Steel producers and the industry in general must comply with new EU emission limits as of 2016. But the steel giants, the second largest industrial polluters in Europe, watered down their obligations through lobbying. Introducing the most suitable technologies to clean up their dirty fumes is just an option, not a requirement. European citizens pay an estimated 60 billion Euro for medical emergencies and premature deaths associated to industrial emissions.
In Egypt there is a glimpse of democracy in the elections intended to ensure a parliamentary renewal. For the first time, the opposition is seriously organized to gnaw a nice slice of votes at the government party, namely the National Democratic Party. The new popular movement “Kifaya” has given rise to a spontaneous protest against the Iraq war that unexpectedly turned into a mass revolt against the abuses and social disruption that stifled Egypt since independence in the ’52
From the Nairobi capital, we head to the landscape of another planet, inhabited by the last descendants of the legendary and now dying “Man’s Cradle.” Here the ecosystem has allowed ancestral tribes to live for centuries in the arid suburbs of the lake’s shore, considered one of the most hostile environments on Earth. The same tribes are now facing extinction. They are among the most vulnerable victims of famine which is destroying the Horn of Africa.
The often fruitless waiting of their turn, the excitement of meeting up again, the illusion of a life still together, the desperation of a last and definitive farewell. It looks like the plot of a movie, but instead it is the real drama of 8 million families divided by the war that split Korea into two parties. Only 100 families picked up by chance are able to meet up for a few days. Those excluded must make do with some video conferencing. Meanwhile, 35,000 applicants have already died
A “ghost state”, a separatist region of Moldova, Transnistria. It is precisely here that illegal footwear trade is taking place after the embargo against goods lacking the Moldovan official stamp. Having obtained the certificate of “made in Moldova” for their export, alleged shoe factories are able to circumvent the import quotas by falsely pointing to the label that the shoes they buy in China and resell in Europe are produced in Moldova
Zelzate is one of the villages closed in the industrial port of Gent, home to the second largest laminated steel mill in Europe, owned by Arcelor Mittal. This giant factory is the flame retardant of CO2, as well as fine dust, or particular matter (PM) responsible for health problems among young people. All this is due to a system of “emission falsity” aimed at harnessing the international emissions trading mechanism and maximizing profits
It is still unclear what happened to the European funds allocated for post-conflict reconstruction of Kosovo. It is the funds that the European Commission gave to UNMIK, the special UN mission that politically and economically administered Kosovo from 2000 to 2008 until the independence from Serbia. This is a story where no one takes responsibility but where, on the other hand, the UN and the EU continue to laugh behind a rubber wall
Islamic infiltration accelerates in Italy and risks coping with criminal activities. According to Sisde’s latest report, the Sunni component is rapidly expanding its network in the central-northern area: Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Friuli and, above all, Marche. The Mosque of Fermo is accredited as a reference reality for the followers. The national meetings are the branching tools on the territory
In Congo, rape is not just a sneaking war weapon in the ethnic clash between Tutsi, Hutu and Congolese. It is a real social plague: every month tens of girls militated by militiamen are banned from the community, the dishonored families dispel, the women who do not report violence not to end up on a road are destroyed by venereal diseases. The reeds are reduced to prostituting themselves to survive
From 1999 to today, 2% of reconstruction aid in Kosovo(3 billion euros, paid mainly by European taxpayers) has ended up in the pockets of UNMK officials and their Kosovar accomplices. An annual cost per office and staff of 300 million euros. Everything justified in the name of the “Balkan pax”. This is the budget of the UN bureaucratic machine. That leaves behind a miserable Kosovo and a long list of pending processes
The threat of Islamic fundamentalism in Kosovo is no longer a secret. For a long time the Serbian authorities have been trying to convince the International Community that an independent Kosovo would become the bridgehead of Islamic fundamentalism in the Balkans. The most serious threat has been added recently: the proselytism of the infamous Salafites, the “purists” of the Qur’an, who preach their application to the letter through religious martyrdom
While Brussels maintains an embargo on North Cyprus goods, while Ankara counteracts boycotting South Cyprus goods, Pyla becomes a multiethnic miracle. 1000 “Sudden” Christian-Orthodox and 500 “Nordic” Muslims live peacefully, creating a laboratory of humanity and mutual respect, on the line of the ceasefire the fire that cuts the island in two
Transnistria represents the last Soviet fief on the planet. Igor Smirnov. Shortly due to the blockade of illegal exports imposed by Ukraine and Moldova, with EU support, President Smirnov has halted negotiations with Moldova and has announced for the coming September a referendum with which Transnistria will decide whether to remain part of Moldova or leave it permanently
The outcome of the elections in Lebanon is for some the first democratic turning point in the Middle East, for many it represents only the maintenance of well-established political immobility. Michel Aoun failed to drag the electorate with his program of renewal, inconvenient to the anti-Syrian opposition led by Muslim Saad Hariri, who ensured the majority in Parliament. Many shadows lie on the credibility of the future government
Food piracy continues to hit the tricolor delights with great damage to our industry. It is therefore hoped that a uniform control system will be overseen by the European Commission, even if it is not welcomed by many countries which, as inspectors, often close their eyes to defend their industry. A new EU proposal against “fakes” is, however, upon us
The Antarctic Sea is a key engine of the Earth’s climate. It triggers a continuous exchange between the polar cold and the excess heat of the most populated areas of the planet, thus keeping temperatures at levels that make life possible. Today global warming could compromise this global compensation process. We sailed to Antarctica with a team of scientists to find an answer to the question: Is this catastrophe really going to happen?
In Pakistan the yoke of war and land intersect at every level. On the one hand, an aristocracy of landowners controls the majority of lands by slaughtering millions of small peasants. On the other hand the high spheres of the political-military establishment plunge the country into the status quo, overthrowing both the reform of land ownership and the pursuit of a definitive solution to terrorism. In all of this, the USA plays their part
A 1,700-km steel serpent built by an international consortium costing 3 billion euros brings oil from Azerbaijan’s deposits to our gas stations becoming the safest source of supply for Europe in the last year. Feeling strong of its strategic role, Azerbaijan is battling the democratization promises made to international observers with the export of black gold, becoming the “small Caucasus Russia”
It is the privatization of water to be now in the EU viewfinder. This happened especially in Greece where attempts have been made to leverage the precarious economic situation that the country is experiencing to impose the liberalization of municipal water services in exchange for the anti-crisis aid package. Yet the same Community legislation on services sanctions the principle of non-interference in national water management modes. Italy still resists, as long as it does not have to ask for EU aid.
Sardar Sarovar Dam: is the name of the largest in the thirty dams built in India as a reservoir for rainwater. The government, according to which the water reserve is needed to disperse the 20 million inhabitants of the Gugarat desert, should have ensured that all those living at the dam were provided with safe house and land to cultivate. The truth is that many villages have been flooded with water and many suspect that the real beneficiaries will be the large industrial complexes and elite tourist structures.
In Africa grow crops for energy purposes. Felisa, the Belgian start-up, is the first to invest in Africa in the production of biodiesel from palma oil. But all this involves also other Western investors and it increasingly takes on the forms of a new colonization. However it goes, as always, at the expense of local people, who risk their exclusion from their lands. How to take advantage of the promising growth of agro-energy while protecting the interests of local communities?
Liquid fuel from plants – like bioethanol – is considered by some as a possible ecological substitute for fossil fuel. And this is clear to the countries of the western world, and in particular to England. These are crops that are subject to controversy, as they risk replacing foodstuffs by exorbitantly increasing the price of food and hunger. Not to mention the problem of expropriation of land.
Bioshape, a green energy company based in Neer, Netherlands, is currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Among Bioshape’s projects, it is to hire thousands of local laborers and export seeds from Tanzania to the Netherlands, where they would be worked for the production of electricity, heat and biofuels. A big wound to the green polo of the world by the hand of a project that was intended to produce clean energy.
A carbon credit system, the one designed by the European community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but which would actually even raise them. The scheme was so controversial that the European Union banned it in 2013. However, the prohibition has not been taken into account by some large multinationals, as long as it does not actually come into force.
Among the longest greenhouse gases we find fluorinated. Paints, air conditioners, refrigerants: these are the consumer goods whose production emits the notorious gas, so damaging to the health of the climate.
Italy is in the EU viewfinder for failing to comply with the Community rules on fluorinated emissions.
Power almost never does the right thing, but certainly always does the story. And that is the brutal story of Kivu, east of Congo. Here, a scum of rotten forces is devastating the territory with kidnapping, destruction of natural reserves and illicit trafficking of raw materials. The armed arm is the well-known general Bosco Ntaganda, at the expense of Congolese President Kabila and Rwandan President Kagame. Many Congolese people wonder whether the international community has now resigned to Ntaganda’s laws.
What is the real weight of the biofuel revolution? Kenya and Ethiopia have sold 700,000 hectares of land to foreign investors: fuel fuels represent a development opportunity or a new form of colonialism? Running crops for fuel production led to a sharp rise in cereal prices during the food crisis in 2008, triggering a bias between NGOs and those waving on clean energy. A FAO research shows that the sedentary “miracle of plantations” could be less miraculous than investors.
An investigation to find out the price of EU green policies in favor of low-grade CO₂ blends. Imagine Switzerland entirely covered with plantations to fuel cars and power plants: it is the correspondent of the land today exploited by Westerners in Africa to produce biofuels. Are we sure that this ambitious sustainable energy project is equally sustainable for African rural communities?
Against climate warming and oil prices, the Kyoto Protocol bets on biofuels. And if the announced green revolution assumed the size of a new colonization? The Italian company Tozzi Renewable Energy (TRE Spa) is positioned on the African chess board, pending a new climate change agreement that could multiply cash flows to the green gold sector. But in danger, they are not just the fair pay of local peasants, but even ecosystems and food security.
We are in Congo, on the border with Rwanda, in the Kivu province, battered by guerilla and US embargo on “bloody minerals”. Here, militias piloted by the infamous General Bosco Ntaganda recruited hordes of miners and merchants left without work to widen the network of illicit traffic of precious metals, but arriving on international markets through the legal circuit. The military, by controlling strategic transit points, exploits minerals by force and exports them labeled “Made in Rwanda.”
Tibet is on the verge of extinction. This is the real scenario of the 2008 Olympic Games. With a tourist visa, we have been able to discover the “Chineseization” of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Tibetans do not even shade. Beijing forbids them to leave the country. But besides this, there are so many harassment imposed by the Chinese government, starting with restrictions on births and exploitation of mineral deposits: methane is shipped through gas pipelines directly to Beijing. Will the Olympic torch light up on all this?
Coltan is such a precious mineral for mobile telephones as for the Congolese Democratic Grouping. The rebel militia, checking the field in Kivu, manages to illegally resell the mineral, earning $ 1 million a month, then investing in the war against the government’s army of Joseph Kabila. Today thousands of local peasants have been torn to their lands and forced by militias to extract precious coltan: what are the real ties between belligerents and telephone companies?
From Norway to the European Arctic: with the Nordlys postal boat on the way to the “essential”. In front of us an endless mountain range that rushes to the ocean from the Polar Circle to the vertiginous Lyng Alps, the “hem of the world” for Vikings that rarely dare to push on.”It’s great to go to Europe, but only for the holidays. It’s too tight” Ironically said Hans Haugli, with the gaze fixed over the helm.”When I go to the mountains or to fish in Norway it’s different, I do not see people for weeks – I’m the King.”
Azerbaijan is not just a reserve of black gold, Azerbaijan is also a forgotten war on TVs and newspapers. 1million individuals, well 1/7 of the whole population of Azerbaijan, forced to abandon their homes to escape ethnic cleansing. In the land of Nagorno-Karabakh there are rough disagreements between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities. A drama of men, women and children crushed among the scorns of a corrupt ruling class and an international community so far gagged by the geopolitical status quo between the US and Russia in the Caucasian chess.
Russia, which at the beginning of its G8 semester had highlighted the relaunch of international energy cooperation as one of its priorities, has in fact demonstrated its preference for force politics. Russian monopolist Alexey Miller, President of Gazprom, announced that it would close gas if Eni and other European companies did not open its respective distribution markets. The EU has only to beat the opponents to the punch: diversify sources of supply before they can diversify its customers.
The “tubing” war in the Caspian Sea is approaching a turning point: Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran will try to agree on the breakdown of the energy resources of the seabed. Right in the pockets of European and Italian consumers. Today, Russian state monopoly Gazprom acquires Turkmenistan’s methane at 70 euros per thousand cubic meters and sells it back to over twice.
It is the Shatabdi Express, the train, to hold together many different cultures in the world’s largest democracy. The train in India is a reference for everyone: it also awaits those who do not take it because, in addition to people, brings money and hope. It is a machine of the future that travels in an ancestral world. The tracks become a kaleidoscope of multicolored costumes and civilizations.
The restrictive rule on births is a solution to the containment of the demographic explosion in China but in fact a silent and slow genocide in Tibet. A legally unassailable strategy, conducted with a patient and cold systematicity. That does not let go. “Our population is gradually decreasing due to the limited birth rate, while Han’s ethnicity is steadily rising due to the influx of new settlers from China”.
It is in the schools that Congo boys and girls learn to hunt a Kalashnikov. After the failure of the last peace agreement, even the government army recruited lower in its ranks, just like all the other militias. According to Amnesty International’s latest report, released in October, 11,000 small soldiers are fighting in Congo. Before the summer, they were only 3,000, according to Human Rights Watch statistics. War is often a choice: orphans or poor children decide to arm arms spontaneously, for them it is the only way to survive.
The image of an anti-Western nation and the international embargo linked to the political affairs of the last decade have made Zimbabwe a little-visited destination. But it will suffice to land on it and to ride around to realize that everyday life is very different from what transpires from media sensationalism. Here natural beauties combine with unparalleled modernity and civic sense in Africa, creating a travelling experience with unique serenity.
Over the past 150 years the most dramatic glacial retreat. Three-quarters of Swiss glaciers will disappear over the next decades. No more excuses for tourists who love the mountains of Grindelwald. From today, the “Jungfrau Climate Guide”, a pocketbook available also in the form of Iphone application, invites tourists to travel by train rather than by car and helps them see with their own eyes the tangible effects of climate change, capable of compromising the sustainability and attractiveness of the mountain.
And if you were told that you could fight climate change with a purchase on eBay? Clean Air Action Corporation, an American company set up an online store selling carbon credits. The money supposedly goes to indigenous peasants in Tanzania to persuade them to plant new trees that absorb C02. But locals no longer believe in the project. Exploited, they have stopped growing the trees, making more money through cutting them to resell the wood.
Massacre in Kiwanja, many children among over 50 victims. The executioner Nkunda seems to have responded to the government’s offensive in recent days, which had provisionally dropped him from some villages in the Rutshuru area. Shadows at the Nairobi Summit that yesterday brought together Ban Ki-moon, Congolese President and Rwanda President, seeking a political solution to the conflict that blizzards the mining areas down the border. The summit had ended with the new request for ceasing the fire.