Monday, July 13, 2009

Red Cross Hostage Freed Among Controversy

An Italian Red Cross worker was freed on Saturday after being held hostage by Islamic militants for six months in the Philippines.  The government is coming under criticism because the negotiator claims to have paid a bribe of $1,515 in ransom to Abu Sayyaf, an organization blamed for many  deadly terrorist attacks in the country.  Additionally, Asia One is reporting that local police freed two wives of the organizations leader who were in police custody in connection with the kidnapping.  The Red Cross has a policy to not pay ransom and insists that it paid none.

G-8’s Aid to Africa Follows Model of Gates Foundation

Obama’s promise to improve the agricultural infrastructure of Africa to help Africans grow their own food is a new path for the government, but it follows a trail blazed by the Gates Foundation.  In 2006, the Gates Foundation formed the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to “improve seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, and market access for small farmers,” and has given $2.6 billion to improve agricultural development.  AGRA also receives major funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development.