Abortion fight spreads across Latin America

The Argentine Senate’s rejection of a bill to legalise abortion did not stop a Latin American-wide movement, writes Fabiana Frayssinet. The movement is on the streets and expanding in an increasingly coordinated manner among women’s organisations in the region with the most restrictive laws and policies against pregnant women’s right to choose.

Approved in Argentina by the Chamber of Deputies and later rejected by a vote of 38 to 31 on August 9, a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and the historic social mobilisation on the streets offered hope for other countries in the region.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that between 2010 and 2014, about 6.5 million abortions were practiced annually in Latin America and the Caribbean, up from 4.4 million between 1990 and 1994.

Two books that bust the bank bubble

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers
Ann Pettifor
Verso
London, 2017
192 pages
Fictitious Capital: How Finance is Appropriating Our Future
Cederic Durand
Translated by David Broder
Verso
London, 2017
176 pages

British-based economist Ann Pettifor was a leader of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel the debt of many poor, indebted countries. More recently, she was invited by Jeremy Corbyn onto the economic advisory board of the British Labour Party.

She was also much pilloried after the publication of her 2006 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis, at least until the onset of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008.

In her latest book, she looks at the banking and financial system, how it led to the GFC, how it has developed since and what should be done to control it.

Why NAFTA 2.0 bodes ill for Mexico's AMLO

Mexico’s next president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO for short) is still three months away from taking office, but some of his campaign trail promises already seem distant, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim from Puebla.

Back in July, AMLO became the first left-wing candidate in Mexico’s modern history to win a presidential election, though he has to wait until December 1 to take office.

On August 27, the outgoing government of President Enrique Pena Nieto announced a sweeping new deal with the United States that aims to pave the way to replace the infamous “free trade” North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), introduced in 1994.

The deal has been dubbed “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” by US President Donald Trump, although pundits are already calling it NAFTA 2.0.

“The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA,” Trump said.

Foodora represents a system rotten to the core

Food delivery giant Foodora is leaving Australia owing $28.3 million in debts to workers and small business, plus more in unpaid taxes.

This huge debt is small change for Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, which is worth $14.7 billion. Based in Germany, Delivery Hero trades in 40 countries and is attempting to further expand its global reach.

The cruellest part is that Foodora’s delivery riders are the last in line to be paid any outstanding wages or debts.  This is because Foodora hires its riders as independent contractors, not employees, and are therefore deemed to be unsecured creditors.

As independent contractors, workers are forced to sign contracts stating they are operating their own business and are “their own boss”.

Bank corruption: it’s the system

There has been ongoing reporting of individual instances of bank malpractice and occasional reporting of large scale institutionalised malpractice. Reporting of the banking royal commission hearings has quickened the pace. But nobody, including the media, joins the dots: the key financial institutions are structurally given to corrupt practices, writes Evan Jones.

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