– Let us start with some good news. Sort of. The strongest El Niño in 35 years is coming to an end.
In 2015/2016 this “El Niño effect” led to drought in over 20 countries .
There were scorching temperatures, water shortages and flooding around the world. Worst hit were eastern and southern Africa
And though the worst of the drought is coming to an end, predictions are high (at about 75%) that La-Nina will arrive later in 2016. La Niña – El Niño’s opposite number – is known for the flooding it brings.
To understand what that means for people, you just have to look at the numbers about food insecurity.
32 million people in southern Africa were affected by food insecurity as a result. Across Africa, 1 million children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition. Continue reading
Reporting that 650 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan since January, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCEF) on 19 August 2016 called for an immediate end to recruitment and an unconditional release of all children by armed actors.
Gatkuoth, 15-years-old (not his real name), was recently released from an armed group in South Sudan. He was recruited when he was just thirteen. UNICEF estimate that there are still 16,000 children associated with armed groups in the country. Photo: UNICEF/UN028379/Rich
“The dream we all shared for the children of this young country has become a nightmare,” said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director said today in a news release issued by the agency.
The heart breaking photograph of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy sitting alone in an ambulance with his face and body covered in blood and dirt after being pulled from a destroyed building has reminded the world, yet again, of the unimaginable horrors that Syrian children face every day, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 19 August 2016 said.
In East Ghouta, Syria, rural Damascus, a child’s plush toy lies in the rubble of a destroyed building (file photo). Credit: UNICEF/UN013166/Al Shami
A demonstrator holds up an anti-U.N. poster during a protest outside a UN base in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit: Ansel Herz/IPS
“The UN has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera,” Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said in a statement shared with IPS. Continue reading
Candidates for Secretary-General debate in the UN General Assembly hall. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Despite widespread support for the next UN Secretary-General to be a woman, female candidates have not fared as well as men in the first two so-called straw polls of UN Security Council members.
However the campaign received a small boost from UN Secretary -General Ban Ki-Moon this week when he told an Associated Press Journalist in California it is “high time” for a woman to hold his job.
By Johan Galtung*
15 August 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Money is the key: that genius innovation for storing general value and exchanging specific values according to price. Not strange, that heads of state had their faces imprinted on coins and bills.
But not on cents and euros. The EU is faceless. Brexit is not.
Coins and bills are fading; not money, capital, and its growth. Look at The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger by Greg Steinmetz, brilliantly reviewed by Martha Howell (TNYRB, 7 Apr 2016). Born in 1459, in that pivot German city Augsburg, he died in 1515, and here is how he used the system:
“Fugger expanded his business from trade and used his ability to provide ready credit in order to secure rights to productive assets, such as mines that reliably yielded returns over considerable periods of time. He made princes, in this case the Habsburgs dependent on his money. He financed their elections to the sponsorship, extended loans to pay their armies, and bribed their enemies to keep them at bay.”
Sounds familiar? Half a millennium ago. Solid. There is more to it: Continue reading