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When you create a problem, you create pain. All it takes is a simple choice, a simple decision: no matter what happens, I will create no more pain for myself. I will create no more problems. Although it is a simple choice, it is also very radical. You won’t make that choice unless you are truly fed up with suffering, unless you have truly had enough. And you won’t be able to go through with it unless you access the power of the Now. If you create no more pain for yourself, then you create no more pain for others. You also no longer contaminate the beautiful Earth, your inner space, and the collective human psyche with the negativity of problem-making.
Eckhart Tolle (via lazyyogi)

#Nowwatching Baraka: Without words, cameras show us the world, with an emphasis not on “where,” but on “what’s there.” It begins with morning, natural landscapes and people at prayer: volcanoes, water falls, veldts, and forests; several hundred monks do a monkey chant. Indigenous peoples apply body paint; whole villages dance. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip mining. Images of poverty, rapid urban life, and factories give way to war, concentration camps, and mass graves. Ancient ruins come into view, and then a sacred river where pilgrims bathe and funeral pyres burn. Prayer and nature return. A monk rings a huge bell; stars wheel across the sky.


If there were no humanitarian crisis, if there weren’t a crisis in almost every aspect of life in Gaza there would be no need for the flotilla. 95 percent of all water in Gaza is undrinkable, 40 percent of all disease is water-borne … 45.2 percent of the labor force is unemployed, 80 percent aid dependency, a tripling of the abject poor since the start of the blockade. Let’s get rid of this blockade and there would be no need for a flotilla.
Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency ..

10 million displaced Somalis need food aid …

Tens of thousands of Somalis have watched their land dry up after years without rain. Then the livestock died. Finally the food ran out.

Now they are making the perilous journey to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, also hit hard by drought. The UN expects that at least 10 million people there will need food aid.

A US aid official said yesterday he believed the situation in Ethiopia to be worse than the government acknowledged. It said that 4.5 million people there needed food aid, 40 per cent more than last year. Jason Frasier, mission director of Usaid in Ethiopia, the US government’s aid arm, suggested that might be an under-assessment of the numbers.

Aid agencies are appealing for more than $100m in emergency funding while warning of dire consequences if help does not arrive.

The world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, was built to house 90,000 people; more than 382,000 are now here, with people dying every day. Most of those coming to Dadaab are former subsistence farmers whose lands were made unworkable and and animals died after successive seasons without rain in the already war-ravaged country.


Horn of Africa: 60 babies are dying every day ...

Quotes …

Some 60 babies are dying each day in one camp. Every 24 hours, more than 3,000 malnourished people arrive at camps already too crowded to accommodate them. The lives of half a million children are at imminent risk. And, in total, no fewer than 12 million people are fighting for their very survival.

These are the dry, statistical facts of life – and, increasingly, death – in the Horn of Africa this weekend. Behind them are uncountable numbers of human trials and tragedies: Somali children arriving at refugee camps so weak that they are dying within a day, despite receiving emergency care and food; the tens of thousands a week, like Somalian Hawo Ibrahim and her seven children, who trekked for 15 days before reaching a refugee camp in Kenya; and the mothers and children who get lost or die along the way in the 50-degree heat.”

…”At Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya, now the largest refugee centre in the world, some 382,000 people are crammed into a facility designed for 90,000. Around 1,400 more desperate people, most of them children, turn up every day. At Ethiopia’s camps, each day brings 1,700 new arrivals. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Ethiopia have set up a cluster of camps at Dolo Ado to accommodate the influx of refugees. The cluster of crowded camps scattered around the town now shelters almost 100,000 people, and the UN is frantically building more centres for another 120,000.

"This," said Antonio Guterres, the head of UNHCR, during a trip to the area on Wednesday, "is the worst humanitarian disaster we are facing in the world.

Word of the desperate conditions has spread back to Somalia, a quarter of whose 7.5 million people are now either internally displaced or living outside the country as refugees, according to the UN. Even the country’s top militant group is now asking the aid agencies it once banned from its territories to return. And now, according to a BBC report yesterday, impromptu camps are forming, with the numbers there doubling within days and some holding more than 5,000 people. There are medicines here, but, as yet, no food. The inhabitants wait and hope.”…

"Southern Sudan, the world’s newest country, has also been hit by the food crisis. It can ill afford to be. Children make up nearly half the population, and one in nine die before the age of five. For a population of around eight million, there are only 100 trained midwives, and fewer than 500 doctors."

E-Mail From|Sudan: enough is enough‏ ..

Dear friends, 

Sudan’s President al-Bashir is the world’s worst mass murderer. Indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, he has for 20 years repeatedly butchered whole communities that challenged his rule. And it’s happening again — unless we stop him for good.

Right now he’s bombing women and children in the Nuba mountains, while his militias go door to door slitting the throats of whole families. For decades, world leaders have shamefully allowed al-Bashir’s unspeakable brutality so they could maintain access to his regime’s large oil reserves. But this week things are changing — Sudan is splitting apart, inflation and food prices are sky-rocketing, and Bashir’s grip on power is at its weakest ever. 

Let’s send a massive message to our leaders that enough is enough and demand they end their shocking inaction now: by arresting this monster, levying powerful sanctions on his cabal, and committing to protect the people of Sudan from genocide. Click below to sign and tell everyone — we’ll deliver the petition to UN Security Council members when we reach 300,000 signatures: 

The Nuba mountains are under siege. Al-Bashir killed an entire generation of men, women and children there in the 1990s, and now he’s back to brutalize the survivors. But in just days, long-suffering South Sudan will finally become independent, taking with it much of the oil that al-Bashir uses to buy international complicity with his crimes. Bashir is also facing pro-democracy protests, a worsening economy, and tense relations with long-time patron, China. This is our best chance in decades to organize the international action we need to end al-Bashir’s brutal rule. 

Strong international sanctions, a concerted global plan to arrest al-Bashir and others indicted by the International Criminal Court, and a commitment to protect the Sudanese people from further crimes against humanity would send al-Bashir a signal that the game is up, weaken his position in his own regime, and show the Sudanese people that he no longer has impunity for his crimes. The Sudanese - in the South, in Darfur, in Nuba, and many other places - have waited far too long for the world to stand up for humanity and justice, let’s stand with them now: 

It’s almost impossible to imagine the desperation and terror of women and children in Nuba right now, or Darfur before them. It’s a great stain on the conscience of the entire world, that we have not done what was necessary to stop al-Bashir’s reign of terror. Let’s end that reign now, with a massive outcry to governments to act. 

With hope,

Ricken, Stephanie, Nicola, Alice, Morgan, Rewan and the rest of the Avaaz team 


Ethnic Killings by Army Reported in Sudanese Mountains

Sudan seen massing troops in oil state, U.N. staff blocked 

Ex-rebels accuse Sudan’s Bashir of blocking ceasefire 

The struggle for South Sudan 

How will southern independence affect Sudan? 

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