Nice, Fuzzy, Positive Language on Aid

By IPS correspondents

ACCRA, Sep 3 (IPS) – Ministers and senior government officials from around the world have reportedly agreed an action plan to make the system of aid more effective after days of hard negotiations that pitted some of the world’s poorest nations against donor giants.

But a negotiator for developing countries who did not want to be named told IPS the text agreed was entirely devoid of any time-bound measurable goals, due to objections from the United States and Japan. Continue reading Nice, Fuzzy, Positive Language on Aid

In Congo, rape is a weapon of war

The Standard – Nairobi

By Eric Mgendi And Solange Nyamulisa

With the largest peacekeeping force in the world, the crisis in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo is one of the most complex.

New estimates by International Rescue Committee show that more than five million people have died between 1998 and 2002. It all began 12 years ago after the ouster of Laurent Kabila. Long-standing and deep-seated, internal causes, often based on ethnicity and interference by external powers have consistently undermined the integrity and sovereignty of DR Congo. Continue reading In Congo, rape is a weapon of war

Waiting for the Bus in New Orleans

Common Dreams

by Bill Quigley
August 30, 2008 – 4 pm –

In the blazing midday sun, hot and thirsty little children walk around bags of diapers and soft suitcases piled outside a locked community center in the Lower Ninth Ward. Military police in camouflage and local police in dark blue uniforms and sunglasses sit a few feet away in their cars. Moms and grandmas sit with the children and wait quietly. Everyone is waiting for a special city bus which will start them on their latest journey away from home. Continue reading Waiting for the Bus in New Orleans

Report from annual J&P Network conference

Independent Catholic News

On the bright, sunny weekend of 18 – 20 July over 350 J&P activists from across England and Wales gathered at Swanwick for “Hear My People Cry”, the 30th annual National Justice and Peace Network conference, organised in this year of the Capital of Culture by Liverpool archdiocese J&P Commission. The conference aimed to shine the light of faith-filled living onto some of the undersides of modern life, without leaving people feeling that they were powerless to work for change. Before looking at some of the problems faced in communities, Fr Tom Cullinan reminded delegates about the Pastoral Cycle. There was a sigh of recognition when he pointed out that all charisms have their shadow side and that the shadow for J&P is self-righteousness. Thus forewarned, delegates were invited to See – Judge ­ Act. Continue reading Report from annual J&P Network conference

Mugabe held hostage by party hawks and army

Daily Nation – Nairobi

* Reports say General Constantine Chiwenga told Mugabe the army was not prepared to honour any arrangement that leaves Mr Tsvangirai as the dominant figure
* Gen Chiwenga is the leader of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which is made up heads of the army, police, prisons and intelligence that has effectively usurped power from Mr Mugabe since Mr Tsvangirai defeated him in the presidential election held on March 29.
* Another threat came from former liberation war fighters who are said to have ordered the 84 year-old president not to accept any power sharing deal with the opposition Continue reading Mugabe held hostage by party hawks and army

Kenya: Struggling for peace

By Karen Allen

BBC News, Nairobi

Scenes of unrest in Kenya

When Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki signed a peace deal on 27 February, ending Kenya’s post-election violence, people took to the streets to celebrate.

The agreement, hammered out by Kofi Annan after weeks of political wrangling, paved the way for a grand coalition government. It was a breakthrough in a part of the world where traditionally winner takes all. Continue reading Kenya: Struggling for peace

Kenyan Christian leaders ask for forgiveness for role in violence

NAKURU, Kenya (CNS) — Christian leaders in Kenya pledged to work for reconciliation and asked God for forgiveness for their role in widening divisions in the country. “We note that a serious impediment of God’s mission of reconciliation … in our time and in our country is the fact that quite often the church has been caught up in the destructive ethnic, social and economic divisions and conflicts in the nation,” said a statement signed by 1,300 Christian pastors. Continue reading Kenyan Christian leaders ask for forgiveness for role in violence

Climate change: How quest for zero waste community means sorting the rubbish 34 ways

The Guardian

Japanese village’s strict recycling regime looks to a future free of incinerators and landfill

Justin McCurry in Kamikatsu

Audio Photo Gallery

Sonae Fujii at the waste recycling centre in Kamikatsu, Japan

The inhabitants of Kamikatsi intend to do away with incinerators by 2020, to become Japan’s first zero-waste community. Photograph: Robert Gilhooly

It was not that long ago that life in Kamikatsu revolved around the state of the rice crop and the number of tourists arriving to soak in the restorative waters of the local hot spring. Now the tiny village, in the densely wooded mountains of Shikoku island in south-west Japan, has a new obsession: rubbish. Continue reading Climate change: How quest for zero waste community means sorting the rubbish 34 ways