Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Posts Tagged ‘war’

How Ukraine can win the war

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 settembre 2022

As the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II approaches, we devote a special section to the role and future of the British monarchy. In Britain our cover leader reflects on the improbable success of an institution that, on the face of it, runs against the spirit of the times. Deference is dead and populism sneers at elites. In an age of meritocracy, monarchy is rooted in the unjustifiable privilege of birth. Support for the crown should have crumbled under Elizabeth. Instead, the monarchy thrived. As King Charles III begins his reign amid strife in Britain, populism in the West and a challenge to democratic systems led by China and Russia, Elizabeth’s success sheds light on how all democracies work—including republics.Outside Britain our cover assesses the astonishing progress made by Ukrainian forces in recent days, the most dramatic Russian reversal since Mr Putin abandoned his effort to seize Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, at the end of March. Predictions in war are always risky, but the tide seems to have turned. Russia’s occupation is everywhere held in check, and Ukraine is gradually—and sometimes suddenly—rolling it back. Victory for Ukraine is not yet certain, but a path is discernible. Evicting Russia entirely from Ukraine will be hard. It will mean pushing it out of territory where it is far better dug in and organised than in Kharkiv. A general collapse of the Russian forces cannot be ruled out, but is unlikely. The West should, therefore, reinforce success, by sending more and better weapons, as well as ammunition and armoured vehicles. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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What would push the West and Russia to nuclear war?

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 14 agosto 2022

As I mentioned in last Sunday’s newsletter, we produced no print edition this week, having published our first summer double issue the week before. We have, of course, continued to analyse the news on our digital platforms—and we can lay to rest the curious notion that August is a quiet month.For almost six months, since the Russian invasion in February, the war in Ukraine has unsurprisingly demanded a huge share of our attention. But this week we were forced to shift our focus farther east: to Kabul, where American drones killed the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri; to Gaza, where Israeli air strikes have killed several Palestinian militants, but also several children; and to Taiwan. The visit by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of America’s House of Representatives, to the island prompted China to conduct four days of military exercises, which ended today, during which it fired missiles over the island. The Taiwanese were well within their rights to welcome Ms Pelosi, and America is right to support them against Chinese bullying. But, as we argued in a leader, the visit also betrayed the incoherence of America’s policy on Taiwan.Meanwhile the misery in Ukraine shows little sign of ending. Granted, there was some good news this week, in that for the first time since war broke out a ship carrying desperately needed grain sailed from Odessa for Lebanon. But the war grinds on, taking a grim toll not only on people’s lives and limbs but also on their mental health. And nobody can be sure what might induce Russia to escalate the conflict—lashing out at NATO or resorting to chemical or nuclear weapons. That seems to be the main reason why America has not gone further in equipping the Ukrainian forces. As the relief at the grain shipment shows, the war has further disrupted a world economy still recovering from the covid-19 pandemic. While many poor countries are hurt by tighter food supplies, in rich countries rising energy prices are of most direct concern—as anyone filling up their car or gasping at their latest utility bills can attest. It’s not bad news for everyone: Gulf oil producers are enjoying a boom. And America’s labour market is still running hot. But with inflation rising to levels not seen for more than 40 years and growth sputtering, it has been a miserable year for financial markets—whether you own shares or bonds.Doubtless there will be plenty to keep us busy in the week ahead too. Among the things on my radar—besides Taiwan and Ukraine—are political developments in America, Britain and Kenya. Joe Biden’s enormous climate, health-care and tax bill is under debate in the Senate at the time of writing, and could pass the House of Representatives on Friday. In Britain, members of the Conservative Party will begin to make their choice between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the unedifying contest to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, although the result won’t be known until next month. Kenya’s presidential election on Tuesday looks too close to call.Have a very good week, and thank you for reading this newsletter. I’ve enjoyed standing in for Adam Roberts for these past two weekends. Adam, having brushed the seaside sand from his laptop, will be writing to you as usual again next Sunday. And you can write to him at. By Patrick Lane Deputy Digital Editor The Economist

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“Global Information War: An International Forum”

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 giugno 2022

Roma L’evento si terrà il 30 giugno 2022 alle ore 9:00 nell’aula The Dome della sede Luiss di Viale Romania 32 e ha l’obiettivo di analizzare l’impatto della disinformazione sulle nostre vite a partire dalla crisi pandemica e dalla guerra in Ucraina e le strategie per arginare il fenomeno attraverso l’esperienza di diversi approcci nazionali. IDMO, l’Osservatorio italiano sui media digitali, hub del network europeo contro la disinformazione, EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory), coordinato dal centro di ricerca Luiss Data Lab in collaborazione con il Master Luiss in Giornalismo e Comunicazione multimediale, organizza “Global Information War: An International Forum”. Nel corso dell’evento saranno presenti Christian Masset, ambasciatore francese in Italia e Viktor Elbling, ambasciatore tedesco in Italia che toccheranno le questioni più attuali riguardanti l’ecosistema dell’informazione nel proprio Paese di origine, con particolare riguardo all’uso dei media digitali, anche alla luce degli sviluppi più recenti nello scenario globale. Tra gli speaker, oltre a esponenti delle istituzioni, le ambasciate di Canada, Colombia, Estonia, Etiopia, Francia, Israele, Lettonia, Lituania, Polonia, Regno Unito, Stati Uniti, Spagna e Ucraina.L’evento ha l’obiettivo di far conoscere al pubblico le attività svolte a livello nazionale da diversi Paesi e a livello italiano dall’Osservatorio, che ha l’obiettivo di creare una maggiore consapevolezza nel pubblico sulla disinformazione attraverso la diffusione di best practices legate al mondo del fact-checking e dell’e-literacy.

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Ukraine: horrors of war

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 aprile 2022

For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine in February our cover turns from the horrors of war, to look at an unusually consequential election. The campaign for the French presidency has been overshadowed, but it matters.The direct reason is that it will determine who leads the country that intends to steer the European Union as it adapts to the absence of Angela Merkel, the former German chancellor. The indirect reason is that it tells you about the prospects for a revival of the radical centre in an age of identity politics. When he was first elected president of France in 2017, Emmanuel Macron immediately became a standard-bearer for liberals around the world. He was young, clever and eminently reasonable. Brexit, Donald Trump and the success of populists on the right and the left in such countries as Sweden, Denmark and Greece meant that it was a time of panic for centrists.When he faces voters on April 10th, Mr Macron will be running on his record as a nuts-and-bolts reformer, on his vision for world affairs and as a leader who has reinvigorated French politics. Our model, which gives him a 77% chance of being re-elected in the second round on April 24th, suggests that this record will be vindicated. However, the closer you look, the more centrists should see Mr Macron’s presidency as a cautionary tale. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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A six-year-old boy asked his father: Why the war?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 marzo 2022

That child lived in Pistoia (Italy) during the Second World War and his father, after a short leave, was returning to the front. It was an Italian story but it was also a European and global one. Since then, Europe has had only one other dramatic event that has affected the Balkan peninsula after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Now, however, the stakes have risen with millions of refugees and thousands of civilians killed by bombing and just as many if not more injured. And it cannot be stopped except under halter conditions by the invader. And it is even more so if we consider that the aggressor is a nuclear power among the first in the world and threatens to use it if Western countries do not leave it with their hands free to exterminate this people. But are they really two peoples who hate each other so much? No. As it happened in Germany in the war against the world. It was one man alone who determined its fate: Adolf Hitler. Today he is called Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. And, ironically, the first was a Nazi and the second invented the story of wanting to fight the Ukrainian Nazi who in turn paid a high price during the Second World War following the Nazi occupation with deaths and destruction of all kinds. Then the Red Army arrived in Ukraine to free a desperate people from Nazi tyranny. Now the children and grandchildren who serve in the Russian Army have traveled the same roads, but not with the same liberating intentions. They do it for a war of conquest violating the free choice of that people to remain autonomous and independent. Someone says, even in Italy: we might as well give up. But history, we reply, does not teach anything at all? Even in the thirties of the last century they felt the same way when German troops invaded neighboring nations and in the end we found ourselves in one of the bloodiest world wars the world has had to face. Putin had to stop him first. Now I wonder if it’s already too late. Those who know a lot reminds us of a Latin saying: Si vis pacem para bellum. (Riccardo Alfonso)

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Will Putin launch his war in Ukraine?

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 16 febbraio 2022

Ukraine is still with us, or rather Russia’s threatening, thuggish behaviour towards its neighbour. We considered what a unique trove of open-source intelligence tells us about the build-up and, more recently, the deployment of Russian soldiers near the borders. Shuttle diplomacy continues this week, with Olaf Scholz, the newish German chancellor, taking his turn to call on Vladimir Putin in Moscow. On the Western side, defence ministers gather in Brussels in midweek, then diplomatic experts (including America’s vice-president, Kamala Harris) hold a conference in Munich where they can chew over the latest analysis. In the past couple of days the sense of foreboding has been mounting, with American officials warning an invasion could come at any moment and some foreigners leaving the country. But again, nobody really knows what’s happening inside Mr Putin’s mind.How painful will the fall-out be, as inflation in America soars to new heights? Consumer prices for January, released on Thursday, showed the fastest annual rise since 1982. Cue widespread predictions that interest rates are likelier to rise earlier, and higher, than optimists had previously hoped. The meeting of the Federal Reserve in March will be a tense moment, and in the weeks before it, don’t bet on a calm ride in the markets (and certainly not if war erupts in Ukraine). Our cover story in the weekly edition asks what would happen if they crashed. In short: the world economy faces a stern test. Two other looming stories could come to the fore. Emmanuel Macron will soon declare he is running for re-election in France—probably when falling rates of covid-19 allow it. Check out our election-forecast model to see our latest estimate (it is updated daily) of his chances of reaching the first round and then of winning in the second. Spoiler alert: he has every reason to be confident. Over in America, Joe Biden will shortly name whom he wants to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. We published an Explainer on some of the candidates, though the name I’m focused on is Ketanji Brown Jackson.Beyond that, keep an eye out for Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the detained former leader of Myanmar, who is back on (show) trial this week. Her main offence is that the military bosses feel threatened by her. She’ll be found guilty.Be aware, too, that climate change is not going away. A meeting of the International Panel on Climate Change begins this week, and will conclude later in the month by issuing a report setting out in more detail than ever the growing threats to our ecosystem and the safety of human life. I confidently predict it won’t be cheery reading. Ambassador K P Fabian, an Economist reader for six decades, warns against Western sanctions on Russia, lest they push Mr Putin closer into the arms of China’s Xi Jinping. Maybe so, but if two autocrats want a bromance, there’s little the West can do to discourage them. Could there even be a co-ordinated, simultaneous pair of invasions of Ukraine (by Russia) and Taiwan (by China), ask both Barb Beatty and Dagget Harvey? That sounds like a nightmare, but is extremely unlikely. China makes its moves to suit its own timing, and the notion that America and its allies are distracted by the Ukraine crisis is unlikely to hurry it up. Finally, Arijit Das and others asked for more on my meeting with Yogi Adityanath a decade ago. All I’ll say here is that his effort to stir up hostility against religious minorities is not what India needs.It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. If nothing else, may your tea bring you a warm, loving feeling. Please keep sending me your comments and let me know your own predictions of what to expect in the coming days. Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist.

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At War with Climate Change: Dominica Proposes Three Solutions – CS Global Partners

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 1 aprile 2019

The world is at war with climate change and resources must be deployed to the front lines urgently, said the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, on Thursday at the UN Headquarters in New York. During a high-level meeting on climate and sustainable development, the premier of the small Caribbean island highlighted that Dominica exceeded expectations of its economic recovery after Hurricane Maria devastation in 2017 mainly thanks to new policies and initiatives designed to build climate resilience and sustainability. Speaking to delegates to the United Nations, Mr Skerrit proposed three capacity-building solutions in areas that already bear the brunt of climate change. The first one is the development of straightforward financing of blue and green economy activities in small island developing states (SIDS). Another is a review of the “innovative financing” of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda which currently has limited application in SIDS and least developed countries. Lastly, the Dominican Prime Minister suggested creating a mechanism to exchange expertise in low-carbon technologies amongst countries in the Global South.
Two years earlier, he had pledged to make Dominica “the world’s first climate resilient nation”. Since then, the small island has implemented several bold initiatives guided by Dominicans’ green ethos. One of them is the construction of a geothermal plant that would supply nearly the entire population with clean energy. This is currently partly funded by the island’s world-leading Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, which also supports numerous key economic sectors in Dominica, such as the expanding ecotourism industry.
Through the CBI Programme, highly-vetted foreign investors and their families can obtain Dominica’s valuable citizenship in exchange for a contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund or an investment in pre-approved real estate, which include eco-friendly resorts and hotels. To ensure the integrity of the Programme, Dominica runs each applicant through a carefully-elaborated, multi-tiered due diligence process. It also makes sure that the Programme operates in line with the highest international standards. A recent report by leading international tax advisory Ernst & Young dispelled the myth that citizenship by investment programmes may pose a risk to tax reporting, giving the example of Dominica’s citizenship not being relevant to obtaining tax residency.
Dominica runs its CBI Programme governed by the “Global Community” mindset. In the same community spirit, Dominica continues to invest heavily in sustainability. Another ambitious resilience-building project, entirely funded by Dominica’s CBI Programme, is the Housing Revolution, which aims to provide new, hurricane-proof homes for thousands of Dominicans.

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On War and Terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 aprile 2017

Roma Venerdì 7 Aprile 2017, ore 16:30 Dipartimento di Filosofia, Sala del Consiglio, Via Ostiense 234 Università Roma TreDepartment of Philosophy, Communication Studies and Media Studies On War and Terrorism
16:30 Introduction
16: 45 George Meggle (Leipzig), On terrorism
18:00 Christoph Lumer (Siena), Humanitarian interventions: A consequentialist conception
19:00 Mario De Caro (Roma Tre & Tufts), Is a just war theory still possible?
Ingresso libero

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What Hillary Clinton Should Say about Islam and the “War on Terror”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 agosto 2016

hillary clintonToday, I want to talk about one of the most important and divisive issues of our time—the link between the religion of Islam and terrorism. I want you to know how I view it and how I will think about it as President. I also want you to understand the difference between how I approach this topic and how my opponent in this presidential race does. The underlying issue—and really the most important issue of this or any time—is human cooperation. What prevents it, and what makes it possible? In November, you will be electing a president, not an emperor of the world. The job of the president of the United States, even with all the power at her or his disposal, is to get people, both at home and abroad, to cooperate to solve a wide range of complex problems. Your job is to pick the person who seems most capable of doing that.In the past, I’ve said that groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda have nothing to do with Islam. And President Obama has said the same. This way of speaking has been guided by the belief that if we said anything that could be spun as confirming the narrative of groups like ISIS—suggesting that the West is hostile to the religion of Islam, if only to its most radical strands—we would drive more Muslims into the arms of the jihadists and the theocrats, preventing the very cooperation we need to win a war of ideas against radical Islam. I now see this situation differently. I now believe that we have been selling most Muslims short. And I think we are all paying an unacceptable price for not speaking clearly about the link between specific religious ideas and the sectarian hatred that is dividing the Muslim world. All of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, must oppose the specific ideas within the Islamic tradition that inspire groups like ISIS and the so-called “lone-wolf” attacks we’ve now seen in dozens of countries, as well as the social attitudes that are at odds with our fundamental values—values like human rights, and women’s rights, and gay rights, and freedom of speech. These values are non-negotiable. But I want to be very clear about something: Bigotry against Muslims, or any other group of people, is unacceptable. It is contrary to the values that have made our society a beacon of freedom and tolerance for the rest of the world. It is also totally counterproductive from a security point of view. However, talking about the consequences of ideas is not bigotry. Muslims are people—and most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims simply want to live in peace like the rest of us. Islam, however, is a set of ideas. And all ideas are fit to be discussed and criticized in the 21st century.Every religious community must interpret its scripture and adjust its traditions to conform to the modern world. Western Christians used to murder people they believed were witches. They did this for centuries. It’s hard to exaggerate the depths of moral and intellectual confusion this history represents. But it is also true that we have largely outgrown such confusion in the West. The texts themselves haven’t changed. The Bible still suggests that witchcraft is real. It isn’t. And we now know that a belief in witches was the product of ancient ignorance and fear. Criticizing a belief in witchcraft, and noticing its connection to specific atrocities—atrocities that are still committed hillaryby certain groups of Christians in Africa—isn’t a form of bigotry against Christians. It’s the only basis for moral and political progress. One thing is undeniable: Islam today is in desperate need of reform. We live in a world where little girls are shot in the head or have acid thrown in their faces for the crime of learning to read. We live in a world where a mere rumor that a book has been defaced can start riots in a dozen countries. We live in a world in which people reliably get murdered over cartoons, and blog posts, and beauty pageants—even the mere naming of a teddy bear. I’m now convinced that we have to talk about this with less hesitancy and more candor than we’ve shown in the past. Muslims everywhere who love freedom must honestly grapple with the challenges that a politicized strand of their religion poses to free societies. And we must support them in doing so. Otherwise, our silence will only further empower bigots and xenophobes. That is dangerous. We are already seeing the rise of the far right in Europe. And we are witnessing the coalescence of everything that’s still wrong with America in the candidacy of Donald Trump. Now, it is true that this politicized strain of Islam is a source of much of the world’s chaos and intolerance at this moment. But it is also true that no one suffers more from this chaos and intolerance than Muslims themselves. Most victims of terrorism are Muslim; the women who are forced to wear burkhas or are murdered in so-called “honor killings” are Muslim; the men who are thrown from rooftops for being born gay are Muslim. Most of the people the world over who can’t even dream of speaking or writing freely are Muslim. And modern, reform-minded Muslims, most of all, want to uproot the causes of this needless misery and conflict.
In response to terrorist atrocities of the sort that we witnessed in Paris, Nice, and Orlando, we need to honestly acknowledge that we are fighting not generic terrorism but a global jihadist insurgency. The first line of defense against this evil is and always will be members of the Muslim community who refuse to put up with it. We need to empower them in every way we can. Only cooperation between Muslims and non-Muslims can solve these problems. If you are concerned about terrorism, if you are concerned about homeland security, if you are concerned about not fighting unnecessary wars and winning necessary ones, if you are concerned about human rights globally, in November you must elect a president who can get people in a hundred countries to cooperate to solve an extraordinarily difficult and polarizing problem—the spread of Islamic extremism. This is not a job that a president can do on Twitter. I want to say a few words on the topics of immigration and the resettlement of refugees: The idea of keeping all Muslims out of the United States, which my opponent has been proposing for months, is both impractical and unwise. It’s one of those simple ideas—like building a wall and deporting 11 million undocumented workers—that doesn’t survive even a moment’s scrutiny. More important, if you think about this purely from the point of view of American security, you realize that we want Muslims in our society who are committed to our values. Muslims like Captain Humayun Khan, who died protecting his fellow American soldiers from a suicide bomber in Iraq. Or his father, Khizr Khan, who spoke so eloquently in defense of American values at the Democratic National Convention. Muslims who share our values are, and always will be, the best defense against Islamists and jihadists who do not. That’s one reason why the United States is faring so much better than Europe is. We have done a much better job of integrating our Muslim community and honoring its religious life. Muslims in America are disproportionately productive and prosperous members of our society. They love this country—with good reason. Very few of them have any sympathy for the ideology of our enemies. We want secular, enlightened, liberal Muslims in America. They are as much a part of the fabric of this society as anyone else. And given the challenges we now face, they are an indispensable part. Despite the counsel of fear you hear from my opponent, security isn’t our only concern. We also have an obligation to maintain our way of life and our core values, even in the face of threats. One of our values is to help people in need. And few people on earth are in greater need at this moment than those who are fleeing the cauldron of violence in Iraq and Syria—where, through no fault of their own, they have had to watch their societies be destroyed by sectarian hatred. Women and girls by the tens of thousands have been raped, in a systematic campaign of sexual violence and slavery. Parents have seen their children crucified. The suffering of these people is unimaginable, and we should help them—whether they are Yazidi, or Christian, or Muslim. But here is my pledge to you: No one will be brought into this country without proper screening. No one will be brought in who seems unlikely to embrace the values of freedom and tolerance that we hold dear. Is any screening process perfect? Of course not. But I can tell you that the only way to actually win the war on terror will be to empower the people who most need our help in the Muslim world. The irony is that my opponent in this race, who imagines that he is talking tough about terrorism and ISIS and Islam, has done nothing but voice inflammatory and incoherent ideas that, if uttered by a U.S. president, would immediately make the world a more dangerous place. Being “politically incorrect” isn’t the same as being right, or informed, or even sane. It isn’t a substitute for actually caring about other people or about the consequences of one’s actions in the world. It isn’t a policy. And it isn’t a strategy for winning the war against jihadism, or a war of ideas against radical Islam…

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Burundi president lights slow fuse to ethnic war

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 4 novembre 2015

Bujumburaby GIS Guest Expert. President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term has plunged Burundi into chaos, reversing a decade of progress towards ethnic reconciliation and economic growth. While the present conflict is political in origin, triggered by the president’s ambitions, the climate of violence and repression it has fostered may revive ethnic tensions that could potentially spark a conflict of regional dimensions. In a continent where entrenched presidents-for-life are often the main obstacle to building democracies, Burundi’s crisis will have broad reverberations in African politics. It could be an inspiration or a warning for these ageing leaders, depending on the outcome.
Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda share a similar ethnic composition, with a Hutu majority (about 85 per cent of the population) and a Tutsi minority (about 14 per cent). Before independence, both countries were colonised under a divide and rule strategy that favoured the Tutsi minority over the majority Hutus. After independence, this colonial legacy made ethnicity central to politics, leading to civil war and humanitarian tragedies in both countries.Unlike in Rwanda, where Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front chose to banish ethnicity from the public sphere after the 1994 genocide, in Burundi the reconciliation process was based on its explicit recognition. The 2005 constitution introduced a system of quotas under the principle of majority rule and minority inclusion. The ethnic integration that this system imposed significantly reduced tensions between Hutus and Tutsis.Burundi’s economy, one of the least developed in the world, also benefited from the peace dividend. Economic growth has averaged 4 per cent since 2010, according to data from the African Development Bank. While the country’s poverty rate is still estimated at 66.9 per cent, development indicators improved thanks to the relative political stability and bigger inflows of foreign aid.This positive trajectory was interrupted in April when President Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term, in defiance of the constitution and the Arusha accords of August 2000 that helped end the civil war. In the next three months, at least 100 people died and as many as 200,000 fled the country as protests shook Bujumbura, the capital, and a coup attempt was made against the president.This positive trajectory was interrupted in April when President Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term, in defiance of the constitution and the Arusha accords of August 2000 that helped end the civil war. Following several delays and failed attempts at international mediation, Mr Nkurunziza won re-election on July 21, 2015 with 69 per cent of the vote. Turnout was low, after opposition parties called for a boycott. In the elections’ aftermath, the government continued to crack down on protesters and the media. Even so, the violence has continued, including a rocket attack on August 2 that killed Mr Nkurunziza’s top security aide, General Adolphe Nshimirimana, and the killings of several leading opposition politicians.
Burundi was far from being a fully fledged democracy even before the recent troubles. The country was scored at 5, or ‘partly free,’ in a 2014 survey of civil and political rights by Freedom House. This year, that status declined to ‘not free,’ as the government cracked down on the opposition and muzzled critics.The current crisis in Burundi appears to be driven by political, rather than ethnic divisions. The country is split between those who support President Nkurunziza’s third term and those who don’t. The cleavage crosses ethnic lines, with significant opposition coming from Mr Nkurunziza’s fellow Hutus. Both sides acknowledge the centrality of the constitutional issue, especially because the two-term limit and other curbs on the ruling majority’s power were crucial to the compromise that ended the civil war.The president’s loyalists claim that since he was appointed by parliament to his first five-year term, it should not count against the two-term limit for elected presidents. Burundi’s seven-member constitutional court upheld this interpretation in a controversial decision on May 5.The decision was made under duress, according to the court’s vice president, Sylvere Nimpagaritse, who fled to Rwanda on the eve of the ruling. He claimed that senior government officials had threatened some judges with death if they did not go along. Whatever the truth, the verdict did not give Mr Nkurunziza the domestic or international legitimacy he needed to rule the country. (Photo: Bujumbura)

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War Against Climate Change

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 settembre 2010

Sir Richard Branson joined the Pacific Islands on the eve of the UN general debate to call for ambitious action on climate change.  “Small island nations are at the front line in our war on climate.  They have so much to lose through no fault of their own,” said Branson, the successful British entrepreneur who has founded numerous companies including Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Richard Branson delivered his remarks at a reception hosted yesterday evening by the President of the Republic of Nauru, Marcus Stephen, on behalf of a bloc of 11 countries known as the Pacific Small Island Developing States.  Branson highlighted the damage ocean acidification and higher temperatures are wreaking on coral reefs putting ecosystems in the Pacific at risk and damaging the tourism and fishing industries that islands depend on.   President Stephen identified the climate change negotiations in Cancun later this year as an opportunity to improve the future prospects for countries vulnerable to climate change, “Climate change is the single greatest threat to global prosperity. For many small islands, it threatens our very existence.”  Branson said climate change policy needs to be complemented by changes in the business sector and reinventing economic systems.  His Carbon War Room is looking at ways to help islands create a road map for low carbon development. Stephen described how the same economic and political systems that have brought great wealth to some have failed to improve the lives of many others.  Many countries still have to grapple with the challenges of failed crops and inability to cure common illnesses, but also now deal more recent challenges of global commodity prices, financial speculation, and the impacts of carbon pollution.  President Stephen welcomed Branson’s commitment to engaging with small islands.  The Pacific SIDS have been actively campaigning at the United Nations on the issue of climate change and hosted a similar reception in September last year.  President Stephen stated “Hosting this reception provides the Pacific an opportunity to talk directly with leaders from the high greenhouse gas emitting countries and put a human face on the climate crisis.  We cannot wait for them to act on their own accord. We must actively tell our story if we are to have a realistic prospect of ensuring a future for our islands.”

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