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Armed robbery in Gaza - Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine's stolen gas

Nafeez Ahmed

24th July 2014

Black smoke billows from the UNWRA compound set ablaze by Israel in Operation Cast Lead, 15th January 2009. The compound was burned to the ground. Photo: Al Jazeera English via Flickr. Israel desperately covets Gaza's gas as a 'cheap stop-gap' yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK's BG and the US's Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work - but first Hamas must be 'uprooted' from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia's Gazprom. more...

Ignore tar sands emissions! EU buckles under US, Canada pressure in TTIP talks

Derek Leahy

23rd July 2014

Syncrude refinery, Alberta. Photo from the 2014 Tar Sands Healing Walk (www.healingwalk.org) by Rainforest Action Network. The EU's Fuel Quality Directive is set to be the first casualty of the TTIP trade talks, writes Derek Leahy. Canada and the US have threatened to pull out unless the EU ignores the massive emissions of oil from tar sands - and the EU is collapsing under the pressure. more...

Tobacco - Zimbabwe's forests are going up in smoke

Ray Mwareya

22nd July 2014

A tobacco farmer in Marondera District, Zimbabwe. Photo: Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture. A flood of smallholders that have benefited from Zimbabwe's land reform are turning to tobacco as their crop of choice, reports Ray Mwareya. But the economic gains are coming at a terrible cost - the accelerating destruction of the country's forests. more...

Liberia - communities join to fight the palm oil land grab

Jacinta Fay & Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor

18th July 2014

Deyeatee and Comfort, JogBahn Clan women leaders, reading the petition. Photo: Jason Taylor for Friends of the Earth, 2014. Liberia's Jogbahn Clan is at the forefront of efforts to resist the grab of Indigenous Peoples' land and forests for palm oil plantations. But according to the country's President, they are only 'harrassing and extorting' international investors. more...

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away

Paul Brown

20th July 2014

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 2013. Photo: D Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons. The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place? more...

Gaza: Israel's $4 billion gas grab

Nafeez Ahmed

18th July 2014

Israeli tanks massing on the Gaza border ... but do the soldiers know what they're really fighting for? Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi via Flickr. Never mind the 'war on terror' rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel's escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory's 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas - and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis. more...

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr. A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...

Gaza: Israel bombs water and sewage systems

Mohammed Omer

16th July 2014

Happy days: children of Gaza play on a water slide during UNRWA Summer Fun Weeks, 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr. Israel's armed forces have destroyed vital water and sewage infrastructure in their bombing campaign of the besieged territory, writes Mohammed Omer. This constitutes a severe breach of the 1977 Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the part of Israel and all those conceiving, planning, ordering and perpetrating the attacks. more...

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/. Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia. Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...

Syria - the toxic footprint of war

Pieter Both & Wim Zwijnenburg

13th July 2014

Even if they survive the war, these children in Homs face a toxic future for many years to come from the release of industrial toxins and residues from munitions, propellants and explosives. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr. The devastating human impact of Syria's civil war may persist for decades to come as heavy metals and carcinogens in munitions end up in the environment, along with chemicals from destroyed industrial plants and stores. A long-term public health crisis is in the making. more...

EU outlaws animal use of herbal remedies on organic farms

Sandra Saadi

11th July 2014

French dairy farmers Sandrine Lizaga milking her organic ewes. New EU regulations forbid the use of herbal remedies and plant essences to maintain animal health instead of antibiotics, reports Sandra Saadi. An organic ewe breeder in France has already been threatened with the loss of EU farm support payments. more...

Ukraine - it's the gas, gas, gas

Mike Whitney

10th July 2014

The Ukraine army cuts off main road to Sloviansk in a 'war zone without front lines'. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr. in Ukraine, as in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, US policy is all about dominating the world's fossil fuel supplies, writes Mike Whitney - in this case, the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. But the 'great aggressor', Vladimir Putin, is refusing to play his part. So what next? more...

An abuse of science - concealing fracking's radioactive footprint

Paul Mobbs

8th July 2014

Some springs on Ikaria, Greece, carry high levels of natural radioactivity - but that does not mean the radiation is good for you! Photo: Eleni Ikanou via Flickr. A new scientific paper presents the radiation produced by fracking as 'natural' and harmless. But it's based on sketchy data, hyperbolic statistics and questionable assumptions, writes Paul Mobbs. Is it an attempt to stifle an essential public debate? more...

Eat lead! Condor survival versus National Rifle Association

Dawn Starin

7th July 2014

Condors at the Grand Canyon. Photo: Derek Bruff via Flickr. Ample peer-reviewed science says that the number one threat to condor survival is lead poisoning from eating bullets and pellets in carcasses, reports Dawn Starin. But the powerful NRA is fighting hard against bans on lead ammunition. more...

Russia's wildlife protector is on a mission of destruction

Mikhail Kreindlin

5th July 2014

The Kurilsky nature reserve. One of many areas where the Russian government has bent the rules. Photo: CC Igor Shpilenok. Russia is rich in nature reserves and national parks, writes Mikhail Kreindlin. But the government body meant to be protecting them is in fact promoting logging, building and mining projects. Conservationists are fighting back, but the odds are stacked against them. more...

India - now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime

Kumar Sundaram

4th July 2014

Criminals? Protest against Kundakulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Joseph Lazer / Wikimedia Commons. In modern India any form of dissent from the neoliberal corporate model of development is being criminalised, writes Kumar Sundaram. Opponents of nuclear power, coal mines, GMOs, giant dams, are all under attack as enemies of the state and a threat to economic growth. more...

Culling badgers is no way to stop the spread of bovine TB

Matt Keeling

3rd July 2014

Model's prediction vs recorded data of (a) reactor (infected) cattle, shaded region shows 95% credibility from 5,000 simulations, and (b) distribution density of infected cattle. Image: Brooks-Pollock, Roberts, Keeling / Nature. Published in Nature today, a new cattle herd model shows how bTB infects cattle and how to halt its spread, writes Matt Keeling. Most effective is the slaughter of entire herds with even a single TB infection detected. Culling badgers has very little impact. more...

Neonicotinoids are poisoning entire farmland ecosystems

Damian Carrington / The Guardian

2nd July 2014

Neonicotinoid insecticides are killing more than just bees - entire farmland ecosystems are being poisoned. Photo: honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California, by Jack Wolf via Flickr. The widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides is causing a neurotoxic overload afflicting entire farm ecosystems from earthworms to bees, other pollinators and birds, writes Damian Carrington. A collapse in food production may inevitably follow. more...

UN to outlaw corporations' human rights abuses

Lucia Ortiz

1st July 2014

Corporate Violence For Sale - Los Angeles street art. Photo: waltarrrrr via Flickr. The United Nations has voted to legislate against human rights abuses carried out by transnational corporations, reports Lucia Ortiz. But the resolution, proposed by Ecuador and South Africa, was opposed by the US and the member states of the EU. more...

Borneo mega-dams threaten indigenous 'ethnocide'

Amanda Stephenson

30th June 2014

The Bakun dam under construction. Photo: pHotosHo0x via Flickr. Massive dams in Sarawak, Malaysia, threaten to flood over 2,000 square kilometers of the world's oldest rainforests, displace 10,000s of indigenous people, and aggravate climate change, writes Amanda Stephenson - all to generate electricity that no one wants. more...

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