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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

What's New in INES, 7. December 2012

News structure for INES in 2013

CAMPAIGNS

Stop the planting of GMO corn in Mexico. Imminent approval of large-scale planting of GMO corn: Scientists alert over threat to maize in its center of origin and diversification.

NEWS

North Korea's preparation for missile launch heats up, image shows
Gensuikyo urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket
U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Evokes Sharp Reaction from Russia
Russia Calls for Private Companies to Work on Nuclear Weapons
A New U.S. Defense Strategy for a New Era
U.S. Bomb Refurbishment Project Will Cost Billions More
Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda
UK nuclear deterrent plan triggers divisions
The decline of UK military R&D
Counting the Cost - The economics of peace: Al Jazeera interviews
Peace Dividend Proclamation
Online petition against the French military budget 2013
Special Report: Worldwide Spending and Priorities: Europe’s Biggest Powers Balance Cuts, Capabilities
The Financial Risks of Ecological Limits
Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension
The Missile Crisis that Never Went Away
Sean MacBride Peace Prize 2012 goes to Nawal El-Sadaawi (Egypt) and Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia)
Referendum for Peace and Justice: Massachusetts voters were called to vote on an anti-austerity and anti-war referendum
International Peace Bureau (IPB) demands: The 2012 Peace prize is unlawful and cannot be paid to the EU

Daniel Ellsberg and 14 Nuclear Protestors Are Victorious in Federal Court

PUBLICATIONS

War Profiteers' News November edition now available

Sustainable Energy News of THE International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE)

UPCOMING EVENTS


News structure for INES in 2013

In 2013 INES will give itself a new structure. I will leave the position as Executive Secretary and editor of What's New in INES by the end of 2012. INES Program Director Lucas Wirl will be your responsible contact person*. One new part time support staff will be hired as soon as possible. Furthermore INES will share the Berlin office space with VDW, IALANA and NatWiss.
Time to move on and say goodbye. I wish to thank all of you who I got to know and have worked with during this time. It have been interesting and informative years. In spite of an annual budget reduced to an absolute minimum the aimed for plans of INES activities in 2013 and 2014 are ambitious and I hope INES will do well!
With best wishes, Gabriele Krauskopf

* Contact to the INES Program Director: lucaswirlinesglobalcom
Phone: +49-(0)30-31 99 66 86


CAMPAIGNS

Stop the planting of GMO corn in Mexico

Imminent approval of large-scale planting of GMO corn: Scientists alert over threat to maize in its center of origin and diversification. Human health is also at risk.
Campaign by the union of socially concerned scienetists (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (UCCS) Mexico.
Read the UCCS demands here: http://www.inesglobal.com/mexicos-maize-diversity-in-danger.phtml
Support the campaign and sign the statement here:www.uccs.mx/doc/g/planting-gmo-corn


NEWS

North Korea's preparation for missile launch heats up, image shows
North Korea appears to be working toward its goal of launching a rocket later this month, with a new satellite image showing preparations continuing around the site.

The December 4 image provided to CNN by satellite imagery company GeoEye shows increased activity by workers on the launch pad, an imagery analyst told Security Clearance. The launch pad activity was not evident in an image from DigitalGloe taken three days earlier. Read on here: security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/04/north-koreas-preparation-for-missile-launch-heats-up-image-shows/


Gensuikyo urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket.
The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) sent a letter to North Korea on December 5, 2012 to urge it to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket: As the movement seeking a total ban on nuclear weapons, we strongly urge you to cancel the planned launch of a satellite rocket. The launch runs counter to efforts to create a nuclear weapon-free peaceful East Asia and deteriorates your relations with the international community. Read on here: www.inesglobal.com/news-2012-1.phtml


U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe Evokes Sharp Reaction from Russia
In response to U.S. plans to place elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stated that Russia will retaliate "in the sharpest manner" should any U.S. Aegis-equipped warships approach Russian waters.
The U.S. views the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense technology as a crucial component of its sea-based missile defense system in Europe, ostensibly aimed at protecting the continent from potential ballistic missile strikes from Iran or North Korea.

Russia strongly opposes the planned fielding of missile interceptors around Europe, viewing it as a U.S.-NATO scheme to undermine Russia's long-range nuclear missile forces. "We have never placed our interceptor missiles near U.S. borders on ridiculous fabricated pretexts such as 'protecting our American friends from Canada and Honduras,"stated Rogozin. "But they do, on the pretext of protecting us and Europe from 'bad guys in Iran and North Korea."
"Russia Vows Pointed Response to Encroaching U.S. Aegis Warships," Global Security Newswire, November 12, 2012.


Russia Calls for Private Companies to Work on Nuclear Weapons
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called for an initiative to allow Russian private companies to participate in the country's development of nuclear weapons. Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, stated that the volume of private capital in the Russian defense industry should be brought up to 30-35 percent. Although private businesses can participate in the production of electronic components and new materials, Rogozin stressed that ultimate production of nuclear weapons would remain under the absolute control of the state.
Radnaev, Vitaly, "Private Companies to Take Part in the Nuclear Shield Development," The Voice of Russia, November 12, 2012.


A New U.S. Defense Strategy for a New Era
A new report published by the Defense Advisory Committee convened by the Stimson Center concludes that the U.S. should "reduce the size of its nuclear forces as rapidly as possible, preferably through a new treaty with Russia, and make commensurate reductions in planned nuclear modernization programs."
The report focuses on U.S. defense planning and spending in light of the possible cuts to the Pentagon budget through automatic sequestration. To read the full report, click here.


U.S. Bomb Refurbishment Project Will Cost Billions More
According to an independent cost assessment, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has severely underestimated the cost needed to refurbish the U.S. stockpile of B61 nuclear bombs by billions of dollars. Already facing problems with its current budget, the NNSA will need to come up with an additional $1 billion every year for the next few years to meet the goals of its refurbishment project.

The U.S. deploys approximately 180 B61 nuclear bombs in five European countries under the auspices of NATO. In total, an estimated 400 B61 bombs would require refurbishment. In 2010, the NNSA stated that refurbishing the bombs would cost $3.9 billion. Since then, the agency has refused to release updated projects costs, but independent assessments show that the projected cost has nearly doubled.
Read the article by John Fleck "Billions More Needed to Refurbish Bombs," ABQ Journal, November 4, 2012.


Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) wrote a position paper entitled Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN's Development Agenda. It makes the case that military spending should be taken into consideration in the debate now under way on the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda (following on from the Millennium Development Goals). In IPB's view, militarization is a significant factor in the sustainable development equation, often undermining the security of citizens. At the same time, the massive resources devoted to the military sector could - if even a small portion were reallocated - make a major contribution to meeting the challenges of mass poverty, unemployment and climate change.Download the paper here: www.ipb.org/web/index.php


UK nuclear deterrent plan triggers divisions
Announcement of an extra $565m for improved nuclear weapons capacity worries critics in an era of austerity.
Since the late 1960s Britain's nuclear deterrent strategy has required that at least one of the Royal Navy's submarines be operational and fully armed at all times. Conceived in response to the perceived threat of a surprise Soviet assault on western Europe, Britain's deterrent remains a classic throwback to the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cold War. Yet, two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse, the UK government this week took a big step towards replacing its current submarine-launched Trident missile system with a like-for-like successor that would take to the seas by 2028. "Our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate safeguard of our national security. We have made a clear commitment to maintain that deterrent," said Philip Hammond, the British defence minister, announcing an additional $565m in spending - on top of $4.8bn already committed to the project - for design work on a next-generation replacement for the Vanguard fleet. Read on here: www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/11/20121119142383967.html


The decline of UK military R&D
Latest official statistics show that UK government spending on military research and development has fallen considerably over the last ten years. Scientists for Global Responsibility, SGR, has been calling for that. While in Russia and other former Soviet countries spending cuts of about 90% took place directly after the Cold War, in the West cuts were much more limited. The UK situation demonstrated this well. After a slow decline, the UK's military expenditures grew rapidly again after September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, starting in 2002, the budget for military research and development was cut considerably. This downward trend is likely to continue until at least 2015. Download the article here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/decline-uk-military-rd


Counting the Cost - The economics of peace: Al Jazeera interviews
Al Jazeera had a look at two countries in the process of making peace. Colombia, aside from the advances it has made with rebel group the FARC, has seen some remarkable growth in the last decade. In fact, Colombia is Latin America's third-largest economy, worth some $378bn in 2012. As a nation blessed with mineral wealth, it could be even more prosperous if it was able to successfully conclude peace talks with the FARC rebels. In the Philippines there has been a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), looking to end a decades-long conflict. The country's economy is worth $225bn - smaller than local rivals, but almost triple what it was a decade ago. Unemployment rates have improved, but poverty remains the country's most critical problem. Watch the video on that topic here: www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2012/10/2012102773853786999.html


Peace Dividend Proclamation
The Albany County Legislature, New York, USA recently passed a Peace Dividend Proclamation, which calls upon Congress to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, cut the U.S. military budget, and use the savings to fund vital public programs at home. Within the past year or so, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a similar resolution, as did the governments of numerous cities, including Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Hartford, and Portland. Even so, the idea of “moving the money” from war to peace had largely fallen off the political radar screen. The Albany County Peace Dividend Proclamation, as it was soon dubbed, has helped bring it back to public attention. Read more here: www.fpif.org/articles/fighting_for_peace_at_the_local_level


Online petition against the French military budget 2013
Le Mouvement de la Paix appeals to civilians and organisations to sign the online petition against the French military budget 2013. The French defense budget 2013 of more than 39 milliards euros is as high as the one of 2012. According to Le Mouvement de la Paix a budget of this size is not coherent within a modern economy in a globalized world. Money should be invested in humanitarian needs instead. Le Mouvement de la Paix invites people to sign the petition, to download the form and collect signatures, and to spread the word to others. Read the petition and sign here: www.mvtpaix.org/utils/petitionbudget2013defense.php


Special Report: Worldwide Spending and Priorities
Europe’s Biggest Powers Balance Cuts, Capabilities
Defense spending by Europe’s four biggest military powers is set to steadily fall over the next few years as continuing financial strains force further austerity measures. Britain, France, Germany and Italy have all been in retreat on defense spending for some time. France, Europe’s second biggest defense spender, is in a budgetary holding pattern as the government prepares a defense and security white paper for publication at the end of the year. With British government finances still likely to be in poor shape by 2015, defense here could take a further spending hit after combat troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. In Germany, the government’s defense draft budget for 2013 envisages a nominal increase of around 1.4 billion euros [$1.8 billons] on this year. In the medium term, the German defense budget is supposed to decline to around 32.5 billion euros [$42.2 billion] by 2015. To read on please click here.


The Financial Risks of Ecological Limits
Some of the economic implications of resource constraints were introduced to the world of international finance this week in London, when Global Footprint Network and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), in collaboration with leading financial institutions, launched the E-RISC (Environmental Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit) report at Bloomberg, a leader in global financial data.
The interactive event drew over 150 participants, including representatives from leading financial institutions, investors, asset management firms and rating agencies, including Caisse des Depots, SNS Asset Management, Standard & Poor’s, J.P. Morgan, KfW Bankengruppe, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Barclays.
To date, tightening resource constraints and their impacts on national economies have been largely absent from financial analyses. The E-RISC report fills this gap by exploring to what extent resource and ecological risks can impact a nation’s economy and how these factors affect a nation’s ability to pay its debts. Download the report here: issuu.com/globalfootprintnetwork/docs/erisc
or visit www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/footprint_for_finance/


Energy from the ocean: the UK dimension
Prof AbuBakr Bahaj, University of Southampton, outlines the recent positive progress in generating electricity from offshore wind, wave and tidal current resources in the UK. He also assesses the future challenges in a sector in which the UK is a global leader. Read the article from the SGR Newsletter no. 41 here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/energy-ocean-uk-dimension


The Missile Crisis that Never Went Away
Article by Steven Starr, David Krieger & Daniel Ellsberg
Fifty years after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the US and Russian nuclear confrontation continues. Both nations still keep a total of approximately 800 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), armed with more than 1,700 strategic nuclear warheads at launch-ready status, able to be launched with only a few minutes warning.
The US now has 450 land-based Minuteman III missiles that carry 500 strategic nuclear warheads. As their name implies, they require at most several minutes to be launched. The US also has 14 US Trident submarines and normally 12 are operational. Each Trident now carries about 96 independently targetable warheads and 5 Tridents are reportedly kept in position to fire their missiles within 15 minutes. This adds another 120 missiles carrying 480 warheads that qualify as being "launch-ready."
The missiles and warheads on the Trident subs have been "upgraded" and "modernized" to make them accurate enough for first-strike weapons against Russian ICBM silos. Missiles fired from Trident subs on patrol in the Norwegian Sea can hit Moscow in less than 10 minutes. To read on please click here.


Sean MacBride Peace Prize 2012 goes to Nawal El-Sadaawi (Egypt) and Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia)
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is delighted to announce its decision to award the 2012 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to two Arab women: Lina Ben Mhenni from Tunisia and Nawal El-Sadaawi from Egypt. They have both shown great courage and made substantial contributions to what is known as the Arab Spring.

The award ceremony will be held on the eve of IPB’s annual conference, which this year doubles as Afri’s Hedge School. The prize ceremony will be held on Friday 16th November, at 6pm. The venue is Woodlock Hall, All Hallows College, Dublin 9. The Hedge School will be held in the same venue the following day. This will be the first ever IPB Council meeting in Ireland in its over 100 year history during which it will be hosted by Afri, a member organisation of the International Peace Bureau. To read more about this year's laureates please click here. To learn more about the MacBridePeace Prize please visit: www.ipb.org/web/index.php


Referendum for Peace and Justice: Massachusetts voters were called to vote on an anti-austerity and anti-war referendum.
The Presidential elections in the USA were utilized by a group of civil society organizations of Massachusetts to ask the people of the state to vote on issues of economic justice, military spending, and the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan.

By a three to one margin, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message to both Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the federal budget crisis and the impending “fiscal cliff”. The Budget for All (B4A) ballot question passed by 661,033 to 222,514 votes. It calls for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or other vital programs; investment in useful jobs; an end to corporate tax loopholes and to the Bush cuts on taxes on high incomes; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan now; and redirection of military spending to domestic needs and job creation. The question passed by a wide margin in every district and all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it appeared on the ballot and was initiated by 80 community peace, labour and faith groups of the state of Massachusetts. Read on.


International Peace Bureau (IPB) demands: The 2012 Peace prize is unlawful and cannot be paid to the EU
The board of IPB have decided to request to the Nobel Foundation not to pay the Nobel prize to the EU because it is against the will and testament of Alfred Nobel.
You will find all the arguments in the letter to the foundation, which was sent on November 5, 2012. To read a media release please click here.


Daniel Ellsberg and 14 Nuclear Protestors Are Victorious in Federal Court. U.S. government dismisses case before trial begins.
Federal Magistrate judge Rita Federman  allowed the U.S. government to dismiss all trespassing charges against the "Vandenberg 15," a group of citizens who in February conducted a civil disobedience action at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The group was attempting to stop a testing of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that later reached a target in the Marshall Islands (without a nuclear warhead). The group was urging the base commander to stop the testing of thermonuclear warhead delivery vehicles and to eliminate land-based missiles in the U.S.

The Vandenberg 15 included prominent leaders of the anti-nuclear movement - Daniel Ellsberg, a former Pentagon nuclear weapons strategist, (who also released the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971); Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan monk and co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience; Cindy Sheehan, founder of the Gold Star Families for Peace, whose son, Casey, was killed in the Iraq war; and David Krieger, president of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), member of Veterans for Peace, Chair of the INES Executive Committee, etc. To read on please click here.


PUBLICATIONS

War Profiteers' News November edition now available
War Profiteer of the Month: Monsanto
Contents:

  • Monsanto and the parliamentary coup d’etat in Paraguay
  • Fake Corporate Social Responsibility against the financing of arms
  • We won't let the weapons industry silence us!
  • Keep Space for Peace Week
  • Success! We disarmed the Gallery!
  • Italians protest weapons sales to Israel at Alenia Aermacchi Headquarters
  • War Profiteer of the Month: Monsanto
  • Campaign of the Month: The Outcry Campaign: Stop the arms trade!

Read the Newsletter here: wri-irg.org/publications/war_profiteers


Sustainable Energy News of INFORSE now available
The issue has focus on UNFCCC COP 18, where International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) will exhibit and organise side event. Selected topics:

  • Crucial Climate Decisions Ahead
  • East African Civil Society Engages in the UN "Sustainable Energy 4 All" Initiative
  • Solar Cheaper than Diesel
  • New EU Energy-Efficiency Directive and the Missing Efficiency
  • Lithuanian No to Nuclear
  • Women at UNFCCC COP18
  • The World We Want - Post 2015

Download the Newsletter here: www.inforse.org/s_e_news.php3


UPCOMING EVENTS