A NASA satellite will take orbit Tuesday to help the agency better understand carbon’s role in our changing climate.With the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, scientists can record around 100,000 measurements of carbon dioxide measurements in detail each day around the world.“Now that humans are acknowledging the environmental effects of our dependence on fossil fuels and other carbon dioxide-emitting activities, our goal is to analyze the sources and sinks of this carbon dioxide and to find better ways to manage it,” Gregg Marland, a professor in the Geology Department at Appalachian State University, said in a statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Gitxaala Thanks Tsilhqot’in and Calls on Crown to Live Up to Its Own Lawsby ahnationtalk on June 27, 2014June 26, 2014KITKATLA, BRITISH COLUMBIA–June 26, 2014 – Gitxaala extends its thanks to the Tsilhqot’in for bringing the important issue of aboriginal rights and title to the forefront and gaining a significant victory for aboriginal people – especially for nations such as ours who have not ceded their aboriginal title.In its decision today, the Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that aboriginal title is very much like private property rights – at its core it is the right to decide what use is made of our land and waters.
This story comes with a warning: there are authorities who would much rather we were not writing this, let alone have you read it.It traverses areas they believe threaten “the maintenance of the law” in this country. It concerns a man they have gagged. You have probably heard of him, but you have never heard from him, and the state has deemed that as far as its concerned, thats the way it should be for the rest of his life.His name is Teina Pora.In November, his case will make history at the Privy Council, where his legal team, led by Jonathan Krebs and Ingrid Squire, will argue that he has been wrongly convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett. It is likely to be the last criminal case from New Zealand that the London-based court will hear.When permission for the appeal was granted in January, Justice Minister Judith Collins said the decision showed the system was working “very well”. Really?This is a system which saw Pora spend 21 years in prison. A system in which his case lay neglected without anyone making an effort to question its myriad flaws until four years ago when private investigator Tim McKinnel took it upon himself to start digging. Its a system McKinnel, Krebs and Squire have battled, often without funding, to get to the Privy Council. A system with a lattice of secrets and stone-walling that have made their task – and the medias – frustrating, to say the least. And a system which has deemed that Pora should be denied one of the most basic human rights – freedom of speech.
In a push that sees Canada move one step closer to a state where being constantly watched, catalogued, and data mined is the norm, the Conservative government recently decided to expand its public surveillance policy to include all protests and demonstrations. The Government Operations Centre sent an email to all federal departments that requested information on even the most mundane social movements. The email then leaked to Postmedia news and opposition parties are now crying afoul, calling the plan a clear blow to democratic freedom.NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison believes the government’s play is a smack in the face of basic democratic rights and freedoms. Though he doesn’t feel we’ve quite moved into a Big Brother state in Canada, he says this issue is proof that the country is undoubtedly heading in that troubling direction under the strong arm of the Harper Conservatives.
FORT McMURRAY, AB – A new study from the University of Manitoba will soon challenge industry and government claims downplaying environmental health impacts of oilsands development, said the chief of a First Nations community Friday.
“When that report comes out, it’s going to blow the socks off industry and government,” Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation told native and non-native supporters gathered at a campsite for an outdoor weekend retreat near major oilsands projects. “We went ahead and did our own independent studies and we found some very stunning results.”
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As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department moves to shut off water to thousands of residents who are delinquent on their bills, a coalition of activists is appealing to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city’s most vulnerable citizens.Their report, filed Wednesday with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, alleges that the DWSD crackdown is part of an effort “to sweeten the pot for a private investor” to take over the city’s heavily-indebted water and sewer system as part of Detroit’s broader bankruptcy proceedings.One of the activist groups behind the report, the Detroit People’s Water Board, notes that city residents have seen water rates more than double over the past decade at the same time that the city’s poverty rate rose to nearly 40 percent, putting the cost of basic running water beyond reach for tens of thousands of households. Earlier this week, city lawmakers voted to raise water rates by a further 8.7 percent.Almost exactly 50 percent of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s 323,900 total accounts were delinquent as of March, according to the Detroit News via Nexis, with a combined $175 million in unpaid water bills outstanding. The department announced at that time that it would begin an aggressive campaign of water shutoffs, and a DWSD spokesman said that it has shut off water to nearly 7,000 separate clients since the beginning of April. DWSD mailed warnings about the shutoffs in March, but the People’s Water Board report says that some residents it interviewed either never received a warning notice or had their water shut off before the payment deadline printed in the notices had passed.
Known as a Trade in Services Agreement TISA, the draft represents the negotiating positions of the U.S. and E.U. and lays out the deregulatory strategies championed by some of the worlds largest banks and investment firms.According to WikiLeaks:Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.TISA negotiations are currently taking place outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services GATS and the World Trade Organization WTO framework. However, the Agreement is being crafted to be compatible with GATS so that a critical mass of participants will be able to pressure remaining WTO members to sign on in the future. Conspicuously absent from the 50 countries covered by the negotiations are the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The exclusive nature of TISA will weaken their position in future services negotiations.Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizens Global Trade Watch, said the deal described in the draft, if approved by national governments, would be a disaster for any regulatory efforts designed to put a check on global finance.In a statement responding to the TISA draft released by WikiLeaks on Thursday, Wallach said:
Maude Barlow received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University in Toronto yesterday morning. Here are her speaking notes for the Convocation ceremony.Chancellor Gregory Sorbara, President Mamdouh Shoukri, the Senate of York University, and all the graduation students, It is a great honour to share this convocation with you today. I am moved by your grace, energy and hope on this lovely June day.In the few minutes I have to share with you I would like to urge you all, no matter what your education specialty, what vocation you choose, or where you live, to give some of your precious life energy to the great environmental challenges that face us today.
“Black people have been in Canada since 1604. Their contribution to the nation-building process is, however, subject to erasure and their presence is often taken as a sign of trouble, “a problem.” Furthermore, African Canadians, in spite of their long history in Canada are seen as recent immigrants and thus not a part of the historical memory of the nation. Erasing the African Canadian presence retroactively liberates Canada from the context and rich histories of the Black Diaspora, and the Trans Atlantic World.” (Black Canadian Studies Association, 2013)
As evidenced in this conference call from the Black Canadian Studies Association (BSCA), the mythology of the colonial Canadian state, as founded by the English and the French – on the backs and lands of Original Peoples – is being opened up for racialized communities to seek a respectable place in it. The conference call claims that Afrikans played a crucial…
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