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Ferguson protests mostly peaceful on anniversary of Brown shooting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Ferguson protests mostly peaceful on anniversary of Brown shooting
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: Hundreds of people marched, prayed and observed a moment of silence in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday, a year to the day after a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death, igniting months of protests and a national debate on race and justice.

A racially mixed crowd of young and old, some pushing children in strollers, turned out for a day of commemorative events in this mostly black St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was gunned down on Aug. 9, 2014.

Brown’s shooting, and a grand jury’s subsequent decision to spare police officer Darren Wilson from criminal charges in the killing, spawned a prolonged wave of demonstrations in Ferguson that boiled over into rioting and arson at times and spawned sympathy rallies across the country.

But it also sparked greater scrutiny of racial bias within the U.S. criminal justice system, giving rise to the “Black Lives Matter” movement that gained momentum from a series of other high-profile slayings of unarmed minorities at the hands of white police in cities such as New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Cincinnati.

This weekend’s rallies in Ferguson and elsewhere were largely peaceful affairs, with police maintaining a low-key presence, though protesters were being urged to carry out acts of civil disobedience after midnight on Sunday.

White doves were released after 4-1/2 minutes of silence to represent the roughly 4-1/2 hours that Brown’s body lay in the middle of the street after he was shot. A crowd of about 1,000 then embarked on a silent march through Ferguson to honor Brown and others killed in confrontations with police.

Another name was added to that list on Friday when unarmed 19-year-old Christian Taylor, a black college student, was shot dead by a white police officer investigating a burglary at a car dealership in Arlington, Texas.

In New York, about 100 protesters in the borough of Brooklyn lay on the ground on Sunday for 4-1/2 minutes to mark Brown’s death. Two were arrested, and some of the protesters later held a second rally in central Manhattan.

“A year ago this day people took the streets in defiance all over the country and it was inspiring, it was liberating, it was beautiful” said Jamel Mins, 29, the organizer of the New York protests. “Our work is not done.”

CANDLES AND TEDDY BEARS

In Ferguson, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., wore a T-shirt bearing his son’s image and the slogan “Chosen for Change” as he attended the newly rebuilt memorial of teddy bears, candles and flowers on the quiet residential road where Brown died.

Others held “Black Lives Matter” banners and signs calling for justice for those killed by police.

“I hurt every day. But I’m trying to make it uncomfortable to people that think this is OK to do this stuff,” Brown explained to reporters on Saturday.

A plaque featuring a metallic dove has been installed on the sidewalk a few feet from the spot where Brown died, and the street where his blood pooled has been repaved.

Hazel Bland, 51, who lives in the Canfield Green apartment complex near where Brown was killed, said she thinks about the shooting every day.

“It is really sad. You never think this would happen, all these police officers killing all these people. I really hate that it happened,” Bland said on Sunday.

A federal review found that officer Wilson broke no laws when he shot Brown. But it also determined that Ferguson’s predominantly white police department for years had violated the rights of the city’s black population.

The Justice Department report found police were singling out African-Americans for arrests and ticketing, in part to raise revenue for the city. It also found a pattern of excessive force, including the use of attack dogs and electric stun guns, against unarmed black citizens by police.

The city’s police chief, city manager and municipal court judge all left their jobs following the report.

The anniversary weekend in Ferguson was marred by an apparently unrelated drive-by shooting on Sunday that took place a few blocks away from a church as marchers were approaching, police said. One person was wounded in the foot.

A 17-year-old was arrested on Saturday night after firing at a 22-year-old man in a strip mall parking lot, police said.

But the protests themselves unfolded without major incident, as police stayed largely behind barricades and on the fringes.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50%

Caitlin Ashworth

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Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50% | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Alexander Popov

The richest people in the world, who make up just 1% of the population, are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study shows that the “1 percenters” make up twice as much carbon pollution than the poorest half of the world. Some say the poor are the least responsible for climate change, but have to deal with most of the negative consequences.

In a 25 year study led by Oxfam, researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute found that wealthy countries were responsible for using up nearly a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. The study was conducted from 1990 to 2015, when annual emissions grew by 60%.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.

63 million people made up the richest 1% of the world. Since 1990, they have been responsible for 9% of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can go into the air before temperature rises to catastrophic levels. 3.1 billion people make up the poorest half of the world’s population. The carbon emissions growth rate of the rich 1% was 3 times more than the poorest half of the world.

There’s not just an economic inequality between the rich and the poor, according to the head of policy, advocacy and research, Tim Gore. He told AFP the research shows the world’s “carbon inequality.”

“It’s not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it’s not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction …But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption … And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible.”

Carbon emissions have decreased since the pandemic. But just a few months doesn’t take away the damage that has been done for years. Temperatures are still on track to rise several degrees this century. Although the 2015 Paris climate deal was set to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, emissions have continued to increase.

“It’s clear that the carbon intensive and highly unequal model of economic growth over the last 20-30 years has not benefited the poorest half of humanity… It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to choose between economic growth and fixing the climate crisis.”

Some say the global economy needs to prioritise “green growth.” If not, the decrease in pollution during the pandemic will have a very small and insignificant overall impact on climate change. Some say carbon emissions affect the poorest nations the most who don’t have enough resources to fight natural disasters possibly brought on by the rising temperatures, like wildfires and droughts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | AFP

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England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine

The Thaiger & The Nation

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England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine | The Thaiger

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers are receiving up to a 10,000 pound fine, starting September 28, according to British PM Boris Johnson. The fine will be handed down to anyone who tests positive for the virus or has been in contact with someone who has the virus and dodges the rules for self-quarantine.

For the first offence, rule breakers will receive a 1,000 pound fine and from there it will rise up to 10,000 pounds for those who repeatedly break the rules. Employers who threaten to fire staff over choosing to self-isolate instead of going to work will receive the maximum fine amount of 10,000 pounds. For those lower income workers, Johnson says they will receive a 500 pound support payment in addition to other benefits in which they may qualify.

Despite current British Covid-19 quarantine guidelines matching those of the rest of the world, there has reportedly been little enforcement of self-quarantine rules. Now, Britain is seeing a fast influx of Covid cases prompting the government to get the police involved in compliance checks.

Johnson has come under scrutiny after repeatedly being called to issue a lockdown nationwide with reports coming in that he is planning to reject calls from advisors to issue a 2 week lockdown to slow the virus’ spread.

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Thailand

US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River

The Thaiger & The Nation

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US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River | The Thaiger

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Chinese companies of “exploitative practices” in the Mekong River region after a new partnership has been launched to combat “transnational crimes”. Pompeo named the China Communications Construction Company as one of the big offenders and says the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the increase in human, wildlife and drug trafficking in the region.

He says the new partnership will also strengthen water security for partner countries where China has added to a drought in the region as an upstream damming by China has been carried out in “a completely non-transparent and non-consultative way.”

“We encourage countries of the Mekong region to hold the CCP accountable to its pledge to share its water data. That data should be public. It should be released year-round. It should include water and water-related data, as well as land use, and dam construction and operation data.”

“We stand with our ASEAN partners as we insist on the rule of law and respect for sovereignty in the South China Sea, where Beijing has pursued aggressive campaigns of coercion and environmental devastation.”

Pompeo also said such companies associated with the CCP are linked to human and narcotics trafficking but he did not provide evidence to support the accusation.

Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand all share resources of the Mekong delta and Pompeo reiterated that they “deserve good partners”. The US has reportedly pledged a total of US$156.4 million for multiple initiatives under the new US-Mekong Partnership.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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