Friday, June 21, 2013

Asia-Pacific faces 'alarming scenario' in latest global warming report

THE RISING possibility of a warmer world in the next two decades is magnifying the development challenges South-East Asia is already struggling with, and threatens to reverse hard-won development gains, says a new scientific report just released by the World Bank Group cited on Pacific Scoop.

Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience was prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics. It builds on a World Bank report released late last year, which concluded the world would warm by 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century without concerted action now.

This new report looks at the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia.

"South East Asia" includes the western Pacific (PNG and Timor-Leste) - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

“This new report outlines an alarming scenario for the days and years ahead ¬ what we could face in our lifetime,” says World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Turkey's ‘woman in red’, global protest and the Pacific media

An interview with David Robie on the Pacific at the Protest and Media conference in London. Video report by Sumy Sadurni

'The woman in red'. Photo: Clip from video
THE SO-CALLED “woman in red” became a reluctant icon of a people’s revolt in Turkey this month.

Ceyola Sungur, an academic at Istanbul’s Technical University, was projected into instant global fame because of media images of her being blasted at point blank-range with pepper spray by security police. 

Dressed in a red summer dress, the unarmed and defenceless woman’s defiance in the face of state assaults on protesters demonstrating over plans to remove the city’s central Gezi Park adjoining Taksim Square to make way for mega property development has become an iconic symbol of resistance.

Violence against journalists has been mounting and Turkish police have arrested dozens in a series of nation-wide raids in the latest crackdown.

“There are a lot of people who were at the park and they were also tear-gassed,” the uncomfortable heroine told Turkey’s TV24. “There’s no difference between them and me.”

While the protests raged on amid concerns among many Turkish women that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans a major roll back of women’s rights, Turkish issues were among the many being explored at an international “protest and media” conference in London, jointly organised by the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) and the British Journalism Review.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Greens senator lambasts Australian foreign minister over 'offensive' denial of West Papuan human rights

Senator Richard Di Natale questions Foreign Minister Bob Carr about allegations
of ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

AUSTRALIAN Greens Senator Dr Richard Di Natale has condemned the Australian Foreign Minister’s comments in Senate Estimates where he blamed the escalating tensions in West Papua on the international human rights movement.

“Senator Carr’s comments are a clear acknowledgement that human rights abuses, killings and incarceration of political prisoners in the province of West Papua are escalating but rather than show leadership he has blamed people like me who are campaigning for an end to the
violence,” said Senator Di Natale

“To imply that I am in some way responsible for the atrocities inflicted on the West Papuan people and to label my advocacy for the West Papuan people as the ‘Greens latest cause de jour’ and ‘a cruel deceit byself-indulgent people’ is both offensive and patronising.

“It is patronising to the people of West Papua, who are not taking their cues from me but are actively engaged in a local movement for self-determination. It also makes me wonder what Minister Carr thinks about the many Australians who campaigned for an end to violence in East Timor or for Nelson Mandela to be freed from prison.

“Filep Karma is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence simply for flying the West Papuan Morning Star flag but according to Minister Carr, any foreigner who flies a flag as a way of highlighting this injustice is ‘planting in the minds of people who actually live in the place, the notion that this campaign has some sort of international resonance’.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Caledonian rugby star in French line-up against New Zealand

                               Benjamin Fall and other French rugby players speak out. 

NEW CALEDONIAN lock Sébastien Vahaamahina, 21, will play his fourth rugby test for France in the start of the the three-match series against the New Zealand All Blacks at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday.

Sébastien Vahaamahina ... test debut.
The Perpignan player toured Argentina last year but this is his first run-on test.

Bordeaux-Bègles fly-half Camille Lopez - who almost singlehandedly demolished European champions Toulouse 41-0 in February will also make his test debut.

Coach Philippe Saint-André has also handed Perpignan wing Adrien Planté his first international start while on the other wing Maxime Médard returns to win his 33rd cap, almost four years to the day since scoring the winning try in Dunedin - the last time France beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Les Bleus will have a fresh faced half-back pairing as Racing Metro scrum-half Maxime Machenaud joins Lopez in the starting XV. Both are just 24.

Luc Ducalcon is at tighthead prop in the absence of stalwart Nicolas Mas, who is still recovering from injury.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

PIMA takes on challenge to revive Pasifika media advocacy

Logo design from PIMA's 10th anniversary conference.
By Michael Sergel (thanks to Pacific Media Watch)

SAMOAN Language Week celebrates the language and culture of the 1 in 20 New Zealanders who trace their ancestry to the islands of Samoa, at a time when there are more Samoan stories being told from Samoan perspectives than ever before.

But there are still many stories that go unreported, and the organisation set up to promote a Pacific presence in the New Zealand media faces an uncertain future.

The Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) was forced to reconsider its own viability at its annual general meeting in April, due to a lack of interest in committee positions and a low attendance from its 90 members.

Outgoing secretary Sandra Kailahi, one of the founders of PIMA, told the meeting that a new committee would have to step forward if the organisation was to continue to exist.

That interim committee has been formed, and chair Will 'Ilolahia has asked members to give PIMA “one more go” at being an effective Pacific representation in the media industry.

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