Malians demonstrate against French military presence

By on June 15, 2021

first_imgBy Carlos Lopes PereiraThe author writes regularly on African events for the Portuguese Communist Party. This article was published in the PCP newspaper Avante on Jan. 28. Translation: John Catalinotto.There have been further protests in Mali against the presence of French troops in the Sahel.On Jan. 20, the Malian authorities dispersed “several hundred people” in Bamako who, defying the ban on gatherings because of the health crisis, expressed their opposition to the presence of the “anti-jihadist” force sent by Paris to the Sahel.According to reports from  Agence France Presse  and other sources, police and soldiers “in large numbers” used tear-gas grenades to disperse the demonstrators, on foot and on motorcycles, concentrated on Independence Square in the Malian capital. Motorcycle caravans leaving from different neighborhoods to participate in the demonstration in the square, where demonstrations are usually held, were stopped by police roadblocks.In the face of police action, a spokesperson for the promoters of the protest declared that the movement had been suspended and will “reorganize” itself. He reported three lightly wounded and at least three arrests.France has been intervening militarily in Mali since 2013. Currently France has 5,100 soldiers in the Sahel, as part of Operation Barkhane, which operates with land and air forces mainly in Mali but also in Niger and Burkina Faso. Operation Barkhane’s headquarters are located in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.In Mali, notes RT France, the presence of the French expeditionary corps in the region regularly arouses expressions of animosity on social networks, in declarations of personalities and at demonstrations in Bamako. France’s intervention in Mali has had U.S. logistical and intelligence support. [Instability increased enormously in the Sahel region following the U.S.-NATO imperialist overthrow of the Libyan government in late 2011. — WW]Several supporters of the recent protests are members of the National Transitional Council, a legislative body, created after the Aug. 18, 2020 coup d’état, whose military leaders promised to hand over power to civilians after 18 months. The coup perpetrators have pledged to continue military cooperation with France, but there are reports that some sectors, including the armed forces, are in favor of opening talks with insurgent groups.On the ground, however, terrorist attacks against Malian and French troops continue, causing casualties among military and civilian personnel. Later, the Malian army confirmed that a double attack by “extremists” in the central region of the country caused the deaths of 6 soldiers and about 30 insurgents.The actions took place simultaneously in Mondoro and Boulkessi, near the border with Burkina Faso. The targets were a barracks of Malian troops in Mondoro and a combined G5-Sahel barracks with troops from Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad in Boulkessi.These events come at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron is signaling that Paris will soon “adjust” its “military effort” in the Sahel by downsizing the troops of Operation Barkhane — a way of pressuring other European countries to engage even more in the Mali war.Mali is where more than 1,000 European Union military “instructors” are already involved, and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission for the Stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA) has been stationed for years, with around 14,000 soldiers and police.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Colstrip’s new coal supply contract likely to raise price of plant’s electricity generation

By on December 31, 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Billings Gazette:Colstrip Power Plant will continue receiving coal from Rosebud Mine under a six-year contract signed by all but one of the plant’s owners this weeThe contract, five years in the making, was signed with just weeks left on the coal arrangement between the mine and the power plant. The terms assure the Colstrip Power Plant won’t be shopping elsewhere for coal, something the power plant’s owners had been working toward since 2018.The contract length syncs with the start of a coal-power ban in Washington, which affects three of Colstrip’s utility owners: Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corp. and PacifiCorp. Puget, which owns the largest stake in Colstrip, has no customers outside of Washington and will have to exit the power plant six years from now. It has no use for Colstrip power after 2025 under Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act.PacifiCorp and Avista both have customers outside Washington, but also have plans to abandon coal power. PacifiCorp announced earlier this year that it would exit Colstrip by 2027. Avista CEO Dennis Vermillion told employees earlier this week the company would exit Colstrip in 2027. Vermillion’s remarks were reported by the Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune. Avista clarified to The Gazette on Thursday that its 20-year energy plan includes modeling to no longer be in Colstrip after 2025.In regulatory proceedings, Puget Sound Energy told Washington’s Utility and Transportation Commission that the price of coal for Colstrip was going to increase significantly. Thursday, Ron Roberts, PSE’s director of generation and natural gas storage, said the coal price had to remain confidential as the utility worked through its general rate case. But the rate increase wasn’t surprising, Roberts said, given that Westmoreland had gone bankrupt. Earlier this year, as creditors prepared to take over the coal company, Westmoreland notified the bankruptcy court that the new owners wouldn’t be honoring the terms of the current contract. The creditors wanted more for their coal.The one Colstrip Power Plant owner who didn’t sign the contract was Talen Energy. Westmoreland continues to negotiate terms with Talen, which faces different challenges than Colstrip’s other five owners. Namely, Talen sells its coal power on the open market where cheaper electricity generated by renewable energy and natural gas have made Colstrip power less competitive. [Tom Lutey]More: Colstrip Power Plant secures 6-year coal mine contract Colstrip’s new coal supply contract likely to raise price of plant’s electricity generationlast_img read more

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Digital companies should adopt ISO cyber security standard, say IT experts

By on October 19, 2020

first_img“If a company meets the ISO standard, the chance for a data breach becomes extremely small. Even if there is a breach, we could trace the breach’s source and figure out what went wrong,” he said.However, in order to be certified for the standard, a digital company must hire a third-party security auditor to analyze its security system, which is not possible for small start-ups.“We are always striving to adopt the highest level of security. However, it’s very expensive for start-up companies to adopt ISO standards,” Indonesia E-Commerce Association’s (idEA) government relation manager Rofi Uddarojat said during the discussion.Even if a company has received the certification or has an independent security auditor to routinely analyze its security system, Tony said many Indonesian companies did not improve their security systems in line with the audit results.“From my experience, many institutions ignore [audit results]. If there’s a breach, I believe it’s not because the auditor missed the security gap but rather because their assessment was not followed up by the institutions,” he said.During the discussion, Rofi also criticized the draft of a Communications and Information Ministry regulation that follows PP No.17/2019, for bureaucratizing data placement.While the PP gives companies the option to choose whether to store their data inside the country or abroad, Article 6 of the ministry regulation requires private companies to obtain a permit from the minister to store their data abroad, according to the latest draft released on March 10.“While we appreciate the PP for giving us the freedom to store our data inside the country or abroad, there seems to be an attempt at bureaucratization in the draft regulation,” Rofi said. Topics : Tokopedia said its internal database had been breached by an unidentified party in March, resulting in a massive data leak of the personal information of more than 15 million users.Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate urged on May 15 companies to improve their cybersecurity systems following the breach, saying that the country’s digital economy was “under attack”.While PP No.71/2019 does mandate digital service providers to “ensure the safety of information and internal communication systems,” Tony said it stopped short of setting a minimum safety standard for data protection.He said digital companies should meet the requirements of the ISO27001 standard, which measures and evaluates information security management systems, in order to provide adequate data safety for their users.center_img Calls for digital companies to implement stronger data protection measures are growing following recent reports of a data breach against Indonesia’s e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia.Experts have argued that the data protection bill, which is currently being debated at the House of Representatives (DPR), should set a minimum-security standard for digital companies, as the current regulation does not stipulate the technicalities of data protection.“If we take a look at Government Regulation (PP) No.71, the government did not regulate the technicalities of data protection,” IT expert Tony Seno Hartono said in an online discussion on April 20,  referring to PP No.71/2019 on the implementation of electronic systems and transactions.last_img read more

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