World News

Responding to disasters

Cyclone hits Myanmar. Earthquake rocks China. In each case, thousands of lives have been snuffed out by nature’s wrath. Given the combination of global warming and extreme poverty, we’re likely to see more extreme natural and human calamities. Here in the United States, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 resulted in almost 2,000 deaths, and hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced.

China launches massive rescue after Sichuan earthquake

The Chinese government’s response to a massive earthquake in Sichuan Province May 12 has been swift, according to a number of news sources. The government said that tremors and aftershocks were felt in 16 provinces, from Tibet to Beijing. Up to 15,000 people have been killed with many tens of thousands more still missing and injured, and over 500,000 houses have been destroyed.

Mexico oil privatization dispute rages

While the rest of Latin America moves left, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is pushing hard in the other direction with a thinly disguised plan to privatize PEMEX, the huge state oil company that provides 40 percent of the Mexican government’s revenues.

Flags fly at half-mast for Sisulu

Walter Sisulu, who together with Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo led the campaign that freed South Africa from the grip of apartheid, died on May 5, only days before his 91st birthday.

Bhopal survivors tour U.S., target Dow

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.— “Dow [Chemical] must face criminal trial,” Satinath Sarangi, an activist on behalf of Bhopal’s disaster victims, told a gathering of union activists here on May 7. It was hosted by HERE Local 24 and sponsored by local chapters of the U.S. Peace Council and Jobs with Justice.

Attacks on journalists prompt call for inquiry

As Operation Iraqi Freedom shifts to an occupation plan, international concern is being raised over the deaths of journalists in the course of the fighting.

International notes

Iraq: Agriculture in danger / Colombia: Unionist killed on May Day / Japan: ‘Love of country’ curriculum falls flat / South Africa: Mineworkers support women’s rights / Germany: Workers in east want 35-hour week

Cuba rejects U.S. terrorism claims

The Cuban Foreign Ministry has strongly rejected Cuba’s inclusion in the list of countries allegedly sponsoring international terrorism the U.S. government issued April 30.

Israeli troops raid Peoples Party offices

Israeli troops raided the headquarters of the secretary general of the Palestinian People’s Party in Ramallah on Friday evening, May 9. The Israeli troops searched the headquarters and confiscated a large number of files and documents belonging to the Party and Sawt al-Watan magazine, published by the People’s Party.