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Mo Ibrahim: What makes a good African leader?

Mo Ibrahim: What makes a good African leader?

November 20, 2017
The billionaire philanthropist joins The Stream to discuss good governance in Africa.
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On Monday, November 20 at 19:30 GMT:

Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born British billionaire philanthropist, made his fame and fortune by bringing mobile phone service to tens of millions of Africans across the continent. Now, he is known for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which awards the world’s largest prize for good governance and leadership to departing African leaders. 

Celtel International was founded in 1998 and went on to be a trailblazer in establishing communications on the African continent. The company is famous for never having paid a bribe, a story Ibrahim is fond of telling. Since he sold Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion, he has been focused on his foundation’s work and the annual index of African governance, an index that measures political, social, and economic factors in all 54 countries. It is an ambitious tool, meant to increase accountability and provide Africans with information to ask questions of their leaders and governments.

The foundation’s prize was created as an incentive for African leaders to shun corruption, step down at the mandated time and to provide departing African leaders with a livelihood after their tenure. The prize is not without some controversy, as some critics say it’s akin to bribing or rewarding a leader just for doing their job. The foundation awards $5 million over 10 years when the selected leader steps down, and $200,000 thereafter for life. Since it began in 2006, only five individuals have been given the prize. The prize has not been awarded for the last three years, highlighting the political challenges faced by some African countries. 

The Stream meets with Ibrahim to discuss African governance, his foundation’s work and the driving forces in Africa right now.  

Read more:

Why we haven’t given Africa’s most prestigious leadership award this year? – Quartz
The man giving Africa a brighter future – The Guardian 

What do you think? Record a 30-second video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Is it still safe to live in polluted New Delhi?

Is it still safe to live in polluted New Delhi?

November 15, 2017
As a smog that doctors call a killer hangs over India’s capital, pressure builds on the government.
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On Wednesday, November 15 at 19:30 GMT:

New Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world. PM2.5 levels rose to 703 on November 7, which was more than the double the 300 mark deemed "hazardous", forcing authorities to temporarily shut city schools.

 

Since then PM2.5, which has been linked to lung and heart diseases, has regularly remained above 500. The tiny particulate matter enters the lungs and bloodstream and can kill.

 

Doctors have recommended that people with chest conditions simply leave. Of course, that’s not an option for many and the poor are disproportionately affected by the smog that hangs over the city.

 

So how can this be solved? And is the government doing enough? On Wednesday, experts join us to discuss. 

 

Read more:

Schools close as smog chokes India’s ‘gas chamber’ capital – Al Jazeera

 

The deadly smog over New Delhi is a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with India – Quartz

 

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Aamir Khan: What drove the Bollywood star to social activism?

Aamir Khan: What drove the Bollywood star to social activism?

November 16, 2017
Al Jazeera’s “The Snake Charmer” charts the unusual journey of one of India’s biggest movie stars.

Actor Aamir Khan speaks during a news conference in Singapore (REUTERS/EDGAR SU)

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On Thursday, November 16 at 19:30 GMT:

How does one of India’s biggest film stars end up sharing a sofa with women who have endured rape, abuse and forced foeticide? And then come to terms with the industry he’s part of, and the way it treats women?

Aamir Khan is one of the most popular and influential Bollywood actors in India today. He became a star of Hindi cinema in the 1980s and went on to stare some of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time. The most notable internationally “Lagaan” earned an Oscar nomination in 2001. In 2012, Khan took a break from acting and, together with a childhood friend, created a TV series called ‘Satyamev Jayate’ which became the first prime time television show in India to discuss the country’s most critical social issues – from rape to dowry killings.

Al Jazeera’s Witness film, “The Snake Charmer” follows Khan on a journey through India’s TV and film industry as he attempts to change the way Indians perceive and treat women. The filmmakers join The Stream to take your questions. Be part of the conversation at 1930GMT.

Read more:

"The Snake Charmer" – Al Jazeera Witness 
With ‘Secret Superstar,’ Aamir Khan And Kiran Rao Make A Bet That Pays Off In Social Value – Forbes

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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Should it be illegal for American companies to boycott Israel?

Should it be illegal for American companies to boycott Israel?

November 14, 2017
A number of states in the US have adopted measures penalising boycotts of Israeli businesses, but some civil liberties groups say it’s a violation of free speech.

(GETTY/ERIK MCGREGOR/PACIFIC PRESS)

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On Tuesday, November 14 at 19:30 GMT:

The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) tries to put economic and political pressure on Israel, but many pro-Israel advocates say the campaign ultimately aims to undermine the country’s security and financial stability. Now, new legislation in the United States Congress could make it illegal for businesses in the United States to participate in BDS activity.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a civil rights organisation, the bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Act proposes to penalise support for boycotts of Israel or its businesses, with violations punishable by penalties of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. In the US, at least 20 states have already adopted legislation targeting BDS involvement, or issued executive orders that prohibit state agencies from contracting with businesses engaged in similar activity.

Supporters of BDS contend that the movement is a successful expression of their freedom of speech as protected under the first amendment to the US Constitution, which is why opponents have shifted to “legal warfare”. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti says this is because Israel and “its massive lobby” are “losing so many battles” in the court of public opinion.

In October, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in the state of Kansas challenging anti-BDS bills, claiming that boycotts are protected under the first amendment. But proponents of anti-BDS legislation say there’s nothing “unconstitutional” about such measures, adding that they’re in line with an established US law that penalises corporations that “participate in boycott requests from foreign countries against US allies”. Mark Levenson, President of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, says BDS is “one of the greatest canards” of the twenty-first century, and that its supporters should be “condemned vigorously and publicly, roundly and soundly”.

“You can boycott Israel. That’s your choice…But if you do, we will look to have [New Jersey] disinvest in you.”

So, what are the legal underpinnings of anti-BDS legislation, and what are the possible consequences for companies supporting BDS?

Read more:

Wisconsin governor signs anti-boycott Israel order – Al Jazeera 
This piece of pro-Israel legislation is a serious threat to free speech – Washington Post 
Israel anti-boycott bill does not violate free speech – Washington Post

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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#MyNewZimbabwe: Who will win the struggle to succeed Mugabe?

#MyNewZimbabwe: Who will win the struggle to succeed Mugabe?

November 13, 2017
Ruling ZANU-PF party rallies around first lady amid crackdown on online dissent.
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On Monday, November 13 at 19:30 GMT:

Last week, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe fired his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa for "disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness, and unreliability," and has accused the ex-vice president of plotting to overthrow him. This is the latest and most dramatic twist in a vicious power struggle over who will succeed the 93-year-old leader of the once-thriving southern African country.

The vice president – widely perceived as a strong contender to replace Mugabe – was expelled from the ruling ZANU-PF party on Wednesday, and has fled the country claiming he has received death threats. 

Zimbabwe is facing severe cash and commodity shortages and the economy is still recovering from dramatic upheaval that began in 2000. The two men have worked alongside each other for nearly 50 years in government, and were allies in the 1970s guerrilla war that brought Mugabe to power.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, is seen as increasingly fail. With the vice president gone, his wife Grace Mugabe is now the top contender to be his successor. She has long been engaged in a public feud with Mnangagwa, calling for his removal as recently as the day before he was fired.

The political infighting comes amid an intensifying crackdown on social media, which is widely used in Zimbabwe to express political opinions. In October, the government created a Ministry for Cybersecurity, Threat Detection and Mitigation, and says it wants to crack down on cyberbullying. Government critics and human rights advocates, though, say the new ministry is being used as a cover to spy on social media users and stifle dissent and free speech.

Four people were arrested for booing Grace Mugabe at a rally on Saturday and subsequently charged with undermining the authority of the president. A US citizen, Martha O’Donovan, was arrested and jailed for allegedly retweeting a comment said to be insulting to the president. She has since been released on bail, but in the meantime her case has renewed the #ThisFlag movement. The movement, which began last year, showcases what users online are saying is an attempt to crackdown on free speech and the state of the economy. People on Twitter are also using #MyNewZimbabwe to share their vision of what a prosperous Zimbabwe could look like.

On Monday, we’ll look at the role of social media in politics, and discuss what the dismissal of the vice president means for the future of Zimbabwe. 

Read more:

Robert Mugabe sacks vice-president to clear path to power for wife The Guardian
Mugabe’s wife Grace rises to pinnacle of power in Zimbabwe Bloomberg 
Zimbabwe created a new ministry to monitor social media. But most Zimbabweans don’t want government monitoring. The Washington Post 

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
 

 

 

 

 

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Trump completes his first year. What should he be focused on now?

Trump completes his first year. What should he be focused on now?

November 9, 2017
In this special Stream town hall, seven naturalised US citizens weigh in on a divisive president.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media on South Lawn of the White House in Washington before his departure to Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S., October 7, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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In part 2 of our Stream town hall special, we’re joined by seven naturalised citizens to the United States. They reunite for an in-depth look at Trump’s first year in office, and what his priorities over the next year should be.
 
It has been one year since US President Donald Trump won the US election in one of the most hotly-contested and divisive races in the country’s history. In his inaugural address he emphasised his promises from the campaign trail to the American people of job creation and putting them first. Within days of being sworn in, he set about trying to push through major legislative changes: repealing and replacing Obama-era health care reforms, expanding the vetting of immigrants to the US, creating jobs and moving to withdraw the US from several international agreements. None of these, though, has been fully achieved.
 
Despite overall low approval ratings, the voters who put Trump in power are mostly satisfied. But his first year has been often fraught, generating daily headlines. There has been infighting, leaks, investigations and a failure to pass any one landmark piece of legislation.
 
On Thursday part 2 of our check in with seven Join us at 1930GMT.
 

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How has Trump’s first year gone? We ask a group of immigrant voters

How has Trump’s first year gone? We ask a group of immigrant voters

November 8, 2017
In this special Stream town hall, eight naturalised US citizens weigh in on the last 12 months.
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On Wednesday, November 8 at 19:30GMT:

It has been one year since US President Donald Trump won the election in one of the most hotly-contested and divisive races in the country’s history. The flamboyant property-mogul-turned-politician pledged to, “drain the swamp” in the capital Washington DC and shake up the system.

In his victory speech Trump pledged to bring a fractured nation together and renew the American Dream. Within days of being sworn in, he set about trying to push through major legislative changes: repealing and replacing Obama-era health care reforms, expaning the vetting of immigrants to the US, creating jobs and moving to withdraw the US from several international agreements. None of these, though, has been fully achieved.

Despite overall low approval ratings, the voters who put Trump in power are mostly satisfied. But his first year has been often fraught, generating daily headlines. There has been infighting, leaks, investigations and a failure to pass any one landmark piece of legislation.

On Wednesday, we’ll check in with eight naturalised citizens to the United States in their fourth special town hall appearance on The Stream since Trump was elected. They reunite this time for an in-depth, two-part look at his first year in office — successes, failures and everything in between.

Read more:
Trump’s week: Russia probe, Civil War history lesson, and more – Al Jazeera
Full Donald Trump coverage – Al Jazeera

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How do you build peace? A conversation with the Dalai Lama

How do you build peace? A conversation with the Dalai Lama

November 7, 2017
The Stream is joined by the Tibetan spiritual leader for a very special show.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Patron of Children in Crossfire, gestures at an event called ‘Compassion in Action’ in Londonderry, Northern Ireland September 10, 2017. REUTERS/CLODAGH KILCOYNE

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On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 19:30 GMT:

The world’s most violent conflct zones also often happen to be places with high populations of young people, according to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Despite the challenges of growing up in turmoil, though, many young people are striving to making a difference and several of them this month travelled to India to seek guidance from Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

A group of young peacebuilders from countries across Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East visited the Dalai Lama’s compound in Dharamsala to meet each other and discuss the challenges they face in the second such event organised by the USIP. Participants say they’re looking forward to building both the practical skills and the personal resilience needed to foster peace in their home countries.

So how do you build peace in times of conflict?

 

Find out on this episode as we meet the Dalai Lama and two of the youth leaders. 

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What is Australia doing on Manus Island?

What is Australia doing on Manus Island?

November 6, 2017
In this episode, we also discuss US President Donald Trump’s Asia tour and meet a journalist who undertook a remarkable voyage to Antarctica to explore climate change.

Protesters in Sydney press the government to end the refugee crisis on Manus Island on Saturday [Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images]

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#StreamUpdate shows are our chance to explore three stories that our community – you – are talking about.

On this episode:

Manus Island
The Manus Island refugee prison in Papua New Guinea – opened as part of Australia’s offshore detention immigration policy – officially closed on October 31. In April 2016, PNG’s courts decided it was illegal. But those who’ve been imprisoned in it for 4 years don’t want to leave. They say they are being forced out into ‘transit centres’, where conditions are worse and their lives are in danger. Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas will answer your questions on what the UN calls "an unfolding humanitarian emergency."

 

A Voyage to Antarctica

Diplomats from around the world gather in Bonn this week for UN-brokered climate talks. Many climate scientists say the Antarctic Peninsula is seeing some of the most significant changes anywhere due to climate change, with temperatures warming steadily. Earlier this year, Tarek Bazley travelled to Antarctica with a group of scientists to see their work first-hand. An aljazeera.com interactive project based on that trip, A Voyage to Antarctica, was last week honoured by the Association of International Broadcasters. Bazley joins us to talk about his remarkable adventure and the work he witnessed.

 

Trump in Asia

Under pressure at home, US President Donald Trump embarks on the longest trip to Asia by a US president for more than 25 years. His visit will take in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, with his standoff with North Korea in sharp focus. Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett joins us on set to talk through what to watch for. 

 

On this episode of The Stream we’ll speak to:

Andrew Thomas, @AlJazSydANDREW

Sydney Correspondent, Al Jazeera English

 

Tarek Bazley, @tarekbazley 

Journalist.

 

Kimberly Halkett, @KimberlyHalkett

White House Correspondent, Al Jazeera English.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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#SaveTPS: What does the future hold for TPS recipients in the US?

#SaveTPS: What does the future hold for TPS recipients in the US?

November 2, 2017
Tens of thousands of Salvadorans, Haitians and others fear deportation.
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On Thursday, November 2, at 19:30 GMT:

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States are at risk of losing a special status that lets them live and work temporarily in the country if President Donald Trump’s administration cracks down on a program known as TPS, or Temporary Protected Status.

More than 250,000 of those affected are from El Salvador and Honduras, and nearly 50,000 are Haitian.  Many have worked, built lives, and started families in the US in the years since they arrived.

TPS is a temporary fix for immigrants already in the United States that don’t have legal status and cannot now return to their home countries because of natural disaster, conflict or other extraordinary conditions.

Hondurans were granted the status in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch wreaked havoc on the Central American country. It was extended to El Salvador in 2001 after a huge earthquake, multiple aftershocks and landslides that destroyed tens of thousands of homes. And Haitians were given TPS status after a devastating earthquake in 2010 – that status was extended in May but for a shorter period than in the past. Several other countries also have TPS status.

TPS was signed into law by the US Congress 27 years ago, but the White House decides which countries participate and for how long.

TPS recipients are often older and many are now parents. There are an estimated  273,000 children that are US citizens whose parents are recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, raising fears that families could be split up or pushed underground if the programme is curtailed.

Now, many fear they will be deported to a country they haven’t been to in decades with immigrant advocacy groups worried Trump will refuse to renew the status of some of the countries covered by TPS.

The programme has no path to citizenship, although recipients pay taxes, have jobs, mortgages and own small businesses. Advocates are pushing for legislation that would provide a pathway to becoming a US citizen.

Critics say the program allows participants to repeatedly extend their temporary status and that it should be overhauled or scrapped.So, what does the future hold for TPS recipients? We discuss on Thursday.   

Read more: 

Immigrants fear loss of humanitarian program under Trump  Associated Press
The worst battle is the one you don’t fight:’ Texans with Temporary Protected Status lobby Washington  Dallas News  

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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