[alternet-l] THE ALTERNET NEWS - ISSUE 123

alternet alternet at mail.greennet.org.uk
Fri Jun 24 17:50:38 BST 2005

24th June 2005

This issue:




In 1943 Thomas Watson, then chairman of IBM, forecast a world market for 
"maybe only five computers." Years before IBM launched the personal 
computer in 1981, Xerox had already successfully designed and used PCs 
internally... but decided to concentrate on the production of 


Our World - Why And How To Change It To Create Just Global Freedom - These 
comprehensive texts provide students and activists with a quick and easy 
introduction to the theories and arguments required to understand and to 
motivate social change. The pragmatic focus on consciousness and our 
freedom to choose our future, the role of innovation and automation, the 
importance of the environment and the moral case for justice and freedom 
reflect the hope that the work should be of practical use. 

Channel 4 for is currently searching for start-up businesses to take part 
in its acclaimed series .Risking It All.. The series comprises 10x1-hour 
documentaries aired nationwide. Each 1-hour documentary will focus on one 
business, from the preparation and set-up, through the first critical 
months of trading. We are hoping to be able to dedicate at least one of 
these programmes to an ethical business or eco-business - this is a 
growing concern in society at the moment, and increasing numbers of people 
are choosing to live and work in a globally responsible way. For more 
information, contact Researcher Cathy Durbin at Ricochet on 01273 224 822, 
or visit www.ricochet.co.uk.

To aid campaigners intending to protest against the G8 summit, Corporate 
Watch has produced a map illustrating how the corporate agenda is being 
pushed at the G8, in Scotland and across the world. Get in touch if you 
would like copies to distribute in your local area or to your local 
anti-G8 group - we charge £1 per map, plus postage. You can also view and 
download the full colour map from our website: 


Developers in the U.S. are becoming more and more interested in 
'Cinderella' properties, otherwise known as Brownfield sites. These 
formerly contaminated sites can be transformed into real estate with the 
input of federal governments. In the not too-distant past, abandoned toxic 
sites were shunned and only a few pioneering companies would attempt 
cleanup and redevelopment. But recently, federal funding and liability 
protection for site buyers has increased (along with the price of 
conventional uncontaminated sites), and six U.S. states last year passed 
legislation to increase incentives for Brownfield redevelopment. Many 
developers are now eager to act out the fairytale; "Ten years ago, if a 
site had an environmental problem, we didn't want to talk about it," says 
Gregory Rogerson, a New Jersey developer. "Today, we say, 'If it doesn't 
have an environmental problem, we don't want to talk about it.'" The last 
seven years have seen 121 U.S. cities redevelop over 1,187 Brownfield 
sites on 10,882 acres, with more reportedly under construction.


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan heralded the celebration of 
World Environment Day as a great success, proving a good opportunity for 
individuals, businesses and local and national governments to meet the 
challenges facing cities. "Let us tap the great knowledge and natural 
dynamism of urban areas and create 'green cities' where people can raise 
their children and pursue their dreams in a well-planned, clean and 
healthy environment," Mr. Annan said in a message to those who attended 
World Environment Day celebrations around the world.

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe has finalised plans to resign as state 
president in 2008, and as ruling Zanu (PF) leader in 2009. Information 
obtained from confidential official documents and Zanu (PF) sources shows 
Mugabe has decided finally to retire when his term expires in 2008. 
Sources said Mugabe and co-Vice-President Joseph Msika would leave, but 
both will remain Zanu (PF) leaders until the party congress in 2009. 
Mugabe will be succeeded by co-Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, now widely 
regarded as a "presidential apprentice". However, analysts and rival 
politicians are not so sure that the transition to new leadership in the 
country, apparently being planned for 2008-2009, will make anything better 
for its oppressed and impoverished citizenry.

U.K. Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has spoken out on preventing 
"L.A.-style gridlock" on England's major motorways. He's trying to enlist 
public support for .road pricing,. a tax of up to £1.30 per mile on 
drivers who frequent the country's busiest roads, to be assessed by way of 
a high-tech satellite and GPS surveillance system. Transport experts agree 
it may be the best way to ease congestion, though the political 
feasibility of such taxes is less clear. London.s example, however, is 
promising. Mayor Ken Livingstone's Congestion fee for driving in central 
London has been hailed a success: After just over two years, he claims, 
gridlock is broken, greenhouse-gas emissions are down, and commuters are 
filling buses, trains, and sidewalks. "This is the only thing I've done in 
my political life that turned out better than I hoped," Livingstone has 
admitted candidly.


There are rumours that European members of the G8 are finally
developing feasible ideas for debt relief. The International Monetary Fund 
(IMF) has huge, underused and undervalued gold reserves - it values this 
gold as being worth $9 billion, but at current market prices it is in fact 
worth about $45 billion. Until recently, the governments which control the 
IMF did not authorise the use of this gold to fund debt cancellation, 
though still demanded millions in debt payments from poor countries which 
cannot afford the basic needs of their own people.


China has announced a new $80 million venture to boost energy efficiency 
and slash pollution. It aims to quadruple its gross domestic product by 
2020 whilst limiting its future energy consumption to .just double. the 
current level (!). To fulfil this ambitious quest, China would do well to 
study the commendable activities of its neighbour to the east. In Japan, 
energy use in industry reached a plateau in 1973, even as output tripled. 
Now Japan is going further by encouraging citizens to do their part. They 
can, for example, buy highly energy-efficient appliances, like a 
refrigerator that uses one-eighth the energy of a typical 10-year-old 
model and sounds an alarm when the door is left open for more than 30 
seconds. The government has also subsidised some $1.3 billion in 
residential solar panel systems, and a tax break for fuel-efficient 
mini-cars has been expanded to include hybrids.


Brian Blessed has taken a break from his busy filming schedule to offer 
support to an intrepid member of the Brighton-based Animal Protection 
Agency (APA), a national campaign group focused on ending the trade in 
wild animals as pets. Duncan Steedman is set to cycle a zigzag route 
across Spain . a journey of over 1500 miles - to raise vital funds for a 
campaign against UK pet markets. He departs from Brighton Pier on Tuesday, 
28th June 2005 at midday before he sets off for a journey that will cross 
tough terrain, arid desert and tortuous mountain ranges.
On learning about a government proposal to legalise pet markets in the UK, 
Brian Blessed offered to become an official patron of APA and in a letter 
to the group. Illegal pet markets still occur due to poor local authority 
enforcement and can involve the sale of up to tens of thousands of exotic 
birds . many of them recently trapped from the wild in other countries . 
or a large range of reptiles and exotic mammal species.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Duncan can do so by contacting the Animal 
Protection Agency on 01273 674253 or by donating online at www.apa.org.uk


Sir Bob Geldof shows no signs of altering the Live8 line-up in response to 
criticism that his contacts book appears to contain no black performers. 
According to the Black Information Link (Blink), African musicians have 
noted that their absence reinforces stereotypes of Africans who have 
nothing to offer except poverty.



Reporters Without Borders recently declared it was disgusted
to find that Microsoft was censoring the Chinese version of its blog tool, 
MSN spaces. The system is automatically rejecting words including 
.democracy. and .Dalai Lama..
"Following Yahoo, here is a second American Internet giant giving way to 
the Chinese authorities and agreeing to self-censorship", the
Worldwide press freedom organisation said. "The lack of ethics on the part 
of these companies is extremely worrying. Their management
frequently justifies collaboration with Chinese censorship by saying that 
all they are doing is obeying local legislation.
Read the annual report on the state of online freedom in more than 60 
countries - The Internet Under Surveillance:


Adam king, founder of mathaba.net (one of GreenNet's longest
standing users) feels vindicated by the firing of Sunday Telegraph editor 
Dominic Lawson after a decade in the job.
.I have always believed, and can point to key evidence to back this up, 
that Lawson was instrumental in planting stories against myself and others 
which resulted in damage to peoples lives and huge expenses to the 
Telegraph in money and time wasted defending libel actions", King stated.
"Hopefully, the Telegraph will now put some of its wrongs right, such as 
its contempt for the previous court judgment against it including the 
recinding of its apology to myself by way of publication of a third 
article. This will again have to be the subject of legal action if it does 
not do the right thing and make serious and sincere ammends", Mathaba's 
founder added.
Anybody wanting to assist in the action Adam King is intending to bring 
against the Telegraph can contact him through Mathaba at 0871 2000 246 (+1 
202 470 0552) or via www.mathaba.net/contact


"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a 
question without debating it."
- Joseph Joubert


HIV & AIDS Programme Manager - Bangladesh
Organisation: Voluntary Service Overseas
Salary: £19,070 p.a Tax Free
Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Closing date 14.07.2005

Group Coordinator
Organisation: Voluntary Service Overseas
Salary: £18,663 p.a. incl L/W
Based in Putney, London, UK
Closing date: 06.07.2005

Organisation: Voluntary Service Overseas
Salary: £19,070 p.a.
Based in Kigali, Rwanda
Closing date: 08.07.2005

Central America and Mexico Reality Tours Program Coordinator
Organisation: Global Exchange
Salary: $28 000.00 p.a
Based in San Francisco, CA, US
Closing date 18.07.2005

Directore Adjunto do Programa
Organisation: Save the Children UK
Salary: not specified
Based in Angola
Closing date: 30.06.2005

Nutrition Programme Development Officer
Organisation: Concern Worldwide
Salary with living allowance, flights, accommodation, medical insurance 
Based in Dhaka with regular visits to programme areas.
Closing date: 15.07.2005


UK Big Brother Awards 2005 . these have been postponed from 23 June until 
some time in July. For details of the shortlist and new date and venue, 

'The Right to Health of Detained
Asylum Seekers and Migrants' conference,
Saturday June 25, 2005 10:00 - 13:00 at Middlesex Hospital, London.
Dr. Judith Cook, formerly with Medecins Sans Frontieres and co-author of 
the MSF Report .The health and medical needs of immigration
detainees in the UK: MSF¹s experiences. Will be speaking.

Details available on

Organising Opposition to New Restrictions on Protest around Parliament.
Public meeting on 29 June 2005 at the Indian YMCA at 7.30pm
(Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6AQ, nearest tubes: Goodge 
Street, Warren Street, Gt. Portland St.)
The meeting will discuss practical ways (including civil disobedience) to 
oppose the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which will come into 
force on 1 July and to prevent the eviction of peace protestor Brian Haw, 
who can be arrested under the new legislation from 2 August. All welcome.
Organised by Parliament Square Peace Campaign and Brian Haw Supporters.
For more info on the SOCP Act see www.parliament-square.org.uk
Or e-mail info at parliament-square.org.uk

In India millions of female foetuses are being aborted, seriously 
disrupting the balance of the sexes in some regions. In Britain a 
vociferous lobby is arguing for the right to choose our children.s sex. 
What do these developments mean for gender justice and for the future of 
our societies? Is sex selection the opening to a new designer baby 
This meeting will be a rare chance to hear about the struggle against sex 
selection in India first hand, from one of the leading campainers, Sabu 
George, from the Centre for Women.s Development Studies, New Delhi.
Philosopher Paula Boddington will describe the current issues in Britain, 
and look at the links between policy in India and the UK. The meeting will 
be of vital interest to anyone concerned with women.s rights, development 
issues and the reproductive technology debate in the UK.
Venue: Room 12, Friends House, 173 Euston Rd., London NW1 (opposite Euston 
Station). Time: 6.30 pm, July 7th 2005
If you plan to attend, or for more information, please e-mail
www.hgalert.org or www.thecornerhouse.org.uk

The G8 Summit takes place in Gleneagles, Scotland from the 6th-8th
July 2005. However, there will be many events, demos and direct
actions around Scotland in the days leading up to the summit.
See http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/CEC/G8newsandmedia/
For more information.

See SchNEWS events at http://www.schnews.org.uk/pap/yourarea.htm

Add diary dates at http://www.gn.apc.org/calendar/calindex.shtml and
http://www.networkforpeace.org.uk/events.htm (diary dates collected by NfP 
are passed on to Peace News for their diary page. In order to get a diary 
listing in PN, groups can email nfp at gn.apc.org with details).

This edition of AlterNet is edited by Lucie Evans for GreenNet.

Send your news and hot sites to actnow at gn.apc.org

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