Notes on a web journey

posted on: 22 March 2009

World Water Day 2009

filed under: @ 09:13:28

World Water Day 2009

The world's 263 transboundary lake and river basins include the territory of 145 countries and cover nearly half of the Earth's land surface. Great reservoirs of freshwater also move silently below our borders in underground aquifers. With every country seeking to satisfy its water needs from limited water resources, some foresee a future filled with conflict. But history shows that cooperation, not conflict, is the most common response to transboundary water management issues.

World Water Day 2009

With every country seeking to satisfy its water needs from limited water resources...I think the massive use of water for industry is the problem. Many of the current production processes are obsolete and waste more then they produce. Greed has also a big part in it, as usual. Nuclear plants also need lots of water for cooling purposes. But sometimes it seems to me as if the people are blamed for not using water carefully, as if it were possible to stop water from following its cycle. The real problem is not the use that people do of it but the fact that it gets used before it arrives to people, benefiting only some. It's part of an economical system that needs to be re-thought in a much better way.

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posted on: 13 March 2009

Arms trade treaty

filed under: @ 14:08:23

Despite the suffering and poverty fuelled by irresponsible arms transfers, there is still no comprehensive, binding international treaty on the trade in conventional arms. Since 2003, the Control Arms Campaign has been calling for a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a legally binding international instrument, which will draw together and consolidate states' current obligations under international law.

Arms Trade Treaty

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posted on: 08 March 2009

2009 International Women's Day

filed under: @ 09:30:21

Mimosa flower

In the 21st century too often women are treated as if it was the 12th century. It's a crime that we haven't been able to change this incredibly stupid reality with a minimum of common sense yet.

2009 International Women's Day

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posted on: 27 February 2009

Human rights world report 2009

filed under: @ 19:47:03

Sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the governments demonstrating the clearest vision on international rights protections, sadly, are those seeking to undermine enforcement. In their foreign policies and in international fora, they invoke sovereignty, non-interference, and Southern solidarity to curb criticism of their human rights abuses and those of their allies and friends. Governments that champion human rights need urgently to wrest back the initiative from these human rights spoilers.

Human rights world report 2009

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posted on: 20 December 2008

Modern slavery

filed under: @ 11:44:18

Although slavery has existed for thousands of years, changes in the world's economy and societies over the past 50 years have enabled a resurgence of slavery.

A map of modern slavery in the world

Free the Slaves

Again, as long as the indifference persists, differences will always just become bigger. A real overhaul of the economic system is needed because now it could be turned into something much better then it's ever been. The resources, both intellectual and physical, are there, the knowledge too. What are we waiting for?..

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posted on: 12 December 2008

Universal declaration of human rights

filed under: @ 19:12:02

A couple of days late (unfortunately) :

Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Amnesty International 2002

December 10th is the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Adopted by the member states of the United Nations in 1948, the UDHR consists of 30 articles, which set out human rights fundamental to the dignity and development of every human being. Sixty years later, we live in a world where these basic rights are still neither universally respected nor legally mandated in many countries. We still have hunger, slavery and persecution. The rights to education, work, voting and religion are still abused. This day should give us pause. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights deserves not only celebration, but our respect and our best efforts. In this vein, we are honored to present the work of designer Woody Pirtle.

Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Beautiful work for a very important cause.

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posted on: 09 December 2008

Arms sales

filed under: @ 09:50:07

Since the early 1990s there has been efforts to review and develop arms-transfer principles and codes of conduct to ensure that arms are not sold to human rights violators...However, while this sounds positive, the world's major arms dealers have continued to sell arms to human rights violators, as mentioned in earlier parts of this site's Arms Trade section. There are a number of reasons as to why these codes have not been as effective as hoped.

A Code of Conduct for Arms Sales

A very exhaustive article with many links to external material. However, I still think that the solution resides in asking ourselves why we still need to make arms at all in the year 2008 (almost 2009). The answer is: we don't ! Are we so primitive as not to be able to change something that has been goig on for 10.000 years without any positive results anymore? We don't really need to find food hunting and we definitely don't need to go taking other tribes' women by raiding villages...do we?

All states have a right to self-defense..right, but what if there is no need for self-defense? What if we stopped making bullets? What if we simply rendered obsolete any kind of aggressive approach? Is it naive? No, it's just a matter of making it happen or not, as simple as that.

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posted on: 20 June 2008

WORLD REFUGEE DAY

filed under: @ 19:02:31

Today is

WORLD REFUGEE DAY

I still believe that the problems should be solved at the source, eliminating the causes not patching up the effects, but it's also important to remember and see what's going on because indifference is also one of the main causes.

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posted on: 02 March 2008

Sex, religion and conservatives

filed under: @ 15:03:51

An article in the Comment is free.. section of the Guardian:

In their attempt to oppose laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (that is, laws supporting gay rights) while supporting other such laws, conservatives have long tied themselves in knots. You shouldn't compare antigay discrimination to racial discrimination, they said, because race is an immutable characteristic, while homosexuality is a chosen behavior...But wait a minute, I used to say to conservatives. It's obvious to thinking people that sexual orientation isn't chosen - it may be genetic or environmental, but it certainly isn't chosen. As far as the individual is concerned, it's an innate or immutable characteristic. So if that's your standard, then discrimination against gays is just as unreasonable as discrimination against blacks.

Sex, religion and conservatives

What makes me wonder is that in the year 2008 there is still the necessity to discuss these issues. I may like someone more or less based on his honesty and sincerity but not on his sex, religion or skin color. I know many people that think exactly like me, fortunately. I think fear is usually the reason why some people tend to be suspicious and unable to accept the differences that make humanity what it is. The solution is to keep always an open mind and to be willing to learn.

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posted on: 01 February 2008

Human rights world report

filed under: @ 19:13:04

Rarely has democracy been so acclaimed yet so breached, so promoted yet so disrespected, so important yet so disappointing. Today, democracy has become the sine qua non of legitimacy. Few governments want to be seen as undemocratic. Yet the credentials of the claimants have not kept pace with democracy's growing popularity. These days, even overt dictators aspire to the status conferred by the democracy label. Determined not to let mere facts stand in the way, these rulers have mastered the art of democratic rhetoric that bears little relationship to their practice of governing.

Human Rights Watch: world report 2008

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posted on: 08 March 2007

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY

filed under: @ 22:45:04

8 of MARCH - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Mimosa flowers

It's always necessary to remember the struggle of women for their rights. The International Women's Day is not a commercial recurrence but a reminder of the necessity to be together , men and women, to build a better life for everybody.

As Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, we know there is a direct relationship between peace, justice and respect for human rights. As long as women are denied human rights, anywhere in the world, there can be no justice and no peace. Recognizing women's equal rights, therefore, is an essential requirement for the creation of strong, sustainable and stable societies and ensuring that women enjoy equality with men in all areas of life is a key step to making human rights a universal reality.

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posted on: 02 January 2007

Cheaper medicines

filed under: @ 18:56:02

Improvements they devise to the molecular structure of an existing, expensive drug turn it technically into a new medicine which is no longer under a 20-year patent to a multinational drug company and can be made and sold cheaply.

Scientists find way to slash cost of drugs

The fact that multinational drug companies holding patents on medicines of large use sell them very expensive is incredible but painfully true. I suppose many people know about it but very little has been done to correct the situation.

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posted on: 31 December 2006

The Curse of Oil

filed under: @ 10:22:03

The Niger Delta is made up of nine states, 185 local government areas, and a population of 27 million. It has 40 ethnic groups speaking 250 dialects spread across 5,000 to 6,000 communities and covers an area of 27,000 square miles. This makes for one the highest population densities in the world, with annual population growth estimated at 3 percent. About 1,500 of those communities play host to oil company operations of one kind or another. Thousands of miles of pipelines crisscross the mangrove creeks of the Delta, broken up by occasional gas flares that send roaring orange flames into the already hot, humid air. Modern, air-conditioned facilities sit cheek-by-jowl with primitive fishing villages made of mud and straw, surrounded with razor wire and armed guards trained to be on the lookout for local troublemakers. It is, and always has been, a recipe for disaster.

The Curse of Oil

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posted on: 21 December 2006

Underreported news

filed under: @ 18:14:04

Via Kottke.org:

The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006

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posted on: 17 December 2006

Water

filed under: @ 10:52:23

It's always good to remind ourselves of what we need to live and that we have an untouchable right to it:

Water (H2O, HOH) is the most abundant molecule on Earth, composing 70-75% of the Earth's surface as liquid and solid state in addition to being found in the atmosphere as a vapor. It is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid and vapor states at standard temperature and pressure. At room temperature, it is a nearly colorless, tasteless, and an odorless liquid.

Water molecule

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posted on: 10 December 2006

Human cooperation

filed under: @ 10:54:02

On Scientific American:

Love Thy Neighbor

Altruistic behaviour surely came from the fact that it ensures better survival odds, a step up from cooperation during a hunt. But, after a few thousand years of written history, humans should realize that only the awareness of others and their needs can lead to a peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding. Two steps up from cooperating to hunt?

On a different level but of the same basic meaning:

What's Holding Back Arab Women?

Women, like men, should be free to choose; choose to study or not, choose to work or not, choose to wear the veil or not, choose to get married or not..cultures are an ever changing part of social human life. What is today seen as usual wasn't so until fifty years ago and that's valid in any culture. The problems that women face in the Arab world are often basically the same as the ones they face in the Western world. Fifty years ago the similarity were even closer. That's what I meant when I wrote “of the same basic meaning”: freedom of choice, respect, cooperation; that's all we need. When we will understand that we will all have a chance to live with dignity.

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posted on: 09 December 2006

A trail of diamonds

filed under: @ 11:25:04

A photo-essay:

a trail of diamonds

An exemplification of how the world economy works nowadays: some people can spend millions of dollars because many more have absolutely nothing.

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posted on: 18 October 2006

The war must go on

filed under: @ 10:02:31

Three projects for the 2006 season of artists' billboards produced by Clockshop. The participating artists are Trevor Paglen & John Emerson, Ignasi Aballi, and Nadiah Bamadhaj. A map of rendition flights, lists made of newspaper cuttings and photos of disappearing people.

Clockshop: the war must go on

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posted on: 10 September 2006

US Mexico border: on the line

filed under: @ 11:39:47

Last year, three friends gave hundreds of disposable cameras to two groups on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border: the undocumented migrants crossing the desert and the American civilians trying to stop them. The result? A portrait of the border like no other.

Border film project pictures

BORDER | film project via GOOD magazine

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posted on: 21 July 2006

IRREPRESSIBLE.INFO

filed under: @ 10:37:32

Irrepressible.info:

The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments - with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world - are cracking down on freedom of expression. Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer UK newspaper, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

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posted on: 13 July 2006

Guantanamo and Geneva

filed under: @ 10:56:07

What do they have in common? Not much, apparently..

On the BBC: detainees to get Geneva rights

All US military detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are to be treated in line with the minimum standards of the Geneva Conventions.

Daniel Dell'Orto, a defence department lawyer who was the first to testify, said there were about 1,000 detainees in US military custody around the world. Guantanamo Bay holds an estimated 450. Mr Dell'Orto did not say where the others were being held.

The new Pentagon policy applies only to detainees being held by the military, and not to those in CIA custody.

It is the year 2006, isn't it?..sometimes I believe we are living in a time warp..

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posted on: 08 July 2006

Global Database of Quotas for Women

filed under: @ 10:37:26

Country overview: women quotas

Obstacles to women's political participation exist throughout the world in prevailing social and economic regimes, as well as in existing political structures. In 2005, the representation of women reached nearly 16 percent globally. Although this total has increased in recent years, the minimal progress globally means that the ideal of parity remains a long way off.

Today women constitute 16 per cent of the members of parliaments around the world. Recently, Rwanda superseded Sweden at the number one in the world in terms of women's parliamentary representation - 48.8% women against Sweden's 45.3%. Rwanda is an example of the new trend to use electoral gender quotas as a fast track to gender balance in politics.

Italy is the 48th Country, after Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. France is even worse.

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posted on: 30 June 2006

G8 vaccine setback

filed under: @ 10:03:42

G8 vaccine setback

"The G8 missed an opportunity on Saturday to fight disease in the world's poorest countries.."

..again.

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posted on: 24 June 2006

Amnesty International ad campaign

filed under: @ 18:59:43

Amnesty International ad campaign

"It's not happening here but it's happening now"

Simple and effective. Hopefully it will raise people's awareness a bit..

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posted on: 22 June 2006

Aboriginal life expectancy

filed under: @ 10:35:53

On the Guardian: Aboriginal life expectancy

That's their land..or at least used to be.

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posted on: 16 June 2006

Desaparecidos

filed under: @ 09:55:32

On The Guardian: disappeared, but not forgotten

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posted on: 15 June 2006

Armaments, Disarmament and International Security

filed under: @ 18:53:28

Armaments, Disarmament and International Security:
SIPRI Yearbook 2006

The Chapter 8 is about military expenditure and makes me think about a previous post.

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posted on: 01 June 2006

The wages of chaos

filed under: @ 09:35:21

On the Guardian: wages of chaos

As usual the people has to pay for all kind of political and economical reasons. I doubt that anybody, except the warlords and the powerful businessmen, understands what's going on. Western governments play their games and then the effects are felt all over the world. Famine, disease, poverty, desperation, illegal immigration. Fix the causes, don't patch the effects.

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posted on: 22 March 2006

WORLD WATER DAY

filed under: @ 10:50:18

"The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro"
World Water Day

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posted on: 10 March 2006

Water

filed under: @ 14:02:12

On the BBC: Water policy "fails world's poor"

Water, too often, is taken for granted and wasted. Take the quiz and see what you know about water usage.

Water is a primary necessity, see the hotspots.

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posted on: 08 March 2006

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

filed under: @ 14:13:52

8 of MARCH - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Mimosa flowers

In these times of confusion is more then ever necessary to remember the struggle of women for their rights. The International Women's Day is not a commercial recurrence but a reminder of the necessity to be together , men and women, to build a better life for everybody.
As it is now:

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posted on: 16 February 2006

UN on Guantanamo

filed under: @ 19:02:37

On the BBC: UN calls for Guantanamo closure
(link to full UN report in PDF)

Finally..although I doubt it's going to make a difference.

Update 2006/02/17: US attacks UN Guantanamo report and
Judge's anger at US torture

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posted on: 18 January 2006

Darfur rape

filed under: @ 20:30:23

On the Guardian:

The rape of Darfur

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posted on: 04 January 2006

Make Trade Fair

filed under: @ 10:01:36

Make Trade Fair

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posted on: 23 December 2005

Civil liberties and rights

filed under: @ 14:33:54

I hope that not only american but also the rest of world civil liberties and rights are taken into consideration.

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posted on: 04 December 2005

Extraordinary rendition

filed under: @ 15:31:07

Previous posts on the same argument:

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posted on: 02 December 2005

Old wars, new wars

filed under: @ 19:18:43

The “old” one:

The new one:

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posted on: 30 November 2005

Secret jails?

filed under: @ 12:52:53

In the year 2005 (which is the 21st century not the 12th), the “might is right” way of thinking is still well. How is it that there are always different ethical standards (and how can they be different if they are standard)? Why someone thinks they can do anything they want and others won't react to it? Why is so difficult to understand that is only by example that is possible to change things?

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posted on: 19 October 2005

Fair?

filed under: @ 18:56:01

So, the latest scare is the avian flu and is good for business:

Bird flu drug sales

And this is how they think or, to be politically correct, they used to think and what they did:

the articles were written in February 2003

Which takes me to Malawi begins to starve and makes me wonder where is the chance to live with dignity when the difference is as big as the indifference?

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posted on: 25 September 2005

Anti-war protests

filed under: @ 10:08:33

Anti-war protests:

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posted on: 13 August 2005

Starving on Mars ?

filed under: @ 09:54:45

Still thinking about the article on hunger in Africa which I posted about yesterday:

Even if there is a scientific return from all that money spending, I still think health care and education on Earth should be of a higher priority then checking out Mars and flying around space. Why don't we fix our planet before we go destroying others? And, last but not least, the contractor is basically the largest "defense contractor" (arms manufacturer) of the world:

An excerpt from the Wiki on Lockheed Martin:

" Lockheed Martin won the contract to build the Joint Strike Fighter in 2001 with its X-35 design. This is the most important fighter aircraft procurement project since the F-16, with an initial order of 3,000 worth $200bn before export orders "

That's it, 200 billion dollars, they only need to find another 100 and they'll be able to halve the number of starving children in Africa by 2015. Well, since we (human beings) are obviously NOT an intelligent form of life maybe on Mars we'll meet one..and probably proceed to blast it into thousands of pieces.

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posted on: 12 August 2005

Occupation, hunger and war budget

filed under: @ 14:43:42

An interesting article: It is not only Iraq that is occupied

Then this:

From the above article:

" In order to reach the target of halving hunger by 2015, at least $303bn (£167bn) must be invested - a prospect the report describes as daunting "

So I went looking around and these are some of the facts I found:

" Yet the costs for Pentagon operations are likely to pile up in years ahead. By 2010, war expenses might total $600 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much depends on when - and how many - US military personnel can be withdrawn from the Iraqi theater of operations "

" The best analysis of the US military costs of a war in Iraq is the one provided by Professor William Nordhaus. His estimates, based on work from the Congressional Budget Office and others, suggests that the cost of a short and successful war would be around US$50 billion. Professor Nordhaus estimates that if the war became a matter of protracted urban warfare, then the US military costs would climb to about US$140 billion. It is important to note that these costs are for the conflict itself and do not include any consideration of the, likely larger, costs of peacekeeping after the conflict "

Now, how come that it's apparently possible to find all that money to spend on a war but it becomes a daunting prospect if the money is to be spent on starving children?

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posted on: 16 July 2005

Manipulation(s)

filed under: @ 14:40:27

From Journey through Britain's Muslim divide:

It's not a war against terrorism, it's a war against Islam. That's how some people see it.

And I think that's exactly the problem. I'm strongly opposed to the war in Afghanistan, Iraq and all the other "wars" as anybody can see reading the posts in my opinions category. But, sadly, the manipulation of facts goes both ways; the reasons for all the problems are economical but they are being turned into religious. If the Muslims of the world feel oppressed there are at the same time a lot of non-Muslims that feel the same. Look at the demonstrations against the war: millions of people. So, instead of creating a gap between Muslims and non-Muslims, why not unite to be able to make the reasons of everybody be heard? Why widen the distance when the goal is the same: the right to live with dignity?

One last very important consideration about religion: let it be a personal choice, a private feeling that does not need to be pushed on others and that is naturally shared with who freely chooses to be part of it. It's necessary to believe that men can make the right choice when left free to do so. Imposing any kind of faith is a contradiction as much as imposing any kind of democratic values. Humanity (all of us) has already gone through all of this in history, why do we have to go back there again? Why not learn and prove that we are an intelligent form of life? I'm going to quote myself:

Fear breeds hate, respect brings peace

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posted on: 04 July 2005

Rendition

filed under: @ 14:09:27

This article is two weeks old but it explains what “rendition” is.

Connecting that with the previous articles I posted about CIA and Italy, if we assume that the Italian government knew about the “rendition” of Abu Omar we have also to assume that his fate was known to them and accepted. Which, in turn, means that the Italian government is ready to let torture be used on a person suspected of something. Well, I suppose that Italy has gone back to the 11th century and that soon Witch Hunts and Inquisition will be part of everyday life as it used to be.

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posted on: 03 July 2005

G8 REBOOT

filed under: @ 10:15:36

G8 REBOOT

Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty.

On July 6th, we finally have the opportunity to stop that shameful statistic.

8 world leaders, gathered in Scotland for the G8 summit, will be presented with a workable plan to double aid, drop the debt and make the trade laws fair. If these 8 men agree, then we will become the generation that made poverty history.

But they'll only do it if enough people tell them to.

We don't want your money - we want you!

Visit these sites to find out more:

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posted on: 29 June 2005

Control arms

filed under: @ 09:12:11

The issue is simple. The unregulated supply of weapons makes it easy for criminals to murder, for soldiers to kill indiscriminately, and for police to arbitrarily take lives. Today's weapons are quicker and more powerful than ever before. And in the wrong hands, faster and more powerful weapons mean more abuse and more wasted lives. It's not just unlawful killings during wartime that is on the increase. Military and security equipment is being misued by soldiers, paramilitaries, and police to kill, wound, and commit terrible atrocities against civilians during peacetime too.

Go to control arms.org

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posted on: 18 June 2005

Development (?)

filed under: @ 08:43:21

Multimillion contracts to add a wing to the latest American resort:

..and the contractors are the usual suspects..

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posted on: 27 May 2005

..and the rich get richer

filed under: @ 14:32:05

Another interesting article on the Guardian :

For a more comprehensive understanding the Guardian has a section dedicated to International aid and development

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CSS,Javascript and Php studies

Anti spam email
A solution to writing an anti spam email contact link
filed under: Javascript
Background image
A background image randomizer that I used in the second version of this site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Javascript menu
A menu that uses Javascript and session cookies.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
MiniSite
Experimenting with CSS and Javascript.A simple but, in my opinion, nice navigation “system”. The MiniSite is a one page site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo display
Protect copyrighted photos: a simple but effective solution.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo gallery
A photo gallery made for a friend
filed under: Javascript
PHP menu
A PHP menu that can be updated without having to re-publish all the pages is on.
filed under: PHP
Pop-up menu
A very simple pop up menu powered by Javascript. It works also if Javascript is disabled.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
RSS feed
How to write and use an RSS feed
filed under: rss-xml
Tag replacer
The Tag replacer explained and a link to it.
filed under: PHP
Tags search
A search form build and powered using Javascript and the DOM
filed under: Javascript