26 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Germanwings crash: ‘co-pilot’s actions leave us speechless,’ says airline – live updates

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people, appears to have deliberately flown it into a mountain after locking the flight captain out of the cockpit.

During the last eight minutes of the flight, the co-pilot “voluntarily” carried out actions that led to the destruction of the aircraft, Brice Robin, a French public prosecutor, said at a press conference in Marseille.

Citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Airbus A320, Robin outlined the last moments of the doomed plane in a chilling account of the actions of the co-pilot, whom he named as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz………………..



Will Biden run against Clinton?

Will Biden run against Clinton? Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Joe Biden facing pressure to decide on presidential challenge to Hillary Clinton

‘Draft Biden’ political action committee has grown tenfold amid grassroots enthusiasm for a progressive challenge to the former secretary of state

Joe Biden may come under pressure to decide whether he will challenge Hillary Clinton for the White House sooner than anticipated, as liberal anxiety has prompted multiplying grassroots supporters to wonder if the vice-president might be knocked from his perch of studied neutrality and into a presidential bid.

A third-party political action committee urging Biden to challenge Clinton from the left in the smoldering controversy over her email arrangements has ballooned tenfold in the past week alone, the Guardian has learned, even as advisers close to the vice-president insist that he will wait and see about a 2016 run they say he is still “seriously considering”.

Hints that the Democratic search for alternatives to Clinton may be more heartfelt than previously thought – an earnest progressive case for an Al Gore candidacy emerged last week, and the email controversy has created air pockets in Clinton’s popularity ahead of her expected run – has some eyes wandering anew in the direction of the current White House.

Now, with Republican candidates launching formal campaigns and the Clinton machine not far behind, Biden supporters are for the first time displaying organizational structure: a Draft Biden web site last week that has gone from a list of 2,000 supporters to 20,000 backers nationwide, director Will Pierce told the Guardian………………..



Supreme court clears way for release of secret Prince Charles letters

Ruling overturns government attempt to block release of ‘black spider memos’ to ministers after decade-long battle between the Guardian and Whitehall

The UK supreme court has cleared the way for the publication of secret letters written by Prince Charles to British government ministers, declaring that an attempt by the state to keep them concealed was unlawful.

The verdict – the culmination of a 10-year legal fight by the Guardian – is a significant blow for the government, which has been battling to protect the Prince of Wales from scrutiny over his “particularly frank” interventions on public policy.

In 2012, Dominic Grieve, then attorney general, said the correspondence contained the prince’s “most deeply held personal views and beliefs” and disclosure might undermine his “position of political neutrality”, which he might not easily be able to recover when king.

The 27 letters were sent between Charles and ministers in seven government departments in 2004 and 2005. Five of the seven judges in the supreme court ruled in favour of the Guardian’s case to see the letters. The verdict was delivered on Thursday by Lord Neuberger, the president of the court.

The judges concluded that Grieve did not have the legal power to veto a freedom of information tribunal, which had decided the memos should be published.

In a statement read out in court one of the supreme court in Westminster, Neuberger said: “We dismiss the attorney general’s appeal and the decision of the upper tribunal that the advocacy correspondence should be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act … stands.”

The prime minister and a spokeswoman for Charles said they were disappointed that the ruling had challenged the principle that senior members of the royal family were able to express their views to government confidentially.

The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic predicted that the eventual publication of the letters might swell republican support by revealing the royals “as a serious political force rather than as apolitical and harmless”…………………


ben affleck bill gates senate

Ben Affleck, left, actor, film-maker and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, testifies next to Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates before a Senate subcommittee. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Ben Affleck and Bill Gates push case for US foreign aid to Africa at Senate

The Batman star reported on his work with the coffee industry in eastern Congo while the Microsoft billionaire stressed the need to support African agriculture

Ben Affleck and Bill Gates testified before the Senate on Thursday, with the actor plugging his new Batman movie, joking about sitting next to “the greatest and most important philanthropist in the history of the world”, praising Starbucks – and describing how coffee could remake the economy of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was Affleck’s fourth time before the Senate. He had been summoned to discuss the importance of US foreign aid in Congo, where an organization he founded, the Eastern Congo Initiative, is trying to rebuild the country’s coffee industry.

Testifying alongside Affleck was Gates, the Microsoft founder and richest man in the world, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has set a goal of helping to end African dependence on food imports within 15 years.

“Thanks for having me follow the greatest and most important philanthropist in the history of the world,” Affleck told the appropriations subcommittee panel. “I’m sure I’m going to come off great.”……………………….


martese johnson university of virginia

In this photo provided by Bryan Beaubrun, Martese Johnson is held down by an officer during his violent arrest on March in Charlottesville. Photograph: Bryan Beaubrun/AP

Supporters of UVA student Martese Johnson pack courtroom

  • Virginia governor orders retraining for law enforcement after student’s arrest

  • Johnson, 20, was left bloodied following detention in Charlottesville

Supporters of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson packed the district court in Charlottesville on Thursday morning for his first appearance to face charges since a violent arrest that left him bloodied a week ago.

More friends and supporters gathered outside to greet the 20-year-old as he arrived to make a very brief appearance in court, during which his next court date was set for 28 May.

Up to 150 supporters, dressed in black, crowded into Charlottesville general district court to bolster Johnson, according to a local report.

Prosecutors had indicated they would seek a delay in the case until the state police completed the investigation they are conducting into Johnson’s arrest at the request of Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.

Johnson appeared at the courthouse in a dark suit and red tie and accompanied by his lawyer, Daniel Watkins. The injuries from his arrest in the early hours of last Wednesday were still visible, though much healed from their swollen and bruised appearance the day after he was detained and needed 10 stitches to his head as a result……………………


Other News & Analysis


Health workers outside a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Sierra Leone in December.

Health workers outside a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Sierra Leone in December. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

‘The worst of journalism’: 200 writers and academics slam CBS coverage of Africa

An open letter accuses American broadcaster of rendering Africans ‘voiceless and all but invisible’ in its portrayal of the continent

Dear Mr Fager,

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our grave concern about the frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent by 60 Minutes.

In a series of recent segments from the continent, 60 Minutes has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible.

Two of these segments were remarkably similar in their basic subject matter, featuring white people who have made it their mission to rescue African wildlife. In one case these were lions, and in another, apes. People of black African descent make no substantial appearance in either of these reports, and no sense whatsoever is given of the countries visited, South Africa and Gabon…………….

A spokesman for CBS responded, saying: “60 Minutes is proud of its coverage of Africa and has received considerable recognition for it. We have reached out to Mr French to invite him to discuss this further and we look forward to meeting with him.”

The third notable recent segment was a visit by your correspondent Lara Logan to Liberia to cover the Ebola epidemic in that country. In that broadcast, Africans were reduced to the role of silent victims. They constituted what might be called a scenery of misery: people whose thoughts, experiences and actions were treated as if totally without interest. Liberians were shown within easy speaking range of Logan, including some Liberians whom she spoke about, and yet not a single Liberian was quoted in any capacity……………………


Howard French, associate professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Fatin Abbas, Manhattanville College

Akin Adesokan, novelist and associate professor, Comparative Literature and Cinema and Film Studies, Indiana University Bloomington

Anthony Arnove, producer, “Dirty Wars”

Adam Ashforth, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michiga

Sean Jacobs, faculty, International Affairs, Milano, The New School and Africa is a Country

Teju Cole, distinguished writer in residence, Bard College. Photography Critic, The New York Times Magazine

Richard Joseph, John Evans professor of International History and Politics, Northwestern University

Leon Dash, Swanlund Chair professor in journalism, Professor, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Michael C Vazquez, senior editor, ‘Bidoun: Art and Culture from the Middle East’

Achille Mbembe, professor, Wits University and visiting professor of Romance Studies and Franklin Humanities Institute Research Scholar, Duke University

M Neelika Jayawardane, associate professor of English Literature at State University of New York-Oswego, and Senior Editor, “Africa Is a Country

Adam Hochschild, author

Eileen Julien, professor, Comparative Literature, French and Italian, African Studies, Indiana University Bloomington

Mohamed Keita, freelance journalist in New York City, former Africa Advocacy Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Aaron Leaf, producer, Feet in 2 Worlds, The New School

Dan Magaziner, assistant professor, History, Yale University

Marissa Moorman, associate professor, Department of History, Indiana University

Sisonke Msimang, research fellow, University of Kwazulu-Natal

Achal Prabhala, writer and researcher, Bangalore, India.

Janet Roitman, associate professor of Anthropology, The New School

Lily Saint, assistant professor of English, Wesleyan University

Abdourahman A Waberi, writer and professor of French and Francophone Studies, George Washington University

Binyavanga Wainaina, writer

Chika Unigwe, writer

James C McCann, chair, Department of Archaeology, Professor of History, Boston University

Susan Shepler, associate professor, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, School of International Service, American University

Peter Uvin, Provost, Amherst College

G Pascal Zachary, professor of practice, Arizona State University

Cara E. Jones, assistant professor of Political Science, Mary Baldwin College

James T. Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor of History, Stanford University

Nii Akuetteh, independent International Affairs analyst, Former Executive Director of OSIWA, the Soros Foundation in West Africa

Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper

James Ferguson, Susan S and William H Hindle professor, Stanford University

Alice Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide and war survivor, Communications Director, African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN)

Max Bankole Jarrett, deputy director, Africa Progress Panel Secretariat

Mohamed Dicko, retired computer applications analyst in St Louis, Missouri

Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome, professor of Political Science, African and Women’s Studies, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Adam Ouologuem

John Edwin Mason, Department of History, University of Virginia

Dele Olojede, newspaperman

Dr. Jonathan T Reynolds, professor of History, Northern Kentucky University

Daniel J. Sharfstein, professor of Law, Vanderbilt University

Lisa Lindsay, University of North Carolina

Anne-Maria B. Makhulu, assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies, Duke University

Karin Shapiro, associate professor of the Practice African and African American Studies, Duke University

Garry Pierre Pierre, executive director of the Community Reporting Alliance, New York City

Lynn M Thomas, professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Washington

Martha Saavedra, associate director, Center for African Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Kathryn Mathers, visiting assistant professor, International Comparative Studies, Duke University

Siddhartha Mitter, Freelance Journalist

Alexis Okeowo, contributor, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine

Susan Thomson, assistant professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Colgate University

Nicolas van de Walle, Maxwell Upson Professor of Government, Cornell University

David Newbury, Gwendolen Carter Professor of African Studies, Smith College

Charles Piot, professor, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Department of African and African American Studies, Co-Convener Africa Initiative, Duke University

Adia Benton, assistant professor of Anthropology, Brown University

Gregory Mann, historian of Francophone Africa, Columbia University

Anne Pitcher, University of Michigan

Howard Stein, University of Michigan

Adam Shatz, London Review of Books

Peter Rosenblum, professor of International Law and Human Rights, Bard College

Timothy Longman, African Studies Center Director, Chair of Committee of Directors, Pardee School of Global Studies, Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston University

Laura E Seay, assistant professor, Department of Government, Colby College

Robert Grossman, producer

Daniel Fahey, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, Served on the U.N. Group of Experts on DRC 2013-2015

Jennie E Burnet, associate professor of Anthropology, University of Louisville

Kim Yi Dionne, assistant professor, Smith College

Lonnie Isabel, journalist

Karen L Murphy

Ryan Briggs, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech

Yolande Bouka, researcher, Institute for Security Studies

Elliot Fratkin, Gwendolen M Carter Professor of African Studies, Department of Anthropology, Smith College

Gretchen Bauer, professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware

John Woodford, journalist

Frank Holmquist, professor of Politics, Emeritus, School of Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College

Alice Kang, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Institute for Ethnic Studies – African and African American Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Michel Marriott, journalist, author

Jennifer N Brass, assistant professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Séverine Autesserre, Department of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University

Jill E Kelly, assistant professor, Clements Department of History, Southern Methodist University

Meghan Healy-Clancy, lecturer on Social Studies and on Women, Gender and Sexuality, Harvard University

Dayo Olopade, journalist, author

Mary Moran, Colgate University

Sharon Abramowitz, UFL

Rebecca Shereikis, interim director, Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, Northwestern University

Barbara B. Brown, director of the Outreach Program, African Studies Center, Boston University

Jeffrey Stringer

David Alain Wohl, associate professor, The Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Andy Sechler, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

John Kraemer, assistant professor, Department of Health Systems Administration and African Studies Program, Georgetown University

Barbara Shaw Anderson, associate director, African Studies Center, Lecturer, Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, African Studies Center, University of North Carolina

Adrienne LeBas, assistant professor of Government, American University, D.C.

Catharine Newbury, Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College

Ana M Ayuso Alvarez, Epidemiology Programme Applied to the Field,

Cynthia Haq, professor of Family Medicine and Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Aili Tripp, professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Kellner Family Professor in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin

Anne Jebet Waliaula, outreach coordinator, African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Judith Oki, Salt Lake City, former Capacity Building Advisor for Rebuilding Basic Health Services, Monrovia, Liberia

Sandra Schmidt, assistant professor of Social Studies and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Emily Callaci, assistant professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Louise Meintjes, associate professor, Departments of Music and Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

May Rihani, former co-chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, author of Cultures Without Borders

Tejumola Olaniyan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Selah Agaba, doctoral student, Anthropology and Education Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin

Casey Chapman, Wisconsin

Ted Hochstadt, returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Lesotho)

Kah Walla, CEO, Strategies, Cameroon

Kofi Ogbujiagba, journalist, Madison, Wisconsin

Matthew Francis Rarey, visiting assistant professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

David B. Levine, consultant in International Development, Washington, D.C.

Claire Wendland, medical anthropologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Frederic Schaffer, professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Joye Bowman, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Cody S. Perkins, Ph.D. Candidate, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Eric Gottesman, Colby College Department of Art

Lynda Pickbourn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics, School of Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College

Kate Heuisler, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Henry John Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts, Departments of Art History and Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sarah Forzley, lecturer in the English department at the University of Paris 10- Nanterre (France)

Laura Doyle, professor of English, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Ralph Faulkingham, emeritus professor of Anthropology (and former Editor, The African Studies Review), University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dr. Jessica Johnson, University of Massachusetts Amherst History Department

Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia retired

Sean Hanretta, associate professor, Department of History, Northwestern University

Iris Berger, Vincent O’Leary professor of History, University at Albany

Jackson Musuuza, University of Wisconsin Madison

Anita Schroven, researcher, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

Baz Lecocq, chair of African History, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Monica H Green, professor of History, Arizona State University

Sandra Adell, professor, Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Broom professor of Social Demography and Anthropology Director, African and African American Studies Program, Acting Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton College

Michael Herce, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia p

Satish Gopal, director, Cancer Program, UNC Project-Malawi, UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases

Mina C Hosseinipour, scientific director, UNC Project, Lilongwe Malawi

Cliff Missen, director, WiderNet@UNC and The WiderNet Project, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Groesbeck Parham, professor, UNC (working in Zambia)

Norma Callender, San Jose

Harry McKinley Williams, Jr., Laird Bell professor of History, Carleton College

Robtel Neajai Pailey, Liberian academic, London

Rose Brewer, professor, University of Minnesota

Fodei J Batty, assistant professor of Political Science, Quinnipiac University

Graham Wells, professor, retired, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mississippi State University

Chouki El Hamel, professor of History, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University

Obioma Ohia, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Physics, University of Maryland

Paschal Kyoore, professor of French, Francophone African-Caribbean Literatures and Cultures

Director, African Studies program, Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minnesota

Preston Smith, chair of Africana Studies. Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College

Catherine E Bolten, assistant professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies. The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Michael Leslie, associate professor of Telecommunication, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida

Agnes Ngoma Leslie, senior lecturer and outreach director, Center for African Studies, University of Florida

Martin Murray, Urban Planning and African Studies, University of Michigan

Laura Fair, associate professor of African History, Michigan State University

Noel Twagiramungu, post-doctoral research fellow, World Peace Foundation, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Brandon Kendhammer, assistant professor of Political Science, Afircan Studies Affiliate Faculty, Ohio University

Sabrina Buckwalter, communications manager, Columbia University; Associate Producer, DRONE

James A French, African investment specialist

Terrie Schweitzer, writer/consultant, returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ghana 2011-2013)

Ken Opalo, Stanford University

Youssouf Traoré

Ron Davis

Robin L Turner, associate professor of Political Science, Butler University

Jeffrey Ahlman, assistant professor of History and African Studies, Smith College

Madina Thiam

Michelle Poulin, PhD, Consultant, The World Bank, Africa Region

Felicia Akanmou, multimedia journalism graduate student, Indiana University, Bloomington

Sarah Watkins, lecturer, Departments of History and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Simon Halliday, lecturer, Departments of History and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Sally Orme, educator, returned Peace Corps volunteer (Liberia, 2013-2014)

Beth Elise Whitaker, associate professor of Political Science, Affiliate Faculty in Africana Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Rachel Strohm, PhD student, Political Science, UC Berkeley

Nathan J Combes, PhD student, University of California, San Diego

Heather Switzer, assistant professor, Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University, research in southern Kenya, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Ethiopia ‘98-99

Casey Chapman, Ebola survivor corps

Aristide Kemla, University of Florida

Peter Schmidt, professor of Anthropology and African Studies, University of Florida, Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science

R Hunt Davis, Jr , professor emeritus of History and African Studies, Editor-in-Chief, African Studies Quarterly, University of Florida

Goran Hyden, distinguished professor, Political Science, University of Florida

Erika Kirwen, London

Léonce Ndikumana, professor of Economics, Director of the African Development Policy Program, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts Amherst

Rachael Clifford Ebeledi, Amherst,

Mwangi wa Githinji, Economics department, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Gina Irene Njeru, University of Florida, Center for African Studies Program Assistant

Oliver Akamnonu, physician, author

Robin Poynor, professor of Art History, School of Art and Art History, University of Florida

Liz Poulsen, University of Florida

Amilcar Shabazz, American Council on Education Fellow, Office of the President, New York University

Kate S Peabody, Liberian

Alan Neuhauser, reporter.

Matthew Adeiza, Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle

Robbie Corey-Boulet, fellow, Institute of Current World Affairs

Nkemjika E. Kalu, strategic analyst, Abuja, Nigeria

Kim Foulds, program coordinator, Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, Quinnipiac University

Susana Wing, associate professor of Political Science
Haverford College

Kevin Fridy, associate professor of Government and World Affairs, University of Tampa

Kukunda Liz Bacwayo, Uganda Christian University


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