Ceasefire Signed in South Sudan

Government signed a cessation of hostilities with rebel opposition to end fighting within 24 hours

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Andreea Campeanu / Reuters

A baby sleeps next to a woman in a Catholic church in Malakal, South Sudan, Jan. 21, 2014.

Updated at 1:23pm, Jan. 23

South Sudan’s government and opposition signed an agreement Thursday in Ethiopia that will end fighting within 24 hours.

A mediator and rebel spokesman involved in the negotiations between South Sudan’s government and a rebel opposition led by sacked vice president Riek Machar said earlier that both parties would sign a temporary ceasefire before the end of the day, Reuters reports.

A major sticking point for the rebels had been the release of 11 political prisoners who were detained by President Salva Kiir’s loyalists for the attempted coup. The demand was later dropped as a precondition to a ceasefire, but both the government and opposition said it would be discussed separately.

The ceasefire brings to an end violence that first flared five weeks ago, after Kiir accused his ex-deputy Machar, who was ousted over the summer, of planning a coup. Although Machar denied the allegation, his forces took up arms against government troops and the battle quickly descended into the worst violence seen there since South Sudan broke from Sudan in July 2011.

More than 1,000 people are believed to have died in the conflict and at least 500,000 people have been displaced.


This post has been updated to include reports of the agreement signed today.


What is liberal?   How can a huge institution be so unsophisticated it doesn't understand the basics of a CDS? They surely have a team of lawyers negotiating the details of any contract into which they enter. And as someone who has seen many a CDS contract, there's nothing particularly complicated about most of them. If there's misrepresentation involved by JPM, that's one thing, but don't go crying about how you didn't know what you were getting yourself into with some big bad credit derivative product. What was the purpose of this product anyway, speculation (yield) or was it being used to hedge something?


Edward Snowden has rejected suggestions he was a Russian spy, saying in remarks published on Tuesday that he acted alone in exposing US surveillance programmes. "This 'Russian spy' push is absurd," the US fugitive told The New Yorker. 

In an interview, the magazine said was carried out by "encrypted means" from Moscow, Snowden said he "clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government." On Sunday two Republican lawmakers had hinted Snowden may've acted in concert with a foreign power, possibly Moscow. 

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, for one, said at a talk show that he didn't think "it was a gee-whiz luck event that (Snowden) ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB" (Russian state security agency). Michael McCaul, chairman of House Homeland Security Committee, said he could not say "definitively" that Russia was involved, "but I believe he was cultivated." 

Meanwhile, Snowden is standing as a candidate for rector of Glasgow University in Scotland after students nominated him for exposing US intelligence secrets, the university said. agencies


People often see technology as being the antithesis of humanity. I guess this view was created in the mind of Terminator fans years ago (Watch The "I'll Be Back" Scene). The evidence doesn't always substantiate the modern world reality on this point. For example, Amazon's Net Promoter Score was second highest among US brands last year at 76 . You don't speak to a human when buying from Amazon yet the brand outperforms banking giant ING with a NPS of only 48. Perhaps the technical human divide isn's so wide. The point is technology can serve needs and augment human interaction in very impactful ways, creating more human experiences. Helping people reach their potential and contribute when they might not be able to otherwise is the greatest example of the potential technology offers to augment humanity; and its just getting started.

Here's a case in point, thanks to a recent tweet from @AugieNieto whom I follow closely on twitter, with respect to people suffering from disabilities or various physical limitations due to a variety of conditions and situations. If you are in the fitness industry you no doubt are well aware of Augie and his teams fight to progress research around ALS. My colleague and dear friend @LindseyRainh2o has a family member battling the disease as well and we are supporters of Augie's Quest to identify a cure and you should be one to :) . Augie's recent tweet included a TED Talk, below for your review, that demonstrated the power of technology in enabling people to continue to lead meaningful lives despite their limitations ( Thank you Augie). Here's the story of Henry Evans as described n the Ted Talk website.

At age 40, Henry Evans was left mute and quadriplegic after a stroke-like attack caused by a hidden birth defect. Years of therapy helped him learn to move his head and use a finger -- which allows him to use a head-tracking device to communicate with a computer using experimental interfaces.

Now, Evans is a frequent and enthusiastic collaborator with robotics teams who are developing tools to help the severely disabled navigate their lives. He collaborates with Georgia Tech professor Charlie Kemp on using the Willow Garage PR2 robot as a surrogate, as well as Chad Jenkins' RLAB at Brown on quadrotors for expanding range of motion.


Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past three or so years, health care reform is a subject that you have heard about from numerous sources, each of whom has his own distinct opinion. Depending on the source of your information, you have likely heard the terms Affordable Care Act, ACA and Obamacare.

What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on the vast majority of the country? As a health care provider, an employee, and as the CEO of a Physical Therapy company, I have been exposed to all three sides of this puzzle. Three sides? Yes, there are three sides. The three sides of the puzzle are: 1) the consumer of health care, 2) the provider of health insurance (usually the employer) and 3) the health care provider.

As a health care provider, little is known about how the ACA will be affecting our health care industry. What the health care industry is aware of are the recent trends from government-funded programs such as Medicare.

The recent trends from Medicare have been reduction in payments for the health care services we provide. This is combined with the trend that more paperwork has to be done to get reimbursed for the services provided.


This is very baffling. The EU seems to be going out of its way to pick a fight it certainly cannot win. The "independence" of the ex-members of the USSR - with the exception of the Baltic Republics and Eastern Europe proper - is totally dependent on the sufferance of Russia.

And this column seems completely naive. Is it really presenting the idea of East and West engaged in “fight for a zone of influence.” as a new insight or an original thought?

Jockying for control of Russia's "near abroad" started the day the USSR broke up. Anyone who knows anything about Russian history knows that Russian control of Europe proper is temporary, but Russian control over over its buffer state zone is existential. There are no natural barriers to invasion of Russia, so it is an intrinsic part of Russian strategic thinking to have a wide barrier zone between Russia and the West. All that ever changes is if that zone is integrated in a Russian Empire, or nominally independent, but under Russian control.

Russians view their border states as dating back to Tsarist, rather than Soviet times. Putin is not going to be the Russian leader who gives up control of territory where Russian control goes back centuries.


! fracking is very expensive USA would have done this long time back 2Inequality is emerging as a central issue for the post-2015 development agenda and the establishment of the sustainable development goals. Inequalities in income and wealth cause economic instability, a range of health and social problems, and create a roadblock to the adoption of pro-environment strategies and behaviour. Social and economic inequalities tear the social fabric, undermine social cohesion and prevent nations, communities and individuals from flourishing.

The Impact of Inequality

Social and economic inequality increases the power and importance of social hierarchy, status and class.1 As a result, a long list of problems more common further down the social ladder – in poorer neighborhoods for instance – are much more common in societies with larger income differences between rich and poor