Saving Pacific Island Fisheries – Is it Possible?


(Image: Fishing in Kiribati, 2008 by AusAID from flickr)

For Pacific Island Countries such as Kiribati, fishery resources and their large economic zones constitute one of their most important economic assets. However this important resource is under threat from the combined impacts of climate change, and over-fishing.

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War no more: Vince Emanuele


(Image: Iraq Veterans against the war by Drew Dellinger)

Why would a former Iraq War veteran speak about the underbelly of Anzac day, commemorate with Aboriginal returnees and tour the world to speak out against any war.

Vince Emanuele is former US marine, after two tours of duty in Iraq his life is now devoted in speaking out against any war.

Reporter Vanessa Powell finds out why.

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East Timor moving forward


(Image: by EWC student, Teguh Timur from flickr)

Latest news from East Timor is that there are plans by current government to introduce new media laws feared to muzzle hard won freedom of speech, after gaining back its independence in 1999.

Australia has been involved in helping Timor get back on its feet and many more East Timorese have found Australia as their second home.

Reporter Vanessa Powell has more update.

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February, 2014: With an African background, growing up in Europe and now living in Miami, Buika is World Music.

Whilst singing almost entirely in Spanish her music transcends linguistic boundaries.

Her deep and husky voice, portends a new sound to Flamenco music.

After a hectic global touring schedule, she has touched down briefly at her home pad of Miami before jetting off our way, for WOMADelaide.

This will be her first trip Down Under. On the phone, she seems humbled by the experience.

With a politically active father, her family escaped from violence prone Guinea and took refugee in, of all places Majorca just before her birth, a playground for the rich in Spain.

Unusually black amidst the fair skinned, sun tanned Majorcans, she identified more closely with the enclave of local gypsy culture and adopted their music form. She learnt flamenco styles.

Why Miami then? “It’s an easy place to work”, she says.

“I live where my music lives, well first of all because I am a nomad. My music lives everywhere. There is no place in the world that I cannot live in”, she says.

This would appear to be a natural response for someone who has led a cosmopolitan life on the road from her teenage years. Perhaps yearning for a less fluid national identity, she continues,

“I sometimes think that my music comes from my desire to belong to someone or to somewhere, sometimes I feel that my music comes from the freedom that I feel to not to belong to someone or somewhere”.

After five years of touring in the US, she believes she’s now confident in her style.

“When you sing the truth… people connect, your tribe knows what you are singing, even if you are not singing in the same language, they know what you are talking about.”

She has collaborated with some big names, including Nelly Furtado and Seal. She even performed a cameo in the hit Spanish film ‘The Skin I Live In’ released in 2013 in Australia.

Once marginalized Latino Music was popularized with the likes of Ricky Martin, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, became a marketable global force.

Her music is not easily pigeon holed. If she is riding the Latino wave, Buika still refuses to be defined. Her roots and influences are global, not simply Spanish.

A self-defined workaholic, her only ambition is to keep doing what she does best, and keep creating new music. She claims to be a free spirit, unrestrained and open to all influences.

Metaphorically she calls this the loin in the jungle.

Buika will no doubt win hearts and minds when she takes to the WOMADelaide stage. (VP)

WOMADelaide, Mar 7-10, 2014, Botanic Park, Adelaide,


Villawood Sentences ‘Bring The Law Into Disrepute’


(Image:  Asylum seekers on the roof of Villawood Immigration Detention Centre by Adam J.W.C. from Wikimedia Commons)

New Matilda, 1 July, 2013: On Friday, custodial sentences were handed down in the NSW Supreme Court for five men charged with offences resulting from a “disturbance” at Villawood Detention Centre in April 2011. The men were charged with riot.

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Was it worth it? Outcomes from Durban


(Image: United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17), December 6, by UNclimatechange from Flickr)

Green Left Weekly, January 10, 2012: On December 12, Claire Anterea, a representative from Kiribati, and Good Samaritan sister Geraldine Kearney — members of the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnerships delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban — addressed a forum on the outcomes of the talks. Joining them was Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning.

Claire Anterea expressed pride and admiration for her fellow Pacific Island people, who have campaigned hard to push the international community to listen to their needs. Low-lying Pacific Island Countries are the most vulnerable to climate change.

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Villawood refuses Persian New Year’s festivities



Green Left Weekly, March 28, 2014: Staff at Villawood detention centre denied Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers the right to celebrate Persian New Year’s, a festival that has been celebrated for more than 3000 years, over the weekend beginning on March 21.

A group of 10 volunteers, including former inmates, were denied the right to take in food during the visit, which occurred during regular visiting hours.

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