Archive for November 23rd, 2014

23/11/2014

In 2013, World 'War Lords' Spent on Killing Machines $1747 Billion — $248 for Each Person Alive Today

Human Wrongs Watch

World military expenditure in 2013 is estimated to have been $1747 billion, representing 2.4 per cent of global gross domestic product or $248 for each person alive today, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI)‘s Yearbook 2014, Armaments, Disarmament and International Security*, issued earlier this month.

The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin

**The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin | Artist: Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q127017 | Current location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q183334 | Wikimedia Commons

The total is about 1.9 per cent lower in real terms than in 2012. The pattern of increases and decreases in military spending in 2012 continued in 2013, with falls in Western countries (North America, Western and Central Europe, and Oceania) and increases in the rest of the world.

There were particularly large increases in Africa and the Middle East, while the impact of austerity policies continued to be felt in Europe.

The United States remained the largest military spender in 2013, followed at some distance by China and Russia.

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23/11/2014

How to Make Cooking Safe for 10 Million People by 2020

Human Wrongs Watch

21 November 2014 – Every year, household air pollution from cooking kills over four million people and sickens millions more, the United Nations spotlighted at a New York conference on cookstoves, as it urged Governments to take action to accelerate the adoption of clean cooking solutions.

In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

The first-ever Cookstoves Future Summit, “Fueling Markets, Catalyzing Action, Changing Lives,” is intending through the financial and political commitments of Member States to improve the health of women living in poverty, who are disproportionately burdened with poor health and unpaid care work in the absence of goods and services such as clean cookstoves.

As it stands now, nearly three billion people worldwide continue to rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts, “according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

An estimated 4.3 million people die each year from indoor pollution. They die from strokes, and heart and pulmonary diseases, such as childhood pneumonia and lung cancer.

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23/11/2014

Mauritania Cracks Down on Prominent Anti-Slavery Activists

Human Wrongs Watch

NOUAKCHOTT, 21 November 2014 (IRIN)* – The latest arrest of a group of prominent anti-slavery activists in Mauritania has once again brought to the fore the country’s struggle with slavery and discrimination based on colour.

The Global Slavery Index classifies Mauritania as the most egregious offender when it comes to modern slavery, with 155,600 people still living in enslavement or about 4 percent of the population.

The index defines slavery as the status of a person who is owned by another, which could also include practices similar to debt-bondage, forced marriage, and slavery based on descent.

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23/11/2014

'For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle'

Human Wrongs Watch

By Martin L., Joris T., Leon V. and Faiza O.*, 21 November, 2014  — Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously unthinkable. This isn’t just about the Arctic. If you live in the UK, they’ve secured the right to frack for gas under your house.

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Photo credit: Greenpeace

In Spain, the inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have been learning this to their cost. Their stunning coastline is now threatened by oil company Repsol, who plan to begin drilling on the coast. The risks to the environment and the livelihood of the inhabitants are great, but despite the opposition of the local population and the regional President the Spanish government in Madrid are backing the oil company.

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