Daily Archives: May 30, 2020

In Unusual Move, US Embassies in Africa Speak up on Floyd

As Minneapolis burns over the police killing of George Floyd and shock and disappointment in Africa grow, some U.S. embassies on the continent have taken the unusual step of issuing critical statements, saying no one is above the law.

The statements came as the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned the “murder” of Floyd and said Friday the continental body rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.”

Africa has not seen the kind of protests over Floyd’s killing that have erupted across the United States, but many Africans have expressed disgust and dismay, openly wondering when the U.S. will ever get it right.

“WTF? `When the looting starts the shooting starts’?” tweeted political cartoonist Patrick Gathara in Kenya, which has its own troubles with police brutality. He, like many, was aghast at the tweet by President Donald Trump, flagged by Twitter as violating rules against “glorifying violence,” that the president later said had been misconstrued.

Mindful of America’s image on a continent where China’s influence has grown and where many have felt a distinct lack of interest from the Trump administration in Africa, some U.S. diplomats have tried to control the damage.

The ambassador to Congo, Mike Hammer, highlighted a tweet from a local media entrepreneur who addressed him saying, “Dear ambassador, your country is shameful. Proud America, which went through everything from segregation to the election of Barack Obama, still hasn’t conquered the demons of racism. How many black people must be killed by white police officers before authorities react seriously?”

The ambassador’s response, in French: “I am profoundly troubled by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Justice Department is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority. Security forces around the world should be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

Similar statements were tweeted by the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Uganda, while the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya tweeted a joint statement from the Department of Justice office in Minnesota on the investigation.

African officials also were publicly outspoken last month over racism in China, when Africans complained of being evicted and mistreated in the city of Guangzhou amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, the U.S. was quick to join in, with the embassy in Beijing issuing a critical security alert titled “Discrimination against African-Americans in Guangzhou” and noting actions against people thought to be African or have African contacts.

Now the Africa-facing version of the state-run China Daily newspaper is tweeting footage from Minneapolis with the hashtags #GeorgeFloydWasMurdered and #BlackLivesMatter.



Source: Voice of America

Agencies Step Up Aid to Camp Fire Victims in Eastern Nigeria’s Borno State

U.N. and private aid agencies are scaling up assistance to thousands of people who have lost everything in a fire that engulfed their camp in Maiduguri, the capital of eastern Nigeria’s Borno state a week ago.

What was meant to be a festive occasion celebrating the end of Ramadan turned into a nightmare.   On the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr, sparks from a cooking fireplace started a fire that spread throughout a camp housing 40,000 people who had fled Boko Haram violence.   Two people died in the blaze.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reports nearly 4,000 people, most of them women, lost all their goods.  UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo says the fire in this makeshift settlement has destroyed their shelters, razed houses to the ground and damaged other facilities.

“UNHCR is working with authorities, aid agencies and local partners to make sure that those affected receive shelter and other relief items as people once again are being displaced outside and also inside the camp now,” said Mantoo. “Many, including young children, are living under the open, basically living out in into the open and without protection and also needing immediate help — shelter, food and clothing.”

Nearly 300,000 people displaced by Boko Haram violence are living in organized and makeshift sites in and around Maiduguri.  Mantoo says the current tragedy is only the latest in a spate of fires that have broken out throughout the region in recent months.

She says camps across northeast Nigeria are congested and shelters are too close together for safety.

“With violence on the rise, the threat of COVID-19 also brings in new threats for internally displaced people living in overcrowded camps and settlements where physical distancing is impossible,” said Mantoo. “In response, UNHCR is working with U.N. Development Program to expand several camps and build additional shelters.”

Since the Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009, tens of thousands of people have been killed and 2.5 million have been displaced across the Lake Chad region.  This number includes 1.8 million inside Nigeria and the rest in Cameroon and Chad.

Despite numerous setbacks, Boko Haram remains a potent and dangerous force.  The militant group has spawned other armed groups in the region, increasing violence.  Aid agencies report thousands are fleeing for their lives every day.  Those bearing the brunt of this ongoing conflict, they say, are young girls, old women and aid workers.


Source: Voice of America

World Reacts with Anger, Dismay to US Man’s Death

Protests were held in several cities around the world Saturday, in seeming solidarity with demonstrators in the U.S. over the death of an African American man while in police custody earlier this week.

The U.S. embassies in several countries drew protesters, angered by the death of George Floyd on May 25. Floyd died after a white police office kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The incident was videotaped, and Floyd could be heard pleading several times, “I can’t breathe.”

In Berlin Saturday, thousands of Germans gathered outside the U.S. Embassy, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” according to Forbes.

A protest about racism in general drew thousands Saturday in Toronto, Forbes reported.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, referring to Floyd’s death, said in an article in The Washington Post, “Racism is real. It’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada. … We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every day.”

In Mexico City on Saturday, drawings and flowers in support of Floyd were attached to a fence near the U.S. Embassy, according to social media posts.

On Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also condemned the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death, which she said was the latest “in a long line of killings of unarmed African Americans by U.S. police officers and members of the public.”

“I am dismayed to have to add George Floyd’s name to that of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and many other unarmed African Americans who have died over the years at the hands of the police — as well as people such as Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin who were killed by armed members of the public,” she said.

Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said he had seen the video of Floyd lying on the ground with a policeman’s knee on his neck.

“Because of this discrimination, racism on the basis of race, such things are done,” he said during a webcast on compassion Friday. “We see in the news channels, the media, about discrimination on the basis of color or religion these days, and then there is killing due to that, and then there are some who even take it as a pride to be able to kill somebody.”

The African Union Commission on Friday issued a strongly worded rare public statement on the domestic events in the United States.

In the statement, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, “strongly condemns” police conduct in the Floyd case and extended his “deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”



Source: Voice of America

The MIAX Exchange Group Chairman and CEO To Address Piper Sandler Virtual Conference

Global Exchange & Financial Technology Conference Features Financial Market Innovative Companies

PRINCETON, New Jersey, May 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Thomas P. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of The MIAX Exchange Group will speak at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & Financial Technology virtual conference on June 4, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

“We’re honored to be chosen as a company bringing advanced technologies and practices to investors trading a wide variety of sophisticated securities in an extraordinarily volatile and demanding environment,” Gallagher said. “We believe that this tragic pandemic has dramatically increased the need for innovative and reliable automation of processes, procedures, business intelligence platforms and monitoring technologies in every form of endeavor, including the investment community.”

The recording will be made available at the Piper Sandler website shortly after the presentation.

Corporate Communications Contacts:
Dominique Prunetti-Miller
(609) 897-1465

About MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group
Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) is the parent holding company of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX®), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX PEARL®) and MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX Emerald™ and together with MIAX and MIAX PEARL, the MIAX Exchange Group™), three fully electronic options trading exchanges. MIH also owns a controlling interest in the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

MIAX, MIAX PEARL and MIAX Emerald leverage the MIAX Exchange Group’s industry-leading technology and infrastructure to provide their member firms with traditional pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX), maker-taker pricing and price-time allocation (MIAX PEARL) market structures, and a hybrid market structure with maker-taker pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX Emerald).

MIAX Options serves as the exclusive exchange venue for cash-settled options on the SPIKES® Volatility Index (Ticker: SPIKE), a measure of the expected 30-day volatility in the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF (SPY).

The MIAX Exchange Group’s executive offices and National Operations Center are located in Princeton, NJ, with additional offices located in Miami, FL.

To learn more about MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group visit www.MIAXOptions.com.

Disclaimer and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities of Miami International Holdings, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, the Company), and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer; solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

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