Category Archives: Action

Crisis at Sea

NEW YORK TIMES
by Nicholas Kristof

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh at a police station in Malaysia. Many are fleeing persecution in Myanmar. Credit European Pressphoto Agency
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh at a police station in Malaysia. Many are fleeing persecution in Myanmar. Credit European Pressphoto Agency

One of the world’s most beautiful regions, the seas of Southeast Asia — home to sparkling white beaches and $7,000-a-night beach villas — is becoming a scene of a mass atrocity.

Thousands of refugees from the persecuted Rohingya minority in Myanmar, fleeing modern concentration camps at home, have fled to sea in boats, and many have drowned. Fearing a crackdown, smugglers have abandoned some of those boats at sea, and neighboring countries are pushing the boats back to sea when they try to land.

The Obama administration, which has regarded Myanmar as one of its diplomatic successes, is largely unhelpful as this calamity unfolds. More…

U.S. Bishops Committee Issues Report on Immigrant Detention, Calling for a “Transformation” of the System

IGNATIAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK
by ISN Staff
May 11, 2015

Unlocking-Human-DignityWASHINGTON—The U.S. immigrant detention system, which treats vulnerable immigrant detainees as criminals, needs extensive reforms, said representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Center for Migration Studies, May 11, as they released a report and policy recommendations. They urged Congress and the administration to build a system that affords due process protections, honors human dignity and minimizes the use of detentions.

“It is time for our nation to reform this inhumane system, which unnecessarily detains persons, especially vulnerable populations, who are no threat to us and who should be afforded due process and legal protections,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. Such vulnerable groups include asylum-seekers, families and children, and victims of human trafficking.

The report, “Unlocking Human Dignity:  A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System,” was written and produced by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), a Catholic-based educational institute that studies migration, and Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB. More…

Farmers Fight Real Estate Developers for Kenya’s Most Prized Asset: Land

INTER PRESS SERVICE
by Miriam Gathigah

David Njeru, a farmer from central Kenya, attends to his cabbages. This community is at risk of being displaced from their land by powerful real estate developers. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS
David Njeru, a farmer from central Kenya, attends to his cabbages. This community is at risk of being displaced from their land by powerful real estate developers. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

NGANGARITHI, Kenya, May 11 2015 (IPS) – Vegetables grown in the lush soil of this quiet agricultural community in central Kenya’s fertile wetlands not only feed the farmers who tend the crops, but also make their way into the marketplaces of Nairobi, the country’s capital, some 150 km south.

Spinach, carrots, kale, cabbages, tomatoes, maize, legumes and tubers are plentiful here in the village of Ngangarithi, a landscape awash in green, intersected by clean, clear streams that local children play in.

“I am not fighting for myself but for my children. I am 85 years old, I have lived my life, but my great-grandchildren need a place to call home.” — Paul Njogu, a resident of the farming village of Ngangarithi in central Kenya

Ngangarithi, home to just over 25,000 people, is part of Nyeri County located in the Central Highlands, nestled between the eastern foothills of the Abadare mountain range and the western hillsides of Mount Kenya. More…

Inagural class graduates from Green Pioneer Accelerator

VENTURE FORUMS IN KENYA AND SOUTH AFRICA, June VC4A
By Miguel Heilbron
May 5, 2015

The Green Pioneer Accelerator is gearing up for its inaugural graduation that will showcase 21 entrepreneurs. These innovative companies will present to investors and strategic partners at two closed Venture Forums on Tuesday, June 9th in Nairobi, Kenya and on Thursday, June 11th in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Green Pioneer Accelerator focused on early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, energy insecurity, loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems. More…

Whose renewable future?

NEW INTERNATIONALIST
March 2015

Is big business poised to capture the renewables revolution?
by Danny Chivers

keynote-590In January this year, the energy researcher Jeremy Leggett made a bold claim. He told the Guardian newspaper that we should expect a major oil firm to turn its back on fossil fuels soon and shift to renewable energy. ‘One of the oil companies will break ranks,’ he said, ‘and this time it is going to stick.’

Leggett points to the collapsed oil price, the falling costs of renewable-energy generation and potential government action on climate change as key factors that could persuade an oil corporation to jump ship. His comments were excitedly shared online by anti-fossil fuel campaigners.

But hang on a minute. Would this really be good news? More..

It’s Official: Global Carbon Levels Surpassed 400 ppm for Entire Month

May 6, 2015
COMMON DREAMS
by Sarah Lazare, Staff Writer

imagesMarking yet another grim milestone for an ever-warming planet, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed on Wednesday that, for the first time in recorded history, global levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged over 400 parts per million (ppm) for an entire month—in March 2015.

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, in a press statement. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.” More…

Want to Help Nepal Recover from Debt, Says Rights Group

INTER PRESS SERVICE
News Agency (IPS)
By Kanya D’Almeida

School children in Nepal’s Matatirtha village practice an earthquake drill in the event of a natural disaster. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Apr. 25, 2015, has endangered the lives of close to a million children. Credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/CC-BY-2.0
School children in Nepal’s Matatirtha village practice an earthquake drill in the event of a natural disaster. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Apr. 25, 2015, has endangered the lives of close to a million children. Credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/CC-BY-2.0

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2015 (IPS) – The death toll has now passed 3,300, and there is no telling how much farther it will climb. Search and rescue operations in Nepal entered their third day Monday, as the government and international aid agencies scramble to cope with the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck this South Asian nation on Apr. 25.

Severe aftershocks have this land-locked country of 27.8 million people on edge, with scores missing and countless others feared dead, buried under the rubble. More