‘The planet is sad’: Marchers pray for success of U.N. climate summit

Catholic News Service
Barbara J. Fraser

 

Ruby Arazabel, 6, takes part in a Nov. 30 vigil for climate change on the eve of the U.N. climate summit in Lima, Peru. (CNS/Barbara Fraser)
Ruby Arazabel, 6, takes part in a Nov. 30 vigil for climate change on the eve of the U.N. climate summit in Lima, Peru. (CNS/Barbara Fraser)

LIMA, Peru (CNS) — Dwarfed by the grown-ups holding banners and signs around her, Ruby Arizabal clutched a doll in one hand and a candle in the other.

“I’ve come here,” she told Catholic News Service, “because the planet is sad.”

The 6-year-old was one of the youngest participants in an interfaith candlelight march and prayer vigil on the eve of the U.N. climate summit, which will run from Dec. 1 to 12 in this city of 9 million people that sprawls across Peru’s coastal desert. Continue reading ‘The planet is sad’: Marchers pray for success of U.N. climate summit

Meet the nun who helps police raid brothels run by human traffickers

The Guardian

Sister Ancy Mathew provides care for women freed from clutches of criminals in London

Joanna Moorhead

Sister Ancy Mathew with members of her order, the Congregation of Adoratrices. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer
Sister Ancy Mathew with members of her order, the Congregation of Adoratrices. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

It’s Saturday afternoon and in an unmarked police car in central London a burly policeman is accompanied by a tiny, bird-like nun. A raid is about to take place on a brothel whose inhabitants, the police believe, include women who have been trafficked into Britain from eastern Europe. The nun is an integral part of the police operation. Continue reading Meet the nun who helps police raid brothels run by human traffickers

Punishing sex-trafficking accomplices presents quandary

The Boston Globe
Milton J. Valencia

The young woman was trembling as she stood before the judge to plead for mercy. She was guilty of helping her boyfriend sexually exploit a teenager, she acknowledged, but she was also one of his victims.

“I honestly wish I had the courage and strength to stand up to David,” Madonna Say acknowledged during her October sentencing hearing in US District Court, sounding far younger than her 23 years.

“I was very weak, and couldn’t face my fears,” Say admitted, describing domestic abuse and coercion by her boyfriend, David Minasian, and her fear of what would happen if she tried to escape.

The admissions provide a snapshot of a conflict that judges and lawyers in the federal courts are confronting: As law enforcement officials increasingly target pimps in sex-trafficking and exploitation cases, how should they punish accomplices, who very often are victims themselves? Continue reading Punishing sex-trafficking accomplices presents quandary

Lima climate change talks best chance for a generation, say upbeat diplomats

The Guardian

Hopes rise for global warming deal after US-China carbon commitments inject much-needed momentum into Peru talks

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent

An Oxfam banner in Lima on Saturday before the climate change talks. Photograph: Sebastian Casta Eda/AFP/Getty Images
An Oxfam banner in Lima on Saturday before the climate change talks. Photograph: Sebastian Casta Eda/AFP/Getty Images

UN climate negotiations opening in Lima on Monday have the best chance in a generation of striking a deal on global warming, diplomats say.

After a 20-year standoff, diplomats and longtime observers of the talks say there is rising optimism that negotiators will be able to secure a deal that will commit all countries to take action against climate change. Continue reading Lima climate change talks best chance for a generation, say upbeat diplomats

When the City Turned Off Their Water, Detroit Residents and Groups Delivered Help

YES Magazine

Grassroots action has backed down the city’s aggressive water shutoffs.  Larry Gabriel

This article appears in Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine.

Activists, including actor Mark Ruffalo, union members, and Detroit residents streamed through downtown Detroit on July 18, 2014, protesting the controversial water shutoffs and calling for local democracy and economic justice. Photo from Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Activists, including actor Mark Ruffalo, union members, and Detroit residents streamed through downtown Detroit on July 18, 2014, protesting the controversial water shutoffs and calling for local democracy and economic justice. Photo from Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

The Detroit water-rights movement really got into gear when Charity Hicks was taken to jail while trying to stop shut-offs on her block. “It started a windstorm of people rising up and speaking out, knowing what was happening regarding the water,” says Detroit poet and activist Tawana Petty. “She was always instrumental in the water struggle but her personal experience brought it home to everyone.”

Petty is referring to the day in April 2014 when Charity Hicks got up about 6 a.m. and found she had no running water. She looked outside and saw the truck from Homrich Wrecking Inc., a water shut-off contractor. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) had been aggressively shutting off water for residential accounts that were reportedly more than 60 days or $150 overdue. Continue reading When the City Turned Off Their Water, Detroit Residents and Groups Delivered Help