June 18, 2008

News You Might Have Missed * Vol. 7, No. 24

Important but overlooked news from around the world.


QUOTED:

“They’re a hate group. We’re trying to drum up charges against them, but, unfortunately, we’ll probably have to let them go.”

— A Philadelphia police spokesman on four people who were detained without charges after criticizing security cameras in their neighborhood (see “Law & Justice,” below).

CONTENTS:

*Top Stories*
Philippines: Activist deaths persist
Pa. militia allegedly threatens blacks, candidates
Doctors resign as life-support lawsuit drags on

*Africa*
Africa gets a double-whammy from global warming

*Law & Justice*
Philly police raid raises hackles


TOP STORIES

* Philippines: Activist Deaths Persist

A human rights activist warned that the extrajudicial killing and disappearance of activists in the Philippines could spike again in 2008, following steep declines last year.

Aurora Parong of Amnesty International said that poor witness protections, inadequate forensics and slow prosecution may threaten gains made against the killings, which claimed 33 lives last year, down from as many as 96 in 2006.

Parong also said that extrajudicial killings should be in a separate class of crime from murder, and that families of victims may not be aware of legal measures that could help their cases, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.

She called for federal officials to be more responsive to communities, and blamed the lack of prosecutions on incompetance or “unwillingness” to pursue the cases.

Source:

“Lack of due diligence denies justice in extrajudicial cases”
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 18, 2008

* Pa. Militia Allegedly Threatens Blacks, Candidates

A self-professed militia member in Pennsyvlvania has allegedly threatened to shoot African Americans and public officials, and said that if Hilary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama were elected a revolution would ensue.

However, a federal judge declined to jail Bradley Kahle, 60, of Clearfield County, citing lack of evidence that he was willing to carry out those threats.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Kahle was one of several people swept up in a raid that netted automatic weapons and homemade bomb materials.

Kahle, a Vietnam veteran, allegedly told undercover agents that he would engage in sniper-style killings of African Americans from a Pittsburgh skyscraper, and that he would also target public officials if he became terminally ill.

Two of Kahle’s associates remain imprisoned at this time.

Sources:

“Militia member gets house arrest”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 12, 2008

“Feds: Alleged Pa. bomb-maker wanted Clinton, Obama dead”
Associated Press, June 11, 2008

* Doctors Resign as Life-Support Lawsuit Drags On

A Canadian hospital is facing a shortage of doctors, who are resigning rather than continue to care for an elderly man on life support.

Samuel Golubchuck, 84, has been on life support since last fall; physicians say his brain functions are minimal and his chances of recovery are slim.

This, along with destructive surgery to remove infected ulcers that one physicial likened to “torture,” have prompted a wave of resignations Wiinnigpeg Grace Hospital, CTV.ca reports.

Golubchuck’s Orthodox Jewish family says it is agains their religion to hasten death, and successfully sued to block doctors from taking him off life support.

Source:

“More doctors resign from Winnipeg hospital”
CTV.ca, June 17, 2008


AFRICA

* Africa Gets a Double Whammy from Global Warming

Africa is already the continent hardest hit by the worldwide food crisis, but according to a new report it’s also the one most threatened by global warming.

“The Atlas for Changing Environment in Africa,” published last week by the United Nations Enivornment Program, is a 400-page publication detailing how climate change is expected to affect the continent — and the outlook is chilling.

According to the Atlas, food production is expected to be cut in half by 2020, and a quarter of the continent’s people will have no access to drinking water.

Much of the Atlas is made up of satellite photos of 100 locations in Africa, showing how climate change has already affected the landscape.

In the photos, the famous snow cover of Mount Kilimanjaro appears to be shrinking, and two vital water sources, Lake Chad and Lake Victoria, appear to be drying up.

“Pictures speaks volumes of the impact of pollution, environmental deforestation and biodiversity threat among others,” Andre Okombi Salissa, president of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment, told Al Jazeera.

In a U.N. reportm, Ogunlade Davidson, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said, “Africa only emits 3.8 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions, but will suffer the most from the climate threat, so it needs to ensure that its voice is heard.”

“Africa is one of the continents least responsible for climate change and is also least able to afford the costs of adaptation,” South African Environment Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk told the Los Angeles Times. “Africa will remain vulnerable even if, globally, emissions peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years.”

–Will Crain/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“One Voice On Climate Change”
U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks, June 12, 2008

“Atlas charts Africa climate change”
Al Jazeera, June 11, 2008

“African landmarks at threat from global warming: UN”
Agence France-Presse, June 10, 2008

“Africa most vulnerable to global warming effects, U.N. says”
Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2008


LAW & JUSTICE

* Philly Police Raid Raises Hackles

After four residents of a North Philadelphia home passed out petitions criticizing surveillance cameras in the neighborhood, police raided their house and detained them without charges for 12 hours, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

After the police search last week, the house was reportedly inspected by several government agencies — including the Department of Homeland Security — and finally sealed off by the city’s Department of Licenses and inspections.

“This leaves me homeless,” Daniel Moffat, a co-owner of the house, told the Daily News.

Police told the press that the occupants had anti-government “propaganda” in the house.

“They’re a hate group,” Police Captain Dennis Wilson told Philadelphia’s City Paper. “We’re trying to drum up charges against them, but, unfortunately, we’ll probably have to let them go.”

Moffat told the Daily News that he asked the police for a warrant before the search, and they did not have one.

After being detained, he was released without charges.

Daily News reporter Will Bunch wrote on his blog that he found the search and detainment “outrageous” and compared the police tactics to Stalinist Russia.

–Will Crain/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner”
Philadelphia Daily News, June 17, 2008

“There’s something fishy in Francisville”
City Paper (Philadelphia), June 14, 2008

“Moscow on the Schuylkill: Philly cops bust activists…for what?”
Philly.com, June 17, 2008


Editor: Will Crain

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