The unspeakable truth about Israel’s social crisis

As mass demonstrations, marches and occupations of public spaces extend into a third week, Israel is seeing the rise of a new social movement. In recent weeks hundreds of thousands have been marching in cities throughout Israel, demanding action against the sharply rising cost of housing. Since mid-July, growing numbers of Israelis have been taking to the streets, outraged at the rapid increase in Israel’s property prices over the past few years. The protests have become the largest in the country’s history. However, amid the popular support from the Israeli people, discussion of a key issue underpinning it has been avoided: Israel’s massive state funding for settlement in the Palestinian territories.

Pakistan prosecutes its paramilitary soldiers for extrajudicial killing

A Pakistan court prosecuted six paramilitary soldiers and one civilian security guard for the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Karachi two months ago. A video of the killing, recorded by a local cameraman, showed the young boy begging for mercy, before being shot, twice. The video was widely broadcast across television channels and internet sites. The killing was severely condemned by human rights groups and politicians, whipping up public outrage at the incident. President Asif Ali Zardari swiftly launched an inquiry into the incident. The defendants were brought to the courts and tried in...

US Senators urge Clinton to act on Burma rapes

Thirteen female US Senators have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to take action against Burma’s military-backed regime for its alleged use of rape by government troops. "Given the Burmese regime's unabated use of rape as a weapon of war , we urge you to call on the regime to end this practice and pursue our shared goal of establishing an international commission of inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity ," the group wrote in a letter to Clinton. The letter went on to cite Noble Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who said that “rape is used as a weapon by (...

Communist China?

So much for China’s communism. The editorial by Xinhua, China’s official news agency, in response to the downgrading of the United States’ debt rating reads like a neoliberal manifesto. Extracts: “The days when the debt-ridden Uncle Sam could leisurely squander unlimited overseas borrowing appeared to be numbered. “China, the largest creditor of the world's sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems “To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to reestablish the common sense principle that one should live within its means...

Iraqi parliament recognises past persecution of Kurds as genocide

Extracts from niqash.org (see the full text here ): "At the beginning of this month the Iraqi parliament voted to recognize what had been done to the Fayli Kurds under former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as genocide . From 1980 onwards, the ethnic minority was horribly persecuted by Hussein’s regime. The Fayli Kurds, who are an ethnic subgroup of Kurds and mostly Shiite Muslims, were subjected to all kinds of hardships under Hussein’s Sunni Muslim dominated government: imprisonment, torture, rape and deportation among them. The recognition that genocide was committed has given the Fayli Kurds...

Nokia Siemens' Chennai facility to become biggest in Asia

Nokia Siemens Networks, one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world, is to expand its manufacturing facility in Chennai, making it the firm’s biggest in Asia. NSN’s head of operations, Herbert Merz, said the factory in China is currently the company's largest in Asia, but the Chennai facility could overtake it in a year. The Chennai facility has played a key role in enabling Indian operators to roll out their 3G networks quickly, Ashish Chowdhary, head of India and customer operations East said . "The expansion will strengthen India's position as one of our major...

Obama launches Atrocities Prevention Board

United States President Obama announced last week the creation of a new body which will coordinate a government approach to genocide and other mass atrocities. The Atrocities Prevention Board – whose exact authority, mandate, and structure will be under interagency review over the next months – will begin functioning within 120 days, according to the presidential directive announcing its creation. See reports by the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor . A senior White House official told the Times one reason Mr. Obama wanted to set up the Atrocities Prevention Board was to avoid a...

Brazil, India and South Africa to send envoys to Syria

Brazil, India and South Africa, which have blocked United Nations pressure on Syria’s government to end repression of protesters, will send envoys to Damascus to seek an end to the violence. See the report by Bloomberg here . The three emerging political and economic powers, which in 2003 formed the coalition known as IBSA, plan to send deputy foreign ministers on the mission. The three have combined to put off action on a US and European draft resolution condemning the Assad regime’s attacks on anti-government protesters. Western diplomats say that support from the three might dissuade China...

India readies for Security Council presidency in August

India will assume the presidency of the Security Council for August and use the opportunity to demonstrate it has the “not only has the credentials but the political maturity” to be a permanent member, Delhi’s UN envoy Hardeep Singh Puri says. See report by IANS and UNI here. “[India intends] to conduct our presidency in a manner which provides a clear message to all that India is a country which not only has the credentials but the political maturity to supervise the work of the Council and which in turn re-establishes the message that we have the credentials to be a permanent member ," he...

Ford puts new plants in Gujarat, expands in Tamil Nadu

US car-maker Ford, which has a major vehicle plant in Tamil Nadu, has announced it will invest $1 billion in Gujarat to build two new plants. However, the decision does not seem to have upset or surprised the Tamil Nadu government which had courted the company to set up the new plants there, IANS reports. "We have been told that the company would save sizeably on freight costs if it has a plant in Gujarat as it can cater to the northern markets," a state government official said. Ford is also to invest $72 million to expand its engine plant located near Chennai to take the annual production...

Pages