LOCAL AUTHORITIES in Charlotte, N.C., have passed a law designed to restrict demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), scheduled for September.The key part of the legislation, which takes the form of an amendment to city code, is a provision empowering the city manager--an appointed, not elected, official--to declare an event "of international or national significance" to be an "extraordinary event." The city manager may then specify and limit the times and locations in which demonstrations can occur. The law further empowers the city to establish permit deadlines for protesters wishing to stage marches and demonstrations. The bill has no sunset clause, meaning that it will stay on the books permanently.
In an automated “robocall” to Florida voters, the Gingrich campaign claimed that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney prevented Jewish Holocaust survivors from eating kosher food.“As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes,” a recorded voice says. “Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors?”As tasteless as the ad may be, The New York Post reported last week that that Romney had used his veto in 2003 to reject $600,000 in funds that would have allowed poor Jewish nursing homes to get Kosher meals.
A charter school near Flint, Michigan is refusing to make an exception for a 17-year-old leukemia survivor who is growing out his hair to donate to other cancer patients.I fought cancer my entire life; I’m going to keep fighting this,” he told The Detroit News. “I’m not going to not give back just because my school says no.”“Female students can grow and donate their hair, yet boys cant not, we’re asking for an ammendment to this policy, my son has now been kicked out of school, until he agrees to cut his hair, we are simply asking for compromise and to allow not only my son, but anyone wanting to donate to be allowed to do so, to allow the boys the same rights and freedoms as the girl students.”
Greece's financial crisis has made some families so desperate they are giving up the most precious thing of all - their children. - One morning a few weeks before Christmas a kindergarten teacher in Athens found a note about one of her four-year-old pupils. "I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her," it read. "Please take good care of her. Sorry. Her mother." In the last two months Father Antonios, a young Orthodox priest who runs a youth centre for the city's poor, has found four children on his doorstep - including a baby just days old. [...] One of the children cared for by Father Antonios is Natasha, a bright two-year-old brought to his centre by her mother a few weeks ago. The woman said she was unemployed and homeless and needed help
Pentagon acknowledges Scenario of Heavy Combat Casualties
It is common knowledge that a short victorious war usually raises the country’s leader’s popularity to the skies. The current US president needs this badly as his rating is rather low at present. However, a war against Iran is unlikely to be short and victorious. Iran is a much stronger enemy than Iraq or Afghanistan, where the wars have already lasted for 10 years. Incidentally, the US invaded Iraq on the same charges it is using against Iran now. No nuclear weapons have been discovered in Iraq, so Washington has to think again.
Oil embargos against Iran are not new. In 1951, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh with the support of the Iranian Parliament nationalized the Iranian oil industry. As a result of Dr. Mossadegh’s nationalization program, the British militarily blockaded the territorial waters and national ports of Iran with the British Royal Navy and prevented Iran from exporting its oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both the U.S. dollar and the euro together constitute 84.4% of the world’s currency exchange reserves (end of 2011 date). The U.S. dollar alone, consists of largest share of the world’s currency exchange reserves in 2011, namely 61.7%.Energy sales are an important part of this equation, because the American dollar is tied to the oil trade. Thus, oil trade, through what is called the petro-dollar, is helping sustain the American dollar’s international standing. Countries around the world have been virtually forced to use the U.S. dollar to maintain their energy and trade needs and transactions.
The bilateral talks between Washington and Manila on January 26 and 27 to negotiate the expansion of the US military presence and the deployment of US warships and surveillance aircraft in the Philippines are another step in the Obama administration’s strategy of encircling China.. The deployment of troops and ships to the Philippines, in addition to those stationed in Australia and Singapore, enhances the US ability to shut down China’s imports of energy and raw materials, and cripple its economy.Washington iscompensating for its economic weakness by recklessly wielding its military power to undermine China and pre-empt its rise as an economic and military rival.The strategic regional deployment of US forces recalls Washington’s oil blockade against Japan in 1941, which set in motion a sequence of events that led to the Pacific War. As the United States encircles China and poses the threat of a potentially crippling blockade, the options left open to the Chinese ruling elite become increasingly limited.
Despite claims that its focus is on diplomatic and economic sanctions against Iran, the Obama administration is making barely disguised preparations for military strikes to back its threat to use “all options” to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.The article pointed out that “some Pentagon planners believe conventional bombs won’t be effective against Fordo and that a tactical nuclear weapon may be the only military option if the goal is to destroy the facility.” Discussion of the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iran underlines the recklessness of US foreign policy and Obama’s oft-repeated mantra that “all options are on the table.”
The New York Times on Sunday published a lengthy article in its weekly magazine that sympathetically and clinically lays out the arguments of Israeli policy makers in favor of a military attack on Iran sometime this year.Appearing in the context of newly announced US and European sanctions against Iranian oil exports and a buildup of US naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the article serves a definite and sinister purpose: to provide the pretexts and condition public opinion for a preemptive and unprovoked war of aggression that will have catastrophic consequences for the people of Iran and the Middle East and ultimately for the entire world.One can imagine similar articles appearing in the German press in the run-up to the Nazi invasion of Poland, calmly laying out the matters of self-defense obliging the Third Reich to subjugate its neighbor to the east.
Wheat prices ended at a four-month high in Chicago, and in Paris at their highest since June, boosted by concerns over Black Sea supplies fostered by a double whammy of frost and export curb concerns.
Arturo de los Santos, a U.S. Marine veteran who was evicted last year in Riverside, California, after Freddie Mac and JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on his house last June. De los Santos and his family reoccupied their home in December with help from the Occupy movement, but face eviction again this week.
"It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the imports from Iran drastically, because among the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economies, Iran is an important country amongst them," the Indian finance minister said.
The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) plans to use the Super Bowl in Indianapolis this year to pressure Hershey’s into taking action over forced labor practices that continue to plague the West African cocoa industry. The ad, titled “Hershey’s Chocolate: Kissed by Child Labor,” will appear on a jumbotron screen immediately outside Lucas Oil Stadium during the Super Bowl. “In West Africa, where Hershey’s sources much of its cocoa, over 200,000 children are forced to harvest cocoa beans every year,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the ILRF. “Hershey prides itself on its commitment to supporting underserved children in the United States, yet it lags behind when it comes to putting policies in place to end the exploitation of children in the cocoa industry.” Mars and Nestlé have both committed to begin sourcing cocoa that is independently certified to comply with labor rights standards, but Hershey’s has not. “Hershey has no policies in place to purchase cocoa that has been produced without the use of child labor, and the company has consistently refused to provide public information about its cocoa sources,” Gearhart said.
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