Showing posts from October 31, 2016

Iceland’s Prime Minister Resigns, After Pirate Party Makes Strong Gains

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[Iceland has a strong anti-establishment streak to its politics. The PM was ultimately cut down by the Panama Papers scandal, but the Pirate Party also wants to redistribute wealth and increase the government’s anti-corruption powers. "We want to see trickle-down ethics rather than make-believe trickle-down economics." *RON*]

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, 30 October 2016

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland’s prime minister announced on Sunday that he would resign, as the insurgent, anti-establishment Pirate Party capitalized on a wave of anger over corruption to come in second place in the country’s general election.

The prime minister, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, announced his departure on national television after his center-right Progressive Party’s share of seats in the 63-seat Parliament collapsed to eight from 19 in the previous election, in 2013.

'Think of the Bunker Right Before Hitler Killed Himself': Insiders Say Trump's Campaign Is Imploding

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Trump’s inability to discipline himself as a candidate has ultimately been his undoing. See also: The Final Days of Trump’s Unmanageable, Unrepentant, and Unprecedented Campaign. *RON*]
By David FergusonRaw Story / AlterNet, 30 October 2016

In a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the chaotic Donald Trump campaign, insiders describe a floundering operation with a feckless egomaniac at its helm who has no grasp of how badly things are spinning out of control.

“Think of the bunker right before Hitler killed himself,” said one anonymous campaign staffer to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman. “Donald’s in denial. They’re all in denial.”

The mood in Trump Tower, Sherman reported, has vacillated between gloom, rage, denial and then brief glee on Friday when the FBI reported that the agency is reviewing new materials in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State.

There Is an Epidemic of Assassinations Targeting Human Rights Defenders in Latin America

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[Latin America is the real front line of environmentalism. New Oxfam report finds expansion of extractive industries is tied to rise of killings in Latin America: "When the state fails to fulfil its role and allows the rights of some to be violated while increasing the economic and political power and impunity of others and granting them privileges, it appears that government institutions have been captured for the benefit of economic elites." See also today's: Honduras: Son of Human Rights Leader Assassinated. *RON*]

By Sarah LazareAlterNet, 30 October 2016

On October 18, human rights defenders José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio were murdered after they left a meeting of peasant farmers in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras. Both were organizers with the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MUCA), whose former president Johnny Rivas said “death squads chasing peasant families fighting for land rights" were behind the …

The Real Living Wage? $17.28 an Hour -- at Least

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[No state has a living wage for a single adult of less than $14.50 per hour. In some states it is almost $22 per hour. This does not factor in the $1.3 trillion in student debt in the US. *RON*]

By Julie Chinitz, Campaign for America's Future / Truthout, 31 October 2016

Fifteen dollars shouldn't be too much to ask -- or demand.

In almost every state, a worker needs more than $15 an hour to make ends meet. Add in student debt, and the minimum living wage shoots up to $18.67 an hour nationally. A family with children needs significantly more.

That's according to new research from People's Action Institute, which calculates the national living wage at $17.28. A living wage is the pay a person needs to cover basic needs like food, housing, utilities and clothing, along with some savings to handle emergencies.

AT&T Requires Police to Hide Hemisphere Phone Spying

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[Why does anyone hide anything they do? Because they're scared of how the public will react when they can see their behaviour in broad daylight. AT&T is corrupting both democracy and justice. *RON*]

By Adam Schwartz, Electronic Frontier Foundation / Truthout, 31 October 2016

AT&T built a powerful phone surveillance tool for police, called Hemisphere. Every day, AT&T adds four billion call records to Hemisphere, making it one of the largest known reservoirs of communications metadata that the government uses to spy on us. Law enforcement officials kept Hemisphere "under the radar" for many years -- hidden from courts, legislators, and the general public -- until The New York Times exposed the program in 2013. EFF sued federal and state law enforcement officials to obtain records about Hemisphere, in part to better understand how and why police kept such a massive spying database secret for so long.

New documents published…

300 Million Children Breathe Highly Toxic Air, Unicef Reports

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[Seven million deaths are linked to air pollution, 600,000 of them children under 5. Air pollution is linked to one in 10 deaths of children under 5. Beyond the children living in the most toxic air, two billion children in the world, the vast majority, live in places where air pollution exceeds the level considered unhealthy. *RON*]

By Geeta Anand, 30 October 2016

MUMBAI, India — About 300 million children in the world breathe highly toxic air, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a report on Monday that used satellite imagery to illustrate the magnitude of the problem.

The vast majority of these children, about 220 million, live in South Asia, in places where air pollution is at least six times the level that the World Health Organization considers safe, Unicef said.

The agency said the children faced serious health risks as a result.

“Children are uniquely vulnerable because their lungs are still developing,” said Nicholas Rees, the aut…