SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 47 - July 29, 2011

Issue 47 - July 29, 2011

United States: Wealth gaps widen between whites, blacks and Hispanics

Photo: dsb nola/

Creative Commons

Wealth gaps between ethnic communities have risen to record highs in the United States. The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black ones and 18 times that of Hispanic families, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

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ECLAC: US debt threatens Latin America and the Caribbean

The delay in approving a new ceiling for public debt in the United States is threatening the international financial system, and this could have a dramatic impact on the value of assets, exchange rates, levels of global activity and, as a result, on demand for goods and services produced and exported by Latin America and the Caribbean, warned the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

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Sustainable development: What went wrong?

The outcome of the 1992 Earth Summit was large in ambition but poor in implementation. With the world in even larger crisis, the search is on for stronger institutions, as a meeting in Solo last week revealed, wrote Martin Khor in his most recent column for The Star, one of the leading Malaysian newspapers.

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“The planet will not tolerate a Rio + 40 Conference”

Representatives of 150 social organizations and movements from various countries announced in Rio that the Peoples’ Summit will be held in parallel to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20), which will take place next year from June 4-6.

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Fresh biofuel controversy following launch of EU sustainability schemes

The European Commission launched seven sustainability schemes which will be used to verify actual mitigation impact of biofuels. The launch, however, has raised fresh concerns about the European Union’s policy on this matter, with critics arguing those plans fall short in addressing the social impacts of biofuel production, reported Eurostep.

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Egypt: Impunity persists for Abbasiya violence

Parties and civil organizations, amongst them Mosharka (national focal point of Social Watch), demand that Egypt's military council and government take responsibility for Abbassiya violence. The groups call for an independent committee to investigate the episode.

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Burma: NLD appeals to the UN for its legalization

The National League for Democracy (NLD), opposition party banned by the Burmese military regime, plans to take its case to the United Nations Council of Human Rights (UNCHR). Thai-based Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC, focal point of Social Watch) supports the move, reported Mizzima, a news agency run by Burmese journalists exiled in India.

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