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Dumping Ban Urged for Australia’s Iconic Reef
Increased effort is needed to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, which is in serious decline and will likely deteriorate further in the future, according to a new report. “Greater reductions of all threats at all levels, reef-wide, regional and local, are required to prevent the projected declines,”said an outlook report by the Great Barrier Reef […]
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:43:58 +0000)

War Veterans Planting for Peace in South Sudan
Along the fertile banks of sub-Saharan Africa’s White Nile, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile River, a war veteran’s co-op is planting for a food secure future in South Sudan, a country potentially facing famine. Wilson Abisai Lodingareng, 65, is a peri-urban farmer and founder of Werithior Veteran’s Association, or WVA, in […]
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:17:08 +0000)

Organic Farming Taking Off in Poland … Slowly
Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from […]
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:07:24 +0000)

No Hope for AIDS-Free Generation in Uganda as Controversial HIV Bill is Signed into Law
HIV/AIDS activists are adamant Uganda will not achieve an “AIDS-free generation” now a “backwards” HIV/AIDS Bill criminalising the “wilful and intentional” transmission of the disease has been signed into law. The act, they say, will lead to people shunning testing and treatment, but will particularly drive sex workers and gay men underground, and make women […]
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:43:19 +0000)

Zambia’s Cash Transfer Schemes Cushion Needy Against Climate Shocks
“Last season, I lost an entire hectare of groundnuts because of a prolonged drought. Groundnuts are my hope for income,” says Josephine Chaaba, 60, from Pemba district in southern Zambia. A widow since 2002, Chaaba’s story is not unique in this part of Zambia. Here, in what the Zambia Meteorological Department classifies as a region characterised […]
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:30:59 +0000)

U.S., Brazil Nearing Approval of Genetically Engineered Trees
The U.S. and Brazilian governments are moving into the final stages of weighing approval for the commercialisation of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, moves that would mark the first such permits anywhere in the world. The Brazilian government is slated to start taking public comments on such a proposal during the first week of September. Similarly, […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:35:52 +0000)

Churches at the Frontline of Climate Action
Johannes Kapelle has been playing the organ in the Protestant church of Proschim since he was 14. The 78-year-old is actively involved in his community, produces his own solar power and has raised three children with his wife on their farm in Proschim, a small village of 360 inhabitants in Lusatia, Germany. Now the church, […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:29:56 +0000)

Caregiving Exacerbates the Burden for Women in Cuba
Hortensia Ramírez feels like she needs more hands to care for her 78-year-old mother, who suffers from arteriosclerosis, do the housework, and make homemade baked goods which she sells to support her family. She starts her day at 6:00 AM, putting the sheets that her mother wet during the nighttime to soak, before preparing the […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:46:05 +0000)

Karachi Residents Trapped Between Armed Assassins and Private Bodyguards
With a rise in sectarian killings, extortion, drug peddling, kidnappings and land grabbing, Pakistan’s sprawling port city of Karachi, home to some 20 million people, has become a hotbed of crime. Fearing that they may soon bear the brunt of this lawlessness, the city’s elite – often the target of kidnapping for ransom – has […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:49:33 +0000)

OPINION: Violations of International Law Denigrate U.N.
The United Nations was founded “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights. To meet that objective, the Preamble of the U.N. Charter provides “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:54:49 +0000)

Stab in the Back for Painful Afghanistan Election Process?
A knife fight late Tuesday among several auditors at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still inspecting the results of the presidential elections held in mid-June could be the stab in the back for what has been a painful election process. The vote audit process was resumed following a three-hour delay on Wednesday, a commission official […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:31:20 +0000)

In Saving a Forest, Kenyans Find a Better Quality of Life
When Mercy Ngaruiya first settled in Kasigau in south eastern Kenya a decade ago, she found a depleted forest that was the result of years of tree felling and bush clearing. “This region was literally burning. There were no trees on my farm when I moved here, the area was so dry and people were cutting […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:23:24 +0000)

India: Home to One in Three Child Brides
Basanti Rani*, a 33-year-old farmers’ wife from the northern Indian state of Haryana, recently withdrew her 15-year-old daughter Paru from school in order to marry her off to a 40-year-old man. “In an increasingly insecure social milieu, where rape and sexual abuse have become so common, marrying off my daughter was a wise move,” she […]
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:52:50 +0000)

A Life Reserve for Sustainable Development in Chile’s Patagonia
The people of Patagonia in southern Chile are working to make the Aysén region a “life reserve”. Neighbouring Argentina, across the border, is a historic ally in this remote wilderness area which is struggling to achieve sustainable development and boost growth by making use of its natural assets. “The Aysén Life Reserve mega citizen initiative […]
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:45:32 +0000)

TNT and Scrap Metal Eviscerate Syria’s Industrial Capital
Numerous mechanics, tyre and car body shops used to line the busy streets near the Old City of Syria’s previous industrial and commercial hub. Now car parts, scrap metal, TNT and other explosive materials are packed into oil drums, water tanks or other large cylinders from regime areas and dropped from helicopters onto civilian areas […]
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:53:37 +0000)

Can Land Rights and Education Save an Ancient Indian Tribe?
Scattered across 31 remote hilltop villages on a mountain range that towers 1,500 to 4,000 feet above sea level, in the Malkangiri district of India’s eastern Odisha state, the Upper Bonda people are considered one of this country’s most ancient tribes, having barely altered their lifestyle in over a thousand years. Resistant to contact with […]
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:28:03 +0000)

Recurrent Cholera Outbreak in Far North Cameroon Highlights Development Gaps
Under a scorching sun, with temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees Celsius, Lara Adama’s family is forced to dig for water from a dried-out river bed in Dumai, in northern Cameroon.  This is one of the rivers that used to flow into the shrinking Lake Chad but there is not much water here. There has been a […]
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:30:30 +0000)

Public Offers Support for Obama’s Iraq Intervention
Despite rising criticism of his foreign policy– even from his former secretary of state – U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision last week to carry out airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) militants in northern Iraq enjoys relatively strong public support, at least so far. Over half (54 percent) of respondents in a […]
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:50:31 +0000)

Despite Current Debate, Police Militarisation Goes Beyond U.S. Borders
The shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in the southern United States earlier this month has led to widespread public outrage around issues of race, class and police brutality. In particular, a flurry of policy discussions is focusing on the startling level of force and military-style weaponry used by local […]
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:27:13 +0000)

Mexico’s Orphanages – Black Holes for Children
Homes for orphans or children in vulnerable situations in Mexico lack the necessary state regulation and supervision, which leads to scandalous human rights violations. “The situation is very serious,” said Laura Martínez, director of the non-governmental Patronato Pro Hogar del Niño, in the city of Irapuato in the central state of Guanajuato, some 300 km […]
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:35:42 +0000)