No Picture

Water wars: 21st century conflicts?

Source: Al Jazeera

As almost half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030, strategists from Israel to Central Asia prepare for strife.

After droughts ravaged his parents’ farmland, Sixteen-year-old Hassain and his two-year-old sister Sareye became some of the newest refugees forced from home by war scarcity.

“There was nothing to harvest,” Hassain said through an interpreter during an interview at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya which is housing some 160,000 Somalis displaced by a lack of water. “There had been no rain in my village for two years. We used to have crops.” read more

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Gay Marriage In New York: Progressive Victory or GOP Roadmap?

Source: Alternet

What does it mean when progressives celebrate a victory in large part won by GOP-supporting hedge fund managers, Tea Party funders and corporate conglomerates?

Many people are celebrating what seems on the surface a huge win for gay rights, with the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in New York State last week, by a Republican-controlled state senate to boot. This marks a real sea change for LGBT equality in the US, and therefore a major win not only for LGBT people, but also because this has been a major cause for progressives. read more

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Unions Work to Turn the Tide

Source: In These Times

America’s unions are contending with the harshest legislative attack on workers’ rights since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. Labor strategists, their forces in decline, face an urgent question: What should unions do to defend their existence, and to provide workers more power at work and in politics?

The rise of the Tea Party right, recession-induced fiscal crises and Republican midterm victories—especially in many unionized Midwestern battleground states—set the stage. But Democrats’ failure to respond adequately to the economic crisis—in the areas of jobs, home foreclosures and financial regulation—enabled the ascent of the Republican right. And now Democratic governors and legislators, even in states like Massachusetts, have joined in the Republican attack on labor unions and workers—particularly public service workers. read more