Archive for January 6th, 2015

06/01/2015

The State of American Society as 2015 Begins

Human Wrongs Watch

‘One would never know from reading the American press, watching the evening news, or listening to the statements of politicians that hunger, poverty and long-term joblessness remain at their highest levels in decades.’

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world's largest stock exchange per total market capitalization of its listed companies| Wikimedia Xommons

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world’s largest stock exchange per total market capitalization of its listed companies| Wikimedia Commons

By Andre Damon, 6 January 2015 (WSWS)* —  As the New Year begins, the social crisis gripping tens of millions of working people in the United States is worsening. Hunger, poverty and long-term joblessness remain at the highest levels in decades, while vital social services continue to be slashed.

One would never know this from reading the press, watching the evening news, or listening to the statements of politicians. The official discourse is dominated by the supposed revival of the American economy, characterized by record corporate profits and stock prices.

The fact that the great majority of the population finds it increasingly difficult to make ends meet finds no reflection in the media or official politics.

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06/01/2015

"Life is a struggle, no matter where it is" — Azize's Story

Human Wrongs Watch

“Life is a struggle, no matter where it is,” says Azize, a Syrian refugee living in Turkey. With a Turkish language certificate earned, and university studies in nursing underway, Azize is determined to help heal others – and her home country.

Azize says: “I am happy living Mersin. It reminds me of Latakia. There are many things here that make me happy; a new life, meeting new people, and starting from scratch. Life is a struggle, no matter where it is.” ©UNICEF/Turkey-2014

Azize says: “I am happy living Mersin. It reminds me of Latakia. There are many things here that make me happy; a new life, meeting new people, and starting from scratch. Life is a struggle, no matter where it is.” ©UNICEF/Turkey-2014

By Ayberk Yurtsever, Mersin, Turkey* — Hers was a happy, peaceful life. Azize used to lead a “normal” life with her mother, her father and her 7 siblings. They had a house in both Latakia and in their village, just one hour from the city.

They would pass the summer in their village house. Azize’s eyes sparkle as she recounts those times. She remembers how they would watch the weddings, the dances and the festivals from their blue house facing the village square.

Azize was in her third year, studying Physics at the Tishreen University when the violence in her country intensified. She had her sights set on contributing to her country through science.

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06/01/2015

Positive Peace – What Is That?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 5 January 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service

staffimg.phpYes, what is it?–let us start this New Year on a positive note. Keeping in mind that peace is an honor word, like health, salvation for many: a focus of dreams and wishes, a summum bonum that should be both very precise and amenable to professional peace work and kept open, filled with new dreams and aspirations. Like for health, new aspects come up all the time; for instance in positive psychology.

Peace presupposes absence, or low level, of violence, direct as well as structural, and of the cultural violence justifying the other two. But we can also go for a more limited concept: absence of direct violence, of killing and wounding with arms, hurting with words. And we should include the absence of the attitudinal side of that, hatred.

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06/01/2015

With No Rebel Surrender, UN 'Stabilization' Mission in DR Congo Readies Military Operations

Human Wrongs Watch

With the deadline for the unconditional surrender of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) having passed on 2 January, and no significant additional surrenders of FDLR combatants registered since June, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is working to address the situation, a UN spokesperson on 5 January 2015 said* 

A MONUSCO attack helicopter provides aerial protection for a convoy carrying FDLR ex-combatants from Kanyabayonga transit camp, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: MONUSCO/Force

He said the Mission would work with regional and international stakeholders including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which established the deadline for the FDLR’s surrender, as well as with national partners.

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06/01/2015

Call on Global Clothing Brands to Help Cambodian Manufacturers Absorb New Minimum Wage: Now $128 per Month

Human Wrongs Watch

With the introduction of a new minimum wage for workers in the garment and footwear industry in Cambodia, United Nations experts have called on global brands that source their products from the country to play a part in helping the industry to absorb the cost increases.

A woman irons fabric at a garments factory at the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo: World Bank/Chhor Sokunthea | Source: UN News Centre

The new minimum wage of $128 per month, which came into effect on 1 January 2015, is projected by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to increase overall average wages in the garment industry – which include bonuses and overtime – from $183 to $217 per month, increasing factories’ wage bills by approximately 18.7 per cent.*

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