“The troubled sky reveals/The grief it feels.”
Those two lines were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Snow-Flakes”, published in a volume in 1863 alongside his epic and better-known “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.
Much of the news chatter this week has been about Sarah Palin’s flubbing of the history of Revere’s famous ride in April 1775. Revere was on a late-night, clandestine mission to alert American revolutionaries of an impending British attack.
The June 5 national elections in Portugal produced a sharp lurch to the right.
The two main conservative parties, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP) won 50.4% of votes and 57.1% of seats in the single-chamber parliament. (The results for the four seats determined by overseas Portuguese voters will be announced on June 15.)
Compared to the 2009 poll, the PSD vote rose from 29.1% to 38.6%, and CDS-PP from 10.5% to 11.7%.
US warplanes and drones have been bombing anti-government forces in Yemen amid the uprising against long-time US ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, two US officials said on June 9 that US forces launched an air strike on June 3 against Islamist militants in the south of the country to keep al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoot from taking advantage of the uprising in the Gulf state.
The attack followed a May 5 drone strike on alleged militants, they said.
Pity the stressful life of police ministers in Spain and its autonomous communities (states).
For weeks, the central plazas of big cities and towns across Spain have been the site of the camps of the “outraged” (los indiganados) of the M-15 movement — so-called after the large May 15 national protests that sparked the movement.
The movement, which opposes the savage austerity imposed on ordinary people to pay for the crisis and the undemocratic nature of the political system, is now spreading into the suburbs of the larger cities and out into smaller regional towns.
The revolutionary struggle for democratic and economic freedoms continues to grow in Tunisia and Egypt in the aftermath of the ousting of dictators Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
Western powers are working to block these struggles — just as they supported the fallen dictators until the very end.
Vast sums of money have been pledged by the United States, European Union and the Group of Eight (G8 — the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia and Japan) to aid what British Prime Minister David Cameron termed “democracy, freedom and prosperity” in the Middle East.
Hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian refugees marched on June 5 from Syrian-controlled territory to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Refugees in Palestine and elsewhere marked the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Egyptian Sinai and Syrian Golan Heights.
On the frontier with the occupied Golan Heights, hundreds were injured and more than 20 killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition on unarmed demonstrators.
Delegates from Community, a trade union representing workers in iron and steel, clothing, textiles, footwear and betting industries, delivered a crushing blow on June 7. They opposed the union executive's attempt to force through a resolution aimed at undermining the Trade Union Congress's policy of boycotting Israeli goods produced in illegal settlements.
At the union's biennial conference in Southport, members accused the leaders of seeking a “retrospective mandate” to support Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (Tulip), which they labelled “an apologist” for Israeli war crimes.
The United States embassy in Haiti worked closely with factory owners contracted by Levi's, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom to aggressively block a paltry minimum wage rise for Haitian assembly zone workers.
The moves to block a wage rise for the lowest paid in the western hemisphere were revealed by secret US State Department cables obtained by Haiti Liberte and The Nation magazine.
The factory owners refused to pay $0.62 an hour, or $5 per eight-hour day, as mandated by a measure unanimously passed by Haiti’s parliament in June 2009.
After nearly two years of living in exile following the June 28, 2009 coup that overthrew his government, former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to his nation on May 28.
The agreement that allowed for Zelaya’s return, negotiated by the governments of Venezuela, Colombia and current Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, dropped fraud charges lodged against Zelaya, permitted a future plebiscite on constitutional reform and cleared the way for the readmission of Honduras to the Organization of American States, which lost its membership after the coup.