Hundreds still displaced in Nairobi

IDPs at the Mathare Chief’s camp in Nairobi. Photo: Allan Gichigi/IRI

NAIROBI, 22 July 2008 (IRIN) – Hundreds of Kenyans displaced during post-election violence in early 2008 in the capital, Nairobi, are still in camps more than two months after the government launched a countrywide resettlement programme.

“Many of the displaced were tenants whose houses were destroyed or have since been occupied by other people; dozens were landlords, mostly in the Mathare slums, and these are the ones whose resettlement is difficult,” Abdi Galgalo, the chief of Mathare, told IRIN on 21 July. Continue reading Hundreds still displaced in Nairobi

The Brazilian Amazon: The legacy of an eco-martyr

National Catholic Reporter

Story and Photos by PAUL JEFFREY Para, Brazil
Publication date:
July 11, 2008

The Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon Deep in the Brazilian Amazon,

Antonia Silva Lima lives in a place called Hope. She came to the rain forest more than two decades ago, following thousands of other migrants fleeing poverty in other parts of Brazil. The settlers moved deep into the forest and cut down trees to grow subsistence crops, only to be chased off their small plots by gunmen at the hire of government-sanctioned wealthy land grabbers. Then four years ago Lima and her family joined a small gathering of peasant farmers committed to living sustainably in the middle of the jungle without cutting it down. She was encouraged to join the project by Dorothy Stang, a sister of Notre Dame de Namur who gave the village its name: Esperan├ža — the Portuguese word for hope. Continue reading The Brazilian Amazon: The legacy of an eco-martyr

Report: U.S. Africa Aid Is Increasingly Military

Advocacy Group Cites Development Needs

By Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Foreign Service

NAIROBI, July 17 — U.S. aid to Africa is becoming increasingly militarized, resulting in skewed priorities and less attention to longer-term development projects that could lead to greater stability across the continent, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Refugees International.

The report warns that the planned U.S. Africa Command, designed to boost America’s image and prevent terrorism, is allowing the Defense Department to usurp funds traditionally directed by the State Department and U.S. aid agencies. Continue reading Report: U.S. Africa Aid Is Increasingly Military

White Supremacy: Beyond the KKK

by Mary Oishi

(Published in the February/March 2003 issue of The Burning Bush, feminist news & commentary for New Mexico.)

Since I am a Japanese American, people are shocked when I tell them that my adoptive mother was the daughter of KKK members. I grew up surrounded by white supremacists.

The cemetery in Pennsylvania where my adoptive dad is buried is replete with metal markers proudly proclaiming, “Royal Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” The town where I attended elementary school had an ordinance until the late 1960’s prohibiting people of color from spending the night within the borough limits. I lived in an adjoining township, and rode a bus into town every day to attend school. In such a segregated environment, it is no wonder the kids on the bus shouted “Remember Pearl Harbor!” and pushed me out of bus seats and knocked books out of my arm and threw apples at me from behind. Everyone else in the entire school had one hundred percent European ancestry. It was not an easy place to grow up Japanese American: not at home or at school. Continue reading White Supremacy: Beyond the KKK

Riches in the Arctic: the new oil race

The Independent

New geological surveys show as much as a fifth of the world’s undiscovered but exploitable gas and oil reserves lie under the Arctic ice. As the ice melts, the pristine wilderness could become ‘the new Houston’.

By Michael McCarthy

It is the increasingly rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice which is opening up the possibility of the once frozen wasteland providing a natural resources and minerals bonanza The future of the Arctic will be less white wilderness, more black gold, a new report on oil reserves in the High North has signaled this week. The first- comprehensive assessment of oil and gas resources north of the Arctic Circle, carried out by American geologists, reveals that underneath the ice, the region may contain as much as a fifth of the world’s undiscovered yet recoverable oil and natural gas reserves. Continue reading Riches in the Arctic: the new oil race

Appalachian Residents Have Found the Antidote to Coal

New America Media

On the frontlines of one of the most tragic environmental and human rights scandals in modern American history, the community of Coal River has devised a plan to break the stranglehold of King Coal on the central Appalachian economies.

If Senator Barack Obama ever needs a living symbol of change we can believe in, and a hopeful way to transcend the dirty politics of our failed energy policies, he should go and see the future of renewable energy in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia.

Yes, renewable energy in Appalachia.

Something historic is taking place in West Virginia this summer. Faced with an impending proposal to stripmine over 6,600 acres — nearly 10 square miles — in the Coal River Valley, including one of the last great mountains in that range, an extraordinary movement of local residents and coal mining families has come up with a counter proposal for an even more effective wind farm. Continue reading Appalachian Residents Have Found the Antidote to Coal

G8 falls short on climate change


Gabriel Murwa and his wife with their last remaining cow from a herd of 100. The others have all died. [Richard Wainwright]

CAFOD is disappointed that the G8 Summit in Japan has not gone far enough on cutting the necessary carbon emissions to stem global warming

CAFOD says plans announced by G8 leaders to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050 falls short of what is needed to save the planet.

The new pledge by the world leaders strengthens last year’s G8 pledge to “seriously consider” the cuts – but still does not go far enough. Continue reading G8 falls short on climate change

USCCB introduces study guide that examines torture as moral issue

Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The dignity and respect of the human person is the cornerstone of a new study guide on torture as a moral issue published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The guide, titled “Torture: Torture Is a Moral Issue, a Catholic Study Guide,” looks at church teaching as it relates to the use of torture by government authorities around the world and mixes in biblical passages that evoke Jesus’ call to “love your enemies.” The guide was written by David Gibson, retired editor of Catholic News Service‘s Origins documentary service, in cooperation with the Catholic Leadership Council within the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It was developed for use by discussion groups and classes in Catholic settings as well as individuals, families and others interested in studying the issue. The guide was introduced June 23 in the midst of Torture Awareness Month as designated by religious, human rights and civil liberties organizations. The guide is available for downloading on the Web at: