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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

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29-NOV-2021 :: Regime Change
World Of Finance

There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones
I have been warning
The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop
And below captioned is my favourite musical snippet of recent times
Just played #laritournelle with @ESKAonline and some amazing musicians @southbankcentre paying tribute to the legendary #tonyallen @thenitinsawhney

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He said that snakes had been known to bite their own tails Roberto Bolaño Last Evenings on Earth

He said that snakes had even been known to swallow themselves whole & if you see a snake in process of swallowing itself you better run because sooner or later something bad is going to happen some dislocation of reality

When I was getting ready to go, he opened his eyes and started talking about Villaviciosa. Roberto Bolaño

For a man of so few words, it was a detailed description. He said the village had seventy houses, no more, two bars and a general store. He said the houses were made of adobe and some had cement patios.
He said the patios gave off a bad and sometimes unbearable smell. Unbearable, he said, for anyone with a soul, or even without a soul, even without senses.
He said that was why some of the patios had been cemented.
He said the village was between two and three thousand years old and its native sons worked as hired killers or security guards.
He said a killer never hunted a killer, how could he, it would be like a snake biting its own tail. He said that snakes had been known to bite their own tails.
He said that snakes had even been known to swallow themselves whole and if you see a snake in the process of swallowing itself you better run because sooner or later something bad is going to happen, some dislocation of reality.
He said the village was near a river, called Río Negro because its water was black, and as it flowed past the cemetery it spread out in a delta and sank into the dry earth.
He said that sometimes the people would stare for hours at the horizon and the sun setting behind a mountain called El Lagarto, and the horizon was the color of flesh, like the back of a dying man.
And what do they expect to see coming over the mountain? I asked. The sound of my own voice frightened me. I don’t know, he said.
Then he said: A shaft. And then: Wind and dust, maybe. Then he calmed down and after a while he seemed to be asleep. I’ll come back tomorrow, I murmured, take the medicines and don’t get out of bed.

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It was the first non-linear war, writes Surkov in Without Sky,
Law & Politics

5 DEC 16 :: One common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded.

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We exist in a Tripolar World [US China and Russia] with rapidly emerging Middle Powers.
Law & Politics

I am not discounting Fortress Europe but one senses the Fortress is keener on a more defensive posture unlike the US [notwithstanding its withdrawal from Afghanistan], China and Russia. 

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@BorisJohnson is finally out of luck @NewStatesman
Law & Politics

I’m not a particularly political animal. I don’t work at Westminster. I don’t know many ministers and MPs. What I did have was early exposure to Boris Johnson.
As a Brussels correspondent for the Times in the late 1990s I saw firsthand how, as the Telegraph’s man in Brussels, he had created and entrenched in the national psyche a grotesquely distorted caricature of the European Union and of the UK’s standing in that bloc. 

I have seen subsequently how he has shamelessly perpetuated that caricature all the way to Downing Street, causing immense damage to his country in the process.
Suddenly, I sense that the rest of Britain – even the most diehard Conservatives – now plainly see the Prime Minister for what he is: a liar, conman and charlatan. 

It reminds me of the way the thousands of dots of a Magic Eye picture suddenly resolve themselves into a striking 3D image. 

That moment of epiphany had been approaching for a while, as scandal followed scandal and bungle followed bungle, but the ultimate catalyst was the revelation of the secret Downing Street Christmas parties.
It was bad enough to learn that Johnson and his aides were carousing behind No 10’s famous black door while ordering ordinary mortals to stay home alone, even when parents or partners were literally on their deathbeds. 

It was even worse that Downing Street sought to deny they were parties despite photographs and a video clip showing them to be precisely that. 

Incredibly, it is still engaging in ridiculous sophistry – claiming that the Guardian’s picture of Johnson, his wife and 17 aides drinking wine on No 10’s sun-dappled lawn, many in shirtsleeves and with not a notebook or laptop in sight, was a work meeting.
The public are not fools. They know when they are being told out-and-out porkies, when they are being taken for idiots and treated with contempt by an arrogant elite. 

Thus, the self-styled man of the people has finally been rumbled. Thus, the proverbial scales have fallen from the nation’s eyes. 

Thus, the Tories were slaughtered in last week’s North Shropshire by-election, and it is hard to see how the fabled comeback king, the man David Cameron memorably described as a “greased piglet”, can now recover.
I may be guilty of wishful thinking, but it seems to me that that catastrophic result in what was previously one of the Tories’ safest seats has transformed the political dynamics utterly. 

In a matter of days the Prime Minister has metastasised from electoral asset to electoral liability. 

It was only because Johnson could win elections that desperate Conservative MPs elected him their leader in 2019, selling their souls in the process. 

Now that he cannot, now that he is so widely reviled and has a net approval rating of -42, they will abandon him.
It is happening already. How extraordinary that a WhatsApp group of more than 100 Tory MPs should expel Nadine Dorries for defending the Prime Minister. 

How remarkable that the former de facto Brexit minister David Frost, a man who was created by Johnson and owed him everything, should so publicly repudiate his policies. 

How astonishing that compromising pictures from inside Downing Street are being routinely leaked to the press.
The parliamentary party is fracturing before our eyes. Libertarians are mutinying over Johnson’s latest Covid restrictions – he must now choose between them and his scientific advisers, with a Cabinet Office source telling the Sunday Times that Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, is “furious because the PM hasn’t been serious enough about [Omicron]”.
Free-market Brexit zealots are incensed that Johnson has abandoned their vision of a British “Singapore-on-Thames” in favour of a European-style high-tax, high-spend economic model. 

Conversely, the Tories’ new “Red Wall” MPs are growing increasingly restive over his failure to deliver on his costly, statist promise to “level up”. 

The more centrist Tory MPs – the few that have not been purged – have loathed him from the outset.
Johnson is now in a position where his backbenchers will no longer go out on a limb to defend or support him – hence last week’s Commons rebellion over his Covid Plan B. 

Nor will most ministers or members of his cabinet. 

From now on, we should expect the likes of Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove (plus Jeremy Hunt and Tom Tugendhat from the back benches) to be not-so-subtly distancing themselves from the Prime Minister in order to burnish their chances of succeeding him. 

Truss, Sunak and Hunt already appear to be “on manoeuvres”, while Gove, so visible when things are going well, has all but vanished from sight.
With the exception of the risibly sycophantic Daily Express, the Tory press is finally rounding on Johnson, too. 

The Telegraph’s columnists (save for Charles Moore, whom Johnson ennobled) splutter with rage at his perceived betrayals of right-wing principles – as do contributors to that paper’s letters page. 

Following the North Shropshire by-election, a Matt cartoon in the Telegraph showed a Downing Street spokesman declaring: “Nothing happened on Thursday. There was not a by-election. It was just a gathering of Lib Dems with pencils and voting slips.”
In short, despite a majority of nearly 80, Johnson has lost control. His cover is blown. 

And having invented the myth about the wicked EU ganging up on poor, defenceless Britain, he knows just how hard it is to change narratives once they take root. 

Henceforth, I suspect that all his usual tricks for diverting attention from his incompetence and dishonesty – headline-grabbing announcements, boosterism, demonising opponents, blaming others, ordering potentially whitewashing “investigations” – will be seen for what they are: desperate and expedient.
Nor will the news get any better. In the short term, the redoubtable Sue Gray – having replaced the deeply compromised Simon Case as head of the “partygate” investigation – may well conclude that Johnson lied. 

Likewise, Christopher Geidt might conceivably develop the cojones he needs to state the blindingly obvious: that Johnson fibbed when he told his ethics adviser that he did not know who paid for his Downing Street flat refurbishment. 

In the longer term, Omicron could well overwhelm the NHS while looming tax increases, soaring inflation and rising interest rates threaten real economic hardship.
Labour and the Lib Dems are reinvigorated, but there is no room for complacency. 

Without Scotland, Labour still faces an almost impossible task to win an outright majority at the next election, while the Lib Dems have just 13 MPs. 

North Shropshire may have rendered Johnson a lame duck leader, but it also showed that the two parties must unite behind single progressive candidates in key constituencies to save Britain from yet another Tory government.

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Virulent plague that travelled through the air as if on wings, it burned through cities like fire @MargaretAtwood The Pandemic Is a Portal https://bit.ly/2QVmzds

That this is still treated as an open question is a testament to the Age we live in

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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When a new SARS-CoV-2 variant arises, there are three main questions: (1) How transmissible? (2) How virulent? (3) How much antigenic change? Third question important as it’s the most actionable @jbloom_lab

When a new SARS-CoV-2 variant arises, there are three main questions: (1) How transmissible? (2) How virulent? (3) How much antigenic change? Third question important as it’s the most actionable: we can update vaccines & develop new antibodies.

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Nations w/ fastest COVID avg growth rate (daily/total) @jmlukens

Eswatini: 1.93%
Congo: 1.70%
Denmark: 1.57%
Norway: 1.57%
Australia: 1.55%
Lesotho: 1.49%
San Marino: 1.48%
Laos: 1.36%
Vietnam: 1.23%
South Korea: 1.22%

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Arguably the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. @AdamJKucharski

Arguably the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. Remember: first UK COVID case was identified on 31 Jan 2020 - first death was reported on 5 Mar.

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Nations w/ high COVID19 2wk avg death/day increase @jmlukens

Spain: 105%
South Africa: 99%
Peru: 94%
Italy: 55%
France: 46%
Bolivia: 43%
Trinidad and Tobago: 39%
Germany: 37%
Korea, South: 32%
Lebanon: 30%

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He tells us all will be well if we get boosted with a shot designed before this variant even emerged. I don't believe a word of it. @Nigel_Farage

From the PM who is a compulsive liar and can't comb his hair properly, a declaration of Omicron disaster.

He tells us all will be well if we get boosted with a shot designed before this variant even emerged.

I don't believe a word of it.

23-AUG-2021 ::  We have now crossed peak Vaccine Euphoria

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1271
Dollar Index 96.578
Japan Yen 114.12
Swiss Franc 0.924075
Pound 1.3252
Aussie 0.71318
India Rupee 75.5805
South Korea Won 1191.54
Brazil Real 5.7460000
Egypt Pound 15.707684
South Africa Rand 15.91052

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Africa dominates list of nations with fast accelerating cases. @jmlukens

Nations w/ high COVID 2wk avg case/day increase
Lesotho: 4614%
Malawi: 3487%
Zambia: 3470%
Kenya: 2259%
Botswana: 1358%
Mozambique: 1299%
Nigeria: 882%
Congo (Kinshasa): 691%
Namibia: 644%
Ethiopia: 528%

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Gauteng 7DMA cases (incl reinfections) peaked 9 December at 97% of Delta wave. 7DMA admissions peaked 12 December at 47% of Delta wave. Deaths at 8% of Delta wave but still rising. @hivepi

Updated normalised cases, admissions and deaths for Gauteng. Gauteng 7DMA cases (incl reinfections) peaked 9 December at 97% of Delta wave. 7DMA admissions peaked 12 December at 47% of Delta wave. Deaths at 8% of Delta wave but still rising.

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The reason for the reversal in Mr. Abiy’s fortunes was hovering in the skies above: a fleet of combat drones, recently acquired from allies in Persian Gulf region and elsewhere who are determined to keep him in power. @nytimes @declanwalsh

Over the past four months, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Iran have quietly supplied Mr. Abiy with some of the latest armed drones, even as the United States and African governments were urging a cease-fire and peace talks, according to two Western diplomats who have been briefed on the crisis and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The motives of Mr. Abiy’s suppliers varied: to make money; to gain an edge in a strategic region; and to back a winner in the spiraling conflict that has engulfed Africa’s second most populous nation. 

But the impact of the drones was striking — pummeling Tigrayan rebels and their supply convoys as they pushed down a major highway toward the capital, Addis Ababa. 

The rebels have since retreated roughly 270 miles by road to the north, erasing months of battlefield gains.
On Sunday, the Tigray leader, Debretsion Gebremichael, told the United Nations he had ordered an immediate withdrawal of all forces to the borders of Tigray, citing, among other factors, “the drones provided by foreign powers.”
The demonstration of drone power confirmed that Ethiopia’s year-old conflict, largely a regional affair until now, has been internationalized. 

And it adds the country to a growing list of conventional conflicts, like those in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, where combat drones have become a significant factor in the fight, or even the dominant one.
“Increasingly, unmanned systems are becoming a game changer,” said Peter W. Singer, an expert on drone warfare at New America, a research group in Washington. 

“It’s not just about the raw capability of the drones themselves — it’s the multiplying effect they have on nearly every other human and system on the battlefield.”
For Mr. Abiy, the drones arrived just in time
He launched a military campaign in Tigray in November 2020, a year after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, in coordination with the leader of neighboring Eritrea. 

But his forces suffered a humiliating defeat last summer when Tigrayan rebels forced them from Tigray, then started to push south. 

By late November the Tigrayans were approaching the city of Debre Birhan, about 85 miles north of Addis Ababa.

But they could go no further. Swarms of drones appeared overhead, striking soldiers and supply convoys, Gen. Tsadkan Gebretensae, a leading Tigrayan commander, said in an interview with The New York Times.
“At one time, there were 10 drones in the sky,” he said. “You can imagine the effect. We were an easy target.”
Mr. Abiy built his drone arsenal by tapping the sympathy of foreign autocrats and a booming segment of the global arms trade.
Even as he talked about negotiations, Mr. Abiy was turning to other countries to bolster his military. 

Nearly every day, cargo flights arrived from a military base in the United Arab Emirates, one of Mr. Abiy’s closest allies.
The Emiratis had trained Mr. Abiy’s Republican Guard and provided crucial military support at the start of the war, running drone strikes that took out Tigrayan artillery and weapons depots, a Western official and a former Ethiopian official said.
The Emirati strikes stopped in January after President Biden came to power, under pressure from Washington. 

But they have resumed in recent months, largely in the form of the latest Chinese-made drones, the officials said.
The Emirati drone strikes, under the direction of the national security adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nahyan, appear to be a snub to American diplomatic efforts to end the war. 

American officials say they are trying to draw the U.A.E. into peace efforts as an ally, but that cooperation is limited.
In a meeting with the United States regional envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, earlier this week, Sheikh al-Nahyan denied that his country was shipping weapons to Ethiopia, an American official with knowledge of the meeting said.
By contrast, Mr. Abiy’s dealings with Turkey have been relatively open.
He signed a military pact in August with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose Bayraktar TB2 drone played a decisive role in Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is manufactured by a company run by Mr. Erdogan’s son-in-law.
Turkish drones are attractive to many African countries seeking battle-tested, relatively cheap hardware with few strings attached. 

“Even in Africa, everywhere I go, they want U.A.V.s,” Mr. Erdogan boasted in October after a tour of Nigeria, Togo and Angola. (Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles).
After Bayraktar drones appeared in Ethiopia recently, Turkish officials insisted the drone sale was a purely commercial activity —  defense and aviation exports to Ethiopia rose to $95 million this year, up from $235,000 in 2020, the Turkish Exporters Assembly reported.
A mounting crisis. As the rebels drew closer, Mr. Abiy vowed to “bury this enemy” in an inflammatory speech. His comments came as a U.N. report offered evidence that all sides had committed atrocities.
No end in sight. President Biden has threatened to impose sanctions on the country to coax the sides to the negotiating table, but the war’s current trajectory could cause the collapse of Ethiopia.
But in recent days, Turkish officials have privately claimed to have frozen exports to Ethiopia, apparently in response to international pressure over a war that has become a byword for atrocities and starvation.
At least 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions, according to the United Nations.

Mr. Abiy, meanwhile, is focused on his military campaign and its foreign sponsors. 

On Friday he landed in Istanbul for the Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit — a two-day gathering of leaders from 39 African countries that, analysts say, is also a forum for Turkish arms sales.
His embrace of Iranian drones, although much less powerful than the Chinese or Turkish-made models, has further strained his relations with Washington.
Since August a number of cargo flights have arrived in Ethiopia operated by Iranian airlines that the U.S. has accused of being fronts for the Quds Force, the expeditionary wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Flight-tracking blogs have made note of the shipments as well.

American officials in Addis Ababa have made private representations to Mr. Abiy about the Iranian flights, urging him to cut them off, a United States official said.
Mr. Abiy’s drone army remains modest: By several estimates, he has no more than a few dozen combat drones at his disposal, and they can be expensive to run, repair and supply with weapons. 

But they remain a potent threat to the Tigrayan forces, which themselves have no access to drones.
Mr. Singer, the drone expert, said the experimentation with drone warfare in Ethiopia and Libya has parallels with the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, when outside powers used the fight to test new military technologies and to gauge international reaction to determine what they could get away with. “It’s a combination of war and battle lab,” he said.
But, he added, technology is no guarantee of victory. “The U.S. had drones in Afghanistan, yet the Taliban managed to hold out for 20 years,” he said. “Human will is what determines the outcome of war''

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Picture being shared by pro Ethiopian govt accounts reportedly showing the presence of Ethiopian govt soldiers in #Alamata town of southern #Tigray. How deep will they go into Tigray? @sajid_nadeem78

Picture being shared by pro Ethiopian govt accounts reportedly showing the presence of Ethiopian govt soldiers in #Alamata town of southern #Tigray. It seems Ethiopian govt & #Amhara forces are continuing their military operations. How deep will they go into Tigray?

20 JAN 20 ::  The Intrusion of Middle Powers


The falcon cannot hear the falconer

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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Tigrayan commander: Withdrawal 'to give peace a chance' @BBCNewshour


@RondosForAfrica @Rondos_EU raises the spectre of the Sri Lanka Tamil solution 

“It wasn't so easy though, ending the war. A war is a huge fire; the ashes from it drift far, and settle slowly.” @MargaretAtwood

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Just in case anyone forgot: Sri Lanka is now governed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a man so sinister he used to keep a tank of sharks in his garden. Death of the Tiger @newyorker Jon Lee Anderson H/T @jamescrabtree

The Tamil army—known as the L.T.T.E., or simply the Tigers—was led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, a charismatic, elusive man who had become one of the most successful guerrilla leaders of modern times.
The Tigers’ collapse began in January, 2009, when they lost the town of Kilinochchi, their de-facto capital
Hemmed in by the sea, a lagoon, and a hundred thousand government soldiers, they were all but helpless, as the Army kept up a barrage of fire from gunboats, aircraft, and field artillery.
There were later reports, which the government denied, that as many as forty thousand civilians were killed during the Army’s final offensive, and that their bodies were burned or buried in secret mass graves.
“Most of them were Black Tigers,” he said, referring to the Tamil suicide squad. “Prabhakaran was among us, too, but none of us saw him.
One soldier said, in Sinhala—I understand a little—‘We have orders to shoot everyone.’ We were shouting for them not to shoot.”
“It is in my mind. When I sleep, automatically it comes out—things I only saw in films in my youth. Bodies without heads. Bodies with the stomach open and the liver coming out.” He added,
“At the end, we were walking out through fire and past dead people, and the soldiers were laughing at us and saying, ‘We have killed all your leaders. Now you are our slaves.’ You can imagine how I feel about my country.”
On the same day, May 18th, the Army announced that the Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, had been killed, along with two hundred and fifty others, during an overnight escape attempt across the Nandikadal Lagoon, which separated the beach from the mainland.
Images were released of his body lying at the feet of Army troops, a handkerchief over his forehead to conceal a yawning wound. The Army claimed that it had cremated his remains.
Prabhakaran’s eldest child, Charles Anthony, was killed the day before, along with other fighters who launched a final assault on Army lines.
Soon after, the Army said it had also Recovered the bodies of Prabhakaran’s wife, their daughter, and their youngest child, a boy, all of them dead of gunshot wounds.
Rajapaksa declared a national holiday. “We have liberated the whole country from L.T.T.E. terrorism,” he said.
“Our intention was to save the Tamil people from the cruel grip of the L.T.T.E. We all must now live as equals in this free country.”
One of his brothers, Gotabaya, is his defense minister; another, Basil, is his chief of staff and minister for economic development; and a third, Chamal, is Speaker of Parliament.
His twenty-four-year-old son Namal was recently elected to Parliament, and forty-odd additional brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, and in-laws hold various other government posts.
The important thing, he said, was that Sri Lanka had ended terrorism, making it the first country in the modern age to have done so.
In military circles around the world, the “Sri Lanka option” for counter-insurgency was discussed with admiration.
Its basic tenets were: deny access to the media, the United Nations, and human-rights groups; isolate your opponents, and kill them as quickly as possible; and segregate and terrify the survivors—or, ideally, leave no witnesses at all.

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The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street

An old Sudanese revolutionary song: “we sing in our prison as you tremble in your castle”

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The people of #Sudan are at the doorsteps of Burhan’s Palace and the doorsteps of freedom. They will not be ruled by warlords or corrupt generals. There is no going back now and we shall prevail. @elgaili_a

The people of #Sudan are at the doorsteps of Burhan’s Palace and the doorsteps of freedom.  They will not be ruled by warlords or corrupt generals. There is no going back now and we shall prevail. The world should be on the right side of history and support us.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating

As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.
And now we have two visions of the Future. One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children.
The other vision is red in tooth and claw.

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Shell plans to start destructive seismic blasts in a precious whale breeding ground off the coast of South Africa. @GreenpeaceUK

Every 10 seconds, 24 hrs a day, for 5 months, whales will be subjected to explosions as intense as a space shuttle launch.

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Getting Old Before Getting Rich” and Africa: Of What Relevance is China's Economic Demography Transition? @lajohnstondr for Journal of African Development

The economic performance of a country depends on many factors that are complex and deeply rooted in the past. 

One factor that interacts intensively with a host of others is demographic dynamics. 

Demographic trends in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa will be one of the critical issues of the twenty-first century.

Unlike developing regions such as East Asia, where demographic change has recently been associated with economic growth and development, sub-Saharan Africa has not experienced any real economic take-off. 

Despite its considerable natural resources, including mineral and agricultural resources, this region has so far been unable to use its demographic growth to foster economic growth (Vimard 2008). Baehr, Klingholz, and Lutz (2011) indicate that, at least so far, no country has developed socioeconomically in the absence of an underlying process of demographic transition.
The demographic transition is the process whereby “falling death rates set off a population boom that continues until fertility rates decline,” and hence the transition “can have a sizeable impact on the age structure of the population” 

A better understanding of the state, including the speed, of the demographic transition is needed to get a handle on the dimensions of any future African demographic dividend growth era (e.g., Malizewska and Osorio-Rodarte 2016; Dramani and Mbacke 2017). 

The demographic dividend is specifically the accelerated economic growth potential associated with changes in the population age structure, specifically with having a larger working-age population relative to dependent populations of youth and the elderly (Choi 2016, 61)

 Africa is one region that, overall, did not reap demographic dividend-related growth returns during the second half of the twentieth century

Even when the potential for a demographic dividend emerges, by definition transitorily, capture of its elevated productivity potential is not automatic, and ideally builds upon preparatory investments such as in literacy and health 

Home to more than a billion people since 2011, Africa is also the world's “youngest” continent in terms of the share of its citizens who are young. However, Africa is not homogenously young. 

Middle Africa (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe) is the continent's youngest subregion, and northern Africa is the oldest. 

With a median age of 14.9 years, Niger is the world's youngest country, while Mauritius is the oldest country in Africa, with a median age of 37.5 years (UN 2019).

However, in its case through aggressive family planning (especially the now-famous One-Child Policy) and massive investment in education, infrastructure, and job creation, China successfully managed to take advantage of its compressed demographic dividend

On average, Africa's northern and southern countries and its islands are at more advanced phases in the demographic transition (Tables 2–4). 

The largest number of countries in Africa, however, fall in the demographic dividend prospect category, meaning that the demographic transition has begun but has not reached demographic dividend potential prime. 

Mauritius is Africa's only sustained low-TFR country. It is one of only two high-income countries in Africa (those with gross national income per capita of US$12,536 or above in 2019), the other being the Seychelles 

Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, is placed in the high-total-fertility-rate phase in Table 2. 

The continent's four next-most-populous nations, Ethiopia, Egypt, Congo DRC, and Tanzania, present a more mixed picture. 

Egypt, which is home to almost 100 million people, had a TFR of 3.3 in 2018, down from 3.4 in 2017. 

Ethiopia, which is home to some 105 million, has experienced a relatively rapid TFR decline in recent years, with the TFR reaching 4.3 according to the latest available data, but still well above the early demographic dividend TFR threshold of 2.5, let alone the replacement level of 2.1

At 4.9 Tanzania's TFR sits at the demographic dividend prospect threshold, while Congo DRC is in the high-TFR phase, with a TFR of 5.9, which may equate to something of a Malthusian stagnation circumstance.

For countries in the demographic dividend potential and prospect categories (most African countries today), the capacity to capture for development any future demographic dividend period will be determined to a large extent by the accumulated circumstance arising from ongoing socioeconomic policies (Canning, Raja, and Yazbeck 2015; Ahmed, Cruz, Go, Malizewska, and Osorio-Rodarte 2016; Bloom, Kuhn, and Prettner 2017). 

In other words, future prospects depend on how socioeconomic policies interact with the economy to shape choices over time.
Moreover, beyond a demographic dividend period lies a period of relatively intensive population aging. 

For young countries that period may seem a distant prospect, and even potentially understood to be a rich-country issue. 

Table 5 shows, however, that it is in fact already an issue for four countries in Africa—Mauritius, Morocco, Seychelles, and Tunisia—each of which are classified as aging using the measure of 7% of the population being of age at least 65. 

At the younger extreme and based on UN medium-variant population estimates, Niger and Somalia won't reach this population share of seniors until the 2090s.

Today, the number of new entrants to the labor market is smaller than the number leaving—but on average more educated—when compared to earlier cohorts. 

Instead of targeting low-wage labor-intensive manufacturing as in earlier times, investor incentives—and pull factors—now tend to target capital, including human capital, and services, biomedicine, and technology-intensive sectors (Garnaut, Johnston, and Song 2017), as well as any sector that will help support China's aged, from elderly care to pension management.

Equivalently, given the labor shortages in rapidly aging countries, some labor-intensive services and even agriculture may shift, where possible and unexpectedly, to younger countries. 

There may be new markets in elderly tourism and caregiving services as well. Indeed, the population decline on the scale, which is expected over the coming decades, is unique in history. 

That is, countries need to make sufficient early investment in human capital, first, so as to be positioned with the talent to reap a demographic dividend. 

Also, second, so that later the smaller working-age population can continue to push out the productivity per capita frontier as the working-age population share falls, which otherwise, ceteris paribus, may result in falling or stagnating productivity and hence lower income per capita.
In the case of Africa, the trade-offs that apply will be different than those of the past. 

For example, modern digital technology, which was not available to East Asian or Western countries in their earlier development, offers innovative means of delivering education and health services that may be both more affordable and more inclusive. 

Utilization of related opportunities within a long-run economic demography transition context may yet become part of a new development script, written this century, in Africa.

In the case of South Africa, one of Africa's richer and older economies, the senior population is growing at 2.9% per annum, against 0.6% for the overall population (Markle 2019). 

By 2045, the share of South Africa's population that will be over age 60 (the present age of qualifying for older-age social security) is expected to double, from 8% to 16% (from about 4.5 million to 10.6 million persons)

In Africa, in addition to investing in better demographic data collection, research that can shed light on how new forms of technology are already mixing—or could mix—with local institutions to shape hoped-for economic demography transitions in the African context, as well as on investor and household choices and preferences, would be helpful and timely.

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New data from @CBKKenya on remittances by source country shows that the Americas accounted for 67 percent of the remittances sent home in October, up from 51 percent in February 2019 @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy

Meanwhile, Europe’s share of remittances has dropped from 25 percent to 14 percent in the period.
The rise in US remittances at a time when Europe’s is shrinking reflects the severity of the economic hits on the two regions during the Covid-19 period, with European economies suffering more due to harsher restriction measures imposed to control the spread of the virus.
“Generally it is Covid-19 disruptions that have affected diaspora flows…Europe was affected more because they had more punitive restrictions and longer lockdown periods,” said George Bodo, head of research at Genghis Capital.
In October, remittances from North America stood at Sh25.5 billion ($226 million), a new all-time high from the area, while those from Europe stood at Sh5.2 billion ($46.06 million).

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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December 2021

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