Aug 07 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Russia’s Retaliatory Sanctions, ISIS’ Northern Iraq Takeover, and Bangladesh’s Garment Workers

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:

Russia announces retaliatory sanctions against Western states, banning a number of food imports for a year. The Russian government announced this morning as per the New York Times, that it would “ban all beef, pork, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway for one year.” The move is the latest in the tense standoff between Russia and the West over the conflict in the Ukraine, and comes after the US and EU announced numerous rounds of sanctions against Russia over the past several months. Some observers point out that Russia, which relies heavily on food imports, could see a blow to its economy. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Conflict in the Northern part of Iraq has escalated in recent days with the militant group ISIS claiming it has taken over 15 additional towns, some alarmingly close to Kurdish held regions. Even the strategically important Mosul dam has been reportedly taken over. ISIS is seen as even more extreme in its religious views than Al Qaeda, and has forced out whole towns of non-Muslims from their homes. So far hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis have been displaced by the fighting and the UN has declared an emergency situation to house and feed refugees who are trapped on a mountain. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

And finally in a day heavy on international news, in Bangladesh a major protest of garment workers was broken up by authorities this morning, with the use of water canons and tear gas. The workers were on a hunger strike to demand back pay and a holiday bonus. They were primarily from factories owned by the same group whose plant caught on fire two years ago killing more than a 100 workers. Bangladeshi workers, who are among the lowest paid in the world, make clothes for a number of international and American clothing companies such as Walmart, H&M, and Gap. Thousands of workers have died in a number of accidents over the last few years with little recompense. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

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