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Global News and Analysis

Will Guantánamo Ever Close? Fourteen Years After Prison’s Opening, Indefinite Detention Persists

Source: Truthout

It’s been 14 years since the prison at the US military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, opened, and little has changed. The first 20 detainees were sent to Guantánamo on January 11, 2002. Since then, Guantánamo has held 779 detainees. Currently, there are 91 detainees remaining in Guantánamo and 34 cleared for release. While the Obama administration has increased the pace of releasing Guantánamo detainees, the policy of indefinite detention remains.

Pentagon officials have played a major role in thwarting detainee releases from Guantánamo. These releases are determined by Periodic Review Boards. Established by President Obama’s Executive Order 13567 on March 7, 2011, the boards are composed of representatives from different intelligence agencies that decide whether an individual detainee is safe to release or transfer, or if they should continue to be detained. After a detainee is cleared for release, the president’s administration searches for countries willing to take in released Guantánamo detainees or rehabilitate them. This is the point where the Pentagon has stepped in to stall releases. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Black lives don’t matter: why stories of death on the streets rarely get told

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

The expectation that the poor and dark in America will have their lives cut short renders them invisible

‘When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” But over the past few years I have wondered if there might not be an addendum to that adage – a qualifying footnote to what seems like the obvious.

Because there are things that happen with such regularity and predictability that journalists have simply ceased to recognise their news value – not least if those things are least likely to happen to the people most likely to be journalists. read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Spurning of Monsanto: Tip of the iceberg?

Source: Food First

Early this month the Syngenta corporation made history by accepting a buyout bid from the Chinese state-owned company ChemChina. The two corporations together control a quarter of the global pesticide market and hold top positions in the global seed market. It is the largest foreign corporation ever bought by China.

“In making this offer, ChemChina is recognizing the quality and potential of Syngenta’s business,” said Syngenta chairman Michael Demaré upon announcing the merger, “This includes industry-leading R&D and manufacturing and the quality of our people worldwide. The transaction minimizes operational disruption; it is focused on growth globally, specifically in China and other emerging markets, and enables long-term investment in innovation. Syngenta will remain Syngenta and will continue to be headquartered in Switzerland.” (1) read more

Americas

The Horizon of Evo Morales’ Long Decade in Power: Implications of Bolivia’s Referendum Results

Bolivian President Evo Morales lost the referendum last Sunday that could have given him the ability to run for re-election in 2019. The margin was small, but the implications are huge: Bolivia’s longest standing and most popular president finally has an end date for his time in power, on January 22, 2020. The Bolivian left and its vibrant social and indigenous movements were always bigger than Morales, and Sunday’s referendum results underline this.

Middle East

Report-Back from the Revolution in Rojava: Burlington, VT Event

Amidst the Syrian civil war and on the front lines of the fight against ISIS, the Kurdish people in northern Syria are building a face-to-face democratic, gender-equal, and ecological revolution from the ground up. Burlington resident Janet Biehl has visited Rojava twice on solidarity delegations, most recently in October, and will be discussing the promises and challenges the revolution is facing.