2015-2016 Religion

From the unpublished material January 4, 2017

Since the attack on the World-trade Centre in New York the relations between Muslims and other believers in the West became sour and the actions of fundamentalist groups with the silence of the main Islamic denominations made that clashes were unavoidable. Having some calling on the name of the prophet Muhammad to justify their killing made it once again difficult, after the 2014 Islamic State (IS) battles and the 2015 January attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, to keep the population to believe Muslim was not a religion willing to kill all those who believed something different than they.

Many people wondered how God and the prophet Muhammad would react to the attrocities fulfilled in their name on the world.

Many people wondered how God and the prophet Muhammad would react to the attrocities fulfilled in their name on the world.

Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people and is against the burning or wilfully damaging the Holy Scriptures. But since a few years we have seen several terrorist groups raping young people, killing innocents, even bombing mosques and bringing fire to the Quran, for which they would murder others when they would do such a thing.

According certain Islamic groups the orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries which like the United States have the intention to promote a life against the will of the creator, are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. It are the voices of those who say that the hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad, which are frightening more and more the Western citizens.

Those who thought Al-Qaeda would have been silenced after the death of Osama Bin Laden were very wrong.When he lived he had already given indication the Jihad was not all in his hands.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people. {Interview with Osama Bin Laden in Osama bin Laden Myth [2 of 2]}

Bin Laden did not have anything against the American system, not against its people, whereas in the September attacks, the common American people have been killed.

The Islamic leader at the time said:

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia.

After those attacks we have seen many other groups using the name of the prophet as well as the name of Islam to bring terror to others. But as we could see in the Paris terrorism of January 2015 those criminals did not have much in common with real faithful Muslims. Also the many jihad fighters from the West seemed to be more youngsters who did not find their way in the Western system of life.

Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’ida wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

said Bin Laden.  {Osama bin Laden Myth [2 of 2]}

Whenever incidents occurred in the past in western countries, the faithful Pakistanis were attacked and this time it was not different when the Pakistanis saw how was reacted in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo publications and attacks. Christians, who are already living under constant fear for their lives, became even more vulnerable.

An anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstration in Pakistan (CNS)

An anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstration in Pakistan (CNS)

Begin February hundreds of Muslim students, armed with iron bars and sticks, have ransacked a Christian school in northern Pakistan in protest at blasphemous cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo.
300 Muslim students stormed the Christian boys’ school in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northern Pakistan, demanding its closure and injuring four students. The protesting students entered the Panel High School after jumping its outer walls and forcing open the gates.

The school has been closed for two days and the headmaster has decided to take additional security measures.

Nasir Saeed, Christian director of the NGO, Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, said:

“It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. Christians condemn the blasphemous cartoons. It is a shame that even after 67 years since the birth of Pakistan, Christians have not yet been considered Pakistani citizens, but are seen as ‘Western allies’.

It is the politicians’ duty to create a cultural environment and a society in which Christians and religious minorities feel safe.

Riots of Malda in January 2016 by some were seen as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Islamists. The Bengal communal clashes got us to see how biblical prophesy has become a reality today, one religion fighting against an other religion, and as such one community to demolish for example a Shiva temple at Dhulagarh, about 28 kilometers west of Kolkata, in Howrah district.

Riots started when Muslims brought out a procession complete with loudspeakers blaring Hindi film music on 13 December to celebrate Eid-e-Milad (the birthday of Prophet Mohammed), which actually fell on 12 December and was a public holiday. On 13 December, Hindus at Dhulagarh village, like in the rest of the country, were observing Margashirsha Purnima.

In Bengal many may dream of the partition of North East Region (8 states) and the creation of a new Islamic State ‘Sonar Bangal’ comprising of West Bengal and Bangladesh in India’s East. This is Mamata Banerjee’s desire and the aspiration of the Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh and their allies in West Bengal. But not only in this Hindu place we find Muslims demanding a change and to put away all the pagan temples. In the East 2016 showed several places where Hindu temples, houses and shops were looted and then set ablaze. {Islamists in Bengal TMC are attacking Hindus on regular basis, why Mamata silent now?}

Highlighting the huge deplorable situation in law and order situations and communal attacks on Hindus by Jihadi groups in various parts of West Bengal, the state unit of BJP has observed “Save Democracy Day” on Dec 21, through out the State. A huge numbers of BJP supporters and victim Hindus came to the streets to make the day observation successful.  {Islamists in Bengal TMC are attacking Hindus on regular basis, why Mamata silent now?}

The 2016 spring report by the Pew Research Center has shown that Jewish Israelis are deeply divided societally, religiously and politically. The last few years we could already see how the non-religious Jews made life more difficult for people of an other faith than Judaism. the Extreme right wing very conservative religious Jews made life even more difficult for all those living in the region of the state of Israel.

Israeli Jews in general are about as uncomfortable for their children to marry a Muslim as secular Jews are for their child to marry a haredi person and vice versa.

There also can be found a centrist movement, Conservative/Masorti Judaism which strives to reconcile ancient ideas with modern understandings. Utilizing this approach, twenty years ago, a group of Temple Emunah members, led by Barbara Palant, began to consider how they could become a more welcoming community — one that embraces interfaith families while still adhering to their time-honoured traditions.

Following the Rabbinical Assembly’s practice, Temple Emunah has adopted the phrase “K’rovei Yisrael” to refer to those individuals who are part of our community and part of a Jewish home, though they are not personally Jewish. The term literally means “those who are close to [the people of] Israel.” K’rovei comes from the word “karov,” meaning “close;” krovim means “relatives.” K’rovei Yisrael are distinct from non-Jewish friends and extended family members who might visit our community or our congregation for a Bar Mitzvah or for some other reason.

K’rovei Yisrael are also different from non-Jewish relatives of Temple Emunah members who choose not to be involved in our synagogue community.

{-Rabbi David Lerner Welcoming K’rovei Yisrael at Temple Emunah Today TempleEmunah.orgAttached and Yet Unattached}

Like in any community also by the Jews you may find liberal social and religious tastes which can be very different. In these times getting closer to the end-times in several religious groups is seen that we are coming closer to the time that people have to unite and show their love for God to others plus have to connect with other lovers of God throughout the world. This means one has to have an eye for other religious groups or denominations and has come to see those who want to come out the false teachings of human dogma’s.

Many Israeli Jews question if Messianic Gentiles and K’rovei Yisrael may have mixed or non-Jewish “family members” to take part in synagogue activities. Many Jews think out of respect for their traditions, K’rovei Yisrael should not participate in rituals with the Torah. Though many Messianic Jews in Israel desire to stay or to become an integral part of normative (Orthodox) Jewish synagogue life this should only be possible when they truly worship the Only One True God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jeshua (Jesus) and his disciples.  They should understand when they worship a three-headed god or want to keep to the Trinity, they can not be part of true Christians nor of true Jews.

It is that worshipping of false gods which still made several lovers of God being divided how to look at the attitude of those who call themselves Christian. Many of those calling themselves Christian also took a very unchristian attitude, because they as not true followers of the son of God, want only to see Jesus to be worshipped as God and detest all people who do not want to accept their god. Often they with the atheists found now reason enough to go against all those who love God and as such many more Jews, non-trinitarian Christians and Muslims got under fire and where bullied or even attacked.

For the above Pew poll Messianic Judaism isn’t mentioned as a Jewish population group in the article from which we can see that Jews tend to stay socially within their own particular population and rarely have friends or marry outside their groups.

Secular Israelis comprise the largest sector, totalling 40% of Israel’s total, population, traditional Israelis are 23%, religious-Zionists 10%, and haredim were 8%, while 14% of the population is Muslim, 2% Christian, and 2% Druze. In total, the Israeli population is 81% Jewish, 19% non-Jewish.

According to the study, 95% of Haredi Jews and 93% of secular Jews have a spouse from the same subgroup, while 85% of religious-Zionist Jews have religious-Zionist spouse.

Traditional Israelis were the only sector to have a somewhat higher rate of intermarriage with other Jewish groups, with approximately 33% of traditional Israelis marrying a religious-Zionist or secular Jew, and 64% of this group marrying within their sector. {Pew poll: 48 percent of Israeli Jews support transfer or expulsion of Arab Israelis” The Jerusalem PostIf You Think Being a Messianic Gentile Is Tough, Try Being a Messianic Jew}

A Idaho Messianic Gentile at his blog Morning meditations wonders as an over age 60 strength trainer how a disciple of Jesus can look through a “Jewish lens” and get a better perspective on life and the God Who made us all. He probably understands very well the whole world shall have to come to understand the need to see some commonality in ourselves as people of the world.

We’ll never be a united nation as long as any one group expects everyone else to submit to them. We’re supposed to recognize the differences between each other and accept that diversity. {Peace With Our Neighbors}

He reacts

Messianic Judaism isn’t mentioned as a Jewish population group in the article, but I did wonder about that 2% Christian group. Of course, there are normative, non-Jewish Christians in Israel, but, from any other Jewish groups’ perspective, would Jews who are known to be “Messianic” be considered Christian?

My guess is “yes,” and if so, I’m sure that causes dismay among those Messianic Jews to no end.

To consider Messianic Jews as part of the Jewish population or Jewish nation I do find we have to have a closer look at what sort of Messianic Jews it are, because in that group are two totally different groups, one who like any other Jew believes in only One True God, the God of Israel, and one section which adheres the Trinity like several so called Christians worship a threeheaded god. That last group should never considered  a Jewish I think because they do not want to take on the core matter of the Judaic faith, the believe in Only One True God.

+

Additional reading

  1. Osama bin Laden Myth [2 of 2]
  2. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  3. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  4. Being Charlie 2
  5. Being Charlie 3
  6. Being Charlie 4
  7. Being Charlie 5
  8. Four students were reportedly injured in the attack
  9. Immanuel looking at Jewish and Christian visions
  10. A Place for Questions
  11. A popular television programme and a new website
  12. New platform for questions and answers
  13. Coming together in dark days
  14. First blog post by Immanuel
  15. A beginning by the 2016 Chanukah celebrations
  16. Not missing your appointment in 2017
  17. Reflections on Existence and Teaching
  18. Best to read and study the Bible
  19. Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us
  20. Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated
  21. God Isn’t a Republican
  22. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  23. A Progressive Call to Arms
  24. Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms
  25. Human tragedy need to be addressed at source
  26. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  27. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  28. An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem
  29. Putin’s Handy use of the Russian Orthodox Church
  30. Russian Orthodox Church demonstrating its presence

+++

Further reading

  1. Love over Hate, Modernism over Stone Age, Civilization over Barbarism
  2. Religious Controversy
  3. The Islamic Issue
  4. International Policing Protocol: Don’t Link Terror Attacks to Islam or ISIS
  5. Sharia Jihad – Holy War against the World
  6. Gen. Flynn: Terrorists Aren’t Yelling ‘Jesus Christ’ While Waging Attacks
  7. Absolving Sin: The Motivation for Jihad
  8. Minneapolis mayor worries that terrorist attack in her city might fuel “Islamophobia”
  9. Hacked Memos: George Soros Network Hyped ‘Islamophobia’ After Muslim Terror Attacks
  10. Jews may leave EU if Islamic terrorism, “anti-Semitism” not halted, top rabbi warns MEPs
  11. Pope Francis to Muslim Leaders: “No more violence in the name of God!”
  12. “To kill in the name of God is satanic,” Pope Francis says at Mass offered for Fr. Jacques Hamel
  13. Graffiti defaces San Antonio church with “No to wall” and “Islam or Die” – San Antonio Express-News
  14. ‘Mohammedans Continue Bringing Chaos and Terror To France’
  15. Pakistan : As You Sow, So Shall Ya Reap!
  16. Dhulagarh Riots, West Bengal
  17. Attached and Yet Unattached
  18. If You Think Being a Messianic Gentile Is Tough, Try Being a Messianic Jew
  19. Dear Islamist Terrorist planning to kill the Infidels …
  20. ‘More Mohammedan Atrocities: Nigeria’
  21. The cross is not a sword- it is the key that open the human heart. ©Gavin Ashenden.
  22. Tim Kaine’s knee-jerk reaction to Islamic terrorism
  23. First U.S. City With Muslim Majority Starts To Implement Sharia Law…
  24. France – Islam : What do the poll numbers tell us?
  25. Egypt’s Christians Condemn Amendments to Church Construction Law
  26. China deals with Muslims by executing them all
Posted in History, News and Politics, Religion, Visuals (Video, Photo, Cartoon) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 review Human rights

From the ‘forgotten to publish’ material, written on March 2017

After 2015 brought court sentences to some human traffickers and Great Britain voted to exit the EU it did not end the traffic.

Police carry out spot checks for human trafficking along roads in West Flanders – ©Kurt Desplenter/BELGA

A court in Leuven heard how a gang organised 61 transports between October of 2014 and January 2015. In Autumn 2015 it sentenced a gang of 11 human traffickers to a total of 31 years in prison, with fines amounting to €942,000. The men were charged with smuggling 157 illegal immigrants and received a fine of €6,000 for each case.

In 2015 the Belgian federal government had again increased the number of places available for refugees who had not yet been processed by the Immigration Office, as the stream of asylum-seekers arriving in Belgium continued unabated, but by July 2016 it looked that the refugees declined and many more where returned to their home country after the increased security checks.

More than 20 years after Johan Leman, a well-known social worker, warned Brussels that Molenbeek would become a hotbed for disgruntlement, Belgium had to face the logistics base for IS terrorists, a place to hide and to arm themselves.

Following the attacks in Paris and Brussels Prime minister Charles Michel presented the federal government’s package of anti-terrorism measures which touch on four areas and more work was done to do a thoroughly search in Molenbeek, known as the Jihadi capital of Europe.

Hate speech and incitements to violence should not be taken lightly, said Michel, and websites carrying such messages will be taken down. Mosques with no official recognition where going to be closed and the training of imams more closely monitored, but by the middle of the year 2016 not so much had changed yet. Those preaching messages of hate and violence can be imprisoned or deported and this got less people preaching hate on the streets and asking to go to Syria to defend the Muslims faith.

Those who travel to Syria and Iraq to fight on the side of radical groups like IS were better followed and some got imprisoned on their return to Belgium. Those who are considered at risk of becoming jihadi fighters could be fitted with an electronic ankle-band to allow their movements to be monitored but this proved to no use really as in France a youngster still could kill a priest after having taken 5 people hostage in church.

A large part of the budget goes to spending on police and the justice system. The first part of 2016 everywhere in the bigger cities everywhere could be seen soldiers and at the Brussels Airport they were everywhere and tents were provided to do a pre-screening before the passengers could come into the airport. Police was also  supplied with number-plate scanners and new technology for phone-tapping and camera surveillance. At last the police could invade houses at any time of the day and had received the power to carry out search warrants around the clock, while the time allowed for a suspect to be detained without being brought before a court was extended from 24 to 72 hours.

Nine municipalities were to receive part of the €568,000 granted to help them tackle the problem of radicalisation among young people and could each appoint an official to co-ordinate the campaign against radicalisation.

Whilst home affairs minister Jan Jambon has announced he has a “global plan” for tackling terrorism, following his promise in the early days of the post-Paris crisis to “clean up Molenbeek” early in 2016 the Privacy Commission has criticised a new database of terrorist suspects and extremists, part of a package of measures agreed by the government two at the beginning of the year. The federal home affairs and justice ministers had asked the commission for advice.

According to the commission, too many services are to be allowed access to the database, with no clear indication of the limits to be applied to each service on what information it is able to consult or add to. The database also overlaps significantly with other existing systems, and no official has been designated as responsible for its overall upkeep, who would be consulted by the commission in the case of disputes.

The commission also criticised the fact that the database is being introduced as an amendment to the law on the police service, which it describes as “very strange”, since the database will be open to not only the police but also the risk analysis office, the state security service, military intelligence, the prosecutors’ offices, the penal establishment, customs, the service for foreigners and the agency charged with tackling money laundering.

The commission concludes by giving a positive advice on the general principle of the database. Bart Tommelein, secretary of state for privacy matters, will review the legislative proposal to see where it can be corrected.

In July there was a debate for suspending the oath of secrecy for social workers. It would be better if they could give signals when they notice some of the people they are helping or paying for are radicalising or active in certain domains which could endanger other citizens.

After the problems several women had at the end of year celebrations, mostly from asylum seekers, Germany and Belgium asked their citizens to report any form of abuse.   Federal home affairs minister Jambon in response to a series of MPs seeking information on the government’s reaction to events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, called on women who have suffered sexual intimidation or violence to come forward and report the offence, to allow the authorities to take effective action.

More than 500 crimes were committed in the city, 40% of them sexual assaults by asylum seekers and other men of foreign descent. The attacks have sparked a wave of debates across Europe as to the cultural situation of the refugee crisis.

“Sexual violence is not acceptable, never was acceptable and never will be,”

said Jambon.

“The equality between men and women is one of our society’s fundamental values, and no one can call that into question.”

The protection of personal integrity will be a priority in the government’s security plan, he told MPs, which means it will be granted increased police personnel and resources. Reporting all offences is important, he said, to allow the extent of the situation to be better evaluated.

“That will allow us to bring that dark number into the light – the only way police services and others involved can take effective action.”

That the public was more alert and took care to protect others was shown at the Sfinks Mixed festival (Boechout) in Summer when 25 asylum seekers were detained by police, after they were alarmed by festival visitors.

In 2016 the European Parliament, having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other UN human rights instruments, having regard to the Geneva Conventions and other legal instruments on international humanitarian law (IHL) and to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court had now to react to the Council conclusions of 10-11 December 2015 on the World Humanitarian Summit preparatory process, and to the Updated European Union Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law.

Since the Yemen uprising providing a wave of pro-democracy protests sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, unseating leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and leading to sustained unrest in other countries, including Libya, Syria, and Bahrain, instead of bringing a better world to the inhabitants of those countries they got worse conditions than under their dictatorial leaders.

Yemeni President Hadi Before Bilateral Meeting in Saudi Arabia.jpg

Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, Yemeni Field Marshal and politician, President of Yemen since 27 February 2012

The humanitarian situation in Yemen, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nine states intervening in the Yemen conflict in support of President Hadi’s internationally recognized government launching a campaign of air strikes on areas controlled or contested by Houthis (or Huthis) and their allies, including Sana’a and Sa’da governorate, having sent ground troops into southern Yemen and having imposed a sea and air blockade, while many coalition attacks were directed at military targets, others were indiscriminate, disproportionate or directed against civilian homes and infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, markets and factories, as well as vehicles carrying civilians and humanitarian assistance, killing and injuring thousands of civilians. By the end of the year 2015, the conflict had caused the deaths of more than 2,700 civilians, including hundreds of children, according to the UN, and the forcible displacement of more than 2.5 million people, creating a humanitarian crisis.

A Zaidi Shia-led religious-political movement that emerged from Sa’dah, northern Yemen in the 1990s and has fought against the government of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh on and off since 2004 – Houthis – Ansar Allah fighters or “Supporters of God” in Yemen, August 2009

On 14 April, in Resolution 2216, the UN Security Council demanded that Houthis withdraw from Sana’a and other areas and surrender weapons seized from government sources. It also called for all states to prevent arms transfers to former President Saleh and the Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and pressed all parties to the conflict to abide by previous agreements, including the outcomes of Yemen’s national dialogue and the Peace and National Partnership agreement of September 2014.

In July, forces opposed to the Houthis, supported by ground troops from the United Arab Emirates and coalition air strikes, regained control of Aden. In September, President Hadi’s government partly relocated to Aden from Saudi Arabia.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented more than 70 unlawful coalition airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes, that have killed at least 913 civilians and deliberately targeted civilian objects, caused dispro­portionate harm to civilians and civilian objects, or failed to distinguish between civilians and military objectives. Mwatana, one of Yemen’s leading human rights organizations, documented 59 airstrikes between March 2015 and April 2016 which they deemed unlawful.

Coalition airstrikes, even with the use of at least seven different types of internationally banned cluster munitions in at least 19 attacks, have repeatedly hit homes, hospitals, markets, civilian factories and schools. An August airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF/AZG) hospital, the fourth during the 18-month long war, prompted MSF to withdraw its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen and declare their

“loss of confidence in the Coalition’s ability to avoid such fatal attacks.”

More than 20 million civilians were in desperate need of humanitarian aid, having a loss in Yemen’s production capacity and shortages of food, medicine and other critical needs of Yemen’s civilians.

Multiple parties to the conflict were also recruiting and deploying child soldiers. The United Nations Secretary-General attributed 72 percent of 762 verified cases of child recruitment to the Houthis.

UN-brokered peace talks took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 15 to 20 December, accompanied by a temporary ceasefire, but ended without any significant breakthrough.

US forces continued to carry out drone strikes against the armed group al-Qaeda (al-Qa’ida) in the Arabian Peninsula in central and southeastern Yemen, mainly in the governorates of Marib and Hadramawt.

In the countries where people fought against ISIS often many people had to suffer because they were unlawfully thought to be helping ISIS and therefore got imprisoned, tortured, raped like those who protested against such atrocities. The 20-year-old student Mahmoud Hussein, who spent more than two years detained in Egypt, without trial after being arrested at the age of 18 in 2014 for wearing a “Nation Without Torture” belonged to the lucky ones who could be released  after the governement could not resit the international pressure and the 145,000 people who took action for his release worldwide as part of the Amnesty International Stop Torture campaign.

World Humanitarian Summit WHS logo.pngEntitled ‘One humanity, shared responsibility’ the first World Humanitarian Summit being held in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016 had the UN Secretary-General drawing attention to what he calls

‘the brazen and brutal erosion of respect for international human rights and humanitarian law’

in armed conflict situations, which threatens to cause a regression to an era of war without limits; whereas the report notes that the failure to demand and promote respect for our shared norms and to support the existing enforcement, monitoring and accountability mechanisms contributes to this erosion.

The Summit convened 9000 participants from 173 countries (or 173 Member States), including 55 Heads of State and Government, hundreds of private sector representatives, and thousands of people from civil society and nongovernmental organizations.

Many NGO’s where attacked and in several countries we could find hospitals and schools under attack destroyed like they were part of military bases though it was proven there not being any military or rebel people. Whereas hospitals and medical personnel are specifically protected under IHL and any intentional attack against civilians and civilian infrastructure is considered a serious violation of IHL none of the fighting parties seemed to have any human feelings for injured and facing distress citizens. Whereas the Rome Statute stresses that intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments, is a war crime, at no site of the fighting parties was there any intention to take this in account. At several places in the world we could see all participating parties being guilty of war crimes and and crimes against humanity.

Whereas, as of 14 March 2016, 52 states, including several but not all EU Member States, having endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration following the Oslo Conference on Safe Schools, held in May 2015 and whereas the Foreign Affairs Council, when adopting the EU Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law, emphasised the importance of dealing effectively with the legacy of serious violations by supporting appropriate accountability mechanisms, and underlined the important role the International Criminal Court (ICC) can play in cases where the state or states in question are unable or unwilling to exercise their jurisdiction; whereas the EU Guidelines commit the ‘appropriate Council working groups’ to monitoring situations where IHL may apply and, in such cases, to recommending action to promote compliance with IHL (paragraph 15(a)); the world had to ascertain that there was no respect at all for human dignity nor for ethic agreements in the years 2015 and 2016.

The European Union Deeply regretted the loss of respect for IHL and expressed its shock and grave concern about the deadly attacks against hospitals and schools that are occurring at an increasingly alarming rate in armed conflicts around the world, with patients, students, medical and teaching staff, humanitarian aid workers and family members becoming targets and victims, while international condemnations rarely lead to independent investigations and genuine accountability. The EU calls on the EU Member States, the EU institutions and the Vice-President / High Representative (VP/HR) to recognise the true extent of this emergency, and to prepare without delay a concrete time-bound action plan to use the influence of the EU and the Member States to its full extent to ensure implementation of preventive measures and to halt such violations and abuses; condemning attacks on hospitals and schools, as prohibited under international law, recognising that such acts may constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and war crimes under the Rome Statute; expresses its conviction that the preservation of health and educational facilities as neutral, protected spaces during armed conflict situations depends on the outcome of transparent, independent and impartial investigations into the brutal attacks that have occurred and on achieving genuine accountability for the crimes committed.

UN-Sicherheitsrat - UN Security Council - New York City - 2014 01 06.jpg

United Nations Security Council

2016 saw the requests that the EU and its Member States put on the agenda of the UN and the UN Security Council the removal of the artificial hierarchy and distinction between international and local staff as regards strengthening protection for all humanitarian workers. There also was an encouragement of the EU and its Member States to fully support the UN Secretary-General’s call for all UN member states to seize the opportunity of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to recommit to protecting civilians and ensuring the human rights of all by respecting, implementing and promoting the rules that they have already agreed upon; emphasises the importance given by the UN Secretary-General to the strengthening of international investigative and judicial systems, including the ICC, to complement national frameworks, in order to bring an end to impunity for IHL violations.

Today still EU and its Member States have continually to urge the UN Security Council to use all available tools, such as targeted measures, the establishment of fact-finding missions or commissions of inquiry, or judicial mechanisms, such as referrals to the ICC, to refrain from using the veto in Security Council decisions on issues related to humanitarian action and to enhance respect for international law norms which provide for the protection of humanitarian workers, and to ensure that acts which could constitute violations of these norms are systematically investigated and that those suspected of being responsible for such acts are brought to justice.

It is a shame that not enough is done for the legal obligations and condemnation of those who do not impose targeted measures on persistent violators while making sure that the lines between political, military and humanitarian objectives are not blurred in peace negotiations and peacekeeping mandates.

India for 2016 did not yet manage to come away form its bad position, being of the least performers in the world when it comes to realisation of fundamental human rights guarantees to all its citizens, irrespective of their economic, religious and social status. The country performs poorly by comparison to rest of the world democracies, concerning the actualisation of remedies to human rights abuses.

One of the most serious concerns affecting the realisation of adequate and effective remedies to human rights abuses to victims is the enormous delay in adjudications. A litigation to complete in India could take often more than a decade. According to a statement made by the Prime Minister of India in the Lok Sabha in 2010, India has the largest backlog of cases in the world. This situation has not improved, since today, the country has an estimated 30 million cases pending disposal. Of this a substantial number of cases are more than a decade old. An estimated four million cases are pending before the country’s High Courts and the Supreme Court itself has an estimated 65,000 cases pending before it. {India: Remedies to human rights violations a mirage}

Human rights violations affected 22,000 families at Rio Olympics, says report

The Olympics was not celebrated by everybody in Rio Credit: WWW.Childrenwin.Org

The Olympic and Paralympic Games may still get lots of international attention and be loved by many. Though again many lifes where seriously affected in a bad way. There had been “a devastating impact” on communities while human rights “violations” affected 22,000 families in Rio de Janeiro.

According to official data from Terres Des Hommes, 22,000 families were evicted from their homes since Rio was chosen as the host city for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Many were moved to a Government social housing programme – notably Minha Casa and Minha Vida – more than half of which were at one point controlled by militia gangs, according to the report.

Terre des Hommes details “the devastating impact of the 2016 Olympic Games on thousands of children and young people in Rio”.

In a briefing entitled Breaking Record: Child rights violations during Rio 2016 Olympics, violations committed before and during the Games are documented in full.

The evidence, which includes statistics and moving video testimonies, explains a legacy of Olympic evictions, police abuse of children and adolescents living on the streets, which increased leading up to and during the Games, and included severe beatings.

Since Colonel Qaddafi’s death during the upheaval of the 2011 Arab Spring, not only Libya has been racked by instability and violence, further undermining the rule of law and increasing corruption, that hopeful view the “Spring” would bring was shattered into pieces in many countries which followed the example of the Libyan youngsters.

2016 saw the continued violation of any decent human decency in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Angola, Libya, Iraq, and Venezuela as the only country in the Americas included among the list’s most corrupt governments.

Several civilians who protested against religious extremism, were gunned down like the social activist Khurram Zaki was.

Again we could witness how the most commonly utilized counter-terrorism tactics, such as extrajudicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and political imprisonment are themselves acts of terror which still too many allow to happen.

Political activist Noam Chomsky stated that

“counter-terrorism is terrorism by another name.”

All human beings that name worthy, should raise their voice and must counter counter-terrorism – in order to uphold human rights and give weight, resources, and priority to it.

Military and clandestine agencies unilaterally function from a consequentialist point of view, with a modus operandi that denotes that their goals – professedly productive – be accomplished by any means necessary, even if those means are themselves directly counterproductive. The ends do not justify the means. We cannot justify criminal means to fight crime; we cannot terrorize to fight terrorism. We cannot devalue human life in the name of preserving it. {Fighting Terrorism Without Violating Human Rights}

Posted in B4Peace, Crisis, History, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Voor onze kleinkinderen: stem die klimaatwet

Als ouder en grootouders kan men het niet nalaten te kijken wat er nu gebeurd dat gevolgen zal hebben voor de toekomst en voor de latere generaties.

De “Grootouders van het Klimaat” schreven aan de voorzitters en fractieleiders van de democratische partijen een open brief om voor de Klimaatwet te stemmen. Het gaat over het wetsvoorstel dat klimaatdoelstellingen formuleert en het klimaatbeleid van de federale en gewestelijke overheden coördineert. Belangrijke instrumenten om een ambitieus en rechtvaardig klimaatbeleid te kunnen voeren.

Geachte voorzitters van de Vlaamse politieke partijen,

Geachte fractievoorzitters in de Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers,

Namens de Grootouders voor het Klimaat juichen wij het interuniversitair initiatief toe van de professoren in de rechten en de grondwetspecialisten, verbonden aan een aantal Belgische universiteiten (Saint-Louis Brussel, Universiteit Gent, UHasselt en UCLouvain), om tot een interfederale “bijzondere wet houdende vaststelling van de globale beleidsdoelstellingen van België en tot coördinatie van het klimaatbeleid van de federale overheid, de gemeenschappen en de gewesten”.

Dit initiatief is een uitvloeisel van de burgerbeweging, die al enkele maanden aan de gang is. Het biedt de mogelijkheid om de basis te leggen voor een sterker, objectiever en democratischer Belgisch klimaatbeleid. Het geeft een kader, dat noodzakelijk is om tot een ambitieus en coherent klimaatplan te komen en dit ook geregeld te evalueren, zoals dat gevraagd wordt vanuit de Europese Unie.

De academici bevestigen dat deze bijzondere wet door het Parlement kan worden gestemd, zelfs in een situatie van lopende zaken. Dit zou een antwoord zijn op de vraag van de vele mensen die de laatste weken op straat zijn gekomen en vragen om een dringende oplossing voor het klimaatprobleem.

Wij willen u vragen om op deze opportuniteit in te gaan en zo snel mogelijk en na overleg met de andere politieke partijen dit voorstel van bijzondere wet in de Kamer in te dienen, te bespreken en erover te stemmen voor de verkiezingen van mei 2019. Uiteraard beseffen wij dat deze wetgeving de parlementaire procedures moet volgen en dat er amendementen zullen volgen, en dat hoort zo. Maar wij hopen dat de ambitieuze doelstellingen en principes en de vernieuwende wegen op het gebied van de burgerparticipatie overeind zullen blijven.

Wij hopen dus dat er door de politieke verantwoordelijken daadwerkelijk en effectief wordt opgetreden en dat de democratische instellingen ten dienste worden gesteld van de klimaatuitdagingen.

In naam van onze kleinkinderen, bedanken wij u om uw verantwoordelijkheid ten aanzien van de komende generaties op te nemen.

Namens de Grootouders voor het Klimaat,

Prof. Dr. Emeritus Bernard Hubeau, Co-voorzitter

Posted in Aankondiging, Milieu, Nieuws en politiek, Welzijn en Gezondheid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Falsified Medicines Directive comings into full force

Tomorrow the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) 2011/62/EU shall come into full force.

Whereas, FMD requires organisations to capture and share item level serialised data. Businesses, therefore, need to identify datasets, sources and recipients. This will be vital in ensuring future scalability, including the ability to consolidate, aggregate products and data and sharing this information in real time to enable other parties to mass decommission if needed.

Posted in Welfare and Health | Tagged | Leave a comment

Genitale verminking niet langer een louter Afrikaans probleem

Doordat er onder de volkeren een grotere verschuiving plaats grijpt komen specifieke cultuurproblemen ook in onze contreien voor.

N-VA-vrouwen Assita Kanko en Anneleen Van Bossuyt organiseerden dinsdag een hoorzitting in het Europees Parlement naar aanleiding van de Internationale Dag tegen Vrouwelijke Genitale Verminking. Ze brachten de Europese dimensie van het probleem in kaart, evenals een voorstel voor een Europese aanpak.

Wereldwijd zijn er naar schatting 200 miljoen vrouwen overlevers van deze verminking. Maar

“In België leven 17.000 vrouwen met de gevolgen van genitale verminking. 8.600 meisjes lopen risico verminkt te worden.”

zegt Assita Kanko, die in mei op de tweede plaats op de Europese lijst staat, en zelf een overlever van deze gruwelijke verminking is.

“Het is niet langer een louter Afrikaans probleem. Wij Europeanen mogen hier de ogen niet voor sluiten.”

Graag wil zij de komende vijf jaar daar dan ook een prioriteit van maken in het Europees Parlement.

Anneleen Van Bossuyt en Assita Kanko

Europarlementslid Anneleen Van Bossuyt volgt de problematiek al jaren op vanuit het Europees Parlement. Volgens haar is preventie de belangrijkste stap, namelijk

“zorgen dat meisjes niet langer het slachtoffer worden. Meer dan 90 procent van deze meisjes wordt verminkt voor de leeftijd van 15 jaar. Leerkrachten, sociaal werkers, artsen, grensbeambten en vele anderen kunnen een cruciale rol spelen. Wanneer jonge meisjes tijdens de vakantie afreizen naar het land van herkomst met een groot risico, moeten alarmsignalen afgaan en moet er tijdig een gesprek plaatsvinden met de familie. Het is vaak tijdens die reizen dat slachtoffers gemaakt worden. Omdat verminking ook vaker binnen de EU gebeurt, moet we ook hier de controle opdrijven om dit te voorkomen.”

Volgens Kamerlid en voormalig staatssecretaris voor Gelijke Kansen Zuhal Demir knelt het schoentje vooral bij de handhaving en vervolging. Zij zegt

“We weten dat er besnijders zijn in Brussel en Antwerpen, die thuis besnijdenissen uitvoeren. Maar het is geen prioriteit voor het parket. Preventie is goed en nodig, maar er moet vanuit justitie ook een repressief luik aan zijn.”

“De minister van Justitie moet daar een prioriteit van maken. Ik wil dat op tafel leggen.”

Europarlementslid Van Bossuyt wil meer Europese steun voor de slachtoffers en voor de artsen die de levenskwaliteit van deze vrouwen kunnen verbeteren:

“Ik heb budgettaire voorstellen gedaan om meer onderzoek te doen, ook medisch. Als beleidsmaker mogen we niet blind blijven. We moeten meisjes en vrouwen beschermen. In de EU hebben we de mensen en de middelen om de gevolgen van de verminking te beperken, laten we die dan ook gebruiken.”

Posted in Nieuws en politiek, Welzijn en Gezondheid | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanuit het jongerenkamp burgerinitiatief voor het klimaat

De voorgaande jaren kregen wij de indruk dat de jeugd niet erg geïnteresseerd was in wat er rond hen gebeurde. Men leek toe te kijken op een heel verwende verspillende generatie. Maar eindelijk kwam er wat schot in een zaak die iedereen moet roeren.

De minister van Natuur en Omgeving Joke Schauvliege kwam van de schrik zelfs te vertellen dat er een georganiseerde bende zou achter zitten en die jongeren van 16 jaar en jongere zou aansturen.

Op de nieuwjaarstoespraak voor het Algemeen Boeren Syndicaat (ABS), een organisatie die de belangen van de landbouwers verdedigt vond de minister het nodig om te laten blijken dat er een opgezette wraakactie zou zijn ten gevolge van de reactie op Vlaams oud-minister van Leefmilieu Vera Dua (Agalev/Groen) in mei 2003. De CD&V-minister zei dat de klimaatbetogingen wel eens doorgestoken kaart zouden kunnen zijn. Immers, bij het begin van deze legislatuur zouden natuurbewegingen haar hebben bedreigd met een ‘offensief’.

Haar uitschuiver en leugens brachten haar tot een ontslagname, terwijl de jongeren wel vreemd mochten opkijken dat een volwassene zo ver zou komen te denken dat zij door hogere organen zouden gebruikt zijn.

Het gezicht van de klimaatspijbelaars, Anuna De Wever, betreurt de uitspraken via Radio 1.

 “Heel vreemd dat een minister over zoiets kan liegen, waarvan ik zelf weet dat het niet waar is”,

aldus de 17-jarige die vorige maand nog door het rechtsnationalistische Vlaams Belang onder vuur werd genomen wegens logistieke ondersteuning aan de ‘bosbrossers’ vanwege de socialistische ABVV-vakbond.

In januari was Mevr. Schauvliege nog dankbaar omdat de spijbelaars het draagvlak vergroten voor klimaatmaatregelen.

Voor haar ontslag zei de minister nog:

“Ik ben ook heel blij dat de jonge generatie zelf verantwoordelijkheid wil dragen”

“Het succes van het klimaatbeleid hangt niet alleen af van het beleid dat van bovenaf gevoerd wordt. We moeten ervoor zorgen dat iedereen beseft dat we met z’n allen het verschil kunnen maken. Het beleid, maar ook de burgers. We moeten dit echt als hefboom gebruiken.”

Al drie marsen op rij konden wij zien, waarbij jongeren duidelijk lieten merken te weten waarover het ging en om ook zelf te willen werken aan de lagere eco-voetafdruk.

Vlaanderen streeft met zijn klimaatplan de huidige Europese doelstelling na van 40 procent minder uitstoot tegen 2030. Maar er wordt nog veel te weinig gedaan en niemand durft politieke moed te vertonen om dit op zijn minst waar te maken of om nog beter te doen. Die doelstelling volstaat namelijk niet om onder de grens van 1,5 graad opwarming te blijven.

Gelukkig is er nu een burgerinitiatief, vanuit een brede groepering van burgers, ondernemers, middenveldorganisaties , media en universiteiten en hogescholen, waarbij wordt opgeroepen om de ogen eindelijk eens te gaan open doen en in te zien dat de klimaatopwarming is vandaag al een feit. De aarde is nu al één graad warmer. De opwarming gaat ook almaar sneller. En de gevolgen zijn er. Orkanen nemen wereldwijd in intensiteit toe. California of Portugal krijgen te maken met dodelijke bosbranden. Italië met overstromingen. Dat soort extremen is van alle tijden maar komen steeds vaker voor door de klimaatopwarming.

De jongeren die nu op straat zijn gekomen waren daar niet om lekker een dagje vrij van school te hebben. De meerderheid leek werkelijk gemotiveerd. De volwassenen moeten ook weten dat uit die groep onze toekomende ministers zullen op staan. Zij zijn de toekomst van dit land en ook al zullen zij de gevolgen van onze generatie moeten dragen, zullen zij ook de nodige maatregelen moeten treffen om het niet verder om zeep te laten gaan.

Het is nog Niet Te Laat

We zijn vandaag op weg naar een opwarming van meer dan 3 graden. Alleen als de wereldwijde uitstoot van broeikasgassen vanaf nu snel daalt, is een opwarming ruim onder de 2 graden nog haalbaar.

Daarom moeten de volgende regeringen nu in actie schieten om de kansen op een leefbaar klimaat niet te verspelen. Dat is ook zo afgesproken in het klimaatakkoord van Parijs. Daarmee verbindt België zich ertoe te doen wat nodig is om de opwarming ruim onder de twee graden te houden en te streven naar 1,5 graad.

Teken voor het klimaat en teken voor onze toekomst !

Stuur onze politici een sterk signaal en vraag de volgende regering nu echt werk te maken van het klimaat en de toekomst van alle mensen in België.

Posted in Aankondiging, Milieu, Nieuws en politiek, Waarschuwingen, Welzijn en Gezondheid, Wereld om ons heen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 economics

From the box of unpublished material

In 2016 Greece itself made little progress with politically difficult measures to overhaul its public finances, the country remains mired in crisis and in debt. At the heart of it all, from the IMF’s perspective, are concerns that the fund yielded to political pressure from European governments.

This prompted the inspectors to demand sharper protections against political interference in technical analysis by the fund. IMF chief Christine Lagarde said no, but critics see plenty to bolster their conviction that the fund’s strategy in Europe was different to its engagements in emerging markets.

In the Summer of 2016 Stress test results for Europe’s top banks came out and all eyes were on Italy’s embattled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) — the world’s oldest bank, who failed already the 2014 stress tests and had to carry out two capital increases for a total of 8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) but whose stock had fallen 84 percent over one year period.

But scandal-hit German lender Deutsche Bank was also the one looked at when the London-based European Banking Authority released its results. Following a series of scandals, difficulties for its investment bank in a low interest rate environment and the impact of a tough restructuring plan — investors are wary about the banking giant. It does, however, retain solid core capital ratios and — thanks to the support of the ECB — it should not lack liquidity in the short-term. Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan, when he he presented its second quarter results, said the bank’s financial status were “unjustified.

The EBA published stress test results in 2011 and 2014 (when 24 failed and had to boost capital) to measure the potential effect of an economic shock — but this time it was not saying whether the institution concerned has passed or failed.

“In 2016, no pass fail threshold has been included as the objective is to use the stress test as a supervisory tool,”

the authority said.

The weak economic environment persisting the banks needed to be yet more ambitious in the timing and intensity of their restructuring.

Spanish bankers enjoyed a tranquil summer having credit flowing easily through the system once again after years where households and small businesses struggled.

In August bank’s shortfall in purchasing bonds reflected the lure of long-dated debt in hedging liabilities, whilst Triple record for US stocks gave Asia bourses a lift, with a record close for all three US benchmarks outweighs batch of soft China data and Wall Street hitting records as oil surged.

In several West European countries were talks about introducing negative interest rates. Bavarian lender passed on costs of ECB policy to individuals and charged negative rates on large deposits.

The European Central Bank (ECB) argued that it may be forced to bolster its monetary stimulus programmes if governments fail to act to boost their economies, board member Benoit Coeure said in August

In September Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, was launching a campaign to make sure that national regulators pursued Volkswagen over the “dieselgate” scandal.

Antonio Tajani and Janez Potocnik, who served, respectively, as the commissioners for industry and environment from 2010 to 2014, appeared before a European parliament committee investigating who knew what and when on dieselgate.

Both men were grilled on why the commission did not react more energetically to evidence that diesel cars were smashing through legal limits for emissions of dangerous nitrous oxides. Failure to get to grips with that broad problem, it is argued, meant that consumers were misled and that the VW cheating went unseen.

MEPs orchestrated the theatre of having Mr Potocnik appear at the same time precisely because he warned his then colleague, vigorously, of the need to get to the bottom of the problem. The two men even exchanged letters on the issue, something that was revealed by the FT last year.

In the event, it was former environment commissioner who cut the more contrite figure, saying that, “with hindsight, even if it was not part of my responsibilities one could argue that I should have been more determined.”

My Tajani, by contrast, was bullish. Europe was in the “vanguard” when it came to tougher car rules, he insisted.

While MEPs go over the past, other efforts to repair EU car regulation in the wake of dieselgate are in a slower gear. Major proposals made by the EU commission in January that would hand Brussels powers to oversee car testing are moving sluggishly through Council and Parliament.

Working out what went wrong is still no substitute for redressing the harm done to consumers – and making sure this kind of scandal never happens again.

In September at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in China, the G20 leaders needed to change domestic rhetoric as well as policies, whilst the tide of globalisation was clearly starting to change and one could see a steady rise in protectionist measures.

Trump killing the TPP, Canberra had to seek new allies.

In November the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy called for a two-speed Europe – split between the eurozone and the rest – and giving the UK option of (re)joining a reformed EU. Sarko’s new EU would feature: an EU treasury and a European monetary fund for the eurozone and pared-down EU for the rest, with looser competition rules, a focus on trade and a five year wait for anyone claiming benefits.

Posted in Economy, History, News and Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Global watershortages and Worsening food security conditions

In December 2015 was warned by many that global warming will create catastrophic water shortages shortly but also that several countries would have to face more floodings.

In his first address on the global stage of the General Assembly, Spetember 2017, United States’ President Donald Trump touted an “America First” approach at the very institution that is meant to inspire collaboration between nations and gave a clear sign he was not interested at all in protecting nature, water supplies or clean air. Though during his 45-minute speech, President Trump praised national sovereignty, referencing the concept a whopping 21 times.

“Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values,” he told world leaders.

Then we could question him if clean and healthy air was not important for his people. And would clean water not be important for the safety of the American people?

In 2017 exacerbated by climate-related shocks, increasing conflicts have been a key driver of severe food crisis and recently re-emerged famines, and at several islands seawater came higher into the land making the ground salty and unbarren, making people to leave their land to better pastures. Ecological immigration by 2030 will be challenging – achieving it will require renewed efforts through new ways of working.
Worsening food security conditions have been observed in places where economic slowdown has drained foreign exchange and fiscal revenues, affecting both food availability through reduced import capacity and food access through reduced fiscal space to protect poor households against rising domestic food prices.

Some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children are found in countries affected by conflict, a situation that is even more alarming in countries characterised by prolonged conflicts and fragile institutions.

Ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition is an ambitious goal, but it is one which could be reached if governments are willing to take care of ecological and political miserable or wrong situations and would be willing to strengthen our common efforts and work to tackle the underlying causes that leave so many people food-insecure, jeopardizing their lives, futures, and the futures of their societies.

The American President does not want to know about global warming but close to his door the average annual temperature has increased by 0.9 degrees Celsius since the middle of the last century in Cuba.
At the same time, great variability has been observed in storm activity and, since 2001, this Caribbean island nation has suffered the impact of 10 intense hurricanes, “unprecedented in history.”

Since 1960 rainfall patterns have changed and droughts have increased significantly, and the average sea level has risen by 6.77 centimetres to date. Coastal flooding caused by the rise of the sea level and strong waves represent the greatest danger to the natural heritage and buildings along the coast.

Future projections indicate that the average sea level rise could reach 27 centimetres by 2050 and 85 centimetres by 2100, causing the gradual loss of the country’s surface area in low-lying coastal areas, as well as the salinisation of underground aquifers.

We can not ignore that it  is not only Cuba’s climate that is becoming warmer and more extreme.

Posted in Environment and Ecology, Food, News and Politics, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking care of the drinkable water

Last year in Belgium there was a shortage of water at many places. Many countries could really feel that the world is changing and that it is high time human beings take action. Though still there are certain politicians who prefer to have the economy go in the first place no matter the consequences for next generations. Though ordinary people could see that

Storms, Floods, and Droughts:
The cycle that transports water around the Earth is intensifying

Water is becoming a private privilege rather than a community resource. It is also one of the world’s most precious resources. As vital to the survival of the human species as the air that we breathe.

Each year, in industrial and rich countries more people gain access to clean water, but at the same time other countries in the Africa and Asia are facing severe water shortages, In India for example with 600 million people affected by a variety of challenges including falling groundwater levels, drought, demand from agriculture and industry, and poor water resource management; all of which are likely to intensify as the impacts of climate change take hold.

From the unpublished articles, I wrote in 2012 November 11:

There is enough water in the oceans, but I think you would not like to drink it. Too salty.

“Over the last 50 years, in general, the salty regions of the ocean are getting saltier, and the fresher regions are getting fresher,”

Paul Durack, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said.

“That’s the best evidence that the water cycle has been intensifying.”

Art of the Stem writes:

There’s an old western adage, Gritzuk said:

“Whiskey’s for drinking. Water’s for fighting over.”

Not only will regions and nations battle over insufficient freshwater supplies, so will industries,

Paul Faeth, a fellow at CNA Corp., told Morss Colloquium participants.

A little-known fact is that 40 percent of our fresh water is used to cool power plants. More people require more energy plants that require more water. The recent surge in hydraulic fracking may offer new cheap natural gas supplies, but it also requires abundant water supplies to get out of the ground.

Anthony Patt, a researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria said

Nations and industries will incur higher costs to adapt to changes in the water cycle, said . Developing countries with fewer resources to avoid catastrophes will suffer far more than richer ones.

Posted in Environment and Ecology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you’re going to try, go all the way

Wishing you a New Year I think of all those who would love to take new steps and look at the new year with lots of hope.

One year before we are going to have 2020, lots of people may have still some good resolutions they will have to fulfill this year.


If you’re going to try, go all the way.
Otherwise, don’t even start.
This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.
It could mean not eating for three or four days.
It could mean freezing on a park bench.
It could mean jail.
It could mean derision.
It could mean mockery — isolation.


Isolation is the gift.
All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.
And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.
And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.


If you’re going to try, go all the way.


There is no other feeling like that.You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
You will ride life straight to perfect laughter.
It’s the only good fight there is.

– Charles Bukowksi 

 

Posted in Reflection - Consideration or Contemplation, Thoughts of others, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments