Archive for March, 2015

31/03/2015

Nine Nuclear Powers to Spend One Trillion Dollars on Nukes Over 10 Years

Human Wrongs Watch

“The nine nuclear-armed nations are expected to spend at least one trillion dollars on nuclear weapons and their direct support systems over the next decade.”* 

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Over the next 10 years, world governments will spend a staggering $1 trillion on nuclear weapons globally.*

At a time of economic crisis and austerity measures, world governments wrestle with grim choices – like cuts to education, healthcare, public safety and other essential services.

But one cut is a no-brainer: bloated nuclear weapons budgets worldwide.

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31/03/2015

Children Killed and Injured by Land-mines, Unexploded Ordnance in Eastern Ukraine

Human Wrongs Watch

KYIV/GENEVA — At least 109 children are reported to have been injured and 42 killed by land mines and unexploded ordnance in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine since March last year, UNICEF on 31 March 2015 said.

UNICEF

UNICEF

The government-reported figures may not reflect the actual number of child casualties from land mines and unexploded ordnance in eastern Ukraine.*

“The number of children killed and maimed by mines and unexploded ordnance would be significantly higher if we include non-government controlled areas,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of the Independent States, who recently returned from visiting the eastern regions of Ukraine.

“Lack of access to these areas is a real challenge for humanitarian actors on the ground.”

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31/03/2015

Dangerous Disintegration of Yemen

Human Wrongs Watch

‘The Somalia “solution” may not be a model desired for Yemen. There have been calls for “negotiations” and “political solutions” in the Yemeni conflict, though it is unclear what there is to negotiate or what political solutions mean. The further disintegration of an already highly fractured Yemen is dangerous.’

**Map showing the location of the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia. Nearby bodies of water include the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. | Author: NormanEinstein | Wikimedia Commons

**Map showing the location of the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia. Nearby bodies of water include the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. | Author: NormanEinstein | Wikimedia Commons

By Rene Wadlow*

31 March 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service — Taking a page from the Soviet script of 1968 Czechoslovakia, Saudi Arabia has come to the fraternal aid of Yemeni President Rabbo Mansour Hadi by starting to bomb Sana and massing 150,000 troops on the frontier and war ships off the coast.

On the eve of what should be called Saudi aggression, a letter of President Hadi asking for the brotherly help of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and others was written.

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31/03/2015

'Crisis in Syria Getting Much Worse, with Shocking 'Levels of Savagery'

Human Wrongs Watch

The crisis in Syria is getting much worse, characterized by shocking “levels of savagery,” the top United Nations relief official has warned, urging countries to pledge as generously as possible ahead of the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference kicking off on 31 March 2015 in Kuwait City.*

Syrian children play in the alleyway between tents in Akcakale camp, Turkey. Photo: WFP/Berna Cetin

“While we are managing to get more aid in through cross-border operations, we are seeing a closing down of our ability to get aid across conflict lines inside Syria. The situation is very grave,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valery Amos said in an interview with UN Radio.

As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, 12.2 million people remain in dire need of aid, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Amos heads. Nearly half of all Syrians have been forced from their homes – 3.8 million people have fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, and 7.6 million people have been internally displaced – making this the largest displacement crisis in the world.

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31/03/2015

'Causing genocide to protect us from terror'

Human Wrongs Watch

By Neil Clark*

30 March 2015 (RT)* – A report called Body Count has revealed that at least 1.3 million people have lost their lives as a result of the US-led “war on terror” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s a report which should have made front page news across the world.

**Image: Iraq War montage.png| Author: Futuretrillionaire | Wikimedia Commons

**Image: Iraq War montage.png| Author: Futuretrillionaire | Wikimedia Commons

In the comprehensive 101 page document ‘Body Count,’ Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, have produced figures for the number of people killed from September 11, 2001 until the end of 2013.

The findings are devastating: the in-depth investigation concludes that the ‘war on terror‘ has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan.

As awful as that sounds, the total of 1.3 million deaths does not take into account casualties in other war zones, such as Yemen – and the authors stress that the figure is a “conservative estimate”.

“The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely,” the executive summary says.

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30/03/2015

"‘Hydro-Diplomacy’ Needed as World Faces Growing Water Shortages"

Human Wrongs Watch

The international community must gear up for a new era of “hydro-diplomacy” as the threat of water scarcity risks plunging the world into a period of geopolitical tension and stunted development, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on 30 March 2015 told delegates gathered at the General Assembly.

Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

“Water is one of the highest priorities for development and lives in dignity, as well as a serious factor in maintaining peace and security,” the Deputy Secretary-General said in remarks to open the High-Level Interactive Dialogue on the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life,’ 2005-2015.*

“The lack of water causes individual tragedies,” he continued. “And it also, growingly, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. There is a need for ‘hydro-diplomacy’ – making scarce water a reason for cooperation, rather than a reason for conflict.”

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30/03/2015

Europe Must Not Be Forced Into a Nuclear War with Russia

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

30 March 2015, TRANSCEND Media Service – A thermonuclear war today would be not only genocidal but also omnicidal. It would kill people of all ages, babies, children, young people, mothers, fathers and grandparents, without any regard whatever for guilt or innocence.

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Such a war would be the ultimate ecological catastrophe, destroying not only human civilization but also much of the biosphere. Each of us has a duty to work with dedication to prevent it. Europe must not be the close ally (or vassal) of the world’s greatest purveyor of violence and war.

Our Leaders Do Not Seem Interested in Protecting Us

In an important recent lecture, Institute Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT has pointed out that our leaders act to preserve their own power, and the power of the state.

They seem to have little interest in protecting the general population from destruction.

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30/03/2015

'It is heart breaking to see the extraordinary scale of devastation' of Cyclone Pam in Vantuatu

Human Wrongs Watch

30 March 2015 – Two weeks after Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the archipelago on a tour through one of the most severely affected provinces Saturda [28 March 2015], warned of a “secondary emergency” and urged a scale-up in efforts to provide the essentials to people in need.

Many families affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam are forced to prepare their meals outdoors as seen here in Vanuatu. Photo: WFP/Victoria Cavanagh

“It is heart breaking to see the extraordinary scale of devastation,” said Osnat Lubrani, touring the island of Tafea.*

On 13 March, Tropical Cyclone Pam swept through the archipelago, wiping out homes and infrastructure, destroying the electricity network and razing crops in the mainly agricultural country.

So far, aid has reached all 22 storm-affected islands of the country, despite significant logistical challenges due to the geographic spread of the archipelago.

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30/03/2015

Battle Hots Up to Curb ‘Vulture Funds’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Martin Khor*

Many countries are facing a worsening debt situation, and thus feel urgency to curb ‘vulture funds’ and to set up a global debt restructuring mechanism. Recent resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly are moving this process forward but the battle will be an uphill one.

**Photo: A wake (group of feeding vultures) of white-backed vultures eating the carcass of a wildebeest | Author: Magnus Kjaergaard | Wikimedia Commons

**A wake (group of feeding vultures) of white-backed vultures eating the carcass of a wildebeest | Author: Magnus Kjaergaard | Wikimedia Commons

External debt is rearing its ugly head again. With the global economic slowdown, lower commodity prices and less tourism, many developing countries are facing reduced export earnings and foreign reserves.

No country would like to have to seek the help of the International Monetary Fund to avoid default. That could lead to years of austerity, high unemployment, cuts in social development and at the end of it, still no light at the end of the tunnel.

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30/03/2015

Stalin the Communist and Mao the Commune-ist

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

30 Mar 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Churchill and Hitler made history but did not change it; after the war their societies found their old forms. Stalin and Mao changed their much bigger societies basically, and gave the Westphalian state system new fault-lines, alliances: anti-Russia-USSR, anti-China-DPRC.

**Stalin and Mao Zedong on a Chinese postage stamp | Author: Soerfm | Wikimedia Commons

**Stalin and Mao Zedong on a Chinese postage stamp | Author: Soerfm | Wikimedia Commons

There was also a short lasting USSR-DPRC alliance 1949-53, when Stalin was alive. But when he was murdered the banner as leader of the rapidly expanding Communist World was not passed on to the biggest country, but stayed in Moscow. The new leader was not Mao Zedong but the colorless Malenkov. Surface level conflict; and important.

But the concept of a monolithic Communist as opposed to a Free world survived in a US mind slow at capturing or admitting deeper aspects of reality, but quick at projecting themselves on the world.

The deep differences between the Western civilization of which Russia was and is a part, and Chinese civilization of course also affected their communisms.

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