What 11-Year-Olds Get—and Adults Forget—About Child Labor in Chocolate

YES Magazine

Marie Hogan confronted Hershey’s about using children in its supply chain because she cares about other kids, fairness—and candy. Here’s what we can learn from her. 

by Katrina Rabeler

Marie Hogan speaks at a "Raise the bar, Hershey!" rally. Photo from Raise the Bar, Hershey! Marie Hogan. Photo by Diane Greene Lent.
Marie Hogan speaks at a “Raise the bar, Hershey!” rally. Photo from Raise the Bar, Hershey! Marie Hogan. Photo by Diane Greene Lent.

Marie Hogan spoke to a crowd outside the Hershey’s store in Manhattan about the children who harvest cocoa for Hershey’s chocolate. “Hershey is forgetting,” she announced, “that every time they create memories of ‘Hershey’s happiness’ for one kid, they’re creating memories of Hershey’s misery for kids in Africa.”

Marie was only 11 years old when she spoke at the “Raise the bar, Hershey!” rally in 2010. She’d seen videos of children in Ivory Coast and Ghana lugging around heavy sacks of cocoa beans and wielding machetes to open cocoa pods. She heard that these malnourished children in forced labor are often whipped or beaten. And she knew that wasn’t right.
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U.S. and Japan Agree to Broaden Military Alliance

New York Times

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER and MARTIN FACKLER

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, on Thursday in Tokyo. Koji Sasahara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, on Thursday in Tokyo. Koji Sasahara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

TOKYO — The United States and Japan agreed on Thursday to broaden their security alliance, expanding Japan’s role while trying to show American determination to remain a dominant presence in the region.

The agreement, which will position surveillance drones in Japan for the first time, underscored the two countries’ efforts to respond to growing challenges from China and North Korea at a time of budget constraints. It also included some of the clearest signals yet that the United States backs Japan’s increasing though still limited moves to strengthen its military, and its military ties in Asia, as a counterbalance to China’s own buildup.
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Fukushima Failure: Radioactive Water Bursts from Tank

Common Dreams

Heavy rains further strain efforts to contain toxic water; no strategy to safely store or dispose of ever-increasing quantities
– Sarah Lazare, staff writer

TEPCO has failed to safely store contaminated water as quantities grow daily (Photo: AFP)
TEPCO has failed to safely store contaminated water as quantities grow daily (Photo: AFP)

Tons of water exposed to radiation have leaked during a transfer operation at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant, owner TEPCO announced Tuesday. The new leak marks the latest in mounting failures to contain the ever-increasing quantity of water contaminated by efforts to cool the plant’s melted reactors.

Following heavy rains, workers pumped trapped water into a temporary tank, a TEPCO spokesperson stated Tuesday. In the process, workers “found water was spilling from the manhole on top of the tank,” releasing an estimated 4 tons of water into the ground, according to the spokesperson.
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Pope Francis: ‘The court is the leprosy of the papacy’

Reuters

Tony Gentile
church2Pope Francis has vowed to change the mindset of the Roman Catholic church, saying that the institution “must return to being a community of the people of God” and rethink the relationship between its leaders and the laity.

“Leaders of the Church have often been Narcissus, flattered and sickeningly excited by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy,” the pope said in the interview published Tuesday in Italy’s La Republicca newspaper. He also disclosed some of his own fears before being elected to the position by a conclave of cardinals in March

“Sometimes when I meet a cleric, I suddenly become anti-clerical,” the pontiff said, according to the paper. “Clericalism shouldn’t have anything to do with Christianity.”
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Vatican bank publishes accounts for the first time

 

The headquarters of the Institute for Religious Works, the Vatican's bank. (AFP)
The headquarters of the Institute for Religious Works, the Vatican’s bank. (AFP)

Mail & Guardian

In a drive for transparency, the Institute for Works of Religion has made its accounts public for the first time.

The Vatican bank has published its accounts for the first time on Tuesday in a new drive for transparency aimed at overcoming a series of scandals as Pope Francis plans a major overhaul.

The Institute for Works of Religion, also known as IOR under its Italian acronym, said its earnings for 2012 were €86.6-million – more than four times higher than in 2011.

“At the IOR, we are working hard on our part of the reform process: improving organisation, compliance and transparency,” said Ernst von Freyberg, the bank’s president who was appointed this year.
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Climate change? Try Catastrophic Climate Breakdown

The Guardian

by George Monbiot
climate

Already, a thousand blogs and columns insist the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report is a rabid concoction of scare stories whose purpose is to destroy the global economy. But it is, in reality, highly conservative.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson emphasized the need to leave fossil fuels untouched. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian
Former Irish president Mary Robinson emphasized the need to leave fossil fuels untouched. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Reaching agreement among hundreds of authors and reviewers ensures that only the statements which are hardest to dispute are allowed to pass. Even when the scientists have agreed, the report must be tempered in another forge, as politicians question anything they find disagreeable: the new report received 1,855 comments from 32 governments, and the arguments raged through the night before launch.
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Dear Congress – Stop This Manufactured Crisis

Campaign for America’s Future

by Roger Hickey

usaForty-one organizations, representing millions of Americans, have signed this letter to Congress, asking them to stand against those who would “hold our economy hostage in order to dictate the terms of the debate.” See the list of signers below.

Please read this letter and circulate it widely. We at the Campaign for America’s Future are proud to have played a leadership role in helping to write the letter. And thank the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and all the other groups who worked to forge a consensus on the statement and helped to get the attention of Congress in this important moment.
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