The Trump era and nuclear armaments
The American people must raise their voices regarding such policies and call on U.S. leadership to fulfil the obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to negotiate in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament. The American people must make it clear to Mr. Trump that they will support him in taking steps to abolish nuclear weapons and to bring peace to the planet, but will oppose efforts on his part to strengthen and expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal and pursue a new nuclear arms race.On the 20 January 2017, the newly inaugurated president of the United States took over the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal. The man who said ‘if we have nuclear weapons why can’t we use them’ now has the ability to do just that. Donald Trump has access to the codes that can launch hundreds of nuclear bombs in no more time than it takes to shake a stick. This stands in contrast – but not necessarily in contradiction – to his most recent hint about making a deal with Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals. And what should we make of Trump’s repeated assertions that NATO is ‘obsolete’? “Daft and dangerous comments perhaps”, as Simon Jenkins wrote in the Guardian recently. But it’s far too early to be writing off Trump’s promise to expand America’s nuclear arsenal or his hints about NATO as signs of his ignorance about how the world works. Trump’s election campaign shows just how savvy he actually is when it comes to pressing buttons. In less than five months, Trump managed to persuade a whopping 65,915,795 American citizens to vote for him, using the beliefs of his supporters and telling them what they wanted to hear, with blithe disregard for rationality or veracity. The Donald Trump’s promise to start a commercial war with Pekin and to make a deal with Moscow creates an international controversy around this US-China-Russia triangle. Some people from the American press ask for a new “Yalta conference” which will establish the rules of a new mondial order. Although in 1945, the UK was beside the U.S. and Russia, the United Kingdom will be replaced by China. View by the Americans, Russia could become the master of the mondial destiny instead of being a regional power, even if it does not have the same position as in 1945. What can be done to keep Trump’s fingers away from the nuclear button?
Women’s marches on every continent
Hundreds of thousands of women turned Washington’s National Mall into a sea of pink – as the pink hat became an emblematic symbol of opposition to Donald Trump – on Saturday, sending the first concerted message of grassroots opposition to Donald Trump since he moved into the White House. All around the world, people protested against the presidency of Donald Trump, a racist, misogynist, and homophobe, not to mention a serial climate change denier. The protesters came out for a range of reasons, including immigration, health care and a general antipathy to Trump. But most said they wanted to show support for women and feared that there will be attacks on women’s rights during Trump’s presidency… “Women’s right are not up for grabs” one of the protesters in Lisbon said.
Pictures from Women’s Marches on Every Continent can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/haooowk.
San Francisco proclaims specific resolutions to oppose the ideas of the new president: “That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate—we build bridges, not walls…”
The Trump era and Climate changes
This same President that calls the climate change a hoax, says he will strip away funding for “politically correct environmental monitoring” and is filling his administration with climate change deniers including former ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson. At noon on Saturday, the instant Trump took office, any mention of climate change or global warming was gone from the White House Website which said: “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”
Just a few days before the inauguration of Donald Trump, it was declared that 2016 was a year of record-breaking heat. Scientific research indicates the world has not been this warm for around 115,000 years and that the planet has not experienced such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for 4m years. In 2016 global warming delivered scorching temperatures around the world. The resulting extreme weather means the impacts of climate change on people are coming sooner and with more ferocity than expected, according to scientists. To know more about this declaration:
And what is Scotland doing in response to these climate changes?
Scotland is seeking to dramatically cut its reliance on fossil fuels for cars, energy and homes after setting a radical target to cut total climate emissions by 66% within 15 years. In one of the world’s most ambitious climate strategies, ministers in Edinburgh have unveiled far tougher targets to increase the use of ultra-low-carbon cars, green electricity and green home heating by 2032 (read more about this program at http://tinyurl.com/j7hk4os). One of these ideas is to make self-driving commonplace by 2030. Scottish Renewables’ first low-carbon cities conference, which will be held in Edinburgh in February. “Scottish local authorities are already thinking about what city streets will look like in a decade’s time – and the answers are pretty astounding”, Simon Tricker said. Scottish Renewables’ first ever low-carbon cities conference explores the many opportunities for Scotland’s cities to embrace the transition to a sustainable, clean, green economy, reducing energy costs and tackling fuel poverty, while attracting low-carbon investment and jobs, and building our industries of the future. “Cities across Scotland are already forging ahead with ground-breaking projects to decarbonise their energy supplies, and this conference will share the experiences of some of those initiatives.” said Rachelle Money, from Scottish Renewables.
More communities are producing their own renewable energy, with a 17% increase in nine months, according to a new report. Scotland had 595MW of community and locally-owned renewable capacity in June this year – enough to power about 300,000 homes, the research found. “1GW which is the new pledge for 2016 would be enough electricity to power half a million homes in Scotland. Locally-owned renewables have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change in communities across Scotland” said Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.
New negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons
The United Nations will convene negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed. The negotiations will take place at UN headquarters in New York from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July 2017, with the participation of governments, international organizations and civil society representatives.
|Photo Credit: Indian Express|
Follow the Nuclear Ban Treaty Negotiations here at http://tinyurl.com/jcztrex.
Read the report at dontbankonthebomb.com to find out if your bank is involved in financing the production of nuclear weapons, this report was published by PAX.
Pope’s statement on nonviolence.
“Violence is not the cure for our broken world. Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering, because vast amounts of resources are diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world. At worst, it can lead to the death, physical and spiritual, of many people, if not of all”.
– Pope Francis, in a message for the 50th World Day of Peace on January 1, 2017.
News around the world
News from Africa … The second international conference on the culture of peace in Africa
The 2nd international conference on the culture of peace in Africa, which ended Monday 12th December in Luena, is a “testament to Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos’ commitment to promoting durable peace on the continent”, said the Director of the Regional Office UNESCO Multisectoral Program in the Countries of Central Africa, Felix Iyé.
For the Education minister of Angola Pinda Simão, “peace is a deeply rooted desire in humanity. It is the inspiration of a reconciled society and is the condition of a decent life, because to be human peace is not a natural process but culture. Therefore, it needs to be built, consolidated and cared for, educating for peace”.
News from Asia … Development of nuclear power in North Korean
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has claimed that his country is in the final stages of preparing for a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. He stated that North Korea has “achieved the status of a nuclear power, a military giant in the East that no enemy, however formidable, would dare to provoke.”
Multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibit such launches by North Korea, and its missile program has been the cause of economic sanctions in the past. Meanwhile, other nuclear-armed states, including the United States, continue to test and develop intercontinental ballistic missiles with no sanctions or Security Council resolutions.
Louise Moon, “Pentagon Rebukes North Korea Over Claim It Will Test Missile that Could Reach U.S.”, The Telegraph, January 2, 2017.
News from South America … The peace process of Colombia
After suffering of decades of civil war, and 6 years of negotiations the president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, sole recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize announces “that the Colombian people are turning the impossible into the possible” in December. To see the Nobel Lecture by Juan Manuel Santos: http://tinyurl.com/hp5ltwm
News from Middle-East …
The talks opened on Monday morning at a hotel in Astana with the rebel delegation sat on one side of a large round table, and Syrian government officials on the other side. The talks in Kazakhstan’s capital are the first at which the opposition delegation is formed exclusively of representatives of armed groups. They were joined by representatives of Russia and Iran, which back Mr Assad, and Turkey, which supports the rebels, as well as UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura and the US ambassador to Kazakhstan. Syrian state-owned daily Al-Thawra says the gathering represents a chance for Damascus to vaunt its recent military gains, and a “last opportunity” for “terrorist groups” to negotiate peace.
Armed forces visits to schools in Scotland
The Petitions Committee of Scottish Parliament has considered a Forces Watch and Quakers petition calling for more scrutiny and guidance on armed forces visits to Scottish schools. Young People’s Commissioner Tam Baillie testified that “No child under the age of 18 should be recruited to the UK armed forces.” Education Committee Convenor James Dornan promised to examine the case for an investigation.
Medact Report on Health Impacts of Military Recruitment of Under 18’s
Medact has published a new report on the long-term impacts of the British military’s recruitment of children under the age of 18. It presents evidence linking ‘serious health concerns’ with the policy, and calls for a rise in the minimum recruitment age. The UK is one of a handful of countries worldwide to still allow recruitment from age 16, a policy which has been strongly criticised by multiple UN and UK parliamentary bodies, child rights organisations and human rights groups. A copy of the report is available to download from:
MSPs Condemn UK Military for Targeting Young People in Recruitment
A parliamentary motion, proposed by the SNP’s Christina McKelvie, highlights fresh evidence from Medact that called for a rise in the military recruitment age. Currently teenagers can apply to join the UK military from as young as 15 years and seven months old, and enlist from the age of 16. 22 MSPs have signed the motion stating they are “dismayed” at the military recruitment practices, given evidence of health “vulnerabilities” from early military recruitment.
The WMW Sister March: Edinburgh! On 21st January 2017 by Margaret Ferguson Burns
In common with groups around the world, and in support of the Women’s March on Washington, between two and three thousand women and men met outside the U.S. Consulate in Edinburgh to protest against Donald Trump’s attitudes and behaviour towards women and other groups during his campaign to become President of the U.S.A.; also in support of women’s rights, and other issues such as immigration and health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBTQ+ rights.
|Organised by Leah Higgins and Calum Stewart and with speeches from Eileen Penman, Mike Cowley, Susan Rae, Talat Yaqoob, Erin Thompson, Rohan Beyts and Vonny Moyes, as well as singing from Protest in Harmony, spirits among the crowd were high, boosted by the beautiful sunny day and the sight of many symbolic pink ‘pussy’ hats knitted for the occasion, and the creative placards and banners. The throng represented a wide diversity of people – that many were young people bodes well for the continuing and growing awareness of inequality and inequity in the world, and the will to challenge it. Women’sMarch on Washington: https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/|
Activists released after attempt to disarm BAE fighter jets bound for Saudi Arabia.
Daniel Woodhouse, a Methodist minister from Leeds, and Quaker activist Sam Walton have been released on bail pending charges after breaking into BAE’s Warton site. The pair were arrested at BAE Systems’ airbase in Warton, Lancashire, in the early hours of Sunday 29 January after entering BAE Systems’ Warton site in order to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia. The aircraft are part of a multi-billion pound deal between BAE Systems and the Saudi regime, and were due to be shipped to Saudi Arabia within weeks. Their action came as a panel of UN experts warned that the devastating Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, which have caused a humanitarian catastrophe, may be part of “a broader policy of attrition against civilian infrastructure” which may “amount to war crimes.” Full story at: https://blog.caat.org.uk/2017/01/29/bae-arms-saudi-kills/