WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 24th January 2015

24 Jan 201524th January 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.

1. As the World Economic Forum began in Switzerland, Oxfam realised research findings showing that the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016. Oxfam is playing a key role in the Forum and its executive director, Winne Byanuyima is co-chair of the event.
The Guardian also has a great commentary on this issue of economic inequality and the Forum.

Tomorrow (25th January) we will run a Special Edition of WITADA to capture some of the most interesting moments of this years World Economic Forum.

2. The Indonesian Government has executed six people this week, all of whom were charged with drug offences.
The appeals for two Australian citizens to be granted clemency has been denied. The Guardian has been covering this story, along with many in the mainstream press, and in this article Brigid Delaney has provided an excellent commentary.
She is also the co-founder of the Mercy Campaign which is lobbying the Indonesian Government to reverse their decision. Please go along to the site and sign their petition.

3. We’re back in the Central African Republic for this story. Human Rights Watch have published a very good document about the history of the crisis in CAR with is interesting content and amazing visual images. The intro line to this articles says, “In November 2013, the photographer Marcus Bleasdale and I began a year-long journey to document the Central African Republic’s descent into horrific bloodshed. We wanted to draw the world’s attention to a massive crisis in a country that few people in the world even knew existed”.

In addition to this, HRW has also done a very touching story on the situation for Muslims in the western part of the Central African Republic. This very human story gives a new insight into the desperate situation being experienced by the people here.

4. The Huffington Post in the US has run a story about the Australian Government’s decision to grant an oil company the rights to search for oil in the Great Australian Bite.

5. Still on the topic of oil, the New Internationalist has done a story on the lower Urubamba River in southern Peru (a remote corner of the Amazon) where Repsol (Spanish oil and gas company) is undertaking oil and gas exploration. The impact on the Indigenous people of this area and the environment is, of course, huge.

6. I promise that this is the last time we’re mentioning The Pope (at least for some considerable period of time), but in the interests of a fair and balanced perspective it felt important to note that despite his many achievements and the sense that things might be changing, we are certainly not there yet! While his point about the importance of sensitive communication has some meirt, punching people who get it wrong seems a little outrageous!

7. Last week we included some interesting articles about the issues of radicalising and terrorism. This is another to add to that interesting collection – an article by James Fry talking about his experiences as a disenfranchised young person who was radicalised by a neo-Nazi group.

8. Unusually, there has been a bit of talk this week about menstruation. Rose George raises the issue of menstrual taboo – the ways in which we work so hard to hide the reality of women’s bodies. And of course this is not just in our society. In some countries the silence and shame of menstruation has far reaching consequences. Rose quotes a UNICEF report that states that in Iran over 40% of girls who were surveyed believed that menstruation was a disease.
The Huffington Post has also run an article this week about menstruation and homelessness.
The good news? There is now a Menstrual Hygiene Day – 28th May.

9. Although it received very little publicity here in Australia, Monday 19th January was Martin Luther King Day. This is in honour of Martin Luther King’s birthday (although it actually falls on 15th January). It was declared a federal holiday in the US in 1986 but because of resistance from some states, it took until 2000 before it was officially observed by all states.

10. We end this week’s Top 10 with an inspirational story about the newly appointed Governor of South Australia – Hieu Van Le who arrived in Australia from Vietnam in 1977. He noted at his inauguration that he is the world’s first boat person appointed to Vice Regal Office and that this is a tribute to all migrants and refugees who have overcome hardships to contribute to Australia’s rich cultural fabric.

And just before we go, given the popularity of our Weekly Top 10, we are now doing some Special Editions on key issues that arise around the world. Tomorrow we will post our First Special Edition on The World Economic Forum that will have just concluded in Switzerland. And then on Monday we will be posting a Special Australia Day Edition. With many more Special Editions to follow…

So thanks again for coming along to read our Weekly Top 10. Look forward to seeing you next week.