Vol. 40, No. 5
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Ecological conversion: Called to hope, spurred to action -- The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns offers this reflection on "Laudato Si’ – On the Care of Our Common Home."

Road to Paris: EPA offers Clean Power Plan -- On August 4, President Obama unveiled the final version of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a set of national standards to reduce carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Road to Paris: Issues unresolved in Bonn -- From August 31-September 7, negotiators from 190 governments met in Bonn, Germany to lay the groundwork for a climate change conference to be held in Paris, starting at the end of November.

Guatemala: Pérez Molina resigns -- The arrest of Guatemala’s President Pérez Molina on charges of corruption on September 3 was a surprising turn of events that brings a ray of hope to a long-suffering country where Maryknoll missioners have served for decades.

Honduras: Proposal for impunity commission fails -- While protesters in Guatemala City celebrated the resignation of their country’s president and vice president, their compadres in Honduras have been less successful in their efforts to bring reform and justice. 

El Salvador: Gangs defined as “terrorists” -- In an unsurprising decision, El Salvador’s Supreme Court has decreed that gangs and their “apologists” are now legally defined as terrorists under El Salvador’s Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism (LECAT). 

El Salvador: Instability foments violence -- In recent months, violence in El Salvador has spiraled, with the daily death rate now higher than during the peak of the civil war. 

Africa: Obama offers critique during third visit -- President Obama visited Kenya and Ethiopia, probably for the last time as head of state, from July 24-28. 

Tanzania: Greater access to electricity -- In January, Tanzania published its Draft National Energy Policy 2015, which, despite its length, devoted little attention to the challenge of bringing electricity to the country’s roughly 11 million residents who live in poverty in rural areas.

Human trafficking: U.S. upgrades Malaysia -- The U.S. Department of State’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report has received more than the usual scrutiny due to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Malaysia’s changing rank on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) compliance list.

Trade: Bangladesh’s suspension remains -- On August 11, the U.S. announced that it would not reinstate Bangladesh to a list of developing countries that receive trade preferences for lower or zero-duty tariffs due to labor rights and workplace safety issues. 

Myanmar: Timber demand fuels illegal logging -- Illegal logging in Myanmar illustrates the devastating consequences of the exploitation of natural resources by corrupt governing elites. 

Extractive industries: Oxfam wins against SEC -- On September 2, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of Oxfam America, Earth Rights International, and a team of pro-bono lawyers who sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for dragging its feet on implementation of a critical piece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms.

Trade: Update on TPP -Supporters and detractors both thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been solidified during negotiations held in Maui the last week of July, but many issues linger, including access to medicines, privacy concerns regarding technology, and intellectual property patents.
Catholics active in support of Iran nuclear deal -- The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, along with many collegial organizations and communities of faith, has energetically supported the Iran agreement as a critical step toward nuclear non-proliferation and, ultimately, nuclear abolition.
Climate change: New report on CEO pay -- Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, has co-authored a new report that shows that excessive CEO pay at the 30 largest U.S. public fossil fuel corporations rewards short-term actions, with disastrous results for the world’s climate.
Resources -- Join the Season of Creation, order curriculum guides on Laudato Si', organize a visit to Ft. Benning for the SOAW vigil, and more.

Photo of Bangladeshi women sewing clothes courtesy of USAID Bangladesh. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

PDF icon September-October 2015 NewsNotes2.16 MB