Monthly Archives: May 2017

A billboard in Luanda, Angola, congratulating President José Eduardo dos Santos. He says he is stepping down after 38 years in office. Credit Joao Silva/The New York Times

Angola’s ‘Omnipresent’ leader won’t run again. But will he relinquish power?

Norimitsu Onishi New York Times May 20, 2017. LUANDA, Angola — A billboard in the heart of Angola’s capital, Luanda, reads like a warning to any challengers, reminding everyone of the tremendous share of votes won by President José Eduardo dos Santos in his party’s leadership race last year: 99.6 percent. As Africa’s second-longest-serving head of state, with nearly 38 years in power, Mr. dos Santos appeared to be a member of the continent’s club of lifetime leaders. His grip only tightening with age, it seemed that this legendary survivor would surely die in office. See full story.

Photo caption: A billboard in Luanda, Angola, congratulating President José Eduardo dos Santos. He says he is stepping down after 38 years in office. Credit ©Joao Silva/The New York Times

An Ethiopian migrant domestic worker holds a child during the annual Migrant Workers' March, held in Beirut every year on Workers' Day to advocate for better working conditions and accountability for migrant abuse and deaths. Credit: Anti-Racism Movement]

Slave labor? Death rate doubles for migrant domestic workers in Lebanon

Alice Su, IRIN May 15, 2017.  A woman with a pink cloth wrapped around her head climbs out of a window on the fourth floor of a residential building. She peers at the ground far below, clutching onto the window ledge as voices in the background yell at her to come inside. Instead, she jumps, her scream lingering for four seconds before she hits the ground. The video was broadcast on Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV in March, with a voiceover explaining that the woman was an Ethiopian domestic worker in Khalde, an area south of Beirut.  See full IRIN story.

 Above photo: An Ethiopian migrant domestic worker holds a child during the annual Migrant Workers’ March, held in Beirut every year on Workers’ Day to advocate for better working conditions and accountability for migrant abuse and deaths. Credit: Anti-Racism Movement]

Harmful economics comments

Detroit boat house. Credit: Bob Jagendorf.

What a new report reveals about white economic hardship and Trump’s big win

Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post May 10, 2017. Roughly a third of white working-class Americans said that they have cut back on food or meals in the past year to save money. A similar share it would be difficult — if not impossible — for them to cover an emergency expense of $400. And among those who live in the same town where they grew up, only 17 percent say the quality of life there has improved. Those are a few of the results of a detailed new survey by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic magazine. The report reveals the economic and material hardships afflicting the white working class, one of the report’s authors says, lending insight into why so many people in this group were willing to gamble on Donald Trump, a candidate with no governing experience.  See full story.

Photo: Detroit boat house. Credit: ©© Bob Jagendorf.

Photo: Protesters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa (Finfinnee) demand that TPLF stop Killing Oromo students, and stop evicting Oromo farmers and grabbing their land. Credit: Caamsaa/May 24, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

Activism and the state: How African civil society responds to repression

David Kode and Mouna Ben Garga,  Pambazuka News May 11, 2017. Restrictions on civic freedoms are increasing worldwide, but are being acutely felt in African countries. According to the CIVICUS Monitor – a constantly updated tool rating countries’ fundamental civic freedoms from open to closed – 43 African countries fall under the bottom three categories of closed, repressed and obstructed with only two African countries rated as open. In most African countries, freedom of expression, assembly and association are stifled by state and non-state actors through the use of restrictive legislation, policies, and judicial persecution as well as physical attacks, threats and detention of activists and journalists.  See full story.

Photo: Protesters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa (Finfinnee) demand that TPLF stop Killing Oromo students, and stop evicting Oromo farmers and grabbing their land. Credit: ©©Caamsaa/May 24, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com