Library in Mozambique Brightens Reality of American Life

NEW YORK | MAPUTO – At the Centro Cultural Americano in the Mozambican capital of Maputo, there is a trove of books in the Martin Luther King library that tell the American story with some offerings touting a mythological tolerance, belied however by the fierce struggles in the U.S. over race, religion and immigration.

Materials provided by the U.S. Embassy to the Centro Cultural include an article titled ‘Unity Through Diversity: The American Identity’. In it, DC-based author Samier Mansur writes: “American’s capital pays homage to the intellectual achievements of Muslims… The U.S. is not only a nation born of diversity, but one that thrives because of diversity. And this is not by accident, but by design.”

Ghana Think-Tank Questions Major Shortfall from Gold Sales

NEW YORK – Ghana’s abundant resource in gold produced $23 billion in earnings from 2013 to 2016 but only $1.7 billion for the country’s coffers, according to a newly-released report by the African Centre for Energy Policy in Ghana

Titled ‘Golden Days for Newmont’, the report said the U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corporation paid less than $500 million (US) in taxes to the government of Ghana from 2003 to 2012.

The yawning gap between export earnings and royalties to the government was documented as far back as 2008. Gold accounted for 40% of exports in that year, with a value of $2.2 billion, whereas government received only $116 million in taxes and royalties from mining firms, which is less than 4% of the country’s total tax take, according to The Economist news magazine.

Cobalt for Smartphones Mined by Children in the DRC

NEW YORK – Children as young as seven haul cobalt for foreign companies operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mineral ends up in smartphones, cars and computers made by such brands as Apple, Microsoft and Vodafone, according to claims by Amnesty International in a new report.

Children carrying back-breaking loads and working in intense heat receive between one or two dollars a day. They work without face masks or gloves, the investigators reported, and are beaten by security guards employed by mining companies.

After Executing Regime Critic, Saudi Arabia Fires Up American PR Machine*

By Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani

Saudi Arabia’s well-funded public relations apparatus moved quickly after Saturday’s (January 2) explosive execution of Shiite political dissident Nimr al-Nimr to shape how the news is covered in the United States.

The execution led protestors in Shiite-run Iran to set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, precipitating a major diplomatic crisis between the two major powers already fighting proxy wars across the Middle East.

The Saudi side of the story is getting a particularly effective boost in the American media through pundits who are quoted justifying the execution, in many cases without mention of their funding or close affiliation with the Saudi Arabian government.

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