archives : September 2010


Caribbean islands

Cuba has announced it will lay off more than a million state employees in a sweeping privatisation drive that will transform the island’s socialist economy.

Authorities said layoffs would begin immediately amid loosened controls on private enterprise which, it is hoped, will kickstart the private sector and create new jobs for former public workers.

The official Cuban labour federation, which made the announcement on Monday, said 500,000 jobs would go by March and eventually 1m would be cut in the biggest economic shakeup since the 1960s.

"Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls [and] losses that hurt the economy," the union, which has 3 million members, said in a statement.

"Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, co-operatives and self-employment, absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years," it said. President Raúl Castro has repeatedly warned that change was coming but the scale of the cuts caught observers by surprise.

- Tuesday 14 September 2010

Women who in the course of their work are exposed to wood dust are at greater risk of developing asthma, coughs and chronic bronchitis than other female workers. - Tuesday 14 September 2010

Morocco - United States - International
It is thought that the number of diabetics across the world will increase by no less than 130% in the next 25 years! - Tuesday 14 September 2010

Panafrica - United States
Before answering the question, remember that a barbecue is a piece of equipment that cooks by direct combustion. - Tuesday 14 September 2010

Panafrica - France - United States - Israel
Medically assisted procreation (MAP) is on the increase. And according to an international study, between 219,000 and 246,000 children are born worldwide thanks to the benefits of medically assisted procreation or MAP! - Tuesday 14 September 2010

Panafrica - Caribbean islands - United States
The Sanofi Pasteur laboratory has announced the launch of new clinical studies in Singapore and Vietnam on its candidate vaccine against dengue fever. - Tuesday 14 September 2010

Morocco - Saudi Arabia
Rage, incomprehension, accusations... Moroccan and foreign bloggers have multiplied attacks against Saudi Arabia after their decision, in early August, to ban young Moroccan women from going to Mecca for the Umrah (a lesser pilgrimage). According to Saudi authorities, these women are seeking Saudi visas in order to engage in illegal prostitution whilst in the holy land. - Monday 13 September 2010

Panafrica - International
From oil spills to toxic wastes to financial fraud, business ethics are under a global spotlight. The United Nations Global Compact is an initiative to encourage businesses to voluntarily adhere to ethical standards. Launched in 2000, the initiative now has about 7,700 participants, including 297 firms in Africa. UN’s point man on corporate social responsibility, Executive Director Georg Kell, talks about the explosive issue of corruption and the compact’s anti-corruption work. - Monday 13 September 2010

Zimbabwe’s all time ruler, Robert Mugabe has been granted a pay rise of almost 400 per cent at a time when civil servants are mulling a strike action over low pay. The salary increment comes despite claims that government is bankrupt. - Monday 13 September 2010

The Commission for Africa has urged donor governments to provide an extra $10 billion-$20 billion a year to help Africa adapt to climate change, broker gainful deals for exploiting their natural resources, and build on the progress already experienced. - Monday 13 September 2010

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