The death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, announced on Feb. 16, 2024, lays bare to the world the costs of political persecutions. Although his cause of death remains unknown, the 47-year-old died while serving a 19-year sentence in a Siberian penal colony.
“You may ask the world why there was swift action when trade routes and economic interests were at risk but deafening silence when 10,000 children were killed,” wrote a British lawmaker. “The world might not like your questions, but you deserve your answers.”
In a viral video released Friday, British member of Parliament Naz Shah, who represents the Labour Party, issued an apology to the roughly 1 million children of Gaza on behalf of world leaders who—despite Palestinian journalists’ live-streaming of Israel’s assault on the enclave and an international court’s finding that Israel is plausibly committing genocidal acts—refuse to see the impact the bombardment is having on civilians, including its youngest residents.
The video shows Shah writing a letter addressed to the “children of Gaza,” along with images of children being treated in hospitals, buried under rubble, and living in shelters since Israel began bombarding the enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on October 7. Children are also seen gathered on a playground prior to the air and ground assaults that have so far killed more than 13,000 children.
Millions of people are expected to take to the streets worldwide on Saturday to demand a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and denounce the U.S.-led bombing of Yemen, which pushed the Middle East even closer to a full-scale regional war.
Organizers said people in over 120 cities across 45 countries are planning to join the Gaza Global Day of Action, a mass demonstration that will begin days after South Africa presented evidence before the International Court of Justice that Israel is committing genocide in the Palestinian enclave.
“In general, it’s hard to prove an intention of genocide because no public statements to that effect are made during the fighting,” said one expert. “But these irresponsible statements about erasing Gaza will require Israel to explain why they don’t reflect such an intention.”
Top officials in the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli government have reportedly been warned by a top legal expert that the International Court of Justice could issue an injunction requiring the country to halt its bombardment of Gaza, following a motion filed by South Africa last week.
Haaretz reported that the Israeli “security establishment and the state attorney’s office are concerned” that the court could soon take action to force a cease-fire to protect civilian lives.
More than 200 civil society groups on Thursday called on the Biden administration to protect climate, health, and other public interest policies across the Americas by dismantling a trade regime that the United States spearheaded nearly three decades ago—giving corporations broad authority to sue governments if they claim their profit margins are harmed by public programs.
Public Citizen, Sierra Club, and the AFL-CIO led hundreds of organizations in sending the letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to take legal action to terminate the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system within the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), a trade framework between the U.S. and 11 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Those are the dates and location of the international mobilization against fossil fuels set to take place this coming weekend, and the last word is hardly an exaggeration as organizers with the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels report that more than 400 actions, marches, rallies, and other events have already been registered around the world.
More than 780 organizations have endorsed the day of action—up from 500 less than a week ago—and millions of participants are expected to rally from Cape Town, South Africa to Manila, Philippines and Lahore, Pakistan, as well as in dozens of cities and towns across the United States, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in history.
Each of these books has been banned at some point in time, but one stands out. Instead of being banned in 21st-century America, Nadine Gordimer’s “Burger’s Daughter” was banned in 20th century South Africa during apartheid, that country’s period of official white supremacist rule.
U.S. government scientists on Friday agreed to share technical know-how related to the development of next-generation vaccines and treatments with their counterparts at Afrigen Biologics, a South African drug manufacturer that hosts the first mRNA technology transfer hub established by the World Health Organization and its partners.
The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) pioneered the use of mRNA and its parent organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), co-invented Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. Together, NIAID and Afrigen seek to expedite the production of mRNA vaccines—not only to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but also to address other infectious diseases and cancer. Continue reading →
Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine remains in a violent stalemate. Russian forces are pausing their attempts to occupy Kyiv, having withdrawn some of their forces from around the capital, but a major retreat is highly unlikely given Russia is recruiting several thousand mercenaries from Syria.
The Kremlin’s strategy now is to concentrate on overrunning the southern Ukraine port city of Mariupol, before joining up Russian forces in Crimea with those in Donbas to take control of as much of the region as possible. Continue reading →
South African activists on Monday vowed to keep fighting after a court ruling allowing fossil fuel giant Shell to proceed with massive underwater explosions off the ecologically sensitive Wild Coast, a move environmentalists say would cause “irreparable harm” to marine life.
“We won’t stop fighting,” tweeted Greenpeace Africa following Sunday’s nationwide protests. “Shell must immediately stop oil and gas exploration off S.A.’s Wild Coast.” Continue reading →