Inner City
        Press' Environmental Justice Reporter

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  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of inner city-relevant topics, including racism, environmental and otherwise - click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.   CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts."  The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe," and opines that that the "novel Predatory Bender: A Story of Subprime Finance may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And environmental justice too!  Click here for that review; for or with more information, contact us.

August 13, 2018

Arrest in Bangalore After Testimony to UNHRC To Be Raised to UN But Will Zeid or Bachelet Speak?

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR, Petition, Filing

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 9 – How does today's UN under Secretary General Antonio Guterres protect those who testify to it? Or does his UN, as with whistleblowers and the investigative Press, leave them to be attacked, even by UN Security? The question is raised by the case of Thirumurugan Gandhi, a May 17 Movement activist who after testifying about the the security forces' Sterlite slaughter, has been arrested in Bangalore. The May 17 Movement has messaged Inner City Press, which has been banned from the UN by Guterres for 37 days and counting, that "Thirumurugan Gandhi has been arrested at the Bangalore airport early morning today. Thirumurugan Gandhi was traveling back from a recent visit to Europe, where he addressed the UNHRC [UN Human Rights Council] meeting in Geneva where he spoke about the recent protest against the sterlite plant in Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives in police firing. He was en route to Chennai city, where he hails from. This snooping upon him at the Bangalore Airport, is a gross violation of his fundamental rights. Though the police have just mentioned two old cases in Tamil Nadu to arrest Thirumurugan Gandhi, one wonders why this kind of a operation in Bangalore at the early morning hours as he was arriving here to reach Chennai. Given the total disregard for law and constitution by the State in general, especially in the background of the tumultuous political situation in Tamil Nadu, where the awakened youth of the state are up against the proxy government there, this arrest stinks. Chennai police have even detained Thirumurugan Gandhi even on flimsiest reasons in the recent times. Treating him like a common criminal, is Political Vendetta and nothing else. Thirumurugan Gandhi and the May 17th movement have been in the forefront of many pro-people mass movements. #ReleaseThirumurugan." This is something on which the UN should have to answer, particularly given his testimony to the UNHRC. Outgoing High Commissioner Zeid, and incoming Bachelet, should speak on this and other recent failures to protect (and worse) by the UN. (Inner City Press' August 8 UN GATE video here.) As to the UN Secretariat itself, when Inner City Press e-mails in this question since it remains banned by Guterres from the UN noon briefing, will it remain unanswered like so many others, as on Patton Boggs and Cameroon? Watch this site. August 6, 2018

Wind blowing in from the Arabian Peninsula has increased dust pollution in India...

July 30, 2018

Parts of France are taking measures to combat a rise in pollution seen in several areas of the country as a result of the scorching summer temperatures.Several areas in the south and south west have been placed on alert for pollution while other regions such as the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France are also taking measures to deal with the spike in dirty air. The rise in pollution is a result of the rising heat  seen across the country in recent days which had led to 18 departments being placed on heatwave alert on Wednesday and low wind levels.

July 23, 2018

In India, the State government of Punjab’s Pollution Control Board (PPCB) conducted a stringent check on vehicle pollution monitoring centers across the state recently. This drive has revealed shocking results. More than half of these centers were blatantly issuing clean certificates to vehicles without even undertaking any pollution checks.July 16, 2018

Now, the Uttar Pradesh government implements a sweeping ban on plastic products, primarily focusing on the food industry. The state government of Maharashtra announced a similar ban three weeks ago on June 23.

July 9, 2018

Guam Environmental Protection agency said all 43 beaches on Guam are polluted because of heavy rainfall Typhoon Maria brought.

July 2, 2018

On Libya Fighting in Oil Crescent Inner City Press Asked UN Which Speaks After UK, US, Italy and France

By Matthew Russell Lee, Vine, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, June 27 – A week after Inner City Press on Libya asked the UN about General Haftar's moves on Derna, it was reported there that "UN" envoy Ghassan Salame refused to meet with people in Derna because Egypt, the UAE and France did not want him too. Salame was largely selected / placed in the position by France; Egypt backs Haftar. The UAE bought the UN's previous envoy Bernardino Leon. This is today's UN. On June 18, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: In Libya, there's a lot of fighting in the Oil Crescent, and it seems that some large oil facilities are on fire in Ra's Lanuf.  So, I'm wondering, given Mr. [Ghassan] Salamé… seems like it's both an environmental as well as a political… pretty much of a crisis.  What's the UN system doing about these burning oil tanks…?

Spokesman:  "I did not get an update from Libya today." Oh - is that all the UN spokesman's job is, beyond evicting and restricting the Press that asks? The next days, nothing from Dujarric except more cutting off of questions by calling on favored scribes, and from the UN an ouster of Inner City Press,
video here, story here. Now this on June 27 - not from the UN which has an envoy, but from the US, UK, Italy and France: "The governments of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States are deeply concerned about the announcement that the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil fields and facilities will be transferred to the control of an entity other than the legitimate National Oil Corporation.  Libya’s oil facilities, production, and revenues belong to the Libyan people.  These vital Libyan resources must remain under the exclusive control of the legitimate National Oil Corporation and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord (GNA), as outlined in UN Security Council Resolutions 2259 (2015), 2278 (2016), and 2362 (2017).  UN Security Council Resolution 2362 (2017) condemns attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya by parallel institutions which are not acting under the authority of the GNA. Any attempts to circumvent the UN Security Council’s Libya sanctions regime will cause deep harm to Libya’s economy, exacerbate its humanitarian crisis, and undermine its broader stability.  The international community will hold those who undermine Libya’s peace, security, and stability to account.  We call for all armed actors to cease hostilities and withdraw immediately from oil installations without conditions before further damage occurs.  In September 2016, the LNA supported the legitimate National Oil Corporation’s work to rebuild Libya’s oil sector for the benefit of the Libyan people.  This action served Libya’s national interest.  The legitimate National Oil Corporation must be allowed again to take up unhindered work on behalf of the Libyan people, to repair infrastructure damaged after the attack by forces under the direction of Ibrahim Jadhran, and to restore the oil exports and production disrupted by that attack." Only after the above did UNSG Guterres belatedly speak, through his (censoring) spokesman DujarricJune 25, 2018

Here is a scam on which we aim to report: the claim that burning wood as coal is good for the environment. Bio-mass indeed. Contact us, and watch this site.

June 18, 2018

In Canada, Ontario's opposition parties are against PC Premier-Designate Doug Ford's plan to scrap the province's cap-and-trade system. Green party official Mike Schreiner says cancelling pollution pricing without a backup plan sends a signal to clean companies that the province is not open for business. NDP rep Peter Tabuns questioned how Ford will replace the $1.9 billion per year that the cap-and-trade auction brings in for the province. Environmental groups also criticized the move, calling it a bad idea for the environment and Ontario's economy."

June 11, 2018

In India, South Delhi is set to lose a chunk of its greens at the altar of 'development'. The city's forest department has cleared the NBCC's proposal to fell 3,748 fully-grown and healthy mango, neem, banyan, pilkhan, guava, etc. species of trees at Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar.....

June 4, 2018

...Thousands had gone to the Thoothukudi collector’s office on May 22, the 100th day of the people’s protest against the pollution caused by the copper smelter plant of Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources. As he, along with the other protesters, barged into the office premises, the Tamil Nadu police gunned him down, without a warning.

May 28, 2018

The crackdown on the environmental protest by Tamils in Tamil Nadu in India is an outrage...

May 21, 2018

So there's the European Commission’s’ final warnings to the UK and other nations to control emissions and reduce air pollution. The UK’s latest plan to control emissions, especially fumes from diesel cars which have been recorded at illegal levels since 2010, was ruled “inadequate”. In Europe, 40,000 early deaths have been attributed to air pollution. Now, the United Kingdom has until the end of 2018 to implement tighter restrictions.

May 14, 2018

India's struggles with air pollution-- last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report showing that two of the world's most polluted megacities—Delhi and Mumbai—are in India. But a company there, Chakr Innovation, now sells a device that captures 90 percent of the soot particles from diesel generators and sells them to manufacturers to make ink...

May 7, 2018

Indonesia's Citarum River is now known as the most polluted river in the world...

April 30, 2018

More than 95% of the world’s population in 2016 (+7 billion) lived in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution — that is, in areas where WHO organization guidelines for air quality (themselves likely an underestimate) were exceeded. This is according to a new annual report from the Health Effects Institute (HEI).

April 23, 2018

From Kenya: In 2016, after Omido and a team of lawyers filed a class action lawsuit alleging the government and the lead factory owners of violating Kenyan law and several international treaties, the threats intensified. Police in Mombasa began investigating the alleged threats in April, local media reported. Police chief for Mombasa County, Peter Omwana, told CNN “the matter had been dealt with,” while declining to provide specifics. Public prosecutors contacted local police three times to ask for any findings, said Mary Wanjiru, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. They received no response, Wanjiru said...

April 16, 2018

Duke Energy Corp. will pay a $156,000 penalty for polluting ground and surface waters with potentially toxic coal-ash waste around three power plants, an amount one critic compared Friday to a couple of days salary for the utility’s top executive. The penalty is less than a slap on the wrist for the country’s No. 2 electricity company, which generated $23 billion in revenue and reported paying its chief executive, Lynn Good, $21.4 million last year...

April 9, 2018

South Korea's rapidly worsening air pollution has forced the country's professional baseball league to postpone three games. The Korea Baseball Organization on Friday postponed the games in capital Seoul and the nearby cities of Suwon and Incheon after the government issued alerts over high fine dust levels in the metropolitan area.

April 1, 2018

Censorship and pollution: The governor of Thailand’s Chiang Mai province has sued a local magazine for posting a “blasphemous” painting on Facebook of ancient kings wearing pollution masks as part of a campaign to protest the city’s hazardous smog.
March 26, 2018

At UN As Inner City Press Covers Guterres on Water, UN Requires Minder, Cage, Lake Chad Dying, Pitbull Cancels

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 22 – The UN Department of Public Information, acting against Press coverage of UN corruption cases, without hearing or appeal had Inner City Press physically ousted from the UN.  Audio here.

 Since then DPI's requirement that Inner City Press unlike other media have minders to stake-out public events in the UN has continued.  On March 22 Inner City Press sought to cover the General Assembly event on water, with for example Lake Chad having shrunk by 90%. But to get to the GA, unlike other state and sycophant journalists, Inner City Press had to get a DPI minder, and then had to build its own cage, admitted of blue rope. There were already journalists there, with no cage, including one from a country under multiple sanction. But today's UN trusts their state media, not the investigative Press. UNTV didn't even have Antonio Guterres' speech on, initially. But outside, even behind the rope, Inner City Press was approached by the Permanent Representative of out of the Lake Chad countries, who said if nothing is done in ten years the Lake is gone. The decade of water - will today's UN fail again? The rapper Pitbull cancelled on the UN, for an 11:15 am press conference.March 19, 2018

India, Tamil Nadu: CHENNAI: The state pollution control board is yet to give its nod for the India-based Neutrino project that is proposed to come up at Pottipuram village in Uthamapalayam taluk in Theni district. A senior official from the TN pollution control board (PCB) said that considering this as a special case, the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change had issued the environmental clearance for the project a couple of days ago....

March 12, 2018

When UN Guterres Did Q&A With Bloomberg, Questions Pre-Picked, CEFC UN Bribery Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, March 5 – When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres re-appointed Michael Bloomberg as UN climate change envoy on March 5, nearly two dozen media went up to the UN's 38th floor for the press encounter. But Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric had clearly chosen the questions in advance, calling on Agence France Presse and then another media whom he was heard calling by cell phone just before the press encounter. The questions and Bloomberg's remarks were directed at Trump, clearly the elephant in the room. At the end, since this should not be pre-scripted theater, Inner City Press asked if oil companies like CEFC China Energy should be in the UN Global Compact and UN ECOSOC, in which CEFC remains in consultative status months after the indictment of its UN representative Patrick Ho, while buying stakes in oil companies. This was not answered. Periscope here. Back on February 28 when Guterres met Egypt's new Ambassador Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Inner City Press went through the UN's tourist entrance and then UN Security on the 37th floor to cover it. Still, before Guterres expressed his warm regards for Sisi, who is arresting all opponents, the UN Security officer who has already checked Inner City Press' microphone told it it could not record audio. This is censorship, and it is ongoing - they have not answered a petition with thousands of signatures. Meanwhile Guterres and his Global Communicator Alison Smale have purported to assign Inner City Press' long time UN work space to Sisi's no show state media, Sanaa Youssef of Akhbar al Yom. We'll have more on this.March 5, 2018

UN Environment Pays EUR 500,000 To Be in Volvo Ocean Race, For Dee Caffari, ICP Asks

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon doc

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 – Even on the environment, the UN's last refuge as it fails under Antonio Guterres on conflict prevention and anti-corruption, the UN is in decay. UN Environment, the re-branded UNEP, is paying over EUR 500,000 in a (reverse) corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races, see below. Guterres' deputy Amina J. Mohammed has refused Press questions since November on her role in signing 4000 certificates to export from Nigeria and Cameroon endangered rosewood already in China. Guterres, Mohammed and Alison Smale's only response has been to censor and continue to restrict the Press which asks, despite 5000 signature petition, UNanswered. Now whistleblowers in UNEP have written to Guterres, and exclusively sent a copy and documents to Inner City Press on UNEP mis management, harassment and misuse of government resources. Who authorized UNEP to spend EUR 500,000 in a mis-named corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races? Before today publishing the documents, Innr City Press on March 1 asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, video here, UN transcript here: and below. Dujarric did not explain, then or for the rest of the day; he said he hadn't spoken with Guterres about it. Oh. Inner City Press is today publishing in full, on Scribd and Patreon, the agreement with Volvo Ocean Races signed by Erik Solheim, here, and the EUR 500,000 agreement signed by UNEP's Lisa Emilia Svensson, here and here. This UN agency is paying for "public appearances by Dee Caffari and the crew" -- Ms. Caffari is a British sailor -- and for "hospitality activities." It's a new low. On March 2, Inner City Press again asked Guterres' spokesman Dujarric about it, from the UN transcript: Inner City Press: I had asked you yesterday about UNEP [United Nations Environment Programme], and I've seen… seen it published its agreement with Volvo Ocean Races, and it seems as… as I asked you yesterday, it's actually not dollars; it's euros.  From some 518,000 € paid by UNEP for this corporate partnership, so many people that I've spoken to think it's weird.  They thought a corporate partnership is the corporation is helping the UN, not the UN helping the corporations. Spokesman:  There are… there are different kinds of partnerships.  I think the point is that the leadership at UNEP has followed all the rules and regulations.  If people… if people feel there is… there's anything untoward, there are all sorts of mechanisms for people to… to express… to express those sentiments, but I think the question… the detailed questions as to the partnership are questions you need to raise to UNEP. Inner City Press:  Because one of the budget lines is “personal appearance by Dee Caffari”, who I had not heard of, but it turns out she's a big British sailor or yachtswoman.  Since the public sees celebrities or various extraordinary individuals sometimes speaking in favor of the UN, if you're being paid, is there some way to know who's being paid, who's not being paid? Spokesman:  "I don't… I don't know… you're jumping a couple of steps ahead.  I don't know the details of the partnership.  I think you need to ask UNEP." From the March 1 UN transcript: Inner City Press: I also wanted to ask you about UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).   Whistleblowers there have alleged a number of irregularities, but the one that caught my eye and I've published has to do with the allegation is that UNEP, which claims under Mr. [Erik] Solheim to have a number of corporate partnerships is, in fact, in some cases paying the corporation for the partnership.  I.e., it's not a partnership like, you know, Barcelona Football Club with UNICEF, where they pay.  In this case, they're alleged that, under Mr. Solheim, the UN Environment, as it's now called, is paying $500,000 to Volvo Ocean Races.  And I wanted to know is it… one, I don't know if it's true, but they work there and they have a lot of names and a lot of information. Spokesman:  I think you can ask those questions directly of UNEP.  I have no doubt that Mr. Solheim is operating and running the agency in accordance to all relevant rules and regulations. Inner City Press: Did the Secretary-General receive this e-mail?  Because it was sent out as a cri de coeur of the people who work there, saying… Spokesman:  I have not spoken to him about it." Why not? Here's from what Solheim as written: "Dear colleagues, You may have received or heard about an anonymous email sent to me this week and copied to many. It consists of slander, rumors and false allegations. Worse, the message contains unfounded attacks on many good colleagues working hard for UN Environment. This is unacceptable. We must strive for openness."

February 26, 2018

"Minnesota initially sued 3M for $5 billion in damages for contaminating the groundwater of tens of thousands of east metro residents. On Tuesday, the state settled for $850 million.

While state officials cheered the size settlement and benefits to residents in east metro, Oliaei believes it may be too small. "It's a bit disappointing," Olia esaid"

February 19, 2018

“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three ministers including the environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, wrote to the EU environment commissioner Karmenu Vella. “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,”

February 12, 2018

From Ghana: The Headmistress of Osudoku Senior High Technical School in the Greater Accra Region,  Sylvia Baaba Yankey, has confirmed to Citi News that the school has been shutdown temporarily because they can no longer endure harmful smoke emitted by a toiletries and plastics manufacturing Chinese company close to the school. According to her, the pollution from the company has worsened such that they had no option than to send the students home for health and safety reasons."

February 5, 2018

On Climate Risk, ICP Asks of CEFC, DSG Rosewood Signings, Panel Cites Transparency, UNseen

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 – A Climate Risk event was held at the UN on January 31, complete with a delayed press conference with four speakers. Inner City Press asked them about the role of the UN, not just as a venue but as an actor, with a Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed who in 2017 signed 4000 certificates for already-exported endangered rosewood in China. The UN Global Compact accepted CEFC China Energy until Inner City Press repeated asking about its role as beneficiary of a UN bribery scheme to get oil in Uganda and Chad; China Energy Fund Committee is *still* in Special Consultative status with ECOSOC. Periscope video here, since the UN has withheld its, under UNTV boss Alison Smale.  Among the panelists, Betty Yee, California's Controller, repeatedly cited transparency. Fred Samama of Amundi to his credit acknowledged there is a danger of green-washing. Peter Damgaard Jensen of PKA said the UN could / should help emerging markets. (This is true, but today in Cameroon for example, the UN only supports colonialism and exploitation.) Iconic Jack Ehnes of CalSTRS appeared sympathetic. But will they continue to blithely provide a platform for the greenwashing not only of oil companies like CEFC China Energy, but of censoring UN officials like Amina J. Mohammed, who helped export endangered rosewood then refused all Press questions on it, and continues to censor and restrict the Press which asks? We'll have more on this - and on “The Investor Agenda.”
January 29, 2018

Bangkok's air pollution which exceeds health safety levels has improved but it could worsen at the end of next month, according to the Department of Pollution Control (DPC).

"Emergency measures have been introduced in the South Korean capital of Seoul to combat a thick layer of smog that is covering the city. Public transport was free during rush-hour as of Monday 15 January, in the hopes that car use will be reduced. The measures were introduced after the average daily density of ultra-fine dust hit more than 50 micrograms per cubic meter"...

January 15, 2018

In Kazakhstan's Temirtau, the snow is black. Temirtau has numerous industrial processing facilities, including the country's biggest steel-production plant, which is owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau. Multiple locals pointed a finger at the company, and in a statement to the BBC, ArcelorMittal admitted that its facility may have played a decisive role in the black snow phenomenon...

January 8, 2018

In Nepal, A rally was organized in the capital against the rising level of air pollution in Kathmandu on January 5. A campaign against the air pollution named Swachchha Hawa was organized to create awareness of the air pollution and its consequences in public health....

January 1, 2017

Delhi is the most polluted city in India and also the 2nd most polluted city in the world. It is indeed a matter of concern as the pollution is making millions of people vulnerable to physical ailments. This is a huge matter of concern because this city has one of the maximum populations in the country. The levels of harmful particles in the air that are less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) are about 153µg/m3....

December 25, 2017

AP: In Hoboken, across the Hudson River from New York City, the site of a former manufacturing plant for mercury vapor lamps sits within a mile of almost 100,000 residents, including 7,000 children under 5.

December 18, 2017

In Nigeria, "Onitsha, the commercial hub of the South-East, was the most polluted city in the world. Then this report that says three of our rivers are among the 20 most polluted globally. The affected rivers are: Imo, Kwa Ibo and Cross River."

December 11, 2017

Rosewood Scandal of UN Deputy Amina J. Mohammed Reported by France24 With Amina Omitted

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 – The UN has dodged Press questions for a month about UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed signing thousands of certificates for rosewood already exported from Nigeria and it seems Cameroon to China, just before she took up her UN position. Most recently, after UN correspondents who tried to help her evade the questions declared she is being "vilified," now France 24 runs a piece, here, about the sell-out of rosewood by Nigeria including that "Chinese businessmen paid bribes to officials in Nigeria's Environment Ministry" - without mentioning that the Minister at the time was Amina J. Mohammed. Instead an Ibrahim Jibril is shown saying it was before his time. The UN through its Department of Public Information under Alison Smale gives state media France 24 two separate offices in its headquarters, while evicting and restricting the investigative Press which has insisted that Mohammed should answer these questions, even more so now that the CITES meeting in Geneva declined China's open and Nigeria's more stealth lobbying to close the case, and issued a decision that "With regard to trade in specimens of Pterocarpus erinaceus: b) Parties should not accept any CITES permit or certificate for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria unless its authenticity has been confirmed by the Secretariat, noting that China and Nigeria
have existing CITES document exchanging mechanism to verify the authenticity of all CITES permits and certificates for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria. c) Range States and importing countries should pay particular attention to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to ensure that trade in this species only takes place when Parties are satisfied that it is in line with the requirements of the Convention. d) The Standing Committee welcomed the invitation by the Government of Nigeria to conduct a
technical mission to Nigeria and invited the Secretariat to provide any relevant information on compliance with the Convention related to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to the Standing
Committee." So on December 4 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this CITES decision. He insisted that all questions have been answered, and ended up by running out of the UN briefing room as Inner City Press asked another question. From the UN transcript
December 4, 2017

Entergy on its idled Vernon nuclear plant says "invasive" environmental sampling could cause radiological and nonradiological contamination to spread. The documents also say such sampling might damage buildings and important underground cables or pipes.

November 27, 2017

In 10 most polluted cities

Bamenda, Cameroon
Source: World Health Organization's Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database

#BlameBiya
November 20, 2017

More on Detroit: in the metro area, African-American children suffered 2,402 asthma attacks and missed 1,751 school days due to asthma per year

November 13, 2017

    In Detroit, protesters gathered Thursday at the Marathon Petroleum refinery to voice concerns about the company's lack of action. The demonstration came weeks after a federal appeals court ruled against a district court's decision that residents' claims of injury due to harmful air pollution from the oil giant fell past the statute of limitations, the Detroit News reported...

November 6, 2017

"Exxon Mobil will pay $2.5 million in fines for flaring gases at eight plants along the Gulf Coast" - is that enough?

October 30, 2017

"The most air polluted country in the world is Saudi Arabia, closely followed by Qatar."


October 23, 2017

As Mugabe's A Goodwill Ambassador of WHO, Guterres Silent, Echo of Biya & North Korea Cyanide

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21 – Amid the outrage at Robert Mugabe being named a Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization, the head of the UN system Antonio Guterres has been notably silent. He heads the system, but is not providing leadership, at the very least not publicly. The UN often blames similar absurdities on "member states" - but this was a decision by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (He's "listening" - at least he hears, see below.) On a different issue, when Inner City Press asked Guterres spokespeople repeatedly this year why the UN World Intellectual Property Organization provides help to North Korea for patents on cyanide, the UN refused to comment, just as it did on retaliation by Francis Gurry against whistleblowers at WIPO and other UN system agencies. Several Inner City Press readers have recently mused that perhaps Guterres will give some goodwill position to Cameroon's Paul Biya, like Mugabe a "long time President," in Biya's case for 34 years. This as the UN delivered a threat to Inner City Press to “review” it accreditation on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. The UN official who signed the letter, when Inner City Press went to ask about the undefined violation of live-streaming Periscope video at a photo op by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, had already left, minutes after sending the threat. What to make of the letter's vague statement, "filming and recording on the 38th floor are limited to official photo opportunities, and recording conversations of others in the room is not permitted. It has been brought to our attention that you breached that rule recently"? It's not only vague as to when, but absurd: once a Periscope is authorized to start streaming, it is impossible to not record someone who speaks loudly at the photo op. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Guterres about the UN inaction on threatened genocide in Cameroon, and the UN claimedGuterres hadn't heard the 15-second long question. 

October 16, 2017

South Sudan’s undersecretary in the Ministry of Petroleum on Saturday denied reports of deaths due to environmental pollution caused by oil exploration. Residents of the former Upper Nile, who live near the oil fields in Palouch (North), complained of environmental pollution as a result of oil production. They reported outbreaks of unidentified diseases which they said were not there before oil production started in the area. These include giving birth to deformed babies and miscarriages by pregnant women. “We found that most of the companies working on the Oil fields are not actually doing the right thing especially to our people,” Josephine Napon, the Minister of Environment, said...

“Most of our people are dying, most of the children are born blind and most of them are dying just because of the pollution the oil companies have caused in those areas,” she stressed.
October 9, 2017

For UN Guterres Trip to Caribbean, 4 Qs All on Climate, No Pool UNlike Sisi Scam, Cameroon Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, October 7 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is on a trip to the Caribbean, to Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica in the wake of recent storms. But despite the UN having dozens of communications staff, as of 2 pm on the first of his only two day trip there had been no information much less analysis from the trip so far. Past two pm, Guterres' own - if he writes them - tweet: "People of Barbuda face months of recovery after devastating #Irma. They urgently need help to rebuild their lives & a more resilient future." And the replies to that were largely about Southern Cameroons, and Biafra, and the Rohingya, decrying UN inaction. A sample: "Meanwhile people including children are being killed in Southern Cameroons by Biya's brutal regime you remained quiet with no action." Now past 6 PM the UN has provided a transcript of Guterres' press conference in Antigua - except they only summarized the questions, all four "on topic," on climate change. Guterres as he did has his similarly one-topic stakeout at the UN cited the World Bank's loans to Lebanon and Jordan, on which Inner City Press questioned him before he was Secretary General, here. Now he is supposed to speak to pressing issues, including whatever he may think Cameroon and the UN's controversial role in the Kenyan elections. Even as to Barbuda, some independent coverage is needed. Guterres' UN does not have “pool” reporting of such trips -- in fact, they refused to tell Inner City Press for two weeks this summer even where Guterres was. During the recent General Assembly high level week, the UN denied Inner City Press the ability to cover Guterres' meeting with Egypt's Sisi, claiming that Sisi's state media Akhbar al Yom would be “pooling.” But when Inner City Press asked if their rarely present correspondent Sanaa Youssef who was allowed in the meeting ostensibly as pooler would say who was in the meeting, for example UN human rights staff, no information was provided. It wasn't a pool - it was a cover-up. This has been raised to the UN's new head of Global Communications and the Department of Public Information Alison Smale, still without any response. The team, we learn from gushing tweets, is in Vienna, while questions about killings in such places as Cameroon go unanswered. Ah, communications, UNcommunicative.October 2, 2017

Hurricanes I: "When the St. Johns River broke its banks during Hurricane Irma, it wasn’t just homeowners caught unprepared.  The historic flooding also inundated industrial operations, like factories and power plants. The impact on sewage systems is well documented – and frankly hard to ignore. But Irma’s rains also flooded industrial wastewater ponds, causing tons of accidental pollution. It’s not clear if those polluters will be held to account."

 
September 25, 2017

UNEP's Erik Solheim said, “The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatised, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialised."

September 18, 2017

On Hurricane Irma, UN Spox Cuts Off Press Q on Debt Moratorium, Gives 3 Minute Notice

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 – While the UN system's International Monetary Fund has yet to announce any debt moratorium for countries impacted by Hurricane Irma, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric gave the press a mere three minutes to sign up to attend the UN's September 18 meeting about Irma, see below. When the IMF re-started its biweekly embargoed press briefings on September 14, Inner City Press submitted a question about Hurricane Irma and moratoria: "On Antigua and Barbuda, and Hurricane Irma impacted countries more generally... will there be no moratoria? What is the IMF doing?" IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said, "There's a question from Matthew Lee on moratorium... on that, I would refer to what Mme Lagarde said a few days ago, of course the IMF has tremendous sympathy. She also said we stand ready to help. There are a number of options we can look at in that context. At the moment we are still trying to make an assessment. As a factual member, none of our members including Antigua and Barbuda have formally requested assistance from the Fund." Oh. On September 15, when Inner City Press at the UN asked Patti Smith about it, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric cut off the question saying he would answer it at his forthcoming briefing. He did not. Instead, with a mere three minutes' notice, at 3:57 pm on September 15 he told the Press it had until 4 pm to request a seat to cover the UN's meeting on Irma. He also excluded Inner City Press from information about his "background" briefing on UN General Assembly week. Here's Dujarric's Irma e-mail, with invitees: "From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Date: Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Subject: Media Advisory: Meeting on Hurricane Irma
To: MEDIA ADVISORY
Meeting on Hurricane Irma United Nations, 15 September 2017 — On 18 September 2017, the President of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, will co-host a High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma at United Nations Headquarters. The meeting will be an opportunity to draw political attention to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. It will aim to increase solidarity with those affected and highlight the need for building communities that are more resilient to natural disasters and climate change. Information will also be shared on what is being done at the national, regional and global levels to respond to the disaster. The event will bring together United Nations Member States, United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders. WHAT High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma WHO expected speakers to include:
·        H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, President of the General Assembly
·        H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General
·        H.E. Mr. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
·        H.E. Mr. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas
·        H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
·        The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
·        Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
·        Mr. Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
·        Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association, World Bank  WHEN Monday, 18 September; 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT WHERE: Trusteeship Council Chamber HOW: There is limited seating at the event. UN journalists wishing to cover it can request special passes from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit.  External print journalists must register here by 4pm EDT on Friday, 15 September" - this is, in three minutes...
September 11, 2017

Sign o' the times: "The public is being urged Saturday by Heal the Bay to avoid the waters of the Los Angeles River this weekend due to “alarmingly” high levels of bacterial pollution."

September 4, 2017

Post Harvey, "Fourteen plants, operated by firms including Shell and Dow Chemical, have also reported wastewater overflows following the hurricane."

August 28, 2017

Dutch environmentalists went to court last week to demand that the Dutch government take urgent action to improve air quality, arguing that authorities haven’t done enough to meet European Union-mandated targets. The summary hearing in The Hague was part of a crowd-funded legal battle by the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, which says that the government must do more to reduce harmful airborne pollution.

August 21, 2017

Charm city: "Baltimore officials agreed this week to pay $3.9 million to help clean up hazardous pollution from a dump site in East Baltimore. The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh, voted Wednesday to enter into a consent decree with the federal government and state of Maryland to deal with pollution at the 68th Street Dump site."

August 14, 2017

Air Pollution Ranking of 32 Cities

City / Annual PM2.5 Level / Number of unhealthy particle pollution days

Delhi / 122
Beijing / 85
Cairo / 76
Shanghai / 52
Yaoudé / 49
Johannesburg / 41
Antananarivo / 37
Hong Kong / 29
Bangkok / 24
Seoul / 24
Moscow / 20
Mexico City / 20
Sao Paulo / 19
Brussels / 18
Paris / 18
Rio de Janeiro / 18
Singapore / 18
Manila / 17
Nairobi / 17
Berlin / 16
Barcelona / 15
London / 15
Munich / 15
Los Angeles / 11 / 77
Madrid / 10
Washington DC / 10
San Francisco / 9 / 5
New York / 9 / 0
Toronto / 8
Melbourne / 8
Boston / 7
Sydney / 6
August 7, 2017

In New Delhi, India, By October, the city's average air quality readings are likely to change as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will start monitoring pollution levels in 20 new locations. These include two industrial areas, Najafgarh and Okhla, and far-flung locations such as Mundka, Narela, Bawana and Dwarka

July 31, 2017

  Another Cameroon abuse: "Plastic waste has become a major problem in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé clogging up drains and rivers and causing flooding in the city whenever it rains. Cameroon’s government has been trying to tackle the country’s plastic pollution troubles for years, but with little success. Yaounde’s streets are littered with piles of plastic bags and bottles and residents are worried. Cheaper than other alternatives, plastic bags and bottles are popular in a place where the average income is less than 500 Central African francs (cfa) ($5) a day, and laws aimed at curbing the use and sale of disposable plastics remain ineffective."

July 24, 2017

Denmark voted against an EU decision to endorse an amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution, saying it is being unfairly penalised for having taken early action to reduce ammonia emissions from its agriculture sector.

July 17, 2017

In India United Bengaluru, an NGO, has lodged a police complaint against encroachment and discharge of effluents into Vibhuthipura lake. The NGO members visited Kaggadasapura, Doddanekkundi and Vibhutipura lakes on Saturday and found all three lakes encroached upon and froth in Kaggadasapura lake. They also found untreated sewage from slum directly entering Vibhutipura lake.

July 10, 2017

In Malaysia, six solid waste landfills are found to have serious and recurring leachate contaminant issues, per Minister  Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. The six solid waste landfills are the former ones at  Taman Beringin Kuala Lumpur; and Pajam Negeri Sembilan as well as at Sungai Udang Melaka; Pulau Burung in Penang; Tanah Merah Estate in Negeri Sembilan and CEP Simpang Renggam Estate in Johor.

July 3, 2017

In Tunisia, 100s demonstrated in the Tunisian city of Gabes against the environmental pollution generated by the phosphogypsum discharged into the sea by phosphate processing plants. Civil society and political parties gathered in front of the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), a public company operating phosphate mines in Ghannouch..

June 26, 2017

  Haiti's environmental catastrophe is made all the more outrageous by the billions of dollars the UN has spent while NOT solving or even addressing it. We'll have more on this.

June 19, 2017

So Dell is using "litter picked up from Haiti’s beaches and worked into recycled packaging." What else should they be doing?

June 12, 2017

UN Ocean Conference Ends on River Balcony, Guterres On Junket, New Envoy in the Works?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos here

UNITED NATIONS, June 9 – As the UN's week-long Ocean Conference finally ended on the evening of June 9 with a reception on the Delegates Lounge balcony over the river, complete with a Fiji band, the Colonel and Ambassadors galore, including Dominica's Italian Deputy Ambassador Paolo Zampolli, the question arose where this is all going. In terms of the Ocean, perhaps Secretary General Antonio Guterres will create a new Special Representative position on Ocean, and perhaps Fiji will fill it. Periscope video here and here. Guterres himself wasn't present, on a week-long junket to Central America. Numerous attendees marvels, Where are the promised reforms? Or is it just more of the same? During the week-long conference there were few answers on fisheries subsidies and the substance of Marine Protected Areas. Throughout the week Inner City Press, often as the only media in the UN Press Briefing Room or the only one asking questions, pursued the issue with ministers from Indonesia, Palau and the Maldives, and UN agencies which claimed not to know of widely reported scams right in their host countries. At the end, Inner City Press asked the accessible President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson of the push for the creation of a new job, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Ocean, and he seemed to acknowledge it. Photos here. Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access complained how money was spent on exhibits in the UN lobby and then the public banned for the whole week. This is today's UN. On June 7 when Monaco's Prince Albert II held a press conference at the UN, Marine Protected Areas were mentioned and Inner City Press went to ask him about the MPAs which offer little to no protection, see below. But as it turned out at the press conference, the questions were given to a group which the Prince gives money to - this was not disclosed - and the questions not surprisingly were softballs, repeated requests to defend the Paris Accord and sing the praises of the Prince's relatives and diving. To this has the UN descended: faux press conferences by royals, with the fact that those called on for questions are fundees not disclosed. To those the Prince - or his subjects - funds, an embargoed copy of his self-promotion was provided (a disgusted member of the group provided it to Inner City Press). The group, as the Prince should know, operates to get thrown out of the UN investigative Press. There was giggling, and some embarrassing wire service pick-ups, when the Prince "got naughty" and ostensibly stood up to power. At the end no question about Marine Protected Areas was permitted. There was applause, and the question, We'll see you tonight, won't we? There will be more faux prizes. To this has the UN descended. June 5, 2017

LAT: "Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa."

May 29, 2017

A report published earlier this month from Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group detailed just how bad air pollution is in the city. It shows that the tristate area had 92 days of "elevated smog pollution" in 2015, which is just seven days shy of the Washington metropolitan area for the most in the northeastMay 22, 2017

Guardian: "People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.

Britain, which has a mortality rate for air pollution of 25.7 for every 100,000 people, was also beaten by Brazil and Mexico – and it trailed far behind Sweden, the cleanest nation in the EU, with a rate of 0.4.

The US rate was 12.1 for every 100,000, Brazil’s was 15.8 and Mexico’s was 23.5, while Argentina was at 24.6."
May 15, 2017

BBC: The historic site of Buddha's birthplace in Nepal faces a serious threat from air pollution, scientists and officials have warned.
Recent data collected from air quality monitoring stations in five places across the country show Lumbini is highly polluted.
The warnings have come amid expanding industrialisation near the sacred site.
It is already located in a pollution hotspot on the Gangetic plains.
For the month of January, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lumbini, in southwest Nepal, was measured at 173.035 micrograms per cubic metre.
The reading for the neighbouring town of Chitwan was 113.32 and the capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its high pollution levels, was at 109.82.

May 8, 2017

From the UK Guardian: "Environment lawyers are expected to take the government back to court over its controversial plans to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis. They say the proposals are so weak they flout ministers’ obligation to protect public health."

May 1, 2017

At UN, Indigenous Tells ICP Guterres Hasn't Met Them, Of Norway & Dakota Access Pipeline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – As Citigroup's annual general meeting of shareholders began in Cooper Union in Manhattan on April 25, outside a protest formed. Casey Camp-Horinek spoke, movingly; the Reverend Billy Talen began a song. Periscope here. Inner City Press has covered earlier Citigroup AGMs as well, about CitiFinancial's predatory lending that robbed consumers and ultimately helped trigger the financial meltdown. What has changed since? And what has changed at the UN? On April 27 at an Indigenous Forum press conference, Inner City Press asked Rune Fjellheim of the Saami Parliament in Norway if that country's sovereign wealth fund is still invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It sounds like it is: see Periscope video here. Inner City Press asked the other panel members if "new" (112 day) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has met with the Indigenous Forum. They both said that he has not, that maybe he is "too busy." Inner City Press told them Guterres spokesman has said Guterres will be back in New York on April 27 (although as of 5:30, his scheduled had not been posted, nor had the UN's transcript of its noon briefing gone online. The day before this protest of Citibank for among other things funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Inner City Press at the UN on April 24 asked a panel of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about the protest and more generally about corporations which the UN blue-washes through its Global Compact and otherwise. Video here, from Minute 39. 
Willie Littlechild a First Nations Cree chief from Canada said he wasn't (yet) aware of the protest, but that he supported it, that is it hard to protest at the UN. That's putting it mildly: the US First Amendment does not apply to and is not accepted by the UN, which bans protests and evicts the Press which covers there, without hearing or appeal. But Inner City Press, even confined to minders within the UN has it has been for 14 months and counting, interviewed other attendees of the Permanent Forum, and will continue to. Watch this site.

April 24, 2017

AMA on light pollution: “In addition to its impact on drivers, blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most adversely suppresses melatonin during night. It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps. Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity. The detrimental effects of high-intensity LED lighting are not limited to humans.”

April 17, 2017

  In South Korea, there's been "a 380 per cent jump in nasal sanitizer product sales, a 213 per cent rise in nose masks and a 383 per cent increase in canned air also signalled growing concern over the pollution issue among consumers."

April 10, 2017

 In Glasgow, Scotland, "Toxic fumes from vehicle exhausts have polluted 17 of Glasgow’s busiest streets in breach of a legal safety limit that should have been met seven years ago."

April 3, 2017

 Smog has engulfed Seoul for weeks, pushing South Korea into the top ranks of the world's most polluted countries. The government has issued 85 ultra-fine dust warnings, more than twice the 41 advisories issued in the same period last year. Can you say, Ban Ki-moon?

March 27, 2017

   The UN was quieter about "Earth Hour" this year - perhaps because UNSG Antonio Guterres was out of town but his spokesman refused Press questions to say where...

March 20, 2017

Police suspect Renault of having put in place the fraudulent strategies “with the objective of creating false results for antipollution tests,” in order to be seen to be complying with regulatory norms Renault has used “fraudulent strategies” for over 25 years to cheat on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines with the knowledge of top management, according to a report by French fraud investigators...

March 13, 2017

  You've been served: on Honduras, World Bank get sued, here....

March 6, 2017

In South Carolina, "Gus Speth, who grew up in Orangeburg County, is the co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Al George, South Carolina Aquarium conservation director, was born in Estill and grew up in Savannah, Ga. " They spoke last week.

February 27, 2017

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John H. Knox, is urging the Government of Kenya to take all necessary measures immediately to protect four environmental human rights defenders who have been assaulted, subjected to death threats, and forced into hiding since they filed a law suit against a lead smelter earlier this month.  “Phyllis Omido and the other members of the Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action (CJGEA) are facing a life-or-death situation,” said Mr Knox. We'll have more on this.

February 20, 2017

Indian conglomerate Adani's plans to build Australia's biggest coal mine may imperil the Galilee Basin and Great Barrier Reef...

On
Green Group Holdings, “No one should have to fear a multi-million dollar lawsuit just for speaking up about their community — but our clients did,” said Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “Fortunately, as they do in the face of all injustice, our clients fought back. This settlement reaffirms our clients’ — and everyone’s — constitutional right to speak out and fight for health and justice in their community. In addition to advocating for community health and justice, our clients also became heroes of the First Amendment.”

February 6, 2017

In Nigeria Fidelis Aden has linked the crises in the oil rich Niger Delta region to the absence of environmental justice for communities in the region in a paper called, “Peace and Stability in Nigeria” at the11th General Assembly of West Africa Network Peace Building in Port Harcourt.

January 30, 2017

 Inner City Press asked about @JustinTrudeau backsliding on indigenous rights. Video from 41:10 http://webtv.un.org/watch/un-declaration-of-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples-%E2%80%93-achievements-and-challenges-over-the-past-10-years-press-conference-26-january-2017/5298862108001

January 23, 2017
From New Orleans: "The groups that are opposed to building a new power plant at the site of the an old power plant will meet at a church in New Orleans East to discuss their position. Meanwhile Entergy says building a new plant is the only way to save customers money."

January 16, 2017

The call in the Philippines is “Makiisa para sa #1MBatangMalaya” (One with children to end child labor) which featured the launch of three major initiatives to combat child labor in the country. BAN Toxics in particular called for an end to child labor in small-scale mining.

January 9, 2017

Mother Nature Cambodia, a NGO that is "fighting to put an end to the systematic destruction of Cambodia's precious natural resources" has engaged a Singaporean law firm to provide advice in relation to the alleged complicity of Singaporean Entities in the 'Sand Mining Scam'...

January 2, 2017

The EPA’s Office of Civil Rights has never made a formal finding of discrimination and has never denied or withdrawn financial assistance from a recipient in its entire history, and has no mandate to demand accountability within the EPA....

December 26, 2016

Eight more Ecuadorian villagers have terminated their relationship with Ecuadorian attorney Pablo Fajardo after he secretly cooperated with Ecuador’s government in agreeing to lift a court order freezing Chevron's assets...CSR indeed...

December 19, 2016

We support the coal ash protests in Puerto Rico....

December 12, 2016

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights offers the following statement regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

As we commemorate Native American Heritage Month, the recent protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline have highlighted the intersection of numerous issues the Commission has investigated recently, including the excessive use of force by police, the civil and sovereign rights of Native Americans, and environmental justice.

December 5, 2016

Princess Cruise Lines has pleaded guilty to seven counts of “deliberate pollution” and now must pay $40 million The ships were regularly dumping thousands of gallons of oil and contaminated waste into the water. Alarms were also tampered with so crews would not be notified when too much oil was discharged.

November 28, 2016

AKWESASNE -- St. Regis Mohawk Tribal chiefs say they are dissatisfied with remediation of the former General Motors site, and took the opportunity to address their grievances with the federal government. The tribe also gave $10,000 to help the Standing Rock Sioux with legal costs associated with their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline...

November 21, 2016

Ban Passed Buck After Morocco Rejected COP22-Accredited Beiruk's Document

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 --  Morocco banned Suelma Beirouk from the COP 22, to which she is accredited, because she listed her nationality as Western Sahara, and used an African Union passport, the UNFCCC told Inner City Press on November 11.

But Ban Ki-moon's UN Secretariat continued to dissemble and delay for five days, while Ban was in Marrakesh and get the King.  From the November 17 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: On COP22, the final question.  This NGO issue that went around and around, it seems like the person didn’t get there.  Mr. [Nick] Nuttall said his last communication was the last one.  What, if anything, did the Secretariat do since more than a week ago the person was blocked to request to Morocco that an accredited NGO attend the conference?

Deputy Spokesman:  I believe the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was dealing with the local authorities trying to see what could be done about this.  Beyond that, I’d refer you again to Mr. Nuttall.  Have a good afternoon.

And Nuttal wrote, "I answered your first question ie we sought clarification from the Government of Morocco and were advised she was traveling on an invalid travel document. Let me try again to get an answer to your other two points."

November 14, 2016

UNFCCC Tells ICP Morocco Rejected COP22-Accredited Suelma's Travel Document

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 --  Morocco has banned Suelma Beirouk from the COP 22, to which she is accredited, because she listed her