Guess Who Leads the Bribery World?
The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

‘Arab Spring’ Migrants Trapped by Italy’s Economic Crisis December 11, 2011

The flow of migrants from Libya to Europe has resumed following the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in October. Since the uprisings in Libya and Tunisia earlier this year, tens of thousands of migrants have departed across the Mediterranean for a new life. The reality of trying to build a new life in Europe is often a long way from the hopes and dreams of the migrants. And, Italy’s economic crisis is also hitting the newcomers hard.

From afar, the ramshackle huts crammed on the edge of the vast green fields resemble a refugee camp. The residents call it ‘the Ghetto,’ a squalid shanty town on the outskirts of Foggia in southern Italy which is home to over 600 immigrants.

The region is known as the ‘Red Gold Triangle,’ producing 35 percent of Italy’s tomatoes, most picked and processed by armies of migrant workers every fall.

“They sleep on the ground on mattresses they have picked up on the streets, most of them are rotten and infested with insects,” said Dr. Alvise Benelli of Doctors Without Borders, who helps care for the workers.

This year, due to Italy’s economic crisis, factories in Italy’s rich north laid off employees – forcing an extra 2,000 migrants to head south looking for work.

A clampdown on illegal migrants means fewer farmers are willing to hire them.

The few jobs available pay around $45 for toiling in the fields, dawn till dusk.

“We just didn’t know Italy was like this, we always thought it was a country where we would find jobs and do everything like eating and a lot of nice things,” said Andrea, who came to Italy several years ago from Burkina Faso. “Now we have seen it is not like that. But I can’t go back.”

As the uprisings in Tunisia and Libya ignited earlier this year, tens of thousands of migrants from across Africa and the Middle East began to leave the northern shores headed for Europe.

Hundreds have drowned on the journey.

Most who survive arrive on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa before being taken to the Italian mainland. A few legitimately claim asylum. Most stay illegally.

A group of 400 migrants trying to leave Tripoli last week were stopped by Libyan patrol boats.

“It appears that now after the end of the Libya fighting and crisis, the migration has resumed across the Mediterranean,” said Mans Nyberg, spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. “So again we see small rickety boats approaching Italy, approaching Malta from Libya. This is happening during the months of winter which of course are very dangerous in the Mediterranean with storms.”

Italy has launched an amnesty for some immigrants employed as cleaners or carers for the elderly. But not for illegal immigrants like the residents of the ‘Ghetto’.

With no official papers and barely any income, they are trapped – far from home and a long way from the hopes and dreams that set them on their way to Europe.

Comments (0)

2011 events to shape world December 8, 2011

(CNN) — From the Arab Spring to a global economic crisis to the killing of Osama bin Laden, 2011 has been defined by historic and dynamic events that will shape the world in the years ahead.

A revolt across the Middle East and North Africa began with the self-immolation of a struggling merchant in Tunisia and spread across the region. Egyptian protesters toppled the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and rebels in Libya battled against supporters of long-time strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was eventually killed in October after months on the run from rebel forces and NATO bombardments.

The significance of the Arab Spring is indisputable, but was it the biggest story of the year?

Vote for the top stories of 2011

Explain it to me: The Occupy movement

Explain it to me: Eurozone debt crisis

Vote for the top stories of 2011

The earth shook off the coast of Japan in March, triggering one of the worst tsunamis in years, destroying nearly everything in its path and sending millions fleeing for high ground.

Beyond the utter calamity from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, Japan found itself dealing with the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility was knocked offline, resulting in a meltdown of three reactors, with radiation leaking into the air and contaminated water spilling into the sea.

The long-term effects from the stricken plant remain unknown.

Natural disasters hit the United States hard, too. The largest tornado outbreak ever recorded swept across across the South, Midwest and Northeast — with a record 207 touching down on April 27 and killing 346 people. Alabama bore the brunt of the destruction, with a massive twister turning the college town of Tuscaloosa into a disaster zone.

Three weeks later, a mile-wide tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 150 people and wreaking havoc across the blue-collar town at the edge of the Ozark Mountains. It marked the deadliest single tornado in 60 years.

From Washington to New York residents in August braced for Hurricane Irene, a powerful storm that forecasters feared would cause catastrophic damage. The storm weakened before landfall, but it still was blamed for at least 20 deaths in eight states.

On the battlefield, Navy SEAL Team Six became part of American military lore when the elite unit raided a compound in Pakistan, killing Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda and the most-wanted terrorist in the world who had orchestrated the terror attacks of 9/11.

The end of the Gadhafi era

Just 90 seconds to kill Osama bin Laden?

For President Barack Obama, the bin Laden raid marked a high point of his presidency. Sometimes considered soft on terror, Obama achieved something his predecessor failed to do: bring the terror mastermind to justice.

The killing came ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which was marked by the opening of several memorials, including an outdoor tribute at Ground Zero in New York.

The United States also marked a decade of war in Afghanistan, a conflict that began in the months after 9/11 aimed at rooting out al Qaeda terrorists. While the Afghanistan war rages on, the United States is preparing to pull out the last of its troops from Iraq.

The year also was defined by economic turmoil. Prime ministers in Greece and Italy quit amid a slow-motion fiscal disaster unfolding in Europe, while Standard Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time after it said Congress failed to do enough to stabilize the country’s debt situation. The downgrade, which came after an eleventh-hour agreement to raise the debt ceiling, damaged an already-stagnant economy.

As the U.S. saw unemployment hit 9 percent, the Occupy Wall Street movement — a grassroots protest against policies favoring the richest 1% — spread to dozens of cities across the country and Europe.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates looked to seize their campaign to retake the White House in 2012. In October, former VP candidate Sarah Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disappointed supporters by saying they wouldn’t run, and by early December the GOP field seemed to be down to two serious contenders: Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

In July, the world was reminded of man-made tragedy with near-simultaneous terror attacks in Norway.

A car bomb exploded in Oslo targeting government buildings, while miles away, an armed man opened fire on a youth leadership camp, killing 77.

Expectations vs. reality on the ground

Inside Rep. Giffords’ recovery

‘Occupy’ protesters – who are they?

A look back at the life of Steve Jobs

Months earlier, Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head as she met with constituents at a supermarket near Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed in the attack, including a young girl and a federal judge.

Giffords has awed the nation in her recovery. Married to astronaut Mark Kelly, the congresswoman traveled to Kennedy Space Center in May to watch as her husband commanded the final launch of space shuttle Endeavour.

A few months later, NASA launched the final space shuttle mission, retiring the fleet of historic spacecraft after 30 years. The mission, STS-135, ended on July 21 when Atlantis arrived back at Kennedy.

Other stories dominated the headlines, too.

Casey Anthony was found not guilty in Florida in her daughter’s death, while Conrad Murray was convicted in the death of superstar Michael Jackson.

Charlie Sheen’s raging narcissism captivated the nation for a couple weeks as his bizarre behavior prompted his TV bosses to fire him from “Two and a Half Men”. Other bad boys popped into the news: Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York tweeted a picture of himself in his underwear and soon was forced to resign, and Maria Shriver filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger after a family housekeeper came forward about her love child with the former California governor.

Scandal struck far and wide in 2011. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a future leader of France, quit as head of the International Monetary Fund after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper in New York — a charge that was later dropped. British tabloids run by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch were hit by a phone hacking scandal that resulted in the flagship News of the World folding.

In the United States, child sex abuse scandals tainted athletics programs at Penn State and Syracuse universities basketball team. Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was charged with multiple counts of sex abuse against children, and legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired in the scandal’s aftermath. In Syracuse, assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was fired after three people, including two former ball boys, said he molested them for years. No charges have been filed against Fine, but multiple investigations have been launched.

Yet not all news was bad in 2011. The world got a brief respite from doom-and-gloom headlines in April when Prince William and Catherine Middleton wed at Westminster Abbey.

Their wedding was one of the most-watched events of the year — from TV to the Internet. On the streets of London, many captured royal images on their mobile devices and instantly shared them with friends.

Some of those images might never have been shared if it hadn’t have been for the creator of the iPhone: Apple founder Steve Jobs, the genius who led the home computer revolution and inspired some the world’s most popular mobile devices.

Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in October. His final words, according to his sister, were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow!”

Fitting words for 2011.


Share this on:
Comments (0)

Libyan Militia Leaders, Oil Execs Appointed in New Cabinet November 23, 2011

Libyan militia leaders who helped to topple the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in an uprising this year have won top security posts in a new Cabinet appointed by the country’s National Transitional Council.

Interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib announced his Cabinet line-up in a news conference late Tuesday after weeks of negotiations. He granted the defense minister position to Osama al-Juwali, a militia leader from the western town of Zintan whose forces helped to drive Gadhafi out of Tripoli in August and captured his fugitive son Seif al-Islam last week in the southern desert.

Seif al-Islam has been detained in Zintan pending arrangements for a trial. Zintan militiamen had pressured the NTC to award a prominent Cabinet post to Juwali.

Keib handed the other major security post of interior minister to Fawzi Abdelali, a militia leader from the western city of Misrata, Libya’s third-largest. Anti-Gadhafi militiamen in Misrata resisted a months-long siege by Gadhafi forces during the uprising and later went on the offensive by storming into Tripoli, the dictator’s power base.

Libyan oil executives also won key positions in the transitional government. Libya’s new finance minister is Hassan Ziglam, a former executive at Libya’s National Oil Corporation, while the new Libyan oil minister is Abdelrahman bin Yazza, a former executive with Italian energy company ENI, the biggest investor in Libya’s oil sector.

Libya’s ruling NTC also appointed a little-known diplomat, Ashour Bin Hayal, as foreign minister.

Prime Minister Keib told the news conference that he tried to form a Cabinet that will represent the interests of all of Libya’s regions.

“We aim to achieve the justified dreams and goals of the Libyan people. Dreams of freedom, equality, development, justice and the establishment of a country of law with organizations that will improve education and increase the level of the Libyan people’s income, provide equal chances to all in society,” he said. “We want no separation by race nor sex and we will work on raising the next generations on the principles of the Islamic religion and teach them how to love and how to participate in making human civilization richer.”

Keib said the transitional government will seek to achieve the dreams of the Libyan people for freedom, equality, development and justice under the rule of law. He also said the government will not discriminate on the basis of race or sex and will be guided Islamic principles.

Meanwhile, International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo visited Libya Tuesday to discuss the fate of Seif al-Islam, who faces ICC charges for crimes against humanity for involvement in suppressing the uprising against his father. Ocampo said Seif al-Islam can be tried inside Libya rather than in The Hague, as long as a Libyan trial meets ICC standards.  He made the comment after meeting with Libyan officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Comments (1)

Libya’s NTC Unveils New Government

Libya’s National Transitional Council has unveiled a new Cabinet that will govern the country until it holds its first elections since the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.

Interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib told a news conference in Tripoli late Tuesday that “all of Libya is represented in the new line-up.”  It includes several relatively unknown figures, including Osama al-Juwali as defense minister.  Juwali is the commander of the forces from the town of Zintan who captured the former dictator’s fugitive son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi.

Libya’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, was expected to head the Foreign Ministry, but the post was ultimately given to a little-known diplomat, Ashour Bin Hayal.

Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said Tuesday Seif al-Islam may be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague, as long as the trial meets ICC standards.  He made the announcement during meetings with Libyan officials in Tripoli.

REUTERS

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (C) visits Tripoli November 22, 2011

The ICC has indicted Seif al-Islam, and former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senoussi, for crimes against humanity.  Libyan transitional fighters recently captured the men in separate raids in the country’s southern desert.

International rights groups say the two men will not get fair trials in Libya.  The country lacks an established judicial system after 42 years of rule by Gadhafi, who deliberately kept state institutions weak.

The United Nations Security Council has authorized the ICC to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, but the tribunal can only prosecute alleged perpetrators if a country itself is unwilling or unable to do so.

U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland has called on Libyan authorities to deal with all prisoners humanely.

“We have in general terms and now in very specific terms with regard to Seif appealed to all parties in Libya to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners in their custody and to ensure that independent monitors have access to him and to prepare a judicial process that meets international standards,” she said.

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in October as transitional forces took control of his hometown of Sirte.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Comments (0)

ICC Prosecutor: Libya May Try Gadhafi’s Son November 22, 2011

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says the captured son of Moammar Gadhafi may be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague, as long as the trial meets ICC standards.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo met officials in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Tuesday, as the country’s National Transitional Council prepared to name a new Cabinet that will govern until the country holds its first elections since the ouster of its dictator.

REUTERS

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (C) visits Tripoli November 22, 2011

The ICC has indicted Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, and Gadhafi’s former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senoussi, for crimes against humanity. Libyan transitional fighters recently captured the men in separate raids in the country’s southern desert.

International rights groups say the two men will not get fair trials in Libya. The country lacks an established judicial system after 42 years of rule by Gadhafi, who deliberately kept state institutions weak.

Libya’s transitional Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib is expected to name the ministers of his government on Tuesday. Speaking Monday, he said he tried to pick people who are competent and representative of all Libyan regions. The prime minister made the comments in Tripoli at a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

Rice told the Tripoli news conference that Libya’s friends and neighbors must respect the country’s sovereignty when considering the issue of where to hold the trials of Gadhafi’s son and intelligence chief.

The U.N. Security Council authorized the ICC to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya earlier this year, but the tribunal can only prosecute alleged perpetrators if a country itself is unwilling or unable to do so.

“Neither we nor anyone else near or far can impose our will or our interests on the government of Libya, but rather we will be partners that respond first and foremost to your interests and your needs,” said Rice.

U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland called on Libyan authorities to deal with all prisoners humanely.

“We have in general terms and now in very specific terms with regard to Seif appealed to all parties in Libya to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners in their custody and to ensure that independent monitors have access to him and to prepare a judicial process that meets international standards,” said Nuland.

Gadhafi was killed in October as transitional forces took control of his hometown of Sirte.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Comments (0)