Global News, March 11, 2013

Presenting news from around the world…………

From Spain……

Wage Costs Suffer Biggest Fall on Record

Austerity measures have wrecked the country of Spain. Spain has an official unemployment rate of 26%. The unemployment rate for people under the age of 25 is an unimaginable 51%. The nominal gains that result from austerity measures (exports have increased as a result of declining wages – making for cheaper cost of goods) are overshadowed by the lives destroyed in pursuit of those gains. Yes, I said lives destroyed. No, it’s not hyperbole.  The suicide rate in Spain (as well as Greece) has increased as a result of the implementation of austerity measures. Spanish Suicide Rate Increase  People are dying as a result of austerity. Exports have increased though….


US warns Catalan government about proposed “Coca-Cola tax”

The U.S. Government has a crystal clear message for Spain: Austerity good, taxes bad. The Catalan Republican Left has been a vocal opponent of austerity measures. The party gained seats in the November elections and has used its new leverage to push back on austerity. The party has proposed a tax on sugary drinks as a way to fight obesity and raise much needed revenue. It is worth noting that Coca-Cola and Pepsi account for an astounding 70% of the Catalonia soft drink market. The U.S. Government has warned that this tax would make Catalonia appear unfriendly to businesses that hate paying taxes. The tax will be implemented and I predict that Coca-Cola and Pepsi will be just fine. 


From Portugal……

Recession Second Worst Since Records Began

Portugal is suffering through its worst recession since the 1974 Revolution. In 2012, the economy officially contracted by 3.2% and more than 200 thousand jobs disappeared. Austerity measures have pushed the unemployment rate to an official 17.6%. The number of people officially employed is at the lowest level since 1995. 


From Japan……

Two Years after the Disaster

Survivors Recall Two Years of Struggle

On March 11, 2011 a massive earthquake and tsunami wrecked havoc in Japan. By the time it was over, more than 18 thousand people were dead and the nation was dealing with the worst nuclear disaster in its history. Today is the 2nd Anniversary of the disaster and memorials will be held across the nation. Here are two different articles on the disaster and its aftermath. There are numerous videos on this subject at YouTube for anyone interested in more information. 


From Bahrain……

Bahraini Court Acquits Leading Rights Activist

This is surprising news. Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda has been acquitted of the crime of ‘spreading false charges on twitter’. He was arrested, jailed and threatened with a lengthy prison sentence after being accused of sending out false messages via twitter. Dictatorships hate the internet and twitter. Bahrain is the ‘home’ of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. In 2011, the government of Bahrain violently put down an ‘Arab Spring’ pro democracy uprising. Since then, the government has banned all unauthorized public demonstrations. The ban is simply a ruse to monitor pro democracy activists. The U.S. Government considers Bahrain a key ally in the Middle East.


From Botswana……

Government Urged to Investigate Chinese Interests in Botswana

China has a large and visible presence on the African continent. Their influence extends beyond the realm of business. A member of Botswana’s Parliament is calling for an investigation into Chinese activities within the country. Chinese businesses are often subsidized by the government which allows them to flood a market with cheap goods. This provides them an unfair advantage with which local businesses cannot compete. Has any continent been fought over as much as Africa? It seems that everyone around the world wants a piece of Africa. This is an interesting article which reveals that people do not like interlopers messing with their livelihoods.





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Austerity is killing people in Europe and will kill people here

European austerity is not happening in secret. It's not like we are trying to figure out what is happening in North Korea. Spain, Portugal, Greece have been destroyed by austerity. What has been accomplished with these policies. What makes them so attractive to so many in America? It's so frustrating to see people ignore the real life examples of what is happening.

It's not hyperbole to say that austerity policies kill. Gutting Native American healthcare will put lives in danger. Policies have consequences.

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