Pope encourages people fighting to rid world of land mines

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called for continued efforts to rid the world of land mines so that people could be free to walk the earth without fear of injury or death. “I encourage all those who are working to free humanity from these terrible and insidious devices,” the pope said, as he expressed his closeness to all victims and their families.
The pope made his appeal at the end of his general audience talk April 4 as he recalled the U.N. International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, celebrated the same day. Recalling the words of Blessed John Paul II the day before a U.N. convention on the ban and destruction of anti-personnel land mines took effect in 1999, Pope Benedict said land mines keep people from “‘being able to walk together on the paths of life without fearing the threat of destruction and death.'”

About 72 countries in the world are thought to be riddled with land mines, and Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and Libya are considered nations most at risk, according to a 2011 report by the non-profit Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. More than 12 countries produce land mines, including China, India, Russia, Cuba and the United States, the report said.

April 4th – UN International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Since the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention opened for signature in 1997, 156 countries have ratified or acceded to it. More than 41 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have been destroyed, and their production, sale and transfer have in essence stopped. Continue reading April 4th – UN International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

When Bankers Rule the World

YES Magazine

by David Korten

The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s economy and politics. Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years: the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their personal financial take without regard to the consequences for others. Continue reading When Bankers Rule the World

Wisconsin family heartbroken after ICE deports father of four to Mexico

MANITOWOC, Wis. (CNS) — Jennifer Martinez waved in vain through tears of fear and frustration as the windowless white bus left the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation center in Chicago shortly after 7 a.m. March 23.  Inside the nondescript bus, Jennifer’s husband and the father of her four children, 32-year-old Jaime Martinez Espinal, his wrists cut and scraped from handcuffs binding his hands, prepared for his forced return to Mexico because he was an undocumented U.S. resident. “It was so heartbreaking. Our oldest daughter, Isabel, who is 6, was so upset she kept throwing up. Continue reading Wisconsin family heartbroken after ICE deports father of four to Mexico

5 Va. men, alleged Crips members, charged in teen prostitution ring

Washington Post

By  Justin Jouvenal

The Crips leader approached the 16-year-old on the Metro, federal prosecutors allege, told her she was pretty and broached an offer he and his associates would make to high school girls across the area: She could make a lot of money by having sex with men.  Flattered by the compliment, she was one of at least 10 teenage girls who became prostitutes for the Underground Gangster Crips, a violent  street gang in Fairfax County, court papers say. The girls were recruited on Facebook, at bus stops and even in school, according to authorities, then forced to stay through  threats and violence, including rape. Continue reading 5 Va. men, alleged Crips members, charged in teen prostitution ring