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)
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
Sister Ancy Mathew provides care for women freed from clutches of criminals in London
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
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
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
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 fences divide, people on both sides suffer. (Photo: Nick Kenrick/flickr/cc)
America is embroiled in an immigration debate that goes far beyond President Obama’s executive order on undocumented immigrants.
It goes to the heart of who “we” are. And it’s roiling communities across the nation.
Continue reading Patrolling the Boundaries Inside America
Larry Gabriel Grassroots action has backed down the city’s aggressive water shutoffs.
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.
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
No claim of responsibility yet as two explosions in northern city of Kano kill nearly 100 people and wound scores more.
At least 81 people have been killed and 150 others injured after two bombs exploded outside the central mosque of the Nigerian city of Kano.
Continue reading Scores killed in Nigeria mosque blasts
Woman victim (posed by model)
There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.
Modern slavery victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, “imprisoned” domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.
Continue reading Slavery levels in UK ‘higher than thought’
Europe is far from over. It’s a continent of many blessings
Pope Francis leaves the European parliament in Strasbourg. ‘Far from seeking to fuel further disenchantment with the EU, this was a strong-minded plea for a better Europe.’ Reuters
Few speeches about Europe these days arouse much enthusiasm. The subject is more likely to be greeted with boredom or acrimony, the debate conducted in instant and shallow slogans. So the
pope’s message to the European parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, calling for a break from the current angst and “a return to the conviction of the founders of the European Union” came as something of a shock. Continue reading The Guardian view on the pope’s speech to the European parliament: rediscover your core values
Joice Mujuru blocked from running for seat on top panel of ZANU-PF party, ending possibility to succeed Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe’s vice president has been ousted from the ruling party’s leadership after a sustained campaign led by Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, as the battle to succeed the long-serving president heats up. Mujuru, left, had a public fall out with Grace Mugabe, right, the wife of president Mugabe [AP]
Continue reading Zimbabwe VP barred from ruling party post