New Commission for the Protection of Children

America Magazine
Boston cardinal, abuse survivor among members

Marie Collins
Marie Collins

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, four women—including a survivor of clerical sex abuse—two Jesuit priests and an Italian lawyer are the first eight members of the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Pope Francis established the commission in December; announcing the first members March 22, the Vatican said they would help define the tasks and competencies of the commission and help identify other potential members.

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Carter says he hand-writes letters to avoid US surveillance

BBC
Former US President Jimmy Carter appeared in Panama City, Florida, on 14 March 2014

Jimmy Carter served as president of the United States from 1977 to 1981
Jimmy Carter served as president of the United States from 1977 to 1981

Former US President Jimmy Carter has said he hand-writes letters to foreign and US leaders in an effort to evade what he described as pervasive US electronic surveillance.
Mr Carter, 89, told the Associated Press he had “no doubt” the US monitored and recorded “almost every telephone call” and email.
His humanitarian efforts bring him in contact with a range of foreign and US political leaders.
He left the White House in 1981.
‘Monitored’
“I don’t think there’s any doubt now that the NSA or other agencies monitor or record almost every telephone call made in the United States, including cell phones, and I presume email as well,” Mr Carter told the Associated Press news agency in an interview.
“I feel that my telephone calls and my email are being monitored, and there are some things I just don’t want anybody to know,” he added, describing modern surveillance as a violation of Americans’ basic civil rights.
Mr Carter said he began writing letters in long hand two to three years ago, before former ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a cache of documents disclosing the agency’s extensive electronic surveillance practices.
The former US leader, a Democrat from Georgia, now runs the Carter Center, focused on human rights efforts and political mediation.

 

 

 

Fossil Fuel Giants Guzzling World’s Water as Poor Go Thirsty: UN

Common Dreams

‘Great political clout’ of energy industry trumps those in need of drinking water
– Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Creative Commons license)An unrelenting increase in energy production, including unconventional methods such as tar sands extraction and fracking, will severely damage the world's already dwindling water supply, the UN warned on Friday. (Flickr / Vinoth Chandar /
Creative Commons license)An unrelenting increase in energy production, including unconventional methods such as tar sands extraction and fracking, will severely damage the world’s already dwindling water supply, the UN warned on Friday. (Flickr / Vinoth Chandar /

“There is an increasing potential for serious conflict between power generation, other water users and environmental considerations,” says the World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy (pdf), published on the eve of World Water Day.

The energy sector, which has “great political clout,” the report states, is set to consume an unfair share of this limited resource, “despite ongoing progress in the development of renewable.” The report continues:

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Illegal miners: Poisoning is better than poverty

Mail & Guardian

Monica Mark

Heavy toll: Children are particularly vulnerable to poisoning by lead, which is released when the gold is extracted.(Reuters)
Heavy toll: Children are particularly vulnerable to poisoning by lead, which is released when the gold is extracted.(Reuters)

Nigeria’s illegal miners have continued their quest for gold despite lead contamination affecting thousands.

Flanked by fields of millet and groundnut, the northern Nigerian outpost of Bagega is so far out on the periphery of the global economy that when the financial crisis struck in 2008 few residents had any idea it was happening. And no one in a village without cars, electricity or tarred roads imagined it would end up indirectly poisoning hundreds of their children.

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World Bank Clears Congo’s Controversial Dam Project

By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Mar 21 2014 (IPS) – The World Bank Thursday approved a 73.1-million-dollar grant in support of a controversial giant dam project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

With another 33.4 million dollars approved by the African Development Bank late last year, the grant, which is being provided by the Bank’s soft-loan affiliate, the International Development Association (IDA), will be used to help establish the legal framework and state authority that will oversee the dam’s construction and operations.

It will also finance a number of environmental and social assessments to shape the development of the multi-billion dollar Inga 3 Basse Chute (BC) dam project.

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