Nearing Hiroshima Day, Japanese bishop calls for discernment on nuclear energy

National Catholic Reporter

Let us join with the Catholics in Japan during their annual Ten Days for Peace (Aug 6-15) to mark the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Below is an NCR 2011 interview with Bishop Paul Otsuka of the Kyoto.

By Joshua J. McElwee

HIROSHIMA — Ten of Japan’s sixteen bishops are to arrive here tomorrow. It is not to be a synod. They are gathering Aug. 6 to commemorate humanity’s first use of an atomic bomb in an act of war.  An annual pilgrimage, the bishops will join thousands of others in marking the 66th year since the blast’s utter devastation — and the first since the March meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Continue reading Nearing Hiroshima Day, Japanese bishop calls for discernment on nuclear energy

Government criminalizes protests against mining

Latin America Press

During Humala’s first year in office, 17 people died in socio-environmental conflicts.  Ollanta Humala was sworn in as Peru’s president on July 28, 2011, promising to foment dialogue to resolve the social conflicts prevalent throughout the country. In his inaugural speech, he said that “the excessive increase of conflicts, many of them absurdly violent, show us every day that it is imperative to redress injustices, correct the course and restore dialogue in our society.”  The new administration inherited 214 social conflicts, of which 118 were socio-environmental, primarily against mining projects, according to the Defensoría del Pueblo, or National Ombudsman. During the government of former President Alan García (2006-2011), 195 people lost their lives as a result of violence unleashed during conflicts. Continue reading Government criminalizes protests against mining

DR Congo: 200,000 in ‘March of Hope’

Independent Catholic News

More than 200,000 people from 47 Congolese dioceses took part in a March of Hope in protest at the so-called ‘balkanization’ of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), by a new armed rebellion in North Kivu. In the capital, Kinshasa, the march started from different parishes around 6.30am, after morning Mass, converging toward the 14 deaneries of the Archdiocese. Each parish delegation bore a banner with the same message: “No to the balkanization of the DRC, no to the plundering of our resources.” Continue reading DR Congo: 200,000 in ‘March of Hope’

Trash Collectors Become Zimbabwe’s Unlikely Climate Change Ambassadors

By Stanley Kwenda

HARARE, Aug 1 2012 (IPS) – Tomson Chikowero was ashamed of his job. He did not want anyone finding out what he did to earn a living, so he used to wake up early every morning and leave his home in Hatfield, a residential suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare, under the cover of darkness.  And he would return only after sunset when no one could see him carrying the bags of plastic bottles that he collected from people’s trash that day. Continue reading Trash Collectors Become Zimbabwe’s Unlikely Climate Change Ambassadors

Fight Human Trafficking campaigns at Olympics

Independent Catholic News

Christians from across the globe are using a novel way to draw attention to British and foreign tourists of the universality of human trafficking. STOP THE TRAFFIK and UN.GIFT, the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, have come up with the GIFT box project which seeks, like human trafficking, to entice people towards something beautiful only to find that once engaged the outcome is far from what was originally expected. Continue reading Fight Human Trafficking campaigns at Olympics

Appalachian communities win challenge to state permit, but still seeking federal protection from devastating mines and pollution

Common Dreams

Appalachian Communities Win Case Against Unlawful Mountaintop Removal Mining Permit While Federal District Court Issues Decision Finding EPA Must Act Through Regulation, not Guidance

WASHINGTON – July 31 – Today rulings were issued in both West Virginia and the U.S. District Court demonstrating the need for Environmental Protection Agency standards that are based on the overwhelming scientific consensus that pollution from surface coal mining and coal waste disposal threatens Appalachian streams.  Today the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board (WV EQB) ruled that the state’s Clean Water Act permit for a mountaintop removal mine, Patriot Mining Company’s New Hill West mine, is unlawful because it does not limit harmful pollution that degrades water quality. Also today the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in the coal industry case challenging a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance document meant to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act and protect Appalachian communities from extreme mountaintop removal mining pollution. This court found that, to protect Appalachian streams from the harm caused by mining pollution, EPA should have issued a formal regulation instead of a guidance document. On these grounds, the court vacated the EPA’s conductivity guidance. Continue reading Appalachian communities win challenge to state permit, but still seeking federal protection from devastating mines and pollution