News in brief

Large protests against FTAA in Ecuador

In late October the seventh ministerial meeting about the Free Trade Area of the Americas took place in Quito, Ecuador. People from all over Latin America descended on the capital, with particularly strong represantation from women's groups, one of which commented “ access to social security, education, and economic resources is very limited, and it is not recognised that poverty affects women more than anyone else [...] we think that integrating into the international market would create a very difficult situation for us; the FTAA affects women more than anyone else”. Indymedia reported that a student demonstration held on 30 October was attacked by police using tear gas; bullets were also fired, students arrested and two students beaten and hospitalised.

Korea talks

Although the US may have been racheting up international tensions over North Korea in recent months, this has not stopped representatives from both North and South Korea getting together to chat about economics. In early November representatives from both countries met in Pyongyang for four days of talks.

In October North Korea made a “nuclear confession”: that it has been enriching uranium to support a nuclear weapons program. But the government in the south maintains that continuing dialogue with the north offers the best hope for peace. Both countries also continue to clear the demilitarised zone of landmines.