Archive for August 17th, 2016

17/08/2016

One Humanity? Millions of Children Tortured, Smuggled, Abused, Enslaved…

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Aug 16 2016 (IPS) – Children are being smuggled, sexually abused, maimed, killed for their vital organs, recruited as soldiers or otherwise enslaved. Not only: 69 million children under five will die from mostly preventable causes, 167 million will live in poverty, and 263 million are out of school. And 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030.

A boy carrying his belongings in a large cloth bag over his shoulder is among people walking on railway tracks to cross from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia into Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-2203/Georgiev

A boy carrying his belongings in a large cloth bag over his shoulder is among people walking on railway tracks to cross from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia into Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-2203/Georgiev

These are just some of the dramatic figures that the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and other UN and international bodies released few weeks ahead of the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) marked every year on August 19.

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17/08/2016

Ethiopian Food Aid Jammed Up in Djibouti Port

Human Wrongs Watch

By James Jeffrey*

DJIBOUTI CITY, Aug 15 2016 (IPS) – Bags of wheat speed down multiple conveyor belts to be heaved onto trucks lined up during the middle of a blisteringly hot afternoon beside the busy docks of Djibouti Port.

Workers in Djibouti Port offloading wheat from a docked ship. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

Workers in Djibouti Port offloading wheat from a docked ship. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

Once loaded, the trucks set off westward toward Ethiopia carrying food aid to help with its worst drought for decades.

With crop failures ranging from 50 to 90 percent in parts of the country, Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest wheat consumer, was forced to seek international tenders and drastically increase wheat purchases to tackle food shortages effecting at least 10 million people.

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17/08/2016

4 Stories of Indigenous Peoples’ Struggle for Climate Justice

Human Wrongs Watch

By Martin Vainstein*

9 August, 2016 (Greenpeace) Racism, deforestation, powerful mining companies, colonialism, the oil industry – Indigenous People across the world are fighting so many things in the struggle for climate justice.
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The Munduruku people have inhabited the Sawré Muybu village, in the heart of the Amazon, for generations.  © Otávio Almeida / Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace

From Canada to Honduras to Brazil to Finland, Indigenous Peoples face systematic oppression, government ambivalence and corporate greed – and with a changing climate their battles have gotten even bigger. When your life, existence and culture is threatened, you can’t run away – speaking truth to power is the only way to live.

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17/08/2016

‘Making America Great Again’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.*

 15 August 2016, TRANSCEND Media Service – When the time arrives for national elections in the United States, most of the candidates campaign on the slogan: making America great again. However, not one political figure brings into the open the real source of the nation’s great problem. Many of those running for an office tend to defend the way things have been going.

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**Image: John Trumbull’s painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress. The painting can be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda…

US Constitution Needs Revision

Up to now, the United States Constitution was never revised, far less updated, since it was composed some 300 years ago when things were entirely different from those of our times.

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17/08/2016

Arable Lands Lost at Unprecedented Rate: 33,000 Hectares… a Day!

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Aug 16 2016 (IPS) – Humankind is a witness every single day to a new, unprecedented challenge. One of them is the very fact that the world’s arable lands are being lost at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Each year, 12 million hectares are lost. That means 33,000 hectares a day!

Desert, drought advancing. Photo UNEP

Desert, drought advancing. Photo UNEP

 

Moreover, scientists have estimated that the fraction of land surface area experiencing drought conditions has grown from 10-15 per cent in the early 1970s to more than 30 per cent by early 2000, and these figures are expected to increase in the foreseeable future.

While drought is happening everywhere, Africa appears as the most impacted continent by its effects. According to the Bonn-based United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), two-thirds of African lands are now either desert or dry-lands.

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17/08/2016

Human Nature: An Evolutionary Paradox

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

 15 August 2016

Today, human greed and folly are destroying the global environment. As if this were not enough, there is a great threat to civilization and the biosphere from an all-destroying thermonuclear war. Both of these severe existential threats are due to faults our inherited emotional nature.

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John Scales Avery

From the standpoint of evolutionary theory, this is a paradox.

As a species, we are well on the road to committing collective suicide, driven by the flaws in human nature.

But isn’t natural selection supposed to produce traits that lead to survival?

Today, our emotions are not leading us towards survival, but instead driving us towards extinction. What is the reason for this paradox?

Some stories from the Bible

The Old Testament is the common heritage of the three Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Some of the stories which it contains can be seen as attempts to explain the paradoxes of human emotional nature:

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