Archive for December, 2015

31/12/2015

Christmas, the Weather, the Republicans and the Rest of Us

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

San Salvador, Bahamas, 1 January 2016 – Christmas is a holiday for the American Congress, so the Republican lawmakers who deny the reality of man-made climate change can conveniently ignore the fact that on the 25th of December the temperature in Washington DC was a balmy 22 degrees centigrade (72 Fahrenheit) – clearly an exceptional event.
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Roberto Savio

As they are financed by major corporations (especially the energy industry), these politicians will not pay much attention to the crisis of the smaller retailing industry.

In nearby New York, Corniche Furs’ wholesale business slumped 30 per cent this month. And sales of woman’s boots plunged 24 per cent in the first half of December.

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30/12/2015

2015 and the Struggle for Europe’s Core

Human Wrongs Watch

449px-OrbanViktor_2011-01-07

**Viktor Orbán | Author: Európa Pont | Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. | Wikimedia Commons

Devastating terrorist attacks, months of insecurity about the Eurozone, huge electoral victories for populist parties, an unprecedented refugees crisis… there is no doubt that 2015 was Europe’s annus horribilis.

Both the projects of the European Union and of European liberal democracy were challenged in ways we have not seen before.

The real question for the coming year(s) is: was 2015 just a freak year, soon to be forgotten, or a transformative year, shaping European politics for years to come?

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30/12/2015

Brazil 2015: The Year When Everything Went Wrong

Human Wrongs Watch

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RIO DE JANEIRO, 30 December 2015 (IPS) – As 2015 approaches its end, Brazilians live a period of extraordinary uncertainty. The recession seems to get worse by the day. Inflation is high and shows unexpected resistance to tight monetary policies applied by the Central Bank.

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

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30/12/2015

Pre-Deciding about Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

By Elizabeth Traubman and Lionel Traubman*

28 December 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service – As loving parents who raised two children during the era of the Vietnam War, we were inspired by the work of child psychologist Haim Ginott who observed: “Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other. On the contrary, they breed and reinforce each other.”

Typology_of_violence

**A graph on typology of violence, as defined by the “World report on violence and health” (WHO, 2002). | 30 January 2012 | Author: jelicavesic  | public domain | Wikimedia Commons

We asked ourselves: Is it possible that spanking – smacking, some say – has a ripple effect into our community and inter-nationally? And so we challenged two rarely-questioned, often-implemented axioms of our times:

Violence is a good way to get what you want.

You can end violence with violence.

 

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30/12/2015

‘Recent Unusual Weather Worldwide Calls for Urgent Preventive Action’ 

Human Wrongs Watch

Extreme tornadoes in the United States over Christmas, abnormal snowfalls in Mexico, and heavy flooding in South America and the United Kingdom show that governments must take more preventive action to reduce human and economic losses from weather-related disasters, a senior UN official on 29 December 2015 warned.

Flooding in the community of Chaco’i, 30 miles from Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, in July 2014. Photo: UNICEF/ Martin Crespo

“Prevention measures including upgrading early warning systems to deal with the new climate variability, revising building codes to ensure more resilience of critical infrastructure such as schools, hospital and roads, and more investment in flood defences are critical to protect more people against disaster impacts,” said Margareta Wahlström, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
30/12/2015

‘People of African Descent Must Be Fully Included in Climate Change Decisions’

Human Wrongs Watch

People of African descent, often the poorest and most marginalized in society, are among those set to be most adversely affected by climate change, yet they barely figured in the recent Paris climate summit, a United Nations expert group on 29 December 2015 warned, calling for their full inclusion.

The impact of climate change is affecting Lesotho’s progress towards development in a number of areas, including agriculture, food security, water resources, public health and disaster risk management. Photo: FAO

“Implementation of the Paris climate change agreement and future climate talks should focus on the needs and views of those most at risk, including people of African descent, and not be based on market forces,” the Chairperson of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, said in a statement in Geneva.*

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29/12/2015

This Is What YOU Made Happen in 2015…

Human Wrongs Watch

By Shuk-Wah Chung*
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29 December 2015 (Greenpeace)It may have been the warmest year on record, but one thing’s for sure: 2015 signaled hope and change for the enviro-movement. 
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Here are 9 things you helped happen in 2015.
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A large scale visual message made by hundreds of people during the COP21 climate summit. A large scale message made by hundreds of people during the COP21 climate summit | Greenpeace

1. You helped accelerate the end of coal!

From the tiny village in Turkey that took on a “land grab” by a major power plant; to BOTH sides of the Norwegian parliament agreeing to divest from coal, the big ol’ black rock had a pretty terrible year.

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29/12/2015

World Order and Disorder: The “Games” and “Gambles” of Life and Lives

Human Wrongs Watch

Anthony Marsella, Ph.D.*

28 December 2015– TRANSCEND Media Service – More than Nations … Contrary to the widespread myth, nations are not the sole source of massive international political, economic, and social international events, forces, and changes. It is true the story of history is often told with nations as the grand hand behind unfolding events.

Anthony J. Marsella

Reality, however, is very different. Nations are merely one player among many players shaping history each day amid a complex crucible of “games and gambles” serving many interests.

The myth of “nation” determinism is encouraged by a select group of individuals, organizations, and nations who seek to hide their wealth, power, position, and privilege in shaping the world order and disorder.

It is to their advantage to function as shadow forces, often beneath the mantle of nations. Their immediate visibility may be hidden, but their influence is profound. The players are displayed in Figure 1.

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28/12/2015

Culture, Education and Human Solidarity

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

29 December 2015

Cultural and educational activities have a small ecological footprint, and therefore are more sustainable than pollution-producing, fossil-fuel-using jobs in industry.

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Source: Greenpeace

Furthermore, since culture and knowledge are shared among all nations, work in culture and education leads societies naturally towards internationalism and peace.

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27/12/2015

Life in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan’s Fourth Biggest City

Human Wrongs Watch

December 2015 (OXFAM)* – Za’atari refugee camp hosts around 80,000 Syrians who have been forced to flee the war in Syria. More than half of these refugees are children. The size of the camp, now Jordan’s fourth biggest city, is presenting huge challenges for infrastructure.

800px-An_Aerial_View_of_the_Za'atri_Refugee_Camp

**A close-up view of the Za’atri camp in Jordan for Syrian refugees as seen on July 18, 2013, from a helicopter carrying U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. [State Department photo/ Public Domain] | Wikimedia Commons: “This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.”

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