March 2, 2014, UKRAINE (Huffington Post) – Military pressure on Ukraine has never been this strong, but cannons aren’t Moscow’s best weapon. With the growing Crimea issue — a pro-Russia Ukrainian region — gas appears as a threat in the resolution of the crisis. Ukraine highly depends on Russian energy. Rising gas prices decided by Moscow could lead, at any moment, to the country’s collapse. Read more…
Reuters| February 22, 2014
Protesters seized the Kiev office of President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday and his whereabouts were a mystery, as the pro-Russian leader’s grip on power rapidly eroded following bloodshed in the Ukrainian capital.At the president’s headquarters, Ostap Kryvdyk, who described himself as a protest commander, said some protesters had entered the offices but there was no looting. “We will guard the building until the next president comes,” he told Reuters. “Yanukovich will never be back.”
The grounds of the president’s residence outside Kiev were also being guarded by “self-defense” militia of anti-government protesters. Hundreds of people entered the grounds, although not the building itself.
A senior security source said the president was still in Ukraine but was unable to say whether he was in Kiev. An ally was quoted as saying he was in an eastern city. Read more…
Ethiopia still ranks 71st out of 78 countries for severe hunger in the 2013 Global Hunger Index
Download the foreword October 18, 2013
In 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy battered Haiti, damaging harvests, swelling rivers, flooding roads, and blocking access to communities. As food prices rose and debts mounted, poor Haitians took extreme measures. Some migrated. Others made ends meet by eating fewer meals per day and selling off their land or livestock. Every summer, Haitians fear nature’s wrath.
Whether it’s storms like these, or a drought, like the one in 2012 that left 18 million people in the Sahel hungry, other extreme weather, surging food prices, or prolonged political unrest, crises or shocks continue to buffet the poor and most vulnerable. All too often, those who are unable to cope find themselves more deeply entrenched in poverty, facing malnutrition and hunger. Read more…
A year from today, Scotland will be in a position to become the master of its destiny, potentially gaining independence.
By Humza YousafSeptember 21, 2013 (Aljazeera) — Today (18 September), people in Scotland are exactly one year away from the all important day when our citizens will vote on the future direction of their country. Gaining control of how Scotland will engage with the wider world is an important consequence of that vote.
For me, an independent Scotland is not – and never will be – an end in itself. It is about Scots gaining the powers that all independent nations throughout the world take for granted: powers which will enable the creation of jobs, encourage sustainable economic growth, secure social justice, tackle inequality and promote fairness at home and abroad.
Independence will mean Scotland being able to develop policies that are determined by the people of Scotland, which reflect our values. It will mean being able to take a different approach to the UK, where this is the right decision for Scotland. Scotland has much to offer as an active global citizen. Read more…
The death occurred in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia. This brings even more attention to the already existing issue of forced child marriages in the Middle Eastern region.
“According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.”
It is reported that over a quarter of Yemen’s young girls are married before the age of 15. Not only do they lose access to health and education, these child brides are commonly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual violence in their forced marriage. Read more…
June 24, 2013, Central New York (Syracuse.com) — Habiba Boru, a refugee from the Oromia region of Ethiopia, began her speech at City Hall for the World Refugee Day celebration by chronicling the struggles of refugees.
“We have witnessed wars, loved ones dying, women getting raped before our own eyes,” said Boru, 27, who arrived in the United States in 2000. “Through it all, we have survived to come to a land like this, full of opportunity and promise. People here have chosen to believe in us.”
In her speech, Boru thanked Mayor Stephanie Miner for joining the refugee cause, the Syracuse City Police for keeping their neighborhoods safe and the city of Syracuse for welcoming refugees with available housing and resources. Read more…
Geresu Tufa – found this
By Akbar Ahmed
April 8, 2013 (The Globalist) — It is difficult to read about contemporary instances of genocidal behavior, writes Akbar Ahmed, and not think that they belong to some distant, barbaric past instead of the world of today. But, if anything, these instances are occurring with greater frequency and intensity as far as tribal societies are concerned. And yet, much of the world seems indifferent to this suffering.
cts of genocide not only challenge their victims but all those who must contemplate the consequences of these actions. This was evident in the following letter, sent to me from an anonymous author after reading the op-eds in Al Jazeera written by my team and myself about the suffering of these beleaguered communities:
“I felt ashamed to not have known about their struggle for existence. I wonder how these people cannot become terrorists or rebels if faced with such inhumane conditions. The question is how would we react if faced with a situation they are in. I can only pray to Allah to protect all of us from this test. For sure, most of us would fail in this test.” Read more…
March 13, 2013 (New York Times – Bits) — Last May, two security researchers volunteered to look at a few suspicious e-mails sent to some Bahraini activists. Almost one year later, the two have uncovered evidence that some 25 governments, many with questionable records on human rights, may be using off-the-shelf surveillance software to spy on their own citizens.
Morgan Marquis-Boire, a security researcher at Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and Bill Marczak, a computer science doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the e-mails contained surveillance software that could grab images off computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The word “FinSpy” appeared in the spyware code. FinSpy is spyware sold by the Gamma Group, a British company that says it sells monitoring software to governments solely for criminal investigations.
Now, one year later, Mr. Marquis-Boire and Mr. Marczak have found evidence that FinSpy is being run off servers in 25 countries, including Ethiopia and Serbia, without oversight. Read more…
March 5, 2013 (Aljazeera) — Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.
Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, announced the death in a national television broadcast on Tuesday. He said Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time.
Reaction from around the world to Chavez’s death was swift. Read more…
January 23, 2013 (Bloomberg) — Zeini Kadir escaped at dawn, when the gates of the house in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, were open for morning prayers.
Barefoot, she ended up at an agency catering to Ethiopian workers like her. After flying to Addis Ababa, she rode two buses and walked three hours to the mud-walled home where she grew up. She’d lasted just three months, cooking and cleaning seven days a week in the 18-room house where she said she was beaten with a stick. Still, she said she would have stayed in Saudi Arabia if she could have found another job.
“It’s different from house to house,” Zeini, 19, said, smiling. “Not all employers are bad.” Anyway, “what jobs are there here?” Read more…
January 12, 2013 (AFP) — Members of Falah Mura say they feel frozen in limbo, not quite at home in Ethiopia, eager to become Israeli, and suffering from long separation from family members who have already left
It was one of the most daring operations in Ethiopian history: Israel’s 1991 airlift of Ethiopian Jews, when nearly 15,000 people were crammed into a series of non-stop flights lasting 36 hours.
Clutching only a few belongings, in planes with seats removed to make more space, they left a nation their ancestors had called home for two millennia for a land they knew only from scripture. Read more…