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Canadian Military Spying Activities Require More Scrutiny: Watchdog PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 11 April 2019 06:51

 

A committee flagged the possibility that Canadians' rights may be infringed.

 

By Jim Bronskill  

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/04/09/canadian-military-spying-activities-require-more-scrutiny-watchdog_a_23709085/

The facade of the headquarters of the Department of National Defence is pictured in Ottawa, on April 3, 2013. ADRIAN WYLD/CP

 

 

 

 
The facade of the headquarters of the Department of National Defence is pictured in Ottawa, on April 3, 2013. 
ADRIAN WYLD/CP
 
OTTAWA — A national-security watchdog has called for stricter controls on the Canadian military's spying, including the possibility of legislation spelling out when and how defence intelligence operations can take place.
 
In a report issued Tuesday, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians said National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have one of the largest intelligence programs in Canada, yet these operations get little outside scrutiny.
 
The committee, which examined thousands of pages and received several closed-door briefings, found that defence agencies carry out a full range of intelligence activities, collecting information through sensitive methods including technical means, human sources and investigations.
 
It says these activities entail considerable risks, including possible infringements on Canadians' rights.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2019 07:51
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223 international scientists urge B.C. to protect provincial rainforests PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 27 January 2019 17:28
 
'There are certain places that are so biologically rare and important'
Matt Humphrey · CBC News · Posted: Jun 28, 2018 8:00 AM PT | Last Updated: June 28, 2018
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rain-forest-gone-1.4724448
 
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B.C. is known for its towering trees and temperate rain forests, but an international group of scientists is warning that without urgent protection, those forests are at risk of disappearing.
 
A total of 223 scientists from nine countries have signed a letter urging the provincial government to take immediate action to protect B.C.'s remaining temperate rain forests.
 
"There are certain places that are so biologically rare and important," said Dominick DellaSala, the chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Oregon who helped organize the letter.
 
"The B.C. rainforests are among those rare places."
 
NDP blamed for failing to save Vancouver Island old-growth giants from logging
DellaSala said both the province's coastal rainforests and rainforests further inland are dissimilar to anywhere else on the planet. Both play important roles in the preservation of biodiversity and the battle against climate change, he said.
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The herbicide glyphosate persists in wild, edible plants: B.C. study PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 10:23
 
 
Randy Shore Updated: February 19, 2019 https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/the-herbicide-glyphosate-persists-in-wild-edible-plants-b-c-study
 
Lisa Wood, a forester and assistant professor at the University of Northern B.C., is the author of a study on the impact of aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
 
 
Lisa Wood, a forester and assistant professor at the University of Northern B.C., is the author of a study on the impact of aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
Lisa Wood, a forester and assistant professor at the University of Northern B.C., is the author of a study on the impact of aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Handout
Edible and medicinal forest plants that survive aerial spraying of glyphosate can retain the herbicide and related residues for at least a year, a new study has found.
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Last week (Oct 24-30) was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 14:27
BY Basel Peace Office
 
 
Last week (Oct 24-30) was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions. Decisions are binding on the United Nations. Resolutions are indications of governments' positions and intent – they are not binding but can be very authoritative and influential if supported by key countries.
 
The deliberations and votes took place in an environment of increasing tensions between nuclear armed States, and also an increasing divide between non-nuclear countries and those countries which rely on nuclear weapons for their security.
 
Nuclear risk-reduction:  Reducing nuclear danger A resolution Reducing nuclear danger submitted by India received 127 votes in favour (mostly non-aligned countries). It failed to get support of nuclear-armed or European countries, primarily because it only calls for nuclear risk reduction measures by China, France, Russia, UK and USA – leaving out the other nuclear armed States – India, Pakistan, DPRK and Israel.
 
 
A resolution Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems  Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems submitted by a group of non-nuclear countries, was much more successful receiving 173 votes in favour, including from most of the NATO countries and from four nuclear armed States (China, DPRK, India, Pakistan).
 
 
Civil society presents to the UN General Assembly First Committee, October 2018
Nuclear prohibition:
A resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons  Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was supported by 122 countries. This is more than the number who have signed the Treaty, which is 68 (with 19 of these countries having now ratified). The vote indicates that more signatures are likely. However, the resolution was not supported by any of the nuclear-armed countries, nor any of the countries under nuclear deterrence relationships, i.e. NATO, Australia, Japan, South Korea. The opposition of nuclear-armed and allied States to the resolution is another indication that they do not intend to join the new treaty. In general, this means that they will not be bound by the treaty's obligations. However, the customary law against the use of nuclear weapons which is re-affirmed by the treaty will apply to all States regardless of whether or not they join.
 
 
A resolution on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons submitted by India received 120 votes in favour, including from themselves and another three nuclear-armed States (China, DPRK and Pakistan). Some non-nuclear States have historically opposed the resolution in response to India testing nuclear weapons and becoming a nuclear-armed State in 1998. India has requested these countries to reconsider their opposition, especially in light of the international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in which India participated and which highlighted the importance of preventing any use of nuclear weapons. 
 
UN Conferences:
A resolution affirming a previous decision to hold a UN High-Level Conference (Summit) on Nuclear Disarmament Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament,was supported by 143 countries. The resolution, entitled Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, also promotes negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention - a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons that includes nuclear-armed States (unlike the TPNW which does not include them). Despite getting a strong vote in favour, including from some nuclear armed states, the proposed conference does not yet appear to have enough political traction to be held. The resolution did not set a date for the conference.
 
 
The UNGA adopted a Decision to convene a conference no later than 2019 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Despite the objective of a Middle East Zone being supported by most UN members in a separate resolution (supported by 174 countries), the decision to convene a conference in 2019 to ‘elaborate a legally binding treaty’ was supported by only 103 countries. The hesitation by many countries to support the resolution was due to the fact that they believed that concrete preparations and negotiations for a Middle East Zone Treaty would require the participation of all countries in the region, and currently there is at least one country (Israel) that is not ready to work on such a regional treaty.
Other discussions and resolutions
 
There were other disarmament discussions at the UN General Assembly last week – included a heated discussion  between Russia and the United States over the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Both US and Russia claim that the other party is in violation of the treaty, and last week President Trump announced that the US was initiating procedures to withdraw from the treaty.
 
In addition there were a number of other disarmament resolutions that were introduced, some of which were adopted and some of which are being actioned (voted upon) this week.
 
For more information see
UNGA First Committee
Press releases: Nov 1 and Nov 2.
Reaching Critical Will UN First Committee
Yours in peace
The Basel Peace Office team
 
Internal Displacement “Deserves Visibility” PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 13 May 2019 05:05


MIGRATION & REFUGEES

Internal Displacement “Deserves Visibility”

alt

Gul Jan, 90, and her family fled their village in Ab Kamari district and went to Qala-e-Naw in search of drinking water and food during the 2018 drought in Afghanistan. When this photo was taken in 2018, she, her son Ahmad and her four grandchildren had been living in a makeshift home in the Farestan settlement for internally displaced people for at least four months. Courtesy: NRC/Enayatullah Azad

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 2019 (IPS) - More people are displaced inside their own countries than ever before, and only higher figures can be expected without urgent long-term action, a new report found.

 

Launched by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the new Global Report on Internal Displacement examines trends in internal displacement worldwide and has found a dismal picture.

 

“This year’s report is a sad reminder of the recurrence of displacement, and of the severity and urgency of IDPs’ needs. Many of the same factors that drove people from their homes now prevent them from returning or finding solutions in the places they have settled,” said IDMC’s Director Alexandra Bilak.

“The findings of this report are a wake-up call to world leaders. Millions of people forced to flee their homes last year are being failed by ineffective national governance and insufficient international diplomacy. Because they haven’t crossed a border, they receive pitiful global attention,” echoed NRC’s Secretary-General Jan Egeland.

According to the report, over 41 million people were estimated to be living in internal displacement as of the end of 2018, 28 million of which were new displacements.

A majority were due to natural disasters and just three countries accounted for 60 percent of all new disaster-related displacements.

While many were saved, many are also still without homes.

Read more...
 
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