Activist warns: 'Days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over'

Published: Sunday, September 01, 2013 @ 1:48 PM
Updated: Sunday, September 01, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

The aftershock of Japan’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami can still be felt by the continuous cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two years of nuclear runoff spilling into the ocean have caused environmental activist Joe Martino to warn: “Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.

His choice words on the activist website Collective Evolution are quantified in this infographic compiled by German researchers at GEOMAR. The animation shows the dispersion of Cesium-137, a radioactive byproduct, will reach every corner of the Pacific by the year 2020. (Via GEOMAR)

Martino’s claim comes after the latest numbers by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, show more than 300 tons of contaminated water seep into the Pacific Ocean each day. 

NHK News confirms: “A low wall surrounds tanks at reactor No. 4. Workers found a puddle forming just outside it. Officials with Tokyo Electric Power Company says the water in one of the tanks dropped from 1,000 to 700 tons.”

Martino clarifies the severity of the new numbers, saying, “To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945.” (Via Collective Evolution)

March 11, 2013, marked the two-year anniversary of the disaster. And while activists like Martino recount new numbers that continue to grow, other voices like energy consultant Mycle Schneider are asking for a call to action.

On Friday, he wrote in CNN saying even Japan’s top brass see the slow-paced cleanup as “careless” and “shocking.” (Via CNN)

So to save Japan’s coast and fishing community, Schneider says Fukushima “needs international help.” He proposes global liaisons compile a task force to hold Japan accountable for the cleanup.

However, Japan’s domestic problems could also be to blame for standstill. A report Friday from Bloomberg reveals clashes between Japan’s deep fishing culture and TEPCO aren’t making things move faster.

Currently, fishermen are butting heads with the Japanese energy company over a pipeline that could divert inland groundwater away from the Fukushima disaster area. This could possibly cut the amount of contaminated water reaching the Pacific by 25 percent, but Japan’s fisheries have yet to sign off on the deal. They worry the plan will spread radioactive water to clean areas. (Via Bloomberg)

With a limited supply of seafood, no one might hurt more than Japan’s population. The country imports more seafood than any other. Data from the United Nations shows 6 percent of the world’s fish harvest is eaten in Japan. Its citizens make up 2 percent of the global population.

- See more at Newsy.com

How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

More Than 200 Killed In Central Mexico Earthquake

A massive magnitude-7.1 earthquake in Mexico City has killed more than 200 people as of Wednesday morning.

>> Read more trending news

Volunteer rescue workers, along with officials and other ordinary citizens, dug through the debris of collapsed buildings, including a three-story primary and secondary school, where they found students dead after Tuesday’s quake.

“We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from above or below, from the walls above (crumbling), or someone below calling for help,” volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano told the Associated Press.

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Tuesday’s earthquake is the deadliest in Mexico since the 1985 quake, which took place on the same date and left thousands dead.

It is also the second devastating earthquake to hit the region in less than two weeks.

A week and a half ago, a magnitude-8.1 quake killed about 90 people.

Here’s how to help Mexico and those affected by the earthquake:

1. Donate clothes, water and food

If you’re nearby the tragedy, donate canned goods to relief or collection centers listed here at Elfinanciero.com.

You can also donate goods to nonprofits on the ground, including UNICEF MexicoRed Cross MexicoSave the Children MexicoOxfam MexicoLa Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz.

2. Make a monetary donation

Consider donating to those nonprofits listed above (UNICEF MexicoRed Cross MexicoSave the Children MexicoOxfam MexicoLa Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz).

Topos Mexico, a Mexican rescue brigade, is also accepting PayPal donations

3. Use social media to spread awareness

A simple retweet could get the right person where they need to be or the right information where it needs to go.

While you’re on social media, consider retweeting aid accounts or locals to connect them to the appropriate resources.

For example, Topos Mexico has been sharing lists of areas where they need professional medical care.

Locals are also tweeting photos of areas where help is needed. Here, someone calls for help on Twitter for a collapsed building in Coquimbo, where many were trapped.

Some have even tweeted about open hospitals and where victims can receive free treatment, such as the emergency room at Hospital Ángeles Pedregal below.

There is also a Google spreadsheet of rescued individuals that’s being shared on social media. 

4. If you’re around, volunteer

Mexico City officials have put together a volunteer coordination site, asking those interested to head to the Emergency Rescue Squad (ERUM) building in Chimalpopoca.

But officials warn volunteers to stick to their nearest disaster zones and avoid entering other zones.

A boy with his face covered due to a gas leak holds aman's hand as people gather in Reforma Avenue after an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday Sept. 19, 2017. A powerful earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway sickeningly in the capital on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that did major damage.(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)(Marco Ugarte/AP)

This is the speech Queen Elizabeth would give if World War III ever broke out

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 3:32 PM

7 Interesting Facts About Queen Elizabeth II

It’s the speech Queen Elizabeth hopes she never has to deliver.

A speech prepared back in the ’80s for the Queen to give in the event that World War III breaks out was revealed last week. The address was written in the event this does occur, and she needs to address the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

The speech was released by the government last week under the 30-year rule, and is reflective of the time it was written — with a “planned” broadcast date of March 4, 1983.

The Queen’s speech was set to begin with a reference to her annual Christmas address. “The horrors of war could not have seemed more remote as my family and I shared our Christmas joy with the growing family of the Commonwealth,” the speech reads. “Now, this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds.”

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She also recalls the outbreak of World War II, which occurred just a few years after her father, King George VI, became the monarch following his brother’s abdication.

“I have never forgotten the sorrow and the pride I felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my father’s inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939,” the speech continues. “Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.”

Going on, the Queen talks about the fears that everyone will face, either going off to war themselves or sending their loved ones there. At the time the speech was written, her second son Prince Andrew was active in the navy, and she made a personal mention of him, too.

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“My husband and I share with families up and down the land the fear we feel for sons and daughters, husbands and brothers who have left our side to serve their country,” it reads. “My beloved son Andrew is at this moment in action with his unit and we pray continually for his safety and for the safety of all servicemen and women at home and overseas.”

Of course, the Queen’s speech also offers words of hope and encouragement, even in the face of another global crisis.

“But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all, the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength.”

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She continues: “It is this close bond of family life that must be our greatest defense against the unknown. If families remain united and resolute, giving shelter to those living alone and unprotected, our country’s will to survive cannot be broken.”

The speech ends as you might expect, with an encouragement to pray for those fighting and a blessing for the country.

“As we strive together to fight off the new evil, let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be. God Bless you all.”

Who are the Rohingya Muslims? 7 things to know about the 'world’s most persecuted minority'

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 4:05 PM

Thousands of members of various Indonesian muslim groups demonstrate in support of Myanmar's Rohingya population in front of the Myanmar embassy on September 6, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Myanmar has reportedly laid landmines across a section of its border with Bangladesh for the past three days as nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh since violence erupted on August 25. (Photo by Ed Wray/Getty Images)
Ed Wray/Getty Images
Thousands of members of various Indonesian muslim groups demonstrate in support of Myanmar's Rohingya population in front of the Myanmar embassy on September 6, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Myanmar has reportedly laid landmines across a section of its border with Bangladesh for the past three days as nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh since violence erupted on August 25. (Photo by Ed Wray/Getty Images)(Ed Wray/Getty Images)

Since August, more than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped the Buddhist-majority country of Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and reportedly face an array of human rights abuses, to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh.

>> Read more trending news

Many Rohingya refugees have been turned away, leaving thousands stranded at sea.

Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, has called what's happening to Rohingya in Myanmar “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Who are the Rohingya and where do they live?

In this Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, photo, Rohingya refugee Muhammad Ayub shows off a picture of his grandfather allegedly killed during recent violence in Myanmar, in Klang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Recent violence in Myanmar has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge across the border in Bangladesh. There are some 56,000 Rohingya refugees registered with the U.N. refugee agency in Malaysia, with an estimated 40,000 more whose status has yet to be assessed. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)(Daniel Chan/AP)

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group living primarily in the Buddhist nation of Myanmar (or Burma). There are approximately 1.1 million Rohingya living in the country.

According to Al Jazeera, the Rohingya have been described as the “world’s most persecuted minority,” and have faced systematic persecution since Myanmar’s independence in the late 1940s.

Most Rohingya in Myanmar reside in the Rakhine State on the country’s western coast.

Rakhine State is regarded as one of the country’s poorest areas and lacks basic services in education and health care.

The Rohingya’s history in Myanmar

According to historians, the group has been residing in Arakan (now Rakhine State) since as early as the 12th century, Al Jazeera reported.

When the British ruled between 1824 and 1948, they administered Myanmar as a province of India and, thus, any migration of laborers between Myanmar and other South Asian countries (like Bangladesh) was considered internal. The majority of the native Myanmar population did not like that.

After gaining independence in 1948, the Burmese government still frowned upon any migration that occurred during the period of British rule, claiming it all to be illegal.

In fact, many Buddhists in Myanmar consider the Ronhingya to be Bengali, or people from Bangladesh.

The discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law officially prevented them from obtaining citizenship.

And according to a Human Rights Watch report from 2000, this is the basis the Myanmar government uses to deny Rohingya citizenship in the country.

Over the years, military crackdowns on the Rohingya have forced hundreds of thousands to escape.

According to the HRW report, Rohingya refugees reported that the Burmese army had forcibly evicted them. Many also alleged widespread army brutality, rape and murder.

Between 1991 and 1992, more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees fled to southeastern Bangladesh. But with the influx of refugees, the Bangladeshi government insisted the refugees return to Arakan (Rakhine State).

By 1997, according to the HRW report, some 230,000 refugees returned.

That same year, the Burmese government said it would not accept any more returning refugees after Aug. 15, 1997, leading to a series of disturbances in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

The Human Rights Watch has called the crisis a deadly game of “human ping-pong.”

What’s happening to the Rohingya now?

Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country, continues to deny the Rohingya citizenship, freedom to travel, access to education and the group still faces harsh systematic persecution.

In October 2016, the Burmese government blamed members of the Rohingya for the killings of nine border police, leading to a crackdown on Rakhine State villages in which troops were accused of rape, extrajudicial killing and other human rights abuses — all allegations they denied.

And most recently in August, violence erupted after Rohingya fighters were accused of attacking police posts and an army base in Rakhine, Al Jazeera reported.

Following the August event, at least 370,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape the aforementioned allegations of human rights abuses, according to the Associated Press.

Women, children and the elderly made up the bulk of the that group.

Over the past three years, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape by boat to neighboring countries that refuse to let them in.

Approximately 8,000 migrants have been stranded at sea.

Why won’t other countries take them in?

Many of Myanmar’s neighboring countries, including Bangladesh and Thailand, refuse to take them in.

The Thai navy has actually turned them away.

Lex Rieffel, an expert on Southeast Asia at the Brookings Institution, told NPR in 2015 that the Buddhist-majority nation of Thailand has been battling an Islamist insurgency for decades and has "no stomach" for bringing in more Muslims.

“Where will the budget come from? That money will need to come from Thai people's taxes, right?” Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters in 2015.

Malaysia and Indonesia, despite being Muslim-majority nations, have also prevented Rohingya from entering their countries, citing “social unrest.” And Indonesia worries about “an uncontrolled influx.”

“What do you expect us to do?” Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Jafaar told The Guardian in 2015. “We have been very nice to the people who broke into our border. We have treated them humanely, but they cannot be flooding our shores like this.”

What is Aung San Suu Kyi saying?

In this Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers an opening speech during the Forum on Myanmar Democratic Transition in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Suu Kyi has canceled plans to attend the U.N. General Assembly, with her country drawing international criticism for violence that has driven at least 370,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims from the country in less than three weeks. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo, File)(Aung Shine Oo/AP)

The crisis has drawn worldwide criticism of Myanmar's government and its leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi

According to the BBC, Suu Kyi said “a huge iceberg of misinformation” was distorting the crisis.

“We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” she is quoted as saying to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a recent statement. “So, we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as ... not just political but social and humanitarian defence.”

But stories of human rights abuse can't be investigated because of the Burmese government’s decision to deny media access to its troubled areas, BBC’s Tn Htar Swe said.

"If they allowed the UN or human rights bodies to go to the place to find out what is happening then ... misinformation is not going to take place.”

Condemnation of Suu Kyi’s inaction and response have led to calls for the rescindment of her Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 1991 as a result of her long fight for democracy in Burma. According to the Washington Post, the Nobel Committee said that will not happen.

How is the world reacting to the Rohingya crisis?

International aid to much of Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been suspended, leaving approximately 250,000 Rohingya Muslims without medical care, food and other vital humanitarian assistance, the Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday.

“The United Nations, ASEAN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation need to ramp up the pressure on Burma, and provide more assistance to Bangladesh, to promptly help Rohingya and other displaced people,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy diretor for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved an investigative mission, but was denied entry into Myanmar in June. And when an envoy entered in July, the visit was met with protests.

On Monday, the White House released this statement: “We call on Burmese security authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence and end the displacement of civilians from all communities.”

Bangladesh, which is facing the largest influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the international community to intervene.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world's largest Muslim body, issued a statement Tuesday urging Muslim countries to work together to help the Rohingya refugees.

Who is helping the Rohingya?

Aid groups continue efforts to reach Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and send aid to refugee camps.

According to the Indian Express, India announced it is sending an aircraft Thursday that will carry the first shipment of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees.

“We want to go home and we want peace. But I believe the world is watching our crisis and that they are trying to help us,” Rahimol Mustafa, a 22-year-old Rohingya Muslim, told Al Jazeera in an interview Tuesday.

Mustafa fled Rakhine State a few weeks ago and is currently safe at a refugee camp in Bangladesh, but with “no shelter and no future.”

Social media honors Tupac Shakur on 21st anniversary of death

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 1:59 PM

Tupac Letter To Madonna Reveals He Broke Up With Her Over Race, Reports Say

It’s been 21 years since the death of Tupac Shakur, and fans across social media have been paying tribute to the artist throughout the day to honor his legacy.

»RELATED: AUC library celebrates Tupac Shakur with rare archive 

On Sept. 7, 1996, the rapper was gunned down in Las Vegas while en route to a nightclub after watching a Mike Tyson versus Bruce Seldon fight. He died nearly a week later at age 25 after his mother, Afeni Shakur, removed him from life support. His murder remains unsolved. 

More than two decades after his death, hip-hop heads still sing his praises, heralding him as one of the greatest musicians in history. Never afraid to tackle controversial topics that spanned from politics and social activism, Tupac influenced the masses through his film, poetry and music. 

Today, people are expressing their gratitude. From lyrics and quotes to pictures and newspaper clippings, many have flocked to Twitter to remember the fallen star using the #TupacShakur hashtag.  

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