Monday, October 31, 2011


The Mafia comes along and wrecks your home.

And then the Mafia forces you to pay them to rebuild it, and guard it.

"Western security, construction and infrastructure companies that see profit-making opportunities receding in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned their sights on Libya...

"Entrepreneurs are abuzz about the business potential of a country with huge needs and the oil to pay for them...

"Now, after months of fighting, and with the security situation still fragile, there are huge new requirements, like rebuilding apartment complexes reduced to rubble by shelling, guarding oil installations as they restore or expand production, and training and equipping new armed forces."

Western Companies See Prospects for Business in Libya

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Professor Wangari Maathai (Nobel laureate and environment‎alist) was born in the central highlands of Kenya in 1940.

Back in the 1940s, her small village had clean water, rich soils, rich forests and plenty of food.

"It was heaven. We wanted for nothing," she said.

"Now the forests have come down, the land has been turned to commercial farming, the tea plantations keep everyone poor, and the economic system does not allow people to appreciate the beauty of where they live."

Maathai was educated by Catholic nuns. (environment‎)

Maathai said: "After my education by the nuns, I emerged as a person who believed that society is inherently good and that people generally act for the best."

Maathai won a scholarship to study in the US, as part of the 'Kennedy airlift' in which 300 Kenyans - including Barack Obama’s father - were chosen to study at American universities in 1960.

After further study in Germany, she returned to a newly independent Kenya in 1966.

Her early work as a vet took her to some of Kenya's poorest areas.

She saw first-hand the damage that was being done to the environment.

In 1977, she set up the Green Belt movement.

She became critical of politicians in Kenya, the World Bank, the IMF, Britain and other former colonial powers.

Before the 1990s, the Mau forest (above) was a protected area. "But then senior officials in President Daniel arap Moi's government grabbed large plots of the highly fertile land for themselves." Website for this image

What began as a few women planting trees became a network of 600 community groups.

They looked after 6,000 tree nurseries, which were often supervised by disabled and mentally ill people in the villages.

By 2004, more than 30 million trees had been planted, and the movement had branches in 30 countries.

In Kenya, the Green Belt movement has become an agricultural advice service, a community regeneration project and a job-creation plan.

In the early 1990s, Maathai set up Mazingira, the Kenyan Green Party.

Maathai became a junior environment minister between January 2003 and November 2005.

She died in September 2011. (Nobel laureate and environment‎alist)