Opposition opposes new electoral code law proposed by government in Burkina Faso

Apparent change in independence of national election commission (CENI) and the thorny question of how to organize voting for Burkinabè abroad.

Au Burkina Faso, l’opposition se mobilise contre un projet de loi modifiant de code électoral…. La semaine dernière, les partis politiques ont reçu le document de travail qui prévoit notamment la dissolution de la Commission Electorale nationale indépendante, remplacé par un nouvel organe sous tutelle du ministère de l’Aménagement du territoire. L’opposition est montée au créneau pour dénoncer «un net recul démocratique» et une atteinte à l’indépendance de l’organisation du processus électoral…. Zéphirin Diabré (président de l’Union pour le Progrès et le Changement) et chef de file de l’opposition, explique à RFI quelles sont ses réserves.« Il y a une formule alambiquée qui a été utilisée. On parle d’autorité qui sera chargée des élections, mais quand on regarde de très près, en fait c’est une disparition de la Céni et l’assujettissement d’un certain nombre d’opérations électorales au ministère de l’Administration du territoire. Ça, ce ne pas possible, ce n’est pas acceptable ». Autre point qui n’est pas « acceptable » selon Zéphirin Diabré, « la question du vote des Burkinabè de l’étranger. Là, on nous sert maintenant une formule alambiquée qui dit que le vote aura lieu à partir de 2020. Ce n’est pas la même chose !Et nous on voit bien la manœuvre. En fait le MPP et son gouvernement vont regarder les pays où ils pensent avoir le meilleur score et ils vont dire que ces pays-là sont prêts à y aller en 2020… ».

Source: Modification du code électoral au Burkina Faso: l’opposition vent debout – RFI

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Early female Jesuits…

Juana entered almost ten years later. In 1552 the princess, 17 at the time, married the heir to the Portuguese throne. When he died two years later, she returned to Spain. Young, beautiful, and aware of her royal position and power, Juana was also endowed with a talent for ruling. While her brother, Philip II of Spain, was in England as husband of Mary Tudor, he made Juana regent. From 1554 to 1559 she was the effective ruler of Spain. Juana had an additional ambition: to become a Jesuit. Telling none of her family, she informed Spanish grandee Francis Borgia, an early Jesuit, that she wanted to join the Society of Jesus. The idea was heaped with danger for the Society. Her father, Emperor Charles V, and her brother Philip would be furious with her and the Jesuits for wrecking possible future dynastic marriage plans for Juana. Yet, the new, small, and in some places highly suspect Society could not afford to alienate Juana—depending in part on her good favor for its existence in Spain. The Society in 1554 had officially been in existence for only fourteen years, yet by Ignatius’s death in 1556, there were already 1,000 Jesuits. Men were flocking into the order enthusiastically. Women, too, were attracted and wanted either to found a separate female branch of the Society under the control of the general or to enter directly into the Society itself.

Source: Secret, Perilous Project: A Woman Jesuit

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Ten Things That You May Not Know About the Jesuits, by James Martin, SJ

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Jesuit Superior General basically says women can and should be presidents of Jesuit universities

You see, I wrote, “basically” there which I think is what he meant.

Fr. Sosa gave the opening address at the conference, which celebrated and encouraged the need for women’s voices to be heard in the church and in the world. Organized by Voices of Faith, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Fidel Gotz Foundation, the event’s theme was “Stirring the waters: Making the impossible possible.”Although Pope Francis has voiced his support for broader participation of women’s voices in the decisions of the Catholic Church, Fr. Sosa said, “that inclusion, which would bring the gifts of resilience and collaboration even more deeply into the church, remains stymied on many fronts.”

Source: News Detail | Jesuit Superior General Says Women’s Full Inclusion in the Church “Has Not Yet Arrived”

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Sister Alice by Robert Reed

One of my favorite science fiction authors is Robert Reed. His “great ship” series of novellas and stories I found fantastic, and he has lots of other good stuff. But Sister Alice was a mess, at times virtually unreadable.  I’d compare it to the running boars scene in Princess Mononoke… the boars are running, enraged… cut to another shot…. cut back to boars…. still running…. another scene… boars, running, eyes glowing red…. ugh.  Dozens of pages of starships “racing” around the universe….



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Larry David and anonymous donations

FAVL gets several anonymous donations a year and I have no idea who they are from… (they come from a fund or a bank).  So let me say thank you right here!

What’s intriguing about anonymous giving, and other behaviors apparently designed to obscure good traits and acts, like modesty, is that it’s “hard to reconcile with standard evolutionary accounts of pro-social behavior,” the researchers write. Donations fall under a form of cooperation called “indirect reciprocity.” “Direct reciprocity is like a barter economy based on the immediate exchange of goods, while indirect reciprocity resembles the invention of money,” Nowak wrote in his highly cited 2006 paper “Five Rules for the Evolution of Cooperation.” “The money that fuels the engines of indirect reciprocity is reputation.” Donation evolved, in other words, because it granted a good reputation, which helped humans in securing mates and cementing alliances. But if that’s true, how did the practice of anonymous giving arise? The title of the new paper suggests a solution: “The signal-burying game can explain why we obscure positive traits and good deeds.”

Source: Larry David and the Game Theory of Anonymous Donations

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Climate change may be responsible for die-off of world’s oldest baobab trees

The largest baobabs have largely stood alone, bearing witness to history. Radiocarbon dating shows the oldest of these stout-trunked savannah trees have lived for upwards of 2,500 years, surviving the birth of Jesus, the Renaissance, two world wars, and the internet. But they may have met their match in climate change.A new paper published on Monday in Nature Plants documents the collapse of some of the world’s oldest and largest baobabs over the past 12 years. Of the 13 oldest trees, nine are dead or nearing death. Of the six largest baobabs, five have bit the dust or are headed that way.

Source: Is Climate Change Killing the World’s Oldest Baobabs?

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