I can relate to Dan. Like most of the inner-city dwelling 20-somethings, I had no idea what a berm was. That was until I found out that Auckland Transport was taking away the rights of ratepayers to cultivate roadside gardens. To me that makes absolutely no sense, and it seems a few people agree with me – in a few days, a petition to allow fruit and vegetable gardens on Auckland’s berms gained over 3000 signatures and is continuing to grow (no pun intended).
In 2014, Auckland Transport took away berm mowing services and are now proposing a $150 fee for the right to garden on berms, with regulations that effectively prohibit the growing of fruit and vegetables. On the Auckland Transport website, under their section on footpaths and berm maintenance it states that, “People are asked to please take pride in their streets, be good community citizens and ensure the berms in front or to the side of their properties are mowed regularly”.
Is having a beautiful garden lush with vegetation and flowers not taking pride in your streets and not being a good community citizen?
Here are 5 reasons why berm gardening is a great idea:
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital. Doctors Without Borders said hospital staff and two patients managed to escape as the hospital was hit multiple times over a two-hour period Monday night. The hospital’s roof was marked with the Doctors Without Borders logo, and the GPS coordinates had been shared multiple times with the Saudi-led coalition, most recently just two weeks ago. Doctors Without Borders’ Meguerditch Terzian described the damage.
Dr. Meguerditch Terzian: “Several airstrikes happened in the zone, including the hospital had been hit, and 99 percent of the compound is destroyed now. It was around midnight yesterday, so it was a miracle for me that we didn’t have any victims despite the fact that all the staff were in the hospital. And they were considering that the hospital is a safe place to stay during the night, so it was not the case, unfortunately.”
Mr Davis met eight detainees during a visit to Australia’s immigration detention centre on the island.
“They’ve basically almost given up hope – the feeling of despair is palpable, so really they’re just rotting away in a cesspit of misery.”
The centre houses non-citizens, including 72 New Zealanders, who have served more than a year in jail and who are liable for deportation under tougher visa laws Australia enacted last year.
Mr Davis wrote to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the centre breached the human rights of New Zealand detainees, all of whom felt desperate and hopeless.
He said he had asked to visit a ninth inmate but was refused, and he believed that was because the man had been injured in an assault by prison guards.
Deals to end the fighting in the world’s youngest country tend to have a mayfly-like lifespan; in early October, the regional bloc overseeing the mediation process, said the two sides had violated ceasefire agreements 53 time in 19 months.
Unsurprisingly, the guarded optimism that greeted the signing of August’s peace agreement between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, has been short-lived.
The slaughter that began on 15 December 2013 after Kiir, a Dinka, accused Machar, a Nuer, of plotting a coup, quickly tore the country apart along sectarian lines.
However, the AU report has dismissed suggestions of an attempted uprising, saying that the violence appears to have begun after a skirmish between Dinka and Nuer members of the presidential guard led to the government-organised killings of ethnic Nuer civilians and soldiers.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for “international protection” for his people as the death toll in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories continues to rise.
While addressing a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Genvea on Wednesday, Abbas called for the creation of a “special regime for international protection for the Palestinian people, immediately and urgently”.
Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians were sparked last month by Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims.
The human rights situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is “the worst and most critical since 1948,” Abbas said, referring to the establishment of Israel and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
Israeli forces have responded harshly to the growing unrest, using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and sound grenades.
Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 64 Palestinians – including unarmed protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers – across Israel, the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Nine Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in stabbing or shooting incidents.
“It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations. What is required is the end of the occupation in accordance with international legitimacy,” the president said.
Accusing Israel of “extrajudicial killings” and calling for an end to its ongoing occupation, Abbas told the UN council: “Protect us. Protect us. We need you.”