Bill Gates was set to deliver the July 17 annual Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg, justifying his philosophy of market-oriented, technology-centric philanthropy. Last year, French economist Thomas Piketty’s speech on inequality attracted healthy debate — with even business notables endorsing his concerns — given South Africa’s intense social conflict. To illustrate, South Africa’s Gini Coefficient measuring inequality is the world’s highest (at 0.77 on a scale of 0 to 1, in terms of income inequality from employment). Since 2000, social protests have numbered on average 11 per day.
A highway blockade in support of Mexico's striking teachers was increasingly gaining popular support in the capital of the southern state of Chiapas, La Jornada reported on July 13. The protest in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez was organised as a popular assembly. As of July 12, it had been active for 15 days, involving 3500 demonstrators in support of the radical CNTE teachers union.
Fundamentalist mob torches Christian neighbourhood in Lahore. March, 2013. Religious terrorism has become one of the major challenges for most Asian countries, particularly in South and West Asia. It has resulted in seemingly non-stop bombings, suicide attacks and other means of terrorism.
Jeremy Corbyn addresses supporters in London. “Jeremy Corbyn has touched parts of the electorate Labour hasn’t reached in a long time.” That is the judgement of Laura Kuenssberg, the Tory propagandist who delivers most of the BBC’s political coverage on Labour’s socialist leader.
The streets in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities have been filled with protesters in a “Cacerolazo” (pot-banging protest) against President Mauricio Macri’s major hikes in utility prices. The hike includes a 700% rise in electricity prices, more than 2000% rise in gas prices in some places and a 350% rise in water prices. Consumer protection associations and left-wing groups called the march against the hikes, which are “affecting people very seriously,” said Osvaldo Bassano, head of the Association for the Defense of Users and Consumers.
Anti-coup rally in Brazil. Since the start of the 21st century, the left has won elections in most Latin American countries in a powerful wave of popular rejection of the disastrous neoliberal policies of the previous regimes. One must however distinguish between two quite different sorts of left governments:
A reform that better represents the nation's indigenous peoples has been implemented after a constitutional request by Bolivia's indigenous peoples of Yampara and the Sura people from Oruro department (state). Bolivians can now add any cultural identity they want on the back of their ID cards, as the government of Evo Morales continues its efforts to build an inclusive society that better represents the nation's Indigenous peoples.
Sri Lanka: A Tamil man was just tortured, but Aus. gov't still pressuring Tamil asylum seekers to return
The children of Santhiyogu Anton, who was abducted, tortured by Sri Lankan security forces. Photo from Tamilnet. Santhiyogu Anton, a 38 year old Tamil man, was abducted and tortured by Sri Lankan military intelligence on June 29. After previous experiences of harassment by military intelligence, Anton had sought the assistance of the Catholic Church. He was allowed to stay at a church near the city of Mannar.
World Wildlife Fund Australia has bought a commercial shark fishing licence for $100,000 in a move to protect sharks in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and beyond. The Queensland Government allocates five licences that allow a 1.2 kilometre net to trawl for sharks and other by-catch. WWF Australia conservation director Gilly Llewellyn said: "It's a new approach to conservation. "This is an opportunity for people to help stop a massive 1.2km long net from sitting in reef waters and indiscriminately killing almost everything that swims into it.
The Finance Sector Union has just signed a new agreement that covers workers in the National Australia Bank. This comes after widespread consultation with National Australia Bank staff and months of negotiations with the bank. The new agreement guarantees 3% increases; removes the link between sales targets and fixed pay; incorporates the outcomes of the ABA review into product payments over the life of the agreement; and introduces regular forums with NAB decision makers to resolve workplace issues, such as workloads, staffing and relief.