Archive for August 1st, 2012

01/08/2012

Syria, Yet Another UN Failure Like in Srebrenica?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Vesna Peric Zimonjic*

Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Footage and photos of fighting raging in Syria for many months now keep flowing into media outlets all over the world, with political solutions being sought in vain and suffering of civilians being shown on screens or in papers each and every day.

**Burial of 775 identified victims in 2010. Credit: Juniki San | Wikimedia Commons.

The United Nations (UN) is declaring, almost every day, that it is putting its efforts to prevent human catastrophe in the town of Aleppo, where literally hundreds of thousands of people are trapped with almost no way out, while the Christian quarters of the capital of Damascus are also under fire by government forces for the first time.

Amnesty International launched an appeal to the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and impose an arms embargo as many atrocities were committed against civilians, peaceful protestors and innocent bystanders, including children.

The fate of Syrian civilians was an issue strongly pronounced by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week in Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, where the world organisation failed so much in its mission.

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01/08/2012

Bankzilla vs Everybody!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Eric Ruder, Socialist Worker*— While working people continue to suffer declining living standards, Bankzilla is feasting on massive profits.

Source: Socialist Worker

The year is 2009. Home values were in free fall, and tent cities were springing up in cities like Seattle and Reno as a wave of foreclosures began to wash over U.S. homeowners.

The unemployment rate was shooting up, and anxiety stalked the lives of tens of millions of people who wondered if their job might be next on the chopping block.

Stock trader Steven Schonfeld, on the other hand, wasn’t worried at all.

He told a Wall Street Journal reporter that he had “earned” $200 million the year before and his net worth was around $1 billion. He had just moved into a $90 million mansion near Long Island Sound, with its own nine-hole golf course. No one could use the golf course if he wasn’t home. “It’s not a private golf course,” Schonfeld explained. “It’s a personal golf course.”

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01/08/2012

Europe: Women at Higher Risk of Losing Jobs in Public Sector

Geneva – Women working in the public sector in countries of the European Union (EU) have been particularly hard-hit by recent cutbacks in jobs, wages and benefits, according to a joint ILO European Commission study titled “Public Sector Adjustment in Europe”.

Euro banknotes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

In a chapter on gender,  the study warns that these cuts will damage progress made towards gender equality.

Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, a Senior advisor to the Conditions of Work and Employment Programme of the ILO (International Labour Organization), and the Editor of the study, says that because women generally find more and better jobs in the public sector, they are particularly affected when that sector implements austerity measures.

The study shows that women in France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom have the most to lose due to their heavy dependence (45 to 50 per cent) on the public sector for employment, especially in higher level jobs.

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