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Over Easy; Around the World


Thursday tradition continues, and in the Lakeside Diner begun by Southern Dragon, today we will look at foreign media, and a perspective that doesn’t come from reportage the U.S. press usually does provide.

Three of the four hostages killed by radical murderer Amedy Coulibaly  in the kosher supermarket in Vincennes, France, were citizens of Tunisia.  The reminder of what dangers lie outside the course Tunisia has tried to forge comes shortly after successful  elections there.

In particular, the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis, 21-year old Yoav Hattab stands out, a photo of him proudly showing off the inked forefinger that confirmed he’d voted in the elections evoked the kind of past, present and future that Tunisia has long hoped to show the world.

Tunisia has long been home to multiple communities, not only Phoenicians, Romans and Vandals during antiquity; Muslim refugees from the early Reconquista and the Norman conquest of Sicily made it their home, as well as Jews and the indigenous Amazigh communities. In the modern era, well over 100,000 northern Mediterraneans lived in Tunis by the end of the 19th century.


The same dynamics of unemployment, marginalisation and lack of a future that helped radicalise the killers of Paris, is also quite present in Tunisia, which accounts for the rapid rise of extremism under the democratic transition, including the disproportionately large participation of young Tunisians in jihadist activities in Iraq and Syria.

Attacks by Boko Haram appear to be on the increase, with yesterday’s on the town of Kolofato, Cameroon, reportedly leaving an estimated 300 of its fighters dead.   Earlier in the week, an estimated 2000 were killed in Nigeria by the armed attackers and more than 600 structures destroyed.

Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon’s communication minister and government spokesperson, told Al Jazeera that between 200 and 300 Boko Haram fighters had been killed in the attack.

He also said Cameroonian soldiers had seized heavy military equipment and vehicles from Boko Haram, apparently during a recent attack by the group on Nigeria’s northeastern town of Baga.

Comet Lovejoy will be brightening your skies until February, giving an exceedingly bright spot in the night sky over the northern skies in this country.  January 30th will be the closest approach to earth the comet will reach.

“Comets this bright [appear only] every few years, on average,” says Matthew Knight, a research scientist who studies comets at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Indeed, some viewers with keen sight might be able to spy it with the naked eye from a location far from urban lights— think the Arizona desert or Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

BP announced job cuts in the North Sea oilfields, where 4,000 workers are employed, as falling prices of oil have affected its profits.

The move comes as a part of the company’s “value-over-volume” strategy, which aims on cutting costs. It seems that nothing is going right for BP since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Since the oil spill, BP has paid huge clean up costs the damages to satisfy the claimants who were affected by the oil spill. The company is also expected to pay a maximum fine of $18 billion as part of the Clean Water Act penalties. All of the company’s attempts to fight the penalties imposed have failed till now.

Since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster the company has undertaken asset divestitures worth $43 billion. The company has reduced its well count by more than 30% and now has halved its gas pipelines and offshore fields.


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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.