Today, a new Tennessee law setting the foundation to stop enforcement of gun control imposed by international law or treaty goes into effect.House Bill 2389 (HB2389) was introduced by Rep. John Windle (D-Livingston) in January. It prohibits law enforcement officers from enforcing provisions of international law and treaties that limit gun rights as specified in Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee State Constitution.
Strict rules in place during next month’s Republican National Convention ban Coke cans, glass bottles, tennis balls and “any projectile launcher,” specifically BB guns, paintball guns and water guns from a broad swath of downtown Cleveland. But actual guns are allowed in public areas of the restrictive 1.7 square mile event zone.
Jamaica is contemplating giving tourists arriving in the country the chance to get high as soon as they clear customs. Talks are underway on installing cannabis kiosks at airports and seaports, which Jamaica believes could boost government revenues.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to start the process of normalizing trade ties with Turkey, seven months after Ankara-Moscow relations went into a downward spiral following Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet last year.
Two days before a potential historical default, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla made it clear that the commonwealth won’t pay bondholders even as Congress votes on a bill allowing the island to restructure its $70 billion in debt.“On July 1, 2016, Puerto Rico will default on more than $1 billion in general obligation bonds, the island’s senior credits protected by a constitutional lien on revenues,”said the commonwealth couldn’t raise enough to cover what’s owed to bondholders even if he shut down the government. The island has $2 billion in principal and interest payments due Friday.
A broadly-backed initiative to legalize marijuana in the country's most populous state will be on the California ballot in November. The secretary of state's office made it official Tuesday afternoon, certifying that a random sample of more than 600,000 signatures turned in showed there were enough valid signatures to qualify the measure..
Computer scientist Dr. Hany Farid claims to have developed an algorithm that can permanently remove extremist content from the Web — before it has a chance to go viral. identifying extremist images and videos on the Internet by searching for that contents’ unique digital markers, appears to be nothing standing in the way of programmers using the technology to target things like political speech.
Trump told supporters, “we got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism, focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class, to a policy of globalism — focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries, all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy itself.”
The demonstration in the French capital attracted at least 55,000 participants, according to the organizers. More than 2,500 officers were deployed. Similar demonstrations have taken place across the country.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met in Berlin to discuss Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, they pushed for a rapid exit by Britain and a massive build-up of EU military and police operations. Brexit vote has unleashed a series of financial and political crises with vast global ramifications. EU is trying to integrate its remaining 27 member states on the basis of a further shift to the right, increased austerity and a militarist foreign policy; sets the stage for an escalation of attacks on the working class, explosive international conflicts, including with Washington.
A former president of the U.N. General Assembly John Ashe awaiting trial in a bribery scandal died in a weightlifting accident when a barbell he was lifting from a bench dropped on his neck, an autopsy revealed Thursday. Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips. Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration.
Food prices are expected to rise after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), because of the country’s dependence on imports and devaluation of the pound. British farmers get about £3 billion in subsidies from the EU annually.
"Citizens of Great Britain have decided to refuse the diktat from Brussels. Now eight more countries want to hold referendums to exit the EU – France, Holland, Italy, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia all could leave. Italian ministers warned on Saturday that the European Union MUST change course or risk total collapse after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.
The government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group announced they had reached a definitive ceasefire agreement, putting an end to the decades-long conflict. The Colombian government and FARC have been engaged in peace talks since November 2012 and have reached a number of important agreements including on landmine removal, land reform, transitional justice and an end to illegal drug trafficking. FARC was formed in 1964 as the military wing of Colombia's Communist Party.
In the wake of Britain's unprecedented vote to leave the European Union on Thursday, reaction was tumultuous: Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, global financial markets were plunged into volatility, various nations consider their next moves; nationalist parties in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark demand their countries also hold referendums on whether to leave or remain in the EU.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: "A referendum on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has taken place," the prime minister said. "Certainly I would like to note this is a internal affair of the Britons. However, it’s obvious the results of this referendum are important not merely for the UK citizens and the European Union but for the global economy on the whole," it is important to analyze Brexit consequences now and the Russian government will decide on measures for the national economy.
UK is unlikely to immediately leave the European market and stop financing the EU funds. At the same, they are likely to immediately cancel control of the European Supreme Court over their national security as well as undertake decisive measures to limit immigration. To leave the EU, the UK also needs to undergo a number of procedures. In particular, it must inform the European Council about its intention to withdraw from the Union. The European Council will then decide on the principles on the basis of which the UK's withdrawal will be discussed.
Stock markets from Tokyo to London collapsed on Friday as Britons voted to leave the European Union and David Cameron announced plans to resign as prime minister. The British pound suffered its biggest plunge since 1985, while the euro saw its biggest fall ever. More than £100 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 as the index plunged almost eight percent at the start of trade in London. It was the biggest market fall in UK history. Germany's DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris were down as much as eight percent.
Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) in yesterday’s referendum by a narrow margin—51.9 percent to 48.1 percent on a turnout of 72 percent. In response, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he was standing down, but not until the Conservative Party conference in October. The referendum result has sent a seismic shock, not only through Britain but Europe and the world. It confounded the expectations of the financial markets, hedge funds, bookmakers and the political establishment. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and the second largest in Europe.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: "We could not help being surprised and shocked by the fact that employees of the US Department of State signed a letter that a military scenario of an attack on Syria, a military scenario of solving the Syrian problem should be implemented," "We were shocked by this, because it was signed by diplomats, that is, the people who should deal with the peaceful political settlement."
Massachusetts’ top court on Thursday overturned the conviction of a homeless man who had been found guilty of criminal trespassing for sleeping in a mixed-use building during the winter of 2014, ruling he had a legal right to argue that there was no safer alternative.weather conditions on the dates of the offenses in February and March presented a ‘clear and imminent danger’ to a homeless person;,the town regularly had temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 C).
A new bill in the Russian Duma, the country's lower legislative house, proposes to make cryptographic backdoors mandatory in all messaging apps in the country so the Federal Security Service -- the successor to the KGB -- can obtain special access to all communications within the country; recommended new anti-terrorism measures requiring telecommunications operators to store phone and Internet records for three years. Russian Attorney General Yuri Chaika proposed granting regional prosecutors authority to block websites without any judicial oversight, if the websites spread information about preparations for unsanctioned political demonstrations and calls to mass unrest.
Trump: "Here is my promise to the American voter," said. "If I am elected President, I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington, D.C." "The other candidate in this race has spent her entire life making money for special interests – and taking money from special interests."She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund – doing favors for oppressive regimes, and many others, in exchange for cash."Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists, CEOs, and foreign governments in the years since 2001."The choice in this election is a choice between taking our government back from the special interests, or surrendering our last scrap of independence to their total and complete control.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his country faces a greater threat of war from Hillary Clinton becoming US President, as opposed to Donald Trump.Earlier, during a meeting with Aerospace Defense Forces (ADF) commanders, Putin gave a grim prediction about the US presidential elections: “If it’s Hillary Clinton, it’s war”, Putin’s decision to launch early missile warning system satellites from the Plesetsk Spaceport by the end of December, ahead of a new US president taking office in January, 2017, is in direct response to the Obama regimes activation of missile defense shields on the Russian periphery, including in Romania and Poland.
On the eve of Thursday’s referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union (EU), an event that threatens to substantially destabilize the world economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has warned that protectionism is on the rise as world trade stagnates. The threat by Britain to leave the EU is only the most visible expression of growing tendencies toward economic nationalism and autarchy, expressed in the rise of right-wing nationalist politicians such as Donald Trump in the United States, Nigel Farage in Britain, Marine Le Pen in France, and similar figures in other countries.
The International Monetary Fund is warning the United States to tackle poverty, downgrading its forecast for the country’s economy this year. IMF released an annual assessment of the US economy Wednesday, saying approximately one in seven Americans live in poverty. The US was urged to raise the minimum wage and offer women paid maternity leave in an effort to deal with poverty."Not only does poverty create significant social strains, it also eats into labor force participation, and undermines the ability to invest in education and improve health outcomes,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
"The State of Israel is proud to be the first in our region to receive and operate the plane," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said during the ceremony, according to the Jerusalem Post. Liberman described the aircraft as "the most advanced in the world, and is the best selection by defense chiefs for safeguarding Israel’s aerial superiority."Israel has ordered 33 F-35As, the conventional takeoff and landing variant of the aircraft, and has an option to purchase 17 more
Thousands of Brits have rushed to buy foreign currency during the last week over fears the pound will drop more than 20 percent if the UK votes to leave the EU.The Post Office reports sales of currencies are 74 percent higher this week than they were during the same week last year while online purchases jumped by 381 percent. Royal Mint – which produces gold and silver coins – says its sales soared by a third in June.
Transnational corporations are wreaking havoc on financial, economic, social and ecological systems in a creeping colonisation of public life where just 147 organisations now controls 40 per cent of global trade..
Maine Gov. Paul LePage threatening to completely eliminate Maine’s entire food stamp program unless the United States Department of Agriculture allows the state to restrict food stamps from being used to buy sugary foods and drinks; state has cut more than 40,000 people from receiving SNAP benefits between 2014 and 2015
Last Tuesday, NATO agreed to deploy "four robust multinational battalions" that will serve in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland on a rotational basis. NATO continues to publicly accuse Russia of aggression. General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, has assured reporters that additional troops will not be needed, as Russia does not actually pose a threat. "It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing."
Since June 1, a dozen members of the group Food Not Bombs. an international political organization that protests war, poverty and the destruction of the environment, have been arrested for violating a new Orlando city ordinance that prohibits sharing food with large groups in downtown parks more than twice a year. The mayor of Orlando branded them “food terrorists.”
What I see in Orlando is the same pattern as in the other events:, questionable shootings, crisis actors, an official story set at the moment of the event’s announcement, no conflicting testimony, investigation by media, just endless repetition of a set story. Governments lie in to serve their agendas:: the Gulf of Tonkin North Vietnamese attack on a US Navy ship, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasion of Ukraine They resulted in wars that killed thousands of US soldiers and killed, maimed, and displaced millions of Vietnamese and Muslims, now overrunning Europe as refugees.. American people are too gullible to be capable of preserving liberty.
Brazil recently refused all U.S.-grown GM crops, genetically modified foods are in approximately 80 percent of all packaged, conventional foods in grocery stores in America — other countries are refusing to import them, grow them, or sell them within their borders.
Two US aircraft carriers along with their accompanying ships have been deployed in the Philippine Sea to conduct training drills near the disputed waters of the South China Sea, China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The waters are believed to sit atop vast reserves of oil and gas.
Last week launch of NATO’s Anakonda-16 war games, The exercise consisted of 30,000 troops supported by several arsenals of vehicles, aircraft and ships will be deployed in one of the biggest exercises on NATO’s eastern flank since the end of the Cold War. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: ”“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken,” “We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation. Rather than risk inflaming the already-volatile situation further “through saber-rattling and warmongering,” there needs to be more dialogue and cooperation with Moscow, Steinmeier said.
Brazil recently refused all U.S.-grown GM crops. While we are continuously force fed genetically modified foods — since they are in approximately 80 percent of all packaged, conventional foods in grocery stores in America — other countries are refusing to import them, grow them, or sell them within their borders.
Israeli marriage law makes it a two-year prison offence for any Jew marrying outside of the rabbinical authorities in that country, it has emerged after a failed attempt to overturn the rabbinate’s authority in the Israeli parliament.
British politician and Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being attacked in a local constituency, police have confirmed, drawing to a halt immense campaigning over the country’s future in the European Union (EU). Cox, an outspoken Remain campaigner, was reportedly shot and stabbed during a regular public meeting with constituents in Birstall, near Leeds in northern England on Thursday.
On Wednesday, following the broad mobilization of workers in Tuesday’s protest against the Socialist Party (PS) government’s regressive labor law, President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls threatened to impose an outright ban on further protests against the law.
U.S. Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017 with provisions that will force women to sign up for potential military draft and continues the practice of indefinite detention. One issue the entire Congress seemed to agree on was voting against closing military bases around the world.
The new law would go after those who deny genocide or crimes against humanity, using the definition by the International Court of Justice, the German news agency DPA reported. Those convicted could face prison terms of two to six years.The measure punishes ideas “based entirely or partly” on negationist ideology only when “there is a real danger of their dissemination,” according to DPA.
Fleets from the United States, India and Japan are planned to stage a large-scale naval drill in the Western Pacific region, where China has territorial claims.
German magazine Focus Online: The attitude of NATO countries toward the planned deployment of troops in the Baltic States is far from united. There is a fierce debate going on in the alliance, with the United States literally struggling to coerce European states to strengthen military presence in the east. Pressure is aimed at obtaining military budgets, creating a zone of instability around Russia and undermining the relations between Russia and the European Union,
Retired Southern Californian couple, Ron and Sarah Hall, found out the hard way that the state frowns upon homeowners installing powerful solar panels. SoCal Edison did not allow the Halls to activate their solar system because “it exceeded state standards for energy production. The panels they installed, would have generated too much power: 28% over the amount a homeowner is allowed to produce.The state is concerned homeowners who produce too much power with their solar systems could sell the excess power and therefore potentially be energy retailers.
The mass public killing that took place in Florida this morning at the self described “Orlando’s hottest gay bar.“ Florida law prohibits people from legally carrying guns into Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose.
Some 5,000 Germans protested Saturday near the US military air base located in Ramstein, Germany against drone strikes, local media reported. In April 2015, media reports revealed that a US military base in Germany’s Ramstein was a center of the US drone program, which uses unmanned aerial vehicles for air strikes in the Middle East and Africa.
Police have deployed pepper spray against left- and right-wing activists who clashed in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The intense fighting involving stones, firecrackers and even iron rods resulted in 13 injuries, four of these to police officers. The right-wing members said they were against the influx of refugees in Austria.
“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has admitted that his decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from the organization’s blacklist came after threats from a number of countries. Human rights groups are urging him to backtrack on the decision.Ban said on Thursday that temporarily removing the coalition from the blacklist was “one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make,” and that it raised “the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously.”
The current sanctions should not be seen as an obstacle for investing in the Russian economy, Italian Ambassador to Russia Cesare Maria Ragaglini said on Friday. "Italy believes that Russia is an important country at the global level," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel. "Sanctions, both Europe’s and Russia’s, should not be used as a pretext or an alibi not to invest in Russia."
A Lee County jury today convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 felony charges in his ethics case, removing Hubbard from office. Hubbard faces up to 20 years in prison for each ethics count. Sentencing is set for July 8.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law allowing unauthorized immigrants to buy health insurance on a state exchange created under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, making the state the first in the country to offer that kind of coverage.The law lets the state request a waiver from the federal government that will be needed to allow unauthorized immigrants to purchase unsubsidized insurance through Covered California, the state’s healthcare exchange.
The new government, led by Rousseff’s former vice president Michel Temer, has formed most reactionary cabinet since the fall of US-backed military dictatorship in 1985. Investigation of bribes-for-contracts scandal at state-owned oil giant Petrobras, the cabinet has lost two key ministers. The government,pledges to impose full burden of Brazil’s economic crisis on working class, with budget cuts and scaling back of social rights and poverty relief programs. Temer, is deeply worried about provoking a social explosion. Workers and youth are showing the first signs of resistance, teachers, university professors and staff strikes against salary and budget cuts,school and campus occupations..
Creation of BRICS has very much frightened a number of states.To think that this bloc of countries would collapse means to commit a strategic and an unforgivable geopolitical error…I am sure that those who want to seize power in Brazil have no understanding of the world order. I am assuming they have stalled in the 1980s or even 1970s in terms of their perception of the world," Rousseff said in an interview with the Russian Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
. Ohio the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. The bill lays out a number of steps that must happen first to set up the state's medical marijuana program, which is expected to be fully operational in about two years. The law would allow patients to use marijuana in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, but bar them from smoking it or growing it at home.
92,000 individual plan holders of four health insurance companies in Colorado are going to have to start looking for new health insurance coverage in 2017 thanks to Obamacare. According to the Colorado Division of Insurance, Anthem, UnitedHealthCare, Humana and Rocky Mountain Health Plans will no longer be offering individual coverage in that state.Other companies are proposing rate hikes in Colorado of up to 40%. One health care provider, Golden Rule, is seeking a 40.6 percent rate hike, Rocky Mountain HMO wants to raise its rates by 34.6 percent Colorado Choice asking for a 36.3 percent jump.
The Scottish National Party’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said he and his government remained “deeply skeptical” on the merits of fracking and confirmed that the practice would not be allowed in Scotland until there is clear evidence that it does not cause health-related or environmental harm.
The law, billed by its backers as the toughest U.S. legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. The crackdown has caused Hispanics to leave for neighboring states, with as many as 25,000 leaving northeastern Oklahoma alone, according to the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "I feel like I'm in some kind of Nazi country where if they see your color, you'll be stopped," said Maria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student who is looking to leave Oklahoma rather than risk waiting the seven years it will take to get her papers. "I can't work, I can't study, I can't go out, there's no point of me staying here."
Over the past few months, France has been witnessing violent demonstrations and strikes over contentious labor reforms put forward by the country's government. In another development on Wednesday, French trash collectors and waste treatment workers went on strike..
Many Georgians could face huge increases in their health premiums next year from insurers still struggling with health-care reform six years after passage of the Affordable Care Act.
The voter initiative that would legalize marijuana in California isn't officially on the ballot yet,, but the prospect of legal weed is already driving a real estate bubble from the San Francisco Bay on up to the state's pot cultivation heartland in Northern California's Emerald Triangle.The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) would open up the nation's single largest marijuana market, and investors with are moving fast to snap up rural properties up north, as well as Bay area warehouses and office space.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called open and constructive his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day. "We discussed the whole range of bilateral cooperation issues," the president told reporters after the talks. Moscow is ready to develop energy cooperation with Israel, Putin said.Russia will strengthen cooperation with Israel in anti-terrorism fight, Putin added.
Early results from Peru's presidential election show Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has a slight lead over Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of an imprisoned ex-president .Both have vowed to unite Peru after the violent period of rule by Fujimori's father Alberto in the 1990s during a civil conflict killed 70,000 people. Alberto Fujimori is now serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses and corruption committed during his rule.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice promised Israel on Monday that the new military aid agreement between the two nations that is currently being negotiated will constitute “the single largest military assistance package — with any country — in American history.”, Rice said the new decade-long aid package, expected to provide Israel between $37.5 billion and $40 billion to update Israel’s aircraft fleet and strengthen missile defenses.
US lawmakers must reject the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement as it poses a direct threat to water and food quality and to property rights across the United States, a coalition of more than 450 civil society groups wrote in a letter to Congress. The groups also requested the US Trade Representative to remove from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals
Thousands of protesters have marched through Macedonia’s capital and pelted paint-bombs at the main government building and police. They urged the government’s resignation, despite President Gjorge Ivanov recently ceding to opposition demands. Although the demonstrators welcomed Gjorge Ivanov’s decision to rescind pardons for government officials caught in a recent wire-tapping scandal, they said it was not enough. They demanded his resignation and the full prosecution of those who were implicated.
Russia’s NATO Ambassador Alexander Grushko: Threats to NATO from Russia,, is a myth; used as an external factor to substantiate that "NATO is seen as an additional band to fix unity of the West.". The rhetoric was not substantiated. "All these games of NATO’s fearfulness, they must end sooner or later, as it is difficult to live all the time in the smoke of an ideological campaign built on nothing; warned that Russia will provide a military technical and political answer to NATO’s actions at its eastern borders.. "Russia, can ensure its security very efficiently...
Warning against dangers to "workers, communities, and our environment," more than 450 environmental advocacy groups called on Congress to reject the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)."These deals harm workers, communities, and our environment,."allow multinational corporations sue nations in private, clandestine tribunals for passing laws they don't like.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has strongly denounced the ongoing military drills by NATO in Eastern Europe, threatening to take unspecified measures to respond to increased activity by the Western military bloc near its borders. This comes as the US-led military coalition has begun 10-day exercises, involving some 31,000 troops from Poland, the US, and 17 other NATO nations.
A child is killed in Yemen every four hours — but partly because 60 percent of those deaths in 2014, alone, were at the hands of the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led coalition, it has now been blacklisted by the United Nations. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon explained the constant bombardment of the country had taken a “devastating toll” on its civilian population — particularly on children who are maimed and killed by the hundreds, if not thousands.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: "We have paid great attention to security issues in the Baltic Sea area. We are convinced that there are no threats that would justify militarization in this part of the world," said at a press conference."We are confident that all the issues of cooperation in the Baltic Sea are and the north in general can and should be resolved within the framework of existing multilateral formats in the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic region.
Last weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual conference hosted in Singapore by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, was utilised by the Obama administration and US military to threaten China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea. Beijing responded with categorical assertions that it will not retreat and, in the words of its representative, Admiral Sun Jianguo, has “no fear of trouble.”
U.S. judge ruled in favor of allowing Colombians to sue former Chiquita Brand International executives for the company’s funding of a paramilitary group that murdered plaintiffs’ family members. Chiquita poured $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 into the outlawed far-right paramilitary group AUC,”“which operated as a death squad in Colombia.”The lawsuit alleges that Chiquita executives at the time, including the former CEO and COO, were fully aware that they were funding a terrorist group that was engaging in “a systematic campaign of terror; killings, torture, rape, kidnappings, forced disappearances and looting against the Colombian civilian population. Chiquita pled guilty to funding an organization designated by the U.S. as a global terrorist group in 2007, paid a $25 million criminal fine.
Environmental Protection Agency wants to raise the amount of biofuels in America’s gasoline, an energy industry executive says the move could severely damage most of the vehicles in the U.S., reduce the amount of energy per gallon and add to the national economic uncertainty.
Blue Cross Blue Shield requested a 60% rate increase in 2017 in Texas following complaints from the company it is “losing money in the federal heatlh exchanges because some customers have proven more costly to cover than anticipated”.“United Healthcare reported losses of $650 million. Humana reported a 46% loss in the first quarter of 2016. Health insurance companies complain of profit losses, pull out of states who refuse to hike rates to unaffordable levels, it is likely the situation will become unsustainable..
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder now the subject of a federal racketeering (RICO) lawsuit filed by hundreds of Flint residents.The lawsuit alleges that the state of Michigan ran Flint’s day-to-day operations through an emergency manager, who attempted to partially balance the city’s budget through a cost-cutting measure: Switching Flint’s water source from Lake Huron, which had been the source of water in the city for more than 50 years, to a local, heavily polluted river.
Hillary: “The world must understand that the United States will act decisively if necessary, including with military action, to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In particular, Israel’s security is non-negotiable. They’re our closest ally in the region and we have a moral obligation to defend them.”
The ongoing stagnation in the global economy, marked by falling investment and the emergence of overproduction in key basic industries, is fuelling the rise of trade war protectionist measures by the major powers, above all the United States. Last week, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) launched an investigation into Chinese steel mills which have been accused by the United States Steel Corp of stealing secrets and conspiring to fix prices.
At least 33 cities across 17 US states have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead, a Guardian investigation launched in the wake of the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has found. Of these cities, 21 used the same water testing methods that prompted criminal charges against three government employees in Flint over their role in one of the worst public health disasters in US history. The Guardian’s investigation demonstrates that similar testing regimes were in place in cities including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee.
France's Minister of Education's suggestion to include Arabic among the language choices for French pupils in primary schools has triggered a harsh response from French politicians. This initiative did not sit well with many French politicians, sparking heated debates about whether teaching Arabic in schools could be considered “Islamic indoctrination” and a "Trojan Horse.
All cars registered before 1997 will be banned in Paris July 1st, under as will all motorcycles registered before 1999..New law aimed at curbing smog and traffic problems will affect 10 percent of all vehicles in Paris Environment Minister Ségolène Royal agreed to plan that will classify cars into six categories, based on pollution levels, identified by colored stickers on windshields The environment ministry previously pushed for a system based on four categories, French mayors contested the plan. "If we had stayed at four stickers, one-third of vehicles would have been forbidden from Paris..The old-car ban has faced criticism;; will disproportionately affect lower-income drivers without significant environmental impact.
Clashes have erupted in Brazil with police deploying tear gas and rubber bullets, batons on protesters voicing their opposition to the country's new interim government. It follows the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff in a move that many are calling a coup. Demonstrators hit the streets of Brazil's largest city, Sao Paolo, for a rally calling for the removal of acting president Michel Temer.
Tens of thousands of impoverished, unemployed adults were cut off food stamps Friday, the first wave of a social catastrophe that could affect more than one million people this year. 22 states began terminating benefits for “Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, Adults, aged 18 to 49 years and without children, are generally the poorest section of the working class, eligible for only 90 days of food stamp benefits unless they have paid employment or job training for at least 80 hours in a month.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on Wednesday to shorten the list of Western food products banned in Russia. Poultry, beef and vegetables used in the production of baby food have been removed from the blacklist. European leaders are meeting in July to vote on whether to extend sanctions against Russia, which were imposed in 2014 after Moscow was accused of supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine and annexing Crimea.
Russia and China are eager to take their relationship of regional security to a new level with one of the main areas of cooperation aimed at dealing with issues relating to the situation in neighboring regions; trend in Russia's active attempts to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, which is widely manifested, in particular, in security cooperation,
The courts bureau to start a business closed most days .Public defender’s office converted into food bank for government employees; shutdown of many Government offices for all but two half-days each week. Electricity and water rationed, huge areas with little of either. Many cannot make international call because of dispute between government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates. Coca-Cola halting production because it was running out of sugar. Demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied; protests simply to get food,” Economic crisis fueled by low oil prices, country’s main export; drought crippled ability to generate hydroelectric power; decline in manufacturing and agricultural production. Bread shop stalled; owner could not find flour for sale because of food shortages. Public schools closed Fridays, to save electricity.
The State Bond Commission approved $22 million in grants and loans Friday for the world's largest hedge fund despite bipartisan complaints that the wealthy company can afford when state employees being laid off. The commission voted 7-2 to award the package to Bridgewater Associates, a giant in the financial industry operated by Greenwich billionaire Ray Dalio, one of the nation's wealthiest individuals.
Europe in revolt against anti-Russian sanctions; cost workers, businesses millions of jobs and earnings. Germany’s vice chancellor; economy minister Sigmar Gabriel latest high-profile politicians to come out against sanction between European Union and Russia. Russia responded to sanctions by banning exports from the EU and US. Trade war will cost EU over €100 billion in business, 2.5 million jobs. Hungary and Italy, which have strong historic trade ties with Russia, opposed to EU’s policy. Greece finance minister Dimitrios Mardas attributed major losses to Russian sanctions French. dairy, meat, vegetable and fruit exports to lucrative Russian market have been pummeled.
Democracy has been overthrown in Brazil as in Ukraine, Honduras. The Government of President Dilma Rousseff was dealing with the corrupt Brazilian elite in a legal, not a revolutionary, way..They used their power to remove Rousseff from the presidency, demonstrating to Brazilians that their votes are powerless to determine the government.
Two years after Colorado began its first retail sales of cannabis, towns and cities across the state are enjoying the benefits in a number of ways. With sales this year expected to reach $1 billion, local governments are seeing windfalls of tax revenue, which is funding education, recreation, infrastructure improvements, and aid to the homeless.Denver collected $29 million last year through taxes and licensing fees; Oregon enacted a 25 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis.
A court in Argentina found the country's last dictator along with 14 other former military commanders guilty of complicity in a US-backed deadly crackdown on leftist dissidents across South America in the 1970s and 80s.The court sentenced former dictator Reynaldo Bignone to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and abusing his powers in the forced disappearance of more than 100 people..Fourteen of the remaining 16 defendants received prison sentences of eight to 25 years for criminal association, kidnapping and torture. Two were found not guilty. Bignone, who ruled Argentina in 1982-1983, is already serving life sentences for crimes against humanity..
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan: No Muslim family should engage in birth control or family planning,calling on Muslims to have more children."We will multiply our descendants. They talk about population planning, birth control. No Muslim family can have such an approach," "Nobody can interfere in God's work. Women's groups and opposition politicians have criticized Erdogan and dismissing the Western idea of gender equality. He has previously equated birth control with treason.
Beijing accused US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter of having a Cold War mentality, following his statement that China risks creating a "Great Wall of self-isolation" over its actions in the South China Sea.Speaking at a daily news briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Carter's remarks “laid bare the stereotypical US thinking and US hegemony.”“Indeed, there are some in the US who live physically in the 21st century, but whose minds are stuck in the Cold War era,” she said, as quoted by AP. “China has no interest in any form of Cold War, nor are we interested in playing a role in a Hollywood movie written and directed by certain US military officials. However, China has no fear of and will counter any actions that threaten and undermine China's sovereignty and security..
Last week’s G7 summit in Japan was dominated by two interconnected issues: the deepening crisis of global capitalism and the drive to war, in particular the growing danger of a clash between China and the United States in the South China Sea. The inability of the major powers to offer the slightest resolution of the economic breakdown is fuelling national antagonisms and the slide toward conflict.The US and Japan pressed hard at the G7 gathering for a strong communiqué critical of China that would justify the ramping up of provocative American military incursions within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit around Chinese-claimed islets.
Thousands of Italians have taken to the streets of Rome and several other major cities to express their resentment with the austerity policies imposed by the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renz. Meanwhile, thousands of anti-austerity Spaniards from various political groups and unions attended a “march of dignity” in Madrid to protest against what they called the neo-liberal policies of the EU. The protesters expressed r anger at a variety of issues, including the Spanish government’s economic policies. They demanded an end to austerity measures that have caused cuts in a number of sectors including health and education.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the United States over American troops wearing insignia of Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) during an operation in Syria. In a Saturday speech in the mainly-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, Erdogan “condemned” Washington as not being “honest.” “Those who are our friends, those who are with us in NATO, should not and cannot send their soldiers to Syria with the sign of the YPG,” said Erdogan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first trip to a European Union country this year Friday with a visit to Greece that will include a stop at a secluded Christian Orthodox monastic sanctuary. Putin arrived for a two-day visit expected to focus on energy cooperation and Russian investments during talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.Athens is keen to maintain its traditionally close ties with post-Soviet Russia, despite its participation in European Union sanctions against Moscow, and a gas pipeline project designed to limit Russia's regional energy dominance.
The Israeli environment minister has officially resigned in protest at the appointment of hawkish politician Avigdor Lieberman as the regime’s new minister for military affairs. Avi Gabbay said in a resignation statement on Friday that the recent “political maneuvering” and replacement are “grave actions that ignore what is important for [Israel’s] security and will bring about more extremism and rifts among the people,”
Gov. Rick Snyder has called for the suspension of an internal state investigation into the Flint drinking water crisis after Attorney General Bill Schuette complained it was complicating — and compromising — his ongoing criminal investigation.
Rail workers in Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia began an indefinite strike Wednesday evening. Yesterday, it brought the southern part of the country to a standstill, also impacting Flanders, and creating large traffic jams in the capital, Brussels. The workers are protesting plans by the state-run SNCB railroad company to undermine the 36-hour workweek. Management is attempting to reduce compensation for overtime worked by the 34,000 rail workers
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