Summary of “Heineken claims its business helps Africa. Is that too good to be true?”

In the company archives, I discovered that in the early 1960s Heineken was an ardent supporter of a “White bloc” of southern African countries, including Rhodesia, South Africa and the two Portuguese colonies Angola and Mozambique.
In 2013, Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer described Africa as “The international business world’s best kept secret”.
So what is working for Heineken in Africa really like? Not bad, at first sight.
Most of Heineken’s staff members in Africa are on relatively low salaries by local standards, but Heineken compensates for this by being an attentive and encouraging employer.
Wesseling, who worked at Heineken from 1991 until 2005, says: “We had promotion girls in Africa. We knew this, in spite of internal denials. It was extra problematic because we had been running a very successful Aids policy in Africa.” From 2001, HIV-positive Heineken workers in Africa and their immediate families had been offered free therapy for life, which would continue after retirement or redundancy.
Stefaan van der Borght, Heineken’s former director for global health affairs, says that at one point Heineken tried promotion boys: “We wanted to take away the association with sex, but it didn’t work. Another problem was that we used subcontractors, for reasons of flexibility. Sometimes you needed a lot of girls, for parties, and at other times it was quiet. So you were burdening these subcontractors with the workload and the social obligations, while Heineken was held accountable.”
The Global Fund, supported by Bill Gates, suspended cooperation with Heineken because of the scandal, and the Dutch ASN Bank, following a third inquiry, removed Heineken from its sustainable investment fund and has halted all other financial involvement with the company until further notice.
Heineken revised an earlier declaration in which it had claimed that the company employed just 200 promotion women in two countries in Africa.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Toto’s ‘Africa’ Became the New ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ – Rolling Stone”

Nothing sums up 2018 like the fact that Toto’s “Africa” has become our unofficial anthem.
It’s a song that’s ridiculous by definition – an Eighties ode to Africa by a bunch of L.A. rock dudes who’d never set foot in the place.
It’s the new “Don’t Stop Believin'” – a mega-cheese classic of Eighties sentiment that’s gotten bizarrely popular in recent years, beloved by hipsters and moms and tone-deaf karaoke singers screaming “I bless the rains down in Africa!” Love it or hate it, you’ve probably heard it today.
Toto’s Africa is a place that doesn’t exist and never did – this song has nothing to do with the continent, unless you count that groovy synth-kalimba solo.
As Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro summed it up, “A white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.” The singer is so deep in his feelings, he barely notices where he is-hence the hilarious “Whoa dude, there’s a mountain” moment when “Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.” Needless to freaking say, you can’t see Kilimanjaro from the Serengeti, which is a couple hundred miles away.
The studio pros in Toto played on Thriller, not to mention rock classics from Boz Scaggs to Steely Dan, which means all that grooveology is lurking deep in “Africa.” Thomas Pynchon put the song in his latest novel Bleeding Edge, where a crew of start-up dot-commers belt it in a NYC karaoke bar on the eve of 9/11, except they think it goes, “I left my brains down in Africa.” It shows up on TV from Stranger Things to South Park.
“Africa” hit Number One in February 1983 – it replaced Men at Work’s ode to Australia, “Down Under,” the only time in pop history two continents slugged it out for Number One.
“Africa” is totally different – a song about feeling homesick for nowhere.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A siege. A bomb. 48 dogs. And the black commune that would not surrender”

In the case of Move members, their politics are a strange fusion of black power and flower power.
Philadelphia police had dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a Move house on Osage Avenue in the west of Philadelphia in an attempt to force the black radicals to evacuate the premises after long-running battles with the authorities.
The bomb ignited a fire in the Move house that turned into an inferno.
Unlike the Black Panther party which formally dissolved in 1982, Move is still a living entity.
When the 1978 siege happened, there were 12 adults and 11 children in the Move house in Powelton Village – and 48 dogs.
Black liberation, animal liberation – the two are as one with Move.
The unconventional nature of the Move community which drove some neighbors to despair in turn led to demands for their eviction, and ultimately to the fatal siege.
Months before the siege Move members made visible their threat to resist attempts to remove them from the neighborhood – they stood on a platform they had built at the front of the house dressed in fatigues and brandishing rifles.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Africa to tea with the Queen”

You may also be interested in: The true ‘granddaddy’ of the Alps What it means to know when to leave The secret maps used in WWII. Buoyed by the enthusiastic response she received, Albu pledged on air to drive to Buckingham Palace to have tea with the Queen – and before long, the seeds of what had begun as a joke started germinating.
With Tracy’s grey, squat exterior emblazoned with the rainbow-coloured stickers of her sponsors, Albu set off on a frosty morning from her house in Jakkalsfontein, hurtling up a gum tree-lined road pointing north.
Instead, Albu quenched her boundless thirst for Africa through its people.
During the trip, Albu learned to shake off age with a flick of her hair.
Albu’s African odyssey ended in Egypt, the country where her luck in namedropping the Queen finally ran out.
After recuperating in Jakkalsfontein for a few months, Albu boarded a plane to Europe and was reunited with Tracy – who had languished for weeks in a container in Greece after crossing the Mediterranean by ferry.
“Oh, I was dying to have tea with the Queen – particularly after telling the world and his wife that I was going to,” Albu says.
If the inhabitants of Buckingham Palace one day read about Albu’s story and send an embossed invitation down to South Africa, she and Queen will undoubtedly have a lot to say on the subject.

The orginal article.

Summary of “No single birthplace of mankind, say scientists”

About 300,000 years ago, the story went, a group of primitive humans there underwent a series of genetic and cultural shifts that set them on a unique evolutionary path that resulted in everyone alive today.
Instead, the international team argue, the distinctive features that make us human emerged mosaic-like across different populations spanning the entire African continent.
Only after tens or hundreds of thousands of years of interbreeding and cultural exchange between these semi-isolated groups, did the fully fledged modern human come into being.
Dr Eleanor Scerri, an archaeologist at Oxford University, who led the international research, said: “This single origin, single population view has stuck in people’s mind but the way we’ve been thinking about it is too simplistic.”
The telltale characteristics of a modern human – globular brain case, a chin, a more delicate brow and a small face – seem to first appear in different places at different times.
The latest analysis suggests that this patchwork emergence of human traits can be explained by the existence of multiple populations that were periodically separated for millennia by rivers, deserts, forests and mountains before coming into contact again due to shifts in the climate.
The analysis also paints a picture of humans as a far more diverse collection of species and sub-populations than exists today.
Between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago, our own ancestors lived alongside a primitive human species called Homo naledi, found in southern Africa, a larger brained species called Homo heidelbergensis in central Africa and perhaps myriad other humans yet to be discovered.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day”

Generally it’s assumed these viruses originate on the planet and are swept upward, but some researchers theorize that viruses actually may originate in the atmosphere.
It’s hard to overstate the central role that viruses play in the world: They’re essential to everything from our immune system to our gut microbiome, to the ecosystems on land and sea, to climate regulation and the evolution of all species.
Viruses contain a vast diverse array of unknown genes – and spread them to other species.
One study estimated that viruses in the ocean cause a trillion trillion infections every second, destroying some 20 percent of all bacterial cells in the sea daily.
Viruses help keep ecosystems in balance by changing the composition of microbial communities.
While some viruses and other organisms have evolved together and have achieved a kind of balance, an invasive virus can cause rapid, widespread changes and even lead to extinction.
With intensive vaccinations, rinderpest was completely wiped out, not only in Africa but globally in 2011.The beneficial effects of viruses are much less known, especially among plants.
“Certain nasty viruses can make you sick, but it’s important to recognize that viruses and other microbes out there are absolutely integral for the ecosystem.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Toba Volcano May Not Have Caused a Global Winter After All”

Around 74,000 years ago, the Toba supervolcano erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
In the 1990s, several scientists argued that Toba’s unprecedented outburst radically changed the world’s climate, blocking out sunlight and lowering global temperatures by several degrees for many decades.
The “Toba catastrophe theory” is highly controversial, and other researchers have argued that it greatly overestimates both the degree of climate change that the volcano inflicted, and its effect on our ancestors.
Known as cryptotephra, these shards are the products of Toba’s wrath, created when the volcano superheated the silica within its expunged rock.
“If Toba had triggered a major global climate event, Africa probably would have been affected, and they see no evidence of that,” says Britta Jensen, a tephra expert from the University of Alberta who wasn’t involved in the new study.
It’s harder to say what the shards tell us about the Toba catastrophe theory, and even the scientists who worked on the new study don’t entirely agree.
“The persistence of the Toba catastrophe hypothesis has essentially been perpetuated by bad data.”
Researchers have detected sulfates from the Toba explosion in ice cores from Greenland and the Antarctic-opposite sides of the planet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “If we talk about hurting ‘our’ planet, who exactly is the ‘we’?”

What picture of the Anthropocene, for example, emerges when we begin our analytic adventure in Africa instead of in Europe? Minerals from Africa played a big role in motivating colonialism and powering industrialisation.
At least two of South Africa’s contributions to the Anthropocene, uranium and gold, are distributed all over the planet.
Air pollution is by no means unique to urban Africa, of course.
Just take a look at Wikipedia’s entry on smog: you’ll find paragraphs on cities in North and South America, Europe and Asia, but not a single mention of Africa at the time of writing.
Among large sections of the scientific community, there’s a tacit assumption that since so much of Africa is rural, outdoor air pollution isn’t a major concern.
The Swiss NGO Public Eye found that some amalgams in Africa contain up to 630 times more sulphur than European diesel.
Confronting the Anthropocene, in Africa and elsewhere, requires fresh sources of imagination.
That’s why Africa plays a huge role not only in our planet’s present, but also in its future, as the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe, the Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr and other African scholars have argued.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Brothers Who Bought South Africa”

Phone records later obtained by South Africa’s corruption ombudsman placed Van Rooyen in the vicinity of the Guptas’ compound-in a wealthy enclave of Johannesburg called Saxonwold-on at least seven occasions, including the day before Zuma told Nene he was out.
Since Nene’s firing, long-standing questions about the scale of the Guptas’ power in South Africa have exploded into the most severe political and economic crisis since the end of apartheid.
The Guptas are widely famous in South Africa but also deeply mysterious.
In a statement, the Guptas said it is “Patent nonsense to suggest that our family has captured the South African state,” and that less than 2 percent of their business is government-related.
The Guptas’ alleged hold on Zuma has driven much of South African society into open revolt.
South African media reported that the Guptas had pulled off the landing with the help of a little-known official-Mosebenzi Zwane, head of agriculture in the rural Free State province.
One local executive recalls attending a party at the residence of India’s ambassador to South Africa, held to celebrate the visit of an Indian government delegation, that was attended by both Molefe and the Guptas.
Coming amid what was already a steady flow of new revelations about the Guptas from South Africa’s feisty press, the report was too much for the country’s elite to ignore.

The orginal article.

Summary of “End of Apartheid in South Africa? Not in Economic Terms”

At 38, Mr. Moloeli no longer needs to wonder.
On a recent afternoon, he leaned into a sofa, gazed at his private pool and reflected on how a black man born in apartheid South Africa had landed here.
In his township school, 10 children shared a single textbook.
For high school, he talked his way into a technical school reserved for Indians.
The ranks of South Africa’s black, Asian and mixed-race millionaires expanded to 17,300 from 6,200 from 2007 to 2015, according to New World Wealth, a consultant based in Johannesburg.
Mr. Moloeli’s three children attend a predominantly white private school, where they take violin and golf lessons.
“Government has in a way provided a space for most people to succeed,” Mr. Moloeli said.
“If you are hungry enough, you can make it in South Africa. You can build a very beautiful lifestyle.”

The orginal article.