Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’

30/09/2016

Take a Deep Breath?… But 9 in 10 People Live with Excessive Air Pollution!

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Sep 29 2016 (IPS) – The warning is sharp and the facts, alarming: 92 per cent of the world’s population live in places where levels exceed recommended limits. And 6.5 million people die annually from air pollution.
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Credit: Radek Kołakowski CC | UNEP
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And the warning comes from the leading United Nations agency dealing with health, which rolled out its most detailed profile of the scourge ever in a bid to slash the deadly toll.

“Fast action to tackle air pollution can’t come soon enough,” the Geneva-based UN World Health Organization (WHO) top environmental official Maria Neira on 27 September said of the new air quality model, which includes interactive maps that highlight areas within countries exceeding WHO limits.

The world’s population reached 7.35 billion last year, according to UN figures.

29/09/2016

Gandhi: ‘My life is my message’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia, 29 September, 2016 – As most of the world ignores or hypocritically celebrates the 147th birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the International Day of Nonviolence on 2 October, some of us will quietly acknowledge his life by continuing to build the world that he envisioned.

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Robert J. Burrowes

When asked for his message for the world, Gandhi responded with the now famous line ‘My life is my message’ reflecting his lifelong struggle against violence.

Gandhi’s life was dotted with many memorable quotes but one that is less well known is this: ‘You may never know what results come of your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results’.

Fortunately, there are many committed people who have identified the importance of taking action to end the violence in our world – whether it occurs in the home or on the street, in wars, as a result of economic exploitation or ecological destruction – and this includes the courageous people below.

29/09/2016

Colombia Referendum – First Acid Test for Peace

Human Wrongs Watch

BOGOTA, Sep 27 2016 (IPS) – It was like a huge party in Colombia. “Congratulations!” people said to each other, before hugging. “Only 20 minutes to go!” one office worker said, hurrying on her way to Bolívar square, in the heart of Bogotá. And everyone knew what she was talking about, and hurried along too. Complete strangers exchanged winks of complicity.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signs the peace agreement, observed by FARC chief Rodrigo Londoño, Latin American presidents and other dignitaries, in an open-air ceremony in the city of Cartagena de Indias. Credit: Colombian presidency

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signs the peace agreement, observed by FARC chief Rodrigo Londoño, Latin American presidents and other dignitaries, in an open-air ceremony in the city of Cartagena de Indias. Credit: Colombian presidency

 

Starting at 5:00 PM on Monday Sept. 26, the people in the square watched a live broadcast of the ceremony in Cartagena de Indias, 664 km to the north, where the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels signed a peace agreement, putting an end to 52 years of armed conflict.

24/09/2016

Population Growth Extremes: Doublers and Decliners

Human Wrongs Watch

NEW YORK, 23 September 2016 (IPS) – While the world’s population of 7.4 billion is growing at 1.1 percent per year – about half the peak level of the late 1960s – enormous differences in demographic growth among countries are increasingly evident and of mounting concern to countries and the international community.
City view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Asia-Pacific region is urbanizing rapidly. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

City view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Asia-Pacific region is urbanizing rapidly. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

Few of the decliners are prepared to accept large-scale immigration, particularly from doubler countries, to address labor force shortages and population aging concerns.

At one extreme are the doublers: 29 countries whose populations are expected to at least double by the middle of the 21st century. At the other extreme in striking contrast are the decliners: 38 countries whose populations are expected to be smaller by the middle of the 21st century.

24/09/2016

UN Refugee Summits Fall Short for Children

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, September 21, 2016 (IPS) – As Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini opened the floor for US President Barack Obama’s leaders’ summit on refugees, she embodied a hope unavailable to most child refugees.

Just over half of the world's refugees are children. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS.

Just over half of the world’s refugees are children. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS.

On Monday, the United States was one of the main countries to obstruct a UN Declaration that no child should ever be detained. Though welcome, the US’ commitment the following day to resettle 110,000 refugees in 2017 was overshadowed by its ugly record on detaining unaccompanied minors.

Just over half of the world’s 65.3 million refugees are children, of which the vast majority, some 25 million children are out of school, threatening to leave almost an entire generation behind.

24/09/2016

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost Nearly $5 Trillion (and Counting): Report

Human Wrongs Watch

13 September2016 
As nation remembers 9/11 victims, report calculates cost of military response to attacks

The estimate includes budget requests for the 2017 operations in Afghanistan—which are poised to continue even after President Barack Obama vowed to withdraw troops from the country by then. (Photo: Marines/flickr/cc) | Source: Common Dreams

The U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost taxpayers nearly $5 trillion and counting, according to a new report released to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the attacks.

Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, released the figures in an independent analysis (pdf) of U.S. Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs spending, as well as their base and projected future spending. 

24/09/2016

Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is ‘a Disaster for Global Food System’

14 September 2016 (teleSUR)*The Monsanto takeover creates the world’s largest seed and pesticide company and threatens to entrench corporate control of the global food system. German drug and chemical corporation Bayer confirmed Wednesday that it reached a record-breaking US$66 billion takeover of U.S.-based biotechnology giant Monsanto.
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A Greenpeace activist displays signs symbolizing genetically modified crops at a protest in front of the European Union headquarters in Brussels Nov. 24, 2008.

A Greenpeace activist displays signs symbolizing genetically modified crops at a protest in front of the European Union headquarters in Brussels Nov. 24, 2008. | Photo: Reuters | Reproduced from teleSUR as part of this article.

Bayer is one of the leaders in the world’s farm-products market, while Monsanto is better known for being a mega-producer of genetically modified crops.

24/09/2016

The State of the World–By Journalism

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

23 September 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – We want journalists to do that, give us the state of the world, by from one “trouble spot”–arenas of past-present-future violence–to the other. Not to mirror the world, but to make it more transparent.  What questions should they ask to do a good job, below the surface?

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Johan Galtung

For key illnesses like epidemics: ask for diagnosis, the causes; for prognosis, the consequences; for therapy, “what are you doing to restore health”.  “Ice to lower the fever”, would not be accepted; they would demand a theory linking the diagnosis to the therapy.

We should demand the same level of sophistication for peace even if there is no consensus about peace diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.

But peace studies have identified two causes underlying violence: unsolved conflict, and unconciled trauma from past violence.

It makes as good sense to use “the talking method” (Freud) to try to identify them in concrete cases as to ask patients where it hurts and how long.

Journalists, physicians and mediators have one thing in common: they are expected to ask questions. 

20/09/2016

UN Refugee Summit: “No Cause for Comfort”

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 2016 (IPS) – With record numbers of forcibly displaced persons around the world, many were left disappointed by the outcome of a high level UN summit designed to address the issue by bringing together world leaders on the sidelines of the UN’s annual General Assembly.

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar refused entry by border guards in Bangladesh in 2012. Credit: Anurup Titu/IPS

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar refused entry by border guards in Bangladesh in 2012. Credit: Anurup Titu/IPS

During the first-ever summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, global leaders approved a declaration that aims to implement a more coordinated, comprehensive and humane refugee response.

“Today’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his opening address to delegates.

20/09/2016

European Security, With or Without Russia?

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 17 September 2016 (IPS) – The joint military manoeuvres between the Russian and Chinese navies, armies, and air forces has kicked off. It’s a clear message for Washington, which has recently strengthened its action in Asia, indicating that as a country that overlooks the Pacific, it wants to play an important role in the continent, aimed at containing the Chinese expansion. 

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Roberto Savio

Obama, during his visit to Laos, the first by an American President and his last in Asia as President, has explicitly stated that the United States are guarantors of Asian stability.

One must also consider that the greatest continent of the world is going through a wave of nationalism (China, Japan, India) and populism (Philippines). Joint military manoeuvres are a clear message: the United States cannot decide the destinies of Asia.

Russia is already considered by NATO an enemy to contain, encircled by the borders of Eastern Europe. The annexation of Crimea, the intervention in eastern Ukraine, and then the military action in Syria, have isolated the Kremlin, object of unprecedented trade sanctions by both Europe and America.

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