World News Round Up


Russia, Hungary agree to joint venture to build South Stream gas pipeline (Global Research 2/26/08)
Russia threatens armed force over Kosovo (PressTVIran via MParent 2/22/08)

In a video link-up from Brussels Dmitry Rogozin said, “if the European Union works out a common position, or if NATO breaches its mandate in Kosovo, these organizations will be in conflict with the United Nations,” Interfax news agency reported. “We too will have to proceed from the view that in order to be respected we must use brute force, in other words armed force.”


India cancels small farmers’ debt (BBC 2/29/08)
“The Indian government is to cancel the entire debt of the country’s small farmers in a giant scheme that will cost 600bn rupees ($15bn; £7.6bn).”

Land of the Long White Lie: New Zealand’s Terror Raids (CounterPunch 2/19/08)


Secret Report Uncovers Massive Fraud at European Parliament (Brussels Journal 2/21/08)
British plans to nationalize Northern Rock (AP/Yahoo 2/21/08) and Virgin is the frontrunner (BBC 2/12/08)
Interview with leader of Sweden’s Pirate Party– filesharing (P2PConsortium)
Vast oil reserves discovered in Albania (NewsKosovoReport 1/11/08)
Fear and Loathing on the Emerald Isle: Shell’s Raid on the Western Irish Countryside (CounterPunch 2/21/08)
Armenia declares emergency rule after 11 days of protest over rigged elections (BBC 3/1/08)
Court gags ex-SAS man who made torture claims (Guardian, UK 2/29/08)

EXCERPT: “Ben Griffin could be jailed if he makes further disclosures about how people seized by special forces were allegedly mistreated and ended up in secret prisons in breach of the Geneva conventions and international law. Griffin, 29, left the British army in 2005 after three months in Baghdad, saying he disagreed with the “illegal” tactics of US troops.  He told a press conference hosted by the Stop the War Coalition this week that individuals detained by SAS troops in a joint UK-US special forces taskforce had ended up in interrogation centres in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Guantánamo Bay. He had not witnessed torture himself but added: “I have no doubt in my mind that non-combatants I personally detained were handed over to the Americans and subsequently tortured.”

“Referring to the government’s admission that two US rendition flights containing terror suspects had landed at the British territory of Diego Garcia, Griffin said the use of British territory and airspace “pales into insignificance in light of the fact that it has been British soldiers detaining the victims of extraordinary rendition in the first place”.”

Statement from Ben Griffin on StopTheWar Coalition website (2/25/08)


As Mexican oil reserves drop, Calderon ponders privatization (Houston Chronicle 2/16/08)

EXCERPTS: “The capacity of Mexico to produce petroleum is declining because our proven reserves are running out,” Calderon said last week in Los Angeles, where he ended a five-day tour of the U.S. “They probably will last nine more years.” … Echoing the view of many industry experts, Calderon argues that a structure allowing private Mexican and foreign investment in Pemex’s development of new reserves is urgent. Most of that new oil lies beneath the deep waters of the northern Gulf. “The good news for Mexico is that we have petroleum and lots of it,” Calderon said. “The problem is that this treasure is buried beneath the ocean. To reach that oil we need to strengthen Pemex.”“But Calderon’s efforts to push reforms permitting private investment through a Congress controlled by his opponents have been stymied by the resolute resistance of his leftist nemesis, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The former Mexico City mayor, whom Calderon defeated by a whisker for the presidency in 2006, argues that the reforms’ real aim is to take Pemex private. The state-owned company was formed in 1940 from the expropriation of U.S. and British oil companies. Like other critics of private investment, Lopez Obrador argues there is nothing wrong with Pemex that better financial management and less corruption in the company can’t fix.”

Imagining an/other Latin American Left (Counterpunch 1/13/08)
People’s Power in Venezuela (ZMag 1/10/08)
Zapatista Women Encounter Themselves (CounterPunch 1/8/08)
ALBA: A Regional Alternative to Free Trade (VenezuelAnalysis 2/13/08)
Guatemala to open war archives (BBC 2/26/08)

“Military archives spanning nearly four decades of civil war in Guatemala will be opened to the public, the country’s President Alvaro Colom has announced… Those crimes include the killings of an estimated 200,000 civilians and 50,000 forced disappearances.”

Venezuelan National Citizen Security Council created (VenezuelAnalysis 2/22/08)

EXCERPT: “Chávez announced Thursday the founding of the National Council of Citizen Security and Regional Citizen Security Coordination, which will supervise the construction of an integrated national police force in compliance with the National Police Law…Venezuela`s 126 state and local police squads will be integrated into a comprehensive national force based on the principals of social inclusion, disarmament, respect for human rights, penal improvement, and the “co-responsibility” of a mobilized citizenry that works in team with the state”


CIA, Paramilitarism and Narco-Trafficking: The Columbia Connection (AntiFascistCalling blog 2/18/08)

EXCERPT: “The National Security Archive has released a treasure-trove of declassified documents that provide explosive new information on CIA and U.S. military collaboration with far-right narcotraffickers and paramilitary gangs in Colombia. Released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, the documents confirm what has long been suspected by activists and researchers: the CIA and the Pentagon, as part of a joint U.S.-Colombian task force charged with bringing drug lord Pablo Escobar to ground, were linked to one of Colombia’s most notorious paramilitary leaders and drug kingpins, Fidel Castaño.”


Sahara farming village struggles for survival (National Geographic 1/8/08)
Egypt ‘greens’ desert to stem housing, food shortages (National Geographic 1/8/08)

Sub-saharan Africa: the Privatization of Biodiversity (Global Research 2/27/08)


Israeli minister warns of Palestinian holocaust (Global Research 2/28/08)
Bombing of the Ameriyah Shelter Base – A Night of Infamy (Global Research 2/14/08)

EXCERPT: “This night of the 13th/14th February marks one of infamy. The seventeenth anniversary of the bombing of the Ameriyah Shelter in Baghdad, by the United States, incinerating up to fifteen hundred souls, the majority children and women. The full number has never been established as the register was destroyed in the inferno. With the 1991 carpet bombing at its height, it is known the Shelter was especially full. With its normality of showers, washing machines, a large communal kitchen and generators to operate them – and electricity off all over Baghdad – women and children went there to prepare for the feast of Eid the following day. The night of the bombing was also the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day and that of the anniversary of the fire bombing of Dresden.”

Saudis urged to leave Lebanon as US warships arrive (Al Jazeera 3/1/08)


White House Spokesperson claims no permanent US bases anywhere in the world – Guantanamo ‘doesn’t count’ (AFP via Raw Story 2/13/08)
Cuba demands US leave Guantanamo (Herald Sun, Australia 2/14/08)
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