Humanity and Social Justice, a Must for the Future of Work – Ryder

By Baher Kamal

ROME, Apr 10 2017 (IPS) – “The future of work must be inspired by considerations of humanity, of social justice and peace. If it is not, we are going to a dark place, we are going to a dangerous place,” said the head of the leading world body specialised on labour issues.

With a forecful call to make social dialogue between governments and the social partners a key instrument for building a world of work that leaves no one behind, Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organization (ILO) summed up a landmark event on the future of work.

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Peace process descends into farce

By Bertil Lintner - Asia Times

De facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s pursuit of a national ceasefire agreement has taken the same failed path as her hardline military predecessors

Despite the timing, the bewildering announcement was not meant as an early April Fool’s joke.

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s office issued a statement on March 30 claiming five more ethnic groups had agreed to terms on her government’s “Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement” (NCA) in addition to eight groups that endorsed the deal under a previous military-steered regime in October 2015.

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The crisis of democracy in neoliberalism

Emir Sader* –ALAI

One element that has rapidly become globalized is the crisis of democracy. In Europe, which is proud of its political systems, austerity policies have brought about the generalized discredit of these systems centred around two major political parties. When they both adopted these anti-social economic policies, they rapidly went into crisis, with lost votes and a growing lack of interest in elections, given that both parties promote similar policies.

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Trump’s air strikes on Syria are largely symbolic – but symbolic actions have consequences

Kim Sengupta, Defence Editor – The Independent US

Analysis: The low death toll suggests Syria was warned – via Russia – the strikes were coming. But America’s first direct military action against Assad raises more questions than it provides solutions

The 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles fired from the USS Porter and USS Ross into the Sharyat airfield in western Homs could be seen as defining Donald Trump’s campaign declaration that he would do the “unexpected” in foreign policy, and that America’s enemies can expect swift retribution for acts of aggression.

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Meet the Billionaires Who Run Trump’s Government

By Nina Burleigh – Newsweek

They’ve been coaxed out of their mansions and off their yachts by President Trump to make America great again—for the very, very rich.Alex Fine

Mr. Monopoly, that mustachioed fat cat with the Taftian profile, was about as close as most Americans got to a New York City billionaire until candidate Donald Trump started flying his jet to their cities and villages last year. Now they are practically an everyday sight, because President Donald Trump has coaxed a pack of them out of their penthouse triplexes, yachts and private jets to either join his Cabinet or sit on his councils and advisory boards. Trump voters know they’ve had a government for billionaires—that’s one reason they’re so mad—but to have one by billionaires means the Mighty Oz is now setting the nation’s agenda, and there is no curtain.

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EU migration crisis: border agency accused of stirring controversy

Stephanie Kirchgaessner – The Guardian

Aid agencies hit back after Frontex claims they are colluding with people-traffickers in Mediterranean

Rome, Wednesday 5 April 2017 – A senior Italian minister has accused Frontex, the EU border agency, of creating a “misleading controversy” for political purposes after it accused aid groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) of colluding with migrant-traffickers.

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Trump: Review Before You Leap

by Robert E. Hunter – lobelog.com

At the start of the Kennedy administration, the new secretary of defense, Robert S. McNamara, called for a root-and-branch review of just about everything the Pentagon was doing. It became known as the “76 trombones.” It was mostly about “how” but also a bit about “what.” McNamara, who had previously headed Ford Motor Company, brought in a group of talented people to do the work, the so-called Whiz Kids.

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How to stop deforestation: ‘Indigenous people are the best park rangers’

Rachel Banning-Lover* – The Guardian

Trees soak up greenhouse gases, so how do we ensure their protection? Our experts offer seven ideas for the conservation and restoration of forests:

1 | Stop subsidising agriculture that harms forests

Countries need to stop using outdated fiscal policies for agriculture. In some places, such as Brazil and Indonesia, the amount spent by their governments on subsidising agriculture is more than 100 times higher than the international funding provided to those countries for forest conservation. It sends out a contradictory message if a government is signing up to zero deforestation commitments on one hand, whilst simultaneously making deforestation more attractive to farmers.

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A Peek Into the White House Swamp

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD - The New York Times  

The White House boasted that the release of financial disclosures for dozens of administration officials exemplified President Trump’s “commitment to ensure an ethical and transparent government.” The Friday night document dump did nothing of the sort.

The opaque, incomplete filings — which met the bare legal requirements for disclosures — merely raise more questions than they answer about the byzantine dealings of the richest White House in history.

Besides, Mr. Trump has no commitment to ethics or transparency. His failure to shed his business ties and release financial records makes him the most suspect, conflicted president in modern history. If the boss doesn’t care about accountability, why should anyone else?

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Meanwhile, Around the World

EDITORIAL, by Johan Galtung* – TRANSCEND Media Service

Starting with EU at 60, making small states (Luxembourg!) big by being members of something bigger, but making bigger, even imperial, states smaller by being “members”. The Netherlands is small: Wilders suffered a humiliating defeat.  But the UK is big with imperial past:   old, rural people voted Brexit out of EU anonymity, but into what?  Master in their own house? With problems with Ireland and the Celtic fringe–Scotland, Wales–even threatening UK survival? Can Anglo-America, UK even more under USA, compensate for that? They may want back; the obvious EU strategy being to adjust to many Brexit points.

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Trump Is Wimping Out on Trade

Paul Krugman – The New York Times

During the campaign, Donald Trump talked loudly and often about how he was going to renegotiate America’s “horrible trade deals,” bringing back millions of good jobs. So far, however, nothing has happened. Not only is Trumpist trade policy — Trumptrade? — nowhere to be seen in practice; there isn’t even any indication of what it will involve.

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The Metamorphosis of Sebastian Gorka

by Eva S. Balogh* – lobelog.com

The recent efforts to transform Sebastian Gorka from a far-right Hungarian politician into an anti-Nazi liberal fighting against anti-Semitism can be added to the growing catalogue of alternative facts brought to us by the Trump administration and its supporters. Gorka, deputy assistant to President Trump, spent almost half of his adult life in Hungary. He became a U.S. citizen only five years ago.

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The Trump presidency is in a hole. And that is bad for America—and the world

The Economist

DONALD TRUMP won the White House on the promise that government is easy. Unlike his Democratic opponent, whose career had been devoted to politics, Mr Trump stood as a businessman who could Get Things Done. Enough voters decided that boasting, mocking, lying and grabbing women were secondary. Some Trump fans even saw them as the credentials of an authentic, swamp-draining saviour.

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The Democracy Collaborative

Posted by Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism

Cross posted from Michael Hudson’s website

The Next System Project’s Adam Simpson sat down with renowned economist and economic historian Michael Hudson to discuss economic deceptions old and new. Michael Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a prolific writer about the global economy and predatory financial practices. Among his latest books are Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy and its follow-up J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception.

The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

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Trump’s Dilemma

By George Friedman –  Daily Digests 

President Donald Trump’s ability to make changes depends on whether his support rises or falls.

Editor’s note: This week, in light of the Republican withdrawal of a bill that would have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), we are republishing George Friedman’s piece from Dec. 16, 2016 about the constraints on the power of Trump’s administration. In that piece, George talked about how weak the office of the U.S. president is in general and how weak Trump will be as a president in particular. This past week’s legislative setbacks for the Trump administration are foreseen by this Dec. 16 piece. In addition, its insights are not just relevant for explaining the significance of that defeat. The piece describes the broader challenge Trump will be facing throughout the course of his presidency.

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Trump’s Environmental Executive Order Is As Stupid As It Is Damaging

By Susan Matthews* – Slate

His move to roll back regulations will harm our health and won’t grow the economy.

Donald Trump will sign another executive order on Tuesday, this one focused on unraveling the Clean Power Plan, rolling back environmental regulations, and eliminating any hope that the United States meets its obligations to the Paris climate agreement. This order is as damaging as it is dumb. Trump is unraveling critical environmental protections because he thinks it will help revitalize the economy and help the coal industry. It will not. Instead, it will incentivize our country to pour money into energy sources that harm our health and our continued ability to live on this planet while also undermining our ability to become energy independent and to compete in the global marketplace.

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The end of globalization

Prabhat Patnaik* – Calcutta Telegraph

- The world economy’s crisis can be met in only two ways

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the American economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the United States of America in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the US. Put differently, it would not in such a case mean the export of unemployment from the US to other countries.

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Iran ‘s Waiting Game With Trump?

by Eldar Mamedov- lobelog.com

As the Trump administration appears to be taking a tougher line on Iran and the U.S. Congress ponders new hostile actions against the country, several members of the European Parliament visited Tehran in mid-March. The visit, organized jointly by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, close to the Social-Democratic party, and the Institute for Political and International Studies, the Iranian foreign ministry’s think-tank, served to take the temperature in Tehran.

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The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency

Jane Mayer - The New Yorker

How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

Last month, when President Donald Trump toured a Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, he saw a familiar face in the crowd that greeted him: Patrick Caddell, a former Democratic political operative and pollster who, for forty-five years, has been prodding insurgent Presidential candidates to attack the Washington establishment.

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