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July in Review, Part I

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Issue: 62 Section: Month in Review

July 15, 2009

July in Review, Part I

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle" -George Orwell.

by Dominion Staff

Hondurans gathered at the country's main airport in Tegucigalpa to demand the return of President Manuel Zelaya. His plane was not allowed to land, and he remains unable to enter the country. Canada has not demanded that he be allowed to return. Photo: James Rodriguez

Honduran president Manuel Zelaya attempted to return to Honduras, but his plane was unable to land in Tegucigalpa because the military blocked the runways. Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans gathered at the airport to welcome him; at least two were killed when the army and police fired on civilians. Two members of Democratic Unification (UD), a party that supports Zelaya, were also murdered in suspicious circumstances. "The people owe Honduras a revolution, and if the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya, is not reinstated, there will be a confrontation between social classes," UD congressperson Marvin Ponce told IPS. Canadian officials condemned the coup d'état in Honduras, but did not call for the return of Zelaya. Analysts speculated that the lack of a strong response against the coup is linked to Canadian mining companies active in Honduras.

Nova Scotia's Tar Ponds Agency warned that a new park beside Sydney's notorious tar ponds, one of Canada's most contaminated sites, may put visitors at risk of adverse health effects. The tar ponds are the result of coking and steel-making facilities from the early 20th century, and contains 700,000 tonnes of contaminated soil.

Canada's Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney announced that Mexicans and people from the Czech Republic will now require visas to enter Canada.

The Canadian Border Services Agency deported a Pakistani couple to the United States, even though the couple's four children remain in Canada. "I don't think the average Canadian really knows what's going on and how badly immigrants and refugees in this country are getting treated right now," said Stewart Istvanffy, the lawyer for the Sheikh family.

The Vancouver Integrated Security Unit (VISU), responsible for policing the 2010 Olympics, indicated that "Free Speech" zones will form part of the 2010 security plans. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson called the plans "Orwellian."

Starbucks employees in Québec City moved to unionize as part of the International Workers of the World. Photo: IWW

The City of Vancouver converted one lane of the Burrard Bridge from car traffic to accomodate bicyclists.

The US federal deficit rose to over one trillion dollars for the first time in history. The total US debt now hovers at around US$11.5 trillion, with interest payments now costing almost US$500 billion a year.

Employees at a Starbucks in Québec City took steps towards joining the Industrial Workers of the World. Employee Simon Gosselin told the CBC that changes to the working conditions imposed by the coffee giant were "unfair."

In Nunavut, an RCMP officer was charged with assaulting two people while they were in police custody.

3,100 workers at Vale Inco's Sudbury and Port Colburn nickel operations went on strike, and will be followed by workers at the company's operations in Voisey’s Bay, Newfoundland. The strike has not affected nickel output, because the Sudbury mine was already temporarily shut due to low nickel prices.

A fire consumed more than a square kilometre of forest in Long Harbour, Newfoundland, including part of the area where mining giant Vale Inco is building a nickel processing plant.

Seventeen people were arrested on misdemeanour charges as they carried out tree sits and blockades aimed at preventing logging in Oregon's Elliott State Forest.

Two bombs exploded along EnCana's pipeline near Pouce Coup, BC. The explosions were the fifth and sixth to occur along the pipeline since last fall. "We don't feel any more threatened by the bomber than we do the industry. If anything, we feel more a threat from the industry. In fact, I think the bomber has done quite a service to the community," Tim Ewart, a local resident, told the National Post.

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake affirmed their selection of Jean Maurice Matchewan as customary chief. "I have been selected along with our Customary Council, to lead the fight for justice while protecting and advancing our Aboriginal and Treaty rights," said Matchewan. It remains to be seen whether or not the government of Canada accepts the elected leaders of Barriere Lake, or continues to undermine the community's choice.

Israel's foreign ministry announced a new plan to contribute $150,000 to post pro-Israel comments on websites around the world.

Fighting in Mogadishu killed dozens and injured more than 150, marking the first time that African Union troops, which are backed by the US and the UN, intervened on behalf of the government of Somalia.

The government of India disclosed that they will be testing a nuclear powered submarine in the coming weeks. The submarine will provide India with the possibility of "underwater ballistic missile launch capability," according to AFP.

Peruvian officials admitted that 246 children under five died since March of this year due to cold temperatures in the country's Andean region. Peru's health ministry also reported that they treated 1.3 million cases of respiratory diseases and 16,419 cases of pneumonia among children under five during the same time period.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Lonshore Caucus voted in favour of a resolution commending longshoremen in Durban, South Africa, for their actions against an Israeli cargo ship in protest against the attacks on Gaza in early 2009.

Sarah Palin resigned as governor as Alaska, and proceeded to lambaste President Obama's energy policy, calling it "an enormous threat to our economy."

Canwest Global Communications Corporation posted losses of $109.6 million in the quarter ending May 31st.

Five years after dropping its plans to introduce genetically modified wheat, Monsanto has stepped back into the wheat business, buying WestBred LLC, a company specializing in wheat germplasm. "We believe we have the technology tools today to help [...] create a safe, affordable supply of wheat," said Monsanto VP Carl Casale.

An Ontario grocer split five of his grocery stores from the Sobey's chain, claiming that the chain's policies prevented him from buying local meat and produce. Dale Kropf had his five stores join forces with four other former Sobey's stores to form the Hometown Grocers Co-Op. "I don't want food from some place else when we've got food right here. Support our farmers," said one shopper.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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