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The commodification of crap and South Africa’s toilet apartheid

The commodification of crap and South Africa’s toilet apartheid | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

The December 3-6, 2012, World Toilet Summit offers an opportunity to contemplate how we curate our crap. Increasingly the calculus seems to be cash, generating contradictions ranging from local to global scales, across race, gender, generation and geography. Nowhere are they more evident than in the host city, my hometown of Durban. We’ve suffered an 18-year era of neoliberal-nationalist malgovernance including toilet apartheid, in the wake of more than 150 years of colonialism and straight racial-apartheid.

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Dealing in Africa with land issues in a human rights perspective

Dealing in Africa with land issues in a human rights perspective | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
A new booklet provides information and guidance on how to defend land rights, monitor land policies and violations, advocate, campaign and seek redress for land-related violations.
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From Africa's Palms: People & Power investigates

From Africa's Palms: People & Power investigates | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
People & Power investigates the environmental consequences of palm oil plantations in equatorial Africa.
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Africa to be the next frontier for oil palm

Africa to be the next frontier for oil palm | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Olam has embarked on its first palm oil industrial project in Gabon with 50,000 hectares of plantations in phase I with US$ 500 million investment.
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Ugandan farmers take on palm oil giants over land grab claims

Ugandan farmers take on palm oil giants over land grab claims | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Palm oil producers backed by the UN taken to court by evicted farmers who say they have received little compensation.
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The Music of Malcolm X - The New Yorker

The Music of Malcolm X - The New Yorker | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

The idea that antipathy toward music, admiration for Malcolm X, and attraction to militancy go together is, of course, terribly reductive. As a young man, Malcolm was famously passionate about music. In his autobiography, he boasts of how, as a shoeshine boy in Boston’s Roseland State Ballroom, he shined the shoes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and other greats. During his Detroit Red phase, Malcolm danced and played drums at jazz bars, under the stage name Jack Carlton. But when he joined the Nation of Islam, his views began to change. In 1950, while in prison, Malcolm penned a letter to a fellow Muslim, describing his love of jazz and its “comforting effects.” “My ace girl was Dina Washington,” he wrote (meaning the singer Dinah Washington). “She’s still the greatest.” But the music also reminds him of his “sinful past” and he vows to indulge only in jazz performed by Muslim artists.

 
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New Federal CSR Counsellor in Canada will try to stem opposition to mining

New Federal CSR Counsellor in Canada will try to stem opposition to mining | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
On Sunday, March 1, International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced the appointment of a new federal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor for the extractive sector. The post has been empty since the last one left quietly in October 2013, before the end of her contract.

The new CSR Counsellor, Jeffrey Davidson, has a long history of working for mining companies from Placer Dome to Rio Tinto, including a stint at the World Bank. But like the first CSR Counsellor, Marketa Evans, he will be working under a misguided mandate, focussed more on trying to stem opposition to mining at Canadian mining sites around the world than on holding Canadian companies to account for the damage they cause to people and the environment internationally and ensuring that people who are harmed are provided fair remedy for the harm that they have endured.
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GRAIN — Free trade and Mexico’s junk food epidemic

GRAIN — Free trade and Mexico’s junk food epidemic | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

For several years now, transnational food companies have understood that their main growth markets are in the South. To increase their profits they need to “dig into the pyramid”, as one company puts it, meaning they need to develop and sell products targeted at the millions of the world's poor. These people generally eat food from their own farms or informal markets selling locally-produced foods, and in which many of them earn their livelihood.

To get at these potential consumers, food companies are infiltrating, inundating and taking over traditional food distribution channels and replacing local foods with cheap, processed junk foods, often with the direct support of governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark and horrific picture of the consequences for people.

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City does not care if it is wrong as long as no one else knows it

City does not care if it is wrong as long as no one else knows it | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
When the Madlingozi family in Mfuleni extended their shack without authorisation, the City of Cape Town removed the extensions, amidst a dispute over the facts. Jared Sacks argues that the City presented its position without checking the facts.
When an authority repeats a statement over and over, it becomes convincing. This is called proof by repeated assertion and it often does not matter where the truth lies or if there is evidence to back it up. Rather, what becomes important is that the authoritative voice makes such statements over and over again with an air of conviction thereby conveying what psychologists call the illusion of truth.

Fake it 'till they believe you: In politics one calls this “spin”.
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Uganda: Organizing for Community Rights | Front Line

Uganda: Organizing for Community Rights | Front Line | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Human rights defender Gerald Kankya is the Executive Director of the Twerwaneho Listeners Radio Club (TLC), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to advocacy, human rights education and capacity building in Wester Uganda. In 2012 the delegation of the European Union in Uganda in presented him with an award in recognition of his work in defense of human rights.

On 23 January 2015, Gerald Kankya and his colleague Simon Amanyire were attacked and beaten by a group of approximately 30 men, solely because of their human rights work.
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Challenges Facing Women in the Extractive Industry in #Kenya

Challenges Facing Women in the Extractive Industry in #Kenya | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Recently a range of extractive resources have been discovered in Kenya, including coal and mineral sand deposits (titanium ores such as retile, clementine and zircon), as well as oil and gas deposits, consequently making the extractive industry gain prominence in anticipation of a flow of large-scale investment into the sector.
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Arab revolutions faced by 'stagnant global capitalism'

Arab revolutions faced by 'stagnant global capitalism' | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Arab thinker Samir Amin said on Friday that the Arab revolutions are faced by a "stagnant global capitalism" that opposes the emergence of new democracies and the peaceful transfer of authority in nation states. "This capitalism deviated the track of the r
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John Pilger: Rise of Fascism

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
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In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey

In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
This piece is written as a farewell to Ozgecan Aslan, a twenty-year-old university student, who was stabbed to death after she was raped. Her remains were found on 13 February, burnt and thrown into a river by three men.
I slept with a heavy heart ...
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Green Fuel accused of grabbing villagers’ land

Green Fuel accused of grabbing villagers’ land | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Zimbabwe's Parliament has ordered Arda board chairman Basil Nyabadza to clarify the status of the land at the centre of an ownership wrangle between Green Fuel and the Chisumbanje community.
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Militarization and alternative biofuel drives Ethiopian land-grab

Militarization and alternative biofuel drives Ethiopian land-grab | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Ethiopia and India approach to fulfilling millennial and ecological promises through leasing or buying large tracts of
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Stop #landrights fraud!

Stop #landrights fraud! | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
Civil society reject World Bank’s sham Conference on Land and Poverty and denouncing World Bank’s role in global land grabs.
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The real existential threat to Israel - Haaretz

The real existential threat to Israel - Haaretz | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
In his Congress address on Iran, Netanyahu failed to mention the one thing that endangers Israel's ability to survive as a Jewish and democratic state.
Firoze Manji's insight:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Omar Barghouti <omar.barghouti@gmail.com>

It is not common for the main mouthpiece of Israel's soft-to-center Zionists to speak with such frankness, without the usual -- and sometimes intelligent -- Zionist whitewash that Haaretz is famed for. 

 

There is still ample whitewashing in this editorial too. 

 

Palestinian refugees, who constitute the absolute majority of the 11.8 million Palestinians, are, again, not mentioned. 

 

The 50 racist Israeli laws that make Israel an apartheid state, with or without ending the 1967 occupation, are stubbornly ignored. The Zionist establishment's fanatic commitment to "maximum territory, minimum Arabs" is omitted. 

 

The rise of Israeli fascism and the mainstreaming of Jewish fundamentalism are conveniently brushed aside. The late, respected editor in chief of Haaretz, David Landau, was among those who realized towards the end of their careers that Israel was indeed slipping into fascism.

 

Haaretz's horror that Israel may, god forbid, have to "contend with claims that Zionism and democracy are mutually exclusive" would have been funny if it weren't so real. "Soft" Zionists have lied so frequently and consistently that they've come to really believe their own lie that Zionism can be anything but a racist, colonial ideology.

 

Haaretz ignores the 1975 UN General Assembly resolution that condemned Zionism as a form of racism. This historic decision was revoked by the UN in 1991, under intense Israeli-US bullying and direct threats, and with ample complicity from the Palestinian leadership that was keen to reserve a seat at the Madrid Peace Conference, sponsored by Washington, at any price.

 

But the original 1975 "Zionism is racism" resolution was based on the UN definition of racial discrimination in the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination:

 

"any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life." 

 

Clearly, this applies to political Zionism as an ideology and to Israel's more than 50 discriminatory laws.

 

This examination of the racism inherent in Zionism and in Israel as a Zionist state may be useful.

 

Many secular Jewish groups around the world oppose Zionism and consider it a racist ideology.

 

The world's largest Hassidic community, Satmar, is staunchly anti-Zionist, albeit for religious reasons.


Still, this editorial is noteworthy in its use of the term apartheid in describing Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and in admitting that BDS has moved to "center stage in the west." 

 Omar 
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A Life of Critical Engagement: An Interview with Issa Shivji

A Life of Critical Engagement: An Interview with Issa Shivji | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
I feel that the neo-liberal, NGOism and consultancy culture with their emphasis on policy – more “action,” little thought – and prescriptive prognosis has taken a toll on our intellectual thinking, the result of which is that we have abdicated analyzing and understanding the world. We cannot fight for a better world without understanding the world better. For that, we need to take a longer view of history. Hopefully, the Centre will contribute towards reviving the culture of holistic, long-term thinking.
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Congolese oil wealth squandered in Geneva - exposure of Philia, Swiss trader

Congolese oil wealth squandered in Geneva - exposure of Philia, Swiss trader | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
An investigation conducted by the Berne Declaration (BD) reveals how Philia, a Swiss trader, has been profiting at the expense of the Congolese state-owned oil refinery, Coraf. Coraf is managed by the President’s notoriously corrupt son, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso. Largely unknown in the opaque world of trading, Philia was able to obtain an exclusive contract to export petroleum products with no public tender process and under highly questionable conditions. This case clearly illustrates the problems that plague the commodity sector, notably the risk of misappropriation of oil rents at the expense of the population of producer countries.
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CCIC/ #NGOs praise Canada govt for amputation of natural resources by mining companies

CCIC/ #NGOs praise Canada govt for amputation of natural resources by mining companies | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
The Conservative government has made mining a prominent part of its foreign-aid strategy in recent years

 

Julia Sanchez, president of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, said it makes sense for the government to work with mining companies because of the industry’s significant impact in low-income countries.

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Sickening how NGOs have mutated from their missionary position viz a vis the state to lying back for the mining companies - anything for an extra handout, never mind the destruction of the lives of communities and the environment

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Gaza - More Dangerous Than Danger Itself | Front Line

In July and August 2014, Palestinians in Gaza came under the third sustained attack by Israeli forces since 2008. While there was a decent amount of coverage on the journalists who were killed or injured or otherwise targeted during the conflict, the work of human rights defenders to document the detail and scale of the attack went largely unnoticed.
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The Legacy of Malcolm X | Jacobin

The Legacy of Malcolm X | Jacobin | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

"No, I’m not an American. I’m one of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver—no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare."

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How Europe cancelled Germany's debt in 1953 • Jubilee Debt Campaign UK

How Europe cancelled Germany's debt in 1953 • Jubilee Debt Campaign UK | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
The 1953 London Debt Accords show that European leaders know how to resolve a debt crisis in the interests of justice and recovery. Here are four key lessons for Greece’s debt crisis today. On 27 February 1953, an agreement was signed in London which resulted in the cancellation of half of Germany’s (then West Germany’s) [...]
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What happened to the lobbyists who tried to reshape the US view of climate change?

What happened to the lobbyists who tried to reshape the US view of climate change? | Daraja.net | Scoop.it
In 1998 major fossil fuel companies put $2m behind a plan that would effectively fuel the fires of climate science scepticism among the American public. We reveal where the 12 people behind that plan are now
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Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries

Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries | Daraja.net | Scoop.it

In January 2015, heads of state met at the 24th African Union Summit to discuss the “African Union Agenda 2063” with the goal of enabling “a continent on equal footing with the rest of the world as an information society.” The summit, which is attended by 54 African governments, occurred at a critical time for cyber security after the AU approved the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection in June. While Access applauds the human rights protections enshrined in the convention, we are deeply troubled by draft legislation that has emerged across the continent that tramples rights in the name of implementing the convention.

The Convention was originally scheduled to pass in January 2014, but was delayed for modifications after protests by the private sector, civil society organizations, and privacy experts—all of whom had very little involvement in the drafting process. But a number of countries promulgated harmful new cybersecurity legislation after it was improved in June.

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