By David Swanson*
27 July 2015 – Israel is trying to expel the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.
Jewish settlers attacking Palestinian lady as Israeli soldiers look passively. Palestine. Photo from Middle East Monitor. | davidswanson.org| TRANSCEND Media Service
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.”
Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!
A crime of over 70 years ago, part of a war that in my unscientific estimate forms the single most common theme of U.S. historical fiction — whether print or film — is more important news in the view of U.S. editors than is a crime of right now.
The top United Nations humanitarian official in Iraq on 27 July 2015 declared as “devastating” the “inexplicable” closures of life-saving services in Iraq for people in need, citing the most recent shut-downs of basic health care will directly impact more than one million people, including some 500,000 children who now will not be immunized, spreading risk of a measles outbreak and resumption of polio.
Polio vaccination campaign in Iraq – August 2014. Photo: UNAMI
The most recent cutbacks come on top of recent “cascading” closures that has affected food rations, water supplies, sanitation and hygiene services as well specialized programmes for one million women and more than 1.2 million girls, many of whom the survivors of brutality and sexual and gender-based violence, according to a press release by UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande.
*EurActiv.de by Nicole Sagener
Translated by Erika Körner
28 July 2015 – Asylum seekers in Germany only have limited access to medical care, an attempt by the state to keep costs low, but a new study shows health-related costs are much lower when refugees can freely access health services. EurActiv Germany reports.
**Photo: [PROSave the Children/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv
In most of the German Länder, asylum seekers are not allowed to go directly to doctors when they are in pain or call an ambulance after an accident. Instead, they are required to get a permit first from the appropriate authorities or the refugee centre.
This procedure is regulated by the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act of 1993. The goal of the law is to keep health-related spending low and limit incentives for asylum seekers in Germany. Continue reading
16 July 2015, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)* – Water resources are scarce in relation to a booming demand, and their availability varies significantly. Global warming means changes in precipitation patterns with prolonged periods of extremes. Droughts that last for years represent society’s new normal.
Together with continuous demographic change and shifts in food habits, a radically new context for water and food security and human dignity has evolved. Unexpected and unwanted paradoxes have to be recognized and managed.
We live in a richer, fatter world. Supported by official statistics and results from frontline research, the report Water, Food Security and Human Dignity shows that the increase in global food supply was about 30 per cent higher than population growth during recent decades.
Undernourishment has been reduced drastically. On the other hand, overweight and obesity increased far more rapidly as compared to the reduction of undernourishment.
By John Scales Avery*
Part I (Limits to Growth) of this series of articles documented the world’s urgent need for a reformed economic system. Here are a few more links that underline the pressing need for change.
**Global energy potential. Comparison of renewable and conventional planetary energy reserves and sources. While renewables display their power potential in terawatts (TW) with the corresponding annual amount of energy, conventional sources display their total recoverable energy reserves in terawatt-years (TW-yr). | Author: Rfassbind | Wikimedia Commons
We urgently need to shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are to avoid a tipping point after which human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change will be futile because feedback loops will have taken over.
Facing its most severe financial crisis ever, the United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestine refugees throughout the Middle East has on 26 July 2015 convened an emergency session to weigh the growing risk that it may be forced to delay the start of the academic year in some 700 schools for half a million students across the region.
According to a new report from the World Bank, UNRWA students in the occupied Palestinian territory and Jordan perform better than their peers in public schools despite their socioeconomic disadvantages. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan
In a press release announcing an emergency meeting of its Advisory Commission, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said that it may be forced to take drastic measures unless the deficit of $101 million can be fully funded before the school year is due to start.
By Theresa Wolfwood*
23 July 2105 – TRANSCEND Media Service – British pilot Leonard Cheshire, on board the plane with that bomb dropped on Nagasaki described the bombing as, “Obscene in its greedy clawing at the earth, swelling as if with its regurgitation of all the life that it had consumed.”
**Photograph of the Fat Man atomic bomb replica found in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum tour. | Author: QuartzMMN | Wikimedia Commons
200 thousand people died immediately and within days of these bombings; 70 years later people continue to die from the radiation effects of these toxic bombs. Canada was complicit in this tragedy and continues to be complicit in nuclear weapons production.
By Uri Avnery*
25 July 2015
IN JAPAN in the good old days, Binyamin Netanyahu would by now have committed hara-kiri.
In England at that time, the monarch would have appointed him governor of the most remote little island in the Pacific Ocean.
In Israel, his popularity rating is bound to go up.
Because in our country, the old adage is getting a new twist: Nothing Succeeds Like Failure.
AND WHAT a failure! Wow!!!
He has practically declared war on the President of the United States, the Leader of the Free World, the Supreme Protector of the Jewish State.
Not so long ago, one would have thought this impossible. But nothing is impossible for Binyamin Netanyahu.
For anyone just arrived from the planet Mars, here is a brief summary of Israel’s dependence on the US: it gets from it the bulk of its heavy arms and does not have to pay for them, it can depend on it to veto all UN Security Council resolutions that condemn Israel’s deeds and misdeeds, it receives from it billions of dollars every year although the Israeli economy is flourishing.
Millions of children around the world are caught up in adults’ wars, declared the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 24 July 2015, marking the 10th anniversary of a UN Security Council resolution that established a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the use of child soldiers with a strong call for accountability and robust measures to end all “horrors” children face.
Suffering displacement, injury and even death, children continue to bear unacceptable consequences of the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1012/D’Aki
In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that today, millions of children are deliberately killed, injured, raped, abducted.
Their schools and homes are being destroyed; they are being denied food, water and health care. Tens of thousands are forced to join armed forces and groups.
By John Scales Avery*
25 July 2015
Introduction: The need for reform
The Industrial Revolution marked the start of massive human use of fossil fuels. The stored energy from several hundred million years of plant growth began to be used at roughly a million times the rate at which it had been formed. The effect on human society was like that of a narcotic.
**Coalbrookdale by Night by Philip James de Loutherbourg, painted 1801. This shows Madeley Wood (or Bedlam) Furnaces, which belonged to the Coalbrookdale Company from 1776 to 1796. | Depicted place: Madeley Wood Furnaces, Coalbrookdale | Wikimedia Commons
There was a euphoric (and totally unsustainable) surge of growth of both population and industrial production.
Meanwhile, the carbon released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels began to duplicate the conditions which led to the 5 geologically-observed mass extinctions, during each of which more than half of all living species disappeared forever. Continue reading