Report: Anogola’s Historic Drought Threatens The Lives of Tens of Thousands

A new report from Amnesty International cautions the international public and Government of Angola that the lives of tens of thousands of its citizens are currently at risk of death/famine if nothing is done to help them in the immediate future. The drought is itself is said to have been an ongoing situation dating back to October 2018, and the crisis has been making international headlines dating back to May 2019 as the situation continued to worsen. Now, today, Amnesty International is warning that “tens of thousands of pastoral farmers who have been driven off their land to make way for commercial cattle ranches have been exposed to a greater risk of hunger and starvation as drought grips southern Angola.

As was explained by Amnesty International in more detail, “since the end of the civil war in 2002, the authorities have been diverting communal grazing land of Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela for commercial farming.” As a result, “the rise of commercial cattle ranches on this traditional grazing land has eroded economic, social, and cultural resilience, most notably food security, among the Vanyaneka and Ovaherero people in the Gambos, Angola.” This is also important to understand because it is the people/farmers whom have been locked out for federal/commercial land which have been the hardest hit by this drought, because the Government as offered them no money, resources or irrigation like they have to commercial farmers. As such, these are the people most likely to die the longer the drought exists.

Download Report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR1210202019ENGLISH.pdf

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Report: The Transnational Rise of The Violent White Supremacist Movement

(Red Revolution) – The United States should urgently place far-right extremist groups on its list of banned terrorist organisations, a new report released this past week suggests. The report, “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of The Violent White Supremacist Movement”, highlights the increasing threat posed by the far-right and indicates a surge in domestic supremacist groups seeking military training and experience abroad, primarily in Ukraine.

Produced by the New York-based Soufan Center, the report suggests that the American government has been slow to respond to the changing nature of the far-right threat and that white supremacist extremism is now a multi-headed hydra.

White supremacy extremism is a transnational challenge — its tentacles reach from Canada to Australia, and the United States to Ukraine – but it has evolved at a different pace in different parts of the world… To make serious progress, the United States should consider building upon Canada and the United Kingdom’s leadership by sanctioning transnational WSE groups as foreign terrorist organizations.” – Soufan Center Report –

Download Full Report: https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Report-by-The-Soufan-Center-White-Supremacy-Extremism-The-Transnational-Rise-of-The-Violent-White-Supremacist-Movement.pdf

Designating far-right groups as terrorist organizations would enable the U.S. government to seize assets, hinder travel and enable charges to be brought against both members and those providing material support to such groups. The report particularly highlighted Canada’s successful use of such legislation to combat the international neo-Nazi network Blood & Honor.

While the west has been overtly preoccupied with Islamic State, white supremacists were connected to 50 murders across the U.S. in 2018 and an estimated 17,000 foreigners from 50 countries have gone to fight in the Ukraine conflict, many affiliated with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

In Ukraine, the Azov Battalion has recruited foreign fighters motivated by white supremacy and neo-Nazi beliefs, including many from the West, to join its ranks and receive training, indoctrination, and instruction in irregular warfare.” – Soufan Center Report –

Part of the Ukrainian military, the Azov Battalion has been linked to a multitude of far-right groups in the west, notably the U.S. based neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division. The Atomwaffen Division has been responsible for 8 murders in the U.S. since 2017.

A British branch of the Atomwaffen Division, The Sonnenkrieg Division, was responsible for the “race traitor” threats to kill Prince Harry and his wife Megan Markle alongside claims that police officers should be raped and killed and that white women who date non-whites should be hanged. In June, Sonnenkrieg members Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, and Michal Szewczuk, 19, were jailed for terrorism offences. “Let’s fill our hearts with terror and London’s streets with blood” – Jacek Tchorzewski.

Earlier in the year, Sonnenkrieg member Jacek Tchorzewski, 18, was arrested at Luton airport and charged with terrorism offences after police discovered “an enormous amount” of documents on the manufacture of weapons and explosives. Judge Anuja Dhir said the defendant was a “deeply entrenched neo-Nazi with an interest in Satanism and occult practices” and an “offender of particular concern” as she sentences him to four years in prision last month.

Also last month, police in Kansas arrested a serving U.S. Army soldier after he allegedly shared bomb-making instructions online. The soldier, Jarrett William Smith, was interested in joining the Azov Battalion and was in correspondence with a second man in Texas who had allegedly fought for the group. Conversations included discussion on carrying out attacks against “left-wing” media outlets, activists and politicians, including Democratic Presidential nominee Beto O’Rourke.

White supremacy extremism is a growing transnational threat and one that is too large not to tackle head-on. As the world has become more and more interconnected through social media, white supremacy extremists have found it easier and easier to recruit, fundraise, and spread violent propaganda. Moreover, white supremacist extremists are imitating Salafi- Jihadist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and many are taking advantage of international conflicts – such as the conflict in Ukraine – to expand the global white supremacy movement. Our new report outlines how these groups currently operate across the world and provides actionable solutions for policymakers, civil society, security services, and law enforcement agencies to combat this brand of violent extremism.” – Ali Soufan –

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This article was originally published by Red Revolution Media on May 7th 2019. It was republished, with permission, through a mutually agreed upon publishing partnership between Rogue Media and Red Revolution. Formatting edits, video, and pdf were added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs.

 

The Great Green Wall of Africa, The Worlds Next Natural World Wonder

This next article will describe one of the most interesting international undertakings in the world right now, a multi-state initiative to stop the Sahara Desert from growing and expanding southward throughout the entire continent of Africa. Started in 2008, the undertaking involves the collective undertaking of 12 states across Africa, each of which share the southern border of the Sahara Desert across the continent. The initiative itself involves the planting of grass, trees and other biological products to attract wildlife and grow grow biodiversity, which will then form a natural land border with the desert and stop it from growing larger – essentially using nature to fight nature.

While the project is currently in its infancy and you may not have heard of it before, it promises to become the next great wonder of the world by the time the project is complete. If you would like to learn more you are invited to watch the video below, or follow the provided links- enjoy.

The Great Green Wall: https://www.greatgreenwall.org/about-great-green-wall

Behind The Headlines, The Aftermath of War

Here’s a glimpse of an article I started in October 2018, but just never wanted to finish. It shows the aftermath of what War really looks like. What it looks like to the people who have to live in these cities everyday and have lived in these area’s their entire life. There is only one point to the video’s below. Imagine this was your neighborhood. Imagine that you had lived your entire life here and this happened, not only because your Government, but also because of the intervention of Governments half a world away – such as the United States.

How would you feel? How would you behave? How would you react? These are questions the media never asks of you, aside footage you are never shown – which is why I bring it up today.

Raqqa, Sria

 

Damascus,Syria

Aleppo, Syria

Homs, Syria

Daraa, Syria

Mosul, Iraq

Sirte, Libya

The Dark Side of War, How Losing Sides In Any Modern War/Battle are Using Social Media To Cast Victors In A Negative Light

For those of you whom might be unfamiliar with me or my previous work, I spent the better parts of July 2016 to February 2018 as a War reporter, primarily covering ongoing conflicts around South Sudan, Somalia, Gaza, Syria and Iraq. In fact, a large part of the reason why I shifted my writing towards hacking news over the time since is the fact that I just couldn’t take it any more – War reporting got so dark I just didn’t want to do it anymore, and wanted something a little more lighthearted to write about each morning.

Regardless, a couple weeks ago I started writing a new article I just didn’t have the heart to finish. Entitled “The Dark Side of War,” it discussed the phenomenon of how every party which losses a War, conflict or battle has quite a sad story to tell. As such, it is then fairly easy for any side which losses a War or battle to present “evidence” or a story line casting the victorious party in a rather negative or disgusting light – especially in the age of smart phones and social media. For this very reason, it is perhaps more important then ever to be critical or vigilant over any/all War coverage we consume. Perhaps put a different way, to take everything with a grain of salt.

So, what exactly am I talking about and why take the time to explain any of this? Well, as it turns out, on May 18th 2019 a new chemical weapons report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was leaked online exposing a false flag chemical weapons assault carried out at the hands of Syrian rebels, designed to make it look as though attack was actually launched by Bashar al-Assad.

Download/View Copy of Leaked Report: http://syriapropagandamedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Engineering-assessment-of-two-cylinders-observed-at-the-Douma-incident-27-February-2019-1.pdf

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Honestly, even if you are just hearing about this phenomenon for the first time here today, this is far from the first time Syrian rebels have done this. In fact, Syrian rebels are also known to have carried out false flag chlorine attacks in both Idlib and Aleppo. But lets not revisit ancient history – shall we? Instead, I would like to explain why people are doing this sort of thing in the first place.

To understand why, you first have to understand desperation. Imagine that you have been fighting a War for years on end, before realizing that you’re out of resources and your enemy has you just weeks away from full defeat. What would you do? As it turns out, especially in the age of social media, from Gaza to Syria, the losing sides in any/every battle have begun waging a propaganda War through the media – often times by showing grotesque or gruesome footage chronicling the aftermath of their defeats. Taken out of context, this could make any victorious party look like the bad guys – even if the losing factions were the aggressors all along.

After all, the Syrian Rebels are called “rebels” for a very real reason, they are the ones who rebelled against their Government and started this whole Civil War in the first place. Even though they are losing this War, don’t ever make the mistake of forgetting that no matter how much you may despise Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian rebels also have an awful lot of blood on their hands all the same.

Honestly, the more I start to write about this topic, the less I want to keep writing about it. It’s just hard not to begin to loose faith in the world. But, before wrapping up, what I want people to understand is what is actually going on here. Say for example in Palestine. Now, I for one am firmly behind the people of Palestine and support an end to Israel’s War in Gaza. But, even at that, I am also firmly aware of the propaganda campaigns being waged by Palestinians there – particularly during Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2014.

What you have to understand is that Palestinians know they have zero possibility of ever winning any War or Battle against Israel – at least by traditional means. Therefore, they have taken to unconventional means of waging warfare – Chealsae Manning’s leaks not withstanding. For example, one of Hamas’s tactics revolves around creating propaganda against Israel through social media – which is also why Israel has been trying to crack down on social media postings from Palestine so heavily over recent years. Usually this is done by showing the footage or pictures of dead, burned or bloody civilians – released for nothing other than pure shock value, to dehumanize their enemies actions.

For example, why do you think so many Palestinian civilians are lining up simply to be shot by Israel snipers? It’s because they want Israel to look as inhumane and extreme as possible in the media. Showing pictures of civilians with lost limbs, unarmed, losing those limbs due to their enemies certainly makes their enemies look extreme doesn’t it? But what you have to understand is that lining up to be shot is also extreme, just in a different context.

Now, for those of you whom might not be used to the Deep Web or DarkNet, or whom only get your news through any one of the 24 hours a day news channels, photo’s of dead people might seem pretty shocking or outrageous. But this is also the point. People are trying to offend you in hopes of falsely manipulating your opinion. But, the fact of the matter is that people die on both sides of every conflict. It just so happens that the losing side of any Battle or War just has a more tragic or bleak story to tell than its victors – and more evidence to show. However, it is important to understand that this does not make them any more justified in their campaigns, and it doesn’t even necessarily make them the victims either.

Often times, such as in the case of Syria’s rebels and/or Gaza’s Hamas, social media is being used as a weapon, in a last ditch effort to inspire more people around the world to sympathize with their losing effort or join their cause. In doing so, prolonging their battle/fight that much longer.

Study: 65% of All American Adults Now Play Video Games

A new research presentation has come out that paints an interesting depiction of American society in the 21 century, research figures that honestly astounded me. Conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and comprising of a voluntary poll of 4,000 individuals across the US, researchers found that approximately 65% of all adults inside the United States (+18 years of age) currently admit to playing video games on a regular basis. For those of you whom might be mathematically challenged, this figure equates to roughly 164 million individuals.

Honestly, as someone who hasn’t played a video game in maybe 8 years now, the figures are far greater than I ever would have guessed. But that’s not all, researchers also discovered ….

Other Statistics:

60% of the 164,000,000 in the study play video games exclusively on their smart phones of devices.
40% of admitted games use traditional game consoles at home.
– Roughly 65 million Americans own a gaming counsel device.
– The game industry generated $43.4 Billion Dollars inside the United States in the calendar year 2018 alone
– The Top 3 games nationwide in order were Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Red Dead Redemption II and NBA 2K19
– Surprisingly, men only 54% of all gamers are males – 46% are females
– According to female games, the top 3 most popular video games are Candy Crush, Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider
– According to males, the top 3 most popular video games were God of War, Madden NFL and Fortnite.
– The number of reported gamers in the US increased 20% in 2019 from 2018, up 85% since 2015

Download Full Research Paper: http://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/EssentialFacts.pdf

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Indigenous Tribes & Commercial Loggers On The Verge of War In Amazon Rain Forest as Deforestation Continues To Grow

(AI) – There is an imminent risk of violent clashes in Brazil’s Amazon region unless the government protects Indigenous peoples’ traditional lands from increasing illegal land seizures and logging by armed intruders, Amnesty International warned today.

Amnesty International recently visited three different Indigenous territories in northern Brazil where illegal intruders had begun or expanded efforts to seize land and/or cut down trees. Indigenous leaders told the organization that they had received death threats for defending their traditional lands. They also fear new intrusions in the dry season (May/June to October/November) when easier physical access to forests facilitates clearance and burning.

Brazil’s Indigenous peoples and their land face enormous threats and the situation will soon become untenable in the dry season,” said Richard Pearshouse, Senior Crisis & Environment Advisor for Amnesty International. “The government must protect Indigenous peoples who are defending their land, or blood will be shed.

In April 2019, Amnesty International interviewed 23 Indigenous people in three territories in northern Brazil: Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau in Rondônia state, and Arara in Pará state. Amnesty International also interviewed 13 people knowledgeable about intrusions in Indigenous territories, including government officials, Public Prosecutors and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

According to representatives of non-governmental organizations and authorities, intruders are often local individuals who are encouraged and supported to occupy plots of land and/or sell the timber by local farmers and politicians. Indigenous peoples in some territories conduct patrols to monitor and protect their land from these intrusions. As the intruders are often armed, there is a high risk of violent clashes with Indigenous peoples. In all three sites, Indigenous leaders have repeatedly denounced recent illegal land seizures and logging to government authorities. However there have been only limited responses from government authorities, and illegal land seizures and logging have continued.

An intrusion by some 40 illegal intruders into Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory in January 2019 resulted in a government surveillance operation in the area a few days later in which one person was arrested and later released. A much larger intrusion into Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory followed, in April 2019, estimated to involve many hundreds of illegal intruders. A government surveillance operation led to two people being arrested a week after the April intrusion.

Gunshots during the night

Indigenous peoples from all three territories told Amnesty International that illegal intruders had recently cut new paths into the forest near their villages and roads. In some territories they also described frequently hearing sounds of tractors and chainsaws inside the territories.

A 22-year-old Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau woman described how she felt in the days after the intrusion in January 2019:  “When I heard about the invasion, I was scared because it is very close to the village. I had never seen one so close. I was afraid they would come here. I couldn’t sleep anymore. There were gunshots during the night for several nights. I was scared. I put the children to sleep, but I couldn’t sleep.

Amnesty International’s researchers observed traces of roads and paths inside the Indigenous territories previously used by intruders, as well as pictures and videos of markers delineating plots and paths, and a tractor carrying timber. A Karipuna leader told Amnesty International about fears the situation may escalate to violent clashes in the dry season: “They [the illegal intruders] left a message that we [the Indigenous leaders] should not walk in their paths, we would disappear … If government doesn’t protect the territory, a tragedy between intruders and Indigenous might happen. During the dry season, intrusions will increase even more because authorities haven’t taken any measures.

The government’s response to these illegal land seizures and logging remains inadequate. The surveillance of Indigenous territories depends in large part on coordination among different governmental bodies. Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) lacks police powers and relies on the support from other institutions, such as the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the Federal Police (Polícia Federal). Experts told Amnesty International that surveillance operations have been reduced because of budget constraints over recent months.

Indigenous people expressed their frustration to Amnesty International that few intruders are held accountable, while experts highlighted the need to investigate those supporting and funding the illegal land seizures and logging.

Between January and April 2019, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office (Ministério Público Federal) sent at least four letters to the Ministries of Justice and Women, Family and Human Rights – the Ministry responsible for the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) since January 2019 – describing a deterioration of the security situation in the Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territories and warning of a risk of conflict. The office requested the immediate support from the National Security Force (Força Nacional) while authorities develop a long-term protection plan for the territories.

To date, the Ministries of Justice and Women, Family and Human Rights have not coordinated with the National Security Force to protect the Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territories and the long-term protection plan remains unresolved. “Unless FUNAI and the other authorities step up the fight against illegal land seizures and logging, violent clashes between Indigenous peoples and intruders are incredibly likely,” said Richard Pearshouse. “The government should promptly affirm its commitment to the protection of Indigenous territories and ensure they are respected.

Deforestation in Indigenous territories worsens

Illegal land seizures and logging are usually less common in rainy season (October/November to May/June) than dry season (May/June to October/November). The NGO Imazon has reported the loss of 12 square kilometres of forest inside Indigenous territories in the Amazon during the first three months of the year. This represents a 100% rise compared to the same period in 2018.

Studies indicate that, where traditional lands of Indigenous peoples are primary forests, demarcation of Indigenous territories can play a protective role against deforestation. Conserving primary forests is key in the fight against climate change because when forests are cleared or burnt, stored carbon is released into the atmosphere mainly as carbon dioxide.

Protecting the human rights of Indigenous peoples is key to preventing further deforestation in the Amazon. The international community should be watching carefully and supporting those Indigenous communities on the front lines of the fight to protect the world’s most precious forests,” said Richard Pearshouse.

No photo description available.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND AND TESTIMONIES

In addition to the three territories researched by Amnesty International, other Indigenous territories in Brazil also face increasing pressure from illegal intruders. In February 2019, the non-governmental organisation Repórter Brasil reported the existence of at least 14 demarcated Indigenous territories with recent invasions or intrusions from illegal intruders.

Indigenous territories are protected by Brazil’s laws and international human rights law. The Constitution recognizes Indigenous peoples’ rights to the land, its use and natural resources. Illegal land seizures and logging inside Indigenous territories constitute crimes under federal law. Brazil has ratified ILO Convention 169 which guarantees indigenous peoples the right to free, prior and informed consultation over projects that affect their lands and rights.

The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory

Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory comprises an area of 1,867 thousand hectares in Rondônia state, northern Brazil. The process of demarcation of the territory was concluded in 1991. The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people with a population of 200 live in six villages in the northern part of the territory. In April 2019, Amnesty International visited two of the villages close to the locations of recent intrusions and interviewed community members.

Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people told Amnesty International that on 11 January 2019 they confronted about 40 invaders, who were armed with sickles and machetes, cutting a path into their territory about two kilometers away from one Indigenous village and just beside the road they use to enter and leave their territory. When told to leave, the intruders allegedly replied that more intruders would be coming and threatened to kill the Indigenous children.

Another intrusion into Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory took place in early April 2019. Local media reported intruders saying they entered the Indigenous territory under the assumption the government would divide up the territory and allocate titles to them. Local media reported the presence of more than one thousand intruders in the Nova Floresta area, while FUNAI communicated to local indigenous people that the intrusion likely involved 500 intruders. The actual number of illegal intruders involved in the April 2019 intrusion is uncertain.

Soon after the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people denounced the invasion to authorities, FUNAI and federal police officers went to the start of the path which had been cut by the illegal intruders but did not arrest anyone. In late April 2019, a new operation conducted by FUNAI, Federal Police, IBAMA and ICMBio arrested two people.

The Karipuna territory

The Karipuna Indigenous territory comprises an area of 153 thousand hectares in the municipalities of Porto Velho and Nova Mamoré (Rondônia state) and was demarcated as such in 1998. The Karipuna are a Indigenous people with 58 members and the only village lies on the banks of the Jaci Paraná river. Beside the village, there is a plantation where they grow manioc, pumpkin, sweet potato, banana and corn.

Karipuna leaders told Amnesty International that the closest paths into their territory are two kilometers away from their village and they had been recently re-cleared. The presence of intruders, even during the rainy season, coupled with death threats they received few months ago, limit their activities such as hunting and collection of cashews. They fear the risk of conflict as illegal intruders get even closer.

A 26-year-old Karipuna leader said: “We are few to do the surveillance and we don’t have police powers. It is very risky and we are already being threatened. If government doesn’t act, we might lose our territory, it might be the end of the Karipuna. I don’t know if there are new paths, because we don’t patrol so often to avoid contact with intruders. They are armed with guns.

Despite an interim court decision from June 2018 ordering federal and state authorities to implement a plan to protect the territory with a minimum of 10 days of surveillance per month, government patrols have been severely curtailed.

The Arara territory

The Indigenous territory Arara is located in Pará state, northern Brazil. Demarcated in 1991, the territory with 274 thousand hectares is home to about 400 Arara people living in six different villages. Four of them lie along the Iriri river, while two others are in the northern limits of the territory, adjacent to route BR-230, also known as the Trans-Amazonian highway.

Arara people told Amnesty International in December 2018 illegal intruders began opening new paths into their territory from along the highway and marking plots of land with their names. The plots were separated by a few hundred metres. Confronted by FUNAI’s agents in an operation in late December 2018, they reportedly told the agents that Bolsonaro will authorize the sub-division of the land and logging.

After reports made by FUNAI, in January 2019 IBAMA and Federal Police flew over the Arara territory and identified three new sites of deforestation. Another attempt of illegal land seizure was identified in a more remote location of the territory in February 2019. At that time, Arara people submitted a letter to the Public Prosecutor’s Office denouncing the invasions and requesting government support to avoid a conflict. According to Arara people and authorities, illegal land seizure has been temporarily halted by government intervention, while illegal logging remains a problem.

During a visit to the territory in April 2019, Amnesty International researchers saw paths and roads used for illegal logging. They also heard a chainsaw being used nearby as they walked along one of the paths. Arara people told Amnesty International illegal logging continues to take place in the territory. According to a 43-years-old Arara man: “FUNAI used to go with us to inspect sometimes. The last mission was in February. Since then, they didn’t provide more. We denounced and they [FUNAI] claim they don’t have resources. If measures are not taken, there will be more land seizures.


This report was originally published by Amnesty International on May 9th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and Tweet’s added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Extinction Rebellion Reacts To 2019 Global Assessment on Biodiversity

(Red Revolution) – Extinction Rebellion has said that the ecological crisis and fight against the mass extinction is just as dangerous to the planet as climate change, supporting findings from the UN IPBES 2019 Global Assessment on Biodiversity and saying that “the report delivers a stark message that humanity is engaged in the mass annihilation of other species with whom we share our home.

Issuing a statement yesterday following the UN Report, the activist group has said that too much of the political focus in recent weeks has surrounded the issues of greenhouse gases and climate change, with the ecological fight being just as desperate.

Learn More – UN Global Assessment On Biodiversity: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/

Dr Alison Green, National Director (UK) Scientists Warning and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said that the report was “damming… shaming and shocking” and that “little or no progress has been made towards halting extinctions, loss of habitat or restoration of ecosystems.

“We must radically transform the ways in which we live with nature and to do so will require evidence-based and science-led interventions by the public, the private sector and the government. Human behaviours, including our reliance on degenerative as opposed to regenerative practices, manifest in land use change, which is the major cause of what is now a rapidly accelerating loss of biodiversity. The failures to make progress show that it is our collective duty now to reject complacent and inadequate responses and to rebel. The future of all life is at stake.”

Lorna Greenwood, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said that humanity “must accept that we can’t go on as we are” and that it was time to “rethink how we grow food, travel and look after the countryside.

It may mean hard choices but the rewards are enormous. Within our lifetime we could see nature restored and our children’s future secured. The alternative is not an option. We have no choice but to rebel until our world is healed.

Lorna Greenwood, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion

Last week the British government became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency after two weeks of protests around London that raised pressure and awareness on the issue, Extinction Rebellion winning the backing of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

Extinction Rebellion has stated that their key demands are the declaration of a climate emergency, the government acting to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Executive Summary of Report:

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This article was originally published by Red Revolution Media on May 7th 2019. It was republished, with permission, through a mutually agreed upon publishing partnership between Rogue Media and Red Revolution. Formatting edits, video, and pdf were added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs.

New Cyber Security Study Breaks Down +32 Million Cyber Attacks Across More Than 200 Countries Worldwide

Earlier this morning, May 1st 2019, I came across an interesting cybersecurity study produced by the Cyentia Institute in Virginia. Entitled the ” Internet Risk Surface Report: Exposure in a Hyper-Connected World,” the 25 page study broke down/observed 18,000 businesses across more than 200 countries worldwide – encompassing more than 32 million security vulnerabilities, exploits and/or attack styles. For no other reason than that, their findings are incredibly unique.

What researchers discovered is that there is a direct correlation between a businesses size and the rate at which they can successfully mitigate cyber attacks. More specifically, organizations which hold at least 100,000 employees were found to be far and away the best at mitigating cyber attacks. On the other end of the spectrum, organizations with fewer than 10 employees tended to be hacked at the highest frequency – establishing a direct correlation between an industries size and its ability to mitigate advanced cyber threats. Additionally, researchers concluded that North America, Western Europe and Western Asia are the 3 most advanced regions around the world when it comes to cyber security. On the other side of the spectrum, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia and Island countries tend to be the least developed in terms of cybersecurity. For example, according to some calculations, Eastern Europe is nearly 500% more vulnerable to the same cyber attack than their counterparts in Western Europe.

I’ve got to say, this study is certainly more interesting and detailed than most – which is why I’m including it here today. Feel free to download the report for yourself or read through it in its entirety below.

Download Study: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2477095/Internet%20Risk%20Surface%20Report%202019/Risk-Surface-Report_RiskRecon_and_Cyentia_Institute.pdf

Browse 25 Page Study:

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Russian Activists Accuse FSB of Torture In National Crackdown Against Anti-Fascists & Anarchists

A group Russian activists has created a website, YouTube channel and drafted a series of press releases raising awareness on behalf of the Federal Security Service‘s (FSB) use of torture in National Law enforcement. For example, according to a press release yesterday, entitled “How The FSB Is Manufacturing A Terrorism Case,” dating back to 2017, the FSB has begun rounding up, detaining, interrogating and in some instances torturing Russian “Anti-Fascist’s” and “Anarchists” in an effort to crackdown on civil dissent around the country. Allegedly, Antifascists and Anarchists have become so large/prevalent around Russia that they’ve begun syndicating into a much larger group of individuals referring to themselves as “The Network” – said to be highly active across the country over recent years.

However, given this groups knowledge and skills, coupled with their general attitude of Anarchism, the FSB has now since declared The Network to be a domestic terrorist organization – and has begun cracking down on them as such. According to evidence released online, dozens have already been arrested around the country – with several more awaiting trial. Not only this, but in order to crack down on the group, the FSB is alleged to have planted evidence, assaulted individuals prior to their arrests, and have propagated the widespread use of torture – including electrodes – in order to force confessions. Not only is this immoral and inhumane, but it’s also a clear violation of international law – which is why activists are sounding the alarm bells here today.

According to a statement posted online yesterday, April 28th 2019,the activists explained:

“In the run-up to presidential elections and the FIFA World Cup, repressions against antifascists and anarchists started in Russia. In Autumn 2017, 6 people were arrested in Penza; several of them had weapons and explosives planted on them. FSB officers then tortured the antifascists right in the detention facility: they applied naked wires to the activists’ various body parts and turned the electricity on, they beat them up, hanged them upside down. While torturing them, the agents made the activists learn by heart the story the FSB needed: they were supposed to confess of having founded and belonging to a terrorist organization called “The Network”. In late January 2018, two more antifascists were arrested in Saint-Petersburg. They, too, were beaten up, tortured with electric current, and forced to incriminate themselves by confirming they were members of the “Network.”

Visit Their Website: https://rupression.com/en/how-the-fsb-is-manufacturing-a-terrorism-case-against-antifascists-in-russia/

UN Investigation: The War In Yemen Has Killed 233,000 Individuals Between 2015 & 2019

Earlier this week, April 23rd, the United Nations Department of Arab States released the contents of a year long study into the effects of years of War on the peoples of Yemen. Commissioned by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies and University of Denver, researchers did their best to quantify the effects years of War have have had on the Yemeni population – both on and off the battlefield. Officially entitled the “Impact of War on Development in Yemen,” the 68 page study broke down a number of key statistics from the past leading up to today, in an effort to predict/project what the statistics might look like in the future if the War continues on as is, undeterred throughout the future.Below you can key highlights taken away from the study, along with access to the full study in its entirety.

Key Findings/Takeaways:

– By the end of 2019, fighting/combat in Yemen will have claimed about 102,000 casualties.
– About 131,000 have died from the side effects War – disease, famine, lack of water – between 2015 & 2019.
– The combined death toll, from fighting and disease, is 233,000 – or 0.8% of Yemen’s combined population.
1 child dies from the effects of War and its side effects every 11 minutes and 54 seconds.
– If fighting continues undeterred, by 2030 the death toll would reach 1.8 million, the economy would have lost $657 billion, 84% of Yemenis would be malnourished and 71% would live in extreme poverty.

Download Full Study: http://www.arabstates.undp.org/content/dam/rbas/doc/Crisis%20prevention/FINAL%20UNDP-Y_FullReport_041919_print-compressed.pdf

Browse Study:

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Amnesty International & AirWars Release Join Investigation Disclosing +1,600 Causalities by US Armed Forces In Raqqa, Syria Alone

(AI) – The US-led military Coalition must end almost two years of denial about the massive civilian death toll and destruction it unleashed in the Syrian city of Raqqa, Amnesty International and Airwars said today as they launched a new data project on the offensive to oust the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS).

The interactive website, Rhetoric versus Reality: How the ‘most precise air campaign in history’ left Raqqa the most destroyed city in modern times, is the most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict. Collating almost two years of investigations, it gives a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes in the Coalition’s military campaign in Raqqa from June to October 2017.

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Visit Interactive Website: https://raqqa.amnesty.org/

By the time the offensive began, the IS had ruled Raqqa for almost four years. It had perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity, torturing or killing anyone who dared oppose it. Amnesty International previously documented how IS used civilians as human shields, mined exit routes, set up checkpoints to restrict movement, and shot at those trying to flee.

Download/Read Full Report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2469452017ENGLISH.PDF

Coalition forces razed Raqqa, but they cannot erase the truth. Amnesty International and Airwars call upon the Coalition forces to end their denial about the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction caused by their offensive in Raqqa. The Coalition needs to fully investigate what went wrong at Raqqa and learn from those lessons, to prevent inflicting such tremendous suffering on civilians caught in future military operations,” said Chris Woods, Director of Airwars.

Cutting-edge research on the ground in Raqqa and from afar

Amnesty International and Airwars have collated and cross-referenced multiple data streams for this investigation. On four visits since the battle was still raging, Amnesty International researchers spent a total of around two months on the ground in Raqqa, carrying out site investigations at more than 200 strike locations and interviewing more than 400 witnesses and survivors.

Amnesty International’s innovative “Strike Trackers” project also identified when each of the more than 11,000 destroyed buildings in Raqqa was hit. More than 3,000 digital activists in 124 countries took part, analyzing a total of more than 2 million satellite image frames. The organization’s Digital Verification Corps, based at six universities around the world, analyzed and authenticated video footage captured during the battle.

View Strike Trackers Project: https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/strike-tracker#decode-results

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Airwars and Amnesty International researchers analyzed open-source evidence, both in real-time and after the battle – including thousands of social media posts and other material – to build a database of more than 1,600 civilians reportedly killed in Coalition strikes. The organizations have gathered names for more than 1,000 of the victims; Amnesty International has directly verified 641 of those on the ground in Raqqa, and there are very strong multiple source reports for the rest.

Both organizations have frequently shared their findings with the US-led military Coalition and with the US, UK and French governments. As a result, the Coalition has admitted responsibility for killing 159 civilians – around 10% of the total number reported – but it has routinely dismissed the remainder as “non-credible.” However, to date the Coalition has failed to adequately probe civilian casualty reports or to interview witnesses and survivors, admitting it does not carry out site investigations.

Bringing cases to life

Rhetoric versus Reality brings to life the stories of families who lived and died in the war by taking users on a journey through the city; meeting survivors, hearing their testimonies and visiting their destroyed homes. From the bombed-out bridges spanning the Euphrates to the largely demolished old city near the central stadium, no neighbourhood was spared.

Developed with Holoscribe’s creative team, the interactive website combines  photographs, videos, 360-degree immersive experiences, satellite imagery, maps and data visualizations to highlight the cases and journeys of civilians caught under the Coalition’s bombardment. Users can also explore data on civilians who were killed, many of them after having fled from place to place across the city.

Entire city blocks flattened

Raqqa’s soaring civilian death toll is unsurprising given the Coalition’s relentless barrage of munitions that were inaccurate to the point of being indiscriminate when used near civilians.

One US military official boasted about firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the campaign – the equivalent of a strike every six minutes, for four months straight – surpassing the amount of artillery used in any conflict since the Viet Nam war. With a margin of error of more than 100 metres, unguided artillery is notoriously imprecise and its use in populated areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks.

One of the first neighbourhoods to be targeted was Dara’iya, a low-rise, poorer district in western Raqqa. In a ramshackle, half-destroyed house, Fatima, nine years old at the time, described how she lost three of her siblings and her mother, Aziza, when the Coalition rained volleys of artillery shells down on their neighbourhood on the morning of 10 June 2017. They were among 16 civilians killed on that street on that day alone. Fatima lost her right leg and her left leg was badly injured. She now uses a wheelchair donated by an NGO to get around and her only wish is to go to school.

Families wiped out in an instant

US, UK and French forces also launched thousands of air strikes into civilian neighbourhoods, scores of which resulted in mass civilian casualties.

In one tragic incident, a Coalition air strike destroyed an entire five-storey residential building near Maari school in the central Harat al-Badu neighbourhood in the early evening of 25 September 2017. Four families were sheltering in the basement at the time. Almost all of them – at least 32 civilians, including 20 children – were killed. A week later, a further 27 civilians – including many relatives of those killed in the earlier strike – were also killed when an air strike destroyed a nearby building.

Planes were bombing and rockets were falling 24 hours a day, and there were IS snipers everywhere. You just couldn’t breathe,” one survivor of the 25 September strike, Ayat Mohammed Jasem, told a TV crew when she returned to her destroyed home more than a year later. “I saw my son die, burnt in the rubble in front of me. I’ve lost everyone who was dear to me. My four children, my husband, my mother, my sister, my whole family. Wasn’t the goal to free the civilians? They were supposed to save us, to save our children.

Time for accountability

Many of the cases documented by Amnesty International likely amount to violations of international humanitarian law and warrant further investigation.

Despite their best efforts, NGOs like Amnesty International and Airwars will never have the resources to investigate the full extent of civilian deaths and injuries in Raqqa. The organizations are urging US-led Coalition members to put in place an independent, impartial mechanism to effectively and promptly investigate reports of civilian harm, including violations of international humanitarian law, and make the findings public.

Coalition members who carried out the strikes, notably the USA, the UK and France, must be transparent about their tactics, specific means and methods of attack, choice of targets, and precautions taken in the planning and execution of their attacks.

Coalition members must create a fund to ensure that victims and their families receive full reparation and compensation.

More Resources for Raqqa:

Site Tracker: https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/strike-tracker

Investigative Report – War of Annihilation: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2483672018ENGLISH.PDF

Investigative Report – Deadly Labyrinth, Citizens Trapped In Battle for Raqqa: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2469452017ENGLISH.PDF


This report was originally published by Amnesty International on March 25th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and PDF’s added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs