Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

Aboriginal women are the largest cohort of prisoners in Australia, despite making up only 2 percent of the population.

Vickie Roach says imprisonment disproportionately targets Aboriginal women, who are already disadvantaged in society [Sylvia Liber/Al Jazeera]

By  - 0

Melbourne, Australia - Vickie Roach was 12 the first time she was imprisoned.

Forty-eight years ago, in the early 1970s, she was arrested after running away from abusive foster homes and institutions.

"The morning after you arrive, you have to go see the doctor. They would examine you to see if you were pregnant or had STDs. And if you weren't cooperative they would hold you down and do it," said Roach, now 60.

For a young girl who had been sexually abused, this procedure was "traumatic".

But her contact with the criminal justice system in Australia began even earlier - when she was two. 

Global Expression Report 2018-19: global freedom of expression at a ten-year low

Media Freedom at 10 years low and risks for journalists and activists dramatically increased.

Summary

The Global Expression Report 2018-19 shows that global freedom of expression at its lowest for a decade.

Gains that were made between 2008 – 2013 have been eroded over the last five years.

Repressive responses to street protests are contributing to the decline in freedom of expression around the world.

Africa Uncensored: The Journalists Exposing Corruption in Kenya

Africa Uncensored is an investigative journalism collective in Kenya that covers stories often unreported by the media [screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Journalists at Africa Uncensored investigate incompetence and corruption in a multimillion-dollar healthcare deal.

"Our goal is to show Africa as it really is: The good, the bad, the ugly, the potential," says John Allan Namu, an investigative journalist in Nairobi, Kenya.

He co-founded Africa Uncensored, an investigative journalism collective that works to hold the government accountable and cover stories often unreported by the media.

They are working on a massive story: The government is believed to have misappropriated millions of dollars after Kenya's health minister signed a multimillion-dollar deal in 2015 for what he said was much-needed hospital equipment. The government also promised to invest in the improvement of Kenya's medical services, which were seen to be especially failing the poor.

In hunted rainforests, termites lose their dominance

An African forest elephant photographed by Rice University graduate student Therese Lamperty in Gabon. Lamperty studied how the presence of megafauna like elephants affect insect populations in preserved and hunted forests. The study showed that termite populations in particular suffered when elephants are absent. Credit: Therese Lamperty

By Mike Williams - 02. December 2019

A tiny termite might see an elephant's foot as its biggest threat. But when elephants and other large herbivores are lost to hunting, the termite's troubles are just beginning.

Rice University scientists were surprised to learn the extent to which declines of  like elephants, buffaloes and gorillas in hunted areas of an African forest were linked to changes in the population of the tiny-but-important insects.

A study by Rice ecologist Amy Dunham and graduate student Therese Lamperty, published in Biological Conservation, reported that in African rainforests where  are hunted, the abundance of termites falls by 170 times.

Even in an environment that is home to an estimated 10,400 termites per square meter, that's a significant drop, according to the researchers. Termites, they reported, are important ecosystem engineers responsible for plant decomposition, carbon flux and the physical properties of the soil, and serve as a key food resource for other denizens.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today

We all contribute to climate change. We all must help solve it. 
Download the full report here.

 - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

Key Conclusions

An environmental and economic disaster from human-induced climate change is on the horizon.  

To achieve the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels requires reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

An analysis of current commitments to reduce emissions between 2020 and 2030 shows that almost 75 percent of the climate pledges are partially or totally insufficient to contribute to reducing GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and some of these pledges are unlikely to be achieved.

Of the 184 climate pledges, 36 were deemed sufficient (20 percent), 12 partially sufficient (6 percent), 8 partially insufficient (4 percent) and 128 insufficient (70 percent).

Because the climate pledges are voluntary, technicalities, loopholes and conditions continue to postpone decisive global action to reduce emissions and address climate change.

APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO END THE SLAUGHTER OF RWANDAN REFUGEES IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.

The world simply doesn't recognize the horrific struggle of refugees and IDPs in DRC and elsewhere in Africa just to survive.

The FDU-Inkingi condemns in the strongest terms possible the complacent attitude of the international community in the face of the slaughter of the Rwandan refugees in South Kivu by Rwandan security Forces aided by the Congolese Armed Forces.

We believe that the hunt against alleged negative forces is a pretext by the Rwandan repressive regime to serve a bigger design to force Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda  or kill those who resist and to loot DRC mineral resources. The leadership of the alleged negative forces have been abducted, killed or returned to Rwanda. The alleged negative forces have therefore become a useful enemy. For example, one of the charges against Colonel Byabagamba former commander of Kagame protection unit is that he said that FDLR does not pause real threat to the security of Rwanda. 

Since1996 the fight against alleged negative forces is part of an overall strategy of the Rwandan regime to force Hutu refugees to come back to Rwanda, to kill or destabilise those who resist forced return. President Kagame is on record boasting publicly “we repatriated those who had to be repatriated and shot those who had to shot” yes, we shot them he emphasized. The UN mapping report made an estimate of 200,000 Hutu refugees slaughtered by the Rwandan army (https://www.mapping-report.org/en/first-congo-war-attacks-against-hutu-refugees). In his speech in Murambi on April 7, 2007 President Kagame told the public that what saddened him was about ”those millions who have crossed the border after killing”  and “we did not have time to make sure some do not make it to their destination”. For the Rwandan regime, those who did not come back are all genocidaires or children of genocidaires who have not right to live. 

The current military operation endorsed by the government of the DRC and tolerated by the international community is, but an ongoing implementation of the promise made by President Kagame at Murambi on April 7, 2006 that “What we could not do in that time. we will”. It cannot be said enough that the estimated 245,000 Hutu refugees in the DRC, are survivors or children of survivors of slaughter by the Rwandan army during the 2 invasions of the DRC. Allowing the Rwandan regime to launch military operations is issuing a new licence to the Rwandan regime to clean up the survivors of the 1996-1998 slaughter that the UN mapping calls genocidal

It is quite shocking that the international community and particularly financial donors of the Rwandan totalitarian regime who suspended aid to Rwanda for its support to the murderous M23 rebel group would look on when members of this criminal group are being cleared of their crimes, retrained by the Rwanda ready to join in the hunt for Hutu refugees in the DRC. 

It is an open secret that the impoverished Rwanda has no financial capacity to carry out military campaigns abroad. Donors are indirectly subsiding this war in which war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocidal crimes being committed by the Rwandan soldiers and their accomplices in the DRC who include the military and former members of the criminal M23 rebel movement. 

We call on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the UN to end these criminal acts against Rwandan refugees,  the majority of whom are women and children.  The universal declaration of human rights is hot air if the international community cannot defend these innocent people. The complacent attitude of the international community on these heinous crimes is tantamount to complicity. It is an offence against human conscience. 

We appeal to His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo HE Felix Tshisekedi, who declared in his inauguration ceremony that human rights would be his priority,  to intervene and save these innocent refugees. 

We call on the sponsors of the funders of the Rwandan regime to apply the same pressure that they applied in 2012 on Rwanda dictatorial regime to end support to M23, to use the same pressure to stop this criminal gang from joining the Rwandan forces to kill Hutu refugees.  This operation is undermining our efforts to bring reconciliation among Rwandans.

Rouen, November 30, 2019

Statement sent by Théophile MPOZEMBIZI 

Commissionner Information and communication, FDU-INKINGI

 ;  

 

And like always the UN and the UNHCR did nothing to stop the slaughter.

 

UPDATES:

Massacre of Rwandan Refugees Using Combat Helicopters and Fighter Jets in the Congolese Forests of South Kivu

Press Release no.018/ 2019/11/29

Since November 25th, 2019 until today, the FARDC (DRC Armed Forces), together with the Rwandan soldiers in uniform of the Congolese Army continue to massacre the Rwandan refugees after bombing and destroying their refugee camp in Kalehe territory in the South Kivu. The Congolese and Western media seems to have been suspiciously banned from reporting on these massacres, which are taking place in absolute silence. According to the latest UNHCR census, there are still more than 250,000 Rwandan refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our reliable sources within RDF (Rwandan Defense Forces), various diplomatic and military sources in Africa and the West, indicate that combat helicopters, fighter jets and very heavy bombardments are still planned this weekend with a despicable goal of decimating all these refugees by Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019.

 The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD-Ubumwe) holds the governments of Rwanda and DRC as well as the International Community accountable for this ongoing genocide. Furthermore, these massacres are being planned by Rwandan President General Paul KAGAME as a continuation of the massacres of more than 400,000 refugees of 1996-1998, which have been mentioned in the UN Mapping Report as genocide if these facts were qualified as so by a competent court: 

(https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CF/Mapping2003-2015/2017CAR_Mapping_Report_EN.pdf).

We call on the International Community to act now and to put pressure on the Congolese President and that of Rwanda to stop these massacres and for the Rwandan military to leave Congolese territory immediately. 

Brussels, November, 29th, 2019

For the MRCD-Ubumwe, the College of Presidents:

Wilson IRATEGEKA, President-in-Office

Paul RUSESABAGINA, Vice-Chairman

Kassim BUTOYI, Vice-Chairman

Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU, Vice-Chairman and Spokesperson

Kagame in Congo again with the objective of repeating the massacres of refugees

Press release n° 016/ 2019/11/14

The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (hereinafter RMDC-Ubumwe), has just learnt an alarming news that since yesterday, November 13, 2019, military troops have been positioned around the main Rwandan refugee camps in Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These troops are primarily made of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) members masquerading as Congolese soldiers with the objective of repeating the massacre of these refugees in similar fashion as in 1996-1998 as compiled in the UN Mapping Report: 

(https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CF/Mapping2003-2015/2017CAR_Mapping_Report_EN.pdf).

On this occasion, the RMDC recaps that for the past 23 years, Rwandan refugees in DRC have been subjected to murder and all forms of violations, in the total indifference of both the UN forces (MONUSCO) – that have been on ground since 1999 – and of the entire international community. However, under the Congolese law and the Geneva Convention of 28/07/1951, both the Congolese State as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have officially recognized these refugees. Moreover, and after a census, the National Commission for Refugees (NCR), together with the UNHCR have issued a refugee certificate to each of these refugees valid until 31/12/2021.

The RMDC appeals to the minds and the conscience of international community. In view of international norms, these Rwandan refugees should be protected as many other refugees around the world, especially that many of them are made of children under the age of 25, born in exile. In addition to this dehumanized youth, the Rwandan refugee group in the DRC is made of women and elderly people. The approaching attacks on these refugees are likely to cause an irreversible humanitarian disaster, a situation particularly sought by Paul Kagame and the torturers of humanity who only target the natural resources of the DR Congo.

In light with the above, the RMDC-Ubumwe is launching this alert and calls on all the people of goodwill to act against the imminent slaughter in Eastern DRC. Given the magnitude of the danger and its imminence, the United Nations and its partners, should intervene to defeat the Rwandan government’s planned massacre of refugees and instructs Paul Kagame to halt these attacks and repatriate his soldiers.

Done in Brussels, November 14, 2019

For the MRCD-Ubumwe, the College of Presidents:

  Wilson IRATEGEKA, President-in-Office

  Paul RUSESABAGINA, Vice-President

  Kassim BUTOYI, Vice-President

  Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU, Vice-President and Spokesperson

Rwandan soldiers in Congolese army uniform, attacked and destroyed the Rwandan refugee camp in Kalehe territory

Press release no. 017/ 2019/11/26

On the night of 25 to 26 November 2019, the FARDC (Armed Forces of the DRC), together with the Rwandan soldiers in Congolese army uniform, attacked and destroyed the Rwandan refugee camp in Kalehe territory in South Kivu. The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD-Ubumwe) had nevertheless alerted the International Community of the imminence of these attacks given the encirclement of this camp since 13/11/2019 by members of the RDF (Rwandese Defence Forces) disguised as Congolese soldiers.  

We denounce the silence and passivity of the International Community before such massacres against the survivors of the genocide perpetrated in Congo by the same troops of General Paul KAGAME in 1996-1998, as proved in the UN Mapping Report: 

(https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CF/Mapping2003-2015/2017CAR_Mapping_Report_EN.pdf).

These massacres of refugees are committed with the indifference of the UN military force MONUSCO, which has been present in the DRC since 1999. The MRCD-Ubumwe also recalls that MONUSCO has several soldiers not far from this camp of attacked refugees. 

We call on the International Community to assume its responsibilities by providing assistance to these refugees in danger, although they are known and recognized by both the Congolese State and UNHCR, as recalled in our previous press release No. 016/2019/11/14 (https://mrcdubumwe.org/press-release-n-016-2019-11-14/), by condemning the recurrence of these massacres and by demanding an immediate end to the aggression and the withdrawal of Rwandan soldiers from the DRC to prevent them from pursuing these crimes.

  Brussels, November 26th, 2019.

For the MRCD-Ubumwe, the College of Presidents:

Wilson IRATEGEKA, President-in-Office

Paul RUSESABAGINA, Vice-Chairman

Kassim BUTOYI, Vice-Chairman

Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU, Vice-Chairman and Spokesperson

It' not the first time - see this report of 31 October 2008:

DR Congo refugee camps 'burned'

By BBC - 31. October 2008

The UN refugee agency says it has credible reports camps sheltering 50,000 refugees in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been destroyed.

Reports suggest the camps were forcibly emptied and looted before being burned.

Aid groups say they are struggling to reach an estimated 250,000 people in the region fleeing fierce fighting between government and rebel forces.

The EU said the presidents of DR Congo and Rwanda had agreed to attend an emergency summit in the coming weeks.

After meetings in the region, Louis Michel, the European humanitarian aid commissioner, said Rwanda's Paul Kagame had his Congolese counterpart Jospeh Kabila would meet in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. 

See detailed map of the area

Mr Michel said renegade rebel general Laurent Nkunda had not yet been asked to join the talks.

The commissioner told the BBC: "This conference has to have the kind of road map with complete monitoring system to assess if people who have signed this kind of agreement have delivered."

A ceasefire is holding in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but aid agency chiefs say the situation remains highly volatile.

Stampede

Food and water are scarce, and aid agencies have all but stopped work.

The BBC's Orla Guerin witnessed scenes of chaos at a refugee camp in Kibati on the outskirts of Goma, as desperately hungry people stampeded.

Children were trampled underfoot and panicked aid staff were forced to beat back the heaving crowd.

Congolese soldier with refugee women in Goma - 30/10/2008

Exodus as terror spreads

Q&A: DR Congo conflict

In pictures: Congo crisis

Miliband flying out to DR Congo

Our correspondent managed to pluck to safety one little girl who was knocked over in the melee and reunite her with her father.

Gen Nkunda's forces are positioned some 15km (nine miles) from Goma.

The origin of the ongoing conflict in eastern DR Congo is the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda.

Gen Nkunda says he is fighting to protect his Tutsi community from attack by Rwandan Hutu rebels, some of whom are accused of taking part in the genocide.

The Congolese government has often promised to stop Hutu forces from using its territory, but has not done so.

There have also been accusations of collusion between DR Congo's army and Hutu guerrillas.

The Congolese government, for its part, has accused Rwanda of backing Gen Nkunda.

Rwanda denies this, but it has twice invaded its much larger neighbour in recent years.

'Extremely unsafe'

The UNHCR refugee agency said it was very concerned at reports that the camps in Rutshuru, 90km (56 miles) north of Goma, had been destroyed.

UN peacekeeper in Goma, 31 Oct 2008

UN troops are struggling to prevent an escalation

"There are some 50,000 people who were in those camps. We don't know where they would be, we're afraid that they may have just dispersed off into the bush," spokesman Ron Redmond said.

Gen Nkunda said on Thursday that he was opening a "humanitarian corridor" for people to return to their homes.

Those who did reach Kibati told the BBC that they had more chance of getting food in the forests and bushes around the village than inside Goma.

Gen Nkunda has threatened to take the city unless UN peacekeepers guarantee the ceasefire and security there.

The UN has more than 17,000 peacekeeping troops in DR Congo - the largest UN force in the world - but correspondents say it is struggling to cope with the crisis.

Looting, killings and rapes were reported in the city on Thursday, much of it blamed on retreating Congolese troops.

Map

 

 

 

 

COP25: youth ‘leadership’ contrasts with government inaction, says UN chief

Ahead of Madrid climate change conference António Guterres says political will missing

Striking school pupils in London. Photograph: Guy Smallman/Getty

By  - TG - 0

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, contrasted the “leadership” and “mobilisation” shown by the world’s youth on the climate emergency with the lack of action by governments, which were failing to keep up with the urgency of the problem despite increasing signs that the climate was reaching breakdown.

Before the start of a critical conference on the climate crisis on Monday, he said the world had the technical and economic means to halt climate chaos, but what was missing was political will.

UPDATE: Bolsonaro Clan Is Investigated for Money Laundering

Brazilian president claims Leonardo DiCaprio funded Amazon fires

PORTO VELHO, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL. Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)

By  -  30. November 2019

  • Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro claims actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio funded fire-setting in the Amazon rainforest.
  • Bolsonaro offered no evidence to support his claims, but his rhetoric echoes comments made in August when he blamed environmental groups for starting fires in the region.
  • DiCaprio has raised money for NGOs working to protect the Amazon.
  • Deforestation has increased dramatically since Bolsonaro assumed office.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has accused actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio of funding fire-setting in the Amazon rainforest.

There’s A Message In Protests Occurring Worldwide, From Hong Kong To Chile, #OKboomer?

Women protest against gender violence with a sign reading "I was not born a woman to die for being one" in Santiago on Friday. Like many protests, the ones in Chile have spread and widened in scrope. AFP via Getty Images

By Ken Roberts - 30. 

Tucked away in the often-massive protests occuring in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America is an important message, the beginning of an inflection point in world affairs.

The issues of the old guard — think #OKboomer — are giving way to issues important to those entering and in the early years of adulthood.

Think about it. Globalization, which has incurred the wrath of protesters for decades, is this time the enabler for millions of demonstrators.

They are all armed with cell phones and apps.

They are communicating and collaborating, using AirDrop, WhatsApp, Telegram and other apps. Not just locally but across borders.

Because it is not about globalization, is not about export-import trade, it signals that the debate that has held sway, that continues to told sway among the generation that still holds the reigns of formal power, is likely to wither away.

The Rush To A Cashless Society Only Serves Globalist Interests

Economic enslavement under a globalists scheme is the ultimate goal of the elite, but a nightmare for the people.

By Brandon Smith - 29 November 2019

A fundamental pillar of true free markets is the existence of choice; the availability of options from production to providers to purchase mechanisms without interference from governments or corporate monopolies. Choice means competition, and competition drives progress. Choice can also drive changes within society, for if people know a better or more secure way of doing things exists, why would anyone want to stay trapped within the confines of a limited system? At the very least, people should be allowed to choose economic mechanisms that work best for their particular situation.

This is NOT how our society functions today, and free market do not exist anywhere in modern nations including the USA. Whenever I hear someone (usually a socialist) blame free market “capitalism” for the oppressive ailments of the world, I have to laugh. The alliance between governments and corporate monopolies (what Mussolini called national socialism or fascism) makes free markets utterly impossible.

Prologue: The Loliondogate scandal erupted already back in 1991 and evolved 1993 after the businessman and at the time deputy minister for defence of the UAE, Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Ali, had on 11th November 1992 been granted a most irregular 10-year contract for the Loliondo hunting blocks North and South in the interest of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai and his son the Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. There the company (OBC), which he was advised to set up by the then Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mgumia, would start its operation on 1st April 1993. During almost 30 years many scandals and atrocities were caused by the Arab presence in Northern Tanzania, people were murderd and crippled, a foreign journalist was killed and others got imprisioned and expelled, local people were evicted and tortured, wildlife was maimed, livestock was destroyed and houses burned to the ground, but the Tanzanian government was so far not able to get rid of this menace desecrating the lands of the Maasai. That they can be stopped was shown by an international activist action when the same group also wanted to grab the Yaida valley, ancetral home of the Hadza people, the last hunter-gatherer culture in East Africa. But in the case of Loliondo it is so far only proven that the Tanzanian government is either too weak or too corrupt to cleanse the land, end the presence of malicious foreign entities like OBC, Thompson or others and maintain the peace for the benefit of the local community.

Violence erupts yet again against the Maasai in Loliondo, northern Tanzania

The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the root cause for all the human rights violations in Loliondo. He is a cruel man, who even tortures and confines his own wives and  children. A persistent shame for Tanzania and all Tanzanians.

By  - 28. November 2018

In September 2018, the East African Court of Justice granted an interim order preventing the government of Tanzania and its agents from evicting people from four Maasai villages in northern Tanzania: Ololosokwan, Oloirien, Kirtalo, and Arashi.

This was a major victory for the Maasai, who have faced a series of violent evictions in recent years. But less than two months later, Susanna Nordlund reports that evictions have started again.

Nordlund has been documenting human rights abuses in the name of tourism and conservation in Loliondo since 2010.

Since 1992, Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC) has been running hunting safaris on the Maasai’s territory. OBC is a United Arab Emirates company. Nordlund writes that,

In wide areas around the camp of OBC, that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, people are being attacked and beaten, and chased away together with their cattle. This is not only a crime against human rights and Tanzanian law, but it’s a serious violation of interim orders issued by the East African Court of Justice on 25th September this year.

Partridge Populations Down 91 Percent in Germany

​​​​Incredibly, the Germans are not even able to preserve the Partridge (Perdix perdix) in their natural or cultural landscapes. Picture: Calling Partridge cock - Rolfes/djv

By dpa/et - 28. November 2019

It used to be found "on every field". But now the Partridge is one of the most declimated wild bird species in Germany. According to experts, it can be helped locally – but there is no real hope.

In the past, one accidentally spooked a group of Partridges in the field, which then flew up with loud and typical wing-flapping. But now the former hunting-bird species is threatened and could die out despite support measures.

Conservation biologist Eckhard Gottschalk from the University of Göttingen tells us: Such surprising encounters between humans and these birds are a thing of the past.

"These times are long gone," says the researcher from the University of Göttingen. The animals that once basically belonged "to every field" have suffered a more dramatic loss of population in recent decades than almost any other bird species.

 

Prologue: From the days of the British and Chinese opium-wars, to the tremendously increased and US-bound poppy production in Afghanistan and straight to the latest narco-wars in Mexico as well as many South-American countries, the Indigenous people have realized that the false promises and shortlived payments by the drug-barons as well as the "aid" by the USA is not and never really helping them on the long-run. 

Venezuela Neutralized 174 Narco-Aircrafts Since Chavez Expelled the DEA (Updated: 175)

The end of a drug-smuggling flight operation in Bolivian airspace. 

By OT - 28. November 2019

The Operational Strategic Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEO-FANB) reported on Sunday November 17 that a Colombian drug trafficking aircraft was detected and neutralized within the framework of Operation Venezuela Sovereignty and Peace 2019.

The Aerospace Defense System of the CEO-FANB enforced the legal protocols to the narco-aircraft that was trying to use Venezuela’s airspace for the transfer of illicit substances from Colombia.

How to commit war crimes and get away with it

John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, threatened the ICC that if they pursued a case against the U.S., then the Trump administration would go after the ICC prosecutor and judges personally.

By Vijay Prashad - 27. November 2019

US President Donald Trump fired his Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Twitter. The main reason was that the navy secretary did not follow Trump’s advice regarding Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty OfficerEdward (Eddie) Gallagher. Trump wanted Gallagher to retain his position as a Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land Team member). Gallagher was accused of stabbing to death a wounded ISIS fighter in 2017; he was also accused of other incidents including the murders of a schoolgirl and an elderly man, and then of obstruction of justice. In July this year, a military court acquitted Gallagher of most of the charges but found him guilty of posing with the body of the fighter who had been stabbed to death.

Gallagher’s situation emerged on to the front pages only because of Trump’s intervention. Otherwise, when such accusations of war crimes or “misconduct” emerge, they are sometimes investigated, and then they just dissipate. Report upon report has accumulated over the past 16 years of war crimes committed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US-NATO war on Afghanistan began in 2001, while the US war on Iraq began in 2003. Hardly a day goes by in these countries when their combatants aren’t committing war crimes.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

An aeroplane flies over a glacier in the Wrangell St Elias National Park in Alaska. Credit: Frans Lanting/Nat Geo Image Collection

The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.

PDF version

Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points1 in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes.

UN: The world has backed itself into a dangerous corner on climate change

A global wave of youth-led activism around climate change is rising, but countries remain further than ever from their climate change goals. Umair Irfan/Vox

Countries are far off course in meeting emissions goals. More drastic actions are needed to get back on track.

By Umair Irfan - 26. November 

The world is further off course than ever from meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement and averting climate catastrophe as the divide between countries’ pledges and actions continues to grow.

This grim assessment comes from the latest United Nations Emissions Gap Report published Tuesday. “Gap” refers to the difference between what countries have committed to do to limit climate change and what they actually need to do to meet greenhouse gas targets.

The findings aren’t surprising, given that global greenhouse gas emissions have reached all-time highs in recent years, but they are still alarming. Since the first gap report was published in 2010, carbon dioxide emissions have risen 11 percent.