COP 21: Tribal people on front line in battle against climate change
Published Nov 24, 2015 - 9:20:08 AM
The COP 21 summit to be held in Paris from the end of the month has so far declined to give a voice to the indigenous peoples most directly threatened by ecological catastrophe. This omission comes despite clear evidence that tribal peoples are the best conservationists of the environments in which they live.
UN report finds 90 per cent of disasters are weather-related
Published Nov 23, 2015 - 9:57:25 AM
A new report issued today by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) shows that over the last 20 years, 90 per cent of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 recorded floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.
Old problems in Jerusalem's Old City
Published Nov 23, 2015 - 9:36:25 AM
Faten Ghosheh, a 33-year-old Palestinian mother of five, stands on the roof of her partially demolished home in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Al-Aqsa Mosque visible behind her.
Richest 782 people could power half the world with 100% renewable energy
Published Nov 23, 2015 - 8:27:57 AM
The personal fortunes of the 782 wealthiest people on the planet, many CEOs of major corporations, could power Africa, Latin America and most of Asia with 100% renewable energy by 2030, said Friends of the Earth International in a new report released today.
IKEA stores around the world to raise funds to brighten lives for refugees
Published Nov 23, 2015 - 8:26:43 AM
The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign returns to over 40 countries to raise millions of euros for refugees. Between November 29 and December 19, for every LED product sold in all IKEA stores and online, the IKEA Foundation will donate Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camps – making them a safer, more suitable place for the many families who live there.
Red Cross urges governments to protect people on the move as freezing weather is set to sweep Europe this weekend
Published Nov 20, 2015 - 8:02:53 AM
Plunging temperatures are expected to chill Europe this weekend putting the lives of thousands of refugees at risk, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
UN-Committee against Torture underlines urgency of situation in Tibet
Published Nov 19, 2015 - 2:44:24 PM
The United Nations’ Committee against Torture concluded its sessions on China today, with the Chinese delegation having to reply to numerous questions raised by Committee members this week in Geneva. Committee members had reiterated their concerns with regard to the lack of judicial independence and the harassment of lawyers in China, and they criticized the lack of response from the Chinese government with regard to investigations into deaths in custody and allegations of torture, also with regard to Tibet. “The Chinese delegation largely denied the existence of issues related to torture, and even appeared to apply different standards with regards to what constitutes torture according to international law. This is inacceptable”, said Head of the UN Advocacy Team at the International Campaign for Tibet, Kai Müller today in Geneva.
Humane Society International Challenges Japanese Whaling Company in Court Case
Published Nov 19, 2015 - 10:44:20 AM
Legal proceedings against Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha (Kyodo) for breaching an Australian order to stop killing whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean, will begin on Wednesday 18 November in the Federal Court in Sydney. Humane Society International/Australia is bringing the case after being successfully granted an injunction by the Federal Court on appeal in 2008. The Federal Court found that Kyodo had killed whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and that these activities were in breach of Australia’s chief environmental protection legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Refugees should not be turned into scapegoats following Paris attacks, says UN agency
Published Nov 17, 2015 - 10:26:52 AM
The United Nations refugee agency today expressed its shock and horror at the attacks in Paris and the killing of so many innocent people but warned against the scapegoating of refugees, in the wake of the deadly attacks.
German Foreign Minister: "There are no obvious recipes for tackling terrorism"
Published Nov 17, 2015 - 9:48:47 AM
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the repercussions of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris with the foreign affairs committee on 16 November. "There are no obvious recipes for tackling terrorism," Steinmeier said, adding "Military action alone will not be sufficient in overcoming the problem." Meanwhile committee chair Elmar Brok, a German EPP member, warned against confusing migration and terrorism: "Refugees are the victims of terror, not part of the terror."
Refugees endangered and dying due to EU reliance on fences and gatekeepers
Published Nov 17, 2015 - 9:41:45 AM
In the wake of last Friday’s atrocious attacks on Paris the European Union (EU) must resist the urge to further seal off its external borders, which would continue to fuel a range of human rights abuses while doing nothing to enhance security or halt the influx of desperate refugees, said Amnesty International as it published a new report today.
Syrian refugees respond to their ‘worst nightmare’
Published Nov 16, 2015 - 12:55:12 PM
Fade Kintar, a 24-year-old chemical engineer from Damascus, was among a group of Syrian refugees watching the horror of multiple terrorist attacks in Paris unfold on TV on Friday night in his temporary housing unit in the German town of Sontra.
G20 spends over 15 times more on fossil fuels than developed countries spend helping poor countries adapt to climate change
Published Nov 16, 2015 - 11:28:16 AM
G20 countries spend far more subsidizing the coal and oil industry than developed countries provide in adaptation finance to poor and vulnerable countries, said Oxfam today.
Deadly violence and abuses continue to grip Libya with civilians bearing the brunt
Published Nov 16, 2015 - 8:06:15 AM
Libya continues to be embroiled in political strife and deadly violence, with multiple armed conflicts affecting several regions, and contributing to a general breakdown of law and order, according to a new UN human rights report released Monday.
WHO multi-country survey reveals widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic resistance
Published Nov 16, 2015 - 8:05:06 AM
As the World Health Organization (WHO) ramps up its fight against antibiotic resistance, a new multi-country survey shows people are confused about this major threat to public health and do not understand how to prevent it from growing.
El Niño Expected to Strengthen Further: High Impacts, Unprecedented Preparation
Published Nov 16, 2015 - 7:21:41 AM
During October, east-central tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures have ranged between +1.9 and +2.5 degrees Celsius above average, exceeding El Niño thresholds by around 1.5 degrees Celsius and signifying a strong event. Typically, El Niño events peak late in the calendar year.
Published Nov 13, 2015 - 4:21:00 PM
Reports of multi-pronged attacks in Paris. Explosions heard at the Stade de France during a France-Germany soccer match, a hostage situation at the Bataclan, a popular concert hall.
Bangladesh’s climate change migrants
Published Nov 13, 2015 - 1:06:17 PM
Al-Amin used to be a rice farmer in the fertile plains of Bangladesh’s vast Ganges Delta, but the river washed his land away and now he pulls a rickshaw in a slum in the sprawling capital, Dhaka.
Romania “in denial about extent of poverty," UN human rights expert says
Published Nov 12, 2015 - 8:21:55 AM
Many Romanian officials are in a state of denial about the extent of poverty and discrimination against the extremely poor, especially the Roma, according to Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
State of Fear and Terror Deliberately Created to Force Tahoe Resources’ Mine on Guatemalan Communities
Published Nov 12, 2015 - 8:16:41 AM
A new report reveals the dramatic extent of the militarized security strategy that Canadian-US mining company Tahoe Resources developed to quash community opposition to its Escobal project in southeastern Guatemala. In ‘Under Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala’, Guatemalan investigative journalist Luis Solano untangles the web of relationships and tactics that led to the militarization of farming communities in the area of the company’s operations.
Fatal Brazilian mine waste disaster shows modern mining is increasingly dangerous
Published Nov 9, 2015 - 12:13:10 PM
A mine waste dam at the Germano open-pit iron ore mine in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais breached yesterday, flooding the downstream area with mining waste and causing fatalities. The Germano facility is co-owned by two of the world’s largest mining companies, Brazilian Vale SA and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton.
Ahead of UN conference, World Bank says 'climate-smart' development can keep 100 million people out of poverty
Published Nov 9, 2015 - 9:32:00 AM
Without inclusive and climate-smart development, alongside efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that protect the poor, agricultural shocks, natural disasters and the spread of diseases could push more than 100 million additional people into poverty by 2030, the World Bank warns in a new report released just weeks ahead of a major United Nations climate conference in Paris.
Sierra Leone: Pregnant schoolgirls excluded from school and banned from exams
Published Nov 9, 2015 - 9:26:20 AM
Thousands of pregnant girls, excluded from mainstream schools and barred from sitting upcoming exams, risk being left behind as Sierra Leone moves forward from the Ebola crisis, Amnesty International said in a report published today.
Ramp Up Action to Ban Killer Robots, Says Human Rights Watch
Published Nov 9, 2015 - 9:19:47 AM
Governments should agree to expand and formalize their international deliberations on fully autonomous weapons, with the ultimate aim of preemptively banning them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These weapons, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems or killer robots, would be able to select and attack targets without further human intervention.
MSF releases internal review of Kunduz Hospital attack
Published Nov 6, 2015 - 11:07:07 AM
The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today released an internal document reviewing the October 3 airstrikes by U.S. forces on its hospital in northern Afghanistan. The chronological review of the events leading up to, during, and immediately following the airstrikes reveal no reason why the hospital should have come under attack. There were no armed combatants or fighting within or from the hospital grounds.
Greece: IFRC Secretary General calls for increased response to humanitarian and health needs for vulnerable migrants
Published Nov 3, 2015 - 11:23:48 AM
More must be done to respond to the needs of vulnerable migrants in Greece and across Europe as the scale of humanitarian needs increase, urged Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), at the end of a two-day visit to Greece.
Only 4 percent of the ocean is protected: UBC research
Published Nov 2, 2015 - 10:03:38 AM
Despite global efforts to increase the area of the ocean that is protected, only four per cent of it lies within marine protected areas (MPAs), according to a University of British Columbia study.
Campaigns of violence towards Rohingya are highly organised and genocidal in intent
Published Nov 2, 2015 - 9:53:55 AM
Persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has been orchestrated by the government, state-level officials and Buddhist monks, according to the findings of an 18-month investigation into state crime in Myanmar.
Two-thirds of world’s population is infected with herpes, says new UN health agency report
Published Oct 28, 2015 - 4:03:11 PM
More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, which in most cases causes “cold sores” around the mouth, according to the first global estimates of the infection by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Afghanistan / Pakistan: Earthquake injures over 2000 people
Published Oct 28, 2015 - 9:07:10 AM
Afghan and Pakistan Red Crescent Societies are helping people affected by Monday’s M7.5 earthquake whose epicentre was in Jerm district in the Afghan province of Badakhshan close to the border with Pakistan. Shockwaves were felt throughout the region.