Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘war’

Global Forced Displacement Highest Since WW2

Posted by feww on June 20, 2014

WARS FOR RESOURCES
TERRORISM
MEGA DISASTERS
FORCED DISPLACEMENT
SCENARIO 444, 070, 04
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Global forced displacement tops 50 million, highest since World War II  —UN

The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

The agency’s annual Global Trends report shows 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, some 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012.

“This massive increase was driven mainly by the war in Syria, which at the end of last year had forced 2.5 million people into becoming refugees and made 6.5 million internally displaced. Major new displacement was also seen in Africa notably in Central African Republic and South Sudan,” said the report.

“We are seeing here the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflict,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “Peace is today dangerously in deficit. Humanitarians can help as a palliative, but political solutions are vitally needed. Without this, the alarming levels of conflict and the mass suffering that is reflected in these figures will continue.”

The biggest refugee populations under UNHCR care and by source country are Afghans, Syrians and Somalis together accounting for more than half of the global refugee total. Pakistan, Iran and Lebanon, meanwhile, hosted more refugees than other countries.

The worldwide population of stateless people is not included in the figure of 51.2 million forcibly displaced people. Statelessness remains hard to quantify with precision, but for 2013, UNHCR’s offices worldwide reported a figure of almost 3.5 million stateless people. This is about a third of the number of people estimated to be stateless globally.

 

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Obama Sowing Seeds of Another Major Conflict

Posted by feww on April 24, 2014

GLOBAL CONFLICTS FOR NATURAL RESOURCES & ‘STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE’
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 04
.

Obama Gives Abe a Long Enough Rope to Hang the Japanese

The U.S. President, referred to by the moderators as 5-o, who is on a four-nation Asia tour, has reaffirmed his support for Japan in its row with China over Diaoyu Islands [called the Senkaku islands by Abe's Japan.]

By expressing his support for the right wing, Yasakuni-ite government of Japan, 5-o has stoked the fire of a deep-rooted antagonism between the two Asian rivals, ensuring inevitability of a major conflict, possibly a war, in the region, while at the same time preaching against escalation in the dispute.

[NOTE: Russia’s Foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has asserted, "the Americans are running the show (in Ukraine) in a very close way."]

“Article five [of the US-Japan security treaty] covers all territories under Japan’s administration including Senkaku islands,” said Obama. “We do not believe that they should be subject to change unilaterally.”

yes we can
A protester wearing an Obama mask attends an anti-war demonstration against Obama’s visit to Japan.  Obama arrived in Tokyo, Japan on a four-country tour of the Asia-Pacific region on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yan Liang)

Meanwhile, Chinese officials have reasserted Japan’s occupation of the islands as “illegal and invalid.”

“No one can shake our determination to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime interests,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Japan occupied the Diaoyu Islands during the Sino-Japanese War in 1895.

No matter who ultimately wins the dispute over the tiny islands, Japanese public are guaranteed to be the losers.

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Mass Starvation Threatens 7 Million South Sudanese

Posted by feww on April 21, 2014

WAR, FAMINE AND DISEASE
.

South Sudan is weeks away from worst famine in recent African history: UN

Unless comprehensive action is taken to address hunger in South Sudan before the planting season ends in May, the country faces one of the worst famines in African history, UN agencies have said.

“If we miss the planting season, there will be a catastrophic decline in food security,” said Toby Lanzer, the Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary-General for the UN Mission in South Sudan. “What will strike that country, and it will hit about seven million people, will be more grave than anything that continent has seen since the mid-1980s.”

Based on the UN assessment, the crucial planting season in South Sudan will end in less than 5 weeks.

South Sudan: 7 Million at Risk of Hunger and Disease

Video clips and photos taken in the hot spots of South Sudan since conflict erupted there on 15 December 2013. Posted on YT by Toby Lanzer.

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Human Conflicts Continue to Plague the Planet

Posted by feww on March 30, 2014

More than 1 million South Sudanese Displaced:UN

At least 1 Million people have been forced from their homes due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, said the UN

More than quarter of million people have taken refuge in neighboring countries and at least 800,000 have been displaced internally.

Fighting erupted between the troops loyal to Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan and and his deputy, Riek Machar, in December 2013.

Despite a ceasefire agreement in January,  fighting has continued.

Food security

The conflict has caused “a serious deterioration in the food security situation” leaving around 3.7 million people at high risk,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Fighting between government and opposition forces has continued, especially in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile state, where towns and rural areas have been ravaged by the violence.”

Nearly 5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, however “the remote and dispersed placement sites make it difficult to reach many of South Sudan’s conflict-affected people,” says the UN.

A large number of South Sudanese war refugees have crossed the border  Ethiopia since fighting erupted  in December.  Many others have  fled to Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, while the internally displaced have sought shelter in UN bases, according to reports.

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9.3 Million Syrians Displaced

Posted by feww on March 15, 2014

WAR OF TERROR ON SYRIA  – THIRD ANNIVERSARY
MASS EXODUS
.

Syria: Tens of thousands slaughtered, more than 9 million displaced

On the third anniversary of war of terror waged by Saudi Arabia and Israel against the Syrian people, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said: “three years have passed on this horrible Syrian crisis and that means more displaced people to expect. Today we have around 2.6 million Syrians displaced to neighboring countries and more than 6.5 million Syrians displaced inside Syria.”

Guterres expressed his gratitude to the “generosity of the Lebanese and the government of Lebanon,” for hosting most of the displaced Syrian refugees.

He called on the international community to “show more solidarity with Lebanon and provide financial support and share with it the burden because Lebanon cannot be left alone to confront the big challenges in these hard conditions.”

Meantime, Israeli forces continued shelling the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Return of Polio

In October 2013, an outbreak of polio was reported in Syria, more than a decade after the disease had been eradicated from the country.

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A Little Too Late

Posted by feww on January 17, 2014

… but included for the record

Needed: Three Obama Speeches for the People

by Ralph Nader
January 16, 2014

Dear President Obama:

All the daily decisions and crises you have to confront must not preclude occasional addresses to the country that rise to the level of statesmanship, transcending the hurly-burly of politics and executive branch administration.

There are three areas where the people need the views and vision of their President.

1. A major address on the resources and preconditions necessary for the government to wage peace as a continual policy of statecraft and not just sporadic initiatives between waging war or engaging in other violent conflicts. Consider the enormous disparity of time, power and money allocated to preparing for or waging military assaults with what is devoted to prevention of conflict and other fundamentals of securing the conditions for peace. The tiny U.S. budgets for nuclear, chemical and biological arms control with the Soviet Union and other nations over the years have certainly produced positive returns of incalculable magnitude and importance.

We have military academies but no peace academies. Vast sums are allocated for research and teaching about war and military tactics, but very little for peace studies at our schools and universities. You may wish to meet with former Washington Post columnist, Colman McCarthy, who teaches peace in the Washington D.C. area schools and has written pioneering books and articles that include his compelling arguments for having peace studies adopted in high schools and colleges around the country (see http://www.salsa.net/peace/conv/ for more information).

2. Earlier in 2009 and again in 2011 I wrote to urge you to address a large gathering, in a convenient Washington venue, for the leaders of nonprofit civic organizations with tens of millions of members throughout the United States. Not receiving a reply, I sent my request to the First Lady, Michelle Obama, whose assistant replied saying you were too busy.

You were, however, not too busy to address many business groups and also to walk over to the oppositional U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Well, it is the second term and such a civic gathering could be scheduled at your convenience. You could use this occasion to make a major speech on the importance and means of advancing the quality and quantity of civic groups and their chapters which, taken together, are major employers. Your advisers could even justify the effort as stimulating a jobs program by urging larger charitable contributions from the trillions of dollars of inert money in the hands of the upper economic classes.

3. Strengthening democratic processes and expanding democratic institutions and participation by the people are cardinal functions of the presidency. Indeed, Harvard Law Professor, Richard Parker in his little, seminal book: Here the People Rule (Harvard University Press, 1998) argues that the constitution authorizes the President “to facilitate the political and civic energies of the people.”

A major address on this topic should be right up your experiential alley from both your early experience in Chicago of observing and confronting the power structures’ many forms of exclusion and mistreatment of the populace and your more recent accommodation to that power structure and its influence over Congress.

As has been said, democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires a motivated citizenry, along with rights, remedies, and mechanisms that facilitate people banding together as candidates, voters, workers, taxpayers, consumers and communities. Concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few who decide for the many is the great destroyer of any society’s democratic functions. It was Justice Louis Brandeis who, memorably, stated that, “We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” And another well-regarded jurist, Judge Learned Hand declared, “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: thou shalt not ration justice.”

As “politics” is seen by more people as a dirty word and as the people move from cynicism about political institutions to greater withdrawal from them, including public meetings, primaries, elections and referenda, they need a president who addresses these disabling symptoms of a weakening democratic society from the local to the state to the national levels of our political economy.

Such an address will have positive reverberations beyond the general public. Depending on your scope, recommendations and announcements, it will reach the youth of our country, our high schools, universities, workplaces and professional schools. Why it may even affect the moribund, technical routines of the Harvard Law Review (where you were president in 1990) as well as other law schools, bar associations and lawyers who aspire to higher estimates of their own professional significance (see my remarks “The Majesty of the Law Needs Magisterial Lawyers” before the Connecticut Bar Association June 17, 2013). If law means justice, as it should, then the rule of law needs presidential refurbishing to strengthen the fiber of our democracy.

I hope you will see the merit of these three suggestions. A copy of this letter is being sent to the First Lady, Michelle Obama, whose staff may be responsive in a different manner.

I look forward to your reaction.

Sincerely yours,
Ralph Nader

*****

We would advise Mr Nader, as noble and well-intended as his ideas may be, that you can’t run an empire with peace academies, and urge him to reconsider the impact of contributing and lending legitimacy to super-commercial, predatory “news & views” outlets like the Huffington Post.

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World’s Most Unethical Country Also “Greatest Threat to Global Peace”

Posted by feww on January 2, 2014

US the biggest threat to global peace in 2013: Poll

The United States is considered to be the greatest threat to peace in the world by 65 nations in a 2013 global survey conducted by the Worldwide Independent Network/Gallup.

According to the survey, 24% of the world believes the United State represents the biggest threat to world peace. The US was followed by Pakistan (8%) and China (6%). Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea took joint fourth place with 5 percent of the votes.

  • Some 13% of the U.S. Citizens considered their own country the biggest threat to world peace.[Additionally, 70 percent of Americans believe the US government in incapable of making progress on important issues facing the nation in 2014. ]
  • Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia took only 1% of the votes, despite being a major sponsor of global terrorism.
  • Japan received only 4% of the votes, despite its warmongrel prime minister targeting China with $232 billion in weapons purchase.
  • Previously, Israel had “been described as the top threat to world peace, ahead of North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran, by [59 per cent of those interviewed in] an unpublished European Commission poll of 7,500 Europeans,” according to a report.

threat to world peace
Data: WIN/Gallup. Chart: FIRE-EARTH Blog.

WIN/Gallup, allegedly made up of 77 independent market research and polling firms, calls itself “the leading association in market research and polling,” and claims to cover 95% of the global market.

The 37th annual “End of Year Survey” of the association was described as  “a global study that collects the public view on the challenges that the world faces today,” which allegedly  reflects “the thoughts and behaviors” of the populations in 65 countries across the world.

Notes:

  • Win/Gallup interviewed a total of 67,806 people  in 65 countries between September and December 2013.
  • The survey margin of error is +/- 3.5%.
  • The global average was calculated according to the proportion of the adult population in the surveyed countries.

-oOo-

In its 2011 “End of the Year” post titled

Most Unethical Nations in 2011 [and Probably 2012]

Posted by feww on December 31, 2011, FIRE-EARTH said

World’s top 20 countries with the highest arms expenditure 


Top 20 countries with the highest military expenditure for 2010 shown as a percentage of the world total. Source: SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, War Resisters League and others.

NOTES:
1. The “Tier 1 Coalition Countries,” or the countries that obediently  support the United States war efforts to maintain its empire status, which include Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Spain and the Netherlands account for at least 71% of the world’s total arms procurement.

2. Arms procurement is normally 20-50% of the countries’ military budgets.

3. World’s total arms expenditure for 2010-2011 was estimated at $1,655 billion.

4. The 2012 United States federal budget is a staggering $2,847 billion, of which 48% ($1,372 billion) is allocated to the military. (Source). The figure includes 30% or $869 billion for current military operations, and 18% or $503 billion for past military disasters from Total Outlays of $2,847 billion in 2012 fiscal year. ["The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not to mention the Pentagon’s voracious appetite for expensive weapons systems—have been a gold mine for the Big Five:  Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman and Boeing." ~ “From Pentagon, a Buy Rating on Contractors,” Joe Nocera, New York Times, Feb. 11, 2011]

Global Disaster Links

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Dead or Wounded in 2014

Posted by feww on January 1, 2014

Syria Death Toll

According to various estimates, more than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria and about 2.5 million people have fled their homes since the Saudi-backed destabilization of the country began in March 2011.

Iraq Death Toll

The 2014 death toll in Iraq climbed above the 9,500 mark with about 20,000 wounded in hundreds of violent attacks throughout the war-torn country.

Pakistan Death Toll

About 1,550 people were killed and 4,100 others wounded in hundreds of bomb attacks across Pakistan in 2013.

South Sudan Death Toll

“Thousands” of people have been killed in South Sudan and more than 120,000 others displaced, since heavy fighting began on 15 December, 2013  in South Sudan’s capital Juba and quickly spread to four other states, said UN.

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Thousands Killed in South Sudan, as Violence Spreads: UN

Posted by feww on December 25, 2013

Thousands of people have been killed since fighting began 10 days ago: UN OCHA

“I think it’s undeniable at this stage that there must have been thousands of people who have lost their lives.” Toby Lanzer, the senior UN humanitarian coordinator, told the BBC.

“When I’ve looked at the hospitals in key towns and I’ve looked at the hospitals in the capital itself, the range of injuries, this is no longer a situation where we can merely say it’s hundreds of people who’ve lost their lives.”

There are up to “hundreds of thousands,” of people seeking shelter from the fighting , he added, it’s been “a devastating week for South Sudan.”

Five out of 10 states in the country have been affected by the latest round of fighting, according to UN OCHA.

UN OCHA Situation report as of 23 December 2013

The following are highlights of the latest UN report on South Sudan crisis.

  • The estimated number of people displaced by in the current crisis in South Sudan has risen to 81,000*. Given the limited access to civilians outside population centers, the number is likely to
    be significantly higher.
  • The response to people displaced in Juba is gaining momentum, with registration underway in UNMISS Tomping and food distributions ongoing in both sites.
  • Priorities for the response to the displaced are food, healthcare, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene services and protection. [Preferably NOT in that order: Editor]

Situation Overview

On 22-23 December, the security situation remained stable but tense in Juba. At least 20,000 people are still sheltering at the two main UNMISS bases in town. Registration began in UNMISS Tomping on 23 December, with 894 people registered on the first day. The registration is being done simultaneously with distributions of basic food rations and household kits. Preparations are underway for a similar registration exercise in UN House. The main concern in the sites, in particular in UNMISS Tomping, is currently the lack of sanitation and the risks it poses for disease outbreak such as cholera in the sites. Large numbers of people have been seen leaving the city, including towards Nimule on the border with Uganda. There are already reports that people have crossed into Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, and aid agencies are mobilizing to monitor these population flows more closely, to ensure that people are assisted where necessary.

The situation in Jonglei deteriorated further, with reported clashes between different armed factions south of Bor. At the peacekeeping base in Bor, an estimated 17,000 people are sheltering. As of 22 December, all international aid workers have been relocated from Bor to Juba, though the base is being reinforced with additional peacekeeping troops. Additional protective barriers have also been constructed around the base, including the area hosting the displaced civilians. There has been large-scale looting of humanitarian compounds and civilian property. Looting has also been reported in Akobo, Jonglei State, and in Bentiu and Koch County, Unity State.

The displaced people who had been sheltering at the UNMISS in Pibor have left [fled?] the base.

  • The fighting, despite its complexity, is being portrayed as an “ethnic war” between the Dinka and Nuer. South Sudan President Kiir is of the Dinka ethnicity, while the rebel commander, the former vice-president Riek Machar, is an ethnic Nuer.
  • Estimated 81,000 people have been displaced, since 15 December 2013
  • 5 of 10 States in South Sudan are affected by current wave of violence (States affected by violence and main reported concentrations of people displaced, says OCHA)
  • Estimated 45,000 people seeking refuge in UNMISS bases. (Includes reports of people in other locations not mapped. The total number of people displaced is likely higher, as aid agencies have very limited information about displacement outside main population centers.)
  • The UN Security Council voted on Tuesday to increase its peacekeepers from 7,000 to 12,500, and its international police force from 900 to 1,323.
  • Sudan was devastated by a 22-year civil war that left more than 1.5 million people dead prior to South Sudan becoming independent in 2011.

Mass Graves and Grave  Abuses Committed Against Civilians

The UN High Commissioner for Human Chief Navi Pillay says a mass grave was found in the rebel-held town of Bentiu, and there were “reportedly at least two other mass graves” in the capital Juba.

“We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba,” Ms Pillay said.

The situation is increasingly tense in Bentiu, with military mobilizations reported and sporadic fighting. Some 7,000 people are sheltering in the UNMISS base. Non-essential staff are being evacuated from Bentiu to Juba, in view of the deteriorating security situation, though essential staff remain to ensure response. Aid workers have also been pulled out of Yida and Ajoung Thok refugee sites.

In Bentiu, UNMISS peacekeeping troops remain in place. The situation is also fragile in Upper Nile State, where sporadic fighting has been reported in several locations in the past days. Protection of civilians, along with issues of lack of command and control of various armed groups, are serious concerns in all areas affected by fighting. There are credible reports of grave abuses committed against civilians in different parts of the country, including killings. Some of these abuses have reportedly been tied to the ethnic identity of the victims.

Related Links and Background

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6,000 Killed, 160,000 Displaced amid CAR Violence

Posted by feww on December 13, 2013

Sectarian violence in CAR continues to escalate

Inter-community clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR) has left at least 600 dead and about 160,000 others displaced, with continuous reports of killings and looting, according to the U.N.

“The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continuous to increase as violence persists. There are now over 160,000 IDPs in Bangui gathered in over 40 sites, with the highest concentration in churches, religious sites and the Bangui international airport.”

The following information release in September 2013 illustrates the severity of the situation in CAR

  • 4.6 million Central Africans—the country’s entire population—are affected by the crisis
  • 1.6 million are in “dire need of assistance.”
  • 206,000 people have been internally displaced, many of them living in the bush with little or no access to humanitarian assistance. 100,000 of them are children.
  • 60,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, mostly the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • 11,252 refugees live in three camps in CAR, to which aid workers have very limited access.
  • 650,000 or more children are unable to attend school.
  • 484,000 people (10.5% of the population) are severely food insecure.
  • 3,500 children have been recruited into armed groups
  • 3,652 military and civilian personnel will make up the African-led International Support Mission in CAR, drawn largely from multinational forces already on the ground under different authorities.
  • 13,703 people on antiretroviral drugs are at risks of defaulting on their treatment because of supply chain interruptions.
  • Less than 20% of the country’s medical facilities are operational. [Sources: UNOCHA, UNHCR, UN Security Council, Save the Children]

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Syria Terror: Children “Targeted by Snipers”

Posted by feww on November 24, 2013

“Stolen Futures: The hidden toll of child casualties in Syria”

Some 11,420 children aged 17 and under were killed in the Syrian conflict: 7 out of 10 by explosive weapons, 1 in 4 by bullets—Oxford Research Group.

Between March 2011, when the “conflict” began, and end August 2013, at least 11,420 were recorded killed in Syria. Some 764 children were summarily executed, 389 were killed by sniper fire and more than 100—including infants—were tortured, according to the report.

“128 children were recorded killed by chemical weapons in Ghouta on 21 August, 2013.”

Overall, a total of 113,735 civilians and combatants were killed during the report period.

child carrying mortar shell
10 year-old Issa carries a mortar shell in a weapons factory for the “Free Syrian Army” in Aleppo, September 7, 2013. Image Credit: REUTERS/Hamid Khatib

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City Shut Down, Buildings Set Ablaze Amid Fighting in S. Philippines

Posted by feww on September 10, 2013

Zamboanga City shut down as MNLF men attack suburbs

At least a dozen people have been killed and dozens more wounded or trapped as fighting erupted again between Philippine military and Moro National Liberation Front rebels, who were occupying five districts of Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

The fatalities include a navy personnel, a policeman and several civilians, said Zamboanga City Mayor.

At least 2 dozen people have been wounded and more than 220 others are trapped, said a report.

Zamboanga city- SPH
Philippine govt has deployed more than 800 troops to Zamboanga city, as deadly clashes between rebels and government forces enter their second day. Image credit: Reuters

Authorities have evacuated more than 600 residents from several villages, while 847 people have fled to other areas.

The Mayor has canceled all school classes in the city, and businesses in the downtown area have been shut down.

Meantime, Philippines Civil Aviation Authority declared the city a “no fly zone” due to the ongoing conflict, said the report.

“Cebu Pacific Air, earlier, canceled its flights to and from the city due to the conflict.”

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Scores Killed in CAR Clashes

Posted by feww on September 10, 2013

Fighting between armed factions leaves 80 dead, many injured in Central African Republic (CAR)

Renewed fighting follows a U.N. warning that the landlocked central African country was on the brink of collapse.

The latest clashes occurred near Bossangoa about 300 km north of the capital Bangui between fighters loyal to former President Francois Bozize and the ex-rebels who ousted him, reports said.

car- Renewed fighting in CAR leaves dozens dead, many injured amid worsening humanitarian crisis. The fighting follows a U.N. warning that the country was on the brink of collapse. Photo: UNICEF/Pierre Holtz.

The former rebels who are now in power have been accused by residents, United Nations officials and non-governmental organizations of a wave of killings and abuses, said a report.

“Houses were burnt, people were burnt alive including children, women and old people who had nothing to do with the fighting. It is really disgusting,” said an observer.

CAR is facing a major and multifaceted humanitarian and security crisis exacerbated by a coup d’etat in March 2013, said IRIN.

Human rights abuses such as “arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks”, are becoming ever more common, according to a recent report to the UN Security Council.

The following data illustrates the severity of the situation in CAR

  • 4.6 million Central Africans—the country’s entire population —are affected by the crisis
  • 1.6 million are in “dire need of assistance”.
  • 206,000 people have been internally displaced, many of them living in the bush with little or no access to humanitarian assistance. 100,000 of them are children.
  • 60,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, mostly the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • 11,252 refugees live in three camps in CAR, to which aid workers have very limited access.
  • 650,000 or more children are unable to attend school.
  • 484,000 people (10.5% of the population) are severely food insecure.
  • 3,500 children have been recruited into armed groups
  • 3,652 military and civilian personnel will make up the African-led International Support Mission in CAR, drawn largely from multinational forces already on the ground under different authorities.
  • 13,703 people on antiretroviral drugs are at risks of defaulting on their treatment because of supply chain interruptions.
  • Less than 20% of the country’s medical facilities are operational. [Sources: UNOCHA, UNHCR, UN Security Council, Save the Children]

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Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War

Posted by feww on September 7, 2013

Sent by a blog contributor.

Ralph Nader Letter to President Obama

September 6, 2013

Dear President Obama:

Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed you “Barry O’Bomber”.

Little did your fellow Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush regime.

Nor would many of the voters who elected you in 2008 have conceived that your foreign policy would rely so much on brute military force at the expense of systemically waging peace. Certainly, voters who knew your background as a child of third world countries, a community organizer, a scholar of constitutional law and a critic of the Bush/Cheney years, never would have expected you to favor the giant warfare state so pleasing to the military industrial complex.

Now, as if having learned nothing from the devastating and costly aftermaths of the military invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, you’re beating the combustible drums to attack Syria – a country that is no threat to the U.S. and is embroiled in complex civil wars under a brutal regime.

This time, however, you may have pushed for too many acts of War. Public opinion and sizable numbers of members of both parties in Congress are opposed. These lawmakers oppose bombing Syria in spite of your corralling the cowardly leaders of both parties in the Congress.

Thus far, your chief achievement on the Syrian front has been support for your position from al-Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria, the pro-Israeli government lobby, AIPAC, your chief nemesis in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner, and Dick Cheney. This is quite a gathering and a telling commentary on your ecumenical talents. Assuming the veracity of your declarations regarding the regime’s resort to chemical warfare (first introduced into the Middle East by Winston Churchill’s Royal Air Force’s plastering of Iraqi tribesmen in the nineteen twenties), your motley support group is oblivious to the uncontrollable consequences that might stem from bombing Syria. One domestic consequence may be that Speaker Boehner expects to exact concessions from you on domestic issues before Congress in return for giving you such high visibility bipartisan cover.

Your argument for shelling Syria is to maintain “international credibility” in drawing that “red line” regardless, it seems, of the loss of innocent Syrian civilian life, causalities to our foreign service and armed forces in that wider region, and retaliation against the fearful Christian population in Syria (one in seven Syrians are Christian). But the more fundamental credibilities are to our Constitution, to the neglected necessities of the American people, and to the red line of observing international law and the UN Charter (which prohibit unilateral bombing in this situation).

There is another burgeoning cost – that of the militarization of the State Department whose original charter invests it with the responsibility of diplomacy. Instead, Mr. Obama you have shaped the State Department into a belligerent “force projector” first under Generalissima Clinton and now under Generalissimo Kerry. The sidelined foreign service officers, who have knowledge and conflict avoidance experience, are left with reinforced fortress-like embassies as befits our Empire reputation abroad.

Secretary John Kerry descended to gibberish when, under questioning this week by a House Committee member, he asserted that your proposed attack was “not war” because there would be “no boots on the ground.” In Kerry’s view, bombing a country with missiles and air force bombers is not an act of war.

It is instructive to note how government autocracy feeds on itself. Start with unjustified government secrecy garnished by the words “national security.” That leads to secret laws, secret evidence, secret courts, secret prisons, secret prisoners, secret relationships with selected members of Congress, denial of standing for any citizen to file suit, secret drone strikes, secret incursions into other nations and all this directed by a President who alone decides when to be secret prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. What a Republic, what a democracy, what a passive people we have become!

Voices of reason and experience have urged the proper path away from the metastasizing war that is plaguing Syria. As proposed by former president, Jimmy Carter, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and other seasoned diplomats and retired military, vigorous leadership by you is needed for an international peace conference with all parties at the table, including the countries supplying weapons to the various adversaries in Syria.

Mr. Obama, you may benefit from reading the writings of Colman McCarthy, a leading advocate of peace studies in our schools and universities. He gives numerous examples of how waging peace avoided war and civil strife over the past 100 years.

Crowding out attention to America’s serious domestic problems by yet another military adventure (opposed by many military officials) , yet another attack on another small, non-threatening Muslim country by the powerful Christian nation (as many Muslims see it) is aggression camouflaging sheer madness.

Please, before you recklessly flout Congress, absorb the wisdom of the World Peace Foundation’s Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley-Zilkic.  Writing in the New York Times, they strongly condemn the use of nerve gas in Syria, brand the perpetrators as war criminals to be tried by an international war crimes tribunal and then declare:

“But it is folly to think that airstrikes can be limited: they are ill-conceived as punishment, fail to protect civilians and, most important, hinder peacemaking…. Punishment, protection and peace must be joined… An American assault on Syria would be an act of desperation with incalculable consequences. To borrow once more from Sir William Harcourt [the British parliamentarian who argued against British intervention in our Civil War (which cost 750,000 American lives)]: ‘We are asked to go we know not whither, in order to do we know not what.’”

If and when the people and Congress turn you down this month, there will be one silver lining. Only a Right/Left coalition can stop this warring. Such convergence is strengthening monthly in the House of Representatives to stop future war crimes and the injurious blowback against America of the wreckages from Empire.

History teaches that Empires always devour themselves.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader

Copyright © 2013 Nader.Org, All rights reserved.
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P.O. Box 19367
Washington, DC 20036

http://nader.org/

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Lifestyle Global War Scenario | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Middle East Narrowly Escaped Major War Tuesday: Russian Expert

Posted by feww on September 6, 2013

Russian expert says Mideast made narrow escape from major war Tuesday

By Itar-Tass World Service writer Tamara Zamyatina

MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) – Launching of two ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean water area testifies to the ongoing U.S. preparations for air strikes against Syria, a top-rank Russian military expert said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass Tuesday night.

ivy-mike2.jpg
Original Photo: The mushroom cloud from XX-11 IvyMike (Fusion Bomb). Public domain photo. Source: United States Department of Energy Inset: Tomahawk Block IV Cruise Missiles. Image source: EDRO. Image added by FIRE-EARTH.

The U.S. and Israel actually wanted to watch the reaction to the launch on the part of Russia, China and Iran, said Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, Ret. From 1996 through to 2001, Gen Ivashov was chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Department for International Defense Cooperation. He is President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems at present.

He believes that the missiles were launched for the purposes of reconnaissance.

“The thing is ballistic missiles won’t be used if the U.S. and their allies begin an intervention in Syria,” Gen Ivashov said. “While a cruise missile can hit directly not only the target as such but even a separate element of it, a ballistic missile very definitely won’t hit the target due to the impact dispersal effect. Hence it’s inefficient for the purpose.”

“Those who launched the two ballistic missiles towards Syria obviously hoped Iran would consider this launch as an attack on Damascus, its ally,” Gen Ivashov went on. “The Pentagon clearly wanted to see if the Iranians would respond to this by delivering a ballistic missile strike at Israel.”

“The provocation would have thus played into Binyamin Netanyahu’s hands and would have helped him to convince his nation Israel should throw its shoulder into a joint aerospace operation conducted by the U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia against Syria,” he said.

“Had Iran responded to the challenge, the U.S. would have gotten weighty reasons for attacking Syria by way of support for Israel as its ally, since Barack Obama still doesn’t have congressional support for an operation against the Syrian government either among the rank-and-file Americans or in the Gongress. In the meantime, the necessity of defending Israel would offer an important argument for shaping up public opinion in favor of ousting the Bashar al-Assad regime.”

“From the angle of view of military strategy, the launch of ballistic missiles compels Syria and Iran to bring into full-scale action all the tracking systems they have,” Gen Ivashov said. “Air defense systems, too, start reacting to missile launches.”

“When this happens, the U.S. warships, aircraft, and ground-based tracking systems immediately do the computerized identification of all the locations in Syria and Iran where combat operations control is exercised from – their working frequencies, the places where radar stations are deployed, their coordinates, technical characteristics, and so on.”

“Right after that, radio-electronic jamming of the enemy’s combat control networks goes into action. It is followed by string missile strikes, with the data on location of the enemy’s control and command systems loaded into the programs.”

“As a result, the Syrian and Iranian Armed Forces should lose control and coordination and lose the war eventually,” Gen Ivashov said.

This is a technological side of the provocation but there is a political side to the missile launch, too.

“Israel is demonstrating blatant disregard for the norms of international law,” Gen Ivashov said. “The Israeli Defense Ministry did not issue a warning to the countries, the ships of which were cruising in the Mediterranean at the moment. More than that, Israel has a bigger arsenal of nukes than France although it is not a member of the world nuclear club.”

“Nonetheless, Israeli government was prepared to set the machine of a major war in the Middle East into motion Tuesday – with support from the Pentagon,” he said.

Another Russian military expert commented earlier this year on the role that an element of spontaneity may play in triggering a large-scale armed conflict.

Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov, Ret., a deputy director of the Moscow-based Institute for the U.S. and Canada Studies made the comment in spring 2013 with regard to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. “The Korean crisis may pose a danger to the world due a possibility of haphazard developments,” he said.

“When two countries, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea keep their Armed Forces in a huge tension, a factor of spontaneity can play a very bad role,” Gen Zolotaryov said. “Suppose someone has a nervous breakdown and fires a shot and then unpredictable developments start snowballing.”

A risk of a chain of haphazard events is looming in the situation around Syria, too.  [http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c39/863249.html]

Related Links

The Next Phase of Collapse: Wars initiated by Israel/US for Hegemony Over World’s Resources Posted by edro on March 10, 2008

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tens of Thousands Flee Homes amid Fighting in Myanmar

Posted by feww on April 6, 2013

At least 1.7 million people in Myanmar are stateless or internally displaced

At least 83,000 people, mostly women and children, have recently fled their homes as fighting intensifies in Kachin state, Myanmar.

The Burmese military forces have launched a new offensive against ethnic Kachin troops, Kachin Independence Army, (KIA) near the border town of Laiza, said a UN report.

Clashes between Myanmar troops and ethnic Kachin and Shan armed groups resumed in June 2011 and have since forced more than 83,000 people, mostly women and children, to flee their homes, funneling into some 45 camps and settlements.
Lack of access to clean water in cramp unsanitary camping conditions has resulted in deaths.
About 3 percent of Myanmar’s 60 million population of are stateless, including at least 800,000 residents in Rakhine State.
“Rakhine State has seen two convulsions of large-scale inter-communal violence, in June and October of 2012, which have resulted in the displacement of mo
re than 110,000 persons, including large numbers of stateless persons.” UNHCR said.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 6, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,071 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,071 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

 

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Jordan to Declare North of Country ‘Disaster Area’

Posted by feww on April 3, 2013

Massive influx of Syrian refugees major economic burden on Jordan: Report

Jordan intends to declare the north of the country, its border region with Syria, a “disaster area,” Jordanian Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

The number of Syrians in Jordan now exceeds one million, including 450,000 refugees and more than 600,000 visitors who had arrived in the country prior to the  onset of violence in Syria.

Jordan has an estimated population of about 6.5 million.

The Jordanian PM said he is afraid that a major war in Syria could lead to a large-scale flow of Syrian refugees into his country.

Last week, the government said it would “continue to operate an open-door policy towards Syrian refugees, despite the economic burden on Jordan, and the alleged presence of pro-regime sleeper cells in the country,” said a report.

United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since the 2011 uprising.

Related Links

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 3, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,074 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,074 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Tensions Mounting on Korean Peninsula

Posted by feww on April 2, 2013

China places military on highest alert amid mounting Korean tensions

China is mobilizing its military forces on the border with North Korea in response to heightened tensions, following Pyongyang’s declaration of a “state of war,” and latest threats to attack South Korea and the United States.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is now at its highest alert level, U.S. officials have said.

“China has also been conducting live-firing naval exercises in the Yellow Sea, scheduled to end on Monday. The move is widely viewed as open support for North Korea, which continues to show extreme opposition to the US-South Korean military drills that are to last until May,” said a report.

“The news comes as the US deployed its USS Fitzgerald destroyer off the coast of North Korea, adding to its Sunday deployment of F-22 fighter jets to take part in the drills with the friendly South, which has further served to heighten tensions on the peninsula.”

Meantime, Pyongyang has been mobilizing its missile forces, including road-mobile, short- and medium-range missiles, U.S. officials analyzing satellite imagery of missile bases have said.

NK to reopen Yongbyon nuclear reactor

In a separate development, North Korea announced its decision to restart operations at the Yongbyon nuclear complex on Tuesday, adding to already heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Yongbyon Magnox Reactor
5 MWe experimental Magnox reactor at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, North Korea (2008).

Pyongyang said it would work to restart the 5-megawatt reactor and the uranium enrichment plant without delay.

The Yongbyon nuclear facility was disabled following an agreement reached  in 2007 at six-party talks (United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea).

The nuclear facilities, which produced the fissile material for North Korea’s nuclear weapon tests, is located about 90 km north of Pyongyang.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s Happening in Cyprus?

Posted by feww on March 23, 2013

In 2008, CASF Team analyzed  the impact of “extreme environmental stress” in Cyprus and forecast the island’s early collapse triggered by the ecological time bomb.

The post is reproduced below with the permission of our CASF and EDRO:

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Cyprus Collapse May Be Imminent!

Posted by edro on July 19, 2008 – Submitted by a CASF Member

Cyprus’s extreme environmental stress may lead to early collapse!

Ex-govt official: “We are going through a visual process of desertification.”

Main Causes of Collapse

Climate Change
- Persistent Droughts
- Disruption in climatic patterns
– Low Precipitation
– Higher than normal temperatures
– Heatwaves
– Wildfires and other natural phenomena [disasters] exacerbated by warming

Land
– Urbanization
– Land use and land cover change
– Loss of topsoil
– Soil degradation, especially salination
– Soil erosion caused by high temperatures, low precipitation and hot dry winds

Water
- Extreme water shortages throughout the island worsened by additional [including unforeseen] factors

Tourism
- Causing additional environmental stress
– Creating excessive waste and pollution
– Weakening the Island’s natural defense mechanisms

Main Effects

- Reduced ability to produce food
– Crop failure
– Continued water scarcity (compounded by economic/monetary issues)
– Breakdown of sewage, water and sanitation systems
– Spread of disease pandemics
– Overshoot of Carrying Capacity: The Island may have already passed the tipping point
– Resumption of the Cypriot civil war between the north and south enclaves reignited by the specter of ecological collapse
– Collapse of local ecosystems
– Desertification
– Land abandonment
– Population displacement/climate refugees

Possible Timeline

2011- 2013

Country Data

Estimated Population: 793,000 (July 2008 Estimate)
Area:
Total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Land: 9,240 sq km
Water: 10 sq km

No. of Tourists: About 3,000,000

Land use:
Arable land: 10.81%
Permanent crops: 4.32%
Other: 84.87% (2005)

Irrigated land: 400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
: 0.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.21 cu km/yr (27%/1%/71%)
Per capita: 250 cu m/yr (2000)

Primary Energy Consumption year 2007: 0.13 Quad BTU [CASF estimate based on EIA data]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 20.8 percent

Fossil Fuel consumption (excluding aviation fuel) year 2007: 2,431,399 tonnes of oil [source]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 18.4 percent

CO2 Emissions From Consumption of Fossil Fuels year 2007 : 9.65 MMT [CASF estimate for 2007]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 22.5 percent

Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment – current issues:
water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island’s largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization.

Human Rights Issues
Cyprus [like New Zealand] is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation; traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term “artiste” visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. (Source CIA Factbook, Wikipedia, others)

Population density: It is estimated that at peak tourist season, the effective population density of [Southern] Cyprus exceeds that of the Netherlands (ranked world’s 25th most densely populated).


Location map: Cyprus (dark green) / European Union (light green) / Europe (dark grey). Credit: User 3meandEr, via Wikimedia Commons

Water Facts

  • After little winter rainfall, the drought in Cyprus is now in its fifth year.
  • Cypriot water reserves are at their lowest for 100 years; however, the effective population of Cyprus (citizens and tourists) have multiplied by about 150 folds.
  • “As long as the population remained [as] low [as] in the pre-industrial period, the water was sufficient for supplying cities which received water either from the mountains through the aqueducts or through the groundwater supply.” Said Chris Schabel, medieval historian at the University of Cyprus.
  • The entire island including both the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot south divisions are drought stricken.
  • The Island has an annual requirement of about 210 million cubic meters of water.
  • As of July 16, 2008 the water reservoirs were only about 6.5 percent full. Down one percent in the last three weeks (33 percent of the level 12 months ago).
  • Southern Cyprus’ 17 main reservoirs currently contain a paltry 17,733 cubic meters of water, some of which may be unsuitable for drinking.
  • Emergency measures have limited the supply of running water to homes to only twice weekly.
  • Most of the municipal wells have been shut down to avoid the risk of seawater contamination.
  • “The British policy of drilling boreholes throughout the island resulted in a serious depletion, due to excessive pumping of the groundwater reserves, in the main water bearing areas of Famagusta, Morphou and Akrotiri. It was calculated a few years ago that groundwater resources of Cyprus are over-pumped every year by 40 per cent over the allowable safe yield.” (Source)
  • Cyprus is buying from Greece 8 million cubic meters (2.1 billion gallons) of water to be delivered by November 2008 at a cost of €40 million (US$64 million). The water will only be distributed in the Greek Cypriot south.
  • The first ship carrying water from Greece arrived June 30 at Limassol (Cyprus’ main port). The officials then realized they could not pump the water from tanker because their makeshift pipeline was 10 feet short. Because of the delay, the water turned “odorous” and was deemed unsafe for drinking. The entire tanker load of 40,000 cubic meters was subsequently pumped into the ground, instead of the city’s water network due to contamination fears!
  • Under the initial agreement, two water-laden tankers were scheduled to leave Elefsina near Athens bound for Cyprus every day for six months (6 tankers delivering 200 shipments) between June and November 2008.
  • The Turkish Cypriot north is negotiating a separate arrangement with Turkey for their water needs.
  • The Greek Cypriot south plans to build a third desalination plant.

Agriculture, Wildfires, Desertification

“Extremely hot and dry weather conditions in Cyprus, combined with strong winds led to a disastrous upsurge of forest fires and wildfires in the Troodos Montain area on 29 June 2007. … Small villages had to be evacuated. Some houses were destroyed. Cyprus reported severe material damages in the area. Moreover, two forest fires hit Cyprus on 16 July 2007 in touristic areas of the Island. The first hit the vicinity of the Kalavasos village area … The other was close to Kornos village, which is located 20 km south of Nicosia [capital city]. The total burnt area … in Cyprus measured from satellite imagery on 31 July 2007 was 12 286 hectares.” European Civil Protection.

Climate change is pointing at us “like a loaded gun,” warned the EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel at a conference on water policy last week.

“Global warming is happening,” she said. “It’s taken thousands of years for global temperatures to rise by just one degree. In this century we expect to see an increase in global temperatures of between two and six degrees Celsius.”

“Climate change has arrived. Drought has arrived. We need to take out insurance now. Good business sense demands better use of water. For those farmers caught unprepared, climate change could be a sledge hammer,” said Boel. “Maybe there are areas that will benefit from this, like in the north, but we expect climate change to leave a wave of destruction. We expect more heat waves, drought, floods and crop failures.”

We are going through a visual process of desertification. Krasochorio near Limassol, has lost its environment [Ecosystems have collapsed]. Around 85 per cent of the population has left. In Lania, 30 villas are surrounded by burnt land after the fires. What can the villagers do with them now?” Said the former Cypriot Agriculture Ministry official, Antonis Constantinou.

“What Cyprus is not good at is holding water, avoiding erosion, adapting to water shortage, and not giving incentives which can’t guarantee a better future for the island. We are also not so good at keeping greenery, avoiding fires, fighting fires, giving incentives to people to manage land, even non-agricultural land owners,” he added. (Source)

Recent History

Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece, It is the third-largest Mediterranean island and a busy tourist destination, attracting about 3 million tourists each year.

A former British colony, it gained independence from the UK in 1960 claiming sovereignty over 97% of the island and surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. It became a member of the European Union May 1, 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. Cyprus is thus divided to:

  • The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island
  • The Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey)
  • The United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two
  • Two “Sovereign Base Areas” or military bases Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where United Kingdom is the sovereign despite Cypriot independence. (Source: Wikimedia)


Map of Cyprus: WSBA and ESBA (British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia) are in pink, UN buffer zone dividing the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) administrations is shown in gray. The map is adapted from the CIA World Factbook map. (Source).

Related Links:

edro

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IF Nature Had a List of Extreme Dislikes

Posted by feww on March 4, 2010

Submitted by a reader with additional information added by FEWW

AND She Probably Does …

Don’t Pollute the Sea, Your Life Depends on Water

Cars, Air Travel, Power Plants, Oil Rigs, Coalmines, War, Military Hardware, Large-Scale Human Movement, Tourism, Trade Shows, Global Tournaments, Oil Spills, Plastic Garbage, GHG  …  and Cruise Ships Would Probably Top Her List of Loathsome Activities by Humans


Louis Majesty is a Maltese-flagged, Greek Cypriot-owned cruise ship. Image via AFP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

Three giant 8.5-meter (26ft) high waves bashed against a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, as if trying to rip it apart, killing two people and injuring  six others.

The Cypriot-owned Louis Majesty was sailing off the north-east coast of Spain when the “abnormally high” waves attacked, breaking ship windows,  shipowners were reported as saying.

“A wave broke the glass in the area of the saloon and water was taken on board,” a spokesman for the Spanish coast guard confirmed.

The dead weer identified as a German and an Italian male, both in their fifties.  There were 1,350 passengers and 580 crew onboard.

The Louis Majesty was on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise headed toward Genoa, Italy, but has since returned to Barcelona, Spain.

“Louis Cruises extends its sincere condolences to the families of the two victims and its full support to the injured passengers while expressing its deep sorrow for the incident,” a company spokesman said.

Winds of more than 100km per hour (60 mph) in the area may have been responsible for the incident a French Navy official was reported as saying.

Do you feel as if nature has put you on notice?

Related Links:

Posted in cruise ships, eco tourism, eco-terrorism, Mediterranean cruise, oceans are dying | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Climate-enhanced catastrophes in the US

Posted by feww on May 2, 2008

Snapshots of the most recent weather-related catastrophes in the US:

May 1 – Major flooding in Maine caused by rain and melting snow
As Clinton and Obama spar over gas tax, the National Weather Service said Maine’s St. John River crested at a record high of 31 feet. (Video report)

Apr. 29 – Virginia tornadoes kill one, injure hundreds
Three tornadoes have ripped through Virginia, killing at least one person and injuring 200. A state of emergency has been declared in the tornado-affected areas of the state. (Video report)

Apr. 28 – A wildfire forced more than 1000 people to flee their homes just north of Los Angeles. It has burned more than 400 acres since breaking out in the foothills Saturday afternoon. (Video report)

Note: The experts at Creating a Sustainable Future (CASF) believe that 2008-2010 would be the worst ever period for catastrophic wildfires throughout the United States and elsewhere on the globe!

War-related catastrophes:

Apr. 30 – The Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz accuses the White House of dramatically playing down the cost of the Iraq war.
Besides the heavy human price paid by ordinary Iraqis since the invasion of 2003 (as of May 1 2008, more than 1,205,025 Iraqis have been slaughtered), the former World Bank chief economist argues in his latest book that the economic cost to the U.S. has hit three trillion dollars. (Video report)

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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