Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeshore Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

The Nile and rights to its abundant water became the focus of conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia. A hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is beginning construction on was ordered by Egypt to be beyond the other country’s authority.

… the country announced plans for the construction of its so-called Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), designed to generate a staggering 6,000 megawatts of electricity. By situating the project only 19 miles from the Sudanese border on the vast Blue Nile gorge, where the land is unsuitable for agriculture, Ethiopia sought to reassure Egypt but ended up stoking its fears.

The design and impacts of the GERD are shrouded in secrecy. Observers cast doubts on its timely completion. In a flawed bidding process, Ethiopia granted the project to a Milan-based engineering company, Salini Costruttori, circumventing its own contract procedures and international standards on procurement. The construction is reportedly lagging behind schedule and faces several unresolved technical problems, one of which is how long it takes to fill the dam.

Swiss voters chose on Sunday to return to immigration quotas despite the prosperity resulting from policies of openness.

Experts are united in their opinion that this prosperity is the product of Switzerland’s networked economy. The country has profited enormously from open borders and from an influx of qualified foreign workers. Indeed, the European Union is its largest trading partner. Despite this, a razor-thin majority of Swiss voted in favor on Sunday of an initiative to reintroduce restrictions to the number of foreigners allowed to live and work in the country. Some 50.3 percent of eligible Swiss voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative introduced by the right-leaning, nationalist Swiss People’s Party — rejecting immigration policies of recent years that have been highly successful.

Just as severe weather dominated in news of the U.S., the U.K. suffered yet another round of unprecedented catastrophe from nature. Winds of as much as 100 MPH whipped areas. Some of the island is already drenched in flooding England has not experienced in recorded weather events. Where winter was desired, in Sochi, Russia, temperatures were staying too warm.

  • Hurricane force winds expected in four shipping areas
  • New concerns about flooding on the Wye, Severn and Thames
(snip)

About 200,000 homes and businesses are expected to spend the night without power.

Jerry O’Sullivan, ESB Networks managing director, said the storm was of a different magnitude than anything to hit the country over the last month. ‘We are dealing with a situation that is as bad if not worse than anything that we have seen in the past decade,’ he said.

The cease-fire called to allow evacuation of threatened civilians in Homs, Syria, suffered damaging lapses that kept full relief from the city.   Russia presented a proposed resolution to the U.N. that was claimed would avoid military aggression.

Red Crescent vehicles were attacked on their way to the Old City at the weekend, and their workers were briefly trapped.

(snip)

But UN agencies have also expressed concern over the fate of dozens of men who were taken in by Syrian security personnel after they fled Homs.

The detainees were being held at an abandoned school, the UN said.

Never.Give.Up.

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The backyard, most days in February.