Showing posts from September 24, 2014

How much does spy agency CSEC know about your private life?

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[OpenMedia has created a good short video on how Canadians cough up billions of dollars to permit CSEC to spy on them. This gives us a clear picture of when austerity matters and when its does not to Mr. Harper. *RON*]

B.C. privacy responses taking step backwards, says commissioner's report

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[Nothing to hide here; no fast ones being pulled; no spin-doctoring; encouraging that public discourse. A democracy we can all be proud of. *RON*]
By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 23 September 2014

VICTORIA - Outdated government policies on sharing and managing information are choking off the fulfilment of thousands of information requests made by British Columbians every year, says a report released Tuesday.

Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said her report raises concerns about the ongoing backward steps contributing to increasing delays in the legislated 30-business-day deadline to complete access to information requests.

The 67-page report, Backwards: Report Card on Government's Access to Information Responses, states in the past two years on-time access to information response requests have dropped from 93 per cent to 74 per cent.

The reported concluded the four government ministries with the lo…

The Number Of Homeless Children In American Public Schools Is Skyrocketing

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[What is the quality of their learning under these circumstances? "In the 2012-2013 school year, there were 1,258,182 homeless students.... The number of homeless students has increased 85 percent since the beginning of the recession." *RON*]

By Bryce Covert, Think Progress, 23 September 2014
After hitting a record high in the 2011-2012 school year, the number of homeless students enrolled in American public schools jumped dramatically again last year.

In the 2012-2013 school year, there were 1,258,182 homeless students, according to newly released data from the National Center for Homeless Education. That’s an 8 percent increase from the 2011-2012 school year, when the 1,168,354 homeless students marked a record high. The number of homeless students has increased 85 percent since the beginning of the recession.

Most of these students are “doubled up,” or living in someone else’s home — 75 percent, or 936,441, were in this situation. More…

Totalitarianism, American Style

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[Understanding the subtle ways democracy has been undermined in the US. Quite the stellar set of panel discussants. *RON*]

By Chris Hedges, AlterNet, 22 September 2014

Chris Hedges made these remarks Saturday at a panel discussion in New York City titled “The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?” The other panelists were Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Kshama Sawant and Sen. Bernie Sanders. The event, moderated by Brian Lehrer, occurred on the eve of the People’s Climate March in New York City. For a video of some of what the panelists said, click here.

We have undergone a transformation during the last few decades—what John Ralston Saul calls a corporate coup d’├ętat in slow motion. We are no longer a capitalist democracy endowed with a functioning liberal class that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. Liberals in the old Democratic Party such as the senators Gaylord Nelson, Birch Bayh and George McGovern—who worked with Ralph Nader to make …

Ebola death rates 70% - WHO study

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[The horrors continue in West Africa. *RON*]

By Helen Briggs, BBC News, 23 September 2014

New figures suggest 70% of those infected with Ebola in West Africa have died, higher than previously reported, says the World Health Organization.

Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November if efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up, the UN agency has warned.

In the worst case scenario, cases in two nations could reach 1.4 million in January, according to a US estimate.

Experts said the US numbers were "somewhat pessimistic''.

The world's largest outbreak of Ebola has caused 2,800 deaths so far, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria were "pretty much contained", said the WHO.