We've got some news from the world today. Let's go local first, then expand out.
-- This opinion piece from a correspondent claims that the liberal class is dead, and that fascism is moving in to take over here in America. His piece is a bit rambling, but it's interesting to see this point of view.
-- Here's an article from TIME, in which the author writes about "the people's bailout," aka the Rolling Jubilee. While the author seems to think it's a good idea, he argues that some debt, like mortgages and student loans, will likely remain untouched by the debt relief without intervention from the government. The reason? Student loans aren't wiped away in bankruptcy, making them much more expensive to buy. While this article is a good read, I would also suggest that you look at the comments, specifically one written by "alive." There are some good points there.
-- [Chuck] From The RealNews network, here's a fantastic video of an interview between an economics and law professor and the reporter where they discuss what privatization of social security means, why it won't help our country or our debt, and why it may actually be happening in the current administration. If you don't have time for the ten minute video, you can scroll past it to a transcript. This is very informative.
-- [Chuck] Thousands of people affected by Sandy in NYC and surrounding areas are still homeless, and with cold weather conditions and other issues causing major difficulties, New York is considering some alternative housing: opening up the now-defunct Staten Island prison for use as a shelter. Many would refuse to sleep there due to fear of poor conditions and neighbors that may not be savory, but some are urging the government to reopen it, because they have no where else to go.
-- [Chuck] Knickerbocker Village is an affordable housing apartment complex in NYC that has over 1500 units, and the residents there are becoming anxious at the fact that they mostly still have no power or heat. The residents met up across the street from the complex to discuss what they should do about the issues, and they may be working toward a rent strike and/or class action lawsuit. While the building managers say they are working to fix the problems, residents say there has been little communication. The Red Cross and FEMA are working to get meals to the people.
Let's go international for a bit.
-- In Hong Kong, over 3000 residents have taken up protest signs to fight back against an artificial beach that would destroy parts of the ecosystem, possibly causing 300 species to disappear or even go extinct. The government is refusing to listen to the people, saying that the tourism the beach would bring in is important for the economy of the area. Locals who are fighting say that the area has already been contaminated by the dumping of heavy metals and is unsafe to swim in.
-- As episodes of violence are beginning to rise in Gaza, Israeli officials are looking into using a wider display of military operations in order to quell the attacks. The Israeli Defense Force says that over 100 rockets have been fired at southern Israel since Saturday by several different terrorist cells located in Gaza. Israel's Prime Minister is apparently worried about sending in a larger military strike, since elections are looming in two months.
-- A Reuters investigation is revealing some troubling information about Myanmar, just after the country tossed aside military rule to form a reformist government. According to the report, ethnic hatred is becoming a huge problem in the country, with waves of organized killings of Muslim people. The regional government has segregated the Muslims and the Buddhists, imposing apartheid like conditions that make it so that Muslims cannot work for Buddhists. With 97% of people fleeing violence being Muslim, most of them now live in camps or are attempting to use rickety boats to leave the country, with some 150 of them drowning in their escape attempts.
-- In Venezuela, indigenous peoples are fighting for their land rights, not long after the government granted them the titles to their traditional lands. But the cattle farmers who occupied those lands aren't giving them up without a fight. They claim that they have not received the promised payments from the governments for giving the lands back, and are shooting, and sometimes killing, the native peoples that they see as land invaders. At least seven Yukpa men have been killed at the hands of the ranchers or their hired guns.
-- Independence Day in Poland took a violent turn when right-wing nationalists threw rocks, firecrackers, and flares at police officers meant to keep the protest in check. Police responded by shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at the nationalists. At least twenty people were injured, with three police officers among those numbers. Roughly 130 people have been arrested or detained.
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