2.2 billion people are poor or near-poor, warns 2014 Human Development Report on vulnerability and resilience
Published Jul 24, 2014 - 11:18:22 AM
Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report, launched here today by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark and Director of the Human Development Report Office Khalid Malik.
Fracking Brussels: A who's who of the EU shale gas lobby
Published Jul 24, 2014 - 11:15:02 AM
Oil companies and lobby groups in their pay have been engaged in an underground offensive in Brussels to prevent stricter safety regulations for shale gas, according to a new report released today.
Poland "facilitated" CIA torture in European secret prison, court rules
Published Jul 24, 2014 - 11:06:46 AM
The European Court of Human Rights has today ruled that the Polish government was not only aware of but actively assisted the CIA's European "black site" programme, which saw detainees held and tortured in secret prisons across the Continent.
Stanford biologist warns of early stages of Earth's 6th mass extinction event
Published Jul 24, 2014 - 11:01:15 AM
The planet's current biodiversity, the product of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trial and error, is the highest in the history of life. But it may be reaching a tipping point.
Israel Broadcast Authority censors B'Tselem radio spot listing names of Gazan children killed; here are their names
Published Jul 24, 2014 - 10:17:38 AM
B'Tselem learned from the media yesterday that the Israel Broadcast Authority (IBA) had rejected an appeal against IBA Radio's refusal to air a spot in which the names of Gazan children killed during Operation Protective Edge were read out. In response, B'Tselem posted the censored spot on Facebook. Within hours, almost 300,000 people had been exposed to the names and the post was shared more than 900 times.
Gwich’in Nation Reaffirms commitment to protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Published Jul 23, 2014 - 1:37:34 PM
Yesterday the Gwich'in Nation reaffirmed its commitment through resolution to find permanent protection for the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations
Published Jul 22, 2014 - 7:23:10 AM
The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling of a hospital, add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation, said Amnesty International.
Security Council condemns downing of Malaysian airliner, calls for international probe
Published Jul 22, 2014 - 7:15:04 AM
The Security Council today called for an international investigation into last week's downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger flight in eastern Ukraine, and demanded that armed groups allow unfettered access to the crash site and ensure that its integrity is maintained.
Indigenous peoples cannot be 'deleted' from the new global development goals, UN experts state
Published Jul 21, 2014 - 6:07:30 PM
The new United Nations sustainable development goals must not be a step backwards for indigenous peoples, a group of UN experts* on indigenous peoples has warned today. Their call comes after a meeting held by the open-ended Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals last week in New York to draft a set of goals which will be presented to the UN General Assembly in September.
Ten Human Rights Organizations: Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Gaza Operation
Published Jul 21, 2014 - 4:17:24 PM
Ten human rights organizations urgently contacted Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein today following the release of reports on the nature of attacks within the Gaza Strip and the high rate of civilian casualties. This information raises concerns about grave violations of international humanitarian law.
Initial findings: 25 members of a single family killed when their house was bombed, apparently without warning
Published Jul 21, 2014 - 4:13:32 PM
On Sunday, 20 July 2014, at around 7:00 PM, the home of the Abu Jame' family in the Bani Suheila neighborhood, northeast of Khan Yunis, came under attack.
Israeli forces bombed the four-story building that is home to the extended family: the matriarch, Fatmeh Abu Jame', her four sons, and their wives and children. The family were eating iftar, the meal that breaks Ramadan fasting for the day. B'Tselem's initial findings indicate that the likely target of the attack was Ahmad Suliman Sahmoud, a member of Hamas' military wing, who was visiting a member of the family.
B'Tselem calls on Israel to immediately cease the bombardment of inhabited homes, neighborhoods and areas in the Gaza Strip
Published Jul 21, 2014 - 4:11:34 PM
Horrific developments in Gaza have reached intolerable heights: Israel is bombing houses with people in them, entire families have been buried under rubble, and streets lie in ruins. Hundreds have been killed so far, dozens in the last 24 hours only, many of them women and children. The number of refugees is rising: tens of thousands of people have nowhere to go and no safe haven, as the besieged Gaza Strip is bombarded.
Doctors Without Borders: Israel Must Stop Bombing Trapped Civilians
Published Jul 21, 2014 - 11:09:05 AM
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, the majority of the dead and wounded in Gaza are civilians, and medical workers are also coming under fire, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
UN report documents litany of human rights violations in Iraq, including possible war crimes and crimes against humanity
Published Jul 18, 2014 - 10:33:30 AM
A UN report released Friday documents a litany of serious human rights violations committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associated armed groups between 5 June and 5 July, including some that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report also documents violations committed by Iraqi security forces (ISF) and associated forces.
A procedure to evacuate those injured in the Gaza Strip is required immediately, say Israeli human rights groups
Published Jul 18, 2014 - 10:30:19 AM
Information received during the night, following the ground invasion, indicates that the movement of ambulances to evacuate the wounded and the independent evacuation of civilians from areas/homes under bombardment is impossible due to continuous and heavy fire in residential areas.
his Isn't the First Time: 5 Other Commercial Airliners That Were Shot Down
Full story: Mother Jones
United Nations: Rein in Mass Surveillance
Published Jul 17, 2014 - 7:35:01 PM
Governments around the world should heed the findings of the UN's human rights commissioner on mass surveillance, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should rein in mass surveillance and respect the privacy of all Internet users, no matter where they are located.
A Lifetime of Injustice: 30 Years in the History of the Belo Monte Dam
Published Jul 17, 2014 - 11:55:23 AM
Today's groundbreaking, comprehensive publication chronicles the complex history of the world's most controversial hydropower project, the Belo Monte Dam. Compiled by Brazil's Xingu Alive Forever Movement (Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre), which represents communities affected by the project, together with International Rivers and Amazon Watch, this timely compilation of key events aims to increase public awareness on the trajectory of Belo Monte, in light of increasing international scrutiny on Brazil's massive spending for large World Cup and other infrastructure projects, and their serious corresponding social and environmental impacts.
UN strengthens regulations on lead in infant formula and arsenic in rice
Published Jul 17, 2014 - 11:05:48 AM
UN food standards body the Codex Alimentarius Commission this week adopted new standards to protect consumer health worldwide, including setting out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice.
Israeli military demand to evacuate rehabilitative hospital in Gaza is unlawful
Published Jul 16, 2014 - 12:40:24 PM
B'Tselem has discovered that the Israeli military included the al-Wafaa rehabilitative hospital in a-Shuja'iyeh neighborhood in the demand it issued to residents of the a-Shuja'iyeh and a-Zeitun neighborhoods to evacuate their homes by today, July 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM. Hospital Director Basman al-‘Ashi told B'Tselem over the phone that the hospital received a recorded message last night at around 11:10 PM, saying that a-Shuja'iyeh residents must leave the area and move north to the city center. Shortly thereafter, at around 11:30 PM, the hospital received another phone call from a person saying he was from the military who repeated the demand to evacuate the hospital specifically.
Finland: European Court ruling a blow to transgender rights
Published Jul 16, 2014 - 12:34:12 PM
A woman from Finland who came out as transgender during her marriage should be allowed to be legally recognized as a female without changing her marital status, Amnesty International said today after the European Court of Human Rights ruled against her.
Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians
Published Jul 16, 2014 - 10:54:34 AM
Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
UN chief demands end to Israeli-Palestinian fighting
Published Jul 14, 2014 - 9:26:37 AM
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday voiced alarm that, despite the Security Council's clear demand for a ceasefire, the situation in and around the Gaza Strip appears to be worsening, with grave implications for the safety of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.
Australia drying caused by greenhouse gases
Published Jul 14, 2014 - 9:23:13 AM
NOAA scientists have developed a new high-resolution climate model that shows southwestern Australia's long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in manmade greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience.
Halve catches or lose Pacific bluefin tuna, WWF tells fishery managers
Published Jul 14, 2014 - 8:58:14 AM
The long term sustainability of the Pacific Bluefin Tuna fishery can only be guaranteed by following the science and halving catch limits, WWF will tell the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) covering the Pacific.
Mounting humanitarian needs in Gaza as violence escalates
Published Jul 14, 2014 - 8:18:37 AM
Oxfam partners in Gaza are trying to respond to the mounting human cost of the escalating violence.
Amid rising casualties, Oxfam country director Nishant Pandey says Oxfam's partners on the ground are reporting that vital water and sanitation infrastructure has also been destroyed or badly damaged by Israeli airstrikes. "Services are now struggling to cope and the insecurity is making it difficult to deliver aid," he said.
WMO: Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes
Published Jul 11, 2014 - 8:17:32 AM
Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$ 2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report.
Uganda: Ruling Against LGBT Activists Violates Rights
Published Jul 11, 2014 - 8:16:37 AM
The decision of the Ugandan High Court published on July 9, 2014, endorsing the government closure of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights workshop violates the right to freedom of assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. Justice Stephen Musota ruled against four LGBT rights activists who had sued the ethics and integrity minister, Simon Lokodo, for shutting down a February 2012 workshop.
UK rushes through invasive surveillance laws as intelligence agencies go on trial
Published Jul 11, 2014 - 8:12:58 AM
Amnesty International and Privacy International have accused the UK government of trying to rush through legislation in an attempt to deflect from a landmark hearing starting Monday, challenging the validity of UK spy agencies' justification for mass surveillance of British citizens' social media use.
Ban says Israel's construction of West Bank wall violates international law, fuels Mid-East tensions
Published Jul 10, 2014 - 11:30:19 AM
At a special meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory ruling declaring illegal Israel's construction of a separation wall in the West Bank, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today called for a halt to the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians, while also the need all Member States to comply with international law.