In Guinea, mosques forcibly reopened by protesters

The government is unable to protect us from the virus, so we trust God only. How can you leave markets open and close mosques? ” This remark by a young Guinean protester on Wednesday (May 13th) at the AFP alone sums up the demands of the demonstrators who have been protesting against the state of emergency and the recurrent power cuts for several days in Guinea.

On May 12, 7 people were killed during these demonstrations, which did not prevent, on May 13, even more demonstrators from reopening “By force but without violence »Of mosques. Muslim places of worship were thus opened near Boké (north-west) but also in Dubréka, at the gates of Conakry, the capital.

The state of emergency for more than a month

On March 26, the Guinean government announced a state of emergency with a number of restrictions to stem the spread of the Covid-19. Among them, the closure of places of worship and the prohibition of traffic between Conakry and other regions of the country. Despite these restrictions, coronavirus cases have increased significantly in recent days. The country now has 2,372, including 14 deaths in hospitals and 9 outside hospitals.

On Tuesday May 12, in Coyah, 50 km from the capital Conakry, violent clashes broke out between police and demonstrators protesting against the installation of a new roadblock supposed to reinforce the isolation of Conakry.

“We prefer to die while praying than to live without praying”

AFP reports dozens of young people, women and children chanted in Kamsar, near the mining town of Boké (northwest) ” God is great “ (God is great), thoroughly cleaned a mosque before attending the prayer. “We prefer to die while praying than to live without praying”, said one of the demonstrators. “We won now, we prayed in the mosque. We don’t wear a mask anymore, it’s over ”, added another while the head of a reopened mosque expressed his relief: “I thank God because we were very worried that we would not be able to pray with the end of Ramadan approaching. “

These demonstrations prompted the government to respond with the voice of Jamal Bangour, Secretary of State for Religious Affairs, who called for calm and restraint on Wednesday May 12, while recalling that the closing of places of worship is one of the measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus.


Benjamin Netanyahu in a position of strength in the emergency government

The future government of “national emergency” has already found its nickname: the “Government of immunity”. Since the signing – to everyone’s surprise – of an agreement between Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu on April 20, the Israelis are discovering a little more every day how it serves the interests of the latter. In command of Israel for more than eleven years, the stainless leader of Likud (right) remains in power and will face his judges in a position of strength during his trial for corruption, fraud and breach of trust which is due to open on 24 may.

Their pact, lasting three years, provides for the formation of a cabinet “Bipartisan” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first 18 months while the party of Benny Gantz (Blue White, center left) will inherit the ministries of defense and foreign affairs. Again in a completely unexpected way, the Labor party voted Sunday in favor of its entry into this union government and will receive the portfolios of the economy and social affairs.

In principle, Benyamin Netanyahu is then supposed to give way to Benny Gantz. But few believe it: only 31% of Israelis believe their outgoing prime minister will abide by the deal. For greater security, the latter also provided for the impossibility of ousting him in the event of a conviction at first instance.


This unprecedented political configuration – “Senseless and ubiquitous”, for historian Frédérique Schillo – can only be understood in the serious crisis the country is going through. “Likud and Bleu Blanc failed three times to obtain a majority in the Knesset, plunging the country into a dead end”, recalls this specialist in Israeli politics. “By agreeing to join his rival, Benny Gantz avoids the dilemma of governing with the support of Israeli Arabs. “

Some of his constituents did not understand or accept his choice, and some of his party’s heavyweights – including Yaïr Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon – did not follow him. But even if they see the flaws and have little illusion about its life expectancy, the majority of Israelis have accepted the news. “With relief”, observes Frédérique Schillo. “It is a lesser evil to get the country out of the political, health and henceforth very severe economic crisis that is looming. “ For the first time in its history, the National Employment Service announced last week that it counted more than a million unemployed citizens and the forecasts of business bankruptcies are alarming.


Simone Signoret, the quiet force

She began with the roles of femme fatales, agreed to see herself age under the magnifying glass of the camera, composed with her physical disgrace in the service of unforgettable characters (in The cat facing Jean Gabin; in Madame Rosa in The life ahead) and ends up recognized as a writer.

A free woman, she always boldly affirmed her choices in her private life as in her public commitments that the couple she formed with Yves Montand defended against all odds during the Cold War. Even if it was to pass for “Moscow” risking their credit, in 1956, during a tour in the Soviet glacis, just after the tragic events of Budapest, before becoming the figureheads of a protestant intelligentsia.

A fine psychological and historical analysis

In this very beautiful documentary, rich in rare images and a fine psychological-historical analysis of the changing reign of Simone Signoret, the quiet force that imposed it, we see her rebuffed by journalists who seek to reduce her to a woman of … straight and direct look crossed by flashes of mischief, she asserts her power, as she will in the cinema, even when the vultures threw themselves on her, exploiting the idyll of Montand with Marylin Monroe. She stood up with admirable constancy to overcome what was, for her, a humiliation, without ceasing to love the one who inflicted it on her. One of the highlights of this film is his moving reaction. “Wild eyes and voices of the suburbs”, all her life Simone Signoret embodied a form of emancipation from which many women could draw inspiration.

And what a career! When she appears in Golden helmet, by Jacques Becker in 1951, it had already been filming for ten years, and it was death, in 1985, after having irradiated 80 films, which would make the final clap.


In the Sahel, a European force to support the Malian army

A “task force” for the Sahel. Nine months after the launch of the project, in June 2019, by the French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly, a group of European special forces will be created. The “Takuba task force”, a few hundred men, should reach its “Initial operational capacity “As of summer 2020 and its” full operational capacity »Early 2021.

Integrated into the command of Operation Barkhane, this force will advise, assist and accompany the Malian armed forces, in coordination with the other actors: G5 Sahel partners, the UN mission (Minusma) and the various missions of the EU. Under French command, based in N’Djamena (Chad), it will operate in the Liptako-Gourma region, known as the “three borders”, on the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, “sanctuary” of jihadist groups, including Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (EIGS).

Political support and / or military participation

Eleven countries Europeans signed, on Friday, March 27, a joint declaration of ” political support To the Takuba task force. Only six of them (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Netherlands, Portugal) have committed to participate. Sweden is expected to join them, as soon as its participation has been approved by its parliament, in the form of a helicopter-borne rapid reaction force of 150 people. The Czech Republic is expected to send 60 men after approval by its parliament.

For some, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, participation will be symbolic, in the form, respectively, of three and “one or two” staff officers. Asked, Norway announced Monday, March 23, renounce to send soldiers at this stage, lack of sufficient political support. Germany declined in December. The UK, which provides heavy helicopter support to Barkhane, has no plans to increase its contribution.


the European force Takuba officially launched

Eleven European countries announced on Friday March 27 the official launch of the future force “Takuba”, a group of European special forces intended to support Malian soldiers in the fight against jihadists. This new force will have the mission of“Assist the Malian armed forces in the fight against terrorist groups and support the current efforts of Operation Barkhane and the G5 Sahel Joint Force”, the participating countries said in a statement after a videoconference meeting, which also included the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou.

→ READ. The measures of the African churches in the face of the Coronavirus

The launch of this European force was announced by the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, during a trip to Mali on November 5, 2019. ” We must train, train and accompany the Sahelian forces, support our brothers in arms so that one day they can face up with their weapons, their moral forces and their whole country behind them. “Said the minister, a few days after the jihadist attack on the In Delimane military camp, where 49 Malian soldiers were killed on November 1, 2019.

Sparse European ranks

Again, not all European countries have shown the same commitment. Only eleven European countries have committed themselves politically to this new military force: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom – United Kingdom and Sweden.

→ READ. Mali: in Sokolo, the return of the jihadists

In the field, the ranks will be even more sparse. For the time being, this project initiated by France has been officially joined by five partners: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands and Portugal. Sweden is awaiting a green light from its parliament to confirm its participation in Takuba, in the form of a helicopter-borne rapid reaction force of 150. Asked, Norway announced Monday March 23 to give up sending soldiers at this stage, for lack of sufficient internal political support. Germany also declined.

An operational form still to be specified

This Takuba force – whose name means “Saber” in the Tuareg Tamacheq language – must have a few hundred men. It will begin operations this summer under French command in the Liptako region, on the borders of Niger and Mali, an area known to serve as a sanctuary for jihadist groups, including the Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (EIGS). Its full deployment is scheduled for early 2021.

“With Takuba, Europeans show their ability to mobilize together for their security”, reacted Friday evening the French Minister for the Armies Florence Parly on Twitter.


Surviving the bombs: life in the last rebel redoubt in Syria – EL PAÍS

  1. Surviving the bombs: life in Syria’s last rebel stronghold EL PAÍS
  2. Idlib forgotten city and revenge of the Syrian regime infobae
  3. Conflict in Syria: 9 years and more than 384 thousand dead Millennium
  4. Syria enters the tenth year of an endless residual war EL PAÍS
  5. This is how people live in the displaced camps left by the war in Syria
  6. See full coverage on Google News


Surviving the bombs: life in Syria’s last rebel stronghold

In Idlib province, last in opposition hands after nine years of civil war, 3.5 million people live, most displaced by the regime’s offensive and the bombings of Russian aviation. It is a poor and jobless area, controlled by the jihadist group HTS, which last year forcibly subdued the rest of the rebel factions.

Netanyahu the “magician” in a position of strength

“Bibi, king of Israel!” “ The cry sprang, on the evening of Monday, March 2, at the announcement of the results of the Israeli legislative elections, the third in a year. After the counting of 90% of the ballots, the Likud (right) of the outgoing Prime Minister obtained 29.3% of the votes – or 36 seats of deputies – against 26.3% for the centrist formation “Bleu-Blanc” by Benny Gantz ( 32 seats).

“This is the greatest victory of my life! “, triumphed the winner of the day, who promised to train “Good, strong and stable government”. With its allies of religious parties, “Bibi” – as the Israelis call it – can count on a block of 59 to 60 elected to the Knesset, against 53 to its rival. It remains one or two seats of the absolute majority (61). To fill the gap, he counts on possible centrist defectors or on the votes of the soldiers, still not counted.

Bibi the indestructible and the “magician”

So, after fourteen years in power, Benyamin Netanyahu once again justifies his reputation as an indestructible, “magician” capable of getting out of the worst situations. His horizon is not yet clear: on March 17, it is on the bench of the defendants of the Jerusalem district court that he will have to answer for suspicions of corruption, fraud and breach of trust, while he does not benefit from ‘no immunity.

The “Movement for Good Governance” has seized the Supreme Court to examine the legitimacy of its designation, in light of these charges. Netanyahu says he is the victim of a witch hunt hatched by ” the elite “, putting the police, the prosecution and the “Leftist media “. In the eyes of his supporters, it is a “judicial coup” looming in Israel. The writer David Grossman, great voice of the country, evokes “The beginning, or the continuation, of a disaster”.

Half the Israeli electorate ignored it, however. And as the leader of the leading party, Benjamin Netanyahu should be appointed by President Reuven Rivlin to create a coalition. “It was Bibi who was elected, not the Supreme Court”argued Gilad Erdan, Minister of Homeland Security.

Statesman and “friend of the great” on the planet

As for Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff who campaigned on the theme of “Everything but Bibi,” he lost his bet. Systematically disparaged by his adversary, himself too “gentleman”, the one who presented himself as “The defender of democracy” didn’t resist the blows. Conversely, “Bibi” was able, during his campaign, to highlight his record as a statesman, taking credit for prosperity, full employment, the very strong shekel and security . And appearing as the“Friend of the great” of the planet.

He owes Donald Trump a proud candle which has multiplied his actions towards him, such as the recent peace plan with the Palestinians, described as “Deal of the century”. The Prime Minister has taken advantage of this “gift”, which has met the wishes of the vast majority of Israeli public opinion, which has been oriented to the conservative right for decades. As a sign of the times, the Labor party, the founder of the state, was wiped out. He obtains six seats.


Educate in empathy to reduce violence and increase happiness | Moms and Dads

Account Luis Moya Albiol, Professor of Psychobiology at the University of Valencia, who as a child enjoyed doing theater and liked to put himself in the place of the characters to get closer to his way of feeling, thinking and acting. Without even knowing the term, today the Doctor of Psychology was working on empathy, a capacity to which in adulthood he has dedicated years of study and three books, the last of them Educate in empathy, the antidote against bullying (Editorial Platform).

Empathy, however, did not come directly, but through the study of violent behavior. It was then, he says, studying the violent brain, when he realized the close relationship between violence and empathy. “The brain areas that regulate empathy overlap in part with those of violence, so that the activation of those brain circuits towards one direction, for example, towards empathy, could act biologically as an inhibitor of the other, that is, the violence, ”he says.

Violence and empathy, therefore, would be related but incompatible concepts, so that the more empathetic someone is, the less chance there will be of using violence as a way of resolving conflicts: “It is, then, the other side of a same currency, because the best strategy to reduce violence is to foster empathy. ”

The equation, then, would be clear: educating girls and boys in empathy (at home and in the classroom) would help make the world a better and less violent place. Starting with the same school. Not surprisingly, the expert in psychology and neuroscience points out empathy as a key tool to fight against bullying and regrets that the programs developed to date to prevent and eradicate bullying they have focused more on the identification of this type of harassment from the first signs, the diagnosis and the resolution channels.

“The most important work goes through the prevention of bullying and in that aspect education in empathy is a key piece. Giving children and adolescents tools to face it is essential, but providing them with empathic skills is essential, because they can always put themselves in the place where they suffer and will act to stop it, ”he reflects.

Educate in empathy from the zero minute

We are all born with a genetic and variable predisposition to be empathic. However, as Luis Moya Albiol recalls, the experiences, learning, family environment and education “will greatly influence the development of empathy.” In that sense, the first life experiences are already “crucial” for the development of empathy, so for the expert it is “fundamental” to foster an empathic environment for children from the first moment: “because of the biological predisposition have empathy, the lack of this on the part of caregivers in the first moments of life can greatly diminish their development ”.

In the educational field, on the other hand, that education in empathy “has to take place from the infantile school”, moment in which the first teasing or verbal aggressions towards other children can appear, but it indicates that it is necessary to be “especially attentive” in puberty and during the period that precedes it, since that is when the risk increases exponentially.

In that sense, the author of Educate in empathy, considers “necessary” to include empathy as a subject in the curriculum of the little ones, as is already the case in countries such as Denmark, “but also to train teachers and even mothers and fathers”, so that empathy education occurs “Transversely in all the subjects they study and in all areas of their life”.

Unfortunately and until now, Moya Albiol explains, empathy has not been taken into account in educational policies. The reliable test for the expert is the teacher selection process. “What is taken into account to select them? Well, basically his qualifications to access studies in teaching, and then his performance in a contest-opposition to access the public education system. But at no time is your emotional intelligence or empathy evaluated, something fundamental from my point of view, because I consider it the most important profession and the one that contributes significantly to creating the basis of society, ”he argues.

The expert, however, does not forget the parents, guardians and / or guardians of minors, who in his opinion “have the same responsibility in education in empathy” as in any other aspect of the education of their children. In this regard, the need for mothers and fathers to be attentive to overprotection, allow the development of their own autonomy, and enhance the self-esteem, spirituality and creativity of their sons and daughters.

Also, in that sense, he invites fathers and mothers to reflect on the great concern we show for tangible knowledge (that children learn English, Mandarin Chinese and robotics); and, on the contrary, the little we have for emotional education and values, for that empathy of which the psychologist speaks.

“I do not want to say that knowing robotics or Chinese is not important, but, in my opinion, it is not the fundamental thing, because knowing how to manage our emotions and interact in a healthy way with others will help us form stable emotional bonds with our family, friends and Work colleagues. It will also lead us to make decisions based on what we really want according to how we feel, and not on what is demanded or expected of us. And, I would even tell you that an education in empathy will facilitate the learning of our daughters and our sons, since they will focus on cooperation in the face of competition, so that everyone wins and helps each other, ”he explains.

Be empathetic to be happy

According to Luis Moya Albiol, empathy brings many advantages in all areas of our lives. One of those advantages is happiness. To more empathetic boys and girls, happier boys and girls. No wonder, therefore, that Denmark has been leading the ranking of happiest countries in the world for years.

“The most empathic people are more interested in the well-being of others, which is reflected in small details in the day to day that go from active listening to the compression of emotional states. They are therefore more loved and respected people, who are unconsciously sought and many of them, accompanied by other characteristics, have great leadership capacity. We talk, thanks to empathy, about respectful, mentally flexible and supportive people, so that others feel accepted as they are. They, in turn, trust the rest and have a great capacity to cooperate, so they reconcile their personal and work life better. For all these reasons, they are happier people, since they usually find signs of affection and receptivity in all areas of their lives, ”says the expert.

The author of Educate in empathy He points out that, in addition, all these benefits listed could have others that, indirectly, would have an impact on health, since he remembers that social support “is a protector for depression and anxiety, as well as for the prevention of the development of alterations related to stress processes, such as immunological, gastrointestinal, muscular, dermatological, etc. ”. The greater ability to reconcile, mental flexibility and respect for others, meanwhile, would also contribute, according to Moya Albiol, “to a positive predisposition that can strengthen the general state of health.” Empathy, finally, would also influence our mental strength, what is known as resilience, “as it would help both to better face the traumas lived throughout our lives, and to learn from them and use them as part of our personal growth”.

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