CHANGWON, South Korea, Nov 1, 2011 (Tierramérica) - Berlin is a big capital city of a country famed for making excellent automobiles, but it can no longer afford roads and is now moving people by transit, bike and especially through walking.
Berlin is not alone. Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogotá, New York City and other major cities simply cannot afford the cost, the pollution, the noise and the congestion of more cars. They are embracing a new concept called EcoMobility - mobility without private cars.
"EcoMobility is not only walking, cycling and public transportation. It is about these three systems clicking together: connectivity is the key," Gil Peñalosa, former director of parks and recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, told those attending the EcoMobility Changwon 2011 congress.
The congress on Mobility for the Future of Sustainable Cities was organised by the South Korean city of Changwon and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an association of local government members from more than 1,220 cities in 70 countries.
"The famous Times Square in New York City is now a permanent pedestrian mall. Who would have believed that could happen just three years ago?" Peñalosa commented to Tierramérica.
"Five years ago who would have thought Paris would have over 22,000 bikes as part of a tremendously successful bike sharing system?" added Peñalosa, who is now the executive director of 8-80 Cities, an NGO based in Toronto that promotes walking, cycling, parks and urban trails to improve the public life of cities. MORE
Afro-Leo is pleased to bring you a guest post by Isaac Rutenberg, PhD, Patent Agent at Bozicevic, Field & Francis LLP in San Francisco, CA, USA. If you would like to contact Isaac directly, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is intellectual property always harmful to poor people? Plumpy’nut has been cited as an example that supports the case against allowing patent rights in matters of humanitarian aid. On the contrary, Plumpy’nut is a shining example of how proper use of intellectual property protections could have significantly enhanced international aid and development work.
A recent article in the NYTimes describes the row that has developed over Plumpy'nut. In short, Plumpy'nut is a revolutionary peanut-based product with the potential to end or significantly reduce severe acute child malnutrition. Developed by Dr. Andre Briend, a "crusading pediatrician" who became tired of traditional (frequently unsuccessful) solutions to acute malnutrition, Plumpy'nut is a simple product that is remarkably effective and practical.
So why the row? Turns out that the Plumpy'nut formulation has been patented in 38 countries, including the US, France, and much of Africa. The owner of the patent, the French company Nutriset, appears to be bent on commercializing not just the miracle product but the entire process of combating acute malnutrition. Nutriset and Nutriset's collaborators (including a US for-profit company manufacturing Plumpy'nut in New Jersey for distribution to USAID) have defended their approach and their product, taking steps to prevent others from producing similar products. Criticism of Nutriset has been unsurprisingly harsh: non-profits worldwide say that Nutriset is trying to profit on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable children. Inevitably, there is the claim that intellectual property is to blame for this disaster.
I say, not so fast. The NYTimes article says that Nutriset obtained the patent rights because Dr. Briend "signed a consulting agreement" with Nutriset after developing Plumpy'nut, since he "never knew anything about manufacturing food." This is somewhat vague, but according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office database, Dr. Briend and a co-inventor assigned (i.e., sold) the patent to Nutriset. This left Nutriset entirely in charge of the patent – Dr. Briend has no say in how it is used.
Why didn't he open source copyright the formulation?
You should read the New York Times article. Just be prepared to RAGE. The Peanut Solution
BERLIN, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) - A delegation of Namibian government representatives and leaders of the indigenous Herero and Nama people who came to Germany to repatriate 20 skulls of their ancestors were once again disappointed in their hopes for dialogue and an official apology.
The skulls were of victims of the mass murder of 80,000 Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908, which were stolen by the former colonial 'Kaiserreich' for racial research some 100 years ago.
"When the Great Powers partitioned Africa in 1884, unfortunately we were allotted to the Germans," said Advocate Krukoro of the Ovaherero Genocide Committee, one of the 60 Namibian delegates, during the Sept. 27-Oct. 2 visit to Berlin.
In 1904, some 17,000 German colonial troops commanded by General Lothar von Trotha launched a brutal war of extermination against the Herero and Nama people, after they revolted against the continued deprivation of land and rights. Following their defeat at Waterberg on Aug. 11, 1904, they were hunted, murdered or driven deep into the Omaheke desert where they died of thirst.
Thousands of men, women and children were later interned in German concentration camps, and died of malnutrition and disease. The territories of the Herero and Nama people were seized, their community life and means of production destroyed. The discussion about the mass murder did not start until Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990.
Germany's foreign ministry has routinely avoided the use of the term "genocide" in dismissing the Herero and Nama peoples' claims for compensation, using instead vague phrases such as "Germany's historic responsibility with respect to Namibia."
Cornelia Pieper, the minister of state in the German foreign office, did the same this time around. "Germans acknowledge and accept the heavy moral and historical responsibility to Namibia," she said on Sep. 30 at the Charité University in Berlin, which hosted the ceremony in which the skulls of nine Herero and eleven Nama people were handed over to the Namibian delegation.
The remains of four females, 15 males and one child were part of the Charité anatomical collection. They were used by German scientists in research that had the aim of proving the supposed racial superiority of white Europeans over black Africans.
Now, 100 years later, the president of the executive board of the 300-year-old institution, Karl Max Einhaeupl, deplored "the crimes perpetrated in the name of a perverted concept of scientific progress" and said: "We sincerely apologise".
The treatment of the Herero and Nama people in Namibia – mass extermination on the grounds of racism, extermination through labour, expropriation of land and cattle, research to prove the alleged superiority of white people – is widely seen as a precursor to the Holocaust. MORE
Revolting Women: Geneviève Pastre
Pastre’s coming-out, at the age of 56, followed successful careers as an academic, theatre practitioner and poet.
It was during her time as a [theatre] director that Pastre began gaining recognition as a poet, subsequently publishing ten poetry collections between 1972 and 2005. In 1976, having privately begun to live with a woman, she began agitating for lesbian rights in France. Her official coming-out was a declaration in print: the 1980 essay on female sexuality, De L’Amour lesbien (About Lesbian Love).
By 2000, Pastre had published a further five books, including historical works. As the titles of Homosexuality in the Ancient World and Athens and the Sapphic Peril suggest, Pastre was one of the first feminist theorists to deconstruct classical myths. Challenging the dominance of Foucault’sHistory of Sexuality, she argued that Foucault – and with him the male academy – had misinterpreted both ancient languages and lesbian sexuality.
Pastre’s greatest contribution, however, has undoubtedly been to the transformation of queer rights, and thus queer life, in France. A year before coming out in the pages of De L’Amour lesbien, Pastre co-founded Comité d’Urgence Anti-Répression Homosexuelle(CUARH). Mobilising the smaller, disparate French gay rights groups that already existed – including David et Jonathan (gay Christians), and Beit Haverim (gay Jews) – CUARH organised a massive protest on 4th April 1981. 10,000 French LGBT people and allies joined what has since been recognised as France’s first ever gay rights march, campaigning for homosexual sex (decriminalised since the French revolution) to have the same age of consent as for heterosexuals.
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MUSLIMS will be banned from praying outdoors in France from today in the latest move by officials to remove Islam from the public sphere.
The ban, announced by the government yesterday, infuriated French Muslim leaders, one of whom accused President Sarkozy's government of treating them like cattle.
They say that Muslims, who pray outdoors only because of a lack of space in mosques in France, feel stigmatised.
But Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, said that the sight of hundreds of people gathering in the streets of Paris and other cities for Friday prayers was "shocking".
It comes after laws to prohibit pupils from wearing headscarves in schools and women from wearing the niqab, the full Muslim veil, in public.
Mr Gueant described outlawing street prayers as the latest brick in the wall that is shoring up the secular nature of the French state. He said that he had nothing against Islam, but wanted it out of the public eye.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, was accused of racism when she said that the worship amounted to an "occupation" - a word that for many French is associated with the Nazi invasion during the Second World War.
But the government now appears to be on the same wavelength, with Mr Gueant agreeing that street prayers would "upset" his fellow countrymen.MORE
Wait a second. Muslims praying on Paris streets are a fucking occupation!? WHAT now? I ain't even hitting the Nazi invasion, what about the French occupation, invasion, colonization of a good chuck of the world's surface not too long ago? And for damn sure they weren't doing anything as innocuous as praying the streets!!!!
And why oh why can't Muslims build bigger mosques to spare our Mr. Gueant's
France to ban Muslim street prayers
“Here we have the hypocrisy of the French right. On one side, they authorize in the street and on the other side, they say ‘look French people, Muslims are taking over our streets and speak of invasion’,” French lawmaker Axel Urgin told a Press TV correspondent.
Even though France has the greatest Muslim population in Europe, Paris has only one mosque. This lack of mosques leaves French Muslims no choice but to attend Friday prayers at about a dozen street locations across France.
“If we are praying in the street, it’s because we have no other choice. We are using what we have, and that is the street,” the president of Muslim Association of Openness, Moussa Niambele said.
French politicians use the country’s 1905 secularism law as reasoning why Muslims cannot be financially assisted by the government to build mosques. Right-wing mayors also allegedly refuse issuing construction permits to those who have the money.MORE
Ah... All these civilized European countries. Such a contrast to all those barbaric Global South countries, yes?
These Women Are Wearing Clothes Made of Real Milk
I'm having a hard time believing this, but these women are wearing clothes actually made with real milk. Yes, the liquid white stuff. The milk fabric was created by 28-yo German biologist and fashion designer Anke Domaske.
Domaske and her team have found a way to turn sour milk into a environment friendly yarn in a very easy and clean way. They eliminate the liquid from it, extracting a protein found that solidifies and then is ground into the threads that form the fabric. Domaske finds the whole thing fascinating, do I:MORE
via oak monster who has the link to the best tshirt EVAR for this story!
Tyrrell: The Century of the Self was for me and many others I've spoken to, by far the best TV series for a long time. In four 60 minute programmes on BBC2, you showed how the ideas behind psychoanalysis were responsible for the development of mass consumerism and self absorption in western society. You also explored the link between consumerism and politics in ways that were terrifying to contemplate. How did you come to piece this amazing history together?
Curtis: I'm a journalist who stumbled over a story, not a historian. For me it began when I came across the intriguing information that Freud's nephew Edward Bernays had invented public relations, specifically using his uncle's ideas about human beings and human nature. From there came the idea that I should look at how Freud's ideas have been used generally in social and political ways, not telling the history of psychoanalysis but the history of how psychoanalytical ideas have been applied. When I started to research this I found lots of different stories about the application of psychoanalytical theories which had been missed out in the history of it, largely because psychoanalysis, as I am sure you know, is a very hermetic world …
Tyrrell: … a closed system of thought.
Curtis: Yes, both in the way it treats patients and also in the way psychoanalysts think of themselves. So what I did was to pull together various stories about how psychoanalysis was applied in different ways by some powerful 20th century figures in both business and politics.
As that started to come together, I began to make connections with another idea I was working on — about how today we all talk about our 'selves'. A hundred years ago, people didn't do that — a few rich people did, and you read about it in novels, but most people didn't. The question lurking at the back of my brain was "Why do we now always have this obsession with the self?" MORE
The Century Of The Self 1 of 4 | One: Happiness Machines
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The Century Of The Self 3 of 4 | There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed
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The Century Of The Self 4 of 4 | Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering
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When I consider this in conjunction with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Beyond Elections docu, I start making some interesting connections. Milton Friedman's shenanigans start making more sense to me. I need to reread The Shock Doctrine then rewatch this. And I will say that as I watched the first episode, one of my thoughts were: "Well damn. They treated their own people like shit. No wonder they thought that American people of color were less than dust beneath their feet. Nevermind the people of color who had the misfortune to reside in places with natural resources that these elitist, greedy assholes could steal! I mean DAMN that shit got spelled out for me in this series!
TEDxAmazônia - Diana Whitten sobre aborto e hipocrisia - Nov.2010
Women on Waves
Women on Waves: The Abortion Rights Movement Sets Sail
Approximately 25% of the world’s population lives in countries with very restrictive abortion laws. The majority of these countries are located in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In Chile, for example, an illegal abortion is a criminal offense punishable by jail time. These anti-abortion laws are rooted in Pope Pius IX’s decree in 1869 that ensoulement occurs at conception. Thus, laws in the 19th century prohibited the termination of pregnancy. These laws from two centuries ago form the basis of the legislation against abortion that still exists in numerous developing countries today. While many developed countries relaxed their abortion laws in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s with the rise of human rights movements, the countries in which abortion is still illegal retained their colonial era laws.
Rebecca Gomperts founded Women on Waves in 1999 to ease the suffering of women in these countries who had no means of obtaining abortion services. She developed a mobile abortion clinic that can be easily transported onto a ship. Aboard the ship, WoW also provides contraceptives, information, training, and workshops in addition to safe and legal abortions. When the ship is in international waters, at least 12 miles off the coast, the local anti-abortion laws do not apply. Gomperts’s strategy is to stir up controversy with her visit and to ignite debate that may eventually lead to a reversal in the legislation against abortion.
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SEATTLE, U.S., Aug 2, 2011 (IPS) - Jean Ronel Noël, a young Haitian engineer, stood in a centuries-old fort on a small island just off Dakar and looked out at the Atlantic through a portal that once led enslaved Africans to the ships of the Middle Passage.
"Finally we come to 'the door of the voyage of no return'," he wrote in a blog. "My blood wouldn't stop boiling, wave after wave of gooseflesh. I nearly broke down. So it's through that door that my ancestors passed. The Door of Hell! There are two infinite things, Einstein said: the universe and human stupidity."
Noël, though, had come to Senegal looking forward more than backward. He brought with him some technological keys that he believes can unlock the doors of a rich storehouse of renewable energy, and ultimately a more durable and self-sufficient model of development for Haiti and other poor countries.
A Senegalese firm specialising in solar-power installations, KAYER, had invited Noël and technician Frantz Derosier to visit the westernmost nation of West Africa to teach their employees how to fabricate their own photovoltaic (PV) panels, which convert sunlight into electricity.
Noël is co-founder, along with his partner Alex Georges, of ENERSA - Énergies Renouvelables, S.A. (Renewable Energies, Inc.). Derosier is one of their 20-odd employees. ENERSA manufactures solar streetlamps and other solar-energy equipment using PV panels that they build from scratch. They count around a thousand such lights installed in over 50 municipalities all over Haiti.
After the catastrophic earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, which knocked out electrical power across the Port-au-Prince area, these lamps were the only public light sources for some localities. The temblor also destroyed much of ENERSA's physical plant, but all the employees survived and the firm was able to restart production within a few months.
During the nine days Noël and Derosier were in Senegal, a former French colony like Haiti, they conducted a week of training sessions with KAYER in the headquarters of a peasant farmers' confederation in the town of Mekhe, about 100 kilometres inland from Dakar, the capital.
The sessions resulted in the first solar panels "made in Senegal". The ongoing collaboration, according to ENERSA, will cover the conception and manufacturing in Senegal of solar products, including solar streetlights. MORE
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Misportrayed?!!?? MISPORTRAYED!!!! THEY LIED!!! Why the FUCK can't you say it!!!! You all called HER a liar easily enough!!!! THE FUCKING AUTHORITIES LIED! And you wonder why the HELL we look at the police with disgust and scorn????
Meantime she has been working up a media blitz to tell her side of the story: Here's a press conference clip, again from ontd_political Nafissatou Diallo speaks out at press conference
And TRANSCRIPT! HERE
MSNBC has some of the remarks But do not read the comments. The prosecutors have poisoned the well and I hope to god the elected officials lose their campaign bid in 2013.
Racialicious:Nafissatou Diallo, Dominique Strauss Kahn, Race, Immigration, and Power
The framing of cases is so important, as it shifts judgements in the court of public opinion. Since Diallo has chosen to step forward as the accuser (perhaps in response to the media backlash around her life and reputation), news outlets have clamored to get the scoop. Newsweek published an exclusive interview a few days ago, with some telling language:
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Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t
via: stealmyhorses here @ ontd_political Can we STOP PRETENDING THAT ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIM NOW?????? OR that they are UNIQUELY VIOLENT???!!?!?? And considering that US news networks are apparently being atrociously bad in covering this event, whereas if a Muslim spits in someone's direction its 24hr fearmongering...GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! No fuuckinG WONDER people aren't aware that there are terrorists who are not Muslim. The non-Muslims are pawned off as crazy and one-offs, while the Muslims are part of the great conspiracy to attack te West and destroy it to its foundations, or so your tv would tell ya.
TRIGGER WARNING FOR VIOLENCE COMMITTED DURING THE RAPE AND VERBAL VIOLENCE COMMITTED UPON THE VICTIM BY THE FUCKING POLICE.
Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Doubly Vicitimised, Advocates Say
"All of those things do not have anything to do with whether or not she was raped," said Human Rights Watch's Marianne Mollman in an interview with IPS.( Read more... )
"I would like to see one single person who has never told a lie in their life," she added.
Thompson acknowledged the significance of the new information.
"Her credibility is important, any rape victim's credibility is important," he said, "but you cannot become blind to the physical, corroborating evidence." The real question, he said, is, "What is true?"
He noted photos of the accuser's bruises, doctor's reports of a shoulder injury, and a pair of stockings, allegedly torn by Strauss- Kahn as the woman tried to escape.
Belgium colonized DRC in 1877, when King Leopold II commissioned journalist Henry Morton Stanley to explore the Congo, secure treaties with local chiefs and establish the contacts needed to form a commercial monopoly of the land. Leopold named this area the Congo Free State and immediately began exploiting its natural resources. To keep this colony profitable, torture and execution were used to force native Africans to work in the mines. This oppressive regime was the setting of Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness.
Belgian rule in the Congo included missionary efforts to civilize and Christianize native Africans, and many Congolese citizens were educated at the secondary level or higher. In the early 1950s, these educated individuals - known as evolues - became unhappy with how they were being treated and petitioned the colonial government for reform. The evoluee demand for independence erupted into riots in 1959.
Although the Belgian government was reluctant to let go of the Congo’s vast resources, it realized it had neither the force nor the authority to maintain control. At the Brussels Round Table Conference of 1960, the Belgian government granted Congo its independence. In May of that year, national elections were held. Joseph Kasavudu was elected president of DRC, and Patrice Lumumba was named prime minister.
Congo's government was troubled from the beginning. Merely five days after independence was granted, violent conflict erupted between Belgian and Congolese citizens, as well as among Congolese ethnic groups. Lumumba asked the United Nations to intervene. The U.N. Security Council authorized a military force to remove Belgian troops and restore order to the land. When they were unable to do so quickly, Lumumba asked the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for help. It provided Lumumba's troops with weapons and military training.
Under the guise of fighting the spread of communism, the U.S. backed rebel Mobutu Sese Seko in a military coup that resulted in Lumumba's seizure, torture and execution. Because this move was motivated more by U.S. interests in the vast mineral resources of this area than in securing a peaceful future for DRC, U.S. efforts to establish a stable government after the uprising were half-hearted. So What Happened?
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The Daily News has more information on the accuser:IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexually assaulting hotel maid, consents to DNA testing
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And Lord knows she'll need every ounce of good reputation she can get, because there's a whole lot of "its a setup and the rest of the usual rape apologist bullshit going on!" stuff going on.
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And there is a whole lot of...downplaying his predatory behaviour into his "weakness for women" and his "seducing of women" and "he had a real power of attraction", just WTF?????
Anyway, the political implications:The French Reaction to IMF chief's arrest
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He's still in jail without bail at the moment.
ETA: Things wut I learned today: Violent crimes like rape typically do not have diplomatic immunity. Really??? CSI, you lied to me!
In Tunisia the labour unions played a crucial role in the revolution, as their large and disciplined membership ensured that protests could not be easily quashed and gave an organisational edge. What's the role of the labour movement in Egypt in the current uprising?
The Egyptian labour movement was quite under attack in the 1980s and 1990s by police, who used live ammunition against peaceful strikers in 1989 during strikes in the steel mills and in 1994 in the textile mill strikes. But steadily since December 2006 our country has been witnessing the biggest and most sustained waves of strike actions since 1946, triggered by textile strikes in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla, home of largest labour force in the Middle East with over 28,000 workers. It started because of labour issues but spread to every sector in society except the police and military.
As a result of these strikes we've managed to get 2 independent unions, the first of their kind since 1957 property tax collectors, including more than 40,000 civil servants, and then health technicians, more than 30,000 of whom launched a union just last month outside of the state controlled unions.
But it's true that one major distinction between us and Tunisia is that although it was a dictatorship, Tunisia had a semi-independent trade union federation. Even if the leadership was collaborating with the regime, the rank and file were militant trade unionists. So when time came for general strikes, the unions could pull it together. But here in Egypt we have a vacuum that we hope to fill soon. Independent trade unionists have already been subjected to witch hunts since they tried to be established; there are already lawsuits filed against them by state and state-backed unions, but they are getting stronger despite the continued attempts to silence them.
Of course, in the last few days the crackdown has been directed against street protesters, who aren't necessarily trade unionists. These protests have gathered a wide spectrum of Egyptians, including sons and daughters of the elite. So we have a combination of urban poor and youth together with the middle class and the sons and daughters of elite.
I think Mubarak has managed to alienate all sectors of society except his close circle of
What about the role of the US in this conflict. How do people on the street view its positions?
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