THE National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE) ratified Lenin Moreno as the winner of the second round of the presidential elections in Ecuador, with 51.16 percent of the votes. Moreno, the representative of Ecuadorian governing Movimiento Alianza Pais, contested the presidential elections with Jorge Glas, as his running mate for the post of vice-president.
NORTH and South Korea have been in the news a lot lately and mostly for the wrong reasons. Till recently, it was South Korea which was hogging most of the headlines due to the impeachment proceedings against the country’s president, Park Gyeun-hee on charges of corruption. The arrest of Jay Y Lee, the head of Samsung conglomerate, South Korea's biggest by far, on charges of bribing the country's top officials, including the president, is already having an impact on the country's booming economy. If the fortunes of Samsung are hit, the South Korean economy is sure to suffer.
WIKILEAKS again blew off the lid of yet another secret mission of US surveillance agency CIA. WikiLeaks has released 8,761 of secret documents of Centre for Cyber Intelligence, which is a part of CIA. These documents are greater in size than those released during the first three years of Snowden. Code named “Vault 7”, this is a first part of a series “Year Zero” that WikiLeaks is developing.
WHEN Narendra Modi sat in the wilderness of American political opinion, sections of the NRI community came to his defence. Graphic human rights reports on the pogrom in Gujarat had turned the US State Department against Modi. He was denied a visa to enter the United States. It did not help Modi that there was clear evidence of discrimination against Christians in Gujarat, most notably in the Dangs region where Modi’s allies used violence against Christian missionaries. This did not sit well with the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
PAKISTAN and Afghanistan have in recent weeks and months witnessed a wave of serious terrorist incidents that have cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. Alarmingly, most of the attacks have been the handiwork of the so-called Islamic State (Daesh). It no longer can be denied that the lethal terrorist group has sprung roots in the sub continent. The suicide attack on one of the most famous Sufi shrines in the region, the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, situated in Sindh province, in the third week of February is an illustration.
THE unexpected pardon that the former American president, Barack Obama, has given to the whistle blower, Chelsea Manning, has come as a welcome surprise for human rights activists and millions of ordinary Americans, who had demanded his release. Obama has not extended the same gesture to Edward Snowden, the other famous whistle blower, who exposed the widespread State surveillance by US intelligence agencies. The Obama administration has arrested more whistle blowers on charges of espionage than any previous administration.
A seminar on ‘Fidel’s Legacy for Cuba, Latin America and the World’ was organised by the Friends of Latin America-India at Sahid Surya Sen Bhavan in Kolkata on February 19. The organisation secretary Suman Putatunda started the programme, discussing how Fidel Castor had transformed his country and later, the rest of South America as a symbol of resistance and social justice to the oppressed millions of this planet.
IN the last week of December, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 2334 reaffirming that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and Jerusalem are illegal. The United States this time did not veto the resolution. A similar resolution was vetoed by the Obama administration in 2011, despite the US characterising itself as “an honest peace broker” in the Israel-Palestine dispute and terming the settlements as “illegal”. The US has in fact been indirectly subsidising much of the illegal settlement activity.
The South Asian Peasants Convergence (SAPC) on Food Sovereignty and Peasants Rights held at Kathmandu, Nepal on February 2-3, 2017, was attended by over 100 delegates from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It was hosted by the All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa), an umbrella association of Nepali peasants fighting against feudalism, imperialism and neoliberalism that was founded in 1951. With the ushering in of the Democratic Republic of Nepal the organisation has expanded in keeping with the evolution of peasant consciousness and struggles.
THE Parties of the Working Group of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties denounce once again in the strongest possible terms the attempts to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine in view of the relevant trial due to take place tomorrow (08.02.17) in Kiev. This parody trial aims at annihilating the CP Ukraine through a process that is contrary to the principles of International Law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international principles and conventions.