Pacific Disability Theatre Group Inspires and Educates – Inter Press Service | Inter Press Service

In the Pacific Island state of Vanuatu, 23 actors with disabilities, from youth to senior citizens, who have battled physical and social barriers all their lives, are now empowering themselves and others through socially engaged theatre.

via Pacific Disability Theatre Group Inspires and Educates – Inter Press Service | Inter Press Service.

Caribbean chikungunya cases top 170,000 | CIDRAP

The number of chikungunya cases in parts of the Caribbean continued to surge last week, pushing past 170,000 cases, with the first cases confirmed in El Salvador, west of the main outbreak area, and more imported cases detected in the United States and other countries. {Will not be long before all of Central America is effected and then Mexico, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida – all from people visiting the currently effected areas – coming home infected and getting bitten by local mosquitoes!}

The outbreak has grown to 170,566 suspected or confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease, which is 35,139 higher than the 135,427 cases reported the previous week, according to a Jun 13 report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The number of deaths remained the same, at 14.

Over the past few weeks, most new cases are suspected infections reported from the Latin Caribbean countries, such as the Dominican Republic, where suspected cases rose from 52,976 to 77,320 last week. Guadaloupe and Martinique also reported thousands of new cases, but no new case totals were given for Haiti, another country that has recently been hard hit by the outbreak.

In the non-Latin areas that were mainly affected earlier in the outbreak, new cases were reported by Dominica, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.

via Caribbean chikungunya cases top 170,000 | CIDRAP.

Animal trapping records reveal strong wolf effect across North America — ScienceDaily

From Alaska and Yukon to Nova Scotia and Maine, the researchers have demonstrated that a “wolf effect” exists, favoring red foxes where wolves are present and coyotes where wolves are absent.

This effect requires that enough wolves be present to suppress coyotes over a wide area. Fur trapping records from Saskatchewan and Manitoba reveal that where wolves are absent in the southern agricultural regions of each province, coyotes outnumber foxes on average by 3-to-1. However, where wolves are abundant in the north, the balance swings dramatically in favor of foxes on average by 4-to-1 and at an extreme of 500-to-1 at one site.

via Animal trapping records reveal strong wolf effect across North America — ScienceDaily.

Between A Rock And A Sectarian Bloodbath « The Dish

Joshua Landis offers an ominous prediction about the coming Shiite backlash:

I would not be shocked to see significant ethnic cleansing of Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad should ISIS attack and give the Iraqi Army a run for its money.

After all, the Iraqi army is large, has helicopters, sophisticated intelligence capabilities, tanks, artillery and all the rest. They were caught napping and without esprit de corps, much as the Syrian army was. But capable officers will emerge who will strip down the “power-sharing” fat that the US built and rebuild it based on loyalty to Maliki and Shiism, if most of that has not been done already. This is what happened in Syria, when we saw the Syrian Army unravel at the base during the first year of the Sunni uprising. The Syrian military was quickly rebuilt along sectarian and regional lines to make it much stronger and more loyal, with locally recruited Iranian style National Defense Forces modeled on the Islamic Guard. If Sunnis choose to form such local militias and ally with the Shiite regime, so much the better. If they do not and choose to lay low until they figure out whether ISIS can win in their regions, the Shiites will go it alone and assume all Sunnis are a fifth column.

via Between A Rock And A Sectarian Bloodbath « The Dish.

Between A Rock And A Sectarian Bloodbath

The Dish


Harith Hasan examines how Iraq’s Sunni population views ISIS:

Most Sunnis maintain their suspicious view of the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, but they do not see ISIS as a good alternative. It is true that ISIS has largely invested in the sectarian tension in Iraq and the region, but its objectives go beyond the Iraqi borders or the major concerns of Iraq’s Sunni community. Through its simultaneous involvement in Syria and Iraq, ISIS established its distinct entity and identity with an agenda that is largely indifferent to Iraqi politics.

However, fighting ISIS has yet to become a Sunni priority. One reason is the growing strength of the organization and its proven ability to carry out revenge against “traitors,” as was the case with the assassination of Khamis Abu Risha, a leader in the anti al-Qaeda awakening groups (Sahwa) which previously were a key voice in the anti-government rallies in Anbar. Second…

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With a Dream of Return: Deportees in Mexicali | Latina Lista

“I feel like I am drowning but everybody around me is breathing.”

This is what I was told by Esmeralda, a dreamer who grew up in Arizona, and in 2010 was detained at a checkpoint, coerced to sign her voluntary departure, and was deported to Mexico, where she was told her high-school diploma from the U.S. was not valid. Esmeralda’s story is one of the 2 million people deported by U.S. Immigration authorities during the Obama administration–the largest number of deportations in the history of the U.S.

In March 2014, I traveled to the border city of Mexicali, where thousands of people are deported every month. Last year alone, it is estimated that 113,539 people were deported to Mexicali, a city with a population of 700,000. There, in the City of the Deportee, I visited the Hotel of the Migrant, a place that have assisted 200,000 deportees since 2010. The Hotel of the Migrant is a former abandoned Hotel that now serves as the only city shelter open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Managed by a non-profit organization, the hotel is located just a few blocks from the Calexico Port of Entry. Usually, deportees are dropped off in the middle of the night in poor conditions.

via With a Dream of Return: Deportees in Mexicali | Latina Lista.

Israel/Palestine: Free 3 Abducted Youth | Human Rights Watch

{My question is this: I thought nearly all cell phone were traceable – so why have they not been found?}

Any Palestinian armed groups unlawfully holding three Israeli teenagers should release them immediately and unconditionally. Israeli forces searching for the three should respect the laws of war with respect to the Palestinian population in the occupied territory and not carry out mass, arbitrary arrests. The three teenagers apparently were abducted in the West Bank on June 12, 2014.

Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gil’ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, both 16, were reported missing after they tried to hitchhike home from the southern West Bank, near the Kfar Etzion settlement. The three attend Jewish religious schools in Kfar Etzion and in Kiryat Arba, another settlement, Israel media reported.

“There is no justification for abducting civilians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “It is a disgrace to drag children into this conflict, whether Israeli or Palestinian.”

One of the youths called an Israeli police hotline at about 10:30 p.m. on June 12 and said, “We’re being kidnapped,” before the call was disconnected, Israeli news media reported. Human Rights Watch could not confirm two separate reported claims of responsibility by Palestinian armed groups.

via Israel/Palestine: Free 3 Abducted Youth | Human Rights Watch.

Captivating Illustrations by Molly Mendoza – The Fox Is Black

Really loving the work of Molly Mendoza, a Portland based illustrator. Her work tends to be loose, sketchy, and abastract with lots of brush strokes that give each piece a wonderful character. I particularly like this series (though I’m not sure what it’s called) because of her choice of color palette. Not normally something I would lean toward but it really works when you see all of the pieces together.

via Captivating Illustrations by Molly Mendoza – The Fox Is Black.

Party scolds official for blaming lead poisoning of 300 children on ‘chewing pencils’ | South China Morning Post

“It is scientific knowledge that pencils are made from graphite,” the article by commentator Zhang Yusheng said. “Does this official’s statement show ignorance, or just disregard for the people’s welfare?”

Chinese internet users also mocked the official. “How can such low IQ cadres appear in public?” asked author Cui Chenghao on Weibo.

China’s rapid industrialisation over the past 30 years has left the country with widespread environmental damage that has taken a heavy toll on public health.

Recent studies have shown that roughly two-thirds of China’s soil is estimated to be polluted and that 60 per cent of underground water is too contaminated to drink.

In 2011, authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang detained 74 people and suspended work at hundreds of factories after 172 people – including 53 children fell ill with lead poisoning.

US battery maker Johnson Controls was in 2012 blamed for lead pollution in the commercial hub of Shanghai, after 49 children were diagnosed with lead poisoning.

via Party scolds official for blaming lead poisoning of 300 children on ‘chewing pencils’ | South China Morning Post.