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crisisgroup:

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency
Abuja/Dakar/Nairobi/Brussels  |   3 Apr 2014
In an environment of poverty, injustice and lack of political will for reform, Boko Haram’s growing strength and dissemination is increasingly putting local and regional stability at risk.
In its latest report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency, the International Crisis Group examines the emergence, rise and evolution of a movement whose four-year insurgency has killed thousands, displaced close to a million, destroyed public infrastructure and weakened the country’s already poor economy, particularly in the North East. The government’s failure to provide security and basic services makes poor youth, in particular, an easy recruitment target for anti-state militias. As Boko Haram’s network expands into Cameroon and Niger, a military response is not enough. Only deep political and socio-economic reform can ease the injustices that fuel the insurgency.
The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
Boko Haram’s evolution since 2002 is strongly linked to failed governance, economic hardship, rising social inequality, corruption and impunity. Most Nigerians are poorer today than at independence in 1960. Poverty is most dire in the north, where Boko Haram, the latest of many northern fundamentalist movements, has tapped into Muslim revivalism and hopes to establish an Islamic state.
Since 2010, the group’s campaign has grown, targeting not only security forces and politicians, but also civilians, traditional and religious leaders, public institutions, the UN presence and schools. It is more dispersed than ever, with many leaders in Cameroon and Niger, both of which are poorly equipped to address an armed Islamist threat. Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, seems to have little control over its factions, including Ansaru, which focuses on foreign targets.
Insecurity in much of the north may also worsen political violence and undermine the credibility of the 2015 elections, further damaging government legitimacy.
Federal and state governments must end impunity by prosecuting crimes by security services, government officials and Boko Haram members alike, and urgently develop and implement a socio-economic intervention program for the North East region.
Civic education to halt politicisation of religions, effective development and anti-corruption efforts, and police who are seen as partners to citizens are all vital.
“Boko Haram’s insurgency is tapping into governance, corruption, impunity and underdevelopment grievances shared by most people in the region” says EJ Hogendoorn, Deputy Africa Program Director. “It’s a serious challenge and a manifestation of more profound threats to Nigeria’s security. Yet, the government’s response is largely military”.
“Radical reform of governance and political culture is a big agenda, one some Nigerian elites have not yet demonstrated they have the will to address”, says Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director. “But if they do not, Boko Haram, or groups like it, will continue to destabilise large parts of the country”.
FULL REPORT

crisisgroup:

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency

Abuja/Dakar/Nairobi/Brussels  |   3 Apr 2014

In an environment of poverty, injustice and lack of political will for reform, Boko Haram’s growing strength and dissemination is increasingly putting local and regional stability at risk.

In its latest report, Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency, the International Crisis Group examines the emergence, rise and evolution of a movement whose four-year insurgency has killed thousands, displaced close to a million, destroyed public infrastructure and weakened the country’s already poor economy, particularly in the North East. The government’s failure to provide security and basic services makes poor youth, in particular, an easy recruitment target for anti-state militias. As Boko Haram’s network expands into Cameroon and Niger, a military response is not enough. Only deep political and socio-economic reform can ease the injustices that fuel the insurgency.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

Boko Haram’s evolution since 2002 is strongly linked to failed governance, economic hardship, rising social inequality, corruption and impunity. Most Nigerians are poorer today than at independence in 1960. Poverty is most dire in the north, where Boko Haram, the latest of many northern fundamentalist movements, has tapped into Muslim revivalism and hopes to establish an Islamic state.

Since 2010, the group’s campaign has grown, targeting not only security forces and politicians, but also civilians, traditional and religious leaders, public institutions, the UN presence and schools. It is more dispersed than ever, with many leaders in Cameroon and Niger, both of which are poorly equipped to address an armed Islamist threat. Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, seems to have little control over its factions, including Ansaru, which focuses on foreign targets.

Insecurity in much of the north may also worsen political violence and undermine the credibility of the 2015 elections, further damaging government legitimacy.

Federal and state governments must end impunity by prosecuting crimes by security services, government officials and Boko Haram members alike, and urgently develop and implement a socio-economic intervention program for the North East region.

Civic education to halt politicisation of religions, effective development and anti-corruption efforts, and police who are seen as partners to citizens are all vital.

“Boko Haram’s insurgency is tapping into governance, corruption, impunity and underdevelopment grievances shared by most people in the region” says EJ Hogendoorn, Deputy Africa Program Director. “It’s a serious challenge and a manifestation of more profound threats to Nigeria’s security. Yet, the government’s response is largely military”.

“Radical reform of governance and political culture is a big agenda, one some Nigerian elites have not yet demonstrated they have the will to address”, says Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director. “But if they do not, Boko Haram, or groups like it, will continue to destabilise large parts of the country”.

FULL REPORT

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What you need to know about the Iran nuclear talks.

What you need to know about the Iran nuclear talks.

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howstuffworks:

Three Years Ago: How Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Works
Different people have different opinions of the nuclear power industry. Some see nuclear power as an important green technology that emits no carbon dioxide while producing huge amounts of reliable electricity. They point to an admirable safety record that spans more than two decades.
Shortly after an earthquake hit Japan on March 11, 2011, however, those perceptions of safety began rapidly changing. Explosions rocked several different reactors in Japan, even though initial reports indicated that there were no problems from the quake itself. Fires broke out at the Onagawa plant, and there were explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The nuclear power plants in Japan weathered the earthquake itself without difficulty. The four plants nearest the quake’s epicenter shut down automatically, meaning that the control rods were fully inserted into their reactor cores and the plants stopped producing power. This is normal operating procedure for these plants, but it meant that the first source of electricity for the cooling pumps was gone. That isn’t a problem because the plant could get power from the power grid to run the pumps.
However, the power grid became unstable and it shut down as well. The second source of electricity for the cooling pumps was gone. That brought the backup diesel generators into play. Diesel generators are a robust and time-tested way to generate electricity, so there were no worries.
But then the tsunami hit. And unfortunately, the tsunami was far larger than anyone had planned for. If the backup diesel generators had been higher off the ground, designed to run while submerged in water or protected from deep water in some way, the crisis could have been averted. Unfortunately, the unexpected water levels from the tsunami caused the generators to fail.
This left the last layer of redundancy — batteries — to operate the pumps. The batteries performed as expected, but they were sized to last for only a few hours. The assumption, apparently, was that electricity would become available from another source fairly quickly.
Although operators did truck in new generators, they could not be hooked up in time, and the coolant pumps ran out of electricity. The fatal flaw in the boiling water design — thought to be impossible to uncover through so many layers of redundancy — had nonetheless become exposed. With it exposed, the next step in the process led to catastrophe.
Read on…

howstuffworks:

Three Years Ago: How Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Works

Different people have different opinions of the nuclear power industry. Some see nuclear power as an important green technology that emits no carbon dioxide while producing huge amounts of reliable electricity. They point to an admirable safety record that spans more than two decades.

Shortly after an earthquake hit Japan on March 11, 2011, however, those perceptions of safety began rapidly changing. Explosions rocked several different reactors in Japan, even though initial reports indicated that there were no problems from the quake itself. Fires broke out at the Onagawa plant, and there were explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The nuclear power plants in Japan weathered the earthquake itself without difficulty. The four plants nearest the quake’s epicenter shut down automatically, meaning that the control rods were fully inserted into their reactor cores and the plants stopped producing power. This is normal operating procedure for these plants, but it meant that the first source of electricity for the cooling pumps was gone. That isn’t a problem because the plant could get power from the power grid to run the pumps.

However, the power grid became unstable and it shut down as well. The second source of electricity for the cooling pumps was gone. That brought the backup diesel generators into play. Diesel generators are a robust and time-tested way to generate electricity, so there were no worries.

But then the tsunami hit. And unfortunately, the tsunami was far larger than anyone had planned for. If the backup diesel generators had been higher off the ground, designed to run while submerged in water or protected from deep water in some way, the crisis could have been averted. Unfortunately, the unexpected water levels from the tsunami caused the generators to fail.

This left the last layer of redundancy — batteries — to operate the pumps. The batteries performed as expected, but they were sized to last for only a few hours. The assumption, apparently, was that electricity would become available from another source fairly quickly.

Although operators did truck in new generators, they could not be hooked up in time, and the coolant pumps ran out of electricity. The fatal flaw in the boiling water design — thought to be impossible to uncover through so many layers of redundancy — had nonetheless become exposed. With it exposed, the next step in the process led to catastrophe.

Read on

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Lets Change America $1 at a time, by reducing the nuclear budget

On Tuesday, March 25 please call your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to support cuts to the nuclear weapons budget.   

The HR 4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Investments Now (REIN-IN) Act of 2014 introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and the Senate companion legislation, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, S 2070, introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) would save $100 billion over the next 10 years by immediately reducing or eliminating unnecessary nuclear weapons programs.

Call your U.S. Senators and House Representative today to voice your support for S. 2070 (SANE Act) and H.R. 4107 (REIN-IN Act) to reduce the bloated nuclear budget by $100 billion over the next ten years!

March 25, 2014 National Call-In Day

Call the capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. 

Look up your policy makers in the US Senate and US House of Representatives HERE.

Ask your US House Representative to co-sponsor the REIN-IN Act (HR 4107), to cut the bloated nuclear budget.

Ask your US Senators to co-sponsor the SANE Act (S 2070) to cut the bloated nuclear budget.

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rtamerica:

NSA hacks system administrators, new leaks reveal
In its quest to take down suspected terrorists and criminals abroad, the United States National Security Agency has adopted the practice of hacking the system administrators that oversee private computer networks, new documents reveal.
The Intercept has published a handful of leaked screenshots taken from an internal NSA message board where one spy agency specialist spoke extensively about compromising not the computers of specific targets, but rather the machines of the system administrators who control entire networks.

rtamerica:

NSA hacks system administrators, new leaks reveal

In its quest to take down suspected terrorists and criminals abroad, the United States National Security Agency has adopted the practice of hacking the system administrators that oversee private computer networks, new documents reveal.

The Intercept has published a handful of leaked screenshots taken from an internal NSA message board where one spy agency specialist spoke extensively about compromising not the computers of specific targets, but rather the machines of the system administrators who control entire networks.

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mrs-kennedy-and-me:

Jacqueline Kennedy, c. 1960s. 

mrs-kennedy-and-me:

Jacqueline Kennedy, c. 1960s. 

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carmela-dileo:

make tea not war

carmela-dileo:

make tea not war

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Global Nuclear Weapon Stockpile

Global Nuclear Weapon Stockpile

Link