The Editors – The Nation
When Democrats nominated Barack Obama and Joseph Biden in 2008, there was relief that—after eight years of Bush/Cheney abuses—a major party was running, for the first time in our history, a pair of constitutional law instructors for president and vice president. With the Obama/Biden victory, many assumed that surely the new administration would respect the First Amendment, including the essential democratic role of a free press.
David Pilling- Financial Times
Here are two things that New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, Japan and the US have in common. First, they all hope to join a nascent trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest game in free-trade town since the collapse of the Doha round of World Trade Organisation talks. Second, none of them is China.
By Mathieu Vaas
IPS interviews MICHEL SIDIBÉ, executive director of UNAIDS
UNITED NATIONS, May 22 2013 (IPS) – The global fight against HIV/AIDS has seen recent hard-won breakthroughs, including the discovery of the genetic hiding place of the virus by doctors in Australia, a 50-percent drop in new infections across 25 low- and middle-income countries, and an increase of 63 percent in the number of people with access to HIV medication.
Mattea Kramer and Jo Comerford – The Nation
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The streets are so much darker now, since money for streetlights is rarely available to municipal governments. The national parks began closing down years ago. Some are already being subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. Reports on bridges crumbling or even collapsing are commonplace. The air in city after city hangs brown and heavy (and rates of childhood asthma and other lung diseases have shot up), because funding that would allow the enforcement of clean air standards by the Environmental Protection Agency is a distant memory. Public education has been cut to the bone, making good schools a luxury and, according to the Department of Education, two of every five students won’t graduate from high school.
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and CHARLES DUHIGG* – The New York Times
WASHINGTON Even as Apple became the nation’s most profitable technology company, it avoided billions in taxes in the United States and around the world through a web of subsidiaries so complex it spanned continents and went beyond anything most experts had ever seen, Congressional investigators disclosed on Monday.
By Silvia Giannelli
FLORENCE, May 21 2013 (IPS) – The wake of the global financial crisis, as many national governments in Europe cut back on services to citizens and used public money to rescue banks, taught many people a valuable lesson.
By Jayati Ghosh* – naked capitalism
Since her death, many eulogies of Thatcher have spoken of her as a revolutionary. Thatcherism (along with the associated Reaganomics) is seen as a radical transformative agenda that changed the face of economy and society. But seen from the developing world decades later, much of this agenda appears familiar, in the form of structural adjustment policies that have been forced upon different countries at different times by international institutions.
By Silvia Romanelli
IPS interviews CHRIS MICHAEL of WITNESS
UNITED NATIONS, May 20 2013 (IPS) – “We live in a world where billions of citizen witnesses have cameras in their pockets. The opportunities are endless to document human rights violations,” Chris Michael, head of training and partnerships at WITNESS, tells IPS.
By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, May 17 2013 (IPS) – Over the next decade and a half, a major global shift will result in the developing world controlling roughly half of the world’s capital, up from less than a third today.
By Paul Krugman*
The WSJ highlights a speech by Jaime Caruana, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, warning of the dangers of easy money and the need to raise rates now to avert … something or other. And his views matter, says the Journal:
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 16 2013 (IPS) – Many eyes are turning north to the Arctic, some in horror at the rapid decline of a key component of our life support system, others in eager anticipation at the untapped resources beneath the vanishing snow and ice.
It’s been slow in coming, but religious leaders are starting to speak out against the mechanisms and high social cost of austerity. One dramatic but ineffective effort was when the Archbishop of Cyprus offered to contribute all the church land in Cyprus to a rescue package. He also urged Cyprus to exit the eurozone:
By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
CAIRO, May 15 2013 (IPS) – More than two years after social media networks helped Egyptian activists organise massive street protests that led to the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, these networks are now playing a less positive role, often serving as a platform for incitement, rumour-mongering and downright disinformation.
Richard Herzinger – Welt am Sonntag,Berlin
Where does Angela Merkel come from? How has she formed her political ideas? The Germans, like other Europeans, often ask these questions. As the September elections approach, a biography sets out to find the key to her success in her childhood in the GDR.
Ian Traynor – guardian.co.uk
Poll results underline the sense of estrangement between Paris and Berlin as the two countries’ economic prospects diverge
When it comes to grim reading about the current European condition, it does not rain but it pours.
Nick Turse* – The Nation
We ignore the ever-growing global arsenal of nuclear weapons at our peril
In those first minutes, they’ll be stunned. Eyes fixed in a thousand-yard stare, nerve endings numbed. They’ll just stand there. Soon, you’ll notice that they are holding their arms out at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes will be drawn to their hands and you’ll think you mind is playing tricks. But it won’t be. Their fingers will start to resemble stalactites, seeming to melt toward the ground. And it won’t be long until the screaming begins. Shrieking. Moaning. Tens of thousands of victims at once. They’ll be standing amid a sea of shattered concrete and glass, a wasteland punctuated by the shells of buildings, orphaned walls, stairways leading nowhere.
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, May 13 2013 (IPS) – When Egypt’s onetime Foreign Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali was running for the post of U.N. secretary-general in late 1991, he had to contend with the candidature of Bernard Chidzero, then foreign minister of Zimbabwe.
As the campaign began to intensify, Boutros-Ghali recounted a brief encounter with Chidzero, a longstanding friend, at a conference in Africa, a continent which at that time claimed the job of U.N. chief on the basis of geographical rotation.
Narayan Lakshman – The Hindu
Barack Obama has done little to quell the mistrust sweeping across Latin America, which harbours deep suspicions about the U.S.’s hegemonic intentions
Wrapping up a lightning tour of Latin America — the first of his second term and his sixth overall — United States President Barack Obama this week summed up his views on the hemisphere in fond reflections about the 50th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s vision for the region.
By Wolf Richter* – naked capitalism
Aircraft maintenance was a highly paid blue-collar job that required education, training, manual skills, and brains. It was one of the perfect American middle-class jobs with generous healthcare, retirement, and vacation benefits; and free flights! They were working for icons like Delta, American Airlines, Continental, TWA, or Pan Am. Icons indeed!
Eric Alterman* – The Nation
Ever since the news leaked that Charles and David Koch are among the leading bidders for the Tribune Company’s eight daily newspapers, media panties have been bunching up all over. Despite the fact that paid circulation for the print edition of its flagship, the Los Angeles Times, has fallen by more than half in just the last seven years—even worse than the catastrophic national average of 41.6 percent for major dailies since 2005—the LA Times remains America’s fourth-largest daily newspaper and third-largest Sunday edition. The Chicago Tribune comes in at number ten.