Agnieszka's Feed
Jan 2, 2012

Afghan girls throw punches, aim for Olympic gold

KABUL (Reuters) – Teenage Afghan sisters Shabnam and Sadaf Rahimi are taking the fight for women’s rights more literally than most of their peers, throwing punches in a ring as members of their country’s first team of female boxers.

They practice inside a spartan gym with broken mirrors, flaking paint, four punching bags, and a concrete floor padded with faded pink and green mats. Some girls wear face masks to keep away the dust coming up from the floor.

Dec 24, 2011

Afghanistan food aid at risk as donors trim support

KABUL (Reuters) – More Afghans will go hungry next year and may be dependent on food aid for longer as school feeding programmes and projects to develop the country’s crumbling agriculture sector have to be trimmed due to waning donor support, the United Nations warned.

The UN’s World Food Programme WFP.L raised only about half its annual $400 million Afghanistan budget in 2011, and even less was expected for 2012, Bradley Guerrant, the agency’s deputy director for Afghanistan, said this week.

Dec 23, 2011

Afghan president to replace top human rights officials

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai will replace four people at the national human rights commission to bring fresh blood into the group, and not because he is seeking to remove some of his most outspoken critics, his spokesman said on Friday.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is appointed by the state but acts independently. Any move by the government to oust its workers could raise questions about the state’s commitment to protecting human rights.

Dec 11, 2011

Private sector finance eyed for U.N. forest projects

DURBAN (Reuters) – Private investors may be allowed to earn carbon credits by paying poor countries to halt the destruction of tropical forests, but a U.N. climate summit failed to agree the details needed to get the ambitious program off the ground.

The felling of trees that capture the heat-trapping gases responsible for global warming accounts for about 20 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, and studies show an acre (0.4 hectare) of forest is lost every second around the globe.

Dec 11, 2011

U.N. climate talks agree legal pact on global warming

DURBAN (Reuters) – U.N. climate change talks agreed a pact Sunday that for the first time would force all the biggest polluters to take action to slow the pace of global warming.

The deal follows years of failed attempts to impose legally-binding, international cuts on emerging giants, such as China and India, as well as rich nations like the United States.

Dec 10, 2011

Host struggling to save U.N. climate talks

DURBAN (Reuters) – South Africa struggled on Saturday to find a compromise deal that could save U.N. climate talks from collapse.

Ministerial negotiations in the South African port city of Durban were put off until Saturday afternoon but with many delegates due to head home there was a strong chance real decisions would be put off until next year.

Dec 10, 2011

Climate talks in extra time after row over draft deal

DURBAN (Reuters) – U.N. climate talks stalled after a rebellion by developing states most at risk from global warming, forcing host South Africa to push the conference into extra time on Saturday in an effort to prevent the negotiations collapsing.

Deliberations were due to resume around midday after haggling in the South African port city of Durban continued into the early hours.

Dec 9, 2011

Climate talks mean life or death for island states

DURBAN (Reuters) – Nature does not negotiate.

So while climate change delegates haggle over deadlines, binding targets and finance, some of the world’s poorest states are warning that rising sea levels and storms will sweep them away unless the world agrees to tackle global warning.

“We will be one of the first countries to go under water,” said Foua Toloa, a senior politician on Tokelau, an island half-way between Hawaii and New Zealand that is no more than five meters above sea-level.

Dec 7, 2011

South Africa selects 28 projects for green power drive

DURBAN (Reuters) – South Africa has chosen 28 renewable energy projects as part of its drive cut its reliance on coal fired plants, and bidders have until June to prove the projects are financially viable, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.

The selected bidders were announced on the sidelines of a global climate summit in Durban where delegates from more than 190 nations are hoping to agree to a new deal to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, blamed by scientists for rising sea levels, intense storms and crop failures.

Dec 3, 2011

UN climate chief sees air clearing on cut pledges

DURBAN (Reuters) – The U.N.’s climate chief said on Saturday she believes countries can snap the deadlock that has lasted for years and sign up to fresh and binding commitments to cut greenhouse gases, after a week of climate talks between nearly 200 countries.

“Countries are now looking at how they might bring about a second commitment period and no longer if there is going to be a second commitment period,” climate chief Christiana Figueres told Reuters in an interview.