Pambazuka News 536: Polluters and corporates: Stealing the commons

The Botswana government said on 20 June that it had amended legislation classifying essential services workers to include teachers in an effort to prevent more civil servants from striking. Making the announcement through a government gazette, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Peter Siele said that veterinary services, teaching services, diamond sorting, cutting and selling services and all supporting services connected to them have now been placed under the essential services.

Zimbabwe has vowed to defy moves for international monitoring of diamond sales from its disputed Marange fields, at a meeting of the global 'blood diamond' watchdog, state media reported. Mines minister Obert Mpofu said the Southern African nation must be allowed to export gems without any monitoring, insisting Zimbabwe has met the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which seeks to prevent diamond sales from financing conflicts. The Marange fields, more

Safaricom subscribers can search for and reconnect with their loved ones using their mobile phone via an application provided by Ericsson and Refugees United. The system enables refugees to use mobile phones to register themselves, search for loved ones, and subsequently reconnect via an anonymous database.

Igniting a firestorm of global debate, the results of a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll identifying the five most dangerous countries for women are generating controversy in the blogosphere and on news organisations’ websites around the world. Conducted by the Foundation’s TrustLaw legal news service and released on 15 June, the perception poll of more than 200 experts on women’s rights and issues on five continents found that, overall, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, more