Everyone should be concerned about the June 30 US Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of retail arts and crafts company Hobby Lobby. Along with two other family-owned firms, it sued the federal government, saying they should not have to pay for health insurance plans covering four contraceptives to which they object on religious grounds. The decision represents an expansion of corporations’ rights at the expense of workers, health care provision and women’s reproductive health choice — all in the name of protecting religious freedom.
After the June summit meeting of the G77 + China leaders held in Santa Cruz, the Bolivian government and the Bolivian Workers Central (COB) sponsored an “Anti-Imperialist International Trade Union Conference” in Cochabamba over June 30-July 2. The conference was attended by representatives of unions in 22 countries who are affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).
Palestine solidarity protesters burned their TV licences in front of BBC Bristol’s HQ on July 28 in protest at the broadcaster’s biased coverage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. Peace activists began their occupation of BBC Bristol’s grounds on July 23. The act of civil disobedience came after campaigners handed a dossier to BBC bosses providing examples of biased reporting of Israel’s war on the Palestinians. It came after the BBC issued “notice to quit” letters in past couple opf days threatening court action if the protesters don’t end their “illegal occupation.”
For the second consecutive Saturday, a huge demonstration took place for Gaza in London on 26 July. The Independent said: "Tens of thousands of people amassed outside the Israeli embassy in London today to protest against Israel's incursion into Gaza which has killed over 1000 Palestinians, including at least 192 children.
The Brazilian government recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv on July 23, the Wall Street Journal said the next day. Brazil condemned the "disproportionate use of force" by Israel in a military offensive in Gaza. Brazil's foreign ministry said in aJuly 23 statement: "We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulted. "The Brazilian government considers unacceptable the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine," it added.
Marta Harnecker, a veteran Chilean-born author and politcal analyst who as an advisor to the government of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez between 2004-11, spoke to Jose P. Gurrero about the new left-wing government in El Salvador.
When the Palestinian national football (soccer) team secured entry into the 2015 Asia Cup to be played next January in Australia, it won the right to play in an international tournament for the first time in its 86-year history. Crowds gathered by the hundreds on the beaches in Gaza to dance, play music and watch the triumph of their national team on large movie-sized television screens on the beaches.
Charlie's Country Directed by Rolf de Heer Starring David Gulpilil In cinemas now From the opening moments of Charlie’s Country you know that you are witnessing a different kind of cinematic experience. Co-written by its star David Gulpilil and its director Rolf de Heer, and produced by Aboriginal actor Peter Djigirr, Charlie’s Country presents an Aboriginal cinematic vernacular.
Ireland: Sports fans fly flags for Gaza Dublin Gaelic Athletics Association fans unfurled a huge banner reading “Free Gaza” during the Leinster Senior Football Final on July 20, while Palestinian flags were flown by crowds at other sporting events across the country.
British Prime Minister David Cameron may want a politics-free Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but campaigners have railed against sponsors’ links to deaths and human rights abuses at home and abroad. The Tory PM told business leaders on a jaunt to Glasgow University on July 23 that he wanted to steer clear of politics as the clock wound down to the games opening ceremony. A crowd of protesters thronged outside the university library where he spoke, with picketers ranging from the Radical Independence Coalition to Our People’s National Health Service.
Citizen Strangers: Palestinians & the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State Shira Robinson Standford University Press, 2013 352pp, US$24.95 If anyone still believes that the apartheid label applies only to Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and not to present-day Israel itself, they need only read Shira Robinson’s Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State to be disabused of the notion.
Malaysian Airlines lost its second Boeing 777 this year on July 17, when flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was apparently hit by a missile over war-torn Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The incident happened while the Ukrainian army was carrying out a huge land and air offensive to crush breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, over whose territory the plane was shot down. Most passengers were Dutch, but 38 Australians were also killed.
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