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Keep Environmental Education in BC Classrooms! E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 30 August 2014 05:59

By Wildsight 



Environmental education for our children is under threat. Our government is planning changes to the BC Education curriculum, which could weaken or even remove ecology and environmental education from BC classrooms. They’re calling it a “re-engineering” of our education system: limiting environmental education to kindergarten through grade 3 and shifting the focus through grade 9 to chemistry, physics, human biology, and geology.  To sign peition go to http://www.wildsight.ca/act/education%20

Fatou Bensouda: the truth about the ICC and Gaza E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:26

Under the laws of the Hague court, my office can only investigate alleged war crimes in Palestine if it grants us jurisdiction in its territory. It has not done so

Fatou Bensouda

Fatou Bensouda theguardian.com,

Friday 29 August 2014

 Gaza city after an Israeli sir strike

It is my firm belief that recourse to justice should never be compromised by political expediency. Photograph: Mohammed Othman/AFP/Getty Images

Has the international criminal court avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure, as suggested in anarticle published in the Guardian earlier this week? The answer is an unequivocal “no”. As prosecutor of the ICC, I reject any suggestion of this in the strongest terms.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:55
200 young Palestinians to study medicine and engineering in Venezuela E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 29 August 2014 13:21


By the Alliance for Global Justice





A total of 200 young Palestinians have been invited to study medicine and engineering in a number of universities across Venezuela. A group of 60 students will arrive in Venezuela in September to join the 40 Palestinian students already studying comprehensive community medicine at the Salvador Allende Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Caracas.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 August 2014 13:29
"Christy's Classroom" to open on Legislature lawn on Tuesday if dispute with teachers not settled E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 29 August 2014 08:10

Friday, August 29, 2014

VICTORIA—The Legislature Lawn is slated to be transformed into an outdoor "peoples' classroom" by students, parents, teachers and community members on Tuesday Sept 2nd if the BC government does not reach a settlement with the teachers first.
"Christy's Classroom" will open with the ringing of a school bell at 9AM on Tuesday, the day classes are scheduled to start in BC's public school system.
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:56
10,000 kilometre Totem Pole Journey Unites Opposition to Fossil Fuel Threats in the Salish Sea E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 08:48


Thursday, August 28, 2014 (All day)

News Release - August 28, 2014

Totem pole visits Victoria on Saturday, August 30th
VICTORIA – Master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James and other members of the Lummi Nation will begin the Canadian portion of a newly-carved totem pole’s journey from South Dakota to its new home near the tar sands.
James and his group are raising awareness of fossil fuel threats to the Salish Sea by transporting the totem through communities impacted by tar sands and coal extraction and export in South Dakota, Montana, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta. Their final destination is the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in northern Alberta, where the totem pole will be raised to serve as a permanent symbol of united cross-border opposition to destructive fossil fuel projects.
Pete McMartin: Keep our roads safe — ban cars E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 25 August 2014 21:12

Cyclist criticism is unfair: The consequences of rule-breaking by drivers are way more serious

By Pete McMartin, Vancouver


Sun August 18, 2014

Pete McMartin: Keep our roads safe  ban cars

Pete McMartin writes that if critics of cyclists were to apply the same level of indignation to car drivers — that is, themselves — the degree of calumny would be the difference between being stung by a mosquito and being shot through with an elephant gun.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , PROVINCE

Odd, the public reaction to cyclists at times.

A cyclist collides with a pedestrian on a sidewalk — where clearly the cyclist had no reason being — and the knives come out on the letters-to-the-editor page, bristling with the correspondence of readers who want bicyclists licensed, insured, ticketed, tested, held to the same burdensome standards as motorists, and given a stern talking-to by law-abiding people such as themselves.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:59
Seeking Accountability for Gaza E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 12:10


Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995 - August 23, 2014

Israel and the Obama administration insist that Israel’s recent slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza was justified by indiscriminate rocket fire from the blockaded area, but some international law advocates think the disproportionate response justifies prosecution of Israeli and U.S. officials for war crimes, says Marjorie Cohn.


By Marjorie Cohn http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/23/seeking-accountability-for-gaza/


The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists (Asociacion Americana de Juristas) sent a letter on Friday to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders and aided and abetted by U.S. officials in Gaza. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC has the power to hold individuals criminally accountable for the most serious of crimes.

“In light of the extreme gravity of the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, in particular the large number of civilian casualties and large scale destruction of civilian property, including schools, mosques and hospitals, and the ongoing incitement to genocide perpetrated by Israeli political figures and leaders, the [NLG] and endorsing organizations strongly urge the Office of the Prosecutor to use its power under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to initiate a preliminary investigation” of crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:55
Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed The Underrated Saudi Connection E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 04:50

By Patrick Cockburn


[This essay is excerpted from the first chapter of Patrick Cockburn’s new book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprisingwith special thanks to his publisher, OR Books.  The first section is a new introduction written for TomDispatch.]


There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

But U.S., Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a “moderate” Syrian opposition being helped by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis.  It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 19:32
Alaska requests greater involvement in oversight of large B.C. gold mine E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 23 August 2014 13:48



The state of Alaska has taken the rare step of asking the Canadian government for greater involvement in the approval and regulation of a controversial mine in northwestern British Columbia amid growing concern that the project could threaten American rivers and fish.

Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources outlined its request in a letter this week to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which has been reviewing the proposed KSM gold and copper mine, owned by Seabridge Gold Inc. The project has already been approved by B.C.

UN Agency: Iran Abiding With Terms of Nuke Deal E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 15:16

VIENNA — Aug 20, 2014, 6:45 PM ET


The U.N. nuclear agency says that Iran is keeping commitments it agreed to with six world powers in a pact that temporarily caps its nuclear activities and eliminates material that could be most easily used to make nuclear weapons.

The finding is contained in a restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report released Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 20:37
From sugar to drugs, Harper has turned everything partisan E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:06


Konrad Yakabuski http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/an-unhealthy-dose-of-partisanship/article20144092/The Globe and Mail


Warning young people about the dangers of smoking pot should be about as controversial as telling them to brush their teeth. The same goes for recommending that adults consume no more sugar than they can bench-press. Health officials are right to point out the pitfalls of both.

This is Canada, in 2014, however, where the Harper government’s insistence on putting its political stamp on policies that were previously left to independent agencies or experts in the bureaucracy means that even its public service announcements (PSAs) are suspect. Where an anti-pot ad aimed at teens seems partisan and nutritional guidelines seem to go light on the sugar lobby.

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