THE CONVENTION IS “OF ISTANBUL” BUT TURKEY ABANDONES

THE CONVENTION IS “OF ISTANBUL” BUT TURKEY ABANDONES

It was 2018 when little Amine’s face aroused general indignation.

The news reported that the anguish of her expression, which has impressed me personally, was generated when she was told that if she died a martyr she would have the honors of the flag.

Now, net of all the geopolitics, reasons and counter-maneuvers, the fact remains that this photo was a bit of a sort of prelude to many subsequent things.

The latest in chronological order is the signature on the presidential decree which sanctions the exit of the Convention which bears the name of the Turkish capital.

A paradox.

The Council of Europe adopted the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on 11 May 2011.

The Istanbul Convention is widely recognized as the most ambitious legal instrument aimed at preventing and combating violence against women, domestic violence and gender-based violence, such as human rights violations.

It entered into force in 2014 – just three years after its adoption, reflecting the need for member states to have a legally binding treaty to guide them in their efforts to end the violence.

UNWOMEN of which I have already spoken about Emma Watson, strongly called for the withdrawal to be reconsidered with this statement

Zehra Zumrut Selçuk, head of the ministry of family, labor and social services in Turkey, reassured by replying that women’s rights are guaranteed in national legislation, in particular in the Turkish Constitution, and in a tweet communicated the intention to continue with zero tolerance because violence against women is a crime against humanity.

Well.
What I don’t understand is: why then disavow a treaty that goes in the exact same direction?

Or rather, I understand it, in the context of internal strategies that are based on political maneuvers. Like everything else, after all.

But in the end: for Turkey, Europe yes or Europe no? This is the dilemma …

THIS TIME WE ARE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD

THIS TIME WE ARE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD

Twice I have emphasized how the French had been more advanced in dealing with a giant like Amazon but this time we definitely come first, and since it is an important issue such as workers’ rights, I am particularly happy.

Well yes: it really seems that the strike scheduled for Monday 22 March is the first ever that will involve all sectors: logistics, transport and delivery, both as regards direct employees and temporary workers.

Overseas a trade union battle is taking place limited to the state of Alabama which has however received important endorsements: President Joe Biden, several members of Congress, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio, other unions such as the NFL Players Association, the MLB Players Association, and Black Lives Matter.

This is the direct testimony of Jennifer Bates: employed at the Bessemer warehouse.

Do you know someone who works at Amazon?
It would be interesting to hear a statement from those who are personally involved.

The various trade unions have communicated the reasons for the stop: workloads and rhythms, shift bargaining, reduction of driver hours, stabilization of fixed and interim times, compliance with health and safety regulations.

It goes without saying that we are all aware that behind our convenience of receiving the goods in click time there are people who make it possible at times and in times that are certainly not institutionally canonical.

As we know Jeff Bezos resigned in February with this letter: it’s about talented people, pride, minimum wages and livelihoods.

Undoubtedly, he must be credited with having built an empire, here are the points he has set as principles of leadership.

Intentional Darwinism, rank and yank and two out of three politics,  or anytime feedback tool are not mentioned despite a very famous New York Times survey brought up various unfortunate aspects.

So let’s wait to hear the Italian voices too.

COLTAN

COLTAN

Treccani tells us that Coltan is a term which, by contraction, identifies columbo-tantalite, a black metallic mineral composed of columbite and tantalite. It is one of the combinations in which it is possible to trace tantalum, the metal with which small but very efficient capacitors are made (therefore essential in portable devices such as mobile phones and computers, as well as in automotive electronics), which is why coltan has become a highly sought-after material.

In Congo, and in particular in the border area with Rwanda and Uganda, there are the Luwow mines notorious for the exploitation of workers and the horrendous scourge of child labor.

Amnesty International reports a UNICEF estimate of 2014 but we can assume that the number is underestimated, given the continuous exponential increase of electronic devices in circulation.

We all still have the name of the Belgian Congo imprinted in our minds, which brings us directly back to the control of the territories which has ceased in recent times, as this video from the Istituto Luce dated 1960 also testifies:

A memory that for me is placed on the desks of elementary schools is: Zaire, the new name since 1971.
The decision is made by Mobutu who, in a sort of political whirlwind between the alternations of Republics and de facto dictatorship, remained an ambiguous figure until 1997 in contrast between: the role of father of the homeland he intended to cover, and an authoritarian and corrupt profile.

The newly formed Democratic Republic of Congo, however, does not see peace looming, and the rush to grab coltan aggravates both the already severe internal conflict on ethnic grounds, as well as that with neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

By the statement of its President of 2 June 2000, the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to establish an expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a period of six months, with the following mandate:

  • To follow up on reports and collect information on all activities of illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in violation of the sovereignty of that country;

  • To research and analyse the links between the exploitation of the natural resources and other forms of wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the continuation of the conflict;

  • To revert to the Council with recommendations.

With this letter dated April 2001 Kofi Annan presents his Report of the Expert Group on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A 2003 UN Security Council report denounces that the proceeds from the exploitation of coltan by the opposing states have served to finance their armies against the Congo itself.
In addition to the fact that the search for and extraction of coltan by rebel forces has caused serious environmental damage in Congo within reserves and national parks.

The main multinationals basically declare that they are not connected to exploitation, but basically it would be enough to go up the stream from company to company to get to the source.

Afrewatch mentions a cause:
Last December, a US lawyer filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 13 Congolese families in a Washington court. In particular, he criticizes Apple, Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla for using cobalt despite knowing that it was forcibly mined by children. This lawsuit could push commodity miners and tech companies in need of cobalt to forgo sourcing it from artisanal miners. Glencore, which dominates the market, is following this strategy to no longer be associated with child labor.

Glencore website in fact, speaks only of Australia or Canada presenting in the home sustainability, international day of women and girls, international day of education and human rights.
The same goes for Trasfigura that comes with a responsible program and supply chain.

But then, where does Congolese coltan end up, which is estimated to represent the largest percentage of total production?

This chart by Il sole 24 ore is quite exhaustive.

Similarly, Reuters details the profiles of some Chinese companies: China Molybdenum Luoyang Co Ltd  and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd  and also in this case the wording appears at the bottomChina’s Huayou Cobalt will not buy artisanal cobalt from two mines in Democratic Republic of Congo until it is sure the material they produce is free of human rights abuses according to standards to be decided by the industry.”

Who knows if we can hope that theory will follow practice.

I have already mentioned organizations, associations, safety councils, companies and so on, yet in the Luwow mines people, and even children, continue to be exploited beyond all limits, for all to see. Or maybe I should say under everyone’s screens, including mine, from which I’m writing to you.

On the cobalt DRC case International rights Advocates writes: on behalf of the child miners, the lawsuit demands that the companies pay reparations and fund rehabilitation and education programs for the families of child miners killed or maimed by the horrific conditions in the cobalt mines. Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla are among the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world.

These companies purport to be green and futuristic, but their products are Powered by Blood Cobalt. Consumers buying these products should demand that the companies fix their supply chain rather than spend years fighting in court to avoid responsibility for the Blood Cobalt their products currently use to operate.

We are the consumers.

I conclude with the quote that Massimo sent me
The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind happiness
not always being
so very much fun
if you don’t mind a touch of hell
now and then
just when everything is fine
because even in heaven
they don’t sing
all the time

The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind some people dying
all the time
or maybe only starving
some of the time
which isn’t half bad
if it isn’t you

Oh the world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t much mind
a few dead minds
in the higher places
or a bomb or two
now and then
in your upturned faces
or such other improprieties
as our Name Brand society
is prey to
with its men of distinction
and its men of extinction
and its priests
and other patrolmen

and its various segregations
and congressional investigations
and other constipations
that our fool flesh
is heir to

Yes the world is the best place of all
for a lot of such things as
making the fun scene
and making the love scene
and making the sad scene
and singing low songs and having inspirations
and walking around
looking at everything
and smelling flowers
and goosing statues
and even thinking
and kissing people and
making babies and wearing pants
and waving hats and
dancing
and going swimming in rivers
on picnics
in the middle of the summer
and just generally
‘living it up’
Yes
but then right in the middle of it
comes the smiling
mortician.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

ROBIN HOOD 2021

ROBIN HOOD 2021

There are many versions of Robin Hood, but for me none will ever unhinge the image of the cartoon fox who stole from the rich to help the poor.

Perhaps that Robin Hood would claim to get his name back from the American company that Forbes has included in the top ten of fintech companies.

What is a fintech?
This acronym derives from the fusion of the words FINancial and TECHnology precisely to represent those companies that provide financial services through digital technologies.

Robin Hood in fact was born as a startup with the aim of bringing young people closer to trading.

But why are we talking about it?
Because the CEO in the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham literally closed the purse strings …

 

Why this sudden change in attitude towards the market?
To paraphrase another famous film: it all happened on a Wednesday.

More precisely, January 27, 2021, that is the day that recorded the most trades ever caused by an investor platform that literally flew the Gamestop stock making it reach $ 147 from around 19 at the beginning of January.

Reddit is the name of this online platform, a sort of mix between a forum and a social network, or rather: a social news aggregator whose name derives from Read it and whose contents are an aggregation of ideas, announcements, news to comment, and calls itself The front page of the Internet (and uses Python technology ed)

A redditer had launched this video in August

What actually happened: for a few weeks the redditers have continued to push the Gamestop stock up, showing us what a short squeeze is.

To understand, we need to start from the figure of a short seller that is a trader who only takes shares on loan.

On this loan he will have to pay interest, so to make a profit the trader will aim downwards: if the price of the shares once sold falls, he will be able to buy them back at a lower price.

This downward orientation is called a “bearish” strategy and is based precisely on the market’s descending phase.

The difference between the initial sale price and the repurchase price, net of interest, is the actual gain.

But how do you get to short squeeze?
When, against forecasts, the value of a stock rises rapidly, as happened for Gamestop, a short seller is forced to close his position quickly to limit losses.

Political voices have also entered the Gamestop affair asking for clarification and an exceptional “commentator”: Elon Musk, which obviously gives rise to various reflections.

What I would like to underline first, however, is how much money now revolves around maneuvers that are completely far from anything concrete, far from real production, far from work as the Boomers used to think.

IN GOOD COMPANY

IN GOOD COMPANY

It’s the title of one of Scarlett Johansson’s many movies, but I’d say it’s a great caption for this image too.

Natalie Portman is indeed a good company to share a coffee with.

With her Scarlett also shared the sisterhood on the set of the film in which they played Anna and Maria Bolena which unfortunately I have not yet seen. You?

On the other hand, I have seen many others, starting with The Horse Whisperer, although she had already worked in other films: in fact she started very young and her career was a varied crescendo of characters and genres in which she always ranged with success.

In recent days, however, I was struck by her image rigorously without superstructures, as if to underline even more the accuracy of the appeal for the release of four people detained in Egypt, among whom we know in particular the case of Patrick Zaki. https://www.amnesty.it/appelli/liberta-per-patrick/

Before being arrested during a visit to his family, Patrick Zaki attended the University of Bologna which in recent months has undertaken many initiatives in his favor, also by the rector himself who mentioned him in the opening address of the University.

But it is Scarlett’s words that hit the mark: “Speaking out loud has become dangerous today in Egypt” and for me they sound particularly terrible even in the light of what happened to Giulio Regeni.

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After this message three people were released, but not Patrick Zaki, even if surprisingly, today there will be the hearing that after the renewal of the pre-trial detention was scheduled for January.

We therefore join the hopes that Zaki will soon find himself in good company.

And above all, we all continue to defend a fundamental and very important value: freedom of thought and speech.

I had already mentioned Evelyn Beatrice Hall: https://www.keepcalmandrinkcoffee.com/radio-free-europe/?lang=en

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

And since I recently talked about George Orwell https://www.keepcalmandrinkcoffee.com/on-board-diary-from-the-red-zone-lockdown-day-1/?lang=en I would also mention

If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

ACHETER CHEZ LES PETITS COMMERÇANTS C’EST FAIRE UN GRAND GESTE

ACHETER CHEZ LES PETITS COMMERÇANTS C’EST FAIRE UN GRAND GESTE

On the long diatribe between us and the “cousins from beyond the Alps” it must be acknowledged that they know how to be more revolutionary, starting from the feeling of nationalism that they nurture in a strong and clear way.

The French have indeed obtained a result in favor of the campaign to help small traders in this difficult period.

Many personalities took sides by signing up and promoting the cause, starting with the first citizen of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

The main hashtag is #NoelSansAmazon after which Amazon France has decided to postpone Black Friday.

The now famous appointment that provides discounts and bargains corresponds to the Friday after Thanksgiving and celebrates the beginning of Christmas shopping, but in France it has been moved to the beginning of December, more precisely on the 4th, that is four days later than when it is the reopening of shops and commercial establishments, currently forcibly closed due to lockdown, is expected

A certainly correct initiative, to restore a minimum of competition against giants whose position is already fiscally favored at a European level in general.

Inevitably, the thought goes to some of the little shops that it was impossible not to fall in love with for those who were lucky enough to be able to visit Paris.

Do you have any particular memories?

Do you have a purchase of the heart linked to the Ville Lumière?

Otherwise I hope you can live this experience very soon because like Venice, even Paris has an inimitable atmosphere.

Allons enfant de la patrie then!

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