Rio+ 20 Suffers Leadership Void Weeks Ahead of Summit

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 27, 2012 (IPS) – When a landmark U.N conference on sustainable development kicks off in Brazil mid-June, more than 120 world leaders are expected to participate in the much-ballyhooed talkfest on the future of the global environment.  “But yet we haven’t had a single leader who has stood up and provided a vision and direction that these talks desperately need,” complained Tim Gore of the London-based Oxfam International. Continue reading Rio+ 20 Suffers Leadership Void Weeks Ahead of Summit

UN body says Brazil violating indigenous rights

Survival International

The International Labour Organization (ILO), part of the UN, has criticized the Brazilian government for failing to respect indigenous peoples’ rights.  The ILO has stated that by failing to consult Indians about the construction of the Belo Monte mega-dam, Brazil has violated the ILO’s Convention 169 on indigenous peoples’ rights, to which the country is a signatory.  Brazilian Indians have held several large-scale protests against the dam, which will bring devastation to their rainforest. The uncontacted Indians living in the area could suffer the greatest impacts. Continue reading UN body says Brazil violating indigenous rights

Judge says government violated Constitution in contract with USCCB

Background: In September the USCCB Office for Migration and Refugees was denied a grant for its anti-trafficking program.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Religiously based restrictions on reproductive health services for victims of human trafficking cannot be imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, a federal judge has ruled. By delegating to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops the decision on which services to offer or not offer to trafficking victims, HHS violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled March 23 in the case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in Massachusetts. Continue reading Judge says government violated Constitution in contract with USCCB

Woe betide the return of the Zimbabwean dollar

It is too soon to return the Zimbabwe dollar but some people are calling for it for nefarious reasons – they claim it brings the dignity of the country back. But is it true?

 InterPress Service

Tinashe Zuze’s story is a typical one of Zimbabwe’s professionals who have shunned formal employment. Instead of working for someone else, Zuze left his job as a bank teller and entered into the world of “wheeling and dealing” in illegal foreign currency. It turned many into wealthy business people overnight since “the day the dollar died.” Economists call it Black Friday. On Nov. 14, 1997 the Zimbabwean dollar crashed under the weight of unbudgeted spending. The cause was President Robert Mugabe’s handsome payouts or “gratuities” to veterans of the 1970s liberation struggle. The overspending sent the country’s economy into a spiral, which is still being felt today. Continue reading Woe betide the return of the Zimbabwean dollar

How embassy staff collude with cartels to con Kenyans

Daily Nation

By PATRICK MAYOYO

An international human trafficking ring is working with employees of some embassies in Kenya to recruit unsuspecting Kenyans into forced labour in the Middle East.  The cartel lures Kenyans by placing advertisements of well-paying job opportunities in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait in local newspapers. Continue reading How embassy staff collude with cartels to con Kenyans

Nigeria : Catholic bishops of the Lagos/Ibadan issue a statement

Africa Files

John L Allen Jr – NCR

Last Sunday, another Catholic church in Nigeria was bombed, killing at least 10 people in the blast and the retaliatory violence that followed. Most observers assume the attack was orchestrated by the radical Islamist Boko Haram sect, the tip of the spear for ethnic, political and religious violence in Nigeria that has left thousands dead in recent months. Continue reading Nigeria : Catholic bishops of the Lagos/Ibadan issue a statement

DR Congo poll followed by wave of killings – UN

BBC

The aftermath of the election was characterised by violence

Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo carried out killings and arbitrary arrests after elections last year, according to a UN report.  The UN Joint Human Rights Office documented the killing of 33 civilians in Kinshasa by members of the army, police and the elite Republican Guard. Continue reading DR Congo poll followed by wave of killings – UN

Cardinal says America must understand its immigrant past and future

National Catholic Reporter

By Jerry Filteau

WASHINGTON — In a major talk on immigration reform Friday, Cardinal Roger E. Mahony urged listeners: “Understand our immigrant history and our immigrant future. If we don’t understand the past and the present, in the future we’re going to proceed in peril.”  “The future economic growth of our country requires immigration participation,” he said. Continue reading Cardinal says America must understand its immigrant past and future

Rio+20 Earth Summit – time to change the narrative

New Internationalist

What we need at the June meeting is action – not voluntary pledges and empty goals. Phil England looks ahead.  

 We’re living through a particularly ugly period in world history. As Naomi Klein has lain out very clearly in Shock Doctrine and subsequently, in late stage capitalism deregulated corporations and financers don’t just seek to maximize profit at the expense of both people and the planet, they actively exploit disaster. Continue reading Rio+20 Earth Summit – time to change the narrative

What Do World Bank Poverty Statistics Really Tell Us?

Institute for Policy Studies

by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

 The statistics upon which most poverty elimination strategies are based are extremely misleading, and often steer experts toward the wrong solutions.

Now here is what sounds like a New York Times headline to celebrate: “Dire Poverty Falls Despite Global Slump, Report Finds.” That report would be a 6-page World Bank briefing note, the press release for which is titled: “New Estimates Reveal Drop in Extreme Poverty 2005-2010.” Echoes The Economist: “For the first time ever, the number of poor people is declining everywhere.” Continue reading What Do World Bank Poverty Statistics Really Tell Us?