Red Reading - Spectrezine's reviews of the latest the radical press

Aid for Sexual Health Declining

'The European Union is "not delivering" on promises to increase aid for contraception and sex education in poor countries, family planning advocates have declared. A policy paper titled the 'European consensus for development', which was approved by the EU's main institutions in 2005, recognised that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of drastically reducing extreme poverty cannot be achieved without improvements in access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite that commitment, the EU's executive the European Commission is planning to spend an average of just 12 million euros (17 million dollars) specifically on sexual and reproductive health initiatives in poor countries each year between now and 2013. This sum is more than six million euros less than the average yearly allocation in 2003-06. This data, which does not include the Commission's support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, was contained in a study published Oct. 9 by the German Foundation for World Population (DSW).' Read the rest.

Independent(UK) publishes British Foreign Office propaganda on EU Treaty
Neil O’Brien from Open Europe has revealed that a recent Independent front page “10 Myths about the reform treaty” was a word-for-word reprint of a Foreign Office briefing note on the 'new' EU Treaty – in reality a scarcely disguised representation of the Constitutional Treaty rejected in 2005 by French and Dutch voters - without any attribution that this was the source. The Independent refused to comment on the story, which Spectrezine editor Steve McGiffen can confirm the truth of, having read the FO document and indeed, used it in preparing his own notes on the new treaty. Read more on O'Brien's blog

Free Publications from the United European Left European Parliamentary Group
The United European Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) is the only political group in the European Parliament which consistently opposes neoliberalism and the EU's assault on democracy and social provision. The GUE/NGL has produced numerous short books which provide a genuinely left perspective on issues of importance. Their current publication list includes "Breaking with neoliberalism - An alternative to the Lisbon Strategy", "Green Paper on 'Modernising Labour Law': a challenge for the left", and "Reproductive health and sexual education". The back catalogue includes material on the WTO, on EU chemicals legislation, on asbestos, on the way in which the European livestock industry, operating under EU rules, contributes to climate change, on sex slavery, and on "Fortress Europe" and the harsh treatment of would-be immigrants. You can download them as pdf files from the GUE/NGL website or write an email to the group giving your postal address. Either way, the publications are completely free.

Links: A Journal of Socialist Renewal

Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information,experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of "actually existing
socialism" in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Latest additions include a report of a recent international conference in Australia, where Links is based, an article by Spectre's old friend Farooq Tariq of the Pakistan Labour Party calling for "greater Left unity in Pakistan" and papers on Australia, Ecuador, SouthAfrica and Venezuela, as well as a statement on Burma. Read more at Links

Turkey Begins Bombing In Iraq

Turkey used its helicopters and artillery to attack Kurdish guerrillas inside northern Iraq yesterday as the Turkish army massed just north of the border. The helicopter gunships penetrated three miles into Iraqi territory and warplanes targeted mountain paths used by rebels entering Turkey. Read the rest of Patrick Cockburn's article on Countercurrents


You can keep up to date with events of interest to environmentalists at the website Saving Iceland

Human Rights: Rumsfeld hit with torture complaint while in France

"Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's jaunt to France was interrupted today by an unscheduled itinerary item -- he was slapped with a criminal complaint charging him with torture. Rumsfeld, in Paris for a discussion sponsored by the magazine Foreign Policy, was by tracked down
by representatives of a coalition of international human rights groups, who informed the architect of the US invasion of Iraq that they had submitted a torture suit against him in French court." Read the rest on Raw Story.