What’s New September 1999

This page will list the changes that have been made to this site, with the most recent at the top. The "Go There" links will take you to the changes. If this jumps to the middle of a page, you can easily scroll up to understand the context of the new information a bit further.

Date of Update


September 26, 1999

  1. A lot of updates regarding East Timor have been added. More about the role of the UN, a comparison with Kosovo and the parts played by the UK, US, Australia and others have been added. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights / Geopolitics / Arms Trade / Kosovo

  2. US refuses to return to law enforcement in Haiti documents seized from the army and death squads in 1994. According to Human Rights Watch, the US will only return them after US citizens names have been deleted from those documents, possibly covering up their involvement. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics

  3. Some neighboring areas are worse off than Kosovo. As most resources to deliver aid have been spent on Kosovo, some Albanians are even migrating to Kosovo because of the amount of aid available. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): The Need for NATO / Geopolitics

  4. What does it mean to be poor?. Quite a tough question. A lack of material wealth does not necessarily mean that one is deprived. A strong economy in a developed nation doesn't mean much when a significant percentage (even a majority) of the population is struggling to survive. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade

  5. Research suggests that poverty reduction will be possible if inequality differences and income distribution are tackled. If this goes hand in hand with the increased growth that we are seeing in many regions around the world, poverty alleviation will be more likely. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty

  6. The UN 1999 Human Development Report focuses on globalization and comes over as fairly critical of current practices and trends. The UN Human Development Reports provide some valuable insights into development issues together with a human development index that ranks nations along a number of criteria to determine the level of human progress and development. It has sometimes come under criticism but is a good way forward to get people talking about these issues. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty

  7. Some large corporations are major violators of human rights. As regulations and other so called barriers of free trade are reduced, so is the ability to ensure rights of workers are upheld -- especially in developing nations, where IMF-related structural adjustments help reduce such regulations. In some areas deregulation can help spur innovations. In other areas it can be unfair to ordinary people while helping corporations realize more profits and less social costs. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty / Structural Adjustment / Human Rights

  8. Intellectual Property Rights help protect from counterfeit. However, they also can lead to theft of indigenous knowledge when enacted globally through the WTO, as seen in the TRIPS agreement. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Trade Related Issues / Multilateral Agreement on Investment

  9. Two quotes added. These two are great ones about Power. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights / Geopolitics / Trade Related Issues

September 19, 1999

  1. A lot of updates regarding East Timor have been added. Indonesian backed anti-independence militia are massacring hundreds, if not thousands, of people. 200,000 people are believed to be refugees by the UN. The US has been slow to offer support and it seems like there will be a delay in getting Australian-led UN peacekeeping forces there. More issues about the way the media are presenting the issue, the UN, US, and UK involvement in the crisis as well as what the Indonesian involvement has meant, have been added, as well as more links to interviews and analysis and additional sites with more information. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights / Geopolitics / Arms Trade / Kosovo

  2. Perhaps the only American journalist left in East Timor, Alain Nairn has been arrested by Indonesian military.. Alain Nairn and Amy Goodman witnessed a massacre in East Timor in 1991, where almost 300 people were killed. During that massacre, the Indonesian military almost killed them too. Because they reported this to the rest of the world, they were black-listed and not allowed to enter Indonesia again. In the latest crisis, Amy Goodman was again not allowed to enter, but Alain Nairn managed to sneak in. He has continuously been able to report in detail what is going on, together with stern criticism of US policy and involvement. He now faces possible prison sentence in Indonesia, for 10 years. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Media

  3. It has emerged once again that Washington has been training Indonesian death squads. Washington and London have been criticized on numerous occasions for providing training to foreign military regimes when they will knowingly use that training for offensive purposes and crackdowns on civilian populations. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): East Timor / Human Rights / Geopolitics / Arms Trade

  4. The US have felt their business interests are threatened by South Africa trying to do something about their AIDS epidemic. As a result, they threaten trade sanctions. Consider the impact of that when in Africa more people die from AIDS than directly from conflicts, according to UNICEF. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Banana Trade War / Causes of Poverty / Conflicts in Africa

  5. The UN and World Bank have distorted figures on world poverty. While the UN does provide some much needed information and assistance, when it comes to some of the actual poverty figures, the UN -- and World Bank -- poverty reports assume that one dollar per day limit is the defining factor for the poverty line. That ignores for example that the poverty line in the US is at around eleven dollars per day. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Fair Trade

  6. The so-called market forces also influence the media and the quality of reporting. This can be seen clearly in the United States. Mainstream media goes for what will sell and is all about attracting viewers and competing with other stations so that many report the exact same story at the very same time! Objective coverage gets a back seat. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights / Trade Related Issues

  7. A new source of information on media has been added. This is a site called Common Dreams, which provides on-going news coverage from a variety of sources. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Issues

  8. A new source of information on Kosovo coverage has been added. This is from Free B92 which provides up-to-date coverage about Yugoslavia and Kosovo. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media

  9. A new report from the UNEP looks at the causes and problems the existing and future environmental crisis can cause if not tackled. It is a thorough report with contributions from numerous sources. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Environmental Issues

  10. Scientists believe that global warming will lead to more extreme weather patterns such as more frequent hurricanes, droughts and floods. The latest hurricane, Floyd, that battered the US east coast was believed to be one of the largest since colonial times. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Environmental Issues

September 12, 1999

  1. A new section on East Timor has been added. The old section I had since the start of this web site on the human rights page has also been moved to this new page. I have also added a LOT more, including various citations from journalist accounts. East Timor is currently facing Indonesian military-backed ethnic cleansing since the majority of people voted for independence on the island. Indonesia has traditionally been a strong military ally for the USA and UK and they even OKed the original invasion of Indonesia back in 1975. 200,000 people have been killed since then -- about a third of the entire population. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): HumanRights / Geopolitics / Arms Trade / Kosovo

  2. The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea in some ways shows similarities to East Timor. Here as former Italian colonial rulers left Eritrea and drew up the border with Ethiopia, Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, resulting in a 30 year struggle by Eritrea for independence, while Ethiopia itself was facing turmoil as cold war support switched from US backing of dictators to similar Soviet support. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): East Timor / Kosovo

  3. Poor women (and most of the poor people of the world are women and children) are benefiting from microcredit schemes. This allows them to save more. If women can gain more economic freedom, then this will get reflected in the health, nutrition and education of other members in their household, especially children. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Fair Trade / Human Population

  4. A new link for more poverty information has been added. This one is from NetAid which is similar in idea to LiveAid, except that it will be using the internet to help raise the issue of poverty. On October 9, 1999 there will be a large music concert. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Fair Trade

  5. Over deforestation can have its effect on climate change. Illegal trade in timber, excessive logging can have its toll on the environment if not sustainable. It can also affect human health, as the massive fires in the Indonesias island of Kalimantan (formerly Borneo) has even led to starvations and deaths amongst local people. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Biodiversity / Animal and Nature Conservation

September 7, 1999

  1. Martial law is declared in East Timor as 75 percent of voters chose independence. Despite lots of violence leading to the voting for self determination in East Timor, almost 99 percent of registered voters turned out. Indonesian military has backed pro-integration paramilitaries that have even killed UN personnel as well as numerous East Timorese, including women and children. The brutal Indonesian regime itself has been backed by the US, UK and Australia for over two decades. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics / Arms Trade / Foreign Policy

  2. Protectionism has helped developed nations of today to be economically stable and wealthy. Yet the developing nations are being asked to cut back these very things, due to the terrible structural adjustment initiatives by the IMF and World Bank. This has and will lead to a spiralling race to the bottom for many developing nations and poverty will increase if something is not done about it. Europe is a good example where they have benefited from the very things that developing nations are reducing expenditure on -- health, education, communication, transportation etc. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty

  3. Not labeling genetically engineered food, could affect people with allergies to certain food types. Biotech companies, the US and a handful of other nations oppose the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food, and use the WTO to help substantiate their view. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Fair Trade / The Banana Trade War

  4. Pesticide usage has actually remained the same, or even increased, with the use of GE food. Even though most supporters of GE Food suggest that the technology will help reduce the need for pesticides, it turns out to be the opposite in many places in the US. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Fair Trade

  5. A great source of information on genetically modified, or engineered, food has been added. This is from a magazine called In Motion. It makes some great observations and is worth checking out! Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Fair Trade

  6. Are certain types of food patenting stealing indigenous knowledge?. When the food ingredients being patented and their benefits have been known about for centuries, then it probably is. In the latest round of outcries, ingredients that help in fighting diabetes have been patented even though the knowledge has been around in India for centuries. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Fair Trade

  7. A new source of information on the Lomé Convention has been added. The so called banana trade war hinges on this convention and is a battle of free trade verses fair trade. Regardless of free or fair, this affects the livelihood of many, many people in the Caribbean. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty

  8. Overfishing is one of the threats to coral reefs. Coral Reefs are rich in diversity and are very beneficial to humans. Overfishing in general is becoming more and more of a problem too. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Animal and Nature Conservation

  9. Another quote added. This is a great one about Universal Human Rights, from Eleanor Roosevelt. Go There!
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights