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Index August 2010

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2010-08-01: AU Escalation becoming al-Shabab Glue;
2010-08-02: That Yawning Chasm between India and Innovation;
2010-08-03: Small Arms and Light Weapons Ammunition Survey;
2010-08-04: Food crisis in the Sahel: Real problem, false solutions;
2010-08-05: Immigrants have human rights;
2010-08-06: Somalia’s rough road to peace;
2010-08-07: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Transitions The Living Proof Project to ONE;
2010-08-08: Kenya: New Constitution a Winner With Women;
2010-08-09: Recovery from oil spill is Obama priority: Navy Secy;
2010-08-10: Opinion & Analysis: Why Chinese should be taught in Africa schools;
2010-08-11: Bring Water Into Climate Change Negotiations;
2010-08-12: Wordless masses;
2010-08-13: Tax Wealthy – invest in infrastructure and schools;
2010-08-14: Go where the money is … ;
2010-08-15: Kenya: Don’t waste the new constitution;
2010-08-15: Kenya: What now, after the referendum?
2010-08-16: Vox Sambou and the Solid’Ayiti initiative for Haiti;
2010-08-17: The Hidden Tragedy of the CIA’s Experiments on Children;
2010-08-17: Invitation – Opportunities to enhance the BWC Confidence-building Measures;
2010-08-18: China’s next elite: 2012 and beyond;
2010-08-19: Gender-Based Violence in Haiti;
2010-08-19: Invitation – Synthetic Biology: Engineering a safer future;
2010-08-20: Half of HIV-exposed children in Africa not receiving drug to prevent infection;
2010-08-21: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Time for sanity and healing;
2010-08-22: Nuclear Nonproliferation and the Quest for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, The Test Ban Challenge;
2010-08-23: Noma, The face of poverty;
2010-08-24: New upcoming e-learning courses offerd by HREA;
2010-08-25: Draft Plan of Action for the second phase of the WPHRE now available;
2010-08-26: Video for Change Newsletter – August 2010;
2010-08-27: Paralegal Justice Services Expand Across Sierra Leone;
2010-08-28: Wishfulness, yesmanship and the Harper Conservatives;
2010-08-28: Towards a Unified Agenda: Armed Violence and the Millennium Development Goals;
2010-08-29: New courses by HREA.org;
2010-08-30: The census and civil liberties: Interview with Micheal Vonn;
2010-08-31: The G20’s symbolic violence.

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    The G20’s symbolic violence

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    Published on rabble.ca, by Rick Salutin, August 27, 2010.

    This week’s mass processing inside (and outside) a Toronto courthouse helped clarify June’s Jailapalooza festival during the G20, the largest mass arrest in our history. Of 1,100 detained, all but 227 had the charges dropped or were never charged. Most had no links to burning police cars or battered bank machines. They were picked up while protesting peacefully or looking on.

    Why? Police say they wanted to prevent recurrences, after the dramatic events. Some intimate they were embarrassed by criticisms of their earlier inaction, and overreacted. Why had police gone missing at the crucial time? There’s been no clear answer. One possibility: to justify the vaulting security costs via shocking images of violence.   Continue Reading…

    The census and civil liberties: Interview with Micheal Vonn

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    Published on rabble.ca, by Am Johal, August 27, 2010.

    Micheal Vonn is the Policy Director with the BC Civil Liberties Association.  She will be making a submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the census.

    Q.  What is the BC Civil Liberties Association’s position on the census issue?

    The Association does not have a position on the census issue per se, but we are very concerned about the likely alternatives to a mandatory long-form census.  The alternative isn’t being spelled out in any detail, but the discussion keeps revolving around some form of voluntary survey coupled with recourse to “administrative” and other “existing” forms of data.  We have to assume this means pulling personal information from public and private sector databases.   Continue Reading…

    New courses by HREA.org

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    Published on Human Rights Education Associates’ (HREAs’) Global Human Rights Education (HRE) List:

    • Youth contest fosters dialogue on armed conflict, 2010-08-24
    • OSI seeks Curriculum Consultant for Youth Initiative, 2010-08-24
    • Call for papers for special edition of journal Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 2010-08-23
    • Call for Nominations 2011 Oak Human Rights Fellowship, 2010-08-23
    • South Asia Movement Building and Human Rights Institute (Kathmandu, 1-5 November 2010)
    • Draft Plan of Action for the second phase of the WPHRE now available
    • 2010-08-20
    • New upcoming e-learning courses offerd by HREA, 2010-08-20
    • Sierra Leone: Human Rights Education Network ends consultative meeting, 2010-08-20 1

    Towards a Unified Agenda: Armed Violence and the Millennium Development Goals

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    Monday, 13 September 2010, 12:30-14:00, Venue: WMO/OMM Building, 7bis Avenue de la Paix, Room C1 (floor -1).

    Received by e-mail, From: Graduate Institute. We invite you to join us for this discussion and encourage you to share this invitation with any colleagues who may be interested. To register, please simply reply to this email with your full contact details: gpp@gcsp.ch by Friday 10 September, 18h.

    • CHAIR: Dr David Atwood, Director, Quaker UN Office, Executive Member of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform;
    • SPEAKERS: Dr Robert Muggah, Research Director, Small Arms Survey at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Mr Paul Eavis, Senior Adviser, Armed Violence Prevention, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP. Continue Reading…

    Wishfulness, yesmanship and the Harper Conservatives

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    Published on rabble.ca, by Bill Templeman, August 26, 2010.

    At the end of World War II, John Godfrey, the former Director of Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division, identified two major weaknesses of the Nazi espionage bureaucracy: ‘wishfulness’ and ‘yesmanship’. Wishfulness and yesmanship are not real words; they are strictly Godfrey’s concoctions. Yet the behaviours behind these terms have changed history. And they are still with us today.

    As wishfulness and yesmanship do not appear in any dictionary, I’ll make up my own definitions. Wishfulness seems to be the tendency to believe information that supports preferred views of reality while simultaneously rejecting all contradictory information. Godfrey believed that the Nazi high command, when presented with two pieces of contradictory information, was inclined to believe the option that best fit with their own preconceptions.  Continue Reading…

    Paralegal Justice Services Expand Across Sierra Leone

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    … 16 New Offices to Open in September – Published on Sierra Express Media SEM, by SEM contributor, August 23. 2010.

    The number of paralegals providing free basic justice  services in Sierra Leone will more than double next month, as donors join with non-governmental organizations and community-based groups to create a nation-wide network of legal assistance.

    The expansion is being funded by the Open Society Foundations, the German aid agency GTZ, Trocaire, and Christian Aid, with technical support from the World Bank, Timap, and the Open Society Justice Initiative. The new field offices will be opened by Timap for Justice, Access to Justice Law Center, AdvocAid, BRAC, Justice and Peace Commission/Caritas, and Methodist Church Sierra Leone.  Continue Reading…

    Video for Change Newsletter – August 2010

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    Received by e-mail, From: WITNESS, Date: 19/08/2010

    Draft Plan of Action for the second phase of the WPHRE now available

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    Received by e-mail, From Kazunari Fujii, Date: 21/08/2010

    Dear All, As of today, the Draft Plan of Action for the second phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (WPHRE) has been made available on the Human Rights Council website. Please visit and download at UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/15/28 – 27 July 2010), or more directly at the UN General Assembly (28 pdf pages).
    Thank you very much for your attention, Kazunari Fujii, Chair NGO WG on HREL of CoNGO, and also Director of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), United Nations Liaison Office, 150 Route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland.  Continue Reading…

    New upcoming e-learning courses offerd by HREA

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    Received by e-mail, From: Maren Coniglione, Date: 20/08/2010.

    Dear Colleagues, HREA will be offering nine new e-learning courses in the coming months. To find them all, please go to HREA Distance Learning Programme.

    About HREA’s Distance Learning Programme: Since 2002, over 3,000 human rights defenders, development workers, staff members of international organisations and graduate students have successfully participated in Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)’s distance learning courses. Further information about HREA’s Distance Learning Programme can be found on this website.   Continue Reading…

    Noma, The face of poverty

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    Linked on our blogs with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland. – Published on Online Journal, by Siv O’Neall, August 20, 2010.

    (The following article is based on a report “The tragedy of Noma [1],” prepared by Mr. Jean Ziegler, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes in this article are excerpted from this report by Mr. Ziegler
    See also NOMA on en.wikipedia):

    Malnutrition and hunger are not only direct killers of children and adults all over the developing world. A lesser-known but horrible result of the negligence and callousness of the rich Western world is a cruelly disfiguring disease called noma (from Ancient Greek nomē “spreading of sores”), a scourge which is destroying lives in large parts of the developing nations.  Continue Reading…

    Nuclear Nonproliferation and the Quest for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty The Test Ban Challenge

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    Published on The National Security Archive NSA, edited by William Burr, August 11, 2010.

    Washington, D.C., August 11, 2010 – The next nuclear policy challenge for the Obama administration, right after Senate action on the New START Treaty, will be Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which President Obama sees as a condition for a world free of nuclear weapons. As he declared in his Hradcany Square speech, “After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.” Most U.S. presidents since Dwight D. Eisenhower have sought, sometimes only rhetorically, a comprehensive test ban of nuclear testing in all environments (underground, atmospheric, underwater, outer space). While emphases and motives have shifted–the fallout danger and limiting Soviet nuclear advances were initially central goals–from the start U.S. government officials saw a ban on nuclear testing as highly relevant to inhibiting nuclear proliferation.

    Documents published today for the first time by the National Security Archive illustrate how nonproliferation goals shaped internal U.S. discussions of the CTBT from the 1950s through the late 1970s. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) director Paul Warnke wrote to President Jimmy Carter in July 1978 that a CTBT is “a central element of our efforts to prevent the further proliferation of nuclear weapons” not least because it would strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and prevent tests by states which were on the “threshold” of a nuclear weapons capability. The documents provide new detail on how nonproliferation objectives informed support within the U.S. government for the test ban:

    • In 1957, disarmament advisers argued that a test ban could benefit U.S. security interests because of the “hesitancy of potential fourth countries to develop weapons programs clandestinely.”
    • During the late 1950s, U.S. government officials believed that the Soviet Union supported a test ban because it “would be a relatively cheap way of stopping or at least inhibiting fourth country nuclear weapons capability.”
    • According to ACDA officials (1965), a CTBT could not provide an “iron-clad assurance”—countries could build and stockpile weapons without tests—but it would “contribute significantly to the inhibitions on proliferation world-wide.”
    • In 1978, Carter administration arms controllers argued that a comprehensive test ban would weaken incentives to acquire nuclear weapons because to “win the full prestige of possessing nuclear weapons,” a state would “need to demonstrate its capability with a test.”
    • An example of how new presidential priorities–playing the “China card”–could jeopardize nonproliferation goals emerged in January 1979, when President Jimmy Carter secretly offered Deng Xiaoping assistance for Beijing’s underground nuclear test program, an offer that State Department officials worried could undermine support for the test ban … //

    … (full text, Documents 1 to 11 and Notes 1 to 16).

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Time for sanity and healing

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    Published on Pambazuka, by Horace Campbell, August 12, 2010.

    It is 65 years this August since the US dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of unarmed Japanese civilians, writes Horace Campbell. Although US history books say that thousands of servicemen were saved as a result of those two bombings, the reality, says Campbell, was different … //

    … TIME FOR SANITY AND HEALING

    The mindset that committed genocide in the Americas and enslaved millions continues to dominate the thinking of those in power in the West. Samir Amin, in his book ‘The Liberal Virus’ has warned that this mindset is laying the foundations for the genocide of billions of citizens. Capitalism has reached a point where the barbarism of the system is everyday becoming clearer.  Continue Reading…

    Half of HIV-exposed children in Africa not receiving drug to prevent infection

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    Published on AIDSmap, by Keith Alcorn, July 29, 2010.

    A four-country African study of mothers with HIV giving birth in 2007 and 2008 has shown that up to half of children exposed to HIV during pregnancy and childbirth did not receive nevirapine to prevent HIV infection at the time of delivery.

    Younger mothers and those who made fewer visits to the health facility before giving birth were significantly less likely to have taken a dose of nevirapine, and their infants were less likely to have received a dose of nevirapine after birth, according to results of a study published on 18 July in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with the opening day of the Eighteenth International AIDS Conference in Vienna.  Continue Reading…

    Invitation – Synthetic Biology: Engineering a safer future

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    Received by e-mail, From: Silvia Cattaneo, Date: 19/08/2010.

    Lunchtime Seminar, 25 August 2010, Palais des Nations – Room XXIII (a sandwich lunch will be served at 13:00 outside the seminar room).

    The Geneva Forum and Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit are pleased to invite you to a lunchtime seminar on “Synthetic Biology: Engineering a Safer Future”.

    This ongoing collaboration brings you a series of interesting events on the very cutting edge of modern biology. In 2008, BWC participants were introduced to the concepts of synthetic biology (or biological engineering). Last year, the benefits for our societies from modern biology were explored. Our third event will introduce you to the non-security challenges raised by synthetic biology and illustrate how they are being dealt with.  Continue Reading…

    Gender-Based Violence in Haiti

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    Linked on our blogs with Stephen Lendman – USA. – Published on Dissident Voice, by Stephen Lendman, August 17, 2010.

    The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) works with grassroots groups there, in America, and the Haitian Diaspora, developing effective human rights advocacy for some of the world’s most oppressed,  impoverished, and long-suffering people, over 500 years and counting.

    In late July, it issued a new report titled, “Our Bodies Are Still Trembling: Haitian Women’s Fight Against Rape,” a problem Amnesty International (AI) highlighted in March saying:

    “Sexual violence is widely present in the camps where some of Haiti’s most vulnerable live. It was already a major concern (pre-quake), but the situation in which displaced people are living exposes women and girls to even greater risks,” the issue IJDH examined in its report, explaining that Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps “exacerbated the already grave problem of sexual violence,” two US lawyer delegations and a women’s health specialist investigating the problem first hand in May and June, interviewing over 50 rape or attempted rape survivors.  Continue Reading…

    China’s next elite: 2012 and beyond

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    Published on openDemocracy, by  Kerry Brown and Loh Su-hsing, 16 August 2010.

    The transition to a new Chinese leadership has already begun. The domestic and international demands made of it will be greater than ever. But the character of the emerging generation will severely constrain its ability to cope, say Kerry Brown & Loh Su-hsing … //

    … Chinese communist leaders, reflecting what their political system has required of them, tend to lack charisma, communication skills and an aptitude for public engagement. They follow the party line  in all public appearances, deliver speeches that are rehearsed and formulaic, and remain formal and distant in personal interactions.  Continue Reading…

    Invitation – Opportunities to enhance the BWC Confidence-building Measures

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    Received by e-mail, From: Silvia Cattaneo, Date: 16/08/2010.

    Report launch: 25 August 2010, 09:00-10:00, Palais des Nations, (Geneva/Switzerland) – Room XXIII

    To register, please simply reply to this email with your full contact details Silvia Cattaneo, mentioning if you need a pass to enter the UN building. We also encourage you to share this invitation with any colleagues who may be interested. A light breakfast will be served as from 08:40 outside the seminar room.

    In 2009, the Geneva Forum and the Governments of Germany, Norway and Switzerland launched a joint initiative aimed at assessing the current Confidence-Building Measures CBMs of the Biological Weapons Convention BWC and at identifying ways to strengthen them. Consisting of three workshops held between 2009 and 2010, this initiative aimed at contributing constructively to the thorough review of the CBMs that the 2011 Review Conference of the Convention has pledged to carry out. Continue Reading…

    The Hidden Tragedy of the CIA’s Experiments on Children

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    Published on Global Research.ca (first on Truthout), by H. P. Albarelli Jr. and Jeffrey S. Kaye, August 15, 2010.

    … From early 1940 to 1953, Dr. Lauretta Bender, a highly respected child neuropsychiatrist practicing at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, experimented extensively with electroshock therapy on children who had been diagnosed with “autistic schizophrenia.” In all, it has been reported that Bender administered electroconvulsive therapy to at least 100 children ranging in age from three years old to 12 years, with some reports indicating the total may be twice that number. One source reports that, inclusive of Bender’s work, electroconvulsive treatment was used on more than 500 children at Bellevue Hospital from 1942 to 1956, and then at Creedmoor State Hospital Children’s Service from 1956 to 1969. Bender was a confident and dogmatic woman, who bristled at criticism, oftentimes refused to acknowledge reality even when it stood starkly before her.  Continue Reading…

    Vox Sambou and the Solid’Ayiti initiative for Haiti

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    Linked with rabble.ca / rabble podcast network rpn. – Interview with Vox Sambou, published on rabble.ca, by Stefan Christoff,
    August 13, 2010.

    Haitian hip-hop artist Vox Sambou offers an inspiring mix of powerful music and social action, pointing to the great possibilities of blending the arts with community activism. A key hip-hop figure in Montreal, Vox is a member of the celebrated ensemble Nomadic Massive and assisted in launching the Solid’Ayiti initiative after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti last winter.

    Solid’Ayiti supports Lycée Jean-Baptiste Cinéas, a public school in Limbé, Vox’s hometown on the northern coast. Recently Vox returned to Haiti for the first time since the earthquake and rabble.ca contributor Stefan Christoff had the opportunity to speak with him about the current situation there, the role of hip-hop culture in movements for social change in the country, and the Haiti’s “invisible” crisis of HIV/AIDS. Continue Reading…

    Kenya: What now, after the referendum?

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    Published on Pambauka, by Yash Ghai, August 12, 2010.

    The referendum result ‘puts beyond doubt the wishes of Kenyans to bring about fundamental social and political changes’, writes Yash Ghai. Although the new constitution sets both a framework and a timetable for its implementation, Ghai says it’s crucial that Kenyans are not sidetracked by talk of ‘reconciliation through further negotiations on “contentious issues”’ from elites ‘determined to sabotage reform agendas’. ‘The whole point of a referendum is to see which side has greater support, and to bring the debate to closure,’ says Ghai.

    The Proposed Constitution will soon become Kenya’s new constitution, with the massive endorsement of the people. The result of the referendum puts beyond doubt the wishes of Kenyans to bring about fundamental social and political changes – a new birth, no less. They are now anxious that the promises of constitution, for which they have struggled for so long and so painfully, should be implemented speedily. Fortunately the new constitution itself sets both a framework and a firm time-table for its implementation, and with some sanctions for failure to meet the legislative programme.  Continue Reading…

    Kenya: Don’t waste the new constitution

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    The safeguarding role of civil society – Published on Pambazuka, by Jill Cottrell Ghai and Yash Pal Ghai, August 12, 2010.

    Kenya is awakening with the realisation of a new constitution. Jill Cottrell Ghai and Yash Pal Ghai warn that Kenyan society must not now allow the silence of complacency to take hold and obstruct the path to democratic and transparent governance. The commitment of the nation’s civil society organisations and movements able to secure the universal implementation of the constitution will ensure its survival, and the upholding of the rights and responsibilities it enshrines for the benefit of Kenyans, write the authors.

    The media are behaving as if Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga won and William Ruto and John Njue lost. The media’s obsession with politicians, as so clearly manifested in their coverage of the referendum campaign, has obscured the hard work of civil society. The ideas and the struggle for reform were initiated and sustained by civil society while politicians were making their deals to stop reform. In the recent review process, the media ignored civil society’s admirable efforts to educate the people on constitutional issues.  Continue Reading…

    Go where the money is …

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    Watch this video, published on The Real News Network, 4.39 min, by Paul Jay, August 12, 2010, inkl. Transcript.

    Tax Wealthy – invest in infrastructure and schools

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    Watch this video: Jeff Thompson on Payoff from infrastructure and education spending greater than lost purchasing power, published on The Real News Network TRNN, 12.57 min, by Paul Jay, August  11, 2010.

    (full long transcript text). To res Jeff Thompson’s report, please visit Political Economy Research Institute PERI.

    Wordless masses

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    Published on Online Journal, by Linh Dinh, August 11, 2010.

    Camden, a city of 80,000 people, has three public libraries. Last week came news that these three branches may close for good at the end of this year, with most of the books given away or destroyed. This, in the city where America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman, spent two decades, and where he is buried.

    Camden is one of the poorest cities in America, with an extremely high illiteracy, high school drop-out and murder rates. Officially, unemployment is at 25 percent, so you can double that figure. Not too long ago, Camden, like America itself, was an industrial powerhouse. During World War II, it had the biggest shipyard in the world, employing 40,000 people. Campbell Soup’s main factory was here. RCA Victor was here. All that remains of this industrial heritage is a huge downtown mural showing smiling workers engaging in productive activities, quite a contrast to the mostly dazed, overweight, well tattooed and underwear flashing citizens strutting back and forth on surrounding streets. Like Detroit, Camden is an extreme example of our industrial and social disintegration, but look around you, there are incipient Camdens and Detroits all over this country.  Continue Reading…

    Bring Water Into Climate Change Negotiations

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    Published on PEJ news, by PEJ correspondent, August 5, 2010.

    Longer periods of drought, decreased river flow, higher rainfall variability and lower soil moisture content: water is at the heart of the impacts of climate change. Yet the precious commodity scarcely features in climate negotiations. Three hundred million Africans lack access to clean water; 500 million lack access to proper sanitation, according to Bai-Mass Taal, Executive Secretary from the African Ministers’ Council on Water.

    “Lack of water security will be exacerbated by climate change, which directly threatens food security,” says Dr Ania Grobicki, head of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) Yet there is no focus on water in climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “There is no United Nations agency for water, and there’s no international convention regulating water resource management and there is no water focus under the UNFCCC,” says Grobicki. “Water also evaporated from the text of the Copenhagen Accord” … //   Continue Reading…

    Opinion & Analysis: Why Chinese should be taught in Africa schools

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    Published on Business Daily, by OPIYO ODODA, August 4, 2010.

    One of the surest ways Africa can benefit from interaction with China is for Africans to study the Chinese language … //

    … African states should prioritise Chinese language due to a number of reasons:

    The first reason is the fact that China presently extracts most of its raw materials from Africa.

    A survey of China-Africa involvement indicates the presence of China in the Southern Sudan, the swamps of Niger Delta, and even the Atlantic coast of Benin where night and day oil rigs produce oil.

    Further, Chinese involvement in the virgin forests of Liberia, Cameroon, Mozambique and Congo, where local Africans and Chinese chop down thousands of hectares of trees for timber to be shipped to state owned saw mills in faraway provinces such as Sichua.  Continue Reading…

    Recovery from oil spill is Obama priority: Navy Secy

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    Published on News Center, Source Reuters, August 08, 2010.

    US President Barack Obama’s administration sees the restoration of the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill as a national priority and the president should not be blamed for the disaster, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said on Saturday.

    Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, faced a barrage of questions at a meeting with angry Gulf Coast residents who are worried about their livelihoods and future even as BP and the US government declare the worst of the spill is over … //

    … “I will tell you this. President Obama should not be blamed for what has happened since this spill,” Mabus said.  Continue Reading…

    Kenya: New Constitution a Winner With Women

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    Published on IPS, by Susan Anyangu-Amu, August 6, 2010.

    A day after Kenyans voted to accept a new constitution, women across the country speak about their hopes and expectations.

The case of Elizabeth Chazima could stand for the story of millions of women in Kenya who have been robbed of their financial contributions to matrimonial assets.

    Speaking to IPS from her modest grocery store in Jericho Estate, Nairobi, Chazima recounts how in the early 1990s, her husband sold the house they had bought together without her knowledge.

    “My husband and I owned a modest home which we had bought from the city council. But one frosty morning, my six children and I woke up to loud bangs by rowdy youth who had been hired to evict us from the house.   Continue Reading…

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Transitions The Living Proof Project to ONE

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    Linked with ONE International. – Published on ONE International, as press release, August 5, 2010.

    ONE to Expand The Living Proof Project to Reach New Audiences in More Countries with New Success Stories and Innovative Content (on August 8).

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced it will transition ‘The Living Proof Project: U.S. Investments in Global Health Are Working’ to the global anti-poverty advocacy organisation ONE (www.ONE.org) in an effort to reach millions of people around the world with the message that targeted investments in global health and development are saving lives and achieving real, demonstrable results … //

    … “ONE is honored to have been asked by the Gates Foundation to manage and expand The Living Proof Project. We know that investments in global health and global development are driving real results – from significant declines in child deaths to the reduction of poverty through proven agriculture programs.  Continue Reading…

    The financial sector needs a civil society watchdog

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    Published on open Economy, by Lorenzo Fioramonti and Ekkehard Thümler, 3 August 2010.

    Non-profits have suffered in the financial crisis no less than their counterparts in the private and public sectors. But could this be a ‘Greenpeace moment’: might philanthropic foundations support the creation of a civil society conscience for international finance? … //

    … The financial/economic crisis is one the most significant challenges of our time. Although exerting a heavy toll on all countries’ economies, it can also become an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and do something to prevent it from happening again. Civil society should be a force for good in society and should have a role in all sectors, including finance. Whatever the challenges, if foundations fail to engage with financial reform, they will miss a crucial opportunity to contribute to sustainable and long-term social change – which after all is their mission.  Continue Reading…

    Somalia’s rough road to peace

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    Published on Pambazuka News, by Abena Ampofoa Asare, July 28, 2010.

    Following the al-Shabaab bombing in Kampala, current plans to send more AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) troops into Somalia will simply jeopardise the possibility of a new moderate leadership emerging in the country, writes Abena Ampofoa Asare. Observers in the African Union, UN and international community at large would do well to look at Somaliland to the north, the author stresses. Solutions to Somalia’s civil war will not emerge in Kampala, Washington DC or Addis Ababa, Asare contends, underlining that a key lesson of Somaliland’s experience is that ‘effective government must come from within’ … //

    … In its March 2010 report, the ICG’s policy recommendations focus on the need for the transitional government to make inroads with Somali people by collaborating with moderate elements in the Islamist movement. It calls for new attempts at outreach and coalition-building. Unfortunately, the transitional government remains unable or unwilling to do this work.  Continue Reading…

    Immigrants have human rights

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    Published on Online Journal, by Mary Shaw, August 3, 2010.

    The ongoing national debate on immigration reached a fever pitch on July 28, when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked some of the more draconian provisions of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law (SB 1070), which was scheduled to take effect the following day.

    Judge Bolton blocked a section requiring police officers to question and verify the immigration status of anyone “reasonably” suspected of being an illegal alien. She also blocked a section requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times.  Continue Reading…

    Food crisis in the Sahel: Real problem, false solutions

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    Published on Pambazuka News, by Tidiane Kassé, July 29, 2010.

    Following food crises in 2005 and 2008, Niger is once again reeling under a famine that has reached Chad and northern Mali, with repercussions for other countries in the Sahel region. As appeals for solidarity increase, Tidiane Kassé cautions that by tackling the consequences rather than the causes of the crisis, the region’s people are likely to remain vulnerable to hunger … //

    … PEASANTS’ SENSE:

    For the time being, it’s ‘open your heart to Niger’! At the end of June, the president of the Haute autorité à la sécurité alimentaire du Niger (High Authority on Food Security in Niger) launched the ‘2010 Food Crisis in Niger Programme’. It is funded by USAID and carried out by three international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), with US$2.154 million behind it. Continue Reading…

    Small Arms and Light Weapons Ammunition Survey

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    Surveying Europes Production and Procurement: The Cases of Italy, France and the Russian Federation

    Received by e-mail, From: Small Arm Survey.org (no reply).

    A NEW Publication: Surveying Europe’s Production and Procurement of Small Arms and Light Weapons Ammunition: The Cases of Italy, France and the Russian Federation, edited by Benjamin King.

    To access this publication online, please go to: this PDF file of 62 pages.   Continue Reading…

    That Yawning Chasm between India and Innovation

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    Published on CHOWK, by Suraj Sharma, July 31, 2010.

    The bourgeoisie in India is under severe attack from all fronts. Social, Cultural, Economical, spiritual, you name it. Transition is the culprit attacking it – this transition is ever elusive and perpetually conclusive. As the clouds of an international economic crises loom above us, its seems as if at any moment it’ll tap on our shoulders to announce its formidable presence – and the worst thing is that few of us actually know how bad the real news is, we’re not that well-educated yet … //  Continue Reading…

    AU Escalation becoming al-Shabab Glue

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    Published on The Trench, by blog owner James Gundun, July 30, 2010.

    It’s hard to pinpoint what just happened at the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda. More troops are on their way to Somalia – 4,000 in total from Uganda, Guinea, and Djibouti with potentially 1,300 from Burundi – which would bring the total AU force to roughly 11,000. As to what they can do, here the waters begin to muddy.

    The official line is that Washington, working through the United Nations’ command of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), rejected an AU call to expand its mandate from peace-keeping to “peace-making.” Johnnie Carson, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, informed reporters that Augustine Mahiga, the UN special representative for Somalia, rejected the doctrine of allowing UN peacekeeping troops to attack al-Shabab … //  Continue Reading…