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In Pitch-Perfect Retort, New Zealand PM Told Trump: 'No One Marched When I Was Elected' PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 17 November 2017 17:30
Published on
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The new leader was among the New Zealanders who marched against Trump in January—and she didn't back down when the two recently met for the first time

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U.S. President Donald Trump and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a group photo last week with fellow APEC leaders in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Photo: EPA)

New Zealand's progressive new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern strongly rejected President Donald Trump's assessment of her recent rise to power, according to her account of their first in-person meeting at the East Asia Summit last week.

After Trump said Ardern's win had "upset" many New Zealanders, the Labor Party leader remarked that "nobody marched" in response to her victory, as millions did all over the globe when Trump was inaugurated in January.

Ardern offered a full account of her meeting with Trump to New Zealand's Newsroom:

I was waiting to walk out to be introduced at the East Asia Summit gala dinner, where we all paraded and while we were waiting, Trump in jest patted the person next to him on the shoulder, pointed at me and said, 'This lady caused a lot of upset in her country,' talking about the election.

I said, 'Well, you know, only maybe 40 per cent,' then he said it again and I said, 'You know,' laughing, 'no one marched when I was elected.'

Last Updated on Friday, 17 November 2017 17:35
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Norway sued over Arctic oil exploration plans PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:39

The case, led by Greenpeace, claims Norwegian government has violated constitutional right to a healthy environment and contravenes Paris agreement

By the Guardian Environment

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/14/norway-sued-over-arctic-oil-exploration-plans

Greenpeace activists hold banners during a protest next to Statoil’s Songa Enabler oil rig in the Barents sea, Norway, July 2017

 

 

 Greenpeace activists hold banners during a protest next to Statoil’s Songa Enabler oil rig in the Barents sea, Norway, July 2017. Photograph: Will Rose/Greenpeace/Reuters

 

 

The Norwegian government is being sued by climate activists over a decision to open up areas of the Arctic Ocean for oil exploration, a move they say endangers the lives of existing and future generations.

The plaintiffs, led by environmental organisations Greenpeace and Youth and Nature, will on Tuesday claim that the Norwegian government has violated a constitutional environmental law which guarantees citizens’ rights to a healthy environment.

The law, known as Section 112, states: “Everyone has the right to an environment that safeguards their health and to nature where production ability and diversity are preserved. Natural resources must be managed from a long-term and versatile consideration which also upholds this right for future generations.”

“We have for years tried to stop the expansion of Norway’s oil extraction, from both local and global considerations,” said Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway. “As far as granting concessions for the Arctic is concerned, not only have our objections been ignored and overrun, but the state has also paid no heed to the guidelines from their own appointed advisers, such as the polar institute and the environment agency, who both recommended that the majority of concessions in this area be turned down.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:51
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Tump Doubles Down on Sanctions and Regime Change for Venezuela PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 13 November 2017 16:00

 


by Mark Weisbrot CEPR

This article was published by AlterNet on November 13, 2017. If you would like to reprint it, please credit the original publisher. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe to CEPR's email lists here


On November 3, President Maduro of Venezuela proposed a meeting with creditors, for November 13 in Caracas, to discuss a restructuring of Venezuelan public debt. On November 8, the Trump administration reacted by warning US bondholders that attending this meeting could put them in violation of US economic sanctions against Venezuela. Such a violation can be penalized by 30 years in prison and up to $10 million dollars in fines for businesses.

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Overcoming the Challenges: Securing the World’s Food, Energy and Water PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 16 October 2017 07:19

 

Credit: Bigstock

SURREY, United Kingdom, Oct 13 2017 (IPS)  - According to the United Nations estimates almost 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger (1 in every 9 persons on the planet) and a higher number (1 in 3) suffer from malnutrition. 1 in every 5 persons (1.4 billion people) have no access to electricity worldwide (living with energy poverty) whilst 1 in 10 people do not have access to clean water.  With climate change, this situation is worsening across many parts of the world.

Food, Energy and Water (FEW) are linked inextricably and are important requirements for  national security and economic development of nations.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 11:01
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Trump Sanctions on Venezuela Will Cause More Harm PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 28 August 2017 16:18

Trump Sanctions on Venezuela Will Cause More Harm


by Mark Weisbrot

This article was published by The Hill on August 28, 2017. If anyone wishes to reprint it, please let us know by replying to this message. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe to CEPR's email lists here


The Trump administration announced new, unprecedented sanctions against Venezuela on Friday that are designed to cut off financing to Venezuela. The Trump team pretends that the sanctions are only directed at the government. But as any economist knows, this is clearly false. By starving the economy of foreign exchange, this action will harm the private sector, most Venezuelans, the poor, and the vulnerable.

These sanctions will deepen the severe depression that Venezuela’s economy has been in for more than three and a half years, which has already shrunk income per person by more than a third. They will worsen the shortages of food and essential medicines. They will exacerbate the country’s balance of payments crisis, and therefore feed the spiral of inflation (600 percent over the past year) and depreciation of the currency (on the black market) that has been accelerating since late 2012.

And they will further polarize an already divided country. Opposition leaders who support the sanctions, or are associated with them because of their longstanding ties to the US, will be seen as treasonous ― much as Republicans in the Trump administration, including Trump himself, are portrayed by those who believe they collaborated with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.

Trump’s sanctions are also illegal under both US and international law. They violate the charter of the Organization of American States (Chapter 4, Article 19) and other international treaties that the US has signed. To comply with US law, the president also has to lie and say that Americans are suffering from a “national emergency” due to an “unusual and extraordinary threat to national security” posed by Venezuela. This is obviously ridiculous.

The sanctions do their damage primarily by prohibiting Venezuela from borrowing or selling assets in the US financial system. They also prohibit CITGO, the US-based fuel industry company that is owned by the Venezuelan government, from sending dividends or profits back to Venezuela. In addition, if Venezuela wanted to do a debt restructuring, so as to reduce debt service during the current crisis, it would be unable to do this because it wouldn’t be able to issue new bonds. Basically, Trump’s executive order will cut off most sources of potential financing, other than from Russia or China. This would cause imports, which have already fallen by more than 75 percent over the past five years, to fall further. This means more shortages and further economic decline, since much of Venezuela’s domestic production is dependent on imports.

The executive order carries an exemption for oil imports from Venezuela.

Why would Trump do something that even his right-wing allies in Latin America, and most of the Venezuelan opposition did not support when Trump threatened to do this last month? As with many apparently irrational decisions by this president, it’s not that easy to know for sure. But it seems that the strategy is to further destroy the economy to the point where people will rise up and overthrow the government, or perhaps to provoke a military coup.

In the last few weeks, the violent street protests have died down. Most of the opposition leaders have agreed to participate in the long-delayed October regional elections. This is a positive development for those who would like to see a peaceful resolution of the conflict. But for regime-change extremists like Marco Rubio, whom Trump seems to be listening to on Venezuela, peace is bad news, especially for the media strategy of “if it bleeds, it leads.” They may see exacerbating the economic crisis and suffering to their advantage, hoping to bring people back into the streets and away from the negotiations that will be necessary to settle the conflict.

Finally, we cannot discount the possibility that Trump has also issued this order as yet another distraction from his bad political fortunes at home. Distraction has been his modus operandi since his presidential campaign last year. In this case it is particularly dangerous because he has also threatened military action against Venezuela, and US sanctions of this magnitude have often been followed by military attacks.

As Trump’s disgraced presidency continues to putrefy, the urge to rescue it with war will certainly grow. Venezuela is not the best target for public relations purposes because the “security threat” is a tough sell. But Trump and his advisers may see it as less risky than some of the alternatives, such as North Korea, Iran, or Syria.

 

 
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