position:mayor

  • Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html

    Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is. The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day (...)

    #smartphone #GPS #BigData #profiling #géolocalisation #IBM #Foursquare #Goldman_Sachs (...)

    ##Paypal


  • AP Exclusive : Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks
    https://apnews.com/d548c6a958ee4a1fb8479b242ddb82fd

    S’il était encore besoin de prouver le soutien US au coup d’Etat de Guaidó...

    The coalition of Latin American governments that joined the U.S. in quickly recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president came together over weeks of secret diplomacy that included whispered messages to activists under constant surveillance and a high-risk foreign trip by the opposition leader challenging President Nicolas Maduro for power, those involved in the talks said.

    In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition’s strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro’s expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.

    • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/americas/donald-trump-venezuela-military-coup.html?module=inline

      The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

      Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.


  • ’Hatred is becoming more visible’: shocked Gdańsk mourns slain mayor | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/15/gdansk-polish-city-mourning-mayor-pawel-adamowicz-stabbing

    Some of the attacks continued even after he died. In an interview with a rightwing media outlet broadcast on the day Adamowicz’s death was announced, the far-right politician Grzegorz Braun described him as a “traitor to the nation” for his political views.

    “Sadly, hatred is becoming more and more visible and more widely accepted in Polish political and social life,” read a joint declaration of Jewish organisations in Poland, published on Tuesday. “The death of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz is yet another tragic warning signal that in our society, ideological differences, and differences of worldview, can lead – in extreme cases – to acts of physical violence.”

    Adamowicz told the Italian newspaper la Repubblica in 2017: “Physical abuse is normally preceded by verbal violence. When the language of the elites violates the limits imposed by decency, it causes more and more physical violence. Unfortunately this is not a theory but the reality, as the growing cases of racially and religiously based violence demonstrate.”

    Some people have drawn parallels between Adamowicz’s murder and the assassination of Gabriel Narutowicz, the leftwing president of interwar Poland who was shot by a rightwing activist in the 1920s. Making this connection explicit, a silent “march against hatred” held in Warsaw on Monday evening made its way through the streets of the capital to the Zachęta art gallery, where Narutowicz was killed in 1922.

    #haine #Pologne #extreme_droite #Adamowicz


  • Hallandale commissioner: Muslim congresswoman might ’blow up’ Capitol Hill - Sun Sentinel
    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hallandale/fl-ne-hallandale-official-attacks-rashida-tlaib-20190114-story.html

    Jewish commissioner from Hallandale Beach has accused a Muslim congresswoman from Michigan of being an anti-Semite who might “blow up Capitol Hill.”

    Her comments were directed at U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who sparked a political firestorm soon after being sworn in to Congress on Jan. 3 by vowing to help fellow Democrats go after President Donald Trump and “impeach the mother------.”

    [...]

    Like Tlaib, Lima-Taub herself has been at the center of a media storm.

    In September, then-Mayor Keith London accused her of making a living off sphincter bleaching, a reference to her mother’s med spa.

    Infuriated, Lima-Taub accused him of making sexually inappropriate comments and demanded an apology.

    London eventually apologized, but not before the story went viral.


  • Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG
    http://www.transatlanticperspectives.org/entry.php?rec=133
    Des fois que vous nauriez jamais compris pourquoi l’Allemagne est le meilleur ami des USA en Europe voici le résumé de la thèse d’Anne Zetsche

    Transatlantic institutions organizing German-American elite networking since the early 1950s

    Author » Anne Zetsche, Northumbria University Published: November 28, 2012 Updated: February 28, 2013

    The Cold War era witnessed an increasing transnational interconnectedness of individuals and organizations in the cultural, economic and political sphere. In this period, two organizations, the Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany, established themselves as influential facilitators, enabling German-American elite networking throughout the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The two organizations brought together influential politicians and businesspeople, as well as representatives of the media and the academic world.

    Efforts in this regard commenced in the early days of the Cold War, only a few years after the end of World War II. In 1949, two American citizens and two Germans began developing the plan to found the Atlantik-Brücke in West Germany and a sister organization, the American Council on Germany (ACG), in the United States. Their plan was to use these two organizations as vehicles to foster amicable relations between the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America. Only a few years prior, Americans and Germans had faced each other as enemies during World War II and many segments of German society, including West German elites, held strong, long-standing anti-American sentiments. The U.S. public in turn was skeptical as to whether Germans could indeed be denazified and convinced to develop a democratic system. Thus, in order to forge a strong Western alliance against Soviet Communism that included West Germany it was critical to overcome mutual prejudices and counter anti-Americanism in Western Europe. It was to be one of the central tasks of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG to achieve this in West Germany.

    Individuals at the Founding of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG

    One of the founders of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG was Eric M. Warburg. He was a Jewish-American banker originally from Hamburg where his ancestors had founded the family’s banking house in 1798. Due to Nazi Aryanisation and expropriation policies, the Warburg family lost the company in 1938 and immigrated to the United States, settling in New York. In spite of the terror of the Nazi regime, Eric Warburg was very attached to Hamburg. He became a vibrant transatlantic commuter after World War II, living both in Hamburg and in New York. In the intertwined histories of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG, Warburg played a special role, becoming their leading facilitator and mediator.

    Not long after his escape from the Nazis, Warburg met Christopher Emmet, a wealthy publicist and political activist who shared Warburg’s strong anti-communist stance and attachment to pre-Nazi Germany. On the German side of this transatlantic relationship, Warburg and Emmet were joined by Marion Countess Dönhoff, a journalist at the liberal West German weekly Die Zeit, and by Erik Blumenfeld, a Christian Democratic politician and businessmen. There were two main characteristics shared by the original core founders of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG: firstly, each one of the founding quartet belonged to an elite – economic, social or political – and was therefore well-connected with political, diplomatic, business and media circles in both the United States and Germany. Secondly, there was a congruence of basic dispositions among them, namely a staunch anti-communist stance, a transatlantic orientation, and an endorsement of Germany’s integration into the West.

    The Western powers sought the economic and political integration of Western Europe to overcome the devastation of Europe, to revive the world economy, and to thwart nationalism and militarism in Europe after World War II. Germany was considered Europe’s economic powerhouse and thus pivotal in the reconstruction process. West Germany also needed to be on board with security and defense policies in order to face the formidable opponent of Soviet Communism. Since the Federal Republic shared a border with the communist bloc, the young state was extremely vulnerable to potential Soviet aggression and was at the same time strategically important within the Western bloc. Elite organizations like the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG were valuable vehicles to bring West Germany on board for this ambitious Cold War project.

    Thus, in 1952 and 1954 respectively, the ACG and the Atlantik-Brücke were incorporated and granted non-profit status with the approval of John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner to Germany (1949-1952). His wife Ellen McCloy was one of signatories of the ACG’s certificate of incorporation and served as its director for a number of years. The Atlantik-Brücke (originally Transatlantik-Brücke) was incorporated and registered in Hamburg.

    Transatlantic Networking

    The main purpose of both organizations was to inform Germans and Americans about the respective other country, to counter mutual prejudices, and thus contributing to the development of amicable relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States in the postwar era. This was to be achieved by all means deemed appropriate, but with a special focus on arranging personal meetings and talks between representatives of both countries’ business, political, academic, and media elites. One way was to sponsor lectures and provide speakers on issues relating to Germany and the United States. Another method was organizing visiting tours of German politicians, academics, and journalists to the United States and of American representatives to West Germany. Among the Germans who came to the U.S. under the sponsorship of the ACG were Max Brauer, a former Social Democratic mayor of Hamburg, Willy Brandt, the first Social Democratic Chancellor and former mayor of West Berlin, and Franz Josef Strauss, a member of the West German federal government in the 1950s and 1960s and later minister president of the German federal state of Bavaria. American visitors to the Federal Republic were less prominent. Annual reports of the Atlantik-Brücke explicitly mention George Nebolsine of the New York law firm Coudert Brothers and member of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the diplomats Henry J. Tasca, William C. Trimble, and Nedville E. Nordness.

    In the late 1950s the officers of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG sought ways of institutionalizing personal encounters between key Americans and Germans. Thus they established the German-American Conferences modeled on the British-German Königswinter Conferences and the Bilderberg Conferences. The former brought together English and German elites and were organized by the German-English Society (later German-British Society). The latter were organized by the Bilderberg Group, founded by Joseph Retinger, Paul van Zeeland and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Those conferences began in 1954 and were informal, off-the-record meetings of American and West European representatives of business, media, academia and politics. Each of these conference series was important for the coordination of Western elites during the Cold War era. Bilderberg was critical in paving the way for continental European integration and the German-British effort was important for reconciling the European wartime enemies.

    From 1959 onwards, the German-American Conferences took place biennially, alternating between venues in West Germany and the United States. At the first conference in Bonn, 24 Americans came together with 27 Germans, among them such prominent individuals as Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, and John J. McCloy on the American side, and Willy Brandt, Arnold Bergstraesser (considered to be one of the founding fathers of postwar political science in Germany), and Kurt Georg Kiesinger (third Christian Democratic Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and former minister president of the federal state Baden-Württemberg) on the German side. By 1974 the size of the delegations had increased continuously, reaching 73 American and 63 German participants.

    A central goal in selecting the delegations was to arrange for a balanced, bipartisan group of politicians, always including representatives of the Social and Christian Democrats (e.g. Fritz Erler, Kurt Birrenbach) on the German side and both Democratic and Republican senators and representatives (e.g. Henry S. Reuss, Jacob Javits) on the American side, along with academics, journalists, and businessmen. Prominent American academics attending several of the German-American conferences included Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Representatives of major media outlets were Marion Countess Dönhoff of Germany’s major liberal weekly Die Zeit, Kurt Becker, editor of the conservative daily newspaper Die Welt, and Hellmut Jaesrich, editor of the anticommunist cultural magazine Der Monat. The business community was prominently represented by John J. McCloy, the president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Herman Georg Kaiser, an oil producer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. From Germany, Gotthard von Falkenhausen and Eric Warburg represented the financial sector and Alexander Menne, a member of the executive board of Farbwerke Hoechst, represented German industry.

    Officers of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG were mainly in charge of selecting the delegates for the conferences. However, Shepard Stone of the Ford Foundation also had an influential say in this process. In the late 1950s and 1960s he was director of the foundation’s international program and thus responsible for allocating funds to the ACG to facilitate the German-American conferences. Shepard Stone was deeply attached to Germany as he had pursued graduate studies in Berlin in the Weimar period, earning a doctoral degree in history. After World War II he returned to Germany as a public affairs officer of the U.S. High Commission. Stone’s continuing interest in German affairs and friendship with Eric Warburg and Marion Dönhoff regularly brought him to Germany, and he was a frequent participant in the German-American conferences.

    The German-American Conferences and Cold War Politics

    All matters discussed during the conferences stood under the headline “East-West tensions” in the earlier period and later “East-West issues” signaling the beginning of détente, but always maintaining a special focus on U.S.-German relations. The debates from the late 1950s to the early/mid-1970s can be categorized as follows: firstly, bilateral relations between the U.S. and the FRG; secondly, Germany’s relation with the Western alliance; thirdly, Europe and the United States in the Atlantic Alliance; and last but not least, relations between the West, the East, and the developing world. The conferences served three central purposes: firstly, developing a German-American network of elites; secondly, building consensus on key issues of the Cold War period; and thirdly, forming a common Western, transatlantic identity among West Germans and Americans.

    Another emphasis of both groups’ activities in the United States and Germany was the production of studies and other publications (among others, The Vanishing Swastika, the Bridge, Meet Germany, a Newsletter, Hans Wallenberg’s report Democratic Institutions, and the reports on the German-American Conferences). Studies aimed at informing Germans about developments in the United States and American international policies on the one hand, and at informing the American people about West Germany’s progress in denazification, democratization, and re-education on the other. The overall aim of these activities was first and foremost improving each country’s and people’s image in the eyes of the counterpart’s elites and wider public.

    The sources and amounts of available funds to the ACG and the Atlantik-Brücke differed considerably. Whereas the latter selected its members very carefully by way of cooptation especially among businessmen and CEOs to secure sound funding of its enterprise, the former opened membership or affiliation to basically anyone who had an interest in Germany. As a result, the ACG depended heavily, at least for its everyday business, on the fortune of the organization’s executive vice president Christopher Emmet. Emmet personally provided the salaries of ACG secretaries and set up the organization’s offices in his private apartment in New York’s upper Westside. In addition, the ACG relied on funds granted by the Ford Foundation especially for the biannual German-American conferences as well as for the publication of a number of studies. The Atlantik-Brücke in turn benefitted immensely from public funds for its publications and the realization of the German-American conferences. The Federal Press and Information Agency (Bundespresse- und Informationsamt, BPA) supported mainly publication efforts of the organization and the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) regularly granted funds for the conferences.

    Politics, Business and Membership Growth

    Membership of the Atlantik-Brücke grew from 12 in 1954 to 65 in 1974. Among them were representatives of companies like Mannesmann, Esso, Farbwerke Hoechst, Daimler Benz, Deutsche Bank, and Schering. Those members were expected to be willing and able to pay annual membership fees of 3000 to 5000 DM (approx. $750 to $1,250 in 1955, equivalent to approx. $6,475 to $10,793 today). Since the business community always accounted for the majority of Atlantik-Brücke membership compared to members from academia, media and politics, the organization operated on secure financial footing compared to its American counterpart. The ACG had not even established formal membership like its German sister organization. The people affiliated with the ACG in the 1950s up to the mid-1970s were mostly academics, intellectuals, and journalists. It posed a great difficulty for ACG officers to attract business people willing and able to contribute financially to the organization at least until the mid-1970s. When Christopher Emmet, the ACG’s “heart and soul,” passed away in 1974, the group’s affiliates and directors were mostly comprised of Emmet’s circle of friends and acquaintances who shared an interest in U.S.-German relations and Germany itself. Emmet had enlisted most of them during his frequent visits to the meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. Another group of prominent members represented the military. Several leading figures of the U.S. occupying forces and U.S. High Commission personnel joined the ACG, in addition to ranking politicians and U.S. diplomats. The ACG’s long term president, George N. Shuster had served as Land Commissioner for Bavaria during 1950-51. In 1963, Lucius D. Clay, former military governor of the U.S. zone in Germany, 1947-49, joined the ACG as honorary chairman. George McGhee, the former ambassador to Germany prominently represented U.S. diplomacy when he became director of the organization in 1969.

    Although the Atlantik-Brücke had initially ruled out board membership for active politicians, they were prominently represented. Erik Blumenfeld, for example, was an influential Christian Democratic leader in Hamburg. In 1958 he was elected CDU chairman of the federal city state of Hamburg and three years later he became a member of the Bundestag.In the course of the 1960s and 1970s more politicians joined the Atlantik-Brücke and became active members of the board: Kurt Birrenbach (CDU), Fritz Erler (SPD), W. Alexander Menne (FDP), and Helmut Schmidt (SPD). Thus, through their members and affiliates both organizations have been very well-connected with political, diplomatic, and business elites.

    Besides individual and corporate contributions, both organizations relied on funding from public and private institutions and agencies. On the German side federal agencies like the Foreign Office, the Press and Information Agency, and the Chancellery provided funding for publications and supported the German-American conferences. On the American side additional funds were provided almost exclusively by the Ford Foundation.

    Although both groups were incorporated as private associations with the objective of furthering German-American relations in the postwar era, their membership profile and sources of funding clearly illustrate that they were not operating at great distance from either public politics or official diplomacy. On the contrary, the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG represent two prominent actors in a transnational elite networking project with the aim of forging a strong anti-communist Atlantic Alliance among the Western European states and the United States of America. In this endeavor to back up public with private authority, the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG functioned as major conduits of both transnational and transcultural exchange and transfer processes.

    #Europe #Allemagne #USA #politique #guerre #impérialisme #élites


  • MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images | The Planetary Society
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2019/mu69-baby-comet-contact-binary.html

    This is a textbook example of a contact binary. Binary means two objects, of course, and contact means that they’re in contact with each other. Separated binaries are very common in the solar system and especially common in the Kuiper belt. But how can a contact binary form? Is it even plausible for two mutually orbiting bodies to somehow come together so gently and just stick to each other while preserving their originally round shape over billions of years?

    #UltimaThule

    • http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Galleries/Featured-Images/image.php?page=1&gallery_id=2&image_id=578

      The first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 85,000 miles (137,000 kilometers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface. At left is an enhanced color image taken by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), produced by combining the near infrared, red and blue channels. The center image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) has a higher spatial resolution than MVIC by approximately a factor of five. At right, the color has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the color uniformity of the Ultima and Thule lobes. Note the reduced red coloring at the neck of the object.

      Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

    • On (en tous cas, Alan Stern, s’en doutait déjà depuis l’été 2017,…

      New Horizons’ 2019 Target: A Binary Body? - Sky & Telescope
      https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/2014-mu69-fascinates-puzzles-observers


      vue d’artiste en 2017

      New Horizons’ 2019 Target: A Binary Body?
      By: Kelly Beatty | August 4, 2017

      A challenging and intensive campaign by telescope-toting teams yields big-time results on the body that the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past in 17 months.


      During mid-2017, the small Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 occulted (briefly hid) three faint stars as seen from Earth. Here are the predicted tracks, each only about 50 km wide, from which those disappearances were visible.

      The campaign’s first two events, on June 3rd and July 10th, didn’t score a "direct hit” — catching the starlight blinking out momentarily as notoriously dim (27th-magnitude) 2014 MU69 passed in front. But ground-based observers fared much better on July 17th, when five of the 24 observing teams recorded brief cutoffs of light from a 12.6-magnitude star near the Teaspoon asterism in Sagittarius.

      These teams, which included some experienced amateur observers, were arrayed about 4½ km (3 miles) apart along a “picket fence” perpendicular to the occultation’s predicted path. The field conditions, in remote parts of Argentina’s Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces, weren’t ideal. Strong winds buffeted the 16-inch-aperture Sky-Watcher reflectors, and some local citizens (including the mayor of Comodoro Rivadavia) helped out by positioning their trucks as windbreaks.

      As seen from the ground, the unseen 2014 MU69 approached the star at about 24 km per second (due to Earth’s orbital motion, not the KBO’s), meaning that any cover-up would last at most 3 seconds. The teams used cameras that recorded five frames per second. Since five of them reported disappearances, and given their 4½-km spacing, the object has to be 20 to 30 km (12 to 18 miles) long.

      However, the occultation timings don’t match the silhouette that you’d expect for a round object. Instead, reports campaign leader Marc Buie (Southwest Research Institute), it’s likely to be highly elongated (like a skinny eggplant). Or it might be generally spherical with a big chunk missing.

      Or it might actually be two objects in a close binary pairing, either touching one another or twirling around each other at very close range. “The shape of MU69 is truly provocative,” says Alan Stern (also at SwRI), New Horizons’ principal investigator.


      This plot shows the five chords created when a star disappeared behind 2014 MU69 on July 17, 2017. The circles represent how a binary body can be matched to the observations.
      NASA / JHU-APL / SwRI / Alex Parker

    • Le programme de travail projeté pour New Horizons en mars 2016.


      A summary of distant KBO and Centaur observations in KEM. In the timeline (upper left), blue vertical bars indicate targeted periods when observations are possible. Object diameters, in kilometers, assume an albedo of 0.1 for smaller objects where the true albedo is not known. Object classes are as follows: CC=cold classical; HC=hot classical; CN=Centaur; PT=Plutino; SC=Scattered; DP=dwarf planet. Diamonds show geometry and expected observation signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Satellite search limits assume satellite albedos of 0.10 and 3σ detection thresholds.

      With New Horizons so healthy, so capable of carrying out KEM, and so successful at Pluto, we are optimistic about our proposal, which NASA will soon have peer reviewed. If KEM is approved, we will begin both KEM science observations and MU69 flyby planning this fall. If the proposal fails, we will have to turn the spacecraft off in December [2016] for a lack of funds to continue.
      […]
      That’s it for now, and I’ll write again soon. Until then, I hope you’ll keep exploring — just as we do!

      -Alan Stern


  • Fires in the Void : The Need for Migrant Solidarity

    For most, Barcelona’s immigrant detention center is a difficult place to find. Tucked away in the Zona Franca logistics and industrial area, just beyond the Montjuïc Cemetery, it is shrouded in an alien stillness. It may be the quietest place in the city on a Saturday afternoon, but it is not a contemplative quiet. It is a no-one-can-hear-you-scream quiet.

    The area is often described as a perfect example of what anthropologist Marc Augé calls a non-place: neither relational nor historical, nor concerned with identity. Yet this opaque institution is situated in the economic motor of the city, next to the port, the airport, the public transportation company, the wholesale market that provides most of the city’s produce and the printing plant for Spain’s most widely read newspaper. The detention center is a void in the heart of a sovereign body.

    Alik Manukyan died in this void. On the morning of December 3, 2013, officers found the 32-year-old Armenian dead in his isolation cell, hanged using his own shoelaces. Police claimed that Manukyan was a “violent” and “conflictive” person who caused trouble with his cellmates. This account of his alleged suicide was contradicted, however, by three detainees. They claimed Alik had had a confrontation with some officers, who then entered the cell, assaulted him and forced him into isolation. They heard Alik scream and wail all through the night. Two of these witnesses were deported before the case made it to court. An “undetectable technical error” prevented the judge from viewing any surveillance footage.

    The void extends beyond the detention center. In 2013, nearly a decade after moving to Spain, a young Senegalese man named #Alpha_Pam died of tuberculosis. When he went to a hospital for treatment, Pam was denied medical attention because his papers were not in order. His case was a clear example of the apartheid logic underlying a 2012 decree by Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing government, which excluded undocumented people from Spain’s once-universal public health care system. As a result, the country’s hospitals went from being places of universal care to spaces of systematic neglect. The science of healing, warped by nationalist politics.

    Not that science had not played a role in perpetuating the void before. In 2007, during the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, #Osamuyi_Aikpitanyi died during a deportation flight after being gagged and restrained by police escorts. The medical experts who investigated Aikpitanyi’s death concluded that the Nigerian man had died due to a series of factors they called “a vicious spiral”. There was an increase in catecholamine, a neurotransmitter related to stress, fear, panic and flight instincts. This was compounded by a lack of oxygen due to the flight altitude and, possibly, the gag. Ultimately, these experts could not determine what percentage of the death had been directly caused by the gag, and the police were fined 600 euros for the non-criminal offense of “light negligence”.

    The Romans had a term for lives like these, lives that vanish in the void. That term was #homo_sacer, the “sacred man”, who one could kill without being found guilty of murder. An obscure figure from archaic law revived by the philosopher #Giorgio_Agamben, it was used to incorporate human life, stripped of personhood, into the juridical order. Around this figure, a state of exception was produced, in which power could be exercised in its crudest form, opaque and unaccountable. For Agamben, this is the unspoken ground upon which modern sovereignty stands. Perhaps the best example of it is the mass grave that the Mediterranean has become.

    Organized Hypocrisy

    Its name suggests that the Mediterranean was once the world’s center. Today it is its deadliest divide. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 9,000 people died trying to cross the sea between January 1, 2014 and July 5, 2018. A conservative estimate, perhaps. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the number of people found dead or missing during this period is closer to 17,000.

    Concern for the situation peaks when spectacular images make the horror unavoidable. A crisis mentality takes over, and politicians make sweeping gestures with a solemn sense of urgency. One such gesture was made after nearly 400 people died en route to Lampedusa in October 2013. The Italian government responded by launching Operation #Mare_Nostrum, a search-and-rescue program led by the country’s navy and coast guard. It cost €11 million per month, deploying 34 warships and about 900 sailors per working day. Over 150,000 people were rescued by the operation in one year.

    Despite its cost, Mare Nostrum was initially supported by much of the Italian public. It was less popular, however, with other European member states, who accused the mission of encouraging “illegal” migration by making it less deadly. Within a year, Europe’s refusal to share the responsibility had produced a substantial degree of discontent in Italy. In October 2014, Mare Nostrum was scrapped and replaced by #Triton, an operation led by the European border agency #Frontex.

    With a third of Mare Nostrum’s budget, Triton was oriented not towards protecting lives but towards surveillance and border control. As a result, the deadliest incidents in the region’s history occurred less than half a year into the operation. Between April 13 and April 19, 2015, over one thousand people drowned in the waters abandoned by European search and rescue efforts. Once again, the images produced a public outcry. Once again, European leaders shed crocodile tears for the dead.

    Instead of strengthening search and rescue efforts, the EU increased Frontex’s budget and complemented Triton with #Operation_Sophia, a military effort to disrupt the networks of so-called “smugglers”. #Eugenio_Cusumano, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Leiden, has written extensively on the consequences of this approach, which he describes as “organized hypocrisy”. In an article for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0010836718780175), Cusumano shows how the shortage of search and rescue assets caused by the termination of Mare Nostrum led non-governmental organizations to become the main source of these activities off the Libyan shore. Between 2014 and 2017, NGOs aided over 100,000 people.

    Their efforts have been admirable. Yet the precariousness of their resources and their dependence on private donors mean that NGOs have neither the power nor the capacity to provide aid on the scale required to prevent thousands of deaths at the border. To make matters worse, for the last several months governments have been targeting NGOs and individual activists as smugglers or human traffickers, criminalizing their solidarity. It is hardly surprising, then, that the border has become even deadlier in recent years. According to the UN Refugee Agency, although the number of attempted crossings has fallen over 80 percent from its peak in 2015, the percentage of people who have died or vanished has quadrupled.

    It is not my intention, with the litany of deaths described here, to simply name some of the people killed by Europe’s border regime. What I hope to have done instead is show the scale of the void at its heart and give a sense of its ruthlessness and verticality. There is a tendency to refer to this void as a gap, as a space beyond the reach of European institutions, the European gaze or European epistemologies. If this were true, the void could be filled by simply extending Europe’s reach, by producing new concepts, mapping new terrains, building new institutions.

    But, in fact, Europe has been treating the void as a site of production all along. As political theorist #Sandro_Mezzadra writes, the border is the method through which the sovereign machine of governmentality was built. Its construction must be sabotaged, subverted and disrupted at every level.

    A Crisis of Solidarity

    When the ultranationalist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the MV #Aquarius to dock in June 2018, he was applauded by an alarmingly large number of Italians. Many blamed his racism and that of the Italians for putting over 600 lives at risk, including those of 123 unaccompanied minors, eleven young children and seven pregnant women.

    Certainly, the willingness to make a political point by sacrificing hundreds of migrant lives confirms that racism. But another part of what made Salvini’s gesture so horrifying was that, presumably, many of those who had once celebrated increasing search and rescue efforts now supported the opposite. Meanwhile, many of the same European politicians who had refused to share Italy’s responsibilities five years earlier were now expressing moral outrage over Salvini’s lack of solidarity.

    Once again, the crisis mode of European border politics was activated. Once again, European politicians and media talked about a “migrant crisis”, about “flows” of people causing unprecedented “pressure” on the southern border. But attempted crossings were at their lowest level in years, a fact that led many migration scholars to claim this was not a “migrant crisis”, but a crisis of solidarity. In this sense, Italy’s shift reflects the nature of the problem. By leaving it up to individual member states, the EU has made responding to the deaths at the border a matter of national conviction. When international solidarity is absent, national self-interest takes over.

    Fortunately, Spain’s freshly sworn-in Socialist Party government granted the Aquarius permission to dock in the Port of #Valencia. This happened only after Mayor Ada Colau of Barcelona, a self-declared “City of Refuge”, pressured Spanish President Pedro Sánchez by publicly offering to receive the ship at the Port of Barcelona. Party politics being as they are, Sánchez authorized a port where his party’s relationship with the governing left-wing platform was less conflictive than in Barcelona.

    The media celebrated Sánchez’s authorization as an example of moral virtue. Yet it would not have happened if solidarity with refugees had not been considered politically profitable by institutional actors. In Spain’s highly fractured political arena, younger left-wing parties and the Catalan independence movement are constantly pressuring a weakened Socialist Party to prove their progressive credentials. Meanwhile, tireless mobilization by social movements has made welcoming refugees a matter of common sense and basic human decency.

    The best known example of this mobilization was the massive protest that took place in February 2017, when 150,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that Mariano Rajoy’s government take in more refugees and migrants. It is likely because of actions like these that, according to the June 2018 Eurobarometer, over 80 percent of people in Spain believe the country should help those fleeing disaster.

    Yet even where the situation might be more favorable to bottom-up pressure, those in power will not only limit the degree to which demands are met, but actively distort those demands. The February 2017 protest is a good example. Though it also called for the abolition of detention centers, racial profiling and Spain’s racist immigration law, the march is best remembered for the single demand of welcoming refugees.

    The adoption of this demand by the Socialist Party was predictably cynical. After authorizing the Aquarius, President Sánchez used his momentarily boosted credibility to present, alongside Emmanuel Macron, a “progressive” European alternative to Salvini’s closed border. It involved creating detention centers all over the continent, with the excuse of determining people’s documentation status. Gears turn in the sovereign machine of governmentality. The void expands.

    Today the border is a sprawling, parasitic entity linking governments, private companies and supranational institutions. It is not enough for NGOs to rescue refugees, when their efforts can be turned into spot-mopping for the state. It is not enough for social movements to pressure national governments to change their policies, when individual demands can be distorted to mean anything. It is not enough for cities to declare themselves places of refuge, when they can be compelled to enforce racist laws. It is not enough for political parties to take power, when they can be conditioned by private interests, the media and public opinion polls.

    To overcome these limitations, we must understand borders as highly vertical transnational constructions. Dismantling those constructions will require organization, confrontation, direct action, sabotage and, above all, that borderless praxis of mutual aid and solidarity known as internationalism. If we truly hope to abolish the border, we must start fires in the void.

    https://roarmag.org/magazine/migrant-solidarity-fires-in-the-void
    #solidarité #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #asile #détention_administrative #rétention #Barcelone #non-lieu #Espagne #mourir_en_détention_administrative #mort #décès #mourir_en_rétention #Alik_Manukyan #renvois #expulsions #vie_nue #Méditerranée #hypocrisie #hypocrisie_organisée #ONG #sauvetage #sabotage #nationalisme #crise #villes-refuge #Valence #internationalisme #ouverture_des_frontières #action_directe

    signalé par @isskein


  • Netanyahu will do all he can to destroy Jewish-Arab alliances

    The alliance between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish left has historically been viewed as a threat to the rule of the right. That’s why Netanyahu is doing everything he can to undermine it.

    By Eli Bitan

    https://972mag.com/netanyahu-will-do-all-he-can-to-destroy-jewish-arab-alliances/139103

    The Israeli right knows exactly how to harm the left: by making its alliance with Palestinian citizens not only impossible but illegitimate, thus drawing away its power. The Jewish left, for its part, has historically done enough to undermine this alliance. But recent events have created new possibilities — and that’s why the right is coming out with guns blazing.

    Related stories
    This is how to fight Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law By Said Zeedani | November 29, 2018
    The right keeps winning in Israel because Israelis are right wing By Dahlia Scheindlin | November 19, 2018
    In the age of Trump and Netanyahu, progressive values are winning By Bar Gissin and Maya Haber | November 16, 2018
    The case for a unified Palestinian protest movement By Rabeea Eid | September 24, 2018
    This dynamic is currently playing out in Haifa, where in the recent municipal elections, newly-elected Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem appointed Raja Zaatry, a veteran activist from the Jewish-Arab Hadash party, to be her deputy. Kalisch-Rotem, who defeated incumbent Yona Yahav from the Labor Party, was elected with the support of the left and the ultra-Orthodox community. In early December, she announced her coalition, which excluded the right-wing Likud, and included the Haredi party, Hadash, and Meretz.

    Then, on Dec. 4, Makor Rishon, the newspaper of Israel’s religious-nationalist community, published an article on Zaatry, which painted him as a supporter of BDS and a Hezbollah sympathizer who previously compared Israel to ISIS.

    The furor came almost immediately. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri demanded Kalisch-Rotem walk back from her decision, while Prime Minister Netanyahu opened his weekly cabinet meeting by discussing Zaatry. Yair Lapid, who in the eyes of many Israelis has come to represent an opposition to the Netanyahu government, decried Zaatry’s appointment on Facebook.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu even phoned the mayor in an attempt to persuade her to change her mind. Kalisch-Rotem, however, made clear to him that her coalition agreement would remain unchanged. The controversy might appear like a tempest in a teapot, but it is evidently enough to concern both Netanyahu and Lapid. Kalisch-Rotem’s coalition, it turns out, is a threat to the right’s rule in Israel.


  • NYC passes minimum pay wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
    https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/04/nyc-minimum-pay-wage-uber-lyft-drivers

    12.04.18 - New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to establish a minimum wage for drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via. The city is the first in the US to set a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. Going forward, the minimum pay will be set at $17.22 per hour after expenses, bringing it in line with the city’s $15 per hour minimum wage for typical employees, which will take effect at the end of the year. The additional $2.22 takes into account contract drivers’ payroll taxes and paid time off.

    “Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers.”

    Earlier this year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. And in August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill requiring the commission to set a base pay rate. The Independent Drivers Guild, which has been working towards a minimum pay rate for some time, estimates that contract drivers in the city are currently earning just $11.90 per hour after expenses.

    Across the US, there’s been increased scrutiny on what companies like Uber and Lyft are actually paying their workers. In May, San Francisco subpoenaed the two companies for their pay records, and both companies have faced lawsuits over driver wages. Last year, NYC began requiring all ride-hailing services to offer an in-app tipping option.

    The rules passed today aren’t sitting well with the companies affected by them, however. Lyft told Engadget that it’s concerned that calculating pay per ride rather than per week will incentivize short rides over long rides. Further, Lyft says the new out of town rates — which require companies to pay drivers more when they take passengers outside of the city and return without a passenger — will be hard to implement before the new regulations take effect in 30 days.

    “Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” the company told Engadget. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan. These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”

    Uber released a statement as well ahead of today’s vote. The company’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, said:

    “Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC - whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber - are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit.

    The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.

    The TLC’s rules does not take into account incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher. Companies use incentives and bonuses as part of driver earnings to ensure reliability citywide by providing a monetary incentive to drivers to complete trips in areas that need them the most (such as outside of Manhattan).

    In addition, the rules miss an opportunity to immediately deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district. A recent TLC study authored by economists James Parrott and Michael Reich describes a formula that would financially punish companies who have low utilization rates. Instead, the TLC is choosing the adopt an industry-wide utilization rate that does not hold bases accountable for keeping cars full with paying passengers.”

    #USA #New_York #Uber #Mindestlohn


  • 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


  • Airbnb to remove listings in Jewish West Bank settlements - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/airbnb-to-remove-listings-in-jewish-west-bank-settlements-1.6662443

    Home-renting company Airbnb Inc said on Monday that it had decided to remove its listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, enclaves that most world powers consider illegal for taking up land where Palestinians seek statehood. In response, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed the ministry to restrict the company’s operations across the country.
    A statement on Airbnb’s website said: “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” 
    It did not say when the decision, which according to Airbnb affects some 200 listings, would take effect. 
    Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan called on Airbnb hosts harmed by the decision to file lawsuits against the company in accordance with Israel’s anti-boycott law and said he’ll turn to senior U.S. officials to check if the company’s decision violated the anti-boycott laws “that exist in over 25 states.”
    He said that “national conflicts exist throughout the world and Airbnb will need to explain why they chose a racist political stance against some Israeli citizens.”

    The Yesha Council of settlements said in response that “a company that has no qualms about renting apartments in dictatorships around the world and in places that have no relationship with human rights is singling out Israel. This can only be a result of anti-Semitism or surrendering to terrorism – or both.”

    Levin demanded Airbnb cancel its “discrimantory” decision, saying it was a “shameful and miserable decision.”
    Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Airbnb should have included East Jerusalem and should have said settlements “are illegal and constitute war crimes.” He added: “We reiterate our call upon the UN Human Rights Council to release the database of companies profiting from the Israeli colonial occupation.”

    Airbnb came under Palestinian criticism for such listings, which some find misleading for failing to mention the property is on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians.
    The Palestinians say that by contributing to the settlement economy, Airbnb, like other companies doing business in the West Bank, helps perpetuate Israel’s settlement enterprise. 
    “There are conflicting views regarding whether companies should be doing business in the occupied territories that are the subject of historical disputes between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Airbnb statement said. 
    The statement continued: “In the past, we made clear that we would operate in this area as allowed by law. We did this because we believe that people-to-people travel has considerable value and we want to help bring people together in as many places as possible around the world. Since then, we spent considerable time speaking to various experts. We know that people will disagree with this decision and appreciate their perspective.”
    Oded Revivi, mayor of the West Bank settlement of Efrat and a representative of Yesha, described the Airbnb decision as contrary to its mission, as stated on the website, of “help(ing) to bring people together in as many places as possible around the world”. 
    Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and began building settlements soon after.
    While Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the settler population in east Jerusalem and the West Bank has ballooned to almost 600,000. The Palestinians claim these areas as parts of a future state, a position that has wide global support.
    Airbnb said that as part of their decision-making framework, they “evaluate whether the existence of listings is contributing to existing human suffering” and “determine whether the existence of listings in the occupied territory has a direct connection to the larger dispute in the region.”
    The Associated Press contributed to this report

    #BDS


  • Opinion | New York’s Amazon Deal Is a Bad Bargain - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/opinion/new-yorks-amazon-deal.html

    The city has what the company wants, talent. Why pay them $1.5 billion to come?

    Amazon wants to develop a four-million-square-foot campus by the East River because of the talent that resides in New York. Lots of it. According to the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, New York has more than 320,000 tech workers in the labor pool, the most in the nation. (Washington is second.) That talent commands high salaries, great benefits and won’t move to Pittsburgh or Austin or any other of the perfectly nice cities that tried to woo the online giant.

    Which raises the question: If New York has what Amazon wants, why is it paying the company so much to make the move? Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who offered to replace his given name with the company’s to land the deal, are doing a victory dance.

    But the plan calls for the state to dispense $1.525 billion to the company, including $1.2 billion from its Excelsior program, which will reimburse Amazon $48,000 for every job. Another state agency, Empire State Development, will offer $325 million to the Amazonians tied to real estate projects. As for the city, Amazon can apply for tax credits that could be worth north of $1 billion from programs known as ICAP and REAP that reward companies for job creation generally, and outside Manhattan specifically. (And the campus is in a federal redevelopment area that qualifies for corporate tax breaks, letting the company’s major stockholder, the world’s richest man, keep more of his wealth.)

    Oh, and Amazon wants a helipad for its chief executive, Jeff Bezos. No problem.

    The prospect of handing Long Island City over to a company recently valued at $1 trillion seems distorted to some Queens politicians. They sense gentrification by fiat — another neighborhood sacrificed to the tech elite.

    “I welcome the jobs if it means Amazon investment in L.I.C. infrastructure, without us having to pay a ransom for them to be here,” said the neighborhood’s state senator, Michael Gianaris.

    That is, rather than the state and the city paying off Amazon, Amazon should be required to invest in the subways, schools and affordable housing. It could also be required to include job guarantees for lower-income residents of Long Island City, not just flimsy promises of job training.

    #Amazon #New_York #Strategie_economique


  • #Moose_Jaw_tunnels reveal dark tales of Canada’s past

    One of the strangest stories in 20th-century Canadian history is coming to light thanks to excavations under the streets of Moose Jaw.

    For more than 75 years, city officials denied rumours of a network of tunnels located under this sleepy city, once one of the wildest frontier towns in the Canadian West.

    Now part of the network has been restored and is open to tourists. Promoted as The Tunnels of Little Chicago, the underground maze has become the city’s most popular tourist attraction, with more than 100,000 visitors to date.

    Local researchers have interviewed many of the city’s senior citizens to get at the long-hidden truth.

    “All of the accounts agreed on the main points,” said Penny Eberle, who has been closely involved in the restoration project.

    Eberle says work on the tunnels began in about 1908 after several Chinese railway workers were savagely beaten at the CPR railyards by whites who believed the Chinese were taking their jobs.

    This was the time when Western Canada was gripped by hysteria about the “yellow peril,” and Ottawa imposed its infamous head tax on Chinese would-be immigrants.

    Terrified and unable to pay the head tax, the Chinese workers literally went underground, digging secret tunnels where they could hide until the situation improved.

    Evidence suggests the tunnels were used for many years. The railway workers managed to bring women to live with them and even raised children in rat-infested darkness.

    Access to the tunnels was gained from the basements of buildings owned by legal Chinese immigrants. The underground residents would do work for above-ground laundries and restaurants and would obtain food and other supplies in payment.

    Because the tunnels were built adjacent to heated basements, they were livable in winter.

    The tunnels acquired a whole new purpose in the 1920s, when the United States and much of Canada embarked on Prohibition.

    As a major CPR terminus linked to the United States by the Soo Line, Moose Jaw was ideally situated to become a bootlegging hub. The city’s remote location also made it a good place to escape U.S. police.

    Moose Jaw became something of a gangsters’ resort, with regular visitors from the Chicago mob.

    “They came to lay in the sun,” says Laurence (Moon) Mullin, an 89-year-old Moose Jaw resident, who worked as a messenger in the tunnels as an 11-year-old boy.

    It didn’t hurt that the entire local police force, including Chief Walter Johnson, was in cahoots with the bootleggers. Local historians say Johnson ran Moose Jaw like a personal fiefdom for 20 years, and even the mayor dared not interfere.

    Mullin liked the bootleggers who frequently paid five cents rather than four, the official price, for the newspapers he sold on a downtown corner.

    The tunnels were used for gambling, prostitution and warehousing illegal booze. Mullin says one tunnel went right under the CPR station and opened into a shed in the rail yards. It was possible to load and unload rail cars without any risk of being seen by unfriendly eyes.

    Mullin says that Chief Johnson would occasionally stop by his newspaper stand. As Johnson paid his nickel he would whisper into Mullin’s ear: “There’s going to be a big storm tonight.”

    Mullin knew what those words meant: an imminent raid by Allen Hawkes of the Saskatchewan Liquor Commission, who did not share Johnson’s tolerant attitudes.

    The boy would rush to a hidden door under the Exchange Cafe, give a secret knock, run down a tunnel to a second door, and knock again. There he would be admitted to a room full of gamblers.

    “The smoke was so thick you could have cut it with a sharp knife and brought it out in squares,” he says, chuckling. “But everyone seemed quite comfortable.”

    Some say the bootleggers strong-armed the Chinese to take over the tunnels, but Mullin denies this. He says the Chinese and bootleggers worked together.

    There are anecdotes about Al Capone himself. Moose Jaw resident Nancy Gray has written that her late father Bill Beamish, a barber, was called to the tunnels several times to cut Capone’s hair.

    Mullin says he never saw Capone but did meet Diamond Jim Brady, whom he describes as Capone’s right-hand man.

    He says Brady was always impeccably dressed in a grey suit and liked to show off the gun he wore under his armpit; the diamonds embedded in his front teeth sparkled when he smiled.

    Mullin says he and the other messenger boys got 20 cents for every errand. The gangsters didn’t allow them to touch booze but taught them how to play poker.

    “The best teachers I had in this world were those men that weren’t supposed to be any good.”

    The boys held Brady in special awe: “He’d always tell us to stay on the straight and narrow. He had eyes just like a reptile and when he looked at you he almost paralysed you. I think he was absolutely fearless.”

    Mullin says some rotgut whisky was made in Saskatchewan but all the good stuff came from the Bronfman distillery in Montreal.

    As recently as the 1970s local officials denied the existence of the tunnels, but the denials became difficult to maintain when part of Main Street collapsed, leaving an unsuspecting motorist planted in a deep hole.

    “I always said some day a truck is going to break through, and it did,” Mullin says. Guided tours of the tunnels begin daily at the Souvenir Shop, 108 Main St. N. in downtown Moose Jaw. Tours last 45 minutes and cost $7 for adults. Senior, student and child rates, as well as group rates, also offered. Wheelchair access not available. Information: (306) 693-5261

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/moose-jaw-tunnels-reveal-dark-tales-of-canadas-past/article4158935
    #migrations #chinois #Canada #souterrain #sous-terre #histoire #tunnels #tourisme #dark_tourism


  • Felicia Langer. Remembering Israel’s human rights law trailblazer, a Holocaust survivor who called to boycott Israeli products

    A communist labeled ’the terrorists’ attorney,’ Felicia Langer called her clients ‘resistance fighters.’ In 1990 she gave up and left for Germany, where she died over the summer

    Ofer Aderet SendSend me email alerts
    Nov 06, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-remembering-israel-s-human-rights-law-trailblazer-1.6632132

    After the Six-Day War, attorney Felicia Langer opened an office near the Old City in Jerusalem and began representing Arabs. Langer was a strange type in the local topography: a Jewish Holocaust survivor with a Polish accent who adhered to European manners and believed in the ideology of communism.
    “Her engagement with Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip was perhaps the strangest thing in the Middle East,” wrote attorney Michael Sfard. Her acquaintances saw in her a pathfinder in legal battles that advanced the human rights of Palestinians. Her enemies saw in her a traitor and accessory of terrorists.
    >> Holocaust survivor and Palestinians’ rights lawyer Felicia Langer dies in exile at 87
    She was born in the city of Tarnov, Poland in 1930 as Felicia Amalia White. In World War II she fled with her family to the Soviet Union, where her father died. After the war, she returned to the land of her birth and married Holocaust survivor Moshe Langer. In 1950 they immigrated to Israel – “not because of Zionist ideology,” according to her, but to live near her mother.
    Archival documents attest to the tense relationships between her and the Israeli establishment. In 1968 an intelligence officer in the military government in Hebron testified before the Legal Attaché of the West Bank that she “held extreme left-wing opinions.” In 1975, the Foreign Ministry reported that the Shin Bet security service viewed her legal activities as being guided by political motivations to harm “the state and the image of the state.” She faced threats to her life throughout her career. Occasionally, she felt compelled to hire a bodyguard.
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    Langer fought the expulsion of Palestinian leaders, housing demolitions of terror suspects, administrative detentions (imprisonment without charges), and torture. “She never hesitated to accuse the establishment of crimes and to represent her clients as victims of an evil regime,” wrote Sfard.

    When they called her “the defense attorney of terrorists,” she replied that her clients were not terrorists, but “resistance fighters.” “A people under occupation has the right to wage violent struggle,” she said. Among her famous clients was the mayor of Nablus, Bassam Shakaa, one of the leaders of resistance to the occupation, whose expulsion Langer succeeded in preventing. Other clients included the parents of the attackers of Bus 300, who sought to sue the state for killing their sons, and a young Dutch woman who was detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport after she gathered intelligence for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Langer maintained that she was just a “small cog.”
    In 1990, she immigrated to Germany, after handling what she estimated to have been 3,000 cases. “I could no longer help the Palestinian victims in the framework of the existing legal system and its flouting of international law, which is supposed to protect the people that I defended,” she said in an interview with Eran Torbiner. “It is forbidden to be silent; silence also can kill,” she said, in explaining her call for the boycott of Israeli goods. As a German citizen, she called on Germany to fight the occupation.
    Langer lived in Tübingen, teaching and writing books. Critics were angered by her comparison of Israel to the Nazis, and accused her of hypocrisy for ignoring the crimes of communist regimes. When she was asked once to describe her “love of homeland,” she answered: “Hatred of occupation.” In June, Langer died of cancer at age 87.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent


  • 30 years on since first migrant death, still no end to tragedies at sea

    When the body of a Moroccan man washed up on a beach in #Tarifa in 1988, no one knew that it would be the first of more than 6,700 fatalities.

    The body lay face up in the sand with its arms in a cross. It was swollen but clothed. The small boat had run aground and swept up on the shores of a beach in Tarifa, a town in Spain’s southern province of Cádiz. Four survivors recounted in French the story of the shipwreck that “froze the heart.”

    It was November 1, 1988, a date that continues to haunt journalist Ildefonso Sena. He took 10 photos of the scene with his Nikon compact camera but only one was needed for the incident to send shock waves through Europe. Without intending to, he had immortalized the first migrant death in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    “I wasn’t aware of the number of deaths that would follow,” Sena told the local newspaper Diario de Cádiz. Two bodies were found the following day, another two on November 3 and one more in Ceuta, the Spanish exclave city in North Africa. A total of 11 people died and seven disappeared. It was the first time a migrant boat had shipwrecked off Spain’s southern border. Thirty years on, there is no sign of an end to the deaths. “There has not been one single year where there have not been deadly tragedies,” says Gabriel Delgado, who has been director of the Migration Office of the Cádiz and Ceuta Diocese since 1993.

    Since November 1, 1988, 6,714 migrants have died or gone missing in the Strait of Gibraltar, according to a report by the migrant support group Andalucía Acoge. As the sun sets one afternoon in late October, Antonio Ruiz and his son Francisco Ruiz visit the graves at Tarifa cemetery. Antonio was mayor for the Socialist Party (PSOE) when Tarifa was shocked by the first migrant death. Now his son is the mayor and the people of the town, home to 118,116 residents, jump into action to lend a hand and provide resources to hundreds of migrants when the system is unable to cope.

    In Tarifa, they now know that when the wind is calm or gently blowing from the west, boats will arrive to the shore. And, if there is a sudden easterly gust, that there will be more deaths at sea. “We have 30 years of experience. We have been living with this situation for many years and are used to it. You have to normalize providing shelter, but you must never normalize death,” says Francisco Ruiz.

    This is the unwritten wisdom of a town committed to solidarity at all costs – a hundred or so locals spent their summer helping migrants sheltered in the municipal pavilion – and one that is becoming increasingly more familiar with the arrival of bodies of North African and Sub-Saharan migrants to their shores.

    It was not like this in the 1980s, when the town had no idea about the scope of the problem. “We could not imagine that this was going to lead to what it has led to,” explains Antonio Ruiz. Sena agrees: “The migration phenomena was gradually revealed. Between 1982 and 1983, boats began to arrive and the Civil Guard thought at first they were bringing in drugs. Later it happened more frequently but nobody gave it any importance until November 1, 1988.” That was the day the journalist was told by a Civil Guard officer: “Go to Los Lances beach, a body has appeared.”

    Sena remembers the scene when he arrived: “There was an infernal wind. The dead young man was two meters from the bow of the boat. He was around 25 years old and covered with grime from the sea.”

    He squatted down to take the photos. An officer then approached him and asked if he could interpret from French for the four Moroccan survivors. “They told me that 23 of them had set sail at 12 from a beach in Tangier. Halfway into the trip, they were surprised by a very strong easterly wind. They got close to the coast but the ship capsized,” recalls the 67-year-old, who has now retired.

    The 11 migrants who were found dead in the following days had no name, affiliation or known family – a pattern that would become all too familiar. Their bodies were moved from the morgue to a common grave in Tarifa cemetery, which is marked by a simple tombstone: “In memory of the migrants who died in the Strait of Gibraltar.” Delgado placed the tombstone when he took office. Since then, he and his team have discovered that, unlike other dioceses, the brunt of their work is in assisting migrants, not emigrants.

    Delgado has 25 years of bittersweet experiences, of migrants who were able to move forward and others who became just another anonymous legal process of a tomb in the cemeteries of Tarifa, Barbate and Conil de la Frontera in Cádiz, and in Ceuta. In these years, Delgado has seen blood trails on beaches and dead children, like Samuel, who was found at the beginning of 2017 in Barbate. “Fatal tragedies hit me very hard. I cannot get used to it,” explains the priest, who has officiated dozens of migrant burials.

    Every second Wednesday of the month, Delgado organizes Circles of Silence meetings in cities in Ceuta and Cádiz. “We don’t want anyone to get used to tragedy. Now I fear that, what’s more, we have gone from the globalization of indifference to the globalization of rejection,” he says in a serious tone.

    Every date marks the death of a migrant at sea. But back on November 1, 1988, it was difficult to imagine the Strait of Gibraltar would become the mass grave it is today. That windy morning was just a day when Sena pressed the shutter on his camera, “without calibrating the importance the photo would have.”


    https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/11/01/inenglish/1541074865_689521.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC
    #Etroit_de_Gibraltar #mourir_en_mer #30_ans triste (#anniversaire) #histoire #photographie #migrations #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #Espagne #Méditerranée #Forteresse_Europe #1988

    ping @reka


  • Domino’s ‘Paving for Pizza’ Stunt Fills Potholes in American Cities - Eater
    https://www.eater.com/2018/9/7/17831586/dominos-potholes-paving-for-pizza-towns


    #privatisation partout : le nid-de-poule Domino, le trottoir Starbuck, les chiottes MacDo ?
    Remarque, on a déjà pas mal de ronds-points qui on été payés par le supermarché qui s’est installé à côté et on a des stades et des salles de concert qui portent le nom de boites.

    But beneath the surface, the willingness for cities to take this money is an indictment on the state of American infrastructure funding. Several mayors suggested that getting the money to keep streets in good condition was a major challenge, in some cases blaming a lack of funding from states, or the general difficulties of raising enough tax money to keep roads from falling apart.

    Mayor Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, says that the state gives his city, which is just outside Boston, around $1.2 million for infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges each year (as well as for the equipment to do that work). That’s enough to pave up to 1.5 miles of road, he says. “The costs are so extraordinary… when you’ve got over 250 miles of road, that [money is] really not going to make it happen,” DiNatale says. “So my motivation is ‘any help we can get’, and certainly, Domino’s has a very helpful and clever approach.”


  • La sindaca di #Lodi non torna indietro: «Il regolamento resta in vigore». Nuovo caso in Veneto

    Per ottenere il contributo regionale sull’acquisto di testi scolastici in Veneto, i cittadini non comunitari devono presentare, oltre alla certificazione Isee, un certificato sul possesso di immobili o percezione di redditi all’estero rilasciato dalle autorità del Paese di provenienza.

    È quanto si legge nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet della Regione. Nei giorni scorsi, era scoppiata la polemica su un caso simile a Lodi, dove il Comune ha chiesto un documento aggiuntivo a chi non è italiano per ottenere le agevolazioni sulla mensa scolastica.

    La norma non è però presente né nella delibera di Giunta né nel bando per la concessione di contributi, ma soltanto nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet per la compilazione della richiesta. A renderlo noto, in un’interrogazione alla Giunta regionale, è il Gruppo del Partito democratico, che chiede una proroga per il termine di presentazione delle domande, che è stata fissata a mezzogiorno di oggi. «La Giunta - afferma l’interrogazione che ha come primi firmatari i consiglieri Francesca Zottis e Claudio Sinigaglia - faccia chiarezza sui contributi per il buono libri: la documentazione richiesta ai cittadini non comunitari sta provocando ritardi e disagi».

    La certificazione richiesta ai cittadini extra Ue è «un passaggio obbligatorio - spiegano Zottis e Sinigaglia - che compare solo nelle istruzioni delle procedure web per la validazione delle domande alla Regione. Tuttavia la documentazione non serve in presenza di un’apposita convenzione tra l’Italia e lo stato di provenienza: bastano delle semplici dichiarazioni sostitutive. Ma le amministrazioni locali neanche sanno quali sono i Paesi con cui sono stati firmati questi accordi, oltre ad aver scoperto in ritardo la necessità di un ulteriore passaggio in quanto non c’era alcuna traccia nel bando. Non si può scaricare ulteriori incombenze e responsabilità sui Comuni. Senza considerare che si rischia di tagliar fuori dai contributi una buona fetta di cittadini non comunitari che invece avrebbe bisogno di un sostegno».

    La replica della Regione Veneto rispetto alla vicenda, sottolinea che la necessità di un certificato ai cittadini non comunitari per usufruire dei buoni per l’acquisto di libri ricalca quanto stabilito dalla normativa statale. Si sarebbe trattato, quindi, dell’applicazione in ambito regionale del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 tutt’ora vigente.

    La norma regola l’utilizzo degli istituti della autocertificazione di fatti, stati e qualità personali relativamente ai soli cittadini non comunitari, appartenenti a Paesi che non hanno sottoscritto con lo Stato Italiano convenzioni internazionali. In ambito regionale la materia è regolata dalla legge 7 febbraio 2018 n. 2 «Disposizioni in materia di documentazione amministrativa» ai sensi dell’articolo 3 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 28 dicembre 2000, n. 445 «Testo unico delle disposizioni legislative e regolamentari in materia di documentazione amministrativa» e dell’articolo 2 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 «Regolamento recante norme di attuazione del testo unico delle disposizioni concernenti la disciplina dell’immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero».

    Intanto, sul «caso Lodi», è intervenuto Matteo Salvini, attraverso una dichiarazione postata sul suo profilo Facebook: «Basta coi furbetti, se c’è gente che al suo Paese ha case, terreni e soldi, perché dovremmo dare loro dei servizi gratis, mentre gli Italiani pagano tutto?».

    E, dopo le polemiche, arriva la replica della sindaca di Lodi, che non arretra. «Certamente il Regolamento rimane in vigore, la Legge deve sempre valere per tutti - si legge in una nota - dispiace che non tutti condividano il principio di equità che sta alla base di questa delibera, che vuole mettere italiani e stranieri nella stessa condizione di partenza per dimostrare redditi e beni posseduti, né il successivo impegno preso dall’Amministrazione nei confronti dei cittadini che sono nell’oggettiva impossibilità di presentare la documentazione richiesta».

    https://www.huffingtonpost.it/2018/10/15/bimbi-stranieri-esclusi-da-buoni-libro-senza-certificato-ad-hoc-nuovo

    #enfants #enfance #école #discriminations #Italie #mensa #manuels_scolaires #xénophobie #racisme #cantine_scolaire

    • Lodi, l’affondo di Fico: «Chiedere scusa ai bimbi e riammetterli a #mensa»

      Dopo la rivolta contro l’esclusione dei bimbi stranieri l’inversione di rotta del governo. Salvini: «Se i genitori non possono portare i documenti, varrà la buona fede». E Di Maio: «I bambini non si toccano, Bussetti troverà soluzione». Ma la sindaca resiste: «Il regolamento resta in vigore»

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/15/news/lodi_dietrofront_del_governo_ai_bimbi_stranieri_bastera_l_autocertificazi

    • Lodi: sospendere la delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Lodi: Amnesty International Lombardia chiede la sospensione della delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha espresso preoccupazione per la delibera approvata dal comune di Lodi, che prevede che ai fini dell’accoglimento della domanda per ottenere le agevolazioni vengano considerati – per i cittadini stranieri – anche i redditi e i beni posseduti all’estero e non dichiarati in Italia.

      Ai fini di tale certificazione, anche in assenza di beni o redditi, è necessario produrre una certificazione rilasciata dalla competente autorità dello stato estero (ambasciata o consolato), corredata da traduzione legalizzata dall’autorità consolare italiana che ne attesti la conformità.

      In una lettera inviata alla sindaca di Lodi, Sara Casanova, il responsabile di Amnesty International Lombardia, Simone Rizza, ha dichiarato che “in conseguenza di tale disposizione, in molti casi si ha l’impossibilità di attestare una situazione patrimoniale di difficoltà, a carico di una considerevole fascia di popolazione debole e sulla base di un criterio inequivocabilmente discriminatorio (…). Gli effetti sono di particolare rilevanza se visti in relazione al servizio di mensa e di trasporto pubblico per i bambini delle famiglie colpite dal provvedimento, il cui diritto allo studio e ad una positiva integrazione con i compagni pari-età rischiano di essere seriamente compromessi“.

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha dunque chiesto alla sindaca di sospendere questa misura al più presto, individuando in via alternativa criteri diversi e comunque non discriminatori.

      https://www.amnesty.it/lodi-amnesty-international-lombardia-chiede-la-sospensione-della-delibera-co

    • Veneto, bimbi stranieri non hanno sconti sui libri senza certificati dei Paesi d’origine

      Nuovo ‘caso Lodi’: i bimbi stranieri vengono discriminati in Veneto: senza certificazioni dei Paesi d’origine che attestino la condizione economica della famiglia non possono ottenere agevolazioni sui libri scolastici. Assessore del comune di Padova: “Lo faccia la Regione la verifica visto che si tratta di una disposizione regionale anche perché ad oggi non c’è un elenco dei Paesi che aderiscono alle convenzioni quindi tecnicamente è una norma inapplicabile e per questo discriminatoria”

      https://www.fanpage.it/veneto-bimbi-stranieri-non-hanno-sconti-sui-libri-senza-certificati-dei-paes

    • Mensa ai bimbi migranti, il dem Guerini: «Non cancellate l’umanità della mia Lodi»

      Sindaco per otto anni, ora a capo del Copasir. Il deputato dem parla del caso-mense scolastiche: «L’immagine che si sta dando non ha nulla a che fare con la nostra comunità che si è sempre caratterizzata per l’impegno verso gli altri»


      https://www.repubblica.it/politica/2018/10/17/news/lodi_l_ex_sindaco_guerini_ora_capo_del_copasir_nostra_citta_sempre_stata_accogliente_-209132976/?ref=twhs&timestamp=1539771237000&refresh_ce

    • Italy’s Salvini forced into U-turn over school lunches for immigrant children

      Far-right minister forced to drop support for edict that effectively excluded children from school canteens

      Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has been forced to drop his support for a controversial policy in a northern city that led to the children of immigrants paying more for school lunches than their Italian counterparts.

      The minister came under pressure after a crowdfunding appeal raised €60,000 (£46,000) within a few days to fund school lunches for the children of mainly African migrants in protest against a resolution passed by Sara Casanova, the mayor from Salvini’s League party in the Lombardy city of Lodi, that in effect forced them to eat separately.
      The edict had obliged parents to declare their assets, in Italy and their countries of origin – a difficult if not impossible request for those coming from African countries – in order to qualify for the standard cost of meals.

      Failing to provide the asset details meant they had to pay the highest rate of €5 per child, and with migrants constituting the poorest people in the city, many could not afford to do so. Families were also required to pay €210 per child each quarter for the school bus.

      The resolution, first reported by the Piazza Pulita television programme, meant that for two weeks, more than 300 children were in effect excluded from school canteens across the city and forced to dine at home.

      Activists and leftwing politicians attacked the resolution, with a senator from the centre-left Democratic party, Simona Malpezzi, describing it as “apartheid”.

      Italy’s children’s commissioner, Filomena Albano, urged the city’s council to rethink the policy, telling La Repubblica: “It’s unthinkable to force young children to eat alone, cut off from their classmates, because their parents cannot pay.”

      The aid group Coordination of Equal Duties launched a crowdfunding campaign across Italy that raised €60,000 to ensure school lunches and bus rides for children affected by the resolution.

      Amid the outcry, Salvini relinquished his support for the move, writing on Facebook that “a self-certification of assets” would be enough to guarantee school meals for the children of foreigners.

      He also came under pressure from his government coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the populist Five Star Movement, who praised Italians’ generosity and said “no child should be harmed”.

      In spite of the pressures from the government and the protesters, Casanova has insisted she will not go back on her decision. Although she is likely to accept the self-certification, the resolution will not be dismissed, she told reporters.

      The former prime minister Matteo Renzi described the resolution as a “national disgrace”.

      ‘‘Seeing children discriminated against in the school canteen for economic reasons hurts the heart,” he wrote on Twitter. “Politics based on hate and fear generates monsters.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/15/italys-salvini-forced-into-u-turn-over-school-lunches-for-immigrant

    • Italy’s Tough Line on Immigrants Reaches a School Cafeteria

      At the beginning of the school year, as most of the elementary students chatted over warm plates of pasta in the cafeteria, about a dozen immigrant children unwrapped sandwiches around three tables in a spare classroom with slanted purple blinds, drab office furniture and a form reading, “Students who bring lunch from home.”

      “I wanted to go back to the cafeteria,” said Khadiga Gomaa, a 10-year-old Egyptian girl.

      Khadiga and the others did not belong to an Italian breakfast club of poorly behaved students. They were segregated from the rest of the pupils at Lodi’s Archinti school because they had lost their daily lunch subsidy.

      And that was because they failed to meet a new, and critics say punitive, requirement introduced by the town’s mayor, a member of the governing and anti-immigrant League party.

      In addition to the usual documentation needed for lunch and bus subsidies, the mayor now requires foreigners to prove that they do not possess property, bank accounts or other revenue streams in their countries of origin.

      Without that proof, children cannot get subsidized lunch and instead have to pay five euros a day, which many parents say they cannot afford. But in Lodi’s schools, as in much of Italy, children cannot bring outside food into the cafeteria.

      That meant students who hadn’t paid or received subsidies had to go home for lunch. To avoid burdening parents, the school’s principal allowed the children to bring sandwiches from home and eat them in a separate room.

      Reports of segregation in Lodi — and the violation of the sacred Italian ritual of lunching together — struck an Italian heartstring.

      After a national outcry, Italians raised 80,000 euros to pay for the lunches and school buses of about 200 immigrant children, many of them born and raised in Italy, through December. And many hailed the haul as a first sign of resistance to the League, and to Matteo Salvini, its national leader and Italy’s powerful vice premier, who has cracked down on immigration, hardened opposition to birthright citizenship and spoken harshly about migrants.

      But here in Lodi, a town in the fertile Po River Valley, with a handsome piazza paved with cobbled gray river stones and adorned with a medieval cathedral and neoclassical facades, many locals took another view.

      On Tuesday morning, as the committee that had raised money for the children held a rally in a small piazza directly under the mayor’s offices, Adriana Bonvicini, 60, bought gladioli in the piazza’s flower shop.

      “They are exploiting their children and people’s feelings to get what they want,” she said, gesturing at the square, filled with women in hijabs and flowing African dresses.

      “They are trying to cast us as heartless,” she continued. “They are the cruel ones. It’s a question of justice. They all have five kids each and want a free ride. Remember what Erdogan said.”

      This was a reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has urged Turkish people living in Europe to “have not just three but five children.” She quoted him, loosely: “We will take over Europe through our women’s bellies.”

      The women around Ms. Bonvicini agreed.

      They argued that it wasn’t so hard for foreigners to get proof from their embassies and that foreigners took advantage of the town’s largess and then complained about it.

      They sounded, in short, like the people who voted for the League in the town and all over the country.

      “Let them govern,” Ms. Bonvicini said, referring to the government.

      But Lodi mothers from Tunisia and Egypt said that they returned home to get the documents and that none existed. A mother from Nigeria said her husband went to the embassy in Rome and submitted the requisite documentation to the city, but had yet to hear back and was struggling to pay the full freight for her child.

      The mayor, Sara Casanova, had the backing of Mr. Salvini (“SHE’S RIGHT!!!” he wrote on Twitter). On Tuesday she was nowhere to be seen.

      She declined an interview request, but told La Verità, a newspaper preferred by the government, that she didn’t require the documentation from people from war-torn nations, and that “we’re not racist and there’s no apartheid here.”

      On Tuesday, the committee’s organizers hung signs showing children with their noses pressed up against a cafeteria window.

      Another sign showed a boy with his hands in the air saying: “Fascism is back. History didn’t teach you anything!!”

      That sign was directed to Lodi’s mayor, whose door they knocked on every two hours with chants of “Open up.” But it could have been a message to the national government.

      Tuesday was also the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Roman Jews to Nazi death camps, but the prime minister’s office wrote that it was the 80th anniversary, and the president of the country’s national broadcaster, who was chosen by Mr. Salvini, wrote of “the celebration of the 65th anniversary.”

      Northern regions controlled by the League have also required immigrants to prove their financial status through the same bureaucratic requirement used in Lodi when trying to get low-cost public housing and subsidies to buy school textbooks. For the demonstrators in Lodi, the town, a famous battlefield for Napoleon, was now a front against the government’s creeping racism and resurgent fascism.

      “I’m sorry for Italy if they think this is equality,” said Imen Mbarek, 30, who said she returned to Tunisia to get the right papers but that they simply didn’t exist. She is now paying full price for school lunch; last year, she said, she paid 1.65 euros a day.

      Hayat Laoulaoi, 35, a Moroccan housewife with a blue headdress and pink cellphone cover, had four children, all but one born in Italy. She said she was unable to secure the required documentation or afford the full freight.

      o she made her son Soufiane, 9, tuna sandwiches that he ate in the separate room.

      She said that after losing the bus subsidy, she walked with him six kilometers to school and that when they saw a bus drive by on the street he asked, “‘There’s a school bus, why can’t we go on it?’”

      As she spoke, her son played quietly with a Transformer toy and said he missed his friend Rayen, a Tunisian boy who still eats in the cafeteria.

      The majority of the students in his school, as high as 80 percent according to school officials, are considered foreigners, even though many of them were born and raised in Italy.

      Eugenio Merli, the principal of the Archinti school — which is named for Ettore Archinti, a former Lodi mayor sent by fascists to die in a Nazi concentration camp — defended his decision to put the children in a separate classroom to eat.

      “Eating in the classroom created a type of separation, but it was a way to help the parents,” he said, adding that he worried that if the children were forced home for lunch, they might not come back.

      This month, he strong-armed the cafeteria’s caterers into letting the students back into the cafeteria, where they ate their sandwiches at separate tables.

      “The kids have a right to be with their friends, not to be segregated,” he said. “They aren’t just going to school to learn. They are also learning how to live together.”

      Outside the school, he greeted Khadiga Gomaa, who was in high spirits. She said she had eaten her first hot lunch with her friends since school started.

      “I had penne pasta, cod and salad,” she said. “It was good.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/world/europe/italy-schools-league.html


  • Selemet is a village in the Republic of Moldova: abandoned, tumbledown, forgotten – like so many. A quarter of the 5,000-strong population lives abroad, while those who remain attempt to arrest the decline

    http://www.erstestiftung.org/en/the-mayor

    Early in the morning the air in Selemet is already sweet with the scent of acacia flowers, mixed with the strong perfume of a woman in a black suit, strutting along the bumpy village street in high heels. Her claret-coloured bob matches her lipstick and the nail varnish that decorates her cared-for worker’s hands. Her arms are like those of all the other women here, who work in the fields as well as doing housework. Tatiana Badan is a strong woman in every sense of the word. She proudly wears a flag-shaped badge with the national colours of Moldova pinned to her breast; it bears the word ‘Primarul’, meaning ‘Mayor’.

    #moldavie #cartographi #shinking_cities (villages)


  • Iqaluit mayor faces backlash after calling out some male #Inuit leaders as sexual predators

    #Madeleine_Redfern spoke at federal committee on the Status of Women meeting in September.

    Sexual harassment in the workplace remains a challenge for women in Nunavut, according to Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern.

    She was asked to present to the House of Commons’ Status of Women committee about barriers for women in politics at a Sept. 26 meeting in Ottawa.

    “When our Inuit male leaders travel with their female staff, they think it’s a benefit and a perk that they can actually sexually harass, sexually assault or have relationships with women on the road,” Redfern told the committee.

    The mayor said she has received backlash for her comments, so she tweeted out a clarification email, sent to the committee, ensuring it was understood that she meant some, not all, Inuit male leaders.

    “Of course, I know that not all our Inuit leaders are sexual predators. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would naturally presume that I meant all,” Redfern told CBC News.

    The backlash included messages calling for her to be investigated, she said.

    “I don’t even name names and I get attacked, viciously,” Redfern said. “Death threats because I’ve spoken out.”

    Her post on Facebook received dozens of positive comments, including some from women who said they had similar experiences with male Inuit leaders.


    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/iqaluit-mayor-madeleine-redfern-sex-harassment-travel-1.4851984?cmp=rss
    #peuples_autochtones #viol #violence_sexuelle #prédateurs_sexuels #femmes #hommes


  • C.I.A. Drone Mission, Curtailed by Obama, Is Expanded in Africa Under Trump

    The C.I.A. is poised to conduct secret drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State insurgents from a newly expanded air base deep in the Sahara, making aggressive use of powers that were scaled back during the Obama administration and restored by President Trump.

    Late in his presidency, Barack Obama sought to put the military in charge of drone attacks after a backlash arose over a series of highly visible strikes, some of which killed civilians. The move was intended, in part, to bring greater transparency to attacks that the United States often refused to acknowledge its role in.

    But now the C.I.A. is broadening its drone operations, moving aircraft to northeastern Niger to hunt Islamist militants in southern Libya. The expansion adds to the agency’s limited covert missions in eastern Afghanistan for strikes in Pakistan, and in southern Saudi Arabia for attacks in Yemen.

    Nigerien and American officials said the C.I.A. had been flying drones on surveillance missions for several months from a corner of a small commercial airport in Dirkou. Satellite imagery shows that the airport has grown significantly since February to include a new taxiway, walls and security posts.

    One American official said the drones had not yet been used in lethal missions, but would almost certainly be in the near future, given the growing threat in southern Libya. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive operations.

    A C.I.A. spokesman, Timothy Barrett, declined to comment. A Defense Department spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, said the military had maintained a base at the Dirkou airfield for several months but did not fly drone missions from there.

    The drones take off from Dirkou at night — typically between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. — buzzing in the clear, starlit desert sky. A New York Times reporter saw the gray aircraft — about the size of Predator drones, which are 27 feet long — flying at least three times over six days in early August. Unlike small passenger planes that land occasionally at the airport, the drones have no blinking lights signaling their presence.

    “All I know is they’re American,” Niger’s interior minister, Mohamed Bazoum, said in an interview. He offered few other details about the drones.

    Dirkou’s mayor, Boubakar Jerome, said the drones had helped improve the town’s security. “It’s always good. If people see things like that, they’ll be scared,” Mr. Jerome said.

    Mr. Obama had curtailed the C.I.A.’s lethal role by limiting its drone flights, notably in Yemen. Some strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere that accidentally killed civilians, stirring outrage among foreign diplomats and military officials, were shielded because of the C.I.A.’s secrecy.

    As part of the shift, the Pentagon was given the unambiguous lead for such operations. The move sought, in part, to end an often awkward charade in which the United States would not concede its responsibility for strikes that were abundantly covered by news organizations and tallied by watchdog groups. However, the C.I.A. program was not fully shut down worldwide, as the agency and its supporters in Congress balked.

    The drone policy was changed last year, after Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director at the time, made a forceful case to President Trump that the agency’s broader counterterrorism efforts were being needlessly constrained. The Dirkou base was already up and running by the time Mr. Pompeo stepped down as head of the C.I.A. in April to become Mr. Trump’s secretary of state.

    The Pentagon’s Africa Command has carried out five drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State militants in Libya this year, including one two weeks ago. The military launches its MQ-9 Reaper drones from bases in Sicily and in Niamey, Niger’s capital, 800 miles southwest of Dirkou.

    But the C.I.A. base is hundreds of miles closer to southwestern Libya, a notorious haven for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups that also operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad, Mali and Algeria. It is also closer to southern Libya than a new $110 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, 350 miles west of Dirkou, where the Pentagon plans to operate armed Reaper drone missions by early next year.

    Another American official said the C.I.A. began setting up the base in January to improve surveillance of the region, partly in response to an ambush last fall in another part of Niger that killed four American troops. The Dirkou airfield was labeled a United States Air Force base as a cover, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential operational matters.

    The C.I.A. operation in Dirkou is burdened by few, if any, of the political sensitivities that the United States military confronts at its locations, said one former American official involved with the project.

    Even so, security analysts said, it is not clear why the United States needs both military and C.I.A. drone operations in the same general vicinity to combat insurgents in Libya. France also flies Reaper drones from Niamey, but only on unarmed reconnaissance missions.

    “I would be surprised that the C.I.A. would open its own base,” said Bill Roggio, editor of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which tracks military strikes against militant groups.

    Despite American denials, a Nigerien security official said he had concluded that the C.I.A. launched an armed drone from the Dirkou base to strike a target in Ubari, in southern Libya, on July 25. The Nigerien security official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the classified program.

    A spokesman for the Africa Command, Maj. Karl Wiest, said the military did not carry out the Ubari strike.

    #Ubari is in the same region where the American military in March launched its first-ever drone attack against Qaeda militants in southern Libya. It is at the intersection of the powerful criminal and jihadist currents that have washed across Libya in recent years. Roughly equidistant from Libya’s borders with Niger, Chad and Algeria, the area’s seminomadic residents are heavily involved in the smuggling of weapons, drugs and migrants through the lawless deserts of southern Libya.

    Some of the residents have allied with Islamist militias, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates across Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya.

    Dirkou, in northeast Niger, is an oasis town of a few thousand people in the open desert, bordered by a small mountain range. For centuries, it has been a key transit point for travelers crossing the Sahara. It helped facilitate the rise of Islam in West Africa in the 9th century, and welcomed salt caravans from the neighboring town of Bilma.

    The town has a handful of narrow, sandy roads. Small trees dot the horizon. Date and neem trees line the streets, providing shelter for people escaping the oppressive midday heat. There is a small market, where goods for sale include spaghetti imported from Libya. Gasoline is also imported from Libya and is cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

    The drones based in Dirkou are loud, and their humming and buzzing drowns out the bleats of goats and crows of roosters.

    “It stops me from sleeping,” said Ajimi Koddo, 45, a former migrant smuggler. “They need to go. They go in our village, and it annoys us too much.”

    Satellite imagery shows that construction started in February on a new compound at the Dirkou airstrip. Since then, the facility has been extended to include a larger paved taxiway and a clamshell tent connected to the airstrip — all features that are consistent with the deployment of small aircraft, possibly drones.

    Five defensive positions were set up around the airport, and there appear to be new security gates and checkpoints both to the compound and the broader airport.

    It’s not the first time that Washington has eyed with interest Dirkou’s tiny base. In the late 1980s, the United States spent $3.2 million renovating the airstrip in an effort to bolster Niger’s government against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, then the leader of Libya.

    Compared with other parts of Africa, the C.I.A.’s presence in the continent’s northwest is relatively light, according to a former State Department official who served in the region. In this part of Niger, the C.I.A. is also providing training and sharing intelligence, according to a Nigerien military intelligence document reviewed by The Times.

    The Nigerien security official said about a dozen American Green Berets were stationed earlier this year in #Dirkou — in a base separate from the C.I.A.’s — to train a special counterterrorism battalion of local forces. Those trainers left about three months ago, the official said.

    It is unlikely that they will return anytime soon. The Pentagon is considering withdrawing nearly all American commandos from Niger in the wake of the deadly October ambush that killed four United States soldiers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/world/africa/cia-drones-africa-military.html
    #CIA #drones #Niger #Sahel #USA #Etats-Unis #EI #ISIS #Etat_islamique #sécurité #terrorisme #base_militaire

    • Le Sahel est-il une zone de #non-droit ?

      La CIA a posé ses valises dans la bande sahélo-saharienne. Le New-York Times l’a annoncé, le 9 septembre dernier. Le quotidien US, a révélé l’existence d’une #base_de_drones secrète non loin de la commune de Dirkou, dans le nord-est du Niger. Cette localité, enclavée, la première grande ville la plus proche est Agadez située à 570 km, est le terrain de tir parfait. Elle est éloignée de tous les regards, y compris des autres forces armées étrangères : France, Allemagne, Italie, présentes sur le sol nigérien. Selon un responsable américain anonyme interrogé par ce journal, les drones déployés à Dirkou n’avaient « pas encore été utilisés dans des missions meurtrières, mais qu’ils le seraient certainement dans un proche avenir, compte tenu de la menace croissante qui pèse sur le sud de la Libye. » Or, d’après les renseignements recueillis par l’IVERIS, ces assertions sont fausses, la CIA a déjà mené des opérations à partir de cette base. Ces informations apportent un nouvel éclairage et expliquent le refus catégorique et systématique de l’administration américaine de placer la force conjointe du G5 Sahel (Tchad, Mauritanie, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Mali) sous le chapitre VII de la charte des Nations Unies.
      L’installation d’une base de drones n’est pas une bonne nouvelle pour les peuples du Sahel, et plus largement de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, qui pourraient connaître les mêmes malheurs que les Afghans et les Pakistanais confrontés à la guerre des drones avec sa cohorte de victimes civiles, appelées pudiquement « dégâts collatéraux ».

      D’après le journaliste du NYT, qui s’est rendu sur place, les drones présents à Dirkou ressembleraient à des Predator, des aéronefs d’ancienne génération qui ont un rayon d’action de 1250 km. Il serait assez étonnant que l’agence de Langley soit équipée de vieux modèles alors que l’US Air Force dispose à Niamey et bientôt à Agadez des derniers modèles MQ-9 Reaper, qui, eux, volent sur une distance de 1850 km. A partir de cette base, la CIA dispose donc d’un terrain de tir étendu qui va de la Libye, au sud de l’Algérie, en passant par le Tchad, jusqu’au centre du Mali, au Nord du Burkina et du Nigéria…

      Selon deux sources militaires de pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, ces drones ont déjà réalisé des frappes à partir de la base de Dirkou. Ces bombardements ont eu lieu en Libye. Il paraît important de préciser que le chaos existant dans ce pays depuis la guerre de 2011, ne rend pas ces frappes plus légales. Par ailleurs, ces mêmes sources suspectent la CIA d’utiliser Dirkou comme une prison secrète « si des drones peuvent se poser des avions aussi. Rien ne les empêche de transporter des terroristes de Libye exfiltrés. Dirkou un Guantanamo bis ? »

      En outre, il n’est pas impossible que ces drones tueurs aient été en action dans d’autres Etats limitrophes. Qui peut le savoir ? « Cette base est irrégulière, illégale, la CIA peut faire absolument tout ce qu’elle veut là-bas » rapporte un officier. De plus, comment faire la différence entre un MQ-9 Reaper de la CIA ou encore un de l’US Air Force, qui, elle, a obtenu l’autorisation d’armer ses drones (1). Encore que…

      En novembre 2017, le président Mahamadou Issoufou a autorisé les drones de l’US Air Force basés à Niamey, à frapper leurs cibles sur le territoire nigérien (2). Mais pour que cet agrément soit légal, il aurait fallu qu’il soit présenté devant le parlement, ce qui n’a pas été le cas. Même s’il l’avait été, d’une part, il le serait seulement pour l’armée US et pas pour la CIA, d’autre part, il ne serait valable que sur le sol nigérien et pas sur les territoires des pays voisins…

      Pour rappel, cette autorisation a été accordée à peine un mois après les événements de Tongo Tongo, où neuf militaires avaient été tués, cinq soldats nigériens et quatre américains. Cette autorisation est souvent présentée comme la conséquence de cette attaque. Or, les pourparlers ont eu lieu bien avant. En effet, l’AFRICOM a planifié la construction de la base de drone d’Agadez, la seconde la plus importante de l’US Air Force en Afrique après Djibouti, dès 2016, sous le mandat de Barack Obama. Une nouvelle preuve que la politique africaine du Pentagone n’a pas changée avec l’arrivée de Donald Trump (3-4-5).

      Les USA seuls maîtres à bord dans le Sahel

      Dès lors, le véto catégorique des Etats-Unis de placer la force G5 Sahel sous chapitre VII se comprend mieux. Il s’agit de mener une guerre non-officielle sans mandat international des Nations-Unies et sans se soucier du droit international. Ce n’était donc pas utile qu’Emmanuel Macron, fer de lance du G5, force qui aurait permis à l’opération Barkhane de sortir du bourbier dans lequel elle se trouve, plaide à de nombreuses reprises cette cause auprès de Donald Trump. Tous les présidents du G5 Sahel s’y sont essayés également, en vain. Ils ont fini par comprendre, quatre chefs d’Etats ont boudé la dernière Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Seul, le Président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, est monté à la tribune pour réitérer la demande de mise sous chapitre VII, unique solution pour que cette force obtienne un financement pérenne. Alors qu’en décembre 2017, Emmanuel Macron y croyait encore dur comme fer et exigeait des victoires au premier semestre 2018, faute de budget, le G5 Sahel n’est toujours pas opérationnel ! (6-7) Néanmoins, la Chine a promis de le soutenir financièrement. Magnanime, le secrétaire d’Etat à la défense, Jim Mattis a lui assuré à son homologue, Florence Parly, que les Etats-Unis apporteraient à la force conjointe une aide très significativement augmentée. Mais toujours pas de chapitre VII en vue... Ainsi, l’administration Trump joue coup double. Non seulement elle ne s’embarrasse pas avec le Conseil de Sécurité et le droit international mais sous couvert de lutte antiterroriste, elle incruste ses bottes dans ce qui est, (ce qui fut ?), la zone d’influence française.

      Far West

      Cerise sur le gâteau, en août dernier le patron de l’AFRICOM, le général Thomas D. Waldhauser, a annoncé une réduction drastique de ses troupes en Afrique (9). Les sociétés militaires privées, dont celle d’Erik Prince, anciennement Blackwater, ont bien compris le message et sont dans les starting-blocks prêtes à s’installer au Sahel (10).


      https://www.iveris.eu/list/notes_danalyse/371-le_sahel_estil_une_zone_de_nondroit__


  • Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over ’comfort women’ statue | World news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/osaka-drops-san-francisco-as-sister-city-over-comfort-women-statue

    The city of Osaka has ended its 60-year “sister city” relationship with San Francisco to protest against the presence in the US city of a statue symbolising Japan’s wartime use of sex slaves.

    Osaka’s mayor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, terminated official ties this week after the US city agreed to recognise the “comfort women” statue, which was erected by a private group last year in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, as public property.

    The statue depicts three women – from China, Korea and the Philippines – who symbolise women and teenage girls forced to work in frontline brothels from the early 1930s until Japan’s wartime defeat in 1945.


  • As homeless camp grows, #Minneapolis leaders search for a solution

    A large homeless camp has formed outside Minneapolis inhabited mostly by Native Americans. The city has responded by tending to people within the camp and planning a temporary shelter site rather than displacing them.

    When a disturbed woman pulled a knife on Denise Deer earlier this month, she quickly herded her children into their tent. A nearby man stepped in and the woman was arrested, and within minutes, 8-year-old Shilo and 4-year-old Koda were back outside sitting on a sidewalk, playing with a train set and gobbling treats delivered by volunteers.

    The sprawling homeless encampment just south of downtown Minneapolis isn’t where Ms. Deer wanted her family of six to be, but with nowhere else to go after her mother-in-law wouldn’t take them in, she sighed: “It’s a place.”

    City leaders have been reluctant to break up what’s believed to be the largest homeless camp ever seen in Minneapolis, where the forbidding climate has typically discouraged large encampments seen elsewhere. But two deaths in recent weeks and concern about disease, drugs, and the coming winter have ratcheted up pressure for a solution.

    “Housing is a right,” Mayor Jacob Frey said. “We’re going to continue working as hard as we can to make sure the people in our city are guaranteed that right.”

    As many as 300 people have congregated in the camp that took root this summer beside an urban freeway. When The Associated Press visited earlier this month, colorful tents and a few teepees were lined up in rows, sometimes inches apart and three tents deep. Bicycles, coolers, or small toys were near some tents, and some people had strung up laundry to air out.

    Most of the residents are Native American. The encampment – called the “Wall of Forgotten Natives” because it sits against a highway sound wall – is in a part of the city with a large concentration of American Indians and organizations that help them. Some have noted the tents stand on what was once Dakota land.

    “They came to an area, a geography that has long been identified as a part of the Native community. A lot of the camp residents feel at home, they feel safer,” said Robert Lilligren, vice chairman of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors.

    The encampment illuminates some problems that face American Indians in Minneapolis. They make up 1.1 percent of Hennepin County’s residents, but 16 percent of unsheltered homeless people, according to an April count. It’s also a community being hit harder by opioids – with Native Americans five times more likely to die from an overdose than whites, according to state health department data.

    One end of the camp appeared to be geared toward families, while adults – some of whom were visibly high – were on the other end. In the middle, a group called Natives Against Heroin was operating a tent where volunteers handed out bottles of water, food, and clothing. The group also gives addicts clean needles and sharps containers, and volunteers carry naloxone to treat overdoses.

    “People are respectful,” said group founder James Cross. “But sometimes an addict will be coming off a high.... We have to deescalate. Not hurt them, just escort them off. And say ’Hey, this is a family setting. This is a community. We’ve got kids, elders. We’ve got to make it safe.’”

    With dozens of people living within inches of each other, health officials also fear an outbreak of infectious diseases like hepatitis A. Medical professionals have started administering vaccines. In recent weeks, one woman died when she didn’t have an asthma inhaler, and one man died from a drug overdose.

    For now, service agencies have set up areas for camp residents to get medical care, antibiotics, hygiene kits, or other supplies. There’s a station advertising free HIV testing, a place to apply for housing, and temporary showers. Portable restrooms and hand-sanitizing stations have also been put up.

    But city officials know that’s not sustainable, especially as winter approaches. At an emergency meeting on Sept. 26, the City Council approved a plan to use land that’s primarily owned by the Red Lake Nation as the site for a “navigation center,” which will include temporary shelters and services.

    Because buildings need to be demolished, that site might not be ready until early December, concerning at least one council member. But Sam Strong of the Red Lake Nation said it’s possible the process could be expedited. Once camp residents are safe for the winter, finding more stable, long-term housing will be the goal. Several families have already been moved to shelters.

    Bear La Ronge Jr. moved to the encampment after he got full custody of his three kids and realized they couldn’t live along the railroad tracks where he’d been staying. Over several weeks, he watched the tent city grow, and wishes the drug users would be removed.

    “This place is so incorporated with drugs, needles laying everywhere,” Mr. La Ronge said. He pointed to a cardboard box outside his tent that contained toys. “I wake up every morning and look in my toy box and there’s five open needles in there because people walk by and just drop their needles in my kids’ toys. So I need to go somewhere else.”

    Angela Brown has been homeless for years. She moved to the tent city with her 4-month-old daughter, Raylynn, when it seemed to be her last option.

    “I’d rather be getting a house. I don’t like being dirty, waking up sweaty,” Ms. Brown said as she cradled her daughter.

    She said she did laundry at the camp and took showers, and living there was OK. But she was worried about her daughter, especially with winter coming.

    https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2018/0927/As-homeless-camp-grows-Minneapolis-leaders-search-for-a-solution?cmpid=TW
    #peuples_autochtones #camps #USA #Etats-Unis #SDF #sans-abri #logement #hébergement



  • Are New York’s Free LinkNYC Internet Kiosks Tracking Your Movements ?
    https://theintercept.com/2018/09/08/linknyc-free-wifi-kiosks

    LinkNYC kiosks have become a familiar eyesore to New Yorkers. Over 1,600 of these towering, nine-and-a-half-foot monoliths — their double-sided screens festooned with ads and fun facts — have been installed across the city since early 2016. Mayor Bill de Blasio has celebrated their ability to provide “the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world” as “a critical step toward a more equal, open, and connected city for every New Yorker, in every borough.” Anyone can use the kiosks’ (...)

    #WiFi #géolocalisation #ACLU #EFF #LinkNYC #rethinklink.nyc


  • Fascist white feminism is exploiting fears about sexual violence to push racist agendas

    Sexual violence and child sexual abuse is a growing focus in racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric across Europe. Following the arrest of ex-#English_Defence_League (#EDL) leader #Tommy_Robinson after he broadcast live outside a child grooming trial in Leeds, in June 2018 another “#Free_Tommy” march took place, supported by a far-right campaign group called #120_decibels (#120dB). The group are named after the volume of a rape alarm, use sexual violence against women as a political tool to assert their nationalist, racist agenda across Europe and the UK.

    Heavily promoted by the now-crumbling #Generation_Identity, an alt-right group whose “core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack”, #120dB claim that sexual violence is “imported violence” perpetrated by “criminal migrants”. This racialisation of sexual violence is dangerous. Instead of tackling all gender-based violence, regardless of the perpetrator’s nationality, immigration status or race, narratives such as those reproduced by #120dB co-opt violence against women for a racist agenda. The impact of this is that already marginalised communities are criminalised, victims and survivors are unsupported, and abuse goes unchallenged, as it is obfuscated by racism.

    In their YouTube videos, #120dB labels migrants as “criminal migrants…from archaic societies” who are responsible for “migrant sex crimes”. This #racialisation feeds into racist tropes – that migrant men are from “backward” cultures and are inherently “sexually dangerous”. This language obscures the prevalence of sexual violence across society, which occurs as a cause and consequence of gender inequality. The blanket stereotyping of all non-white men is dangerous and has contributed to racist attacks perpetrated in order to “avenge” white women.

    For example, in February 2018, the murder of 18-year-old Italian #Pamela_Mastropietro by a Nigerian man became a focal point for anti-immigration hatred, and was used to promote #120dB’s messages. A few days after Mastropietro’s death, a gunman went on a shooting rampage in #Marcerata, Italy, injuring six African migrants – five men and one woman. Far-right extremist #Luca_Traini was arrested in connection with the attack. The timing of these incidents show how anti-immigration rhetoric gives the green light to racist violence. Speaking at the time of the shooting, Macerata’s mayor said that the shooting rampage “could be ascribable to the campaign of racial hatred that began after Mastropietro’s death.

    The Italian far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) party also used Mastropietro’s killing to push their anti-immigration agenda. The continued ramifications of their anti-migrant rhetoric were evident in the killing of #Soumaila_Sacko in June 2018. #Sacko, a 29-year-old Malian man and Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) trade union activist was shot dead in Calabria, Italy by a white man. The USB trade union attributed Sacko’s death to interior minister Matteo Salvini’s vow to “send home” thousands of migrants. As Hsiao-Hung Pai wrote for OpenDemocracy: “No one could ignore the fact that Sacko was murdered just hours after Salvini was sworn in as the country’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, the man who had built a political career on inciting racial hatred”.

    This narrative of #victimisation is not new. At a Generation Identity rally in Telford, UK, where it was revealed in March 2018 that up to 1,000 children may have suffered abuse and exploitation, a male speaker called the Midlands town “the epicentre for one of the worst crimes committed against the English nation”. He told the crowd:

    “We fight for the dignity, self-respect and honour of the women of the West.

    We are talking about our sisters, our mothers, our girlfriends and our wives.”

    Here, women have no agency and are depicted only in their relation to men, as sisters, mothers and wives. This type of rhetoric reinforced by #120dB in their video, where they state: “we are the daughters of Europa…mothers, women, sisters”. Their campaign is not about the experience of victims but instead centres on competing masculinities, whereby the bodies of women become a battleground of “honour”. By arguing that violence against women is caused by immigration, and that therefore “closing our borders is the first solution”, women are used to serve this nationalistic ideology, whereby the body, and in turn the nation, is under siege.

    It is notable that the women presented as in need of protection are uniformly white. Calling itself “the true #MeToo Movement”, 120 db co-opts a campaign that strives to include all women’s experiences into one that focuses on white women alone.

    Despite the fact that a third of victims in the Telford child abuse cases were of black, Asian and minority ethnic background, Generation Identity framed the exploitation as an attack on “the English working classes”, where “the vast majority of [victims] were of English descent.” Using false statistics erases women and girls of colour and leaves them unsupported, suggesting that only violence against white women should be challenged. This is particularly dangerous considering that Europe has seen a sharp increase in Islamophobic attacks: last month a 19-year-old Muslim woman was brutally assaulted by two men in Belgium, who took off her headscarf, tore apart her shirt and used a sharp object to cut a cross into her body.

    This skewing of statistics to suit racist agendas is not new: the same tactic was used after the exposure of the Rotherham child exploitation scandal. The fact that Asian girls were among those who had been abused was lost in reporting, the pinnacle of which was an article written by Sarah Champion in The Sun headlined: “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls…and it’s time we faced up to it.” As Just Yorkshire, a project promoting racial justice and human rights documented in their impact report of Champion’s comments: “The issue was no longer one of vulnerable young girls, white and Asian, being horrendously exploited by men who set out to groom and abuse them, but one of the entire nation being under threat by an alien force.” In these cases, sexual violence is portrayed as a civilisational threat of the violent immigrant man, rather than as gender-based violence which is caused by patriarchy and male dominance worldwide.

    We urgently need an anti-racist, anti-fascist feminism that strikes back at both sexual abuse and racism, in order to resist this toxic nationalistic “feminism”.

    As #MeToo gains prominence, we must be aware of the potential dangers of hashtag activism, which is easily co-opted by the far-right to normalise hatred. By building a feminist movement that is proactively anti-racist, and which centres the voices of women and girls of colour, we can build a feminist movement that is for all.

    http://nu.gal-dem.com/fascist-feminism-exploiting-fears-sexual-violence-racist-agenda
    #intersectionnalité #féminisme #fascisme #racisme #xénophobie #viols #violences_sexuelles #génération_identitaire
    cc @marty @daphne @mathieup