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A Women’s March on the World E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 20 January 2017 10:13

A Women’s March on the World

Participants in the 2015 New York March for Gender Equality and Women's Rights. Credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz.

Participants in the 2015 New York March for Gender Equality and Women's Rights. Credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz.

NEW YORK, Jan 20 2017 (IPS) - Just one day after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands of women are expected to attend one of the largest demonstrations in history for gender equality.

 

Starting out as a social media post by a handful of concerned women, the Women’s March on Washington quickly transformed, amassing over 400 supporting organisations representing a range of issues including affordable and accessible healthcare, gender-based violence, and racial equality.

“It’s a great show of strength and solidarity about how much women’s rights matter—and women’s rights don’t always take the front page headlines,” Nisha Varia, Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch’s Women’s Rights Division told IPS.

Despite the variety of agendas being put forth for the march, the underlying message is that women’s rights are human rights, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA Margaret Huang told IPS.

“All people must be treated equally and with respect to their rights, no matter who is in positions of authority and who has been elected,” she said.

Organisers and partners have stressed that the march is not anti-Trump, but rather is one that is concerned about the current and future state of women’s rights.

“It’s not just about one President or one candidate, there’s a much bigger banner that we are marching for…our rights should not be subject to the whims of an election,” Kelly Baden, Center for Reproductive Rights’ Interim Senior Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy told IPS.

The health system also risks returning to a time when many insurance plans considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition, barring women from getting full or any coverage.

“It’s about women, not Trump,” she continued.

The rhetoric used during the election is among the concerns for marchers as it reflects a troubling future for women’s rights.

During his campaign, President-elect Trump made a series of sexist remarks from calling Fox News host Megyn Kelly a “bimbo” to footage showing him boasting of sexual assault. Though Trump downplayed his remarks as “locker room talk,” his rhetoric is now being reflected in more practical terms through cabinet nominations.

Huang pointed to nominee for Attorney-General Jeff Sessions who has a long and problematic record on women’s rights including voting against the reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act, rejecting anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which addresses pay discrimination.

During her confirmation hearing, Nominee for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wouldn’t say if she would uphold title IX which requires universities to act on sexual assault on campuses.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.

The new administration has also recently announced cuts to the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Grants, which distribute funds to organisations working to end sexual assault and domestic violence.

“There is no question that we’re going to have some challenges in terms of increasing protections for women’s rights over the next few years,” said Huang to IPS.

Meanwhile, Varia pointed to other hard fought gains that risk being overturned including the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA, which U.S. Congress is currently working to repeal, provides health coverage to almost 20 million Americans by prohibiting insurers from denying insurance plans due to pre-existing conditions and by providing subsidies to low-income families to purchase coverage.

If repealed, access to reproductive services such as contraception and even information will become limited. The health system also risks returning to a time when many insurance plans considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition, barring women from getting full or any coverage.

“Denying women access to the types of insurers or availability of clinics that can help them get pre-natal checks and can help them control their fertility by having access to contraception—these are all the type of holistic care that needs to be made available,” Varia said.

The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world where the number of women dying as a result of child birth is increasing, Varia noted.

In Texas, maternal mortality rates jumped from 18.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010 to 35.8 deaths in 2014, the majority of whom were Hispanic and African-American women. This constitutes the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, closer in numbers to Mexico and Egypt than Italy and Japan, according to World Bank statistics.

A UN Working Group also expressed their dismay over restrictive health legislation, adding that the U.S. is falling behind international standards.

Though the ACA repeal and potential defunding of Planned Parenthood, another key reproductive services provider, threatens all women, some communities are especially in danger.

Francis Madi, a marcher and Long Island Regional Outreach Associate for the New York Immigration Coalition, told IPS that immigrant and undocumented immigrant women face additional barriers in accessing health care.

Most state and federal forms of coverage such as the ACA prohibits providing government-subsidised insurance to anyone who cannot prove a legal immigration status. Even for those who can, insurance is still hard or too expensive to acquire, making programs like Planned Parenthood essential.

“I can’t even do my job as an organiser asking for immigrant rights if I’m not able to access the services I need to live here,” Madi told IPS.

Madi highlighted the opportunity the march brings in working together through a range of issues and identities.

“I’m going because as a woman and an immigrant and an undocumented immigrant as well…it’s very important to attend this march to show we can work together on our issues,” she told IPS.

“If we don’t organize with each other, we can’t really achieve true change,” she continued.

In its policy platform, organisers of the Women’s March on Washington also stressed the importance of diversity, inclusion and intersectionality in women’s rights.

“Our liberation is bound in each other’s,” they said.

This includes not only women in the U.S., but across the world.

“There’s definitely going to be an international voice in this, not just U.S. activists,” Huang told IPS.

Marching alongside women in Washington D.C. on January 21st will be women in nearly 60 other countries participating in sister marches from Argentina to Saudi Arabia to Australia.

“Women are concerned that a loss of a champion in the U.S. government will have significant impacts in other countries,” Huang said. Of particular concern is the reinstatement of the “global gag rule” which stipulates that foreign organisations receiving any U.S. family planning funding cannot provide information or perform abortions, even with funding from other sources. The U.S. does not fund these services itself.

The policy not only restricts basic right to speech, but analysis shows that it has harmed the health of low-income women by limiting access to family planning services.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s largest family planning bilateral donor.

Though the march is important symbolic act of solidarity, it is just the first step.

“We are also part of a bigger movement—we need to come together and be in solidarity on Saturday and then we need to keep doing the hard work [during[ the long days and months and years of organising that we have ahead of us,” Baden said.

 

 

 
Pacific Islanders Call for U.S. Solidarity on Climate Change E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 19 January 2017 12:43

 

Higher tides and coastal erosion are encroaching on homes and community buildings in Siar village, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS

CANBERRA, Australia, Jan 19 2017 (IPS) - The new political power of business magnate Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 45th President of the United States, will have ramifications for every global region, including the Pacific Islands.

Pacific leaders who are witnessing rising seas, coastal erosion and severe natural disasters in the region are alert to the new president’s declared scepticism about climate change and the contributing factor of human activities. His proposed policy changes include cutting international climate funding and pushing ahead fossil fuel projects.

Read more...
 
New From Trump University E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 19 January 2017 09:04

New From Trump University 
Election Rigging 101 
By William deBuys

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176232/tomgram%3A_william_debuys%2C_how_to_hijack_an_election/#more

Donald Trump was right. The election was rigged. What Trump got wrong (and, boy, does he get things wrong) is that the rigging worked in his favor. The manipulations took three monumental forms: Russian cyber-sabotage; FBI meddling; and systematic Republican efforts, especially in swing states, to prevent minority citizens from casting votes. The cumulative effect was more than sufficient to shift the outcome in Trump’s favor and put the least qualified major-party candidate in the history of the republic into the White House.

 

Trumpist internet trolls and Trump himself dismiss such concerns as sour grapes, but for anyone who takes seriously the importance of operating a democracy these assaults on the nation’s core political process constitute threats to the country’s very being. Let’s look at each of these areas of electoral interference in detail.

Gone Phishing: The Drone of Info Warfare

Suppose one morning you receive an email from your Internet service provider telling you a security breach has put your data at risk. You are instructed to reset your password immediately. In keeping with the urgency of the situation, the email that delivers the warning provides a link to the page where your new password can be entered. Anxiously you do as instructed, hoping you’ve acted soon enough to prevent a disaster.

Read more...
 
Trump Rigged Election E-mail
Posted by Dragonslayer   
Friday, 13 January 2017 14:20

Check out this video about Greg Palast on how the presidential election of 2016 was stole...well some of the ways.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2017 14:33
 
Blood of Extraction - Book Launch Event Poster E-mail
Posted by admin   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 19:59

 

 

 
GMO grass that 'escaped' defies eradication, divides grass seed industry E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 09 January 2017 18:52

Jeff Manning | The Oregonian/OregonLiveBy Jeff Manning | The Oregonian/OregonLive 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on January 08, 2017 at 3:00 PM, updated January 08, 2017 at 7:53 PMhttp://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2017/01/grass_seed_industry_fearful_ab.html#incart_river_home

 

After more than a decade of unsuccessful efforts to eradicate the genetically modified grass it created and allowed to escape, lawn and garden giant Scotts Miracle-Gro now wants to step back and shift the burden to Oregonians.

The federal government is poised to allow that to happen by relinquishing its oversight, even as an unlikely coalition of farmers, seed dealers, environmentalists, scientists and regulators cry foul.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 18:56
Read more...
 
Province of B.C. formally opposes Kinder Morgan expansion E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 09 January 2017 18:33

ROB SHAW, VANCOUVER SUN  

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/province+formally+opposes+kinder+morgan+expansion/11642943/story.html?__lsa=58e2-07ac01.11.2016

 


Province of B.C. formally opposes Kinder Morgan expansion

Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby terminal, from which nearly a million barrels of day of oil would be loaded onto ships.

NICK PROCAYLO / PNG
 
VICTORIA — The B.C. government will formally oppose the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion in a written submission to the National Energy Board on Monday.
 
Environment Minister Mary Polak told The Vancouver Sun that the government believes that pipeline proponent Kinder Morgan has failed to provide the NEB with an adequate plan to prevent or respond to an oil spill.
 
“We are asking them not to recommend approval,” Polak said.
 
The B.C. government laid out in five conditions in 2012 that it said all oil pipeline projects would have to meet before they would be allowed in the province.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 18:45
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Despite Pressure From Trump, UN Votes to Demand End to Israeli Settlements E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 24 December 2016 08:18

Historic US abstention allows resolution to pass

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/23/despite-pressure-trump-un-votes-demand-end-israeli-settlements

by

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

 44 Comments

A construction site in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank December 22, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

A construction site in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank December 22, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Despite unusual diplomatic maneuvering involving President-elect Donald Trump, Israel, and Egypt on Thursday, the United Nations Security Council passed a historic resolution on Friday demanding an end to Israeli settlements. The United States abstained, effectively allowing the measure to be approved.

Egypt withdrew the original resolution on Thursday afternoon, reportedly "under pressure" from Trump—who tweeted on the matter Thursday morning—and Israel. Had this move worked, it could have punted the measure to the incoming Trump administration, which is seen as more friendly to Israel than that of President Barack Obama—especially after Trump's nomination last week of conservative hardliner David Friedman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel.

But Reuters reported Friday that Security Council members New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal stepped in and the vote took place after all on Friday afternoon. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 23:52
Read more...
 
Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 06:48

Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy 

Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America

By William J. Astore

America has always had a love affair with its generals. It started at the founding of the republic with George Washington and continued with (among others) Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  These military men shared something in common: they were winning generals.  Washington in the Revolution; Jackson in the War of 1812; Taylor in the Mexican-American War; Grant in the Civil War; and Ike, of course, in World War II.  Americans have always loved a hero in uniform -- when he wins.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 23:33
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Why China is Dominating the Solar Industry E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 19 December 2016 17:37

Between 2008 and 2013, China's solar-electric panel industry dropped world prices by 80 percent

ByJohn FialkaClimateWire on December 19, 2016

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-china-is-dominating-the-solar-industry/

 

"They fundamentally changed the economics of solar all over the world," said Amit Ronen, director of the Solar Institute of George Washington University, one of many scholars following the intense competition in the emerging $100 billion industry that supports the world’s growing solar energy demands.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 23:23
Read more...
 
Climate-Resistant Beans Could Save Millions E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 08 December 2016 12:59

by 

Heat-tolerant beans at CIAT. Beans and other pulses are called superfoods of the future due to their vast geographical range, high nutritional value and low water requirements. Credit: Ida Karlsson/IPS

Heat-tolerant beans at CIAT. Beans and other pulses are called superfoods of the future

due to their vast geographical range, high nutritional value and low water requirements. Credit: Ida Karlsson/IPS


On a mission in Peru in the 1980s, Debouck narrowly escaped capture by guerillas.

Plants are the vital elements in our ecosystem that clothe us, feed us, give us the oxygen that we breathe and the medicines that cure us. But one in five of world’s plant species are at risk of extinction.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 22:56
Read more...
 
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