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Conditions of life in the Czech Republic worsened last year, but the Government is persisting with policies like those that led Greece into its current crisis. This bleak analysis comes from the fifth annual report by the country’s Social Watch coalition, which also questions the budget cuts that have been made and highlights their negative impact on families and on the national economy. Other critical points it examines are political corruption, tax evasion, gender inequity and serious deficiencies in environmental protection.

Ranja Sengupta.
(Photo: Civil Society News)

In India, where economic, social and gender inequalities persist historically, and where trade policies are not 'gender neutral' the impact of trade policy on women must be paid serious attention to. Ranja Sengupta, senior researcher with the Third World Network (TWN), is worried that as the country climbs up the ladder of an emerging economy, the health, education and food needs of women get affected.

Arrest of Nabeel Rajab and
other activists on February.
(Photo: BCHR)

Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR, focal point of Social Watch) and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), was sentenced last week by the Bahraini Lower Criminal Court to three years imprisonment for "involvement in illegal practices and inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorized marches through social networking sites”, for his "participation in an illegal assembly" and for his “participation in an illegal gathering and calling for a march without prior notification”.

Lim Ma-hui. (Photo: API)

The present global financial and economic crisis gives China an opportunity to consolidate its relationship with Africa, said South Centre advisor Dr. Lim Mah-Hui at the 18th meeting in Beijing of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade and Export Development in Africa.

Grain and sugar prices surged
in July. (Photo:
Olivier Thuillier/FAO)

The FAO Food Price Index climbed 6 percent last month, driven by the heatwave and droughts in the United States and extreme weather conditions elsewhere. The price spike wakes up the ghost of a global crisis like the one that badly hurt the poor and vulnerable groups among the world population in 2007-2008, experts warn.

Aldo Caliari. (Photo:
Center of Concern)

An innovative proposal being considered by San Bernardino County authorities, in the state of California, to respond to the ongoing mortgage market crisis “could dramatically change the outlook for the US economy… if only it was implemented in a wider scale,”, according to Aldo Caliari, director of Rethinking Bretton Woods, a project of the Center of Concern.

Photo: International Alliance
of Inhabitants

The Tribunal for Evictions launched an international call to identify cases for its 2012 session. The sessions will take place on 28 Sept in Geneva within the Geneva Habitat Forum and for the launch of this year’s World Zero Evictions days.

Participants at the 2012 International AIDS Conference criticized the prevailing discrimination against sex workers in the US and other social groups world wide. The conference, held in Washington DC from 21-27 July, saw the pledging of additional funding to fight HIV/AIDS by international donors, emphasizing the need for further research to combat the epidemic, reported Eurostep web site.

Photo: Karnataka Legislative
Assembly.

In an indication of elected representatives’ apathy to people’s causes, 129 of the 224 legislators in the Indian State of Karnataka have never posed a single question during the Legislature sessions held last year, revealed the Karnataka Social Watch Report 2012, according to The Hindu newspaper.

Panel on Defining the Future of
Trade. (Photo: TAG-Org)

A number of civil society organizations have strongly objected to the panel of “WTO stakeholders” formed recently by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and tasked to examine and analyze challenges to global trade in the 21st century, reported journalist Kanaga Raja on the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS) news service.


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