World News

Hurricanes over Cuba, a month later

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike raked Cuba Aug. 30 and Sept. 7-9, causing the country’s worst natural disaster in recorded history. Officials pegged losses at $5 billion, 10 percent of GDP.

Ecuador celebrates new constitution

“Today Ecuador has decided on a new country.” — President Rafael Correa President Correa had promised to resign if voters failed to approve Ecuador’s new constitution in the Sept. 28 referendum. That evening celebrations filled city streets as 64 percent of Ecuadorians affirmed the document, completed in July after eight months of deliberation by a constituent assembly. The no vote totaled 28 percent. Observers from the European Union, Andean Parliament, Carter Center and Organization of American States indicated that balloting by 10 million citizens — 165, 000 of them living in 47 foreign countries — unfolded peacefully and efficiently.

WORLD NOTES: October 4

Venezuela: Human Rights Watch official expelled South Africa: Controversial health minister out Belgium: Launch new immigration plan Iraq: Medical disaster prevails Laos: Planners see Mekong River dammed Cuba: Wives of the Five gain British labor backing


Billy Bragg sounds off on Wall Street mess

'The response of Main Street to the idea of bailing out Wall Street is all about Main Street wanting some accountability from the capitalist system,' said musical legend and political activist Billy Bragg in a recent interview with Political Affairs magazine.

An appeal from the Cuban Five

We arrive at the 10th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban Five at a crucial moment of our legal process (That is what they call it, although perhaps 'illegal process' would be more appropriate.) The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, has just ended our appeal.

Crisis in Germanys Social Democratic Party

The big weekend blowout in Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) demonstrates how to cut off your nose to spite your face. In a series of small, smaller and smallest secret gatherings the party leaders — facing a disastrous seepage of members and voters because of their switch rightwards in recent years — got rid of party chief Kurt Beck, who had tried to repair things by risking a few timid steps in a vaguely ‘leftish’ direction, and put the party’s future into the hands of two unabashed right-wingers, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeyer and the former Vice-Chancellor and party head Franz Muentefering.

Austria, Bavaria and Brandenburg go to the polls

Berlin — Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, borders on Austria: Both have countless Alpine peaks, lots of men in lederhosen, and many right-wing Roman Catholic traditions. Both had elections on Sunday. Before nightfall many an otherwise happy yodeler showed tightly compressed lips and a grim look.

For Canadian elections, left parties urge green economy, social spending

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The country’s political parties are on the campaign trail in the wake of Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent surprise call for an election to be held Oct. 14.


Zimbabwe welcomes power-sharing pact

Nearly half a year after disputed elections and following two months of delicate negotiations, Zimbabweans on Sept. 15 welcomed the signing of a unity government agreement by President Robert Mugabe and opposition politicians.


WORLD NOTES: September 27

Pakistan: Incursions escalate violence, confrontations Venezuela: Numbers tell story China: Unionization grows Nigeria: Oil facilities under siege France: Nuclear power safety questioned Cuba: EU relations back on track

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