No, the rich don’t pay a ‘fair share’ of tax. They pay all of it – The Australian (blog)

No, the rich don't pay a 'fair share' of tax. They pay all of it
The Australian (blog)
Notwithstanding the enormous variation in the circumstances of individuals and households within each of these five buckets – for instance, childless, healthy workers will pay in much more than unemployed families with sick children – the disparities

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Greece mystery girl: Attorney for Roma couple says they adopted ‘Maria’ – CNN

Greece mystery girl: Attorney for Roma couple says they adopted 'Maria'
CNN
(CNN) — A lawyer for a Roma couple accused of abducting the girl found living with them says the pair adopted the child from her biological mother. In a case that has generated huge interest in Greece, authorities have charged the couple with

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Greece mystery girl: Attorney for Roma couple says they adopted ‘Maria’ – CNN International


The Guardian
Greece mystery girl: Attorney for Roma couple says they adopted 'Maria'
CNN International
(CNN) — A lawyer for a Roma couple accused of abducting the girl found living with them says the pair adopted the child from her biological mother. In a case that has generated huge interest in Greece, authorities have charged the couple with
Mystery girl taken from Roma home in Greece is 'at peace,' charity saysCNN
DNA tests show Bulgarian couple are parents of girl found in GreeceReuters
Maria case exposes extent of child trafficking in crisis-hit GreeceThe Guardian
Huffington Post -NBCNews.com
all 1,605 news articles »

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Amazonian People Prove They Saved Endangered Rainforest, Become First To … – Ecosystem Marketplace

Amazonian People Prove They Saved Endangered Rainforest, Become First To
Ecosystem Marketplace
To finance the shift, they sought to earn credit for the carbon captured in trees under a mechanism known as REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus sustainable forest management). and ECAM (Equipe de Conservação da

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Protesters say they want more than talk on labor issues from Reynolds American – Winston-Salem Journal

Protesters say they want more than talk on labor issues from Reynolds American
Winston-Salem Journal
According to the N.C. Growers Association, FLOC represents about 2,000 farm workers in North Carolina. FLOC has identified a number of problems at tobacco farms, including fatalities, sub-minimum wages, child labor, heat stroke, pesticide and nicotine

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Land grabs in the Philippines: “It’s like they have killed us already”

The APECO development project in the Philippines has been embroiled in controversy around the locals’ land rights since it began. Lend your voice to help stop land grabs.

In the once tranquil Casiguran municipality of the Philippines, a powerful local political dynasty has started building. There are plans for a deep water shipping port, and plans to develop the tourism industry in the area, while an air strip is already under construction. And it’s justified in the name of bringing economic progress to one of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. Sound good?

But the project has been embroiled in controversy ever since it began.

Thousands of farmers, fishermen and indigenous people have been challenging the project (known as APECO, the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport) since 2007. Research indicates that APECO has violated these marginalized groups’ basic rights: stripping them from the land, livelihoods and ancestral ties that they have cultivated for generations, and threatening massive environmental damage.

Several hundred fishing families have already been forced from their homes by the construction of the air strip close to the Casiguran Sound, a vital fishing ground.

 Simon Rawles/OxfamTake Enrico* (right). He is a farmer in Dalugan, on the San Ildefonso peninsula. He doesn’t own his own land, but he holds a lease. Enrico fears that APECO’s presence means the lease won’t be renewed in 2014. This will effectively evict him and his family from the land they have farmed all their lives.

“I am afraid that they will ask us to leave, and abandon the lands that we have worked really hard on. We’re all afraid that our lands will be taken away from us, because our lands are where we get what we need for our daily necessities and the education of our children. If we don’t have our lands, our kids won’t be able to go to school.”

For Manny* (above), the situation is even more acute. He lives with his wife, children and grandchildren. He’s a farmer. He has been a tenant on his land since the 1970s. He and his father, along with other farmers in the area, cleared the forest and developed the land for agricultural use, where previously it had been dense forest. Despite having a Leasehold Agreement with the owners of the land he lives on, Manny was shocked to find out that the land had been sold to APECO last year. The deed of sale made no mention of his tenancy, so according to APECO he is not a recognized tenant and doesn’t have any right to complain. He fears that he will be moved off his land at any minute, leaving his family with nowhere to go.

“This is how we earn our money. This is how we send our kids to school,” says Manny. “If you take this away from us, you’re taking away our source of income and our source of life. If I am forced to leave, in effect it’s like APECO has killed us already.”

Sadly, this case is just one example of a wave of “land grabbing” sweeping the developing world. Every week, banks and private investors buy an area the size of London!

Stop land grabs graphicOxfam is calling on the World Bank, an international standard setter that funds many big land deals and influences how land is bought and sold around the world, to step in and play a vital role in stopping land injustice. The Bank has finally acknowledged it has a part to play in tackling land grabs. Now, just before their Spring meetings, we need you to encourage the World Bank to take action. Let them know the world is watching.

* Names have been changed

Sign the petition to tell the World Bank to make good on its word. Let them know the world is watching.

You may also like

Watch the video about this story on the Guardian website

Sign the petition for justice in a Guatemala land grabs case.

Read Oxfam’s research on land grabs: Land and Power: The growing scandal surrounding the new wave of investments in land

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Republicans can privatize Amtrak if they want – Minneapolis Star Tribune


Minneapolis Star Tribune
Republicans can privatize Amtrak if they want
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, John Mica, who tried last year to push through privatization legislation, says he will hold hearings once a month on Amtrak. If these plans sound familiar, it is because

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What should they grow, if not tobacco? – PakistanToday.com.pk


PakistanToday.com.pk
What should they grow, if not tobacco?
PakistanToday.com.pk
On the other hand, child labour in tobacco farming remains a blatant violation of fundamental human rights by tobacco industry. “Children as young as 5 years old are involved in tobacco farming and are move vulnerable to poisoning from pesticides

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These seniors love their jobs — they live to work – Orlando Sentinel

These seniors love their jobs — they live to work
Orlando Sentinel
And then there is Ed Rinalducci, still working at 75 – by choice, not necessity – and looking forward to his next day in the salt mine. "I like it," said Rinalducci, a psychology professor at the University of Central Florida who teaches and does

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Niger communities say they will run out of food before next harvest, joint study shows

According to a recent field study conducted in communities in western and eastern Niger, between 70 and 90 per cent of people estimate their food stocks will run out before the next harvest, creating an imminent ‘hunger gap’.

Seven leading aid agencies call on donors to act now to prevent humanitarian disaster

Niamey (Niger), March 21, 2012 – According to a recent field study conducted in communities in western and eastern Niger, between 70 and 90 per cent of people estimate their food stocks will run out before the next harvest, creating an imminent ‘hunger gap’. A full 100 percent of families surveyed say they have already reduced the amount of food consumed each day because they do not have enough to eat.

The study was conducted by the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) and the Emergency Capacity Building Project (a coalition including CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision), with input from the World Food Programme and the Government of Niger. It is the latest in mounting evidence pointing to a potentially massive humanitarian disaster in the Sahel if the world does not respond quickly with urgently-needed assistance to those already in crisis, and mitigation activities to prevent more families from going hungry.

“In the villages we see more and more mothers not being able to feed their children more than once a day. We can’t wait any longer. We can’t wait until it becomes one meal every second day, and those children are starving, and suffer crippling, life-long effects from malnutrition,” said Johannes Schoors, Country Director of CARE Niger. “Many families haven’t recovered from the 2005 and 2010 crises. They need help now.”

While in a typical year the hungry season, when people usually start cutting back on meals, does not usually start until May or June, the surveyed communities in Diffa and Tillabéri said that this year it has already started, and that the situation is already critical and will get worse. Key findings of the assessment include:

  • 100 percent of families indicated that they have already reduced portions and number of meals eaten each day.
  • Between 70 and 90 per cent of people estimate their food stocks will run out before the next harvest.
  • Farmers and pastoralists said last year’s harvest was twice as bad as 2009, when a catastrophic drought and high food prices led to a country-wide humanitarian disaster. 
  • One-quarter of communities said children are dropping out of school because families left in search of work, the school canteens closed, or the children must work.
  • People are forced to sell their animals to buy food, but this is flooding the market and causing livestock prices to plummet. 
  • 97% of the communities indicated serious problems as a result of decreased fodder production for their animals.
  • Approximately 80 percent do not have enough seed stocked to plant for the next season, putting people at risk of hunger for next year as well.
  • Nearly one-third of the population is still in debt from the last widespread crop failure in 2009.

Instability in neighboring countries is making things worse, communities said. Remittances have plummeted since people cannot move freely for work, a typical coping strategy, and refugees from conflict in Mali have crossed into Niger, putting additional strain on families already facing food shortages.

“People are arriving exhausted, hungry and in need of the very basics. But Niger is struggling to cope with the influx of refugees and the extra strain is pushing families to the brink of survival,” said Chris Palusky, World Vision’s Food Crisis Response Manager for Mali and Niger. “Poor villages have been overwhelmed with people, some expanding seven-fold in just a few months, with refugees forced to live in overcrowded homes and makeshift shacks. Time is running out to support host families before they themselves reach breaking point. A large and speedy response will not only save lives but strengthen communities who are already bearing the brunt of this disaster.”

Some 13 million people are at risk from a food crisis in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa, including one million children at risk of severe malnutrition. Erratic rains and an attack of pests and locusts destroyed entire harvests in 2011, leaving families with nothing to eat through this year’s hungry season. High food and fodder prices are leaving people with few options. In Niger alone, more than six million people are at risk of hunger; nearly two million of those are in critical need of food and assistance now.

“People in Niger are facing a multifold crisis. This year, we’re witnessing a lethal cocktail which is putting enormous strain on households across the country. Following several crisis since 2005, their coping mechanisms have reached their limit and already pushed thousands over the edge,” said Samuel Braimah, Country Director of Oxfam in Niger. “The worst can be avoided and thousands of lives will be saved if we act now. It’s that simple.”

Recommendations

Based on the results of the assessment, the seven agencies recommend the following:

  • Donors must provide funding now to implement immediate support for families already in desperate need and to prevent more people from tipping over the edge into crisis. We know from experience that waiting will lead to needless deaths, loss of livelihoods, and a costlier response.
  • We must act quickly to scale up interventions to address food security and malnutrition, particularly for the most vulnerable: children under the age of two, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly. The specific needs of pastoralists must also be addressed.
  • This is a chronic emergency with long-term causes. Any response must work with local governments to integrate risk reduction measures to help families be more resilient to food shortages and drought and prevent them from falling into crisis.

The full field study report can be downloaded at www.acaps.org.

Read more

Photo-gallery: Sahel: A food crisis foretold

Blog: Hunger calls in Africa’s Sahel region

Read the report: Escaping the Hunger Cycle: Pathways to resilience in the Sahel

What a global food crisis looks like: Oxfam’s food prices map

Donate now to help Oxfam’s humanitarian response to the Sahel food crisis

The worst can be avoided and thousands of lives will be saved if we act now. It's that simple,

Samuel Braimah

Oxfam Country Director in Niger

Contact Information

For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact members of the Emergency Capacity Building Project (a coalition including CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision):

Rodrigo Ordóñez, Regional Communications Coordinator, CARE (in Niamey) rodrigo.ordonez@co.care.org, +227 9088 8933

Helen Blakesley, Regional Information Officer, Catholic Relief Services (in Dakar) helen.blakesley@crs.org, +221 77 333 42 31

Joy Portella, Director of Communications, Mercy Corps
jportella@sea.mercycorps.org, +1 206.437.7885,

Gaëlle Bausson, Media Lead, Oxfam (in Niamey)
gaelle.bausson@oxfamnovib.ne or gbausson.oxfam@gmail.com, +227 9240 7424

Florence Cisse, Media relations, Plan International (in Dakar)
Florence.cisse@plan-international.org, +221 33 869 74 39/+221 77 499 94 06

Media unit, Save the Children (in London)
+44 (0) 207 012 6841

Adel Sarkozi, Regional Communications Officer, World Vision (in Dakar) Adel_Sarkozi@wvi.org, +221 773332403

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