African nations gather to support a ban on cluster bombs

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A 39-nation coalition in Africa passed a declaration on Tuesday to ban cluster bombs in a nearly unanimous vote. The gathering in Lukasa, Zambia was the first meeting of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) in Africa.

“Africa is ready for Dublin,” summarised Zambian delegate Robert Mtonga, referring to the upcoming May 19-30 meeting in Ireland to discuss a global ban on the weapons. “Too often Africa’s voice is pushed to the margins in international decision-making. But in banning cluster bombs worldwide, a common African voice will speak volumes and win the day”.

Too often Africa’s voice is pushed to the margins in international decision-making. But in banning cluster bombs worldwide, a common African voice will speak volumes and win the day.

Mtonga was critical of South Africa, the lone voice against Monday’s decision and the continent’s largest producer and stockpiler of cluster bombs, and called on the country to destroy its munitions and join the coalition to outlaw their use. Egypt, the only other African nation to produce the controversial weapons, voiced support for the ban.

“Strong political will” was credited with the resolution, by CMC co-ordinator Thomas Nash in recognising the drive “to stop the proliferation of this outdated weapon”.

In a released statement the CMC said that 19 African countries, including South Africa, have endorsed the Wellington Declaration. The Wellington Declaration is the basis for the upcoming negotiations at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference in Ireland in May.

While countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom have tabled the idea of a “transition period” during which time cluster bombs would remain a legitimate weapon of war, the African delegation was resolutely against the idea, calling for an immediate ban.

Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft, opening in mid-air and releasing a large number of smaller explosives over a wide area. Writer Theodora Williams stated that their use usually results in “…the death and maiming of thousands of innocent civilians”.

There are currently 13 African nations that possess cluster bombs although Uganda has recently announced they are destroying their stockpiles. The weapons have been used in eight African conflicts in the past 35 years. In addition to Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria and the Sudan, other nations known to have used the weapons are the former Yugoslavia, Eritrea, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the United States, China, Russia, and Israel have resisted any ban on cluster bombs, arguing that they can be used in self-defense. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the United States has lobbied allies to create loopholes in the upcoming Oslo treaty, to allow for the use of cluster bombs. Reuters reported that a U.S. official had stated that cluster bombs should not be banned if they are used responsibly in state conflicts.

In October 2007, Uganda became the first African country to state it would destroy its cluster bomb stockpiles. Uganda has announced a pan-African meeting to take place after the Dublin meeting, which would seek to garner support for the signing of a treaty in Oslo set to take place in December 2008. The weapons have been used in eight African conflicts in the past 35 years.

The CMC is an international network composed of over 250 civil society organizations in 60 countries, with the stated aim of protecting civilians from cluster munitions. Members of the CMC have been working to complete an international treaty to ban cluster munitions by 2008.

At the February CMC committee meeting in New Zealand, only 82 of the 122 nations present endorsed a draft ban on the production, usage or storage of cluster bombs.

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How You Can Take Care Of Your Air Conditioning Units At Home

How You Can Take Care Of Your Air Conditioning Units At Home


Jenna Rivers

The air conditioning unit for your home will need to work at peak efficiency to provide cool air when it is needed. To be sure that the air conditioning unit is functioning properly, you may take care of it by using many different ways that you have available.

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Check the Filters Look for the location of the filter for your air conditioner or perhaps HVAC unit. Remove the filter and take a look at the surface. In case the filter would seem dirty it will need to be replaced. A messy air filter is going to block the air flow and decrease the efficiency of the system. Examine the condition of the air filter at least once a month when making use of the air conditioner during summer time. Clean Air Vents Check out that the vents or maybe registers for the air conditioning ducts are usually not closed. When registers tend to be closed air will never circulate into the room. Locate the screws which are used to secure the register to the wall and take them off with a screwdriver Pull the register away from the wall and see it dirt has accrued on the register. Clear the dirt from the register simply by using a vacuum. It is also sensible to clean just about any dirt that is on the inside of the duct. Proper Maintenance Common problems may happen with your air conditioner by not executing right maintenance. It is possible to see to it that you air conditioner is working well air conditioning installation Virginia companies are used to examine the unit. Examine the level of coolant for the air conditioner to ascertain if it has the appropriate level of refrigerant. In the event the refrigerant level is low then you might have a leak in the unit. Maintenance may detect possible problems that could be corrected by air conditioning installation Norfolk companies. Clean the Coils Take out the top grate from the external unit for your air conditioner. Look into the fans to ascertain if you can see any debris. Remove the debris in order to prevent damage to the fans. You will also have to look into the coils on the inside of the unit. This can be accomplished when the top grate is removed. In case the condenser coil is dirty you will have to have it cleaned. Seal Air Ducts Simply turn on the air conditioner and check all of the air ducts. Provided you can feel air coming out of any ducts then you have a leak. You\’ll be able to repair leaks taking place in the ducts by simply placing aluminum tape on the seams.

When you notice the performance of your air conditioning unit starting to decrease, it may not be taken care of properly. Ensure the health of the unit by contacting

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“Genius” award recipient and other luminaries campaigning for worldwide renunciation of war

Friday, January 13, 2006

In a recent ZNet Commentary, Howard Zinn wrote that a group of people, including Gino Strada, Paul Farmer, Kurt Vonnegut, Nadine Gordimer, and Eduardo Galeano, are promoting the creation of worldwide gatherings to renounce war. Their intention, according to Zinn, is to make worldwide renunciation of war so popular that halting existing wars and preventing the beginning of new wars is politically irresistible.

In his article, After This War, Zinn asks, “should we not think beyond this war? Should we begin to think, even before this shameful war is over, about ending our addiction to massive violence, and using the enormous wealth of our country for human needs?” He goes on to talk of ending not just “this war or that war but war itself. Perhaps the time has come to bring an end to war, and turn the human race onto a path of health and healing.”

The five people have been actively involved in global issues for many years and have a solid track record of accomplishments on the world stage.

Dr. Gino Strada is a war surgeon and the founder of Emergency, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to providing assistance to civilian victims of war. His recent book Green Parrots: A War Surgeon’s Diary helped persuade Italy to abandon the use and manufacture of a flying anti-personnel mine.

Dr. Paul Farmer is a Harvard professor and practicing physician. In 1987, he helped found the worldwide health organization Partners in Health, which treats some of the poorest people on Earth. Dr. Paul Farmer has received a “genius” award from the MacArthur Foundation.

Kurt Vonnegut is an American writer and humanist, currently serving as Honorary President of the American Humanist Association. As a WWII prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, Kurt witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden. This event formed the core of his book Slaughterhouse-Five. In a column for In These Times, he began “… our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees … the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East … like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.”

Nadine Gordimer from South Africa received the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature and 1974 Booker Prize. She received worldwide praise for her leadership for South Africa to re-examine and replace its long held racist policy of apartheid.

Eduardo Galeano’s books combine history, political analysis, journalism and fiction. “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America … condemned to amnesia. The Open Veins of Latin America is one of Galeano’s works covering the exploitation of Latin America by foreign powers from the 15th century onwards.

Both Nadine and Eduardo’s books are recognized by the Great Books Foundation as among the top 40 books in Citizens of the World: Readings in Human Rights. We Say No by Eduardo Galeano and Comrades by Nadine Gordimer are listed there along with the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, Independence by Mahatma Gandhi, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.

Howard Zinn is a U.S. historian, political scientist and author of fifteen books. Howard writes, “In a world of clashing interests—war against peace, nationalism against internationalism, equality against greed, and democracy against elitism—- it seems to me both impossible and undesirable to be neutral in those conflicts. I do not claim to be neutral, nor do I want to be… . I will try to be fair to opposing ideas by accurately representing them.”

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On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

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Smart-1 probe ends mission with planned crash into the Moon

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Observatories around the world watched the skies early on Sunday morning as a European space probe, the SMART-1 crash landed on the Moon; the first time a European made object has landed there and, as the first, it made quite a bang. For the culmination of its three-year mission the probe left its orbit around our nearest neighbor and smashed into the Lake of Excellence at around 4,500 mph. The impact created a brand new crater and scattered debris up to 30 miles, in contrast to the gentle touchdown of the Eagle lander (when Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon) 37 years ago.

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Proper Guidance Needed For The Forex Trading Information

Proper guidance needed for the forex trading information


Luner Jones

Forex trading system are mechanized trading handling software that are generated so as to analyze various forex marketplace situation using various strategies and quantitative methods that are utilized by many of the worlds most successful and known foreign replace dealers accordingly. It identifies idyllic opportunities for the trading and adapts itself to different real time market situation.

Trading Forex actually is a form of specified speculation, and hence there will be always some autonomous risks involved. You can so take some verified steps to make sure that the risks are hence minimized, but in the very end you are practically placing a probable bet that a stated currency will either rise up or fall down, and even though its usually a very well founded and researched bet, that Minimizes the risks that can be so done by having defined limits to just how much you want to invest and knowing how much of a loss that youre willing to take when the market tends to go on the other way. This is why if you want to be as safe as possible at all situations while trading Forex

, its very needful to make sure that you know what you are doing.

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The simple sense of Forex currency interchange is about the simultaneous exchange of the currency or the exchange of one country\’s currency value for that of another country. The Forex marketplace is a continuous hard cash market where currencies values of nations are replaced and traded, typically through brokers. Foreign currencies are constantly and continuously bought and sold through any local and also the global markets and traders\’ investments often tend to increase or decrease in a value based upon the currency movements as accordingly. Foreign exchange bazaar situations tend to change or fluctuate at almost any time in response to various real-time events. So even though the term Forex trading is a kind of tough and risky business, still you will be allured and pulled in the earning opportunities that are very high to have and hence are very lucrative. As you can see that most people cannot just make money so easily on these kinds of trading. Unless and until they are already approved and have skills in doing such a trade in forex trading systems

. So here are things that you need to learn for mastering this kind of Forex Trading Course in time for you to make money on the terms given. First of all you will need to seek all related information and accordingly conduct research for such forex based trading websites, so that you can open a verified practice account so as to practice your skills priory before investing. Make sure also that you will be very much aware of the factors that may affect the price of the considering currency related to your trade. Hence it is better for you to take a keen look at the news and events as accordingly which are updated through the internet. Hence by studying the economical and political trends of these countries for sure and then only you will get all the proper ideas for a better trading in relation to Forex.

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Trading Forex

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Forex Trading Guide

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Forex Trading Course

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China overtakes Germany as world’s biggest exporter

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chinese officials have said that their country’s exports surged last December to edge out Germany as the world’s biggest exporter.

The official Xinhua news agency reported today that figures from the General Administration for Customs showed that exports jumped 17.7% in December from a year earlier. Over the whole of 2009 total Chinese exports reached US$1.2 trillion, above Germany’s forecast $1.17 trillion.

Huang Guohua, a statistics official with the customs administration, said the December exports rebound was an important turning point for China’s export sector. He commented that the jump was an indication that exporters have emerged from their downslide.

“We can say that China’s export enterprises have completely emerged from their all-time low in exports,” he said.

However, although China overtook Germany in exports, China’s total foreign trade — both exports and imports — fell 13.9% last year.

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US Supreme Court upholds ban on partial birth abortions

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday April 18 has upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The 5-4 vote reflected the change in vote count resulting from the retirement of Justice O’Connor and the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

The Intact dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion, involves removing an intact late-term fetus from the womb via the cervix. While it is a relatively rare operation – 0.17% of all abortions in the US in 2000, it has become a focal point in the abortion debate.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act bans the procedure in cases where the fetus is terminated during the operation, unless it is performed to to save the life of the mother.

Justice Kennedy wrote in the opinion of the court: “respondents have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases.” Further, he said, “Respondents have not demonstrated that the Act, as a facial matter, is void for vagueness, or that it imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception. For these reasons the judgments of the Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits are reversed.”

In a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas stated that he joins “the Court’s opinion because it accurately applies current jurisprudence, including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992).”

In dissent Judge Ginsburg wrote: “Today’s decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

Justice Kennedy’s words also recall the complicated issues of standing related to such cases. An issue in Roe v. Wade was the impossibility of any individual having standing in a court proceeding regarding abortion rights, since court proceedings take more than the 9 months of pregnancy, retiring any individual plaintiff’s standing before an appeals process can take place. The criterion of “a large fraction of relevant cases” may effectively deny standing to any plaintiffs who wish to litigate particular restrictions in some relevant future cases.

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Queensland state Green party to run environmental lawyer in treasurer’s electorate

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Queensland Greens will run an environmental lawyer against incumbent treasurer Andrew Fraser at this years Queensland state election in Australia. Larissa Waters will be the party’s candidate for the seat of Mt Coot-tha.

Ms Waters says she is hoping that the premier does not call the election in May, as she [Ms Waters] is expecting her first child that month.

“I am giving that a fair bit of interest,” she said. “Luckily we have a pretty good branch in Mt Coot-tha.”

Ms Waters received a 6 per cent swing at the 2006 election in the Brisbane Central electorate, which was then held by then premier Peter Beattie. She then missed out on a federal senate spot by a narrow margin.

While acknowledging Mr Fraser’s abilities, Ms Waters questions whether he was still in touch with the electorate.

“This has been the greenest electorate in Queensland is the past few elections,” she said. “And Andrew Fraser is just not green enough for this electorate. It think it is more important that he is more connected with the people of his electorate than schmoozing.”

The Greens unveiled its policy to open two solar power stations last weekend.

“We can tackle climate change and create long-term jobs, but Labor can’t see that because they are blinded by the interests of their big donors – the urban development and coal industries,” Ms Waters said.

“The Greens want to give the community and the environment a voice back in State Parliament.”

Queensland’s unicameral parliament is currently made up of 58 Australian Labor Party (ALP) members, 25 Liberal National Party (LNP) members, one member each from The Greens and One Nation and four independents.

Ms Waters believes there is a general dissatisfaction with both the ALP and LNP and promotes the Greens as an appropriate balance of power, similar to that of the party’s federal senate members.

Acknowledging the steps taken by the premier on reforming laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef, she has said that “[i]t is long overdue. But the package doesn’t cover the complete range of issues. We need both ‘stick and carrot’ in our approach in this area.”

Her campaign will be officially launched today on Mt Coot-tha.

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Abdominal Plastic Surgery Is Safe

Abdominal Plastic Surgery Is Safe


Shakeel Ahmed78

Abdominal plastic surgery is suitable for those who have failed to lose extra fat and weight by dieting or work outs. It is a procedure in which excess fat is removed from the abdominal area. Liposuction and tummy tuck are the two kinds of abdominal plastic surgery.

In liposuction, the extra fats from different body parts are vacuumed and tummy tuck is for the women who want their pre pregnancy body back. The abdominal plastic surgery is getting popular rapidly because of its successful results and patients’ satisfaction after the treatment. Though it is increasing popularity, but there are some misconceptions about the abdominal plastic surgery among some people. If you are one of them, you should take all the doubts and misconceptions aside and learn about this surgery. Many people have experienced this kind of surgery and enjoying a positive change in their lives. It gives not only the confidence of looking smart, but loosing lots of weight from the body makes the patient’s back comfortable and reduces backache. If abdominal plastic surgery was not safe, then the popularity of this treatment would not have been increasing rapidly. It is the satisfaction of the patients that urges others to go through the procedure.

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Liposuction and tummy tuck are completely safe for you if some points are followed.

The most important thing is the surgeon should be well qualified in the field. The surgeon should be certified for the particular treatment by the authorities. If the surgeon you consider for your plastic surgery is certified, you can surely have a safe and successful plastic surgery. An authentic and qualified plastic surgeon will treat your body carefully and give you satisfactory result.

Another thing to check is the place where you get your surgery done. The place you are getting the surgery from, should be fully equipped for the treatment. Make sure you are getting the treatment in accredited ambulatory centre or a hospital, not the doctor’s office or the procedure room.

Make sure to take proper rest for 24 to 48 hours the prescribed time by the doctor, after the surgery. Ask someone to stay with you and assist for the particular time unless you recover completely. Ask a sensible person who can handle the situation of emergency to assist you during recovery period.

Your safety during the surgery depends on your overall health condition. You must tell your surgeon if you have diabetes, heart problem or thyroid before getting the treatment. Once your condition is optimized, you can have a safe surgery.

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