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Index December 2010

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2010-12-01: Despite Setbacks, Africa Seen as Key Player in Future;
2010-12-02: Workers Rights and the Labour Movement in Ontario;
2010-12-03: DEVELOPMENT: Africa’s Time Has Come;
2010-12-04: Looking back, looking forward;
2010-12-05: Evidence of Insider Trading on the Attacks of September 11;
2010-12-06: SOAWR: Lessons we have learned;
2010-12-07: World Aids Day: Red ribbon rights for all;
2010-12-07: OUR VIEW: Don’t talk about WikiLeaks, Big Brother says;
2010-12-08: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal How US Manipulated Climate Accord;
2010-12-09: Contentment is the Greatest Wealth;
2010-12-10: Women Rights in the USA: On the Amazing Strides of American Women;
2010-12-11: Civil service systems around the world;
2010-12-12: Calendar of OHCHR-Meetings and events (2010) – 2011;
2010-12-13: From soporific to sizzling – What WikiLeaks revealed;
2010-12-14: Human rights, livelihoods and Ubuntu for the 21st century;
2010-12-15: Youth, leadership and nonviolence – A global education imperative;
2010-12-16: The Accusations Are False: Julian Assange;
2010-12-17: Teaching material on trafficking in human beings;
2010-12-18: Imagine! Cyber Wars INSTEAD OF Battlefields;
2010-12-19: The Human Right to Health;
2010-12-20: India: Poverty and neglect force widows into prostitution, begging;
2010-12-21: IX Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education;
2010-12-22: Requests for Information: 29 November – 12 December 2010;
2010-12-23: France: Not Victorious, But Not Defeated;
2010-12-24: WikiLeaks cables: Antidote to corruption in Africa?
2010-12-25: Regulating land grabbing?
2010-12-26: WikiLeaks cables: Sudanese president stashed $9bn in UK banks;
2010-12-27: Uganda calls for Africa to outlaw female genital mutilation;
2010-12-28: Ex-Guantanamo Official Was Told Not to Discuss Policy Surrounding Antimalarial Drug Used on Detainees;
2010-12-29: Unpacking the hot air industry;
2010-12-30: FGM: We need to change people’s attitudes;
2010-12-31: Commentary: Double-speak and waging psychological war against the people.

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FGM: We need to change people’s attitudes

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Published on New Vision, by Anthony Masake, December 15, 2010.

ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation, about three million girls in Africa are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) annually.

Already 92 million girls aged 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone the practice. In Uganda, FGM is practised in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts in the Sebei region … //

… Others say unmutilated females are not fertile and, therefore, cannot conceive. Other people also believe that if a baby’s head or a man’s penis comes in contact with the clitoris, they will die. Other people believe that leaving a woman with a clitoris can lead to lesbianism. Continue Reading…

Commentary: Double-speak and waging psychological war against the people

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Published on Online Journal, by Larry Pinkney, December 17, 2010.

… It is imperative that we everyday people revisit our histories — this time with a view towards grasping the true nature of the people’s struggle in this land – as opposed to the corporate-stream, manipulated vomit, which historical impersonations are being passed off by ‘educational’ institutions and the like as being everyday people’s history. The fact of the matter is that women and men of all colors in this nation have been waging an ongoing struggle for social, political, and economic justice. Notwithstanding changes in technology and/or the names of political parties, the opponents to this people’s struggle for social, political, and economic justice remain today, essentially who they were over three centuries ago – the entrenched, wealthy elite. Continue Reading…

HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES THAT VIOLATE WOMEN’S RIGHTS WIDESPREAD IN AFGHANISTAN

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Published on ReliefWeb, December 9, 2010. – Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) /United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Unpacking the hot air industry

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Khadija Sharife, 2010-12-16.

The first priority for developing countries when it comes to climate change mitigation should be reducing poverty, but the market-based approach of carbon trading is … //

… UPSETTING OFFSETS

The UNFCCC system, in addition to that of other initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol, legitimises “flexibility points” – mechanisms that include carbon trading as well as the CDM, promoting the offset strategy. Annex 1 countries (or developed countries that are leading polluters) pledged, via a ‘noted’ but not binding accord pushed through by an exclusive group of countries in Copenhagen, to reduce emission by 12-18% of 1990 levels by 2020. Continue Reading…

Ex-Guantanamo Official Was Told Not to Discuss Policy Surrounding Antimalarial Drug Used on Detainees

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Jason Leopold, December 21, 2010.

Military officials were instructed not to publicly discuss a decision made in January 2002 to presumptively treat all Guantanamo detainees with a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug that has been directly linked to suicide, hallucinations, seizures and other severe neuropsychological side effects, according to a retired Navy captain who signed the policy directive … //

… Benefits Outweighed Risks:

Shimkus, who is a nurse by training, acknowledged that the mass presumptive treatment of malaria using mefloquin was unprecedented. However, he said the “benefits outweighed the risks.”  Continue Reading…

Uganda calls for Africa to outlaw female genital mutilation

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Published on International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics FIGO, by Martine Ward, December 16, 2010.

Uganda has called for the whole of Africa to stop the practice of female genital mutilation
FGM … //

… “We have a law in place against the practice. Unless we ask our neighbours to put in place similar laws, our girls will cross over to be cut,” Ms Nakadama said, reports the news provider.

The Ugandan government passed the anti-FGM law in December last year, and a ten-year jail term could be imposed on anyone caught practising it, but it reportedly still persists in the country.  Continue Reading…

WikiLeaks cables: Sudanese president stashed $9bn in UK banks

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Published on The Guardian, by Afua Hirsch, December 17, 2010.

Speculation that Omar al-Bashir siphoned $9bn in oil money and deposited it in foreign accounts could fuel calls for his arrest.

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, has siphoned as much as $9bn out of his impoverished country, and much of it may be stashed in London banks, according to secret US diplomatic cables that recount conversations with the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court … //

… Details of the allegations emerge in the latest batch of leaked embassy cables released by WikiLeaks which reveal that:  Continue Reading…

Regulating land grabbing?

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Saturnino Borras Jr and Jennifer Franco, December 16, 2010.

Previously reviled as ‘land grabs’, international institutions increasingly paint the global land rush as ‘large-scale land investments’, providing fertile ground for ‘win-win’ development schemes. But, caution Saturnino Borras Jr and Jennifer Franco, ‘any scheme that guarantees only winners and no losers deserves our scepticism and a closer look.’

‘Land grab’ is the catch-phrase for the explosion of (trans)national commercial land transactions currently revolving mainly around the production and export of food and biofuels. Initially deployed by activist groups opposed to such transactions, the meaning of the phrase has been slowly eroding as it gets absorbed into mainstream development currents that see the global land rush as fertile ground for ‘win-win’ development schemes.  Continue Reading…

WikiLeaks cables: Antidote to corruption in Africa?

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Published on Pambazuka News, Issue 510, Cameron Duodu, December 16, 2010.

As the fallout from the release of the WikiLeaks cables continues, Cameron Duodu considers the implications for addressing corruption in Africa.

… The cable that follows relates to Uganda, but comes very close to something that may – or may not – have happened in Ghana, which has similarly had its disputes with oil companies about the ownership of oil blocks. Read it and draw your own conclusions:

  • ‘Thursday, 17 December 2009, 11:37 S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA CLASSIFIED BY: Donald Cordell, Economic Officer, State [Department]
  • ‘1. Tullow Oil claims senior Ugandan government officials were ‘compensated’ to support the sale of a partner/rival firm’s exploration and production rights to Italian oil company ENI (ref. A).   Continue Reading…

France: Not Victorious, But Not Defeated

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The vast movement against counter-reform of the pension system - Published on Global Research.ca, by Murray Smith, December 17, 2010.

… Not Victorious, Not Defeated:

The movement was in the end not victorious. The government camped on its position, the law went through, the police broke the blockades of the refineries and imported oil from other countries. The movement began to lose impetus toward the end of October. But in the first place what happened was not inevitable. Even short of a full-scale general strike, a continuation of the movement at the level it had reached in mid-October could have made the economic and political price too high for the government to pay. And “not victorious” does not mean crushingly defeated. This was not Britain in 1985. Sarkozy may want to be France’s Thatcher but he certainly is not. This was a tactical defeat, which may turn out to have been a Pyrrhic victory for Sarkozy. It was not by any means the kind of defeat which demoralizes and deters people from fighting again.  Continue Reading…

Requests for Information: 29 November – 12 December 2010

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Received by e-mail, From: Global HRE List Moderator, Date:16/12/2010

Dear members, Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past week. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can respond to the request directly.

1. REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Dear Colleagues: Children and adolescents with disabilities are a vulnerable group that need to be supported in voicing their concerns and be actively involved in actions that affect them. CRC “Article 23-1 “States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community”.   Continue Reading…

IX Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education

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IX Informe interamericano sobre educación en derechos humanos

Received by e-mail, From: Global HRE List Moderator, Date: 16/12/2010

The 9th edition of the Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education has appeared. The Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education, published by the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights (IIDH) in Costa Rica, focuses on the 19 countries that that have signed or ratified the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador).  Continue Reading…

India: Poverty and neglect force widows into prostitution, begging

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Published on OneWorld.net, Source: Source: The Times of India , Dec. 7, 2010.

Widows in the Indian holy city of Vrindavan are still living a life of neglect despite the government’s ambitious scheme for their upliftment and remarriage. Extreme poverty has forced many into prostitution and begging for food and money on the streets … //

… Just days ago, the Guild released a report, Dimensions of Deprivation: Study on the Poverty Levels of Widows of Vrindavan, based on a survey of 500 widows.  Continue Reading…

The Human Right to Health

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  • Wheras Ethics is the proper language of Medicine, Human Rights is the proper language of Public Health,
  • In public health, we uncritically assume scarcity of resources without asking why scarcity,
  • WHO comes with technical advice, the World Bank comes with money … countries usually prefer the money.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Dr. Claudio Schuftan, Dec. 11, 2010.

1. The human right to health, some precisions: Continue Reading…

Imagine! Cyber Wars INSTEAD OF Battlefields

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Published on Other Jones, by Deena Stryker, Dec. 9, 2010.

… Compared to what goes on behind our backs, at least the Somali Pirates are in the open. It’s time more people realized that each downtrodden group will use the weapons it has – and that they are right to use them since most of what is hurting them is taking place behind their backs – see no evil, hear no evil, don’t ask, don’t tell on a planetary scale.

Three cheers for the British students: there are too many highly educated people to fill the jobs capitalism has created for them, but a better way to avoid having an army of overqualified people is to cut the work day in half, meeting the climate challenge half-way by a hard left to a policy of no-growth. Continue Reading…

Teaching material on trafficking in human beings

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Linked on our blogs with Zentrum polis – The Austrian Centre for Citizenship Education in Schools.

Received by e-mail, From: Maria Haupt, Date: 16/12/2010

Dear Colleagues, According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) an estimated 2.4 million children, women and men are victims of human trafficking each year. By means of deceptive promises or the use of menace and violence, people are displaced and/or sold for sexual exploitation or into forced labour.   Continue Reading…

The Accusations Are False: Julian Assange

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Published on Countercurrent, by Natalia Viana, 09 December, 2010.

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, gave an exclusive interview to Brazilian journalist Natalia Viana of the online publication Opera Mundi on Monday … //

… Viana: Regarding the accusation of espionage, have there been any legal charges filed?

Assange: It is a formal investigation involving the heads of the FBI, CIA, and the US Attorney General and so on. Australia is also conducting a similar “whole of government” investigation and assisting the United States. One of the alleged sources, Bradley Manning (US soldier accused of being WikiLeaks’ source), sits in solitary confinement in a prison cell in Virginia. He faces 52 years if convicted on all charges.

Viana: What is the difference between what WikiLeaks does and espionage?  Continue Reading…

Youth, leadership and nonviolence – A global education imperative

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Steve Sharra, Dec. 09, 2010.

Fearful of a return to the days when ‘party youths went wild beating up opposition politicians with impunity’, Steve Sharra asks what can be done to ‘tame’ and ‘redirect’ Malawi’s young people ‘toward peaceful, nonviolent expressions of their views and beliefs’. A discussion with a group of secondary school students provides him with some inspiration.

In the early hours of Tuesday 30 November 2010, a group of students at Viphya Private Secondary School in the city of Mzuzu in northern Malawi fought one another, and destroyed school property worth millions of kwacha. Police came to the scene just before dawn and arrested 54 students, 17 of them girls, according to Zodiak Broadcasting Station. It is not clear what caused the violence, but school authorities have dismissed suggestions that it stemmed from frustrations to do with poor sanitation, lack of entertainment, and poor diet, according to The Nation newspaper (1 December 2010).  Continue Reading…

Human rights, livelihoods and Ubuntu for the 21st century

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Published on Pambazuka News, Horace Campbell, Dec. 09, 2010.

We cannot separate ‘the question of human rights and Ubuntu – our linked humanity and our peaceful coexistence with planet earth’ in the pursuit of ‘international peace and security’, writes Horace Campbell … //

… EXTENDING RIGHTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

In Africa, working people supported the UDHR as a document to use for mobilisation. In 1948, when this document was written, most African countries were under colonial rule. In the process of achieving their independence, Africans wrote their own Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Throughout the anti-colonial struggles, African intellectuals and human rights activists refused to accept the Western concept of human rights that excluded the question of self determination. These activists exposed the intellectual deformity that was manifest in the international campaign of powers that supported apartheid while championing human rights.  Continue Reading…

From soporific to sizzling – What WikiLeaks revealed

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Plenty of gossip, some titillation—and also a few surprises - Published on The Economist, Dec. 2, 2010.

… Mostly the new information fleshes out worries and strategies that are already known. It falls broadly into three categories.

One is casting public light on the private behaviour of prominent personalities. An American diplomat who attended a meeting with Britain’s Prince Andrew, on a trade-promotion visit to Kyrgyzstan, was both captivated and appalled by his forceful behaviour and candid language. He railed at anti-corruption investigators for their “idiocy” in almost scuttling the al-Yamama arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia. The prince also claimed that France was corrupt and Americans’ command of geography was weak … //   Continue Reading…

Calendar of OHCHR-Meetings and events (2010) – 2011

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Published on UN’s OHCHR website, find the OHCHR-meetings:

in english, en français, et en espanol.

For the russian, arabic or chinese speaking persons: see one of the three other languages above.

Civil service systems around the world

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Watch this video, published on Xinhuanet, 3.07 min, Dec. 6, 2010.

Links:

Civil Service International SCI: Homepage, Contact;

Civil service on wikipedia;

a book about Civil Service Systems In Asia;

a book about Civil Service Systems In Anglo-American Countries;

The Civil Service in the 21st Century, on palgrave macmillan.

Women Rights in the USA: On the Amazing Strides of American Women

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Sherwood Ross, Nov. 22, 2010.

That we take the concept of full equality for women today for granted shows how far women have progressed when only 50 years ago they constituted America’s largest untapped human resource; when only 6% of all doctors, 3% of all lawyers, and fewer than 1% of all engineers were women; when no woman could compete in the Boston Marathon and when every woman needed her husband’s permission even to get a credit card. In the comparatively short span since, American women have made astonishing progress, from legal secretaries to lawyers, from nurses to doctors; from kitchen menials to astronauts, and from USO hostesses to front-line warriors. Their dramatic story is charted in the new book by New York Times columnist Gail Collins in “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (Little Brown).”  Continue Reading…

Contentment is the Greatest Wealth!

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Published on Poverty Portal, by Rohana Deva, Oct 15, 2010.

The moment we hear the word ‘poverty’, the first thing that comes to mind is starvation, lack of shelter, scarcity of educational and medical services and malnutrition. Considering the fact that our country is surrounded by the ocean and has abundant resources such as fish and possess rivers and lush natural water tanks, it is actually a wonder as to what really makes ‘poverty’ exist? … //

… According to the statistics of the World Health Organizations, 30% of the world population is mentally ill. While 35% to 40% of such cases in the first world states do not take any treatment for this, this figure is at about 75% in developing countries like ours and other poverty stricken countries.     Continue Reading…

WikiLeaks Cables Reveal How US Manipulated Climate Accord

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Published on Ciranda.net, by Damian Carrington/The Guardian, Dec. 5, 2010.

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord.

Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage … //  Continue Reading…

OUR VIEW: Don’t talk about WikiLeaks, Big Brother says

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Published on The Oklahoma Daily, by the Editorial Board, December 6, 2010.

It appears we’re inching closer to a brave new world.

In the wake of WikiLeaks’s latest release of thousands of cable records from multiple U.S. embassies, the government is revealing just how little it thinks of the First Amendment.

Students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs were warned by an alumnus now working for the State Department that posting documents leaked by WikiLeaks, even talking about them, could threaten their prospects for serving in the federal government.  Continue Reading…

World Aids Day: Red ribbon rights for all

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Published on Pambazuka News, Issue 508, by Joel Nana, Dec. 1, 2010.

Twenty-two years after the first World AIDS Day, it’s time to acknowledge that African governments have officially ‘disappeared’ the existence of three highly vulnerable populations – sex workers, people who inject drugs, and gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM). It’s time for the denial to stop, urges Joel Nana … //

… In recent years, various accounts of human rights violations resulting from these laws and directly stopping MSM and transgender people from accessing HIV prevention, treatment and care services have been documented.  Continue Reading…

SOAWR: Lessons we have learned

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Linked on our blogs with Solidarity for African Women’s Rights SOAWR,and with Fahamu.org – networks for social justice. – Published on Pambazuka News, by Faiza Jama Mohamed, Nov. 25, 2010.

Five years after the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa came into force, the campaign to ensure that it is implemented and enforced across the continent continues. Faiza Jama Mohamed looks at SOAWR’s strategy for future advocacy, in light of the experience it has gained.

As Africa marks the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa on 25 November 2010, several members of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights SOAWR have reflected on lessons learned from the intensive campaigning actions that SOAWR has been engaging since 2004 across the continent … //

… CONCLUSION:   Continue Reading…

Evidence of Insider Trading on the Attacks of September 11

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Did Investors have foreknowledge of the attacks? – Published on Global Research.ca, by Kevin Ryan, November 23, 2010.

Just after September 11th 2001, many governments began investigations into possible insider trading related to the terrorist attacks of that day.  Such investigations were initiated by the governments of Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and others.  Although the investigators were clearly concerned about insider trading, and considerable evidence did exist, none of the investigations resulted in a single indictment.  That’s because the people identified as having been involved in the suspicious trades were seen as unlikely to have been associated with those alleged to have committed the 9/11 crimes … //

… Conclusion:  Continue Reading…

Looking back, looking forward

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Linkedon our blogs with Solidarity for African Women’s Rights SOAWR. – Published on Pambazuka News, by Mary Wandia, Nov. 25, 2010.

Despite the advancement of women’s rights legal frameworks and discourse in Africa, there’s been little substantial change in the situation of African women, writes Mary Wandia.

It is five years since the African Union (AU) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa entered into force on November 25, 2005. To date, over fifty per cent of AU member states (29)[1] have ratified it. That day is significant to women worldwide as it also marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women. The protocol comprehensively enshrines civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; the rights to development and peace and reproductive and sexual rights. It provides a legal framework for addressing gender inequality and the underlying aspects that perpetuate women’s subordination.   Continue Reading…

DEVELOPMENT: Africa’s Time Has Come

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Published on IPS, by Sanjay Suri, November 26, 2010.

There is the image of Africa, worse than Africa is, and then there is Africa, so much of it better than its image. It’s the continent whose time has come, African civil society leaders emphasised at a meeting in Madrid Thursday.

The overriding image of an Africa ridden by poverty, disease and deprivation of every kind reveals an undoubted truth, it was acknowledged, but hides the reality of an Africa growing at more than five percent on average, raising resources without aid, and prospering. The hidden one is an image of a truth little known and less acknowledged.   Continue Reading…

Workers Rights and the Labour Movement in Ontario

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Austerity, Disabilities and Union Rights: Opposing Bill 83

Published on Global Research.ca
, by Jordy Cummings, November 23, 2010.

… Public Sector Workers, Users and Community Fight-backs: It has become increasingly apparent that the greatest barrier to building a united community fight-back against the “new fiscal austerity” measures is the lack of a strategy and institutionalized connections – and a movement building these links – between public sector workers and public service recipients. At a press conference, a spokesperson for community-living claimed that a disabled person didn’t feel safe showing up to give his point of view. But, as Flook notes, the issue is one of who has the right to represent and advocate for them, and the rights of workers to legitimately undertake collective action. Continue Reading…

Despite Setbacks, Africa Seen as Key Player in Future

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Published on IPS, by Thalif Deen, November 22, 2010.

As the international community commemorated Africa Industrialisation Day last week, United Nations officials expressed mixed emotions about a beleaguered continent plagued by a rash of political, economic and military crises.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that a continuing global economic crisis has not only reduced the demand for African exports but also constricted foreign aid and hindered the flow of remittances to the cash-strapped continent.   Continue Reading…