A week in the news

By alicia hosking
20 Jul 2011
 
Because social awareness isn't just for impressive dinner party conversation, we have asked UK-based journalist, Alicia Hosking to provide us with a weekly snapshot. This is this week's WEEK IN THE NEWS.


AUSTRALIA'S CONTROVERSIAL CARBON TAX PLANS
A plan to tax carbon emissions from Australia's worst polluters, which was unveiled by their Prime Minister last week, has polarised opinions all over the country. The scheme aims to cut national emissions by about 160 million tonnes by 2020 and could aid global efforts to fight carbon pollution. Australia is the worst per-capita greenhouse gas emitter in the developed world. Read More >>

GLOBAL ARMS TRADE TREATY ON THE HORIZON
More than 100 representatives from key states, survivors' groups and industries nbsp;all over the world, who form the Control Arms coalition, met at UN HQ in New York last week to discuss the development of a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Currently there is no legally-binding global agreement regulating the international trade of arms and ammunition. The Control Arms coalition ar e campaigning for an ATT that would prevent the international transfer of arms and ammunition that fuel conflict, poverty and the violation of human rights. Read More >>

AMNESTY TV LAUNCHES
To mark the the 50th anniversary of their human rights movement, Amnesty International launched their online factual entertainment channel Amnesty TV last week. Airing human rights-related news, documentaries, film reviews and magazine-style shows, Amnesty TV aims to take activism to the mainstream, engaging and mobilising a new generation of supporters. Read More >> 

ADVANCEMENTS MADE IN HIV PREVENTION
Studies carried out in Kenya, Uganda and Botswana have shown that a combination of preventative antiretroviral drugs, which cost as little as US$0.25 per tablet, can reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by 73 percent. The UN are hailing it as a "major scientific breakthrough" in the fight against HIV and AIDS but also note that around half of the 33 million people living with HIV worldwide are unaware of their status, so an increase in HIV testing is required in order for antiretroviral medication to have a significant impact on the epidemic. Read More >>

MALE EASTING DISORDERS ON THE RISE
The Royal College of General Practitioners warned last week that the number of males suffering from easting disorders in the UK is on the rise, quoting a 66 percent increase in hospital admissions over the past 10 years. Because anorexia is predominantly thought of as a female issue, males are less likely to seek help or be correctly diagnosed, however it is thought that 15 to 20 percent of sufferers are male. Read More >>

ACTIVISTS MARCH AGAINST MASS RAPE IN DRC
 
A group of Congolese activists have marched from Paris to Brussels to raise awareness of the plight of  women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mass rape has been widely used as a weapon of war by army and militia forces in DRC as they attempt to dismantle communities by systematically attacking women. In the particularly dangerous border regions, humanitarian groups estimate that one in three women has been raped at least once in their lifetime. Read More >> 

EX-HOMELESS MAN BECOMES PUBLIC SPEAKER
John Harrison, a formerly homeless man, has taken to public speaking in order to change perceptions and raise awareness of the realities faced by homeless people. As part of the US-based National Coalition for the Homeless, John has a simple message: Almost anyone can become homeless, and people should be nice to those who are homeless. Read More >>

BIG IN JAPAN: THE CHARITY VENDING MACHINE
 
The Japanese Red Cross and Coca-Cola have teamed up to raise funds in the wake of the natural disasters that devastated Japan earlier this year. In light of the fact that Japan has an average of one vending machine for every 23 people, they have added a 'charity button', which instead of an icy-cold beverage delivers an enthusiastic "Thank you very much for the donation!" and makes it easy for customers to contribute to the rebuilding of the hardest hit areas. Read More >>

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