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The Action Thread Part Two

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We would like to wish all the kids in Vesnova, those on our Community Care and Hospice Programmes and those recovering from cardiac surgery a very Happy Valentine's Day. Much love to you all from all the team at CCI ♥️

♥️♥️

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

 

 

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It is with deep sadness that we share news of the death of Dasha Borscheykaya , who passed away in Minsk last week at the age of 19. Dasha was part of our Minsk Hospice Programme. Dasha suffered from cerebral palsy along with a host of other conditions.

Last week, Dasha contracted bronchitis which quickly turned to pneumonia. Because of Dasha's weakened immune system, sadly she couldn't fight it off. She is survived by her mother and father and her twin sisters. Throughout her illness Dasha was supported by the CCI multi-disciplinary outreach Community Care Hospice Team and her family. They are in our thoughts at this sad time.

Dasha will find peace with all of our other little angels.

May she rest in peace.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam (May her soul be on God’s right hand)

Photo: Alex Kladoff (2017)

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

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This Photographer Spent Years Documenting the Public and Private Life of Nelson Mandela

Authors:
Olivia Kestin and Imogen Calderwood

Keith Bernstein Photography

Aug. 17, 2018

 
 

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Photographer Keith Bernstein's images give us a small glipmse into the life of Nelson Mandela. It was a life of hardship, struggle, and victory, and throughout, Mandela reminded the world that all people deserve to be treated with dignity, and as equals. On the year that marks 100 years since his birth, take action here to help carry his message of activism, freedom from want, and justice for all. 

Thanks to an out-of-the-blue phone call in 1995, photographer Keith Bernstein launched a 14-year project documenting the public and private life of one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known. 

Incredibly, many of the images he took of Nelson Mandela, before, during, and after his time as president of South Africa, have spent the best part of the past two decades stuck in a box at the bottom of a cupboard in Bernstein’s bedroom. 

KB010_13 web.jpgMandela, 1995, pictured leaving Genadendal, the president's official residence in Cape Town, on his official helicopter.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

But now, on the year that marks 100 years since Mandela’s birth, they have reemerged. And the passage of time has cast a whole new light on them for Bernstein. 

“I’ve photographed lots and lots of famous people,” he tells Global Citizen, at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, where one of Bernstein’s photographs is currently being exhibited. 

“I’ve photographed them and met them, and there really isn’t anybody that I look back on with that sense of unique privilege,” he says. “This period really sticks out for me and it grows as I get older.” 

Now 61, Bernstein has been lucky enough to know Mandela at several points in his life. Bernstein was born in South Africa and spent his early childhood in the country. He is the son of Lionel and Hilda Bernstein, who both played a significant role in the struggle against apartheid. 

Learn more: Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 on Dec. 2 in Johannesburg

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“My father and my mother were close confidants of Mandela during the late '50s and early '60s in South Africa,” he says. “My dad was one of the accused at the Rivonia trial [in 1964], which was the trial that saw Mandela and others sent down to Robben Island. My dad was one of the ones who was acquitted, and he and my mother left very shortly afterwards.” 

While Bernstein was just 6 years old when he family fled, he has returned to the country where he was born on numerous occasions — including to document Mandela’s journey to the presidency. 

KB005_24 web.jpgMandela casting his vote in 1994.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

“It was a really joyous and optimistic period, because they’d just come out of a whole stretch of decades and decades of apartheid,” he continues. “And this incredibly charismatic and magnetic leader had been elected and was somebody who was known around the world. Everybody, whether they were pop stars or actors or other leaders, they all wanted to meet him and be associated with him.

“So there was a feeling that it wasn’t just another election and another different person,” he says. “He was somebody kind of special, and he carried that aura with him very definitely wherever he went … It had that feeling of optimism, and rebirth, really.” 

While he had slight “in” with Mandela, thanks to his parents’ relationship with the leader decades before, Bernstein points out that it was a very different time in terms of access to state leaders.

Take action: Be the Generation to End Extreme Poverty

 

KB009_28 web.jpgFrom the balcony of the High Commission of South Africa in Trafalgar Square, London, Mandela symbolically addresses the crowd gathered in 1996. Trafalgar Square was the site of continual demonstrations and pickets during the final years of apartheid.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

“You just had incredible access just by hanging around for a while and being there for a period of time, you got to know his security guards, you got to know his press officers, you just had incredible access to him,” he says. “You would turn up at events and he’d just be, you know, as close as the next table is now.”

Less than a year after Mandela had been elected, Bernstein, who was by then back in London, got a unexpected phone call from Mandela’s long-time private secretary, Zelda La Grange, who invited him out to South Africa within the week. 

“Without any kind of preparation or knowing what I was going out for, I just flew out to Cape Town,” he said. “I used to go to his official residence in Cape Town in the morning, without knowing what his programme was and just follow him for the day … I had no idea what the programme was each day, but I would just turn up at eight in the morning and was given unlimited access.” 

“It’s just a perfect reflection of the time that it was,” he added. 

It was the beginning of what was to become a years-long project with extraordinary access to Mandela. At times, Bernstein was one of hundreds of international photographers clamouring to get a shot of Mandela at public events. On other occasions, he was alone with Mandela in the living room of Genadendal, the president's official residence in Cape Town. 

KB064_08 web.jpgMandela in his private sitting room on the first floor of Genadendal, Cape Town in 1995.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

And the time that Bernstein spent with Mandela, documenting how he spent his days as president both in public and at home, has left him with a sense of awe that will last a lifetime. 

“He was everything that he appeared to be,” he continues. “He had an incredible presence when he came into a room. And I was with him when there have been other really, really famous people there as well and everybody was kind of … diminished by his presence.”

“I mean, he was physically big, as an ex-boxer … so he was physically imposing, but he also had, I guess it’s tied up with the myth of him, but he just had an incredible presence,” Bernstein adds. “When he walked in, rooms went quiet and people were always respectful of him, always. So there was always kind of a hush about him.” 

KB011_31 web.jpgMandela in 1994, pre-election, campaigning in Elim, Overberg.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

“And he could be very funny and very spontaneous, and he would do things that detached him from any other politician,” he says. “He had the ability to do things spontaneously and make it look absolutely real.” 

One particular memory that stands out for Bernstein is when he went with Mandela to the township of Soweto, in Gauteng province, where Mandela was giving a speech in a “very run-down hall.” 

“It was packed,” remembers Bernstein. “And he was on the stage with a few other dignitaries and other local representatives, and it was a really hot day and he was in a suit. White shirt, suit, and tie."

Just before Mandela started his speech, however, somebody said they had presentation for him. A child came up to him clutching a football shirt, the kit of the local football team, with Mandela’s name on the back. 

“Without even missing a beat or thinking about it he just took off his jacket and he pulled the football shirt on, so he had the white shirt sticking out underneath, and he just stood up and did he speech,” says Bernstein. “And I just kind of thought, he just did it so easily and naturally and he looked completely like the president when he was giving the speech, even though he was wearing this football shirt he’d just been given.” 

“He just had that way,” he says. 

Looking at Bernstein’s images from that time, the sense of chaos, crush, and movement that always surrounded Mandela throughout his years as president is so clear. 

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.

Crowds as Mandela campaigns near Soweto before the ANC’s first election to power in 1994.
Keith Bernstein Photography

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Everywhere Mandela went, according to Bernstein, there were crowds, and people wanting to stop him and talk to him. And it was easy for . them to reach him, because Mandela didn’t want a “cordon of steel” around him. But Mandela “would just speak to them as if he was a normal person.” 

“Everywhere he went there was kind of a pop star mania and he was just thronged by people,” says Bernstein. “You just didn’t see him, unless he was at home in his own private room, you didn’t see him alone.” 

But it was while on the back porch of Mandela’s home that Bernstein witnessed one of his favourite examples of the leader, relaxed, showing his sense of humour — and it, somewhat unexpectedly, involves the Spice Girls. 

“As I said, every famous figure in the world wanted to be photographed with him, or aligned with him, and often this stuff was arranged and he’d be brought out for a photo call,” he remembers. “The Spice Girls were on tour and they came to South Africa and they were photographed for about two minutes with him in the middle."

“About a week later,” he continues, “a journalist said to him, what was it like meeting the Spice Girls? And he never answered anything immediately — he always had a slow, pedantic way of speaking, and he’d always wait and he’d think about the answer. And he just looked down and the press were all waiting and the room was silent, and he said, 'It was the greatest moment of my life.'” 

KB079_06 web.jpgNelson Mandela.
Image: Keith Bernstein Photography

The last time that Bernstein met Mandela, and took his photograph one final time in 2009 in Cape Town, the former leader was in his 90s, he was getting older, and his hearing and his memory were failing. But, for Bernstein, he was still the same physically imposing character he had always been.

“I don’t know whether that is part of people’s perception of him,” he adds. “You’re aware he’s an iconic figure and therefore he brings some aura and history with him. But even when I photographed him when his memory was poor, and his hearing was poor, he was still a kind of giant.” 

  • A selection of Keith Bernstein’s photographs of Nelson Mandela were gathered together by curators the Photographic Archival Preservation Association (PAPA), for a special centenary exhibition, to honour and celebrate the life of the leader in the year that marks 100 years since his birth. 
  • Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition

    Nelson Mandela, The Centenary Exhibition
    Keith Bernstein Photography

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The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is presented and hosted by The Motsepe Foundation, with major partners House of Mandela, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Coca Cola Africa, Big Concerts, BMGF Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and associate partners HP and Microsoft.

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20 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2019

 

 
 
SALUD

Los países de bajos ingresos ahora tienen acceso a medicamentos asequibles para el cáncer de mama

Un medicamento esencial para aproximadamente el 20% de los cánceres de mama.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Las barreras financieras impiden que las mujeres de todo el mundo obtengan la atención médica que necesitan. Para terminar con la pobreza para el 2030, el Objetivo Global 3 de la ONU tiene como objetivo garantizar que todas las personas tengan acceso a una buena salud. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) acaba de aprobar recientemente un novedoso tratamiento para el cáncer de mama.

 

La OMS precalificó su primer biosimilar (es decir, una copia asequible) del medicamento trastuzumab. El trastuzumab ha demostrado una alta eficacia en la curación del cáncer de mama en etapa temprana y, en algunos casos, formas más avanzadas de la enfermedad, según la OMS. La precalificación de la OMS otorga a los países la garantía de que están comprando productos de salud de calidad. Este es el primer biosimilar de unos pocos que se introdujeron en los últimos años para ser precalificado por la OMS.

 

El trastuzumab es un anticuerpo y la OMS lo clasificó como un medicamento esencial para aproximadamente el 20% de los cánceres de mama. Lanzado por primera vez al mercado en 2006 por una compañía de los Países Bajos, trastuzumab provocó un debate en el Reino Unido por su alto costo y quién podría permitirse usarlo, según The Guardian. El medicamento generalmente cuesta alrededor de $20,000 por período de tratamiento, por lo que es una opción no disponible para muchas mujeres y sistemas de atención médica en la mayoría de los países. La versión biosimilar es aproximadamente un 65% más barata.

Los precios del trastuzumab biosimilar deberían disminuir aún más, ya que se espera que la OMS precalifique más productos. Algunas otras versiones del medicamento ya están disponibles por alrededor de $4,000, pero no se pueden vencer en todos los países sin la aprobación de la OMS.

_l61qZdR_normal.jpg

#WHOPrequalification is a service provided by WHO to assess the quality, safety and efficacy of medical products that address global public health prioritieshttp://bit.ly/2Qb0fsn 

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#Breastcancer is the most common form of cancer in women.
2.1 million women contracted breast cancer in 2018.
630,000 of them died from the disease, many because of late diagnosis and lack of access to affordable treatment http://bit.ly/2Qb0fsn 

Ver imagen en Twitter
 
 
 
 

 

"Las mujeres en muchas culturas sufren de disparidad de género cuando se trata de acceder a los servicios de salud", dijo en un comunicado de prensa el Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general de la OMS. “En los países pobres, existe la carga adicional de la falta de acceso al tratamiento para muchos y el alto costo de los medicamentos. El tratamiento efectivo y asequible del cáncer de seno debería ser un derecho para todas las mujeres, no el privilegio de unas pocas”.

El cáncer de mama es el cáncer más común que afecta a las mujeres. En 2018, 2.1 millones de mujeres fueron diagnosticadas con cáncer de seno y 630,000 murieron a causa de la enfermedad. Según la OMS, muchas de estas mujeres podrían haber sobrevivido si no fuera por un diagnóstico tardío y la falta de acceso a un tratamiento asequible.

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La Agencia Internacional de Investigación sobre el Cáncer de la OMS estima que para 2040 el número de cánceres de seno diagnosticados alcanzará los 3,1 millones, con el mayor aumento en los países de ingresos bajos y medios. La falta de programas de detección, educación sanitaria y financiación inadecuada se atribuyen al aumento del cáncer de mama en los países en desarrollo.

 

"La precalificación de trastuzumab biosimilar de la OMS es una buena noticia para las mujeres en todas partes", dijo el Dr. Tedros.

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FEB. 24, 2017

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

9 Black Activists Who Are Fighting Injustice And Fixing America

They’re shaping the future.

black_activists.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg

Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Frederick Douglass might be the first names that come to mind when the subject of African American activism comes up. But there are thousands and thousands of brave men and women who have fought against racial oppression in US history.  

Today, the field of black activism is more robust and powerful than ever, spanning all facets of society, driven by the understanding that the US remains a deeply unjust and unequal place, but sustained, ultimately, by the hope that change can be made.

Here are 9 black activists that you should know about:


Bryan Stevenson

 

 

 

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of The Equal Justice Initiative, an organization dedicated to fighting injustice in the criminal justice system. EJL seeks to end mass incarceration, excessive punishments, and the profound racial disparities in how justice is deployed in the US.

Stevenson is also one of the country’s leading opponents of the death penalty, which is overwhelmingly applied to black convicts. The EJL has tried hundreds of capital punishment cases.

Read More: Why Black Lives Matter Is a Global Issue

The EJL has also conducted a painstaking investigation into the history of lynching in the US, and has uncovered more than 800 previously concealed instances of this atrocity. Through his work, Stevenson hopes to bring about a full and honest reckoning with the country’s dark history


Ciara Taylor

 

ciara.pngDream Defenders

Ciara Taylor is a founding member of Dream Defenders, a community organizing collective that fights for social justice and boldly challenges the status quo. During her time at Dream Defenders, Taylor was the political director and then the director of political consciousness. She is well-versed in the structures of power that sustain inequality throughout the country and the world and she works to show regular people how they can make a meaningful differences within their communities.

She now works with Code Pink to raise awareness of the many consequences of the US invasion of Iraq and campaign to end war around the world. 


Ashley Jackson

 

Ashley Jackson is the director of the Human Rights Campaign in Alabama, where she champions LGBTQ+ rights. She focuses on the intersection of race, sexuality, poverty, and other factors that lead to the marginalization of people in society and she has been instrumental in advancing the cause of same-sex in the state.

Read More: 7 Civil Rights Activists Carrying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy

She co-founded both the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and the QYLTS (Queer Youth Leading the South) Activist Summer Camp. She was a board member of the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, Equality Alabama, the National Safe Schools Roundtable and was worked on Race Forward’s initial Better Together Southern Cohort, an effort that tries to bring racial justice into LGBTQ+ communities. In 2015, she kickstarted HRC’s “Equality Is Our Business” campaign to promote workplace fairness and equal hiring opportunities.

“Equality makes good business sense and this pledge is another reminder to our legislators that Alabama business owners support and embrace the LGBT community,” Jackson said in a statement at the time. “Regardless of our backgrounds, we can all agree that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.”


Maya Wiley

 

 

Maya Wiley has a long career fighting for a more just society at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Open Society Institute.

She eventually went on to form the Center for Social Inclusion, which aims to dismantle the structural barriers to racial equality in society.

The institute focuses on achieving clean energy independence, food equity, and advancing opportunities for people of color. She has worked with farmers in South Carolina to build worker collectives and marketplaces and has influenced funding decisions for education in Mississippi. She also oversees the Maya Wiley Fellowship Program, which identifies and fosters community activists and budding politicians.

 

 

Now more than ever: "It may be true that the law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless." -Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
 
 
 

Michelle Alexander

 

 

Few people have more of an impact on US politics than Michelle Alexander, whose groundbreaking book “The New Jim Crow” illustrated the link between slavery and the industrial prison complex.

Read More: Who's Who in the ACLU: Meet the Non-Profit Defending Your Civil Liberties

Alexander’s work shows the overwhelming biases of the criminal justice system and the devastating toll this has taken on black communities throughout the country. She fiercely advocates for a more just society as an acclaimed civil rights lawyer, legal scholar, and regular contributor of national news programs. While at the ACLU, she launched the “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign” to show how from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, the criminal justice system is stacked against people of color.  


Shaun King

 

 

Journalist, social justice advocate, and educator, Shaun King is relentless in his pursuit for a more fair society. King regularly exposes and directs his enormous following to the injustices of the criminal justice system and police violence in particular. But he boldly fights for everything from trans rights to Standing Rock protests to government corruption.   

He is a leader of “Injustice Boycott,” a protest initiative that uses the economic pressure of regular people joined together to bring about change, and he regularly tours the country to inspire and activate students and communities eager for change.


Melanie Campbell

 

 

 
 

Melanie Campbell has been active in the civil rights, women’s rights, and social justice movements for more than 20 years. Today, she focuses on increasing voter participation among black youth and fighting voter suppression efforts around the country through the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

She also runs the Black Women’s Roundtable, which uses to “public policy forums, leadership training, and civic engagement and issue education campaigns” to empower black women with the skills and resources they need to tackle social issues within their communities.

Read More: Bringing Civil Rights Champions to Life as Your Favourite Superheroes


Esmeralda Simmons

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 5.37.55 PM.pngFacebook: Center for Law and Social Justice

Esmeralda Simmons has been engaged in the political struggle for equal rights for more than 35 years. As a civil rights lawyer, she has worked in the department of education, for a federal judge, and throughout New York state and local government.

Toady, she runs the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, which offers free legal services to people facing voter suppression, police brutality, discrimination, and other issues.


Lateefah Simon

 

 

 

Meet @lateefahsimon, Bay Area Activist and one of the panelists for "From Homelessness to Housing in SF." More -> http://bit.ly/h2hsf 

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

After winning a MacArthur genius grant in 2003 for her work helping homeless, poor, and formerly incarcerated women, Lateefah Simon went on to lead a number of prestigious institute’s dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering development in marginalized communities, and giving young activists and leaders the chance to thrive.

Today, she heads the Akonadi Foundation, an organization that goes after the structural inequalities at the heart of US society. There, she works to expand opportunities for communities of color, improve media representation of people of color, and foster intersectionality.   

“This nation is at a turning point,” she said in a statement. “Akonadi is not standing idle. The Foundation actively supports groups and leaders who are explicit about the need to transform unjust systems and structures that perpetuate harm to people of color. This is where I want to be.”

 
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11 of the biggest heists in history
TRANSPARENCY

11 of the biggest heists in history

29 January 2020 1:21PM UTC | By: ANDREW MARSHALL

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Forget Bonnie and Clyde and Jesse James. The real pros steal money in super-massive amounts, on an industrial scale. And for really big thefts, you need to be organized and connected — meaning businesses and politicians rank high on the list of the world’s greatest heists.

But one heist dwarfs all these, and you probably don’t even know about it. More than US$1 trillion — that’s $1,000,000,000,000 — is siphoned out of developing countries every year, often with the help of anonymous shell companies, which are secretive entities that hide the identities of the real owners. They have become favorite vehicles of the criminal and corrupt. It’s a Trillion Dollar Scandal.

1. The Great Mining Robbery

Dunbar Armored

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, anonymous shell companies purchased mines for as little as 1-16th of their actual value, and then resold them at full price, siphoning off money that should have accrued to the state. Between 2010 and 2012, the DRC lost at least US$1.36 billion in revenues from just five such deals. That amount was nearly double the country’s combined annual budgets for health and education in 2012. The DRC ranks at the bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index, has some of the world’s worst malnutrition, the world’s sixth highest child mortality rate, and over 7 million children out of school.

2. Great Train Robbery

The theft of £2.6 million (US$3.4 million) doesn’t sound that much these days, but that was big money when thieves stole mailbags from a Royal Mail train in England in 1963. Accomplished using only a metal bar, the tale of the theft has entered British history. Most of the 17-strong gang were captured and imprisoned, but Ronnie Biggs and Charles Wilson notoriously both escaped.

3. Ferdinand Marcos

Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was a greedy man. He is widely believed to have taken between US$5 billion and US$10 billion, through government loans, bribes, embezzlement, taking over private companies and outright theft. The proceeds were put in foreign bank accounts and invested in real estate in the US. He was toppled by massive protests, and died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. Authorities have so far recovered more than US$4 billion of stolen assets.

4. Sani Abacha

By the time he died of a heart attack in 1998, General Sani Abacha had reportedly stolen between US$3 billion and US$5 billion in his five years of governing Nigeria. He got money through dodgy bond deals, but also by simply taking tens of millions in cash from the Central Bank for “national security” projects. Nigerian officials have managed to reclaim a small part of the money through smart sleuthing and hard-fought legal battles. But the bulk of it remains missing, in part because he used anonymous shell companies to hide the money in countries around the world.

5. Jean-Claude Duvalier

 

Former Haitian President “Baby Doc” Duvalier may top the list here, given how much money he is believed to have stolen from a small, poor country. “Duvalier allegedly stole the equivalent of 1.7% to 4.5% of Haitian GDP for every year he was in power,” according to the World Bank. The search for his money is still going on, decades after he lost power in 1986.

6. Saddam Hussein

Iraq’s dictator took money the easy way: he asked. He sent his son and personal assistant with a hand-written note to the bank’s governor, telling him to hand over US$920 million and €90 million. It was probably hard to say “no.”

7. UK bonds

At 9.30 a.m. on May 2, 1990, messenger John Goddard was walking down a side street in the City of London when someone pulled a knife on him and stole his briefcase. It goes down as the most lucrative mugging in history: the case contained £292 million in bonds that were as good as cash. The suspected thief was later found shot dead.

8. Aleksandr Andreevich Panin

Also known as “Gribodemon” and “Harderman,” this Russian cyberthief was responsible for malicious software known as “SpyEye,” which infected more than 1.4 million computers and collected bank accounts, credit card numbers and passwords. “He commercialized the wholesale theft of financial and personal information,” said a US official. How much was stolen as a result? No one really knows, but estimates run into the hundreds of billions.

9. Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff conned investors out of US$65 billion, making most of the others on our list look like small-time amateurs. He used a Ponzi scheme — convincing people he could deliver high returns, bringing in new investors and using their money to pay off older ones — all while pocketing his own share. When investors started asking for their money back, the house of cards structure collapsed. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

10. The Great Oil Heist

In 2011, subsidiaries of Shell and ENI paid US$1.1 billion to the Nigerian government for an offshore block with estimated oil reserves of 9 billion barrels. The government transferred exactly the same amount to an account earmarked for Malabu Oil & Gas, an anonymous shell company whose hidden owner was Dan Etete. Etete then secretly awarded the oil block to himself while he was Nigeria’s petroleum minister in 1998. After years of legal battles, the oil block was taken from Malabu Oil & Gas and awarded to Shell and ENI, who then paid the money to the Nigerian government, allegedly with knowledge that it would be forwarded to Etete’s company. That US$1.1 billion could have been used to fully immunize every single child under 5 in the country. Both Shell and ENI are the focus of corruption investigations in Italy, Netherlands and the UK. 

11. Siemens

One of the largest companies in the world was also one of the largest corrupters. Siemens, a German electrical company, paid hundreds of millions in bribes in at least a dozen countries. “Bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure at Siemens,” said a US official, using “the time-tested method of suitcases filled with cash.” It paid the largest-ever corporate fines related to foreign bribery, in the US and Germany.

If you add up all of the money from these heists, it doesn’t come close to $1 trillion. But if you add up how much gets taken out of developing countries every year — in cons, thefts, bribes, corporate schemes, tax dodging and other scams, many of them involving anonymous shell companies — you’ll get $1 trillion. 

Tell your US Senator it’s time to put an end to the use of anonymous shell companies: take action now.

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FEB. 14, 2020

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

First Lady of Namibia Vows to Donate Wealth to Charity After Death

"I strongly believe that inheritance is one of the biggest drivers of inequality."

By Kim Harrisberg

WINDHOEK, Feb 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Promising to give away all her wealth — estimated at $3 million — to charity when she dies, Monica Geingos is on a mission to change the image of African first ladies and tackle sexism and inequality in Namibia, the world's second most unequal country.

Geingos married Hage Geingob on Valentine's Day in 2015 — a month before he was sworn in as president of the southern African desert nation, which gained independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990 but remains starkly unequal.

The couple then voluntarily declared their combined assets of some $7.44 million, a popular move in a continent where politicians and their wives, like Zimbabwe's Grace Mugabe, grab headlines over unexplained riches.

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"I strongly believe that inheritance is one of the biggest drivers of inequality," the 43-year-old lawyer and former head of Namibia's first and largest private equity fund, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at the State House.

"If I'm telling poor children that they must be well-educated, have the right attitude, and they must stay away from self-destructive behavior and they'll be fine, then surely that message should apply to my kids too?"

About 6% of Namibia's 2.5 million people are white. They dominate businesses and land ownership, a legacy of German and South African colonial rule, along with a growing black elite.

She and her veteran politician husband, who is about 30 years her senior, both have children from previous marriages.

Geingob faced criticism last year over the 'fishrot' scandal involving allegations that two ministers received kickbacks from an Icelandic fishing company in exchange for fishing quotas. Both men were arrested.

Privilege

 

While presidents' wives are often portrayed as promiscuous, materialistic, or political meddlers, said Geingos, her contemporaries are in reality doctors, economists, and academics "who ran very productive lives before they became first ladies."

Geingos has thrown her weight as first lady behind the One Economy Foundation, which she founded in 2016, and plans to leave all her money to it when she dies.

"Of all my achievements, the title of first lady resonates the least with me because it's the one title that I have really done nothing to deserve, that I got by virtue of marriage," said Geingos, whose husband won a second and final term in November.

Related StoriesMay 13, 2019Thomson Reuters Foundation'No More': The #MeToo Movement Has Reached Namibia

"It is, to me, a form of unearned privilege but...it has changed a lot of my views on socioeconomic issues in the country," she said, adding that it felt "schizophrenic" to witness both wealth and poverty in her life and work.

Geingos' parents were only allowed a basic primary education under Namibia's racially segregated regime — an injustice which she said drives her to make the most of her life.

Her charity lends money to entrepreneurs, gives grants to students, and supports victims of gender-based violence. Its board members include a security guard and a domestic worker.

Geingos offered free legal and psychosocial support to victims of sexual harassment last year when Namibia's own #MeToo movement went viral on social media, with hundreds of women naming and shaming sexual predators.

Related StoriesDec. 18, 2018Closing The Gender Gap: The 10 Best and Worst Countries For Women

Namibia ranked 12 out of 153 surveyed countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap, beating Denmark and France.

But Geingos said sexism remains common in Namibia's private sector and media, which is quick to tear down prominent women like Isabel Dos Santos, Africa's richest woman and daughter of Angola's former president, who was recently accused of corruption.

"I am not saying she isn't guilty. But there is a lack of consistency (in media coverage)," Geingos said, adding that she and Geingob will soon update their wealth declaration.

"You will always be accused of everything under the sun in these kind of roles. But what you can do is put the information out there and let people decide themselves."

She denied rumors of her presidential ambitions.

"I am not available for any executive political function...I am very convinced that you do not need to be a politician to effect change," she said. "But I do feel this deep need that I can and I must do more."

(Reporting by Kim Harrisberg @kimharrisberg; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBTQ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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