The spreading scandal of Volkswagen's falsifying of emission tests to evade regulations has begun to expose the cozy connections between the German government and the company. A recent article in the New York Times said: “There exists a revolving-door climate in which leaders glide between tops posts in government and auto firms.” But a recent settlement between the US government and General Motors reveals similar corruption.
The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, including Australia, reached an agreement on October 5 on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history. The agreement has been negotiated in secret for eight years and will encompass 40% of the global economy. The secret 30-chapter text has still not been made public, although sections of draft text were leaked by WikiLeaks during the negotiations.
When veteran left-wing activist and MP Jeremy Corbyn entered the race for British Labour Party leader, sparked by former leader Ed Miliban's resignation in May, he did so reluctantly on grounds it was “his turn” to be the “token socialist”. But in a stark sign of the depths of anger at brutal anti-poor austerity and disillusionment with mainstream politics, Corbyn was declared the overwhelming victor on September 12 with almost 60% of the vote – more than a quarter of a million votes in total. His nearest opponent got 19%.
What causes heart disease — high fat or the over-consumption of sugar? Humans have been eating all sorts of foods for more than 200,000 years, since we evolved from the African savannah. But what should we be eating to stay healthy in the 21st century? Should we eat large amounts of protein, or avoid meat? Should we avoid carbohydrates, including vegetables and fruit? Should we avoid all fats or just some? Should we follow the Aitkin’s diet, the paleo diet, the low GI or high GI diet, or just go vegan? It is very confusing.
Rojava, the Kurdish-majority liberated zone in northern Syria, is the location of a unique experiment in grassroots, participatory democracy. It is undergoing a profound social revolution that emphasises social and economic equality, ecology, religious tolerance, ethnic inclusion, collectivity combined with individual freedom and, most obviously, feminism.
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?”
The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker. A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”
The Melbourne Street Medic Collective released this statement on July 19. * * * On July 18, first aiders and medical professionals working as part of the Melbourne Street Medic Collective provided medical support to anti-racist/fascist protesters at the Rally Against Racism near the Victorian Parliament. During the course of this rally, officers from Victoria Police deployed chemical weapons in the form of OC (pepper) spray against the crowd. As a result several people required urgent medical attention and eventually hospitalisation, directly as a result of exposure to the spray.
"Shamed", "human", "citizen". These were some of the labels people wrote across their mouths at the silent protest in Perth against the chilling effects of the new Border Force Act.
One year ago, on July 7, 2014, Israel began an assault on the Gaza Strip that would last 51 days. While a permanent ceasefire was brokered between Hamas and Israel on August 26, physical safety and freedom of movement continues to be denied to the people of Gaza. The already rapid deterioration of the economy and infrastructure was only hastened by the seven weeks of aerial bombardment.