Archive for ‘Mother Earth’

02/09/2014

The Fall of the US Empire-And Then What?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 1 Sep 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service — Is the title of a book published by TRANSCEND University Press in 2009, now in second printing, and several translations including Chinese. There were two subtitles indicating answers: Successors, Regionalization or Globalization? – US Blossoming or US Fascism?

What is the situation today, five years later?

**Campaign poster showing William McKinley holding U.S. flag and standing on gold coin "sound money", held up by group of men, in front of ships "commerce" and factories "civilization" | Wikimedia Commons

**Campaign poster showing William McKinley holding U.S. flag and standing on gold coin “sound money”, held up by group of men, in front of ships “commerce” and factories “civilization” | Wikimedia Commons

02/09/2014

Seven Reasons to Claim Water for Life, Not for Coal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Helena Meresman*, 1 September, 2014, Greenpeace – Safe, affordable and accessible water is one of our planet’s scarcest natural resources. Many people don’t have access to fresh water for sanitation, agriculture, or even to drink.

Photo: Umut Vedat | Greenpeace | Old cooling water area in south east Turkey. Local people claim that the ash produced dries up rivers and agricultural lands in the area.

Photo credit: Umut Vedat | Greenpeace | Old cooling water area in south east Turkey. Local people claim that the ash produced dries up rivers and agricultural lands in the area.

Yet, global water consumption by the power sector is growing; it’s expected to more than double by 2035, with coal projects accounting for 50% of increased water use. Vast quantities of water are used in coal mining, coal washing and for cooling coal-fired power plants.

We cannot allow coal interests to grab already scarce water resources and at the same time dramatically increase their carbon pollution. That will only accelerate climate change and make water shortages even more acute.

02/09/2014

Statelessness: Hoping to Acquire a Nationality, Put Down Roots

Human Wrongs Watch

Brussels, 1 September 2014, (UNHCR)* by Valeriia Cherednichenko  Three years ago, Railya Abulkhanova told a UNHCR film crew that she felt like a tumbleweed. “It rolls . . . with the breeze it rolls away. That is what it is. That is statelessness,” she said in the story-telling series interview. “And me; I want to put down roots,” Railya added. 

© UNHCR/S.Hopper | Railya Abulkhanova is an ethnic Tatar who was born Kazakhstan. She now lives in France and hopes that she will gain citizenship soon. She will address a global forum on statelessness in the Netherlands.

© UNHCR/S.Hopper | Railya Abulkhanova is an ethnic Tatar who was born Kazakhstan. She now lives in France and hopes that she will gain citizenship soon. She will address a global forum on statelessness in the Netherlands.

Like many other stateless people around the world, including thousands from former Soviet republics, she’s still waiting. Without a nationality, stateless people find it difficult to access the services and rights enjoyed by citizens. But for the first time in many years, and after several failed attempts, Railya hopes she is close to getting a nationality.

02/09/2014

UN Secretary General “Alarmed” at Israel’s Announced Seizure of West Bank Land

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 September 2014 voiced his alarm at the announcement by Israeli authorities to declare nearly 1,000 acres of land in Bethlehem as so-called “state land.”

A settler security officer locking a gate in a fence separating Palestinians from their land | UN

A settler security officer locking a gate in a fence separating Palestinians from their land | UN

“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which – as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions – is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-State solution,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

The Secretary-General called on Israel to “heed the calls of the international community” to refrain from settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet Road Map – the plan which calls for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and within secure borders, according to a UN release.

Senior UN officials, including Ban, have repeatedly urged both parties to exercise prudence and to avoid taking unilateral actions on the ground that would further diminish the chances of reaching a negotiated final peace agreement. 

31/08/2014

International Overdose Awareness Day — 180,000 Drug Related Deaths… Each Year

Human Wrongs Watch

31 August 2014 — According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2014, there are approximately 180,000 drug related deaths each year, most of them due to preventable overdoses.

Opioid overdose makes up the largest category, affecting mainly young people: 13 per cent of overdose deaths reported in Europe occur among those aged under 25 years. Additionally, in countries with low HIV prevalence, drug overdose is the main cause of death among problem drug users, accounting for up to 50 to 60 per cent of deaths among people who inject drugs.

UNODC

UNODC

International Overdose Awareness Day (31 August) was initiated in 2001 by the Penington Institute, an Australian civil society organisation.

This day is an opportunity to raise awareness and call for action to save lives and reduce the stigma associated with drug-related deaths. On this 31 August, UNODC highlights that death by overdose is preventable.

31/08/2014

Lebanon — Milk for Health and… Wealth

Georgette comes home and sets the table. She brings out a large variety of cheeses and cold drinks, all labelled with the name of the company she owns. Her husband, Pascal, has invited neighbors to join them at the dinner table and taste the foods from their own production. However, this has not always been the case.*

FAO project brings significant improvements in the lives of small-scale Lebanese dairy farmers | FAO

FAO project brings significant improvements in the lives of small-scale Lebanese dairy farmers

In the wake of the widespread devastation caused by the 2006 war, the Lebanese dairy industry was brought to its knees: a very high number of livestock perished during the conflict and many dairy farms were forced to shut down their activities. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in the Bekaa Valley only, the total number of dairy cows had dropped from 25,000 heads to about 18,000 heads after the war.

Lebanon received from the international community US$45 million for reconstruction.

The dairy sector, which is one of the main sources of income for rural families in Lebanon, was targeted by many interventions, particularly in the Northern region and in the Bekaa, where nearly 70 percent of the dairy cows are concentrated and a large number of the smallholders relying on livestock for their livelihoods are very vulnerable.

31/08/2014

World Day of ‘Desaparecidos’ — Over 43,000 Cases the Majority Dating Back Decades

Human Wrongs Watch

30 August 2014 – Stressing that the enforced disappearance of individuals by States constitutes an unacceptable violation of human rights, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared that the time has come for the end to this “abhorrent” practice.

A mother tells her story about her son, one of the victims known as "desaparecidos" of the military government that ruled Argentina in the late 1970's and early 1980's. UN Photo/E. Schneider (file photo)

A mother tells her story about her son, one of the victims known as “desaparecidos” of the military government that ruled Argentina in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. UN Photo/E. Schneider (file photo)

“Enforced disappearance is a practice that cannot be tolerated in the twenty-first century,” Ban said in a message to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, which is observed annually on 30 August*.

“This abhorrent practice places people outside the protection of the law, and thus, potentially in great danger of physical violence and sometimes barbaric execution. In addition to causing unimaginable worry and anguish for the victims and their loved ones, this creates a generalized climate of fear and terror across entire societies.”

Ban noted that enforced disappearance was once employed mainly by military dictatorships. “Increasingly, it has become a tool of many States around the world, some operating under counter-terror strategies, or fighting organized crime, and others seeking to quash dissent and human rights activism.

30/08/2014

The War for Nothing

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*,

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

30 August 2014

AFTER 50 DAYS, the war is over. Hallelujah.

On the Israeli side: 71 dead, among them 66 soldiers, 1 child.

On the Palestinian side: 2,143 dead, 577 of them children, 263 women, 102 elderly. 11,230 injured. 10,800 buildings destroyed. 8,000 partially destroyed. About 40,000 damaged homes. Among the damaged buildings: 277 schools, 10 hospitals, 70 mosques, 2 churches. Also, 12 West Bank demonstrators, mostly children, who were shot.

So what was it all about?

The honest answer is: About nothing.

Neither side wanted it. Neither side started it. It just so happened.

LET US recapitulate the events, before they are forgotten.

30/08/2014

World Health Organization Identifies Countries at Risk for Spread of Ebola

Human Wrongs Watch

29 August 2014 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has identified six countries at risk for spread of the Ebola virus disease, adding that it is working with them to ensure that full surveillance, preparedness and response plans are in place.

A WFP convoy with needed food supplies entering West Point in Monrovia, Liberia, a community quarantined to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNMIL/Emmanuel Tobey

“The following countries share land borders or major transportation connections with the affected countries and are therefore at risk for spread of the Ebola outbreak: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Senegal,” the agency said in the first in a series of regular updates on the Ebola response roadmap that was issued yesterday 28 gust 2014.*

28/08/2014

UN Climate Summit 2014 — Change Is In The Air!

New York, 27 August 2014 — Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies, the UN reports
Carbon Emission | Photo: UN

Carbon Emission | Photo: UN

There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action.

He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.

The Climate Summit is to be attended by more than 100 heads of state and government along with leaders from business, finance and civil society.

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