Cameroon president urges “national dialogue” on separatist crisis | AFP

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya announces in a speech to the Nation that he intends to “convene a major national dialogue” at the end of September to try to put an end to the deadly conflict between separatist groups of the English-speaking minority and security forces in the West. SOUNDBITE

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Israelis Head To The Polls With A Choice: Right Or Righter (HBO)

Eyal Hajbi has been on high alert since a rocket launched from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv two weeks ago. As the official responsible for the security of the 25,000 people living in Sderot, a village less than a mile off the fence with Gaza, rockets are virtually all Hajbi has thought about.

Well, rockets and Israel’s upcoming elections this Tuesday. And like a lot of Israelis here, Hajbi has already made up his mind: he’s voting for Likud, the party of four-term prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He supports Netanyahu’s tough stance toward Palestinians and security, and his increasingly right-wing views about the future of Israel.

“I love how he represents us in the world,” Hajbi told VICE News. “I have only one view: One state. The whole land of Israel. We shouldn’t give up on any part of it.”

But Israelis like Hajbi that live close to Gaza are far from the only ones turning out for Netanyahu. Despite mounting bribery and corruption charges, and a recent alliance with outwardly racist politicians, Netanyahu enjoys overwhelming support across the country ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

His party’s only real challenger is from a newly-formed centrist alliance called Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz, who’s framing himself as Bibi but without the baggage. “I think we will be able to unify the country by far more than what Netanyahu is doing right now,” Gantz told VICE News.

But don’t mistake Gantz for a left-wing alternative to Netanyahu’s increasingly right-wing rule. At an event for English-speaking voters in Tel Aviv last week, Gantz suggested Blue an White would try to copy the four-term prime minister’s strategy, and partner with hardline right-wing religious parties to form a governing majority.

As for the traditional left, it’s been conspicuously absent from the conversation. There’s a reason for that: Only 12 percent of Israelis now identify as left-wing, according to a recent survey.

“He was a good soldier, a good officer, sometimes I think if I had convinced him to stay in the military, maybe he would have done a lot less damage to Israel.”

For the country’s last bonafide left-wing prime minister, Ehud Barak, this is a frustrating development. Barak’s concerned about what the absence of a strong left has done to Israel’s national politics, including the effect it’s had on Netanyahu, a politician he once served beside in the army.

“He was a good soldier, a good officer, sometimes I think if I had convinced him to stay in the military, maybe he would have done a lot less damage to Israel,” Barak told VICE News.

Barak was the last prime minister candidate to oust Netanyahu out of office in 1999. But since then, Bibi has held onto power, in part by moving Israeli politics further and further to the right. Most recently he formed an alliance with an ultra-nationalist extremist right wing party called Jewish Power, that was inspired by Meir Kahane who advocated for the forced removal of Palestinians.

“Bibi, under the pressure, and because of his own interest, finds himself in a situation where those zealots, crazy racist zealots are dictating to him how to run the government and they are blocking the democratic life of Israel, and that should be rejected by the people.”

Now more than ever, as Israel continues to move more and more to the right, Barak says a strong opposition is necessary to start a difficult conversation, even if they can’t defeat Netanyahu’s coalition.

“Sometimes the people are wrong. Someone has to help them to open their eyes. It is usually the opposition.”

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Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, we travel to Nigeria where over 30,000 Cameroonians from English-speaking regions have fled regime repression, we meet the Congolese seeking refuge in neighbouring Uganda, and we go to Central African Republic where, in a country of thousands of ethnic groups gripped by conflict, dance is proving a unifying force. FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

Anger growing amongst Cameroon’s Anglophone refugees

At least 33,000 refugees from Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have fled to Cross River state in southeast Nigeria. Some are staying with locals, others are camping out in public buildings, but all of them say they’re fleeing repression.

VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – October 9, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Pro-Kurd Demonstrations Turn Deadly; Clash at Jerusalem holy site; Chile Senate paves way for gay unions; FBI Seeks English-Speaking Jihadi.

TURKEY
Pro-Kurd Demonstrations Turn Deadly
Nineteen are dead following clashes between Turkish forces and pro-Kurdish demonstrators.

ISRAEL
Clash Over Jerusalem Mosque
A clash between Jewish and Muslim worshipers at one of Jerusalem’s holiest and most-contested sites left three Israeli police with minor wounds, and has touched off fears of escalating unrest.

CHILE
Senate passes bill allowing civil unions
Chile’s Senate passes bill that would grant unmarried couples the same rights as married couples. It’s the first in the traditionally conservative Catholic country to legally recognize same-sex partnerships.

SYRIA
FBI Seeks English-Speaking Jihadi
The FBI is appealing to the public to help identity an English-speaking man seen in footage released by the Islamic State.

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Mexican Deportees and Outsourced Labor

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Tijuana, Mexico, is a limbo for deportees from the United States. People keep showing up in the city while U.S. immigration policies get tougher. Between 2002 and 2012, deportations to Mexico more than doubled, from 122,058 to 306,870, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Many were deported for non-violent or relatively minor infractions.

In many cases, these deportees are returned to a country where they might have been born but know little about as adults. They might speak little or no Spanish, and are further seen as pariahs for sporting gang tattoos. Opportunities for work in Tijuana remain limited for such deportees, except in a sector that is enjoying a boom period in Mexico, telemarketing.

Call centers offer English-speaking deportees a chance to have a steady income in jobs-strapped Mexico. They also get to put their language skills to use. Telemarketers gain a geographically close work-force of English native-speakers, but at Mexican labor costs. VICE News traveled to Tijuana to meet a few of the thousands of deportees who were raised in the United States and are now forming new lives back in Mexico, thanks to their steady jobs at a U.S. call center.

Why Activists Don’t Trust Mexico’s New Antitrust Telecom Laws: http://bit.ly/1nykGMn

Watch “Deported Veterans of America” – http://bit.ly/1nyjVCL

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