Jun 18 2015

Newsflash: Massacre at Black Church, UN Report on Refugees, Pope’s Climate Call

Daily News Flash | Published 18 Jun 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: Massacre at Black Church, UN Report on Refugees, Pope’s Climate Call -

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Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

A horrific massacre of 9 people at a church in South Carolina has gripped the nation. A white shooter who remains at large, entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, sat in the pews for an hour, and then opened fire, killing 6 women and 3 men. Three more remain injured after surviving the attack. Among the dead were the church’s pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator. South Carolina is home to a number of white supremacist groups. One of the survivors reported that the shooter explained his motivation saying, “You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go.” He apparently reloaded his gun five times during the course of the massacre. The FBI has opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting but as of now there are no reports that it is being investigated as a terrorist act. Click here for a Washington Post article, and here for an MPR News article about the story.

The United Nations has released a new report on the world refugee crisis and the numbers are so high, that taken together the world’s refugee population would amount to the 24th largest nation. Half of the 60 million displaced people are children. Fourteen million were displaced in 2014 alone. The number of refugees and asylum seekers is as high as it was during World War II. A significant number of the displaced are due to the on-going Syrian war. The head of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHRC), Mr. Antonio Guterres, said, “For an age of unprecedented mass displacement, we need an unprecedented humanitarian response and a renewed global commitment to tolerance and protection for people fleeing conflict and persecution.” One of 122 humans is displaced either inside their own country or outside. Click here for a CS Monitor article, and here for a UNHRC Press release about the report.

Pope Francis has just released his encyclical, and rather than focusing on sex and reproduction, i.e. contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc, he has used his bully pulpit to draw attention to the devastation of climate change. Heralded as a radical document, it reads, “This home of ours is being ruined and that damages everyone, especially the poor.” The Pope got surprisingly detailed in the 184-page booklet. He wrote, “The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life… Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it… The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes.” Click here for a Commondreams article, and here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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