Over Easy

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

Brazil is hosting a discussion of the future of the internet, NetMundial, and the U.S. has committed to handing over its dominant position to a community of shareholders. Some problems have been anticipated for that future by some concerned organizations.

‘The real nightmare situation would be the Balkanisation of the internet with governments changing technical standards to suit commercial interests, to remove interoperability between different countries or regions of the world, and to give them the ability to perform things like mass surveillance and the control of content.’ … the US, Australia and several European nations have previously resisted the UN taking on management of the internet, saying responsibility should instead pass to a group that is not dominated by governments.

Hopefully some use of new technology that produces a bubble that then has an image projected onto it, that will finally burst, leaving a chosen scent behind, will help put this together. (I vote for scent of coriander, a favorite of mine.)

Hundreds of deaths in South Sudan have shown ethnic hatred breaking out in the power struggle there. The U.N. has sought to keep peace, and been overpowered in its attempts.

More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and more than 400 wounded while sheltering in a Mosque on 15 April after rebels retook Unity state capital Bentiu from government forces, in what the chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, described as a ‘dastardly act.’

This was followed by an attack two days later on civilians sheltering inside a UN base camp in Jonglei state capital Bor, which left more than 40 dead and scores wounded.

Further north in Darfur, efforts by the African Union have failed to ease violence against the population there.

The peacekeepers, though, have been bullied by government security forces and rebels, stymied by American and Western neglect, and left without the weapons necessary to fight in a region where more peacekeepers have been killed than in any other U.N. mission in the world. The violence that once consumed Darfur, meanwhile, has returned with a vengeance, resulting in civilian casualties and the large-scale flight of terrified men, women, and children.

(snip)

Some officials say the mission’s failings are beyond repair, but that the political leadership in African capitals and on the U.N. Security Council is unlikely to shut it down while violence is surging in Darfur. ‘That would require them to do something about it,’ one U.N.-based diplomat said.

Reconciliation in Palestine between Hamas and Fatah gives new angles to ongoing peace negotiations with Israel, including ‘some easing of the blockade that Cairo has imposed on the group and on the Gaza Strip’.

The Palestinian public and its two rival factions – Hamas and Fatah – understand that the internal rift serves Israel first and foremost, and that the disconnect between Gaza and the West Bank is congruent with Israeli policies. The vast majority in Fatah and all the other PLO member groups are convinced that a fair agreement signed by Israel of its own free will is no longer possible. Only Abbas and some of his close associates continue to believe in negotiating.

The reconciliation, therefore, is a way to strengthen the Palestinians internally in preparation for the next confrontations with Israel (popular, diplomatic, political, and perhaps even military, if and when Israel chooses the military escalation option).

Reconciliation is also consistent with the increasing demands to hold public elections for the PLO’s legislature.

Pirates in the Malacca Strait have stolen a large oil cargo and removed crew from a tanker engaged in shipping there. Some evidence indicates the theft may have been abetted by members of the crew.

Eight Indonesian pirates in a fishing vessel boarded the Naniwa Maru No. 1 at about 1 a.m. local time on Tuesday off the coast of western Malaysia, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said.

The pirates pumped about 800,000 gallons of the 1.18 million gallons of diesel carried by the tanker into two waiting vessels and made off with three Indonesian crew members, including the captain and chief engineer, the agency said.

Enjoy Take Your Kids To Work Day.

Never.Give.Up.