March 19, 2009


Canada On February 20, 2009, the University of Ottawa banned the posters of Israeli Apartheid Week 2009, following the lead of Carleton University & in blatant violation of free speech. The poster by noted cartoonist Carlos Latuff, depicts an Israeli attack helicopter (labeled “Israel”) firing a missile at a Palestinian child (labeled “Gaza”). Direct toll of the latest war includes: 1373 Gazans, including 417 children, 108 women & 120 elderly, almost 7000 wounded, many maimed for life; massive or substantial damage of 50,000 homes; destruction of hospitals, schools, & almost 100 places of worship. That was only the direct toll of the last aggression against a defenceless population of 1.5 million on a strip of land with an area of 342 square kilometers, or one eighth the area of the City of Ottawa (2,760 sq. km.)

India Communist and regional parties have announced an alliance known as the “third front,” aimed at winning April 2009’s national elections. They are positioning themselfs as an alternative to the ruling Congress Party and its main opposition, the right-wing Hindu chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Venezeula Legislators voted on Thursday to bring all airports, roads and seaports under federal control. Under the new law, states and municipalities can no longer collect tariffs at transport hubs or establish tolls along highways, meaning that governors and mayors will have less money for local public projects. Mr Chavez’s allies won 17 of 22 gubernatorial elections in November. But opposition leaders also gained ground, winning five gubernatorial posts and the Caracas mayor’s office.

UN Gen. Assembly President Miguel D’ Escoto has asked Washington to grant visas to relatives of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States since 1998. The document was also signed, among others, by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Rigoberta Menchu and Adolfo Perez Esquivel; American writers Noam Chomsky and by the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. Gerardo, Rene, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon LabaƱino, internationally known as the Cuba Five, were arrested in Florida in 1998 for infiltrating anti-Cuba right-wing groups that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the Caribbean archipelago. The wives have been denied visas to visit their husbands in prison on nine occasions.

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