DGI Brief - Aug 8, 2016
- SYRIA: The battle for Aleppo is strategically & symbolically important – the 2nd biggest city, an economic hub, a cultural & civil activism center. After anti-government rebel forces, united to mount stronger opposition to Assad, broke the siege in key areas over the weekend, thousands of Iran-backed militants from Lebanon & Iraq began streaming as reinforcements to Assad. If Aleppo falls (to the Assad regime), the civil war may be considered lost by the rebels. If Aleppo stands… well can it? Doubtful that the government would concede. The weekend’s events remind us just how much of Syria’s conflict is a civil war & not about a unified fight against ISIS. Who’s fighting them when rebels & government engage in these fierce, all-or-nothing battles?
- USA: Jet.com, Inc. is reportedly the most innovative, fastest growing e-commerce giant & Walmart Stores, Inc. plans to capitalize on the expended customer reach, especially the millennials. Let’s do it in an environmentally & socially responsible way, please.
- GAZA STRIP: the allegations center on Mohammed el-Halabi, Director of World Vision in Gaza, to have funneled est. $7.2 million over 5 years to the militant group Hamas through an elaborate scheme of diverting funds, supplies & equipment to the Islamic militant group Hamas. If found true – world’s humanitarian organizations beware! The level of scrutiny could be paralyzing. Then again, perhaps this is an opportunity to innovate processes & operations that, frankly, are very cumbersome & costly.
- In a rare televised address, JAPAN’s Emperor Akihito cited his age, health & responsibility to the country including smooth transition to his successor Crown Prince Naruhito. For the 82-yr old Emperor to abdicate, JAPAN’s parliament would have to amend the imperial law in the constitution. But speculations suggest that the government may enact only a special law, a one-time exception in order to prevent divisive debates over other issues related to the Imperial Crown – namely whether to allow female emperors. A long way to good for women’s rights.
- NIGERIA: Former President Goodluck Jonathan, former & current governors of oil-rich southern states are among the 20 names of alleged sponsors of oil installations attacks, according to the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, splinter of the Niger Delta Avengers. The attacks have cut oil production by up to 45%, critical for this leading oil exporter. The ask – withdrawal of multinationals responsible for massive pollution, control of production & equitable profit sharing. Meanwhile, Boko Haram continues to bicker about leadership. That’s good news for the fight against ISIS & its worldwide franchises.
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