By Staff of Oakland Institute – The Enabling the Business of Agriculture index is used to promote pro-corporate agricultural reforms around the world. In the seed sector, it rewards countries that implement intellectual property rights (IPRs) to allow companies to profit from the use of their seeds by farmers. The EBA also benchmarks how easy it is for the private sector to produce and register seeds, to access genetic resources in national seed banks, and to achieve predominant representation in the committees deciding to introduce new seed varieties in countries. While the Bank claims to encourage “smart and balanced policies,” the Enabling the Business of Agriculture index largely ignores farmer-managed seed systems, which provide 80 to 90% of farmers’ seed supply in developing countries and are key to preserving agro-biodiversity and fostering resilience against climate and economic shocks.
By Marguerite Reardon for CNET. Pai often goes out of his way to be nice. He’s the kind of person who remembers co-workers’ birthdays or your kids’ first names. It doesn’t matter if you’re a congressman from California or the parking attendant at the lot near the FCC’s headquarters, Pai offers a folksy and sincere greeting to all. He always has a kind word for colleagues, even when they stand on the opposite side of the aisles. “He made the chairman’s life miserable,” said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to the previous head, Tom Wheeler, in reference to their constant ideological clashes. “But I like him. Everyone likes him.” This nice guy is no pushover, though. The 44-year-old chairman has already introduced a number of programs and steered the FCC in a different direction from his predecessor. And he’s still gearing up for his biggest move: the takedown of many of the regulations that protect net neutrality, the concept that all internet traffic must be treated as equal.
By Popular Resistance. On January 23, 2017, President Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This action was taken because of the work of activists across the U. S. who care about a variety of issues that would be impacted by the TPP. It was the people working together in broad coalitions that made the TPP so politically toxic that politicians ran away from it. People have the power to bring transformational change. It is time to end the failed model of trade and demand a new era of globalization that strengthens protections of workers, families, communities and the planet rather than protecting corporate profits.
By Popular Resistance. Between now and the inauguration on January 20, use this simple tool to write a letter to the editor about the importance of people taking action to change the political culture in the United States from one that serves the wealthy to one that works for all of us. We are calling for No Honeymoon for the next administration and Congress. Let people in your community know that there is a growing movement in the United States for economic, racial and environmental justice and peace. It’s time for us to rise together to make it so!
By Omar Scott Antar. We Refuse To Be Enemies is a coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Connecticut, committed to peace and justice, and particularly focused on the Middle East. The NYPD-CIA, in their highly politicized, discriminatory, and illegal operations, target not only Muslims, but also left-wing activists. Because Ivanka M. Trump, daughter and advisor of President-elect Donald J. Trump, is on board of the NYC Police Foundation (page 124 of 128), the NYPD’s slush fund, which finances the NYPD-CIA’s International Liaison Programs (ILPs), it is little wonder Trump approves of and extols the NYPD-CIA and its abusive former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Donald Trump also calls for explicit profiling of Muslims, approvingly citing the NYPD-CIA programs and less free foreign countries, such as France and Israel.
By Friends of the Earth. Our environment and food system are in trouble. Bayer the Bee-Slayer and Monsanto the Butterfly-Killer made a deal to merge into one huge corporation. And there are two other Big Ag mega-mergers on deck: Dow and DuPont, and Syngenta and ChemChina. These companies are poised to control even more of our food system. They’ll be able to fight even harder to protect their profits at the expense of pollinators and the planet — unless you stop them! Monsanto already possesses a 97 percent share for soybean traits and a 75 percent share for corn traits. If Monsanto merges would Bayer, it would create the biggest seed and pesticide company in the world — giving it unprecedented control over our food supply.
By Veterans For Peace. At 9:58 (EST) organizers lost total contact with the Zaytouna-Oliva. The US embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted. We do not know where our friends are. It is important to know that this happened in international waters and it is not only illegal but sets a bad precedent in giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli. Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat, a member of Veterans For Peace and on our Advisory Board. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire.
By We Are Cove Point. Lusby, Maryland – Dominion is building a gas refinery and export terminal in a densely-populated neighborhood in Southern Maryland without analyzing the risks to people in the community. Families are worried and want to know how likely it is that a chemical spill or explosion will happen and what damage it will do. That sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you want to know if this was being built across the street from your house? Families are already leaving the community out of fear, and it’s causing a lot of heartache as they say goodbye to this beautiful waterfront and the friends they’ve made. Some families are staying because they can’t stomach selling their house and putting others in harm’s way or because their property values have dropped and they can’t afford to sell. This isn’t right. They deserve answers.
By Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – A delegation of three women are currently visiting the United States as representatives of a coalition of social justice and labor organizations called the Corean Alliance for Independent Reunification and Democracy (CAIRD) on a peace expedition. They are educating activists in the US about the serious situation in the Republic of Korea for social justice activists. The government of President Park Geun-hye is using the National Security Law in an extreme way to ban protests and arrest activists. For example, simply speaking positively about North Korea is a crime punishable with seven years in prison. Activists who participated in peaceful demonstrations last year are currently in jail or are facing imprisonment. They are considered to be prisoners of conscience by CAIRD members. One activist in particular, Kim Hye-young, needs support from people in the US.
By Mothers for Justice United. Seattle, Washington – The Matteo Ricci College (MRC) Coalition of Seattle University is standing against racism and oppression felt by students in the Humanities program. The MRC Coalition has presented five demands to University leadership that they feel will improve the undergraduate experience by eliminating racism at the institution. As the sit-in and take over of the Seattle University Casey Building continues, mother and social justice activist Maria Hamilton, joined the students in their protest. Maria Hamilton is the mother of slain Milwaukee man Dontre Hamilton, who was killed by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney on April 30, 2014.
By Staff of Roots Action – Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated “information warfare” that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.
By Alysa Landry for Indian Country Today. Winslow, AZ – A Navajo woman was shot and killed by police on Easter Sunday after apparently threatening an officer with a weapon in Winslow, Arizona. Loreal Juana Barnell-Tsingine, 27, was shot five times after an altercation that began with a shoplifting call at a Circle K at around 4 p.m. Officers located a woman matching the description of the suspect a few blocks away from the convenience store and a struggle ensued. An officer, who has not been identified by name, said Tsingine displayed a weapon that posed a “substantial threat.” Police have not divulged what the weapon was, though family members claim Tsingine was armed only with a pair of scissors. “While attempting to take the subject into custody, a struggle ensued,” the Winslow Police Department states in a press release.
By Global Zero. Washington, DC – On March 31, world leaders will gather for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. to take steps to prevent an act of nuclear terrorism. Their approach is focused solely on securing nuclear material. The world’s 15,000 nuclear weapons — which pose far greater risk of catastrophe — aren’t even on the agenda. There can be no such thing as “nuclear security” so long as nuclear weapons exist. If we’re serious about preventing a nuclear catastrophe, what we need now is a Nuclear Weapons Summit that brings the key countries together to discuss real, time-bound, actionable plans to eliminate nuclear weapons. Join us as we tell these leaders it’s time to put this at the top of the international agenda!
By Movimiento Mesoamericano Contra El Modelo Extractivo Minero. Early this morning, March 3, 2016, armed individuals forcibly entered and assassinated Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, founder of COPINH, in her home in La Esperanza, department of Intibucá in southwestern Honduras. Our friend and colleague Gustavo Castro Soto was injured during the attack. Gustavo is Mexican and a member of the organization Otros Mundos Chiapas/Friends of the Earth-Mexico, the Mexican Network of Mining-Affected Peoples and the Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model (M4). Gustavo survived the attack and has become a key actor in the investigation into the murder of our friend Berta. Berta and Gustavo are two people known for their role in international social and environmental struggles
By Ramah Kudaimi for End The Occupation – Did you hear all the buzz around Airbnb, the online accommodation service, listing homes in illegal Israeli settlements for people to rent? There are 13,000 Airbnb listings in Israel, though investigations have revealed that many of the properties are actually located in settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank. By allowing users to list and rent these properties and taking 9-15% from hosts and guests, Airbnb is making money off of Israel’s continued military occupation of Palestinian land and helping facilitate settlement activity.