When hundreds of unaccompanied children — part of a recent surge of thousands of migrants stopped at the Southern border after fleeing violence and poverty in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — were sent by federal officials to stay with relatives or other sponsors on Long Island, many found themselves blocked at the schoolhouse door. Continue reading A Betrayal of Migrant Children, and the Law→
Two United Nations bodies appear to be on collision course over the development of renewable energy. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species, explains that, while renewable energy has advantages, there are some pitfalls to be avoided
BONN, Oct 25 2014 (IPS) – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has set a target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2. One way countries can meet their obligations is to switch energy production from the burning of fossil fuels to “renewable”, generally understood to include wind, wave, tidal, hydro, solar and geothermal power and biomass. Continue reading Renewable Energies – a Double-Edged Sword→
The pictured bronze sculpture of the homeless Jesus, by renowned Canadian Catholic artist Timothy P. Schmalz, has proved challenging and controversial. It should not be difficult to imagine Jesus as homeless. He pointed out to a would-be disciple that foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. In Matthew 25 he identifies with the hungry, naked, sick or Imprisoned, with all the needy of this world. Continue reading Homeless Jesus→
Javier Gomez sucks the last morsels of meat from the leg bone of an agouti, a large Amazonian rodent, his creased face belying his 44 years. ‘We’re just happy to have the work,” he shrugs wearily. “Here the only work is timber, that’s it. It’s heavy work but we’re used to it.” Older than his sinewy companions, Gomez says he will earn around $825 for spending four months logging in a camp two days up the Mayuruna river from his home village. Continue reading Illegal loggers remain hidden in Peru’s forest but timber finds global buyers→
It took far too long, but four former gunslingers with the Black water Worldwide security firm have at last been held accountable for the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad in September 2007. It was one of the darkest episodes of America’s long war.
The verdict on Wednesday brings a measure of justice for the innocent victims and their families and offers some assurance that private contractors will not be allowed to operate with impunity in war zones. What it does not do is solve the problem of an American government that is still too dependent on private firms to supplement its military forces during overseas conflicts and is still unable to manage them effectively. Continue reading A Verdict on Blackwater→
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 22 2014 (IPS) – When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured a treasure trove of U.S. weapons from fleeing Iraqi soldiers last month, one of the rebel leaders with a morbid sense of humor was quoted as saying rather sarcastically: “We hope the Americans would honor their agreements and service our helicopters.” Continue reading U.S. Destroys Its Own Weapons in Enemy Hands→
Catholic News Service
DALLAS (CNS) — Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell said that he followed the teaching of Christ and stepped in to house the fiancee of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and three others for several weeks at a diocesan facility when no one else would.
The bishop’s acknowledgement Oct. 20 coincided with the lifting of the 21-day quarantine for nearly four dozen people being screened for the Ebola virus with none showing any signs of the disease. It also capped nearly a month of a scrambling by local, state and federal officials in trying to both combat the virus and calm the public’s fears about its spread.
During the time, two nurses who had contact with Duncan tested positive for the virus after his death. And with the growing health concerns, officials also faced a national public relations headache as they acknowledged missteps in the handling of the crisis, including not initially banning those self-monitoring themselves for symptoms from traveling or coming into contact with the public. Continue reading Bishop: Decision to house those monitored for Ebola ‘right thing to do’→
Nigeria’s government has promised to protect schoolchildren. It has been six months since 200 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram and Nigeria’s northern states continue to live in fear.
“The only thing we desire is that we want them back”, said Bukky Shonibare, barely holding back his tears. “At this point we are begging, we are pleading that they should do all that is needed and let the girls come back.”
Shonibare is a member of the #BringBackOurGirls group, which has been campaigning for the release of the school girls who were kidnapped in Chibok six months ago. For the relatives of the more than 200 girls who are still missing, the uncertainty has become unbearable. Continue reading Nigeria’s schools live in fear of Boko Haram→
Family farming is the focus of World Food Day on 16 October, coupled with the theme: ‘Feeding the world, caring for the earth’.
According to a 2014 report by GRAIN, an international non-profit organization reveals that small farms produce most of the world’s food which affirmed the claim – Family farming feed the world.
In African countries, especially Kenya, small farmers operate 16% of agricultural land, but provide 55% of agricultural output, including: 97% of potatoes, 88% of vegetables, 83% of fruits and berries and 80% of milk.
This shows that small peasant family farms are the bedrock of global food production. The bad news is that they are squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland and such land is under threat.
The report also revealed that small farmers are often much more productive than large corporate farms, despite the latter’s access to various expensive technologies. For example, if all of Kenya’s farms matched the output of its small farms, the nation’s agricultural productivity would double. Continue reading Africa: Family Farming On Focus During World Food Day→