THE MULTIPLE, REMARKABLE crises consuming Brazil are now garnering substantial Western media attention. That’s understandable given that Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country and eighth-largest economy; its second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, is the host of this year’s Summer Olympics. But much of this Western media coverage mimics the propaganda coming from Brazil’s homogenized, oligarch-owned, anti-democracy media outlets and, as such, is misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete, particularly when coming from those with little familiarity with the country (there are numerous Brazil-based Western reporters doing outstanding work). Continue reading Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy
Zimbabwe has given foreign firms just over a week to cede majority stakes to locals or face closure. Critics say the move will discourage foreign investment in an economy which is struggling.
Zimbabwe has said it will cancel licenses of foreign firms which have not complied with legislation forcing them to hand over majority stakes to local shareholders.
The government adopted the legislation in 2008 to compel foreign firms to cede at least 51 percent to promote black ownership and correct imbalances from the colonial era. However, this law is often not adhered to. Continue reading Zimbabwe cracks down on foreign firms over local ownership
The Catholic Bishops of Belgium have issued a statement condemning the deadly terror attacks on the Brussels airport and underground stations on Monday, calling for prayerful solidarity with the victims and for national unity in response to the assault.
Vatican Radio’s English translation of the Bishops’ statement follows:
“The bishops of Belgium are appalled to learn of the attack at Zaventem airport and in the centre of Brussels. They share the anguish of thousands of travelers and their families, aviation professionals and the first responders who are once again called to service.
They entrust the victims to the prayers of all in this new dramatic situation. Airport chaplains are every day at the service of all and provide the necessary spiritual support. May the whole country live these days with a great sense of civic responsibility.”
WASHINGTON – In an historic vote, the Senate today unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution from U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Rob Portman to launch civil contempt proceedings against the website Backpage, as part of the duo’s bipartisan investigation into online sex trafficking.
“The contempt that Backpage has shown for our bipartisan investigation has now been met with the unanimous contempt of the full U.S. Senate,” said McCaskill, a former sex crimes prosecutor who is the top-ranking Democrat on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “This historic vote makes a clear statement—we are fully committed to getting to the bottom of this company’s business practices and policies for preventing the trafficking of children, and we will get these answers.” Continue reading In Historic Vote, U.S. Senate Unanimously Backs McCaskill-Portman Measure to Hold ‘Backpage’ Website in Contempt of Congress
For many people in west Africa, accessing water is a lot more complex than just turning on a tap. While wealthier communities may benefit from a relatively regular supply of clean water and adequate sanitation, people living in poorer areas are rarely connected to the subsidized network and end up paying more for a basic necessity. All photos by Tara Todras-Whitehill for WaterAid.
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By Joseline Araujo
My name is Joseline Anne Araujo, and I am a Junior at Trinity Washington University (Class of 2017), majoring in Sociology and minoring in History. This summer I was very fortunate to be accepted to an exciting program called Just Advocacy Week by NETWORK here in the heart of the District of Columbia.
About five months earlier, Sr. Mary Johnson, a Trinity sister of Notre Dame, who is one of my favorite professors at Trinity Washington University, introduced me to this opportunity NETWORK was offering for a week in the summer. I was excited because Sr. Mary’s honors Theology course had me very interested in the social justice movement, and what better way to join than with a famous organization right here in DC! Sr. Mary provided me with the steps to apply and spoke to me about other opportunities that she had in mind. However, she strongly encouraged me to apply to the NETWORK program; I did and was accepted to participate in June. Continue reading Building a Foundation for Social Justice
By John L. Allen Jr.
ROME — Around midnight on Sunday, a dozen armed men wearing uniforms of the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo burst into a social center called “My Beautiful Village,” located in the North Kivu region of the country bordering Rwanda and Uganda, where a meeting for peace involving traditional tribal chiefs was underway.
Their target was a Catholic priest named the Rev. Vincent Machozi, a member of a religious order known as the Augustinians of the Assumption, who operated an influential website documenting atrocities committed against his Nande people, also known as the Yira after the language they speak.
Machozi used the site to denounce what he saw as collusion among political elites, armed factions, and commercial interests in what he termed the “Balkanization” of the region in order to exploit its natural resources, especially its rich coltan deposits. Since 2010, so much violence has been unleashed on the Yira — often in grotesque fashion, including beheading by machetes — that activists such as Machozi have referred to it as a “genocide.” Continue reading Priest’s murder in Congo shows the need for a new concept of martyrdom
René Castro Salazar
ROME, Mar 21 2016 (IPS) – The next time you turn on the tap to fill the kettle, you might want to spare a thought for the forest that made it possible. It may be a hundred kilometres away or more from where you are sitting, but the chances are that you owe your cup of tea, in part at least, to the trees that helped to capture the water, and to filter it on its long journey to you the consumer.
The importance of forests to the water cycle cannot be overstated. They slow down the flow of water, percolating it gently through the soil, ensuring stable year-round supplies even during drier seasons. At the same time, forests filter the water that enters our rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater, increasing the quality of this life-giving resource. Research in Burkina Faso has shown how a single tree can help with groundwater recharge, protecting water from evaporating from the soil, its root system allowing rainwater to filter more deeply into the ground, providing clean, safe drinking water. Continue reading Forests Help Quench Urban Thirst – René Castro Salazar