UN Decides to Control Global Plastic Waste Dumping – Global Research


13-05-19 09:03:00,

Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendmentsrequire exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country.

After China banned imports of most plastic waste in 2018, developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, have received a huge influx of contaminated and mixed plastic wastes that are difficult or even impossible to recycle. Norway’s proposed amendments to the Basel Convention provides countries the right to refuse unwanted or unmanageable plastic waste.

The decision reflects a growing recognition around the world of the toxic impacts of plastic and the plastic waste trade. The majority of countries expressed their support for the proposal and over one million people globally signed two public petitions from Avaaz and SumOfUs. Yet even amidst this overwhelming support, there were a few vocal outliers who opposed listing plastic under Annex II of the Basel Convention. These included the United States, the largest exporter of plastic waste in the world; the American Chemistry Council, a prominent petrochemical industry lobbying group; and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a business association largely comprised of waste brokers. As the United States is not a party to the Basel Convention, it will be banned from trading plastic waste with developing countries that are Basel Parties but not part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

David Azoulay, Environmental Health Director, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL):

“Today’s decision demonstrates that countries are finally catching up with the urgency and magnitude of the plastic pollution issue and shows what ambitious international leadership looks like. Plastic pollution in general and plastic waste in particular remain a major threat to people and the planet, but we are encouraged by the decision of the Basel Convention as we look to the future bold decisions that will be needed to tackle plastic pollution at its roots, starting with reducing production.”

Contact: David Azoulay,

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Lebanon Decides to Confront Israel and the US in Shebaa, Kfarshouba and Syria – Global Research


29-03-19 02:01:00,

Lebanese Judge Ahmad Mezher has given orders that a survey be conducted of Lebanese occupied territories in the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba, Huneen, Ideise and Bleeda. These villages are bordering Hasbaiya, Rashaya al-Fukhar and Kiyam and have been under Israeli occupation since 1981, as Syria’s Golan Heights have been since 1967. This step coincides with the illegal “gift” of the Syrian Golan Heights offered by US President Donald Trump to his closest ally Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Although Trump’s move was verbally condemned by the international community, no other state or international body seems likely to openly oppose Trump’s move at the moment.

However, Lebanon has decided to confront this move on the ground, showing its readiness to defend its territory if US “gifts” were ever seen to include Lebanese occupied territories. The Lebanese presidency, the Parliament and the government agreed that it is the right of Lebanon to regain its occupied territory and that the equation “the army, the people, the resistance” is united under one umbrella. Thus, the possibility of confrontation between the Resistance – i.e. Hezbollah in this case – and Israel is now on the table.

The level of tension and chances of confrontation increased during Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s visit to Moscow. During meetings with his homologue Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Christian President Aoun rejected US pressure on his country. The US establishment, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his envoys to Lebanon, wants to prevent the over one and a half million Syrian refugees in Lebanon from returning home. President Aoun also rejected Trump’s gift to Netanyahu, stating clearly that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel,  and not the property of  the US to dispose of as it will.

It remains unclear whether the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba and neighbouring villages are part of Trump’s gift to Israel. This is why Lebanese authorities have requested the judiciary authority officially survey the southern Lebanese territories occupied by Israel. If, in response to the survey, any attempt is made to assert that these areas are part of Israel, then the Lebanese triad (the army, the people and the resistance) will be bound to recover its occupied territory. The timing of the decision is important because it shows the readiness of the Lebanese government to raise the subject and to confront Israel in the wake of the US decision on the Golan Heights,

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Dutch city decides to ‘diversify’ street names because too many honor ‘white Western men’


07-02-19 08:24:00,

The liberal council of Rotterdam has passed a new “diversity” measure which ensures that all new streets in the densely populated Dutch city will be named to reflect the its “cultural diversity.”

A year after the proposal was introduced by Councilor Nadia Arsieni of the “liberal progressive” D66 party, Rotterdam City Council has confirmed that it’s adopting the measure.

(The initiative to rename more streets to female and culturally diverse heroes has been embraced! Nice that @bertwijbenga has accepted the proposal from @D66Rotterdam, @groenlinksrdam @pvdarotterdam @SPRotterdam @NidaRotterdam)

In order to give substance to more cultural diversity, the policy rules stipulate that the attribution of names of women and other underrepresented groups from society should be preferred for personal names,” Rotterdam’s Deputy Mayor Bert Wijbenga wrote in a letter to the City Council.

An abundance of streets named in honor of white men is historically understandable, a pamphlet on the initiative admits. However, it adds that “women and people with a migrant background” have come to make up a huge portion of the population in the last few decades, and “they deserve recognition in the streets… and are a source of inspiration.

(New streets in Rotterdam will be named after women and minorities)

Rotterdam is one of the most heavily migrant-populated cities in Europe, with nearly half of its population being foreign-born. The demographics of the city have shifted dramatically in recent years, particularly around its massive port, which is the largest in Europe.

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While the politicians congratulated themselves on the effort to back diversity, a number of their constituents were not as thrilled. Many commenters on Twitter felt that the initiative was “erasing” Dutch history. They also questioned why gender and skin-color should be deemed more decisive than what a person actually contributed toDutch society.

Although they were probably not what the council had in mind, some people had suggestions for possible street names.

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