Text of Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

CAIRO: Israel and Hamas agreed Wednesday to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire accord to end a week of violence in and around the Gaza Strip following days of marathon talks.Here is the text of the ceasefire agreement which is set to take effect at 1900 GMT:”Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.”All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.”Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.”Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.””Implementation mechanism.”Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.”Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.”Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.”

via Text of Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.

Public Support for Food Stamps – Peach New Media – Online Events by Peach New Media

Recent polling data show that large majorities of Americans believe that hunger is a serious problem that the country must address and that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a program that is important and should not be cut. Join FRAC and Hart Research for this webinar which will discuss the latest polling research, implications and messages for anti-hunger advocates, and how proposed cuts to SNAP are met by broad opposition.

via Public Support for Food Stamps – Peach New Media – Online Events by Peach New Media.

Ecuador: Ombudsman warns of the risk of chemicals in banana

Ecuador: Ombudsman warns of the risk of chemicals in banana.

“Know where your fruit comes from and what has been sprayed on it!”

The Office of the Ombudsman urged the ministries of Health and Agriculture to conduct research on the environmental and physical effects that 17 chemicals used in banana plantations (including glyphosate) produce, according to resolution 010 of the entity.

The document was the result of research conducted since 2010, after Jorge Acosta Orellana submitted a complaint.

Acosta pointed out the alleged existence of abuse by employers, lack of state control and severe health problems in both the banana plantations and the nearby population caused by aerial and manual spraying.

The resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman, which includes the steps taken, states that “the reports from the Ministry of Health,  Magap and the IESS are overwhelming. They put in evidence that respiratory and poisoning cases are accentuated in populations exposed to the use of chemicals in the crop dusting, whose danger and health risks are highly evident.”

Therefore it was established among its recommendations and exhortations to carry out an investigation to determine the health risks of chemicals like siganex 600, volley, opal, tunic, still, tilt, mancozeb II, calixin, gramoxone and glyphosate.

The use of glyphosate raised questions from Ecuador to Colombia, because of the use of crop dusting to eradicate coca plantations in the border area.

Julio Escala, president of Simon Bolivar Agricultural Center, said that in the country this product is used to kill weeds and is applied by land. He said that workers should wear protective equipment during use.

Meanwhile, Pompilio Espinoza, representative of the banana produces from Cañar, said it is a priority to create an organism that conducts research on the effects of chemicals on humans and the environment. Currently when those chemicals are
applied the concentration is only regulated.


Pessimism on China’s continuing economic growth emerges from, among other reasons on offer, that billion-people economy’s aversion to institutional reform.  In this view, China’s governance structures remain irresponsibly distant from liberal democracy; as a result, they hobble economic and political progress. China’s current institutions of governance allow an extractive elite to benefit themselves and to thwart meritocracy, thus crushing the social good.

[Personally, I like the alternative perspective given in Unz (2012) but at this point Unz’s views constitute still only exactly that, an alternative perspective criticizing conventional thinking.]

Indeed to confirm this conventional view, the popular consciousness can now recount incident after incident of the excesses of those elites.  This month alone there was the high-flying businessman Mr X killed in a confrontation involving armed guards outside a luxury house. The case involved influence over political constituencies covering hundreds of millions of people, the convergence of money and political power…

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