29/04/2017

20 Million People Could ‘Starve to Death’ in Next Six Months

Human Wrongs Watch

By Baher Kamal* 

ROME, Apr 28 2017 (IPS) – Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in North Eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN leading food and agriculture agency’s chief on April 28 warned. “If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months.”
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A livestock owner in Yemen tends her goats. Livestock production fell by more than 35 per cent in 2016 compared to the pre-crisis period. Credit: FAO

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Famine does not just kill people, it contributes to social instability and also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and aid dependency that endures for decades,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva added. Continue reading

29/04/2017

Indigenous Women: The Frontline Protectors of the Environment

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2017 (IPS) Indigenous women, while experiencing the first and worst effects of climate change globally, are often in the frontline in struggles to protect the environment.

The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

A forum organized by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) brought together indigenous women from around the world to discuss the effects of climate change in their communities and their work towards sustainable solutions. Continue reading

29/04/2017

7 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jackie Toops*

Wall Street International – “What should I write about?” I asked my four-year-old. I was on a deadline and battling a vicious case of writer’s block. Without a beat, he answered, “Snakes!”
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Writer’s Block
Writer’s Block  Image reproduced  from Wall Street International

As tempting as his suggestion was, snakes are my one natural enemy, so I thanked him for his suggestion yet politely declined. What do you do when inspiration won’t hit? You write about writer’s block, naturally. Here are productive tips to get you out of your funk and put those words onto paper.

Continue reading

29/04/2017

The Israeli Macron

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avery*

29/04/2017

A DEEP sigh of relief, coming straight from the heart.

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Uri Avnery

When I was 10 years old, my family fled from Nazi Germany. We were fearful that the Gestapo was after us. When we approached the French border, our fear was acute. Then our train crossed the bridge that separated Germany from France, and we heaved a deep sigh of relief.

It was almost the same sigh. France has again sent a message of freedom.

Emmanuel Macron (Emmanuel is a Hebrew name, meaning “God is with us”) has won the first round, and there is a strong possibility that he will win the second round, too.

This is not just a French affair. It concerns all mankind.

FIRST OF all, it has broken a spell. Continue reading

29/04/2017

UN Rights, Troubled by Accelerated Executions in US with Expiring Drug

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations human rights office on 28 April 2017 expressed deep concern about the executions of four men in the United States state of Arkansas, which were reportedly done within the span of eight days to make use of an expiring lethal injection drug.

Opening of the biennial high-level panel discussion on the death penalty, organized as part of the Human Rights Council’s current session. 1 March 2017. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Rushing executions can deny prisoners the opportunity to fully exercise their rights to appeal against their conviction and/or sentence, and can also lead to States’ shortening their clemency processes, thereby affecting prisoners’ rights,” a spokesperson for the of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Elizabeth Throssell told reporters in Geneva.

29/04/2017

Climate-Smart Agriculture – From Tanzania to Vietnam

ROME, Apr 28 2017 (IPS)* – As part of efforts to move towards “climate-smart” agriculture, several countries have shared In a meeting in Rome new experiences on how to produce food in ways that help farmers cope with the impacts of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.
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Farmers clear weeds from a trench, which retains water and prevents soil erosion during rains, as part of the FAO project to strengthen capacity of farms for climate change in Kiroka, Tanzania. Credit: FAO

The exchange took place at a special 26 April side-event during a session of the UN Food and Agriculture OrganizationFAO’s executive Council. Continue reading

28/04/2017

UN Encourages Girls and Women to Learn Coding, Robotics

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations agencies on 27 April 2017 introduced thousands of girls and women to careers in coding and robotics as part of its annual ‘International Girls in ICT Day’ celebrations around the world, meant to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the field of information and communications technology.

Women learning to code at a technology centre in Herat, western Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Fraidoon Poya

Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Houlin Zhao said he hopes that the Day, marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April, “will continue to introduce more girls to ICTs and to the real opportunities that exist for them in this innovative and expanding field.”

Continue reading

28/04/2017

Chernobyl 31 Years On

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations on 26 April 2017 commemorated the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day recalling the devastating explosion of 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which spewed radioactive material to an area stretching 155,000 square kilometres across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

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A helicopter approaches the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to check the damage to the nuclear reactor. April 1986. UN Photo/IAEA

Underscoring the need to strengthen international cooperation to study, mitigate and minimize the consequences of the disaster, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December last year in which it designated 26 April as the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.

Continue reading

27/04/2017

IPS Journalists Who Perished in the Line of Duty

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 26 2017 (IPS) – In the politically-risky world of professional journalism, news reporters are fast becoming an endangered species.

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Richard de Zoysa

The numbers are staggering: some 1,236 journalists have been killed since 1992, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

In 2016 alone, 48 journalists were killed worldwide – and in the first few months in 2017 there have been 8 deaths.

The “deadliest countries” for journalists include Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and Mexico, where international news organizations took the heaviest toll.

But Inter Press Service (IPS) was not spared the agony either.

The news agency, which has relentlessly covered the developing world for over 53 years, has suffered both under repressive authoritative regimes and also in war-ravaged countries where IPS journalists have either been detained, tortured or beaten to death in the line of duty in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Continue reading

27/04/2017

Worrying about Fake News Has Become All the Rage

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Apr 26 2017 (IPS) – Rogue interests, perhaps even foreign, are said to be trying to interfere with the electoral process in the U.S. and European Union members. Senior government officials glibly endorse what they themselves call “alternative facts” and even openly describe the media as their enemy.

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Farhana Haque Rahman

Social media platforms, seen as the primary distribution vector for this plague, are under pressure to police their content.

However, the history of journalism is full of stories of distortions, many of them in prestigious publications. Benjamin Franklin once produced – in wartime – a fake newspaper to distribute a fake story.

At root, the current fake-news epidemic is a symptom of growing distrust in media.

It also reflects a widespread contempt for expertise, which poses a special challenge for organizations like IPS, where for decades we have sought to chronicle the complex and often slow-moving travails of development in the global South. Continue reading

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