Pambazuka News 604: Speaking the truth to abusers of power

From a suspected Israeli airstrike in Sudan to cyber warfare in the Gulf and a drone shot down over Israel, the largely hidden war between Iran and its foes seems heating up and spreading. 'In many ways, it's reminiscent of the Cold War, particularly the proxy conflicts,' says Hayat Alvi, lecturer in Middle Eastern politics at the US Naval War College. 'But unlike in the Cold War, there are now a much larger number of asymmetrical warfare techniques. Most of this is happening behind the more

Rights groups are calling for an end to the death penalty in South Sudan and for improvements to the squalid prison conditions where people languish for years, often without due process. A statement on 5 November and an accompanying letter to South Sudan's government, signed by Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and local church and civil society groups, has called for a moratorium on executions, especially as 'South Sudan is currently not able to fully guarantee the more

Incomes have slipped to their lowest level in a decade since Madagascar’s 2009 coup d’etat, and, in parallel, domestic violence has sharply risen. The rising poverty has exacerbated women’s vulnerability in this deeply traditional society. Locals report more domestic conflict over family resources, as well as increased alcohol and drug abuse. Impoverished women also have fewer options to escape violence and are less able to advocate for the safety of themselves and their children.

South Africa grants almost every patent application it receives, making its patent regime one of the world’s most lenient. While pharmaceutical companies cash in, patients face staggering healthcare costs, and medicines like cancer treatments, third-line antiretrovirals (ARVs) and treatments for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) are often priced out of reach. According to activists from Médecins Sans Frontières’s (MSF) Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines and the South Africa AIDS more

After being banished from his homeland for opposing Shell’s mining activities in the Niger Delta, vocal Nigerian environmental activist and writer Barry Wuganaale has called on South Africans to rally against the prospects of fracking for shale gas in the Karoo. Wuganaale, who witnessed the persecution many Ogonil people in the area where Shell has been operating since 1956 said in excess of R400 billion over 35 years would be needed to rehabilitate the once fertile agriculture land in the more