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Index April 2008

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When Tech Innovation Has a Social Mission

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Published on NYT, by JOHN MARKOFF, April 13, 2008.

Palo Alto, Calif. – STEVE WOZNIAK built the original Apple I to share with his friends at the Homebrew Computer Club, but it was his business partner Steve Jobs who had the insight that there might be a market for such a contraption. Indeed, for decades, Silicon Valley has been defined by the tension between the technologist’s urge to share information and the industrialist’s incentive to profit.

Now a new style of hybrid technology organization is emerging that is trying to define a path between the nonprofit world and traditional for-profit ventures.

They’re often referred to as social enterprises because they pursue social missions instead of profits. But unlike most nonprofit groups, these organizations generate a sustainable source of revenue and do not rely on philanthropy. Earnings are retained and reinvested rather than being distributed to shareholders …
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ASIA: Food Crisis Adds to Women’s Burden

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Published on IPS, by Marwaan Macan-Markar, April 29, 2008.

BANGKOK, Apr 29 (IPS) – As if the burdens they shoulder are not enough, Asia’s women are being compelled to bear the additional weight of rising food prices, say women’s rights activists from across the region.

With increasing prices of rice, oil, fuel transport and all basic commodities, women workers in Asia are the worst hit, declared the Committee for Asian Women (CAW), a regional non-governmental organisation (NGO), at the launch of a campaign here Monday to seek higher wages for female workers.

Workers who produce society’s food, shelter and clothing are, themselves, in a perennially vulnerable hand to mouth existence, added CAW in its statement to push for better incomes for women in the formal and informal sector. This Wage Campaign 2008 is being backed by women’s organisations in 14 Asian countries, among which are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand …
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Food Crisis and the failure of the capitalist model

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Ian Angus, 29 April, 2008.

If the government cannot lower the cost of living it simply has to leave. If the police and UN troops want to shoot at us, that’s OK, because in the end, if we are not killed by bullets, we’ll die of hunger – a demonstrator in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Part I: In Haiti, where most people get 22% fewer calories than the minimum needed for good health, some are staving off their hunger pangs by eating mud biscuits made by mixing clay and water with a bit of vegetable oil and salt.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the federal government is currently paying $225 for each pig killed in a mass cull of breeding swine, as part of a plan to reduce hog production. Hog farmers, squeezed by low hog prices and high feed costs, have responded so enthusiastically that the kill will likely use up all the allocated funds before the program ends in September.

Some of the slaughtered hogs may be given to local Food Banks, but most will be destroyed or made into pet food. None will go to Haiti.
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New thinking on growth and development policy

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Found via Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its monthly Newsletter.

Linked with Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar, and with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland.

Published on Dani Rodrik’s weblog, unconventional thoughts on economic development and globalization, by Dani Rodrik, April 25, 2008.

… Trade works by relieving the relative scarcity of goods. The key here is the term “relative.” Food importing countries are food scarce countries, and as they open up to trade, the relative price of food falls. But if you are Thailand or Argentina, where other goods are scarce relative to food, freer trade means higher relative prices of food, not lower. And all the induced efficiency benefits and short- vs. long-run effects that Cowen talks about have no bearing on this conclusion: in the end some countries have to be net importers, and others net exporters. (full text).

More links about economy and food:

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List of Trade Unions worldwide

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This is a (long) list of trade unions and union federations:

selected by country, global, regional and as sectoral global union federations, on wikipedia (last modified on April 25, 2008).

Link: Organized Labour Portal.

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor

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Published on AlterNet, by Les Leopold, April 9, 2008.

Linked with Tony Mazzocchi – USA.

Long after the Democratic Party abandoned labor interests, Tony Mazzocchi continued to fight for the working class.

American progressives perpetually worry about the limitations of the Democratic Party and the historical rejection of third-party candidates in presidential elections. “Party within the party” approaches have led at times, to breakthroughs, if and when the thrust is part of a mobilized movement. The strategy has been demonstrably most successful in the 40-year takeover of the Republican party by its right-wing constituencies. In those 40 years, the Republican electoral victory has gradually softened Democratic electoral leaders progressivism, creating by now, two corporate parties vying for dominance and agreeing that The New Deal and Great Society overdeveloped wage worker influence on the party and the economy …

… For Mazzocchi, this was not mushy sloganeering. He’d already pulled off an astonishing national shift in consciousness on occupational health and safety. Continue Reading…

Death Sentences and Executions in 2007

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Published by Amnesty International, AI Index: ACT 50/001/2008, 15 April 2008, 9 pages.

Introduction:

During 2007, at least 1252 people were executed in 24 countries. At least 3347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. These were only minimum figures; the true figures were certainly higher.

Many countries carry out executions in secret and refuse to divulge any information on the use of the death penalty. Such countries include China, Singapore, Malaysia and Mongolia. The United Nations has repeatedly called for the death penalty only to be used in an open and transparent manner.

In resolution 1989/64, adopted on 24 May 1989, the UN Economic and Social Council urged UN member states “to publish, for each category of offence for which the death penalty is authorized, and if possible on an annual basis, information about the use of the death penalty, including the number of persons sentenced to death, the number of executions actually carried out, the number of persons under sentence of death, the number of death sentences reversed or commuted on appeal and the number of instances in which clemency has been granted, and to include information on the extent to which the safeguards referred to above are incorporated in national law”.
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Stop the presses

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Published on MondeDiplo, by Wendy Kristianasen, April 2008.

The closure of the magazine Zanan (Women) on 28 January clearly shows that women’s rights activists in Iran face growing repression. The grounds for closure were that it endangered the spiritual, mental and intellectual health of its readers and gave them the idea of insecurity in society, disturbed public rights, weakened military and revolutionary institutes. It published articles that led people to believe that the Islamic Republic is unsafe for women.

This was just a pretext to close the magazine because the women’s rights movement was working, through the Campaign for Equality (mainly but not all female), to get a million Iranians to sign a petition calling for a change to laws that discriminate against women. The peaceful gathering of signatures has been under way since 2006, attended by online blogs and YouTube videos …

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Rift over Zimbabwe’s unity plan

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Linked with People by Country (in the left column of our World People’s Blog), scroll down to Zimbabwe.

Published on Internat. Herald Tribune IHT, by Celia W. Dugger and Alan Cowell, April 24, 2008.

JOHANNESBURG: As Zimbabwe’s political impasse drags into its fourth week, talk of a power-sharing deal between the governing party and the opposition came to the fore Wednesday, though both sides indicated they were unprepared for the compromises that would be required.

An editorial in the state-run newspaper, often used as a mouthpiece for Zimbabwe’s longtime strongman, President Robert Mugabe, floated a proposal for a transitional unity government that would be headed by Mugabe until new elections could be organized.
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Haiti: empty stomachs, stormy politics

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Published on Open Democracy, by Am’lie Gauthier, April 21, 2008.

Haiti has been hard hit by the global food crisis. The turbulent events provoked by the sharp rise in prices of basic commodities have included riots across the country, in which five people were shot dead on 7 April 2008 and many others wounded by gunfire; an attempt to invade the national palace in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on 8 April; and repeated protests against United Nations peacekeepers, with three Sri Lankan soldiers shot and one Nigerian police-officer killed on 12 April. This accumulating series of events led to the removal from office of the prime minister, Jacques-Edouard Alexis, also on 12 April. The entire cycle of instability has caused immense disruption and suffering, and led the major international donors’ conference scheduled for 24-25 April – designed to help facilitate stability and progress in Haiti – to be postponed …
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New Technology Foresees Trees, not Grain, in the Tank

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Linked with Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar.

Published on Spiegel online, english edition, by Christian Wust, April 15, 2008.

Conventional biofuels like rapeseed oil and ethanol are ecologically problematic and threaten food supplies. Now a Germany company says it has the solution: an advanced fuel made from wood and other non-food biomass.

The facility is fairly small. And even if all goes smoothly, its production will also be fairly modest – just 13,500 metric tons of diesel fuel a year as compared with Germany’s annual consumption of 30 million tons. Still, this tiny refinery in the eastern German town of Freiberg has managed to attract a number of highly prominent visitors, including the CEOs and leading researchers of both Mercedes and Volkswagen …

… Correcting First-Generation Mistakes: Production levels are simply too low when fuels are derived exclusively from grains and tubers. The environmental benefits have been limited, and may actually do more harm than good. Plus, biofuel doesn’t sit quite right with many engines. All of this has been known, and largely ignored, for years …

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Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar

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Linked with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland, and with New Technology Foresees Trees, not Grain, in the Tank.

Published on Agence France Press, by AFP, April 20, 2008.

PARIS (AFP) – Hailed until only months ago as a silver bullet in the fight against global warming, biofuels are now accused of snatching food out of the mouths of the poor.

Billions have been poured into developing sugar- and grain-based ethanol and biodiesel to help wean rich economies from their addiction to carbon-belching fossil fuels, the overwhelming source of man-made global warming.

Heading the rush are the United States, Brazil and Canada, which are eagerly transforming corn, wheat, soy beans and sugar cane into cleaner-burning fuel, and the European Union (EU) is to launch its own ambitious programme.

But as soaring prices for staples bring more of the planet’s most vulnerable people face-to-face with starvation, the image of biofuels has suddenly changed from climate saviour to a horribly misguided experiment.

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The sorrows of race and gender

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in the 2008 presidential election

Published on OpEdNews, by Robert Jensen, April 21, 2008, 3 pages.

It may seem odd to talk of sorrows around race and gender in politics when we are a few months away from being able to vote for a white woman or a black man for president of the United States. When I was born in 1958, any suggestion that such an election was on the horizon would have been laughed off as crazy. In the first presidential campaign I paid attention to as an eighth-grader in 1972, Shirley Chisholm – who four years earlier had become the first black woman to win a seat in Congress. Today, things are different …

… Yes, we can. Si, se puede.

But if we are to do this, first we must not turn away from the sorrow. We must grieve.

Shortly after September 11, 2001, the writer Alice Walker reminded us that:
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Global Food Crisis: Hunger Plagues Haiti and the World

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Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Stephen Lendman, April 21, 2008.

Consumers in rich countries feel it in supermarkets but in the world’s poorest ones people are starving. The reason – soaring food prices, and it’s triggered riots around the world in places like Mexico, Indonesia, Yemen, the Philippines, Cambodia, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Guinea, Mauritania, Egypt, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Peru, Bolivia and Haiti that was once nearly food self-sufficient but now relies on imports for most of its supply and (like other food-importing countries) is at the mercy of agribusiness.

Wheat shortages in Peru are acute enough to have the military make bread with potato flour (a native crop). In Pakistan, thousands of troops guard trucks carrying wheat and flour. In Thailand, rice farmers take shifts staying awake nights guarding their fields from thieves. The crop’s price has about doubled in recent months, it’s the staple for half or more of the world’s population, but rising prices and fearing scarcity have prompted some of the world’s largest producers to export less – Thailand (the world’s largest exporter), Vietnam, India, Egypt, Cambodia with others likely to follow as world output lags demand. Producers of other grains are doing the same like Argentina, Kazakhstan and China. The less they export, the higher prices go.

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Zimbabwe Arms shipped by China spark an Uproar

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Published on NYT, by CELIA W. DUGGER, April 19, 2008.

JOHANNESBURG – A Chinese ship loaded with armaments for Zimbabwe steamed into the port of Durban this week and set off a political firefight, putting newfound pressure on South Africa – and now China – to reduce support for Zimbabwe’s government as it cracks down on its rivals after a disputed election.

Dock workers at the port, backed by South Africa’s powerful unions, refused to unload the ammunition and weapons on Friday, vowing protests and threatening violence if the government tried to do it without them.

Meanwhile, the Anglican archbishop of the province appealed to South Africa’s High Court to bar transporting the arms across South Africa, arguing that they were likely to be used to repress Zimbabweans. The court agreed, and by late Friday the ship had pulled up anchor and set sail.

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OSCE publishes guide on teaching about religions and beliefs

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(download: in english, 134 pdf-pages, en espanol, 145 pdf-pages)

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter, by Barry van Driel;
Date: 18/04/2008

OSCE Press release

WARSAW, 18 April 2008 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, ODIHR, has launched a new guide in Madrid on preparing curricula for teaching about religions and beliefs in a manner sensitive to human rights concerns.

The publication, Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools, is designed to assist educators, legislators, teachers and officials in education ministries and in private or religious schools to ensure that teaching about different religions and beliefs is carried out in a fair and balanced manner.

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Updating Sami Al-Arian – His Ordeal Continues

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Linked with Sami Al-Arian – USA & Kuwait, with Sami Al-Arian’s Long Ordeal, 26 March, 2008, with Stephan Lendman – USA, and with The Long Ordeal Of Sami Al-Arian – Civil And Human Rights Advocate And Political Prisoner, 06 April, 2007.

(I also want link this case with the one of Akbar Ganji – Iran (being released on October 10, 2006). Watch yourself their similitudes).

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, April 18, 2008.

Here’s how events unfolded this month. On April 11, Al-Arian was taken to the Alexandria, VA federal courthouse, held in a holding cell for three hours, then moved to the Alexandria Detention Center. He remained there until immigration authorities (ICE) took him to Fairfax, VA for processing.

At 10PM, he was taken to the Jessup, MD Howard County Detention Center and placed in the general population, according to standard procedure.

At 1AM April 12, he was transferred to the SHU unit, held in isolation under 23-hour lockdown, forced to endure frigid temperatures, and blasted with continuous deafening sounds for maximum punitive effect.

In January 2007, Al-Arian went on hunger strike (ingesting only water after 18 total abstinence days) to protest his abusive treatment. When it ended after two months, he lost 55 pounds, was very weak, unable to walk or stand on his own, and had to be confined to a wheelchair. He also endangered his life. Al-Arian is diabetic and needs regular sustenance for his health. Prison authorities were indifferent and abusive.

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Venezuela: Democracy, Socialism and Imperialism

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Published on James Petras Website, by James Petras, 18 April, 2008, a 22 pdf-pages text.

excerpt: … page 17: Conclusion – Advantages and Opportunities for Socialist Transformation:

Venezuela today possesses the most advantageous economic, political and social conditions for a socialist transformation in recent history despite the US military threats, its administrative weaknesses and political institutional limitations.

Economically, Venezuela’s economy is booming at 9% growth, world prices for exports are at record levels (with oil at over $100 a barrel), it has immense energy reserves, $35 billion dollars in foreign exchange reserves and it is diversifying its overseas markets, although much too slow for its own security. With the introduction in April 2008 of an excess profit tax which will take 50% of all revenues over $70 dollars a barrel and an additional 60% of all revenues over $100 a barrel, several billion dollars in additional income will swell the funds for financing the nationalization of all strategic sectors of the economy.

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Swiss block del Ponte over controversial book’s claims

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Linked with Carla del Ponte – Switzerland, and with Ex-UN prosecutor’s organ trading claims challenged.

Published on Religious Intelligence.co.uk, by Marcus Papadopoulos, 15th April 2008.

… These unacceptable statements undoubtedly refer to allegations made by Del Ponte in her book of the killings of Serbs and members of Kosovo’s other ethnic minorities from 1998-1999 by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including one account of how hundreds of Serbs were systematically abducted by the KLA and transported to camps in northern Albania where they were killed so that their body organs could be removed and trafficked in Europe.

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Biofuels Are Famine Policy

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Published on EIR online, by Marcia Merry Baker, June 8, 2007.

As of the end of Spring 2007 planting in the northern latitudes, the disastrous impact of the global bio-energy craze can be seen in the huge expansion of U.S. corn acreage, the plunge of world grain stocks, and price shocks all along the food chain internationally …

… Gulliver’s Travels, ‘Carbon Farming’: On top of this food supply vulnerability, comes the havoc in agriculture capacity caused by the lunatic proposals for “carbon farming,” and buying and selling carbon “allowances.” Even Gulliver, with all his Travels, would be amazed.

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A video called Firewall

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with french subtitles / avec des sous-titres en français

Linked with Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. – USA, and with More on conspiracy theories …

Firewall, published on Solidarite et Progres.org, realised by LYM in USA, length: 1.24 hours.

More Links:

same video, published on Daily Motion;

DIRTY SECRETS OF THE TEMPLE, a long text;

some videos about the topic Confessions of an Economic Hit Man;

and in the net some video-debates about Economy and Society;

the book: The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve.

My comment: there are voices proposing a world-gov as solution. I do not believe this would be a solution for a more just economy, a better world.

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Echoes of 1968

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Linked with Todd Gitlin – USA;

Published on Columbia Spectator online, by Todd Gitlin, March 24, 2008.

In 1976, on a visit to Columbia, I was surprised to spot, on a wall of the Journalism building abutting college walk, the spectral remains of the spray-painted initials sds. Thirty years on, those faded letters have long since vanished, but it feels to me frequently that the specter of 1968’s convulsive events still haunts the campus, dimly echoing Matthew Arnold’s alarms of struggle and flight where once ignorant armies clashed by day and night …

… For years, observers have deplored (or celebrated!) the apparent acquiescence of America’s youth, so much less committed and colorful than the insurgents of yore. But it seems to me, more often, that the practicality of today’s students is worthy and justified, though sometimes extreme. They are self-preoccupied, true. Sometimes beyond reason or empathy, they are too cynical even if they disguise their detachment as irony. But there is also a graceful compensation. Most of the more idealistic activists want results more than self-expression. They gravitate toward service – a healthy impulse.

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BBC: Imperial Tool

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(First an external link: Dirty Secrets of the Temple – a critical look of how the Fed works, June 29, 2006).

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, 10 April, 2008.

At a time of growing public disenchantment with the major media, millions now rely on alternate sources. Many online and print ones are credible. One of the world’s most relied on is not – the BBC. It’s an imperial tool, as corrupted as its dominant counterparts, been around longer than all of them, now in it for profit, and it’s vital that people know who BBC represents and what it delivers …

… Educational Maintenance Organizations:

It’s a new term for an old idea that’s much like their failed HMO counterparts. They’re private-for-profit businesses that contract with local school districts or individual charter schools to “improve the quality of education without significantly raising current spending levels.” They’re still rare, but watch out for them and what they’re up to.

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DEVELOPMENT: Food Shortages an Emergency

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Published on IPS, by Ranjit Devraj, April 9, 2008.

Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, on Wednesday described spiralling food prices as an “emergency” that demanded concerted global attention.

“In the face of food riots around the world like in Africa and Haiti, we really have an emergency,” Diouf said at a news conference in New Delhi that was also addressed by Lennart Bage, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD and Kandeh K. Yumkella, director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO.

The three U.N. agency heads, who are in the Indian capital to attend a global conference on the development of agro-industries as a means to fight poverty and create jobs, called for increased agricultural investment in water and infrastructure to help small farmers increase productivity.

Diouf, who blamed the crisis primarily on the steady migration of rural populations to the cities, in turn affecting food production, said he was looking to a summit in Rome in the first week of June to address this as well as factors that had to do with the developed world, such as the diversion of farmland to produce biofuels and speculation in the futures markets … (full text).

Disappearing the poor

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Published on The Guardian, by Jeremy Seabrook, April 9, 2008.

As if to demonstrate that poverty is now a residual issue in the world, the poor are being slowly eliminated from the imagery of the busy global media. “Nowhere in Bollywood films do you see a poor person,” says Pandurang Hegde, activist in the forests of northern Karnataka. “There is no place in the iconography of the new India for anything that suggests impoverishment and loss”. Nor on the majority of TV stations which have flooded India with their unblinking radiance. The poor have become peripheral figures, with scarcely walk-on parts in the great drama of liberalisation …

Arundhati Roy sees preparations for a “genocide” against the poor; although the word is not quite right in the context, since the poor are not a race. Povericide is an inelegant but more accurate word for what Arundhati Roy sees as a corollary of “the most successful secessionist struggle ever waged in India – the secession of the middle and upper classes to a country of their own”.

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The new philanthropy: power, inequality, democracy

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Published on Open Democracy, by Geoff Mulgan, April 10, 2008.

Philanthrocapitalism isn’t yet a major force in Europe – but it could become so. For now, the hype is far in advance of the reality. It is clear though that Europe too is undergoing the type of economic transition that in the United States has been associated with very large-scale philanthropy, funded by temporary monopolies, often controlled by individuals. As mass production took shape these were the monopolies of Ford, Carnegie, JP Morgan – which then became “normalised” into more competitive markets, and more standard corporate governance, partly because of government and legal action …

… A democratic giving: However, I have two main points of disagreement with Michael Edwards (see also his openDemocracy essay, “Philanthrocapitalism: after the goldrush” [20 March 2008]). The first is that the term “philanthrocapitalism” is used very widely. It may be just about reasonable to include CSR. But its not plausible to include social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. These are not only different from each other, but also very different to philanthrocapitalism.

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The Inside Story of Zimbabwe

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Linked with Sandra Nyaira – Zimbabwe.

Published on The London School of Economy and Political Science LSE, POLIS’ working paper, October 2007.

an excerpt: … Since Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, it has been governed by Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF (Zimbabwe Africa National Union – Patriotic Front). Mugabe, who was last re-elected in 2002, has now had 27 years in power and shows no signs of releasing his grip on Zimbabwe. With Presidential elections set for 2008, the world’s attention will once again turn to Zimbabwe.

Already there are frequent Western media reports of an increasingly precarious political situation and deeply worsening economic situation. According to the Department for International Development (DFID) the current economic situation in Zimbabwe is very grave and 56% of the population live on less than US $1 a day whilst 80% live on less than US $2 a day. 1 The World Bank estimates suggest Real Gross Domestic Product has declined by over 35% in the last six years and the inflation rate is now in excess of 5000%. 2 The country’s relations with the international community; in particular with the US, Britain and the EU are tense.

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2008 Spring Meetings of World Bank and International Monetary Fund

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Published on IFIwatchnet, March 6, 2008,

The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings are coming soon! The meetings will be held over a 2-day period, from April 12 to 13, at the WB and IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. The event will consist of a series of policy dialogue sessions, which will bring together WB and IMF staff, civil society organisations representatives, and governments delegates.

Some of the topics to be discussed are: WB strategic framework on climate change, strategic framework on the WB engagement with civil society, odious/illegitimate debt and extractive industries transparency initiative … (full text).

Links:

$3 Trillion (for war in Iraq) May Be Too Low;

Bush Administration Officials Will Be ‘Indicted For War Crimes, April 6, 2008.

German gym caters to Muslim women only

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Linked with German gym caters to Muslim women only.

Published on The Earth Times, by DPA, April 7, 2008.

Cologne, Germany – A gym in Germany that caters specially to Muslim women is doing so well after its first year that others want to imitate its combination of modest attire and tough workouts. All the personal trainers at Hayat in the melting-pot Cologne district of Ehrenfeld are women: Emine and Yasmin give tips or show demurely dressed clients how to work the treadmill and tune in to Turkish pop music over their headsets.

Hayat offers the full range of gym machines, including exercise bikes and devices to encourage firmer thighs.

It also offers the Muslims a prayer room.

This is one gym where you won’t see skimpy shorts, figure-hugging leotards and lots of bare skin. Many work out in head-scarves.

Proprietress Emine Aydemir, 39, says on the first anniversary that her no-men-allowed gym has been a business success …

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Sie haben das Leid anderer zugelassen!

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Linked with Necla Kelek – Turkey and Germany.

Published on DIE ZEIT, von Necla Kelek, Februar 09, 2006, Nr.7.

Eine Antwort auf den offenen Brief von 60 Migrationsforschern: Sie ignorieren Menschenrechtsverletzungen, weil sie nicht in ihr Konzept von Multikulturalismus passen.

In meinem Buch Die fremde Braut habe ich aus dem Inneren des türkischen Lebens in Deutschland berichtet, über Zwangsheirat, arrangierte Ehen und Frauen geschrieben, denen ihre Familien die elementarsten Rechte verweigern. Das Buch hat eine heftige öffentliche Diskussion ausgelöst, weil es gegen eines der bestgehüteten Tabus der türkischen Gemeinschaft verstieiess, es machte das Schicksal der gekauften Bräute öffentlich, die mitten in Deutschland ein modernes Sklavendasein führen.

Jetzt werfen mir 60 Migrationsforscher unter anderem aus Instituten in Hamburg, Köln und Essen vor, ich hätte mit meinem Buch die Beachtung bekommen, die eigentlich ihnen zustehe (ZEIT Nr. 6/06). Sie kritisieren, ich hätte Einzelfälle zu einem gesellschaftlichen Problem aufgepumpt. Ich empfehle ihnen Besuche von Schulen, Beratungsstellen, bei Frauenärzten oder in Moscheen, dort können sie, wenn sie die Sprache der Frauen sprechen und Zugang zu ihnen finden, erfahren, dass es in diesem Land verbreitet Zwangsheirat, Gewalt in der Ehe, Vergewaltigungen und sogar die Mehrehe gibt; dass kurdische Familienväter minderjährige Nichten nach Deutschland holen, sie als ihre Töchter ausgeben, natürlich Kindergeld beziehen, und mit ihnen in Polygamie leben.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Vibrant Democracy

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Added April 8, 2008: BASJAK’s statements:

  • HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 7th session, Geneva, written statement 03-28 MARCH 2008;
  • UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW, Submission by BASJAK, related to: Pakistan, for the session scheduled in May 2008.

———————–

REPORT ON THE STUDY TOUR OF BEERSMANS PAUL, PRESIDENT OF THE BELGIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH JAMMU AND KASHMIR TO THE INDIAN STATE OF J&K FROM 31 JANUARY TO 16 FEBRUARY 2008

Linked with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, with the Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK, with JAMMU AND KASHMIR: A SMOULDERING CONFLICT … , with … again Kashmir, with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Conclusions (and K.N. Pandita’s whole Kashmir blog) and with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Meetings.

Published on BAJAK.org, by Paul Beersmans, April 2008, 17 pdf-pages.

UPDATE April 26, 2008: the text here after is manipulated

Excerpt: … 3. CONCLUSIONS

Following conclusions can be drawn, based on the experiences of this study tour to J&K State:

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Will Economic Stimulus Measures Stave Off Recession?

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Linked with Richard C. Cook – USA, and with Is an International Financial Conspiracy Driving World Events.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Richard C. Cook, January 20, 2008.

It is not quite true that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession, even though President Bush and most other politicians seem to be discovering it for the first time. It’s like the famous scene in Casablanca where Louis, the Prefect of Police, shuts down Rick’s nightclub while pocketing his winnings for the night, because, I am shocked, shocked to learn that gambling is going on in this establishment!

Actually, as this writer and others have been saying for months, the producing economy, you know, the one where men and women go to work every day to make things of value (not just push paper for financial services) has been in decline for at least a year. This can be measured by the steady decrease of M1, the money available in cash and checking accounts for immediate purchases.

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Is an International Financial Conspiracy Driving World Events?

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Linked with Richard C. Cook – USA, with Will Economic Stimulus Measures Stave Off Recession, and specially with this publication: The Creature from Jekyll Island‘.

Listen first the video: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

(“They make a desolation and call it peace.” – Tacitus).

This article is published on Global Research.ca, by Richard C. Cook, March 27, 2008.

Was Alan Greenspan really as dumb as he looks in creating the late housing bubble that threatens to bring the entire Western debt-based economy crashing down?

Was something as easy to foresee as this really the trigger for a meltdown that could destroy the world’s financial system? Or was it done, perhaps, “accidentally on purpose”?

And if so, why?

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2003 Justice Department memo justifies torture, presidential dictatorship

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Published on WSWS, by Joe Kay, 4 April 2008.

On Tuesday, the Defense Department released a 2003 memo asserting the right of the US president to order the military to torture prisoners.

The memo is signed by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and is dated March 14, 2003, one week before the launch of the Iraq war. It is the latest memo to be released that argues for virtually unrestrained executive powers as part of the president’s Commander-in-Chief authority.

The memo should serve as a sharp warning about the type of barbaric methods the US government is employing and will continue to employ to suppress all international and domestic opposition …

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Empire or Humanity ?

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Linked with Howard Zinn – USA, and with The real threat.

Published on Alarab online, By Howard Zinn, April 2, 2008.

What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the American Empire

With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.

However, the very idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War, and came home. Even as I began to have second thoughts about the purity of the “Good War,” even after being horrified by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even after rethinking my own bombing of towns in Europe, I still did not put all that together in the context of an American “Empire” …

… The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project — Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it. President Woodrow Wilson told graduates of the Naval Academy in 1914 (the year he bombarded Mexico) that the U.S. used “her navy and her army… as the instruments of civilization, not as the instruments of aggression.” And Bill Clinton, in 1992, told West Point graduates: “The values you learned here will be able to spread throughout the country and throughout the world.”

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ENCOURAGEMENT OF HOME INDUSTRIES … on 1893

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Linked with Ishbel Maria Aberdeen – England (1857 – 1939).

Published on Digital Library, written by LADY ISHBEL ABERDEEN (1857 – 1939), date maybe 1893 – Encouragement of Home Industries”, by Ishbel Maria Marjoribanks Gordon, Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair (1857-1939). Publication: Eagle, Mary Kavanaugh Oldham, ed. The Congress of Women: Held in the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., 1893. Chicago, Ill: Monarch Book Company, 1894. pp. 743-746).

The tendency of the present day is to organize, perhaps to over organize, but in this case it is certainly necessary to make some arrangement whereby the country workers can be put on a level with town workers, and whereby those scattered in rural districts can obtain good designs and can be put in touch with a good market. A considerable movement to endeavor to effect this has been noticeable in the British Isles during the last years, and several associations has been the result. There has been the Royal School of Art Needlework, under Her Royal Highness, Princess Christian, which has had for its object to train workers and to spread beautiful designs and work and the taste for them, and the result of that school and of the sister school in Ireland may be seen in the British show case in this building.

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A third American war crime in the making

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Published on Online Journal, by Paul Craig Roberts, March 31, 2008.

The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.

If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression – a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard – by the Bush Regime could be prevented.

On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited a high-ranking security source: The latest military
intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.

According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.

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