Archive for April, 2008

Zimbabwe-Bound Ship Heads Back to China

April 24, 2008 6:25 pm

Yes!!! Read the story in the New York Times today.

It’s nice to read some good news every once in a while.  🙂


Arms for Zimbabwe May Turn Around

April 22, 2008 4:10 pm

22ship-600I’m hoping against hope that the Chinese ship carrying over 77 tons of weapons worth more than $1.245 million will soon be heading back to China. The New York Times reported today that Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa called on other countries in the region to not let the ship dock in their ports. Mr. Mwanawasa also heads the Southern African Development Community – a bloc of fourteen southern African countries – that has come under sharp criticism for not censuring Zimbabwe’s failure to release the results of its presidential election three weeks ago. The Times said that Mr. Mwanawasa’s statements were remarkable because so few African heads of state have been openly critical of Mugabe’s regime.

Why are the other African leaders so quiet?

Meanwhile, also on the front page of the NY Times today: “U.S. Identifies Tainted Heparin in Eleven Countries.”

“A contaminated blood thinner from China has been found in drug supplies in 11 countries, and federal officials said Monday they had discovered a clear link between the contaminant and severe reactions now associated with 81 deaths in the United States.”

But don’t worry – I’m sure the Chinese government will soon be executing the managers of the offending drug companies.


David Returns from Visit to the United States

April 21, 2008 9:53 am

DavidI’m loaning him my copy of French Women Don’t Get Fat …


Where is the Chinese Arms Shipment?

April 20, 2008 9:05 am

The Guardian reports this morning that there were conflicting reports yesterday as to the destination of the Chinese ship turned away from South Africa after dockers in Durban refused to unload a cargo of weapons destined for Zimbabwe and a legal rights group won a court order blocking the delivery.

The An Yue Jiang was at first reported by a human rights group to be headed for Mozambique but was later said to be heading south, possibly destined for a friendlier port in Namibia or Angola.

The Guardian reported yesterday: “Helen Zille, the leader of South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, warned that the shipment could result in carnage of ‘genocidal proportions’. Pointing out that a consignment of Chinese machetes had prefaced the genocide in Rwanda, she said: “The mind boggles when one considers the damage that could be done with the consignment of arms sitting in Durban harbour.”


Chinese Ship Carries Arms Cargo to Mugabe Regime

April 18, 2008 11:49 am

The An Yue Jang outside Durban Harbor April 17, 2008This is the lead story in today’s issue of the Guardian, a London daily:

“A Chinese cargo ship believed to be carrying 77 tonnes of small arms, including more than 3 million rounds of ammunition, AK47 assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, has docked in the South African port of Durban for transportation of the weapons to Zimbabwe, the South African government confirmed yesterday. It claimed it was powerless to intervene as long as the ship’s papers were in order.

Copies of the documentation for the Chinese ship, the An Yue Jiang, show that the weapons were sent from Beijing to the ministry of defence in Harare. Headed ‘Dangerous goods description and container packing certificate’, the document was issued on April 1, three days after Zimbabwe’s election. It lists the consignment as including 3.5 million rounds of ammunition for AK47 assault rifles and for small arms, 1,500 40mm rockets, 2,500 mortar shells of 60mm and 81mm calibre, as well as 93 cases of mortar tubes.”

Alas … China …

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Outside Magazine Publishes Mike McRae’s Article on our Omo River Expedition & Photo of PV Naked!

April 12, 2008 7:55 pm

PV & MikeTravel writer Mike McRae’s long-awaited article on our month-long river-rafting adventure down Ethiopia’s Omo River in the autumn of 2006 has just been published in this month’s issue of Outside Magazine. The article is really a feature story on Pasquale Scaturro, aka “PV,” our intrepid adventure-travel friend who led us on this exhibition, as well as several others in Africa. Mike was one of our crew of 19, and all his note-taking and writing on the trip was certainly worth it: he has captured PV’s larger-than-life personality to a T.

But before I introduce you to the article, which also appears on-line, here’s an aside I’m dying to share. (We all want our 15 nano-seconds of fame, right?) By email today Mike said, “Outside held the piece over to run in its annual adventure travel issue, after a difficult birthing that required amputating several thousand words. But it’s a better read at a svelte 5,200 words than in its earlier, bloated incarnations.” Much of that “bloat” included descriptions of all our crew’s members. For Kevin’s and my enjoyment, though, Mike sent along the following bit of fat that ended up on the cutting room floor:

“The rest of us looked like boomers on an adventure holiday, as if we’d walked out of an Ex-Officio catalog. But Scaturro had chosen deliberately. Ruth, a defense lawyer with strawberry blonde hair and porcelain skin, looked as prim and delicate as Katherine Hepburn’s character in “The African Queen,” but Scaturro told me that she was as tough as Lady Florence Baker and a tireless worker in camp. Ruth’s English husband, Kevin, a brainy computer scientist, didn’t look the part of an intrepid explorer either, but he had been a communications and satellite-uplink specialist on expeditions around the world, including a difficult first descent of Ethiopia’s Tekeze River with Scaturro in 1996. The couple, who live in Provence, had summited Kilimanjaro with Scaturro as well. ‘When he phoned us at home to ask if we’d like to come on the Omo, we said yes immediately,’ said Ruth. ‘Every trip with Pasquale is an adventure of a lifetime.'” Wow! Ok, I admit “porcelain skin” is stretching it, but I accept the rest as supreme compliments. Thank you, Mike, and pah! to you, Outside Magazine.

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