unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
There are a lot of sources of news and so in order to keep track of them all I have set up this post as a sticky at the top of the page. Feel free to rec new sources:

World News

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Latin American News and Analysis

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CIP Americas

African News and Analysis

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Labour News Sources

Labour Start

Women News

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Australia

Australia Broadcasting Corporation

India

Firstpost via [personal profile] colorblue

Open Magazine

Tehelka

The Hindu

The Times of India

Indigenous Peoples

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ed_rex: (The Droz Report)
[personal profile] ed_rex

Some thoughts on the importance of historical context


Kathleen Wynne (left) is congratulated by runner-up Sandra Pupatello on Saturday.

And something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

— Bob Dylan, "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Early Sunday morning on Facebook, I posted a knee-jerk response to the selection of Kathleen Wynne as the Liberal Party of Ontario's new leader — and thus, the province's new Premier. Wynne won on the third ballot, edging out Sandra Pupatello. The women had been the front-runners right from the start. (Entirely coincidentally, but most serendipitously, Wynne's victory came only two days before the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision declaring that women have a fundamental right to control their own bodies.)

I wrote:

Those of you who think that nothing changes, please take note. In some very important ways, the world *is* getting better and it's important we remember that. A divorced, gay, woman is now Premier of Ontario.

Woman. Gay. Divorced. 30 years ago (or less!) any *one* of those facts would have automatically disqualified her.

That's a sea change, ladies and gentleman. A fucking sea change.

There is more to it than that, of course, and finding myself living in a country in which six of its 14 First Ministers are women does not mean we have reached Utopia.

But it is significant.

So significant that it deserves not just an emphasized paragraph all of its own, but consideration at some length. The perfumes of change.

ajnabieh: The silhouette of Cairo, with the text in English, "We Are Egypt." (we are egypt)
[personal profile] ajnabieh
In case anyone is interested, I just put up a linkspam on the Egyptian draft constitution on my journal, here. Summary: everybody hates it except the people who wrote it, and maybe not even them
spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
If any of the people on this com who're more aware of the subtleties of the US "justice" system than I am, or at least have useful links to share, could help me understand WTH is going on in this case then I'd be grateful.

News via: http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/leah-lynn-plante-a-third-anarchist-comrade-jailed-for-silence/

Leah's statement on tumblr: http://leahxvx.tumblr.com/post/33298924637

Leah's statement at anarchist news: http://anarchistnews.org/content/we-are-made-star-stuff-statement-leah-lynn-plante

I first heard this story via: http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/katherine-olejnik/

Write to the three prisoners: http://supportresist.net/letters.html (my postcards are on their way).
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
[personal profile] ajnabieh
I've been posting links to articles and analysis pieces about the Egyptian presidential elections, and the coup-like constitutional amendments that the ruling military council has pushed through, on my journal. Here's my first post, which has some background links and some analysis; here is yesterday's, which is a straight-up linkdump; here is today's, which is a linkdump.

My tone in all the posts is snarky, but the links are good, in any case.
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
U.S. soldier held after firing on Afghans, killing at least 16, officials say

Esaqzai, who said he saw the 16 bodies, provided the following account. About midnight, 11 people, including three women; four children whose ages ranged from 6 to 9; and four men were executed inside the home of a village elder.

“They entered the room where the women and children were sleeping, and they were all shot in the head,” Esaqzai said, adding that he was doubtful of the U.S. account suggesting the killings were the work of a lone gunman. “They were all shot in the head.”
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Did Haiti's Duvalier get away with murder?

Human rights groups have condemned a decision not to try Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti's former ruler, on crimes against humanity.

A Haitian judge decided this week that Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, should not stand trial for crimes against humanity.

He is accused of the torture and murder of thousands of his own people during his 15 year rule in the seventies and eighties.

A year ago, Duvalier made a surprise return to the country after 25 years in exile.

The judge ruled that his alleged crimes fell outside Haiti's statute of limitations. The judge, however, did say that Duvalier should stand trial on corruption charges. He is accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars during his rule.

n heavily criticising the decision, human rights groups say they gave prosecutors hundreds of documents detailing cases of abuse.

Human Rights Watch called it the most important criminal case in Haitian history.

Duvalier was only 19 when he was named Haiti's president for life in 1971 after the death of his father Francois – known as Papa Doc.

Human rights groups say the Duvaliers used paramilitary group Tonton Macoutes to torture opponents and kill 30,000 people during their combined 29-year rule.

"We cannot have reconciliation without justice. Those people who have committed the crime including Duvalier ought to be tried, and the nation ought to find out exactly what happened. We owe it to all those people who died. … I don't things are going to change anytime soon because the institutions in the country are not working ... the US policy has always been to have a weak government in the country."

- Jean-Yves Point-du-Jour, Haitian American radio host
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Bogota appoints first transgender public official.

The department in which she is taking up her position is described as responsible for the development and implementation of social policies which guarantee citizens of Bogota "the ability to exercise their rights, in conditions of equality."

[...]

In the interview Piñero -- who has 13 years experience of managing public resources at district and national levels -- also outlined her priorities as newly-appointed director. They include addressing the needs of children and the elderly in the city, and setting up control points within the department to prevent corruption.
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Via [personal profile] eccentricyoruba:

Africa losing billions in tax evasion by corporations.

Billions are being lost, not collected in taxes due to corporate tax evasion throughout Africa. A Study by a Swedish agency, Forum Syd suggests that Money taken illegally from the developing world is worth 10 times annual global aid budgets, according to a recent study.Tax evasions by multinational companies in Africa is so vast that tax analysts believe that if the money were paid, most of the continent would be “developed” by now. But, lacking a sophisticated tax code, or the people qualified to enforce tax laws, many African countries continue to lose money that could solve most of its financial problems.

[...]

This all goes back to weak governing, the state not having competent officials to handle the work in enforcing the tax laws. Just blaming corporations shouldn’t be enough. Some blame has to be directed toward government officials who in many cases allow this to take place. We all know that nothing talks louder than money and bribery is common towards government officials.


The article talk about weak governing, but corps are the big evaders here. So I guess we should put the blame on them. There is some talk about "modernizing tax codes for a globalized world" that kinda makes me cynical, specially when corruption has a lot to do here. But to be honest, I have no idea what he proposes because I'm not familiarized with how "tax codes" work in these different places. The proposal of a "business friendly environment" when talking about taxes evasion... is weird.
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Public Eye Awards.

Nominated:

Tepco
Against its better judgement, Tepco, Japan’s largest energy company, grossly neglected the structural safety of its atomic power plants in order to cut costs.

Samsung
In its factories, Samsung uses banned and highly-toxic substances without informing and protecting its workers. The result: cancer.

Barclays
Barclays, banking giant and the world’s fastest-growing food speculator, drives up global food prices at the expense of the poorest.

Vale
In the midst of Amazonas rainforest Vale is constructing the Belo-Monte-Dam. 40’000 people are suffering forced eviction.

Syngenta
Despite being banned in Europe Syngenta markets its herbicide Paraquat in the Global South. Thousands of farmers have already died due to the use of the product.

Freeport
For 45 years the US-mining corporation Freeport McMoran pollutes with its mine the environment in West Papua. Those who raise their voice get tortured or killed.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
U.S. Senate Passes Iran Oil Sanctions as EU Blacklist Grows.

The Senate bill, passed unanimously yesterday, would give the president the power starting July 1 to bar foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank from having correspondent bank accounts in the U.S. If enacted, it could be much harder for foreign companies to pay for oil imports from Iran, the world’s third-largest crude exporter. The Obama administration opposes the legislation.


Iran faces tightening web of sanctions.

A tightening web of sanctions is squeezing Iran’s economy and placing a new burden
on foreign firms wary of incurring hefty fines for violating the complex regulations.

The European Union added 180 people and entities to its Iran sanctions list on Thursday and laid out plans for a possible embargo of Iranian oil in response to mounting concerns over the Opec producer’s nuclear programme.

Sanctions have had an impact on Iran’s economy, experts say, but they have not achieved their aim of stopping work that the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful.

“The sanctions are certainly having an impact… The latest US sanctions against the oil industry may further squeeze the room for manoeuvre available to Iranian oil customers, notably India and China,” said Alan Fraser, Middle East analyst with security firm AKE.


So. Let me remind you of Irak and it's "massive destruction weapons" that never existed. Let me remind you which countries DO have nuclear programs and develop weapons of war without any international control whatsoever. Yes. USA is the most powerful of them.
unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
Can The Bulldog Be Saved?


At the time of my visit, though, Seiler was less concerned with people trying to take Uga than he was with people trying to change him. In January 2009, Adam Goldfarb of the Humane Society of the United States told The Augusta Chronicle that bulldogs, often referred to as English bulldogs, are the “poster child for breeding gone awry.” The article came in response to a scathing British documentary, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” that highlighted the health and welfare problems of purebred dogs and claimed that breeders and the Kennel Club (the British equivalent of the American Kennel Club) were in denial about the extent of the problem.

Broadcast on the BBC, “Exposed” spawned three independent reports into purebred breeding, each finding that some modern breeding practices — including inbreeding and breeding for “extreme traits,” like the massive and short-faced head of the bulldog — are detrimental to the health and welfare of dogs. Bulldogs were noted in all three reports as a breed in need of an intervention, with one going so far as to question whether it is ethically defensible to continue breeding them at all.

“There is little doubt that the anatomy of the English bulldog has considerable capacity to cause suffering,” Dr. Nicola Rooney and Dr. David Sargan concluded in one of the reports, “Pedigree Dog Breeding in the U.K.: A Major Welfare Concern?” “The breed is noted to have locomotion difficulties, breathing problems, an inability to mate or give birth without assistance. . . . Many would question whether the breed’s quality of life is so compromised that its breeding should be banned.”

In the United States, some veterinarians, breeders and animal-welfare experts are beginning to wonder the same thing. Last spring, the Humane Society organized its first conference on the topic of purebred-dog health and welfare. The society’s chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, told me the conference signaled the beginning of a new era for his organization, which until recently has been focused on what he calls “more obvious” forms of animal cruelty. “Inbreeding and other reckless breeding practices may not be as bloody as dogfighting or as painful to look at as puppy mills, but they may ultimately cause even more harm to the well-being of dogs,” he said.

Though a number of breeds were discussed at the conference (including the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, which is beset with severe heart and neurological diseases), the bulldog stole the show. “It is the most extreme example of genetic manipulation in the dog-breeding world that results in congenital and hereditary problems,” Pacelle said.
And how do the breeders and owners respond?


FUCK ALLA YOU'ALL, you malignant assholes! You don't get to breed a dog for aesthetics at the expense of their fucking HEALTH...GRRRRR WHY AM I EVEN SURPRISED AT THIS SHIT?!?!?!?!?

OH MY GOD WHAT:

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WHAT. THE. FUCKKKKK??????? Humanity? We need to get the fuck over ourselves!
unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
Interview with Gioconda Mota: The Fight for Abortion in Venezuela

According to results from the latest poll by GIS XXI, titled ‘Sociology of preferences’, 87% of those consulted, 2000 people, are against teenage abortion.

These results became the basis of an article published in Diario Panorama (footnote 2) against the legalisation of free and voluntary abortion. The article collects a range of opinions through information networks and “representatives’ elected by the people.

Through the National System of Public Media, (SNMP) Venezuelan women are made visible through campaigns such as ‘To the heat of faith’, while the fight for their right to health and to life receives less space on the screen.

Although it is fair to say that a campaign was recently begun towards the prevention of teenage pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that they support the legalisation of free and voluntary abortion, just the opposite, some distinguished spokespeople operate against this socialist struggle.

For Gioconda Mota (footnote 1), teacher and director of the only feminist program broadcast on SNMP, the question raised by the GISXX survey was directed to what is most sensitive in society.


Moto believes that in a certain way, the survey “forces people into a certain position - do you think this problem is solved by abortion?’ And obviously the answer was no”.

But free and voluntary abortion is least common amongst teenagers, something proven by studies carried out in the Mexican capital where abortion is legal.

“For those of us who promote its legalisation, abortion is NOT a contraceptive method,” said Giocanda Mota, explaining that the possibility of unwanted pregnancies is huge and that “they are going to keep occurring”.

“Unwanted pregnancies aren’t just a product of rapes, but also of the irresponsible use of contraceptives, the correct use of contraceptive methods, as well as from situations of interfamily sexual abuse. More than 90% of rapes occur within the family, something that no one talks about.”
Read more... )


unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
The Martha manifesto: An Ethiopian woman's dream

An image of Martha Mebrahtu

I have just finished reading ‘Terarochin Yanketekete Tiwild’ (The Generation that Shook the Mountains), a compilation of biographies of some of Ethiopia's revolutionaries of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – young minds that passionately fought against injustice, inequality and oppression, and eventually brought down King Haile Sellasie and dictator Mengistu Hailemariam. Among those amazing, selfless martyrs mentioned in the book is Martha Mebrahtu whose tragic murder not only angered but also inspired thousands of young men and women who stood up and waged a bitter struggle for democracy and gave Ethiopia's oppressed the chance to finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

Martha was the daughter of a brigadier-general who hailed from the province of Eritrea (Eritrea was then part of Ethiopia). She was a beautiful and intelligent medical student at Haile Sellasie I University (now Addis Abeba University) back in the 1970s (or 1960s in the Ethiopian calendar). She entered college when she was only 15 years old. And a few months away from graduating, the government murdered her.

In addition to her academic excellence, Martha was an elected president of the university's medical students' association; one of the fiercest critics of the feudal system that exploited the poor (some years after she died, her father admitted that she always challenged and criticised him for being a part of an oppressive system); an advocate for women's rights (her peers affectionately called her the Angela Davis of Ethiopia); and an active member of the then fledgling university students movement, which gradually matured and became Emperor Haile Sellasie's worst nightmare.

Martha was born in Addis Ababa and as a young girl she had a chance to study in Nigeria and to visit the US as an exchange student. Her US exposure as a high school student, in particular, introduced her to the civil rights and feminist movements, the reasons of the movements and the individuals who spearheaded them, such as Angela Davis. Upon her return and later on joining the university, it was obvious that she would become a passionate advocate for social change.
Read more... )

Elections:

Nov. 26th, 2011 11:05 pm
unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
YEMEN

Yemen presidential vote set for Feb. 21; Saleh returns home



GAMBIA

Gambia's Jammeh wins disputed elections: Incumbent president in power for 17 years set to begin new five-year term after polls marred by intimidation of voters.


THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

 

Deadly clashes in DRC capital ahead of vote: At least three people killed in Kinshasa as rival campaign rallies are concluded ahead of Monday's vote

DR Congo voters: What elections mean to us: Citizens in eastern DRC tell Al Jazeera why they are looking forward to national elections on November 28.

Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo - In the lead up to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second general election since independence in 1960, most analysts have raised the alarm over poor logistical arrangements as well as significant security concerns, due to the continued presence of armed groups in the eastern parts of the country.

Nevertheless, many ordinary citizens of the DRC are looking forward to the elections.

For many, the elections offer a rare opportunity to play a role in who should govern the country, and direct the next phase of their fragile democracy's development.

Al Jazeera’s Azad Essa speaks to residents of Goma and Walikale, both in the North Kivu province in the eastern DRC about why these elections means so much to them.MORe


Who's up? Profile: Joseph Kabila ... Incumbent president is credited for bringing peace but critics say he lacks political vision to lead DRC forward.

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Profile: Etienne Tshisekedi :After three decades in politics, the veteran is widely regarded as the biggest threat to incumbent Joseph Kabila.


Read more... )

Explainer: The DRC elections...DR Congo gears up for only its second national election since independence in 1960 amid fears of violence.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] unusualmusic
Tunisian forces tear gas protesters: Tear gas fired and live ammunition shot into the air to disperse protesters in the town of Kasserine


Tunisian security forces have used teargas and fired live ammunition into the air to disperse a crowd of more than 3,000 protesters in central-west Tunisia, official and union sources said.

Wednesday's violence in the town of Kasserine took place as members of Tunisia's interim government formally resigned following the formation of the country's first-ever elected constituent assembly.

Protesters said that they took to the streets because they felt the country's new authorities had failed to recognise local people's contribution to a revolution earlier this year which inspired the "Arab Spring" uprisings.

The clashes underlined the tough task facing the new government, elected in the country's first democratic vote last month, in meeting expectations for jobs and better living standards in poor provincial towns.

"Young men are burning tyres in the street," one resident, Bouraoui Sadaoui, told the Reuters news agency from the town, which is about 300km southwest of the capital, Tunis. "They are throwing rocks and surrounding the town jail.

"They want to set fire to the prison ... The military fired into the air and are using tear gas to disperse the people," he said. "Several people have been injured by tear gas."MORE


Back to Tahrir Square

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Unfinished Revolution:An interview with Sherif Joseph Rizk, Yehia El Gammal and Shahira Abouellail


Read more... )

The second wave of the Revolution has come back to Tahrir Square. After the massive demonstration on Friday, 18 November 2011, calling for an end to military rule, about 200 people, mainly family members of martyrs who died in the January 25 uprisings and people who were previously injured, staged a sit-in at Tahrir Square. Central Security Forces and Egyptian military police violently dismantled the sit-in, and since then, thousands have come together to reoccupy Tahrir Square. The police and military continue to attack protesters with live bullets, extremely potent tear gas and invisible gas, bird shot, rubber bullets and other ammunition.

As of Thursday 24 November 2011, the Egyptian Ministry of Health has confirmed at least 38 dead and thousands wounded. The protesters vow to continue their occupation of Tahrir Square until the ruling military council, or SCAF, steps down. Protests against ongoing military rule are happening throughout Egypt, and security forces and the military are reacting violently to those protests as well.

MORE

Guardian Live Blog: Blogging the Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa

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Recall that a couple of days ago, Yemen's pres finally decided to step down after 33 years in power: Yemen's president steps down

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Opinion: Tides of the Arab revolutions

As calls for intervention increase, ask not who will replace dictators and when, ask what replaces the regimes and how.

Read more... ) BAHRAIN Thousands march in Bahrain to protest against gov't re: report thatpointed out that torture, rape and other nasty methods were used to suppress the uprising earlier this year. Also, pointed out that the uprisees had legitimate grievances.
unusualmusic: an old style mic against a blue background (Default)
[personal profile] unusualmusic
Venezuela Launches School for Human Rights & People’s Power


Last week, the Venezuelan Public Defender’s Office launched a school for human rights education that will be run by the state-funded Juan Vives Suria Foundation in Caracas and will carry out seminars in twelve of the country’s 23 states.

The new school will aim to “dismantle the liberal, reductionist, and individualist vision of human rights”, said Gabriela Ramirez, Venezuela’s chief public defender, during a press conference at the foundation, which is named after a Catholic Priest famed for his activism in defense of human rights.

“Our vision is not just to train the staff of the Public Defender’s Office, but rather to build an enduring culture of human rights, just as our constitution calls for, and that it be the communities themselves that have the capacity and the competence to defend their rights”, said Ramirez.

Social workers and community activists who have already been leading human rights campaigns or who have denounced human rights violations will be the initial participants in the school. While enrolment is free of charge, aspirant students must submit a proposal outlining a social problem in their community and how their human rights education will help them solve it. The school will also offer a certificate of training in the new Anti-Corruption Law for local advocates who can vigil the behaviour of government institutions and of their own communal councils.MORE


Venezuela has got issues but I am really curious as to what comes out of this.
eumelia: (master politician)
[personal profile] eumelia
It's worse, because it is far more insidious than ever. You know the old saying about the frog in the boiling pot?

That's us.

It's been forever since I've had a good "bad news" round up. This platform has become something of an escape for me, you see, since the Summer in which thousands of people took to the streets protesting the current political, financial and social disparity in Israel - we forgot to take into account the underlying reason the current government has managed to shut us up and shut us out.

We are occupying another people and the Summer of so-called social change decided that that was too "political", not to do with "us" and not to do with the fact that the cost of living is practically unbearable within Israel. Because that's one thing and Israeli society is another.

Apartheid never seemed so clear.

Over the past few months, while we were resting on the laurels of actually being in the street and protesting the Men, the superficiality of (Jewish) women's equality has been steadily eroding.

Who is to blame? I mean, other than patriarchy. Of course.

Deepening religious extremism is one reason, I mean, when you have a Settler Rabbi telling soldiers should chose death rather than suffer a woman singing. You may go O_o at this little piece of News, but when you have more conservative interpretations to the Jewish adage "A woman's voice is Ervah" i.e. the sound of a woman's voice is pubic or sexual by it's very nature.

A woman is nothing but her sex, of course.

Speaking of voices, our freedom of speech has been basically been taken away, I can't tell you who you should boycott for fear of being sued for damages and now I can't call the Prime Minister, for example, a smug lying asshole, due to this abso-fucking-loutly spiffing amendment bill.

In which, and I quote the article linked above:
The bill represents an amendment to Israel's existing libel law, which would make it possible to sue a newspaper for libel, not only for commensurate compensation for any tangible damage caused by the publication, but for an additional sum of NIS 300,000 − without having to prove damages.

Emphasis mine.

Was there an emergency meeting of journalists? You bet there was.

Unsurprisingly, this bill coincides with the firing of one of Israel's few true watch dogs from public broadcasting Keren Neubach. As you can read in the link, the "reason" given? She "looks" bad on screen.
They're not even bothering any more.

Ditto on shutting down the Ramallah based radio station Palestinian-Israeli cooperative "Kol Ha'Shalom" (a play on words, as "Kol" is a Hebrew homophone for "voice" and "all").

Last night 2000 people rallied in protest of this bill.

2000. Yep, that many.

That really is the equivalent of crickets chirping.

The other bills that have been passing through the Knesset floor have been eroding civil society for years.

But wait. There's more.

The totalitarian nature of the Occupation is finally catching up with Israel proper. The non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, exemplified by the recent Freedom Rider arrests (amazing pictures) shows the stark contrast of what is actually happening on the ground and the mindset of the average Israeli.

I mean, when the Prime Minister "shelves" the bill set out to persecute NGO's by limiting their funds, but his Foreign Minister goes ahead and does it anyway is, well, telling.

Add to that the fact that there is an all out political attack on the political science department of Negev's Ben-Gurion University, the alarm bells should be ringing off the walls.

Because when the Germans are telling the Israeli government: Um, excuse me, this is not very good and we're really sorry that we have to criticise you like this.

History repeats and really, the Germans would know.

In the meantime, my parents are watching commentary about a documentary about Steve Jobs and Apple.

I fucking hate the world.

X-Posted from my dreamwidth
ajnabieh: A seagull standing on a "no seagulls" sign, with the text FIGHT THE POWER (fight the power seagull)
[personal profile] ajnabieh
I've started, for my teaching and research, keeping a publicly readable GoogleDoc on news articles, blog posts, tweets, etc on gender, women, feminism and the Arab revolutions of the past year. (Most of my links are only a month or two old, at this point in time.) I thought members of this community might find it useful! Nearly all the links are in English, though some have untranslated Arabic text in images, or untranslated Arabic audio for video clips. The links don't have annotations right now, because I don't have time--but parts of them are sorted into readings for my class, so those at least have themes.

The document is here. Enjoy--and if you have other links you think I should have, pass them on!
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[personal profile] unusualmusic
Brazil Takes the Fight Against Hunger Abroad



SALVADOR, Brazil, Nov 8, 2011 (IPS) - The Brazilian government is extending its fight against hunger to the world stage, by inaugurating a Centre of Excellence Against Hunger to transmit its positive experiences to other developing countries with the help of United Nations agencies.

The Centre of Excellence, to be based in Brasilia, the capital, was launched Monday Nov. 7 by Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), and Marco Farani, head of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), in the presence of José Graziano da Silva, director-general elect of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The centre has already established partnerships between the WFP and Brazil, Mozambique, East Timor and Haiti.

"We are working together to develop technical cooperation capacities in African, Latin American and Asian countries, so that they can learn about Brazil's experience in combating hunger, and eventually develop their own national school meal programmes and anti-poverty policies," the head of the centre, Daniel Balabán, told IPS.

The Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, created to enable capacity development of national governments in the areas of school lunches, nutrition, and food security, will receive financial, technological and operational resources from Brazilian bodies and from the United Nations.

The goal, according to ABC's Farani, is "to disseminate good practices in the field of school feeding," taking advantage of WFP and Brazilian experience in the design, management and expansion of sustainable school meal programmes, as well as to support existing initiatives.MORE
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[personal profile] unusualmusic
Women Losing Ground in Economic, Political Equality

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 2, 2011 (IPS) - While gender equality ratios have improved in 85 percent of countries over the past six years, economic participation and political empowerment for women has failed to match the steady progress of health and education, says a new report by the World Economic Forum.

The report, Global Gender Gap", PDF compiled by Ricardo Hausmann from Harvard University, Laura Tyson from University of California, Berkeley and Saadia Zahidi from the World Economic Forum, illustrates the gender-disparity gap between men and women across 135 countries.

Using an international index and data from several organisations such as the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organisation, the report measures the percentage of the gap between men and women across economic, political, educational and health-based criteria.

On average, health and education had the strongest rate of progress, with 96 percent of the health gap closed and 93 percent of the education gap closed. But economic participation only closed 59 percent of the gap and political empowerment closed a mere 18 percent of the gap.


"While it is heartening to note that education and health gaps between the sexes seem to be getting overcome, the same is not true for gaps in economic and political participation and it is important to note that equal access to education does not in itself solve the problems of gender inequality," Yasmeen Hassan, global director at Equality Now in New York, told the IPS.

"In fact, education systems may perpetuate and further entrench gender stereotypes and practices that promote gender inequality," she said. "I'm not surprised that many countries have regressed on gender equality. The global economic recession and rising fundamentalisms has resulted in a feeling of insecurity that manifests itself in a resurgence of patriarchal values and systems and a cutback of women's rights and freedoms." MORE
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[personal profile] unusualmusic
Brazil's Health System Inspires Abroad, Frustrates at Home

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 4, 2011 (IPS) - News that the government of South Africa was inspired by Brazil's health system in setting up its own universal coverage scheme might meet with scepticism in this South American country.

Sociologist Walkiria Dutra de Oliveira was one of the many Brazilians who had a negative opinion of the country's public healthcare system. But she was in for a surprise when she visited a public health clinic in a middle-class neighbourhood in São Paulo.

Oliveira, who had been diagnosed with diabetes eight years earlier and was facing financial problems, decided to seek free insulin from the public health system.

The "prompt, efficient" attention she was given completely changed the image she had of the Sistema Único de Saúde or Single Health System (SUS), which was shaped during the 1980s when the system was restructured to make healthcare a universal right.

Besides insulin, Oliveira was given free medication for her hypothyroidism, she told IPS.

Reports of patients dying because of a lack of hospital beds, months-long waits for surgery, serious medical errors, malpractice cases and corruption scandals gave the system a terrible reputation.

But Dr. Nivaldo Gomes, who has worked in public hospitals and clinics since the 1970s, told IPS that "although there have been some problems in implementation, the idea is excellent and legitimate."

The government is fighting a battle in parliament to create new sources of financing for the SUS, but in Gomes' view, "the problems are due to political and administrative issues, not a shortage of money."

There is a lack of political will to fully implement the principles underlying the SUS, said Gomes and his colleague, Dr. Dilene do Nascimento, a researcher at the
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Brazil's leading biomedical research institute.
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Cornered in Free Libya


TRIPOLI, Nov 5, 2011 (IPS) - "We’ve walked all the way here to tell everybody that we are being treated like dogs," said 23-year old Hamuda Bubakar, among a couple of hundred black refugees protesting at Martyrs Square in Tripoli. "I’d rather be killed here. I wouldn’t be the first, or the last."

The refugees came to protest early this week from the barracks of Tarik Matar, a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Tripoli. "We’ve already spent more than two months in those horrible barracks," said Aisha who preferred not to give her full name.

A few days back, she said, "guerrilla fighters from Misrata (90 kilometres east of Tripoli) entered our place and took seven young guys with them. We still know nothing about them." Several women at the camp have been abducted and raped in recent weeks, she said.

"Raise your head, you're a free Libyan", the group chanted before a stage set up for the recent celebrations. That’s the very slogan that became almost an anthem for the rebels who rose against Gaddafi.

Tempers flared amid the group of armed soldiers guarding the central square. "I should kill you all for what you did to us in Misrata," shouted a young man in camouflage fatigues. The protesters are from Tawargha, 60 km south of Misrata, that was known as a Gaddafist base.

The armed men at the square, and angry honking soon split up the group.

"Not only do they call us Gaddafists, they hate us for the colour of our skin," said Abdulkarim Rahman. "All blacks in Libya are going through very hard times lately." MORE

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