Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain imposed emergency-style rules Tuesday banning all protest gatherings and threating legal action against groups considered backing escalating demonstrations and clashes in the strategic Gulf kingdom.
The order, announced by the Interior Ministry, is the most sweeping attempt to quash the kingdom’s anti-government uprising since martial law rules were in effect during the early months of unrest last year. It sharply increases pressure on political groups from Bahrain’s Shiite Muslim majority, which has led the protests seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni Muslim-ruled nation.
Tougher steps against opposition groups could raise complications for Washington and other Western allies that have stood by Bahrain’s monarchy during more than 20 months of unrest. The U.S. has important military bonds with Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, but it also has called for increased efforts at dialogue to ease the tensions.
Shiites comprise about 70 percent of Bahrain’s 525,000 citizens, but claim they face systematic discrimination such as being denied top political and security posts. The Sunni monarchy has made a series of concessions — including giving more powers to the elected parliament — but opposition groups say the reforms do little to loosen the ruling family’s hold on power.
More than 50 people have been killed in Bahrain’s unrest since February 2011. Among them were two policemen who died this month from injuries suffered in attacks by firebombs and explosives.
A statement by the Interior Ministry said Bahraini society was “fed up” with near nonstop demonstrations and clashes and “there was a need to put an end to them.” Bahrain’s government has permitted limited protests and marches, but much of the violence occurs outside the authorized gatherings.
It added that any “illegal rally or gathering would be tackled through legal actions against those calling for and participating in it.”
This warning appeared aimed particularly at the largest Shiite political bloc, Al-Wefaq, which has organized many opposition marches. Another rally is planned for Friday.
An Al-Wefaq official, Hadi al-Musawi, struck a defiant tone, calling the Interior Ministry order “against international human rights.”
Other Gulf states have placed limits on political expression amid worries that movements inspired by last year’s so-called Arab Spring uprisings could threaten their ruling systems. Last week, Kuwait banned all public gatherings of more than 20 people following opposition protests before parliamentary elections on Dec. 1.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.