Latest News and Comment

The journey by migrants seeking a better life in Europe is extremely dangerous. The International Organization for Migration released a report that found since 2000, at least 40,000 migrants have died - or about eight each day over the past 14 years. "The system is designed to keep newcomers out, and force those who are already in the country to leave. Detention is a major pillar of that
9 hours 8 min ago
Corporate interests may be winning in U.S.-EU trade negotiations, endangering public health and the environment, a new cache of documents (pdf) leaked on Tuesday show. Backed by powerful industry advisers and bolstered by U.S. allies who have already made significant concessions to move negotiations along, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal is poised to derail
9 hours 8 min ago
Last month, a quiet announcement from UK Home Secretary Theresa May dashed the hopes of thousands of asylum seekers in the UK. A court ruling in April had criticized the very low level of support it gives to those seeking asylum and had given her four months to show how she had calculated that it would cover their needs. The Home Office duly did its sums, but announced that the amount to be
9 hours 8 min ago
P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }

Cultivation of oil palm is expanding rapidly around the world. These new monoculture plantations mean the destruction of rainforests, labour exploitation and brutal land grabbing.
Oil palms can only be cultivated profitably in an equatorial belt occupied by by peasants and indigenous peoples and the tropical forests they depend on. Thus the story of the expansion of oil palm plantations across Asia, Latin America and now Africa is also a story about the often violent displacement of these peoples and the destruction of their forests and farms.
Over the past fifteen years, foreign companies have signed over 60 deals covering nearly 4 million hectares in central and western Africa for the development of oil palm plantations.
Previous attempts at industrial cultivation of oil palm in Africa have largely failed and production has remained in the hands of small-scale producers, the majority of them women. The renewed interest in Africa is a reminder that the aggressive expansion of oil palm is not simply about land. It is about a larger struggle over food systems and models of development.
Will African palm oil be produced by African peasants or multinational corporations? Will palms be grown on mixed farms and semi-wild palm groves – or will peasants be driven out to make way for large scale, industrial plantations?



from here

► Read the report
9 hours 8 min ago
Judge Steven W. Rhodes said he lacked the authority to issue a restraining order to stop the shut-offs of water by city authorities, ruling that citizens have no implicit right to water. “There is no such right or law," Rhodes said. The Detroit Water Brigade, which has spear-headed relief efforts for households where the water has been shut off, issued a statement following the ruling saying
15 hours 10 min ago