organization:international monetary fund

  • Hunger and survival in Venezuela

    The government continues to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis, blaming power failures on Venezuela’s proximity to the sun and suggesting people buy gold nuggets and plant medicinal herbs in their gardens to ward off poverty and disease.

    Inflation continues its dizzying ascent. It has reached an eye-watering 800,000 percent and is on target, according to the International Monetary Fund, to surge to 10 million percent next year – driving severe hunger, shortages of basic goods, and accelerating the exodus from the country.

    At least 2.3 million people are estimated to have fled Venezuela since 2015. One in 12 Venezuelans is now thought to have left the country.

    As those abroad build new lives where shelves are laden with food and medicine, many of those IRIN encountered during two weeks of reporting across Venezuela – from the once-thriving fishing and sugar-producing areas of Cumana and Cariaco in the east to once-opulent and wealthy Maracaibo in the west – face a daily battle for survival.

    Residents tell of children starving to death, of forming human chains to block roads to hijack trucks just to get food. They tell of hiding provisions – toilet paper even – in cemeteries, and of concealing their supplies in buckets under layers of trash.​ They tell of being prisoners in their own homes, frightened to leave for fear of looters, who don’t come for their televisions and computers – no one wants those any more – but for basic foodstuffs and medicine.

    While some Venezuelans abroad paper social media with pictures of themselves posing jubilantly in front of powdered milk and shampoo, those who remain grind guava leaves with baking soda to make deodorant, and boil ash from the fire to make soap. It leaves people “itching all day long like gorillas,” says Leidis Vallenilla, explaining how the term violin has become a euphemism for body odour. “We have a whole orchestra here,” she laughs.

    There is pride here, too.

    “The inventive part of us has really been activated,” says Vallenilla.
    The road holds secrets

    Lined with lush foliage and mango trees, dotted with the occasional home, the road from Cumana to Carupano in Venezuela’s eastern state of Sucre winds gently, every now and then rising to give a glimpse of the sea.

    Pilongo – 23-year-old José Gregorio’s nickname, acquired from a cartoon he loved as a baby – leans into the windscreen and squints, staring closely into the verges. He’s looking for vehicles hiding in the bushes, where they wait to ambush cars.

    As the crisis has deepened, so has the threat. This road is a main artery to the east; seemingly bucolic, it is one of the most dangerous in the country.

    Hunger is behind most everything here.

    Hunger was behind the widespread protests that roiled the country in 2015 and precipitated the flight of millions of Venezuelans from the country.

    Then, shortages of essential foodstuffs – milk, butter, sugar, pasta, flour, oil, rice, beef, and chicken – were estimated at 80-90 percent.

    It has only gotten worse since.

    By 2018, according to a report produced by three Venezuelan universities, only one in 10 Venezuelans could afford enough daily food. Hunger has blanketed the country.

    Cumana was once the fourth largest tuna processing town in the world. Nearby, around Caraico and Carupano, was a major sugar-producing area. Not any more. Now, people are starving.

    Government food trucks travel the road carrying President Nicolás Maduro’s signature boxes of subsidised food.

    Named CLAP – after the Spanish acronym for Local Committees for Supply and Production – Maduro rolled them out in 2016 in order, he declared, to circumvent the “economic war” being waged on Venezuela by the United States and his opponents.

    These boxes, the government claims, will feed a family of four for one week. They are supposed to be delivered once a month to all those who have signed up for the “Carnet de la Patria” – a controversial ID card that grants holders access to subsidised food.

    However, according to those who get the CLAP boxes, the food arrives spoiled or past its sell-by date, is nowhere near enough to last even a week, and never comes more than, if you’re lucky, once every six weeks. Around Cumana, seven hours east of the capital Caracas, people say the boxes arrive once every three to four months.

    Pilongo, Vallenilla, and other locals say the trucks still barrel through here daily – in convoys of as many as 40 – laden with precious food and never stopping for angered, hungry people. They recall how people started coating the road with oil so the trucks would skid into a ditch and then everyone would swarm around and loot them.

    “A population which is not well fed become thieves and will steal any food no matter what.”

    When the truck drivers wised up and took a diversion, people got metal strips with sharp teeth and laid them across the other road. Tires would blow out and trucks would still be looted. When the National Guard came and confiscated the metal strips, the community protested that they belonged to them. After a fight, the mayor agreed and returned the strips.

    As hunger grew around the country so did the number of incidents like these, leading Maduro to issue an edict that armed National Guards must accompany the government food trucks. This has given greater license to the much-feared National Guard, who locals accuse of being behind the bodies they say have been turning up on nearby beaches.

    The threat hasn’t stopped people. They just choose different trucks.

    “Malnutrition is the mother of the whole problem,” says Pilingo’s former teacher, Fernando Battisti Garcia, 64, talking from his home in the town of Muelle de Cariaco. “A population which is not well fed become thieves and will steal any food no matter what.”

    People call it “the Maduro diet”.

    “As soon as people see a big truck coming with supplies,” explains Pilingo, “they go into the street – men, women, even children – and stop the truck and take the supplies.”

    It happened just a few days ago, he says, adding that the National Guard has begun searching people’s houses and if they find anything – food, toilet paper, supplies – they take you to jail.

    So people have started hiding the goods in tombs in cemeteries, or lowering them in buckets into water tanks.

    “Everyone is just so desperate,” Pilingo shrugs.

    With their erratic and infrequent delivery of meagre, often spoiled goods, CLAP boxes have done little to address hunger. What they have done, however, is line the pockets – and secure the loyalty – of military and government officials.

    The US treasury estimates as much as 70 percent of the CLAP programme is victim to corruption, while accusations of military and government officials siphoning off millions of dollars and creating a lucrative food trafficking business and thriving black market have led to sanctions and intensifying international scrutiny.

    The CLAP boxes have also succeeded in creating dependency. As inflation continues to spiral upwards and poverty escalates – jumping from 81.8 to 87 percent between 2016 and 2017 – more and more desperate people have become reliant on them to supplement their impoverished diets. In 2018, one in two Venezuelans say CLAP boxes are an “essential” part of their diet, while 83 percent of pro-Maduro voters say that CLAP is their main source of food.
    Malaria and death

    Vallenilla, 60, sits in a folding chair in her shop on the main road passing through Cerezal, a town of 1,000. Dozens of the colourful fabric dolls she makes and sells bob overhead hung from the ceiling, but she admits it has been a long time since she has had any customers.

    It has been a long time too since anyone around here has been able to get any medicine. And it has been even longer since people had enough food.

    “We have lost a lot of kids here to malaria and hepatitis,” says Vallenilla. “You can see people whose eyes and lips have turned orange. But worst of all is malnutrition. Malnourished children are dying here – yes, in my community they are starving to death.

    “The vice-president (Delcy Rodríguez) says there is enough food to feed three countries the size of Venezuela, but the truth is the malnourished kids, the elderly – that is what is real; that is what is the truth.”

    Vallenilla nods across the street where a rail-thin woman is sitting in her doorway. “That woman used to weigh 230 pounds,” she confides. She gestures down the street. “And a woman lost her three-year-old to malnutrition last week, a few streets down….”

    But those women won’t talk about it, says Vallenilla. No one here speaks out, she says. Everyone is scared; scared of losing their CLAP box; scared of the bodies turning up; scared of the repercussions of being identified through the Carnet de la Patria; scared of being reported to Maduro’s security forces; scared full stop.

    “The vice-president (Delcy Rodríguez) says there is enough food to feed three countries the size of Venezuela, but the truth is the malnourished kids, the elderly – that is what is real; that is what is the truth.”

    But Vallenilla isn’t scared. She is angry.

    “About two months ago, malaria was in fashion here – everyone here was trembling from fever,” she seethes, fury rising in her voice. “We had to block the road for two days. We made a trembling chain of people just to force the government to bring us treatment.”

    But even then, the government didn’t bring the full treatment. They brought only half a dose. Half treatments mean malaria will recur. Half treatments risk mosquitos building immunity. Half treatment is the best anyone can hope for these days across Venezuela. And, if they even get that, they can consider themselves lucky.

    “This is why people die,” Vallenilla bellows. “How can you play with people’s health like that? Kids’ health? It is inhuman!

    ‘‘The most sacred thing is your child. Having to put your child in the ground, having your child die? It is the worst thing. How must a mother feel?”

    Her brown eyes glare under the placid smiles of her handmade dolls overhead.

    “I cannot change my feelings – I will not change my feelings for a bone!’ she says. “No matter how many bones they throw to me, I will not be silenced!’

    Vallenilla’s thin neighbour across the street shrinks into the shadows at the sound of the raised voice.

    “This is like a curse, a spell cast on the population,” Vallenilla sighs.
    Electrocution and amputation

    On a sunny Saturday afternoon, there is not a soul to be seen in Cariaco, a town of supposedly 22,000 souls in the east of Venezuela. It is eerily empty. Shops are shuttered and there is no one visible behind the fences barricading the single-storey pastel houses topped with several rows of electrified wires.

    ‘‘You used to be able to walk anywhere, anytime,’’ Pilingo reminisces.

    No more. People are home. They all say they just don’t dare leave their homes for fear they will get broken into when they go out. Vallenilla says she even slaughtered her 17 ducks as she knew they would be taken otherwise.

    The night before, someone had broken into a local house just to steal some clothes.

    “Hunger is taking over in most towns,” Garcia, the former teacher, observes. ‘‘If people have the possibility of one or two meals in a day, they consider it like providence.”

    “People go too long without food,” Leidis concurs. “You can’t blame them looting and hijacking.”

    The consequences are showing up in unexpected ways.

    Music blares from speakers mounted on a flatbed truck as it drives slowly through the small village of Pantonó, leading a young crowd surrounding a wooden coffin hoisted high by the cluster of men carrying it.

    This is the funeral of a 13-year-old boy, a member of the local baseball team who was electrocuted when he tried to go through an electrified fence in the rain – it is thought, to find food.

    There were virtually no cases of electrocution before the crisis, says Dr. Dora Colomenares, a surgeon at University Hospital in Maracaibo. Now it is a common occurrence as people breach electric fences hunting for food, medicine, and electricity sources to wire off to their homes.

    An unprecedented number of children are also arriving at hospital with broken bones. Doctors told IRIN many injuries were hungry children left alone by parents to go out searching day in and day out for food and medicine, even children who had fallen out of fruit trees they had scaled ever higher searching for something to eat.

    This desperation is also reflected in the thriving business of herb selling, as people across the country turn to traditional remedies in the absence of standard medicine.

    Louisa Lopez, 54, the lone vendor in her row, is packing up the medicinal herbs and leaves she sells. Slits of light coming through the corrugated roof dapple the darkness, bouncing off empty stalls in nearby Cariaco market hall.

    Lopez didn’t have this business before the crisis, but when medicine became scarce she anticipated that people would turn to traditional and homemade remedies. After doing her research on the internet, she set up a stall.

    Her instinct has proven spot on. “Business,” she smiles, “is booming.”

    But so is death.

    Needless, pointless, avoidable. Deaths that would have been unimaginable even five years ago.

    One man in Cumana is eager to talk but fearful of losing his job and CLAP box for speaking out. He asks that his real name not be used and steps inside his pastel-coloured home, where a framed photo of a middle-aged man is sat shrine-like under a vase of lilies atop a decorative lace tablecloth on a round table.

    This, he explains, was his uncle “Alberto M” – a chef. He had died two weeks earlier of hypertension and diabetes, a failure of herbal medicine. The man picks up the photo and studies it in silence. His uncle’s warm smile and kind eyes beam back, blissfully unaware of the fate that would needlessly, avoidably befall him.

    “There is a death daily around here,” says the man, placing the photo back on the table before reeling off a list of recent deaths in the neighbourhood: children from malnutrition; a mother and her unborn baby – more failures of herbal medicine – dead from a urine infection; a brother-in-law, shot, his family charges, by the police and whose body washed up on a nearby shore.

    “But,” he says after a long pause, “we don’t even have coffins. The morgue is stacked high with dead bodies as people can’t find coffins.”

    He explains how people have taken to bringing the body home and praying it doesn’t explode – as happened the week before just down the street – before they find a way to bury it.
    Depression and anger

    This endless struggle just to survive exacts a huge emotional toll.

    “You see people who walk around feeling betrayed, with low spirits, sad – many who don’t want to live, because of the issue of food,” says Garcia, shaking this head, his eyes sad.

    “The biggest psychiatric problem in the world is in Venezuela,” says Colomenares, the surgeon in Maracaibo. “Why? Because there are many depressed people, people who have lost hope. Melancholy and all these things mix with the problems the people are already going through, and they don’t know how to cope with it.”

    Yet, as more and more people are driven to the brink, psychiatric wards are closing. The number of people attended to in public psychiatric facilities has dropped from 23,000 to 3,500 and those that are still working have neither food nor medicines, according to a report published by the Cuatro Por Venezuela Foundation in September.

    Suicide has surged throughout the country.

    Official statistics are hard to come by, but a psychiatric nurse at a large eastern hospital whispers in confidence, scared of losing his job for speaking out, that in his ward alone there were 10 suicides between January and July this year. By comparison, in 2017, there were only three or four. Before then, there were virtually none, he says.

    Venezuelan children’s rights group CECODAP released a study that reported an 18 percent rise from 2017 in adolescents committing suicide in 2018, while Bloomberg found there were 131 suicides in Caracas alone in June and July, a large increase on the normal monthly rate.

    Anger is growing at the seeming indifference of Maduro and his government – a government that refuses to acknowledge the scale of death and sickness of its own citizens.

    "How can you not curse the government straight out? This damn government! This damn government!”

    "I insist here there is no humanitarian crisis; there is a war on the country,” Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Constituent Assembly, said last month, before claiming: “Those who speak of humanitarian crisis are the ones who have created war against our country.”

    Over a lunch of thin soup at his mission in the west of Venezuela, Friar Nelson Sandoval describes the scene in the summer when his whole village was overcome by malaria and there was no medicine. “It was like an apocalyptic film where people were so desperate; they were literally in the street having convulsions.”

    He pounds his fist on the table. “How can you not curse the government straight out? How terrible it is when the electricity is out; when you’re hungry and yet food gets spoiled; when you’re tired as you couldn’t sleep as it was too hot? How do you give Mass? How can you not curse the government straight out? This damn government! This damn government!”

    Emails to the government media department and the Minister of Information for comment on the widespread hunger, the hijacking of food trucks, and the lack of medicines were unanswered at time of publication.

    https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/11/21/hunger-and-survival-venezuela
    #survie #crise #Venezuela #faim #alimentation #malnutrition


  • Egypt. 2 years after the loan agreement: What the IMF failed to anticipate | MadaMasr

    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/11/22/feature/economy/2-years-after-the-loan-agreement-what-the-imf-failed-to-anticipate

    On November 11, 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Egyptian government finalized a US$12 billion loan agreement tied to an economic reform plan that included a series of austerity measures and the liberalization of the Egyptian pound.

    At the time, Egypt was facing a shortage in foreign currency reserves, and both the IMF and the Egyptian authorities made optimistic forecasts about the future of the Egyptian economy under the new economic program.

    Two years later, the crisis in foreign currency reserves has largely been alleviated and the IMF’s growth targets appear to be on track. Yet those achievements have been offset by soaring rates of inflation and foreign debt, along with the plummeting purchasing power of the local currency. Meanwhile, fuel subsidies, which were meant to be reduced to alleviate the government budget — a specific goal of the economic program — have instead increased as a result of the devaluation of the pound.

    A number of these unanticipated challenges now facing the Egyptian economy are highlighted in a new report by the investment bank Shuaa Capital, which was issued to its clients several days ago and of which Mada Masr has obtained a copy.


  • MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT FRENCH BLURAY 1080P 2018


    https://www.cpasbien18.xyz/20398-mission-impossible-fallout-french-bluray-1080p-2018.html
    Les meilleures intentions finissent souvent par se retourner contre vous… Dans MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, Ethan Hunt accompagné de son équipe de l’IMF – Impossible Mission Force et de quelques fidèles alliées sont lancés dans une course contre la montre, suite au terrible échec d’une mission.


  • MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT VOSTFR WEBRIP 720P 2018


    https://www.cpasbien9.site/20226-mission-impossible-fallout-vostfr-webrip-720p-2018.html
    Les meilleures intentions finissent souvent par se retourner contre vous… Dans MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, Ethan Hunt accompagné de son équipe de l’IMF – Impossible Mission Force et de quelques fidèles alliées sont lancés dans une course contre la montre, suite au terrible échec d’une mission.


  • How Crypto Charities and Businesses are Helping Venezuelans Beat Hyperinflation
    https://hackernoon.com/how-crypto-charities-and-businesses-are-helping-venezuelans-beat-hyperin

    Demand for #bitcoin continues to rise in Venezuela, with trading volumes in October 2018 reaching a record high of 853 million bolivars. This trend isn’t new; Bitcoin trading in the Latin American country has been steadily growing since mid-2017. Cryptocurrency exchanges like CoinCola provide a fast and secure way for local citizens to buy Bitcoin, Dash and other altcoins.What has caused this surge in crypto trading? The Venezuelan economy has been severely impacted by the bolivar’s drastic inflation, which the IMF estimates may reach a million percent by the end of 2018. With many Venezuelans now unable to afford food and medicine, local citizens are looking for an alternative means of exchange. Cryptocurrencies offer a relatively more stable store of value and provide a more efficient (...)

    #technology #digital-currency #blockchain #business



  • Indonesia: The World Bank’s Failed East Asian Miracle | The Oakland Institute
    https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/indonesia-world-bank-failed-east-asian-miracle

    Indonesia, host of the 2018 annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), for years has been heralded as a major economic success by the Bank and rewarded for its pro-business policy changes through the World Bank’s Doing Business reports. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, Indonesia climbed an astounding 34 positions in the ranks. These reforms, however, have come at a massive cost for both people and the planet.

    Indonesia: The World Bank’s Failed East Asian Miracle details how Bank-backed policy reforms have led to the displacement, criminalization, and even murder of smallholder farmers and indigenous defenders to make way for mega-agricultural projects. While Indonesia’s rapidly expanding palm oil sector has been heralded as a boon for the economy, its price tag includes massive deforestation, widespread loss of indigenous land, rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

    #Indonésie #Banque_mondiale #industrie_palmiste #terres #assassinats


  • IMF’s New Chief Economist Is a Great Choice
    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-10-01/gita-gopinath-is-the-right-choice-for-imf-chief-economist


    New thinking at the IMF.
    Photographer: Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images

    Having followed Gita Gopinath’s work closely for several years, I am delighted the International Monetary Fund appointed her to head its influential research department as chief economist.

    Gopinath, a professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, brings expertise, insights and cognitive diversity to the IMF. Her appointment comes at an important time, as the fund seeks to evolve its thinking and practices to better reflect realities on the ground, particularly the two-way causal relationship between macroeconomic and financial issues.


  • Egypt
    Opium or coffee? Islam and its relevance in hard times | MadaMasr
    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/07/17/opinion/u/opium-or-coffee-islam-and-its-relevance-in-hard-times

    Karl Marx hated organized and institutionalized religion. Of all his economic and political thoughts, his words equating religion with opium are some of the most notorious: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” He believed that religion has certain practical uses, much like a recreational, mind-numbing substance; that it has the potential to reduce the immediate suffering of those who are sick or injured, providing them with more pleasant illusions. But he also observed that it reduces their energy and willingness to confront the oppressive, heartless and soulless reality that capitalism forces people into.

     It feels like everyone in Egypt has been put through a social and psychological grinder ever since the Egyptian government began to enact the IMF’s loan policies. Catastrophic inflation rates reached as high as 30 percent in July 2017, another wave of price hikes in electricity, fuel, gas and water are affecting nearly all other services, and there was a recent 300 percent increase in metro ticket prices. More than a quarter of Egyptians barely hover above the poverty line, and another quarter is quickly sinking into destitution. Given this, what role does and can religion play in people’s lives?

    In a country with a conservative religious culture, and for a people who call themselves “naturally religious,” religion cannot be the mind-numbing narcotic that Marx imagined. It is too entwined in the social fabric and the historic national identity to have any such effect. If religion were indeed a drug, Egyptians would have developed a tolerance to its mechanism of action a long time ago. Neither can it be an agent for anchoring self-blame and personal salvation, or purely restricted to charity. After all, people can’t survive on prayer alone. It also cannot be used as a tool to blame the masses for these dire conditions, much to the dismay of the ruling elite.

    Surely, it would take a much stronger concoction of narcotics than religion alone to deny the impact of the IMF’s infamous prescription and our state’s economic policies?


  • The Rise and Fall of the Latin American Left | The Nation
    https://www.thenation.com/article/the-ebb-and-flow-of-latin-americas-pink-tide

    Conservatives now control Latin America’s leading economies, but the region’s leftists can still look to Uruguay for direction.
    By Omar G. Encarnación, May 9, 2018

    Last December’s election of Sebastián Piñera, of the National Renewal party, to the Chilean presidency was doubly significant for Latin American politics. Coming on the heels of the rise of right-wing governments in Argentina in 2015 and Brazil in 2016, Piñera’s victory signaled an unmistakable right-wing turn for the region. For the first time since the 1980s, when much of South America was governed by military dictatorship, the continent’s three leading economies are in the hands of right-wing leaders.

    Piñera’s election also dealt a blow to the resurrection of the Latin American left in the post–Cold War era. In the mid-2000s, at the peak of the so-called Pink Tide (a phrase meant to suggest the surge of leftist, noncommunist governments), Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia, or three-quarters of South America’s population (some 350 million people), were under left-wing rule. By the time the Pink Tide reached the mini-state of Mexico City, in 2006, and Nicaragua, a year later (culminating in the election of Daniel Ortega as president there), it was a region-wide phenomenon.

    It’s no mystery why the Pink Tide ran out of steam; even before the Chilean election, Mexican political scientist Jorge Castañeda had already declared it dead in The New York Times. Left-wing fatigue is an obvious factor. It has been two decades since the late Hugo Chávez launched the Pink Tide by toppling the political establishment in the 1998 Venezuelan presidential election. His Bolivarian revolution lives on in the hands of his handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro, but few Latin American governments regard Venezuela’s ravaged economy and diminished democratic institutions as an inspiring model. In Brazil, the Workers’ Party, or PT, was in power for 14 years, from 2002 through 2016, first under its founder, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, between 2003 and 2011, and then under his successor and protégée, Dilma Rousseff, from 2011 to 2016. The husband-and-wife team of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of the Peronist Party governed Argentina from 2003 to 2015. Socialist Michelle Bachelet had two nonconsecutive terms in office in Chile, from 2006 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018.

    Economic turmoil and discontent is another culprit. As fate would have it, the Pink Tide coincided with one of the biggest economic expansions in Latin American history. Its engine was one of the largest commodities booms in modern times. Once the boom ended, in 2012—largely a consequence of a slowdown in China’s economy—economic growth in Latin America screeched to a halt. According to the International Monetary Fund, since 2012 every major Latin American economy has underperformed relative to the previous 10 years, with some economies, including that of Brazil, the region’s powerhouse, experiencing their worst recession in decades. The downturn reined in public spending and sent the masses into the streets, making it very difficult for governments to hang on to power.

    Meanwhile, as the commodity boom filled states’ coffers, leftist politicians became enmeshed in the same sorts of corrupt practices as their conservative predecessors. In April, Lula began serving a 12-year prison sentence for having accepted bribes in exchange for government contracts while in office. His prosecution, which in principle guarantees that he will not be a candidate in this year’s presidential race, was the high point of Operation Car Wash, the biggest anti-corruption dragnet in Brazilian history. Just after leaving office, in 2015, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was indicted for fraud for conspiring with her former public-works secretary, José López, to steal millions of federal dollars intended for roadwork in Argentina. The “nuns and guns” scandal riveted the country, with the arrest of a gun-toting López as he hurled bags stuffed with millions of dollars over the walls of a Catholic convent in a suburb of Buenos Aires. In Chile, Bachelet left office under a cloud of suspicion. Her family, and by extension Bachelet herself, is accused of illegal real-estate transactions that netted millions of dollars.

    All this said, largely overlooked in obituaries of the Pink Tide is the right-wing backlash that it provoked. This backlash aimed to reverse the shift in power brought on by the Pink Tide—a shift away from the power brokers that have historically controlled Latin America, such as the military, the Catholic Church, and the oligarchy, and toward those sectors of society that have been marginalized: women, the poor, sexual minorities, and indigenous peoples. Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016 perfectly exemplifies the retaliation organized by the country’s traditional elites. Engineered by members of the Brazilian Congress, a body that is only 11 percent female and has deep ties to industrial barons, rural oligarchs, and powerful evangelical pastors, the impeachment process was nothing short of a patriarchal coup.

    In a 2017 interview, Rousseff made note of the “very misogynist element in the coup against me.… They accused me of being overly tough and harsh, while a man would have been considered firm, strong. Or they would say I was too emotional and fragile, when a man would have been considered sensitive.” In support of her case, Rousseff pointed out that previous Brazilian presidents committed the same “crime” she was accused of (fudging the national budget to hide deficits at reelection time), without any political consequence. As if to underscore the misogyny, Rousseff’s successor, Michel Temer, came into office with an all-male cabinet.

    In assessing the impact of the Pink Tide, there is a tendency to bemoan its failure to generate an alternative to neoliberalism. After all, the Pink Tide rose out of the discontent generated by the economic policies championed by the United States and international financial institutions during the 1990s, such as privatizations of state enterprises, austerity measures, and ending economic protectionism. Yet capitalism never retreated in most of Latin America, and US economic influence remains for the most part unabated. The only significant dent on the neoliberal international order made by the Pink Tide came in 2005, when a massive wave of political protests derailed the George W. Bush administration’s plan for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA. If enacted, this new trade pact would have extended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to all countries in the Americas save for Cuba, or 34 nations in total.

    But one shouldn’t look at the legacy of the Pink Tide only through the lens of what might have been with respect to replacing neoliberalism and defeating US imperialism. For one thing, a good share of the Pink Tide was never anti-neoliberal or anti-imperialist. Left-wing rule in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile (what Castañeda called the “good left”) had more in common with the social-democratic governments of Western Europe, with its blend of free-market economics and commitment to the welfare state, than with Cuba’s Communist regime.

    Indeed, only in the radical fringe of the Pink Tide, especially the triumvirate of Chávez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador (the “bad left,” according to Castañeda), was the main thrust of governance anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist. Taking Cuba as a model, these self-termed revolutionaries nationalized large sectors of the economy, reinvigorated the role of the state in redistributing wealth, promoted social services to the poor, and created interstate institutions, such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, or ALBA, to promote inter-American collaboration and to challenge US hegemony.

    Second, the focus on neoliberalism and US imperialism obscures the Pink Tide’s biggest accomplishments. To be sure, the picture is far from being uniformly pretty, especially when it comes to democracy. The strong strand of populism that runs through the Pink Tide accounts for why some of its leaders have been so willing to break democratic norms. Claiming to be looking after the little guy, the likes of Chávez and Maduro have circumvented term limits and curtailed the independence of the courts and the press. But there is little doubt that the Pink Tide made Latin America more inclusive, equitable, and democratic, by, among other things, ushering in an unprecedented era of social progressivism.

    Because of the Pink Tide, women in power are no longer a novelty in Latin American politics; in 2014, female presidents ruled in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Their policies leave little doubt about the transformative nature of their leadership. In 2010, Fernández boldly took on the Argentine Catholic Church (then headed by present-day Pope Francis) to enact Latin America’s first ever same-sex marriage law; this was five years before same-sex marriage became the law of the land in the United States. A gender-identity law, one of the world’s most liberal, followed. It allows individuals to change their sex assigned at birth without permission from either a doctor or a judge. Yet another law banned the use of “conversion therapy” to cure same-sex attraction. Argentina’s gay-rights advances were quickly emulated by neighboring Uruguay and Brazil, kick-starting a “gay-rights revolution” in Latin America.

    Rousseff, who famously referred to herself with the gender-specific title of a presidenta, instead of the gender-neutral “president,” did much to advance the status of women in Brazilian society. She appointed women to the three most powerful cabinet positions, including chief of staff, and named the first female head of Petrobras, Brazil’s largest business corporation; during her tenure in office, a woman became chief justice of the Federal Supreme Court. Brutally tortured by the military during the 1970s, as a university student, Rousseff put human rights at the center of Brazilian politics by enacting a law that created Brazil’s first ever truth commission to investigate the abuses by the military between 1964 and 1985. She also signed laws that opened the Brazilian Army to women and that set into motion the corruption campaign that is currently roiling the Brazilian political class. These laws earned Rousseff the enmity of the military and conservatives.

    Bachelet, the last woman standing, made news when she entered office, in 2006, by naming the same number of men and women to her cabinet. After being term-limited, she became the first head of the newly established UN Women (formally known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), before returning to Chile to win a second term at the presidency in 2014. During her second term, she created the Ministry of Gender Equality to address gender disparities and discrimination, and passed a law that legalized abortion in cases of rape, when there is a threat to the life of the mother, or when the fetus has a terminal condition. Less known is Bachelet’s advocacy for the environment. She weaned Chile off its dependence on hydrocarbons by building a vast network of solar- and wind-powered grids that made electricity cheaper and cleaner. She also created a vast system of national parks to protect much of the country’s forestland and coastline from development.

    Latin America’s socioeconomic transformation under the Pink Tide is no less impressive. Just before the economic downturn of 2012, Latin America came tantalizingly close to becoming a middle-class region. According to the World Bank, from 2002 to 2012, the middle class in Latin America grew every year by at least 1 percent to reach 35 percent of the population by 2013. This means that during that time frame, some 10 million Latin Americans joined the middle class every year. A consequence of this dramatic expansion of the middle class is a significant shrinking of the poor. Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of Latin Americans living in poverty (under $4 per day) shrank from 45 to 25 percent.

    Economic growth alone does not explain this extraordinary expansion of the Latin American middle class and the massive reduction in poverty: Deliberate efforts by the government to redistribute wealth were also a key factor. Among these, none has garnered more praise than those implemented by the Lula administration, especially Bolsa Família, or Family Purse. The program channeled direct cash payments to poor families, as long as they agreed to keep their children in school and to attend regular health checkups. By 2013, the program had reached some 12 million households (50 million people), helping cut extreme poverty in Brazil from 9.7 to 4.3 percent of the population.

    Last but not least are the political achievements of the Pink Tide. It made Latin America the epicenter of left-wing politics in the Global South; it also did much to normalize democratic politics in the region. With its revolutionary movements crushed by military dictatorship, it is not surprising that the Latin American left was left for dead after the end of the Cold War. But since embracing democracy, the left in Latin America has moderated its tactics and beliefs while remaining committed to the idea that deliberate state action powered by the popular will is critical to correcting injustice and alleviating human suffering. Its achievements are a welcome antidote to the cynicism about democratic politics afflicting the American left.

    How the epoch-making legacy of the Pink Tide will fare in the hands of incoming right-wing governments is an open question. Some of the early signs are not encouraging. The Temer administration in Brazil has shown a decidedly retro-macho attitude, as suggested by its abolishment of the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality, and Human Rights (its functions were collapsed into the Ministry of Justice) and its close ties to a politically powerful evangelical movement with a penchant for homophobia. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macri has launched a “Trumpian” assault on undocumented immigrants from Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru, blaming them for bringing crime and drugs into the country. Some political observers expect that Piñera will abridge or overturn Chile’s new abortion law.

    But there is reason for optimism. Temer and Macri have been slow to dismantle anti-poverty programs, realizing that doing so would be political suicide. This is hardly surprising, given the success of those programs. Right-wing governments have even seen fit to create anti-poverty programs of their own, such as Mexico’s Prospera. Moreover, unlike with prior ascents by the right in Latin America, the left is not being vanished to the political wilderness. Left-wing parties remain a formidable force in the legislatures of most major Latin American countries. This year alone, voters in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia will have presidential elections, raising the prospect that a new Pink Tide might be rising. Should this new tide come in, the Latin American left would do well to reform its act and show what it has learned from its mistakes.

    Latin American leftists need not look far to find a model to emulate: Uruguay. It exemplifies the best of the Pink Tide without its excesses. Frente Amplio, or Broad Front, a coalition of left-wing parties in power since 2005, has put the country at the vanguard of social change by legalizing abortion, same-sex marriage, and, most famously, recreational marijuana. For these reasons alone, in 2013 The Economist chose “liberal and fun-loving” Uruguay for its first ever “country of the year” award.

    Less known accomplishments include being one of only two countries in Latin America that enjoy the status of “high income” (alongside Chile), reducing poverty from around 40 percent to less than 12 percent from 2005 to 2014, and steering clear of corruption scandals. According to Transparency International, Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America, and ranks among the world’s 25 least corrupt nations. The country also scored a near perfect 100 in Freedom House’s 2018 ranking of civil and political freedoms, virtually tied with Canada, and far ahead of the United States and neighboring Argentina and Brazil. The payoff for this much virtue is hard to ignore. Among Latin American nations, no other country shows more satisfaction with its democracy.

    Omar G. EncarnaciónOmar G. Encarnación is a professor of political studies at Bard College and author of Out in the Periphery: Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution.

    #politique #amérique_latine #impérialisme


  • Egypt : Government hikes fuel prices by up to 66.7% | MadaMasr
    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/06/16/news/economy/government-hikes-fuel-prices-by-up-to-66-7

    The government raised fuel prices at 9 am on Saturday morning by as much as 66.67 percent, according to Saturday’s edition of the Official Gazette. The move comes as part of the 2016 structural readjustment program agreed on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and amid rising international oil prices.

    Among the hikes introduced on Saturday morning, the second largest increases were levied on diesel and 80 octane fuel prices, which are used in microbuses and trucks. This will have a pronounced impact on low-income groups and overall inflation levels.

    The greatest increase comes with the rise in prices of LPG cylinders used in households and some commercial outlets as an alternative to gas. The price of 95 octane and 92 octane fuel — used by private car owners — saw the lowest increase.


  • #cryptocurrency Regulation Update (June 2018)
    https://hackernoon.com/cryptocurrency-regulation-update-june-2018-7251face1ad2?source=rss----3a

    This piece is part of a monthly series covering regulatory updates related to cryptocurrencies (here are the updates from March, April, and May). Although prices have come down in recent months, recent statements from regulators reflect a deeper acknowledgement of the technology underlying cryptocurrencies and their future potential (in particular, the comments from the IMF). This piece provides important regulatory updates since the May piece, broken down by developments in the United States and the rest of the world.United StatesIMF’s “Monetary Policy in the Digital Age” Acknowledges Appeal of Cryptoassets (June 3rd): In a positive statement, the IMF acknowledged the appeal of cryptoassets. Indeed, the subtitle of the piece is “Crypto assets may one day reduce demand for central bank (...)

    #bitcoin #cryptocurrency-regulation #investing #blockchain


  • The Long Road to #blockchain Adoption Might be Getting Shorter
    https://hackernoon.com/the-long-road-to-blockchain-adoption-might-be-getting-shorter-b5d01a6ed6

    image source: PexelsIn September last year, Christina Lagarde, the head of IMF, gave an incredible speech about Central Banking and Fintech in a Bank of England Conference in London. The most notable theme in the presentation was the role of virtual currencies and their place in disrupting the traditional financial systems as we know them.According to Lagarde, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are offering to solve existing problems and therefore mainstream finance should not take them lightly. However, she notes that the mass adoption of the digital currencies is still far from realization given that they are too volatile, highly energy intensive and blockchain- the technology behind them is still not yet scalable. There is also an issue with regulation, with governments across the (...)

    #payment-systems #blockchain-adoption #blockchain-technology #payment-processing


  • #OGM - Mensonges et vérités

    La #controverse entre pro-OGM (organismes génétiquement modifiés) et anti-OGM rend le débat passionnel et parfois incompréhensible. Ce tour d’horizon mondial démêle le vrai du faux, preuves scientifiques à l’appui.

    Depuis plus de vingt ans, les OGM (organismes génétiquement modifiés), en particulier les plantes, ne cessent de s’étendre sur la planète, dans le but d’améliorer les rendements de soja, maïs, coton, colza, riz, etc. Dix pays, sur les vingt-huit qui en cultivent, représentent, à eux seuls, 98 % de la superficie mondiale des cultures transgéniques – soit 11 % des terres cultivées –, essentiellement sur le continent américain, le sous-continent indien et en Chine. Aux États-Unis, où les premières plantations de soja transgénique ont été introduites en 1996, les OGM représentent environ 90 % des cultures de soja, de maïs et de coton. Selon leurs défenseurs, ils sont indispensables pour répondre aux besoins d’une population en forte croissance. C’est l’argument du géant du secteur, le semencier américain Monsanto, qui produit aussi le célèbre Roundup, un herbicide total dont la substance active, le glyphosate, épargne les plantes OGM.


    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/057483-000-A/ogm-mensonges-et-verites

    #film #documentaire #reportage #vidéo
    #BT #maïs_BT #rentabilité #TH #soja #Roundup #USA #Etats-Unis #monoculture #agriculture #élevage #Argentine #Monsanto #pommes_De_terre #risques #génie_génétique #toxine_BT #pesticides #industrie_agro-alimentaire #glyphosate #herbicide #super_mauvaises_herbes #darwinisme #soja_roundup_ready #atrazin #business #santé #cancer #Mexique #propriété_intellectuelle #brevets #Percy_Schmeiser #sécurité_alimentaire #Ghana #malformation_congénitale #justice #biodiversité

    #USAID (qui lie #aide_au_développement et utilisation de OGM dans le pays qui va recevoir l’aide)

    #Gates_Foundation (qui finance des tests de plantes OGM au Ghana)

    #biotechnologie_agricole #coton #Bukina_Faso #coton_BT #Sofitex #rendements #Geocoton #Roundup_Ready_Flex_Cotton #néo-colonialisme

    #MON810 #maïs_MON810 #riz_doré #riz #Philippines #golden_rice #Syngenta #technologie #dengue #oxitec #moustiques_transgéniques #AGM #animaux_génétiquement_modifiés

    • Une ONG présentée dans le film, au Ghana :
      #Food_sovereignty_ghana

      Food Sovereignty Ghana is a grass-roots movement of Ghanaians, home and abroad, dedicated to the promotion of food sovereignty in Ghana. Our group believes in the collective control over our collective resources, rather than the control of our resources by multinational corporations and other foreign entities. This movement is a product of Special Brainstorming Session meeting on the 21st of March, 2013, at the Accra Freedom Centre. The meeting was in response to several calls by individuals who have been discussing, writing, or tweeting, about the increasing phenomenon of land grabs, the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right, water privatization issues, deforestation, climate change, carbon trading and Africa’s atmospheric space, and in particular, the urgent issue of the introduction of GM food technology into our agriculture, particularly, its implications on food sovereignty, sustainable development, biodiversity, and the integrity of our food and water resources, human and animal health, and our very existence as a politically independent people. These calls insisted that these issues need to be comprehensively addressed in a systematic and an organized manner.

      Foremost in these calls was the need for a comprehensive agricultural policy that respects the multi-functional roles played by agriculture in our daily lives, and resists the avaricious calculations behind the proposition that food is just another commodity or component for international agribusiness. The trade in futures or speculation involving food have pushed food prices beyond the reach of almost a billion of people in the world who go to bed, each day, hungry. Even though we have have doubled the amount of food to feed everybody in the world today, people still don’t have access to food. The primary cause of this is the neo-liberal agenda of the imperialists, such as the SAP, EPA, AGOA, TRIPS, AoA, AFSNA, AGRA, which have the focus on marginalising the small family farm agriculture that continues to feed over 80% of Africa and replacing them with governance structures, agreements and practices that depend on and promote unsustainable and inequitable international trade and give power to remote and unaccountable corporations.

      We came together in order to help turn a new leaf. We see a concerted effort, over the years, to distort our agriculture to such an extent that today, our very survival as a free and independent people crucially depend on how fast we are able to apply the breaks, and to rather urgently promote policies that focus on food for people, and value our local food providers, the arduous role of the resilient small family farm for thousands of years. We need to resist imperialist policies such as the Structural Adjustment Programmes of the World Bank and the IMF which rolled away 30 years of gains towards food sovereignty in the 1970s and 80s. Those African countries that graduated from the SAP were subsequently slammed with HIPIC. In all these years, the imperialist countries fortified their agricultural production with heavy government subsidies, as Africa saw the imposition of stringent conditionality removing all government subsidies on our own agriculture. The effect has been a destruction of our local food production capacity and a dependence on corporations for our daily food needs. This has had a devastating effect on Africa’s agriculture, and our ability to feed ourselves.

      We believe that a proper analysis of the food crisis is a matter that cannot be left with trade negotiators, investment experts, or agricultural engineers. It is essentially a matter of political economy. As Jean Ziegler succinctly puts it, “Every child who dies of hunger in today’s world has been murdered.” Our Food Under Our Control! is determined to make sure that such a crime becomes impossible in Ghana. Our number one mission is to switch the language from food security to food sovereignty as the goal, to repeat the words food sovereignty at every opportunity and say we don’t want food security, that can still be dependence, we want food sovereignty, we need food sovereignty. This is not the same as “food security”. A country can have food security through food imports. Dependence on food imports is precarious and prone to multiple risks — from price risks, to supply risks, to conditionality risks (policy conditions that come with food imports). Food sovereignty, on the other hand, implies ensuring domestic production and supply of food. It means that the nationals of the country (or at the very least nationals within the region) must primarily be responsible for ensuring that the nation and the region are first and foremost dependent on their own efforts and resources to grow their basic foods.

      Aims and objectives:

      1. To help promote the people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and to generally ensure the priority of domestic food crops produced by small farms over export crops.

      2. To help create mass awareness about the political, economic, health and environmental impacts of genetically modified food technology and defend the right of the people to define their own food and agricultural systems.

      3. To help ensure small farms are sustained by state provision and facilitation of necessary infrastructure: Security of land tenure, Water, Financial credit, Energy, Fertilizers, Transport, Storage, Extension service, Marketing, Technology and Equipment for production, harvesting, storage and transport, and Insurance against crop failures due to climate changes, or other unforeseen circumstances.

      4. To help resist the theft, destruction, and loss of the Commons, our natural and indigenous resources, by means of laws, commercial contracts and intellectual property rights regimes, and to generally serve as the watch-dog over all aspects of agricultural sustainability in Ghana.

      5. To help protect and preserve public access to and ownership of the Commons: Water, Land, Air, Seeds, Energy, Plants, Animals, and work closely with like-minded local, national, and international organisations in the realization of the foregoing objectives.


      http://foodsovereigntyghana.org

    • Un chercheur, #Damián_Verzeñassi de l’#université_de_Rosario, mentionné il y a une année dans un article de Mediapart :

      Argentine : soja transgénique voisine avec maladies

      Avia Terai, ville de 10 000 habitants, est exposée aux pulvérisations incessantes sur ses champs de soja et de coton de glyphosate, le composant de base de l’herbicide de Monsanto. Un pesticide que l’Organisation mondiale pour la santé a étiqueté cancérogène en 2015. Ici, des enfants naissent avec des malformations, des troubles neurologiques sévères et le taux de cancer est trois fois plus élevé que la moyenne nationale, selon l’étude du docteur argentin Damián Verzeñassi de l’université de Rosario. De son côté, Monsanto nie catégoriquement l’authenticité de ces études et considère que la #toxicité de son produit phare Roundup n’a pas encore été prouvée.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/studio/portfolios/argentine-soja-transgenique-voisine-avec-maladies

      Le chercheur a fait une étude dans laquelle il montrait un lien entre le glyphosate et le développement de cancer :
      “Hay una incidencia del glifosato en los nuevos casos de cáncer”

      Desde 2010 se hicieron relevamientos en 32 localidades de la región pampeana y se relevaron más de 110 mil personas. Según Verzeñassi, si se encontró en estas localidades, donde se aplicó el modelo productivo con transgénicos a base de agrotóxicos, un pico muy importante de casos de cáncer, hipotiroidismo y abortos espontáneos.


      https://rosarionuestro.com/hemos-encontrado-un-incremento-en-la-incidencia-del-glifosato-en-los

    • #Red_de_Médicos_de_Pueblos_Fumigados (Argentine)

      La Red Universitaria de Ambiente y Salud (REDUAS) es una coordinación entre profesionales universitarios, académicos, científicos, miembros de equipos de salud humana en sus distintos niveles y demás estudiosos, preocupados por los efectos deletéreos de la salud humana que genera el ambiente degradado a consecuencias de la actividad productiva humana, especialmente cuando esta se da a gran escala y sustentada en una visión extractivista.

      La REDUAS surge como una de las decisiones tomadas en el 1º Encuentro de Médicos de Pueblos Fumigados, realizado en la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba y organizado por el Modulo de Determinantes Sociales de la Salud de la Cátedra de Pediatría y por la Cátedra de Medicina I de dicha Facultad; concretado el 26 y 27 de agosto de 2010

      La REDUAS se construye para unir, coordinar y potenciar el trabajo de investigación científica, asistencia sanitaria, análisis epidemiológico y divulgación ,difusión y defensa del derecho a la salud colectiva, que realizan equipos que desarrollan este tipo de actividades en 10 provincias distintas de la Republica Argentina y que se encuentran activados por el problema del daño a la salud que ocasiona la fumigación o aspersión, sistemática de más de 300 millones de litros de plaguicidas sobre casi 12 millones de personas que conviven con los sembradíos de cultivos agroindustriales.

      Para avanzar en ese sentido se propone aportar al debate público por la necesidad de construir prácticas productivas que permitan una supervivencia feliz de la especie humana en la superficie terrestre y de la responsabilidad publica, privada, colectiva e individual en el resguardo de esas condiciones ecológicas.

      Considerando al derecho a la salud, como uno de los valores sociales que debemos tratar de privilegiar en el análisis de las decisiones políticas y económicas que se toman en nuestra sociedad, creemos necesario ampliar la difusión del conocimiento de los datos científicos que se dispone, y que muchas veces se invisibilizan; aportar a la generación de nuevos datos e informaciones experimentales y observacionales – poblacionales; y potenciar la voz de los equipos de salud, investigadores y pobladores en general afectados en sus derechos por agresiones ambiéntales generadas por practicas productivas ecológicamente agresivas.


      http://reduas.com.ar
      #résistance

    • #Madres_de_Ituzaingo_Anexo-Cordoba
      http://madresdeituzaingoanexo.blogspot.fr

      Madres de #Ituzaingó: 15 años de pelea por el ambiente

      En marzo de 2002 salieron a la calle por primera vez para reclamar atención sanitaria ante la cantidad de enfermos en el barrio.Lograron mejorar la zona y alejar las fumigaciones, nuevas normas ambientales y un juicio inédito. Dicen que la lucha continúa. Un juicio histórico


      http://www.lavoz.com.ar/ciudadanos/madres-de-ituzaingo-15-anos-de-pelea-por-el-ambiente
      #Sofia_Gatica

    • Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in #Oaxaca, Mexico

      Concerns have been raised about the potential effects of transgenic introductions on the genetic diversity of crop landraces and wild relatives in areas of crop origin and diversification, as this diversity is considered essential for global food security. Direct effects on non-target species1,2, and the possibility of unintentionally transferring traits of ecological relevance onto landraces and wild relatives have also been sources of concern3,4. The degree of genetic connectivity between industrial crops and their progenitors in landraces and wild relatives is a principal determinant of the evolutionary history of crops and agroecosystems throughout the world5,6. Recent introductions of transgenic DNA constructs into agricultural fields provide unique markers to measure such connectivity. For these reasons, the detection of transgenic DNA in crop landraces is of critical importance. Here we report the presence of introgressed transgenic DNA constructs in native maize landraces grown in remote mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico, part of the Mesoamerican centre of origin and diversification of this crop7,8,9.

      https://www.nature.com/articles/35107068

    • #Gilles-Éric_Séralini

      Gilles-Éric Séralini, né le 23 août 1960 à Bône en Algérie1, est un biologiste français, professeur de biologie moléculaire à l’université de Caen2. Il est cofondateur, administrateur et membre du conseil scientifique du CRIIGEN3, parrain de l’association Générations Cobayes4 et lanceur d’alerte5. Il est aussi membre du conseil scientifique de The Organic Center6, une association dépendant de l’Organic Trade Association (en)7, « le principal porte-parole du business bio aux États-Unis »8, et parrain de la Fondation d’entreprise Ekibio9.

      Il s’est fait notamment connaître du grand public pour ses études sur les OGM et les pesticides, et en particulier en septembre 2012 pour une étude toxicologique portée par le CRIIGEN mettant en doute l’innocuité du maïs génétiquement modifié NK 603 et du Roundup sur la santé de rats10,11. Cette étude, ainsi que les méthodes utilisées pour la médiatiser, ont été l’objet d’importantes controverses, les auteurs étant accusés d’instrumentaliser de la science, ou même suspectés de fraude scientifique12,13. En réalité, les agences de santé européennes et américaines réagissent sur le tard, indiquant les lacunes et faiblesses méthodologiques rédhibitoires de la publication (notamment un groupe de contrôle comportant un nombre d’individus ridiculement bas). Certains dénoncent aussi un manque de déontologie pour s’assurer d’un « coup de communication ». La revue Food and Chemical Toxicology retire l’étude en novembre 2013.


      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles-%C3%89ric_S%C3%A9ralini

      Dans le documentaire on parle notamment d’un article qu’il a publié dans la revue « Food and chemical toxicology », que j’ai cherché sur internet... et... suprise suprise... je l’ai trouvé, mais le site de Elsevier dit... « RETRACTED »
      Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637

      Il est par contre dispo sur sci-hub !
      http://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005

      voici la conclusion :

      In conclusion, it was previously known that glyphosate con- sumption in water above authorized limits may provoke hepatic and kidney failures ( EPA ). The results of the study presented here clearly demonstrate that lower levels of complete agricultural gly- phosate herbicide formulations, at concentrations well below offi- cially set safety limits, induce severe hormone-dependent mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances. Similarly, disruption of biosynthetic pathways that may result from overexpression of the EPSPS transgene in the GM NK603 maize can give rise to com- parable pathologies that may be linked to abnormal or unbalanced phenolic acids metabolites, or related compounds. Other muta- genic and metabolic effects of the edible GMO cannot be excluded. This will be the subject of future studies, including transgene and glyphosate presence in rat tissues. Reproductive and multigenera- tional studies will also provide novel insights into these problems. This study represents the first detailed documentation of long- term deleterious effects arising from the consumption of a GM R- tolerant maize and of R, the most used herbicide worldwide. Altogether, the significant biochemical disturbances and physi- ological failures documented in this work confirm the pathological effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes, with different amplitudes. We propose that agricultural edible GMOs and formu- lated pesticides must be evaluated very carefully by long term studies to measure their potential toxic effects.

    • #RiskOGM

      RiskOGM constitue depuis 2010 l’action de recherche du ministère en charge de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie pour soutenir la structuration d’une communauté scientifique et le développement de connaissances, de méthodes et de pratiques scientifiques utiles à la définition et à la mise en œuvre des politiques publiques sur les OGM.

      Le programme s’appuie sur un Conseil Scientifique et sur un Comité d’Orientation qui réunit des parties prenantes.

      Les axes de recherche prioritaires identifiés portent sur les plans de surveillance générale des OGM, la coexistence des cultures, la gouvernance, les aspects économiques, éthiques et sociaux ou encore la démarche globale d’analyse de la sécurité des aliments contenant des produits transgéniques,

      3 projets en cours ont été soutenus après un 1er appel à proposition fin 2010. Fin 2013, suite à un deuxième appel, le projet (#PGM / #GMO90plus) a été sélectionné et soutenu à hauteur de 2,5 M€. Il vise à une meilleure connaissance des effets potentiels sur la santé de la consommation sur une longue durée de produits issus des plantes génétiquement modifiées.

      http://recherche-riskogm.fr/fr
      #programme_de_recherche

      Un projet dont fait partie #Bernard_Salles, rattaché à l’INRA, interviewé dans le documentaire.
      Lui, semble clean, contrairement au personnage que je vais un peu après, Pablo Steinberg

    • Projet #G-Twyst :

      G-TwYST is the acronym for Genetically modified plants Two Year Safety Testing. The project duration is from 21 April 2014 – 20 April 2018.

      The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has developed guidance for the risk assessment of food and feed containing, consisting or produced from genetically modified (GM) plants as well as guidance on conducting repeated-dose 90-day oral toxicity study in rodents on whole food/feed. Nonetheless, the long-term safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) food/feed is a long-standing controversial topic in the European Union. At the present time there are no standardized protocols to study the potential short-, medium- and/or long-term toxicity of GM plants and derived products. Against this backdrop the main objective of the G-TwYST project is to provide guidance on long-term animal feeding studies for GMO risk assessment while at the same time responding to uncertainties raised through the outcomes and reports from recent (long-term) rodent feeding studies with whole GM food/feed.

      In order to achieve this, G-TwYST:

      Performs rat feeding studies for up to two years with GM maize NK603. This includes 90 day studies for subchronic toxicity, 1 year studies for chronic toxicity as well as 2 year studies for carcinogenicity. The studies will be based on OECD Test Guidelines and executed according to EFSA considerations
      Reviews recent and ongoing research relevant to the scope of G-TwYST
      Engages with related research projects such as GRACE and GMO90plus
      Develops criteria to evaluate the scientific quality of long-term feeding studies
      Develops recommendations on the added value of long-term feeding trials in the context of the GMO risk assessment process.
      As a complementary activity - investigates into the broader societal issues linked to the controversy on animal studies in GMO risk assessment.
      Allows for stakeholder engagement in all key steps of the project in an inclusive and responsive manner.
      Provides for utmost transparency of what is done and by whom it is done.

      G-TwYST is a Collaborative Project of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities. The proposal for G-TwYST was established in reponse to a call for proposals on a two-year carcinogenicity rat feeding study with maize NK603 that was launched by he European Commission in June 2013 (KBBE.2013.3.5-03).

      https://www.g-twyst.eu

      Attention : ce projet semble être sous forte influence des lobbys de l’OGM...

      Fait partie de ce projet #Pablo_Steinberg, interviewé dans le documentaire.

      Pablo Steinberg est d’origine argentine, il est également le toxicologue du projet « #GRACE : GMO Risk Assessment and communication evidence », financé par l’UE :

      GRACE was a project funded under the EU Framework 7 programme and undertaken by a consortium of EU research institutes from June 2012 - November 2015. The project had two key objectives:

      I) To provide systematic reviews of the evidence on the health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GM plants – considering both risks and possible benefits. The results are accessible to the public via an open access database and other channels.

      II) GRACE also reconsidered the design, execution and interpretation of results from various types of animal feeding trials and alternative in vitro methods for assessing the safety of GM food and feed.

      The Biosafety Group was involved in the construction of the central portal and database (CADIMA; Central Access Database for Impact Assessment of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies) that managed the information gathered in the pursuit of the two objectives and in the dissemination of information.

      http://biosafety.icgeb.org/projects/grace

      La conférence finale de présentation du projet GRACE a été organisée à Potsdam... un 9 novembre... date-anniversaire de la chute du mur...
      Voici ce que #Joachim_Schiemann, coordinateur du projet, dit à cette occasion (je transcris les mots prononcés par Schiemann dans le reportage) :

      « Nous aussi, avec nos activités, nous essayons d’abattre certains murs et de faire bouger certaines positions qui sont bloquées. Je trouve que c’est très symbolique d’avoir organisé cette conférence à Potsdam, à proximité de Berlin et des vestiges du mur »

    • Prof. Potrykus on #Golden_Rice

      #Ingo_Potrykus, Professor emeritus at the Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, is one of the world’s most renowned personalities in the fields of agricultural, environmental, and industrial biotechnology, and invented Golden Rice with Peter Beyer. In contrast to usual rice, this one has an increased nutritional value by providing provitamin A. According to WHO, 127 millions of pre-school children worldwide suffer from vitamine A deficiency, causing some 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness every year. This deficiency is responsible for 600,000 deaths among children under the age of 5.

      https://blog.psiram.com/2013/09/prof-potrykus-on-golden-rice
      Ce riz, enrichi de #bêtacarotène pour pallier aux carences de #provitamine_A, a valu, à Monsieur #Potrykus, la couverture du Time, une première pour un botaniste :

    • Golden Illusion. The broken promise of GE ’Golden’ rice

      GE ’Golden’ rice is a genetically engineered (GE, also called genetically modified, GM) rice variety developed by the biotech industry to produce pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene). Proponents portray GE ’Golden’ rice as a technical, quick-fix solution to Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), a health problem in many developing countries. However, not only is GE ’Golden’ rice an ineffective tool to combat VAD it is also environmentally irresponsible, poses risks to human health, and compromises food security.

      https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Genetic-engineering/Golden-Illusion
      #rapport

    • #MASIPAG (#Philippines)

      MASIPAG a constaté que les paysans qui pratiquent la production agricole biologique gagnent en moyenne environ 100 euros par an de plus que les autres paysans, parce qu’ils ne dépensent pas d’argent dans des fertilisants et pesticides chimiques. Dans le contexte local, cela représente une économie importante. En plus, l’agriculture biologique contribue à un milieu plus sain et à une réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Malgré cela, le gouvernement philippin poursuit une politique ambiguë. En 2010, il a adopté une loi sur la promotion de l’agriculture biologique, mais en même temps il continue à promouvoir les cultures génétiquement modifiées et hybrides nécessitant le recours aux intrants chimiques. La loi actuelle insiste également sur une certification couteuse des produits bio par les tiers, ce qui empêche les #petits_paysans de certifier leurs produits.

      http://astm.lu/projets-de-solidarite/asie/philipinnes/masipag
      #paysannerie #agriculture_biologique

    • #AquAdvantage

      Le saumon AquAdvantage (#AquAdvantage_salmon® pour les anglophones, parfois résumé en « #AA_Salmon » ou « #AAS ») est le nom commercial d’un saumon transgénique et triploïde1.

      Il s’agit d’un saumon atlantique modifié, créé par l’entreprise AquaBounty Technologies (en)2 qui est devenu en mai 2016 le premier poisson génétiquement modifié par transgenèse commercialisé pour des fins alimentaires. Il a obtenu à cette date une autorisation de commercialisation (après son évaluation3) au Canada. En juillet 2017, l’entreprise a annoncé avoir vendu 4,5 tonnes de saumon AquAdvantage à des clients Canadiens qui ont à ce jour gardés leur anonymat4. L’entreprise prévoit de demander des autorisations pour des truites5, des tilapias 5 et de l’omble arctique génétiquement modifiés6.

      Selon les dossiers produits par AquaBounty à la FDA, deux gènes de saumons Chinook et deux séquences provenant d’une autre espèce (loquette d’Amérique) ont été introduits7, (information reprise par un article du New-York Times8 et un article scientifique évoquent aussi un gène provenant d’un autre poisson (loquette d’Amérique9). En 2010, AquaBounty, produirait déjà au Canada sur l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard les œufs de poissons destinés à des élevages en bassins enclavés à terre au Panama10 pour des poissons à exporter (alors que l’étiquetage n’est toujours pas obligatoire aux États-Unis)10.

      Ce poisson est controversé. Des préoccupations scientifiques et environnementalistes portent sur les risques d’impacts environnementaux à moyen et long terme, plus que sur le risque alimentaire. La FDA a considéré que la modification était équivalente à l’utilisation d’un médicament vétérinaire (hormone de croissance et modification transgénique)11 et a donc utilisé son processus (dit « NADA12 ») d’évaluation vétérinaire. Dans ce cadre, la FDA a conclu que ce poisson ne présentait a priori pas de risques pour la santé, et pouvait être cultivé de manière sûre. Mais en 2013, l’opportunité d’élever un tel poisson reste très contestée13 notamment depuis au moins 1986 concernant les risques qu’il pourrait poser à l’égard de l’environnement14, l’autorisation de mise sur le marché pourrait être à nouveau repoussée15.


      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/AquAdvantage
      #saumon #saumon_transgénique #AquaBounty_Technologies

      Aussi appelé...
      #FrankenFish


  • Egypt : How to make LE89 bn in fuel subsidies disappear: Egyptians brace for steep price hikes | MadaMasr

    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/04/17/feature/economy/how-to-make-le89-bn-in-fuel-subsidies-disappear-egyptians-brace-for-steep-

    A sense of wariness overtakes many Egyptians from April to July each year, the three months in which Parliament discusses the upcoming state budget and makes decisions which may affect large swaths of the population. This year, that general worry about potential cuts is less undefined, as Egyptians are buckling up for an imminent hike in fuel prices.

    Public attention to the subsidy allocations stipulated in the annual state budget has increased in recent years, since the government imposed an austerity program in 2014, which included subsidy cuts and new consumption taxes, in an effort to rein in the state’s growing budget deficit.

    This year is likely to see steeper hikes in fuel prices than those seen in years past, as the government’s structural adjustment program, approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November 2016, comes to an end. Liberalizing fuel prices before the close of 2019 was one of the several terms of the three-year program, which must be met to ensure the continued dispersal of the IMF’s US$12 billion loan to the Egyptian government.

    However, the structural adjustment program, which introduced a host of other measures with inflationary repercussions, got off to a rough start. Once the exchange rate was floated on November 3, 2016, the value of the Egyptian pound fell more than originally projected. This resulted in a significant rise in the nominal value of fuel subsidies in the state’s budget for the two fiscal years following the IMF agreement. While the nominal value of fuel subsidy allocations in the state budget seems to have drifted away from the targets initially stipulated in the agreement, documents released by the IMF after its second review of the program’s implementation at the close of 2017 show that the government remains determined to achieve the 2019 target of lifting fuel subsidies altogether.


  • IMF boss says world trade system in danger of being torn apart | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/11/imf-boss-warns-world-trade-system-in-danger-of-being-torn-apart

    The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned of “darker clouds looming” for the global economy amid simmering trade tensions between the US and China, urging governments around the world to steer clear of protectionism or face negative consequences.

    Christine Lagarde said the current system for world trade was “in danger of being torn apart”, with the potential to upset the present global economic upswing and make consumers poorer.

    #brrr ça fait peur.


  • Exxon Sparks IMF Concern With Weighty Returns in Tiny #Guyana - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-09/exxon-sparks-imf-concern-with-weighty-returns-in-tiny-guyana

    Exxon Mobil Corp. got such a “favorable” deal from Guyana, home to the biggest new deepwater oil play, that the tiny South American country should rewrite its tax laws, the International Monetary Fund said.

    While Guyana should honor the existing deal, future contracts should ensure the state gets a higher portion of crude proceeds, the fund said in a report seen by Bloomberg News. The country, South America’s third poorest with an average per capita income of around $4,000, has little experience of dealing with multinational behemoths such as Exxon.

    Terms of the 2016 contract “are relatively favorable to investors by international standards,” the IMF said in a report prepared for Guyanese officials. “Existing production sharing agreements appear to enjoy royalty rates well below of what is observed internationally.
    […]
    Open Oil, a Berlin-based company that advocates contract transparency, also found Guyana’s share of the #Stabroek was low compared with both established and early-stage producing countries. Guyana will receive 52 percent of positive cash flow over the life of Exxon’s initial project, compared with between 63 percent and 72 percent for developments in Liberia, Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal and Papua New Guinea, it said in a March report.

    The Exxon contract, which was published on a government website last year, provides Guyana with a 2 percent royalty on sales and 50 percent of profitable oil, once costs are repaid. Exxon and its partners can only deduct three-quarters of their costs each year, giving the government some cash in the first years of the project.


  • More migrant workers needed to offset ageing population, says IMF | Business | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/09/get-more-migrant-workers-to-offset-strain-of-ageing-population-warns-im

    The International Monetary Fund has said advanced economies such as Britain, the US and Japan risk being overwhelmed by their ageing populations, and calls on them to throw open their borders to more migrant workers in response.

    Within the next few decades, working-age adults will need to support double the number of elderly people than they do now, putting immense pressure on welfare systems and wiping out as much as 3% of potential economic output by 2050, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

    #migrations #asile #vieillesse #population #Vieillissement_population #robotisation #immigration


  • If you’re Chinese, then being a ‘shameless’ savvy saver is likely to be in your DNA | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2138956/if-youre-chinese-then-being-shameless-savvy-saver-likely-be

    Chinese people, like most others, love money. But to be more precise, we take great joy in scrupulously balancing between saving money and spending within our means.

    This attitude has been extolled as a virtue. In fact, it’s become so ingrained in our psyche that no matter where or how we are brought up or how we are educated, when it comes to handling money, being sensible and frugal is second nature to us.

    We often do it without thinking and feel no shame in doing so, even if we might appear penny-pinching to others.

    So there was little surprise when a recent Citibank study revealed Hong Kong is packed with a million millionaires, 68,000 of whom have at least HK$10 million (US$1.27 million) squirrelled away.

    Another report by Wealth-X, a firm that conducts research and valuations on ultra-high net worth individuals, also found that Hong Kong is a magnet for the ultra-wealthy. It was the city with the second-highest number of such residents, after New York.

    Any Chinese would tell you that accumulating wealth may be hard work, but keeping it is even harder.

    As a popular Chinese saying goes, “The first generation makes the money, the second one holds onto the inheritance, but the third one spends it.” This Chinese proverb serves as a warning and a reminder that sensible budgeting and frugality is not only a virtue but a survival mantra that needs to be etched on the mind.

    Therefore, our attitudes towards money are shaped early in life by our elders as an integral part of Chinese culture and upbringing. We are told at a very young age that to be a responsible person, we must work hard and save up a nest egg to secure our future and consequently, our family’s future.

    All Chinese are also familiar with the saying, “To store up grains in case of a famine”. This obviously is the basic principle that illustrates we may be money-oriented but it’s all for good reason.

    We are driven by a sense of responsibility to provide for our families and the fear that something might go wrong also prompts us to work hard to save up for rainy days.

    There’s no shame in being a savvy saver – even in times of prosperity
    Many of my old relatives have said that their life savings are hidden away in tin boxes stashed under their beds, cupboards or even their floorboards. I once came across a biscuit tin that contained a big wad of HK$1,000 bills, a bank book, some old photographs and some identification documents; I later found out the items belonged to one of my aunts.

    When I asked her why she stored all these valuables in a tin box, she said the items were like her life – the photographs were her past and the money was to support her now and in the future. She thought keeping “her life” in a tin box was the best way to keep it safe, as in the event of a misfortune like a fire, she would be able to quickly grab all of her valuables.

    Last week, I was having dinner with my girlfriend and when she ordered hot lemon water, I immediately asked the waiter to give her a mug of hot water instead, but with two pieces of lemon for me. The waiter took the order but gave me a funny look. I didn’t even have to explain to my girlfriend, Patty, who is an overseas Chinese, the reasoning behind my order – I wanted to save money.

    By ordering the hot water and lemon separately, the restaurant wouldn’t know how to charge us – so it would be free. We burst out laughing and both agreed that being thrifty is in our DNA. We may come from very different backgrounds but we are undeniably Chinese when it comes to our views of money.

    Famed Canadian comedian Russell Peters was spot on in one of his shows when he described a shopping experience he had when trying to get a discount from a Chinese shop owner who only gave him a reduction of 50 cents.

    He said “Chinese won’t give you a bargain … instead they will try to get every penny from you.”

    Many years ago, I heard that for every $10 a Chinese makes, they would save $9. It might sound far-fetched but it’s true that an average Chinese person saves a lot more than many of his overseas counterparts.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, from 1995 to 2005, the average urban household savings rate in China stood at 25 per cent of disposable income, with some other analysts even putting it as high as 30 per cent.

    When we have our minds set on earning that first barrel of gold, every penny counts, and we always look for a bargain. Others may laugh at our frugality or supposed stinginess, but at the end of the day, there’s no shame in being a savvy saver – even in times of prosperity.

    With that in mind, let’s finish off today with another Chinese adage and some food for thought: “When rich, think of poverty, but do not think of riches when you are poor”. In other words, there is never a bad time to save. Even when you have deep pockets, you must always be prepared for leaner times.

    Luisa Tam is a senior editor at the Post

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Savvy saving is a way of life for Chinese

    #économie #affaires #Chine


  • Debt is creeping back up in sub-Saharan Africa - Daily chart
    https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2018/03/daily-chart-7

    DURING the 1980s, African economies groaned beneath unpayable sovereign debts. By the mid-1990s much of the continent was frozen out of the global financial system. The solution, reached in 2005, was for rich lenders to forgive the loans that “heavily indebted poor countries”, 30 of which were in Africa, had received from the World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank. With fresh credit and better economic policies, many of these countries turned their fortunes around. By 2012 the median debt level in sub-Saharan Africa (as defined by the IMF) fell to just 30% of GDP.

    Today,however, the median debt-to-GDP ratio in the region is back over 50%. Although that figure may seem low by international standards, African countries collect relatively little tax and tend to pay high interest rates. As a result, they cannot afford to borrow nearly as much as their counterparts elsewhere do.

    Et tu te demandes bien pourquoi la faim sévit dans ces pays. Ah oui, le climat ! Cestes mais pas seulement.
    #dette #Afrique #prédation


  • Je n’en dirai pas plus (sinon, je vais trop m’énerver), juste quelques mots-clé :
    #invasion #préjugés #livre #afflux

    La #ruée vers l’#Europe. La jeune #Afrique en route pour le Vieux Continent de #Stephen_Smith

    Recension dans Le Monde, avec un titre tout aussi problématique... :
    Jusqu’où l’Europe peut-elle accueillir des migrants africains sans perdre son #identité ?

    http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/02/28/jusqu-ou-l-europe-peut-elle-accueillir-des-migrants-africains-sans-perdre-so
    #migrations #asile #réfugiés

    • #le_jeune_continent, c’est dingue !
      Quant au spécialiste des chiffres,…

      Celui qui raconte ces grands préparatifs est un amoureux des chiffres, un fin connaisseur de l’Afrique et un globe-trotter qui a lui-même vécu entre Europe, Afrique et Etats-Unis. Aujourd’hui, il enseigne les Affaires africaines à l’université de Duke (Etats-Unis), après avoir été spécialiste du jeune continent pour Libération, de 1988 à 2000, et Le Monde, de 2000 à 2005, et avoir prêté son expertise à des organisations internationales (ONU, International Crisis Group).

      Très documentée, riche en références littéraires, son analyse se nourrit d’abord d’un suivi longitudinal des statistiques africaines, avec, en arrière-plan, le fait que 10 % des terriens se partagent 50 % des richesses, quand la moitié le plus pauvre de l’humanité ne dispose, elle, que de 10 % des biens.

      D’après le Crédit Suisse, en 2014, les chiffres étaient :
      • 1% de la population mondiale possède 48,2% de la richesse totale (46,1% pour l’Afrique)
      • 10% de la population mondiale se partage 87,4% de la richesse (78,3% en Afrique)
      https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=5521F296-D460-2B88-081889DB12817E02
      (à la fin du chapitre 4, p. 124)

      Chiffres repris par Oxfam, et cités par nos amis Décodeurs de Le Monde (article du 19/01/2015)
      (bon, d’accord, tout ça ce sont des estimations…

      La concentration des richesses dans le monde en graphiques
      http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2015/01/19/la-concentration-des-richesses-dans-le-monde-en-graphiques_4558914_4355770.h

      Deux jours avant l’ouverture du Forum économique mondial, qui se tient traditionnellement dans la station suisse de Davos, l’ONG Oxfam a publié un rapport accablant sur la concentration des richesses dans le monde. Basé notamment sur des données fournies par un rapport de la banque Crédit suisse, il révèle que 1 % des habitants de la planète possède 48 % du patrimoine, contre « seulement » 44 % en 2009. Le seuil des 50 % devrait être dépassé en 2016.

      Quant au précédent succès de librairie de l’auteur (Négrologie : pourquoi l’Afrique meurt, 2003),…

      Négrologie : pourquoi l’Afrique meurt — Wikipédia
      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%A9grologie_:_pourquoi_l%27Afrique_meurt

      [Stephen Smith] cherche à expliquer cet état de fait en « réhabilitant » l’Afrique comme actrice de sa propre histoire. Selon lui, en effet, la responsabilité historique des pays occidentaux dans le dénuement de l’Afrique serait exagérée et les caractéristiques sociologiques africaines seraient les premières responsables du sous-développement. Il pense que « l’Afrique meurt d’un suicide assisté » et qu’elle serait accompagnée dans sa chute par une forme d’« autisme identitaire » qui l’empêcherait de s’attaquer à ses maux.

    • Dites, ça m’intéresse beaucoup, mais j’ai pas de quoi passer le paywall de LeMonde. Quelqu’une peut-ille mettre le texte intégral pour un jour ou deux ?
      Quitte à modifier le commentaire ensuite, juste entre nous :p
      Merci merci.

    • #Stephen_Smith ravive le mythe des #invasions_barbares, Macron et l’Académie française applaudissent

      Deux universitaires, Julien Brachet, de l’IRD et Judith Scheele, de l’EHESS pointent la #responsabilité des #médias et des institutions influentes qui font la promotion du dernier essai « xénophobe et raciste » de Stephen Smith, « La ruée vers l’Europe. La jeune Afrique en route pour le Vieux Continent ».

      La mécanique semble bien huilée. À la sortie de chacun de ses livres, l’ex-journaliste Stephen Smith reçoit sous les projecteurs les louanges de personnalités politiques et de la grande majorité de la profession journalistique française, avant de s’attirer, plus discrètement, les foudres des universitaires.

      Son dernier ouvrage, « La ruée vers l’Europe. La jeune Afrique en route pour le Vieux Continent » (Grasset, 2018), ne déroge pas à la règle. En l’espace de quelques mois, l’Académie française lui attribue un prix littéraire, le ministre de l’Europe et des affaires étrangères, Jean-Yves Le Drian, lui décerne le prix du livre de géopolitique de l’année, et le président de la république, Emmanuel Macron, salue un homme qui a « formidablement bien décrit » les migrations africaines.

      Pourtant, la thèse de Stephen Smith n’est pas exempte de critiques, loin s’en faut. Cette thèse est simple : selon Smith « 20 à 25 % de la population européenne » sera « d’origine africaine » d’ici trente ans (p. 18) ; « l’Europe va s’africaniser. […] C’est inscrit dans les faits » (S. Smith sur France Culture, 17/03/2018). Une thèse qui joue sur les peurs de populations européennes déjà sensibles aux sirènes xénophobes, tout en assénant des chiffres avec autorité. Or, toutes les études scientifiques montrent que les projections de Smith en matière de flux migratoires sont totalement invraisemblables.

      Il n’y a pas de « ruée » des ressortissants du continent africain vers l’Europe et il n’y en aura pas dans les décennies à venir.

      Les travaux des démographes des universités, de l’INED et de l’ONU sont sans équivoque : le taux d’émigration des populations africaines est comparable à la moyenne mondiale (un peu plus de 3%) ; la grande majorité des migrants africains restent à l’intérieur de leur continent d’origine ; les immigrés originaires d’Afrique représentent 2,3% de la population d’Europe de l’Ouest, et moins de 2% de l’ensemble de la population européenne. Sans même parler de la part des seuls immigrés irréguliers : absolument négligeable d’un point de vue statistique, et sans commune mesure avec l’ampleur des moyens légaux et sécuritaires déployés à l’intérieur du continent africain pour les empêcher de venir en Europe.

      Au regard de la forte croissance démographique de l’Afrique, on peut légitimement supposer que la part des ressortissants d’Afrique subsaharienne dans les pays de l’OCDE va augmenter dans les décennies à venir. Mais dans des proportions nettement plus faibles que celles annoncées par Smith. Les experts du Fond Monétaire International prédisent par exemple qu’en 2050, environ 34 millions de migrants originaires d’Afrique subsaharienne seront installés dans l’ensemble des 36 pays de l’OCDE (dont seulement 26 sont situés en Europe), soit 2,4% de la population totale de l’OCDE. Les démographes des Nations Unies annoncent quant à eux qu’entre 2015 et 2050, le solde migratoire net de l’Europe sera de 32 millions de migrants, toutes nationalités extra-européennes confondues. On est très loin des « 150 millions » d’Africains dont Smith prévoit l’arrivée en Europe « d’ici à 2050 » (p. 178).

      Il ne s’agit pas ici de développer plus avant l’inconsistance scientifique des « prévisions » de Smith, son absence de rigueur méthodologique et la manière fallacieuse dont il utilise les statistiques démographiques, mais bien de souligner ses objectifs politiques.

      À la fin de son essai supposément « guidé par la rationalité des faits » (comme indiqué au dos du livre), l’auteur dévoile clairement sa position. Ainsi, lorsqu’il rappelle une énième fois que selon lui « la migration massive d’Africains vers l’Europe » n’est dans l’intérêt de personne, que les non-Européens noirs et arabes dérangent inévitablement les Européens blancs (p. 182, 212), que dorénavant, les « bons augures » pour l’Afrique seront « de funestes présage pour l’Europe » (p. 225), et après avoir assené pendant 200 pages que la « ruée » de la jeunesse africaine sur l’Europe était « inéluctable », Stephen Smith change de ton. Soudainement, une autre perspective est offerte au lecteur : « l’union forcée entre la jeune Afrique et le Vieux Continent n’est pas encore une fatalité. Il y a de la marge pour des choix politiques » (p. 225).

      De manière à peine voilée, Smith suggère que face à sa prédiction d’une invasion de l’Europe par les « nouveaux barbares », le seul salut possible passe par les bons « choix politiques ». Et Smith de donner un exemple en guise de conclusion : « seule l’entrée très sélective de quelques bras et, surtout, de cerveaux africains apporterait des avantages à l’Europe » (p. 223). Un exemple qui n’est pas sans rappeler le programme de certains partis politiques européens.

      À la lecture de « La Ruée vers l’Europe », il apparaît que Smith compile les souvenirs, les anecdotes de comptoirs et les données chiffrées sans se préoccuper de la plausibilité ni de la cohérence de son argumentation. Tout connaisseur des migrations africaines ne peut que constater que Stephen Smith ne s’embête pas avec une quelconque rigueur scientifique. Il ne cherche ni à étudier ni à comprendre les dynamiques des migrations entre l’Afrique et l’Europe mais vise à asséner un discours principalement idéologique.

      En signant un essai xénophobe et raciste qui ressemble à une vaine tentative de légitimation de la théorie complotiste du « grand remplacement » prêchée par les idéologues d’extrême droite, et en multipliant les références à Maurice Barrès, Jean Raspail, Robert Kaplan ou Samuel Huntington (p. 70, 72, 188, 220), Stephen Smith s’inscrit ouvertement dans une tradition idéologique dont les chantres prédisent depuis des décennies la fin de la « civilisation occidentale » voire du « monde blanc ».

      La question qui se pose alors est de savoir comment un tel ouvrage peut-il être si largement encensé, devenir un succès de librairie, et influencer le débat public ?

      Car Smith n’est pas inquiétant seulement parce qu’il est un fervent promoteur de l’idée selon laquelle les populations africaines seraient un #risque, un #danger ou une #menace pour l’Europe. Il l’est bien plus encore parce que des dizaines de journaux, radios et télévisions, des représentants politiques et des institutions influentes relaient ses idées délétères, et ce faisant les cautionnent. Tout en le présentant sous les traits d’un intellectuel apolitique, ce qu’il n’est pas. En cela, l’ouvrage de Stephen Smith est révélateur de la manière dont les opinions publiques peuvent se forger sur la base d’arguments tronqués, et des difficultés qu’ont les sciences sociales à imposer dans l’arène médiatique et politique des arguments sérieux sur des sujets complexes.

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/les-invites-de-mediapart/blog/021018/stephen-smith-ravive-le-mythe-des-invasions-barbares-macron-et-l-aca

    • How Oracles Are Forged. The prophecy of an African scramble for Europe

      Alarmist predictions about African migration are all the rage. François Héran shows that they are based less on a demographic approach than on an economic conjecture, and on the fallacy that development in Africa can only be achieved at the expense of Europe.

      On the cover, a satellite image of Africa at night, and a title in yellow letters: “The Scramble for Europe”. A few dim points of light pierce the darkness in Nigeria, South Africa and the Maghreb, while others outline the Nile and its delta. The contrast with the bright splashes of light across the European continent is striking, and the message is clear: how could the populations of dark Africa not be attracted by the radiance of the North?

      Clearly designed to grab our attention, the title “The Scramble for Europe” [1] is not the editor’s choice; the author begins his book with his stark conclusion: “Young Africa will rush to the Old Continent; the writing is on the wall…” (p. 15). He backs his argument with two precedents: the exodus of poor Europeans towards the New World in the late 19th century and the mass migration of Mexicans to the United States since the 1970s. If Africans were to follow the Mexican example between now and 2050, then “in slightly more than 30 years, a fifth to a quarter of the European population would be of African origin (p. 18). In an interview published in the Figaro daily newspaper on 14 September 2018, Stephen Smith expresses surprise that some people—such as myself in a recent analysis— [2]question the validity of such claims. For Smith, challenging his predictions with arguments based on facts and figures is a “castigation” of his book, an attempt to “stifle debate”. My intention, on the contrary, is to reopen it. Given the gravity of the question in hand, it is important to look more closely at the methods, hypotheses and assumptions of a prophecy whose very appeal lies in its desire to shock, but also to convince.

      For the figures announced by Smith have reached their target. In an interview given on 15 April 2018, President Macron justified his immigration policy by evoking the African demographic “timebomb” so “remarkably described” in Smith’s book. In France, a number of intellectuals and politicians, from the centre left to the far right, have raised the spectre of his nightmare scenario to demand that political leaders “assume their responsibilities” in response to migrant inflows.
      An Inevitable Scramble, Provided…

      It is not until pages 139 and 143 of his essay that Stephen Smith makes the sensational announcement that a scramble of sub-Saharan Africans for Europe will only occur on “two key conditions”: that this region of the world escapes from poverty in the space of 30 years, and that its diasporas have already become well-established. We thus discover—and I will return to this point—that the prophecy of an Africanization of Europe is more an economic conjecture than a demographic forecast. Notwithstanding the UN biennial demographic projections that forecast a doubling of the sub-Saharan population before 2050 (from 900 million to 2.2 billion under the median scenario), Smith knows well that this will not be enough to trigger the human tidal wave that he announces. More powerful mechanisms are needed. But to argue his point, Smith presumes the veracity of the result he is seeking to prove. If we imagine that sub-Saharan Africa reaches the same level of development as Mexico within the next 30 years, then its inhabitants will migrate to the same extent as the Mexicans.

      But this overlooks the fact that sub-Saharan Africa is not Mexico—not even the Mexico of 30 years ago—and that Ouagadougou or Niamey have little in common with Mexico City or Guadalajara. If we measure the human development index on a scale of 1 to 10, as I did in the above-mentioned essay, most sub-Saharan countries are at level 1, Mexico at 6, France at 9 and the United States at 10. While from level 6 to level 10 migration is massive (25 million people in the diasporas concerned), from level 1 to level 9 or 10 it is limited (less than 2.3 million). So it is hard to believe that by 2050 development in sub-Saharan Africa will have accelerated to the point where it reaches the current relative position of Mexico.

      One cannot simply apply the hypothesis of a “critical mass” of inhabitants achieving prosperity to give plausibility to the scenario of a general transformation of behaviours in such a short time, especially in a region where the population explosion and the record fertility levels that are of such concern to the author reflect a persistent stagnation of the demographic transition. Pointing up this stagnation does not imply that Africa is doomed to chronic under-development; it simply adds a dose of realism: there is no evidence to suggest that sub-Saharan fertility will decline in spectacular fashion over the next few years, as it did in China, Iran or Algeria.
      Using the Known to Gauge the Unknown

      There is little need to refute the parallel with European migration to the Americas, given the vast differences between the New World pull factors of the 19th century and those of Europe in the 21st. I will examine the parallel with Mexico, however, as it illustrates the author’s method of documentary research and his mode of reasoning. The “Millman 2015” and “Douthat 2015” supporting references that he cites are not scientific studies but, in the first case, a Politico editorial by Noah Millman entitled “Africa will dominate the next century” published in May 2015, and in the second (missing from the bibliography but easily retrievable on the Internet), an opinion piece by Ross Douthat called “Africa’s Scramble for Europe” published in the New York Times in August 2015. If we compare the two texts, we discover that Smith’s long discussion of the Mexican analogy (p. 179) is filled with unacknowledged citations of Millman’s own words. But who is Millman? Head of Politico’s literary pages, he is neither a demographer nor an African specialist, but a former financier who knows how to do everyday arithmetic. His method is simple; it involves convincing the American public with scant knowledge of African realities that the known can be used to gauge the unknown, i.e. that the situation in Africa can be likened to that of Mexico. As for Ross Douthat, a regular author of op-eds on practically all topics, he is cited in turn because he cites none other than… Millman!

      At the end of the book, Smith explains that by continuing the timeworn practices of development aid, European policy “may end up turning the flow of Africans towards Europe into a tidal wave” (p. 225). The reader is puzzled. Does this mean that the demographic determinism proclaimed so loudly at the beginning of the book is not so inescapable after all? But few readers go so far. The message they take away is that of the book cover: there is no escape, Africa is out to conquer Europe.

      At global level it is not the poorest regions that produce the most emigrants, as the author well knows. He also knows that sub-Saharan Africans do not have the resources to emigrate in large numbers. Likewise, he is not unaware that development aid is more likely to stimulate emigration than curb it—to the point where some commentators credit him with this discovery, as if development economists had not already established this fact many years ago. But Smith’s knowledge in this respect is second-hand. He quotes extensively an editorial by Jeremy Harding, a contributing editor of the London Review of Books and author of a book recounting the experiences of migrants at border crossings (pp. 148-149). Smith’s essay thus includes research-based knowledge, but obtained indirectly—mainly from journalists or literary sources. I have no qualms with that; the problem lies in the fact that Smith no longer applies this knowledge when he imagines sub-Saharan Africa’s rapid escape from poverty and the migrant flows that this entails.
      Incomplete Documentation

      For a seasoned specialist of Africa, Smith’s documentation is surprisingly incomplete and obsolete. He claims, for example, that demographers have closed their eyes to the ongoing trends in African fertility. My analysis for “La vie des Idées”, cites numerous demographers (Caldwell, [3] Tabutin, Schoumaker, [4] Leridon, [5] Casterline, [6] and more) who have been signalling the slow pace of demographic transition in Africa and its link with under-development since the 1990s. Are demographers really so blind? It is the author who seems to be wearing blinkers; he cites none of these publications, all of which are easily accessible.

      Smith gives great credence to the findings of surveys of migration intentions compiled by the Gallup Institute in which one-third of sub-Saharans reported wishing to leave their country. He cites the figures from second-hand sources (via an article in a French daily) and without the slightest critical comment. However, we need to look at the actual question that was asked: “ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to settle in another country or carry on living here?”. In fact, when asked if they were planning to leave within the next 12 months or, more tellingly, if preparations were under way, the proportion dropped to below 5%. Dreams are one thing; practical realities are another. Italian researchers who retrieved the data from these surveys at the request of the European Commission reach the same conclusion: the Potential Migration Index constructed by Gallup on this basis is of no predictive value. [7]
      The Global Database of Diasporas: Discrediting the Notion of Communicating Vessels

      The most glaring omission in Smith’s essay is the absence of any reference to the Global Bilateral Migration Database, a major source of knowledge on the state of world diasporas developed over the last 15 years by the OECD, the World Bank and the IMF. [8] It served as the basis for my recent analysis in the monthly bulletin Population and Societies, and has been used by countless migration researchers before me. The open access Bilateral Migration Matrix comprises a table of 215 lines and 215 columns giving, for each country, the number of natives living abroad. It counts a total of 266 million migrants out of a world population of 7.7 billion. Information on origin and destination is systematically matched to ensure overall consistency.

      A series of additional indicators can be added to this open-access database to characterize each country, or the differences between countries, such as growth rate by sex and age drawn from the United Nations population projections. While it is more time-consuming to perform such analyses than to read political opinion pieces and literary editorials, they produce conclusions that have long been familiar to economists and demographers alike: the model of communicating vessels is a fallacy. It is wrong to imagine that the most fertile countries migrate to the least fertile ones, the poorest to the richest, the most densely populated to the least densely populated, the tropical to the temperate and, last but not least, the youngest to the oldest, as claimed in the sub-title of Smith’s book. I cannot count the times I have read that “high population pressures” will inevitably escape to fill the areas of “low pressure”! Alas, just because a metaphor is evocative does not mean that it is necessarily true. The image of a bursting pressure cooker is incapable of conveying the complexity of population movements. The largest emigration flows towards rich countries tend to be from middle-sized, middle-income nations such as Mexico and Turkey, or the countries of North Africa, the Balkans or Central Asia. And above all, from countries where fertility is already falling rapidly—which is certainly not the case in sub-Saharan Africa.

      In his interview in the Figaro newspaper, Stephen Smith dismisses the World Migration Database because it does not consider his scenario of rapid African economic growth! He seems to have got his wires crossed. A database which gives the world distribution of migrants at a given moment in time cannot take account of future growth hypotheses. But it forms a vital starting point for those wishing to make such hypotheses. Without this grounding in fact, hypotheses are plucked out of thin air and become unverifiable, at the mercy of all and any analogies, including the most implausible ones.
      An Economic Rather than Demographic Conjecture

      By cross-matching the global migration data and the United Nations projections for 2050 for each birth cohort, we can estimate the weight of the diasporas in receiving countries, on the assumption that current emigration factors remain unchanged. This is what I did in the September 2018 issue of Population and Societies, obtaining a number of sub-Saharan migrants in 2050 around five times lower than the figure advanced by Stephen Smith. What does this difference tell us? Simply that the scenario of a “scramble” of sub-Saharan African migrants to Europe is, for the most part, not built upon demographic determinism, but upon a highly speculative hypothesis about African economic development. The demographic reasoning in the book’s sub-title (“Young Africa on the Way to the Old Continent”) and in the introduction is actually very secondary in the fabrication of Smith’s prophecy. This is hardly surprising, given that he fails to analyse any data. [9]

      My estimates for 2050 are of the same order of magnitude as those obtained by two in-depth analyses based on the same Global Bilateral Migration Database, one by the World Monetary Fund, [10] the other by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. [11] Smith cites the first, but without mentioning that since the 2000 censuses, the increase in numbers of sub-Saharans leaving the sub-continent primarily reflects population growth. In proportional terms, the share of migrants who remain in the region has changed little since 1990, at around three-quarters (70% today, versus just 15% who head to Europe). Internal migration within sub-Saharan Africa should benefit greatly from the treaty on the free movement of persons signed in March 2018 by 27 African countries.

      While Stephen Smith knows that extreme poverty is not a factor of migration, he perpetuates the other variants of the “communicating vessels” fallacy, notably when he mentions the inexorable pressure exerted upon ageing societies by surplus masses of young people impatient for emancipation. He even suggests that European societies, incapable of financing their pension systems due to population ageing, will face the dilemma of closing their borders and dying a slow death, or of opening them to keep the system afloat, at the risk of being submerged by a flood of African workers: “to maintain a minimum level of social security coverage, must we accept that a quarter of Europe’s inhabitants in 2050 – more than half of them aged below 30 years – will be ‘Africans’?” (pp. 179-180). The French text (p. 180) even speaks of “more than half of the under-30s” in the European population being “African” by 2050! And Smith inevitably mentions the famous report by the United Nations Population Division on “replacement migration” [12] regularly cited by the proponents of the “great replacement” theory.

      Yet the last scenario of this publication, in which young migrants serve to create a permanent numerical balance between the working-age population (15-64) and older adults (65 and above), was acknowledged to be unrealistic by the United Nations itself, due to the increase in life expectancy which is continuing to age the population. Freezing the ratio of young to old would involve massive inflows of migrants, who would in turn grow older themselves. The United Nations used this absurd fictitious scenario to show that immigration is not a solution to population ageing, including in France, and that measures of a different kind are needed (with respect to employment rates, working hours, retirement age).
      The Social Welfare Pie

      If one is truly convinced by the scenario of a massive and disorderly inflow of migrants from the South, then the only remaining question is whether there is still time to prevent it. With the debate couched in these terms, Smith can allow himself some hesitancy: policy makers still have “room for manoeuvre” but “time is running out”. There is one certainty, however, central to his argument: development prospects are “auspicious” for Africa, but “an ill omen for Europe” (p. 225). As if the two continents can only survive at the expense of each other. According to a Neapolitan custom, one must not wish a Happy New Year to someone without secretly wishing evil upon someone else. This is the linchpin of Smith’s book: not the rigorous analysis of a demographic mechanism, but an economic conjecture whose optimism for Africa (a closing of the development gap within 30 years) is more than counterbalanced by its pessimism for Europe.

      At the end of his essay, Smith reiterates the idea that immigration is fundamentally incompatible with the welfare state, a popular misconception totally disproven by the social history of western Europe since the Second World War. Need we mention the detailed studies on this question by the OECD, [13] extended more recently by d’Albis and his team, [14] which demonstrate that immigration or, more precisely, a sudden influx of migrants or asylum seekers, far from bankrupting the welfare state and raising unemployment, actually increases GDP and employment rates over the long term? D’Albis shows that the positive effect is merely delayed in the case of asylum seekers, and for a simple reason: they are not allowed to work until their asylum request has been granted.

      The error is always the same: forgetting that immigrants are also producers and consumers, tax-payers and pension contributors, imagining that they take from the collective pie rather than adding to it. Of course, they are an expense for society when they are young, an asset in adulthood, and become an expense again in old age but, as clearly shown by the OECD, this life cycle is the same for the rest of the population, with minimal differences linked to age structures. The idea the immigrants “steal” natives’ jobs or take an unfair share of their welfare benefits again harks back to the fallacy of a fixed quantity of resources to be shared, around which the entire final part of Stephen Smith’s essay is constructed. As if realism and respect for political and moral rights were irreconcilable. Until these research findings have been seriously refuted, they are irresistible. But evocative metaphors or implausible analogies are no substitute for scientific argument.

      Likewise, simply pitting the advocates of a fortress Europe against those of an open-door Europe is not enough to claim the title of pragmatist or upholder of the “ethics of responsibility” in opposition to the “ethics of conviction”. While the author regularly contrasts two extreme positions to establish his credentials as a moderate realist, he takes an extremist path himself when he claims that sub-Saharan population projections signal an imminent threat of mass incursion culminating in nothing less than the creation of “Eurafrica” (p. 227)
      Establishing the Facts: Neither Scaremongering nor False Reassurance

      Demography is like music: it attracts many players, but few know how to read the score. In the present case, the very nature of the tune is misunderstood: Smith’s essay is an exercise in economic speculation and sensationalist communication, rather than a demographic demonstration. In response to the fear of mass invasion, a falsely objective variant of the fear of others, it is the duty of demographers to explain the orders of magnitude of population movements. They must also identify the nature of the hypotheses put forward and of the prejudices upon which they are built. Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of demography is not to alarm or reassure but to take stock of the issues by establishing their true proportions. Only in this way can it provide the necessary insights for lucid long-term policy-making. Inflammatory metaphors have a powerful effect on public opinion, yet in these uncertain times, for the press and politicians alike, the true “ethic of responsibility” demands that they turn their back on false prophecies couched in pseudo-scientific language.

      https://booksandideas.net/How-Oracles-Are-Forged.html
      #oracles #prophétie

      #François_Héran


  • How the Tariq Ramadan Scandal Derailed the #Balancetonporc Movement in France | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-the-tariq-ramadan-scandal-derailed-the-balancetonporc-movement-in-fra

    C’est toujours intéressant de voir comment des étrangers regardent les événements qui agitent la France. Un article du New Yorker sur l’affaire Ramadan qui permet un regard distancié, et qui pour une fois se place du côté des féministes, contre l’instrumentalisation du débat pour d’autres sujets.

    Soon after the #MeToo movement formed in the United States, in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, #balancetonporc (“expose your pig”) erupted in France. The effect has been an unprecedented blow to what Sabrina Kassa has described, in Mediapart, as the “patriarchal belly” of a country where harassment and other sexual crimes have often been concealed, or explained away, by a Gallic rhetoric of flirtation and libertinism. In 2008, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was subjected to an internal I.M.F. inquiry over allegedly coercing a subordinate to have sex with him. Although he apologized for his “error of judgment,” he was celebrated in the French press as “the Great Seducer.” Had he not been arrested in New York, in 2011, on charges (which were eventually dropped) of assaulting Nafissatou Diallo, a maid, in the presidential suite of the Sofitel Hotel, Strauss-Kahn, a powerful figure in the Socialist Party, might have been elected President of France in 2012.

    The #balancetonporc movement has exposed prominent men in business, entertainment, and media, but the most high-profile scandal has been that surrounding Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar and activist whom several women have accused of rape and sexual abuse. (Ramadan has denied all allegations.) Ramadan has been a controversial figure in France for more than two decades—a kind of projection screen, or Rorschach test, for national anxieties about the “Muslim question.” Like Strauss-Kahn, he has often been depicted as a seducer, but the description has not been meant as a compliment: he has long been accused of casting a dangerous spell on younger members of France’s Muslim population, thereby undermining their acceptance of French norms, particularly those pertaining to secularism, gender, and sexuality.


  • How the Tariq Ramadan Scandal Derailed the #Balancetonporc Movement in France
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-the-tariq-ramadan-scandal-derailed-the-balancetonporc-movement-in-fra

    oon after the #MeToo movement formed in the United States, in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, #balancetonporc (“expose your pig”) erupted in France. The effect has been an unprecedented blow to what Sabrina Kassa has described, in Mediapart, as the “patriarchal belly” of a country where harassment and other sexual crimes have often been concealed, or explained away, by a Gallic rhetoric of flirtation and libertinism. In 2008, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was subjected to an internal I.M.F. inquiry over allegedly coercing a subordinate to have sex with him. Although he apologized for his “error of judgment,” he was celebrated in the French press as “the Great Seducer.” Had he not been arrested in New York, in 2011, on charges (which were eventually dropped) of assaulting Nafissatou Diallo, a maid, in the presidential suite of the Sofitel Hotel, Strauss-Kahn, a powerful figure in the Socialist Party, might have been elected President of France in 2012.
    The #balancetonporc movement has exposed prominent men in business, entertainment, and media, but the most high-profile scandal has been that surrounding Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar and activist whom several women have accused of rape and sexual abuse. (Ramadan has denied all allegations.) Ramadan has been a controversial figure in France for more than two decades—a kind of projection screen, or Rorschach test, for national anxieties about the “Muslim question.” Like Strauss-Kahn, he has often been depicted as a seducer, but the description has not been meant as a compliment: he has long been accused of casting a dangerous spell on younger members of France’s Muslim population, thereby undermining their acceptance of French norms, particularly those pertaining to secularism, gender, and sexuality.
    Born in 1962, in Switzerland, Ramadan is the son of Said Ramadan, an exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who was the son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Tariq Ramadan, who is not a member of the Brotherhood, is nonetheless a religious conservative—a “Salafi reformist,” in his words—who has long preached the virtues of female “modesty” in dress and sexual comportment. (His brother Hani Ramadan, the head of the Islamic Center in Geneva, is notorious for his support for stoning female adulterers, his hatred of homosexuals, and his belief that the attacks of 9/11 were a Western conspiracy.)

    • Franchement vu l’extrait ci dessus, je me disais que ça allait encore être un article de merde. Mais en fait c’est beaucoup plus critique que le début de l’article peut le laisser paraître.
      Quelques extraits dont une petite mise au point sur Valls :

      Valls had never before expressed much concern for the victims of sex crimes by powerful men. In fact, he had deplored the “unbearable cruelty” of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York. (A few members of the Socialist Party, including Strauss-Kahn himself, claimed that he was a victim of a plot engineered by President Sarkozy, who saw Strauss-Kahn as a threat to his reëlection. Sarkozy denied the allegations.)

      ou :

      In recent years, Muslims in France have discovered that it is not enough to respect France’s laws: to truly belong to France, they must denounce bad Muslims, praise Charlie, and make other shows of loyalty, just as their ancestors in colonial North and West Africa learned to honor “our ancestors, the Gauls.” The more French they have become, the more their French-ness, their ability to “assimilate,” seems to be in question, which has deepened their sense of estrangement. Muslim organizations and institutions have largely refrained from commenting on the Ramadan scandal—a silence that, for some, has been an expression of solidarity with a fellow-Muslim who has long been vilified in France. Others who have been asked to comment publicly on the Ramadan affair have chosen to remain quiet as a result of their discomfort, or perhaps irritation, at being summoned to pass yet another litmus test to prove their worth as citizens, or at the “Islamization” of the affair, in which Ramadan is either viewed as a victim of an anti-Muslim conspiracy or as a symbol of Muslim sexual violence.

      et la meilleure pour la fin que je ne peux m’empêcher de traduire grossièrement :

      While most of the commentators on the Ramadan Affair have been—as tends to be the case with conversations about Islam, laïcité, and terrorism in France—white and male, some of the most important insights on the scandal have come from those Muslim feminists…

      « Alors que la plupart des commentateurs sur l’affaire Ramadan sont — comme cela a tendance à être le cas des conversations au sujet de l’islam, la laïcité et le terrorisme en France — des hommes blancs, les analyses les plus pertinentes sur le scandale ont été émises par les féministes musulmanes… »
      Difficile de rendre l’effet de surenchérissement « white and male » et l’ironie : blancs et masculins.

    • Oui mais on s’en fout que lui soit blanc, il commente surtout en tant qu’étranger avec un regard extérieur, c’est son statut. À LMSI parfois il y a de bons articles, je vois pas ce qu’il y a de choquant et Houria Bouteldja elle est citée comme à chaque fois qu’il y a un article sur un sujet qui traite d’1 affaire médiatique où il y a un arabe dedans. C’est vrai que sur ce coup là il aurait pu s’en passer mais on va pas trop lui en demander.
      Quant aux féministes musulmanes ce ne sont pas de ces personnes dont il parle et d’ailleurs Houria Bouteldja ne se revendique absolument pas comme féministe ou alors faut me citer une phrase précise. Et je ne pense pas que qui que ce soit la considère comme féministe ou faut m’expliquer pourquoi.
      Le circuit fermé des universitaires est quoi qu’il en soit une réalité indéniable !

    • @ninachani oui, sauf que se présenter comme « un regards extérieur » alors qui est plus impliqué* dans le débats que la plupart des français voir des militants c’est faire preuve malhonnêteté.

      D’autant que l’article prend clairement parti contre Valls en ridiculisant les « laïcistes » qui serait tous démago et raciste car refusant le concept d’islamophobie.

      Cela dit en relisant je serais plus nuancé en effet il ne met pas Boutelja dans les « féminismes musulmanes » (d’ailleurs on ne sait pas trop si il fait il référence à quelque choses d’existants ; des femmes comme Lallab mettant en avant leurs religions ou des féministes issues de l’immigration).

      [Désolé c’est du google trad]
      "Comme l’explique Joan Wallach Scott dans son nouveau livre, "Sex and Secularism", l’idée du patriarche musulman répressif et pourtant ludique a longtemps servi à détourner l’attention de la discrimination de la société française contre les femmes [...] Ces dernières années, les musulmans en France ont découvert qu’il ne suffit pas de respecter les lois de la France : pour appartenir véritablement à la France, ils doivent dénoncer les mauvais musulmans, féliciter Charlie. [...] tout comme leurs ancêtres dans l’Afrique coloniale du Nord et de l’Ouest ont appris à honorer « nos ancêtres, les Gaulois ». Plus ils sont français, plus leur françaisité, leur capacité à « assimiler » semble être en question, ce qui a approfondi leur sens de l’aliénation."

      "Mais les groupes d’activistes anti-racisme dans lequel ces femmes travaillaient avaient choisi d’ignorer les violences sexuelles perpétrées par des hommes « indigènes » par crainte d’attiser l’islamophobie française. Il n’est pas surprenant que des femmes musulmanes comme Henda Ayari se tournent vers des écrivains comme Caroline Fourest".

      J’ai comme même l’impression que les « féministes universalistes » n’existe pas dans son analyse, quand à la critique de la religion on en parle même pas.

      * Voir ses interventions une de ses intervention dans le débats :
      http://213-info.com/lettre-dun-journaliste-americain-adam-shatz-a-kamel-daoud

    • "Laïcisme est un terme péjoratif, utilisé pour fustiger des mesures extrêmes, prises par certains fervents partisans de la laïcité, contre la présence de certaines visibilités ou exigences religieuses dans la sphère publique"
      On peut raisonnablement dire que les « laïcistes » sont tous démagos et racistes.
      Merci pour votre intervention le reste étant de la meme eau.

    • @aktivulo1 les féministes universalistes WTF !!!!! tu veux dire les féministes qui pensent comme universel le fait d’être blanche, athée, occidentale et pour qui en dehors de Badinter et Fourest il n’y a point de salut ? L’universel qui a servi d’argument à la conquête coloniale ?
      « Prendre parti contre Valls » : je ne vois pas comment on peut faire autrement sans se décrédibiliser immédiatement. En tout prendre parti pour Valls a pour effet de se positionner très clairement du côté de la parole raciste.
      Sinon pour ta gouverne, les féministes musulmanes ce sont des femmes qui se reconnaissent dans le féminisme et qui sont de religion musulmane. C’est pas plus compliqué que ça, même si tu en parles comme du yéti : on en parle mais on ne l’a jamais vu… mystère peut-être n’existe t-il pas lol
      Enfin la critique de la religion, je ne vois ABSOLUMENT pas ce qu’elle aurait à faire ici. L’article parle de Ramadan pas de l’islam.

    • @ninachani

      Je pensais plus avoir utilisé un pléonasme qu’un gros mot. Par « féministes universalistes », je parlais d’un mouvement vaste et international avec des tendances différentes et parfois contradictoires ça ne peut pas se résumé à C. Fourest et I. Bandinter. Je pense que la tendance LMSI, Marche de la dignité est encore minoritaire chez les féministes.

      « L’article parle de Ramadan pas de l’islam. »

      Heu, sérieusement ? Mais l’article parle d’un prédicateur et Islamologue, de l’islamophobie, des féministes musulmanes, du mythe de l’homme musulman.

      C’est toute le délire actuel.

      On fait entrer insidieusement la religion dans le débat sans pouvoir en parler. Imaginons un article de fond sur les curées pédophiles, qui ne parlerais pas de pudibonderie propre à l’église catholique.

    • Les curés pédophiles sont couverts par la hiérarchie ecclésiastique, entité qui n’existe pas en Islam. L’islam n’a pas de clergé, en tout cas c’est très clair pour l’islam sunnite auquel appartient Ramadan donc il ne représente que lui même.
      L’article parle de musulmans justement pour contrer le type de discours que tu développes, c’est très bien présenté à la fin de l’article en ramenant Ramadan a sa dimension foncièrement masculine. Les viols sont des outils de domination utilisés par les hommes globalement, pas par les musulmans spécifiquement. Donc chaque homme qu’il soit musulman, athée, juif, bouddhiste etc a sa propre réflexion à mener sur la façon dont il relaie le patriarcat ou pas. Mais c’est sûr que du coup ça a des conséquences plus gênantes que si on réduit tout ça à un problème de musulmans, surtout quand on ne l’est pas n’est ce pas @aktivulo1 ?
      Lallab a fortement déploré que les médias leur aient demandé leur avis au sujet de Ramadan mais jamais auparavant au sujet du mouvement #balance ton porc comme si elles n’étaient concernées que par le fait qu’elles soient musulmanes et non pas par le problème global des violences faites aux femmes.

    • Après j’arrête.

      Mais c’est sûr que du coup ça a des conséquences plus gênantes que si on réduit tout ça à un problème de musulmans, surtout quand on ne l’est pas n’est ce pas @aktivulo1 ?

      Honnêtement je n’ai pas compris. Je ne suis athée, si c’est la question : donc ? Qui réduit le problème à un problème de musulmans, quelle sont les conséquences pour qui ?

      « L’islam n’a pas de clergé [...] Ramadan donc il ne représente que lui même. »

      Je parlais de la soumission qu’induit l’idéologie de la religion sur le respect de la femme. Et aussi de l’emprise sectaire, et de la culture du secret des religions en général. L’islam n’a pas de clergé mais à des organisations et des réseaux de pouvoir. Et puis c’est relativement pratique avant quand on attaquais T. Ramadan on était « islamophobe » quand il n’est plus fréquentable : il ne représente que lui. Face tu perds, pile je gagne.

    • C’est bien ce que je disais, tu insinues qu’un croyant aura moins de respect pour les femmes. Je ne vois pas ce qui peut te permettre de dire cela. Les violences envers les femmes traversent toutes les strates de la société que ce soit en terme de différences culturelles, cultuelles, sociales, les études le montrent. Par contre, forcément quelqu’un qui est dans une situation de pouvoir a forcément plus de moyens de soumettre les autres et donc à plus forte raison les femmes, et ça n’a rien à voir avec la religion. Le pouvoir de Weinstein il le tirait de sa position d’hégémonie dans le cinéma, le pouvoir de Marchal-Beck de sa position de pouvoir au sein des MJS, le pouvoir de Ramadan de son statut de théologien fortement médiatisé.
      Quand on attaque Ramadan avec des arguments islamophobe on est islamophobe. Pour moi Ramadan c’est un bourgeois réactionnaire qui est dans une déférence vis à vis du pouvoir institutionnel et ça par exemple ce n’est pas islamophobe. Bon maintenant on sait qu’en plus c’est un violeur et ça non plus ce n’est pas islamophobe de le dire.
      Quant aux athées, ils ne sont pas moins susceptibles de violer, frapper ou harceler les femmes que les musulmans ou autres croyants.

    • @ninachani

      C’est bien ce que je disais, tu insinues qu’un croyant aura moins de respect pour les femmes. Je ne vois pas ce qui peut te permettre de dire cela.

      Moi je ne voie pas comment tu peux le nier. Ce n’est même pas une question de respect c’est une question de reconnaissance à l’égalité.

      Les principales religions monothéiste Judaïsme, Christianisme et Islam considère la femme comme inférieur. Aie-je besoin de citer les textes à charge ?

      Si tu penses que la culture influe sur les comportements. Pourquoi la religion qui est un programme de conduite moral serait en dehors de ça. Je ne dit que c’est le seul problème, mais c’est un des problèmes.

    • @aktivulo1 Tu ne vois pas comment je peux nier qu’un croyant a moins de respect qu’un athée pour les femmes ? Je trouve ta remarque assez incroyable. Je pense que notre échange va s’arrêter là parce que nous sommes sur des positions trop éloignées, ça n’a aucun intérêt.
      Malgré cela, pour terminer, si on prend les violences faites aux femmes (le sujet ici) les croyants n’en sont pas plus auteurs que les non croyants. J’ai utilisé le mot respect parce que c’est toi qui avait parlé de « respect pour les femmes », moi je n’ai pas pour habitude d’utiliser ce terme, il ne veut pas dire grand chose.
      En réponse à mon affirmation, que j’avais déjà énoncée au-dessus, toi tu me parles théologie et analyse des textes religieux ce qui n’est pas le propos ici. On parle de violences faites aux femmes et, je le répète, le fait d’être croyant n’est pas un critère qui accentue la violence des hommes dans les enquêtes.
      Et juste pour info, pour un croyant la religion n’est pas un programme de conduite morale comme tu dis, c’est beaucoup plus que cela. Tu abordes la religion comme l’athée que tu es, ce qui est normal puisque tu n’as pas vécu l’expérience de la transcendance.

    • @ninachani

      « nous sommes sur des positions trop éloignées, ça n’a aucun intérêt » Oui, on est d’accord sur ça. Quoi que pour moi c’est plus sur la volonté de discuter et de se comprendre (ça tourne en rond).

      le fait d’être croyant n’est pas un critère qui accentue la violence des hommes dans les enquêtes.

      A quelles enquêtes fait tu références ?

    • Pour illustrer le point de vue d’@aktivulo1 :
      L’ahurissante apologie catholique de la virilité masculine
      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/yvon-quiniou/blog/291216/lahurissante-apologie-catholique-de-la-virilite-masculine

      Ce qui suit part d’un longue page du Monde qui nous apprend que des catholiques « veulent rendre à l’Eglise sa virilité » (23 décembre, p. 9) Je dis que cela est ahurissant, mais je pourrais dire scandaleux vu l’argumentaire qui soutient cette prise de position. Elle s’illustre par des faits avérés : des pratiquants, prêtres ou laïcs, tous militants de la foi telle qu’ils la conçoivent, se réunissent et organisent avec succès des stages entre hommes destinés à rendre leur fierté à ceux-ci dans une Eglise qui se serait trop féminisée, dans ses paroles et ses actes. Or que nous disent-ils ? Que l’homme n’est pas la femme (bien qu’ils soient égaux : ouf !), qu’il contient en lui un potentiel de violence guerrière qui doit être valorisé, cultivé et doit s’exprimer. Je cite « Il a besoin de se battre (…) d’un lieu où le guerrier qui est en lui peut reprendre vie ». Ou encore : les hommes doivent assumer les « désirs profonds, spécifiquement masculins, que sont l’aventure à vivre, le combat à mener et la belle à conquérir ». On croirait lire du Nietzsche avec son apologie éthique de la force et son mépris de la femme… sauf qu’il était rigoureusement athée, ayant annoncé « la mort de Dieu » et qu’il combattait vigoureusement les religions ! On y trouve même, chez certains, l’affirmation sans retenue qu’« il y a une animalité en l’homme qui le pousse à aller vers l’extérieur », autre idée nietzschéenne qui refusait toute idée d’« esprit » comme mystificatrice et mettait l’accent sur l’origine animale de l’homme et la persistance de cette origine en lui .

    • @marielle c’est complètement hors sujet ce truc, c’est fatiguant de manquer de rigueur comme ça dans une discussion. Le sujet concerne les violences faites aux femmes, je répète 100 fois que le fait d’être croyant n’est pas un critère qui accentue les probabilités de violences faites aux femmes, ou dit autrement, un homme croyant n’a pas plus de propension à être violent vis à vis des femmes qu’un non croyant et vous vous entêtez à parler soit des textes religieux soit ici des illuminations virilistes d’un groupe de catholiques. Vous essayez de prouver quoi en fait ? Moi je vais vous sortir les règlements des cercles bourgeois privés interdits aux femmes ou un florilège des pensées de comptoir dans les bars prolos et ça prouvera quoi ? Le sexisme est transversal à toute la société dépassant les clivages de culture et de classe, c’est d’ailleurs en ça que la société est patriarcale.
      Quant aux études ce sont tout bonnement les enquêtes sociologiques qui étudient la question depuis de nombreuses années et grâce auxquelles on peut aussi ne pas parler dans le vide sur ce sujet ou pas uniquement en citant un amoncellement de faits ou d’exemples sans analyse.
      Je vous laisse entre grands penseurs et penseuses. Ciao !

    • Je suis parfaitement d’accord avec vous.
      Vous êtes entièrement libre de croire. J’ai perdu la foi depuis longtemps !
      Pardonnez moi pour le « hors sujet » et permettez moi d’adhérer à cette pensée :

      Pour avoir baigné dans le puritanisme catholique pendant toute mon enfance et avoir eu un mal fou à me libérer de ce carcan moralisateur entraînant un sentiment de culpabilité énorme quand je n’étais pas une bonne mère ou une bonne épouse, je voudrais faire mienne la parole d’Emma Goldman qui écrivait en 1906 : « Il est de toute nécessité que la femme retienne cette leçon : que sa liberté s’étendra jusqu’où s’étend son pouvoir de se libérer elle-même. Il est donc mille fois plus important pour elle de commencer par sa régénération intérieure ; de laisser tomber le fait des préjugés, des traditions, des coutumes. » (cf. « La tragédie de l’émancipation féminine », Emma Goldman 1906, traduit par E. Armand (1914), p. 185, « Lutte des sexes, lutte des classes », éditions Agone).

      Autrement écrit : « Ni dieu, ni maître, ni ordre moral ! »


  • Tax Haven Mauritius’ Rise Comes At The Rest of Africa’s Expense - ICIJ
    https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/tax-haven-mauritius-africa

    Using an array of complex schemes and companies that are little more than addresses on a piece of paper, this global system has helped corporations shift $100 billion to $300 billion a year in tax revenue away from developing countries, according to the International Monetary Fund.


  • Palestine Report Part 4 : Rawabi, the Architectural Prophecy of an Unequal Palestinian State - THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE
    https://thefunambulist.net/architectural-projects/palestine-report-part-4-rawabi-architectural-prophecy-unequal-palest

    This article is the fourth installment of a series of five that operate as a report of my most recent stay in Palestine in July. While the three first parts were set up in Jerusalem-Al Quds, this fourth one is dedicated to a city that did not exist a few years ago. Situated in the West Bank between Nablus and Ramallah (see map at the end of this text), the new city of Rawabi materializes a sum of crucial questions about the present and the future of Palestine. Developed by the Bayti Real Investment Company, which is owned in partnership by the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and the Palestinian company Massar International owned by charismatic Bashar Masri, the construction of Rawabi started in 2010 at the climax of the politics of development engaged by then Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, former economist for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Such developments have particularly changed the face of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority in a deliberate indifference of the Israeli occupation and a consecration of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Furthermore, when it comes to these new neighborhoods built in the North of Ramallah (see the article “Constructing the Ramallah Bubble“) or Rawabi, it has become commonplace to compare their architectural aesthetics and their urban typology on top of hills (“rawabi” itself means “hills”) to the neighboring Israeli settlements — what I called in the past, an “architectural Stockholm syndrome.” As described by Tina Grandinetti in an article written for the second issue of The Funambulist Magazine, Suburban Geographies (Nov-Dec 2015)), the way architecture enforces the social segregation that a city like Rawabi produces is also manifest, and the many luxurious brands (Ferrari, Armani, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfinger, Mango, etc.) that ostensibly display “coming soon” signs on the storefront of their future stores in Rawabi, certainly contribute to it. Nevertheless, the questions that Rawabi triggers are too important to be dismissed by a superficial critique of it.

    Très intéressant. La revue (https://thefunambulist.net/magazine) a l’air assez passionnante également.

    #palestine #architecture