Protests held across Brazil after Rio councillor shot dead

Marielle Franco was a groundbreaking politician who had become a voice for disadvantaged people in the teeming favelas that are home to almost one-quarter of Rio de Janeiro’s population, where grinding poverty, police brutality and shootouts with drug gangs are routine

The death of a Brazilian community leader followed concerns about contaminated water around the aluminium plant


On 10 March 1959

tens of thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, rising up against China’s illegal invasion and occupation of their homeland. Every year thousands of Tibetans and their supporters take to the streets across the world to mark the anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day.

It is a critical time in Tibet. China continues to intensify its grip on Tibet by imposing severe limitations on freedom of expression and opinion, by detaining non-violent protesters without judicial process, and by interfering with cultural expression and religious tradition to the point where Tibetans believe their very existence as a people is at risk. In the past five years the situation has caused at least 150 Tibetans across the plateau, young and old, to set fire to their own bodies in protest against China’s rule.


Tibetan and European Women

Sonam Lhatso, a nun from Kardze County, Sichuan province, is serving a 10-year prison sentence after she took part in a protest against patriotic education sessions and forced denunciation of the Dalai Lama, on 14th May 2008.

She was arrested along with 50 fellow nuns from Pangri Nunnery and was subjected to beatings. According to some sources, she might be held in Mianyang Prison, Sichuan Province. The authorities have refused to confirm this, or provide any details about her wellbeing, despite appeals from her fellow nuns.

Yeshe Choedron is a retired medical doctor. She has been in prison since 2008, when she was arrested in Lhasa and later sentenced to 15 years in jail for “espionage”. Her arrest and imprisonment are believed to be linked to her participation in the 2008 protests and her human rights activism.
Yeshe Choedron is a mother and has not been able to see her children since her sentence. According to sources in Tibet, she is also in very bad health. She is believed to be in Drapchi Prison in Lhasa.

Bulgaria just refused to nationally apply the powerful European convention to fight violence against women. But that’s not all. It currently leads the EU - and the Union-wide process of ratifying the convention. Member states could vote to make Europe a safer place for all women as soon as in 2 weeks - but not if Bulgaria keeps resisting taking meaningful action - at home and at EU level. It now stands in the way of protecting 250 million women and girls: in Bulgaria, but also all across Europe.


A journalist was killed for investigating the Mafia in the EU

Kuciak had been working with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism (CCIJ), and the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI) on what may have turned out to be a far more dangerous story: An investigation that delved into the infiltration into Slovakia of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia

Agricultural land in Slovakia ended up in the hands of families linked to the Italian ‘Ndrangheta – who then used it to benefit from EU farm subsidies.

Baltic countries are a major entry point into the western financial system for Russian cash. Last week the US Treasury accused Latvia’s third biggest bank of “institutionalised money laundering”. 

The time has come to ask whether membership in the European Union is still a quality assurance seal for democracy and the rule of law among member states. The bloc has clearly failed to enforce its stated values on its periphery


A fire has hit the most important shrine in Tibetan Buddhism - the Jokhang Monastery !!!

The Jokhang monastery is more than 1,000 years old and is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Reports say that Chinese authorities quickly tried to block footage and images of the fire appearing on social media.
Beijing maintains tight control of news reports from Tibet, where Buddhist sites have been a focal point for separatist unrest in the past.
Foreign journalists are not able to enter Tibet without special permission.


The Guilty Soul of Pope Francis

Francis, tormented perhaps by his own dark and secret history, has misunderstood who are the victims and who are the perpetrators in this Chilean story. Instead of following the example of the Good Samaritan and comforting the wounded bodies and souls of those violated by sexual abuse, he has sided with the priest, Barros, and the other prelates who not only did nothing to alleviate that suffering, but were part of the gang that beat the victims and robbed them of their dignity.


Libera Me (excerpt)

China puts Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk on trial for subversion

Wangchuk complained of a “systematic slaughter of our culture”.
“In politics, it’s said that if one nation wants to eliminate another nation, first they need to eliminate their spoken and written language,” he said.
In the Times’ stories Wangchuk notably says he wants to use Chinese law to build his case, and praised President Xi Jinping.
Beijing says it “peacefully liberated” Tibet in 1951 and insists it has brought development to a previously backward region.
But many Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of exploiting the region’s natural resources and encouraging an influx of China’s majority Han ethnic group that critics say is diluting the native culture and Buddhist faith.


Quarter of land will be drier under 2°C

More than a quarter of Earth's land surface will become "significantly" drier even if humanity manages to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, the goal espoused in the Paris Agreement, scientists said on Monday (Jan 1).