Archive for October 1st, 2015

01/10/2015

Electoral Revolution in Brazil Aimed at Neutralising Corporate Influence

Human Wrongs Watch

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RIO DE JANEIRO, 29 September 2015 (IPS) – From now on, elections in Brazil will be more democratic, without corporate interference, which had become decisive and corruptive. A September 17 Supreme Court ruling declared unconstitutional articles of the elections act that allow corporate donations to election campaigns.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

**Topographic map of Brazil | Original uploader was Captain Blood at en.wikipedia | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

The 8-3 verdict came in response to a legal challenge brought by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) against the laws authorising and regulating donations by big corporations to political parties and candidates.

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01/10/2015

The Young Girl and the Sea

By Hereward Holland*

25 September 2015 (UNHCR)They left in darkness. By morning, half of them were lost at sea, one confirmed dead.

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Discarded life jackets and inflatable boats litter a beach on Lesvos.| UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

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Like thousands of others before them, this group of some 25 refugees believed the wars ravaging the Middle East posed a greater risk than boarding a small wooden boat at midnight on the Turkish coast. Destination: the Greek island of Lesvos, the frontier of Europe.

“The fear of staying in Syria and Iraq wins over any fears of hazards on the sea,” said Patric Mansour, a protection officer for the United Nations refugee agency.

Over 357,000 refugees have undertaken the perilous voyage to Greece this year, according to figures collected by UNHCR, with the largest surge – over 230,000 – arriving since August.

Even as some European countries pull up the drawbridge, desperate people keep coming in search of refuge. They are undaunted by the challenge, literally arriving by the overstuffed rubber boatload.

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01/10/2015

The Sad Decline of Democracy

Human Wrongs Watch

By 
Roberto Savio*

Rome, 1 October 2015

The last world survey on the strength of democracy went totally ignored, except for the New York Times, which did publish a special report. And yet the World Values Survey, a respected research association with the United Nations, conducted the survey and the data of the 2015 survey are extremely worrying.



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**World map showing the countries considered “electoral democracies” (in blue), according to American organization Freedom House. Reference from the “Freedom in The World” report. | Author: Joowwww, updated by 23prootie for 2011 and MaGioZal for 2009-10, 2012-15 | public domain | Wikimedia Commons

**World map showing the countries considered “electoral democracies” (in blue), according to American organization Freedom House. Reference from the “Freedom in The World” report. | Author: Joowwww, updated by 23prootie for 2011 and MaGioZal for 2009-10, 2012-15 | public domain | Wikimedia Commons

In the United States, the number of Americans who approve the idea of “having the arm rule”, has gone from one in 15, in 1995, to one in six.

And while, among those born before World War II, a strong 72% assigned living in a democracy the highest value on a scale of one to ten, for those born after 1980, less than 30% did. 

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01/10/2015

Saudi War on Yemen & US Doctrine of Military Preemption

Human Wrongs Watch

30 September 2015 (RT)* – As America still pretends to shine freedom’s torch, its military doctrine has helped rationalize neo-imperialism the world over. Washington’s war rhetoric has now turned its allies into little hegemons – Meet Washington’s war child: Riyadh!

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Looking at Saudi Arabia’s ongoing acts of genocide against Yemen it has become rather evident that the United Nations and the principles its institutions sit on have become not only obsolete but completely irrelevant.

When the deaths of thousands of civilians can no longer prompt world leaders to express disgust; for money whitewashes all crimes, what hope is there for justice?

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01/10/2015

Pro-nuclear Politicians Never Studied What It Means to Have Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch

By Tony Robinson*

30 September 2015 – Budapest, Hungary (Pressenza) – The debate about the future of the UK’s nuclear weapon arsenal is back in the news with the election of the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, an avowed anti-nuclear campaigner and someone who has held senior positions in CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) for years.

Pro-nuclear politicians never studied what it means to have nuclear weapons

(Image by The Official CTBTO Photostream – flickr.com) | Source: Pressenza

When on BBC Radio today, he said that he would never use nuclear weapons in the situation that he would be elected Prime Minister, politicians of all sides were quick to reply.

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01/10/2015

You Did It! Shell Abandons Arctic Drilling

Human Wrongs Watch

By April Glaser*

29 September, 2015 (Greenpeace) – This week Shell announced plans to abandon its Arctic oil drilling operations. This is huge.

This is your victory!

Source: Greenpeace

From activists who scaled Shell’s rig in April or who stopped one of Shell’s ships this July, to the millions of people all over the world who signed petitions, paraded with polar bears, shared stories and helped organise for real environmental justice, this is YOUR victory. Thank you.

The cost of Arctic drilling

Shell claims that the amount of oil it has been able to find isn’t worth the high costs of what has been one of the most dangerous and expensive projects in the history of fossil fuel extraction (for both the company’s wallet and reputation). 

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01/10/2015

Day of Older Persons: ‘People over 60 Will Double by 2050 But Little Evidence They Will Be Healthier’

Human Wrongs Watch

The number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050 and require radical societal change because “unfortunately, 70 does not yet appear to be the new 60” contrary to widespread assumptions, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

An elderly man waits for the tram in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: World Bank/Flore de Préneuf | Source: UN News Centre

In advance of the International Day of Older Persons, which falls on 1 October, WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said “most people, even in the poorest countries, are living longer lives, but this is not enough.”

“We need to ensure these extra years are healthy, meaningful and dignified,” Dr. Chan said.

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