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Lives in Astronomy

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Human History as Cultural History

At present, history is taught as though power struggles were its most important aspect. Furthermore, the present teaching of history is indoctrination in nationalism. We need to reform our teaching of history so that the emphasis will be placed on the gradual growth of human culture and knowledge, a growth to which all nations and ethnic groups have contributed.


John Scales Avery

A New Freely Downloadable Book

I would like to announce the publication of a book, which reviews the lives and thoughts of some of the women and men who have contributed importantly to the development of astronomy, from ancient times to the present. The book may be freely downloaded and circulated from the following link:


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FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s Wishful Gold Diggers

Human Wrongs Watch

11 January 2020 (UN News)* —  The mining of gold in unregulated and often hand-dug pits in West Africa, can be a deadly occupation, but one which many impoverished people in the region are pushed into by necessity, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IOM/Alexander Bee | Gold-mining in West Africa is often carried out by hand.
Mali is Africa’s third biggest exporter of gold and a third of the country’s total production is estimated to come from artisanal mining in which over one million people are employed.

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New Year’s Day a Reminder of Need for Action to Prevent Newborn Deaths: UNICEF

Human Wrongs Watch

31 December 2019 (UN News)*The world will welcome more than 392,000 babies on New Year’s Day, according to estimates from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

UNICEF/Zehbrauskas | A man cries with laughter as he holds his newborn baby, born a few moments before at Lerdsin Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.

UN Chief Stresses Need for Independent, ‘Impartial Investigation’ into Saudi Journalist Khashoggi’s Death

As Saudi Arabia handed death sentences to five people and sent three others to jail for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United Nations Secretary-General continued to stress the need for “an independent and impartial investigation”. (*).

UN Photo/Cia Pak | The United Nations General Assembly and Secretariat buildings at UN headquarters.

At a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday [24 December 2019], UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, in response to a question, told journalists that an investigation was necessary “to ensure full examination of and accountability for human rights violations committed in the case”.

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Our Vanishing World (V): Birds

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia, 18 December 2019 —  At the beginning of the nineteenth century, it is estimated that the total number of passenger pigeons in the United States was about three billion birds.


Robert J. Burrowes

The bird was immensely abundant, as illustrated by this passage written by the famous ornithologist, naturalist and painter John James Audubon:

‘I dismounted, seated myself on an eminence, and began to mark with my pencil, making a dot for every flock that passed. In a short time finding the task which I had undertaken impracticable, as the birds poured in countless multitudes, I rose, and counting the dots then put down, found that 163 had been made in twenty-one minutes. I traveled on, and still met more the farther I proceeded. The air was literally filled with Pigeons; the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse, the dung fell in spots, not unlike melting flakes of snow; and the continued buzz of wings had a tendency to lull my senses to repose… Before sunset I reached Louisville, distance from Hardensburgh fifty-five miles. The Pigeons were still passing in undiminished numbers, and continued to do so for three days in succession.’ See ‘Passenger Pigeon’.

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Big Step-Up in Ambition Can Open Door to Crucial Pollution Cuts from Homes and Workplaces Worldwide

Human Wrongs Watch

Madrid, 11 December 2019, (UN Environment)*Dramatic improvements in the way the world’s buildings are built, designed and operated are urgently needed if the vast, globally significant building and construction sector is to play its part in meeting international goals under the Paris Agreement.

Pixabay (image postered here from UN Environment).

Bolivia: Post-Coup Update

Human Wrongs Watch

By Eric Zuesse – TRANSCEND Media Service*

With every passing day, it becomes clearer that the military coup in Bolivia on November 10th was masterminded in Washington DC.


Bolivian president Evo Morales who is now in exile in Mexico.(Photo: Sebastian Baryli)

This reality will create yet a new difficulty in relations between the U.S. regime and Mexico to its direct south, because the Mexican Government, under progressive President Lopez Obrador, took the courageous and very meaningful step of providing refuge to the U.S.-couped Bolivian President Evo Morales and therefore posed overtly a resistance to the U.S. dictatorship.

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World’s Crisis-Stricken Oceans Doomed to Destruction Without a Global Treaty

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 3 2019 (IPS)* – The greatest single climate-induced threat facing the world’s 44 small island developing states (SIDS) is rising sea waters which could obliterate some of the low-lying states, including Maldives, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Palau and Micronesia.


Credit: UNICEF

The Marshall Islands alone, says the UN, has seen more than a third of its population move abroad in the last 15-20 years. Many have moved for work, healthcare and education – but climate change is now threatening those who have chosen to stay.

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Food for Thought: Dietary Changes Can Improve Our Health, Health of Planet

25 November 2019 (UN Environment)*Our health and what we eat are inextricably linked. A balanced, nutritious diet gives us energy, keeps us focused and keeps many medical conditions at bay.

alexandr-podvalny-Unsplash.jpgPhoto by Unsplash/ @freestockpro

But what and how we eat is just as important to planetary health, and right now our diets are helping to create a sickly Earth.

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Dangers and Questions of the Zuckerberg Era

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio / Other News*

Rome, 14 November 2019 This year the Worldwide Web is thirty years old. For the first time since 1435, a citizen from Brazil could exchange their views and information with another in Finland. The Internet, the communications infrastructure for the Web is a little older.


Credit: Unsplash/Markus Spiske @markusspisk

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