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From Prague to Caracas: 60 years of youth festivals

Hundreds of young people from all over the world gathered Aug. 23-26 in Caracas, Venezuela, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first World Festival of Youth and Students.

Using religion to mask a conservative agenda

Daniel C. Bruch and Thomas W. Strieter are retired Christian pastors who have spent their lifetimes serving people. They have been moved by the extremist rhetoric and actions of fundamentalist conservatism to write Toxic Faith: Liberal Cure, an analysis of the Christian Right.

Veterans group seeks mandatory VA funding

CHICAGO — If you thought every woman and man that served in the U.S. military and honorably discharged was guaranteed health care as a veteran, you would be wrong. Funding shortages still limit the extent and duration of care, and appropriations for the VA is up to the yearly “discretion” of Congress and the president.

WORLD NOTES: Oct. 6

Egypt: Textile workers strike China: Dam project has environmental costs Serbia: NATO relents, permits cluster bomb search South Africa: Farming for food or fuel? Cuba: U.S. denies visiting rights, again

Haiti: repression drops, but not poverty

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — While the people of Haiti have experienced an improvement in the country’s political atmosphere, their economic situation continues to deteriorate, said Roger Annis, a representative of the Canada-Haiti Action Network.

Myanmars road map to crisis

KOLKATA, India — Ibrahim Gambari, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy to Myanmar (formerly Burma), arrived in Yangon, the country’s largest city, on Sept. 29. He departed on Oct. 2 to report back to the UN Security Council in New York. During his visit, he had met the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the leader of the military junta, Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Organizing, elections focus of Change to Win

CHICAGO — The Change to Win labor federation held its second annual national convention here Sept. 24-25, where it emphasized union organizing campaigns and a drive by its seven member unions to change the makeup of Congress and put a pro-worker person in the White House.

To cut smog, change truckers status, report says

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Port of Oakland, the country’s fourth largest port, drives much of the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy, and the port’s container trade is expected to double in the next 20 years. But a newly released report warns that this projected growth is threatened by the diesel pollution from trucks moving the containers, which causes soaring lung disease rates for nearby residents and port workers. At the same time, truck drivers endure dismal economic and working conditions.

Supporters rally for single-payer health care

CHICAGO — Imagine that every U.S. resident received a health insurance card that could be presented to any doctor or hospital for a full range of medical benefits. As a patient, you would pay nothing, and you would receive no medical bills.

Demand grows to drop charges on Jena 6

Pressure mounted on LaSalle Parish prosecutors to drop all charges against the “Jena Six” following the release on bail, Sept. 27, of Mychal Bell, the only one of the African American teenagers to be tried and convicted in the little central Louisiana town.

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