Internationally, today is not a good day for the political right.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel of the centre right Christian Democrats counted on being able to form, after the general election later this year, a majority government coalition of her party and the pro big business Free Democrats. She cannot be so sure about that after yesterday’s state elections. Her CDU lost (Germany: Big losses for the conservative CDU in state elections: here). In Saarland state, the Left Party went from 2% to 21%.
At rallies held as part of the state legislative election campaign in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, state premier Jürgen Rüttgers (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) delivered a racist tirade against Romanians: here.
Finally, Colombia. The country of Alvaro Uribe: landlord; drug dealer (according to the United States government, officially his allies) ; presiding over over half the murders of trade unionists in the world; and recipient of a medal from George W. Bush.
BBC news says:
Colombian leader hit by swine flu
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has been diagnosed with swine flu, his spokesman says, days after attending a regional summit.
Mr Uribe returned on Saturday from a summit in Argentina attended by leaders from across South America.
Those who held talks with him had been told of his infection, the spokesman said.
The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) summit met in Argentina on Friday to discuss a deal giving US troops access to Colombian bases.
I think blind chance is a better hypothesis for understanding events like this than divine wrath or karma punishing evildoers. Nevertheless, someone with so much blood on his hands as Uribe getting swine flu almost makes me change my mind.
The presidents of 12 South American nations held a special UNASUR summit meeting in Bariloche, Argentina to deal with the United States having gained access to and use of seven military bases in Colombia: here.
Secretary Clinton’s rationale for Colombian bases is misleading: here.
A Colombian opposition senator has accused the US ambassador to Bogota of lying about the terms of a deal to allow the US to use seven military bases in the south American country.
Colombian Trade Unions: A Target for Intimidation and Assassination: here.
A study to be released today by Education International highlights the atrocious scale of human rights violations against Colombian teacher trade unionists: here.
Colombian indigenous leader and spokeswoman of the Minga social movement Aida Quilcue was “walking the word” in Britain two weeks ago, sharing experiences with trade unionists and the Latin American community.
Major pharmaceuticals that contracted with the US government to provide vaccines against the swine flu have delivered only a fraction of what was anticipated, leaving thousands to wait in lines for a chance to be vaccinated: here.
The Obama administration entrusted preparations for the H1N1 pandemic to pharmaceutical corporations and stood by as state and local governments laid off public health workers. The result is an acute shortage of vaccine, and little infrastructure to deliver what is available: here.
Swine flu vaccine shortage disrupts local response plans: here.
Scientists who advised governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a swine-flu pandemic had previously been paid by pharmaceutical companies that stood to profit, a report has revealed: here.
WikiLeaks: US coal firm Drummond paid Colombian paramilitaries: here.