Category Archives: human rights

Startup in Palestine launches crowdfunding campaign for rooftop farming in refugee camps | Wamda.com

Now working in the West Bank, Refutrees hopes to end refugee reliance on institutions like UNRWA by training current refugees in the modern techniques of urban agriculture, not only to provide immediate nutrition, but also to educate the community in the longer term and reconnect a young generation to the memory of its ancestral lands.

To do so, Refutrees’ mission is three-fold: Roof-top gardens will provide fresh, organic produce and outdoor activity for a largely unemployed population; internships and courses will connect community members to international experts on urban agriculture and recycling; and an Eco-Art Palestine initiative will use recycled material to create safe play spaces for children used to more desolate landscapes.

via Startup in Palestine launches crowdfunding campaign for rooftop farming in refugee camps | Wamda.com.

Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Who Receives SNAP, and How Would the House Cuts Affect Them?

In Mississippi, over 40 percent of the state’s children rely on SNAP each day to put food on the table.

via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Who Receives SNAP, and How Would the House Cuts Affect Them?.

Can you guess how Mississippi’s Representatives voted – they voted to cut SNAP that feeds their kids!

http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2013/09/lawmakers-representing-most-hungriest-counties-voted-cut-snap?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ewg_alltopics+%28EWG%3A+All+Topics%29

Slavery in Modern india – Delhi’s missing children forced into farm labor | Globalization | DW.DE | 20.09.2013

Deepak Kumar was on his way back from a playground near the Tughlaqabad railway station in Delhi when he was abducted. It was the evening of March 8, 2011. He was 15 then.

“It was already dark. I was feeling cold and realized I should go back home. Just then I saw four people coming towards my direction on a bike. Before I could understand anything, they forced me on the pillion, sandwiching me between them. They covered my mouth with a thick cloth when I started crying. All I can remember is that I was on the bike. When I woke up, it was morning. The men took me to a Ram Kumar’s house in Khindaria village, Muzaffarnagar district,” Deepak recounted.

Khindaria village lies north-east of Muzaffarnagar district in the sugar belt region of Uttar Pradesh. The region is covered with sugarcane plantations that flourish all year round.

The next morning, Deepak was briefed about his job at Ram Kumar’s place. He was to look after the buffaloes, clean their sheds, and peel and clean sugarcane. Meanwhile, back home in Badarpur, his parents had frantically started looking for him. His father Bhajan Sahu went to the nearest police station in Sarga Khwaja to register the missing person. “They refused to file a case, saying that my son was a drug addict. Finally, after a lot of requests a case was registered but they did nothing,” says Sahu.

via Delhi’s missing children forced into farm labor | Globalization | DW.DE | 20.09.2013.

Israeli forces manhandle EU diplomats, seize West Bank aid | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.

A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents.

“They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” French diplomat Marion Castaing said.

“This is how international law is being respected here,” she said, covered with dust.

The Israeli army and police declined to comment.

Locals said Khirbet Al-Makhul was home to about 120 people. The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel’s high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits.

Despite losing their property, the inhabitants have refused to leave the land, where, they say, their families have lived for generations along with their flocks of sheep.

Israeli soldiers stopped the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering emergency aid on Tuesday and on Wednesday IRCS staff managed to put up some tents but the army forced them to take the shelters down.

via Israeli forces manhandle EU diplomats, seize West Bank aid | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.

Eat Drink Better | Cooking, healthy food, and sustainable eating!

Poor people are inconvenient. Fortunately, you can ignore them and nothing will happen.

The House cut Food Stamps by $40 billion yesterday when they passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3012). The 109 page bill includes a number of requirements for new projects, reports to be written about those projects, and committees to review those projects, plus the budget necessary to do those things. The cost-cutting mostly occurs in one place – “categorical eligibility”.

via Eat Drink Better | Cooking, healthy food, and sustainable eating!.

Raw milk and cheese safe? Not! One Dead, 16 Sickened in B.C. E. coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Cheese | Food Safety News

The outbreak of E. coli linked to Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm in Canada has resulted in one death, as well as 10 confirmed and six suspected illnesses, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The victim who died was from British Columbia. Three more B.C. residents fell ill, while the other seven cases are in Alberta. The agency is investigating another six illnesses that appear to be connected.

Health officials have linked the outbreak to unpasteurized cheese products sold by B.C.-based Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm. The Public Health Agency has recalled 14 of the farm’s cheese items, which were sold at the farm in Salmon Arm, B.C., in retail stores in B.C. and Alberta, and over the Internet between May 27 and Sept. 14.

The farm agreed to stop selling its cheese.

via One Dead, 16 Sickened in B.C. E. coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Cheese | Food Safety News.

House to Vote on Cutting Food Stamp Aid

House to Vote on Cutting Food Stamp Aid.

The House is poised to vote on cutting nearly $4 billion a year from food stamp assistance, now used by 1 in 7 Americans.

House Republican leaders were still working for support as they scheduled a vote on the measure for Thursday. Some GOP moderates questioned the 5 percent cut to the almost $80 billion-a-year program as Democrats united strongly against it.

SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games: SFist

Oh, for god’s sake. It’s just a bunch of elderly, mostly homeless dudes playing chess!! Whatever else is going on around them, or whatever pills they may be taking on their non-chess-playing time, has little or nothing to do with the fact that they’re all just out their passing the time in a perfectly peaceful way, sacrificing pawns and taking bishops and rooks and shit!!

Sidebar: We gather that women passing by the daily games were frequently subjected to harassment, but that is another matter.

Our guess is that the row of chess-playing dudes runs counter to the image that the upcoming new tenants across the street, in what will become Market Street Place, the vertical mall formerly called CityPlace. And even though that is only barely under construction and not near opening, they want to get a head start on spiffing things up for the neighboring businesses that will reap the benefits of the retail gentrification to come.

via SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games: SFist.

6th Circuit Says Your Boss Can’t Say No to Your Birth Control | National Women’s Law Center

In a unanimous decision in Autocam v. Sebelius, the 6th Circuit held that a for-profit, secular company is not a ‘“person’ capable of ‘religious exercise’” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) (RFRA is a federal law that protects an individual’s exercise of religious freedom from substantially burdensome laws where the government did not have a compelling interest in passing the law). Based on this holding, the Autocam companies – Michigan-based manufacturers of auto and medical supplies – can’t bring a RFRA challenge to the Obamacare rule requiring health insurance plans to cover the full range of birth control methods. Oh, and the 6th Circuit held that Autocam’s owners also can’t challenge the rule under RFRA because the birth control requirement is on the company, not the owners.

This means that Autocam’s female employees and dependents will not have access to coverage for the birth control method that’s appropriate for them, without cost sharing. In other words, they finally get to take advantage of this fabulous Obamacare benefit that many of us have been enjoying for a year now.

What else does this mean? It means that health care decisions stay between you and your provider, NOT your boss. And it means that birth control IS health care and can’t be stripped away from health insurance coverage just because a boss objects to it. I mean, seriously, can you imagine the total uproar if bosses refused to cover children vaccines or blood transfusions?? Well, that could be the world we live in if these bosses get their way in the birth control challenges….

via 6th Circuit Says Your Boss Can’t Say No to Your Birth Control | National Women’s Law Center.