The Genetic Editing of Human Life is “Big Business”

Last November, He Jiankui, a Chinese biology professor at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) announced that he and his team had created the World’s first “genetically edited babies”: twin babies Lula and Nana.
 

Dr. He Jiankui, used the CRISPR technology “to alter the embryos of seven couples [allegedly] to make them resistant to HIV”.  He Jiankui made his announcement at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing held at the University of Hong Kong.  

Dr. He claims to have used CRISP “to tweak the DNA of human embryos during in vitro fertilization”. 

UPDATE 23. 06. 2019: Donald J. Trump simply can no longer be seen as a honourable man.
MUST READ: Trump mum on FBI investigation of Khashoggi killing
and: Trump Shrugs Off Khashoggi Killing by Ally Saudi Arabia

UPDATE 19. 06. 2019: MUST WATCH - The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions has called on countries to widen their sanctions to include the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and his assets until he can prove he has no responsibility in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. #Khashoggi #MBS #SaudiArabia  -- Evidence suggests Saudi crown prince is liable for Khashoggi killing – UN

Khashoggi murder: "The evidence points to the responsibility of the state of Saudi Arabia"

UN: Saudi Arabia must accept responsibility for Khashoggi murder

Honest international ecologists can no longer work in Saudi Arabia or with Saudi Authorities, and those who do just sell their soul and consciousnous for money, which is of no help to the wild species, biological diversity and ecosystems of a state, whose forefathers alreay had turned the country into a desert.  See: PDF

Saudi Savagery: Kingdom Beheads 16-Year-Old For Sending Whatsapp Message

Psychopath with a deadly smile: Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, known colloquially as MbS, must be stopped on all of his fronts, shunned internatioally and be brought to justice. The cruelties committed by the House of Saud and their rule must end.

The controversy over Saudi Crown Prince MbS's alleged orchestration of the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has largely subsided since the government insider-turned-critic walked into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in early October and never walked out. But a new controversy is brewing over one of the kingdom's most controversial practices: Its mass-beheadings of men convicted of 'terrorism' charges, typically members of the Shiite minority living in the eastern part of the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has long practiced execution by beheading. But this year, the mass extermination of 37 of mostly Shiite men this week provoked condemnation from the UN and other human rights organizations, as several teenage boys were executed for crimes as seemingly petty a sending Whatsapp messages about government demonstrations.

Ecuador's Indigenous Win Landmark Case Against Drilling

Waorani community attend court hearing | Photo: Facebook: Amazon Frontlines

By TelSur - 26 April 2019

This is not the first time that Lenin Moreno’s government has been criticized for their approach to the Amazon.

The Amazonian Waorani community in Ecuador celebrated a significant legal victory Friday. A court in the Pastaza region ruled that the government had violated their rights when it sought to drill for oil on their land.  

"Today, the courts recognize that the Waorani people, and all Indigenous peoples, have rights over our territories that must be respected," was how the Coordinating Council of the Waorani Nationality of Ecuador Pastaza (CONCONAWEP) summed up the verdict.

A member of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia with a cat he shot.CreditCreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

Feral felines are driving the country’s native species to extinction. Now a massive culling is underway to preserve what’s left of the wild.

In the deep winter weeks of last July, Shane Morse and Kevin Figliomeni nearly always got up before the sun rose. They awoke next to the remains of a campfire or, occasionally, in a roadside motel, and in the darkness before dawn they began unloading poisoned sausage from their refrigerated truck. The sausage was for killing cats. One morning near the end of the season, Morse and Figliomeni left the Kalbarri Motor Hotel on the remote western coast of Australia, where they dined on steak and shellfish the night before, and drove along the squally coastline. They kept their eyes fixed to the sky. If it rained, there would be no baiting that day.

Kashechewan First Nation flag flies strong. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Responsibility for Kashechewan’s crises in Canada rests squarely with the Crown

The federal and provincial governments owe a legal duty of care to Kashechewan. The forced relocation of the community has caused today’s problems.

Genocide Against the Tamil and Ecocide Countrywide

Sri Lanka's Bloody Legacy: A Country Ravaged by UK-Fueled 26-year Civil War

War crimes against the Tamil People had not to face justice until today. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka - formerly Ceylon. | Photo: Google Maps

By tS - 24 April 2019

While both the Tamil and Singhalese speaking populations have nearly exterminated the aboriginal Veddha people of the island, the recent history of Sri Lanka is marred with bloodshed and a 26-year-old civil war caused by British colonial rulers pitting Sinhalese and Tamil against each other.

Located in the Indian Ocean south of India, the small island country of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka witnessed one of its deadliest attacks in recent history.

On Easter Sunday a series of suicide bombings claimed 359 lives (meanwhile disputed). However, the bloodbath is not uncommon in the island which was ravaged by a civil war spanning over two decades and ending in 2009.

The civil war in a country of 21.2 million population, was between majority Sinhalese and minority Tamilians. It was a war for recognition, respect, and basic rights.

To understand the aspects of the civil war, one needs to take a brief look at the country’s history.

UN Envoy: Indigenous Children Learn Best in Their Own Languages

[Do we actually need the UN to tell us that? It's common knowledge. But maybe we need the UN to get and maintain the rights.]

Permanent Forum vice-chair says studies show that children learn best in their native languages. | Photo: UNPFII

By teleSUR/et/un - 24 April 2019

'Let us honor the indigenous peoples who tirelessly fight for their rights and futures. Many here have traveled very far. Let us make this session meaningful for you and your peoples'

Forum participants made cases on behalf of traditional knowledge, culture, languages as well as land rights restoration, and environment preservation specifically regarding climate change. 

Vice-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Anne Nuorgam, highlighted that Indigenous children are “inextricably linked to their lands, territories and natural resources” and should be encouraged to connect to their communities and cultures.

The U.N. official noted that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages and added that “we have to celebrate our languages, but also take concrete action to preserve them and save those on the verge of extinction.”

Western Hemisphere: Fact Sheet: U.S. Actions on Venezuela

The posting of this factsheet on U.S. embassy websites is/was accompanied by this photo by the Associated Press depicting some Venezuelan rich kids staging their "protest".

April 24, 2019

United States policy on Venezuela is focused on ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections that bring prosperity and democracy back to the people of Venezuela. In service of this goal, the United States has undertaken a series of strong policy actions since 2017 meant to pressure the former Maduro regime and support democratic actors.

VENEZUELA CRISIS RESPONSE ASSISTANCE
U.S. assistance to support the regional response to the crisis includes:

  • Total regional support is more than $256 million, including:
    • More than $213 million in humanitarian response.
    • $43 million in economic and development assistance.
  • On January 24, Secretary Pompeo announced the United States is ready to provide an additional $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance to the people inside Venezuela.

SANCTIONS

6th Mass Extinction Event Already Underway: Draft UN Report

Shifts in the distribution of species will likely double if average temperature go up a notch from 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2C. | Photo: Reuters

Biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves - to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature - poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

A professor of astrophysics explains why humans are on the path to self-destruction: ‘Not the first time there’s been a civilization in the universe’

STOP the collective suicide

By YdN - 21. April 2019

The spectacular rise of human civilization—its agrarian societies, cities, states, empires and industrial and technological advances ranging from irrigation and the use of metals to nuclear fusion—took place during the last 10,000 years, after the last ice age. Much of North America was buried, before the ice retreated, under sheets eight times the height of the Empire State Building. This tiny span of time on a planet that is 4.5 billion years old is known as the Holocene Age. It now appears to be coming to an end with the refusal of our species to significantly curb the carbon emissions and pollutants that might cause human extinction. The human-induced change to the ecosystem, at least for many thousands of years, will probably make the biosphere inhospitable to most forms of life.

The planet is transitioning under our onslaught to a new era called the Anthropocene. This era is the product of violent conquest, warfare, slavery, genocide and the Industrial Revolution, which began about 200 years ago and saw humans start to burn a hundred million years of sunlight stored in the form of coal and petroleum. The numbers of humans climbed to over 7 billion. Air, water, ice and rock, which are interdependent, changed. Temperatures climbed. The Anthropocene, for humans and most other species, will most likely conclude with extinction or a massive die-off, as well as climate conditions that will preclude most known life forms. We engineered our march toward collective suicide although global warming was first identified in 1896 by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius.

Japanese Gov't Enacts Law To Preserve Indigenous Ainu Culture

The Ainu lived for centuries in northern Japan and neighboring Sakhalin (a Russian island). | Photo: EFE file

The new law will allow the Ainu to observe and maintain traditional practices such as collecting wood from national forests and catching fish in rivers, using time-honored, traditional methods.

The Japanese government approved legislation to legally recognize and preserve the cultural practices of the country’s Ainu Indigenous people at an Upper House plenary session Friday.

The legislation, according to Kyodo news agency, aims to preserve the culture of the Ainu people through state-backed financial assistance at central and local levels of government as well as promote the group’s culture and heritage.

The new law will allow the Ainu to observe and maintain traditional practices such as collecting wood from national forests and catching fish in rivers, using time-honored, traditional methods.

Head of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido, Tadashi Kato, pointed out that the new law did not cover ways to improve the living standards of the Ainu people.

‘Where is justice?’

Vietnam demands Monsanto pay victims of US Agent Orange chemical warfare

FILE PHOTO: Hereditary victim of Agent Orange in Vietnam © Reuters / Damir Sagolj
 
Vietnam is again seeking justice for the victims of Agent Orange, inspired by the multimillion-dollar verdicts against Monsanto in California. The biotech firm had supplied the US military with the chemical during the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) has written a letter to a US court asking that it restart a class-action lawsuit by Agent Orange victims against American chemical firms, including Monsanto, which the Eastern District Court of New York dismissed in 2004, claiming a “lack of evidence” and asserting that “herbicide spraying.. did not constitute a war crime pre-1975.”

Police brutality injured many protesters

Update: SUN 21. April 2019: During the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests in London over 963 arrests have been made and 42 people were charged.
Climate change protesters who have brought parts of London to a standstill said Sunday they were prepared to call a halt if the British government will discuss their demands.
On the seventh day of demonstrations that have occupied key spots in the British capital, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the demonstrators, telling them: "Humanity is standing at a crossroads."
Organizers said they were willing to switch tactics from disruption to dialogue next week - if the government enters talks.
"We are prepared to pause, should the government come to the negotiating table," Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Fox told AFP. "What the pause looks like is us stopping an escalation. We can discuss leaving if they are willing to discuss our demands. At the moment, we haven't received a response from the government... so we're waiting on that."
Extinction Rebellion was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world's fastest-growing environmental movements.
Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new "citizens' assemblies on climate and ecological justice.
"We're giving them an opportunity now to come and speak to us," Fox told AFP. "If they refuse to come and negotiate with us, then this is going to continue and this is going to escalate in different, diverse and very creative ways."

682 protesters have been arrested over 5 days in London.

The 'Berta Caceres Boat' placed on London's busy Oxford Circus in anti-Tory and pro-environment protection protest. | Photo: Twitter: Extinction Rebellion

Over 100 protesters were arrested on Friday alone in London, as part of the ‘extinction rebellion’ days of action that seeks to draw attention to climate change.

Friday represented day five of the group’s direct action protests. The 100 people arrested brings the total number to 682 detained this week. This action had protesters planting a makeshift boat in the middle of Oxford Circus, London’s busiest shopping strip. The boat was named the ‘Berta Caceres’ boat, in honor of the Honduran environmental activist who was murdered for her activism against extractive companies.

The ‘extinction rebellion’ group seeks to organize direct action, and their website states that they are “an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.” 

Peru: Autonomous Indigenous People Fight Deforestation

The Peruvian Court opened an oral process to Awajun-Wampis ethnic groups over clashes between locals and police over land use at "Devil's Curve". | Photo: EFE

By teleSur - 19 April 2019

Profit-seeking intruders have had negative effects on Wampi territory, through deforestation and water pollution, as a result of gold mining.

The Wampi Nation of Peru, the first-ever Indigenous autonomous group in the country, continues to fight back against illegal deforestation and raise awareness of land issues in the country, and subsequently the rest of the world.

The Wampis have managed to expel illegal miners from their land both directly and through notifying the national authorities. While illegal logging proves more difficult to curb, Wampi soldiers serving in battalions along the Ecuador-Peru border work with government authorities and Wampi leaders to expel intruders from the region.

In addition to mining and logging, the oil industry proves to be the biggest threat to the Wampi Nation. The Oleoducto Norperuano oil pipeline was built through the territory and has a history of spills and leaks, including 23 between 2001 and 2016.

Humans have been eating walnuts for over 10,000 years. Image: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

16 foods that are good -

for you and the planet

Agriculture is already one of the biggest contributors to global warming. The greenhouse gases released in the form of methane from cattle and rice farms, nitrous oxide from fertilized fields, and carbon dioxide from deforestation to make space for crops and livestock, add up to more emissions than all our cars, trucks, trains and airplanes combined.

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