Archive for July 17th, 2012


Egypt and the ½ Revolution

By Laura Aumeer (Think Africa Press*) – In a downtown Cairo apartment, on a small grainy television screen, there is a screenshot of the crowds in Tahrir Square. Next to it, a shot of a rather smaller group of people chanting for Hosni Mubarak, which the state-run media would have the people believe, is simply a close-up of the larger crowd. Yet a brief walk away, reality beckons – Tahrir is filled with crowds demanding an end to Mubarak’s regime. There is also the army, the police, tear gas, US-made bullets and blood.

A screen-shot from ½ Revolution.

A snapshot of Egypt in 2011, this is but one scene from the documentary ½ Revolution which charts the experiences and concerns of its half-Egyptian directors Karim El-Hakim and Omar Shargawi, their families and friends during the tumultuous period.

The documentary features scenes in homes and the streets filmed on hand-held cameras up to seven days before Mubarak resigned.

The film thus shows half the revolution. But as El Hakim and Shargawi make clear, this symbolically also reflects the fact that the revolution today remains an unfinished story.

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Turnover of Global Organized Crime: $870 Billion… a Year

Human Wrongs Watch

The annual turnover of transnational organized criminal activities such as drug trafficking, counterfeiting, illegal arms trade and the smuggling of immigrants is estimated at around $870 billion, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

Screenshot from UNODC’s global awareness-raising campaign emphasizing the size and cost of transnational organized crime.

“Transnational organized crime reaches into every region, and every country across the world. Stopping this transnational threat represents one of the international community’s greatest global challenges,” said UNODC’s Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, in a news release.
“Crucial to our success is our ability to raise public awareness and generate understanding among key decision and policymakers.”The $870 billion turnover from transnational organized crime is six times the amount of official development assistance, and is comparable to 1.5 per cent of the global domestic product, or seven per cent of the world’s exports of merchandise, according to UNODC.
Drug trafficking is the most lucrative form of business for criminals, with an estimated value of $320 billion a year. Human trafficking brings in about $32 billion annually, while some estimates place the global value of smuggling of migrants at $7 billion per year, according to a UN news release on 16 June.
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