“We Are Here”: Zapatistas Send Silent Message With the Return of the PRI – CIP Americas

Imagine close to 50,000 people marching in absolute silence, in five different townships, from two to five hours apart. Not a word, nor even a greeting. Just a raised fist in a sign of strength, determination and unity. Streets overflowing with masked faces and wordlessness. It is a huge demonstration of force–the largest in the entire history of the Zapatista movement–just days before the 19th anniversary of their first public appearance and 30 years since their founding.

What’s behind a mass mobilization like this, with no more resources than what the communities themselves can offer? Without the spending accounts of political parties or other organizations that only mobilize with government money?

via “We Are Here”: Zapatistas Send Silent Message With the Return of the PRI – CIP Americas.

Hold and test for “pet” foods is an important add on – thanks!


On December 10th, I praised the introduction of the new ‘Hold and Test’ policy announced that day by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) while, at the same time, lamenting its limitations. And I asked eFoodAlert readers to respond to a survey on what FSIS should do to improve food safety.

Here are the results of that survey:

  • Mandate ‘hold and test’ for all meat and poultry processors: 35%
  • Add Salmonella to the list of beef adulterants: 21%
  • Increase USDA’s sampling frequency at meat and poultry establishments: 19%
  • Test every shipment of meat or poultry imported into the USA: 22%

Three readers submitted their own suggestions, which were:

  • Publish in stores for customers to view
  • Fruits and veggies need HOLD too
  • Ensure meat and poultry used for pet food is completely safe as well.

I thank everyone who took the time to respond to the poll, especially, those…

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Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

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United States


  • Food Safety Recall (Belgium):Kaasimport Jan Dupont NV recalls Jussac Brique lait de vache (250g; Best before 28/12/12 through 19/02/13), Jussac Brique lait de brebis (200g; Best before 28/12/12 through 19/02/13), Jussac Brique lait de chèvre (200g; Best before 28/12/12 through 19/02/13), Jussac Mini briques panachées (Best before 28/12/12 through 19/02/13), and Gerbizon (300g; Best before…

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Are we headed for a “food cliff”? | International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Yet, clearly, not everyone’s needs are being met: almost 1 billion people are undernourished, and this number will only rise, as global population figures are predicted to balloon to 9.1 billion by 2050. Said Sheeran, “Over the next 40 years, we need to produce more food than the last 8,000 years combined!”

According to Sheeran, recent developments indicate that the “food cliff” may be even closer than we previously thought. In six of the past 11 years, global food consumption has exceeded production, and food reserves are now “dangerously low,” particularly for staple grains such as wheat and maize. US wheat production, for example, has dropped 20 percent this season due to drought, and wheat harvests in the EU, Russia, and Ukraine are also low. The FAO predicts global wheat production will fall below demand in 2012-2013, and maize prices could rise by as much as 180 percent by 2030, partially due to the impacts of global climate change. We are entering, in Sheeran’s words, “an era of permanent food crisis.”

via Are we headed for a “food cliff”? | International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Ethiopian Children Handed Free Tablet Computers to Teach Themselves – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Could this approach enable developing countries to make the leap into the information age? Or would the tablets end up in the dust just as quickly as childrens toys end up in the garbage in the West when they cease to be new and exciting? If the experiment were a success, could the same approach be used to help 100 million children worldwide, children who dont go to school because they live in rural areas or their families are too poor?Keller strongly believes in his hypothesis. He believes that all you have to do is give children a computer, and that everything else will fall into place. “Children are autodidacts,” says Keller. “They dont have to be taught to walk and speak, either.”If his project succeeds, it will be a veritable revolution, one that could put an end to the plight of uneducated children and help bridge the gap between rich and poor.

via Ethiopian Children Handed Free Tablet Computers to Teach Themselves – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Afghan Women’s Writing Project | From the Moment I First Felt Alive

From the moment I first felt alive

I felt everything.

I touched and smelled everything

I wanted.

I thought about things I wanted

To think about.

My body moved where I wanted

It to move


I felt happiness, sadness.

I understood other’s pain.

From the moment I first felt alive

I started changing my life:

From dirty to clean,

Away from savagery,


Away from illiteracy.

I became the inventor

Of my own life,

Began exploring the world

And what I am in it

And why.


I faced my problems,

Changed the world

With my mind.

I proved to myself exactly what I am,

What we all are:

Humans, creatures

Of God.


By Seema

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | From the Moment I First Felt Alive.

Her views are well based – low turnout of voters = leaders not connecting to people’s needs and interests.


pyrrhic victory

I wrote this piece for Egypt Source, Atlantic Council. Here it is, in case you missed it.

Following weeks of tension and violence over Egypt’s divisive draft constitution, the second round of voting in the referendum is complete. The unofficial results indicate a turnout of approximately 32% with 64 % approval of the draft constitution. The journey for Egypt from January 2011 to December 2012 has been chaotic, but in hindsight it has also served to expose many hidden facts and painful realities.

First, these results are the legacy of a disenfranchised Egypt. The overwhelming support of the referendum in the South Egypt, Fayoum, Red Sea, Sinai, New Valley and Matrouh governorates exposed how these regions were neglected during the Mubarak era. It also reveals how political Islam, particularly Salafism, was a slow growing phenomenon that has now flourished in marginalized communities throughout the country. In these areas ‘religion-as-a-solution’ became…

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