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The Week in 1 Minute: In remembrance of times past – March 10 – 16 on openDemocracy

Remembrance is this week's overarching theme. For the third anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Bob Stilger writes on Fukushima's future, while Rebecca Johnson argues it was both avoidable and inevitable.

16 March 2014

Ten years after the Madrid rail bombings, Diego Muro analyses the consequences. Koča Pavlović criticises the Montenegrin Prime Minister's political violence. Igor Štiks and Srećko Horvat say that the current wave of Bosnian protests mark the birth of activist citizenship. An interview with Costas Douzinas suggests that Greece might be the future of Europe.

We eulogise three important figures: late British politician Tony Benn's address to the Convention on Modern Liberty is republished, Michael Danson remembers feminist economist Ailsa Mckay and Ted Comet writes for Transformation on his wife Shoshana Unger, a holocaust survivor, artist and psychotherapist. Jamie Heckert emphasizes the importance of queer and glorious differences between people.

With a focus on poverty and the politics of austerity, Lawrence Scanlan describes his year of living generously. Mary Evans reconsiders controversial UK TV show Benefits Street, Deborah Padfield reports from the front lineAnne Cato and David McCoy discuss neoliberal universities, while James Butler and Jon Burnett write on racism, corruption and 'abolishing' the London Metropolitan police. Christopher Stacey investigates reforms to UK prison law.
 
Continuing the Transformation section's “Money” series, Genevieve Lebaron and Peter Dauvergne argue that activist groups and NGOs increasingly look and act like multinational corporations. Grigory Tumanov questions whether Russia's 'foreign agent' law is illegal. Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers examine the global pushback against domestic NGOs.

Andrei VasilievAgnia Grigas and J. Paul Goode and Marlene Laruelle investigate Russia and the crisis in Crimea. Samir Dayal highlights Putin's Presidency as a ritualized performance. Yakov Feygin says Ukraine is a post-Soviet state unable to escape its history, while Zakir Magomedov discusses Dagestan. Almut Rochowanski writes on an unusual Chechen initiative.
 
OurBeeb consider the 'online-only' move for television channel BBC 3. openDemocracy Board Chair David Elstein argues that the closure is the inevitable consequence of cuts and changes, while Brian Winston holds that the choice stems from the BBC's unease with the 'popular'. Tony Ageh considers our digital future.
 
As part of our continued focus on the Middle East, Hakki Tas warns against anti-westernism in Turkey, while Ahmet T. Kuru looks at Twitter and corruption. Jessica Montell considers universalism and Israel/Palestine, while Quinn Coffey discusses Christion Zionism. Lana Asfour examines the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Lebanon. Orzala Ashraf Nemat points out that Afghanistan's struggle for women’s rights did not begin with the arrival of international troops. And weekly columnist Paul Rogers addresses Iraq and war.

Finally, Jim Gabour asks: “Do we deserve to be happy?
 

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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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