Monday, 20 August 2012

Around the World in Five Minutes

Sudan: Chopper Crash Kills 32

In Sudan, thirty two people were killed, including four top government ministers, when their helicopter crashed into a mountain near Talodi, a region near the border with the new state of South Sudan.
According to the State media, SUNA, the crash was caused by harsh weather conditions.

The Minister of Guidance and Endowment, Ghadi al-Sadiq was among the passengers heading to the South Kordofan state to attend prayers on the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

Australia: Rights' Group Condemns New Migrant Law

The rights’ group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised the Australian government for approving a law that authorises the transfer of asylum seekers who arrive by boat to remote Pacific islands, where they will remain indefinitely while their refugee claims are processed. Refugee programme director, Bill Frelick, described the law approved by parliament as “a step backwards in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.”

The Australian parliament approved the Migration Amendment Bill last week which authorises the government to transfer migrants arriving by sea to the pacific country of Nauru or to Manus Island, which is part of Papua New Guinea. Migrants could be sent there as early as September.
Frelick warned Australia would be evading its obligations under the Refugee Convention if the plan went ahead.

In a separate development, HRW has criticised a decision by the Nepali government to ban women under the age of 30 from working in Arab Gulf countries.

 Nisha Varia, a senior researcher at HRW said the ban does not solve the problem of abuse and discrimination against domestic workers in the Gulf, which has been a long running problem. The NGO are advocating that the Nepali government pushes for labour protection and immigration reforms for domestic workers instead.

The ban is a response to several publicised cases of abuse of Nepali domestic workers, including long work hours, unpaid wages, and in some cases physical or sexual abuse.

Guinea-Bissau Cashew Farmers in Crisis  

Cashew farmers in Guinea Bissau have been thrown into a crisis following a drop in demand for their produce. The farmers have been left with a stockpile of unsold cashew nuts after India – its top importer - slashed its imports, and offered to buy cashew nuts at a much lower price. The head of the Guinea-Bissau Farmers’ Association, Mama Samba Embalok, said the traders could not afford to sell the cashew nuts at low prices, or they wouldn’t be able to repay their loans.

Guinea-Bissau is the fourth largest exporter of cashew nuts. Sales of cashew generate around 60 million US dollars every year.

Drastic Fall in U.S Carbon Emissions  
  Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States have fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, as lower prices in natural gas encouraged a shift away from the use of coal.
 A report from the Energy department showed that emissions from coal use fell sharply by 18 percent to 387 million tonnes in the January-March 2012 period - the lowest-first quarter tally since 1983 and the lowest for any quarter since April-June 1986.
Experts have welcomed the development, but also cautioned that while natural gas burns cleaner than coal, it still emits some CO2. And drilling has its own environmental consequences, which are not yet fully understood.

UK PM Cheers on Paralympians

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, today expressed optimism in the ability of the British paralympic to put up a great performance in the upcoming games.
As the official flag of the 2012 games was raised in the government house at 10 Downing Street, Cameron said, "This is a huge achievement and the result of years of training and hard work, but all that dedication and persistence is about to pay off.
 The Prime Minister wished UK competitors luck and vowed to cheer them on at the biggest Paralympics yet, which opens on August 29.

Officially called the Agitos, the Paralympic symbol replaces the Olympic rings that have been flying over Number 10.


  1. Thanks for the update FresherAngle. Interestingly I haven't heard this news mentioned on any of the major news sites, including CNN and Aljahzirar.
    How sad for Sudan to be mourning at a time when muslims around the world are celebrating.
    In Nigeria it seems that one thing that we have to be thankful for is the fact that while we have had several horrendous plane crashes (that are inexcusable), we have not had any helicoptor crash that I can recollect.
    Lessons on flying helicoptors safely are available from Nigeria to all her sister African states upon request. Contact the editor of Fresher Angle for details.

  2. How ironic, a Minister of Guidance who was unable to give the guidance needed at the fateful time! There's a need for all of us to stay on our toes and be adept at our employment, not becoming mere men with elaborate titles, but without the skills needed to back them up!

  3. The case of a refugee is a technical one, as the refugee does not have a clear legal status in the country being an illegal migrant. Sending them onto an ireland might sound better than immediate repatriation, however considering the fact that Papa New Guinea is a relatively poor country, my principal concern is wether the latter country is not biting off more than it can bear in agreeing to be Australia's dumping ground for unwanted refugees? A country that can barely find the food with which to nurture its own citizens, where is it going to obtain the produce needed to sustain extra visitors?
    As for banning women under 30 from working I consider it a totally stupid decision. At 20+ is when the human being is endowned with excess energy and vission. If this energy is not allowed to be expended in legitimate work, it will be wasted in illegal/unprofitable recreation like prostitution.
    For the farmers in Guinea Bissau I ask which is better, obtaining a little refund from business, or no profit at all? It just goes to illustrate the vunerability of an African economy that relies for the majority of its finance on the export of perishable agricultural products alone.
    Congrats to the USA on acting on, not just hearing the call for a cleaner environment. As for Tony Blairs comments on the Paralympics, I ask if he is a champion that displays his disability in his limited clarity in political thinking concerning Britain's international affairs?
    Thanks Fresh Angle. Missed this blog spot for this time that I have had communication problems. Please keep the news from a fresh perspective rolling in!

  4. Wow, Dlaw. Thank YOU for all your comments. It's a real shame about the Sudanese tragedy. I'm guessing that your comments about the Minister are sacrastic...

    I agree on the refugees point. Australia have always had a hardline approach towards immigration. But the refugees are running away from hardship, why subject them to another round of suffering?

    Yes, African economies need to find solutions to absolute dependency on natural resources and agricultural.

    Thanks a billion for your comments.

  5. Australia has always had very stringent immigration laws, bordering on ultra-conservatism. Their new immigration amendment, however, is a new low, even for Australia.Surely such a law possibly infringes on the UN refugees convention and the universal spirit of humanity.I'm not holding my breathe on Australia reviewing this amendment.
    Good to see, the chief-polluter, the USA, cutting down on it's massive carbon emissions. About time too. What a tragic loss of life at the helicopter crash in South Sudan. The number of aviation accidents in Africa continues to be a cause for concern. Here's a thought, The minister for guidance and endowment? There's mouthful, if there was one.

  6. Will, your comments always crack me up! Everything you wrote is spot on. The irony about Australia is that most of them are immigrants themselves.

    The problem is people get hook on an essentialist view of immigration, ethnicity and identity. The essentialist will always argue that borders are fixed, identity is fixed, human traits are fixed. Not so. Borders are fast blurring and merging into each other. Identities are redefined day by day.
    Australia just needs to get over itself.

    Many thanks for your comment.