Raul Connolly

One of the greatest novelists and writers of the 20th century has died. Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away on April 17 in Mexico at the age of 87. Commemorating the author, US-based progressive TV and radio show Democracy Now! said on April 18: “It has been reported that only the Bible has sold more copies in the Spanish language than the works of Garcia Marquez, who was affectionately known at 'Gabo' throughout Latin America.”
Campaigning in India's general elections, to be held in phases over April 7 to May 12, has already been marked by a reign of terror that has included the assassination of left activists.
A new report by eight international trade unions and non-government organisations details the brutal government repression Cambodian garment workers were subjected to. It said the workers' demand to raise the minimum wage were reasonable.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expelled three United States consular officials from the country due to suspected conspiracy with the right-wing opposition, Venezuela Analysis said on February 17.
A new opinion poll shows left-wing opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy by 1.5%, Ekathimerini.com said on February 12. The survey showed SYRIZA leading with 30% support. A poll published in January put SYRIZA at 31.5% and New Democracy at 28%.
“The richest 85 people in the world, who could fit onto a single double-decker bus, have just as much wealth as the poorest half of world,” Huffington Post said on January 20. The statistic was revealed by non-government organisation Oxfam in a new report, Working for the Few.
“The national mobilisation called for by Xiomara Castro on Friday night became a massive, angry funeral procession today in Tegucigalpa,” the Honduras Resists blog reported on November 30 on the protests against the theft of the Honduran elections six days earlier.
“A new union report alleges rampant lawlessness in the lucrative and growing reality TV industry,” Josh Eidelson wrote in a November 19 Salon.com article. “The Writers Guild of America, East [WGAE], which authored the report based on a survey of current and former non-union workers, contends that it reveals an ugly reality behind top shows like 'Pawn Stars' and 'Fatal Encounters,' which have been supplanting unionized, scripted sitcoms and dramas.”
“It’s a far cry from a revolution, but socialists had a surprisingly strong showing in two city council races on Election Day, November 5,” MSNBC.com said the next day. “In Seattle, Kshama Sawant picked up 46% of the vote while challenging 15-year Democratic incumbent Richard Conlin. And in Minneapolis, Ty Moore is only 131 votes behind Democratic candidate Alondra Cano.”
Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced on September 20 that the US has seemingly denied visas to a delegation set to travel to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, RT.com said the next day. The Ecuadorians were planning to present their case in an ongoing dispute against Chevron-Texaco. The ministry said the visas for the five Ecuadorian nationals were returned by the US Embassy in Quito “without any explanation”.

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