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6/4/2016 8:43:18 AM
Why what's happening in France isn't 'just another French strike'

Labor union members on strike with a poster reading 'Railway workers from St Lazare station on strike!' shout slogans as they attend a demonstration in Paris, Thursday.

Paris — Fuel shortages, cancelled flights, disrupted trains: France is on strike yet again. The stakes get higher each day. The Euro 2016 soccer championship, which will see hundreds of thousands of visitors traveling to France to root for their national soccer teams, is set to start on June 10. At the same time, Paris is dealing with a constant terrorist threat and now record flooding.

RE: France
6/4/2016 8:47:16 AM
France fuel strike leads to tourist anxiety ahead of bank holiday weekend

May 26, 2016 6:49 am /post details

Steph Hoy has been following the news about the French fuel strike anxiously. On Thursday evening she is driving her 1960s Morris Minor to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to Cherbourg and begin a tour across France. Her car might have stood the test of time … but it still needs petrol. And right now, France is not coming across as the most inviting destination for a road trip.

6/4/2016 8:53:09 AM

Brazil acting president pushes for quick impeachment process for Dilma Rousseff

Acting President Michel Temer wants Rousseff to return to power before Rio Olympics

Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff waves during the launching ceremony of the book “Resistance to the 2016 Coup,” written by professors from the University of Brasilia, in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, May 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

6/4/2016 9:03:51 AM
Poles to Protest Democracy Lapse 27 Years After Communism Ended


Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa starts his presidential election campaign in front of 8000 supporters on October 1, 1990.

Photographer: Wojtek Druszcz/AFP/Getty Images

Poles will take to the streets on Saturday to protest against their government amid concerns in Washington and Brussels that their country’s leaders are backsliding on democratic values.

The march in Warsaw takes place on the 27th anniversary of the first freely contested election behind the Iron Curtain, which ended communist rule in Poland. It also comes three days after the European Union’s executive stepped up its first ever probe into rule of law of a member country, calling on the Polish government to restore the ability of its highest court to effectively review legislation.

The ruling Law & Justice party, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has fallen out with Poland’s allies since winning elections in October as its drive to consolidate power triggered the EU investigation and the sovereign’s first-ever credit rating downgrade. Bill Clinton said last month that Poland, long regarded as a model for its embrace of democracy following communism, was sliding toward an “authoritarian dictatorship” like that seen in neighboring Russia, prompting Kaczynski to tell the former U.S. President to go see a doctor.

“Poles were never as united as they were on the day communism ended,” said Beata Laciak, a sociology professor at Warsaw University. “This is the symbolic message at this protest -- that people want rule of law and civil liberties and will defend the way of life that was started in 1989.”

All but one of the parliamentary seats up for grabs in the historic ballot 27 years ago was taken by the anti-Communist opposition in the Solidarity movement, a result that emboldened eastern Europe’s democratic efforts and ultimately helped bring down the Berlin Wall five moths later. Fast forward a generation, and a group calling itself The Committee in Defense of Democracy, known by its Polish acronym KOD, is organizing protests against a government that has taken over public media, subordinated prosecutors and refused to implement rulings from the Constitutional Court.

‘Solidarity Days’

Poland is a democratic country where a freely elected government is exercising the will of the people, Law & Justice Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has said. The ruling party is working on a compromise to end the dispute with the EU with another overhaul of the Constitutional Court, legislation that the biggest opposition party said would further erode democratic standards.

“At KOD events you often meet people who reminisce about their old Solidarity days,” Laciak said. “They never expected to be protesting like this again.”


Cynthia McKinney
6/4/2016 9:16:10 AM
Whatever Happened to Cynthia McKinney?

Cynthia McKinney was one of the looniest Democrats of her generation. A 9/11 Truther, she lost not one but two Democratic primaries because she was considered too far out. Her father’s explanation that she was in trouble because “the Jews have bought everybody. J-E-W-S” added to her legend. After her second primary rebuff, McKinney left the Democratic Party. She was the Green Party candidate for president in 2008–which tells you all you need to know about the Greens–and got 0.12% of the vote, mostly, one assumes, from nearsighted voters who checked the wrong box.

McKinney, testifying to US war crimes in Libya

McKinney, testifying to US war crimes in Libya

McKinney is now set to re-emerge as an internet commentator. TeleSur, the state-sponsored Latin American television network, has just introduced an English language web site. This is from TeleSur’s press release:

TeleSUR, the Latin American news multimedia announced today the launch of TeleSUR English, a news site oriented to English-speaking audiences covering the global journalistic agenda. …

[The president of TeleSUR, Patricia Villegas], who leads the seven-country owned public company, described the initiative as “a long-term bet and part of a geopolitical and communication strategy in the field of global information.”

TeleSUR English will show video content, recognized opinions, special coverage and a major audience participation.

TeleSUR English will produce audiovisual content through the staff writers and producers in Quito, Ecuador.

The site will feature special productions with Laura Flanders, Rebel Diaz, Roberto Lovato, Tariq Ali, Bill Fletcher Jr.

Also, they will participate in the site recognized bloggers as Daniel Kovalik, Ricky L. Jones, Vijay Prashad, Horace Campbell, Belen Fernandez, Bill Bowring, Deric Shannon, Roger Burbach, Cyntia McKinney, Joe McIvor, Costas Panyotakis, Howard Friel, Simon Butler and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.

And columnists such as Michael Albert, Walden Bello, Phyllis Bennis, Noam Chomsky, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Steve Early [Ed.: I think they mean Steve Earle], Linda Gordon, Arun Gupta, Pervez Hoodbhoy, John Pilger, Marina Sitrin, Norman Solomon and Hilary Wainwright.

TeleSUR is the Latin American news signal with headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela. It is operated by the Nueva Television del Sur C.A., a public company funded by the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela.

It was created in 2005 as a space to defend and promote the processes of change in the region and the world.

It isn’t hard to see where this is going, but the Miami Herald has more:

Telesur was the brainchild of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and designed in part to counter the narrative of regional outlets like CNN en Español. …

The station is also at the vanguard of promoting Chávez’s legacy, paying Oliver Stone $3 million to produce a documentary called “My Friend Hugo.”

Hugo Chavez and Oliver Stone, hard to say which is more disgusting

Hugo Chavez and Oliver Stone, hard to say which is more disgusting

Right. TeleSur is for those who think CNN is too conservative, and Hugo Chavez was mainstream. What will TeleSur cover in addition to Latin America?

[Villegas] points to the fact that the new website inaugurated its coverage this week with reports about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Gaza. …

Tarik Ali, a Pakistani author and columnist, has been with Telesur since its inception. He will be hosting an English-language interview show called “The World Today,” broadcast four times a week.

He said that referring to Telesur as a mouthpiece of the Latin American left is hypocritical.

“The global corporate media is the mouthpiece for the system of the market — its political aims, its wars…[But] no one ever refers to American networks as mouthpieces of official propaganda, which they are,” he said. “At English-language Telesur, we come with a different philosophy and have a different world view…But we will not make up things, we will not make up lies, we will not show documentaries with certain things cut out, all of which has happened on western television at one time or another.”

Lifelong Marxist Tarik Ali, in his younger days

Lifelong Marxist Tarik Ali, in his younger days

It won’t be easy to get to CNN’s left on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but I am sure they will try. Cynthia McKinney will feel right at home.

UPDATE: In poking around for image files, I see that McKinney claims to be working on a doctoral dissertation on…Hugo Chavez. I can’t wait to read the part where she talks about the toilet paper shortage.



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