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Showing posts from September 5, 2016

U.S. and China formally join historic Paris climate agreement; Canada not yet ready

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[Sunny ways (not). And while we're at it - here in oh-so-lucky BC, we're getting stiffed by all levels of government on the environment. A climate leader abdicates: British Columbia’s sad fall from grace. Election 2017. *RON*]

Nathan Van der Klippe, Globe & Mail, 4 September 2016

The U.S. and China formally joined the landmark Paris climate agreement on Saturday, a momentous step toward global emissions reductions that Canada has yet to take, though Justin Trudeau continues to boast about his government’s environmental leadership
Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping pledged their nations to the historic deal on the eve of talks between the Group of Twenty nations, midway through a scorching year likely to break records as the hottest in modern human history.

“This is the single best chance that we have to deal with a problem that could end up transforming this planet in a way that makes it very difficult for us to deal with all the …

Eastern gorilla now critically endangered while giant panda situation improves

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["Humanity has moved a step closer to wiping out our closest evolutionary relatives, with four of the six great ape species now listed internationally as critically endangered." *RON*]
Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 5 September 2016
Humanity has moved a step closer to wiping out our closest evolutionary relatives, with four of the six great ape species now listed internationally as critically endangered.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the eastern gorilla, the largest living primate, as critically endangered in its latest “red list” of threatened species. The eastern gorilla has suffered a 70% population collapse over the past 20 years, primarily due to illegal hunting.

The parlous state of eastern gorillas is matched by three of the other great ape species already listed as critically endangered, a classification that is just one rung above extinction. The western gorilla, the Bornean orangutan and Suma…

VIDEO: Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs and Pepper Spray

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[Progress, Norte Americano style. In 1493 Spaniards used war dogs to kill Hispaniola natives in the name of gold. Today Dakota Access uses attack dogs against Natives in the name of oil. See also: 'World Watching' as Tribal Members Put Bodies in Path of Dakota Pipeline. *RON*]
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, 4 September 2016


On September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction. If completed, the pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois. The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of nearly 100 more tribes from across the U.S. and Canada.

Is the World Bank Excusing Mugabe’s Human Rights Abuses? Read for Yourself.

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[Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is so disgusting I'm not certain he qualifies as human; reptilian more like. So, what does this make the World Bank? *RON*]

Todd Moss, Center for Global Development, 31 August 2016

The World Bank is supposed to work with poor countries in distress. When it all goes well, the Bank supports reformers with advice and money. Sometimes, however, the Bank prolongs a country’s pain by throwing a lifeline to recalcitrant regimes. The difference between a helping hand and a counterproductive crutch requires the Bank to understand the trends inside a country and how its own actions might affect those dynamics. Often, it’s difficult to discern these subtleties. Not in the case of Zimbabwe—where a leaked draft report suggests that the Bank could do business there again if human right abuses “level off.” You can read it for yourself—I’ve linked to it below—but I’ve already been through it and it’s pretty extraordinary.

The back…

The Criminalization of Poverty: Woman Describes Fines & Arrests After $1.07 Check Bounces

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[A tale of two classes. On the one hand you have this story. On the other you have, first: What’s a few missing billions among friends: Why Malaysia 1MDB scandal might not dent US ties. And second: Where Has Hillary Clinton Been? Ask the Ultrarich. Keep a barf bag handy while reading the Clinton story. *RON*]
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, 2 September 2016 have

GUESTS: KRISTEN CLARKE,  Ppresident and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

We continue our look at what the ACLU calls an illegal debtors’ prison in Arkansas by speaking with a former resident who wrote a check for $1.07 for a loaf of bread. She describes how after her check bounced, her debt ballooned with fees and fines to nearly $400, and police officers twice came to her job to arrest her. Since then, she has been caught up in Sherwood’s Hot Checks Department. We are also joined by lawyer Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers…

How Big Banks Bled A Tiny Island Nation

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[Shocking stuff. Financial companies turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage. Part three of a BuzzFeed News investigation. The whole series looks good — read the whole series here. *RON*]

Chris Hamby, Buzzfeed, 31 August 2016


In 2006, near the height of Wall Street’s disastrous speculative frenzy, some of the world’s biggest banks smelled an opportunity.

They saw a way to turn the soaring price of oil into hefty profits. And it involved the tiny island nation of Sri Lanka.

The bankers presented officials who ran the state oil venture there with a way to hedge against further price hikes.

What the banks were selling were derivatives, an often complex and risky type of financial instrument that became associated with the financial crisis. They amounted to a bet on the price of oil, but it was a lopsided bet. The banks — including giants such as Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank — bore very …