A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded – the latter means that 70% of the topsoil, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone. Because of various farming methods that strip the soil of carbon and make it less robust as well as weaker in nutrients, soil is being lost at between 10 and 40 times the rate at which it can be naturally replenished. Even the well-maintained farming land in Europe, which may look idyllic, is being lost at unsustainable rates.
The bill submitted by former president Charles Taylor’s ex-wife, now a senator, also seeks to amend laws to prohibit gay marriage.
"No two persons of the same sex shall have sexual relations. A violation of this prohibition will be considered a first degree felony," reads the proposed amendment to marriage laws.
First degree punishment can range from 10 years to life imprisonment to the death sentence, on the discretion of the judge.
Voluntary sodomy is already a criminal offence in the west African country and can result in up to three years imprisonment, according to a lawyer consulted by AFP.
George Tengbeh, a senator supporting the bill, said he hoped it would put an end to months of acrimonious public debate on gay rights.
Umm, someone needs to tell the senator that in democracies, acrimonious public debate does not need to lead to be resolved by death penalty legislation.
It aims "to prevent the parliament from talking about such an issue that is against our tradition and culture," he told AFP.
Right, because the last thing a democracy wants is a discussion. It does look like cooler heads will prevail.
The information ministry released a statement on January 26 saying: "The Liberian government will not allow the legalisation of gay and lesbian activities in Liberia. The president has vowed not to allow such a bill, and even if the bill goes before the president she will veto it."
Amazing video from TEDxYouth about the potential of young activists to change the world.
Born in an underserved part of downtown Chicago, Natalie and her five siblings had to survive on her mother’s humble teacher salary, moving from city to city to find work. No stranger to adversity, Natalie was determined to make something great out of her life.
At 17, Natalie saw the documentary Invisible Children: The Rough Cut, a film exposing Africa’s longest running war. Compelled by this story, she applied to be a volunteer or "roadie" for Invisible Children, using her voice to help end this war.
She quickly stood out among the other interns, and was quickly given responsibility to help lead Invisible Children’s largest project to date; an event in 100 cities worldwide called "The Rescue." Through her determination, tens of thousands of people came out to the event, sleeping in the streets for up to six days in order to raise the profile of this war.
Her efforts paid off when Oprah Winfrey invited Invisible Children, and Natalie, onto her show to add her voice to the numbers. The event was then highlighted on Larry King Live, CNN, and countless other news outlets. Natalie has natural charisma, astounding leadership qualities, and is now working in Los Angeles as a film editor, to continue to share stories of injustices.
The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.
Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.