Religious activists have become increasingly important in challenging large-scale destructive mining practices around the world. Last week they were protesting prominently outside the annual general shareholder meetings of Rio Tinto and Anglo-American. They supported a representative of Mongolian herders who claimed that a $5bn (£3.3bn) expansion of Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert threatens the fresh water supply of hundreds of nomadic people and the area’s unique ecology. They also supported Peter Bailey, representing the South African National Union of Mineworkers at Anglo-American’s AGM, who complained about the lack of company responsibility for the sickness and suffering of thousands of former mineworkers, dying a slow death from silicosis as a result of dust exposure in mines. Continue reading Religious activists hold mining companies to account→
We regret that the “Protection of State Information Bill” was passed by the National Assembly yesterday. While improvements have been made to the Bill there are still flaws which are a cause for concern.
President Zuma has the power to refer the Bill to the Constitutional Court before he signs it into law. We call upon him to do so in order to avoid the risk of a prolonged and expensive court battle and the possibility of more parliamentary time being spent on amendments.
As a result of sustained pressure by civil society and opposition MPs, together with a receptive attitude from many ANC MPs who have dealt with the Bill in both Houses, there are improvements in the Bill which has been passed by Parliament. Even though we are unhappy with the latest version, its journey has been an object lesson in co-operation and engagement between civil society and parliament. We welcome the fact that: Continue reading Statement of the “Protection of State Information Bill” (“Secrecy Bill”)→
Advocates, mostly African diaspora, gathered on March 15 in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to call attention to the tragic effects of land grabbing in Africa by foreign investors. The discussion was moderated by Gregory Simpkins, senior advisor to Congressman Chris Smith, the Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
This has been an unbelievably difficult week, feeling a bit like a nightmare that concluded with a cold bucket of water being thrown on me. That cold bucket of water was the reality that money really can speak louder than the voices of constituents. When it became apparent on Wednesday evening that the Manchin-Toomey amendment was going to fail my heart sank.
My heart didn’t sink because I necessarily thought the amendment would pass; instead it sank because I realized that those 45 Senators who voted against it weren’t representing their constituents in voting against the amendment, they were representing the NRA.
Attached is a list of the 45 Senators who voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment on Wednesday April 17. Along with their picture is included the number of people from their states who have been killed due to gun violence as well as the amount of money they accepted from the National Rifle Association in their most recent election. We have also provided their office phone number and their Twitter handles, we encourage our members who are represented by these Senators to contact them and tell them that their vote was unacceptable. Continue reading The Guys With The Guns, and The Money, Won This Round→
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Reforms in health and retirement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security must not increase poverty or economic hardship among the people they are designed to help, the chairman of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committees said in a letter to Congress. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, cautioned in the April 22 letter against shifting the cost of such programs to or diminishing benefits of vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and the poor. Continue reading Bishops say health, retirement reforms should not contribute to poverty→
JUBA, April 23, 2013 (CISA) -South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir , has announced the formation of a new national reconciliation committee in a move seen as a response to public concerns, a week after suspending the process.
The public expressed numerous concerns in the media as to why the president decided to suspend the much-needed national reconciliation process, instead of changing the membership and composition of the committee without interruptions.