France steps up border security in $136M diamond heist manhunt – (blog)

Los Angeles Times
France steps up border security in $ 136M diamond heist manhunt (blog)
France steps up border security in $ 136M diamond heist manhunt. Police sources suspect that the jewel thief who got away with 72 pieces worth about $ 135 million was not acting alone, and are saying the theft bears some hallmarks of the notorious Pink 
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RFI -Hamilton Spectator
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A Top Regional Fair Trade Expo Set for Oct 12 in Cleveland

The Ohio Fair Trade Expo 2013 is arguably the best and biggest regional Fair Trade expo in the U.S. It will take place on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at John Carroll University (Dolan Center for Science and Technology) in University Heights, Ohio.

The day includes: Keynote speakers; workshops on a variety of issues including sessions for beginners to experts; a Fair Trade Marketplace with 25+ vendors from across Ohio and the region; a program for Girl Scouts that includes hands-on activities; opportunities to learn about fair trade and the countries where fair trade products are developed.

More at Ohio Fair Trade Expo


The Future of Agriculture

Synthesis of an online debate


Maya Manzi, independent consultant; Gine Zwart, Policy Advisor Sustainable Livelihoods, Oxfam Novib

The fear that global demand for food will outstrip supply has led to significant debate.

Oxfam hosted an online discussion in December 2012 to get beyond the question of securing steady supplies of raw materials for food and beverage companies and to rise above polarized discourses on large-scale industrialized vs. smallholder farms.

The two-week debate on the future of agriculture formed part of Oxfam’s efforts to develop a creative and positive vision of global food production that can ensure that everyone has enough to eat always.

This paper offers a synthesis of the online debate, the 23 essays by food and development experts from 16 countries that formed the basis of the discussion, and Oxfam’s brief concluding remarks.



Related links 

Check out the online discussion blog which fed into this paper: Future of Agriculture

You may also like the blog discussion Food and Gender


Ag chief: Migrant bill vital to farms –

U.S. News & World Report
Ag chief: Migrant bill vital to farms
The report also said that decreasing the number of undocumented workers would lead to decreases in food production, especially in labor-intensive industries such as fruit, vegetable and nursery products. On the other hand, legalizing undocumented 
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Tobacco excise one of the taxes considered as part of Government’s economic … – Herald Sun

Tobacco excise one of the taxes considered as part of Government's economic
Herald Sun
baby number two · Rebecca Judd. CARLTON football star Chris Judd and his Channel 9 weather presenter wife, Rebecca have announced they are expecting their second child. Today it was warned it could risk angering the Labor base and adding


GetMyBoat brings collaborative consumption to waterfronts worldwide – Tnooz

GetMyBoat brings collaborative consumption to waterfronts worldwide
GetMyBoat brings collaborative consumption to waterfronts worldwide. July 29, 2013 By Nick Vivion 5 Comments. The collaborative consumption space continues to grow, as startups drop the business model into new markets. GetMyBoat offers a boat-sharing 


France Struggles to Separate Islam and the State – ABC News

France Struggles to Separate Islam and the State
ABC News
Yet ardent defenders of secularism, the product of France's separation of church and state, say the country hasn't gone far enough. They want more teeth to further the cause that Voltaire helped inspire and Victor Hugo championed, this time with a law 
France is suffering from a 'crisis of authority'The

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Oxfam reaction to the Mali Presidential election

In response to the Mali Presidential election Oxfam’s Country Director of Mali Mohamed Coulibaly said:

“We must not underestimate the huge task any new government in Mali will face. After years of underdevelopment, the first task of the new President must be to improve governance, accountability and basic services”.

A year of conflict has damaged health services and water systems while hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced. As many as 3.5 million people do not have enough food to eat and malnutrition rates are alarming in the north of the country”.

“Improvements are possible if the new Government seeks to meet the needs of its people, listening to their concerns and tackling tensions between and within communities. Encouraging a strong civil society free to hold its government to account is crucial for a stable democracy”.

“The international community has its role to play too by ensuring humanitarian funding is available for lifesaving work and supporting the new government to build transparency, accountability, and participation of citizens in the political process”.


1. Following the crisis over the last year, Mali has fallen seven places in the Humanitarian Development Index, now making it one of the five poorest countries in the world.

2. The crisis in Mali has led to the displacement of about 500,000 people both inside and outside the country (OCHA)

3. According to UNHCR, less than 10,000 refugees have been registered to vote in Sunday’s election.

4. People have started to spontaneously return to the north of Mali with an increase since May. According to humanitarian partners 3.5 million people are food insecure across Mali. This includes 1.4 million people in need of immediate food assistance.

5. A UNICEF nutrition survey conducted in the region of Gao in May 2013 shows that the situation is “serious” in the entire region.  The rate of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in the region is 13.5 percent. The situation is particularly alarming in the Bourem health district where the GAM rate has reached emergency levels at 17 percent.

6. On 16 July, the UN appeal for Mali was 30 percent funded with approximately $ 142 million pledged out of the $ 476 million required.  

7. Oxfam is responding in the north of Mali and has already reached 133,000 people providing them with clean water, sanitation services, and food. The organisation is also supporting national civil society organisations to monitor elections at over 4000 voting stations.

Related links


Bennett at J’lem protest: Terrorists should be eliminated, not freed – Ynetnews

Bennett at J'lem protest: Terrorists should be eliminated, not freed
Mica Brumberg, the sister in law Avraham Brumberg, an IDF soldier who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in 1981, said at the beginning of the demonstration, "We came to deliver a clear message – do not release terrorists with Israeli identity

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