Angels, Mobsters and Narco-Terrorists: The Rising Menace of Global Criminal Empires

Threats, Transnational Crime

Angels, Mobsters and Narco-Terrorists: The Rising Menace of Global Criminal Empires

In this ground-breaking book, Antonio Nicaso, an internationally renowned expert on organized crime groups, and Lee Lamothe, a veteran investigative journalist specializing in criminal conspiracies, present solid evidence of how established organized crime groups — such as the Mafia and the Triads — have changed their tactics and allegiances to protect their interests against the rise of violent and power-hungry gangs from Albania, Mexico, and Russia.

Angels, Mobsters, & Narco-Terrorists reveals how, due to their shared border, the USA and Canada have become prime targets for criminal groups that engage in money laundering and prostitution rings, and trafficking in human cargo, narcotics, and arms. On the international scene, state-sanctioned crime is thriving on heroin profits and cyber crime is emerging as a very lucrative and baffling activity to investigate and shut down.

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How remote learning failed special education students

Education, Policies

How remote learning failed special education students

Plus, why a fourth of teachers probably won’t quit, when the northern border could open, Africa sees a rise in cases, and more.

7 million students in America attend special education classes that cater to their learning needs. But whether it was speech or physical therapy or modified instruction, teaching shut down for some when classes went virtual during the pandemic.

NPR explores this story, which deserves your attention. NPR reports:

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Gender equality, sustainability and social justice: A roadmap for recovery

Policies, Society

Gender equality, sustainability and social justice: A roadmap for recovery

Women have been at the forefront of the world’s battle against COVID-19, as healthcare workers risking their lives, as scientists in teams that have developed vaccines at record speed, as carers in families and communities, setting up food banks and childcare cooperatives, and as political and public health leaders, steering us through the very worst of times.

At the same time, due to pre-existing gender inequalities, the social and economic impacts of the pandemic have hit women hardest. During the pandemic, women have lost their jobs and seen their earnings dwindle at a faster rate than men, with devastating impacts on their economic autonomy. This is because women tend to be concentrated in the most vulnerable informal jobs, which often lack basic rights and social protection.

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People’s Power: Reclaiming the Energy Commons

Energy, Policies

People’s Power: Reclaiming the Energy Commons

The starting point of People’s Power is the need for power generation to move away urgently from fossil fuels; an argument which will be uncontroversial to most readers of this review. If you went only by reports in the mainstream press, you might be forgiven for concluding that this shift was not only uncontroversial but assured. Good news stories about increases in renewable energy generation have been fairly frequent.

The report that the UK generated a record 50.7% of its electricity on Boxing Day 2020 from wind power is only one of a number of recent examples. Dawson argues however that there is no room for complacency here. Renewables still only account for 6.4% of global electricity generation and the speed of transition away from fossil fuels is slowing everywhere.

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History Is Full of Mothers Who Changed the World While Taking Care of Their Children

Family, Policies

The Quest to ‘Have It All’ Isn’t New. History Is Full of Mothers Who Changed the World While Taking Care of Their Children

The notion that mothers can simultaneously nurture their children and their careers is often seen as a modern phenomenon, an indication of how far women have come in the march toward gender equity. But in fact, history is full of mothers who reached beyond the domestic sphere—courageous women who overcame societal barriers and changed the world for people far beyond their own children.

The inspiration for Mother’s Day herself, Ann Jarvis, was a social activist and pioneer in the public-health movement in the U.S. As a mother living in an Appalachian coal-mining community in the 1800s, Jarvis suffered the loss of not just one, but eight children. Determined to combat high infant-mortality rates in the area, Jarvis began to organize Mother’s Day work clubs that provided desperately needed education, medicine and supplies.

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On Earth Day, world’s poorest still paying highest price of climate change

Poverty, Threats

On Earth Day, world’s poorest still paying highest price of climate change

To mark Earth Day, World Vision is calling on global leaders to fully respond to the climate change crisis as a tsunami of climate related disasters threaten to wipe out decades of development advances. The agency warns that the triple threat of climate change, conflict and COVID will push hundreds of millions of people into poverty and forced displacement without strong international commitments to mitigate impact, support adaptation and build resilience in the most at-risk communities.

“Climate change threatens all of us, but the world’s poorest, who pollute the least, pay the highest price,” says Michael Messenger, President and CEO of World Vision Canada. “Climate change limits access to food and clean water for millions of people living on the world’s margins, while making them more vulnerable to natural disasters and disease. We will reverse decades of progress in reducing poverty and hunger without massive efforts to stop climate change.”

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Just 3% of world’s ecosystems remain intact, study suggests

Ecology, Threats

Just 3% of world’s ecosystems remain intact, study suggests

Just 3% of the world’s land remains ecologically intact with healthy populations of all its original animals and undisturbed habitat, a study suggests.

These fragments of wilderness undamaged by human activities are mainly in parts of the Amazon and Congo tropical forests, east Siberian and northern Canadian forests and tundra, and the Sahara. Invasive alien species including cats, foxes, rabbits, goats and camels have had a major impact on native species in Australia, with the study finding no intact areas left.

The researchers suggest reintroducing a small number of important species to some damaged areas, such as elephants or wolves – a move that could restore up to 20% of the world’s land to ecological intactness.

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Cold War on Trial: Truth Commission details horrible crimes akin to Native American genocide and slavery

Other Atrocities, State War, Threats

Cold War on Trial: Truth Commission details horrible crimes akin to Native American genocide and slavery

With a new Cold War heating up between the U.S. and Russia and China, Witness for Peace Southwest, Addicted to War and CodePink organized a Truth Commission on the original Cold War on March 21st, which brought together the testimony of historians, activists and others who lived through the period.

Following a hearing three years ago, the Zoom event was hosted by Frank Dorrel, publisher of the popular anti-war text Addicted to War, and Rachel Bruhnke, a high school Spanish teacher and member of Witness for Peace Southwest.

In her opening remarks, Bruhnke emphasized that the Cold War should rank as one of three great crimes in U.S. history, the first two being the genocide of the native Americans, and enslavement of African-Americans.

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The U.S. Water and Wastewater Crisis – How Many Wake-up Calls Are Enough?

Policies, Water

The U.S. Water and Wastewater Crisis – How Many Wake-up Calls Are Enough?

In February, much of Texas plunged into darkness when the state’s electricity grid failed due to extreme cold weather conditions. What started as a foreseeable blackout quickly became a life-threatening calamity. The frigid temperatures cracked pipes and froze wells.  To escape the frigid cold, have drinking water, and flush toilets, Texans were forced to boil snow and icicles. The extreme weather conditions and lack of basic amenities resulted in several fatal cases of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

More than 14 million people in Texas were affected, and lost access to clean water at the height of the crisis. At the beginning of March, there were still nearly 390,000 people who did not have water safe enough to drink in their homes

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Millions Spend Easter Weekend Under COVID-19 Lockdowns

Policies, Society

Millions Spend Easter Weekend Under COVID-19 Lockdowns

India’s health ministry said Sunday that it recorded 93,249 new COVID cases in the previous 24-hour period, the highest daily tally this year in the South Asian nation.

Only two other nations have more coronavirus infections than India’s 12.4 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S has 30.6 million cases, while Brazil has 12.9 million. Millions of people worldwide are under new lockdown restrictions this Easter weekend thanks to coronavirus infections that have surged despite the continued rollout of vaccination campaigns.

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