COHA: Brazil and the United States: Two Regional Superpowers Begin to Re-evaluate their Relations

The financial crisis of 2008 began with the failure of major financial institutions in the United States and then evolved into a global crisis with worldwide consequences. Brazil was no exception to this infectious tide, with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stating that his nation, like other emerging markets, must have a voice in developing strict rules that will guarantee that international financial institutions and rich nations will help, rather than harm, developing countries. Lula da Silva argued that central banks around the world must adopt new rules, and governments must make certain that their countries’ financial institutions are in compliance with their own regulations in order to prevent another meltdown like the one whipped up by the U.S. financial crisis.

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Michael Bahl, Haaretz : Elderly Palestinian couple evicted from East Jerusalem home despite U.S. protest

9 November, 2008

In a pre-dawn operation in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, scores of police officers and IDF troops Sunday evicted an elderly Palestinian couple from their home, despite protests by the United States, other countries, and human rights groups.

Security forces also detained several activists of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement who had been sleeping on the family’s property, and expelled them to the adjacent West Bank, without pressing charges.

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9 November, 2008, 8:17 AM

Dear friends,

We ask for your urgent support in the case of Ali Baher. Ali is a student at the Hebrew University, who has been kicked out from his dorm room, and is facing a possible suspension from his studies, simply because he refused to shake hands with Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel.

According to Haaretz, Ali was studying in the university library, when the President walked in and began shaking hands with students. Ali refused to shake hands with Peres, saying that he was a child murderer and reminding him of the Qana massacre, which was carried out under Peres’s premeirship.

When the president left the library, Ali was assaulted by security guards, who questioned him for three hours before serving him with a demand to appear before the discplinary committee of the university, on suspicion of “inappropriate conduct”. This charge can potentially lead to Ali’s suspension from the university. The guards also confiscated Ali’s student card, which restricts his access to essential university services, such as, indeed, the library.

Later on this week, Ali came home to the dorms to find his room broken into, with political stickers torn off and the door handle vandalized. He submitted a complaint to the security staff, and was visited in the morning by the manager of the dorms, Mr Yitzhak Hofy, and his staff. They made no mention of the break-in, but proceded to inform Ali that his dorms contract was terminated, on the feeble grounds that a shisha pipe was found in the room and his walls had posters on it – admittedly an infringement of dorms regulations, but a fairly light and common one. We feel certain that the motive for the extraordinarily harsh response is purely political.

Ali needs to evict the room by Wednesday, November 11. The date for the hearing had not yet been set.
We ask all the recipients of this urgent call to do the following:

Sign our petition to the Dean of Students and President of the University

Also personal letter to the University President and cc other dignitaries, for addresses see below
Victoria Buch

President of the University, Professor Menachem Magidor:

Dean of Students, Professor Esther Shami:

Manager of Accomodation, Mr Yitzhak Hofy:

President of the State of Israel, Mr Shimon Peres:

Director of the Peres Centre for Peace, Dr Ron Pundak:

GazaFriends Update: All is well

The boat arrived this morning at 7:30, schussing through the water, white caps on either side. Osama, Mary and I were at the dock to greet the returnees, again thrilled to see them on deck. This time, 29 people returned, either of them Palestinians from Gaza. Dr. Mona was on board on her way to see her daughter and brother, Musheir, in the UK. Three students came, thrilled to be going to the universities that had granted them entrance.

A union organizer was also on board. The older couple on their way to Germany had come with gifts for their family. The mother did not know that her son had flown in to greet them. She was bowled over when he came around the corner and said, “Hi Mom”. It had been years since they had seen him.

As far as the organizers are concerned, we’re tired and need a break. Two trips in two weeks was a strain on all of us. But, watching the smile on the face of the mother was worth all of our sleepless nights, long days, constant phone calls and worry.

The Parliamentarians begin to go home today. The Palestinian students fly out tomorrow and the next day. Only a few of us will remain to take care of the boat (Derek, Denis, Theresa and Nicos) and the debriefing (Mary, me, Huwaida, Ramzi, David). The photos that I took will be posted shortly.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Wikileaks: “Malaysia Today editor freed”

For immediate release.

Mon Nov 10 22:43:37 GMT 2008

On Friday Malaysia’s Shah Alam High Court freed blogger and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin from the Kamuting detention center, where he had been held under Malaysia’s notorious Internal Security Act.

Raja Petra, 58, was detained on September 12, two and a half months after he publicly leaked a Statutory Declaration he had sent to the Malaysian police on June 18. The declaration implicated the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife and two Colonels in 19 Oct 2006 murder of the 28 year old Mongolian beauty, Miss. Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was revealed by forensics to have been destroyed by C-4 explosives. Miss. Shaariibuu is believed to have been the lover of one or more senior Malaysian figures.

Raja Petra’s release follows his application for a writ of habeas corpus, on the grounds that his detention under the ISA was unlawful and unconstitutional.

The declaration appeared in Wikileaks on June 26 as — and was subsequently censored in Malaysia.

Sunshine Press congratulates Raja Petra and all those who fought for his release.

Wikileaks accepts $2.1M journalism competition

For immediate release.

Tue Nov 11 03:59:05 GMT 2008

“News Challenge”

As of November 1st Wikileaks has accepted the Knight Foundation News Challenge 2009 and applied for $2.1M funding. As the Challenge has received over 2,000 submissions, Wikileaks is asking its supporters to draw Knight’s attention to the importance of the Wikileaks submission.

The main goals aimed at with the funding will be development of regional interfaces, furthering the translation of the Wiki and enhancing our communication with media outlets, increasing the political impact Wikileaks can provide to sources as per its mission statement.

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