Archive for ‘Mother Earth’

16/01/2017

We Must Not Demonize and Threaten Russia

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

OSLO, 13 January 2017 – In his famous farewell address, US President Dwight Eisenhower eloquently described the terrible effects of an overgrown military-industrial complex.

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John Scales Avery

Here are his words:

“We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions…. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.

“The total influence, economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government…[and] we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

16/01/2017

Inequality (I): Half of World’s Wealth, in the Pockets of Just Eight Men

Human Wrongs Watch

 

Article I of a three-part series focuses on the alarmingly deepening inequality. Part II deals with the staggering impact of inequality on women, and Part III with the future and quality of jobs.

Credit: Marianela Jarroud / IPS

Credit: Marianela Jarroud / IPS

ROME, Jan 16 2017 (IPS) – Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a major new report by an international confederation of 19 organisations working in more than 90 countries.

13/01/2017

Demagogues Threaten Rights – Trump, European Populists Foster Bigotry, Discrimination

Washington, DC, January 12, 2017 – Human Rights Watch*

The rise of populist leaders in the United States and Europe poses a dangerous threat to basic rights protections while encouraging abuse by autocrats around the world, Human Rights Watch on January 12 said in launching its World Report 2017.

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Asylum seekers behind a metal fence in the ‘Hangar 1’ detention center, in Röszke, Hungary. September 9, 2015. © 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch

Donald Trump’s election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence of political parties in Europe that reject universal rights, have put the postwar human rights system at risk.

13/01/2017

Free Trade Agreements Promote Corporate Interests

Human Wrongs Watch

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 2017 (IPS) – So-called free-trade agreements (FTAs) are generally presumed to promote trade liberalization, but in fact, they do much more to strengthen the power of the most influential transnational corporations of the dominant partner involved. While FTAs typically reduce some barriers to the international trade in goods and services, some provisions strengthen private monopolies and corporate power.

Trump's ‘Put America First’ alternative of negotiating bilateral trade deals will be problematic for its negotiating partners, especially smaller and developing countries with modest negotiating capacity. Credit: IPS

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Trump’s ‘Put America First’ alternative of negotiating bilateral trade deals will be problematic for its negotiating partners, especially smaller and developing countries with modest negotiating capacity. Credit: IPS

13/01/2017

Global Food Prices Fall for Fifth Year – Economic Uncertainties Remain

Human Wrongs Watch

Data from 2016 reveals that for the fifth year in a row, the prices of food around the world have declined, in some cases 1.5 per cent below 2015 levels, a monthly United Nations report revealed.

Farmers beat rice to release grains near the village of Kamangu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

According to a press release released on 12 January 2017 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), bumper harvests – or harvests that have been remarkably plentiful – as well as promising prospects for staple cereals, helped to offset pressure on tropical commodities like sugar and palm oil, whose production was adversely impacted by El Niño.

13/01/2017

Syria and Aleppo – Old News Media alling

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jan Oberg*

I was in Aleppo December 10-14, 2016 and the Eastern part was finally liberated on the 12th.

Beyond any doubt, this was a world historic moment: because of Aleppo’s importance as city in Syria and the Middle East, its status as UNESCO World Heritage site, as turning point in the soon 6 year long war in and on Syria.

And because of the almost 100.000 people who came out of 4,5 years of hell-like occupation and because of the sheer proportions of the destruction.

Remarkably, there were no leading Western media present, also not those who were in Damascus and thus had a media visa. Most reported from very far away or from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, Istanbul or Berlin.

11/01/2017

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

Human Wrongs Watch

 

ROME, Jan 11 2017 (IPS) – There is a major though silent global threat to human and animal health, with implications for both food safety and food security and the economic well-being of millions of farming households. It is so-called anti-microbial resistance.

Since the introduction of penicillin in the middle of the 20th century, antimicrobial treatments have been used not only in human medicine but in veterinary care as well. But their excessive use in livestock (and aquaculture) contaminates the environment and contributes to a rise of resistant microorganisms, posing threats to human health, animal health, food security and people’s livelihoods.

Since the introduction of penicillin in the middle of the 20th century, antimicrobial treatments have been used not only in human medicine but in veterinary care as well. Their excessive use in livestock (and aquaculture) contaminates the environment and contributes to a rise of resistant microorganisms, posing threats to human health, animal health, food security and people’s livelihoods | FAO

The problems arise from the indiscriminate, excessive use of synthetic products, such as anti-microbial medicines, to kill diseases in the agricultural and food systems, which may be a major conduit of the anti-microbial resistance (AMR) that causes 700,000 human deaths each year and has the potential to raise this number to up to 10 million annually.

10/01/2017

Beyond Science Fiction: Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

Human Wrongs Watch

“You are worse than a fool; you have no care for your species. For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons. Only now are such things possible.”

When William Gibson wrote those words in his groundbreaking 1984, novel Neuromancer, artificial intelligence remained almost entirely within the realm of science fiction.

Today, however, the convergence of complex algorithms, big data, and exponential increases in computational power has resulted in a world where AI raises significant ethical and human rights dilemmas, involving rights ranging from  the right to privacy to due process.

10/01/2017

Nominating the CEO of Exxon for US Secretary of State Reveals Just How Desperate the Fossil Fuel Industry Is

  • Human Wrongs Watch

    By Kelly Mitchell*

    9 January, 2017 (Greenpeace)* – On the surface, this looks like a power grab. In reality, it’s a last ditch attempt at relevancy.

    ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment during a hearing on Capitol Hill. 17 Jun, 2010   © Mannie Garcia / Greenpeace

    In December, President-elect of the United States Donald Trump officially nominated Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. In response, everyone from preschool teachers to oil industry shill (and Senator, I guess) Marco Rubio is voicing their concerns.

10/01/2017

Meanwhile Around the World

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

La Nucia, Spain, 9 January 2017 – TRANSCEND Media Service –  The Centro Social invited all lonely men above 65 and women above 60 living in Comunidad Valenciana to a free stay at a hotel through Christmas, 23-27 December 2016.  May many copy that one!

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Johan Galtung

Waterberg, Namibia: Germany Grapples with Its African Genocide” (NYT, Norimitsu Onishi, 29 Dec 2016).

A cemetery for German soldiers who under Lothar von Trotha 1904-05 killed 80,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama cattle herders, resisting German colonization.

TRANSCEND was deeply involved around the centenary. Germany had a myth: genocide only under Hitler. France and England wanted no German apology as they had done worse.

Lawyers feared compensation claims. 

The result was to appeal to shared Christianity, admitting nothing. Waiting down the line: admission of guilt, wishing it undone, decolonization.

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