• Le chaos proche-oriental à l’épreuve du coronavirus -Boulevard extérieur

    En Europe, où l’information diffusée était quasi exclusivement orientée vers la pandémie depuis plus de deux mois, on a pu avoir l’impression que les conflits et les affrontements en cours au Moyen-Orient étaient gelés et que le coronavirus avait institué une sorte de trêve de la violence. En fait il n’en a rien été. Certes les manifestations qui avaient éclaté dans de nombreux pays et la répression qui les accompagnaient, notamment en Iran, au Liban, en Irak, en Algérie ont été interrompues. En fait l’analyse des réseaux sociaux montre que la colère est toujours présente et prête à s’exprimer de nouveau dès que le dé-confinement sera suffisamment assoupli pour permettre les rassemblements

    #Covid-19#Moyen-Orient#Analyse#Géopolitique#Relations_internationales#migrant#migration

    https://www.boulevard-exterieur.com/Le-chaos-proche-oriental-a-l-epreuve-du-coronavirus.html

  • Le Covid-19 invite à repenser nos relations quotidiennes, et en particulier celles en face à face. Il nous rappelle aussi le rôle des rites et des civilités... et donc les travaux d’Erving Goffman #Covid19 #relations #rites #civilités #Goffman

    https://sms.hypotheses.org/25026

    Le Covid-19 est une épidémie historique qui nous invite à repenser le statut de nos relations quotidiennes. Affirmons-le d’emblée : la « distanciation sociale » est attentatoire à la logique profonde des interactions, autrement dit à ce qui se passe dans des individus sont en relation les uns avec les autres. Et les « gestes barrières » sont contraires à la production du lien social, via nos mille interactions quotidiennes.

    Hors toute considération sanitaire, on peut affirmer que l’arsenal de précautions nécessaires pour enrayer l’épidémie relève d’une « défiguration symbolique ». En effet, ce sont nos relations de face à face qui sont remises en cause. Et c’est le rapport à la figure de l’autre qui se trouve bouleversé, dans l’interdiction d’approcher autrui, sous peine de sanctions épidémiques et pénales. Enfin, ce sont nos rites quotidiens d’interaction sociale (serrer la main, s’embrasser…) qui sont remis en cause.

    Plus largement, en pleine crise du Covid-19, l’épreuve du confinement et la mise à distance d’autrui nous rappellent par défaut le rôle fondamental joué par les rites et les civilités dans nos relations. Et prouvent la formidable actualité de l’œuvre d’Erving Goffman, sociologue américain d’origine canadienne (...)

  • COVID-19, une leçon de géopolitique #10 - L’Irak face au virus -Le dessous des cartes VIDEO

    L’irruption du coronavirus dans le contexte de crise économique en Irak peut-il constituer une aubaine pour Daech ? Pierre-Jean Luizard, historien spécialiste de l’Irak, répond aux questions d’Émilie Aubry. Comme la plupart des pays du monde, l’Irak est touché par l’épidémie de Covid-19. Une propagation qui a pu être favorisée par sa proximité avec l’Iran où le virus s’est rapidement déclaré.

    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/096952-010-A/covid-19-une-lecon-de-geopolitique-10-l-irak-face-au-virus
    https://youtu.be/uCAvzKaWWWg

    #Covid-19#Moyen-Orient#Iran#Iraq#Frontière#Géopolitique#Relations_internationales#migrant#migration

  • Le gouvernement veut créer un #fichier pour les malades du coronavirus

    Le projet de loi du gouvernement prévoit la création d’un fichier spécifique rassemblant les noms des #malades du #Covid-19 ainsi que de leurs contacts. Et ce « sans le consentement » des personnes concernées.

    Comment assurer le #suivi des malades du Covid-19 et des personnes qu’ils ont croisées ? C’est pour répondre à cette question que le gouvernement entend créer un nouveau fichier, prévu par le projet de loi prorogeant l’#état_d’urgence_sanitaire, qui devrait être examiné par les parlementaires les 4 et 5 mai.

    L’article 6 du texte prévoit en effet que soient rassemblées dans un même fichier toutes les informations susceptibles d’aider à la reconstitution, par des « #brigades » d’#enquêteurs_épidémiologiques, des #relations de chacun. Le fichier, non anonyme, devrait ainsi contenir l’#identité des malades et les résultats de leurs #examens_biologiques, mais aussi plus largement la liste des personnes croisées au cours des derniers jours – car « présentant un #risque_d’infection » -, leur #adresse et leurs #déplacements. Et ce afin d’opérer, peut-on lire dans le texte du gouvernement une « #surveillance_épidémiologique aux niveaux national et local ».

    Plusieurs administrations auront accès aux données

    Le nouveau fichier, qui n’a aucun lien avec l’application de #traçage #StopCovid, dont Olivier #Véran a annoncé qu’elle ne serait pas prête le 11 mai, abritera ces #informations, d’abord collectées par le #médecin_traitant puis par les « brigades » de l’#Assurance_maladie. Des #données_personnelles extrêmement sensibles qui seront ensuite mises à la disposition non seulement des professionnels de santé en charge du suivi des personnes malades, mais aussi de plusieurs administrations comme le #ministère_de_la_santé, le service de santé des #armées, l’Assurance maladie et les #Agences_régionales_de_santé.

    Le dossier est d’autant plus sensible que les données dont il est question sont en partie couvertes par le #secret_médical. « Comme lorsque nous consultons un confrère à propos d’un patient ou lorsque nous envoyons à l’Assurance maladie les motifs médicaux d’arrêt de travail, nous serons dans le cadre d’un #secret_médical_partagé », assure le docteur Jacques Battistoni, président du premier syndicat de médecins généralistes, #MGFrance. Les #généralistes seront chargés de collecter les premières informations sur le « #premier_cercle » fréquenté par un malade dans le fichier. Ils ont d’ailleurs reçu un courrier en ce sens, jeudi 30 avril, signé par Nicolas Revel, le patron de l’Assurance maladie.

    « Je comprends que ce système puisse impressionner, car il contient des #informations_sensibles et personnelles, mais c’est un moindre mal. Il me semble vraiment indispensable si l’on ne veut pas que l’#épidémie reparte », souligne le docteur Battistoni.

    Une transmission de données « sans le #consentement des personnes »

    Autre question sensible, au cœur de ce nouveau fichier : la #transmission_des_informations qu’il contient sera opérée « sans le consentement des personnes intéressées », peut-on lire dans le projet de loi gouvernemental. Une précision qui inquiète plusieurs observateurs, comme le président de l’#Union_française_pour_une_médecine_libre (#UFML), le docteur Jérôme Marty. « Le consentement est l’un des socles de la médecine. Le fait de ne pas demander le consentement de son patient pour constituer un fichier est sans précédent. La situation d’#urgence ne peut pas tout justifier », alerte-t-il.

    « Imaginez le scandale si nous avions fait ce genre de fichiers pour le sida, poursuit-il. Cela pose un problème #éthique et déontologique important. » Ce praticien réclame l’avis Conseil de l’Ordre sur le sujet, mais aussi celui du Comité national d’éthique, de l’Académie de médecine, de la Cnil et du Conseil constitutionnel.

    « Garde-fous »

    « Que signifie cette absence de consentement ? », interroge quant à lui l’avocat Thierry Vallat. Ce spécialiste des données personnelles estime que des « #garde-fous » devront ainsi être nécessaires. « Il faut définir très précisément qui collectera les informations, la liste des informations précises, qui pourra y avoir accès et surtout pour combien de temps », insiste l’avocat. Sur ce dernier point, le gouvernement prévoit la disparition du fichier « au plus tard » un an après la promulgation de la loi.

    Mais surtout, l’avocat s’inquiète d’éventuelles #fuites de données. « Nous sommes dans un contexte exceptionnel où les services de l’État agissent très rapidement, et risquent de ne pas avoir le temps de sécuriser ce nouveau fichier. Or les données de santé font régulièrement l’objet de fuites, et elles sont extrêmement convoitées », estime-t-il.

    Dans l’ensemble, l’architecture de ce nouveau dispositif demeure assez floue. Et pour cause : il devrait ainsi être précisé, après coup, par un #décret d’application. Ce qui permettra de consulter la Cnil sur ce nouveau fichier. Jusqu’à maintenant, la Commission indépendante n’a en effet pas été sollicitée sur ce dossier sensible.

    https://www.la-croix.com/Sciences-et-ethique/Sante/Le-gouvernement-veut-creer-fichier-malades-coronavirus-2020-05-03-12010923
    #coronavirus #France #loi #déontologie
    ping @etraces @isskein

  • #Essais_cliniques : quand la #science recrute ses doublures en #Afrique ou chez les #pauvres

    Alors qu’il est question sur LCI de vérifier une molécule en Afrique avant d’en faire bon usage face au Covid-19 ou que le protocole du professeur Raoult est mis en question, retour sur l’histoire des essais cliniques : quand le progrès médical faisait bombance des corps de peu d’importance.

    C’était sur LCI la semaine dernière, et la scène en a cueilli plus d’un devant le direct :

    Si je peux être provocateur, est-ce qu’on ne devrait pas faire cette étude en Afrique, où il n’y a pas de masques, pas de traitements, pas de réanimation ? Un peu comme c’est fait d’ailleurs pour certaines études sur le Sida. Chez les prostituées, on essaye des choses parce qu’on sait qu’elles sont hautement exposées et qu’elles ne se protègent pas.

    En plateau, c’est #Jean-Paul_Mira, chef de la réanimation à l’hôpital Cochin de Paris, qui prononce cette phrase. En duplex, Camille Locht, directeur de recherche à l’Inserm, acquiesce :

    Vous avez raison, on est d’ailleurs en train de réfléchir à une #étude en parallèle en Afrique.

    Soigner ou punir, pourquoi choisir ?

    L’idée n’a pas choqué ce microbiologiste parce qu’elle est banale : la #délocalisation des essais cliniques, notamment en Afrique, et/ou sur des prostituées, relève au fond d’une pratique ordinaire de la #recherche_médicale. Mais elle a heurté de nombreux spectateurs parce qu’elle embarque tout un chapelet de représentations qui ne ressortent pas seulement de l’#histoire_de_la_médecine mais aussi de l’#histoire_sociale et de l’#histoire_coloniale. Car l’histoire des essais cliniques est l’histoire d’un #rapport_de_pouvoir, et plus précisément d’un rapport profondément inégalitaire. Longtemps, c’est sur cette inégalité-là que s’est juché le progrès scientifique. A bien des égards, c’est toujours vrai.

    L’exemple des prostituées (celles qui “ne se protègent pas”), que prend le médecin sur LCI, ne vient pas de nulle part : dans l’histoire de la médecine clinique, de nombreuses expérimentations ont été pratiquées sur les travailleuses du sexe. Et souvent, de façon coercitive. Leur marginalité par rapport à la société y a souvent été pour beaucoup, au XIXe siècle, à une époque où justement l’expérimentation médicale se stabilisait. Ces femmes n’étaient pourtant pas hors la loi : ni le tout premier code pénal français (qu’on doit aux révolutionnaires, en 1791), ni celui de 1810 (qui restera en vigueur jusqu’en 1994), n’interdiront la prostitution, qui d’ailleurs est aussi pratiquée de façon ordinaire par les femmes de classes populaires, mariées ou non. Mais même si on appelait ça “le cinquième quart”, c’est-à-dire, celui qui met du beurre dans les épinards et souvent sauve le ménage de la misère, la pratique est stigmatisée par les autorités en dépit de ce que l’historienne Clyde Plumauzille appellera une “dépénalisation silencieuse”. Et c’est depuis ce stigmate-là, et aussi parce qu’elles peuvent propager les maladies, qu’on décidera régulièrement de tester sur elles des remèdes.

    A la fin des années 1820, par exemple, on décide de créer un dispensaire spécialement pour elles, géré par les médecins de la Préfecture de police, qui obligent les filles, prostituées officielles ou non (on dit "soumises" ou "insoumises"), à se faire soigner. A partir de 1836, à Paris, les filles soumises (celles qui se sont déclarées) qui pensent être touchées par des maladies vénériennes comme la syphilis n’ont plus le droit de se présenter dans aucun autre hôpital, et relèvent uniquement de l’infirmerie construite sur les flancs de la prison Saint-Lazare. Un hôpital-prison où, au passage, les médecins peuvent aussi renvoyer toutes les autres, dès lors qu’on les jugerait trop turbulentes, rappellent les historiennes Claire Barillé et Sandie Servais dans leur contribution au livre collectif Impossibles victimes, impossibles coupables.
    Un petit goût de mercure dans la tisane

    C’est dans ce cadre répressif-là que se généralisent les essais thérapeutiques sur les prostituées, sur qui l’on teste, par exemple, différents dosages de mercure. Sont-elles averties du risque inhérent aux expérimentations ? Dans sa formidable généalogie des essais cliniques et de la médecine expérimentale, Les Corps vils, parue en 2008 à La Découverte, le philosophe Grégoire Chamayou racontait qu’une véritable sédition avait eu lieu, entre ces murs parisiens où le soin et le contrôle se superposaient : les prostituées avaient découvert qu’une partie d’entre elles, à qui on administrait un simple placebo et non le traitement au mercure, pouvaient aussi guérir. Réponse de l’administration sanitaire : on inventa alors un breuvage suffisamment amer pour donner au placebo le goût du mercure, et leur faire croire ainsi qu’elles étaient toutes à la même enseigne.

    Car le consentement aux essais cliniques est une invention bien plus tardive que la pratique. C’est tout le sens du terme “corps vils”, qui traduit une locution latine centrale dans l’histoire du jargon médical : “fiat experimentum in corpore vili”, qui rappelle explicitement qu’historiquement, on a d’abord testé les médicaments sur ces “corps de peu d’importance” - mais sans toujours leur demander leur avis. Dans le même ouvrage, Chamayou rappelle que, longtemps, on s’accommodera de faire porter sur les plus pauvres, comme sur les prostituées, le risque des essais, puisqu’après tout, c’est leur mode de vie tout entier qui les exposerait à la mort :

    Le médecin ne portera pas la responsabilité d’un risque que la pauvreté leur aurait de toute façon fait courir.

    Ce rapport sacrément décomplexé à l’administration du risque sur les plus modestes vous semble à peine croyable ? On le comprend mieux si on a en tête deux éléments. D’abord, qu’on a longtemps pratiqué les premiers essais sur les suppliciés et les condamnés. Ainsi, il était très courant de voir des médecins faire le pied de grue au pied de l’échafaud en quête de corps à peine morts, prêts pour l’expérimentation. La science prenant son essor, ce seront bientôt les corps des condamnés qui seront mis à disposition, de leur vivant. Au premier chef, les condamnés à mort, mais aussi des bagnards, sur qui l’on testera par exemple au bagne de Rochefort, en Charente-Maritime, divers remèdes qu’on hésitait encore à administrer aux marins. Ces corps-là sont toujours vivants, mais déchus de leur statut social, et c’est depuis cette déchéance-là qu’on les met à disposition pour la recherche. Ils deviennent au fond profitables pour la médecine quel qu’en soit le prix, parce qu’ils n’ont plus de valeur sociale.
    Droit de guerre ou droit de... guérir ?

    Mais il faut aussi avoir en tête que les hôpitaux du XIXe siècle ne sont pas ceux qu’on connait aujourd’hui, mais d’abord des lieux d’accueil, des hospices, dédiés aux indigents. Ainsi s’installe aussi l’idée que les pauvres, dont les soins mais aussi l’inhumation, représentent une charge pour la collectivité, peuvent bien rembourser leur dette vis-à-vis de la société en soumettant leur corps à divers essais réputés nécessaires. Immoral ? Le débat s’installera à l’échelle de toute l’Europe, dès le XVIIIe siècle, et impliquera, dans le giron des Lumières, aussi bien les Encyclopédistes français qu’Emmanuel Kant. La controverse enfle ainsi, tandis qu’on découvre le principe de la vaccination qui implique d’inoculer dans certains corps la maladie à titre de test. Kant répondra par exemple qu’on n’a pas le droit de risquer la vie d’une partie de la population pour que l’autre vive. Mais bien des philosophes des Lumières estiment, eux, que le progrès de la science prime, et Grégoire Chamayou compare finalement la légitimation des expérimentations à un “droit de guerre”, quand un pouvoir politique lève une armée en masse pour sauver un pays.

    Longtemps, ces corps-là, qu’on pense d’une valeur sociale inférieure, font ainsi office de “doublures”, pour reprendre l’image, très éloquente, développée par Grégoire Chamayou dans son livre. Puis l’idée que le consentement éclairé du patient est nécessaire s’installe bon an, mal an. Si le cobaye est consentant, encore faut-il que les essais soient viables. Or la fin du XIXe siècle est aussi le moment où la recherche médicale se sophistique et se rationalise, avec la généralisation des statistiques, et des mesures qui se systématisent dans les essais (on dit notamment “métrologie”). Ce qu’on appelle “la médecine des preuves” est née, et elle implique des tests à grande échelle... et donc, des corps. La conquête coloniale viendra suppléer au manque de corps à cette échelle, et fournir une nouvelle catégorie de “doublures”. C’est dans cette histoire-là que s’enracine la réaction du médecin sur LCI : aujourd’hui, des essais sont encore pratiqués en grand nombre dans les pays en voie de développement, et notamment en Afrique.
    Les doublures africaines

    En 2015, 658 essais étaient pratiqués en Afrique, dont 280 en Egypte - qui, contre toute attente, tiendrait lieu d’eldorado justement parce que ses infrastructures de santé et ses universités y sont plutôt plus développées. Sur place, on n’en est plus aux gigantesques camps coloniaux, où la nouvelle administration coloniale faisait procéder à des tests à grande échelle dans des régions subalternes, qui correspondent aujourd’hui au Sénégal ou au Cameroun. Ces pays sont aujourd’hui indépendants. Mais leur politique sanitaire reste étroitement liée aux anciennes puissances coloniales, ou à leurs industries pharmaceutiques. Si elles sont correctement menées, c’est à dire que les populations y ont un bénéfice thérapeutique réel, ces recherches sont essentielles pour donner accès à des pays entiers à des traitements cruciaux. C’est pour ça, par exemple, qu’une chercheuse sonnait l’alerte dans Le Monde, le 3 avril, alors qu’aucun des 359 essais cliniques aujourd’hui enregistrés sur terre pour la recherche sur les traitements Covid-19 n’avait encore débuté en Afrique. Mais encore faut-il que ces recherches se déroulent dans les règles de l’art. Car, malgré une naissance aussi tardive que laborieuse, des standards ethiques existent aujourd’hui.

    La bascule remonte au procès de Nüremberg, en 1946, après quoi il sera entendu qu’on doit encadrer la recherche pour que rien ne ressemble plus à ce qui a pu se pratiquer dans les camps nazis. Dans les deux ans qui suivent, un premier squelette de charte éthique prend forme, qui débouche, six ans plus tard, sur ce qui restera comme “la déclaration d’Helsinki”.

    La Déclaration d’Helsinki date de 1964, et c’est le tout premier texte qui encadre les essais. Un texte fondateur, qui reconnaît la nécessité des expérimentations humaines “pour le progrès de la science et pour le bien de l’humanité souffrante”, et qui distingue par exemple les expérimentations menées au chevet du malade, des essais sur un non-malade, dans le but d’élargir la connaissance scientifique. L’idée du consentement du cobaye y figure noir sur blanc. Mais il ne s’agit encore que d’une charte de bonnes pratiques : aucune contrainte dans la Déclaration d’Helsinki ou dans les textes qui verront le jour dans la foulée, et qui précisent par exemple que la personne sur qui on expérimente doit avoir un intérêt. Charge, en fait, aux pays de s’en saisir pour transformer ces grands principes moraux en loi. Il faudra 24 ans en tout pour que la France y vienne : la profession médicale et les juristes sont divisés, et une part non négligeable d’entre eux sont loin d’être acquis à l’idée d’avaliser pour de bon l’expérimentation sur des sujets humains.
    1988, et la toute première loi française

    Mais en 1983, la création du Comité national d’éthique, qui prendra position en faveur des essais, paraît avoir accéléré le calendrier : la toute première proposition de loi sur les essais thérapeutiques en France est débattue en 1985 à l’Assemblée nationale. Le blocage du texte dans le champ politique montre bien toute la charge polémique qui entoure la question de l’expérimentation thérapeutique, en France, dans les années 1980. C’est finalement après un rappel à l’ordre du Conseil d’Etat que sera votée la toute première loi sur les essais : du nom des parlementaires qui la portent, ce sera la loi Huriet-Sérusclat, entrée en vigueur un 20 décembre 1988. On y trouve notamment le principe que ceux sur qui sont pratiqués les tests, qui n’ont pas de bénéfice thérapeutique direct, parce qu’ils ne sont pas malades, peuvent être indemnisés - mais pas les autres. Et aussi que les essais ne sont possibles pour toute une catégorie de personnes qu’à la condition expresse qu’elles y aient intérêt pour leur santé : ça concerne par exemple les mineurs, ou des adultes vulnérables comme les détenus et des patients en situation d’urgence.

    Un quart de siècle plus tard, de nombreuses ONG signalent que les essais cliniques ont explosé en Afrique. Même MSF fait désormais des essais sur le sol africain : les premiers essais de l’ONG sur Ebola remontent à 2014 mais dès les années 1990, on trouve dans les archives de Médecins Sans Frontières la trace d’essais liés au paludisme, avec par exemple cette explication :

    Face à l’absence de données, Médecins sans frontières (MSF) a mis en place des études cliniques afin de mesurer l’efficacité des antipaludéens et d’adapter les traitements au sein de ses missions. Entre 1996 et 2004, plus de 12 000 patients furent inclus dans 43 études réalisées dans 18 pays d’Asie et d’Afrique.

    Comme ici, il s’agit parfois de tester, sur place, des pathologies spécifiques, qui séviraient dans certains pays, et pas dans d’autres. Mais pas toujours. Il arrive aussi qu’une firme pharmaceutique délocalise son expérimentation parce que c’est parfois jusqu’à cinq fois moins cher de mener des essais dans un pays africain qu’en Europe. Et aussi parce que la loi Huriet-Sérusclat ne contraint pas les industriels qui délocalisent leurs essais, même lorsqu’il s’agit de laboratoires français ? Et qu’on prendrait bien des libertés sous les tropiques vis à vis de ces principes éthiques dont l’ébauche fut si tardive en France ? Il est caricatural, et souvent carrément faux, d’imaginer qu’on ferait n’importe quoi dans ce nouveau far west de l’innovation thérapeutique. Des protocoles existent, qui montrent que l’éthique n’a pas tout bonnement disparu quelque part au dessus du Détroit de Gibraltar. Et en 1981, un texte international, resté comme “la Déclaration de Manille”, avait complété celle d’Helsinki, en précisant les conditions des essais cliniques dans les pays en voie de développement.
    Asymétrie Nord-Sud

    Malgré tout, le rapport Nord-Sud en matière d’essais reste marqué par une forte asymétrie. Ainsi, plusieurs scandales, dont certains se sont soldés par des actions en justice, montrent que bien des protocoles peuvent se révéler plus laxistes une fois les essais menés à l’étranger. Par exemple, pour tout ce qui concerne le bénéfice des traitements : quand on voit le tarif de commercialisation de bien des molécules, ou encore les maladies pour lesquelles on procède à des tests, on peut douter parfois que la balance des bénéfices et des risques soit toujours favorables aux populations qui se prêtent aux tests. Jean-Philippe Chippaux est médecin et directeur de recherche à l’IRD, l’Institut de recherche pour le développement. Dans un ouvrage éclairant qui date de 2004, et disponible par ici, ce chercheur de terrain, qui a longtemps travaillé depuis Dakar, concluait qu’il y avait urgence à ce que “les Africains s’approprient le concept de l’essai clinique pour répondre à leurs besoins spécifiques de santé publique”. Il rappelait à cette occasion la dimension infiniment politique des essais cliniques. C’était vrai au XVIIIe siècle lorsqu’au pied de l’échafaud, la science faisait bombance des corps des suppliciés ramenés au rang d’objet. Mais c’est toujours vrai à présent qu’il s’agit de géopolitique sanitaire :

    L’essai clinique apparaît comme un instrument incontournable de l’indépendance sanitaire. Car, au-delà de cette appropriation, la finalité de la pratique d’essais cliniques dans les pays africains est bien de susciter une capacité locale permettant d’y décider, réaliser, surveiller et exploiter en toute indépendance les recherches cliniques. Cela nécessite une compétence technique et une maîtrise politique, donc financière, de la recherche et de la santé.

    L’essai thérapeutique comme une émancipation plutôt qu’une double peine ? L’idée a quelque chose de rassérénant tant la lecture de la généalogie de Grégoire Chamayou, Les Corps vils, est édifiante. Mais elle rend encore plus décisive la question du consentement des sujets de l’expérimentation. Or, de ce point de vue-là, c’est peu dire que les garanties ne sont pas équivalentes selon que l’essai a lieu sur le sol français ou, par exemple, au Cameroun. Un essai sur le VIH s’est déroulé sur place entre 2004 et 2005, qui ciblait plus particulièrement 400 prostituées. Objet de l’essai à l’époque : un antiviral du nom de "Tenofovir", qui sera commercialisé en France à partir de février 2002. Mais avant sa mise sur le marché, il avait fallu le tester. Or Act-up avait révélé que, non seulement, les femmes camerounaises qui faisaient partie de la cohorte sous placebo étaient insuffisamment protégées. Mais que, de surcroît, elles étaient très nombreuses parmi toutes celles impliquées dans l’étude du laboratoire Gilead, à avoir signé en pensant qu’on allait leur administrer un vaccin. Et pour cause : le protocole écrit, auquel on leur avait donné furtivement accès, était en anglais. Or, pour la plupart, ces femmes étaient illettrées, et surtout, francophones.

    Le consentement de ces femmes n’était donc pas réel. Leur situation paraît d’autant plus asymétrique qu’en France, au contraire, bien des candidats aux essais cliniques doivent au contraire faire carrément acte de candidature. Contrairement aux travaux sur le don du sang, il existe peu d’enquêtes sociologiques sur les essais thérapeutiques. Mais il existe un travail passionnant, signé du politiste Olivier Filleule. Pour une journée d’études en 2015 (qui donnera lieu à l’ouvrage collectif Recrutement-engagement dans des essais cliniques en prévention, sous la direction de Mathilde Couderc et Caroline Ollivier-Yaniv, également en ligne et en acces libre par ici), le chercheur, spécialiste de l’engagement, a passé au crible les lettres de motivation envoyées par 4259 candidats, entre 1991 à 2001, pour des essais vaccinaux sur le VIH. Il a cherché à comprendre non seulement qui se proposait de participer à de tels essais, non rémunérés (et pourquoi), mais aussi qui était retenu.

    Et on prend bien la mesure, en lisant Olivier Filleule, combien un protocole en bonne et due forme, ici, en France, implique non seulement une information au cordeau des volontaires, à qui on exposera clairement les coûts de l’engagement ou les risques encourus. Mais aussi un tri des motivations des candidats, que les promoteurs des essais avertissent par exemple du “caractère illusoire de rétributions pouvant être espérées”. On découvre ainsi au tamis de son enquête qu’un certain nombre des candidats, notamment du côté des hommes, plaçaient beaucoup d’espoir dans l’idée qu’ils pouvaient se faire d’un partenariat privilégié avec les chercheurs au bénéfice de la science. Pas sûr que c’était ce qu’entendaient ces deux médecins sur LCI, début avril, sur fond d’épidémie de Covid 19.

    https://www.franceculture.fr/societe/essais-cliniques-quand-la-science-recrute-ses-doublures-en-afrique-ou-
    #tests_cliniques #coronavirus #néo-colonialisme #covid-19 #médecine #rapports_de_pouvoir #pouvoir

  • Toutes les couleurs de la Terre - Ces liens qui peuvent sauver le monde

    Et si tout n’était qu’une question de liens ? C’est l’hypothèse de laquelle sont partis #Damien_Deville et #Pierre_Spielewoy pour élaborer le cheminement théorique et politique de l’#écologie_relationnelle. Fils de la fin du XXe siècle, les auteurs font partie de cette génération qui a vécu à la fois la diversité du monde et sa #destruction précipitée. S’ils formulent une puissante critique de l’#uniformisation des territoires et des #paysages actuellement à l’œuvre, c’est pour mieux dynamiter les barrières qui nous empêchent de penser pour et par la #diversité, et nous inciter à redécouvrir la #complexité du vivant, des individus et des cultures, ferment d’une société empreinte de #justice et riche de #rencontres. En renouvelant notre façon d’#habiter_la_Terre et en définissant avec justesse la place de l’humanité dans la grande fresque du vivant, l’écologie relationnelle devient une ode à la #pluralité et à la #solidarité. Elle est le point de départ d’un projet politique qui porte avec fierté des #métissages_territoriaux par-delà les individus et par-delà l’Occident.


    https://www.lisez.com/livre-grand-format/toutes-les-couleurs-de-la-terre-ces-liens-qui-peuvent-sauver-le-monde/9791030103038
    #livre #liens #relations #écologie #géographie_culturelle

    #faire_monde

    ping @karine4 @cede

  • Chirac et le #monde_arabe
    http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Chirac-et-le-monde-arabe.html

    Le décès de Jacques Chirac le 26 septembre dernier est l’occasion de s’interroger sur son héritage en matière de politique étrangère. Si sa posture très critique à l’égard des Anglo-saxons était bien connue, son positionnement vis-à-vis des pays arabes l’est moins.

    #France #relations_internationales #Histoire
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/docx/20200207_chirac.docx
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/pdf/20200207_chirac.pdf

  • La France propose d’aider la Grèce à reconduire des #déboutés de l’asile

    En visite à Athènes, ce lundi 20 janvier, le secrétaire d’État français à l’Intérieur Laurent Nuñez a confirmé l’accueil dans les prochains mois de 400 demandeurs d’asile actuellement présents en Grèce. Il a par ailleurs déclaré que la France proposait son aide à la Grèce pour « faciliter les reconduites » dans leur pays d’origine des déboutés du droit d’asile.

    Quatre cents demandeurs d’asile présents en Grèce - dont Paris avait annoncé l’accueil dès le mois de décembre - devraient progressivement arriver sur le territoire français d’ici l’été prochain. Le chiffre reste symbolique au vu des près de 10 000 arrivées par mois en Grèce depuis l’été, mais il permet néanmoins à Paris d’appeler a davantage de solidarité européenne.

    « La Grèce a fait l’objet d’un pic migratoire important depuis l’été dernier, souligne le secrétaire d’État Laurent Nunez. Et donc la position de la France, c’est de considérer que dans ce genre de situation, il est normal que nous puissions accueillir par solidarité, en relocalisation, un certain nombre de demandeurs d’asile qui sont, ici, en Grèce, c’est ce que nous allons faire pour 400 personnes, des personnes qui sont particulièrement vulnérables. Et vous savez que dans le cadre de la réflexion en cours sur la gestion globale du système d’asile, cette question des relocalisations est au cœur des discussions. »

    La Commission européenne travaille en effet à redéfinir la législation de l’Union en termes de migrations. Un projet de « Nouveau pacte », qui doit être présenté d’ici au printemps. Les tensions croissantes entre Athènes et Ankara, qui participent aussi des difficultés migratoires actuelles de la Grèce, ne faisaient, elles, pas partie de la communication officielle.

    Par ailleurs, la France a proposé son aide lundi à la Grèce pour « faciliter les reconduites » dans leur pays d’origine des déboutés du droit d’asile, a indiqué Laurent Nuñez. Avec « notre #ambassade à Athènes, nous allons aider la Grèce à obtenir des autorisations de reconduite (...) notamment des #laissez-passer_consulaires qui sont parfois difficiles à obtenir » à la faveur des « #relations_privilégiées » de la France avec « certains pays », a-t-il précisé. Il s’agirait surtout de pays africains, selon une source grecque proche du dossier.

    http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20200120-france-nunez-asile-aider-grece-migrants
    #renvois #expulsions #aide #Grèce #France #aide #Afrique #externalisation

    Une étrange idée de la #solidarité... La France joue la carte des « relations privilégiées »... = relations coloniales...
    #colonialisme #continuité_coloniale #rapports_coloniaux

    ping @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    • Migrants. La France propose d’aider la Grèce à renvoyer les déboutés de l’asile

      La France a proposé son aide lundi à la Grèce pour « faciliter les reconduites » dans leur pays d’origine des déboutés du droit d’asile, a indiqué le secrétaire d’État français à l’Intérieur, Laurent Nuñez, en visite à Athènes.

      Soulignant la "solidarité" française envers la Grèce, première porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe en 2019, Laurent Nuñez a confirmé que la France accueillerait à l’été prochain 400 demandeurs d’asile "surtout des familles en grande vulnérabilité" se trouvant actuellement en Grèce.

      "Nous allons étudier avec nos amis grecs la possibilité d’organiser des vols groupés pour faciliter les reconduites de personnes qui ne sont pas en besoin de protection dans leurs pays", a également déclaré le secrétaire d’État, à l’issue d’entretiens avec Georges Koumoutsakos, ministre adjoint grec à l’Immigration et l’Asile.

      Ces vols franco-grecs pourront être organisés avec "le concours de Frontex", l’Agence de protection des frontières européennes, a-t-il ajouté.
      L’envoi de 24 experts français

      Avec "notre ambassade à Athènes, nous allons aider la Grèce à obtenir des autorisations de reconduite […] notamment des laissez-passer consulaires qui sont parfois difficiles à obtenir" à la faveur des "relations privilégiées" de la France avec "certains pays", a précisé Laurent Nuñez. Il s’agirait surtout de pays africains, selon une source grecque proche du dossier.

      Laurent Nuñez a aussi annoncé l’envoi en Grèce de 24 experts français pour aider le gouvernement grec à traiter le flot de demandes d’asile.

      Le gouvernement conservateur de Kyriakos Mitsotakis a durci l’octroi de l’asile et insisté sur le rapatriement des déboutés de l’asile, une question critiquée par de nombreuses ONG de défense des migrants.
      400 demandeurs d’asile accueillis en France

      La France avait annoncé mi-décembre qu’elle accueillerait 400 demandeurs d’asile. M. Nuñez a parlé d’"une mesure ponctuelle" pour répondre à une situation "d’urgence" en Grèce.

      Outre la France, le Portugal s’est dit prêt à partager le fardeau migratoire en acceptant de relocaliser 1 000 demandeurs d’asile.

      Athènes ne cesse de demander "plus de solidarité" européenne sur cette question après une hausse importante des arrivées sur son territoire et la détérioration des conditions de vie dans les camps surpeuplés de migrants.

      https://www.ouest-france.fr/europe/grece/migrants-la-france-propose-d-aider-la-grece-renvoyer-les-deboutes-de-l-

  • Le 20 décembre 2019, je reçois, par mail, ce message de "pub" d’une formation qui nous est proposée dans notre #université (#Université_Grenoble_Alpes) :

    L’#UGA nous informe de la mise en place à la formation #communication_assertive et bienveillante dans les relations professionnelles .

    Deux sessions au choix sont ouvertes :

    Soit les 29 & 30 juin 2020
    soit les 03 & 04 décembre 2020

    La date limite d’inscription est : j - 15 avant la date de la formation

    La formation est placée sous le thème " #efficacité professionnelle ".

    Objectifs de la formation :

    A l’issue de la formation, les participants seront capables de :

    – Décoder leur comportement et celui des autres dans les relations professionnelles

    – Communiquer avec #tact et #diplomatie

    – Etablir des #attitudes_positives au quotidien

    – Développer des relations professionnelles harmonieuses et efficaces

    Programme :

    1. Prendre conscience de son comportement

    – Identifier les raisons de ne pas de comprendre

    – Comprendre l’image que l’on renvoie à ses interlocuteurs

    – Prendre conscience de l’image de sa communication écrite

    – Identifier son comportement dans les situations relationnelles

    2. Savoir dialoguer avec tact et souplesse

    – Pratiquer l’écoute active et savoir utiliser les 5 types de questions

    – Utiliser les 3 techniques de reformulation

    – Améliorer sa communication non verbale

    – Etre congruent entre son langage verbal et non-verbal

    – Ajuster sa communication à son interlocuteur

    – Choisir son vocabulaire pour communiquer avec précision et tact à l’écrit

    3. Savoir soutenir une position claire et diplomate

    – Etre assertif : utiliser la méthode DESC

    – Exprimer son avis sans juger l’autre

    – Formuler des critiques constructives

    – Faire face aux critiques

    – Formuler un refus sans provoquer de tension

    – Faire et accepter des compliments dans le monde professionnel

    Durée : 2 jours

    Public : Toute personne souhaitant optimiser sa communication afin d’améliorer ses relations professionnelles

    –--------

    Sur ce, je réponds à une collègue, en colère :

    Plus de moyens, moins de compétition, moins de darwinisme social résoudrait la moitié des problèmes sans formations à la communication bienveillante !

    –-> je fais évidemment allusion aux propos tenus par #Antoine_Petit (à la tête du #CNRS) qui a appelé à une loi « darwinienne » pour le financement de la #recherche. « Une loi ambitieuse, inégalitaire — oui, inégalitaire, une loi vertueuse et darwinienne, qui encourage les scientifiques, équipes, laboratoires, établissements les plus performants à l’échelle internationale, une loi qui mobilise les énergies. »
    https://seenthis.net/messages/815560

    #formation #bienveillance #communication_bienveillante #travail #relations_professionnelles #inégalités #performance #compétition #attitude_positive #harmonie #hypocrisie #image #tact #souplesse #écoute_active #techniques_de_reformulation #communication #communication_non_verbale #langage_verbal #langage_non-verbal #vocabulaire #méthode_DESC #critiques_constructives

    • Et parallèlement à l’#Université d’#Amsterdam... la week of #work_stress !

      Message from the works council

      Dear all,

      The week of 11th of November is the week of work stress. It is the week where the university brings out its petting puppies, makes you bikeblend your smoothie, and has you beat a few djembe tunes to let go of your #stress. Some might argue that it is a nice gesture of the employer, but we of the FNV in the OR find it a slap in the face of the employee. It adds insult to injury.

      This waste of money again shows that the faculty is not taking work pressure seriously. We said it last year, and we said it again this year: “stop monkeying around and actually deal with the causes of work pressure”. Work pressure is not that difficult. There are either too many tasks for the number of people, or there are not enough people for the number of tasks. So the answers are also simple. If an organization is financially healthy, you hire more people. If the organization is financially unhealthy, you are stuck with reducing the tasks. There is no rocket science involved.

      Yet as you can see in this week of work stress, the faculty seems keen to responsiblize the individual for the work pressure he or she is experiencing. This leads to offers such as #time_management (we just received an email that there are two spots still available), #yoga, and #mindfulness. But these are just bandaids ("lapjes voor het bloeden" as the Dutch expression goes) that obscure the structural faults of the system. There are too many administration processes. There is too much institutional distrust that you are not doing your work correctly leading to for instance to ’#jaargesprekken' being moments where you defend yourself instead of discussing how you would like to grow as a professional. There are criteria for promotion that seem to change during the process. We have to accept budget cuts in our teaching programme while at the same time the faculty wants to start new programmes that make new claims on budget and staff.

      Recently, our support staff at EOSS was confronted with a report that was framed as research about the high work pressure they are experiencing. Yet it actually placed all the blame at the staff of EOSS and suggested their so-called inefficient work and non-conformance to instructions from management was the cause of their work pressure. Another signal that work pressure is not taking seriously by management and the individual employee is again responsibilized for his or her work’ stress’. The Works Council will keep pushing the Faculty and the UvA to make meaningful structural changes that address work pressure instead of blaming the victim. Namaste.

      XXXX (FNV Works Council Representative)

      Reçu via email d’une amie/collègue qui y travaille...

    • Et petit exemple d’#Angleterre (#UK):

      Universities have driven their workers into the ground. That’s why I’m striking

      Our eight days of action are in response to a marketised sector that has prioritised profit over the welfare of staff and students.

      Workers in higher education across the UK are on strike. One of the reasons we are striking is because of the poor conditions we face today – which were, in large part, decided by the 2010 election.

      Nearly a decade ago, the Tory and Lib Dem coalition government conspired to transform higher education, unleashing the forces of marketisation. The physical and emotional landscape of the university has fundamentally changed in the intervening years. The devastation wrought cannot be overstated. Contrary to justifications for reform by Tories and Lib Dems, the contemporary university is not sustainable, and reforms have reduced standards and entrenched inequality.

      In public discussion of the – shameful – tripling of student fees and mounting student debt, the changes to university funding that this brought about are often neglected. The 2010 coalition government replaced the old system of block grants with money paid per student per course, and lifted the cap on the number of student places available. Now, universities compete for funding by competing for students, with each other, and between their own departments.

      Most remarkably, this was done in the name of improving standards. It has left its scars on the physical landscape of universities, no longer able to fit in the number of students they have enrolled, and the springing up of new buildings, luxury accommodation and gyms all designed to attract prospective students. If the modern university has a soundtrack, it would be constant drilling for the construction of new, shiny buildings, temples to “student satisfaction”.

      Marketisation does not mean the immediate insertion of the profit motive into previously public goods. It means, at least in the first instance, making those public goods profitable. Students are in more and more debt, workers are paid less and less, while private companies and developers are given access to a potentially lucrative market.

      What does this mean for workers in higher education? They face a proliferation of perverse incentives: instead of research and teaching, lecturers are expected to take part in a perpetual recruitment drive. Instead of supporting students emotionally and academically, staff in student services, often facing cuts and “restructures”, are expected to act as the vanguard of “employability”.

      With more students, permanent staff are expected to take on more and more work. Temporary staff are expected to paper over structural gaps, providing a “flexible” workforce who are hired and fired in response to fluctuations in student numbers. Research shows that part-time staff and those on hourly rates are only paid for 55% of their work. Staff in general work, on average, the equivalent of two days unpaid per week. Given these low wages, many temporary staff are effectively paid less than the minimum wage.

      The expectations placed on staff cannot be met. It is not possible to produce the kind of work expected in the amount of time we are paid to do it. New methods of evaluation and student metrics create even more work, and overlook the key fact that asking students if they enjoyed a course reveals very little about whether that course was well-taught. Student services are stretched to breaking point, and instead of releasing the tension by, for example, increasing funding, services are instead outsourced, with trained counsellors replaced by generic “advisers” and, even, apps.

      When we say that the expectations on staff cannot be met, we mean that it is not possible to live under these conditions. There is nothing else left to squeeze. The doctrines of flexibility and precarity are in no way specific to higher education. They are paradigmatic of contemporary working practices. This means the struggle against precarity is not just a struggle for better conditions for academic workers – it is the insistence that a better life is possible for all of us. The disruption to teaching that comes from workers’ poor health, unnecessary pressure and precarity is much, much greater than the disruption caused by the cancellation of classes.

      Despite the deprivations of the picket line – early mornings, hours standing in the cold, lost pay – I have rarely seen colleagues so happy. The lifting of the neoliberal impulse to be constantly working, every interaction a chance for self-development, every minute a chance to get something done, has profound effects. Reclawing time from management’s extractive demands gives us a glimpse of how the university could be.

      The University and College Union dispute, which runs until next Wednesday, is about pay and pensions for some 43,000 members of the union, all working in academia. Even if we won on both counts, our futures, and the future of higher education, will not be secure without a fundamental rethink of the way in which universities are funded in the UK.

      We cannot afford to merely attempt to reform a marketised sector, based around fees. Almost 10 years on from the seismic higher education reforms of 2010, we face another general election. The only party now offering a rethink of fees and funding, rather than the shuffling of proverbial deckchairs, is Labour.

      We must not let students’ interests be pitted against workers. They are one and the same. So far during the strike, universities have bribed students to cross the picket line with gimmicks like free breakfast and free parking. They have attempted to ban solidarity action by students with a sustained campaign of misinformation, including the suggestion that joining picket lines is illegal and that students must cross them because they are members of NUS and not UCU. We are warned that students might feel anxious about the strike and that by picketing our workplaces we are letting them down.

      In these moments, management attempts to call upon a sense of duty we might feel towards our students. But as workers in higher education, we should not be content to merely provide a better version of the kind of education-as-commodity that management insists on.

      With our strike and the election, we have a chance to start fundamentally re-imagining the university. It’s the only thing that might save it.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/28/universities-workers-strike-marketised-sector-money-staff
      #grève

  • Roblox : ’I thought he was playing an innocent game’ - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48450604

    He had been playing Roblox online - where users build their own games and create characters with coloured blocks.

    For Sarah, it initially seemed like an “innocent game”.

    She had turned on parental controls, so her son - not yet a teenager - could not send messages.

    But, over time, she noticed a change in his behaviour.

    He would no longer want to join in with family activities he usually enjoyed.

    Concerned, she decided to check the game - and discovered he had been communicating with others on a third-party app.

    It was at that point she realised her son had been groomed into sending sexually explicit images of himself.

    Ms Naylor also believes parents should be “skilled up” in how to protect their children online, without being judged.

    It is also important that when instances of grooming do occur, she adds, children are given adequate support afterwards - as it can have an impact on their future relationships.

    Sarah says in her case, she contacted Roblox to ask them how they had “allowed” her child to be groomed.

    “They didn’t respond at all,” she says.

    And when she took the case to the police and officers wanted access to the IP addresses of the suspected groomers, Roblox “refused”.

    “They wouldn’t let our police have anything to do with it because we were in the UK and they are an American company,” Sarah says.

    Et cet exemple qui rappelle le cas classique décrit dès les années 90 dans le Village Voice ;

    Last year, a US mother wrote a Facebook post describing her shock at seeing her child’s avatar being “gang raped” by others in the online game.

    She posted screenshots that showed two male avatars attacking her daughter’s female character.

    Roblox said it had banned the player who had carried out the action.

    #Jeux_vidéo #Roblox #Sexisme #Pédophilie #Irresponsabilité #Relations_internationales

  • Comment les adolescent draguent à l’ère des réseaux sociaux ?
    https://www.ladn.eu/nouveaux-usages/usages-par-generation/nouveaux-codes-amoureux

    Comme chaque génération, les ados d’aujourd’hui réinventent les règles du jeu de la séduction. Plongée dans l’univers amoureux de la génération qui préfère s’envoyer des emojis et des snaps plutôt que des mots doux.

    À l’ère de Tinder, on pourrait imaginer que les relations amoureuses sont aussi simples qu’un swipe. À droite, ça matche. À gauche, bye bye et au suivant. Facile. D’autant plus que les réseaux sociaux étaient censés nous permettre de fluidifier la communication, d’exprimer nos sentiments en flux tendu. Et pourtant, chez les ados qui ont grandi avec un smartphone entre les mains, les relations amoureuses n’ont rien de simple. Ce serait même plutôt (très) compliqué. Entretien avec Sébastien Houdusse, Directeur général adjoint de BETC Digital, pour décrypter les nouvelles pratiques amoureuses des plus jeunes.

    Mais la chasse à l’amour avec un grand C exerce une vraie pression chez les juniors. Interrogée lors de l’étude BETC Teens, une adolescente de 14 ans racontait qu’« à l’école, c’est à celui qui sera en couple le premier. » Bref, si à 15 ans, t’es pas en couple, c’est que t’as raté ta vie.

    Pour atteindre ce statut tant convoité, le chemin est juché d’embûches. Oubliez les petits mots griffonnés sur un bout de papier passé discrètement en cours d’anglais. Aujourd’hui, c’est évidemment sur Instagram que ça se passe. Malgré la multitude d’applications qui ciblent les ados et leur proposent des fonctionnalités de dating, 34% des 13-17 ans affirment avoir été dragués sur Instagram. « Ça en fait l’application de dating la plus performante », confirme Sébastien Houdusse.

    #Instagram #Relations_amoureuses #Adolescents #Médias_sociaux

  • La santé mentale en migrations internationales

    Ce premier dossier que la Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales consacre à la santé mentale intervient à un moment où en France et en Europe les politiques migratoires en raison de leurs effets délétères portent atteinte aux droits, à l’#accès_aux_soins et à la santé de nombreux migrants et exilés. Ce dossier sur la santé mentale en migrations internationales propose à travers des recherches d’horizons disciplinaires variés, des travaux empiriques décrivant les recours aux #soins et les #relations_thérapeutiques en santé mentale des migrants à différents moments de leur expérience migratoire. Le prisme que constitue la santé mentale renouvelle la lecture des rapports sociaux dans lesquels le migrant est inséré, il permet également d’analyser les conditions sociales de production, d’expression et de gestion de leurs souffrances psychiques, aux échelles micro-, méso- et macro- sociales. Les modes de #prise_en_charge — institutionnel, social, juridique, sanitaire — des migrants diagnostiqués « comme ayant des troubles mentaux, des difficultés psychologiques, ou simplement en état de souffrances » mettent en lien les effets des politiques migratoires, les dynamiques d’accueil et de prise en charge des migrants, l’organisation des systèmes de soins et la production des subjectivités et de mise en parole de soi.

    https://journals.openedition.org/remi/10434
    #santé_mentale #réfugiés #asile #migrations #revue

    ping @_kg_

  • Spectral Ranking

    We sketch the history of #spectral_ranking—a general umbrella name for techniques that apply the theory of linear maps (in particular, eigenvalues and eigenvectors) to matrices that do not represent geometric transformations, but rather some kind of #relationship between entities. Albeit recently made famous by the ample press coverage of #Google’s #PageRank algorithm, spectral ranking was devised more thana century ago, and has been studied in tournament ranking, psychology, social sciences, bibliometrics, economy and choice theory. …

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0912.0238.pdf

    (en gros le brevet sur lequel Google a construit sa fortune ne valait pas tripette)

  • Au #Maroc, l’#arrestation d’une journaliste pour « avortement illégal » relance des débats

    L’arrestation d’une jeune journaliste pour « #avortement_illégal » et « #débauche » (sexe hors mariage) a alimenté cette semaine un débat virulent sur l’état des libertés au Maroc englobant tout à la fois : le #droit_des_femmes, la vie privée, les moeurs et la presse.

    Le sort de #Hajar_Raissouni, 28 ans, a suscité les protestations des défenseurs des droits humains, mais aussi des flots de réactions indignées dans les médias et sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Les plus critiques parlent de « réalité moyenâgeuse », de « lois liberticides », de « violence institutionnelle envers les femmes », d’"intrusion de l’Etat dans la vie privée" des citoyens, de « machination politique » ou de « harcèlement » des journalistes.

    Cette reporter du quotidien arabophone Akhbar Al-Yaoum a été arrêtée samedi dernier au sortir d’un cabinet médical de Rabat. La jeune femme qui assure avoir été traitée pour une hémorragie interne a été placée en détention dans l’attente de son procès prévu lundi.

    Son fiancé qu’elle devait épouser mi-septembre a été arrêté avec elle, tout comme le médecin traitant, un infirmier et une secrétaire médicale.

    Le code pénal marocain sanctionne de peines de prison les relations sexuelles hors-mariage et l’avortement quand la vie de la mère n’est pas menacée.

    Assurant que l’arrestation d’Hajar Raissouni « n’a rien à voir avec sa profession de journaliste », le parquet de Rabat a détaillé mercredi dans un communiqué les éléments médicaux confirmant des « signes de grossesse » et son « avortement ».

    La journaliste dénonce des « accusations fabriquées » et une « affaire politique » liée à de récents articles sur les détenus du mouvement social du « Hirak », selon ses proches.

    – Contradictions -

    Elle assure dans une lettre publiée par son journal avoir été interrogée en garde à vue sur ses oncles, un idéologue islamiste aux positions ultra-conservatrices et un éditorialiste d’Akhbar Al-Yaoum connu pour sa plume acerbe.

    Des journalistes connus pour leurs positions critiques ont déjà été condamnés pour des faits allant de « complicité d’adultère » à « non dénonciation d’une atteinte à la sécurité de l’Etat ».

    « En lieu et place de poursuites immédiates pour leurs écrits, les journalistes se voient attaqués bien plus tard à travers des articles du Code pénal », s’insurge un éditorial du site d’information Yabiladi.

    Des personnalités islamistes ont par ailleurs aussi été ciblées ces dernières années par des articles dénonçant les contradictions entre leurs discours et leurs actes sur la base de faits privés —comme le sexe hors-mariage.

    Poursuivi pour « atteinte à la sécurité de l’Etat » et pour de présumées irrégularités financières, l’historien et militant de gauche Maâti Monjib a lui recensé en 2018 « 380 articles diffamatoires » à son sujet « en deux ans et demi » dans des médias « opérant pour le compte du pouvoir ».

    Dans ce contexte, l’affaire d’Hajar Raissouni « renseigne avant tout sur le couple infernal composé d’une part par l’hypocrisie sociale sur les questions de libertés individuelles (...) et d’autre part la répression aveugle et la justice d’abattage qui se sert des lois coercitives en la matière à des desseins de vengeance politique », estime le site d’information Le Desk.

    L’Association marocaine pour les droits humains (AMDH) qui, comme Amnesty International et Human Rights Watch, a appelé à la libération immédiate de la journaliste, y voit une « régression des libertés individuelles ».

    Quelque 150 journalistes ont signé une pétition de solidarité dénonçant les « campagnes diffamatoires » visant à détruire leur consoeur. Sa photo a été placée sur des sièges vides pendant la très officielle conférence de presse hebdomadaire du porte-parole du gouvernement.

    Interpellé sur le sujet, le porte-parole a souligné l’existence d’un « cadre juridique relatif à la diffamation » et rappelé que la réforme du code pénal —y compris les articles sur l’avortement— figurait à l’ordre du jour des débats parlementaires.

    – « Verrou politique » -

    Le ministre de la Justice, Mohammed Aujjar (PJD, islamiste) avait déclaré fin juillet dans la presse que le gouvernement mené par le PJD était « engagé dans une dynamique de réformes » tout en imputant la lenteur du changement à une « société très conservatrice ».

    « La société marocaine est profondément acquise à la modernité (...), le verrou est politique », conteste l’historien Mohammed Ennaji sur sa page Facebook.

    « Les questions de l’égalité homme-femme, des libertés individuelles —et notamment le droit des femmes de disposer librement de leur corps— ne sont plus le combat d’une partie des Marocains, c’est notre combat à tous quelles que soient nos appartenances idéologiques », est-il affirmé dans une pétition soutenue par des féministes et militantes des droits humains.

    En 2018, la justice marocaine a poursuivi 14.503 personnes pour débauche, 3.048 pour adultère, 170 pour homosexualité et 73 pour avortements, selon les chiffres officiels.

    Entre 600 et 800 avortements clandestins sont pratiqués chaque jour au Maroc, selon des estimations d’associations.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/au-maroc-larrestation-dune-journaliste-pour-avortement-illega

    #IVG #avortement #criminalisation #droits_des_femmes

  • Un radar pour sanctionner les automobilistes qui dépassent les vélos de trop près
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2019/08/28/un-radar-pour-sanctionner-les-automobilistes-qui-depassent-les-velos-de-trop

    Un nouveau type de radar est en phase de test dans l’agglomération de #montréal (Canada). Il vise à mesurer la distance entre un #Vélo et une voiture au moment d’un Lire la suite...

    #Alternatives_à_la_voiture #Insécurité_routière #Québec #radars #relations_cyclistes-automobilistes #sécurité_routière

  • John Chau, American Missionary, and the Uncontacted Tribe | GQ
    https://www.gq.com/story/john-chau-missionary-and-uncontacted-tribe


    Voici la triste histoire d’un jeune homme sérieux et doué qui a mis en danger l’existence d’une des dernières tribus vivant sans relations avec la civilisation capitaliste. Les détails de l’histoire font comprendre l’énorme danger auxquel nous sommes tous exposés à cause des croyances irrationnelles de la classe dominante étatsunienne.

    When a 26-year-old American missionary set out for a lush island in the Indian Ocean last year, it was with one objective in mind: to convert the uncontacted Sentinelese tribe, who had lived for centuries in isolation, free from modern technology, disease, and religion. John Chau’s mission had ambitions for a great awakening, but what awaited instead was tragedy.

    By Doug Bock Clark, August 22, 2019

    1. First Contact

    For 11 days in November 2018, John Chau lived mostly in darkness. While a cyclone thrashed the Bay of Bengal, Chau quarantined himself inside a safe house in the tropical backwater of Port Blair, India, never stepping outside to enjoy sunlight. The 26-year-old American missionary was hoping his body would finish off any lingering infections so that he wouldn’t sicken the Sentinelese, a hunter-gatherer tribe that he dreamed of converting to Christianity. They’d been isolated on their remote island for enough centuries that they’d never developed modern antibodies. Even the common cold could devastate them.

    During this retreat Chau kept his mountain climber’s body hard with triangle push-ups, leg tucks, and body squats. But it was his soul that he primarily fortified, with prayer and by reading a history of the tribulations faced by pioneering American missionaries in Southeast Asia, who were an inspiration to him. “God, I thank you for choosing me, before I was even yet formed in my mother’s womb, to be Your messenger of Your Good News,” he wrote in his diary. “May Your Kingdom, Your Rule and Reign come now to North Sentinel Island.”

    After the storm finally passed, a crew of local Christians hid Chau on their 30-foot open wooden boat and struck out under darkness for the most extreme outcrop of the Andaman archipelago, on a route presumably meant to resemble that of a normal fishing expedition. As they dodged other craft, Chau recorded, “The Milky Way was above and God Himself was shielding us from the Coast Guard and Navy patrols.” The Indian government bans contact with the Sentinelese as a way of protecting them from outsiders—and outsiders from them. The Sentinelese have maintained their independence by frequently repelling foreigners from their shoreline with eight-foot-long arrows.

    Bioluminescent plankton illuminated fish jumping “like darting mermaids” as the boat motored more than 60 miles. Sometime before 4:30 a.m., the crew noted three bonfires on a distant beach and then anchored outside the island’s barrier reef. While resting, eyes shut but not asleep, Chau had “a vision as I’ve never had one before,” of a meteorite—possibly representing himself—streaking toward a “frightening city with jagged spires,” seemingly Sentinel Island. Then “a whitish light filled [the city] and all the frightening bits melted away.” He couldn’t help wondering in his diary: “LORD is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had a chance to hear Your Name?”

    Dawn soon revealed a hut on a white-sand beach, backed by primordial jungle. Chau off-loaded from the fishermen’s boat a kayak and two waterproof cases jammed with wilderness survival supplies. He paddled a half mile in shallow water over dead coral, and as he approached shore, he heard women “looing and chattering.” Then two dark-skinned men, wearing little, if anything, ran onto the beach, shouting in a language spoken by no one on earth besides their tribe. They clutched bows, though they hadn’t yet strung arrows onto them.

    From his kayak, Chau yelled in English: “My name is John. I love you, and Jesus loves you. Jesus Christ gave me authority to come to you.” Then, offering a tuna most likely caught by the fishermen on the journey to the island, Chau declared: “Here is some fish!” In response, the Sentinelese socketed bamboo arrows onto bark-fiber bowstrings. Chau panicked. He flung the gift into the bay. As the tribesmen gathered it, he turned and paddled “like I never have in my life, back to the boat.”

    By the time he reached safety, though, his fear was already turning to disappointment. He swore to himself that he would return later that day. He had, after all, been planning for this moment since high school. It was his divine calling, he believed, to save the lost souls of North Sentinel Island.
    2. The Calling

    On the surface, John Chau enjoyed a normal 1990s childhood in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, playing soccer and performing charitable work with his church. Family photos show a chubby-cheeked boy grinning with his Chinese psychiatrist father in national parks, his American lawyer mother presumably behind the camera. But it wasn’t just those vacations that inspired his love of the wild. One day, while still in elementary school, Chau found a book in his dad’s downstairs study and wiped dust off its cover to reveal: Robinson Crusoe. The story of a solitary castaway on a tropical island hooked him on adventure tales.

    As Chau matured, he mastered the skills necessary to strike off on his own adventures in the rugged mountains just outside Portland, earning the equivalent of an Eagle Scout award from an evangelical version of the Boy Scouts. It wasn’t just a love of exploration that drove him. Wandering through mossy forests caused him to marvel at “the beautiful creation around us that we are all called to care for” and connected him to God, like the Old Testament prophets who found the Lord while alone in the wilderness.

    As posted on Instagram: Chau took public ferries to several outlying islands to test his kayak for his final trip to North Sentinel Island.

    Chau grew up Pentecostal, a charismatic Christian movement that is generally considered intensely evangelical and conservative. His mother wrote that she worked as a fund-raiser for organizations like Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which describes itself as “Washington, D.C.’s premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy,” and then for many years on the faculty at Oral Roberts University, a historically Pentecostal institution. It was during his junior year at a small Christian high school that he underwent that American evangelical rite of passage: a mission trip to Mexico. Sermonizing months later, as seen in a video uploaded to YouTube, Chau said the trip helped him realize, “We can’t just call ourselves Christians and then the next day just be like, Yeah, you know, let’s go to a party and get drunk and get high, whatever, get wasted, and live a lifestyle that’s totally against what Christ has called us to do. We actually have to do something.” The skinny teenager in an American Eagle polo reminds his listeners that one of Jesus’s commands was: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This passage comes from what is known as the Great Commission, and it is a primary biblical justification for missionary work.

    Though overseas missions might seem a relic of the British Empire, America dispatches a significant number of missionaries abroad each year—approximately 127,000 in 2010, for example, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. This number grew for decades because of American Protestantism’s emphasis on every believer’s responsibility to proselytize and the increasing ease of air travel, which has meant that spreading the Word internationally can be done over spring break. These factors have contributed to an explosion of self-regulated missionary groups that can seem practically freelance compared with the bureaucratized Catholic missionary orders of old. Chau would have likely believed missionary work “to be a divine obligation,” said Joshua Chen, a friend raised in a household with similar beliefs.

    Among some evangelicals, few missionaries are as celebrated as those who work with remote tribes. After returning from his high school trip to Mexico, Chau was surfing JoshuaProject.net, a website that catalogs unconverted peoples, and stumbled upon an entry for the Sentinelese. Today the site describes them as a “hostile” tribe that “need to know the Creator God exists.” Before long he was conjuring the islet on Google Maps, promising that he was going to bring the Sentinelese the Good News. His father, Patrick Chau, overheard him telling others this was his “calling,” but Patrick later wrote, “I hoped that he would be matured enough to rectify the fantasy before too late.”

    Indian anthropologists pass coconuts to the Sentinelese in 1991—one of the most notable attempts at contact to date.
    3. Satan’s Last Stronghold

    The Andamanese tribes, of which the Sentinelese are one, are “arguably the most enigmatic people on our planet,” according to a team of geneticists who published a paper in 2003 about trying to track their origins. The scientists found some evidence that they were part of the first wave of humans to reach Asia, more than 50,000 years ago—which makes sense, as their appearance is similar to that of Africans. But if that theory holds true, Asiatic peoples, who arrived later, eradicated their forebears, except for a remnant in the Andamans. This would mean that the estimated 50 to 200 surviving Sentinelese have been refugees since prehistory.

    Records from Roman, Arab, and Chinese traders, dating from the second century A.D., tell of Andamanese murdering sailors who put to shore looking for fresh water. In the 13th century, Marco Polo passed nearby and recorded from secondhand accounts that “they are a most cruel generation, and eat everybody that they can catch, if not of their own race,” though he was almost certainly wrong about the cannibalism. Consequently, most people who even knew about the Sentinelese were happy to avoid them until the British Empire established Port Blair, a penal colony for rebellious Indians, on nearby South Andaman Island.

    In 1879, the 19-year-old aristocrat Maurice Vidal Portman was charged with overseeing the Andamanese and—drawn by whatever impulse has moved young men across the ages—soon led an expedition to Sentinel Island. At first he and his soldiers freely roamed a jungle that was “in many places open and park like,” he wrote, and filled with “beautiful groves of bullet-wood trees.” Eventually they discovered some recently abandoned lean-tos and evidence that their inhabitants survived by hunting sea turtles, wild pigs, and fish, as well as by foraging fruits and roots. Portman, however, was not satisfied.

    After scouring the Manhattan-size island several times, and having glancing contact with the Sentinelese, the outsiders finally stumbled across an old Sentinelese man with his wife and child. The old man was tackled before he could fire his bow, and the whole family, along with three other Sentinelese children captured about the same time, was abducted back to Port Blair where Portman kept all of them in his house. (Over two ensuing decades of ostensibly civilizing the natives, Portman habitually photographed naked Andamanese captives, though it doesn’t seem that any of the disturbing pictures that survive are of the Sentinelese.) The old Sentinelese man and his wife rapidly died of sickness, and Portman eventually released the surviving children back to the island with gifts—and, perhaps, pathogens. “This expedition was not a success,” Portman wrote. “We cannot be said to have done anything more than increase their general terror of, and hostility to, all comers. It would have been better to have left the Islanders alone.”

    Some have speculated that Portman turned the Sentinelese against outsiders. Certainly his misadventures couldn’t have helped. But historical records suggest that the Sentinelese had isolated themselves long before Portman, perhaps because Southeast Asian kingdoms had raided them for slaves. Regardless, the Sentinelese violently maintained their independence until the British Empire collapsed, shortly after World War II, and the new Indian government eventually realized that some of its citizens didn’t even comprehend they were Indian.

    Consequently, in March 1974, a team of Indian anthropologists attempted to befriend the Sentinelese. As they approached the island, the anthropologists were guarded by policemen equipped with shields and shadowed by a film crew. The Indians had brought three Andamanese from a friendly tribe to interpret. “We are friends!” they shouted through a loudspeaker from a boat offshore. “We come in peace!” Evidence suggests the Sentinelese’s language has diverged from those of nearby tribes so much they are mutually unintelligible. But from about 80 yards away, one archer bent so far back that he seemed to aim at the sun, then launched an unmistakable reply. In a recording of that moment, an eight-foot bamboo shaft, with an iron nail lashed to its tip, plunges out of the heavens, ricochets off the boat’s railing, and into the water. When the camera refocuses, a Sentinelese man is pumping both fists in what is obviously a victory dance as the boat retreats.

    The anthropologists then motored up the coast, leaving coconuts, bananas, and plastic buckets on a deserted beach, and later watched as the Sentinelese carried away the offerings. But even that did not win over the tribe: The expedition was halted when the film director was wounded in the thigh by an arrow. When the anthropologists subsequently tried to leave even more gifts, the tribe immediately speared a bound live pig with their long arrows and buried it in the sand. A cotton doll left to test if they would let a human-shaped object cross their beach into the island’s interior suffered a similar fate.

    After that, anthropologists continued to make intermittent and unsuccessful visits to the island, and sometimes the outside world washed up on its shores. In 1981, a Panamanian freighter ran aground on the barrier reef during a storm. A few days later, a lookout spotted about 50 naked “wild men” waving bows and arrows on the beach. As described in The American Scholar, the crew then radioed the Regent Shipping Company’s Hong Kong office and begged for an airdrop of guns: “Worrying they will board us at sunset. All crew members’ lives not guaranteed.” Robert Fore, an American pilot who was working nearby, ended up landing a helicopter on the ship’s deck in high winds and plucking more than 30 sailors and their dog to safety. Fore had flown combat missions in Vietnam, he said, “but this was unique.” They left behind a ship’s worth of iron to be hammered into arrowheads, as well as tons of less useful chicken feed.

    The most recent contact of note was in 2006, when two Indian fishermen, believed to be drunk on palm wine, drifted ashore. Other poachers watched from outside the barrier reef as the Sentinelese hacked them to death with what were probably adzes, which an anthropologist has speculated that the tribe “must have endowed with magical power, to keep away the evil spirits.” When a helicopter investigated the deaths, archers drove it away, but not before rotor wind whipped sand off shallow graves—revealing a pair of corpses. After some time, the bodies were reportedly dug up and hung like scarecrows on bamboo poles, facing the sea.
    4. God’s University

    Chau learned this violent history while researching the tribe on his laptop. As he read on a missionary’s blog the summer after his freshman year of college: “The Sentinelese may be the greatest missions challenge anywhere!” Instead of being daunted, though, he appears to have tried to strike up a correspondence with the missionary, writing, “Hi! I genuinely believe that God has called me to go to the Sentinelese.”

    Chau was attending Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oral Roberts, nicknamed “God’s University,” has the stated goal of fostering “evangelistic capability” in its students. In 2018, the school sent about a seventh of its student body abroad on missions. Chau enrolled in History of Missions, a course in which he learned, as a syllabus put it, “a people-to-people strategy working from within the culture” for proselytizing. According to Dan McCarthy, a friend who said he took the class and later went on a mission overseas with him, this meant: “You learn the culture of those people. You learn their language. You blend in, and then you hope you get a chance to share Jesus because they ask questions about how you’ve been modeling His love. You don’t go in and force it down their throats.”

    Putting theory into practice, Chau worked with the university’s Missions and Outreach department, under Bobby Parks, a boyishly handsome and enthusiastic 30-something. Chau helped Parks coach refugee children in soccer for Park’s not-for-profit organization and perform local missions. Parks would later describe on social media his mentorship of Chau as similar to how the older apostle Paul guided the younger Timothy. While at Oral Roberts University, Chau traveled twice to South Africa—once with Parks’s department and later to coach and teach “life values” at a Christian soccer academy, one of the countless institutions that accept short-term missionaries in the world-spanning evangelical travel industry. Chau also represented his faith closer to home. Nicole Hopkins, a university friend, said that when her sister was in the hospital for a year, John provided her with daily support but “never pushed the gospel on her during that season.” Hopkins said that a couple of years later “my sister became a Christian and she says John’s actions were a big part of her believing God is real.” Despite his conviction, Chau doesn’t seem to have been an in-your-face proselytizer; secular friends said he barely discussed religion with them. After these experiences, Chau wrote, “ORU missions gave me direction in my life.”

    Other than his dedication to missions, Chau was basically a typical college student, albeit at a school without frat parties. He had an affinity for root beer, discussed Jesus for hours, and signed a pledge to abstain from “unscriptural sexual acts, which include any homosexual activity and sexual intercourse with one who is not my spouse.” Even in such a God-fearing environment, Chau stood out for his piety, making Hopkins “question whether or not I was as sold out for Christ as I claimed to be,” as she later wrote on social media. Despite his conservative background, he was “hardly the stereotypical, Bible-thumping ‘fundamentalist,’ ” said a friend, who came out to him as homosexual. In a message responding to that revelation, Chau wrote, “I see people as people, sons and daughters of God as their identity,” and said he would be willing to bless his queer brothers as much as his straight brothers. Chau was “an introverted social butterfly,” said another friend—reserved at first, but forging many deep relationships over time. Hopkins wrote me: “I’ve never met a man who loved others so selflessly.” And yet whenever Chau could, he left the city of Tulsa—which he described as “relatively devoid of natural beauty”—for the spiritual solitude of the woods. He cultivated a backpacker vibe, sprinkling his speech with “stoked” and “rad,” and bulked up through constant athletic activity.

    Upon graduating with a degree in exercise science, in 2014, Chau led a third mission trip to South Africa for the department run by Parks. Then, according to his personal blog, it was on to an autonomous region in northern Iraq to organize soccer games in refugee camps for Parks’s organization. After the high of adventures like these, Chau settled into a one-year AmeriCorps contract on a disaster-preparedness team back in Oklahoma. Staring at the gray felt walls of his workspace in October, he Instagrammed, “Never thought I’d be working in a cubicle. #reallife #whereisthebreeze #tooquiet.” But as he waited out the dreary winter, Chau laid plans for the following summer that would eventually take him to the Andaman archipelago.

    When June arrived, Chau road-tripped across the States, anthems from the likes of Angels & Airwaves shaking his rattletrap car. In California he passed a month-long course to become a wilderness emergency medical technician that involved simulations with actors employing “tons of (fake) blood” and actual helicopters, which jazzed him with a “flood of adrenaline,” he wrote.

    Then, in August, as a final test to harden himself before India, he embarked on an ambitious 120-mile trek through the Northwest’s Cascade mountains with two friends. Chau had plotted a route through backcountry that proved impractical, so they ended up trailblazing for two days over mountains—until they found themselves with no way forward except downclimbing a dry yet slippery waterfall. He later said that as he descended, “I remember thinking about how strong the contrast was between the vibrant beauty and life seen in view,” referring to the mountainous panorama below, “and the stark potentiality of death lingering at every misstep.” It was the “scariest” thing he had ever done. But the realization of “how fragile life is” inspired his personal motto: “Make the most of every good opportunity today because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow!”

    Soon after making it out of the woods, Chau boarded a plane for the Andaman archipelago.
    5. Giant Seeds

    Improbable as Chau’s calling seemed, there was an outside chance that he might befriend the Sentinelese, for it had almost happened once before. In 1967, Triloknath Pandit became the lead government anthropologist for the Andamans and promptly started depositing gifts on Sentinel’s beaches. Pandit said his project “wasn’t idle curiosity. Whatever knowledge we were able to obtain could help us protect [the Sentinelese]” and fight ignorant myths.

    For years the Sentinelese had remained hostile, as in 1974, when the film director was struck by the arrow. But after more semi-annual offerings, Pandit observed, in 1988, a “Sentinelese [who] started dancing with an adze in his hand” after presents were left on the beach. The next month, as Pandit and other anthropologists deposited bags of coconuts, some Sentinelese approached as close as ten yards. “All the Sentinelese took the gifts and expressed their joy through gestures,” he later wrote. “We reciprocated in kind.”

    In January 1991, expecting nothing unusual, Pandit dispatched a junior anthropologist, Madhumala Chattopadhyay, to help lead a gift drop—and was stunned when she reported that Sentinelese had waded out to the boat to accept the offerings. Perhaps, she suggested to me, her female presence had signaled that the researchers didn’t have warlike intentions. The next month, the horn of Pandit and Chattopadhyay’s boat echoed at dawn. Later that day, about a dozen Sentinelese splashed out to them. Soon, Pandit and others were standing in the water and passing out coconuts. There exists a photo in which Pandit, in sunglasses and a tank top, holds out a coconut to a naked Sentinelese man, who accepts it with a single hand. For a moment, modern citizen and hunter-gatherer, both, held the giant seed.

    Pandit was so exhilarated that he didn’t notice the lifeboat drifting off, making it look as if he intended to stay. Suddenly a Sentinelese youth pulled a knife from his bark belt and drew a circle with his other hand, as if saying, “I’m going to carve out your heart.” Pandit retreated and threw back an ornament of green leaves that had been given to him. The Sentinelese man tossed him a lifeboat oar that was floating nearby. The two worlds had once more separated. But Pandit was greatly encouraged and wrote in a trip report, “We felt we must carry a lot more coconuts on our future visits.”

    The next year, however, Pandit says, he struck mandatory retirement age. Perhaps feeling the Sentinelese were more trouble than they were worth, the government decided to forgo any future visits. “I regret not visiting them again,” Pandit told me in his apartment on the mainland. He was now in his 80s, and health problems meant that he was unlikely to ever return. “I think had we continued for another year or so, maybe they would have extended an invitation to come ashore.”
    6. An Incredible Adventure

    “My life becomes an incredible adventure when I follow the call of God,” Chau captioned an Instagram photo of himself riding a motorbike down a hectic street in October 2015, soon after arriving in the Andaman Islands. “I’m excited to see where He leads!” Foreigners are primarily allowed to shuttle between seedy Port Blair and a handful of resort beaches, as much of the island chain is reserved for four hunter-gatherer tribes, including the Sentinelese. But Chau quickly began testing the archipelago’s security. “John knew it was illegal,” said John Ramsey, a friend. “His facade was just that he was a traveling adventure tourist.” As Dependra Pathak, the director general of the Andaman police said, “He built the logistical support and friendships he needed during those trips.”

    Chau stayed in a $13-a-night hotel, with only a fan to stir the tropically hot air, and rode packed public buses to scuba-diving excursions, where he would question guides for more information that might help him get to Sentinel. Acquaintances of Chau’s—whose identities I have withheld, since the Indian police have asked them not to speak to journalists—described him as “enthusiastic” and “friendly.” He cultivated a wide network of contacts, from tourist guides to fishermen, and strove unsuccessfully to learn the Hindi language. Most importantly, he connected with the local Christian community, a minority in the Hindu nation. He preached at a local church and in social media posts thanked Oral Roberts’s Missions and Outreach department for teaching him to always have a sermon handy, tagging one of them “#relationshipbuilding #missions.” Parks, his former boss there, responded: “Praying for you Chau boy. Proud of you. Keep loving big.” (Parks did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) Chau was correct in his assumption that locals would eventually show him the way to Sentinel Island, but after several weeks his path there wasn’t yet clear. He would have to return the next year.

    For four years, Chau made annual visits to the Andamans, bringing gifts for a widening circle of friends until it felt like a “home away from home.” According to the Indian police and two local sources, he became close to “Alex,” a 28-year-old engineer who lived in Port Blair. Alex is Keralese, descended from a small sect of intensely Christian Indians who, tradition has it, were converted about two decades after the Crucifixion by the apostle Thomas, who’d sailed on a spice trader to southern India. At first, Alex warned Chau against his mission, but according to Indian police, Chau eventually won him over. (A lawyer for Alex said that charges had not yet been proven in court, and so the narrative of him helping Chau was “false for now.”) Alex introduced Chau to a small community of Karen, an ethnic minority from Myanmar who’d been converted to Christianity by American missionaries. During Chau’s second visit to the Andamans, in late 2016, he likely bused through the jungle reserve of a friendlier hunter-gatherer tribe, the Jarawa, to reach the remote Karen village on its outskirts. There lived the fishermen who would eventually ferry him to Sentinel Island. On returning home, Chau had an argument with his father about whether he was following the Scriptures in pursuing his missionary work. After that, they decided to “agree to disagree.”

    Now that he had an idea about how to get to Sentinel Island, Chau began to prepare with characteristic relentlessness for what he might do once he set foot on shore. A list written by Chau shows that in 2017 he read 47 missionary and anthropological books. In 2018 he read 65. He contacted several missionary organizations with reputations for supporting attempts to reach uncontacted peoples and missionaries who had actually done so, plumbing them for information. Chau even discussed with a missionary engineer using a drone to make contact, but he eventually decided it had to be done face-to-face. Any plans to make an attempt in 2017 may have been scuttled when he stepped too close to a large rattlesnake near the cabin he lived in while working at an environmental-science school in the California mountains. From his hospital bed he Instagrammed numerous shots of his grotesquely swollen foot, smeared in blood, tagging one of them #selfrescue.

    Chau was still rehabbing when he arrived that summer at the Canada Institute of Linguistics, which runs an intensive two-month training in how to translate the Bible into new languages. Fellow participant Kaleb Graves remembered, “[Chau] was the center of just about every conversation when he was comfortable,” and other aspiring missionaries were drawn to his “sense that every second was an adventure.” And yet Graves remembered that Chau also seemed “outside the norm” of the class, and they bonded while avoiding communal chapel and discussing how “all chapels feel exactly the same—you’ve heard that sermon, you’ve sung those songs—and you know time alone is the best way to encounter God.” Graves noted that Chau would often take long solitary hikes. “He seemed sort of lonely, despite everything,” Graves said. “If you think you have this one monumental divine task, but you can’t share it, you’ve got to cover up that loneliness, and maybe that’s why he was so friendly with everyone.” Chau’s friend Ramsey said, “John received a fair amount of attention from girls,” but “he didn’t want any romantic attachments because he was focused on his mission—and he was afraid that a heart could get broken.”

    Since Chau had acquired some basic tools to try to crack the Sentinelese language, there was just one more form of training he would undergo. Later that summer, when Chau visited Ramsey’s home, the two friends had a heart-to-heart. Ramsey asked him, “What are you going to do with your life, bro?” Though Chau had previously described his missionary hopes in general terms, now he explained his specific calling to the Sentinelese. Even more, he asked Ramsey and Ramsey’s mother, who was a trained editor, to look over his application to All Nations, an organization that supports missionaries targeting “neglected peoples” in places where such work can be illegal or dangerous. Chau had long known of All Nations: His first Oral Roberts mission trip to South Africa had also been supported by All Nations. Ramsey said there wasn’t any point in trying to dissuade Chau from going: “He’d already made the decision.”

    In the fall of 2017, Chau attended an All Nations program, one of the many unregulated missionary courses in America. As the New York Times reported, Chau’s training culminated with him hiking several hours through an area south of Kansas City. When he managed to track down a mocked-up tribal village, Americans dressed in secondhand clothes threatened him with spears and babbled an unintelligible language to simulate what he might experience on Sentinel Island. Chau distinguished himself as “one of the best participants in this experience that we have ever had,” the international executive leader of All Nations told the Times. (All Nations disputed the Times’ description of the event, explaining that no weapons were used and that it trained participants “to share the Good News of Jesus in a way that is cross-culturally sensitive,” but said that it had not raised its concerns directly with the newspaper.) Then he took one more preparatory trip to the Andamans, in early 2018.

    Finally, as autumn arrived that year, Chau said goodbye to his siblings and parents, knowing it could be for the last time. Since he first began to speak of going to Sentinel Island while in his teens, his parents had encouraged him to pursue medicine instead, or, failing that, to save souls in a less dangerous location. His father, Patrick, wrote in an essay about him, the existence of which was first reported by Outside, “John became the victim when my [influence],” of a more moderate Christianity, “failed to counter the irrational religious and glamorized ambition of adventures of exploration.” Patrick blamed John’s immersion in the “fanatical evangelical extreme” on professional troubles that damaged his ability to be a role model for John during his high school years. John’s elder brother and sister seem to have happily followed their father’s path into medicine and a moderate Christianity, but Patrick noted that John was always different from the more obedient pair. John may have also sought his own path outside the home because of his parents’ disharmony. Elkanah Jebasingh, an Indian friend, said that during visits John prayed for his parents’ strained marriage. John’s social media was replete with pictures of him hiking with his mother and fishing with his father, along with loving testimonies about both—but by the time of his final visit, after years of arguments, parents and son had become entrenched in their views. Patrick wrote me that before saying goodbye, John “did not have a sustained argument with me, but only a few words.” Then Patrick cited a Chinese proverb that translates as “When words get sour, adding words is useless.”

    On his way to India, Chau stopped in South Africa to see Casey Prince, an American ex–pro soccer player who ran the academy where Chau had coached during his first Oral Roberts missions. Chau had stayed in Prince’s house on two previous visits to South Africa, and the two became so close that Casey’s wife, Sarah Prince, claimed him as “family.” He admired the Princes for spending nearly a decade living in and ministering to Cape Town’s poorer communities, and now he sought their advice on integrating with the Sentinelese. When Chau had described his calling during previous visits, Casey had privately doubted whether his plan was possible, but “I now saw [John] was totally serious,” he said. They discussed how Chau would need to spend years learning the tribe’s language and culture, and then sensitively introduce them to the gospel. “The best-case scenario would be ‘I’ll see you and all my friends and family in ten years,’ ” Casey said. “Success would still be a huge sacrifice.” Chau also received counsel from a South African missionary, whom he calls “Pieter V.” in his diary, who regaled him with stories of eluding Indian authorities and who, Chau suggests elsewhere, successfully preached to the Jarawa tribe in the Andamans from 1997 to 2003.

    Chau’s final plan probably looked similar to a 27-step one laid out in a document that he had shared with confidants earlier that year. In the section “Initial Contact (2018),” Chau wrote he would overcome the Sentinelese’s mistrust with gifts and then communicate “my desire to stay with them…using pictures, drawings in sand, and/or drawings in waterproof notebook.” Once he had sufficiently learned the language and culture, he explained in section “Long-Term Contact (2018-?),” he would use “oral storytelling” to find “culturally applicable stories” that would “translate the Gospel into a context [the Sentinelese] can understand without Western cultural additions.” He hoped to identify and then convert a few influencers in the tribe, who would help him win over everyone else and lead an indigenous church. He even envisioned eventually dispatching them as missionaries to the Jarawa. “After all of the evangelism and discipleship has been passed on to local tribal believers,” he wrote in his “Exit Plan” section, he might paddle a “dugout canoe/kayak” to a beach near Port Blair. But if leaving the tribe seemed too likely to get him caught and expose everything, “I could potentially reside for the rest of my life on the islands.”

    Soon, Chau’s month of respite was finished. He sent a final email to a select group of supporters, saying goodbye, asking for prayers, and offering updates on his plans. Signing off, he described seeing outside of Cape Town a “horrific car crash” that had resulted in several corpses. “It was a stark reminder to me of how fragile our lives on earth are,” he wrote. Then he paraphrased Ephesians, “Use your time carefully…. Understand what the Lord Jesus wants you to do, and do it.” Throughout the letter, he sounds like a man who is confident he is fulfilling his destiny.

    “It was weird, to have your hugs and part ways with him saying, ‘I could arrive on the island and get shot with arrows,’ ” Casey said. “It makes you think of what it was like for people going off to war in the past.” Before Chau left, Sarah said, they had several conversations about how he had tried to “check his motives with God, asking ‘if I’m just being an adventure junkie, or rebelling, or a religious extremist.’ But he just kept feeling that this is what God was calling him to do.” They also discussed the fact that though “he loved and respected his family,” he was going against the wishes of his parents. “He knew they weren’t at peace,” said Sarah, “but he had peace at the end, leaving them—he had given it to God in his heart.” When they separated, Sarah felt divinely inspired to share a psalm with Chau: “I will not die, but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.”

    When Chau landed in Port Blair, in October, he likely already carried with him most of what he needed to go all the way: a collapsible kayak, two waterproof cases full of equipment—including fishing gear, medicine, multivitamins, and picture cards to help communicate—as well as gifts, like safety pins, that the Andaman police believe he chose by researching what offerings other hunter-gatherers had appreciated. Shortly after Chau’s own arrival, Parks, Chau’s former boss at Oral Roberts, and another evangelical friend from college met him at Alex’s “safe house” apartment.

    Police director Pathak believes the other Americans were there to “encourage [Chau] to feel enthusiasm” about the mission. They had timed their trip to see Chau off to North Sentinel, but once the cyclone spun up, they had to leave before the seas calmed. Chau waited out the bad weather. According to Pathak, Chau then paid the five Karen fishermen about $350, a windfall in a country where a billion people survive on less than $5.50 a day, to sneak him out to sea at night. The next morning the Sentinelese rebuffed Chau’s first attempt to save them.
    7. The Biblical Shield

    “I felt some fear, but mainly was disappointed they didn’t accept me right away,” Chau wrote in his diary on returning to the Karen’s boat. But after a quick meal of fresh-caught fish, rice, and dal, he paddled about a mile up the coast. Once he was out of sight of the Sentinelese, he buried his larger waterproof case so he would have a secret stash of supplies should the tribe accept him. Then he returned to the fishermen’s boat and outfitted his kayak with two more gift fish; his waterproof Bible; his second, smaller waterproof case; and his “initial contact response kit”—which included dental forceps, to pull arrows from his body, and a chest-seal bandage. Then he paddled back to the island.

    As he neared the beach, he heard shouts and drumming. From the sand, about six Sentinelese began yelling at him in a language full of high-pitched b, p, l, and s sounds, seemingly led by a man wearing a crown of flowers and standing on a tall coral rock. Chau stayed offshore, trying to keep out of arrow range, and parroted their words. They burst out laughing most of the time, meaning the phrases were probably bad or insulting, Chau thought.

    Eventually, two men traded their bows for paddles and approached him in a dugout canoe. He dropped the fish into the waves and backed away. The men detoured to grab them. Chau discerned increasing friendliness from the tribespeople, and so he paddled very close to land as more Sentinelese arrived—most unarmed, though one boy wielded a bow with a nocked arrow. Chau kept waving his hands to signal, unsuccessfully, for the kid to disarm. The wind had nudged Chau’s kayak into the shallows. The canoe slid in behind Chau, cutting off his escape. Chau threw the two paddlers a shovel as a gift, but one of them still clutched his bamboo knife. The kid with the bow and nocked arrow approached. Chau figured this was it. So he disembarked to show that he, too, had two legs. Then he preached to them from Genesis, likely reading from his waterproof Bible.

    Chau found himself inches from the Sentinelese man who didn’t have a knife. The hunter-gatherer stood about Chau’s height—five feet six—and had yellowish clay smeared in circles on his face. Chau noted a fly land on the man’s cheek. Hastily, Chau handed over his gifts and, in his rush, gave the tribespeople essentially everything he had. Surely, the Sentinelese couldn’t help but be moved by his good intentions?

    Then things started happening confusingly fast. The men grabbed the kayak and made off with it. The boy suddenly fired his bow. Miraculously, the arrow struck the waterproof Bible that Chau was holding, saving him.

    Chau grabbed the arrow and felt the sharpness of the nail-like arrowhead. He retreated, shouting and stumbling. The Sentinelese let him wade over the submerged dead coral. He swam nearly a mile back to the boat, thinking in his panic that rocks in the bay were pursuing canoes. Back on board, he confronted the fact that he had lost his kayak and had no access to any of his supplies. Though, he journaled, “I’m grateful that I still have the written Word of God.” Chau now had to make a momentous choice alone. “It’s weird—actually no, it’s natural: I’m scared. There, I said it,” he wrote in his diary, his handwriting becoming increasingly agitated. “I DON’T WANT to Die! Would it be wiser to leave and let someone else continue?”
    8. The First One to Heaven

    The sun smoldered on the waves. Chau prayed. Practically anyone else would have asked the fishermen to return to Port Blair, but judge the situation from Chau’s point of view. He considered the Sentinelese to be living in “Satan’s last stronghold” and destined for hell unless he rescued them for heaven. To him, there could have been no greater act of love than risking his life to save them from eternal torment. Even more, according to police director Pathak, he indicated to the fishermen that the arrow striking the Bible was a sign of God’s protection. “John assumed that they wouldn’t automatically welcome him and that the only way to win them over was to be like, ‘I’m here, and I’m not going away,’ ” said Casey Prince, his mentor in South Africa. And if Chau gave up now, he was unlikely to get another chance.

    Chau knew he could perish if he returned to shore, and he was prepared for that. As Jim Elliot, a missionary whom Chau idolized, said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Like many evangelicals, Chau grew up celebrating Elliot, whose widely publicized story helped launch, in the late 1950s, the missionary boom that is still ongoing today. It is uncanny how closely Chau followed Elliot’s footsteps. They grew up miles from each other, hiked the same mountains, and formed convictions as teenagers that they were called to uncontacted tribes. Shortly after graduating from college, Elliot was lanced to death by an Ecuadoran tribe infamous for killing outsiders. However, after a few years, Elliot’s widow and other missionaries converted some of the tribesmen who slew Elliot—leading many evangelicals to declare the original mission a success. Should he die at the hands of the Sentinelese, Chau may have reasoned, he would simply be following Elliot’s example—and that of the original missionary, Jesus Christ.

    But it’s also doesn’t seem that Chau viewed confronting the Sentinelese again as seeking martyrdom. “I can say explicitly that John wasn’t on a suicide mission,” said Jimmy Shaw, who taught the History of Missions Class taken by Chau at university, remained close to him, and was privy to his plans. “He was a person of faith. If he died, then he died. But he was a believer, and he believed he was going to get the chance to share the gospel with those who’d never otherwise have a chance to hear it. And that was the risk worth taking.” The mission plan he had shared with supporters also included his return. And not long before, he had told Sarah Prince that he hoped one day to have children and a family like hers, “if God wants it for me.”

    Though the odds of success may have seemed daunting, after overcoming so many previous challenges, Chau may have thought he could beat this one, too, by himself. Or he may have hoped for a miracle. Pentecostalism, the Christian movement Chau grew up in, gets its name from the miracle of the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to convert foreigners by preaching in their languages. After baptism, many Pentecostalists speak in what they believe are similarly divinely inspired “tongues,” and they celebrate stories of modern missionaries performing Pentecost-like miracles. Chau’s friend McCarthy, who is now a Pentecostal minister, said, “He definitely had the gift of speaking in tongues,” though it is unclear if Chau thought that gift would manifest in this context.

    And, ultimately, converting the tribe may have been only of secondary importance to Chau. For many evangelicals, trying to discern every twist and turn of God’s master plan is impossible and presumptuous. Instead, the best a believer can do is follow what directives they can grasp. “To John, the measure of success has always been obedience,” said Hopkins, his friend. And Shaw described a video, which he believed was likely meant to be shared only if Chau did not return, in which Chau declared that the measure of a person was their obedience to Christ. So if John had felt God wanted him to go, then he would have gone.

    Whatever Chau’s final reasoning, as afternoon descended into evening, he wrote in his diary, “LORD let Your will be done. If you want me to get actually shot or even killed with an arrow, then so be it. I think I could be more useful alive though, but to You, God, I give all the glory of whatever happens.”

    Watching the sun burn out, Chau was moved to tears and wondered if “it’ll be the last sunset I see before being in the place where the sun never sets.” He described intensely missing his family, friends, and Parks, and wished there was “someone I can talk to and be understood.” He finished his thoughts for the day: “Perfect LOVE casts out fear. LORD Jesus, fill me with Your perfect love for these people!”

    The next morning, after a “fairly restful sleep” on the boat, he wrote, “I hope this isn’t my last notes but if it is, to God be the glory.” He stripped down to his black underpants, as Pandit had taken off his clothes so as not to spook the naked Andaman tribes. Then he stroked toward land.

    The fishermen motored out to sea, as Chau had requested. Pieter V., the missionary whom Chau had consulted in South Africa, had told him that he believed that the Jarawa tribe didn’t kill him when he landed because he had no boat. Chau also didn’t want the fishermen to have to witness him possibly being slaughtered. The fishermen carried away Chau’s diary and two letters, one of which was to Alex. “I think I might die,” Chau confessed in it. But he comforted his friend: “I’ll see you again, bro—and remember, the first one to heaven wins.”

    The next day, the fishermen returned to the island. They motored along the coast, searching for signs of Chau.

    Eventually they spotted something on the beach. They looked closer. It was a body in black underpants. And it was being dragged by the Sentinelese, with a rope tied around its neck.
    9. A Strenuous Case

    When I met police director Pathak in his office this summer, he described the situation as “a very, very strenuous case.” According to him, after discovering the body, the fishermen had rushed back to Port Blair and, crying, turned over Chau’s journal and letters to Alex. Alex then contacted Parks, who in turn informed Chau’s mother. Chau’s mother then alerted the U.S. Consulate General in India, which contacted the Andaman police. In the subsequent investigation, Pathak had to decide: Could a people who didn’t recognize laws be prosecuted under them? Should Chau’s remains be recovered? Chau had written, “don’t retrieve my body,” and Chau’s family posted on his Instagram account, “We forgive those supposedly responsible for his death.” So Pathak decided the rights of the “uncontacted group needed to be respected.”

    But though Chau was beyond the laws of this world, the fishermen and Alex were soon imprisoned, before being released on bail. The lawyer representing them said that the punishment of his clients was “not fair,” as Chau went to the island of his own free will, and noted that Chau must not have thought about how the subsequent legal troubles would “badly affect” their lives. According to Pathak, the Indian police had also begun the bureaucratic process to request American assistance to talk to Parks.

    The sufferings of Alex and the fishermen was the last thing that Chau would have wanted: He worried deeply that they could be harmed should his mission go awry. In his final email to supporters, he directed that if he perished they should tell the media, “I am simply an ‘adventurer’…and please do not mention the real reason for why I went to the island.” This was to lessen the chances of “persecution of local area Christians, [and] the imprisonment of the local team members.” He explained that he had built a website and Instagram account that looked like those of an adventure bro to throw people off the trail. Instead of desiring posthumous Elliot-like fame, he preferred to be remembered as a fool.

    As Chau had predicted, when the story of his death spread worldwide, in November 2018, the criticism of him was fierce. Much of it followed the red herrings he had left, but information about his missionary purpose came out soon enough, once the fishermen confessed. Pandit, the anthropologist, said, “I felt sad that the young man should lose his life, but this was a foolish thing to do.” In the news, some commentators characterized his attitude as “puritanical, prejudiced, and patronizing.” Survival International, an NGO that advocates for uncontacted tribes, declared, “The Sentinelese have shown again and again that they want to be left alone, and their wishes should be respected.” The organization warned that by supposedly saving the tribe, Chau might have ended up destroying them.

    The Andaman tribes numbered about 5,000 people when the British arrived, but today only a few hundred remain. These survivors are wracked with measles and consumed by alcohol, subjected to “human safaris” by tourists, and have increasingly become dependent on government handouts. When I joined a hundred-car convoy through the jungle reserve of the Jarawa tribe, crossing between Port Blair and another town, I saw 11 Jarawa squatting on the roadside and staring at the traffic as if watching TV.

    This was “the danger of contact” that had made Pandit “worried about the future” when he first handed the coconut to the Sentinelese back in 1991, despite his simultaneous excitement at the meeting. Pandit knew the poisonous fruit that seed could bear, because he had already led the acculturation of a Jarawa clan. In the mid-1970s he felt he had no choice; they were fatally ambushing settlers on the outskirts of Port Blair. He won their trust with gifts and then lived with them for stints before imposing government oversight. When I interviewed him this year, however, he clearly thought they had suffered from the decades of contact. “Once, they laughed so much more than us,” he said. He thinks that the Sentinelese probably have had a happy life, similar to that of the Jarawa, before his arrival, easily fulfilling their needs in their tropical Eden. Hunter-gatherers are often called “the original affluent society,” as anthropologists have found they average only three to five hours of work a day, are more egalitarian, and have fewer mental health issues. (Although it is important not to romanticize their shorter life spans and other disadvantages.) Ultimately it’s not that Pandit thinks the Sentinelese should be barred from modernizing, only that they have the human right to choose whether to do so—and they have conscientiously objected. “Change should be for the better,” Pandit said. “But if we as an external force bring the change, are we sure we are helping?”

    Though the Sentinelese have no knowledge of what has happened outside their barrier reef, they seem to have intuited Pandit’s fears. And they have adopted a defensive strategy that has preserved them as one of the approximately 100 uncontacted groups still abiding on earth.
    10. A Rebellious People

    As harshly as some individuals criticized Chau, I was struck by how often people who knew him described him as a considerate, capable young man. Even those who didn’t agree with his final actions grieved. As Nathan Fairchild, his boss at the environmental camp in California, told me through tears: “There’s a tendency when people pass away to knight them, but even when John was living, everyone would have praised him the same way.”

    Many evangelicals were outspoken in celebrating his sacrifice. “There was no colonial intention,” said Ramsey, Chau’s friend. “[John’s] motivation was love for these people.… I think he’s up there in heaven.” Oral Roberts University released a statement that concluded: “We are not surprised that John would try to reach out to these isolated people in order to share God’s love. We are deeply saddened to hear of his death.” Parks, Chau’s boss, wrote on social media that Chau was “one of the best and most selfless human beings there ever was.” Many Christians spoke of being inspired to do missions themselves—missions that might reach all the way to Sentinel Island. On the Facebook page “I Admire John Allen Chau,” a post described a young American declaring at a missionary conference, “I am called to go to the people JOHN Allen Chau tried to reach.” Ramsey said, “I could see John as a modern Jim Elliot, someone who made a greater impact in death than life.” At All Nations’ annual fund-raiser in April 2019, the organization celebrated Chau and featured as the keynote speaker the grandson of a missionary pilot who perished alongside Elliot.

    And yet not all Christians supported Chau’s actions, including many prominent evangelicals, such as the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Christian missionary work has evolved over the ages, and it is now profoundly important for missionaries to be sensitive to the culture of the people they are sent to,” said Ben Witherington III, a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. “Chau is a pretty classic example of how not to do missions in the 21st century.” Some field missionaries criticized Chau as insensitive, ineffective, and even ignorant of biblical directives. As Mark 6:11 commands: “And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” The detractors and supporters of Chau often seemed to be screaming past one another about different realities. Where some people saw a sensitive missionary prepared by years of training, others saw an overconfident, underprepared young American cheered to his death by his mentors.

    One recent afternoon, while pondering all this, I flipped open an edition of the waterproof Bible that had stopped the arrow the Sentinelese boy had fired at Chau. He recorded the verses that the shaft broke on, which conclude in Isaiah 65:1–65:2: “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.”

    While Chau didn’t record if he interpreted the “rebellious people” as the Sentinelese or if the verse impacted his decision to return to the island once again, it’s telling he swam ashore the next morning. And yet Witherington, the Asbury seminary theologian, who has written a book about deciphering Isaiah, said, “I don’t dismiss Chau’s sincerity or sacrifice, but the question is whether he interpreted Isaiah rightly—and the answer for that, I think, is clearly no.” Two more theologians confirmed that in the above passage, the “rebellious people” are actually those inside the church, as God is criticizing the Israelites for worshipping false idols.

    In all my months of reporting, I never found any evidence that Chau even once questioned his calling. His certainty was so absolute that he was willing to bet not only his life on it but the lives of the Sentinelese. (Multiple doctors have stated that his self-quarantine wouldn’t have worked.) But one inscrutable thing about religion is that while it offers definitive answers, believers draw different answers from the same words, and often different answers throughout their lives.

    Patrick Chau, John’s father, was born in China, endured six years of forced labor harvesting rice during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, escaped to the United States, studied medicine at Oral Roberts University, which John would attend, and eventually brought John up evangelical. But during a weeks-long correspondence with me, Patrick described how over the past decade he had begun to find biblical truths in the Confucianism of his youth. He came to believe that the commonalities undergirding world religions meant that people “not following Western religious terms could still be following the teachings of the Bible.” In this context, he decided, “the theology of the Great Commission”—of missions—“is the byproduct of Western colonization and imperialization, and not Biblical teaching at all.” He wrote, “I have no common opinion in faith with my youngest.” John “was not there yet.”

    I wrote back: “But it seems you think that he would have come to that realization, in time?”

    “Eventually,” Patrick answered. “I hoped.”

    The central message of Jesus and Confucius that he tried to get his son to accept was: “Fairness. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. It is the only standard of right and wrong in the whole Bible.”

    The morning of his death, Chau wrote his final letter, addressed to his parents and siblings: “You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people. Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed.” He concluded: “I love you all and I pray none of you love anything in this world more than Jesus Christ.” He signed it with a scrawl that looks a lot like “JC.”
    11. Christlike Love

    We can’t know precisely what happened when Chau encountered the Sentinelese for the final time. Shortly after reports of Chau’s death, his mother told the Washington Post that she still believed he was alive because of “my prayers.” She later declined my interview requests, explaining to acquaintances that she preferred to let Chau tell his own story when he returned. Patrick concluded his essay memorializing John: “This is [the] riddle of life I cannot see through now,” and then paraphrased a verse from the Book of Job: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    Chattopadhyay, the anthropologist, speculated that when Chau emerged from the lagoon, the tribe would have likely warned him with “utterances and hand gestures” to go away, fearing “he would try to enslave them.” Pandit added, “The Sentinelese don’t go out of their way to do violence.… But of course he couldn’t understand.”

    And so Chau crossed the line in the sand that the Sentinelese hadn’t even let a foreign doll transgress all those years ago. And of course they shot him.

    A skilled hunter doesn’t aim for an instant kill with a relatively fragile bamboo arrow tipped with an iron nail—the human brain and heart are small targets and encased in bone.

    No, the projectile would have been aimed at Chau’s large and soft gut. Once he was crippled, the Sentinelese would have charged in, wielding their long arrows like spears.

    But before then, Chau would have had time to confront the fact that he was going to die.

    And I have faith that he welcomed his killers with Christlike love.

    Doug Bock Clark is a GQ correspondent.

    A version of this story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue with the title “Contact.”

    #christianisme #mission #proselytisme #impérialisme #USA #Inde

  • Les #cyclistes commettent beaucoup moins d’infractions que les automobilistes
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2019/08/21/les-cyclistes-commettent-beaucoup-moins-dinfractions-que-les-automobilistes

    Malgré ce que pensent beaucoup d’automobilistes, les cyclistes commettent beaucoup moins d’infractions qu’eux. Un article du journal Libération vient mettre fin à la légende urbaine du cycliste qui ne respecte Lire la suite...

    #Insécurité_routière #Vélo #recherche #relations_cyclistes-automobilistes #sécurité_routière #vitesse

  • Chine - États-Unis : une nouvelle étape de la #guerre_commerciale | Le mensuel
    https://mensuel.lutte-ouvriere.org/2019/06/02/chine-etats-unis-une-nouvelle-etape-de-la-guerre-commerciale

    #conflit_commercial #croissance_mondiale #protectionnisme #économie_mondiale

    La mise à l’index de #Huawei par les États-Unis, matérialisée par la suspension des #relations_commerciales entre Google et la firme chinoise de téléphonie, marque une nouvelle étape dans la guerre commerciale en cours. Celle-ci n’est pas seulement due à la personnalité ou aux calculs politiques de Trump, ce démagogue aux déclarations à l’emporte-pièce. Elle résulte de l’exacerbation de la #concurrence entre firmes visant le marché mondial dans une économie capitaliste en #crise. Elle ajoute de l’incertitude et des tensions dans une économie déjà instable. Elle est déjà payée par les travailleurs, en #Chine, aux #États_Unis et ailleurs dans le monde.

    – La guerre dans la technologie des télécommunications
    – Une guerre à plusieurs cibles
    – Une guerre lourde de menaces
    – Les travailleurs paient la facture

  • Le #Défenseur_des_droits s’inquiète du recul des #services_publics et évoque « la fatigue d’être usager »
    https://www.banquedesterritoires.fr/le-defenseur-des-droits-sinquiete-du-recul-des-services-publics

    Le rapport annuel présenté ce 12 mars par Jacques Toubon montre que pas moins de 93% des réclamations traitées par le Défenseur des droits sont liées aux services publics. Il pointe la réduction du périmètre de ces services, leur logique comptable peu compatible avec la #précarisation d’une partie des usagers, la complexité des démarches... Le Défenseur jette par ailleurs un jugement sévère sur la « politique de renforcement de la #sécurité ».

    #libertés_fondamentales #déontologie_de_la_sécurité #droit_des_étrangers #immigration #inégalités_territoriales #État #Sécurité_sociale #aide_sociale #restrictions_budgétaires #relations_administration_usagers #dématérialisation #exclusion_numérique #discrimination #handicap #éducation #droit

    Le rapport : https://www.defenseurdesdroits.fr/sites/default/files/atoms/files/raa-2018-num-19.02.19.pdf