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The role of mining companies overseas is often shrouded in secrecy. Residents of my country Malawi, in the “warm heart” of Africa, are learning first hand about Australian mining companies as four of them are currently exploring for uranium.
Scottish Socialist Party MSP Frances Curran has described as a “democratic outrage” a decision by the Scottish Parliament’s Communities Committee to block the SSP’s bill to provide every schoolchild in Scotland with a free nutritious meal each day.
More than 12,000 young people rallied in the Poliedro Amphitheatre on November 17 to express support for the re-election of socialist President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 presidential election. The members of numerous social and political organisations chanted, sang revolutionary songs, and displayed placards, balloons and banners expressing their support Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution he leads.
A closely guarded review of the US war in Iraq being conducted by a Pentagon commission has outlined three basic options: send in more US troops, shrink the US occupation force but stay longer, or pull out, the November 20 Washington Post reported.
The November 21 assassination of industry minister Pierre Gemayel has provided a focus for US-backed Lebanese politicians to rally their supporters for a possible confrontation with the Hezbollah-led opposition bloc. Gemayel served as the representative of the Christian-based far-right Phalangist party in Prime Minister Fuad Siniora’s government.
In an article for the November 27 New Yorker magazine released in advance on November 19, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that a highly classified assessment by the CIA had “found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency” (IAEA).
Open warfare erupted between Baloch nationalists and the Pakistani military in December 2005 following decades of what the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) described as a “simmering insurgency”. An HRCP investigation conducted in December 2005 and January 2006 detailed ongoing summary executions, disappearances, torture and indiscriminate bombing and artillery attacks against the people of Pakistan’s south-western province of Balochistan. Baloch nationalist fighters, mainly from the Bugti and Marri tribes, continue to attack Pakistani military and paramilitary forces and sabotage gas pipelines and other infrastructure on a daily basis.
Tonga’s pro-democracy movement has attacked the Australian and New Zealand governments for sending more than 150 soldiers and police to the Pacific nation, demanding the intervention end. The foreign forces have ostensibly been sent to help “restore law and order” in the aftermath of rioting sparked by Tonga’s monarch, King Siaosi Tupou V, announcing the closure of parliament for the year without implementing widely demanded democratic reforms.
On November 18, the UN General Assembly voted 156 to seven, with six abstentions, to support sending a UN fact-finding team to Gaza to investigate the November 8 massacre of 19 sleeping Palestinians in Beit Hanoun by an Israeli artillery barrage. Israel, the US and Australia voted against the resolution, along with four Pacific Island states.
Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer and author of The Chavez Code, which exposed US government involvement in a 2002 military coup that briefly overthrew Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s left-wing president, before he was reinstated by a popular uprising. She spoke to Green Left Weekly in late October. Golinger’s latest book is Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela. (The first part of this interview appeared in GLW #691.)

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