March 2009

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Israeli Troops Admit Abuses in Gaza

After the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, broke with the story of abuse by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) during the recent Gaza attacks, the New York Times carried a story on its cover last week - which out of character for this newspaper - had the words "Israel" and "war crimes" in the same paragraph. The BBC has also run a report questioning war crimes in Gaza. The Real News Network talks to Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC who writes...

The US, Israel and the Durban Review Conference

Picture: Barack Obama Stephen Greenberg - The way Barack Obama handled Israel and the Middle Eastern crisis was always going to be a litmus test of his ability to really change mainstream politics in the US. However, recent events indicate his unwillingness - or incapacity - to take on the powers that be in Washington and to forge a new, honest direction in US politics. Notable amongst these events was the US administration's early March decision to boycott the UN's World Conference against Racism billed as the Durban Review...

Why the World Water Forum is a Sham

Picture: Nitot and Bobby FDC Jeff Conant - Behind the World Water Forum's public posture as a trade expo and an educational exchange among water advocates lies a labyrinth of political intrigue and corporate cronyism. Corporate interests that make up the World Water Council are in constant contact with the World Bank and other financial institutions; each Forum pretends to be a quasi-United Nations event, to the extent of issuing a Ministerial Statement at the Forum's close promoting global policy approaches to water and sanitation....

Time to End the War on Drugs

Produced by an Oscar-winning studio for the Global Drug Policy Program of the Open Society Institute, the International Drug Policy: Animated Report 2009 highlights some of the disastrous effects of drug policy in recent years. This short film seeks to show that pursuing a "drug-free world" can lead to more harm than good. Ten years ago the United Nations (UN), thought they could free the world from drugs. By 2008, they aimed to wipe out the use of drugs.  However, given...

Can Our Wine Industry Become a Model for the Rest of Our Agricultural Sector?

Picture: Trevor Samson - World Bank Glenn Ashton - Agricultural practice in modern South Africa has failed to evolve sufficiently to adapt to our emerging needs. Farm workers remain marginalised, their work conditions and job security are poor. The proposed redistribution of land is slow and fraught with problems. Existing farmers feel threatened. Globalisation poses enormous challenges to the sector. However, the travails and success of our wine industry may point us toward some solutions. South Africa's wine industry has matured since...

TV Journalist Leads Historic Power Shift in El Salvador

Mauricio Funes, a well respected television journalist became the president-elect of El Salvador on Sunday, 15 March 2009. He will become the country's first left wing leader since it won its independence from Spain in 1821, ending 150 years of oligarchy and military dictatorship. Funes is the leader of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a social democratic political party that was formerly a Guerilla organisation fighting against a military dictatorship for El...