After Obama signed Dodd-Frank in July 2010, the Congo rule became law of the land.
By PATRICK REIS
A measure to stop use of gold and other “conflict minerals” from forced-labor mines run by Congolese warlords might seem like something Washington could rally behind — but not when it’s wrapped up in the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. The law, tucked into the 2,000-page Dodd-Frank Act that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, was based on a simple premise: By requiring companies to disclose their efforts to keep from using the minerals used to fund paramilitary groups that terrorize local populations, Congress could choke off the black market for them. There was bipartisan support and excitement about using financial reform law as a method for tackling human rights in Africa. Continue reading
By Sha Zukang
UNITED NATIONS, May 29, 2012 (IPS) – The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Rio+20, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Over 135 heads of state and government and up to 50,000 participants, including business executives and civil society representatives, will be present when the conference opens on Jun. 20. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls it “one of the most important conferences in U.N. history”. no mistake, the world is watching. With today’s unprecedented interdependence, sustainable development is the only way to address the inter-locking economic, social and environmental challenges that confront billions of people, and threaten our shared planet. Progress on sustainable development means meals on the table for millions who suffer from hunger; decent work opportunities; access to clean water; taking a deep breath of clean air; or walking through a forest teeming with life. Continue reading
Experts warn that ‘Green Economy’ meme may be hijacked by industry for profit
by Giuliano Battiston
FLORENCE, Italy – Though the current global economic and financial crises are undoubtedly devastating much of the world, they present the perfect opportunity for remodeling our economic system, according to participants at the ninth annual Terra Futura (Future Earth) exhibition of ‘good practices’ in social, economic and environmental sustainability held here from May 25-27. “What, how, how much and for whom to produce? Those are the questions we urgently need to answer,” said Guido Viale, environmental economist and author of several books on ecological issues. “The crisis offers us a chance to ecologically reconvert the ways we produce and use goods and services, paving the way to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, to respect biodiversity and to create a safe, low-carbon economic system.” Continue reading
A large explosion has hit the centre of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Several people are believed to have been wounded, reports say. TV pictures showed a fire raging in a badly damaged building. The blast’s cause is unknown. A Red Cross disaster response team has been sent to the scene of the explosion at one of the shops on Moi AvenueThere have been several blasts in Kenya since it sent troops into Somalia last year to tackle the al-Shabab Islamist militant group. Al-Shabab has repeatedly threatened to stage revenge attacks against Kenya. The BBC’s Kevin Mwachiro says glass and clothes from the small shops inside the building have been scattered across the street. TV pictures are showing people pouring into the streets from nearby buildings to get away from the scene of the fire, the AP news agency reports. Moi Avenue is a major road which would have been busy during the lunch hour, AP says. According to an eyewitness, there was a huge blast and debris flew in different directions injuring people in the vicinity, the Nation newspaper reports. The powerful explosion shook buildings in the surrounding area and the evacuation process began, the Nation says.
New York Times
Tomas Munita for The New York Times
By WILLIAM NEUMAN
LIMA, Peru — During a scorched earth military campaign that threatened to topple the government here, the Maoist guerrilla group known as the Shining Path terrorized Peru with assassinations, bombings, beheadings and massacres. So Peruvians were rattled last year when a group of former guerrillas began collecting signatures to create a political party to participate in the democratic process they had once sought to destroy. Among their goals was an amnesty for crimes committed during the war, which lasted from the early 1980s to 2000; it would allow the release of jailed Shining Path leaders, including the group’s reviled founder, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso. Continue reading