DR Congo crackdown on pro-democracy activists

Deutche Wella

The Democratic Republic of Congo has freed a US diplomat it arrested but is still detaining several young political activists. President Joseph Kabila is under intense pressure not to seek re-election in 2016.
cong
An unnamed DR Congo government spokesman accused US diplomat Kevin Sturr and a number of Congolese pro-democracy activists of posing a threat to national stability. He was speaking before the diplomat’s release on Monday (16.03.2015) Continue reading DR Congo crackdown on pro-democracy activists

Boko Haram’s use of children condemned

The Tablet

Liz Dodd, CNS

Nigeria’s bishops condemned the Islamist terror group Boko Haram for forcing children to commit crimes such as suicide bombings.

“We deplore the fact that young children are used to commit such crimes, and the fact that young Nigerians are used by politicians to intimidate and inflict violence on their political opponents is a disturbing symptom of breakdown of family values in our society,” the bishops said at the end of a five-day meeting on the theme, “Good Families Make Good Nations.”

On 22 February a girl with explosives strapped to her chest, whom witnesses said looked no more than eight years old, killed five people and wounded dozens of others at a security checkpoint outside a market in the north-east Nigerian town of Potiskum. Continue reading Boko Haram’s use of children condemned

Environmental Damage to Gaza Exacerbating Food Insecurity

By Mel Frykberg

Safa Subha and three-year-old Rahat rely on Oxfam aid for food to fight malnutrition after having been accustomed to living on a diet of bread and tea. Credit: Mel Frykberg/IPS
Safa Subha and three-year-old Rahat rely on Oxfam aid for food to fight malnutrition after having been accustomed to living on a diet of bread and tea. Credit: Mel Frykberg/IPS

BEIT LAHIYA, Northern Gaza Strip, (IPS) – Extensive damage to Gaza’s environment as a result of the Israeli blockade and its devastating military campaign against the coastal territory during last year’s war from July to August, is negatively affecting the health of Gazans, especially their food security.

“We were living on bread and tea and my five children were badly malnourished as my husband and I couldn’t afford proper food,” Safa Subha, 37, from Beit Lahiya told IPS. Continue reading Environmental Damage to Gaza Exacerbating Food Insecurity

Syrian Conflict Has Underlying Links to Climate Change, Says Study

By Thalif Deen

On a drought-hit farm in Syria, December 2010. Credit: Caterina Donattini/IPS
On a drought-hit farm in Syria, December 2010. Credit: Caterina Donattini/IPS

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – Was the four-year-old military conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, mostly civilians, triggered at least in part by climate change?

A new study by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says “a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing man-made climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising.” Continue reading Syrian Conflict Has Underlying Links to Climate Change, Says Study

Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten

YES Magazine

What if we measured wealth in terms of life, and how well we serve it?
David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance. Continue reading Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten

Trade Agreements Rigged to Protect Capital From Democracy

Truth Out

Park MacDougald, Truthout

Protesters in Toronto demonstrate against the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under consideration by President Obama and many other world leaders with moneyed interests on January 31, 2014. (Photo: arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com)
Protesters in Toronto demonstrate against the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under consideration by President Obama and many other world leaders with moneyed interests on January 31, 2014. (Photo: arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com)

Barack Obama, like his Democratic predecessor in the White House, has gone all in for free trade. On January 20, the president used his sixth State of the Union address to ask Congress to pass a legal procedure (trade promotion authority) that would enable him to “protect American workers with strong new trade deals,” a reference to two mammoth agreements currently in negotiation: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with 11 partners in the Pacific Rim; and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), with the European Union. The deals would, two decades after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), create the largest and second-largest free trade zones in the world. Continue reading Trade Agreements Rigged to Protect Capital From Democracy

Pax Christi International on the violent conflict in Syria: ending the war and saving lives must be top priority

Pax Christi International

Syria’s popular uprising started in the city of Dara in March 2011. The merciless actions of the Syrian Government – whose campaign of violent repression against what were originally peaceful protesters began four long years ago – have now morphed into wave upon wave of pitiless assaults by all sides. The Syrian conflict has killed well in excess of 200.000 people, and continues to kill more every day. It has involved the torture and ill-treatment of countless others; forced millions to flee; and deprived even more of the basic conditions for a decent life, including the rights to education, food, healthcare and housing. Continue reading Pax Christi International on the violent conflict in Syria: ending the war and saving lives must be top priority