Wednesday’s “What’s Up in the World?” [11.7.2012]

While the US is concerned with elections, countries around the world are struggling with wars, freedom of the press, religious hostilities and social unrest.

Syria: A cease-fire mediated by the UN a couple weeks ago has completely failed. Syrian unrest stopped for religious holidays. President Bashar and Syria’s rebels are not even close to an agreement. War will not be ended by resolutions elsewhere.

Myanmar: Religious hostilities persist in areas of Myanmar as Buddhists block aid meant for Muslim refugees. Most of these refugees come from Bangladesh and have been accused of mistreating Buddhists.

Bolivia: A few days ago four armed men attacked a radio station in a small town in Bolivia killing one reporter. The event calls to question who was involved and for what reasons. The Bolivian government has been regulating social media more than any other government in the history of the country. Could the government kill their own journalists? 

China: The Mekong River runs through South East Asia and provides most of the fishing for the impoverished population of the region. In the last days the Chinese government has been pushing Thailand to build dams in the river for energy purposes. The project can drastically affect the population economically.

Greece:  The Greek people took over the streets again this Tuesday. New cuts in wages and pensions are about to be approved by parliament and labor unions have established 48-hour strikes that could develop into riots if the parliament votes for the spending. 


Wednesday’s “What’s Up in the World?” [10.31.2012]

Between Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, we have this unique ability to tell friends and followers how we feel and what we’re thinking. With it being election season, there have many statuses and tweets that criticize what one politician or another is doing wrong. But could you imagine the government writing down your name because of this status? Or even being censored because of it? Well, it seems that this has already started in Bolivia.

Have you ever been to a dinner party or even Christmas at Creighton and enjoyed some shrimp cocktail? Have you ever thought about where those shrimp come from and who works to get them to your plate? CNN’s Freedom Project takes a look at the  lives of those who are the starting point for that process.

It is probably fair to say that we all know about the drug war in Latin America and that the U.S. is involved in it. But why aren’t our presidential candidates talking about the foreign affairs issue closest to home? See what one man has to say about this.

Did you know that South African miners are striking? Here’s a story that will link you to even more information.

One of Cortina Community service partners is the Southern Sudanese Community Association, which serves refugees in Omaha. One of the growing populations is refugees from Myanmar (also known as Burma). Read here about why these people are being displaced.


With hope for being a well-informed and globally conscious generation.
peace, Elizabeth

Advocacy Alerts

Thanks to the CCSJ Advocacy team these advocacy alerts!

Sierra Club
Public Power-Get Nebraska in the Game!
Nebraska is a public power state, which means that the future of our energy is decided by the public. Now is the time to create a future for Nebraska where we produce our own, local, clean energy.
Unfortunately, Nebraska is falling behind. Despite having the nation’s 4th best wind resources, we don’t even rank in the top 20 wind producing states. We are well behind other states in the region.
This is a crucial moment for the state’s energy future. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has proposed a $1.5 billion modification plan to outdated coal plants — an unnecessary move that would lock us into decades of burning fossil fuels. Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Lincoln Energy Services (LES) are facing similar decision points on their aging coal plants.
Get Nebraksa in the game and tell our three largest public power entities to invest in renewable energy! 
Economic Justice
Amnesty International
Corporate Respect for Human Rights in Myanmar
In July, the Obama administration lifted sanctions on the country where several positive reforms were initiated late last year after decades of human rights abuses. Now companies in the US Chamber of Commerce are moving in to capture a potentially lucrative new market.
But we believe human rights must come before profits. Burmese freedom fighter and Nobel Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has raised the caution flag for corporations doing business in Myanmar — despite recent reforms, the country remains a hard place to do ethical business. Political prisoners, forced labor, and lack of accountability for past and ongoing human rights violations are just a few of the human rights challenges that businesses encounter.
Help Keep the pressure on big business. Urge President Tom Donohue, of the US Chamber of Commerce, to make sure US companies take Amnesty’s recommendations seriously, and put human rights first while doing business in Myanmar. 
Amnesty International
Investigate the Execution of Troy Davis
The execution of Troy Davis on Sept. 21, 2011, was an injustice. But the serious flaws in the case against Troy Davis – including police coercion and unreliable witness testimonies – are many of the same problems that plague many cases throughout our capital punishment and criminal justice systems. Amnesty International has collected 10 well-documented cases where the death penalty has been exercised unprofessionally, including the case of Troy Davis. From Georgia’s Attorney General to US Attorney General Eric Holder, we are demanding accountability. We want an independent, impartial and transparent investigation into all that was wrong with Troy’s case. Sign the letter asking the Attorney Generals to exercise more care when working with death penalty cases.

Wednesday’s “What’s Going on in the World?” [9.19.12]

Some major headlines from this week:

French Strike Again:  Just a week ago, a French magazine published pictures of royal celebrity Kate Middleton topless in a private beach in southern France. Earlier today, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons making fun of the Prophet Muhammad. This will definitely cause more outrage in the already angered people of Muslim countries that have been protesting against the “Innocence of the Muslims” video.

Myanmar’s political activist Suu Kyi has already received the Nobel Peace Prize and now is scheduled to receive the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. She has an awe some profile as an opposition leader, political activist and peacemaker.

India Clears Walmart: Last Friday the government in India gave an “all clear” to Walmart. For years the Indian government had established several restriction on Walmart operations. The reform came last Friday after long days of debates on economic policies.

ASPA CEO Summit: Around 400 businessmen are scheduled to meet this coming October 1sy. The meeting will gather CEO’s from several companies in Latin-America as well as The Middle East. For some years now, the Middle East and Latin America have become strong political and economic allies.