Beware! Of International Conference Scam Mails

SCAM
There are hundreds of scam mails inviting people to world conferences floating on the internet, with the intention to defraud those that may be interested. Such mails target people from Third World Countries, desperate to enter Europe or America.
But some immigrants in Europe, fall victims to such scams because of the bait: The sponsors of this event shall cover your round-trip air tickets from your country to the USA and back to your country and we shall also provide visa assistance with the U.S Embassy in your country of residence and your ground transportation from the airport to the conference venue.

SAMPLE OF SUCH MAILS
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POVERTY AND CORRUPTION IN AFRICA

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Image of poverty in Africa amidst all the rich mineral resources

Original article published in ti-logo

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Around 80 per cent of African people live on less than US$2 a day. Corruption is one factor perpetuating poverty. Poverty and corruption combine to force people to make impossible choices like “Do I buy food for my family today or do I pay a bribe to get treated at the clinic?” Poor people often have low access to education and can remain uninformed about their rights, leaving them more easily exploited and excluded. In order to fight against their social exclusion and marginalisation, poor citizens need a space for dialogue with the authorities.

WHAT WE’RE DOING ABOUT IT

To escape the vicious cycle corruption creates for disadvantaged groups, people need to be able to speak up for their rights and demand accountability from their leaders, ensuring access to basic social services and resources. If the social compact between the government and the people fails, citizens – and especially the poor – are forced to compromise on the quality of their livelihoods and their social and human rights.

Our Poverty and Corruption in Africa (PCA) programme enabled disadvantaged people to take part in development processes by opening dialogue between them and their governments. From video advocacy to pacts binding officials and communities to agreed development targets, every activity was tailored to the national and local context.

Communities focused on their most pressing issues – such as agricultural support, water supplies or free medicines, all underpinned by the common principles of community participation. With its universal principles and adaptable methods, the programme’s approach is applicable in communities far beyond its scope.

If people have a say in how they’re governed (participatory governance) and officials are accountable to the people they serve (social accountability), poor people become aware of their power and the force their voices have when raised. Participatory social accountability tools increase contact between citizens and governments, and therefore increase transparency, accountability and good governance. They reduce the opportunities for people in authority to abuse their power.

Increased citizen participation means better informed communities, more public oversight and less corruption in planning and monitoring local development. This creates a win-win situation: the poor benefit from local development, and people in power benefit from being considered champions of integrity, all while the community prospers.

WHO’S INVOLVED

The PCA programme ran in six different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Six of our national chapters participated:

These chapters used different social accountability tools they developed to engage poor people and their governments in constructive dialogue. Starting on a small scale at the local level, their experiences show how the community participation they initiated gains momentum and ripples outwards, increasing the citizen-government interface further.

OUR APPROACH

In order to increase the voice the people have in shaping and monitoring service delivery, our chapter inLiberia set up poverty forums. These brought together authorities, service providers and communities for open discussions. These forums helped fill the information gap across a wide range of subjects, giving the people the confidence to contribute to decision-making and demand accountability from officials. Local officials now act with more transparency and integrity, unwilling to incur people’s criticism or loss of confidence.

Our chapter in Mozambique worked with community radio and activists to hold officials accountable for the quality of service delivery, by overseeing development budgets and planning. The community activists gathered information about irregularities in services and presented their complaints to local and provincial authorities. The process was reinforced by community radio programmes on fighting corruption, to inspire communities to demand accountability.

In Sierra Leone and Ghana, our chapters established monitoring groups to hold officials accountable. The committees monitor specific sectors such as health, education and agriculture. Members report their findings at quarterly meetings with public officials, where they agree on improvements needed. Monitoring team members then ensure these adjustments take place.

Using participatory video, the problems facing the communities are highlighted, and progress – or the absence thereof – can be recorded. Because making a video is easy and accessible, it is a highly effective tool to engage and mobilise marginalised people and to help them drive their own forms of sustainable development based on local needs. With community action at its heart, this approach opened dialogue between communities and the authorities.

Development pacts were used by our chapters in Uganda and Zambia as a way to hold officials accountable for public service delivery. These pacts act as a social contract, committing communities and officials to an agreed development priority. In Uganda, this meant transparent delivery of agricultural services, whereas in Zambia, the development pacts helped complete a bridge over a river that cuts a community off every rainy season. By opening projects to public scrutiny, in non-confrontational way, the pacts reduced opportunities for corruption, thus helping community members achieve their development targets

http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/activity/poverty_and_corruption_in_africa

Combating Vaccine Extremism In America

Polio 5Vaccine against Polio in Africa contaminated, giving birth to Africa’s Aids crisis today. Polio victims in Sierra Leone.

Article by Barbara Loe Fisher and published in National Vaccine Information Center Health Magazine.

2016 will be my 34th year as a vaccine safety and human rights activist. For more than 20 years I have been warning that the day would come when vaccine extremists and profiteers would move to legally force Americans to buy and use all government mandated vaccines and punish those who refuse. 

Still, it was a shock to see it happen in California this year, even as I know that preparations are being made by vaccine extremists to attack the religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in more states next year.

But knowing and predicting what will happen is very different from watching it actually happen.

Born in Minnesota to a mother, who was a nurse, and a father, who fought on the beach at Anzio and then re-enlisted in the Army after returning from World War II,  I was raised with a deep respect for the values and beliefs upon which this Republic was founded and for the natural rights and principles of democratic government outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

Like so many others who are grateful for freedom of thought and religion in this country, my abiding faith in a Creator of the natural order sustains me during my life’s journey and I believe Americans will not give up the natural rights and cultural values that define who we are as a nation without a fight.

Earlier this year, when vaccine extremists and profiteers used a few cases of measles at Disneyland to attack freedom of speech, thought, religious belief and assembly, my heart sank. It was painful to watch good people be demonized for simply criticizing poorly tested vaccines and inhumane one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.

Then, when dozens of pharmaceutical and medical industry-backed bills were introduced in multiple states to eliminate religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions so citizens could be tracked, discriminated against, segregated and punished for making vaccine choices that do not conform with government policy, I held my breath.

What would the people do? Would they bow down and cower before their oppressors, or would they stand up and defend their natural rights and civil liberties?

In a remarkable display of outrage, common sense and courage, we witnessed mothers, fathers and grandparents from every walk of life in California show up by the thousands to testify in legislative hearings and hold rallies in Sacramento opposing a forced vaccination law that was rammed through the legislature, despite the biggest public protests in that state Capitol since the Viet Nam war.

The same thing happened in Vermont, where industry lobbyists strong armed enough legislators to eliminate the philosophical belief vaccine exemption despite overwhelming public opposition, even as spirited citizen action in Texas and nine other states was successful in blocking the passage of bills stripping away personal belief vaccine exemptions.

Continue reading: http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/December-2015/combating-vaccine-extremism-in-america.aspx

The Harm Is Already Done: The African Continent Is On The Verge Of Total Collapse Without Remedy

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By Joel Savage and Johan Van Dongen

“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” The truth in this axiom can’t be ignored, since African politicians and leaders failed to protect Africans and Africa, after the horrifying events of colonialism and medical crimes in the continent of Africa. Africa is a continent citizens are used as Guinea pigs and rats to test all dangerous drugs manufactured in Europe and United States of America.

Whatever medical crimes during and after colonialism, that took place in Africa, is just the tip of the iceberg, the entire African continent is on the verge of total collapse, which will destroy its economy beyond remedy. Lack of education, expertise, and poverty are some of the causes which have rendered Africa, remote and helpless, to depend on the West and America for miraculous solutions, giving them the free license to continue harming Africa in a ‘friendly’ manner with impunity.

Despite all the raw materials Africa has, the economy, health system and educational institutions, still remain weak and fragile. Years after colonialism, Africa still depends heavily on former colonial masters. Many times I asked, the significance of independence in Africa, when leaders still bring their pans, begging for food and financial aid in advanced countries.

Since African leaders heavily depend on the West and the United States of America, whatever economic or financial crisis Europe and America faces, affects Africa. Aids is a disease killing thousands of Africans each day, yet there are HIV/Aids patients in Europe and America, who are still living after got the disease twenty years ago.

So what kind of medicines are Europeans and United States of America supply to Africa to deal with its HIV/Aids and Ebola patients? One thing African leaders need to realize now is, the more they depend on the West and America, the possibility to face more economic and medical crisis, because the use of Africans as rats to test drugs will continue unabated.

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In the past, America used homosexuals, mentally handicapped and homeless people to test their evil drugs. Ex-president Bill Clinton has apologized; promising history will not be repeated. That means Africa is the only continent easy to penetrate to commit their heinous medical crimes.

If Ebola is not a medical crime, why should Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia experienced it at the same time in West Africa? How long will African leaders sit aside and look while Africa becomes a dumping ground for all unwanted stuff from Europe and American and Africans used to test all dangerous drugs?

On many occasions African leaders participating in conferences and forums in Europe and America, will do everything to avoid being interviewed by an African journalist, because they are scared to face the reality, questions they aren’t prepared to answer, but ignorantly they don’t know that most of the questions from European or American journalists were taken from African journalists they collaborate with.

This is the time for African leaders to hold summit in the interest of the continent and find solutions for its porous and weak economy, because the world’s banking system is on the verge of collapsing. It’s always starts from Greece. Despite the European and U.S. governments’ efforts to bail out Greece and prop up the stock market, the global banking system came tumbling down like the Berlin wall in 1989. Now it’s clear history wants to repeat itself.

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The votes of African citizens bring politicians into power. They should therefore protect, improve the educational and health institutions for the benefit of the citizens, including children. If Africans, African-Americans or Africans in the Diaspora, continue to face abuse of human rights and injustices, then African leaders aren’t special. They are just a laughing stock in the eyes of European and American leaders.

http://www.amazon.com/AIDS-AND-EBOLA-Greatest-Medical-ebook/dp/B00QZCYMSS

Dear Sir, I Intend To Burn Your Book

Censorship and book burning are still present in our lives. Lawrence Hill shares his experiences of how ignorance and the fear of ideas led a group in the Netherlands to burn the cover of his widely successful novel, The Book of Negroes, in 2011.

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Why do books continue to ignite such strong reactions in people in the age of the Internet? Is banning, censoring, or controlling book distribution ever justified? Hill illustrates his ideas with anecdotes and lists names of Canadian writers who faced censorship challenges in the twenty-first century, inviting conversation between those on opposite sides of these contentious issues.

All who are interested in literature, freedom of expression, and human rights will enjoy reading Hill’s provocative essay.

The Author

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Lawrence Hill is a journalist and novelist. His third novel, published as The Book of Negroes in Canada and Someone Knows My Name elsewhere, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book and the 2007 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Not long before they brought my brother, sister and me into the world, my parents had moved to Canada from Washington, D.C. Dad was black and Mom was white, and 1953 was no time to be marrying or living in the American South as an interracial couple. Toronto was better, but far from perfect.

While Dad was still a graduate student at the University of Toronto, he and my mother were unable to rent an apartment together. Nobody wanted an interracial couple as tenants. To secure a place for the two of them, Mom had to take on a surrogate white husband for a day—Don McFadyen, a close friend of theirs who played bass in a jazz band.

After the lease was signed, Don moved out and my father moved in, and my parents waited nervously to see how much of a stink the landlord would raise. Luckily, the landlord chose not to make an issue of it, and they were allowed to stay. I was born in 1957 in Newmarket, Ontario, and grew up in a Toronto suburb.

Throughout my childhood, stories of my parents’ marriage and of their subsequent work as pioneers in Canada’s human rights movement punctuated our kitchen table conversations. I was entranced by their ability to navigate injustice with humour and to become engaged Canadians without succumbing to bitterness.

Later, I used the stories of my ancestors as emotional fuel to write Any Known Blood (1997), a fictional family saga about five generations of men moving back and forth between Canada and the United States.

http://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-Hill/e/B001HCW9O0