REFLECTION: Vatican conference urges church to abandon “just war” theory

Pax Christi USA

Tony Magliano

peace-4-16On the night before his execution, Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you” (John 14:27).

Facing a horrible violent death, Jesus taught the first leaders of his church to respond to violence with peace. The peace of Jesus – the only real and lasting peace – unlike the false “peace” of the world which violently conquers enemies, would be based on total nonviolence.

But after 300 years of countless Christians striving to follow the nonviolent Jesus – often suffering severe persecution – the faith of the followers of Christ was legalized and later made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Christians then began fighting for the empire. And sadly, Christians have been fighting for empires ever since. Continue reading REFLECTION: Vatican conference urges church to abandon “just war” theory

How the Definition of Development Aid is Being Eroded

InterPress Service

By Lyndal Rowlands


UNITED NATIONS, Apr 21 2016 (IPS) – The traditional definition of aid is being eroded at the same time that governments have committed to achieving the UN’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Jeffrey Sachs special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on development told IPS Thursday.

“A lot of governments have a kind of magical thinking which is, we’re all for the Sustainable Development Goals but don’t come to us if you want to achieve them, go borrow from the private markets,” said Sachs.

Aldo Caliari who represents civil society in UN Financing for Development (FfD) negotiations told journalists here Monday that there has been a “significant shift in the language” in these negotiations towards “a larger presence of the private sector”. Continue reading How the Definition of Development Aid is Being Eroded

Immigrant families’ lives, nation’s values hinge on court’s ruling (COMMENTARY)

Religious News Service

By Sr. Bernadine Karge (RNS)

Sophie, walks with her father, Raul Cruz, after arguments in a challenge over the constitutionality of President Obama's executive action to defer deportation of certain immigrants, in Washington

As an immigration lawyer for more than 30 years, I have seen how immigration laws evolve in response to the needs of the country, world events and the political winds. The result is an inconsistent mishmash that traps hopeful immigrants and rips families apart.

As a Catholic sister, I reflect on the values and church teachings that should inform just and prudent immigration policies. Pope Francis speaks about the dignity of every person and rails against treating immigrants as mere pawns on a global chessboard. Continue reading Immigrant families’ lives, nation’s values hinge on court’s ruling (COMMENTARY)

Green machines

New Internationalist

The complex chemistry of forests is still largely unknown. Diana Beresford-Kroeger examines the intimate relationship between trees and the air we breathe.

From a distance you never see the leaves for the trees. But if you look closely you can see the natural aerosols. They rise spectre-like from the forest and linger as a blue haze on the horizon almost everywhere on Earth.

The global forest produces this invisible, protective mantle of airborne molecules. These chemicals hold a design for lift much like a bird or a bee. They float away to join the tide of atmospheric gases and water vapour that guard this planet. Continue reading Green machines

Berta Cáceres Lives On, And So Does Violence By Honduran Government and Dam Company

By Beverly Bell

In Other Words


Fifteen hundred people from at least 22 countries convened in Honduras from April 13-15, 2016 for the “Peoples of ¡Berta Vive!” International Gathering. They came to honor slain global movement leader Berta Cáceres and to commit themselves to keeping her legacy alive.

Members of the international gathering also experienced the violence of the Honduran government and Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. – DESA, the foreign-backed company illegally constructing a dam on the indigenous ancestral Gualcarque River – which shadowed Berta throughout her final years and ended her life this past March 2.
Berta Cáceres’ “Emancipatory Vision”

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the group Berta founded in 1993 and ran until her assassination, and two other Honduran organizations hosted the gathering. The final declaration gave the context of the meeting. Continue reading Berta Cáceres Lives On, And So Does Violence By Honduran Government and Dam Company

No Easy Outcomes in Brazil’s Political Crisis

InterPress Service

By Mario Osava


RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 18 2016 (IPS) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff would appear to be, as she herself recently said, “a card out of the deck” of those in power, after the crushing defeat she suffered Sunday Apr. 17 in the lower house of Congress, which voted to impeach her. But Brazil’s political crisis is so complex that the final outcome is not a given.

A total of 367 legislators – 71.5 percent, or 25 more than the two-thirds majority needed – voted to impeach her and she now faces a vote in the Senate. Because the makeup of the Senate is similar to that of the Chamber of Deputies, the president’s fate is apparently sealed. Continue reading No Easy Outcomes in Brazil’s Political Crisis

Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Mark Weisbrot

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is now threatened with impeachment, but there is no evidence that she is linked to the “Lava Jato“ scandal, or any other corruption. Rather, she is accused of an accounting manipulation that somewhat misrepresented the fiscal position of the government — something that prior presidents have done. To borrow an analogy from the United States, when the Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling in the U.S. in 2013, the Obama administration used a number of accounting tricks to postpone the deadline at which the limit was reached. Nobody cared.

The impeachment campaign — which the government has correctly labelled a coup — is an effort by Brazil’s traditional elite to obtain by other means what they have not been able to win at the ballot box for the past 12 years. Former president Lula is accused of receiving money from corporations for speeches, and for renovations to a property that he claims he did not own. But even if these accusations are true, there is no evidence of a crime or even a link to corruption. The alleged events took place after Lula left the presidency — and again, as in the U.S., former officials can legally get paid for speeches. Yet Judge Sergio Moro, who is leading the investigation, has led a well-executed smear campaign against Lula. He had to apologize to the Supreme Court for releasing wiretapped phone conversations between Lula and Dilma, Lula and his attorney, and even Lula’s wife and their children. Continue reading Brazilian Coup Threatens Democracy and National Sovereignty