“A long overdue modicum of justice”: Firing Eric Garner's killer is not enough by Common Dreams 8/26/19


Last Monday, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill announced that the officer who killed Eric Garner using an illegal chokehold has been fired from the force. This is a long overdue modicum of justice for Eric Garner's family, five years after Mr. Garner's unjust killing. Now the NYPD must hold the other officers involved accountable. Harm – including grave harm – by police officers is not merely a matter of individual bad actors. From a lack of transparency and accountability, to a culture of secrecy and ongoing biased policing, too many of the factors that led to Mr. Garner's death and the injustice that followed.

A number of observers also made clear that Pantaleo's firing—after five years of sustained pressure and a number of failures by the justice system to hold the officer accountable—must mark the beginning of a new era of social justice reform.

“Eric Garner was killed five years ago. It took five years for the officer to be fired. I don't want another Eric Garner,” says one of his daughters, Emerald Garner, after the firing of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Shakira, Ricky Martin and More Latin Artists Express Their Concern for Amazon Fire in Brazil by Suzette Fernandez, 8/24/19

Brazil Fire

Photo Credit: Victoria WIll/Invision/AP

The world's largest tropical forest is in danger, and Latin artists have taken over social media to express their concerns about the dangerous natural disaster. “My beloved Brazil! Speak up and stop the deforestation of the Amazon which is 20 per cent of the air we breathe,” Shakira wrote on Twitter. “The home of our people and our fauna should be protected.”

Meanwhile, Ricky Martin wrote on Instagram: “The lung of our planet has been on fire for three weeks. There is no media coverage nor billionaires.”

The news came to light after NASA showed a satellite image of the event. According to CNN, the National Institute for Space Research of Brazil reported that, until August 20, 2019, in Brazil 72,843 fires were counted, which is an increase of more than 80 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

Greta Thunberg made it to New York emissions-free — but the ocean doesn't yet hold the key to low-carbon travel by Steve Fletcher for the Conversation 9/1/2019


UN Photo/Manuel Elias The Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg joins demonstration outside the United Nations in New York on 30 August 2019.

I have travelled from Plymouth to the UN headquarters in New York many times, often to discuss how to protect the oceans from climate change. The deeply uncomfortable irony was that the carbon emitted on my fossil fuel-powered journey directly contributed to the problem I was there to solve. Greta Thunberg's decision to travel the exact same journey to the UN Climate Action Summit on state-of-the-art sailing boat Malizia II shows that there are principled alternatives. But is there a way for the rest of us to cross the Atlantic without taking to the skies?

Thunberg's 14–day voyage was significantly faster than the typical sail time of three to four weeks, but that’s still not for anyone in a rush. Speed comes at the cost of comfort, too. Pictures from inside Malizia II show a pared-down interior, even lacking a functional toilet on board. Such extreme measures are unlikely to interest most travellers and, at any rate, hopping on one of the world’s fastest wind-powered yachts isn’t an option for most of us.

Stepping Up: Refugee Education in Crisis by UNHCR, 9/8/2019

Refugee, Youth

Hina Shikhani, 21, an Afghan refugee, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters

Of the 7.1 million refugee children of school age, 3.7 million - more than half - do not go to school, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says in a report released today. The report, Stepping Up: Refugee Education in Crisis, shows that as refugee children grow older, the barriers preventing them from accessing education become harder to overcome: only 63 per cent of refugee children go to primary school, compared to 91 per cent globally. Around the world, 84 per cent of adolescents get a secondary education, while only 24 per cent of refugees get the opportunity.

“School is where refugees are given a second chance,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “We are failing refugees by not giving them the opportunity to build the skills and knowledge they need to invest in their futures.”

The steep decline in refugee enrolment between primary and secondary school is the direct result of lack of funding for refugee education. As a result, UNHCR is calling on governments, the private sector, educational organizations and donors to give their financial backing to a new initiative aimed at kick-starting secondary education for refugees.


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