NEW DELHI – A small tribe in India is pitted against a British giant like the proverbial David against Goliath. Some 8,000 members of the Dongria Kondh tribe are resisting a bid by $8 billion worth Vedanta Resources to start digging an open-pit mine to obtain bauxite, the ore from which most aluminium is extracted.
The Dongria Kondh live in villages scattered throughout the Niyamgiri Hills in India’s eastern Orissa state. They farm the hill slopes, grow crops in the forest and gather wild fruit and leaves for sale. They call themselves Jharnia, meaning ‘protector of streams’, because they guard their sacred mountains and the life-giving rivers that rise within the thick forests.
Vedanta has approached India’s Supreme Court in a new bid, which would profoundly harm the Dongria Kondh. (Vedanta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads, philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion.)
via A Small Indian Tribe Fights a British Giant | English | SOCIETY | DayPress.
It was obvious from the moment US Defense Secretary Robert Gates started talking about a no-flight zone over Libya some weeks ago that it would involve eliminating all anti-aircraft defenses threatening patrolling fighter jets, argues former British ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles.
And that, Miles continued, “is going to involve a lot of intrusive military activity and inevitably civilian casualties.”
Killing civilians goes against the mandate of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 – to protect civilians – he added. And while there is no doubt the allied forces will be successful in establishing a no-flight zone, Miles concluded, the question is how they will use their supremacy.
via Libyans are expendables on oil-rich battlefield — RT.
A map of radiation levels in Japan released by the US Department of Energy on Tuesday evening indicates that potentially dangerous levels of radioactive contamination have spread beyond the 13-mile evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The data is sure to further undermine confidence in Japans response to the disaster. US authorities have recommended that Americans stay at least 50 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Heres the map, which was generated from the DOEs Aerial Monitoring System and ground sensors:
via MAP: The Troubling Spread of Radiation in Japan | Mother Jones.
The majority of the Middle East is not on the web; they are watching television. Television and newswire reporters also generate content that feeds new media. For fifteen years Middle Eastern states and the US have tried to control Al-Jazeera. They have jailed bloggers. They have blocked Youtube. But ISP based shutdowns and slowdowns in the uprisings of 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain were clear “supersignals” and reminders of the fundamental weakness and fear base of authoritarian states.
My argument is that a harsh state response to popular mobilisation in the new public spheres created by communicative technology evolution is part of the “recipe” that gets real segments of the people into the real streets. The fitful and mistimed attacks on noisy, fun but elitist and politically ineffective public fora like Facebook actually mobilize the medium and puts it on political high alert by sending a “supersignal” of regime fear and weakness. An effective shutdown using a kill switch pushes people into faintly remembered old style mass politics as in Egypt this January 25th.
Interestingly a hardline “internet enemy” like Syria, with a much more sensitive internet policy finds itself in a better position than more liberal but tone deaf Egypt in controlling the cascade of events by through more sophisticated manipulation of the new social media and the use of old survival tactics.
Leila Hudson is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Anthropology, and History and Director of the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle Eastern Conflict (SISMEC) at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Transforming Damascus: Space and Modernity in an Islamic City (2008) and Middle Eastern Humanities: An Introduction to Cultures of the Middle East (2010). Johann Chacko is an MA candidate in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona and Research Assistant in SISMEC.
via The persistent fear base of authoritarianism – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.