Financial Crisis – What Happened

The CornerHouse

For the past couple of years, The Corner House and its colleagues have been trying to understand the impacts of the new finance on the ground — for instance, on communities affected by mining or plantations — and to analyse what difference it might make to solidarity strategies with affected communities: Is capital just capital, whether it comes from hedge funds, private equity, banks or the state? Or does the very structure of this new finance create new challenges?
Continue reading Financial Crisis – What Happened

Kenya: Church speaks on national economic crisis

Independent Catholic News

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Kenya Episcopal Conference issued t a wide-ranging statement yesterday after their Annual General Meeting. Extracts follow:

Internally Displaced Persons

It is with great pain to think that our own brothers and sisters are still refugees in their own country. The camps like those at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, Eldoret showground in Eldoret, Kirathimo in Limuru and Naivasha among others are still staggering with people who are helplessly in need of assistance. Some tents are torn especially after the rain, food and health services are nowhere. A few who had been promised to return to their farms through “Operation Rudi Nyumbani have been abandoned on the way, establishing fresh camps of returnees who joined those who returned to their ancestral villages hosted by relatives and good Samaritans.
Continue reading Kenya: Church speaks on national economic crisis

Questionnaire on Extractive Industries

Dear friends,

As a member of the Religious Working Group on Water (RWG), I chair the sub-committee on Water and Extractive Industries, the members of which all happen to be from Catholic organizations.  For the past year, this committee has considered doing a mapping exercise to determine where our members throughout the world may be aware of the problems mining industries create for both local communities and the environment.  The committee has developed a **Survey Monkey Questionnaire** which we are encouraging our constituents to send to their members who are missionaries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and even to members who may be serving in mining states in the U.S. where mining practices are impacting Native Americans and others. The purpose is to gather information about mining practices, both destructive and beneficial; types of mining; how communities are affected; and what is being done to address problems.  Once this information is gathered and collated, the committee will determine the next steps.
Continue reading Questionnaire on Extractive Industries

Preventing the other meltdown

Boston Globe – sent by Sr. Helen Wright
By James Carroll
October 13, 2008

THE WORD “meltdown” came naturally to the lips last week, referring to the collapse of financial markets. But what about a real meltdown? The word came into popular usage to describe the melting of fuel rods in a nuclear reactor, a result of out-of-control overheating, leading to a dangerous release of radiation. But before that, meltdown defined not the accident of a power plant but the purpose of a nuclear bomb – the liquefaction through intense heat of metal, glass, and everything else caught in an atomic blast. Meltdown is the point.
Continue reading Preventing the other meltdown

Why Congo Week?

The Congo is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today where nearly 6 million people have died since 1996, half of them children 5 yrs old or younger and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped all as a result of the scramble for Congo’s wealth. The United Nations said it is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two. However, hardly anything is said about it in the media. Can you imagine 45,000 people dying each month and hardly a peep from anyone in the age of the Internet? This is literally what has happened and continue to happen in the Congo. There is a media white-out about Congo and no worlwide resolution to end the conflict and carnage there.

Continue reading Why Congo Week?

Bishops urge president to grant Haitians temporary protected status

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Catholic bishops have called on President George W. Bush to grant Haitians temporary protected status for the next 18 months, citing pressing humanitarian reasons. Temporary protected status, or TPS, permits nationals of a designated nation who are living in the U.S. to reside in this country legally and to qualify for work authorization. Such a designation is based on a determination that armed conflict, political unrest, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions exist in a nation and that the return of that country’s nationals would further destabilize the nation and potentially bring harm to those who go back. “Haiti meets the standard for TPS because it has experienced political tumult, four natural disasters and severe food shortages in the last eight months alone, not to mention the devastation of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004,” said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The letter, dated Oct. 9, was released Oct. 14 by the USCCB Office of Media Relations.

Six Products, Six Carbon Footprints

Wall Street Journal
Everybody’s talking about it. But what exactly is a carbon footprint? And how is it calculated?

By JEFFREY BALL
A new concept is entering the consumer lexicon: the carbon footprint.

First came organic. Then came fair trade. Now makers of everything from milk to jackets to cars are starting to tally up the carbon footprints of their products. That’s the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that get coughed into the air when the goods are made, shipped and stored, and then used by consumers.
Continue reading Six Products, Six Carbon Footprints

Africa Command Spells Colonialism

Share the World’s Resources

After years of neglecting Africa as a foreign policy priority, the U.S’s new initiative known as Africa Command has led many to speculate that its purpose is to ensure ‘command’ of land and resources that in the past was called plain ‘colonialism’, writes Nunu Kidane

8the October 08 – Nunu Kidane, Monthly Review
For years, the U.S. never considered Africa as a priority foreign policy agenda.  The only context in which Africa came up in Washington was for preferential trade as in AGOA (Africa Growth & Opportunity Act) or in AIDS funding from PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and of course humanitarian assistance.
Continue reading Africa Command Spells Colonialism