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Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows - The New York Times
By Denise Lu and Christopher FlavelleOct. 29, 2019

John Wyndham's "Out of the Deeps" (UK version, "The Kraken Wakes") has alarming scenes of London and much of the UK inundated. In that novel, it's aliens, melting the Greenland glaciers.
books  cities  climate_change  coastal  dislocations  extreme_weather_events  floods  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  floodplains  geopolitical-risk  infrastructure  internal_migration  mass_migrations  population_movements  refugees  sea-level_rise  societal_collapse  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile
March 16, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist.

Overcoming life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
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Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a homeless third grader has just won his category at the New York State chess championship, outwitting children from elite private schools with private chess tutors. What’s even more extraordinary is that Tani, as he is known, learned chess only a bit more than a year ago. His play has skyrocketed month by month, and he now has seven trophies by his bed in the homeless shelter.

“I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” he told me.

Tani’s family fled northern Nigeria in 2017, fearing attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on Christians such as themselves. “I don’t want to lose any loved ones,” his father, Kayode Adewumi, told Kristof.
chess  homelessness  immigrants  New_York_City  Nicholas_Kristof  op-ed  refugees  unevenly_distributed 
march 2019 by jerryking
Joe Clark is regarded as a failure. He deserves better
January 3, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MICHAEL HEALEY.

Joe Clark was Canada’s prime minister for nine months, 39 years ago (1979). He was 39 years old when he won the job. The portrait, by Patrick Douglass Cox, excellently captures the essence of Mr. Clark at that age: He’s forthright, sincere, slightly goofy and not entirely comfortable in his own skin. That unemphatic hand betraying whatever argument he’s making to the House of Commons.......He quit in 1993, then came back in 1998 to take over as leader of a severely diminished PC Party for the second time. He was bent on resisting a merger with the Alliance Party. He lost that principled fight, too. By 2004, even though his party no longer existed, he still referred to himself as a Progressive Conservative.

......The single unequivocal success he managed, in his nine months in power, was this: He brought 60,000 South Asian refugees, fleeing chaos in Vietnam and Cambodia, to the country. He did it in record time, and he had to invent the private-sponsorship model to do it. Sure, that was an initiative created by the previous (Liberal) government, but Mr. Clark didn’t care where a good idea came from........... He also managed something incredible – as minister responsible for constitutional affairs, he got two territorial leaders and 10 provincial premiers to agree to constitutional reform through the Charlottetown Accord. .....Sure, the Accord failed in a national referendum. But that had everything to do with Mr. Mulroney’s permeating unpopularity. Few people recognize the immensity of Mr. Clark’s feat because of how things turned out......These qualities: stubbornness, idealism, a willingness to subsume his ego to get things done, made him an effective statesman. Hence the strong poll numbers at the end of his career.
'70s  Brian_Mulroney  Canada  consensus  Joe_Clark  mass_migrations  Pierre_Trudeau  politicians  population_movements  Progressive_Conservatives  red_Tories  referenda  refugees  South_Asian  statesmen  Vietnam 
january 2019 by jerryking
US abdication in Africa hands political opportunities to China
| FT | by David Pilling

America’s shrinking influence in Africa, the second-largest continent geographically and epicentre of a gathering population explosion, did not begin under Mr Trump. The commitment of Barack Obama, his Kenyan roots notwithstanding, fell short of that shown by George W Bush, whose conversion to African causes — particularly the fight against HIV — made him a hero on the continent.

The sense of US withdrawal has accelerated with this administration. Mr Trump’s threat to cut the US aid budget by 30 per cent signals a massive scaling down of its commitment to a health and poverty-reduction agenda that has enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington for decades. A year into the US president’s administration, he is still without an ambassador to Pretoria or an assistant secretary of state for Africa. ....The US business relationship with Africa is almost exclusively extractive. Oil majors, such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s old company, are the biggest investors....GE, Google and Citigroup are among a handful of non-extractives.....there are non-commercial reasons to think harder about Africa. By 2050, the number of Africans will have doubled to more than 2bn and may double again by the end of the century. Within a generation or so, Nigeria is expected to surpass the US to become the world’s third-most populous country.

The danger is that Africa will become home to a restless, jobless urban youth tempted to join the swelling flow of emigrants to Europe or prone to radicalisation at home. The persistence of Africa-based militant Islamist groups, from Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria to al-Shabaab in Somalia, is a worrying omen.

As the US presence fades, that of China — and, to a lesser extent, of India, Turkey and Morocco — has grown. China’s influence is everywhere: in roads, rail, telecoms, infrastructure and in Djibouti, in a naval base.
Africa  benign_neglect  Chevron  China  China_rising  Donald_Trump  epicenters  ExxonMobil  India  influence  mass_migrations  migrants  Nigeria  population_movements  refugees  South_Africa  threats  Turkey  U.S.foreign_policy  Zimbabwe 
february 2018 by jerryking
From climate change to robots: what politicians aren’t telling us
OCTOBER 26, 2017 | FT| by Simon Kuper.

Most politicians bang on about identity while ignoring automation, climate change and the imminent revolution in medicine. They talk more about the 1950s than the 2020s. This is partly because they want to distract voters from real problems, and partly because today’s politicians tend to be lawyers, entertainers and ex-journalists who know less about tech than the average 14-year-old....Ironically, given the volume of American climate denial, the US looks like becoming the first western country to be hit by climate change. Each new natural disaster will prompt political squabbles over whether Washington should bail out the stricken region. At-risk cities such as Miami and New Orleans will gradually lose appeal as the risks become uninsurable......American climate denial may fade too, as tech companies displace Big Oil as the country’s chief lobbyists. Already in the first half of this year, Amazon outspent Exxon and Walmart on lobbying. Facebook, now taking a kicking over fake news, will lobby its way back. Meanwhile, northern Europe, for some years at least, will benefit from its historical unique selling point: its mild and rainy climate. Its problem will be that millions of Africans will try to move there.

On the upside, many Africans will soon, for the first time ever, have access to energy (thanks to solar panels) and medical care (as apps monitor everything from blood pressure to sugar levels, and instantly prescribe treatment). But as Africa gets hotter, drier and overpopulated, people will struggle to feed themselves, says the United Nations University. So they will head north, in much greater numbers than Syrians have, becoming the new bogeymen for European populists....The most coveted good of all — years of life — will become even more unfairly distributed. The lifespans of poor westerners will continue to stagnate or shorten, following the worldwide surge in obesity since the 1980s. Many poorer people will work into their seventies, then die, skipping the now standard phase of retirement. Meanwhile, from the 2020s the rich will live ever longer as they start buying precision medicine. They will fix their faulty DNA and edit their embryos, predicts Vivek Wadhwa, thinker on technology. ...Troubled regimes will also ratchet up surveillance. Now they merely know what you say. In 10 years, thanks to your devices, they will know your next move even before you do.
2020s  Africa  automation  Big_Tech  climate_change  climate_denial  imperceptible_threats  life_expectancy  mass_migrations  migrants  politicians  precision_medicine  refugees  Simon_Kuper  slowly_moving  surveillance_state  unevenly_distributed  uninsurable  Vivek_Wadhwa 
november 2017 by jerryking
As Germany Welcomes Migrants, Sexual Attacks in Cologne Point to a New Reality - The New York Times
By ALISON SMALE JAN. 14, 2016

In early December, the Cologne police made their New Year’s Eve preparations. Drawing on the previous year’s experience, they identified their biggest worry as pickpocketing and fireworks among the crowds. So they increased their holiday deployment, to 142 from 88, ...As 2016 neared on Dec. 31, however, some 1,500 men, including some newly arrived asylum seekers and many other immigrants, had instead assembled around Cologne’s train station. Drunk and dismissive of the police, they took advantage of an overwhelmed force to sexually assault and rob hundreds of people, according to police reports, shocking Germany and stoking anxieties over absorbing refugees across Europe....police reports and the testimony of officials and victims suggest that the officers failed to anticipate the new realities of a Germany that is now host to up to a million asylum seekers, most from war-torn Muslim countries unfamiliar with its culture. Working from outdated expectations, the police made a series of miscalculations that, officials acknowledge, allowed the situation to deteriorate. At the same time, both the police and victims say, it was not a situation any of them had encountered before. This was new terrain for all....But the commanding officer at the scene declined an offer of more than 80 reinforcements, who could have been in Cologne in an hour, according to Bernd Heinen, a senior police official, who criticized the commander for failing throughout the night to look ahead and anticipate a worsening situation....
sexual_assault  Germany  migrants  refugees  outdated  assumptions  forward_looking  preparation  miscalculations  anticipating  policing  asylum 
january 2016 by jerryking
A crisis for many years, and many reasons, to come - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2015

The reasons are easy to identify, the consequences extremely difficult to assess, the solutions complicated and uncertain.

Europe is politically stable and prosperous; Africa and the Middle East are not. Europe’s population is steady or declining; Africa and the Middle East have exploding numbers. Europe’s geography is not seriously affected by climate change; parts of Africa and the Middle East, already dry, are getting drier and therefore less fertile.

War is all but unimaginable in Europe; military conflict is a fact of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Human rights are respected throughout Europe (with a few exceptions); human rights are systematically abused by authoritarian and theocratic regimes in some African and many Middle Eastern countries. Women have made startling advances in almost every walk of European life; women are still discriminated against in too many parts of Africa and the Middle East.

These pressures pushing or enticing large numbers of people toward Europe will not disappear. If anything, they will intensify as the years go on, because climate change, demographic pressures, fierce intrareligious rivalries, the lack of respect for pluralism and a host of other entrenched realities will not bend to moral entreaties or military interventions from Western countries.
mass_migrations  refugees  crisis  Europe  failed_states  Jeffrey_Simpson  root_cause  Non-Integrating_Gap  Functioning_Core  emerging_countries  developed_countries  demographic_changes  decline  climate_change  religious_intolerance  migrants  human_trafficking 
september 2015 by jerryking
How Canada could be doing more to stop the migrant crisis - The Globe and Mail
COLIN ROBERTSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 01, 2015

For David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who heads the International Rescue Committee, the solution requires attention both upstream and downstream.

Upstream, the military must contain the conflict, with humanitarian relief for the displaced, while diplomacy works to resolve the conflict.

Downstream, the challenge is to share the burden. This means quickly determining who is a bona fide refugee rather than economic migrant. It requires police and intelligence collaboration to curb the human traffickers. The final step is expediting refugee resettlement and integration into new homes and the eventual return of migrants to their own lands once peaceful conditions are restored.

Failure to address the upstream will overwhelm the downstream. As a first step, Mr. Miliband says, the international community must help those states on the edges of conflict zones with their growing humanitarian burden.
migrants  refugees  Europe  crisis  human_trafficking 
september 2015 by jerryking
What World Migration Means for Business
5/19/2003 | HBS Working Knowledge | by Marcelo M.
Suárez-Orozco. Transnational immigrants are just "the tip of the
iceberg," he said. China probably has more than 100 million internal
immigrants moving from rural areas into the cities. The greatest
dynamics today are often within nation-states like China or within
regions of the world, he said. The largest flow of refugees today is
within Africa.

Whether they are moving from one continent to another or from a village
to a city, immigrants may experience the same sorts of upheaval:
political, legal, cultural, and linguistic. "These are not unlike the
processes of moving from Montego Bay to Boston, because [often] they're
coming from completely different linguistic and cultural groups," he
said.
mass_migrations  migrants  immigration  globalization  remittances  internal_migration  dislocations  refugees  Africa  China 
november 2009 by jerryking

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