Monday, July 08, 2013

Today's Internets - "Justice and peace 10 years on in Liberia."

IRIN Africa | Briefing: Justice and peace 10 years on in Liberia | Liberia | Conflict | Economy | Education | Food Security | Governance
"...the reconciliation process has made little headway. Liberia’s peace appears to stem instead from a deep-seated weariness of violence and the presence of a large UN peacekeeping force.

Four years ago, Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released a series of recommendations on measures for national reconciliation, justice and wide-ranging institutional reform to address the causes and consequences of the conflict. Yet until now little has been done to implement them, partly because some of those recommended for prosecution or disbarment from public office, including Nobel Laureate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, remain in positions of power and influence.

 One of those recommended for prosecution, Prince Johnson, the senator for Nimba Country who finished in third place in the last presidential poll, stands accused by the report of “killing, extortion, massacre, destruction of property, forced recruitment, assault, abduction, torture & forced labor [and] rape”. The TRC also requests that he account for “the remains of the late President [Doe], especially the skull of the head of the President which was occasionally displayed by Hon. Johnson as a `war trophy’.”

James Yarsiah is the chairman of the Transitional Justice Working Group, a civil society initiative monitoring Liberia’s peace process. “I don’t want tomorrow another group of Liberians to crawl from the mountains and the bushes… because the guys who did it before are honourables and dignitaries now,” he told IRIN. “What kind of a message does that send?” "

...Prominent among the institutional shortcomings often blamed for Liberia’s civil wars are a deeply flawed justice system, the over-centralization of power and wealth among Monrovia’s Americo-Liberian elite, widespread corruption, tensions over land rights and high levels of poverty and unemployment. These problems largely persist. The justice system remains inefficient and inaccessible for many Liberians. Power and wealth are still concentrated in the capital, Monrovia. Corruption remains widespread, as underscored by a recent audit report by accountancy firm Moore Stephens, which showed that only two of 68 land concessions since 2009 had been awarded in compliance with Liberian law.

...The foreign direct investment poured into the country has not yet managed to significantly improve living standards of many ordinary Liberians. Liberia remains 174th out of 186 countries on the Human Development Index."

"Johnson Sirleaf answered questions on state radio Tuesday about what she said is the deplorable condition of Roberts International Airport in the capital, Monrovia, which has not had any major upgrades since 1970. "The runway needs some serious work and we recognize that," she admitted. "We are making arrangements to start that work right after the rainy season...  I will do it as long as I am clear that the national interest is protected and that we have complied with our laws and regulations.""

"Scientists in Japan said they had grown human liver tissue from stem cells in a first that holds promise for alleviating the critical shortage of donor organs. Creating lab-grown tissue to replenish organs damaged by accident or disease is a Holy Grail for the pioneering field of research into the premature cells known as stem cells. Stem Cell 'Ink' Printed Into Living Dots PLAY VIDEO First Cloned Human Embryos Yield Stem Cells Stem cells offer the hope of new cures. ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK Now Takanori Takebe of the Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine and a team reported Wednesday in the journal Nature that they grew tissue "resembling the (human) adult liver" in a lab mouse."

"...he should study what Tadashi Yanai has already accomplished at Fast Retailing Co., home of the Uniqlo brand. Yanai has become Japan’s richest man -- and the only Japanese on Time magazine’s latest 100 most-influential list -- largely because of his success at expanding abroad.

At home, low-cost clothier Uniqlo smartly recognized that deflation was a secular, not cyclical, phenomenon. But going global, Yanai discovered, required two skills at which Japan Inc. has traditionally failed to excel: taking risks and speaking English. Yanai shook up the company’s ranks by promoting on merit rather than seniority, and revamped its marketing with edgy ad campaigns. Equally important have been Uniqlo’s efforts to tap foreign talent and to hold staff meetings in English, so that executives can perform better overseas.

Abe has nodded toward some of these ideas, promising to bolster English education. But then, so have the last 10 prime ministers. Will Abe actually address what researcher C.H. Kwan dubbed the “Economics of Engrish” back in 2002? Abe could start by challenging Finance Minister Taro Aso, who has suggested that corporate Japan’s poor language skills are actually an asset. Japan escaped the worst of the 2008 financial meltdown, Aso has claimed, because its bankers were mystified by subprime loans: “Managers of Japanese banks hardly understood English, that’s why they didn’t buy.”

...The most effective reforms will inevitably be controversial: They will all challenge powerful vested interests. (That’s part of the reason Abe has been so vague about details in the run-up to upper-house elections later this month.) Even within stodgy Japan Inc., though, several mavericks have shown that such challenges are possible.  Defying a powerful nuclear lobby, for instance, SoftBank Corp. President Masayoshi Son is investing 20 billion yen ($199 million) in renewable-energy projects and promoting an Asia-wide “supergrid” to link cities from Mumbai to Tokyo. His $21.6 billion bid for U.S. mobile giant Sprint Nextel Corp. would let the creative destruction emphasized by economist Joseph Schumpeter play out with innovative pricing and network investments.

40 of the best NSA Protest Signs - StumbleUpon:

Joe Rogan takes on Bigfoot, UFOs on SyFy show | Las Vegas Review-Journal
"Joe Rogan is hosting a new TV show about Bigfoot, UFOs and ESP, and he says the show is teaching him “a lot about crazy people.” “The same pattern exists in people who believe in UFOs, or who believe in ghosts, or who believe in psychics,” says Rogan — who performs stand-up on Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel. The pattern is: True believers risk looking foolish, even if they are telling the truth, so they can get pretty defensive. “If you really saw a UFO, and you tried telling people — how crazy would you sound, even if it really did happen? It would (mess) with your head because nobody would believe you,” Rogan says."

This. Is. Awesome.
HEALTHYLICIOUS LIVING | mirificentia: WHY DID THIS MAKE ME SO HAPPY ...: "mirificentia: WHY DID THIS MAKE ME SO HAPPY there’s good hearted people (via mettamuscle)"

"I think Bane has had a few too many. I saw her grinding on the dance floor for hours. It’s setting a bad example for those who look up to her…really, just Scandalous. This would add an entirely new element to the Bane/Scandal thing…"

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