Speaking Out for People, Planet and Peace

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We are pleased to send you Edition 18 | 2020 of BEYOND BREAKING THE NEWS, a flagship news product, now in the fifth year, meanwhile published every Monday by the International Press Syndicate Group, with registered offices in Canada, Germany, Japan and Singapore, and correspondents around the world. Previous editions are available on www.newsletter-archive.indepthnews.net. Read. Share. Publish; free of charge but mention us as source. We would appreciate your Feedback.
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International Press Syndicate | The Global Cooperation Council


COVID-19: We Need A Vaccine for The Mind

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 40th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, the flagship of the International Press Syndicate. Click here for previous reports.

SYDNEY (IDN) – Today the global media reports daily about the race to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, but what they fail to understand is that this vaccine may not help us to overcome the severe human security crisis we face today. Rather than a vaccine for the body, we need a vaccine for the mind.

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Manifesto 2020 Calls for A Trans-National Citizens' Alliance

Viewpoint by Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth

BERLIN (IDN) – A new public declaration of policy and aims, Manifesto 2020, has issued a clarion call for declaring poverty Illegal. Poverty Is the product of labour regulation within the context of unequal economic growth. It is the result of global pillage of life in the interests and survival of the powerful, declares the Agora of the inhabitants of the earth.

It also calls for a global campaign for the design, manufacture and use of a global, common, public, free vaccine against Covid-19. Humanity does not need a vaccine war.

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US Coercive Measures Against Iran Hurting Women

Viewpoint by Azadeh Moaveni and Ali Vaez

The two writers are affiliated to the Crisis Group: Azadeh Moaveni is Project Director, Gender; and Ali Vaez is Iran Project Director. This commentary is being republished by courtesy of the Brussels-based Crisis Group which first carried it on 6 March 2020.

BRUSELS (IDN) – On 21 May 2018, less than two weeks after the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched Washington’s “New Iran Strategy” before an audience at the Heritage Foundation. In his remarks, he insisted that Iranian women’s long struggle for inclusion and equality matters dearly to Washington.

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COVID-19: Europe Must Regain Sovereignty Over Key Industries

Viewpoint by Camille Rustici

The writer is chief editor of the e-magazine DirectIndustry. This article was first published on the online journal of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung's Brussels office, International Politics and Society on April 28.

MARSEILLE (IDN) – Since the outbreak in China, which led to the closing of a large number of factories in the country in late January, not a single industrial sector in the rest of the world has been spared. The automotive, electronics and textile industries, among others, have suffered and continue to suffer colossal losses unheard of in peacetime.

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Why Russia Is Slow to Unlock Media Potential with Africa

Viewpoint by Kester Kenn Klomegah

MOSCOW (IDN) – Researchers and experts have identified a lack of interest and a well-coordinated mechanism as being behind the absence of effective Russian media cooperation with Africa. European and Western media brands, such as British Broadcasting Corporation, Cable News Network, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Press, Quartz and Bloomberg, are active with their African partners, while the Russian media are largely invisible.

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COVID-19: Can Technology Become a Tool of Oppression and Surveillance?

Viewpoint by Petra Molnar*

This article was originally published on openDemocracy. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of IDN-InDepth News

TORONTO (IDN) – Refugees, immigrants, and people on the move have long been tied to tropes of bringing disease and illness. From pandemics to genocides, people crossing borders whether by force or by choice are talked about in apocalyptic terms like ‘flood’ or ‘wave,’ underscored by rampant xenophobia, racism, and elemental fear of ‘The Other’. Not only are these formulations blatantly incorrect, they also legitimise far-reaching state incursion and increasingly hard-line policies of surveillance and techno-solutionism to manage migration.

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World Conference Calls for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Reversing Climate Change

By Santo D. Banerjee

NEW YORK (IDN) -– In a dramatic warning from 13 Nobel Prize winners about the existential dangers of nuclear weapons and climate crisis, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on January 23 set the hands of its iconic 'Doomsday Clock' to 100 seconds to midnight,

On April 25, during the Covid-19 crisis, over one thousand activists across the peace, climate, and social movements gathered online to take part in the first-ever virtual World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Resist and Reverse Climate Change | For Social and Economic Justice.

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COVID-19 Strikes South Asia's Minorities Whose Rights Are Already Threatened

By Jaya Ramachandran

LONDON (IDN) – A new report warns that the minorities and other marginalised communities are even more exposed to the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hitting South Asia. It has come at a time when governments are inflicting sustained assaults on their rights. Minorities face severe obstacles in accessing their right to nationality amidst rising majoritarian nationalism across many parts of the South Asia, says the South Asia Collective (SAC) in its annual flagship report, South Asia State of Minorities Report.

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COVID-19 Shows How Ecosystems and Human Health Intersect

Viewpoint by Dominick A. DellaSala, William J. Ripple, and Franz Baumann*

This article is being re-published by courtesy of The New Republic, which carried it first on April 20.

NEW YORK (IDN) – The butterfly effect is a thought experiment about how a small change in a system— a butterfly flapping its wings — can ripple through complex, interconnected systems, eventually cascading into larger events, like a tornado in Oklahoma. Despite having been popularized by the 1993 Jurassic Park movie, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

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UN Chief and German Chancellor Call for Rebuilding 'Our World for the Better'

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN (IDN) – German chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have accentuated that any coronavirus recovery programme should have a clear focus on climate targets and rebuilding "our world for the better". They were addressing a two-day video conference in Berlin co-organised by Germany and Britain, the latter as the presidency of UN Climate Conference (COP 26). 

Scheduled for November, COP26 will take place in 2021 because of COVID-19. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Germany and Britain put the focus of the conference – officially known as the 'Petersberg Climate Dialogue' – on "sustainable recovery". 

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Two 'Unsung Heroes' Helping Kenya's Slum Dwellers Facing Coronavirus

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – Journalists who step out of their high-floor offices or manage to escape from their coronavirus confinement sometimes find a great story right on the street below. Such was the story discovered by Kevin Phillips Momanyi, a reporter with Kenya’s Tuko news channel.

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'Flowers of Hope' from Kenya As Major Markets Dry Up

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – It was inevitable during a lockdown that sales of Kenya’s flower exports would dry up as buyers make fewer impulse purchases of carnations, roses and other blossoms.

According to data from the Kenya Flower Council, sales of cut flowers in overseas markets have fallen below 35 per cent of what is expected this time of the year.

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America Should Not Be Number One Because It's A Spent Star

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

The US needs first and foremost to look after itself-– its often counterproductive foreign policy, its poverty, its third rate health services, its misdistribution of income, to save the economy and to save those most hurt by the Coronavirus crisis.

LUND, Sweden (IDN) – It might seem that the world is going to pot in a hand-basket. Not quite true. There are ways out. Asia has shown how to deal with the Coronavirus and how to stay politically stable. Europe, except for wise Sweden, has muddled along, following belatedly the conventional wisdom of its scientific community. As for the United States, President Donald Trump has made a fool of himself and his country, ending up with the highest death rate in the world.

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Africans Mourn the Passing of a Distinguished Thinker and two Outstanding Artists

By Lisa VIves, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – While the rate of fatalities in Africa is still much below that of developed countries, every life lost is a library gone, according to a saying. Here are three noted Africans who passed this year just as thousands of lives were tragically lost to the coronavirus worldwide.

Dr. Mansour Khalid, a prolific author in both Arabic and English, exposed all the ailments of Sudanese elites that led to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. These ills are vividly elucidated in two books –The Government They Deserve: The Role of the Elite in Sudan’s Political Evolution in 1990, and The Paradox of Two Sudans: The CPA and the Road to Partition in 2015.

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Kenyans Are Innovative in Finding Ways to Fight COVID-19

By Justus Wanzala

BUSIA, Kenya (IDN) – It is a hot afternoon at a bus station at Mungatsi market centre, Nambale Sub-County, in Busia County, Western Kenya. Many people, many travellers, are queuing to wash their hands. Each person is maintaining a distance from the other as they wash their hands and board public service vehicles heading to their various destinations.

Hand washing before boarding public service vehicles and maintaining social distance are new practices that Kenyans are constrained to observe. They have been declared mandatory by health authorities as a safety measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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Women Leaders Rise in Solidarity to Save Lives and Protect Livelihoods

By UN Women

"Rise for All" calls on all leaders to meet the human crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and fully fund the UN Response and Recovery Trust Fund

NEW YORK (IDN) – Supporting the UN Secretary-General's call for solidarity and urgent action in response to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, an initial group of prominent women have joined a global advocacy effort to save lives and protect livelihoods, urging leaders in all countries, across all sectors, to address the human crisis of the pandemic.

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COVID-19: The Trump Administration's Attack on China and the WHO Is Unfounded

Viewpoint by Vijay Prashad

This article was produced in partnership by Indian Punchline and Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute where it first appeared. This is the first part of a two-part series. The second is available here.

‎KOLKATA, India (IDN) – On April 14, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed a news conference at the White House, where he said that his administration would “halt [all] funding” for the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO, founded in 1948, is the principal United Nations agency tasked with the improvement of the health of the world; it is also widely acknowledged as an agency that is best suited to deal with health emergencies.

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COVID-19: This Is No Time to Start A Coronavirus Blame Game

Viewpoint by John McCarthy *

MELBOURNE (IDN) – Australia's decision to spearhead an international enquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemicread China's lack of transparency and the WHO's mistakes — is a nice hoary bellow from the domestic political ramparts, but it is a policy mistake.

The Australian opposition's support for the decision does not bathe the policy in divine light. It merely doubles the weight of the mistake.

Whichever country had decided to initiate such a policy, it would have been a bad idea.

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