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Guinea’s Slaughter: UN Fact-Finding Tightens The Noose

December 31, 2009 Rene Wadlow

Conflict in Guinea
The UN Human Rights Council initially took no real action on the news of the September 28 shootings of unarmed civilians in Conakry, Guinea as the Council was in the last days of its session and had little time or will to draft a resolution or set up a fact-finding mission.  Thus the Council ended up passing the issue over to the African Union, which issued a statement deploring the violence and then passed the issue on to the 16-member regional body - the Economic Community of West African States.

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Tsunami Survivors Fight for Land Rights

December 30, 2009 Robert Reynolds
Source: Yes Magazine Tsunami Memorial in Baan Nam Khem

Thailand’s Andaman coast was flattened by the tsunami that ravaged much of Southeast Asia in 2004. In the fishing village of Baan Nam Khen alone, some 2,200 of the villageĀ“s 4,000 inhabitants died when the village was washed away.

The shocked survivors spent several weeks in inland resettlement camps, waiting to return to the places where their people had lived for generations.

When they finally returned to the places where their homes had been, however, they were in for a surprise. It wasn’t the utter destruction of their villages-they had expected that-but the chain-link fences around their land. read more

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Ugandan Lawmakers Set to Vote on Marriage, Divorce

December 30, 2009 Raymond Baguma

Source: Women’s ENews

KAMPALA, Uganda (WOMENSENEWS)–After parliament’s recent passage of key laws to protect women here, Jane Alisemera Babiha, chair of the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association, is hoping a bill to modernize laws on marriage and divorce will sail through in January.

"We are anxious to have this law passed by the beginning of next year," Alisemera told Women’s eNews recently.

"It is only natural that as women, we should champion for the cause of our fellow women who we represent," added parliamentarian Mary Karooro Okurut, representative of the Bushenyi district. "But in our campaign, we are also enlisting the support of men." read more

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Obama and the Permanent War Budget

December 29, 2009 William D. Hartung

It's been a good decade for the Pentagon. The most recent numbers from Capitol Hill indicate that Pentagon spending (counting Iraq and Afghanistan) will reach over $630 billion in 2010. And that doesn't even include the billions set aside for building new military facilities and sustaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal. But even without counting the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense budget has been moving relentlessly upward since 2001.

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Dennis Vincent Brutus, 1924-2009

December 28, 2009 Patrick Bond

Dennis Brutus
World-renowned political organizer and one of Africa's most celebrated poets, Dennis Brutus, died early on December 26 in Cape Town, in his sleep, aged 85. Even in his last days, Brutus was fully engaged, advocating social protest against those responsible for climate change, and promoting reparations to black South Africans from corporations that benefited from apartheid.

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Dubai Default: Is the Financial Crisis Really Over?

December 28, 2009 Graham Matthews

Source: Green Left Weekly

The November 26 announcement that the sovereign fund Dubai World would require a six-month pause on payments on its US$60 billion debt sent tremors through international stock markets.

In response, European markets fell 3%, the November 28 Sydney Morning Herald said.

On November 30, the government of Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s neighbour and fellow member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a statement confirming that it would bailout Dubai’s debt.

Not all of it -some banks would still lose something – but enough to ensure that major banks with “exposure” to Dubai World, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citi and HSBC, would not again be plunged into crisis. read more

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