Tags >> international
Mar 18
2010

Kathy Kelly

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , war , speaker , Santa Rosa , protest , policy , peace , news , international , government , events , economy , Congress , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

With the US deeply engaged in two active wars in the Middle East, it’s past time for peace activists to revive their opposition, says Visiting Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly.

There are lessons to be learned from the war in Iraq, agrees Peace activist Kathy Kelly, a coordinator for  Voices for Creative Nonviolence, but the purported success of so-called “Surge” is not one of them.

War begets secrecy at the highest levels of government, which  distances national leaders from the citizenry, Kelly cautions.  She’d like to hear the Obama administration clearly and publicly spell out the reasons for our military presence in Afghanistan, but suspects the real rationales are too murky and complex to  meet any tests for transparency.

Kathy Kelly will report on her recent visit to Afghanistan in Santa Rosa tomorrow evening at 7 pm at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Avenue. Her presentation, co-sponsored by the peace and Justice Center, Sonoma County, is titled, "The Cost and Sorrows of War:  Pakistan, Gaza,Iraq, Afghanistan."  Information: (707) 575-8902.

 

 

Mar 17
2010

"Eclipse of the Sunnis"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , war , religion , poverty , politics , news , media , land rights , journalism , international , immigration , homeless , families , employment , author

Bruce Robinson

One little-reported consequence of the war in Iraq has been the displacement of an estimated 2 million former citizens who have fled to neighboring nations or even further. Their story is the subject of Eclipse of the Sunnis,  a new book by NPR Mideast correspondent Deborah Amos.

Amos began covering the Middle East for NPR more than 20 years ago, and renewed her interest in the region following the 9/11 attacks. Even though she sees the Iraqi Sunnis as complicit in their own downfall, as instigators of the sectarian insurgency, she also believes their situation as an enormous population of displaced professional and middle class families is an important story, one she felt could best be told by presenting the human faces of some of those involved.

The split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims may appear to be the result of religious differences between two factions within Islam, but Deborah Amos cautions that this interpretation is a simplistic misreading of the complex geopolitics of the Middle East.

It’s a convenient shorthand to speak of the displaced Iraqis as “refugees,” but that, too, is an over implication, in Amos’s view. Because these are mostly middle class households, they are able to monitor events and their situation in ways that are completely unknown to most poverty-stricken refugees. But their circumstances leave them vulnerable to an eroding standard of living that may take generations to recover.

Amos writes about the significance of the Iraqi general election here.

Feb 26
2010

Apple Moths in New Zealand

Posted by Bruce Robinson in vineyards , trees , research , international , farms , environment , coast , chemicals , California , business , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

While California’s policy is to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth, a local researcher reports that New Zealand has adopted other tactics to control the bugs, which have been present in that country for more than a century.

One problem with California’s attempt to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth is that the state got a late start in that effort. U.C. Cooperative Extension biologist Lucia Varela says the number and dispersal of the moths suggests they were here for some time before they were discovered.

Right now, California’s official policy toward the apple moths is “zero tolerance,” so that any areas where they are found are place under quarantine. But Varlea and many other experts doubt that the bugs can successfully be eradicated. Instead, she says, a more realistic policy would be to control the apple moth populations, so they cause minimal damage to apples and other crops.

Lucia Varela also reported recently  on the arrival of the European Grapevine Moth in the North Bay. You can hear the North Bay Report coverage of that development here.

Feb 25
2010

A School for AIDS Orphans in Mozambique

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , teens , students , speaker , rescue , public safety , poverty , nonprofit orgs , medicine , international , homeless , healthcare , families , education , children , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

As the number of African children orphaned by AIDS continues to grow, a new model for housing, teaching and caring for them is trying to take root in Mozambique.

Malena Ruth, Founder and President of the African Millennium Foundation, says that while it is clearly her intention to create opportunities for the orphaned youth and children of her home country, she is just as clear that her vision is not just another orphanage.

Actress  CCH Pounder’s first contact with AMF was as a donor. As she learned more about the organization, she was impressed enough to join their board of directors. And she is now firmly committed to promoting the A Nossa Casa project, because she believes it will begin to make a difference in the near future.

UNICEF has projected that before the end of this year in Mozambique,  more than 926,000 children such as these with have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

 

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