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UN Chief Calls for Global Ceasefire Amid “Absolutely Devastating” Pandemic

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

(TMU) — The head of the United Nations has issued a passionate appeal for a global ceasefire to take effect across the world that would give authorities and medical professionals alike the ability to focus exclusively on defeating the coronavirus pandemic.

In the appeal issued on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded that the global truce be adopted for the sake of defeating the threat of CoViD-19 to all of humankind and especially the vulnerable—women and children, the disabled, marginalized, displaced and refugees.

In his address, which was delivered to reporters via live video feed in consideration of social distancing guidelines, Guterres said:

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.

That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” 

The comments come as Syria reported its very first confirmed case of CoViD-19, signaling an ugly turn for a country already ripped apart after a decade of war, while other cases continue to emerge in military flashpoints like Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.N. chief stressed that the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate on a basis of “nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith.” Instead, “it attacks all, relentlessly.” However, the most vulnerable—those in war zones—would likely face “devastating losses” from the disease due to being caught between a war and a devastating pandemic.

Additionally, those health systems in countries devastated by war have already been either destroyed or reached the verge of total collapse, ensuring that those health workers brave enough to venture into the field are often placed directly in the line of fire or into the crosshairs of warring parties.

Addressing warfighters across the globe, Guterres said:

“Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.

This is crucial… To help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Continuing, he stressed:

“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

… If the fighting goes on, we might have an absolutely devastating spreading of the epidemic.”

The U.N. secretary-general has been calling for a global response to the pandemic which he has said places the lives of “millions at risk.” The United Nations will soon unveil a detailed humanitarian relief plan that would be worldwide in scope.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters at the “virtual” press conference, Guterres expressed that he felt “strongly determined” to make the most of the U.N.’s mandate despite the organization’s existing duties in the humanitarian, peacekeeping, diplomatic, cultural, and other fields.

He explained:

“It’s a moment in which the U.N. must be able to address the peoples of the world and appeal for a massive mobilization and for a massive pressure on governments to make sure that we are able to respond to this crisis, not to mitigate it but to suppress it, to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic economic and social impacts of the disease.

And we can only do it if we do it together, if we do in a coordinated way, if we do it with intense solidarity and cooperation, and that is the raison d’etre of the United Nations itself.”




Scientists Urge UN to Make Harming the Environment a War Crime

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

In a letter to the editor published Tuesday by the journal Nature, two dozen scientists from around the world urged the United Nations’ International Law Commission to adopt a Fifth Geneva Convention that creates protections for the environment in armed conflicts.

“We call on governments to incorporate explicit safeguards for biodiversity, and to use the commission’s recommendations to finally deliver a Fifth Geneva Convention to uphold environmental protection during such confrontations.”
—24 scientists

The four existing Geneva Conventions and their three additional protocols are globally recognized treaties that establish standards under international humanitarian law for the treatment of wounded troops in the field, soldiers shipwrecked at sea, prisoners of war, and civilians during armed conflicts. Violating the treaties amounts to a war crime.

“Despite calls for a fifth convention two decades ago, military conflict continues to destroy megafauna, push species to extinction, and poison water resources,” notes Tuesday’s letter. “The uncontrolled circulation of arms exacerbates the situation, for instance by driving unsustainable hunting of wildlife.”

The letter—entitled “Stop Military Conflicts From Trashing Environment”—was spearheaded by Sarah M. Durant of the Zoological Society of London and José C. Brito of the University of Porto in Portugal. The 22 additional signatories (pdf) are affiliated with organizations and institutions in Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Libya, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“We call on governments to incorporate explicit safeguards for biodiversity, and to use the commission’s recommendations to finally deliver a Fifth Geneva Convention to uphold environmental protection during such confrontations,” says the letter, which recognizes that the U.N. commission is meeting this month to discuss expanding on the principles it has drafted (pdf) about protecting the environment in war zones.

Adopting an environment-focused convention “would provide a multilateral treaty that includes legal instruments for site-based protection of crucial natural resources,” the letter explains. It also highlights the importance of companies and governments collaborating to regulate weapons transfers and holding the military industry accountable for its impact on the environment.

“The brutal toll of war on the natural world is well documented, destroying the livelihoods of vulnerable communities, and driving many species, already under intense pressure, towards extinction.”
—Sarah M. Durant, Zoological Society of London

Zoological Society of London’s Durant told The Guardian in an interview published Wednesday that “the brutal toll of war on the natural world is well documented, destroying the livelihoods of vulnerable communities, and driving many species, already under intense pressure, towards extinction.”

“We hope governments around the world will enshrine these protections into international law,” she said. “This would not only help safeguard threatened species, but would also support rural communities, both during and post-conflict, whose livelihoods are long-term casualties of environmental destruction.”

Durant’s co-author Brito added that “the impacts of armed conflict are causing additional pressure to imperiled wildlife from the Middle East and North Africa. Global commitment is needed to avoid the likely extinction of emblematic desert fauna over the next decade.”

A 2008 article from Worldwatch Institute—a U.S.-based environmental research group—details how “widespread concern about the environmental effects of warfare began with the American war in Vietnam,” when soldiers infamously used the powerful herbicide known as Agent Orange to wipe out forest cover and crops.

Global concerns over the environmental effects of war arose again in the 1990s when Iraqi forces burned Kuwaiti oil fields, and the United States used bombs and missiles that contained depleted uranium in Iraq. As The Guardian reported in 2014, “researchers have suggested the radiation from these weapons has poisoned the soil and water of Iraq, making the environment carcinogenic.”

The letter in Nature is not the first demand that international rules of war be crafted to protect the environment. In 2007, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), a U.K.-based charity, issued one such call.

CIWEM’s then-executive director Nick Reeves said at the time that “long-term environmental damage is an inevitable consequence of war. The environment may seem a minor casualty but combined with the destruction of democratic informed decision-making, war prolongs human suffering and undermines the foundation for social progress and economic security.”

“CIWEM demands a convention to examine the establishment of U.N. protocols for the protection of the environment,” said Reeves. “We also need to acknowledge that fighting occurs where resources are scarce due to overpopulation, meaning we need sensible population policies. We must treat the environment and each other with more respect.”

Read the full letter published by Nature Tuesday below:

The United Nations’ International Law Commission is meeting this month to push forward a 2013 program to protect the environment in regions of armed conflict (go.nature.com/2ewdyj). We call on governments to incorporate explicit safeguards for biodiversity and to use the commission’s recommendations to finally deliver a Fifth Geneva Convention to uphold environmental protection during such confrontations.

Despite calls for a fifth convention two decades ago, military conflict continues to destroy megafauna, push species to extinction and poison water resources (see, for example, J. C. Brito et al. Conserv. Lett. https://doi.org/gfhst9; 2018). The uncontrolled circulation of arms exacerbates the situation, for instance by driving unsustainable hunting of wildlife.

A Fifth Geneva Convention would provide a multilateral treaty that includes legal instruments for site-based protection of crucial natural resources. Companies and governments need to work together to regulate arms transfer (see go.nature.com/2lgtfx). And the military industry must be held more accountable for the impact of its activities.

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Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Historic Agreement to Reduce Plastic Waste Reached by Nearly Every Country in the World

By Elias Marat | The Mind Unleashed

As awareness increases across the globe about the growing crisis of plastic waste, one would think that it would be common sense for nations to come to some form of agreement to limit plastic pollution.

Such was the case last Friday when over 180 countries joined a historic United Nations agreement to take new steps to monitor and track plastic waste beyond their borders and regulate its trade.

However, the U.S. was one of only a handle of countries that refused to join the agreement, which took the form of an amendment to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal, a convention backed by 187 countries excluding the U.S.

The U.S. is currently the top exporter of plastic waste, according to advocacy group Break Free From Plastic. While the U.S. was present at the negotiations for the amendment, as a non-signatory to the convention it was unable to vote. However, U.S. representatives argued against the measure, claiming that the agreement would harm the trade in plastic waste.

According to the UK IndependentUN Environment’s Executive Secretary of the three conventions Rolph Payet hailed the “historic” amendment and said it would send a “very strong political signal to the rest of the world – to the private sector, to the consumer market – that we need to do something.”

Plastics and microplastics have inundated the world’s oceans and water supplies, leaching carcinogenic toxins and chemicals into the marine environment, with plastic drink containers trapping and confining – and ultimately killing – marine wildlife.

The pollution has reached such massive proportions that an estimated 100 million tons of plastic can now be found in the oceans, according to the UN. Between 80 and 90 percent of it comes from land-based sources.

According to a report prepared for the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by 2050 it is estimated that plastic waste in the ocean will outweigh all fish.

Payet continued:

“Countries have decided to do something which will translate into real action on the ground.”

A wide array of products in various industries will be affected by the deal, including but not limited to food and beverages, fashion, aerospace, health care, high technology, and motor vehicles. Customs agents will likely be instructed to look out for electronics and other forms of potentially hazardous waste that previously faced less scrutiny in transnational trade.

While the United States abstained from signing on to the deal, it will feel its effects as it attempts to ship plastic waste to those countries that were signatories to the convention. Exporters like the U.S. will now have to obtain consent from any countries receiving unrecyclable, contaminated, or mixed plastic waste – a major change from the current situation which allows the U.S. and other countries to ship low-quality plastic waste to private entities in the Global South, according to The Guardian.

Paul Rose, the expedition leader of the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions, told the Independent that shifting tides of public opinion helped ensure a consensus during the negotiations.  Rose said:

“It was those iconic images of the dead albatross chicks on the Pacific Islands with their stomachs open and all recognizable plastic items inside it, and most recently, it’s been when we discovered the nano-particles do cross the blood-brain barrier, and we were able to prove that plastic is in us.”

In a press release, Payet also credited an online petition entitled “Stop dumping plastic in paradise!”, which gained nearly one million signatures, as indicating the high level of public awareness and demands for action.

However, as fracked natural gas supplies increase in the United States, the cost of producing and exporting plastics has become cheaper, making the plastic market hugely profitable and attractive once again for multinational fossil fuel and petrochemical industries.

Read more great articles at The Mind Unleashed.




Takeaway from the UN Biodiversity Report: Time to Give Nature Some Love

A Hermit Thrush. “Appreciating that natural systems work as a whole, and how nature creates and sustains our land- and seascapes, helps us connect more deeply to the environment,” writes Schwartz. “I see this as the heart of the matter.” (Photo: Becky Matsubara/flickr/cc)

By Judith Schwartz | Common Dreams

The new report on nature’s precipitous decline is… beyond alarming.

The announcement that the specter of extinction hangs over one million species dispels any possibility of saying, “The state of the earth can’t be all that bad, can it?” That said, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) gives us a lot to work with. Tucked in the release are hints of important tools to help us pivot away from this mess. Where do we go from here? The 100-plus scientists from 50 countries have done their job and now it’s up to us—primed with our love of living things and of the special places that have enriched our souls and lives.

One message absent from the headlines is the prospect of ecological restoration; the assessment emphasizes the need to “conserve” and “preserve.” Failing to underscore eco-restoration is, to me, a missed opportunity. The truth is that nature wants to heal herself, and will do so if given a chance or—better—a nudge; ecological systems self-organize, and all species from bacteria to grasses to beavers have a proclivity to create the conditions under which they will thrive. In my reporting, I have encountered numerous examples of restored ecosystems and revived biodiversity. Most dramatic is the rehabilitation of China’s Loess Plateau, a huge, multi-year World Bank-sponsored project in which an area the size of Belgium returned to vitality. Filmmaker John D. Liu’s documentary work, shown in time-lapse, lets you watch a barren, dust-covered mountainside amass sturdy trees and turn a luxuriant green. Meanwhile, some 2.5 million people were lifted out of poverty.

“Nature wants to heal herself, and will do so if given a chance or—better—a nudge.”

In interviews, Sir Bob Watson, the presiding IPBES Chair, states that biodiversity loss and climate change are intertwined. This is important since various crises are often presented as separate, even competing, topics, contending for the same limited pool of funds and airtime. But while he referred to climate change’s compounding stress on biodiversity, we can also acknowledge that solutions also build upon each other. In discussions of climate, we have so far neglected the role of functioning ecosystems in climate regulation. Biodiversity and climate resilience go hand in hand. Ecological restoration thus not only supports habitat for a growing number of species but also moderates climate.

A striking finding in the report was the destructive impact of agriculture on forests and other landscapes. This need not be the case. Depending on how it is done, growing food can be damaging to ecosystems and biodiversity—or it can heal landscapes and enhance biodiversity. Regenerative agriculture, a suite of approaches that focus on building soil and allying with natural processes, is highly productive and frequently more profitable because farmers aren’t spending on inputs. Of the many examples of regenerative agriculture I’ve observed, one that stands out is a collaboration between ranchers and bird conservation organizations in Chihuahua, Mexico that is creating a biological corridor for endangered migratory grassland birds. The ranchers use holistic planned grazing, moving their cattle strategically, to revitalize the pastures. The land is now alive with birds and pollinating insects.

In response to the argument that farming in harmony with nature is not economical, I say we’ve got our numbers wrong. The IPBES authors agree. The report calls attention to a critical design flaw in our global economic model: nature is valued at zero. A standing forest that people enjoy and are home to wildlife does not contribute to the GDP. Once the trees are chopped down for lumber, it’s deemed an economic positive. This makes no sense since without stable ecosystems there is no economy.

“The report calls attention to a critical design flaw in our global economic model: nature is valued at zero.”

The document targets the perverse incentives to degrade ecosystems that are baked into current economics and encourages new structures that reflect and account for the value of nature. Imagine if companies were rewarded for bolstering biodiversity rather than for yield or haul. All business decisions are driven by what it is we are managing for. Why not manage for an outcome that would benefit all?

The study properly emphasizes that nature is not just an assemblage of things, nor is it static. Rather, the collective species that comprise the natural world are dynamic and productive. Plants, animals, and microbes of all sorts are busy doing work: cleansing and cycling water; oxygenating air; providing sustenance up and down the food chain. Concerns about biodiversity have tended to focus on specific, charismatic species, which makes it easier to disengage. We may hear about, say, the plight of rhinos, feel a twinge of sadness and then go about our day. Appreciating that natural systems work as a whole, and how nature creates and sustains our land- and seascapes, helps us connect more deeply to the environment. I see this as the heart of the matter. Our personal experiences of nature—that inner leap when a Luna moth knocks at the window—are powerful and drive us to care. I believe people are motivated by love more than fear. Helping nature thrive is not only good for our real economy, it nourishes our spirit.

It’s a beautiful day in Vermont—long-awaited sunshine after more than a week of rain. For the first time this year, I catch the trill of a Hermit Thrush, our state bird, and cherished songster.

While writing I’ve been taking breaks to run down to the meadow to help my husband plant two pear trees. These are to honor my father, who is at the end of his life (père being a father in French). I feel a tenderness toward the fledgling plants, an attachment that feels personal. These spindly trees have entered my orbit of affection—that which I care about—an emblem of my own parent and the living planet that parents all of us.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Landmark UN Report to Show ‘Transformational Change’ Urgently Needed Save Humanity and Natural World From Nightmarish Future

A United Nations report scheduled for official release on Monday will say that up to 1 million species face extinction as a result of human activity

By Jon Queally | Common Dreams

new landmark United Nations report on biodiversity set for release on Monday will say that a perilous and miserable future awaits the natural world and human civilization unless we rapidly bring an end to humanity’s destructive “business as usual” approach to the economy, food production, and energy usage.

Signaling the need for urgent “transformative changes” in order to save humanity and the natural world, the 1,800-page report and a separate executive summary will represent the first time the UN has published such an exhaustive report on the state of Nature.

As Agence France-Presse, which obtained a draft of the conclusions, reports Saturday that “The bombshell Summary for Policymakers… makes for very grim reading.”

According to AFP’s review of the draft report and the summary, the documents “paint a picture of widespread destruction wrought by man, some of it irreparable.”

While the final report is due out May 6, aspects of what the study will say have been disclosed via drafts reported on by the press in recent weeks and public statements by officials and researchers involved in its creation.

As Common Dreams reported last month, at last one of the overarching findings of the report is that human destruction of natural systems has put the world on a path towards a mass extinction that could wipe out over a million species.

Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which authored the report with input from more than 400 scientists worldwide, told AFP ahead of the weekend meeting where the drafts will be adopted that while there are many direct drivers undermining Nature’s systems, the “number of people in the world and their growing ability to consume” are the two biggest indirect drivers of biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.

According to AFP:

The new report details how humans are undermining Earth’s capacity to produce fresh water, clean air, and productive soil, to name a few “ecosystem services.”

The direct causes of Nature’s degradation—in order of importance—are shrinking habitat and land-use change, hunting for food or illicit trade in body parts, climate change, pollution, and predatory or disease-carrying alien species such as rats, mosquitoes, and snakes.

“The evidence is incontestable,” said Watson during a meeting with scientists and delegates at the UN biodiversity conference on Saturday in Paris. “Our destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as human-induced climate change.”

Speaking separately to the Guardian ahead of the conference, Watson said, “There is no question we are losing biodiversity at a truly unsustainable rate that will affect human wellbeing both for current and future generations. We are in trouble if we don’t act, but there are a range of actions that can be taken to protect nature and meet human goals for health and development.”

On the economic side, the report will call out GDP (gross domestic product) as a failed metric for calculating the health of economies, highlight the impact that financial inequality is having on the health of the planet, and will also examine so-called “market reforms” designed to curtail tax havens and the corruption they facilitate across the world.

The report will also lay out competing scenarios for the future and AFP notes that while more optimistic versions appear “inviting,” the one presented as “business as usual”—indicating little change from the way things are now—would “plunge the planet into a nightmarish, downward spiral of conflict, growing inequality and continuing degradation of Nature.”

Steven Osofsky, a professor of wildlife health and health policy at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and expert on biodiversity, meanwhile, said the while the situation is grim there is still time to act if humanity can face the seriousness of the challenge and act accordingly.

“Anyone who denies that we are in a human-induced extinction crisis is either lying or not paying attention,” said Osofsky. “But I have to believe it’s not too late — there are prospects for hope in bringing together sectors that have historically been antagonistic.”

“From how we feed the world, to how we generate energy, to how we educate the next generation (especially women and girls),” he added, “there are solutions to the pressures currently impacting global biodiversity and the natural systems humanity (perhaps ironically) ultimately depends upon for survival.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




World Leaders Condemn Attack on Syria as US Threatens Additional Airstrikes

By Julian Conley | Common Dreams

As foreign policy experts denounced the missile strikes ordered by President Donald Trump Friday night, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley further troubled critics on Saturday when she warned that the U.S. is prepared to attack the war-torn country again.

“I spoke to the US president this morning and he said that if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded,” Haley intoned at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, referring to a suspected chemical attack that Trump has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of carrying out last weekend.

Her statement came before the Security Council voted against a Russian resolutionthat would have condemned the missile strikes, with eight nations rejecting the resolution, four abstaining, and three countries—Bolivia, China, and Russia—voting in favor of it.

Haley’s declaration was denounced by some of her counterparts at the UN, with Bolivian ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz expressing hope that international law would “prevail.”

“Her country is ready, is ‘locked and loaded,'” said Soliz. “Of course, we clearly heard her words with a great deal of concern and a great deal of sadness. We know that the United States has aircraft carriers, that they have satellites, that they have ‘intelligent missiles, smart bombs,’ they have a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons.”

Holding up the U.N. charter, which allows the use of military force for members only when necessary for self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council, Soliz concluded, “And we also know that they have nothing but scorn for international law, but we have this.”

“We know that the United States has aircraft carriers, that they have satellites, that they have ‘intelligent missiles, smart bombs,’ they have a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons. And we also know that they have nothing but scorn for international law.” —Bolivian ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz

Russia’s ambassador, Vasily A. Nebenzia, added that the airstrikes, carried out by the U.S. as well as the U.K. and France, amounted to “aggression against a sovereign state” without allowing the U.N. to investigate the suspected poison gas attack. A probeby the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was set to begin Saturday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged  “restraint” at the meeting, and asked all nations “to avoid any acts that could escalate matters and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people.”

The British and French officials at the meeting joined Haley in defending their countries’ actions, calling the strikes “limited, targeted and effective” and claiming they had evidence of Assad’s responsibility for the chemical attack, with French ambassador François Delattre saying the gas attack tested “the threshold of the international community’s tolerance.”

“You can’t combat the alleged violation of international law by violating international law,” Soliz countered.

In the Middle East, the missile strikes were met with condemnation and anxiety over what the escalation could mean for the region.

“Such action could have dangerous consequences, threatening the security and stability of the region and giving terrorism another opportunity to expand after it was ousted from Iraq and forced into Syria to retreat to a large extent,” said the Iraqi foreign ministry in a statement  Saturday.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Why are UN Medical Trucks Secretly Traveling US Highways?

By Unattributed | *Intellihub News

 UN to Appoint Extraterrestrial Ambassador

Over the last three months there have been dozens of suspicious sightings of military and UN equipment being moved throughout the country coupled with numerous realistic military training exercises with a sharp domestic focus.

This is all happening in the lead up to Jade Helm 2015 which has sparked a plethora of theories and strong opinions on what is actually happening.

Now, footage taken in Northern Louisiana is causing even more of a stir after it showed United Nations vehicles traveling down the freeway with their logos intentionally covered with brown paper.

The video footage shows one UN truck with the brown paper partially peeled off, most likely due to the wind. The other UN vehicle still has its cover on as it travels down the highway.

Although some have theorized that the vehicles may have simply been purchased from the UN and were covering the logo because they were no longer representing the United Nations, that theory doesn’t seem to add up, especially when you consider the multiple other strange UN sightings in the last three months as well as the unprecedented number of military movements leading into Jade Helm 2015.

What do you think?

*Originally entitled: “Why are United Nations Medical Trucks covering up their logo while traveling on US highways?”

[Read more here]

Intellihub News is a leading independent news agency covering a wide range of issues including globalism, the increasing police state, and the control of media by a small number of corrupt corporations.

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.




The Well Could Run Dry for Gaza as Soon as 2016

By  Pippa Whelan and Susan Rahman |*Project Censored

 WaterShortage-36510190_m-680x380

In Gaza, 1.7 million Palestinians currently live without clean drinking water. With no perennial streams and low rainfall, Gaza relies on a single aquifer for all of its fresh water. The coastal aquifer, Zander Swinburne reported, is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and seawater. The Palestinian Water Authority recently determined that 95 percent of the water in Gaza does not meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards for human consumption. The polluted water causes chronic health problems and contributing to high rates of child mortality. One study estimated that 26 percent of disease in Gaza results from contaminated water supplies. “A crippling Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza has exacerbated the problem,” Al Jazeera reported.

A recent United Nations report warned that the water situation for Palestinians in Gaza was “critical.” According to that report, “the aquifer could become unusable as early as 2016, with the damage irreversible by 2020.” Even with immediate remedial action, the 2012 report stated, the aquifer will take decades to recover; otherwise it would “take centuries for the aquifer to recover.”

As a result of the contaminated water supply, Al Jazeera reported, the Palestinian Ministry of Health recommends that residents boil water before using it for drinking or cooking. However, residents contend that even with boiling, tap water is “not fit to drink,” and, in many cases, is simply unavailable. According to people in the territory, Zander Swinburne reported, “during the summer months water might spurt out of their taps every other day . . . pressure is often so low that those living on upper floors might see just a trickle.”

Instead, according to United Nations estimates, over 80 percent of Gazans buy their drinking water, with some families paying as much as a third of their household income, according to June Kunugi, a special representative of the UN children’s fund UNICEF. Palestinians purchase more than a quarter of their water from Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, Al Jazeera reported. Mekorot sells Gaza 4.2 million cubic meters of water annually.

[Read more here]

* Originally titled: “2016 Will Find Gaza out of Drinking Water”

Sources:

Zander Swinburne, “The Water Is Running out in Gaza: Humanitarian Catastrophe Looms as Territory’s Only Aquifer Fails,” Independent, June 30, 2013, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-water-is-running-out-in-gaza-humanitarian-catastrophe-looms-as-territorys-only-aquifer-fails-8679987.html.

Wissam Nassar, “In Pictures: Gaza Water Crisis Worsens,” Al Jazeera, May 12, 2014, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/03/pictures-gaza-water-crisis-wors-201432673053211982.html.

“Over 90% of Water in Gaza Unfit for Drinking,” B’Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), February 9, 2014, https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20140209_gaza_water_crisis.

DSC03391

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products and modalities since the early 1970’s, and he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist and father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive and safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England and “virtually” the world, through his new website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com

 




MUST SEE: Geoengineering, Persistent Jet Contrails (Chemtrails), and Existing Climate Modification Programs Discussed At United Nations

Source:Alex Alexander

Former USDA inspector, Rosalind Peterson delivers a presentation at the United Nations forum on Global Warming about the negative impact on the environment of existing climate modification programs (geoengineering) and persistent jet contrails (chemtrails). Note that although this presentation was made in 2007, it is still very relevant in 2014.