March 2011

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South Africans Question Push to 'Go Down the Nuclear Road' to Meet Africa's Rising Energy Demand

Video As the nuclear crisis unfolds in Japan, Democracy Now reports from South Africa on the government’s plan to triple the country’s nuclear fleet in order to meet rising energy demand. South Africa has the only nuclear reactor on the continent—the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town—but there are plans to build six more reactors. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now speaks with nuclear expert David Fig, who says, “We need to really assess as a country whether...

Signs of Intelligent Life at the IMF?

Picture credit: mediafreedominternational.org Dean Baker - Time for a Structural Adjustment of the Central Bankers The International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a conference last week devoted to re-examining macroeconomics in the wake of the economic crisis. This conference was evidence of a Glasnost that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. One of the organizers and speakers was Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz, a man who had previously been persona non grata at the IMF after he had trashed the institution in a piece in the New Republic back in 2000....

Amy Goodman Reports from South Africa on Aristide's Planned Return Trip to Haiti After Seven Years in Exile

Video Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has decided to return to Haiti this week ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff election. Aristide has lived in exile in South Africa since 2004, when he was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup. Despite U.S. pressure on the governments of Haiti and South Africa not to allow him to return, Aristide and his family are planning to leave on Thursday. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now is in South Africa to cover Aristide’s return trip to Haiti. She...

The Real Danger of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Video The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in the aftermath of one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, highlights the risks associated with nuclear plants all over the world. Harvey Wasserman, editor of NukeFree.org, weighs in on the situation. According to Wasserman, the spent fuel outside and atop the nuclear reactors in Japan, can lead to additional explosions with huge radiation releases. Of most concern is the fact is that one of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima uses plutonium as...

Oil Dependence Is a Risk to Our Economy and Threat to South Africa's Poor

Picture credit: Kevin Dooley Saliem Fakir - Oil has become the bedrock of South Africa’s economy. But our economy is highly dependent on foreign imports of oil. About 60% of our transport fuel comes from overseas imports of crude, most of it from the volatile Middle East.  Recent and on-going upheavals in North Africa have had a marked effect on oil prices. Oil is now trading at just above US$120 a barrel.  This is of concern because a 10% increase in the oil price can lead to a drop in GDP of as much as 0.5%. The...

Anonymous: The New Face of Cyber War

Video Anonymous, or Anon, is a movement made up of a number of nameless internet activists from around the world. For many, the 'hacktivist' group has become the face of the new cyber-war against oppressive governments and all-powerful corporates. Others say the group's actions are reckless. Describing itself as "the freedom of speech, the freedom of information and the freedom of expression taken to a logical extreme," Anon says it breaks laws, but only for the greater good. Al...