Catholics Urged to Address ‘Sin of Racism’

America Magazine

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Father Bryan Massingale, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” and a professor of ethics and theology at Marquette University, speaks during a Nov. 6 gathering at the Archdiocese of New Orleans. (CNS photo/Peter Finney Jr., Clarion Herald)

A seismic shift in demographics in both society and the U.S. Catholic Church in the coming decades will create a church that is far less white, Father Bryan Massingale told a New Orleans audience Nov. 6.

The church will be unprepared to deal with that reality, he continued, unless it addresses “the ongoing struggle for racial equality.” Continue reading Catholics Urged to Address ‘Sin of Racism’

Students in South Africa win language victory

Deutsche Wella

The elite Stellenbosch University will now teach in English, the rector has declared. The move comes amid mounting pressure across South Africa to end the vestiges of racial oppression in education.

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Student protesters scored a victory on Friday following months of unrest at universities across South Africa. The administration at the prestigious Stellenbosch University announced that classes will now be taught in English instead of Afrikaans, a triumph for increasingly combative students who see the university system as a racist relic of the country’s apartheid past. Continue reading Students in South Africa win language victory

SA needs new source of water

News 24

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As a crippling drought tightens its grip on the country, South Africa may soon have to turn to alternative water sources, including making acid mine water and sea water drinkable.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said these options were on the table as the state investigated ways of mitigating the current drought, especially as significant rain is only expected in March 2016.

“We’re looking at the creation of water banks. We want to move away from over-reliance on surface water,” said the minister. Continue reading SA needs new source of water

South Africa: Recent Rains in KZN Not Enough – Umgeni Water

All Africa News

By Kaveel Singh

The rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal over the past two days was insufficient to increase dam levels, an Umgeni Water official said.

KwaZulu-Natal experienced heavy rainfall this week, but Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said on Thursday the 4mm and 10mm rainfalls was “insufficient”.
“What we have to understand is a lot of this was soaked into the ground and does not raise the levels for the dam. We need significantly longer bouts of rain to [pick] levels up again.” Continue reading South Africa: Recent Rains in KZN Not Enough – Umgeni Water

How ruthless coffee mafia enslaves Kenya

Daily Nation

British charity Oxfam says the price of raw coffee exported from producer countries accounts for less than seven per cent of the eventual cost of coffee to Western consumers. When Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua tried to organise the industry in Nyeri and bypass the cartels at NCE in the hope of selling coffee through direct sales, the cartels fought back viciously. They have no negotiating power, no knowledge and no responsibility over their crop.

By John Kamau

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShvN3l-0BxU ]
After 57 years of growing the world’s most sought after Arabica coffee, 73-year-old Boniface Njogu Wainaina has something to show for it — poverty.

Caught between profit-seeking international coffee houses and their local networks’ search for cheap beans, Mr Wainaina is one of the few remaining prisoners of faith: He still believes that one day the government will end the international cartel that strangles the local coffee industry.

Kenya, through the blessings of soil, climate and passionate peasant farmers, produces one of the most valuable crops in the world.

Continue reading How ruthless coffee mafia enslaves Kenya

TPP Ignores Workers’ Needs and Fails to Address Weaknesses from Past Trade Agreements

Huffington Post

“They buy and sell us like cattle.” — 25-year-old Bangladeshi worker, who was trafficked among three contractors for six months without receiving any pay on Malaysian palm oil plantations. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Co-authored by Abby McGill, Campaigns Director, International Labor Rights Forum

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The text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) finally became accessible to workers and the public last week, though insiders from more than 500 major companies have had access to the negotiation and writing process for years. The result predictably values the rights of corporations over the needs of workers and fails to address the most glaring weakness of past trade deals: the utter failure of the parties to uphold their commitments to respect workers’ rights. Continue reading TPP Ignores Workers’ Needs and Fails to Address Weaknesses from Past Trade Agreements

Kenya’s human rights groups still in the crosshairs

Pambazuka News

There is a serious concern that Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is targeting human rights groups, especially those that called for accountability for Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence and those documenting security forces abuses.

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For the third time in close to a year, Kenya announced plans to deregister civil society groups, this time including the well-respected Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) which pioneered human rights documentation work in Kenya in the early 1990s. Continue reading Kenya’s human rights groups still in the crosshairs

Climate Change Bites Kenyan Tea Farmers

InterPress Service
By Diana Omondi

Alice Muthoni picking tea in Makomboki, central Kenya. @DW/D. Omondi
Alice Muthoni picking tea in Makomboki, central Kenya. @DW/D. Omondi

NAIROBI, Nov 11 2015 (IPS) – You wouldn’t typically expect heavy rainfall and frost in East Africa. But the Earth’s climate is changing – and this is affecting one of the world’s largest tea-producing regions, in central Kenya.

For Joseph Mwangi and his wife, picking tea early in the morning has become more difficult lately. “We have been experiencing frost on the leaves,” Mwangi says. “This makes it hard to work, because the frost stings our hands,” he added.

Mwangi and his wife Alice Muthoni earn their living as tea-pickers in Makomboki, central Kenya. Due to the frost, they have had to start picking tea leaves two hours later. But this presents new problems to the couple. Continue reading Climate Change Bites Kenyan Tea Farmers

Appeals Court Upholds Delay Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

The Huffington Post

The ruling continues to block the DAPA program, aimed at helping parents of children born in the U.S. and permanent residents.

Cristian Farias
Legal Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post

A federal appeals court on Monday agreed to keep on hold President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration — nearly a year after he announced it as a backstop measure to Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

The divided, 124-page ruling deals a blow to the administration’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, known as DAPA, and there may be just enough time for a formal appeal to the Supreme Court to be resolved ahead of the 2016 election.

In ruling against the government, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit largely agreed with a lower court judge, who in February issued a “nationwide injunction” that effectively stopped DAPA from taking effect, and concurred that Texas and other states that sued the president over the program had legal “standing” to challenge its constitutionality in federal court. Continue reading Appeals Court Upholds Delay Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration