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Humanitarian crisis grows in Mozambique due to Cyclone Idai, global warming

first_imgMarch 30 — Tropical Cyclone Idai hit the southeastern portion of Africa very hard, especially certain regions of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe March 14-15. A cyclone is the same as a hurricane, which usually refers to monstrous storms in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. The word cyclone is mainly used for storms in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. According to a March 26 reliefweb.int report, at least 3 million people have been impacted by Idai’s winds of up to 150 miles an hour and torrential rain, causing many to flee their homelands for higher ground. An estimated 600 people have died, almost 500 in Mozambique alone, and thousands more are missing. More than 470,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in these mainly agricultural countries — well over a million acres. (Two and a half acres roughly equal one hectare.) The coastal city of Beira in Mozambique became the epicenter of the cyclone. Beira, home to 500,000 residents, has been in the forefront of the fight against global warming because its coastline is considered by “experts” to be one of the world’s most vulnerable to rising waters due to climate change. According to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, a group linked to the World Bank and the United Nations, “Mozambique is the third most at-risk country in Africa when it comes to extreme weather.” (bbc.com, March 15)The World Bank approved a project in 2012 to help Beira deal with coastal flooding, since most of the people there live below sea level. The project, completed in 2018 at a cost of $120 million, did not stop Cyclone Idai from carrying out complete devastation. While the mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, blamed the Mozambican government and other African governments for not preparing the population for the cyclone, he also called it “unjust that African nations face some of the toughest challenges while contributing little to global warming. People in rich, industrialized nations produce much of the carbon dioxide and other gases that are warming the planet by burning the most coal, diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. … This cyclone destroyed everything we built for more than 100 years.” (AP, March 27) Beginning with European invasions, colonialism and neocolonialism have resulted in Africa today being the most underdeveloped continent, but still the richest due to its mineral wealth. Mozambique is a former colony of Portugal.It is of little wonder that even with all the efforts taken to strengthen Beira’s infrastructure, it still wasn’t enough to withstand the cyclone. As a result, a new epidemic of cholera, a preventable disease, has broken out there due to severe damage to the water supply system by flooding, according to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).Gert Verdonck, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Beira, stated, “The cyclone has left a path of devastation with thousands of houses destroyed, which has left the community vulnerable and exposed to the elements. The supply chain has been broken, creating food, clean water, and health care shortages. The scale of extreme damage will likely lead to a dramatic increase of waterborne diseases, skin infections, respiratory tract infections, and malaria in the coming days and weeks. Furthermore, the local health system and its regular services, such as HIV treatment and maternal health care, has also been disrupted.” (doctorswithoutborders.org, March 26)This crisis is a reminder of the just demand for reparations for the African people from the rich capitalist countries whose genocidal policies have stolen their wealth and labor for centuries. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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NGO coalition including RSF reacts to EU’s new dual use export rules

first_imgRecommendations  March 25, 2021 NGO coalition including RSF reacts to EU’s new dual use export rules An NGO coalition that includes Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has issued a joint statement welcoming positive elements in the European Union’s reform of its regulations on dual use exports, including surveillance technology, and making recommendations to EU member states on how the new rules should be implemented. The Commission should expeditiously develop in consultation with civil society, clear guidelines to ensure adherence to the new measures and disseminate them among all national and business stakeholders. Most importantly the Commission should closely monitor Member States’ implementation of the new regulation, and adopt all necessary measures under EU law to prevent, discipline, and remedy any possible breach that may occur. RSF_en News Organisation However, now, it is vital that all Member States robustly implement the positive elements of the agreement. EU Member States and the Commission also need to go further than the new compromise in order to meet their international human rights obligations and ensure that the continued export of sophisticated surveillance tools by EU companies does not facilitate human rights violations of people around the world. Signatories :Access NowAmnesty International Committee to Protect JournalistsFIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)Human Rights Watch Privacy International Reporters Without Borders (RSF) “We, the undersigned organisations, welcome the positive elements adopted by the EU legislators to reform the European Union’s Dual Use Regulation aimed at preventing human rights harm resulting from digital surveillance by establishing export controls for surveillance technology exported by EU-based companies. At the same time, the overall resulting agreement is a missed opportunity for a more ambitious regulation that includes stronger protections needed to safeguard human rights and security. The full joint statement is available here. While certain positive elements of the compromise agreement are welcome, including the requirement for EU authorities to provide publicly detailed information about which export licenses have been approved or denied and the human rights risks associated with the applications for export licenses by companies, the agreement falls short of providing explicit and strong conditions on Member State authorities and exporters. These conditions have been voiced to the EU legislature many times. It is evident that while some parliamentarians and Member States have recognised the need for greater protections throughout negotiations, other Member States have prioritised the narrow interests of industry over their obligations to protect human rights. Human Rights Organizations’s Statement in Response to the Adoption of the New EU Dual Use Export Control Rules The newly adopted regulation should be considered a minimum baseline. To fulfil their international obligations to protect human rights, and under close monitoring and clear guidance by the Commission, Member States should in implementing this agreement: Interpret “cyber-surveillance” to include the following items which are already subject to export licensing:Mobile telecommunications interception or jamming equipment;Intrusion software;IP network communications surveillance systems or equipment;Software specially designed or modified for monitoring or analysis by law enforcement;Laser acoustic detection equipment;Forensic tools which extract raw data’ from a computing or communications device and circumvent “authentication” or authorisation controls of the device;Electronic systems or equipment, designed either for surveillance and monitoring of the electro-magnetic spectrum for military intelligence or security purpose; andUnmanned Aerial Vehicles capable of conducting surveillance. Ensure without delay that systems specially designed to perform biometric identification of natural persons for security purposes are subject to control within the EU control list and within the Wassenaar Arrangement in a transparent and consultative process and interpret these items to constitute “cyber-surveillance.”Ensure detailed reports describing export license applications made to authorities concerning all dual use items are made publicly available on a regular basis, preferably monthly. These reports should at a minimum include the number of license applications per item, the exporter name, a description of the end user and destination, the value of the license, and whether the license was granted or denied and why.Ensure national legislation governing the assessment of export licenses takes into account relevant European human rights protections, such as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as those developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as evidence by civil society and human rights experts.Ensure European legislation requiring corporate actors to respect human rights and implement human rights due diligence measures as prescribed by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Corporate actors should be required to identify, prevent, and mitigate potential and actual adverse human rights impact of their operations and throughout their value chain. Transaction screening measures by Member States should include an assessment of the strategic nature of the items and the risks they represent for the violation of human rights. National authorities should report on the implementation activities with regard to due diligence responsibilities and obligations and encourage companies to inform the public about the scope, nature, and transferable findings of the human rights due diligence procedures they implemented. Member States and companies should also establish mechanisms to provide an effective remedy for human rights violations committed using the transferred technology. It should not have taken almost a decade of lawmaking to finalize this process. As negotiations stalled and the stronger provisions in the original Commission’s proposal were watered down, EU-based companies have continued to undermine people’s human rights by selling and exporting surveillance technology around the world, including into the hands of known rights abusers. Further, vital measures that would have placed meaningful constraints on the export of dual use technology were not agreed upon. Adopted today by the European Parliament after nearly a decade of negotiations, the regulations aim to prevent digital surveillance technology produced by European companies being used to commit human rights violations outside the EU. While hailing certain positive aspects of the compromise agreement that has finally been reached, RSF and the NGO coalition’s other members regret that the EU missing an opportunity to adopt more ambitious regulations that would have included stronger protections needed to safeguard human rights and security. 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Najiba Hamrouni

first_img Help by sharing this information Information hero Najiba Hamrouni Najiba Hamrouni, acknowledged by her peers as a model of integrity, has spared no effort in defending the freedom of the press. Originally an ordinary member of the Association of Tunisian Journalists, she became the treasurer of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, in 2008 and was elected its president in 2011. Her courage and her will have enabled her to defend Tunisia’s journalists and their working conditions, while stressing on the need for the national media to break with how journalism was practiced under the former government. In late 2013 she was awarded the Akademia Prize for Freedom of the Press. last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Appoints Neil Weaver to Lead Government Performance Office

first_img February 02, 2018 Efficiency,  GO-TIME,  Government That Works,  Performance Office,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Building his commitment to create a Government That Works, Governor Tom Wolf today elevated the administration’s efficiency initiatives to an executive level office by signing an executive order creating the Office of Performance through Excellence (OPE). The office will lead Governor Wolf’s ongoing efforts to bring private sector organizational strategies and processes to state agencies.“In my business, I constantly looked to make our organization more efficient while improving customer service. This new office brings that private sector philosophy to state government,” said Governor Wolf. “We have already saved $373 million over the past three years by streamlining government and cutting waste, and now we are taking the next step by using proven strategies to change the culture of state government.“We will give front line employees a voice to challenge the old ways of doing things, improve state services and use data to make smarter decisions.”The OPE will combine the previous efforts of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) with performance data metrics​ and the administration’s use of lean management. It will engage the commonwealth’s workforce to modernize operations, maximize efficiency and provide the highest quality services to the people of Pennsylvania.Public and private sectors organizations, especially the manufacturing industry, use lean to enlist employees at every level to become problem-solvers and find ways to make their work more efficient and effective. The Wolf administration is currently using lean practices in 15 agencies to bolster continuous improvement and customer service. Commonwealth employees have already completed more than 130 lean projects.Neil Weaver, most recently the Executive Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, will lead the office. Weaver has more than a decade of experience in government management and operations.“State government employees are incredibly dedicated to public service and Governor Wolf is making sure that they have the tools and management to improve customer service and make agencies more efficient and accessible,” Weaver said.Governor Wolf established GO-TIME shortly after taking office to leverage inter-agency coordination and collaboration.Executive OrderSubject: Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management, and Efficiency (“GO TIME”)Number: 2015-04 AmendedExecutive OrderSubject: Governor’s Office for Performance Through Excellence (OPE)Number: 2018-01 Governor Wolf Appoints Neil Weaver to Lead Government Performance Officecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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