Showing posts from July 14, 2014

Executive pay '180 times average', report finds

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["Executive pay has grown from 60 times that of the average worker to almost 180 times since the 1990s." Shareholders at Burberry and Aviva fight back. *RON*]
Anonymous, BBC News, 13 July 2014

Executive pay has grown from 60 times that of the average worker to almost 180 times since the 1990s, according to a report.

The High Pay Centre, a think tank, said shareholders were still backing high executive pay deals despite new powers to vote them down at annual meetings.

The pay of the average FTSE 100 chief executive increased from £4.1m to £4.7m last year, said the report.

The government should take action to close the pay gap, it said.

In October, new rules came into effect forcing listed firms to give shareholders a binding vote on directors' pay.

Executive 'elite'

A firm's remuneration policy now requires the approval of more than 50% of shareholders for a policy to pass.

Business Secretary Vince Cable introduced the shift to m…

Dick Cheney says screw highways and food stamps, defense spending is all that matters

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[Cheney said the next president needs to "turn around the whole trend" of cutting defense dollars. "That ought to be our top priority for spending. Not food stamps, not highways or anything else." *RON*]
by Laura Clawson, The Daily Kos, 14 July 2014

Boy, Dick Cheney really is determined to caricature himself:

During an event sponsored by Politico, Cheney said the next president needs to "turn around the whole trend" of cutting defense dollars.

"That ought to be our top priority for spending. Not food stamps, not highways or anything else," Cheney said. "Your No. 1 responsibility as president is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. [Obama] is the commander-in-chief and he's absolutely devastating the United States military today.”Since when are increasing the defense budget and supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States synonymous? I guess if that's Chen…

B.C. claims privilege on Kitimat report

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[The BC Liberals appear to be hiding the results from the Kitimat Airshed Study, which assesses the impact of industrial emissions on the watershed. *RON*]

Wendy Stueck, The Globe and Mail, Jul. 13 2014

In an ongoing tussle over the Kitimat Airshed Study, lawyers representing two women in an Environmental Appeal Board case have asked that agency to force the province to turn over the study or explain its claim of cabinet privilege.

The study, which the province commissioned last year to weigh the impact of industrial emissions on the Kitimat Airshed, has yet to be publicly released, even though some groups interested in its conclusions – including the District of Kitimat – had expected to see it before the end of June.

Now, the report is the subject of a tug-of-war between the province and appellants in the EAB case, which concerns sulphur dioxide emissions from the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter in Kitimat. The province says it received a draft of the Kit…

Isis defector speaks of life inside brutal jihadist group

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[Fear-based totalitarianism. "If you're against me, then you'll be killed. If you're with me, you work with me. You submit to my will and obey me, under my power in all matters." *RON*]
 By Paul Wood, BBC Panorama, 13 July 2014

An "Islamic caliphate" has been declared in the Middle East and the group behind it, Isis, has now rebranded itself simply "the Islamic State". Panorama has spoken to a defector about life inside the feared jihadist group.

Isis is not an organisation it is easy to leave. We met a man who had - and he was terrified of the consequences. "The brutality of Isis terrifies everyone," he said. "My family, my cousins, my siblings are all still there. I fear for them. If they can't reach me, they will reach my family."

He was nervous, agreeing to record an interview only after several hours of discussion, over customary tiny glasses of scalding hot, sweet tea. He wou…

Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail

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[Long report on violence in one New York prison. If you were not some kind of an animal going into this system, you would be by the time you came out. *RON*]

By Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz, New York Times, 14 July 2014

After being arrested on a misdemeanor charge following a family dispute last year, Jose Bautista was unable to post $250 bail and ended up in a jail cell on Rikers Island.

A few days later, he tore his underwear, looped it around his neck and tried to hang himself from the cell’s highest bar. Four correction officers rushed in and cut him down. But instead of notifying medical personnel, they handcuffed Mr. Bautista, forced him to lie face down on the cell floor and began punching him with such force, according to New York City investigators, that he suffered a perforated bowel and needed emergency surgery.
Just a few weeks earlier, Andre Lane was locked in solitary confinement in a Rikers cellblock reserved for inmates wit…

Citigroup to pay $7 billion to settle U.S. mortgage probe

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[Clearly they believed they would lose even more than $7 billion had they gone to court. "In one 2007 deal, a Citigroup trader told colleagues in an email he had reviewed a due diligence report on the poorest quality loans, and that they 'should start praying,' according to the document." *RON*]

By Aruna Viswanatha, Reuters, 14 July 2014

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has agreed to pay $7 billion to resolve claims it misled investors about shoddy mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, in a deal that includes the largest civil fraud penalty ever levied by the U.S. Justice Department.

The settlement, announced on Monday, is more than twice what many analysts expected but less than the $12 billion the government sought in negotiations with Citi C.N, the third largest U.S. bank.

The accord came roughly six years after the height of the financial crisis. It is one of several Justice Department probes into the p…

Dismal job numbers for June

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[Harper's economic policies are all about ensuring corporate profits, not about creating jobs. the BC government announces one job program after another with great hoopla, then they are never heard from again after that, except for the occasional announcement that The Great Recovery will come any time now and that LNG is A Generational Opportunity(TM). *RON*]
By Angella MacEwen,, 14 July 2014

Statistics Canada's release of job numbers for June look truly dismal. The unemployment rate rose to 7.1 per cent, and there was a loss of 9,400 jobs compared to May. Year-over-year, employment rose by only 72,000. That's a weak 0.4 per cent and the lowest year-over-year increase since February 2010.

An even worse sign -- all of that job growth was concentrated in workers over 65. One industry boasted over 80 per cent of net new jobs year-over-year -- health care and social assistance.

While there was an increase in full-time work and a de…

'We must compete': Corporate elite leveraging public universities into private profit

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[A university degree still tends to result in a higher income - even though, nowadays, with declining wages on all fronts, that is simply like being the brightest child in an extremely dull class. But as the government continues to cut educational funding, costs rise to the point where a higher education and a higher salary will only be available to the 1%, contributing to even more wealth inequality. *RON*]
By Alexander Ervin, Howard Woodhouse,, 10 July 2014

Please help stop the ongoing corporatization of Canadian universities. Become a monthly supporter.

The firing of outspoken University of Saskatchewan Dean Robert Buckingham this May raised questions not only of academic freedom, but of the ongoing transformation of Canadian post-secondary institutions as sites of private profit rather than public education. is proud to launch this special summer series on the corporatization of Canadian universities, by USask Prof…

'Targeted exemptions' for TFWs -- Tory fund-raiser, backyard maquiladoras, or both?

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[Fearful of decreased party donations, David Climenhaga argues, the Conservatives are caving on the modest changes they proposed - under terrific public pressure - to the Temporary Foreign Workers program. There appears to be no other supportable rationale for why these changes are now being proposed. *RON*]
By David J. Climenhaga,, 13 July 2014

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Unemployment has climbed to 7.1 per cent in Canada and yet a key segment of the Harper Government's donor base is screeching for more Temporary Foreign Workers.What to do?

From the perspective of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, this is a serious problem. Too many Canadians remain unpersuaded by the hysterical campaign cranked up by the country's retail business sector to turn the TFW spigot back to full, and to do it right now, lest … well, lestsomething really bad happens.

Not satisfied by mere wage-suppression -- delivered in spades by the federal government -- now they&…