THE DAILY STAR :: News :: International :: Malis anti-putsch front demands prime minister resign

BAMAKO: A grouping of Malis main political parties formed after a March coup, on Tuesday demanded the resignation of the interim prime minister whom they accused of “incompetence and amateurishness”.”Three months after its formation, the transition government led by Cheick Modibo Diarra has only become bogged down in incompetence and amateurishness and Mali is only sinking deeper,” the United Front for the Defence of the Republic and Democracy said in a statement.The FDR called for Diarra to “resign in order to facilitate consultations to put in place a new prime minister and a government of national union”.The grouping unites some 40 political parties and about 100 civil society organisations.

via THE DAILY STAR :: News :: International :: Malis anti-putsch front demands prime minister resign.

Lebanon’s Severe Pollution Contaminates Cheese and Meat – Watch What You Eat! | Green Prophet

Lebanon’s Severe Pollution Contaminates Cheese and Meat – Watch What You Eat! | Green ProphetThe lead researcher and environmentalist Rabih Kamleh explains how the findings reveal worrying levels of harmful pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella , Listeria and Escherichia Coli in Lebanese food. As far as dangers go, cheese “smells” the worst. 

In fact, the study indicates bacterial levels that are much higher than accepted standards set by the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom. For example, 66 percent of cheese samples in the study contained E. Coli and 26.6% of the cheese samples contained Listeria.

Palestinian villages face demolition to create IDF training ground | World news | The Guardian

Palestinian villages face demolition to create IDF training ground | World news | The Guardian.

The villagers, supported by the evidence of Israel archaeologists and human rights groups, say their families have farmed the area since the late 1800s, certainly long before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.

For generations, these communities lived in caves tucked into the barren hillsides, protected from the wind, rain and summer heat. When these caves began to collapse in the late 90s, families gradually abandoned their traditional homes and built their current ones, patchwork constructions of improvised stonewalls, wooden struts and tarpaulin.

The structures were built without Israeli permission on land that Israel declared an “open firing zone” in the 1970s. As they stand in Area C, the 64% of the West Bank under full Israeli control, the state has ordered that they be demolished.

However, B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, has argued that Israel has no legal justification to evict these villagers. “International human rights law demands a pressing military need. Training soldiers is not a pressing need. Israel can’t simply take any land it wishes on this basis,” said Sarit Michaeli, the group’s spokesperson.

In her case to the high court, Hila Gurani, the state’s attorney, wrote that the second intifada and the second Lebanon war exposed gaps in IDF preparation that requires more extensive training in firing zones, which the illegal Hebron residents are preventing. She also suggested that if the current residents were allowed to remain, they would gather intelligence on IDF methods or collect any weapons and equipment soldiers might leave behind to use in terrorist activity.

The court has given the Hebron villagers until 2 August to present their response – the latest round in a battle they have been fighting since 1999. Lawyers with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel advising them have vowed to pursue the case.

Blog to End the Occupation: Israel to Demolish Eight Palestinian Villages

Treating “people as if they were weeds” Shameful…

Yesterday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills, displacing some 1,500 residents. The order came after the Israeli High Court of Justice issued its decision supporting the move, agreeing with a 2000 finding by the Israeli Civil Administration that “there were no permanent residents in the area” and that those present were merely seasonal residents.The IDF has argued since 1999 that the villages needed to be destroyed because their presence has prevented the IDF from performing live fire drills in the zone. They also claimed that Palestinians in the zone could collect intelligence on Israeli tactics or gather weapons left over from training exercises and then “use them for terror purposes.”

via Blog to End the Occupation: Israel to Demolish Eight Palestinian Villages.

Voter Protection Unit (VPU) – American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Voter Protection Unit (VPU) – American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

 ADC Voter Protection Unit (ADC-VPU)

The ADC-VPU was established in October 2008. This special unit is dedicated to protect the Arab and Muslim American communities from attempts at chilling the communitiess‘ right to vote and responding to fear tactics designed to promote hate, division, and hostility against the Arab and Muslim American communities.

How can you volunteer?

ADC-VPU calls for volunteers to make a difference and help protect the rights of all voters. The ADC-VPU needs the assistance of those willing and available to become Election Monitors. Please email your information; including your name, email address, phone number, and voting district to Upon receiving your information a member of the VPU will be in touch with you to explain the process.

Election Monitor District Representative:

  • Will serve as the go-to person to election monitors across a voting district.
  • Responsible for contacting the City or County Clerk should an issue arise.
  • Set schedules across a district and be responsible for strategically placing monitors.
  • Responsible for reporting to the ADC-VPU on the day‘s activities.
  • Someone familiar with election monitoring, organized, familiar with the voting district.

Election Monitor:

  • Primary responsibility will be to ensure the fairness of the election process.
  • Will be placed at a polling station by the District Representative.
  • Will be given specific instructions on what to look for on Election Day.
  • Will be provided instructions on how to report any acts of voter intimidation
  • Willing to commit to a 3-4 hour block and have be able to carry out the duties.

Tomatoes and Migrant Farm Workers Part 1 — UrbanFig

You’ve probably never heard of Immokalee, Florida. It isn’t on anyone’s list of “Top Ten Places to Visit”, but this impoverished little town is known as the Tomato Capitol of the United States. You’d think that a place with such a distinguished title would be proud to show the world what they do best, but you’d be wrong.

The tomato industry in the U.S. is valued at more than $5 Billion annually, but the poor migrant farm workers who spend their days in the blistering Florida sun picking hundreds of pounds of green tomatoes from pesticide-laden fields have historically been paid slave wages for their part in bringing these tomatoes to your table. For years this practice was largely unknown and continued unhindered until the public was finally made aware of the issue.

In 1993,  a small group of workers banded together and began to organize and consider ways to improve the community and the conditions being endured by thousands of migrant farm workers. That group would go on to become the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an organization that now boasts 4,000 members and continues to make strides in improving working conditions and wages among the impoverished workers throughout the region. In the first five years they managed to increase the piece rate for tomato pickers by as much as 25% and yet the pay was still not a living wage.

via Tomatoes and Migrant Farm Workers Part 1 — UrbanFig.

They have had some great successes in getting individual restaurant and grocery chains supporting their efforts!

For Afghanistan’s First Female Boxer, An Olympic Journey Ends – LightBox

For Afghanistan’s First Female Boxer, An Olympic Journey Ends – LightBox.

She might have won over her countrymen, but in the end, she couldn’t make it past the International Boxing Association, who decided on July 18 that she could not compete, citing concerns that boxing against opponents of much higher standards might threaten her safety in the ring. Not only is this a disappointment for Rahimi, her family and the aspirations of Afghan women athletes, it strikes a blow to the International Olympic Committee’s goal to have women athletes represent every country, just a week after Saudi Arabia, the last hold-out, reluctantly agreed to send two women athletes.

See and write to the men who denied her a right to compete!

Clean Energy Access For All – Grameen’s Solar Success – Compass

Clean Energy Access For All – Grameen’s Solar Success – Compass.

So who is lying about expensive solar energy and why?

With over five million villagers enjoying solar electricity and Shakti technicians installing one thousand solar systems a day it’s time our development institutions put their scarce development dollars behind initiatives such as these. No one can work miracles in a traditional rural society, but entrepreneurial companies like Shakti are proving we can do far, far better than business as usual.

THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Columnist :: Syria embodies the end of colonialism

Only when local people across the Middle East took matters into their own hands did conditions change, and history resume. The sentiments of ordinary people such as those in Bab al-Hawa, Midan, Deir al-Zor and Deraa are far more significant that the pronouncements of the world’s powers. The sooner we learn this lesson, the better off we will all be.

The colonial era may finally be drawing to a close.

via THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Columnist :: Syria embodies the end of colonialism.

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