Archive for July 3rd, 2014

03/07/2014

'Fear Sells, Fear Works, Fear Is a Winner, But Has No Future!', Egyptian Political Satirist Bassem Youssef

Human Wrongs Watch

Bonn, 2 July 2014 — Speaking in Bonn, Germany, Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef discusses the unsustainability of fear, saying “Satire was our weapon to dissect through the lies and rhetoric that were used to control the people.”*

Bassem Youssef at the GMF

Bassem Youssef (right). Photo: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

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Fearing for his own safety, political satirist Bassem Youssef chose to cancel his hugely popular weekly talk show, “Al Bernameg.” Speaking to a full house at the World Conference Center in Bonn on the occasion of the 2014 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, he named fear to be the key reason behind his decision.
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“Fear sells, fear intimidates, fear makes humans go against their best judgment,” commented Youssef, whose program had also been broadcast on Deutsche Welle’s Arabic television channel.
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03/07/2014

WikiLeaks Editor Sarah Harrison Exposes the Secrets of 'Unaccountable Power'

Human Wrongs Watch

Bonn, 2 July 2014 — British journalist and WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison, who helped NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden get to safety on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow, discussed the “Battle against unaccountable power.”*

Sarah Harrison

WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison | Photo: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2014, Bonn.

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According to WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, the U.S., with the help of its partners and allies, has constructed “a huge global intelligence, diplomatic and military net that tries to see all, know all, govern all, decide all. It reaches all, and yet it is acting without impunity. This is the greatest unaccountable power of today – the United States and our Western democracies.”
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Speaking at the 2014 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, Harrison says that over the past few years, WikiLeaks has done a lot of work “to expose this system,” and that one of “the things that scares this unaccountable power the most is the amount of source documents that we do produce.”
03/07/2014

"We Need Media That Covers Power and Doesn’t Cover for Power" — Amy Goodman

Human Wrongs Watch

Bonn, 2 July 2014 — “We need media that covers power and doesn’t cover for power,” said U.S. journalist Amy Goodman in a discussion on political opinion-making in the digital age at the three-day [30 June-2 July 2014] Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.*

Amy Goodman<br /><br /><br /><br />(C) GMF/CureTalk

Amy Goodman | Photo: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2014 

Discussing the proper role of journalism in covering topics such as war and political crises, U.S. journalist and co-founder of the independent news program, Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, says, “I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead it is all too often wielded as a weapon of war.”
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These are critical times in the U.S., says Goodman, “when whistleblowers are under attack, when journalists who are supposed to be there to ensure the functioning of a democratic society, are very much under siege.”
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She stated that under the Obama Administration, “More whistleblowers have been prosecuted than in all the presidencies combined of the past.”In reference to NSA inquiries taking place this week in Germany, she said, “There is a very serious opportunity this week for Germany to open up a discussion that we may not be having in the United States.”
03/07/2014

Media Freedom Indices. What They Tell Us – And What They Don’t

Human Wrongs Watch 

Bonn, 1 July 2014 — While press freedom rankings determine national and international media policies, it is not always clear how objective these rankings really are. A new DW Akademie publication takes a closer look.

2014.06 DW Akademie Edition B
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Every year organizations such as Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House publish their respective press freedom rankings. They usually cause an outcry, especially from countries low on the list.
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While politicians hotly defend their media policies, opposition parties and NGOs seize the opportunity to criticize the government’s approach. Freedom of the press rankings are of global interest and spark international debates.
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They also play an important role in determining the amount of aid a country receives for media development. However, it is not always clear what the strengths and weaknesses of these individual rankings are and how these rankings are conducted.

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03/07/2014

‘West seeks to knock out strategic enemies, divide & destroy Middle East’

Human Wrongs Watch

Russia Today* (RT), 3 July 2014 — There is nothing new in the Western policy towards Middle East and it’s clear that the winners are the State of Israel and its Western backers, and the losers are the people of the region, independent filmmaker Sukant Chandan told RT.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a State Department translator, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pose for a photograph before beginning a meeting in Baghdad on June 23, 2014. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a State Department translator, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pose for a photograph before beginning a meeting in Baghdad on June 23, 2014. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Western nations were well aware that extremist groups in the form of ISIS can overrun war-torn Iraq, whereas the only way for Iraqis to beat the extremists is to unite against common enemy, Chandan said.

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03/07/2014

Some Myths about Muslims

Human Wrongs Watch

By Nivedita Menon*, TRANSCEND Media Service — In the context of massive propaganda campaigns, the subtle use of stereotypes, and the fact that both the Western and the Indian media share certain basic biases, many people end up believing in a range of myths about the adherents of the world’s second largest religion. This is a quick attempt at exposing those myths.

A panoramic view of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina, Hejaz region, today's Saudi Arabia, the second most sacred Mosque in Islam

A panoramic view of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina, Hejaz region, today’s Saudi Arabia, the second most sacred Mosque in Islam | Author: Ahmed Medineli** | Wikimedia Commons

Myth: ‘Muslim’ countries are never secular. Muslims do not tolerate minorities in ‘their’ countries but demand minority rights in other countries.

The world’s largest Muslim majority country is Indonesia (total population approximately 25 crores[i], larger than Pakistan).

Indonesia is a secular democracy. 

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03/07/2014

What Produces How Much Climate-altering Greenhouse Gas?

Human Wrongs Watch

The Earth Policy Institute on 2 July 2014 issued its Climate Change Fact Sheet, in which it reports* that the global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the principal climate-altering greenhouse gas—come largely from burning coal, oil, and natural gas:
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Photo source: EPI

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Coal, mainly used for electricity generation, accounts for 44 percent of global fossil-fuel-related CO2 emissions.

Oil, used primarily for transportation, accounts for 36 percent of CO2 emissions.

Natural gas, used for electricity and heating, accounts for the remaining 20 percent of CO2 emissions.

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03/07/2014

Halt Violence Against Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka… Now! — UN

Human Wrongs Watch 

Aiming to stem the tide of violent attacks and recrimination against Sri Lanka’s Muslim and Christian communities, a group of United Nations human rights experts on 2 July 2014 called on the Government to adopt urgent measures to stop the promotion of racial and faith-based hatred and end “the atmosphere of impunity” fueling hate speech and violence by Buddhist extremists.

A man injured in communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Photo: IRIN

A man injured in communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Photo: IRIN

Among other incidents, the UN independent experts – respectively monitoring freedom of religion, minority issues and summary executions – expressed serious concern about violence against Muslim and Christian communities by Buddhist groups with extremist views, and urged the Sri Lankan authorities to bring perpetrators of such violence to justice.*

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03/07/2014

One Third of All Food Produced Is Lost or Wasted Each Year

Human Wrongs Watch

A newly issued United Nations-backed expert panel report takes a close look at where and how food waste occurs and recommends a number of actions that could help reduce the 1.3 billion tones of food that are squandered worldwide each year.*

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

Recently, global food losses and waste has become a high visibility issue and according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), “globally around one-third of food produced is lost or wasted along the food chain, from production to consumption.”

Food loss and waste not only impacts food security and nutrition but also the sustainability of food systems – that ensure sufficient, quality food for this and future generations, says the new report.

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