At least six people have been killed in clashes between pro-democracy protesters and forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime.
Four people lost their lives during protests in the southern port city of Aden on Saturday, and a student was killed in the southern city of Taiz, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Another student demonstrator was killed near the Sana’a University campus in the capital on the same day. The 16-year-old youth was shot dead while government supporters armed with guns, batons, and rocks were trying to break into the campus.
Yemeni security forces reportedly did not intervene.
There were also a number of incidents on Friday.
According to witnesses, at least three pro-democracy protesters were killed on Friday and dozens of others injured during clashes with security forces in Aden’s Khor Maqsar district.
A hand grenade hurled into a crowd of demonstrators in the city of Taiz killed two people and left at least 25 more injured.
And Saleh supporters armed with batons and axes attacked a pro-democracy demonstration and wounded at least four protesters in Sana’a on Friday.
Friday’s deadly violence came a day after Yemeni riot police opened fire to disperse thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in Aden, killing four protesters and injuring 17 others.
In Sana’a, 40 people were injured after Saleh loyalists armed with guns attacked a crowd of protesters on Thursday.
Saturday marked the ninth day of pro-democracy protests in Yemen.
Yemenis, angered by corruption and unemployment in the country and inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, are demanding that Saleh step down after 32 years of autocratic rule.
Last week, Saleh again said that he would not run in the 2013 presidential election and would not hand over power to his son.
GAZA CITY — Egyptian authorities released 14 Palestinian prisoners who were arrested on the Gaza-Egypt border, a detainees affairs official said Saturday morning.
Imad Al-Sayyed told Ma’an that the prisoners were released Friday night from the Al-Aqrab and Burj Al-Arab prisons in Cairo.
Their release has been confirmed and they are en route to the Gaza Strip, Al-Sayyed said adding that there were 19 others Palestinians who remained behind bars in Egypt.
Egyptian authorities said Saturday that they would briefly open the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.
The border will open to allow Palestinians stranded in Egypt to return to their homes for the first time since Egypt’s uprising began.
Hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza are in Egypt – either at the airport or nearby. Many were turned back because their transfer documents to enter Gaza did not contain appropriate permits to remain in Egypt.
Ghazi Hamad, head of the Gaza crossings authority, said Friday that the Rafah terminal would initially open in one direction. He added that efforts were underway to open it permanently.
The Palestinian ambassador in Cairo, Barakat Al-Farra said the embassy demanded that the crossing open in both directions for medical cases.
The crossing was to open Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rafah, the only entrance into Gaza that bypasses Israel, has been closed since anti-government protests erupted in Egypt and led to the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak.
Mérida – Yesterday Venezuela’s representatives to the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) issued a unanimous rejection of threats made against Venezuela by U.S. lawmaker Connie Mack.
In a rare show of unity among Parlatino’s Venezuelan pro- and anti-Chávez parliamentarians, the deputies denounced Mack’s assertion that Venezuelan institutions and foreign policy pose a “threat” to the United States and classified his attitude towards Venezuela as the “belittlement of our international right to sovereignty and liberty, and to decide with which nations to have commercial and fraternal relations.”
Mack attacks Venezuela
During a speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Republican congressmen and newly appointed chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs for the Western Hemisphere, Connie Mack, called for a “full-scale economic embargo” against Venezuela.
Mack, a neoconservative Republican representing Southern Florida, also requested, for the third year in a row, that the U.S. include Venezuela on this year’s “state sponsors of terrorism” list.
As part of opening remarks to the Sub-Committee he now chairs, on Tuesday Mack also referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as a “thugocrat” and accused the democratically-elected president of being “in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran, actively supporting terrorist organizations, working directly in counter to democracy and freedom in Venezuela and the region, and aggressively opposing U.S. interests.”
During last year’s controversial ‘Danger in the Andes’ summit held in Washington DC, Mack joined Otto Reich, Roger Noriega and Venezuelan private news channel, Globovision’s Guillermo Zuloaga in demanding the Obama administration take a more openly hostile stance to the Bolivarian Revolution.
Mack also committed himself to “facing Hugo Chávez head-on” once chairman.
Speaking to Globovision reporters outside of the summit, Mack said that people should expect the U.S. House of Representatives under his watch to be, “a very clear voice when it comes to the failures of Hugo Chávez and the threat Hugo Chávez poses not only to the citizens and people of Venezuela but all of Latin America and the Western Hemipshere.”
As pointed out by the Venezuelan government-run newspaper, the Correo del Orinoco International, Mack has yet to present any evidence to back his accusations against Venezuela.
In response to Mack’s statements, both pro-Chávez and opposition Venezuelan deputies to Parlatino released a five-point collective agreement yesterday calling on all Venezuelans “of good will” to “overcome internal political differences and confront…this new campaign of threats and discredit against our country.”
Rodrigo Cabezas, President of Parlatino’s Venezuelan delegation, expressed his colleagues’, “complete support and solidarity with the Bolivarian Government and President Hugo Chávez, as well as its foreign policy of mulipolarity and integration.”
Speaking to Venezuela’s National Assembly Television (ANTV) yesterday, Cabezas called Mack’s threats “an aggression against the homeland where we were born and against the country in which we are working to further develop democracy.”
“We categorically reject these declarations [by Mack] and we are very pleased that during debates on Thursday the opposition also rejected them,” said Cabezas.
Delsa Solórzano, head of Venezuela’s opposition deputies in Parlatino, asserted that her allies’ rejection of Mack’s threats was not “about supporting Chávez or not” but instead “about supporting the Venezuelan people.”
“The homeland and people have been offended” she said.
“We ratify that we are enemies of no one,” read the aforementioned agreement. “We respect the people of the U.S. and we hope to maintain political and economic relations with them, and with their government, on the basis of mutual respect and self-determination…”
Any provocation or attacks on “our territorial or economic integrity will be responded to by Venezuelan men and women with a deep sense of patriotism at heart. We are certain that brotherly Latin American nations and the free people of the world will accompany us in solidarity,” the statement read.
According to Cabezas, the deputies’ declaration against Mack’s statements has been formally submitted to the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), and to Parlatino so that these organizations “bear witness to the interference of the United States in Venezuelan affairs.”
The Latin American Parliamant, or Parlatino, was founded on 10 December 1964 in Lima, Peru. The organization is responsible for, among other things, promoting, harmonizing, and channeling the movement for Latin American integration.
Each of Parlatino’s 22 member states elects 12 plenipotentiaries which should represent the political make-up of each member’s parliament.
In Venezuela’s September 2010 national assembly elections the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) secured 7 representatives to Parlatino while the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) secured 5.
The cost of staples from grains to meat to sugar continues to rise, raising fears of a global food crisis and ensuing political instability.
In 2008, high food prices led to riots in 25 different countries. The specter of another such crisis reared its head in September when 12 people were killed in food riots in Mozambique.
“The food riots in Mozambique can be repeated anywhere in the coming years,” said Indian food analyst Devinder Sharma. “Unless the world encourages developing countries to become self-sufficient in food grains, the threat of impending food riots will remain hanging over nations.”
Global meat prices are currently at a 20-year high, while soybean prices are at a 16-month high. Wheat prices have risen 57 percent over the last six months, and over the same period rice prices rose 45 percent and sugar prices rose 55 percent. In the last few weeks of October alone, wheat and corn prices surged 30 percent.
The price crunch has been worsened by a spate of recent climate-related crop failures worldwide, but the underlying causes are more long-term. The UN largely blames loss of arable land to urbanization, degradation and conversion to biofuels production.
“Worldwide, 5 million to 10 million hectares [12 million to 25 million acres] of agricultural land are being lost annually due to severe degradation and another 19.5 million are lost for industrial uses and urbanization,” wrote UN special rapporteur Olivier de Schutter on the right to food in a recent report.
“But the pressure on land resulting from these factors has been boosted in recent years by policies favoring large-scale industrial plantations. According to the World Bank, more than one-third of large-scale land acquisitions are intended to produce agrofuels.”
In addition, speculation by investors has artificially inflated food prices even beyond their already alarming highs, and is likely to continue doing so.
“A food crisis on the scale of two or three years ago is not imminent, but the underlying causes [of what happened then] are still there,” said Chris Leather of Oxfam.
Sources for this story include: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environme….