Indigenous campaigners occupy Belo Monte Amazon dam

BBC

Caiapo indigenous men demonstrating on the road leading to the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam Indigenous groups have been protesting against the project for years

Hundreds of campaigners have occupied the construction site of the Belo Monte dam project in the Brazilian Amazon.  They are demanding that work on the multi-billion dollar dam be stopped, arguing that it would displace thousands of indigenous people and damage the environment.  The protesters, many of them members of indigenous groups, said they would stay at the site indefinitely.  The government says the project is crucial to meeting energy needs. Continue reading Indigenous campaigners occupy Belo Monte Amazon dam

Boycott of Dam Hearing Shows ‘Radical’ Foreign Policy Shift

By Fabiana Frayssinet

A poor neighbourhood in Altamira, Brazil, flooded during the rainy season, will be left permanently under water by the Belo Monte dam.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 26, 2011 (IPS) – Activists opposed to the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in the Amazon jungle say the Brazilian government’s decision to boycott an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing represents a “radical” shift in the country’s foreign policy. Continue reading Boycott of Dam Hearing Shows ‘Radical’ Foreign Policy Shift

Congolese Catholic leaders visit US to lobby for ‘suffering’ people

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Two Congolese Catholic leaders visited Washington in late October to lobby U.S. government leaders on behalf of their people.   “We are living with the people … and we see how the people are suffering because of the presence of armed groups,” said Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, president of the Congolese bishops’ conference.  “So we decided to speak for our people,” he told Catholic News Service.   “We are talking to everybody, especially the international community.” Continue reading Congolese Catholic leaders visit US to lobby for ‘suffering’ people

Allegations Link U.S. Companies to Brazilian Sex Tourism

New York Times

By BARRY MEIER

 The Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation of sports fishing expeditions in the Amazon that may have been used as covers for Americans to have sex with underage girls, according to newly filed court papers.  The investigation and two related actions — a parallel criminal inquiry in Brazil and an unusual lawsuit filed in federal court in Georgia — could provide a rare look at the business operations of the multibillion-dollar international sex tour industry, which has increasingly focused on Brazil.  “Brazil is taking over from Thailand as a premier sex tourism vacation” spot, said Kristen Berg, an official of Equality Now, an advocacy organization in New York that helped bring the lawsuit in Georgia. Continue reading Allegations Link U.S. Companies to Brazilian Sex Tourism

France to support Kenya’s incursion into Somalia

BBC

France will give logistical support to Kenyan forces pursuing Islamist militants across the border in Somalia, a French military spokesman says.  Col Thierry Burkhard said French planes would transport military equipment to Kenyan soldiers near the Somali border.  Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has condemned Kenya’s incursion against the Islamist group, al-Shabab.  Col Burkhard denied Kenyan military claims that a French warship had shelled a Somali town on Saturday.  Kenyan motives.  Col Burkhard said the French operation was “limited in scope”, the AP news agency reports.  It would see French planes helping the Kenyan army to transport military equipment from the capital, Nairobi, to an airport close to the Somali border, he said. Continue reading France to support Kenya’s incursion into Somalia

Kibaki gambles on regional war with Al Shabaab

Africa Confidential

After chasing kidnappers across the border, the Kenyan army is digging in for the longer term in Somalia

 As the Kenyan army ventured deeper into Somalia, in its first cross-border campaign in 44 years, a regional grand strategy to deal with Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen is beginning to emerge. Kenya’s intervention was under detailed consideration several weeks before Nairobi’s official declaration of war against Al Shabaab on 15 October. There is little substance to media claims that United States diplomats based in Nairobi were surprised by Kenya’s operation. Both the USA and Britain run substantive regional counter-terrorism operations from Nairobi. Continue reading Kibaki gambles on regional war with Al Shabaab

Vatican document calls for global authority to regulate markets

By John Thavis

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Vatican document called for the gradual creation of a world political authority with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development.”  The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale.” A supranational authority, it said, is needed to place the common good at the center of international economic activity. Continue reading Vatican document calls for global authority to regulate markets