9 September 2008The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stressed the need to address discrimination and inequality, and to do more to prevent genocide.In her first major speech since taking up her new post, Navanethem Pillay told delegates at the opening of the ninth session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday that genocide is the ultimate form of discrimination.“We must all do everything in our power to prevent it.”An activist attorney under apartheid in South Africa, Pillay spent eight years as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and five years on the International Criminal Court in The Hague before taking up her post as the UN’s top human rights official on 1 September.Drawing on her experience of dealing with war crimes and crimes against humanity, the high commissioner called for a stronger focus on preventing genocide, as well as “the cycles of violence, the mobilisation of fear, and the political exploitation of difference – ethnic, racial and religious difference,” that lead to genocide.She noted that 2008 contains a number of important human rights milestones – including the 60th anniversaries of the Genocide Convention on 9 December, and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December.At the same time, she pointed out that both the Universal Declaration and the Genocide Convention “grew out of the Holocaust, but we have yet to learn the lesson of the Holocaust, as genocide continues.”Durban Review ConferencePillay, who herself experienced discrimination while living in apartheid South Africa, added that development, security, peace and justice were all undermined “when discrimination and inequality – both in blatant and subtle ways – are allowed to fester and to poison harmonious coexistence.”She urged countries not to let “diverging points of view” deter them from taking part in next year’s review of the 2001 global conference against racism, known as the Durban Review Conference, the process leading to which has been heavily criticized.“I do not believe that ‘all or nothing’ is the right approach to affirm one’s principles or to win an argument,” she said.“The process will certainly benefit from active participation by all states. Should differences be allowed to become pretexts for inaction, the hopes and aspirations of the many victims of intolerance would be dashed perhaps irreparably.”She said that former South African president Nelson Mandela had taught her that “far from being appeasement, coming to terms with other people’s experiences and points of view may serve the interest of justice better than strategies that leave no room for negotiation.”Gender discriminationIn her speech, Pillay also emphasised that gender discrimination remained a major concern.“Such discrimination makes the Universal Declaration’s promise an empty pledge for millions of women and girls,” she said.“No effort should be spared to persuade countries to repeal laws and practices that continue to reduce women and girls to second-class citizens despite international standards and despite the specific commitments that have been made to throw out these laws and customs.”She pledged to carry out her role as high commissioner in an impartial fashion, without favouring one set of rights over another. “The credibility of human rights work depends on its commitment to truth,” she said, “with no tolerance for double standards or selective application.”Over the course of the next three weeks, the UN Human Rights Council is expected to consider human rights situations that require its attention, including follow-up to its special sessions on Darfur, Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, and the global food crisis.The council’s president, Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, told delegates how important it was to conduct the body’s work in a spirit of transparency and mutual respect for the viewpoints of others.“We cannot afford to do otherwise, given the importance and sensitivity we all attach to human rights issues,” Uhomoibhi said.“We must continue to insist that all human rights issues be given an open and fair hearing, we must also recognise that our work in the council is primarily to promote and protect human rights for all people; to improve the human rights situation of victims, and not merely to condemn and to name and shame.”Source: BuaNews
South Africans Misty and Dylan Weyer received a warm welcome at Cape Point on 1 November after completing a gruelling two-month mountain biking trip along the Dragon’s Spine – from Beitbridge, southern Zimbabwe, to Cape Town’s Cape Point, via neighbouring Lesotho – to raise funds for children with cerebral palsy.The couple, who hails from East London, set off from Beitbridge on Sunday 1 September, riding eight to 12 hours a day without a support crew to complete the 4 000 km mountain bike route, which runs mainly on district roads and jeep and animal tracks, with a few tar exceptions.Dylan and Misty Weyer getting into the funicular at Cape Point Nature Reserve to celebrate the end of their epic 4 000km journey from Beit Bridge border post to Cape Point to raise funds for children with cerebral palsyCape Point funicular staff, lead by general manager, Celeste Bell, welcomed the couple and treated them to a trip up the funicular to experience the unbeatable view from the topmost lighthouse.Bell says: “Upon hearing about Misty and Dylan’s epic journey we decided these inspiring people deserved a special welcome. A warm meal at the Two Oceans restaurant and a funicular ride to the top of the cliffs overlooking the Point with views of the colliding currents is a wonderful way to celebrate their achievement of raising awareness of cerebral palsy – we commend them.”Occupational therapist, Misty, and environmental scientist, Dylan, are extreme adventure seekers who put their minds, bodies and four-year marriage to the test in tackling the Dragon’s Spine.The couple wanted to raise funds for non-profit organisation (NPO) Malamulele Onward, where Misty works as a field therapist. She treats children with cerebral palsy in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and is a project manager for the Carer-2-Carer training programme, where she trains parents of children with cerebral palsy to run workshops for other parents in 10 rural areas.“We had a strong conviction that our two-month adventure could not simply be for our own enjoyment, so we decided to do it for a cause,” said Misty.“We are blessed to have seen such a beautiful part of our country, while doing what we love and raising money for charity. Cerebral palsy is a complex disability and without access to specialised treatment and a good understanding of the condition, both parents and their children are victims of a very difficult journey.”Johannesburg-based Malamulele Onward provides specialised therapy services, equipment and caregiver training to 11 poorly resourced rural areas in South Africa and Lesotho, where children severely disabled by cerebral palsy have little or no access to rehabilitation therapy and equipment.The Weyers will also give 10% of funds raised to Greensleeves Place of Safety, an East London NPO providing residential care for abandoned and abused children.“Although we have not reached our goal of R200 000 yet, the funds are slowly coming in and are testament to the physical, mental and spiritual challenges we have experienced on this journey,” said Misty.“We will continue to use this event to raise funds and awareness for another three months and hopefully reach our goal by the end of January 2014.We are extremely grateful to each and every person who showed their support and opened their hearts, minds, pockets, and homes for our cause.”For more information visit www.groupspaces.com/DragonsSpine4CP or follow the Weyers on Twitter @wildweyers.MALAMULELE ONWARDEvery child matters regardless of their having disabilities or not and every child has the potential to change the world (Images: Malamulele Onwards)Malamulele Onward provides specialised treatment like physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to poorly-resourced rural areas of South Africa and other African countries like Lesotho where children severely disabled by cerebral palsy have little or no hope of receiving treatment.At the heart of the organisation is a group of volunteer healthcare professionals who have been using their expertise to help ease the strain on families who cannot afford their children the care necessary for them to lead healthier and less strenuous lives.The organisation also offers caregiver training to parents and others who have children suffering from cerebral palsy in their care.The Malamulele staff believe that every child matters regardless of their having disabilities or not and that every child has the potential to change the world much like you readers at home have the potential to change theirs.Anybody who wants to make a difference in the lives of the children receiving care from the Malamulele Onwards organisation can visit their website to attain details on how to volunteer or donate to their cause.Alternatively you can contact the organisation via email or telephonically on 011 484-9456.Don’t hesitate, do best and play your part in bettering the lives of those in need.For more information visit www.capepoint.co.za or call the Information Centre on (021) 780 9010/11.
Actor Kat Graham has teamed up with PETA to reveal the neglect and filthy conditions that hens face on egg farms in a breaking new video exposé.The footage, which was captured by eyewitnesses on three egg farms near Vancouver, shows hens stuck in mounds of feces teeming with maggots and left for dead; others suffering from extensive feather loss, injuries, and illness; and birds forced to live inside cramped cages next to the rotting corpses of their deceased cagemates.“When PETA showed me this video of these poor abused hens, I was so heartbroken,” says The Vampire Diaries star and singer Graham. “And then, I got mad. This cruelty and neglect are commonplace on egg farms all over the world. Please, please help these gentle birds and millions like them — it’s easy. Don’t eat eggs. They’re a product of intense suffering. You can help stop the abuse by going vegan like me.”PETA notes that more than 320 million hens are held on egg farms in the U.S., with an additional 20 million being held in Canada. This video footage was captured in April at Abbotsford facilities that on-site documents identified as Cloverhill Farms, Jaedel Enterprises, and Sonmark Enterprises.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It wasn’t the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and it wasn’t the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., but the EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., site of the 2012 Gator Bowl, was the best bowl game location Ohio State football could do this season. The stadium, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, holds more than 77,000 fans and was home of Super Bowl XXXIX between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. The mostly-full stadium held 61,312 fans for Monday’s Gator Bowl, and The Lantern was there to cover the game, and rate the quality of the venue. Here is our rating of EverBank Field, should Buckeyes, Browns or Bengals fans find themselves there in the future. All categories were rated on a five-point scale, with a five being the highest. Sight lines/seating: One of the most important factors when shelling out big bucks for an NFL game or a college football bowl game is your proximity to the field and the sight lines. Luckily for those in attendance for Monday’s Gator Bowl, the Buckeyes’ and Gators’ sideline areas were narrow. The front row of seats was quite close to the playing surface. The stadium was not particularly tall, and the higher the row you sat in, the farther you were from the action, kind of like the Rose Bowl. Upper deck seats might not have been the best vantage point, but the expansive lower bowl would be well worth the price of admission. Lantern rating: 2 Access to stadium/location: Though the stadium wasn’t at full capacity, traffic to the game was manageable — a 15-minute cab ride from downtown Jacksonville. Public transit is an option, as is an elevated, light-rail train that runs right past the stadium. Very convenient. The stadium location is also quite nice. The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, is a beautiful, red-brick ball field adjacent to EverBank Field. Lastly, and perhaps best of all, the stadium is located on the banks of the St. Johns River, which makes for a picturesque scene. Lantern rating: 4 Aesthetics of the stadium: EverBank Field is comprised mostly of large concrete ramps that run up to the upper levels of the stadium. It isn’t very colorful or particularly eye-grabbing. The open-air facility was very open indeed, and probably not conducive to allowing crowd noise to reverberate and bother the team you’re rooting against. Lantern rating: 1 Gameday atmosphere: There was a large tailgate party situated on a lawn outside of the stadium. Hundreds of fans attended, ate, drank and watched college football on a jumbo-sized television screen. The cost of admission to the tailgate was $10, but your “ticket” to enter was the official Gator Bowl patch — worn by both teams during the game — attached to a lanyard. The patch was a fine souvenir and the tailgate grounds gave fans the opportunity to meet and get pumped for the game. Lantern rating: 4.5 To visit or not to visit: All categories considered, EverBank Field garnered a 2.875. A trip to EverBank Field, which was built in 1995, could be justified for a college football bowl game. A trip to see the Jaguars, which finished the 2011 season with a 5-11 record, though? Probably not.
Ohio State then-freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to pass in the offensive zone against Stanford on Feb. 24, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: James King | Sports DirectorThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team could not keep up with No. 8 Northwestern and fell 20-6 to the Wildcats Friday afternoon. Northwestern (10-3, 3-0 Big Ten) ended the first half with five unanswered goals in the final 13 minutes and held a commanding a 13-3 advantage at halftime. The Buckeyes (5-7, 1-3 Big Ten) fought to get back in the game but the deficit was too large for Ohio State to overcome. Northwestern struck first just 47 seconds into the game with a goal from sophomore midfielder Sheila Nesselbush. But Ohio State sophomore midfielder Liza Hernandez responded less than 30 seconds later with a goal of her own to tie the game at one. The Wildcats scored three more goals before Ohio State junior attack Sara Dickinson found the back of the net to cut Northwestern’s lead to two. Wildcat junior attack Selena Lasota had back-to-back goals during her team’s 4-0 run before Buckeye junior midfield Baley Parrott scored a goal to make the score 8-3. Ohio State had 21 turnovers, 12 of which came in the first half, which allowed Northwestern the early opportunities. The teams traded goals early in the second half, but Wildcats took advantage of their early lead and extended their win streak to five. Lasota led Northwestern with four goals and had one assist. Hernandez led the Buckeyes with two goals and four draw controls. Ohio State sophomore goalie Jillian Rizzo racked up 14 saves against the Wildcats, while Northwestern’s two goalies combined for six saves. Northwestern held a 44-17 shot advantage.The Buckeyes will look to bounce back when they face Bucknell on the road at 4 p.m. Wednesday.