Economy

Photo: Venezuelanalysis.com. Venezuelans took to the streets on April 14 to protest a new housing law proposed by the new right wing-controlled assembly that seeks to privatise public housing. TeleSUR correspondent in Caracas Iain Bruce reported: “Government supporters are protesting against a law passed by parliament to allow public housing to be sold.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner came under fire on April 1 in a day of action by teachers and others who took to the streets to protest their austerity policies. Revealing the bipartisan support for austerity un US politics, Emanuel is a Democrat who was Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff during his first term while Rauner is a conservative Republican.
United States: Large arrests at Democracy Spring protests In Washington, DC, police arrested about 85 more protesters taking part in the "Democracy Spring" actions against corporate lobbying and big money in politics on April 13, Democracy Now! said that day.
Wal-Mart, Apple, Walt Disney, Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola are just a few of the US corporate giants who have more than a trillion dollars hidden in offshore tax havens, according to a report released on April 14 by Oxfam. The report, titled Broken at the Top, reveals the 50 biggest US companies' dodgy tax practices, which includes owning more than 1600 subsidiaries in tax havens which have helped them stash US$1.3 trillion between 2008 and 2014. According to Oxfam, “This is more than the entire GDP of countries such as Spain, Mexico or Australia.”
Five hundred Toronto-area supporters crowded into a west-end school auditorium March 29 to support , for a “justice-based” energy transition to renewable economy.
Sherpa — Trouble on Everest Directed by Jennifer Peedom & Renan Ozturk The Sherpa are a Nepalese ethnic minority who have a reverent regard for the world’s highest mountain, Chomolungma — known in English as Everest.
A wedge is being quickly driven through Pretoria's political elite. Among the victims of this power struggle are vast numbers of poor people. The poor are starting to bear the brunt of the diverse shakeouts in the ongoing confrontation now underway between the country's two most powerful 21st century politicians: President Jacob Zuma and his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. That battle began in 2005, when Mbeki sacked then-deputy president Zuma following a corruption conviction against a long-time Zuma associate.
The revelations from the Panama papers continue to reverberate around the world. While the Australian angle has so far been a bit anticlimactic, it did kick off a discussion about the banking sector and tax havens. Bill Shorten, in an uncharacteristic display of spinal-cord solidification, seized the initiative and announced that the Labor Party would conduct a Royal Commission into the banking industry if elected.
"Let's take the big banks head on over their crimes and their attempts to cover up their massive financial rip-offs, and nationalise them under workers' and community control," Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney in the upcoming federal election, said on April 14. Boyle was responding to reports the banks were considering a huge advertising blitz against plans by the Greens and the Labor Party to launch a Royal Commission into the banking and finance sectors.
As part of the Sydney Comedy Festival now under way, writers of satirical website have put together of political satire and sketches for May 3 — which also happens to be Budget night.
The Powerhouse Museum in inner-city Ultimo is a great place to take the kids for an educational and enlightening experience. The NSW Coalition government's plan to sell off the museum building to private developers and shift the collection to Parramatta in Western Sydney is facing growing opposition. Premier Mike Baird confirmed on April 11 the government's decision to shift the museum, to be constructed on the old David Jones car park site on the banks of the Parramatta River. Construction is due to begin in 2018 and finish by 2022.
On April 14 hundreds of disability workers rallied in Melbourne against the state government's proposal to privatise disability services. Privatisation will reduce service quality for people with a disability and make job security and wages and conditions less certain for disability workers. Before being elected, Premier Daniel Andrews promised he would not contract out public sector disability services.
Anyone following French politics in recent years should not be surprised by the recent explosion of public protest and resistance across the country. For years, France has simmered with a combination of a deeply unpopular government, a limping economy and a struggling, fed up populace.
The Mike Baird government's push for local government to roll over to its forced amalgamation push is looking decidedly shambolic. The NSW government wants to reduce 43 Sydney councils to 25 and 109 regional councils to 87. It has argued that efficiencies and savings will be made by doing so. But it is facing stiff opposition from progressive and conservative councils alike. Even federal Liberal and National MPs, worried about their seats, have urged Baird to back off.
At the edge of the south east, the Arctic is nebulous, but its ice shards are felt on the hands, and you can feel tingles of dim isolation in the wildness of Tasmania's oceans. Sequences and currents from Tasmania's Huon Valley rivers and Cygnet Bay dip to the deep-sea behind the pristine Bruny Island. The bio-network of inlets, bays and streams move lightly and serenely downwards with the humid vapour of the mountains. Sheltered water habitats protect rare crays, platypus, seals and southern right whales.

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