February 2011

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Corporate Tax Dodgers Targeted by UK and US Grassroots Movements

Picture: Dominic Allison Kilkenny - A few weeks before he died, Howard Zinn had lunch at the Warwick Hotel in Manhattan with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. Their topic of conversation was, of course, social justice. "If there is going to be change, real change," Zinn told Herbert, "it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That's how change happens." A year later, the streets of London erupted with citizens who were engaging in Zinn's favorite pastime:...

A Budget for a New Era of Engagement

Picture: International Monetary Fund Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Debates on the national budget have been called “noisy.” Budget 2011 has been particularly noisy, as the sheer number of voices responding to the budget has increased, as has the complexity of the arguments being made.  This is a healthy development as it strengthens democracy, and ensures that government becomes accountable and society focuses not only on criticisms, but also alternatives. The central challenge for government is not only to detect the signal through this...

Rising Food Prices Require Political Response

Picture: World Bank Photo Collection Saliem Fakir - The world finds itself back where it was in mid-2008 when food prices skyrocketed causing untold harm to the vulnerable. In the last six months there has been a massive increase in prices for most essential food commodities. Food and being able to eat properly is going to be the single biggest political issue in the next decade. None other than economist, Paul Krugman, noted this in an op-ed in the New York Times. His tone was one of alarm and grave concern. Interestingly, Krugman pointed...

Julian Assange Loses Extradition Case

Video A British judge has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face questioning on allegations of sexual crimes. Assange plans to appeal within ten days. His defence team had argued against the extradition, in part, by citing the potential he could wind up being extradited to the United States and prosecuted for publishing classified government documents, a crime that could result in the death penalty. Deamocracy Now speaks to constitutional law attorney and...

Your Plastic Brain

Video As a species, humans can adapt to whatever environment we are placed in. We have this extraordinarily high level of adaptability because of the plasticity of our brains. Humans have the best ability, compared to any other species on the planet, to "learn." Its what makes us the strongest species on the planet. However, we are  only good at doing what we rehearse, argues British scientist, Baroness Susan Greenfield.

The World Remade

Picture: daveeza Richard Pithouse - As the first unconfirmed reports of airborne attacks on protestors in Tripoli and Benghazi reached Al Jazeera the station crossed to a spokesperson for the European Union. There was talk of the need to affirm ‘European values’. Moments later the programme cut away to the story of the two Libyan fighter pilots who had landed in Malta and sought political asylum rather than obey orders to attack protestors in Benghazi. Those pilots are not the first people to have arrived in Malta...