A Bad Few Weeks for Big Biotech

Silver's picture, By: Erich Pica, 06/21/2013

It's been a bad few weeks for the biotechnology industry. After decades of challenging Big Biotech's disastrous attempts to redesign and control our food supply and genetic commons, I can gladly say this is the first time in a long while that this largely unregulated industry has been on the defensive on so many different fronts.


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Latest Brazil protests bring 250,000 on to streets

Silver's picture, By: Associated Press (Sao Paulo), 06/22/2013

A man lies on the ground after police fired tear gas during a protest in Belo Horizonte

More than 250,000 anti-government protesters have again taken to the streets in several Brazilian cities and engaged police in isolated intense conflicts. Demonstrators vowed to stay in the streets until concrete steps are taken to reform the political system. Across Brazil protesters gathered to denounce legislation known as PEC 37 that would limit the power of federal prosecutors to investigate crimes. Many fear the laws would hinder attempts to jail corrupt politicians.


Federal prosecutors were behind the investigation into the biggest corruption case in Brazil's history, the so-called "mensalão" cash-for-votes scheme that came to light in 2005 and involved top aides of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva buying off members of congress to vote for their legislation.


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Revolution? Brazilian protests swells to millions: government calls emergency meeting

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By:, 06/21/2013

BRAZIL – Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades. The protests were sparked last week by opposition to rising bus fares, but they have spread rapidly to encompass a range of grievances, as was evident from the placards. “Stop corruption. Change Brazil;” “Halt evictions;” “Come to the street. It’s the only place we don’t pay taxes; “Government failure to understand education will lead to revolution.” A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excess spending on the World Cup.


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A new age of protests

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CNN, By: Frida Ghitis, 06/19/2013

Protesters in Rio battled police late on June 19, even after Brazil's two biggest cities rolled back the transit fare hikes that triggered <a  data-cke-saved-href='' href=''>two weeks of nationwide protests</a>. The fare rollback in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro marked a major victory for the protests, which are the biggest Brazil has seen in two decades.

(CNN) -- Presidents, prime ministers and assorted rulers, consider that you have been warned: A massive protest can start at any time, seemingly over any issue, and can grow to a size and intensity no one expected. Your country's image, your own prestige, could risk unraveling as you face the wrath of the people.


The newest iconic images from Turkey and from Brazil -- two countries that have promoted themselves as models to emulate -- include shocking scenes of police brutality, of government clampdown against peaceful protesters. We have entered a new age of protests. While politics remain intensely local, individuals are more interconnected.

When protests succeed: Bulgarian street anger claims another victory

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By: Euronews, 06/19/2013

When protests succeed: Bulgarian street anger claims another victory

The Bulgarian parliament has formally cancelled the controversial appointment of businessman and MP Delyan Peevski as the new head of the State Agency for National Security (ДАНС or DANS), the Bulgarian secret service. All 128 deputies present in the Assembly voted unanimously to reverse the controversial designation that had provoked protests against the current government, just three weeks after it took power. His rushed appointment – he was nominated, voted through and sworn in in a single afternoon – had sparked numerous protests all over Bulgaria since last Friday.


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Ethiopia's Opposition Calls for National Protests

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Associate Press, By: ABCnews, 06/20/2013

Ethiopia's main opposition party says it will launch what it said will be a sustained national campaign against the country's ruling party. The announcement Thursday follows a peaceful demonstration on June 2. It was the first public protest since 2005 when security forces killed hundreds of protesters in postelection violence.


The Unity for Democracy and Justice Party said the country is heading toward "absolute dictatorship" under the ruling party, which has been in control since 1991.


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Brazil hit by largest protests yet as hundreds of thousands march

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Reuters, By: Paulo Prada, 06/20/2013

A demonstrator tries to stop the riot police during one of many protests around Brazil's major cities in Rio de Janeiro June 20, 2013. REUTERS-Sergio Moraes

(Reuters) - Brazil's biggest protests in two decades intensified on Thursday despite government concessions meant to quell the demonstrations, as 300,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more flooded other cities.


Undeterred by the reversal of transport fare hikes that sparked the protests, and promises of better public services, marchers demonstrated around two international soccer matches and in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus and the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis.


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#Change Brazil

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The title says it all. This video is brief but explains some of the recent events occurring in Brazil.

Greek journalists defy government order to close state broadcaster

Silver's picture, By: Lisa O’Carroll, 06/12/2013


Journalists from Greece's state broadcaster ERT have defied a government order to close it down as part of the latest public spending cuts imposed to meet the terms of the country's bailout deal. ERT, or Hellenic Broadcasting Corp, ceased broadcasting in some locations overnight on Tuesday as the government imposed shutdown took effect, with screens going blank and 2,500 staff fired with immediate effect. It is believed to be the first time a state broadcaster in Europe has been closed down by its government in the post-war era, with the move attracting widespread condemnation from inside Greece and also overseas. ERT employees managed to keep the service going through the night and have continued broadcasting on the internet via Ustream, while thousands of protesters remained outside its headquarters north of Athens.


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Debbie Stabenow Pledges To Oppose Monsanto Protection Act Extension Without Full Debate

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The Huffington Post, By: Ryan Grim, 06/06/2013



WASHINGTON -- Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, pledged to oppose the extension of the so-called the Monsanto Protection Act, a victory for advocates who have been pressing for its repeal.


Stabenow made her pledge in a conversation with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who has been pushing the Senate to vote on an amendment to the farm bill that would repeal the provision. That vote was blocked by Republicans and on Thursday morning the Senate voted to end debate and move to final passage.


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