economy

Germany: Renewable gains, won by people's power, face corporate threat

In 2000, renewable energy made up just 6.3% of Germany's electricity. By last year, it had risen to 31%.

Cloudy Germany became a leading innovator in solar energy. It did so not by subsidising large power utility companies, but by mobilising hundreds of thousands into energy cooperatives. The two legs of this democratic energy transition are Germany's commitment to phase out nuclear power and its feed-in tariffs, which allowed small renewable energy producers to sell their electricity.

Neoliberalism has devastated Britain — but Corbyn is leading the push back


Jeremy Corbyn addresses supporters.

Despite a range of undemocratic measures by the Labour Party establishment in the face of hundreds of thousands of new members enthused by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing politics, Corby n looks set to win Labour leadership elections that finish on September 21.

Colombian trade unionists welcome peace, but push for justice

Colombia has just emerged from 50 years of civil war, but its future is still uncertain.

Amid the optimism prompted by the peace deal between the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, it is easy to assume the slaughter of trade unionists and other activists is a thing of the past.

However, 534 people were murdered from 2011 to last year — 134 of those trade unionists — according to Justice for Colombia, the British trade union-based campaign against paramilitary violence against the Colombian labour movement.

Obama's Africa policy — an expanding military footprint to grab resources

United States President Barack Obama has carried out classically colonial, imperialistic policies towards Africa during his time in office.

John Feffer, from the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, said in a Common Dreams article: “Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods.”

Obama campaigns for pro-corporate TPP as opposition spreads

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on August 23 that United States President Barack Obama’s push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is “outrageous” and “absolutely wrong”.

The TPP is a huge proposed trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Australia. It encompasses 40% of the world’s GDP. It was negotiated in secret, but draft chapters published by WikiLeaks confirmed anti-TPP campaigners’ worst fears of a huge power grab by corporations.

Brazil: Rio's Olympic drama is only starting


Residents of the favela of Horto protest against the imminent demolition of their community.

“I am absolutely convinced that history will talk of the Rio de Janeiro before the Games and the much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The real class war: Liberals attack workers, poor

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s speech to a Bloomberg business breakfast in Sydney on August 25 echoed previous warnings by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australians were heading for economic trouble if the new parliament fails to pass the government's "omnibus" budget package.

Treasurer Scott Morrison's speech to a Bloomberg business breakfast in Sydney on August 25 echoed previous warnings by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australians were heading for economic trouble if the new parliament fails to pass the government's "omnibus" budget package.

FSU members win 10.5% pay rise

Workers at InTech Credit Union, who for the first time will be covered by an enterprise agreement, have won a 10.5% guaranteed pay rise across the board over three years, according to a statement published by the Finance Sector Union on August 19.

Under the new agreement, InTech Credit Union will also join a growing number of employers in the industry to include Domestic Violence Leave provisions in their agreement with workers.

Social security net benefits everyone

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced plans to reduce welfare payments for the poorest and most economically disadvantaged people in Australia. The cuts are part of a proposed package of $6.5 billion savings in the federal budget that parliament is still to vote on.

Turnbull has proposed axing the energy supplement fund that all welfare recipients receive. This fund is worth between $4.40 and $7.05 a week, which might not sound like much, but is a lot for people who are already living below the poverty line.

Behind Turnbull's plan to kick disabled off the pension

One of the less prominent aspects of Malcolm Turnbull's federal budget is the plan to shift another 30,000 Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients onto Newstart umemployment benefits. This move has been defended as a cost-saving measure to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

It follows the tightened of the eligibility criteria for DSP that occurred in 2011 under a federal Labor government. Since then, the number of DSP recipients has flatlined at around 800,000.

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