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CounterVortex Defending the Fourth World, Deconstructing the War on Terrorism
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Death sentences in murder of Jamal Khashoggi
12/24/2019
Death sentences in murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Death sentences in murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor announced Dec. 23 that five people have been sentenced to death and three sentenced to prison terms in connection with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

Podcast: against the global detention state
12/23/2019
Podcast: against the global detention state

Podcast: against the global detention state

In Episode 45 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes with alarm the rapid consolidation of a global detention state, extending across borders and rival power blocs. In the United States, Trump moves toward indefinite detention of undocumented migrants, with horrific rights abuses widespre...

Killings of ecological defenders rise in Philippines
12/22/2019
Killings of ecological defenders rise in Philippines

Killings of ecological defenders rise in Philippines

Named the most dangerous country in the world for land and environmental defenders, the Philippines has become an even deadlier place for activists in 2019, with 46 recorded deaths so far this year, according to the Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), a local NGO.

Philippines: convictions in Maguindanao massacre
12/21/2019
Philippines: convictions in Maguindanao massacre

Philippines: convictions in Maguindanao massacre

More than a decade after 58 people were killed in the worst case of election-related violence in Philippine history, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 on Dec. 19 found Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his brother Zaldy Ampatuan guilty of overseeing the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre at Maguindanao.

Madrid climate talks a total bust
12/20/2019
Madrid climate talks a total bust

Madrid climate talks a total bust

Nearly half a million demonstrators gathered in Madrid as the UN Climate Change Conference (officially COP25) opened in the Spanish city more than two weeks ago, with young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg the star of the show at a Dec. 6 mass rally. But despite being the longest climate summit yet,....

Congolese survivors sue US tech companies
12/19/2019
Congolese survivors sue US tech companies

Congolese survivors sue US tech companies

Families of young children from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been injured or killed while mining cobalt launched a lawsuit against Apple, Google, Tesla, Dell and Microsoft on Dec. 15. Cobalt is used in batteries for the electronic devices that technology companies manufacture and is abu...

Gambia: protesters demand president step down
12/18/2019
Gambia: protesters demand president step down

Gambia: protesters demand president step down

Thousands of Gambians took to the streets Dec. 16 in the capital Banjul, demanding that President Adama Barrow honor the agreement he signed with the opposition to step down after three years in office. Barrow, a relative unknown at the time, defeated long-ruling Yahya Jammeh in elections in the sma...

UN documents rights abuses in Chile protests
12/17/2019
UN documents rights abuses in Chile protests

UN documents rights abuses in Chile protests

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report published Dec. 13 that international human rights norms had been violated by both police and army personnel during the recent mass protests in Chile which led the government to declare a state of emergency.

Protests sweep India over citizenship law
12/16/2019
Protests sweep India over citizenship law

Protests sweep India over citizenship law

India's northeastern state of Assam has exploded into protest over the Dec. 11 passage of a new national citizenship law. The army has been deployed, a curfew imposed in state capital Guwahati, and internet access cut off. At least five people have been killed as security forces fired on demonstrato...

UN tells migrants to leave Libya 'transit center'
12/13/2019
UN tells migrants to leave Libya 'transit center'

UN tells migrants to leave Libya 'transit center'

The UN says it is unable to help most residents of an overcrowded refugee center in the Libyan capital it once touted as a safe haven. To encourage people to go, it is offering money and aid—and even telling them they won't be able to register as refugees to leave the war-torn country if they rema...

Bougainville votes for independence from PNG
12/12/2019
Bougainville votes for independence from PNG

Bougainville votes for independence from PNG

In a referendum held over two weeks, the people of Bougainville, an archipelago in the South Pacific's Solomon Sea, voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Podcast: the struggle for James Bay
12/11/2019
Podcast: the struggle for James Bay

Podcast: the struggle for James Bay

"Who is James Bay?" That's the frequent reaction from New Yorkers when it is brought up—despite the fact that James Bay is not a "who" but a "where," and a large portion of New York City's electricity comes from there.

'Anti-terrorist' militarization in Bolivia
12/10/2019
'Anti-terrorist' militarization in Bolivia

'Anti-terrorist' militarization in Bolivia

The new Bolivian regime's Government Minister Arturo Murillo has announced creation of a special "Anti-Terrorist Group" (GAT), drawn from elite units of the National Police force, to "completely disarticulate all the terrorist cells" operating in the country. Murillo made the announcement at a Dec.

Controversy at UN migrant facility in Libya
12/09/2019
Controversy at UN migrant facility in Libya

Controversy at UN migrant facility in Libya

The UN's holding facility for undocumented migrants in Libya was unveiled last year as an "alternative to detention," but critics say it is coming to mirror the notoriously harsh detention centers it was supposed to replace.

Flooding compounds ethnic clashes in South Sudan
12/08/2019
Flooding compounds ethnic clashes in South Sudan

Flooding compounds ethnic clashes in South Sudan

Political violence has declined in South Sudan since last year's power-sharing accord, but sporadic ethnic violence persists. The UN peacekeeping mission deployed Nepalese blue helmets this week to Western Lakes State after fighting between the Gak and Manuer communities left 79 people dead and more...

Trump lays claim to Syrian oil
12/07/2019
Trump lays claim to Syrian oil

Trump lays claim to Syrian oil

Before Donald Trump left the London NATO summit in a huff, he made the startling claim at a press conference that the United States can do "what we want" with the oil-fields now under its control in northeast Syria. The Dec.

Bangladesh denies education to Rohingya children
12/06/2019
Bangladesh denies education to Rohingya children

Bangladesh denies education to Rohingya children

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Dec. 3 that the Bangladesh government is violating the right to education of nearly 400,000 school-age Rohingya refugee children by barring UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs from providing the children with any formal, accredited education.

Russia deploys Cossacks to police Crimea
12/05/2019
Russia deploys Cossacks to police Crimea

Russia deploys Cossacks to police Crimea

Russia's Interior Ministry has announced that "Cossacks" will be deployed, together with the de facto police, in patrolling occupied Crimea, as well as in "carrying out anti-drug measures and educational work with young people." So-called "Cossacks" were used, together with other paramilitaries, dur...

NYC 'Green New Deal' to fund mega-hydro?
12/04/2019
NYC 'Green New Deal' to fund mega-hydro?

NYC 'Green New Deal' to fund mega-hydro?

New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio is aggressively touting his "Green New Deal," boasting an aim of cutting the city's greenhouse-gas emissions 40% of 2005 levels by 2030. Centerpiece of the plan is so-called "zero-emission Canadian hydroelectricity." Politico reported Oct.

UN climate change conference opens in Madrid
12/03/2019
UN climate change conference opens in Madrid

UN climate change conference opens in Madrid

The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference began Dec. 2 in Madrid, with leaders looking for solutions to reduce global carbon levels. Leaders originally planned for the conference to be held in Chile, but due to political instability, the conference was moved to Madrid, where it will take place over the....

Corporate cannabis targets bleeding Mexico
12/01/2019
Corporate cannabis targets bleeding Mexico

Corporate cannabis targets bleeding Mexico

There is a discomforting sense that Mexico is perpetually on the eve of cannabis legalization, as the country's Congress wins a six-month extension from the Supreme Court to pass a law freeing the herb.

ICC receives request to investigate Bolsonaro
12/01/2019
ICC receives request to investigate Bolsonaro

ICC receives request to investigate Bolsonaro

Groups including Brazil's Human Rights Advocacy Collective (CADHu) and the Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns Commission for Human Rights (Comissão Arns) on Nov.

Peru next for regional protest wave?
11/30/2019
Peru next for regional protest wave?

Peru next for regional protest wave?

Weeks after a nationwide uprising in Chile was sparked by protests over transit fare hikes in the capital, politicians in neighboring Peru are issuing nervous warnings in the wake of days of street demonstrations in Lima. On Nov.

Chile: lithium interests under pressure by uprising
11/29/2019
Chile: lithium interests under pressure by uprising

Chile: lithium interests under pressure by uprising

Chilean company Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM), under pressure from the government amid falling prices and rising protests, committed Nov. 28 to define by year's end the destination for lithium from its lease area at the Salar de Maricunga.

UN releases bleak report on 'emissions gaps'
11/27/2019
UN releases bleak report on 'emissions gaps'

UN releases bleak report on 'emissions gaps'

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) has released its tenth annual report on "emissions gaps," finding that the current rate of global carbon emissions will lead to an average temperature rise of 3.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels by 2100.

Bolivia: signs of de-escalation following dialogue
11/27/2019
Bolivia: signs of de-escalation following dialogue

Bolivia: signs of de-escalation following dialogue

Bolivia's Plurinational Legislative Assembly on Nov. 23 passed an "Exceptional & Transitional Regime Law" that annus last month's contested elections and calls for new elections to be held within 120 days—without Evo Morales as a candidate.

War escalating in Colombia's south
11/26/2019
War escalating in Colombia's south

War escalating in Colombia's south

As Colombia's major cities exploded into protest amid a national strike on the nigt of Nov. 21, a truck-bomb attack targeted a National Police station in the southern department of Cauca, leaving three officers dead.

Duque starts dialogue after Colombia strike
11/25/2019
Duque starts dialogue after Colombia strike

Duque starts dialogue after Colombia strike

Colombia's President Ivan Duque on Nov. 24 convened his National Labor Concord Commission (Comisión Nacional de Concertación Laboral) to begin the "National Conversation" he pledged four days earlier in a bid to quell a fast-mounting anti-government protest wave.

China, India border disputes spark Nepal protests
11/24/2019
China, India border disputes spark Nepal protests

China, India border disputes spark Nepal protests

Nepal over the past weeks has repeatedly seen both anti-India and anti-China protests, concerning charges that both of the country's giant neighbors are claiming pieces of its territory. On Nov. 19, President Xi Jinping was burned in effigy at one protest.

Somali rights activist killed in Mogadishu
11/23/2019
Somali rights activist killed in Mogadishu

Somali rights activist killed in Mogadishu

Almas Elman, a prominent Somali rights activist, was killed Nov. 20 in Mogadishu, struck by a bullet while riding in a car. She was apparently heading to the airport after attending a meeting at the Elman Peace Centre, which was founded by her mother Fartuun Adan in 1990. Elman came from a long line...

Congo warlord gets life for crimes against humanity
11/23/2019
Congo warlord gets life for crimes against humanity

Congo warlord gets life for crimes against humanity

A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sentenced Frederic Masudi Alimasi to life in prison on Nov. 19 after a two-month trial. Alimasi, also known as Kokodikoko, was head of the Raia Mutomboki, one of the most powerful militia groups operating in the Eastern DRC.

Bolivia: security forces fire on protesters —again
11/21/2019
Bolivia: security forces fire on protesters —again

Bolivia: security forces fire on protesters —again

At least six were killed and some 20 injured when Bolivian army and National Police opened fire on protesters demanding the reinstatement of deposed president Evo Morales in th working-class city of El Alto. Protesters had been blockading the entrance to Senkata gasworks and oil refinery in the city...

UN rights office protests Trump military pardons
11/20/2019
UN rights office protests Trump military pardons

UN rights office protests Trump military pardons

A spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Nov. 19 that he is "very concerned" by President Donald Trump's pardons of two US army officers and the restoration of rank of a Navy SEAL.

Net silence as Iran explodes into protest
11/19/2019
Net silence as Iran explodes into protest

Net silence as Iran explodes into protest

Protests erupted in Iran Nov. 15 after the government announced a 50% increase in the price of fuel, partly in response to the re-imposition of US sanctions. Spontaneous demonstrations first broke out in Sirjan, but quickly spread to several other cities, including Tehran, where banks and petrol sta...

Podcast: world revolution in 2020?
11/18/2019
Podcast: world revolution in 2020?

Podcast: world revolution in 2020?

In Episode 43 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg takes stock of the current wave of popular protest and uprisings around the world, and asks if the planet is approaching another moment of revolutionary possibilities, such as was seen in 2011.

Massacre of indigenous protesters in Bolivia
11/17/2019
Massacre of indigenous protesters in Bolivia

Massacre of indigenous protesters in Bolivia

Several are reported dead after National Police and army troops opened fire on indigenous demonstrators marching on the Bolivian city of Cochabamba Nov. 15.

Aung San Suu Kyi to face genocide charges
11/16/2019
Aung San Suu Kyi to face genocide charges

Aung San Suu Kyi to face genocide charges

Human rights groups, together with the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), filed a criminal lawsuit in Argentina on Nov. 13, alleging that the government and military of Burma, including State Counsellor (and de facto leader) Aung San Suu Kyi, have committed crimes against humanity and genocid...

Hague court to rule on discrimination in Crimea
11/15/2019
Hague court to rule on discrimination in Crimea

Hague court to rule on discrimination in Crimea

The International Court of Justice ruled Nov. 8 that it has jurisdiction to hear a case filed by Ukraine against Russia over claims of ethnic discrimination in annexed Crimea, as well as Moscow support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east.

Guinea: deadly repression amid fear of power-grab
11/14/2019
Guinea: deadly repression amid fear of power-grab

Guinea: deadly repression amid fear of power-grab

A new Amnesty International report warns of rising political violence in Guinea amid growing public concern that President Alpha Condé will amend the constitution to run for a third term. Nine protestors were killed last month alone, and scores arrested, inlcuding leaders of pro-democracy movements...

Bolivia: lithium interests at play in Evo's ouster?
11/13/2019
Bolivia: lithium interests at play in Evo's ouster?

Bolivia: lithium interests at play in Evo's ouster?

Bolivia's government issued a decree cancelling a massive joint lithium project with German multinational ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA)—just days before the ouster of President Evo Morales.

India: high court rules for Hindus in Ayodhya dispute
11/12/2019
India: high court rules for Hindus in Ayodhya dispute

India: high court rules for Hindus in Ayodhya dispute

The Supreme Court of India issued a unanimous ruling Nov. 9 in the decades-long Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land case, finding for the Hindus. A small plot of land, of about 1,500 square yards, in the city of Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has traditionally been believed by Hindus t...

CIA-backed Afghan forces commit 'grave' abuses
11/10/2019
CIA-backed Afghan forces commit 'grave' abuses

CIA-backed Afghan forces commit 'grave' abuses

Human Rights Watch said on Oct. 31 that US Central Intelligence Agency-backed Afghan forces have committed summary executions, disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and other "grave" offenses.

Uganda: military crackdown on student protests
11/09/2019
Uganda: military crackdown on student protests

Uganda: military crackdown on student protests

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Nov. 4 that the Ugandan police and military have responded harshly to students protesting fee increases at Makerere University in Kampala.

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