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Women Are Swelling the Ranks of People Living in Extreme Poverty in America

This piece originally appeared on openDemocracy, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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Forced Evictions, Racist Attacks: What Britain's New Landlord Has in Store for Asylum Seekers in Private Housing

On the evening of Tuesday 30 October a new asylum seeker sent from London, 250 miles north to a property in Thornaby, Stockton found himself, along with four other asylum seekers, besieged by a crowd shouting racist abuse. They broke down the door and broke windows. The asylum seeker, a journalist, had only recently fled from such harassment in Iraq. The area is well known for racism and rowdyism yet the police refused to record the attack as a ‘racist’ incident. The landlord simply repaired the door (not the window), and refused to move the journalist. The other four asylum seekers left the property, fearing further attacks.

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Scarce Jobs, Slashed Salaries, and Schools Without Books: The Ugly Consequences of Austerity in Athens

In Athens, the beginning of autumn coincides with the return of an all too familiar scene: inside Parliament, politicians are quarrelling over details of the austerity requested of them by the Troika; outside, protesters are shouting their anger at what they see as unfair, unsuccessful and unsustainable policies.

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'Is Hollande Going to Expel Us All'? Roma Population in France Faces Discrimination and an Uncertain Future

The Roma families who live in the Voltaire settlement in Saint-Denis, near Paris, count themselves lucky. They live on a piece of land owned by the State, they have houses Рmodest prefab affairs that they built themselves, using materials put at their disposal by a philantropic entrepreneur Рand their children go to school. It's early September, la rentr̩e, and I'm following the steps of Adriana, a 30 year-old charity worker, who's going from house to house to help parents fill up school forms in French (the ones that say who to call in case of emergency, and whether you want your kid to have school meals). Adriana makes sure parents understand how parent-teacher books work, and I am reminded of my own childhood: a mother holds a notebook covered in yellow plastic, and nods intently to explanations given in Romanian. Here, school is taken seriously too.

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GOP Targets African-American Women in Voter Suppression Efforts

How will the American Presidential election be won in November 2012? By the Republicans buying the election? Perhaps. But money cannot always buy an election. That is why Republicans have spent the last 4-6 years passing a spate of voter suppression laws in “swing states” that will make it more difficult and costly for the young, the elderly, minorities, union members and single and elderly women to cast a vote for Barack Obama.

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Massacre of South African Mine Workers Recalls Dark Days of Apartheid

South Africans are reeling in horror at a violent incident on 16 August 2012 which recalls the darkest days of the country's apartheid past: the killing by armed police of around thirty-four miners (the precise number is not yet confirmed) at a platinum-mine owned by the giant Lonmin company, near Rustenberg in the country's north. Government ministers and senior figures in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) are expressing simultaneous shock, outrage and perplexity at what has become known as the "Marikana massacre". The recurrent refrain is that the task now is to understand what lies behind the tragedy, and that it’s too early to "point fingers" in blame. President Jacob Zuma, meanwhile, has promised the appointment of a commission of inquiry with a wide-ranging scope.

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Ireland's Long War: Despite Peace Agreement, Dissidents Continue Their Violent Campaign

On 27th April 2012 the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) held its annual conference in DublinIt was the first time Ireland had hosted the organisation, an intergovernmental regional security structure comprising 56 states, including all EU countries, Russia, the US and Canada.

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The Far Right Takes Root in Europe

The bloodthirsty attacks perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway on July 22 last year (leaving 77 dead) provided a brutal awakening for all those in Europe who had been passively observing the rise of the Islamophobic far right. As the trial opens, around thirty political parties that openly call for a "pure European identity" are effectively in the process of consolidating their parliamentary positions (occasionally even signing agreements with mainstream right wing parties, as is the case in the Netherlands), and are claiming an ever greater media presence.

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Why Iraq Remains Engulfed in Violence

Some of the uprisings in the Arab world in 2011 demonstrated the appeal and the power of nonviolent protest.  Others, however, bore witness to the enduring appeal of violence, both for embattled regimes and for those trying to unseat them.  For the former, violence and the threat of violence promises to restore order and discipline; for the latter it promises direct access to power.  It thus becomes in the projection of power both a symbol and an instrument of the seriousness of the political project, expressing resolve and representing the very embodiment of sovereignty:  the ability and the right to grant life and death.

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