Nairobi, 23 January 2015 (IRIN)* – The shocking satellite imagery of the destruction in the northeastern Nigerian town of Baga and nearby villages earlier this month provided graphic evidence of the extent of the crimes by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram when they stormed in.
**Photo: Human Rights Watch | Satellite imagery of the destruction of Doro Gowon, 3km from Baga | Source: IRIN
The images released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International on 15 January, which show clear signs of arson, ended a growing debate on media coverage of remote conflict zones.
It turned the spotlight back to the fact that something terrible had happened in Baga, and hundreds, if not as many as 2,000 people, may have died.
“It’s the power of the image,” Nigerian human rights lawyer Clement Nwankwo told IRIN.
“The reason people questioned whether 2,000 people were killed was because that level of brutality was unimaginable. But the images validate that claim, the number of fatalities could be in that vicinity.”
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19 January 2015 — Tonight, an Aurora Borealis graced UNESCO’s Globe in Paris. The Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon only seen in much higher latitudes, were reproduced by artist Kari Kola on the UNESCO Headquarters in celebration of the International Year of Light 2015, which opened with a special event on 19 and 20 January.
Installation “Light is Here” by Finnish artist Kari Kola, installed by Valoparta Ltd.© UNESCO/Nora Houguenade
“I have been fascinated by light for as long as I can remember”, said Finnish artist Kari Kola. “In Finland, autumns and winters are long and dark. I wanted to teach myself to use light to make most of the darkness that surrounded me during those times of year. When it’s dark 20 hours a day, you can really make a difference with light.”
He chose to represent the Aurora Borealis in a stylistically abstract form through his installation “Light is Here”, bathing the buildings in blues and greens, in contrast with the warmer colors of dawn.
“I was 1 year old when I first saw the Northern Lights, and I’ve seen them every year since. But I have learned most of what I know about light by watching the sunrise.”
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Genetic resources have a critical role to play in feeding the world — especially as climate change advances faster than expected — and much more needs to be done to study, preserve and utilize the biological diversity that underpins world food production, according to a new book released by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 19 January 2015.
A crop of sorghum in Uruguay, funded by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture.
“Time is not on our side” warns the book, Coping with climate change: the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture. “In the coming decades, millions of people whose livelihoods and food security depend on farming, aquaculture, fishing, forestry and livestock keeping are likely to face unprecedented climatic conditions.”*
Crops, livestock, forest trees and aquatic organisms capable of surviving and producing in a changing climate will be needed.
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By Johan Galtung*
20 January 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Three, maybe four dramatic, global processes are unfolding.
First, the West–particularly USA, Israel, France–fighting very violently and counter-productively to keep their grip on the world.
Second, Eurasia, spearheaded by Russia-India-China in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) expanding and consolidating, successfully and nonviolently.
Third, Islam expanding and consolidating, partly by conversion to Islam, partly through the dream of a new caliphate, partly violently.
Fourth, Latin America and Africa in the old Third World expanding and consolidating, spearheaded by Brazil-South Africa in BRICS.
If you want to live drama, you have chosen the right year.
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One in five adolescents worldwide is not in school, which means that some 63 million young people between the ages of 12 and 15 are denied their right to an education, mainly because they are marginalized and poor, a joint United Nations agency report has found as pressure mounts to include universal secondary education in the post-2015 global development agenda.
A teacher and student at a school in India. Photo: UNESCO/GMR Akash
“This report serves as wake-up call to mobilize the resources needed to guarantee basic education for every child, once and for all,” said Irina Bokova, Director General at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a co-facilitator of the findings.*
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