International News Round-up
October 3, 2007, 6:11 pm
Filed under: International news, news, politics

Mayor tries to transform Mexico City (USA Today)

Toiling in the Dark: Africa’s Power Crisis (NYTimes)

Neoliberalism in China (ZMag)

An interview with Han Deqiang, “a prolific economist at the Economics and Management School, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and one of a growing number of Chinese scholars critical of the country’s neoliberal development strategy.”

Bomb by bomb, Japan sheds military constraints (NYTimes) 

Jobs lead to suicide and disease – France (ZMag) “Working conditions have deteriorated recently, and exposure to carcinogenic materials has worsened.  In France there has been a spate of work-related suicides”

British police using new spy drones – with video (Wired)

EXCERPT: “British police are now using the Microdrone from German company Microdrones GmbH in trials. According to The Times it was used to police a rock festival this summer, and there has also been interest from “MI5, the Metropolitan police, and Soca, the Serious Organised Crime Agency…It’s battery powered, so it’s quieter — apparently at 350 feet it is rarely noticed from the ground — but more limited in terms of performance (flight time is about twenty minutes compared to an hour). Although it might seem flimsy, the video shows how stable it is in flight. It is said to be quite rugged and can return to base even if it loses two of its four rotor blades. One unusual feature is a speaker so that police can give instructions to those on the ground.”

Chavez offers Latin America energy pact (BBC)

“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has pledged to guarantee the energy needs of his allies in Latin America.”

Ancient rulers tomb, gold trove discovered in Bolivia (National Geographic)

The indigenous movement and Correa in Ecuador (ZMag)

Timbuktu hopes ancient texts can spark revival (NYTimes)

EXCERPT: “A surge of interest in ancient books, hidden for centuries in houses along Timbuktu’s dusty streets and in leather trunks in nomad camps, is raising hopes that Timbuktu – a city whose name has become a staccato synonym for nowhere – may once again claim a place at the intellectual heart of Africa…. This ancient city, a prisoner of the relentless sands of the Sahara and a changing world that prized access to the sea over the grooves worn by camel hooves across the dunes, is on the verge of a renaissance.

“We want to build an Alexandria for black Africa,” said Mohamed Dicko, director of the Ahmed Baba Institute, a government-run library in Timbuktu. “This is our chance to regain our place in history.”

Dubai’s struggle over foreign worker rights (NYTimes)

Paraguay : A Laboratory for Latin America’s New Militarism (Toward Freedom)

EXCERPT: “The shadow army of the Citizens Guard is as big as the state security forces: these paramilitary groups have nearly 22,000 members, while the Paraguayan police force is only 9,000 strong and the military has 13,000 members.

Anti-terrorism rhetoric and legislature is being mixed into this deadly cocktail. The Paraguayan Senate is scheduled to pass an anti-terrorism law which will criminalize social protest and establish penalties of up to 40 years in prison for people that participate in such activities. A large march against the passage of the law took place in the country’s capital on July 26th.

Marco Castillo, a Paraguayan journalist with a dark ponytail, shook as head while contemplating this new landscape of repression. Dozens of social organization leaders and dissidents have been disappeared and tortured in recent years.”

Author Benjamin Dangl won a 2007 Project Censored Award for his coverage of US military operations in Paraguay.

UK: Children as young as five to be fingerprinted in school (Daily Mail)

Judge wants everyone in UK, and everyone who visits, in DNA database (Guardian, UK)


Thirty years difference in life expectancy between world’s rich and poor (Independent, UK)


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