The Week in 1 Minute: Cities in conflict: (February 11 – 17 on openDemocracy)

The conflict in Syria which began with a peaceful civil movement in Dara’a: Haytham Manna asks if it is possible to build on that when facing the threat of foreign intervention. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen considers the Gulf States’ relationship to the conflict, and Rita sends a message to openSecurity’s first conference on Syria's peace: what, how, when?

23 May 2013

Meanwhile, Hicham Yezza, in This week’s window in the Middle East, finds an Algerian lesson for the Tunisian crisis, Corinna Mullin ponders a counterrevolutionary moment in Tunisia, we visit Bab al Shams with Omer Hariri, where Palestinian activists are occupying their own land, and 50.50’s Leila Zaki Chakravarti considers the impact of blood, football and politics on two cities in Egypt.

A sneak-peek at upcoming documentary, The Plastic People offers an examination of deportation, and American news reports on the continuing separation of families through Obama's "Secure Communities" initiative. We look at deportation in Britain, and also, with Sean Byers, at the incremental progress towards the end of violent protests in Belfast.

David Krivanek from Can Europe make it? explores the arguments of Ben Ward from Human Rights Watch about how to defend Europeans from their own intolerance. Rasmus Boserup and Mona Sheikh invite Europe to rethink its interventions.

There are accusations of torture in Greece, corruption in Spain, bank scandals in Italy in the run-up to the elections, threats to education in Hungary, and Alex Sakalis is keeping a careful eye on the Catholic church in Croatia.

For OurKingdom, Ron Israel asks what it means to be a "Global Citizen" while Owen Worth calls for a left political alternative to Bretton Woods. John Mills looks at the weakened democratic control of British industry, and how that has undermined the UK manufacturing base. 

Over on oD Russia, Jeremy Noble examines five years of the best of Russian photography, and we discover Russia's push to create "virtual borders" by registering foreign websites. Michael Allen, Pavel Chikov and Almut Rochowanski survey the future for the funding of Russian NGO’s.

Cities in Conflict is a fresh openSecurity series exploring how an insidious set of boomerang effects link security doctrine in cities in the global North with those in the South, whether in Beirut, Athens, Bogota, Jerusalem or Mumbai. Andy Yee ponders China’s self-defeating war with information and Paul Rogers tracks the ‘remote control’ militarism of the United States.

Don’t miss:


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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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