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Posts Tagged ‘General’

2011 in pictures

“So the Myan calendar ends in 2012.
So what?
My calendar ends December, 31.
I just buy a new one.”
– Mazalien….

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The Great British Sunday

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(Video hosted on Google.)

look at the things considered synonymous with a traditional British Sunday. Comedian Sean Lock looks at what Sundays always meant to him – from hangovers to Jack Hargreaves, from Sunday school and stately homes to utter boredom. Sean Lock knows more about how Sundays used to be than most of us. Now he’s got the chance to share it.

Sean Lock (born 22 April 1963) is an English comedian and writer. Born near Woking, Surrey, in Chertsey, he began his career in comedy as a stand up comedian. He won the British Comedy Award in 2000 in the category of Best Live Comic, and was nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award. He is also well known for his appearances on television and radio. He has also written material for such comics as Bill Bailey, Lee Evans and Mark Lamarr.

In 2005 he became a regular team captain on the panel game 8 Out of 10 Cats, which returns for a sixth series in June 2008, and has also appeared on the comedy quiz programme QI. He has also appeared on Have I Got News for You, both as a guest and a presenter. Lock also appeared on Room 101, where he argued to put Jeremy Clarkson into the room (although he has appeared on QI with Clarkson).

In spring 2006, he hosted his own entertainment show on Channel 4 called TV Heaven, Telly Hell (the second series of which began production in November 2006), and has also guested on the World Cup special edition of They Think It’s All Over.

Lock also appeared in the Johnny Vaughan and Ed Allen series Top Buzzer, took part in an episode of the BBC Radio 4 panel game The 99p Challenge and still gigs regularly.

The San Bushmen of Kalahari

ormerly called Bushmen for their tracking and outdoor survival skills, San communities relocated to South Africa have adapted their talents to new markets. In 1970 Botswana ranked as one of the poorest countries on earth. Then diamonds were discovered, now accounting for over 30 per cent of the GDP. But the Botswanian government fears that reserves will soon run out – they are only expected to last for another 35 years. Their fears have led to the forced eviction of Botswana’s sizeable indigenous population from the Kalahari region. But it has not proved easy. The San Bushmen of Kalahari are determined to protect their land and way of life.

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(Video hosted on Youtube.)

way from the prying eyes of the world, the last remaining Kalahari Bushmen, or San people of Botswana, are being starved of food and water in a bid to force them off the land their forefathers have roamed for the past 30,000 years. This is the final chapter in a 17-year saga which has seen the relocation of some 2,200 San out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) into resettlement camps by the Botswana Government. Water tanks have been removed from the six settlements of Kalahari San that remain inside the 52000 km² reserve – about the size of Togo or Denmark. The water pump at the Mothomelo borehole has been dismantled. The special game permits which enabled the San, the last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa, to hunt a limited quota of wild animals, and gather veldt foods and fruits have been withdrawn. Now fewer than 30 of the Kalahari San remain.

The government says the resettlement programme is for the benefit the San. Most of Botswana’s 50,000 San population has already been relocated into 63 resettlement villages, where water, health and education services are provided. “We are a little puzzled about the fact that the world is so alarmed,” says Major General Moeng Pheto, a retired army officer overseeing the relocation programme. “We are doing what we consider to be the best for our people.” “We want to empower the Basarwa and make sure they have a future in this country,” General Pheto adds, “because they cannot forever remain nomadic.” But critics have compared the resettlement villages to reservations established in North America. The Botswana Government has also been accused of putting wildlife before people, and securing its mineral interests. The central Kalahari is rich in diamond and other mineral deposits. A successful land claim by the San might make it more difficult for the government to exploit any mineral finds, although the state owns all mineral deposits in Botswana.

Next week several hundred former central Kalahari San residents will take the government to court to challenge the removals, and demand they be allowed to return. Roy Sesana is the first applicant in the case and a founder member of the First People of the Kalahari, a non-government organization established in 1993 to represent the residents of the CKGR. Speaking through an interpreter in his native seG//ana language he explained: “When I went to Molapo I found my wives and children dismantling the huts to go.” “They had been told by the officials that if they stayed behind, the soldiers would come and put them inside the huts and burn them. They had no choice.” “The government is forcing people to move. We are being treated like refugees,” Mr Sesana says. It is a long hot drive to the semi-desert scrubland of the game reserve. When we got to the in the settlement of Kukamma, government cattle trucks were already parked waiting to load up the meagre possessions of a handful of San and BaKgalagadi families.

Botswana map

Map Botswana.

The remaining residents were clearly under enormous pressure to pack up and go. While officials from the local Ghanzi and Kweneng districts busily directed the dismantling of the huts, we sat sharing a watermelon with the chief’s family. Every member of the family received a slice of the sweet delicacy. Not one pip was squandered, but carefully collected in a small calabash for future cultivation. The moment was abruptly terminated with the arrival of Department of Wildlife officials who demanded our permit and then ordered us to leave immediately. Danqoo Xhukuri, chairman of the First People, says he believes it is because the government “doesn’t want anyone present to witness the final forced removal of the last of the San.” General Pheto denies that the CKGR residents are being forced to relocate.

“The only force and intimidation that we know of,” he says, is exerted on the San “by the NGOs who have been intimidating those who want to relocate.” He also says the San of the central Kalahari have been consulted for a long time about the move. They have been encouraged by the government to move out of the reserve, with generous offers of money, goats, cattle, and promises of jobs and a better quality of life. But many of the San who have already relocated to the villages of New Xade and Kaudwane say they were bribed and coerced into moving. They tell a tale of an impoverished existence, depending on government food rations for survival. Phutego Banweng, 40, believed the government’s promises of a better life, and relocated willingly to Kaudwane in 1997. He says he did not get any compensation, and when he found that the promises of jobs and development were empty, he returned to the San settlement at Mothomelo. But he was moved out of the reserve a second time.

Life in the re-settlement camp of New Xade is just as bleak. Alcoholism is rife, and an aura of despair and listlessness hangs over the dusty dwellings. There are no jobs, there is no grazing for the goats and cattle, no veldt food to gather, no wild animals to hunt. The residents have nothing to do. They are 70km from the nearest town, an expensive and difficult 3-hour journey away. Tshekelo Mogolarijo, 65, was resettled here 5 years ago. “We thought that the government would help us,” he says. “But I think that the government is killing us.”

(From: Al Jazeera and BBC

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Egypt’s Rubbish People

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he acclaimed foreign affairs strand returns with a startling film exposing a dark side to Egypt that the authorities don’t want foreigners to see: a secretive society of around 40,000 people literally living in rubbish in a Cairo ghetto overrun by rats and disease. Reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon are some of the first journalists to film inside the ghetto where tens of thousands live with garbage stacked to the roofs of their multi-storey homes…

Reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon are some of the first journalists to film inside the ghetto where tens of thousands live with garbage stacked to the roofs of their multi-storey homes – eking out a living recycling the rubbish by hand. It’s a sight rarely seen by outsiders, and almost definitely not by the million British Tourists who visit Egypt every year.

(From: Channel4 – Unreported world)

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