Showing posts from April 21, 2014

Cause of Suicide: Austerity

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[New study finds "every one percent cut in public spending corresponded with a 0.43 percent increase in suicides among men in Greece." *RON*]

Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams, April 21, 2014

As governments across the world slash public goods in the name of austerity, a new study finds that such measures in Greece directly correspond with a rise in suicides among males.
Entitled The Impact of Fiscal Austerity on Suicide: On the Empirics of a Modern Greek Tragedy, the study was published in April by University of Portsmouth researchers in the journalSocial Science and Medicine.

The torrent of austerity measures following the 2008 global recession led to an increase in male suicides. According to the findings, between 2009 and 2010, 551 men in Greece took their lives "solely due to fiscal austerity."

Researchers found that every one percent cut in public spending corresponded with a 0.43 percent increase in suicides among…

Harper’s vision of Canada as energy superpower thwarted by opposition to pipelines

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[A grassroots movement against B.C.’s Northern Gateway project and a White House decision to delay approval of Keystone XL are the latest blows to Conservatives’ plans to ship more tarsands crude abroad. *RON*]
By: Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau reporter, Published on Sun Apr 20 2014
OTTAWA—The Harper government, which never foresaw that pipelines would become the battleground in a frenzied struggle over climate change, is contending with a continentwide wave of political opposition that has imperilled plans to sell more Canadian petroleum in foreign markets.

In British Columbia, a few thousand people in the small coastal town of Kitimat have given powerful symbolic momentum to the movement against pipelines designed to carry oilsands-derived crude for export.

In one of the first soundings of voter attitude toward the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline planned for B.C., the citizens of Kitimat turned out to reject the project in a referendum.

The res…

Knowledge Is Crime in Washington: Kidnapping, Torture, Assassination and Perjury Are Not

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["In Washington today, knowledge is the only crime. That’s a political reality of the twenty-first century." *RON*]
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, April 21, 2014

How the mighty have fallen. Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars. Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history -- the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program. A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piecerevealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday,…

Economic Action Plan Ads: Feds Pull Troublesome Questions From Opinion Poll

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[Canadians hate the amount of tax dollars that Harper spends on TV ads for his Economic Action Plan. His response? To order that questions about the ads be dropped from all government polls - he's also ordered that polls drop any questions that rate the government's performance. *RON*]

By Dean Beeby, CP / Huffington Post, 04/21/2014

OTTAWA - The Finance Department has ordered its pollsters to stop asking Canadians potentially embarrassing questions about Economic Action Plan advertising.

In 10 public-opinion surveys since 2009, Canadians were asked whether they took any action as a result of seeing ads placed with newspapers, TV, radio and the Internet on the benefits of the Economic Action Plan, the catch-all Conservative government brand.

Results have been in sharp decline in recent years, with only a tiny fraction of those polled in 2013 saying they visited the EAP website or called a toll-free number, as the ads urge.

And so the Fina…

Conservatives unhappy with Poilievre’s ‘bombastic’ style on elections overhaul bill

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[The message is "get the smarmy act passed but don't look smarmy while doing it." The Conservatives are happy to feed on their young if it looks like the public may turn on Harper's former golden boy. *RON*]
By Chris PlecashMark BurgessLuara Ryckewaert, Hill Times, 04/21/2014

Conservative Party insiders say there’s dissatisfaction within the Conservative caucus over Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre’s handling of the elections reform Bill C-23 and recently-recommended changes by a Senate committee are an opportunity for the minister to change tack and adopt a more conciliatory approach.

Opposition MPs aren’t buying the unanimously-supported Senate recommendations released last week, though, and they’re continuing to call for the bill to be withdrawn.

Multiple sources told The Hill Times that there’s discontent within Conservative ranks over how Mr. Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton, Ont.) has defended the bill in the med…

36.3%: Andalusia has EU's highest jobless rate

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[See also Spain's rich virtually unscathed by crisis (18 Mar 14) *RON*]
The Local, Spain's News in English, April 15, 2014

Some 36.3 percent of people are out of work in Spain's Andalusia's region: that's the most in Europe and 14 times higher than in Germany's Upper Bavaria, which has the lowest jobless rate in the EU, figures released on Tuesday show.

Andalusia's very high jobless rate is also more than three times higher than the EU average of 10.8 percent, the figures from Eurostat reveal.

The new data on unemployment in Spain's regions also places six other Spanish regions in the jobless 'top ten', highlighting the severity of the country's economic crisis.

Get Rich, Live Longer: The Ultimate Consequence of Income Inequality

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[The income gap meets the longevity gap. The effect is worse for women. *RON*]
Derek Thompson, Atlantic Monthly, April 18 2014

Brookings economist Barry Bosworth crunches the data on income and lifespans for the Wall Street Journal, and the numbers tell three clear stories.

1. Rich people live longer.

2. Richer people's lifespans are growing at a faster rate.

3. The problem is worse for women than for men.

First, let's look at the guys. A rich man (top decile) born in 1940 can expect to live 10 years longer after he turns 55 than a poor man (bottom decile). That longevity gap grew by four years in one generation.

Punjab’s austerity isn’t for VVIPs

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["Some animals are more equal than others." George Orwell. Similarly, see Strict government ‘austerity measures’ fail to slow down sales of luxury cars in China. *RON*]
Javed Iqbal, The Nation, April 21, 2014

Rs32m supplementary grant for govt’s copter fuel -- Rs6.2m for Governor’s transportation -- Rs9.1m for two Mercedes -- Rs1.2m for BMW at CM Secretariat

LAHORE - The Punjab government has stopped payments for maintenance of vehicles being used by Section Officers on the plea that they are not entitled to have official cars. On the other hand, funds for the repair of bullet-proof vehicles for the VVIPs are being regularly released through supplementary grants, it is learnt.

However, an officer of the S&GAD confirmed that the maintenance of vehicles was banned for the Section Officers (SOs) serving in the Civil Secretariat, which is the provincial government headquarters. He, however, rejected the officers’ claim that their mainten…