Prologue: Since years the work in nature protection and Indigenous peopels' rights in the DRC has been nearly impossible due to the resource wars for blood-gold and other rare earth and minerals exploitation to supply the most powerful corporations worldwide. The mercenaries from the UN (MONUSCO), infamous for their sexual exploitation of local populations, thereby always served as spy- and prospecting-contingent for the countries that send the soldiers, but since 2013 these UN-thugs have become now with their combat-mandate a protection-force for the exploitation operations and their respective militias. Refugees from the Eastern DRC in Uganda and Kenya bear witness to horrible crimes against humanity. The aboriginal Twa people are on the brink of extinction.

Swiss open war crimes probe into DRC mineral trade

The UN report said Huber had connections with several companies, including in Rwanda, a country that along with Uganda backed several rebel militias that fought in eastern DRC.   AFP PHOTO 

By AFP - 12. December 2019

In Summary

  • Millions of lives were lost in the 1998-2003 conflict, which also saw Ugandan and Rwandan troops enter Congolese territory. 
  • Eastern DRC has been devastated by waves of violence, much of it blamed on rival militia, since the conflict. 

Switzerland said Thursday that it had opened a war crimes investigation into possible illegal mineral trading in the Democratic Republic of Congo after activist groups filed a complaint against Swiss trader Christoph Huber. 

The office of Switzerland's attorney general (OAG) refused to confirm to AFP that Huber was the target of the criminal probe opened in March 2018. 

'We Are Unstoppable, Another World Is Possible!': Young Climate Activists Storm COP 25 Stage

Protesters demand world leaders at the global climate summit urgent address the planetary emergency - and were thrown out of the premises in an unprecedented affront against registered observers. 

CSO protest at COP25 (Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
(official protest note below)

By Andrea Germanos - 11. December 2019

Young activists shout slogans on stage after Greta Thunberg (not in the picture) took part in the plenary session during the COP25 Climate Conference on December 11, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. The COP25 conference brings together world leaders, climate activists, NGOs, indigenous people and others for two weeks in an effort to focus global policy makers on concrete steps for heading off a further rise in global temperatures.

Young activists took over and occupied the main stage at the COP 25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain Wednesday and demanded world leaders commit to far more ambitious action to address the ecological emergency.

Donald Trump Jr. Went to Mongolia, Got Special Treatment From the Government and Killed a Vulnerable Wild Sheep (PLEASE SIGN PETITION - see also below)

Altai Argali, Ovis ammon ammon The threatened wild sheep is classified as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN Red List and listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Nighthunting, when these day-active sheep usually rest, and the use of a laser-equipped gun is considered unethical.

During a summer 2019 hunting trip, Donald Trump Jr. killed a rare Altay Argali sheep.

The Mongolian government issued him a hunting permit retroactively and he met with the country’s president.

By Jake Pearson and Anand Tumurtogoo - ProPublica - 11. December 2019

The rocky highlands of Central Asia, in a remote region of Western Mongolia, are home to a plummeting population of the largest sheep in the world, the Argali.

The endangered species is beloved for its giant curving horns, which can run over 6 feet in length.

On a trophy hunting trip this August, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one.

His adventure was supported by government resources from both the U.S. and Mongolia, which each sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip.

It also thrust Trump Jr. directly into the controversial world of Mongolian trophy hunting — a polarizing practice in a country that views the big-horned rams as a national treasure.

China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt are World's Worst Jailers of Journalists

A June 5, 2019, photo shows a 'media interview area' for reporters set up near the Idkah mosque on the morning of Eid al-Fitr, when Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan, in Kashgar, in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. China was the world’s leading jailer of journalists in 2019, with at least 48 in prison. (AFP/Greg Baker)

For the fourth consecutive year, at least 250 journalists are imprisoned globally as authoritarians like Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mohammed bin Salman, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi show no signs of letting up on the critical media.

CPJ special report by Elana Beiser (*) - 11. December 2019

NEW YORK - The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal. Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of journalists locked up in the region -- particularly in Saudi Arabia, which is now on par with Egypt as the third worst jailer worldwide.

In its annual global survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found at least 250 journalists in jail in relation to their work, compared with an adjusted 255 a year earlier. The highest number of journalists imprisoned in any year since CPJ began keeping track is 273 in 2016. After China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, the worst jailers are Eritrea, Vietnam, and Iran.

There is Hope - Time to Act!

Ms. Greta Thunberg speaks out at COP25 in Madrid

By Greta Thunberg - 11. December 2019

Well, I tell you there is hope - I have seen it.

But it does not come from the governments or corporations - it comes from the people.  The people, who have been unaware, but are now starting to wake up. 

And once we become aware, we change. People can change. People are ready for change. 

And that is the hope, because we have democracy. And democracy is happening all the time, not just on election day, but every second and every hour.

Colombia's Amazon forest gets boost with $366 million protection fund

As Brazil's government pulls back on forest protection, European money to preserve forests flows to Colombia

The lowland Amazon forest in Colombia is not subjected to the Coca wars that cause much of the deforestation in the highlands. 

By Anastasia Moloney - 11. December 2019

BOGOTA, Dec 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Norway, Germany and Britain said on Thursday they would spend up to $366 million over the next five years to help Colombia reduce deforestation in its vast Amazon rainforest.

The three nations have backed Colombia's efforts to preserve forest areas covering almost 60 million hectares since 2015, with about $180 million invested so far.

"The renewal of the declaration is a recognition of Colombia's ability to reverse the deforestation trend, having achieved a 10% reduction in deforestation in 2018 compared to 2017," the countries said in a joint statement.

Glyphosate and Roundup Proven to Disrupt Gut Microbiome by Inhibiting Shikimate Pathway

New study has proven beyond doubt that Glyphosate and Roundup damag the gut microbiome.

By GM Watch - 11. December 2019

The primary mechanism of how glyphosate herbicides kill plants is by inhibiting an enzyme called EPSPS, which is part of a biochemical pathway known as the shikimate pathway. The shikimate pathway is responsible for the synthesis of certain aromatic amino acids that are vital for the production of proteins, the building blocks of life. Thus when the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids is blocked by glyphosate inhibition of EPSPS, the plant dies.

Humans and animals do not have the shikimate pathway, so industry and regulators have claimed that glyphosate is nontoxic to humans.[1] However, some strains of gut bacteria do have the shikimate pathway, leading to much debate about whether Roundup and glyphosate could affect the gut microbiome (bacterial populations). Imbalances in gut bacteria have been found to be linked with many diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.

EXCLUSIVE: Indigenous Bolivia Ready to Go to War Against Fascism

The indigenous people of Altiplano (Photo: Andre Vltchek 2019©)

By Andre Vltchek - 09. December 2019

Bolivia, December 2019, three weeks after the fascist coup. It is devilishly cold. My comrade’s car is carefully navigating through the deep mud tracks. Enormous snow-covered mountain peaks are clearly visible in the distance.

The Bolivian Altiplano; beloved, yet always somehow hostile, silent, impenetrable.

So many times, in the past I came close to death here. In Peru as well as in Bolivia. More often in Peru.

Now, what I do is totally mad. Being a supporter of President Evo Morales from the beginning until this very moment, I am not supposed to be here; in Bolivia, in the Altiplano. But I am, because these mud huts on the left and right, are so familiar and so dear to me.

UN climate talks failing to address urgency of crisis, says top scientist

Extinction Rebellion in Madrid during the COP25 climate summit. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

COP25 in Madrid criticised for focusing on details instead of agreeing deep cuts to emissions

By  in Madrid -

Urgent UN talks on tackling the climate emergency are still not addressing the true scale of the crisis, one of the world’s leading climate scientists has warned, as high-ranking ministers from governments around the world began to arriving in Madrid for the final days of negotiations.

Talks are focusing on some of the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement, but the overriding issue of how fast the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions has received little official attention.

Gulf of Alaska fishery to close for the first time ever 

No more cod: Salmon all but gone: Millions of small sea birds died since 2015

November 2019, thousands of short-tailed shearwaters birds migrating from Alaska were washing up dead on Sydney's iconic beaches.

By TBW - 08. December 2019

Extremely low cod numbers have lead feds to close the Gulf of Alaska fishery for the first time ever. In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season. It’s a decision that came as little surprise, but it’s the first time the fishery was closed due to concerns of low stock.

“We’re on the knife’s edge of this over-fished status,” North Pacific Fisheries Management Council member Nicole Kimball said during talks in Anchorage Friday afternoon. It’s not over-fishing to blame for the die-off, but rather, climate change. Warming ocean temperatures linked to climate change are wreaking havoc on a number of Alaska’s fisheries, worrying biologists, locals and fishermen with low returns that jeopardize fishing livelihoods.

A stock assessment this fall put Gulf cod populations at a historic low, with “next to no” new eggs, according to NOAA research biologist Steve Barbeaux, who authored the report.

Climate change: Oceans running out of oxygen as temperatures rise

Sharks are suffering from oxygen depletion - Image copyright IUCN

By Matt McGrath - 07. December 2019

That's the conclusion of the biggest study of its kind, undertaken by conservation group IUCN.Climate change and nutrient pollution are driving the oxygen from our oceans, and threatening many species of fish.

While nutrient run-off has been known for decades, researchers say that climate change is making the lack of oxygen worse.

Around 700 ocean sites are now suffering from low oxygen, compared with 45 in the 1960s.

UPDATE 08. December 2019: Hundreds of thousands hit the streets of Hong Kong - see underneath.

In Pictures: Thousands of Hongkongers demand halt to use of tear gas after over 10,000 rounds fired

Thousands of Hongkongers gathered in Central on Friday evening to demand the authorities halt the widespread use of tear gas in the densely populated city. Photo: InMedia.

By Hong Kong Free Press - 07. December 2019

Around 20,000 people attended the rally at Edinburgh Place, according to organisers. Demonstrators displayed placards saying “Stop tear gas” and held up their mobile phone flashlights as they chanted their demands.

The crowd shouted slogans such as “City of tear, people in fear” and “Respond to our demand, disclose the composition of the tear gas.”

A spokesperson for the movement’s Citizens’ Press Conference said that around 15 percent of 18,000 people surveyed online reported having experienced diarrhoea or stomachache after contact with tear gas.

Exarchia: Resisting Gentrification (video)

Living in self-determination, dignity and "Anti-Slavery" is not what the "Powers That Shouldn't Be" want to become a role-model for he 21st century.

By Ali Cheaib - 07. December 2019

The beautiful hashtag#Exarchia is one of the best examples of communities policing themselves WITHOUT cops.

Exarchia (Exarcheia) is hashtag#Athens' popular neighborhood known for being a rebellious stronghold of hashtag#anarchist collectives, anti-fascist movements and home to many refugees.

Self-organization and self-policing are present in all aspects of daily life in Exarchia.

Since 2008, police don't dare to step foot in Exarchia except in extreme situations while wearing riot gear because they'll face fierce clashes with the community which doesn't tolerate cops.

To enforce the authoritarian propaganda that communities cannot function without cops, hashtag#Greece's politicians have been on a mission since 2008 and in November 2019 again to take control of the community by raiding squats and pushing gentrification that is threatening the soul of this district.

EPILOGUE: The sick war-games in the Middle-East have destroyed the natural ecosystems in most places - pure Ecocide amid genocidal operations targeting specific ethnicities or religious groups.      But the question remains, why Robert Fisk did not also reveal that "Task Force Smoking Gun" of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was overseeing all this? And why did he not also find the omnipresent British and American arms brokers? (- see a parallel line revealed underneath).

When you follow the gun trail, you sometimes end up in unexpected places

120mm mortar shells in al-Nusra propaganda video.

By Robert Fisk - 07. December 2019

I’ve always wanted to find out where the guns came from. Who were the ‘willing accomplices’ to the wars I witnessed?

In 1996, I traced to its Boeing makers in the deep south of the US a missile fired by the Israelis at a Lebanese ambulance. It killed two women and four children. I even went to Georgia and met the developers of the rocket that killed them. And in Syria, deep in the basement of a bombed Nusra-al-Qaeda headquarters in Aleppo, I found hundreds of mortars – along with their shipment documents and factory instructions. They were to be used against the Assad regime. But who had supplied them?

Even as 500,000 March in Madrid, Greta Thunberg Warns Climate Movement Has 'Achieved Nothing' Until Emissions Fall

As Greta Thunberg and other activists spoke at a rally, an estimated 500,000 people took part in a climate justice protest in Madrid on Friday, December 6, 2019. (Photo: @GretaThunberg)

"We cannot afford more days going by without real action being taken."

By Andrea Germanos - 06. December 2019

Before taking part in a 500,000-strong climate march in Madrid, teen activist Greta Thunberg spoke plainly yet forcefully Friday about the impact the global climate strike movement has had thus far and reiterated the demand of the climate justice movement for global leaders to act with the urgency the planet's ecological emergency mandates.

Speaking to reporters at the cultural center La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Spain—where COP 25 is underway—Thunberg called herself "just... a climate activist—a small part of a big movement" that needs even more activists to effect change.

The Plot to Discredit and Destroy Julian Assange (plus videos)

A supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange demonstrates in London earlier this year. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP)

A day after dozens of doctors around the world released a statement about their mounting concerns regarding Julian Assange’s health as he’s detained in a British prison, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer spoke with Tariq Ali, a renowned British journalist and co-editor of a recent collection of essays titled “In Defense of Julian Assange.” To Scheer, Ali and the book’s many contributors, the case against the WikiLeaks founder boils down to an international effort to suppress press freedoms. Yet as Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States have co-authored Assange’s downfall, many journalists and publishers, including some at The Guardian and The New York Times—two publications that published work based on WikiLeaks—have refused to defend Assange.