Who's Online

We have 142 guests online

Popular

'China is your daddy': Backlash against Tibetan student's election prompts questions about foreign influence E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 15 February 2019 18:14
 
Social Sharing
 
Chemi Lhamo, 22, got thousands of hateful comments after becoming U of T Scarborough student president
 
CBC News · Posted: Feb 14, 2019 5:42 PM ET | Last Updated: February 15
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/china-tibet-student-election-1.5019648
 
 
 
 
Chemi Lhamo, the president-elect of the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus, believes she's being targeted because of her Tibetan identity. (Martin Trainor/CBC)
What might otherwise be the usual mudslinging around a student election has turned into a political firestorm on a Toronto university campus, where a newly-elected student president is raising questions about the source of pro-China attacks against her.
 
On Saturday morning, Chemi Lhamo, 22, learned she'd been elected student president at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus (UTSC).
Read more...
 
UW study: Exposure to chemical in Roundup increases risk for cancer E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 17:18
February 13, 2019
 
 
Jackson Holtz
https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/02/13/uw-study-exposure-to-chemical-in-roundup-increases-risk-for-cancer/UW News
 
graph

 

A timeline that shows the growth in glyphosate usage worldwide (left) and key human epidemiological studies on the herbicide (right).

 
 
Exposure to glyphosate — the world’s most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup — increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to new research from the University of Washington.
 
Various reviews and international assessments have come to different conclusions about whether glyphosate leads to cancer in humans.
Read more...
 
Veni, Vidi, Tweeti (I Came, I Saw, I Tweeted) An Obituary for the Republic E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 12:55


By Tom Engelhardt

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176527/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_hail%2C_caesar%21/

What dreamers they were! They imagined a kind of global power that would leave even Rome at its Augustan height in the shade. They imagined a world made for one, a planet that could be swallowed by a single great power. No, not just great, but beyond anything ever seen before -- one that would build (as its National Security Strategy put it in 2002) a military “beyond challenge.” Let’s be clear on that: no future power, or even bloc of powers, would ever be allowed to challenge it again.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2019 12:58
Read more...
 
Ottawa’s Wood Buffalo plan ‘not good enough’: First Nations E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 20:47
 
Canada’s largest national park is at risk of losing its status as a World Heritage site due to the impacts of dams, oil development and climate change
 
Judith Lavoie Feb 7, 2019 
 
https://thenarwhal.ca/ottawas-wood-buffalo-plan-not-good-enough-first-nations/?fbclid=IwAR34CIc9xuURU8rqlXU5HE_nrIIj4oCkgBU-Q_RMTkA_QMKllV93_gBoo2
 
 
 
The federal government is promising to create artificial ice jams, strategically release water from BC Hydro dams and assess cumulative impacts on northern Alberta’s Peace-Athabasca delta in an attempt to retain the World Heritage status of Canada’s largest national park.
 
 
 
However, Ottawa’s long-awaited action plan for Wood Buffalo National Park rejects a World Heritage Committee recommendation calling on Canada to  conduct an environmental and social impact assessment of the controversial Site C dam. The action plan says the federal government’s hands are tied because an assessment of the project was completed by a federal-provincial review panel before the dam was approved in 2014.
 
“There is no legal mechanism in federal legislation to suspend or negate the authorization or undertake a new environmental assessment for a project that has been approved,” says the 96-page report compiled by Parks Canada, in consultation with 11 Indigenous communities and the B.C., Northwest Territories and Alberta governments.
 
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is “actively verifying that BC Hydro is complying with the conditions,” the report adds.
 
In 2014 the Mikisew Cree First Nation, alarmed by the deteriorating park environment, asked UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to add Wood Buffalo to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
 
Following a visit to the park by committee members and representatives of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, UNESCO warned that, because of poor management, the park was in danger of losing its World Heritage status and made 17 recommendations, including an assessment of the effects of Site C on the park.
 
Canada was asked to produce a plan addressing the recommendations and detailing how to restore ailing ecosystems in the 4.5-million hectare park.
 
 
 
Decreasing water levels cause for concern
Water levels in the Peace-Athabasca delta dropped after the 1968 construction of the Bennett dam on the Peace River, followed by the 1980 Peace Canyon dam. Indigenous communities, many of whom rely on the delta for fishing and hunting, are among those who fear the Site C dam — the third dam on the Peace River — will mean further decreases in water levels in the delta.
 
BC Hydro community relations manager David Conway disagrees that the delta’s water woes stem from the Bennett Dam or that Site C will be a threat.
 
“Researchers from a number of universities across Canada who conducted research at Wood Buffalo National Park have found the changes observed with the Peace Athabasca Delta are consistent with that of a naturally evolving delta with climate change,” Conway wrote in an emailed response to questions from The Narwhal.
 
“During the environmental assessment of Site C, we commissioned studies from leading experts to evaluate the potential downstream effects of the project and, in all cases, it was concluded that the project would have no notable effect on the Peace-Athabasca Delta,” he wrote.
 
The view from the ground is different and Indigenous communities say there are areas of the delta where they can no longer take boats to reach traditional hunting grounds, while fewer ice jams are changing the landscape and causing lakes to dry up.
 
 
 
Climate change is acknowledged as part of the cause — with the action plan estimating that the average annual temperature in the park has increased by two degrees and the winter temperature by four degrees — but residents believe many of the delta’s problems are caused by Peace River dams, water withdrawals by the oil and gas industry and contamination from the oilsands.
 
 
Cracked earth details in Wood Buffalo National Park’s Salt Plains Outlook trail. Photo: Louis Bockner / Sierra Club BC
 
Site C dam unaddressed in action plan
Site C looms large in those concerns, said Becky Kostka, Smith’s Landing First Nation lands and resources coordinator.
 
“This is not good enough. Canada really needs to step up,” said Kostka, who was hoping pressure from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination would help push the federal government into taking another look at the ramifications of Site C.
 
Last month, the committee wrote to Canada’s ambassador to the UN expressing concerns that the dam would permanently affect the land rights of Indigenous peoples in B.C.
 
Galen Armstrong, a campaigner for Sierra Club B.C., said omission of a Site C assessment means the plan — although it includes some long-overdue measures for improving and monitoring the health of Wood Buffalo — fails  to address underlying issues.
 
The fact that BC Hydro is considering releases of water from the Bennett dam is an admission of the impact the dam has had downstream and building another dam is contrary to protecting the delta, Armstrong said.
 
“When the committee meets again, I don’t expect it to be satisfied with this response. Canada is leaving Wood Buffalo National Park open to earning a World Heritage Site in Danger status and, to me, it shows it wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been,” he said.
 
Gillian Chow-Fraser, boreal program manager for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, pored over the draft action plan and the final document looking for differences and, although she applauds the weight given to Indigenous experiences in the final version, she is disappointed the two documents are so alike.
 
It is odd to say cumulative impacts will be considered and then ignore the Site C dam, which is one of the biggest potential impacts, Chow-Fraser said.
 
“They don’t address the impacts of Site C at all. They just throw their hands up in the air and say it has been approved.”
 
Site C dam construction
Site C dam construction on the Peace River, July 2018. Photo: Garth Lenz.
 
Strategic water releases and ice dams
The action plan recommends coming up with a protocol to look at how water releases from the Bennett dam could enhance ice jam flooding and what risks “strategic flow releases” would have on communities and infrastructure downstream from the dam
 
Proposals include “enhancing” spring flooding and creating ice-dams from spray ice, but Chow-Fraser hopes any artificial manipulation of hydrology in the delta will be approached cautiously.
 
“We don’t know the potential knock-off effects,” she said.
 
“It seems like a really big action and I don’t know if it’s the most effective way of restoring the ecosystem — especially when they are ignoring Site C,” she said.
 
Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for the Mikisew Cree, believes timed releases from the dam could be positive and she is encouraged that BC Hydro is willing to help restore some ecological functions of the delta.
 
“It’s a start. BC Hydro needs to be part of the solution. They control the faucet,” said Lepine, who is also encouraged that the final plan toughens up the requirement for buffer zones around the park and that industry withdrawals of water from the Athabasca River will come under scrutiny.
 
Ken and Arlene Boon overlook the Site C dam
Peace Valley farmers Ken and Arlene Boon look out onto the Site C dam’s construction zone from a neighbour’s property downstream on the Peace River. Photo: Sarah Cox
 
Funding concerns
But a funding question mark hangs over the action plan with fears that the $27.5 million earmarked over five years by the federal government for development and implementation of the action plan isn’t enough.
 
Lepine, looking at potential costs, said Canada should have started budgeting for Wood Buffalo several years ago and determining a cost for the actions should have been part of the action plan development.
 
“Now it’s an afterthought,” she said, pointing out that Australia has spent half a billion dollars to restore the Great Barrier Reef. “When I look at other sites around the world and what other countries have spent, I give my head a shake.”
 
Lepine worries that the plan has big ambitions, but is too vague, leaving questions such as how, when and who is going to pay for it.
 
“There are so many issues and challenges, so it’s hard to measure what success will look like. That’s how Canada gets caught up in these broken promises,” she said.
 
Kostka echoes concerns that the plan lacks specific measurements — with Alberta’s role largely limited to dealing with problems through existing legislation — and that the funding is insufficient.
 
It is unclear how the existing funding will be used and whether Indigenous groups will be offered funding to help with implementation of the plan, she said.
 
“We need a long-term commitment…  I don’t know how many ways that $27.5 million can be split over five years,” Kostka said.
 
Lepine’s hopes are now pinned on the World Heritage Committee and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature  when the plan is presented in Azerbaijan in early July.
 
“I think the committee has a lot of influence and can push Canada to do something. Canada is not going to do anything unless they are forced to,” Lepine said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 13:20
 
Solar Energy Provides Hope for Poor Neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:29

 

Valeria Barrientos stands in the recreational area of La Containera, the modern complex of 120 social dwellings that was inaugurated in 2017 inside Villa 31, a shantytown embedded in a central area of Buenos Aires. The rooftops of the buildings are covered by solar panels, which guarantee electricity for the residents. Credit: Daniel Gutman/IPS

Valeria Barrientos stands in the recreational area of La Containera, the modern complex of 120 social dwellings that was inaugurated in 2017 inside Villa 31, a shantytown embedded in a central area of Buenos Aires. The rooftops of the buildings are covered by solar panels, which guarantee electricity for the residents. Credit: Daniel Gutman/IPS

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 12 2019 (IPS) - Solar panels shine on the rooftop terraces of 10 neat buildings with perfectly straight lines and of uniform height, an image of modernity that contrasts with the precariously-built dwellings with unplastered concrete block walls just a few metres away, with rooms added in a disorderly manner, surrounded by a tangle of electric cables.

Villa 31, the most famous shantytown in the capital of Argentina, due to its location in a central area of Buenos Aires, is undergoing a transformation process, not without controversy, in which clean energies play an important role.

The State is building hundreds of new homes with rooftops covered by solar panels, which bring energy to a neighborhood where access to basic services has always depended on informal and unsafe connections.

Read more...
 
Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:15
 
Environmental and social problems could interact in global breakdown, report says
 
Jonathan Watts the Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/12/climate-and-economic-risks-threaten-2008-style-systemic-collapse
 
 
 
 @jonathanwatts
 
Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in 2018. The report fears relentless floods and fires in the US could threaten financial institutions.
 
 
Tue 12 Feb 2019 06.00 GMT Last modified on Tue 12 Feb 2019 16.55 GMT
 
 Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in 2018. The report fears relentless floods and fires in the US could threaten financial institutions.
 Hurricane Florence in North Carolina in 2018. The report fears relentless floods and fires in the US could threaten financial institutions. Photograph: Jason Miczek/Reuters
The gathering storm of human-caused threats to climate, nature and economy pose a danger of systemic collapse comparable to the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new report that calls for urgent and radical reform to protect political and social systems.
 
The study says the combination of global warming, soil infertility, pollinator loss, chemical leaching and ocean acidification is creating a “new domain of risk”, which is hugely underestimated by policymakers even though it may pose the greatest threat in human history.
Read more...
 
Deported Salvadoran Women Pin Their Hopes on Poultry Production E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 10 February 2019 17:23

 

Poultry production is giving hope for deported migrants who make up the Association of Active Women Working Together for a Better Future, in the village of Los Talpetates, Berlin municipality in the eastern Salvadoran department of Usulután. Credit: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Poultry production is giving hope for deported migrants who make up the Association of Active Women Working Together for a Better Future, in the village of Los Talpetates, Berlin municipality in the eastern Salvadoran department of Usulután. Credit: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

BERLÍN, El Salvador, Feb 8 2019 (IPS) - Salvadoran farmer Lorena Mejía opens an incubator and monitors the temperature of the eggs, which will soon provide her with more birds and eggs as the chickens hatch and grow up.

Mejía is one of the beneficiaries of a project that seeks to offer productive ventures to women who, like her, have been deported from Mexico or the United States while they were attempting to achieve “the American dream.”

“I left because I worked in a factory in San Salvador, but the money wasn’t enough,” the 43-year-old woman told IPS in the yard of her home in the village of Talpetate, Berlin municipality in the eastern Salvadoran department of Usulután.

"Rural women are the motors of the economy, and at FAO we support returnees through inclusive and equitable processes." – Emilia González

 

In 1998, after a dangerous journey of several weeks, Mejia managed to settle in Dallas, Texas in the U.S.

She worked there in cleaning services at a school and in a hotel, but she returned to her country in 2001, with many broken dreams.

“Now I’m focused, together with my colleagues, on making this project grow,” she said.

Mejía and other local women farmers founded the Association of Active Women Working Together for a Better Future in 2010, and came up with an initiative that would offer productive opportunities to other returning migrants.

Currently, some 40 women make up this organisation, 15 of whom are involved in poultry production, who have received technical support from the state-run National Centre for Agricultural and Forestry Technology (Centa), as well as from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) office in El Salvador.

Read more...
 
Response from Indigenous Environmental Network to Green New Deal E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 09 February 2019 12:37
 
https://bit.ly/2SCyFY5
 
TALKING POINTS ON THE AOC-MARKEY GREEN NEW DEAL (GND) RESOLUTION
The Indigenous Environmental Network applauds the Green New Deal resolution for its vision, intention, and scope. With this resolution, Representative Ocasio-Cortez (Resolution House of Representatives) and Senator Markey (Resolution US Senate) have begun a critical process to change the national conversation in regards to addressing the climate crisis at hand. From sea level rise to loss of land to food insecurities, Indigenous frontline communities and Tribal nations are already experiencing the direct impacts of climate change, and we are encouraged to see these congressional leaders take charge to help Indigenous communities and Tribal nations protect their homelands, rights, sacred sites, waters, air, and bodies from further destruction.
Read more...
 
Venezuelan Ambassador to the EU : “We will not accept an external agenda” E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 08 February 2019 18:52
 
 
Feb 8, 2019
 
The eyes of the world are once again on Venezuela. After being appointed president of the National Assembly on January 23 opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself the “temporary president” of the Venezuelan government. The United States and a group of European and Latin American countries immediately expressed their support, basing his legitimacy on Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution. The issue is that Guaidó says President Nicolas Maduro is a “usurper who has abandoned his post,” while the Supreme Court of Justice has already declared any decision by the National Assembly “null and void.” In this context of great urgency and international pressure on her country, Ms. Claudia Salerno, Venezuelan Ambassador to the European Union, has granted us an exclusive interview. Hers is a voice of dignity breaking through the media’s all-out assault on Venezuela.
Read more...
 
Rachel LaFortune: "Rule of law" is not a justification for colonial violence in Wet'suwet'en pipeline dispute E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 08 February 2019 13:03
 
BY Rachel LaFortaine
https://www.straight.com/news/1196861/rachel-lafortune-rule-law-not-justification-colonial-violence
 
by Guest on February 4th, 2019 at 5:06 PM

By Rachel LaFortune

 
 
SUB.MEDIA SCREEN SHOT
By Rachel LaFortune
 
RELATED STORIES
Tensions rise over pipeline project following truce between Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and RCMP
David Suzuki: Pipeline blockade is a sign of deeper troubles
RCMP arrest 14 anti-pipeline activists at Gitdumt'en checkpoint on Wet'suwet'en territory
Showdown expected in northwestern B.C. between RCMP and Indigenous protesters over pipeline project
When governments rely on court-granted injunctions to define the “rule of law” in respect to Indigenous land occupations, they risk breaching their Constitutional and international human-rights obligations and undermining any chance at meaningful reconciliation.
 
Case in point: the injunction currently being enforced against Wet’suwet’en land and water defenders in British Columbia.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2019 13:28
Read more...
 
Palm oil industry expansion spurs Guatemala indigenous migration E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 07 February 2019 14:18
 
Death of Jakelin Caal in US custody highlights how land conflicts and displacement fuel flight from indigenous villages.
 
by Jeff Abbott   & Sandra Cuffe https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/palm-oil-industry-expansion-spurs-guatemala-indigenous-migration-190122160154738.html23 hours ago
 
Jakelin Caal's grandfather, Domingo, works in his field in San Antonio Secortex, Raxuha the day after Jakelin was buried [Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera]

Jakelin Caal's grandfather, Domingo, works in his field in San Antonio Secortex, Raxuha the day after Jakelin was buried [Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera]

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 8

Latest News