democracy

Netherlands: Citizens successfully sue gov't over climate inaction


People's Climate March, Amsterdam, September 21, 2014. Photo: Urgenda.nl.

Environmental groups have congratulated the Netherlands after 866 Dutch citizens collectively won a lawsuit filed against their own government for “knowingly contributing” to global warming while doing nothing to prevent it.

Colombia: Top generals implicated in 'false positive' killings


President Juan Manuel Santos and General Juan Pablo Rodriguez, one of the generals singled out by the report. Photo: Presidency of Colombia via TeleSUR.

Top generals in the Colombian army have been implicated in the long-running “false positives” military scandal, according to a new report Human Rights Watch (HRW) published on June 24.

Morales praises social movements for changing Bolivia


Photo: Agencia Boliviana de Información.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales highlighted the importance of social movements in driving the changes and the economic growth experienced by the South American country in recent years.

The socialist leader, Bolivia's first-ever indigenous head of state, said on June 25 that Bolivia now had greater economic resources available due to the struggle of workers and campesinos.

Ecuador: Opposition leaders now made to pay tax


Jaime Nebot. Photo: ANDES.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa singled out opposition politician Jaime Nebot, who has been calling for protests against the government, as a clear example of the progress the country has made with respect to the collection of taxes.

Correa came to power in 2007. He said in 2006, Nebot paid just US$1994 in income taxes, but by last year the opposition leader was paying US$66,593.

United States: Protests target Confederate flag — symbol of a racist past that never died

“Protesters rallied in Columbia on Tuesday to demand the flag's removal from South Carolina's state capitol,” the BBC reported on June 24.

The protest comes in the aftermath of the racist mass murder carried by Dylann Roof on June 17 in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, who killed nine people in a historic African American church, was photographed with the flag, which still flies over the state's capitol.

US gov't defeats Google in online privacy test case

Newly released court documents show the US government won a series of court challenges that led to Google having to turn over one years worth of data of user Jacob Appelbaum.

Appelbaum is a WikiLeaks volunteer and a developer for Tor, a free browser and an open network to protect online privacy. He was being targeted by the US Justice Department as part of their criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.

Honduras: Land rights activists slam campesino killings

Land rights activists in Honduras' north coast Aguan Valley have condemned what they call an ongoing “hunt” of campesinos (small farmers) in their communities.

The activists are calling for freedom for political prisoners and an end to repression of campesino movements.

Family members of jailed and persecuted rural workers have denounced the “dirty and malicious campaign” of criminalisation against campesino leaders and communities. They accuse the national police, and other state and private security forces, of operating as “a gang of hitmen”.

Rojava fights off new Islamic State attack

The Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria was attacked on June 25 by forces from the self-styled Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, which crossed from Turkey. This was the first significant IS attack on the town since a five-month siege was repulsed in January.

The attack appears to be a Turkish-backed response to recent military gains made by the Kurdish-led forces of the Women's Defence Units (YPJ) and People's Defence Units (YPG).

Ecuador: Grassroots debate reforms, Correa warns of coup plot


President Rafael Correa speaks to thousands of supporters from the presidential palace in Quito's main square, June 15, 2015. Photo: EFE.

France calls emergency meeting over WikiLeaks spying revelations

French president Francois Hollande called for an emergency meeting with his defence council on June 24, after WikiLeaks released documents showing the United States has been spying on all France's presidents since 2006.

“The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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