|Wednesday 05th of February 2020
Carlos Cruz-Diez Night view through a Chromoscope Paris, France
The Chromoscope is an instrument for us to carry, as we would carry a
spyglass. It is an instrument intended to operate the transfiguration
of the nocturnal landscape of large cities.
Its attraction does not reside on the object itself but on the visual
event that it generates. It is a piece that acts as intermediary
between the reality and our eye, conditioning our sight to a new
perception of our surroundings.
"if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here That's home That's us On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives" "The Pale Blue Dot"
“We succeeded in taking that picture, &, if you look at it, you see a
dot. That’s here That’s home That’s us On it, everyone you ever heard
of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives'' “The
Pale Blue Dot” Carl Sagan
Couleur Additive 15 Carlos Cruz-Diez
Carlos Cruz-Diez, who has died aged 95, harboured a seven-decade
obsession that the common understanding of colour was wrong. “Colour,”
the Venezuelan-born artist believed, “evolves continuously in time and
“I want people to realise that colour is not a certainty, but a
circumstance,” he said in 2014. “Red is maybe red. It’s not the same
if you hold an object under the sun as when you hold it in the shade.”
Carlos Cruz-Diez (Caracas, 1923 - Paris, 2019) lived and worked in
Paris since 1960. A major protagonist in the field of Kinetic and
Optical Art, a movement that encourages “an awareness of the
instability of reality”*, his body of work established him as one of
the key 20th century thinkers in the realm of color.
"If the situation improves, he will take credit. If it worsens the blame will be pinned on Li Keqiang," said Vivienne Shue @guardiannews
Law & Politics
The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has been noticeably absent from
public view as his government scrambles to fight the coronavirus
outbreak that claimed more than 400 lives and infected more than
His most recent public appearance was on 28 January when he met the
director general of the World Health Organization in Beijing and said
he was “personally commanding” the response to the outbreak.
Yet Xi does not appear to be the face of the government’s fight
against the virus. He has not been pictured visiting hospitals,
doctors or patients.
In the days after officials acknowledged the gravity of the crisis it
was the premier, Li Keqiang, who visited Wuhan, the city at the centre
of the outbreak.
While photos of a long convoy prompted rumours over the weekend that
Xi was on his way to Wuhan, he has yet to turn up.
Instead, state media have portrayed him as in command from a distance,
issuing pledges to overcome the “devil virus” and approving measures
such as the deployment of 1,400 military medics at a new hospital in
On Monday, Xi chaired a meeting of the Communist party’s ruling
politburo standing committee and ordered officials to work together to
improve the country’s emergency response system and public health
For a leader whose face and words decorate banners and signs across
the country and feature in state media daily, the low-key approach
during a time of national crisis seems out of character.
“This is clearly one of the most serious issues to confront China in
decades. Xi has heavily centralised power in himself, cultivated a
populist image, and vested himself with the title of ‘people’s
leader’,” said Carl Minzner, a professor of Chinese law and politics
at Fordham University.
“Failing to publicly address the issue would seem likely to harm his
Some experts say the approach may be deliberate. Xi, who has
aggressively centralised power and made himself the core of the
Communist party, may be more at risk to the political fallout of the
Local government officials have so far borne the brunt of criticism,
but as the central government handles the crisis more scrutiny will be
placed on top officials.
“If the situation improves, he will take credit. If it worsens the
blame will be pinned on Li Keqiang,” said Vivienne Shue, a professor
of contemporary China studies at the University of Oxford China
Public health officials should anticipate new cases in new countries to soon be reported based on a correlation between geolocated data from a group of Twitter users from Wuhan and the original location of previously reported cases of the virus
Law & Politics
“We chose to review locations of Twitter users because data of
travelers during the inception of the virus had already been studied
using flight information, census surveys and mobile phone traffic —
these methods do not necessarily allow identification of intermediate
or final travel destinations,” said Reithinger. “Geolocated data of
Twitter users had not yet been studied and by identifying where tweets
from this time period originated, we can get a better idea of exactly
where these users physically were.”
Bisanzio and Reithinger created a database of tweets during the time
period of when exposure to coronavirus first occurred up until travel
into and out of Wuhan became restricted by Chinese authorities as part
of their response to the outbreak.
They filtered the database to include users who posted at least two
tweets on consecutive days within the city of Wuhan to ensure that
each user was physically in Wuhan.
After filtering the pool of users, they reviewed the group’s activity
on Twitter for a 30-day period to determine whether they had traveled
outside of Wuhan based on the geolocated data from each of their
The researchers expect new cases to be reported in the U.K. (two of
which were confirmed this morning), Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — all
countries in which the group of Twitter users traveled to based on
geolocated data within 30 days after tweeting from Wuhan more than
Of the nearly 1,344 Twitter users Bisanzio and Reithinger studied, 133
users traveled to 157 locations in China and 60 users traveled to 119
locations in 28 countries during the time period studied, including
the U.S., Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
This means that some of the users studied traveled to many locations
in a very short period — increasing the probability of the spread of
“Based on our research, we anticipate new cases of coronavirus to soon
be reported,” said Reithinger. “Our main message to health officials
is that if your city is on the map or close to where the study’s
Twitter users visited, draw up plans to sensitize the population and
health providers to the possible emergence of 2019-novel coronavirus,
particularly in patients with a history of travel to Wuhan.”
The Institut Pasteur @institutpasteur has sequenced the whole genome of the coronavirus known as '2019-nCoV'
Law & Politics
The sequences were identical in all our samples. One member of the
couple must have contaminated the other, as the virus is the same."
The two full sequences of the virus isolated in two of the first
French cases were submitted to the Global Initiative on Sharing All
Influenza Data (GISAID) platform, which was initially developed to
share sequences and monitor the genetic evolution of influenza
viruses, a process that is vital to determine the composition of the
A special "coronavirus" tab has been created so that the scientific
community can work together and advance at a quicker pace.
"Around twenty other sequences of the novel coronavirus genome have
been obtained worldwide, and if we compare them with ours, we can see
that they are all very close; there is not much diversity in the
viruses analyzed, which suggests that coronavirus 2019-nCoV did not
need to mutate in order to adapt and spread," continues Vincent Enouf.
@institutpasteur INSTITUT PASTEUR ISOLATES STRAINS OF CORONAVIRUS 2019-NCOV DETECTED IN FRANCE
Law & Politics
The rapid growth of the culture may be explained by "the high viral
load in the samples," but also by "the quality of the samples," adds
Vincent Enouf, Deputy Director of the CNR at the Institut Pasteur.
"We could see the cells becoming damaged and then grouping together,
which can indicate that they have been infected. But we did not
observe this cytopathic effect for all the inoculated samples; that
reassured us that we had managed to isolate the strains, and this was
then confirmed by additional analyses."
Confirmed Xinjiang Coronavirus Cases Jump to 10 Amid Concerns of Spread in Internment Camps Radio Free Asia via @SenTomCotton #VirusThreatinCamps
Law & Politics
A virus traced back to China’s Hubei province has infected 10 people
in the country’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where
experts warned that poor conditions at internment camps could lead to
an epidemic after authorities confirmed the first two cases in the
region last week.
On Jan. 23, Chinese state media cited local health authorities in the
XUAR as saying that a 47-year-old man identified by the surname Li and
a 52-year-old man identified as Gu had been confirmed infected by the
novel coronavirus (nCoV).
Both had been to Hubei’s capital Wuhan, where the virus is believed to
have been first transmitted to humans.
On Tuesday, the official China News Service cited information
published on an XUAR Healthcare Committee website which said that 10
people had been confirmed infected with nCoV in the region as of a day
Authorities had placed 204 people under observation at medical
facilities who had been in close contact with carriers of the virus,
nine of whom have since been discharged, the media outlet reported.
"I can’t even sleep. If the virus spreads into the camps, they will
not survive. There will be mass death,” she said.
A decision by Malawi's Constitutional Court to annul last year's election on the grounds that they were rigged sparked celebrations in the streets and gave a fillip to democracy on a continent where political processes are all too often abused. @bpolitics
“The days of politicians playing fast and loose with electoral law are
clearly numbered,” Gary Van Staden, an analyst at NKC African
Economics based in Paarl, South Africa, said in an emailed note to
clients on Tuesday.
“That is encouraging for the consolidation of democracy on the continent.”
Numerous other recent elections in Africa, including those in Nigeria,
Mozambique, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been
dogged by allegations of rigging.
A study of 44 nations on the continent carried out by Nic Cheeseman, a
professor of democracy and international development at the University
of Birmingham in the U.K., showed almost every criterion used to
evaluate the state of democracy slipped between 2015 and 2017.
In a 500-page judgment that took about 10 hours to read, Malawi’s
Judge President Healey Potani and four colleagues detailed a raft of
irregularities, including the widespread use of correctional fluid to
alter figures, duplicate result sheets and unsigned tally forms.
The judges were scathing of the country’s electoral commission, saying
it was incompetent, had abrogated its duty, and had discarded the
constitutional rights of voters. Its actions “greatly undermined the
integrity of the elections,” they said.
Besides ordering fresh elections within 150 days, the court said the
winner of the presidency must secure an absolute majority, as opposed
to merely the most votes.
The country will be run by the previous government, which was headed
by Mutharika and his deputy, Saulos Chilima, until fresh elections are
held, the court said.
Chilima quit the ruling party last year in protest at the government’s
perceived failure to clamp down on graft.
The Malawi Electoral Commission declared Mutharika the winner of the
May vote with 38.6% support. That prompted the main opposition Malawi
Congress Party, whose leader Lazarus Chakwera secured 35.4% backing,
and Chilima’s United Transformation Movement, who finished third with
20%, to approach the courts.
“Mutharika stole this vote, he was helped by some people who love
money more than their country,” Chakwera told supporters at the
party’s headquarters in the capital, Lilongwe and was broadcast on the
party’s Facebook feed.
“What happened yesterday is not my victory, it is a victory for
Malawi, victory for Africa.”
Chimwemwe Maliseni, 22, who cast his ballot for Chilima last time and
took part in opposition celebrations in Blantyre, the commercial
capital on Tuesday said the court’s decision “meant my vote has been
reclaimed and I am ready to vote again. This time I am very hopeful,
it will be a fair election.”
The High Court initially blocked a recount, sparking widespread
protests in the southern African nation’s main cities and calls for
MEC Chairwoman Jane Ansah to quit.
Mutharika has yet to comment on the ruling. Kalekeni Kaphale, a lawyer
for the electoral commission, told the privately owned MIJ FM radio
station it is still discussing the matter.
Landlocked Malawi is among the world’s least developed countries with
a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. The economy is mainly
agrarian, with a largely rural population, and relies on aid from
international donors, the World Bank and the IMF. I
t is Africa’s biggest supplier of burley tobacco, a low-quality
variety of the leaf used to fill cigarettes rather than flavor them
and the crop accounts for the bulk of its exports.
Angola: Ex-president's son detained over $1.5 billion corruption case @dwnews
State prosecutors in Angola ordered Jose Filomeno dos Santos to be
remanded in custody on Monday over a corruption case involving $1.5
billion (€1.28 billion) in fraudulent transactions.
"The evidence assembled in the case constitutes sufficient evidence
that the accused were involved in acts of corruption,"
prosecutor-general Alvaro Da Silva Joao said in a statement.
Dos Santos, nicknamed Zenu, headed Angola's $5 billion sovereign
wealth fund after being appointed to the post in 2013 by his father,
former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The younger dos Santos was charged in March with misappropriating
public funds over a $500 million (€426 million) transaction from the
National Bank of Angola.
He and another former fund manager, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, are
both accused in the graft case.
Both men were removed from their posts by the country's current
president, Joao Lourenco, who has been targeting corruption and
attempting to reboost the economy since taking office in September
The opposition Unita party praised the detention of Jose Filomeno dos
Santos, saying that President Lourenco is "honoring his promises."
The Race Is On for Iron Ore Riches Buried Under an African Jungle @bpolitics
For years, the massive iron deposits under Guinea’s mountainous jungle
were practically forgotten by the mining industry. Caught up in
wrangles between owners and authorities in the West African nation, it
seemed the super-rich ore might never be dug up.
That all changed last year, as investors from billionaire promoter
Robert Friedland to legendary dealmaker Mick Davis converged on the
country in a modern day resource rush. For the first time in years,
projects like Simandou—Guinea’s crown jewel deposit—might finally be
That would have huge implications for both Guinea, which is facing
political upheaval as President Alpha Conde pushes for a third term,
and the global iron ore industry. The new tons threaten to arrive just
as steel demand is cooling, and the high-quality iron ore buried in
Guinea will pile pressure on existing miners.
Here’s a run-down on the biggest names circling Guinea’s iron ore riches:
The Bauxite Tycoon: Fadi Wazni @bpolitics
The story: Wazni is chairman of the SMB-Winning consortium, a group
that’s rapidly developed a bauxite mining business in Guinea in just
half a decade. It’s won the right to develop parts of Simandou, but it
will require a lot of money to make it happen.
The plan: The group plans to eventually mine 100 million tons a
year—making Guinea the world’s third-biggest iron ore shipper, behind
just Australia and Brazil. The plan will require spending of $14
The catch: An initial $8 billion project, including a 650-kilometer
railway stretching across the country, still needs to be financed.
Nonetheless, Wazni says the company plans to start work on the rail as
soon as April and is in talks with partners for funding.
“The SMB consortium have transformed the bauxite market in a matter of
two years,” said Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “This
is a big deal. This is something that can significantly change the
dynamic for iron ore.”
The Mining Legend: Mick Davis
The story: The former Xstrata CEO was one of mining’s most successful
operators and dealmakers, but struggled to re-establish himself since
selling to Glencore Plc.
The plan: Davis’s Niron Metals is studying development of the Zogota
iron ore mine, a smaller project that could produce about 20 million
tons a year. An assessment of the mine’s economic viability is
expected to be completed soon.
The sweetener: Davis has already agreed on an export route through
Liberia with both governments.
“Mick’s involvement rang a bell,” said Marcos Camhis, whose private
equity fund owns 25% of Niron. “This market is now open, serious
people are looking at it again.”
The Billionaire Promoter: Robert Friedland
The story: Friedland has been involved in some of the biggest mining
discoveries in the past three decades. In September, Friedland’s High
Power Exploration Inc. won rights to develop the Nimba deposit.
The plan: HPX plans to build a “starter” mine of 1 million to 5
million tons per year as quickly as possible, while feasibility
studies are being completed for an expanded operation of at least 20
million tons annually.
“Mr. Friedland certainly has the track record and reputation to garner
investment interest,” said Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum. “But this
will certainly be a stretch.”
The Miner: Rio Tinto
The story: Rio Tinto owns the other half of Simandou not controlled by SMB.
The latest: Rio has begun looking at new ways to develop the mine,
with a focus on options to export ore out of the country. Wazni says
he’s had talks with Rio and sees it as a natural customer for his rail
The dilemma: The SMB plans pose a challenge for Rio. A rival
developing the deposit will threaten its position as one of the
largest producers. Yet shareholders are unlikely to welcome any plans
to pour billions of dollars into Guinea.
“Rio is completely in a dilemma,” said RBC’s Broda. “It doesn’t make
sense for them to put more tons into the market just to protect their
How Putin Got a New Best Friend Forever in Africa @business
Alpha Conde of Guinea had a favor to ask Vladimir Putin when the two
presidents met at the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea
resort of Sochi in October.
“I would like, if possible, to spend most of our meeting in a
one-in-one format because I have things to say to you that are not
worth discussing in such a large group,” the 81-year-old West African
“My pleasure,” Putin, 67, replied as aides began to herd the several
dozen officials and reporters in attendance out of the room, leaving
him and Conde alone with their respective translators.
Russia, on the other hand, is throwing its weight behind Conde’s
undeclared campaign. That makes Guinea, holder of the world’s largest
deposits of bauxite, a key raw material for making aluminum, the
latest focus in a renewed tug-of-war among global powers for influence
and profit across resource-rich Africa.
The U.S., western Europe and China have advantages over Russia in
other areas of the continent. But in Guinea, the Kremlin is leveraging
a mix of old Soviet ties, new capitalist might in the form of aluminum
giant United Co. Rusal and Putin’s popularity among other leaders.
Putin is widely viewed as a kind of “guru” in Africa, Viktor Boyarkin,
a former diplomat and ex-Rusal security chief who’s known Conde for a
decade, said in an interview in Moscow. “People come to him for
Initially hailed when he came to power for ushering in democratic
rule, Conde has cracked down in recent years as opposition has grown.
In August, the International Monetary Fund called the poor, mainly
Muslim nation of 13 million “a fragile country with heightened risks
of social and political instability.”
In a speech broadcast on state television, then-Ambassador Alexander
Bregadze called Conde “legendary” and argued that constitutions
shouldn’t be considered immutable works akin to “The Bible or Koran.”
Four months later, Rusal hired the ambassador as its country chief in
Guinea. Rusal, which was run by billionaire Oleg Deripaska until U.S.
sanctions imposed over his ties to Putin forced him to step down in
2018, sources about 40% of its bauxite from Guinean mines.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia isn’t involved in anything
to do with Guinea’s “internal affairs.”
Still, Russia’s embrace of Conde has put it at odds with the U.S. and
France, both of which have mounted public and private diplomatic
campaigns to get him to step down at the end of his term.
In August, during a tense exchange in southern France, French
President Emmanuel Macron told Conde he was concerned about the
tensions that a possible third term could cause in Guinea and warned
he’d be watching closely, according to two people familiar with the
Boyarkin blames the protests mainly on “outside forces” and has
nothing but praise for Conde. “I consider him a savior for Guinea.”
“Since the days of the Soviet Union, you have been alongside us,
protecting us,” he told Putin.
09-DEC-2019 :: Revelation 6:12-13 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth
Revelation 6:12-13 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and
behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as
sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky
fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken
by a gale.
Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi was born on Sept. 2, 1924, in the village of Kureing'wo in Baringo district, 155 miles (250 kilometers) west of Nairobi. @bpolitics @herbling @eombok
His father, Kimoi Arap Chebii, was a herdsman whose ancestors had
migrated from the slopes of Mount Kenya to avoid conflict with the
Maasai tribe in the 19th century, according to Kenya’s presidency.
Moi was the fifth child of Kabon, the senior wife of his father. From
age 4, when his father died, Moi was raised by his elder brother,
Tuitoek, and he attended the African Inland Mission school in
Kabartonjo, requiring him to walk 28 miles from home.
He later transferred to mission and government schools in Kapsabet.
Moi then trained as a teacher and he was heavily influenced by
Christianity. He became a head teacher at Kabarnet before training
others in his profession in government schools.
Entering politics in 1955, Moi began serving on the country’s
legislative council under U.K. colonial rule. After Kenya gained
independence in 1963, he was appointed home affairs minister before
Jomo Kenyatta appointed him as his deputy four years later.
A member of the Kalenjin ethnic group, Moi became president after
Kenyatta, of the majority Kikuyu group, died in August 1978.
His pledge to follow a more nationalist agenda appealed to Kenyans who
argued that Kenyatta’s policies had favored the Kikuyu and excluded
other ethnic groups.
Among the first steps taken by Moi when he became president were the
freeing of political prisoners and a crackdown on corruption that
resulted in the resignation of the police chief, Bernard Hinga.
After winning all elections as a member of parliament for Baringo
Central and as president since independence, Moi stepped down on Dec.
30, 2002, and handed power to Kibaki.
Moi married Lena Moi in 1950 and they divorced in 1974. Their children
included daughters Jennifer, Doris and June and sons Raymond, John
Mark, Philip and Gideon. Their eldest son Jonathan died in 2019.
Daniel Arap Moi, who ruled Kenya as president for almost a quarter of
a century while banning opposition groups and fending off accusations
of corruption and human-rights abuses, has died at the age of 95, the
“It is with profound sadness and sorrow that I announce the passing of
a great African statesman,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a
proclamation emailed by his office.
Moi died at the Nairobi Hospital in the capital on Tuesday morning in
the presence of his family, according to the statement.
Taking office in 1978, Moi moved to centralize rule under his
authority, assuming emergency powers and curbing the independence of
He also amended the country’s constitution in 1983, abolishing the
multiparty system and enabling the Kenya African National Union to
Torture was widespread, driving Kenyans, such as novelist Ngugi wa
Thiong’o, into exile and others, such as Raila Odinga, who served as
prime minister during Mwai Kibaki’s presidency two decades later, into
In 1982, Moi survived a coup attempt by junior air-force officers in
which as many as 1,800 people died. The incident led to a further
clampdown on opposition to his rule.
Moi oversaw “the real entrenchment of a system of patronage in Kenya,”
John Githongo, the then executive director of Transparency
International in Kenya, said in a 2002 interview with British
Broadcasting Corp. He oversaw “the systematic destruction of our
institutions,” Githongo said.
Moi’s administration also presided over the Goldenberg corruption
scandal in the 1990s, which involved payments to Goldenberg
International to subsidize fake gold and diamond exports.
The scheme cost the country an estimated $1 billion, equivalent to 10%
of gross domestic product at the time.
Following sustained domestic and international pressure, Moi allowed
the re-introduction of multiparty politics in 1990. Presidential
elections followed in 1992, which Moi won against opposition parties
led by politicians such as Oginga Odinga, a former vice president
under President Jomo Kenyatta.
Moi secured a second and final term in 1997 against Kibaki and Raila Odinga.