Nigeria Says It's Routed Islamic Movement
: "After two weeks of running gunbattles that killed at least eight people, Nigeria said Saturday it had routed a newly emerged Muslim militant movement fighting to create an Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation. Two police officers and at least six of the militants died in the clashes in three towns in northeast Yobe state, including the capital, Damaturu, said Ibrahim Jirigi, a Yobe state government spokesman.
The battles saw about 200 of the Islamic extremists raid two police stations for arms, burn another, and occupy a public school building that they renamed ``Afghanistan,'' Jirigi said. The group involved was the Al Sunna Wal Jamma group. The largely university-based student group was taking up arms for the first time after two years of preaching Islamic revolution. ..
The Yobe state uprising appears the largest and best-planned of any involving Islamic or Christian militants in Nigeria. " 3:27:27 PM
Indian Soybean Farmers Join the Global Village: NYT front-page article summarizing the ITC e-choupal network: "E-choupals were born in 2000 from ITC's determination to capture more of the soybean crop, which it turns into oil to sell in India and into animal feed to export. In purchasing soya, it has long been dependent on a static, archaic system: Farmers sold to village traders or went to government markets, settling for whatever price was offered. ITC then had to buy from the traders or markets, with little quality control and high transaction costs.
The idea of the e-choupals was to allow the company to buy more directly from farmers; e-choupals allow farmers to check prices the night before, and then decide whether they want to sell directly to the company the next day... Eventually the company expects to sell everything from microcredit to tractors via e-choupals — and hopes to use them to become the Wal-Mart of India, Mr. Deveshwar told shareholders this year. "We are laying infrastructure in a sense," Mr. Deveshwar said. Sixty companies have already taken part in a pilot project to sell services and goods, from insurance to seeds to motorbikes to biscuits, through ITC...
David Upton [is] co-author of a case study of e-choupals for Harvard Business School." 8:36:59 AM