Soul-searching for racial justice

National Catholic Reporter

By Alex Mikulich

 Viewpoint

It is a sign of the times that the Trayvon Martin case is waning away from public attention, and that the U.S. Catholic bishops have not addressed the fundamental issues of racial justice at stake for the nation.  A failure to address the social structures and culture that is death-dealing for African-American and Latino men and women in America — the context for the Feb. 26 killing of Martin — is a “supreme dishonor to the Creator” in terms of the most basic tenet of Catholic social teaching: that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Continue reading Soul-searching for racial justice

Brazil President Rousseff vetoes parts of forest law

BBC

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has vetoed parts of a controversial bill which regulates how much land farmers must preserve as forest.  Among the 12 articles which President Rousseff rejected is an amnesty for illegal loggers.  Brazil’s farmers’ lobby had argued that an easing of environmental restrictions would promote food production.  Environmentalists oppose the law, which the say will lead to further destruction of the Amazon rainforest.  The bill was approved by the Brazilian Congress a month ago. Environmentalists had urged President Rousseff to veto the entire bill. Continue reading Brazil President Rousseff vetoes parts of forest law

Peruvian archbishop calls for end to pollution left by mining firms

MANNHEIM, Germany (CNS) — A Peruvian archbishop pleaded for assistance in stopping the exploitation of Peru’s resources by foreign companies whose practices have polluted communities and endangered residents.   Archbishop Pedro Baretto Jimeno of Huancayo told an audience May 17 during a session at the German Catholic Church’s bi-annual Katholikentag gathering of German Catholic clergy, religious and lay leaders that many mining firms run round-the-clock operations that leave residues that pollute drinking water supplies. “With a large percentage of the resources of our country going abroad, we now have a massive pollution problem,” he said. “ Continue reading Peruvian archbishop calls for end to pollution left by mining firms

Farm Bill is an opportunity to turn a broken system around

NCR – Editorial

Every five years, Congress looks over the nation’s agricultural, nutrition and food aid policies and passes a multibillion-dollar piece of legislation known as the Farm Bill. Since only a small number of Americans farm, the bill is shaped and debated without much media attention, yet it’s an important piece of legislation because it provides food aid both here and abroad while forming and supporting our overall food and farming system. Continue reading Farm Bill is an opportunity to turn a broken system around

On Memorial Day Weekend, America Reckons with Torture

Common Dreams

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Facing the truth is hard to do, especially the truth about ourselves. So Americans have been sorely pressed to come to terms with the fact that after 9/11 our government began to torture people, and did so in defiance of domestic and international law. Most of us haven’t come to terms with what that meant, or means today, but we must reckon with torture, the torture done in our name, allegedly for our safety. Continue reading On Memorial Day Weekend, America Reckons with Torture

Director of Vatican Bank resigns under pressure

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In an unprecedented move, the board of the Vatican Bank on Thursday (May 24) forced its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, to resign.  According to a Vatican statement, the bank’s supervisory council unanimously passed a no-confidence motion in Gotti Tedeschi for his “failure to fulfill various primary functions of his office.” Carl A. Anderson, the supreme knight of the U.S.-based Knights of Columbus, is one of the council’s four members.  The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, declined to give more details on the reasons for the dismissal, but analysts say the move should be read in the context of an internal Vatican struggle over controversial new rules for financial transparency. Continue reading Director of Vatican Bank resigns under pressure

Preventing pupils’ pregnant pause

Mail and Guardian

Victoria John

Many South Africans say pregnant teens should stay home from school lest they “disturb the class”, but activists are working hard to change attitudes.  The right of pregnant schoolgirls to continue their schooling is often disputed in South Africa’s schools and communities, despite government policies that protect their access to education. Continue reading Preventing pupils’ pregnant pause

How could I possibly be connected to the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

AFJN

Note: Jaques Bahati recently visited Congo and asked that I send this.

If you use electronic devices such as a cell phone, television, iPad, any kind of music and movie player, a microwave and buy jewelry, you are likely to have indirectly financed the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that has claimed about 6 million lives and counting.  Furthermore, if you travel by car or plane or your country manufactures or buys sophisticated weapons to protect you, know that it is likely that many Congolese had to die for you to enjoy that comfortable life style. Continue reading How could I possibly be connected to the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

AFRICA: IMBISA Bishops to Act as Election Observers

May 22, 2012 (CISA ) -The Southern African Catholic Bishops have volunteered to act as election observers in the upcoming elections in several countries across the region, a statement sent to CISA said.  The bishops feel that much is at stake in some of the countries that face elections this year. They expressed that election violence, intimidation and reprisals as some of their major concerns. Continue reading AFRICA: IMBISA Bishops to Act as Election Observers

Belo Monte Dam Hit by Friendly Fire

By Mario Osava *

SÃO PAULO, May 22, 2012 (Tierramérica) – Those who made the final decision on the design of Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will face legal action in the future for the damages caused. This is the kind of warning one would expect from environmentalists, but in this case it comes from a surprising quarter: staunch supporters of hydropower. Continue reading Belo Monte Dam Hit by Friendly Fire