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Showing posts from August 11, 2014

China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman

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["For a decade, Sam Pa has opened doors for Beijing in Africa. But his story reveals a troubling side to China’s ambitions." The story of China in Africa is fascinating and many of the gory details will not be known for many years, if ever. “It’s like Rhodes, trying to conquer Africa all over again.” *RON*]

By Tom Burgis, Demetri Sevastopulo and Cynthia O’Murchu, Financial Times, 8 August 2014
On his way home from Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in December, Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone, stopped off in Angola to discuss an investment in his war-scarred nation. Fellow guests in the dining room of a golden skyscraper in the centre of Luanda, one of the towering edifices that an oil boom has raised above the slums of Angola’s capital, observed Koroma in rapt conversation with the Chinese man seated to his right.

The short 56-year-old had a receding hairline and a neat goatee beard. He wore a black suit, a red tie and r…

The New Racism: This is how the civil rights movement ends

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[Good, long article on how the Republicans are eroding the gains made by the civil rights movement, focused on the career of Senator Hank Sanders from Alabama. *RON*]

By Jason Zengerle, The New Republic, 10 August 2014

Long before he became the most powerful man in the Alabama Senate, before he controlled billions of dollars in state money and had lobbyists, governors, and future presidents seeking his favor, Hank Sanders used newspapers and magazines as bathroom tissue. His mother would collect periodicals from the wealthy white family whose house she cleaned and bring them back for Sanders and his brothers and sisters. There were 13 children, all told, and they lived with their parents in a three-room shack that their father had built out of one-by-eight boards among the tall pines and chinaberry trees in Blacksher, a speck of a town 50 miles north of Mobile.

This was Alabama in the 1950s, when Jim Crow reigned and a governor’s race was determine…

Sally rides again! Navy christens ship for the late astronaut

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[Reasonably good news. Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut, died in 2012 when it was announced publicly for the first time in her obituary that she was a lesbian. Her life partner has been refused any benefits by the military. *RON*]
By Brendan Davis, Digital Content Manager at GLAAD, August 11, 2014


The U.S. Navy named a ship for the late astronaut Sally Ride. In a ceremony at the Dakota Creek Industries, Inc., Ride's partner Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy broke a bottle across the bow of the ship.

Joining O'Shaughnessy on the platform are Mr. Dick Nelson, president, Dakota Creek Industries, Inc., Matron of Honor, the reverend Dr. Bear Ride, Matron of Honor, Kathleen Ritzman, assistant director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, Kathryn Sullivan, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of…

Why Should You Care Where Your Laptop Goes To Die?

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[By 2015, India may generate 1,500,000 tonnes of e-waste a year. Currently, around 90 percent of e-waste it is estimated to be recycled in the informal sector, which bypasses safety and environmental regulations. "Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) now has 85,000 workers handling 25,000-30,000 tonnes of e-waste per year.... Worse, over 4.5 lakh (=450,000) children between 10 and 14 years of age are engaged in e-waste related activities across India, such as collection, sorting, dismantling and burning. They don’t use any protective gear and are unaware of the health risks involved." *RON*]

By Nidhi Jamwal, Grist Media / Yahoo! News India, 11 August 2014

Along Dharavi’s main road, right next to an open nallah, there lies a small, busy lane, invariably blocked by a truck loading or unloading large gunny bags full of waste, including end-of-life electrical and electronic waste (e-waste). This is the lane of Banwari Compound in Dharavi’s …