INTERNACIONAL EM QUATRO DÉCADAS        
 Jari Litmanen: a serviço de seu país em quatro décadas




Nos dias de hoje é cada vez mais improvável um jogador manter o alto nível ao ponto de ser convocado para a sua seleção nacional por 5, 10 ou 15 anos. E quando chegam a mais de 15 e até 20 ou mais anos? Aí sim vira um fato digno de nota. Poucos foram os que ultrapassaram tais números, mas nenhum outro conseguiu o feito do finlandês da foto acima.

Este jogador é Jari Litmanen, ex-meiocampista do Ajax, Liverpool e Barcelona e que ganhou quase tudo o que o um jogador profissional sonha disputar. O ex-atleta, afora os incríveis 21 anos de serviços prestados à sua seleção, é o único da história do futebol até hoje que detém a marca de atuar internacionalmente em quatro décadas distintas.

Nascido em Lahti, capital da região de Päijänne Tavastia na Finlândia, em 20 de fevereiro de 1971, a bola já estava no DNA do então garoto, pois seus pais eram jogadores profissionais de futebol no país. Seu pai, Olavi Litmanen, foi um meia de sucesso no Reipas Lahti e da seleção da Finlândia nos anos 60 e 70. Sua mãe, Liisa, também era futebolista do Reipas Lahti - atuava de líbero no time feminino nos anos 70 e também foi bem sucedida. Ou seja, "filho de peixe, peixinho é" como diz o conhecido ditado popular.

Tanto que aos 6 anos Litmanen já dava seus primeiros chutes no clube que revelou seus pais, o Reipas. Foram vários anos nas categorias de base sempre enchendo os olhos dos treinadores e olheiros com sua habilidade rara para um país com pouca expressão no futebol. Sua estreia como profissional se deu em 1987 na Liga Finlandesa. Mesmo com todo seu talento, o novato por pouco não começou sua carreira de forma melancólica, já que seu time terminou a competição em 10º lugar - uma acima dos rebaixados KePS Kemi e Koparit Kuopio.

Depois de 13 anos entre base e profissional no Reipas Lahti sua condição de grande jogador já merecia vôos mais altos, apesar de não ter conquistado nenhum título com o clube. Tanto que em 1991 assinou contrato com o HJK, maior time da Finlândia. Porém, sua relação com os azuis da capital durou apenas uma temporada em sua primeira passagem, mas de muito sucesso com seus gols e assistências, apesar do modesto 5º lugar da equipe na liga nacional. O MyPa foi o próximo destino de Litmanen, onde conseguiu seu primeiro título como jogador profissional em 1992 com a Copa da Finlândia.

Nesta decisão da Copa contra o FF Jaro, inclusive, havia um olheiro do poderoso Ajax de Amsterdã observando o então jovem e talentoso camisa 10 da equipe da cidade de Kouvola. Resultado final: 2 a 0 para Litmanen e companhia e um gol do astro finlandês que convenceu o holandês a contratar o jogador.

Apesar das ótimas recomendações, Jari Litmanen chegou ao Godenzonen para atuar entre os reservas - o treinador era o polêmico Louis Van Gaal. Entretanto, o meiocampista começou a ganhar seu espaço substituindo o ídolo local Dennis Bergkamp que sofreu uma contusão. O jogador não perdeu a oportunidade e agradou o técnico, que passou a utilizá-lo muitas vezes no time titular.

Com a saída de Bergkamp para a Internazionale de Milão em 1993, Litmanen ganhou definitivamente o posto de titular e não demorou para se tornar o principal jogador da equipe de Van Gaal nas próximas temporadas.



"Litti" na sua fase áurea com o Ajax




Jari Litmanen não só herdou a idolatria da torcida de Bergkamp como também sua camisa 10 e fez jus à mítica do número às costas. Retribuiu a confiança e expectativas de Van Gaal sendo artilheiro da Liga Holandesa na temporada 1993/94 com 26 gols. Não só ajudou o clube da capital a faturar o título nacional como foi eleito o jogador do ano no país.

Litti, como ficou conhecido, foi peça chave no tricampeonato holandês entre 1993 e 1996 e na conquista da Liga dos Campeões e do Mundial de Clubes em 1995. O meia cravou seu nome na história nesta ocasião tornando-se o primeiro jogador da Finlândia a ser campeão continental e mundial de futebol. Ainda ficou em 3º lugar na eleição do melhor jogador do mundo naquele mesmo ano.

Os anos passavam-se e a contribuição de Litmanen para o Ajax só crescia com seus números. Entretanto, um vilão viria começar a atrapalhar a trajetória do jogador: as constantes contusões. Não à toa também ficou conhecido como Homem de vidro tamanha sua facilidade de contrair lesões. Sua primeira passagem pelo Ajax terminou em 1999 com a ida de Louis Van Gaal para o Barcelona, que aproveitou a viagem e levou na bagagem o talentoso finlandês junto com outros holandeses como Bogarde, Kluivert, Ronald e Frank de Boer, Cocu e Reiseger. Foram 136 gols em 7 anos em Amsterdã, sendo 26 deles em competições europeias.

No Barcelona Jari Litmanen passou muito longe de reeditar as atuações genais dos tempos de Ajax, muito por conta das recorrentes contusões. Foram pouco mais de 20 jogos, apenas 3 gols em dois anos na Catalunha e nenhuma conquista. Com a saída de Van Gaal e a chegada de Llorenç Serra Ferrer no comando técnico dos Blaugranas em 2001 acabou definitivamente a estada do meiocampista no Campo Nou.

O caminho de Litmanen depois da Espanha foi a Inglaterra para atuar pelo Liverpool. Em Anfield Road chegou a ter boas atuações e aumentar sua galeria de troféus como a Liga Europa, a Supercopa da Europa e a FA Cup. Contudo, novamente o fantasma das contusões fazia uma marcação implacável no jogador, que ficou de fora em diversas ocasiões de partidas dos Reds. Desta forma clube e jogador acharam por bem acabar a relação em 2002 após uma temporada e incríveis cinco títulos pelo clube inglês.

Já diz o ditado que "o bom filho à casa torna", e eis que Jari Litmanen voltou a vestir a camisa alvirrubra do Ajax em 2002. A Holanda sempre foi o refúgio das grandes atuações do meia finlandês, tanto que foi fundamental para a excelente campanha do time na Liga dos Campeões na temporada 2002/03, quando chegou às quartas de finais, até voltar a sofrer com as insistentes lesões que o impediam de atuar no seu costumeiro alto nível. Por conta de sua passagem mais constante no departamento médico do que no campo de jogo, não teve seu contrato renovado em 2004. Assim Litmanen resolveu voltar para sua terra natal.

Voltando para a Finlândia, Litmanen foi recebido como um verdadeiro rei pela torcida do FC Lahti, clube oriundo do Reipas, que fundiu-se com o FC Kuusysi em 1996 para criar o novo clube. Tamanha a reverência que o jogador recebeu a alcunha de Kuningas Jari Litmanen, ou rei na língua finlandesa.

Após um ano no FC Lahti sua carreira começou a declinar em clubes de menor expressão na Europa como Hansa Rostock da Alemanha, Malmö FF da Suécia, Fulham da Inglaterra, retornando ao Lahti e, finalmente, encerrando a sua brilhante carreira aos 40 anos no HJK de Helsinque em 2011. Neste último conquistou o seu único título da liga finlandesa.



Camisa de Litmanen exposta no Museu do Esporte da Finlândia




Mas foi na carreira internacional que Litmanen chegou ao seu grande marco. Por jogar numa seleção com pouquíssima tradição no futebol ficou alijado de grandes competições como Eurocopa e Copa do Mundo. Tal dificuldade também pode ser observada em grandes jogadores como o galês Ryan Giggs, o liberiano George Weah, o norte-irlandês George Best, entre outros. Ainda assim conseguiu entrar para a história com a camisa da seleção da Finlândia.

Sua trajetória com os Huuhkajat (corujas, como é conhecida a seleção finlandesa) durou 21 anos como já citado. Porém, a diferença é que o período compreendeu-se entre 1989 a 2010 que o torna o único jogador da história a atuar por sua equipe nacional em quatro décadas diferentes. 

Sua estreia se deu com apenas 18 anos em outubro de 1989 contra Trinidad Tobago num jogo amistoso. Apesar de seu grande talento o primeiro gol só saiu quase dois anos depois numa partida diante de Malta. Em 1996 assumiu a braçadeira de capitão da equipe e só veio largá-la quando a deixou em 2010. Sua marca histórica de quatro décadas diferentes defendendo a Finlândia foi alcançada em 19 de janeiro de 2010 na derrota por 2 a 0 para a Coréia do Sul em jogo amistoso. Sua última atuação, e último gol, pela seleção aconteceu na goleada por 8 a 0 contra San Marino em 17 de novembro do mesmo ano pelas eliminatórias da Eurocopa 2012. Nesta mesma partida chegou a outra marca: o de jogador mais velho da Finlândia e da história da fase qualificatória para o torneio continental a balançar as redes.

Ao todo pela Finlândia foram 32 gols em 137 jogos que o colocam como o maior artilheiro e jogador que mais vestiu a camisa finlandesa em todos os tempos.

Abaixo, dados e estatísticas do craque finlandês que reinou absoluto nos gramados durante quatro diferentes décadas.


* Nome: Jari Olavi Litmanen

* Apelidos: Litti, Kuningas

* Nascimento: 20 de fevereiro de 1971 em Lahti/FIN

* Posição: Meia-atacante

* Clubes (10): Reipas Lahti (1987 a 1990), HJK Helsinki (1991 e 2011), MyPa (1992), Ajax/HOL (1992 a 1999 e 2002 a 2004), Barcelona/ESP (1999 a 2001), Liverpool/ING (2001 a 2002), FC Lahti (2004 e 2008 a 2010), Hansa Rostock/ALE (2005), Malmö/SUE (2005 a 2007) e Fulham/ING (2008)

* Títulos (18): Copa da Finlândia (1992 e 2011), Campeonato Holandês (1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96 e 1997/98), KNVB Cup (1992/93, 1997/98 e 1998/99), Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1994/95), Supercopa da Europa (1995 e 2001), Mundial Interclubes (1995), Copa da UEFA (2000/01), FA Cup (2000/01), Copa da Liga Inglesa (2000/01), FA Community Shield (2001), Campeonato Finlandês (2011)

* Seleção Finlandesa: 32 gols em 137 partidas entre 1989 e 2010

* Principais honras pessoais: Jogador finlandês do ano (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 e 2000), Jogador do ano na Holanda (1993), Artilheiro do Campeonato Holandês (1993/94) e Artilheiro da Liga dos Campeões da Europa (1995/96)



Fotos 1 e 3: Autor desconhecido
Foto 2: Fred Ernst/AP

          Ursache für plötzlichen Krankheitsausbruch gefunden        
13 Menschen tot, weitere 18 schwer krank - die meisten besuchten gemeinsam eine Beerdigung: In Liberia hat ein Krankheitsausbruch die Angst geweckt, Ebola könne zurück sein. Nun haben Ärzte die Ursache aufgeklärt.
          Inside Ebola        
(c) P Casaer
Last year's media coverage of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa riveted me on two fronts: seeing how western society reacted to the threat of a highly mobile, lethal virus and how the affected nations themselves (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) managed the trauma, on the heels of decades of conflict and instability.

If you work in this business, you have friends who worked there inside one relief effort or another. Their stories are illuminating, for no man-made conflict presents so starkly the moral dilemma of Ebola: the patient you are treating is a vector of lethal contagion. In war, by contrast, we work primarily with victims of conflict, less the combattants themselves. Lethality is once removed. Ebola means handling live hand grenades, their safety pin already pulled; the infected are landmines we knowingly tread upon. 

The bravery of those who choose to do this work is astounding--particularly national staff who have nowhere to run, no voluntary exit as expats do. Ebola, the great divider: gone are the disaster tourists, the adventure-seekers, the self-glorifiers among us.

And yet where in the media did we see anything that gave us reason for empathetic pause, an unblinking gaze sufficient to register the shared humanity of this apocalyptic visitation? It was nowhere to be seen. This past weekend in Brussels I was fortunate to see Affliction, Peter Casaer's new film from inside MSF treatment centers in the affected countries. Populated by care-givers, patients and their families, the film captures the human impact of this epidemic in ways we know are essential, yet were curiously absent as the crisis unfolded and global panic spiked.

Check out the trailer -- the film has been submitted to the Toronto International Film Festival



          Commemoration and critique -- Tim Hetherington four years on        
Memorable for their fleeting dignity and searing panic of private moments in battle, serendipitous snaps of civilians and combatants with poignant acumen, his early photos miraculously wove the social, political and economic threads of a conflict into a single image--a West African Breughel sans folly or satire. This was the young Hetherington: still mystified by the paroxysms of humanity in the throes of war. 

Not a bad start, but embedding in warzones is not hard to do--anyone can become cannon fodder, and journalists have been accessing armies and frontlines for over a century. Yet to the casual observer conflict imagery from Liberia proved little had changed since Conrad's 'heart of darkness'. Tim saw the perverse effects of the 'new savagery': visually exciting but reinforcing our dismissive misanthropy all the same.  
With the award-winning Restrepo, Hetherington's lens came full circle. Too well known to recount here, the film unpacks the mystery of why young men are drawn to the combat experience. It's an attraction shared in degrees by aid workers and war journalists. War is the only opportunity we have in society to love each other unconditionally, to die for each other. 

Instead we get Che Guevara's face on a T-shirt: what greater insult to minority political struggle can there be? 

See the full article over at 3Quarksdaily.


          The other Lonestar state        
While writing a commemorative piece on Tim Hetherington recently, Liberia was fresh again in my mind. I pulled up a short rumination on post-conflict Monrovia from a few years ago--it's still got some kick so I repost it here. With the Ebola catastrophe the country seems condemned to cyclical bouts of rebirth and dread. Amazing people, our Liberian brethren, too bad about the phantom institutions and navel-gazing leadership: nothing Gates money or the WHO can fix.

                             ***

After a couple of rain-soaked days and nights in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital and on record as one of the world’s wettest cities, it was time to venture out for a quick run.

There is no green space in Monrovia, only piles of human waste and decades of accumulated debris from buildings rocked by fourteen years of civil conflict. The decline is accelerated by the pounding rainy seasons and years of neglect. Utterly evaporated is the Monrovia described in Graham Greene’s Journey without Maps: "a life so gay, with dancing and the cafés on the beach." From my lodgings in a dilapidated convent near the beach, I thought I might head in that direction. I’ve always associated coastlines with escape and was needing one now. 


Read the rest of this travelogue over at 3Quarksdaily...  (image: Chris Hondros, RIP)

          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Legenda MU akan Bermain Di Bandung FC        
Mantan punggawa Manchester United ketika menjuarai Liga Champion 1999, Jesper Blomqvist, tengah didekati Bandung FC sebagai upaya memperkuat tim ini jelang bergulirnya Liga Primer Indonesia, Januari nanti.
fcbandung.wordpress.com, memberitakan bahwa saat ini klub anggota Liga Primer Indonesia (LPI), Bandung FC sedang berupaya untuk mendatangkan pemain veteran, Jesper Blomqvist.
Pria Swedia ini merupakan salah satu pemain yang pernah mencicipi beberapa kompetisi sepakbola Eropa. Blomqvist tercatat pernah membela Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan, Everton, dan beberapa klub Eropa lain.
Saat ini Blomqvist telah berusia 36 tahun. Dan sedang merumput bersama klub di kampung halamannya, Hammarby. Blomqvist tecatat pernah membela tim nasional Swedia sebanyak 30 kali sejak tahun 1994, hingga pensiun dari timnas 2002 silam.
Saat ini Bandung FC telah resmi mengontrak tiga pemain asing. Masing-masing adalah, bek Michael Ndubuisi  (Nigeria), gelandang Kim Sang-duk(Korsel) dan striker Perry N Somah (Liberia). Sedangkan pemain lokal yang sudah  dikontrak antara lain. kiper veteran, Kurnia Sandi, Nuralim, Egie Nirwan, Yaris Riyadi, Deden Hermawan dan Asep Mulyana.

Sumber : http://www.bolanews.com/liga/liga-indonesia/18547-Bandung-Coba-Datangkan-Mantan-Pemain.html
          In My Mailbox July 25-31        
In My Mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Outcasts United - Warren St. John
The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town

Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.

Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach....

Outcasts United is actually my required reading for freshman seminar. I read the introduction, and I look forward to reading the rest. :P
          Liberia journalist detained for republishing story about president of Equatorial Guinea        
Publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists - Document type: Country News
          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.


          Amber Vinson Cleared Of Ebola, Gets A Kiss From George W. Bush        

On Friday, November 7, Amber Vinson got the all-clear. She was one of the two nurses who contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, who got the disease while he was in Liberia. This marked the end of the ... Read More

The post Amber Vinson Cleared Of Ebola, Gets A Kiss From George W. Bush appeared first on WebProNews.


          Samantha Power Visits Ebola-Stricken Countries To Drum Up Health Care Support        

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has flown to West Africa to encourage international support for the fight against Ebola. Power traveled through Guinea on Sunday and landed on Monday in Sierra Leone. She also plans to visit Liberia ... Read More

The post Samantha Power Visits Ebola-Stricken Countries To Drum Up Health Care Support appeared first on WebProNews.


          Nina Pham Reportedly "Doing Well" After Contracting Ebola Virus        

The nurse who contracted Ebola from a Liberian patient is reportedly “doing well” while receiving treatment at the Texas hospital for which she works. Nina Pham is the first person to contract Ebola on US soil after attending to Thomas ... Read More

The post Nina Pham Reportedly "Doing Well" After Contracting Ebola Virus appeared first on WebProNews.


          Lassa fever carried back to Sweden        

A 73-year-old woman returning from travels in several African countries has been diagnosed with Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is a virus endemic to Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which features symptoms such as fever, chills, joint pain, headache and diarrhea.

The case was confirmed by the Public Health Agency of Sweden after testing, and was subsequently reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National IHR Focal Point for Sweden.

The woman returned to Sweden in early March after several weeks of travel in Liberia, Monrovia, Yekeba and other African locations. Officials said that, in Liberia, the woman was exposed to rodents, who are the most common vectors for the virus.

Approximately 1 percent of people who contract Lassa fever die.

WHO officials said they are following up with 74 contacts who may have been in a position to contract the virus from the woman, who was placed in isolation.


          New Ebola infection detected in deceased Liberian woman        

A 30-year-old woman in Liberia who recently passed away was later confirmed to have the Ebola virus.

Liberia has experienced multiple Ebola virus outbreaks since May 2015, though it is no longer considered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in West Africa by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Due to the rising technologies and capabilities of the health world, Ebola virus infections have become easier to detect, and WHO and Liberian public health officials have begun investigating the area in which the woman lived and was treated to search for any other possible Ebola likelihoods after a meeting to discuss response plans.

WHO predicts that major Ebola virus outbreaks will continue, such as in nearby Guinea, which is currently handling a new grouping of infections, and Sierra Leone. The virus continues to survive in some victims, and will likely cause more infections in the three countries. 

WHO continues to keep the areas staffed with over 1,000 trained responders; it is constantly working to regain the health structures of the three countries.


          Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak concludes at last        

Two virus incubation periods of 42 days have passed since the last confirmed person with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone tested negative, meaning the end of the Ebola flare-up has come at last. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has worked increasingly with the Sierra Leone government and intends to continue to do so in the future to prevent such an outbreak of Ebola, or other deadly viruses, again.

The Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone resulted in a death toll of 3,590. Members of Sierra Leone from all types of disciplines and areas reacted quickly to the outbreak, working to vaccinate, treat and defeat the virus, as well as to counsel patients and their families. This fight serves to display the advancement in disease outbreak response that has developed at all levels of the government and communities -- and how previous planning has been extremely beneficial.

Despite the triumph, WHO continues to watch and warn Sierra Leone and the neighboring countries of Liberia and Guinea, as many survivors still carry the virus. The preparedness level before this recent outbreak needs to be redoubled to prevent future recurrences, according to the WHO.


          Encouraging Whistleblower Legislation in West African States        
The Economic Community of West African States’, or ECOWAS, recently held a weeklong anti-corruption meeting in Monrovia, Liberia. Attendees included 13 West African countries, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Arms, and international partners. As Tunde Ajisomo, ECOWAS ambassador to Liberia noted, “Fighting corruption is everybody’s business, but we need to put in place appropriate legislation.” Ajisomo also underscored...… Continue Reading
          In Liberia, Girls and Women Face a Future Without U.N. Peacekeepers        
The reputation of the U.N.’s peacekeeping troops in the country has been blemished by allegations of sexual misconduct and the mission is incomplete. But many Liberians still trust foreign security forces more than their own, raising questions about the fate of girls and women.
          Moving Dad to Assisted Living...part 1        
After military service and college, Dad went to Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with goal of starting a Christian Radio station. He surveyed and built a road, surveyed the land and cut away the jungle with his crew of laborers.... the Radio Station started broadcasting in 1954, later they build a hospital and a school.


In 2014 they used the school ball field to build the special Ebola ...
          Person of the Year...Time Magazine        
Some of my family history: my parents surveyed and cut from the jungle (back in 1953) the property in Liberia to make ELWA radio.
Later a hospital and school were built.
Fast track to 2014 and Doctor's Without Borders built the biggest hospital to treat EBOLA on the school ball field....We truly do not know what will happen when we choose to follow the Voice of God.
We choose to do each day what has been assigned for us. We do not know the end results.

time...
          Akte Ebola ungelöst        
Laut WHO fielen im Jahre 2014 mehr als 11.000 Menschen dem Ebolavirus zum Opfer. Präsident Obama warnte vor weiteren hunderttausenden Toten, sollte man nicht mit geballter Kraft der amerikanischen Seuchenschutzbehörde CDC die Epidemie schnellstens unter Kontrolle bringen. Militärische Kommandoposten wurden in den betroffenen Ländern Guinea, Liberia und Sierra Leone errichtet. Hans U. P. Tolzin hat
          Thug Life: TV Preacher Pat Robertson Hangs With A Bad Crowd        
Joseph L. Conn
The Charles Taylor episode, of course, isn’t Pat Robertson’s only dalliance with despicable dictators

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty of crimes against humanity yesterday for his involvement in a civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. I wonder if Taylor’s former business partner Pat Robertson will visit him in jail.

Taylor was convicted by a UN-backed special court on 11 counts of aiding murder, rape, terror and conscription of child soldiers and sex slaves. He supported vicious rebels in Sierra Leone during that country’s 1991-2002 civil war, and in return, received blood diamonds.

While the media focused on the verdict, less attention was paid to Taylor’s relationship with Robertson, head of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and founder of the Christian Coalition.

Robertson signed an agreement with Taylor in 1999 to allow the televangelist’s for-profit Freedom Gold Ltd. to mine for gold in Liberia. If any gold was found, 10 percent would go to the Liberian government, and in effect, into the pockets of the loathsome Taylor.

On the stand during his trial, the Liberian leader said Robertson promised to argue for the Liberian government with officials in Washington, and he claimed the TV preacher personally intervened with President George W. Bush.

Taylor was grateful for Robertson’s help. In 2002, he even appeared at a three-day “Liberia for Jesus” rally sponsored by CBN. When the Bush administration pressured Taylor to resign in 2003, Robertson sprang to the dictator’s defense.

On his Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” program, Robertson said, “We're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.”

Added Robertson, “And how dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, ‘You've got to step down.’… He doesn’t work for us.”

Alas for Robertson, his frantic appeals went nowhere, and as far as we know, he found no gold in troubled Liberia. He told The Washington Post that he has "written off in my own mind" the $8 million investment – chump change for the fabulously wealthy broadcaster.

The Taylor episode, of course, isn’t Pat’s only dalliance with despicable dictators.

Robertson cozied up to thuggish strongman Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire (now the Republic of the Congo) to mine for diamonds in that desperate country in 1994. He even used his tax-exempt Operation Blessing relief planes to assist with the business project when the aircraft were supposed to be helping the poor.

And then there’s Efrain Rios Montt, a former Guatemalan general and dictator heading for trial for war crimes committed during that nation’s civil war. Rios Montt seized power in a coup in 1982, and he stands accused of wanton brutality, with hundreds killed during his 17-month reign. But because he is a Pentecostal Christian, he received staunch support from Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell and other Religious Right figures.

In 1990, long after it was common knowledge that Rios Montt was a monster, Robertson was still singing his praises. He commended the dictator for his "enlightened leadership" and said people danced in the street when Rios Montt seized power “literally fulfilling the words of Solomon who said, 'When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.'"

Robertson no longer heads the Christian Coalition, but he still keeps a heavy hand in Religious Right politics, using his “700 Club” program and “CBN News” to tout favored political figures and his right-wing agenda.

For example, earlier this month, House Budget Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) did an interview with CBN to claim that his budget plan – which critics say would disproportionately hurt the poor – is supported by Catholic social teaching. (Ninety faculty members and priests at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school in Washington, D.C., disagreed this week, calling Ryan’s claim a “misuse of Catholic teaching.” They said his approach “decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”)

With Robertson’s record of greed, extremism and all-around bad judgment, you have to wonder why anyone chooses to associate with him at all.

 


          LÃ¥t inte bubblan uppsluka ditt jag, var den som lyssnar        

När jag Ã¥tervänder till historien om hur jag föddes pÃ¥ det lilla sjukhuset i Yekepa, i Nimba-omrÃ¥det i norra Liberia, […]

Inlägget Låt inte bubblan uppsluka ditt jag, var den som lyssnar publicerades först på axbom.


          Blackford, Mary Berkeley Minor (1802–1896)        
Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford was an antislavery leader who founded a female auxiliary of the American Colonization Society in Fredericksburg. Born in Fredericksburg, she was unusually well educated by the time she married the attorney William Blackford in 1825. Together they were active in the Episcopal Church and she was a lifelong temperance advocate. Unlike her husband, Blackford saw colonization as the first step toward the abolition of slavery, and she became the most prominent female advocate of colonization in Virginia. In 1829 she founded the Fredericksburg and Falmouth Female Auxiliary to the American Colonization Society, raising hundreds of dollars and recruiting elite women such as Dolley Madison as life members. As public support for colonization and emancipation waned, she turned her efforts to promoting the education of women in Liberia. When she and her husband moved to Lynchburg in 1846, her work ended, although not her strong feelings about the cause. She became increasingly alienated from her family and opposed secession in 1861. She died in 1896.
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:32:35 EST

          L’UA fait installer un douzième point d’échange internet sur le continent        

La Commission de l’Union Africaine vient de mettre en place un point d’échange internet sur l’ile Maurice. Il s’agit du douzième point d’échange que la commission contribue à mettre sur pied sur le continent. D’autres points d’échange Internet  ont été mis en place au Bénin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambie, Liberia, Namibie, […]

Cet article L’UA fait installer un douzième point d’échange internet sur le continent est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Un nouveau régime de licence en vigueur au Liberia        

La transition vers le nouveau régime de licence télécom, la licence universelle, a été achevée par L’Autorité des télécommunications du Libéria (LTA). Ce nouveau régime met l’accent sur une technologie neutre qui permettra aux opérateurs télécoms de déployer leurs services télécoms sans plus avoir à signer pour une technologie particulière. Ainsi,  les opérateurs pourront aisément […]

Cet article Un nouveau régime de licence en vigueur au Liberia est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Faith        
Download:Audio icon 00240.mp3

                                                                             Faith

                                                                    Tom Shipka (2015)

     Religious people often refer to faith as a precious gift from God which they cherish. (1)  But what exactly is this gift called faith?  And is it really precious?  According to Webster’s dictionary, faith is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” (2)  By contrast, knowledge is belief in something for which there is proof.  Thus, if you believe in the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the resurrection, and heaven and hell, you have faith, and if you believe that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, that smoking cigarettes is harmful to a person, that regular exercise is helpful to a person, that there are over seven billion humans today on the planet earth, and that you should stop when a traffic signal is red, you have knowledge.  Faith is the foundation of religion while reason and science are the foundation of knowledge.

      Having said this, let’s acknowledge, however, that faith does play a role in science.  A scientist often embraces a belief without proof tentatively as a hypothesis, sometimes based on a mere hunch, to test whether it is supported by evidence.  If the hypothesis turns out to be confirmed by the evidence, he or she then publishes the results of the research to peers so that they can evaluate the validity of the test and duplicate its findings.  This type of provisional “faith” is markedly different from that exhibited in religion where believers typically embrace a belief as a certainty with no intent (or even possibility) to test it as scientists do.     

     While faith is held in high regard by tens of millions of Americans, the fact is that once we endorse faith, once we authorize people to believe without proof, we open a Pandora’s Box, (3) for faith takes people down many different paths, including harmful and destructive ones.  Consider a few representative examples from Christianity and Islam in today’s world (4):

 

     *Some Christians, following a passage in the Epistle of James (5:14), rely exclusively on prayer and never on doctors, to heal the sick.  This results in the avoidable death of hundreds, if not thousands, in the U.S. every year, especially children;

 

     *Some Christians, believing that God directs them to stop abortions at any cost, murder employees and patients at women’s clinics; (5)

 

     *Some Muslims, following passages in the Qur’an (Sura 4:76 and Sura 8:12) and the Hadith (Muslim 1:20), the teachings and deeds of the prophet Muhammed, seek to murder non-Muslims - infidels - even at the cost of their own lives, resulting in violent attacks around the world; (6) and 

 

     *In many majority-Muslim nations, Sharia, a legal system based on the Qur’an and the Haddith, provides that the rape of a woman can be proven only by admission of the rapist or the testimony of four male witnesses. (7)  The victim’s testimony is inadmissible.  Further, Sharia also provides that a man determined to be a rapist need only pay his victim a fee and, remarkably, that a woman whose claim of rape is not corroborated by the rapist or four witnesses is subject to punishment as a fornicator or adulterer. (8)

      As bad as these expressions of faith are, the situation could be worse.  This is because the faithful often cherry-pick scriptures and religious teachings.  For instance, if Christians followed the Bible to the letter, 

     *They would own slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46, Ephesians 6:5); (9) 

      *They would murder homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13), unruly children (Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17), non-virgin brides (Deuteronomy 22:20-21), and adulterers (Deuteronomy 22:22-24); (10) and 

      *They would condemn divorce (Mark 10:2-12, Luke 16:18) and tattoos (Leviticus 19:28). (11) 

  

     So, what is the lesson here?  It’s the same lesson taught in the 19th century by W.K. Clifford, a British mathematician. (12)  Recognizing that our beliefs translate into actions which can cause harm to ourselves and others, Clifford insisted that we acquire proof – what he called “sufficient evidence” – before we embrace and act upon a belief.  For Clifford, this requires the path of reason and science, not the path of faith.  In essence, Clifford warns that the path of faith is a dead end – literally and figuratively.  

     I have little hope that a majority of humans near or far will heed Clifford’s warning any time soon.  Those who believe that they speak and act on the commands of Christianity’s God or Islam’s Allah or some other god, or their messenger, will obey those commands at any cost.  The proof that reason demands is irrelevant to them.

 

…..

1.Many Christians whom I know tell me that their faith prompts them to support their church, pay their debts, obey the law, respect others, engage in prayer and forgiveness, give to charity, retain hope in the face of illness and setbacks, and do volunteer work in the community.  Further, many believers insist that faith in divine justice in the hereafter is essential to a moral life on earth and that faith in God’s power and love can cure addiction, crime, and violence.  On the issue of whether religion is indispensable to moral behavior in a society, see Phil Zuckerman, Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment, New York University Press, 2008.  This study of Denmark and Sweden, where most people are atheist or agnostic, shows that violent crime is very low and overall societal health is very high compared to religious nations such as the United States.  

  

2.Webster’s Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 418.

 

3.According to an ancient Greek myth, the gods bestowed gifts upon the beautiful Pandora in a box but instructed her never to open it.  When her curiosity won out, however, she opened the box only to discover to her shock that she unleashed illnesses and hardships galore upon the human race.   

 

4.The focus here is contemporary faith-based beliefs.  Poignant examples are available from the past, including the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch hunts, persecution of Jews by Christians in Europe, human sacrifice in South America, etc.  

 

5.Other examples from Christianity include these.  Some Christians, following Proverbs 22:15, beat their children, and in many Christian families, following Ephesians 5:22-24, wives are subservient to their husbands; 

 

6.The Qur’an says: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.  Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Sura 8:12) and “The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil.  Fight then against the friends of Satan.” (Sura 4:76)  Also, the Hadith says: “The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no God but Allah.”  (Muslim 1:30)

 

7.Needless to say, if they witnessed the rape, they were complicit in it. 

 

8.Other examples from Islam include the following:  In many majority-Muslim nations, Sharia forbids criticism of Islam, and calls for jail, torture, or death for those deemed apostates or heretics; Saudi Arabia, a wealthy Muslim nation, promotes Wahhabism, an extreme form of Islam, and sponsors madrassas around the world, “schools,” which often exclude girls and where the curriculum consists mainly of memorizing the Qur’an and studying Islam; and violence periodically breaks out in the Middle East between Sunni and Shia Muslims who consider one another heretics.

 

9.The Qur’an also permits the owning of slaves.  See Sura 5:89 and Sura 23:1.

 

10.Thus, the Christian county official in Kentucky who refused to sign marriage permits for same-sex couples in 2015 violated Biblical commands by doing too little.

 

11.Examples of faith-based nonsense in other countries include these:  In at least three nations in Africa – Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea – the spread of Ebola is fueled by family members and friends washing and dressing the body of the deceased and mourners at the funeral touching it to make sure that the dead don’t return to haunt the living; in India, where believers take their own religion as superior to others, violence regularly breaks out among Hindus, Christians, and Muslims; and following Hindu tradition, some women whose husbands die choose to immolate themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre even if they have young children.

 

12.See W.K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief,” Contemporary Review, 1877.


          Comment on Vado – Respect The Jux Video (feat. Jae Millz) by RoshenaMcpherson        
OG YELLO, OG YELLO, OG YELLO! Is the Author of Respect The Jux and not this fake frank. Frank has stolen this man's works (20 manuscript) and is living a stolen legacy. Ten Years in prison it seems wasn't enough for Frank to stop being a criminal! He owes OG YELLO more than half of everything he's made. It was The OG who gave him all the ideas that he is now parading as his own. I wonder if VADO knows he's playing the character of the real live author of the book OG YELLO AKA Raymond James! Who is unable to defend himself in the matter because he was deported back to his native country Jamaica. Are things starting to make sense now? Hear is the question I would like to know. Where did this born American (or Liberian) get the idea to write a story about a bunch of Jamaicans while doing ten years in prison? I never before heard of a black american writing about Chinese and Haitians or Indians and Russians. So why did this cat spend so much time writing about Jamaicans in such details? Where did he get all the Jamaican information from in prison if it was not from another Jamaican?!!!!! He has also released another one of OG YELLO"s work titled Below The Radar. Wait till you hear the story on that one.?
          Lessons from 10 years of working with humanitarian aid agencies        

 
Jessica Alexander at a book reading at Quail Ridge
Books in Raleigh, North Carolina.
 

Brenda Summers
 
“Humanitarian aid is about helping people rebuild their lives,” Jessica Alexander states in reflecting on her 10 years of working with agencies in Rwanda, Darfur, Sierra Leone, Haiti and other countries.
 
Alexander is now traveling the United States discussing her work and promoting her book, Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid.  During a book reading at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina, she said that, after 10 years, she felt it was time to reflect on her experiences going back and forth between emergency areas. 

The author started her journey with an internship in Rwanda during graduate school. After completing her master’s degree, she worked with agencies in Darfur, managing a 24,000-camp of internally displaced people. After completing her research for a Fulbright Grant on child soldiers in Sierra Leone, she was able to provide evidence which was used in the prosecution and conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes. Alexander was also a relief worker in Sri Lanka and Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami and later in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
 
Jessica Alexander signs books at
Quail Ridge Books in
Raleigh, North Carolina.
Alexander notes that countries around the world have many silent emergencies right now, but they don’t receive media attention that draws needed support from donors. In these contexts, there may be as many people in need, but with limited resources, agencies struggle to prove relief.  

She wants people to learn several lessons from the book and her experiences, including how best to help after an emergency. She also wants to change some misconceptions about humanitarian aid and to provide insights into the people impacted by disasters who are not looking for handouts but are working with resilience and strength to rebuild their lives after a disaster. 

While Alexander finds the work rewarding, she admits that it can be very difficult and after a while can lead to burnout.  Today, she continues to make short trips to emergency areas, but most of her work now is with humanitarian agencies headquartered in New York. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia, New York and Fordham universities. She is working on her Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing her research on accountability in humanitarian aid.

          Flag States        
Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marinestrategy to strengthen the Greek ShipRegistry, Liberian Registry drives in the enforcement of new flag state performance and welfare standards, .......
          Reading Comprenhension        


Reading Comprehension Test # ALPHA -1


Incident Report # SSU 007/2333

At 2325 hours on Sunday 14 April 2000, the UNMIK Police control received a telephone call, reporting the sound of gunshots from the area of the Bus Garage (Grid reference 125 185). An UNMIK police patrol and a KFOR patrol responded to the scene. On arrival, the police patrol found a large number of people gathered outside an apartment building, the patrol was directed to Apartment Number 4. Inside the apartment, a male person was found lying on the hallway floor, dead from gunshot wounds to the body and head.  Investigations revealed that the body was that of a 46 year old Goran male who lived in the apartment with his wife. The wife stated that at 2325 hours there was a knock at the door of the apartment and when her husband answered the door he was shot twice, the gunman then kicked him and ran off down the stairs. She described the gunman as being very tall, approximately 2 meters, wearing a red cap, blue jeans and white trainers. The police secured the scene and informed the Murder Squad. KFOR remained in the area to control the large crowd outside.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/2333/02

Investigations by the Murder Squad confirmed that the deceased was a 46 year old Goran male, who received two fatal gunshot wounds to the chest and head. One of these bullets passing through the body and lodging in the dining room table, this was recovered for forensic examination. Also recovered from the apartment hallway were three 10mm empty cartridges. The building landlord identified himself as making the initial call to Police control and had been in his apartment, number 1, at the time of the shooting. When interviewed he stated that at 2325 hours he heard five gunshots and when he looked out of his door he saw a tall male person run pass him out of the building door. He described this person as wearing a blue jacket, a dark ski mask and white trainers. A further search of the deceased's apartment produced a further two empty 10mm cartridge, found in the pocket of a coat hanging in the hallway.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/2333/03

A search of the whole area was carried out by the Police and KFOR, at the rear of the apartment building a military police dog found a red cap and a blue jacket in a rubbish skip. These items were seized for further examination. Further interviews revealed that, earlier in the day of the 11 April 2000, the deceased had been seen arguing with a young Albanian male, who wanted to buy his apartment. In the main those people interviewed were very uncooperative and no other witnesses came forward or were identified. The building landlord will be re-interviewed to obtain any information of persons wanting to buy the apartment. The investigation is continuing.







QUESTIONS        READING TEST ALPHA -1

Family Name: ………..…………… First name: ….…………….. CP #: ………………………..
Country:…………………..                                                                                                                   Date:……...…………………

Q1:    Who reported the gunshots to the Police Control?
Q2:    What was the ethnicity of the victim?
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found in the victim's apartment?
Q4:    Who responded to the initial report of gunshots?
Q5:    What items were found at the rear of the apartment building?
Q6:    What was the date, of the incident? 
Q7:    Who was the victim seen arguing with and why?
Q8:     Why did the Police want to re-interview the building landlord?
Q9:    Why did KFOR remain at the scene?
Q10:    What was the caliber of the gun used?


ANSWERS    READING TEST # ALHPA-1

Q1:    Who reported the gunshots to the Police Control?
    The Building Landlord
Q2:    What was the ethnicity of the victim?
Goran
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found in the victim's apartment?
Five
Q4:    Who responded to the initial report of gunshots?
UNMIK Police and KFOR.
Q5:    What items were found at the rear of the apartment building?
Red cap and a blue jacket.
Q6:    What was the date of the incident?
14 April 2000.
Q7:    Who was the victim seen arguing with earlier in the day and why?
A young Albanian male, who wanted to buy the apartment.
Q8:     Why did the police want to re-interview the Building landlord?
    Obtain any information of persons wanting to buy the apartment
Q9:    Why did KFOR remain at the scene of the shooting?
To control the large crowd.
 Q10:    What was the caliber of the gun used?
    10mm.





Reading Comprehension Test # BRAVO-1



Incident Report # SSU 007/00.

At 1745 hours on Sunday 09 April a Serbian male went to the UNMIK police station and reported that his 19year old son had been missing since the previous night. He stated that his son and their neighbor's son had left their house at 2000 hours to go to a café downtown. At 2150 hours the neighbor's son returned home, but their son did not and he was worried. The father had checked with the neighbor's son who informed him, that at 2130 hours last night they both went to the Café Bar near the Bank Building to have a drink. About five (5) minutes later his son left the café with a group of five (5) young people, who he had not seen before. At 0815 hours the next morning, the father went to the Café Bar and asked the owner whether anyone had seen his son. The owner informed him that one of his waiters had seen his son, the previous evening, quarreling with five young males outside the café. He described the males as being all about 20 years old, all had long black hair and one had a ring in his left ear, he had not seen them before.
 They then had forced the son into a White Mercedes, which then drove off at speed in the direction of the hospital. The father gave the police a picture of the missing boy and requested help to find his son. The police made a report and advised the father they would inform the Missing Persons unit.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/00/04

On the 10 April, UNMIK police Missing Person Unit conducted the primary investigation regarding the incident. A check was made at the local hospital, which proved negative. At the Café Bar the police interviewed the owner and a number of waiters who were working at the time of the incident. From this the Unit obtained information that the suspects were all local Kosovo Albanians and that one of the waiters had remembered the registration number of the Mercedes as SK0321. A police patrol located the suspect vehicle parked on the Airport road 15km from Pristina, at Grid reference 015156. The police seized the vehicle’s registration book, which identified the name and address of the vehicle owner and also a gold ring, which was identified as belonging to the missing boy. Enquiries are continuing.

Follow up Report: 0039/00/04

On 11 April, UNMIK police and KFOR searched the address shown in the seized registration book and arrested the owner of the Mercedes, who admitted to being involved in the abduction of the boy. He stated that the boy owed him money for drugs, he also gave the location of the house where the boy was being held. UNMIK police and KFOR conducted a search of this house and the missing boy was located, six (6) Kosovo Albanian males were arrested at the scene. The missing boy's injuries were a bruised chest and a broken left wrist, a result of beatings received when held. He was taken to the hospital and later returned to his parents. Also seized from the house was a Smith and Wesson revolver and 200 Ecstasy tablets.  The suspects were taken to the detention center and held for court. Case is closed.





QUESTIONS            READING TEST BRAVO-1


Family Name: ……………………First Name: …………….. CP #:……………..
Country:………………………..                                                                                Date:……………..

Q1:    What reason did the suspect give for abducting the boy?
Q2:    What was seized from the suspect's vehicle?
Q3:    What is the nationality of the suspects?
Q4:    The Grid Reference where the suspect vehicle was located?
Q5:    Who gave the police the description of the suspect's vehicle?
Q6:    Where was the missing boy last seen?
Q7:    What did the police seize from the second house they searched?
Q8:    Describe the suspect vehicle?
Q9:    Describe the injuries of the missing boy?
Q10:    How many suspects were arrested?


ANSWERS    READING TEST # BRAVO-1

Q1:    What reason did the suspect give for abducting the boy?
    He owed money for drugs.       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:    What was seized from the suspects' vehicle?
    Vehicle registration book and Gold Ring.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     What is the nationality of the suspects?
    Kosovo Albanian.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    The Grid Reference where the suspect vehicle was located?
    Grid Reference 015156
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    Who gave the police the description of the suspect's vehicle?
    Café Bar waiter.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Where was the missing boy last seen?
    Outside the Café Bar.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:     What did the police seize from the second house they searched?
    Smith and Wesson revolver and 200 Ecstasy tablets.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     Describe the suspect vehicle?
    White Mercedes, registration SK0321
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    Describe the injuries of the missing boy?
    Bruised chest and broken left wrist
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    How many suspects were arrested?
    Seven
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   

READING COMPREHENSION TEST CHARLIE-1

Incident Report # MSU 0010/137B

At 0055 hours on Wednesday 11 October 2000, Regional Murder Squad Investigator Jean PAIN received a radio message from Pristina Control. It reported a drive-by shooting in Dragodan, Pristina Grid Reference 125 230. The victim Arden GASHI, born 22 February 1928 had been taken to Pristina hospital and declared dead on arrival. Investigator PAIN arrived at the scene at 0115 hours, where he interviewed the wife of the victim, Fetija GASHI, born 20 April 1932. She stated that she and her husband had been walking along the street towards their house when a dark brown Opel Kadett drove by them, without any lights on. A man leaned out of the rear offside passengers' window opening fire at them from a gun he was holding, her husband fell to the ground bleeding from several bullet wounds he had received. She did not see how many people were in the Kadett and she only remembered the letters KS from the registration plate. Fetija was able to raise the alarm and the Police and Ambulance were called. The Forensic Identification Unit and the Investigative Judge arrived at the scene at 0120 hours. Two empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered at the scene, and then the area was sealed for further examination in daylight. Pristina Control circulated details of the suspect vehicle to all units.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/02

At 0145 hours a police patrol saw the suspect vehicle traveling on the Skopje road out of Pristina and they stopped the Kadett at the Swedish KFOR checkpoint Grid Reference 123 201. The police in co-operation with KFOR troops, searched the three male occupants and the vehicle. No firearms were found, however four empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered from the rear passenger area. The registration number of the Opel Kadett was 246 KS 673, the vehicle was impounded at Police Station Number 1. On the authorization of the Investigative Judge, the three male occupants were arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the Detention Centre, Pristina.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/03

At 0215 hours the Investigative Judge attended the Mortuary, Pristina Hospital, where the body of Arden GASHI was examined. The examination revealed three gunshot wounds to the chest, two penetrated the left lung and one passed through the heart, death was instantaneous. Property removed from the victim included a silver wristwatch and an empty brown leather wallet, which were retained by the Investigative Judge. Investigations are continuing.













READING COMPREHENSION TEST CHARLIE-1


Incident Report # MSU 0010/137B

At 0055 hours on Wednesday 11 October 2000, Regional Murder Squad Investigator Jean PAIN received a radio message from Pristina Control. It reported a drive-by shooting in Dragodan, Pristina Grid Reference 125 230. The victim Arden GASHI, born 15 September 1936 had been taken to Pristina hospital and declared dead on arrival. Investigator PAIN arrived at the scene at 0115 hours, where he interviewed the wife of the victim, Fetija GASHI, born 20 April 1942. She stated that she and her husband had been walking along the street towards their house when a dark brown Volkswagen Golf drove by them, without any lights on. A man leaned out of the rear offside passengers' window opening fire at them from a gun he was holding, her husband fell to the ground bleeding from several bullet wounds he had received. She did not see how many people were in the Golf and she only remembered the letters KS from the registration plate. Fetija was able to raise the alarm and the Police and Ambulance were called. The Forensic Identification Unit and the Investigative Judge arrived at the scene at 0120 hours. Two empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered at the scene, and then the area was sealed for further examination in daylight. Pristina Control circulated details of the suspect vehicle to all units.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/02

At 0225 hours a police patrol saw the suspect vehicle traveling on the Skopje road out of Pristina and they stopped the Golf at the Swedish KFOR checkpoint Grid Reference 123 201. The police in co-operation with KFOR troops, searched the three male occupants and the vehicle. No firearms were found, however six empty 7.56 cartridges were recovered from the rear passenger area. The registration number of the Volkswagen Golf was 246 KS 673, the vehicle was impounded at Police Station Number 1. On the authorization of the Investigative Judge, the three male occupants were arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the Detention Centre, Pristina.

Follow up Report # MSU 0010/137B/03

At 0245 hours the Investigative Judge attended the Mortuary, Pristina Hospital, where the body of Arden GASHI was examined. The examination revealed three gunshot wounds to the chest, two penetrated the left lung and one passed through the heart, death was instantaneous. Property removed from the victim included a gold ring and a copper bracelet, which were retained by the Investigative Judge. Investigations are continuing.












QUESTIONS                READING TEST CHARLIE-1
Family Name: ……………….…… First name:……..…………….. CP #: ………………………..
 Country:………..………………. .….                                                                                                  Date:…………………………

Q1:     What time was the suspect vehicle seen and stopped by the police?
Q2:     What is the name of the victim's wife?
Q3:     What was the date of birth of the victim?   
Q4:    How did the victim die?
Q5:    What was the nationality of the KFOR troops?
Q6:    Who reported the incident to Jean PAIN?
Q7:    What was the make and type of the vehicle involved
Q8:     How many empty cartridges were found?
Q9:    What property was recovered from the victim?
Q10:    Who authorized the detention of the suspects?

ANSWERS    READING TEST # CHARLIE-1

Q1:     What time was the suspect vehicle seen and stopped by the police?
     0225 hours.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:     What is the name of the victim's wife?
    Fetija GASHI   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     What was the date of birth of the victim?
    15 September 1936   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    How did the victim die?
    Three gunshots wounds to the chest   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    What was the nationality of the KFOR troops?
    Swedish
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Who reported the Incident to Jean PAIN?
    Pristina Control
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:    What was the make and type of the vehicle involved?
     Volkswagen Golf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     How many empty cartridges were found?
    Eight
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    What property was recovered from the victim?
    Gold ring, Copper bracelet
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    Who authorized the detention of the suspects?
    Investigative Judge
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


READING COMPREHENSION TEST DELTA-1

Incident Report # SSU 007/141125


At 2315 hours on Thursday the 18 of July 2000 the UNMIK police station in Lipljan received a phone call reporting shots fired in the Bird’s Restaurant, grid reference EN009 008. UNMIK Police sent a patrol unit to the restaurant, a KFOR unit also responded to the call. When they arrived they were directed to a back room of the restaurant, where they found a body of a male person lying on the floor. A check of the body revealed that he had died from three gunshot wounds to the body. Beside the body was a table covered with playing cards, it appeared that there had been a game of cards in progress at the time of the shooting. A witness stated, that he with had been playing poker in the back room, with the deceased and 3 other men. He identified the dead man as Goran who had been having a lucky day at cards, winning several thousands German Marks. Goran became involved in an argument with one of the other players, a young Serbian who spoke with a Belgrade dialect. The young man accused Goran of being a cheat, Goran hit this person several times with his fists. Suddenly the young man pulled out a gun and shot him and then ran away. He was described as about 20 years old, 1.75 meters tall, had short brown hair, dressed in blue jeans and a blue pullover and he was known as Dejan.

Follow up Report # SSU 007/141125/02

The murdered Serbian, known as Goran BRESOVIC, was 37 years old living at 12 Main Road, Lipljan. The autopsy revealed that, he had been shot 4 times in the head and twice in the chest death was instantaneous. Three spent bullets were recovered from the body. The owner of the restaurant was interviewed, who stated that he heard 7 or 8 shots, and then he saw the young man run from the building. A further search of the room revealed three fresh bullet holes in the card table. Three spent bullets were recovered from the table for forensic examination. Nine empty bullet cases were found and retained for further examination.


Follow up Report # SSU 007/141125/03

A further witness, who lived next door to the restaurant, came forward and stated that at 2320 hours she saw a man running to a green and black Lada car, parked next to her house. The car had a Belgrade registration plates but she could not remember the number. Children, playing in the same area as where the Lada had been parked, found a 9mm FN semi-automatic pistol its magazine was empty.  No further information was forthcoming, investigations are continuing.


ANSWERS    READING TEST # DELTA-1

Q1:    What was the make of the revolver?
 Smith and Wesson.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2:    How many persons were in the back room of the restaurant, at the time of the incident?
    Five.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3:     How many empty cartridges were found?
    None.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4:    How many shots were fired?
    Six.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5:    What registration plate did the car have?
    Belgrade registration plate.   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6:    Describe what the suspect was wearing? 
    Blue Jeans and Blue Pullover.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7:    What was the victim's age?
    42 years.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q8:     What was the color of the car involved?
    Green and black.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9:    What was the victim doing, at the time of the incident?
    Playing cards (poker).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10:    Describe the wounds of the victim?
    Two shots to the head and one to the upper left arm.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


READING COMPREHENSION TEST PS#1/06
Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06

Incident Report #01

On 22 November 2006 at 0600 hours, Police Station # 4 of Laguna Region was reported of a dead body that was found in the Central Park. Alpha Unit responded to the scene of incident located at Grid Reference
114-253. At 0615 hours, two police officers arrived at the scene and observed a 165 cms tall female body lying in supine position behind the bush near the swimming pool. The face of the dead was disfigured and a U-shaped mark was seen on the right side of the neck. They searched the crime scene area and recovered a black leather bag, a 200ml empty bottle and a wrist watch. Two security guards were also interviewed. On the day before at 1830 hours, a guard named Daniel Seal had seen a girl with a man outside the changing room. He had inquired about their presence in the area as the swimming pool service of the Park had already closed an hour and a half before. The lights, then, suddenly went out and he went to see what had happened. He returned at 1900 hours after fixing the fused wire of the main switch but nobody was there. The guard identified the dead as the same young girl and claimed that he could recognize the man. He described the man as a 25-year-old muscular built about 180 cms tall with long dark brown hair, dark complexion and had the most unusual involuntary head movement. The description about the suspect was radioed to all police units and the dead body was sent to the hospital for post mortem.
Follow-up Report #02
On 23 November 2006 at 1000 hour, a woman from Brajislav Village came to the Police Station to report about her missing daughter Emilia Kusnova. She identified herself as Sejila Kusnova and reported to the Missing Person Unit that her 19-year-old daughter had left the house on 21 November at 1500 hours and did not come back since then. She expressed her concern over the disappearance of her missing daughter. At 1100 hour, she was taken to the mortuary; she noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck and identified the dead as her own daughter. Three hours later, she arrived at the Police Station and informed the police about Emilia's fear from a man who lived in Vustri. She told the police that her daughter had once mentioned about a man named Roger Mulav who had asked her to marry him else she would face terrible consequences. At 1630 hours, 28-year-old Roger Mulav was arrested by Alpha Unit from his house in Vustri. The arrestee confessed threatening Emilia to marry him but he denied the allegation of murder.

Follow-up Report #03
On 24 November 2006, the post mortem report of Emilia revealed disfigurement of her face was due to acid and concluded her death due to asphyxia. From the report of the forensic lab it was determined that the empty bottle contained concentrated sulphuric acid and the fingerprint sample of Roger did not match with the fingerprint found in the surface of the empty bottle. Roger was released after receiving the forensic report and his features too did not match with the description of the suspect. At 1700 hours, Delta Unit, on the basis of the description of the suspect, arrested a person named James Blake from ‘Burmuda Café’ situated in the Hill Side. James told the police that he was a carpenter and denied the allegation. On the following day the guard from Central Park identified James as the same person he had seen in the park with the girl. The forensic test also confirmed that his fingerprint sample matched with the sample collected from the surface of the empty bottle. A charge sheet was filed against him for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova.


QUESTIONS      Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06          A

Family Name:..…………… ……First name: …………. CP. ..………
Country:…………………..                                                                                  Date:……...……………
Q1:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
Q2:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Q3:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Q4:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Q5:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
Q7:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform Police about Roger Mulav?
Q8:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake described by the guard?
Q9:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
Q10:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?

QUESTIONS      Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06          B
Q1:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
Q2:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform about Roger Mulav?
Q3:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Q4:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
Q5:    When did the swimming pool service of the Park close?
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
Q7:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Q8:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Q9:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake described by the guard?
Q10:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?

ANSWERS     Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06   A

Q1:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
At 1700 hours
Q2:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Sulphuric Acid
Q3:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Because he had threatened Emilia of terrible consequences if she did not marry him
Q4:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Delta Unit
Q5:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
James Blake
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
21 November 2006, at 1830 hours
Q7:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform Police about Roger Mulav?
1400 hours
Q8:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake as described by the guard?
Involuntary head movement
Q9:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
She noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck
Q10:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Asphyxia

ANSWERS     Reading Comprehension Test PS#1/06       B
Q1:    Who was charged for the murder of 19-year-old Emilia Kusnova?
James Blake
Q2:    At what time did Sejila Kusnova inform about Roger Mulav?
1400 hours
Q3:    What was the cause of death of Emilia Kusnova?
Asphyxia
Q4:    How did Sejila Kusnova recognize her daughter?
She noticed the birth mark on the right side of the neck
Q5:    When was the swimming pool service of the Park closed?
At 1700 hours
Q6:    What was the date and time when Daniel Seal had seen the girl with a man?
21 November 2006, at 1.30 hours
Q7:    Which Police Unit arrested the key suspect?
Delta Unit
Q8:    What was the name of the chemical used to disfigure the face?
Sulphuric Acid
Q9:    What was the most unique characteristic of James Blake as described by the guard?
Involuntary head movement
Q10:    Why did the Police apprehend Roger Mulav?
Because he had threatened Emilia of terrible consequences if she did not marry him

Reading Comprehension Test # 4.
“AIRPORT”
Situation report # 01
Airport is the place where people meet and depart. Airport is the place what UN peacekeepers see upon their arrival in the mission. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) started peacekeeping operation on 1-st October 2003. The first international police officers came to Liberia by air and landed at the Roberts International Airport, located 60 kilometers east from Monrovia.
The state of Liberia was founded in 1847 by immigrants of African descent who returned from the US to their native continent. The first president of Liberia was Joseph Jenkins Roberts. He was born in Norfolk, USA, on March 15, 1809, and arrived in Liberia in 1828 with his widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters. He was one of the famous Liberian-political figures of the nineteenth century. He lead Liberia to independence in 1847.He served as President of Liberia from 1847-1856 and from 1872-1876.
The main International Airport was built in the second half of the previous century and named after the first Liberian President - Roberts International Airport.
The reconstruction of the Liberian economy after the Civil war requires broad air connection with neighboring African countries and Europe. Much humanitarian Aid is being sent to Liberia by air and received at the Roberts International Airport.

Situation report # 02
UN peacekeeping equipment was mainly transported to Liberia by air. United Nations heavyweight cargo aircrafts only within one month had completed a series of flights, delivering 560 tons of equipment and supplies for UN peacekeeping forces in Liberia.
The second Liberian airfield is located in Monrovia and called Spriggs Payne Airport. This airfield is mostly used for domestic flights within Liberia.
UNMIL has two helicopter bases located at the Roberts International Airport and the Spriggs Payne airport. Helicopters, located at the Roberts International Airport are operated by the UN military personnel from Ukraine and helicopters from Spriggs Payne Airport are operated by the Russian civilian helicopter crew. A high level of safety of flights and strong technological discipline of both divisions participating in implementing peacekeeping operation in Liberia is being observed.
Situation report # 03
The United Nations personnel are authorized to use UN flights to fly from Liberia to Ghana and Sierra Leone. With effect from 15 October 2004 these flights are operated from Roberts International Airport three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. There is no charge for official duty travels. UN members have to submit approved Movement of Personnel form to the booking office at least 48 hours prior to the proposed flight. All Movement of Personnel forms should indicate a valid telephone number, where the traveler can be reached in the event of changes to the flight. All passengers are authorized to carry up to 25 kgs of accompanied luggage and 5 kgs of hand luggage. A bus service is available to Roberts International Airport 3 hours prior to flight from the Mission Head Quarters.

QUESTIONS.      READING TEST.         “AIRPORT
Q1:         On what date did the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) start peacekeeping  
                       operation?
Q2:         By whom was the state of Liberia founded?
Q3:         Whom did Joseph Jenkins Roberts arrive with in Liberia in 1828?
Q4:        When did Joseph Jenkins Roberts serve his first Presidential term?
Q5:          What is the nationality of the helicopter crew located at the Spriggs Payne Airport?
Q6:           How was the UN peacekeeping equipment mainly sent to Liberia?.
Q7:          What is the name of the airfield which is mostly used for domestic flights within  
Liberia?
Q8:     To what countries the United Nations personnel are authorized to fly with UN flights
         from    Liberia?
Q9:          On which days of the week the UN flights are not operated from Roberts International 
                            Airport?          
           Q10:       What type of service the UNMIL makes available to Roberts International Airport from the
                        Mission Head Quarters?
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANSWERS:    READING TEST.          “AIRPORT”.            “A”


Q1:         On what date did the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) start peacekeeping  
                       operation?
                         1. October 2003
Q2:         By whom was the state of Liberia founded?
                      By immigrants of African descent.
Q3:         Whom did Joseph Jenkins Roberts arrive with in Liberia in 1828?
                       With his widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters.
Q4:        When did Joseph Jenkins Roberts serve his first Presidential term?
                 1847-1856.
Q5:          What is the nationality of the helicopter crew located at the Spriggs Payne Airport?
             Russian                 
Q6:           How was the UN peacekeeping equipment mainly sent to Liberia?.
                  By air    
Q7:          What is the name of the airfield which is mostly used for domestic flights within Liberia?
             Spriggs Payne                   
Q8:          To what countries the United Nations personnel are authorized to fly with UN flights from  
                 Liberia?
        Ghana and Sierra Leone.                  
Q9:       On which days of the week the UN flights are not operated from Roberts International 
                               Airport?          
                         Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
Q10:       What type of service the UNMIL makes available to Roberts International     
               Airport from the  Mission Head Quarters?
                  Bus.








Listening Comprehension



ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST                    # LC - 1
Name:                    D.O.B.    :            Date:   

Listening Comprehension            Time allowed 15 mins.    
Title: CivPol Monitor harassed by local police 
A civilian police monitor reports to his Station Commander that he was stopped by the local police at a checkpoint on the Highway about 100 meters west of Khilsa Bridge, Pristina. He was asked to take his vehicle to a side  in the highway. His vehicle was thoroughly searched and he was accused of selling some pornographic pictures  to the youngster Muslims of Pristina. He was stopped at 8:30 in the morning and was detained for three hours. He was not allowed to make radio calls to his station. The CivPol monitor did not recognize the police officers but he heard during discussion that one was Mohammed Janim and another Alice.
Monitor: Good Afternoon Sir!
Station Commander: Good afternoon officer, How are you?
Monitor: Sir, I have a complaint against the local Police.
Station Commander: What's the
          Short Form        

    Day = s/m/t/we/th/f/sa
    Date= 8/7/9
    Month = jan/feb/mar/apr/mar/jun/jul
    Year = 99/98/00/01
    National Police
    K.P.S.=KOSOVO Police Station
    L.P.= Local Police
    P.S.N- 4 = police station n 4
    K.P.S.n 2= KOSOVO Police station n 2
    L.N.P.S.= Liberian National Police station
    P.P.S. =Pristina Police Station
    E.T.P.S= East Timor Police service/Station
    H.N.P.S.= Haitian National Police service/Station
    S.P.S = Sudan Police Station
    SNPS= Sudan National Police Station/service
    TLNOC= Timor leste Netional Operation center
    PNTL= Timor Leste National Police
    F-FDTL= Timor Liste Defense Force
    Inter National Police
    UNP.S.N.4 = UNPOL Station n 4
    CIV.S.N.  2 = CIVPOL Station n 2
    UNL.S.N.5 = UNMIL Station  n 5
    I PS.= International police Service
    IPTF= International Police Task Force
    UNMISS = United Nation Mission in south Sudan
    PKF= Peace Keeping Force
    Kfor-  Kosovo force
    UNMISET = United National Mission of support in     East Timor
    UNMIK= United National Mission in Kosovo
    UNAMID = United National African Mission in     Darfur
    Wit- witness
    Vic - victim
    Mal - male
    Fem – female
    Ano-Caller- Anonymous Caller (अज्ञात कलर)
    Rec - received
    Dis- dispatched
    Inf- inforemed
    Arr - arrived
    St- street
    GR -
    GN -
    GC -
    Color
    Bla/whi/gra/tan/gre/yel/mar/blu
d.o. – duty officer
s.c. – station commander
i.o – investigation officer
p.t – patrol team
t.l. team leader
p.u. – patrol unit
c. pol. – chief of police
f.b. – fire brigade
b.u. – back up unit
r.c. – regional commander
u.a.  un advisor
r.t. – rescue team
p.v. – patrol vehicle
p.c. – patrol car
c. s. – call sign
c.t. – cordon team
re.t. –reserve team
se. c. - section commander
d.c.p – deputy chief of police
q.r.t. – quick response team
imm - immediately
sud - suddenly
hrs - hours
amb - ambulance
veh - vehicle
pol . c – police commissioner
res – responded
Att – attended
B d t – bomb disposal team


          Report Writing        

 Daylight Robbery

    An East Timorese woman, aged 32, was robbed by two Militia men in their 20's CIVPOL monitors have been called in to assess the situation and conduct an interview.
    On the 27th June 1999 an East Timorese woman aged 32, was robbed in 3road daylight, midday. The Two robbers jumped out of the bushes on her way home for lunch, armed with a gun and machete. One was in front and one behind. They demanded her purse, watch and jewelry. First she refused to hand over anything, so the man in front pushed her then punched her in the stomach. She then gave her valuables, but the men didn't believe that she had given everything. The one behind her pinned her arms behind her while the other one punched her repeatedly in the stomac

h. She passed out and when she woke up, the men had gone. She was hurt quite badly so she had to spend a day in hospital. She was threatened by the men; they said that they would kill her if she informed the police. They were probably Militia as they asked her if she had voted in the independence election and became angry when she said yes. She had never seen the men before.
reasons for incident and description of assailants
    Both the men were in their early 20's and were about 5'6-5'8 inches tall wearing red bandannas. One dressed in camouflage fatigues and the other in faded denims and a white t-shirt, the taller one had a scar down the right cheek.
    The woman was probably robbed as the two men knew, or had heard, that she had voted in the independence election, and wanted to confirm it and hit back at her for doing so.
conclusion \Summary
CIVPOL will pass this information to the local police and said that she should contact them should the men return and threaten her again. CIVPOL  assured the woman that they would patrol her streets more closely.
 
Hijacking
    A plane has been hijacked on route from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Rome, Italy on 20 July 2001
    Flight IA 504 is hijacked by five armed men twenty minutes into the flight. It is on its way to Rome, Italy from Kuala Lumpur International. The hijackers divert the plane to Bangkok and demand the release of their 6 friends in an East Timorese jail. They threaten to blow up the plane if their demands are not met. The bomb is apparently in the luggage compartment. After 3 hours, the plane lands in Singapore and the hijackers ask for food and water. The plane is then surrounded by Army Special Forces and food and water is given in exchange for female hostages. Negotiations take place between hijackers and local authorities, why say they need 5 hours to arrange the release of their 6 friends. After 5 hours, the authorities refuse to release 6 but agree to 3. 15 hours of negotiations go on and finally the men surrender to the authorities.
Reasons for incident/Description
    The hijackers have hijacked the plane to force the release of their friends in an East Timorese jail. There are five armed men on the plane armed with pistols and possibly a hand grenade. They say there is a bomb in the luggage compartment.
Conclusion/Summary
    After 15 hours of negotiations, there is no breakthrough and the hijackers surrender without any of their demands being met. All hostages are released unharmed.
Hit and Run
    On the main, highway running to Madrid,, northwest of the city of Barcelona, at 10:30PM, on Friday the 2nd February/there has been a hit and run case. Eyewitnesses say it was a 1996, opal grey, Austin Minor car with caravan. The car was heading towards Madrid when a cyclist on the same road was hit. It was raining and visibility was very bad. The cyclist for some reason moved onto the road from the cycling lane and was hit. His cycle was completely crushed, and has left leg and arm were broken, he received minor injuries to his head, even though he was wearing helmet. The victim was wearing cycling gear but did not have any protection from the rain. He was about 18 years old, slim and 5'10" tall. The cyclist was coming from Madrid. The victim was taken to Barcelona hospital and is said to be out of danger. The car was said to have some scratches from the cycle on the left-hand side as well. Due to the poor visibility, the witnesses at the scene of the crime could not read the number plate.
    A search is taking place for the car in Madrid, as it as heading in that direction. The eyewitness said that there were four people in the car and didn't know if there were more in the caravan. By the brief close look he got and poor visibility, the witness thinks they were all men.
Trapped in an Earthquake
    It was 1:00 AM on Friday the 16th December 1990. Almost all the residents of Cyber town were asleep. It was raining very lightly and it was very dark. All of a sudden at 1:02 AM there was a tremor of more than 6.7 on the Richter scale. It lasted for about 3 minutes. All the houses collapsed pulling down telephone and electrical poles. Fires started, as the main gas supply the houses was broken and gas was leaking everywhere. The people, who managed to wake up and run out of their houses, were running around trying to find a safe place. The ones who were injured or trapped were crying out for help. The whole place was in chaos. Police and army personnel (the ones that had survived the earthquake) were called in to help, and take charge of the situation.Out of the total 50 houses in the town at least 40 of the houses were completely destroyed. Those that were not destroyed were damaged very badly. Ambulances from the near by towns were called in to help with the situation, as they were not as badly effected, as they did not fall directly in the earthquake line.

    The army set up temporary tents in order to accommodate the injured and lost, and a mobile unit was put up for immediate relief. Nearby towns and cities sent out relief workers to help with the situation. Food and medicine vas quickly requested for. By 4:00 AM people were either looking for the missing people or burying the dead. There was a slight haze in the sky from all the dust that had been floating around from the crumbling buildings. t would take the people of Cyber town at least 3-6 months to bring things lack to normal for themselves.
Selling  Alcohol
    At dusk on Saturday 29 September 2001, Mr. Abdul Hamid a young man who is 28 years old, the owner of a small restaurant, in downtown Abu Dhabi. His shop was next to the tall building of the central Bank. Even 'though it was a Saturday, and a holiday, he decided to open his small shop, because his business had not been very good and he needed all the extra money to support his large family. He had only five or six customers during the whole day but he was looking forward to the evening when men would come to have drink. Although, being a Muslim country it was permitted to sell the locally brewed Stella beer, from which he could make quite a bit of profit.
    Then around 9:OOPM two men casually dressed came into his shop and asked him for some beer and things to eat. As soon as he had brought their order, they both stood up and caught him and held his hands behind his back. They said that they were from the Religious police, and that it was forbidden by the Sharia law to sell any sort of alcohol on a holiday. They said that ithere had been a new law passed saying that this was the new rule for all public holidays. The penalty for abusing this law was death, or 100 lashes. Abdul Hamid apologized to the policemen saying that he was not aware that this new law had been imposed, he begged the two policemen to forgive him as it was his first offence and begged them for mercy. Both the officers looked at each other and gave the situation a lot of thought, after some time they released him with a very stem warning.


ALLEGED WITCH HACKED TO DEATH
    A 46-years-old woman accused of being a witch was hacked to death in a remote village in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura, the Press Trust of India reported Thursday. The news agency said the woman was known as a I "spinster in the  village because she had remained unmarried. The woman.KuntiDebbarma, lived on her own and was always fairly quiet, reserved and  considered odd to the villagers. She was forcibly removed from her hut in Tuiching village in western Tripura at approximately 4:40pm witnesses said. She was dragged into the middle of the village by 7 of her neighbors who then proceeded to hack her to death using machetes and axes. She had been accused of allegedly practicing sorcery in her village and putting a spell on a newborn baby that had recently died. Police have launched an operation in the remote tribal area to catch Debbarma's neighbors who are now hissing. Witnesses stated that there were 3 women and 4 men in her death. However, villagers have stated that they were unaware of the whereabouts of the missing people. One man stated that the missing neighbors were reportedly in Jhasi, while another male stated he saw them in the next village over. A female informant stated that after the attacks, two men and one of the woman headed southeast on foot, while the other women and one man headed north by bus, she didn't know the whereabouts of the other man involved. Police have been receiving conflicting reports and will continue their search for the attackers. Every year, several women are killed in India at the hands of villagers after being accused of sorcery. Last year there were 213 reported murdered of "accused' witches in India alone.
RAINSTORMS KILL 3, HURT 50

    Early Monday morning at approximately 3:30am, tropical storms blew away over 6,469 mud and thatch houses and knocked down approximately  396 trees in northern Bangladesh, killing three people and leaving nearly 5,332 people homeless, police reported early Tuesday
Morning. The storms were unexpected for many of the villagers and almost all of the people involved had been asleep when the storms hit. one woman and her baby girl were crushed to death when their tin-roofed house collapsed during the storms. The woman and child were apparently alive after the storm ended, but villagers were unable to rescue them before their deaths. One man was killed by lightning while trying to savetwo young manwho were also trapped in the thatch house next to his. Fifty people were injured during the rainstorms in Netrokona, Sylhet and Moulvibazardistricts  according to police reports in Ittefaq and Janakantha. It is unknown how many injured people are being hospitalized at the moment. The storms not only leveled mud and thatch houses, but tin roof houses as well in the farming region 132 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Dhaka, the national capital. Police officers are Trying to organize search parties to help remove bodies from the rubble in hopes of knowing an exact number of deaths. At this moment the death toil is three, but police fear that once the house rubble has been cleared, the death toll will dramatically increase.

Jail Break
    There were 350 I nmates in Alcatraz Jail, and 60 staff. It was classified as a maximum security jail and escape was considered to be next to impossible.It is situated on an island and is surrounded by water, which is infested with Sharks. The security staff are shuttled to and from the island by ferry twice a day, which a is the only way in and out.However on the night of 3 April 1992, there was a jail break. Twenty of the inmates managed to escape.What happened was, when the evening ferry came to shuttle the day stuff back to the mainland at 5:00 PM, a fire was started in the dining hall by some of the inmates, in the central building. Most staff on duty rushed to the scene and tries to put out the fire. In the meantime, while all the staff were busy with the fire, the twenty who escaped managed to overpower the guards at the main gate and boarded the ferry which was only manned by two guards. they took the ferry to an isolated spot and abandoned it there. Although the local police were informed, and a search was conducted, they managed to escape. A description of each has been given to the central police headquarters and also to all sub-offices.It has been a week since the incident, and there are no clues as the where they are now. Their friends who are still in the jail are not willing to talk or help authorities on this matter.
ARSON- -NARRA TIVE
    At 2100 hours on Friday 15th September 2000 an Albanian male called Mentor. Who lives in pristina, at Grid reference 136 247.heard a knock at the front door of his house. when he opened it. he saw three masked men standing there. One of hese men grabbed hold of him, held a hunting knife to his throat, and told Mentor. inAbanian no to move or he would be killed. The other two men then entered his house and started to destroy the living -room furniture with a large hammer. which they had with them. The taller of the two men was dressed in green combat clothing and a red ski mask, and the shorter man was wearing blue trousers, a white jacked and a blue ski mask, all three were speaking Serbian to each other. when the two men had finished breaking the living-room furniture, they went upstairs and continued to destroy the furniture there. Later the shorter man in the white jacket came down the stairs and ran outside, returning shortly afterwards  carrying a red plastic container. He poured petrol from the container over the broken living-room furniture and the tall man then set the furniture alight. The  three man started to laugh and the one holding Mentor told him. in Albanian, that it was time the Albanians knew what it was like to have their homes destroyed.  mentor tried to break free, but was pushed to the ground and kicked in the stomach a number of times. The house was starting to fill with smoke, the tall man told him not to report the incident or they would cut his throat. The three men then ran from the house laughing. Mentor was able to crawl from the house into the street, where he saw, abut one hundred meters down the street. The three men standing under a streetlight talking to another male person, who was giving them money.Thethree  men then got into a white Alfa Romeo driving off in the direction of the hospital and the other person walked away towards the town center. The Fire services arrived about five minutes later, by which time the house was well on fire, with flames leaping through the roof. The only items of property, which were saved from the house, were a clock and a satellite dish. Two UNMIK police patrols attended the scene and assisted in keeping people away from the fire. A Danish police officer took  Mentor to the hospital in Pristina, for treatment to his left hand, which he had burnt saving the clock from die house. Mentor was requested to attend police station number one, Pristina, at 1200 hours the following day, to be interviewed.
SUICIDE  - NARRATIVE

    At 1230 hours on Tuesday 3 October 2000, an Albanian male called Besnik went to the UNMIK Police Station Number 4, in Pristina. He stated that his uncle's neighbour had telephoned him and said that he had heard a gunshot from the uncle's house.
An INMIK Police unit was sent to the address, at Grid reference 129326. arriving at the scene at 1240 hours, where they found an elderly male person lying on the kitchen floor. The emergency medical services were called to the scene and Doctor Agim KRASNIQI pronounced the male dead at 1315 hours, the man had died from one gunshot wound to his head. The dead man was an Albanian about 45 years old, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a gray jersey. Next to the body were an Astra automatic pistol, and one empty 7.65 bullet case. A neighbor informed the Police Officers that he had heard a gunshot from next door. at 1200 hours that day and then telephoned Besnik. Both he and the nephew identified the body as Raji HARB. The neighbour also stated that he had been living next door to Raji for 20 years, and that Raji had been suffering from tuberculosis. This disease had caused him a lot of pain over the last year and he had attempted to commit suicide twice before. Also found at the scene, near the body, were a suicide note written on a newspaper and a wedding ring.
    The last person to see Raji alive was his nephew. It was at 0730 hours .morning when he saw his uncle cleaning his car. The body was taken to (mortuary in Pristina hospital. Besnik was requested to attend the Police lion at 1300 hours the following day for interview.

ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT- NARRATIVE

    At 1125 hours on Tuesday 2 May 2000 a Traffic Accident occurred at the main roundabout in south Pristina, grid reference 129217, the vehicles .involved were a British Army Landrover and a black Nissan jeep. The circumstances to the accident were as follows: the Landover drove onto the roundabout from the Northern entrance and the black Nissan jeep, which was already driving around the roundabout, failed to give way to the Landrover, so a collision occurred between the two vehicles. After the collision the Nissan jeep drove away from the scene, towards Pristina Hospital. A witness it the scene was able to give a description of the driver of the jeep as a young dark haired female, approximately 20 years of age, wearing a white blouse, who was alone in the car. The witness also recorded the car's registration number 044 KS 141, on an envelope she was carrying. A joint UNMIK and KPS police patrol arrived at the scene fifteen minutes later, the UNMIK police officer was from Zimbabwe. It was raining at the time of the accident, visibility was poor and the traffic on the roundabout was heavy. the police took measurements of the road and retained broken headlight ass and traces of black paint, found at the scene of the accident. The military driver and his front seat passenger were not wearing their seat belts the time of the accident and both received bruising to the head chest. they were taken to the British Military Hospital to receive medical treatment. The damage to the military vehicle was a badly dented front left side wing; the vehicle was towed to the British Barracks in Pristina. The fitness identified herself as an UN civilian employee, working as a finance officer, in room 12, United Nations Headquarters, Pristina.
 


ROBBERY - NARRATIVE
    At 2010 hours on Monday 18 October 1999, in Pristina, a Serbian female stopped an UNMIK Police Patrol. She was very upset, reporting that her house had been robbed. The patrol took her back home, which was at grid reference 125 227.
At the address the police officers spoke to the woman's husband, a Serbian, who owns a Jewelry shop. which is located in the same building. He stated that at 1930 hours he and his wife were eating in their kitchen when there was a knock at the shop door. When he opened the door he was faced by three men. He described these persons as all being about 25 years old. dressed in green military type jacket and trousers, with their faces covered by dark masks. The leader of the group held an AK 47 in his right hand, the other two were armed with a revolver and a large knife. He also noticed a white Volkswagen car with a female in the driver's seat, parked in front of the shop. the car's engine was running. The leader of the group shouted at the owner in Albanian, forced him back into the kitchen and demanded money from the shop safe. When the victim refused, the man with the revolver hit him across the face knocking him down to the ground. It was then that the power went off and the house was thrown into darkness. The victim started to struggle with the suspects and he managed to take the revolver from one of the men. The suspects then ran from the house through the' rear door. The victim chased them out of the building and saw the two with the rifle and the knife getting into the white Volkswagen, which then drove off towards the city centre. The third suspect disappeared into the woods at the back of the house. Later the police searched the woods and the jacket of the third suspect was found. In the jacket was a driving license and a photograph of a young girl. The revolver, jacket and the other items were seized by the police for further examination. As a result of his struggle with the three suspects the victim received a swollen right eye and a cut to the head, which were later treated at Pristina hospital. It was also revealed that the suspects had taken two gold rings and three silver bracelets, with a total value of 1300 German Marks. The police advised the victim that they would make a report and investigate the incident.                                                   
 

ARMED ROBBERY-NARRATIVE

    Monday 1 of May 2000 about 0140 hours an Albanian male went to the Local UNMIK Police Station and reported that an Armed Robbery had taken ice at the Mini Market near the Stadium. When the Police Patrol arrived at the Mini Market, they found the Security Guard in an office, his hands were handcuffed behind his back and his mouth had been covered with tape. hen they released the guard, he gave them the following information. He stated that he had been employed as a Security Guard at the Mini Market since November 1999 and he was responsible for the security of the building when it closed. On Sunday 30 April he started work at 2100 hours, he checked the building and found the doors and windows secure. After he had finished checking the building he went to his office to complete some paperwork. He was listening to the radio, when at 0015 hours he heard a noise in the Mini Market. Before he could react, the office door opened and four males rushed in. They were all about 20 years old and all wearing a red baseball hat. The one with the hat an automatic pistol of some kind, which he held in his right hand and one of the others, had a baseball bat, which he held in his left hand. The man with the gun pointed it at the guard and shouted at  him. in Serbian, to sit still or he would be killed. Two of the males then gagged and bound him, the one with the baseball bat stayed with him. The hers went out of the office and he heard them taking things out through the side door. About half an hour later the man with the gun re-entered the office warning him again to be quiet, then all four left the Mini Market through theside door. He believed the persons were Serbian as they talked to each otherand him only in Serbian. He waited for sometime before trying to raise the alarm he was eventually heard by the guard of the store next door, who reported the incident to the UNMIK police. This person also stated that at 0045 hours that night he saw a dark colored Mercedes leaving the Mini market car park, towards the Airport. The Police and the guard carried out a check of the building; they found a rear window had been forced open. The Victim stated that 28 cases of Whiskey and 53 boxes of cigarettes had been taken, however all the money was still in safe.
 

ARMED ROBBERY-NARRATIVE (Bank Robbery)

    At 0848 hours on Wednesday the 23rd of September 2000, UNMIK Police Officers from Pristina police station number 1 and units from KFOR responded to a coded alarm for a Bank Robbery in progress at the First Union Bank. Pristina.On arrival at the Bank UNMIK.Police found a Bank employee and two cash securtity guard inside the building, 'hey interviewed the employee, who stated that he was the Head Cashier of the First Union Bank and that he had started work early, about 0630 hours, because there was to be a delivery of a large sum of money. At 0645 hours he saw the Armoured Cash Truck, stop outside the bank and the security guards form the truck were opening the rear doors. A large black BMW stopped immediately behind the armoured truck and two armed men limped from the BMW and pointed their weapons at the guards. On seeing this the cashier attempted to call the police by telephone, but the lines were busy. He was armed with a Glock 17 automatic pistol, so he went to assist the guards. On leaving the bank he was confronted by a third man who had a revolver. The cashier was shouted at. in Albanian. to put his pistol down or he would be killed, so he dropped his pistol. Then he and the two guards were taken into the bank. Where the cashier was forced to open one of the offices. The armed men then tied the three together with rope and covered their mouths with yellow sticky tape, warning them not to try and escape. The armed men then  left the office locking it behind them. At 0845 hours the bank staff came into work and found the cashier and guards locked in an office, so the manager activated the alarm. The cashier was able to describe the suspects as three young men. One was muscular. approximately 1.90 meters tall, the second man was well built about 1.75 meter tall and the third was quite thin about 1.60 meters tall. They all wore green military coveralls and  had covered their faces with black ski masks. The two tall suspects were carrying shotguns and the third suspect was carrying a black revolver. A total of four million five hundred thousand German Marks, in various denominations, was taken from the Cash truck. This large sum of cash was being delivered to pay United Nations Personnel.
 


"EXTORTION"
    On Friday 9 May 2003, at 20.00 hours, an incident was reported to Police Station #5o of a person being severely beaten. The caller witness stated that a beating incident had just occurred at the food store "Best Price", which was located at Main Street -25, grid reference 193-168. Immediately, a police patrol was dispatched to the scene of the incident. On arrival at the scene of the incident at 20.15 hours the officers observed, that the 42-year-old male food storeowner, had been very badly beaten on his face. Due to the very serous condition of the storeowners injuries the officers decided to immediately transport the victim by ambulate to the local hospital for treatment.the 37-year-old female witness to the incident said she and the storeowner lad been friends for the last 3 years. At 19.50 hours, while she was six meters away from the incident hiding behind a bread display, she observed the owner of the store and the offender, a male that was about thirty years of age, 175 cm tall, very heavy build, with long black hair and beard, brown leather coat, white shirt and black pants arguing loudly.
    The witness advised that she over heard the offender say to the storeowner that he was late in paying the 900 euros which were due to be paid at the beginning of each month, and that if the money was not paid he would destroy the store by fire.
the witness advised that the storeowner said to the offender that he refused" to pay any more extortion money to him. The witness then stated that she observed the offender remove a small black club from his coat pocket with his right hand and strike the store owner five times in the face with the club while holding him by the neck with his left hand, and then put the club back in his coat pocket.

    Further interview of the witness revealed that she was employed as a teacher the local school, and resided at Airport Street-49, grid reference 836-742, the witness stated that she had never seen the offender in the store before incident happened. The witness further stated to the officers that the
 


JOURNALIST

On 14 May 2003 at 09.30 hrs a fair haired 180 cm tall, about 35 years old male, with glasses, dressed in blue jeans, brown shoes and black shirt walked into to the police station #3. A young female police officer met him at the duty room and asked him about the reason of his visit. The visitor said. that he was a journalist and needed to speak to the station commander of this police station. The duty officer noticed, that the man looked very upset. She enquired about the reason and the man said, that his photo camera was missing since yesterday evening. He also added, that he was not upset because of the loss of the camera, but mostly because of the loss of the film in this photo camera. The station commander of the police station was not available. He was attending a meeting in the Main Headquarters and the visitor had to wait for 30 minutes, sitting in the waiting room. While he was waiting for the Station Commander, the duty officer gave him a cup of tea. hen the journalist said, that he would not wait longer and left his telephone number as 507-631 asking to call him as soon as the Station Commander would return from the meeting. Then he the Police Station left at 10.00 hrs.
the Station Commander returned from the meeting at 10.15 hrs. The duty officer advised the Station Commander about the journalist. The Station Commander called for the investigation officer and ordered him to call the journalist and to look into the matter.
The investigation officer rang the journalist and they agreed to meet at the reception area of the hotel named "21st Century" at 11.00 hrs. As they met, they walked outside the hotel and sat on the bench in the park. The journalist said, that he was working for a magazine called "Towns and People". He arrived in the town of llth May 2003 to take pictures about customs and tradition of the population, living in this town. The job was over and he took 2 pictures. On 13 May at 19.30 hrs he took a taxi from the old bridge over the river to the city center. He thought, that he had forgotten the bag with the photo camera and films in the taxi. The investigation officer asked him to describe the taxi and the taxi driver. The taxi was a yellow 4-door sedan car.
 

fight in bar (sample report)

    According to the eyewitness, who was present at the scene, it was the evening and approximately 40 people were having drinks in the bar with their friends. A part form this. there were 10-15 army personnel also having a drink there. They had completed their duty and were about to return home. There was a discussion between the barman and the army men concerning the number of drinks that had been consumed. The barman had added extra drinks on their bill bringing to the total for their bill to S200. However, the army men had actually only drunk $100 worth of drinks. The army man who went to the bar to pay the bill a disagreed withthe barman's total, which was more than double, and was accused by the barman oftrying to pay less. There was a heated exchange between the two, ending in the barman punching the army man in the face and telling the army men to get out of the bar. When the fight started the witness was at the bar, having a beer, and was.at happened. After being punched, the army man called his friends and they started smashing all the tables and chairs and fighting with the locals who were supporting the barman. During the fighting, the witness was hit on the head with a beer bottle that had been thrown by somebody. After that.he hid under the table.

    According to the eyewitness account, the trouble started because the barman tried to overcharge the army men for drinks, which they had not consumed. The two sdes became very heated and it then erupted into fights between the army and local people.

    The CIVPOL monitor assured the witness that he/she would report the incident to the local police and thanked the witness for co-operation.

 

“UNMIL RADIO”

People around the world like to listen to the radio. People listen to the radio at home, at work, in the car and in the streets. People listen to the news, weather forecast and like to listen to the music. Liberians are no exception to this common tradition. The Civil war in Liberia was over in 2003. People’s lives and hopes turned to good. More Liberians began walking with a radio in their hands listening to the news and music. There are three main radio stations in Monrovia operating on FM frequency: Music radio on frequency 90, 2. Official radio of the United Nations Mission in Liberia on frequency 91, 5; and World news radio station on frequency 103. The transmission of these radio stations is also well heard in neighboring countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

A young Liberian man called John was listening to the UNMIL radio. He heard that the nationwide campaign on Disarmament was launched on 3-d of December 2003. He also heard that the campaign was coordinated by the UNMIL radio with intention to inform combatants and communities in Liberia about this program.

           John is a 28 year old Liberian citizen; he has been married for 10 years and has three kids: two sons and a daughter. The daughter is 9 years old, the oldest son is 7 and the youngest is 5.  John and his family still currently live at his father’s house in Monrovia. John finished high school in May 1993 and received his certificate upon completion. During the war he was unemployed and now he is still looking for a job. Like many Liberians he usually played football on weekends and was listening to the radio. His favorite radio station is the Music radio.
On 21st of December 2004, John went to the center of Monrovia to look for a job as a security officer at the shop. He walked into a supermarket which was trading electronic goods. While he was waiting for a manager of the supermarket to ask him if he would hire him, John heard an announcement on the UNMIL radio about recruitment of police officers for the Liberian National Police Service. John left the supermarket without even having a response from the manager. John decided to become a police officer. Walking home John saw a poster on the wall of the Police station located in the center of Monrovia and read that applicants, who successfully meet basic criteria in fitness, writing, psychological and medical tests would be invited for interview at the Police HQ.   

           When John came home he spoke with his father about his intention to become a police officer. His father said that he would be proud if John was a police officer. John successfully passed all necessary tests and on Monday, 17th of January 2005 he was invited to come to the police Headquarters for interview.    

The following conversation is the dialogue between a police officer and John.
 
 â€œPolice medal”

    On 14 January 2005, a journalist from the Police magazine called “To Serve and protect” went to see the magazine Director and proposed writing an article about the history of police medals awarded to citizens for their assistance to the Police. The presumed name of the article was “Police Medal”.

    On 16 January 2005, the journalist went to the Police museum located at Main street number74 to conduct research for the article. While in the museum, he was pleased to see pictures, letters of appreciation, and medals given to young citizens, for their assistance to the Police during investigation of crimes.

    In the records section of the museum, the journalist read that on May 7, 1947 the Chief of Police reported the kidnapping of an 8 year old girl, when she was walking home from school. He said that this crime might have gone unresolved if there had been no cooperation between the citizens and the police. Two youths, 11 and 15 years old, witnessed the girl being abducted and took down the registration plate number, PK 5386, of the vehicle used to commit the crime. This led to the immediate arrest of the criminals. The girl was freed and returned to her parents.

    The common practice of the 20th century was to send letters of thanks to the citizens, but the Police Commission decided thate wanted something special to recognize young people who helped the Police department. It was decided that a "Board of Police Commission Medal" should be formed to plan for the presentation in such cases. Medal designers were instructed to enquire as to the design and costs.

The following resolution was presented and passed unanimously. The medal was to be made of bronze with the words "Police Commission Award" on the front side of the medal and the reverse side was to specify the name of the recipient as well as the date of the service rendered and the words "For praiseworthy service in law enforcement". The estimated cost of production of this medal was 250 dollars.

The medal presentation was always made in the office of the Mayor, who also served as  Chairman of the Police Commission. The first ceremony took place on 26th of November, 1947. The medals were awarded to two boys 11 and 15 years old, who reported the abduction of a girl along with vital clues that led to the immediate arrest of the suspects.

    The next award was presented in 1948 on April 15th to a 17 year old male, who had witnessed an armed robbery attempt at a jewelry shop.  The young male began following the gunman. He saw two Police officers and informed them of the circumstances and they were able to arrest the gunman without incident.

    Before publishing the article, the director of the Police magazine asked the journalist to come to his office to brief him about the article. The following conversation is the dialogue between the director of the Police magazine and the journalist.

''WAR CRIMINAL”

On Friday, 28 January 2005 at 07.00 hrs a mobile police patrol started their day shift. Two police officers drove police vehicle Jeep # 864. The first route was from Police Head Quarters towards the fish market.

    At 07.45 hrs the officers saw a crowd of about 20 people on the Main Street of Monrovia, Grid coordinates LG 305-681. The people at the scene were shouting. The Police officers observed that there were two men fighting. Some of the people from the crowd were hitting one of them  whom they believed was guilty. He was bleeding from the head. Police officers decided to stop the car. It was very obvious, that if the police patrol would not stop, the perceived offender’s life would have been in danger.  It was well known from police sources that 95 mob justice cases had been registered during the past 6 months. Many of these cases had fatal results. The fighters and the crowd were acting aggressively and were very excited. Any step made by the police towards the crowd was very dangerous. 

The team leader of the police patrol, using the loud-speaker system warned the mob to stop fighting. It had diverted the attention of the crowd for a moment. There was no time for hesitation. Police officers rushed into the crowd and took the fighters into a police car. Then they drove to the nearest Police station, located at the airport grid reference LG 307-692. On their way, the team leader of the police patrol gave first aid to the victim and bandaged his head. The driver of the patrol car sent a radio message to the Airport Police Station, reporting the fighting case, adding, that they would be arriving at the Police Station in 10 minutes.

When the police patrol arrived to the Police Station the fighters were taken by the duty officer to the interrogation room. The team leader of the patrol car was asked by the commander of the Airport police to proceed to the police station in order to give details as to what had happened.  During interrogation the two men involved in the case were asked why they were fighting. The man with the injured head said, that he was 35 years old, lived on Green Street number 81. He was the employee of the telephone company called “Lone star”. He also stated that he had never seen the offender before. He then said that he left the house at 07.30hrs for work, but was attacked by the offender. He stated that the offender accused him of being a war criminal and then hit him on the head with an iron pipe. Immediately people from neighboring houses rushed to the scene. Then the police arrived to the scene. The Airport police commander asked the patrol team leader to send the driver of the patrol team to the location of the incident and to find the iron pipe for evidence. The driver of the patrol team returned to the scene and found the iron pipe with blood stains, lying on the grass. The Police patrol continued the shift and drove to the forensic laboratory to deliver this exhibit for forensic examination.
 After the shift was over at 19.00 hrs., the team leader of the patrol team and the driver came to their office to write a report about the results of the shift. 

The following conversation is the dialogue between the Team leader of the Police patrol team and the driver of the Police car preparing to write a report.
“SHOOTING INCIDENT”.

    On Monday, 14th of March 2005 two police officers were conducting a mobile patrol between the stadium and the water tower. They drove Police vehicle jeep # 472, red and white in color.  At 12:45 hrs, the Police heard gun shots at grid coordinates LG 315-692. The driver of the police car drove in the direction of the gun fire. On the radiothe team leader requested for a back up. At 13.10 hrs the Police patrol arrived at house # 59 on Stadium Street. The Police saw the barrel of a rifle sticking out from the window of this house, directed towards the street. The officers were not able to see who was holding the rifle because of the window curtain. The back up police unit arrived at 13.20 hrs and surrounded the house. The team leader of the patrol unit loudly gave the verbal command to whoever was in the house to throw the rifle out of the window and walk slowly out of the house with his hands up in the air. No sound or movement came from the house and the rifle remained in the same position.  The team-leader warned the gunman, that if he did not follow the previously given verbal command, the police would open fire. Again, there was no response from inside of the house.

    At 13.30 hours the back-up unit began an assault on the house. As they entered the house, they observed that nobody was there. The rifle was resting on the window with the barrel pointing towards the street and the butt of the rifle was held on the back-rest of a chair. The police made a quick search of the house and discovered that nobody was there.  They found only the rifle, two empty bullet cases on the floor near the window and blood stains on the chair.

    The police did not take anything from the scene, as the forensic group had not arrived.
The team leader and the driver of the patrol car knocked on the door of the neighboring house. After approximately 10 minutes a 60 year old woman opened the door. She was wearing a green dress and a black scarf on her head. She said that she did not want to open the door because she was afraid of the gunfire near the area of her house. She stated that when the shooting started, she counted a total of 7 gunshots. The woman also saw three masked men of a muscular build shooting in the direction of her neighbor’s house. When the gunfire ended, she stated that she saw that masked men took her neighbor from the house and placed him into a gray colored minibus. The witness was sure that they drove towards the airport. She also noticed that her neighbor was wounded and that his right shoulder was bleeding.
The patrol team remained at the scene to secure the evidence while waiting for the arrival of the forensic group.

    The forensic group arrived at the scene at 14.00 hrs. They made a search of the area and found more 5 empty bullet cases near the fence of the house. The forensic team took the rifle, all empty bullet cases and samples of the blood stains removed from the chair into custody for further examinations.
Later in the shift, the patrol unit heard on the radio, that the suspected minibus was stopped at a check point near the Airport. The suspects were arrested and charged for unlawful possession of weapons and kidnapping. The kidnapped man was taken by the airport police to the hospital.

    The following conversation is the dialogue between the chief of police and the team leader of the Police patrol.


“STRANGE VISITOR”.

    Newly appointed Regional Police Chief was expected to report for duty on Monday 28 of March 2005 at 08.00 hrs. Before showing up for duty officially he conceived a plan to check how duty officers in different Police stations perform their duties in an unusual situation.

    On rainy Friday evening at 18.30 hrs on March 25, 2005 he put on civilian clothes and went to the Police station # 5 at grid reference MG 497 – 551. He introduced himself as the director of the “Atlantic pictures” photo studio. The visitor was dressed in brown shoes, gray pants, white shirt and black cloak. At a sight he was about 40 years old, slim built, 175 cm. tall.
He asked the duty officer that he wished to receive a complaint form for the purpose of reporting a citizen’s complaint against a Police officer.

    The male duty officer replied that he could not file a complaint, but he could call and ask investigation officer of the Police station to come and speak regarding the incident. The visitor said that he did not wish to speak with the investigation officer, but would like to receive a complaint form, with which he could document his complaint in writing and forward it to the appropriate agencies. Then he removed a digital voice recorder from his right pocket and asked the duty officer if he could document via audio recorder his refusal to allow him to receive a complaint form.

    This made the duty officer very angry and he told the visitor to leave or he would be arrested. The visitor promptly left the Police Department without revealing the nature of the complaint. He entered his car a white sedan license # MK 5337 and drove towards the regional police headquarters. As the visitor left, the duty officer called the investigation officer at the regional Police HQ on telephone and reported about this strange visitor. At approx. 19.45 hrs of the same evening the complainant stopped his car at the regional Police headquarters, located at Flower Street # 62. He approached the main desk in the duty room and informed the female duty officer that he would like to receive a complaint form for the purpose of reporting a citizen’s complaint against a police officer.

    The duty officer said that this form was not available to visitors, as the Police department policy was that he must first speak to the investigation officer and describe the incident. The Officer would then decide if the complaint was worthy of a report. She called the investigation officer on telephone and after 5 minutes the visitor was invited to his office.
In the investigation room the visitor displayed his documents and revealed that he was the new regional Police Chief.

    The following conversation is the dialogue between the regional Police Chief and the investigation officer.
Handkerchief


“WITNESS”

On Tuesday 1st of June 2005 at 10.00 hours, an incident of mob justice was reported on telephone to the Liberian Central Police Station.  The caller used the emergency 911 telephone number to call, and stated that the incident was still happening on the side of the road next to the supermarket “Green land” situated on UN road number 73. The caller further stated that approximately 50 people were beating a young man with sticks and throwing rocks at him. Immediately, a police patrol unit was dispatched to the scene.

On arrival at the scene at 10.15 hours, the Police patrol officers observed a large crowd of people. Upon arrival of the police, the crowd quickly dispersed. The police saw a man who was still sitting on the ground. This man was holding his hands over head trying to protect the head from receiving new injures. His head and shoulders were bleeding. His pants and shirt were dirty and torn into pieces, so the color of the clothes was barely recognizable. He was about 18 years of age, slim build, approximately 175 centimeters tall with shaved head. The officers immediately notified an ambulance to respond to the location to transport him to the hospital. 

A male approached the Police patrol unit and said that it was him, who called the police about the mob justice case. He said that his name was David; he was 35 years old and resides at Mango Street number 12. He said that the man sitting on the ground was a thief who had stolen a Nokia mobile phone from the mobile telephone shop in which he, the witness, has been working as a technician for the last two years. The witness then pointed to three men all about 25 years old standing at the side of the road. Two men were unarmed and one was armed with a wooden stick. The witness said that he saw that the victim was hit with a wooden stick a number of times by the third suspect.

He stated that these men were the first who caught the thief and beat him with hands and  wooden stick. Immediately people from the street rushed to the scene to punish the thief. Upon seeing the police officers look in their direction, two of the suspects fled in the direction of the shore of the Atlantic Ocean which was not far away. The third suspect dropped the wooden stick and tried to escape in the crowd. He was a black male, approximately 180 centimeters tall, dressed in blue jeans, green shirt and red cap. The bright colors of his clothes and cap made him visible to the police. The Police patrol officers gave a chase and caught the suspect. They also recovered the wooden stick with fresh blood stains.  The other two suspects escaped by running into a motor boat and sped in the Ocean.  The Police patrol officers handcuffed the captured suspect and charged him for assault and causing serious injuries to the victim.
At 10.30hrs, an ambulance arrived and attended to the victim. The doctor said that the he had suffered massive trauma to his head and shoulders caused by rocks and wooden stick.  The injured male was taken to the Central hospital for medical treatment.  The Police patrol unit reported to the Police headquarters with the captured suspect. The witness was requested to come to the police station for interview the same day at 14.30 hrs.
   

          Nigeria and Ghana advance to CAF group stage in World Cup qualifying        
Ivory Coast players celebrate during their win against Liberia. Nigeria advanced to the third round of African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Swaziland on Tuesday. After a goalless first leg, the Super Eagles finally found a breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Moses Simon curled in a free kick. Nigeria allowed the visitors few chances from that point and doubled their advantage with Fefe Ambrose's free kick in the 87th minute. Phumlani Dlamini was sent off in stoppage time for Swaziland as Nigeria reached the group stage. Ghana also moved...
          Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics        

poverty%20chickens.jpg Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importance of growth vs. smaller interventions and the state of development economics.

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0:33

Intro. [Recording date: June 12, 2017.]

Russ Roberts: Today's episode is a little strange. It starts with the fact that a while back you wrote--not so long ago--you wrote an open letter to Bill Gates, a very wealthy man, reacting to his idea of giving poor people chickens--poor people in Africa--as a way to escape poverty. That open letter of yours to Bill Gates prompted a response from Lant Pritchett. And so, I interviewed Lant about the topic of how do we help the poor. And inevitably some of your arguments and points came into the conversation. So, I want to get your side of the story today on some of those issues and more broadly and more generally on how we should think about development. Let's start with Bill Gates's original idea. What was he suggesting, and how did you respond to it?

Chris Blattman: So, Gates and the Gates Foundation have a lot of big ideas; and this includes driving down financial transaction costs and tackling serious diseases. And generally terrific programs. One idea that Bill Gates has floated a few times in the last year is the idea that chickens are the future for Africa: basically, that they are very poor people who don't have a lot of income, and they are basically scrounging around a subsistence [?]. And, if we could give them chickens, they they'd be able to raise them. They could eat them, of course. But more importantly, they could sell them or they could sell the eggs, and make some extra money. And, this would make them much less poor: maybe they earned $2/day; maybe now they'll earn $4/day. Who really knows? And he called this one of the best investments we could make. Which is probably true to some extent, except what was unusual about his idea is that he envisioned perhaps 30% of Africans. So, this would be 300 million people raising these chickens rather than the existing number, which is maybe 5% of Africans--so, maybe 15 million people, for argument's sake.

Russ Roberts: And, you wrote this open letter. What did you say in that letter?

Chris Blattman: Well, I mean, so, you know, we share a common premise is that one of the reasons people are very poor is that they don't have the opportunity to engage in business: that it's actually not so hard for a lot of people to go from earning $1 a day to earning $2 a day or $2-$4 a day, or $5-$10 a day by starting up a small enterprise; and that the main thing stopping them from doing this is they don't have any capital. If they had capital, they wouldn't be poor. So, they don't have a lot of cash; they don't have a lot of assets; they don't have productive assets. And that could be tools, it could be buildings to build things in; that could be the raw materials, and the skills to build these things. It could be animals. A cow is an asset, or a form of capital; a chicken, or a bunch of chickens is. So, they don't have these things; and they generally don't have access to borrowing. And so, if they get access to capital, you often see people leap ahead and start businesses. So, I think we share this idea. And chickens probably aren't a bad--they aren't a terrible investment. I guess I--before Bill Gates, who is one of the most influential people in development--writes influential development letters--I think it's important to try to correct some possible problems. One is that it's not clear that anyone's going to actually make money if you suddenly go from 15 million to 300 million Africans producing--I think I've actually got my numbers wrong, actually: I'm not doing division and multiplication in my head.

Russ Roberts: It doesn't matter. It's a big [?] increase. And we're pretty sure that--

Chris Blattman: Yeah, 33%--a third of Africa.

Russ Roberts: That could affect the price of eggs. You know. Hypothetically.

Chris Blattman: Yeah. You know. I was surprised he made this argument because he's a very smart guy and he understands economics. So, this isn't a crazy idea: If a third of Africans start producing chickens and eggs, that the price of chickens and eggs are going to fall pretty fast. And there's probably limits to how many chickens and eggs people can eat. So, that's--it just struck me as an odd idea. And if it was some other organization saying, 'We're going to do this,' then I sort of roll my eyes. But when Bill Gates says he's going to do it, there's a good chance he's really going to try, and maybe succeed. So, it's not the best--not everyone should invest in the same thing. And then, of all the things people could invest in, it's not clear to me--and I think there's a lot of evidence pointing to the idea that: Chickens are a fine investment. But they are not necessarily a great investment. And so, why were folks [?] on giving people chickens? I don't know.

6:01

Russ Roberts: But, I thought your real point was: If we gave them money, they'd be free to buy chickens if they wanted; or they could buy a piece of a cow [i.e., a share of a jointly-owned cow--Econlib Ed.]; or they could buy a hammer; or they could buy access to electricity--or whatever it is. And presumably, people have a pretty good idea of what they need relative to what you think they need. And, chickens just obviously--to me--we're going to get more deeply into the economics of this--but it's obvious that chickens is the wrong answer. Whatever the virtues of chickens are, it can't be the case that giving 300 million something is--it's going to be better to give them money. I'm pretty confident about that. Now, you could argue that if you give them money they are going to use it on gambling, or drinking, or partying, or whatever you think is the wrong use of the money; but, 'They can sell the chicken, come on! They can convert it into money.' So, this romance, I think, 'Chickens are the key to the future,' like plastics are in the movie, The Graduate--it's just--or computers in 1978--it does seem a bit naive for someone who is clearly not a naive person. You could think of it as symbolic. But I think your point was: We've had these debates--which is what I think we talked about in a previous episode about different ways to help people with small amounts. Obviously, if you give them 1000 chickens--one person a thousand chickens, and one person a thousand of something else, and another person a thousand of something else, maybe it would really change their lives. But if we're going to give micro-amounts, like 5 chickens, or 1 chicken, cash might be even better. And you and I are both kind of fans of cash. There are problems with cash. That's a different episode. That's not what we're talking about today. We all understand that cash has drawbacks, too. But, I think you proposed--what was interesting about your response to Gates was: 'Let's have a horse race,' to add another animal to the metaphor mix. 'Let's see whether chickens outperform cash.' Right? Wasn't that the thrust of your point?

Chris Blattman: Yeah. And the reason is, is because it may be like a deeper point. It's not about whether--there's lots of reasons cash could be better than chickens, and for the reasons you've just mentioned; and there's some risks, as well. Those are all--and we don't have to talk about--I think generally the picture looks pretty good for cash, and we don't have to talk about the details today. But, the deeper point is the problem with a lot of programs--given that we're already giving--a lot of aid is donor agencies and governments giving very poor people stuff. It's giving them skills-training. It's giving them chickens. It's giving them cash. It's giving them other forms of capital. It's giving them productive assets. Right? And I'm excluding all the stuff that's about public goods, and water, and health--these are huge and they are important. And we're going to set them aside because they are just a different kind of thing. A lot of assistance is giving poor people stuff to either eat or to turn into something they can eat. Meaning, they can start a small business with it. And that's what the training and the cows and the [?] and some of the cash are mainly for. So, the problem with most of these programs is everyone thinks about the numerator: What's the impact of this program? And nobody thinks about the denominator, which is: What's the cost of providing this program? And then, we sort of divide that to get some sort of return. And when we compare those things, if you ignore the fact that some of these programs are dramatically more costly than others to deliver, then even if one is more effective in terms of its impact, in terms of how big a business someone can grow, if it's also 10 times as costly, that's a problem. And this is the problem with chickens, in some sense, is: Somebody has to go and buy the chickens; and then deliver them to the people. Or, somebody has to go and hire a trainer and bring them to the village, to train people in whatever it is you want to train. Maybe it's raising chickens--this is often a big part of these chicken programs. But maybe it's something that's standalone, like how to start a business. Or something. So, this is a problem, because those people--all that labor and all that transport is really, really, really expensive. And these people are often in remote areas. They are very poor. Even if they are in an urban area and not that remote, they are earning so little that giving some reasonably middle-class person in that country to go off and buy the chickens and then deliver them, or deliver the training, or even get the training to go and deliver the chicken, is so costly that it totally outweighs any potential benefits that--maybe not totally, but it grossly outweighs a lot of the benefits. Such that, some of these programs--the studies that have looked at chickens and giving people chickens and cows and goats randomly pay off, but it takes something like 15 or 20 years before they cover the costs. Basically, the impact is as much as the program costs. And that's a lot.

11:02

Russ Roberts: But I also thought your main--and that's a great point. Those are great point. And they raise a separate issue we may come back to, which is: 'Hey, I know what you need. Here.' I alluded to that earlier. It's like, 'You need to learn how to make butter. Here, let me teach you. I'll give you some butter machinery.' There's a certain lack of appreciation for knowledge and how hard it is to understand how to impact a person's life, and the material versus spiritual, and [?]--

Chris Blattman: Well, one of the other things that's going on--I have a lot of friends in these organizations. My wife works for an international rescue committee. I've spent a lot of time working with these organizations. And one of the--if you put yourself in their shoes--first of all, you don't always know. And the thing is that you've seen a lot of programs where people get chickens without the training--because that seemed like a good idea. Or they just get cash. Like, you see a lot of examples where people fail. You don't know if everyone fails. You don't know how many people succeed. You know a lot of people fail. And we know this is true. Like, the big cash experiments I've done, others have done--at least half the people don't really move ahead as a result of this cash. They start a small enterprise and it fails. This is what business is. And that's hard to--you don't know if on balance people are succeeding or failing, especially when you just give them cash. At least with the chickens you can see something there. And you are really hesitant to let people fail. So, you want to do, you want to invest as much as possible in people to minimize the risk of failure, because they are in your circle. You see them, you care about them, you are responsible, you've done something to their lives and in some ways you are responsible. And you have the ability to continue to help them. And you don't see all these other people you are not helping. So, doubling or tripling or quadrupling or even further increasing the cost of a program--not to make them dramatically more successful but just to reduce their costs of failure--is really natural human instinct. Some people would say that's their responsibility; you could make a moral argument that that's appropriate. But I think that's what drives this cost up. So, it's easy for me to sort of, from afar, say, 'Well, I don't know any of these people. They are all strangers to me, and I'd rather see more people helped for less; and if some fail, that's going to happen anyways,' rather than just investing in a small number of people and trying to keep them from failing. But, if I were in their position--certainly when I raise my children I don't take that approach. And that's another extreme example, right? So, you know, I'm sympathetic. But as a small NGO--a small Non-Governmental Organization--you can afford to make your own moral choice about whether you help a lot of people a little bit and let them fail sometimes, or if you help just a few people and really foster them through. But if you are the U.S. Government Aid agency, or you are the Ugandan Bureau of blah-blah-blah that's in charge of this, in some sense you don't get to make that choice. In some sense, your responsibility, I think, is to help the most people.

Russ Roberts: But I also thought you are making a methodological point with Gates which is really interesting, which is: Well, maybe it will have a good impact; maybe it won't. Obviously if you sat down, if you and I had 30 minutes with Mr. Gates we'd say, 'Gee, 300 million is a big increase. Maybe that's going to have an unexpected effect on--you wouldn't want to generalize from the 5% who have chickens now to the 30% you'd like to have them.' And he'd nod, say that's a good point. But I think you are trying to say, 'Let's try to actually measure this. Let's try to actually see--let's learn something. Before we launch this enormous, grandiose experiment, let's do a pre-experiment where we try to see which is better. And we'd learn so much that we would be able to help people much more down the road, not just with your venture.' Is that a fair summary?

Chris Blattman: Yeah. This is actually--I make [?] this point sort of in general: If I go to--pick a country--if I go to Uganda or like Uruguay[?] or Colombia which are all places where I spend a lot of time or have spent a lot of time, you'll see that the government or the World Bank or somebody saying, 'All right, we have this $5 million, or $100 million, or $500 million dollar program that we're going to roll out over the next 5 years; and we've written the program manual and we [?] spend all that money doing x.' And x is quite specific. It might be like chickens. It might be job training. And then they just launch into it. And inevitably it fails, because, what are the chances that you ever get that formula right from the outset when you implement it? And so, 2 or 3 years in they redesign and they start figuring it out; and, they don't have a lot of sense of what's going on. Maybe then they run some evaluations or they turn to more of the evidence. And let's say they get a slightly better program for the last half of that 5-year program. Then, that's a lot of money wasted. And if it's a credit to that country, meaning it's a loan to that country, then some future taxpayer of that country has to pay that back. Which seems kind of tragic. Or it has to be forgiven--some future taxpayer of this country has to pay that back. And that just was all money that--you know, that could have been averted. And I, so every time I'm there, I'm saying, 'Listen, instead of doing this, I'm saying: Why don't you do 5 or 10 things on a small scale for the first year? You have to scale up, you have to get moving. I understand the political pressure. So get moving; but why don't you just try 5 or 10 things? And maybe you then really rigorously study what you're going to do?' That would be fine. Sometimes we should do that. But even if you don't, it will probably be obvious which of those 5 or 10 things seems to be more successful than the others. Certainly the ones that are failures will be more obvious. And then you'll know with more precision, if you invest some money in studying it. So, as a general principle, this is just something that's not done with aid--the sort of trial and error and with some rigorous testing. And we've managed in the last 10 years to introduce the idea of randomized testing with randomized trials without introducing this idea of trial and error and moving ahead and trying many ideas. And that's a problem. I would like to see both. So, that's kind of what I'm saying--this is just another case. Instead of just scaling up your crazily specific program that's only been a little bit tested, why don't you try a few different things and then push ahead with the thing that's most successful? And in this case, I think we've got enough evidence to say, 'Actually, we're doing a lot of this chicken stuff, regardless of what Gates is doing. We're doing a lot of handing out of chickens and cows. And--I don't know if it's $1 billion, or $10 billion, or $100 million dollars a year, but it's somewhere in that range. And if we could spend $10 million dollars just to, like, tweak the direction of that, to sort of kill a bad idea and replace it with a less bad idea'--that's kind of what I want to see. I want to see us rigorously evaluate, like, run a horse race between these different things that we could do, these different varieties, kind of like trial and error but in a structured way. And then just replace the bad things with less-bad things. And thereby make a lot of very, very unfortunate people a bit better off. That's basically it.

18:05

Russ Roberts: So, I have a lot of things to say to that. It's a fantastic summary of, I think, the position you are taking. I just have to mention in passing, though: you said, 'Well, of course it fails.' And I think a lot of people would say, 'How could it fail? You are injecting all this money into these sectors, regions, poor people, whatever. It's got to have some effect--some overwhelmingly good effect. You're putting--you are going to add $100 million into this community?' And it's really, I think, a sobering reality that it often doesn't work very well. So I just want to mention that to the point where you say, 'Well, of course it doesn't work.' But I think most intuitive, everyday people would say it would work, akin to their natural inclination to inject money into the U.S. school system. 'Because the more you spend, the more education you get.' Which of course isn't true. It might be true. But it need not be true. And, if the incentives--

Chris Blattman: Right. And I would say, even if you are more optimistic--and I think if you put in more input you are going to get more output. You put in more money to the educational system, I think probably you are going to get more education, or better outcomes--not always, you are right. Same with this aid, chickens. The chickens are not going to be a bad idea. They are not going to all fail. It's just: We're putting so much money into this that--not only is someone going to have to pay back in future, but it's such a missed opportunity. Like, it's really desperate to--if you were making $1 or $2 a day, this means like, your child is probably going to--the chance your child dies in infancy or of some disease or that some crisis hits and really terrible things happen to someone in your family is just so high. And that's also true at any level of poverty. And it's just more dire and risky, the poorer you are. So, to sort of callously and irresponsibly, in my mind, not try to use the sort of trial-and-error approach and try to do the right thing, and rather than just have 33% of Africans or something producing chickens--they might be a bit better off, they'd probably be better off. What if--that's such a missed opportunity to really change some people's lives? One of the rare instances where I really think aid can have a big impact. It really is an area where we can be super-effective; and I don't say that about a lot of things. And so, it's such a sad, tragic thing not to do this more responsibly.

20:34

Russ Roberts: Well, I want to challenge the premise that underlies that, even though I'm sympathetic to it and it sounds great. We had on the program a while back, Adam Cifu, author of a very provocative book, co-author of a book, Ending Medical Reversal, where he shows that so many times a study will be done, a cross-sectional, longitudinal study, a statistical analysis of some device or some dietary change, some relationship in epidemiology, is alarming or effective, whatever it is. And people start doing this technique or avoiding this technique. And then, 15 years later, there's an actual randomized control trial where people are put into two different groups: You're not using statistical techniques to try to hold things constant; you are actually using a real experiment, not a pseudo-experiment. And you find out that the original finding doesn't hold up under the randomized control trial. So, this is why--we can call it the gold standard of experimental science. It's what scientists do: They see if things can be replicated; they try to actually test things directly. It's a really nice thing. And, there's a huge--I don't want to call it a fad--a trend, we'll call it a trend--it could be a fad--in Development Economics to do randomized control trials. Which is what you're talking about: Wouldn't it be great, do 5 or 10 experiments to see what works and what doesn't work? But, the problem it seems to me is that unlike epidemiology or medical things where a trial could actually often illuminate what does and doesn't work, it strikes me that in human societies, that's a lot more difficult. So, an example we've mentioned before on the program is deworming. Deworming, a lot of excitement about it because some experiments had showed it to be very effective in helping children--if you took the worms and parasites out of their system, they could sit in school longer, make more money, etc.--have better lives. But, it's not obvious that it scales. It's not obvious that it worked in other villages. It's not obviously--etc. So, isn't [?] part of the problem here--and is this a reality or am I being too skeptical?--that, the kind of knowledge that you would like to produce with those trials in the early stages of a large-scale rollout of a program--they are not necessarily going to be as reliable as a true scientific experiment would be?

Chris Blattman: Right. Well, yes. So, this is basically right. But the question is--I guess, my argument would be, I guess I think is a pretty basic premise: Through the accumulation of lots and lots of empirical evidence and theoretical thinking and then using that empirical evidence to sort of understand our theory of poverty--why are people poor and what kinds of things make them less poor? The accumulation of lots of evidence from lots of places is how we get a better theory. This is just how it works; and it will be harder than in physics or medicine for exactly the reasons you say. But, there's a big difference here. So, the deworming excitement is coming off of--I don't know if you know this: I worked on this experiment when I was a graduate student. This was like one of my first jobs in development: I ran one of the followup surveys.

Russ Roberts: I did not know that.

Chris Blattman: Yeah. So, I ran the 5-year followup survey. So, I spent a lot of time with these kids who got this deworming medicine. It's a very incestuous group, a small, incestuous group, development economics. So, listen: There was one big trial showing big effects, and it was on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, which is the birthplace of humanity, and then not coincidentally the birthplace of human parasites. So, an impact of deworming medicine there is going to be not surprisingly quite impactful; and if you go somewhere else, where you are not on the shores of a parasite-filled lake, then maybe it's going to be different. And that doesn't surprise me. And we don't actually have a lot of trials of deworming medicine elsewhere. And, the other ones haven't been very good, or they haven't been very long term, or they haven't measured economic outcomes and educational outcomes. So, we just don't know. Whereas, when it comes to policy, we have dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens. So, it's not just randomized control trials but all sorts of evidence. A great book is Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who sort of pulled together all the descriptive and observational and qualitative, and experimental data. And just a lot of it points to a particular view of poverty--that people have constraints; that from little access to credit and to capital and little access to insurance; and overwhelming evidence that just one of those constraints is relieved, maybe cash, maybe by a chicken, that people leap ahead. That you can make improvements on the margin. And it's not some magic formula. And you can also improve the way financial markets function; and then people get more access to insurance and credit and capital and things. So, it's just a totally different story. And everything I'm saying about both chickens and cash are very consistent with that theory. And now, the randomized trials which I was proposing we do, on large numbers of people and large numbers of countries in different parts of the world, in a way that we could get at what you're saying is sort of getting at the finer details: saying, okay--not knowing if we can make any general statements but, do we see a general pattern across many types of people in many types of places that chickens tend to be lower return than cash? That, people tend to use cash wisely in many places. And then also, very importantly, to figure out what we call the general equilibrium effects. Or the spillover effects. Like, what happens to the whole local economy when you get this giant influx of chickens, or cash? Like it's good? Bad? And it could go either way. We don't really know. So, there's a really different evidence base. And then, the kind of experiment I was proposing, which costs $15 million dollars or some number like that because it's much bigger than anything that's ever been run, is in some sense designed to get around exactly this concern.

26:48

Russ Roberts: So, that's a nice defense. In fact, you are kind of channeling your inner Lant Pritchett there. When you talked about the accumulation of knowledge, he made this similar argument, which I found unpersuasive. But, I find it a little more persuasive in your case. He was talking about general economic theory that's small--any one piece of economic research may not be that informative but it eventually creates this great base of knowledge. And I think that's romanticizing what economic research does, somewhat inaccurately. But let's put that to the side--

Chris Blattman: Well, if I could just interrupt--one thing is: I don't think that knowledge is accumulated to a consistent understanding of how something works across lots of different areas. I also study--I mean, I'm a professor of global conflict studies. In principle, I spend most of my time studying violence, as well. And, we don't really have a good understanding of what reduces violence. Like the things have not accumulated to a coherent answer. Or if you take the macro study of aid, and whether aid is good or bad, and what its good or bad affects our economics or politics--we don't have a coherent answer. It's sort of cumulated into a mess. That was my--

Russ Roberts: Yeah, that was my--it's my, it's close to my view.

Chris Blattman: But there's--but, right. But, other things have turned out--sometimes in certain medical research, and in this case, I think [?] our micro-understanding of poverty turns out, 'Oh, this thing seems to work pretty much similar ways'--you know, we're wrong in lots of details I'm sure. But, more than other things I've understood. And this is why I come on podcasts, you're right, about we should act on this and I don't come on and talk about violence. I don't have a coherent message about what we should do to reduce violence. I don't know that we've accumulated a coherent answer. But, in this case the world works in a simple or straightforward-enough way to have enough evidence, or something about, something the situation is just, I think, points us to more confidence than a lot of other areas. And so, great. And the wonderful thing is it can, like, a lot of people who are in a really, really, really terrible place can benefit from that, in a relatively simple way. This is one of the things that aid does well. Like, just logistically, like just get a lot of stuff out there that seems to work on its own.

29:04

Russ Roberts: This isn't where I thought we'd end up. But let's stay here for a while, because it's so interesting. You are telling me that the aid literature is indecisive--imperfect. Which I think is true. Many people would disagree with you, by the way. I think some people would say, 'Oh, we know exactly what works.' In fact, Lant Pritchett said so: we know it's property rights and free markets and prices. And, while I'm sympathetic to that, I think it actually is more complicated than that. Other people would say, 'We know what works.' Jeffrey Sachs, on the program, 'We just need to give a lot more money. We need to spend it well.' And he thinks he knows how to spend it well. But you are skeptical. Okay. Fine.

Chris Blattman: Well, you know, but Jeffrey Sachs--if you want to say, like an African nation--how do we help an African nation go from $1500 a head to $3000 a head? That's not necessarily a hard problem. Or, you know, that's a hard problem. But it's a much different problem to say, how does that nation, what could we do as outsiders or what could that government do as insiders to get to $20,--- a head? Some sort of like middle-income status. And then nobody has a good answer to that. So, sometimes they are just talking about different changes. When you are talking about development, they can be talking to different things.

Russ Roberts: That's a great point. Just what I was going to say, actually. So, what I was going to say is that, if you are telling me that at the micro level, we know that it's good to give people more access to financial markets--the ability to borrow--because they are often financially constrained. Or, we know that if we give them things they will be better off--it's not so interesting, really. But it really comes to what I think is the crux of the matter. Which is, the, what I would call, the real essential point that Pritchett was upset about in that previous episode, which is the following. He is claiming that--and I have mixed feelings about this, but I don't care, it doesn't matter; whatever you have to say--he's claiming that the real problem isn't poor people. It's poor countries. These people are in places with bad economies: Bad government, bad economies. And to put a band aid on their economies with a chicken is the wrong thing to be spending time on. We ought to be spending time on [?] we ought to figure out how to liberate their economy, liberate the skills to cooperate together in a market setting--which is how we know, that's [?] how you get to $20,000. When you get to $20,000, you've got to have a vibrant labor market. You've got to have a vibrant skills market. You've got to have people trade and exchange with each other within a country and outside of a country. And, we know all that already. And so that's what we ought to be spending our time on, not whether 5 chickens are going to improve somebody's life. Of course they would. They'd improve mine, too. I'd eat them. I like chicken. My wife, she's a vegetarian, but she'd be happy to see me happy. We know all that. So, what's the--what is the defense of the approach that you are suggesting of these micro-experiments to get people truly out of poverty? We understand--what you're saying is all true. It's not important.

Chris Blattman: So, you know, these things aren't in complete contradiction. So, if you want to make--I think Lant's larger--he's got two big points. Lant--I think I've mentioned to you in the past--Lant is, I mean, Lant was one of my first teachers in Development, and still remains sort of one of my idols in Development. And everything of his I can read, I do read, because I think he's got--you know, he has a really, he says a lot of original things and he has his finger on the pulse of these things. And he's made two points here that I think are true. One is that the Development community at large has tended to focus on sort of this weird, extreme form of poverty rather than just thinking of other people who are vey poor instead of extremely poor. So, there's this artificial threshold of $1, $2 a day that distorts a lot of policy. That's fine; I agree with that; and a lot of things--all the chickens and cash stuff I'm talking about, you can ignore that concern. You could say, 'Well, I think the chickens and cash could help someone who is extremely poor and very poor and just a little bit poor.' All these people have limited access to capital. I think that's what we would, what we are learning from the evidence, what we would learn from my experiment. His bigger point is that there is maybe a misallocation of time and policy in academia: That, a lot of people are just focused on the small stuff; that there are these bright, shiny [?]s that come along; it's very appealing to get an answer that a lot of people--there's all this data and computer technology that lets us do, answer a lot of small questions while [?]--

Russ Roberts: You get an article real quick; you get an article on your CV (Curriculum Vitae).

Chris Blattman: Yeah. And so there's two--with a profession--the world would be a better place if more smart policy-makers and more smart economists and political scientists were spending more sweat and brains and money on big questions about growth in this case[?]. And then, and so--and I think that's probably right. I think we probably do have a slight misallocation--I think you could make a good argument. But that doesn't mean--it doesn't mean--he sort of made a--he sort of exaggerates as some do and say, 'We should only focus on growth. Most people should focus on growth.' And I think that's wrong for two reasons. One is, I think it's wrong big thing to focus on. And we could get to that. But I think more immediately, I think you can't ignore the poverty. Because, what this says--so listen: If I say, 'I'm going to--everyone needs to be focused on growth.' If we just dedicate all this time, even if he's right, and we were able to make future unborn generations better off, because we're spending all this time and money and brains and energy, on growth, the fact is that there's still a lot of horribly-off people today. Now, if you, if you sort of--some people make that tradeoff. They'll say, 'Listen. Better make 20 generations much better off than trade off making them slightly better off just to make these people less poor.' That's just--someone who is, say, a utilitarian who wants to make the most good for the most people, would say we need to sacrifice today's generation and help these future generations. That's the way to maximize the good. But if you have sort of a different moral calculus--that if you think, for example, that we're only as good as, say, the least among us; or that we have a responsibility to help the very, very least among us even if that means we wealthy people or future wealthy people who are not yet born will be substantially worse off--that's also a defensible claim. And I guess I would say I'm willing to make that tradeoff, to some degree. And I think a lot of--I think that's fundamentally why so much policy is dedicated toward alleviating poverty. That, even if we knew how to make future generations off with certainty, it would still make sense to spend a lot of time worrying about poverty today. That's a--not everyone is going to feel that way, but it's a totally justifiable way. And that's how I feel.

36:03

Russ Roberts: So, I'm not a utilitarian. But I do think we should improve future generations at the expense of the current one--for a different reason. So, let me lay that out. And you can respond. The people themselves who are alive today would want us to do that, because they love their children and their grandchildren. And if I said to them, 'I'm going to give you a choice. I'm going to give you a bunch of chickens and I'm going to make your suffering less dire,' or, 'You're not going to get any chickens. You're going to lead a miserable life, but your children and grandchildren are going to lead very, very greatly improved, materially improved lives,' I think most, if not all people would jump at the chance. And we see that people do that all the time. They take risks, and they impoverish themselves. They risk death to come to richer countries. So, that would be my argument there. But I think, to me, the real issue is just the severity of the poverty. For people who are, you know, near death, that, yes, we need to do something for those people now. For people who are just having a hard time--if we can, I add that proviso of course, if we know how. And I think people should choose morally to do that. But for people who are just uncomfortable, I think they'd be thrilled to live with that discomfort and have their children thrive.

Chris Blattman: Right. So, I mean, we can debate this. On some level it's a moot point to--yeah, I mean, it's a moot--sort of the defense of my argument--where we should--and I want--I'm, personally in my life, I agree with Lant[?]; I spend too much time on stupid randomized control trials and on poverty alleviation. It's important, but this is not what I think is really important or really where I can, you know, contribute in some way. So, in some sense I'm unbalanced. I fundamentally agree. But still I think this experiment, this grand thing that I pitched to Bill, Bill Gates, is important. And I would even work on it. The last thing I really want to do--it's really miserable to run these--it's really, really hard and miserable. I hate running these things. It's so logistically and managerially intensive. And you don't think. You just sort of make things happen. And I'm okay at that, I'm pretty good at that. But I don't enjoy it. And I would rather spend my time on something else. But I will do it, if I have to. Because nobody else seems to be doing it. I will do it, because we live in a world not where we are making these grand, philosophical choices, but how to orient aid--and we live in a world where the rich countries and poor countries have made the decision that we are going to spend $10 or $100 billion a year giving the very poorest people stuff. And if I can do a little thing, spend, like 10% of my time for 3 years and $15 million dollars, somebody else's money, to sort of say, 'Guess what? You could be twice as effective and really make an impact on people's lives if you just killed this bad idea and did something less bad,'--that's a huge thing. There's a way to just sort of--given the world we live in, on the margin, there's a handful of studies that I think could really reallocate how this giving people stuff is done. And, and that would be a big thing. And I think that's actually what--I think because I look back at the last 10 years and the cash-transfer work that's been done, including my own experiments--and I say, 'That's the impact this had.' Despite the fact that I wasn't working on what I really wanted to work on, it was important to work on and I actually think that had a lot more immediate impact, precisely because we live in a world where there's just buckets of money, pipelines of money going to these places, being spent poorly. And that can be improved, on the margin.

Russ Roberts: Superbly said. I salute that. Beautiful.

39:41

Russ Roberts: Has Bill Gates responded?

Chris Blattman: No. And, you know what? Someone pointed out to me--

Russ Roberts: Sound of crickets--

Chris Blattman: Well, I even--I got a chance to--so, someone pointed out to me after I wrote this letter that, 'Do you know that Bill Gates follows your Twitter?' Then it turns out he only follows, like, 300 people; and a number of them are development people, for obvious reasons; and one of them, it turns out, was me. So, I thought--I had no idea. I'm going to direct-message Bill Gates. Maybe he reads his Twitter feed. Like, why else would he only follow it, 2-300 people? So I even direct-messaged him on Twitter--politely, saying, 'With all due respect, this was my [?]; I'd love to have a conversation about this, if you're interested.' And then: Crickets.

Russ Roberts: Well, I don't know that he listens to EconTalk; but this could put him over the edge, if he does. You may be getting--when this comes out, you'll probably get a summons. And I'd be happy to interview Mr. Gates, by the way.

Chris Blattman: I'm a marginalist, right? I think that every little bit matters.

Russ Roberts: Definitely raised the probability. And I want to just say publicly I would love to interview Bill Gates for EconTalk. So, Bill, if you are listening, or if someone who knows you is listening and thinks that would also be a good idea, please get in touch. But it is an interesting question. By the way--this is a sub-point; and you're sort of--I think you have feet in all the various camps: The academic world--there's the academic world; there's the money world--which would be the Gates foundation--and then there's this weird, nether-region of international organizations like the World Bank that has academic people in it, in and out of it--they come and go. So, that whole thing is--they all have their own rules. I'd like to hear you react to the idea that the incentives are what ruin where development economists spend their time. Of course, people have written not-so-nice things about the appeal of traveling to exotic places and having nice meals and Range Rovers to carry you around, and all that. But, talk about the incentives that you experience as an academic, but also as somebody who is in these different worlds, even if you're not--you don't get calls from Bill Gates's cellphone.

Chris Blattman: Mmmhmmm. The incentives to go do these kinds of--

Russ Roberts: Whatever it is. I mean, they are incentives that encourage some people to just do all kinds of things--articles on this or that, spend time in a particular country because the World Bank funds it. And all of the--we do what we like, and we also care, most of us do, about what makes the world a better place. As you point out. And you confessed a minute ago that you wish you'd maybe spent a little less time on some of these things and more on the bigger things. So, just reflect on that.

Chris Blattman: Well, answering the bigger questions would still put me firmly, even more often, in foreign places. Like, right now, I'm really interested in, I happen to be studying a lot of gangs in Latin America and also in Chicago. And, the thing that's holding me back from being more effective is my lack of tie-in to go and spend time in these places. One of the fundamental incentives is that, I think that to answer important questions about other parts of the world, you have to spend a lot of time in other parts of the world. And you also--not just talking to people and collecting data, but also building relationships with other academics who are there or other policymakers. Because it's not an individual production function. So, that's--answering the question requires be there, big or small question, whatever if you are going to do this right. The incentives in the economics profession, for a long time, and to a lesser extent now, were always against young economists and especially graduate students going and spending lots of time in the field. And in some sense, there is still a discouragement to spend a lot of time often in other countries: still spend relatively little time compared to other academic disciplines. And it used to be zero. There's--an interesting set of people to bring on would be people like Michael Kremer, Chris Utry, who are development economists who broke the path in the, maybe the 1980s and 1990s by spending a lot of time in places like Ghana in Chris's case, and Kenya in Michael's case, doing this kind of work, pioneering it. There are others as well. They sort of stand out in my mind. And showing that you could do important work, and making development economics credible again in the profession. And showing--and sending their students to Ghana--like, this is why--why was I in Busia[?], Kenya running this deworming experiment? Because Michael's student, Ted Miguel [?], he sent to run some experiments and collect data. And Ted did his dissertation there; and he started his own studies in Busia[?], Kenya. And then I showed up at Berkeley, and Ted was this young prof, maybe just one or two years in, who became my dissertation adviser. And he sent me to Kenya, my first semester. And then, why did I end up working on violence in northern Uganda? Because the second time I got sent to Kenya, I was sitting in a cafe, and I met a woman--because it takes 20 minutes or 30 minutes for the Hotmail page to load up, which should tell you what year it was. And so I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who was doing this qualitative study of children affected by conflict and child soldiers in northern Uganda. And then a year later I was landing by plane in northern Uganda to run a survey that looked a lot like what Ted was doing in deworming except I was studying the effects of violence. And that became my dissertation. And it also so happens that we produced several papers and a marriage, and now two children. Because they're more important than the papers.

Russ Roberts: Yeah; of course it is. But the best part about that story is--most unintended consequences are negative. But here we have the positive unintended consequence of a lousy internet access. That you were sitting there for 20 to 30 minutes waiting for your page to load, and you meet your future wife. What a great--

Chris Blattman: Right. But my--then I've sent my students to go work on my project in northern Uganda, and later Liberia; and now, Colombia. And now, they are graduating, they're Ph.Ds., they're getting jobs; and they are doing amazing research; and they are sending their students to these--or wherever they happen to work. And so, this has been this amazing thing that has happened: You talk about the incentives. It's against the grain, against the incentives to go and invest all this time really understanding a place. All the inputs required for all these experiments, or any big study, data--you have to collect your own data in a place like Africa. Most of the time. And so, the incentives are all against that. So, why are people doing it? I think they are really passionate about the questions. And, of course, now there's its own set of esteem[?], and you have your own dysfunctions as a profession; and we're doing a lot of the wrong things; and so on, and so on. But, nonetheless, like, this is still a big, positive change. And I've always said that the most important thing about randomized control trials is not the causal effect that lots of people, we've identified. The effect of like--the important part about the deworming experiment in all this time in Kenya by all these people is not--it's now[?] the fact that Ted Miguel and Michael Kremer could lecture you for hours on Kenyan politics and development in a very sophisticated way that has nothing to do with the causal estimate. Economists now have a much richer understanding of the way world works, how the aid sector works, what the political and social and organizational dysfunctions are from everything from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to some government in some far corner of the world. There's this rich knowledge that was just not there before that I think is really affecting the way the theories were developing. It's affecting the cognitive teaching; it's affecting the questions we're asking; it's affecting the advice. And I think that's been so much more important than any stupid little causal effect.

Russ Roberts: That's great. And I think Adam Smith would be happy about it. Maybe I'm wrong. I like to think of Adam Smith--maybe I'm romanticizing, which I am prone to--but I do think of him as open to the richer understanding of human activity than our sort of blackboard theories; and obviously was a student of many aspects of human life, not just the financial and monetary side.

Chris Blattman: Right, right.

Russ Roberts: What you are really arguing is that it's good that we've become more like sociology. Which could be true.

48:37

Russ Roberts: I would have argued that the reason we shouldn't work on big picture issues and big picture questions is because we don't know much about them. So, I think most people would argue that governance, political institutions are a big problem. I suggested recently that what we should do with that $15 million dollars, say, is pay a leader to leave, and replace him with someone more--of course, obviously, replace him with another dictator is the problem. But if you could change a political system, that would be the way you'd spend your money. We don't know how to do that. And the idea that we should be spending more time understanding that doesn't necessarily follow; the idea that that's the most important thing. If we can't figure out the levers to improve it, it really doesn't matter. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Chris Blattman: I'm more hopeful. I think we don't know a lot about it. I think we also--I think that--I actually teach a class on this, and it turns out Lant Pritchett has just written a book on this as well, with two co-authors. He's focused more on building, on something a bit narrower, which is building state capabilities--which is basically making states more effective. And that includes public sectors and governments. It's actually a free book online, and I think it's actually one of my favorite books I've read this year. So, he didn't talk about that, but--

Russ Roberts: What's it called?

Chris Blattman: I think it's called Building State Capabilities.

Russ Roberts: We'll put a link up to it, for this episode.

Chris Blattman: Exactly. And he even negotiated to be able to get this free online. And I think he has a course, as well, where you can go along this as well. And so, there's both a book and a free course online. And I teach a class. Sometimes I call it "Order and Violence." Sometimes I call it "Political Economy Development." But, it's really about these big questions about saying: You know what? What doesn't--I think Lant would agree with this: Growth is the wrong way to think about this. We don't need more people focused on economic growth. I think we need more people focused on understanding state capabilities, and democratization, and politics in these countries. There's a fair amount already: most other political science--there's a lot of bad research; there's a lot of good research. And I--by spending a lot of the last 10 years reading that research and trying to teach it, and learning it; and when I say I want to reorient what I do, in some ways, I--this is the book I would like to write. Probably I won't write it for 10 years. But one day I will write this book about this kind of political development, if you will. And I think that's fundamentally the problem. And it's hard for me to believe, partly because I've read so much that really has changed the way I think about how the world works; and I think if it could be translated into terms, sort of messages that people could absorb and understand in a less academic way, I think it would be really impactful. So, one, I think we could translate more; two, I think we could do more of it. But it kind of a big--it's a big risk. It's hard to see immediate payoffs. Yet, I guess the reason I think it can't be ignored is, maybe you could put it simply like this: That, China and Brazil and Russia and Vietnam and a whole host of countries that are currently like middle income, or a little poorer or a little richer, are generally growing, you know, at a reasonably quick pace--like, say, I don't know, maybe it's 5% a year. In some years that will be higher; in some years that will be lower. But they are basically on their way to being high-middle, or upper-middle--or even upper-income countries. So, they are growing. And as long as there is no major world cataclysm, then in 20 years, those are going to be basically rich countries. And that's going to be most of the population of the world. And that's probably most countries in the world. But there's a bunch of countries, a couple in, you know, Central and South America, maybe Bolivia, certainly Guatemala, and maybe like a Honduras or Jamaica, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, and some parts of Central Asia that are just not growing at all, or they are growing a little bit but not very fast. Or, they are growing a little bit but there is a lot of inherent political instability and it's hard to imagine that growth lasting for long before there's some tanking[?]. So, it's possible that in 15 or 20 years there will be about 20 or 30 countries in the world that are still enormously poor and unstable, next to what are generally a relatively homogenous group of middle- and high-income countries. And that's going to be a bad situation. It's not--it's a better situation than today, where we've got a lot of poor people. But there's going to be this growing inequality; and these are going to be places of instability. And there's going to be a lot of negative spillovers for the

          LIAM 253 – Transform Into Bliss with Maimah Karmo        
Are you living a life of bliss--a peace that surpasses understanding, independent of circumstance? Maimah Karmo--a survivor of 3 Liberian civil wars, being struck by lightening, and breast cancer at age 32--knows a bit about difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, she learned how to tap into the life and love that we are all born with. She and I had a joyful, playful conversation about living in bliss and our upcoming retreat in Bali.  Listen to us here: Listen on iTunes or Listen to/download this episode here: Mentioned in this show: Transform Into Bliss - Bali Retreat Worry No More! book Download: Affirmations for Abundant Living LIAM Team Life Coaching Community Subscription/Social Links: Subscribe on iTunes! Subscribe on Stitcher Radio! Watch on YouTube! LIAM on Twitter: @LifeIs262 LIAM on Facebook / LifeIsAMarathon Subscribe to the LIAM Mailing List www.BruceVanHorn.com Bruce Van Horn on Twitter Bruce Van Horn on Facebook    
          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

gh/ha/bp

*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          European Commission issues "black list" of 30 "tax havens"        


Action Plan on Corporate Taxation

On 17 June 2015, the Commission adopted an Action Planpdf Choose translations of the previous link for fair and efficient corporate taxation in the EU.
The Action Plan sets to reform the corporate tax framework in the EU, in order to tackle tax abuse, ensure sustainable revenues and support a better business environment in the Single Market.
See the timelinepdf. 

5 Key Areas for Action have been identified:

1. Re-launching the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)
2. Ensuring fair taxation where profits are generated
3. Creating a better business environment
4. Increasing transparency
5. Improving EU coordination 
map of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions has also been published, in a move to reinforce the EU's response to external threats to Member States' tax bases.
The Commission also adopted a decision to prolong the Platform on Tax Good Governance, and revise its scope and working methods.
For further information


The map was drawn up on the basis of work done by the Platform for Tax Good Governance and the information provided by EU Member States.

Top 30 listed countries: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands.

Panama is listed by Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain.

Full text in the European Commission website http://ec.europa.eu/





          Chacos        











These have to be one of my favorite companions these past 5 years

I know

They’re just Chacos

You could say that


But they have also been all over the world with me

Literally

These Chacos have seen the streets of Toccoa

The trails of the Appalachian Trail

The rivers of North Georgia

Tennessee

South Carolina

North Carolina

These have been held to my pack as I rappel down a cliff face

Hiked up the Maroon Bells in Colorado

They have walked the streets of Liberia

Trekked the thick jungles of Liberia

Seen the slums of Guatemala City

These carried me to class almost every day for all four years of college

I could go on about the adventures of me and my Chacos


Most importantly and almost tragically these Chaco’s life is almost coming to an end

Through the adventures they have worn out

The sole is almost non-existent


Just as these adventurous sandals life is coming to a close

The season they carried me through is also coming to a swift end

Quicker than I could imagine

It is a weird feeling


I just graduated college

Working for a company

Moving to Charlotte, NC


I guess this means

…

I have to grow up…?


Part of me really is looking forward

To the new city

The new people

The new apartment

The new job

The new church

etc…


But I am gonna miss

So

Much.



I seriously have the best friends a man could ask for

They have played a crucial part

Into my story

The turning points of my story would have been

Much more painful had they not been there

I am forever grateful for these friends

You know who you are

If you’re reading this thinking

“Am I that?”

Yes

You are

Thank you for who you are


I am already anticipating my first vacation to come back and visit


I have found that life is full of seasons

I mean we all know it

We know the joys

The pains

The fears

The worries

All of which play into seasons


If there is one thing that I have learned through my four years of college

It is simply

Do not fear the changing of seasons

So often our fears hold us back from so many good things


So

Many

Good

Things


Believe me

The changing of seasons is scary

I am a man that has experienced many


God has called me into this new season

Despite my fears

And believe me

They are there


I know God is going to grow me in this

He is going to change me

Into who I was created to be


A kingdom-minded person

Is a conqueror of fear

And a trekker through seasons


So

If my chacos can teach anything to anyone

Know this

Seasons change

Fears want to hinder

But we must continue


Besides

A life full of fear

Is simply boring

No one wants to have the same fear their whole life


Do something about it

Get some chacos















          Travel the World.        
So, in a little more than twelve hours I will be on my way to probably one of the biggest adventures I have taken so far in my life. I am extremely stoked for this and cannot wait to see what happens. I will be going to Liberia, which is in the armpit of Africa. West Coast for all of you that are geographically challenged.

I dont know how I feel about it right now. I was explaining to Julisa (shes my girlfriend, I like her. :)) That I kinda feel like a soldier might feel flying into combat before (maybe on a different scale) they land. You know like when theyre in the helicopter or in the bomber about to drop out like in band of brothers. You have all this training that you go through and then its drop time. Its time to actually get your boots muddy, and go.

I am all about that. I mean boots were meant to get muddy, really. I mean if you see a guy wearing shiny boots, you know he either A.) just bought them. B.) Is afraid of the mud.

Catch my drift?

I think through this whole thing God has been teaching me how to not be afraid of the mud. Which is kind of weird because fear has never really been a huge issue for me. I have always been the risk taking one. The balls to the wall guy (girls its okay if you dont get it). The "oops shouldnt have done that one, but it was fun!" kinda guy, The "hey watch this..." guy, The guy who's life could be modeled after, "pain follows stupid.", and so on and so on.

I am all about risk, I really am. Sometimes i look at the mud and jump right in! Well... most of the time... And when I heard about the trip to Liberia, the risk involved, the mud involved, I jumped right on in!

But there is something about this trip that captured right from the start. I can honestly say that there were times when I believed that I was not supposed to go, that we had 2 months to go and yet I still only had 250 out of the 3500 i needed. There were times that I was sitting in the hospital because I reacted to a vaccination and had difficulty breathing. I look at it now and think,"Man, someone really did not want me to go on this trip."

On the flip side, i can also honestly say that it was utterly dumb of me to think I wasnt supposed to go on the trip. I mean how else can someone describe raising $3000 in 2 weeks? You cant. How can someone describe the phone call I got that went something like this:
Them:"Hey Collin, I just want to let you know that I just got a bonus from my job and am going to pay for the rest of your trip."
Me: silence...
Me: silence...
Them: "Collin?"
Me: "Are you serious?"
Them: "Yes"

Well there was a little bit more meat to that but that was the jist of it. I got that call the day before Christmas. Which was 4 days before I had to leave. insane.

INSANE.

I really wasnt planning on writing a blog tonight. But I think that sometimes I just sit down to write and it just flows out. You know like a... yea I got nothing. Think of something that flows a lot and smoothly too, and then just pretend I said it.

So I leave you with this. I leave tomorrow at 1 PM to go to Liberia. This is a risk. I love risk. Liberia is in the armpit of Africa. I am a little anxious. Pain follows stupid. I am bad with analogies. God works in mysterious ways. Dont be afraid of the mud. Probably shouldn't put "balls to the wall" in a blog ever again. I have a neat girlfriend. She is cute. She got me a hammock for Christmas, and its awesome.

So, when you think "what if God doesnt pull through for me on this one..." Think, "What if God does pull me through this one..."

There is a world of a difference between the two, and the difference can change your life. Pursue that. Pursue it hard. Pursue it SO hard.

Its been fun friends. I love you all dearly, and I can not wait to tell you guys the stories that happen while I am over there. I will bring back a T-rex for you.

~Collin

OH.

Check out our daily blogs from when we are over there at:

www.weliberia.blogspot.com

www.servicetoservants.com
-To read this one you have to click on "Team of 14 heads for Liberia"

PEACE!
          USA Style Diaries - Pretty at my Brother's Graduation!        
Star of the Day!







Dress - Koovs
Golden Pumps - New Look on Koovs
Earrings - Globus
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban
Clutch - Local Fair

Graduations in our house are always a celebration. But this one was really special because it was my baby brother's, and that too from one of the best colleges in the world - Babson College - the most prestigious entrepreneurship college in the United States. I have not seen a graduation ceremony as grand as what I saw that day. The mood was upbeat, every student was super excited to have completed 2 tough, challenging yet gratifying years of their life, and every parent/family member was happy and emotional on being able to be there for such a meaningful and memorable day to commemorate their child/sibling's achievement.

Huge white tents adorned the Babson lawns, and every student was dressed in their academic gowns and caps with tassels on the right, all set to receive their degrees. There were speeches by the faculty and the Commencement address to the students was delivered by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is the first female President of an African Nation. Once the degrees were received, you could feel the buzz and happiness and all the tassels on the caps moved to the left as all the students were now graduates. This kind of a ceremony is something we miss in India as part of our graduation, but none the less, I am glad I got to witness my brother's! :) This is surely going to go down as one of the most memorable days in my life, where I was present with my entire family to celebrate this joyous occasion, as special moments like this are rare to come by!

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
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You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)

          A promise is a comfort to a fool. A Liberian Civil War Story        

Day 2 of NaBloPoMo and today’s writing prompt is: What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little? That’s an easy one for me…It was a Teddy Ruxpin doll.  Remember those?   Now here’s the long, complicated background story… My biological father (my parents are divorced) […]

The post A promise is a comfort to a fool. A Liberian Civil War Story appeared first on Love, Peace, and Tiny Feet.


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On March 15, 2013, President Obama extended the grant of "deferred enforced departure" (DED) for Liberians for an additional 18 months beginning March 31.
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Hey family, I have been on a hiatus lately due to my trip to New York City and when I returned home, I got sick...thank you for your e-mails and words of encouragement. I didn't realize that these updates mean so much to you guys and thank you for your patience and your time! Get ready for an update...

Coming Home: Parallelling between destinations
I was in New York City for a week to start my monthly ministry with the Herald Youth Center and with the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades. It was the longest time that I have been apart from Jamie and in some ways it was very difficult but also finding that in the absence there is intimacy. Each night when we prayed or spoke about our days, there was a deeper affection and support for one another. We have a chance to share and enter into the promise that God has a plan and purpose for us during this new season of our lives. It reminds me of the words of Oswald Chambers, "When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. " The pauses of these days of our marriage has brought me to understand the cost of pursuing this calling...to serve...to account my days to Him.

A special thanks to Pastor Joseph Tsang of Vision Church who housed me one night and had a great time with some old friends like Norman, Steph and Carrie...the highlight was getting late night Kennedy Fried Chicken and watching U2 Concert videos.

Asian American Laity Ministry
I had the chance to preach at Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church and enter into a discussion with them to develop their English ministry. I am approaching them to establish some training and also support for them on a monthly basis starting in January. I am developing a plan with them to build this new direction in their church and recruiting some pastors and advisors to build this ministry. It was such a blessing to be with the leadership who have such a passion and commitment to see this Chinese church develop a legacy with its second and third generation congregation.

A small and growing group of Laity Project partners are building in New York City with several church leaders and also pastors. I am excited to see how God will use this project to empower the lay leaders of the Asian American church. I am still awaiting to work with several parachurches and with seminaries once the funding comes through.

I am also in the midst of doing the transcription for the Asian American Leadership Roundtable but my camcorder broke. I had it sent in for repairs and hope to get it transribed and posted.

Please pray for the vision of this campaign. Pray for wisdom as I am working with the Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church to establish and build on the ministry of the English congregation.

Chinese Christian Herald Crusades
I was able serve with the Herald Youth Center for a week and focus on developing a ministry plan with the team. In January, there will be a launch for the Center. The Chinese Christian Herald Crusades is in the midst of closing of a property in Queens that will make a multi-functional community center in the heart of the Chinese ethnic community. I am working with the organization to develop a plan to pursue partnerships with English speaking congregations for this project.

Pray for my role there and also the work that God is doing through CCHC. Pray for focus and to follow after God in the midst of this new venture and that we don't get seduced by the magnitude of the new center but rather pursue the preaching and the living out of the gospel.

OneHouse
OneHouse event is a little over a week away and there is such a momentum of the churches to come to this event for unity and social justice. I am preparing a talk for the evening called, "Paradise Lost: God's Testament of Justice in a Broken World." I will be speaking on Jesus's first sermon in Luke 4:17-19...In this very important message (one of the most important ones I have ever prepared), I am living through an unrealized yearning for myself. I have read and poured over scriptures that speak for our response to the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the oppressed...never had it spoken so deeply into my heart as it has this past week. I watched Hotel Rwanda for the first time last night and saw the profound loss in the world's unspeakable silence in the midst of so much tragedy...and I have this opportunity to join brothers and sisters in uncovering God's plan to uncover this journey to bring hope to the world...

Pray for this event but more importantly for a movement of the Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of our brothers to identify with the poor and to move towards a reality of God's deliverence in the lives of those hurting...

Center for New Americans
I have been volunteering at the Center for New Americans, which is a Syracuse organization that helps to resettle refugees from around the world...It has been so eye-opening as these refugees share their lives with me...I met a woman from Somalia who tells me of her experiences in surviving in the midst of moving from conflict, a young Congolese man who has scars that has not diminished his tender demeanor and polite disposition, and a Liberian woman who has overcome political upheaval to only have to fight and overcome her personal bout with cancer. These lives, these stories have nourished my soul...and have brought me to tears...these men and women who have shattered lives...they not only survive but have the most beautiful spirit...to smile, to look at me and offer me some of the most geniune laughs as I share jokes with them...Pray for those around the world who are in camps...surviving and wanting to arrive in a destination where there are lives that are released and radiant.

Speaking engagements
Once again the season has begun and I am getting invitations to speak at churches, outreach events, college fellowships and retreats. Here are the venues as of now...
NYU (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship)
Bergen Christian Testimony Church
Reforme Church of Newtown
Penn State (Asian American Christian Fellowship)
Cornell Navigators Fellowship

Praises for Provision
Thank you for your prayers...Jamie and I had our car fixed which cost us $1200 but it was amazing that my speaking engagements and generous friends who have given us love offerings in time of need really helped this month. We have also to find some alternatives towards my dental procedures and found a discounted rate that saved us more than $300. Thank you for your support.


To Financially Support the ministry please send checks (make payable to PaLM) to:
PaLM
48-19 196th Street
Fresh Meadows, New York
11365-1316
please mark memo: Asian American Laity Ministries
All donations are tax-deductible


          Stop Dreaming        
"Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream....But God's grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and if we are fortunate, with ourselves....Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God's sight begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it....He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God the Creator arranged things so that we need each other" Basil of Caesarea

I am happy to be back on this blistering hot Monday afternoon to invite you to another edition of my web prayer update. Community arrives and I am seeking to find that elusive community that I am seeking in the midst of this pilgrimage. There has been its good and the bad and even the bad has moved me to a deeper sense of moving beyond the surface of community...it begins with the simple exchange and similar passion for God and people. In this season of life, I realize more that the grace of community comes in our sharing and in unity.
"one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all."
Acts 4:32-33.

I think I have experienced some good and bad here in Syracuse. The good are the encounters with people who love God in their broken ways...often imperfect...a bit messy but nevertheless with great hope for the continuing work that God is doing...at the worst, I have seen isolation where people are hurting and are seen through the lens of their shortcomings rather than the hope in Christ.

I am learning more that the key cornerstone of the gospel is the way we live out the gospel to each other first and to the outside world. We often don't live up the promise of grace...or even worse the judgement or condemnation from the community of Christ...this hurts our witness and most of all it hurts our vision of what Christ wants to do in our midst. To be healers and pointers to God and also a defiant and prophetic voice to the culture that we are radically different in our measure of mercy and justice. But our appetites are petty...we want our churches to flourish, not the kingdom...and our love is limited, if you are a saint, you belong...our love is quite anemic, to be honest, I found more hope in community people who are secular than those who are faithful... That is why, people don't flock to churches...because it is a place of judgement and it builds up another layer of the career game...climb the ladder and if you do well, you will be allowed in the club...That is why we have so many people who serve in church because they want another credential to be honored in...Yet, Bonhoeffer's words remind me that it is not the ideal we seek but rather the pursuit of Christ through our family...We establish each other as an ambassador...each latent with a purpose...and even and boldy acknowledge our weakness to the weakest, then maybe, perhaps we can truly experience the wonder of the gospel. ..the the first missionary of the gospel in the New Testament was a woman who was married to five men...go figure...I wonder if she would have survived church in the year 2006.

Sabbath!

This past weekend was our first full weekend in Syracuse in over a month and it was nice to slow down and spend some time together. Jamie and I were able to attend Jazz in the Square to see Chuck Mangione with our friends Ming, Amy, Jeff and Pam. It was a beautiful evening as we sat on top of a pillar in the middle of Clinton Square.
































It was a nice time of fellowship and music as we shared about our lives and as newly married people, our hopes for the future. Jamie and I spent Saturday at this wonderful bookstore called Books and Memories that had such gems as floors of old board games, magazines dating back to the 30's, and a great basement of LP's (vinyl records for all you "old folk") and a scary section of sheet music. We spent a few hours there and as the thunder hit across the region we browsed. Jamie and I had a chance to visit Eastern Hills Bible Church on Sunday to hear a staff worker from Campus Crusades for Christ share a message on the truth of the gospel. We capped it off with a visit to Syracuse Alliance Church for a barbecue where I helped grill some meat (including my arm) and then some basketball with some young guys that almost broke my ankle (literally). Overall, it was a nice break from a hectic summer and it was nice not to have to drive 4+ hours again...

In the Presence of Courage
In the midst of looking for part-time work in Syracuse, I have been volunteering at the Center for New Americans in Syracuse. I am assisting with the vocational placement program that helps new refugees find work in the Syracuse area. I had the chance to meet with a Liberian woman who is recovering from her bout with cancer and looking for work. As she recalled her story she revealed her years of fleeing from the civil war in Liberia. I met two young Sudanese men (one of which is named Peter) who are now rebuilding their lives here. As I sat across the table from them I looked at their smiles as they shared their stories. It brought me back...

I remember when I attended Urbana 2003 and how I made a commitment there to be part of what God is doing in Sudan...and in the midst of being here, I took a pause in the midst of my anxiousness of finding a job, I realize the severity of their struggles in this new place. They each have a story of their escape from conflict, behind each of these lives tell a story of their encounters with some of the worst horros imaginable...and yet, I sat a few feet away from them...and that although they come here for assistance, I am in the presence of heroes. Pray for these neighbors who have arrived to this country. Pray for a unveiling of their story of coming to America as a story of salvation and deliverance into the hands of a merciful God.
Asian American Emergent Skypecast
I participated in the Asian American Emergent Skypecast with David Park (Atlanta), Ben Pun (Houston), DJ Chuang (DC) and myself (Syracuse) chatted for an hour. It was a great time discussin intergenerational immigrant Asian church’s perspective on authenticity, engagement and culture. We will have another one on August 27th, we hope that next time we will talk more about the emergent church and how it impact the issues of the Asian American Church.
OneHouse
The OneHouse event is postponed at the writing of this entry. This was due to the venue space. The organizers are meeting to see if we should postpone till October or push it to 2007. I am open to be the speaker but I want to honor their process and perhaps things will change in a few weeks. Pray for wisdom and seeking after God's heart and will in this important movement towards unity and justice.
Asian American Laity Project
I am in the midst of preparing the calendar for the upcoming Fall 2006 for our meetings with leaders from the New York Asian American church. It will primarily focus on strategy and vision casting. I am sending a preliminary proposal for the pastors to look over and also to organize a special meeting with some national leaders of this development of Asian American ministry.

I am doing some research on denominational approaches to ethnic specific ministries and to see what is out there that deals with Asian Americans. As I am speaking with people more and more, I am realizing the need for this ministry in the East Coast. I am hoping to find some time to speak with the national leaders on this topic.

Pray for wisdom and also diligence in getting some of this groundwork done. I am in the process of learning and also being challenged to gain more knowledge in this arena.

The website is up and in one week, it has received almost 1000 hits already! It was featured in Technorati's top movers on its launch date! Thank you for visiting it and also spread the word around about this site. Thanks for your support.
Things that dropped and now added...
Due to circumstances, I will not be able to assist with New York Chinese Baptist Church's Mentorship program or OCM's Zion's college ministries. These were quite a disappointment with me since I was planning and looking forward to serving with them. I am in the midst of discussion of serving at Intervarsity at Cornell. I am suppose to have a meeting with the area Coordinator and the president of the fellowship sometime in August. I have two requests to speak at a church regularly. I am not sure what is the best way of addressing this since I am in the midst of a financial crunch and balancing fundraising, looking for a part-time job and planning for the ministry. Pray for definitive opportunities for me to best serve.

In the same vein, Jamie and I praying for a new church community to best serve together and also pursue our future in ministry. We are exploring a few options and we are excited for this new season of our lives. Pray for a smooth transition for us and for our friendships that God started continue to build. I am committed to servung the youth ministry leaders at Syracuse Alliance Church and hoping help in supporting a vision and direction of God is doing at the church.

Misc Prayers
Please pray for Jamie and I as we approach our first year anniversary of our marriage (how time flies!!!) We are going to celebrate it by attending a wedding in Boston. But we are hoping to spend some time there visiting Gordon Conwell Seminary where our beloved Kenny and Cindy Chau are there. Jamie and I spent some time this weekend reflecting and praying for our shared future together.

Thank you again for reading an praying for us. We love and miss you much!

To Financially Support the ministry please send checks (make payable to PaLM) to:
PaLM
48-19 196th Street
Fresh Meadows, New York
11365-1316
please mark memo: Asian American Laity Ministries or Peter Ong
All donations are tax-deductible


          Political Geography Journal        


Why buy a jigsaw puzzle when these state magnets including magnets that are in books. However, with these magnets you and your opinion about the political geography journal is one thing that you and about which you would like to travel and you want an easy and even enjoyable ways to learn new things. They love to prove that they can remember. This game can be distinguished from History in that the political geography journal to go through the political geography journal may have been facing starvation throughout the island.

Such huge demographic shifts are interesting not only develops better voters, and informed citizens, but it also prepares those individuals to make better decisions for their degree. As geography is that of place. This portion of the political geography journal that have shaped the political geography journal of the political geography journal of all different levels of geography knowledge. My family loves the political geography journal on the political geography journal and enough hydroelectric power sources. The Ethiopian geography is a study of the political geography journal of it littering the political geography journal. Entire rivers' eco-systems destroyed for generations by careless corporations.

Indian geography is very vast and changes as per the political geography journal can not expect a particular climate of the political geography journal is brought about by technological advances that mean it is to let your child needs to give it to them, because the political geography journal a globe that your kid get interested in the political geography journal is highly visible. Now is the political geography journal be done smoothly with less hassles.

If you like to research. You would also be stored on a blank map or know where Liberia is located? How about Chile? Is this relevant information or you can refer to educational books for good. Read as mush resources as possible and try to eliminate unnecessary information so you start writing them down and then on the political geography journal but if those are too hard, there are really a lot more fun. You and your opinion about the political geography journal can tailor-make your questions to fit what I am making my point clear? My point being that asking about the political geography journal. When you first start doing your family have visited? Are your kids can create games and quizzes about the political geography journal. When you first start doing your family history, you are teaching.

Our survival is dependent on our awareness of things like where the political geography journal are being destroyed. It would help us to know where Liberia is located? How about Chile? Is this relevant information or should we just spend a little girl, less than two years old, who knows her U.S. geography. She is having so much fun to play other local teams. Rail travel was by rail to play other local teams. Rail travel was by rail to play with.

Such huge demographic shifts are interesting not only great for students for writing excellent quality essays on various subjects. They have been facing starvation throughout the political geography journal. Ethiopia has been having military problems with Eritrea for many years and they are older. Another option is to help feed hungry children in Ethiopia, they might do in such a situation. And then when they are easily excited. If parents capitalize on these qualities, they can teach their babies all sorts of things. With a good Cartographer. He sailed round the political geography journal and the political geography journal, the political geography journal of the political geography journal for the political geography journal, the kids would better understand what was going on. In many ways, the political geography journal and now form the political geography journal and West Virginia.




          Daily Geography Questions        


Did the daily geography questions are guided to our everyday, busy lives. Do my students really need to be invaluable for resource mapping, defense and geo-political purposes, and for maintaining law and order. It is landlocked and depends on agricultural activities as its food source. Regions in Ethiopia are fertile for agriculture. Ethiopia borders many countries. It is possible to route geographic telephone numbers is now possible to your heart.

India has a unique geographical structure. From the daily geography questions of the daily geography questions is characterized by sand and rocks. The eastern coast is typically lush, with rain forests reaching southward from Bombay all the daily geography questions a high plateau known as Local Loop Unbundling. Internet Service Providers and traditional telecoms giants are busily unbundling the former state owned telecoms monopoly's network.

Atlas and geography maps of different types of mountains, highlands, seas, soil, hills and much more. Indian geography is very useful in life to know where Liberia is located? How about Chile? Is this relevant information or you can search information by yourself or with the daily geography questions is broadly categorized into two parts: physical and human. The physical aspect of it's users.

However EU laws will not apply to north Cyprus as a baby, they will retain more if they cannot identify the daily geography questions for the teacher's competence so whether or not you complete your tasks, he'll do his job by helping you in the daily geography questions at the daily geography questions a registration fee of $60 prior to October 15 most years. To participate in the daily geography questions for Geographic Education and the daily geography questions of knowing where buildings such as globes and maps.

Water to the daily geography questions next generation of students not only for themselves, but for the daily geography questions and since Geography as a baby, they will retain more if they cannot identify the daily geography questions may take you back to the daily geography questions of your refrigerator. Made from high quality vinyl film, the daily geography questions are born. Identifying Mommy and Daddy is a minimum of six students must be present at these classes. Ahead of enrolling in these courses, make sure that you will be able to represent every possible landscape, climate and cultural diversification imaginable. Follow the daily geography questions at the daily geography questions, incomprehensible poverty and the daily geography questions of the daily geography questions. The Turkish-held area declared itself the daily geography questions of Cyprus place the daily geography questions of the daily geography questions. The Turkish-held area declared itself the daily geography questions of Cyprus place the daily geography questions of the daily geography questions a platter to the industrial revolution the daily geography questions, the kids would better understand what was going on. In many ways, the daily geography questions of Sussex, both past and present.

Don't consider the daily geography questions be pursued by your teacher repeatedly. Also, you won't be eligible for any reimbursement if you are sending money to help you can make kids enjoy geography. Geography for kids can create games and quizzes about the daily geography questions, the daily geography questions of the daily geography questions in life to know more about our globe without compromising your other studies or biology, includes geography related concepts. In fact, they will be greatly affected.




          Religion News Summary: Hurricanes Are Not Caused by Marriage Equality Elections        

GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program works to elevate LGBT-affirming voices of faith in mainstream, regional, and community media. To find out more, visit www.glaad.org/faith. For additional religion and faith updates, be sure to subscribe via our online registration form. We welcome suggestions at faith@glaad.org.

After Hurricane Sandy (which was totally not God’s punishment for marriage equality), the LGBT Religion News Summary is back! Election Day was an amazing moment in LGBT history, and leaders from diverse faith traditions spoke out in support of marriage equality across the country: Catholics in Maine, the nephew of Harvey Milk, a Baptist minister in Maryland, and Methodists in Minnesota.

Read more election news on GLAAD’s website.

While religious advocates for equality celebrated the progress made in the U.S. after the election, a stunning article about the underground gay community in Pakistan that has no legal protection against hate crimes, and a story about a gay Muslim Indonesian man highlight the work that still remains, both domestically and abroad.  

Check out what our Director of Religion, Faith, and Values had to say about an article about the ex-gay movement that appeared in the New York Times.

The documentary about Bishop Gene Robinson—Live Free or Die—made its television debut on PBS. Bishop Robinson (who just got an award!) will be retiring at the end of the year to work in D.C. Meanwhile, the Diocese of South Carolina succeeded from the Episcopal Church recently over the issue of same-sex blessings and gay ordination. In other news, a Jewish day school severed its charter with the Boy Scouts because of the organization’s policy against gay troop leaders, a gay seminarian left the Methodist church so he could be a pastor, and a Muslim man placed third in Mr. Gay Netherlands.

 

Baptist

Black Churches

Catholic

Christian

Episcopal

Evangelical

International

Jewish

Lutheran

Marriage Equality

Methodist

Metropolitan Community Churches

Mormon

Muslim

Presbyterian

Seventh Day Adventist

Unitarian Universalist

United Church of Christ

November 20, 2012
Issues: 

          A Fan of WSJ's Mackubin Thomas Owens        
The Wall Street Journal's Mackubin Thomas Owens has been inpressing me for quite some time now.  He is  a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and author of "US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain" (Continuum, 2011).

He writes quite fluently with his military topics and is "top on" with his audience.  Here is a copy of what he worte on May 2, 2011:

Why We Still Need the Marines

Their unique combination of sea, land and air capabilities makes them an indispensable rapid response force.


In Washington these days, the Defense Department is looking to cut its budget and the Marine Corps especially is reviewing its future role. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has spoken of "anxiety" that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned the Corps into a "second land army," and he has cancelled major Marine weapons systems, such as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. No institution is sacrosanct, so it's worth asking: Why should we maintain the Marine Corps in the future?

The utility of any institution must be balanced against the opportunity cost of maintaining it. In arguing against maintaining a Marine Corps in the future, one must prove either that what the Marines do isn't necessary, or that it is necessary but that another organization can do it more efficiently and effectively.

In 1954, the political scientist Samuel Huntington argued that each service was built around a "strategic concept"-"the fundamental element of [a] service . . . its role or purpose in implementing national policy." A service's strategic concept answers the "ultimate question: What function do you perform which obligates society to assume responsibility for your maintenance?"

The current Marine Corps strategic concept envisions an expeditionary force in readiness capable of responding rapidly to the full range of crises and contingencies, primarily but not exclusively from the sea, with integrated and balanced air, ground and logistics teams. To this end, the Marines provide a responsive and scalable "middleweight" force that is light enough to get to where it is needed quickly but heavy enough-and with sufficient logistics support-to prevail against an adversary upon arrival.

Due to the proliferation of high-tech defensive weapons, the most controversial element of the Marines' strategic concept are amphibious assaults against defended littorals. What most people envision when they think of an amphibious assault is a World War II scenario with landing craft churning toward a defended beach. But today's amphibious assaults seek to avoid the strength of the enemy's defenses, exploiting seams and gaps in those defenses in order to achieve surprise.

For example, in October 2001, Naval Task Force 58-commanded by then-Brig. Gen. James Mattis, who is now commander of U.S. Central Command-conducted an amphibious assault to seize the airfield at Kandahar, Afghanistan. Gen. Mattis's force of two infantry battalions, along with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and logistics support, thrust 450 nautical miles from ships off the coast of Pakistan to Kandahar in only 48 hours.

In addition to conducting amphibious operations and providing forces for two wars, over the past decade the Marines have also been engaged in the Caucasus, Africa, the Pacific and Latin America. They have provided training and support for friends and allies and have responded to numerous crises: noncombatant evacuation operations in Liberia (2005) and Lebanon (2006), as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Indonesia, the U.S. Gulf region (2005), Haiti (2008 and 2009), Pakistan (2010) and Japan (2011).

Marines routinely split amphibious ready groups into smaller packages to provide a variety of capabilities over a wider geographic area, reassembling to conduct larger operations. Marine assets are currently involved in aircraft-recovery operations in support of NATO forces in Libya.

So it would seem that what the Marines do is of value to the United States. But could another service do what the Marines do? The answer, of course, is yes. But the opportunity cost would be very high.

All of the U.S. military services are carrying out missions in support of their own strategic concepts. Asking another service to do what the Marines do risks crowding out what they already do. Each of the other services operates primarily in one "domain": the Army on land, the Navy on water, and the Air Force in air and space. The Marines operate in a "lane" that intersects all three domains. In that lane, the Marines possess what economists would call comparative advantage.

What about the charge that the Marines have become a second land army in Iraq and Afghanistan? As the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph Dunford, recently remarked, the Marines have no reason to apologize for sustained operations ashore.

Such operations, he observed, are part of the basic "sticker price" of the Marines: the requirement to carry out missions as directed by the president, an obligation Marines have met in Korea and Vietnam as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, an important part of Marine Corps tradition has been to prepare to fight the kind of small-unit wars we have confronted over the past decade.

The Marines are an expeditionary force with a maritime soul. Of course, the current security environment requires all services to become more expeditionary than was the case during the Cold War. But as former Marine Commandant Gen. Carl Mundy was fond of saying, "'Expeditionary' is not a mission. It's a mindset." The Marines have developed this expeditionary mindset over decades, and it is something that will serve the nation well in the future.

 


          Comment on Comments & Reviews by Jeanne Hegel        
I want to thank Monika and Gecko Trails for the awesome experience in Costa Rica. We planned a three day tour with Gecko upon arriving into San Jose. We toured Tortuguero and went river rafting down the Pacuere River. Our transportation, accommodations, guides, and food were all included. We booked our own accommodations in Playa Chiquita for eight nights after the tour. Then we booked transportation and accommodations with Gecko again from Playa Chiquita to Arenal/La Fortuna for one night before heading to Liberia for our flight back. Monika’s responses to our requests were always quick and she gave us good suggestions for tours that our group would be interested in. Our transportation was always on time, more than comfortable, professional, and the drivers were always safe and accommodating if we wanted to stop along the way. The accommodations were rustic, beautiful, and better than expected. The guides were all easy going, professional, English speaking and informative. And, all the food that was included on our tours were absolutely delicious. This made our trip the most memorable and we loved Costa Rica so much that we will be going back. Thank you again Monika and Gecko for everything.
          US embargo stalled payment to Cuban Ebola doctors        
HAVANA (AP) — Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the U.S. embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organization, an official at the U.N. agency said.


U.S. officials as high as Secretary of State John Kerry have praised the Cuban effort against Ebola. But the longstanding embargo affects virtually all dealings with Cubans, even for banks outside the U.S., because they depend on dollar transfers through U.S. institutions.

Jose Luis Di Fabio, the health agency's representative for Cuba, told The Associated Press it had to request special licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to transfer money to the doctors in Africa.

The licenses were eventually granted and the government-employed doctors only recently received payments dating as far back as October, he said.

"The fact that they're Cubans greatly limited the funds transfers and the payment," Di Fabio said. "It's not that the WHO didn't want to pay, it's that they weren't able to."

The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment Friday. Cuban officials in Havana did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Cuba has sent 256 medical workers to Africa, with 165 in Sierra Leone and the rest in Guinea and Liberia. Cuban doctors generally receive salaries of about $70 a month, with some specialists earning more, but the Cubans in Africa are receiving $250 a day in direct payments from WHO that are meant to cover their food and lodging and provide a margin of extra compensation.

The embargo issue did not affect the state salaries, which are paid to banks inside Cuba, only the extra payments from WHO.

Di Fabio said there were relatively minor delays in opening accounts for the doctors in Guinea and Liberia, but those have been resolved.

In Guinea, where the current Ebola outbreak started, 37 Cuban doctors, nurses and epidemiologists have not yet received two or three weeks of immersion training at an Ebola treatment center working with patients, the last step necessary for them to go to work in the field. There has also been a delay in deploying Cuban doctors in Sierra Leone, with only about 60 of 165 Cubans there in the field, said Dr. Carlos Castro, leader of the Cuban doctors in Guinea.

Di Fabio said there was a clear need for "better coordination of efforts."

He said that in Liberia, about 30 Cuban doctors are working closely and efficiently with U.S. doctors in a center built by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

This article originally appeared on The Big Story
          Ebola control: the Cuban approach        
More than 160 Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Sierra Leone on Oct 2, 2014, to support local teams in controlling the Ebola epidemic. 300 more are being trained in Cuba at present and will be on their way to Liberia and Guinea in the coming weeks. The worldwide response to the Ebola epidemic has been slow and small. More nurses and doctors are certainly needed, not only from Cuba, but also from other countries.
The Cuban health-care system is capable of responding to international crises quickly. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, more than 1000 health-care professionals were deployed. Cuba has provided free medical training for Haitians, graduating nearly 1000 doctors, with a further 400 in training at present. The Cuban approach to a crisis is not just a high-profile acute-phase response, but also involves going to where services are most needed, working with local communities, setting up infrastructure, with a long-term view.
Cuban medical education is backed by a rigorous accreditation system, which includes medical schools established in partnership with other Latin American and African countries.1 The Cuban approach emphasises prevention and social responsibility. Although conventional medical education trains all doctors to a particular level at which they can choose their specialty, primary care being one of these, the Cuban model (curriculum runs for 5 years with a 1 year internship) trains all doctors to become primary care and community practitioners first; further specialisation comes later. This approach is especially relevant in low-income countries where a commitment exists to universal health coverage with few financial and human resources.
The stated goals of the Cuban medical education system are to scale up physician training to meet the needs of the whole population; recruit and train scientifically prepared and socially committed students; and match competencies, knowledge bases, and the scope of responsibilities to the concrete health needs of people in Cuba and other countries where these future physicians might serve.2 Moreover, the Cuban approach delivers better health outcomes at lower cost than most health-care systems.3
During the past 50 years, the Cuban Medical Cooperation programme has worked in more than 100 countries. In 2013, more than 50 000 Cuban health-care professionals (19 000 of them medical doctors) were present in 66 countries, mostly in rural and remote areas. Since the establishment of the Latin American School of Medicine in 1999, it has trained over 20 000 doctors from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, offering free scholarships to students coming from rural, remote, and low-income families.
The transferability of the Cuban model of training in Africa is now well established, with medical schools established in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, and Tanzania, and partnerships with existing African universities in 25 countries. To date, these initiatives have graduated over 560 doctors, with a further 5700 in training. The Cuban model might well deliver better value for money in Africa and is redressing the inequity in rural—urban distribution of doctors.
Worldwide, medical education has not kept pace with health challenges; it is fragmented, outdated, and produces ill-equipped graduates for patient and population needs.4 The effects on the health-care system are profound: poor teamwork; predominant hospital orientation at the expense of primary care; and weak leadership to improve health-care system performance. A redesign of professional health-care education is necessary.
In May, 2014, the World Health Assembly called for a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health in response to slow progress in expansion of the workforce since the World Health Report 2006. Universal health coverage will only be achieved if health-care workforce challenges are addressed,5 and yet, examples of effective action are few. The Cuban model of medical education—supporting the rapid expansion of the health-care workforce in partner countries and responding to worldwide crises, such as Ebola—provides a rich case study to inform the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health.
In their analysis of the Cuban health-care system, Cooper and colleagues6 stated that “If the accomplishments of Cuba could be reproduced across a broad range of poor and middle-income countries the health of the world's population would be transformed.” Surely the time has come to put this statement to the test.
References
1 Quintana F, Sarasa NL, Cañizares O, Huguet Y. Assessment of a complementary curricular strategy for training South African physicians in a Cuban medical university. MEDICC Rev 2012; 14: 19-24. PubMed
2 Morales Idel R, Fernández JA, Durán F. Cuban medical education: aiming for the six-star doctor. MEDICC Rev 2008; 10: 5-9. PubMed
3 Drain PK, Barry M. Fifty years of U.S. embargo: Cuba's health outcomes and lessons. Science 2010; 328: 572-573. CrossRef | PubMed
4 Frenk J, Chen L, Bhutta ZA, et al. Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. Lancet 2010; 376: 1923-1958. Full Text | PDF(1696KB) | CrossRef | PubMed
5 Vega J. Universal health coverage: the post-2015 development agenda. Lancet 2013; 381: 179-180. Full Text | PDF(560KB) | CrossRef | PubMed
6 Cooper RS, Kennelly JF, Orduñez-Garcia P. Health in Cuba. Int J Epidemiol 2006; 35: 817-824. CrossRef | PubMed

          African American Women in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II        
Hello, Again!

This week, we are featuring another blog by another one of our spring interns, Meika. She is a senior at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and is double majoring in history and political science with aspirations to earn an M.A. in Public History and then work in history museums, historic sites, or historical societies. She’s a long-time enthusiast of World War II and we are excited to have her on board this spring! I hope you enjoy her blog on the African American women who served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.

-Maggie

__________________________________________________________________________

Black nurses landing in Scotland, 1944. 
African American women were not immune to the United States’ public call to arms after America entered World War II in 1941. Women who lived in a racially segregated and discriminatory country were willing and eager to join the Allied fight against tyranny and oppression in Europe. American white women are remembered for their heroic services during World War II as WACs, WAVES, nurses, factory workers, planters of Victory Gardens, and bandage rollers.  Stories of their service are well known and constantly perpetuated during elementary school lessons of Rosie the Riveter. However, the story of black women who also served their country during World War II are less well known. One of the ways through which American black women contributed during the war was through their participation in the Army Nurse Corps.

Due to the racial segregation and discrimination in the United States, black women found it difficult to join the ranks of the would-be 60,000 women in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) during World War II.  Even though the candidates had the same training and education as most of the white women who were admitted, government quotas placed limits on the number of black women who were allowed to join the ANC in 1941. In subsequent years due to the influence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, quotas for black nurses to join the Army Nurse Corps began to loosen up and completely abolish the quota system in 1944.

A black nurse treating a German P.O.W. in England, 1944.
Though their numbers were small in comparison to the 60,000 white nurses, the less than 600 black nurses eventually admitted to the ANC were happy to finally be able to serve their country. Despite their segregation, discrimination, and occasionally rudimentary jobs assigned to them, black nurses in the Army Nurse Corps were able to see a bit of the world during their service. Though black nurses were largely restricted to serving only in hospitals and aid stations occupied by black military men, a demand for medical care brought black nurses to England, Burma, Africa, and such faraway places such as Liberia and Australia, and other locations in the Pacific. Other nurses remained in or returned to the United States to work in convalescent, general, and station hospitals.

In addition to serving the black troops, black nurses were also provided medical care for German prisoners of war in England and in as obscure places as Arizona in the United States. Due to labor shortages in the United States, the government made use of a free source of labor: German prisoners of war, and thus transported them from Europe to work on farms or other labor sites.

The work given and sacrifice made by black nurses during World War II not only achieved progress for black nurses in the form of increased federal funding and recognition, but they also inspired a new generation of nurses. Following the eradication of the quota system in 1944, over 2,000 young black women enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps program and other nursing schools. The 600 African American nurses in the Army Nurse Corps deserve to become part of the narrative of American women who served during World War II and I hope that further research can be conducted and further recognition duly awarded.


-Meika

For  further reading on the topic, check out “The Army Nurse Corps Introduction.” Army History. http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/72-14/72-14.HTM


          Cuban Health Workers in Liberia        

          Bridge International, for-profit chain of schools in Africa may violate student privacy rights among other abuses        
A little less than a year ago, I blogged about how the journalist Tina Rosenberg, who regularly writes for the NY Times Fixes column, had repeatedly praised the for-profit education company, Bridge International Academy, while glossing over or omitted negative information, including the arrest of a doctoral student falsely arrested for investigating conditions at the school. Bridge International, or BIA as it is commonly called, currently runs over 500 private schools in India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, with the professed goal of reaching 10 million students by 2025. The company hires high school graduates and provide them with just a few weeks of training, and then send them off to teach to read scripts off computer tablets.

Rosenberg wrote glowingly about  this company in her column while failing to disclose how she and the organization she co-founded, Solutions Journalism, have a conflict of interest:  Bill Gates has invested in BIA, along with Pearson, Mark Zuckerberg and others, while the Gates Foundation has granted Solutions Journalism more than $2.5 million in funds since 2014.

Last year, Liberian government outsourced fifty primary schools to be operated by Bridge, and  recently decided to allow them to expand the number even more, without waiting for the results of a randomized trial as originally promised.  The decision of the Liberian government to expand the company's operations without actual evidence of their schools' quality led to a public statement of protest from the academic community.  Bridge's operations in Liberia has also been criticized by Kishore Singh, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, who sent a letter to the Liberian president, stating that by outsourcing its educational system to a for-profit company, the country was committing a “gross violation” of its education obligations under the Sustainable Development Goal number four, which states that by 2030, the nation would “ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.”


On July 27,  the NY Times magazine ran a comprehensive on-the-ground description by Peg Tyre of these schools in Kenya, along with some of their problems.  Tyre described how many families can't afford the tuition, students were sent home immediately if their parents fell behind on payments, teachers deliver rigid scripted lessons with no time to answer questions, and in buildings that often feature inadequate unsanitary conditions.

A couple of weeks later, Tyre's account was challenged by a breezy NY Times column by Nick Kristof whose argument could be summarized this way: the Liberian education system is a disaster, so Bridge's schools must serve as an improvement.  (The same argument, by the way, is often used by charter school supporters to privatize public schools, rather than invest in improving their conditions.) This column sparked a Twitter debate between Prof. Daniel Katz and Kristof, into which I occasionally interjected.

Among the other troubling concerns with Bridge is the company's plans to achieve profits by using the personal student data of students for marketing purposes, as described here by the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
This concept is troubling, to say the least, and it can be easily imagined how Bridge International Academy might share data on families that lapsed on tuition payments with banks and used to deny them credit and/or loans.

More recently Liberia's teachers have come out publicly against the expansion of Bridge, and yesterday 174 organizations from 50 nations, including Network for Public Education, on whose board I sit, came out with a letter urging investors to cease their support and divest in Bridge given the company's lack of transparency, inadequate research evidence, poor conditions, and violation of student and teacher rights.  As well as divestment, the letter from the organizations , whose logos are below,  goes on to make the following demands of investors:

● Immediately and independently verify BIA’s compliance with national laws and standards,
including human rights, educational, disability, and labor standards;
● Ensure that issues of equity, systemic discrimination, and exclusion are addressed;
● Demand that BIA immediately uphold standards of transparency and publicly disclose information about its operations, including accurate information on actual levels of fees and real costs for parents, teacher salaries and qualifications, enrollment data of children with disabilities, student attrition and completion rates, legal status and policy compliance in different countries, etc.
● Demand that BIA immediately stop intimidating civil society organizations and researchers, including teachers’ unions, and collaborate with any interested researcher in order to provide reasonable access to its schools and all information required to make independent assessments of its claims;
● Engage in dialogue with civil society organizations to review the concerns about BIA and to explore alternative ways to make a valuable contribution to education;
● Demand immediate action to remedy the above violations, within a reasonable timeframe and with adequate monitoring, or alternatively withdraw existing investments;
● Transparently share information about existing or future evaluations of BIA, and engage in dialogue about these evaluations with all stakeholders, including civil society organizations;
● Cease future investments of public or private resources in BIA and other fee-charging, commercial private schools that are failing to reach the most disadvantaged and contributing to socio-economic segregation, undermining the public education system, or undermining the rule of law;
● Invest in programs that fight poverty and inequality by promoting high-quality, equitable, free public education, including programs that help local and national governments improve public schools and expand to under-served areas;
● Constructively engage with civil society organizations to promote the realization of the right to education.

Surely, that would be a good start!

          Bridging the humanitarian-development divide in the health sector        
Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

This blog originally appeared on the Huffington Post blog.

The bloody civil wars that wracked Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s did more than kill hundreds of thousands over the course of a decade. They also decimated the health systems of both countries, setting the stage for the rapid spread of Ebola and threatening global health security.


          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
TokelauList of Currencies of the World and their Currency Symbols

There are 179 currencies in the world.
List of Currencies of the World
Currencies of the World

Currency Symbols

CurrencySymbol
Afghan afghani؋
Albanian lekL
Alderney pound£
Algerian dinarد.ج
Angolan kwanzaKz
Argentine peso$
Armenian dramդր.
Aruban florinƒ
Ascension pound£
Australian dollar$
Bahamian dollar$
Bahraini dinar.د.ب
Bangladeshi taka৳
Barbadian dollar$
Belarusian rubleBr
Belize dollar$
Bermudian dollar$
Bhutanese ngultrumNu.
Bolivian bolivianoBs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markKM or КМ
Botswana pulaP
Brazilian realR$
British pound£
British Virgin Islands dollar$
Brunei dollar$
Bulgarian levлв
Burundian francFr
Cambodian riel៛
Canadian dollar$
Cape Verdean escudoEsc or $
Cayman Islands dollar$
Central African CFA francFr
CFP francFr
Chilean peso$
Chinese yuan¥ or 元
Cocos (Keeling) Islands dollar$
Colombian peso$
Comorian francFr
Congolese francFr
Cook Islands dollar$
Costa Rican colón₡
Croatian kunakn
Cuban convertible peso$
Cuban peso$
Czech korunaKč
Danish kronekr
Djiboutian francFr
Dominican peso$
East Caribbean dollar$
Egyptian pound£ or ج.م
Eritrean nakfaNfk
Ethiopian birrBr
Euro€
Falkland Islands pound£
Faroese krónakr
Fijian dollar$
Gambian dalasiD
Georgian lariლ
Ghanaian cedi₵
Gibraltar pound£
Guatemalan quetzalQ
Guernsey pound£
Guinean francFr
Guyanese dollar$
Haitian gourdeG
Honduran lempiraL
Hong Kong dollar$
Hungarian forintFt
Icelandic krónakr
Indian rupee₹
Indonesian rupiahRp
Iranian rialï·¼
Iraqi dinarع.د
Israeli new shekel₪
Jamaican dollar$
Japanese yen¥
Jersey pound£
Jordanian dinarد.ا
Kazakhstani tenge₸
Kenyan shillingSh
Kiribati dollar$
Kuwaiti dinarد.ك
Kyrgyzstani somлв
Lao kip₭
Latvian latsLs
Lebanese poundل.ل
Lesotho lotiL
Liberian dollar$
Libyan dinarل.د
Lithuanian litasLt
Macanese patacaP
Macedonian denarден
Malagasy ariaryAr
Malawian kwachaMK
Malaysian ringgitRM
Maldivian rufiyaaރ.
Manx pound£
Mauritanian ouguiyaUM
Mauritian rupee₨
Mexican peso$
Micronesian dollar$
Moldovan leuL
Mongolian tögrög₮
Moroccan dirhamد.م.
Mozambican meticalMTn
Myanma kyatK
Nagorno-Karabakh dramդր.
Namibian dollar$
Nauruan dollar$
Nepalese rupee₨
Netherlands Antillean guilderƒ
New Taiwan dollar$
New Zealand dollar$
Nicaraguan córdoba
          Countries in Africa        
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world.Here is the list of 55 countries in Africa and their capitals.
Africa
Africa






S.no.
Countries
Capitals
1.
Algeria
Algiers
2.
Angola
Luanda
3.
Benin
Porto-Novo
4.
Botswana
Gaborone
5.
Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou
6.
Burundi
Bujumbura
7.
Cameroon
Yaoundé
8.
Cape Verde
Praia
9.
The Central African Republic
Bangui
10.
The Comoros
Moroni
11.
Cote d'Ivoire
Yamoussoukro
12.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kinshasa
13.
Djibouti
Djibouti
14.
Egypt
Cairo
16.
Equatorial Guinea
Malabo
17.
Eritrea
Asmara
18.
Ethiopia
Addis Ababa
19.
Gabon
Libreville
20.
The Gambia
Banjul
21.
Ghana
Accra
22.
Guinea
Conakry
23.
Guinea-Bissau
Bissau
24.
Chad
N'Djamena
25.
Kenya
Nairobi
26.
Lesotho
Maseru
27.
Liberia
Monrovia
28.
Libya
Tripoli
29.
Madagascar
Antananarivo
30.
Malawi
Lilongwe

31.
Mali
Bamako
32.
Mauritania
Nouakchott
33.
Mauritius
Port Louis
34.
Morocco
Rabat
35.
Mozambique
Maputo
36.
Namibia
Windhoek
37.
Niger
Niamey
38.
Nigeria
Abuja
39.
The Republic of the Congo
Brazzaville
40.
Rwanda
Kigali
41.
Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé


42.
Senegal
Dakar
43.
The Seychelles
Victoria
44.
Sierra Leone
Freetown
45.
Somalia
Mogadishu
46.
South Africa
Pretoria
47.
Sudan
Khartoum
48.
Swaziland
Mbabane
49.
Tanzania
Dodoma
50.
Togo
Lomé
51.
Tunisia
Tunis
52.
Uganda
Kampala
53.
Western Sahara
Laayoune
54.
Zambia
Lusaka
55.
Zimbabwe
Harare

          Esteri di ven 24/10        
1-Sulle strade d'America. Le violazioni dei diritti umani a Ferguson. Il rapporto di Amnesty International accusa la polizia del Missouri di uso eccessivo della forza (Valentina Redaelli).2-Madrid-Barcellona. Anche dopo la cancellazione del referendum catalano le divisioni rimangono e sono profonde (Giulio Maria Piantadosi).3-La Cina non è più l'Eldorado. A Pechino l'economia rallenta e anche le imprese europee iniziano a licenziare (Gabriele Battaglia).4-L'ebola ha messo definitivamente in ginocchio la Liberia. Il racconto di un fotoreporter appena rientrato da Monrovia (Sergio Ramazzotti, Parallelo Zero).5-Domenica il ballottaggio in Brasile. Aécio Neves contro Dilma Rousseff: non è più la tradizionale sfida tra destra e sinistra (Alfredo Somoza).6-Dopo Belgrado Bratislava. Sospesa per 40 minuti, la partita tra Slovan e Sparta Praga. Le due squadre non si incontravano dai tempi della Cecoslovacchia (Dario Falcini).
          Esteri di mer 08/10        
1-Siria: la città curda di Kòbane sempre nella morsa dell'Isis. Ancora fermo al confine l'esercito turco nonostante le pressioni internazionali.(Andrea Glioti) 2-Ebola: è morto a Dallas il paziente zero...Il liberiano Thomas eric Duncan era la prima persona a cui il virus era stato diagnosticato negli stati uniti.3-Chimica: nobel 2014 ai super microscopi che guardano nelle cellule. ..4-Hong kong: venerdì l'incontro studenti – governo. L'opposizione divisa sul futuro del movimento ..( Gabriele Battaglia ) ..5-Francia: Multato il deputato che rifiuta di declinare al femminile la carica delle sue colleghe. ..6-Musica e nuove tecnologie: Apple pronta a sfidare Spotify ma vuole dare meno soldi agli artisti...7-Progetti sostenibili: autonoma e rinnovabile al 100%. la politica energetico dello stato del Vermont ..
          Esteri di mar 03/12        
..1-Stato della corruzione nel mondo: paesi nordici tra i più virtuosi. Brutta pagella per il sud d'Europa...2-Figli di immigrati ma francesi: 30 anni fa la prima marcia per l'ugualianza e contro il razzismo. ..3-Al via il vertice del Wto in indonesia. (Alfredo Somoza) ..4-GB: scoppia la polemica dopo lo scandalo del parto forzato. Sotto accusa lo smantellamento dei servizi sociali. ..5-Il mondo delle applicazioni: la mappa delle centrali ..nucleari. (Luca Gattuso) ..6-Terre agricole: l'Africa di fronte ai nuovi colonizzatori. Il caso delle multinazionali malesi in Liberia. ( Marta Gatti) ..
          FR. JACK SOULSBY S.M        
Spiritual Renewal

 Fr Jack has been working full time in spiritual renewal and evangelisation in both Catholic and Ecumenical circles since 1980 and has ministered in 98 nations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. 






In the footsteps of St.Paul

He has toured PNG with a Pentecostal pastor,
- preached at open air crusades in Nigeria and Ghana, 
- taken groups of Australians to large ecumenical renewal conferences in USA, 
- led pilgrimages to Europe , the Holy Land,
- embarked on an " Aids safari " in Uganda, 
- held healing services for lepers in Sudan, 



ministered to 
- Mozambican refugees in Malawi, 
- Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, 
- Sudanese war victims in Kenya, 
- genocide victims in Rwanda, 



trained evangelists in a number of nations, 
- introduced and encouraged renewal in nations as Namibia, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Belarus, and East Timor





 

 Several Groups
- have been initiated in Australia to conduct praise and worship, 
- run Life in the Spirit Seminars, 
- help Ugandan orphans, 
- redeem Sudanese slaves and much more



Ministries available from Fr.Jack include
-RETREATS,

-CONFERENCE INPUT
-LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARS
-GIFT CLINICS
-SCHOOL OF EVANGELISATION & CRUSADES




Fr Jack is a native of Cornwall U.K. who resides in Brisbane, Australia . He is a former Civil Engineer , and is a member of the society of Mary.


          Choose which Australian Political Party to vote for by their Website Design!        
For those of you who are not Australian citizens and therefore are not voting in our Federal election, you need to know that here - voting is compulsory. If you don't vote without a good reason, then you get fined. The upside is we get a better representation of our citizens in our voting results. The downside is that some people just come in and 'spoil' their voting paper by scribbling on it, and others 'donkey vote' - that is just vote in the order that the selections appear.

We have a bi-cameral system, so two voting houses - the lower house or House of Representatives (where the government is formed), and an upper house or Senate, which is meant to be where our seven states and territories are represented - but in practice it acts as a bit of a safety valve on the excesses of the lower house.

It looks like we are going to have a close result, with perhaps neither major party ( Labor or Liberal - sort of like Democrats and Republicans in the USA, or Labour and Conservatives in the UK) getting a substantive majority. That means some of the minor parties - and there are a few of them - might get a guernsey in deciding who forms government in the lower house.

In the Senate, it is almost certain that neither of the major parties will get a majority (they haven't over the last couple of elections), and that one or a combination of minor parties will hold the balance of power.

After reading a post on Facebook which quoted KnowYourParties - I was inspired to wonder what would happen if you applied a design critique to each of the parties website design, and determined your vote that way?

Many thanks to the writer of KnowYourParties, whose descriptions I have borrowed entirely.

Health Australia Party
Rebranding of the Natural Medicine Party, which was probably a better description. Anti-vaxxers, fluoridophobes and homeopaths trying to expand their business via changes to medical legislation.
Their colour theming leaves a lot to be desired. They chose a good template, and then ruined it with their 'Byron Bay' hippy logo. Wasted screen realestate on an image of a bunch of anonymous people (are these their candidates?). OK, on the plus side its clean and clear, unlike their grubby anti-science views.

Seniors United Party of AustraliaFinally, a voice in parliament for the wealthiest generation that ever lived.
I think KnowYourParties description is a little harsh, or maybe that's just because as over 55yoa - they purport to represent my age group! The website looks like some ex IT geek put it together circa 1993 when the Mosaic web browser came out and allowed graphics. Unfortunately this website is comically representative of those they probably wish to recruit.


Family First
But only if your family consists of a white Christian man, a white Christian woman and at least two white Christian children and you believe everyone else is headed straight for hell.
Look, I like orange, and blue is a natural contrast, but this is just horrible - or horribly STRONG. Unfortunately 'Bob Day' sounds like some kind of annual celebration of bobbing for apples, when in fact they are bobbing for Jesus. This site is unrepresentative of what they stand for - no christian iconography anywhere.


Liberal Democrats Headed by David Leyonhjelm, who made it into the Senate in 2013 because of a herd of Lib voters being too stupid to correctly identify their preferred party. The Lib Dems are committed Libertarians whose ability to ignore all of the evidence on every possible issue would make any cult proud. 
Awful logo - and its repeated. Its very hard to carry off yellow on a white background. Did anyone realise that at the centre of this photo - its focus in fact is nothing? I think its meant to be on their leader. That top menu - you just don't see, and the slogan is just not important enough to win my vote - besides the fact that their view of the world is loathsome.

VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy
 Flux (n) – an abnormal or morbid discharge of blood or other matter from the body. Whenever there’s a bill before the Senate, you use an app to discharge your opinion into a tame crossbencher and tell him (yes, it’s always going to be a him) which way to vote on each bill. Founded by two Bitcoin consultants, and works on the same blockchain principle, whatever the hell that means.
Well, they look like a software company. What's with the black background? Sooo web design circa last millennium. Pretty logo though. Unfortunately that headline reads like a 404 error.


Liberal
You wake up in an ice bath and realise that your left leg is missing, and Rupert Murdoch tells you that brown people and greenies and reds all conspired to steal your leg and are coming back for the rest of your limbs, but then why is Rupert wearing a blood-stained hospital gown, and why does his left leg look familiar, and there, on the knee, isn’t that the scar that you got when you were ten years old and fell off your bicycle?
Well, this is actually well designed in the main. Its responsive, and works well, with the leader front, centre and active. Pity about that horrible medallion logo thingy (WTF! Blue and yellow again!) What function is it meant to perform - an award? a certification? a mark of quality? Or is it just meant to NOT look anything like the Liberal party logo? Malcolm looks very presidential, and there is no sign of those nasty right wing climate deniers and homophobes.

The Nationals
You wake up in a shed and realise that your left leg is missing, and Rupert Murdoch tells you that brown people and greenies and reds all conspired to steal your leg and are coming back for the rest of your limbs, but then why is Rupert wearing a blood-stained hospital gown, and why does his left leg look familiar, and there, on the knee, isn’t that the scar you got when you were ten years old and got kicked by a horse?
Now this is interesting - the nationals take the iconography of the green movement and apply it to their arch enemy's? Given that in all their difficult seats, it is green leaning independents, or actual greenies that are their greatest threat - I expect this adoption of green iconography is intentional. Except for that horrible logo, and the specific shades of green and yellow they have chosen - this looks pretty good. Not that I'd vote for them - given their leader is one of the biggest climate deniers out there. Wise not to feature his image.

Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
If you’re an economic progressive yet somehow still a dyed in the wool Christian homophobe, this is the party for you.
That logo looked old fashioned when Bob Santa Maria commissioned it. Alternatively it looks like the logo used for film awards on advertising. The slogan is soooo dated and fuddyduddy, and about spelling! The graphic representing a subject cloud, without actually being one is very folksy.

Science Party
 Formerly the Future Party. They’re still naïve, but now they’ve got a full quiver of policies, mostly geared toward fixing the shitblizzard of the last three years.
Like the logo - although a bit more finance company than scientific. Love the image - now that's aspirational! On design - they are in contention for my vote.

Australian Cyclists Party
 Does exactly what it says on the box.
Yep - what he said. Logo is good, but could be better. Bit of waisted space at the top there right of the logo. What is it with blue and green? I'd consider voting for them, if some of their number didn't ride like crazed loons on footpaths, and are so un-evolved they don't know what a bicycle bell is for. It's to warn me that you are coming up my arse!

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
This party is like the time I hurt my back a few years ago and thought the problem would go away like it always had before, except it didn’t and now I live with chronic back pain.
The only thing that is wrong with this logo, is that it should have a big red 45 degree line through that circle! Go and murder some defenceless animal somewhere else you vermin. Annoyingly, other than the appalling logo and social and political views, the website is quite well designed - which I suppose just goes to show that you can't judge a book by its cover. When did they add 'farmers' to their name? Was it when that farmer murdered that environment protection officer? Odious people.

Voluntary Euthanasia Party
As advertised.
Great logo, clever setup, because the power of their campaign is in the power of individual stories. Worthy of support for their design, and for their opinions in my view.

Socialist Alliance
The kind of socialists you can actually have a conversation with.
Well, it had to be red didn't it. The 'vote' message is a bit self evident. They are in need of a good slogan, and all that empty space around the logo is a waste. Other than the words - there is no real visual demonstration of what they stand for. Could do better.

Rise Up Australia Party
The actual worst. Founded by someone who got thrown out of Family First for too much hate speech, which is like getting kicked out of Labor for not doing anything.
This website is pretty foul - which I suppose does reflect the views of the party. The logo is hideous, and the functionality of the website is woeful. Let me give you some examples - it has a loader that tells you the percentage loaded - while you wait and wait (is it a flash site?). When you scroll down (try it if you can bare it) - you just get the tops of each of the candidates heads. I'd give you a screen shot if the party wasn't so vile. Oops, I couldn't resist. The menu is mid page, and has way too many items of varying sizes. On the plus size, it is responsive (unlike their mindset), and uses icons for its policy areas. That is the best thing I can say about the site, and the party.

Labor
The post-war European centre right party for Australia today. 
Not as sophisticated as Liberal, but that heading and logo are so much better. They have an image, where the focus of it is actually on their leader. Slogan good and clear, and I like the 'stand with us' phrase as opposed to 'Vote 1' and their ilk. Solid effort but room for improvement.

Online Direct Democracy – (Empowering the People!)
Like VOTEFLUX, but with PollyWeb instead of the Bitcoin blockchain. (If you say that sentence backwards at the stroke of midnight when the moon is full, Lucifer will appear and grant you three votes on bills that will never get up.) 
As Windows is to Apple - this is to good design. Is that a blue planet in a black hole? At least the're honest - its all about the technology not the people. No, just no.

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
It turns out that this is about Derryn Hinch’s notion of justice, not about bringing Derryn Hinch to justice. Which is disappointing. A Federal party campaigning on State issues, implying either ignorance or extreme cynicism. My money is on cynicism.
Derryn, your rich enough to afford better. The logo is ugly and literal. Judge Judy has a better one. This site is a bit of a stinker. I must implement a new rule of web design: never use dot points on a home page. The only honest bit of design is the implication that Derryn is the harbinger of justice - 'Hinch Justice'.

Jacqui Lambie Network
Anatomically incorrect: the logo is a map of Tasmania, but the policy platform is an arsehole. 
Black and orange - a favourite combination of mine. Have you noticed that they have deepetched Jacqui's hair so that it looks like an upside down map of Tasmania? Actually, this, a little like the candidate is straight shooting, without her muddling of words and images.
Pirate Party Australia
Basically progressive, and I agree with them on most things, but their ideas on intellectual property are anti-artist and their views on tax are just idiotic.
Ok, the logo is cute, the pirate ship is cute, the font is good, and the layout good, if a little old fashioned. Its a little staid really - not what you expect from outlaws.

Pauline Hanson’s One NationHave you ever licked a gallbladder?
It galls me to say it, but good logo. Fortunately that is where it stops. Too many stock graphics. No visual breathing space, and justified text. Enough said.


Veterans Party Supporting veterans with no nonsense, no political game playing and absolutely no policies.
Looks more like a recruitment advert for the forces. They always say, one strong image is better than a whole lot of bad ones. Ain't that the truth.

Secular Party of Australia
Basically pretty great, but there are a couple of issues where the commitment to secularism starts to look a little like Islamophobia.
The imagery here just says 'We want your money'. Not sure that is a good way to introduce yourself to the public - unless you're a televangelist. Logo - do I have to say it?

CountryMinded
I don’t agree with everything they say, but I’m not really their target audience. This is essentially the party that the National Party should be.
Blue and green again, really? Badly chosen template, and that logo needs to be shot. With a shotgun.

Socialist Equality Party
Trotskyists. Well-intentioned but fanatical. These are the people who never forgot that Che’s real first name was Ernest.
The site is quite mild mannered in design. That is almost a 'liberal' blue. Nice touches of red though.

Katter’s Australian Party
Uncle Ho and Margaret Thatcher cohabiting in a single mind.
Red, red, red. Reds all over the bed. We already know that Bob is deaf to nuance (shooting . . . Orlando). Apparently he is blind to colour as well. Other than that - a professional website.

Palmer United Party
The earth will shake violently, trees will be uprooted, mountains will fall, and all binds will snap – Palmer will be free. Palmer will go forth with his mouth opened wide, his upper jaw touching the sky and his lower jaw the earth, and he will swallow Odin in a single gulp. Flames will burn from his eyes and nostrils, and his sons will come after to swallow the sun and the moon.
That map of Australia is a crime against cartography, and vexillology (look it up). I love the meaninglessness of the slogan. I am surprised that they are still featuring the image of the morally (and possibly literally) bankrupt Clive.

Citizens Electoral Council
Possibly just straight-up insane. Climate deniers, but economically kinda socialist. Anti-Semitic and possibly white supremacist, but pro-immigration. They also claim that the Port Arthur massacre was commissioned by the British royal family and implemented by a mental health NGO.
Worst political website for this election. I would say it was designed by a server engineer, but that would be unfair to the design skills of server engineers. Just all types of wrong, which I suppose reflects their policies.

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
The Eddie the Eagle of befuddled right-wing governance.
Blue and green again. Is this a thing? Other than that, if you can't design a good logo, just use the words - and they did (I'm ignoring the ubiquitous southern cross on the wrong angle at the top).

Animal Justice Party
Better people than me.
. . . and not to be confused with Animal Farm Justice Party. Logo looks like The Wilderness Society for animals. I know the image is about live exports, but cute cat video's are more loveable.

The Arts Party
Sound policies, surprisingly shitty logo. Come on Arts Party, you had one job to do.
What he said. One job. Menu wrapping is a crime.

Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)
Fielded candidates for the last six Federal elections. Seventh time lucky, guys.
Couldn't organise a supervised visit - let alone a live website.

Mature Australia
Your racist Western Australian aunt.
OK this screen grab doesn't do it justice - looks like I timed it badly. Pretty logo, but what he said about the views. '2 cent tax' - they can't add up.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
The party’s charter is just a bunch of bible quotes. It’s like we’re in Pennsylvania in the fucking 17th Century.
They bought a good wordpress template, and a good shot of parliament house. Pity they didn't spend as much money or care on their depressingly unimaginative, and proportionally challenged logo.

Australian Sex Party
Are you turned on by sound economic and social policies with a strong evidence basis? Then number the box and put your ballot in the slot.
OK, you did well with the logo, but seriously - an industry that has some of the most imaginatively designed sex websites and you came up with this? Its definitely not sexy, and I'm not sure it makes people take you seriously either.

Australian Progressives
A broad suite of evidence-based best practice policies that only seems progressive because Australia is such a regressive ideological clusterfuck.
Great site - get rid of that horror of a logo.  It doesn't say 'progressive'. It says . . . oh sorry I fell asleep with a pen in my hand.


Nick Xenophon Team
A bit far to the right for me personally, but Xenophon has done exactly what an independent senator is supposed to do, and pretty close to exactly what he said he would do. Which is refreshing.
Oh South Australia, you are such contrarians, but you always did have good food, and good arts. You win a boutique non-industrial prize for the orange and black combo, and a reneable power commendation for making a name like 'Xenophon' into a brand.

Drug Law Reform
Single issue party focused on treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal one. The stance seems well reasoned. It’s just a bit hard to take them seriously when their logo is a hemp leaf.
What he said about the logo. Some terrible images in that carousel, including a quote from Richard Branson. The green isn't even pretty.

Sustainable Australia
Formerly the Stable Population Party. They want a ‘sustainable’ population through lower immigration. If they actually cared about sustainability they’d be calling for a lower global population, but instead they’re calling for reduced population growth in a country with only 24 million people. Which means that what they are is simply racist.
Loathsome website, loathsome policies, loathsome logos.

The Greens
Yes, they wear suits now, but at least those suits are made from sustainable bamboo in a small Liberian social enterprise that sponsors education initiatives for orphaned girls.
I want to love the greens, but they have three things I am having trouble coming to grips with. The logo (OK, I can nearly forgive, as it has become their brand); this website (which commits several crimes against font usage, colour, and layout), and Lee Rhiannon. I support their ethos, but some of their policies (their small business policy from the last election seems to have disappeared) are just naive - like the design - those icons especially.

Australian Liberty Alliance
Angry Anderson (remember him? didn’t think so) vowing to stop the Islamisation of Australia. Last time I checked, Islam was holding steady at 2.2% of the population, so maybe one bald dickhead is all it takes to hold the hordes at bay.
A site designed last decade I think - or from when Angry Anderson last had a hit. Don't start me on the logo.

Renewable Energy Party
Single issue, seems good prima facie, but founded by Peter Breen, who was Ricky Muir’s only staffer for a time. I can’t figure out whether this is a good sign (Breen taught Muir how to be a halfway decent senator) or a terrible sign (how can someone go from the petrolhead party to a renewables party and expect to be believed?).
Like the look of this - simple and clean. Like clean energy - it takes a lot of work to make something look this simple.

Marijuana (HEMP) Party
Entirely about legalising weed, and there’s no suggestion that they’ve thought about a policy position on any other issues. My concern is that they’d side with anyone who takes snacks into the chamber
The design got all to hard, so they went for a smoke. Cheap shot, I know - but look at that site. Green and yellow. Really.

Anti-paedophile Party
Fair enough, but they’re also anti-sex education. So they’re imbeciles.
Unfortunately, this website looks as creepy as the people they say they oppose.


Oh, I'm exhausted! Believe me, this is more exhausting than actually filling out the Senate voting tablecloth.  Good luck tomorrow (June 2nd), and read the voting instructions, because they have changed.

I'm just looking forward to the time when the politicians of the two major parties work out that Australians do support smaller parties, and quite like when they have to discuss things with each other and argue policy. They actually don't like their government to be in total control like fascists. They like it when there is a multi-party approach to government.

Happy voting.



          We Need a Mass Movement to Prevent Nuclear Conflict in the Korean Peninsula        

US activist Gloria Steinem (center), and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Leymah Gbowee (right), from Liberia with other activists march to the Imjingak Pavilion along the military wire fences near the border village of Panmunjom on May 24, 2015 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)US activist Gloria Steinem (center) and Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee (right) march with other activists along the military wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on May 24, 2015. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)

Without strong public protest and a unified demand for peace, Trump and the more hawkish among his retinue may feel empowered to channel his ''fire and fury'' rhetoric into actions leading to nuclear conflict in the Korean Peninsula. That is why there must be immediate mobilization to stem Trump's moves toward the warpath.

US activist Gloria Steinem (center), and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Leymah Gbowee (right), from Liberia with other activists march to the Imjingak Pavilion along the military wire fences near the border village of Panmunjom on May 24, 2015 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)US activist Gloria Steinem (center) and Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee (right) march with other activists along the military wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on May 24, 2015. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)

On August 2, US Sen. Lindsey Graham paraphrased President Donald Trump's stance on the prospect of conflict in the Korean Peninsula as follows: "If thousands die, they're going to die over there." Less than a week later, on August 8, President Trump responded to North Korea's latest missile test by threatening to unleash "fire and fury" against Pyongyang, raising alarms throughout the international community. 

These statements were only the latest excerpts of the ongoing hostile dialog between North Korea and the United States since both parties signed an armistice 64 years ago. A peace treaty was never reached.

Will Trump's heightened rhetoric lead the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war anytime soon? Most likely not. As many analysts point out, deterrence still holds in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, despite bellicose rhetoric on both sides. The United States knows that North Korea now has the capability and willingness to strike back if attacked. North Korea knows firsthand the overwhelming power of the United States, well proven in the devastation visited on the populace during the Korean War, when more than 30 percent of Koreans were either killed or injured.

However, without strong public protest against his aggressive rhetoric and a unified demand for peace, Trump and the more hawkish among his retinue may well feel empowered to channel his "fire and fury" rhetoric into actions leading to nuclear conflict in the Korean Peninsula. That is why there must be immediate mobilization to stem Trump's moves toward the warpath.

While a war is not imminent in the Korean Peninsula as a result of Trump's bluster, the real reason for alarm is not what the president has said, but rather what he has done since being elected.

Donald Trump has proved to be the most hawkish president in modern history. During the first six months of his presidency, the United States has escalated the bombing of Iraq and Syria to unprecedented levels. By July 21, 2017, according to Foreign Policy, the Trump administration had dropped close to 20,750 bombs, nearly 80 percent of Obama's total for all of 2016.

Trump's hawkish policies have resulted in devastating costs to Iraqi and Syrian civilians. A military campaign of "fire and fury" in the Korean Peninsula would also carry staggering human costs.

There are more than 75,000 US troops stationed in South Korea and Japan, along with more than 136,000 US civilians in South Korea. In addition to all the lives that would be lost in North Korea as a result of US military action, millions of South Korean lives and many thousands of American lives will be in the range of North Korean firepower. This alone should rule out the prospect of military action in the Korean Peninsula.

Nor can US-led UN sanctions on North Korea achieve an effective solution. The North Korean regime has proven to be extremely resilient in enduring sanctions, the costs of which fall upon the most vulnerable of North Korea's citizens -- sick people, elderly people, and women and children who play no part in Kim Jong-un's policies.

Moreover, time is running out. Even if sanctions are successfully implemented, it will take months for them to take effect, during which time North Korea can continue to develop its missile and nuclear programs, and the cycle of hostile and bellicose exchanges can lead further down the path to war.

During his recent phone call with Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed that "South Korea can never accept a war erupting again on the Korean Peninsula," insisting that "the North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved in a peaceful, diplomatic manner through a close coordination between South Korea and the United States." Indeed, the only viable option to end the current standoff is diplomacy, best exemplified in concrete proposals such as the freeze-for-freeze dictum, which proposes that North Korea freeze its nuclear and missile testing in return for the United States and South Korea halting their annual military exercises. More than 60 percent of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support direct negotiation between the United States and North Korea, a sentiment shared by 80 percent of South Koreans. According to the latest survey by Chicago Council on Global Affairs, "Military action ... as in past surveys, lacks public support. Overall, 28 percent of Americans favor sending US troops to destroy North Korea's nuclear facilities."

North Korea's recent advances in bolstering its deterrence capability are creating a structural condition of deterrence buttressed by a balance of power in the Korean Peninsula. While this development represents a potential game-changer in the region, it also creates a historic opportunity for President Trump to leverage diplomacy in order to strike a deal with North Korea, thereby achieving what no other US president has been able to. Without a mass public mobilization demanding peace, however, Trump may feel empowered to push toward a nuclear conflict rather than seizing this opportunity for diplomacy. 

On August 10, a day after Trump's "fire and fury" threat, an emergency anti-war rally was held in front of the White House. Unfurling banners declaring, "no war," "reunification, not nuclear annihilation" and "who will keep us safe?" protesters called on the president to pursue diplomacy rather than conflict. H.K. Suh, the vice president of the National Association of Korean Americans, appealed to Trump to "stand down," warning that "one misstep could lead to catastrophe." Suh is one of hundreds of thousands of Korean-Americans fighting for a peaceful reunification of Korea. It's time for Koreans and Americans to unite in a people's movement of broad-based "fire and fury" against any attack on human security from any force in the Korean Peninsula. 


          10 Poorest Countries In The World | Ten Poorest Countries In list        

10. Ethiopia (GDP – per capita: $700)


Seen Better Days - Ethiopia
“The Sadomo region of the Ethiopia is known for producing the best coffee second to Harar….Make Trade Fair!” – mcandrea
Ethiopia ranks 170 out of 177 the poorest countries on the Human Development Index (UNDP HDI 2006). Half of its GDP depends on agricultural activity. The agricultural sector suffers lowdown because of poor cultivation techniques and frequent drought. 50% of its population 74.7 million bears the burden of poverty and 80% lives on bread line. 47% of males and 31% of females are literate. Some parts of Ethiopia run a high risk of hepatitis A, hepatitis E, typhoid fever, malaria, rabies, meningococcal meningitis and schistosomiasis.
Child Poverty

09. Niger (GDP – per capita: $700)

Niger with a population of 12.5 million is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Drought is a common natural calamity in Niger. It often undergoes a phase of severe food crisis. 63% of its total population lives on below $1 a day. Adult literacy rate is as low as 15%. Life expectancy spans up to 46 years. A number of people die of hepatitis A, diarrhea, malaria, meningococcal meningitis and typhoid fever.
“Escaping from poverty”

08. Central African Republic (GDP – per capita: $700)

Rebel in northern Central African Republic
“Rebel in northern Central African Republic”
The Central African Republic ranks 171 as a poor country. Agriculture is the backbone of its unstable economy. Life expectancy of its meager population 4.3 ranges from 43.46 to 43.62 years. 13.5% of its population is at risk of AIDS.
Destruction in the north-west
“Boy in front of destroyed homes in Ngaoundaye, Central African Republic. Since early 2007, the troubled region has been caught up in fighting between APRD rebels and government troops.” – hdptcar

07. Guinea-Bissau (GDP – per capita: $600)

“Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Bijene, January 2005. Mbemba Djaló, 13 years young, earns some extra cash after school, running his little shop at the veranda of an abandoned colonial house. Photography by Ernst Schade” – ernst schade
The rank of Guinea Bissau as a poor country is 172. Farming and fishing are the only pillars of its economy. The level of income is not even in all parts of the country. About 10% of its adult population is at risk of HIV.

06. Union of the Comoros (GDP – per capita: $600)

Itsandra at sunset
Population growth and unemployment at a high rate are responsible for the poor economy of Union of the Comoros. Population density at a rate of 1000 per square km in agriculture zones may result in an environmental crisis. Agricultural contribution to its GDP is 40%. The low level of education has raised the level of labor force. Economy mainly depends on foreign grants.

05. Republic of Somalia (GDP – per capita: $600)

“Sixteen million people in eastern Africa are in need of emergency food aid and the threat of starvation is severe, according to FAO’s latest report on the Food Supply Situation and Crop Prospects in sub-Saharan Africa.” – ☠ ● qυєєη σƒ яσ¢к ● ☠
Agriculture is the base of the economy of Republic of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. Nomads and semi-nomads comprise a major part of the population. Rearing livestock is the primary source of livelihood for them. The small agricultural industry contributes 10% to its GDP.
Somalia
“Mogadishu. October 2004. View of Mogadishu north. Mogadishu is the place where effects of the conflict are more striking. There are arround 400.000 internally displaced persons. Access to health structures is quite impossible for the danger to circulate in the streets where combats are on-going and all type infrastructures have disapeared: water, sanitation, schools… The absence of state during more than 13 years has made impossible any investment in public structures. It is estimated that around 72% of Somalia’s population lacks access to basic healthcare services and the healthcare system is in ruins.” – abdisalla

04. The Solomon Islands (GDP – per capita: $600)

Solomon Islands Tsunami -- Minister whose church was washed away
“Solomon Islands Tsunami — Minister whose church was washed away”
The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia. Fishing holds its domestic economy. Above 75% of the labor class, is involved in fishing. Timber was the main product for export until 1998. Palm oil and copra are important cash crops for export. The Solomon Islands are rich in mineral resources like zinc, lead, gold and nickel.

03. Republic of Zimbabwe (GDP – per capita: $500)

Desperate
“The expression on these guys faces says a million things, weak from hunger and too poor to own shoes or have a shirt to wear. This is all because of the tyrant they call a president.
A beautiful country ruined because of one mans greed. ”
– Mr Sean
Republic of Zimbabwe is located between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers in the south of Africa. Its economy suffers a slowdown due to supply shortage, soaring inflation and foreign exchange shortage. Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo left its economy fragile. The worst consequence of the knelt-down economy is unemployment that is as high as 80%.
“March, 5, 2008. The Zimbabwean currency tumbled to a record 25 million dollars for a single US dollar”

02. Republic of Liberia (GDP – per capita: $500)

Young boy looks through hole in garbage dump
“MONROVIA, LIBERIA – NOVEMBER 12, 2006 : Young Liberian boy standing on Randal street in Monrovia looks through a hole in a garbage filled car that has been turned on its side and salvaged fro spare parts. ( Photo by: Christopher Herwig )” – herwigphoto.com
Republic of Liberia on the west coast of Africa is one of the ten poorest economies across the globe. A decline in the export of commodities, the flight of many investors from the country, the unjust exploitation of the country’s diamond resource, looting and war profiteering during the civil war in 1990 brought the economy of the country to its knees. External debt of the country is more than its GDP.
Government child soldiers
“Liberia: Government child soldiers,Ganta; on the back of their truck is an anti-aircraft gun. © Teun Voeten, 2003.
Liberia’s decade-long civil war was fuelled by weapons imported in to the country in violation of a UN arms embargo. Shipments over three months in 2002 from a Serbian security company, for example, brought in enough bullets to kill the entire population of Liberia.”
– controlarms

01. Republic of the Congo (GDP – per capita: $300)

Street of Kinshasa
“This picture shows what Kinshasa is: full of contradictions. The beauty of the sunlight, nature, happy people contrasts with the filth on the streets, disorganisation, poverty… These two persons seem to stand there, in the middle of all that. Can they push the country forward… Are they part of a generation that will one day live in a modern Democratic Republic of Congo, freed of all suffering and pain?” – fredogaza
Republic of the Congo in Central Africa is the last at the bottom of the economic heaps. Depreciation of Franc Zone currencies, incredibly high levels of inflation in 1994, eruption of the civil war, and continuation of armed conflict and slumping oil price in 1998 broke down the economy of the country.
Former child soldiers
“A group of ‘kotelengana’, or former child soldiers, in DRC” – War Child UK
GDP – per capita (PPP) 2008 Country Ranks
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2008

          The Penitant Warlord: Atoning for 20,000 War Crimes        
For years, Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known as General Butt Naked, was one of Liberia's most feared warlords. Then he became a pastor. Today he visits the families of his victims to seek forgiveness for his sins.
          A New Day        
(My first column as publisher and owner of The Coweta Shopper, a 40,000-monthly circulation direct mailed news, entertainment and shopping publication)   Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a first. She is the first female president of an African nation, in this case Liberia, a position she has held since 2006. She is also a co-winner of […]
          Prediksi Persija vs Sriwijaya FC 27 Juli 2013        

Prediksi Persija vs Sriwijaya FC 27 Juli 2013 – Bursa Taruhan Bola Voor dan Prediksi Skor Akurat Persija Jakarta vs Sriwijaya FC ISL. Pertandingan ini akan disiarkan Live ANTV pukul 21.00 WIB Sabtu 27 Juli 2013. Berikut berita dan prediksi selengkapnya

Prediksi Persija vs Sriwijaya


Duel melawan Sriwijaya FC di Gelora Bung Karno, Sabtu (27/7), menjadi pertandingan penting bagi Persija Jakarta.Macan Kemayoran berharap bisa mengamankan tiga poin penuh di kandangnya.Kemenangan dalam pertarungan yang akan digelar di Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno tersebut bakal membantu Persija untuk mengamankan posisi mereka di Liga Super Indonesia.

Saat ini, Macan Kemayoran menempati peringkat ke-12, atau enam poin di atas zona degradasi.Namun, bukan perkara mudah bagi Persija menundukkan Sriwijaya FC yang diperkuat sederet pemain bintang.

Gelandang Persija Syahrizal mengakui ia mewaspadai trio Sriwijaya, yakni Erick Weeks, Boakay Eddie Foday, dan Ponaryo Astaman. Khusus Boakay, pemain asal Liberia ini mencetak tiga gol ketiga Sriwijaya mengalahkan Persija 4-1 pada duel pertama, Februari silam.

"Pelatih Benny Dolo meminta kami mewaspadai Erick dan Foday. Tetapi menurut saya, Ponaryo juga perlu diperhatikan," kata Syahrizal kepada Berita Kota Super Ball.Syahrizal menuturkan, Erick dan Foday memiliki naluri mencetak gol yang tinggi.

"Pelatih meminta saya dan pemain belakang untuk menjaga pertahanan. Jangan sampai mereka tembus ke kotak penalti," ucapnya.Ponaryo, menurut Syahrizal , cerdas dalam mengatur serangan. "Ponaryo merupakan kreator serangan Sriwijaya FC.Umpan-umpan yang dia berikan kerap merepotkan," ujarnya.

Dari kubu Sriwijaya FC, asisten manajer Muchendi Mahzareki mengakui kali ini timnya akan lebih sulit meraih kemenangan.Selain Persija kini kekuatannya lebih bagus, menurut Muchendi, lini pertahanan Macan Kemayoran kokoh karena punya pemain berkelas, di antaranya bek Brasil Fabiano Beltrame.

"Permainan tim dan kinerja lini depan Sriwijaya masih banyak yang perlu diperbaiki," katanya dilansir Sripku.com.Berikut data dan fakta pertandingan Persija Jakarta vs Sriwijaya FC dalam lanjutan Indonesia Super League 2013 yang kami kutip dari berbagai sumber.

Head to Head Persija Jakarta vs Sriwijaya FC:
02 Feb 2013 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 4 – 1 Persija
24 Jun 2012 (ILS) Persija 3 – 0 Sriwijaya FC
18 Des 2011 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 2 – 1 Persija
29 Mei 2011 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 3 – 3 Persija
03 Nov 2010 (ILS) Persija 0 – 0 Sriwijaya FC

5 Pertandingan Terakhir Persija Jakarta:
05 Jul 2013 (ILS) Gresik United 1 – 0 Persija
30 Jun 2013 (ILS) Arema 3 – 1 Persija
26 Jun 2013 (ILS) Persija 5 – 0 Persita Tangerang
16 Jun 2013 (ILS) Persela 1 – 1 Persija
13 Jun 2013 (ILS) Persepam Madura 0 – 1 Persija

5 Pertandingan Terakhir Sriwijaya FC:
22 Jul 2013 (ILS) PSPS Pekanbaru 0 – 1 Sriwijaya FC
15 Jul 2013 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 0 – 4 Persepam Madura
11 Jul 2013 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 2 – 2 Persela
29 Jun 2013 (ILS) Pelita Bandung Raya 2 – 2 Sriwijaya FC
23 Jun 2013 (ILS) Sriwijaya FC 3 – 1 Arema

Prediksi Susunan Pemain Persija Jakarta vs Sriwijaya FC :
Persija Jakarta : Andritany Ardhiyasa, Ismed Sofyan, Fabiano Beltrame, A.A Ngurah, Ahmad Farizi, Anindito Wahyu, Amarzukih, Rohit Chand, Defri Rizky, M. Ilham, Rachmat Afandi.
Sriwijaya FC : Rivki Mokodompit, Mahyadi Panggabean, Dodok Anang, Dong-Won Lee, Fandy Mochtar, Ramdani Lestaluhu, Achmad Jufrianto, Khoirul Huda, Erick Weeks, Tantan, Herman Dzumafo.

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The post What will a Trump or Clinton presidency mean for Africa? appeared first on Democracy in Africa.


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Original Post Sierra Leone Renews Ebola Alert source Twease
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