Stories written by A. D. McKenzie
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Loss of Biodiversity Puts Current and Future Generations at Risk

An alarming report about the massive loss of biodiversity around the world warns that future generations will be at risk if urgent action isn’t taken to protect the more than one million species of plants and animals threatened with extinction.

**UPDATED: Activists Spotlight Education for Development and Rights

“Communicate something to your partner in silence.” The pairs of strangers or acquaintances who received this instruction gesticulated, smiled, shook their heads, touched their hearts and otherwise tried to transmit a message.


When Youth Take on The Fight to Defend Rights

Abraham M. Keita says he was nine years old when a girl of thirteen was sexually assaulted and strangled in his home community in Liberia.

No Story Worth Dying For?

“Stay safe. There’s no story worth dying for.” That’s the message to journalists from Nada Josimovic, programme coordinator of Amsterdam-based media rights organisation Free Press Unlimited.

Smears, Laws, Lack of Cooperation: Tools Against Activists

The murder of Brazilian politician and human rights activist Marielle Franco just over a year ago and attacks on other rights activists around the world have galvanised civil society organisations, with the United Nations heightening its own strategy to protect rights defenders.

Civil Society Leaders Meet Amid Protests, Attacks on Rights

Amid rising attacks on rights campaigners, and mass protests in countries such as France and Serbia, civil society groups are urging governments to ensure the protection of “democratic values” and freedom of expression.

French Museum Puts Spotlight on Immigrants’ Musical Impact

Amid the morass of Brexit and continuous debates on immigration, a French museum has launched a thought-provoking exhibition about music and migration.

Taking the Lead in Fight Against Climate Change

As the grandchild of Jamaican citizens who moved to Great Britain, Monique Taffe says she inherited a tradition of recycling and learned not to be part of the “throwaway culture”, as some environmentalists have labelled consumerist societies.

Q&A: A Cuban Film About Family in the “Global South” Premieres in Berlin

A documentary about a Cuban family facing an uncertain future had its world premiere Feb. 12 at the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious cinema events. “La Arrancada” (On the starting line) is a debut feature by Brazilian director Aldemar Matias, focusing on a young athlete who is having doubts about her role in national sports in the Caribbean country. The narrative follows her as she considers her future, which may well lie abroad, she reluctantly realises.

“Outsiders” in Focus at French Film Fest

The usual big-name directors were absent this year from the Cannes Film Festival in southern France, creating space for cutting-edge films from Asia, Africa, small European states, and the Middle East.

Protests, Strikes, Solidarity – France Revisits May ‘68

“It’s good to be in Paris on a sunny May day and see many universities occupied … and the strikes against neo-liberalism,” declared British Pakistani writer and activist Tariq Ali at an event in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on May 3. “That’s very pleasing.”

In France, ‘Us and Them’ Amid Elections

Launched in the run-up to the French presidential elections, a daring exhibition in Paris is sparking dialogue about the origins and nature of racism, both in Europe and elsewhere.

France Hosts Major Exhibition on Jamaican Music

It’s one of those movie-like spring days in Paris, where blue skies and brilliant sunshine lift spirits after a long, wet, grey winter. Many people are outdoors trying to catch the rays, but Jamaican artist Danny Coxson is not among them.  He’s inside a museum in a northeastern neighbourhood of the French capital, with a brush in his hand and tubs of vivid paint beside him, focusing on finishing a portrait of a deejay named Big Youth.

Under Fire, Journalism Explores Self-Preservation

With widespread attacks on professional journalists and the rise of a fake-news industry, media experts agree that journalism is increasingly under fire. But how can the press fight back and ensure its survival?

Books: A Writer Speaks of Childhood Spent During a “Dirty War”

Laura Alcoba is an Argentine-born writer and translator who lives in Paris, France. Her first book, Manèges (The Rabbit House), described Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s from a child’s perspective, when even the very young knew what could happen “if your political sympathies drew the attention of the dictatorial military regime”. Thousands were killed, tortured, and abducted, and many names remain among "los desaparecidos".

Dying for the News: Media Call for Help from Gov’t and Public against Attacks

“No story is worth dying for.” This comment at a landmark conference on media safety at UNESCO last Friday emphasised the bewilderment the media felt at the brutal slayings of journalists as they carry out their work.

Media Come Together to Discuss Safety of Journalists, Fight Against Impunity

Amid continuing attacks on journalists, media representatives from around the world will meet in the French capital this week to discuss how to reinforce the safety of those working in the sector. Organized and hosted by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, this “unprecedented” meeting between media executives and the agency’s members states on Feb. 5 is an attempt to “improve the safety of journalists and tackle impunity for crimes against media professionals”, UNESCO said.

COP 21 Should be making People Ask: ‘Where Does My Turkey Come From?’

As the festive season begins, some farmers say that consumers should be asking about the origins of their food, and thinking about who produces it, especially in light of the historic accord reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) on Dec. 12 in Paris.

Farmers to COP 21: Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You!

When Dr. Evelyn Nguleka says that the world’s people shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them, she explains that she’s not only referring to protecting farmers, but also to safeguarding the environment.

Farmers Urge Solutions at Climate Change Talks

Recognizing that agriculture plays a significant role in global warming, farmer associations say they want to offer solutions, and they’re urging governments to include them in negotiations during the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris.

Faith Leaders Issue Global “Call to Conscience” on Climate

“We received a garden as our home, and we must not turn it into a wilderness for our children.”

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