24 May 2016   Leave a comment

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre had released its annual Global Report on Internal Displacement.  The report covers the people who have been forced to leave their homes because of violence or natural disasters.  At the end of 2015 there were 40.8 million people who were displaced by conflict violence, the highest level ever recorded.   There were 19.2 million who were displaced by natural disasters.  The graph below shows the new displacements in 2015.

Displaced people due to conflict and disasters in 2015 [1650x1052]


At the other end of the spectrum, the Pew Research Center has conducted a poll that suggests that the economic conditions in the US are causing a major shift in the housing patterns of young adults.   According to the Center:  “In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ homes than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own households.”  The Center describe the move back to the parents as part of what it called the “private safety net.”  The Great Recession continues to reverberate.

Living with a parent is the most common young adult living arrangement for the first time on record


The US conducted a drone strike that it claims killed the Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.  The drone strike occurred in Baluchistan which is Pakistani territory and it was the first time that the US conducted such a strike without the consent of the state on whose territory the strike occurred.  The Pakistani government has protested the strike, but the US State Department refuses to acknowledge that the strike occurred on Pakistani territory.  The press exchange in yesterday’s press briefing at the State Department is a real exercise in sophistry (Mr. Toner is the State Department Representative):

QUESTION: One more. You said that – when he mentioned Pakistan’s complaints about violation of sovereignty, you said it happened in the Af-Pak border region.


QUESTION: Are you denying that it happened on Pakistani territory?

MR TONER: I don’t have any more clarity of where the actual strike took place. What I can say was in that border region. I just can’t say on which side of the border it was.

QUESTION: So you don’t know if – so are you doubting the claim from Pakistan that it was in their territory?

MR TONER: I’m not going to speak – I mean, the Pakistani Government is able to speak on behalf of itself. I’m not going to doubt its claim. I’m just saying the information that we have right – are able to share.

QUESTION: But this was a – this is a —

QUESTION: So you don’t know where you targeted him? You just guessed? I mean, how could you fire something out of the sky and blow something up and kill people and not know what country it’s in? Come on.

MR TONER: I understand what – your question, Brad. All I’m saying is what we’re able – I said what we’re willing to share is that it was in —

QUESTION: You check these things before you fire, usually, right?

MR TONER: — the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. We certainly do.

QUESTION: On that, what impact this has on the Taliban itself? Can you say it’s defeated now?

MR TONER: No, by any means I wouldn’t say that, and I don’t mean to imply that if I said that. What I think it does send is a clear message, as I said, that if you’re going to carry out attacks, if you’re going to lead attacks against our forces and against Afghan’s forces – Afghanistan’s forces – then you’re going to be targeted and you’re not going to have safe haven. And I also think that it sends the message that the Taliban must decide what its future is going to be and whether it’s going to be part of a peaceful political future for Afghanistan. And there is a path towards that. They can sit down with the Afghan Government and begin negotiations and talks. We’ve encouraged that; we support an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led process.

QUESTION: But how can you expect someone to come to peace talks when you have just killed their supreme leader?

MR TONER: Well, again, I think it presents them with a clear choice. And Lalit, you know that there’s ways to engage and identify the fact that you’re willing to engage in a peaceful way. And, frankly, Mansour showed no – absolutely no predilection towards engaging in any kind of peaceful political process.

QUESTION: From the public statements that’s coming from Pakistan, it’s very much evident that they are very upset with your action. Do you see any kind of retaliatory measures coming out of Pakistan?

MR TONER: No, we – look, Lalit – I mean, I’m – again, I’m not going to speak on behalf of the Pakistani Government, what they may or may not do. We have been in touch with them, obviously. We’ve talked about this airstrike. We continue to talk to them about how we can collaborate and cooperate on rooting out these terrorist organizations and these organizations or these groups that continue to use Pakistanis – Pakistan’s territory to carry out attacks.


Posted May 24, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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