A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sudan

[NEWS] Five technology links: geoengineering, Nile, Long March 9, space internet, hacking

  • Wired reports on how climate change skeptics are starting to get interested in geoengineering.
  • BBC reports on the growing stresses being placed on the Nile, but countries upstream and downstream.
  • The Long March 9 rocket proposed for a 2030 date by China would be a Saturn V equivalent, capable of propelling people directly to the Moon. Universe Today reports.
  • Is it necessarily worthwhile to develop an Internet suited for space? Wired reports. Wired considers.
  • Are nuclear plants in Ontario at risk of hacking? NOW Toronto makes a case.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Charley Ross reports on an unexpected personal involvement in the disappearance of Kori Gossett. Did an informant know?
  • Citizen Science Salon reports, in the time of #sharkweek, on the sevengill sharks.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an article on the Chinese base in Sudan.
  • Inkfish has a fascinating article describing how New Zealand’s giant black swans went extinct, and were replaced.
  • Language Hat notes two obscure words of Senegalese French, “laptot” and “signare”. What do they mean? Go see.
  • Language Log argues that the influx of English loanwords in Chinese is remarkable. Does it signal future changes in language?
  • Lawyers, Guns Money notes how Los Angeles and southern California were, during the American Civil War, a stronghold of secessionist sentiment, and runs down some of the problems of Mexico, including the militarization of crime.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on what books by which authors tend to get stolen from British bookstores.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests that Donald Trump is not likely to be able to substantially reshape NAFTA.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the recent protests in Poland against changes to the Supreme Court.
  • Understanding Society takes a look at the structure of the cities of medieval Europe, which apparently were dynamic and flexible.
  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is going to try to wage a repeat of the Winter War on Ukraine.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • ABC reports on the Sudanese-Australian basketball players who are transforming the game in Australia.
  • Bloomberg reports on the potentially transformative scope of China’s New Silk Road project.
  • Bloomberg View likes the new Star Trek movie’s shift beyond speciesism.
  • CBC reports on the strength of pro-Trump support among non-voting Amish in Pennsylvania, and looks at a VIA Rail proposal to set up a commuter run in Halifax.
  • Gizmodo reports on Florida’s disastrous coastal algal infestations.
  • The Globe and Mail notes a proposal for Ontario-Michigan cooperation and recounts the story of the construction of the Rideau Canal.
  • The Guardian reports on Catalonia’s swift progress towards a declaration of independence.
  • MacLean’s describes Manitoba’s falling crime rate.
  • Open Democracy wonders about Italy’s Five Star Movement and looks at the newest African-American hashtag movements.

[LINK] “Ethiopia, Egypt dam feud drags on”

Al Monitor’s Ayah Aman writes about the continuing tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the latter’s plans to build a dam on the Nile that might threaten downstream water consumption. It does not seem to me as if Egypt is in the best position, honestly.

Negotiations between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum have entered a decisive stage in which the parties must express their final stance concerning the controversy and disagreement caused by Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, which threatens Egypt’s annual share of the Nile waters. Meetings involving the parties’ foreign affairs and water ministers have intensified, as Ethiopia and Egypt are preparing by finding alternatives that speed up the implementation of the studies should the feud deepen and the negotiations fall through.

On Dec. 11, the foreign affairs and water ministers met in six-party talks in Khartoum, after the failure of technical initiatives to break the deadlock over a mechanism to reduce the dam’s repercussions on Egypt and Sudan. These talks represent a new attempt at direct political negotiations to reach an agreement or a mechanism guaranteeing no harmful effects for Egypt and Sudan will come from the dam. However, construction is underway regardless of the results of the negotiations or studies, which are supposed to modify the construction standards if needed to mitigate the damage.

The parties exhibited anxiety and tension, especially the Egyptian and Ethiopian delegations, throughout the closed meetings on Dec. 11-12. The talks concluded with a brief statement read by Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Ghandur, who declared, “The parties did not reach any agreement, and meetings will be resumed on Dec. 27 and 28, at the same level of political and technical representation.”

The main problem between the Egyptian and Ethiopian delegations during the meeting concerned the clauses under discussion. While the Egyptian delegation demanded to speed up the technical studies of the dam’s effects that began more than 18 months ago with the formation of a tripartite technical committee, the Ethiopians stressed the importance of the technical studies, as per the Declaration of Principles.

The Egyptian foreign affairs minister demanded that the meeting focus on discussing a new mechanism to agree on the dam’s administration and operation policies and fill the reservoir directly, without wasting any more time to reach a written agreement.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm

[LINK] “Egypt’s Nubians refuse to allow heritage to fall through cracks of history”

Ayah Aman’s Al Monitor article looks at how many of Egypt’s Nubians, despite their displacement from their ancestral homeland on the current Egypt-Sudan border by the Aswan High Dam, are facing assimilation.

It has been 51 years since the Nubians were displaced by the 1964 building of the Aswan High Dam in southern Egypt. Back then, waters flooded their homes and ancient Nubia disappeared into the depths of Lake Nasser. Yet, the Nubian people refused to allow their heritage and culture to be forever lost under the water that flows behind the High Dam.

In the town of Kom Ombo in the Aswan governorate there is the village of Balana (meaning “beautiful queen” in Nubian), the inhabitants of which were the first to be displaced as the High Dam rose. Amina Ibrahim, a village woman in her 60s, still carries vivid memories of the old country that thrived on the banks of the Nile — memories that form the essence of stories about her family’s heritage and past, which she never hesitates to recount to neighbors, sons and grandsons.

Al-Monitor met with Ibrahim at her home, which consists of four rooms overlooking a large central courtyard on the walls of which she tried to replicate and draw Nubian decorations and carvings that once adorned the ancient Nubian mud-brick dwellings of the village, with their distinctive domed roofs designed to dissipate some of the overbearing heat.

Nubian is the language of choice for Ibrahim, her children and her grandchildren. “Language is our life and the only legacy that remains of our ancestors. Preserving our language and teaching it to my children and grandchildren who never lived on their forbearers’ land became my main mission in life after our deportation, on my quest to safeguard and maintain our generational legacy. I always tell my grandchildren that losing our Nubian language would mean losing our identity and roots.”

The question of preserving the Nubian language is atop the priorities of most Nubians in their attempts to safeguard their heritage and identity. However, they do mesh with Egyptian society and utilize Arabic in their daily dealings, with new generations failing to practice this language that is barred from schools and public institutions.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm

[LINK] “Egyptian-Ethiopian disputes stall Renaissance Dam”

Al Monitor‘s Walaa Hussein looks at continuing tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the latter country’s plans to dam the Nile.

Persisting differences among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan keep delaying the studies, which Egypt hopes will prove that the dam’s construction will cause extensive problems for Egypt and Sudan. The differences revolve around details in the fine print of the offers submitted by the two consultant offices chosen to conduct the studies: the French BRL and the Dutch Deltares. The seventh round of negotiations ended July 22 in Khartoum without any signed contracts, however.

Alaa Yassin, spokesman for an Egyptian delegation of experts on the Renaissance Dam, said in an interview with Al-Monitor, “Our official position is that this dam is harmful to Egypt, and its storage capacity has no technical or economic justification. The differences remain unresolved, and a great deal of time has been consumed. We were supposed to finish the studies in no more than six months, but around a year has passed without signing the contract related to the consultants that will conduct the studies.”

[. . .]

From September 2014 until March 2015, the three countries managed only to select the two consultant offices, but never signed any official contract with them. Members of the experts committee cannot agree on the proposals submitted. The resulting delay prompted political leaders in the three countries — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn — to sign an agreement in March 2015 in which principles were defined in the hope of resolving their differences.

The disagreements also revolve around the office’s country of origin, as there was a Sudanese-Egyptian desire to exclude any consultancy from the United States. While Ethiopia proposed to select BRL, Egypt was leaning toward Deltares. Even after agreeing to hire both French and Dutch consultants, disputes over the division of tasks between the two intensified. While Ethiopia insisted that the French company be the main contractor and the Dutch the subcontractor, Egypt did not agree and insisted that the Dutch office take part in the process, with specific tasks.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm

[LINK] “Egypt, Sudan Edge Toward Cooperation on Ethiopia’s Nile Dam”

Bloomberg’s William Davison and Ahmed Feteha note that the geopolitics of the water of the Nile remain fraught, with upstream countries’ increasing their usage while downstream countries are concerned with their water supply. Increasing the efficiency of water use is going to be a necessity in the long run, I think.

Egypt and Sudan took another step toward cooperating with Ethiopia on the hydro-power dam it’s building on the Blue Nile river after the three nations’ leaders signed an accord on Monday.

The countries agreed that the river’s waters should be used in a way that doesn’t cause “significant damage” to any of them and that any disputes will be resolved through negotiations, according to a copy of the “declaration of principles” published by Ahram Online, a state-owned Egyptian news website.

“The purpose of the Renaissance Dam is to generate power, contribute to economic development, promote cooperation beyond borders, and regional integration through generating clean sustainable energy,” according to the agreement signed in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

The 6,000-megawatt dam on the Nile’s main tributary will be Africa’s largest power plant after its scheduled completion in 2017. Ethiopia says it will benefit the region by generating electricity, reducing floods and storing water for use during droughts. Sudan and Egypt will receive priority to purchase electricity generated by the dam, according to the agreement.

[. . .]

Egyptian officials have expressed concern there will be water shortages during the filling of the dam’s 74-billion cubic meters reservoir, a capacity that’s almost equivalent to one year’s flow of the Nile. While the dam is a “vehicle” for Ethiopia’s development, for Egyptians “it’s a source of worry, because the Nile is their only source of water and life,” El-Sisi said Monday in a televised speech at the signing ceremony.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm