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Index May 2014

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2014-05-01: World Food & Water: How Agribusiness Keeps Us “Betting on Famine”;
2014-05-02: Little Love for Sanctions: Ukraine Crisis A Tightrope Walk for German Businesses;
2014-05-03: Secretive Airborne Police Surveillance in California;
2014-05-04: Walk off the Earth;
2014-05-05: Deride and Conquer: Dismantling the USPS (United States postal system);
2014-05-06: Africa’s number one economy, for wealth evaporation;
2014-05-07: Latin American nations under assault in massive Obama campaign of aggression;
2014-05-07: Gabriele Krone-Schmalz;
2014-05-08: The Affordable Care Act: The Human Rights Violation for Liberals;
2014-05-09: ‘Walking While Woman’ and the Fight to Stop Violent Policing of Gender Identity – Report;
2014-05-10: India: Modi’s BJP a ‘grave danger’ to women and minorities;
2014-05-11: Russia: The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall;
2014-05-12: Egypt: Legitimising the poll;
2014-05-13: Kiev – Putin – Rebel’s POLL – Western Medias and Sanctions;
2014-05-14: On the Meaning of Restoring Indigenous Self-Determination;
2014-05-15: UN-marked strike helicopter ‘used by Kiev against militia’ sparks scandal;
2014-05-15: Ukraine: Update;
2014-05-16: How the International Monetary Conference Helped Fuel the 1980s Debt Crisis;
2014-05-17: Top Catholic Bishop Says Church Should Consider Accepting Gays;
2014-05-18: Egypt: Ambiguous economic map;
2014-05-19: Thousands across Europe rally against EU policies;
2014-05-20: Net Neutrality: So … Now What?
2014-05-21: Are Public Banks Unconstitutional? No. Are Private Banks? Maybe;
2014-05-22: Japan Fukushima operator starts diverting groundwater to sea;
2014-05-23: Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges IR;
2014-05-24: US: Why Medicare pays so much for psychiatric drugs;
2014-05-25: WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA;
2014-05-26: Institutionalized Education: A Quasi-Anarchist’s Perspective;
2014-05-27: The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water;
2014-05-28: Interview with Alex Pentland: Can We Use Big Data to Make Society Better? – part 1;
2014-05-29: Europe and Ukraine: A tale of two elections;
2014-05-30: The Gates Foundation in India: A Primer;
2014-05-31: Poverty in Europe.

Poverty in Europe

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Poverty in the European Union on the increase, on Real-World Economcs Review Blog, by merijknibbe. May 29, 2014 … people at risk of poverty or social exclusion … According to Deirdre McCloskey, poverty (and growth) is a much more important problem than inequality …;

680,000 Greek Children at Risk of Living in Poverty, on Greek Reporter, by Nikoleta Kalmouki, May 29, 2014;   Continue Reading…

The Gates Foundation in India: A Primer

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Published on Aspects of India’s Economy/Vol 57, by Sandhya Srinivasan, May 2014.

… What are BMGF’s objectives?

Key elements of the BMGF strategy(5) – as described on the Foundation website – are as follows:     Continue Reading…

Europe and Ukraine: A tale of two elections

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Published on Russia Today RT, May 27, 2014.

Circumstances surrounding the European and Ukrainian elections were far from being a mere coincidence.

The regime changers in Kiev decided to hold a presidential election on May 25, the same day as European Parliament elections, in order to demonstrate their desire to follow a European-centric foreign policy.   Continue Reading…

Interview with Alex Pentland: Can We Use Big Data to Make Society Better? – part 1

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Spiegel staff, May 26, 2014.

In a SPIEGEL interview, American data scientist Alex Pentland discusses how data streams can be used to determine the laws of human interaction. He argues the information can be used to help forge better societies.

Alex Pentland, 62, heads the Human Dynamics Lab at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is considered one of the world’s leading data scientists. In his new book, Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons from a New Science, he argues that human communication behaviors follow the rules of mathematics. Continue Reading…

The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water

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Published on Global (first on Market Oracle), by Jo-Shing Yang, May 22, 2014.

A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace. Continue Reading…

Institutionalized Education: A Quasi-Anarchist’s Perspective

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Published on Contrary Perspective, by Anonymous, May 2014 (the author teaches at the collegiate level and prefers to remain anonymous).

Everyone knows that one has to go to school to receive a formal education and formal credentials. But schools are also social institutions. As institutions, schools often stand in the way of education. A competitive education driven by credentials is often responsible for lowering the self-esteem of both students and teachers as a consequence of grading and various other evaluation processes.   Continue Reading…

WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA

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Published on ZNet (first on, by Julian Assange, May 23, 2014 (Links posted in our pages Civil LibertiesPolitics/GovRepressionSourceZUS).

The National Security Agency has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013. Both the Washington Post and The Intercept (based in the US and published by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar) have censored the name of one of the victim states, which the latter publication refers to as country “X”.     Continue Reading…

US: Why Medicare pays so much for psychiatric drugs

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Martha Rosenberg, May 23, 2014.

“Never mind” said the Obama administration in March after its proposal to limit automatic Medicare coverage of pricey depression and psychiatric drugs was met with a Pharma funded backlash. It apparently wasn’t worth it as “patients” on the Hill yelled “You’re going to limit WHAT?” and won.   Continue Reading…

Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges IR

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Published on E-International Relations, by MANUELA LAVINAS PICQ, MAY 21, 2014.

Indigeneity is an unusual way to think about International Relations (IR). Most studies of world politics ignore Indigenous perspectives, which are rarely treated as relevant to thinking about the international (Shaw 2008; Beier 2009). Yet Indigenous peoples are engaging in world politics with a dynamism and creativity that defies the silences of our discipline (Morgan 2011). In Latin America, Indigenous politics has gained international legitimacy, influencing policy for over two decades (Cott 2008; Madrid 2012).   Continue Reading…

Japan Fukushima operator starts diverting groundwater to sea

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Published on Humanitarian News (first in, May 21, 2014.

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said Wednesday it has begun a bypass system that diverts groundwater into the sea in a bid to reduce the volume of contaminated water.
The move is an attempt to stop tonnes of unpolluted groundwater flowing under the battered plant and mixing with water already there and laced with radioactive isotopes.
Dealing with the huge — and growing — amount of water at the tsunami-damaged plant is proving to be one of the biggest challenges for Tokyo Electric Power co. (TEPCO), as it looks to clean up the mess after the worst nuclear disaster in a generation.   Continue Reading…

Are Public Banks Unconstitutional? No. Are Private Banks? Maybe

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Published on OpEdNews, by Ellen Brown, May 19, 2014.

The movement to break away from Wall Street and form publicly-owned banks continues to gain momentum. But enthusiasts are deterred by claims that a state-owned bank would violate constitutional prohibitions against “lending the credit of the state.”   Continue Reading…

Net Neutrality: So … Now What?

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Published on action, by Candace Clement, May 16, 2014.

On Thursday, the FCC released its proposal on how it intends to protect Net Neutrality in the wake of a January court case that tossed out the agency’s rules.

And, just as we feared, the rules pay lip service to the idea of the open Internet while proposing solutions that would create a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes for those who can afford it — and dirt roads for the rest of us. Continue Reading…

Thousands across Europe rally against EU policies

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… with Videos – Published on Russia Today RT, May 18, 2014.

Thousands of activists took to the streets of Germany and Spain on Saturday to protest the EU’s policies as the union prepares for parliamentary elections at the end of May.

In Germany, the EU’s powerhouse, people participated in a day of anti-Brussels protests in Hamburg and the capital Berlin.   Continue Reading…

Egypt: Ambiguous economic map

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Published on Al-Aham weekly online, by Sherine Abdel-Razek, May 15, 2014.

The presidential poll will take place before a backdrop of economic woes. The budget deficit has ballooned. There is a deep-rooted energy crisis and foreign investors continue to give Egypt the cold shoulder. Unemployment and inflation are compounding already high levels of poverty in a country whose population — emboldened by two revolutions — is unlikely to shy away from taking to the streets.

So what are the candidates promising on the economic front?   Continue Reading…

Top Catholic Bishop Says Church Should Consider Accepting Gays

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Published on ThinkProgress, by Jack Jenkins, May 15, 2014.

… Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) and bishop of the southern diocese of Cassano all’Jonio, reportedly told a Florence-based newspaper on Tuesday that Italian church leaders should embrace the more liberal path paved by Pope Francis and pay closer attention to progressive religious arguments.   Continue Reading…

How the International Monetary Conference Helped Fuel the 1980s Debt Crisis

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Published on Dissident Voice (first on Global Power Project, see below), Part 2/4, by Andrew Gavin Marshall, May 14, 2014.

… What Fueled the Debt Crisis?

The 1980s debt crisis erupted when Mexico announced in 1982 that it could no longer service its debts to Western, and primarily American, banks. This resulted in a crisis that quickly spread across Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. The oil price rises of the 1970s had led to a surge in revenues for oil-producing nations, which had invested their surplus oil wealth in Western banks that then lent the money to poor, developing nations requiring oil in order to finance their industrialization. Continue Reading…

Ukraine: Update

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Donetsk self-defense forces give Kiev troops 24 hours to withdraw, on Russia Today RT, May 15, 2014;

Videos uploaded on YouTube by RT:

UN-marked strike helicopter ‘used by Kiev against militia’ sparks scandal

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Published on Russia Today RT, May 14, 2014.

The UN has voiced concerns over the apparent use of UN-marked helicopters by Kiev troops in their military operation against Donetsk regional militia. A video of a white-painted Mil Mi-24 strike helicopter with UN logo has emerged.

When inquired about the United Nations’ stance on the use of peacekeeper-marked military hardware in non-peacekeeper operations, the office for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said such use would violate UN rules.   Continue Reading…

On the Meaning of Restoring Indigenous Self-Determination

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This article is part of an E-IR Edited Collection on Indigenous Self-Determination – Published on E-International Relations, by Marc Woons, May 13, 2014.

… The idea of restitution might do better to reflect colonialism’s lasting and irreversible impacts. Yet, it raises serious questions. What are the reasons for restitution? What would fair restitution entail? Who should receive restitution? How would it be determined? The list of questions is a lengthy one. Here, very different perspectives emerge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Whereas the former assert their inherent authority to self-determine, demand self-determination as a right, demand recognition of prior sovereignty, and demand respect for historical agreements, the latter typically believe that these claims should be reduced in favour of more limited state recognition and greater forms of redistribution in the form of funding or access to state programs. Continue Reading…

Kiev – Putin – Rebel’s POLL – Western Medias and Sanctions

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Egypt: Legitimising the poll

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(UPDATE May 12, 2014: Rebels declare victory in east Ukraine poll, on english Al Jazeera, May 11, 2014: Pro-Russia separatists announce 89 percent of voters in Donetsk favoured self-rule, in referendum rejected by Kiev).

Egypt’s upcoming presidential polls will be heavily supervised by local judges and foreign monitors – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, May 8, 2014.

Seventy nine domestic civil society groups and five foreign organisations — the European Union (EU), the Arab League, the Carter Center, Transparency International and the US-based Democracy International (DI) — have been licensed to observe the presidential polls, says Abdel-Aziz Salman, spokesman for the Presidential Election Commission (PEC).   Continue Reading…

Russia: The Russians are coming … again … and they’re still ten feet tall

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Published on Axis of Logic, by Willima Blum, The Anti-Empire Report #128/, May 10, 2014.

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror[1] … // Continue Reading…

India: Modi’s BJP a ‘grave danger’ to women and minorities

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Interview with Kavita Krishnan, published on, by Mila Gisbert, May 8, 2014.

… It is now over a year since the Delhi case ignited people’s anger and led them to protest. What do you consider has been the main achievement of that movement?

  • I would say the main achievement has been actually a shift in the way that rape is talked about. To me, the most significant thing about the protest was that there were slogans being raised against victim blaming, rape culture, and this was happening for the very first time, and to introduce the idea that the women should not be subjected to restrictions in the name of “chastity”. This was something new that was happening in India for the first time with this case.
  • But I think that the changes we want to see are clearly yet to happen and not all of the changes were positive.       Continue Reading…

‘Walking While Woman’ and the Fight to Stop Violent Policing of Gender Identity – Report

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Published on truthout, by Mike Ludwig, May 7, 2014.

A woman in New York City left a nightclub in late 2010 to meet some friends for tacos. While she was walking to the restaurant in the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights, a man pulled up beside her in a dark-colored car and began talking to her. As the woman inched closer to hear what the man was saying, two undercover police officers jumped out of a van and arrested her for engaging in prostitution. She was thrown into a van with a dozen other women and taken to the115th Precinct in Jackson Heights to be fingerprinted before being transferred to Central Booking. There, she was then jailed in the men’s unit, where she endured painful verbal harassment from some of the cops and men in custody, according to the community organizing group Make the Road New York, which identified the woman by the pseudonym “Natasha.” Continue Reading…