Agent Orange vs. The Amazon Rainforest (Link Round-Up 7/9/11)

Posted 8:37 AM by Jason in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Independence Day
The UN Security Council has passed a resolution approving a new 7,000-strong peacekeeping force for South Sudan - but this is basically a rebranding of the force which was already in Sudan, mostly in the south.

Khartoum has said its mandate would not be renewed, leading the US to argue that the 1,000 UN troops should be allowed to remain in South Kordofan. The 1,000 troops in the disputed town of Abyei are to be replaced by 4,200 Ethiopian soldiers.
Fight The Power
Muslim Brotherhood member Khalid Dawood, who attended the protest in Alexandria, said the Brotherhood – which in recent months has been plagued by internal splits and squabbles – was persuaded to attend because it was worried about the ruling military council's lack of transparency.
Rally organisers say Malaysia's electoral system is plagued with fraud - they want longer campaign periods, automatic voter registration and equality of access to the largely government-linked mainstream media.

The authorities say the protesters are trying to promote communist ideology, thereby "waging war against the king".
Right Hand, Meet Left Hand
Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF's acting director, has been under pressure to resign after the agency allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Ariz., where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.

In two days of meetings with congressional investigators over the weekend, Melson said the FBI and DEA kept the ATF "in the dark" about their relationships with the cartel informants. If ATF agents had known of the relationships, the agency might have ended the investigation much earlier, he said.
Al-Robin Hood
Nigerian authorities blame a radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram for a series of attacks on government officials and security forces in the north. The group, modeled after Afghanistan’s Taliban, claimed responsibility for a June 16 blast at the national police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, which killed at least five people and injured 11.
Jungle Fever
Agent Orange used to clear Amazon
"They [deforesters] have changed their strategy because, in a short time, more areas of forest can be destroyed with herbicides. Thus, they don't need to mobilize tree-cutting teams and can therefore bypass the supervision of IBAMA," says Jerfferson Lobato of IBAMA.

While Agent Orange was originally designed to clear forest coverage in combat situations, its use became a subject of controversy due to its impact on humans and wildlife. During the Vietnam War, the United States military dispersed 12 million gallons of herbicide, impacting the health of some 3 million, mostly peasant, Vietnamese citizens, and causing birth defects in around 500 thousand children. Additionally, the chemical's effect on the environment have been profound and lasting.


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