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Security, sectarianism and supermarkets – The Week in 1 Minute: Jan 27 – Feb 2 on openDemocracy

The widening influence of security services in the UAE is causing grave concern. Tunisia, however, appears to have turned the corner with a new constitution, which has surprised everybody.Gazans fear another Israeli military offensive is imminent.

2 February 2014

If the UK has resorted to draconian practices of ‘counter-terrorism’comparable to those of Turkey, Argentina is evolving towards democratic practices and Cuba has lessons for us all. David Mepham believes human rights are integral to a global development framework.

openSecurity launches a new column, to explore the drivers of global insecurities and their root causes. Mexico and Peru, for example, are suffering from the effects of Free Trade Agreements.

Transformation interviews Sarah Schulman about her documentary United In Anger: A History of ACT UP on the forgotten resistance to the AIDS crises, and sheds light on what a homosexual couple had to endure on a night out in Soho.

An alternative power structure is the key aim of the Ukraine protests. Negotiations concerning the Maidan protesters' demands have failed to satisfy them so far. In Russia it is taking too long for the Holocaust to be recognized, while either genocide or full-blown sectarian conflict looms in the Central African Republic.  

The state-youth relationship in South Africa is in the balance: a challenge in the upcoming elections. Bill Park discusses Turkey's escalating crises, background to the first-ever direct elections there.

Three men "skipped" food from a supermarket in the UK – where is the real political scandal? And another question: Is banking liberal? Apparently not. Shannon Biggs discusses the destructive effects of fracking while Canada and Russia are in denial of climate change, opting for short-term benefits.

UK Private Members’ Bill started the fightback against privatisationA lobbying bill got passed, but so what? OurKingdom's co-editor interviews Graham Allen MP on how ineffective the law is. Politics is infecting the way the level of welfare benefits is calculated, the Scottish government is placing every child on a register, regressive Tory gender policies are pushing women and the poor to the brink and we ask what democrats can learn from Machiavelli.

Italy is skeptical towards the EU, and its political spectrum is in a state of flux. Tom Slater says resilience is operating as an insidious alias to dispossession and territorial stigmatisation.

Protesting gender-based censorship is part of mobilizing against rape and sexual harassment, says Meredith Tax. Reni Eddo-Lodge sheds light on white feminism and how it keeps structural racism thriving. Survivors of the acid attacks in Islamabad are campaigning to strengthen legislation. And we remember Pete Seeger.


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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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