Turkey, which over the last year could hardly be described as an incubator for civil liberties, has this past year been engulfed in political chaos. It’s reputation which it has tried hard to put forward as a secular, moderate gateway to the east from Europe, and a viable member of the EU, is almost completely in tatters. It currently holds the unpleasant title as the country with the most imprisoned journalists on the planet, it is ranked 154th in the press freedom index, and it has what can only be described as a selective historical memory when it comes to Armenians. This nation has over the past year been involved in what can only be described as a governmental crisis. This crisis, which stems from a corruption probe which has sunk its teeth into the heart of governmental power and authority has threatened various power brokers nation wide. This is an on-going and real tale of political intrigue within one of NATO’s most valued countries; including foreign backers, shoeboxes full of dollars and the constitutional limits of power which keep a leader in check.
Net Neutrality is a bit like economics: it’s something that affects the core of how we interact with the world today but also seems incredibly dull and apparently irrelevant to the majority of people until something gets shaken up. And it just so happens that things were shaken up a couple of weeks back when Tom Wheeler the chairman for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US proposed changes to the future of regulation online. This is something that is being heavily lobbied and supported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) whilst simultaneously being decried as a death knell for the internet as we know it by the companies of Silicon Valley and a huge amount of people online. Whilst this particular proposal only directly impacts the US, its effects would certainly be felt globally and on top of this there are forces at work attempting to impose similar regulation in Europe.
A Mexican drug lord, Nazario Moreno who had reportedly been killed in 2010 has died after clashes with Mexican police on Sunday morning.He had previously been reported being fatally shot during a 2010 shootout, however no body had been found.This time however fingerprints were matched confirming the drug lord’s death. This alongside the capture of Joaquin Guzman last month, has been earmarked as a major victory for the government in its war on drugs.
With much happening in Ukraine, Venezuela, Turkey, Thailand, the Olympics in Russia, the GSOC scandal here at home and many other relevant and resonating goings-on, a person could be forgiven for not watching the less reported, but equally as poignant, unfolding events from around the globe. As the dust settled for the moment in Kiev and Crimea heated up, another important European story of on-going unrest and turmoil in the small ex-Yugoslavian state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was occurring.
Russia launched a test nuclear missile during the middle of the Ukrainian-Crimean crisis. Although the launch was scheduled before the current international tensions, and the US was notified well in advance.
Although the article itself clears up the circumstances the headline is nothing but sensationalist click bait. The fact that this test fire is being flaunted as a headline all over the web is completely absurd, and just seems to be attempting to milk what has been just short of a hysterical look at Russian actions and potential actions concerning Ukraine and Crimea.
Episode 2 of our “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.
Our guest this week is Norman Finkelstein, a scholar of the Israel/Palestine issue and the author of several books including The Holocaust Industry and This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion. We spoke with Norman about his unique family background, his battles with American academia and the future of the Palestinian people.
Download from Soundcloud
Greg McInerney: Hi guys, this is Greg McInerney here for the MeltingPress.com, this is episode two of our Alternative Voices series. Today we’re joined by Norman Finkelstein who is a scholar of the Israel/Palestine Issue. Norman thanks so much for joining us today.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke with a young Mauritian man by the name of Rohan who has been living, working and studying in Ireland for the past six years. However in the near future it looks likely that he will be forced to leave the country, along with his wife, his brother and her sister as their visas have not been renewed since the start of the summer and their future in the country is in bureaucratic limbo. This has come around because of a change in policy regarding Immigration and Visas for non EU citizens in Ireland that was brought into effect at the beginning of 2011.
Greece in 2012 is a nation of economic and social despair. Between 2009 and 2011 the economy shrank by 11% due to this quality of life for the average Greek citizen has fallen dramatically. The minimum wage has been cut by more than one fifth (22%), more than 30,000 civil servants have been suspended and are only on partial pay with plans to reduce the overall amount of public servants by 150,000 before 2015, unemployment is at a staggering 26% as of August of this year which is up from 7.2% in 2008, mass privatization of public assets and services are due to happen with €50billion being the target of capital raised and also €300million being cut from the pension bill this year alone. This too comes with the recent findings that Greece is ranked as the most corrupt country in the EU and 94th world-wide.
The United States and Ireland have apparently always maintained what political figures on both side of the Atlantic term in unison cliché, “a special relationship”. As with all clichés there is of course a remnant of validity. Ireland’s history of mass emigration to the United States has germinated a rich Irish-American culture that continues to this day and in reciprocation the United States represents the second largest tourist market to our own island. However the United States is far from monogamous in its bilateral love-ins. U.S. governments have always spoken of their special relationships with Britain and Israel amongst others and it is the company of these bedfellows that should lead us to wonder if it is in fact a relationship worth having.
An intriguing journalistic venture has been launched this week with the aim of promoting and facilitating independent journalism, free from government and private interference. Entitled the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the non-profit will act as a conduit for funding independent journalistic organizations heavily involved in exposing the corruption and abuse of power, both corporate and governmental.
The project was conceived as a response to the shutdown in funding of the independent news outfit Wikileaks that occurred following the refusal of the major credit card companies Visa and MasterCard, as well as PayPal, to facilitate public donations. This amazing confluence of government and private power cost Wikileaks 95% of its funding overnight and went largely without critique in the mainstream press.