A Week in the News #3

By alicia hosking
2 Aug 2011
So much happens in our world every week. Here is a tiny snapshot from our UK-based resident jouralist.

(Thanks Alicia.)

In 2007 a report was issued by the Australian Government that raised the alarm regarding cases of child abuse and neglect in remote communities in Central Australia. In response, the Government has since implemented an 'intervention' policy, which imposes restrictions in 73 remote Aboriginal communities in an attempt to stamp out abuse. The policy has been met by widespread controversy and has even been labeled as 'racist' by the United Nations. This documentary from Al Jazeera's Witness explores the realities of life for Aboriginal families in remote communities near Katherine, NT living under the intervention. Read More >>
A human trafficking raid in one of the world's most dangerous cities, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has resulted in the arrest of over 1000 people. 300 federal police officers swept across the city's bars, hotels and boarding houses during the nine-hour operation, rescuing 20 trafficked girls. The laws surrounding trafficking are also changing and strengthening in Mexico, where powerful cartels that have traditionally shipped and sold drugs and weapons have added human trafficking to their repertoire. Read More >>

The central African country of Chad is experiencing an outbreak of cholera, a waterborne disease spread through contaminated food and water. The situation has been rapidly deteriorating since the onset of their wet season and according to aid agencies is not yet under control. In Chad, only 0.6 percent of houses have proper toilets, most towns have no garbage collection service, waste water disposal systems are almost non-existent and many communities depend on contaminated rivers and ponds for their water supply. Read More >>

In 2006 the discovery of "the biggest find of alluvial diamonds in the history of mankind", reportedly worth US$800bn, was made in the Marange fields of Zimbabwe. The forceful practices of Zimbabwe's military, who have since supervised the mining of Marange under the watch of dictator Robert Mugabe, point to violent displacement, human rights violations and mass looting by political, corporate and military elites. The approval of the international trade of Marange's diamonds by the chair of the Kimberley Process (KP), an international initiative created to eradicate the trade of blood diamonds, has prompted global outcry, with KP members including Canada, the EU and the US claiming there was in fact "no consensus", and has called the suitability of the KP system into question. Read More >>

Drug and alcohol services for the young people of the UK are having their funding cut, a move that could set the fight against substance abuse back 10 years according to leading health groups. Services including drug education in schools, treatment for young people battling addiction and support for professionals working in the sector are being scaled back and shut down. As a result young people with drug and alcohol related issues are finding it increasingly hard to find help. Read More >>


Alarming figures have emerged showing high rates of suicide attempts and self-harm incidents across Australia's network of detention centres, where asylum seekers and displaced people are held while their immigration applications are processed. The Commonwealth Ombudsman Allan Asher is launching an inquiry into the situation after spending a week observing centres on Christmas Island last month, during which 30 separate incidents were reported. This news comes in the same week as the signing of Australia's controversial 'refugee swap deal' with Malaysia, which will see 800 asylum seekers sent to Malaysia for processing in exchange for 4000 refugees who are in the most need being granted resettlement in Australia. Read More >>


Water inequality is one of the issues at the heart of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East. Palestinians reportedly have 50 litres of water to use per day, while Israelis have 280 litres. While attacks on water infrastructure, like tanks and wells, are currently carried out as collective punishment, Nader Al-Khateeb of NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East explains that shared water problems can in fact encourage cross-border communities to work together to resolve their crisis. Water, he says, could be an instrument of peace and co-operation, bridging the gap of confidence in the region, building real trust between individuals and in turn helping to end the conflict. Read More >>


This morning one billion people - that's one in seven people on planet earth - woke up with nothing to eat. The issue, according to the World Food Programme's Executive Director Josette Sheeran, is not food production, because there is enough food on earth for everyone, but access to food. The good news is that we already have the technologies and systems required to solve it. In this inspiring TED talk, Josette delivers six feasible solutions that can end hunger and malnutrition across the globe. Read More >>



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