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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 12th of February 2019

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IT IS REALLY hard to photograph a meteor. Even though some 25 million of them hurtle toward Earth each day, most of them are too small to track. @WIRED

Yadav was asleep when this bright green meteor exploded over
Mettupalayam, a small town in the mountainous Western Ghats region of
southern India.
But the time-lapse rig he'd set up on a nearby hilltop captured this
beautiful image.
The next day, he reviewed the thousand or so images on his camera and
spotted a brilliant flash of emerald light.
At first he thought it was a fluke, but several astronomers confirmed
that it was a meteor. It's a perfect shot.
“I was there, and that’s what photography is all about—being there in
the right place at the right time,” Yadav says. That, and a bit of

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Russia's state TV proudly quotes senior Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov, who writes that "Putin's big political machine is only gaining momentum"
Law & Politics

Russia's state TV proudly quotes senior Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov,
who writes that "Putin’s big political machine is only gaining
momentum" and essentially admits that Russia interferes not only in
elections and referendums across the globe, but alters Western


Surkov has practically singlehandedly made Putin an Information Master

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A ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it is undefinable
Law & Politics

A ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it is
undefinable. It is exactly what Surkov is alleged to have done in the
Ukraine this year. In typical fashion, as the war began, Surkov
published a short story about something he called non-linear war. A
war where you never know what the enemy are really up to, or even who
they are. The underlying aim, Surkov says, is not to win the war, but
to use the conflict to create a constant state of destabilized
perception, in order to manage and control.

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From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line ("a constant state of destabilised perception")

From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant
state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of
Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out
and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable
and noteworthy.

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U.S. Warships Sail in China-Claimed Waters, @Reuters Reports @bpolitics
Law & Politics

Two U.S. warships sailed through waters claimed by China in the South
China Sea, an action that could infuriate Beijing as a new round of
trade talks gets underway ahead of a looming deadline.
The guided-missile destroyers traveled within 12 nautical miles of
Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, Reuters reported,
citing an unidentified U.S. official. The reef is one of seven
artificial structures that China has built by reclaiming land, and
which the U.S. alleges the Chinese have militarized.
The sail-by comes as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer leads
a group of administration officials to Beijing, the latest
high-profile effort to resolve the two countries’ trade dispute before
March 1 -- when the Trump administration says it will more than double
tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods if a deal hasn’t been

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15-OCT-2018 :: War is coming @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics

The US military is reportedly planning to send US warships, combat
aircraft, and troops through the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and
other contested waterways next month in a series of exercises designed
to send a message to Bei- jing in November. The incident with the USS
Decatur where a Chinese warship came within 45 yards of the USS
Decatur in South China Sea is surely a precursor.
B-52s are buzzing China daily.

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Law & Politics

On Friday evening, I attended a party hosted by Mehdi Atefat, the
senior Iranian diplomat in Washington, to mark, as the embossed
invitation noted, “the glorious occasion of the 40th Anniversary of
the Victory of the Islamic Revolution.” I’ve gone to Iran’s
commemorations over the years for insight on the state of play—or
degree of hostility—between Tehran and Washington. During the Shah’s
era, Iran’s diplomatic mission was famed for its White House
connections and its hedonistic, caviar-infused parties, attended by
the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, and Barbara Walters, on
Embassy Row. It closed after President Carter broke off relations, in
1980, a few months after students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

The statements emanating from Tehran on Friday were darker and
snarkier. “The U.S. regime is the embodiment of evil, violence,
creating chaos, and warmongering,” the Iranian Supreme Leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a speech to military officers. On his
English-language Twitter account, Khamenei vowed that “the Iranian
nation will not abandon ‘Death to America’.” He then clarified: “
‘Down with USA’ means down with @realDonaldTrump, @AmbJohnBolton and
@SecPompeo. It means death to the American politicians currently in
power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have
nothing against the American nation.”

Instead, the Islamic Republic is struggling. “Today, the country is
facing the biggest pressure and economic sanctions in the past forty
years,” President Rouhani warned in a speech, on January 30th, to mark
the revolution’s anniversary. Seventy per cent of the Iranian public
agree that economic conditions are bad, according to a survey released
on Saturday, by IranPoll, a Canada-based public-opinion research firm.
Iran’s currency has plummeted by some seventy per cent in the past
year. Inflation is estimated at thirty-five per cent. Unemployment is
a chronic problem, especially among the educated youth born after the
revolution, who now make up the majority of the population—and voting

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"Down with USA" means down with @realDonaldTrump , @AmbJohnBolton and @SecPompeo . It means death to the American politicians currently in power @khamenei_ir
Law & Politics

"Down with USA" means down with @realDonaldTrump , @AmbJohnBolton and
@SecPompeo . It means death to the American politicians currently in
power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have
nothing against the American nation.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1276
Dollar Index 97.08
Japan Yen 110.60
Swiss Franc 1.0047
Pound 1.2860
Aussie 0.7066
India Rupee 71.045
South Korea Won 1124.49
Brazil Real 3.7571
Egypt Pound 17.5995
South Africa Rand 13.7928

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10 NOV 14 ::Ouagadougou's Signal to Sub-Sahara Africa

Out of a population of 17 million people in Burkina Faso, over 60 per
cent are aged between 17 and 24 years, according to the World Bank,
and this is another point to note. The country’s youth flexed their

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10 NOV 14 :: What's clear is that a very young, very informed and very connected African youth demographic is set to alter the existing equilibrium between the rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun.

What’s clear is that a very young, very informed and very connected
African youth demographic [many characterise this as a ‘demographic
dividend’] – which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic
terminator – is set to alter the existing equilibrium between the
rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun.

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The average age of the ten oldest African leaders is 78.5, compared to 52 for the world's ten most-developed economies. @CNN

Paradoxically, the continent has the youngest population in the world,
with a median age of 19.5 years according to the U.N.

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11-FEB-2019 :: Africa and The "Vision" Thing

"Reality is not always probable, or likely." - pronounced Jorge Luis Borges.
US AFRICOM commander GEN Waldhauser last week gave us a deep insight
into how the US sees the African Theatre much like FOCAC [Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation] affords us insights into how China looks at
the Continent, Interestingly the UN Chief Secretary General António
Guterres harked back to another Speech which was delivered to the
Parliament in Cape Town on February 3rd 1960 and by a British Prime
Minister Harold Macmillan who said;
''The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we
like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political
The overarching Point remains that our and Africa's reality is key and
was something that Macmillan was referring to.
Returning to General Waldhauser and I am quoting excerpts from his
Speech before the Senate Committee on Armed Services
U.S. Africa Command, with partners, strengthens security forces,
counters transnational threats, and conducts crisis response in order
to advance U.S. national interests and promote security, stability,
and prosperity. Each day, we have approximately 7,000 personnel
conducting their assigned tasks on the African continent. According to
the Fund For Peace’s 2018 Fragility State Index, 33 of the 50
countries most at risk of becoming unstable are in Africa For scale,
Africa is over three times larger than the U.S. The U.S. Africa
Command Area of Responsibility encompasses 53 countries with a
population of 1.3 billion. By 2050, this figure is forecasted to
almost double to over 2.54 billion, with one out of every four people
on the planet living on the African continent.
Wayne Gretzky said ''A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A
great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be'' The
demographic ''Puck'' is headed to Africa. Whether it will be a
fabulous dividend or a Timebomb is still an open question, of course.
General Waldhauser added
U.S. Africa Command also plays a significant role in advancing the
priorities outlined in the National Security and Defense Strategies,
which emphasize the rise of China and Russia as key competitors. U.S.
Africa Command has also observed increased engagement of
non-traditional security actors, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,
and the United Arab Emirates, as both challenges and opportunities to
our mission.
Curiously India did not get a ''Shout-Out'' and nor did Europe where
France and Italy are at loggerheads. The US has a Hard Power advantage
with which it can tilt the Pitch. but that advantage is important but
one dimensional.
The Speech spoke of a switch away from ''terrorism'' notwithstanding a
Nod towards Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) and their
destabilizing impacts on African partner states. and towards "Great
Power competition."  ''Our efforts to ensure strategic access must
also be viewed through the lens of competitor influence and coercive
activities. China is a strategic competitor and has most successfully
employed its model in Djibouti, holding 80 percent of the Government
of Djibouti’s debt, where access through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, the
Red Sea, and the Suez Canal remains a U.S. strategic imperative''
The US is evidently concerned that China will eventually seek to deny
US access to African markets and Ports. The Report also cited Senegal
and Angola as being recipients of Chinese largesse. Waldhauser
mentions Russia which seems to be also making its move.
Today as we scan our Continent, There are plenty of fluid situations,
from Bashir's Khartoum to Mnangagwa's Zimbabwe and many points in
between.  Young People are connected to each other and to the World.
So far it is Prime Minister Abiy who appears to be sketching out a new
African political horizon and this brings me to the ''Vision'' thing.
Where is it? Who is providing it? Its high time we authored it because
this is a ''Born Free'' generation.

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The Historical Precedents of the Current Uprising in Sudan @NewYorker

In October, 1964, Abdullahi Ibrahim, a member of the University of
Khartoum’s student union, was taking notes for a symposium held in
protest of the military dictatorship when he became an inadvertent
chronicler of a defining moment in Sudan’s post-independence history.
Police, sent in to break up the symposium, shot Ahmad al-Qurashi,
another student activist, in the head. The next day, tens of thousands
of people turned out for Qurashi’s funeral procession, fuelling an
uprising that coalesced around students and the professional unions. A
general strike paralyzed the country a few days later. In what is
popularly known as Sudan’s October Revolution, the government was
toppled within a month.

Two months ago, the Sudanese parliament supported a constitutional
amendment that would extend the term limits of the current President,
Omar al-Bashir, who had been required under the law to step down next
year. Two weeks later, student protests erupted in Atbara, Ibrahim’s
home town, after bread prices tripled overnight. They have since
spread to the capital, where thousands of protesters have faced police
violence, tear gas, and mass arrests. Ibrahim, an emeritus professor
at the University of Missouri, has cheered the demonstrations from
afar. “These guys have been in government for thirty years and never
faced a threat like this,” he told me. “Not even from the rebels in
the mountains of Darfur.”

The protests have been downplayed in the media as a “bread riot” or an
aftershock of the Arab Spring. But both descriptions misread the
situation in Khartoum. Sudan has a long history of peaceful civil
disobedience, which successfully brought down military regimes in
October, 1964, and April, 1985. For many in Sudan, the current
government, which came to power in a coup that negated the gains of
the 1985 civil protests, has always been seen as an error to be
corrected. In the past, the governments fell in less than two weeks.
But, with the current protests now in their eighth week, the regime
appears prepared to ride out the people’s revolutionary urge. It has
taken measures to “coup-proof” itself by, among other things, keeping
common soldiers—who might sympathize with the people—spread out in the
rural areas, and reserving mostly special security forces to suppress
political opposition in the capital.

Officially, a thousand people have been detained in connection with
the protests, though the actual number is likely much larger. Muzan Al
Neel, an engineer based in Khartoum who has participated in the
protests, was recently released from six days in detention, where she
suffered beatings at the hands of plainclothes National Intelligence
and Security Service personnel. “What you think you will do in such a
situation is totally different from the way your brain works once you
are in that situation,” Al Neel said, of her time under arrest. “It is
not a choice to give them control or not. They already have it.” She
now stays up late every Thursday, waiting for the announcement of the
next week’s scheduled protests.

After Sudan declared independence from Anglo-Egyptian rule, in 1956,
the British policy of indirect control through a select group of
religious and tribal leaders left much of the land and wealth in the
hands of a few families. The main political parties were built around
these families, but the inability to settle on a single candidate
among them led to the formation of a five-member Sovereignty Council.
This council was overthrown after two years in power by the military
government, which, in turn, was deposed by the general uprising in
1964. The transitional government, free of the old political élite and
populated with enterprising professionals, marked an opportunity for
the young nation to create a representational system of government.
“This is the first and last government in Sudan in which engineers,
doctors, veterinarians were represented,” Ibrahim says. “A regular
farmer could be the minister of health.” But the new civilian
government, troubled by economic unrest, infighting, and the military,
eventually fell in the coup of 1969. In 1985, a popular uprising
backed by the military would once again raise the glimmer of
democracy, only to be usurped by the coup that brought Omar al-Bashir
to power.

Bashir’s government replaced members of the professional class and
civil society with party loyalists, and his security forces began
torturing activists in secret locations known as ghost houses. It also
created a new federalist system, embedding supporters in the local
levels of government throughout the country. Unions, professional
associations, and political parties were banned, which led to an era
of growing inequality. “Big parties lost power slowly, and a political
vacuum emerged,” Magdi el-Gizouli, a fellow at the Rift Valley
Institute, told me. “Corruption”—funded by oil wealth—“wasn’t just
intrinsic. It was a way of doing this kind of politics.”

It has also been a government of war, one that fixated on the long
conflict with rebels in the south and in Darfur, along with the
general instability in the region, to justify its leadership. “The
government has essentially been saying to its constituency, ‘There are
a lot of dangerous people out there and I am your only protector,’ ”
el-Gizouli said. Even with stability largely established in the west,
and integration of refugees from war-torn regions throughout the
country, the regime continues to exploit old tensions. Al Neel told me
that the government’s current argument is, “ ‘Yes, this might be a bad
regime, but if it goes, the Darfuris are going to come and kill you.’

In the years of the oil boom, between the late nineties and the
two-thousands, el-Gizouli says, there was an unspoken contract between
the government and the upper classes: the government would be left
alone in exchange for maintaining high subsidies for oil and bread and
protection from violence. A faltering economy has meant that more and
more Sudanese, not just the lower classes, have become victims of the
military state’s economics. Almost half of the population lives below
the poverty line, according to the most recent estimates, and
inflation is up thirty per cent from last year. In the heavy-handed
response to protesters, more people have fallen victim to its capacity
for violence. “This is not a livable situation anymore,” Al Need said.
”We are more scared of law-enforcement bodies than criminals.”

The rejection of the government has been a long time coming. Today,
with the departure of South Sudan, the site of much of the region’s
oil wealth, the military regime finds itself lacking both a plausible
enemy and a source of funding. The large military apparatus, whose
justification was the suppression of domestic insurgencies, is a
significant drain on the economy; one Sudanese economist told the
outlet Radio Dabanga that Sudan’s proposed 2018 budget devoted
fourteen per cent of the federal budget to security services, compared
to three per cent for education. Zachariah Mampilly, a co-author of
“Africa Uprising,” a book on popular protest in Africa, told me, “When
there is no more enemy or fighting, there isn’t a way to justify why
you should be there.”

A younger, increasingly multicultural population, including people
displaced internally because of the wars, has fractured the regime’s
project of imposing an Islamist identity on the country. At the same
time, the involvement of Darfuri students in the current protests has
challenged the regime’s propaganda, and established a sense of unity
in the capital. Unlike in past demonstrations, the protesters are also
not waiting for the military to join the rebellion. “History can
sometimes be a crippling fact, when you try to replay it,” Muntasir El
Tayeb Ibrahim, a professor of genetics at the University of Khartoum,
told me. Professors at the University of Khartoum, including El Tayeb,
are helping to draft a Charter of Freedom and Change—similar to the
Charter 77 of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, in 1989—which will
include proposals for creating an interim government, the guarantee of
rights and freedoms, and a new inclusive economic program that any new
government would have to guarantee. “Even with fear,” El Tayeb said,
”the people have decided that the government has to go.”

A number of concerns remain: a counter-revolution, like the one that
brought the current government to power, could stifle progress; the
ruling élites could hijack the protests to change the figurehead but
keep the system intact; and Bashir’s allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
and the United Arab Emirates, which have a vested interest in his
government, might intervene to create a Syria-like situation. The
general sense, though, is that the government is only capable of
countering violent threats. “The only time governments have been
overthrown in the Sudanese context is not with violent struggles but
popular movement,” Ibrahim says. “I feel that the things that we did
in 1964 is being well taken care of by the youth.” Everyone is waiting
to see how the government and ruling class will respond. How do you
wage a war on peace?

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Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +14.25% 2019
Kenyan Economy

Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg +7.98% 2019


Every Listed Share can be interrogated here


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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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February 2019

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