May 08 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Net Neutrality, South Africa Elections, and Ukraine Autonomy Elections

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Internet giants urge the Federal Communications Commission to give up on proposed rules against net neutrality. Most of the internet’s major players such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter signed on to a letter that was delivered yesterday to the FCC. A leaked draft of rules that the FCC is considering shows that the agency wants to violate what defenders of internet openness call ‘net neutrality.’ But Internet Service Providers like Comcast would like to set up a two-tier system where they can charge more for faster web access and greater bandwidth. Activists contend such a system would violate the very basis of internet freedom and create a “pay-to-play” system. Click here for a Commondreams article about the story.

South Africans voted for a new government yesterday and early results show a strong lead for the African National Congress, once led by the late Nelson Mandela. Still, the party’s hold seems to be weakening amidst allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government, particularly surrounding incumbent President Jacob Zuma. This is the fifth time the country has had democratic elections after the fall of Apartheid. A new generation of South Africans who are voting for the first time this week were born after Apartheid. Click here for a CNN.com article about the story.

Several Ukrainian cities in are continuing with their plans to vote over the weekend on greater autonomy from Ukraine’s central government. Pro-Russian activists in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Slovyansk are planning to go ahead with votes on Sunday despite the Russian government urging them to delay. Ukraine’s interim government will face its own election on May 25th, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an apparent softening of his position says he has withdrawn Russian forces from Ukraine’s border. NATO and the US are claiming the withdrawal has not happened. Click here for an Al Jazeera article about the story.

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