From Podemos in Spain to Syriza in Greece: Change is in the air across southern Europe

Speech by Pablo Iglesias Turrion, published in Counterpunch, weekend edition January 23-25, 2015

Election night in Athens, Greece, Jan 25, 2015

Election night in Athens, Greece, Jan 25, 2015

Introduction by Roger Annis–In Athens on Thursday, January 22, 2015, three days before the Greek parliamentary election, Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing Podemos (‘We Can)’ party in Spain, spoke at a massive rally of the left-wing Syriza party. Syriza won the January 25 election with 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament. The party is committed to reversing the harsh, five year-long austerity agenda of the previous government and implementing a pro-people, social and economic program in its place. A ‘troika’ of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have conducted the austerity program, with the German government playing an aggressive, backing role.

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The media landscape in Brazil through the lens of Ukraine

By Pedro Marin, Editor-In-Chief of Opera Revista, article published in Truthout.org, Jan. 23, 2015 and also on New Cold War.org

Folha de Sao Paulo newspaperFourth estate, watchdog, ideology perpetuator – there are many labels for “media.” In Brazil, the problem of the media is very similar to that in most countries. According to a Brazilian research study in 2014, about 65 per cent of Brazilians watch television every day. According to the same research, they watch about three and a half hours per day. We are the fourth highest country in per capita internet access; still, only 28 per cent trust websites. Twenty four per cent trust news shared in social media networks. Only 22 out of 100 trust blogs. » Read more..

Another murderous attack on a bus during failing Ukraine military offensive

News summary by New Cold War.org editors, Jan. 25, 2015

Transit bus in Donetsk shelled on Jan 22, 2015, 12 killed

Transit bus in Donetsk shelled on Jan 22, 2015, 12 killed

A mortar attack in the city of Donetsk on January 22 struck a transit bus, killing 13 people and injuring many more. According to defense officials of the Donetsk Peoples Republic, the attack was conducted by a terrorist cell of the Ukraine army. Several Ukraine army personnel were arrested after the attack.

See also on New Cold War.org: Factory workers in Dnipropetrovsk protest unpaid wages, factory shutdown, Jan 25, 2015

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Interim financial settlement with victims of Lac Mégantic disaster, but large culprits still say ‘It wasn’t us’

By Roger Annis, published in Truthout.org, Jan 22, 2015

Aftermath of the disaster, photo by Axel Drainville, Flikr

Aftermath of the disaster, photo by Axel Drainville, Flikr

An initial financial compensation agreement for many of the victims of the 2013 oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, has been reached with some of the oil and transportation companies (and their insurers) that were responsible for the tragedy. It was announced in mid-January. The agreement totals $200 million. It will grow as more companies sign on or as legal action against those not signing proceeds. » Read more..

State repression and militarization in the wake of Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris

Introduction by Roger Annis, Jan. 20, 2015

The killings in Paris on January 7, 2015 of 12 writers and artists at the Charlie Hebdo weekly journal have provoked an avalanche of debate and commentary around the globe as well as a militarization of life in some of the imperialist countries in Europe. Is it coincidental that Belgium has seen some of the worst militarization only weeks after general strikes and mass protests against austerity rocked the country?

Far be it for this website to be able to provide an oversight of the debate when renewed war has been launched by the Ukraine government in eastern Ukraine and requires urgent attention. As a reflection of this website editor’s view on the Charlie Hebdo events, however, I bring to the attention of readers the enclosed commentary by Canadian political rights activist Matthew Behrens as well as several other recommended texts. » Read more..

U.S. Department of Transportation delays new rules on ‘bomb trains’

By Peter Rugh, VICE News, January 15, 2015

Oil trains rolling in the province of in Quebec

Oil trains rolling in the province of in Quebec

Following a series of derailments, spills, and deadly explosions, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new regulations this summer for the shipment of certain types of crude oil over the nation’s railways. DOT received nearly 150,000 public comments and late last year Congress set a Friday deadline for the department to issue its final rules. » Read more..

Haiti’s promised rebuilding unrealized as Haitians challenge authoritarian rule

By Travis Ross and Roger Annis, published in the ‘Speakout’ feature section of Truthout.org, Monday, January 12, 2015

Independence Day, Jan 1, 2015, photo by Haiti Liberté

Independence Day, Jan 1, 2015, photo by Haiti Liberté

Five years following the January 12, 2010 earthquake that struck the capital city of Haiti, the loudly-trumpeted reconstruction of the country is still an unrealized dream. The beginning of the year 2015 finds Haitians engaged in a massive movement of political protest and empowerment seeking to renew, against all odds, their 210-year old nation-building project. Winning a renewal means setting aside the false promises and cruel betrayals of the past five years by the big governments and aid agencies of the world. » Read more..

Video journalists declared “wanted criminals” by Ukraine’s secret service as newspaper office in Kharkiv is firebombed

By New Cold War.org editors, Jan 11, 2015

Graham Phillips

Graham Phillips

UK video journalist Graham Phillips and his film partner, Patrick John Lancaster, have been declared “wanted criminals” by Ukraine’s secret service, the SBU. The news is reported on Facebook by Patrick Lancaster (report below).

The declaration by the SBU is part of the widespread crackdown on freedom of the press taking place in Ukraine. There have been at least five journalists killed since the beginning of the ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ of the Kyiv government in eastern Ukraine last April. They were killed by shelling by Ukraine armed forces and militia. One was Italian, the other four were Russian. » Read more..

Popular demonstrations in Haiti demand elections, resignation of Michel Martelly as regime scrambles to save itself

By the editors of Canada Haiti Action Network website, Jan 9, 2014

Protest in Port au Prince on Jan 1, 2015 demands resignation of President Michel Martelly, photo by Daniel Tessier, Haiti Liberté

Protest in Port au Prince on Jan 1, 2015 demands resignation of President Michel Martelly, photo by Daniel Tessier, Haiti Liberté

Thousands of Haitian people marched through the streets of Port au Prince on January 8 demanding the resignation of President Michel Martelly and the holding of elections blocked for more than three years by his government. The day’s mobilization was organized by several political coalitions–MOPOD and Pitit Dessalin—as well as other popular, political organizations.

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In Nova Scotia, criminal charges and ‘cyber safety’ law in Rehtaeh Parsons case (updated)

** Updated in Dec. 2014 and Jan 2015 on the fight to honour Rehtaeh Parsons and win justice in her case. See the postscript below. And you can visit the website of the Rehtaeh Parsons Society, founded in 2014.

August 9, 2013–Yesterday, Halifax police and the RCMP arrested two 18 year old men in the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, the 17-year old woman who committed suicide four months ago. They are charged with disseminating “child porn”, namely a photo of an alleged sexual assault against Parsons.

Commemoration of Rehtaeh Parsons in Halifax in April 2013

The young woman endured 18 months of bullying and intimidation after a photo of a sexual assault she allegedly suffered in November 2011 was widely disseminated at her school and on the internet.

Leah Parsons, Rehtaeh’s mother, told CBC Radio’s As It Happens program yesterday that the criminal charges cannot bring justice for her daughter. She and Glen Canning, Rehtaeh’s father, say it’s too late for that—their daughter is dead because school and police officials failed to act promptly to protect her following the 2011 assault. » Read more..