Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest.
The Ante is Way Up in Nigeria’s Petrol Protests
As protests enter its fifth day, the main union of oil workers said it would call for a strike on Sunday should the Nigerian government not reverse its decision to end the fuel subsidy. This is a very, very big deal. Oil exports underpin the Nigerian economy and even a partial shutdown could affect markets across the globe. Union officials and government are set to meet again on Saturday, just hours before the strike would go into effect. “Nigeria produces more than 2 million barrels of crude oil per day and is a key supplier to United States, Europe and Asia. Crude exports provide Africa’s second-largest economy with over 90 percent of foreign exchange revenues. ‘If there is any disruption to oil production it would be a serious escalation and the government would be likely to use legal or enforcement means to stop it,’ said Kayode Akindele, partner at Lagos-based investment firm 46 Parallels.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/yp7dUS)
Four US Marines Piss off the World
Hillary Clinton and the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta denounced a grainy mobile phone video showing US marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters. Hamid Karzai wants an investigation, which the Marine Corps has promised. Meanwhile, it seems these Marines managed to cede the moral high ground to the Taliban, which said it will not affect their decision to enter into peace talks with the international community. “News of the footage had yet to spread in Afghanistan – a country where a minority have access to electricity and the Internet is limited to a tiny urban elite – but Afghans who were told about what the tape appears to show were horrified. ‘It may start with just video footage, but it will end with demonstrations around the country and maybe the world,’ said 44-year-old Qaisullah, who has a shop near the Kabul’s Shah-e-dushamshera mosque.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/zeM4Nd)