Woeful World

Woeful World

Of Kayak’s 226 countries it provides travel service to, only 6 are open to travelers without restrictions. 52 are closed entirely, sometimes even to citizens trying to return. That leaves 168 which you can visit provided that you are fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test and are willing to quarantine on arrival for various lengths of time.

Trouble is to get to some of those 168 restrictive countries, you normally fly through one of the 52 (like Japan) that you can’t, now. So the practical number of countries that you can visit is probably less than 80, and almost all of them require quarantine on arrival.
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Afghan Apprehensions

Afghan Apprehensions

“U.S. abandoning Afghans sends terrible message” is the headline in South Africa’s BusinessLive. The Daily Maverick calls it an “unmitigated disaster.” Kenya’s Standard: “U.S. Government has let down Afghanistan.”

None argue that America should stay. The criticism is entirely for abandoning the tens maybe hundreds of thousands of Afghans who live in mortal danger because of their American connections. And for the stupidity of having extended the original mission:

“The purpose of armies is war, not peace,” writes BusinessDay this morning in Johannesburg. “The failure of military intervention [in Afghanistan] shows the time has come to disband Nato and US bases around the world.”
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malariaRNA

malariaRNA

It took a pandemic that killed millions of people, but the developed world seems ready to manufacture a malaria vaccine that works.

The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrates that Africa will never vaccinate enough of its people against Covid-19 (or any other disease) until manufacturing takes place there. It also made clear that if a disease is allowed to flourish in Africa, it will forever be present globally.

The scientific triumph and economic success of Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine juxtaposed on the battle Africa is losing with Covid because it can’t get the vaccine has finally shamed enough western powers to loosen international patents and in other ways underwrite the serious acceleration of both a Covid and a malaria vaccine for manufacture in Africa. We could have the malaria vaccine within a few years.

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What’s Wrong

What’s Wrong

Foreign involvement in local wars seems to be ending worldwide in spite of the possibility that withdrawing these powerful forces recharges terrorists.

Americans worried that ending the Afghan war infuses the Taliban with new power are joined by Kenyans and other of Somali’s neighbors as foreign forces retreat from fighting al-Shabaab.

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Fatal Optimism

Fatal Optimism

Every citizen in sub-Saharan Africa expects Wave Three at any moment. The vaccination rate is only around 1% with the bulk of that in Kenya and Zimbabwe (although Zimbabwean health reporting is under serious scrutiny), and winter is right around the corner when viruses thrive.

So the vaccination slugfest in sub-Saharan Africa is scheduled to hit a major turning point momentarily. What can we predict?

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Right But Slow

Right But Slow

A week ago the new masked Tanzanian president went to Nairobi and elbowed the masked Kenyan president. That scene alone announced a radical change for Tanzania. The former president banned masking recommendations or mandates.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan went to meet her Kenyan counterpart to mend the fences wrecked by the deceased former president of Tanzania principally over the fight against Covid.

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As Goes India

As Goes India

Conversations in America veer from the pandemic to a promising future. But America is often tone-deaf beyond its secure walls and cacophonous airwaves. Much of the world is in the throes of a massive third wave, worse than ever imagined.

I walk down my lovely town maskless, but this thing is not over. And I don’t just mean because it’s not over “over there.” It’s not over here and a witch’s brew out of India could fuse it up big time in Detroit.

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Dgc Etc

Dgc Etc

Like an archaeological dig with a thousand pieces slowly and painstakingly pieced together, we are discovering the image of Covid-19. For anxious travelers there’s definitely more hope than ever, but one big piece, India, dangerously eludes our grasp.

Vaccine passports requiring every single traveler to have her own cell phone, natural African herd immunity and a dangerous virus fuse in India are all center point.

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New Day

New Day

In the runup to Earth Day a leading bank in Africa convened some of the world’s most provocative if controversial financiers to foretell Earth’s future.

ABSA may not have the assets or power of Deutsche or CitiGroup but it has the unique advantage of being untied to the world’s toughest institutions like The Fed, Exxon or the Trump Family. Unfettered from a world economy that is about to massively change, ABSA’s Daniel Mminele is probably a better convention organizer for the view of a future world economy than Jamie Dimon.

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Bad Red

Bad Red

As vaccinations surge in the western world, and sputter or haven’t even started in the developed world, we got a preview yesterday of the travel/tourism battle between the haves who want to travel to the have-nots’ paradises. Let’s hope it settles down fast.

Masterful statistics forced the UK several days ago to “red list” Kenya, effectively banning all visitors between the two countries.

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Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy

Jared Kushner’s crusade for Arab recognition of Israel is as curious as cursory. It’s pretty clear now that the UAE will not honor most of its agreement but will nonetheless gain advantage in the Yemen war. Now Kushner has pulled off another weekend coup throwing out decades of African diplomacy in the Western Sahara for the King of Morocco’s pledge to recognize Israel.

That won’t hold, either, but the damage this does to the people of the area is as great as it will do to the people of The Horn. The man has no idea what he’s doing to the world.

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Crapshoot

Crapshoot

My inbox busts with congratulatory messages. In my typical petulant way I reply to some, “So why didn’t you show your antipathy to Trump earlier?”

The world’s relief at Trump’s defeat is overwhelming. It pisses me off that so many kept this feeling so off-record until now, even though I understand: Foreigners know so much better than Americans that the president of the United States has too much power. Secondly, America never stays on the right track for long: Take it while you can.

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