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brad_pitt_world_war_z
From fighting zombies in World War Z to fighting global atrocities everywhere, Brad Pitt has used his bigger than life status for the greater good for the better part of the last 10 years. Since the height of his celebrity career, Brad Pitt has been seen all around the world from Pakistan to New Orleans, Louisiana, aiding those in need of assistance and starting sustainable programs globally.

One of the most recent programs he has founded is called Not On Our Watch (NOOW,) which is committed to robust international advocacy and humanitarian assistance. The program was created with fellow actors and activists including Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Matt Damon, David Pressman and Jerry Weintraub. In addition to NOOW, Pitt has also cofounded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2009 with his wife, Angelina Jolie, which has dedicated their time to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife. Aid which has come from his organization has been donated to U.N. refugee agencies to assist Pakistanis displaced by war between troops and Taliban Militants. Below is a timeline of the most important humanitarian efforts in which Pitt’s been involved.

-In 2005, Pitt and Jolie went to Pakistan to see the lasting impact of the Kashmir earthquake and spread awareness.

-In 2006, he traveled to Haiti and visited a local school supported by the Yele Haiti Foundation founded by fellow celebrity Wycleaf Jean. In the same year, according to tax records, Pitt and Jolie have donated more than $8 million to charity in that year alone.

-In 2007, Pitt and Jolie contributed to three different relief organizations in Chad and Darfur whom have been affected by the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region.

-In 2008, he committed $5 million in donations to the environmental organization Global Green, which set out to correct levees and brainstorm new ideas in an effort to build affordable green houses to those devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

-In 2009, Pitt received recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of the green housing concept that was used for the Make It Right foundation. That same year, Pitt met with U.S. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi where he promoted his concept of “green housing” as a nationwide model.

-In 2010, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation donated to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization which has been in existence since 1971. Nearly 60 countries received that aid as it went directly to people in danger of neglect, violence, epidemics, malnutrition, lack of health care and other natural disasters.

Pitt’s involvement in fighting global poverty and other international atrocities has been refreshingly positive in this current money orientated society. From winning Golden Globes, producing movies and being named the world’s most attractive men alive, Pitt’s drive has not been tampered as he continues to become increasingly involved in social issues in the U.S. and around the world. Pitt is still involved in humanitarian and was most recently seen travelling to Africa to raise awareness for the Make Poverty History campaign.

Jeffrey Scott Haley
Feature Writer

Sources: Look to the Stars, Not On Our Watch Project,
Photo: ZAP2it

tibet_opt
An ethnic Tibetan who grew up under the Chinese Communist regime and currently works as a high-ranking Communist Party official has decided to speak out against the Tibetan atrocities currently taking place. Choosing to remain anonymous, the government official claims that the current state of Tibet is “far worse than people in the West suspect.”

When the Chinese military invaded Tibet in 1950, many Tibetans thought the Chinese would modernize the region and bring order to the land that was previously ruled by monks and monasteries. These thoughts were quickly dashed when the Chinese began erasing any signs of Tibetan culture and forcibly removing people from their homes into communes. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, Tibetan leaders were sent to Maoist reeducation camps and hundreds of monasteries and relics were destroyed. Many of these injustices are still occurring today.

The streets of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city, are still patrolled by Chinese security forces that act like occupiers. The Communist official claims that the security forces often take property and beat residents at their own discretion and without cause. During another Lhasa revolt surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the military arrested 6,000 people. The practice of self-immolation, or the public death by lighting oneself on fire, has gained popularity with monks to raise awareness for their struggle. Since 2011, over 100 people have resorted to self-immolation to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Another horrifying byproduct of Chinese rule has been the destruction of the Tibetan plateau. The Communist official alleges that the increase in cultivation due to Chinese immigrants coming to Tibet has resulted in diminished grasslands and desertification. The number of rivers that feed into Qinghai Lake decreased from 108 to 8 due to extensive irrigation systems. Furthermore, the area as a whole is said to be a toxic dumping ground for Chinese industries.

Human Rights Watch recently published a 115-page report corroborating many injustices that the Communist official is claiming. Their report focuses on the re-housing project currently underway that has relocated over 2 million Tibetans since 2006. Hundreds of thousands of nomadic herders have been placed into “New Socialist Villages” destroying their livelihoods without adequate compensation.

These obvious and blatant human rights abuses are occurring all across Tibet. The Communist official hopes to publish a book in the West detailing his eyewitness accounts of the current state of Tibet and hopes that the Chinese will someday allow public debate on the matter. He says that a style of democracy tailored to the culture and people of Tibet would be the best solution if such an option were possible.

– Sarah C. Morris 

Sources: Spiegel, Human Rights Watch
Sources: New York Times

In May of 2012, the Daily Mail posted an article regarding author Matthew White’s book, “The Great Big Book of Horrible Things” which ranks the worst atrocities in history. The rank lists World War II as number one, the regime of Genghis Khan as number two, Mao Zedong’s regime as number three, British India famines as number four, and the fall of the Ming Dynasty as number five. The Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin ranked as number seven, and the Atlantic slave trade as number ten. (The list of all ten is available on Daily Mail.) On another source, the worst atrocities are ranked based on death tolls marking WWII as number one, the regime of China’s Mao Zedong as number two, Soviet Union’s Stalin regime as number three, WWI as number four, and the Russian Civil War as number five.

For the purpose of objectivity, it is important to note that all atrocities are significant and that these calculations seem mostly based on numerical and statistical measures. The presented list below will rank the top five photos of atrocity based on a combination of measures: timeliness (1945-present), death tolls, and global-scale emotional significance.

1) WWII led to approximately 55 million deaths (including the Holocaust)

Hiroshima

(the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

2) (1949-1987) During China’s Mao Zedong regime, approximately 40 million lives were lost

ChinaFamine

(Famine during the Great Leap Forward)

3) (1975-1979) Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot regime caused approximately between 1.7 to 2 million deaths.

PolPotKhmerRouge

4) (1994) Rwanda’s genocide led to approximately 800,000 deaths

RwandanGenocide

5) (1980-1989) The Soviet-Afghani War which led to approximately 1, 500,000 deaths

SovietAfghanWar

Leen Abdallah

Sources: The Hemoclysm, Religious Tolerance
Photos: Daily Mail, Google, Google, Google, Google