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International issues

Five activists walk straight into Faslane nuclear weapons base

Nonviolent direct action group gets arrested for walking into the home of nuclear-armed Trident submarines in Scotland in a peaceful manifestation and is waiting for possible prosecution as serious crime organizers. They have released the statement that is published below in what they call for the process of disarmament of Trident nuclear weapons to begin.

North Korea opens border for family visits

North Korea’s KCNA state press agency says the border has been re-opened for family visits from South Korea. The move is an important gesture at a time of rising tension between the two countries. North Korea has also announced that the whole country is on high alert because of joint military exercises taking place between the United States and South Korea.

Human Rights Watch Calls On Israel to Investigate ‘White Flag’ Shootings of Gaza Civilians

Human Rights Watch released a report last week detailing new evidence of possible Israeli war crimes committed during last winter´s operations in Gaza that left over 1400 Palestinians dead. The report says Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed at least 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 women and 4 children, who were in groups waving white flags.

United States citizen released by Myanmar

United States citizen, John William Yettaw, was released and deported by the government Sunday and left the country along with Democrat Senator of the United States Jim Webb who concluded his three-day visit to Myanmar. Yettaw´s visit was the excuse for Aung San Suu Kyi 18 month extension house arrest that does not allow Ms Suu Kyi to run for next year’s elections.

Hillary Clinton Finishes her Tour of 7 African Countries in Liberia to Show Support for the only African Woman President

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought her African visit to a close in Liberia, a country which achieved independence from the USA, in support of the only African woman President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The trip has placed Africa in the spotlight and served to lend support to the International Court of Justice of The Hague, which the USA has still not recognized.

Lucky Cat

Right in Nagoya international airport, in line to check in for my flight back to Sao Paulo, I hear a strange noise. Meow, meow.… There was a cat, somewhere close by. I tried to find it but could not. It was coming from a couple who spoke Portuguese. They had lots of luggage. The passengers behind them also had lots of luggage.

Global Domestic Policy: Wrong Approaches

The self-appointed Inter Action Council, IAC, chaired by German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt had its 27th Annual Meeting in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia 10-13 May, with 20 other former prime ministers and presidents, many right wing social democrats, attending. They issued a Final Communiqué with a Present State of the World. My comments follow.

Pariahs of Asia play nuke hand for respect

In the episode of the two journalists freed by North Korea, a dangerous game was played when Bill Clinton genuflected at North Korea´s Kim Jong-il. Myanmar has no foreign enemies that it needs to deter. Instead of being an international pariah the Myanmar´s generals would win a lot of respect if they would become nuclear. There are signs that this could happen.

Anniversary of the 4th Geneva Convention: despite progress it remains as a future aspiration

Since August 12th, 1949, 194 countries have signed the 4th Geneva Convention which regulates civilian protection, prisoners of war, wounded and humanitarian workers during war conflicts. The Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols are the backbone of the Humanitarian International Right, that determines the limits to war methods and procedures.

North Korea frees South Korean factory worker

North Korea has freed a South Korean factory worker who was arrested in March for insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The man was detained at a joint factory site situated just over the border in North Korea. The release of the factory worker is the first goodwill gesture Pyongyang has made to South Korea since conservative President Lee Myung-bak came to power.

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