Archive for June, 2014

27/06/2014

A Brief Pictorial History of Europe's Energy Troubles…With a Cliffhanger Ending!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Greenpeace*, June 2014 — The Ukraine crisis currently shows just how dependent Europe is, especially on Russian oil and gas. The EU spent a total of EUR 421 billion on energy imports in 2012.

A pictorial history with a cliffhanger ending

The place: somewhere in a rehab clinic: Europe was exhausted and recovering from its high of the last few years

The place: somewhere in a rehab clinic:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Europe was exhausted and recovering from its high of the last few yearsThe crisis with Russia over energy shows just how dependent Europe is on energy imports, especially on Russian oil and gas.

The EU spent a total of EUR 421 billion on energy imports in 2012.
.
The greatest part of this was imports from Russia, adding up to roughly one third of total oil and gas imports, as well as large amounts of coal. Russian investors are even playing a role in planned new nuclear power plants.
.
As a result, Europe is already flirting with the idea of shifting its dependence on new suppliers. But increasing reliance on the Middle East or North America is no long-term solution.

…when men in suits show up at the bedside

...when men in suits show up at the bedside Europe’s largest power companies are gravely concerned by the current situation, as their business model is increasingly threatened.

25/06/2014

Pakistani Offensive against Taliban Militants Uproots Over 400,000 People

Human Wrongs Watch

Pakistan’s military offensive against Taliban militants in the north of the country has displaced more than 400,000 people and the number continues to rise, the UN refugee agency reported*. According to the latest Pakistani Government registration figures, 435,429 people, including some 183,000 children, have fled from combat zones in North Waziristan agency since mid-June.

A displaced child in a makeshift camp in the Golan area of Gurbaz district, Khost province. Photo: UNHCR

A displaced child in a makeshift camp in the Golan area of Gurbaz district, Khost province. Photo: UNHCR

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that most of the families have sought refuge in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with reports of families also now arriving in Punjab and Balochistan. Almost all the internally displaced people are being hosted by local communities.

read more »

25/06/2014

Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Timber Worth Over $200 Billion a Year, and Helps Finance Organized Crime and Terrorist Groups

Human Wrongs Watch

24 June 2014 – Global environmental crime, possibly worth more than $200 billion annually, is helping finance criminal, militia and terrorist groups and threatening the security and sustainable development of many nations, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new joint United Nations-INTERPOL report.*

A relatively fresh carcass being turned over to look for bullet wounds on the underside at Zakouma National Park, Chad. Photo: Darren Potgieter/CITES/UNEP

A relatively fresh carcass being turned over to look for bullet wounds on the underside at Zakouma National Park, Chad. Photo: Darren Potgieter/CITES/UNEP

.
The report was compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL for release at the first UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi this week, where action to tackle environmental crime is high on the agenda for hundreds of environment ministers, law enforcement officers, the judiciary and senior UN officials.

read more »

24/06/2014

Plastic Waste Causes $13 Billion in Annual Damage to Marine Ecosystems — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

23 June 2014 – Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.*

Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

“Plastic contamination threatens marine life, tourism, fisheries and businesses,” underscores the eleventh edition of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book, which updates 10 issues previously highlighted over the past decade and provides mitigation steps for each.

“Plastics undoubtedly play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,” added Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

read more »

24/06/2014

Millions of Widows Face Abuse, Poverty, Homelessness, Rape, Cleansing, Burning…

Human Wrongs Watch

No woman should lose her status, livelihood or property when her husband dies, yet millions of widows in our world face persistent abuse, discrimination, disinheritance and destitution stressed United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 23 June 2014 in his message for this year’s International Widows’ Day.*

Ivorian widows run a small restaurant in Yopougon with the help of the non-governmental organization, Les Compagnes de Ruth. UN Photo/Ky Chung

Ivorian widows run a small restaurant in Yopougon with the help of the non-governmental organization, Les Compagnes de Ruth. UN Photo/Ky Chung

In his message, the Secretary-General expressed his concerns about the number of widows subjected to harmful practices, including “widow cleansing”, often involving the rape, and the increase in the widow’s risk of HIV infection, as well as “widow burning”.

Ban underscored that such violent acts could also negatively affect the lives of their children. He has stressed the need for “stronger action to empower women, promote gender equality and end all forms of violence against women.”

read more »

24/06/2014

Forests Provide Jobs, Energy, Nutritious Foods and Ecosystem Services – Do Not Kill Them!

Human Wrongs Watch

23 June 2014 – Across the world, forests provide employment, energy, nutritious foods and a wide range of other goods and ecosystem services with tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development and a greener economy, according to the United Nations agency report The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO).*

Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

“This 2014 edition of SOFO focuses on the socioeconomic benefits derived from forests. It is impressive to see how forests contribute to basic needs and rural livelihoods. They are also a carbon sink, and preserve biodiversity,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

However, the report finds that these socioeconomic benefits are rarely fully recognized in national policies – despite their enormous potential to contribute to their vital role in providing local communities with food, energy and shelter.

read more »

23/06/2014

Banks, Financial Institutions and Citizens — The Urgent Need to Update the Seven Deadly Sins

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, Jun 2014 – It is a great pity that, beside opening the doors to ethics, social justice and peace, Pope Francis does not also give indications of updating traditional theology. The most urgent task is to update the Seven Deadly Sins. 

"The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things", painting by "Hieronymus Bosch" |Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

“The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things”, painting by “Hieronymus Bosch” |Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

The update should be done on their social impact and viciousness.

How it is possible to equate, for example, sloth and gluttony with greed?

read more »

23/06/2014

Malnutrition Responsible of Half of All Child Deaths Under Five Years of Age

Human Wrongs Watch

Over 840 million people are chronically undernourished, while malnutrition is responsible for about half of all child deaths under five years of age, causing over three million deaths every year, according to United Nations.

Photo: FAO

Photo: FAO

Meanwhile, various forms of malnutrition often overlap and can coexist within the same country and even within the same household, says a joint release issued by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).*

Around 160 million children under five are stunted or chronically malnourished, while over two billion people suffer one or more micronutrient deficiencies.

At the same time, another half billion are obese.

read more »

22/06/2014

‘Blair should be lecturing on Iraq from the dock at the International Criminal Court’

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Wight* on Russia Today, 20 June 2014 — It has been heartening to witness the backlash against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over his attempt to deny any responsibility for the chaos and carnage that has engulfed northern and eastern Iraq in recent days.

Tony Blair at at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos | Photo by Remy Steinegger |Wikimedia Commons

Blair at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos | Photo by Remy Steinegger | Wikimedia Commons

While thousands of ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] Sunni extremists are engaged in a determined attempt to reach Baghdad, leaving a trail of carnage in the process, Tony Blair remains resolute in claiming that there is no connection between this and the hell in which Iraq has been plunged, even more than a decade since the 2003 onset of the war which he and former US President George W Bush unleashed.

As someone averred among the avalanche of Tweets sent excoriating the former prime minister over his recent denials, this is about as serious as claiming there is no connection between him having sex with his wife and the existence of his children.

read more »

21/06/2014

More War Refugees Today Than in World War II — 51 Million

Human Wrongs Watch

World Refugee Day is being marked by yet another sombre milestone in a year that has seen crisis after crisis force desperate people to flee their homes ahead of bullets and bombs: a new UN report reveals that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people.*

UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report shows that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people. Photos: UNHCR/S. Sisosmack (background), UNHCR/O.Pain (1st), UNHCR/J. Tanner (2nd), UNHCR/S. Rich (3rd), UNHCR/F. Noy (4th)

Photos: UNHCR/S. Sisosmack (background), UNHCR/O.Pain (1st), UNHCR/J. Tanner (2nd), UNHCR/S. Rich (3rd), UNHCR/F. Noy (4th)

The annual global trends report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), states that even as the war in Syria continued to grind on – driving 9 million people from their homes by the end of last year – millions of individuals were forcibly displaced in other parts of the world, notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Mali, and the border area between South Sudan and Sudan. 

By the end of 2013, an estimated 51.2 million people worldwide were considered to be forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: