21 May 2016 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 1021 May 2016
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
In this week’s Top 10 we hear from the President of the United States, the World Humanitarian summit, some great articles in the The Guardian, Michael Moore’s new movie plus lots more inspiration for your weekend reading.


1. It’s not often we begin our Top 10 with a speech from a politician or a story from the United States. But this is an impressive speech from an impressive President. President Obama is delivering the graduate address at Rutgers University.


2. We wrote last week about the upcoming United Nations World Humanitarian Summit due to start in Turkey next week. We will continue to feature stories in the lead up to the Summit and throughout. This week there is an interesting story about the work in Sudan to address the humanitarian crisis caused by years of conflict in South Sudan, featuring very interesting content and images.


3.  Ben Doherty and Abdul Karim Hekmat write in The Guardian about the forgotten asylum seekers – those who are free from detention but here in Australia on temporary visas and therefore unable to work or participate in education.


4. Michael Moore has a new movie – ‘Where to Invade Next’ and in this article Owen Jones has a look at the basic premise of the movie – “Moore points out, the postwar US has launched a series of military invasions whose main achievement has been a devastatingly high death toll. What if, instead, Moore invaded countries in order to appropriate ideas and policies that help people, and then take them back to America?” ‘Where to Invade Next’ is showing in independent cinemas throughout Australia.


5. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is deeply concerned about the fate of Mexico’s vaquita marina – the world’s smallest porpoise. Apparently there are only 60 left in the world and their near extinction relates to the illegal poaching of another critically endangered fish, the totoaba who is caught for its bladder which is dried and sold on the Chinese black market. The vaquita is a victim of the by catch of the totoaba. The Mexican government is working hard to protect both species.


6. Time to hurry off to the bookstore to purchase your copy of the winner of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, ‘Dark Emu’ by Indigenous writer Bruce Pascoe. “Using early explorers’ journals and other evidence, Pascoe argued pre-colonial Aboriginal people were not hunter-gatherers, but had a democracy that ensured peace across a continent which was extensively farmed, skilfully managed and deeply loved.”


7. We mentioned last week that it was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. TED has just released a series of four TED talks “that speak to the ways in which these phobias are woven into the daily lives of everyone who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community”. Well worth a look.


8. This is a feature story from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees about an integration project in Germany where newly arrived refugees are linked with local volunteers – a scheme that benefits all those involved and the community as a whole. It follows the stories of Fahed Khalili and Anne-Marie Schumann.


9. Greenpeace is worried about the continued use of plastic bags and their detrimental effect on turtles and other marine life. Plastic bags are now banned in South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT. You can sign this petition if you think they should also be banned in Queensland.


10. More inspiration from those who have arrived in Australia as refugees. Saeid Safavi arrived in Australia on a leaky boat from Iran. He now runs a successful restaurant in regional South Australia and is grateful for his life but saddened by the suffering of others in similar situations.


Thanks for your company this week. Look forward to seeing you again next week.