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Parisians driven to revolt by car ban in fight against pollution

theguardian.com - March 16th, 2014 - Anne Penketh

The famously testy Parisians have one more reason to grumble after the French government announced that half the cars in the city would be banned from the roads, starting on Monday, in an effort to combat smog pollution.

From 5.30am, a scheme of alternating driving days, based on odd and even number plates, will come into effect for cars and motorcycles after Paris pollution reached dangerous levels for five consecutive days.

Even before the restrictions were announced, Parisians were given free travel on buses, metros and public bikes over the weekend.

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Syria crisis: 40% of population need humanitarian assistance, says UN

The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably, Amos told the UN. Photograph: Manu Brabo/AP

Image: The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably, Amos told the UN. Photograph: Manu Brabo/AP

theguardian.com - November 4th, 2013

Around 9.3 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance due to the country's conflict, the UN was told on Monday .

"The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably," UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the security council behind closed doors, according to her spokeswoman, Amanda Pitt. Around 6.5 million people are displaced from their homes, Amos said. Syria's population is around 23 million.

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Protesters gather around the world for Million Mask March

Demonstrations in more than 400 cities were planned to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, with Russell Brand at a London protest.  Russell Brand: we deserve more from our democratic system

Protesters wearing the white-faced Guy Fawkes masks that have become synonymous with the Occupy movement and the hacktivist grouping Anonymous have taken part in hundreds of gatherings around the world in opposition to causes ranging from corruption to fracking.

Seven Strategic Assumptions Of Successful Social Movements

Pace e Bene - Bill Moyer

1. Social Movements Are Proven To Be Powerful

2. Movements Are At The Center of Society

3. The Real Issue Is Social Justice Vs. Vested Interest


... - Read Full Article -

The Most Efficient Health Care Systems In The World

Huffington Post - Kavitha A. Davidson - August 29, 2013

As supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act debate the best way to overhaul a clearly broken health care system, it's perhaps helpful to put American medicine in a global perspective.

The infographic below is based on a recent Bloomberg ranking of the most efficient countries for health care, and highlights enormous gap between the soaring cost of treatment in the U.S. and its quality and effectiveness.

FUKUSHIMA DISASTER: IMPACTS AND CONTINUING THREATS

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Report, 2013

More than two years since the nuclear disaster began at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, its impact is massive and widespread. It will be decades before the full scope of the impacts of this ongoing disaster is fully understood but significant health, economic, environmental and social consequences are already evident and quantifiable. Furthermore, independent expert analyses has documented extraordinary industry influence on government regulators, especially widespread collusion among the Japanese government, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owner/operator of Fukushima, and the nuclear/utility industry. The Fukushima disaster leaves Japan with massive economic loss, radiation exposure to children and others, and a nation grappling with an uncertain nuclear future.

FULL REPORT HERE

Shell Oil Spill Victims Reject 'Derisory and Insulting' Compensation Offer

Niger delta residents pass a burning Shell oil pipeline as they evacuate their homes by boat in December 2005. (Photo: George Osodi/AP) Image: Niger delta residents pass a burning Shell oil pipeline as they evacuate their homes by boat in December 2005. (Photo: George Osodi/AP)

commondreams.org - September 14th, 2013 - Andrea Gernabis

A Niger Delta community affected by oil spills has rejected a compensation offer from oil giant Shell they see as "totally derisory and insulting."

The residents of Bodo, Nigeria are represented by the London-based law firm Leigh Day to seek damages for two 2008 spills that devastated tens of thousands of residents in dozens of villages and unleashed a thick, black river of death that has choked mangroves and riverways for years.

The Guardian reports:

    On Friday the full scale of the spills could be seen from the air with over 75 sq km of mangrove forests, creeks, swamps and channels thick with crude oil.

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Eli Beer: The fastest ambulance? A motorcycle

cit

ted.com - July 2013

As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer EMTs -- many on foot -- ready to drop everything and dash to save lives in their neighborhood. Today, United Hatzlah uses a smartphone app and a fleet of “ambucycles” to help nearby patients until an ambulance arrives.

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Five things you should know about Turkey and the Istanbul protests

Video: Turkey protests 'a warning' to Erdogan

telegraph.co.uk - June 3rd, 2013 - Ruth Sherlock

Since the 1920s Turkey has been vigorously secular in its public sphere. Now protestors accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of blurring the line between religion and state by trying to impose the Islamist values of his Justice and Development party (AKP) on society as a whole.

Last month the government introduced a new law cracking down on alcohol, banning the sale of drink between 10pm and 6am and forcing restaurants near schools or mosques to be dry.

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Why Social Media Is the Front Line of Disaster Response

mashable.com - May 21st, 2013 - Zoe Fox

Nearly one million people are affected by natural disasters each year. In the U.S. alone, some 400 people die from disasters that cost the economy $17.6 billion. Helping respond to these cataclysmic events, social media is now a go-to tool for those effected by disasters.

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