28 September 2017   Leave a comment

Even though the practice is illegal, slavery is a common feature of most economies in the world.   The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines involuntary servitude as “work or service exacted from people against their will and ‘under the menace of any penalty'”.  The majority of modern slaves are women and last year there were about 25 million slaves.  The most common tasks assigned to slaves are prostitution and domestic housekeeping, but the range of tasks is extraordinary.


The world’s forests have long served as an important sink for carbon dioxide (CO2).  We have degraded much of the forests, however, and new research indicates that the destruction of forests now releases more CO2 than is absorbed by the remaining forests.   According to The Guardian:

“Researchers found that forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a key role in absorbing greenhouse gases – are now releasing 425 teragrams [1012 (one trillion) grams] of carbon annually, which is more than all the traffic in the United States.”

The researchers note that one of the more effective ways to protect forests from degradation is to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples that inhabit them against those who wish to use forest resources for other purposes.


The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has given an interview to an Israeli news channel in which he asserted that Israel controls only 2% of the West Bank.  Ambassador Friedman seems to be referring to the actual physical footprint of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  The statement appears to be at odds with traditional US policy which regards the entire West Bank as Occupied Territory.  Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, Friedman had made clear his opposition to the two-state solution in the Middle East, and his statement may signal a change in US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Posted September 28, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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