Solar Environment 

Huge Desert Solar Initiative to Make Africa a Renewables Power-House

Africa (NFA) – The details of the “Desert to Power Initiative” have been outlined as part of the Paris Agreement climate change talks at COP24 in Katowice, Poland this week. Energy poverty in Africa is estimated to cost the continent 2-4 % GDP annually, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org), which is leading the project. The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first Read More

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FBI Featured Justice 

FBI Moves to Fix Critical Flaw in Its Crime Reporting System

United States (ProPublica) – The FBI will fast-track a fix to address flaws in its uniform crime report and is expected to change reporting rules to encourage more transparency about the outcomes of investigations by local law enforcement agencies, following a yearlong investigation by Newsy, Reveal from the Center For Investigative Reporting and ProPublica. The investigation uncovered a major flaw in the FBI’s next generation crime reporting system, the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The new system does not track cases police classify as “unfounded,” a category for when police say the victim is lying or the reported crime Read More

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Ghana Featured Feminism & Women's Rights 

Girls in West Africa Offered Into Sexual Slavery as ‘Wives of Gods’

West Africa (Conversation) –There are global efforts fighting modern slavery, but one traditional system is still holding strong in West Africa: Trokosi. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner spoke to Wisdom Mensah about the system and what can be done to finally put a stop to it. What is Trokosi? Trokosi is a traditional system where virgin girls, some as young as six years old, are sent into Troxovi shrines (shrines for gods) as slaves to make amends for wrongs committed by a member of the virgin girl’s family. Until the Trokosi system came to the attention of the general Read More

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Television Culture 

Media Coverage of Disasters Can Have Lasting Effects on Children’s Mental Health

United States (Tasnim) – Disaster communication experts say disaster media coverage can have lasting effects on children’s mental health and suggest teachers and parents be prepared to respond to questions during and after a catastrophe. In 2018, American children have been exposed to multiple disasters — ravaging wildfires in California, to major Hurricanes in Florida and the Carolinas, and mass shootings in schools and places of worship — all of which have been covered 24/7 by the media. Disaster communication experts at the University of Missouri say disaster media coverage can have lasting effects on children’s mental health and suggest Read More

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Featured Human Rights 

Court Ruling May Allow Migrant Families To Be Held Indefinitely.

United States (TexasTribune) – It had been six months since Maria fled for the U.S. She spent the first two weeks running from her tiny hometown in southern Guatemala, where she said gangs had threatened to kill her and her 7-year-old son, Jerson. After traveling through Mexico, they requested asylum at the U.S. border. They were separated for the next two months, with Maria detained at an adult detention center in Arizona and Jerson sent to a shelter in New York. Given the choice to reunite with her son in detention or be deported without him, Maria chose the former. Read More

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Sex Workers Violence Against Women 

How Sex Workers are Organising for Legal Reforms and Socio-Economic Justice

World Wide (OpenDemocracy) – On 8 October 2018 we published the BTS Round Table on the Future of Work, in which 12 experts explain recent changes to the nature of work and offer new ideas in labour policy, organising, and activism. This piece has been written in response. Political and public debates regarding sex work have intensified and crystalised into two apparently irreconcilable positions. On the one hand, we have calls for the recognition of sex work as work, with the primary goal being the end to criminalisation and legal oppression. On the other, we have the view that prostitution should Read More

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Hillary Clinton Culture Featured 

Hillary Clinton’s Remedy to Stop Right-Wing Populists? Right-Wing Populist Rhetoric.

Europe (Conversation) – “Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – ‘we are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support’ – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.” These are the words of former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a series of recent interviews conducted by the Guardian newspaper with what it termed “heavyweight centrist” politicians. Clinton was setting out her prescription for how to “stop right-wing populists”. Her advice, according to the Guardian, focused solely on migration Read More

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Immigration Human Rights 

Activists Who Stopped Deportation Flight Convicted of Terrorism Charge, Face Life in Prison

United Kingdom (NM) –  A group of 15 activists who prevented a deportation charter flight from leaving Stansted airport by locking themselves together around the aeroplane have been found guilty of a terrorist offence. The so-called Stansted 15 spent nine weeks on trial charged with an offence that has never been used before in response to a non-violent direct action and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. They were convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday 10 December and will be sentenced on 4 February 2019. Ben Smoke, who was arrested after being cut away Read More

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Refueling Scandal 

Pentagon Accidentally Refueled Saudi Jets Over Yemen for Free

United States (Sputnik) – Amid a push by the Senate to vote on ending US support for the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen this week, a new report indicates that American tankers have been refueling Saudi coalition jets with gas paid for by US taxpayers because of “errors in accounting.” Millions of dollars have likely been drained from US coffers to support the Saudi-campaign, according to the report. Though Washington “believed” Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates “had been charged for the fuel and refueling services, they in fact had not been charged adequately,” wrote William S. Castle, principal deputy general counsel at the Office of the Read More

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