Joint Statement: For Repatriation of Cambodian Nationals to Cambodia #TheHumanLens

Joint Statement on Repatriation of Cambodia Nationals to Cambodia

We, the undersigned civil society groups, call on the Cambodian government to immediately and safely repatriate a large group of Cambodian nationals currently stuck in Malaysia. Permitting their return is consistent with article 40 of the Cambodian Constitution, which safeguards the right of Cambodian citizens to settle abroad and to return to Cambodia, and Cambodia’s obligations under international human rights law.

On April 7, 2020, approximately 150 Cambodian migrant workers and students who had been working and studying in Malaysia were scheduled to take a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Cambodia. Upon their arrival at the boarding gate, the airline informed them that the Cambodian government had denied their entry to Cambodia and they were not allowed to board the flight for which they had purchased tickets.

Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed that he had refused their return based on reasons of safety for the country’s population due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Whilst we recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adopt protective measures to contain the spread of the virus, we call on the Cambodian government to uphold its international human rights obligations.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), acceded to by Cambodia, provides in article 12(4) the right to enter one’s own country: “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.” The United Nations Human Rights Committee, the independent international body that monitors compliance with the ICCPR, elaborated in General Comment No. 27 that any restriction to the right to enter one’s own country is arbitrary unless it is “in accordance with the provisions, aims and objectives of the Covenant and should be, in any event, reasonable in the particular circumstances.”

Denying entry to 150 Cambodian citizens in this situation cannot be considered reasonable, especially considering there are less restrictive alternatives, such as allowing them to return to Cambodia and placing them in a mandatory two-week quarantine period upon arrival. Such an approach has proven effective in stopping COVID-19 transmission in many other countries during the pandemic.

On May 27, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared that returning Cambodian citizens did not have to comply with the requirement for new arrivals in Cambodia who will have to possess a COVID-19 health certificates, which Minister of Health, Mam Bun Heng had introduced on April 27. This opens the path for these 150 workers and students to return to Cambodia. However, many of the Cambodian citizens stranded in Malaysia assert that Cambodian embassy officials in Kuala Lumpur have provided them no information to facilitate their return, leaving them uncertain when or whether they will be able to return home.

Since the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, these 150 workers and students are now facing severe financial difficulties as they lost their livelihoods and sources of income, and so are not able to support themselves and their families. Some of them are accompanied by their families, including young children and elderly relatives, while others are the breadwinners for their dependent families in Cambodia.

On May 25, the Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia released a statement, claiming that the embassy was negotiating with the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines to get the migrants back to Cambodia. The embassy denied all allegations made by migrants, accusing them of incitement to discrimination aimed at destroying the embassy’s reputation. The embassy specifically named two migrant workers, Marn Pukry and Math Torsry.

Math Torsry, a female migrant worker, has been in Malaysia since 2016. Torsry and her husband are both construction workers. She decided to return to Cambodia in February 2020 as she planned to give birth to her fifth child in Cambodia. After she left Malaysia, Torsry’s husband suffered a work-related injury and could not continue working. This prompted Torsry to return to Malaysia in March to look after her husband. Although she tried her best to take care of him, Torsry’s husband passed away on April 26. She has four children in Cambodia and is eight-months’ pregnant with her fifth. In two emotional interviews with Voice of Democracy (VOD) and Radio Free Asia on May 13, Torsry explained the negative impacts that the government’s decision to block her and other Cambodian citizens’ return is having on her life, and the failure of Cambodian embassy officials to assist them. Torsry appealed to the Cambodian government to help bring her home. Following Torsry’s testimony, the Cambodian

Embassy in Kuala Lumpur took some steps to provide for the basic needs of these Cambodians, yet more needs to be done to protect the welfare of these stranded citizens.

Measure taken in response to COVID-19 disproportionately affect people in insecure forms of labour, including migrant workers, low-wage workers, and people working in the informal sector. They may also face additional challenges in accessing testing and treatment when they fall ill. States should ensure that all people have access to social security, including to health care.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision to prevent these 150 Cambodian citizens from returning to Cambodia constitutes a clear violation of the right to enter one’s own country as provided for by the ICCPR and the Cambodian Constitution. Whilst we welcome the change in requirements for returning Cambodian citizens, more must be done. We call on the Cambodian government to immediately and safely repatriate them and other stranded Cambodian citizens wanting to return to Cambodia, and to provide them with access to basic needs and proper health care while awaiting their return as well as pay for the additional costs related to health measures in order to return to Cambodia.

The statement is endorsed by:

  1. Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC)

  2. Cambodia Tourism Workers Union Federation (CTWUF)

  3. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU)

  4. Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF)

  5. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)

  6. Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)

  7. Cambodian Institute for Democracy (CID)

  8. Cambodian League for Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)

  9. Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL)

  10. Clean Clothes Campaign – International Office (CCC-IO)

  11. Clean Clothes Campaign – European Coalition

  12. Clean Clothes Campaign – CCC South East Asia Coalition

  13. Clean Clothes Campaign – CCC East Asia Coalition

  14. Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Unions (C. CAWDU)

  15. Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community (CCFC)

  16. Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

  17. Equitable Cambodia (EC)

  18. FORUM-ASIA

  19. Human Rights Watch

  20. Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)

  21. Independent Trade Union Federation (INTUFE)

  22. Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employee of Naga World (L.R.S.U)

  23. People Center for Development and Peace (PDP-Center)

  24. Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)

  25. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

  26. Worker’s Solidarity Strength of Independent Union Sixplus Industry Co. Ltd.

  27. Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP)

  28. China Labour Bulletin

  29. Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN)

  30. Building and Wood Workers’ International – BWI-Asia Pacific

  31. International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)

  32. Labour Education and Service Network

  33. North and South Imitative – Malaysia

Joint Statement: For Repatriation of Cambodian Nationals to Cambodia

Destroying the environment to save it

Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm

Paul Driessen

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time.

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.”

Weeks after Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s “Clean Economy Act,” which had been rushed through a partisan Democrat legislature, Dominion Energy Virginia announced it would reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do so, the utility company will raise family, business, hospital and school electricity bills by 3% every year for the next ten years – as these customers and state and local governments struggle to climb out of the financial holes created by the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.

Just as bad, renewable energy mandates and commitments from the new law and Dominion’s “integrated resource plan” will have major adverse impacts on Virginia and world environmental values. In reality, Virginia’s new “clean” economy exists only in fantasy land – and only if we ignore “clean” energy CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, and other environmental degradation around the world.

Dominion Energy plans to expand the state’s offshore wind, onshore solar and battery storage capacity by some 24,000 megawatts of new “renewable” energy by 2035, and far more after that. It will retain just 9,700 MW of existing natural gas generation, and only through 2045, build no new gas-fired units, and retire 6,200 megawatts of coal-fired generation. This will reduce in-state carbon dioxide emissions, but certainly won’t do so globally. The company intends to keep its four existing nuclear units operating.

To “replace” some of its abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel electricity, Dominion intends to build at least 31,400 megawatts of expensive, unreliable solar capacity by 2045. The company estimates that will require a land area some 25% larger than 250,000-acre Fairfax County, west of Washington, DC. That means Dominion Energy’s new solar facilities will blanket 490 square miles (313,000 acres) of beautiful croplands, scenic areas and habitats that now teem with wildlife.

That’s almost half the land area of Rhode Island, eight times the District of Columbia, 14 times more land than all Fairfax County parks combined – blanketed by imported solar panels. Still more land will be torn up for access roads and new transmission lines. All this is just for Dominion Energy’s solar panels.

The panels will actually generate electricity maybe 20-25% of the year, once you factor in nighttime hours, cloudy days, and times when the sun is not bright enough to generate more than trifling electricity.

Dominion and other Virginia utility companies also plan to import and install 430 monstrous 850-foot-tall bird-chopping offshore wind turbines – and tens of thousands of half-ton battery packs, to provide backup power for at least a few hours or days when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The batteries will prevent the economy from shutting down even more completely during each outage than it has during the Corona lockdown. Similar policies across America will impact hundreds of millions of acres.

Most of these solar panels, wind turbines and batteries – or their components, or the metals and minerals required to manufacture those components – will likely come from China or from Chinese-owned operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America … under mining, air and water pollution, workplace safety, fair wage, child labor, mined land reclamation, manufacturing and other laws and standards that would get US and other Western companies unmasked, vilified, sued, fined and shut down in a heartbeat.

It is those minimal to nonexistent laws and regulations that govern most of the companies and operations that will supply the “clean” technologies that will soon blight Virginia landscapes and serve the new “clean” Virginia economy. As Michael Moore observes in his new film, Planet of the Humans, other states that opt for “clean” energy will face the same realities.

Thus far, no one has produced even a rough estimate of how much concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, silica, rare earth metals and countless other materials will be needed. All will require gigantic heavy equipment and prodigious amounts of fossil fuels to blast and haul away billions of tons of rocky overburden; extract, crush and process tens of millions of tons of ores, using acids, toxic chemicals and other means to refine the ores; smelt concentrates into metals; manufacture all the millions of tons of components; and haul, assemble and install the panels, turbines, batteries and transmission lines, setting them on top of tens of thousands of tons of concrete and rebar. All of it beyond Virginia’s borders.

No one has tallied the oil, natural gas and coal fuel requirements for doing all this “Virginia Clean Economy” work – nor the greenhouse gases and actual pollutants that will be emitted in the process.

Nothing about this is clean, green, renewable or sustainable. But Virginia politicians and Dominion Energy officials have said nothing about any of this, nor about which countries will host the mining and other activities, under what environmental and human rights standards.

Will Virginians ever get a full accounting? Just because all of this will happen far beyond Virginia’s borders does not mean we can ignore the global environmental impacts. Or the health, safety and well-being of children and parents in those distant mines, processing plants and factories.

This is the perfect time to observe the environmentalist creed: think globally, act locally. Will that be done?

Will Dominion and Virginia require that all these raw materials and wind, solar and battery components be responsibly sourced? Will it require independently verified certifications that none of them involve child labor, and all are produced in compliance with US and Virginia laws, regulations and ethical codes for workplace safety, fair wages, air and water pollution, wildlife preservation, cancer prevention and mined lands reclamation? Will they tally up all the fossil fuels consumed, and pollutants emitted, in the process?

Science journalist, businessman and parliamentarian Matt Ridley says wind turbines need some 200 times more raw materials per megawatt of power than modern combined-cycle gas turbines. It’s probably much the same for solar panels. Add in the millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels and billions of backup batteries that would be required under a nationwide Green New Deal, and the combined US and global environmental, human health and human rights impacts become absolutely mindboggling.

If you ignore all the land and wildlife impacts from installing the wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and transmission lines – you could perhaps call this “clean energy” and a “clean economy” within Virginia’s borders. But not beyond those borders. This is a global issue, and the world would likely be far better off if we just built modern combined-cycle gas turbines (or nuclear power plants) to generate reliable electricity – and avoided all the monumental human and ecological impacts of pseudo-renewable energy.

When it’s time to select sites for these 490 square miles of industrial solar facilities, will Virginia, its county and local governments, its citizens, environmentalist groups and courts apply the same rigorous standards, laws and regulations that they demand for drilling, fracking, coal and gas power plants, pipelines, highways, timber cutting and other projects? Will they apply the same standards for 850-foot-tall wind turbines and 100-foot-tall transmission lines as they demand for buried-out-of-sight pipelines?

Virginia’s Clean Economy Act will also plunge almost every project and jurisdiction into questions of race, poverty and environmental justice. Dominion Energy and other utility companies will have to charge means-tested rates (even as rates climb 3% per year) and exempt low-income customers from some charges. They will have to submit construction plans to “environmental justice councils” – even as the companies, councils and politicians ignore the rampant injustices inflicted on children and parents slaving away in Chinese, African and Latin American “clean energy” mines, processing plants and factories.

Government officials, utility industry executives, environmentalists and anyone else who promotes wind, solar, battery and biofuel energy need to explain exactly how they plan to address these issues. Future town hall meetings and project approval hearings promise to be raucous, entertaining and illuminating.  

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

Destroying the environment to save it

2020 Croatian Statehood Day: The Only Way Forward is Decommunise And Democratise! // Croatia, the War, and the Future

Franjo Tudjman with Croatian people – independence at the doorstep – 1990

“Communism is dead, but nobody has yet seen its corpse,” pronounced the first post-Soviet president of Estonia, Lennart Meri in the early 1990s (Meri 1994). For Croatia, it has taken inordinately and widely insufferably longer compared to its Central and East European counterparts to bury the body of communism. A reason behind this is undoubtedly entailed in what General Zeljko Glasnovic, who was until 18 May 2020 (when the parliament was dissolved pending new General Elections due on 5 July 2020) an Independent Member of the Croatian Parliament for Croats living in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the Diaspora reiterated recently:

“… in Croatian heads the Berlin Wall has not yet fallen, we have Croatia, without Croatian content…!”

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Photo: Cropix

The plight for thorough and ultimate decommunisation in Croatia has become urgently valid. The past two decades of HDZ/SDP governments saw an aggressively increasing surge or resurfacing of celebrating symbols pertaining to former communist Yugoslavia. This has become an excruciatingly painful component to multitudes of Croats throughout the world as such tell-signs devalue and push into the national backburner the reality that between 1991 and 1995 an overwhelming mass of Croats fought a bloody war to achieve independence from communist Yugoslavia. The governments during this period, and indeed since Franjo Tudjman’s death in late 1999, were led by people loyal to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia regardless of whether they were its high operatives or children of those who were; resistant to change which would reveal the ugly face of corruption and theft many are often associated with.

As the Homeland War ended in 1998 (militarily in 1995 and in 1998 as part of peaceful reintegration of the remainder of Croatia’s occupied territory) there were no post-Homeland War reforms in the field of policy of memory; there were no “decommunisation” laws passed nor suggested after Franjo Tudjman’s death, which would have been the only and natural step into democracy! Judging from his speech at the inauguration of Croatia’s Parliament in 1990, had Franjo Tudjman lived after the War had ended long enough, these laws would be a reality today.

There is no doubt about that! Were Croatia’s leaders in government or at the helm of its Presidential Office not either overtly or covertly resistant to change specific Decommunisation laws would be a reality, not still a desired necessity to pursue, today!

Given that Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia after 94% of its voters in April/May 1991 and the bloody war of aggression ensued, one of those decommunisation laws would have been within the realm of condemnation of the communist regime and prohibition of its propaganda symbols such as the red star, such as the portrait of Josip Broz Tito, celebrating WWII Patrisan victories that ensured Croatia a continued place within the disastrous totalitarian regime of Yugoslavia, etc. Other Decommunisation laws would have been in the realm of lustration, which includes the cleansing of the public office of former communist operatives as well as cleaning the public space of Yugoslav-era legacy (e.g. renaming of streets, city squares, parks, buildings …). During the times of Franjo Tudjman’s presidency the communist names of thousands streets, squares … were changed but this was not as part of a distinctly stated decommunisation law; this was a sign of the direction Tudjman intended to take Croatia in (after the War of Independence had ended) but after his death this process was purposefully delayed and even actively thwarted and discouraged as former communists came to power.

Even as hundreds upon hundreds of mass graves with the remains of the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of victims of communist crimes were being discovered, and still are being discovered in Croatia, resistance for decommunisation became stronger and stronger. Those politicians and ordinary people who saw decommunisation as an absolutely essential process that would open the way to the process of full democratisation suddenly were labelled as fascists or Ustashas by politicians and various “dignitaries” in Croatia whose personal curriculum vitaes are saturated with connections to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

In a broader perspective decommunisation is defined or seen as the process of rejection of the Communist legacy through the restructuring of the state system (including independent judiciary, checks and balances to ward off or prevent corruption…), and through changing mentality, behaviour and value systems in individual and collective dimensions. A deeper decommunisation consists in its widening of the next field: personal (lustration), educational (uncompromising and critical historical policy of the state regarding the Communist era) and the symbolic (the elimination of figures and events associated with Communism as patrons of localities, streets, squares, institutions and public places).

This year Croatia celebrates, on 30th May, 30 years since the constitution of its first multi-party Croatian Parliament and the beginning of transfer of power from Yugoslav communist regime to the independent Croatia although secession from Yugoslavia was voted in by the Croatian people at the 19 May 1991 referendum. Unlike in other former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe the transfer of power was not peaceful and, indeed, it was thwarted by a bloody war; the transfer of power, the transfer from the communist mental chains continues to experience blockages with ugly reality largely brought on by the judicial system that has not even attempted independence from former communist operatives and associates.

Serious problems remain in Croatia as former communists and their allies render this problem almost invisible to the naked eye by devising and playing a tit-for-tat WWII Pratizans vs Ustashas political game. The reality is that the state does not function as expected by its citizens, basic institutions of administration of justice do not work as they should, the level of corruption is too high and politics while passionate operates rather as a façade, with a great deal of real activity happening behind the scenes and elsewhere. Citizens do not believe in their impact on the political processes (and they should) and plenty of them complain that the institutions of the administration of justice do not act properly – far from it.

Why did Croatia come to this?

While one would not see the reason for this through the controlled and largely biased mainstream media, which gives nor offers due regard to the politicians who constantly beat the drum of decommunisation and democratisation, a substantial number of Croatian citizens living in Croatia and abroad, as well as observers of the affairs of the country, claim that remnants of the communist past, unsatisfactory dealing with legacies from the former regime, are responsible for the contemporary dire state of affairs. Mainstream media has a great deal to answer for in this because it simply does not offer the Croatian public the variety of opinions and pursuits of politicians that people (voters) of every democracy have an absolute right to as part of democracy. It is blatantly clear that the problem of the relations between legality, the rule of law, institution building and dealing with the past in the process of transition from communism is enormous. This problem has grown roots in the failing economy and the declining standard of living despite the fact that Croatia is a member state of the European Union. The intricacies and modes of corruption that defined the former communist Yugoslavia society are deeply interwoven and rooted into the Croatian state system to this day. Safety for orderly basic livelihood with its compulsory existential markers known in developed democracies is nowhere to be seen in Croatia for the ordinary citizen: Courts are not independent, Court cases last years and years, many ten to fifteen years, wages and pensions can mainly be described as alarmingly inadequate even for basic needs for living, red tape for business enterprises is suffocating, unchecked nepotism is flourishing, corruption widespread, electoral system flawed to the point that a voter simply cannot be assured that his/her vote will go the way he/she intended …

I am quite certain that Croatians living in the diaspora or abroad see all this and suffer because of it largely because the leading politicians in the past 20 year have made them redundant for the direction Croatia is taking. Redundant they are not – they helped create the independent Croatia.

Asserting their rights to help shape Croatia into a full democracy has become a non-negotiable element in loving the Croatian homeland for Croats living abroad.

We are entering the 2020 Croatian general elections campaigns period in Croatia and abroad. A time for change is as strong today as it was in 1990. The change, decommunisation with democratisation cannot be brought about by those political parties who in the past 20 years have failed so miserably the plight of the Croatian people for full democracy; for a decent life without fear of corruption. For this I would like to remind all of the speech Franjo Tudjman made on 30 May 1990:

“… The problems facing the new government are many, complex and tangled, from local communities and municipal councils, to the Parliament, the Government and the Presidency. Within a short period, they will parallelly need to solve many problems of life’s importance which other European and Western countries solved half a century ago, or even half a millennium ago. Let’s mention only the important ones: proprietary relationships and economic life; constitutional order of pluralistic civil society with the appropriate government system modelled on countries of the free world; modernisation and revalorisation of public services, especially science and culture, teaching and education, health and social welfare, administrative services and public activities (information, journalism, Radio and TV), etc.

Numerous very complex problems have accumulated in all of these areas, and without solving them in their reciprocity there can be no exit from the crisis, or real progress…”

It is the 30th of May 2020 and these problems that needed to be solved in their reciprocity (the problems entrenched in the communist Yugoslavia regime) have not been solved. At the coming elections the more Croatian citizens both in Croatia and abroad arm themselves to vote, the better are the prospects for finally removing those problems.

Vote for change! Vote for Croatia!

Vote against those who have proven incapable of holding government that would put Croatia and Homeland War values above all else! That is the duty we all hold for a full democracy and, hence, an orderly and decent living in Croatia for all. Ina Vukic

Source: // Croatia, the War, and the Future

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The grand old trees of the world are dying, leaving forests younger and shorter #OurWorld

api.nationalgeographic.com By Craig Welch 14-18 minutes PUBLISHED May 28, 2020

California’s giant sequoias can live for more than 3,000 years, their trunks stretching two car lengths in diameter, their branches reaching nearly 300 feet toward the clouds. But a few years ago, amid a record drought, scientists noticed something odd. A few of these arboreal behemoths inside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were dying in ways no one had ever documented—from the top down.

When researchers climbed into the canopies, they discovered that cedar bark beetles had bored into a few branches. By 2019, at least 38 of the trees had died—not a large number, but “concerning because we’ve never observed this before,” says Christy Brigham, the park’s chief of resource management.

Beetles have ravaged hundreds of millions of pines across North America. But scientists had assumed that stately sequoias, with their bug-repelling tannins, were immune to such dangerous pests. Worried experts are investigating whether some mix of increased drought and wildfire, both worsened by climate change, have now made even sequoias susceptible to deadly insect invasions.

top: 

The largest patch of old growth redwood forest remaining stands in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. The world’s largest trees are dying, meaning that they’re releasing their carbon back into the atmosphere instead of storing it, which has previously unknown repercussions for climate change.

bottom: 

The stump of a giant sequoia tree, known as the Discovery Tree, located in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Photograph by (top) and Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, Nat Geo Image Collection (bottom)

If so, these ancient sentinels would be just the latest example of a trend experts are documenting around the world: Trees in forests are dying at increasingly high rates—especially the bigger, older trees. According to a study appearing today in the journal Science, the death rate is making forests younger, threatening biodiversity, eliminating important plant and animal habitat, and reducing forests’ ability to store excess carbon dioxide generated by our consumption of fossil fuels.

“We’re seeing it almost everywhere we look,” says the study’s lead author, Nate McDowell, an earth scientist at the U.S. Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

More old trees dying, everywhere

To paint the most detailed picture of global tree loss to date, nearly two dozen scientists from around the world examined more than 160 previous studies and combined their findings with satellite imagery. Their analysis reveals that from 1900 to 2015, the world lost more than a third of its old-growth forests.

In places where historical data is the most detailed—particularly Canada, the western United States, and Europe—mortality rates have doubled in just the past four decades, and a higher proportion of those deaths are older trees.

There is no single direct cause. Decades of logging and land clearing play a role, scientists say. But increasing temperatures and rising carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have significantly magnified most other causes of tree death. From Israel’s eucalyptus and cypress plantations to Mongolia’s birch and larch stands, scientists are documenting longer and harsher droughts, more severe outbreaks of insects and disease, and increasingly catastrophic wildfires.

“We will see fewer forests,” says Monica Turner, a forest ecologist at the University of Wisconsin. “There will be areas where there are forests now where there won’t be in the future.”

Changes worldwide

With 60,000 known tree species on Earth, those shifts are playing out differently across the planet.

In central Europe, for instance, “You don’t have to look for dead trees,” says Henrik Hartmann, with Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. “They’re everywhere.”

In one recent year, following a week of excessive heat, hundreds of thousands of beech trees dropped their leaves. Bark beetles are also killing spruce, which is not unusual. But hotter weather weakens trees, making them more vulnerable and allowing the insects to multiply and survive through winter into the next year.

Even in colder regions, “You get a couple of hot years and the forests are suffering,” says Hartmann, who was not an author on McDowell’s study. “We’re approaching a situation where the forests cannot acclimate. There are individual species that are being driven beyond the threshold of what they can handle.”

That also may be true in some of North America’s treasured spots. For 10,000 years, fires have roared through Yellowstone National Park every 100 to 300 years. In 1988, such conflagrations caught the world’s attention as they charred and blackened 1.2 million acres.

Lodgepole pine forest burns in Yellowstone National Park.Photograph by Michael Quinton, Minden Pictures/Nat Geo Image Collection

Turner, the Wisconsin ecologist, has been studying the aftermath of those fires ever since. And the lessons aren’t quite what we once thought they were.

The heat from flames usually helps lodgepole pine cones release their seeds as their sticky resin melts. But in 2016, when those new forests were not yet 30 years old, a new fire raged inside an old burn site from 1988. Because we live in a hotter, drier world, the new fires burned more intensely—in some cases wiping out almost everything. The very process that usually helps create new forests instead helped prevent one from growing. “When I went back, I was just astonished,” Turner says. “There were places with no small trees left. None.”

Just last year, massive fires marched through a dry Australia, smoldered across 7.4 million acres in northern Siberia, and focused the world’s attention on blazes in the Amazon.

In parts of that rainforest, dry seasons now last longer and come more often. Rainfall has dropped by as much as a quarter and often arrives in torrents, bringing massive floods in three out of six seasons between 2009 and 2014. All that activity is altering the rainforest’s mix of trees. Those that grow fast and reach the light quickly, and are more tolerant of dry weather, are outcompeting species that require damp soils.

Moringa peregrina is an endangered tree in Jordan and Israel, where desertification is killing native trees. Photograph by Mark Moffett, Minden Pictures/Nat Geo Image Collection

The consequences of all these changes around the world are still being assessed. The first national look at tree mortality in Israel showed vast stretches disappearing, thanks largely to scorching heat and wildfires. In a country largely blanketed by stone and sand, forests mean a great deal. Trees support nests for eagles and habitat for wolves and jackals. They hold soil with their roots. Without them, plants that normally rise in trees’ shadows are suddenly exposed to higher temperatures and bright light.

“Trees are these big plants that design the ecosystems for all the other plants and animals,” says Tamir Klein at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Earlier this month Klein met with the Israeli forestry chief to talk about the country’s southern forests, which may not survive the century. “They came to me and asked, What are we supposed to do? We don’t want the desert to move north,” Klein recalls.

“We’re dealing with a very tough situation. It’s a race to the unknown.”

Earlier signs

The seeds of the Science study were sown in the early 2000s when lead author McDowell moved to the southwestern U.S. to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Outside his office window he saw fields of dead juniper and piñon pine. An intense heat wave had wiped out 30 percent of the pines on more than 4,500 square miles of woodland. “I thought, as a tree physiologist I’m going to have a short stay here because they are all dead,” he remembers.

McDowell and several colleagues began pondering how tree loss would alter forests’ ability to sequester CO2—and how to better predict such devastation in the future. A decade later, a co-worker examined tree rings and past temperature swings and found a relationship between heat and tree deaths. Then he simulated how the forest would change based on temperature projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The results suggested that by 2050, normal temperatures in the Southwest could be similar to rare past heat waves that led to severe tree-killing droughts. “That was really frightening,” McDowell says.

McDowell and other scientists began to look more broadly. Many people had assumed rising CO2 would feed tree growth. But as the planet gets hotter, the atmosphere sucks moisture from plants and animals. Trees respond by shedding leaves or closing their pores to retain moisture. Both of those reactions curtail CO2 uptake. It’s like “going to an all-you-can-eat buffet with duct tape over their mouths,” McDowell says.

In a tropical forest, the vast majority of tree mass can be in the top one percent of the largest trees. “These big old trees disproportionately hold the above-ground carbon storage,” says study co-author Craig D. Allen, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “When they die, it creates space for smaller trees, but they have much less carbon in them.”

That’s important, because most global carbon models used by the IPCC assume that forests will do far more to offset our fossil fuel use. The reality may be far less clear.

“When old trees die, they decompose and stop sucking up CO2 and release more of it to the atmosphere,” McDowell says. “It’s like a thermostat gone bad. Warming begets tree loss, then tree loss begets more warming.”

A mountainside is forested with golden larches the Italian Dolomites. Mature trees all over the world are dying off much more quickly than thought. Photograph by Martin Zwick, VISUM/Redux

While some significant change to forests is inevitable, Turner says cutting our fossil fuel emissionscan still make a huge difference. One scenario she has documented suggests that curbing CO2 in the next few decades could cut future forest loss in Grand Teton National Park by half.

In some cases, though, more radical solutions may be required.

In his meeting, Klein urged Israel’s forest leaders to consider planting acacia trees, normally found in the Sahara, in place of pine and cypress. They manage to keep growing even during the hottest days of the year.

“It is sad,” Klein adds. “It won’t look the same. It won’t be the same. But I think it’s better to do this than just have barren land.”

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/05/grand-old-trees-are-dying-leaving-forests-younger-shorter?__twitter_impression=true

The grand old trees of the world are dying, leaving forests younger and shorter

Missouri proposes opening its small black bear population to trophy hunters · A Humane World #OurWorld

blog.humanesociety.org/

Bears are highly intelligent with strong family ties. They spend prolonged periods raising and nurturing their young. Photo by Jos Bakker

Missouri has proposed a hunting season on its small and still-recovering population of black bears, who were once nearly wiped out because of overhunting and logging, which decimated their habitat.

The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates that there are now approximately 540 to 840 bears in the state. But some studies show that those numbers may be inflated. And even if there are as many bears as the MDC claims, it’s still not a large number.

Missouri has no good reason for allowing such a hunt. Bears self-regulate their own populations because of limited food availability and slow reproduction. There have also been minimal bear-human conflicts in the state, and these are entirely preventable.

Fact is, the only reason the MDC is proposing this hunt is to appease trophy hunters. But Missourians do not support it, not least because it would deprive a majority of the state’s residents of the joy of seeing a black bear in the wild. According to a March 2019 poll conducted by Remington Research Group for the Humane Society of the United States, nearly half of Missouri residents outright oppose hunting the state’s bears while fewer than a third support such a hunt.

Instead of allowing trophy hunters to kill them, the MDC ought to be working hard to preserve its bear population. Bears are critical for a thriving ecosystem. They disperse seeds across vast distances—even more seeds than birds. They open up forest canopies and allow sun to filter to the forest floor. They also break logs while grubbing, which helps the decomposition process and facilitates the return of nutrients to the soil. Keeping bears protected is critical to maintaining the state’s biodiversity.

These are also incredible animals, highly intelligent with strong family ties. Bears have the largest brain size of any carnivore and are highly sentient. They spend prolonged periods raising and nurturing their young. They are also slow to reproduce, which means hunting them can lead to their numbers dropping even faster than projected. Trophy hunters also tend to target adult breeding animals, which can lead to cubs being killed by incoming male bears looking to take over the newly opened territory.

Black bears are naturally shy and typically try to avoid humans, and the only times they are likely to come near humans is when there is food available. The MDC can help avoid such conflicts by expanding public education about simple, non-lethal preventative measures that residents can take to coexist peacefully with bears–including using bear-resistant trash cans, cleaning up BBQ grills, feeding pets indoors, and using electric fencing around chicken coops and beehives.

In what is also a concerning development, the MDC’s proposal leaves the cruel practices of bear baiting and bear hounding on the table “if management needs change in the future,” although these are not part of the current proposal. Hound hunting, or using packs of dogs to pursue bears, is an incredibly cruel practice that causes stress and distress to wildlife, and to the hounds themselves. Baiting—the practice of leaving large piles of junk food to attract the animals and then shoot them—is particularly heartless. Baits often attract mother bears who are looking for food but who find themselves in the crosshairs of a hunter instead. An overwhelming 77% of Missourians are strongly opposed to these methods, according to the Remington poll, and the MDC should not even be considering it.

Missouri’s wildlife officials would do well to heed the needs of the state’s wonderful wild animals, and the wishes of their residents, instead of kowtowing to a handful of trophy hunters. If you’re a Missouri resident, please let the MDC know that you’re opposed to this unnecessary killing of the state’s small and vulnerable bear population. The agency is accepting input on this proposal until June 5th, and raising your voice in opposition to it could make all the difference.

Missouri proposes opening its small black bear population to trophy hunters

Missouri proposes opening its small black bear population to trophy hunters · A Humane World

The Line Holds – Speaker Pelosi Drops Plan For House FISA Reauthorization Vote… #TheLastRefuge

After President Trump announced he would veto any FISA reauthorization bill, without a full investigative review of prior FISA abuse so that legislation could be created specifically to fix the severe flaws in the process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has dropped the vote for FISA reauthorization:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives on Thursday dropped consideration of legislation that would have extended U.S. surveillance tools, after President Donald Trump threatened a veto and his fellow Republicans withdrew their support.

“The two-thirds of the Republican Party that voted for this bill in March have indicated they are going to vote against it now,” Representative Steny Hoyer said in a statement on Thursday, after a vote on the measure was unexpectedly postponed late on Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to members of the Democratic caucus saying she intends to hold negotiations with the Senate on a possible compromise bill that could be passed and sent to Trump.  (read more)

A little background context is needed.  In November of 2019 buried deep in the congressional budget Continuing Resolution (CR) was a short-term extension to reauthorize the FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act.

In Mid-March 2020 the Senate voted to reauthorize the expired FISA provisions with some modest modifications.

However, in late March the office of inspector general published a brutal interim memo highlighting continued abuses within the system.

Within the 17-page-memo the IG notifies Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray that all of the claimed FISA processes, in every FBI field office, are grossly deficient, and in most cases there is zero compliance with FISA standards.  The IG memorandum was presented before the IG even looked at the specifics of the non-compliance.

This IG memo came out March 31st after the senate had voted to reauthorize the provisions and standards the IG reviewed.  The House now holds the senate reauthorization bill, but obviously the FISA problems are bigger than addressed by the small fixes within the Senate bill.

President Trump is committed to seeing that FISA is not reauthorized without “significant” reform. Senator Rand Paul has proposed to significantly change the FISA process by forcing the DOJ, FBI and Intelligence Community to apply for search and surveillance warrants to Title-3 courts in order to access any NSA database containing private information of American citizens.

Rand Paul’s proposal seems like a good approach; however, the DOJ does not support having to go to a court every-time they “incidentally” capture records of Americans prior to being able to look at or utilize the results.  It’s a complex issue but history has shown the inherent ‘honor system‘ within the functions of the process simply does not work.

Prior to the December 9, 2019, inspector general report on FISA abuse; and prior to the March 31st interim memo as the IG looks deeper into the FISA process; FISA Court judges Rosemary Collyer (declassified 2017) and James Boasberg (declassified 2019) both identified issues with the NSA bulk database collection program being exploited for unauthorized reasons.  In the Obama-era this included political surveillance.

Americans were, and are, under surveillance as part of the process.  The capture of all electronic metadata belonging to American citizens, in combination with the captured metadata of non-American persons, makes it almost impossible to review the totality of the database without infringing on the privacy rights of Americans.

For the past several years no corrective action taken by the intelligence community has improved the abuses outlined by the FISA court; the surveillance has only worsened.

The U.S. constitution’s fourth amendment is being violated by the continued abuse of bulk metadata collection, particularly when private contractors and government officials illegally access the system. The 2016 FISA review (Judge Collyer partly declassified in 2017) and the 2018 FISA review (Judge Boasberg partly declassified in 2019) both show ongoing and systematic wrongdoing despite all prior corrective action and promises.

Beyond the database search abuses, on the use of fully assembled FISA applications for surveillance warrants against American citizens, there are even more troubling findings.  Below are the stunning top-lines identified by the March 2020 IG memo:

• The IG reviewed 29 FISA applications, surveillance warrants, used against U.S. persons.

• The 29 FISA applications were from eight different field offices.

• The FISA applications were from Oct/2014 through Sept/2019.

• All of the FISA applications reviewed were approved by the FISA court.

The ‘Woods File’ is the mandatory FBI evidence file that contains the documentary proof to verify all statements against U.S. persons that are contained in the FISA application.  Remember, this is a secret court, the FISA applications result in secret surveillance and wiretaps against U.S. persons outside the fourth amendment.

♦ Within the 29 FISA applications reviewed, four were completely missing the Woods File.  Meaning there was zero supportive evidence for any of the FBI claims against U.S. persons underpinning the FISA application.  [ie. The FBI just made stuff up]

♦ Of the remaining 25 FISA applications, 100% of them, all of them, were materially deficient on the woods file requirement; and the average number of deficiencies per file was 20.  Meaning an average of twenty direct statements against the target, supporting the purpose of the FISA application, sworn by the FBI affiant, were unsubstantiated.  [The low was 5, the high was 63, the average per file was 20]

♦ Half of the FISA applications reviewed used Confidential Human Sources (CHS’s).  The memo outlines that “many” of applications containing CHS claims had no supportive documentation attesting to the dependability of the CHS.

♦ Two of the 25 FISA applications reviewed had renewals; meaning the FISA applications were renewed to extended surveillance, wiretaps, etc. beyond the initial 90-days.  None of the renewals had any re-verification.  Both FISAs that used renewals were not compliant.

But wait… it gets worse.

The DOJ and FBI have an internal self-check mechanism.  The DOJ National Security Division (DOJ-NSD) chief counsel, and the chief counsel for every FBI field office are required to conduct an “Accuracy Review” of selected FISA applications.  One per field office (25 to 30 field offices),which are also sent to DOJ-NSD (main justice) for general counsel inspection.

Keep in mind, these “accuracy reviews” are known in advance, so the FBI has all the time in the world to select the best FISA file for review.  Additionally, I surmise the OIG wanted to inspect the “accuracy review” FISA’s because they would show the best light on the overall system itself.  The OIG was looking for the best, most compliant, product to report on.

However, when the OIG inspected 42 of these Accuracy Reviews, the IG identified that only three of them had accurately assembled documents (Woods File) supporting the application.  The error rate within the files self-checked was over 93%.

So the best FBI files are selected to undergo the FBI and DOJ-NSD accuracy review.  The accuracy review takes place by FBI legal counsel and DOJ-NSD legal counsel.  However, the IG finds that only three FBI applications in the accuracy reviews were compliant.

The error rate in the files undertaken by the internal accuracy review was over 93% (3 compliant out of 42 reviewed).  These were the FISA files with the greatest possibility of being accurate.   That tells us how flawed the process has always been.

FUBAR!

The Line Holds – Speaker Pelosi Drops Plan For House FISA Reauthorization Vote…

Haaland, Gallego Led US Lawmakers Calling on Treasury to Release CARES Act Funding to Native American Tribes; Mnuchin Finally Announces Release of …

“After Haaland, Gallego Call Out Treasury on CARES Act Relief For Tribes, Agency Announces Release of Funding to Tribes
May 5, 2020 Press Release
Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01), Co Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and Ruben Gallego, Chairman of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. released the following tweets on the Department of Treasury’s announcement to release a portion of the $8 billion included for sovereign tribal governments in the CARES Act. The announcement comes after Haaland and Gallego led the call for the Department of Treasury to immediately release CARES Act funding to Tribes.

https://archive.li/jWQ5j

https://archive.li/WP3zk

The CARES Act included an $8 billion fund to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic and cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. However, the distribution of those funds was delayed because the Administration attempted to award that funding to corporations – a decision that tribal governments across the country opposed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia issued a decision on April 27 to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to Alaska Native Corporations until a final decision is rendered.” https://haaland.house.gov/media/press-releases/after-haaland-gallego-call-out-treasury-cares-act-relief-tribes-agency

On April 29th they wrote:
“We write to you today in response to the numerous concerns that we have heard from leaders of the 574 federally-recognized tribal governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act following the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Order that was issued on April 27, 2020 enjoining the Treasury Department from disbursing CRF funding to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). Congress designated $8 billion from the CRF established in the CARES Act to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. As you are aware, the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate health care and economic impact on federally recognized tribes due a chronic lack of essential resources. The Congressional intent behind the CRF is to expedite relief funds to governments, including sovereign tribal governments, as part of the federal government’s larger initiative to provide emergency assistance throughout the country…” (Excerpt from letter to Mnuchin and Bernhardt)

US Congresswoman Haaland Press Release:
“Haaland, Gallego Lead Lawmakers Calling on Treasury to Immediately Release CARES Act Funding to Tribes April 29, 2020 Press Release
Funding was delayed due to Trump Administration decision to grant corporations access to funding, despite intended use for Tribal governments
Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01), Co Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and Ruben Gallego, Chairman of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. are leading the call for the Department of Treasury to immediately release CARES Act funding to Tribes.

The CARES Act included an $8 billion fund to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic and cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. However, the distribution of those funds was delayed because the Administration attempted to award that funding to corporations – a decision that tribal governments across the country opposed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia issued a decision on April 27 to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to Alaska Native Corporations until a final decision is rendered.

In the letter, the members state, “The Court’s decision does not prevent the Treasury Department from releasing resources to federally-recognized Tribal and Alaska Native governments…[and]Further postponement in disbursing these funds is unnecessary and works against the federal government’s trust responsibility to the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States.”

The full letter to the Department of Treasury is available here. https://haaland.house.gov/sites/haaland.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf

In addition to Haaland and Gallego, the letter was signed by Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee Raul M. Grijalva, and U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran, Derek Kilmer, Sharice L. Davids, and Betty McCollum. https://haaland.house.gov/media/press-releases/haaland-gallego-lead-lawmakers-calling-treasury-immediately-release-cares-act

Meanwhile, Mnuchin gave checks to foreigners: https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/05/01/irs-mistakenly-sends-stimulus-checks-to-foreign-workers-228974
Mnuchin also forgot Veterans: https://jonhendricksjr.me/2020/05/06/heavy-com-news-breaking-news-covid-19-stimulus-checks-glitch-fixed-for-veterans/

April 29th Letter:
“Re: Immediate Disbursement of Coronavirus Relief Fund to Tribal Governments

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Bernhardt:

We write to you today in response to the numerous concerns that we have heard from leaders of the 574 federally-recognized tribal governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act following the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Order that was issued on April 27, 2020 enjoining the Treasury Department from disbursing CRF funding to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).

Congress designated $8 billion from the CRF established in the CARES Act to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. As you are aware, the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate health care and economic impact on federally recognized tribes due a chronic lack of essential resources.

The Congressional intent behind the CRF is to expedite relief funds to governments, including sovereign tribal governments, as part of the federal government’s larger initiative to provide emergency assistance throughout the country. As you are aware, the CARES Act was passed over a month ago, on March 27, 2020, yet this funding has yet to be disbursed to tribal governments, in part due to litigation aimed at ensuring these resources go to the governmental entities that Congress intended. While the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision yesterday to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to ANCs until a final decision is rendered, the Court’s decision does not prevent the Treasury Department from releasing resources to federally-recognized Tribal and Alaska Native governments.

Thus, we respectfully request the Treasury Department immediately begin to disburse the $8 billion of Coronavirus Relief Funds to eligible federally recognized tribal governments in compliance with the intended purpose of the COVID-19 relief funds and in recognition of the negative impact that every day of delay has on Tribes.

Further postponement in disbursing these funds is unnecessary and works against the federal government’s trust responsibility to the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States.

Sincerely,


Deb Haaland
Member of Congress
Ruben Gallego
Member of Congress
Tom O’Halleran
Member of Congress
Ben Ray Lujan
Member of Congress
Derek Kilmer
Member of Congress
Sharice L. Davids
Member of Congress
Betty McCollum
Member of Congress
Raul M. Grijalva
Member of Congress ”
Link: https://haaland.house.gov/sites/haaland.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf

Click to access Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf

Haaland, Gallego Led US Lawmakers Calling on Treasury to Release CARES Act Funding to Native American Tribes; Mnuchin Finally Announces Release of …

Child Abuse 😌😌 Time4Change #Kindness

I recently read the book “Matthew Flinders’ Cat” by Bryce Courtenay. It’s an absorbing tale of child abuse, addiction and homelessness but I’m not here to plug a book as such. Rather, I wanted to share with you a quote from pages 578-579 of that book. The tale itself is fiction, though many parts of it are certainly true – such as this speech from the character Chief Justice Marcus Eisenstein;

“Imagine a society, any society, with one-quarter of its daughters and one-seventh of its sons struck down by a plague, a virus that isn’t immediately fatal but which has an incipient result that leads to suicide, persistent lifelong nightmares, intractable psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, anorexia and depression, all of which requires lifelong treatment.

What do you suppose that society’s response should be? Yet that’s what we have here and nothing is done about it.”

He then goes on to say “Sexual abuse of children probably accounts for more misery and suffering than any of the great plagues of history, if for no other reason than that it lasts a lifetime. That, my dear old friend is what we are up against. That is truly why the law is an ass! A massive public-health problem like child sexual abuse demands a massive social response, yet there is no shout or even a whimper of indignation.

There is no National AIDS Council equivalent, no National Heart Foundation, no National Quit Smoking program, no Anti-Cancer Council! Despite the glaringly obvious evidence in front of us, we do nothing! And evil men are allowed to trample the young seedlings of our nation underfoot!” (Courtenay, Bryce Matthew Flinders’ Cat pp 578-579. Penguin Books 2002).

Charities and other groups such as ours are committed to bringing about an end to this “plague” – we will not stop fighting until all Australian children can be safe from all forms of abuse. Yes, we recognise that that commitment means a very long fight but the children of yesterday, today and all of our tomorrows are worth the battle. We need politicians and others to be made aware that society will not tolerate their indifference any longer, that this issue reaches into every part of our societies and indeed our economy.

Help us to be the change.
(GE)

FACAA #proudfacaa #FACAA #saveourkids #NoTalk #JustAction #GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless #ChildrensChampions #NeverGonnaStop #WeWillfight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise #MoreThanAwarenessRaising #SaveTheKids #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness #AndMuchMuchMore #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law #LegalReform #ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors

Child Abuse 😌😌

Microsoft: Attackers Using COVID-19, Johns Hopkins to Infect Computers —Christian Research Network #Truth2Freedom

(Newsmax)  Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team is warning of a malicious email campaign, in which people are receiving messages claiming to originate from the Johns Hopkins Center with attachments that are alleged to contain statistics on COVID-19 cases, but instead, when opened, install and run attacks on computer systems.

The email phishing campaign was detailed by Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team on Twitter. Microsoft said that the messages have been circulating since at least May 12, reports Techspot….

The topic of COVID-19 is used to lure users into opening both the email and the attachment.

“We’re tracking a massive campaign that delivers the legitimate remote access tool NetSupport Manager using emails with attachments containing malicious Excel 4.0 macros,” Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Team said on Twitter. “The Covid-19 themed campaign started on May 12 and has so far used several hundreds of unique attachments.”  View article →

via Microsoft: Attackers Using COVID-19, Johns Hopkins to Infect Computers — Christian Research Network

Microsoft: Attackers Using COVID-19, Johns Hopkins to Infect Computers — Christian Research Network

SHOCKING: Planned Parenthood Officials Admit Under Oath to Selling Aborted Baby Body Parts — The Gateway Pundit #Truth2Freedom

Can you get any more evil than this?  Planned Parenthood officials reportedly shared under oath that they indeed sold aborted baby body parts.

Live Action reported yesterday, that under oath, officials of Planned Parenthood stated that they did sell aborted baby body parts:

An explosive new video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) contradicts past claims from Planned Parenthood that the corporation never participated in the sale of aborted baby body parts but merely donated them and was compensated for expenses. Featuring testimony from Planned Parenthood officials under oath in 2019, as well as documents from those officials’ admissions, the video shows these executives and directors admitting to actually selling body parts, which is illegal.

Numerous depositions are featured in the video, including from Tram Nguyen (Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Senior Director of Abortion Access), Dr. Dorothy Furgerson (Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte), and Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the former senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, among others. More testimony and documents are available on the CMP website.

In addition, they provided a tape of these testimonies:

SHOCKING: Planned Parenthood Officials Admit Under Oath to Selling Aborted Baby Body Parts — The Gateway Pundit