Stories from Quick Reads and Video
Eric Garner was a 44-year-old African-American man who died following an attempted arrest by the NY Police Department. On July 17, 2014, when police officers attempted to arrest Garner, he had broken up a fight. Garner who suffered from asthma was wrestled to the ground. Medical examiners concluded chokehold and chest compression as the primary causes of Garner's death and Garner's heart problems, obesity and asthma as additional factors. Here is a video of the accident [Warning: Graphic Images]
A few days later (28 August) in Roissy, France, Abdelhak Goradia, a 51 year old Algerian citizen also died inside a police van. The police was carrying Goradia to the airport to be deported back to Algeria when they initially affirmed that he died of a heart attack. Justice department corrected that assessment and stated that Goradia died from choking on his own gastric fluids. His lawyer stated that Goradia called him to say that he was taken away in handcuffs and a head gear. Goradia was previously charged with theft, petty crimes and violence.
Meet Peter Owiti, coffee shop entrepreneur in Nairobi, Kenya:
The story of Peter Owiti, the brains behind Pete’s Coffee shop, speaks volumes of the great deal of effort that is spent when setting up a successful business. In the brief video below, Pete, who is a father of three, talks to Kuza Biashara about the challenges he encountered when he set up shop in 2004.
Peter resigned from a well-paying office job and, left with nothing other than his lifetime savings that amounted to Ksh500,000 ($6,000), he resolved to tread a path he was barely familiar with. Today, his business is valued at Ksh5,000,000 ($60,000). This admirable growth was recorded despite the scourge of Kenya’s Post Election Violence (PEV) in 2007/2008 which threatened to break his sequence of success.
Abidjan and other regions of Côte d'Ivoire have been plagued by heavy downpour and floods for the past weeks [fr]. Local residents got organized on social networks to bring relief to stranded citizens. On twitter and facebook, #CIVSOCIAL is the hashtag for emergency humanitarian reliefs. It was created in 2011 in the aftermath of the post-electoral crisis. The hashtag was revived again as floods marred Abidjan and the rest of the country. The facebook page CIVSOCIAL has collected images, videos and testimonies as well as calls for donations for each afflicted borough. Here is a video of one of the flooded borough :
Valentin Agon is the creator of the Api-Palu pill, a locally produced remedy based on endemic plants. He was just awarded [fr] the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Award for his new product against malaria. Pascal Hounkpatin reports for La Presse du Jour:
De la cueillette des feuilles au produit fini (gélules en boite), en passant par le contrôle de la qualité, la fabrication et le remplissage des gélules, rien n’a été caché. Pour Agon, Api-Bénin a la capacité technique de produire pour près de 4 milliards de nos francs par jour.
From the start of the process, picking leaves to the finished product (capsules in the box), via the quality control and the manufacturing, the entire process was revealed to the public. Agon asserts that Api-Benin has the technical capacity to produce nearly 4 billion CFA francs [about 45 million US dollars] of the product on a daily basis.
The inventor decided to give his prize money, 1 billion CFA francs (about 11 million) to the next winners of the inventors competition. Here is a video of Agon winning the ARC of Europe prize in 2010:
The Brazilian independent media collective Midia Ninja posted a video and a news report [pt] on Youtube that expose the violence of the Military Police of São Paulo against subway workers on a peaceful strike in the early hours of June 5, 2014. The video shows riot police officers charging against workers on strike with shots of rubber bullet at close range:
The report also indicates that less than a week to go before the World Cup, the strike “triggered by the Subway Union (…), affected about 4.6 million users of Metro on Thursday”, 5 June:
A categoria tentou de todas as formas negociar pelos seus direitos sem prejudicar usuários mas nenhuma proposta foi aceita até então pela Secretaria de Transporte do Estado.
Os Metroviários chegaram inclusive a propor a catraca livre enquanto forma de manter o protesto sem afetar a população: “Seria uma alternativa à paralização”, propôs o presidente do Sindicato Altino de Melo Prazeres Júnior. Geraldo Alckmin, Governador do Estado e responsável pela gestão do Metrô, afirma que o movimento é “político e sem sentido”, e atua com a força militar da polícia para impedir a reivindicação trabalhlista prevista em Lei.
Ao menos um trabalhador foi preso. A greve do Metrô continua por tempo indeterminado.
The workers tried in every way to negotiate their rights without harming users but no proposal was accepted hitherto by the Secretary of Transportation of the State.
The Subway workers have even proposed a free pass as a way to keep the protest without affecting the population: “It would be an alternative to the standstill”, proposed the president of the Union, Altino Prazeres Melo Júnior. Geraldo Alckmin, governor of the State and responsible for managing the Metro, says the move is “political and meaningless”, and works with the military police force to prevent the labour claim provided by Law
At least one worker was arrested. The subway strike continues indefinitely.
Israeli blogger Elizabeth Tsurkov challenges the IDF to make an English version of a video it had released in Hebrew, which she describes as “glorifying air bombings of Gaza.”
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) August 17, 2014
At least 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, more than 10,000 injured, and 450,000 displaced since Israel launched a massive offensive called Protective Edge against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip on July 8.
Leila Dee Dougan shares a music video from the latest album by the South African artist Umlilo:
Umlilo (previously profiled on Africa is a Country here) continues to push societal boundaries, crushing the norms of sexuality and gender roles with ‘Magic Man’, a track from his latest album, which will be released in July 2014. Watch the making of the music video and hear his thoughts on circus troops, being an outcast and how his music has become his freedom.
Algeria and Germany national teams are set to face up on June 30 in Porto Alegre in the knock-out round of the FIFA World Cup. The match will revive plenty of strong emotions from both sides because of their previous game in 1982 at the World Cup in Spain. In their first World Cup ever, Algeria shocked heavy favorites Germany in a 2-1 victory that is still recalled fondly by Algerian supporters to this day. However, Algeria was still eliminated in the first round because Germany and Austria conspired to get a draw that would send both team through and Algeria home. The match is known around the football world as the “Disgrace of Gijón“. Here are highlights of the 1982 Algeria-Germany fixture :
Djouma and Amadou Moussa are Ibrahim's parents. Djouma and Ibahim are the two lone survivors of an incredibly violent attack by militiamen that took the lives of 5 of Ibrahim's siblings in the Central African Republic, near the border with Cameroon. The militiamen came while Amadou Moussa was away. Djouma, 30, recalls the attack :
They found me with my children in the house; they gathered all the small children and slaughtered them with machetes. They killed six people, including five children in my presence [..] Ibrahim was among the six children they took. When they hit him with the machetes, they thought he was dead.
As seen in the video, Ibrahim bears the scar of the machete attack on his head. But Ibrahim came through, against all odds. Ibrahim's story epitomizes the ongoing plight of refugees from the Central African Republic in Cameroon. 20,000 refugees have crossed the borders since the beginning of the war. A petition was sent to US secretary of State John Kerry to remind him to take the “necessary steps to ensure that the peacekeeping operation is fully funded in FY2015.”