Archive for May 14th, 2012

14/05/2012

Governments Acting as a Device for Projecting Corporate Power

Human Wrongs Watch

By George Monbiot – TRANSCEND* – Why the private sector should be subject to freedom of information laws.

**Wall Street area from Brooklyn | Photo by Hu Totya | Wikimedia Commons

Modern government could be interpreted as a device for projecting corporate power. Since the 1980s, in Britain, the US and other nations, the primary mission of governments has been to grant their sponsors in the private sector ever greater access to public money and public life.

There are several means by which they do so: the privatisation and outsourcing of public services, the stuffing of public committees with corporate executives(1), the reshaping of laws and regulations to favour big business. In the UK, the Health and Social Care Act extends the corporate domain in ways unimaginable even five years ago.

With these increasing powers come diminishing obligations. Through repeated cycles of deregulation, governments release big business from its duty of care towards both people and the planet. While citizens are subject to ever more control – as the state extends surveillance and restricts our freedom to protest and assemble(2,3) – companies are subject to ever less.

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14/05/2012

Egypt — New Reality, Same Old Regime Propaganda

By Shahira Amin* 
Cairo, 14 May, 2012. As Egypt prepares for presidential elections in less than two weeks’ time, the country is on the brink of chaos. Tensions have been brewing for more than a year and the patience of Egyptians is wearing thin. They yearn for stability and many feel betrayed by the country’s de facto military rulers who have held power since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.

“The ruling military generals who promised us stability have only delivered brutality and repression,” complained 24-year-old activist Tarek Ali at a protest two weeks ago outside the Defence Ministry in Abbasia.

The violent confrontations between pro-democracy activists and security forces that have erupted sporadically during the transitional period have been the focus of local media, but once again there has been a stark contrast between the independent media coverage of the deadly violence and that shown on Egyptian State TV.

Democracy activists accuse state television of launching a vicious defamation campaign against them — one which, they say, has largely succeeded in turning public opinion against them.

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14/05/2012

Yemen – Over 800,000 Children Suffer from Acute Malnutrition

Human Wrongs Watch

While the United States is reported to have intensified its drone attacks on revolutionary Yemen, the United Nations informed that five million Yemenis – or nearly a quarter of the population– are severely food insecure. Meanwhile, at least 800,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition.

*Photo Credit: Email4mobile

Moreover, the use of the heavy weaponry, land-mines and detonating unexploded ordnance in Yemen have claimed the lives of 27 children and maimed 32 others so far this year, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported.

Across the country, some 76 schools have been occupied by families displaced by the conflict, and updated data on nutrition indicates a rise in the number of acutely malnourished children to 967,000 – almost one in four – a UNICEF spokesperson, Merixie Mercado, said.

“Stunting rates, a sign of chronic malnutrition, are at 60 per cent, with the children at risk of irreversible physical and cognitive damage,” she added.

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