Why have biometric databases not become as controversial an issue here in South Africa as they are elsewhere? In the UK, a campaign against state control of personal identity called No2ID successfully opposed the governments attempt to introduce biometric ID cards. Germany has forbidden centralisation of population information. However, countries in the South have jumped on the biometric bandwagon, including South Africa, in spite of the many red flags about the technology. Interpol, the World Bank and private security multinationals have worked tirelessly to promote biometrics in the South to manage what they perceive to be problem populations and to keep them out of an increasingly fortified North.
President Zumas recent State of the Nation Address explicitly recognised the importance of agriculture to the nation, both from the perspective of employment creation as well as from its essential role in providing food security. Yet, since coming into office, his new government has been unable to make any sense of the competing agendas behind agricultural reform and production. Recent proposals to allocate shareholding to farmworkers appear to be little more than a side-show. These kinds of proposals are incapable of tackling, let alone resolving the underlying land reform and restitution tensions.
U.S. "unnamed officials" confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that over a hundred military troops have been operating covertly in Somalia since 2007.
The mission, according to the government's narrative, is to help Somalia fend off attacks from the al-Qaeda linked terrorist group al Shabab, which has been fighting the country's UN-backed government for years.
The confirmation, however, was received skeptically by some who have monitored U.S. military operations in Somalia in recent years. As independent journalist Marcy Wheeler tweeted in response to the reporting:
We will bring the defiant energy of communities fighting (and winning) against Vedanta around the world to London: from the miners associations, to the polluted people of Zambia, and the Dongria Kond tribe. Parallel demonstrations are already planned in Zambia, Odisha and Delhi in India on this international day of action. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to plan a demonstration at any Vedanta affected community, or in solidarity ANYWHERE!
On June 12, 2014, three Israeli settler boys were kidnapped on a hike near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Although a police recording indicated that one of the boys had been immediately killed, Israel set off a national search for the ...
We, civil society organizations in Japan, call on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for the immediate suspension and fundamental review of the ProSAVANA program.
Latest article on the Marikana Land Occupation and the legal issues surounding it. I think its important becuase it connects their situation with that of many other shackdwellers throughout South Africa.
Just before the 2014 national elections, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform announced a plan to redistribute 50% of commercial farm land to farm workers as part of ongoing efforts to redress historical imbalances in the country. The objectives of the plan are laudable: to deracialise the rural economy; to democratise the allocation and use of land by race, gender and class; and (less clearly) to support "production discipline" for food security and food sovereignty. Unfortunately, the plan is poorly conceptualised and appears to be a kneejerk response to pressure from the Economic Freedom Fighters. It has little chance of success.
In the absence of strong trade union support and with current arrangements not addressing the huge gaps between their salaries and those of their CEOs, todays workers view violence as an option. Given that the game is rigged against them, one ought to understand why a high percentage of shop stewards believe that non-striking workers should be "engaged with politically". While the violence accompanying strikes may be difficult to support, perhaps understanding it beyond the obvious anger faced by poverty-stricken workers will help to resolve strikes faster and close the wealth divide that is tearing this country apart.
The death toll in the Gaza Strip continues to rise in the fourth day of Israel’s aerial offensive. Medical officials in Gaza estimate that at least 22 people were killed Thursday, bringing the number of Palestinian fatalities to 101, about half of them reportedly women and children. No deaths have been reported on the Israeli side. The Israeli military says it has dropped hundreds of tonnes of bombs on 1,000 targets throughout Gaza, more than during its eight-day assault in late 2012. The intensification of Israeli airstrikes has been met with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. We host a debate between Palestinian human rights attorney Noura Erakat and Joshua Hantman, senior adviser to Israel’s ambassador to the United States. "Israel is currently under attack," Hantman says. "Since 2005, over 8,000 rockets, missiles and mortars have been indiscriminately fired at our civilians." But Erakat says Israel’s bombardment of Gaza "amounts to a massacre." "Israel has precise weaponry and is targeting homes," she says. "This is a disproportionate attack, by what we consider the only democracy in the Middle East, by the U.S.’s most unique ally, to whom we provide $3.1 billion a year."
The development industry, which previously consisted of agencies and governments giving and spending aid, is now joined by a new generation − one whose personal goals involve influencing the lives of people about whom they may know almost nothing, and one that can influence a vast array of political, news, entertainment and social sites and media. Today's white saviour complex thus inherits the problems of traditional forms of development and aid but in combination with extremely powerful technologies and social media that usher in a whole new universe of inequality and dispossession.
he United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on 16 June 2014 declining to hear Argentina's appeal against a lower New York court decision that had ordered it to pay suing hedge funds $1.33 billion, which is principal plus interest for holdout bonds. This was followed shortly by another decision by the Supreme Court to order the relevant financial institutions of the United States of America to turn over information to these hedge funds about assets that Argentina holds worldwide, including accounts held by entities of the Government of Argentina and by individual officials1.
These two rulings targeted at Argentina's 2005 and 2010 debt swaps, in the wake of its catastrophic 2001-2002 default on $100 billion bonds governed by New York law, resonate well beyond the borders of Argentina and the United States. The rulings are a resounding victory for the specific hedge funds that have held out on Argentine debt swaps. They also open the door for other "vulture" funds and holdout investors to come forward to request full payment on Argentine bonds, estimated at around $15 billion. If Argentina pays the holdout bond holders, it must extend full payment to the bond holders that accepted the 2005 or 2010 debt swaps, due to a "Rights upon Future Offers" clause in its law. This would amount to an estimated cost of over US$120 billion2. In fact, the rulings could open floodgates to other similar cases depending on interpretations given by courts under New York law, British law or other laws. Copycats will abound.
Throughout the last year, my main challenge as a journalist has been to get myself to take the news seriously. But at times, when the absurdities became too tragic to laugh at, the bigger challenge was to deal with injustice on a daily basis, ...
SOS Faim est parti au Sénégal pour aller à la rencontre de ceux qui aujourd’hui tentent de résister au projet, notamment au travers de l’action du CNCR, organisation paysanne partenaire de SOS Faim au Sénégal.
A quiet gender revolution, the like of which has been unseen in Southern Africa, is now firmly underway in Namibia. The ruling party, SWAPO, has not only committed to filling half of its seats in parliament with women, but also committed to what they call a Zebra system whereby if a Minister is a woman then the Deputy Minister will be a man and vice versa. But Namibias gender revolution is not entirely driven by a selfless commitment to gender equality. With women in the current political elite living longer and spouses of male politicians tending to be younger, the move to gender equality could be about maintaining the current political constellation.