31 December 2009


Peace, Love, Health, Hope

27 December 2009

YouTube Blog: Shining a Light on Human Rights Abuses Through Film

From the Iran protests to the uprising of monks in Burma, YouTube has become a place where citizens can expose human rights violations and promote free expression. This month, we were excited to see many of you help the organizations that regularly combat injustice and abuse around the world, by creating a video for one of them through Video Volunteers.

Spurred by
Morgan Freeman's heartfelt call-out video and International Human Rights Day, which occurred earlier this month, you submitted videos on behalf of nonprofit ....

YouTube Blog: Shining a Light on Human Rights Abuses Through Film

25 December 2009

Climate change is on the move

Ecosystems will need to shift by about a quarter-mile per year to keep up with climate change in the future, says a Nature paper published today.

Many studies have looked at how plants and animals will need to shift location in order to adapt to changing temperatures, for example moving northward in the northern hemisphere as things get toastier closer to the equator. But the new work examines the speed at which critters will shift across various temperature gradients. "Things are on the move, faster than we anticipated," team member Healy Hamilton, of the California Academy of Sciences, told Reuters.

As one might expect, topography turns out to play a big role in how far animals must move. Rugged areas such as mountain ranges have many microclimates that can be entered just by shifting a little up or down in elevation. Flatter areas such as valleys mean more miles need to be covered.

"How far do you have to go from a given point to change your climate? On a mountain, it's not very far,” lead author Scott Loarie of the Carnegie Institution for Science in California told Discovery News. “But if you're in the middle of the Amazon basin, you have to go very far to change your climate."

The bottom line? Conservationists looking to preserve habitats might need to look at larger areas to save in flatter areas than in mountainous ones.

24 December 2009

Lebanon: Dont Break the Egg!

The Egg, the Blob, the Bubble, the Dome… In the heart of Beirut, the shell of the egg-shaped structure that once was the avant-garde cinema of the late City Center complex is soon to be demolished to be replaced by a section of the Beirut Gate project.

Global Voices Online � Lebanon: Dont Break the Egg!

Uganda: President Says He Will Block Anti-Gay Bill � Global Voices Online

Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 still awaits a final decision by the country's Parliament, but the country's Daily Monitor newspaper reported Wednesday that President Yoweri Museveni has “assured the US State Department of his willingness to block the Bill”:

President Museveni has reportedly assured American authorities that he will veto Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s proposed anti-gay law, a position that breaks with his recent stance and the statements of officials in his government.

Uganda: President Says He Will Block Anti-Gay Bill � Global Voices Online

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

23 December 2009

Mexico: Marriage and Adoption for Gay Couples in the Capital

Gay marriage has been legalized in Mexico City, after reforms made to the civil code by the Legislative Assembly on December 21. In the same meeting, a law was passed allowing gay couples to adopt children.

Global Voices Online � Mexico: Marriage and Adoption for Gay Couples in the Capital

18 December 2009

Philippines: Poll body rejects election bid of “immoral” LGBT group

For promoting same sex relationship which is contrary to religious beliefs, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has rejected the petition of gay group Ang Ladlad to be recognized as a party that can run in the 2010 Philippine elections. As expected, the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) community is not happy over this ruling.

The 2010 presidential elections will be held on May. Ang Ladlad will participate in the elections through the partylist system. According to the Philippine Constitution, 20 percent of members of Congress should come from partylist groups which represent the country's underrepresented and marginalized sectors.


Global Voices Online � Philippines: Poll body rejects election bid of “immoral” LGBT group

قُرص الأسبرين

قرص الأسبرين

ليسَ هذا وطني الكبير
ليسَ هذا الوطنُ المربّعُ الخاناتِ كالشطرنجِ..
والقابعُ مثلَ نملةٍ في أسفلِ الخريطة..
هوَ الذي قالّ لنا مدرّسُ التاريخِ في شبابنا
بأنهُ موطننا الكبير.

ليسَ هذا الوطنُ المصنوعُ من عشرينَ كانتوناً..
ومن عشرينَ دكاناً..
ومن عشرينَ صرّافاً..
وطبّالاً.. وراقصةً..
يسمّى وطني الكبير..

ليسَ هذا الوطنُ السّاديُّ.. والفاشيُّ
والشحّاذُ.. والنفطيُّ
والفنّانُ.. والأميُّ
والثوريُّ.. والرجعيُّ
والصّوفيُّ.. والجنسيُّ
والشيطانُ.. والنبيُّ
والفقيهُ، والحكيمُ، والإمام
هوَ الذي كانَ لنا في سالفِ الأيّام
حديقةَ الأحلام..

ليسَ هذا الجسدُ المصلوبُ
فوقَ حائطِ الأحزانِ كالمسيح
ليسَ هذا الوطنُ الممسوخُ كالصرصار،
والضيّقُ كالضريح..
ليسَ هذا وطني الكبير

ليسَ هذا الأبلهُ المعاقُ.. والمرقّعُ الثيابِ،
والمجذوبُ، والمغلوبُ..
والمشغولُ في النحوِ وفي الصرفِ..
وفي قراءةِ الفنجانِ والتبصيرِ..
ليسَ هذا وطني الكبير

ليسَ هذا الوطنُ المنكَّسُ الأعلامِ..
والغارقُ في مستنقعِ الكلامِ،
والحافي على سطحٍ من الكبريتِ والقصدير
ليسَ هذا الرجلُ المنقولُ في سيّارةِ الإسعافِ،
والمحفوظُ في ثلّاجةِ الأمواتِ،
والمعطّلُ الإحساسِ والضمير
ليسَ هذا وطني الكبير

ليسَ هذا الرجلُ المقهورُ..
والمذعورُ كالفأرةِ..
والباحثُ في زجاجةِ الكحولِ عن مصير
ليسَ هذا وطني الكبير..

يا وطني:
يا أيّها الضائعُ في الزمانِ والمكانِ،
والباحثُ في منازلِ العُربان..
عن سقفٍ، وعن سرير
لقد كبرنا.. واكتشفنا لعبةَ التزوير
فالوطنُ المن أجلهِ ماتَ صلاحُ الدين
يأكلهُ الجائعُ في سهولة
كعلبةِ السردين..
والوطنُ المن أجلهِ قد غنّت الخيولُ في حطّين
يبلعهُ الإنسانُ في سهولةٍ..
كقُرص أسبرين!!..

بيروت في 8/1/1985

16 December 2009

15 December 2009

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Offers Hope During Suspended Climate Conference | Hopenhagen

As the Hopenhagen Ambassador, I'm supposed to be spreading and collecting messages of hope. But to be honest, it isn't easy being hopeful right now.
According to a recent post by Andy Revkin of the New York Times, the pledges that countries are making right now likely corresponds to almost four degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. The IPCC says that four degrees of warming would reduce crop yields around the world and result in the extinction of perhaps more than forty percent of all plants and animals. Sea level would likely rise by more than three feet, forcing hundreds of millions of people to abandon their homes. Almost all countries agree that we should keep warming under 2 degrees, yet the current pledges don't line up with this goal.
Nobel Peace Prize winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke at a rally today during "Hopenhagen Live." I attended the rally, where Desmond talked about the injustice of climate change. To give you a sense of the event, below is the first 28 seconds of the speech where Desmond greets the audience.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Offers Hope During Suspended Climate Conference | Hopenhagen

Tunisia: Student Jailed for Media Interview

Tunisian student Mohamed Soudani, 24, disappeared on October 22, 2009, in Tunisia after giving interviews to Radio Monte Carlo International and Radio France International.

Soudani was missing for 18 days until Tunisia’s police contacted his family inform them that he is detained in the Murnaguiya prison about 15km away from the capital Tunis
Global Voices Online
Global Voices Online � Tunisia: Student Jailed for Media Interview

12 December 2009

Puerto Rico: Hate Crime Against Gay Teenager Causes Outrage

Nineteen year-old Jorge Steven Mercado dreamed about working in the fashion industry. He was also a volunteer in organizations advocating for HIV prevention and gay rights. But, last week his body was found dismembered, decapitated, and partially burned, in a rural area in Guavate, Cayey, Puerto Rico. Activists from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Puerto Rico immediately described this brutal slaying as a hate crime. Not a single crime has been processed under the Puerto Rican Hate Crime Law since it was approved in 2002. Penalties are higher if the Hate Crime Law is applied....

Global Voices Online � Puerto Rico: Hate Crime Against Gay Teenager Causes Outrage

10 December 2009

HIV as a death sentence, literally.

Everybody knows that a diagnosis with HIV is not the death sentence it used to be years ago, due to many improvements in anti-retroviral drugs and the emergence of new therapies.

However, some politicians in Uganda are trying to change that, literally.

Lawmakers in Uganda are trying to pass a new anti-homosexuality bill that would make it even more difficult for someone to be gay in that country. Mind you, homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but the new bill will introduce even tougher penalties for being gay/engaging in homosexual acts.

The bill has a lot of disturbing penalties and clauses in it. The most disturbing however is the clause in the bill that allows the state to execute anyone who tests positive for HIV. Yes, you read that right. People who test positive for the virus that causes AIDS can be put to death.

Other oddities of the bill include a measure that will allow prosecution of gays that have engaged in homosexual acts outside of Uganda but can still be put on trial for it in Uganda itself. Sounds more like a lynching campaign to me.

I will spare you the annoying details, however the bill is rife with various basic-human-rights-insulting-clauses. Feel free to browse it at this link. Just a quick review of the table of contents is sufficient enough to give any human being a severe headache.