Archive for August 7th, 2012

07/08/2012

Syria – Thousands Escape Violence, Critical Shortage in Medicines

Human Wrongs Watch

While 1.300 Syrian had to flee to Turkey overnight to escape violent combats, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) today [7 August] said that, according to reports it has received, Syria is experiencing “critical shortages in medicines and pharmaceutical products.”

Syrian refugees queue up for UNHCR relief items in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. Photo: UNHCR/F.Juez

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“The recent escalation of clashes had resulted in substantial damages to the pharmaceutical plants located in rural Aleppo, Homs and Rural Damascus, where 90 per cent of the country’s plants were located,” a WHO spokesperson, Tarik Jasarevic, told reporters in Geneva today.
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“Many of these plants had now closed down, thus resulting in a critical shortage of medicines.”
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Prior to the violence which has wracked the Middle Eastern country, Syria produced 90 per cent of its medicines and drugs locally, the UN reports.

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07/08/2012

Europe, the Bailouts and the Crisis of Democracy

Human Wrongs Watch

Peter Schwarz, WSWS— Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said Monday [6 August] that Europe would fall apart “if governments are completely bound by the decisions of their parliaments.” Every government has “a duty to educate the parliament,” he added in an interview with the news magazine Der Spiegel.

**Monti | Photo: danacreilly.

Monti’s statement amounts to an admission that the numerous bank bailouts organized to rescue the euro in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, and the austerity programs launched to make the working class pay for them, have strained European bourgeois democracy to the breaking point.

The responsibility of the government to parliament, and parliament’s control over the government—which Monti is questioning—is a basic principle of parliamentary democracy.

Monti attacks parliament, but his real target is the working class. For the vast majority of the population, it has already become impossible to influence politics through the ballot box. Major political decisions are made ​​by the financial markets and their henchmen in Brussels, Berlin and the other European capitals.

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07/08/2012

Hiroshima 67 Years After: UN Urges Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch

Marking the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries to work together to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons and stressed the importance of honouring victims and survivors by sharing their stories with new generations.

The remains of the Prefectural Industry Promotion Building, later preserved as a monument – known as the Genbaku Dome – at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. UN Photo

“The tragedy in Hiroshima decades ago continues to resonate today,” Ban said in a message to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, honouring those killed when an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city on 6 August 1945, during the closing stages of the Second World War.

“There must never be another nuclear attack – never. The elimination of such weapons is not just a visionary goal, but the most reliable way to prevent their future use,” the UN chief stressed in his message.

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