Irresponsible arms transfers wrecking attempts to reduce poverty

From: Oxfam International
The unregulated sale of arms drives corruption, saps vital funds from coffers, and causes damage far beyond the immediate effects of stoking conflict and violence, says a report released Wednesday by an international humanitarian organization.

Global commitments to reduce poverty and improve lives cannot be reached unless the international community makes urgent progress towards controlling the arms trade, according to a new Oxfam report released today.
Global commitments to reduce poverty and improve lives cannot be reached unless the international community makes urgent progress towards controlling the arms trade, according to a new Oxfam report released today.

Global commitments to reduce poverty and improve lives cannot be reached unless the international community makes urgent progress towards controlling the arms trade, according to a new Oxfam report released today.
The report “Shooting Down the MDGs”, says many countries will not reach their Millennium Development Goals because of irresponsible arms sales. It shows these cause damage far beyond the immediate effects of stoking conflict and armed violence.

Many countries allow weapons sales without considering the potential impact on poverty. Some governments also buy arms at a high cost, putting them into debt and squeezing the amounts of money left to fight poverty. The lack of transparency and accountability in the arms trade means it is easily open to corruption and waste, again draining countries of money that could be used to improve ordinary peoples’ lives.
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1929 vs. 2008: Similar forces at work eight decades apart

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Historian Douglas Astolfi points to three periods of “incredible greed” on the part of wealthy corporations in American history.

The first occurred in the 1870s during a speculative boom following the Civil War. He identifies the Roaring ’20s as the second as investors leveraged stocks to secure loans from banks to buy more stocks while the stock market took off in the post-World War I period.
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The long march of the penguins

The Independent
Exhausted birds are washing up on Brazil’s tropical beaches, thrown off course by changing currents. Claire Soares reports
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Valeria Ruoppolo (IFAW):

"It's normal for them to migrate north, but this year they just kept on going".
Valeria Ruoppolo (IFAW): "It's normal for them to migrate north, but this year they just keep on going".

In between the bronzed bodies in skimpy thongs soaking up the rays on Copacabana beach, a tiny black and white bundle of feathers struggles to emerge from the surf. Exhausted and emaciated, its bones poking through the blubber, the young penguin finally collapses on the sand. It has strayed thousands of miles from home, one of more than 1,000 penguins to have washed up on the Brazilian coast this year.
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Bailing Out a Boat Full of Holes

InterPress Service
by Adrianne Appel

An ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) member holds a sign, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, as the political action group stages a protest in front of the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Doral, Fla. Many economists continue to sound warnings that the bailout was misguided and that the U.S. government needs to take more action. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
An ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) member holds a sign, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, as the political action group stages a protest in front of the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Doral, Fla. Many economists continue to sound warnings that the bailout was misguided and that the U.S. government needs to take more action. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

BOSTON – The U.S. Treasury’s bonanza from Congress to hand out 700 billion dollars to Wall Street is not what the country needs to right its shaky economy, many independent experts say.

“Despite the bailout, it’s clear the economy is going into a deep recession,” Robert E. Scott, senior international economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told IPS.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Tuesday that the U.S. economy is headed downward, hours after The Fed unveiled a programme to buy short-term debt in an effort to stimulate lending among businesses.

The Fed’s action followed a drop in the Dow Jones industrial average on Monday to below 10,000 for the first time since 2004, and reports of plunging markets around the world, with markets in Brazil and Russia especially hard hit. Developing nations are bracing for harder times to come.

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Rwandan troops ‘invade DR Congo’

BBC

The rebels say they have taken a Congolese army base.
The rebels say they have taken a Congolese army base.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused Rwanda of sending troops across the border, and threatening the eastern city of Goma.

The local provincial governor said Rwandan soldiers backing the Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda had crossed the border three days ago.

Rwanda has denied that any of its troops are inside DR Congo.

Rwanda twice invaded its neighbour in the 1990s and has accused the government of backing Rwandan rebels.
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Archbishop appeals to U.S. to help end violence in eastern Congo

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Archbishop Francois Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Congo, expressed hope that Americans would listen to his story about the ongoing violence in eastern Congo. Referring to the U.S. congressional representatives he met in October, Archbishop Maroy told Catholic News Service: “I hope they understand the gravity (of the situation). They promised they will see how they can help, and I am going to pray” that they do. “The world is so silenced it is like we are not even humans,” he said. Archbishop Maroy spoke to CNS in Washington Oct. 9 before he spoke about the poverty and violence in eastern Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa to representatives of U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations working in Congo. The archbishop also met with U.S. church representatives and asked them for help rebuilding “houses, schools, hospitals and convents that were destroyed” in the Archdiocese of Bukavu.

Congo: Bishops appeal for peace, end to pillaging of natural resources

Independent Catholic News

In a message released yesterday in Kinshasa, titled: “More innocent blood in Congo!”, the National Conference of Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) has expressed “concern that these recurring wars in the east and north-east regions become a smoke-shield to cover-up the pillaging of natural resources.
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