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Index February 2012

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2012-02-01: Americans take shelter in Cairo embassy;
2012-02-01: Deutschland zwischen Wintermärchen und Dschungelkönigin;
2012-02-02: SPIEGEL Interview with Francis Fukuyama: Where Is the Uprising from the Left?
2012-02-02: Burkina Faso: MGF dans la région des Cascades – des enfants burkinabè excisés au Mali;
2012-02-03: The Assange Case Means That We Are All Suspects Now;
2012-02-04: Warning of unrest, new study shows millions risk losing lands in Africa;
2012-02-04: Jean Ziegler à La Chaux-de-Fonds;
2012-02-05: War Crimes Ruling: Human Rights Take a Back Seat to Sovereignty;
2012-02-06: The Pakistani Taliban’s Coming Divide;
2012-02-07: Three Kaiser Unions Walk Out Again in California, while SEIU Stays Put;
2012-02-07: PRATIQUE DE L’EXCISION: L’abandon est en bonne voie dans ce monde peuplé de 7 milliards d’habitants;
2012-02-08: Declining American Hegemony, Dyadic International Hierarchy, and the Seductiveness of Open Economy Politics;
2012-02-09: Join Us: AlterNet Expands its Coverage of Labor and Workers’ Rights;
2012-02-10: Reproductive Rights Group Asks Court to Reopen Plan B Case;
2012-02-11: The Invisible Arab: Excerpt from Chapter 1;
2012-02-11: MGF: Changer de pratiques pour sauver des vies;
2012-02-12: 9th International Day Of Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Mutilation;
2012-02-13: Stakeholders unite to end Female Genital Mutilation in Sudan in 2018;
2012-02-14: humanity living it’s economy;
2012-02-15: The Labor Movement and the Democrats;
2012-02-16: The Seed Emergency: The Threat to Food and Democracy;
2012-02-17: Non-Equilibrium Social Science NESS;
2012-02-18: Female genital mutilation rife in Egypt despite ban;
2012-02-19: Egypt: Escalating crisis;
2012-02-20: Anarchism Is Not What You Think It Is;
2012-02-21: The Arab spring: A long march;
2012-02-22: TALKS with Bunker Roy: Learn from a bare-foot-movement / Apprendre d’un mouvement va-nu-pied;
2012-02-23: More Foreclosure Mischief: Bankruptcy Hijackings;
2012-02-24: Crisis and Hope: Theirs and Ours;
2012-02-25: Global Justice and the Future of Hope;
2012-02-26: Open Seeds: Biopiracy and the Patenting of Life;
2012-02-27: Conservatives suppress democracy: RoboGate, dangerous words and a scarier worldview;
2012-02-28: Conservatives bare draconian teeth;
2012-02-29: Tehran on the way?

Tehran on the way?

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online /Issue No. 1086, by Amani Maged, 23 – 29 February 2012.

At a time when the US is signalling that it could cut off aid to Egypt, there are signs of a dramatic change in the relationship between Egypt and Iran. After decades of diplomatic, economic and cultural rupture, it looks like the two countries will resume ties or, at least, take serious steps towards this end … //   Continue Reading…

Conservatives bare draconian teeth

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Online spying, foreign radicals and faux patriotism – Published on The Vancouver Observer, by David P. Ball, February 22, 2012.

Heavily armed riot police were deployed during Vancouver Olympic protests (shown here) and similarly during a crackdown on anti-G20 demonstrations later that year in Toronto – warnings of the future? Photo by David P. Ball.

“Let’s not talk about statistics. Let’s talk about danger.” Scary words from someone in charge of Canada’s public safety … //   Continue Reading…

Conservatives suppress democracy: RoboGate, dangerous words and a scarier worldview

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Published on, by David P. Ball, February 25, 2012.

Once again, Canadians are up in arms about the latest scandal exposed about our government in Ottawa. This time, there is glaring evidence to suggest election fraud targeting dozens – maybe more – of swing ridings across the country in last year’s election. It could become, as the NDP’s Pat Martin suggested, “the largest electoral fraud in Canadian history” … //   Continue Reading…

Open Seeds: Biopiracy and the Patenting of Life

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Watch this video, 14.53 minutes, published on GRtv, with James Corbett and Vandana Shiva, February 15, 2012:

As the world begins to digest the implications of intellectual property for online censorship, another IP issue threatens an even more fundamental part of our daily lives: our food supply. Backed by legal precedent and armed with seemingly inexhaustible lobbying funds, a handful of multinationals are attempting to use patents on life itself to monopolize the biosphere.
Find out more about the process of patenting life and what it means for the food supply on this week’s GRTV Backgrounder … (full text).

Global Justice and the Future of Hope

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Published on Share The World Resources STWR, by Rajesh Makwana, February 10, 2012.

The experience of Iceland, as highlighted in the film ‘Future of Hope’, presents movements for social justice with a vision for creating change on a global scale. Central to this process is the need to replace self-interest, competition and greed with values that promote the development of a sustainable and equitable world – such as sharing and cooperation … //      Continue Reading…

Crisis and Hope: Theirs and Ours

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Watch this video, 66.30 minutes, published on ZNet, by Noam Chomsky, February 23, 2012: his speech was delivered at the University of Maryland, Friday, January 27, 2012.

More Foreclosure Mischief: Bankruptcy Hijackings

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Published on naked capitalims, by Yves Smith, February 21, 2012.

One of the common complaints from banks that the concerns raised by borrowers over robosigning are mere “paperwork” problems, that everyone who is foreclosed on deserved it, and no one was really hurt. That is patently false, as there have been an embarrassing number of instances where someone with no mortgage was foreclosed on, as well all too many cases of servicer-driven foreclosures. And that’s before we get to damage to property records.    Continue Reading…

TALKS with Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement / Apprendre d’un mouvement va-nu-pied

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Watch this video, 19.08 minutes, published on, posted October 2011.

(french below): In Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school teaches rural women and men — many of them illiterate — to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages. It’s called the Barefoot College, and its founder, Bunker Roy, explains how it works.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at

French: A Rajasthan, en Inde, une école hors du commun forme hommes et femmes venant de milieux ruraux – illettrés pour la plupart – pour devenir ingénieurs en énergie solaire, artisans, dentistes et docteurs dans leur propre villages. Elle s’appelle l’Université des Va-nu-pied.

Links: More videos with Bunker Roy on YouTube; and by TED talks/ list.

The Arab spring: A long march

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The moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood have won much ground but look far from comfortable in power – Published on The Economist, February 18, 2012.

… It’s hard to rule:

Liberal Islamists in Egypt, meanwhile, decry the group’s ideological sterility, rigid command structure and penchant for back-room politicking. More puritanical Islamists, such as the Salafists whose Nour Party came a surprisingly close second to the Ikhwan in Egypt’s elections, accuse the Brothers of diluting the Islamist agenda so as to soothe Western fears. Salafists also complain of being shunned by their ostensible Islamist cousins in favour of secular potential coalition partners.   Continue Reading…

Anarchism Is Not What You Think It Is

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… And There’s a Whole Lot We Can Learn from It – Published on ZNet, by David Morris, February 18, 2012.

On February 8, 1921 twenty thousand people, braving temperatures so low that musical instruments froze, marched in a funeral procession in the town of Dimitrov, a suburb of Moscow. They came to pay their respects to a man, Petr Kropotkin, and his philosophy, anarchism.  Some 90 years later few know of Kropotkin. And the word anarchism has been so stripped of substance that it has come to be equated with chaos and nihilism. This is regrettable, for both the man and the philosophy that he did so much to develop have much to teach us in 2012.  Continue Reading…

Egypt: Escalating crisis

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Diplomacy and threats fail to resolve tensions between Egypt and the US over pro-democracy NGOs – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Doaa El-Bey, 16 – 22 February 2011.

This week’s diplomatic efforts did not seem to ease the row between the US and Egypt caused by the decision by Egypt’s military rulers to place 43 NGO employees, including 19 Americans, on trial for illegally receiving foreign funding. The trial date is expected to be set within days … //  Continue Reading…

Female genital mutilation rife in Egypt despite ban

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Published on BBCnewsnight, February 15, 2012.

In 2008 Egypt outlawed the practice of female genital mutilation, but as Newsnight’s Sue Lloyd-Roberts reports in an article which contains graphic detail and which some readers may find disturbing, the ban has had little effect and the practice is still rife … (full long text).   Continue Reading…

Non-Equilibrium Social Science NESS

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a new EU network project – Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Bruce Edmonds, February 15, 2012.

The aim of NESS is to ensure that the social sciences are put on a proper footing for the 21st century. A key focus of the group is economics, where the equilibrium approach (though dominant) struggles to capture the economic realities we observe in the world today. But we are interested in all the social sciences. Continue Reading…

The Seed Emergency: The Threat to Food and Democracy

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Published on TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE, by Vandana Shiva, 13 Feb – 19 Feb 2012.

Patenting seeds has led to a farming and food crisis – and huge profits for US biotechnology corporations. The seed is the first link in the food chain – and seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. If farmers do not have their own seeds or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve and exchange, they have no seed sovereignty – and consequently no food sovereignty.  Continue Reading…

The Labor Movement and the Democrats

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Published on Global, by Jack A. Smith, February 13, 2012.

New anti-union legislation was passed by Congress earlier this month despite a Democratic majority in the Senate and Barack Obama in the White House. It’s one more indication that America’s unions are over a barrel. The leadership of the Democratic Party — which is dependent on union support and money, especially this presidential election year — knows of labor’s plight, says it sympathizes, and goes off whistling an idle tune.  Continue Reading…

humanity living it’s economy

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some reflections about our situation:

Stakeholders unite to end Female Genital Mutilation in Sudan in 2018

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Published on panapress, by PANA MO/VAO, 7 février 2012.

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) – Sudanese religious scholars, senior journalists and doctors held a special event here on Tuesday in a show of solidarity with the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), observed globally on 6 February.  Inaugurated by Mr. Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim. Sudan’s Minister of State for Welfare and Social Security, the event which was organised jointly by the National Council for Child Welfare, the Sudanese Journalists Union and UNICEF underlined government’s commitment to end FGM/C in Sudan by 2018.    Continue Reading…

9th International Day Of Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Mutilation

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Published on Public Group on Gender, by Guidetti Chiara , February 6, 2012.

IOM Press release on the occasion of the 9th International day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genitale Multilation (FGM) calling for the adoption of more human-rights based legislation to end FG:

Mutilations Génitales Féminines: Changer de pratiques pour sauver des vies

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Publiés dans Mali Web MW, par Ramata Diaouré, le 6 février 2012.

… Comment amener les communautés à changer de comportement pour aboutir à l’abandon des MGF, dont la principale est l’excision? Tout d’abord en informant tout un chacun de leurs graves conséquences pour les femmes, afin que ce choix un choix éclairé qui amène à cette décision. Continue Reading…

The Invisible Arab: Excerpt from Chapter 1

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The following is the second of a series of excerpts that Al Jazeera will be publishing from The Invisible Arab: The promise and peril of the Arab revolutions (excerpt from the preface here) – Published on Al Jazeera, by Marwan Bishara, February 9, 2012 (read the text or listen it’s audio, 14.38 min):

… Totalitarian and authoritarian (You say tomato, I say tomahto):

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Arab autocracies represented some of the oldest dictatorships in the world. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship in Tunisia, the most recently established in the region, ruled for twenty-five years, followed by thirty years for Egypt’s Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, thirty-three years for Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, forty-three years for Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and forty-three years for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad dynasty.   Continue Reading…

Reproductive Rights Group Asks Court to Reopen Plan B Case

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Published on SFgate, by Tom Schoenberg and Sarah Frier, February 8, 2012.

… A reproductive rights group asked a federal judge to reopen a lawsuit over access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B, claiming the Food and Drug Administration acted in “bad faith” when it placed restrictions on the drug. The Center for Reproductive Rights, in a filing today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, said reopening its 2005 case was the most efficient way for the group to overturn the FDA’s age restraints on the drug. The group urged the court to order the agency to make Plan B available within 30 days without a prescription or age restrictions.   Continue Reading…

Join Us: AlterNet Expands its Coverage of Labor and Workers’ Rights

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Conservatives’ anti-worker crusade will not go unchallenged. We’re ratcheting up our worker coverage by establishing a unique Labor special coverage area – Published on AlterNet, by Don Hazen, February 7, 2012.

There has been a long war on workers and unions in this country, led by conservatives who want to lower wages, eliminate benefits, and limit workers’ rights to organize. In response, AlterNet is ratcheting up our worker coverage by establishing a unique Labor special coverage area (sign up to receive our weekly newsletter).    Continue Reading…

Declining American Hegemony, Dyadic International Hierarchy, and the Seductiveness of Open Economy Politics

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Published on Theory Talks #46, by David A. Lake, January 18, 2012.

International order is a core preoccupation within International Relations, and the empirical configurations of international power relations have principal objects of study in the U.S. and beyond. Questions of how international hierarchy comes about and is maintained, and how one can understand the role of the U.S. in determining that structure, are subsequently at the heart of the discipline. On both core questions, David A. Lake has made powerful and lasting contributions that both challenge conventional wisdom and engage the most difficult questions. In this thoughtful Talk, David Lake—amongst others—explains how international hierarchy can best be conceptualized, relates this to shifting great power relations and U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and comments on the seductiveness of Open Economy Politics. (full text). Download the print version of this talkContinue Reading…

PRATIQUE DE L’EXCISION: L’abandon est en bonne voie dans ce monde peuplé de 7 milliards d’habitants

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Publié dans (d’abord dans UNFPA, UNICEF et Sidwaya), 1er février 2012.

Le mouvement pour un abandon total de l’excision en 2015 est bien lancé et la multiplication des déclarations d’abandon dans la plupart des pays où se pratiquait cette coutume ancestrale en est une preuve palpable. Les efforts du programme conjoint UNFPA-UNICEF pour appuyer les Etats, les communautés, la société civile, les partenaires, les religieux, les médias et les autres acteurs à mettre fin aux pratiques traditionnelles néfastes, portent leurs fruits et démontrent que l’abandon de l’excision est possible. Une tendance à la baisse de la prévalence est observée dans plusieurs pays comme le Sénégal (de 28 à 26%), l’Ethiopie (80 à 74%) ou l’Egypte (97 à 91%) … //  Continue Reading…