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The Battle For Islam — Looks at how in some Muslim countries, it is women who are leading the charge for change. SBS, Friday, February 9, 1.30pm.
At an extraordinary Ard Fheis (congress) of Sinn Fein held in Dublin on January 28, delegates voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), long known for its discriminatory and violent practices towards the Irish republican movement and Northern Ireland Catholics. About 90% of the 982 delegates at the congress accepted the motion put forward by Sinn Fein’s Ard Chomhairle (national executive), paving the way for a devolution of power to the Northern Ireland Assembly as outlined in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Prosecutors are calling Amber Abreu a murderer. But the 18-year-old is a victim of restrictions on access to abortion. Prosecutors recently charged Abreu, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, with “procuring a miscarriage” — a felony that can carry a penalty of seven years in prison. They say they are planning to file additional charges, including a possible homicide charge, against her.
“As long as I’m breathing, I will fight with the foreign troops who are coming to our country”, said Abdiqadir Hassan Diriye, Associated Press reported on February 1. Hassan Diriye was one of hundreds of protesters in Mogadishu demonstrating in response to the African Union’s announcement the day before that three battalions of AU “peacekeepers” would be deployed in Somalia.
A foretaste of US President George Bush’s plan to use 41,500 US troops to “stabilise” war-torn Baghdad came on January 24 when the US occupation forces conducted their second assault in a month on the city’s Haifa Street neighbourhood.
Washington’s plan for military action against Iran goes far beyond limited air strikes on its nuclear facilities and would effectively unleash a war against the country, a former US intelligence analyst told Reuters on January 21.
Last month, total US military casualties in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion exceeded 50,000 dead and wounded. By January 28, 3071 US soldiers had died in Iraq and at least 47,657 had been wounded, according to Pentagon figures.
Chanting “bring our troops home”, anti-war protesters rallied in front of the Capitol building in Washington DC on January 27 to pressure President George Bush’s administration to end the war on Iraq, now only two months short of entering its fourth year.
A mixed message — combining celebration and auto-critique — came from the Nairobi World Social Forum, held from January 20-25 in a massive sports complex 10km from the city. The 60,000 registered participants heard triumphalist radical rhetoric and yet, too, witnessed persistent defeats for social justice causes, especially within the WSF’s own processes.

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