Food, Hunger & Malnutrition: Indonesia Measles Cases Prove Malnutrition Isn’t Just a Problem in Poor Countries #SDGs #GlobalGoals #Hunger #ZeroHunger #MalNutrition

Donors ignore malnutrition in middle-income countries, a new report finds.

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By Andrew Green

Earlier this year, as many as 100 children died in Indonesia’s remote Papua province. They were suffering from malnutrition when they became infected during a measles outbreak. Their immune systems were too weak to fight off the disease.

“Measles is not dangerous, it’s a mild disease,” the province’s military spokesperson Muhammad Aidi told the media in the midst of the response. “But because those children are malnourished, they can’t cope in that condition.”

Indonesia’s government has made significant attempts to fight hunger in recent years, committing new financial resources to the effort, improving infrastructure to ease the flow of food to remote areas and taking a vocal role in regional efforts to end all forms of malnutrition. But the measles outbreak underscored the scale of the challenge Indonesia and other middle-income countries (MICs) face when it comes to grappling with malnutrition – particularly within the poorest communities.

Around eight of every 10 malnourished children in the world reside in MICs, according to new research released this week by RESULTS, a non-profit advocacy organization. And poor children, who have not benefited from their country’s developmental gains as it moves into middle-income status, are disproportionately affected.

With global funding for nutrition already limited and donors increasingly withdrawing their support from MICs, the governments of those countries are often left to bear the full burden of implementing malnutrition programs. But comprehensively addressing hunger, particularly in poor communities, requires a significant commitment from governments that have myriad competing priorities.

The result is that malnutrition remains rampant – and might even worsen – in countries making the transition from low- to middle-income status.

RESULTS analysed the malnutrition situation in 89 middle-income countries between June and December 2017. The researchers excluded 20 countries the World Bank classified as being in a “fragile situation,” primarily because of ongoing or recently concluded conflicts.

The researchers concluded that “economic growth in these countries has not acted as a guarantee for equitable improvements in nutrition, health and the lives of their populations.”

Nearly half of the hungry people in the world – roughly 363 million people in 2014 – live in just five MICs: China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Brazil, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute. Globally, RESULTS concluded there are 1.8 million child deaths annually in the 89 MICs they considered that are linked to malnutrition.

“Unless we address malnutrition in these countries, we are sure to miss the [Sustainable Development Goals], because this is where the true burden of malnutrition really is,” Anushree Shiroor, a senior policy advocacy officer with RESULTS and the author of the recent report, told News Deeply. The goals include ending hunger and achieving food security by 2030.

In the report, Shiroor outlined a number of factors that contribute to the high rates of malnutrition in MICs – and particularly lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) – and recommendations for how to begin to address the problem.

The report identifies two steps the countries, themselves, can take: Asserting greater ownership of the issue, which translates into political leadership and sustainable domestic financing, and creating a robust policy framework. In the review, RESULTS found that 58 percent of the LMICs had a valid nutrition policy or a development policy that prioritized nutrition. That number dropped to 39 percent among upper-middle-income countries.

Within the MICs, though, experts said country ownership was not enough to tackle the problem. In Indonesia, for instance, Dr. Diah Utari, an expert in nutrition at the University of Indonesia, said the government has been proactive about addressing malnutrition.

During the crisis in the Papua province, for instance, “the central government immediately sends aid in the form of food, health workers,” Utari told News Deeply. She also pointed to a bigger health budget and to the role Indonesian officials played in pushing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ commitment last year to rapidly expand its efforts to reduce malnutrition.

Even a committed government will struggle to address all of the factors that contribute to malnutrition, she said. In Indonesia and many MICs, malnutrition is particularly linked to the educational status of mothers. Utari also highlighted the need to improve infrastructure, so rural communities have better access to a variety of food, as well as to health services. Failing to address these issues means not just that malnutrition will continue, but that it will disproportionately affect the poorest communities.

The domestic resources to tackle such systemic problems are often unavailable, though, and there are increasingly few other places to look for funds.

RESULTS found that donor funding for “basic nutrition” – already less than one percent of total overseas development assistance (ODA) – actually decreased in recent years, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of ODA. And much of that funding is no longer available to countries as they transition to middle-income status, anyway, despite the entrenched, persistent inequalities that governments either can’t or won’t address.

There is also an opportunity, she said, to look for alternative solutions, including financing approaches that might spur and multiply domestic investments and innovations like improved crop systems.

One of the first goals, though, is to ensure the global community understands this is something that needs to be addressed. “We need to get attention to the fact that malnutrition in middle-income countries is a huge problem,” she said.

“The examples of countries beginning to mobilize and momentum around malnutrition is increasing,” Shiroor said. “But that does not mean donors can just step away from their role on addressing nutrition in these countries.” Instead, she called for them to establish a clear, reasonable transition process that was realistic about domestic capabilities.

This article originally appeared on Malnutrition Deeply. You can find the original here

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Quality Education: 9 Facts to Know About Education Around the World {SHOCKER} #Education #SDGs #GlobalGoals #Nigeria

#showup for education.

Millions of children and adults around the world lack the access to education for various reasons — some live in conflict zones, others aren’t allowed to attend school because they’re girls, or they don’t attend because their families need them to work and bring in income to support the family. But because education promotes the understanding of social justice, interdependence, and identity, it is key to eradicating global poverty by 2030. Here are nine facts you need to know about global education.

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  1. Around the world 59 million children of primary school age are being denied an education, and almost 65 million adolescents are without access to a secondary school.
  2. Conflict and natural disasters have disrupted the education of 75 million children.
  3. In one of three countries, less than three quarters of teachers are trained to national standards, resulting in 130 million children enrolled in school who are not even learning the basics.
  4. A child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5
  5. Nearly 15 million girls of primary school age will never have the opportunity to learn to read and write in primary school, compared to about 10 million boys.
  6. It would take $39 billion (USD) every year to send all adolescents to school.  
  7. In 2012, there were 168 million child labor workers aged 5 to 17. This is one reason many children cannot attend school.
  8. Over 40 years, equitable access to quality education can help a country raise its gross domestic product per capita by 23 percent.
  9. If all women had a primary education, there would be 1.7 million fewer malnourished children.

Women & Girls: This Woman Was Raped by a Family Member at 15 —& Now Fights for Children Who Have Survived Sexual Assault #SexualViolence #ForcedSex #SDGs #GlobalGoals

Brisa de Angulo is the CEO and founder of Breeze of Hope, and a survivor of sexual violence.

Survivors is a new series focusing on people who have lived through extremely difficult circumstances and come out the other side stronger and more determined than ever to help bring about change. These people are an inspiration, and exemplify just how strong the human spirit can be.

Brisa de Angulo is the CEO and founder of Breeze of Hope, a Bolivia-based nonprofit that works with children who have experienced sexual violence and incest. The organization has provided legal services, social assistance, therapy, and other services to more than 1,500 children in Bolivia since its foundation in 2004.

Bolivia has the highest rate of gender violence in Latin America, Huffington Post reports — and according to government statistics, 87% of women experience sexual violence from a family member. De Angulo herself experienced this form of abuse by a relative when she was a teenager.

This is her story. 


[When I was 15], a family member, who was also a youth pastor, came to live in my house and he started to sexually abuse me. Then he started raping me.

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There was a lot of intimidation and threats to keep silent.

So, I continued to be silent for many months — for eight months —  where he would repeatedly rape me almost daily, several times a day. He would threaten that if I didn’t allow him to rape me, he would rape my little siblings.

In that process, he also threatened that if someone found out what was happening, everything would collapse. [My parents] worked with children, human rights, women’s rights, and so he would use that as a threat, saying, ‘How would your parents feel that they’re trying to protect other people out there but in their own home I’m raping their own child?’

I knew that would have been devastating for my parents, and he used that to keep my silence.

I went into a very deep depression. I dropped out from school. I developed bulimia, and then I developed anorexia. I tried to commit suicide twice. My life was just going downhill. My parents had no idea what was happening, but it was devastating for them. They knew something was wrong, but they didn’t know what.

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In one of those suicide attempts, they found out what was happening and that’s when we decided to take my case to the judicial system. That’s when the second wave of our victimization started because everyone wanted to silence me. My house was set on fire twice. It was stoned. I was kidnapped, almost killed several times. There was a lot of intimidation from the judicial system, and from the community, because I was one of the first adolescents to take my case for rape to trial.

[The prosecutor] threatened to put me in jail if I continued to talk about what happened to me. The judges did not want to take my case. It jumped from one court to another — and they ended up sending my case to the agriculture court, where they deal with cases of animals and plants. I wasn’t even considered a human being.

I had to take my case several times to the constitutional court and I had to go through three trials because of all the mistakes that they made in the process, and on the third trial my aggressor escaped. And so he is a fugitive of justice and he’s being searched for by Interpol.

But in that process, I realized that I wasn’t alone — that there were a lot of girls who were going through what I was going through. There were a lot of children who were silently suffering in their own homes, the majority by family members or someone they know, and with no place to go. I had the support of my mom and dad and brothers and sisters, but most of these girls didn’t have anyone. I didn’t want them to go through what I went through.

So, I decided that I would use the rest of my life to try to make the process a little bit easier and safer for children. At age 17, I started the only program for children who have been sexually abused in the entire country of Bolivia. That was in 2004, and so far we have been able to provide free legal, social, and psychological services to over 1,500 children.

When we started, the conviction rate for sexual crimes was 0.2%, and from the hundreds of cases that we’ve taken we have a 95% conviction rate. So it’s totally gone the other way. And in the last three years, we’ve had a 100% conviction rate.

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We have lawyers take their cases all the way from the beginning to any appeals or anything that has to happen, and then we have a social worker that works with the families. We know that most of the children have a family that will intimidate them or try to keep them silent, so we work very hard with the social worker to make sure that the family has the knowledge and can provide the support that the [child] needs to continue the process of healing.

Then we also provide therapy, but our therapy process is very broad. We provide different types of therapy — art therapy, music therapy, yoga, meditation, play therapy, cognitive therapy — so that every child can find their own way of healing.

So it’s very child-centered. We’re a team dedicated to be there for the children and our advisory board is comprised only of children. They’re pretty much telling us what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, what they want to change. It’s a center where it’s pretty much driven by survivors.

When I started speaking up, 14 or 15 years ago, I was the only one speaking and it was very lonely. It’s very exciting to see other women to gain the control and shatter the silence and the conspiracy of silence and say, “Hey, we are here and we matter and this is what happened to us.”

I feel that most sexual abuse has been thrown under the rug, so even though a lot of us know that it’s happening, it’s not visible. We need to continue uniting voices and show that this is a big problem and put the shame where it belongs, not on the victim, but on the aggressor.

This battle has been happening for a very long time and the changes are very small and very short and sadly we have people in power who don’t see the need to really work on this. There are other more pressing needs in their minds: infrastructure, wars, whatever. Although there’s a lot of consciousness within society about the topic I think we’re still looking at many, many, many more years for actually seeing a dramatic change. It’s not just changing laws. It’s changing the whole conception of how we see the world, how we see children, how we see women.

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Until we change [and start] seeing them as human beings and respecting them and acknowledging them as subjects of human rights, the world is not going to change. We may change some laws and we may change some things, but when push comes to shove we’re going to fall into our old habits.

For me, to see that because of my efforts a child can get justice is extremely healing. There is nothing more rewarding and exciting than to see one of these children, who have been so broken, to have dreams again and smile again. I always tell people that if someone offered me a $10 million job, there’s no way I would take it, or even consider it, because there’s nothing in this world that can provide me with the joy and satisfaction of children smiling again and dreaming again.

We’ve created a society of wounded healers where it is our wounds that heal each other.

 

Industry, Innovation And Infrastructure: These Solar Panels Don’t Need Sun; They Harvest Energy From Rain #SDGs #CleanEnergy #GlobalGoals

They could even make raincoats that charge your phone.

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Solar panels are awesome.

But what happens when the sun goes down? Or it rains? Or when it’s technically spring, but it might snow again on the weekend because it’s Britain and you’ve forgotten what the warm touch of natural heat feels like?

New solar panels created by Chinese researchers take energy from the friction of falling raindrops, as well as the sun, so it’s an effective source of renewable energy all year round.

Although it’s still in the early stages of development, reports suggest that it could also be used to create raincoats that can charge your electronic devices as you wear it.

It’s British Science Week — so it’s a good time to make it rain with facts.

The researchers from Soochow University in eastern China have placed two transparent polymer layers on top of a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell. Still with us? Basically, the solar cell still absorbs sunlight because of the top layer’s transparency. Meanwhile, that top layer collects the rain — and as it rolls down, the friction creates a static charge.

“Our device can always generate electricity in any daytime weather,” said Baoquan Sun from Soochow University — one of three scientists on the project who shares a surname with their actual work. “In addition, this device even provides electricity at night if there is rain.”

It’s a simpler form of something that already exists. Triboelectric nanogenerators were invented back in 2012, but the new technology is the first to include the polymer layers — and it’s more compact , too. All it needs now is a catchy name.

“Due to our unique device design, it becomes a lightweight device,” continued Sun. “In future, we are exploring integrating these into mobile and flexible devices, such as electronic clothes. However, the output power efficiency needs to be further improved before practical application.”

A prototype is expected within three to five years, according to the journal ACS Nano . The technology is also being used to experiment with wind power — which some experts believe is its most natural partner.

All this is super news for Britain — which, rumour has it, hasn’t seen the sun since England last won the World Cup. On a sunny day, the UK can produce 8GW of solar energy, a quarter of its total energy demand, but during the winter this can drop to just 1GW.

But a raincoat that can charge your iPhone? Did somebody say Glastonbury?

Good Health + Well-Being: 10 facts Why You Should Probably Never Drink Bottled Water Again. {& for VERY good reasons} #Health #2030Now #GlobalGoals #SDGs #2030Now

The bottled water industry is about as wasteful as they come. This billion dollar industry is taking something that is essentially free around the world, packaging it, and selling it for profit. And it gets worse.

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Nestlé — the same company that brings you those delicious Toll House cookies — decided in May to open a new plant in the middle of the drought-stricken desert in Arizona.

This decision has raised many concerns and questions, the most obvious being “how can they bottle water in a desert?”

Many of the concerned groups are environmental activists. Nestle already faces backlash from groups angry about them bottling water in the San Bernardino Mountains, and a group in Oregon voted in favor of anti-bottling measures on a proposed anti-bottling measures.

Additionally, a petition was started on Change.org calling Nestlé Waters “irresponsible and unsustainable,” pointing out that Arizona has officially been in a drought for 17 years.

City officials concluded that there will be enough water for both Pure Life and the city’s tap, but environmentalists aren’t convinced.

The bottled water industry is bad for the environment. Nearly 80 percent of plastic water bottles simply become litter in a landfill, creating 2 million tons of plastic bottle waste every year. Here are 10 things you might not know about the bottled water industry.


  1. The first case of bottled water sold dates back to Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1760s. Mineral water was bottled and sold by a spa for therapeutic uses.

  2. For the first time ever, bottled water sales are going to surpass the sale of soda in the US.

  3. Global consumption of bottled water increases by 10 percent every year. The slowest growth is in Europe, while the fastest growth is in North America.

  4. The energy we waste bottling water would be enough to power 190,000 homes.

  5. Food & Water Watch reported that more than half of bottled water comes from the tap.

  6. Bottled water is no safer than tap water. In fact, 22 percent of bottled brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample.

  7. It takes three times more water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill one.

  8. The amount of oil used to make a year’s worth of bottles could fill one million cars for a year.

  9. Only one in five plastic bottles are recycled.

  10. The bottled water industry made $13 billion in 2014, but it would only cost $10 billion to provide clean water to everyone in the world.

Clean Water And Sanitation: {SHOCKER!}Bottled Water Has Twice as Many Microplastics as Tap Water #GlobalGoals #SDGs #2030Now

The effects on the human body are unknown but potentially harmful.

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Water bottle brands often advertise their water as pure and pristine, derived from natural springs or other remote sources.

Scores of analyses have shown that most bottled water is no different than tap water and a new study conducted by scientists for Orb Media has found that bottled water actually contains more microplastic particles than what’s available in most people’s homes.

After analyzing 250 bottles from 11 brands purchased from nine countries, the team found that 93% of bottled water contains microplastics, particles too small to see with the naked eye but potentially hazardous to human health, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, because plastic becomes a “magnet for pollutants” when in the water.

The European Food Safety Authority has argued that most microplastics are excreted by the body, according to CBC Canada.

The study builds on an earlier analysis by Orb Media that found that the vast majority of tap water in the world contains microplastics.

This time around, Orb studied water from companies such as Nestle Pure Life, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, and San Pellegrino.

They found that there were roughly 10.4 measureable particles of plastic per liter, and the real number could be higher, because smaller particles were unable to be verified.

Even still, this is double the amount of microplastics found in the tap water from their previous analysis

“Some of the bottles we tested contained so many particles that we asked a former astrophysicist to use his experience counting stars in the heavens to help us tally these fluorescing constellations,” Christopher Tyree and Dan Morrison wrote for Orb Media.

“Sizes ranged from the width of a human hair down to the size of a red blood cell,” they added. “Some bottles had thousands. A few effectively had no plastic at all. One bottle had a concentration of more than 10,000 particles per liter.”

Beverage brands disputed the findings when reached out to by CBC Canada.

“The science on micro plastics and microfibers is nascent and an emerging field,” The American Beverage Association, which represents many of the biggest brands across North America, including Nestle, Evian, Dasani and Aquafina, told CBC.

“We stand by the safety of our bottled water products and we are interested in contributing to serious scientific research that will … help us all understand the scope, impact and appropriate next steps,” the group added.

Orb scientists used a method called Nile Red fluorescent tagging to identify the particles. When the dye is added to the water, it binds to and illuminates plastic, and then scientists can view the water under a microscope to count the particles, according to CBC.

In a circular sort of way, all the plastic produced and discarded in the world is finding its way back into the lives of humans.

Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since 1950, a weight equivalent to 1 billion elephants.

More than 75% of this plastic has been thrown away, left to disintegrate throughout the global environment. Each year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans, which is like emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute.

As plastic breaks down into microplastics, it tends to blanket the sea floors, where it can disrupt bottom-feeding ecosystems.

It also ends up in drinking water supplies, where it has largely unknown effects on the human body, according to the team at Orb Media.

“We don’t know what the [health] impact is and for that reason we should follow the precautionary principle and put enough effort into it now, immediately, so we can find out what the real risks are,” Dr. Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who conducted the research, told the Guardian.

“Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying,” she added.  

This latest study is another strike against the bottled water industry, which has grown to $147 billion annually.

Every minute of every day, a million bottles of water are consumed around the world and this number is rising exponentially, potentially reaching half a trillion annually by 2021.

The vast majority of these bottles aren’t recycled. Instead, they enter ecosystems, breaking down into micro plastics, and ultimately adding to the problem of plastic in drinking water.

Life Below Water: Sharks Are Freezing to Death in the Arctic Outbreak #Environment #Climate #ClimateChange #SDGs #GlobalGoals

The organization described one of the animals as “a true sharkcicle!”

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Frozen sharks are washing up along eastern shorelines this week, providing a stark reminder that humans are not the only species suffering from the “Arctic outbreak” sweeping across the US through the next several days.

The news of the sharks comes from the Massachusetts-based Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which has recovered the icy corpses of at least three thresher sharks on the shores of Cape Cod Bay after reports from locals, according to the Cape Cod Times.

The organization described one of the animals as “a true sharkcicle!” and respondents collected tissue samples with the help of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service. These samples will be assessed once they thaw to further elucidate the cause of death.

The sharks weren’t turned into ice cubes in the water, according to Greg Skomal, Senior Marine Fisheries Scientist at MA Marine Fisheries. Instead, it’s likely that the colder temperatures triggered a rapid migration south, and that some sharks got trapped in Cape Cod Bay and washed ashore where they died.

“Instead of a leisurely migration, it was likely more hurried and rushed, one that would put them along the coastline,” he said. “Particularly in a dynamic area like Cape Cod Bay where there are sand bars, shoals, and dramatic tides, if they don’t get out quickly, they can get easily trapped.”

Because sharks are cold-blooded, they often need to migrate once temperatures plummet to avoid becoming too cold, according to Shark Saver. Some sharks, like the threshers, are able to elevate their body temperatures and last in cold waters longer. Skomal said that that’s why the threshers were still in the area, while other sharks had to go south earlier.

One or two threshers wash up every few years and end up frosted along coastlines, Skomal said. Turtles and some fish also get stranded on the shores of Cape Cod Bay during winter months, he said.

Other cold-blooded animals, such as frogs, are able to freeze and then thaw once the weather warms, according to Penn Live.

Similarly, warm-blooded animals in freezing environments tend to migrate or hibernate. Many, however, stay put and endure the cold. While small birds seem especially susceptible to cold temperatures, they’re actually well-equipped to deal with sub-zero cold blasts by puffing their feathers and finding good places to roost, according to Birds and Bloom. In fact, their biggest threat in winter months is the lack of food and water, according to bird experts who have been sending out PSAs on Twitter.

Animals around the world are sensitive to temperature changes. As global temperatures continue to rise because of climate change, many animals are being forced to change their habitats and adapt or die off.

Polar bears, for instance, are being forced to hunt on land where there is less food, rather than on ice, because the Arctic is melting.

Beavers, on the other hand, are benefiting from the melting ice by moving farther north and building new dams.

Plant species are also affected by changing temperatures.

Coral reefs are the starkest example of this, which are failing around the world because of warming ocean temperatures.

The sharks freezing to death in Cape Cod Bay further show that animals, like humans, struggle in extreme conditions.

Reduced Inequalities: “Focus Canada” Woman Forced into Sex with More Than 10 Men in Trafficking Case, Police Say

Sex trafficking within Canada is more common than you might think.

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One woman and three teenage suspects have been arrested in connection to a human trafficking investigation, Calgary police announced on Wednesday.

On Dec. 13, the alleged victim ran into a store in Calgary and said she had been held against her will in an apartment across the street for five days before escaping.

While confined, the victim said she was forced to perform sexual acts with over 10 men for money that was later taken by the suspects, according to the Calgary police press release.

The victim met a male suspect in the lobby of the building and she was led upstairs, assaulted, and forcibly confined, according to the police investigation.

Approximately 25 million people were victims of human trafficking worldwide in 2017, according to Human Rights First .

But identifying victims and prosecuting perpetrators is difficult across the world. In the US, for instance, the National Human Trafficking Hotline found that 7,500 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016 but only 439 traffickers were convicted in 2016.

Canadian police services reported 206 violations of human trafficking in Canada in 2014, but the RCMP Criminal Intelligence estimated in the past that hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked within Canada each year.

From 2005 to 2014, there were only 53 completed adult criminal court cases involving human trafficking in Canada, and most of them resulted in a finding of stayed or withdrawn, according to a report by Statistics Canada.

Reliable data is difficult to collect on human trafficking as it is purposefully hidden.

The Calgary police news release indicated that Jessica Nyome Louise Vinje, 29, was taken into custody on Dec. 22 and charged with one count each of human trafficking, material benefit – human trafficking, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, voyeurism and assault.

Police said the three teenagers involved in this case were also taken into custody and charged:

A 16-year-old male was charged with one count each of human trafficking, material benefit – human trafficking, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, voyeurism, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, pointing a firearm and uttering threats.

A 17-year-old female was charged with one count each of human trafficking, material benefit – human trafficking, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, voyeurism and assault.

A 17-year-old male was charged with one count each of human trafficking, material benefit – human trafficking, sexual assault, unlawful confinement and voyeurism.

This Calgary case is but one of many disturbing cases of human trafficking from around the world. In fact, it was reported this week that sex trafficking is on the rise in West Virginia as a result of the opioid epidemic, and a nail bar owner was just jailed in the UK for forcing trafficked girls into slavery.

 

Women/Girls: This Board Game Got Fathers Talk to Their Daughters About Feminism – and the Results Are OBVIOUS “DEAR DAUGHTERS” #Feminist #Feminism

“Awareness comes through empathy”.

In January, millions of women around the world took to the streets to support women’s rights. And since then, women’s rights — including healthcare, equal pay, and sexual harassment — have been a hot topic in the political sphere and in the media from the “global gag rule” to Hollywood giant Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct.

But Brooklyn-based photographers Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina want to bring that conversation back into homes with their “Dear Daughters” project. Hinchey and Messina, creative partners and parents of 10-year-old Penelope, say they wanted to encourage fathers to have open conversations with their daughters about feminism.

“We wanted to recreate an intimate family moment in which [fathers and daughters could] talk naturally about feminism and learn from one another,”. “Awareness comes through empathy, using dialogue is a starting point toward working together to evolve into an equal and just society. We wanted to hear men talk about feminism, [their] daughters were a vehicle and an inspiring place to start this conversation.”

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So they created a board game and invited 22 men and their daughters, all between the ages of 8 and 11, to play.

The game, similar to Chutes and Ladders, includes hand-drawn cards with thought-provoking question and discussion-starters that the pair developed with their daughter, the Huffington Post reported.

In fact, Messina credits her daughter Penelope with inspiring the project. 

“Through her we have seen how children of this age start asking questions regarding social issues and it is interesting to watch them process news, trying to rationalize and decipher events which in their minds are absurd or unjust,” she told the Huffington Post.

The cards prompt players to share their beliefs about feminism with one another by talking about women they admire and what slogans they would put on their Women’s March banner. They also encourage players to reflect on commonly used sayings like “boys will be boys” and “behind every great man is a great woman.”

The conversation-starter cards at times forced men to have difficult conversations with their daughters. One father had to explain to his daughter that decades before, her mother would have had no legal rights to determine her own child’s future, another had to explain the meaning of “chauvinist.”

Messina and Hinchey filmed the fathers and daughters discussing the questions, and then took photographs that challenge the stiff, traditional format of family portraits. They describe the photos as old-style family portraits, but ones in which “daughters do not show submission to their father, but familiarity and confidence as in an evolved relationship.”

The pair said that for many fathers and daughters, this was the first time they had sat down to have these kinds of conversations

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“We sensed that for the fathers it was a very liberating and bonding experience,”. Hinchey and Messina hope they’ll eventually be able to make the game available for families to play at home,.

“Issues of equal rights are always a relevant topic but we felt the need and responsibility, especially in the current climate, to add our voice,” they said.

“We hope that this project resonates as much as possible and is something families can relate to, inspiring open conversation about equal rights and the importance of working together towards a society where abuse on women is never tolerated at any level.”

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Affordable And Clean Energy: France Sends $861 Million to World’s Largest Solar Power Pact

The money will be used to transform the solar industry.

French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to New Delhi over the weekend to announce an $861 million investment in the International Solar Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of 60 countries striving to dramatically lift the amount of solar power generated in the world, according to Reuters.

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Founded by India in 2015, the ISA was formed in response to the Paris climate agreement to improve solar technology, reduce industry costs, and ultimately boost solar production in countries in the Global South that get a lot of sunshine and receive little investment.

The latest pledge by Macron brings France’s total commitment to the ISA to more than $1.2 billion, and gets the ISA closer to its goal of raising $1 trillion through a mix of public and private financing

The amount of money raised by the ISA isn’t disclosed on its website, but more than $5 billion was committed to the group at a conference in January.

All funds will be spent on research and development and the construction of solar projects, with the ultimate goal of generating 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy in the years ahead, more than triple the current amount produced globally, according to the ISA.

Since global solar power grew six-fold between 2010 and 2016, another exponential leap seems possible, according to the Guardian.

The ISA has already developed an interactive map with the World Bank that helps governments across the world determine the solar potential of their territories and it has begun infrastructure projects in India and elsewhere.

The group’s growing prominence underscores India’s emerging leadership in the field of renewable energy, according to Quartz.

“With the ISA being here, if the ISA will prove itself to be a game changer in the way energy markets evolve, in giving more people access to energy…then India emerges as a leader of climate action,” Kanika Chawla, a renewable energy expert at Delhi-based nonprofit Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, told Quartz.

Since the Paris climate agreement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become an outspoken champion of climate action and even scolded US President Trump when he announced plans to withdraw the US from the global pact. Modi has since vowed to more than triple solar production throughout the country by 2022, a goal that’s currently on track.

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If that happens, India may surpass China as the global leader in renewable energy.

The country, however, remains the fastest-growing consumer of fossil fuels in the world and it has some of the most heavily-polluted cities.

But if the ISA follows through on its mission to make solar power more viable, India may transition to a low-emissions economy sooner than expected.

And, by then, other countries may be vying for recognition as the top solar producer in the world.