Honduras retains the world’s highest murder rate, according to a United Nations report published on Thursday, with the Americas overtaking Africa as the region with the most peacetime murders per 100,000 people.
Torn apart by gang warfare and invaded by Mexican drug cartels, the Central American nation of Honduras had a 2012 murder rate of 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people, almost double Venezuela’s rate of 53.7.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s report, Central America fared particularly badly. Belize had a murder rate of 44.7, while El Salvador’s was 41.2 per 100,000.
In a previous report in 2011, Honduras topped the list, with El Salvador in second place and Venezuela in third.
Investing in childcare and adult education, and giving women farmers the same access as men to fertiliser and training, could significantly increase food production and improve their lives and that of their families, according to a report that highlights the deep-rooted gender gaps in Africa’s agricultural sector.
The report, published by the advocacy group One and the World Bank on Wednesday, found that despite women comprising more than half the continent’s farmers, political indifference and social constraints mean productivity on female-managed plots is significantly lower per hectare than those managed by men.
It argues that closing the gender gap could bolster food security and livelihoods. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that if women had the same access to resources worldwide, their yields could increase by up to 30%, which could result in up to 150 million fewer people going hungry. Latest figures from the FAO show that 842 million people experience chronic hunger.
Comparing the differences between men and women farming similar-sized plots of land in similar contexts across six African countries - Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda - the report shows that production rates among women are 23% less in Tanzania and 66% less in Niger. In Nigeria, dramatic differences were found between women and men living in the south and north.
Updated : Meet the American Pastor Responsible for the Murder, Criminalization and Oppression of Africa’s Gays
Mother Jones has a fantastic article providing the history and consequences of his anti-gay campaigning in Uganda. To say this man is responsible for murder, oppression, hate crimes, and torture, is not a “bridge too far”.
Yes - American Christians are behind both Russia’s and Uganda’s anti-gay persecution and crimes against humanity, and here is the evidence:
In early March 2009, Lively returned to Uganda at Langa’s invitation. Uganda’s High Court had recently found that the government overstepped its authority by detaining two gay activists simply because they were gay. In response, a Langa-run group called the Family Life Network planned a three-day conference to expose what he called the “hidden and dark” gay agenda. On the last day, Lively gave a marathon five-hour presentation, which was broadcast on Ugandan television. He claimed that homosexuals were aggressively recruiting Uganda’s children and argued that human rights protections shouldn’t be extended to these “predatory” figures.
A member of parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo is pushing for an anti-LGBT bill that mirrors Uganda’s controversial measure that was signed into law last month, All Africa reports.
According to Ynajia, reports say, “sexual moans were heard about 20 minutes after them men had checked into the room they had booked at the hotel.” The hotel attendant, who reportedly heard the men, notified police and the couple was soon arrested.
The New Civil Rights Movement points to reports that several LGBT people from Uganda have been evicted from their homes because of their sexuality. The blog Sebaspace posted two evictions by posting scans of notices. The first letter, dated March 3, reads:
“You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever. But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house. I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.”
The second letter says:
“I am writing to inform you that you have been evicted from the house you live in because of the stories [about your gay lifestyle] that appeared on Bukedde Television and in the print media. We can no longer live with someone like you. Therefore, vacate the premises before the 5th of May 2014”
The NCRM also notes that LGBT activists Scott Long and Kasha Jacqueline posted to the Sebaspace blog as well.
Who will take the gold this year, for hating the gays?
Most Americans grew up studying maps of the world that made Africa look about the same size as Greenland. In fact, those maps distorted the true sizes of the world’s countries and continents. Africa is large enough in area to contain China and the USA, plus a whole lot more.
A computer graphics expert, Kai Krause, published a more accurate depiction of Africa’s size, but a writer at The Economist has made some improvements.
In Mr Krause’s map (above) he seems to have used the shapes of the countries from a Mercator projection, but has scaled up the outline of Africa, without changing its shape, to show the appropriate area. An alternative and arguably more rigorous approach would be to repeat the exercise using an “equal area” projection that shows the countries’ areas correctly while minimising shape distortion. These two properties are the hardest to balance when showing the whole world on one map. I decided to rework Mr Krause’s map using Gall’s Stereographic Cylindrical Projection (1855) with two standard parallels at 45°N and 45°S. Distortions are still evident at the poles, but for most countries shape is maintained, and their areas are shown correctly. As you can see (below), the results are distinct from Mr Krause’s map. But however you look at it, his point is a good one: Africa is much bigger than it looks on most maps.
As conservatives rage about the cost of Obama’s Africa trip, it is important to remember that George and Laura Bush made a combined 7 trips to Africa all on the taxpayers’ dime.
We’ve played this game before, but anytime the nation’s first black president spends more than a dollar, the right wing freaks out about Barack Obama “wasting taxpayer dollars.” Back in 2011, the right claimed that First Lady Obama’s Africa trip would cost taxpayers millions, but even if you use numbers that the White House disagrees with ($424,000), they weren’t even close.
This time the right has whipped up the fake outrage over a leaked document showing that President Obama’s upcoming Africa trip could cost $60-$100 million. What these same people don’t tell is that George and Laura Bush loved to go to Africa on the taxpayers’ dime…a lot.
During Bush’s second term alone, Laura Bush made five “goodwill” trips to Africa. President Bush made the trip twice during his presidency. Here is former First Lady Bush at an event the night before their trip in 2008, “Tomorrow, President Bush and I leave for what will be my fifth trip to Africa since 2001, and his second trip to Africa since 2001. I’ve seen the determination of the people across Africa — and the compassion of the people of the United States of America.”
Wow, that’s a lot of trips to Africa. In 2007, Laura Bush also took her daughters with her, and they went on a safari. You know, the same kind of outing that President Obama just canceled.
Not much was going right for George W. Bush. Even before the economy crashed, his legacy was 9/11, the unpopular Iraq invasion, and Hurricane Katrina. Back in 2003, Bush laid the groundwork for making aid to Africa his legacy. One of the areas where Bush drew praise was that he spent billions of taxpayer dollars on aid to Africa. It’s funny how conservatives don’t utter a peep about George W. Bush dishing out more than ten times the amount of taxpayer money on aid than Obama will spend on his trip.
Google’s news about its ambitious plans to build wireless networks in “emerging markets” like Africa and Asia isn’t nearly as interesting as how the company might ultimately end up deploying Wi-Fi to these areas - not via conventional cable-stringing but, rather, by balloons.
While Google appears to be planning a fleet of CPUs and Android phones to connect its wireless networks together - over airwaves commonly used for television broadcasts, reports the Wall Street Journal - the company is also allegedly planning a few more esoteric methods for getting wireless access up-and-running in areas previously underserved.
Among these methods includes satellite Internet and the aforementioned “balloons” plan, which would use “high-altitude platforms” to blast a wireless signal across an area spanning hundreds of square miles.
In other words, these aren’t just conventional Wi-Fi routers strapped to weather balloons. They would also use frequencies different than those used for television broadcasts - an area that the company would need to get a governmental blessing from in order to fully deploy, given the regulations involved.
As for why Google’s planning to invest such a great deal of hardware and engineering think into underdeveloped areas, the Wall Street Journal postulates that Google’s simply interested in connecting more users into the Googlesphere of apps and devices. Doing so, in turn, helps add to Google’s considerable success in Web advertising. With more than half the globe not even connected to the Web, even gaining a small sliver in this ignored population would give Google a healthy new base to draw from - a critical note, given that the company pulls most of its annual revenue from its advertising.
Chinese trade with African countries was nearly $200 billion in 2012. But after years of embracing China, some Africans say that China is taking more than it gives back.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is touring parts of Africa this week, celebrating ever-closer economic ties that have made Beijing the continent’s biggest trading partner. But the bloom is off their initial romance, as each side finds previously unseen flaws in its partner.
“The honeymoon is over,” says Deborah Brautigam, an expert on China and Africa at Johns Hopkins University. “Now they are working on their relationship. It is not purely harmonious by any means.”
Indeed, China and Africa may be going through something of a “seven-year itch,” say some observers. It has been that long since 48 African leaders gathered at an unprecedented summit in Beijing to embrace China, and now some influential African voices are grumbling about whether their continent has benefited sufficiently from that embrace.
The figures are startling: Chinese trade with African countries has leapt fourfold in six years to reach nearly $200 billion in 2012. There are now between 1 million and 2 million Chinese businessmen and women in Africa, according to the government here (which does not keep accurate count). Chinese investments in Africa are worth more than $20 billion.
“Generally speaking, China has fulfilled the expectations it had seven years ago for its relations with Africa,” says Niu Xinchun, a researcher at the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government-linked think tank in Beijing.
But in recent weeks, two prominent Africans have wondered aloud about their own expectations. “We have had some bad experiences with Chinese companies in this country,” Botswana’s president Ian Khama said in a recent interview with the Johannesburg-based Business Day newspaper.
In the future, “we are going to be looking very carefully at any company that originates from China in providing construction services of any nature,” he added, saying other African leaders shared his views.
‘Essence of colonialism’