Drought-hit California unable to supply state water

BBC

Small pool of water is surrounded by cracked earth at the Almaden Reservoir (28 January 2014) Farmers said the announcement was "a terrible blow"
Small pool of water is surrounded by cracked earth at the Almaden Reservoir (28 January 2014) Farmers said the announcement was “a terrible blow”

California’s water agency has announced it may for the first time be unable to deliver water to local agencies, amid a worsening drought.

Two-thirds of state residents and 1m acres (404,500 hectares) of farmland get part or all of their drinking and irrigation supplies from the agency.

A state-wide drought was declared earlier this month, as the largest reservoirs sank to record low levels.

Forecasters have warned 2014 could be California’s driest year on record.

The extreme conditions have already caused a wildfire that destroyed homes in the Los Angeles area.
Continue reading Drought-hit California unable to supply state water

High tides and winds threaten more flooding

BBC

Submerged gate in Burrowbridge, Somerset on 31 January 2014 The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for many areas
Submerged gate in Burrowbridge, Somerset on 31 January 2014 The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for many areas

High tides and gale force winds could bring more flooding to parts of south-west England and the Midlands, the Environment Agency has warned.

It has five severe flood warnings – meaning a danger to life – three on the Severn estuary near Gloucester and two on the north Cornwall coast.

Lesser warnings affect many parts of Britain including western Wales and the flood-hit Somerset Levels.

Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, has met on the issue.
Continue reading High tides and winds threaten more flooding

Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology

By Busani Bafana

While Sophie Mabhena may be embracing the South African government’s policy to implement biotechnology in farming by growing genetically modified maize, anti-GM experts caution that this does not necessarily lead to food security. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS
While Sophie Mabhena may be embracing the South African government’s policy to implement biotechnology in farming by growing genetically modified maize, anti-GM experts caution that this does not necessarily lead to food security. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

MASOPANE, South Africa, Jan 27 2014 (IPS) – On a family farm tucked between the rolling hills of Masopane, 40 km outside of South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, 35-year-old Sophie Mabhena is dreaming big about her crop of genetically modified (GM) maize.

“This is my dream and I know that I am contributing to food security in South Africa,” she told IPS.

Debate is raging here over the government’s policy to promote the cultivation of GM crops.
Continue reading Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology

Immigration Bill could leave vulnerable people without housing or healthcare warns Church

Independent Catholic News

The Catholic Church has warned that the Immigration Bill risks leaving vulnerable people unable to access healthcare or find housing. The Immigration Bill, which is due to come before the House of Commons again tomorrow (30 January 2014), proposes to restrict migrants’ access to free NHS services and will require landlords to conduct checks on tenants’ immigration status.

Commenting on the proposed NHS charging system, Bishop Patrick Lynch, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and Chair of the Office of Migration Policy said: “We have grave fears that these proposals will deter vulnerable individuals from accessing vital healthcare services. We are especially concerned that the prospect of charging, may mean that pregnant women fail to seek medical assistance throughout their pregnancy and attempt to cope alone, potentially risking the health of both mother and child. It is also deeply worrying that children of migrants have not been exempted from these plans”
Continue reading Immigration Bill could leave vulnerable people without housing or healthcare warns Church

Climate Change Imperils Peru’s Drive to End Poverty

Climate News Network

By Alex Kirby,

In 2012, for the first time, the Peruvian Amazon became a net emitter of carbon dioxide rather than oxygen. Credit: Flickr/Jake Gordon
In 2012, for the first time, the Peruvian Amazon became a net emitter of carbon dioxide rather than oxygen. Credit: Flickr/Jake Gordon

LONDON – Peru is the country chosen to host the 2014 UN climate conference, a key meeting for trying to advance an ambitious plan to rein in greenhouse emissions which is planned for agreement in 2015.

But the country has recently earned a rather more dubious distinction. In 2012, for the first time, the Peruvian Amazon became a net emitter of carbon dioxide rather than oxygen, according to the latest human development country report of the UN Development Program (UNDP).
Continue reading Climate Change Imperils Peru’s Drive to End Poverty

Sentencing postponed due to weather

Transform Plowshares Now

The sentencing hearing of Michael Walli, Greg Boertje-Obed and Megan Rice was interrupted by wintry weather—some might say providentially. Judge Amul Thapar announced at 1:15 that the federal courthouse was closing at 2:30pm because the accumulating snow promised to make travel treacherous. After a brief consultation among the attorneys it was decided they could not conclude the sentencing process by 2:30, so the Judge suspended the hearing; it is currently scheduled to resume February 18th at 9:00am in Knoxville.

The courtroom was full of supporters, and a second courtroom was pressed into service; that room filled and there were reports of people sitting on the floor to view the proceedings on a big-screen TV.
Continue reading Sentencing postponed due to weather

U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project

Earth Rights International

January 24, 2014
Contact:

Rick Herz (U.S.): (860) 233-4938, rick@earthrights.org
Benjamin Hoffman (Peru): +51-959-284295, benjamin@earthrights.org

January 24, 2014, Denver – EarthRights International (ERI) filed an action in federal court today on behalf of a protestor paralyzed by police violence at the site of Newmont Mining’s Conga mine project in Peru. ERI is seeking documents and information from Newmont to assist in pending legal proceedings in Peru related to the police repression of protestors against the Conga project.

Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 32-year-old resident of the Cajamarca department, where the Conga project is planned, lost a kidney and his spleen and was paralyzed from the waist down on November 29, 2011, when police officers shot him in the back while he was peacefully protesting. Mr. Campos was among at least 24 protestors injured by police that day.
Continue reading U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project