titania writes

American lawyer and certified fraud examiner

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Home is not a place.

Hello, billowy cloudy starry sky, hey there.
Who are you foolin? You’re not here with me, you’re over there.

I know because I saw you over there.

I saw you in the eyes of kind strangers and in the cup of tea that took hours to sip and on the muddy road that stuck our car far away from it all, and then it got dark and I looked up and saw you and I was home.

I’ve swam through your boundless reaches on whim, sky.
I dove in, each time you called.
And, I’d do it again. I’d go to you, I’d need to, I’d want to, and in leaving for you, I’d feel home.

But now the gravity of change keeps me tied to this patch of earth. Dizzy from the lessons you’ve taught me, I fall to the dirt, far, far away from the relentless tide of your promised escape.

I must stay here, sky, and find home.

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What the US owes Zimbabwe: Illegally slain fauna as stolen assets

Roaring for Cecil is taking on new dimensions. With the backdrop of a new UN resolution, public officials in Zimbabwe and the US are tasked with addressing the immediate alleged criminal activity and exploring broader solutions that may be necessary to prevent future abuse. Regarding compensation, looking to existing anti-corruption frameworks could help.

While African lions seem not to enjoy specific protection, as a class, under Zimbabwean or US law or Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), specific animals within that class can be protected through various laws and regulations, such as the case with Cecil.

Zimbabwean law surely provides for remedies upon findings of criminal and non-criminal offenses. With poaching, there might also be good reason to argue that wildlife, including Cecil and the thousands of other animals illegally...

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Mufasa’s Ghost: Shakespearean revenge for #CecilTheLion

As soon as pictures of the majestic, dark-maned lion Cecil, a national treasure of Zimbabwe, caught our eyes, we were hooked.

We’ve all seen The Lion King, or at least have some part of it in our social consciousness. And here we are having to accept that Mufasa’s, I mean, Cecil’s, grace, his symbolic stature of all that is strong and beautiful in Africa, his innocence, was - in real life - taken by the bullet of an American dentist named Walter Palmer, for the price of about $50,000.

He killed the Lion King. Skinned him and beheaded him. For fun. And we’re mad.

After being lured out of the safety of his home in the Hawange National Park to his gruesome death, though, Cecil is finding his moment of justice.

As the Shakespearean tale, Hamlet, upon which the Lion King is based (as well as biblical tales before that), goes, we sought revenge. Out came the 21st century spears and...

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I’m not afraid of you, world!

I’m not afraid of you, world!

Don’t look at me like that.

I’m not scared of your steely eyes,

Your tough exterior,

Your harsh winds or cold dirty nights.

No, I’m not afraid of you world.

I’m not putting on body armor anymore.

Not putting on a mask.

Not hiding behind timid words or anxious defenses.

Because, I’m not afraid of you, world.

I see you, trying.

I see you, beautiful, vulnerable, messing up again and again.

I see your fears and wounds, too, world.

And, I’m not afraid of you, world.

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When Roberto met Abraham: Prisoners of Corruption

A book review of Kolawole Olaniyan’s Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa, in context

Anyone who watched scenes of blatant patronage politics employed to end slavery and win the civil war in the United States, as depicted in the 2012 film Lincoln, might well question if corruption is necessarily the nemesis of the progression of basic human freedoms and rights.

The movie gave me a crisis of conscience. In Berlin, a stalwart anti-corruption activist from Transparency International Estonia tried to reassure me that there’s always another way. But I couldn’t help ask whether, maybe sometimes, is corruption good.

Then I got a call, in early 2013, via Skype. It was from Roberto Berardi, who at that point was only on house arrest in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

Why was he arrested? Because he was in a position to provide firsthand evidence to US courts of massive thieving by the ruling...

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Stolen Assets, Stolen Spotlight in Development Negotiations

In Addis Ababa last week, government leaders engaged in what has become trite political theater: wealthy “developed” states pretend their foreign aid is a magnanimous display of their generosity and economically poorer “developing” states pretend they are serious about economic stability and independence.

The stage for this theater is the framework of “illicit financial flows” (IFFs) which conveniently packages the development/aid problem as an overwhelming phenomenon attributed to inanimate “flows” of corporate and drug trafficking activity outside of the control of the state. The success of this framing to free the public sector of any guilt or responsibility and to argue away the hours at the UN’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development was evident in the resulting Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which unsurprisingly fails to commit states to any obligation that would...

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