Showing posts from November 8, 2016

After $195 million in talc verdicts, J&J strives to change court

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['Justice' in the corporatocracy is about having unlimited money. "Ordinarily I would say three verdicts like that would prompt you to think about settlement." *RON*]
Brendan Pierson, Reuters, 6 November 2016

After a $67.5 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) on Oct. 27 marked its third straight trial defeat in an onslaught of lawsuits claiming its talc-based products cause ovarian cancer, the company is hoping to reverse the trend by having the cases heard in a different court.

All three awards, totaling around $195 million, were handed down in state court in St. Louis, Missouri, with the same judge presiding. Women or their families have filed 2,500 similar claims, the vast majority in the same court, which is one of several in the United States that attracts consumer lawsuits.

The plaintiffs claim studies show J&J's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, when used in the vaginal area, increase t…

Why Canada Needs A Universal Child Care Program

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[See also: How child care costs compare in Canada (hint: they’re way more than tuition). *RON*]
Lauren Pelley, Huffington Post, 7 November 2016

Her son, Jude, was born in December 2015. Now, the downtown Toronto mom says she can't go back to her administrative job in the television industry because daycare is simply too pricey for her family to handle. "I made $40,000 a year after taxes and stuff -- it was pretty minimal -- and the cheapest daycare we found was $1800 a month," she says.

The situation is a "huge source of anxiety and stress," Archer adds. And she's just one of many Canadian parents coping with similar frustrations.

The Mediterranean Has Become a Cemetery

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[3,940 people dead or missing in the Mediterranean so far this year. Never mind how bad it is when you arrive. This means that more than 1% of refugees who leave for Europe on the Mediterranean die or disappear before getting there. *RON*]
Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker / TruthOut, 7 November 2016
With little mention in the media, a grim milestone was passed off the southern shores of Europe last month.

With the death toll of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea already surpassing all of last year, 2016 has become the deadliest year on record for those fleeing the violence, poverty and horror of their home countries in the hope of finding a better life in Europe.

As of October 31, some 3,940 refugees have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. By comparison, the IOM counted 3,771 refugee fatalities in the Mediterranean in all of 2015.

As one European government after another has t…

Women who alleged rape and assault by Uber drivers end their lawsuit

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[The 'sharing economy' runs the risk of unleashing a Wild West of criminal activity with fuzzy corporate responsibility. Uber tried to distance itself from driver crimes, but to no avail. *RON*]

Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 6 November 2016
Ride-hailing startup Uber has settled a lawsuit that alleged brutal driver sexual assaults on two female passengers.

The terms of the settlement are confidential. By reaching a deal now, Uber avoids a trial, scheduled for March, that could have been incredibly damaging to its image. Uber declined to comment on the case, and the lawyer representing the anonymous plaintiffs didn't respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit (PDF) was originally filed in October of last year, with both plaintiffs listed as Jane Does. The complaint described two assaults. In the first, "Doe 1" said she was assaulted by her driver, Abderrahim Dakiri, after her two other friends were dropped off.


To deal with climate change we need a new financial system

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[Some interesting idea here. Abolishing debt-based currency isn’t a new idea, but it could hold the secret to ending our economies’ environmentally damaging addiction to growth. *RON*]
Jason Hickel, The Guardian, 5 November 2016

When it comes to global warming, we know that the real problem is not just fossil fuels – it is the logic of endless growth that is built into our economic system. If we don’t keep the global economy growing by at least 3% per year, it plunges into crisis. That means we have to double the size of the economy every 20 years, just to stay afloat. It doesn’t take much to realise that this imperative for exponential growth makes little sense given the limits of our finite planet.

Airbnb a Problem, Not a Solution, for Homeowners, Renters and Cities

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[It’s being picked on by councils around the world. And for good reason. If you're in a condo you might want to ask your council if your by laws cover these concerns adequately. Aside from what is said here, the whole 'sharing economy' is really just an attempt to cut business costs by not only eliminating unions but eliminating the employer-employee relationship entirely, along with all the responsibilities this implies. *RON*]

By Bill Tieleman,, 1 Nov 2016

“Unregulated hotels operated in residential properties are disruptive to communities and pose serious safety concerns for guests and neighbors.” — Airbnb Watch website

Poor Airbnb. The “home sharing” multinational business valued at $25.5 billion is being picked on by mean old city councils around the world.

Watching current TV advertising in British Columbia, you might think Airbnb is practically a charity, helping out cash-strapped homeowners while providing tourists w…