Stop Sinai Torture

www.stopsinaitorture.org/

Urgent Problem:

African, primarily Eritrean and Sudanese, asylum seekers are being kidnapped, tortured, raped and trafficked in Egypt’s Sinai Desert on their way to seeking refuge in Israel.

Suggested Solution:

To petition the UN and international governments to come together to put an end to this kidnapping, torture and rape.

In Kenya, Small Is Vulnerable

Miriam Gathigah

Kenya’s farmers - particularly small-scale farmers - face uncertain times due to extreme climate conditions as the country’s main sources of water are producing less than they did in the past. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS
Kenya’s farmers – particularly small-scale farmers – face uncertain times due to extreme climate conditions as the country’s main sources of water are producing less than they did in the past. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

NAIROBI, Jul 15 2013 (IPS) – With the country’s food security and farmers’ livelihoods at risk from climate change, Kenya has divergent policy options. One is reliant on deploying new technologies as well as improving and expanding use of fertilisers and pesticides; while the other would turn to indigenous knowledge and the country’s natural biodiversity.

At stake is the survival of the country’s smallholder farmers in the face of unprecedented climate conditions.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, an estimated five million out of about eight million Kenyan households depend directly on agriculture for their livelihoods. But Kenya’s farmers – particularly small-scale farmers – face uncertain times due to extreme climate conditions. Continue reading In Kenya, Small Is Vulnerable

How the George Zimmerman Mindset Has Rigged the Justice System against Young Black Men

Think Progress
race
George Zimmerman killed one boy, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Although a Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty, his attitude — that a young black male is an object suspicion and contempt — not only cost Martin his life but has infected the entire United States criminal justice system.

Law Professor Michellle Alexander makes the point powerfully:

It is the Zimmerman mindset that must be found guilty – far more than the man himself. It is a mindset that views black men and boys as nothing but a threat, good for nothing, up to no good no matter who they are or what they are doing. It is the Zimmerman mindset that has birthed a penal system unprecedented in world history, and relegated millions to a permanent undercaste.

The statistics back up Alexander’s point. Minorities, especially the six million young black men in America, get much worse outcomes from the criminal justice system for the same conduct: Continue reading How the George Zimmerman Mindset Has Rigged the Justice System against Young Black Men

Let’s Be Brazil

Huffingtion Post
Also Watch Bill Moyer’s Journal

I have outrage envy.

For nearly two weeks, more than a million citizens across Brazil have taken to the streets to protest political corruption, economic injustice, poor health care, inadequate schools, lousy mass transit, a crumbling infrastructure and — yes, in the land of Pelé — billions blown on sports.

“Brazil, wake up, any good teacher is worth more than Neymar!” That’s what the crowds have been shouting. Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr. is the 21-year-old Brazilian star who’s getting nearly $90 million to play for Futbol Club Barcelona. “When your son is ill, take him to the stadium,” read one protester’s sign, razzing the $13.3 billion Brazil is spending to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the $18 billion it will cost the country to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Even this soccer-mad nation is saying there’s something out of whack with public priorities, and it’s time to set things right. Continue reading Let’s Be Brazil

NAACP Seeks DOJ Intervention in Martin Case, Targets ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

John Nichols

The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group responded to the acquittal of George Zimmerman with shock, anguish and a call to action.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is petitioning the United States Department of Justice to seek justice for slain teenager Trayvon Martin by filing civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

In a message posted on the groups’s website and circulated nationally within hours of the announcement of the verdict, NAACP president Ben Jealous declared “We are not done demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.”

As part of the NAACP campaign to get the Justice Department to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. Jealous urged Americans to sign a petition to Attorney General Eric Holder that reads: Continue reading NAACP Seeks DOJ Intervention in Martin Case, Targets ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

Conflict of interest: State Department contractor on Keystone XL study lied about ties to TransCanada & oil industry

Friends of the Earth

Adam Russell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The company hired by the State Department to review the environmental impact of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline lied on its conflict of interest disclosure form about its work for pipeline builder TransCanada and other oil companies, according to research released today by Friends of the Earth and The Checks & Balances Project.

Friends of the Earth’s investigation of the business connections of Environmental Resources  Management — the London-based international consulting firm that conducted a study for the State Department claiming the pipeline will not cause significant environmental harm — uncovered an extensive dossier of publicly available documents that show:On its conflict of interest disclosure forms, ERM lied to the State Department about not working with TransCanada. In fact, ERM and TransCanada have worked together at least since 2011 on another pipeline project in Alaska. Continue reading Conflict of interest: State Department contractor on Keystone XL study lied about ties to TransCanada & oil industry

Zimbabwean authorities accused of pre-poll clampdown

Deutsche Welle

Zimbabwean authorities accused of pre-poll clampdown

Supporters cheer Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as he arrives to launch his ruling ZANU PF party's election manifesto in the capital Harare July 5, 2013.
Supporters cheer Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as he arrives to launch his ruling ZANU PF party’s election manifesto in the capital Harare July 5, 2013.

A rights group is warning that the authorities in Zimbabwe are cracking down on the opposition just weeks before voters go to the polls. Election violence five years ago claimed 200 lives.

Zimbabwe’s upcoming general elections will take place amid a crackdown by the state on human rights activists and opposition supporters, Amnesty International warned in a report released on Friday.

The London-based human rights group said there was a “systematic clampdown” on free speech and the right to assemble. Continue reading Zimbabwean authorities accused of pre-poll clampdown

‘Poverty is a massive crime against humanity’

Duetche Welle

Philosopher Thomas Pogge has accused the wealthy in western democracies of actively harming the world’s poor by propagating the wrong political and economic systems. During a recent visit to Germany, Pogge spoke to DW.

econ2DW: In 1973 the World Bank president said it would be possible to eradicate poverty within the 20th century, but that hasn’t happened. The new goal is 2030. Why has progress been so slow?

Thomas Pogge: Inequality has increased. If poor people had participated proportionately in global economic growth, poverty would already be history. It’s quite possible to eradicate poverty, but we have to rethink the fundamental rules of our economic system. Currently these rules are designed by the privileged and rich for the privileged and rich. We need to rethink these rules to consider the poor. Continue reading ‘Poverty is a massive crime against humanity’

The road to a ‘Hunger Games’ state

Mail and Guardian

An estimated 1.5-million pupils in South Africa are not at school – and it is not difficult to see why.

Nikki Stein

People in the districts fight for survival on a daily basis. They work in mines or factories for meagre salaries.
People in the districts fight for survival on a daily basis. They work in mines or factories for meagre salaries.I have recently come back from a four-day visit to Limpopo. The purpose of the visit was to meet a group of activists to discuss what can be done to address the ongoing education crisis in the ­province.

I always find these visits difficult, both physically and emotionally. We spend our days driving to schools on gravel roads, either in sweltering heat or icy cold. In the rainy season, we leave extra time to get to our meetings in case bridges en route to schools have washed away. And with each visit the challenges increase as we see an education system literally crumbling: a school whose toilets have collapsed will show us the roof that has blown off; a school that did not receive textbooks will recount the everyday battles such as not being able to afford chalk and paper. Continue reading The road to a ‘Hunger Games’ state

‘Strongly Suspected’ Fukushima Leaking Radioactivity Into Ocean and Has Been for Two Years

Common Dreams

Head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority revealed alarming finding

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

An anti-nuclear march on the two-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. (Photo: Julian/cc/flickr)
An anti-nuclear march on the two-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. (Photo: Julian/cc/flickrThe Fukushima nuclear plant is likely leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and has been doing so ever since the disaster began in March 2011, the head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority revealed on Wednesday.Officials with the agency said they “strongly suspected” the contamination was reaching the ocean.

Nuclear Regulation Authority head Shunichi Tanaka told reporters:

I think contamination of the sea is continuing to a greater or lesser extent. It was contaminated at the time of the accident, but I think it has been continuing for the last two years. Coming up with countermeasures against all possible scenarios is a top priority.

The New York Times adds that in his “unusually candid comments” Tanaka “also said that neither his staff nor the plant’s operator knew exactly where the leaks were coming from, or how to stop them.” Continue reading ‘Strongly Suspected’ Fukushima Leaking Radioactivity Into Ocean and Has Been for Two Years