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A U.S. Special Forces service member and a soldier with the Uganda People's Defence Force search the area near Pambayamba, in the Central African Republic, for indicted war criminal Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, on March 30, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Craft)

takepart #longform

Hunting Joseph Kony

U.S. Special Forces searching for a rebel leader indicted for war crimes discover a different mission could prove even more important.

May 6, 2016

Kevin Maurer is a journalist and coauthor of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden.

Bio

PAMBAYAMBA, Central African Republic—Miles of tangled jungle punctuated by an occasional dirt trail slipped beneath the landing struts of the Bell helicopter. Nothing seemed to stir below. No people. Few animals save for some cows here and there. Three hours into the flight from Obo, a small town in the Central African Republic, the brown, thatch-roofed huts of a village appeared out of the jungle. With a sharp bank, the helicopter circled the village before setting down nearby. Climbing out, seven U.S. Special Forces soldiers unloaded gear as a small crowd gathered to greet them.

The team was just beginning a three-day mission to search for fighters of the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group notorious for war crimes, especially kidnapping children, in the area. Okot George Odek, an LRA commander, turned himself in at the village a few months before the team’s March visit.

Bobby, the team sergeant, walked over to Jean Baptiste, the village’s leader, as the helicopter took off to collect the mission’s Ugandan soldiers. “Thanks for having us back,” said Bobby, whose last name, along with those of his fellow U.S. troops, was withheld for security as a condition of a journalist’s embedding on the mission. “How’s it going?”

Bobby had been to the village, Pambayamba, before. A few weeks earlier, he and several Ugandan soldiers picked up a trio of LRA defectors and took them back to Obo, where they entered a reintegration program run by NGOs. Baptiste, lean and dressed in a loose-fitting hooded robe, was a contrast to Bobby’s military uniform, broad chest, and thick arms. He guided the American to a few chairs placed under the shade of a mango tree.

“We’re afraid of the LRA,” Baptiste said in French through an interpreter. “I am sure one day they will come back.”

A U.S. Special Forces team sergeant (far right) talks with village leader Jean Baptiste (center) and others about sightings of LRA troops in the area of Pambayamba, in the Central African Republic, on March 28, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Craft)

Baptiste had reason to fear the LRA. For decades, LRA fighters have been appearing out of the dense forest to loot villages and kidnap children. Just in 2016, almost 300 children have been abducted in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a report by the American nonprofit Invisible Children, which tracks the LRA. The boys are indoctrinated into believing Kony has supernatural powers and are forced to fight and murder in his name. The girls are conscripted into sexual slavery. Fighters sometimes cut off the lips and ears of their victims. In October 2005, the International Criminal Court in The Hague indicted Kony for crimes against humanity.

The group’s terrorizing of the region prompted the African Union in 2011 to create a regional task force to capture Kony. For the last five years, 100 U.S. Special Forces soldiers working with troops from Uganda, South Sudan, and Congo have hunted the leader in an area the size of California. What was once an organized militia fighting Uganda’s government has devolved over the last several years into splintered bands totaling no more than a few hundred and operating with little to no command and control from their founder, Joseph Kony.

The mission is part of a broader U.S. effort to identify and train partners to counter the emerging threats across Africa. The United States Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, established in 2007, leads the effort. Over the last 25 years, even as the continent has experienced tremendous economic and population growth, new drivers of instability have spread with the rise of al-Qaida’s affiliate al-Shabab in Somalia, the Islamic State in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, militias financed by illegal mining in the continent’s geographic center, and criminal networks dealing in ivory from Mozambique to Togo.

(Maps: Getty Images)

American military are now training a Nigerian Army battalion to fight Boko Haram, according to The New York Times. In Cameroon, American drones track Boko Haram and provide imagery to a regional task force of troops from Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Chad. U.S. forces train soldiers in Chad. A unit of almost 200 Marines was moved from Spain to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily in 2014 to act as a rapid reaction force for North Africa after the storming of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Trainers are deployed to Kenya to counter terrorist groups in Somalia, and AFRICOM holds annual exercises for militaries in North and West Africa on counterterrorism and humanitarian operations. On May 2, the U.S. and Senegal signed a Defense Cooperation agreement that will ease deployment of U.S. forces to the country in response to humanitarian or security needs.

The mission in the Central African Republic is to capture Kony. On the surface, it looks a lot like combing through the jungle looking for rebel leaders. But the hunt for Kony, experts, officials, and the U.S. troops themselves say, is part of the broader effort in Africa. Each day Ugandan and American soldiers spend in the bush together builds a bond and a rapport: The Ugandans get to see a professional army doing its job, and the Americans get to assess their partner’s fitness for particular roles—intelligence gathering, force protection, counterterrorism, or others. Interacting with locals in a region with little contact with government and less infrastructure, moreover, the U.S. is making friends by providing medical care and the prospect of protection. The mission could be a peek into the American military’s future in the region as it and its allies try to preempt the spread of the decentralized multitude of threats on the continent.

For the Ugandans, it is a lot simpler. “Kony is Ugandan,” said Capt. Adam Aloro, who commanded the Uganda People’s Defence Force troops working with Bobby’s team. “We came to fight the LRA so [the Central African Republic] can be peaceful. We’re Africans. We need to help each other. We want Africa to be at peace.”

Under the mango tree, Baptiste slid a packet of folded paper out of his red notebook and handed it to Bobby. In impeccable handwriting, Baptiste and his fellow residents, subsistence farmers and miners, were requesting UPDF soldiers be sent to live in their village. For years, the Central African Republic has seen little governance. The country spiraled into chaos in 2012 when Muslim rebels overthrew the government, starting a civil war that killed thousands and created hundreds of thousands of refugees. The hope was that elections in 2016 would bring stability, but with little infrastructure and a weak economy, it was unlikely, Baptiste knew, that Central African Republic soldiers could protect him from the LRA.

“That’s above my pay grade,” Bobby said, tucking the sheet with Baptiste’s request into his cargo pocket. “But I’ll pass it to Captain Adam.”

As if on cue, the helicopter returned with four UPDF soldiers led by Aloro. A slight man with skin darkened by the sun and a muscular frame hardened by the bush, Aloro walked into the shade of the mango tree. After serving a year with the African Union mission to Somalia, he had arrived in the country in January for a three-year tour hunting Kony’s troops.

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Bobby greeted Aloro with a handshake and a hug. He handed the paper with the village’s request to the captain, who quietly read the pages before thanking Baptiste and assuring him he’d send the request up his chain of command. Although the UPDF was authorized by the African Union to operate out of Obo in the hunt for Kony, permanently stationing troops in the forest villages was another matter. (Col. Richard Otto, the African Union task force commander, said later that he’d like to base troops in villages in areas near Pambayamba but needed additional soldiers.)

Baptiste told the soldiers that a local hunter had encountered a group of LRA fighters about 15 kilometers from the village a few days earlier. The hunter, named Assad, had killed a pair of wild pigs and was taking them back to Pambayamba when he ran into the fighters.

“How long can they survive on that?” Bobby asked.

The villagers debated for a minute before agreeing on five days.

“Do you think they are still over there?” Bobby asked Baptiste.

“Yes,” came the reply.

Two villagers were sent to bring Assad to the meeting.

When Assad arrived he was ushered into the middle of the circle. He squatted at the base of the tree and started to tell Bobby and Aloro what happened. He was a short man, dressed in a white robe and rubber flip-flops. As he talked, his gaze wandered out into the village as if he were pulling the details of the story from the recesses of his brain.

In March, photographer Andrew Craft and reporter Kevin Maurer embedded with U.S. Special Forces troops partnering with the Uganda People’s Defence Force to search for indicted war criminal Joseph Kony in the Central African Republic.

Assad was in the bush when he saw the two pigs. He shot both of them with a homemade shotgun and was preparing to bring the meat back to the village when a couple of LRA fighters in tattered camouflage uniforms stopped him. They had AK-47s and took him to a clearing, where the fighters reconnoitered with the rest of their group. There were seven fighters and two women. They made Assad sit at the edge of the clearing while they butchered the pigs and cooked the meat.

“How long was he with them?” Bobby asked.

Assad said he was picked up near dusk and held until dawn. In the morning, they picked up the leftover meat and disappeared into the jungle.

“What did they talk about? Hell, they held him for about 10 hours.”

The LRA fighters told Assad they weren’t going to hurt him. They promised to release him in the morning and avoid the village.

“What specifically were they talking about? What did you hear them talk about?”

Assad just shook his head. He didn’t speak their language and could barely hear what they were saying.

“It’s so easy for [the villagers] to run into them, but it is so hard for us to find them,” Bobby said. “It’s like a ghost for us.”

The charismatic Kony, one of the models for the character Idris Elba plays in Beasts of No Nation (produced in part by TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media), founded the LRA in response to widespread atrocities committed by a rebel movement active in Uganda in the 1980s, the National Resistance Movement. Kony claimed to receive instructions from spirits to overthrow Uganda’s government and rule the country under the Ten Commandments. After the NRM took over the government, its leader, Yoweri Museveni, became president and the militias he led formed the UPDF. The LRA found safe havens in sparsely populated areas of Uganda’s troubled neighbors Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, themselves destabilized by conflict.

Kony and the LRA were unknown to most Americans until 2012, when Invisible Children released a 30-minute video about the guerrilla leader’s child soldiers and brutal practices. The group alleges the LRA has kidnapped more than 40,000 children and killed more than 70,000 civilians since the 1990s. The video went viral, receiving more than 100 million views on YouTube. Soon, Americans who couldn’t find Uganda on a map were demanding Kony’s capture.

The U.S. nonprofit organization Invisible Children projected an image of Joseph Kony on a building in New York City on April 20, 2012. (Photo: Keith Bedford/Reuters)

Kony was already on the Pentagon’s radar. The LRA was declared a terrorist group after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and in 2008 President George W. Bush directed AFRICOM to provide aid and logistics to Uganda. Two years later, President Barack Obama signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which made it U.S. policy to provide military and intelligence support in the hunt for Kony. In 2011, Obama asked Congress for authorization to send 100 U.S. troops to Central Africa.

Bronwyn Bruton, deputy director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, a policy research center in Washington, D.C., said it wasn’t unreasonable to believe that a small number of highly trained U.S. troops could find Kony in 1,000 square miles of dense forest, but the deployment was as much about partnerships and the training and equipping of proxy armies in the region. Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia have each taken part in counterterrorism operations supported by American money and training, particularly in Somalia.

When the Americans joined the hunt in 2011, the African Union already had more than 5,000 troops—mostly UPDF—searching for Kony. Col. Mike Kabango, who led the force from October 2012 to January 2016, was skeptical of American involvement at first. Today Kabango is waiting to assume command of Ugandan soldiers slated for a peacekeeping mission in Burundi. Speaking at his home in late March, he said he remembered telling the Americans when they arrived that if all they were bringing was a few more troops, he didn’t think they added much to the fight.

But the Americans were able to help with intelligence. Kabango’s forces were always a step behind the LRA, but by managing the flow of intelligence, the task force was able to gain an understanding of the LRA’s operations.

“Where will the LRA be so we can make contact on our terms,” Kabango said. “That was what we needed to know. That is how the LRA beats us.” Nothing replaced human intelligence, he said. Only by being on the ground, in the villages and the bush, could the task force get a clear picture.

While Bobby met with Baptiste, Devin, the team’s medic, handed out medicine to villagers and checked on a sick baby. A few weeks before, Special Forces medics and doctors came to a nearby village to operate a pop-up clinic for a few days. Devin had helped treat a baby from Pambayamba who was developing regular infections as a result of a minor birth defect. The medics and the Army doctor removed a flap of skin in a brief surgical procedure.

Now, the baby’s mother handed him to Devin, who inspected the wound to make sure it was clean and healing properly. Ugandan medics assisted and translated. Devin wasn’t prepared to do more than give out over-the-counter remedies, but the effort wasn’t lost on the villagers, who crowded around him. After an hour, Devin was low on supplies and joined his teammates at their patrol base outside the village. But the short time helping the villagers likely went a long way toward cementing the locals’ cooperation while demonstrating for Aloro’s troops the importance of protecting civilian life—a key lesson, according to Bruton. Special Forces soldiers, she said, “impart skills in dealing with local communities that the Ugandan troops don’t have.”

At dawn the next day, the Americans, led by the Ugandans, headed for an intersection of several trails about 10 kilometers west of Pambayamba. On the map it is a short distance, but once on the ground the equation changes. The biggest obstacle facing the soldiers searching for Kony isn’t the LRA—it’s the terrain.

Much of the Central African Republic is an ungoverned no-man’s-land; geographers have determined Obo to be near the most remote spot on the continent. This area is home to the LRA. Some of Kony’s remaining fighters have been in the bush for more than two decades. LRA defectors have told American soldiers they saw their patrol in the bush—some soldiers even passed within a few feet of the fighters—and went undetected. The fighters just hide in the forest’s dense understory and wait for the patrol to pass.

A child stands in a gold mine in the Central African Republic where U.S. Special Forces and the UPDF seek intelligence on LRA activity on March 29, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Craft)

To find the fighters, the American and Ugandan soldiers must fight through thick jungle, oppressive heat—and bees. Special Forces soldiers by nature don’t show a lot of fear. In their type-A world, confidence is worn like a cloak—except when the subject is the African bees. Bobby and the other soldiers told stories about being swarmed. Before starting the patrol, the team mixed up a homemade repellent with a pine scent that the Ugandan soldiers had shown them. At the faintest buzz, the spray bottle was out, and the jungle smelled like freshly mopped linoleum. The team would encounter few bees on this patrol.

With the morning sun just sneaking above the horizon, Aloro led the patrol into the bush. Any signs of human life were quickly lost in a maze of trees and thick vines. The patrol kept a steady pace up and down the steep banks of a creek skirting the trail. As the sun rose, the temperature followed. Soon the American soldiers’ shirts were soaked in sweat. The Ugandans seemed unfazed by the heat. Aloro nursed a single bottle of water, stopping to take a few sips during one of the breaks. The Americans, each carrying seven liters of water, struggled to stay hydrated. By the end of the patrol, most were out.

“This is their backyard,” Bobby said. “They are totally proficient on bush tactics. This is what they’ve been doing for decades. It would be foolish on my part not to lean on that experience.”

Bobby said the Kony mission was a return to Special Forces roots. Despite their simplified Hollywood image as door-kicking commandos, the Army’s Special Operations teams were originally conceived to work by, with, and through local forces in a mutually reinforcing collaboration—the Americans gained local knowledge, and the host nation’s military gained professionalization. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the teams are tied to their bases and vehicles, but in Central Africa, they must patrol on foot. Land navigation and living in the field are essential skills. While the Americans demonstrated the importance of strong local relations, the Ugandans took the point on patrols and advised where to set up bases. The Americans clearly deferred to the Ugandans’ experience as the troops moved through the bush.

After a couple of hours, the soldiers set up camp in a cluster of rocks a few hundred yards away from a “main road”—really little more than a footpath—villagers used to travel to the mines. An hour after base was set, the patrol split up; Aloro and one of his soldiers led Dan, the U.S. team’s weapons sergeant, to a collection of mines down by a small creek. Climbing up over the bank, Dan and Aloro were greeted by a chorus of thank-yous. The workers seemed glad to see UPDF soldiers.

The first mine consisted of several waist-deep holes filled with water that rose to the miners’ calves. About 10 men and women stood in the puddles panning dirt and rocks in search of gold specks. A girl of about four wandered between the holes as her mother worked, bent at the waist with a pan in the water. The girl looked at Aloro suspiciously before leaping onto her mother’s back, clinging to her dress as the mother tossed dirt and muddy water to the side and scooped up a new panful to sift.

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The other workers gathered around Dan and Aloro, who asked about LRA fighters in the area. None had been at this mine in a long time, they said. As the soldiers left, all of the miners stopped to shake their hands and thank them for coming.

“We’re always asking for them” to work with, Bobby said about Aloro’s men. “These guys are top-notch. They are really good ambassadors.”

But Paul Ronan, project director of The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative, which tracks the LRA, said not to read too much into the reaction of the villagers. The UPDF gets mixed reviews.

“People see a tangible benefit of having the UPDF there because they are protecting the one village, and the people living there are appreciative of that,” Ronan said. “To other villages without UPDF, people are ambiguous or suspicious because they don’t get any security and get attacked by the LRA.”

A mile up the river was a diamond mine. Unlike the gold mine, the holes here were wide and deep. A pump perched on the edge of the hold sucked out the water as the miners dug deeper.

The soldiers asked about LRA fighters in the area. The diamond miners said fighters showed up in January seeking supplies. They stole shoes and some money before disappearing into the bush.

UPDF Capt. Adam Aloro and a U.S. Special Forces weapons sergeant talk with gold miners. (Photo: Andrew Craft)

“How many fighters?” Dan asked.

“Four,” one miner said. “Young guys.”

Aloro made note of the information and, back at camp later, met with Bobby to go over what he had gathered. They each sat on a rock and studied the map, talking about possible LRA routes to the mines. Bobby and his team had experience with local units in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those “partnerships” often meant the Americans telling the locals what to do. Many Iraqi and Afghan soldiers often lacked initiative and needed to be ordered to perform even simple tasks like pulling security. Aloro’s troops didn’t need to be prompted to do anything.

AFRICOM, for now, has the luxury of focusing on peacekeeping rather than on war fighting. The LRA mission is one of its highest-profile examples of advising local forces, gathering intelligence, and building partnerships, but Gen. David M. Rodriguez, AFRICOM’s commander, questioned the wisdom of the Kony mission in an interview for Stars and Stripes in April. He told the newspaper it wasn’t important strategically.

“You have a great partner and we do things with them even though it might not make a difference strategy wise, you know, because it is easy,” he said. “And then other places where we really need to work are hard. So we have to figure out how to change that.”

A bottle contains gold flakes recently mined near Pambayamba, in the Central African Republic. (Photo: Andrew Craft)

Ugandan military officials told Foreign Policy the United States has provided $170 million per year in military cooperation and assistance since 9/11. Even with February’s corrupt reelection of Museveni, only Uganda has any semblance of stability in the immediate region. Experts wonder if training and equipping armies in Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia to handle threats like al-Shabab and Kony are short-term fixes that might backfire if not properly managed over the long term, as happened with mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan who turned into al-Qaida after the U.S. broke off relations in the wake of the USSR’s withdrawal. To be sure, in Uganda the U.S. was aiding the same leader who had committed atrocities two decades ago and showed little interest in democratic governance today.

“In the long term, we are arming a dictator,” Bruton said about Museveni. “We’ve created this proxy force led by an undemocratic strongman who is getting older and stranger. It is really anybody’s guess what he is going to do with this army.”

Ken Opalo, an assistant professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, said Uganda sees the hunt for Kony as a cash cow. “As long as [Uganda] has an active conflict against Kony, they get assistance,” Opalo said. “Without the hunt for Kony, you have a big military without [a mission and hence] no assistance and training.” The military, he added, has become a political tool for Museveni, who benefits most from the partnership. “He can run a military state without too much opposition coming from the donor community. The U.S. benefits by having someone doing its dirty work.”

American officers elsewhere in Central Africa acknowledged problems with the partner forces but argued that the soldiers who worked closely with American units performed better than those who didn’t. They stressed that the benefits of their engagement would spread to other parts of the host military and hopefully mushroom out into a force-wide change. Pulling out or cutting ties would only exacerbate the situation.

“We only get a vote if we’re here,” said a U.S. Special Forces officer.

“In the short term, I agree” with that assessment, Bruton said. “The chain of command is the problem.”

On the last morning, the team slowly packed up its hammocks and burned trash in a small fire. It was clear the LRA had moved on from the area, and Bobby and the team were headed back to the village to meet the helicopter.

Bobby split the team into two groups to scout the route. Knowing where the LRA wasn’t would eventually help the broader mission determine where it was.

“We’re going to deny them here,” Bobby said. “The more of these [patrols] we do, the more the picture builds.”

Aloro led one group through the bush. While the Americans focused on their GPS, Aloro seemed to navigate by memory. He led the patrol back through the jungle, crossing the creek and getting back to the village with time to spare. As the soldiers waited for the helicopter, talk turned to the next mission and the eventual capture of Kony. Bobby acknowledged Kony posed no threat to the United States but felt the mission was still important.

“It’s just human interest,” he said.

Richard Otto, Kabango’s replacement as commander of the African Union task force, said the LRA’s days were numbered. Kony and the group were in survival mode.

“Their will to fight is not there,” said Otto.

Both Otto and Kabango said once the leadership was captured or killed the group would dissolve. But Ronan disagreed that Kony’s capture would seal the victory.

“Getting Kony is a necessary but not sufficient metric to determine if this mission was a success,” Ronan said. “It will be real important to protect communities from remnants of the LRA.”

Ronan said the focus post-Kony would need to shift to demobilizing fighters if the LRA threat was to be extinguished for good.

What fills the vacuum might be the bigger threat. Whether missions like the hunt for Kony lay the groundwork for preempting such a threat remains to be seen.

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Bio

Religious tolerance, literacy, immigration, and addiction are just a few issues in the U.S. that can push us into secrecy and isolation. But you are not alone.

Secret Lives of Americans is a groundbreaking documentary series that takes an unflinching look at the secrets we all keep, and the strength that it takes to reveal them to our friends and family. For twenty courageous Americans, now is the time to finally come clean. Each person will self-document their journey – with handheld cameras, phones, and laptops - as they reveal their secret to family, friends, and viewers for the very first time. Through each individual’s transformation, one thing will become clearer than ever - it only takes one voice to change the story.

Secret Lives of Americans returns for an all-new season on Friday, May 20th at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Pivot, Participant Media’s television network.

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...imperial, trade and business, deterritorialised diasporas -    what other (newer) forms are there?  Economic, political (EU border issues). More modern notions that might not ‘fit’ traditional ideas of ‘diaspora’.  Even the word seems rather outdated now? -   Diaspora/transnational communities – relationships in the ‘hostland’, relationships with the ‘homeland’ – transnationalism and integration in the homeland TYPES Victim  Labour  Imperial  Trade  Deterritorialised New ideas   Characteristics of diaspora:  key features they have in common -     Dispersal: -      Or – Expansion -      Memory of homeland – idealisation of home. -      Idealisation of the ancestral homeland – -      Development of a return movement to the homeland – transnationalism. -      A strong ethnic group consciousness – based on distinctiveness, common history, common cultural and religious heritage -      ‘troubled’ relationship with host societies – integration – suggesting a lack of acceptance: Mazzucato research below. -      empathy with co-ethnic members in other countries of settlement. Aided by electronic communication, Skype, email, facebook, cheap phone calls, cheap flights. -      possibility of a distinctive, enriching life in host countries – integration – those with a tolerance for pluralism, anyway. INTERSECTIONS WITH LANGUAGE ISSUES Emerging from diaspora/transnational communities. New forms being researched/written about: 1. Rampton:......

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...A social issue (also called a social problem or a social ill) is an issue that relates to society's perception of people's personal lives. Different societies have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behaviour in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such asimmigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars. Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue. Personal issues versus social issues[edit] Personal issues are those that individuals deal with themselves and within a small range of their peers and relationships.[1] On the other hand, social issues threaten values cherished by widespread society.[1] For example, the unemployment rate of 7.8 percent[2] in the U.S. as of October 2012 is a social issue. The line between a personal issue and a public issue may be subjective, however, when a large enough sector of society is affected by an issue, it becomes a social issue. Although one person fired is not a social issue, the repercussions of 13 million people being fired is likely to generate social issues. Caste system[edit] Caste system in India resulted in most oppressed Untouchables on earth for the past 3000 years . UK recently banned caste......

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...1) Ethical and conceptual issues Current research and research results It is increasingly recognized that within many areas (e.g., disability and handicap), conceptual issues and ethical issues about proper conduct and underlying values are highly intergrated. The treatment of ethical and policy issues depends on the content of the concepts employed and, at the same time, many central concepts are informed by moral opinions and, as a result, contested on ethical grounds. Taking this intergration of conceptual and ethical issues seriously from a research point of view requires that they are very strongly interconnected, i.e. mere studies of the way in which concepts are in fact informed by moral opinions and social values is not siffucient. Outright normative analyses of underlying ethical views need to underpin suggestions with regard to the way in which central concepts should be employed in policy contexts. This has been recognised in research on the basic ethical issue of what should be seen as the basic determinant of the quality of life or well-being (Brülde 1998, 2006), as well as research on applied ethics of relevance for disability (Brülde 2003; Munthe 1996, 1999; Juth 2005; Juth & Munthe 2006), and concepts such as happiness, health, illness, and mental disorder (Brülde 2000, 2006a, 2006b). Research on several of the conceptual issues has demonstrated how they are strongly connected to ethical problems related to health care policies and public health......

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...always been and will be the subject of heated discussions among economists, sociologists and political scientists. This issue is not only an ideological one, but also of significant importance for the state functioning. It is undisputable that the implementation of particular tasks by the state turns out indispensable for the functioning of society, however, in terms of market existence the underlying advantages, to be discussed below, are much less favorable. The classification of social regulations In the course of the recent 50 years the decrease of economic regulations is quite noticeable while the social ones present an increasing tendency and have been gaining significance after the Second World War. New government institutions have been established and keep preparing an increasing number of regulations referring to social issues. This trend is present both in USA and in the EU countries. As opposed to economic regulations, which refer to market and economic variables, social regulations are focused on the influence of companies and the market on workers, clients and citizens. These regulations are mainly related to the following spheres: * employment, i.e. the protection of employees against discrimination, ensuring labor safety, proper working conditions, possibilities for promotion, appropriate remuneration for work, social security costs, social benefits, annuities and pensions (e.g. in USA OSHA, EEOC). * consumer protection against the threats......

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... |Investigate a Social Issue | |Antonio Coleman | |Dr. Cameron D. Lippard | |SOC 100 | |12/09/2012 | | | In life today one of the most controversial social issues facing Americans today regards the rights of homosexuals. Specifically, the question of whether gay men and lesbians should be allowed to legally marry has come up in several states. Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that, by being denied the right to marry and to receive the social and financial benefits of marriage, they are being deprived of fundamental equal protection under the law. Supporters also argue that legalizing same-sex marriages will positively impact society at large, not just homosexuals. Opponents of same-sex unions claim that marriage is a religious tradition that must not “cave in” to immoral attitudes; in fact, many states have or have attempted to pass constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. After considering the arguments on both sides and reviewing several readings on the matter, it seems that homosexual couples should, in......

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...ASSIGNMENT 4: Final paper Investigate a Social Issue By June 07th , 2014 SOC 100 Instructor: Professor NAZER In recent years, the relationship between crime and economy crises has been highly studied by economies and has sparked up interest among members of the general public, the media, policy makers, and criminal justice practitioners. Although there are many conflicting ideas on how the economy downturn affects crime rates, it is reasonable to study how crime rates have varied in the past and recent years. Taking a closer look at the current economy trend in the United States, both federal and state budgets have been affected as well as individuals. Many people have been laid off their jobs because the state cannot allocate money for them to be paid. Hence, many such people look for other means to raise money for survival including property theft and other related crimes. It is therefore convenient to say that more people are willing to commit crime in a declining economy so as to meet their daily needs, though it could be a difficult hypothesis to test. Bad economics leads to property theft and robberies as criminals steal items they cannot afford. Since 2008, there has been an increase recession in the United States as said by data from police records. However, the FBI in 2010 release records of a drop in violent crimes but not property theft and robberies. This can be seen on the media reports and even major adverts on the streets such as bus stops where......

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...Research project on social issue Crime (robbery) Abstract Crime has increased rapidly over the years in Antigua. A major increase in robberies and many other crimes have impacted the economy and its citizens. The goals and objectives of this paper are to ascertain the causes and the effects of the high robbery rate in Antigua. The reasons behind these robberies and how it affects the economy, the level of education attained by these criminals, the impact these criminal activities have on the tourism industry and finally the effects it has on victims. In researching this topic, methods such as interviews which were conducted along with the distribution of questionnaires to citizens affected by this act, to get further information on how this crime has impacted their lives and the effect it has on businesses or operators who are victims to such a criminal activities. Newspaper articles, surveys, ministry of tourism statistical reports showing the number of tourists by sea and air has declined, Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda statistical reports on the number of robberies carried out over the past 5yrs. Introduction Crime is prevalent in most societies it is an act that violates one’s mind. The crime I will be focusing on is robbery. This is a crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. The citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are concerned, and are deeply distressed by the recent......

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...Social issues Social trend: The use of media as a marketing strategy to influence consumer behaviour Social factors have great influence and importance to businesses as it relates to changes in social structures, consumer lifestyles and behaviours. (100, 2013) Opinions of consumers play an essential role in the growth of a business. As such, businesses often make use of positive reviews from customers to attract new diners. (Solution, 2013) For instance, engaging reputable online personalities like Lady Iron Chef to review your dishes is a form of advertisement. Through positive blog reviews, it employs the influence of the blogger to market the name of the eatery in an appealing way to his/her followers. Fig 1.1: Blogger's webpage featuring eateries Fig 1.2: Updates on daily specials (Ladyironchef, 2013) (Twelve Cupcakes, 2013) It is evident from the figures above that the use of media is a common marketing strategy. With the surge in social networking sites like Facebook and twitter, businesses are seizing the opportunity to publicize their products. (Fig 1.2) Moreover, the use of review websites (Fig 1.1) is also an effective method employed to advertise. Fig 1.3: Twelve Cupcakes featured on The Walker (TwelveCupcakes, 2013) Social media creates opportunities for the F&B industry to prosper. Being an efficient and effective tool, sharing of information online can create opportunities for a business. One such company which benefitted from social media is Twelve......

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...worsens, as well as the enormous health challenges involved, the social and economic consequences may set these countries back, reversing some gains a number of these countries have made in recent years. Back to top Where does the Ebola virus come from? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US, the initial human infection comes from contact with an infected animal, most likely a bat. From there, human to human transmission spreads the disease. Virus Ecology Graphic, CDC, August 1, 2014 As The Guardian has noted, drugs and vaccines for Ebola has typically been low priority for the main drugs companies although now there is a new focus and sense of urgency: Until now, pharmaceutical firms have given Ebola very low priority. The few potential drugs and vaccines under development are now being sped into trials. Healthy volunteers in the UK and US have been injected with a candidate vaccine to test safety. Drug trials will soon be set up in west Africa, but they are several months away and there is no certainty that they will work. — Briefing: West Africa’s Ebola crisis, The Guardian, last accessed, September 27, 2014 As has been mentioned on this site for years, unfortunately diseases affecting the poorest countries the worst have typically received little attention or investment, sometimes as there isn’t any profit in it for drugs companies, which raises a whole set of other issues about drug treatments and access to essential......

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...IS IT ETHICAL FOR EARNING MONEY FROM SELLING CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION? Social networks on the Internet are becoming powerful in our life due to a huge number of users. One of the reason for that success is the fact that those networks sell information of their customers for other companies such as: advertising firms, sale enterprises, etc. However, this issue has raised arguments about users’ privacy. Some people claim that it is not ethical for making profit from personal information while others state that it is not privacy detection when social networks give individual data, which users provide on public websites (e.g.: Facebook, Twitter, etc.), to business companies. The author of this essay believe that selling personal information is unethical business because of the following reasons that utilize Facebook as an circumstance to illustrate the author’s view. To begin with, it is possible that social networks such as Facebook has earned a great amount of money from its user’s data. Founded in 2004, Facebook is one of the biggest social networks providing a connection among people, and where a person can aware what is happening or share his/her own feelings. This network has achieved outstanding success by attracting a huge number of customers. In addition, it earned 7,872,000 in 2013 and there were 864 million daily active users on average for September 2014. One part of this success is proved to come from selling Facebook users’ information for the companies that want to...

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...(2013). Including people who experience homelessness: A scoping review of the literature. The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 33(3), 136-151. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443331311308203 * Problem Homelessness has been associated with isolation, marginalization and social exclusion. It is well understood that those impacted by homelessness often have fewer opportunities than the general population to participate in policy processes, especially in relation to decisions that affect them. Being homeless has many health and social consequences that affect an individual's life chances and opportunities for participation in decision-making over the life course. * Review of Literature Principles of inclusion in policy development have emerged in discourses on disability, the mental health consumer movement, and have begun to inform discussions of drug use. Without the voices and participation of those impacted by homelessness, there is a risk that important understandings essential to the development of effective solutions to homelessness will remain obscured. A search of peer reviewed and grey literature to generate recommendations for the development of guidelines for social inclusion of those impacted by homelessness as part of a community-based response to ending homelessness in effort to answer, how to foster social inclusion in programs and policy between housed and unhoused people? * Hypothesis The findings from the review......

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Social Issues

...A social issue (also called a social problem, social conflict, or social illness) is a problem that influences a considerable number of the individuals within a society. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual's social issue is the source of a conflicting opinion on the grounds of what is perceived as a morally just personal life or societal order. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues; however, some issues (such as immigration) have both social and economic aspects. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as warfare. There can be disagreements about what social issues are worth solving, or which should take precedence. Different individuals and different societies have different perceptions. In Rights of Man and Common Sense, Thomas Paine addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue. There are a variety of methods people use to combat social issues. Some people vote for leaders in a democracy to advance their ideals. Outside the political process, people donate or share their time, money, energy, or other resources. This often takes the form of volunteering. Nonprofit organizations are often formed for the sole purpose of solving a particular social issue. Community organizing involves gathering people together for a common purpose. A distinct but related meaning of the term "social issue" (used......

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