International News

GLW Issue 1068


Malaysian democracy activists estimate that between 300,000 and half a million people peacefully took to the streets of the capital Kuala Lumpur for 34 hours from August 29-30. This is much larger than the previous mobilisations by the BERSIH (literally meaning “clean”) movement for free and fair elections.

GLW Issue 1067

The statement below was released by Palestinian BDS National Committee on August 25.

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President Anote Tong from the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati does not mince words on the urgent need to phase out coal. He cannot afford to — his country is literally disappearing as a result of global warming.

Tong released a statement on August 13 calling on countries to commit to phasing out coal before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December where more than 190 countries are expected to attend.

“A global moratorium on new coal mines [is] an essential initial step in our collective global action against climate change,” he said.


Palestinians in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp demand the rebuilding of homes destroyed during Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory last year, June 15.

Until July, not one of the homes destroyed during Israel’s assault on Gaza last year had been rebuilt. Why?

Israeli rights group Gisha, which monitors Israel’s siege of Gaza, tries to provides answers in a recent analysis, “Where’s the housing boom?”


About 400,000 people marched in New York last September as part of global 'people's marches' demanding climate action.

Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile activists, academics and political figures who issued a call to action against climate change on August 27.

Human-caused global warming has worsened California's extreme four-year drought by as much as 25%, says a new study that is just the latest to link the abnormally dry conditions with human-caused climate change.

The study by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, published on August 20 in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that within a few decades, continually rising temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into even more persistent aridity.

The one thing neoliberal touts want us to forget is that the effects of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 have never been overcome – and are still felt today.

There is no such thing as everlasting “natural growth” in the world economy. As John Maynard Keynes long ago pointed out, capitalism “seems capable of remaining in a chronic condition of sub-normal activity for a considerable period without any marked tendency towards recovery or complete collapse”.

Fifty-three members out of SYRIZA's 201-strong central committee, have resigned on August 26 in protest at the new bail-out deal SYRIZA signed that agrees to the type of brutal austerity measures SYRIZA was elected in January to oppose, Enikos.gr said that day.

Most have joined the Popular Unity movement, supported by former members of SYRIZA's Left Platform that will run on an anti-austerity platform in new elections called when SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned recently.


Syrian refugees on Greece-Macedonia border. Photo: Amnesty International.

“Are we animals? Why? Why?”

Those were the words of one Syrian refugee to BBC's Channel 4 recently after Macedonian police attacked desperate families seeking entry into the country along the border with Greece.

The refugee crisis has grown to immense proportions. Tens of thousands of people have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks.

Macedonia


Photo: dpac.uk.net.

Campaigners warned on August 27 that reports that 2380 people died within months of being branded “fit for work” under the British government's new welfare laws grossly underestimate the true impact of invasive government assessments into the lives of severely ill and disabled people.

A broad campaign by the left-wing Kurdish-led People's Democratic Party (HDP) won a breakthrough 13.12% and denied President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) a majority in parliament in the June 7 elections.

The HDP's success combined with the ongoing example of the progressive Kurdish-led Rojavan revolution across the border in northern Syria has prompted Erdogan's regime to push a strategy of war and conflict against Turkey's long-oppressed Kurdish population.

It all began in 1835 when the British Empire sent a German-born naturalist and explorer to conduct geographical research in the South American territory it had colonised and named British Guiana.

In the course of his explorations, a map was drawn that well-exceeded the original western boundary first occupied by the Dutch and later passed to British control.

GLW Issue 1066


Israeli bulldozers uproot olive trees on Palestinian lands to make way for a separation wall in Beit Jala.

Palestinian farmers have called for international solidarity against ongoing Israeli destruction of their olive groves and livelihoods.

Palestinian girls walk past the rubble of a destroyed building in the aftermath of last year's July-August Israeli bombing of Gaza.


Palestinians in Susiya demonstrate in May against Israel’s plans to destroy the village. Photo: Sarah Levy/Electronic Intifada.

The Palestinian village of Susiya is at imminent risk of demolition. On May 5, Israel’s High Court of Justice refused to grant an interim order to freeze the demolition until the outcome of an appeal brought by villagers to prove the village’s legitimacy.


Ecuadorian chapter of the The Latin American Coordination of Rural Organisations, which is calling for the creation of a Agrarian Council. Photo via TeleSUR Eglish.

More than 6000 people and 500 group have participated in public meetings on a proposed land law with the government of President Rafael Correa.


Tamils protest in Geneva to demand a UN investigation into Sri Lankan war crimes. Photo via Tamilnet.

Less than a month after giving the green light for Royal Dutch Shell to start oil exploration in the Arctic, the US government approved a bid from the oil giant to drill even deeper on August 17 .

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is allowing the European oil giant to modify its Chukchi Sea drilling permit, where its vessels have begun working about 140 miles from Alaska’s north-west shoreline.

The Obama administration's announcement that the United States' power sector would deliver a 30% cut in emissions by 2030 was hailed by many as a breakthrough in meaningful action.

US Secretary of State John Kerry suggests the “US is setting an example to the world on climate change”. Reuters said, “U.S. unveils sweeping plan to slash power plant pollution” and the president of the World Resources Institute declared the proposals to be a “momentous development”.


Photo: CUT.

About 1 million people across Brazil protested on August 20 against right-wing attempts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

The marches were joined by Brazil's big social movements, including the Movement of Landless Workers (MST) and the United Workers' Central (CUT), the largest trade union federation in Latin America.


Tianjin residents protest, August 20.

Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is in some strife. This is largely because the government’s attempt to keep growth at an unsustainable 7% a year is fuelled by equally unsustainable debt.

Corporate and local government debt has grown by 50% since 2009, and total debt, which includes household debt, is now close to 187% of GDP.


Factory making high-speed trains, a symbol of China's rapid growth.

The dramatic slowing of China’s economy has significant consequences for world growth. Official statistics likely overstate China’s official growth rate of 7%.

Running scared. That is the only explanation for the increasingly desperate and angry denunciations from the right wing of Britain's Labour Party, as Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn's campaign looks more and more likely to win party’s leadership election on September 12.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced Thursday that he will step down and call snap elections for September 20, after facing strong resistance from within his own SYRIZA party.

“I will ask the Greek people if they think we have made achievements,” said the prime minister. “You will decide how we will recuperate the Greek economy, with your vote you will decide the future of Greece.”


Vigil of government supporters outside the presidential palace.

After days of anti-government demonstrations, some indigenous groups aligned with the right-wing opposition have vowed to continue protests and strike against President Rafael Correa. The opposition has described its national strike as indefinite.

When it comes to elections in Venezuela, there are at least three things you can usually count on. The upcoming December 6 elections for the National Assembly are no different — even if the result is far from certain.

The first is that much is at stake.

In a country where the poor majority has sought to advance radical change through popular mobilisations and votes, every election since Hugo Chavez’s successful 1998 bid for president has been transformed into a referendum on the future of the country’s “Bolivarian revolution”.

There were huge protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership held across New Zealand on August 15. About 10,000 protesters marched in Auckland, 5000 in Wellington, 4000 in Christchurch and thousands more in other parts of the country.

The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

Since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's new wave of attacks on North Kurdistan within the Turkish state in the wake of Turkey's June election, people of all ages have joined the effort to defend and govern themselves in the area.

Since the 1990s, the Turkish state has used tactics of denial, assimilation and annihilation in the North Kurdistan. Although the promises of peace that the Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) made when it first came to power awakened hope for many, 13 years later the promises remain unfulfilled.

GLW Issue 1065

In an election where almost every presidential hopeful sought to stake their claim as the candidate for change, it was the incumbent Kirchnerista forces — for the first time headed by neither late former president Nestor Kirchner nor sitting President Cristina Kirchner — that came out in front.

Argentine voters went to the polls on August 9 to cast a ballot in the presidential primaries — a legally required first step towards running in the upcoming presidential elections in October.

Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, used the occasion of his 89th birthday on August 13 to pen a statement demanding US compensation for damages caused to the Caribbean island for its decades-long blockade.

Reflecting on history, Castro wrote: “We will never stop fighting for peace and the wellbeing of all human beings.