The Government of Hong Kong submitted a legal writ to a court on the island late Tuesday in an effort to bar the entry of two young pro-democracy lawmakers from taking office in the Legislative Council.
The submission of the legal challenge is seen as an escalation of the conflict that has been raging over the past weeks.
The conflict stems from the way in which Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung Chung, two elected officials from the Youngspiration movement chose to take their oaths of office.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the two young leaders referred to China as “Chee-na”, which many saw as an insult to the ruling government.
The government seeks to supersede the power of the President of the Legislative Council by refusing the two lawmakers the chance to retake their oaths and serve in the body.
Yau and Leung are both supporters of “localism” and are in opposition to the ruling government.
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Cover Photo Credit: Yau Wai Ching/ Facebook
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Lennar’s Stuart Miller Thinks That Miami’s Homebuilding Market Is A “Tale Of Two Cities”
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This interview is part of the “Tomorrow Lives Here” Conversation Series presented by Miami Business School.
–Lennar executive chairman Stuart Miller was born and raised in Miami.
-He also runs the country’s largest homebuilding company, which makes him uniquely qualified to talk about the future of South Florida’s housing market.
-In a wide-ranging conversation with Miami Business School Dean John Quelch, Miller talked about some of the biggest challenges facing his industry, the impact of the millennial generation on homeownership and why he thinks Miami is a “tale of two cities”.
–Lennar recently acquired CalAtlantic in a $5.7 billion merger that made the Miami based company the largest homebuilder in the US.
-Miller on the impact of the millennial generation on the housing market:
“Initially…the millennial buyer presented as very different. Every generation for the past decades has postponed getting married and having children a year, two years, three years later than the prior generation. But for the millennials it was even later. It was four, five and six years late. Some of that was just natural progression. Some of it related to the economic downturn but many speculated that the millennial generation would be very different than prior generations. In fact, now that they’ve started getting married and having children, we’re starting to see that the trends are very similar [to prior generations].”
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Before National Fame, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho Started As An Undocumented Immigrant
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Africa’s First Billion Dollar Start Up Is A Bet On The Rise Of The Continent’s Middle Class. But Is It A Smart Bet?
For decades, the narrative around African business has been pretty negative. But things are changing as demonstrated by the recent achievement by the Africa Internet Group– as it became the first ever African based “Unicorn” start up company.
Africa Internet Group just received an $85 million investment, valuing the company at over $1 billion, and making it a “Unicorn”.
AIG is essentially Silicon Valley, but all packed into one business.
They invest in and help manage over 30 African companies like Easy Taxi, Jumia, and Lamudi, which mimic the Uber’s, Amazon’s, and Zillow’s of the world.
Glassdoor reviews from former employees of AIG give it a 3.2 rating out of 5 with 21 reviews. The pros largely coalesced around the work: always busy and challenging.
The cons all focused on the same issues surrounding management, with every negative review either highlighting a lack of communication or unrealistic expectations for their subordinates.
These complaints about management seemed to be shared by ownership, as last December, the company began to lay off upper level staff left and right, with one of its largest companies, Jumia, firing over 300 workers in Nigeria, its largest market.
It is not unusual for one startup to go through upheaval like this, but when many companies all operating under the same umbrella go through the same issues, it is a bit worrisome.
However, AXA and Orange would not have invested in AIG at the valuation they did unless it was satisfied with its executive team, so one would think that this massive shakeup is largely a good thing for the company.
Given the timing of the overhaul and the subsequent transaction, this management purge was most likely a contingency for these large firms’ financing, because ultimately, they are not investing in AIG, but in the rising African middle class.
The common theme amongst AIG’s portfolio is e-commerce, as they have laid the foundation of their company on the emerging proletariat.
The size and the economic maturity of the middle class is the subject of fierce debate, as companies like Nestle serve as cautionary tales; their billion dollar expansion hit a rut and was forced to scale back its African workforce by 15% once returns proved to be smaller than expected.
WATCH: Inside a Africa Internet Group Office in Lagos, Nigeria.
Much of the investment in Africa has been based around the notion that one third of Africans are “middle class,” which emerged from a 2011 paper from the African Development Bank Group which stated that the middle class had tripled over the last 30 years.
However, the AfDB defined it as Africans living off of $2 to $20 in purchasing power per day, with it divided into three separate tiers which further muddied the certainty surrounding the definition of “middle class.”
Standard Bank released a study last September that looked at 11 African countries which account for over half the continent’s GDP, and found the size of their middle class to be 15 million people, or about 300 million less than AfDB estimated for the entire continent.
The middle class of the largest African country by GDP, Nigeria, is estimated at 11%, with 86% of all Africans reportedly falling under “low income.”
The Pew Research Center provides extra support to this assertion as they estimate that just 6% of Africans qualify as “middle class,” which they define as living off of $10 to $20 per day.
90% of Africans are estimated to still live off of less than $10 per day according to Pew.
However, even though the data seems to hint that investors may be too bullish, it does not mean that they should reverse course and become bearish on the many different African economies.
Capital is still flowing into the continent, as foreign direct investment is up over 12% since 2008.
Additionally, some of the struggles companies like Nestle experienced could be due more to cultural misunderstandings than a lack of disposable income across Africa.
“There was no presumption [from the AfDB] that this middle class would exhibit Western modes in terms of consumption of food formula for middle-class babies [Nestlé] nor for whisky [Diaego],” Kayizzi-Mugerwa, one of the chief economists for the AfDB said. “In the latter case, Africans have always had a partiality for beer − irrespective of class – and the beer companies are doing roaring business.”
Many African countries are still dealing with structural issues that go back centuries, as Egypt’s inflation is 210th in the world due to the instability that has arisen over the last 5 years.
#Mobile vs #desktop: How Africa uses online food delivery? @HelloFood_NG http://t.co/To00JcgFoR via @MadeItInAfrica pic.twitter.com/DmX4ZwbsUF
— AIG (@Africa_IG) July 17, 2015
Nigeria needs to modernize its workforce as 70% work in agriculture, yet farming accounts for just 20% of its GDP.
South Africa, which remains the model for many African countries, has 66% of its workforce comprising the services industry, which accounts for 67.4% of its GDP, yet the rest of the continent’s labor pool is much closer to Nigeria than its most modernized nation at its southernmost tip.
The historic investment in Africa Internet Group must be seen as a larger investment in Africa as a whole, because without a modernized Africa, the e-commerce that AIG provides would have no market for buyers or sellers.
Africa is still an emerging economy, but it has shed many of the 3rd world caricatures that the West has forced upon it over the years, with Sacha Poignonnec, CEO of Africa Internet Group providing a mission statement for the company that could be construed as one for the entire continent as well:
“We want to be profitable but we are very long-term oriented. Amazon is a great model to look at. They have a great valuation, they have a great customer base. Everyone one is confident that Amazon has a great future but they are still yet to make money.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for usCover Photo Credit: David Stanley/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 846
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Someone Chalked “Vote Trump” All Over Emory University And It Might Have Been Racially Driven
Students at Emory University in Atlanta woke up to their campus defaced with pro Donald Trump chalkings and graffiti.
According to multiple students, the chalkings were reported all over the campus and are suspected by some to be racially motivated.
According to Emory student Zoe Lampru, some of the chalkings were found on each step leading up to the office of the newly created Centro Latino, which according to its website seeks to “provide inclusion for the Emory community and support the intellectual, personal, leadership and social development of the [email protected]/Hispanic community at Emory.”
Showing how widespread the chalkings were on the campus of the small private university, the Tab reports that the graffiti was located on every title surrounding Asbury Circle, another gathering place.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination has come to the political fore in part by inflaming racial divisions in the country and by attacking Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, disabled Americans and women among other groups.
Emory is not new to controversy on matters involving race.
The university’s President James Wagner is still not trusted by many minority students according to Lampru because of the 2013 research paper he authored that included a section lauding the Three-Fifths Compromise in the Constitution that relegated slaves to sub-human status for matter of census counting.
Wagner thought the Compromise was a good example of how to work towards incremental change.
LatinAction, a grassroots student activist organization at Emory issued a statement condemning the university for allowing the chalkings to happen.
“Throughout campus, Black and Brown students, and other affected student populations, have spoken out in outrage and distress,” the statement reads in part. “We NEVER get to have a break. We NEVER get an escape from the daily violence and marginalization that we consistently experience on campus.
“And now we are being attacked by the very real danger we feel of a Nazi reincarnate potentially rising to power in this country,” the statement continues. “We are outraged and distressed with this rhetoric and these attacks on minority students at Emory. Therefore, we at LatinAction stand in solidarity with the NAACP and the Black, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, and disabled communities who are affected and face consequences with Trump as a presidential candidate.”
Read More: Anyone Remember When The University Of Alabama Used Bill Cosby To Help Justify Racial Segregation On Its Campus?
Kainath Merchant is a Emory student who came upon the chalkings this morning on her way to class.
“At first I didn’t pay much attention to it because students frequently write messages on the ground in chalk to advertise events or organizations, but when I paid closer attention, there were messages that said “TRUMP” or “TRUMP 2016” or “TRUMP FOR PREZ” every five feet,” Merchant said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “They were on benches, sidewalks, and even on every single step going up the the Dobbs University Center. I was so furious I felt myself trembling.”
Lampru said that she was disappointed that the university didn’t respond to the chalkings and believes that it “has selective ways to react” when dealing with racial issues on campus.
“We are angry and determined to bring to light the violence that we experience,” the statement from LatinAction reads. “We are demanding that Emory University speak out and act on this attack on students and the vandalization of our university. We will not be silent. We are here and we deserve to feel safe in this institution of learning that claims to uphold the values of diversity and inclusion. Emory, your call. #EmoryYourInnerRacistIsShowing #StuckIn1836 #EmoryAgainstTrump #EmoryAgainstRacism”
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