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United States President Barack Obama announced on October 14 that he was sending US special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only "engage" for "self-defence", says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, a US invasion of the African continent is under way. Obama's decision is described in the press as "highly unusual" and "surprising", even "weird". It is none of these things. It is the logic of US foreign policy since 1945.
On October 16, Kenyan forces entered southern Somalia. The invasion is aimed against the Islamist militia al Shabaab. It is in response to a recent rise in cross-border kidnappings of Westerners, with four abducted in the past month. Kenya is not the only regional country with soldiers in Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since 1991. An African Union force of 9000 Ugandan and Burundian troops has been in the country since January 2009, when it replaced an Ethiopian force. AU troops have launched their own offensive against al Shabaab.
The latest wave of the bloodshed that has taken place in Yemen since September 18 shows the country’s hated President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has no intention of leaving power peacefully. At least 35 people were killed and many more were wounded in government attempts to crack down on protesters between October 15 and 18, The Guardian said on October 18. Government forces also battled tribal fighters and defected soldiers loyal to anti-Saleh political forces.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on the morning of October 23. * * * Socialist Alliance condemns violent police attacks on Melbourne and Sydney occupations Socialist Alliance condemns the violent police dispersal of peaceful protesters at Occupy Melbourne (October 21) and Occupy Sydney (dawn, October 23) and pledges its full support for the re-establishment of these occupations against the tyranny of the world's richest 1%.
October 15 was the first time since February 2003, with the huge demonstrations in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, that a call for an international action on a specific date has met with such a response. See also: Brutal police attack on Occupy Oakland All Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage
On October 15, about 4000-5000 of protesters in London descended on London's financial sector as part of the “United for Global Change” actions that took place in more than 1000 cities and towns worldwide. Occupy London Stock Exchange is occupying an area in front of St Paul's Cathedral and holding people's assemblies to discuss the goals, demands and direction of the movement.
The overwhelming success of the October 15 “United for Global Change” demonstrations (which took place in more than 1000 cities and towns in about 90 countries) is having powerful positive feedback on the indignados (15-M) movement in Spain.
An estimated 2.4 million Kenyans are facing food insecurity this year. One cause is poor rains, which have affected all of north-east Africa and are probably at least partially the result of climate change. Another is the rising cost of imported food. Rising food costs are also partly caused by climate change, but also by speculation. For the finance industry, food is just another commodity to be bought, sold or hoarded to generate the most profits.
A confusing feeling passed through me after hearing about the exchange of 1027 Palestinian detainees for the only Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by the Palestinian resistance fighters. I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad. Gazing at the faces of the prisoners’ families in the solidarity tent in Gaza City on October 18, I see a look that I have never seen before: eyes glittering with hope. Thinking about those women whose relatives are most likely to be released and seeing their big smiles makes me happy.
Greek trade unions warned on October 21 of further strikes in the next week after parliament approved new harsh cutbacks amid mass protests that left one man dead and about 200 injured. Civil servants' union Adedy secretary-general Ilias Iliopoulos said the new law "will not be implemented" and accused the government of ignoring popular dissent. Greece's main private-sector union, GSEE, was also planning new strikes. GSEE board member Stathis Anestis said: "We plan long-running opposition to ensure that the crippling cutbacks imposed by our loan shark predators are not enforced."
The sense of joy was palpable in the streets of Gaza on October 18 as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel returned home. It was a remarkable day in the life of the territory’s 1.6 million Palestinians. During the past five years Israel has levied a heavy price on Gaza's civilian population for the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian resistance fighters. It has been extracted with Israel’s warplanes, tanks, bulldozers and relentless siege.
Indonesian army forces brutally attacked the Papuan national conference in Abepura on October 19. The conference was attended by up to 20,000 people discussing West Papua's struggle for independence from Indonesia. WestPapuaMedia.info said on October 21 that local sources confirmed six people were killed. New Matilda.com reported on October 20 an account from a priest who saw a truck full of arrested people who were “covered with blood” and had been “beaten and shot”.
The barriers to renewable energy are many. It’s not just a matter of the draconian new Victorian laws against wind farms — the legacy of government support for fossil fuels also hangs heavily over the renewables sector.
Left-wing political parties, trade unions, social activists and student groups at a press conference in the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) office invited people to join them in an Occupy Lahore anti-capitalist camp at Nasir Bagh in the city centre. The camp will continue for at least two days. A program for the camp will be announced soon. The camp is being set up in solidarity with the worldwide Occupy movement and the growing unrest among peoples caused by the global economic recession.
Stop CSG Illawarra’s Jess Moore gave the speech below at the 3000-strong rally against coal seam gas mining that took place in Clifton, north of Wollongong, on October 16. * * * Like so many people who live in the north Illawarra, there is a creek that flows through my backyard. Most of those creeks come from aquifers: the Hawkesbury Sandstone Aquifer System that the coal seam gas companies want to drill through to get the gas. This campaign is about our future and our right to protect this area — to protect our drinking water, our food and our future.

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