Archive for the ‘Zimbabwe’ Category

Pope’s Message of Peace, Stability: Warns of Ruin in Selfishness

December 25, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI has called for peace in the Middle East and stability in Africa in his Christmas Day message.

Speaking from the Vatican, the Pope prayed for the opponents of the “twisted logic of conflict and violence” to prevail in the Holy Land.

BBC

The Pope decried instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan and Somalia, and lamented the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans.

He also called for solidarity in the face of an ever more uncertain future.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates christmas night holy mass at the ... 

Read more:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7799628.stm

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By FRANCES D’EMILIO, Associated Press Writer

Pope Benedict XVI in his Christmas message Thursday warned that the world was headed toward ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during tough economic times for both rich and poor nations.

Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on the day Christians commemorate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, Benedict declared that the “heart of the Christian message is meant for all men and women.”

The traditional papal Christmas Day message “Urbi et Orbi” — Latin for “to the City and to the World” — usually covers the globe’s hot spots, but this year Benedict also addressed the gloomy economic conditions worrying many across the planet.

Amid near daily news of layoffs, failing companies and people losing homes they can no longer afford in many parts of the world, Benedict’s words seemed tailored in part to the global economic crisis.

He said his Christmas message also applied to “wherever an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081225/ap_o
n_re_eu/eu_vatican_christmas_15

America Must Rebuild To Thrive; Obama Must Deliver Real, Lasting Goodies

December 25, 2008

America needs to reboot and re-invent itself.

Internationally, Israel wants a smackdown on Iran.  Medvedev and Putin want U.S. Missile Defense out of Europe.  And others are lining up too.

Americans want prosperity and jobs.  GM and Chryler want all the auto bailout they can get and the UAW wants a raise.

President-elect Obama, blissfully in the Hawaiian nirvana as we write, faces a long line of seekers looking for goodies this Christmas and next year.

Can he possibly deliver? 

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From Thomas Friedman
The New York Times

We’ve indulged ourselves for too long with tax cuts that we can’t afford, bailouts of auto companies that have become giant wealth-destruction machines, energy prices that do not encourage investment in 21st-century renewable power systems or efficient cars, public schools with no national standards to prevent illiterates from graduating and immigration policies that have our colleges educating the world’s best scientists and engineers and then, when these foreigners graduate, instead of stapling green cards to their diplomas, we order them to go home and start companies to compete against ours.

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America still has the right stuff to thrive. We still have the most creative, diverse, innovative culture and open society — in a world where the ability to imagine and generate new ideas with speed and to implement them through global collaboration is the most important competitive advantage. China may have great airports, but last week it went back to censoring The New York Times and other Western news sites. Censorship restricts your people’s imaginations. That’s really, really dumb. And that’s why for all our missteps, the 21st century is still up for grabs.

John Kennedy led us on a journey to discover the moon. Obama needs to lead us on a journey to rediscover, rebuild and reinvent our own backyard.

Read it all:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24
/opinion/24friedman.html?em

Art Below by Steve Broder in the New York Times

No Peace and Joy at Christmas: World Boiling With War, Terror, Violence

December 25, 2008

Peace may not come on Christmas for many.  And the days ahead may be even rougher.  Israel is fed up with rocket attacks in Gaza.  The U.S. Army is looking for more troops for Iraq and Afghanistan.  Pirates seem to rule the Gulf of Aden.  Pakistan eyes India and India glares back….and on and on….

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We are today in one of the world’s most violent and unstable periods since perhaps World War II.

In the past seven years the world has seen major terror attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, Africa, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India, horrific genocidal slaughter in Darfur and outright war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of citizens, soldiers, insurgents, men, women, children, the innocent, the guilty and the in-between have been killed, wounded, maimed, blown apart, beheaded, executed and otherwise dispatched from the land of the living. Tensions are heating to the boiling point and could explode into major war between India and Pakistan; the Kurds and Iraq/Turkey/Iran/Syria; Iran and the United States/Israel; Hezbollah and Israel; and Russia and Georgia – among others. War and rumors of war dominate our lives.

A U.S. soldier looks at a skateboard during a routine patrol ...
Looking for explosive devices.  This may not be a toy.  A U.S. soldier looks at a skateboard during a routine patrol in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008.(AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Somehow the spirit of joy and happiness that normally characterizes this time of year seems strangely out of place. Far more than presents this Christmas, we are in desperate need of the gift of peace.

By Daniel L. Davis
Washington Times

The editorial pages of the nation’s leading newspapers are stocked full of pundits explaining how we can “win the war on terror” by using strong-armed tactics, co-opting the weak and employing intimidation to attain our ends. Many recommend we threaten military action against Iran if it doesn’t bend to our will. Others argue that the new president ought to hold to a tough and aggressive policy regarding Russian “aggression.”

Still more enthusiastically endorse a deepening and widening of the war in Afghanistan, perhaps even to Pakistan – whether the government in Islamabad agrees to it or not. What is consistent about all these efforts is that they posit that to achieve peace, we must employ ever greater amounts of violence and force. The result seems only to be a festering of the violence, an increase in the amount of terrorism and more antagonistic relations between nation states.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
dec/25/another-war-on-the-horizon/

Surge in Zimbabwe cholera deaths

December 15, 2008

Just last week, the government of Zimbabwe said at one point that its cholera epidemic was caused by the West and then said there was no more cholera in Zimbabwe.  Now we learn that the epidemic is growing….

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The United Nations says 978 people have now been killed by the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, an increase of 25% from the last figure given three days ago.

The UN’s office for humanitarian affairs says 18,413 suspected cases have been reported across the country since the outbreak began in August.

The disease has spread quickly as the health care and water systems have collapsed amid a long political crisis.

Cholera patient being treated in Harare - 10/12/2008

South Africa’s Red Cross is rushing much-needed medicine to Zimbabwe

Last week, President Robert Mugabe said the spread of cholera had been halted.

The UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the worst-hit area was the capital, Harare, with 208 confirmed deaths and 8,454 suspected cases.

The South African Red Cross has sent much-needed medical supplies to Zimbabwe, and has issued an appeal for funds to treat a total of 30,000 people.

The UN has said it estimates up to 60,000 people may eventually be affected.

From the BBC

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7784392.stm

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe: Cool, Calculated Killer

December 14, 2008
For decades, the Zimbabwe leader has carefully calibrated his actions to a level of ‘acceptable’ violence that escapes condemnation while destroying opposition.
By Robyn Dixon
The Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2008
Reporting from Harare, Zimbabwe — For a very literal example of Robert Mugabe’s staying power, look no further than a recent crisis summit of southern African leaders designed to settle the political impasse that has seen the longtime Zimbabwean leader stubbornly cling to the presidency.

The leaders wanted him to leave the room so they could deliberate in private. He refused.

Between their misguided politeness and his famous capacity to intimidate, the presidents meekly backed down. Mugabe stayed.

Be it with his fellow African leaders, the West or the Zimbabwean opposition, the 84-year-old Mugabe has outmaneuvered — and outlasted — his critics for more than a quarter of a century, through a careful calibration of the international reaction to and domestic effect of his actions. As close as the end sometimes seems, Mugabe has managed to survive.

Please help the Red Cross fight diseases like Cholera in Zimbabwe:
http://www.redcross.org.uk/zimbabwe

To help understand his staying power, one need only rewind to the 1980s and the massacres of his early years in power, when he was a conquering hero who had thrown out the white minority regime of Ian Smith.

The name of the murderous operation, Gukurahundi, was as lyrical as a haiku: the wind that blows away the chaff before the spring rains.

Mugabe’s political opponents were the chaff. The spring rains were supposed to signify the golden era of a one-party state (or rather, a one-man state).

Western leaders and news media ignored the massacres of the “dissidents” by the army’s crack Five Brigade in Matabeleland province in southern Zimbabwe. Some estimates put the dead at 20,000.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wo
rld/la-fg-mugabe14-2008dec14,0,4418603.story

Above: Robert ugabe.  Photo:  Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / Associated Press

Zimbabwe: Cholera introduced by West

December 13, 2008

The Zimbabwean government on Saturday accused the West of deliberately starting the country’s cholera epidemic, stepping up a war of words with the regime’s critics as the humanitarian crisis deepened.

The state-run Herald newspaper said comments by the U.S. ambassador that the U.S. had been preparing for the outbreak raised suspicions the West had waged “serious biological chemical war.”

Zimbabwean officials often blame their country’s troubles on the West. Their stranglehold on most sources of news to which ordinary Zimbabweans have access makes such rhetoric an important tool for a regime struggling to hold onto power.

Associated Press

A young boy prepares to drink clean water from a borehole in ... 
A young boy prepares to drink clean water from a borehole in Harare, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. President Robert Mugabe declared that Zimbabwe’s cholera crisis was over Thursday, even as the United Nations raised the death toll from the epidemic to 783. Cholera has spread rapidly in the southern African nation because of the country’s crumbling health care system and the lack of clean water. The U.N. said 16,403 cases have been reported.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

After the first cholera cases, U.S. and other aid workers braced for the waterborne disease to spread quickly in an economically ravaged country where the sewage system and medical care have collapsed. Zimbabwe also faces a hunger crisis, the world’s highest inflation and shortages of both the most basic necessities and the cash to buy them.

President Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe has said the West was plotting to use cholera to invade

Please help the Red Cross in Zimbabwe:
http://www.redcross.org.uk/zimbabwe

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081213/ap_on_re_af/af_zimbabwe

Health clinics overwhelmed by cholera cases in Zimbabwe

December 10, 2008

In Zimbabwe, a cholera epidemic is claiming hundreds of lives.  The medical system has totally broken down.  Western aid agencies have arrived in force after the Mugabe regime reluctantly appealed for international help last week. They are flying in medics, medicines and equipment.

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The room suddenly fell silent. The local health official momentarily stopped his briefing of aid workers visiting the cholera treatment centre in Chitungwiza, a township 20 miles from Harare.

Right outside the open window four labourers in latex gloves were loading a rigid corpse, trussed up in black plastic sheeting, on to a pick-up truck that had come to take it away for burial.

It was a sight that reinforced the message of the official dramatically. Here in Chitungwiza, as in many other communities across Zimbabwe, the cholera epidemic is overwhelming the skeletal remains of social services.

The corpses of two other victims lay wrapped in blankets in the makeshift mortuary of the centre, which is in the former maternity unit of the clinic. Their deaths raised the total in this wretched, densely populated township to more than 80.

By Martin Fletcher
The Times (UK)

A baby drinks water from her mother's hand in Harare, Zimbabwe ... 
A baby drinks water from her mother’s hand in Harare, Zimbabwe Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. European Union nations moved to tighten sanctions against Zimbabwe’s government on Monday and stood united in calling for the country’s authoritarian leader Robert Mugabe to ‘step down.’ The move was to protest the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, where a cholera outbreak is claiming thousands of live due to poor state of health care there. .(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w
orld/africa/article5315386.ece

Amid Cholera Epidemic, EU Says Time to Push Out Zimbabwe’s Mugabe

December 8, 2008

The European Union joined calls on Monday for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to step down from the leadership of his crisis-hit country.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe raises his fist during a ...

“I think the moment has arrived to put all the pressure for Mugabe to step down,” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels.

Solana said it was possible that the 27-nation bloc could decide at the meeting to add up to 11 names to an already long list of Zimbabwean officials banned from traveling in Europe, but argued against any further sanctions on a country whose once-thriving economy is now devastated.

“Everything that can be done has been done…The important thing is the political pressure now,” he said.

The United States said on Friday that Mugabe’s departure from office was long overdue and that a food crisis and cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe meant it was now vital for the international community to act.

Britain has told Zimbabwe’s neighbors they could expect firm international support for any effort to bring a “real change” to Zimbabwe.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; writing by Mark John at Reuters)