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Index December 2007

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Do We Own Ourselves?

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Published on strike the root, by NonEntity (Exclusive to STR), December 20, 2007.

… My point is basically this: Ownership is a function of agreement. All parties need to understand that there is an idea of property and ownership before ownership can exist. Not only that, these parties must agree to the ownership, otherwise it is more of a wish (on the part of the possessor) than actual ownership. Just because I am holding this hammer does not mean that I own it. Ownership relies on the fact that you understand the concept of property and grant that the hammer is mine. Otherwise it is not owned by me, it is simply possessed …

… So from the above thought train, I must conclude that I do not own myself unless others recognize the concept. I possess myself, for sure. But if the society or culture in which I live does not understand and honor the idea of property and ownership, then my “rights” as regard my body are no greater than simple possession. Ownership can only exist if those who might be in competition for that property will grant the idea that it is yours. You can only own something with the agreement of others. Otherwise it is simply possession with the potential willingness to defend that possession. A man can take my hammer and threaten to shoot anyone who takes it from him, including me. This does not mean it is his hammer. Just so, my willingness to protect my hammer from theft is not what makes it mine. It is the acknowledgment by others that the hammer is mine which in fact makes it mine.

In Summation: Ownership is a social construct. It is not something one can proclaim. Rather, something like trust, it must be earned. It is something that is granted to you by others. Entreaty, not declaration, is its potting soil. Like love, it can only be obtained by giving it away. And just as similarly, that is no guarantee. (full text).

Bhutto assassination heightens threat of US intervention in Pakistan

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Published by WSWS.org, by Bill Van Auken, 29 December, 2007.

With Pakistan erupting in violence over the assassination of its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and amid conflicting accounts as to both the identity of her assassins and even the cause of her death, official Washington and the American mass media have coalesced around a version of events that has been crafted to suit US strategic interests.

Without any substantive evidence, the crime has been attributed to Al Qaeda, while Bhutto herself has been proclaimed a martyr both in the struggle for democracy in her own country and in the US “global war on terror.” Meanwhile, the government of President Pervez Musharraf has been exonerated. There is ample reason to question this “official story” on all counts.

The obvious intent is to turn this undeniably tragic event into a new justification for the pursuit of US strategic interests in the region. In the week leading up to the assassination, there have been a number of reports indicating that US military forces are already operating inside Pakistan and preparing to substantially escalate these operations …

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They don’t blame al-Qa’ida. They blame Musharraf

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Linked with Robert Fisk – Great Britain.

Published on The Independent, by Robert Fisk, 29 December 2007.

… Over all this, however, looms the shocking power of Pakistan’s ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence. This vast institution – corrupt, venal and brutal – works for Musharraf.

But it also worked – and still works – for the Taliban. It also works for the Americans. In fact, it works for everybody. But it is the key which Musharraf can use to open talks with America’s enemies when he feels threatened or wants to put pressure on Afghanistan or wants to appease the ” extremists” and “terrorists” who so oppress George Bush. And let us remember, by the way, that Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded by his Islamist captors in Karachi, actually made his fatal appointment with his future murderers from an ISI commander’s office. Ahmed Rashid’s book Taliban provides riveting proof of the ISI’s web of corruption and violence. Read it, and all of the above makes more sense.

But back to the official narrative. George Bush announced on Thursday he was “looking forward” to talking to his old friend Musharraf. Of course, they would talk about Benazir. They certainly would not talk about the fact that Musharraf continues to protect his old acquaintance – a certain Mr Khan – who supplied all Pakistan’s nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran. No, let’s not bring that bit of the “axis of evil” into this.

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Holocaust education and remembrance

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OSCE Press release: Published on the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights,
(and received by mail from HREA, the Human Rights Education Associates).

Download the 21 pages. (other languages see on this website’s right column).

WARSAW/JERUSALEM, 19 December 2007 — The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, today launched a guide for teachers on how to address anti-Semitism.

The educational resource was launched during a visit of the ODIHR Director, Ambassador Christian Strohal, to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, where he met Director of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, Dorit Novak.

“We enjoy excellent co-operation with Yad Vashem, which is not only an exceptional memorial, but also a renowned educational institution that works with teachers from different countries,” said Ambassador Strohal.

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When disadvantaged peoples become liars – The Zoe’s Ark mess

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Linked with Starvation in Darfur soars, with 5 African voices out of many …, with ICRC, UNHCR and UNICEF,
with Children do not belong to their parents, with Mes réactions concernant les enfants du Tchad, with Chad’s children, and with Zoe’s Ark.

First my comment: for tribal minded people the simple intention to give out children to be educated elsewhere IS already a treason. The crowd yelling death treats to the Zoe’s Ark members reacted correctly belonging to their belief … we may understand it, even if we not agree.

But the juridic authorities of Chad know very well our westerner beliefs of individual liberty, means in our world the parents HAVE the right to let their children go to a place of their choice. In this sense, Chad’s authorities have to respect the goodwill of Zoe’s Ark members intention.

It is known that:

  • the frenchies never had any contact with members of the children’s place;
  • It was the responsibles in these places who choosed and collected all children, it was in THEIR responsibility to know if this children have parents or have not;
  • We all know how tribal laws may be hard: any one daring not respect them is rejected, sometimes killed. This means that parents wanting give their children to France HAVE now to take the role of liars to save their own skin;
  • A rumor tells that even parents in the sphere around the government wanted give out their children to France. I think they estimate their own government time counted, and better places elsewhere should be found next. So, why not having already the children safe? (That’s exactly what I would have done in a situation of smoldering civil war: first bring my children out of the country!).

This morning some press reviews:

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Starvation in Darfur soars

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Linked with When disadvantaged peoples become liars – The Zoe’s Ark mess, and with Zoe’s Ark.

World’s largest aid operation fails to stem child malnutrition in turbulent African region, UN finds

Published on The Star, by Jeffrey Gettleman of NEW YORK TIMES, Dec 27, 2007.

4 excerpts: NAIROBI – Kenya–Child malnutrition rates have increased sharply in Darfur, even though it is home to the world’s largest aid operation, according to a new UN report.

The report showed 16.1 per cent of children affected by the conflict in Darfur, a vast, turbulent region in western Sudan, are acutely malnourished, compared with 12.9 per cent last year. For the first time since 2004, the malnutrition rate has crossed what UN officials consider the emergency threshold.

Just as important, the increase has occurred despite the efforts of more than 12,000 relief workers in Darfur, drawing from an annual aid budget of about $1 billion. Aid officials said that they were concerned that even with all these resources, the health of the people in Darfur seemed to be getting worse.

“This is a big deal,” said Jean Rigal, the head of a branch of Doctors Without Borders in Sudan. “The system is not working as expected” …

… As a result, people in Darfur are beginning to lose hope, and that may be another factor taking a toll on their health, aid officials said.

“There is a psychological effect here,” said an aid official in Sudan who did not want to be identified.

“These people have been in these camps for years now, and the energy that was around a few years ago and the hopes that this situation might be over soon and people could go home – all that’s gone now.” He said that depression could affect how mothers care for their children, and that the malaise in the camps would make poor health conditions worse.

Darfur has been a humanitarian crisis since 2003, when rebels frustrated by a long history of marginalization attacked government forces. The Sudanese government responded by arming tribal militias to wipe out the rebels and the civilians supporting them. Villages were burned, countless women raped and more than 200,000 people have died, according to conservative estimates …

… The new UN report was based on information collected in August and September from thousands of Darfurians affected by the conflict, including those living in squalid camps (the United Nations estimates roughly 2.2 million people have been displaced by fighting). The report cited “consistently poor infant and young child feeding practices” and a “deterioration in the overall food security situation” …

… Malnutrition rates are a highly sensitive subject in Sudan, and Sudanese government officials have objected to some of these findings, taking issue with the survey methodology and the characterization of the problem.

“It’s true, there is a gap of food in Darfur and the conflict is not settled yet,” said Rabie Atti, a government spokesperson. “But from our information, the situation is better now than before”. (full text).

Ex-CIA: War with Iran in the offing

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Linked with Raymond (Ray) McGovern – USA.

Published on Press TV, by MD/MG, 19 Dec 2007.

A former senior CIA analyst says the United States and Israel are planning war against Iran before the next presidential election …

… The former analyst expounded that the close American relationship with Israel, which alleges Iran is a threat to its existence and to the international community, is the driving force behind a potential strike.

McGovern called on those wishing to prevent a military conflict with Iran to voice their opposition to President Bush’s headstrong approach towards Tehran and its nuclear program.

Although the report by US intelligence services has meant another embarrassment for the White House over its accusation against Tehran, the US president seems to be indifferent to the assessment.

President Bush, who is scheduled to visit Jerusalem in January, bald-facedly continues his rhetoric against the Islamic Republic, claiming Tehran poses a threat to the international community. (full text).

The Good Women of China

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Published on The Independent, Interview by Katy Guest, July 13, 2007.

Xinran Xue: I want to tell the world about the lives of ordinary Chinese women. The author discusses 20 years of research for her book ‘The Good Women Of China’ (link: Author Xinran Xue tells the world about the lives of ordinary Chinese women).

While travelling in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, Xinran met the family of a woman who had committed suicide by drinking pesticide because she couldn’t give birth to a boy. “You can’t blame them,” shrugged the widower when he heard that the people from the village would not attend her funeral. “It’s her fault that she only managed to give birth to a handful of chopsticks and no roof beam.”

To Xinran Xue, his words spoke volumes about Chinese culture, in which women are disposable tools and men strong providers. The book that resulted, Miss Chopsticks (Chatto & Windus, £16.99), is billed as the first novel from a journalist whose books have consistently caused reviewers to reach for the word “extraordinary”. It follows the stories of three sisters as they leave their poor, rural family to take on the flabbergasting world of the city …

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Le sucre et la santé mentale

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Trouvé au site ‘pour elles’, au 21 décembe 2007.

Consommer trop de sucre ne serait pas bon pour la santé mentale

(Relaxnews) – D’après une étude américaine réalisée par des chercheurs de l’université de l’Alabama, une consommation excessive de sucre contribuerait au développement de la maladie d’Alzheimer. Selon les travaux de l’équipe du Dr. Cao, réalisés sur des souris, les grands consommateurs de sucre ne rendraient pas service à leur cerveau.

Pour les besoins de l’étude, deux groupes de souris ont été séparés, l’un buvant de l’eau et l’autre de l’eau sucrée à 10%. La consommation de sucre des souris du deuxième groupe équivalait à celle de cinq cannettes de soda sucré par un être humain.

Les résultats ont montré que les souris ayant consommé du sucre avaient trois fois plus de protéines bêta-amyloïde dans leur cerveau que les autres. Or, cette protéine est le constituant des plaques séniles autour des neurones, qui sont la principale caractéristique de la maladie d’Alzheimer … (voir tout le texte).

The Pledge Bank

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Tell the world “I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help me do it”

(links: The Pledge Bank’s Frontpage, and all pledges.)

Published on Pledge Bank/explain, by Tom Steinberg, not dated.

Hello. I’m Tom Steinberg, the director of mySociety, the charitable group which is building PledgeBank. I’ve taken the unusual step of recording this introduction because PledgeBank is a slightly unusual idea. I’ve found that explaining it in person often works better than using the written word.

We all know what it is like to feel powerless, that our own actions can’t really change the things that we want to change. PledgeBank is about beating that feeling by connecting you with other people who also want to make a change, but who don’t want the personal risk of being the only person to turn up to a meeting or the only person to donate ten pounds to a cause that actually needed a thousand.

The way it works is simple. You create a pledge which has the basic format ‘I’ll do something, but only if other people will pledge to do the same thing’. For example, if you’d always want to organise a street party you could organise a pledge which said ‘I’ll hold a street party, but only if three people who live in my street will help me to run it’

The applications of PledgeBank are limitless. If you are a parent you could say that ‘I will help run an after hours sports club but only if 5 other parents will commit one evening a week to doing it ‘. If you are in a band you could say ‘I’ll hold a gig but only if 40 people will come along’.

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Little respite for Iraq’s children in 2007 …

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… But window to reach more vulnerable families opening for 2008

Received by mail

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates http://www.hrea.org/
and its Newsletter http://www.hrea.org/pubs/newsletter/index.html
Date:

UNICEF Press release:

ERBIL/AMMAN/GENEVA, 21 December 2007: An estimated two million children in Iraq continue to face threats including poor nutrition, disease and interrupted education.

Iraqi children were frequently caught in the crossfire of conflict throughout 2007. Insecurity and displacement continues to cause hardship for many in the most insecure parts of the country and further eroded access to quality essential services country-wide. Iraq remains volatile; however conditions begin to allow for more a concerted effort to deliver assistance.

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Students Find U.S. Isn’t That Far From Home

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Published on iBerkshires.com, by Jen Thomas – December 22, 2007.

… Changing the World:

While in many ways just normal teenagers who struggle with homework, essays and exams, get homesick and have fun with their friends, these kids are special. When they go home at the end of their journey, they plan to make a difference.

For Svitlana, that means developing a scholarship program that rewards what she called “talented people” in her country.

“It would be for students who want to do something but are not able to pay for it, for people who have ambition and want to improve themselves,” she said. “Really, life here changed us and I want to study more and see more and help talented people do that, too.”

AbdulSamad is determined to take his newfound love of community service to his home and encourage his family and friends to learn the joy of helping others.

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Let Her Be

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Published on The Times of India, by Editorial, Dec. 22, 2007.

In response to demands from a few religious fundamentalists, India’s democratic and secular government has placed a writer of international repute under virtual house arrest. Shorn of all cant, that is what the Centre’s treatment of Taslima Nasreen amounts to. She was forced into exile from her native Bangladesh because of the books she had written. Now it looks as if the UPA government is about to repeat the same gesture by placing intolerable restrictions on her stay in India.

She is living under guard in an undisclosed location. She will not be allowed to come out in public or meet people, including her friends. Without quite saying so, the government is clearly sending her a message that she isn’t welcome in India and ought to leave. Earlier, she was turfed out of West Bengal by the state government.

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‘Second Komagatamaru’

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The Laibar Singh Case

Published on ZNet, by Harsha Walia, December 20, 2007.

Laibar Singh is a 48-year old paralyzed Dalit Punjabi refugee claimant who is facing deportation to India. He had taken sanctuary on July 7 in the Abbotsford Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar Gurudwara. While in sanctuary, Mr. Singh’s health deteriorated and he had to be hospitalized. On Monday August 13, while in the hospital, Abbottsford police and Canadian Border Services Agency officers detained Mr. Laibar Singh. However due to immense community and political pressure, including a 600-person rally at his detention hearing within 24 hours notice, Mr. Singh was granted a temporary stay. He subsequently received a deportation order for December 10th- International Human Rights Day.

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WHO LOVES COMMUNISM?

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Gaither Stewart, 18 December, 2007.

… WHO LOVES COMMUNISM?

Rightwing regimes adore Communism. Just the word “Communist” sets their hearts a flutter. Communism in Italy is the scarecrow that terrorism is in America. In countries with less solid democratic traditions, the threat of Communism has been exploited by reactionary forces to establish dictatorial regimes. Nearly every day you can see it in action. Like terrorism, Communism was the excuse for emergency laws in the Philippines and Peru as it was in Chile and Argentina. Emergency laws, special prisons, torture, the sky is the limit in the war against the Communist bugaboo.

Though the Stalinist brand of Communism in East Europe failed long ago and those states disappeared, the European Right—in Italy, France, Spain, Greece— continues to raise the specter of the “Communist” threat to “family” and “our values.”

But what is Communism today? In the minds of non-Communists, Communism is still associated with the former USSR. Yet, Communistic ideas are as old as man: a social system characterized by the community of goods and the absence of private property. Such ideas marked the organization of the first Christian communities.

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Marx was right, Secrecy relies on human stupidity

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Published on the Online Journal, by Gaither Stewart, Dec 19, 2007.

ROME – The myriad of European Union organizations in Brussels and Strasbourg have become grottos of secrecy. The shadowy EU government is in effect a non-elected ‘commission’ which makes decisions in secret that affect 450 million Europeans.

On December 13, leaders of the 27 nations signed the Treaty of Lisbon designed to substitute for the EU Constitution that citizens of France and Holland soundly rejected last year. Paradoxically the Treaty of Lisbon promises to promote transparency and accountability.

It does the opposite. In contrast to accountability, little is known about the real activities of the EU’s 1,000 super-paid parliamentarians, of which Italy’s is paid the most, a whopping 144,000 euros annually, over US$200,000, plus travel allowances, super pensions and other perquisites. Paid to engage in the showy but inconclusive sessions in Strasbourg, Italy’s deputies are most of the time in Italy somewhere, appearing on Italian TV as paid experts.

It is a truism that power corrupts.

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Culling The Herd

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Sheila Samples, 18 December, 2007.

In 1974, a year after orchestrating a mass terror bombing of Cambodia – after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his National Security Council completed “National Security Study Memo 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” This document, whose sharp edges are dulled by page after leaden page of how to reduce over-population in the Third World through birth control and “other” population-reduction programs, was classified until 1989, but was almost immediately accepted as US policy, and remains the US blueprint for ethnic cleansing today.

It is difficult to imagine the staggering number of innocent humans who have perished through war or famine as a direct result of Kissinger’s half-century obsession with, and lust for, genocide. It’s even more difficult to imagine the cruel indifference with which Kissinger, and those like him in positions of political and corporate power – the elite – continue to plan the elimination of millions, even billions. All under the guise of national security, or to spread freedom … democracy …

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Quel avenir pour les ONG …

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… dans la gouvernance mondiale?

Relié avec Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques IRIS, et avec Coordination Sud.

Reçu par mail (et aussi publié sur ce site ‘Handicap International‘):

From: r-ems7
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007

Handicap International organise une CONFERENCE à Lyon, France, le 12 – 13 février 2008:

Mouvements contestataires? Organisations contestées? Acteurs incontournables? Quel avenir pour les ONG dans la nouvelle gouvernance mondiale?

Une soixantaine d’intervenants du monde entier. Des acteurs du Nord
et du Sud avec des représentants d’associations, d’institutions internationales (Commission européenne, Nations unies, Banque mondiale), de gouvernements, d’entreprises, des universitaires, des journalistes … concernant le programme, plus d’infos ici.

Programme/Inscriptions: Le programme des deux journées d’échanges à la Cité Centre de Congrès de Lyon. Comment s’inscrire ? Comment se rendre à Lyon ? … plus d’infos pratiques ici.

COLLOQUE INTERNATIONAL organisé par Handicap International, en partenariat avec Coordination Sud, et l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques IRIS, parrainé par Lakhdar Brahimi, ancien conseiller spécial du Secrétaire général de l’ONU (see also on wikipedia).

INFORMATION: Handicap International, Sophie Ripoche, 104 -106 rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris, France, Tel +33 (0)1 43 14 87 17, e-mail.

Und es werde Licht!

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Entdeckt auf dieser webseite von public, von OLIVER USCHMANN, Dezember 2007.

Eine neue Bewegung selbstbewusster Atheisten will die religiöse Fundierung unserer Moral nicht länger als selbstverständlich hinzunehmen. Die wahrhaft offene Gesellschaft ist für sie nur auf Basis eines wissenschaftlichen Humanismus möglich. Sie wollen eine neue Leitkultur.

Gott ist tot. Wieder mal. Und auch wenn seine heutigen Mörder nicht acht Stunden am Tag durch die Schweizer Berge spazieren und philosophieren, so sind sie doch ebenso wie Friedrich Nietzsche erbitterte Feinde des Glaubens an das Heil im Jenseits und Freunde der fröhlichen Wissenschaft, die das Leben im Hier und Jetzt lebenswert macht. Was lässt sie uns nicht alles sehen, was wir mit bloßem Auge niemals erfassen können? Atome und Quarks, Planeten und Galaxien. Wäre es nach den Vertretern der Kirchen gegangen: Wir hätten das alles niemals entdeckt.

Der Evolutionsbiologe Richard Dawkins, der in Oxford einen eigens für ihn geschaffenen Lehrstuhl für „Public Understanding of Science“ hält, wählt für diese freiwillige Beschränkung des Sichtfeldes in seinem neuen Bestseller „Der Gotteswahn“ ein gewohnt polemisches Bild: die Burka. So klein wie ihr Sehschlitz sei der Blick auf die Welt, den unsere Sinnesorgane erlauben; schuldig macht man sich als religiöser Mensch dadurch, dass man ihn freiwillig nicht erweitert und das ganze Licht der Erkenntnis hinein lässt, das Aufklärung und Naturwissenschaft ermöglichen. Religion ist für Dawkins kein Kavaliersdelikt, das wenigstens seelischen Halt und moralischen Kitt in einer kalten Wettbewerbsgesellschaft bietet. Im Gegenteil … (ganzer Text lesen).

US state abolishes death penalty

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Published on Amnesty International, Dec. 19, 2007.

The US state of New Jersey has joined the global trend towards ending capital punishment. The state’s governor, Jon Corzine, signed a bill to abolish the death penalty on Monday.

The state’s assembly voted to replace execution with life imprisonment without parole on 14 December. Forty-four voted in favour of the bill, 36 against.

Amnesty International hopes and believes that the passing of this bill marks a turning point in the use of the death penalty in the US. New Jersey is the first US state to abolish capital punishment under law in the modern death penalty era, commencing in 1972.

No one has been executed in New Jersey since 1963. In the rest of the US, fewer people were executed last year than at any time in the past 10 years and the figure for 2007 will be even lower …

… Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. AI believes it should never be used and is always a human rights violation. (full text).

Hungary: Acquittal of journalist in secrecy case

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Received by mail

From: HREA, Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 19/12/2007

OSCE Press release

BUDAPEST, 19 December 2007 – Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, greeted today’s acquittal of journalist Antonia Radi, and called on the Hungarian authorities to reform legislation on disclosing state secrets.

“It is regretful that Hungary still belongs to those countries that punish civilians, among them journalists, for the publication of classified information,” said Haraszti. “This is an obsolete practice. In a democracy, only the official guardians of state secrets should be held responsible for any leaks.”

Antonia Radi, a leading investigative reporter, has been on trial since 2003 on breach of secrecy charges, based on her reporting in the weekly HVG about a criminal case.

Haraszti noted her acquittal after four years with approval, but expressed concern that it was due to a technicality and not to the needed changes in legislation.

“The current law allows for the acquittal of journalists who report on state secrets only if the classification was not carried out properly, or the officials compromised the classification procedure in other ways. No lawsuit was even initiated against the official who leaked the information. This practice threatens even the most dedicated journalists, and it weakens investigative journalism,” said Haraszti.

The OSCE media freedom representative urged Hungarian authorities to narrow the scope of the existing criminal law to make leaks the responsibility of officials, and to introduce a court practice that would always take into account the public’s right to information.

Link: OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes acquittal of Hungarian journalist in secrecy case, urges legislative reforms.

Kagame Receives 2007 Africa Gender Award

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Published on The New Times, Kigali, by James Munyaneza, 13 December 2007. Re-posted on allAfrica.

President Paul Kagame yesterday received the 2007 African Gender Award, which he won in January, for the substantial gains made in advancing the cause of Rwandan women.

The Head of State, who received the biennial award from Dakar, Senegal, was selected for the prize by the Women Africa Solidarity (FAS) and the Committee of the African Women for Peace and Development (AWCPD). Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade handed him the prize.

The award-giving ceremony was the key highlight of the African Gender Forum held under the theme “African Women and Migration.”

“Since the 1994 Genocide, Rwanda has been distinguished for its integration of women in the reconstruction process and its fight against gender-based violence. Rwanda is the only country in the world that can count 48% of women MPs in their national Parliament,” the organisation said.

The award is given at the government level to recognise African leaders who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in encouraging gender parity in politics, it added.

The President was chosen from three African presidents for the award, others being Festus Gontebanye Mogae of Botswana and Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first African woman president … (full text).

Links:

Paul Kagame on wikipedia;

Africa Joins Fight Against Gender-Based Violence;

PeaceAfrica;

Sustainable Africa.

UPEACE’s short courses in peace education in Costa Rica

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Received by mail:

From hr-education, the Global Human Rights Education listserv. See: mail-address for the list, and archives of the list.
Date: 12/12/2007

Dear Fellow Educators, Greetings from sunny Costa Rica! Here at the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), we are in the fourth year of the Peace Education M.A. programme. Thus far, we have graduated over 40 talented students, many of whom are working in important positions in which they are promoting peace through education. The profile of our alumni confirms the success of our programme. Indeed, we are having a multiplier effect!

Examples of the work our alumni are doing include the following:

  • Dody Wibowo: Participatory Peace Education Trainer with Peace Brigades International in Indonesia;
  • Julie Hyde: Sessional lecturer in conflict resolution at McMaster University, Canada;
  • Onen Christine Harriet: Project Coordinator of the Youth Education Pack (YEP) at the Norwegian Refugee Council in Gulu, Northern Uganda;
  • Som Prasad Niroula: Programme Officer at the Nepal Institute of Peace.

This year, for the first time, we are opening some of the Peace Education courses to outside participants as short courses. On our website you will find a brochure of the short courses (in PDF format): Short Course offerings on Peace Education 2007-2008 Academic Year in Costa Rica.

I would greatly appreciate your assistant in distributing it to potential students. If you have any questions, please contact me by mail.

I wish you peace and joy in the upcoming year.
Warm regards, Eliana Carvalho Mukherjee.

For visually impaired children

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Received by mail:

From hr-education, the Global Human Rights Education listserv. See: mail-address for the list, and
archives of the list.
Date: 13/12/2007

Human Rights Education HRE for visually impaired children:

Dear Friends at CSJ in our own Gujarat State, We would be happy to interact with you in developing a course module of human rights education for visually impaired children. Please let us know your plans. Best Wishes , A.K. Mittal, National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Chennai, India, e-mail.

And a link: Prabhat – alternative education, A Report 2003-2006: Making Learning a Joyful Experience for those who need an alternative, 12 pages.

(On 6 December 2007, Jyoti Dhomse wrote:
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