The Venezuelan paper, el Universal, is reporting that Manuel Zelaya, the deposed leader of Honduras who was hustled out of the country in his pyjamas two weeks ago at gunpoint in a military coup, has called for an insurrection in his country. Zelaya is allied with Socialist leaders in Latin America such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and his legitimacy is recognised by virtually all foreign governments. Zelaya says that Honduran citizens also have the right to demonstrate and to stage strikes against the government of de facto President Roberto Micheletti, who has threatened to jail Zelaya if he tries to return. In the Honduran newspaper La Prensa, they say this ultimatum is an act of despair – this is quoting an organisation called the Unión Cívica Democrática which supported the coup. Zelaya had criticised the press in his country for being too pro-business and against his regime. Since his deposal, the campaign against the press has intensified according to an article last week in the Editor and Publisher, a US journal that analyses the media.
The Times of India only barely covers the participation of the Indian Armed Forces in yesterday’s Bastille Day Parade on the Champs Elysee. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of honour at the French national day celebrations. He witnessed a “maginificent parade”, according to the Times of India. The paper recounts how Indian dishes such as Biryani were part of “the humongous banquet that Sarkozy hosted for Singh at the Elysée Palace”.
The New York Times reports that the Episcopal Church in the US - that’s the American branch of Anglicanism - voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to consecrate more bishops who are openly gay. This has sent shock waves throughout the Anglican Communion. The Church had effectively banned ordaining gay bishops at a convention three years ago so this now appears to be overturned. The Church also agreed to bless same-sex couples. Conservative parts of the Anglican Communion in Africa broke their ties with the Episcopal Church after it consecrated its first openly gay bishop six years ago. In the US, four dioceses voted to split too. The New York Times quotes a conservative website Virtueonline which says this is a ‘clean sweep for the liberal agenda” in the Episcopal Church.
The Irish Times reports that the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear a challenge by three women to the Irish Government’s ban on abortion. The case will get a full hearing before the court’s 17 judges.The women claim the law jeopardises their heath and wellbeing and violates their human rights. One of the three women is at risk of an ectopic pregnancy where the foetus develops outside the womb. The courts decision would be binding on the Irish state. The Irish Times indicates that the Government will launch a “robust defence of the State’s restrictions on abortion”. After several referendums in Ireland and rulings by the country’s higher courts, abortion remains illegal but may be performed if there is a substantial risk to the mother’s life.
The Guardian carries an article about electroshock therapy in China for ‘internet addiction’. 17 year old Teng Fei was given the treatment after his parents saw it advertised on TV. He said it was really painful like a needle piercing through my brain. When he tried to escape at one point, he was subjected to another half hour of ECT. He claims it has changed nothing in his behaviour.