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.

Otsieno Namwaya
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

Twenty Years On, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Legacy Echoes from the Grassroots to the United Nations

Common Dreams

The man who led a popular revolt against Big Oil’s destruction in Nigeria remains a figure lionized by activists all over the world

by Godwin Ojo

In Nigeria and around the world, Ken Saro Wiwa's memory lives on. (Photo: Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International)
In Nigeria and around the world, Ken Saro Wiwa’s memory lives on. (Photo: Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International)

LAGOS, Nigeria – Ken Saro-Wiwa belonged to that rare but wonderful category of poet-writer turned non-violent resistance leader. And like too many non-violent resistance leaders, he was executed by the people whose interests he challenged. November 10th is the twentieth anniversary of his execution in his motherland, Nigeria.

Known on the international stage for his David-and-Goliath struggle with oil giant Shell, Ken Saro-Wiwa remains a figure lionized by activists all over the world, who see his example as a great victory for people power over formidable transnational corporate giants. His legacy also moves and inspires a growing movement of civil society activists who are lobbying the UN and national governments to create a binding treaty to regulate the conduct of transnational corporations with respect to human rights. Continue reading Twenty Years On, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Legacy Echoes from the Grassroots to the United Nations

Amidst the debris: Environmental impact of conflict in Syria could be disastrous

Pax Christi USA

The ongoing conflict in Syria is likely to have a disastrous impact on the environment and public health, according to a new study published by PAX.
peace-11Four years of fighting has left cities in rubble and caused widespread damage to industrial sites, critical infrastructure and the oil industry. Pollution from these forms of damage is likely to result in acute and chronic risks to civilians and will have a long-term impact on the environment that they depend on.
“With the additional attacks by Russia in or near Aleppo, which has numerous industrial complexes processing hazardous chemicals, existing environmental and public health risks from the ongoing conflict will only be compounded,” cautioned report author Wim Zwijnenburg, researcher for PAX. Continue reading Amidst the debris: Environmental impact of conflict in Syria could be disastrous

Protecting the right of the environment and putting an end to social exclusion are inseparable, Pope Francis

Eco-Jesuit

Photo credit: social-spirituality.net
Photo credit: social-spirituality.net

After having published the encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis is showing that his concerns for the “common home” are not isolated thoughts, but a main stream in his pontificate, placing the environment at the same level as that of poverty in the “moral agenda” of the Catholic Church.

The visit to the United States has been a new opportunity for Pope Francis to renew his ecological commitment and to look for connections with poverty alleviation, international negotiations or the very concept of justice. Pope Francis struggles to show caring for the planet is a way of doing justice both for humans and for nature. Continue reading Protecting the right of the environment and putting an end to social exclusion are inseparable, Pope Francis

Another trail of destruction and death in the history of mining and Vale S.A.

International Articulation of People Affected by Vale S.A.

On November 5, 2015, yet another shocking and terrible report involving a large mining company and Vale S.A.

Two dams of the Samarco mining company Minera SA, a joint venture of Vale SA (50%) and BHP Billiton Brazil Ltda (50%), and also a recipient of waste from other mines of Vale SA in the region, including the Alegria mine, ruptured in the state of Minas Gerais, in Bento Rodrigues district, between the cities of Mariana and Ouro Preto.

The District is completely buried under toxic sludge, now the only possible access to the site is by helicopter. There are countless homeless families, and so far there are at least 16 dead, 45 missing and countless buried. The situation on the ground remains very serious and there is risk of new landslides. Initially, only the Bento Rodrigues district had been affected, but the flood of waste continues, reaching other districts and municipalities 60 km from the site. Continue reading Another trail of destruction and death in the history of mining and Vale S.A.