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Index June 2007

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IDPs, Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2006

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Download the Yearly report on major global, regional and thematic developments in the field of internal displacement (3.63 MB), publication date: April 2007, (by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).

Excerpts of this 103 pdf-pages – Page 89: Challenges and difficulties A key obstacle to IDPs’ participation in electoral processes is lack of access to identity-certifying documents (see Documentation chapter). Lack of documentation or diffi culties with obtaining new documents often prevents IDPs from registering as voters and thus contributes to their disenfranchisement. Legal, procedural and practical diffi culties during the registration and voting process were encountered in a number of countries during 2006.

In the DRC, in an IDP camp in Katanga province, displaced people could not vote because they did not have electoral cards. There were also cases of IDPs having their electoral cards stolen by the military, which they later had to buy back in order not to lose the right to vote. There were also situations in the DRC when the returnees were not able to cast their ballots, having been registered only in the area of displacement.
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AFRICA: Sharing more than just the matrimonial bed

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Published on Reuters, 20 June 2007. (First on IRIN news).

2 excerpts: It’s not cheap motels or the back seats of cars but the marriage bed where the new high-risk sex takes place in Uganda, delegates attending a conference on scaling up AIDS services, held in Kigali, Rwanda, heard this week.

Dr David Apuuli, director-general of the Uganda AIDS Commission, warned that marital sex accounted for 42 percent of new infections as the country’s prevalence rate begins to climb after years of stagnation.

AIDS policymakers are now turning their attention to the phenomenon of HIV discordant couples – where one partner is HIV-positive and the other negative. Preventing HIV transmission among these couples, when most are unaware of their status, has become a critical new area of focus …
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TAJIKISTAN: GLIMPSING THE POWER SOURCE

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Published on Eurasianet.org, by Clive Nigel, 6/29/07.

One and one-half hours from Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, smooth roads wind through the fertile Vakhsh River valley, past bountiful fruit orchards and families harvesting golden summer wheat. Just past the utilitarian structures of Nurek town, the road abruptly stops at a checkpoint where local police vigilantly watch out for foreigners, perceived spies, and anyone else who might be a source of a little “donation.” Security is indeed tight around the world’s tallest dam.

The dam, the central feature of the Nurek Hydroelectric Power plant, stands 300 meters high, and supports nine hydroelectric generating units. The facility provides as much as 98 percent of Tajikistan’s power. In summer, as the glaciers high in the Pamir Mountains melt, that means almost constant power in Dushanbe, 75 kilometers away.

The dam complex and electricity plant are shrouded in secrecy and even photos of President Imomali Rakhmon’s picture in front of the building were not allowed. Police chased away this reporter after detaining him and his frightened driver …
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Democracy In The Line Of Fire

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Hassan N. Gardezi, June 26, 2007.

I started with the biggest domestic challenge: having to steer the ship of the state out of troubled waters before it sank. … Things are moving well now domestically despite external constraints being imposed on me by the West in its demand for ‘democracy’ “. Musharraf.

When Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s memoir, In the Line of Fire appeared last year it was perhaps dismissed too quickly by progressive readers and commentators as a military ruler’s attempt at self promotion …

… But corruption is by no means the exclusive endowment of the Pakistani politician. Political and financial corruption in inherent in the political economy of capitalism, although it can be more blatant and visible in countries like Pakistan where property relations of capitalism are underdeveloped.
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Some alternative economy cooperatives in India

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Added August 24, 2007: Linked with Farmers’ Cooperatives (India).

You may put into Google alternativ economy, out of the results you may choose:

51 cooperatives on SurfIndia.com;
National Cooperative Union of India NCUI;
Department of Agriculture & Coperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Gov. of India;
Campus Cooperative Development Corporation, of the World Prout Assembly,
North American Students of Cooperation NASCO.

*****

or you click on ‘Category:Alternative economy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia’, which leads you to: Category: Cooperatives;

and then on Category: Cooperatives in India.

On wikipedia, there are actually 7 pages in the section of this category:
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William Easterly’s Videos

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Linked with William Easterly – USA, November 5, 2006, with The Development Research Institute DRI, with The Center for Global Development, with A Modest Proposal, with The West Can’t Save Africa, and with Afrika: Ein hoffnungsloser Kontinent.

Riz Khan – William Easterly, 16.31 min., May 30, 07.

Authors@Google: William Easterly, 56,42 min., April 20, 2007: NYU professor William Easterly visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book, “The White Man’s Burden”.

WEF 2007, Scaling Innovation in Foreign Aid, 57.52 min., January 27, 2007.

WEF Open Forum 2007 – Billions in Development Aid: What Are the Results, 91 min., January 26, 2007.

William Easterly, 65 min., April 6, 2006.

A World Without the WTO

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Linked with Focus on the Global South.

This video with Walden Bello is the fourth installment in the series of campaign videos on “Why the WTO is BAD for you” produced by Focus on the Global South. It presents life without the WTO. This provocative and inspiring video answers questions about life in a post-WTO era and invites you to imagine a world without the WTO … see video: 18 minutes, published 29 November 2006.

Read also: The G-8 Summit and the Provocateurs, or Coming through the Rye, 18 June 2007.

And read: THIRD COLLAPSE OF DOHA ROUND: SIGNAL FOR BURIAL, 22 June 2007.

And read finally: The Doha Round, If Truth Be Told, 22 June 2007, by Aileen Kwa, Geneva.

Many other texts on ‘Focus on the Global South‘, as downloads.

Contacts: Afsar Jafri, India, Tel: +91 9833070803; S.P. Shukla, India, Tel : +91 1126897089; Aileen Kwa, Geneva, Tel: +41 79 6258536.

In Malaysia, Muslims More Bullish on Economy Than Non-Muslims

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Published by GALLUP NEWS SERVICE, by Nicole Naurath, May 17, 2007.

Majorities of both groups are satisfied with their standard of living.

PRINCETON, NJ — In 1971, Malaysia adopted a development model that focused on multi-sector growth and economic equality for its citizens. The New Economic Policy (NEP) included programs specifically intended to improve the economic standing of ethnic Malays and other native peoples. Since all ethnic Malays are constitutionally considered Muslim, these policies have particularly benefited the country’s Muslim population, which represents about 60% of all Malaysian residents. The result of the NEP and subsequent programs has been a strong, export-led economy.

But there is another outcome evident in Malaysians’ perceptions of economic conditions. Seventy percent of the country’s Muslims say the country’s current economic conditions are good; just less than half of non-Muslims (45%) say the same. The gap narrows somewhat when Gallup asks respondents whether their country’s economy is getting better or worse, but it is still significant: 58% of Muslims feel the economy is getting better, compared with 40% of non-Muslims. (full text).

Fears For Democracy In India

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Published on The Chronicle Review, by Martha C. Nussbaum, June 22, 2007.

2 excerpts: … Most alarming was the total breakdown in the rule of law — not only at the local level but also at that of the state and national governments. Police were ordered not to stop the violence. Some egged it on. Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi, rationalized and even encouraged the murders. He was later re-elected on a platform that focused on religious hatred. Meanwhile the national government showed a culpable indifference. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee suggested that religious riots were inevitable wherever Muslims lived alongside Hindus, and that troublemaking Muslims were to blame.

While Americans have focused on President Bush’s “war on terror,” Iraq, and the Middle East, democracy has been under siege in another part of the world. India — the most populous of all democracies, and a country whose Constitution protects human rights even more comprehensively than our own — has been in crisis. Until the spring of 2004, its parliamentary government was increasingly controlled by right-wing Hindu extremists who condoned and in some cases actively supported violence against minority groups, especially Muslims.
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The Torture Academy

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Published on counterpunch.org, by ELIANA MONTEFORTE, June 22, 2007.

Why the School of the Americas is a Black Eye on Democracy – Military of Terror:

2 excerpts: … The military educational facility has been continuously referred to as the “School of Assassins”, since the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa first labeled it as such. It also has been revealed that torture techniques and coup procedures, prepared by Pentagon personnel, had become part of the SOA’s regular curriculum. The school also has been dubbed the “School of Dictators” and the “Nursery of Death Squads,” since rumors first circulated that training manuals promoted interrogation techniques that violated human rights and habeas corpus standards as defined by the U.S. military’s own protocol. Since its founding, SOA graduates have never entirely escaped notoriety for authorizing the raping, torturing and assassination of upwards of tens of thousands of Latin American civilians who had been victimized by death squads under the command of SOA alumni …
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International Petition

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Linked with The Indigenous Portal.com.

Published on two websites:

1): Petition on Mohawk Nation News, November 17,2006 (Homepage);

2): Petition on Rotinonhsonnion:we International Petition, not dated (Homepage ‘Petitions‘).

International Petition

We extend our sincere gratitude to all of the people of the world for your participation. (Note: the company that sponsors the online petition have an unscrupulous tactic of asking for money at the end of your posting. If you do not want to donate to that firm, your posting will still be listed, so there is no need to try again as you will be listed each time you try. Sorry for this inconvenience). Link:

This how the petition reads:
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OSCE Special Report

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Published on OSCE.org, 21 June 2007.

Handling of the media during political demonstrations, Observations and Recommendations

Excerpt of 8 pages: … Summary of Recommendations:

1. Law-enforcement officials have a constitutional responsibility not to prevent or obstruct the work of journalists during public demonstrations. Journalists have a right to expect fair and restrained treatment by the police.

2. Senior officials responsible for police conduct have a duty to ensure that officers are adequately trained about the role and function of journalists and particularly their role during a demonstration. In the event of an over-reaction from the police, the issue of police behaviour visà-vis journalists should be dealt with separately, regardless of whether the demonstration was sanctioned or not. A swift and adequate response from senior police officials is necessary to ensure that such an over-reaction is not repeated in the future and should send a strong signal that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
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LE CONTRE SOMMET AFRICAIN DU G8

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Reçu par mail d’attac ( pour le recevoir, écrire au Journal attac): Grain de Sable n° 571, le 18 juin 2007. Publié aussi sur Forum des Peuples, 6ème édition.

dowload la déclaration en pdf.

LE G8 EST ILLÉGITIME ET IRRESPONSABLE

La 6ème édition du Forum des peuples s’est réunie cette année à Sikasso, au Mali. Le Forum des peuples se tient en contrepoint du G8, chaque année depuis 2002. Partie prenante du Forum social mondial, il réunit des acteurs altermondialistes, associatifs et syndicaux, africains et d’autres continents. Plus d’informations sur Forum des peuples.org.

Nous, représentants des différentes composantes de la société civile et des mouvements sociaux des pays d’Afrique (Bénin, Burkina, Côte-d’Ivoire, Mali), d’Europe (Belgique, France, Royaume-Uni, Italie), d’Amérique (Canada) réunis à Sikasso du 04 au 07 juin 2007 à la 6ème édition du Forum des Peuples, avons procédé à de larges débats démocratiques sur les questions fondamentales qui préoccupent l’ensemble des Peuples du monde (Dette, Accords de Partenariat Economique UE-ACP, Souveraineté alimentaire, Pauvreté, Accès à l’eau, Réchauffement climatique…) A l’issue des débats, le constat général est scandaleux.

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End for tax-free businesses … in Somalia

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Published on IOL.co.za, by Guled Mohamed, June 19 2007.

Years of tax-free business that have turned anarchic Somalia into a surprising hub of free-market enterprise may be coming to an end as the government targets the lucrative telecommunications trade.

Despite violence and disease that have killed thousands since 1991 when warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, business in Somalia has thrived …

… “The business is profitable but comes with its risks,” Abdullahi told Reuters. “We are not used to paying taxes since they were zero regulations before this government came.”

Gunbattles frequently destroy the company’s expensive equipment, he said.

Speaking minutes after pulling a new phone line to a client, one Nation Link technician who declined to be named said the taxes should be based on how much a company earns.

“I don’t think we even make that much money,” he said, shaking his head. “We are ready to pay taxes but I think that’s too much. The government should state a reasonable fee.” – Reuters. (full text).

Nobody can plunder national wealth

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Published by Associate Press of Pakistan, June 19, 2007.

ISLAMABAD, Jun 19 (APP): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Tuesday said the government has put in place a strict monetary mechanism and in future nobody would be able to plunder national wealth. “Foreign Exchange Reserves are national asset. It is saving of the nation and nobody can plunder it again,” he said addressing a news conference at his Parliament Chamber.

“Some politicians, by themselves, are dreaming power sharing even before the elections. They are mistaken. Actually they have their eyes set on the US$ 15 billion reserves,” he said.

“But, they should be sure that these reserves are property of people and are not owned by any individual,” he added.

He said the people of Pakistan would not allow anyone to fleece their money and “those dreaming it, should stop dreaming so.” (full text).

Haiti, We’re Sorry

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Deniece Alleyne LL.B, 05 June, 2007.
(And first on The Democrat).

Not that long ago I had the opportunity of speaking with some Haitian migrants who had been dropped off at various points around the island. I am fairly fluent in the French language and I wanted to interview them about their experiences as migrants generally and about their treatment in St. Kitts in particular.

Their story was painful in its ordinariness. None had intended to come to St. Kitts but had been deceived by unscrupulous human traffickers to whom they had paid substantial sums. They were seeking relief; from hunger, homelessness and lack of opportunity. They were seeking a better life. Theirs was a story common to us here in St. Kitts and throughout the Caribbean. All of us either know persons or are persons who have migrated to other Caribbean countries, the USA, Canada or the UK to better ourselves and our children. In fact it is ironic to me as a naturalized Kittitian born in Guyana that I have so often been told “you na from yah” by people who go to great lengths to have their children born in the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico if they cant make it to the US mainland. (full text).

Satelites chinois pour l’environnement

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Environnement: La Chine prévoit de déployer une constellation de satellites pour la surveillance de l’environnement mondial:

La Chine devrait lancer en 2008 les 3 premiers satellites constituant un système de surveillance et de prévision pour l’environnement et les catastrophes majeures, d’après ZHANG Qingwei, président du principal groupe industriel spatial national de Chine (CASC, China Aerospace Science and technology Corporation). Cette première constellation du nom de HJ-1 sera composée de deux microsatellites à équipement optique (HJ-1A et HJ-1B) et d’un microsatellite équipé d’un radar à synthèse d’ouverture (HJ-1C). Elle devrait comprendre 7 satellites d’ici 2010, et sera gérée par l’administration d’Etat pour la protection de l’environnement (SEPA, State Environmental Protection Administration) et le comité national pour la réduction des catastrophes (CNCDR, China National Committee for Disaster Reduction). Ces lancements s’inscrivent dans le projet chinois de système d’information constitué de 60 à 70 satellites durant le 11ème plan quinquennal (2006-2010), avec des applications dans divers domaines tels que les télécommunications, la télédiffusion, les ressources naturelles, la météorologie, la navigation et les expérimentations scientifiques. (texte entier).

VISION versus PRAGMATISM

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Download:

Research: Citizenship in the Secondary School Curriculum in England, Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study, Fifth Annual Report, by David Kerr, Joana Lopes, Julie Nelson, Kerensa White, Elizabeth Cleaver, Tom Benton, the National Foundation for Educational Research, 140 pdf pages.

Department for education and skills, Research Report RR845. © National Foundation for Educational Research 2007, ISBN 978 1 84478 933 7

The Pentagon v. Peak Oil

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Published on Countercurrent, by Michael Klare, 16 June, 2007, (first on TomDispatch.com).

Sixteen gallons of oil. That’s how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis — either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.

Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That’s greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million — and yet it’s a gross underestimate of the Pentagon’s wartime consumption.

Such numbers cannot do full justice to the extraordinary gas-guzzling expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, for every soldier stationed “in theater,” there are two more in transit, in training, or otherwise in line for eventual deployment to the war zone — soldiers who also consume enormous amounts of oil, even if less than their compatriots overseas. Moreover, to sustain an “expeditionary” army located halfway around the world, the Department of Defense must move millions of tons of arms, ammunition, food, fuel, and equipment every year by plane or ship, consuming additional tanker-loads of petroleum. Add this to the tally and the Pentagon’s war-related oil budget jumps appreciably, though exactly how much we have no real way of knowing. (full text).

UK has three times as many unemployed as stated by govt figures – study

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Published on FXstreet.com/, Jun 13 2007,
(first by AFX Financial News).

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – The number of jobless people in the UK is almost three times as high as the official government claimant count, according to a new study.

The 2007 Real Level of Unemployment study, carried out by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, shows there were 2.6 mln jobless people in the UK in January of this year, compared with the 0.9 mln official claimant count.

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Somalia Continues its Political Collapse

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(From late May through mid-June, Somalia remained frozen in its state of political collapse described by PINR in its May 3 report and May 24 report on the country).

The PINR report June 14, 2007 (excerpt):

Conclusion:

Developments in Somalia through mid-June confirm PINR’s basic forecast that the country will remain in a devolutionary political cycle, which has only become more pronounced. At present, an insurgency with a militant jihadist component persists in Mogadishu, the T.F.G. is losing even a semblance of control over key regions, oppositions are organizing into blocs, Addis Ababa is over-strained, troop contributions to AMISOM are not forthcoming, and donor powers are paralyzed and reluctant to support the T.F.G. wholeheartedly. The T.F.G. executive remains determined to pursue its clan-based formula for reconciliation, which appears to have lost the scant viability it might have had.

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Expulsion Of Malalai Joya From Afghan Parliament

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Linked with Malalai Joya – Afghanistan, March 24th, 2006.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Zia -Ur-Rehman, 10 June, 2007.

The most outspoken female MP of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya, has been expelled from parliament for speaking truth and her straightforwardness. The removal of this outspoken feminist demonstrates the hollowness of the claims of women’s advancement under the occupation by Karzai’s government. Wolisi Jirga (National Assembly) voted to suspend Malalai Joya, one outspoken women among the 68 women legislators, for three years from the legislature, citing that she had broken Article 70 of the Parliament, which had banned Wolesi Jirga members from openly criticizing each other. Joya had compared the Wolesi Jirga to a “worsen than a zoo” on a recent television interview, and later called other members of parliament “criminals” and “drug smugglers”. She was a relentless critic of the warlords and assorted war criminals in the Karzai’s government.

This was not the first time that 28-year-old Ms Joya, a passionate advocate and campaigner of women’s rights, has angered male MPs with her criticisms. Some have thrown water bottles at her while she spoke in debates and others have threatened her with rape and murder, denounced as a “prostitute”— all of this taking place in parliament, no less. She has also escaped from assassination attempts and has to regularly change her address after receiving death threats from the warlords and Taliban groups both. (full text).

Les fabricants de PC misent sur les prix et l’ultra-mobilité

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Publié sur 01net, le 8 juin 2007, par la rédaction.

Les fabricants d’ordinateurs portables comptent sur la légèreté et sur des prix bas, proposant des PC ultra-fins et des modèles grand public à 200 dollars, afin de trouver une nouvelle poule aux oeufs d’or.

C’est d’ailleurs un PC de 7 pouces de large et de 900 grammes qui a tenu la vedette cette semaine au salon Computex de Taipei (Taïwan), le deuxième salon informatique mondial.

Les ordinateurs portables ont été la référence des sociétés informatiques pendant des années. Mais l’amélioration des technologies a permis le développement d’appareils plus variés, comme des PC ultra-mobiles (UMPC).

Plus petits que des portables traditionnels mais plus gros que des smartphones (téléphones multimédias) ces nouveaux appareils peuvent notamment gérer vidéos et jeux. Dotés de logiciels d’exploitation plus puissants et de nouveaux processeurs pour augmenter la durée de vie de leur batterie, les UMPC pourraient bien, de l’avis de certains, être l’avenir de l’informatique portable.

Le japonais Sony a lancé son PC ultra-mobile UX l’année dernière, équipé du système d’exploitation Windows, d’une webcam intégrée et d’un lecteur d’empreintes digitales. Asustek Computer dispose de son UMPC, qui offre toutes les fonctionnalités d’un ordinateur, et est doté d’un GPS et d’un écran permettant d’écrire à la main. Il fait également office d’appareil photo et dispose d’une connexion Bluetooth.

Des prix plus bas: (full text).

La carte bancaire sans contact

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Publié par 01net, le 12/06/2007, par Hélène Puel.

La carte bancaire sans contact en test auprès de 3 000 Bisontins. La Banque Populaire va tester à Besançon le paiement sans contact pendant 6 mois. Il concerne les achats de moins de 20 euros.

Et de deux. Après Visa et la Société Générale en début de semaine, c’est autour de la Banque Populaire de lancer une expérimentation de paiement par carte bancaire sans contact. Mais cette fois-ci, le test grandeur nature impliquera directement les clients de l’établissement financier et non pas ses employés, comme dans le cas de la Société Générale.

A partir du quatrième trimestre 2007, 3 000 consommateurs de la ville de Besançon seront équipés d’une carte Visa spéciale baptisée « Flash » et pourront faire leurs emplettes auprès de 200 magasins de la région. Le paiement s’effectue en passant la carte à quelques centimètres d’un terminal, grâce à une communication par ondes radio à courte distance.

Le montant des achats sera limité à 20 euros par transaction. Pour les sommes plus élevées, le client se servira de la même carte, mais devra cette fois-ci l’insérer dans un lecteur standard et composer son code secret.

Une seconde pour régler son achat: (full text).

… project outsourced …

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Six videos about outsourcing:

Project Outsourced – part 1 of 6, 29 min., February 5, 2007.

Project Outsourced – part 2 of 6, 29 min., February 5, 2007.

Project Outsourced – part 3 of 6, 29 min., February 5, 2007.

Project Outsourced – part 4 of 6, 22 min., February 5, 2007.

Project Outsourced – part 5 of 6, 29 min., February 5, 2007.

Project Outsourced – part 6 of 6, 12 min., February 5, 2007.

Bolivarisme économique

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Souveraineté pétrolière, réformes sociales et indépendance financière au Venezuela.

Publié par Salim Lamrani, enseignant, écrivain et journaliste français, sur Voltairenet.org, le 12 juin 2007.

… Le 1er mai 2007, le gouvernement vénézuélien a récupéré sa souveraineté énergétique en procédant à la nationalisation de la Bande pétrolifère de l’Orénoque,économiquement très lucrative et qui contient les plus importantes réserves mondiales. Désormais, l’entreprise pétrolière d’État Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) contrôlera au moins 60 % des opérations de la région. Les multinationales étrangères auparavant en charge du domaine, telles que la British Petroleum [1], Exxon Mobil [2], Chevron [3], ConocoPhillips, Total et Statoil ASA, pourront participer à l’extraction de pétrole mais seulement en tant que partenaires minoritaires [4] … (full long text).

  • [1] « BP-Amoco, coalition pétrolière anglo-saxonne », par Arthur Lepic, Réseau Voltaire, 10 juin 2004.
  • [2] « Exxon-Mobil, fournisseur officiel de l’Empire », par Arthur Lepic, Réseau Voltaire, 26 août 2004.
  • [3] « Chevron-Texaco, premier mécène de la vie politique états-unienne », par Arthur Lepic, Réseau Voltaire, 24 mars 2005.
  • [4] Associated Press, « Chávez reta a transnacionales petroleras », 13 avril 2007 ; Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, « Venezuela recupera soberanía petrolera sobre convenios en Faja del Orinoco », 25 avril 2007
  • [5] …

Total and Unconditional Debt Cancellation!

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(Don’t Owe, Won’t Pay!)

Linked with Lidy Nacpil – Philippines, and with Jubilee South JS.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, June 7, 2007

Contact:

  • Peter Lanzet, erlassjahr.de, +49 (0)170 81 31 191;
  • Neil Watkins, Jubilee USA, +49 (0) 1520 284 8293, +1 202 421 1023;
  • Vitalice Meija, AFRODAD, +49 (0) 15774521262;
  • Eric Toussaint CADTM +32 (0) 486744752.

Debt Campaigners Call on G8 to Cancel Liberia’s Debts Now!

NGOs Say Delays Originated at 2005 G-8 Summit Rostock, Germany — On the second day of the G8 summit, leading international debt cancellation advocacy groups issued a strong call that the debt deal G8 leaders negotiated two years ago has not solved the debt crisis of Liberia. The advocacy groups called on the G8 to take immediate action to cancel Liberia’s debt.
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A NEW World Bank – social and democratic?

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On the yahoo group (first sign in) ‘virglobenglish – The English Workshop of the VirGlob-SP‘, many discusions are running.

One discussion is named ‘A NEW World Bank – social and democratic?‘.

Kit Robison is writing: It would be my hope that Chavez would be joined by others who could provide alternative sources of funding. It would provide a tremendous impetus to change both in the countries the loans were made to and in the World Bank and IMF.

I am part of an organization that is parallel to our local economic development corporation. The basic contention of this is that the standard model of economic development is flawed and so only through a different organization can we start to build on positive economic forces which increase the common good, the commons interest, and builds jobs and security for those who reside here, jobs with a future for the children (in rural areas children often leave these days) and benefit the good of people instead of working to maximize profits for corporations to the detriment of the people.

Now, the reality check externally would indicate that we have very little power. We are not listed on any legislation, we can not claim to have brought a large number of new jobs to the area, etc.

This said the underlying power comes from our voice being present.
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Summit-videos 2007, Heiligendamm

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Put G8 summit in Google Video’s search bar (gives english results), or G8 Heiligendamm in same search bar (gives rather german results), and you may chose any video belonging to your taste. Some exemples:

in english:

in german:

in italian: Greenpeace boat run over by See Police, 034 min.

and in multi-language: Clown action McDonalds G8 summit Heiligendamm, 3.47.

Summit ends with row over ‘no new money’ for Africa

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Claims that pledge to give AIDS drugs to all in need ‘watered down’

Published on Irish independent.ie, by David Blair, Saturday June 09 2007.
THE G8 summit in Germany ended in controversy last night when the world’s most powerful countries vowed to spend £30bn (€44bn) on fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Campaigners denounced this figure as a “misleading” compendium of earlier announcements, probably involving no new money.

Africa was the theme of the gathering’s final day in the Baltic town of Heiligendamm. Before leaving for London, Mr Blair, attending his last G8, hailed the outcome as “real progress”.

But campaigners say that a pledge brokered by the outgoing British prime minister when he chaired the Gleneagles summit almost two years ago has been “watered down”. Then, the G8 focused on providing HIV-positive people with the anti-retroviral drugs which can prolong their lives by preventing AIDS developing. (full text).

More links:

G8 Protests Timeline: articles on the alternative Indymedia, to report:
0381 – 77 88 006 (english), 0381 – 77 88 007 (deutsch), 0162 – 356 89 57 (sms), (possible tickers in de, en, it, fr, es, gr).
Link to ticker in english from 6th to 8th June 2007.

Resume Doha WTO talks: G8 countries;

A last-minute face-saving effort that falls scandalously short of need, linked with the world is watching;

G8 warns Iran, North Korea, Sudan;

Layton says G8 summit a bad meeting for Canada and the world;

Aid groups unimpressed with G8 pledge to Africa;

Bono and Bob blast G8 ‘creeps’;

NGOs query Merkel’s G8 climate ’success’, 08.06.2007;

G8 approves $60B Africa aid, 08/06/2007.

Countdown To War On Iran

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Published on countercurrents.org, 07 June, 2007, by Alain Gresh.
Translated by Barbara Wilson.

Three excerpts: Silently, stealthily, unseen by cameras, the war on Iran has already begun. Many sources confirm that the United States, bent on destabilising the Islamic Republic, has increased its aid to armed movements among the Azeri, Baluchi, Arab and Kurdish ethnic minorities that make up about 40% of the Iranian population. ABC News reported in April that the US had secretly assisted the Baluchi group Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), responsible for a recent attack in which some 20 members of the Revolutionary Guard were killed. According to an American Foundation report (1), US commandos have operated inside Iran since 2004 …

… The European Union chose not to pursue an independent line but to follow Washington’s lead. The new proposals produced by the five members of the Security Council and Germany in June 2006 contained no guarantee of non-intervention in Iranian affairs. In Tehran’s reply to the proposals, delivered in August, it again “suggest[ed] that the western parties who want to participate in the negotiation team announce on behalf of their own and other European countries, to set aside the policy of intimidation, pressure and sanctions against Iran”. Only if such a commitment was made could negotiations be resumed …

… Despite the disaster in Iraq, there is no indication that Bush has given up the idea of attacking Iran. This is part of his vision of a “third world war” against “Islamic fascism”, an ideological war that can end only in complete victory. The demonisation of Iran, aggravated by the attitude of its president, is part of this strategy and may culminate in yet another military venture. That would be a disaster, not only for Iran and the Arab world, but for western, especially European, relations with the Middle East … (full text).

Some today’s June 7th Heiligendamm-News

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HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (Thomson Financial) – US President George Bush found a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to create a joint US-Russian anti-missile radar base in Azerbaijan “interesting,” his national security advisor Stephen Hadley said. “Let’s put these options on the table and get some experts to take a look at it,” Bush said, according to Hadley. A Russian official, speaking in a conference call, said it was too early for the US to give a substantial response to the proposal. “This is a new initiative for the US side and we would not expect any response yet … the US will need time to examine all this,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. (full text orange advfn.com).

Few expect the G8 summit taking place in Heiligendamm, Germany from June 6-8 to yield positive results. The main question is how much damage Bush will do to US international standing during these three days. At last year’s G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Bush made headlines by groping German Chancellor Angela Merkl /short video, as she spoke with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. (full text Atlantic Free Press).

Climate change: ‘You will have many more vector-borne diseases’.

Africa bemoans lack of trade talk at G8.

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today the Group of Eight has agreed on a plan calling for “substantial cuts” in the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. (full text Toronto Star).

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nine young people presented their recommendations to world leaders at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm today. The young people – eight from the G8 countries and one from Tanzania — spent 45 minutes talking to the leaders at the culmination of the week-long J8 Summit, attended by 74 young people from eighteen countries. Introducing the J8 Summit Declaration, the young people said, “We know that tomorrow our generation will have to cope with the legacy of today. So we have united at this third Junior 8 Summit to work intensively on ways to brighten this legacy”. (full text businesswire.com).

G8 leaders pledge to intensify anti-corruption efforts.

ECB meeting on expected rate rise: Agence France Presse – The European Central Bank was meeting here on Wednesday on its key interest rates which were widely expected to rise for the eighth time in 18 months, just as a three-day G8 summit began. The ECB’s rate-setting governing council, meeting on Wednesday instead of the normal first Thursday of the month owing to a public holiday, was unanimously expected to raise its benchmark “refi” refinancing rate by a quarter of a per centage point to 4 per cent, the highest level for more than five and a half years. (full text The Himalayan Times).

Heiligendamm – Dialogue with Africa

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Published on one of the official web-pages of the german Federal Government.

Top-level representatives of African states will be attending the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm:

  • President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • President Elect Umaru Yar’Adua, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • President Abdoulaye Wade, Republic of Senegal
  • President Thabo Mbeki, Republic of South Africa

The Africa meetings will also be attended by:

  • Commission of the African Union, represented by the President of the Commission, Alpha Oumar Konaré;
  • NEPAD, represented by Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia;
  • The African Union, represented by John A. Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana. (full text). l

links:

AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY DECLARATION ON NEPAD: “WE DO NOT ACCEPT NEPAD!! AFRICA IS NOT FOR SALE!!”, (July 2002);

The Heiligendamm process, structured cooperation with major emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa), published on one of the official web-pages of the german Federal Government. (full text).

NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development: New Partnership for Africa’s Development;

The African Peer Review Mechanism;

The African Union AU.

Convenient Truth

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Published on The Korea Times, June 6, 2007.

Fresh Challenge Could Be New Growth Engine: It was timely not inevitable that the G8 countries discussed global warming on the occasion of World Environmental Day Tuesday. How to prevent looming environmental disasters has in fact become so urgent an issue that even U.S. President George W. Bush can no longer avert the ‘inconvenient truth’. Koreans have been relatively free of concerns from this global issue except for complaining about unseasonably hot weather. Various circumstances indicate, however, the free ride will end soon.

Bush has proposed a summit among the world’s 15 biggest greenhouse gas emitters for late this year. Korea, the 10th largest producer of hothouse gases, including carbon dioxide, while marking its fastest increase along with China, is certain to be invited. One cannot be sure whether the U.S. leader’s suggestion will bear fruit in view of skeptical responses from Europe. With or without Bush’s proposal, however, Seoul will come under heavier pressure from the existing U.N. convention slated to go in effect by 2013.

A Korean Environment Institute’s report shows the nation should regard the issue not as external enforcement but as a voluntary duty. The study said the country would incur losses of $58 billion annually from 2100 if it fails to cut the emission of global warming gases which could push up the temperature by two degrees from now. The financial loss would decline to $20 billion if all countries, including Korea, manage to keep emissions at the level of 2012. The choice couldn’t be simpler. (full text).

G8 summit: A peep into past

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Published on Hindustan Times, Indo-Asian News Service, June 6, 2007.

Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations will start their annual three-day summit, on the theme of ‘Growth and Responsibility’, in this German Baltic resort on Wednesday.

Climate protection, African development, global economy and the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization are expected to dominate the agenda.

The G8 leaders will also have outreach sessions on Friday with participants from Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, and with African countries, including Algeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.

Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konare, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the Africa outreach.

The following are some major facts about the summit: … (full text).

A Look at G8 Leaders’ Strategies for the Summit

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Published on The Moscow Times.com, Combined Reports, on June 6 (Europe still June 5, 2007).

Germany’s Angela Merkel wants to tackle global warming. Britain’s Tony Blair seeks help for Africa. U.S. President George W. Bush wants to change the subject from Iraq to areas where allied cooperation is possible.

All these hopes for the Group of Eight summit could fall victim to rising tensions with Russia, which is unhappy over U.S. plans to put an anti-missile system in its backyard.

Following is a look at the strategies the G8 leaders will be pursuing from Wednesday to Friday at the summit in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, Germany.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin, who was last year’s host for the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, is making no secret of his unhappiness over U.S. missile defense plans. In pre-summit interviews, he warned that Moscow could take retaliatory steps if Washington proceeds with plans to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland. He suggested the retaliation could take the form of retargeting Russian missiles at Europe.

Putin arrives at the summit with sky-high approval ratings. A recent poll of Russian voters showed that 63 percent of those surveyed would vote for him again – even though he is barred by the Constitution from another term. (full text).

G8 courts China, India

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Published on The Standard, China’s Business Newspaper, on June 6 (Europe still June 5, 2007).

China and India once waited for crumbs from the table of the world’s wealthiest nations but at the G8 summit in Germany this week the two rapidly growing economies will be dining as near equals.

When Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes the heads of the Group of Eight nations to the northern German resort of Heiligendamm today, they will be joined by the leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

The G8 leaders will especially want to hear what President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have to say on the vexed issues of climate change and world trade.

Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, said the Group of Eight “are being forced to recognize the new emerging powers.

“A lot of international economic reports – by Goldman Sachs and others – say the Chinese economy definitely and the Indian economy possibly will overtake that of the United States quite soon.

“So the invites to India, China, Brazil, etc, are a recognition of that global clout. It is also a recognition of the fact that the West will have to share power with new emerging centers.”

The so-called G8 plus five process formally began at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, when British Prime Minister Tony Blair invited the heads of the five emerging economies to participate in the talks. (full text).

Class Considerations in a Globalized Economic Order

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Published on MR Zine/Monthly Review, by Delia D. Aguilar, May 29, 2007.

Excerpts of a long text: … In the first half of the twentieth century, Mexican immigrant workers and Filipino “nationals” found themselves together in the agribusiness farms of the West Coast and began to forge solidarity as workers exploited by capital.  Here class emerged as primary, ethnic identity, secondary. This was clearly the case in the formation of the United Farm Workers led by Cesar Chavez in support of the grape strike of 1965 which was initiated by Filipino farm workers in Delano. Subsequent decades witnessed intensifying US domination of Mexico and the Philippines by way of the IMF/WB, wrecking both countries’ economies with the debt burden, causing great poverty, and forcing growing numbers to leave in search of employment. The responses of both governments have been remarkably similar, from the creation of special programs for returning migrants (Paisano for Mexico and Balikbayan for the Philippines, the better to extract remittances), to hailing them as “national heroes,” to granting of dual citizenship.  In effect, US imperialism has made of both countries nations of migrants …

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India’s trade deficit nearly doubles on oil costs

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Published by Khaleej Times online (AFP), 3 June 2007.

NEW DELHI – India’s trade deficit nearly doubled in April, the first month of the financial year, from a year ago as costs for imported oil jumped, the government said in a statement Sunday.

The trade deficit widened to 7.06 billion dollars in April 2007 from 3.94 billion dollars in April 2006 led by a jump in the cost of oil imports of 11.4 percent in the same period to 4.42 billion dollars, the statement said.

India imports nearly two thirds of its petroleum needs.

Exports in April rose 23.1 percent to 10.58 billion dollars, but the gain was offset by imports of 17.64 billion dollars, a jump of nearly 41 percent, the statement said. (full text).