Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Coup



My original theme for this year's A-Z challenge was to post light-hearted stories, random stories my kids love me to tell over and over.  I had two awesome ones for today, but this topic fits my mood a little better.  And, well, it needs to be said.

Apparently there was a coup last week or maybe the week before in Mali.  I'm not really sure because the news coverage is very light on this particular government's overthrow, but I'll get to that later. 

I'm no journalist or expert in African politics, but my understanding is the president of this stable, democratic nation, was taken down (not sure if that means figuratively or literally) by some military leaders just before the new elections.  This president, whose name I honestly don't know, was at the end of his term.  He was stepping down.  He was overthrown in an attempt to mess up the election and potentially bring an end to democracy in this nation. 

In the aftermath of the coup, a group of people who fought in Libya brought their weapons back to Mali and made the most of the situation, bringing more instability and bloodshed to the region where several of my husband's friends and their children live. 

My understanding is Mali is predominantly Muslim, not extremist Muslim, the kind we are told to fear, but devout Muslim.  It is also my understanding that Mali doesn't have oil.  Instead there's an important center for malaria research centered in Bamako as well as field research stations throughout the country.

Yesterday, the only news I could find about this was from a couple of news sites in the UK.  Today things have stabilized, and now there is finally coverage on news sites in the US. 

So my question is this:  Have you heard about this? 

Has this once been on the evening news?  Has this received news coverage in the US anywhere close to the nightly coverage of the overthrow of the other north African governments like Libya that have oil?  Would it have made a difference if the Malian leader was an extremist Muslim?  How is it less of a newsworthy event that a democratic government was overthrown?  Why doesn't it matter that significant malaria research was put at risk?

The cool thing is that the neighboring countries pressured the guy in charge of the original coup to agree to carry on with the elections and were able to promote some stability without intervention from US military.  I'm relieved and hopeful for my husband's friends but am very irked that the evening world news tonight covered the dangers of tanning beds instead.

47 comments:

  1. It makes you wonder how much other news we aren't getting in the evening news. Thanks for sharing-- your post is the first I've heard of this!

    Cheers, Jenn
    http://www.wine-n-chat.com

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  2. Didn't hear a thing about it. Really makes you wonder.Thanks for informing us.

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    1. I wonder what else is going on....

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  3. I only heard about it briefly in the US but I think there was coverage on Russia Today and France 24 - but I could be wrong.

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  4. Only a brief mention. Hope your husband's friends are all right.

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  5. Brief coverage here also (in the Caribbean) but that's par for the course. Nobody really cares about Africa.

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    1. I didn't realize you were literally in the Caribbean.

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  6. The only way I heard about this was via my daughter, No-No, who keeps up with Muslim stuff.

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  7. I have not heard of this. Yikes.
    Karen

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    1. I'm actually surprised that anyone had. I wouldn't have known if my husband didn't tell me.

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  8. Brief mention here too - "C" is for cash. If the story doesn't generate cash the story has no value. I wish our "C"ultural "C"onversation would expand to include more things of significance.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. I get it that the government wants us to care about certain countries because of their oil potential. But I don't get why news networks care. Ratings, you think? Like no one will watch news about serious things in other countries they've never heard of but will stay on the channel if a celebrity is there?

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  9. I haven't heard a word about the coup until now. I hope your husband's friends are okay!

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    1. It sounds like they are OK now and hopefully will be able to stay.

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  10. I haven't heard a thing but I'll keep my ears open now. Thanks for the info.

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    1. It sounds like it's all good now.

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  11. We must have been watching the same news show as I too heard about the tanning beds,{which are a legitimate health concern} but remarkably, there was no mention of a coup in Mali.
    Monica, Older Mommy Still Yummy

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    1. I agree the dangers of tanning is serious, but it's not really news, is it? I think they've been telling us about it for 20 years. Too late for me. I was a pale teen desperate to get a tan. I only burned and then freckled.

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  12. I think I heard mention of this on NPR, but it was very brief, and now I can't even remember what was said.

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    1. I'm sure most people in the US don't have connections there. I think it's the connections that makes it important.

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  13. Sorry I'm slow on comments and reading blogs today - got a migraine.

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  14. I hadn't heard of this, but my news tends to come from internet clips and then my once-a-week (Friday) catch up via Diane Rehm. I just end up feeling hostile if I pay too much attention.

    It's terrible--I hate the groups that raise instability for personal gain, which surely this is.

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    1. Oh, you know, maybe that's why I'm feeling hostile actually.

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  15. I hadn't heard about this at all, but then I don't watch, listen, or read a lot of news reports.

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    1. I don't normally either, but I still didn't find anything when I specifically went looking for it, which is what frustrates me.

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  16. I hadn't heard about this, and the fact that it has received so little attention shows how useless our media is. Very sad! I hope for the best for your husband's friends.

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    1. I agree. It sounds like they are doing better now.

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  17. I did hear about this. NPR has been covering it. TV news channels aren't as reliable, so I don't watch them anymore.

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    1. NPR probably is much better. I went in search of information and found nothing. I get it that it's not the top story but it should be there somewhere.

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  18. I did not hear about this. Thank you for sharing it though - I agree with you wholeheartedly - a small stable democracy losing that status to a military coup should be HUGE, important news. It's very frustrating.

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    1. Once there was some problems in the capital city of another country my husband was visiting. No information about it anywhere except for some text messages from him. Maybe he needs a new job.

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  19. Thanks for the info. No, I didn't hear about it. It's a shame the news doesn't really report news anymore.

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    1. I wonder what motivates them to repeat other news night after night.

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  20. News isn't really about news, it's about ratings. I'm sure CNN and Fox news both will eventually be nothing but mud wrestling.

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  21. Never know when there might be a tanning-bed uprising.
    Wagging Tales

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    1. Those tanning bed teens are a sketchy bunch. :)

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  22. I had not heard about this coup, but feel very lucky to live in a country where I do not need to fear this happening. And what Rusty above said is true -much "news" never gets to the forefront. Some news we see I dont think even constitutes as news. Nice to meet up on the A to Z!

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    1. We've had riots in the city I used to work in. Smaller in scope for sure, but equally scary. Nice to meet you too.

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  23. I live in England, and there has been mention every day on the BBC website, (I can't speak for TV as I don't watch. I assumed it was being reported world wide. It's quite a shock to find out it isn't.

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    1. I did see it on the BBC website.

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  24. The US embassy in Bamako released this travel warning on April 3:

    http://mali.usembassy.gov/em_040312.html.

    Luckily for me, the official warning means my husband won't be going there soon. Terrifying for the people that are there now.

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  25. The news is deemed worthy by certain circles before it reaches the masses...by circles, I mean the media bosses, the ad grossers and ratings. Sensational sells or so they think, it's quite true too. Mali doesn't evoke those feelings, what does serve them can't be news worthy. Thanks for visiting and the boost, didn't mean to make a public spectacle but I did, I guess...haven't been able to blog much except for posting pre-scheduled pictures. Will remedy it soon enough. Enjoy your week and take care. Glad your husband's friends are safe.

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