Nigerian women caught in Italy’s sex-trade trap

AlJazeera

Many are raped, beaten, and psychologically abused by members of the Nigerian mafia that controls the sex trade.

Flaminia Giambalvo

More than 1,200 Nigerian women arrived in Italy by boat in 2014 [Getty Images]
More than 1,200 Nigerian women arrived in Italy by boat in 2014 [Getty Images]

Rome, Italy – A record number of women from Nigeria arrived in Italy over the past year and fears have been raised that many fell victim to Europe’s growing sex trade.

More than 1,200 Nigerian women came to Italy by boat in 2014 compared to 300 the previous year, according to a new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“We don’t have the official figures yet but estimates suggest as many as 80 percent of the women are earmarked for sex work,” said the migration agency’s spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo. Continue reading Nigerian women caught in Italy’s sex-trade trap

XENOPHOBIC VIOLENCE IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jesuit Institute South Africa

The ongoing violence in Soweto against foreign persons and their businesses constitutes another episode in South Africa’s shameful history of xenophobia. The savagery demonstrated and the failure to put a stop to the current (and earlier) incidents of xenophobic violence is deeply disturbing and displays a failure of the State to put an end to such behavior both by the enforcement of the law and the education of citizens in respect of the rights of foreign nationals. This is a national disgrace. Continue reading XENOPHOBIC VIOLENCE IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE

Setting Precedent for Public Institutions, Maine University System Pulls Funds From Fossil Fuels

Common Dreams

Following years of student organizing, state-wide university system voted Monday to withdraw direct holdings from coal industry

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

"This is an exciting new precedent for public institutions," said Meaghan LaSala, organizer with Divest UMaine. (Image courtesy of Divest UMaine)
“This is an exciting new precedent for public institutions,” said Meaghan LaSala, organizer with Divest UMaine. (Image courtesy of Divest UMaine)

After two years of student organizing, the University of Maine state-wide system on Monday became the first public land grant institution—and first university system—in the United States to divest any of its fossil fuel holdings, in step with world-wide grassroots efforts to take on the powerful industries driving global warming. Continue reading Setting Precedent for Public Institutions, Maine University System Pulls Funds From Fossil Fuels

U.S. May Soon Stand Alone Opposing Children’s Treaty

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 23 2015 (IPS) – When the East African nation of Somalia, once described as a “lawless state”, ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) early this week, it left two countries in splendid isolation from the rest of the world: South Sudan and the United States.

Children walk during a sandstorm in Gao, Mali. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino
Children walk during a sandstorm in Gao, Mali. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

South Sudan?

Understandable, say human rights experts, because it was created and joined the United Nations only in July 2011 – and has since taken steps to start the domestic process in ratifying the treaty, probably later this year.
Continue reading U.S. May Soon Stand Alone Opposing Children’s Treaty

TEPCO executives won’t face charges over Fukushima disaster, Japan prosecutors say

ABC News

Japanese prosecutors say three former Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) executives will not be charged over their handling of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, setting up a possible showdown with a rarely used citizen’s panel that could still force an indictment.

A spokesman for the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office said the prosecutors decided not to issue charges due to insufficient evidence.

“We conclude that there is not enough evidence to suggest that TEPCO executives could have predicted or could have avoided (the accident),” said Ryoichi Nakahara, deputy chief prosecutor of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office. Continue reading TEPCO executives won’t face charges over Fukushima disaster, Japan prosecutors say

Immigration Reform is a Pro-life Issue

Millennial

Jes Stevens
Jesus’ miraculous presence in the womb of Mary is often highlighted to illustrate the dignity of the unborn child. But these days, the life of Christ is also particularly helpful in allowing us to see and remember the dignity of the immigrant child.

When Jesus was just a child, his family fled their home to avoid persecution from Herod. How many children and their families have fled Latin American countries for the same reasons? We must acknowledge that Jesus and the Holy Family’s dangerous journey into Egypt is attempted again and again by families today seeking a home in the United States. Can we see Christ in those who seek refuge in our land? Can we comprehend our responsibility to protect those fleeing violence and seeking freedom? Continue reading Immigration Reform is a Pro-life Issue

Middle East: Refugees hit by more violent winter storms

Independent Catholic News

The most violent winter storm for two decades swept across conflict-affected areas of the Middle East last week bringing heavy snow, rainfall, high winds and freezing temperatures. Syrians, Gazans, and Iraqis struggling to cope with war in their own countries or as refugees far from home are facing freezing weather conditions.

“War has left us without any way to defend ourselves against the cold. We have no electricity most of the time, no fuel and no gas. We have no way to stay warm apart from putting on many layers of clothes, which don’t help so much in -8 degrees,”  said a staff member from Caritas Syria in Damascus. Continue reading Middle East: Refugees hit by more violent winter storms

DR Congo unrest: Kinshasa Catholic schools shut

BBC

Demonstrators burn tyres to set up barricades during a protest in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa on 20 January 2015 The opposition accuses the president of trying to stage a "constitutional coup"
Demonstrators burn tyres to set up barricades during a protest in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa on 20 January 2015 The opposition accuses the president of trying to stage a “constitutional coup”

The Roman Catholic Church has shut its schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, as protests against President Joseph Kabila continue for a third day.

Church head Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya called on people to peacefully oppose government moves to delay presidential elections until a census is held.

The highly influential Catholic Church runs many schools in the country.

At least 11 people have so far been been killed in the protests. Continue reading DR Congo unrest: Kinshasa Catholic schools shut

As South Sudan hopes for peace to hold, the displaced cope with trauma

National Catholic Reporter

Chris Herlinger

ssud1
Sr. Cathy Arata (Chris Herlinger)

It happened in South Sudan. From almost the first moment I landed there in late March, I heard about Malakal, a city in the northeast part of the country. Malakal had experienced some of the worst bits of fighting in a civil conflict that began a year ago and has never really been settled.

It was a story of killings and rapes in hospitals and desecration of churches; of bodies not buried for days and then weeks; of town squares and village centers laid waste. It was also a story of acts of courage, kindness and resilience; and, for many, the new challenges and difficulties now posed by trauma and guilt. Continue reading As South Sudan hopes for peace to hold, the displaced cope with trauma

Reflection: This week’s Charlie Hebdo cover is a huge mistake

Independent Catholic News

By: Canon Pat Browne

Canon Pat Browne gave the following homily at Holy Apostles, Pimlico, central London, on Peace Sunday.

I believe the publishing this week of the cartoon of the prophet Mohammed on the cover of Charlie Hebdo was ill-judged, badly timed and a huge mistake.

Yes the publishers have every right to say what they want and publish what they like but that does not mean they should do so in every case. Why seek to offend when you could befriend? Is it necessary to use your freedom to insult others if you are serious about building a peaceful, just and diverse society? I’m sure Charie Hebdo like to think of themselves as a free-thinking liberal and enlightened publication. But they have played into the hands of extreme right-wing racist groups whose purpose is to rid France and other European countries of all immigrants. They have contributed to setting the white host population in these countries against minorities and those immigrants who live settled, peaceful lives contributing to society through their work, their taxes and their gifts – people in many cases who have no voice and no agenda other than to be good citizens. Continue reading Reflection: This week’s Charlie Hebdo cover is a huge mistake