Friday, May 04, 2007

Democracy Now!

Another review of DemocracyNow. This is yesterdays edition so the events will be from Thursday or Friday.
  • Thousands of students in Afghanistan staged a protest after over 50 civilian killings by US forces in the last week. America will obviously claim these were accidental or they were harbouring terrorists or whatever, who knows whether this is true or whether that makes a difference..

  • The Bush Administration has apparently been trying to decide who gets to work for the Department Of Justice, which is meant to be an independent wing of the government. It's alledged Monica Goodling "screened" job applicants based on their political views, which is illegal.

  • Also the Attorney General, Roberto Gonzales, was asked by the court to hand over copies of emails to or from Karl Rove, regarding 8 Attorney's who were fired, but the White House claim they've all been lossed. "OOPS! Someone forgot to backup the emails!". Yeah right.

  • The Columbian President has been meeting with Bush trying to get a new trade deal for Columbia. Bush seem's very up for it (Honestly I haven't edited this to make it sound stupid, this is word for word): "This agreement is good for the US. It's good for job creators, farmers, workers. This agreement is good for Columbia. It's good for job creators, workers, farmers. This agreement has strategic implications. It is very important for this nation to stand with democracies that protect human rights and human dignity, democracies based upon the rule of law.

    Here is a brief summary from Amnesty International's latest report on Columbia:

    "Although the number of killings and kidnappings in some parts of the country fell, serious human rights abuses committed by all parties to the conflict remained at critical levels. Of particular concern were reports of extrajudicial executions carried out by the security forces, killings of civilians by armed opposition groups and paramilitaries, and the forced displacement of civilian communities. Paramilitaries who had supposedly demobilized under the terms of a controversial law ratified in July continued to commit human rights violations, while armed opposition groups continued to commit serious and widespread breaches of international humanitarian law. Individuals who may have been responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity were not brought to justice."

    See if you can fit that and "protection for human rights" together. Go on, try really hard.

    Forget any doubts that this trade agreement will go through though, Columbia has rented a "lobbying firm" called the Glover Park group to win votes in Congress. Yes that's right, they're buying votes. This is a democracy after all.

  • Bolivia are nationalising their Oil Industry. Must be a good thing? As long as the government really spend it on the needs of their people, it'll be better than the revenue ending up in the hands of Multi-National Corporations and their shareholders.

  • The US-backed government in Somalia have appointed a new mayor of the capital, Mogadishu, "Mohamed Dhere". DemocracyNow comment that he has "long co-operated with the CIA", which immediately lead me to believe he must be a bad guy. A quick Google search will lead you to an article from Reporters Sans Frontiers, the main point being he beat up a radio reporter for criticizing the Authorities, who gave Dhere his orders:
    Abdiqani Sheik Mohadmed’s problems began when he reported on 26 September on Radio Banadir, one of the radio stations he works for, that the elders of the Jowhar community had asked the committee running one of the city’s mosques to resign in favour a new committee that had their approval and that of the local authorities.

    After the report was broadcast, Mohamed was stopped and beaten by Mohamed Dhere’s militiamen on the main road in Jowhar. The next day, Dhere’s spokesman issued a decree saying that Mohamed was "no longer recognized," that he was henceforth "forbidden" to practice his profession and that the Middle Shabelle authorities would consider themselves "attacked" if he failed to comply. Since then, Mohamed has taken refuge in Mogadishu.

    Another thumbs up for American Democracy there.

I think that's enough for now, I tried to look for some funny news but couldn't find anything... Oh wait this'll do: "Who believes in Evolution?"

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