World News & Politics

Open Sewage Canal Transformed Into Lush Waterway

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“It used to drive us crazy, the trash and sewage, the bad smells and children getting sick with dengue fever,” says Gloria Solomon. With her husband and four children, 50-year-old Solomon lives in a tiny, eight sq metre shanty in an informal settlement in Manila. Their home backs on to a small stream, Estero de Paco, a tributary of the city’s Pasig River.

Thanks to a year of intensive restoration of this canalised waterway, the view from Solomon’s home is no longer that of a detritus-filled open sewer, but of an attractive, grass-banked environment where a system of plants and micro-organisms helps to clean the water. “We’re much happier,” she says. “It’s nice to see the estero getting cleaner. Families are now doing business selling snacks by the waterside.”

Read the rest here... (ft.com)

Incredible Stories of Forgiveness - Portraits of Reconciliation

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20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time.

Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus. In one, a woman rests her hand on the shoulder of the man who killed her father and brothers. In another, a woman poses with a casually reclining man who looted her property and whose father helped murder her husband and children. In many of these photos, there is little evident warmth between the pairs, and yet there they are, together. In each, the perpetrator is a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.

Jean Pierre Karenzi - Perpetrator (left)
Viviane Nyiramana - Survivor

Karenzi: “My conscience was not quiet, and when I would see her I was very ashamed. After being trained about unity and reconciliation, I went to her house and asked for forgiveness. Then I shook her hand. So far, we are on good terms.”

Nyiramana: “He killed my father and three brothers. He did these killings with other people, but he came alone to me and asked for pardon. He and a group of other offenders who had been in prison helped me build a house with a covered roof. I was afraid of him — now I have granted him pardon, things have become normal, and in my mind I feel clear.”

See more stories... (nytimes.com)

Nationalism is an Infantile Disease - Expanded Consciousness

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By: Jamie Dunmore 

Each one of us, since birth, is born onto a piece of land. That’s all it is. A piece of land. It’s only as we grow up that our parents, elders, teachers, relatives and ancestors provide us with labels via the education system and media, etc. that make us believe differently. These labels make us believe that the artificial is infact, real.

We believe that ‘nationalities’ are legitimate when really, they are the biggest form of separation for the human race, besides Religion, in this generation.

Patriotism is possibly one of the most delusion qualities of the human mind right now. Is it because we want to feel whole/meaningful? Is it because we want to be a part of something, an identity, to give ourselves purpose or something to live for? Who knows.

Read the rest here... (expandedconsciousness.com)

The Battle For Children's Minds

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There's more than a few major corporations working very hard to program young children with ignorant and dysfunctional behaviors. If we want a caring and loving planet, we need caring and loving children, yet one of the major influences of children, television, actively works against this. The following is one parent's experience with what she saw on the Disney channel:

 I so very wrongly figured that a company like Disney would not be promoting cruelty, bullying and sexism in their shows for young, impressionable children.  I was completely mortified as I watched.

These shows are laced with terrible social behavior.   Like the scene in one, where a “nerdy” boy walks up to a pretty “popular” girl and asks her out… she threw her bowling ball and ran away screaming.  *Cue audience laughter*

There were so many examples of rude, mean responses to difficult social situations for kids, followed by the character shrugging it off, recorded laughter, and the characters moving on without showing any realistic emotions.  No anger, no hurt feelings.  Comedy.

I was disgusted.  How in the world will we teach our children to be kind and put a stop to cruel behavior in schools when THE DISNEY CHANNEL is showing these bullying behaviors followed by laughter and no emotional response???    It was clear where my daughter had gotten the impression that these kinds of conceited one liners and arrogant vanity was playful and a harmless way to get a laugh.

EU Passes Strong Net Neutrality Laws

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It's an encouraging victory for all of us working to keep the internet beyond corporate control! From gigaom.com:

European fans of the open internet can breathe a sigh of relief: the European parliament has passed a major package of telecoms law reform, complete with amendments that properly define and protect net neutrality.

The amendments (PDF) were introduced by the Socialist, Liberal, Green and Left blocs in the European Parliament after the final committee to tweak the package – the industry committee – left in a bunch of loopholes that would have allowed telcos to start classifying web services of their choice as “specialized services” that they can treat differently.

It’s a good thing the net neutrality argument didn’t sink the whole package, as it also includes new laws to eliminate roaming fees within Europe, creating a truly single market for telecoms services. Now the whole package gets passed through to the next Parliament (elections are coming up in May), then the representatives of European countries for final approval.

Full article: http://gigaom.com/2014/04/03/european-parliament-passes-strong-net-neutrality-law-along-with-major-roaming-reforms/

M8.2 Earthquake just happened off the coast of Chile

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Event Time

  1. 2014-04-01 23:46:46 UTC
  2. 2014-04-01 18:46:46 UTC-05:00 at epicenter

Location

19.642°S 70.817°W depth=20.1km (12.5mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 95km (59mi) NW of Iquique, Chile
  2. 139km (86mi) SSW of Arica, Chile
  3. 190km (118mi) SSW of Tacna, Peru
  4. 228km (142mi) SSE of Ilo, Peru
  5. 447km (278mi) SW of La Paz, Bolivia

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000nzvd#summary

UN Court Rules Japanese Whaling Unlawful!

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Australia wins whaling case against Japan

The UN's top court has ruled that Japan's whaling hunt in the Southern Ocean is not a scientific program as Tokyo has always claimed.

"The court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not for purposes of scientific research," President Peter Tomka told the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Monday.
The court ruled Tokyo should cease its whaling program "with immediate effect".

The ICJ, by 12 votes to four, said Japan hadn't acted in compliance with its obligations under the international whaling convention.

Australia had asked the 16-judge panel to ban Japan's annual hunt on the basis it was not "for purposes of scientific research" as allowed under Article 8 of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Canberra argued Tokyo was cloaking a commercial whaling operation "in the lab coat of science" despite agreeing to a 1980s ban on harpooning.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/storystream/australia-wins-whaling-case-against-japan

Turkish Government Caught Planning To Start A War With Syria Through A False-Flag Attack, Responds By Banning YouTube

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From ZeroHedge.com:

As we noted here, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had blocked Twitter access to his nation ahead of what was rumored to be a "spectacular" leak before this weekend's elections. Then this morning, amid a mad scramble, he reportedly (despite the nation's court ruling the bans illegal) blocked YouTube access. However, by the magic of the interwebs, we have the 'leaked' clip and it is clear why he wanted it blocked/banned. As the rough translation explains, it purports to be a conversation between key Turkish military and political leaders discussing what appears to be a false flag attack to launch war with Syria.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-27/here-youtube-false-flag-attack-syria-clip-erdogan-wanted-banned

Why Does Taxpayer Money go to a Big Meat Lobbying Group? - AllGov.com

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We don't report about this stuff too much on the Galactic Free Press, but here's an example of exactly the sort of thing that needs to change. In the US, millions of taxpayer dollars go directly to a "big meat" lobbying group. The group supposedly works for the "little guys" too, but their actions speak otherwise. It's really a group that represents factory farming and everything that's wrong with the meat industry, yet my tax dollars go directly to supporting them! Just shows some of the biggest criminals in our society are actually the ones writing the laws. From AllGov.com:

Each year a trade group representing the beef industry collects more than $40 million in tax dollars to promote its agenda and battle political opponents. It’s an unusual arrangement, considering that most lobbying organizations rely on private funding to fund their activities.

It all began in the 1980s, during efforts to help the plight of farmers who were struggling to stay in business. Legislation adopted by Congress that decade created the beef “check-off” program, in which cattle ranchers were forced to pay $1 per head to state beef councils. These councils in turn give money to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which winds up distributing around $40 million annually to promoting the beef industry.

The recipient of this promotional money is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which buys ads to encourage Americans to eat more beef and pays lobbyists to fight off efforts by animal rights groups and others advocating policies the NCBA opposes.

Read the rest: http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/why-does-taxpayer-money-go-to-a-big-meat-lobbying-group-140325?news=852764

A Secret Trade Agreement Could Place Major Restrictions On How We Use The Internet

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As noted in Motherboard's past TPP coverage, Congress has the constitutional power to debate trade agreements. In the fast tracked TPP negotiations, Congress would be shut out, as would stakeholders and the individuals who actually helped build the internet's infrastructure. Diplomats, politicians, and select corporations would instead secretly settle on the language and regulations contained in the trade agreement. 

"You know that legislation is really, really bad when it's opposed by major tech companies as well as nearly every labor, environmental, and Internet freedom group in the country."

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