30/05/2023

Can the Global South Build a New World Information and Communication Order?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Vijay Prashad | Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research – TRANSCEND Media Service*

It is remarkable how the media in a select few countries are able to set the record on matters around the world.

Meas Sokhorn (Cambodia), Inverted Sewer, 2014

The European and North American countries enjoy a near-global monopoly over information, their media houses vested with a credibility and authority inherited from their status during colonial times (BBC, for instance) as well as their command of the neocolonial structure of our times (CNN, for instance).

In the 1950s, the post-colonial nations identified the West’s monopoly over media and information and sought to ‘promote the free flow of ideas by word and by image’, as the 1945 Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) put it. Continue reading

29/05/2023

Climate Carnage: Things Can Only Get Worse

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 29 2023 (IPS)* – Please stop repeating all this softened wording, such as climate change, climate-related hazards, climate crisis, or extreme weather events… And just call it what it really is: climate carnage.
 

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has now reported on the “Staggering’ rise in climate emergencies in the last 20 years.’ Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

Indeed, several scientific findings, released ahead of the 2023 World Environment Day (5 June), staggeringly indicate that the world-spread climate carnage is predicted to hit all-time records.

See: global temperatures are set to break records during the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 17 May 2023 alerted.

Warmest year ever

“There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period, will be the warmest on record.” Continue reading

26/05/2023

Escaping Debt Slavery: Ethiopia, Africa, and the IMF

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ann Garrison | Black Agenda Report – TRANSCEND Media Service*

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In 1987, at the Organization for African Unity, Thomas Sankara said, “Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa.” Ethiopia might actually be better off if the US keeps the IMF from signing off on its latest loan request.

The US is holding up Ethiopia’s request for a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for postwar reconstruction and development. I spoke to Robert J. Prince, Retired Senior Lecturer at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies , about Ethiopia, Africa, and the IMF.

ANN GARRISON: A source who preferred to remain anonymous told me that the US is holding Ethiopia’s loan up, demanding accountability for wartime atrocities, but that their real goal is to force Ethiopia to distance itself from Russia and China, but most of all from Eritrea. That sounds plausible, but what do you think?

Continue reading

26/05/2023

As Game of Thrones Rages in Sudan, the Neighbors Pay the Price

Human Wrongs Watch

CAIRO, May 25 2023 (IPS)* – The conflict in Sudan is impacting the economy in Egypt, and those who make their living moving goods across the borders have spent weeks hoping the situation will normalize.
 
Long wait at the border between Sudan and Egypt. Credit: Hisham Allam/IPS

Long wait at the border between Sudan and Egypt. Credit: Hisham Allam/IPS

Muhammad Saqr, a truck driver, left Cairo with a load of thinners on April 13, heading to Khartoum. By the time he had arrived at the border, the battle had flared up.

Saqr remained, like dozens of trucks, waiting for the borders to be reopened. Continue reading

26/05/2023

‘No time to spare’: Israel-Palestine ceasefire holds, but hunger, tensions mount

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — Swift action is needed to prevent flare ups of Israeli-Palestinian violence and avert a looming food crisis, the top UN official in the Middle East told the Security Council on Wednesday [].

Nearly 600,000 people have visited the Holy Sites in Jerusalem since the beginning of Ramadan.
UN News/Maher Nasser | Nearly 600,000 people have visited the Holy Sites in Jerusalem since the beginning of Ramadan.

“There is no time to spare,” said Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

“We must take action, not only to ensure Palestinian well-being and governance, but as an integral part of ending the occupation and restoring a political horizon toward a viable two-State solution, based on UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements,” he said, briefing the Council on recent grim and dangerous security and humanitarian concerns.

Continue reading

24/05/2023

Cyclone Mocha Leaves a Trail of Destruction – Urgent Funding Needed as Hunger, Diseases Loom

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — As a clearer picture emerges of the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar and Bangladesh, humanitarians are continuing to provide life-saving assistance, and the need for an urgent increase in funding.

Men repair a shelter damaged by Cyclone Mocha in Nget Chaung 2 IDP camp in Rakhine state in Myanmar.
© UNOCHA/Pierre Lorioux | Men repair a shelter damaged by Cyclone Mocha in Nget Chaung 2 IDP camp in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

In Myanmar, the UN appealed on Tuesday [] for $333 million to assist 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people, many of whom have lost their homes as the cyclone hit the west of the country over a week ago.

The UN’s top aid official in the country, Ramanathan Balakrishnan, told reporters in Geneva that the disaster had left hundreds of thousands without a roof over their heads as the monsoon looms.

Among the priorities is providing people with safe shelter and preventing the outbreak and spread of water-borne diseases.

Continue reading

24/05/2023

Horn of Africa: Millions of Children Living Through Unprecedented Large-Scale Crisis of Hunger, Displacement, Water Scarcity…

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — Children in the Horn of Africa are living through an unprecedented large-scale crisis of hunger, displacement, water scarcity, and insecurity, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday [].

A mother caresses the head of her sleeping malnourished baby, at the mother and child centre in the town of Diffa, Niger
© UNICEF/UN055334/Tremeau | A mother caresses the head of her sleeping malnourished baby, at the mother and child centre in the town of Diffa, Niger

More than seven million children under the age of five remain malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition aid, and over 1.9 million boys and girls* are at risk of dying from severe malnutrition.

As the region comes out of one of the worst droughts in 40 years, vulnerable communities have lost cattle, crops, and entire livelihoods over the past three years of failed rains.“

The crisis in the Horn has been devastating for children,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.“

23/05/2023

G7 Has Failed the Global South in Hiroshima

Human Wrongs Watch

LONDON, May 22 2023 (IPS)* – “G7 countries have failed the Global South here in Hiroshima. They failed to cancel debts, and they failed to find what is really required to end the huge increase in hunger worldwide. They can find untold billions to fight the war but can’t even provide half of what is needed by the UN for the most critical humanitarian crises.”
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Adel Mansour takes his WFP food basket home on a cart in Abyan, Yemen. Credit: WFP/Ahmed Altaf

Hunger and debt

“If the G7 really want closer ties to the developing countries and greater backing for the war in Ukraine, then asking Global South leaders to fly across the world for a couple of hours is not going to cut it. They need to cancel debts and do what it takes to end hunger.

Continue reading

22/05/2023

G7 Owes the Poor $13 Trillion in Unmet Pledges. Meanwhile…

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 22 2023 (IPS)* – Two shocking findings have just been revealed: the G7 countries owe low- and middle-income countries a huge 13.3 trillion USD in unpaid aid and funding for climate action, at a time when one billion people now face cholera risk, precisely because of the staggering reduction and even non-payment of committed assistance.
 
This money could otherwise be spent on healthcare, education, gender equality and social protection, as well as addressing the impacts of climate change, says Oxfam. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

This money could otherwise be spent on healthcare, education, gender equality and social protection, as well as addressing the impacts of climate change, says Oxfam. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

Such an inhuman reality also reveals that the G7 (Group of the seven wealthiest countries), who represent just 10% of the world’s population, continue to demand the Global South to pay 232 million USD –a day– in debt repayments through 2028, on 17 May 2023 revealed a new analysis from Oxfam ahead of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan (May 19- 21, 2023).

Continue reading

22/05/2023

Sudan: More than One million People Forced to Flee for Their Lives

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — As heavy fighting continues in Sudan, UN humanitarians warned on Friday [] that more than one million people have now been forced to flee for their lives.

People fleeing conflict in Sudan wait at a bus station in Khartoum.
UNDP Sudan | People fleeing conflict in Sudan wait at a bus station in Khartoum.

A wave of deadly attacks reportedly targeted West Darfur’s capital, El-Geneina, in recent days, while the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than 700 people had been killed and nearly 5,300 injured nationwide, after five weeks of intense clashes and bombardment.
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Over one million people have now been recorded as displaced, within Sudan or to neighboring countries, said UNHCR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh, as he issued an urgent appeal to respect the safety of civilians and to allow humanitarian aid to move freely, in line with an agreement reached by the warring parties in Jeddah, on 11 May.

‘Flagrant violations’ of agreement

Under that accord between the national army and rival RSF militia, both sides agreed to allow trapped civilians to leave combat zones and allow humanitarian aid to enter.

Continue reading

22/05/2023

Why War?

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Albert Einstein’s Letter to Sigmund Freud

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John Scales Avery

In 1931, the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation invited Albert Einstein to enter correspondence with a prominent person of his own choosing on a subject of importance to society.

The Institute planned to publish a collection of such dialogues.

Einstein accepted at once, and decided to write to Sigmund Freud to ask his opinion about how humanity could free itself from the curse of war. Here are some quotations from Einstein’s letter, translated from the original German:

“Dear Professor Freud,

“Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war?

“It is common knowledge that, with the advance of modern science, this issue has come to mean a matter of life and death for civilization as we know it; nevertheless, for all the zeal displayed, every attempt at its solution has ended in a lamentable breakdown.

Continue reading

21/05/2023

One Billion People in 43 Countries Face Cholera Risk, amid ‘Bleak’ Outlook

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — After years of steady decline, cholera is making a devastating comeback and targeting the world’s most vulnerable communities, UN health experts warned on Friday [].

A child is vaccinated against cholera in Aleppo, northwest Syria. (file)
© UNICEF/Rami Nader | A child is vaccinated against cholera in Aleppo, northwest Syria. (file)

In a new alert, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that more countries now face outbreaks, increasing numbers of cases are being reported and the outcome for patients is worse than 10 years ago.

‘Killing the poor in front of us’

“The pandemic is killing the poor right in front of us,” said Jérôme Pfaffmann Zambruni, Head of UNICEF’s Public Health Emergency unit.

Echoing the bleak outlook, WHO data indicates that by May last year, 15 countries had reported cases, but by mid-May this year “we already have 24 countries reporting and we anticipate more with the seasonal shift in cholera cases,” said Henry Gray, WHO’s Incident Manager for the global cholera response.

Continue reading

19/05/2023

Europe Sells to Africa and Asia 90% of Its Used Clothes, Textiles Waste

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 18 2023 (IPS)* – Once the money-making businesses have turned Asia and Africa into their low-cost factories, to produce and market at higher prices their clothes and footwear, they further obtain more profits by selling to these two continents around 90% of all their used clothes and textiles waste.
 
“As reuse and recycling capacities in Europe are limited, a large share of used textiles collected in the EU is traded and exported to Africa and Asia, and their fate is highly uncertain,” says the European Environmental Agency. Credit: Shutterstock.

“As reuse and recycling capacities in Europe are limited, a large share of used textiles collected in the EU is traded and exported to Africa and Asia, and their fate is highly uncertain,” says the European Environmental Agency. Credit: Shutterstock.

Not only: such a business alleviates the harsh environmental impacts of the lucrative clothing and fashion industry, and the cost of recycling and eliminating the leftovers of these products. Continue reading

19/05/2023

Sudan Crisis: UN Launches Record Country Appeal for 18 Million in Need

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — Amid a massive increase in the number of people in Sudan impacted by more than a month of heavy fighting, the UN on Wednesday [] said that it needed a record near $3 billion to deliver life-saving aid to them.

A family arrive at the UNHCR transit centre, near the Joda border point in Renk, South Sudan.
© UNHCR/Charlotte Hallqvist | A family arrive at the UNHCR transit centre, near the Joda border point in Renk, South Sudan.

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In addition to a revised request from the UN aid coordination office OCHA for $2.56 billion to fund its Humanitarian Response Plan – targeting some 18 million people in Sudan – the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that it required $472 million to assist those forced to flee across the country’s borders.
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The revised joint humanitarian response plan updates the response strategy launched for Sudan in December 2022 and reflects the “fundamental and widespread needs” within the country, according to OCHA.
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“Today 25 million people, more than half the population of Sudan, need humanitarian aid and protection,” said Ramesh Rajasingham, Head and Representative of OCHA in Geneva.

18/05/2023

Nothing Beats Bushmeat, Not Even the Risk of Disease

Human Wrongs Watch

BULAWAYO, May 18 2023 (IPS)* – Meat from wild animals is relished across Africa and widely traded, but scientists are warning that eating bush meat is a potential health risk, especially in the wake of pandemics like COVID-19.
 
Freshly slaughtered bush meat is being consumed even though it may have health risks.

Freshly slaughtered bush meat is being consumed even though it may have health risks.

A study at the border settlements of Kenya and Tanzania has found that while people have been aware of the risks associated with eating bushmeat, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak, they don’t worry about hunting and eating wild animals that could transmit diseases.

Continue reading

18/05/2023

More Support Urgently Needed for Latin American and Caribbean Countries, Which Host Most of the 20 Million Forcibly Displaced People in the Americas

Human Wrongs Watch

PANAMA CITY (UNHCR)* – UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees Kelly T. Clements on 17 May 2023 appealed urgently for more support for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which host most of the 20 million forcibly displaced people in the Americas.

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UN Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements during her visit to Panama’s Darien region, where over 150,000 refugees and migrants have arrived since the start of the year. © UNHCR/Melissa Pinel

“While the increase in the number of people approaching the United States border has attracted a lot of attention, it is important to remember that most forcibly displaced people stay in Latin America,” said Clements.

Continue reading

18/05/2023

UN Human Rights Expert Exposes $1 Billion ‘Death Trade’ in Arms for Myanmar Military

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — The Myanmar military has imported at least $1 billion in arms and raw materials to manufacture weapons since generals staged their coup in February 2021, according to a new report released on Wednesday [] by the UN-appointed independent expert monitoring and investigating human rights abuses in the country.

Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, briefs reporters at UN Headquarters.
UN Photo/Loey Felipe | Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, briefs reporters at UN Headquarters.

The report states that some “UN Member States are enabling this trade” through a combination of outright complicity, lax enforcement of existing bans, and easily circumvented sanctions, according to a news release from the UN rights office OHCHR.Access to advanced weaponry
Despite overwhelming evidence of the Myanmar military’s atrocity crimes against the people of Myanmar, the generals continue to have access to advanced weapons systems, spare parts for fighter jets, raw materials and manufacturing equipment for domestic weapons production,” said UN Special Rapporteur, Tom Andrews.

18/05/2023

War for Profit: A Very Short History

Human Wrongs Watch

By Brad Wolf | Common Dreams – TRANSCEND Media Service*

As they did over a century ago ahead of World War I, the Merchants of Death thrive behind a veil of duplicity and slick media campaigns.

Munition workers painting shells at the National Shell Filling Factory No.6, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, UK in 1917. This was one of the largest shell factories in the country, circa 1917. (Photo by Horace Nicholls/ Imperial War Museums via Getty Images)

8 May 2023 – The senseless slaughter of World War I began with the murder of a single man, a Crown Prince of a European empire whose name no one was particularly familiar with at the time. Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria was the presumptive heir to the Austrian-Hungarian empire in June of 1914.

His assassin was a young Bosnian Serb student and the murder of the Crown Prince set off a cataclysmic series of events resulting in the deaths of over 20 million people, half of whom were civilians. An additional 20 million people were wounded.

Continue reading

16/05/2023

75 Years Later, Israel Blocking Palestinian Refugees’ Return

Human Wrongs Watch

By Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director, Middle East and North Africa Division | HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH*

‘Nakba’ Anniversary Highlights Continued Israeli Repression

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 Palestinian children return from school to their homes in the Jabalia Refugee Camp on the 74th Anniversary of Nakba Day in the northern Gaza Strip, May 15, 2022. © 2022 Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/Sipa USA via AP Photo

From the morgues of Cairo to the cells of Guantanamo, I’ve seen a lot of anguish and cruelty in my human rights work over the years. But often more than blood spilled, it’s the lives stunted, solely because of a person’s identity, that hits the hardest.

Continue reading

16/05/2023

Severe Funding Shortfalls Could Leave 200,000 Palestinians Hungry

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN NEWS)* — Grave funding shortages could cut assistance to more than 200,000 Palestinians, the UN food agency warned on Thursday [11 May 2023].

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A Palestine refugee receives food assistance packages at the UNRWA Jabalia distribution centre in Gaza.
© UNRWA/Mohamed Hinnawi | A Palestine refugee receives food assistance packages at the UNRWA Jabalia distribution centre in Gaza.

Unless donors meet the gap, 60 per cent of the people the agency assists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will no longer be receiving food assistance in June, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced, adding that by August, the agency will be forced to completely suspend operations in the West Bank and Gaza.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine.

“We have no option but to stretch the limited resources we have to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable families are met. They will go hungry without food assistance.”

Continue reading

16/05/2023

UNRWA Commisionner-General Calls for Support of Palestine Refugees in Audience with Pope Francis

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 11 May 2023 (UNEWA)*Today, His Holiness Pope Francis received the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini.
 
His Holiness Pope Francis (left) receives UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini (right) at the Vatican on 11 May 2023. © Vatican Media

His Holiness Pope Francis (left) receives UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini (right) at the Vatican on 11 May 2023. © Vatican Media

The Commissioner-General described the unprecedented challenges facing Palestine Refugees, especially amid a lack of prospect to reach a solution to their plight.

He provided the Pope with an overview on the pressing needs of Palestine Refugees across the UNRWA areas of operation and firsthand testimonies following his recent visits to Syria and Lebanon following the devastating earthquake.

Continue reading

16/05/2023

United Nations Marks 75 Years Since Displacement of 700,000 Palestinians

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN on Monday [] commemorated for the first time in its history, the mass displacement of Palestinians from land that was to become Israel, 75 years ago, that turned 700,000 Palestinians into refugees, almost overnight.

Barefoot and pushing their belongings in prams and carts, Arab families leave  the coastal town of Jaffa which became part of the greater Tel Aviv area in the state of Israel.
UN Photo | Barefoot and pushing their belongings in prams and carts, Arab families leave the coastal town of Jaffa which became part of the greater Tel Aviv area in the state of Israel.

The mass displacement in 1948, known as the Nakba (meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic), has an importance to Palestinians across the world, said Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, addressing a high-level event at UN Headquarters in New York, marking the day.

‘The occupation must end’

“The legacy of the event lives on, spearing us to continue our unflagging efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” she said, noting that the General Assembly had adopted a resolution in November 2022 for this commemorative day.

Continue reading

16/05/2023

World Health Organization Advises against Use of Artificial Sweeteners

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — New guidelines from the UN health agency released on Monday [] have advised against using non-sugar sweeteners (NSS).

Artificial sweeteners are commonly used to sweeten coffee and tea.
© Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya | Artificial sweeteners are commonly used to sweeten coffee and tea.

The recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) is based on a review of available evidence which suggests that artificial sweeteners do not help control body mass or reduce the risk of weight-related illnesses.
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Common NSS include acesulfame K, aspartame, advantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia, and other stevia derivatives.
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“Replacing free sugars with NSS does not help with weight control in the long term. People need to consider other ways to reduce free sugars intake, such as consuming food with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit, or unsweetened food and beverages,” says Francesco Branca, WHO Director for Nutrition and Food Safety.” Continue reading

15/05/2023

Can the U.S. Adjust Sensibly to a Multipolar World?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies – TRANSCEND Media Service*

In his 1987 book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, historian Paul Kennedy reassured Americans that the decline the United States was facing after a century of international dominance was “relative and not absolute, and is therefore perfectly natural; and that the only serious threat to the real interests of the United States can come from a failure to adjust sensibly to the newer world order.”

Drawing by Jerzy Wasiukiewicz

Continue reading

14/05/2023

‘Silent Emergency’: Premature Births Claim a Million Lives Yearly

(UN News)* — A “silent emergency” that is claiming one million tiny lives born premature each year requires concerted action to swiftly improve children’s health and survival, according to a new report released by UN agencies and partners on .

A premature one-day-old baby receives life-saving care around the clock in a neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Ethiopia.
© UNICEF/Raphael Pouget | A premature one-day-old baby receives life-saving care around the clock in a neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Ethiopia.

An estimated 13.4 million babies were born premature in 2020, with nearly a million dying from pre-term complications, according to Born too soon: Decade of action on preterm birth.

Produced by a range of agencies, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with its Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), the report outlines a strategy forward to address this phenomenon, which has been long under-recognized in its scale and severity.

Continue reading

14/05/2023

Best Reasons to Stand Up for Mothers this Mother’s Day

(UN News)* — For many mothers around the world, the month of May is an annual moment for them to receive thanks and recognition for all they do.

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© UNICEF/Mark Naftalin | A pregnant woman and her daughter wait outside a UNICEF-supported maternity ward in South Sudan.

But, for hundreds of thousands of women globally, this gratitude only goes so far, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on the occasion of Mother’s Day, observed on Sundays (14 May) throughout May.According to recently released data, a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes, with the vast majority of these deaths due to preventable causes like bleeding and infection, the UN reproductive health agency said. Continue reading

12/05/2023

A Short Tale of a Tree, a Bottle of Oil, and a Moroccan Wedding Party

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 12 2023 (IPS)* – A much needed break amidst so many alarming news, with a brief story of a tree, a bottle of liquid gold, and a wedding gift.

The argan tree forest constitutes a vital fodder reserve for all herds even in periods of drought. All parts of the argan tree are edible and very appreciated: leaves, fruits and the undergrowth are a meal of choice especially for the most daring goats that do not hesitate to climb the branches. Credit: Shutterstock.

The argan tree forest constitutes a vital fodder reserve for all herds even in periods of drought. All parts of the argan tree are edible and very appreciated: leaves, fruits and the undergrowth are a meal of choice especially for the most daring goats that do not hesitate to climb the branches. Credit: Shutterstock.

It is useless to remind you that all trees are wonderful living beings, with an amazing vital system to drain water through their roots, and breathe through their leaves to bring this water to their trunk, branches and leaves.

All of them are sources of most of the oxygen on Earth while absorbing harmful greenhouse gases. Their roots greatly contribute to fixing the land, thus reducing the risk of further degradation and desertification. Let alone purifying the air.

This particular tree

Among them, one is special: the Argan tree.

Continue reading

11/05/2023

Think Before You Click

Human Wrongs Watch

Mitigating the risks of e-commerce to plant health

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Agricultural items, such as plants, insects, soil or seeds, purchased online can pose a significant risk to a country’s local plants and animals, hurting biodiversity. Check to make sure that any of these items you buy has a phytosanitary certificate ensuring it is safe for import. © FAO/ Ezequiel Becerra

11 May 2023 (FAO)* — People around the world have taken to e-commerce due to its convenience, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many people may not realize that plants and regulated goods, such as agricultural products, bought or sold online may carry pests and diseases that can harm a country’s flora.

In 2021, Emily* unexpectedly received a parcel in her hometown in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her 12-year-old daughter had purchased insect eggs online without her knowledge.

“My daughter has always loved insects. She has gone through different phases of loving sea creatures, ants and various insects,” Emily shared.

Continue reading

11/05/2023

Unceasing Human Attacks on the Source of 80% of Food, 98% of Oxygen

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 10 2023 (IPS)* – Two big facts are impressive enough: plants are the source of 80% of all food, and as much as 98% of all oxygen. Logically, it would be taken for granted that human beings would do whatever is needed to protect this essential source of life.
 
But do they?
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Several human-caused threats lay behind the current annual loss of up to 40% of food crops globally, mainly due to plant pests and the introduction of alien species. Credit: Jency Samuel/IPS - Protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development

Several human-caused threats lay behind the current annual loss of up to 40% of food crops globally, mainly due to plant pests and the introduction of alien species. Credit: Jency Samuel/IPS

Not at all. Rather the whole contrary.

Several human-caused threats lay behind the current annual loss of up to 40% of food crops globally, mainly due to plant pests and the introduction of alien species.

Among them stands the massive international travel and trade business, which has been associated with the introduction and spread of so many pests.

Continue reading

08/05/2023

Can African Farmers Still Feed the World?

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 8 2023 (IPS)* – Less than a decade ago, Africa was home to 60-65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 10% of renewable freshwater resources, as reported by the African Union in 2016, while concluding that African farmers could feed the world.

Is it still the case?

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Droughts are a growing threat to global food production, particularly in Africa. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Droughts are a growing threat to global food production, particularly in Africa. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

The above data had been provided in July 2016 by the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), the technical body of the African Union (AU).

Now that seven long years have elapsed, the second largest continent on Earth –after Asia– has been facing too many extraneous pressures and hazards.

A major consequence is that that very percentage (60-65%) of the world’s uncultivated and arable land is now affected by degradation, with nearly three million hectares of forest lost… every single year. Continue reading

08/05/2023

Secrecy versus Democracy: New Developments

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

A Government with Many Secrets Is Not a Democracy

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John Scales Avery

What are we to think when governments make every effort to keep their actions secret from their own citizens? We can only conclude that although they may call themselves democracies, such governments are in fact oligarchies or dictatorships.

In a democracy, the citizens must control the actions of their government. If they are unable to do so because those actions are secret, then any claim to democratic government is lost.

Many governments have agencies for performing undercover operations (usually very dirty ones). We can think, for example, of the KGB, the CIA, M5, or Mossad.

How can countries that have such agencies claim to be democracies, when the voters have no knowledge of or influence over the acts that are committed by the secret agencies of their governments?

Nuclear weapons were developed in secret. It is doubtful whether the people of the United States would have approved of the development of such anti-human weapons, or their use against an already-defeated Japan, if they had known that these things were going to happen. Continue reading

08/05/2023

‘Slavery has left a deep and long-lasting legacy on the USA’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice in policing, ended a 12-day visit to the United States on Friday [], calling on Washington to boost efforts to promote accountability for past and future violations.

An anti-racism protest takes place in Colorado, USA. (file)
© Unsplash/Colin Lloyd | An anti-racism protest takes place in Colorado, USA. (file)

During the visit, the Mechanism visited Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York Citysaying in a press release, that it had been pleased to learn about various promising initiatives that authorities have developed to combat racial discrimination affecting people of African descent.

Urging accountability and support

Members of the UN Human Rights Council-appointed delegation said they “felt an urgency, and a moral responsibility, to echo the harrowing pain of victims” and their resounding calls for accountability and support.“We saw some promising initiatives centering the voices of victims and survivors, as well as law enforcement initiatives that could be replicated throughout the United States.

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05/05/2023

Of Africa and The Magic Formula of The Italian Taxi Driver

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 4 2023 (IPS)* – Some days ago in Rome, the Italian taxi driver switched on the radio during a longish ride through the usual traffic jam. Music, gossip, and the hourly news bulletin. All of a sudden, the man strongly hit the steering wheel. “They are stupid, those bastards…,” he shouted.
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Africa is the continent that has contributed the least (just 2 to 3%) to the causes of the current climate emergencies while bearing the brunt of 82% of the devastating consequences. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Africa is the continent that has contributed the least (just 2 to 3%) to the causes of the current climate emergencies while bearing the brunt of 82% of the devastating consequences. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

“These useless politicians speak every now and then about the need for solidarity with Africa…, blah, blah, blah,” he added. “But the solution is easy, very easy, even the most stupid can see it.”

According to the taxi driver, “the solution is that the government sends to Africa our retired engineers, agronomists, university professors… to teach Africans how to farm.”

The man was so furious that you would not dare to comment that African farmers already know how to farm… far more than many foreign academicians.

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05/05/2023

In Sudanese Conflict, Either You Lose Everything, or You Die

Human Wrongs Watch

CAIRO, May 4 2023 (IPS)* – On the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, Saber Nasr, a young Egyptian man of 20, developed a fever.
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Ahmed Saber with two of his children. His son, Sabre Nasr, died when he was unable to access medical attention due to the conflict in Khartoum, Sudan.

Saber, who left Egypt for Sudan to pursue his dream of becoming a dentist after his high school grades prevented him from enrolling at an Egyptian university, was unable to find medical attention even though his temperature reached a dangerous 40 degrees Celcius.

One of his friends, Ahmed, attempted to seek assistance from the nearby hospitals in Khartoum, but all of them were locked.

Nasr’s father followed up on the phone, helplessly asking Ahmed to continue helping his son.

Ahmed couldn’t find transport, so he carried his friend for three kilometers to seek medical attention.

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03/05/2023

Freedom of the Press under Attack Worldwide

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Disinformation, hate speech and deadly attacks against journalists are threatening freedom of the press worldwide, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday [], calling for greater solidarity with the people who bring us the news. 

File photo of UN Secretary-General António Guterres (on screen) holding a virtual press conference.
UN Photo/Mark Garten | File photo of UN Secretary-General António Guterres (on screen) holding a virtual press conference.

The appeal comes in his message ahead of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated annually on 3 May, in line with a 1993 UN General Assembly resolution.   The focus this year is on the connection between press freedom and overall human rights.

A global problem 

“Freedom of the press is the foundation of democracy and justice. It gives all of us the facts we need to shape opinions and speak truth to power. But in every corner of the world, freedom of the press is under attack,” Mr. Guterres said.

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02/05/2023

A Proposal for a UN Freedom of Information Act Never Got Off the Ground

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 2023 (IPS)* – The United Nations has consistently been a vociferous advocate of freedom of the press – and, most importantly, the right of journalists to report without fear of reprisals.

Credit: UNESCO Attribution 3.0 IGO

But regrettably, the UN is also one of most opaque institutions where transparency is never the norm. Continue reading

02/05/2023

Can India Sustain Linguistic Imperialism?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service*

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Dr Ravi P Bhatia

The present world that we are all part of, shows imperialism or domination of large parts of the world by some imperial power such as USA, China, Britain.

In fact, Britain used to pride itself at the end of WWII by the statement that ‘the sun never sets on the British empire’ since Britain had colonised several countries north and south, east and west — from North America to Australia to New Zealand.

India was one of its proudest, biggest colonies among these regions. Britain had entered India for trade purposes, by the agency known as ‘East India Company’, but gradually metamorphosed into a colonial power.

This happened not only in India (which was under British rule for two centuries), but in several other regions from North America to South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, and so on. Continue reading

29/04/2023

Stop Deporting Haitians: Human Rights Experts’ Appeal to Countries in Americas

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Countries in the Americas should suspend forced returns of Haitians on the move and adopt measures to protect them instead, UN-appointed independent human rights experts said on Friday [].

A woman arrives at an IOM-supported reception centre in Haiti after being deported from Texas , USA, in 2021.
IOM Haiti | A woman arrives at an IOM-supported reception centre in Haiti after being deported from Texas , USA, in 2021.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) sounded the alarm after 36,000 people of Haitian origin were deported during the first three months of the year, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Some 90 per cent were deported from the Dominican Republic.

26/04/2023

Biden’s Aggressive Foreign Policy

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines

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John Scales Avery

It is completely obvious that the United States, or more specifically, the Biden Administration, is behind the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and 2. The technical difficulty of planting the explosives under deep water is such that only a developed country would have the needed resources.

Russia can be ruled out because they have no motive. If the Russians had wanted to stop the flow of gas, they could just have turned it off by shutting the valves. Germany also has no motive. The United States has a motive: to cut off from Russia a source of income.

Recently Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh described in great detail how the United States sabotaged the two pipelines. The decision to do so must have been made by President Biden. Continue reading

25/04/2023

Now Europeans Learn What Climate Extremes Are All About

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Apr 25 2023 (IPS)* – Apologies to those Western politicians and media who continue to say that Ukraine’s brutal proxy war stands behind whatever catastrophes, disasters or crises occur in the Planet.
 
Is this accurate?
 
European citizens now hear the devastating impacts of climate extremes in their own rich continent, which is one of the major global contributors to the ongoing climate emergency

Rhine River, Cologne,,Germany, 10.08.2022. Credit: Shutterstock.

Scientific evidence confirms that, much earlier than that war, Europe, like many other regions, was already walking closer to the edge of extreme weather consequences.

Europe’s worst drought in 500 years?

“The drought episode that affected Europe in 2022 could well be the worst in 500 years,” reports Copernicus, the Earth observation component of the European Union’s Space programme which “looks at our planet and its environment to benefit all European citizens and offers information services.” Continue reading

19/04/2023

Africa, Now Squeezed to the Bones

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Apr 19 2023 (IPS)*– As many as 45 African countries –out of the Continent’s 54 nations–, all of them grouped in what is known as Sub-Saharan Africa, have now been further squeezed to their bones, as funding shrinks to lowest ever levels, and as a portion of the so-called aid goes back to the pockets of rich donor countries.
 
See what happens.
 
The IMF has made some encouraging improvements in paying attention to social protection, health, and education, but it needs to do much more to avoid, in its own words, “repeating past mistakes”, says new report. Credit: Charles Mpaka/IPS

The IMF has made some encouraging improvements in paying attention to social protection, health, and education, but it needs to do much more to avoid, in its own words, “repeating past mistakes”, says new report. Credit: Charles Mpaka/IPS

In its April 2023 World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) talks about a rocky recovery. In its reporting on that, it lowers global economic growth outlook as ‘fog thickens.’ Continue reading

18/04/2023

“Trigger-Happy” Laws Expand in Latin America

Human Wrongs Watch

 En español
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Alleged gang members are transferred to the Terrorism Confinement Center, a mega-prison built by the government of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador to house 40,000 detainees accused of belonging to organized crime. CREDIT: Presidency of El Salvador

Alleged gang members are transferred to the Terrorism Confinement Center, a mega-prison built by the government of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador to house 40,000 detainees accused of belonging to organized crime. CREDIT: Presidency of El Salvador

According to United Nations reports, Latin America, home to eight percent of the global population, accounts for 37 percent of the world’s homicides. (These statistics do not include deaths in wars, accidents and suicides.) Continue reading

18/04/2023

Prosecuting Donald Trump

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Donald Trump Is Currently Being Charged with 34 Felonies

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John Scales Avery

11 Apr 2023 – The State of New York, under the leadership of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr., has arrested the former president, finger-printed him, and charged him with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in violation of Penal Law §175.

Trump’s Major Crimes

The crimes for which he is currently being prosecuted are relatively minor compared with his major crimes. Here is a list of what I consider to be his greatest crimes:

  1. He claimed that climate change was “a hoax”, withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement, and sabotaged the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to control greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Although he was aware of the serious nature of COVID-19, he claimed that it was no more dangerous than the flu in order for business to continue as usual. In this way he was responsible for hundreds of thousands of excess deaths in the United States.
  3. He encouraged his followers to attack the United States Capitol on January 6, 2020, in order to overthrow the results of the presidential election in which he was defeated.

Continue reading

17/04/2023

Bangladesh: Rohingya Refugees on the Brink of Being Forgotten

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A man observes fire damage in a refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar. Credit: Sadia Rahman/NRC

“We are now at a crucial tipping point. In 2017, the world stood alongside Bangladesh in supporting the Rohingya. But today, the international community are slowly turning their backs and entrenching hopelessness. We cannot let this happen,” said Wendy McCance, NRC’s country director in Bangladesh.

17/04/2023

Unsung Heroes of Conservation: Indigenous People Fight for Forests

Human Wrongs Watch

5 April 2023 (UNEP)* — Every year, the world loses enough forest trees to fill Portugal. Much of that deforestation happens on Indigenous lands and often without their prior and informed consent. But these communities are demanding change and fighting to protect their ancestral lands.

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Getty Images

Indigenous groups are doing this by demonstrating effective conservation, patrolling forests, and at times, even taking governments and developers to court with the ultimate goal of protecting fast-disappearing forests.

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17/04/2023

Crisis? What Crisis? Media Failing to Convey the Urgency of the Climate Emergency

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Apr 11 2023 (IPS)* – If an alien landed on Planet Earth today and started watching television and reading the newspapers, it would probably not realize that humanity and the natural world face an existential threat – one that has taken us into the Sixth Mass Extinction, is already devastating the lives of many, especially in the Global South, and is set to hit the rest of us soon.
 
15/04/2023

Empire of Jingoistic Lies

Human Wrongs Watch

By Bishnu Pathak – TRANSCEND Media Service*

8 Apr 2023 – The Empire of Lies is to discuss how the United States and its military alliance created, encircle, attack, and destroy its potential rivals or Governments and leaders abusing their (including NATO) powers, proxy politics, and victor-centric justice.

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Prof. Bishnu Pathak

Before any kind of action against the rivals, the US spreads the jingoistic propaganda itself and even through NATO. NATO is a constituent of a collective, defensive, and rich countries’ alliance that mostly functions under control or leadership of the USA.

The main objective of NATO is to guarantee the security and freedom of its member countries by political-military triumphalist means. NATO remains the major security mechanism of the intercontinental community and expression of its shared democratic values nato.usmission.gov/about-nato/ Continue reading

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