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Anti-government rallies sweep Brazil

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Brazil, kicking off nationwide rallies expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. Many are calling for President Dilma Rousseff to step down. The demonstrations in the capital Brasilia started on Sunday with at least 5,000 people gathering in the city center. Many were wearing the Brazilian national football team colors and carrying placards calling "Dilma out" and "No to corruption." The protests were called mostly via social media by a variety of opposition groups. They are expected to be a key indicator of public support for calls from some in Congress for President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment. More than 200 towns and cities across Brazil are expected to participate in the protests, including the metropolis Sao Paulo and the 2016 Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro, where an Olympic cycling test event had to be rerouted because of the demonstrations. 'Democratic normality' The Brasilian government stated that it observed the protests with "respect," regarding them as a symbol of "democratic normality." During Dilma Rousseff's second term in office, the Brazilian economy slid into recession and inflation rose. Furthermore, the country was shaken by a major corruption scandal involving politicians from Rousseff's Workers' Party. The Brazilian president's popularity ratings reached a historic low. In April, at least 600,000 people protested against Dilma Rousseff, and more than a million in March.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Brazil, kicking off nationwide rallies expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. Many are calling for President Dilma Rousseff to step down. The demonstrations in the capital Brasilia started on Sunday with at least 5,000 people gathering in the city center. Many were wearing the Brazilian national football team colors and carrying ... Read More »

French government to shut down Uber after violent protests

French Interior Minister Cazeneuve has assured that low-cost car service UberPop will be closed. A violent taxi drivers' protest drew strong criticism from France government, but the cabbies are also getting their wish. Bernard Cazeneuve, who met with representatives of taxi drivers' unions on Friday, said he would meet UberPop officials and tell them that their service is "illegal." "It must, therefore, be closed," Cazeneuve said. "The government will never accept the law of the jungle." In the mean time, Cazeneuve said, "the vehicles of UberPOP drivers should be systematically impounded when they are openly breaking the law." UberPop, a US ride-hailing app, allows customers to hire rides with people operating their private cars - at prices far below the cost of a conventional cab. The company has been operating in Paris since 2011, and claims to have 400,000 customers per month in France. A French law came into force in January banning any service that connects passengers with unlicensed drivers, however, Uber filed a legal challenge against the law and a final verdict is not expected before September. The ban does not apply to the separate licensed-chauffeur service called UberX. Uber recently announced plans to expand its services into three more French cities. French cabbies complain that UberPop drivers can undercut them due to much lower costs as they are not subject to the 250 hours of mandatory training that they have to undergo to get their licenses, nor are they required to carry the same insurance. This has prompted some government officials to express concerns about the safety of passengers using the service. Violent protests Traffic in parts of Paris and a number of other French cities was brought to a halt on Thursday as taxi drivers held nationwide protests against UberPop. The drivers refused to provide service to passengers at major airports and train stations, blocking major thoroughfares, such as the ring road around Paris - and even torching cars. On Friday, French President Francois Hollande condemned the protests as "unacceptable violence in a democracy, in a country like France," but also said the UberPop service should be taken off the road. Even Courtney Love, the wife of deceased US rocker Kurt Cobain, was caught up in Thursday's chaos at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, issuing several fraught Tweets of what she described as a "hostage" situation. Among the other targets disrupted by the striking cabbies were the airport and main train station in the southern port of Marseille. Police eventually used tear gas to break up that protest. Prime Minister Manuel Valls also lashed out at the taxi drivers for tarnishing France's reputation. "These incidents give a deplorable image to visitors of our country." Taxi drivers in other European countries have also held protests against Uber, and the service has been banned in Germany.

French Interior Minister Cazeneuve has assured that low-cost car service UberPop will be closed. A violent taxi drivers’ protest drew strong criticism from France government, but the cabbies are also getting their wish. Bernard Cazeneuve, who met with representatives of taxi drivers’ unions on Friday, said he would meet UberPop officials and tell them that their service is “illegal.” “It ... Read More »

Siemens workers protest job cuts

Siemens employees have taken to the streets across Germany for a day of action against looming job cuts. Thousands of protesters insisted the company be restructured without any job losses in the months ahead. Siemens employees turned out in large numbers in Germany Tuesday to rally against massive job cuts announced earlier by the engineering giant's executive board. In Berlin alone, an estimated 1,500 workers took to the streets in fear of losing their jobs at one of Siemens' gas turbine facilities. CEO Joe Kaeser had announced in May that the company would have to slash another 4,500 jobs worldwide – 2,200 of them in Germany – in a bid to react to a rapidly changing business environment in Europe and to become more profitable again. Kaeser pointed to the ongoing problems in the power generation sector as demand for gas turbines had decreased rapidly due to Germany's shift to renewables, but also as a result of slow economic growth in the rest of the eurozone and the wider European Union. Different perspectives Works Council chief Birgit Steinborn said in Berlin that employees would put up a fight and resist management's plans. "What we need is innovation instead of cost reductions and job cuts," she told vociferous protesters. In the city of Nuremberg, where another 1,200 Siemens workers took part in the day of action, Jürgen Wechsler from the IG Metall metal workers' union warned that the company was in the process of weakening some of the firm's core businesses for the sake of short-term savings. "This is playing with fire," Wechsler said.

Siemens employees have taken to the streets across Germany for a day of action against looming job cuts. Thousands of protesters insisted the company be restructured without any job losses in the months ahead. Siemens employees turned out in large numbers in Germany Tuesday to rally against massive job cuts announced earlier by the engineering giant’s executive board. In Berlin ... Read More »

Thousands rally against domestic violence in Argentina

Huge numbers of people have flooded the streets of Buenos Aires to protest against domestic violence. It follows a series of brutal murders of women that have shocked Argentina. Hundreds of thousands were expected in Buenos Aires to protest against violence against women. Simultaneous marches are being held elsewhere in Argentina and also in Chile, Uruguay and Mexico. Soccer star Lionel Messi and Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner led Wednesday's rally in Buenos Aires. The country has been left stunned by the murder of a kindergarten teacher whose estranged husband slit her throat in front of her class. In another case, the boyfriend of a 14-year-old girl is accused of beating her to death for becoming pregnant. Another woman whose boyfriend stabbed her to death in broad daylight in a Buenos Aires cafe has also caused outrage. Anti-violence campaigners say 277 women in Argentina were killed last year through domestic violence, despite the country passing a law punishing femicide with life in jail. Sixteen Latin American countries have written femicide into their penal codes, establishing harsher punishments for the killing of a woman by a man when gender plays a part in the crime. Activists say a 2009 law cracking down on violence against women has not been effectively implemented. Wednesday's rallies were backed by rights groups, unions, political parties and the Catholic Church.

Huge numbers of people have flooded the streets of Buenos Aires to protest against domestic violence. It follows a series of brutal murders of women that have shocked Argentina. Hundreds of thousands were expected in Buenos Aires to protest against violence against women. Simultaneous marches are being held elsewhere in Argentina and also in Chile, Uruguay and Mexico. Soccer star ... Read More »

US city protests over Baltimore police custody death of Freddie Gray

امریکی شہر بالٹی مور میں ایک سیاہ فام ملزم فرَیڈی گرےکی پولیس تحویل میں ہلاکت کے بعد اب چھ پولیس افسران کو اپنے خلاف دوسرے درجے کے قتل سے متعلق الزامات کا سامنا کرنا پڑے گا۔ اس سیاہ فام ملزم کی ہلاکت کے بعد امریکا میں احتجاجی مظاہروں کا سلسلہ شروع ہو گیا تھا۔ قبل ازیں امریکی ریاست میری لینڈ کے چیف میڈیکل افسر نے بھی فرَیڈی گرے کی موت کو قانونی طور پر دانستہ انسانی ہلاکت قرار دیا تھا۔ دریں اثناء امریکی صدر باراک اوباما نےجمعے کے روز کہا کہ یہ امر انتہائی ضروری ہے کہ فرَیڈی گرے کی ہلاکت کے سلسلے میں تمام حقائق سامنے لائے جائیں اور سچ کو پوری طرح بے نقاب کیا جائے۔

There have been marches in a number of US cities and Baltimore to protest the death in police custody of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray. Gray died April 19 of a fatal but unexplained spinal injury. In Washington, a well-organized march on Wednesday by a thousand people ended at the White House, where protesters chanted and held signs reading, “Stop ... Read More »

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