Traces of chemicals commonly used for fracking were found in the drinking water supply of three homes in Bradford County in the US state of Pennsylvania, a study revealed on May 18. The investigation, which appeared in scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, proved the long-held worry of damaging underground drinking water sources from the method of extracting gases known as hydraulic fracturing. The report explicitly links the practice with the affected water systems.
More than 200 environmental activists blocked a terminal in Seattle’s port to protest against Royal Dutch Shell’s imminent plans to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic. A huge vessel, named Polar Pioneer, is temporarily stationed at the port before heading out to the Arctic to explore for oil. If successful, it will be the first time the multinational has exploited oil in the Arctic.
A new popular uprising has started in Peru at the port of Callao, crucial for international trade and the handling of the majority of the country’s seaborne cargo. After 10 months of unresolved negotiations with transnational company, APM Terminals Peruvian longshore workers from the port of Callao, west of Lima, decided to take to the streets and march. This latest demonstration follows an earlier strike against the company on May 13, with workers demanding pay rises in relation to the company's profits, full healthcare coverage, and training.
Burundi's embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza agreed on May 20 to postpone parliamentary elections, but refused to change the date of the presidential vote. Parliamentary and local elections were moved back from May 26 to June 6. However, the contentious presidential vote remains scheduled for June 26.
Greek pensioners joined the march for a better healthcare in Athens.
On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence. This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail. Gilgit-Baltistan is a Himalayan territory administered by Pakistan.
The new British Conservative government has launched an ultra-conservative political agenda that could unravel the peace process in six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain. Tory plans include scrapping the 1998 Human Rights Act, which underpins a key aspect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The GFA peace deal included a measure that Britain integrate the European Convention of Human Rights into law in the six counties, a process included in the Human Rights Act.
Photo: Kurdpress.com. The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.
As Nepal struggles to revive from the catastrophe caused by the April 25 earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale and its aftershocks, Latin America's socialist governments are busy soothing the wounds of the Nepalese people. The orange-coloured team of Venezuelan aid workers and white-coloured medical team from Cuba have brought to the people of Nepal the spirit of Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Venezuela's late revolutionary president Hugo Chavez.
“Almost a third (33%) of the UK population - 19.3 million people - fell below the official poverty line at some point between 2010 and 2013, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics,” the Press Association reported on May 20. The article said “The ONS records someone as being in poverty if they live in a household with disposable income below 60% of the national average, before housing costs. Persistent poverty is defined as being in poverty in the current year and at least two of the three preceding years.