HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » polly7 » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 40 Next »

polly7

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 12,372

Journal Archives

Evo denounces neoliberal attacks on Venezuela

By Staff Writers, teleSUR
teleSUR
Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015


Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke to teleSUR about Latin America's efforts against imperialism and neoliberalism | Photo: teleSUR

In an exclusive interview with teleSUR Monday, Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke of neoliberalism and imperialism’s long history across the Americas. Morales denounced the ongoing attacks against Venezuela in light of the international forum currently underway in Caracas and organized by teleSUR and the Venezuelan Ombudsman Office addressing human rights abuses that take place under neoliberal regimes.

The economic war and political destabilization plan against Venezuela is rooted in the last 15 years of opposition attempts to unconstitutionally take over state power. Morales applauded the Venezuelan people for “defeating political conspiracies with maturity.”

In addition, Morales spoke to the case of Bolivia and the country’s efforts to establish a popular democracy. Morales explained that previously the Andean nation’s natural resources were under the thumb of transnational corporations.

“After 20 years we recuperated our democracy and sovereignty as well as our economic and political liberation,” emphasized Morales. “Now, the politics do not come from outside (of Bolivia), from the United States...The United States does not dictate here, the indigenous do,” he said.

Morales added in light of the upcoming summit for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), “Now is the time for Latin America and the Caribbean.”


Full article: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_69189.shtml

.........................

implications of broken agreements and the former invasions that have killed not thousands, but millions in a country that's been lied to and about over and over. (And no ..... I'm not a 'Putie-poot lover'.)

Ukraine: An Analysis

By David McReynolds

March 9, 2014

Russia has no natural barrier – no river, no mountain range – to guard it on its Western border. It has suffered invasion from the West three times in recent memory – under Napoleon and then twice under the Germans. In the last invasion, under Hitler, between 25 and 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives. All the factories, dams, railroads. towns and cities West of a line from Leningrad in the North to Moscow to Stalingrad in the South were destroyed. Americans make much of 9.11 (and I don’t make light of it) but for Russia it was not just a handful of buildings in one city which were destroyed – it was entire cities, leveled. And then with the wounded to care for, the orphans, the widows.

Americans have never understood what the war meant to Russia and why, after the war, the Soviets sought to build a “protective band” of territory between itself and Germany. This was Eastern Europe, which under the iron boot of Stalin became “people’s democracies” or “presently existing socialism”.


Something Americans (perhaps including our President and the Secretary of State) have forgotten was that Russia wanted to make a deal with the West. It had made peace with Finland, which (again, memories are short and we have forgotten this) fought on the side of the Nazis. The Soviets withdrew from Austria after the West agreed that Austria, like Finland, would be neutral.The Soviets very much wanted a Germany united, disarmed, and neutral. Stalin did not integrate the East Germany into the Eastern European economic plans for some time, hoping he could strike that deal. But the West wanted West Germany as part of NATO, and so the division of Germany lasted until Gorbachev came to power.

I would have urged radical actions by the West in 1956 when the Hungarian Revolution broke out – it was obvious that if the Soviets could not rule Eastern Europe without sending in tanks (as they had already had to do in East Germany in 1953), they posed no real threat of a military strike at the West.

What if we had said to Moscow, withdraw your tanks from Hungary, and we will dissolve NATO, while you dissolve the Warsaw Pact.

But of course the West didn’t do that. The US in particular (but I would not exempt the Europeans from a share of the blame) wanted to edge their military bases to the East. When the USSR gave up control of Eastern Europe, the US pressed for pushing NATO farther East, into Poland and up to the borders of Ukraine.


http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/ukraine-an-analysis/


....."When President Gorbachev accepted the unification of Germany as part of NATO—an astonishing concession in the light of history—there was a quid pro quo. Washington agreed that NATO would not move “one inch eastward,” referring to East Germany.

The promise was immediately broken, and when Gorbachev complained, he was instructed that it was only a verbal promise, so without force.

President Clinton proceeded to expand NATO much farther to the east, to Russia's borders. Today there are calls to extend NATO even to Ukraine, deep into the historic Russian “neighborhood.” But it “doesn't involve” the Russians, because its responsibility to “uphold peace and stability” requires that American red lines are at Russia's borders."

http://www.alternet.org/putins-takeover-crimea-scares-us-leaders-because-it-challenges-americas-global-dominance?page=0%2C1&akid=11793.44541.Ck7lmV&rd=1&src=newsletter990910&t=3


Excerpts: In February of this year, US State Department officials, undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, former US ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one Arseniy Yatsenuk.

My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”. Thus it was by the most remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these motivations by almost always referring to them simply as “pro-Russian”.

An exception, albeit rather unemphasized, was the April 17 Washington Post which reported from Donetsk that many of the eastern Ukrainians whom the author interviewed said the unrest in their region was driven by fear of “economic hardship” and the IMF austerity plan that will make their lives even harder: “At a most dangerous and delicate time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.”

Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation’s website you will see the logos of the foundation’s “partners”. Among these partners we find NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of international banks. Is any comment needed?

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/128

Also validated are the fears of many of the 'pro-Russian' people of Ukraine.

He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings.

“The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall!”

By William Blum – Published May 9th, 2014

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror.

And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy exceptionalism come to be? One starting point that can be considered is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.” That can serve as an early marker for the new cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most important part needed to complete the circle – Ukraine.

In February of this year, US State Department officials, undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, former US ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one Arseniy Yatsenuk.

My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”. Thus it was by the most remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these motivations by almost always referring to them simply as “pro-Russian”.

Full article: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/128

‘Double tapping’ in Gaza

By Jamie Stern-Weiner
Source: New Left Project
January 27, 2015

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) has just published an important report on Operation Protective Edge (8 July-26 August, 2014), Israel’s assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including nearly 1,500 civilians and more than 500 children. PHR’s fact-finding mission, which comprised eight independent international forensic and medical experts, is the only one to date to have been granted access to Gaza by Israel and Egypt—subsequent delegations from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Council were repeatedly denied entry.

PHR sought to accumulate evidence as to the causes and patterns of injuries suffered; attacks on medical teams and facilities; evacuation of civilians, the dead and the wounded; the impact of the conflict on Gaza’s healthcare system overall; and longer-term public health impacts of the offensive (e.g. rehabilitation of survivors). Its findings were based on several field trips to Gaza during and after the offensive; interviews with 68 patients and examination of their wounds and available medical files; visits to sites where reported incidents took place; 370 photos of the deceased from the morgue at Gaza’s Shifa hospital; and interviews with other relevant individuals (for instance, World Health Organisation officials). The report’s authors adopt a cautious and professional tone but describe the stuff of nightmares.

Findings

Serious violations of international law including ‘heavy and unpredictable bombardments of civilian neighbourhoods in a manner that failed to discriminate between legitimate targets and protected populations and caused widespread destruction of homes and property’. These ‘must have entailed approval from top-level decision-makers in the Israeli military and/or government’. Other violations included denial of medical care to injured civilians; attacks on medical facilities and rescuers; firing on a group of civilians waving white flags; execution of a civilian at short range; human shielding; and cruel and/or inhuman treatment of detainees.


No safe place: patient interviews revealed a consistent picture of people being ‘injured or killed while in, or very close to, their homes’.


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/double-tapping-in-gaza/

International Press Gets Briefly Excited about Coup Prospects in Venezuela

By Joe Emersberger
Source: teleSUR English
January 27, 2015

Ever since the 2002 coup in Venezuela was defeated, the international corporate press has generally ignored it, downplayed its significance, or accused the government of using it as a “distraction” and as a way to smear opponents.



However, the recent plunge in oil prices – and absurd predictions that Venezuela could be forced into defaulting on its foreign bonds – clearly had many foreign journalists excited about the prospects of a coup while President Nicolas Maduro was out of the country. The threat was no longer dismissed as Maduro’s paranoia or opportunism but as sober analysis to be encouraged – provided that harsh conclusions that logically follow about the opposition were completely evaded. For example, the AP quoted David Smilde as saying “it is not inconceivable that stakeholders, among which are the armed forces, would step in before Maduro drives the government into single digits of popularity….that would be unfortunate but is within the realm of possibilities.”

Actually, a coup would be highly criminal and a major disaster for the local population – not merely “unfortunate”. We need only consider the murderous consequences of successful coups in Haiti (2004) and Honduras (2009) – the former directly perpetrated by US troops. David Smilde instinctively uses outrageously feeble language to describe a crime that US officialdom and the corporate media would applaud or simply ignore.

Sibylla Brodzinski opened a January 16 article for the UK Guardian by saying that “even Venezuela’s most conciliatory opposition leader has had enough”. She was referring to Henrique Capriles but doesn’t tell her readers that Capriles – right along with the hard line opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez – led the illegal arrest (i.e. kidnapping) of a government minister during a briefly successful military coup in 2002. Here is a video of Lopez and Capriles leading that “arrest”.
Being the “most conciliatory” among a group of unabashed golpistas (coup perpetrators) isn’t saying very much, but she doesn’t mention the 2002 coup at all. Unless you know the facts before reading the article you will come away worse than unformed. You will be seriously misled.

Brodzinski is correct in reporting that “Capriles said this week that the time was ripe to try to force a change.”


Much more .....

The opposition did dominate the Venezuelan media in 2002, and that explains why the coup briefly succeeded that year. The perpetrators openly expressed their gratitude with Venezuela’s private media], but thanks largely to media reforms since 2002 – reforms the international press has depicted as a “crackdown on dissent” – the opposition is very unlikely to violently seize power again. The NYT editors and others can hold their applause.


Full article and links: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/international-press-gets-briefly-excited-about-coup-prospects-in-venezuela/

(bolded by me)

Scramble to Conclude Suspicious EU-US Trade Deal

by Stuart Littlewood / January 26th, 2015

UK industry is in intensive care. Should we throw open the door and allow America’s big business battalions to muscle in under cover of a trade treaty?

Critics claim that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being cooked up between the EU and the United States could:

Weaken workers’ rights and put millions of jobs at risk;
Reduce environmental protection and food safety regulation;
Lead to more privatisation of public services like education and our prized National Health Service (NHS);
Give new powers for corporations to sue European governments, including the UK, in secret courts.
They complain that world leaders are working alongside major corporations at breakneck speed to get this deal sewn up, and refuse to give details.

An especially prickly issue is the imposition of investor-to-state dispute settlement rules (ISDS) enabling foreign investors to sue the host government.


Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/01/scramble-to-conclude-suspicious-eu-us-trade-deal/

How Israeli High-Tech Firms Are Turning the U.S.-Mexico Border into a New Kind of Hell

U.S. borderlands are laboratories for nightmarish innovations.

By Todd Miller, Gabriel Schivone / TomDispatch January 25, 2015


It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

Elkabetz was speaking at a border technology conference and fair surrounded by a dazzling display of technology -- the components of his boundary-building lab. There were surveillance balloons with high-powered cameras floating over a desert-camouflaged armored vehicle made by Lockheed Martin. There were seismic sensor systems used to detect the movement of people and other wonders of the modern border-policing world. Around Elkabetz, you could see vivid examples of where the future of such policing was heading, as imagined not by a dystopian science fiction writer but by some of the top corporate techno-innovators on the planet.

Swimming in a sea of border security, the brigadier general was, however, not surrounded by the Mediterranean but by a parched West Texas landscape. He was in El Paso, a 10-minute walk from the wall that separates the United States from Mexico.

Just a few more minutes on foot and Elkabetz could have watched green-striped U.S. Border Patrol vehicles inching along the trickling Rio Grande in front of Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico’s largest cities filled with U.S. factories and the dead of that country’s drug wars. The Border Patrol agents whom the general might have spotted were then being up-armored with a lethal combination of surveillance technologies, military hardware, assault rifles, helicopters, and drones. This once-peaceful place was being transformed into what Timothy Dunn, in his book The Militarization of the U.S. Mexico Border, terms a state of “low-intensity warfare.”


Full article: http://www.alternet.org/world/how-israeli-high-tech-firms-are-turning-us-mexico-border-new-kind-hell?akid=12719.44541.z5AtTh&rd=1&src=newsletter1030855&t=7

(bolded by me)

Thousands March in Caracas to Commemorate Fall of Dictator

By LUCAS KOERNER
TAGS

Perez Jimenez

Caracas, January 23, 2015 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Friday, thousands took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the toppling of the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship as well as to voice their support for the government of President Nicolás Maduro in the face of economic war and political destabilization.

Setting out in the morning from Plaza Fabricio Ojeda in the historic 23 de Enero neighborhood, a combative barrio itself named after the date of Pérez Jiménez’s ousting, the march concluded in the Plaza O’Leary in El Calvario, where the President spoke and led a spirited rally, amidst a sea of red banners.

Shortages and the “Economic War”

Friday’s march comes in the midst of severe inflation and widespread shortages of basic goods, which President Maduro has termed an “economic war” that is reportedly being waged against the Bolivarian government by elements of the opposition. The President accused distributors of hoarding everyday products and presented them with an ultimatum to cooperate or face “tough measures.”


Carlos Martínez, 30, of La Parroquía Sucre, similarly notes the gravity of the current political and economic situation: “The economic war is affecting us. This is a small group of bourgeois who control the economic market of the country. It’s a real monster we’re fighting. we want to make it so the people can produce our own resources and we don’t depend on the monopolies.”

Despite these immense challenges, many like Francine Montorola are nevertheless optimistic: “We are conscious that we are at war, but we’re going to come out victorious,” she said. “We know who our enemies are, and we are organizing ourselves and struggling to come out of this. These are difficult moments, but no one said people’s struggle was easy."



Commemorating the Fall of the Dictatorship and the Martyrs of Democracy

The 23rd of January is an historic date in which Venezuelans annually take to the streets to honor those fallen in the struggle against the Péres Jiménez dictatorship. However, for the thousands assembled in El Calvario on Friday, the 23rd of January is also a date which commemorates the more than 5000 revolutionaries assassinated by the governments that succeeded Pérez Jiménez during Venezuela’s 40-year long era of “pacted democracy,” known as the Fourth Republic, which only came to a close with Hugo Chávez’s election in 1998. A significant proportion of these political killings occurred during the 1989 rebellion by the popular classes against neoliberal austerity measures, known as the Caracazo, in which as many as 3,000 people were gunned down by the Venezuelan army.

Nonetheless, for those attending Friday’s march, this commemoration is anything but merely historical, but, on the contrary, has real implications for the present conjuncture. For Antonia Díaz, 40, the stakes are high: “If we allow this revolution to be lost, the same people during those years will come after us, the people, of Chávez…We will defend this process to the death.”


http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11167

I can't say how nauseating it is to see economic war being waged by using food as a weapon. But, par for the course. All right-wingers everywhere are equally nauseating, imo.

On the doorstep of a SYRIZA Victory

By Mike-Frank Epitropoulos

January 25, 2015

Five years ago, Greece was still in the early stages of the austerity measures being imposed by the Troika (EU, ECB, & IMF), and the other countries of Europe’s periphery (the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain) watched and waited to see what would come of the confrontations in the streets of Athens and the promises of a new and brutal neo-liberalism. At the time, the intense focus on Greece was arguably over the value of that obscene experiment in a country whose people had a history of standing up for themselves, even against world powers.

In the interim, Greece has continued its bitter medicine prescribed by the Troika, in the form of severe cuts across the board to the public sector and social, welfare state. And, as even the casual observer knows, the Greek political landscape has witnessed the virtual demise of the center-Left, PASOK, and the decreasing support of center-Right, New Democracy (ND). Those two parties have been the dominant “two-party” rulers of Greece, and have aligned in coalition since the crisis hit Greece. Disgruntled Greek voters – having taken to the streets in concert with the “Indignados” in Spain (known as the “Aganaktismenoi”) – have distributed themselves to both the Left and the Right in newsworthy ways. To the Right, we have seen the rise of the hyper-nationalist, neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” party, which went from obscurity of less than one percent to just under seven percent (6.92%) in the last parliamentary elections. To the Left, “SYRIZA” – the Coalition of the Radical Left – has emerged from a small, marginal parliamentary party, comprised of a wide array of Left groupings to become the frontrunner in this Sunday’s crucial elections. Both phenomena – the rise of a neo-Nazi Right party and an anti-austerity Left party – have garnered significant attention in both theoretical and policy circles. The anarchist and anti-authoritarian movements have also made their mark in Greek political life in this very difficult time in Greece.


Beyond that, the human toll of despair and desperation is characterized by record numbers of suicide, homelessness and poverty. There are tragic stories of teachers and doctors eating out of garbage cans, and of many people abandoning the cities to return to their home villages where even less opportunity exists. The aforementioned youth have been migrating out of the country, seeking opportunities abroad like their forefathers and mothers did in previous generations. And those left behind are tasked with keeping the country together and rejuvenating the economy and society.


Debt repayment under current structures and conditions is impossible. Greece isn’t the only country in dire economic straits in Europe, as is well known. The combined debt of Italy and Spain is estimated to be about €3.5 trillion. In Spain, Podemos, another Left alternative party led by Pablo Iglesias, for example, has joined SYRIZA’s, Alexi Tsipra, in campaigning for an EU-wide response to austerity and Troika heavy-handedness. Sovereignty and any semblance of democracy have been compromised beyond belief, killing any hope or expectation of a brighter future for the many. But this is a competitive, conflictual capitalist economy, so conflict should be a built-in feature of the system.

It is clear that you cannot “cut your way to prosperity.” (This notion has been totally discredited, and is only endorsed by those free-marketeers who have reified “the market” to religious status.)

A victory for SYRIZA this Sunday will have great symbolic value for Greeks and for others in Europe and around the world. An anti-austerity Left party will have been elected in the rubble of having been beaten down, and in the face of threats and propaganda. People will have been elevated as more important than money by the will of the people. But this will not be the end; this will be the beginning of an untested Demonstration Project.


https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/on-the-doorstep-of-a-syriza-victory/


The Greek Elections and Media Bias
Who are the heroes of Greece?
by Winston Alpha / January 24th, 2015

But to hell with that corporate nonsense—the people of Greece should spook markets and investors. After all, what have markets and investors done for them? Ever since Greece adopted stringent “austerity measures” as demanded by their voracious creditors, the quality of life for working-class Greeks has plummeted. As recently as December 2014, Reuters pegged the unemployment rate there at about 25.5%—and 75% of them have been unemployed for over a year. This disastrous employment situation doesn’t even take into consideration the slashing of pensions, brutal pay cuts, a raise in the retirement age, and various other draconian measures that an already-suffering population had to undergo in order to satiate Greece’s money-hungry creditors (see here and here for a partial list of Greece’s austerity measures).

In other words, your average working-class Greek does not benefit from the status-quo at all. The only people who benefit from the status quo, in fact, are markets, investors, and creditors—obscenely rich individuals and institutions who stand to lose some money if Greece defaults on its debts. In other words, that’s that real lens through which to view the Greek election: the (overwhelmingly broke and hungry) Greek people vs. (very wealthy) creditors who can’t stand to lose any money.

And again: the for-profit Western media is patently on the side of the creditors, not the people. That’s why the Associated Press engages in scare-mongering, telling readers that “a financial whirlwind may lurk round the corner” if Syriza wins. Stoking the same fears, TIME tells its readers that if Syriza wins and Greece abandons the EU the result “could be calamitous for the stability and long-term prosperity .” And The Economist headline cuts right to the chase: a potential Syriza victory would bring Europe to its “next crisis.”


Otherwise, if the people of Greece choose to stay the course with brutal austerity measures that have crippled their way of life, I fear they will end up like the Greek mythological character Sisyphus. Like Sisyphus, who was condemned to forever roll a boulder up a hill before it inevitably rolled back down for him to repeat the movement ad nauseum, Greeks may find themselves trapped in an endless toil that ultimately yields them nothing. Syriza, however, may offer working-class Greeks an opportunity to smash that oppressive boulder once and for all, and to forge their own future as so many Greek heroes did before them.


http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/01/the-greek-elections-and-media-bias/

Ebola crisis: the unequal impact on women and children's health

Clara Menéndezemail, Anna Lucas, Khátia Munguambe, Ana Langer

There seems to be no biological sex difference regarding vulnerability to Ebola virus disease,1 yet many sociocultural and health-care-related factors increase the risks for women in the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.

First, the worsening of suboptimal access to reproductive and maternal health care in the Ebola crisis countries is posing a major threat to the lives of mothers and infants.2 Second, women are the primary caregivers in their homes, communities, and health facilities and, as such, assist most infected individuals, which puts them at an increased risk of contracting the virus. Moreover, traditional burial practices, typically performed by women, can also place them at higher risk.3 Finally, there is evidence of sexual transmission of Ebola after individuals recover from the infection.4 Since women have little control over sexual behaviour including abstinence or protected sex, this represents an additional source of increased exposure to the virus.

All pregnant women require good quality and timely health care, without which outcomes can be fatal.5 More than 1·3 million pregnancies are estimated to occur annually in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia (734 000, 382 000, and 221 000, respectively).6 Under normal circumstances, many of these women do not receive the care they require, owing to access barriers and weaknesses of health systems. These obstacles have significantly increased since the start of the outbreak, as health facilities have closed and overwhelmed health-care staff lacking clear protocols turned pregnant women away. Additionally, fear of transmission and stigma against potentially infected individuals at the community level have made access to care for pregnant women even more difficult. Women with obstetric haemorrhage, in particular, often do not receive appropriate care owing to Ebola-related discrimination, the complex management required, and their high mortality rate.

Although there is not enough evidence about the biological mechanisms through which the Ebola virus aggravates maternal and perinatal health, studies have shown that Ebola-infected pregnant women have high rates of miscarriage and a 100% neonatal mortality.7 Health systems, social, and biological circumstances result in pregnant women with Ebola and their newborns ranking low among the priorities of overwhelmed health-care facilities.


http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(15)70009-4/fulltext
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 40 Next »