Democracy

One hundred years ago, fighting broke out among the great powers of Europe, launching what has become known as World War I. The brutal conflict, which lasted more than four years, proved to be a decisive turning point for humanity and the socialist movement — its effects still felt strongly today.
Latin American television TeleSUR has launched an English-language website to provide a global, English-speaking audience with a “Latin American perspective” on world events, IBT.com reported on July 29. Based in Caracas, TeleSUR is sponsored by the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and Uruguay.
Despite Israel’s relentless aerial bombardments, shelling and ground attacks since July 7, Palestinian writers in Gaza have responded to the latest onslaught by doing what they know — writing. Ra Page, director of Manchester-based Comma Press, which recently published a collection of short stories from writers in Gaza, says “all of the Book of Gaza contributors are writing away like crazy, whilst they have power”.
Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has joined the growing list of artists who respect the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to isolate Israel, cancelling a show in Israel scheduled for September 11.
Twenty-one people were arrested last month while engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in protest against a proposed tar sands mine in north-eastern Utah. This would threaten local land and water, as well as contribute to the global climate crisis. As they await charges, US environmental groups expressed solidarity with the protesters who stood for freedom from dirty fossil fuels and devastating climate impacts.
Jobbik, a far-right ultra-nationalist racist party established in 2007, made significant electoral gains in the Hungarian elections, garnering just over 20% of the national vote in the April poll. Under Hungary’s system of proportional representation, this result (up 5% from last showing) makes Jobbik Hungary’s second-strongest party. This assures it a significant agenda-setting presence in an already right-wing dominated parliament.
Below is an extract of a public letter by Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof, an Israeli-Dutch couple visiting Tel Aviv with their children. The full letter was published on the Jewish Voice for Peace website on July 31. It details the atmosphere of intimidation, hatred and hysteria inside Israel during its military offensive on Gaza. * * *
The Party of the European Left is a continent-wide amalgamation of far-left, radical and socialist political parties and groups. It includes the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) in Greece, Die Linke in Germany, the United Left in Spain, the Left Front in France and many others.
With Israel’s assault on Gaza claiming more than 1400 lives as of August 1, mostly civilians, Israeli leaders claim the offensive is self defence against Hamas, the party governing Gaza, in response to rockets fired at Israel. However, it is hard to ignore the many genocidal incitements coming out of the mouths of Israeli politicians and other commentators. The most recent infamous case was an August 1 op-ed published at widley-read website The Times of Israel by Yochanan Gordon entitled "When Genodice is Permissible".
Joko Widodo, or “Jokowi” as he is popularly known, was confirmed by Indonesia’s electoral commission on July 22 as the winner of the presidential elections. Jokowi defeated, sacked Suharto-era general Prabowo Subianto, by 57% to 43% of the nearly 130 million direct votes cast on July 9. Prabowo has sought to challenge the result. However, supporters of Jokowi, whose campaign aroused enthusiasm among ordinary people hoping for change from elite-dominated politics, are intent on defending what they see as a chance for significantly more democratic reform.

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