News from the world

News items from around the globe:

Via the Beeb:

Vatican urges end to Amnesty aid

The Vatican has urged all Catholics to stop donating money to Amnesty International, accusing the human rights group of promoting abortion.

The Vatican, which regards life as sacred from the moment of conception, said it was an “inevitable consequence” of the group’s policy change.

Amnesty said it was not promoting abortion as a universal right.

But the group said that women had a right to choose, particularly in cases of rape or incest.

“No more financing of Amnesty International after the organisation’s pro-abortion about-turn,” said a statement from the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace…

… Amnesty says it does not take any position on whether abortion is right or wrong.

But it defended its new position in support of abortion for women when their health is in danger or human rights are violated, especially in cases of rape or incest.

“We are saying broadly that to criminalise women’s management of their sexual reproductive right is the wrong answer,” Amnesty’s deputy Secretary General Kate Gilmore told Reuters news agency.

“The Catholic Church, through a misrepresented account of our position on selective aspects of abortion, is placing in peril work on human rights,” Ms Gilmore said.

» Full article

Via the Washington Post:

No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2007; Page A01

Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday.

The report — the first comprehensive statistical overview of the new U.S. military strategy in Iraq — coincided with renewed fears of sectarian violence after the bombing yesterday of the same Shiite shrine north of Baghdad that was attacked in February 2006, unleashing a spiral of retaliatory bloodshed. Iraq’s government imposed an immediate curfew in Baghdad yesterday to prevent an outbreak of revenge killings.

Yesterday’s attack adds to tensions faced by U.S. troops, who are paying a mounting price in casualties as they push into Iraqi neighborhoods, seeking to quell violence that the report said remains fundamentally driven by sectarianism.

Iraq’s government, for its part, has proven “uneven” in delivering on its commitments under the strategy, the report said, stating that public pledges by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have in many cases produced no concrete results.

» Full article

Via Treehugger:

Study Says 13 Million Deaths a Year Could Be Prevented

by Kenny Luna, North Babylon, NY on 06.14.07
Business & Politics (news)

A recent report out of Europe indicates that tackling air pollution, contaminated drinking water and other environmental risks could save 13 million lives annually around the globe. Released by the World Health Organization, the report shows that Angola, Burkina Faso, Mali and Afghanistan to be among the countries most affected by environmental risk factors including noise pollution, hazardous working conditions, problematic agricultural methods, and climate change.

Interestingly, in 23 of the 192 countries on which the report focused more than 10 percent of deaths can be traced to just two factors, unsafe drinking water and indoor air pollution because from the burning of wood, cow dung or coal. And lest those of us in the first world come away with the impression that we’re immune to environmental problems, the report also highlights the fact that an estimated 1.8 million deaths could be prevented each year in the 53 nations spanning the greater European Union if more efforts were made to create a healthier environment in that part of the world as well.

» Full article

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