– So far, Donald Trump’s first decisions as president of the United States have left no doubt that he intends to implement his electoral threats, while most likely not fulfilling the promises he made as a candidate.
United Nations General Assembly hall in New York City. Photo: Patrick Gruban, cropped and downsampled by Pine. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Barely 48 hours after his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, a shocking report was circulated saying that “A bill was introduced early January that calls for the removal of the United States from the United Nations…
– With the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20, the new leadership of the most powerful nation has signaled it is breaking away from the rest of the world. Here, a few thoughts…
a) Those who voted Trump are generally totally unaware of what happens beyond their immediate surroundings.
So it will take a long time before they will realize that Trump is not about their real interest.
This means that the polarization and the division of the U.S. will continue for a long time to come. And in the end, disillusionment and frustration will result in a further decline of democracy, and with a possible new populism coming up.
b) The American democratic system is incomprehensible for us foreigners.
We understand the history, the constitution, everything. But we think that a system where somebody who with 3 million votes less than his opponent becomes president, on the basis that this was adequate two centuries ago, needs to be updated urgently.
20 January 2017 – The United Nations and the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have together crafted a blueprint for making the agriculture, food and nutritional security sectors more disaster-proof so the region can tackle hunger in a sustainable manner.
Crops at the periurban agriculture cooperative Vivero Alamar, Cuba. Photo: FAO photo
“This transition cannot be achieved without the development of sectoral measures for disaster risk management involving technologies, productive practices and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as considerable changes in terms of governance, legislation, policies and public and private investment,” said Jorge Meza, chief forestry officer of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Hundreds of people were killed in South Sudan during an outbreak of violence last July and more than 200 people were raped, according to a United Nations report released on 16 January 2017, which emphasizes the need for accountability and justice for those human rights violations.
Children have been killed, raped and abducted in a series of recent attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/Porter
The report by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR) found that throughout the fighting that occurred between 8 and 12 July 2016 between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), “the belligerents blatantly ignored international human rights law and humanitarian law.”
20 January 2017 – With conflict in South Sudan now entering its fourth year and its people facing dire humanitarian challenges, the United Nations refugee agency has revised upwards its funding requirements for 2017 to address new needs of those who have been displaced due to renewed fighting, increased violence and resulting food insecurity since July last year.
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) line up early in the morning for a general food distribution at the UN Protection of Civilians Site, Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Bannon
The revised requirements now amount to $781.8 million, including support costs (seven per cent), some $297.9 million (61 per cent) higher than the earlier budget of $483.9 million.
20 January 2017 – As the extreme cold weather and storms continue to sweep Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, refugee and migrant children are threatened by respiratory and other serious illnesses, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
On 18 January 2017, in the Tabanovce refugee and migrant centre, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a Syrian girl, carries a plastic cup filled with snow. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev
“Without proper shelter and warm clothing, young children are in real danger because of the severe weather,” said Basil Rodriques, UNICEF Regional Health Advisor for Central and Eastern Europe, in a news release.
More than 40 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Turkey are missing out on education, despite a sharp increase in enrolment rates, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 19 January 2017 said.
A little Syrian girl outside her family tent in Nizip 1 refugee camp, Gaziantep, southern Turkey. Photo: UNICEF/UN048823/Ergen
“Unless more resources are provided, there is still a very real risk of a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children, deprived of the skills they will one day need to rebuild their country,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth, speaking after a visit to southern Turkey.*
According to UNICEF, nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey.
By Uri Avnery*
PERHAPS HE is lying all the time.
Perhaps he is lying about being a liar.
Perhaps he is cheating about being a cheat.
Perhaps he is just posing as an impostor.
Perhaps he has misled us all about his misleading.
Perhaps he is a very shrewd manipulator, who has led us all into believing that he is a megalomaniac simpleton.
Well, today is President Donald Trump’s first day in office.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP – we must get used to these three words.
The only one thing that can be said with some certainty is that nothing is certain. That this man is totally unpredictable. That we are in for four years of uncertainty, waking up every morning wondering what he is up to today. Continue reading
By John Scales Avery*
The duty of individuals living under an unjust government.
OSLO, 20 January 2017 – There are many governments today that can be described unjust, and some that even deserve to be called fascist.
John Scales Avery
What is the duty of the individual citizen, living under such a government?
What was the duty of a German, living under Hitler?
The thoughts of Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther King can help us to answer this question. The Nuremberg Principles can also help us to answer it.
Henry David Thoreau and Civil Disobedience
We usually think of Thoreau (1817-1862) as a pioneer of ecology and harmony with nature, but he was also a pioneer of non-violent civil disobedience.
Thoreau refused to pay his poll tax because of his opposition to the Mexican War and to the institution of slavery. Because of his refusal to pay the tax (which was in fact a very small amount) he spent a night in prison. Continue reading