Category Archives: Health

The unpalatable reality of working for Apple

New Internationalist
Since the death of Steve Jobs, allegations have surfaced accusing Apple of exploiting it's workers. Vectorportal.com Under a CC Licence A fresh wave of reports unveiling exploitation in the iPad empire are forcing Apple to clean up up its act, reports Mark Engler.
‘Help wanted: factory worker to install small components into items manufactured by hand – iPhones and iPads. Shifts may average 12 hours per day, six days per week. You may be expected to stand throughout. Some exposure to hazardous chemicals. Base pay: $42/week. Additional benefits: shared dorm room with five other employees; safety netting at facility to catch attempted suicides. Please note: applications will be checked against blacklist of union sympathizers.’
Continue reading The unpalatable reality of working for Apple

Pope encourages people fighting to rid world of land mines

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called for continued efforts to rid the world of land mines so that people could be free to walk the earth without fear of injury or death. “I encourage all those who are working to free humanity from these terrible and insidious devices,” the pope said, as he expressed his closeness to all victims and their families.
The pope made his appeal at the end of his general audience talk April 4 as he recalled the U.N. International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, celebrated the same day. Recalling the words of Blessed John Paul II the day before a U.N. convention on the ban and destruction of anti-personnel land mines took effect in 1999, Pope Benedict said land mines keep people from “‘being able to walk together on the paths of life without fearing the threat of destruction and death.'”

About 72 countries in the world are thought to be riddled with land mines, and Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and Libya are considered nations most at risk, according to a 2011 report by the non-profit Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. More than 12 countries produce land mines, including China, India, Russia, Cuba and the United States, the report said.

April 4th – UN International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Since the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention opened for signature in 1997, 156 countries have ratified or acceded to it. More than 41 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have been destroyed, and their production, sale and transfer have in essence stopped. Continue reading April 4th – UN International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Shell accepts liability for two oil spills in Nigeria

BBC

Oil giant faces a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars following class action suit brought on behalf of communities in Bodo, Ogoniland

John Vidal in Bodo

The impact of an oil spill near Ikarama in the Niger delta. Photograph: Amnesty International UK
The impact of an oil spill near Ikarama in the Niger delta. Photograph: Amnesty International UK

Shell faces a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars after accepting full liability for two massive oil spills that have devastated a Nigerian community of 69,000 people and may take at least 20 years to clean up.

Oil spill experts who have studied video footage of the spills at Bodo in Ogoniland say the spills could together be as large as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disater in Alaska when 10m gallons of oil was spilt. Until now, Shell has claimed that less than 40,000 gallons were spilt. Continue reading Shell accepts liability for two oil spills in Nigeria

Nigerian bishops initiate forum on oil industry’s impact

National Catholic Reporter
By Patricia Lefevere

Nigerian villagers point to an oil spill in a river in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta June 10, 2010. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

ABUJA, NIGERIA — Catholic bishops, state and local government officials, oil executives and representatives of nongovernmental agencies met in Port Harcourt, the corporate and logistic hub of Nigeria’s oil industry, to address the issues of poor governance and poor oil industry practices that have bedeviled the Niger Delta region for decades. Continue reading Nigerian bishops initiate forum on oil industry’s impact

Inequality costs the earth

New Internationalist
If we really want to avert climate change, argues Bob Hughes, we’d better tackle inequality first.

Divided we fall: social inequality adversely affects the rich as well as the poor. © Mark Henley / PANOS

The modern global economy doesn’t just run on fossil fuels. It runs on inequality, which now stands indicted by a rapidly growing mountain of evidence, as the real driving force behind all the harms, and more, that have led to climate change. A world without inequality is not just desirable: it’s an urgent necessity. And it can be achieved. The market may or may not have an ‘invisible hand’ but it most definitely has an ‘invisible foot’ – inequality – which has been bearing down harder and harder on the world and its people in the frenzied pursuit of economic growth. Emissions will not reduce until that pressure is eased. Continue reading Inequality costs the earth

KENYA: “R U OK 2day?” SMS check-up takes off

Mobile phone use in Kenya has risen from 200,000 users in 2000 to an estimated 17.5 million today. Photo: Keishamaza Rukikaire/IRIN NAIROBI/

KAJIADO, (IRIN/PlusNews) – Phoebe Mapelu’s job as a community health worker in Kenya’s Kajiado District always meant going from door to door – sometimes with long distances between homes – to check up on patients on life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy (ART). Continue reading KENYA: “R U OK 2day?” SMS check-up takes off