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Socialist feminist revival

I just returned from a workshop on gender-based violence organised by the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Venezuela and the UNDP. Speakers at the workshop included Maria Leon, Minister of Women's Affairs and Nora Casteneda President of Banmujer or Bank for the Development of Women. The two women explained the gains made by women as a result of Bolivarian socialist revolution in Venezuela. A record which was truly amazing in the attempts made in empowering women towards achieving gender equality, reported candidly by both women, who also outlined the challenges women in that country have as yet to overcome.

POEM Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb ever on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On Aug. 9, three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. More than 200,000 people were killed or injured in the immediate wake of the bombings.

Colombian activist Liliany Obando needs your support now

A year after her arrest by Colombian police and incarceration in Bogotá’s Buen Pastor women’s prison, Liliany Obando is slated to go to trial Aug. 27. When she was arrested, the former international spokesperson for Fensuagro ― the National Federation of Unified Agricultural Unions ― was about to release her report detailing the murders or disappearances of 1,500 Fensuagro unionists over 29 years. She is the mother of two young children.

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WORLDNOTES China, Nigeria, Israel, Bolivia, Turkey, Cuba

China: Gov’t revamps health care, Nigeria: Insurgents call for ceasefire,Israel: Soldiers speak out, Bolivia: President lambasts U.S. bases, Turkey: Agreements reached on gas pipeline, Cuba: The ‘Five’ gain international support

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WORLDNOTES Equatorial Guinea, Australia, Afghanistan, UN, Guyana, Cuba

Equatorial Guinea: Corporations, banks back corruption, Australia: Labor protests anti-worker discrimination, Afghanistan: U.S. military contractors take root, United Nations: Ban speaks out on climate change, Guyana: U.S. military visits, Cuba: Good living at low ecological cost

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Scientists question N. Korea nuclear test

In an article recently published in the journal Science, noted scientific journalist Daniel Clery has raised serious questions about the actual nature of the May 25 underground explosion claimed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea] as a nuclear test, provoking worldwide condemnation. Clery points out that while the DPRK's first nuclear test in 2006 released traces of radioactive xenon gas detectable as far away as Canada, this time super-sensitive U.S. 'sniffer' planes overflying the zone could not detect so much as an atom of anomalous nuclear material.

Chavez nationalises Banco de Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez has made a great leap towards increasing democratic control over the economy by nationalising Venezuela's third-largest bank. The government took over Banco de Venezuela after agreeing to pay Spanish privateer Grupo Santander more than $1 billion (£612m) for its subsidiary.

Brazil frees 28,000 from slave labor

More than 28,000 Brazilians have been rescued from conditions of modern slavery since 2003, according to figures of the Department of Work Inspection (STI) of the Ministry of Work and Employment, informed sources here. Detection and rescue of Brazilians from this degrading form of work is the task of the Special Mobile Legal Group of STI, and statistics point to farm and agricultural activities as top perpetrators of this kind of labor force.

Queer parade defies anachronistic Indian law

'Not all females are women,' reads a poster emblazoned in red. 'I am the pink sheep of my family!' is the message on another, while a third, very cheekily proclaims, 'I don’t give a f***, I am a greedy bisexual'! New Delhi’s second Queer Pride parade was flamboyant, riveting and raucous - a medley of rainbow hues, music, and in-your-face attitudes that infused an infectious energy and verve to a sultry, simmering Sunday evening.

Financial crisis unprecedented since 1930s

Since the Great Depression of the 1930s, there have been more than 100 crises worldwide, says the secretary-general of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi. But many are saying the current global financial crisis is something 'the likes of which we have not seen for 70 years or more.'

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