Every 5 seconds.
3 years ago
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Included: Cutting $544 million from international food aid, and $246 million from agriculture research.

3 years ago
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Via: Paying Attention


Read this.  If you allow American corporate news organzations to inform you about foreign affairs — and especially about Arabs and the Middle East — then you are willfully deciding to be ignorant, chauvinistic, and misinformed.


3 years ago
Post has 56 notes.
Via: AZspot

Monsanto has been trying for years to gain approval for its genetically modified Roundup-Ready alfalfa seed. On January 27, 2011, it finally got the green light in the form of “deregulation.” This means that farmers are free to plant GE alfalfa, and the USDA won’t even be keeping track of who plants it where. There will be no tracking, no notification system, and no responsibility on the part of Monsanto for any business that is lost as a result of the genetic contamination that is certain to result. If the ruling stands, we can kiss organic dairy and beef goodbye, and many organic vegetable growers will have to switch the cover crops they use on their fields.

3 years ago
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Teaching a man to fish. 

3 years ago
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Via: bricolage


Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old’s parents wouldn’t be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn’t be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense. 

“This bill takes us back to a time when just saying ‘no’ wasn’t enough to qualify as rape,” says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women’s Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill’s authors are “using language that’s not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection.” Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. “There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included,” Levenson says. 

Read more

3 years ago
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WFP food prices Josette Sheeran

Risk of Riots Rising as Governments Cut Food Subsidies

“We’re in an era where the world and nations ignore the food issue at their peril,” Josette Sheeran (WFP) said in an interview yesterday at the agency’s Rome headquarters.

The global recession has eroded government aid that helped people in poorer countries afford bread, cooking oils and other staples. The trend raises the odds of unrest even though prices have improved in many nations from 2007-2009, Sheeran said. During that period, more than 60 food riots occurred worldwide, according to the U.S. State Department.

The U.N.’s Food Price Index surged to 214.8 in December, exceeding the previous record in 2008 when rising costs and fears of shortages sparked riots from Haiti to Egypt. More than 100 people have died this month in protests in Tunisia against food inflation, unemployment and alleged corruption, according to the U.N., and at least three were killed in Algeria.

Global output of all cereals, including rice, wheat and corn, will drop 1.4 percent to 2.23 billion metric tons this season, while demand will rise 1.8 percent to 2.26 billion tons, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in December. That will push global stockpiles 6 percent lower to 525 million tons, and mark the first cereal deficit since the 2008 food crisis, according to the U.N. agency data.

The Philippines, the world’s biggest rice importer, will curb sales of the grain from state stockpiles this year and will reduce the size of the inventory to about 30-days worth of consumption, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Dec. 17. Stockpiles were equal to 52 days of consumption in October.

“Many of the world’s subsidy regimes and support regimes have shrunk,” Sheeran said.

Bolivia experienced protests last month over cuts in fuel subsidies that increased gasoline prices as much as 82 percent. The government pledged to use $380 million saved to boost farmers’ incomes.

Malaysia’s inflation rate rose to a 19-month high in December after it reduced subsidies on fuel and sugar in an effort to narrow the budget deficit by more than half in the next five years. The government spends about 73 billion ringgit ($24 billion) a year keeping prices of gasoline, flour, sugar and other essential goods artificially low.

Global food costs jumped 25 percent last year to an all- time high in December because of record sugar and meat prices, according to the UN. Countries probably spent at least $1 trillion on imports, with the poorest paying as much as 20 percent more than in 2009, the UN says.


3 years ago
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Via: Notes on Achieving Orbit



The basics: Egypt is a large, mostly Arab, mostly Muslim country. At around 80 million people, it has the largest population in the Middle East and the third-largest in Africa. Most of Egypt is in North Africa, although the part of the country that borders Israel, the Sinai peninsula, is in Asia….

a great breakdown and a must read.

(Source: Mother Jones)

3 years ago
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Haiti WFP

A cash and food for work project launched a few months after the earthquake jointly between WFP and the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) is now providing Vanise Jean Pierre and the rest of the community with job opportunities it never had before.  In the short term, the project ensures the livelihood for hundreds of families through the creation of new jobs. In the longer term, it helps community become self-sufficient through the creation of more sustainable agriculture

Photos courtesy of Anne Poulsen

3 years ago
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A Year After Quake, Haitians Glimpse Hunger-Free Future

ROME — One year ago Haiti was devastated by its biggest earthquake in two centuries. The humanitarian community launched a massive relief operation to meet the immediate needs of the people left homeless and hungry. Our role was to deliver urgently needed food aid to the quake survivors. 

As the country started to rebuild, the focus of operations in Haiti shifted from short-term needs to the long term challenge. Now, 12 months on, WFP’s goal is to help Haiti get to the point where it can feed itself and become more resilient to natural disasters. 

See Photo Gallery & 2


3 years ago
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3 years ago
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FEED Projects Kenya WFP School Feeding
In addition to providing 10 school meals to children through the UN’s World Food Programme’s School Feeding program, each FEED Kenya Kikoy is handcrafted in Kenya by a co-op of women and deaf artisans. Handcrafting these beautiful kikoys provides much-needed work and support to communities in Nairobi, Kenya, particularly for a nation that is now dealing with a food crisis leaving 10 million Kenyans at risk of hunger.
Purchase here.

In addition to providing 10 school meals to children through the UN’s World Food Programme’s School Feeding program, each FEED Kenya Kikoy is handcrafted in Kenya by a co-op of women and deaf artisans. Handcrafting these beautiful kikoys provides much-needed work and support to communities in Nairobi, Kenya, particularly for a nation that is now dealing with a food crisis leaving 10 million Kenyans at risk of hunger.

Purchase here.

Farmers in East Timor use new agriculture techniques to improve results.

Rice is one of the most important crops in East Timor, but it has become expensive and unreliable to grow due to the cost of fertilisers, seeds, and changes in seasonal rainfall patterns. East Timor currently needs to import large amounts of rice because local rice farmers simply can’t meet local demand.

“Before joining the farming co-operative, we earned just $156 per year. But now, our production costs have decreased, we cultivate more land and the price we receive for our paddy rice has increased. We can work with other farmers, sharing ideas and information on new techniques. We can also use the cooperative’s hand tractor and milling machine,” says Alvaro.

Oxfam and it’s partner MCE-A provide support to the farming co-operatives. MCE-A recognised that with the increasing unpredictability of rainfall due to climate change and the growing demand for rice, that traditional rice farming practices are no longer efficient. Alvaro and other farmers in Beco have received training in growing rice organically and more intensively. This method is called System Rice Intensification (SRI) and already the results have been impressive.

Rice farmers normally rely on flooding their fields to keep seeds covered in water throughout the growing season. SRI, however, involves planting seedlings farther apart, keeping fields moist instead of flooding them, transplanting seedlings to fields earlier and weeding manually.

While it’s initially more labour intensive than the traditional method of growing rice, many farmers agree that the results are well worth the effort. In many cases, rice yields have doubled to over five tons per hectare, and production costs have decreased. SRI is very helpful for our farmers in the village because we face a lot of food shortages and the irrigation system is broken. Our family income after this year’s harvest will be over $2000. That’s a big increase on the $156 we received three years ago!

With this new method the rice grows very quickly. It means my family will have more rice to eat and a better life,” adds Pascoela.


3 years ago
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What I’m thinking you should do with this information could get me in trouble. So, make your own conclusions.

3 years ago
Post has 1 notes.

I don’t have words for how annoyed/disappointed/sad this makes me. 

3 years ago
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Hovercraft delivers food aid to the Dadu district, in Pakistan’s Sindh Province in November 2010. As well as supplying food to millions of flood victims, WFP leads the ‘logistics cluster’ which coordinates logistics for the entire humanitarian community in Pakistan.

Copyright: WFP/Geoff Pinnock