Author: laku

The most influential American author of her generation, Toni Morrison’s writing was radically ambiguous

Toni Morrison, who has died aged 88, was the most influential and studied American author of her generation. Born as Chloe Wofford in Ohio in 1931, she graduated in 1953 with a B.A. in English from Howard University, a historically black college located in Washington DC. She then completed an M.A. at Cornell on the work of Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, before beginning an academic teaching career.

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How giving young people basic financial skills helps them find jobs

The picture in South Africa is a bleak one for the average 15 – 24 year old. Many have finished their schooling with a qualification of little value in the eyes of employers. And they lack the basic skills that employers now need. The result is that a staggering 39,6% (narrow definition) or 55,2% (expanded definition which includes those who have stopped actively looking for work) are unemployed.

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How roadblocks, not just minerals, fund rebels and conflict in the Congo

For over a decade it’s been widely recognised that rebel financing in the Democratic Republic of Congo is firmly linked to mining.
First discovered by the Belgians in 1904, the Congolese soil harbours a huge amount of precious minerals. Subsequent industrial exploitation of copper and gold became the backbone of first Belgian colonialism and later Mobutu Sese Seko’s kleptocracy.

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Hong Kong protests: city workers, expats and unions join clamour, making it ever harder for China to ignore

The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union recently encouraged staff to join protests at Hong Kong’s international airport. It should be noted that Cathay Pacific itself clarified in a note to the Global Times that it was not the event’s organiser, and that the protest didn’t constitute industrial action by its employees.

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Airbus A380: from high-tech marvel to commercial flop

This time it really is over. Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders, recently announced the end of the A380, the largest commercial aircraft ever built. Despite reported investments of more than €14 billion, this iconic European project has not been as successful as was originally hoped. With only 234 units delivered out of 313 ordered over 13 years, it is far from the break-even point – originally estimated at 1,200 aircraft over 20 years. With orders drying up and production already running at a minimum, it was time for Airbus to stop the damage.

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Lunar and solar eclipses make animals do strange things

For most animals, the structure of their day – and indeed their year – depends on the light-dark cycle. These regular and rhythmic cycles in the length of days tell animals when they should be foraging, when they should be asleep, when it’s time to migrate and when it’s time to breed. Animals can tell all this from how many hours of daylight they experience, but the moon’s cycles also strongly influence their behaviour.

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