Latest Developments, March 8


In the latest news and analysis…

Working women
To mark International Women’s Day, the Globe and Mail highlights countries, including a number of African ones, that are leaders in certain areas of gender equality:

“Egypt, where the World Economic Forum says the gender wage gap is 18 cents – so women can expect to earn 82 cents for every dollar a man gets.
(Canadian women, by comparison, can expect to earn about 73 cents, placing us 35th in the ranking.)

Rwanda. In the African country, as of February, women held 45 of the 80 seats in Parliament. By comparison, in Canada, which ranks 45th in the Inter-Parliamentary Union study, men outnumber women in Parliament by a ratio of 3 to 1.

Burundi. According the World Economic Forum, 92 per cent of female citizens in Burundi have paid work – compared with 88 per cent of men.”

Notable abstention
Inter Press Service reports that the US has opted not to vote on whether or not the World Bank should help fund a controversial mining mega-project in Mongolia:

“In abstaining, the U.S. representative cited concerns over the potential environmental consequences and an inadequate impact study of the mine plan.
The Oyu Tolgoi mine, a 12-billion-dollar project, is looking to massively expand copper-and-gold extraction in the South Gobi Desert. Its parent company, the London-based Rio Tinto, is currently fielding funding proposals from multiple international investors, including the World Bank Group.”

Democracy’s price
The Canadian Press reports that Export Development Canada, a government-owned entity that provides political risk insurance to its corporate clients, may ask the people of Arab Spring countries to compensate Canadian companies for business disruptions resulting from the overthrow of dictators:

“A number of Canadian companies, including oil firm Suncor Energy and SNC-Lavalin, the engineering firm, operate in the Middle East, but the EDC would not name the countries involved or the firms who made claims.

[EDC’s Ken] Kember said paying out claims does not end the story for the EDC, adding the agency often attempts to reclaim losses from the governments involved.

Much-needed debate
Now that “the architect of Barack Obama’s aggressive drone policy” has cleared the last hurdle to becoming the new head of the CIA, Time’s Michael Crowley considers what good came out of the confirmation process:

“The focus on the extremely narrow question of targeting American citizens may have been misplaced. But good questions were raised along the way about expanded presidential power, the drawbacks of heavy reliance on drones, and whether it’s time to reassess the basic legal framework governing the war against al Qaeda, its allies, and other terrorist groups.”

April-ish troop withdrawal
Reuters reports that a day after French President Francois Hollande set a new date for his country to begin withdrawing troops from Mali, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke of a more fluid timeline on a visit to the West African nation:

“ ‘We are in the last phase, the most decisive phase,’ Le Drian said. ‘This phase entails some very violent combat. When the liberation of the whole country is complete, then we will hand over responsibility to African forces.’
President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that France would start to draw down its forces in Mali from April, a month later than previously forecast.”

Questionable company
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs’ Frederick Mills explores alleged links between the recipient of a World Bank loan and a series of murders in the Bajo Aguán Valley of Honduras:

“With regard to the money trail, the Bird Report indicates that the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and a number of other institutions have made loan commitments to the Dinant Corporation. This corporation is owned by Miguel Facusse, who runs one of the three big African Palm Oil plantations in the area. This is important because the Bird Report links a security firm (called Orion Private Security Corporation) in the pay of Dinant and at least one other agribusiness to some of the acts of violence against campesinos associated with several vicitimized coop organizations. These lenders have an ethical obligation to further research and reevaluate any loan commitments to questionable agribusinesses that are alleged to engage in murder for hire and other notorious crimes.”

Fortress Europe
In a piece for Africa is a Country, Serginho Roosblad looks at the contrast between China’s and Europe’s current attitudes toward migrants from Africa:

“[Ian] Goldin, the former Director of Development Policy at the World Bank and now Director at the Oxford Martin School paints a clear picture for Europe: ‘I predict that in 2030, Europe will be saying desperately: “we want more Africans”.’ A pretty grim picture for those political leaders in Europe who in recent years have been working hard to build the European fortress.
A lot of the analysis and facts Goldin presents about the economic dawn of Europe are not new. However the connection he draws between the liberal economic policies that have enabled free flow of people and goods in Europe for the economic good of the continent and the liberal politicians that have drafted these policies while also being the ones responsible for the strict immigration laws might be the most interesting.”

Existential risks
Cambridge University’s Martin Rees draws attention to “the downside risks of powerful new cyber, bio, and nanotechnologies”:

“A few individuals, via error or terror, could ignite a societal breakdown so quickly that government responses would be overwhelmed.

In a media landscape saturated with sensational science stories, end-times Hollywood productions, and Mayan warnings of apocalypse, it may be hard to persuade the public that potential catastrophes could arise as unexpectedly as the 2008 financial crisis did – and with a far greater impact. Existential risks receive disproportionately little serious attention. Some suggested scenarios can be dismissed, but we should surely try to assess which ones cannot – and study how to mitigate them.”

Latest Developments, February 6

In the latest news and analysis…

Media silence
The Washington Post reports that it was one of a number of major news organizations that granted a request not to reveal the existence of a drone base in Saudi Arabia:

“The base was established two years ago to intensify the hunt against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the affiliate in Yemen is known. Brennan, who previously served as the CIA’s station chief in Saudi Arabia, played a key role in negotiations with Riyadh over locating an agency drone base inside the kingdom.
The Washington Post had refrained from disclosing the location at the request of the administration, which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.
The Post learned Tuesday night that another news organization was planning to reveal the location of the base, effectively ending an informal arrangement among several news organizations that had been aware of the location for more than a year.”

Extraordinary practices
A new report released by the Open Society Foundations reveals the scope of international cooperation with the CIA’s rendition program, a program that was never shut down:

“At least 136 individuals were reportedly extraordinarily rendered or secretly detained by the CIA and at least 54 governments reportedly participated in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition program; classified government documents may reveal many more.

President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order repudiating torture does not repudiate the CIA extraordinary rendition program. It was specifically crafted to preserve the CIA’s authority to detain terrorist suspects on a short-term, transitory basis prior to rendering them to another country for interrogation or trial.”

Targeting corruptors
The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian government is introducing legislation to crack down on companies that pay bribes to foreign officials:

“In addition to allowing prosecutors here to go after Canadian companies for bribes they pay abroad, the new law will outlaw so-called ‘facilitation payments’ – the grease money paid to foreign officials even if it’s not directly linked to gaining a business deal or advantage. Those payments, technically different from a bribe, will not be immediately made illegal, but the government will outlaw them at a later date, presumably to give companies warning of the changing rules.

Although Canada signed an international convention on combating bribery in 1998, it has long been criticized for doing too little to enforce anti-bribery measures. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which reviews countries’ action to combat bribery, has repeatedly issued reports calling Canada’s enforcement weak, most recently in 2011.”

Counting the dead
Agence France-Presse reports that France has released its first official, if somewhat vague, death toll from its offensive in Mali, though there was no mention of civilian casualties:

“Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the 26-day military intervention has killed ‘several hundred’ Islamist militants as its air and ground forces chased them from their northern strongholds into remote mountainous terrain in the far northeast.

France’s sole fatality so far has been a helicopter pilot who was killed at the start of the military operation, while ‘two or three’ soldiers have suffered light injuries, Le Drian said.
Mali said 11 of its troops were killed and 60 wounded after the battle at Konna last month but it has not since released a new death toll.”

More guns
Reuters reports that the US is calling for a resumption of arms sales to Somalia where a UN embargo has been in place since 1992:

“Diplomats said Britain and France have been reluctant to support ending the arms embargo. The Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, which monitors compliance with the sanctions regime, has also opposed the idea of lifting it, U.N. envoys said.
Those who oppose getting rid of the arms embargo say Somalia’s security sector still includes elements close to warlords and militants, an allegation the Somali government rejects.”

Good times, bad times
Reuters also reports that Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer, has said it favours a flexible approach to taxing mining companies in order to compensate for fluctuating global prices:

“ ‘If [the mining companies] are making losses, will they keep quiet? When they are going to make huge losses they are going to approach the government,’ [minerals minister Sospeter] Muhongo told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining conference in Cape Town.
‘If they are going to make huge profits, we will also approach them,’ he said.
Asked if this meant windfall taxes could be introduced, he replied ‘yes’.
Many African governments say they need to extract more revenue from their mining and oil industries to spread the benefits of resource wealth more widely.”

The world according to Fisk
The Tyee reports on a recent talk given by veteran journalist Robert Fisk, in which he expressed his views that so-called Arab Spring protesters sought dignity over democracy and that journalists must be “neutral and unbiased on the side of those who suffer”:

“And why not democracy? Because the western democracies are precisely the countries that have imposed their will, and installed dictators, in the Arab lands since the end of World War I. The West, he said, thinks it has a right and a duty to do so.
‘But these are not our people,’ Fisk said; they have a different history and culture from the West, and we have no business”

Fighting transparency
Global Witness’s Simon Taylor calls on aerospace/defense giant Boeing to stop opposing US legislation requiring companies to monitor their supply chain for conflict minerals from DR Congo:

“The Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable have filed a lawsuit against the SEC to overturn the conflict minerals rule.

Boeing, which has a seat on NAM’s board and whose representative is the executive committee chair of the Business Roundtable, appears to be at the forefront of the fight to overturn the rule.

In comments submitted to the SEC, Boeing indicated that the final rule on 1502 would be too costly and burdensome to comply with, given ‘the complexity of modern supply chains.’
As the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing’s influence within the industry — let alone over its own supply chain — is considerable. Boeing’s attempt to kill Section 1502 through anonymous corporate lobby groups is misguided and irresponsible.”

Latest Developments, January 16

In the latest news and analysis…

“Neocolonialist” war
Le Monde reports that former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has urged his country to stick to a supporting role for African troops in Mali’s conflict:

“I want to warn against allowing the French action in Mali to turn into a neocolonialist undertaking.

Air strikes in the country’s north and east would hit civilian populations and would replicate the pointless destruction of the war in Afghanistan. They would no doubt have the same political results.” [Translated from the French.]

Give peace a chance
Agence France-Presse reports that the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation has called for a ceasefire in Mali, which is one of the world body’s 57 member states:

“OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the military offensive is ‘premature’ and called for ‘an immediate ceasefire in Mali and for all parties to go back to the negotiations which were led by Burkina Faso’ in December, in a statement.
Ihsanoglu, who ‘expressed his deep concern over the military escalation’ also called for ‘maximum self-restraint from all parties at this critical time in order to reach a peaceful solution to this conflict,’ the statement said.”

Arms fit for a king
Pro Publica reveals “the fullest picture yet” of US arms sales to the Kingdom of Bahrain during the Gulf state’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations:

“The list includes ammunition, combat vehicle parts, communications equipment, Blackhawk helicopters, and an unidentified missile system.

The U.S. has long sold weapons to Bahrain, totaling $1.4 billion since 2000, according to the State Department. The sales didn’t come under scrutiny until security forces killed at least 19 people in the early months of the crackdown in 2011. (Dozens have died since then.)
The administration put a hold on one proposed sale of Humvees and missiles in Fall 2011 following congressional criticism. But Foreign Policy reported that other unspecified equipment was still being sold without any public notification.”

Siemens suit
Reuters reports that a former Siemens employee is suing the German electronics giant, which he says fired him for trying to expose “a kickback scheme” on sales of medical equipment to hospitals in China:

“Siemens agreed to pay $1.6 billion in 2008 to resolve U.S. and German charges that it violated foreign anti-bribery laws through its business in countries that ranged from Argentina and Venezuela to Bangladesh.
As part of that settlement, the company also agreed to implement and maintain a robust program to comply with [the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] and retain an independent consultant to monitor that program and report on its development to the U.S. Justice Department.
Liu said the evidence he uncovered showed that the company intentionally evaded the due diligence policies put in place to comply with its 2008 plea agreement.”

Tax advice
A new report by the European Network on Debt and Development offers suggestions for ways the EU can take on the “acute challenge” of illicit financial flows from poor countries:

“A first step is to implement a robust interpretation of the Financial Action Task Force’s set of recommendations from February 2012. In Europe, the review of the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) in 2013 will be one of the biggest opportunities. The report recommends that this political opportunity is used to:
• Create publically available government registers of the real owners and controllers of companies, trusts and other such legal structures.
• Make all tax evasion a predicate offence of money laundering
• Improve compliance with and enforcement of anti-money laundering rules and introduce credible sanctions.”

Superfood concerns
The Guardian reports that the rapid growth in demand for quinoa on the international market is causing problems in the Andean communities that grow the plant:

“That global demand means less quinoa is being eaten in Bolivia and Peru, the countries of origin, as the price has tripled. There are concerns this could cause malnutrition as producers, who have long relied on the superfood to supplement their meagre diets, would rather sell their entire crop than eat it. The rocketing international price is also creating land disputes.

Bitter battles are being fought over prime quinoa-growing land. Last February dozens of people were hurt when farmers fought with slings and sticks of dynamite over what was once abandoned land.”

Knowable unknowns
OpenOil’s Johnny West asks how much of the abundant literature on Nigeria’s Niger Delta are based on “ground up, not top down” research:

“Forty years on, what we know about the peoples and societies of the Delta is scant at best. Just as Michael Herr said for American grunts Vietnam was not a country but a war, the Niger Delta is not a place and group of people but an issue – a multi-billion dollar headache or a contention in ongoing ideological debates, depending on where you stand.
Now [the Max Planck Institute’s Olumide Abimbola] is setting out to fill that gap by compiling a complete bibliography of ground level research, and then gearing up Nigeria’s social science faculties to start filling the void. But the fact we’ve got this far without this is mind-boggling and begs the question: what do we know about the people of southern Iraq, the Yusuni native Ecuadoreans, or the peoples of West Papua – apart from their relationship to the Black Stuff?”

Non-European thinking
Columbia University’s Hamid Dabashi writes that the act of “thinking and acting in terms at once domestic to their immediate geography and yet global in its consequences” is increasingly not just a European prerogative:

“The question is rather the manner in which non-European thinking can reach self-consciousness and evident universality, not at the cost of whatever European philosophers may think of themselves for the world at large, but for the purpose of offering alternative (complementary or contradictory) visions of reality more rooted in the lived experiences of people in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America – counties and climes once under the spell of the thing that calls itself ‘the West’ but happily no more.

Reduced to its own fair share of the humanity at large, and like all other continents and climes, Europe has much to teach the world, but now on a far more leveled and democratic playing field, where its philosophy is European philosophy not ‘Philosophy’, its music European music not ‘Music’, and no infomercial would be necessary to sell its public intellectuals as ‘Public Intellectuals’.”

Latest Developments, July 26

In the latest news and analysis…

ATT plea
Author and former child soldier Ishmael Beah makes the case for a strong Arms Trade Treaty – including controls on ammunition sales – as UN negotiations enter the final stretch:

“The treaty is not a panacea to end all violence, genocide and human rights abuses, but it is a colossal step in the right direction. It is also an important missing piece to end the rampant use of children in war and to significantly reduce violence and the number of lives lost in such conflicts. For the first time, it will set an international standard that governments and civil society can use to hold accountable those who sell weapons irresponsibly. It will also prevent the flow of weapons into lawless areas plagued by conflict by closing the many loopholes immoral businessmen now use to navigate with impunity.

As negotiators race this week to finish the text of the treaty, they must include measures to control the flow of ammunition. Weaponry is abundant in Libya, Mali and other conflict zones around the world, but oftentimes ammunition is in short supply.
Some of these weapons, such as AK-47s, are extremely durable. You can bury them, dig them up years later and start using them again. If we didn’t have access to ammunition during the war in Sierra Leone, the AK-47s would have been no more deadly than sticks, and we would have been unable to inflict tremendous violence simply by squeezing a trigger.”

War on drugs redux
The New York Times reports that the US is expanding its drug war into Africa, with “elite” counternarcotics training already underway in Ghana and the same planned for Nigeria and Kenya:

“ ‘We see Africa as the new frontier in terms of counterterrorism and counternarcotics issues,’ said Jeffrey P. Breeden, the chief of the D.E.A.’s Europe, Asia and Africa section. ‘It’s a place that we need to get ahead of — we’re already behind the curve in some ways, and we need to catch up.’

In May, William R. Brownfield, the assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement, a leading architect of the strategy now on display in Honduras, traveled to Ghana and Liberia to put the finishing touches on a West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative, which will try to replicate across 15 nations the steps taken in battling trafficking groups operating in Central America and Mexico.”

Jordan loan
Reuters reports the IMF has agreed to lend Jordan $2 billion, in part, to offset the costs of the Arab Spring:

“Meanwhile, tourism income and remittances from Jordanian workers abroad have been hit by the global economic slump and the unrest in the region. Government finances have been weakened by higher welfare spending to buy social peace during the Arab Spring, and by the cost of caring for refugees from Syria.
In an effort to cut its deficits, Jordan launched an austerity drive in May, raising fuel and electricity prices, imposing higher taxes on luxury goods and increasing corporate taxes on banks and mining companies.
But the government’s room for maneuver has been limited by the threat of unrest; Islamist and tribal opposition groups have held street protests against price rises, warning the authorities that austerity measures could trigger wider demonstrations and even civil disorder in impoverished areas.”

Bhopal Olympics
The Hindu reports that survivors of the Bhopal disaster are holding their own “Bhopal Special Olympics” in protest against Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the London Games, which kick off on Friday:

“The Bhopal Olympics, with the theme ‘From East India Company to the Dow Chemical Company’, will be held in a stadium right behind the abandoned Union Carbide factory that continues to leach carcinogenic chemicals in the local groundwater, causing birth defects in children even today.

The opening ceremony will draw attention to the many famines caused during the British rule in India, the mass hangings following the ‘first battle for Indian independence in 1857’, the massacre at Jalianwala Bagh in 1919 and last but not the least, to the support extended by the British Prime Minister to the Dow Chemical Company.”

Big bad pharma
The University of London’s Simon Reid-Henry and Deakin University’s Hans Lofgren condemn a “triple-pronged attack” from the West on India’s role as “global pharmacist”:

“It is not only the pharmaceutical industry that needs to be addressed but the continued and ruthless lobbying by western politicians to secure the profitability of their own industries.
We ought to be asking why governments in the rich world still seem happy to checkmate the lives of poor people to save their political skins. And why the pharmaceutical industry sees India as such a threat.”

Human rights rep
Xinhua reports that former Greek foreign minister Stavros Lambrinidis has become the EU’s first-ever special representative for human rights:

“Lambrinidis’ tasks will mainly focus on strengthening EU values in the bloc and around the world.
While some analysts question the tangible effectiveness of such a position, the appointment was welcomed by EU institutions.”

NGO transparency
The Irish Examiner reports that Ireland’s government is considering extending the scope of freedom of information laws to cover non-public bodies that receive state funding, “such as sporting groups and charities”:

“The [government] spokesman said no set criteria had been agreed upon as to which non-public bodies would fall under the extended reach of the FOI laws.
However, it could include the level of funding provided to a body, the percentage of that funding within the body’s overall budget, whether the grants are provided annually as opposed to once-off and the nature of the functions provided by the body and the extent to which it provides a service to the public.”

Constructive vandalism
Oxfam’s Kate Raworth makes the case for rewriting economics into something less focused on GDP growth and monetized resource flows:

“So here’s a guerrilla campaign to make it happen. Anyone can do it because all you need is a pencil. Here’s the plan (umm, I have to say at this point, this is not Oxfam Policy…). Sneak into the bookshops, the libraries and classrooms, and into the office of every economics professor you know. Get out the macroeconomic textbooks and find that diagram. Take your pencil. Now draw in the environment. Draw in the unpaid care economy. Draw in social inequality.
With these few strokes, we could stick a great big spanner in the wheel of mainstream economic thinking. We’d save the next generation of economics students from having the wrong model of the world stuck in the back of their heads. And that would help save us all from another era of economic policymakers who unknowingly have the wrong model of the economy shaping their decisions.”

Latest Developments, July 12

In the latest news and analysis…

Migrant deaths
Reuters reports that 54 people have died of thirst while trying to cross illegally from Libya to Italy by boat, leaving only one survivor:

“The incident is the latest in a long series of disasters which have killed thousands of migrants attempting to reach southern Europe from North Africa in small, unstable and frequently overcrowded boats.
According to the UNHCR, around 170 people have died this year trying to reach Europe from Libya. Around 1,300 have reached Italy by sea since the beginning of 2012 and another 1,000 people have reached Malta.”

Account closures
The CBC reports that TD Bank has decided to close the accounts of a number of Iranian-Canadians, citing the need to comply with sanctions against Iran:

“ ‘It’s…given no explanation as to why this has happened and made some cryptic reference to the sanctions. But anytime they’ve sought some further explanation, they’ve been stonewalled and treated very, very badly,’ [according to the Iranian Canadian Congress’s Kaveh Shahrooz.]
He couldn’t say exactly how many people have been affected. He said at this time it appears TD is the only bank sending out these letters.”

Democratic deficit
The US is “not seen as promoting democracy in the Middle East,” according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Pakistan:

“The U.S. receives mixed reviews in Tunisia. Overall, 45% have a favorable and 45% an unfavorable view of the U.S. However, President Barack Obama gets mostly poor marks – 57% say they have little or no confidence that Obama will do the right thing in world affairs. And there is no consensus among Tunisians about how the U.S. has handled the political changes taking place in their country – 31% believe the American response has had a positive effect, 27% say it has been negative, and 25% volunteer that the U.S. has had no impact.”

Criminalizing bank fraud
Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner in charge of financial reform, plans to table new rules that would make it a criminal offense to manipulate benchmarks such as Libor:

“ ‘We need to draw lessons from the Libor case,’ a spokesman for Barnier said. ‘We intend to close the regulatory gap in our proposed market-abuse legislation by including the direct manipulation of market indexes such as Libor.’
As it stands, the market-abuse proposal, which is now being negotiated with the European Parliament and EU member governments, defines insider dealing and market manipulation as criminal offences and lays down minimum penalties.”

No to EO 79
ABS-CBN News reports that environmental groups in the Philippines have three major objections to the country’s new mining rules:

“First, they say it promotes the unconstitutional overriding of local environmental codes that prohibit destructive mining operations in their area.
Second, it allegedly disenfranchises legitimate small-scale miners in favor of multinational companies, validating some 1.1 million hectares of existing mining applications and operations.
Third, it contents itself with a so-called piecemeal increase in mining administrative fees instead of collecting a “rightful” share from taxes and revenues.”

Subsitence threatened
Sherpa reports that it and four other NGOs have lodged a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development over the activities of tire giant Michelin in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu:

“The development of this land, from a rural to an industrial zone, caused, in total, the destruction of 450 hectares of communal forest that surrounded the village and supported agricultural and pastoral activities, thereby depriving the people of their primary means of subsistence. Moreover, the land leased to Michelin is located in a watershed that feeds three natural lakes that irrigate Thervoy village and are the principal source of water for agriculture in the area.
And yet, since the start of the project, local residents have been mobilized, have demonstrated peacefully and have taken the state of Tamil Nadu to court on several occasions. Indeed, this project is violating the rights of 1,500 families living in Thervoy and threatens their subsistence. 18 other villages are also impacted directly by the construction of infrastructure necessary for the site.”
[Translated from the French.]

Private prisons
Bloomberg reports that the Canadian government is considering using the services of private companies to run certain aspects of the country’s prisons, prompting an opposition politician to accuse the ruling Conservatives of “opening the door to privatization”:

“If Canada turned to the private sector, it would follow countries such as the U.S., U.K. and Australia that have relatively larger prison populations.
There are 209 prison facilities managed by private companies worldwide, with 181 in the U.S., according to data from the Association of Private Correctional and Treatment Organizations. There were 44 privately-run facilities in the U.S. in the late 1980s, according to research by Management and Training Corporation, a closely held company that manages prisons.”

EU-Africa trade
Ten year-old trade negotiations between Africa and the EU are unlikely to bear fruit unless they are guided by a fundamental shift in thinking, according to the European Centre for Development Policy Management’s Sanoussi Bilal:

“Africa does not need a trade deal with Europe to grow, though it might help. What Europe and Africa both need, however, are stronger relations based on a more equal footing, where legitimate economic and political interests are openly acknowledged, not couched in benevolent, somewhat paternalistic, rhetoric on ‘development’.”