Elections And Protests Around The World

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Elections And Protests Worldwide 

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Alan Moore

In Guinea President Alpha Conde amended the constitution from a presidential term of five to six years, to stay in power. 

In Uganda, 76-year old president Yoweri Museveni, previously too old to be eligible for reelection, changed the constitution to gain eligibility to run again in February 2021. 

Bolivian President Evo Morales resigned in November after weeks of protests and death threats. 

 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced this week that he would disband  the  Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) which is part of the  federal police, following mass protests sparked by a video of the officers killing a man. SARS has also been accused of other killings, extortion and torture  especially of young people.

In Lebanon, protesters argue that while they are suffering under an economic crisis, the country’s leaders have been using their positions of power to enrich themselves, through kickbacks and favorable deals.

Namibia has been rocked with protests over the death of a woman in April. Gender-based violence and domestic abuse  are persistent problems in Namibia. Police responded to the SARSprotests with tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and arrests sparking further violence.

Protestors in Iraq have also been calling for the end of a political system that they say has failed them.

The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan plunged into political chaos and riots after opposition groups seized control of Parliament and released their imprisoned leaders in protests over parliamentary elections they called rigged.

Protests against alleged government corruption have also taken place in Egypt. 

In Hong Kong protestors demonstrate against police brutality and for universal suffrage. 

In Belarus, security forces used violence in an attempt to disperse protesters who were demanding an end to the country’s long term dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

And in America,  President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the integrity of the election and repeatedly refused to say that he’d accept the results if he loses. Police grapple with the threat of right wing militia groups and a president who has called for an “army of poll watchers”  placing an unprecedented strain on police for election day and the violence and protests expected in the days after the results.  The toxic political climate, combined with the COVID-19 crisis and the national reckoning over police misconduct, is putting a lot of strain on everyone. Gun stores in the US are empty. 

I never thought I would say this about an American election. Stay safe, be brave and vote.

JAZ

Ten Countries With The Most Smokers

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Ten Countries With The Most Smokers

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” Mark Twain

As everyone knows, smoking is cool. But it can also kill you and is addictive and expensive, which is much worse than looking cool for a minute.

Bucking the worldwide trend, smokers are increasing in Montenegro. Forty per cent of adults smoke making them the “coolest” country on the list. Even when laws are enacted, they are rarely enforced in a culture where coffee and cigarettes are the norm.

While smoking is declining across Europe, a growing number of young Belarusians are turning to cigarettes due to lax regulations and low prices. Cheap cigarettes from Belarus are also being smuggled into Western Europe.

It is very difficult to enforce anti smoking laws in Lebanon where smoking is somewhat of a cultural tradition.The law that banned indoor smoking irritated many Lebanese accustomed to shishas and cigarettes at restaurants, cafes, pubs and nightclubs.

Greece is a nicotine addicts’s paradise. Smoking regulations in Greece have not been enforced in a country where rules like this are meant to be broken.

One third of the population of Russia smokes. Up to 400,000 Russians die each year from tobacco-related causes. This could be stopped through tougher regulations, but tobacco producers have blocked all efforts for years, successfully lobbying their interests with the ruling United Russia party.

Tobacco is one of the leading causes of death in Slovenia. The average age to start smoking is fifteen and a half years old.

Belgians love to smoke and stores selling cheap cigarettes have opened on the Belgian Franco border. There is a growing trade in smuggled cigarettes in Europe and an equally illegal growth of sales over the internet. Cigarettes are much cheaper in Belgium than neighboring countries. Many bars and restaurants ignore the smoking ban.

Jordan rates highly as far as smoking countries in the Middle East go. The ban on smoking in public places is not enforced.It is easier to fight drug use than cigarettes here. Cigarette smoking is highest among the poor population. Having coffee and cigarettes with friends and family is deeply rooted in Jordanian culture.

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China is home to three hundred million smokers, more than any other country. There is a lack of national legislation to ban smoking in workplaces. The national ban has been delayed because of the influence of the Chinese tobacco industry and its influence on government revenue. Some Local municipalities have banned smoking in the workplace but it is hard to enforce

Almost half the adult population smokes in Bosnia Herzegovina. Cigarettes are cheaper than Europe and Asia. Smokers fight the government against anti smoking legislation. Any bans are not enforced and teenagers smoke at least half a pack of cigarettes a day.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Things I Have Learned In Israel

Things I Have Learned In Israel

“Israel is slightly smaller than New Jersey. Moses in effect led the tribes of Israel out of the District of Columbia, parted Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, and wandered for forty years in Delaware.” P. J. O’Rourke

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world. It has the highest rate of entrepreneurship among women and people over 55 in the world.

Israelis love to surf.

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The first antivirus software for computers was created in Israel in 1979.

Eilat is a southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea, near Jordan.

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Its beaches are noted for their calm waters, like Dolphin Reef. Eilat is known for snorkeling and diving.

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In regards to its population, Israel has the highest ratio of college degrees, museums and start-up companies.

Since 1951 all homes, residential buildings and industrial buildings in Israel are required to have bomb shelters. The shelters are the architecture of an existing threat and come in all shapes and sizes. You must enter a shelter as soon as you hear a siren.

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If you are in Israel the week of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashonah) everyone from the taxi driver to the salespeople and the pilot will wish you Shana Tova. It means good year. Israeli Arabs and Barack Obama will wish you Shana Tova.

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. Period. People can easily float in the Dead Sea due to its unusually high salt concentration. It’s almost impossible to dive into it.

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Motorola developed the cell phone in Israel.

Voicemail technology was developed in Israel.

Israeli banknotes have braille markings on them.

Rosh Hanikra or Hanikra (Hebrew: ראש הנקרה, Arabic: رأس الناقورة, Ras an-Nakura) is a geologic formation in Israel, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee.

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It is on the northwest border of Israel and is a few meters  away from Lebanon.

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A white chalk cliff face opens up into spectacular grottos.

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The cable car down is one of the steepest in the world. I’m glad I did not know that before i went.

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Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.

Israel published more books translated from other languages than any other nation in the world.

The food in Israel is a combination of North African, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Eastern European. Foods you have to try include Falafel, Hummus, Schwarma, Shakshouka  and Labneh.

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Ice cream is everywhere and pistachio seems to be a favorite flavor.

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Israeli breakfast is one of the best things about Israel. It is usually served buffet style with an array of European, Israeli and Mediterranean dishes.

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It is the biggest breakfast buffet I have ever seen. There are fresh, seasonal, usually dairy, healthy and unhealthy choices.

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During the early days of Israel, it was common on the kibbutz  to have a light snack and work in the field and then have a large mid morning meal.

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In the nineteen fifties, the Israeli hotels decided to incorporate this tradition in a hotel stay. You can eat like you work on a kibbutz all day long without leaving the comfort of your hotel.

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Israel was the first country to ban underweight models.

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Stores , businesses and public transportation close in Israel from Friday afternoon till Saturday evening for the Sabbath.

Israel is one of two countries that started the twenty-first century with an increase in trees.

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The Sea of Galilee — located .212 km below sea level — is the lowest freshwater lake in the world (and the largest in Israel)

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-31-16-pmFly safe,

JAZ