Hailemariam Desalegn handing over power to Abiy Ahmed (left)

Today is World Refugee Day

While UNHCR has nothing to celebrate in terms of achievements, refugees from Ethiopia and specifically from the Oromo people flee across the borders to Kenya and Uganda, Sudan and Egypt, even to Eritrea.

Here is one of the reasons why:

USA’s "Soft" Coup in Ethiopia

By Thomas C. Mountain (*) - 20. June 2018

The USA has launched a “Soft Coup” in Ethiopia in an attempt to relieve growing revolutionary pressure from the Ethiopian people after three years of failed martial law rule.

These past three years had seen brutal repression with thousands killed and tens of thousands thrown into regime dungeons with no end in sight. The devil was taking his due, with a growing foreign currency shortage, unemployment and hunger and disease stalking the land, and to top it off the decades long divide and conquer ethnic warfare strategy of the regime has come home to roost.

What would it mean for AI to have a soul?

Siri, do you believe in God?

“Humans have religion. I just have silicon.”

Siri, do you believe in God?

“I eschew theological disquisition.”

Siri, I insist, do you believe in God?

“I would ask that you address your spiritual questions to someone more qualified to comment. Ideally, a human.”



The persecution of Julian Assange must end - or it will end in tragedy.

By John Pilger (*) - ICH - June 17, 2018

The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be.

They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home.

Economics for Ecology International Scientific Conference in Sumy,

Social Enviro-Economics are ruled by Ecology

Ukraine was started by students of Sumy State University in 1992. P-CED became involved in 2009 during the 15th annual conference. Our approach was to begin to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of economics for ecology in an overall context of economics in transition. The world economy, including Ukraine’s, had been hit hard by the economic meltdown in autumn of 2008.

For the remainder of 2009, study notes were added to the end of the online copy of the 2009 paper. This section explains those various study notes. The 2010 paper was an introduction to people-centered economics, including P-CED’s treatise. The 2010 presentation was based on feedback and discussions with students during the 2009 conference.

Study notes subsequent to the 2010 conference are here.

Donkeys are stolen, skinned in Africa to feed Chinese demand

No donkey could be left in Kenya in five years (sign the petition - below)

Donkeys raised by subcontractors of the world's largest donkey skin gel producer await for lunch in the city of Dong'e in eastern China's Shandong province, May 14, 2018. Growing hunger for the gel, known as "ejiao" in Chinese and believed to have medicinal and human life prolonging properties.

Dawn was just beginning to break when Joseph Kamonjo Kariuki woke to find his donkeys missing. The villager searched the bush frantically for the animals he depends on to deliver water for a living. But they were nowhere to be found.

It was the village’s children who led Kariuki to the ghastly remains. Three bloody, severed donkey heads lying on the ground. “I was in shock,” said Kariuki, who is known in his Kenyan village of Naivasha as “Jose wa Mapunda”. “Joseph of the Donkeys” in Swahili.

The latest victims of a black market for donkey skins

Kariuki believes his donkeys were the latest victims of a black market for donkey skins. These skins are a key ingredient in a Chinese health fad. Which is threatening the beasts of burden many Africans rely on for farm work and transporting loads.

Why Yemen’s civil war is personal for Mohammed bin Salman – Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen explained

Mohammed bin Salman meets military commanders in Riyadh to plan a Saudi air campaign against Houthi militants, 16th March 2015. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones / SIPA USA/ PA Images

“This is good news not only for the environment, but also for businesses, who can stand to benefit from reducing the costs associated to plastic use,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters Saturday.

Mr. Trudeau said Canada will also invest $100-million to rid oceans of global plastic pollution. According to the federal government, less than 10 per cent of all plastics are recycled worldwide. It also says there are more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans and, at this rate, plastics could outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050.

Julian Assange remains cut off from the world in Ecuador’s London embassy, shut off from friends, relatives and thousands of supporters, leaving him unable to do his crucial work, as John Pilger discusses with Dennis J. Bernstein.


By Dennis J Bernstein

In a recent communication between Randy Credico, an Assange supporter, comic and radio producer, and Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, Assange’s fear of arrest and extradition to the US was confirmed by the leader of the Russia-gate frenzy.

Credico received the following response from Schiff after meeting the the Congressman’s staff, in which Credico was trying to connect Assange with Schiff: “Our committee would be willing to interview Assange when he is in U.S. Custody and not before.”

Dennis Bernstein spoke with John Pilger, a close friend and supporter of Assange on May 29. The interview began with the statement Bernstein delivered for Pilger at the Left Forum last weekend in New York on a panel devoted to Assange entitled, “Russia-gate and WikiLeaks”.

Pilger’s Statement

pls sign see petition below
 
EU motorists forced to burn more palm oil and rainforest to meet green energy targets – new data

Carbon Footprints of Biofuels - rightclick/view to enlarge

Transport & Environment, June 7, 2018

The use of palm oil for EU biofuels dwarfs the amount used to make cookies, hazelnut spreads, ice cream, shampoo, lipsticks – and other food and cosmetic products. That’s according to new industry data which shows diesel cars and trucks burned 51% of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017.

Since the introduction of an EU law to promote biofuels in 2009, palm oil for biofuel has increased five times, from 825,000 tonnes in 2008 to 3.9 million tonnes in 2017, according to OILWORLD, industry reference for vegetable oils markets.

Today, European vehicles burn 38 times more palm oil than Nutella uses globally, and even 16 times more than the world’s largest user of palm oil for food making, Unilever.

Palm oil expansion in Indonesia and Malaysia drives deforestation and peatland drainage, while releasing greenhouse gas emissions and destroying the habitats of endangered species like orangutans. According to the Globiom study for the European Commission, palm oil biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than diesel.

Prologue: The following IUCN article is republished here because it provides some useful key facts and figures, thought it falls (typically for organizations who are in bed with corporations and their governments) short of the clear demands to really STOP any furthter forest destruction for palm oil.

Zero ecosystem function and no bioiversity: Young oil palm plantation on Sumatra, Indonesia. These plantations often extend to the horizon. Credit: Kerstin Wiegand, University of Goettingen - see article below

Palm oil and biodiversity

  • Palm oil is used in food, cosmetics, cleaning products and biofuel, and only grows in the biodiversity-rich tropics.
  • Palm oil is important for global food security and economic development.
  • Palm oil production increased 15-fold between 1980 and 2014 and will likely increase further.
  • Oil palm expansion could affect 54% of threatened mammals and 64% of threatened birds globally.
  • Because other oil crops have lower yields than oil palm, replacing it is not a solution.
  • To reduce its impacts on biodiversity, palm oil needs to be produced more sustainably by avoiding deforestation and cutting non-food palm oil use.

Lone-wolf hackers yield to mature businesses

State-sponsered or private Cyber Criminals damage all of us and threaten humanity.

By Tamas Gaidosch  - Finance & Development, June 2018

Cybercrime is now a mature industry operating on principles much like those of legitimate businesses in pursuit of profit. Combating the proliferation of cybercrime means disrupting a business model that employs easy-to-use tools to generate high profits with low risk.

Long gone are the legendary lone-wolf hackers of the late 1980s, when showing off level 99 computer wizard skills was the main reason to get into other people’s computers. The shift to profit making, starting in the 1990s, has gradually taken over the hacking scene to create today’s cybercrime industry, with all the attributes of normal businesses, including markets, exchanges, specialist operators, outsourcing service providers, integrated supply chains, and so on. Several nation-states have used the same technology to develop highly effective cyber weaponry for intelligence gathering, industrial espionage, and disrupting adversaries’ vulnerable infrastructures.

Evolution

Cybercrime has proliferated even though the supply of highly skilled specialists has not kept pace with the increasing technical sophistication needed to pull off profitable hacks with impunity. Advanced tooling and automation have filled the gap. Hacking tools have evolved spectacularly over the past two decades. In the 1990s, so-called penetration testing to find vulnerabilities in a computer system was all the rage in the profession.

Most tools available at that time were simple, often custom built, and using them required considerable knowledge in programming, networking protocols, operating system internals, and various other deeply technical subjects. As a result, only a few professionals could find exploitable weaknesses and take advantage of them.

Prologue: Former Kenya Forest Service director Emilio Mugo was recently suspended and replaced over the ongoing destruction of forests all over the country. Environment CS Keriako Tobiko initiated a major shake-up in the corruption-riddled forest service.

Kenya’s REDD programme risks exacerbating violence against indigenous Sengwer communities in Embobut forest
Houses of the Sengwer set ablaze by officers from Police and Forest Department in Kenya


in Kenya

Since January 2014, Kenya Forest Service guards have carried out a series of violent evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people from their homes in Embobut forest. While the evictions took place the Kenya Forest Service was funded by international donors, including the World Bank, the European Union, and the Finnish government.

These internationally funded aid projects failed to learn the lessons from the previous projects. The evictions and violence against the Sengwer, and other indigenous peoples in Kenya, were simply ignored in project documents.

Now the UNDP and the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) are working on developing a REDD programme in Kenya. A Draft Project Document produced in February 2018 shows no sign that any lessons have been learned.

Families torn apart

Ismail Kirop, a Sengwer man, describes what happened to him on 2 April 2017 when he was filming Kenya Forest Service guards burning houses in Embobut forest:

New Study Says:
90 percent of all animal species appeared at the same time

As it turns out, DNA barcoding has proven that 90 percent of all more complex species on Earth appeared at the same time, as if Earth was seeded with these lifeforms.

What's he origin and what's the plan?

Massive Genetic Study Reveals
90 Percent Of Earth’s Animals Appeared At The Same Time

By  - Tech Times - 30 May 2018

The latest research is debunking current knowledge about evolution. After studying 5 million genetic barcodes, scientists found 90 percent of species on Earth may have emerged around the same time as humans.


Landmark new research that involves analyzing millions of DNA bar-codes has debunked much about what we know today about the evolution of species.

In a massive genetic study, senior research associate at the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University Mark Stoeckle and University of Basel geneticist David Thaler discovered that virtually 90 percent of all animals on Earth appeared at right around the same time.

Revealed: industrial-scale beef farming comes to the UK

Horrific scenes at industrial beef production sites in the UK. Pic: Bureau

A Bureau investigation finds a dozen intensive beef units in Britain

By Andrew Wasley , Heather Kroeker - 29. May 2018

Thousands of British cattle reared for supermarket beef are being fattened in industrial scale beef farms, many of them controversial US-style "feedlots" where livestock have significantly reduced or no access to pasture.

Research by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has established that the UK is now home to a number of large beef herds of up to 3,000 cattle, with many livestock kept for extended periods in grassless pens or yards rather than being grazed or barn-reared.

Leaked report highlights decades of failures

Ruud Lubbers, who was the UN high commissioner for refugees, said that “concrete evidence” was “scarce” Mian Khursheed / Reuters
TheTimes -

More than a dozen international aid organisations are implicated in a sex-for-food scandal documented by an official United Nations report that has never been published.

The Times has obtained a copy of the 84-page document produced by research teams working in refugee camps in west Africa for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Save the Children in 2001. It identified more than 40 aid organisations “whose workers are alleged to be in sexually exploitative relationships with refugee children”.

Many were small local charities but the list included 15 international organisations including the UNHCR and the World Food Programme and the British charities Save the Children and Merlin. International NGOs including Médecins Sans Frontières, Care International, the International Rescue Committee, the International Federation of Red Cross Societies and the Norwegian Refugee Council were also named in the report.

A refugee arguing with G4S guards at the UNHCR offices in Westlands Nairobi /VICTOR IMBOTO

- says refugees attack staff

 

The UN refugee agency in Westlands has be closed, amid claims of harassment by asylum seekers.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees offices have been closed since May 22. However, the spokesman denied the claims.

 “Appointments have been suspended due to attacks and threats by refugees against staff. Services will resume as soon their safety is guaranteed,” a text sent by the agency to some refugees on Wednesday read.

Our attempts to access the office on Thursday and Friday were futile. Security guards and police officers blocked the office. They violently chased away refugees.

 “The office is not closed. UNHCR continues to receive refugees and interact with refugees in various ways. Refugees are continuously being received at Shauri Moyo. We also have a 24 hour helpline which refugees can call,” spokesperson Yvonne Ndege said.