Archive for October, 2011

31/10/2011

Palestine Becomes a UNESCO Full Member Despite U.S. Threat to Cut off Funding

Human Wrongs Watch

Paris –The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today Octobre 31, 2011 voted to admit Palestine as a full member of the Paris-based agency.

The Palestinian flag

UNESCO’s General Conference, the agency’s highest ruling body, took the decision by a vote of 107 in favour to 14 against, with 52 abstentions, according to a news releaseThe vote brings the total number of UNESCO member States to 195.

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30/10/2011

From Tahrir Square to Liberty Plaza – The Story of Asmaa Mahfouz Struggle

Human Wrongs Watch

By Amy Goodman* – Democracy Now! 

New York–The winds of change are blowing across the globe. What triggers such change, and when it will strike, is something that no one can predict.

Map of global mobilisations.150 by Antonio Menendez

Last Jan. 18, a courageous young woman in Egypt took a dangerous step. Asmaa Mahfouz was 25 years old, part of the April 6 Youth Movement, with thousands of young people engaging online in debate on the future of their country.

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30/10/2011

… And All of Sudden Mongolia!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Badriya Khan

They are not many—just around 2,8 million, but they live on more than 1,564 km2, being the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated independent country on Earth. Nevertheless they have very little arable land. Their religion is Tibetan Buddhism and they have also had a great Empire, founded by Genghis Khan in 1206. They are the Mongols.

Image: Brücke-Osteuropa | Wikimedia Commons

For many years, Hollywood used to be nearly the only single part to show interest in them, producing more or less accurate films about their horses and a sort of a fearsome Genghis Khan. Now it is the turn of big business.

And all of a sudden they are now ‘news-able’ when the United Nations said about them on Oct. 21 this year that the recent economic growth in Mongolia “due to a boom in its mining sector” represents an opportunity to reduce poverty in the country, etc, etc. etc.

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30/10/2011

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Baher Kamal*

After weapons and drugs, human trafficking is the third most lucrative criminal business in the world – a 32-billion dollars global industry, which is estimated to be exploiting over 2.4 million people, two-thirds of them are women and children. Who dares to challenge such a huge business?

Thailand: Like slaves on an auction block waiting to be selected. Author: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department** | Wikimedia Commons

Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, dared trying it more than a couple of years ago. She undertook a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe.

Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.

Her shivery The Price of Sexis a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence.

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28/10/2011

The U.S. $4 Trillion War on Iraq: Mission Unaccomplished

Human Wrongs Watch 

SocialistWorker* — More than million Iraqis dead. Nearly 5,000 U.S. military personnel killed, and some 32,000 more maimed, physically and psychologically. Some $4 trillion spent on war –money that could have paid for schools, health care and programs to create jobs.

Source: Socialistworker.org

Yet those staggering numbers don’t even begin to capture the full horror of the war that the U.S. unleashed on Iraq in March 2003. And while the U.S. is finally winding down its occupation, Washington is maneuvering to keep its dominant role in the Middle East by maintaining Iraq as a U.S. client state while ratcheting up pressure on Iran.

Barack Obama announced last week that all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year. But the pullout doesn’t represent an abandonment of Washington’s aim to dominate the Middle East, but rather a rationalizing and retooling of U.S. imperialism.

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27/10/2011

Security Council Ends NATO’s Mandate for Military Operations in Libya

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 27 October –The Security Council today 27 Oct. ordered the end to authorized international military action in Libya, more than seven months after allowing UN member states to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians during a popular uprising against the country’s former regime.

UN Security Council | Credit: UN

The 15-member UN body unanimously passed a resolution ending the UN mandate allowing military intervention and terminating a no-fly zone over Libya that had also been imposed in March.

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27/10/2011

‘Liberated’ Libya, Now Under Foreign Tutelage

Human Wrongs Watch

Cairo – While the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) chief continues ‘begging” NATO to remain in his country at least until the end of this year, a new international coalition of 13 countries -including the U.S., France and UK- has been announced in Doha to supervise “training, (re)arming and collecting weapons missions, after the end of the NATO mission.”

Image: Cipiota

The new NATO-inspired bloc, to be led by Qatar, was announced on Oct. 26 in Doha during a conference of the so-called “Friends Committee in Support of Libya”.

Qatar’s Chief of Staff, Major General Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah, said that the international coalition is “new pop-up” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it was reported from Doha.

Meanwhile, several Arab countries announced in Doha conference that their troops and military equipments had actively participated and even fought side by side with Libyan rebels. This has been the case, so far, of Qatar, Sudan, Jordan and the United Arab Emirate, according to announcements by their respective leaders.

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26/10/2011

Nigeria: Shall the African Sleeping Giant Wake Up Now?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Holly Reed* – Think Africa Press

Approximately 160 million people live in Nigeria, making it the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world. Nigeria’s annual GDP per capita, however, is only about $1,100, placing its economic ranking squarely in the global bottom third.

Image from ThinkAfricaPress.com

Nigeria is a global population leader but, oil wealth notwithstanding, it remains an economic laggard. Despite declining fertility, Nigeria’s population is expected to continue to grow to 210 million by 2025 and 289 million by 2050.

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26/10/2011

The Uneven Fight Between the Banks and the Peoples

Human Wrongs Watch

By Raúl de Sagastizabal* – PoliticaPress

The turning point of the toxic asset crisis was the G-20 Summit in London on April 2009. The G-20 members reached that Summit under pressure from the banks, which threatened with mass bankruptcies and claimed billionaire bailouts on both sides of the Atlantic. The financial sector fed the fear and got what it wanted, despite being directly responsible for that catastrophe.

Image: Fletcher6 | Wikimedia Commons

After little over two years the European crisis is still on the skids, and the world waits for another G-20 Summit, this time at Cannes, to see whether the measures to reverse the trend are provided in this forum. The European leaders do not expect that much, just the support for emergency measures.

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26/10/2011

The American Autumn: Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street Unite

Human Wrongs Watch

By Eric Stoner* – WagingNonviolence 

Since Adbusters original call to action in July—which asked “Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?”—organizers hoped Occupy Wall Street would be an American extension of the nonviolent movement that brought down Mubarak in Egypt earlier this year.

Image republished from WagingNonviolence.org

Now the folks occupying Liberty Plaza and other public spaces across the country don’t have to wonder what the leaders of Egypt’s still ongoing revolution think about their growing movement.

Last week, Ahmed Maher, a founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, which was one of the key organizers of the uprising in Egypt, along with two other leading Egyptian activists, visited OccupyDC and the occupation of Freedom Plaza to show their solidarity and offer words of advice.

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