Tag Archives: BP

Floating coffins

 Avaaz's profile photo
Dear friends,The most persecuted peoples on our earth are right now taking to ‘floating coffins’ to flee violence and seek sanctuary for their families. But instead of responding with humanity, our governments are closing their doors, letting them starve and drown at sea.

The Mediterranean and Andaman Seas are becoming graveyards.

Burma is driving the Rohingya out, and thousands of families are drifting helplessly at sea, forced to drink their own urine because Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia had turned them away. Syrians and Africans risk drowning every week off the coast of Southern Europe, braving the terrifying crossing as their last hope to escape torture, hunger, and traffickers.

We are facing the biggest refugees crisis since World War II, but so far governments have let them die in a climate of rising xenophobia. Now it has reached a crisis, and our community has a unique chance to jam the culture of fear with a wave of compassion.

If we each chip in a small amount now, we’ll help fund rescue operations at sea; build an Avaaz refugee team to assist those missions and resettlement, and create effective lobby cells to get leaders to open up borders; and launch ads to counter the racism.

Together we can help rescue refugees, and rescue our shared humanity.

Unless we act fast, 2015 could become the year of the boat people!

Pledge to urgently launch the Avaaz refugee campaign — Avaaz will only process your donations if we raise enough to start saving lives:

To pledge another amount, click here.
Avaazers have already kick-started this campaign in the UK. The government has only allowed in 143 Syrians out of the 4 million refugees! In response, over 1,000 Avaazers have joined forces to challenge this disgraceful policy by offering to help refugees resettle, and calling on their local councils to give homes to 50 Syrian refugees each. Already 4 councils have agreed and with our pressure, we hope many more will too.

But this isn’t just a UK and Syria problem. It is a crisis of humanity when our planet’s most vulnerable are treated as criminals and left to die. Here’s a five point plan of the most critical actions Avaaz could take if we raise enough together:

  1. Support organisations that are bravely rescuing the refugees at sea.
  2. Launch Flotillas for Humanity with more private boats to assist rescue operations.
  3. Build an Avaaz refugee team to lobby governments, the EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to push for effective search and rescue operations, and increased numbers of refugee places.
  4. Support local groups in Europe and South East Asia to provide assistance to refugees arriving in reception centres, and into communities.
  5. Run hard hitting billboards and newspaper ads to counter the culture of xenophobia.

30 thousand refugees could drown in the Mediterranean this year. These families are fleeing terror and misery, and their choice to board a boat may be the only choice they have. Let’s join forces to stop these tragedies at sea. Pledge now:
Our community is one of the only in the world with millions of citizens in both the countries from which these families are fleeing and the countries they are seeking help. We have already funded extraordinary work to tackle Ebola and humanitarian work in Nepal. Now let’s take on this emergency and catalyse change with acts of inspired love and inspired bravery.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Ben, Oli, Diego, Mais, Emily, Dalia, Ricken and the Avaaz team


Myanmar Muslim migrants abandoned at sea have been ‘drinking their own urine’ to survive  (The Independent UK)

Syria Refugee Regional Response (UNHCR)

Mediterranean migrants: Details emerge of deadly capsize (BBC)

Lost at sea, unwanted: The plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya ‘boat people’ (CNN)

Stranded Rohingya migrants say: ‘We’re dying on board’ (Al Jazeera)

EdNet: The National Food Safety Educator’s Network


EdNet, the National Food Safety Educator’s Network, is a monthly, multi-agency electronic news journal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EdNet provides educators, consumer advocates, government officials, and industry representatives with a quick monthly summary of news about food safety programs and activities.

In this issue:

Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings

Resources for Educators


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Congressman John Lewis Introduces President Obama:50 Years After the Voting Rights Act, We Still Have Work to Do

Congressman John Lewis Introduces President Obama

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. introduces President Barack Obama, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Aug. 6, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

See more about how the President commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

Happy Anniversary, Medicare and Medicaid


50 Years Ago Today, LBJ Signed Legislation Creating These Historic Programs

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. As we celebrate the landmark laws that changed the face of American health care, we also look back on the ideological opposition to those programs before their passage. The intensity of the debate surrounding the passage of the Social Security Amendments of 1965 is evocative of similar extreme language surrounding the signing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In the early 1960s President Lyndon Johnson was met with heavy resistance in his attempts to push through the legislation that would eventually go on to provide health insurance to one-third of the American population. The calls to keep the government out of healthcare were fervent. Future President George H. W. Bush called the proposal “socialized medicine,” and Ronald Reagan was famously recorded proclaiming the passage of Medicare would lead to Americans of the future having to tell “our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

But despite the rhetoric, today Medicare and Medicaid are largely successful programs. Together they provide health insurance to over 100 million Americans, and their provisions have led to innovations in health care delivery and cost control. Both have seen growth and expansion under Republican and Democratic cycles alike, as it became increasingly clear that the effective provision of health care access made them publicly popular and politically intractable.

Opponents haven’t given up the fight to keep the government out of health care, they have just changed their tactics. In the 1990s former Rep. Newt Gingrich was quoted discussing changes that would allow Medicare “to wither on the vine” as opposed to a sweeping removal. And current Chairman of the House budget Committee Paul Ryan has included provisions to privatize Medicare in several budget proposals.

The ACA, as we know, has faced backlash much like Medicare and Medicaid. Opponents have bashed the law with zeal, House Republicans have voted to repeal it more than 50 times, and conservatives have failed to dismantle the law through the courts multiple times. But it too is working. The ACA’s coverage provisions have expanded health care to 16.4 million Americans, the largest increase since the original passage of Medicare and Medicaid. And slowly, public opinion on the law is improving too.

BOTTOM LINE: After initially facing heavy resistance, Medicare and Medicaid have flourished to become essential pieces of health care in America. In much the same way, the political conversation surrounding the ACA must move beyond repeal and turn toward serious debates about how to improve and shape health care for future generations. It is now clearer than ever that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

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