Alastair Thompson Profile picture
Climate, Conflict, Politics, Africa. Editor (NZ) Reporting from France. #PoeticRevolution #DesertRain #NoMore
Jcdrwll Profile picture @ዥX @Ramsey 🇪🇹 Profile picture Abenezer G. ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Profile picture Kedir Abdu Profile picture Shewa Profile picture 12 subscribed
Dec 2 12 tweets 3 min read
The death toll of children in the Tigray Wars was in all likelihood higher in both 2021 and 2022. But the UNHRC & OHCHR did not investigate this in their reports for either year.

Most of the deaths in these wars were were of child soldiers forcibly recruited into the Tigrayan Defence Forces.
This is not to detract from the horror of the war in Gaza. But rather to highlight an injustice against the children of Tigray which for reasons unfathomable was monumentally mismanaged by the peak bodies of the UN. And about which the truth is overdue in being investigated, revealed or even acknowledged by Western news media.
Nov 30 9 tweets 5 min read
« How shortsighted is humanity? Will we all perish tomorrow morning? No. »

Francois Pickard on the opening of #COP28 which begins in earnest over the next 2 days with National heads of states delivering remarks and holding meetings.

My third COP. And it oooks like it will be another momentous one.

THE DEBATE • FRANCE 24 English via @YouTube

Nov 2 4 tweets 2 min read
This article is a little old 26th Oct. but as today is the day that we will likely find that Seymour & Luxon do not have a majority it’s most relevant today.…
The problem - and this is my opinion not GC’s - is that nobody in the Labour Caucus seems to be willing to step up and take on the position of leader. There were some half hearted attempts to discuss having a leadership vote in caucus after the defeat. But the obvious candidate for caretaker PM Grant Robertson seems to still be unwilling to step up. He should be dragooned IMHO. And if. It him then Parker Sepoloni or Woods.

My understanding is that Chris Hipkins has not even picked up the phone to James Shaw (Greens) so probably also not Rawiri (Te Pati Māori) either.

This sort of uncertainty in Govt formation is a feature not a bug of MMP. And I think an illustration of MMP just doing its thing - and of an electorate which is learning how the system works. But it breaks the system if the 2nd Major party rules out forming a Govt.

Chris Hipkins at the moment seems to wwant to simply hand over the keys to the Beehive to Luxon. And in doing so I think he has effectively abdicated his responsibility - and therefore needs to resign to let the Caucus decide who should pick up the phone to Winston, Rawiri & James.
Oct 9 12 tweets 3 min read
#GazaWar Thoughts:

Hamas’s horrific attack has plunged the world back into terror mode. Which is a terrible thing for Israel. But also for all of us - the entire planet. Escalation to an attack on Iran is the immediate threat top of mind geopolitically.

But there are many more things to be worried about on the ground, particularly wrt to civilian casualties and human rights in both Israel and Palestine. A blood bath is threatened. 1/? My initial response was of shock I saw the drone attack on patrol vehicle near Gaza, which was both novel and ominous in the form of both ab escalation and a warning.

Israel has been on the threshold of falling back into another terror intifada for years. But Hamas has been very calibrated in its responses to endless provocations till now.

This is more like a Palestinian attempt at a 6-day War sized reset to the conflict. 2/?
Sep 11 6 tweets 2 min read
I’ve recently watched two videos which I think are very helpful for anyone seeking to understand where the #UkraineRussianWar is currently at.

The first is this one: Col. Macgregor speaks plainly about the weaknesses of Ukraine and the complete failure of #ukrainecounteroffensive before moving in to a very erudite discussion of the bigger picture and what it means for Europe in particular. Thé interviewer is Swiss from Die Welt.

Col Douglas Macgregor: The Russians Are Breaking Through via @YouTube The second is this rather long and for the most part fairly boring recent meeting from of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament which is disappointingly shallow, both during the briefing and reply from @NATO Sec.Gen Stoltenberg, and the lengthy mostly self serving set of questions asked by MEPs.

Sep 8 6 tweets 3 min read
This is a very good, short wrap up from @firstpost’s Vantage with @palkisu on the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, touching on the core issues of disagreement between the global south and the developed nations on #ClimateTransition #ClimateEquity in recent global climate negotiations in Glasgow #COP26, Egypt #COP27, and which are set to come up again soon in Dubai at #COP28.

The disputes are about implementation of provisions in the Paris Climate Agreement which Western Nations appear to be unwilling or unable to honour.

The outcomes from the summit at this point appear to be poised to see an expansion of fossil fuel exploitation in Africa which whilst arguably equitable in theory, is both terrible for the climate and which history suggests will primarily benefit western nations and African kleptocrats rather than the 1.4 billion strong peoples of Africa.

Notably the summit takes place amid a geopolitical crisis in west Africa accompanied by a financial crisis in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria which has had its foreign reserves looted by corrupt officials and oligarchs. In the wider West African region there is now a geopolitical crisis with competition between France, Russia and the US over exploitation of mineral & energy resources.

At the same time a spate of coups which began in Guinea and now includes Burkina Faso, Mali, and most recently Niger and Gabon. Reporting on these coups suggests that the post-colonial, colonisation issues on the continent remain seriously problematic.

The Paris Global Financial Summit in June which preceded the Africa Climate Summit included what “appeared to be an agreement” on a reform to the post WWII Bretton Woods global financial order which is yet to be implemented.
Aug 25 11 tweets 4 min read
Ok so at 37 minutes in (near the end of the edited Q&A portion of this press conference the ECOWAS spokesperson begins « we don’t want people to be confused » - which is somewhat ironic given how confusing this latest restatement of threatened use of force to restore constitutional order in Niger is., The-war-that-has-not-yet-started-but-won’t-go-away appears to be back in the frame again after this rather desperate press conference accusing media in the region of being hysterical about the ECOWAS decision to keep use of military force (albeit not invasion) on the table in this ongoing dispute.

The main argument the spokesperson seems to make here is that ECOWAS has powers to do this from some rather old « instruments » and has decided to do so.
Aug 17 10 tweets 8 min read
#Niger/#NigerCoup/#WestAfrica/#ECOWAS Crisis youtube survey thread. 5/5

"Declan Walsh is back on the war beat - big time publishing a series of reports on the "Niger-war-that-has-not-yet-started" but won't completely go away yet either.

HEADLINE: Coup in Niger Upends U.S. Terrorism Fight and Could Open a Door for Russia

STANDFIRST: The military takeover could force the Pentagon to withdraw 1,100 American troops and close drone bases in the West African country."

His latest piece as acontributir to a tripple bylined @NYTimes piece on the developing crisis (see an extract image 3) frames the conflict as a new-cold-war matter).

Fortunately any plan for this war to start seems to have been nipped in the bud by the African Union in a statement issued today.

Under the principle of subsidiarity the decision of the AU 16 August to rule out military intervention in Niger, ought to be the final word on the matter for ECOWAS (which has been debating it a lot). But everything seems to not be going exactly as planned in this crisis

The @NYTimes has been covering this war closely from the outset though including a brace of stories about the Russia -Africa summit. Which was certainly dramatic but not particularly well attended.

Question now is will the UNSC weigh in given the massively high stakes. The continuing stated position of the US in favour of no military intervention - ought to make this straight forward, as this is also the Russian position. But at present the French Russian and US (3 of the P5) all to be a little at odds with each other on this particular issue.

And given @Joe Biden's call to Tinubu today (why?) one has to wonder what @USAmbUN @LindaT_G's riding instructions are on this matter.

Meanwhile the UN Presidency of UNSC for August still hasn't published a forecast program of work - which is odd. And no meetings on Niger are scheduled, nor have any been held & France and the US appear to be not getting on well - based on reports in French Media.

Nor has a program of work been published for the work of the month of August. Nor has there been a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Niger, yet. As Russia, the US and France are seemingly now all at odds with each other about aspects of this situation, that may stay the case for a bit longer.

Here's that Screenshot in case you missed it. Image
Aug 15 9 tweets 4 min read
The sun has set but still it’s flame 🔥 burns on the horizon. Image Image
Aug 15 8 tweets 6 min read
So the G4A Google Analytics upgrade has just gone live (in the last few days) and our old analytics platform is no longer recording data.

And on first glance it is much much better than I had expected. The data presentation and UX is significantly improved on what I have seen in the pre-release versions over the past few months. You may need to open this image ful screen to see it. But its a .gif animation of live data, I think over the course of 24 hours . Which is pretty [Actually It might just be of the last 30 minutes... which makes more sense as that is what it says on the page.]

Continuing a small survey of what we can see here.

Here are some images of one of the opening data summary views - again looking at user location data.

has a remarkably large geographic coverage, due to our age, depth of our database (23 years) and authority (Google PR). So this is not really typical.

And what G4a tells us now is more useful and accurate than what was previously available. And because it is "unsampled data" over the 30 day period - much much more accurate.

Our previous sampled location data analytics whch I have posted occasionally before, show that @ScoopNZ has readers nearly everywhere except Togo, Svalbard and Greenland - but in many cases (e.g. pacific island states) the number of users is shown as "1".

Aug 10 14 tweets 6 min read
#Niger/#NigerCoup/#WestAfrica/#ECOWAS Crisis youtube survey thread. 3/3

The third edition of this series comes as ECOWAS made an unexpected and shocking decision to return to the original threats of miltary intervention - which could potentially lead to a regional war in West……
Since the announcement the Nigerian Senate has again refused to authorise the use of Nigerian Troops in an intervention. The decision to put military action back on the table was announced by President Tinubu who is the current chair of ECOWAS.

The reasons for not pursuing……
Aug 9 40 tweets 17 min read
#Niger/#NigerCoup/#WestAfrica/#ECOWAS Crisis youtube survey thread. 2/2

The previous thread is archived below. There has been a major development. Following the abortive mission by the "angel of death" Victoria Nuland to Niger, Antony Blinken has granted an interview with the……
The video >> has a short clip of the full interview with @SecBlinken which is here on BBC World Service's Focus On Africa program

But Niger is only mentioned in the two extracts from the transcript of Blinken's remarks………

Aug 7 47 tweets 20 min read
#Niger/#NigerCoup/#WestAfrica/#ECOWAS Crisis youtube survey thread. This is a very fast moving crisis and the threat of war breaking out is not entirely off the table yet.

Earlier reports over the weekend that the Senate in Nigeria would not approve Nigeria's President Tinubu……
Video #2 - @France24_en Analysis: ECOWAS credibility at risk over Niger intervention >> << a clip from a fresh @France24 english report on the crisis - the full video of this segment (broadcast Saturday) is here >>

Video#3 -……
Aug 6 4 tweets 2 min read
Comprehensive report here below in quoted tweet from @jcokechukwu - a morning update on the Niger war situation.

Sounds like the threat of war is now over.

Nigeria’s president was told no by the Nigeria senate to an ECOWAS “intervention” yesterday. Now Algeria and Chad have……
And from @aljazeera France agrees to seek a diplomatic solution.

Also confirms much of what is in the post above.

Seems to me that the African Union ought to be active in the diplomacy that follows. “African solutions to African problems.”

Aug 5 12 tweets 7 min read
#ExtremeWeather #DesertRain update.

Six days later this Great Sahara Desert rain event is not weakening much yet it seems.

That said. The latest detailed forecast does show it weakening beyond the 13th of August though. By then the event would have run for two weeks. The……

Image That said the underlying cause - the high pressure circulation over west of Kerela India is still pumping.
Jul 31 17 tweets 8 min read
#ExtremeWeather #DesertRain update.

Ok.... so while looking at this more closely - i.e. a mystery of sorts in terms of predictive weather model functionality (the thread explains - but feel free to ask questions)

The new rainfall forecasts related to the intensity of the……
This is what happened...... the models show significant rain across all of Sudan. Which is unprecedented in the 3 years I have been focussed on the weather in the Horn. What the flooding impacts of this may be, I do not know. It depends how long the phenomena lasts for. But the……
Jul 29 6 tweets 3 min read
This thread has been updated.....

The end of this spectacular low system in the North Atlantic is finally about to begin. Thr quoted thread tells the remarkable story of unusual subtropical storm #Don and its role in this remarkable weather assembly - the dramatic part of which……
August 1 update on the North Atlantic Weather Assembly. Its remaining largely intact. Two Tropical disturbances are feeding it from the West and central Atlantic. Continued flows of water south over Canada Iceland are continuing to feed it. The low circulation over New Foundland……
Jul 28 14 tweets 7 min read
Not sure weather assembly is a technical term. But I think it should be. As in "this #Don weather assembly in the North Atlantic is extraordinary visually.
Closeup from this evening.
Jul 20 7 tweets 4 min read
"Meta announced Tuesday that its LLM LLaMA 2 will be accessible on Microsoft’s Azure platform."

"Apple is testing an AI chatbot but has no idea what to do with it"

The plethora of AI systems being deployed keeps growing which may………… And this is problematic because IMO the financial threat to the news industry's viability is at least as great and quite likely significantly greater than platform (Yahoo FB and Google +++ ) and an entire ecocystem of programmatic AI powered advertising technology companies.

Jul 14 11 tweets 4 min read
A media analysis thread containing a Q&A with BARD on the question of whether Ukraine and its allies should continue to seek to liberate Ukraine or seek a negotiated peace settlement.

1/Several . Is this article in BARD'S VIEW reliable or misleading about the Ukraine…… 2/ This is a test btw BARD... You say it is pro-ukrainian, how do you come to that conclusion?... pertinent to our earlier discussion about the problems inherent in online news content [accuracy] ....…
Jul 14 23 tweets 12 min read
A Conversation between @althecat and the newly released BARD

The conversation [LINK >>] begins and ends with references to ethical paywalls and "Reinventing News As A Public Right". In this Bard confuses @althecat with @emilybell……… @emilybell >>…