Congo Rejects a Humanitarian Appeal on Its Own Behalf

Despite Millions of Refugees, Congo Rejects U.N. Aid Effort Photo A refugee camp in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo. Millions have been affected by domestic conflict. Credit John Wessels/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images NAIROBI, Kenya — When the United Nations hosts a donor conference next week to raise $1.7 billion for the violence-racked Democratic Republic of Congo, one important country will not attend: Congo itself.
The government of President Joseph Kabila has said that it will boycott the gathering, denying that his central African nation faces a humanitarian crisis at all.
The move, which took some diplomats by surprise, was another sign of the increasing isolation of the government of Mr. Kabila, who has faced internal rebellion and international criticism for holding on to power in defiance of constitutional term limits.
The government’s increasingly bellicose stance comes as it has been blasting what it calls international “meddling” in the country’s politics. Under i..

Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term

Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term Photo Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, greeted supporters in front of the Metal Workers Union headquarters on Saturday in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times CURITIBA, Brazil — After vowing for months that a conviction on corruption charges would not stand in the way of his bid for a third term as Brazil’s leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surrendered to the police on Saturday evening to begin serving a 12-year sentence.
His imprisonment was an ignominious turn in the remarkable political career of Mr. da Silva, the son of illiterate farmworkers who faced down Brazil’s military dictators as a union leader and helped build a transformational leftist party that governed Brazil for more than 13 years.
His detention was also a momentous development in the coming election in Brazil, upending the race to replace President Michel Temer in Octo..

Blocking Melrose-GKN on grounds of national security risks Britain's status in the global economy

The government should focus on the national interest of building a world-beating economy
As a newspaper reporter, I spent five years working inside the House of Commons. I went there, convinced that much of what shaped our lives was determined by conspiracy – I was from a generation weaned on All The President’s Men, after all. Within a fortnight of my arrival, I realised it was chaos that called the shots.
The lack of joined-up thinking was palpable, the inability of politicians to see beyond knee-jerk reactions, favourable headlines and accompanying personal poll ratings was shameful.
It’s a view I’ve retained ever since. In fact, as I’ve got older and, I’d like to suppose, wiser, it’s one that has hardened.
Read more Spitfire maker GKN loses its Battle of Britain to barbarians at gate Take the Melrose-GKN row. Britain is on the verge of having more say over its direction and standing in the global economic marketplace. Given the increasingly competitive nature of the field, ..

Surgery Lit by Cellphone: Togo Doctors Strike Over Deplorable Hospitals

Surgery Lit by Cellphone: Togo Doctors Strike Over Deplorable Hospitals Photo Togolese women protested in the streets of the capital, Lomé, during a January rally against President Faure Gnassingbé, whose family has ruled the country for five decades. Credit Yanick Folly/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images LOMÉ, Togo — The air-conditioner was broken in the sweltering neonatal ward of Togo’s largest hospital, and only one nurse was on duty to attend to the two dozen infants with life-threatening conditions.
Mothers with babies in the ward were imploring friends and family for loans to buy basic medical supplies from pharmacies around Lomé, the capital, because items like drugs, saline solution, latex gloves and packets of clean water were not available at Sylvanus Olympio University Teaching Hospital.
One infant, Tresor Tsolenyanou, was born in February with gastroschisis, a condition in which the intestines are partly exposed through a hole in the abdominal muscles. He shared a crib wi..