Browsing: World News

‘The new report on Gaza by a team led by Robert Piper, the United Nations’ chief humanitarian coordinator in Palestine, makes for disturbing reading.

That’s not only because of the alarming statistics or “indicators” about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, of which there is no shortage in the report.

That the situation in Gaza is untenable, its population living in a pressure cooker that gets worse by the day, is clear to anyone who pays attention.

The UN has previously predicted that Gaza would become “unlivable” by the year 2020.

Piper’s report “tries to look past the polemic and review – as we approach 2020 – the socioeconomic, humanitarian and human rights disaster that is unfolding in Gaza and to advocate on behalf of the two million people trapped in this sad reality.”

Pushing for Gaza’s surrender
Yet what the report actually does is reveal how the UN has apparently aligned with Israel and its international backers in pushing for Gaza’s total surrender to its tormentors.’

Read more: Why is UN pushing for Gaza’s surrender?

‘The 2010 Haiti earthquake was followed by one of the great­est financial outpourings of sympathy in human history. The money given was nothing short of spectacular. All totaled, corporations and individ­uals would donate $3.1 billion to help Haiti earthquake victims. Foreign gov­ernments pledged another $10 billion in aid. To put it into global perspec­tive, all global disaster aid from private sources and from developed world governments amounted to $19 billion in 2010. That’s all the aid given for international disasters by every country on earth, from China to the U.S. to Sweden; and $13.1 billion of it went to Haiti. And it was donated in the midst of the worst reces­sion since the Great Depression.

Had it been handed over to the Haitian government it would have paid for thirteen years of the country’s national budget ($965 million in 2009). But it was not handed over to the Haitian government. Or rather, in that first year after the earthquake, the Haitian government got one percent of it. The other 99 percent of the money went to NGOs, among them Save the Children, the Red Cross, CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, Concern World­wide, Mercy Corps, Food for the Poor, and Feed the Hungry; it went to UN agencies such as UNICEF and the World Food Program; and it went to private humanitarian aid contractors, such as United States’ Chemonics and Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI).’

Read more: How Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts Pulled Off a Huge Con Job, With the Help of Mainstream Media

‘An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the US-backed framework of international order established after World War II is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing,” leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.

The solution proposed to protect US power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism.

The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which US power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling.

Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence,” the US now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority.”’

Read more: Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

‘“Our soils are sick from greed-based, irresponsible agricultural practices, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, erosion and mineral depletion, all of which stop or reduce adequate microbial activity in the soil, rendering them sick and/or dead and sterile. Sick soils make for sick plants and sick plants make for sick humans and animals.” Scott Tips, president of the National Health Federation, Crashing Monsanto’s Pesticide Party in Beijing.

In the area of food and agriculture, you may be aware of various reports and discussions about GMOs, pesticides and organics. You might also know about the power, influence, crimes and shameful lobbying practices of transnational agribusiness companies like Monsanto. And you might have also discovered what (GMO) chemical-intensive agriculture is doing to soils, rivers, biodiversity, human health and crops.

It’s all been well documented. But what you might find little mention of is Codex Alimentarius (Latin for ‘food code’), a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice that are supposed to contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of international food trade.’

Read more: Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations

‘Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would never ever set foot in the United States, which he described as a “lousy” country.

“I’ve seen America and it’s lousy. …There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter,” Duterte said on Friday.

Duterte’s remarks came after a US Congressman said he would protest against US President Donald Trump’s invitation to the firebrand Philippine leader for a visit to the United States.

Trump has been criticized for inviting Duterte to the White House during a telephone conversation between the two leaders in April.’

Read more: Filipino president says will never visit ‘lousy America’

‘The administration of US President Donald Trump has stopped making military reimbursements to Pakistan over what it calls Islamabad’s lack of action in addressing threats posed by terror groups such as the Haqqani network.

The Pentagon revealed the decision on Friday, shortly after US Defense Secretary James Mattis informed Congress that he was not sure whether Pakistan was up to the job.

“The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act,” Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters.

This means that the $350 million left of the Coalition Support Funds (CSF) has been moved to other accounts, according to Stump.’

Read more: ‘US stops Pakistan military reimbursements over terror charges’

‘Former nuclear industry senior vice president Arnie Gundersen, who managed and coordinated projects at 70 US atomic power plants, is appalled at how the Japanese government is handling the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“The inhumanity of the Japanese government toward the Fukushima disaster refugees is appalling,” Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 45 years of nuclear power engineering experience and the author of a bestselling book in Japan about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, told Truthout.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

He explains that both the Japanese government and the atomic power industry are trying to force almost all of the people who evacuated their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to return “home” before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This March Japan’s federal government announced the subsidies that have, up until now, been provided to Fukushima evacuees who were mandated to leave their homes are being withdrawn, which will force many of them to return to their contaminated prefecture out of financial necessity.’

Read more: Japan Plans to Expose Its People and 2020 Tokyo Olympians to Fukushima Radiation

A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.

Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.

Toronto bylaw officials have taped off these privately-built stairs in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont.

“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.’

Read more: Toronto man builds park stairs for $550, irking city after $65,000 estimate

‘Australia is the latest country to announce it will construct a purpose-built suburban village for dementia sufferers.

The project will cost AU$25 million (US$20 million) and aims to transform a derelict site in Holbat, south Tasmania, into a state-of-the-art “dementia village.” It will include 15 tailored houses, a supermarket, cinema, cafe, beauty salon and gardens.

In contrast to traditional dementia care, the initiative plans to give back independence to dementia patients. Residents will be able to participate in everyday activities such as socialising over a coffee, shopping or going to the cinema.

The suburban village, called Korongee, will maintain its local Tasmanian feel through characteristic cul-de-sacs, but will be styled on other dementia villages across the globe such as De Hogeweyk in the Netherlands which opened in 2009.’

Read more: State-of-the-art ‘dementia village’ planned for Tasmania

1