International News

Palestinian journalist on hunger strike on verge of death

After 77 days on hunger strike in protest against his arbitrary detention by Israeli forces, Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the verge of death.

Al-Qeeq is currently in detention in a hospital in the northern city of Afula; his petition to be transferred to a clinic in Ramallah has been rejected by the Israeli government.

His lawyer says he refuses to stay in Israeli hospitals and will only accept medical treatment in the West Bank. He was arrested on November 21 last year on charges of being an activist with the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Raul Reyes and Colombia's tragedy

On March 1, Raul Reyes, a central leader of the 18,000-strong left-wing guerrilla army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed in an illegal midnight attack by the Colombian army. The attack targetted a FARC encampment three kilometres south of the border in the Putumayo province of Ecuador.

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Sanders wins New Hampshire with large youth vote

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate Donald Trump have won the New Hampshire primary, according to the the Associated Press and NBC news. Early exit polls had suggested that Sanders and Trump could secure victories with big margins.

According to the Washington Post, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton conceded defeat before voting finished, as Sanders claimed victory while urging people to continue voting.

Exit polls showed Sanders secured more than 85%of the vote among young people in the state compared to 14% for Clinton.

Sri Lankan navy murders Tamil boy

A six-year-old boy, Tharshan Kugathasan, was found dead near a navy base at Champoor on the east coast of Sri Lanka on January 26.

The boy's body was found in a disused well. The body had been weighed down with a large stone tied to his body by military-style shoelaces. He had earlier been seen with Sri Lankan navy personnel who used to offer him food and chocolates, according to local residents quoted by the Tamilnet website. Evidence indicates that he was raped and murdered by navy personnel.

United States: Brandon Astor Jones murdered by Georgia state

Brandon Astor Jones, a 72-year-old African American prisoner on death row in Georgia, was executed by lethal injection on February 3.

The oldest death row inmate in Georgia, Jones had spent decades in jail. He was convicted over the killing of a convenience store manager in an robbery in 1979. Van Roosevelt Solomon, who took part in the robbery and was also convicted of murder, as executed in 1985.

Pakistan: Paramilitaries kill three striking workers

Protests erupted throughout Pakistan after the shooting dead on the picket line of three striking workers at Karachi Airport on February 2. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees were part of a nationwide strike against the privatisation of the state-owned airline.

One of those killed, Inayat Raza, was a veteran trade unionist and former leader of the left-wing National Students' Federation (NSF) in Karachi in the 1980s.

Latin America's CELAC summit debates push back against US power, economic measures

The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador.

CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Bernie Sanders: Socialist candidate's success shows people want change

Despite having the entire Democratic establishment against him, the self-described democratic socialist candidate in the US Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders, continues to make waves, backed by huge enthusiasm from supporters inspired by his call for a “political revolution” against the corporate elite. Although Sanders fell short in the Democratic Iowa caucuses on February 1, he picked up 84% of the youth vote.

France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels

Over the next five years, France will install 1000 kilometres of solar roadway using Colas' Wattway solar pavement.

The collaboration between Colas, a transport infrastructure company, and France's National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) is sanctioned by France's Agency of Environment and Energy Management.

The new Wattway system does not replace the road itself, but is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement.

Growth in renewable energy generation

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute said it had achieved 99% renewable energy generation last year. It also said that for 285 days last year the country managed to power its grid on 100% renewable sources.

The bulk of Costa Rica's power generation comes from hydropower thanks to a large river system and heavy tropical rainfalls. The rest is made up of a mix of geothermal energy, wind, biomass and solar power.

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