Trump says “more white people” killed by police

The president rejected the fact that Black people suffer disproportionately from police brutality and made startling remarks about the Confederate flag and a recent confrontation in St. Louis.

President Trump, whose re-election prospects have dimmed as Americans question his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and race relations, on Tuesday stoked racial grievances yet again with a series of startling remarks about the Confederate flag, victims of police violence and a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters peacefully marching by their house.

Mr. Trump added to his long record of racially inflammatory comments during an interview with CBS News, in which he brushed off a question about Black people killed by police officers, saying that white people are killed in greater numbers.

Mr. Trump reacted angrily when asked about the issue, which has led to nationwide protests calling for major law enforcement changes.

“Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?” the interviewer, Catherine Herridge of CBS News, asked the president.

“What a terrible question to ask,” Mr. Trump responded. “So are white people. More white people, by the way.”

Statistics show that while more white Americans are killed by the police over all, people of color are killed at higher rates.

A federal study that examined lethal force used by the police from 2009 to 2012 found that a majority of victims were white, but the victims were disproportionately Black.

Black people had a fatality rate at the hands of police officers that was 2.8 times as high as that of white people.

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New Study Finds Money Can Buy Happiness

A new study published in Emotion, titled The Expanding Class Divide in Happiness in the United States, 1972–2016, has determined that money can buy happiness, disputing the age-old adage “money can’t buy happiness.” The study found a correlation between income and happiness.

“We don’t find a tapering off of happiness at the top of the income scale — more money steadily brings more happiness,” said the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, according to Business Insider. “It’s also possible that the tapering effect is an outdated finding, as the link between money and happiness has grown.”

The study also analyzed the happiness to wealth ratio through the lens of race: “We can’t say for sure, but the increase in happiness for Black Americans since 1972 could be due to gains in education and opportunities over this time,” Twenge said. “It will be interesting to see if this trend holds true during the Trump presidency and the pandemic; it’s possible Black Americans’ happiness will decrease after 2016.”

The study concluded before Donald Trump’s election and therefore data after that point, including the recent coronavirus pandemic, is not included.

“It will be interesting to see what happens with these trends in 2020, given the huge changes wrought by the pandemic and the protests,” Twenge said. “I think it’s likely that the growing class divide in happiness has continued during the Trump presidency, as income inequality has stayed high. In addition, the pandemic is having a bigger economic impact on lower-income workers than higher-income, which may contribute to an even larger class divide in happiness in 2020.”

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Along Ghana’s 500-kilometre coastline, you’ll find 30-odd surviving castles, forts and former trading posts that stand as a stark reminder of the country’s dark past. Formerly known as the Gold Coast because of its rich gold deposits, the coastline was the hub of West Africa’s mineral and slave trade era.

Built between 1482 and 1786, the stark heritage buildings remind visitors of what was the largest forced migration in history and the atrocities of the transatlantic slave trade. The castles and forts served as holding stations for slaves, where they were kept in inhumane conditions in dark, cramped dungeons before being shipped to the New World (the Americas and Caribbean).

Standing as silent witness to the tyranny of the slave traders, Ghana’s castles and fortified trading posts have been turned into museums. A guided tour takes you on a walk through the courtyards and dungeons and brings to life the heartbreaking experiences of the slaves. The tours are popular among African American tourists who visit Ghana to learn more about their heritage.

The castles and fortified trading posts were placed on Ghana’s coastline as a strategic link in the trade routes that were established by the Portuguese in the 15th century. For almost four centuries, the struggle between European trading powers for domination of the Gold Coast played out where the European buildings were seized, attacked, exchanged, sold and often abandoned over the years.

In the early 1500s, the castles were gradually converted to holding cells for slaves as the demand for human labour in the New World started to grow. The dark dungeons tell a tale of utter misery and despair up until the slave trade was abolished by colonial powers in the first half of the 1800s.

The 5 most significant castles and forts on Ghana’s beautiful Cape Coast are a good starting point if you’re visiting Ghana to explore this historic stretch of coastline.

Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast Castle was built in 1653 for the Swedish Africa Company. It was originally used as a trading post for the gold and timber industries and later expanded by the Dutch and British to serve as an essential holding station for slaves bound for the New World.

Thousands of enslaved Africans passed through the notorious “Door of no return” at Cape Coast Castle. The door led slaves out of the dungeons and onto the ships setting off on the Middle Passage. The boat journeys could last several months and an estimated 15 percent of slaves died on board the ship before reaching the New World.

St George’s Castle

St George’s Castle (also known as Elmina Castle) is located in the quaint fishing town of Elmina, a 20-minute drive from Cape Coast Castle. The stark white-washed building was first used as a fortified trading post and then as a holding station for slaves.

The castle was built in 1482 by the Portuguese and taken over 150 years later by the Dutch, serving as the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company for two centuries until it was ceded to the British in 1872. It’s the oldest European structure in Ghana.

The Dutch made substantial changes to St George’s Castle, including adding a marketplace where slaves could be auctioned. Under the rule of the DWIC, an estimated 30 000 slaves passed through the castle’s ‘Door of no return”.

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Fort St Jago

Fort St Jago lies across the lagoon from St George’s Castle. Built on a hill with excellent views of the castle and the town of Elmina, the fort was originally built as a church dedicated to St Jago. It was also used as a gun-position by the Dutch to attack and overtake St George’s Castle from the Portuguese.

A permanent fort was built on the site years later that consisted of two landward bastions, two seaward bastions and buildings that housed soldiers. Over the centuries, Fort St Jago has been used as a slave holding station, prison, hospital and a resting house for sailors.

Ussher Fort

Ussher Fort is located on the coast of the capital city of Accra, a day’s march from Elmina. Formerly known as Fort Crèvecœur, it was built by the Dutch in 1649 as a simple factory and later enlarged by the Dutch West India Company. The fort was later transferred to the British in 1868 under the Anglo-Dutch Gold Coast Treaty (1867).

Ussher Fort is currently being restored with funds from the European Commission and UNESCO. The purpose is to convert it to a museum and International Documentation Centre.

Osu Castle

Formerly known as Christianborg Castle, Osu Castle has been the seat of government since the early 1920s. It’s now the official residence of the President of Ghana and is not open to the general public. Located in Osu in the capital city of Accra, the castle was originally built as a substantial fort by Denmark-Norway in the 1660s.

Osu Castle was strategically positioned between two forts; Fort Crèvecoeur which was controlled by the Dutch and Fort James by the British. Denmark-Norway used the castle as its headquarters for almost 200 years, with some interruptions. For much of that time, it served as the capital of the Gold Coast of Denmark-Norway.

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Are We Going from San Francisco?

Armed Conflicts, Conferences, Democracy, Economy & Trade, Featured, Global, Headlines, Human Rights, Peace, TerraViva United Nations


SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 30 2020 (IPS) – Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter.

UN Charter
Nations pledged “to practice tolerance and live together in peace …, and to ensure … that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples”.

Anis Chowdhury

They sought “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, … and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to … promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”.

The Charter’s contents reflected some contradictions inherent in framing an international organization recognizing national sovereignty as its organizing principle, and various other compromises, often influenced by the convening host nation.

Although the conduct of Member States often falls short of the UN’s lofty goals, its Charter was nonetheless a monumental achievement, providing the foundation for a rules-based international order.

San Francisco Conference
Forty-six Allied countries, including the four sponsors – the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China – were originally invited to the San Francisco Conference.

The conference itself invited four other States – the Byelorussian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics, newly-liberated Denmark and Argentina. Poland did not send a representative as its new government was still uncertain.

Of the fifty participating states, only four were African and nine Asian. Latin American countries, independent since the mid-19th century, were present and active in deliberations.

The Conference was not only one of the most significant international gatherings in history, but perhaps the longest ever. The two month long Conference was attended by 3,500 people, including 850 delegates, their advisers, staff and the secretariat, plus more than 2,500 from the media and other observers.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

The Conference opened on April 25, 1945 with great fanfare, despite the sudden death of its principal architect and presumed host, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on 12 April. The task of carrying on fell to his Vice-President Harry Truman who had become President.

Truman often quoted English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Locksley Hall, carried in his wallet, bewildering colleagues, senators and staffers who doubted his commitment to international peace. Tennyson foresaw that nations, realizing they could destroy one another, might agree to form “the Parliament of Man”, to resolve disputes peacefully.

Clashes and compromises
Many serious differences of opinion triggered crises, even at the preparatory stage. For example, the Soviet Union proposed that all 16 Soviet republics should have UN membership to balance the influence of US allies: the US countered by proposing membership for all its 50 states!

A compromise was struck, allowing membership for the Soviet republics of Belarus and Ukraine; the Soviet Union then withdrew its opposition to Argentina, which had supported the Axis powers.

The most important deliberations concerned the UN Security Council (UNSC), initially composed of five permanent members (US, UK, USSR, China, France) and six elected members. The P5’s right to veto provoked a long and heated debate.

Others feared that when one of the P5 threatens the peace, the UNSC would be ineffectual. But the P5 collectively insisted that as the main responsibility for maintaining world peace would fall most heavily on them, the veto provision was vital.

Australia proposed that no permanent member should be allowed to veto when involved in a Chapter VII dispute over threats to peace. The US delegation blocked this and a Soviet proposal allowing P5 vetoes on procedural matters, e.g., discussion of disputes in which it may be involved.

While US officials saw the UN General Assembly (UNGA) primarily as a ‘talk shop’, the USSR tried to limit it from discussing sensitive political matters. However, recognizing its importance for legitimacy, the compromise reached permits the UNGA to discuss any issues “within the scope of the Charter”.

Colonialism was not supposed to be discussed at the Conference to avoid alienating the European imperial powers, whom the US needed to isolate the Soviet Union. But the handful of Asian and African countries attending wanted countries still under the colonial yoke to attain freedom and independence as soon as possible.

Although not on the original Conference agenda, after much debate, Chapters XI, XII and XIII provided some norms for colonial administration and pathways for decolonization. Nonetheless, these ambiguous, at best, pronouncements greatly disappointed anti-colonialists around the world.

US hegemonic from outset
Despite some compromises inherent in framing such an agreement, the UN Charter favoured the US. It promised to protect freedom of action and national sovereignty, as desired by the US, but contained no open-ended commitment to preserve other countries’ territorial integrity, like the League of Nations Covenant’s Article 10.

Article 2(7) placated American sovereigntists and nationalists, declaring: “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”

The US and the UK also got what they wanted for existing and new regional and plurilateral arrangements, including defence and mutual assistance organizations.

Some US officials were concerned the UN might threaten the Monroe Doctrine privileging the US in the Western hemisphere, while limiting its ability to intervene elsewhere. Some clever drafting of Chapter VIII provided blanket endorsement to regional organizations, also seen as reflecting the principle of subsidiarity.

Article 51 enshrined the principle of “self-defense against armed attack, either individual or collective”. Although not fully appreciated in 1945, such provisions later helped legitimize various US and other post-colonial security pacts in Europe, Asia and the Americas against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Conference participants also considered a proposal for compulsory jurisdiction for a World Court, but the US Secretary of State recognized this would jeopardize Senate ratification. Delegates compromised, agreeing to let countries decide whether to accept the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s jurisdiction.

Unsurprisingly, the US has had an uneasy relationship with the ICJ from the outset, never submitting to its authority, and reacting negatively to Court decisions seen as adverse to the US.

From Truman to Trump
Presiding at the closing ceremony, Truman cautioned that the success of the new world body would depend on collective self-restraint. “We all have to recognize – no matter how great our strength – that we must deny ourselves the license to do as we please. This is the price each nation will have to pay for world peace.”

Truman is probably turning in his grave watching Trump’s jingoist ‘America First’ policy undermine the UN and multilateralism. Are multilateralism and the UN now doomed as Trump belies Tennyson’s hope and leads the US to up-end the Roosevelt-Truman legacy?


2020 BET Award Winners Full Winners List

This year’s annual BET Awards were virtually held last night and hosted by TV presenter and actress Amanda Seales.

2020 marked the most prominent television network targeting African American audiences in the United States and across the world’s 20th anniversary of the event and BET’s 40th anniversary.

Notable winners of the event included Zimbabwe’s Sha Sha, the first winner of such an award in that county.

Some biggest starts from Africa were Wizkid and Burna Boy who brought home each an award.  Some biggest winners of the night included Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Issa Rae, Lizzo, and Chris Brown.

See the list of this year’s  BET award winners below.

Album of the Year

  • Roddy Ricch – Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

  • Chris Brown

Best Group

Best Collaboration

  • Chris Brown (featuring Drake) – No Guidance

Best Female Hip Hop Artist

  • Megan Thee Stallion

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

Video of the Year

  • DJ Khaled (featuring Nipsey Hussle, John Legend) – Higher

Video Director of the Year

  • Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor

Best New Artist

  • Roddy Ricch

Dr Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

  • Kirk Franklin – Just for Me

Best International Act

Burna Boy

Best New International Act

Sha Sha

Best Actress

Issa Rae

Best Actor

Michael B Jordan

Young Stars Award

Marsai Martin

Best Movie

Queen & Slim

Sportswoman of the Year

Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year

LeBron James

2020 Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award

Megan Thee Stallion (featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign) – Hot Girl Summer

BET Her Award

Beyonce (featuring Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid and Saint Jhn) – Brown Skin Girl

Beyonce was given also the Humanitarian Award.

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Malawi designated home of democracy in Africa

Malawi’s election results are being delayed after vote forgery claims

Written By Angella Semu

Various people on social media from various parts of Africa have applauded Malawians for the courageous fight for their freedom amid the ongoing election process.

This comes after Malawians took it to the streets following the 21st May 2019 election results that was declared not credible following several irregularities by the courts.

Among several things, Malawians have been praised for uprooting all rotting institutions and claim their much awaited freedom through the unending match of freedom for the past year.

“Malawians were cheated of Victory by Munthalika, they went into the streets fought with his police force.

“They went to court and the judiciary was not corrupt like Luke Malaba’s atrocious courts. Today they vanquished the dictatorship!,” Said one of the social media users.

In the past election, the outgoing president was declared the winner. This did not resonate well with many people who dragged the then election body led by Justice Jane Ansah to court together with the then incumbent president professor Arthur Peter Munthalika who was wrongly declared the winner of the election.

“Despite being one of the poorest country in the world, Malawi can be the next home of democracy in Africa,” said another social media user.

In the just ended elections, the unofficial results have pointed towards the opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera becoming the next president of Malawi.

Several people including Zimbabweans, Kenyans and Zambians have called upon their countries to emulate what Malawians have done and study Malawi’s institutions before engaging in the next elections.

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