Archive for ‘Asia’

24/08/2016

‘All of Humanity Is Part of This Story’ – UNESCO on Day to Remember Slavery

Human Wrongs Watch

23 August 2016 – The courage of the men and women who in August 1791 revolted against slavery in Haiti “has created obligations for us,” the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on the day set aside for remembrance of that rebellion, noting that “all of humanity is part of this story” and efforts to teach the history of the slave trade will help build a better world.

Shackles used to bind slaves. UN Photo/Mark Garten

“The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted,” said UNESCO Director-General in her message for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, marked annually on 23 August.

24/08/2016

UN Sounds Alarm as 4.5 Million People Need Food Aid in Boko Haram-Hit Areas

Human Wrongs Watch

23 August 2016 – The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has nearly doubled to 4.5 million from March, according to a mid-August analysis by various agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP).

After fleeing Boko Haram violence, a child, at Dalori 2, a displaced people’s camp located on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, eats Plumpy’sup, a ready-to-use, highly nutritious food to combat malnutrition. Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf

“All indications point to an extremely grave situation,” said Abdou Dieng, the UN agency’s Regional Director for West Africa, in a news release.

“As the rains set in and the lean season deepens, and more areas are opened up to access humanitarian aid, the full scale of hunger and devastation is likely to come to light,” he added.

24/08/2016

Free People from the Standardised Dictatorship of the 0.01%

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. Vandana Shiva*

NEW DELHI, 22 August 2016 – Chemical corporations are trying to impose patents on all living organisms… They are trying to destroy our local food systems and replace them with industrial junk food by changing food and health safety as well as bio-safety, through ‘harmonisation’.

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Vandana Shiva

10 Aug 2016 – “The only way to counter globalization–just a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree.”

This is how dear friend and eminent writer Mahasweta Devi, who passed away on July 28, at the age of 90, quietly laid out her imagination for freedom in our times of corporate globalisation in one of her last talks.

Our freedoms, she reminds us, are with grass and trees, with wildness and self-organisation (swaraj), when the dominant economic systems would tear down every tree and round up the last blade of grass.

20/08/2016

The Time Is Ripe to Act against Drought

Human Wrongs Watch

WINDHOEK, Aug 18 2016 (IPS) – Let us start with some good news.  Sort of.  The strongest El Niño in 35 years is coming to an end. [1]

Monique-Barbut_-251x300

Monique Barbut

In 2015/2016 this “El Niño effect” led to drought in over 20 countries [2]

There were scorching temperatures, water shortages and flooding around the world.  Worst hit were eastern and southern Africa[3]

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And though the worst of the drought is coming to an end, predictions are high (at about 75%) that La-Nina will arrive later in 2016. La Niña – El Niño’s opposite number – is known for the flooding it brings.

To understand what that means for people, you just have to look at the numbers about food insecurity[4]

32 million people in southern Africa were affected by food insecurity as a result.  Across Africa, 1 million children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

20/08/2016

‘UK Officials Patrolling the Internet, on Road to Creating ‘Thought Police’’

Human Wrongs Watch

15 August 2016 (RT)* We have activists who have been detained for saying that they would like to do something – not the fact that they had done something – and this is a worrying trend, Annie Machon, former MI5 agent, told RT.
579px-New_Scotland_Yard_sign_3

**Photo: The sign outside the current New Scotland Yard building, located in Victoria, London. | Author: Man vyi | public domain.| Wikimedia Commons.

Scotland Yard is creating a special unit designed to counter online harassment in the UK. The program will cost almost 2 million pounds, with five detectives and an army of volunteers, hunting down Internet trolls.

20/08/2016

‘US Military Presence in Mideast Only Serves to Benefit Jihadist Groups’

Human Wrongs Watch

18 August 2016 (RT)* – Repeated errors by the US and its inability to understand the bigger picture in the Middle East, as well as its wars in the region, will continue with no end in sight for millions of civilians, says Matthew Hoh, a former US State Department official.
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**Photo: Taliban police patrolling the streets of Herat in a pickup truck | Author: bluuurgh | public domain. | Wikimedia Commons

20/08/2016

South Sudan: Hundreds of Children Recruited into Armed Groups

Human Wrongs Watch

Reporting that 650 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan since January, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCEF) on 19 August 2016 called for an immediate end to recruitment and an unconditional release of all children by armed actors.

Gatkuoth, 15-years-old (not his real name), was recently released from an armed group in South Sudan. He was recruited when he was just thirteen. UNICEF estimate that there are still 16,000 children associated with armed groups in the country. Photo: UNICEF/UN028379/Rich

“The dream we all shared for the children of this young country has become a nightmare,” said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director said today in a news release issued by the agency.

18/08/2016

Time for a Woman to Lead the UN

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 17 2016 (IPS) – Judging by the latest polls it now seems more likely that the United States will have a female President in 2016, than the United Nations will have a female Secretary-General.

Candidates for Secretary-General debate in the UN General Assembly hall. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Candidates for Secretary-General debate in the UN General Assembly hall. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Despite widespread support for the next UN Secretary-General to be a woman, female candidates have not fared as well as men in the first two so-called straw polls of UN Security Council members.

However the campaign received a small boost from UN Secretary -General Ban Ki-Moon this week when he told an Associated Press Journalist in California it is “high time” for a woman to hold his job.

18/08/2016

Why Is Global Community Ignoring Slaughter of Yemeni Children?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Catherine Shakdam*

14 August 2016 (RT) – Following 18 months of violence, engineered starvation and a blatant media blackout, Yemen’s suffering has risen to the surface – one hot bubbling shame, the one conflict few have dared discuss for fear of financial repercussions.
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Boy playing on piece of exploded artillery shell which landed near his home, in the village of Al Mahjar, a suburb of Sana’a, Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

I realize that truth and honesty are hard commodities to come by, but let’s momentarily try them on for size and see if how they fit. Let’s see if we can stomach the reality the people of Yemen have had to live under as the global community chose to avert its gaze.

18/08/2016

Money, Economy, Economics

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

15 August 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Money is the key: that genius innovation for storing general value and exchanging specific values according to price.  Not strange, that heads of state had their faces imprinted on coins and bills.

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Johan Galtung

But not on cents and euros.  The EU is faceless.  Brexit is not.

Coins and bills are fading; not money, capital, and its growth. Look at The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger by Greg Steinmetz, brilliantly reviewed by Martha Howell (TNYRB, 7 Apr 2016).  Born in 1459, in that pivot German city Augsburg, he died in 1515, and here is how he used the system:

“Fugger expanded his business from trade and used his ability to provide ready credit in order to secure rights to productive assets, such as mines that reliably yielded returns over considerable periods of time.  He made princes, in this case the Habsburgs dependent on his money.  He financed their elections to the sponsorship, extended loans to pay their armies, and bribed their enemies to keep them at bay.”

Sounds familiar? Half a millennium ago. Solid. There is more to it:

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