The real intent of these provisions is to impede health, environmental, safety, and, yes, even financial regulations meant to protect America’s own economy and citizens. Companies can sue governments for full compensation for any reduction in their future expected profits resulting from regulatory changes.
Latest Entries »
UNHCR, OHCHR, IOM and SRSG for Migration and Development:
Press Releases, 19 May 2015
We, the undersigned*, strongly urge the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, to protect migrants and refugees stranded on vessels in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, to facilitate safe disembarkation, and to give priority to saving lives, protecting rights, and respecting human dignity.
Grave events in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in recent days involving migrants and refugees –Rohingya and others – from Bangladesh and Myanmar confirm that vulnerable people around the world are moving in search of safety and dignity, fleeing persecution, abject poverty, deprivation, discrimination, and abuse. Such perilous journeys, whether by land, sea, or air, have become a global phenomenon.
In Southeast Asia, more than 88,000 people have made the dangerous voyage by sea since 2014, including 25,000 who arrived in the first quarter of this year alone. Nearly 1,000 are believed to have perished at sea due to the precarious conditions of the voyage, and an equal number because of mistreatment and privation at the hands of traffickers and abusive smugglers. In the Bay of Bengal, migrants and refugees are fed only white rice and are subjected to violence, including sexual violence. Women are raped. Children are separated from their families and abused. Men are beaten and thrown overboard.
We are deeply concerned at reports that boats full of vulnerable women, men and children are unable to land and are stranded at sea without access to urgently needed food, water, and medical assistance. We urge States in the region to protect the lives of all aboard by allowing the passengers on these overcrowded boats to disembark safely.
We urgently call on leaders, with the support of ASEAN, to:
1. Make saving lives the top priority by inter alia significantly strengthening Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations.
2. Stop boat push-backs and measures to ‘help on’ boats to leave territorial waters, while ensuring that all measures taken are in strict accordance with the principle of non-refoulement and other fundamental human rights standards.
3. Provide for effective, predictable disembarkation to a place of safety with adequate and humane reception conditions.
4. Avoid the use of immigration detention and other punitive measures, and ensure that the human rights of all migrants and refugees are protected, and that all actions in regard to children are guided by the best interests of the child.
5. Set in place screening procedures staffed jointly by government and relevant international organization personnel to identify the individual circumstances of all those arriving, including a) individuals in need of protection as refugees, asylum-seekers, or stateless persons, b) victims of trafficking or persons at risk of torture or other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment if returned to their country of origin, c) migrants with health conditions in need of emergency medical care and first aid assistance, and d) migrants or others interested in voluntary return home.
6. Expand avenues for safe and legal migration, including for labour migration at all skills levels.
7. Expand efforts to prosecute traffickers and smugglers for their crimes in full accordance with international standards for human rights, while fully respecting the rights of victims.
8. Redouble efforts, nationally and through strengthened international cooperation, to address ‘push factors’ and the root causes of refugee and migrants flows, including discrimination, deprivation, persecution, and violations of human rights.
9. Put in place dedicated measures to combat xenophobia and discrimination against any group on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, ethnicity, nationality and national origin, or other status.
*António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration; and Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development
See also Refugee Rights Action Network for Oz based info and events…
“…Climate change has become the premier environmental issue facing the globe. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to grow and accumulate in the atmosphere. The average global temperature in 2014 was the highest recorded over the last century and a half. Most scientists say that climate change is a “very serious problem.” Yet virtually no progress has been made in convincing the general public of its serious nature, nor have significant steps been taken to curb emissions and slow warming. Why has progress been so halting?
The risks of a warming world and potential policies to deal with these risks are the subject of a short book by Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman…”
(click cover pic for piece in full + gratis @ The New York Review of Books)
For more information about DCP events visit the DCP website http://www.bps.org.uk/dcp.
“Every time an agency sticks its hand up, either overtly or covertly, to be able to access the private records of ordinary people I am going to make an absolute point of pointing it out and putting it on the record so that maybe the government, once they are safely back in opposition, or the Australian Labor Party might want to rethink what they did to all Australian citizens when they waved through the data retention legislation upon all of us…”
on behalf of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
for the Wangan and Jagalingou people :
When we rejected Indian mining company Adani’s offer to exploit our land, they took aggressive legal action to overrule our rights just six days later. Now we have to fight to protect our land in court.
They have betrayed our trust and are getting set to destroy our land and our culture. You’ve pledged your support, but now I’m going to have to ask you, if you can, to help me again.
We face losing everything that is our inheritance. But to mount this fight to protect our heritage, we need more than our conviction and courage. We urgently need funds to mount a legal challenge and appeal against Adani’s action. Can you please make a donation so we can fight Adani in court?
Adani is trying everything, and from the beginning have shown their arrogant, disrespectful treatment of our law and customs. They have misrepresented us, and they have betrayed us. They took action to remove our rights through a legal system designed to favour big mining over the rights of Indigenous peoples. It seems they’ll stop at nothing to get their mine, which will destroy our ancestral land and the underpinnings of our lore and culture.
If we can raise enough money, we will appeal the National Native Title Tribunal’s decision to allow the Queensland Government to issue mining leases to Adani, despite our refusal to enter an agreement with the company. The Tribunal even recognised that we have not given our consent or agreement to the mine, but still overruled our internationally recognised rights in favour of Adani.
The Tribunal has sanctioned the destruction of our ancestral lands and cultural heritage on the grounds that it’s in the ‘public interest’. We will contest the idea that building one of the world’s largest coal mines is good for the people and the country.
Our right to self-determination and free, prior, and informed consent is being trampled.
We have to fight back, but we can only do it with the help of our supporters. Can you please get behind us to fight for our rights and our land in court by donating to our fighting fund? http://www.getup.org.au/stand-with-us
The truth is we’re up against a multi-billion dollar company and a legal system that makes it very tough for traditional owners. We know we’ve got a strong, righteous case to run, but we’re not going to leave it at that.
We’ll continue to fight for our rights through the courts, and look to international law if need be. We will visit investment banks around the world to stop the project getting funding. And if it comes to it, we will take our fight all the way to the United Nations.
This fight will define our people and be a landmark moment for Indigenous rights and climate change in Australia. Can you help us defeat Adani by donating to our fighting fund?
Adani think they can walk all over us but they’ve never seen anything like this. Our lands and our way of life, and the legacy of our ancestors, mean too much to our people to rollover. We are here to fight and we won’t stop until our land is protected.
PS – After I first wrote to you and others, Wangan and Jagalingou people were overwhelmed by the response. To know that more than 90,000 people have chosen to stand with us as we fight to protect our land and our culture from Adani has given us real strength and confidence. On behalf of Wangan and Jagalingou people who are opposed to this mine, we sincerely thank you.
Current issue: May 2015
… After Greece, who’s next? Iran and Saudi Arabia, strategic balancing act; Germany special report, politics and the euro; crisis in the Mediterranean, what asylum policy? untold stories. Piketty, the wealth of the wealthy, London, playground of the global rich… and more…click cover to access…
The Arctic is the “canary in the coal mine” of global warming. Over the past 50 years Arctic winters have gotten a whole lot warmer,rising in temperature by an average of 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit. With the region warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, changes in the Arctic are providing a preview of what is to come if climate change is not stopped. The picture is not pretty: the Arctic is suffering increasing coastal erosion, more acidic oceans, earlier spring snowmelt, drier landscapes, and more extensive wildfires. Significant habitat changes are also pushing many species—including the iconic polar bear—to the very brink of extinction.
The United States is taking over chairmanship of the Arctic Council at a challenging and critical time. Thanks to melting sea ice caused by climate change, the Arctic is opening up. This means that Arctic nations could soon begin sparring over new shipping routes and access to remote oil and gas deposits. At the same time, the region is being hit hard. Climate change is directly impacting the Arctic ecosystem. Rising sea levels are upending coastal settlements, while gas flaring is coating sea ice in a nasty layer of black carbon that speeds the melting causing over a million premature deaths each year from respiratory and heart disease.
If the United States wants to protect the Arctic from climate change, it can’t allow any more oil and gas drilling in the region. The Obama Administration has a unique ability to use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council to chart a new course for climate leadership in the region. According to a peer-reviewed study recently published in Nature, the world must choose between drilling for Arctic oil and maintaining a safe, liveable climate. Showing leadership on climate means cutting carbon emissions—not greenlighting oil companies’ risky plans to place new drilling rigs in the Arctic Circle.
- US’ Kerry bids to avert Arctic melt (RTCC)
- Climate concerns take top billing as the US pivots to the Arctic (TckTckTck)
- Iqaluit to welcome Arctic Council meeting Friday (CBC)
- Major changes loom in Arctic as US leads Council (Climate Central)
- John Kerry’s mission to save the Arctic (ThinkProgress)
US takes lead in bid to cope with Arctic meltdown (ClimateWire)
- As US assumes Arctic Council chairmanship, new report emphasizes cooperation over conflict (Phys.org)
- Canada’s Arctic Council leadership to be handed over at Iqaluit meeting (Canadian Press)
Beijing’s political role, historical narrative, geographical structure, and cultural memory culminate in a city where people share a common experience of culture and emotions. At the same time, Beijing’s unbridled growth can feel unfamiliar, a surreal mix of globalization and localization that has allowed Beijing to build its own traditions, becoming an extremely competitive art hub in the process. Yet there are moments where it diverges from this path. LEAP’s April issue, “The State of Beijing: A Report,” looks at the art capital from the perspectives of architecture, geography, exhibition history, and more, shedding a light on the the rawness and weirdness, authority and gravity that Beijing brings to the table.
This issue’s middle section introduces two important artists as well as new theories: Yuko Mohri’s electro-mechanical sound installations, Timur Si-Qin’s renditions of commercial objects and imagery through a neo-materialist lens, and musings on neoreactionary thoughts and Dark Enlightenment . Einar Engström investigates Mohri’s art via contemporary dynamics — her objects acting as intermediaries and persuading physical forces to reveal a natural order we are simply not accustomed to seeing; Lai Fei interviews Si-Qin, who describes China as a “giant processor of materials,” which may be the Beijing to come; and Matthew Shen Goodman adopts a new philosophy to examine the future of Beijing—a fragmented city-state that is fundamentally unknowable.
This issue’s bottom section features a total of 14 exhibition reviews, including “2015 Triennial: Surround Audience,” “Sharjah Biennial 12: the Past, the Present, the Possible,” “On Kawara: Silence,” “New Measurement and Qian Weikang: Two Case Studies in Early Chinese Conceptual Art,” as well as other major international exhibitions. In addition, you will find reviews of new work and solo exhibitions from Wang Gongxin, Huang Yong Ping, Ding Yi, Zeng Hong, Yang Xinguang, Mark Bradford, and Robert Zhao Renhui, among others.
The Guardian describes Harry Leslie Smith as…’a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. He has written several books about Britain during the depression, the war, and postwar austerity.’
Join him on Twitter @Harryslaststand
…as UK election approaches, this message is more important than ever. Just say NO to those “sinister rightwing c**ts”…
Originally posted on the interpretOr:
“We’re living in extreme times and if you listened to modern rock music you wouldn’t know that,” says Gillespie. “I just think it’s odd there’s no protest, resistance or critique of what’s going down. It’s like people are tranquilised. All the rights people had fought for – people like trade unionists, anarchists, artists – are being clawed back by extremists. These people [in charge] aren’t rational thinkers. Someone like Boris Johnson hides behind that bumbling public schoolboy image but he’s a sinister rightwing c**t trying to bring in anti-strike legislation … we’ve got to fight these fucking people!”
“…Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was psychologically healthier? If there were less loneliness and less depression? If people knew how to overcome failure? If they felt better about themselves and more empowered? If they were happier and more fulfilled? I can, because that’s the world I want to live in, and that’s the world my brother wants to live in as well. And if you just become informed and change a few simple habits, well, that’s the world we can all live in…”Psychologist, author
… redefining ‘terrorism’; Libya, from chaos to war; the IS brand of daily terror; 100 years on, the Armenians speak; US, nothing is as usual; an African Spring? Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria; Sao Paulo’s water crisis; India’s giant, Tata in the 21st century; Algeria’s harkis; dancing for Kobane… and more…
::: just click cover above to access :::
To combat online censorship, Reporters Without Borders is unblocking access to 9 news websites in order to make them available in the 11 countries where they are currently banned.
The nine mirror sites created by Reporters Without Borders…
- Grani.ru, blocked in Russia, is now available at https://gr1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Fergananews.com blocked in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, is now available at https://fg1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- The Tibet Post International, blocked in China, is now available at https://tp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Dan Lam Bao, blocked in Vietnam, is now available at https://dlb1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Mingjing News, blocked in China, is now available at https://mn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/news/main.html
- Hablemos Press, blocked in Cuba, is now available at https://hp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Gooya News, blocked in Iran, is now available at https://gn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Gulf Centre for Human Rights, blocked in United Arab Emirates, is now available at https://gc1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
- Bahrain Mirror, blocked in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is now available at https://bahrainmirror.global.ssl.fastly.net/
This list is also available at https://github.com/RSF-RWB/collateralfreedom
To help make freely-reported news and information available in these countries, all Internet users are invited to join in this operation by posting this list on social networks with the #CollateralFreedom hashtag.
The former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, is also a longtime student of China, with a unique vantage point to watch its power rise in the past few decades. He asks whether the growing ambition of China will inevitably lead to conflict with other major powers — and suggests another narrative.
TED 2015, filmed March 2015.
Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme. First broadcast in 1953, it is the world’s longest-running current affairs television programme. Robert Peston investigates the questions behind the phone hacking trial which saw David Cameron’s former spokesman, Andy Coulson, convicted.
Here @ the interpretOr we think it’s also a pretty good expose on the darkness that is Murdochus Operandi…
Momentum continues to build for the next UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris this December, with nations realising the huge benefits of climate action and getting on with the job of developing their national emissions reduction plans for the negotiations. These action plans – known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) – marry national goals reflecting individual circumstances and ambitions with a UN framework to keep average global warming below the internationally agreed 2DegC red line.
So far, Switzerland, the European Union, Norway, and Mexico have all submitted plans, but Australia has further cemented its reputation as a coal-obsessed wrecker by not only ignoring the deadline, but dragging its feet and only now calling for public submissions on what it should do. Its discussion paper ignores the 2DegC red line, it attempts to cook the books (again) by describing its current target as “equivalent to a reduction of 13 per cent below 2005 levels” instead of referring to its inadequate five percent below 1990 levels commitment. It also totally ignores the “5-25 per cent range” ittrumpeted in early 2010.
While the rest of the world moves forward, Australia’s climate change policy is “on course for ‘disastrous’ 4DegC warming” as it allows polluters to increase emissions as much as they like without penalty. While railing against the age of entitlement, the Abbott government is looking for special treatment to keep burning and selling coal. It claims it is determined to reduce emissions “without destroying jobs”, but its actions demonstrate that it does not understand the health, employment, environmental and economic benefits that come with cleaning up its economy. The Government has been captured by a dying coal industry, is fighting the future for it, and dooming Australia to climate pariah status on the world stage for its dim prospects.
Related Tree Alerts
- Australia cooking the books to meet emissions target as carbon pollution soars
- Climate Change Authority finds Australia’s 5% emissions target “not credible”
- Australia on a wing and a prayer as momentum builds for global climate deal
- Study shows keeping most coal in the ground is the only way to contain climate change
- Australian government’s “hard-line ideological agenda” at COP19 damaging reputation
- MT @Mattias_S: #Australia – when can we expect your #climate contributions, #INDC , You’re already behind #Mexico – Is that leadership?
- MT @MattGrudnoff: PM ‘Australia open for business’. Unless you’re an industry the govt is ideologically opposed to #auspol #climate http://t.co/E7UjKBOIqS
- MT @fionamcrobie: Submissions on Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction target can be made here: http://t.co/v65OQQe89B #auspol #climate
By Rami Khouri / AlterNet
BEIRUT — The agreed parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program that were reached Thursday between Iran and the P5+1 powers represent a monumental achievement that affirms the power of reason and diplomacy over the ravages of fear and warfare. The technical details of the complex understanding remain to be completed. For now, though, the lasting significant aspects of this development are about the past and the future: The past being the bold leadership that Iran and the United States have shown in launching and advancing the diplomatic negotiations, and the future being about the potential significant regional changes that will follow the implementation of a full agreement…
Rami G. Khouri is was founding director and now senior policy fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. Follow him on Twitter @ramikhouri.
The Booker prize winner Ian McEwan on the Charlie Hebdo attacks and freedom of speech…
“…We need to teach everyone just how important freedom of speech is…”
“…Talking and writing is all we’ve got. Slaughtering eacother is going to bring us to the very gates of hell.”
One of the six realms on the Buddhist Wheel of Life is the Hungry Ghost Realm, its inhabitants “creatures with scrawny necks, small mouths, emaciated limbs and large, bloated, empty bellies. This is the domain of addiction.”
A ravaged German-Canadian man is one day quoting the final lines of Goethe’s Faust, the next delivering a drug-fuelled anti-Semitic diatribe; a woman, very pregnant and intent on keeping her baby, is found beaten up on the sidewalk and screaming for drug money: these are among the hungry ghosts Dr. Gabor Maté encounters in his job as resident doctor at the Portland Hotel on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
TOP STORIES THIS WEEK
It’s clear that Rahm Emanuel is out for himself and his rich friends, not for Chicagoans.
BY RICK PERLSTEIN
Anti-fracking forces pushed Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to pass the ban, and proved conventional wisdom wrong.
BY ERIC WELTMAN
In order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we should forget, not dwell in, an ancient past.
BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK
Palestinian children are taken from their beds in night raids and not returned to their families for months.
BY BETH MASCHINOT
By any other name, it still smells like torture.
BY FLINT TAYLOR
The redesigned New York Times Magazine aims for a global outlook, but comes off as elitist.
BY SUSAN J. DOUGLAS
Public mental healthcare has been gutted in the past 50 years. An innovative Illinois law may provide an answer.
BY ANNE-MARIE CUSAC
Does a story-sharing program offer a chance at Southern reconciliation?
BY THEO ANDERSON
While money poured into the recent elections, voters showed that they are tired of business as usual.
BY KARI LYDERSEN
Kent Russell seeks to lay claim to the raw, serious stuff of the American male past.
BY CHRIS LEHMANN
The city’s progressives should claim no easy victories.
BY MARILYN KATZ
The victory wouldn’t have been possible without agitation from the grassroots.
BY JAY CASSANO
|WORKING IN THESE TIMES|
|How Chicago’s Grassroots Movements Defeated Rahm Emanuel at the Polls
The progressive swing in Chicago’s recent elections was no coincidence, it came out of years of grassroots organizing.
BY AMISHA PATEL
Each generation of artists has to be sensitive to the needs of changing social and cultural structures in order to select the tactics of their practice. Tactics involve shaking off the rigidity of the art system—its productions and value systems—and, ultimately, mobilizing spaces beyond artistic practice. This issue’s cover feature probes into how artists worldwide “strategize”: we examine the art fair, corporatized art production, the urban context, invented and incorporated artist identities, and other tactics that expand the possibilities for contemporary art.
In addition, Leap’s middle section introduces two artists—Liu Wei, a unique Beijing figure, and medium-savvy Taiwanese video artist Kao Chung-Li. Robin Peckham uses diagrams to investigate the material and linguistic features of Liu’s work between 1999 and 2015; while Hsu Fang-Tze analyzes Kao Chung-Li’s video practice by way of his machines (including all sorts of video cameras, projectors and other mechanisms for image circulation propelled by capitalism), and looks at how the artist turns his eye back on the intellectual hegemony of image machines and machine images alike…
… Greece, under fire; Ukraine special report ,can the ceasefire hold? nuclear fuel in question, the territory Russia doesn’t want; US-Iran, time for a nuclear deal? Israel, ‘Bibi’s’ (sic) latest trick; radicalisation, Africa’s jihadist threat, France’s sink estates, mobilising Muslim leaders; North Korea’s new girl power; HSBC, Europe’s taxing problem… and more…
::: click cover to access :::