Ex-sindicalista é dos homens mais ricos da África

Former union activist, lawyer and politician Cyril Ramaphosa created the Shanduka Group in 2000 as an African black owned investment holding group, and is now one of South Africa's leading businessmen. Shanduka's investments include stakes in mining company Assore, trading company Bidvest, Standard Bank, and a joint venture with CocaCola called CocaCola Shanduka, plus holdings in real estate, insurance and telecom. Ramaphosa owns slightly more than 30% of the privately held group through a family trust. He first came to prominence in the 1980s as founder and promoter of the National Union of Mineworkers, created to improve the rights of black African workers. In 1991, at age 39, he was elected secretary general of the African National Congress and was the main negotiator with the National Party during the transition to democracy. After less than three years in parliament Ramaphosa resigned in 1997, first joining New Africa Investments and then starting the Shanduka Group. His wife Tshepo is the sister of fellow South African tycoon Patrice Motsepe. Forbes


A corrupção em Moçambique

Mozambique is the most corrupt country in southern Africa, with 68% of people having paid a bribe in the past year, and 56% saying they think corruption is getting worse. These are the results of a survey carried out earlier this year for Transparency International and published 22 November. Police are most corrupt everywhere, but education and health in Mozambique are significantly more corrupt than in other countries, except the DRC.

Respondents were asked if they had paid bribes to various institutions. Of those who had contact with the police, 48% paid a bribe. For other institutions (only those who had contact with that institution), the portion who paid a bribe was: health 39%, education 35%, registry and permit services 35%, and customs 31%. Bribes were quite large, with 17% paying over $100 in bribes in the past year. The most common reason to pay a bribe was "to speed things up", 61%.

Across the region more than half of people paid bribes in the past year and 62% think corruption is worsening. Zimbabwe and Zambia are seen as the least corrupt countries, although even in Zambia, the least corrupt, 42% of people said they paid a bribe in the past year.

Mozambique has by far the highest trust in the media, with 22% saying they trusted the media most to fight corruption. (Zimbabwe and DRC had the lowest trust of media.) Mozambicans put most faith in the media, followed by government 20%, and international organisations and NGOs 17% each.

1,000 people were surveyed in Mozambique in April and May 2011 by local company TRS through Gallup International. The data were weighted by age, gender and region to nationally representative.

"Daily Lives and Corruption, Public Opinion in Mozambique" will be posted on my website: tinyurl.com/mozamb
"Daily Lives and Corruption, Public Opinion in Southern Africa" surveyed more than 6,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe between 2010 and 2011. On the TI website:


Milhares de líbios estão a ser detidos

Britain yesterday renewed its call on the new Libyan government to stamp out alleged human rights abuses following the revelation that thousands of people are being illegally detained.
As Libya's transitional government was sworn in, the Foreign Office urged it to act on a United Nations report, revealed by The Independent yesterday, suggesting that up to 7,000 "enemies of the state" are being illegally detained.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We condemn all human rights violations. The Foreign Secretary [William Hague] recently raised the issue of detainees with Prime Minister al-Kib and made clear our expectation that the Transitional National Council [TNC] must fully investigate all allegations of abuse committed by its forces and bring anyone responsible to account."
The spokesman added: "We have welcomed the TNC's clear public statements that there should be no acts of retribution or reprisal and also their stated commitment to uphold the rule of law and due process. We also recognise that the Libyan authorities have been co-operating fully with the UN Human Rights Council's commission of inquiry. The newly formed transitional government should take forward its commitment to respect human rights with clear actions on the ground."
British officials hope the new government in Tripoli will now create and exercise the central authority that has been lacking since the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. The UK is funding a project to provide training for lawyers and justice officials in order to improve understanding and adherence to international human rights standards. According to the UN report, most courts in Libya are currently "not fully operational" due to lack of security and absenteeism by judges and administrators.
The report by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, is due to be discussed by the UN Security Council on Monday.

The Independent

Estão a decorrer as legislativas marroquinas

Polling stations have opened in Morocco's parliamentary election amid concerns the vote may be marred by low turnout with a pro-reform movement calling for a boycott.
The polls on Friday are the first under a new constitution proposed by King Mohammed VI and approved in a July 1 referendum amid popular uprisings in nearby countries.
Voting stations will close at 7pm (19:00 GMT) with the first provisional official results expected several hours later. Final results will be announced on Saturday.
Opinion polls are not allowed in the North African country but observers said the Islamist opposition Justice and Development Party is likely to win the largest number of seats.
The party's main rival is the Coalition for Democracy, a loose eight-party pro-monarchy bloc that includes Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar's National Rally of Independents party.

Boycott call

Overall 31 parties are vying for the 395 seats in the lower house of parliament, 70 more than during the last election in 2007.
The new seats are reserved for women and younger deputies in a bid to give the assembly, in the past dominated by high-ranking public figures, a more modern look.
The amended constitution gives more powers to parliament and the prime minister, who now must be appointed by the king from the party that wins the most assembly seats.
Some voters in the nation of 35 million people said they did not plan to cast their ballots because they had no faith that legislators would work to improve their lives.
The pro-reform February 20 Movement, which was responsible for the protests staged just before the king announced his plans to reform the constitution, has called for a boycott of the election.
It argues the constitutional reforms do not go far enough and that the elections will only give credibility to an undemocratic government.

Power transfer

More than 1,000 young people who have degrees but are unemployed staged a demonstration in Rabat on Thursday, demanding jobs and joining the calls to boycott the vote.
With authorities concerned about voter turnout, Omar Bendourou, a constitutional law professor at Rabat's Mohamed V University, said they would "do all they can" to ensure turnout is higher than the 37 per cent recorded in the last elections.
Bendourou said "a strong turnout in the 2011 elections would give credibility to the constitutional reform adopted in July".
"And it would give them some credibility, a favourable image abroad of how the kingdom responded to protests," he added.
While the constitutional reform transferred some of the king's powers to parliament and the prime minister, the monarch remains the head of state and the military and still appoints ambassadors and diplomats.
Source: Agencies


Uma vez mais, a Alemanha assusta a Europa

C'est le destin de l'Europe qui se joue. "Nous nous en sortirons ensemble ou nous périrons chacun de notre côté", a déclaré Nicolas Sarkozy, mercredi 23 novembre, devant les maires de France réunis à l'Elysée. Le président de la République n'a pas été jusqu'au bout de sa pensée : l'avenir du Vieux Continent est entre les mains de l'Allemagne, et d'elle seule.
En recevant ce jeudi à Strasbourg la chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, et le président du conseil italien, Mario Monti, M. Sarkozy fera mine de faire jeu égal avec l'Allemagne et cherchera à montrer que les trois principales économies de la zone euro font bloc face aux marchés. Il va prendre l'initiative, en prononçant, jeudi 1er décembre, un grand discours sur l'Europe.
En réalité, les Européens scrutent avec angoisse la chancelière, ou plus précisément la nébuleuse du pouvoir en Allemagne, faite de subtils équilibres entre le gouvernement Merkel, le Bundestag, la Cour constitutionnelle de Karlsruhe et la Bundesbank. De leur compromis interne viendra la décision, ou non, d'autoriser la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) à financer durablement les Etats attaqués par les marchés. De cette décision dépendra la survie de l'Italie et de l'euro. "Les Allemands dominent tout. On attend leurs décisions sans avoir de prise sur les événements", s'afflige un poids lourd du gouvernement français.


Et c'est la panique. Jacques Attali, l'ancien conseiller de François Mitterrand, a tiré la sonnette d'alarme ce week-end : l'Europe s'est suicidée lors des deux conflits mondiaux du XXe siècle. "Aujourd'hui, c'est de nouveau au tour de l'Allemagne de tenir dans sa main l'arme du suicide collectif du continent", met en garde M. Attali, qui expose sa solution technique. Si l'Allemagne la refuse, "la catastrophe aura lieu", prévient M. Attali.
Certes, l'Allemagne a fait ce qu'on lui avait promis qu'elle n'aurait jamais à faire, voler au secours des pays latins en faillite. Mais la spirale négative semblant inexorable, elle fait figure d'accusée. Les eurosceptiques multiplient les sorties antigermaniques. "L'Allemagne porte une responsabilité totale dans la faillite du système. Après l'obsession de la politique monétaire restrictive, on veut nous proposer le diktat sur le budget, la trique allemande. C'est la fin des démocraties nationales", accuse le député Jacques Myard (UMP, Yvelines).
Il est désormais rejoint par les fédéralistes, angoissés par une Allemagne moraliste, qui pourchasse les déficits. "Ce que disent les Allemands était valable il y a dix ans. Il ne fallait pas faire de déficits. Mais c'est trop tard. Ils prônent de manière névrotique des choses qui ne peuvent pas produire les résultats qu'ils espèrent", s'afflige Jean-Louis Bourlanges, président de la Fondation du centre, qui voit trois solutions : "La mort par autarcie, c'est la sortie de l'euro. La mort par asphyxie, c'est la rigueur proposée par l'Allemagne. Et puis la réforme, avec solidarité et pragmatisme."


Ce chemin étroit inquiète les Français, qui ne savent quelle dose de rigueur et de contrainte fédérale ils vont devoir concéder. Le fantôme de l'Europe allemande ressurgit. L'ancien ministre des affaires étrangères, le socialiste Hubert Védrine, s'inquiète d'une Allemagne qui pousse ses pions sur deux fronts, économique et institutionnel : pour mieux contrôler les politiques budgétaires, elle exige un renforcement du Parlement qu'elle domine par sa démographie, et de la Commission, émanant de ce même Parlement. "Le gouvernement de la zone euro de demain ne peut pas être germano-allemand, imposé à des pays qui ne peuvent pas refuser car ils sont pris en otage par les marchés", dénonce M. Védrine.
Le Quai d'Orsay met en garde contre une Allemagne qui défend froidement ses intérêts – elle est accusée de vouloir abandonner le principe "un pays, une voix" et pondérer le pouvoir à la BCE en fonction de la richesse économique de chaque pays. Le salut de la France passerait par un Conseil européen fort, où le président français, tout puissant dans son pays, est particulièrement influent.
Les Français s'inquiètent parallèlement de se voir imposer une ligne économique allemande. Le sujet est encore plus sensible en campagne électorale, M. Sarkozy ayant instrumentalisé le modèle allemand pour mieux vendre ses propres réformes. La gauche contre-attaque sur les concessions faites par le président français. "L'Allemagne a clairement pris le leadership. Modifier les traités dans le sens de la seule rigueur, ce n'est pas une perspective. Je ne vois par les avancées ou les contreparties que Nicolas Sarkozy recueille", accuse Pierre Moscovici, directeur de campagne de François Hollande, qui annonce que le candidat socialiste souhaite rencontrer la chancelière avant mai 2012.
Pour se connaître : "On ne peut pas se découvrir au lendemain de l'élection présidentielle." Pour débattre du fond : "Il faudra expliquer à Angela Merkel combien la France d'après est une France solide, qui donne des garanties sur ses finances, mais tenter de définir une nouvelle donne qui ne peut être la rigueur seule."


L'enjeu pour Paris est de convaincre Berlin qu'elle doit retrouver la sagesse de l'après-réunification. L'Allemagne avait alors compris qu'elle n'avait pas intérêt à pousser jusqu'au bout son avantage, car elle risquait, in fine, de se heurter à la révolte de ses voisins affaiblis ou inquiets, et Helmut Kohl avait abandonné le deutschemark pour l'euro.
"Aujourd'hui, l'Allemagne croit que son intérêt est d'être très dure sur la doctrine et de s'imposer comme seul leader en Europe", analyse un ministre français. "Mais elle ne tiendra pas, car elle va susciter un sentiment trop fort de germanophobie. Avec l'Autriche, c'est désormais son Hinterland qui est attaqué ; avec la France, son premier partenaire. Elle va finir par bouger", espère ce ministre. "Je n'entends pas de résurgences d'autres temps de l'histoire, mais si l'Europe se délite, certains voudront trouver des responsabilités et cela peut être mauvais", analyse l'ancien premier ministre, Laurent Fabius.

Arnaud Leparmentier/Le Monde

Article paru dans l'édition du 25.11.11


A Primavera egípcia foi sequestrada por militares

A huit jours du premier scrutin législatif depuis le départ de Hosni Moubarak, la tension est montée en Egypte entre le gouvernement de transition et la rue. Vingt-deux personnes ont trouvé la mort depuis le début des affrontements qui ont éclaté samedi 19 novembre sur la place Tahrir, au Caire. Certains sont morts par balles, les autres par asphyxie après que la police a utilisé des gaz lacrymogènes pour disperser les manifestants. Plus de 750 personnes ont été blessées dans la capitale, selon le ministère de la santé. Et les heurts se poursuivaient lundi matin avec des tirs de grenades lacrymogènes sur des centaines de manifestants répartis en petits groupes place Tahrir.
La police antiémeute avait déjà tiré des gaz lacrymogènes dans la nuit pour contenir la foule près du ministère de l'intérieur, à proximité de la place. Ces scènes de violence, d'une moindre ampleur, rappellent les affrontements de la révolte contre le régime Moubarak du début de l'année.
Des dispensaires de fortune installés à même la chaussée ont accueilli de nombreux manifestants en proie à des malaises ou suffoquant en raison des tirs intensifs de grenades lacrymogènes. Dans un communiqué publié sur sa page Facebook, le ministère de l'intérieur a toutefois assuré que "la police n'avait pas fait usage d'armes à feu, de fusils de chasse, ou de balles en caoutchouc", affirmant que les forces de l'ordre avaient eu recours à des "moyens légaux", n'utilisant "que des gaz lacrymogènes pour disperser les émeutiers".


Le gouvernement de transition cherche une solution de sortie de crise, sans succès pour le moment. Dimanche après-midi, le premier ministre, Essam Charaf, a tenu une réunion afin de trouver les moyens de contenir la colère du peuple, après s'être entretenu dans la matinée avec des membres du conseil militaire qui tient les rênes du pays.
Pour l'exécutif, ces affrontements sont très malvenus, car les Egyptiens doivent voter le 28 novembre pour élire les représentants de l'Assemblée du peuple (chambre des députés). Ce scrutin doit se dérouler au total sur quatre mois. L'armée s'est engagée à rendre le pouvoir aux civils après l'élection d'un nouveau président. Le fait que la date de la présidentielle ne soit toujours pas connue suscite de nombreuses craintes de voir les militaires s'accrocher au pouvoir.
Une crainte devenue un mot d'ordre pour les manifestants qui réclament inlassablement la chute du maréchal Hussein Tantaoui, à la tête du Conseil suprême des forces armées (CSFA), qui dirige le pays depuis le départ du président Moubarak, chassé par une révolte populaire en février.
"Le Conseil des forces armées poursuit la politique de Moubarak, rien n'a changé après la révolution", explique Khaled, 29 ans, en installant une tente au centre de la place Tahrir. "Tout ce qui arrive est la preuve que les militaires veulent garder le pouvoir", estime Ahmed Abou el-Enein, un militant de 30 ans. "A bas Tantaoui", scandent autour de lui des manifestants hostiles à ce militaire septuagénaire, qui fut pendant vingt ans le ministre de la défense de Hosni Moubarak et l'un de ses plus proches collaborateurs.


Plusieurs personnalités politiques et des intellectuels, parmi lesquels l'ancien chef de l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique (AIEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, ont publié un document demandant un délai supplémentaire pour les élections législatives, dans le cadre d'une révision du calendrier politique du pays.
Ils proposent, dans un premier temps, d'avoir une assemblée constituante, puis une élection présidentielle et enfin des législatives. Les militaires quant à eux ont décidé de mettre la présidentielle à la fin de ce processus politique, et de ne rendre le pouvoir aux civils qu'une fois élu un nouveau chef de l'Etat.
Le Conseil suprême des forces armées a en outre présenté au début du mois une proposition constitutionnelle accordant à l'armée une autorité exclusive sur la gestion de ses affaires et de son budget. Cette disposition devait être négociée avec les groupes islamistes et libéraux mais les discussions ont été rompues.
Selon une dépêche de l'agence MENA diffusée samedi soir, le vice-premier ministre, Ali Al-Silmi, a modifié deux articles contestés du projet. L'alinéa de l'article 9, qui faisait de l'armée la garante de la légitimité constitutionnelle, a ainsi été retiré. Celui selon lequel les forces gouvernementales devaient être seules responsables de leurs affaires internes, de leur budget et de leur législation a été modifié, tout comme l'article 10, qui annonçait la création d'un conseil national de défense présidé par le chef de l'Etat.
Le Monde


Ennahda dirige o Governo da Tunísia

Le parti islamiste Ennahda et ses deux partenaires de la coalition formée après les élections tunisiennes du 23 octobre seraient parvenus à s'entendre vendredi 18 novembre sur le partage des postes clés. D'après Abdelwaheb Matar, un dirigeant du CPR (Congrès pour la République), les trois mouvements ont conclu "un accord de principe" dont l'application "reste sous réserve de validation par la Constituante souveraine qui tiendra sa première réunion mardi prochain".
Selon cet accord, Hamadi Jebali, secrétaire général d'Ennahda, deviendrait premier ministre, poste le plus lourd de responsabilités. La présidence serait confiée à Moncef Marzouki, chef de file du Congrès pour la République (CPR). Enfin, Moustapha Ben Jaafar, qui dirige le parti Ettakattol, serait propulsé président de l'Assemblée constituante.
Le Monde


Palestinianos em luta contra o apartheid

In the next few hours, history could be made in Palestine. A small number of brave Palestinians will risk attack and arrest to commit a forbidden act -- they will board a public bus.

Lacking their own state, Palestinians are forbidden to use buses and roads reserved for non-Arabs -- part of a host of race-based rules that US President Jimmy Carter has called "apartheid". 50 years ago, African-Americans in the US challenged these rules by simply and non-violently refusing to follow them. In a few hours, Palestinians will take the same approach, and their actions will be live webcasted by Avaaz teams at the link below.

As diplomats stall in the fight for a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people are taking the fight into their own hands, one public service at a time. And they're doing it with the simple, elegant and unstoppable moral force of non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The Palestinian spring begins right now - click below to watch it LIVE, register support, and give these brave activists the global solidarity and attention they urgently need to win:


Non-violence is the game-changing force in this long-standing conflict. Boarding buses is a symbolic act, but so was Gandhi's salt march, and Rosa Park's own courageous ride on a segregated bus in the US. Just as non-violent protest was able to topple dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, so can it finally free the Palestinian people from 40 years of crippling military oppression by a foreign power.

There are many dangers. Israel has been arming the extremist settler population, a tactic which is likely, if not intended, to provoke awful violence that will draw the news cameras away from the brave acts of non-violence. Even the Palestinian authorities are pushing back on the action which they fear will start a democratic protest movement that they cannot control. But these few brave Palestinians have had enough, and if we stand with them now, we can help them ignite a flame that will burn its way all the way to a free and peaceful Palestinian state:


We have no idea what will happen in the next 24 hours. Maybe the authorities will crush this brave action. Maybe it will spark into a massive conflagration. Maybe it will sow the first seed of an unstoppable movement with tremendous integrity. But we can watch it live, and lend our voices to the effort. And maybe one day, we can tell our grandchildren that we were there when Palestinians boarded the buses that would ultimately take them to freedom.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Emma, Alice, Raluca, Pascal, Diego and the rest of the Avaaz team

Portugal ficou-se pela década de 1980

No Verão de 1997 escrevi ao primeiro-ministro António Guterres a chamar a atenção para as novas pontes que deveriam começar urgentemente a ser construídas na área de Lisboa, para que não se verificasse um estrangulamento nas ligações entre o Norte e o Sul.
Há 24 anos já não havia na capital portuguesa nenhuma ponte que satisfizesse cabalmente o fluxo de trânsito para quem desejasse dirigir-se para as terras meridionais e regressar de lá sem grandes demoras.
Nessa carta de meados de 1997, chamei a atenção do Governo para o escândalo de se aguardar por vezes 30 minutos quando cerca das 20h30 se procurava regressar à cidade de Lisboa, vindo da Arrábida ou da Fonte da Telha.
Dez meses depois já havia a ponte Vasco da Gama, para Alcochete e o Montijo; mas isso não veio ajudar grandemente as necessidades do trânsito para a Caparica, o Seixal, o Barreiro, a Lagoa de Albufeira, o Meco e outras terras meridionais.
Não era dessa segunda ponte, apenas, que nós precisávamos, mas de mais duas ou três, a juntar à que a década de 1960 nos legara e que no fim da década de 1980 se encontrava já completamente saturada, incapaz de corresponder às necessidades dos novos tempos.
Em 1997, em 1998 e hoje era premente arrancar com novas travessias; nomeadamente de Beato/Marvila para o Barreiro e de Belém para a Trafaria.
Não o fazer é ficar com 15, 20 ou mais anos de atraso em relação às necessidades de um país que se pretende desenvolvido e já entrado no século XXI.
De cada vez que demoro mais de 25 minutos entre o Fogueteiro e a Praça de Espanha vocifero contra as autoridades deste país e contra a sua falta de iniciativa, por em 1999, 2002 ou 2010 não terem arrancado com as obras de uma terceira ponte na área de Lisboa, de modo a diminuir a pressão sobre o trajecto que nos foi legado pelo Governo de Oliveira Salazar.
Na década de 1960 realizou-se o que era necessário para essa altura; mas nos últimos 13 anos não tem existido a mesma capacidade de se facilitar a interligação entre as duas margens dop Tejo, na área da Grande Lisboa,
"Não avançar, já, já, já, para a terceira e a quarta pontes que ainda não temos parece-me criminoso e um atestado de menoridade para as pessoas que nos têm governado", dizia eu na minha carta de 1997 para o Engenheiro António Guterres. E entretanto passaram-se uns longos 14 anos, o número de viaturas em circulação aumentou e a necessidade de mobilidade também.
Queremos nós ficar tão pobrezinhos como uma qualquer Mauritânia ou ser de facto parceiros da Holanda e da Dinamarca?
Esta questão das pontes, na área da capital, parece-me bem reveladora da incapacidade de gestão da coisa pública ao longo das últimas duas décadas e meia.
Em certos aspectos, este país parece que se ficou por alturas de 1987/1988, não tendo conseguido ir mais além. Esgotou-se.


Presidente zambiano rende-se à China

After just two months in office, President Michael Chilufya Sata has made a complete turnaround in his attitude to China. He once criticised Chinese investors but now wants to use them to develop Zambia’s economy. The full force of his government is focused on reassuring its partners in Beijing, leaving workers and human rights groups to attack the activities of Chinese mining companies. In opposition, Sata (aka King Cobra) blamed Chinese investors for abuse and corruption; as President, he blames the former government for fraud in handing out working papers.

Every ministry that has any dealings with the Chinese government or Chinese companies has started a charm offensive. At a 28 October State House luncheon given by Sata for the Chinese community in Zambia, he told Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao that he would send Zambia’s founding President Kenneth Kuanda to Beijing to thank the Chinese government for its investment and aid. Rather than blame Chinese companies for unreliable construction projects or for bringing large numbers of Chinese labourers into the country, Sata blames the former government.

Africa-Asia Confidential

Em nome do povo oprimido da Guiné Equatorial

The Universal Human Rights Network in Washington D C is
gathering information on specific crimes against the rights of the
citizens of Equatorial Guinea within and outside of the country by the
administration of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, please
note that this information is devoid of any political undertone, our
primary concern is the unheard voices of the oppressed people of
Equatorial Guinea, due to the small population of the country, a blind
eye has been turned on the daily abuses, violations and criminal
activities of the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the
people are suffering in silence in the country and every opposition
has been suppressed beyond a bearable condition.

W are appealing to all and sundry to kindly contact the office
of Universal Human Rights Network in Washington D C through the
information supplied below with details of specific violations, crimes
and abuses of citizens of Equatorial Guinea, places and victims'
information within and outside the country of Equatorial Guinea.

With these valuable information we will be making a report to
the Office of The Prosecutor, otherwise known as OTP, International
Criminal Court at The Hague in Netherlands, we encourage people to
speak up and help the silent voices in Equatorial Guinea.

Thank you very much for your assistance and co-operation.

Ayo J Sotunbo
Chairman Board of Directors
Universal Human Rights Network.

419 7th STREET, NW, SUITE 401



Primeiro-ministro grego é da Comissão Trilateral

Former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos has been named as Greece's new prime minister, following days of negotiations.
Mr Papademos, 64, said he was taking over at a "critical point" for Greece.
Leaders of the three main parties making up a new government of national unity had been meeting the Greek president to try to reach a deal.
Greeks will hope the news provides the stability to get them through their debt crisis, correspondents say.
Papademos, who is not a member of parliament, will head an interim government until elections can take place in February.
The govermment's main task will to ensure debt-laden Greece gets its latest bailout payment, by approving a new 130bn euro ($177bn; £111bn) international rescue package from eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund.
"The president, after recommendations by political leaders who attended the meeting, has instructed Lucas Papademos to form a new government," the president's office said in a statement.
The new government will be sworn in at 12:00 GMT on Friday, a presidency official said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied reports that France and Germany were preparing for a scaled-down eurozone, insisting that the only goal was to stabilise the zone in its current form and make it more competitive
Officials in the EU drastically cut the eurozone growth forecast from 1.8% to 0.5%, and said there was a risk of a new recession
Amid ongoing concerns over Italy crippling debt level and soaring interest rates, Italy raised 5bn euros from a new issue of bonds but at a one-year interest rate of 6.087%
Speaking after the announcement, Mr Papademos said his job "will not be easy but I am convinced the problems will be solved... in a quicker and more efficient way if there is unity and consensus".
He said the first priorities of the transitional government were to ratify the bailout agreed at an EU summit last month, and to implement the policies linked to it.
That will involve another round of austerity measures, which have already proved hugely unpopular with the Greek public.
Lucas Papademos is to take on one of the most unenviable jobs in Europe at the moment.
The bespectacled 64-year-old seemed the strongest choice in the current climate of turmoil.
He is seen as a non-partisan option, above the party politics that is so paralysing here. He is talked of by colleagues as a quiet, respected man - somebody who can steady the ship as it is buffeted by the waves of the financial crisis.
He helped Greece make the transition from the drachma to the euro - something he will now hope is a one-way process, and that there will be no disastrous exit from the eurozone as Greece's financial woes worsen.
Mr Papademos will clearly have strong European support given his past experience - but there will be some Greeks who see Europe's hand a little too clearly behind his appointment.

Greek PM's 'poisoned chalice'

Mr Papademos will replace Greece's outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou, who was forced to step aside after a disastrous call for a referendum on the eurozone rescue package.
The referendum plan was dropped within a few days, but not before sparking the wider financial and political crisis which led to Mr Papandreou's forced withdrawal from the top job, even though he narrowly survived a confidence vote.
The new PM will also face a confidence vote in parliament, which is expected to happen on Monday, Greek state TV reported.
The Greek stock market jumped sharply when Mr Papademos arrived at the presidential palace to join the negotiations on Thursday morning.
Reports say Mr Papademos has accepted that the current Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, remains in place.
The exact framework of the new coalition government is yet to be agreed.
In Italy, meanwhile, there was increasing speculation that former European Commissioner Mario Monti would take over from outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The markets appeared to calm amid hopes that the economist would take over the reins shortly, correspondents say, and borrowing levels fell back from the previous day's record highs.
Mark Lowen/BBC News, Athens

To Palestine, with love

The Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud

Abbas, asked at the United Nations in September

the end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian

territories, from where many inhabitants have had

to flee to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

After 63 years of suffering, of submission to the

interests of the State of Israel, the Palestinian people

is still awaiting to be truly free and independent as the

people of Angola, Mozambique or South Africa

Tears and sighs have marked the daily lives of the

Palestinians over six long decades because the Israelites

have hoisted the right to have the last word on

the true proclamation and recognition of a Palestinian

state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Persecuted by the Jewish cause in 1948 and 1967,

the Palestinians are a people that only managed to

have an Authority, fragile, but not a true Republic, so

proud of itself as Algeria or India.

Native of the lands lying between the Sinai Peninsula

and the River Jordan, the Palestinians have more

than 2000 years of existence, for already in the fifth

century BC the Greek historian Herodotus referred

to them, but yet they do not have as much right for a

seat on the UN General Assembly as East Timor or

South Sudan, which recently proclaimed its independency

from the north.

The West Bank has about 2.4 million inhabitants

and the Gaza Strip, which is the other part of Palestine,

1.4 million, so as a whole they are expected to

total as close to four million, not counting the three

million Palestinians refugees in Jordan for a long time.

If this is not enough people to have their own

state, as a full member of the United Nations, then

what it is? Any set of four to seven million people have

the right to establish their own identity without being

subject to the dictates of others.

Much less populous areas, such as Guinea-Bissau,

Gambia, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe have

the right to an unquestionable place in the international

community. So, why Palestine doesn’t have?

There are other such cases in the world, of people

relegated to the second plan, as is the case of the

Kurdish people, but for now, let’s start by demanding

the recognition of the rights of the Palestinians to a

state of full sovereignty, a Republic that can coexist

peacefully with Israel.

Palestinians or Philistines are awaiting their time in

the concert of nations. Jorge Heitor
* Na revista Prestígio, de Maputo


Julius Malema contesta Zuma

Presidential friends and foes are keenly purging their factions and reaching for every weapon at hand
Fierce purges are under way in the governing African National Congress and its affiliates, paralysing the government and the organisations themselves. The clean-outs are reciprocal, among both opponents and supporters of President Jacob Zuma’s bid for a second term as ANC leader and as President (AC Vol 52 No 18, Disrespect for the President & AC Vol 52 No 19, The fight of the century). The bitterness is greater because he appears to be trying to sideline former allies who supported him in ousting ex-President Thabo Mbeki but have turned against the second-term bid which Zuma had promised not to make.
Zuma claimed on 18 October that, before the 2007 ANC Conference where he took the party leadership, someone had tried to assassinate him but the plot was foiled by a bodyguard who died last week. Only Zuma and the late bodyguard seem to have known about the plot. Former ANC communications chief Smuts Ngonyama a supporter of Mbeki, said the allegations were ‘hogwash’ and the police should investigate whether there really had been a plot. Some say Zuma is getting ready to deploy the security services against his opponents.
The President’s fiercest fight is with the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and its leader Julius Malema, a rallying-point for Zuma’s former allies. As he awaits the result of the ANC’s disciplinary charges against him, Malema presents himself as a fighter for the poor against Zuma and the establishment. Zuma instigated the disciplinary charges after Malema had rattled investors by calling for the nationalisation of the mines (contrary to party policy) and also called for regime change in neighbouring Botswana. Malema has delayed the hearing, lobbying allies and mobilising support among the unemployed, the poor and the young. After pleading ‘flu-like symptoms’, he retired to hospital, turning it into his political headquarters.
At the final hearing, which had been put off until 26 October, Malema secured the positive testimony of party heavyweights against charges that he had brought the ANC into disrepute. Whatever their private opinions of Malema, this was an unmissable opportunity for them to strike against Zuma. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lambasted him for ‘acting on his own’ without consulting party leaders. Human Settlements Minister Mosima Gabriel ‘Tokyo’ Sexwale said the ANC had previously accepted apologies from Zuma and his spokesman Jackson Mthembu, but declined to do so for Malema. Zuma’s apology was for having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, Mthembu’s for drink-driving and neither had faced a disciplinary hearing. Closing arguments were due to be heard on 3 November.

Plans for a post-Zuma era
Zuma’s main rivals, Tokyo Sexwale and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, are trying to fix it so that Motlanthe would be a one-term president, Sexwale would be his deputy and Paul Mashatile, Gauteng’s provincial leader and Premier, would be ANC national chairman. They may offer a deputy presidency to Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu, the Defence Minister and Zuma’s ally. Sisulu and Sexwale, however, do not get along.
An anti-Zuma tirade erupted from the General Secretary of the Congress of SA Trade Unions, Zwelinzima Vavi, who said there is leadership paralysis in the ANC and warned that the country is in danger of ‘imploding’. He criticised Zuma’s ‘doublespeak’ on economic issues.
In the latest attack on Malema, the special police unit known as the ‘Hawks’ and the SA Revenue Service intend to bring charges against him relating to allegations that contracts may have been improperly awarded to companies in which he has a close interest. He says he is keen to ‘explain these allegations in front of a magistrate’. It is widely believed that his Ratanangan Family Trust (whose profits are said to benefit some senior ANC leaders) may influence the award of government contracts in Limpopo Province. Malema certainly lives well. Just after his march for ‘economic freedom’ for the poor, he flew, all expenses paid, to Mauritius for the 10 million rand (US$1.25 mn.) wedding of his ally David Mabilu, a property tycoon. Another target of Zuma and his supporters is Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, the Youth League’s favourite to replace Gwede Mantashe as ANC General Secretary. Mbalula was forced to apologise to his family after the media were informed about his night of passion with a model.

Liberdade para o povo do Tibete

Days ago, Palden Choetso walked out of her nunnery, covered herself in petrol and set herself on fire while pleading for a 'free Tibet'. Minutes later she died. In the past month, nine monks and nuns have self-immolated to protest a growing Chinese crackdown on the peaceful Tibetan people.
These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help. Machine gun-toting Chinese security forces are beating and disappearing monks, laying siege to monasteries, and even killing elderly people defending them -- all in an effort to suppress Tibetan rights. China severely restricts access to the region. But if we can get key governments to send diplomats in and expose this growing brutality, we could save lives.
We have to act fast -- this horrific situation is spiraling out of control behind a censorship curtain. Over and over we have seen that when diplomats themselves bear witness to atrocities, they are motivated to act, and increase political pressure. Let’s answer Palden's tragic cry and build a massive petition to the six world leaders with the most influence in Beijing to send a mission to Tibet and speak out against the repression. Sign the urgent petition

Donna McCulloch, United Kingdom

Rosie Smith, United Kingdom

Jorge Heitor, Portugal


Novo ministro saudita da Defesa tem 76 anos

Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz was named the kingdom's new defence minister in a royal decree read on state television.
The appointment of Prince Salman, 76, on Saturday follows the death last month of his elder brother Crown Prince Sultan, who had held the position for five decades.
Prince Salman, governor of Riyadh province for nearly 50 years, now controls the top-spending ministry in Saudi Arabia, which has long used arms purchases to turn its military into one of the best equipped in the Middle East and to bolster ties with Western allies such as the United States, Britain and France.
He is one of the most senior members of the al-Saud ruling family which founded and still dominates the desert kingdom in alliance with conservative religious clerics.
In a royal family that bases its right to rule on its guardianship of Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, Prince Salman is reputed to be devout and relatively outward-looking.
"He's intelligent, political, in touch with the conservative base, but also quite modern-minded," said a former diplomat in Riyadh interviewed by Reuters about the kingdom's succession process.
Since 1962, Salman has served as governor of Riyadh, and has more to do with foreign governments than many senior royals.
In a meeting with the US ambassador in March 2007, described in a cable released by WikiLeaks, Salman said the social and cultural reforms instigated by King Abdullah had to move slowly for fear of a conservative backlash.
He also argued against the introduction of democracy in the kingdom, citing regional and tribal divisions, and told the ambassador that a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was necessary for Middle East stability.
The previous defence minister, Prince Sultan, was also first in line of succession to become king of Saudi Arabia. Following his death last month, veteran interior minister Prince Nayef became crown prince in a choice that illustrated King Abdullah's concern for continuity and stability in the world's top oil exporter.
Al Jazira


Um alerta do Congresso Mundial Amazigh (berbere)

Le 23 octobre 2011 la Tunisie a connu le premier scrutin à priori démocratique de son histoire. Les premiers résultats semblent donner l’avantage au mouvement islamiste Ennahda.
Faisant de l’identité de la Tunisie sa priorité, M. Ghanouchi, chef de ce mouvement islamiste, proclame : «Nous sommes arabes et notre langue c'est la langue arabe». Parle t-il au nom de sa personne ou au nom de tous les tunisiens ? En tout cas, il est utile de lui rappeler qu’historiquement la Tunisie est une terre d’abord amazighe (comme tout le reste de l’Afrique du Nord d’ailleurs) et qui a connu de nombreuses invasions de peuples et de civilisations d’origine européenne et orientale. La plupart de ces peuples ont cherché à s’imposer par la force et en tentant d’éradiquer la langue et de la culture amazighes autochtones. Mais malgré des siècles de génocide culturel, il subsiste aujourd’hui encore plusieurs millions de Tunisiens de souche amazighe, dont environ un million de locuteurs. Ceux-là ne sont certainement pas des arabes et leur langue n’est pas l’arabe.
M. Ghanouchi qui a passé 20 ans de sa vie en Grande Bretagne ne connait visiblement pas bien son pays. Nous lui accordons volontiers la liberté de se définir comme il l’entend mais il ne peut dénier à d’autres Tunisiens de se définir comme Amazighs.
Les araboislamistes utilisent sciemment un discours aux relents intolérants et xénophobes pour galvaniser les foules et accéder au pouvoir démocratiquement pour mettre ensuite la main sur les rouages de l’Etat. Ils auront ainsi détourné la révolte d’une jeunesse assoiffée de justice et de liberté, pour satisfaire les intérêts étroits du clan le plus conservateur de la société. Cela est inquiétant pour l’avenir du pays.
Les Amazighs (Berbères) dont la culture est empreinte de sécularité et qui sont toujours à l’avant-garde des combats démocratiques, continueront d’agir de manière déterminée, en Tunisie comme ailleurs, en faveur des principes et des valeurs qui fondent le progrès humain.
Le Congrès Mondial Amazigh appelle les institutions démocratiques de par le monde, les peuples épris de justice et de paix, les organisations de la société civile et les citoyen-ne-s, à se mobiliser pour accompagner la Tunisie vers une réelle démocratie et pour lui éviter toute forme de régression. Il y va de l’intérêt de toute la région Euro-Méditerranéenne.

Paris, 27/10/2011
Le Bureau du CMA


La Libye sous le pouvoir des milices islamistes

Les nouvelles images du lynchage du colonel Kadhafi qui commencent à être diffusées sur le net annoncent un « hiver libyen » plein de douceurs et de mièvreries… Mais au-delà de la mort atroce de l’ancien chef de l’Etat libyen, quelle est la situation sur le terrain au moment où ces lignes sont écrites ?
Plus que jamais, le CNT ne représente que lui-même et c’est d’ailleurs pourquoi il demanda avec une grande insistance, mais en vain, que l’Otan maintienne sa présence. Ce pseudo gouvernement sait en effet qu’il porte un péché originel : celui d’avoir été mis en place par l’Otan, donc par les « impérialistes » et les « mécréants ». Ses lendemains vont donc être difficiles. D’autant que ses principaux dirigeants, tous d’anciens très hauts responsables de l’ancien régime et donc des « résistants de la dernière heure », commencent à être mis en accusation par certains de ces chefs de guerre qui détiennent désormais les vrais pouvoirs.
Le président du CNT, Mustapha Abd el Jalil, a déclaré que la charia serait désormais la base de la Constitution ainsi que du droit, que la polygamie, interdite sous Kadhafi, serait rétablie et que le divorce, autorisé sous l’ancien régime, était désormais illégal. Enfermé dans leur européocentrisme, les Occidentaux ont considéré que ces déclarations étaient « maladroites ». Leur erreur d’analyse était une fois de plus totale car ces propos à but interne étaient destinés à amadouer les milices islamistes auxquelles le pouvoir du CNT est suspendu. Pour mémoire, Mustapha Abd el Jalil, l’ami de BHL, était le président de la Cour d’appel de Tripoli qui, par deux fois, confirma la condamnation à mort des infirmières bulgares et en 2007, le colonel Kadhafi le nomma ministre de la Justice. En dépit de son passé kadhafiste, Abd el Jalid est pourtant respecté par certains islamistes car il est proche des Frères musulmans, mais son pouvoir ne dépasse pas son tapis de prière.
La Libye est en effet éclatée entre plusieurs zones contrôlées par des chefs de guerre jaloux de leur autonomie et prêts à s’entre-déchirer, comme en Somalie. Ces territoires ont tous une ouverture sur la mer et une profondeur vers l’intérieur pétrolier ou gazier, ce qui fait que, comme je le disais il y a déjà plusieurs semaines déjà, le pays est aujourd’hui découpé en « touches de piano ».
Benghazi est sous le contrôle de plusieurs milices islamistes, elles-mêmes éclatées en un grand nombre de petits groupes plus ou moins autonomes, mais c’est à Tripoli que se joue l’unité de la Libye.
Dans la capitale, le chef du CNT, Mustapha Abd el Jalid s’appuie sur le TMC (Tripoli Military Council) qui engerbe plusieurs milices islamistes pouvant mobiliser entre 8000 et 10 000 combattants. Le chef du TMC, originaire de Tripoli, est Abd el-Hakim Belhaj dit Abu Abdullah Assadaq. Ayant combattu en Afghanistan, ce partisan du califat supra frontalier fonda le Libyan Islamic Fighting Group dans les années 1990. Ayant fui la répression anti islamique du régime Kadhafi, il retourna en Afghanistan où il fut arrêté en 2004 puis remis à la police libyenne avant d’être libéré au mois de mars 2010, à la veille de l’insurrection de Benghazi.
Durant la guerre civile, le TMC fut armé et encadré par les services spéciaux du Qatar et il reçut une aide « substantielle » de la part de certaines unités « spécialisées » de l’Otan. Ce fut lui qui prit d’assaut le réduit de Bab al-Aziya à Tripoli. Plusieurs autres milices islamistes se partagent la ville et n’acceptent pas le leadership reconnu au TMC par Mustapha Abd el Jalil. Pour encore compliquer l’embrouille locale, le 2 octobre, fut fondé le Tripoli Revolutionists Council ou TRC, par Addallah Ahmed Naker al-Zentani, originaire de Zentan mais indépendant des milices berbères de cette dernière ville.
A Misrata, les milices se considèrent comme l’élite des révolutionnaires et leur prestige est immense depuis qu’elles ont capturé le colonel Kadhafi. Ce furent certains de leurs hommes, gentils démocrates si chers aux médias français, qui lynchèrent et sodomisèrent vivant l’ancien guide et qui, comme « trophée », emportèrent son corps dans leur ville.
Misrata est sous le contrôle du Misurata Military Council (MSR), qui engerbe plusieurs milices dont la principale est la Misurata Brigade. La situation est cependant confuse car les combattants sont divisés en plusieurs dizaines de groupes commandés par des chefs indépendants rassemblant au total plusieurs milliers d’hommes. A la différence du TMC, le MSR n’a pas besoin d’aide étrangère car il dispose d’énormes quantités d’armes pillées dans les arsenaux de l’ancienne armée.
Les miliciens de Misrata ont une forte tendance à l’autonomie et ils ne semblent pas vouloir accepter de se soumettre au CNT. De plus, ils se méfient des originaires de Benghazi. Pour pouvoir espérer prendre le contrôle de la ville, le CNT devra donc, comme à Tripoli, s’appuyer sur certaines milices contre les autres, ce qui promet bien des « incidents ». Des tentatives de rapprochement ont été faites en direction de Salim Joha, chef de l’Union on Libya’s Revolutionary Brigades, mais rien de concret ne s’est produit pour le moment. Le CNT pourrait également tenter d’amadouer Misrata en nommant Abdul Rahman Swehli Premier ministre, ce qui lui permettrait du même coup d’échapper à la main-mise des clans de Benghazi.
Autre zone ayant échappé au contrôle du CNT, le pays berbère de Zentan avec sa puissante milice ancrée sur djebel Nefuza. Ce furent les Berbères qui permirent l’assaut sur Tripoli en prenant à revers les forces de Kadhafi, opération préparée par les forces spéciales de l’Otan.
Zentan est contrôlée par le Zentan Military Council (ZMC), dont les milices arborent le drapeau amazigh. Militairement, les milices berbères sont les mieux formées de toute la Libye, leurs cadres étant d’anciens officiers libyens. Les deux principales unités berbères sont la Zentan Brigade commandée par Muktar al-Akdhar et la Kekaa Brigade, chacune forte d’environ 1000 combattants. Ces milices ont refusé de quitter Tripoli en dépit des ordres du CNT, ce qui provoqua de graves tensions. Le 3 octobre, après un ultimatum du CNT, la Brigade Kekaa se livra même à une véritable tentative d’intimidation, paradant dans Tripoli et attirant la réplique des islamistes. La guerre civile fut alors évitée de justesse, mais ce n’est que partie remise…
Ceux qui, poussés par BHL, décidèrent d’intervenir en Libye et de s’immiscer dans une guerre civile qui ne concernait en rien la France, vont désormais porter la très lourde responsabilité des évènements dramatiques qui s’annoncent et qui vont se dérouler à quelques heures de navigation de nos côtes.

Bernard Lugan historiador francês http://www.bernardlugan.blogspot.com/


O insolúvel problema do Iraque

Almost a fortnight after Barack Obama's announcement that US forces would complete a total withdrawal from Iraq by the end of year, here's a stark reminder of the bloodshed that remains.
Reuters reports this morning that October saw the greatest number of civilians killed in the country this year. The Health Ministry has said that 161 civilians were killed in the month just passed, a sharp increase from September's 110.
According to Reuters, the statistics also reveal that:
The number of police officers killed rose to 55 from 42 in September, while 42 soldiers died in violence compared to 33 the previous month, according to statistics from the interior and defence ministries. Bombings and other attacks wounded 195 civilians, 142 police and 101 soldiers, the ministries said. Eighty-five insurgents were killed during the month.
Obama announced on 21 October that there would be no more American boots on the ground after 31 December, nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
Analysts are now openly wondering what the effect of the draw-down will be on the security situation. John F Burns of the New York Times, wrote on Monday:
With American troops gone, and with them the role they have played as the ultimate guarantor of the new constitutional rules adopted under American occupation, all bets, at least potentially, will be off.
Could there be a return to the incipient civil war of 2005 to 2007? A military coup in Baghdad, and the rise of a new Iraqi strongman (if not, all would hope, in the brutal tradition of Saddam)? Yes, to both questions — though the argument that has prevailed in American deliberations is that both outcomes are unlikely, and in any case ultimately unavoidable, if American troops are not to be held hostage interminably to the insolubles of Iraqi politics.
October saw a number of major attacks in which civilians were caught up, including a double bombing last week that killed 32 people and wounded 71 in a Shia district of Baghdad.
[b]The Guardian[/b]

A caminho do Apocalipse no Médio Oriente

Iran's military chief warned Wednesday that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear development sites will come at a heavy price, according to the Iranian ISNA news agency.
Responding to reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to gain a majority in the cabinet for an attack on Iran, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, warned both Israel and the U.S. against such a move.
"The U.S. officials know that the Zionist regime's military attack against Iran will inflict heavy damages to the U.S. seriously as well as the Zionist regime," ISNA quoted Firouzabadi.
Haaretz reported Wednesday that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been trying to push for an Israeli attack on Iran in the cabinet. They recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a move.
Senior ministers and diplomats said the International Atomic Energy Agency's report, due to be released on November 8, will have a decisive effect on the decisions Israel makes.
The commotion regarding Iran was sparked by journalist Nahum Barnea's column in Yedioth Ahronoth last Friday. Barnea's concerned tone and his editors' decision to run the column under the main headline ("Atomic Pressure" ) repositioned the debate on Iran from closed rooms to the media's front pages.
Reporters could suddenly ask the prime minister and defense minister whether they intend to attack Iran in the near future and the political scene went haywire.
Western intelligence officials agree that Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear program. Intelligence services now say it will take Iran two or three years to get the bomb once it decides to (it hasn't made the decision yet).
According to Western experts' analyses, an attack on Iran in winter is almost impossible, because the thick clouds would obstruct the Israel Air Force's performance.