Showing posts from November 29, 2015

Rafe: How does oil-boosting Postmedia boss get into News Hall of Fame?

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[Good old Rafe. The mainstream media is the 1% - and, evidently, rather proud of the fact. "I have repeatedly made these findings public – or as public as one can when no newspaper will print them – and in the absence of a denial from Postmedia concluded, hard as it was to believe, that these agreements were for real even though they demonstrate that Postmedia are little more than humble shills for the fossil fuel industry." *RON*]
By Rafe Mair, Commonsense Canadian, 28 November 2015
In the news recently was an item about Paul V. Godfrey, C.M., the President of Postmedia, the largest newspaper chain in the country, owning some 15 papers in major centres plus a slew of community papers across the land. M. Godfrey has been admitted to the Canadian News Hall of Fame.

I have one or two questions for Mr. Godfrey, arising out of investigations I’ve been doing in recent months.

Mr. Godfrey, can we agree that Postmedia wholly owns the Vancouver P…

Mississippi Man Guns Down Waffle House Waitress After She Asks Him Not to Smoke

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[Johnny Mount: NRA poster-boy. Another day, another shooting. The corporatocracy and regulatory capture. *RON*]
By Travis GettysRaw Story / AlterNet, 28 November 2015

An enraged Waffle House customer shot and killed a waitress early Friday who asked him not to smoke.

Police said Johnny Mount was eating about 1 a.m. at the restaurant in Biloxi, Mississippi, when he lit a cigarette, reported WLOX-TV.

A waitress asked the 45-year-old Mount to put out the cigarette or smoke outside, and he began arguing with her.

Police said Mount then pulled out a 9 mm handgun he had concealed under his shirt and shot the 52-year-old waitress in the head.

She was taken to a nearby hospital but died from her wounds.

Mount was arrested as he tried to leave the restaurant and has been charged with first-degree murder.

He remains held on $2 million bond.

Exposed: 'Full Range of Collusion' Between Big Oil and TTIP Trade Reps

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["new documents reveal that EU trade officials gave U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public... What's more, EU trade officials gave a briefing on the state of TTIP talks to two trade groups and 11 oil and gas companies—including fossil fuel behemoths Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil... a key aim of TTIP has been to destroy regulations that prevent high-polluting tar sand crude oil from entering Europe... the lines of demarcation in TTIP are between the mutually exclusive interests of transnational big business and people and the planet; if the deal passes, the former wins and the latter lose." *RON*]
by Deirdre FultonCommon Dreams, 27 November 2015

Amid warnings that the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine global attempts to rein in runaway climate change, new documents reveal that EU trade officials g…

A Wealthy Governor and His Friends Are Remaking Illinois

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[From the front lines of the class wars. "They’re not what you would call the traditional corporate world. They come with a very political and philosophical bent." "There was never so much money behind these efforts. It has gotten much stronger in the last five or six years. It's about the social compact — who’s responsible for whom?" Mr. Shaw, of the Better Government Association, on Mr. Rauner: "I think he views this as a very long, long term war." *RON*]

By Nicholas ConfessoreThe New York Times, 29 November 2015

The richest man in Illinois does not often give speeches. But on a warm spring day two years ago, Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, rose before a black-tie dinner of the Economic Club of Chicago to deliver an urgent plea to the city’s elite.

They had stood silently, Mr. Griffin told them, as politicians taxed too much, spent too much and drove busin…

Trudeau Era To Begin With Parliamentary Reforms, MP Empowerment

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[Also in today's news: Canadian Government Pledges Over $15 Million For African Job Training, and Trudeau 'Very, Very Optimistic' About Global Climate Change Agreement (and, hiliariously, China Says It Has Met Pollution Reduction Goals Early As Smog Envelops Beijing). You can't say he's taking his eye off the ball for his new vision for Canada. *RON*]
By Joan Bryden , CP / Huffington Post, 29 November 2015

OTTAWA — The Justin Trudeau era begins in earnest Friday with all the pomp of a traditional speech from the throne.

But thereafter, the new Liberal government is aiming to break from tradition, promising to transform the way Parliament operates to empower backbenchers, diminish partisanship, restore civility, make government more accountable, be more family friendly and create a more independent Senate.

In short, the prime minister is hoping to bring his "sunny ways" to an institution known more recently for its t…

Six children die as migrant boats sink off Turkey: report

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[It's not stopping, it's not slowing down. *RON*]

Agence France-Presse, The Nation, 27 November 2015

ANKARA - At least six children drowned on Friday in two separate incidents when their boats sank off Turkey while trying to make the risky crossing to Greece, state media reported.
A first boat loaded with 55 Syrian and Afghan migrants sank in strong winds and high waves in the Aegean after setting out from near the town of Ayvacik for the Greek island of Lesbos, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkish coastguards have so far recovered bodies of four Afghan children, it said.

Another two children perished when their vessel heading for the Greek island of Kos sank off the coast near the southwestern resort of Bodrum, Anatolia said.

The boat capsized because of heavy rains and stormy weather, it added.

Turkey, which is hosting 2.2 million refugees from the conflict in neighbouring Syria, has become the main transit point for people fleeing war …

France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

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[Obama forces France to make the global climate accord non-binding, having successfully approved franken-salmon for human consumption. Meanwhile, of course, the US Congress is frothing at the mouth about the little bit of non-binding change that Obama is still trying to accomplish: Obama takes his reckless energy plan to the United Nations. *RON*]
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany and Pilita Clark, Financial Times / CNBC News, 28 Nov 2015

France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a "treaty" and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets.

In a significant climbdown, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said signatories to the planned deal would still be legally required to meet many of its terms but most likely not the carbon-cutting goals underpinning the agreement.

"The accord needs to be legally binding. It's …

American big business faces the G20 in a fight for $2.1tn in unpaid tax

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[Early in this process - say the 1980s - people complained about a corporation's lack of national pride and called them bad citizens when they avoided taxes or offshored jobs. No one even expects this any longer. Pfizer’s controversial takeover of Allergan has thrown a new multinational crackdown on tax avoidance into sharp relief. *RON*]
Simon Bowers, The Guardian, 29 November 2015
Less than two months ago, the finance ministers of the G20 gathered for acelebratory dinner in Peru to mark agreement on a “once-in-a-century” package of reforms to combat tax avoidance by multinational corporations that is costing governments up to $240bn a year. But last week a Scottish accountant unveiled a record-breaking $160bn transaction that laid bare quite how much work remains to be done.

Ian Read, chief executive of American drug maker Pfizer, has agreed plans for a so-called “tax inversion”: a takeover deal that involves joining forces with a smaller, f…