Saturday, 25 October 2008

Academia.edu traces scholarly family tree, Facebook style

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:45 PDT

Richard Price wandered about for three years searching for someone who would understand the problems he had… with his research. Then, one fateful day in 2007, he found that special someone—a fellow philosopher working on the same question. Like many good scientific quests, the end of Price’s search for a kindred academic spirit raised another question: “Isn’t there a better way to find fellow researchers?”

For Price, the answer was “yes,” but the long answer was still over a year away. Frustrated by the past three years, heartened after finding a new colleague, and inspired by sites like Facebook, he started building his own social networking site for academics. The result was Academia.edu...

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Crisis in the Caucasus

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:37 PDT

The eruption of violent conflict over South Ossetia in August, and the subsequent Russian recognition of Abkhaz and South Ossetian independence have fundamentally altered the political landscape in the region and beyond. In the wake of these events, many uncertainties remain. High-level political efforts continue to try to define the framework for a future peace process and to work towards greater security and stability in the region.

Meanwhile ordinary people on all sides struggle to cope with the immediate consequences of the conflict and to come to terms with new realities.

In response, Conciliation Resources is working to support partners in their ongoing efforts…

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Uphold your principles, don’t shrug your shoulders

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:28 PDT

Humanitarian agencies, whose sole mandate is to save lives and ensure that those who require humanitarian assistance receive it, have been faced with tough choices during the past 17 years in Somalia. Somalia, one of the world’s longest ongoing humanitarian operations, has challenged how we operate, often forcing agencies to compromise principled action for the sake of delivering assistance at almost any cost.

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Think of a house as a home not an asset, says charity chief

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:24 PDT

Giving the inaugural Housing Justice lecture on 22 October, the charity’s chief executive Alison Gelder spoke of the need to change the values of society so that we think of houses and flats as homes rather than assets.

The lecture was both a contribution to the Get Fair campaign and to the debate which is running ahead of the Housing Reform Green Paper which Communities and Local Government plan to publish before the end of the year.

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Both Sides Vow Restraint of Border Violence

Filed under: Cambodia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:01 PDT

The prime ministers of Thailand and Cambodia agreed during talks in Beijing Friday to prevent further border violence between soldiers on both sides, while military commanders in Siem Reap failed to reach an agreement on withdrawal.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Friday the results from Beijing and Siem Reap were similar.

“Both sides agreed to avoid conflict and maintain peace,” he said, adding that he hoped the countries would move away from armed confrontation and toward more friendly talks.

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“Reparation Before Amnesty”

Filed under: Africa files — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:54 PDT

An expert in the field of transitional justice has recommended that verdicts on amnesty to perpetrators should be delayed until after reparations are paid to victims of the country’s 14 years civil war.

George Wachira, a Kenyan national told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) public hearings on reparation that individuals reparation should be given to victims within a reasonable time to avoid the appearance of preferential treatment of perpetrators.

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Meltdown at the Guantánamo Trials

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:40 PDT

Recent events at Guantánamo are turning out like some kind of Christian fable. A principled military officer — politically Conservative, and a devout Catholic — who served in Iraq, where he was “praised by his superiors for his bravery,” and was now serving his government as a prosecutor in a system of special trials conceived for prisoners held in the “War on Terror,” began to uncover information, withheld from the defense teams, which indicated that all was not right with the system.

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200 participate in Bil’ins weekly protest

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:36 PDT

In the village of Bil’in, around two hundred Palestinian, Israeli and International peace activists marched towards the confiscated land behind the fence. Protestors managed to reach the fence and remove parts of it.

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Three nonviolent protestors wounded near Bethlehem

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:32 PDT

Dozens of nonviolent protestors took to the streets of Al-Ma’asara village south of Bethlehem to protest the construction of the wall on their land.

The protest started after the Friday prayer and was planned to reach the lands slated for confiscation by the Israeli authorities to build the wall on.

Israeli troops intercepted the march and prevented the Palestinian and International activists from reaching the land. A French delegation representing a number of human rights groups were among the protestors.

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Bolivia: Congress Approves Referendum on Constitution

Filed under: Latin America & Caribbean,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:31 PDT

After months of street battles and political meetings, a new draft of the Bolivian constitution was ratified by Congress on October 21. A national referendum on whether or not to make the document official is scheduled for January 25, 2009.

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A Collaborative Method: Community-based Policing in Isiolo, Kenya

Filed under: Africa files — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:31 PDT

Located in Kenya´s vast pastoral North-Eastern region, once known as the country’s “arms supermarket” and a “no go zone” due to insecurity, Isiolo has recently experienced a significant reduction in armed violence.

This is largely due to a community-based policing project, which has been developed and implemented by Saferworld, in collaboration with its local partner, the Kenyan NGO network PeaceNet.

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Iraqis take over security of once-violent province

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:31 PDT

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military formally handed control over Babil province to Iraqi security forces during a ceremony Thursday morning in the once-violent central state.

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Corruption risks, perceptions and prevention in humanitarian assistance

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:30 PDT

How do staff in leading NGOs perceive risks of corruption in humanitarian operations? What strategies have they put in place to prevent and detect corruption? What can be learned from these strategies and what more can be done? A recent HPG Policy Brief explores these issues. It finds that aid agencies are aware of corruption risks and have developed strategies to prevent it. However, the humanitarian community has not yet addressed this problem jointly, shared information on these practices, or discussed ways to improve their effectiveness.

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Overcoming the threat to aid workers

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:30 PDT

The killing of a British aid worker in Afghanistan has again highlighted the dangers posed to humanitarian staff in many parts of the world. BBC News looks at the threats and what can be done to ease them.

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No ‘golden rule’ for ethics policy

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:29 PDT

Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) Andrew Simpson says governing responsible investing aren’t entirely inconsistent with the University’s fiduciary duties. (Matthew Rushworth)…

In 2007, the University administration responded to calls by the group Students Taking Action Now: Darfur to divest from PetroChina and China Petroleum, companies connected to the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

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