Democracy

Human rights groups announced today that they would organise an aid flotilla to Gaza to breach Israel’s illegal blockade. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) said it would sail to Gaza “within 2014” in a “reflection of the growing worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people, from the US to Malaysia, from Scandinavia to South Africa”. The boats also aim to carry back Palestinian goods purchased by buyers worldwide to “complete the work of Gaza’s Ark” — a cargo boat intended to breach Israel’s punitive embargo which was bombed by Israeli Defence Force aircraft last month.
Hundreds of thousands of South African demonstrators marched through Cape Town on August 9 to protest against Israel’s military assault on Palestinians in Gaza, Morning Star Online said the next day. Organisers said it was one of the biggest rallies in the city since the end of apartheid. Demonstrators carried posters stating “Israel is an apartheid state” and “Stop Israeli murder.”
More than 1000 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested by the Israeli police since the country's military offensive in Gaza began in early July, Al Jazeera said on August 5. The article said the figure came from a lawyer representing a number of the detainees. Dozens are currently being held without charge. Al Jazeera said many say they have been detained based on policemen's "lies", while some have been beaten to the point of needing medical care.
Last minute talks between Argentina and predatory US hedge funds failed to reach agreement on July 29, effectively pushing the country into default. Argentinian economy minister Axel Kicillof confirmed that no deal had been reached. This made it inevitable that the country would be unable to meet its repayment obligations by midnight, placing the country in default for the second time in 13 years. Kicillof said that two hedge funds that bought Argentine bonds at knockdown rates from the previous default and then demanded full payment, had refused to compromise.
Friends of the Earth International wrote an account of the climate meeting organised by the Venezuelan government in July, which is abridged, from the FOEI website, below. read the Margarita Declaration the meeting adopted here. * * *
Today the struggle for people of conscience appears to be less about convincing people that Israel is committing war crimes against Palestinians or grossly violating international law. Instead, the struggle has become about convincing the world that Palestinians are human beings too. The ongoing televised genocidal attack on Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army makes one wonder what the situation would have been like if global powers and mainstream voices saw Palestinians as human beings.
As civilian casualties climb from its brutal assault on Gaza, Israel has met growing condemnation for the carnage from human rights groups and many governments. In Latin America, the response has been especially strong. Since Israel began its assault a month ago, El Savador, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador have withdrawn their ambassadors in protest.
Under the unfortunately red-hot slogan: “Stand up for Peace — In Solidarity”, about 300 participants and many day guests from nearby Berlin and Brandenburg came together from July 23 to 27 for the Ninth Summer University of the European Left. Constructive, concentrated, and communicative, people from at least 32 countries worked together during this unique annual event of the Party of the European Left and Transform! Europe.
Here is the latest “deal” from the self-proclaimed Captain of Team Australia that you are not allowed to refuse: He'll withdraw his law change that will give people the right to be bigots and in return his spooks will have access to the past two years of your metadata. My meta-whaaat???
“This political force should be liquidated,” said Pavlo Petrenko, Ukraine’s justice minister, quoted in the July 9 edition of Capital (Kiev’s equivalent of the Australian Financial Review). Petrenko was referring to the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU). For a time in the 1990s, it was the most supported party in Ukraine and it still won 13% of the vote at the 2012 parliamentary poll.

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