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A week of rallying: June 04 - 10 on openDemocracy

UK readers recover from an excess of monarchy with the help of Peter Tatchell, who wonders why the biggest celebration of recent times is for the privilege of being subjects to hereditary rule, when there are so many worthy things to celebrate from British history.

18 June 2012

Others are rallying under another kind of flag, that of Emarat-i-Islami. Syed Irfan Ashraf argues that Taliban war codes have kept Al Qaida at bay. The latter has suffered another blow in Pakistan, and Paul Rogers thinks Obama’s penchant for drone war is unlikely to abide any time soon, while in the longer term, the US focus is on India, both as ally and weapons customer.  

A roundtable opens a new openDemocracy page on how the Algerian government has averted an Arab Spring; we look at a series of returns to Tahrir Square – its ongoing inspiration, its possibly self-defeating tactics, and how little help USAID has been; not to forget this week’s window on the Middle East.

Our security is a lucrative opportunity, as proven by the success of the world’s biggest security company, G4S. OurKingdom continues to look hard at private Big Brother, with the launch of a collection of investigations to coincide with its annual meeting in London.

Southall Black Sisters founder, Pragna Patel, discusses the difficulty of getting the response right in the case of honour based killings.

In ourBeeb, Nick Fraser writes an open letter on the BBC’s obligation and historic opportunity to defend Internet freedom. Meanwhile, Michael Bullen has locked horns with Ann Pettifor over Greece and the Euro, disagreeing with almost everything except her conclusion.

As European leaders boycott Ukraine’s Euro 2012, oDRussia takes an extended look. Anton Shekhovtsov deals with unhelpful and hysterical western media accounts of Ukrainian racism; Carolyn Forstein argues that international attention would be better expended on the justice system; Yurly Andrukhovych, Ukrainian writer, takes a national tour of his own - not a pretty picture; Nataliya Gumenyuk asks where all the protesters have gone to; and Serhij Leschenko investigates Europe’s new black sheep, Yanukovych, and a trail of corruption that takes us all the way back to the city of London.

Ivaylo Ditchev asks if we do not live in an age of impatience, while Ryuta Imafuku looks to the wisdom of ages for solace for himself and his students after Fukushima.

 

Three links not to miss:

George Soros gives Germany three months to salvage the European project from disintegration– read his full speech

In Virginia, US, a Republican lawmaker finds that nature has a left wing bias, and takes steps to correct it

Video: Greek right-wing extremist shows true colours on live TV

 

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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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