe extractive investors

Govt, donors urged to fund alternative energy

Aid Agenda:  We Need to go Back to the Basics (Perspective)

Thailand

New Year Road Mishaps Kill 314 in Thailand

Flood situation in southern Thailand still critical

Thailand Gets New Banking Policies

Wanted: About half a million more labourers

Transgender airline staff make inaugural flight in Thailand

(PHOTO: The Ravana Robot, an interactive 10-faced robot that can say greetings via QR Code technology in 4 languages - Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese - is an attraction at the Thailand Pavilion. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD)Robots ready to take centre stage at BoI Fair 2011

'Greater Phuket' Chosen for First Jewish Pesach Festival in Thailand

The Arctic

Russian river water affecting the Arctic – AO shift blamed

The Netherlands

Dutch military on board ship with emergency aid for Somalia

Dutch to fund $36.4m Kilimanjaro Airport facelift

Dutch teen sailor nears end of round-the-world voyage

Togo

15 biofuel plants worth N414bn to come afloat

Tunisia

Tunisia Granted Membership to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

McDonald’s Announces to Set Up New Franchises Soon in Tunisia

(PHOTO: At Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Dutch investment will upgrade the airport. INSIGHT MAGAZINE) International Day of Internet Freedom – A Tunisian Initiative

Turkey

India’s Aditya Birla to invest US$500m in viscose plant in Turkey

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan's 'Protector' Registers For Presidential Election

Ashgabat Residents Turn Up Noses At Smelly Artificial River

Tuvalu

Sun risk for albino Islanders

Uganda

Uganda launches investigation into "nodding disease"

Kumi Siamese Twins Pass Away

Hearts star David Obua causes fury in poverty-stricken Uganda by building £500k mansion

(PHOTO: In Turkmenistan residents are dealing with an old, smelly river. RFL) Cancer Institute seeks funds for upcountry units

Uganda fights phone fraudsters with registration of SIM cards

Ukraine

Ukraine starts pumping Azerbaijani oil

Ukraine asks for $9 bln gas discount from Russia to form joint transit consortium

Ukraine recognized one of leaders in global food market last year

Only 8% in Ukraine say foreign policy meets their interests

First power plant using gas from household waste launched in Ukraine

Ukraine's jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko kept under 24-hour camera surveillance with lights permanently ON

Daughter Not Allowed To Meet Jailed Ukraine’s Ex-Premier

United Arab Emirates

UAE business  growth slips

Sanctions put squeeze on UAE's Iran traders

(PHOTO: Mariam Al Safar, the 1st Emirati woman train attendant, at work on the Dubai Metro. GULF NEWS) Relatives of Mangalore air crash victims in the UAE hit out against compensation delay

UAE residential market set for growth

Emirates Airlines to launch Vietnam services in June

UAE University to host international conference on Time

Big Solar and Big Wind to Meet in Abu Dhabi for World Future Energy Summit

Emirati woman train attendant breaks the traditional mould

Auschwitz in gym advertisement, removed

Groupama claims the UAE dash in the Volvo Ocean Race

Dh387,988 club bill goes viral

(PHOTO: The Cavalli Club in UAE. Megan Hirons Mahon XPRESS) Young energy leaders prepare for summit

In the UAE, Shopping Bag Doubles as Grocery List in Promo for Tide

Fossil fuel subsidies making biofuels uncompetitive in UAE (Perspective)

United Kingdom

Archbishops commit to ‘listen to England’ in research to launch twin projects

Microsoft sues U.K. retail chain for pirating Windows

UK consumers gave 1.3m e-readers this Christmas

Call for gun law crackdown after cabbie shoots dead girlfriend and two others

UK youths join gangs to escape abuse at home

£400 Million Later, and All UK Eggs are Free-Range or From "Enriched" Cages

(PHOTO: In the UAE where plastic bags are a concern, product giant Tide tries something new. ADAGE) Offshore Wind Spurs UK Renewables Growth

Apple Interested In Bidding For Premier League UK TV Rights, Says Report

Sex, blood and the status quo (Perspective)

United States

Oil Companies Big Winners as U.S. Becomes Net Exporter of Fuel

US State Department sets up counter-terrorism bureau

US Hispanic Consumers  Holiday Shopped on Their Mobil Devices to The Tune of $5.15 Billion

U.S. Taxpayers Cover Nearly Half the Cost of U.N.’s Global Warming Panel - Report

U.S. Education Spending Compared To The Rest Of The Developed World

NORTH KOREA: Kim Jong Eun transition called 'important opening' for religious liberty focus by The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Twitter Founder Biz Stone Speaks about Technology and Empathy at Farm Sanctuary gathering

Sign of the Times – A Photo Shows Romney Backing Vietnam Draft

US cancer deaths continue to drop

Double bubble: U.S. twin birth rates soar since 1980

The President of the United States Joins the Instagram Phenomenon

Uruguay

Mark Zuckerberg’s Outrageous Week in Uruguay

Mark Zuckerberg eligió Punta del Este para continuar con sus vacaciones

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan: Police Make Rare Admission of Prison Rapes

Web Use Spirals in Uzbekistan Despite Curbs

(PHOTO: Tajikistan says Uzbekistan will pocket $70M more with increase in transit rates. UZBEKISTAN NEWSWIRE)Uzbekistan spikes transit rates to Tajikistan, Tajik Railways says

Vanuatu

Vanuatu police name NZ businessman’s alleged killer

Fijians appear on rape charge

Venezuela

Inmates Keep 1,000 Family Members from Leaving Venezuela Jails

About 200 Venezuelan women to sue French breast implant company

Venezuela Calls on Senior Citizens to Enroll in Mission

Venezuela to Take Measures to Control Weapons  

Police: 1,150 kidnappings in Venezuela in 2011

Polluted water responsible for the Lake Valencia flooding

Telecoms agency closes 27 radio stations in 10 states in 2011

Vietnam

Vietnam urged to free anti-corruption journalist

Vietnam urged to call up private capital for airports and seaports

InternetQ wins Vietnam's mobile marketing contracts

First bird flu outbreak in Vietnam contained in Hau Giang

Vietnam wins first prize at Asia student film festival 

Vietnam chess ace Liem invited to join 2012 London Olympics Torch Relay

Vietnam’s Development Dilemma – Sustainability or exploitation? (Perspective)

Western Sahara

Pan-African Parliament plans to send delegation to occupied Western Sahara

Ahead of Arab Spring ‘Curve’ in Morocco – US takes ‘Giant Leap’ approving use of aid in Western Sahara (Perspective)

Yemen

The International Federation of Journalists urges Yemeni VP to end harassment against newspaper staff

US aid for Yemeni media institutions discussed

Report: Yemeni prime minister plans Gulf tour

Yemen president not US-bound

(PHOTO: In Yemen, Qat is coming under fire. BIKYA MASR)Yemen’s battle against Qat

Zubair volcano (Jemen, Red Sea): New dramatic video shows volcanic eruption forming new island (VIDEO)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen author Paul Torday: 'The Yemenis said, what’s all this about fish?'

Zambia

India gives Zambia $50 m loan to build health centers

First Quantum suspends production at its copper/gold mine in Zambia due to strike

The Shield of Presidential Immunity

Prisoners suffer eye infections

47 year old Zambian says he has 95 children

Zambia’s C.R.I.$.I.$.rapper invited to attend US Grammy awards

Zambia: Cervical Cancer – ‘A Battle We Can Win’ (Perspective)

Zimbabwe

(PHOTO: Air Zimbabwe airliner. FILE) Again, Air Zimbabwe gets grounded

Serial Rapist Gets 40 Years in Jail

Mystery surrounds diamond ore theft in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Constitution - Drafters Back At Work

Wage Disputes Tense As Firms Reopen

Jobless Nurses - 'Govt Flouting Labour Laws'

'Boeing' Set to Keep You Laughing

WORLD:

BRIC Economic Slowdown Boosts CIVETS Profile

Donors await improved accountability from `Least Developing Countries’ (LDC’s)

Revenue from MENA IPOs down sharply

China and 21 Other Countries to Get iPhone 4S

Asian Social Media Users Create; Western Users Consume [STUDY]

Cussing For Charity – New Twitter App Benefits UNICEF

Climate Change, Migration and Conflict

Wednesday
Dec222010

(EXCLUSIVE) (Perspective) - `Obsession with Political Power: the Case of Laurent Gbagbo’

The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire AKA Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. (CREDIT: Wikipedia--- By Adama Burkari

Did I know that Africa was just about setting in motion it’s own system of democracy where two presidents rule one nation when I authored “AFRICA’S LEADERSHIP QUAGMIRE: any way forward?” Dear reader, I had not the slightest hint that Ivory Coast was the nation to redefine democracy in the African context in such a vague and unrealistic form it has just done! Please, do me the honour by reading the full publication which featured concurrently on the Ghana’s myjoyonline.com and humnews.com.

I shudder at the reality that the once peaceful nation called Ivory Coast is almost on the verge of sinking again into the dregs of political conflict which engulfed the country some years ago. The sight of fallen victims of the conflict most of whom were women and children was such as despicable scenario that the eyes had to behold! Things had virtually fallen apart and the war resulted in the loss of innocent souls. The tears of children could not stop the blood-thirsty and power-obsessed political ‘trustees’ from firing gunshots indiscriminately!

Laurent GbagboI certainly can’t bring back the pains and undignified savagery that went on in the land of Ivory Coast and no one should try re-opening unhealed wounds! Not even the Gbagbo’s or the Ouattara’s should revisit sane minds with such a toxic pain! It surely should not happen again for Africans are neither savages nor cannibals; we are humans with a sense of dignity and pride. Sorry, reader if I sound harsh in your ears but must we not condemn the on-going political garbage in Ivory Coast in the strongest terms? It is so sad that we live on a continent that prides itself as the premier to human civilizations yet we seem far from the realities and the application of common sense in our political governance systems to the extent that political conflict has virtually become engrained in Africa’s politics. What a shame!

Until the death of its longest serving President, Felix Houphouet-Boigny who ruled the country right from her time of independence, Ivory Coast lacked any real experience in democratic governance. This is because under his dictatorial claws, Felix Houphouet-Boigny held onto power for over 3 decades baring any democratic political activities in the country. It was after his death that multi-party politics started to unfold and then the thorny issues such as who qualified to vote in Ivory Coast became contentious. As if these issues were light-weighted, they became so thorny that conflict finally reared its ugly head and split the nation apart.

Felix Houphouet-BoignyIn my article “AFRICA’s Leadership Quagmire; any way forward?”, I talked about political dynasty in Africa and cited Togo and Gabon as two among the several African countries that have experienced the unfortunate scenario where political leaders simply pass on the reigns of governments to their kinsmen and one wonders if the late Houphouet-Boigny would have ever ceded power to anybody apart from his kinsmen. Because of his long stay in power, the political aspiration of the people was curtailed. Even though under his reigns, the country was not only politically stable but also economically viable, it must be emphasized that his long stay in power was by itself a breach of trust and a denial for a fair and democratic political activities in Ivory Coast. Certainly, that was a trait of dynastic rule and the rippling effect is vivid for all to see.

The Ivory Coast’s civil war was prompted by the new law ushered in through a referendum that required a presidential candidate to have both parents born in Cote D’Ivoire. Obviously, this bared the main opposition leader Alassane Ouattarra from contesting in the country’s election. With his huge support base in the country especially the north and the obvious game of political gymnastics Gbagbo sought to pursue against Ouattara, it was not surprising that civil war finally broke out in the country.

Events leading up to the peace process had been difficult but the Marcoussis Accord of January 2003, supposedly the most comprehensive peace pact, was expected to end the crisis. Importantly, the main characters of the conflict signed this agreement which among other things dealt with the issues of nationality, eligibility for citizenship and land ownership. With these thorny issues having been resolved under mutual consent and satisfaction, it was expected that Ivory Coast was on the road to national cohesion. Unfortunately, elections after the Marcoussis Accord had been delayed for six consecutive times.Alassane Ouattarra

In the events leading up to the October 31st, 2010 elections, there were concerns over possible vote rigging and as a result ballot papers had to be printed in Europe and a new Independent Electoral Commission comprising representatives of all the political parties was put in place. In the face of all these, it was the expectation that peace would be restored after the October 2010 elections. For now, one can say no to this expectation and unless a fast and decisive approach is adopted, Ivory Coast would sink again into political chaos!

In my view, the single person who should rationalize his position and make way for peace is Laurent Gbagbo. As a history professor and a critic of the Felix Houphouet-Boigny regime, and having suffered political imprisonment from 1971 to 1973 he should be the last person to provoke war in his cherished home country. Becoming president in October 26, 2000 after Robert Guei had fled the country, Laurent Gbagbo has perhaps become so obsessed with power that is why he could defy the will of the people and over-turn their verdict. I daresay that he is trying to entrench himself on the seat of the presidency and I am not surprised at all. In my recent publication of November 24, 2010, I did indicate that “having the entire state apparatus under their control for a few years nurtures an unbridled desire to remain in control even after the expiration of their mandatory regime”. This is Gbagbo’s ailment.

Indeed, it is shocking that the two personalities under the Ivory Coast saga are high-profiled public figures. As an economist, Alassane Ouattara has had extensive working relationship with international organizations. He served as the Deputy Managing Director for the International Monetary Fund, in Washington DC. As mentioned earlier, Laurent Gbagbo is a history professor. Both personalities have what it takes to be statesmen if only they will exercise restraint and allow due process to take its course. My worry is; if elite personalities will engage in such political sycophancy, then where are we heading towards?

It is important to state that regional and international bodies must remain resolute in their decision not to recognize the government of Laurent Gbagbo. The AU must bite now or remain mute forever! I am however excited at the stance of ECOWAS. At its extraordinary meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday December 7, 2010, the West African regional body unequivocally called on Gbagbo to step down and hand over power to Ouattara. That is indeed a refreshing call coming from ECOWAS.

It is expected that the African Union and other regional bodies would continue to exert pressure to stop the power-obsessed Gbagbo from holding on to political power. Africans are tired of backslapping behaviours of leaders who are expected to blaze the trail of democratic governance. Surely, the world is watching to see how at the continental level, African leaders can stop this show of tyranny coming from Gbagbo. His conduct smacks of hypocrisy at the highest level and an indictment to his academic laurels. Quoting from my earlier publication, I wish to ask Gbagbo, “Why must people think that they and their lineage are the only one who must rule?” How I wish to hear the history professor whose academic records are undoubtedly akin to a genius respond to this question. How does he expect the people of Ivory Coast and the world not to wonder if his desire to stay in power is not a way of covering up any excesses under his regime?

Peace is the foundation to progress and we must not allow one man to deny the good people of Ivory Coast from leaving in peace and tranquility. The era of fear and political intimidation in Africa cannot be revisited. The success story of Ghana’s journey to democratic governance must remind the likes of Gbagbo that times have changed and bully tactics would not be countenanced in Africa. Let the world tell him to deal with his own obsession privately. Eyes are watching! Long live Ivory Coast; Long Live Africa!

The writer, Adama Bukari, is a full-time author/publisher and the C.E.O of Exceed Media Ltd, a company that delivers superior services in publishing, media consultancy, business communications and advertising. He is also a motivational speaker and the editor-in-chief of JUVINILE INSPIRER; a youth magazine which seeks to deal with youthful inertias. Currently, he is studying Master of Philosophy in Global Leadership at the Institute of Professional Studies, Legon, Ghana. He was a finalist in the JoyFM’s MY BUSINESS 2010 Entrepreneurial Mentorship Programme.

Email: adamab2@yahoo.com

Tuesday
Jun012010

Dispute Pushes Thousands of Ghanaians Into Togo

(HN, May 31, 2010) A violent dispute between two villages in northeastern Ghana had forced some 3,500 Ghanaians to flee their homes and cross into neighbouring Togo since April.

Ghanaian refugees, presently sheltering in four Togolese villages, have told United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that their houses have been pillaged and destroyed, their belongings torched.

Fortunately, Togolese authorities are providing Ghanaian refugees with immediate emergency assistance and food. The refugees are in need of water, food, shelter and medicines, said Andrej Mahecic of the UNHCR. Most belong to vulnerable groups – including many children, some of them suffering from diarrhea and malaria. 

The refugees - who represent six communities with a total of 375 households - presently outnumbered the local population and share their quickly diminishing resources, said Mr. Mahecic. Water is of particular concern and UNHCR has offered to rehabilitate several wells in the area.

A first UNHCR emergency aid convoy left from Accra last week, loaded with humanitarian assistance, and another convoy will leave in the next few days with additional aid items - including some 700 tents and other shelter materials.

UNHCR has identified a new site in Togo, further away from the border, where it plans to transfer the refugees. This move would help to improve security and alleviate the pressure on the scarce resources of the host communities and free the public buildings presently used as shelter by refugees.

Since the Ghanaian refugees come from opposing villages involved in the violent dispute, UNHCR is working with the local authorities in Togo to identify a second site that will allow the separation of the two opposing groups, which would also prevent the perpetuation of the conflict while in displacement.

This is not the first time the Ghanaian villagers crossed into neighbouring Togo seeking safety and shelter. In early March some 300 Ghanaians fled to Togo due to the same land dispute, but had returned home within a few weeks, said Mr. Mahecic. This time however, refugees claim they have lost everything and are reluctant to return home.

Late last week, senior delegations from both affected countries met to try to find an amicable solution to the refugee problem. Togo, for its part, said it would not force its displaced guests to go back home.

--Reporting by Michael Bociurkiw and staff