North America

Why women should support Sanders not Clinton

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OPINION The idea that having a woman in office will automatically make the lives of most US women better is wrong-headed. Source: Al Jazeera ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catherine Rottenberg is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and has most recently edited Black Harlem and the Jewish Lower East: Narratives out of Time. Gloria Steinem’s now infamous comment about young women flocking to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders because “the boys are there” is only one aspect of the current ... Read More »

World powers agree ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria

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World powers on Feb. 12 agreed an ambitious plan to cease hostilities in war-racked Syria within a week and dramatically ramp up humanitarian access at talks in Munich aimed at reviving the struggling peace process. Hurriyet – MUNICH, Germany – Agence France-Presse The 17 countries agreed “to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities to begin in a target of one week’s time,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry after extended talks co-hosted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The International ... Read More »

Yellen Sounds a More Cautious Note on U.S. Economy

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WASHINGTON — Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, will say Wednesday that she is not ready to conclude that turbulence in financial markets has infected the broader economy, and plans to reiterate that the Fed intends to raise its benchmark interest rate gradually as economic conditions improve. The New York Times – By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM According to prepared remarks for her biannual report to Congress, Ms. Yellen will testify that the economy continued to grow despite a slowdown in the ... Read More »

Why expat Americans are giving up their passports

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How does it feel to give up your nationality, to renounce the country you were born in, potentially forfeiting the chance to ever return? BBC – By Russell NewloveBusiness reporter, BBC News “It’s not going to be easy at all. It’s the last thing I ever thought of doing,” Jane tells me when I meet her in a Paris cafe. Her voice cracks and her eyes well up. She is in the process of relinquishing her American nationality. Soon she’ll visit ... Read More »

Republican debate: ‘I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,’ says Donald Trump

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Trump booed, Rubio roughed up by rivals Awkward start to debate: candidates fail to respond to name call WASHINGTON: Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates say they would revive its use. The Sydney Morning Herald – Ginger Gibson * One of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump said during Saturday night’s ... Read More »

American Aggression Against China

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On January 30th the United States committed a deliberate act of aggression against China when it sent the guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur within the 12 nautical mile territorial limit of one of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. New Eastern Outlook – Author: Christopher Black The islands are claimed historically by China, though Vietnam also has filed claims to the islands under the Law of the Sea Convention. The Americans state that Taiwan also claims the islands ... Read More »

Sanders spotlights Clinton vulnerabilities

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With every packed rally, Democrats worry the Vermont senator exposes her weaknesses. Politico – By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE and GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI Top Democrats aren’t worried about Bernie Sanders beating Hillary Clinton in the primaries. They’re worried about what the popular response to Sanders shows them about Clinton’s vulnerabilities in November. It’s the quiet chatter among operatives in New York, Washington and beyond—if Clinton’s got so much trouble connecting with people that she’s stuck in a long primary slog against an upstart socialist ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Harris County grand jury delivers big bang for US abortion activists

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Until just last week, the only thing many of us knew about Harris County is that it is located in east Texas, where Sheldon Cooper comes from. The Irish Times – Eamonn McCann Until just last week, the only thing many of us knew about Harris County is that it is located in east Texas, where Sheldon Coopercomes from. Sheldon is the theoretical physics genius and social misfit whose innocent awkwardness provides much of the humour in The Big Bang Theory ... Read More »

Expect the War on Cash to Accelerate as Negative Interest Rates Come to the U.S.

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Like an ambush, it has to come by surprise… Whenever you hear a central banker or politician say something won’t happen, you can almost be certain it will happen. And probably soon. International Man – by Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor * Coming from a bureaucrat, the real meaning of “no, of course not” is “it could happen tomorrow.” It’s like the old saying: “Believe nothing until it has been officially denied.” These deceptions have a purpose: Politicians and central bankers have to surprise ... Read More »

They’re all bought and sold: American democracy belongs to the billionaires now

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With the lone exception of Bernie Sanders, every candidate is either in bed with Wall Street or super-rich himself Salon – Nomi Prins, This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. Speaking of the need for citizen participation in our national politics in his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Our brand of democracy is hard.” A more accurate characterization might have been: “Our brand of democracy is cold hard cash.” Cash, mountains of it, is increasingly the ... Read More »

Canadian economic growth inches forward 0.3% in November: Statistics Canada

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OTTAWA — Canadian economic growth crawled back into positive territory in November, showing its first sign of life in the monthly data since the summer. Toronto Sun – ANDY BLATCHFORD, THE CANADIAN PRESS The latest reading for the country’s real gross domestic product showed that the economy expanded 0.3% in November, an increase after zero growth in October and a contraction of 0.5% in September, Statistics Canada said Friday. It was the first time the economy grew since August, when there ... Read More »

US economic growth slows sharply

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The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the same quarter a year ago, official figures show. BBC The rate of growth marks a sharp slowdown from the 2% growth recorded in the previous quarter. The US Commerce department said one reason for the slower growth was a slowdown in consumer spending. Export growth was also slower as the strong dollar made US goods more expensive outside the country. Energy ... Read More »

Texas executes James Freeman who fatally shot game warden in gunfight

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Austin, Texas: Texas on Wednesday executed a man who led game wardens on a high-speed chase in 2007 before getting into a gun battle and fatally shooting one of them. Brisbane Times – Jon Herskovitz * James Freeman, 35, was pronounced dead at 6.30pm after receiving a lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville, a prisons official said. The execution was the second in Texas this year and the 533rd in the state since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death ... Read More »

Does Racial Profiling Exist In Australia?

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It’s a truism that, regardless of your position on the issue, writing about racial profiling and law enforcement is controversial. The Huffington Post – John Coyne, Senior analyst, border security, Australian Strategic Policy Institute One colleague recently went so far as to describe it to me as career suicide. The argument is that the discussion of racial profiling by border agencies is too burdened with emotion for a rational public policy debate. But it’s the very fact that racial profiling ... Read More »

Tax-Free Tampons Are a Matter of ‘Social Justice,’ Say California Lawmakers

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On Tuesday, the California tax board endorsed a measure to make menstrual products exempt from sales tax. Elizabeth Nolan Brown Why should women have to pay a tax on tampons and menstrual pads, which are surely more necessity than luxury? Perhaps because we all pay sales taxes on all sorts of goods—food, toilet paper, shoes—that are an integral part of modern life. But according to certain California lawmakers and the state’s tax board, the sales tax on menstrual products is sexist ... Read More »

35-year sermon of peace comes to end with White House protester’s death

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Since August 1981, the closest night and day neighbor of the president of the United States was Concepcion Picciotto. Waging Nonviolence Colman McCarthy Her 35-year residence in Lafayette Square across from the White House was a varicolored collection of tightly spaced chairs, blankets and a plastic covering. Fronting it all were large and small hand-lettered signs, ranging from “Ban All Nuclear Weapons or Have a Nice Doomsday” to “Live By the Bomb, Die By the Bomb.” At her death at ... Read More »