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Index April 2011

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2011-04-01: Democratic uprisings brutally suppressed in many African countries;
2011-04-02: The Making Of Al-Qaeda Member;
2011-04-03: Achieving Social Justice;
2011-04-04: Act like a tourist: this is Syria;
2011-04-05: Towards an Understanding of the Global Economic and Social Crisis;
2011-04-06: Ethiopia: A country for sale;
2011-04-07: Sign petition for the Robin Hood Tax;
2011-04-08: The IMF Goes Green – Ireland and Austerity;
2011-04-09: Peter Dale Scott’s exclusive interview for Voltaire Network;
2011-04-09: Cameroun: Mutilations génitales féminines, une association interpelle l’Etat;
2011-04-10: North African dispatches: Why Algeria is different;
2011-04-11: FHA insured loans dominate top 20 metro areas;
2011-04-12: EU wants a critical mass of shareholders taking engagement seriously;
2011-04-13: Concede what?
2011-04-14: (Mis)governance and the Arab Crisis;
2011-04-14: La lutte est à vous;
2011-04-15: Turkish and American deep states;
2011-04-16: Swaziland: Mswati, you are on your own … ;
2011-04-17: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed in Egypt land dispute;
2011-04-18: The Deep State behind U.S. democracy;
2011-04-19: Eight key proposals for another Europe;
2011-04-20: Economics focus: Growth tends to slow when GDP per head reaches a certain threshold. China is getting close;
2011-04-20: Les armées secrètes de l’OTAN VII – La guerre secrète en France;
2011-04-21: Billionaires Flourish, Inequalities Deepen as Economies Recover;
2011-04-21: Keine Abstriche an der Souveränität der Schweiz;
2011-04-22: Billionaires on Warpath to Pauperize the American Middle Class;
2011-04-22: Ce que vous ignorez sur le Groupe de Bilderberg;
2011-04-23: Karzai Family Values;
2011-04-24: How ‘rebel’ phone network evaded shutdown;
2011-04-25: ECONOMY: Portugal Negotiates Draconian Bailout Plan;
2011-04-26: 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism;
2011-04-27: Meanwhile, in Europe (12). Deconstructing Trichet;
2011-04-28: Capitalism and Class Struggle;
2011-04-28: Follow the money;
2011-04-29: Manufacturing Poor People;
2011-04-30: Making a difference.

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Making a difference

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Linked on our blogs with Swiss banks, Swiss neutrality and the poors, and with New Internationalist.

Published on New Internationalist /Blog, by Mgcini Nyoni, April 27, 2011.

I have a German friend who doesn’t like Switzerland much; she doesn’t like their neutrality: ‘The world is not a nice place and no one can afford to be neutral,’ she has said often enough with frenzied passion. During both World War One and World War Two, Switzerland managed to keep a stance of armed neutrality, and was not involved militarily. However, because Switzerland was centrally located, neutral, and generally undamaged, the war allowed the growth of the Swiss banking industry. At the moment the Swiss banking system is considered a safe place for illgotten and illegal money. A lot of African dictators hide money they loot from their countries in Swiss bank accounts: so much for neutrality!  Continue Reading…

Manufacturing Poor People

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Vi Ransel, April 27, 2011.

Even as the overall population of the world continues to increase, the increase in the number of poor people outstrips that growth.  How is this possible?  Are the poor simply breeding like rabbits, increasing their numbers geometrically in a suicidal, lemming-like production line of poverty-stricken people?  Or are they getting some outside aid in their catastrophic endeavor?

In just the past 50 years, the Rich People of the “First”, or Western World have invested heavily, through their banks, industries and other corporations, in the poorest regions of the “Third” World in Africa, Asia and Latin America, home to the majority of the world’s poor.  Continue Reading…

Follow the money

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Published on Le MondeDiplo, by Samir Aita, April 2011.

Those Arab states that have erupted this year – and others that may follow – want freedom and democracy, but also to end the way their countries have been run for the financial benefit of rulers and their friends.

The reasons for the Arab spring go deeper than immediate demands for freedom and democracy. The protesters want to end the political economy and the authoritarian regimes in place since the 1970s … //

… Erosion of public services:   Continue Reading…

Capitalism and Class Struggle

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Linked on our blogs with James Petras – USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. James Petras, April 25, 2011.

… Conceptual Clarification:

In analyzing contemporary capitalism, the most striking distinction is between three radically different conditions facing the capitalist system.  These include countries experiencing (a) high growth, (b) stagnation, (c) deep crises.
High growth capitalist countries are sharply divided between those which are (a) commodity boomers, largely exporters of agro-mineral-energy products, mostly found in Africa and Latin America, (b) manufacturing exporters – largely found in Asia (China, India,South Korea) .

Crises economies can be sub-divided into three groups.  Continue Reading…

Meanwhile, in Europe (12). Deconstructing Trichet

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Merijn Knibbe, April 25, 2011.

Introduction. Recently, mr. Trichet, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), raised the Euro-interest rate to an historical still low 1,25%. But considering the state of the economy, this 1,25% rate might still be quite high:

  • Looking at it from the Keynesian point of view there still is quite an output gap. Unemployment (U-3) is 9,9%, construction is at 75% of pre-crisis levels and still declining and industrial production is still not back at 2007 levels. Also, restrictions on intra-EU labor mobility are rapidly waning (no, Keynesian thinking is not anathema to supply side thinking, increased labor mobility in fact increases the output gap).  Continue Reading…

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

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Watch these 8 videos, with Ha-Joon Chang, published between 4th – 25th April 2011, on The Real News Network TRNN, by Paul Jay.

ECONOMY: Portugal Negotiates Draconian Bailout Plan

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Published on Global Geopolitics and Political Economy, by Editors, (first on IPS by Mario Queiroz. ECONOMIE-CRISE: Le Brésil promet une aide financière au Portugal), April 22, 2011.

LISBON, Apr 21, 2011 (IPS) – The strangling of the Portuguese economy by the international capital markets has led to what was expected: a bailout with tough conditions that will bring the country to its knees.

The administration of José Sócrates – who resigned as prime minister last month but is staying on as caretaker until a new government is formed – is negotiating with the same organisations that held talks with Ireland and Greece: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Central Bank (ECB).  Continue Reading…

How ‘rebel’ phone network evaded shutdown

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Telecoms engineers in eastern Libya have managed to outwit government moves to sever the region’s communications. – Published on AlJazeera, April 23, 2011.

Benghazi, LIBYA — On February 17, Ahmed el-Mahdawi’s duty engineer called him from the Libyana mobile phone company’s switch room in Benghazi’s Fuihat neighbourhood. Military and internal security forces had begun brutally repressing anti-government protesters in Libya’s second-largest city, and gunfire rang out through the darkened streets.

“Ahmed, it’s dangerous, I’m going home,” the man said.

Ahmed told him to go. The man closed down the office, locked the door and left. The team would return five days later. In the meantime, protesters overthrew the city’s military garrison and ousted forces loyal to longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Hundreds of civilians were killed and injured. Continue Reading…

Karzai Family Values

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Published on A World View, by blog owner , April 12, 2011.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is engaging in another war of words with Western officials active in his country, this time over the management of Afghanistan’s financial sector. Last September, Kabul Bank, the country’s largest private lender and the institution that handles government and military payrolls for Afghanistan, nearly collapsed. The Kabul Bank wasn’t done in by the global recession and credit crunch, but rather by good, old-fashioned mismanagement: Bank insiders used a series of fraudulent loans to suck close to a billion dollars out of the bank, nearly its entire asset base. Western firms including PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte were suppose to be providing consulting services and oversight for Afghanistan’s fledgling financial sector, so Karzai is now slamming the foreigners for not seeing the collapse of Kabul Bank coming and taking steps to prevent it. Of course it is worth noting here that Kabul Bank’s third-largest shareholder was a man named Mahmoud Karzai, and before you ask, yes, he is the brother of Hamid Karzai.

So President Karzai’s complaint boils down to this: The Western companies overseeing the Kabul Bank should have kept the Karzai family from ripping it off … (full text).

Ce que vous ignorez sur le Groupe de Bilderberg

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Publié dans Voltairenet.org, par Thierry Meyssan, 9 avril 2011.

Depuis plusieurs années, l’idée s’est répandue que le Groupe de Bilderberg serait un embryon de gouvernement mondial. Ayant eu accès aux archives de ce club très secret, Thierry Meyssan montre que cette description est une fausse piste utilisée pour masquer la véritable identité et fonction du Groupe: le Bilderberg est une création de l’OTAN. Il vise à convaincre des leaders et à manipuler l’opinion publique à travers eux pour la faire adhérer aux concepts et aux actions de l’Alliance atlantique … (long texte entier).

Billionaires on Warpath to Pauperize the American Middle Class

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Sherwood Ross, April 21, 2011.

America’s well-to-do are waging war on America’s “shrinking middle class,” Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, says.

The nation’s billionaires are on the war path. They want more, more, more,” and “their greed has no end and they are apparently unconcerned for the future of this country if it gets in the way of their accumulation of wealth and power.”

Sanders says that, “Right now, the top one percent controls more than 23 percent of all income earned in America,” which is more wealth than “the bottom 50 percent” put together. What’s more, he notes, “In the last 25 years, we have seen 80 percent of all new income going to the top 1 percent.” This comment is supported by data showing that productivity gains created by U.S. workers over the past several decades have not resulted in increased pay for them but have instead gone into profits. Salaries have stagnated.  Continue Reading…

Keine Abstriche an der Souveränität der Schweiz

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EU will der Schweiz ihre Gesetze und ihre Rechtsprechung aufzwingen

In Zeit-Fragen, von Dr. iur. Marianne Wüthrich, Zürich, 11. April 2011.

… Die mehr als hundert bilateralen Abkommen der Schweiz mit der EU seien unübersichtlich, und ihre Umsetzung sei aufwendig, klagen Brüsseler Politiker, deshalb brauche es dringend eine einheitliche Regelung für die Übernahme des EU-Rechts durch die Schweiz. Da lachen ja die Hühner! Etwas Unübersichtlicheres und Verworreneres als die aus allen Fugen platzende Rechtssammlung und Rechtsprechung der EU gibt es laut Fachleuten kein zweites Mal – und da wollen die Brüsseler Bürokratie-Profis mit ein paar bilateralen Verträgen nicht zu Rande kommen (die übrigens viel kürzer und verständlicher formuliert wären, wenn sie in Bern statt in Brüssel verfasst worden wären)?

Direkte Demokratie in der Schweiz – ein Stachel im Fleisch der EU-Machthaber: Continue Reading…

Billionaires Flourish, Inequalities Deepen as Economies Recover

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Linked on our blogs with James Petras – USA, and with Reflections on Twenty-First Century Socialism. – Published on Voltairenet.org, by James Petras, April 19, 2011.

In this profile of global wealth accumulation, James Petras illustrates the direct link between the exponential increase of the U.S. super rich in recent years and the tanking real economy. Unsurprisingly, the prize for the fastest and most dramatic growth of new billionaires goes to the BRIC block countries – recently joined by South Africa – albeit to the great detriment of their working classes and environment … //

… Conclusion:  Continue Reading…

Les armées secrètes de l’OTAN VII – La guerre secrète en France

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Publié dans Voltairenet.org, par Daniele Ganser, avril 18, 2011.

S’il est un secret bien gardé en France, c’est celui de la sanglante guerre que les services secrets anglo-saxons ont conduit durant soixante ans à Paris pour maîtriser la vie politique nationale. En révélant les péripéties de cet affrontement historique, l’historien suisse Danièle Ganser souligne le rôle du gaullisme dans le projet national français : d’abord soutenu par la CIA pour revenir au pouvoir, Charles De Gaulle parvient à un consensus politique avec ses anciens camarades résistants communistes à propos de la décolonisation, puis chasse l’OTAN. Il s’ensuit un conflit interne dans les structures secrètes de l’État ; conflit qui se poursuit encore … //

… Un nettoyage toujours annoncé, jamais réalisé:  Continue Reading…

Economics focus: Growth tends to slow when GDP per head reaches a certain threshold. China is getting close

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Published on The Economist, April 14, 2011.

THE economic crisis may have been debilitating for the rich world but for emerging markets it has been closer to a triumph. In 2010 China overtook a limping Japan as the world’s second-largest economy. It looks sets to catch America within a decade or two. India and Brazil are growing rapidly. The past few years have reinforced the suspicion of many that the story of the century will be the inexorable rise of emerging economies. If projections of future growth look rosy for emerging markets, however, history counsels caution. The post-war period is rich in examples of blistering catch-up growth. But at some point growth starts to disappoint. Gaining ground on the leaders is far easier than overtaking them … //

… Middle Kingdom, middle income:  Continue Reading…

Eight key proposals for another Europe

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Linked on our blogs with Eric Toussaint – Belgium, and with Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt CADTM. – Published on Voltairenet.org, by Eric Toussaint, April 17, 2011.

… A radical reduction of public debt is necessary but not sufficient in order to get EU countries out of the crisis. It has to be complemented with significant measures in various areas:

  • 1. Auditing public debt to cancel the illegitimate part: A significant part of the public debt in EU countries is illegitimate since it results from a deliberate policy by governments that have decided to systematically favor the moneyed classes to the detriment of other members of society … //   Continue Reading…

The Deep State behind U.S. democracy

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Part Two published on Voltairenet.org, April 6, 2011. Translation by Maxime Chaix.

This interview with Peter Dale Scott is a follow-up to the article 
Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration, by Peter Dale Scott, Voltaire Network, 13 December 2010.

In his book The Road to 9/11, now available in French, Professor Peter Dale Scott traces back the history of the “Deep State” in the United States, that is to say the secret structure that steers defense and foreign policy behind the facade of democracy. His analysis lifts the veil on the group that organised the September 11 attacks and which finances itself through international trafficking networks. Regarded as a reference book, The Road to 9/11 already features as recommended reading at military-diplomatic academies … //  Continue Reading…

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed in Egypt land dispute

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, April 13, 2011.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest man in the Middle East, had a grand vision for turning a swath of land in southern Egypt into an agricultural marvel. Now that land has become part of a political struggle, in the wake of the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Since 1998 Alwaleed has invested $127 million in 100,00 acres (40,470 hectares) of land in the Nile River delta Tushka agricultural project (also known as Toshka). The land is owned by Alwaleed’s Kingdom Agricultural Development Co., which is part of his Saudi-listed Kingdom Holding investment vehicle. Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office said Sunday it froze the land controlled by Alwaleed because the original sale of the land violated the law, Reuters reported on Monday … (full text).

Swaziland: Mswati, you are on your own …

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Sokari Ekine, April 14, 2011.

Hundreds of Swazis have been arrested after they took to the streets on 12 and 13 April, to demonstrate against the monarchy. Swaziland’s King Mswati has presided over a ‘system of governance’ that protest organisers say has left the country’s ‘people divided, poor and powerless’. Sokari Ekine reports on southern Africa’s first uprising and provides updates on the situation in Djibouti, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Libya.

I am at the point where I have the utmost respect for those who have or are considering engaging in some level of protest against their governments. I can only think of a few countries on the continent that don’t need to be overthrown or at the very least need a complete overhaul – possibly the same thing. Swaziland is the site of the first uprisings in southern Africa, so it will be interesting to see if there is any overspill into South Africa and Zimbabwe, which have had many uprisings over the past few years.

SWAZILAND: COMMONERS, UNITE! MSWATI, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!  Continue Reading…

Turkish and American deep states

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Published on Today’s Zaman, by ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ, April 13, 2011.

My regular readers know that I use the term “deep state” quite often. So far I have received many questions asking me to explain precisely what I mean by the “deep state.” I have made some attempts to explain the concept in my various articles. Today, however, I learned that our jargon has already been exported to other countries.

I was recently reading an interview with Peter Dale Scott, who wrote “The Road to 9/11.” What struck me was the title of the interview: “The ‘Deep State’ behind U.S. democracy.” VoltaireNet, which conducted this interview, first asked Scott about this. What exactly did he mean by this term? Scott’s answer is quite thought provoking.

I was recently reading an interview with Peter Dale Scott, who wrote “The Road to 9/11.” What struck me was the title of the interview: “The ‘Deep State’ behind U.S. democracy.” VoltaireNet, which conducted this interview, first asked Scott about this. What exactly did he mean by this term? Scott’s answer is quite thought provoking.  Continue Reading…

La lutte est à vous

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welcome to Bankster.TV – Publié sur Money as dept /article traduit en français (cliquer sur le lien interne français).

Il n’y a même pas un an, les grands patrons des banques les plus importantes au niveau mondial étaient à genoux devant les Etats en gémissant qu’ils allaient tous mourir si nous (les Peuples, à travers nos dirigeants) ne les aidions pas à sortir du bourbier où leur propre cupidité les avait placés.

Aujourd’hui, remis de leurs émotion, et engrangeant à nouveau de mirifiques profits, ils reviennent, la gueule enfarinée, nous donner des leçons de morale, et se payent même le luxe inouï de nous réclamer en plus le prix de la passe … // Continue Reading…

(Mis)governance and the Arab Crisis

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Published on Greater Kashmir, by AIJAZ ASHRAF WANI, April 8, 2011.

Some of the primary characteristics of Failed States, writes Noam Chomsky, are:

  • (a) their inability or unwillingness to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction,
  • (b) their tendency to regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and
  • (c) if they have democratic forms, they suffer from a serious “democratic deficit” that deprives their formal democratic institutions of real substance.

Over the decades most of the Arab states have only witnessed authoritarianism, denial of democracy and mis-governance. The present crisis that the Arab world is going through is actually the outcome of mis-governance by the power hungry dictators turning these countries into Failed States and now into battle fields. Syria, Egypt and Libya are perfect case studies in this regard … (full text).

Links:   Continue Reading…

Concede what?

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Jayne Lyn Stahl, April 12, 2011.

Republicans and Democrats have decided to act like grown-ups and agree to make concessions to keep the government up and running until a more permanent resolution can be reached, but the stopgap measure approved will expire on Thursday.

While we’re in for a long round of negotiations before both parties can agree on passing a budget through the end of this fiscal year let alone through 2012, it might be helpful to look at how spending has changed over the past 50 years, and then ask: concede what? … //

… We went from LBJ’s war on poverty to just plain war.  Continue Reading…

EU wants a critical mass of shareholders taking engagement seriously

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Long-awaited Green Paper on Corporate Governance from European Commission

Published on responsible investor.com, by Daniel Brooksbank, April 5, 2011.

… Shareholder oversight is one of the checks and balances in the corporate governance system and is an essential tool to hold management accountable for its decisions and actions,” the Commission says in documents accompanying its new Green Paper on Corporate Governance.

“The purpose of this consultation is to find ways to encourage the presence of a critical mass of shareholders willing to take their engagement responsibilities seriously.”  Continue Reading…

FHA insured loans dominate top 20 metro areas

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The near nothing down mentality is the new rage in the housing market. FHA loans showing massive delinquency rates and have the potential of costing the taxpayer $100 billion in another bailout

Published on Dr. Housing Bubble, by , April 5, 2011.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has stepped into the housing market in a too big to fail way.  Their involvement in the mortgage market is not necessarily a good thing in the long-term. The reason for the FHA popularity is the incredibly low down payment requirement of 3.5 percent.  Couple this with the Federal Reserve subsidizing lower mortgage rates and you have a recipe for a nation simply pushing debt off to the future.  The FHA is now a mess since it is picking up the slack of defunct toxic mortgage lenders.  In 2008 HUD went to Congress for a $143,000,000 subsidy, the first in three decades.  More troubling is the projected losses that could amount to $100 billion over time.  The rising delinquency rates and the market share of FHA insured loans assure us problems ahead.  Let us look at the proliferation of this product since the housing market bubble burst in 2007.  Continue Reading…

North African dispatches: Why Algeria is different

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Imad Mesdoua, April 5, 2011.

… Whilst Egypt rejoiced, nearby Algeria stood in anticipation at the call for pro-democracy protests on 12 February. A coordination made up of several members of civil society and political parties called for a rally on Algiers’s 1 May square and throughout the nation, hoping to emulate the wind of change blowing through the region. Despite high ambitions to mobilise, they were somewhat left short, with only a few thousand showing up.

Why was this case? Algeria has always been a land of rebels, the ‘Mecca for revolutions and revolutionaries’. In the 1960s, it emerged an independent nation following an atrocious war with the French coloniser, which gained it a sobriquet as the land of the ‘1.5 million martyrs’. In 1988, a recession-hit Algeria witnessed events comparable to those which recently took place in Egypt and Tunisia. Millions of Algerians took to the streets in nationwide riots and protests to demand the end of the FLN’s (National Liberation Front) one-party rule and reclaim their political and socio-economic rights …  Continue Reading…

Cameroun: Mutilations génitales féminines, une association interpelle l’Etat

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Publié dans allAfrica, by Prosper Rémy Mimboé, 31 Mars 2011.

Ai-Cameroun: Après la concertation entre les autorités religieuses et traditionnelles du quartier Briqueterie et la ministre de la Promotion de la femme et de la famille, lors de la 4ème journée de la tolérance zéro aux mutilations génitales féminines, l’association des femmes et filles de l’Adamaoua dans le Grand Nord monte d’un cran dans le combat en proposant une loi au gouvernement.

L’Association des femmes et filles de l’Adamaoua (AFFADA), dont les objectifs fondamentaux sont la lutte pour l’épanouissement et surtout l’alphabétisation de la jeune fille camerounaise en général et, celle de la région de l’Adamaoua en particulier, organise depuis peu, un certain nombre d’activités dans le cadre de la célébration de ses dix ans existence. Continue Reading…

The Deep State behind U.S. democracy

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Peter Dale Scott’s exclusive interview for Voltaire Network – Published on Voltairenet.org, by , 6 April 2011. (En Français: Derrière la démocratie états-unienne, l’État profond, Traduction Maxime Chaix).

This interview is a follow-up to the article Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration, by Peter Dale Scott, Voltaire Network, 13 December 2010.

In his book The Road to 9/11, now available in French, Professor Peter Dale Scott traces back the history of the “Deep State” in the United States, that is to say the secret structure that steers defense and foreign policy behind the facade of democracy. His analysis lifts the veil on the group that organised the September 11 attacks and which finances itself through international trafficking networks. Regarded as a reference book, The Road to 9/11 already features as recommended reading at military-diplomatic academies … //  Continue Reading…

The IMF Goes Green – Ireland and Austerity

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Kathleen Wallace Peine, April 6th, 2011.

Ireland: The latest casualty in the quest for worldwide working class austerity. We know the drill well, through corruption and rabid profit seeking the political and finance world of Ireland managed to bring a thriving country to the brink of ruin. The average Irish had essentially no say in the creation of this debacle. The instigators forwarded the theme that they were the only ones sophisticated enough to maneuver he world of these financial weapons of destruction. The carnivorous financial plays were more likely shrouded in manufactured complexity in an effort disguise the basic alchemy at work.

The failure of these financial sophisticates should have produced a shining moment of clarity; the individuals who pulled the world into this thievery should have been soundly disavowed. Sadly this has not been the outcome; the payment for this behavior continues to be placed on the very souls who did not cause it. The experts who created this financial train wreck are now quite invisible, but the ever burdened working class is all too evident as an austerity target.  Continue Reading…

Sign petition for the Robin Hood Tax

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Linked on our blogs with Robin Hood Tax and watch there this video: The Banker, 3.25 min. Linked also with Oxfam.org UK. – Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Editor, April 4, 2011.

The campaign for the so-called ‘Robin Hood Tax’ is now hugely popular in many countries ( see The Robin Hood Tax.org). The French have made an FTT a priority for their presidency of the G20 and there is a real chance of a breakthrough in the coming six months.

But to win we need your help once again.

We need to ramp up the pressure on the G20, and are hoping to produce an open letter signed by at least a 1000 economists across the world. In order to achieve this, we need your help! The letter will be addressed to G20 Finance Ministers and Bill Gates, and we are hoping to have it ready by their next meeting on 14/15 April 2011. The reason it is addressed to Bill Gates as well as the G20 Ministers is because President Sarkozy has asked Bill Gates to write a report for the G20 on the FTT.  Continue Reading…

Ethiopia: A country for sale

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Alemayehu G. Mariam, March 30, 2011.

An international company has benefitted from a massive handout of land in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. Alemayehu G. Mariam shows what the devastating consequences of the deal will be for local people. Supposing someone offered you the following land deal: would you take it or would you walk away believing it to be too good to be true? For £150 a week ($245), you can lease more than 2,500 square kilometres of virgin, fertile land – an area the size of Dorset, England – for 50 years, plus generous tax breaks.

If you walked away from it, you would have lost out on ‘the deal of the century’, perhaps the millennium. If you think this is a joke or some sort of wild and crazy exaggeration, see this Guardian (UK) report and video on an incredible international land giveaway that is taking place in Gambella in Western Ethiopia and judge for yourself.

ETHIOPIA ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK:   Continue Reading…

Towards an Understanding of the Global Economic and Social Crisis

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The Legacy of Martin Luther King - Linked on our blogs with Danny Schechter – USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Danny Schechter, April 3, 2011.

Wall Street is stronger than ever. Its “reforms” are proving to be a joke. No big execs who profited from pervasive mortgage fraud have gone to jail as prosecutions dwindle.

There has been a respite in Wisconsin as a State Judge shoots down the GOP’s attempt to outlaw collective bargaining but similar laws have passed in Ohio and New Hampshire.

In a globalized world, we are all interdependent. What happens to one part of this web affects us all. That’s why we have to pay attention the falling economic dominoes in Europe where Portugal may be next to go with Spain and Ireland not far behind. So far protests by hundreds of thousands in Britain have not dented much less changed the government’s cutbacks in the name of austerity.  Continue Reading…

Act like a tourist: this is Syria

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Published on AlJazeera, by Val Perry, April 1, 2011.

It was one week ago Friday when clashes broke out near the main mosque in the old city of Damascus. And while we have permission from the president’s office to film around the city, the security apparatus in this country is so extensive, it often operates independently without the knowledge of those at the top

You may have permission, but still end up being detained. With all the recent detentions, and warnings from the US state department and governments of other countries, we did not want to take our large camera out in the city on such a day. Continue Reading…

Achieving Social Justice

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Kim Petersen, April 1, 2011.

… To the argument that anarchism will not succeed because humans are intrinsically greedy, Levine rightly points out that this is assertion. Whether humans are greedy or altruistic: “no one can definitively prove their case.”

It is likeliest that human character is in large extent shaped by the system and society one finds oneself in. If so, and indubitably it is, then human character can be shaped by designing culture and society to elicit desirable traits.

The electoral battle field is a no-win scenario. The two-party Tweedle Dee-Tweedle Dum focus is distracting and enervating.  Continue Reading…

The Making Of Al-Qaeda Member

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Published on CounterCurrent, by Professor Sattar Kassem, March 31, 2011.

This is the story of my nephew who is alleged to be a member of al-Qaeda. If that is true, I accuse the Americans of pushing him toward al-Qaeda. How?

My nephew, Ala’ Abdu Raoof Tawfeeq Khader, who is carrying a Jordanian passport, left Jordan to Iraq on the 20th of Jan 2004 to resume his higher education in statistics in the University of Baghdad. He left Jordan legally, and entered Iraq legally. Continue Reading…

Democratic uprisings brutally suppressed in many African countries

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Firoze Manji, March 31, 2011.

Northern Africa is not the only part of Africa where uprisings are taking place. In countries like Swaziland, Gabon, Cameroon, Djibouti, and Burkina Faso we’ve seen massive student uprisings and worker demonstrations brutally suppressed in most cases. Editor-in-chief of Pambazuka News Firoze Manji talks to the Real News Network about what’s happening in Southern Africa.

Watch the video UPRISING IN AFRICA, 12.17 min.

or/(and) read the transcript:

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. Northern Africa is not the only part of Africa where uprisings are taking place.  Continue Reading…