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Corruption, culture and the impossibility of justice: August 20th - 26th on openDemocracy

In the week of the ruling on Breivik’s sentence, we begin and end on what this means for Norway and the world. Robert Lambert looks at implications for security, Pål Grøndahl at what constitutessanity in the eyes of the law, while Kjetil Østli, who covered both the events and the trial, has written a haunting narrative on theimpossibility of justice.

26 August 2012

London-born/Oslo-resident artist, playwright and actress Kate Pendry has investigated evil in her art for years. This last year evil came closer yet; from hearing the bomb go off to sitting in on the court case, she reflects on the terror and her adopted nation in an openDemocracy video interview. 

This week too, openDemocracy Russia launches a week of leading voices from Russian civil society on Russian human rights at the crossroads. Presented by Human Rights Watch veterans, Anna Sevortian and Tanya Lokshina, we have so far considered the renewed crackdown on civil society, human rights violations in the turbulent north CaucasusLGBT rights – ‘just don’t say gay’, media freedom, the heartbreaking situation with palliative care and Russia’s nationalist protesters

By contrast, Irvine Welsh urges aspiring writers to ‘express your culture’ if you don’t want it to disappear into image-dominant, global mass culture. Sunder Katwala is less surprised than Welsh by the ‘multi-and-popular cultural event’ opening the London Olympics. 

Meanwhile ourBeeb, having looked at how market research drives that institution, and whether it can help to save the nation’s local media, reveals that if women scientists are from Venus, the BBC is from Mars

Gender relations make various startling appearances this week, whether in the way women are paying for the recession in the UK, offset by a rousing call to defend London’s Women’s Library; or a sobering piece on how Ethiopian sex-workers reconcile themselves to their lot. 

The greatest flurry in the comments spaces is provoked by Markha Valenta’s latest column in which she discovers, among many things, that the biggest gap between men’s and women’s feeling of safety is in the richer countries of the west. But for those who wish to point out the risk of violence to males, our site shows this inSouth Africa, and of course, in Syria which, Paul Rogers explains, now scares Washington as well as our Arab Awakening columnists

Corruption is another theme, dimming countries’ prospects fromRomania to India, Ethiopia (again), to the world’s security sectors. But in a first for openDemocracy, Seth Redniss made us laugh about the crisis in the Middle East. 

 

You may not want to miss the following: 

Rafael Correa on Assange and Pinochet 

Laurie Penny on rape 

US Navy adviser loses her career after blowing whistle on admirals keen to provoke Iran

 

openDemocracy’s week in 400 words is emailed to Members and Friends to help pay for our great content. Please forward this to any contact you think might be interested and want to join; they should see here or email [email protected].

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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