Mohamed Motala - Recently we've been receiving media reports of so-called illegal miners or "Zama Zama miners" trapped underground. Nobody knows the actual number of men and women trapped or dead underground. Their families are being forced to descend into the depths of our Earth to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones in harrowing rescue efforts themselves. The official rescue mission has long been abandoned. Why is there no public outrage against this injustice? Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that these are poor black Zimbabwean immigrants and therefore not important enough for South Africans to care about.
John Feffer - It might seem ridiculous to talk about grand partnerships with Russia at the very moment when the international community wants to put Putin in the penalty box. But Russia is much bigger than just Vladimir Putin, despite the man’s penchant for self-aggrandizement. Making a place at the table for this vast country is a chief challenge for the 21st century. So, even as we condemn the introduction of Russian troops in Crimea and decry the narrowing of democratic freedoms in Moscow, we have to remember that the Cold War is over, it should never return, and both sides must act that way.
Mark Engler and Paul Engler - Egypt is often held up as a success story of civil resistance - a fresh and exciting example of how a nonviolent mass mobilization can prevail over a force with far greater military might. However, as the country has slid back into a repressive and undemocratic state, this success has been called into question. Some regard the situation in Egypt as worse than ever, and the most cynical contend that it would have been better if the revolution had never happened at all. The Egyptian Revolution is a perfect case study for both the power and the limits of nonviolent mass movements.
Glenn Ashton - SA's energy policy is mired in old thinking. While renewable energy has started to penetrate the market, its impacts are limited through compliance with the preferential tender system, rather than open market competition. Our grid remains dumb while smart grids are the way of the future. Meanwhile, certain interests in government continue to push for a new nuclear power stations, which will cost a trillion Rands. This is more than the country's annual national budget. Cost and indebtedness represent only one aspect of this risky path. Couple these to institutionalised corruption and a nuclear deal becomes a scary choice.
Chitra Nagarajan - On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act. The law criminalises lesbianism for the first time, strengthens punishment for anyone caught having sex with someone of the same sex and outlaws the promotion of homosexuality. It criminalises those who assist individuals to engage in homosexual acts and requires citizens to denounce those they suspect of being gay. It introduces an offence of 'aggravated homosexuality' with those convicted receiving a sentence of life imprisonment. This move by the Ugandan government followed fundamental retrenchment of rights in India and Nigeria in December and January.
Watch - A new expose by Mother Jones magazine may shock anyone who drinks out of plastic bottles, gives their children plastic sippy cups, eats out of plastic containers, or stores food with plastic wrap. For years, public campaigns have been waged against plastic containing bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial plastic additive, due to concerns about adverse human health effects caused by the exposure to synthetic estrogen. But a new investigation by Mother Jones reporter Mariah Blake has revealed that chemicals used to replace BPA may be just as dangerous to your health, if not more.
Watch - Following the overthrow of the government of Ukraine, Russia occupied strategic locations in Crimea on February, 28. Russia has had a military presence in Crimea (a province of the Ukraine) for more than a decade. On Thursday this week, the Crimean parliament voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Crimea will put the issue to a referendum in the next 10 days. Meanwhile President Vladimir Putin has indicated that Russia has no intention of annexing Crimea, but the situation has evoked cold war tensions. Aleksandr Buzgalin, a Professor at Moscow State University clarifies the Crimean-Russian connection.
Watch - “The way we rate national economies is all wrong,” says rating agency reformer Annette Heuser. With mysterious and obscure methods, three private US-based credit rating agencies - Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch - wield immense power over national economies across the globe and the outcomes can be catastrophic. Presently there is complete lack of transparency about how ratings agencies rate countries and companies. But what if there was another way? In this bold talk, Heuser shares her vision for a non-profit ratings agency that would bring more equality and justice into the mix.
1913 land act 2014 General Elections South Africa Barack Obama Crimea Edward Snowden Egypt Fitch Glenn Greenwald Guantanamo Julian Assange LGBT LGBT rights NSA Nelson Mandela Ronnie Kasrils Russia SABC Sampie Terreblanche South African Rand Standard & Poor's State of the Nation Address Ukraine Ukraine Venezuela Victoria Brittain War on Terror WikiLeaks adversarial journalism big pharma budget 2014 budget speech climate change cold war credit rating agencies currency regulation currency speculation currency wars democracy emerging markets food freedom of expression global financial crisis healthcare immigrants intellectual property laws journalism land reform marikana massacre media middle class mining nationalisation nuclear energy nuclear threat plastic police brutality protests public finances public service public transport racial prejudice sacsis video socio-economic rights south african media state repression sugar