06.06.2017 – London, UK Herminio Piñeiro

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Thoughts about ending terrorist attacks in Europe (And the World)
(Image by Herminio Piñeiro)

By Herminio Piñeiro

Let them live in peace. Get out of their countries and leave these people continue with their everyday religious and /or secular lives. Do not break their culture, do not disrupt their traditions or look down on their language, gastronomy, customs…for they are human as we are.

Get your intelligence agencies and secret squads out of Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Thailand, Myanmar, The Philippines just to name a few countries in which you only want war and wish for the total disintegration of their society and humiliation of their people.  I am a white European from a Christian background and I feel ashamed of what my own country and other western “democracies” are doing in the Middle East, in Africa, Asia….   I respect Islam and Muslims without having to convert to it.  I respect homosexuality and lesbians without being homosexual or wishing to become a lesbian. But above all I respect people and their humanity.

European governments want us to believe their absurd neoliberal policies: that in order to respect Islam you need to become a Muslim and stop going to church. Wrong!  I am not a Muslim nor do I go to church but, I respect them and interact with them gracefully on a daily basis. They want us to believe that if you do not interact with homosexuals you do not understand or respect them. Wrong! I am heterosexual and yet I have many gay friends. I respect everyone regardless of their faith and beliefs as long as they respect their own fellow human beings.

Our governments blame the people of the Middle East for the suicidal and evil terrorist attacks perpetrated in the great capitals of Europe. But the people of Syria and Iraq, or Yemen have nothing to do with ISIS or Al Qaeda for the latter are monsters conceived and created by the West. In the recent attacks in Manchester and London some of the murderers were British. It really does not make any sense!

These terrorist attacks are creating hate and division in urban European societies, be it British or French, German or Belgian; they are creating a wave of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa that many European countries cannot handle. Soon enough we will see a tsunami of immigrants from the Ukraine as well, for they have created hell there too!

People of Britain! Do not vote for a leader that only wishes to rule and divide, Peuple Français! Forget your Macrons and look for a new leader, one who is not the child of an evil banker; Ciudadanos españoles!!, atención a la corrupción (look out for corruption) and do not forget the II Republic, for it will bring you inspiration.

Not until we have new leaders with human policies and a 180 degrees turn on their world-views will terrorist attacks of the nature we witnessed in London last Saturday will start to cease. Not until the peoples of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan (just to mention a few countries destroyed by our leaders) start leading a life full of dignity, will Londoners and Parisians be able to attend concerts without any fear, not until we Europeans respect other cultures and understand other faiths an in turn those from exotic cultures respect us too, will we be able to live in peace and harmony forever.

08.06.2017 – Harare IDN InDepthNews

Oceans in Crisis Around Africa
(Image by Jeffrey Moyo | IDN-INPS)

By Jeffrey Moyo

As soon as dusk falls, Petina Dube emerges from her house balancing a sack full of garbage which has been lying uncollected in her yard amid reports that the municipal garbage collectors have no fuel to carry out their job across many residential areas in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

At the age of 43, Dube, a resident of Warren Park high density suburb in Harare, apparently does not care where the garbage will go after she dumps it. “I am honestly not worried about where this garbage will end up; I will just dump it by a stream not far from here,” says Dube.

But  for many environmental experts like Happson Chikova, who holds a degree in environmental studies from Zimbabwe’s Midlands State University, waste dumped anywhere eventually ends up in oceans and this spells bad news for marine life.

“What people don’t know as they dump their waste at undesignated points is that the garbage won’t remain where they leave it, but it is washed away in rains, carried down along streams, along rivers, across borders and into the oceans, and this will happen over and over for as long as people choose to dump their garbage anywhere,” Chikova told IDN. “The end result is that ocean life will be threatened.”

Chikova noted that the growing threat to ocean life in Africa falls under Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), drawn up by the United Nations “to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 is taking place in New York from 5 to 9 June with the aim of being the “game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity”.

However, for many Africans like Fauzia Sinorita living off the Beira coast in Mozambique, whether or not their activities impact on the sea means very little.

“The sea supplies our food; we fish in it. It is also our transport route as we move to areas nearby, but we also use it as our dumping ground,” Sinorita told IDN.

As many Africans like Sinorita pounce on ocean habitats, experts here see life under oceans fading fast. “Life in oceans is fast disappearing as marine habitats and species – many of which have only recently been discovered – are threatened,” Jan Reuben, a South African-based scientist, told IDN.

As a result, according to the International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI-SA) which is based in Cape Town, South Africa, there is a growing need within the African region for awareness and training in the various disciplines associated with ocean governance in order to contribute to building a sustainable core of experts on the continent.

IOI-SA functions as the African regional training centre of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) which aims to educate mid-career professionals, educators, researchers and civil society members that have coastal and marine related responsibilities, functions or interests.

South Africa has a spectacular 3000 km coastline where the cold, nutrient-rich Atlantic meets the sub-tropical Indian Ocean, and nearby is the Southern Ocean, home to many whale species, making Southern Africa’s economic giant score very high in the marine biodiversity stakes.

And thanks to a concerted effort since 2003, South Africa has declared nearly 20 percent of its coastline protected by official marine reserves – close to the figure recommended by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

However, the country’s coastline is rife with illegal fishing activities and, like many other African countries, South Africa also has to contend with sub-standard ships and poor shipping practices that have led to massive marine pollution and damage, according to Musitheli Khumalo, an environmental activist based at Muizernberg beach in Cape Town.

Armando Chikanda is a 63-year-old retired sea captain who lives on the Beira coast in Mozambique. “The Indian Ocean is a highway through which we ship goods here in Mozambique, but honestly, the traffic of ships which pass here daily leaves oil spills, ship groundings, anchor damage, and the dumping of rubbish, oily waste, which is endangering marine habitats not only here, but all over the world,” he told IDN.

“We have witnessed raw sewage, garbage, pesticides, industrial chemicals, plastics, all these pollutants on land make their way into the ocean, and this pollution is injuring the whole oceanic food chain, even humans,” Chikanda added.

With the UN Oceans Conference taking place in New York, it remains to be seen whether or not there will be any paradigm shift regarding the use of oceans, but many African environmental activists like Namibia’s Sarita Imbeni feel the conference may have come late because too much harm has already been done to the oceans.

“On our side here in Namibia, without mentioning what is already happening in other African countries closer to oceans, we have seen the ocean being overfished, the ocean being ruthlessly polluted, yet the ocean in itself is the  largest living space on earth,” Imbeni told IDN.

For the Namibian activist, coastal areas, which are some of the most productive and biologically diverse on the planet, are fast disappearing as humans take them over with reckless abandon.

In Tanzania, the ocean crisis has reached alarming proportions, according to Sea Sense, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works closely with coastal communities in the East African nation to conserve and protect endangered marine species including sea turtles, dugongs, whales, dolphins and whale sharks.

Sea Sense reports that one of the biggest threats to the marine ecosystem and fisheries-based livelihoods in Tanzania is dynamite fishing, which is the act of using explosives to kill or stun large schools of fish for easy collection. Dynamite fishing indiscriminately kills many marine species with each blast.

Meanwhile, for Zimbabweans like Dube, giving a thought to ocean life may remain secondary. “Shall I breed diseases with garbage lying in my backyard because I have to protect some ocean life which I don’t see near me?” she asked.


07.06.2017 Redazione Italia

This post is also available in: Italian

The Water Protectors in Geneva
(Image by Marie de Lutz Photography)

The Water Protectors from the Sioux tribe of Standing Rock, along with around 30 activists, participated in an action of civil disobedience. They occupied the Geneva headquarters of Credit Suisse to denounce their financing of fossil energies and notably the 1.4 billion USD invested in #DAPL.

They trecked through Geneva to bring their voices and testimonies to many people, from the alternative space L’écurie to the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations, Geneva headquarters of the UN.

From testimonies to hip-hop and a ceremony of water organized on the shore of Lake Geneva, with songs, prayers and meditations, the Water Protectors are doing whatever is necessary to denounce attacks against the rights of indigenous peoples and the climate.

Women’s March Geneva

05.06.2017 Pressenza London

With bold ‘for the many’ platform, Corbyn rides Sanders-like wave in UK
Labour Party General Election Launch, 9th May 2017 at Event City, Trafford, Manchester – “For the Many not (Image by Sophie Brown, Wikimedia Commons)

In Wednesday night’s televised debate, Jeremy Corbyn accused his rivals of prioritizing the wealthiest over the vulnerable.

by Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s prospects are rising ahead of upcoming elections in the United Kingdom, as his insurgent campaign rides a wave of progressive populism similar to the one created by Senator Bernie Sanders in the United States last year.

With the British election just a week away, the BBC on Wednesday hosted a debate featuring several party leaders, including Corbyn, who has in recent days surged rapidly in public opinion polls.

The most recent survey, conducted by YouGov/The Times, finds the Tories ahead of Labour by a mere three points. This drastic shift has appeared to inject new life into an election that was previously viewed as a potential landslide victory for the Conservatives.

On Wednesday, Corbyn used the televised debate—and the fact that Prime Minister Theresa May declined to participate—to further his party’s momentum.
“Britain deserves to see the only two people who could be the next Prime Minister debate,” Corbyn tweeted the morning of the event in a last-minute effort to persuade May to attend.
Once on the debate stage, however, Corbyn shifted his focus to the agenda of May’s party and its “record of working for the few” over the many. While Corbyn’s argument that the rival party’s program favors the wealthy is not new, it is bolstered by a fresh report showing that the Conservatives, as The Independent put it, “raised more than 10 times as much money from large donors in the most recent week of the general election campaign.”
In a particularly heated exchange with Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who quipped that the Labour leader’s economics presumed the existence of a “money tree,” Corbyn argued that the Conservatives are out of touch with the needs of the most vulnerable.
“Have you been to a foodbank?” Corbyn asked. “Have you seen people sleeping around our stations? Have you seen the levels of poverty that exist because of your government’s conscious decisions on the deficit?” As was the case throughout the night, these lines elicited significant applause.
Corbyn’s opponents attempted to explain this applause away by arguing that the audience was disproportionately “left-wing,” but Labour’s rapid climb in the polls indicates that the growing enthusiasm for Corbyn is no facade. As the Evening Standard reported on Thursday, “more voters in [London] say they think Labour’s leader would make a better Prime Minister than Mrs May.”

The Standard continued:

Asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 37 per cent picked Mr Corbyn and 34 per cent Mrs May. A survey taken just after the manifesto launched last month had Mrs May ahead by 38 to 32.

Such surveys indicate a “remarkable change in fortunes for the Tories, which had a 24-point lead over Labour when the snap general election was called in April,” The Independent further noted.

In the view of the Corbyn team, the turnaround is a direct consequence of Labour’s political agenda, which was highlighted by its recently released “For the Many, Not the Few” manifesto.
Following the debate, Labour issued a triumphant statement, arguing that “Corbyn clearly won” and that he “showed himself as a leader who wants to change the country for the better.”
“Tonight’s debate highlighted the clear choice at this election,” a Corbyn spokesperson said, “between a Labour party that will invest in and transform our society to build a Britain for the many, and a Conservative party that has held people back and stand[s] only for the few.”

04.06.2017 Pressenza London

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Views of a Londoner on yesterday´s Terrorist Attack
(Image by Herminio Piñeira y Ronquete)

After listening to BBC radio, watching live news feed from different TV channels and reading varying reports from mainstream and independent sources for the last 15 hours, I believe that the responsibility of these monstrous bloody attacks on innocent people should fall on those governing this country and other European nations, especially on those so called great European democracies for their failing intelligence and for keeping the people of those countries totally misinformed.

Not only can murderers with 22 inch knives jump out of a van in the middle of the night and start stabbing innocent by passers, but crowds in bars and restaurants in the area are forced to lie down while police with automatic rifles raid their place of enjoyment and treat them like petty criminals. Meanwhile, those at London Bridge are ordered to raise their hands above their heads and are marched out of the area like panicking innocent sheep.

I live in London and must go back to work on Monday not far from where these events have taken place. I am certain that the first thing I will see when getting into the underground will be big ugly headlines on the Metro paper and when returning home more bad news in the Evening Standard about the mentioned fatal events that occurred on Saturday night.  How reassuring!! Are Londoners, Parisians, and Berliners supposed to go work and walk around their cities as if nothing had happened? The messages announced in the media by May, Hollande/Macron or Merkel after terrorist attacks are designed to make the population feel that there is no further danger and that those in power with their expensive security forces and omnipresent intelligence will take care of us.  If that were true there would have been no more terrorist incidents in the U.K., France or Germany. There a lot of questions left to be answered and nobody is prepared to answer them because we, the normal citizens of these great cities are just stupid sheep who deserve no explanations, or at least that is what those in power think of us.  I urge people not to be so gullible when watching, listening to or reading the news, but to ask yourselves: What are the real political, economic and social reasons behind these terrible events and what can we do to stop them once and for all.

03.06.2017 – UK David Swanson

This post is also available in: Greek

Corbynize This Trumped Up World

By David Swanson

Making Jeremy Corbyn the Prime Minister of the U.K. would do more for the world and everyone in it than either of the two available outcomes of any recent U.S. election could have done. Here in the U.S. I always protest that I am not against elections, I think we should have one some day. Well, now we have one — only it’s across the pond.

Corbyn’s record is no secret, and you don’t need me to tell you, but I have met him and spoken at events with him, and can assure you he’s legitimate. He’s been a dedicated leader of the peace movement right through his career. He had the decency last week to point out yet again that invading and bombing countries and overthrowing governments produces terrorism; it doesn’t somehow reduce it or eliminate it or “fight” it.

Britain is the key co-conspirator in U.S. wars. One real-life Love Actually refusal to bow before Emperor Donald, and the facade of super-hero law enforcement will begin to crumble, revealing a rogue serial killer standing naked in his golden hotel suite.

The world needs an actual popular elected response to U.S. aggression against the world’s poor and the earth’s climate. A ho-hum housebroken Frenchman who’s not a fascist isn’t the same thing. Corbyn supports successful Scandinavian socialism, demilitarization, environmental action, and aid to those in need. He works within the government and is held back by his party. But he doesn’t lie. He doesn’t sell out. He makes the case for wise and popular policies as powerfully as he’s able.

Want people to believe representative government is compatible with capitalism? Want well-behaved voters the world over to imagine that the corporate media can actually be overcome? Stop grasping at Congressional candidate gun-nuts who happen to be Democrats. Stop telling vicious lies about Russia in an attempt to travel back in time and cause a corporate militarist hack to win the White House. We actually have an election between an actually good candidate and one of the usual monstrosities we’ve become so used to.

Contact every young person you can who can vote in this election. Contact every possible organization and entertainer who might help spread the word. Get every Hollywood star who ever tried to rock the vote but didn’t have anyone to promote who people actually wanted to vote for to notice this golden opportunity. Telling young Brits to get out and vote for Jeremy will do more to spread democracy than destroying Syria, starving a million children in Yemen, or occupying Afghanistan for another 50 years.

Young people, sadly, have seen through our scams. They’ve heard us cry wolf too many times. Yet if you ask them who they would have voted for, they tell you the better candidate. Now here’s an actually great candidate, and their televisions are telling them that they are powerless to do anything. And they refuse to see through that scam. You have to help them see through it! You have to find somebody hip enough to help them! Young British people are our last hope, and it’s your job to encourage them.

We could have a world in which a leading wealthy “democracy” has a government that responds to majority opinion. We could have a world in which London says to Washington: “You want another war, we won’t help you pretend it’s legal. In fact, we’re drafting a brief for the prosecution and will see you in court.” The people of the United States need that fig leaf torn away, need the pretense that mass murder is legal and necessary ended in our own minds. The peace, prosperity, sustainability, and friendship awaiting us is too much for us to even imagine. What might help us do it, what might make us believe that “hope” and “change” and other concepts we’ve almost come to despise could actually be possible would be making Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister.

Oddkin's Thoughts

Gifts-of-the-Holy-Spirit-300x225What’s the greatest gift of the Spirit? It depends who you ask.

For some people, speaking in tongues seems to be the greatest spiritual gift. Some even go so far as to teach that speaking in a previously unknown tongue is the “initial evidence” that a person has received the Holy Spirit – and that those who do not have this “evidence” aren’t really Christians.

Others tout faith healing as the greatest gift, glorying in how many people they have seen healed from pain or illness as a result of healing prayer (usually accompanied by the laying on of hands).

Still others emphasize other gifts such as prophecy or discernment of spirits, listing these as true signs of spiritual maturity.

For Saint Paul, the greatest spiritual gift is love.

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a…

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Free Gas For Your Think Tank (A blog to jog your mind and unclog your heart . . .)

I’m continually mystified–amazed, astonished, and awed by the living, resurrected Jesus. To encounter the awesome wonder of the risen Jesus is forever life-changing! To close your heart to Christ is not “self-protection.” It’s self-deception!

Jesus fills my heart with both empathy and ecstasy. To perceive the presence & reality of Jesus is to be overcome with astonishment. I’m continually overwhelmed & undone by the majesty, splendor & grandeur of Jesus. Sensing the magnificence of Jesus releases dazzling brilliance in my soul. Behold the Lamb of God! Why settle for just hearing talks & singing songs about Him?

Without personal & direct revelation of Jesus, all we have is words about Him. If you let your heart be touched & led by Jesus, you’ll step into a whole new life. Jesus shines in the Bible like a light in a window. If you look, you will see Him.

If Christ is…

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03.06.2017 – New York City Democracy Now!

Trump Announces U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord
(Image by Democracy Now!)

President Donald Trump announced Thursday he will withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord that was signed by nearly 200 nations in 2015 and heralded as a rare moment of international collaboration to avert imminent climate disaster. Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden, surrounded by supporters.

President Donald Trump: “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord—thank you—but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an, really, entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”

Trump’s decision drew swift condemnation from climate activists and heads of state in every corner of the globe. A spokesperson for the United Nations secretary-general called it a “major disappointment.” France joined Germany and Italy in issuing a joint statement expressing “regret” and rejecting Trump’s claim he would renegotiate the Paris accord. India and China joined European leaders in pledging to uphold their end of the deal. Back in the United States, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the U.S. into the Paris deal, said President Trump could have simply reduced U.S. pledges to reduce carbon emissions, which are voluntary under the Paris Agreement.

John Kerry: “No country is required by this agreement to do anything except what that country decided to do for itself. So Donald Trump is not telling the truth to the American people when he says, ‘We have this huge burden that’s been imposed on us by other nations.’ No, we agreed to what we would do. We designed it. It’s voluntary. And the president of the Unites States could have simply changed that without walking away from the whole agreement.”

The former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, said Trump’s decision had turned the United States into “a rogue state.” We’ll have more on President Trump’s move to withdraw from the Paris accord after headlines.

01.06.2017 Pressenza Budapest

Nuclear ban treaty: Will governments take on the nuclear arms merchants?
(Image by UNFOLD ZERO)

An international prohibition on the financing of nuclear weapons could help reverse the nuclear arms race and be a powerful tool in delegitimizing nuclear weapons, according to nuclear disarmament campaigners participating in UN negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

Corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons wield tremendous power in the legislatures of key nuclear armed States, especially those of France, the UK and the United States,’ said Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), speaking today at the United Nations in Geneva. ‘It’s in their financial interests, but detrimental to everyone else’s interests, to keep the nuclear arms race going and the nuclear weapons budgets increasing.

The UN ban treaty negotiations have arisen out of frustration from non-nuclear States who were promised nuclear disarmament by the nuclear-armed States in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was adopted in 1970 but which has never delivered on this promise.

The nuclear-armed States, and virtually all of the states under extended nuclear deterrence relationships (NATO, Australia, Japan and South Korea), are not participating in the negotiations on the ban treaty, which will resume in New York in two weeks, and are not expected to join the treaty. The ban treaty provisions will therefore not apply directly to them. However, if the treaty includes a prohibition on financing of nuclear weapons, it could undercut the power of these corporations and give strength to legislators and civil society organisations in nuclear armed States who are pushing for nuclear disarmament.

‘Many of the non-nuclear countries negotiating this treaty have public funds and banks that are investing in corporations that manufacture nuclear weapons or their dedicated delivery systems – such as the nuclear armed submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles,’ said Rob van Riet, Disarmament Program Director for the World Future Council, also speaking at the United Nations in Geneva. ‘If non-nuclear governments, and the banks under their jurisdiction, divest from the corporations manufacturing the weapons, it would have a significant normative effect as well as send a financial shockwave around the world that could undermine the corporations’ lobbying powers.’ 

‘It would give support to campaigns aiming to slash the US$100 billion global nuclear weapons budget, and to reinvest these funds in education, health, job creation, renewable energies, combating climate change and achieving the sustainable development goals.’

‘A few countries have already taken steps to divest from the nuclear weapons industry,’ said Mr Ware. ‘If a prohibition on nuclear weapons financing is included in the ban treaty currently being negotiated, it would support a global campaign of divestment not only by governments but also by cities and individuals.’

A question, however, is whether the non-nuclear States negotiating the treaty want to take on these powerful corporations, some of which have annual turnovers that are significantly higher than the average GDP of nearly one third of the countries in the world. The draft ban treaty, released on May 22 by the President of the negotiating conference Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica), does not include a specific prohibition on the financing of nuclear weapon.

The draft treaty includes a prohibition on aiding, encouraging or inducing others to manufacture nuclear weapons,’ said Mr van Riet. ‘This could possibly cover the financing nuclear weapons, but in legal agreements it is nearly always better to be specific on what is prohibited rather than to rely on inference and interpretation.

‘If the non-nuclear States are worried about aggressive retribution from the nuclear-armed States if they take on the nuclear arms industry, they should be re-assured by the experience of countries like Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland who have already implemented nuclear divestment measures,’ said Mr Ware. ‘Although the nuclear armed States complained, their bark was much bigger than any bite, and there have been no reports of negative financial impact on the public funds that have divested.’

For further information see:

This press release is sent to you by PNND and UNFOLD ZERO.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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