Africa mining

Africa mining confab urged to address human rights

Amnesty International┬áurged participants in an international mining conference in South Africa to address human rights violations. The African Mining Indaba┬áconference is set to run this week,┬ábut civil organizations are holding their own counter-conference┬áto bring attention to claims of rights violations in the industry. Amnesty┬ásaid in a statement: “From child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo to squalid living conditions for workers at South Africa’s Marikana mine, the mining industry is tainted with human rights abuses. Mining firms have often caused or contributed to human rights abuses in pursuit of profit while governments have been too weak in regulating them effectively.” (Photo via Africa Up Close)


Woman fights for chieftaincy in Lesotho

Under tradition, only men can inherit the chieftaincy title in Lesotho, the land-locked mountain kingdom of southern Africa, Now, one woman, Senate Masupha, is seeking to change this. Masupha is the only child of David Masupha, former chief of several villages and direct descendant of Moshoeshoe I, founder of the kingdom. When her father died in 1996, her mother took up the position, as tradition allowed widows of chiefs to become custodians of the title until a male heir is ready. But when her mother died in 2008, the title went to her uncle. Masupha challenged the kingdom's Chieftainship Act, but the courts ruled the law could only be changed by parliament—which has refused to act. Mamathe continues to assert her claim, and campaign for the rights of women in Lesotho. (Photo: Face2FaceAfrica)

New York City
Lopez Rivera

Oscar L├│pez Rivera, terrorism and semantics

The controversy over┬áliberated political prisoner Oscar L├│pez Rivera’s participation in┬áNew York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade opens a window on the political uses of the term “terrorist.”


African Union leaders back leaving ICC

Leaders of multiple African countries announced that they have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court.

Planet Watch

UN moves to outlaw nuclear weapons in 2017

The UN adopted a resolution—hailed by disarmament campaigners as an important landmark—to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.


South Africa to leave ICC: reports

A South African deputy minister said that the nation will leave the International Criminal Court, opining that it has "lost its direction" in singling out Africans for prosecution. 


South Africa: two dead in water riots

Two were killed as South African police fired on protesters at the townships of Mothotlung and Damonsville, where residents are angry at having been without water for a week.


Obama, Mandela and Castro: absurd hypocrisy

While Republicans wax outraged over Obama's handshake with Raúl Castro at the Mandela memorial, US client state Israel offers a far better analogy to apartheid South Africa.