Archive for May 8th, 2023

08/05/2023

Can African Farmers Still Feed the World?

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, May 8 2023 (IPS)* – Less than a decade ago, Africa was home to 60-65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 10% of renewable freshwater resources, as reported by the African Union in 2016, while concluding that African farmers could feed the world.

Is it still the case?

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Droughts are a growing threat to global food production, particularly in Africa. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Droughts are a growing threat to global food production, particularly in Africa. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

The above data had been provided in July 2016 by the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), the technical body of the African Union (AU).

Now that seven long years have elapsed, the second largest continent on Earth –after Asia– has been facing too many extraneous pressures and hazards.

A major consequence is that that very percentage (60-65%) of the world’s uncultivated and arable land is now affected by degradation, with nearly three million hectares of forest lost… every single year.

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08/05/2023

Secrecy versus Democracy: New Developments

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

A Government with Many Secrets Is Not a Democracy

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John Scales Avery

What are we to think when governments make every effort to keep their actions secret from their own citizens? We can only conclude that although they may call themselves democracies, such governments are in fact oligarchies or dictatorships.

In a democracy, the citizens must control the actions of their government. If they are unable to do so because those actions are secret, then any claim to democratic government is lost.

Many governments have agencies for performing undercover operations (usually very dirty ones). We can think, for example, of the KGB, the CIA, M5, or Mossad.

How can countries that have such agencies claim to be democracies, when the voters have no knowledge of or influence over the acts that are committed by the secret agencies of their governments?

Nuclear weapons were developed in secret. It is doubtful whether the people of the United States would have approved of the development of such anti-human weapons, or their use against an already-defeated Japan, if they had known that these things were going to happen.

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08/05/2023

‘Slavery has left a deep and long-lasting legacy on the USA’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice in policing, ended a 12-day visit to the United States on Friday [], calling on Washington to boost efforts to promote accountability for past and future violations.

An anti-racism protest takes place in Colorado, USA. (file)
© Unsplash/Colin Lloyd | An anti-racism protest takes place in Colorado, USA. (file)

During the visit, the Mechanism visited Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York Citysaying in a press release, that it had been pleased to learn about various promising initiatives that authorities have developed to combat racial discrimination affecting people of African descent.

Urging accountability and support

Members of the UN Human Rights Council-appointed delegation said they “felt an urgency, and a moral responsibility, to echo the harrowing pain of victims” and their resounding calls for accountability and support.“We saw some promising initiatives centering the voices of victims and survivors, as well as law enforcement initiatives that could be replicated throughout the United States.

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