January 2009

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Bush's Unconscionable Legacy

Picture: Steve Garfield Democracy Now - American President George W. Bush held his final news conference this past week. Bush fervently defended his record, saying he made the nation safer following the 9/11 attacks, rejected the idea that the nation’s moral standing has been damaged over the past eight years and defended the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Amy Goodman speaks with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas. She’s the most senior member of the White House press corps and has...

Democracy Morphs

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is seeking a third term in office. Polls show that a majority support his seeking a constitutional change so he can run for president again in 2012. While some see this as a threat to democracy, others argue that developments in Venezuela highlight the difference between participatory democracy and representative democracy. Practiced in Venezuela, participatory democracy has opened up a new dimension of politics in which communities, communal power and unions...

Saving Soweto: 24 Hours of Trauma in 'Bara'

An Al Jazeera feature that follows 24 hours on a weekend shift in the trauma unit of Soweto's Baragwanath hospital, one of the biggest trauma units in the world. This clip (part two) shows the night half of the shift. One doctor and a handful of interns with faulty equipment and limited nursing support swim against a tide of patients. To watch part one of "Saving Soweto," please click here.

The Right to the City

Picture: Kerry Chance Richard Pithouse - Governments around the world tend to force poor people off well located and therefore valuable urban land and into peripheral ghettoes. From New Orleans to Bombay and Johannesburg the story is the same. One motivation for this is to transfer valuable land from the poor to the rich to create a subsidy for elite development at the direct expense of the poor.  A useful secondary consequence of this for many governments is that people living outside of state control can be forced to...

Where To For Rural Development After Polokwane?

Picture: Maureen Sill Stephen Greenberg - Rural development was identified as one of the top five priorities for the next five years at the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) Conference in Polokwane in December 2007. This will be translated into the ANC’s 2009 election manifesto to be launched in January. But will this lead to practical changes in the ANC’s approach to rural areas since 1994? The historical roots of the ANC lie in the urban areas. The organisation first represented an aspirant urban...

Israel/Palestine: 'Occupation 101' and the Root Cause of the Conflict

In this excerpt (part three) from the award winning documentary "Occupation 101," Adam Keller of the Israeli Peace Group, says that the only way to stop the violence in the Isreali/Palestinian conflict is to understand the root cause of the violence. Other parts of the documentary can be found below. Part One: Trailer  Part Two: Demolition of Palestinian Homes Part Four: Creation of Israel in 1948 Part Five: The Palestinian Authority Part Six: Israeli Settlers Part...