Archive for August 24th, 2012

24/08/2012

A New US ‘Enduring War’ This Time on Asia?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Peter Symonds, WSWS*, 24 August 2012 — As part of its build-up in Asia, the US military is planning an extensive ballistic missile defence system that will only exacerbate tensions throughout the region, especially with China.

**Image: USAF | Wikimedia Commons

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday [23 August]: “The planned build-up is part of a defensive array that could cover large swathes of Asia, with a new radar in southern Japan and possibly another in Southeast Asia tied to missile-defence ships and land-based interceptors.”

North Korea is the purported reason for constructing the anti-missile system, but the real target is China.

Steven Hildreth from the US Congressional Research Service told the Wall Street Journal: “The focus of our rhetoric is North Korea. The reality is that we’re also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China.”

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24/08/2012

Eighty Per Cent of World’s Forests Degraded, Destroyed

Without healthy, thriving forests, planet Earth cannot sustain life. As much as eighty per cent of the world’s forests have been degraded or destroyed. The destruction of forests is responsible for up to a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than every plane, car, truck, ship and train on the planet combined.

Photo: Greenpeace

Greenpeace reports these facts and many others as part of its worldwide campaign for zero deforestation by 2020 to protect what is left of these extraordinary ecosystems.

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24/08/2012

Do 21 Million ‘Modern” Slaves Commemorate the Day Their Ancestors Said “No”?

Human Wrongs Watch

Marking the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) called for reflection on the transformation brought about by the slave trade to the world, and urged countries to protect their citizens against racism and forced labour.

Shackles used to bind slaves. UN Photo/Mark Garten

“The long series of uprisings by slaves in their quest for freedom are sources for reflection and action for protecting human rights and combating modern forms of servitude,” said UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, in a message to mark the Day, which is observed annually on 23 August.

“The history of the slave trade and its abolition has shaped the world in which we live,” she added. “We are all heirs to this past, which has transformed the world’s map, its laws, cultures and social relations, even giving rise to new food habits – especially through the sugar trade.”

The International Day commemorates the uprising which took place on 22-23 August 1791, when slaves in Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti), launched an insurrection which ultimately led to the Haitian revolution and helped to promote the cause of human rights.

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