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Expert urges voluntary family planning to mitigate climate change

With climate change already close to an irreversible tipping point, urgent action is needed to reduce not only our mean (carbon) footprints but also the "number of feet" - that is, the growing population either already creating large footprints or aspiring to do so, argues a leading physician and environmentalist in The BMJ today.

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Iraq: Response to Protests Killed Four

Iraqi security forces fired bullets and teargas canisters at peaceful protesters in Baghdad’s Green Zone on May 20, 2016, killing four people and wounding more than 100, Human Rights Watch said today. Iraqi authorities should investigate the use of lethal force against the peaceful protesters.

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B'Tselem: Israeli Military's Law Enforcement System Is a Whitewash Mechanism, A Fig Leaf for the Occupation

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem announced this morning (Wednesday, 25 May 2016) that it will stop referring complaints to the military law enforcement system, in order to avoid contributing further to the pretense inherent in the work of this system. In a report published today entitled The Occupation’s Fig Leaf, B'Tselem explains that this decision was taken after a protracted period of reflection in the organization, based on its experience in hundreds of complaints B'Tselem has submitted to the military law enforcement system and dozens of Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU) files it has examined. This experience has led B'Tselem to the recognition that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators. B'Tselem will continue to document and report on human rights violations by Israel in the Territories, but it will stop submitting complaints, coordinating meetings between the MPIU investigators and Palestinian victims and eyewitnesses, an securing various documents for the investigation authorities.

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Renewable Energy Employs 8.1 Million People Worldwide, Says New IRENA Report

More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry – a five percent increase from last year – according to a report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) at its 11th Council meeting. The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2016, also provides a global estimate of the number of jobs supported by large hydropower, with a conservative estimate of an additional 1.3 million direct jobs worldwide.

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India: Stop Treating Critics As Criminals, Says Human Rights Watch

The Indian authorities routinely use vaguely worded, overly broad laws as political tools to silence and harass critics, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The government should repeal or amend laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression.
India’s Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression, but recent and colonial-era laws, such as sedition and criminal defamation, not only remain on the books but are frequently used in an attempt to clampdown on critics.

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Peru declares mercury poison emergency due to gold mining
Full story: Jamaica Observer


The Toxic Toll of Indonesia's Gold Mines
Full story: National Geographic


Premature Deaths from Environmental Degradation Threat to Global Public Health, UNEP Report Says

Environmental degradation and pollution is estimated to cause up to 234 times as many premature deaths as occur in conflicts annually, highlighting the importance of a healthy environment to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to a new report released at the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2).

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Human rights protection must gain new momentum at World Humanitarian Summit – UN experts

Humanitarian action that places human rights at its center is key to ensure protection for all victims, today said a group of rights specialists from the largest body of independent experts* in the United Nations Human Rights system.

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UNEP: Rate of Environmental Damage Increasing Across Planet but Still Time to Reverse Worst Impacts if Governments Act Now

The environmental change sweeping the world is occurring at a faster pace than previously thought, making it imperative that governments act now to reverse the damage being done to the planet, says the most authoritative study that UNEP has ever published on the state of the global environment.

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Governments Enter New Era of Collaboration on Climate Change

Speaking at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (16 to 26 May), the UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres said that following the successful conclusion of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement in Paris last year, governments are leaving behind the phase of negotiations and entering a new era of collaboration.

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Tens of Thousands Worldwide Take Part in Largest Global Civil Disobedience in the History of the Climate Movement

Twelve days of unprecedented world-wide action against fossil fuels have just concluded, showing that the climate movement will not rest until all coal, oil and gas is kept in the ground. The combined global efforts of activists on six continents now pose a serious threat to the future of the fossil fuel industry, already weakened by financial and political uncertainty.

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Execution shows Belarus’ “callous disdain” for international human rights law

UN human rights experts today condemned Belarus’ continued use of the death penalty amid reports that a man whose complaint was before the UN Human Rights Committee had been executed, despite a specific request from the Committee for a stay of execution.

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Notorious U.S. Hate Group Brings Anti-LGBT Propaganda to Europe

HRC stands in solidarity with LGBT advocates and allies as anti-LGBT activists prepare to descend on Tbilisi, Georgia, for the 10th international gathering hosted by the World Congress of Families (WCF). Designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, WCF provides a platform for some of the most virulently anti-LGBT extremists from around the world.

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Near East: Improvements in food security being offset by impacts of conflict, strife

Conflicts are impeding the fight against hunger in the Near East region, where growing food insecurity is compounded by rising water scarcity and a challenging natural resource situation that is exacerbated by climate change, FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva said today.

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Report: Around the globe, an estimated 20.9 million people are in situations of modern day slavery, forced labour

Around the globe, an estimated 20.9 million people are in situations of so-called modern day slavery, or forced labour, at any point of time. Many of these victims are trafficked within their country or across borders. Considering this number, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of criminal activities in the area of human trafficking and exploitation, the difficulties to track perpetrators and protect victims.

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Industry collaboration and consumer pressure key to stopping 'conflict minerals' trade

Responsible sourcing of raw minerals from conflict regions could be achieved if firms were to collaborate and if there was more pressure from consumers, a new University of Sussex report argues.

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Kew report urges global scientific community to secure health of the planet

The first annual State of the World's Plants report, which involved more than 80 scientists and took a year to produce, is a baseline assessment of current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats these plants currently face, as well as the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with threats.

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Tax havens ‘serve no useful economic purpose’: 300 economists tell world leaders

More than 300 leading economists from 30 countries have today written to world leaders warning that there is no economic justification for allowing tax havens to continue, and urging them to bring an end to offshore financial secrecy. The letter comes ahead of the UK Government’s summit on offshore corruption in London on Thursday, which politicians from 40 countries as well as World Bank and IMF representatives are expected to attend.

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Syria: UN human rights expert appalled by deadly air strikes on camp for displaced

United Nations expert on the human rights of internally displaced persons Chaloka Beyani today condemned in the strongest terms the deadly attacks on camps for internally displaced persons that took place on Thursday 5 May calling the actions “a grievous attack against highly vulnerable civilians that has all the hallmarks of a war crime.”

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Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

An unusually intense May wildfire roared into Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in province history. The flames rode the back of hot, windy weather that will continue through Wednesday and could pick up again this weekend.

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Climate-Driven Water Scarcity Could Hit Economic Growth by Up to 6 Percent in Some Regions, Says World Bank

Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6 percent of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict, according to a new World Bank report released today.

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Reflections by a Conservationist Watching 100 Tonnes of Ivory Burn in Kenya

The fires are now lit on 100 tonnes of ivory, and as the plumes of smoke swirl into the grey skies, Kenya is turning up the heat to stop the trafficking of elephant ivory.

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World's biggest investors step up action to protect millions of pensions from climate risk

Climate change is rapidly moving up the agenda for the world’s biggest investors as pension funds and insurers recognise the need for action to protect the savings and financial security of hundreds of millions of people, reveals the annual benchmark report on the industry from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).

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Leaked TTIP documents confirm major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety

Greenpeace Netherlands is releasing a package of leaked TTIP negotiation texts on Monday morning, at 11am CET, to provide much-needed transparency and trigger an informed debate on a treaty threatening to have far-reaching implications for the environment and the lives of almost a billion citizens in the EU and US. This is the first time the public will have the chance to compare the EU and US negotiating positions.

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New Initiative Launched to Halt Global Extinctions

Gathered in Montreal1, leading conservation organizations have announced a new global initiative to prevent the extinction of endangered species, in partnership with the governments of Brazil, Chile, and Madagascar.

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TTIP trade deal poses serious threat to EU farming, says new report

The controversial trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the US could spell disaster for European farming, finds a new report from Friends of the Earth Europe.

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Iran: Denial of adequate medical treatment to political prisoners unacceptable – UN rights experts

A group of United Nations human rights experts* today warned that over a dozen political prisoners in Iran, including some prominent human rights defenders, lawyers and political activists, are at risk of death in detention due to their worsening health conditions and the continued refusal by the Iranian authorities to provide them with medical treatment.

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North Korea's food production falls for first time since 2010 as water scarcity hits agricultural sector

North Korea's total food production - including cereals, soybeans and potatoes in cereal equivalent - is estimated to have fallen in 2015, the first drop since 2010, and is expected to worsen food security in the country, according to a FAO update issued today.

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Security Council deplores maritime tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea

The United Nations Security Council has deplored the recent maritime tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea that resulted in up to 500 deaths when an overcrowded boat capsized en route from Libya to Europe, emphasizing the need for better coordination of efforts to deal with the smuggling of migrants.

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