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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 30th of July 2021

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The Navajo man (native-american) in this photograph is wearing the costume of Tonenili, the God of Water, for a ceremony called the night chant or Yebichai. c. 1904. Photographer: by Edward S. Curtis. @archaeologyart

The Navajo man (native-american) in this photograph is wearing the costume of Tonenili, the God of Water, for a ceremony called the night chant or Yebichai. His costume is made of spruce tree branches and a mark. c. 1904. Photographer: by Edward S. Curtis.

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19-JUL-2021 :: The World in the c21st exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight.

It was in 1991 [3 decades ago now] that Krauthammer spoke of the “Unipolar Moment” and highlighted that the US had emerged as the center of world power and unchallenged superpower.
Thirty years later, The US is exiting Afghanistan and we can speak of a Tripolar World with the US, China and Russia now ruling the c21st Roost. 
The ''Salami Slicer'' has snaffled up Hong Kong and the World waits on tenterhooks for the inevitable move on Taiwan.
Putin's Russia expanded into Crimea and has a firm foothold in the Middle East in Syria. It is often said that Russia's economy is a Pygmy [and comparable to Italy's] but then we have to admit Russia's Power Projection is practically miraculous.
The World is full of friction points and it is Xi Jinping [President for Life and Eternity] who has rolled the dice and is on a winning streak. 

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“I can’t put out the fire,” #Lebanon's new billionaire PM tells @DLKhraiche “But I can stop it from spreading." @PaulWallace123
Law & Politics

Outside powers “know that if Lebanon descends into a full crash, it will be a bomb and a shock for the entire Middle East.”

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How ripples at the Periphery could boomerang towards the centre the butterfly effect
Law & Politics

Now lets turn our gaze further afield. I used to trade Emerging Markets and what I noticed how ripples at the Periphery could boomerang towards the centre.

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In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.
Law & Politics

Lorenz wrote:

"At one point I decided to repeat some of the computations in order to examine what was happening in greater detail. I stopped the computer, typed in a line of numbers that it had printed out a while earlier, and set it running again. I went down the hall for a cup of coffee and returned after about an hour, during which time the computer had simulated about two months of weather. The numbers being printed were nothing like the old ones. I immediately suspected a weak vacuum tube or some other computer trouble, which was not uncommon, but before calling for service I decided to see just where the mistake had occurred, knowing that this could speed up the servicing process. Instead of a sudden break, I found that the new values at first repeated the old ones, but soon afterward differed by one and then several units in the last decimal place, and then began to differ in the next to the last place and then in the place before that. In fact, the differences more or less steadily doubled in size every four days or so, until all resemblance with the original output disappeared somewhere in the second month. This was enough to tell me what had happened: the numbers that I had typed in were not the exact original numbers, but were the rounded-off values that had appeared in the original printout. The initial round-off errors were the culprits; they were steadily amplifying until they dominated the solution." (E. N. Lorenz, The Essence of Chaos, U. Washington Press, Seattle (1993), page 134)[7]

Elsewhere he stated:
One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a sea gull's wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever. The controversy has not yet been settled, but the most recent evidence seems to favor the sea gulls.

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Too hot to live: Millions worldwide will face unbearable temperatures @NatGeo
Food, Climate & Agriculture

The human body has evolved to shed heat in two main ways: Blood vessels swell, carrying heat to the skin so it can radiate away, and sweat erupts onto the skin, cooling it by evaporation. 

When those mechanisms fail, we die. It sounds straightforward; it’s actually a complex, cascading collapse.

As a heatstroke victim’s internal temperature rises, the heart and lungs work ever harder to keep dilated vessels full. 

A point comes when the heart cannot keep up. Blood pressure drops, inducing dizziness, stumbling, and the slurring of speech. 

Salt levels decline and muscles cramp. Confused, even delirious, many victims don’t realize they need immediate help.
With blood rushing to overheated skin, organs receive less flow, triggering a range of reactions that break down cells. 

Some victims succumb with an internal temperature of just 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius); others can withstand 107 degrees for several hours. 

The prognosis is usually worse for the very young and for the elderly. Even healthy older people are at a distinct disadvantage: Sweat glands shrink with age, and many common medications dull the senses. 

Victims often don’t feel thirsty enough to drink. Sweating stops being an option, because the body has no moisture left to spare. Instead, sometimes it shivers. 

A heart attack may fell the infirm at this point, but the more fit may persist to suffer tunnel vision, hallucinations, and perhaps the stripping of clothes that, with nerve endings aflame, feel like sandpaper. 

Fainting is now a blessing, as blood vessels begin to lose their integrity. Muscle tissues, including those of the heart, may go next. Once the digestive tract starts to leak, toxins enter the bloodstream. 

The circulatory system responds with a massive, last-ditch clotting effort that further endangers vital organs—kidneys, bladder, heart. Death is near.

In the summer of 2003 an area of high atmospheric pressure camped out above western and central Europe. 

Superheated over the Mediterranean, the giant swirling air mass rebuffed incursions of cooler Atlantic air for several weeks. 

In France, temperatures rose steadily, topping out for eight days at an astonishing 104°F (40°C). As the heat built up, people began to die.
Many physicians and first responders were away on their annual vacations, and hospitals soon were overwhelmed. 

Morgues filled up, and refrigerated trucks and food-market freezers took up the slack. 

Visiting caregivers found clients slumped on their floors or dead in armchairs. (At the time only a few percent of French households had air-conditioning.) 

Police were called to break doors open, “only to find corpses behind them,” recalls Patrick Pelloux, president of the French association of emergency room doctors. 

“It was absolutely appalling.” Many of the bodies were not discovered for several weeks. 

France eventually attributed more than 15,000 deaths to the heat wave. Italy fared even worse, with nearly 20,000. Across the continent, more than 70,000 people—most of them poor, isolated, and elderly—lost their lives. 

Europe’s hottest summer in 500 years, scientists later determined, was clearly linked to climate change. In Paris it had raised the risk of heat-related mortality that year by about 70 percent. 

Globally, the past six years have been the warmest ever recorded

In the southwestern United States, days with triple-digit temperatures are arriving weeks earlier than they did a century ago and lingering three weeks longer. 

And in Europe, the dreadful summer of 2003 has proved to be no mere statistical blip: Major heat waves have hit the continent five times since then, and 2019 brought all-time temperature records in six western European countries, including 114.8°F in France. 

Humans, along with their crops and their livestock, evolved over the past 10,000 years in a rather narrow climate niche, centered on an annual average temperature of about 55°F (nearly 12.8°C). 

Our bodies readily adapt to higher temperatures, but there are limits to how much heat and humidity we can tolerate.

By then, according to a startling 2020 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a third of the world’s population could be living in places—in Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia—that feel like today’s Sahara, where the average high temperature in summer now tops 104°F. 

Billions of people will face a stark choice: Migrate to cooler climates, or stay and adapt.

Phoenix, Arizona, is the hottest city in the U.S., with more than 110 triple-digit days a year. 

Unsurprisingly, it also regularly records the most heat-related deaths. 

In 2020, Maricopa County logged an all-time-record 207, according to its medical examiner’s office, which occupies a two-story, desert-tone building in downtown Phoenix and is required by law to investigate all nonnatural deaths, which include those related to temperature.

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To assume that contagion stops in country and does not turn viral in a c21st World where the Few control practically everything is another narrative I would prefer to be limit short.
Law & Politics

Take a look at how events are unfolding From Cuba to Colombia, South Africa to Lebanon, and you will note tensions are igniting across the globe. 

To assume that contagion stops in country and does not turn viral in a c21st World where the Few control practically everything is another narrative I would prefer to be limit short.

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Pandemics & protests: Unrest grips developing countries @Reuters
Law & Politics

From Tunisia and South Africa to Colombia, social unrest is sweeping through developing countries, a reminder of income inequalities that have deepened during the COVID-19 crisis.

While developed countries have deployed massive injections of fiscal and monetary stimulus to shelter economies and citizens since the pandemic began early last year, poorer nations lack the same firepower.
Riots, general strikes and anti-government demonstrations around the world increased by 244% over the last decade, according to the 2021 @GlobPeaceIndex
Produced by think tank the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Index ranks more than 160 countries and territories according to their peacefulness.
The nature of such unrest has changed, however: tensions increasingly stem from the economic blow of the pandemic.
“Growing unease with lockdowns and rising economic uncertainty resulted in civil unrest increasing in 2020,” the authors of the latest index report wrote.
“The changing economic conditions in many nations increases the likelihood of political instability and violent demonstrations,” researchers noted, adding they recorded more than 5,000 pandemic-related violent events between January 2020 and April 2021.
They expect little respite in the near-term.

Disease outbreaks, from the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, have shaped politics, subverted the social order and often caused unrest.
Epidemics reveal or worsen pre-existing fault lines; countries with more frequent and severe epidemics also experienced greater unrest on average, International Monetary Fund researchers found.
A pandemic can suppress unrest in the early stages, IMF economist Philip Barrett found -- as witnessed in the last year, with the notable exceptions of Lebanon and the United States.
Thereafter the risk spikes -- including heightened risk of a major political crisis that threatens to bring down a government and which typically occurs in the two years following a severe epidemic.
Tunisia, whose already weak economy has been further devastated by COVID-19, looks a prime example: President Kais Saied sacked the government on Sunday after months of protests, marking the biggest political crisis since the country’s 2011 revolution.


There are usually early warnings that risks are on the rise.
Higher living costs stemming from reforms such as removing food and fuel subsidies usually contribute. 

Another factor often seen is the dismantling of mechanisms such as an independent judiciary, free press or freedom of assembly, all of which allow for peaceful dissent, said Miha Hribernik at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.
The presence of large marginalized groups - political or religious - add to the mix.
Examples abound: a spat over a tiny metro ticket price hike sparked Chile’s 2019 protests, though deep grievances around income inequality were already simmering.
In South Africa, deadly protests kicked off in July after the arrest of ex-President Jacob Zuma. 

But they were also likely to be a culmination of tensions caused by lockdown-induced job losses.
“The ‘spark’ that ignites protests is often the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, and is impossible to predict,” said Hribernik.


Economic fallout depends on drivers and country-specific circumstances. 

Protests linked to politics or elections often have a small impact - demonstrations after the 2012 election of Enrique Pena Nieto as Mexico’s president or Chile’s 2013 presidential vote had reduced GDP by 0.2 percentage points six months later, IMF researchers calculated.
But if the unrest is driven by socio-economic concerns, contractions tend to be sharper, the Fund said, citing the July 2019 Hong Kong protests or France’s ‘yellow vest’ unrest in 2018.
Both shaved one percentage point off GDP, the IMF estimates.
“Demonstrations triggered by a combination of both socio-economic and political factors - not unlike what we saw in Tunisia and Thailand earlier this year - have the biggest impact,” the IMF’s Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov said.
Weak institutions and limited policy space amplify the hit, meaning countries with weak pre-pandemic fundamentals will suffer the most should social discontent turn into unrest.

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21 OCT 19 :: The New Economy of Anger
Law & Politics

Nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions.

The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed- back loop.
Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”

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JUN 20 :: Fast Forward
Law & Politics

However, what I am noticing is a metastatic expansion of this Protest

It is about the Haves and the Have Nots. Its about the moment of Epiphany when the Have Nots appreciate the predicament in which they have been placed and identify with each other rather than a ‘’boogaloo’’ structure that has been placed upon them.
Will they have that moment of Epiphany? Well There certainly has not been a more ‘’conducive’’ moment.

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Dictators: the great performers @NewStatesman H/T @hofrench
Law & Politics

The paradox of the modern dictator is that he must create the illusion of mass support while turning the population into a nation of terrorised prisoners endlessly condemned to faking enthusiasm for their oppressor.
Frank Dikötter, a brilliant historian with a prize-winning trilogy on Mao’s China behind him, takes eight of the most successful 20th-century dictators: Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Nicolae Ceausescu, Papa Doc Duvalier and Mengistu, and shows with chilling brevity and clarity how this is done.
The road to dictatorship is depressingly predictable. Once power is stolen, the problem is to keep it. Anyone who might develop a separate power base must be struck down.

It could be a Shakespeare play. What distinguishes modern tyranny, Dikötter argues, is the cult of personality. Total control of the information space keeps the modern dictator in power.

They overlap and learn from each other, but all learn from Mussolini, pioneer of modern political theatre and master of propaganda.
Actor, stage manager, orator and self-publicist, Mussolini allowed his ideology to remain vague while spending more than half of his time curating his image.

The dictator must establish omnipresence. “Like a god, he observes you from every angle,” wrote a French journalist. 

There was no escaping the godlike gaze even in the bathroom, where Mussolini’s image was moulded into bars of soap.

Rather, he shows us the nuts and bolts, the small processes by which communities are torn apart and individual humanity is systematically dismantled by the destruction of truth and logic, followed by the sowing of confusion and terror to produce docile, atomised individuals whose ecstatic praise of the regime, prompted by fear, transforms all sections of society into liars.
The resulting insecurity keeps the dictator in place, making a coup almost impossible. 

In a landscape of fake news where everybody is counterfeiting belief, who can you trust as co-conspirator?

Finally, the dictator takes the place of God. In a post-religious century, faith in a providential leader serves as a substitute for religion.

But it is Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti who doesn’t just allow himself to be put there. 

He grabs God’s reins, claiming to be a voodoo spirit and naming his militia the Tonton Macoutes – bogeymen within the iconography of the voodoo religion.
Macoutes carried a gun and dressed like ghost-gangsters, servants of death in shiny suits, dark glasses and homburg hats.
Within a year, Duvalier claimed to have a force of 25,000 under his command (they probably never numbered more than 10,000).
A macoute was an informer, a neighbourhood boss, a bully, a torturer and a pillar of the political regime.
Few were paid and they used their power to extort, intimidate, rape and murder. They reported back to Duvalier, who dressed like Baron Samedi, spirit king of the dead, in top hat, tailcoat and dark glasses.
Given to mumbling sinister incantations, the Doc encouraged rumours that he used the hearts of his murdered enemies to strengthen his powers.
He eventually came to believe that he was God, declaring himself “the word made flesh”, invulnerable to bullets and machine guns because “I am already an immaterial being”.
That no one tested the statement was Haiti’s tragedy.

in 1966, he visited Haiti, where Duvalier was projecting himself as spiritual leader of the black world; “… the Living Sun… who has lighted the revolutionary conscience of the blacks of the American continent and of the universe”.
Selassie gave Duvalier some flattering quotes that were substantially bulked out by fake ones.

Cautious, he goes so far as to identify one psychological quality – Lack of empathy, combined with ruthlessness. Every dictator punishes at random and every dictator takes major decisions on his own.

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The Death of Haiti’s President Summons Ghosts Old and New @newlinesmag
Law & Politics

If you are on the back of a moto taxi hurtling down Route Canapé Vert in Port-au-Prince at dusk, you will see the sun sinking fiery into the bay, just beyond a slew of impoverished neighborhoods — Village de Dieu, La Saline, Cité Soleil — 

often written about (if at all) because of the various armed groups that hold the populations there under their thumbs, but which are in reality home to hundreds of thousands of struggling, deeply disadvantaged people with no connection to crime or violence. 

On your left you will see an undulation of mountains dotted with the modest abodes of others marginally less desperately poor, and the smell of Haiti — flowers, citrus, burning, sewage — will dance on your nostrils

When you reach Turgeau, the streets narrow, and you will be able to hear the melodious lilt of Haitian Creole and sinuous ebb of konpa music from radios on the street. 

You will pass a tall building that once housed Haiti’s state telephone company, looted by questionable government deals in the early 2000s. 

A few streets away once stood the Église Sacré-Coeur, where the dictator François Duvalier stole the coffin containing the body of his rival, Clement Jumelle, in 1959, and in front of which the progressive Palestinian-Haitian businessman Antoine Izméry was slain in 1993.
To the south, as you continue, will be the neighborhood of Pacot, where I once lived, a formerly chic and now decaying collection of brightly colored gingerbread houses where bougainvilleas fall in riotous sprays over high walls. 

Just beyond, covering the hills as the capital slumps further southward is the neighborhood of Martissant, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, Pauline, and her husband, French Gen. Charles Leclerc, allegedly once lived 

(their former residence now within a 42-acre park dripping with vegetation and bright bird of paradise flowers) but that has now been carved up to fiefdoms of warring armed groups, its people hostage to their violence.
Eventually the buildings fall away, the sky opens up, and you find yourself on the Champ de Mars, Port-au-Prince’s broad main square, with the heights of Bel Air, a culturally significant district also now blighted by violence, rising behind you. 

You stop in front of a fence where, until it collapsed during the capital’s devastating 2010 earthquake, the gleaming-white Palais National, designed by the architect Georges Baussan and completed in 1920, once sat glistening beneath a backdrop of mountains garlanded with clouds.
It was in the warren of offices behind where the palace had once stood, after night had already fallen on the Haitian capital and the lanes around the Champ de Mars danced to the orange, incandescent glow of the kerosene lamps that vendors used to illuminate their commerce, that I first met Jovenel Moïse, the Haitian president slain on July 7.
Tall, lanky, complex, flawed, authoritarian and stubborn, Moïse was a better communicator in person than when he addressed mass rallies in often bellicose terms, and he spoke to me for nearly an hour without notes about his vision for the country that night in March 2018. 

He talked about his desire to pave the country’s collapsing roads, to bring electricity to its far-flung and long-neglected communes, and the fact that he had been born in the small town of Trou-du-Nord, in the north of country and had served as president of the chamber of commerce in the country’s Northwest Department. 

In his view, Haiti had “a kind of cleavage. You have urban zones, rural zones, people in the town and people in the country … We want to move Haiti beyond being the republic of nongovernmental organizations. … They cannot replace the state.”
He had been in office for about a year then and had come to the presidency as the candidate of the Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (PHTK), formed by his predecessor Michel Martelly, a singer who went by the stage name Sweet Micky and who served as Haiti’s president from 2011 to 2016

Martelly had been elected in a controversial ballot during which some saw outgoing president René Préval as trying to rig the vote in favor of his chosen successor, former government official Jude Célestin, while others saw the hand of the United States, particularly then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in pushing Martelly over the top. 

(Ironically, Préval’s own 2006 victory was achieved without the necessity of a second round against former president Leslie Manigat also with the help of outside pressure.)
The election of mulatto Martelly, a right-wing populist in a country often riven by divides of class and color and who, in the words of the late Haitian diplomat Guy Alexandre, was “backed by former Duvalierists and the youth of the popular classes,” represented a wholesale rejection of Haiti’s traditional political system

or so some voters in the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighborhood of St. Martin seemed to think, telling me shortly after Martelly’s election that “everyone” in the area had voted for him. 

Martelly’s five years in power, though, were marked by bitter clashes with Haiti’s opposition and increasingly brazen examples of alleged corruption involving the PHTK itself as well as Martelly’s family.
The first round of Moïse’s election was derailed by allegations of fraud and an opposition that vowed to kill voters — “machetes and stones in hand” — at the polls. 

He eventually won 56% of the vote in a crowded field in a November 2016 contest marked by feeble participation and overseen by an interim president and political rival, former Sen. Jocelerme Privert. 

Moïse entered office promising an aggressive infrastructure program to help revive Haiti’s economy, still struggling from the 2010 earthquake. 

Many foreign commentators said that Moïse was “unknown” before throwing his hat in the ring for the presidency. 

But what they really meant was he was unknown to them, the people for whom Port-au-Prince is a stand-in for a country of more than 11 million people. Involved in agribusiness in the country’s north (and later accused of having made his fortune through suspect means), 

Moïse had served as president of the region’s chamber of commerce and had appeared on programs such as Tele Métropole’s “Le Point” as early as 2014.
Haiti’s political opposition — made up largely of a series of shambolic and violent opportunists who have made their living off political instability for two decades — never accepted his victory. 

Even before Moïse took office, André Michel, an attorney and professional political agitator affiliated with the Secteur Démocratique et Populaire (which is neither democratic nor popular), said the opposition would “destroy the country” if Moïse became president. 

Such pronouncements were typical.
Over the next four years, helped along by the PHTK and sometimes by Moïse himself, they did just that.
A few months after Moïse took power, a Haitian Senate commission reported evidence of widespread fraud and misuse of funds stemming from Haiti’s participation in the Venezuelan low-cost oil program known as Petrocaribe, which occurred before Moïse had taken office. 

A subsequent report by Haiti’s Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes claimed that firms linked to Moïse when he was a private citizen took part in the embezzlement scheme. 

For many, this was the beginning of the end of his presidency.
“When Jovenel came along, he was a good speaker, and his presence on the scene meant you would get to know him better than the opponents,” said Johnson Deshommes, a young activist who initially supported Moïse but turned against the president when he “realized that the PHTK clan were still the ones controlling things.” 

Deshommes added, “He kept promising things even when he couldn’t deliver; no one in the Petrocaribe affair was arrested.”
By summer 2018, things began spiraling downward. Massive protests rocked the capital as protesters demanded to know what had happened to the missing Petrocaribe money. 

In November 2018, a group of gunmen raided the capital’s slum of La Saline in an attack the United Nations said left at least 26 people dead, while a report by the Haitian human rights group Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH) put the death toll at 71.
Three of those allegedly involved in the attack — former police officer Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, Ministry of Interior functionary Fednel Monchery and former West Department delegate Joseph Pierre Richard Duplan — would be sanctioned by the U.S. State Department for their alleged roles in the killings. 

Chérizier would subsequently hold a press conference announcing the formation of the G9 an fanmi e alye, an alliance of armed groups around the city that many saw as the government’s bludgeon against its rivals. 

Though Chérizier has frequently been pegged as a Moïse loyalist, especially in the foreign press, he has said himself that he had been a supporter of Jude Célestin and even worked as a bodyguard for a parliamentary candidate from Célestin’s political party. It was all very murky.
The use of armed gangs, often made up of the quite young, as a political modus operandi is perhaps the most lasting legacy of the 2001 to 2004 government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose Fanmi Lavalas party pioneered (if that is the right word) the practice during which the gangs were referred to as chimere, after a mythical fire-breathing demon. 

The practice has since metastasized throughout Haiti’s body politic so that almost every political current in the country has its cadre of gunmen (referred to as baz, or base, in Creole) and the gang leaders themselves have grown ever-more powerful, gradually approaching an equilibrium with their patrons in the country’s economic and political elite.
“For a long time we have had different mafias here controlling economic and political life, and presidents, senators and deputies exist in this criminal milieu,” says Michel Soukar, a Haitian author whose works include “La dernière nuit de Cincinnatus Leconte,” a fictionalized account of the explosion that claimed the life of another Haitian president in 1912.
By May 2019, rather than allow a vote on Moïse’s designate for interim prime minister, a group of opposition senators led by Antonio “Don Kato” Cheramy, a rapper-turned-politician, destroyed the meeting room in Haiti’s parliament. 

After Moïse nominated a Ministry of Finance official for the same post four months later, opposition politicians, again led by Don Kato, once more vandalized the parliamentary meeting hall, leading a group of shrieking partisans into the chamber in what now resembles the attempted putsch at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

A violent dissident group within the police calling itself the Fantôme 509 also began roiling armed demonstrations against the government, and, stretching from 2018 into 2019, the opposition was enforcing peyi lòk — a terrifying armed strike that brought all commerce and activity in the capital to a halt for weeks and that, in the words of Soukar, “failed to overthrow Jovenel Moïse but succeeded in overthrowing Haiti.”
Moïse, meanwhile, railed against what he charged was the “capture” of Haiti’s state by corrupt oligarchs and political operators (some of whose help he was happy to accept during his own 2016 campaign) — many of them mulattos — 

and government-aligned magistrates issued a slew of arrest warrants, including against wealthy businessman Dimitri Vorbe, whom Moïse accused of illicitly profiting from government energy contracts under the Préval administration in the mid-2000s and who subsequently fled to Miami.
When I met Moïse for the second and last time in November 2019, his mood had darkened considerably.

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The Death of Haiti’s President Summons Ghosts Old and New @newlinesmag [continued]
Law & Politics

“Haiti is not divided but torn,” he said to me, as he sat on a white and gold chair between four large Haitian flags

“We need a national agreement where each Haitian can talk to one another, where we can talk about an inclusive solution. … The state in Haiti is being held hostage by a group of people [and] we have to free that captured state. What president elected with almost 60% of the vote would decide today to leave office without working on the promises that he has made? 

Now we see the opposition asking for the president to leave, what strategy do they bring, what future do they say they have for the country? It is a system where it is ‘get out so that I can get in.’ ”
As the instability rolled on, Moïse lost more and more popularity and found himself more and more isolated.
“In the beginning, he had a social project that he wanted to accomplish in favor of the nation, for example the electrification of the country, the construction of irrigation dams on the rivers, the insecurity that he wanted to slow down,” said Remise Bélizaire, 

the co-director of the Konbit Sant Sosyokiltirèl Thomonde, headquartered in the town of the same name in Haiti’s largely rural Plateau Central, one of many forgotten regions that Moïse claimed he wanted to help with his so-called caravane du changement (caravan of change).
“But unfortunately, he did not produce, he did not keep promises to the people,” Bélizaire said.
And yet, even then, Moïse still had some supporters. But they were not the kind of people who haunt social media (especially Twitter), nor were they the kind of people who are easily accessible as most of them speak only Creole and not the kind of people that the foreign professional journalist and analyst class often bother to talk to.
During a text-messaging chat earlier this year, a friend who is a recently lapsed member of the baz in the poor quarter of St. Martin wrote that 

“Jovenel is a good president but the opposition prevents him from being able to work and makes chaos. They are afraid to go to the polls because they know no one will vote for them. Haitians do not need transition, we need elections and another constitution for the country to prosper.”
The fact that voices like this young man’s are almost uniformly absent from the analyses that have appeared in recent weeks is maybe something worth pondering.
In January 2020, after the terms of most of Haiti’s elected parliament expired — the government and the opposition, whose first demand for negotiation was that Moïse resign, couldn’t agree on a process to hold elections — Moïse began ruling by decree, in an almost carbon copy of how former President René Préval had dealt with a similar impasse in 1999

When all eight members of Haiti’s Conseil Electoral Provisoire (Provisional Electoral Council) resigned in July 2020, Moïse created a new electoral council and unilaterally named its members and tasked them with organizing local and federal elections and overseeing a commission to rewrite Haiti’s often-criticized 1987 constitution. 

This was to be approved by a plebiscite, a move that many called unconstitutional and dictatorial. 

Many constitutional experts charged that the one-year term of an interim president should be deducted from his five-year term, but Moïse refused to step down before February 2022.
And PHTK, the party that Moïse was ostensibly aligned with but by some accounts was increasingly at odds with (others within the party deny this), has become what many Haitians have described to me alternately as a “poison” and a “cancer” on the country, and a survey of its officials provides a rogues’ gallery of malefactors and malfeasance.
PHTK Sen. Hervé Fourcand figured prominently in the 2019 trial of a former U.S. Marine sergeant and Orlando gun shop owner who was found guilty of conspiring to illegally export guns and ammunition to Haiti, with WhatsApp messages showing Fourcand in regular contact about the shipment. In February 2021, 

Canada’s La Presse reported that the wife of PHTK Sen. Rony Célestin purchased a $3.4 million waterfront villa for her and the senator, paid off in cash. 

The circumstances of the purchase of the villa are currently under investigation by Haiti’s Unité de Lutte Contre la Corruption (ULCC), even as Rony Célestin also owns newly constructed buildings in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Juvenat and a large mansion in Haiti’s remote Plateau Central. 

Yet another PHTK politician, Deputy Claude Luc Guillaume, is the nephew of famous Haitian drug trafficker Jacques Ketant (who once famously told a Miami court that his former friend Aristide was “a drug lord” who had turned Haiti “into a narco-country”) and was involved in a July 2019 gun battle that left six people dead in Petite-Rivière de Nippes.
By May 2021, Woodly “Sonson La Familia” Ethéart — a feared figure in Haiti’s criminal underworld who reputedly led the “Gang Galil” and a former business partner of Martelly’s brother-in-law, Charles “Kiko” St. Remy — was incautiously posting photos to social media of himself enjoying a night of music by Martelly in the Dominican Republic 

before he was arrested by police there and transferred to Haiti on what they said was an outstanding arrest warrant dating from 2019. 

Moïse’s collaboration in the arrest is said to have outraged some sectors of his own party, as was, reportedly, his view that one of the ways to rescue his historical legacy was to hold “legitimate” elections this coming September.
In recent months, Moïse had told several international diplomats that he believed he would be killed.
Young activists, meanwhile, felt exasperation about not only Moïse but also what they viewed as a rotten political system.
“The cornerstone of a country is the foundation of a state where the institutions stand and defend the constitution, whatever it takes,” says Deshommes. 

“But the smartest people never got a chance to govern this country. Aristide left us with gangs that until now cause problems. Préval should never have been president over Manigat; he did not believe in great projects but in small victories and a lot of people in the private sector took a lot of advantage of that. In no other country in the world would Michel Martelly ever run for the presidency because of his past.”
Haitians have learned not to look abroad for a solution to their problems, either.
The so-called Core Group (made up of the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the U.S., and representatives of the Organization of American States, the EU and U.N.) is widely viewed as little more than a kind of collective proconsul, dictating to the country the path outside powers demand it should take.
Though some Haitians might have hoped for an improvement in the level of discourse about their country in the U.S. since former President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” comment in 2018, the individuals populating the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee are enough to give one pause. 

In February 2021, Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan mocked Moïse in a tweet for having “no evidence to support claims of a conspiracy against his life.” 

In October 2019, Levin posted a photo to his Twitter account and described his meeting with “a brave delegation from Haiti.” 

In the photo, Levin posed with Evallière Beauplan, who voiced his support for overthrowing René Préval after the 2010 earthquake and faced accusations of corruption during his time in parliament, and Croix-des-Bouquets Mayor Rony Colin, who runs a radio station called Radio Zenith that more than one Haitian has compared to Rwanda’s genocidal Radio Mille Collines.
During a recent House hearing on Haiti, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, whom I watched party with Aristide at Haiti’s National Palace in 2004 as protesters whom she mocked and degraded were being savagely repressed by his government, appeared to think it was still 2001, declaring at a recent congressional hearing on Haiti “I am Lavalas” out of loyalty to Aristide’s political party, which has been in political eclipse for almost 20 years now.
By the time Moïse was killed in the early morning hours of July 7 — after frantically calling to the nation’s police as his personal security had abandoned him — the mercenaries who cut him down were adding but one more life, no matter how grand, to Haiti’s butcher’s bill of recent years.
In February, in an operation targeted against the 5 Segonn gang, believed to be one of the main movers behind the recent spate of kidnapping, police raided the gang’s stronghold in the impoverished quarter of Village de Dieu. 

The raid ended in disaster with 6 police officers killed, their last moments shared on social media by gang members who can be heard gloating in the footage.
Thousands have been displaced in fighting between armed groups in the capital’s Martissant, Bel Air, and Cite Soleil neighborhoods. 

In June, the leader of the G9 coalition of armed groups, Chérizier, released a video in which he was surrounded by dozens of armed, masked men saying a “major revolution” was beginning in Haiti. 

Only days later, Haiti journalist Diego Charles and feminist activist Antoinette Duclaire were slain in Port-au-Prince’s Christ-Roi neighborhood, two of more than a dozen killed that night, with Duclaire having said before her murder, “you deal with death on a daily basis. When you leave home, there’s no certainty that you will return. They can assassinate you, kidnap you.”
And on and on and on …
In Jacques Roumain’s book “Gouverneurs de la rosée,” published in 1944 at the height of the despotic rule of Élie Lescot, 

he wrote of “how far things were from the good old days of the konbit, from the virile joyous chants of the men folk, from the sparkling, swinging hoes in the sun, from those happy years when we used to dance the minuet under the arbors with the carefree voices of dark young girls bursting forth like a fountain in the night.”
Since the murder of Haiti’s president — the fifth president from Haiti’s grand nord to be slain — all the actors have been playing their parts. 

The former police officer known as Barbecue has been ratcheting up incitement on social media and led an armed march in the slain president’s honor through downtown Port-au-Prince. 

Haiti’s current ruling class cobbled together a new “consensus” government that includes virtually no one outside of their own circle and were given the helpful nod of the Core Group. 

The president’s wife, wounded in the attack that killed her husband, returned to Haiti from her convalescence in Miami, dressed all in black, and denounced the “traitors” who had surrounded her husband at his funeral. 

Even Dimitri Vorbe — who, in a broadcast a few weeks before Moïse’s murder, rambled about an electoral timeline, called the president a “sucker” and “ugly” and told him “you don’t have much time left” — took a moment to post a smiling selfie of himself on his Twitter account, ostensibly celebrating Argentina’s win over Brazil in the Copa America, three days after the president’s murder.
The people of Cité Soleil, Martissant, Bel Air and other marginalized neighborhoods in the capital cling to hope within their communities to lift themselves up, with little help from the government or anyone else. 

In the countryside, in communities like Thomonde, Bombardopolis and Gros-Morne, people do the same. 

Old rivalries — between city and countryside, between black and mulatto, between north and south — once muted if not absent, now seem reanimated.
Moïse is gone, but the system that he was part of and ostensibly was fighting against, made of blood and bone, both predated him and will outlast him.
“I believe the president opened his eyes once he started understanding the system,” says Deshommes. “He became a danger to their interests but tout bèt jennen mòd (a cornered animal will bite). By then it was too late, and he was fighting alone.”

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“In Haiti, people never really die,” my grandmothers said when I was a child @NewYorker
Law & Politics

In the Haitian vodou tradition, it is believed by some that the souls of the newly dead slip into rivers and streams and remain there, under the water, for a year and a day.
Then, lured by ritual prayer and song, the souls emerge from the water and the spirits are reborn.
These reincarnated spirits go on to occupy trees, and, if you listen closely, you may hear their hushed whispers in the wind.
The spirits can also hover over mountain ranges, or in grottoes, or caves, where familiar voices echo our own when we call out their names.
The year-and-a-day commemoration is seen, in families that believe in it and practice it, as a tremendous obligation, an honorable duty, 

in part because it assures a transcendental continuity of the kind that has kept us Haitians, no matter where we live, linked to our ancestors for generations.

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.@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 27 July 2021

The global number of new cases reported last week (19-25 July 2021) was over 3.8 million, an 8% increase as compared to the previous week. 

An average of around 540 000 cases were reported each day over the past week as compared to 490 000 cases reported daily the week before. 

This increasing trend is largely attributed to substantial increases in the Region of the Americas and the Western Pacific Region. 

The number of deaths reported this week increased sharply with over 69 000 deaths, a 21% increase when compared to the previous week. 

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Data from #Covid19 worldwide as of July 28: + 595,107 cases in 24 hours @CovidTracker_fr

19-JUL-2021 :: COVID-19

The Virus remains unresolved. I recall a few months ago every Pharma Co. pronounced how their Vaccine had an efficacy of close enough to 100%. 

Today the relative viral loads in the Delta variant infections are 1260 times higher than the 19A/19B strains infections @GuptaR_lab
We now further define Delta immune evasion using a panel of 38 monoclonal antibodies, showing significant loss of potency of NTD and RBD targeting antibodies. @GuptaR_lab 

Far from ebbing, the virus has gained virulence and you have to be a Naif to believe the Microbe is licked.
554,753 cases yesterday also above accelerating 485,767/day avg (up 28% past 2wks). @jmlukens 

We are now approaching the FIFTH peak in COVID cases and deaths in just sixteen months @greg_travis 

We emerged from the below captioned 6 weeks ago. 

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09-MAY-2021 The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance

The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM!  I beg to differ

Given the volume of money Printing and the extraordinary stimulus I have to say that the US Recovery is actually really weak and I believe it will be very short lived and the Penny will drop soon with the Bond Market and the Shorts will be forced to cover.

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And we become Japan: a nation pushing on strings, to no avail. @coloradotravis
World Of Finance

And the more of it we do, the less potent our monetary creating abilities. Velocity falls.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1893
Dollar Index 91.893
Japan Yen 109.55
Swiss Franc 0.9060
Pound 1.3966
Aussie 0.7384
India Rupee 74.3915
South Korea Won 1149.57
Brazil Real 5.082
Egypt Pound 15.7015
South Africa Rand 14.6075

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19-JUL-2021 :: Now lets turn to Africa. lets look at the Virus first

"Over the past month, #Africa recorded an additional 1 million cases. This is the shortest time it’s taken so far to add one million cases." Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19 @WHOAFRO
"Comparatively, it took around three months to move from 4 million to 5 million cases." - Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19

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WHO regional overviews - Epidemiological week 19 – 25 July 2021 African Region

The African Region reported over 184 000 new cases, a 9% decrease, and over 4900 new deaths, similar numbers as compared to the previous week. 

Over the past two weeks, weekly cases in the Region have begun to decrease after increasing sharply over the previous three weeks. 

This is largely driven by declines observed in South Africa as many other countries in the Region are still reporting increasing case incidences. 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

South Africa (84 225 new cases; 142.0 new cases per 100 000 population; -19%)

Zimbabwe (14 664 new cases; 98.7 new cases per 100 000; -7%), 

Botswana (11 524 new cases; 490.0 new cases per 100 000; +7%)
The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from 

South Africa (2812 new deaths; 4.7 new deaths per 100 000 population; +11%) 

Zimbabwe (462 new deaths; 3.1 new deaths per 100 000; similar to the previous week)

Namibia (254 new deaths; 10.0 new deaths per 100 000; -57%).

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Delta variant has reached 26 countries with case fatality rates among the world's highest @Africa_Conf

Delta variant has reached 26 countries with case fatality rates among the world's highest
As the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across Africa, the continent has become the most vulnerable region hit by the more transmissible Delta variant of the disease due to lack of vaccines and health facilities.
Covax, the global vaccine partnership, hopes to get 520 million doses to Africa by the end of this year and another 850m by the end of March 2022. 

But that will be far too late for the immediate crisis 
The African Union and Covax are to take delivery of over 20m doses from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer BionTech from the United States. France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden are adding hundreds of thousands more. 

But the total is well short of the requirements of a continent of 1.3 billion people.
Ghana, Morocco and South Africa are making progress with their vaccination programmes after a slow start. 

The Delta variant has reached 26 countries in Africa and case fatality rates are among the world's highest.
According to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington DC, Namibia, where just 1.2% of the population is vaccinated, is recording one death for every 22 cases compared with Britain, where over 50% of people are vaccinated and one death is recorded for every 750 cases.
Each week 6,500 people are dying of coronavirus in Africa: that means some 150,000 lives could be lost over the next two months when epidemiologists expect infections to peak in those countries reporting cases of the Delta variant. 

That will almost equal the 160,000 lives lost across the continent since the first recorded case of Covid-19 in Nigeria in March 2020 
So far, 80% of the recorded deaths have been in six countries: Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Case numbers in all countries with the Delta variant are rising but some officials in South Africa suggest the third wave of infections may have peaked there.
Proliferating mutations are another concern: in Tanzania, where until recently the government declined to impose anti-pandemic restrictions, at least 34 mutations have been recorded.
The ferocity of the third wave of the pandemic in Africa has prompted calls for more investment in vaccine production in Africa. 

Currently there are plants in seven countries: Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda and South Africa (AC Vol 62 No 10, Fatigue may be fatal).

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 26 days @ReutersGraphics

6 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve.

Algeria Burundi Mozambique & Eswatini at peak Mauritania 95% Libya 92% 

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Significant increases in new #COVID19 cases reported in coastal provinces South Africa @rid1tweets

• 4,667 in WESTERN CAPE = new daily record 
• 1,975 in KWAZULU NATAL = biggest single day increase since January 
• 946 in EASTERN CAPE = biggest single day increase since January

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Mindblowing details on the Tunisian coup: @ragipsoylu

• PM Mechichi had been beaten in the face until he agreed to resign
• Egyptian security officials were present
• Algeria won’t accept Tunisia falling under Egypt’s influence
• France had no prior warning

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Tunisian prime minister was assaulted in palace before coup @MiddleEastEye

Tunisia's outgoing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi was physically assaulted in the presidential palace on Sunday night before he agreed to resign from his post, sources close to the premier told Middle East Eye.
The nature of his injuries could not be verified as Mechichi himself has not been seen in public.
MEE understands that the injuries the 47-year-old sustained were "significant", according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
"He had injuries to the face, which is why he has not appeared [in public]," one of the sources said.
Mechichi was summoned to the presidential palace on Sunday where President Kais Saeid sacked him from his post, announced the suspension of parliament and assumed executive authority following a day of tense anti-government protests.

Sources close to the premier made it clear to MEE that the security chiefs who accompanied him to the palace were not part of the plan, whereas the army was.

Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of parliament and leader of Tunisia's moderate Islamist party Ennahda, evaded being summoned as he had just been released from hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19.
According to the sources, Mechichi, who was Saied's choice for prime minister, was asked once again on Sunday to step down.
He had until then repeatedly refused to resign in a row that erupted over the appointment of four ministers in his government.
Sources said that when Mechichi refused, he was beaten up. MEE further understands that there were "non-Tunisians" in the palace at the time.  
MEE understands that the individuals present were Egyptian security officials who have been advising Saied before the coup and directing operations as it was taking place. It is unclear what role they played in Mechichi's interrogation.
"[Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-] Sisi offered to give Saied all the support he needed for the coup and Saied took it," one of the sources said.
"Egyptian military and security people were sent to Tunisia with the full support of MbZ [Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi], the source added.
Mechichi is then reported to have held his hands up and agreed to resign. At that point, his security chiefs also agreed to the president's statement.
Mechichi later returned home where he denied reports to local media that he was under house arrest.
The outgoing prime minister issued a statement on Monday in which he said he could not be "in any way a disruptive element or part of the problem that complicates Tunisia's situation".
"I will hand over the responsibility to the person who will be entrusted by the President of the Republic to head the government within the year of deliberation that our country has been following since the revolution and in respect of the laws that befit the state, wishing all the success to the new government team," the statement read.

MEE reached out to both the Tunisian presidency and Mechichi for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

The moves undertaken on Sunday closely follow a plan of action outlined by Saied's close advisors in May and published by MEE at the time.
The plan outlined a purge or wave of mass arrests that would take place after the announcement of what is referred to as a "constitutional coup".
The document said Saied would declare a "constitutional dictatorship" which the authors of the document say is a tool for "concentrating all powers in the hand of the President of the Republic".
It then outlined targets for a purge of political opponents. The document said key people would be placed under house arrest. "From the Ennahda Movement... Nur Al-Din Al-Bahiri, Rafiq Abd Al-Salam, Karim Al-Haruni, Sayyid Al-Ferjani, Deputies of Al-Karama Bloc, Ghazi Al-Qarawi, Sufian Tubal, businessmen, advisors at the Prime Ministers Court, etc."
The presidency had initially denied the existence of the document, before Saied himself acknowledged he had read it. 

He then claimed in televised remarks that he could not be held responsible for the advice he received.
However, presidential sources told MEE that Saied instructed his officials to draw up a list of targets of people who could be arrested.
To pave the way for this, Saied assumed control of both the civil and military judiciary and declared himself attorney general.
In a decree issued late on Tuesday, Saied sacked Brigadier-General Judge Tawfiq al-Ayouni, who headed the military courts.
The president also dismissed a number of senior government officials, including the secretary general of the government, the director of the prime minister's office and a number of advisors.
The moves, however, are meeting institutional resistance, with the Supreme Judicial Council rejecting Saied's decision to place himself as the effective senior law officer of the government.
The council said in a statement after meeting with Saied that they emphasised the independence of the judiciary and "the need to distance it from all political disputes, and that judges are independent, and there is no authority over them in their judiciary except the law, and they carry out their duties within the scope of the constitution".

The council's comments came as Tunisian security forces were reported to have raided the home of Rached Khiari, an MP who had previously butted heads with Saied. According to local reports, the lawmaker was not at home at the time of the raid.

In April, Khiari published a video on his Facebook page which accused Saied of receiving foreign support and funding to enhance his chances of winning the 2019 presidential elections.
Khiari claimed that he possessed documents and videos showing Saied had received $5m through his campaign manager, Fawzi al-Daas, from an intelligence officer working at the US embassy in Paris
The US embassy in Tunisia denied Khiari's claims, while Daas submitted a judicial complaint against him.
Similarly, cases have been opened against three leading opposition parties including Ennahda and Heart of Tunisia, on suspicion of receiving foreign funds during the 2019 election campaign.
Ennahda and Heart of Tunisia are two of the largest parties in the deeply fragmented parliament and opponents of Saied.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the investigation into the parties was opened on 14 July, before Saied dismissed the prime minister, froze parliament and rescinded parliamentary immunity for MPs.
Diplomatically, MEE understands that Saied has received significant pushback in calls he has received since he assumed control of the executive.
US officials are reported to have told the president that they are extremely unhappy about the latest development. Washington has been reluctant to label the series of events in the country a coup.

More significantly, MEE understands that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has told both Saied and leading opposition politicians that Algiers will not accept Tunisia falling under Egypt's political and military influence.  
Algeria regards both Libya and Tunisia as its legitimate spheres of influence. 

Algeria will be especially concerned about the presence of Egyptian security officers in the palace in Carthage on Sunday.

According to sources, France is reported to have had no advance warning of the moves undertaken by Saied.
On Monday, Saied tightened his grip on power by imposing a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 6am and banning gatherings of more than three people. Movement between cities has also been limited under comprehensive emergency powers.
Ennahda, which has been criticised for the country's chronic political dysfunction and economic malaise, has urged its supporters to stay at home to ensure peace, and said it is "ready to go to early legislative and presidential elections at the same time so that the democratic process can be protected."
Tunisia has often been cited as the sole success story of the Arab Spring. The tumult sparked across the region after Mohamed Bouazizi, a university graduate who could only find work as a fruit vendor, self-immolated in December 2010.
The young democracy is seen as a key to regional stability, located between Algeria which faces political turmoil and war-battered Libya, from where every year thousands of desperate migrants seek to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, with many dying along the way.

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And now we have two visions of the Future

And now we have two visions of the Future. One Vision played out on our screens, the Protestors could have been our Wives, our Children, our Daughters and Sons. 

The Other Vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. 

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January 15, 2011 Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution @csmonitor

Mr. Ben Ali in a speech on Monday called the riots “terrorist acts” that were the work of “masked gangs” operating for foreign parties.
"We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are afraid only of God," the crowds chanted on Tuesday in Tunis.
On Thursday, the American secretary of State said the following in Qatar.
“In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand,” said Secretary Hillary Clinton. 

“Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while, but not forever, If leaders don’t offer a positive vision and give young people meaningful ways to contribute, others will fill the vacuum.”
Change is never incremental, it tips and surges. Looking at Tunisia and Africa, I see so many similarities. 

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Turning to Africa

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point
“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''
Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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On Thursday King Mswati’s police fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse thousands of protesters who were marching in the capital city, Mbabane @SwaziNews

On Thursday King Mswati’s police fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse thousands of protesters who were marching in the capital city, Mbabane demanding democratic reforms and the release of arrested pro-democracy MPs. Here the protestors had assembled at the bus rank

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The TPLF may even be mulling a march on Addis Ababa, the federal capital, to remove Abiy by force. @TheEconomist

The streets of Dessie, in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, are loud and bustling. So are its restaurants and bars.

In the past week military-training camps have sprung up. Outside a hospital a tent has been erected; wounded soldiers lie on stretchers.  Through mountain fog come the screams of ambulance sirens. 

Such is the tension gripping the place that when your correspondent visited, he was arrested almost immediately and held for several hours.

The jitters are because rebels from Tigray are advancing fast and meeting weak resistance

As The Economist went to press, the fighting was drawing near to Weldiya, a strategically important town about 80km north of Dessie. 

To the west they have penetrated to within perhaps 80km of Gondar, Ethiopia’s historic capital (see map).
A few weeks ago, when the insurgents captured most of the Tigray region, including Mekelle, the capital, there may have been a chance for a negotiated end to Ethiopia’s civil war and accompanying humanitarian crisis. Instead, the war may be entering its most dangerous phase yet.

On June 28th Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, announced a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew his troops from Tigray. 

Yet instead of using the opportunity to open talks with the rebels led by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (tplf), the region’s ruling party, Abiy tightened a blockade. 

Ignoring calls to join the ceasefire the tplf has sent its forces well beyond Tigray’s borders. 

As well as into Amhara, they have marched east into the Afar region in what seems like a bid to control the road and rail link to Djibouti, through which about 95% of landlocked Ethiopia’s trade flows. 

The tplf may even be mulling a march on Addis Ababa, the federal capital, to remove Abiy by force.
Abiy has responded with a call for total war, invoking the battle of Adwa, when Ethiopians from all corners defeated Italian invaders in 1896

The president of Amhara has ordered all armed residents to mobilise in a “campaign for survival”, while the president of Afar has called on his people to protect their land “whether by guns, sticks or stones”. Other regions have also sent in paramilitary forces.

The tactics on both sides are risky. The government’s mobilisation of ethnic militias is a recipe for bloodletting: most of their members are poorly trained and have been whipped up by allegations of Tigrayan atrocities. 

“Everyone is ready with anything they have, from machetes to Kalashnikovs,” says Teqil Nigusse, a merchant in Weldiya. 

In Addis Ababa and elsewhere, ordinary Tigrayans are being treated as fifth-columnists. 

Hundreds have been arrested and scores of Tigrayan-owned businesses, including hotels and bars, have been closed, in some cases simply for playing Tigrayan music.
For now, though, the Tigrayan forces have the upper hand. As the Ethiopian army has retreated, they have captured its heavy artillery

And they have turned their once-disorganised ranks into an effective fighting force, motivated by the murders and rapes committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. 

The insurgents’ counterparts in Amhara, by contrast, lack training and have been hastily assembled. The Tigrayans “have the military advantage now”, frets a young policeman in Dessie.

Even so, the Tigrayans’ gamble is also risky. Rather than focus on reclaiming disputed territory occupied by Amhara forces in the west, they are attacking on many fronts—and risk overstretching themselves. 

Tigrayans make up only about 7% of Ethiopia’s population. Amharas alone outnumber them four to one.

Securing the road to Djibouti, moreover, is no easy feat. The scorching deserts of Afar are harsh terrain and, beyond their own borders, Tigrayan forces cannot rely on widespread local support. 

The fighting in Afar has already forced tens of thousands of civilians from their homes. 

The resistance may be stiffening. Federal troops backed by Afar paramilitary forces seem to have halted the Tigrayan advance in the east. 

“Invading Afar was a historic mistake,” argues Dawud Mohammed Ali, a local academic.
The second risk is political. When the tplf arrived in Addis Ababa in 1991 as a band of guerrillas who had toppled Ethiopia’s then military dictatorship, it could count on support from many of Ethiopia’s more than 80 ethnic groups. 

But after almost three decades in charge of the government in Addis Ababa, it has few friends left. 

Many would regard any move towards the capital as a brazen attempt to put itself back on the throne.
Despite the dangers, neither side in the war appears especially interested in talks to end it. 

The tplf, believing it can smell victory, wants a transitional government to replace Abiy. 

The prime minister, for his part, insists that the tplf must be defeated entirely. Many Ethiopians agree with him. 

Yet much blood has been spilled trying to do this, even as the government’s prospects have inexorably worsened

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Youths block road, rail link between Djibouti, Addis Ababa - official @Reuters

Ethiopia's Somali region said on Wednesday a vital road and rail trade artery linking the landlocked capital of Addis Ababa to the sea port of Djibouti was blocked by youths angered by a deadly militia attack on their region.
Around 95% of imports into the nation of around 110 million people are transported via that corridor, according to a 2018 study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Reuters could not independently verify the reported blockage. The Ethiopian prime minister's office and authorities in Djibouti could not immediately be reached for comment.
Somali region President Mustafa Muhumed Omer said the road and rail had been blocked by local youth protesting against an attack on Saturday.
His government said on Tuesday that militia from the neighbouring region of Afar had attacked and looted a town, the latest flare-up in a local boundary dispute that adds to high tensions in the Horn of Africa nation. read more
In Addis Ababa, the impact of the reported blockage of the transport corridor on stocks of essential goods like fuel was not immediately clear. Long lines at petrol stations are common in normal times.
"We are working to open the Djibouti rail and road today," Mustafa, the Somali region President, told Reuters in a text message. "Discussing with the youth and people," he added.

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"Unless there is a dramatic change soon, Ethiopia could be on a path to state failure," said Mr @Dibjir @BBCWorld

"Five years ago the Ethiopian army was the most powerful in the region. The fact it couldn't secure Tigray shows how the situation has deteriorated."

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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19-JUL-2021 His Army has been defeated and now he is sending conscripts to slaughter whilst his Adversaries are fighting for their existence.

In the Horn of Africa the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who cloaked his messianic zeal in the language of Mandela 1994 is unlikely to last more than twelve months.
His Army has been defeated and now he is sending conscripts to slaughter whilst his Adversaries are fighting for their existence. 
The Contagion will surely boomerang as far as Asmara and destabilise the Horn of Africa for the forseeable future.
If I could I would be limit short the Ethiopian Birr [It trades at 60 to the $ on the black market]

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November 8, 2020 @PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

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Sadly though, they are in a farcical recruiting drive. @reda_getachew

Ill trained/equipped peasants are being sent to Afar & Amhara as cannon fodders. We will continue to send them back home.

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Nasa heads for crash landing 27TH JULY 2021 @Africa_Conf

Cast aside by Raila Odinga, his former allies plan to join a rival alliance ahead of next year's elections
The collapse of Kenya's National Super Alliance, the opposition coalition that lost the 2017 election, looks certain after three of the party leaders involved –  Amani National Congress's Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and FORD Kenya's Moses Wetangula – set out their intentions to dissolve the party.
Nasa has existed in name only since Raila Odinga was co-opted into President Uhuru Kenyatta's government via the 'handshake' deal in 2018 in which he abandoned the allies that had supported his unsuccessful presidential campaigns in 2012 and 2018 
Nasa's demise could benefit Deputy President William Ruto, again the front-runner for next year's polls, by dividing his opponents. 

While Mudavadi and co have indicated that they want to formalise their One Kenya coalition with Gideon Moi and his Kenya African National Union, there is no sign that this is close to being a viable election-winning vehicle without the support of Kenyatta, Odinga or both.
Neither is there any sign that the Luhya and Kamba communities, which the three Nasa leaders represent, would support a Ruto presidency.
Ruto's opponents worry that the Deputy President could win handily, should the One Kenya group field a third candidate to compete with Odinga
In a letter to Moi and the Nasa principals, Francis Atwoli, Secretary General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions, again urged the principals to unite or face the reality of a Ruto presidency after next August's elections, telling them 'to come together and forget talking about being suspicious of one another, political mistrust, betrayals and false promises'.
'If one of you would have not taken over the political leadership of this country, then the coming five years will witness all of you being fought over fiercely and your influence reduced to nothing,' Atwoli added.

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@EABL_PLC East African Breweries Ltd. reports FY EPS +6.576% Earnings
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied

Par Value:                  2/-
Closing Price:           184.50
Total Shares Issued:          790774356.00
Market Capitalization:        145,897,868,682
EPS:              5.51
PE:                 35.687

EABL results for the Year ended 30th June 2021

FY Net Revenue 85.962b versus 74.916b +14.744%

FY Cost of Sales [48.548b] versus [41.896b] +15.877%

FY Gross Profit 37.414b versus 33.020b +13.307%

FY Selling and Distribution costs [7.362b] versus [6.591b]

FY Adminitsration expenses [9.320b] versus [8.565b]

FY Other costs and expenses [9.874b] versus [7.209b]

FY Profit before Tax 10.858b versus 10.655b +1.9%

FY Profit after Tax 6.962b versus 7.021b -0.84%

FY Total comprehensive Income 7.172b versus 7.679b

FY EPS 5.51 versus 5.17 +6.576% 

FY Cash generated from operations 21.524b versus 13.636b

FY Net cash generated from operating activities 14.612b verssu 3.346b

Cash and cash equivalents at end of Year 4.421b versus 1.729b

No Final Dividend 

Company Commentary 

slower profit growth was driven by impact of cost inflation, adverse foreign exchange impact and tax charges

general decline in disposable incomes in te region

EABL volumes grew by 13% to 14m EUs

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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July 2021

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