4 March 2016   Leave a comment

Slavery has hardly been eliminated.  According to the International Labor Organization, there are about 21 million in slavery today, many of them in the sex trade.   Of those 21 million, 5 million are children.  Human traffickers make about $150 billion every year.  According to CNBC: “The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) revealed that more than 136 products from 74 countries are produced by forced and child labor. These are products used by consumers worldwide every day.”  The US has passed a law that takes effect on 10 March prohibits the importation of any good produced by slave or child labor, but it will difficult to enforce.

Initial satellite estimates suggest that February 2016 will be even hotter than January 2016, which was the hottest month ever recorded.  Indications are that February temperatures might be between 1.15 C and 1.4 C above preindustrial averages.  Temperatures in the Arctic averaged 30-35 degrees warmer than average, a level that one scientist described as “absurd” and goes on to say that “…the heat has been unrelenting over the entire season. I’ve been studying Arctic climate for 35 years and have never seen anything like this before”.  The Guardian summarizes the results:

“But the pile up of records we have had in the early part of this century are significant. All things being constant, record hot years should occur once every 150 years. Yet 1998, 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2015 have all been record breakers.”

Kanhaiya Kumar, leader of the student union at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in India, has been released from jail on his charges of making “anti-India” statements.   Upon his release, Kumar made an impassioned speech on freedom in India.  According to Al Jazeera:

He said when students in the campus shout slogans for “Azaadi” (freedom), they are urging for freedom against “bhookhmari” (hunger), “manuvaad” (the laws of Manu which laid down the strictures of caste system) and “jaativaad” (caste discrimination).

India’s caste system is perhaps the world’s longest surviving social hierarchy and any discussion around it evokes polarised responses.

On Thursday, Kumar also charged that the student group is being targeted over its ideological differences with the Hindu-nationalist umbrella group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), to which the ruling party owes its allegiance.

It is inevitable that the government of Narendra Modi will respond to the speech.

Kanhaiya Kumar

 

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Posted March 4, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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