EUROPE AND AMERICA: WATCHING THE POT COME TO A BOIL

General Dynamics
Left-wing and anarchist protests increase in Europe & America
Anti-austerity protests that began last summer in Athens and then fizzled in the summer heat were renewed this week, as the cabinet and the parliament are discussing implementation of austerity measures imposed by European officials as conditions to receive the next bailout payment. The protests have been largely led by public sector unions who brought the country to a standstill on Wednesday with a nationwide strike, and are planning another strike on October 19, this time to include private sector workers. Violence has been sporadic, but fears are growing that some unexpected spark could ignite a full-fledged revolt. Reuters

 Labor unions join 'Occupy Wall Street' protests across America
The global financial crisis that sparked left-wing demonstrations in Europe are now doing so in cities across America in the form of "Occupy Wall Street" protests. As the protests gather strength, labor unions are joining in. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is planning rallies next week in support of the protests. Protesters have criticized the government for propping up hobbled financial giants, including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., with a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008, while leaving Americans to struggle with unemployment, depressed wages, soaring foreclosure rates and slashed retirement savings. Bloomberg

Wall Street protests spark threats of violence 

Like the European protests, the "Occupy Wall Street" protests have been peaceful except for occasional brief clashes with police. However, the protests have apparently sparked threats against New York state lawmakers with e-mail messages saying, "time to kill the wealthy." As in the case of Europe, there is concern that some unexpected spark could ignite wider left-wing and anarchist violence (as happened in America in the 1930s). As we reported last month, union longshoremen in Washington state violently attacked guards protecting a non-union grain terminal, shortly after Teamsters president James Hoffa called for war and violence against political opponents. Politico

Senior US officials meet with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 

In what has been described as "the first meeting of its kind," senior US officials met with Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting took place in the office's of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians commented on American policy in many areas, including intervention in Egypt's domestic affairs, human rights, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the US administration's support for Arab autocrats at the expense of their people. The Americans "emphasized the importance of having Egypt-US relations based on mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs, as well as mutual respect for human rights free of double-standards." Middle East Monitor

Abbas appeals to Europeans to support Palestinian statehood

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas address the 47-member Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, on Thursday, appealing to the European countries to support recognition of a Palestinian state, saying "there is no more appropriate time" than now. Abbas submitted his request to the United Nations Security Council two weeks ago, and believes that the Security Council will take up the matter in a month or so. AP

 

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