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Bend The Arc: Pittsburgh We are the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 29 October 2018 21:10

Website https://www.bendthearc.us/open_letter_to_president_trump

President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

 

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2018 22:29
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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
 
'Troubling allegations' prompt Health Canada review of studies used to approve popular weed-killer PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:11
 
Maker of Roundup denies any hidden influence on studies used in approval process
 
Gil Shochat · CBC News · Posted: Nov 11, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: November 11
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/monsanto-roundup-health-canada-1.4896311
 

 

 
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Health Canada says its scientists are reviewing hundreds of studies used during the approval process for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Canada's most popular herbicide, Roundup
Health Canada says its scientists are reviewing hundreds of studies used during the approval process for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Canada's most popular herbicide, Roundup.
Health Canada says in light of "troubling allegations," its scientists are reviewing hundreds of studies used during the approval process for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Canada's most popular herbicide, Roundup.
 
The decision comes after a coalition of environmental groups claimed Health Canada relied on studies that were secretly influenced by agrochemical giant Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, when it re-approved use of glyphosate in 2015 and confirmed that decision in 2017.
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Alex Neve and Sarah Morales: Site C dam still far from ‘point of no return’ PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 11:49
Alex Neve and Sarah Morales: Site C dam still far from ‘point of no return’
ALEX NEVE & SARAH MORALES Updated: November 19, 2018
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Installation of concrete for the south-bank tailrace wall in July at B.C. Hydro's Site C dam construction project on the Peace River near Fort St. John. B.C. HYDRO / PNG

ADJUST
 
Installation of concrete for the south-bank tailrace wall in July at B.C. Hydro's Site C dam construction project on the Peace River near Fort St. John. B.C. HYDRO / PNG
 
ADJUST
COMMENT
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Last month, the B.C. Supreme Court handed the Horgan government a victory that may prove much more costly than a defeat.
 
The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations had asked the court to temporarily suspend construction of the Site C dam, or at least protect critical areas of the Peace Valley while their still unresolved Treaty rights challenge is being considered. On Oct. 24, Justice Warren Milman dismissed the injunction application entirely. This is exactly what the provincial government and B.C. Hydro had asked the court to do.
 
At the same time, the judge ruled that the First Nations’ legal challenge can continue with the possibility that, if the First Nations are able to prove their case, the dam could be stopped before plans to flood the Peace River Valley are completed.
 
In other words, the court told the province, if you so choose, you’re free to continue sinking billions of dollars into a project you might never be allowed to complete.
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'It blows my mind': How B.C. destroys a key natural wildfire defence every year PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 18 November 2018 21:02

Provincial rules require spraying of fire-resistant aspen trees to make way for valuable conifers

 

PLEASE SIGN PETITION 

 

https://www.change.org/p/government-of-british-columbia-stop-spraying-bc-forests-with-herbicide-to-kill-trees-like-poplar-that-wildlife-need?recruiter=728416211&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

 

Bethany Lindsay · CBC News · Posted: Nov 17, 2018 8:00 AM PT | Last Updated: November 17

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/it-blows-my-mind-how-b-c-destroys-a-key-natural-wildfire-defence-every-year-1.4907358

 

Aspen trees naturally flourish after a wildfire, but they're also less vulnerable to flames than coniferous trees. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Last year, 12,812 hectares of B.C. forest was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate. It's an annual event — a mass extermination of broadleaf trees mandated by the province.

The eradication of trees like aspen and birch on regenerating forest stands is meant to make room for more commercially valuable conifer species like pine and Douglas fir.

 

But experts say it also removes one of the best natural defences we have against wildfire, at a time when our warming climate is helping make large, destructive fires more and more common.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 November 2018 09:11
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