Kenyan herders switch to farming as droughts worsen
In eco news, the World Food Program (WFP) helps pastoralists transition to farming. The Kenya Hunger Halt program, created by the WFP, has assisted 35,000 individuals in Narok District to start using their land for sustainable crop farming. According to Reuters, due to this change, the district was relatively unaffected by the lack of water in the locality this year. Bravo, World Food Program, for encouraging Earth and life protecting ways. May people everywhere adopt organic agriculture practices for a thriving planet with food security for all.
Indonesia's pledge to forest people welcomed
In good governance news, Indonesia pledges to protect the rights of indigenous people. Dr. Ir. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto. (NFT: PhD; male) Advisor to the President of Indonesia, His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, announced that the country will implement a land law respecting the rights of forest communities. In addition, a land tenure map will be developed defining the legal status of forested areas in Indonesia and the location, size, and use of the forest. Our sincere appreciation, Your Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Dr. Ir. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, and the Government of Indonesia, for your commitment to ensuring every individual in the nation has equal treatment and security. May we all work together in the best interest of our Earth and the world’s many diverse cultures.
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, holds its 2nd annual Veggie Pride Parade
In The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association News from Canada…
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, holds its 2nd annual Veggie Pride Parade. More than 250 enthusiastic participants, including a number of animal rights groups, took part in this vibrant event. Our Association members also joined, carrying vegan-encouraging banners, wearing colorful animal costumes, and sharing vital Earth-saving information. After a 2.5-kilometer procession in a busy downtown area, complimentary cruelty-free meals were served by several vegan shops at a special post-parade celebration. Many thanks, Toronto Veggie Pride Parade, for raising awareness about the compassionate lifestyle. May all realize it’s a fun, healthy, and caring way to return our eco sphere to a peaceful paradise.
5.7 Richter scale earthquake shook the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico
FN… Earthquakes jolt Mexico, Greece, Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, and Japan. On Saturday morning, August 13, a quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale rocked the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca as it struck off the coast, 191 kilometers southeast of Salina Cruz. The next day, a 4.3-magnitude temblor was recorded in Crete, Greece, its epicenter 114 kilometers southwest of Chaniá. Also that morning in Latin America, Guatemala experienced a magnitude-4.9 quake centered 40 kilometers southwest of Quetzaltenango. In Latin America as well, a 5.7-magnitude temblor shook eastern Ecuador that evening as it hit 183 kilometers east of Riobamba. On Monday in Honduras, an earthquake registering 4.6 on the Richter scale struck 62 kilometers east of Trujillo in the department of Colón. On Tuesday evening, a 5.8-magnitude temblor rumbled the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, 155 kilometers north of Ambon. Tremors meanwhile continued to shake the quake and tsunami-devastated northeastern Japan as a magnitude-5.0 tremor hit at noon Wednesday 113 kilometers east of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, as well as one of magnitude-6.2 that struck 304 kilometers east of Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture. Fortunately, none of the tremors resulted in significant damage or casualties.
Thank Heaven for the protection of those in the quake-hit regions. May such distressing events be curbed as our kinder actions help restore Earth’s stability as a vegan world.
International Balloon Festival in Poland
FN... Masurian balloon festival held in Poland. Arriving from regions across the country, as well as from Norway, Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and the United Arabic Emirates, over 60 international balloon and airship crews participated in the fourth Masurian International Balloon Festival in the northeastern city of Ełk. Through various activities and friendly competitions, participants also greatly enjoyed the aerial beauty of nature in northeastern Poland. Balloonist Bernard Banaszuk remarked, "Those beautiful morning flights, the sunrise over the... Masurian lakes that we see from the balloons... is romantic."
Our accolades, organizers and city of Ełk, on your colorful and ever-expanding fourth Masurian International Balloon Festival. Wishing participants and visitors alike a warmly memorable time.
Yemen opposition forms council to lead transition
FN... Citizens speak out. Across the globe, people continue their calls for honesty, equality and human rights as they gather in countries like India, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen.
INDIA - On Tuesday, August 16, activist Ms. Shehla Masood was fatally shot as she was traveling to a protest. Ms. Masood had been outspoken about government injustice and had filed over 40 Right to Information applications about potential corruption. Police announced that an investigation would be conducted, with the Times of India noting that she had previously appealed to authorities for protection from what she said were officers' harassment and threats.
ISRAEL and PALESTINE - Israeli settlers in the Palestinian West Bank set fire to hundreds of olive trees on agricultural land in the village of Bart'a on Tuesday, while the Palestinian Telegraph reported that Israeli troops prevented Palestinian civil defense teams from putting out the fire, leading to significant damage and losses.
YEMEN - On Wednesday August 17, 800 representatives from diverse minority political parties and youth groups elected 143 members for the newly-formed National Council for the Forces of the Peaceful Revolution to lead a transition. This announcement followed a Tuesday television address by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who pledged his soon return from Saudi Arabia.
LIBYA - Leaders of the National Transitional Council on Wednesday drafted a 14-page constitutional declaration to map out plans and timelines for the country's transition to a democracy.
SYRIA - Various human rights groups reported on Wednesday that 25 protesters were killed. That same day, the UN announced it was withdrawing all non-essential staff from the country, while Switzerland and Tunisia asked their ambassadors to leave Syria in protest of the violence. On Thursday, US President Barack Obama called for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, saying that it is time for him to step down for the sake of the Syrian people.
In sadness for the loss of human lives and the plight of the wounded and suffering, we pray for an end to all turmoil and that harmony may prevail as people everywhere decide to live in shared respect and freedom as a peaceful world.
Duck-billed platypus at risk from climate change
SAVE OUR PLANET... Australian researchers report in August 2011 that the unique egg-laying platypus is increasingly at risk of extinction as climate change reduces the suitable cold and icy habitat needed by the mammal to survive.
Ecuador Reduces Poverty
Ecuador’s National Planning Secretariat reports that government policy changes have assisted in reducing poverty in the country from nearly 23% to just over 19% in the past year, with a reduction in unemployment also seen in the first half of 2011.
Smoke-free shield to cover Russia’s bars and restaurants
With plans to enact the new laws by 2014, Russia’s Health Ministry announces anti-tobacco legislation that will include smoking bans in most public places, including airports, hotels, restaurants and even neighborhood blocks, as well as increasing prices and prohibiting tobacco advertising.
World three sopranos' concert held in BJ for ecological protection
Top sopranos Simona Bertinia of Italy, Alyson Cambridge of the US and Luz Del Alba of Uruguay are invited to perform in Beijing, China as part of an Asian tour to promote environmental protection, with their concerts centered on the theme of nature.
Orlando Bloom backs butterfly conservation effort
SAVE OUR PLANET… Prominent British actor Orlando Bloom supports butterfly preservation efforts in the UK through his sponsorship of the children’s book about butterflies, “Crystal, the Small Miracle,” written by his mother Sonia Copeland Bloom, dedicated to helping youth appreciate the wonderful world of insects.
Venezuela Designs Communication Campaign for Disarmament
Prensa Latina news agency reports that a Venezuelan presidential commission on disarmament and gun control holds its first official meeting, with a goal of presenting a campaign that enlists public support for eliminating violence and enhancing peace across the nation.
Jodie Foster helps keep search for aliens alive
Academy award-winning US actress Jodie Foster helps lead an initiative with other donors and is successful in raising US$223,000 to benefit the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in California, USA and ensure its continued work.
EU gives financial assistance to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon
The European Commission approves a donation of over €200 million for Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon to help improve living conditions, create jobs and increase the availability of sustainable energy.