Saturday, 29 July 2017

Corruption Is To Blame For The Widespread Poverty In Africa

If only all things were created equal, many won’t have to suffer anymore from typical issues like poverty, unequal school and work opportunities, and access to healthcare while some (the elite) spend money on luxuries regardless of the price tag. If there is one place here on Earth that epitomizes the face of poverty, that would have to be Africa. How many times have you heard/ reprimanded to finish your meal because there are millions of Africans suffering from hunger. It’s true that Africa is one of the poorest places in the planet despite being rich in natural resources.

The truth is corruption is usually the cause for poverty in any nation. Public funds that are supposedly intended for the delivery of basic services go into the pockets of corrupt leaders who are only after of what they can gain from public office. Public service means little to them and they don’t care that thousands die from starvation or that famine is spreading in many places in Africa because the government has no funds to provide for them.

Natural and man-made disasters, armed conflicts, widespread corruption and deep social inequalities have been so far a dramatic source for most news coverage when it comes to Africa, the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent on Earth, which hosts 54 states spreading over 30 million square kilometres that are home to over 1.2 billion people.

Nevertheless, an often neglected fact is that this vast continent with huge natural resources –which have been systematically depleted by private –and also in cases, state-owned corporations— registered an economic growth of around 4 per cent in 2014, “creating one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted positive economic expansion in Africa’s history,” according to the United Nations.


Africa is such a big and rich continent but its resources are not put into good use. You can see poverty wherever you look. Many of the children are severely malnourished and even the animals suffer too. Poor and underdeveloped countries are more likely to suffer from corruption than the progressive ones. Even armed conflicts have prevented non-profits from sending valuable supplies, thereby making the rest of the African population die in vain.

More wealth leaves Africa every year than enters it – by more than $40bn (£31bn) – according to research that challenges “misleading” perceptions of foreign aid.

Analysis by a coalition of UK and African equality and development campaigners including Global Justice Now, published on Wednesday, claims the rest of the world is profiting more than most African citizens from the continent’s wealth.

It said African countries received $162bn in 2015, mainly in loans, aid and personal remittances. But in the same year, $203bn was taken from the continent, either directly through multinationals repatriating profits and illegally moving money into tax havens, or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change adaptation and mitigation.


Even other nations benefit from Africa’s rich resources while millions of Africans don’t even have access to the most basic of services such as access to food supplies and clean water. What an irony that they get looted of their country’s richness while made to look poor by the rest of the world. In all honesty, Africa is not only a rich country but a beautiful one too that is also home to many wild animals you no longer get to see in other countries except in zoos. Despite these natural attractions, though, issues of poverty, corruption and security are among the first to come to mind of tourists when they hear the word Africa.

Many of African countries which preceded Tanzania in privatizing their mining activities never experienced any blessings but their people are suffering under abject poverty. Nigeria is first in the list, then Ghana and Angola; and the list goes on.

It was thus hoped for Tanzania that could record a different picture because it would have learnt from other countries. But as the things are now unfolding following Presidential Committee on concentrates saga report (if proved true); Tanzania is falling on the same pit.

While natural resources like minerals and oil were source of blessings and development in other societies like those of Nordic countries and Northern America, the contrary is what prevailing in African continent. In Africa, more natural resources bring up more curse and poverty!


As many Africans suffer in ignorance and poverty, its many leaders take care of their personal interests at the expense of the people. African minerals are squandered by other people and little revenue goes back to the country. What a shame, indeed. Politicians don’t do their jobs of protecting the people’s interests. It’s the reason why the government itself can’t provide primary services for free like what most progressive nations do. Aside from that, even the help extended by NGO’s don’t get to its intended recipients making the poor Africans suffer even more from poverty and famine that is sweeping many places in Africa right now.

The following article Corruption Is To Blame For The Widespread Poverty In Africa Find more on: Naked Conversations


Friday, 28 July 2017

Issues On Medical Marijuana Legalization

Medical marijuana used to be a taboo topic but not anymore. Several US states have already legalized the use of medical marijuana and it has been the topic of debates for quite some time now especially in the Congress. Of course, there are people who are pro and against the use of marijuana and they have their reasons for it. Yet despite the continued opposition by many people both prominent or not, the continued legalization of marijuana in various places outside the US gains momentum and quite a fan base too.

Mexico is one of those countries that finally succumbed to the charms of cannabis. There are experts who claim the many health wonders offered by medical cannabis where most conventional drugs have failed in the treatment of various chronic diseases and conditions. In essence, medical marijuana is virtually the same as plain old marijuana that many medical experts suggest is helpful in managing pain and in treating glaucoma, epilepsy, and even cancer.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree this week legalizing medical marijuana. The measure also classified the psychoactive ingredient in the drug as “therapeutic.”

The new policy isn't exactly opening the door for medical marijuana dispensaries on every corner.

Instead it calls on the Ministry of Health to draft and implement regulations and public policies regulating “the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol.” It also tasks the ministry with developing a research program to study the drug's impact before creating broader policies.

The measure had broad support from Mexico's Senate and Lower House of Congress, where it passed 347-7 in April.


Legislators also argue that legalizing the use of medical cannabis can provide a new source of revenue for the government. Marijuana used to be sold on the black market and the government does not get anything from it in return. It’s a lucrative business albeit not known by many. Aside from the money generated from the sale of weeds itself, weed cultivation also generates a lot of jobs that help boost the local economy.

The Vermont House has blocked consideration of a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Lawmakers in the House refused to take up the bill Wednesday during a special veto session. It won approval in the Senate on a voice vote earlier in the day.

Gov. Phil Scott now says he’s going to appoint a commission to study the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in the state. Scott, a Republican, said Thursday the commission’s priorities would be to look at ways to ensure public safety and the best way to regulate marijuana.

Senate negotiators had announced Wednesday that they had reached a deal with the governor’s office on the measure.


While other US states already allowed the cultivation, use, and sale of medical marijuana, others still see it as something evil and won’t give it the time of day. They have valid reasons for this hesitation that is why if you are a fan of weed and use it either for recreation or medical reasons, familiarize yourself with the laws that govern marijuana in your specific state to protect yourself from possible legal penalties if caught possessing, growing and using marijuana.

Last month, the Republican governor vetoed a legalization bill for recreational marijuana after it passed the state Assembly and Senate. But rather than killing it outright, he sent it back to legislators and asked for stronger protections against stoned driving and kids' access to pot.

On Wednesday, lawmakers will convene for a special session, and supporters of legalization will try again with a bill that they hope addresses Governor Phil Scott's concerns.

The bill now has stiffer penalties for stoned driving, providing pot to children, smoking in cars with kids and selling marijuana in school zones, Assemblyman Thomas Burditt, a Republican co-sponsor, told CNNMoney.


You may face criminal liabilities if you smoke weed in the wrong state or country. Hence, educating yourself on marijuana use is a must to protect yourself from any of these legal implications. Despite the threats to marijuana use in states or places that do not recognize it as legal yet, pro advocates highlight the benefits of legalizing both medical and recreational cannabis. The police force can save a lot of money trying to identify, apprehend, and jail weed users and sellers and use that money for other federal programs that benefit the majority.

There’s also no clear indication that users will use it heavily once cannabis is legalized. And compared to other dangerous drugs sold in the market, cannabis pales in comparison. Tobacco and alcohol are even more dangerous than it. If all goes well, it won’t be surprising if more states and nations also approve of its legalization and allow the citizens to decide for themselves whether they need weed in their lives.

Issues On Medical Marijuana Legalization is courtesy of The Naked Conversations Blog


Monday, 24 July 2017

Local Communities Remain Vigilant Amidst Threats Of Terrorism

Terror attacks are all over the news now. There are increased terror activities all over the world that ordinary citizens are scared for their lives especially when out and about. You are no longer safe even if you are in the US, UK, Middle East, Asia or virtually anywhere on the planet. However, it does not mean that you should stop living in the moment because you are afraid that something bad may happen at any time. We can never tell when a terrorist will strike because who knows what is going on in their minds. Theirs are so twisted that they have become out of touch with humanity and a danger to the rest of mankind.

Staying vigilant is all you can do to protect yourself from these terrorists. Even local governments are on high alert to secure the safety and security of everyone and to discourage terrorists from carrying out their evil plans. Not only should we be all wary about actual attacks from terrorists but even those religious fanatics who are influenced by the brazen acts of terror carried out by these extremists that cause more chaos and confusion to the public. It’s now common to see more police officials going around the streets these days and even security officials in various establishments carrying out rigorous checks when entering these places. Eternal vigilance is the most we can all do to fight them back and show that we are all united in the face of all these threats.

The report is aimed at giving the public “a better understanding” of the factors behind the Government’s assessment of the terrorism threat, an MHA spokesperson said. “Through this report, we hope Singaporeans will better appreciate the seriousness of the terrorism threat, and to be alert and prepared in the event of an attack,” the spokesperson added.

The ministry will issue further reports “when necessary, based on a careful assessment of the prevailing threat environment”. While there is “no credible intelligence of an imminent attack”, the MHA stressed that Singapore’s security agencies remain on high alert, and urged Singaporeans to be vigilant and prepared.

Singapore was specifically targeted in the past year and the regional threat has heightened,” the report added. “Singapore has been cited as a target in jihadist publications and videos, by both the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) and other groups.”

For instance, an Arabic publication that appeared online around October last year named two potential targets here — the Singapore Exchange and an unspecified port, TODAY understands — that militants could strike in order to attack the international economy, and thereby hurt American and Western interests.


No place is safe now. It’s hard to say which location terrorists will target next because they are mostly scattered all over the world now. There are certain hotspots that are high on the watch list of Intel agencies but you can’t also tell just which place will be next on their list. One thing is for sure, they will likely strike in crowded areas or events that will be attended by lots of people.

SECURITY at public events and busy locations is, again, a key issue that will be examined by Garda security chiefs after the Manchester bombing.

There are now suggestions that checks should be conducted on the bodies, and not just the bags, of people attending events such as concerts or matches.

Several senior sources told the Irish Examiner that measures such as asking people to open their jackets to check for the likes of suicide belts or concealed knives will have to be considered — although one source said it is not yet known how the bomber got into the Manchester Arena.

This is but one of the issues that will feature in a review by Garda security officers following the murder of more than 20 people, including children, with a further 59 people receiving injuries. One of those killed was an eight-year-old girl.


Many people call these attacks as “shocking” and “savage”, which aptly fits the description. And the number of attacks has increased as of late and happening in such a short span of time means greater risks for people when going outdoors. On top of that, most of the perpetrators haven’t been caught yet although terror groups like ISIS or a random radicalized Muslim often takes credit for these attacks. Hence, danger is always just around the corner.

We have been battling these terror groups for quite some time now and nothing has changed. Things have actually worsened over the years. Although vigilance helps a lot in ensuring the safety of the public, only fellow Muslims (especially leaders) can speak out against this violence committed in the name of Islam and educate the people to refrain from terrorizing the public to make their point.

Local Communities Remain Vigilant Amidst Threats Of Terrorism Read more on:


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

What Is Trading Like After The US Tech Sell-off

Business and trading has never been a perfect science. The stock market is not always that stable and it can crash anytime in the face of a very strong variable. It’s why many call trading a gamble, and for some, it can be the gamble of a lifetime. One of the most dominant and strongest industry these days has to do with technology. It’s actually a no-brainer considering that many things around you are tech-related. It’s an understatement to say that humans have embraced technology in their lives. This market, though, may be highly lucrative but an older technology can easily fall off the radar once something new is launched.

But just like any other industry, technology is a hit or miss thing too. Tech stocks are falling and everyone (all over the globe) are on their toes, curiously watching the drama unfold right before their very eyes. It seems that all the action from the UK’s election to FBI Comey’s testimony resulted in either decreasing or unstable stocks that has also affected almost all the major currencies in the world.

A selloff in US technology stocks spread, dragging down shares from South Korea to the Netherlands. The British pound fluctuated as investors assessed the impact from the UK's political turmoil.

Samsung Electronics, ASML Holding and Tencent Holdings led declines among technology companies in Europe and Asia. US stock futures fell after the Nasdaq 100 sank 2.4 per cent on Friday. Sterling swung after the biggest drop in eight months as Prime Minister Theresa May struggled to keep power in the wake of Thursday's election. Oil fell, reversing earlier gains.

The rout in US tech stocks began when Robert Boroujerdi, global chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs, warned that low volatility in Facebook,, Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet may be blinding investors to risks such as cyclicality and regulation. The declines prompted a re-evaluation among some bulls after the stocks' market value increased by US$500 billion since December and helped send global equities to record levels.


For a year now, tech shares has been dropping among companies like Apple and Samsung, leading companies in smart technology. Ordinary people may think these big brands are busy making money what with the number of people owning their devices but it seems as if there is actually trouble in paradise.

Investors sold off more shares in the largest technology companies on Monday, deepening concerns that the high-value industry is a bubble.

Shares in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft were all down when markets opened on Monday, continuing a sell-off that started on Friday.

Apple suffered the biggest drop yesterday, continuing a trend that started before the weekend.  The iPhone giant was down 2.5pc, following a 4pc decline on Friday, which slashed $30bn from the company's value. Brokers downgraded the company for a second time in two weeks.

Amazon, Google and Facebook were all down 2pc on Friday and a further 1.5pc on Monday.  

The news reflects fears that technology companies are overvalued. Robert Bouroujerdi, chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs, published a report last week that warned of increasing risks of the firms.


While it is bad news for the companies involved especially for their founders who lost a couple of billions when the stocks suddenly went all down, it just showed everyone just how volatile these stocks are in the first place to be mistakenly traded as low-volatile consumer staples. Momentum players only try to ride the wave and invest when things are going right but wait until someone just says something bad or makes a terrible prediction in this industry and everyone sells stocks like hot pancakes until everything crumbles down. In an attempt to save their short-term profits, these investors try to salvage what little they have made but it’s actually not a reason to be worried as this downfall is not yet an indicator of an overall market correction.

The following article What Is Trading Like After The US Tech Sell-off See more on:


Friday, 7 July 2017

Protecting The Wild

Some people snicker when they hear that the wild needs protection. After all, it’s the wild we are talking about. In the wild, many plants and animals pose significant danger to the human population. Have you ever thought of petting a wild tiger or lion? That would be insane, right? So how come you often hear about protecting the wild these days? I’m pretty sure that these feral animals can very well take care of themselves and don’t need our help at all. In some way, it is true. However, if you look at the bigger picture, you’d understand why there is a need for wildlife protection at all.

The problem with humanity is we only think for ourselves. We don't think for other, sometimes partly endangered, species. As the most superior species on the planet, we use this intellectual edge in taking advantage of our rich natural resources without regards to the future generation. Let us not forget that our lives are fleeting yet the damage we create lives on. Is the kind of legacy you want to leave behind to your predecessors: a drab and lifeless planet because you have used up almost everything it has to offer during your heydays? I feel for all the future generations who have nothing left to enjoy from Mother Nature.

Protecting wildlife is critical to human civilizations and sustainable development, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday, calling for more efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife.

"As wild flora and fauna directly bear on the health and security of global ecosystem and our common homeland, their protection is critical to human civilizations and sustainable economic and social development," Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told a high-level event on illegal wildlife trade, which was convened by Gabon and Germany.

Liu called on the international community to step up law enforcement to combat illegal trade in wildlife.

"All countries must act together to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the relevant UN General Assembly resolution, and honor their obligations in this regard," said Liu.

China has been closely cooperating with African countries on wildlife protection, Liu stressed. "China has been working with South Africa, Kenya and others based on cooperation agreements to protect wildlife."


The very essence of wildlife protection and conservation is to ensure that plants and animals in the wild survive for many years to come and not disappear from the face of the planet forever. Although we rarely see them up close, wildlife plays an important role for everyone here on earth.

They’re also helping the federal government fight crimes against their wild relatives in the Arctic, thanks to advancements in forensic science and DNA testing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Forensic Laboratory in Oregon often relies on zoos to maintain its database of DNA samples from protected animal species. But when the Columbus Zoo sent DNA from its six polar bears to the lab in March, it came with payoffs for both parties — including a confirmation of whether the zoo’s three newest cubs are male or female.

The lab’s scientists analyze evidence during investigations of violations of federal wildlife protection laws, including poaching, illegal trading of animals, theft of rare plants and creating products from endangered species.


The wildlife is crucial in nature. Unfortunately, humans are so good in disrupting this natural balance and are even responsible for most species extinction over the past years. What’s even more disheartening is the loss of animals that standout in nature such as whales, tigers, and rhinos breaks everyone’s heart as the future generations will no longer get to see and marvel at them anymore.

The disappearance of animals in the wild is also an indicator of the current state of the environment and what environmental issues continue to plague us to this day. Aside from the many practical and psychological benefits of biodiversity, we must protect the wild simply because we can’t have them back once they are all gone.

Protecting The Wild was originally published on NC Blog


Can Your Religion Save You?

We often mistake religion for faith and vice versa. Is there really a difference between the two? How can you tell your religion is your saving grace when you can’t even tolerate other people’s differences? Religion has sparked many controversies and wars over the centuries. Thousands, if not millions, have died in the name of the religions they professed. But what really is all the fuss with religion? Can it really save you from all your sins and guarantee your place in heaven? But then again, not all religions do believe in heaven. There are so many conflicting beliefs, indeed. No wonder people would die and kill for their religious beliefs.

More often than not, you believe in a superior being regardless of your religion unless you’re an atheist, of course. You have this perception that your religion is also your salvation. But when you examine the gospel closely, it does not say anything about your religion being your saving grace. Only you are responsible for your own salvation and it has to do with your deeds while still a living and breathing soul. It is disheartening, though, to witness religion being used by radical individuals in spreading hate and divisiveness in modern society.

Just over half of Canadian respondents say they believe religion does more harm than good in the world, according to a new survey.

The Ipsos poll, conducted for Global News, showed that 51 per cent of respondents agreed with the above statement.

“There’s a lot that’s happening in the world right now in the name of religion,” Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Affairs, said. “Of course, ISIL being the primary example that’s using religion to justify what they’re doing.”

Simpson explained that the number is rising; when Ipsos asked the same question in 2011, 44 per cent of respondents agreed.

“But I think we hear about these incidents more often, not just because they may be happening more often but because of the information age.


These days, being religious do not necessarily mean being morally upright too. Not everyone who professes to be religious actually lead a decent and righteous life wherever you are in the world. Also, preachers don’t always practice what they preach. And despite the separation of the church and the state, the former still meddles with political affairs, thereby tarnishing the image of the church in the eyes of the public.

Today we see people looking for a savior in the form of religion. Many people flock to various religions thinking that they will give them peace of mind, stability, and long-lasting security. For some, they think religion will give them a good life after this life. Frankly, that's wrong.
There's no religion that can save anybody. There's only one name – Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Again, your soul can’t be saved by just joining any religious sect or denomination. In the end, it’s what you believe in and how you choose to live your life that can determine whether you rot in hell or sing with the angels and the saints later in life. A religion as comprehensive as Islam has also been riddled with lots of controversies, often involving religious extremism and politics.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines religion as "an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods," or even simply, "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group."

Following these definitions, anything can be a religion. Those who choose not to worship God or in another deity choose to worship their own thinking. No matter the religion or religious group, however, one thing is very clear:

Religion cannot save people.


Technology has drastically changed the world we now live in that we often lose sight of what’s important and what’s not. We often put more value on material things and make ourselves believe that by chanting prayers and going to church religiously can we be saved from eternal damnation. Reality check, salvation does not work that way. We get so engrossed in our fleeting life here on earth that we forget to invest in our eternal life by being a good person both inside out.

Remember that you will leave all your material possessions when you enter the afterlife, so reassess your views on religion and spirituality and find out where you are at this point in your life. Do you think you will be saved if you die this instant? If not, try to live your life as if each day is the last by becoming a good brother or sister to everyone around you without thinking of what you get in return.

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