Showing posts from May 10, 2015

How we can Use Livestreaming Apps to Promote Justice

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[Participatory technology. On streaming human rights violations and protests live to your home with products such as Meerkat, Periscope and Bambuser. *RON*]
Sam Gregory, 10 May 2015

MOBILE LIVESTREAMING IS enjoying a moment in the spotlight with the launch of apps like Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope. You can use livestreaming apps to broadcast your trip to the grocery store, or to illegally stream expensive boxing matches, but their most important use is not at all trivial: documenting news and serving as an important tool for highlighting social injustice or emergencies as they happen.

In the US we’ve seen this most recently in events in Ferguson, Missouri, where livestreamers shared the realities of protest on the ground, capturing live moments such as when a police officer threatened media and protestors with a gun.

The response in the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore to the deaths of young African American men at the hands of police is t…

Is the Government Harassing and Censoring Scientists for Studying Ties Between Pesticides and Bee Deaths?

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[This will certainly sound familiar to Canadians. *RON*]
By Reynard Loki, AlterNet /, 10 May 2015

Following reports that scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture are being harrassed and their research on bee-killing pesticides is being censored or suppressed, a broad coalition of farmers, environmentalists, fisheries and food-safety organizations urged an investigation in a May 5 letter sent to Phyllis K. Fong, USDA Inspector General.

"The possibility that the USDA is prioritizing the interests of the chemical industry over those of the American public is unacceptable," states the letter, which was signed by more than 25 citizens' groups concerned that a forthcoming report by the White House Task Force on Pollinator Health, which is co-chaired by the USDA, will be compromised.

The signatories include the American Bird Conservancy, Avaaz, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Farmworke…

Rocco Galati challenges role of Bank of Canada in latest case

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[It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this. By far and away the majority of government debt has nothing whatsoever to do with social spending. It consists, rather, or money paid to private banks for financial services that used to cost us nothing up to 1974. *RON*]

CBC News, 8 May 2015

The lawyer best known for stopping the Supreme Court appointment of Judge Marc Nadon has turned his sights on the Bank of Canada.

Rocco Galati has taken on a case for a group called the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform, or COMER, which wants the central bank to return to the practice of lending federal and provincial governments interest-free money for infrastructure.

"They felt it was important in the face of the financial sector meltdown in 2008, the banking meltdown, and the drastic reduction and elimination of human capital infrastructure such as health care, universities and basically the stuff that the Bank of Canada from 1938…

Police arrest 15 in anti-austerity protest in London

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[See also Tony Blair's Labour must be the party of ambition as well as compassion - complete vacuous blather - no wonder they lost - you really can't make this shit up. *RON*]

BBC News, 10 May 2015

Fifteen people, including a 16-year-old boy, were arrested following clashes with police during an anti-austerity protest close to Downing Street.

Officers in riot gear clashed with a "minority" of protesters who threw objects during the rally - which came after the Tory election victory.

Met Police said four police officers and a police staff member were injured.

A police investigation is also under way after graffiti referring to "Tory scum" was daubed on a war memorial.

Met Police said of the 15 arrested, 14 people been bailed pending further enquiries including a full review of CCTV footage and a 24-year-old man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of assault on police.

Graffiti was sprayed on the Women&…

Why Food Companies Aren’t Prepared To Deal With Water Scarcity

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[It's never been an issue in the past so they are unprepared to deal with it and are ignoring the issue like crazy. "The reality is that for a very long time the business model for the food sector has been premised on cheap abundant water." See also California drought rules frustrate regions that prepared for the worst. *RON*]

By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, 9 May 2015

Leading global food companies are failing to account for impending water scarcity in their business plans, a new report finds.

Released Thursday by the Boston-based sustainable business consortium Ceres, Feeding Ourselves Thirsty: How the Food Sector is Managing Global Water Risks looked at how the world’s top 37 food companies, like Coca-Cola, Cargill, and General Mills, are planning for a world with water shortages. The results, according to Brooke Barton, senior director of Ceres’ Water Program, are concerning.

“If you look at the science of groundwater deplet…

Court rules search of businessman’s laptop at border ‘unreasonable’

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[I.e., the argument is that foreign nationals should be subject to unreasonable search and seizure. "President Barack Obama and his predecessors have maintained that people crossing into U.S. territory aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure. That... means the government could, at least in theory, target travelers for no reason other than political advocacy, for example." *RON*]

By Associated Press / PBS News Hour, 9 May 2015
WASHINGTON — A federal court has ruled that the government’s search of a traveling businessman’s laptop at the California border was unreasonable and violated his privacy.

In an opinion posted Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson suppressed evidence obtained from the computer of South Korean businessman Jae Shik Kim, undercutting the government’s case that he conspired to sell aircraft technology illegally to Iran. Jackson said that federal law enforcement…

Boat carrying Rohingya migrants rescued off Indonesia

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[I threw away my copy of Aung San Suu Kyi's memoirs when I realized that this revered Buddhist politician - more politician than Buddhist it seems - was never, ever going to speak out against the treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar. Many Rohingya are now dying as slaves in Thailand. See also Hundreds of Rohingya wash ashore in Indonesia on boats. *RON*]
BBC News, 10 May 2015

A boat carrying about 500 members of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim community has been rescued off northern Indonesia.

The boat - with many women and children on board - was stranded in waters off Aceh province when it was rescued.

Myanmar - formerly known as Burma - refuses to recognise Rohingya as citizens and hundreds of thousands have fled persecution in recent years.

Their main escape route has been the jungle border with Thailand, but many have also fled by sea.

"We received a report from fishermen this morning that there were boat people stranded," Aceh …

Mona Eltahawy: ‘All religions are obsessed with my vagina’

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[On Arabic feminism. The writer who became an icon of the Egyptian revolution on being a teenage feminist in Saudi Arabia, her tattoos and supporting Manchester United. *RON*]
Interview by Elizabeth Day, The Guardian, 10 May 2015
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning journalist and commentator on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. Born in Port Said, Egypt, in 1967, she moved to the UK with her parents (both doctors) when she was seven and then to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. In November 2011, while covering the protests in Egypt, she was physically and sexually assaulted by riot police, and detained for 12 hours by the Interior Ministry and Military Intelligence. The following year, her examination of misogyny in the Muslim world entitled “Why Do They Hate Us?” became a viral sensation. She has now expanded the original article into a book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. Eltahawy lives in Cairo and Ne…