Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Other Words

In an obscure World Bank court, a multinational mining firm is suing El Salvador for attempting to protect its citizens from deadly mining pollution.

By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)
Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. will soon decide the fate of millions of people.

At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mining company operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador’s government against a Canadian gold-mining company that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset, even though gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.
Continue reading Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Brazil builds giant Amazon observation tower

BBC

The Amazon rainforest is responsible for absorbing tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
The Amazon rainforest is responsible for absorbing tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere

Construction has begun on a giant observation tower in the heart of the Amazon basin to monitor climate change.

The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is expected to rise 325m from the ground.

Its instruments will gather data on greenhouse gases, aerosol particles and the weather in one of the largest continuous rain forests on the planet.

Brazilian and German scientists hope to use the data to better understand sources of greenhouse gases and answer questions on climate change. Continue reading Brazil builds giant Amazon observation tower

Libya migrant boat sinks: Scores feared drowned

BBC

Many hundreds of migrants have drowned off Libya this year
Many hundreds of migrants have drowned off Libya this year

Many migrants have drowned while trying to reach Europe after their boat sank off Libya, the Libyan navy says.

Navy spokesman Ayub Qassem said 36 people had been rescued after the vessel – which carried 250 – went down near Tajoura, east of Tripoli.

“There are so many dead bodies floating in the sea,” Mr Qassem told reporters.

The tragedy comes just weeks after three vessels carrying migrants sank in quick succession on the route from Libya to Italy. Continue reading Libya migrant boat sinks: Scores feared drowned

U.N. Climate Summit: Staged Parade or Reality Show?

By Thalif Deen

Soil degradation, climate change, heavy tropical monsoonal rain and pests are some of the challenges faced by farmers around the world. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS
Soil degradation, climate change, heavy tropical monsoonal rain and pests are some of the challenges faced by farmers around the world. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS

UNITED NATIONS, September, 15 2014 (IPS) – The much-ballyhooed one-day Climate Summit next week is being hyped as one of the major political-environmental events at the United Nations this year.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged over 120 of the world’s political and business leaders, who are expected to participate in the talk-fest, to announce significant and substantial initiatives, including funding commitments, “to help move the world towards a path that will limit global warming.” Continue reading U.N. Climate Summit: Staged Parade or Reality Show?

Nation’s Poor Remain Hungry as Wall Street Feasts

Common Dreams

Persistent rates of food insecurity reveal vast inequities of so-called “economic recovery” in US, say anti-poverty advocates

Nadia Prupis

ALIVE Food Bank Distribution in Alexandria VA (Photo: Bread for the World)
ALIVE Food Bank Distribution in Alexandria VA (Photo: Bread for the World)

Critics and anti-poverty advocates are questioning the so-called economic recovery as a USDA study (PDF) published Wednesday revealed that while the nation’s wealthiest enjoyed record gains, nearly 50 million Americans continue to struggled with food insecurity in 2013.

According to the government figures, while a majority of people who were not always able to afford food last year were adults, 16 million children also went hungry at times, with 360,000 households reporting that their kids skipped meals or did not eat for an entire day because there was not enough money. Continue reading Nation’s Poor Remain Hungry as Wall Street Feasts

Chaos in Kisumu as traders protest demolition of stalls

Daily Nation

By ELVIS ONDIEKI

Fire lit on Kisumu’s Jomo Kenyatta road on September 13, 2014 by traders protesting the demolition of Oile market. PHOTO | ELVIS ONDIEKI NATION MEDIA GROUP
Fire lit on Kisumu’s Jomo Kenyatta road on September 13, 2014 by traders protesting the demolition of Oile market. PHOTO | ELVIS ONDIEKI NATION MEDIA GROUP

Business was disrupted in Kisumu on Saturday morning after youths blocked roads leading to the town to protest the demolition of stalls at Oile market by the county government.

For over an hour, Kisumu was a no-go zone as traders lit fires on the main roads leading to the town and stoned shops near the market.

Demolition of over 100 stalls started Friday night. Continue reading Chaos in Kisumu as traders protest demolition of stalls

In Face of Super-Rich, Corporate Influence on Elections, ‘Nuns on the Bus’ Rides Again

Common Dreams

New ‘Nuns on the Bus’ tour aims to tackle issue of big money influence on politics

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The Nuns on the Bus in 2012.  (Photo: [ https://www.flickr.com/photos/tvnewsbadge/7483558980/ ]tvnewsbadge)
The Nuns on the Bus in 2012. (Photo: tvnewsbadge)

Like Robin Hood, the “Nuns on the Bus” show up when you need them.

First it was the social safety net-slashing House budget proposal in 2012 that brought out the sisters calling for justice in cities across the U.S. Then, in 2013, it was the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Continue reading In Face of Super-Rich, Corporate Influence on Elections, ‘Nuns on the Bus’ Rides Again