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Showing posts from November 26, 2015

Wall St. Faces Mounting Criticism From Regulators

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[Hmm. Is this a "real" signal? More signs of turning worms? *RON*]

By William D. Cohan, New York Times, 25 November 2015
Despite the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street still has a tendency to dismiss as frivolous some of the ethical issues it faces daily.

But at a Nov. 5 symposium on ethics at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — the second on the topic two years — regulators suggested that Wall Street executives who continue to ignore the various cultural flaws at their firms do so at their own peril.

It seems that this time really is different: If Wall Street doesn’t take steps to prevent some of the behavior that has led to $230 billion in fines against American and European banks in the last six years, principal regulators appear quite determined to do it for them, promising to break up the big investment banks if they need to. And that will not be an outcome that will appeal to anyone running a powerful Wall Street…

U.S. working to keep up with surging weapons demand: Pentagon

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[It's nice to know someone will have a Merry Christmas.
*RON*]
By Anread Shalal, Reuters, 24 November 2015

The U.S. government is working hard to ensure quicker processing of U.S. foreign arms sales, which surged 36 percent to $46.6 billion in fiscal 2015 and look set to remain strong in coming years, a top Pentagon official said.

Indigenous Canadians comprised 23% of country's murder victims in 2014

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[Our corporatocratic media: Canadian bad news is still arriving via the UK. Newly released statistics find nearly a quarter of Canada’s homicide victims last year were aboriginal, even though they make up just 5% of country’s population. *RON*]

Jessica Murphy, The Guardian, 25 November 2015

Almost a quarter of homicide victims in Canada last year were aboriginal, even though the country’s indigenous people account for just 5% of the population, newly released federal statistics show.

Twenty-three percent of the country’s 516 homicide victims in 2014 were aboriginal, making them almost six times more likely than non-indigenous Canadians to become victims of deadly violence, the federal statistics agency reported on Wednesday.

Canada has just over 1.4 million First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, making up 5% of the country’s population.


Canada boosts funds to help UN address Syria refugee crisis

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[Ottawa to give extra C$100m ($75m) to UN refugee agency. Money will help refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. *RON*]
Reuters, The Guardian, 26 November 2015

Canada will give an extra C$100m ($75m) to the United Nations’ refugee agency to help it deal with the Syrian crisis, the international development minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, said on Thursday.

The announcement stood in contrast to ongoing controversy over refugee admittance and support south of Canada’s border with the US, where Republican candidates for president oppose the settlement of any refugees and the House of Representatives has passed a bill aiming to restrict US aid.

In his Thanksgiving message on Thursday, President Barack Obama – who has said he will veto the House bill if it reaches his desk – called for Americans to treat refugees as latter-day Pilgrims, in a reference to the first Americans who fled religious persecution to establish themselves in the new world.

Canadian mining companies continue to devastate Africa with human rights abuses

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[Canada has more mining corporate headquarters than any place else in the world. They have been a consistent blot on name of Canada in terms of persistent human rights violations. Stephen Harper couldn't do enough for them, bending foreign policy to their ends and feeding them a steady supply of corporate welfare. We'll see if anything changes under the Liberals. *RON*]
By Yves Engler, rabble.ca, 25 November 2015


Two weeks ago police shot and killed an individual at Pacific Wildcat Resources tantalum mine in central Mozambique. The incident received some attention in Canada because community members responded by seizing the Vancouver-based company's mine site and setting some equipment ablaze.

One protester told O PaĆ­s newspaper this wasn't the first time someone was shot dead at the mine and another said "We don't want to see the managers of this company operating in the mine anymore. Otherwise we will take the law into ou…

James Carr Tells Alberta Oil Execs Environmental Growth Is Key To Energy Development

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["The message is that we're starting a new government at a critical time in the history of the energy sector in Canada, that we are committed to the dual ambitions of the economic growth and sustainable environmental practices and that's the way we look at the future unfolding." *RON*]
By Bill Graveland, CP / Huffington Post, 26 November 2015


CALGARY — Canada's new natural resources minister met with his Alberta counterpart and oil industry executives in Calgary on Wednesday but gave them little to cheer about.

"Canadians elected a new government and they expect a new approach," said James Carr to executives attending the Canadian Energy Person of the Year Awards.

"There may have been a time when people thought we had to choose between energy development or environmental stewardship. Today we know environment responsibility is a necessary condition for energy development," he added.

Carr praised the NDP gove…

Looking under the hood of Alberta's new climate plan

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[It could always be better, but this kind of plan would have been was unthinkable until the NDP were elected and Harper got the boot. The crazy thing is that the oil and gas CEOs were out in front of the Liberals when it came to calling for some of these changes. Since they are less wed to ideology than to the bottow line, they recognized that change was required on the oil patch if their companies were to survive this downturn. *RON*]
By Marc Lee, rabble.ca, 26 November 2015

How times have changed in 2015. Just days away from the Paris climate conference, Prime Minister Trudeau met with the premiers to talk about working together to make Canada a leader on climate. Compare this to PM Harper, who never met with the Premiers, championed the oil and gas industry, and if anything was a disruptive force in global climate negotiations. And leading the march to Paris? The premier of Alberta, a province long considered a laggard.

Alberta's new clim…

Five signs the B.C. economy is weak and what this means for Budget 2016

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[BC is now among a shrinking number of places where unadulterated austerity and neoliberalism still rules the roost. The last budget ended in a surplus, but neither the government nor business will make any investments in BC, so the jobs Clarke has promised us year after year after year have still failed to materialize. *RON*]
By Iglika Ivanova, rabble.ca, 26 November 2015

This week, the provincial government released its 2015/16 Second Quarterly Report: an update on where provincial finances are at six months into the fiscal year and where the economy is heading.

The news is not very good.

B.C.'s economy is expected to do better than other provinces this year, but that's largely because of weakness elsewhere (especially in resource-dependent provinces like Alberta). Private sector forecasters have lowered their projections for this year's economic growth in B.C. to 2.2 per cent (from 2.7 per cent this time last year). Projections for …