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Why is US military spending increasing to new, outlandish levels?

October 26, 2021

Although critics of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan to increase funding for US education, healthcare, and action against climate catastrophe say the United States can’t afford it, there are no such qualms about ramping up funding for the US military.

This May, the Pentagon asked Congress to fund a $715 billion budget for Fiscal 2022—an increase of $10 billion over the previous year.  Together with another $38 billion requested for military-related programs at other government agencies, this would bring total US military spending to $753 billion. 

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Nuclear power has no place in a healthy, sustainable future

October 19, 2021

IPPNW statement for COP26 UN Climate Change Conference 2021

[The following statement has been signed by IPPNW’s co-presidents on behalf of the Executive Committee.]

The goal of this year’s COP26 UN climate change conference is clear: “The world needs to halve emissions over the next decade and reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century if we are to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.” Yet the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions is still upward. UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Our Common Agenda report to the UN General Assembly last month makes clear: “humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough. … The choice is ours to make; but we will not have this chance again.”

It is crunch time for humanity. We have already entered an era of escalating impacts from global overheating. We need to lower greenhouse gas emissions now.

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Imagine a world with US-China cooperation

October 11, 2021

On September 10, 2021, during an important diplomatic meeting that occurred by telephone, US President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the necessity of a better relationship between their two nations.  According to the official Chinese summary, Xi said that “when China and the United States cooperate, the two countries and the world will benefit; when China and the United States are in confrontation, the two countries and the world will suffer.”  He added:  “Getting the relationship right is . . . something we must do and must do well.”

At the moment, however, the governments of the two nations seem far from a cooperative relationship.  Indeed, intensely suspicious of one another, the United States and China are increasing their military spending, developing new nuclear weapons, engaging in heated quarrels over territorial issues, and sharpening their economic competition.  Disputes over the status of Taiwan and the South China Sea are particularly likely flashpoints for war.

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The fate of Cassandra: dire predictions go unheeded

October 9, 2021

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess who was able to predict the future but unable to convince others to act upon her prophecies.

The fate of Cassandra seems particularly relevant today, for there has been ample warning about three developments that threaten continued human existence—preparations for nuclear war, climate change, and disease pandemics—without, however, adequate measures being taken to safeguard human survival.

Ever since the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945, prophetic voices have warned of doom if the world does not ban nuclear weapons.  And yet, the nine nuclear powers are currently engaged in a new nuclear arms race to build ever faster, more devastating weapons that, if used, will annihilate nearly all life on earth.

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Bold action needed on nuclear weapons

September 27, 2021

An open letter from local, county, and state officials to President Joe Biden and the US Congress

[The following letter to US President Joe Biden and Members of the US Congress was signed by more than 300 local elected officials from 41 states in the US. The complete list of signatories, including mayors, state legislators, city council members, and others, will be found on the PDF of the letter, which was organized by the Back From the Brink campaign.]

September 23, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
Washington, DC
Members of Congress
Washington, DC

Dear President Biden and Members of Congress:

We join together to urge bold action and U.S. leadership in the pursuit of global, verifiable nuclear
disarmament and concrete policy steps to reduce and eliminate the severe danger nuclear
weapons pose to each and every one of our constituents – and all of humanity.

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Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia: jeopardising health and fueling an arms race

September 21, 2021

Summary of joint statement by IPPNW and its affiliates in Australia, UK and US

Health professionals in Australia, the UK and the US have expressed their deep concerns at Australia’s proposed acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines with UK and US assistance, stating that the plan will jeopardise global health and security.  Their concerns are set out in a briefing paper. 

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Global health summer school encourages hands-on learning about medical peace work

September 14, 2021

by Victor Chelashow, IPPNW International Student Representative, Kenya

The 10th Annual Global Health Summer School (GHSS) was hosted by IPPNW Germany, Medical Peace Work, and Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Social Sciences at Charite University. It commenced on 24 July 2021 and ran for a week, with the focus on “Climate Change and Health.” I was invited to participate and present on medical peace work courses and the practical approach we take at the Medical Students for Social Responsibility in Kenya.

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Nuclear sharing must end in Europe

September 10, 2021

[On September 5, IPPNW regional Vice President Angelika Claussen spoke at a demonstration at the Büchel nuclear base in Germany, where 800 activists formed a human chain to call for the removal of the 20 US nuclear bombs that are stored there.]

by Angelika Claussen

Angelika Claussen speaks at Büchel nuclear base on September 5.

From a peace and security policy perspective, the year 2021 has been particularly marked by two events: 

1. The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in January 2021 and

2. The defeat of the USA as a world power in Afghanistan.

The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a huge success story of the worldwide peace movement! The peace movement is a real success story. We, global civil society, in alliance with the countries of the global South and courageous, outstanding politicians from countries in Europe, from Austria and from Ireland, have achieved a nuclear ban. We expected resistance from the nuclear weapons states, as the TPNW is diametrically opposed to their interests!

Now it’s Europe’s turn! Nuclear sharing must end in Europe: in Germany, in Belgium, in the Netherlands and in Italy. We can also achieve this goal together if we are clever in our approach.

The first step is to call NATO’s nuclear dogma, the dogma of nuclear deterrence, into question.

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Prevention of communal violence is a duty of public health activists

August 22, 2021

By Dr Arun Mitra

The incident of shouting highly communalized slogans and chanting genocide of Muslims and also that they be thrown out of India by a mob of Hindutva goons with police watching as mute spectator is not a new thing.  The difference however is that this incident has happened at Jantar Mantar in proximity to the Parliament. Till date neither the Prime Minister nor the Home Minister have uttered a single word to condemn it. Even in his Independence day speech the Prime Minister took no notice of this. Their silence is intriguing. Encouraged with government’s covert support, an incident of similar type occurred in Kanpur just after three days. In this case the accused got bail in the Police station itself

Earlier too we have seen crowds forcing people to chant Jai Shri Ram. Many innocents have faced mob lynching something hitherto unknown in our country. All this is not spontaneous but apparently a part of the pre-planned strategy of the Hindutva brigade to vitiate the atmosphere and generate communal riots so that the situation is then utilized to further their agenda at a time when elections in some parts of the country are a few months away. As a result of such incidents social cohesion becomes weak and health is a major casualty.

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Baby teeth collected six decades ago will reveal the damage to Americans’ health caused by US nuclear weapons tests

August 16, 2021

by Lawrence Wittner and Joseph Mangano

In 2020, Harvard University’s T. C. Chan School of Public Health began a five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that will examine the connection between early life exposure to toxic metals and later-life risk of neurological disease. A collaborator with Harvard, the Radiation and Public Health Project, will analyze the relationship of strontium-90 (a radioactive element in nuclear weapons explosions) and disease risk in later life.  

The centerpiece of the study is a collection of nearly 100,000 baby teeth, gathered in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information.

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