Archive for ‘Asia’

06/07/2020

What Are the Russian Authorities Trying to Hide?

Environmental stories out of Russia have been in the news lately. First, there was one of the largest diesel spills in the Russian Arctic’s history. Then, there is the shocking heating of the Arctic which can be directly connected to climate change, which is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, like diesel. Now — once again, as is happening with increasing fury every year — there are wildfires raging across Siberia, another effect of climate change.

Samples Collected from Pyasina River Contaminated by Oil in the Russian Arctic. © Dmitry Sharomov / Greenpeace
Greenpeace Russia takes samples from the Pyasina River’s contaminated water. © Dmitry Sharomov / Greenpeace

Well, here’s a story that ties all these things together:

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05/07/2020

If This Is the Remote Worker of the Future, GET OUT of the House Now

Human Wrongs Watch

By Andrew Dickens*

05/07/2020

Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ellen Brown | Web of Debt – TRANSCEND Media Service*

BlackRock is a global financial giant with customers in 100 countries and its tentacles in major asset classes all over the world; and it now manages the spigots to trillions of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve. The fate of a large portion of the country’s corporations has been put in the hands of a megalithic private entity with the private capitalist mandate to make as much money as possible for its owners and investors; and that is what it has proceeded to do.

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Ellen Brown

To most people, if they are familiar with it at all, BlackRock is an asset manager that helps pension funds and retirees manage their savings through “passive” investments that track the stock market.

But working behind the scenes, it is much more than that.

BlackRock has been called “the most powerful institution in the financial system,” “the most powerful company in the world” and the “secret power.”

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05/07/2020

Is Swine Flu Going to Be the Next Pandemic?

The world has been worried about pandemic diseases for many years. Before COVID-19, attention was focused on influenza viruses as the most likely cause. A recent paper reminds us that the threat from flu remains very real. It reports that a swine flu virus is circulating in China that has the potential for pandemic spread in humans. This sounds highly alarming, but just how worried should we be?

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Main symptoms of swine flu in humans | Public Domain

There are millions of cases of flu each year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. These are caused by “seasonal” or type B influenza viruses.

There are also other types of flu viruses that are harboured by animals, notably the type A viruses of birds.

Thankfully, most of these infect humans poorly. But as they are different from the seasonal viruses, humans have no or little existing immunity to them.

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04/07/2020

Battleground States

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kathy Kelly – TRANSCEND Media Service*

“The time for manufacturing of weapons of war has passed as a viable industry for our nation, despite the way some of our political leadership clings to economies of the past.”
 — Lisa Savage, U.S. Senate candidate in Maine

 

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Fincantieri Marine Group

On 25 June 2020 President Trump’s re-election efforts took him to the “battleground” state of Wisconsin, where he toured the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard. He railed against the Democrats as a scarier enemy than Russia or China.

He also celebrated Wisconsin’s win over domestic enemies like the state of Maine in securing a key shipbuilding project.

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04/07/2020

Water and Climate Coalition Takes Shape

3 July 2020 (WMO)* — Climate change impacts are affecting water availability and are exacerbating the damages floods and drought cause worldwide. Climate related water action is a key for bringing us back on track to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 6, to ensure access to water and sanitation for all and to sustain a healthy environment.

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WMO hosted a virtual diplomatic briefing on 2 July on plans for a Water and Climate Coalition aimed at building momentum on water and climate action through implementing concrete activities at the national, regional and global levels.

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04/07/2020

Living amid Ruins, Afghans Get Help to Build Shelters

Afghanistan’s shortage of decent and affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges facing millions of displaced and returning refugees. A new project is offering some a solution.  |  Français   |  عربي

5efdd49c1Four-year-old Malali eats bread made by her grandmother, Sadar Bibi. The family returned to Afghanistan after 30 years living as refugees in Pakistan. © UNHCR/Farzana Wahidy

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3 July 2020 (UNHCR)* — Mohammad Daud and his family fled fighting and insecurity in their home area and came to Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan more than eight years ago. But until recently, they still lacked a secure roof over their heads.
03/07/2020

Why Don’t We Take Climate Change Seriously? Racism Is the Answer

Human Wrongs Watch

By Sulaiman Ilyas-Jarrett*

If climate change directly affected white Westerners, action would have come quicker.

Climate activist Oladosu Adenike organising with schoolchildren in Abuja, Nigeria, 2019.
Climate activist Oladosu Adenike organising with schoolchildren in Abuja, Nigeria, 2019 | Oladosu Adenike (All rights reserved)

1 July 2020 (openDemocracy)* — We have known about climate change for decades. As early as 1992 the threat was sufficiently obvious, and the science sufficiently clear, to justify a UN treaty on the topic. Yet we’ve only even begun to get our act together in the last five or so years. Why?

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03/07/2020

Economic Misery Engulfs Syrian Refugees and Their Hosts

By Walid Saleh and Warda Al-Jawahiry in Tripoli, Lebanon | UNHCR*

In Lebanon, the capacity of local community and Syrian refugees to provide mutual support is being stretched to breaking point by economic turmoil and the COVID-19 crisis. |Español   |  Français|  عربي

5ef9b97e2Kawkab Mustafa pictured inside her shop in the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighbourhood of Tripoli, Lebanon. © UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Behind the counter of her small convenience store in a rundown neighbourhood of Tripoli, northern Lebanon, 35-year-old Kawkab Mustafa keeps a list of debts owed to her by customers she has allowed to buy goods on credit. In recent months, the list has grown so long she needs four separate notebooks to record all the entries.

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03/07/2020

‘Let’s Cooperate and Invite Everyone to Fight for Climate Action’ – International Day of Cooperatives

a voting session

Climate change severely impacts people’s livelihoods around the world, especially the most disadvantaged groups such as small-scale farmers, women, youth, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, who have to cope with extreme natural disasters and degradation of natural resources.

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