Giles was a photographer who, some years ago, tired of celebrity photoshoots and the attendant egos and tantrums that often accompanied them. He flung his camera on the photoshoot bed and it bounced out the window into the streets of SoHo, London. At that point he decided to change course and dedicated himself to using his camera to “tell unheard stories of those caught in conflict and economic hardship around the world.” His work took him to Sudan, Angola, Ukraine and Bangladesh, among other places. Early in 2011, on assignment in Afghanistan, Duley stepped on a landmine. Despite the fact that the horrific accident left Duley a triple amputee, he continues to dedicate his life to telling stories through photography.
“Do you ever have one of those mornings, when you just can’t be bothered to put your legs on? “
Sudan daily claims jets sent by unnamed Israeli organizations landing daily at South Sudan airport, unloading weapons meant for army. By Roi Kais
Report: Israelis arming South Sudan with missiles
Sudan’s al-Intiba newspaper reported Thursday that Israeli organizations have started transferring logistical and military equipment to South Sudan forces.
According to the report, jets have been landing at a Sudan airport at 3 am every day unloading missiles, military equipment and African mercenaries. The paper did not name the organizations behind the alleged deliveries, which, according to the report, began earlier this week.
Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July last year. The dispute has centered on three main issues: The demarcation of the border, oil revenue sharing and refugees.
South Sudan accused Sudan of launching air strikes in the border region on Wednesday, hours after the postponement of talks aimed at defusing the worst clashes since the South seceded.
The Sudanese army denied any attack.
The neighbors have fought repeatedly in the past few days along the poorly marked 1,800-km (1,200-mile) border, the worst direct confrontation since the South split away in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.
South Sudan soldier guards oil facility (Photo: AFP)
Western nations fear the clashes could reignite a full-blown war between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist South, with rival claims on oil resources a key part of the conflict.
South Sudan’s top negotiator, Pagan Amum, said Sudanese MiG-29 jets bombed the garrison town of Panakuach in Unity state after talks sponsored by the African Union had been postponed with no deal signed and no indication of progress.
“One (jet) has been shot down in Panakuach. This is very clear, it’s war-mongering that made them not to sign,” he said.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad denied there had been an air strike or that a plane had been lost.
Last week Sudan bombed oil fields in South Sudan a day after skirmishes at a border town led Khartoum to cancel President Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s scheduled visit to South Sudan for a meeting with President Salva Kiir.
In December 2011 Al-Intiba reported that Israeli aircraft attacked vehicles in South Sudan. The report speculated on whether the targeted vehicles had been serving arms smugglers.
The newspaper claimed that the first of two attacks was carried out on December 15. The IAF allegedly bombed two land cruiser vehicles, killing four passengers. The second attack was reportedly carried out on December 18. A car had been bombed and all its passengers killed. It was also reported that an Israeli apache helicopter landed in an area where South Sudanese army radar stations are located.
On Kony 2012: I honestly wanted to stay as far away as possible from KONY 2012, the latest fauxtivist fad sweeping the web (remember “change your Facebook profile pic to stop child abuse”?), but you clearly won’t stop sending me that damn video until I say something about it, so here goes:
Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.
By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.
The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. Thesebooks each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.
The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”
Sending money to a nonprofit that wants to muck things up by dousing the flames with fuel is not helping. Want to help? Really want to help? Send your money to nonprofits that are putting more than 31% toward rebuilding the region’s medical and educational infrastructure, so that former child soldiers have something worth coming home to.
Herearejusta few of those charities. They all have a sparkling four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and, more importantly, no interest in airdropping American troops armed to the teeth into the middle of a multi-nation tribal war to help one madman catch another.
The bottom line is, research your causes thoroughly. Don’t just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old “sad.” Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region’s ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention.
There is no black and white in the world. And going about solving important problems like there is just serves to make all those equally troubling shades of gray invisible.
Researchers at the Russian Academy of Science’s Soil Cryology Lab have managed to grow flowers using 30,000 year-old seeds preserved in the Russian permafrost.
The seeds of Silene stenophylla were buried by squirrels during the Upper Pleistocene, and covered with layers of frozen soil over thousands of years. Researchers eventually recovered them 125 feet below ground, still perfectly preserved at -7 degrees celsius.
The discovery makes S. stenophylla the oldest known plant species to be revived from ancient seeds, topping the 2,000 year-old “Phoenix palm” grown by Israeli scientists in 2008.
Happy Man: Matt Morris’s short film Mr. Happy Man tells the tale of 88-year-old Johnny Barnes, a Hamilton, Bermuda native who spends six hours every day, “come rain or shine,” standing at a local intersection telling drivers he loves them.
An impoverished old man applied for membership in a rich Baptist church. The pastor attempted to put him off with all kinds of evasive remarks. The old man, becoming aware that he was not wanted, finally said that he would pray on it. Several days later he returned.
“Well,” asked the pastor, “did the Lord give you a message?”
“Yes sir, He did,” was the old man’s answer. “He told me it wasn’t any use. He said, ‘I’ve been trying to get in that same church myself for ten years, and I still haven’t made it in.’”