Renewable Energies – a Double-Edged Sword

By Bradnee Chambers

Two United Nations bodies appear to be on collision course over the development of renewable energy. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species, explains that, while renewable energy has advantages, there are some pitfalls to be avoided

Over a dozen huge windmills line the roadside of the town of Jhimpir, close to Karachi, in the Sindh province. Credit: Farooq Ahmed/IPS
Over a dozen huge windmills line the roadside of the town of Jhimpir, close to Karachi, in the Sindh province. Credit: Farooq Ahmed/IPS

BONN, Oct 25 2014 (IPS) – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has set a target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2. One way countries can meet their obligations is to switch energy production from the burning of fossil fuels to “renewable”, generally understood to include wind, wave, tidal, hydro, solar and geothermal power and biomass.
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Homeless Jesus

Jesuit Communication Center

econThe pictured bronze sculpture of the homeless Jesus, by renowned Canadian Catholic artist Timothy P. Schmalz, has proved challenging and controversial. It should not be difficult to imagine Jesus as homeless. He pointed out to a would-be disciple that foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. In Matthew 25 he identifies with the hungry, naked,  sick or Imprisoned, with all the needy of this world. Continue reading

Illegal loggers remain hidden in Peru’s forest but timber finds global buyers

The Guardian

State exercises little control over remote Amazon region blighted by poverty and illiteracy, and organized crime fills the vacuum

Dan Collyns 

Tracing the origin of timber is difficult for the 12 forestry inspectors who work in Peru’s vast, virtually roadless northern Amazon region of Loreto. Photograph: Dan Collyns
Tracing the origin of timber is difficult for the 12 forestry inspectors who work in Peru’s vast, virtually roadless northern Amazon region of Loreto. Photograph: Dan Collyns

Javier Gomez sucks the last morsels of meat from the leg bone of an agouti, a large Amazonian rodent, his creased face belying his 44 years. ‘We’re just happy to have the work,” he shrugs wearily. “Here the only work is timber, that’s it. It’s heavy work but we’re used to it.” Older than his sinewy companions, Gomez says he will earn around $825 for spending four months logging in a camp two days up the Mayuruna river from his home village. Continue reading

A Verdict on Blackwater

New York Times

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

It took far too long, but four former gunslingers with the Black water Worldwide security firm have at last been held accountable for the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad in September 2007. It was one of the darkest episodes of America’s long war.

The verdict on Wednesday brings a measure of justice for the innocent victims and their families and offers some assurance that private contractors will not be allowed to operate with impunity in war zones. What it does not do is solve the problem of an American government that is still too dependent on private firms to supplement its military forces during overseas conflicts and is still unable to manage them effectively. Continue reading

U.S. Destroys Its Own Weapons in Enemy Hands

Analysis by Thalif Deen

The Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions on six individuals associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and with Al-Nusra Front (ANF), terrorist groups which now control parts of Iraq and Syria, in August. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe
The Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions on six individuals associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and with Al-Nusra Front (ANF), terrorist groups which now control parts of Iraq and Syria, in August. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 22 2014 (IPS) – When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured a treasure trove of U.S. weapons from fleeing Iraqi soldiers last month, one of the rebel leaders with a morbid sense of humor was quoted as saying rather sarcastically: “We hope the Americans would honor their agreements and service our helicopters.” Continue reading

Bishop: Decision to house those monitored for Ebola ‘right thing to do’

Catholic News Service
David Sedeno
DALLAS (CNS) — Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell said that he followed the teaching of Christ and stepped in to house the fiancee of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and three others for several weeks at a diocesan facility when no one else would.

The bishop’s acknowledgement Oct. 20 coincided with the lifting of the 21-day quarantine for nearly four dozen people being screened for the Ebola virus with none showing any signs of the disease. It also capped nearly a month of a scrambling by local, state and federal officials in trying to both combat the virus and calm the public’s fears about its spread.

During the time, two nurses who had contact with Duncan tested positive for the virus after his death. And with the growing health concerns, officials also faced a national public relations headache as they acknowledged missteps in the handling of the crisis, including not initially banning those self-monitoring themselves for symptoms from traveling or coming into contact with the public. Continue reading

DR CONGO: Bishops Strongly Condemn Religious Attack in Lodja

KINSHASA, OCTOBER, 17, 2014 (CISA) – Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CENCO) has condemned the attack on two catholic priests.

“It is unacceptable to blame the church personnel who, faithful to the hierarchy, exercise their pastoral ministry,” said a statement from CENCO.

The two priests were attacked on Sunday October 12 in Lodja, 750 km north of Mbuji-Mayi capital of Kasai oriental, the same day a convent was damaged.

The attack came after the priests reportedly read a Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference during Sunday Mass which criticized the proposed constitutional amendment that would allow incumbent President, Joseph Kabila, to vie for election for a third term, Fides reported. Continue reading

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