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January 12, 2017, 04:11 PM
Reply #260
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Tonight, I'm going to hold a little lecture so that you can understand what is at stake in the Paris conference about Palestine and Israel.

« Israel-Palestine: the two state solution is in trouble », by Jean-Marc Ayrault
The Paris conference, which is to begin on the fifteenth of January, must be an opportunity to relaunch trust between the Israelis and the Palestinians in order to allow them to live peacefully and safe side by side.



The Middle East peace process cannot wait, for two main reasons.

First and foremost, the situation is urgent. Many crises throughout the region, from Syria to Libya, from Yemen to Iraq, have generated new threats to its stability. Some say that because of these crises, priorities need to be established, and in the name of these supposed priorities, resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be put off until later. This is not what I believe: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be considered separately from its regional environment. Thinking that the Middle East could restore its stability without settling its oldest conflict is unrealistic. This conflict, if not dealt with, will continue to fuel frustration and will ultimately only worsen the vicious cycle of radicalization and violence. It will continue to give budding terrorists excuses for enlisting. The heinous attack in Jerusalem last Sunday is an additional warning sign. That is why I decided to take action: because peace cannot wait and every passing day moves possibilities for settling the conflict further from reach.

Because in addition to the urgency of the situation, I have a very strong conviction and it is one I share with most of our partners and with most Israelis and Palestinians. This conviction is that only a two-State solution will, in time, bring stability to the region and enable Israel to live in security. This does not mean imposing peace. France has never claimed to outline a solution for anyone. We are extremely aware that the conflict will not be settled until parties have decided to set out down the courageous and demanding path of reconciliation. This path will be sinuous and marked by difficult choices. Neither France nor the international community can nor wishes to force the parties to take it. Israelis and Palestinians must jointly decide what their future together will be.

Yet, there is one certainty, shared by all, because beyond Israelis and Palestinians, it concerns our collective security: the aim of negotiations, their very reason for existing, is to achieve two States, living side by side in peace and security. Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas know that there is no alternative and that this is the way Israelis and Palestinians will be able to look serenely to the future.

However, this two-State solution is in danger. For more than six years, the absence of a peace process has given way to a deceptive status quo. Palestinians are seeing their future State shrinking, as settlement expansion continues at an unprecedented speed. This, in turn, generates more occupation, since there is never one without the other. Israelis, in a regional environment that has never been more turbulent, are also experiencing almost-daily violence, carried out by those who play on people’s frustrations to promote an agenda of hate. Promises of peace from both sides have disappeared and have been replaced by mistrust, resignation and even false hope that the current situation can go on indefinitely.

Saving the two-State solution and safeguarding a future of peace and prosperity for peoples in the region is why the international community has decided to take action under the impetus of France. That is why on 3 June 2016, 30 countries and international organizations answered our call and met in Paris. That is why the Security Council passed resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016. This action has but one, simple and clear message: Israeli friends, Palestinian friends, we will not make peace on your behalf but we will be by your side. It is our responsibility in the face of History. We will be there to support you. Like us, you are aware that the international community’s support will be indispensable when the time comes. We are ready to provide this support.

On 15 January in Paris more than 70 partners will meet again. First to present the outcome of the work they started on 3 June. Together, we have come up with a contribution for all areas: the economy, trade, development assistance, cooperation and the civil society. Its goal is to show the parties what they can gain from peace. The 15th January conference will also send a message to Israelis, to Palestinians and to the world. At a time when the future of the peace process is subject to all kinds of speculation, it is our joint responsibility to reiterate this obvious fact: in no way can a unilateral decision be compatible with the two-State solution. This solution will only be possible if there is restored confidence and a shared political future to which Israelis and Palestinians aspire. France has but one ambition: to help make this happen.

January 16, 2017, 03:51 PM
Reply #261
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Tonight, I'm going to hold a conference about immigration.

In 2016, the immigration of a area of 1.2 billion people dethroned the Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi arrivals in Europe.
But what is this region? Is it Palestine ? No. Is it Pakistan? No.






We focused so much on the Middle East that we did not really see Africa coming... In 2016, however, with low noise, the immigration of this continent of 1.2 billion inhabitants dethroned the Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi arrivals in Europe. According to a communication from Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, on 6 January, 93% of those who landed in Italy last year came from this continent.

The year that has just ended could therefore be a transition, a transition from one exile to another. With its one million refugees in Europe, in addition to the millions already massed in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, 2015 had been a "Syrian year", a "year of asylum", and minds remained on this vision , which masked other movements that were taking shape.

Overall, orders of magnitude fell. By 2016, flows have decreased by two thirds (364,000 arrivals on the Old Continent) and have changed in nature. Crossings of the central Mediterranean sea (181 000) increased by one fifth, taking precedence over the Aegean sea (175 000), divided by four. The agreement between the EU and Turkey, signed in March 2016, that Ankara is committed to controlling emigration to Europe, is the first explanation for the decline in Syrian arrivals in Europe. The EU welcomes the effectiveness of this agreement and the reduction of drownings, but many voices denounce the blocking of 54,000 Syrians in camps in Greece and the inhumanity of the situation.

It is therefore in Italy that the African migratory pressure is observed. It passes through Libya, an anarchic country where migrants are victims of trafficking and the worst exactions.
Of the top 10 nationalities of migrants arriving in Italy between January and November, nine are from the African continent, as recorded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Only Bangladesh, in 9th position with 4.4% of arrivals, breaks this unit. The main community, Nigerians, constituted 21% of the entrants, followed by Eritreans (11.7%), Guineans (7.2%) and Ivorians (6.7%). According to Frontex, nationals of these countries are ten times more likely to have traveled in 2016 than in 2010. The agency responsible for the external borders of Europe even estimates that "this evolution reflects the growing migratory pressure of the African continent , And particularly West Africa, responsible for most of the growth of arrivals by this road in 2016".


A big problem: The Sahel, “a demographic bomb”
Unlike the rest of Africa, the Sahel, as well as some Central African countries, continues to see its population increase massively. Niger even holds the world record of fertility. In the medium term, there is no indication of a reversal of the trend. This poor region, destabilized by the rise of jihadist movements, is going to become one of the main contributors of global population growth by the end of the 21st century, according to projections by the United Nations Population Division.



Michel Garenne, a Demographer attached to the Foundation for the Study and Research on International Development, analyzed in detail the situation of the six French speaking countries - Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad - which share this area of more than 5 million square kilometers. He highlights the failure of the population policies carried out so far and warns against an "unsustainable situation", one of the consequences could be the migration of tens of millions of people. At a time when the European Union intends to respond to the migratory problem by more development, the researcher urges that the demographic issue should not be left aside.

Demographic growth is slowing down everywhere in Africa except in the Sahel and some Central African countries. Why ?

For Michel Garenne, the leaders of these countries have never considered that controlling the growth of the population was really important. Development was bound to solve all problems. This speech, it is true, was in vogue in many countries of the South in the 1970s. Algeria, on behalf of the non-aligned countries, declared at the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974 that "the best pill, It is development ". Ten years later, the Algerians backed down and adopted a major family planning program. Not the countries of the Sahel, where everything that has been undertaken has had little impact. Especially in rural areas, where the population explosion is currently concentrated, with an average of 6 to 8 children per woman.

The Americans, as they had done twenty years earlier successfully in Latin America and Asia, tried in the 1980s to promote birth control policies. But the economic crisis and structural adjustment plans have led to abandon these efforts.

Do the UN projections, which expect a six-fold increase in the population of the Sahel by 2100, seem solid?
None of these countries has a civil registry. All data come from censuses and field surveys. The United Nations itself recognizes the weakness of these sources, particularly for migration. The six Sahelian countries are on a trajectory that will see their population increase from 89 million in 2015 to 240 million in 2050 and then to 540 million in 2100. By that time, Niger alone would house more than 200 million people. Can we imagine that the Sahel is going to account for a third of the world's population growth? The Sahel is a demographic bomb.

Does the fact that the Sahel is often perceived as an underpopulated area play a role in this inertia?
Certainly. But what was true fifty years ago is not true today. The constraints of the environment are severe because the climate is arid or semi-arid, soils are not very fertile. Many terroirs have already reached saturation. The rivalry between farmers has intensified, conflicts multiply, notably in Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The arrival of important investors who buy large areas exacerbates these tensions.

In 1975, South Africa had calculated that over 80 million people would face severe water resource problems. That is why it adopted its family planning program. But the situation of the Sahel is not comparable to that of South Africa ...
The dispersal of the population over vast territories makes things more difficult. But we know how to do it: the most effective and proven technique anywhere in the world is to give women access to contraception by visiting them in their village or by convincing them to go to the nearest health center. In Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, to name but a few, have succeeded in doing so.

The low level of education does not help but it is not an insurmountable factor. Bangladesh has succeeded in bringing down its fertility rate of uneducated women, dominated by their husbands in very hard and very Islamized patriarchal structures. Islam [all countries in the region are predominantly Muslim, with the exception of Burkina Faso] is not a handicap. Thus, in Iran, the ayatollahs' regime did better than the shah and led to a very rapid demographic transition.

If we do not act, what will happen?
Just look at what's already happening: people leave. In history, overpopulation has always been resolved in the same way: departures, wars, famines, epidemics. We must remember the strong food crisis in Ireland with what has been called "potato famine". But the situation was different: The European people could emigrate easily because the United States needed manpower for their development and thus promoted labor migration, not to mention the fact that the populations of departure and arrival were of the same European culture and of the same Christian religion. Today, borders are closing everywhere. In South Africa, the richest country on the continent, anti-immigrant movements already exist. Where will these people go?

Between 3 and 5 million people have left the Sahel since independence. They will probably be around 40 million by the end of the century. This poses problems on another scale that will have to be managed. However, the Western countries and Europe in particular, which is likely to accommodate a large number of them, pretend that the subject does not exist. Putting in place family planning policies should be one of the priorities. Talking about sustainable development and putting aside the demographic issue is just insane.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:22 PM by scarface »

January 16, 2017, 10:34 PM
Reply #262
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I don't believe this planet's human population is going to increase at the same rate as in the past. In order to maintain the population steady, the birth rate must be no less than 2.1 children per woman. This is dropping fast, especially in the more developed nations and will slowly do so everywhere else. Unlike before, many children are no longer just another pair of hands. If anything they're a costly liability and it makes economic sense not to have very many. There is also much more access to birth control than there ever was. And of course never forget all these people have to eat and have access to the basic requirement to make a living. The more scarce that becomes, the more the population comes down.

January 17, 2017, 04:34 PM
Reply #263
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Currently, there is a cold wave in Europe and also across a few areas in the world. Let’s hope that little usmangujjar and Maher are fine.
The weather is particularly cold in Moscow (-5°C), Paris (-2°C), but also in Islamabad (7°C) and in Qalqilya (12°C).

What can you do if you are cold ? You can drink or eat hot stuff, like tea or hot meals.
For instance, in the Bioparco of Roma, hot potatoes were distributed to animals as a cold wave hits Italy since a week with unusual snowfalls in the southern region of Puglia.
In this picture, a gorilla eats a hot potato in the Bioparco in Rome.

Yesterday at 05:01 PM
Reply #264
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Tonight, I’m going to hold a conference to warn about the disappearance of the monkeys.

The monkeys could disappear from the planet in twenty-five to fifty years if nothing is done.

According to a study, 60% of primate species are endangered due to human activities. 75% of the populations are already declining.

A Japanese macaque is taking a bath in a hot spring in the town of Yamanouchi, Japan.


The monkeys are our closest cousins, and yet we watch them die slowly. Worse, we are leading them to their loss, at a pace and scale never equaled. In a study published in Science Advances on Wednesday January 18th, thirty-one international primatologists are drawing an alarming picture: if nothing is done to quickly reduce human pressures on primates and their habitats, we will witness mass extinctions of these emblematic animals within twenty-five to fifty years.

Combining the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the existing scientific literature and United Nations databases, Alejandro Estrada, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and its Colleagues conducted a mega-analysis of the status, threats and conservation efforts of the five hundred and four species of primates in the world, from the powerful gorillas to the fragile lemurs to orangutans, chimpanzees and other bonobos.

The results of this study, the largest ever conducted to date, are instructive: scientists estimate that 60% of monkey species are in danger of extinction due to human activities, and 75% of the populations are already declining . Four out of six great ape species are only one step away from extinction, according to the latest IUCN update in September. These animals that are essential to ecosystems - they contribute to the maintenance and regeneration of forests by dispersing seeds in particular - also play a central role in the culture, traditions and even the economy of the territories they occupy.

Primates, the richest mammal group after rodents and bats, are found in ninety countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. However, two-thirds are concentrated in the heart of only four states: Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the vast majority live in humid tropical forests, monkeys are also living in temperate woodlands, mangroves, savannas, grasslands and even deserts. Everywhere, their lives are in danger: 87% of Madagascar's species are at risk, 73% in Asia, 37% in sub-Saharan Africa and 36% in Latin America.

"This is the eleventh hour for many of these creatures," said Paul Garber, an anthropology professor at the University of Illinois (USA), who co-led the study. Several species, such as the ringed tailed lemur, Udzungwa red colobus in Tanzania, brown rhinopithecus or Grauer's gorilla, only counts a few thousand individuals. In the case of the Hainan gibbon in China, there are even fewer than thirty animals. "

They are facing multiple threats, the weight of which has steadily increased over the years, and which often add up. Monkey habitats disappear under the pressure of agriculture (affecting 76% of the species), forestry (60%), livestock (31%), road and railway construction, drilling Oil and gas and mining operations (2% to 13%). In addition, hunting and poaching directly affect 60% of the species. To this must be added the emerging dangers, such as pollution and climate change.

Borneo orangutans are threatened by the production of palm oil.


The Expansion of agriculture, the first threat.

The frantic demand for agricultural products (soybean, palm oil, cane sugar, rice, etc.) and meat has accelerated deforestation in the four corners of the globe, as well as the fragmentation of habitats. Between 1990 and 2010, crops grew by 1.5 million square kilometers (three times the size of France) in areas where primates live, while forest cover declined by 2 million km2.

A fatal evolution to monkeys. The production of palm oil seriously jeopardizes the orangutans of Borneo and Sumatra, which lost 60% of their habitat between 1985 and 2007. The expansion of rubber plantations in southwestern China, has provoked the quasi-extinction of the pale cheek gibbon and the Hainan gibbon. And the future gives little cause for optimism.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:45 PM by scarface »

Yesterday at 07:15 PM
Reply #265
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>>The weather is particularly cold in Moscow (-5°C), Paris (-2°C), but also in Islamabad (7°C) and in Qalqilya (12°C)

These temps are nothing out of the ordinary. -5°C in Moscow in January is a balmy day and the others are typical for winter. 2 weeks ago in San Antonio there was a cold front and the temp descended to -6°C, since then it's been higher than normal for this month.

I'm not too worried about monkeys. As I recall the last specie that owes its extinction to humans is the Tazmanian Devil - the last one died in 1936. Since they many species that have been close to extinction have come back due to conservation. Good examples are the American bison and alligator. Tiger populations in Asia have risen. Many other species have been taken off the endangered list.