The Ontario Government’s “Education Funding Guide”: A First Step Towards Privatization?

3 weeks 6 days ago

It is a miserable Season’s Greetings card to Ontarians; a lump of coal called the Education Funding Guide 2019-20. It’s setting us up for cuts to education in the order of 4 cents on the dollar – or about

The post The Ontario Government’s “Education Funding Guide”: A First Step Towards Privatization? appeared first on Global Research.


2018 Personality of the Year nominee: Ugandan MP, Bobi Wine

3 weeks 6 days ago

It’s that time of the year again when we look back on the news year and pick a person or institution that impacted the news over the course of the last twelve months.

Our nominations is the first of a three-step process. An online – Twitter poll – will in addition to our in-house poll lead to the crowning of our personality of the year – January 1, 2019.

Before joining politics, Bobi Wine perhaps thought he could effect social change through his music. It had undoubtedly made him as many lovers as haters in the East African country and beyond.

But it was when he decided to challenge President Yoweri Museveni over the age-limit debate that he attracted more attention beyond the region, across the continent and around the world.

Wine had Kampala whining for the better part of 2018, his red beret movement and ‘Ghetto President,’ labels clearly irked the powers that be. Then he took center stage in a parliamentary fracas on the age-limit vote.

The vote was eventually passed to allow Museveni stay beyond the next elections. Then came the Arua by-election which the ruling National Resistance Movement, NRM, was forced into after its MP was assassinated.

Bobi Wine’s driver was shot and killed supposedly by state agents. Wine says he was the target but had managed to escape. The official account said it had happened after a lead car in the president’s convoy on campaign was stoned.

Wine and aspiring MP were among over thirty persons detained over the violence. He was arraigned before a military court later, charges dropped but immediately rearrested and hurled before a magistrate – the trial is till on.

In the end, the candidate he was backing won the seat despite being in custody. Then the next leg of Bobi Wine’s hustles, he was blocked from traveling abroad to seek medical treatment.

The back and forth with authorities continued till eventually he was allowed to fly out. He alleged torture at the hands of presidential security branch, government rubbished the claims.

In the States, he held an international press conference denouncing government’s muzzling of dissent. His return was another dramatic episode, extensively covered since his boarding in the United States transit in Nairobi and arrival at Entebbe.

Security forces were widely deployed, he was snatched at the airport and all welcome processions successfully thwarted by the authorities.

In the end, he was ‘escorted’ back home, police said. He has since been under an officially unofficial media blackout. The last major interview he had was in Kenya. And he has also granted Africanews an exclusive interview.

Bobi Wine is up against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ebola responders in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Paul Kagame for his work as 2018 President of the African Union.


2018 Personality of the Year nominee: Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed

3 weeks 6 days ago

It is that time of the year again when we look back on the news year and pick a person or institution that impacted the news over the course of the last twelve months.

Our nominations is the first of a three-step process. An online – Twitter poll – will in addition to our in-house poll lead to the crowning of our personality of the year – January 1, 2019.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shot into the news circle in March when the ruling coalition nominated him to become the head of government. Ethiopia at the time was suffering anti-government protests.

Since replacing Hailemariam Desalegn in April 2018, Abiy has all but turned the country downside up. Internally, the political and democratic space has been opened with multiple opposition groups returning home from exile.

Abiy has also opened Ethiopia up to fellow Africans with ease in visa application and implementation of a visa on arrival policy in early November. The peace deal with Eritrea is well documented and the drive to get women participation has been welcomed home and abroad.

But in all of this, there are challenges. Insecurity and allied displacements. Ethnically motivated attacks led to deaths and shot Ethiopia to the top of the world’s biggest population in the area of internal displacements.

Government has emphasized that it will do all it takes to ensure a durable security but the situation cools off and almost immediately returns. On occasions, the federal forces had been deployed.

Abiy’s decisions has also largely won Ethiopia more goodwill from international partners and global lenders, another of his headaches is the demand that reforms trickle further down.

The 42-year-old former peacekeeper and at present Africa’s youngest head of government is a nominee for our 2018 Personality of the Year. Voting opens on December on Twitter.

Abiy is up against Ugandan lawmaker, musician Robert Kyagulanyi [Bobi Wine], the Ebola responders in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Paul Kagame for his work as 2018 President of the African Union.


2018 POTY nominee: WHO, Ebola responders in DR Congo

3 weeks 6 days ago

It’s that time of the year again when we look back on the news year and pick a person or institution that impacted the news over the course of the last twelve months.

Our nominations is the first of a three-step process. A weeklong online – Twitter poll – will in addition to our in-house poll lead to the crowning of our personality of the year – January 1, 2019.

In 2018, Ebola returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, compounded by the existing headache of insecurity in parts of the country hit by the outbreak.

The World Health Organization, WHO, led by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, quickly dispatched to the region to help the government contain the crisis but also to prevent a recurrence of backlash resulting from inaction in response in the case of the outbreak in West Africa.

The current outbreak has been labeled the second deadliest only behind that of West Africa – which ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WHO and partners who braved the palpable dangers to intervene early on and following through till date have been nominated for their efforts, coupled with the deployment of trial vaccines and a will to confront death so others can live.


Sudanese economic crisis

3 weeks 6 days ago

Sudan’s economy has been limping since the south of the country seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of its oil output.

Bread shortages have hit the country, with wheat traders blaming a foreign currency crisis for shortages of the staple that have left people queuing for hours outside bakeries.

“The economic situation used to be good and the purchasing power people had was reasonable, but conditions are bad now, the goods are expensive, and so people are unable to buy them,” said Hussin Osman, a shop keeper

The situation was further worsened when the Sudanese pound was devalued, making it hard to import essential supplies such as wheat.

According to the State Statistical Agency, inflation rose to 68.93% in November from 68.44% in October. It has increased constantly despite government attempts to contain the hike in prices by strictly limiting cash withdrawals.

For his part, Khartoum resident, Marwa Mageed said “the living conditions in Sudan are deteriorating. We have queues everywhere, for fuel, and at ATMs. You can’t even withdraw your money from the bank. You can’t get your salary. Everything has become very expensive and we don’t know what is happening. It feels like there’s a ticking bomb and we don’t when it will explode.”

Sudan’s cabinet said on Tuesday (December 19) that it expects a big rise in exports and a reduced budget deficit next year.


2018 Personality of the Year nominee: AU President Paul Kagame

3 weeks 6 days ago

It’s that time of the year again when we look back on the news year and pick a person or institution that impacted the news over the course of the last twelve months.

Our nominations is the first of a three-step process. A weeklong online – Twitter poll – will in addition to our in-house poll lead to the crowning of our personality of the year – January 1, 2019.

Rwanda has over the past years become an African Union annex of sorts. Three instances: the 2016 launch of the African passport, hosting talks on AU reforms and 2018 launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

Core to Kigali’s continental emergence is President Paul Kagame, an open adherent for AU reforms. It is no surprise that his tenure as President of the AU has seen concrete efforts at the passing and implementation of wide ranging reforms.

Despite reservations back home on the political and human rights space, the country is also touted as having made significant socio-economic leaps post the 1994 genocide.

Our team has thus nominated Paul Kagame for his push in the area of AU reforms seeing that he has managed to achieve landmark reforms for the continental body within his 12-months at the helm.


Is DRC's election body ready for Sunday's poll?

3 weeks 6 days ago

Even after several delays to the presidential election in Democratic Republic of Congo, questions still abound on whether the latest one-week delay will be enough to organise the poll, both in Kinshasa and remote areas of Congo’s vast forested interior.

Last week, CENI announced the election, which had been scheduled for December 23, would now take place on Dec. 30 due to a fire that destroyed voting materials.

At a news conference on Friday, Joseph Olenghankoy, the president of a government commission charged with monitoring election preparations, urged authorities to accept logistical support from the United Nations to deploy voting materials.

The government has so far rejected assistance from foreign donors, including the 16,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, saying that would infringe on national sovereignty.

A U.N. spokeswoman in Kinshasa said the mission was prepared to provide logistical support if asked but had not received a request.

Will CENI accept logistical support from UN?

A CENI spokesman said the commission would ask for U.N. help if necessary but said: “For the moment, we are getting by with the means the government has made available to us.”

The International Rescue Committee, a New York-based aid group that operates in Congo, said on Thursday that further delays “would be exceptionally damaging to the country’s rule of law” and worsen a humanitarian crisis in which 13 million people need assistance due to hunger, disease and conflict.

Kabila’s refusal to step down when his mandate officially expired in December 2016 triggered violent protests in which security forces killed dozens of people and contributed to a spike in militia violence across the country as armed groups moved to exploit a perceived power vacuum.

Security forces fired live bullets and teargas last week to disperse supporters of Tshisekedi and the other leading opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, who are competing against Kabila’s preferred candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

ALSO READ: DRC presidential candidate, Martin Fayulu rejects election delay

At least seven opposition supporters were killed in the violence, which the government blamed on opposition “extremists”, and Kinshasa’s governor suspended campaigning in the capital on Wednesday, citing security fears.


Porkins Policy Radio 168 2018 End of Year Special with Abby Martin, Robbie Martin and JG Michael

3 weeks 6 days ago

In the first hour Abby and Robbie Martin for an end of the year special. We kick things off by talking about our overall impressions of 2018. Abby and Robbie touched on the stories and narratives that were most important during this tumultuous year. We then moved into the realm of geopolitics and some of the biggest events which took place in 2018. We talked about the war in Yemen and the continued violence against the Palestinians. We discussed the lack of media coverage on foreign affairs this year, and how Trump has ceded power to the neocon movement when it comes to geopolitics. We touched on figures like John Bolton and what may be in store for America in the coming year. Later Abby talked about the sanctions against Venezuela which led to The Empire Files being shut down. We round out the hour by talking about some of the positive things in 2018 including David Seaman having to close down his news outlet.

In the second hour JG Michael of Parallax View joins me to continue our end of the year special. We focused more on the culture war of 2018. We looked at the right-wing movement and the casualties it sustained this year. JG talks about Gavin McInnes and his recent appearance on InfoWars. We talked about the idea that many of these alt-lite figures are actually fading away. We discussed Ross Douthat’s repulsive article Why we miss the WASPs and the rehabilitation of war criminals like George HW Bush and Dick Cheney. JP and I explored what this means for America going forward. We round out the conversation by again looking at some positives like the momentum of figures like Ocasio-Cortez and others. I also brought up the strange revelation that white supremacist Jean Francois Griepy took $25,000 from Jeffrey Epstein in 2014.

Download episode 168

Show Notes:

Randy Credico Exclusive Tell-All with Abby Martin on Wikileaks & Roger Stone

David Seaman Prays God Will Destroy Google With an Earthquake`

Why We Miss the WASPs

White Nationalist YouTuber Says Jeffrey Epstein Once Gave Him $25,000


Sierra Leone Chief Justice resigns, president names successor

4 weeks ago

Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, Abdulai Hamid Charm, has resigned his position a statement from the presidency confirmed on Wednesday.

President Julius Maada Bio has since nominated a replacement in the person of Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards. The nomination has led to a recall of a special sitting of parliament to vet the nominee.

Charm was appointed by former president Ernest Bai Koroma, who stepped down after his second and final constitutionally mandated term earlier this year.

He swore into office Maada Bio on April 5, after the former junta leader was declared winner of a poll run-off. Maada bio beat the then ruling party’s candidate and foreign affairs minister, Samura Kamara.

Political watchers have wondered whether the former CJ was forced out of office as is usually the case when a new president emerges after an election.

Local media portals had also recently reported that government had asked the CJ to make sweeping changes to the judiciary including the retirement of senior apex court judges to make way for new appointments.

He is reported to have disagreed with the position of government this opting to resign his position. Many Sierra Leoneans according to reports were not entirely surprised by the development.

Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm was nominated as Chief Justice by President Ernest Bai Koroma on 28 December 2015 to succeed retired Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh.

His appointment was approved by Parliament on 15 January 2016, and was sworn in as Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice on 21 January 2016.

#SierraLeone’s Chief Justice, Abdulai Cham has resigned, according to a press release from State House. It’s not clear whether he jumped or was pushed. The president has appointed Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards as his replacement.— Umaru Fofana (@UmaruFofana) December 19, 2018


Nigeria president presents $28.8 bn 2019 budget to parliament

4 weeks ago

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presented a 8.83 trillion naira ($28.80 billion) budget for 2019 to parliament on Wednesday, and laid out a plan to drive growth two months before elections.

The spending plan for Africa’s top oil producer assumes crude production of 2.3 million barrels a day, an oil price of $60 per barrel and an exchange rate of 305 naira to the dollar.

Buhari’s handling of the economy – which emerged from its first recession in 25 years this year but remains sluggish – has become a campaign issue.

The main opposition candidate, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, has criticised Buhari’s economic policies and has promised to double the size of the economy to $900 billion by 2025 if elected.

The budget is the fourth Buhari has present to parliament since taking office in 2015 but, unlike the others, did not set record high levels of spending as the government seeks to lower debt. He also received a rowdier reception than in the past, with his statements greeted by boos and cheers.

The spending plan is smaller than the record 9.12 trillion-naira budget for 2018 that he signed into law in June. The budget must still be approved by parliament before it can be signed into law, a process that can take many months.

Nigeria’s economy grew by 1.81 percent in the third quarter of this year, the statistics office said last week. And, in a separate data release days later, it said the inflation rate rose slightly in November to 11.28 percent compared with a year ago.

($1 = 306.6000 naira)



Chieftaincy clashes claims over 100 lives in DRC ahead of vote

4 weeks ago

More than 100 people have died in clashes between rival ethnic groups in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo this week, local activists said on Wednesday.

The fighting in Mai-Ndombe province is some of the worst to hit the normally peaceful area in years and comes days before Sunday’s long-delayed presidential, legislative and provincial elections, which many fear could turn violent.

The fighting between the Batende and Banunu ethnic groups broke out on Sunday over the disputed location of a Banunu chief’s burial, said Jules Bango, an activist in the town of Yumbi, on the banks of the Congo River.

“Today we have identified almost 120 deaths, and there are 71 others wounded in the hospital,” Bango told Reuters. Many people had fled across the river into neighbouring Congo Republic, he added.

Another local activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the death toll could rise as high as 150. He said the upcoming elections, in which Batende leaders are supporting the ruling coalition and Banunu leaders are backing opposition candidates, have raised tensions between the two groups.

Mai-Ndobe’s governor did not respond immediately to requests for comment.


52 minutes 46 seconds ago
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