Showing posts from July 27, 2015

‘Sea Slaves’: The Human Misery That Feeds Pets and Livestock

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[There are now more than 30 million people world wide existing in some form of slavery. To some extent we can exert consumer controls - e.g., do not buy Thai prawns. This kind of activity, though, clearly requires new national and international laws. Men who have fled servitude on fishing boats recount beatings and worse as nets are cast for the catch that will become pet food and livestock feed. *RON*]
By Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 27 July 2015

SONGKHLA, Thailand — Lang Long’s ordeal began in the back of a truck. After watching his younger siblings go hungry because their family’s rice patch in Cambodia could not provide for everyone, he accepted a trafficker’s offer to travel across the Thai border for a construction job.

It was his chance to start over. But when he arrived, Mr. Long was kept for days by armed men in a room near the port at Samut Prakan, more than a dozen miles southeast of Bangkok. He was then herded with six other migran…

Rick Perry calls for more guns in cinemas following Lafayette shooting

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[This comes in the wake of news that there are now more gun deaths than automobile deaths in the United States. Perry, US Republican hopeful for 2016 presidential race, says ‘gun-free zones’ are a ‘bad idea’ and citizens should be allowed to carry weapons while watching movies. *RON*]

Ben Child, The Guardian, 27 July 2015 US presidential hopeful Rick Perry has said filmgoers should be able to take their guns into cinemas in order to help stop fatal shootings.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, gun rights proponent Perry was reminded by host Jake Tapper of the killings in Lafayette, Louisiana on Thursday evening at a screening of the Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck. The former Texas governor, who is running for the Republican ticket for the 2016 presidential election, said “gun-free zones” were a “bad idea” and questioned whether allowing people to carry firearms in public spaces might have saved lives during recent fatal shooting incide…

Bursting Shanghai stock bubble resembles Nasdaq fall in 2000

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[Having already lost 30% of its value in one month, wiping out $3 trillion worth of wealth, the stock market in China took yet another swooning 8.5% fall today. This includes state-owned PetroChina, the country’s biggest oil producer, which fell 9.6 percent. In the journal Foreign Policy, the view is that "The government’s meddling will have lasting consequences for the stock market itself, setting an awkward precedent that will take years to overcome." Stephen Harper and Christy Clark, are you paying attention? *RON*]

By Adam Shell, USA Today, 27 July 2015

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, a stock chart of the plunging Shanghai composite index has an eerie resemblance to the tech-stock plunge of the Nasdaq composite index back in 2000.

Bursting stock market bubbles, it appears, all look the same.

While Wall Street was asleep the Shanghai composite, a popular stock index in mainland China, suffered its worst one-day drop sinc…

Canadians get on board the torture train

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[Perhaps it shouldn't, but this story shocked me. It's hard for the public to get a clear picture of social issues while the mainstream media is, in fact, part and parcel of The 1% and actively pushes the views of the corporatocracy. The time and effort involved in finding and scanning and reading the alternative press is simply not possible for many, for most. From now on, where they exist, I'm adding links at the top of my postings to where you can donate to the many alternate press sources that I use. *RON*]
By Matthew Behrens,, 27 July 2015
Just before the annual orgy of Canada Day self-celebration, the Pew Research Center released a poll revealing that over one-third of Canadians supported the use of torture. This was no late April Fool's joke, but rather a shocking figure that was part of a global survey on U.S. foreign policy and the use of what has been referred to as "enha…

Bernie Sanders talks income inequality, race relations before 4,500 at Kenner rally

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[I wish Elizabeth Warren had also ran. Neither she nor Sanders have a snowball's chance of winning, but we can already see, in Clinton's sudden emphasis on regulating Wall Street and reducing income inequality, that Sanders' simple presence has dramatically altered the quality of the presidential debate. See: US income inequality rises up political agenda. Also, tell me, which other candidate would go to Louisiana to talk about racism, civil rights and gun control? *RON*]
 By Kevin Litten, | The Times-Picayune, 27 July 2015

Racial divisiveness, income inequality and the ills of Wall Street were familiar touchstones for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Sunday (July 25) as he whipped up a thunderous crowd of 4,500 at a rally in Kenner.

It was an unusual sight: A liberal White House hopeful stumping in red state Louisiana so early in a race. The first state primaries are in February; Louisiana's, in March.

But similar t…

Spain Mayors Spin Tale of Two Cities With Anti-Austerity Stance

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[The recent municipal and regional elections in Spain saw some marked victories for anti-austerity parties. Next, the world will be watching for the outcome of their national election, coming in November. (National elections are also on the way in Portugal.) Meanwhile, business is keeping a sharp eye on how things are going in Madrid and Barcelona, where anti-austerity parties now run the government. Reactions range from "We met with some of Carmena’s team and they were open minded, ready to listen and reasonable" to "Current investors are paralyzed and future investors have been scared off." *RON*]
by Maria TadeoSharon R Smyth. Bloomberg Business, 26 July 2015

Ruling Madrid and Barcelona is a tale of two cities as their new mayors forge their own styles of government even though both emerged from the same anti-austerity movement as Podemos.

In Barcelona, Ada Colau has frozen hotel openings in a bid to prevent the city from b…

The bad news for Western drought: 'monster' hot El Nino on the way

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["Many meteorologists are chalking up today's weird and wacky weather in the West to the fact that this is an El Nino year, referring to the cyclical Pacific Ocean phenomenon that disrupts global weather patterns. The problem with that, according to Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips: 'It's not even arrived in Canada yet....' Adding to the concerns is that this year's El Nino is gearing up to be what some scientists are calling a 'super' El Nino, or a 'monster' one. *RON*]
By Cara Cruz, CBC News, 24 July 2015

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Secrecy around TPP trade deal fuels suspicions and worries

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[TPP is like a constitution for the global corporatocracy. We are meant to believe that, even though all details of the agreement are being kept assiduously hidden from us, it is for our own good. Harper and Obama cannot wait to get TPP passed. *RON*]
By Paul Handley, AFP / Yahoo! News, 25 July 2015

Washington (AFP) - Higher costs for needed generic drugs. Longer copyright protections than the global standard. Foreign investors empowered to overrule governments. A more tightly-regulated Internet.

Those are just some of the potential pitfalls from any deal that could emerge from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-country free-trade and investment pact shrouded in secrecy as negotiations head into the final stage in Hawaii next week.

A handful of draft chapters of the TPP, leaked via Wikileaks, have highlighted the proposed treaty's heavy emphasis on expanding protections for corporate rights and assets like intellectual property -- patents, c…