Friday, August 14, 2009

Humanitarian Criminal – Thirsty Immigrants

Walt Staton, a member of the group No More Deaths, was convicted of knowingly littering in a national wildlife refuge when he left water bottles for immigrants illegally crossing the US/Mexican border.  He was  sentenced to 300 hours community service and one year probation for what his attorneys argued was a humanitarian effort to prevent the death of Mexicans crossing the border. No More Deaths is a nonprofit that leaves full water bottles in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge to aid immigrants crossing the desert.  Since Mr. Staton’s conviction, 13 other members of No More Deaths have been charged with littering in a national wildlife refuge.

Mission Related Investments Help Foundations

Most foundations give away a small percentage of their endowment each year, many around 5%, and invest the rest of the funds to keep foundation running.  Mission Related Investments (MRI) are a way for foundations use a greater percentage of their endowment to further their mission, while still abiding by their duty to ensure the continuance of the foundation.  Foundations battling poverty, for example, can invest money in for profit enterprises that will bring new jobs into an area, which is consistent with their mission by reducing unemployment, while still providing returns for the foundation.

Kidnapped Aid Workers Killed in Somalia

Four Christian aid workers kidnapped last month in Somalia were killed by Al-Shabab, reports International Christian Concern. The four were beheaded for refusing to denounce their religion.  They were working with for a local NGO running orphanages in southern Sudan.

Sudanese Killers Escape Death Penalty

Four Sudanese men convicted of murdering USAID official John Granville and his driver in 2008 will not be put to death.  The men were convicted and sentenced to death in June, but an appeals court has commuted their death sentence.  The guilty verdict still stands and the case has been referred to the initial court for a new sentence.