Showing posts from May 24, 2017

Trans Mountain fight 'going to be ugly,' says industry veteran at Edmonton oil, gas conference

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[Things have been dead as a doornail on the protest front, but it appears that the oil industry itself expects trouble when the project actually starts. *RON*]
Jonny Wakefield, Edmonton Sun, 19 May 2017
Expect an “uprising” in B.C.’s Lower Mainland over Trans Mountain to further complicate Justin Trudeau’s pipeline policy, an energy industry leader told an Edmonton oil-and-gas conference Friday.

“When the shovels hit the ground, my belief is there’s going to be an uprising in Burnaby, et cetera, and it’s going to be ugly,” said Bruce Robertson, an oil-and-gas industry veteran and chairman of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada. “And Trudeau et al. have got to make a decision (on) whether and how he flexes his muscle to get this thing approved.”

Pipeline politics, looming NAFTA renegotiations and Canada’s place in an increasingly uncertain energy world were among the topics discussed at Energy Visions, an annual conference organised …

Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990

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[While you're at it, see also: How Rising Seas and Coastal Storms Drowned the U.S. Flood Insurance Program, and Hawaii faces more flooding with possible record high tides. *RON*]

Chris Mooney, Washington Post, 22 May 2017 A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise, but its acceleration, is now underway.

“We have a much stronger acceleration in sea level rise than formerly thought,” said Sönke Dangendorf, a researcher with the University of Siegen in Germany who led the study along with scientists at institutions in Spain, France, Norway and the Netherlands.

Their paper, just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, isn’t the first to find that the rate of rising seas is itself increasing — but it finds a bigger rate of increase than in …

Citigroup Agrees to $97.4 Million Settlement in Money Laundering Inquiry

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[Sessions first big case. This is how the liar Donald Trump drains the swamp, with the same old collusion, with more cost-of-doing-business, slap-on-the-wrist 'punishments' for criminal banksters. *RON*]

Michael Corkery & Ben Protess, New York Times, 22 May 2017

For years, Citigroup employees feared that millions of dollars the bank was moving to Mexico might be suspicious. Yet in many cases, the bank did not alert regulators or step up its monitoring for money laundering, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Even as the Citigroup unit Banamex USA was growing to dominate remittances from the United States to Mexico, the bank did not properly safeguard its systems from being infiltrated by drug money and other illicit funds, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Citigroup agreed to pay $97.4 million in a settlement after a long federal investigation into Banamex USA. In exchange, the Justice Department will not file criminal charges against the bank…

Noam Chomsky Looks at How the System Is Rigged to Ensure That Corporations Always Win

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[I haven't read the book, but the documentary (available on Netflix) is excellent. *RON*]
Noam Chomsky, Moyers and Company / Truthdig, 17 May 2017

Noam Chomsky’s new book, “Requiem for the American Dream: The Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power,” based on the film of the same name, is a primer in Chomsky’s analysis of the faults of the American political and economic system. Taking as its backbone the idea that “a significant part of the American Dream is class mobility: You’re born poor, you work hard, you get rich,” Chomsky systematically documents the many ways the system is rigged from top to bottom to ensure that corporations always win.

As Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges notes in a blurb for the book, “Its power to write its own laws and regulations, Chomsky points out, has ultimately created a mafia economic system and a mafia political system that is exemplified in the rise to power of the demagogue Donald Trump.”

In th…

All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron

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[How is it that our political choices nowadays are restricted to electing neoliberal banksters versus fascists? *RON*]

Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch, 22 May 2017

A ghost of the past was the real winner of the French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron won only because a majority felt they had to vote against the ghost of “fascism” allegedly embodied by his opponent, Marine Le Pen. Whether out of panic or out of the need to feel respectable, the French voted two to one in favor of a man whose program most of them either ignored or disliked. Now they are stuck with him for five years.

If people had voted on the issues, the majority would never have elected a man representing the trans-Atlantic elite totally committed to “globalization”, using whatever is left of the power of national governments to weaken them still further, turning over decision-making to “the markets” – that is, to international capital, managed by the major banks and financi…

Taiwan court rules in favour of same-sex marriage

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[First Asian nation to do so! Cf. Gay man caned in Indonesia as crowd chants "hit him harder" *RON*]
Johnson Lai & Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press / CTV News, 24 May 2017
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In a first for Asia, Taiwan's constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.

In its majority opinion, the court said a provision in the current civil code barring same-sex marriages stood in violation of two articles of the constitution safeguarding human dignity and equality under the law.

Authorities must now either enact or amend relevant laws within two years, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognized by submitting a written document, the court said.

The ruling was greeted with rapturous applause outside the legislature not far from the court in the centre of the capita…