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Poverty and Unemployment in South Africa

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South Africa has one of Africa’s biggest economies, yet many of its citizens remain poor and unemployed, writes Franklin Adesegha who looks at the country’s long road from apartheid to democracy. The economy went into recession in May 2009 following a sharp slowdown in the mining and manufacturing sectors. A wave of violent attacks against migrant workers from other African countries in 2008 and protests by township residents over poor living conditions during the summer of 2009 also had an impact on the economy.

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 14

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Migrants and refugees issue in Britain

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The United kingdom, one of the richest countries in the world, is having a second thought about its policy regarding migrants and refugees. The long-lasting Syrian crisis has resulted in a huge movement of refugees out of the country. The British Prime Minister David Cameron made a promise to provide places for 500 refugees but even that number has not been met although a small number of refugees have come to Britain under the government’s vulnerable persons relocation scheme. Britain’s leading

Features | Guy Arnold | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 11

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Mali: Last chance in Algiers

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As northern Mali experiences renewed violence, peace negotiations in Algiers offer a unique opportunity to resolve the crisis. But after almost two months of negotiations, peace remains a distant hope. The Malian government and participating armed groups have struggled to find common ground. Influential radical groups that are absent from the negotiating table are tempted to resort to violence to derail the process. Conflict resolution will require reconciliation of competing interests regarding security in the Sahara, organisation of the

Features | Crisis Group | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 15

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Lessons of democracy from Tunisia to the Arab World

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As the birthplace of the Arab Spring (Arab uprisings) in 2011, Tunisia held its historic legislative elections on 26 October to move from the “transition stage” to a full-fledged democracy. With the world watching, Tunisians went to the polls to cast their ballots in historic parliamentary elections. Nidaa Tounes, headed by Mr Beji Caid Essebsi and which has links to the old regime, became the dominant parliamentary bloc winning 85 of the 217 seats in parliament, against 69 for the moderate islamist party, Ennahda. L’Union Patriotique libre (UPL), party of the wealthy businessman and president of the football club ‘Club africain’, Slim Riahi, came third with 16 seats

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 16

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Afghanistan’s political transition

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Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated as president of Afghanistan on 29 September, under difficult circumstances. He inherited a government that is running out of money and losing ground to a rising insurgency. His ability to confront those problems and other challenges as foreign troops withdraw will be shaped by the aftermath of the political contest that brought him to power. Forming a national unity government with his election rival Abdullah Abdullah

Features | Crisis Group | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 13

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Iran nuclear talks extended till July

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Negotiators have extended talks on Iran’s nuclear programme for a comprehensive agreement until July 2015 after failing to meet a deadline last month. But Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that a nuclear deal with the six world powers would be done despite a missed deadline in Vienna that prompted a seven-month extension in talks. “This path of negotiation will reach a final agreement. Most of the gaps have been removed,” he said on state television. His comments

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 13

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Nigeria’s dangerous 2015 elections: Limiting the violence

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Nigeria’s presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections, scheduled for February 2015, will be more contentious than usual. Tensions within and between the two major political parties, competing claims to the presidency between northern and Niger Delta politicians and along religious lines, the grim radical Islamist Boko Haram insurgency and increasing communal violence in several northern states, along with inadequate preparations

Features | Crisis Group | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 11

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After taking the helm of UMP, Sarkozy begins fight for Elysée Palace

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After being elected leader of the Union for a Popular Movement party (UMP), the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has launched his new bid for the presidency. Sarkozy, who left active politics after his defeat in 2012, has been on the campaign trail with his supermodel wife Carla Bruni – described as a secret weapon in his long-awaited comeback. Sarkozy decided in October to return to France’s frontline politics pointing out in his facebook page that he “didn’t just want to return” but that “he didn’t have a choice”.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 12

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The watching game

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Despite ongoing developments in the Middle East, the long-term build-up of challenges in South East Asia is the key to the future where China, Japan, Russia and the Unites States watch each other with varying degrees of suspicion. America watches China and tries to calculate when it will reach the superpower league and become a real rival to the United States. Japan watches China and under its nationalist Prime Minister Shinto Abe makes plain its intention of becoming the dominant power in South East Asia in place of China.

Features | Guy Arnold | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 13

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Swiss reject plans to hoard gold, curb immigration and scrap rich expats’ tax benefits

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Swiss voters have rejected proposals requiring the central bank to hoard huge amounts of gold, in a move that will help ensure the country’s economic stability. It failed to secure the so-called “cantonal majority” -- which is a yes vote from most of the country’s “cantons” or states -- needed to pass, according to data from Swiss broadcaster SRF. This was one of three polls, with Swiss citizens also voting on immigration caps and tax benefits for wealthy foreigners.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 13

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Charges against Mubarak dismissed and old guard back in power

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An Egyptian court has thrown out charges against former President Hosni Mubarak, his sons, his interior minister and six aides over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising against him. Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were also cleared by Chief Judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi of corruption charges related to exporting gas to Israel. The judge said too much time had elapsed since the alleged crime took place for the court to rule on the matter. The verdicts sparked celebrations among Mubarak supporters while

Features | Alan Brown | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 14

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Libya’s chaotic situation gets worse

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Every aspect of civilian life in the Libyan city of Benghazi has been adversely affected by the ongoing conflict between militias and government forces. Services at the main hospitals in the city have been seriously disrupted by the precarious security conditions, foreign health workers have left, and there is an acute shortage of medical supplies. As a result, there is little or no access to health care. The violence has forced over 10,000 families to flee Benghazi; many others have been displaced within the city. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Libyan Red Crescent are deeply concerned about the civilians caught up in the fighting in Benghazi, and urge all parties to respect and protect them.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 12

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Darren Wilson resigns from police department

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The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in the Missouri town of Ferguson, Missouri, has resigned. Darren Wilson’s resignation comes after a grand jury’s decision not to indict him for the killing of Michael Brown sparked protests in the US and beyond. A 126 mile, seven-day march from Ferguson to Missouri state capital Jefferson City began this weekend. Protests at the decision have even spread as far as London, where people marched on the US embassy.

Cover Stories | NorthSouth | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 19

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Ferguson protests come to London

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Hundreds of people marched through London in solidarity with the 18-year-old African American Michael Brown, who was shot dead by a white policeman in Ferguson, Ohio, on 9 August 2014. The protesters congregated outside London’s US embassy then marched through the centre of the British capital. The initial embassy event was organised by the London Black Revs, the NUS Black Students’ Campaign, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, and Defend the Right to Protest.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 14

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Riots and social change in the US

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In the wake of the Ferguson riots, the idea that non-violent protest has driven progressive social change in America is open to question, writes Franklin Adesegha, who examines the historical records of some of America’s most iconic “non-violent” movements. Many of those criticizing destructive behaviour in Ferguson have cited the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s as the model for nonviolent, orderly resistance. Peaceful demonstrations, sometimes in the face of violent policing and provocation, were certainly a key feature of the civil rights era.

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 11

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Is inequality a way of life for African Americans?

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The African American community has suffered a dramatic increase in unemployment and a staggering loss of income since the onset of the Great Recession. Yet, even before the recession, labour market outcomes for blacks were substantially worse than for whites, as evidenced across a wide range of economic data published in the 12th edition of the State of Working America:

Cover Stories | NorthSouth | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 12

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Black America

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The slave trade brought wealth to the growing United States but also an abiding racial problem. A headline article in the British press reads as follows: The sad truth is that Michael Brown was killed because he was a black man. The statement goes to the heart of America’s problem. Disquiet about slavery and opposition to it came to a head during the civil war when Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery. But legal abolition did not make black Americans (emancipated slaves) equal to whites. Emancipation, it might be said, created inequalities that would not be dealt with for 100 years: the Deep South stood for black oppression, the Ku Klax Klan, segregated armed forces in both world wars and the growth of a stereotype Nigger to be despised.

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 11

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Black children exposed to violence and victimization

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The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence indicates that more than 60 percent of children from birth to 17 years experience victimization and 38 percent witness violence sometime during childhood. Compared with other segments of the population, victimization rates for African American children and youth are even higher. Evidence suggests that Black youth ages 12 to 19 are victims of violent crime at significantly higher rates than their white peers. 4 Black youth are three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect, three times more likely to be victims of robbery, and five times more likely to be victims of homicide. In fact, homicide is the leading cause of death among African American youth ages 15 to 24.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 14

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A travesty of justice

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When Barack Obama became the first black president to occupy the Whitehouse in 2008, it was generally hoped that America may have finally turned a page on racial discrimination, writes Franklin Adesegha Sadly, six years later, and with the president in his second term in office, recent developments have shown that rather than abate, America’s racial tension has only just intensified. It is as if any progress made towards racial integration and stamping out

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 4 December 2014 | Hits: 13

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