afp-photo
afp-photo:

VENEZUELA, Caracas : An anti-government student protects herself during clashes with the National Guard within a protest in Caracas on February 16, 2014. Supporters and opponents of Venezuela’s leftist government have been staging rival rallies amid spiraling discontent at the country’s stubborn inflation and shortage of basic goods. Two anti-government protesters and a pro-Maduro demonstrator died in a rally last week. AFP PHOTO/JUAN BARRETO

afp-photo:

VENEZUELA, Caracas : An anti-government student protects herself during clashes with the National Guard within a protest in Caracas on February 16, 2014. Supporters and opponents of Venezuela’s leftist government have been staging rival rallies amid spiraling discontent at the country’s stubborn inflation and shortage of basic goods. Two anti-government protesters and a pro-Maduro demonstrator died in a rally last week. AFP PHOTO/JUAN BARRETO

thesmithian
…the new progressive era will need a fresh and gutsy generation of candidates to seek election victories not through wealthy campaign financiers but through free social media. A new generation of politicians will prove that they can win on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and blog sites, rather than with corporate-financed TV ads. By lowering the cost of political campaigning, the free social media can liberate Washington from the current state of endemic corruption. And the candidates that turn down large campaign checks, political action committees, Super PACs and bundlers will be well positioned to call out their opponents who are on the corporate take…Those who think that the cold weather will end the protests should think again. A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun.

JEFFREY D. SACHS, in the New York Times. (via thesmithian)

I’m really intrigued by this. The next several months (and year or two) will only tell if we can see the culture in Washington change. More importantly, it’ll tell us if the culture of the everyday America changes - is Occupy Wall St. a movement that will demand change and a better America or go with the season? The Arab ‘Spring’ has certainly had lasting power, but it’s seemed to take Americans the longest to finally start standing up for governmental change. Reports of protests from Europe and South America (for mostly financial and austerity reasons) then the Arab world (for social rights reasons) flooded our browsers and television screens for months, yet here, where much of the economic disaster began years ago, we’re just now seeing people get angry.

globalvoices

The last forest of its kind. About to be torn down. Home to tigers, elephants, crocodiles. Prey Lang literally means “Our Forest” and it needs to be saved. 

globalvoices:

Dressed like the Na’vi tribe from the 2009 science-fiction film Avatar, Cambodian villagers protested the plan to clear the Prey Lang forest to make way for the establishment of plantations and mines.

This is a  documentary about Prey Lang, “One Forest, One Future”, by Jocelyn and Ben Pederick.

My take on the U.K. riots and why we should all take a lesson from the peaceful protests around the rest of the world

There’s just so much world news at the moment, it seems easy to get lost and confused as to what’s important.

There’s the U.S. credit downgrading and the subsequent stock market plummet.

There’s the thousands of children dying daily in the Horn of Africa due to drought. And the issue of getting aid and relief to those still struggling to survive. 

There’s the protests in much of the Arab world, including TunisiaEgyptSyriaIsrael, and Libya.

There’s also student protests still ongoing in Chile and Spain.

And now don’t forget the nitwits in the U.K. destroying and looting their cities for reasons people are having a hard time explaining. 

To top it all off, the U.S. experienced its worst day in the history of the current Afghanistan war this past weekend. 

So how do we, as news consumers, determine which news is worth our time and which isn’t nearly as important? The riots in the U.K. have some contextual importance and British leaders will have to take a hard look at what the true driving forces are behind the behavior of these hooligans. The truth is, however, there really isn’t much reason British youths have for burning down their cities – not when you compare it to the political protests of the Arab world that are managing to stay peaceful even under violent attacks by military and police.

It’s silly to think the U.K. riots are worth taking part in. And yet, just today I saw a Facebook comment mentioning how bad tonight’s riots are supposed to be – “no ones seen nothing yet, tonights supposed to be mad.”

What are these kids trying to prove? What are they mad about? Are they starving? Have they run out of water? Is their government murdering them all? NO. I understand there’s an underlying unrest due to recent austerity measures in the U.K. that’s hit the lower classes hard. But there are much better ways to handle their unhappiness than stealing a new TV and setting the nearest church on fire.

Take a lesson from the Arab world for once – peaceful protest can still be shouted around the world.

Here’s hoping this uncomfortably hot Summer and recent national disappointments don’t send the same wave of riots through the U.S.

Housing protests to continue amid tension over PM’s plan for students

Still, National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli said the students would not stop fighting.

"The right to a roof over one’s head should be assured to everyone in Israel, whether they are students or not," Shmuli said.

Tel Aviv University Student Union head Ran Livneh spoke out more sharply against Netanyahu’s plan, calling it “an attempt to bribe the student unions throughout Israel.”

"We will not accept the things we accepted throughout the years; we will not stick a knife in anyone’s back," he said.

The student unions announced they would continue blocking traffic and taking over construction sites and abandoned buildings.

Both groups said they were “not alone in the struggle,” and that their protest was important for all segments of the population.

The various groups in the Jerusalem tent protest issued a joint statement following Netanyahu’s press conference, hinting that the prime minister’s intent was to split the protesters by offering solutions to students: “The steps the prime minister announced are not enough to solve the housing problems in Israel. The planned reforms to the Planning and Building Law and the housing committees preserve the failing, anti-social policies,” the statement said.