Monday, 21 January 2008

New Jersey scraps plan to buy Amazon rainforest timber

Filed under: Environment,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:33 PDT

The city council of Ocean City in New Jersey voted 6-0 last Thursday to cancel a $1.1 million purchase of ipê timber originating in the Amazon rainforest.

The move came after a campaign by environmental groups, including Ecological Internet, which runs Forests.org, a forest news web site.

“Ecological Internet’s network sent over 100,000 protest emails from 80 countries highlighting the ecological truth that maintaining intact primary rainforests is a requirement to address climate change and achieve global ecological sustainability,” said Dr. Glen Barry, founder of Ecological Internet. “The message is getting through — to survive rainforest logging must end, with compensation to local peoples, and remaining rainforests protected and allowed to expand.”

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Israel: U-turn over Gaza

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:28 PDT

Israel has reversed its decision to stop all supplies reaching Gaza after a storm of international protest accusing the Jewish state of the “collective punishment” of the territory’s civilian population. (read more…)

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SRI LANKA: ‘Norwegian Truce Provided Window of Prosperity’

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:16 PDT

COLOMBO – While the Norway-brokered ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil separatist militants finally failed last week, it did provide a six-year window of prosperity to this island nation torn by a festering ethnic conflict.

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In Honor of MLK Day

Filed under: Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:30 PDT

My third reason…grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years–especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action; for they ask and write me, “So what about Vietnam?” They ask if our nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence I cannot be silent.

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50 Ways to Leave Your Cell Phone: Tossing your old phone supports civil war in Africa

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment,Environment,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:03 PDT

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering a new way to get VoIP on your cell phone — and that means upgrading to a VoIP-capable phone. But did you know that throwing your old cell phone in the garbage helps support civil war in central Africa, driving endangered gorillas closer to extinction in the process? (read more…)

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Indigenous leaders take steps to make UN declaration law

Filed under: Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:05 PDT

QUITO, Ecuador – Indigenous leaders and other supporters from Ecuador and elsewhere are developing strategies to help all Native peoples turn the United Nations’ declaration on indigenous rights into law across the hemisphere.

From Dec. 16 to 18 in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, the leaders met for the ”International Conference: Formulation and Implementation of the Strategic Plan for the application of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE in Spanish), the Native-based School of Government and Public Policy, the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and the Esquel Foundation, the conference addressed the issue through five ”work tables”: democracy, politics and autonomies; territories and natural resources; administration of justice; economics and development; and identity, culture and patrimony (which included intellectual, spiritual and cultural aspects).

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PCHR Calls On the International Community to Prevent a Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:00 PDT

At approximately 20:00 on Sunday, January 20th, the Gaza Strip power plant ran out of fuel and shut down, plunging the Gaza Strip into darkness. The closure of the Gaza power plant, in addition to Israel’s continuing tightened siege of the Gaza Strip, will have a catastrophic effect on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, who are already suffering chronic shortages of fuel, medicine and some basic food stuffs. The Director of Gaza’s main Shiffa hospital describes the current situation as “Potentially disastrous.”

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