Archive for November 25th, 2015

25/11/2015

On the Eve of Paris Climate Talks, ‘Bad News’ for Planet

Human Wrongs Watch

In the last major report before world leaders meet in Paris to draft measures to counter global warming, the United Nations weather agency on 25 November 2015 delivered “bad news for the planet,” warning that 2015 is likely to be the warmest year on record, breaching the symbolic and significant milestone of 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

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Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

The 2011-2015 five-year period has also been the warmest, with many extreme weather events, especially heatwaves, substantially exacerbated by human-induced climate change, in some cases by a factor of 10 or more, according to the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“The state of the global climate in 2015 will make history for a number of reasons,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said, noting that this year’s climate has also been affected by El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern of devastating droughts and catastrophic floods that can affect scores of millions of people around the globe.

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25/11/2015

Smoking Out a Boko Haram Closet Supporter

Human Wrongs Watch

By Rev. Olufemi Oluniyi*

23 November 2015 (TRANSCEND Media Service) – Boko Haram, the terrorist Islamic organisation crashed into the Nigerian national stage with fury (2002), fire (2007) and firestorm (2009).

Wilayat_al_Sudan_al_Gharbi_maximum_territorial_control

**Map of the maximum extend of Boko Haram’s territorial control in West Africa’s Lake Chad region, in mid-January 2015. After the Lake Chad African nations joined together in a Coalition to defeat Boko Haram, Boko Haram lost most of its territory by March 2015. On March 7, 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIL, becoming ISIL’s West African province of Wilāyat al Sūdān al Gharbī.| Author: 햄방이 | Source: Wikimedia Commons

The word Boko, a Hausa adulteration of the English word “book,” and haram, the Hausa word for forbidden, together mean aversion to Western education.

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25/11/2015

Two Thirds of European Oil Refineries Ready for Tar Sands Imports

EurActiv.com by James Crisp*

EXCLUSIVE (EurActiv) 25 November 2015 – More than two thirds of European oil refineries are now equipped to process tar sands, research has found, raising fears the EU is ready to welcome a flood of imports of one of the most environmentally devastating fuels in production.

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Aerial view of the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada.  [Nobel Women’s Initiative/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv

In less than a week world leaders will meet in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference to try and strike a deal to cap global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

On 6 November, US President Barack Obama killed off the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried Canadian tar sands oil across the US, citing the projects impact on climate change. 

Tar sands oil produces three to four times more global-warming emissions when extracted and refined than conventional crude oil.

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25/11/2015

Are Young People the Answer to Africa’s Food Security?

Human Wrongs Watch

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Lusaka, Zambia, Nov 24 2015 (IPS) – Are you young, energetic, creative, ambitious and need a job? Africa’s agriculture sector needs you!
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Are young farmers key to Africa's food security?. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Are young farmers key to Africa’s food security?. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

 

This is a potential sales pitch to Africa’s “youth dividend” to make a living from agriculture, considered a less attractive sector for a career but the mainstay of a number of economies on the continent.

Agriculture is keeping more than 1.1 billion Africans fed but those who produce the food are not young, well resourced, and technologically savvy or with the convincing image to boot. There is growing concern that family farming may fail to keep food on Africa’s tables for long.

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25/11/2015

New European Border Restrictions on Refugees, Migrants Violate Human Rights – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 24 November 2015 warned Balkan States that border restrictions based on a refugee’s or migrant’s nationality infringed human rights, with the United Nations refugee agency reporting that 1,000 people are already stranded, 60 of them on hunger strike and 11 reportedly stitching up their mouths in protest.

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Syrian refugee Mohamed, his wife Fatima and their two babies wait in Serbia to cross into Croatia. Photo: UNHCR/Mark Henley

“Profiling asylum seekers on the basis of their alleged nationality infringes the human right of all people to seek asylum, irrespective of their nationality and to have their individual cases heard,” Ban said in a statement attributable to his spokesperson on the latest reaction to the huge influx of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing fighting in their homelands.

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25/11/2015

Did Argentina’s Elections Mark Start of Shift to the Right in South America?

Human Wrongs Watch

RIO DE JANEIRO, 24 November 2015 (IPS) – Different degrees of economic problems are a common denominator in South American countries where governments that identify as leftist may start to fall, in a shift that began in Argentina and could continue among its neighbors to the north.

Argentina

In the near future it will become clear whether the triumph of Mauricio Macri, to become president of Argentina on Dec. 10, marked the start of a new era in South America, with the emergence of conservative governments in a scenario where leaders identified as left-wing have been predominant so far this century. Credit: Mauricio Macri | Source: IPS

“It is not possible yet to say whether this is the end of a cycle, because the reasons for it are still very present…but there is a very complex crisis affecting the governments that I call ‘distributionist’, which are facing difficulties, especially in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela,” Professor Tullo Vigevani of the São Paulo State University told IPS.

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25/11/2015

How Much is Left of Syrian in the Syrian War?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 25 November 2015

The U.S. Congress, under the valiant leadership of Republicans, has vetoed the entry of Syrian refugees, including women and children, into the United States against Obama’s intention to accept 10,000 – a symbolic amount in a country which accepts over 50.000 refugees every year – while Germany is accepting at least 800,000 Syrians.

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Roberto Savio

What is frightening is the total ignorance of the world which is behind that veto.

According to the New York Times, more than 30 percent of U.S. senators have never possessed a passport and the U.S. Senate – the shining chapel of the exceptional destiny of the United States (the only real democracy, as Georges W. Bush once famously declared) – is an excellent example of the exceptionalism of U.S. democracy.

By constitution, every one of the 50 States of the Union has two member of the Senate: from Wyoming, with just over 563,000 inhabitants, to California, with more than 37 million.

Under the same constitution, the President of the United States is elected not by a citizens’ vote but by a vote linked to the same states.

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25/11/2015

‘Europe’s Moral and Spiritual Vacuum Invites Acts of Terrorism’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Iben Thranholm*

24 November 2015 (RT) – These days the media are overflowing with comments and analyses of last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. One particular angle is consistently ignored – or banished: religion.

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788px-Oslo_view_of_city

**Oslo, Norway immediately after the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik. | Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. | Wikimedia Commons

This is a curious omission since the terrorists themselves issue statements that indicate that religion is their motivation.

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