Introducing Sophie, born May 17th!
An old Peace Corps friend posted this link on Facebook. It reminded me of the work I did as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana. In many parts of rural Africa it is still normal to have no access to a toilet or latrine, and it is still normal to get water from unsafe sources. It would be great to see more attention placed on this issue, but it tends to get ignored (as are children in much of Africa).
Many of you have heard of the recent tragedy here at Wesleyan. A student was shot and killed yesterday by a man who — reportedly — harrassed her in the past. Fortunately, the suspect turned himself in this evening. Hopefully, the campus will be able to heal and recover from the tragedy.
I have only been here a year, but I can tell that such incidents are far from the norm for this university community. This is generally a safe place. I hope people will be able to feel that way again soon.
Suspect In Wesleyan Slaying Turns Himself In
By DAVID OWENS | The Hartford Courant
10:35 PM EDT, May 7, 2009
MIDDLETOWN – The massive manhunt for the man accused of killing a Wesleyan University junior is over.
So, Zuma has officially done it. He is President of South Africa. It will be interesting to see what impact he has. Will those who threatened to leave South Africa really leave? Will he be successful with his populist agenda?
I was able to meet him at a lunch at UC Berkeley a little over a year ago where he — appropriately for his audience — made the argument that education would be a top priority. Will it?
I also wonder about his impact on South Africa’s foreign policy. Mbeki had a clear agenda and goals with respect to the African region. Will Zuma embrace the African Renaissance? Will he improve on NEPAD, or let it falter? Will he continue the agenda of engagement with other major developing countries, most notably India and Brazil? I will definitely be watching!
Not sure how I missed this story last week–though I’ve been quite busy between the normal end-of-the-semester routines, a Varieties of Democracy conference, celebrating my wife’s passing the CT bar, and preparing for a new baby…
Kenyan women call for sex boycott
By Parselelo Kantai in Nairobi
Published: May 1 2009 02:42 | Last updated: May 1 2009 02:42
Kenyan women’s organisations have called for a national sex boycott to force feuding male politicians in the coalition government to resolve differences.
The women said they were prepared to pay prostitutes to withhold their services for a week to make the campaign more effective.
The boycott was inspired by a feud between Mwai Kibaki, the president, and Raila Odinga, the prime minister, about who runs the government agenda in parliament. The women have sent emissaries to the wives of both men to encourage them to join the boycott which reflects intensifying public anger at the pace at which the coalition government is tackling the underlying causes of last year’s post- election crisis.
Kenya was gripped by violent ethnic protests that almost pitched the country into civil war and resulted in the deaths of some 1,500 people in the aftermath of disputed elections.
The coalition government formed to end the crisis has been beset by corruption scandals and internal feuding even as 10m Kenyans are threatened by starvation.
A survey showed that more than two-thirds of Kenyans no longer have confidence in the government.
“This is a call to mass action to protest poor leadership,” said Ms Patricia Nyaundi, executive director of the women’s organisation, FIDA. “The other option was to take to the streets with placards but we would have been clobbered by the police. So this is a protest from the safety of our homes.”
The boycott recalls Greek playwright’s Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata, about a sex boycott staged by Athenian women to end the Peloponnesian war.
“Our leaders are taking us in the wrong direction. Last year this feuding ended in violence. If this were to recur, it is the women and children who would bear the brunt,” Ms Nyaundi said
Some men interviewed for an opinion poll said they would go elsewhere for sex if their partners got involved.
NGOs involved intend to provide financial support during the boycott to sex workers, estimated at 7,000 in Nairobi’s central business district alone.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009