For the first time in its history, the US colony of Puerto Rico has gone into default, Moody's Investors Service said on August 3. The news comes after years of economic turmoil in the island, produced mainly by the 2007-2010 recession and housing crisis that have affected the US. The default came soon after the island's Government Development Bank announced that it was only able to make a partial payment on its US$72 billion debt. This debt crisis directly hurts the Caribbean island's residents, since the debt is mostly owned by residents through credit unions.
Bersih 3.0 mass protest for democracy in Kuala Lumpar, April 2012.
CONALCAM brings Bolivia’s main indigenous and popular organisations together with state representatives to coordinate and debate economic policies. The small Andean nation of Bolivia has received praise from many quarters due to the economic transformation it has undergone over the past decade.
South Kordofan residents at a makeshift UN camp near Kadugli. Amnesty International released a report on August 3 detailing horrific war crimes committed against the people of South Kordofan by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and its militias.
The 70th anniversary of the United States' atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a reminder that when the United States' enemies commit crimes, they are crimes. But when the United States commits crimes, they did not happen. In 1928, Arthur Ponsonby, a British politician, said: “When war is declared, the first casualty is the truth”. But he never specified what the distorted “truth” might be. If one were to examine all wars the US has engaged in, however, one might conclude the casualty to be civilian death counts.
Ecuador: Correa says Latin American left faces 'new Cold War' Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on August 5 that left-wing governments in Latin America are facing “a new Cold War” that seeks to “annihilate them” through strategies of political destabilisation. The statements of the socialist leader come as opposition groups, including many from the far right, are planning a new series of protests against his government.
'Put the bill, pass the bill' was the message as 700 people marched through the streets of Perth in support of marriage equality on August 9. The rally began with a new song by Luke John O'Dell and featured speakers including Joey Cookman from Playgroups with Pride, trans activist Jayne McFadyen and Greens parliamentarian Lynn MacLaren.
The extent of anger at austerity in Britain — and desire for an alternative to the pro-corporate politics of Britain's major parties — is being exposed by the scale of enthusiasm and support for the campaign of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn for leadership of the Labour Party.
More than 100 unionists rallied in freezing conditions outside the ACT Magistrates Court on August 5 in support of Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) official John Lomax. Lomax was charged with blackmail last month in relation to evidence given to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. He pleaded not guilty. The charges follow the arrest of former CFMEU organiser Fihi Kivalu on blackmail charges following allegations that he demanded bribes from ACT builders to secure them work.
A meeting of trade ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii, over July 28 to 31, failed to reach final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal. The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP. Key stumbling blocks were over protectionist policies. The US, Mexico and Japan could not find agreement over cars, and the US and Japan disagreed on dairy.