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Freedom of Speech Under Fire in Nepal: Take Action!

October 31, 2005 Super User

Nepal is a country which has been living under a so-called ‘state of emergency’ and its extended anti-constitutional aftermath decreed in Nov. 2001 by the corrupt and despotic monarchy, an absolutist regime which is now exercising control directly through the military and police while fighting (with great and indiscriminate, if ineffective, brutality) a Maoist insurgency which has de facto control of almost two-thirds of the country and the support of vast sectors of the rural poor.

Parliament was disbanded in the name of the ‘war on terrorism’ (which is how the fight against the insurgency is described) and now people who simply exercise Constitutional rights are arrested as ‘terrorist sympathizers’. Many who are merely critical –or thought to be critical — of the regime are jailed, tortured, killed in jail or summarily executed on the spot.

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Dahr Jamail

Unembedded Reporting From Iraq: An Interview with Dahr Jamail

October 31, 2005 Benjamin Dangl

In 2003, tired of the US media's inaccurate portrayal of the realities of the Iraq War, independent journalist Dahr Jamail headed to the conflict himself. Instead of following in the footsteps of mainstream media's embedded, "Hotel Journalists," Jamail hit the Iraqi streets to uncover the stories most reporters were missing. His countless interviews with Iraqi citizens and from-the-ground reporting have offered a horrific look into the bowels of the US occupation. From covering the bloody siege of Falluja to breaking a story on Bechtel's failure to reconstruct water treatment plants, his writing and photographs depict an Iraq that is much worse off now than it was before the US invasion. As one Abu Ghraib detainee explained to Jamail, "the Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house."

Uruguay Protest

Cellulose and Forestation: Two Sides of a Predatory Model

October 27, 2005 Raúl Zibechi

The construction of two huge cellulose factories on the Uruguay River that threaten to pollute the binational stream illustrates how a model of forestry imposed by neoliberalism in the 1990s is gaining ground in the Southern Cone. Standing on a makeshift stage in the center of Montevideo, writer Eduardo Galeano addressed the crowd in a calm tone: "There are decisions that are made in 15 minutes but have consequences for centuries." It was May 27, 2005 during a demonstration against the construction of two huge cellulose factories on the shores of the Uruguay River. It was not the first time that environmental and social organizations had taken to the streets to protest the two megaprojects, which threaten to pollute the country's main river, shared with Argentina. But it was the first time that it was done under a progressive or leftist government.

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Iraq: Fight for “hearts and minds” lost

October 26, 2005 Super User

BAGHDAD – Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, according to a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers and released by The Sunday Telegraph in Britain.

The poll, commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense, shows that up to 65 percent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and less than 1 percent think allied military involvement is helping to improve security. It demonstrates for the first time the depth of anti-Western feeling in Iraq, more than two and a half years after the war commenced.

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Australia to relax anti-terror laws

October 26, 2005 Super User

CANBERRA – Australia’s tough anti-terror laws likely will be softened in response to criticism about raids, preventive detention, a shoot-to-kill provision and infringement of free speech, The Australian reports. Attorney General Philip Ruddock said that members of a parliamentary security committee already have forced some "minor changes," and agrees that there could be more.

The new laws allow a sentence of up to seven years in jail for inciting violence or racial hatred. Some lawmakers warn that the law could be misused to restrict legitimate criticism. Muslim and civil liberties groups also object to a shoot-to-kill provision for police in cases where a terror suspect attempts to escape or avoid "preventative detention."

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China leads on environmental impacts

October 26, 2005 Super User

BEIJINGChina is now by far the world’s biggest driver of rainforest destruction, according to a new report by Greenpeace that documents vast deforestation due to soaring demands of China‘s enormous timber trade, the world’s largest.

Citing figures from the International Tropical Timber Organization, the study says that nearly five out of every 10 tropical hardwood logs shipped from the world’s threatened rainforests are heading for China, more than to any other destination.

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