Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi

The future of Aung San Suu Kyi and her amazing movement for democracy in Burma is hanging in the balance this week, and we could make the difference.

Suu Kyi has bravely called on the military regime to free the thousands of monks and peaceful activists still held in horrific prisons, some in cramped dog cages. Unprecedentedly, thousands of Burmese have risked their own safety to join her call for freedom through an online petition! Yesterday, the regime issued an ominous warning to Suu Kyi – and the Generals may be deciding right now between dialogue or another brutal crackdown.

World to Dilma: Save the Amazon

The Amazon is in serious danger. The lower house of the Brazilian congress has approved a gutting of Brazil’s forest protection laws. Unless we act now vast tracts of our planet’s lungs could be opened up to clear cutting devastation.

The move has sparked widespread anger and protests across the country. And tension is rising -- in the last few weeks several prominent environmental advocates have been murdered, purportedly by armed thugs hired by illegal loggers. The timing is critical, they’re trying to silence criticism just as the law is discussed in the Senate. But President Dilma can veto the changes, if we can persuade her to overcome political pressure and step onto the global stage as a leader.

World's most dangerous countries for women

Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan are the world's most dangerous countries for women due to a barrage of threats ranging from violence and rape to dismal healthcare and "honour killings," a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed Wednesday.

India and Somalia ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global perceptions survey by TrustLaw (www.trust.org/trustlaw), the Foundation's legal news service. yahoo/Reuters


Sunday June 26, 2011

Assad troops carry out more sweep operations on the borders with Turkey and Lebanon, arresting hundreds, terrorizing thousands and driving more refugees into both countries

The suburbs of Barzeh in Damascus continue to suffer from army incursions and house to house searches since Friday: dozens of arrests have been made and 7 fatalities have been reported.

Meanwhile, the Damascene suburbs of Zabadani and Madaya have once again been put under military siege, as Kisweh held a massive night-time funeral attended by over 50,000 in honor of a martyred colleague. Syrian Revolution Digest

More than $6 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds lost

The Iraqi and U.S. governments have been unable to account for a substantial chunk of the billions of dollars in reconstruction aid the Bush administration literally airlifted into the country. If the cash proves to have been stolen, the heist could represent "the largest theft of funds in national history," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Witnesses testified that millions of dollars were shoved into "gunnysacks" and disbursed to Iraqi contractors on pick-up trucks, with what seemed to be little financial controls or accounting on the part of the U.S. government. yahoo


Dharma and dollars

Ultimately, the Buddha encouraged us to cultivate the attitude of non-attachment towards wealth. Our wealth might increase or it might decrease, but our minds should never be disturbed by the change. That is the ultimate wealth in Buddhism: to succeed in detaching oneself completely from greed, hatred and ignorance, the cause of all our suffering. bangkokpost

Escaping the Clutches

In today's Europe, the people are no longer in control. Instead, politicians have become slaves to financial institutions and the markets. We are partly to blame -- and changes are urgently needed to nurse European democracy back to health. spiegel

Wasn’t a panic

What happened Monday wasn’t a panic, precisely: It was more of a pre-panic. Think of it like a sharp tremor before The Big One: A taste of what a true sovereign debt panic would be like.

Debt Crisis Hits Italy

Just a few weeks ago, the rate on Italian 10-year bonds was just two percentage points higher than comparable German paper. On Monday, the difference grew to three percent and on Tuesday it reached 3.5 percent. spiegel

The beginning of the end

There is a growing sense of despair in Brussels. Unlike previous attacks on the euro project, the latest downgrade of Portugal's debt by the ratings agency Moody's feels like the beginning of the end. guardian.co.uk (Wednesday 6 July 2011 09.01 BST)

Outrageously high interest rates

offering more loans, especially at outrageously high interest rates as Brussels intends to do, fails to tackle the core problem, it only makes the situation worse. guardian

A Fatally Flawed Recovery Plan

Greece needs even more money -- EU officials estimate that a new bailout will cost over 100 billion euros rather than the previously assumed 60 billion. It will get the aid, even though the rescue strategy adopted so far seems doomed. The economy is shrinking, and ambitious privatization plans are illusory. spiegel

Note: "Companies like DEI or the partially state-owned Hellenic Petroleum are still viewed as workers' paradises. The roughly 2,500 employees of the oil company are paid 17.8 monthly salaries a year, and even drivers and doormen earn annual salaries upwards of €90,000."

How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its Debt

Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country's already bloated deficit. spiegel


Crackdown on Muslim extremists

... violent extremism is incubated within the ideology of non-violent extremism. guardian
World's worst mass murderer

Sudan's President al-Bashir is the world's worst mass murderer. Indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, he has for 20 years repeatedly butchered whole communities that challenged his rule. And it's happening again -- unless we stop him for good.

China welcomes Omar al-Bashir

The announcement comes a week after the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, told the UN security council that genocide and crimes against humanity continued unabated in Darfur because Bashir had learned to defy the council's authority.

Moreno Ocampo said the crimes included air attacks on civilians and the direct killing of members of the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. Bashir denies all the allegations and does not recognise the ICC's authority. guardian

China deploys troops after protests

A human rights group said thousands of Chinese police and paramilitary forces have been mobilised to suppress a new round of protests in the country's east.

The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said the unrest in Taizhou broke out after a village chief was beaten by petrol station employees after he had tried to negotiate an increase in land compensation fees. independent

Indian police break up anti-corruption protest

Tens of thousands of demonstrators had gathered in Delhi in support of Swami Ramdev's fast against corruption. guardian


EU chief's private jet

The office of José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, racked up a €249,000 bill for private jets during the same period he attended the 2009 UN convention on climate change.

Barroso's jet bill for the nine-month period is just a small part of €7.5m worth of trips on private jets chartered by EU commissioners over the last five years, uncovered in research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. guardian

Note: EU's commissioners are busy, busy, busy, as we can realise... They are not time (at all) to care about some kind of basic situations...
The IMF itself should be on trial

To understand this story, you have to reel back to the birth of the IMF. In 1944, the countries that were poised to win the Second World War gathered in a hotel in rural New Hampshire to divvy up the spoils. With a few honorable exceptions, like the great British economist John Maynard Keynes, the negotiators were determined to do one thing. They wanted to build a global financial system that ensured the money and resources of the planet were forever hoovered towards them. independent


Leading journalist murdered

Saleem Shahzad had warned that the authorities might act against him and revealed a previous threat.

A surge of outrage and grief jolted Pakistan last night after the discovery of the body of a journalist who had highlighted alleged links between al-Qa’ida and the country’s military, two days after he went missing in Islamabad. It appears he had been tortured and beaten before being killed and his body dumped. independent
Iranian activist dies at her father's funeral

The daughter of a prominent veteran Iranian dissident has died after reportedly scuffling with security forces at his funeral.

Haleh Sahabi, 54, also an opposition activist and women's rights campaigner, had been allowed out of prison to attend the funeral of her father, Ezatollah Sahabi, on Wednesday. She fell to the ground in the scuffle and died of a cardiac arrest, according to the opposition website Kaleme. guardian