Sean Kuti slams IMF austerity in new album – le mag

Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 have been giving fans a taste of their new album with the release of the video for the opening track ‘IMF’.

With lyrics like “My people are coming for what’s ours” and “Breakin’ the chain”, the Nigerian musician takes a stab at the International Monetary Fund.

“Twenty years ago, IMF was an African devil, only Africans understood the evil of IMF. Europeans didn’t see. Austerity was an African thing, but now austerity is a worldwide phenomenon. Everybody understan…
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Gang leader who stole priceless artworks jailed in Romania

A Romanian court has sentenced the ringleader of a gang that stole famous paintings from a Dutch…

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A Romanian court has sentenced the ringleader of a gang that stole famous paintings from a Dutch museum to more than six years and eight months in prison.

Radu Dogaru pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing the artworks including paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Monet, from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum.

It was one of the world’s biggest art heists and the paintings have never been found.

 

OECD chief urges banks to lend more

OECD Secretary General Angel Guirra met with MEPs on Tuesday to share his outlook for Europe’s…

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OECD Secretary General Angel Guirra met with MEPs on Tuesday to share his outlook for Europe’s economy.

The OECD sees eurozone growth of 1 percent next year, hitting 1.6 percent in 2015.

Gurria told that banks need to increase lending to homes and businesses to fire up European growth once more.

“It’s not enough that the banks don’t go bankrupt.They have to lend. The problem is that they are not lending,” he told euronews’ Efi Koutsokosta.

“Governments can help by providing some guarantees maybe, some incentives, by sharing some of the initial losses.”

The former Mexican finance minister will be in the Greek capital of Athens on Wednesday when the OECD will unveil its latest report on the country’s economy.

Mr Gurria told euronews: A country like Greece which is not yet out of the programme is vulnerable and needs support. There’s work to be done in terms of collecting taxes and privatization. There’s work to be done in the fundamental elements of competitiveness, in education, innovation issues.”

Greece’s debt pile currently stands at 175.5 percent of GDP.

 

Portugal: Anti-austerity protesters occupy government ministries

It was the final straw for some in Portugal.

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It was the final straw for some in Portugal.

As parliament passed the 2014 budget on Tuesday, paving the way for more cuts, austerity-weary trade unionists occupied four government ministries for several hours in protest.

Public sector workers are set to face salary cuts of up to 12 percent as well as reductions to their pensions.

“I am nearing retirement and, after 40 years of working, I don’t think I will have enough of a pension to live on. It’s really borderline,” said one elderly woman.

Some marched to parliament, denouncing what will be a third straight year of austerity. The government says cuts are “inevitable” as it struggles to reduce the deficit but many on the sharp end are not convinced.

“They drive people to despair, suicide and starvation,” said another elderly woman. “It can’t go on like this. This is not what the people wanted.”

The opposition has vowed to challenge some measures in the Constitutional Court. But the ruling centre-right coalition is determined to satisfy Portugal’s international lenders and avoid having to ask for a second bailout.

 

Ukraine leader tells EU: ‘Don’t humiliate us’

As Ukrainian protesters spent another night braving the cold to demand a European future, their…

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As Ukrainian protesters spent another night braving the cold to demand a European future, their President slammed what the EU is offering his country.

Viktor Yanukovich went on national television to explain his U-turn on signing a trade deal with the bloc, branding its terms on financial aid for Ukraine as humiliating.

“I don’t want to be rude but you don’t have to humiliate us like this,” he said. “You know, we are not little children. You can’t buy us with candy.”

Under economic pressure from Moscow, Yanukovich will instead revive trade talks with Russia. He will, however, still attend this week’s EU summit in Vilnius.

Loreta Grauziniene, the speaker of Lithuania’s parliament, has addressed the crowds in Kyiv, encouraging them to pursue their protests.

“It is a difficult road but you have to follow it with pride,” she said. “I believe in the Ukrainian people. I know you love your country and for the sake of your children and your grandchildren, you will do everything you can for Ukraine to be in Europe.”

 

Egypt: Protesters defy new anti-demonstrations law

In Cairo protests by hundreds of Egyptians continued into Tuesday night despite attempts by riot…

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In Cairo protests by hundreds of Egyptians continued into Tuesday night despite attempts by riot police to disperse them.

Most of them were students defying a new law which bans demonstrations without prior police approval.

Activists have described the legislation as a violation of their right to protest.

 

Outrage in Slovakia at election of neo-Nazi in regional poll

Authorities in central Slovakia have postponed the inauguration of far-right nationalist Marian…

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Authorities in central Slovakia have postponed the inauguration of far-right nationalist Marian Kotleba as governor after locals protested against his election.

Since the weekend’s poll a nightly candlelight vigil has been held mainly by students at a museum which commemorates Slovakia’s fight against fascism.

Marek Šimon was one of those protesting in the region of Banská Bystrica:

“Firstly everybody was surprised that something like this can happen in the 21st century. But now everybody has woken up. We have to deal with it somehow.”

Kotleba who is leader of “Our Slovakia” party won with over 55 percent of the vote. He has a history of making racist statements and analysts think his success was fuelled by anti-Roma sentiment.

Reporting for euronews, Gergely Bártfai

 

Unusual phenomenon: Giant ice circle spinning in North Dakota river

A retired engineer out hunting in North Dakota on Saturday spotted a huge disk of ice spinning on the Sheyenne River, over 50 feet in diameter.
George Loegering posted video online on Tuesday of his unusual sighting, clearly showing the snow-covered disc rotating.

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Controversial documentary explores South Africa’s KK camps

Controversial documentary explores South Africa’s KK camps

“Fatherland” is a controversial documentary that explores the fine line between patriotism and racism at the Kommandokorps or KK camps, South Africa’s right-wing military summer camps.

The film tells the story of three white Afrikaans boys who decide to spend a school holiday there. They are taught that the black man is the enemy, the new South Africa is a lie and a war will be waged on the country’s white people, which they need to be prepared for.

“Fatherland” is producer and director Tarryn Lee Crossman’s first full-length documentary.

“It was a really complicated experience making this film and being in the camps with these men. A lot of people have asked me what changed in my mind about Afrikaans people after being in the camp and it was the opposite of what you would think. I think I went into the camp thinking that, ‘I’m sorry, a lot of Afrikaans people are racist,’ but I came off the camp with more empathy for a disenfranchised culture, you know. These guys, like Franz, are heartbroken that they fought for something and now they have nowhere to be,” she says.  

The documentary not only tells the boys’ stories but also the stories of the men who run the camps, Afrikaans soldiers left behind after 1994, who denounce the so-called ‘Rainbow Nation’. The film looks at the connection between cultural identity and prejudice, and how a simple belief can become intensely political.

“The reason why I agreed to let the film come out – I was debating whether to release the film or not because of the conflict it was going to cause – and I decided to do it because I feel like a lot of the things that were said in the film on a less extreme level are still part of everyday life in South Africa. And unless we start owning up to that and debating and talking about it, it’s never going to go away if we stay behind close doors,” says Tarryn Lee Crossman.

“Fatherland” recently premiered in Johannesburg.

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Spain grapples with abortion revision

Spain grapples with abortion revision

A headline-grabbing protest in the Spanish parliament has brought women’s rights centre-stage in recession-hit Spain.

The disturbance last month, orchestrated by the feminist group Femen, graphically illustrated the anger felt by some over planned reforms to abortion law.

The centre-right government aims to reverse legislation introduced by its Socialist predecessor in 2010 – effectively limiting the circumstances in which abortion can be carried out.

It is a controversial proposal in a country where 120,000 terminations are performed annually, the highest rate in Europe. 

A poll carried out by leading newspaper El Pais shows a big majority against the idea.

Isabel Serrano speaks for a campaign, “Decidir Nos Hace Libres”,that brings together some 250 groups opposed to changing the law.

“The way it is in the country, with the law as it is, simply the problems have been minimised. Women can have abortions in way that’s safer for their health and more fairly, because in each of the autonomous regions the state will pay for terminations. There hasn’t been a great rise in abortions – only a small increase.  When something works well we can’t see any legal, health or social reasons to change reason to change the law,” she says.   

The current law allows abortion on demand up to 14 weeks, and up to 22 weeks if the foetus appears seriously deformed., or if the mother’s physical or mental health are at risk.

The majority of terminations are carried out in private clinics and paid for by the state.

Under the government’s plans, the procedure could only be performed in cases of rape or where the mother’s health is seriously at risk, and up to a limit of 14 weeks.

For this private practitioner it is a backward step.  

“For the first time in years the woman will have to abide by the decisions of others – a doctor, a judge, who have no regard for her personal convictions, or her intimate feelings. This bill will completely obliterate the free will of the woman.

Inevitably, this will create two different situations. The woman who has the economic means will go abroad where she’ll have an abortion with all legal and health guarantees. The woman who doesn’t have these means will be condemned to an illegal abortion, without legal or health guarantees,” says Dr. Diego Fernandez Alvarez.

Olga deals with patient relations at this private clinic. She herself had a termination in the 1980s, not long after it was legalised in Spain in cases of rape, deformation of the foetus, and physical or psychological risks to the health of the mother. 

“With the information I had at the time I had lots of doubts. Will there be complications? What should I do? Will I be arrested? Will the whole world know? Will they see it in my face? After I’d had the operation, all I felt was huge relief,” she says.

Today’s law has tackled the legal uncertainties and social taboos, but fear of stigma still exists.

In another clinic a 15 year old girl and her mother have agreed to talk to us, their identities concealed.

Minors under 16 need the approval of parents or legal guardians to have an abortion. 

But this girl tells us her mind is clear on the issue.

“I’m too young to have a child.  It’s not always an easy decision, but for me it’s not a problem,” she says.

“It’s very hard for me to watch my daughter go for an abortion.  But she’s at an age where she can’t, she doesn’t want to be a mother. So, I would have supported her whatever decision she took,” says her mother.

A woman’s rights over her own body is not a convincing argument for this couple who belong to an anti-abortion group and who have seven children themselves.

“We kept an echography of a baby that Esperanza lost at two and half months. We told our kids, it was a little brother or sister, that – we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl, but that it was in heaven now, with God.  We keep it with the other kids’ photos,” says lawyer Luis Gutierrez de Cabiedes.

For Luis and his wife no arguments – legal, health, financial – can justify abortion,  For them the government’s proposed reforms do not go far enough.  

“In Spain abortion must be an offence, and should not be decriminalised. The mother always needs help; even more when she’s pregnant! Because she’s carrying a human being. And if they really don’t want the baby  they can give it up for adoption.  But really she can’t think of killing her baby!” says Luis’s wife.

“With abortion we put in process the extermination of our own civilisation.  It’s one of the greatest mistakes our society makes,” insists Luis.

Copyright © 2013 euronews