Showing posts from June 29, 2016

Report: Islamophobia is a multimillion-dollar industry

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[More than $200m spent on promoting fear and hatred of Muslims in US by various groups between 2008 and 2013. "It is an entire industry of itself. There are people making millions of dollars per year from promoting Islamophobia. They often present themselves as experts on Islamic affairs when they are not." *RON*]

Ryan Rifai, Al Jazeera, 24 June 2016

More than $200m was spent towards promoting "fear and hatred" of Muslims in the United States by various organisations between 2008 and 2013, according to a fresh joint report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley.

Released on Monday, the report identifies 74 groups, including feminist, Christian, Zionist and prominent news organisations, which either funded or fostered Islamophobia.

"It is an entire industry of itself. There are people making millions of dollars per year from promoting Islamophobia. They often present th…

Understanding Our Polarized Political Landscape Requires a Long, Deep Look at Our Worldviews

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["Brexit, Trump, the Bernie Sanders phenomenon and more can be explained by examining evolving categories of fundamental beliefs." Interesting research, but descriptive rather than prescriptive. E.g., she can only say "when we are less invested in these social/worldview identities, and we can look at them with more distance and mindfulness, we are less inclined to respond as if we ourselves are threatened when our assumptions about reality are called in to question." How? *RON*]

By Annick de Witt, Scientific American, 28 June 2016
Historians often look at society with the aim of seeing larger, overarching patterns in how humans tend to relate to the world, and how their understanding of reality changes throughout time. These worldviews are the lenses through which people see and filter reality, shaping our world in many seen and unseen ways. Worldviews inform both individual choices as well as our group identities, and they te…

Brexit: Increase in racist attacks after EU referendum

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[A disturbing emboldening of the extreme right. Violence, intimidation and calls of "Go home" directed at minorities from Europeans in England to non-white Britons. See also: Extremist violence on the rise in Germany, and Brexit fuels Rajoy’s victory as Podemos tanks. *RON*]

Incidents of racism and intimidation increasingly reported following EU referendumEU citizens living in England and British minorities have been targetedNumber 10 issues statement that Britain will not "tolerate intolerance"Rights groups encourage people to report hate crime Britain "will not tolerate intolerance", the office of Prime Minister David Cameron has said, after a series of racist incidents were reported following its decision to leave the European Union.

No 10 Downing Street came out on Monday with the warning, less than a week after the country voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

"We should b…

Venezuelans are storming supermarkets and attacking trucks as food supplies dwindle

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["This is savagery," said Pedro Zaraza, a car oil salesman, who watched a mob mass on Friday outside a supermarket, where it was eventually dispersed by the army. "The authorities are losing their grip." "We have not yet seen the climax of the crisis," said Luis Vicente Leon, director of the polling firm Datanalisis, who estimated that retail food outlets in Caracas lack about 80 to 85 percent of their usual products. "Supplies have deteriorated to a very significant degree and it’s probable that things will continue to get worse." "There is no humanitarian crisis," Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told an Organization of American States meeting last week. *RON*]
By Joshua Partlow and Mariana Zuñiga, Washington Post, 28 June 2016
CARACAS, Venezuela — In the darkness the warehouse looks like any other, a metal-roofed hangar next to a clattering overpass, with homeless people sleeping nearby in the …

Kazakhstan elected to U.N. Security Council for 2017-18

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[How is it possible for the UN to get one thing so right - decrying UK austerity - and another thing so incredibly wrong all in a day? *RON*]

Reuters, 28 June 2016

Kazakhstan was elected to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, beating Thailand in a second round of voting to join Sweden, Ethiopia and Bolivia for a two-year term starting Jan. 1, 2017.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Kazakhstan with 138 votes in favor over Thailand. Countries need more than two-thirds of the vote to win a seat. A third round of voting is due to take place for the final available seat with Italy competing against The Netherlands.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by Louis Charbonneau)

The UN declares the UK’s austerity policies in breach of international human rights obligations

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["The UN committee said it was 'seriously concerned' about 'the disproportionate adverse impact that austerity measures' are having on disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups." *RON*]

By Anna Leszkiewicz, The New Statesman, 29 June 2016

In a damning new report, the United Nation’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has confirmed that the UK government’s austerity measures and social security reform are in breach of their obligations to human rights.

Drawing on evidence from Just Fair, the report considers a number of factors in its decision, including increased reliance on foodbanks, unemployment rates, the housing crisis, mental health care, and discrimination against migrants. The committee reminds the government of their obligations and calls upon them to make changes.

The UN committee said it was “seriously concerned” about “the disproportionate adverse impact that austerity measures” ar…