Category Archives: Arkeeblog

The Miriam Slesinger Human Rights Action Update December 6-12

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Global Fund for Women.

Mission statement:

“The Global Fund for Women is a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. We use our powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. We are committed to getting money and attention where it will make the biggest difference in the fight for gender equality. Since 1987, Global Fund for Women has invested in nearly 5,000 grassroots organizations in 175 countries, helping to win rights for millions of women and girls.”

The charity has a good rating with Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is racism. Please help stamp it out.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified


Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and lend your voice to the call to end child slavery.


URGENT ACTION CASES

AMNESTY WRITE FOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Your words have power

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Please join the campaign.

CHINA

Urgent Action: Risk of Imminent Execution for Hong Kong Citizen


The death sentence of Hong Kong citizen Wu Zongxi is currently under review by the Supreme People’s Court. If approved, the authorities will sign an order to carry out his execution, placing him in imminent risk. Wu Zongxi’s family is gravely concerned about his physical and mental state, as they have not been allowed to meet him since he was detained more than four years ago.

TAKE ACTION


 

 RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s Sentencing is Imminent

On 26 November, Oyub Titiev – prisoner of conscience and the head of Russian NGO Memorial’s office in Grozny, who has been in pre-trial detention since 9 January 2018 – was denied release on bail. Chechnya’s Shali City Court also rejected the request by his lawyers that Oyub not be kept in a cage during hearings. His next hearing is on 10 December. He must be released immediately and unconditionally and all charges against him dropped.

TAKE ACTION

BANGLADESH 

Global confectioner Perfetti Van Melle is attacking rights in Bangladesh

Dutch-based confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, makers of Mentos, Chupa Chups and Alpenliebe among other global brands, doesn’t believe workers in Bangladesh have the right to form a union, and is aggressively attacking workers attempting to form one. Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 29-December 5

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender.

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to Human Rights Watch, a USA based NGO that protects human rights world wide. It is highly rated by Charity Watch.

Human Rights Watch protests the “joking reference” to cannabis use by the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. We describe the travails of one isolated tribe.

The Jarawa

‘Human safaris’ to the Jarawa

Although India’s Supreme Court in 2002 ordered that the highway through the Jarawa’s reserve should be closed, it remains open – and tourists use it for ‘human safaris’ to the Jarawa.

Poachers enter the Jarawa’s forest and steal the animals the tribe rely on for their survival. They have also introduced alcohol and marijuana and are known to sexually abuse Jarawa women.

In 1999 and 2006, the Jarawa suffered outbreaks of measles – a disease that has wiped out many tribes worldwide following contact with outsiders.

You can act for them.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

 

 

 

 

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and lend your voice to the protest against child slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

During December we will present the cases chosen by Amnesty International in its campaign in honor of International Human Rights Day, December 10. On that day in 1948 the UN ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

AMNESTY WRITE FOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Your words have power

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Please join the campaign.

 

BANGLADESH

URGENT ACTION VICTORY

ACTIVIST RELEASED ON BAIL AFTER MONTHS IN DETENTION

Image result for shahidul alam


Shahidul Alam, photographer and outspoken social activist, has been freed on
permanent bail after spending more than 100 days behind bars for comments he made in an interview with Al-Jazeera in August 2018. In detention, he was ill-treated and
subjected to prolonged detention merely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of
expression.

Shahidul Alam was released from prison on 20 November 2018, five days after the High Court granted him permanent bail, meaning he cannot be imprisoned without a court order. Accused of violating the draconian section 57(2) of the Information and Communication Technology Act (ICT), he could still face up to 14 years in prison if formal charges are made against him.


Shahidul Alam was arrested from his home in Dhaka on 5 August 2018, after giving an interview to Al-Jazeera English, where he criticized the Bangladeshi authorities’ use of excessive force and crackdown on students protesting for safer roads. Regarded as a prisoner of conscience, Shahidul Alam had been arrested for nothing but peacefully exercising his right to freedom of speech.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 22-28

Our featured image above shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great human rights defender.

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1

Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

 

 

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to Charity:water. This is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing clean water in developing countries. Their statement: “We fund water programs in 26 countries around the globe – in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Water scarcity, poverty, political stability and strong partner organizations all play a part in where we choose to work. We focus on providing rural communities with their first access to clean water.”

The charity is rated highly by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly.Please help protect the Sentinalese tribe.

The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders.

Survival International lobbies, protests and uses public pressure to ensure their wish to remain uncontacted is respected.

If not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity.

In the wake of the 2004 tsunami this member of the Sentinelese tribe was photographed firing arrows at a helicopter.

In the wake of the 2004 tsunami this member of the Sentinelese tribe was photographed firing arrows at a helicopter. © Indian Coastguard/Survival

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

 

logo_rfa
utz_certified
 

 

 

 

 

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and lend your voice to the call to the Australian government to pass a strong antislavery law that will affect the big business exploiters..

 

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: NGO Worker Prison Visit Denied for Months

Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che, the first foreign NGO worker detained after China’s new Foreign NGO Management Law came into effect, has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “subverting state power”. His family is not allowed to see him since the last prison visit on 10 September 2018. His whereabouts remain uncertain.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Workers Arrested for Trying to Set Up Trade Union

Xi Jinping tells China’s trade union to put workers first, but will it take any notice? Chinese workers do not trust the official union

Three factory workers and an NGO worker have been arrested for attempting to set up a trade union in China. In addition to restricted access to their lawyers, the four men have been unable to see or communicate with their families since their detention in July 2018. As a result, there are concerns for their well-being and their access to a fair trial.

TAKE ACTION

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Urgent Action: Activists’ Whereabouts Unknown After Arrest

Activists Arsene Katolo, Alain Muwaka, Oto Shaminga, Heritier Losomba, Miko Booto, Enoch Muanda and Mwanza are being held incommunicado at an unknown location in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They were arrested on 11 September in the capital Kinshasa while distributing leaflets against plans to use voting machines in the upcoming elections.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA

Meliana weeps in the courtroom

Urgent Action Update: Prison Sentence Upheld for Mosque Noise Complaint

The High Court has upheld the 18-month prison sentence for Meliana who was convicted of blasphemy after complaining about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque. Preparation for an appeal to the Supreme Court is underway. Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

KAZAKHSTAN

Stop repression and physical attacks on leaders of independent unions; hands off Larisa Kharkova, Erlan Baltabai and Dmitriy Senyavskiy

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 15-21

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1

Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to  Project Concern International (PCI). This  is a global development organization that drives innovation from the ground up to enhance health, end hunger and overcome hardship—resulting in meaningful and measurable change in people’s lives.There are 130 million girls missing from classrooms around the world.

As girls approach adolescence, challenges and barriers arise that deny them the chance to reach their full potential. Issues like child marriage, access to proper sanitation facilities, lack of nutritious food, and gender-based violence make it difficult to access an education – and the effects are long-lasting.

Girls can’t focus on their education when they fear for their safety or lack the opportunity to eat nutritious meals every day. Yet for each year a girl remains in school, she earns 10-20 percent more income as an adult.

Simply put, we need to invest in girls.

WE group members in Ethiopia received training and supplies related to modern beekeeping practices.

A total of 90 Women Empowered (WE) groups in Ethiopia received training and supplies related to modern beekeeping practices as part of PCI’s USAID-funded REVIVE project. Photo by Matt Marzolo/PCI

Here are some ways you can help us ensure even more girls stay in the classroom:

1. Donate today to lock in your commitment:
https://go.pciglobal.org/e/271232/ive-198654—donation-checkout/dbsg1/151683022

2. Follow us on Facebook (https://go.pciglobal.org/e/271232/PCIGlobal-/dbsg3/151683022), Instagram (https://go.pciglobal.org/e/271232/pciglobal-/dbsg5/151683022) and Twitter (https://go.pciglobal.org/e/271232/PCIGlobal/dbsg7/151683022) for more stories and updates.

3. Tell at least two friends why we need to support adolescent girls around the world.

PCI is rated highly by Charity Navigator

 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral. 

A major calamity for indigenous people is land theft. Please call for a stop to this terrible practice.

 

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified
 

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and lend your voice to the call to stop loans to Uzbek forced labor industry and agriculture.

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

INDIA

Urgent Action: NGOs at Risk of Shut Down

Image result for amnesty international india
Amnesty India and Greenpeace India have been targeted by the Government of India in a series of ‘raids’, which appear to be politically motivated. The bank accounts of both organizations have been frozen, effectively stopping their work. This is the latest in the clampdown by Indian authorities to crush civil society in India.TAKE ACTION

VIET NAM

Image result for Nguyễn Văn Túc

Urgent Action: Health of Prisoner of Conscience Critical

Nguyễn Văn Túc health is quickly deteriorating to the point where he is fainting on a daily basis, yet the authorities continue to deny him adequate medical treatment and have moved him to a remote prison, making family visits much more difficult. Determined to be a prisoner of conscience, Nguyễn Văn Túc should be immediately and unconditionally released.TAKE ACTION

MYANMAR

Urgent Action Update: Acquitted Former Child Soldier Remains Jailed

Image result for Aung Ko Htwe
Former child solider Aung Ko Htwe has been acquitted of the latest in a series of charges against him after he gave a media interview about being forcibly recruited by the Myanmar military when he was only 13. Despite this acquittal, he remains in prison serving two years and six months on other politically motivated charges. He should be immediately and unconditionally released.TAKE ACTION

THAILAND

Olympic 2020 partner Mitsubishi Electric humiliates workers

Please join the outcry.

Prometheus and Pandora XIX

Our featured image shows our protagonists as Pokemons.

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Prometheus and Pandora hope that you will visit the site, take the actions and make the donations.

IN MEMORIAM Montserrat Caballé, April 12, 1933-October 6, 2018

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Montserrat Caballé on stage in Santander, northern Spain, in 2006. Photograph: Victor Fraile/Reuters

The great diva who conquered the opera world with her magnificent voice and commanding presence has died at age 85. She had a colossal career spanning decades. Few opera singers rocketed to fame more swiftly than she. When Caballé substituted for Marilyn Horne in the title role in a concert performance of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall on April 20, 1965, she was virtually unknown beyond a few provincial European opera houses. After the performance—and a twenty-five-minute ovation—all that would change. Record companies stormed the backstage while the applause was still going on. RCA won.

Pandora and Prometheus are fortunate enough to have in their collection an operatic event that took place outdoors and was preserved on video—Norma at the Orange Festival in 1974, opposite tenor Jon Vickers, a white-hot performance  and one that Caballé herself regarded as a major highlight of her career.

Detailed obituaries can be found in the Guardian and in Opera News. We can all be glad that she did not heed what she was told at her first auditions in Italy. The Italian maestros who heard her in Milan and Florence advised the already buxom young soprano to return to Spain, get married and raise a family.

Her collaboration with a rock singer was a unique phenomenon. In 1987, the mayor of Barcelona invited her to provide a theme song for the Olympic Games to be held in the city in 1992, giving the BBC the music for its television coverage. For this, she collaborated on the album Barcelona (1988) with the lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, whom she knew to be a keen opera lover and who called her voice “the best in the world”.
We would like to share with you her performance of the Puccini aria Mia bambino caro

 

RANT AND RAVE

RANT ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH MASSACRE

We cannot ignore the horrible event of the shooting of innocent people by a criminal in Congregation Etz Hayim in Pittsburgh. We honor the memory of the martyrs, the holy ones who were killed only for the “crime” of being Jewish. We lower our heads in shame at the totally inappropriate reaction of the Israeli government to the massacres.

IN MEMORIAM

Joyce Fienberg, 75
Richard Gottfried, 65
Rose Mallinger, 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59 and David Rosenthal, 54
Husband and wife Sylvan Simon, 86 and Bernice Simon, 84
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88
Irving Younger, 69

Read the obituaries.

A Pittsburgh newspaper put the opening words of the Kaddish on its from  page.

 

We salute the members of the Pittsburgh community, Muslims, Christians, whatever, who have rallied around the Jewish community. Wasi Mohamed, executive director of the Pittsburgh Islamic Center, says the Muslim community has raised more than $70,000 for the victims of the synagogue attack and their families. Mohamed said: ‘We just want to know what you need … If it’s people outside your next service protecting you, let us know. We’ll be there.’

Nothing, not even the massacres coming one after the other seems able to get the US body politic to enact civilized gun control legislation.

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Of course there are compelling political reasons for this:

RANT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

This section of our rants  will focus on sexual harassment by men in power and the culture of impunity that has always protected them. The recent exposures in Hollywood and New York of sexual corruption in the entertainment industry have given rise to a unity of protest and disclosure as exemplified by the #meToo movement. An online data base called Rotten Apples enables one to see if anyone involved in a show, film or series has been accused of sexual harassment.

Pandora tells us that this goes back a long way, to the gods of ancient Greece, such as the pursuit of the nymph Daphne by the amorous Apollo. Her father turned her into a tree to save her.

apollodaphne

Apollo and Daphne
By John William Waterhouse

Today, alas, no such miraculous means are available and powerful men have used their positions with impunity to pressure and harass female employees and colleagues. On the other hand mass media and the internet have played a great role in exposing and shaming them. We shall focus on a few cases in Israel and in the entertainment business in the US.

ALEX GILADY

Image result for gilady alex

Gilady, who founded the Israeli television broadcaster Keshet, served as a senior executive of NBC in the United States in the ’80s and ’90s, rising to the post of senior vice president. He also sits on the International Olympics Committee. He has been forced to step down from his position at Keshet  in the wake of accusations of serious sexual misconduct. The claims are by Neri Livneh, a columnist with Haaretz, and Oshrat Kotler, a journalist on Channel 10 television. Livneh wrote a column that appeared on Haaretz’s Hebrew website in which she said she was contacted by Gilady’s secretary in 1999, who said that Gilady, then a top TV executive, wished to meet with her on the premise that he
had an interesting offer for her. She eventually found herself at his home where Gilady exposed his penis to her, saying “Talk to it.” Livneh alleged that many people were aware of sexual misconduct of this kind committed by Gilady but preferred not to make it public. She described the incident on a women’s program in 1999 but had been asked not to mention Gilady’s name for legal reasons, Livneh says.

Kotler alleged that Gilady, then CEO of Keshet, made an “indecent proposition” when she met with him for a job interview. When she told him that she was married, he responded: “What has that got to do with it? Don’t you know how they get ahead in television in Hollywood?”

Other women have come out with allegations against Gilady and his reaction has been to file a defamation lawsuit, although in the case of Livneh he has publicly admitted the facts described. We shall wait and see how this case works out.

DAN MARGALIT

Image result for dan margalit

Dan Margalit is an Israeli journalist who has announced that he will cease all journalistic work after eight women accused him of sexual assault and harassment. At age 80 he is currently an op-ed columnist for Haaretz. His career has included stints as a senior reporter and columnist at many papers; he was also a popular host of several television shows. He is considered one of the country’s most influential journalists, with close ties to many senior politicians.
Orly Azoulay, a journalist for the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper,in October became the eighth woman to speak out and accuse Margalit of sexual assault and harassment.  Azoulay, 65, accused Margalit of sexually assaulting her in 1992 in the studio of the “Popolitika” television political talk show, which Margalit hosted and where she was a panel member.
Before Azoulay, seven women had come out with accusations of sexual harassment. Haaretz reported that five women had accused him over the course of his long career, and two more spoke out later.
Margalit is now accused of being a serial sexual harasser of young female journalists. It is regrettable that a distinguished career should be marred at the end by such disclosures from the past, but the victims have borne the pain for all these years and he does not deserve impunity.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN

Image result for harvey weinstein

He was a extremely powerful Hollywood producer and a serial sexual predator who was brought down by Pulitzer prize winning articles in the New Yorker and in the NYTimes. The New Yorker articles by Ronan Farrow, a contributing writer, exposed the decades-long sexual predation by Weinstein and the complex system of private investigators, lawyers, and nondisclosure agreements that he used to cover it up. Two reporters at the Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, first reported on Weinstein’s sexual-harassment settlements, on October 5, 2017. Farrow’s first article, a seven-thousand-word investigation published five days later, disclosed the first accusations of rape and sexual assault against Weinstein. Farrow’s subsequent articles exposed additional rape and harassment allegations.

Weinstein is now facing sexual-assault charges in a court in New York. According to law-enforcement officials, the charges against him are based on the allegations of several women although the prosecution seems to have encountered difficulties relating to the functioning of the DA’s office.

LESLIE  MOONVES

Image result for moonves

Moonves was until recently the CEO of the CBS Corporation. He too has been brought down by the writings and actions of Ronan Farrow. Farrow reported in the New Yorker:

“Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result. “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” the actress and writer Illeana Douglas told me.”
All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers. “He has gotten away with it for decades,” the writer Janet Jones, who alleges that she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting, told me. “And it’s just not O.K.””

CNN reported that Moonves would step down from his position at CBS. Later the same day, CBS announced that Moonves had left the company and would not receive any of his exit compensation, pending the results of the independent investigation into the allegations. The company named six new members of its board of directors and said it would donate twenty million dollars to organizations that support the #MeToo movement and workplace equality for women. The donation will be deducted from any severance payments that may be due to Moonves.

Let us hope that the public shaming of these powerful and exploitative men contributes to the creation of a work culture and a social atmosphere in which women are respected and treated fairly

BOOK REVIEW/CLIMATE CHANGE

No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies by William T. Vollman Viking
No Good Alternative: Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies by William T. Vollmann Viking

The Most Honest Book About Climate Change Yet

William T. Vollmann’s latest opus is brilliant, but it offers no comfort to its readers.

This dystopian novel describes the world as it will be. He addresses a reader who lives in the future, under radically different circumstances—inhabiting a “hotter, more dangerous and biologically diminished planet.” He envisions her turning the pages of his climate-change opus within the darkened recesses of an underground cave in which she has sought shelter from the unendurable heat; the plagues, droughts, and floods; the methane fireballs racing across boiling oceans. Because the soil is radioactive, she subsists on insects and recycled urine, and regards with implacable contempt her ancestors, who, as Vollmann tells her, “enjoyed the world we possessed, and deserved the world we left you.”
In contrast to other writers about climate change, Vollmann holds out no hope and regards our attempts to mitigate as futile exercises. The two components of the book are reviewed together in the Atlantic by Nathaniel Rich. In a similar vein albeit in a different context, Gerta Keller, a Princeton geologist who rejects the asteroid impact hypothesis of dinosaur extinction, and attributes the mass die-off of 65 million years ago to colossal volcanism, compares what we are doing to our planet to the lethal effects of a series of colossal volcanic eruptions in a part of western India known as the Deccan Traps. The story of the huge controversy between the impacters and the volcano camp appears in the same issue of the Atlantic.

A WORD FROM SCIENCE

A most exciting discovery has come from the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes. A moon orbiting a planet that itself is in orbit around a star other than the sun, i.e. an exoplanet has been discovered. In a paper published Oct. 3 in the journal Science Advances, Alex Teachey and David Kipping, both from Colombia University, report
that the detection of a candidate exomoon — that is, moons orbiting planets in other star systems — is unusual because of its large size, comparable to the diameter of Neptune. Such gargantuan moons do not exist in our own solar system, where nearly 200
natural satellites have been cataloged.  Stay tuned, more will certainly be coming on this subject.

WHY SCIENCE, IN PARTICULAR BIOLOGY?

SMBC has the answer.

creat

 

 

SILLY TIME

What IF?

I understand that the New Horizons craft used gravity assist from Jupiter to increase its speed on the way to Pluto. I also understand that by doing this, Jupiter slowed down very slightly. How many flyby runs would it take to stop Jupiter completely?

—Dillon

More than we can afford. The answer puts things into perspective.

WE GRANDPARENTS DO OUR BEST

WUMO has a special for dog owners… Because of strict copyright rules, we only give you the link.

WHAT PRICE MASS EDUCATION?

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update October 18-24

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

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Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the the Afya Foundation who are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Their mission is to provide medical equipment to Third World hospitals from the waste of US hospitals. The US Healthcare system discards >7000 tons of usable medical supplies every year. Since 2008, AFYA has rescued over $26MM worth of these supplies from landfills and given them a second life around the world. Please lend a hand to this most worthy cause.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

Aboriginal cave art, Australia.

Aboriginal cave art

This week we call your attention to the plight of the aboriginal people of Australia.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

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You can download this book

Look for these logos:

 

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Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United and lend your voice to the call to free anti slavery activists in Mauritania.:

TURKMENISTAN

Free Gaspar Matalaev, end forced and child labor in the cotton fields!

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Rights defender Gaspar Matalaev has now spent more than two years in prison for the ‘crime’ of documenting the massive use of forced labor in the cotton fields of Turkmenistan. Arrested on October 4, 2016, two days after publishing a report on forced labor in the 2016 harvest, he was reportedly subjected to torture in order to extract a forced ‘confession’ to crimes he never committed. Please act.

 

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHILE

Urgent Action Victory! – Lawyer at Risk Granted Protection Measures

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Chilean human rights defender and lawyer Karina Riquelme is no longer considered under imminent threat. The Supreme Court of Justice of Chile ordered protection measures for her on 25 September 2018.

Chilean lawyer Karina Riquelme reported on 9 and 10 July as well as on 31 August surveillance and intimidation by men who were later identified as police intelligence agents. An appeal for legal protection, to ensure protection measures were put in place for Karina Riquelme, was filed but was denied on 14 September by the Appeal Court in Temuco. The appeal was then filed before the Chilean Supreme Court of Justice. On 25 September the Supreme Court eventually overruled the Appeal Court’s decision, stating that the Chilean police intelligence must adopt measures to prevent the recurrence of acts that may threaten the individual security and the free exercise of the profession of lawyer, as the one denounced by Karina Riquelme.

Amnesty International will monitor Karina Riquelme’s situation. Many thanks to all who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

EGYPT

Urgent Action: Egyptian’s Arbitrary Detention Renewed

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Islam Khalil, a former victim of an enforced disappearance, has been held in pre-trial detention on trumped-up charges since 10 March. On 27 August, the Cairo Criminal Court renewed his detention for a further 45 days.

TAKE ACTION

UAE

Urgent Action: Uighur Man Faces Forcible Return to China

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Abudujilili Supi, a Uighur man who has been working as a muezzin – a leader and caller of prayers – in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was taken away by Emirati police officers and is at risk of being forcibly returned to China, where Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities are arbitrarily detained.

TAKE ACTION

ECUADOR

Urgent Action: Environmental Defender’s Home Set on Fire

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Environmental defender Margoth Escobar could be at risk after her home was intentionally set on fire in Puyo, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, on 29 September. This is the fourth attack this year against members of the Amazon Women collective who defend the land, the territory and the environment in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

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Release jailed construction workers – Ensure occupational safety at Istanbul Airport. A Turkish court has jailed pending trial 24 people involved in protests over work conditions at Istanbul’s new airport. Please join the outcry.

 

Prometheus and Pandora XVIII

Our featured image shows Athena and Hephaistos, who had been ordered by Zeus  to create a woman, Pandora, admiring their handiwork.

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Prometheus and Pandora hope that you will visit the site, take the actions and make the donations.

 

IN MEMORIAM

NEIL SIMON July 4, 1927-August 26, 2018

'THE ODD COUPLE' PLAY OPENING NIGHT POST PARTY, NEW YORK, AMERICA - 27 OCT 2005

Neil Simon, one of the rare late-20th century playwrights who was a brand name for plays such as “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park,” died on August 26. He was 91. A statement from his reps said, “Neil Simon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, died on August at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The cause was complications from pneumonia. His wife, Elaine Joyce Simon, was at his bedside along with Mr. Simon’s daughters, Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon.” In addition to his four Oscar nominations and 17 Tony nominations, Simon’s works brought an unsurpassed 50 Tony nominations for their actors. His competitive Tony wins came for “The Odd Couple” (best playwright) and for best play for “Lost in Yonkers” and “Biloxi Blues.”

Detailed obituaries can be found in the NYtimes and Variety.

 

John T. “Jack” Gosling 10 July 1938-10 May 2018

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John T. “Jack” Gosling died 10 May 2018, in Louisville, Colo., after a battle with cancer. With his passing, the field of space physics has lost one of its most insightful, productive, and influential scientists, and many of us have lost a dear and treasured friend. A detailed obituary and account of his great scientific achievements has been written by his colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory. and published in EOS. the journal of the American Geophysical Union. Rest in peace, dear friend.

UNRANT

For once we want to be a bit positive. We have found a fascinating site called Brainpickings, run by a lady named Maria Popova. Prometheus and Pandora recommend that you take a look at it and maybe cough up a donation to keep it running.

Pandora and Prometheus would like to link you to a review of a beautiful book by the great Shel Silverstein, The Missing Piece. Enjoy!

RANT OF THE MONTH

Prometheus and Pandora have been ranting for quite a while about the erosion of democracy in Israel and elsewhere. At the risk of being redundant we will link you to a hard-hitting article by Chemi Shalev in Haaretz in which he analyzes the spooky symbiosis between Trump and Netanyahu and draws a parallel between the pogrom of Charlottesville a year ago and the Nation State law in Israel. Both support white/Jewish supremacy and as Shalev writes-“We’re all Jews, Netanyahu is signaling, we know why we’re here, and nothing else matters:.”

Of course much else does matter, especially the rights of minority communities, Arabs, Druze and others. The problem is in many ways the assertion that the Jewish nature of the state trumps human rights. If the rightist interpretation of Judaism is adopted, Israel will find itself disconnected from the largest Jewish community in the world, that in the USA, most of whose members are liberal.  Shuki Friedman writing in Haaretz makes the point that the definition of Judaism is the critical point in the struggle for the soul of the nation. If the closed parochial version continues to be dominant then democracy has no chance. We shall also lose our connection to the liberal nations still left in the EU.  Eva Illiuz, also in Haaretz, points out the catastrophic effect for the Jews of the world of Israel’s alignment with the populist, often anti-Semitic countries around the world. Hungary and Poland are strong examples of this trend.

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An illustration depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Auschwitz. Credit Eran Wolkowski

Despite the hostile environment, there are people, including human rights lawyers and other activists, who are struggling in Israel to protect minority rights. David Shulman writing in the NYRB extols their courage and persistence . He reviews two books, one on the connection of Jews to human rights in the 20th century and the struggle for human rights in  Israel seen  through the eyes of a human rights lawyer.

A RANT IN A PICTURE

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARGY!

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In a few weeks our dear friend and colleague Margy Kivelson, professor emerita at UCLA, will celebrate her 90th birthday. Over the decades we have shared  several spacecraft missions and have greatly enjoyed both working with her and hanging out in her delightful company. She has had a remarkable career and is still going strong in science and in everything else. We had an email from her a few weeks ago that warmed our hearts. For a description of her life and career we refer you to the NYTimes who do it much better than we could.

TIDBITS FROM SCIENCE

GALILEO LETTER DISCOVERED

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The original letter in which Galileo argued against the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church has been rediscovered in London. Credit: The Royal Society

The original letter of 1613 — long thought lost — in which Galileo Galilei first set down his arguments against the church’s doctrine that the Sun orbits the Earth has been discovered in a misdated library catalogue in London. The letter was used in the process against him by the Inquisition. It appears that he modified the letter to soften his claims against Scripture as science, but the version that was used in court was the strong one. The new discovery resolves the question of how the softening was done. It appears that Galileo himself did the editing and lied about the first version.

LANDING ON AN ASTEROID

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This spectacular photo shows the view from asteroid Ryugu of the Minerva-II1A rover during a hop after it successfully landed on Sept. 21, 2018. The probe is one of two that landed on Ryugu from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft. It’s the first time two mobile rovers landed on an asteroid.
Credit: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Two tiny hopping robots have successfully landed on an asteroid called Ryugu–part of a sample return mission of the mother spacecraft Hayabusa2. The  robots now have a companion on the surface of   Ryugu. A shoebox-sized lander called the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) deployed from its mothership, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, as planned at 9:57 p.m. EDT Tuesday (Oct. 2; 0157 GMT on Oct. 3) and came to rest on Ryugu shortly thereafter.

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The German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander captured this photo of asteroid Ryugu during landing operations on Oct. 3, 2018. The lander’s shadow is visible at upper right.
Credit: German Aerospace Center (DLR)

SILLY TIME

WhatIf

What would the world be like if the land masses were spread out the same way as now – only rotated by an angle of 90 degrees?

—Socke

The answer from Randal is very interesting. You will enjoy reading it.

SPELLING IS IMPORTANT

HERE IS A LINK TO A WUMO

Prometheus and Pandora do not wish to run afoul of WUMO’s copyright.

WE HEAR MUCH ABOUT AI…