Pambazuka News 504: Biopiracy, biodiversity and food sovereignty

Google has launched Google Voice Search in South Africa to enable internet users to use their natural voice to speak into their cell phones for Google searches. Google senior staff engineer Johan Schalkwyk has said 'you speak into your phone and it sends your voice over the network where it's analyzed and you get your search results.'

Labour unions suspended their three-day warning strike aimed at forcing the government to enact into law and implement a national minimum wage of 18,000 naira (about $120). The strike was called off Wednesday after an emergency meeting between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria. They agreed to suspend the strike for three weeks on the understanding that President Goodluck Jonathan would place the Minimum Wage Bill before the National Assembly for more


‘When we think of wars in our times, our minds turn to Iraq and Afghanistan. But the bigger war is the war against the planet. This war has its roots in an economy that fails to respect ecological and ethical limits – limits to inequality, limits to injustice, limits to greed and economic concentration,’ writes Vandana Shiva. ‘Making peace with the earth was always an ethical and ecological imperative. It has now become a survival imperative for our species.’

National Guard

‘For the last twenty years, the most powerful political and economic interests in and around Haiti have waged a systematic campaign designed to stifle the popular movement and deprive it of its principal weapons, resources and leaders,' writes Peter Hallward. January’s earthquake ‘triggered reactions that carried and that are still carrying such measures to entirely new levels.’

'We, the undersigned civil society organisations from 23 countries, urge G-20 leaders to make concrete progress towards the introduction of an internationally coordinated financial transactions tax (FTT) at the upcoming summit in Seoul. Our organisations have long advocated that such taxes are a practical way to generate revenues needed to fill domestic and international financing gaps, discourage the type of short-term financial speculation that has little social value but poses high risks more