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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 16th of August 2021

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'Banaras: Of Gods, Humans and Stories' by @Peachtreespeaks and @errfanseye @livewire

Biswas and Nabi pay their tributes to a place whose landscape and mindscape fuse into one. A place where the boundaries between the exterior and the interior, the physical and the metaphysical, blur seamlessly.

A timelessness that, in the words of Biswas, is like a “dice made of many overlapping ingredients, including mythology, fables, patrons, traders, chroniclers, the nameless pilgrims, and the emperors”.

In fact, an entire chapter is dedicated to Ganga or the Ganges, which is described as an “endless source of sacred water, a purifier, a bountiful mother, an epitome of energy, and also Shakti, the saviour, in liquid form”.

one of the most intriguing binaries of Banaras – the tango between death and pleasure. The cremation ghats of Banaras, particularly the Manikarnika ghat, are depicted with an ease and grace that tames the menace of earthly exits.

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Aura | Carlos Fuentes

The girl keeps her eyes closed, her hands at her sides. She doesn’t look at you at first, then little by little she opens her eyes as if she were afraid of the light. Finally you can see that those eyes are sea green and that they surge, break to foam, grow calm again, then surge again like a wave. You look into them and tell yourself it isn’t true, because they’re beautiful green eyes just like all the beautiful green eyes you’ve ever known. But you can’t deceive yourself: those eyes do surge, do change, as if offering you a landscape that only you can see and desire.

“Yes. I’m going to live with you.”

You’re thinking about this as you follow her out of the room, and you discover that you’ve got to follow her with your ears instead of your eyes: you follow the rustle of her skirt, the rustle of taffeta, and you’re anxious now to look into her eyes again. You climb the stairs behind that sound in the darkness, and you’re still unused to the obscurity.

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Leader of #Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has entered the presidential palace of #Afghanistan @BabakTaghvaee
Law & Politics

Leader of #Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has entered the presidential palace of #Afghanistan with the help of #Qatar & green light of United States. He is now negotiating with Ashraf Ghani. Ghani will resign & Baradar will become president of the Afghanistan.

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If US intelligence was so wrong regarding the staying power of the current Afghan govt one wonders how wrong they may be about things where the evidence is not as immediate and clear-cut as here. @BrankoMilan
Law & Politics

If US intelligence was so wrong regarding the staying power of the current Afghan govt (with whom they were involved for 20 years--so they should know s'thing about it), one wonders how wrong they may be about things where the evidence is not as immediate and clear-cut as here.

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Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World
Law & Politics

"Men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities [and] in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond."

And then I recalled

And it all left me wondering Who exactly is controlling the Console?

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The headline number is deadly – the world will likely heat up by an average of 3°C this century. It could be worse, up to 4.4°C, and it also might only warm by as “little” as 2°C @mailandguardian @thecontinent_
Food, Climate & Agriculture

The UN report predicts the world average will hit this mark in the 2030s. But the average global temperature rise tends to be doubled in Africa. 

So 1.5°C of heating will mean 3°C in many countries. And for those same countries the “average” 3°C rise will be mean a catastrophic 6°C increase in real terms.

With sea levels expected to rise by 0.6 metres this century – or by a lot more if the ice caps melt faster – it also spells disaster for cities along the ocean, particularly in West Africa.

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. #IPCC #ClimateChange

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.

23-NOV 2015 I cannot help feeling we are like frogs in boiling water. We have created massive interference in the "cosmic tuning" phenomenon #IPCC #ClimateChange

In this book, Martin Rees puts forward six equations which govern our universe, a universe so big that we are like a grain of sand on a beach. The mathematics of these equations is so miraculous that Rees speaks to a “cosmic tuning” phenomenon.
For example; Ω ≈ 0.3: the ratio of the actual density of the universe to the critical (minimum) density required for the universe to eventually collapse under its gravity. Ω determines the ultimate fate of the universe. 

If Ω is greater than one, the universe will experience a big crunch. If Ω is less than one, the universe will expand forever.

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Xi’s Dictatorship Threatens the Chinese State @WSJ. George Soros
Law & Politics

Mr. Xi believes Mao Zedong invented a superior form of organization, which he is carrying on: a totalitarian closed society in which the individual is subordinated to the one-party state. 

It is superior, in this view, because it is more disciplined, stronger and therefore bound to prevail in a contest.

Relations between China and the U.S. are rapidly deteriorating and may lead to war. 

Mr. Xi has made clear that he intends to take possession of Taiwan within the next decade, and he is increasing China’s military capacity accordingly.

He also faces an important domestic hurdle in 2022, when he intends to break the established system of succession to remain president for life. 

It is against this background that the current turmoil in the financial markets is unfolding, catching many people unaware and leaving them confused. The confusion has compounded the turmoil.
Although I am no longer engaged in the financial markets, I used to be an active participant. I have also been actively engaged in China since 1984, when I introduced Communist Party reformers in China to their counterparts in my native Hungary. 

They learned a lot from each other, and I followed up by setting up foundations in both countries. That was the beginning of my career in what I call political philanthropy. 

My foundation in China was unique in being granted near-total independence. 

I closed it in 1989, after I learned it had come under the control of the Chinese government and just before the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

I resumed my active involvement in China in 2013 when Mr. Xi became the ruler, but this time as an outspoken opponent of what has since become a totalitarian regime.
I consider Mr. Xi the most dangerous enemy of open societies in the world. 

The Chinese people as a whole are among his victims, but domestic political opponents and religious and ethnic minorities suffer from his persecution much more. 

I find it particularly disturbing that so many Chinese people seem to find his social-credit surveillance system not only tolerable but attractive. 

It provides them social services free of charge and tells them how to stay out of trouble by not saying anything critical of Mr. Xi or his regime. 

If he could perfect the social-credit system and assure a steadily rising standard of living, his regime would become much more secure. But he is bound to run into difficulties on both counts.

To understand why, some historical background is necessary. 

Mr. Xi came to power in 2013, but he was the beneficiary of the bold reform agenda of his predecessor Deng Xiaoping, who had a very different concept of China’s place in the world. 

Deng realized that the West was much more developed and China had much to learn from it. 

Far from being diametrically opposed to the Western-dominated global system, Deng wanted China to rise within it. His approach worked wonders. 

China was accepted as a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001 with the privileges that come with the status of a less-developed country. 

China embarked on a period of unprecedented growth. It even dealt with the global financial crisis of 2007-08 better than the developed world.
Mr. Xi failed to understand how Deng achieved his success. He took it as a given and exploited it, but he harbored an intense personal resentment against Deng. 

He held Deng Xiaoping responsible for not honoring his father, Xi Zhongxun, and for removing the elder Xi from the Politburo in 1962. 

As a result, Xi Jinping grew up in the countryside in very difficult circumstances. He didn’t receive a proper education, never went abroad, and never learned a foreign language.
Xi Jinping devoted his life to undoing Deng’s influence on the development of China. His personal animosity toward Deng has played a large part in this, but other factors are equally important. 

He is intensely nationalistic and he wants China to become the dominant power in the world. 

He is also convinced that the Chinese Communist Party needs to be a Leninist party, willing to use its political and military power to impose its will. 

Xi Jinping strongly felt this was necessary to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party will be strong enough to impose the sacrifices needed to achieve his goal.
Mr. Xi realized that he needs to remain the undisputed ruler to accomplish what he considers his life’s mission. 

He doesn’t know how the financial markets operate, but he has a clear idea of what he has to do in 2022 to stay in power. 

He intends to overstep the term limits established by Deng, which governed the succession of Mr. Xi’s two predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin

Because many of the political class and business elite are liable to oppose Mr. Xi, he must prevent them from uniting against him. 

Thus, his first task is to bring to heel anyone who is rich enough to exercise independent power.
That process has been unfolding in the past year and reached a crescendo in recent weeks. 

It started with the sudden cancellation of a new issue by Alibaba’s Ant Group in November 2020 and the temporary disappearance of its former executive chairman, Jack Ma. 

Then came the disciplinary measures taken against Didi Chuxing after it floated an issue in New York in June 2021. 

It culminated with the banishment of three U.S.-financed tutoring companies, which had a much greater effect on international markets than Mr. Xi expected. 

Chinese financial authorities have tried to reassure markets but with little success.
Mr. Xi is engaged in a systematic campaign to remove or neutralize people who have amassed a fortune. 

His latest victim is Sun Dawu, a billionaire pig farmer. Mr. Sun has been sentenced to 18 years in prison and persuaded to “donate” the bulk of his wealth to charity.
This campaign threatens to destroy the geese that lay the golden eggs. 

Mr. Xi is determined to bring the creators of wealth under the control of the one-party state. 

He has reintroduced a dual-management structure into large privately owned companies that had largely lapsed during the reform era of Deng. 

Now private and state-owned companies are being run not only by their management but also a party representative who ranks higher than the company president. 

This creates a perverse incentive not to innovate but to await instructions from higher authorities.
China’s largest, highly leveraged real-estate company, Evergrande, has recently run into difficulties servicing its debt. The real-estate market, which has been a driver of the economic recovery, is in disarray

The authorities have always been flexible enough to deal with any crisis, but they are losing their flexibility. 

To illustrate, a state-owned company produced a Covid-19 vaccine, Sinopharm, which has been widely exported all over the world, but its performance is inferior to all other widely marketed vaccines. Sinopharm won’t win any friends for China.
To prevail in 2022, Mr. Xi has turned himself into a dictator. Instead of allowing the party to tell him what policies to adopt, he dictates the policies he wants it to follow

State media is now broadcasting a stunning scene in which Mr. Xi leads the Standing Committee of the Politburo in slavishly repeating after him an oath of loyalty to the party and to him personally. 

This must be a humiliating experience, and it is liable to turn against Mr. Xi even those who had previously accepted him.
In other words, he has turned them into his own yes-men, abolishing the legacy of Deng’s consensual rule. 

With Mr. Xi there is little room for checks and balances. He will find it difficult to adjust his policies to a changing reality, because he rules by intimidation. 

His underlings are afraid to tell him how reality has changed for fear of triggering his anger. This dynamic endangers the future of China’s one-party state.
Mr. Soros is founder of the Open Society Foundations.

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16-FEB-2020 :: They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed “big data totalitarianism” and “WeChat terror.” @ChinaFile #COVID19 Xu Zhangrun
Law & Politics

Xu Zhangrun, who published a rare public critique of President Xi Jinping

Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear An Essay by [ex] Tsinghua University professor Xu Zhangrun @ChinaFile #COVID19

That‘s right, we, We the People, for [as I have previously said] how can we let ourselves ―survive no better than swine; fawn upon the power-holders like curs; and live in vile filth like maggots?!

you will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19 
[ “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]
What is thriving, however, is all that ridiculous ―Red Culture and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn @ChinaFile #COVID19
A polity that is blatantly incapable of treating its own people properly can hardly be expected to treat rest of the world well Such places will only be able to find their assumed pulchritude reflected back at them in mirror of their imperial self-regard

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Aug - Preliminary UMichigan consumer sentiment survey fell to 70.2 vs. 81.2 (July). @Convertbond
World Of Finance

Aversion to higher prices, consumers now judge buying conditions negatively: favorable ratings, 30% for homes, 31% for vehicles, 43% for household durables, all lowest since the 1980 recessions.

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Ex-Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher put it: “We injected monetary heroin into the system.” @ClarkiiStomias
World Of Finance

Now the only systemic outcomes are withdrawal (asset destruction) or overdose (currency destruction), either of which would lead to the system’s death.
However, there are many discordant notes.
Firstly consider

The Bullwhip Effect after the great lockdown is often confused with a new and stronger growth trend. @dlacalle_IA 

I remain very bullish Long term G7 Bonds. 

09-MAY-2021 ::  The Lotos-eaters However, I am resetting my target Yield to 1.25% now.


I believe we are now headed to < than 1% $TNX

09-MAY-2021 The Lotos-eaters

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.

19-JUL-2021 :: limit long the US Ultra Bond because I recall Japan and the words of that iconic Eagles song ''Hotel California''

Mirrors On The Ceiling The Pink champagne on ice

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1789
Dollar Index  92.567
Japan Yen 109.40
Swiss Franc 0.9158
Pound 1.3850
Aussie 0.7336
India Rupee 74.1798
South Korea Won 1164.34
Brazil Real 5.2485
Egypt Pound 15.6870
South Africa Rand 14.7527

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

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

Guinea CAR Burundi ReUnion at peak Morocco & Botswana 98% Mauritania 97% Kenya 95% Eswatini 91% 

1,067,491  Active COVID-19 Cases in Africa @BeautifyData [New record High Print +105.286% above Wave 2 Record High from January 2021]

Active #Covid19 cases record 520,000 was in January 2021 @NKCAfrica

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett

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An #Ebola case has been confirmed today in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire This is the country’s first case of Ebola since 1994. @WHOAFRO

An #Ebola case has been confirmed today in Abidjan, Cote d’IvoireInitial investigations found that the patient had travelled to #CotedIvoire from Guinea by land & arrived in Abidjan on 12 August. This is the country’s first case of Ebola since 1994.

The first known emergence of Ebola Zaire—the hottest subtype of Ebola virus— happened in September, 1976, when the virus erupted simultaneously in fifty-five villages near the Ebola River.

Ebola Zaire is a slate-wiper in humans. It killed eighty- eight per cent of the people it infected. Apart from rabies and the human immunodeficiency virus, H.I.V., which causes aids, this was the highest rate of mortality that has been recorded for a human virus.
Ebola was spread mainly among family members, through contact with bodily fluids and blood. 

Many of the people in Africa who came down with Ebola had handled Ebola-infected cadavers. It seems that one of Ebola’s paths wends to the living from the dead.

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To this day, the natural reservoir of Marburg is unknown. Marburg lives somewhere in the shadow of Mt. Elgon. Crisis in the Hot Zone Lessons from an outbreak of Ebola. Richard Preston

The first known emergence of a filovirus happened in August, 1967, in Marburg, Germany.

A shipment of green monkeys from Uganda had arrived in Frankfurt. 

Green-monkey kidney cells are useful for the production of vaccines, and these monkeys were going to be killed for their kidneys.
Marburg began with a splitting headache, focussed behind the eyes and temples.
That was followed by a fever. The characteristic diagnostic sign was a red speckled rash over the body which blistered into a sea of tiny white bubbles.
“Most of the patients showed a sullen, slightly aggressive, or negativistic behavior,” Martini wrote. “Two patients [had] a feeling as if they were lying on crumbs.”
One became deranged and psychotic. These mental signs were caused by the virus’s having damaged the brain.
The patient Hans O.-V. showed no signs of mental change, but he suffered a sudden, acute fall of blood pressure and died.
At autopsy, his brain was found to be laced with hemorrhages, and there was a massive, fatal hemorrhage at the center.
In Frankfurt, an animal attendant known as B. developed a high fever and eventually began bleeding from his mouth, nose, and gastrointestinal tract.
He was given whole-blood transfusions, but then he developed uncontrollable hemorrhages at the sites of the I.V. punctures.
He died with blood running from his mouth and his nipples. All the survivors lost their hair. During convalescence, the skin peeled off their faces, hands, feet, and genitals.
It was a small, frightening emergence.
Marburg virus looks like rope, or it rolls up into the rings that resemble Cheerios.
Virologists had never seen a ring-shaped virus, and couldn’t figure out how to classify it. They thought that it might be a type of rabies.
The rabies particle is shaped like a bullet, and if you stretch a bullet it becomes a rod, and the rod can be bent into a doughnut: Marburg. They started calling Marburg “stretched rabies.”
But it is not related to rabies. The question was: What is the virus’s natural history? In what animal or insect does Marburg hide? Marburg evidently does not circulate in monkeys.
Monkeys die quickly of the disease, and if they were the reservoir, Marburg wouldn’t wipe them out.
The monkey’s immune system would have learned to attack the virus, and the virus itself would have become better adapted to living in monkeys without killing them, since it is in the virus’s best interest to let the host survive.
The Marburg monkeys had been collected in Uganda by native trappers—apparently in forested habitat to the west of Mt. Elgon, an extinct volcano that straddles the border between Uganda and Kenya.
Teams of epidemiologists combed Uganda, and especially the western slopes of Mt. Elgon, looking for some animal or insect that harbored Marburg virus; they found nothing.
In 1980, a French engineer who was employed by the Nzoia Sugar Company at a factory in Kenya within sight of Mt. Elgon developed Marburg and died.
He was an amateur naturalist who spent time camping and hiking around Mt. Elgon, and he had recently visited a cavern on the Kenyan side of the mountain which was known as Kitum Cave.
It wasn’t clear where the Frenchman had picked up the virus, whether at the sugar factory or outdoors.
Then, in the late summer of 1987, a Danish boy whose name will be given here as Peter Cardinal visited the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon with his parents—the Cardinals were tourists—and the boy broke with Marburg and died.
Epidemiologists at usamriid became interested in the cases, and they traced the movements of the French engineer and the Danish boy in the days before their illnesses and deaths.
The result was weird. The paths of the French engineer and the Danish boy had crossed only once—in Kitum Cave.  Peter Cardinal had gone inside Kitum Cave.
As for the Ugandan trappers who had collected the original Marburg monkeys, they might have poached them from the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon. 

Those monkeys might have lived near Kitum Cave, and might even have occasionally visited the cave.
Mt. Elgon is a huge, eroded volcanic massif, fifty miles across—one of the largest volcanoes in East Africa. 

Kitum Cave is one of a number of caverns that penetrate Mt. Elgon at an altitude of around eight thousand feet and open their mouths in a deep forest of podo trees, African junipers, African olives, and camphors.
Kitum Cave descends into tight passages and underground pools that extend an unknown distance back into Mt. Elgon. The volcanic rock within Kitum Cave is permeated with mineral salts.
Elephants go inside the cave to root out chunks of salty rock with their tusks and chew on them. 

Water buffalo also visit the cave to lick the rocks, and they may be followed into the cave by leopards. Fruit bats and insect-eating bats roost in the cave, filling the air with a sour smell.
The animals drop their dung in the cave—an enclosed airspace—and they attract biting flies and carry ticks and mites.
The volcanic rock contains petrified logs, the remains of trees that were enveloped in lava, and the logs are filled with sharp crystals. Peter Cardinal may have handled crystals inside the cave and scratched his hands.
Possibly the crystals were tainted with animal urine or the remains of an insect.
The Army keeps some of Peter Cardinal’s tissues frozen in cryovials, and the Cardinal strain is viciously hot. It kills guinea pigs like flies.
in February, 1988, a few months after Peter Cardinal died, the Army sent a team of epidemiologists to Kitum Cave. 

The team wore Racal suits inside the cave. A Racal is a lightweight pressurized suit with a filtered air supply, used for hot operations in the field.
There is no vaccine for Marburg, and the Army people had come to believe that the virus could be spread through the air.
Near and inside the cave they set out, in cages, guinea pigs and primates—baboons, green monkeys, and Sykes’ monkeys—and they surrounded the cages with electrified wire to discourage predators.
The guinea pigs and monkeys were sentinel animals, like canaries in a coal mine: they were placed there in the theory or the hope that some of them would develop Marburg.
With the help of Kenyan naturalists, the Army team trapped as many different kinds of wild mammals as they could find, including rodents, rock hyraxes, and bats, and drew blood from them.
They collected insects. Some local people, the il-Kony, had lived in some of the caves.
A Kenyan doctor from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, in Nairobi, drew blood from these people and took their medical histories.
At the far end of Kitum Cave, where it disappears in pools of water, the Army team found a population of sand flies. They mashed some flies and tested them for Marburg. The expedition was a dry hole.
The sentinel animals remained healthy, and the blood and tissue samples from the mammals, insects, arthropods, and local people showed no obvious signs of Marburg.
To this day, the natural reservoir of Marburg is unknown. Marburg lives somewhere in the shadow of Mt. Elgon

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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''
any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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As the sun rises on a day of destiny for Zambia @HHichilema

As the sun rises on a day of destiny for Zambia, our message to those responsible for counting the votes is simple: “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 16:20)

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“It wasn't so easy though, ending the war. A war is a huge fire; the ashes from it drift far, and settle slowly.” @MargaretAtwood's The Blind Assassin

'War makes for bitter men. Heartless and savage men,” Abiy said in his Nobel prize lecture. @FT @davidpilling 

The national mobilization and war recruitment have the echoes of the final days of the Derg regime. @AwashPost H/T @rhaplord 

TPLF spokesperson @reda_getachew told me Tigrayan forces are prepared to take the fight to Addis Ababa in order to end the blockade on Tigray. @cathkemi

We interviewed TPLF spokesperson @reda_getachew on the expansion of the conflict in northern Ethiopia. He told me Tigrayan forces are prepared to take the fight to Addis Ababa in order to end the blockade on Tigray. The Govt denies enforcing a siege. 


Addis could be Kabul 2.0

9-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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"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."

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.@MTNza confirmed it is not going to resubmit a bid for a new license in Ethiopia, which is opening up the market to international operators for the first time. @BloombergQuint

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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Democratic Republic of Congo looks set to get $1.52-billion from the @IMFNews @mailandguardian @thecontinent_

“Today, we have a GDP forecast of 4.9% by the end of this year, compared to 1.7% last year”

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Unilever Forced to Buy Dollars at 9% Above Market in Nigeria @markets.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have fallen 5% to $33.6 billion

Unilever Nigeria Plc is being compelled to buy dollars above the market rate because rationing of foreign-exchange by the West African nation’s central bank has caused a shortage of the U.S. currency.
The local unit of Unilever Plc bought the greenback from money changers and lenders at between 440 to 450 naira on an average in the first-half of the year, Adesola Sotande-Peters, finance director at the company, said at an investor conference call in Lagos. 

That compares with 410.72 naira to a dollar at 7.28 a.m. in Lagos on Friday.

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Mozambique Foreign troops and the battle to save the gas deal @mailandguardian @thecontinent_

On August 8, a year after Mocímboa da Praia was abandoned by Mozambican forces, Rwandan and local forces took the town back.
Near the northern border with Tanzania, Mocímboa has an airport and a strategic port. Its fall to insurgents last August was a symbolic blow to the government. 

Recapturing it is a coup for Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, and for France – which is widely believed to have paid for the Rwandan deployment.

Mozambique’s petroleum regulator, INP, says it believes the project will generate profits of $60.8-billion over the next 20 years, of which $30.9-billion will go to the Mozambican state.
The March attack led Total Energies to withdraw all its staff, saying it would only come back when security was restored.
A source in the Mozambican army’s sniper battalion told The Continent last week that the success of the Rwandans is due to “high technological use. Rwandan colleagues use drones that, in addition to surveillance, work as weapons.”

Military sources believe that with the recovery of Mocímboa, the way is now open for an assault on the so-called “Siria” base – about 110km south of Awasse, in Macomia district – described as the insurgents’ central base.

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Mount Mulanje is an “inselberg”, or isolated mountain, that towers above the surrounding grassland at some 3,000 metres high. @mailandguardian @thecontinent_

Its peak, Sapitwa, is usually covered by clouds – and when the peak sticks out above those clouds, it does indeed resemble an island.

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'We are on our knees’: COVID’s impact on Kenya’s tourism @ONEAftershocks @RasnaWarah
Kenyan Economy

In May, the Driftwood Club, a popular beach hotel in Malindi, closed its doors to the public, becoming one of the many hotels in the Kenyan seaside to shut down permanently. 

Earlier this year, Old Man and the Sea, one of the oldest and most iconic fish restaurants in this coastal town, also closed.
Tourism is the economic backbone of Kenya’s coastal region. Foreign, mainly Italian, tourists usually start trickling into Malindi in July, at the start of the summer holiday season in Europe. 

But this year, not many are seen on its beaches. With very few guests, many hotels and restaurants have been forced to make the hard decision of shutting down permanently.
Malindi’s fortunes were declining even before the pandemic hit Kenya early last year. A spate of Al Shabaab terror attacks resulted in the UK and other countries issuing travel advisories and cautioning their citizens against travelling to Kenya. 

In June 2014, an attack in Mpeketoni in Kenya’s coastal Lamu County killed more than 60 people and led to perceptions that the region was dangerous. 

This caused a decrease in the number of foreign tourists to the area. The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the region’s already weakened economy.
Kenya’s coastal region is not the only part of the country to see sharp drops in tourists; tourist numbers have also declined in the country’s world-renowned game parks and other tourist destinations. 

Kenya is the third largest travel and tourism destination in Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria, and the tourism sector accounts for 4.4% to the country’s GDP. 

Prior to the pandemic, Kenya received more than 2 million annual visitors, mainly from the US, the UK, India, China, Germany, France, and Italy. 

Kenya’s tourism ministry estimates that foreign tourist numbers fell by two-thirds last year, to fewer than 500,000 in the first 10 months of 2020. This cost the country about $1 billion in lost revenue.
While the UK has eased restrictions on vaccinated travelers from the US and the EU countries, Kenya remains on the “red list” of countries that UK citizens are prohibited from entering. 

People travelling from red list countries to the UK are also subject to strict restrictions, such as two-week quarantines and proof of negative COVID tests.
Layoffs as a result of reduced demand
COVID restrictions are not only directly impacting the tourism industry, but a whole range of inter-linked services as well, such as catering and airlines. 

With reduced demand for supplies and services in the tourism sector, these services have scaled down their operations significantly.
Hotel bookings are way below capacity, and some lodges in game parks have temporarily closed operations until tourist numbers pick up. 

Kenya’s tourism ministry recorded a sharp drop of 57.9% in food and accommodation services last year, which cost the sector 110 billion Kenyan shillings (about $1 billion). 

Revenue from tourism in Kenya fell by 80% in 2020. “We are on our knees,” declared tourism minister Najib Balala in June 2020.
Before the pandemic, the tourism and related sectors employed more than 2 million people, many of whom have now either lost their jobs or earn reduced salaries. 

People working in the hospitality industry — including housekeepers, chefs, travel agents, tour operators, and event organisers — have been most affected. 

A survey of key stakeholders in Kenya’s tourism sector at the start of the pandemic last year found that slightly more than 80% of companies engaged in tourism had reduced their number of employees, and 31.9% reported reducing the pay of the remaining employees by over 70%.
A global phenomenon
In 2020, global domestic and international passenger traffic fell by 60%, or 2.7 billion compared with 4.5 billion in 2019. 

This represents a loss of an estimated $1.3 trillion in international tourism expenditure. 

The silver lining on this rather grim scenario is that CO₂ emissions from air traffic last year dropped by a record 48%. In 2019, emissions from aviation made up 2.5% of global CO₂ missions.
Between January and May this year, international tourist arrivals were 85% below 2019 levels, according to a UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report. 

The Asia and Pacific region suffered the largest decline, with a 95% reduction in international arrivals in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, followed by Europe (-85%), the Middle East (-83%), Africa (-81%), and the Americas (-72%).

A UNWTO survey showed that only 1% of respondents in Africa expected tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. 

UNWTO estimates that it will take between 2.5 years and 4 years for global international tourism to return to 2019 levels.

But some people in Kenya’s tourism industry are more optimistic. Mohammed Hersi, the former chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation, said that recovery might take some time, but is not completely out of reach. 

“We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines having been rolled out both locally and in our source markets globally,” he said. 

“We are, however, concerned about self-imposed restrictions like the UK who have placed Kenya on the red list.”
With increasing vaccination levels in Europe, the US, and Canada, some expected tourists from these countries to return to African destinations. 

But the emergence of the highly infectious Delta has led several European and North American countries to further tighten travel restrictions.
Extremely low vaccination rates in African countries are another disincentive for tourists to travel to Africa. 

UNWTO’s Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says that accelerating the pace of vaccination worldwide will be critical. 

He also said working on effective coordination and communication on ever-changing travel restrictions and advancing digital tools are necessary to rebuild trust in travel and to restart tourism globally in the coming months.

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Limuru Tea Company Ltd. reports H1 2021 Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural

Par Value:                  20/-
Closing Price:           300.00
Total Shares Issued:          1200000.00
Market Capitalization:        360,000,000
EPS:             -1.53
PE:                 -196.078

Limuru Tea H1 2021 Earnings through June 2021 versus through June 2020

HY Turnover 46.617m versus 50.643m

HY Loss before Income Tax [8.372m] versus [11.355m]

HY Loss attributable to Shareholders [8.597m] versus [11.071m]

HY EPS [3.58] versus [4.16]

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

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