By Peter Richards
BRUSSELS, Dec 12 2013 (IPS) – As president of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states, Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi had the perfect forum to voice his concerns about the effects climate change has had on his island nation.
Bob Dreyfuss – The Nation
It’s read-‘em-and-weep for supporters of the Syrian opposition. The whole enterprise has been on a slippery slope for quite some time, and now it’s tumbled straight down into oblivion. The “official” opposition, the so-called moderates who’ve been halfheartedly backed by the Obama administration since 2011, have been overwhelmed, it seems, by radicals, ultra-radicals, and the Al Qaeda types. As a result, the administration has officially suspended the supply of nonlethal aid to the Syrian rebels because, well, it’s going to the wrong guys.
It’s always astonishing how funerals and memorial services can do two things to people. They make platform for public show and then they provide the opportunity for public speaking that knows no bounds in the hope that they will be remembered for eternity. Something that state funerals and public mourning have more than that is that the leaders, past and present, tend to flock to the ceremony in order to be viewed and counted amongst the solemn mourners and catch just a bit of the limelight.
By Johan Galtung* – TRANSCEND Media Service
Washington-DC. In the shorter run, till around 2020, not good; in the longer run, from 2030, not bad at all. Short-run possibilities:
Nelson Mandela’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights
John Nichols – The Nation
The South African Constitution minces no words regarding access to medical care.
“Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care,” the document declares, adding that: “The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of each of these rights.”
By FEDERICO MAYOR, HANNE SOPHIE GREVE, IOANNA KUÇURADI and IBRAHIM NAJJAR
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY / OPINION PIECE. HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10 DECEMBER 2013
December is an important month in the human rights calendar. Today it is international Human Rights Day – the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.
By Isaiah Esipisu
WARSAW, Dec 9 2013 (IPS) – Africa can achieve sustainable development by scaling up “green economy” initiatives. What is needed is increased allocations from within national budgets supplemented by donor funding, claim experts.
Nelson Mandela, Feminist
Ilyse Hogue* – The Nation
Nelson Mandela’s passing has elicited a flood of personal memories and tributes from people he touched across the world. I am one of those people. In elementary school in Dallas in the early 1980s, I was fascinated by the televised images of mock shanty-towns on US college campuses. Questions about the South African divestment campaign started me down a path that opened up a world of social justice and politically inspired change.
By Said Khaloozadeh* – IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The signing of the agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the member states of the P5+1 group of world powers, first of all scored a victory for a negotiated and diplomatic approach over the policy of sanctions and mounting pressure.
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 5 2013 (IPS) – As the international community fleshes out a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be unveiled next year, civil society activists and U.N. officials agree their success will hinge on policies that address the nexus of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
BANGKOK, Dec 4 2013 (IPS) – Only 16 percent of Africa’s population of over a billion is online. But as Internet and mobile phone connectivity grows rapidly, the continent wants to join forces with Asian powerhouses to change its digital landscape.
LYNN FRIES – The Real News Network
C. Raghavan on why 99% of people in both developing & advanced economies including the US & EU, need trade ministers of developing countries to rebut the US-EU led agenda at the 9th WTO Ministerial – December 3, 13
Asoka Bandarage* – The Huffington Post
As the climate crisis intensifies, extreme weather events such as the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are becoming increasingly frequent. At the final hour, a compromise was reached between representatives of the developed and developing countries on a funding ‘mechanism’ to pay for climate-related ‘loss and damage’ at the recent 19th Annual Meeting of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) known as COP 19 (Conference of the Parties) in Warsaw. While this represents a victory for the Group of 77 developing countries, the vague, non-binding wording of the final document fell far short of the detailed funding commitment expected from developed nations.
Jessica Weisberg -The Nation
We may think of Canada as our kinder, more generous neighbor, but a new study by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic indicates that the country’s has adapted a decidedly uncanadian approach to refugees. The authors of the study write that Canada is “systematically closing its borders to asylum seekers and avoiding its refugee protection obligations under domestic and international law.”
By John Pilger
England is two countries. One is dominated by London, the other remains in its shadow. When I first arrived from Australia, it seemed no one went north of Watford and those who had emigrated from the north worked hard to change their accents and obscure their origins and learn the mannerisms and codes of the southern comfortable classes. Some would mock the life they had left behind. They were changing classes, or so they thought.
Chakravarthi Raghavan* – SUNS
As trade ambassadors in Geneva, having packed their bags are wending their way across half-the-world, and trade ministers from around the globe, gather next week in Bali for the biennial Ministerial Conference of the WTO, the multilateral trading system is once again trying to prove the ‘uncertainty’ principle of quantum theory in physics.
By Julio Godoy* – IDN-InDepth NewsInterview
BERLIN (IDN) – Robert Jacobs was born 53 years ago, at the height of the cold war, amidst the then reigning paranoia of nuclear annihilation of humankind. In school, he was eight years old. “We learned about how to survive a nuclear attack. We were told that the key to survival was to always be vigilant in detecting the first signs of a nuclear attack.”
Analysis by Jim Lobe*
WASHINGTON, Nov 29 2013 (IPS) – From the Middle East to the East China Sea, the last week’s events have offered a particularly vivid example of the much-heralded shift in foreign policy priorities under the administration of President Barack Obama.
The Editors – The Nation
There’s more work to be done, but this was a big win for democracy
During his first five years in office, President Obama faced unprecedented obstruction of routine executive and judicial nominations: sixteen executive branch nominees were filibustered, compared with twenty throughout US history.
Lizzy Davies – The Guardian
Italian parliament expels 77-year-old after conviction for tax fraud at his Mediaset empire but tycoon vows to stay in politics
Showing on a loop on the screens outside Palazzo Grazioli was a compilation of clips that had a strangely retro feel to it. In one, Silvio Berlusconi was laughing with Tony Blair; in another, he was chatting affably with George W Bush. Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan, even Pope Benedict XVI: the roll call of former leaders went on – and Berlusconi, in a somewhat more youthful guise, was with them all.