WHAT HAPPENED WHEN BRAD PITT AND HIS ‘FAMOUS’ ARCHITECTS CAME TO REBUILD NEW ORLEANS...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By Peter Whoriskey WASHINGTON POST After Hurricane Katrina, movie star Brad Pitt descended on New Orleans to help rebuild the Lower Ninth, one of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods. With him, came a retinue of star architects: Thom Mayne. Shigeru Ban. Frank Gehry. Among others. Each has won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture. Now, ten years after the storm, one might ask: What has all that talent achieved? The answer, in the most basic sense, is that Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation has built more than 100 houses, all equipped with solar panels and other eco-friendly flourishes, for families who otherwise might not have been able to afford a home. The group has plans to build at least 41 more, and in many blocks of...

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TOP 5 GREEN ENERGY BREAKTHROUGHS TODAY (VIDEO)...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Juan Cole Shutterstock This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s website. Switching to green energy sources like wind and solar is necessary to save the planet from increased concentrations of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which cause global warming.  But it will also save you money.  How much?  Citi Bank has a new estimate that going green will save the world $1.4 trillion by 2040! Remember, once the installations are constructed, wind and solar fuel is free.  And offsetting carbon emissions will avoid damage out our coasts and extreme weather events that will in themselves be costly (which will be caused by rising global temperatures if we keep dumping 35 billion tons of CO2 a year into the atmosphere). German automaker BMW is going all electric within ten years.  Every vehicle...

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LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS QUESTION GEHRY-LED LOS ANGELES RIVER MASTERPLAN...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  by The Dirt Contributor The Los Angeles landscape architecture and design community was surprised by the recent announcement that Frank Gehry is creating a new masterplan for the redevelopment of the 51-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River that runs through the city. Before The Los Angeles Times published the details of the new Gehry-led team, there were no public discussions about this new approach or the selection of the new design team. Also, it’s not clear what will happen to the approved 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan (LARRMP). The LARRMP, led by engineering firm Tetra Tech, included three landscape architecture firms: Civitas, Mia Lehrer + Associates, and Wenk Associates. The plan is deeply rooted in hydrology and ecology, aims to strengthen communities, and features parks, trails, bridges, public and private facilities,...

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WHEN MEXICANS CROSSED OUR BORDER TO FEED AMERICANS IN NEED...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Mexican troops arrive in San Antonio on Sept. 8, 2005, with aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. (William Luther/San Antonio Express-News via Associated Press) By Stephen R. Kelly August 28 Stephen R. Kelly, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Mexico from 2004 to 2006, teaches at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. In a scene that would have given Donald Trump heart palpitations, 200 flag-waving Mexican troops breached the U.S. border outside Laredo, Tex., 10 years ago and advanced unopposed up Interstate 35 to San Antonio. It was the first time a Mexican army had marched on San Antonio since 1836 when Gen. Santa Ana massacred besieged Texas independence fighters at the Alamo. This time, however, the Mexican soldiers were on a relief mission to feed tens of thousands of...

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13,000 BECOME HOMELESS EVERY MONTH IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images Chronic homelessness, especially among children and youth, is overwhelming public assistance efforts, report finds by Haya El Nasser AL JAZEERA LOS ANGELES – Chronic homelessness is such a daunting problem in Los Angeles County that even after 10,000 people were moved into housing in the last three years, about 13,000 people on public assistance slip into homelessness every month, a new study has revealed. The number of people who become chronically homeless overwhelms the dwindling supply of affordable housing, according to a report released today by the Economic Roundtable, a research organization based in Los Angeles. “Ending chronic homelessness will be feasible if fewer people become homeless,” said Daniel Flaming, author of the report. “This requires the combined resources of health, mental health, social service,...

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A TOXIC CHEMICAL RUINED THE LIVES OF THESE PEOPLE AND IT’S PROBABLY IN YOUR BLOOD...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/welcome-to-beautiful-parkersburg/ A Toxic Chemical Ruined the Lives of These People and It’s Probably in Your Blood Read the Article at The Huffington...

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AS TRAGEDIES SHOCK EUROPE, A BIGGER REFUGEE CRISIS LOOMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   Middle East By Liz Sly WASHINGTON POST Children play amid garbage at an informal Syrian refugee settlement near Zahle, Lebanon. (Sam Tarling/For The Washington Post) AL-MINYA, Lebanon — While the world’s attention is fixed on the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees swarming into Europe, a potentially far more profound crisis is unfolding in the countries of the Middle East that have borne the brunt of the world’s failure to resolve the Syrian war. Those reaching Europe represent a small percentage of the 4 million Syrians who have fled into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, making Syria the biggest single source of refugees in the world and the worst humanitarian emergency in more than four decades. As the fighting grinds into a fifth year, the realization is dawning on aid agencies, the...

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HERE’S A SOLUTION FOR THOSE OUT-OF-CONTROL TOXIC ALGAE BLOOMS...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Algae warning along Lake Erie, in Ohio    REUTERS/Joshua Lott Against the ooze By Heather Mack   GRIST I have a confession to make: I love corn. I also love soy. Dammit, I even love wheat, like most American eaters. I love it baked, ground, deep-fried, or transformed into sirloin. And, let’s face it – even the most packaged-food snubbing, label-reading locavores among us let some form of these conventional, fertilizer-loving crops slip past our lips every now and then. Unfortunately, feeding these crops and ourselves also means feeding environmental catastrophe. Case in point, the massive algae bloom that has cropped up on Lake Erie. Show me a crop that loves fertilizer, and I’ll show you an aquatic bacteria that loves it even more. Invigorated from phosphorus-laden runoff sweeping out of farms, the...

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IN APPALACHIA, THE COAL INDUSTRY IS IN COLLAPSE, BUT THE MOUNTAINS AREN’T COMING BACK...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] iLoveMountains.org By Laura Gottesdiener GRIST Cross-posted from TomDispatch In Appalachia, explosions have leveled the mountaintops into perfect race tracks for Ryan Hensley’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). At least, that’s how the 14-year-old sees the barren expanses of dirt that stretch for miles atop the hills surrounding his home in the former coal town of Whitesville, W.Va. “They’re going to blast that one next,” he says, pointing to a peak in the distance. He’s referring to a process known as “mountaintop removal,” in which coal companies use explosives to blast away hundreds of feet of rock in order to unearth underground seams of coal. “And then it’ll be just blank space,” he adds. “Like the Taylor Swift song.” Skinny and shirtless, Hensley looks no more than 11 or 12. His ribs and collarbones protrude from...

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CONVERSATION WITH SUSTAINER HOMES ABOUT ZERO IMPACT LIVING...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] 1 all images courtesy of sustainer homes         in the outskirts of amsterdam, there is a courages team made up of creatives, sociologists, architects and technology experts that are working on the future of home livability. the young group at sustainer homes are scared of rising rent, sprawling cities, and unprecedented amounts of energy uncertainty in their lives. so they’ve decided to take it upon themselves to make housing much more affordable, sustainable and flexible than anything offered on the market of today. the team focused on four attributes: energy, air and heating, water collection and disposal, and materials. the result of their developments is a fully independent, self sufficient and comfortable container home with a price point made available to everyone.         the electricity for the home is produced by a combination...

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NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES WANT TO MAKE ELECTRICITY WITH EVERY WINDOW...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] DESIGNBOOM 0 all images courtesy of new energy technologies         american company, new energy technologies is developing electricity generating transparent windows and products for america’s 85 million detached homes and commercial buildings. their mission has been to create solar windows which produce impressive amounts of clean electricity, that benefit the environment and the building landscape. the team developed a coating capable of generating electricity on glass and flexible plastics that is processed uniformly in different color tints. these polymer organic photovoltaic arrays are clear and only capture UV rays which can be scaled up and have unparalleled manufacturablilty. researchers view through electricity generating ‘solarwindow’       unlike traditional building applied photovoltaic systems, restricted to use in direct sunlight on very limited skyscraper rooftop space, their ‘solarwindow’ is designed to operate in sunlight,...

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WHAT’S RIGHT ABOUT THIS PICTURE?...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  life edited Architecture From above, this picture shows a fairly normal suburban neighborhood. There are large, single family homes, each with their own driveways, front and back yards. But if you look closely, right between N St and Lessley Pl, there’s a group of homes with irregular yards. Trees from one property cascade over onto the next. There’s some weird walkway system that flows unimpeded from one property to another. It’s tough to tell where one property ends and the others begins. These are the homes that make up the N Street Cohousing community of Davis, CA. N Street began in 1986 when Kevin Wolf and his wife Linda Cloud purchased and brought together two adjoining houses. Eventually additional houses were purchased by other parties and brought into the community. In...

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FUTURE AND PAST EXPERIENCE ARCHITECTURAL COLLISION...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Architecture I’ve long expressed my enthusiasm for clever renovations of old spaces. The fact is that even though new buildings might seem like the future, most of the architectural future was built in the last 150 years. In other words, many of the buildings we see today will be there tomorrow. So it makes sense to devote intellectual, material and financial resources toward incorporating future-based thinking into old spaces. The Darlinghurst Apartment in NSW Australia by Architect Brad Swartz is a nice example of such an allocation of resources. It takes a tiny, old space and injects it with a cutting edge design, making it ready for infinity and beyond. The 290 sq ft space was intended to be suitable for a single person or couple. The original layout...

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BUZZ ALDIN IS WORKING ON A ‘MASTER PLAN’ TO COLONIZE MARS BY 2040...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  In Brief Buzz Aldrin and Florida Institute of Technology are developing “a master plan” to colonize Mars within 25 years. The second man to walk on the moon is pushing for a Mars settlement by approximately 2040. More specifically, he’s shooting for 2039, the 70th anniversary of his own Apollo 11 moon landing, although he admits the schedule is “adjustable”. The 85-year-old Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon’s surface on 20 July 1969, hopes his “master plan” is accepted by NASA and the country, with international input. NASA already is working on the spacecraft and rockets to get astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. He envisions using Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, as preliminary stepping stones for astronauts. He said he dislikes the label “one-way” and imagines tours of duty lasting...

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10 Disgraced Iraq War Architects Who Are Desperately Trying to Undo Obama’s Iran Deal...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] News & Politics The nuclear deal is simply an attempt to clean up the mess the Iraq war architects made. By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet There is a fierce battle going on in Washington, with progressive and pro-diplomacy organizations facing off against pro-Israel organizations to prevent a veto-proof vote to kill President Obama’s deal with Iran. These anti-deal organizations are joined by a number of hawkish figures whose last great foreign policy foray was America’s last diplomatic catastrophe: the Iraq war. Here are 10 Iraq war supporters now trying to kill our best chance for a just peace with Iran. George W. Bush: The president who invaded Iraq has apparently learned nothing from the experience, arguing in April that Obama negotiating with Iran was “naive.” Bill Kristol: Kristol, a long-time GOP apparatchik who today is a board...

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Neoliberal Environmentalism’s Dangerous Paradox: Why the Free Market Won’t Solve Global Warming...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Establishment Dems are trying to take climate action while still satisfying corporate interests. That won’t work. By Paul Rosenberg / Salon  VIA ALTERNE Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House On July 17, the White House announced that President Obama will visit Alaska visit at the end of August, attending a conference “to discuss how climate change is reshaping the Arctic” and what can be done about it. On Aug. 13, Obama released a video about the trip. “I’m going because Alaskans are on the front lines of one of the greatest challenges we face this century — climate change,” Obama began his brief message. “What’s happening in Alaska isn’t just a preview of what will happen to the rest of us if we don’t take action,” he said. “It’s our wakeup call. The...

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HOW HOT IS IT GOING TO GET?

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Allen Insight  DAILY KOS attribution: None Specified If we don’t begin phasing out fossil fuels this decade, temperatures will rise to unlivable levels within the lifetimes of our children. The most commonly asked question about global warming is, “How hot is it going to get?” This important question deserves a clear and simple answer.  But the science of climate change is complicated and it is not easy to answer this important question simply. I believe the main reason voters don’t list global warming as their top issue is because they do not know how hot it is going to get.  If Climate Hawks want voters to vote for climate action, we must answer, “How hot is it going to get?”  And our answer must be clear, consistent, and simple.The Climate Hawk movement...

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THE BIGGEST SCANDAL IN U.S. HISTORY THAT WE’RE STILL NOT TALKING ABOUT...

Aug 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by mtosnerFollow  DAILY KOS Tweet 289 Comments / 289 New The above is roughly what 8.5 Trillion dollars would look like… and those are $100 bills.    Take another look and let that sink in for a bit…   I find it absolutely astonishing that the pentagon could lose track of this much money and for there to be no MSM coverage of this scandalous amount of mismanagement and fraud.  Where is the demand for accountability?  Why is the first question to ANY candidate for president not “What would you do about the massive fraud and waste at the Pentagon?”  Where are the hearings, nay indictments, that are warranted when a sum equal to  1/2 of our national debt can be sent to the pentagon to never be accounted for.  More below. We...

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BITCOIN: LESSONS FOR A THRIVING WORLD...

Aug 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   What does it mean to have a currency that isn’t transparent? It means when the head of the Federal Reserve says he can’t account for a half of a trillion dollars of taxpayer money that’s “missing,” as Ben Bernanke did when he testified before Congress in 2009, there’s not much you can do to track down where it went. And when a currency is centralized and controlled by a few people, as is the current dominant reality around the world, the problem gets even worse. So it makes sense that introducing something that is intrinsically both transparent and decentralized would be a good start to remedy what is otherwise a devastatingly skewed scheme. And it turns out that lifting the veil on transactions and empowering users with complete authority are precisely what...

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NO SHOT. NO DAYCARE. NO SCHOOL. EVERY CHILD. EVERY VACCINE....

Aug 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] SB 277 signed into Law and is EFFECTIVE July 1, 2016 Governor Brown signed SB 277 the most stringent vaccine mandate in the United States on June 30, 2015. If not repealed this new law will go into effect on July 1, 2016.  Families that do not comply with the one-size-fits-all vaccine mandate, will lose their State Constitutional right for a free and appropriate education in public and private K-12 schools. The use of licensed daycare facilities, in-home daycare, public or private preschools and even after school care programs are also included in SB 277. School aged children, not up-to-date on every mandated vaccine, will be required to home school without options for classroom learning.  SB 277 eliminates a parent’s right to exempt their children from one, some, or all vaccines, a risk-laden medical procedure including death. In 2016, California parents will be forced to...

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VACCINES: WHO IS RIGHT AND WHOSE RIGHT IS IT?...

Aug 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Foster Gamble When it comes to vaccines, either you agree to have your child (and/or yourself) injected with some amount of microorganisms and additives, or you don’t. How can caring parents wade through the deluge of conflicting opinions and information surrounding the issue to make the most responsible choice? Click images to enlarge Two of our THRIVE team members are about to have babies, and both Kimberly and I have grandchildren whose parents face this issue. A recurring question for all of them, along with parents everywhere, is: “What justifies the risk of an adverse reaction?” Is there enough evidence that vaccines really do prevent deadly, dreaded diseases to justify the possible brain damage, infertility or death if “things go wrong”? At best, it’s a frightening game of Russian Roulette, with...

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INVESTORS ARE GRABBING A JAPAN-SIZE CHUNK OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD FOR FOOD AND WATER...

Aug 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART DAILY Activists tracking these deals say rich countries are buying up land—93 million acres—and displacing local people and wildlife. Employees of Saudi Star rice farm work in a paddy in Ethiopia. (Photo: Jenny Vaughan/AFP/Getty Images) Erica Gies is an independent journalist who writes about the core requirements for life—water and energy—from Victoria, British Columbia, and San Francisco. Bio Foreign investors are increasingly buying or leasing large swaths of developing countries in pursuit of food, water, and profit, according to human rights groups and academics, putting people and the environment at risk. In Papua, Indonesia, forests that have sustained Malind hunter-gatherers for millennia are being razed to make way for foreign-owned biofuels and industrial agriculture plantations in a government scheme called Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate, according to awasMIFEE, a U.K.-based...

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WEATHERED STEEL AND RECLAIMED WOOD CLAD STUNNING CABINS ON A NAVAJO RESERVATION...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  INHABITAT by Lucy Wang, 08/26/15 il   A pair of cabins made from weathered steel and reclaimed barn wood has popped up on a Navajo reservation in Colorado. Inspired by the surrounding red sand desert, the industrial modern Sunrise and Sunset Cabins were constructed through a collaborative partnership between the graduate students and faculty from the University of Colorado Denver’s Design Build BLUFF program and the Mexican Water Chapter of the Navajo Nation. The rentable cube-like dwellings were created to attract tourism dollars to the reservation and help stimulate the local economy.   While both 300-square-foot cabins are similarly designed to evoke the surrounding landscape, each dwelling is crafted with its own unique identity. Influenced by the distant Blue Mountains and Monument Valley, one cabin emerges from the landscape while the other rests...

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Four Ways Mexico’s Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Food How can we get the most out of our farmland without harming the planet? I traveled to rural Mexico to learn from indigenous farmers. By Leah Penniman / YES! Magazine  VIA ALTERNET Affectionately called “Professor” by his neighbors, Josefino Martinez is a well-respected indigenous farmer and community organizer from the remote town of Chicahuaxtla, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He watched with patient attention as I showed him photographs of Soul Fire Farm, my family’s organic farm in the mountains of upstate New York. I tried to convince Martinez that our farms had a lot in common. “Like you, we have marginal mountain soils and steep slopes, and we’ve worked for years to build up the fertility,” I explained.  Martinez finished his simple breakfast of fresh corn tortillas with black beans....

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People Are Dying from Contaminated Food, but Obama and Congress Don’t Seem to Care...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] A sweeping food safety reform bill was passed five years ago, but not a single new rule has yet been implemented — and people continue to die. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Photo Credit: Mila Atkovska/Shutterstock.com In 2010, after thousands of Americans were sickened by tainted spinach, peanut butter and eggs, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a sweeping reform bill that gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new powers to help ensure the safety of the nation’s food system. It was the nation’s first major food policy legislation since FDR signed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938. But now, five years later, according to a recent POLITICO investigation, not a single one of the new rules has been implemented and the entire mission has a $276-million funding gap....

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BERNIE SANDERS: FROM GREECE TO PUERTO RICO, THE FINANCIAL RULES ARE RIGGED TO FAVOR THE 1%...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders recently convened a panel of economists in Washington to discuss the debt crisis in Greece and throughout the world. In his opening statement, Sanders talked about the debt crisis in Greece as well as in Puerto Rico. “It is time for creditors to sit down with the governments of Greece and Puerto Rico and work out a debt repayment plan that is fair to both sides,” Sanders said. “The people of Greece and the children of Puerto Rico deserve nothing less.” TRANSCRIPT This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: We turn to Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who recently convened a panel of economists in Washington to discuss the debt crisis in Greece as...

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INFOGRAPHIC: LOOKING BACK AT CIVIL ENGINEERING FAILURES TEN YEARS AFTER KATRINA...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] <d Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana. On August 29, 2005, the force of this storm’s water breached multiple levees and ultimately caused 1,118 confirmed deaths and over $21 billion in residential damages. The levees were built using incorrect data with some one to two feet lower than intended in terms of design elevation. As with tragedies of this type, we learn from our mistakes. Engineers teamed together in New Orleans to install state of the art levees, floodwalls and pumps built to withstand overtopping by 500-year surge events. For engineers, failure often leads to design advances and new technologies. The master of science in civil engineering program at Ohio University has constructed a detailed infographic listing breakthroughs that resulted from civil engineering failures. Click here to open...

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THE DROUGHT YOU HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT IS CAUSING CRISIS IN AFRICA...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]     1 in 10 people across southern Africa are at risk of going hungry. Charlotte Alfred World Reporter, The Huffington Post   Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press Zimbabwe is facing food short shortages due to the regional drought in southern Africa.   Every week, we bring you one overlooked aspect of the stories that made news in recent days. You noticed the media forgot all about another story’s basic facts? Tweet @TheWorldPost or let us know on our Facebook page. The worst drought in almost a decade has decimated agriculture in southern Africa, leaving 1 in 10 people in the region at risk of going hungry. The drought contributed to massive crop failures, including in South Africa which ordinarily produces 40 percent of the region’s corn. The country had to import the crop earlier...

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MEXICO CITY’S AMBITIOUS ELEVATED PARK...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT    by Jared Green Mexico City, one of the world’s great megalopolises, with more than 20 million people, is struggling to create more green space for its ever-expanding population. Estimates put the amount of green space in the city at just a few percent. To remedy this problem, a team of architects, landscape architects, planners, and urban designers with Mexican firms FR-EE, FRENTE arquitectura, RVDG, and Mario Schjetnan GDU will transform Avenida Chapultepec, one of the city’s oldest and busiest streets, into an elevated, 1.3-kilometer-long “cultural corridor” expected to open by 2017. The project will overhaul a 10-lane highway that runs west to east between Chapultepec Park and the center of the city. This new elevated promenade will help reduce traffic accidents along one of the most dangerous and polluted stretches...

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NEW ORLEANS IS LOCKING UP HUNDREDS OF TRAUMATIZED KIDS...

Aug 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] JUSTICE by Carimah Townes CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Associated Press/DAVID J. PHILLIP Evacuated prisoners wait out the flooding caused by Katrina.   NEW ORLEANS, LA — When New Orleans began to flood, everyone forgot about the kids they had locked away in one of the nation’s worst prisons. They had no water, food, or means of contacting their loved ones. As the water level rose, children — including a pregnant girl, a severely mentally ill preteen who could not pronounce his own name, and some who were barely four feet tall — had to clamber onto the highest bunk beds in their cells. Bigger kids had to hold up smaller ones and find mattresses for them to float on. Ten years have passed since then, but in many ways the storm haunts the city’s...

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