Good morning, I hope you’re all well. I’m at TVC but I’m sure there’ll be a cheery air in the WHYS office today as Mark will have enjoyed this last night. But we’re about today and what you’re talking about.
How about Afghanistan? Three reports have painted a grim picture of the situation in the country, warning of a humanitarian catastrophe and collapsing state institutions. An independent study in the United States warns that Afghanistan could revert to a “failed state”.
And Steve has written asking us to discuss the Afghanistan Blashpemy death sentence.
“I mean, it’s the 21st century, and someone is going to be put to death for ‘blasphemy’. When you have blaspemy laws, it kind of explains why your country is third world, doesn’t do anything productive, while my country sent a man to the moon almost 40 years ago.”
We’ve talked about Kenya, and it is expected to be the focus of an African summit in Ethiopia that President Kibaki will attend. On Tuesday’s programme we heard from Abda, a Kenyan in Cleveland, Ohio, who complained that Kenya’s religious leaders have not done enough to help stop the violence in the country. That was echoed by Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, and Mohammed in Germany. Do you want to find out why they’ve been so silent?
UPDATE: There are reports that another opposition MP has been shot dead, this time in Eldoret in western Kenya.
And something that our editorial meetings have touched upon (to a degree thanks to the US presidential elections) is nepotism – and it’s come up again in Britain thanks to the case of Conservative MP Derek Conway who paid his son thousands of pounds for research while he was a full-time student in Newcastle. Is nepotism inherently bad? Where do you draw the line if you want to stop it?
Another topic that crops up from time to time, and follows on a bit from yesterday’s discussion of multi-national companies making money from Africa’s natural resources, is the money that oil companies make. Royal Dutch Shell has reported record annual profits for a UK-listed company, making £13.9bn. Can a company make too much money?