October 2009

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Colonialism, Racism, Sexism and Capitalism Conspire against Rape Victims in Congo

According to United Nations Resolution 1820, rape is a war crime that must be responded to. However, the women of Congo are being abandoned by the world as the number raped recently reached 500,000. Rape is the weapon of choice in the war in Congo where competing militia fight over the country's valuable natural resources, particularly coltan, which is an essential mineral, used in cell phones and laptops. Worse still, neighbouring countries are fighting their wars on Congolese soil where...

Will the Dollar Survive Its Current Dive?

Absolutely, says Professor Leo Panitch who teaches political economy at York University in Canada. "The American dollar is not going away as the global reserve currency. There is nothing that can possibly replace it," contends Panitch. The current speculation around the dollar needs to be seen in context, he says.  That context is:  Structurally, to be a global reserve currency, a country must have deep domestic financial markets and enormous institutional financial...

Constitutional Water Rights Judgment Gets It Wrong

Picture: Damozeljane Jackie Dugard - On 08 October 2009, the Constitutional Court handed down its first water rights judgment. The case – Mazibuko & Others v City of Johannesburg & Others – was brought by five impoverished residents in Phiri, Soweto, on behalf of themselves, all similarly-situated residents and everyone in the public interest. The applicants challenged the City’s free basic water policy for being insufficient to meet the basic needs of large, poor, multi-dwelling households. They also...

Island Nation of Maldives Holds Cabinet Meeting Underwater to Highlight Danger of Global Warming

Picture: The Maldives Presidency Democracy Now - Editor's Note: To view photographs of this historic meeting, please visit the website of the Maldives Presidency. Maldives, the lowest-lying nation on earth, could be submerged by rising sea levels due to global warming. As a result, the country's President, Mohamed Nasheed and minister's from his government held an underwater cabinet meeting on Friday (17 October 2009) calling for concerted global action on climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference. This special cabinet session...

Nobel Economics: The Relevance of Elinor Ostrom's Win

Picture: Courtesy Indiana University Glenn Ashton - The nomination of Elinor Ostrom for the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is a timely recognition not only of her work but also of the mess that conventional economic theory has landed us in. It is probably safe to say that the awarding of the prize to Ostrom is as close to inciting revolutionary economic activity that the Royal Swedish Academy on Sciences, who decide the recipients, can get. Not many people outside the rarefied world of academic or developmental economics were aware...

Che Guevara's Children in South Africa to Rally Support for the Release of 'The Cuban Five'

Che Guevara's Children, Dr Aleida Guevara and Camilo Guevara, are in South Africa to mobilise support for the release of the Cuban Five. Their visit to South Africa will culminate in a march to the American Embassy in Pretoria, to demand the release of The Cuban Five. The march will start at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday, 23 October 2009 at 09h30. The Guevara's will also be using their visit to the country to share their knowledge about the Cuban health model, one of the most...