Archive for January 23rd, 2013

23/01/2013

Annual Income of Richest 100 People Enough to End Global Poverty Four Times Over

By Oxfam International – An explosion in extreme wealth and income is exacerbating inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, Oxfam warned in a briefing* published on 19 January 2013 ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Image: OXFAM

Image: OXFAM

The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over, according Oxfam’s report ‘The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.’

It is calling on world leaders to curb today’s income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.

The richest one per cent has increased its income by 60 per cent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process.

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23/01/2013

Banks, Pension Funds, Insurance Companies in 30 Countries ‘Invest’ Your Money in Nuclear Arms

Human Wrongs Watch

More than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers. Our study Don’t Bank on the Bomb provides details of financial transactions with 20 companies that are heavily involved in the manufacture, maintenance and modernization of US, British, French and Indian nuclear forces, according to a new study*.

Don’t Bank on the Bomb | ICAN

Don’t Bank on the Bomb | ICAN

“We are appealing to financial institutions to stop investing in the nuclear arms industry, as any use of nuclear weapons would violate international law and have catastrophic humanitarian consequences,” says the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

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23/01/2013

UK to Exit EU If There Is No Reform – Cameron

Human Wrongs Watch

By Russia Today (RT*), 23 January 2013 — Britain will move to exit the EU if significant reforms are not made to the structure of the union, said UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He warned the organization was heading for a degree of integration “outside the UK’s comfort zone.”

**David Cameron | Credit: United Kingdom Home Office

**David Cameron | Credit: United Kingdom Home Office

Cameron stressed the solution was to hold an “in-out referendum” on Britain’s membership of the body, but only after the EU had had a chance to remedy the financial crisis.

­“I don’t believe that to make a decision at this moment is the right way forward, either for Britain or for Europe as a whole,” said Cameron, assuring that he would hold the referendum in 2017 should he be re-elected in 2015.

“I say to the British people: this will be your decision. And when that choice comes, you will have an important choice to make about our country’s destiny,” stated the British Prime Minister. He added that “if we don’t address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit.”

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23/01/2013

Russia Will Retaliate for US Measures – Foreign Minister

Human Wrongs Watch

Moscow, January 23 (RIA Novosti*) – Moscow will continue to retaliate for any unfriendly measures implemented by Washington, but hopes to develop improved relations with the United States and will coordinate its actions in the international arena, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

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**Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov © RIA Novosti. Grigoriy Sysoev

“Of course we will retaliate for unfriendly acts, but at the core of our position is the development of Russian-American links in all fields, including in the international arena,” he said at a press conference on Russian Foreign Policy in 2012 in Moscow.

Relations with America retained their key role in maintaining security in the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole and “for support of global stability” in 2012, he said.

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23/01/2013

One-third of All Food Produced Worldwide Lost, Wasted

Human Wrongs Watch

Consumers, food retailers and governments can take simple actions to dramatically reduce some 1.3 million tons of food waste every year, according to a new campaign launched on 23 January 2013 by the United Nations and its partners.

One-third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. Credit: FAO

One-third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. Credit: FAO

Launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners, the campaign – ‘Think, Eat, Save. Reduce Your Foodprint’ – seeks to accelerate action to eliminate wasteful practices and help countries share successful initiatives on these issues. It specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry.

“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically,” said UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner.

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23/01/2013

More Middle Class But 1.5 Billion Workers Remain Poor or Near Poor

Geneva (ILO News*),  23 January 2013 – The number of middle-class workers in the developing world has risen sharply over the past decade, potentially creating a much-needed boost to future growth and consumption in these economies.

Global Employment Trends 2013: Report, News, Videos and Charts

Global Employment Trends 2013

New figures in the ILO’s Global Employment Trends 2013 show that 42 per cent of workers in developing countries – nearly 1.1 billion workers – are now “middle-class,” living with their families on more than US$4* per person per day. The rise is particularly marked in East Asia.

Since 2001, an additional 400 million workers have joined the ranks of the middle- class, with their incomes sufficient for their families to consume between US$4 and $13 a day per person.

This is a doubling of the number of workers in the emerging middle class. A further 186 million workers are now living on more than $13 a day.

By 2017, the ILO estimates that an additional 390 million workers in the developing world could be middle-class.

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23/01/2013

Western Powers’ Plans to Re-Colonize Africa

Human Wrongs Watch

By Bill Van Auken, WSWS*, 23 January 2013 – The French intervention in Mali, followed by the bloody siege in Algeria, represents a turning point in what has emerged as a new imperialist scramble for Africa. With these events, following on the heels of the US-NATO war for regime-change in Libya and the Washington-backed sectarian civil war in Syria, mankind is witnessing a convulsive drive by the major powers to re-divide the world, its territories, markets and resources.

Map of Africa | Author: Martin23230 | Wikimedia Commons

Map of Africa | Author: Martin23230 | Wikimedia Commons

There is every reason to believe that this campaign to re-colonize much of the planet will be even bloodier and more oppressive than the original colonization of Africa.

As in the Libyan war, France has taken the lead in unleashing fighter bombers and deploying its dogs of war, the French Foreign Legion, in Mali.

However, the other major imperialist powers have made it clear that they will not remain on the sidelines.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that the UK will “work with others to close down the ungoverned space” in northwest Africa “with all the means that we have.” Terming the developments in Mali and neighboring countries a “global threat,” Cameron declared they would “require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months.”

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23/01/2013

More Homeless in France Former Colony

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations refugee agency reported that the number of people fleeing the fighting in Mali is increasing, amidst reports of growing food shortages.

Abdullah and his family now live in a room normally used for storage. They fled from the town of Diabaly. Photo: UNHCR/H. Caux

Abdullah and his family now live in a room normally used for storage. They fled from the town of Diabaly. Photo: UNHCR/H. Caux

“New arrivals continue to tell us they left their homes because of air strikes and fighting, as well as fears over the application of Sharia law; they also speak of increasing shortages of food and fuel, with traditional markets unable to operate,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN high Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Adrian Edwards, told a news briefing in Geneva on 22 January.

“A lack of cereal is pushing breeders to either kill some of their animals as they have nothing else to eat, or to try to sell them. Some refugees are travelling by private car or by truck, while others have arrived from Mali on foot or by donkey,” he added. “Many newly arrived refugees are expecting additional members of their families to join them in the next days from Mali.”

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23/01/2013

Airlines Pocketed €1.36 Billion from EU Carbon Scheme: Report

Human Wrongs Watch

By EurActiv*, 22 January 2013 — Airlines profited up to €1.36 billion last year by passing “imaginary” costs from the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) onto consumers, says a study by a Dutch environmental consultancy published today (22 January).

Airline industry: over the moon? | EurActiv

Airline industry: over the moon? | EurActiv

EU airlines stood to gain the most from the carbon trading scheme – some €758 million or almost twice their estimated returns of €400 million in 2011 – says the CE Delft study.

Under the ETS, the EU’s market-based measure to curb greenhouse gas emissions, airlines are given a certain number of free carbon allowances. The rest they have to purchase on a ‘carbon market’.

The free allowances covered some 85% of the sector’s emissions in 2010. The remaining 15%, plus any allowances to cover any emissions increases since 2010, needed to be purchased, with airlines recovering their costs through higher air fares in 2012, according to the environmental campaign group Transport & Environment, which commissioned the study.

Aoife O’Leary, an aviation advisor at T&E, told EurActiv that airlines were passing on the “imaginary costs” of the free ETS allowances onto customers, generating huge profits.

“Evidence suggests that airlines have not only been raising ticket prices to fund the permits they need to purchase, but they have also been passing on much of the ‘cost’ of the 85% free allowances to customers, and consequently, generating windfall profits,” said a statement by T&E.

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