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"An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the United States Follows Arrival of the Radioactive Plume From Fukushima: Is There A Correlation?" by Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman Initial signs of the global health impact of the Fukushima disaster in the United States. <http://www.radiation.org/reading/pubs/HS42_1F.pdf> "North Korea's Justifiable Anger" by Stansfield Smith An anti-imperialist perspective on US conflict with North Korea. <http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/10/north-koreas-justifiable-anger/>
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Weekly Audit: Bigger Than ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’
Now that trillions of taxpayer dollars have been pumped through the financial system, Wall Street giants JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are reporting record profits—and giving out record bonuses. Goldman is planning to pay out $11.4 billion in compensation “earned” with our money. Even worse, attempts to regulate reckless financiers or empower ordinary workers are still being stymied by influential corporate lobbyists.
How did Goldman score the biggest quarterly profit in its history? Matt Taibbi explains in an interview with GritTV’s Laura Flanders. The $10 billion in direct capital that Goldman received from taxpayers under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is actually one of the minor offenses. The company also converted corporate charters to become eligible for guarantees, and issued a whopping $28 billion[...]More
Monday, 20 July 2009
News from the French Press
Finance : a return to regulation
By Christian Chavagneux
On June 18th of last year, Barack Obama presented his plan for the reform of American finance regulation at the same time as the European heads of state revealed their plan with the same objective. The political dynamic instilled by the G20 conference of last April was still in effect; on both sides of the Atlantic, the rulers took strong positions on taking the finance industry in hand. The vigilance of these plans depends solely on their implementation; there may be a gap between[...]More
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Weekly Pulse: The Bill the House Built
By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire Blogger
The House Democrats unveiled their eagerly anticipated healthcare bill on Tuesday. That's right, three key committees managed to agree on a single bill. Beltway insiders think this show of unity is a big deal. But remember, the House Dems can be expected to pass whatever legislation is put in front of them because they have a healthy majority and no filibuster. The real challenge is getting the bill through the Senate.
The House bill would create an insurance exchange where the self-employed and small employers could order off a "menu" featuring a public plan and various private options. The hope is that insurance companies would offer better rates in order to put their plan on the national menu. Private options would also compete against the public plan.
Healthcare reform could look very different by the time the Senate gets through with it, but that's not slowing down the prognosticators. In the Prospect, Dana Goldstein considers what the new bill might mean for reproductive[...]More
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Weekly Audit: Unions and Wage Growth Can Fuel Recovery
The U.S. economy is in big trouble right now, and the reform process may be missing a key point. When banks ran into severe trouble late last year, the government responded quickly with a massive bailout, but very little has been done to address a major structural flaw that has left our economy so vulnerable: rampant income inequality. In a system based on consumer spending, we have stretched consumers beyond their limit.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich argues that we are in for a long period of economic woe over at Talking Points Memo. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the U.S. economy, so when consumers go broke, everything shuts down. Ordinary Americans' wages have been declining for decades, and the collapse of the housing bubble wiped out roughly $14 trillion in household wealth. Simply rebooting in the hopes that our simultaneous assault and dependence on consumer pocketbooks will work again will not be effective.
"This economy can't get back on track because the track we were on for years—featuring flat or declining median[...]More
Thursday, 09 July 2009
News from The Indypendent
Pro-Development Legislation Repealed in Peru Following Indigenous Protests
by Jacquie Simone
Thousands of indigenous Amazonian protesters in Peru
succeeded in forcing the government to repeal legislation that would
have increased foreign-led development plans and extractive industries,
such as logging, oil drilling and mining.
Indigenous Peruvians began blockading roads, rivers and railways April 9 to protest this legislation, which was passed to implement the 2007 U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Police forces attacked nonviolent protesters June 5 outside the city of Bagua, in the northern Peruvian Amazon. An estimated 60 indigenous protesters and 24 police officers were killed in the ensuing conflict.
Facing international criticism, the Peruvian Congress voted 82 to 12 to repeal the Forestry and Wildlife Law. The government also revoked a reform that permitted changes in land use without full prior consent of indigenous peoples. This means that indigenous groups have the right to be consulted before their traditionally held lands are developed.More
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