Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

South Carolina Bill Would Criminalize Obamacare

South Carolina is considering outlawing Obamacare.

Five Republican South Carolina state representatives introduced a bill last week that, if passed, would send people to jail for trying to implement the Affordable Care Act in South Carolina.

Under the bill, federal officials, employees and contractors implementing Obamacare could face a jail sentence of up to 5 years, and state officials and employees implementing Obamacare could face a jail sentence of up to 2 years.

Video Games Targeted By Senate In Wake Of Sandy Hook Shooting

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced one of Congress' first pieces of legislation related to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.: a bill to study the impact of violent video games on children.

"This week, we are all focused on protecting our children. At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day," said Rockefeller, who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Afghanistan Village Massacre: Army Will Seek Death Penalty For Soldier Accused Of Killing 16 Villagers

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will seek the death penalty against the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a predawn rampage in March, a decision his lawyer called "totally irresponsible."

The announcement followed a pretrial hearing last month for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 39, who faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan.

The slayings drew such angry protests that the U.S. temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan, and it was three weeks before American investigators could reach the crime scenes.

Biofuel credits behind mystery cross-border train shipments

The mystery of the trainload of biodiesel that crossed back and forth across the Sarnia-Port Huron border without ever unloading its cargo, as reported by CBC News, has been solved.

CBC News received several tips after a recent story about a company shipping the same load of biodiesel back and forth by CN Rail at a cost of $2.6 million in the summer of 2010. It turns out the shipments were part of a deal by a Toronto-based company, which made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program.

Canada’s economy in 2013: Fasten your seatbelt

Keep your seatbelt fastened in 2013, economists say.

Canada’s gross domestic product is likely to grow at just below 2 per cent in the coming year — and a big external shock could send the economy spinning.

In reports issued separately on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund and CIBC World Markets Inc. laid out their predictions for 2013.

Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill Back in Limbo

The members of Uganda’s parliament are on vacation now, and won’t be coming back to work until February. It might not be much, given the threat hanging over them, but during those two months, L.G.B.T. Ugandans can rest a little easier. As I write in my story in this week’s issue, from the moment last month when Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of parliament, announced that she would pass the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would imprison gays (and originally suggested the death penalty for certain homosexual behavior), as a “Christmas gift” to Ugandans, activists have been coördinating a global effort to kill the bill, and those whose sexuality would be criminalized have been watching their government closely, as the bill seemed to be the closest it has come to passage since it was first introduced, in 2009. But lawmakers left for vacation on Friday without holding a vote on it, so now the notorious “Kill the Gays” bill is back in limbo, along with the lives of those in Uganda’s L.G.B.T. community.

Zero Conscience in “Zero Dark Thirty”

At the same time that the European Court of Human Rights has issued a historic ruling condemning the C.I.A.’s treatment of a terror suspect during the Bush years as “torture,” a Hollywood movie about the agency’s hunt for Osama bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty”—whose creators say that they didn’t want to “judge” the interrogation program—appears headed for Oscar nominations. Can torture really be turned into morally neutral entertainment?

Chained CPI: How Likely Social Security Change Could Affect Seniors

WASHINGTON -- The pillars of a big budget deal between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have begun to emerge: higher taxes on higher incomes paired with cuts to social insurance programs.

Obama and Boehner have both embraced a change to the way the government measures inflation, which would reduce spending on Social Security and other programs by giving beneficiaries smaller cost-of-living adjustments.

The Unequal State of America: a Reuters series -- Redistributing Up

The federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States - especially in the nation's capital.

In the town that launched the War on Poverty 48 years ago, the poor are getting poorer despite the government's help. And the rich are getting richer because of it.

The top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made more than $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 - a ratio of 54 to 1.

U.S. "Deeply Disappointed" in Israeli Settlement Expansion, Yet Won’t Take Action

The Israeli government has announced yet another new round of settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank — 1,500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo. It is the latest in a series of Israeli settlement expansions following last month’s historic recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state by the United Nations. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has issued some of its most forceful public criticism of Israeli settlement expansion to date, yet has acknowledged it will not take any practical steps to respond on the ground. After weeks of international calls for a U.S. response to Israeli settlement growth, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland criticized Israel on Tuesday.

Todd Akin Pushes 'License To Bully' Anti-Gay Bill In Final Days As Congressman

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) lost to Democrat Claire McCaskill in November and will soon leave the House of Representatives. Before he goes, however, Akin wants to push one last anti-gay bill to undermine the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

In May, Akin first proposed the anti-gay bill, essentially a "license to bully," for the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, according to Think Progress.

Akin's "conscience clause" would purportedly protect the religious liberties of military personnel who disagree with homosexuality. Under the bill, the U.S. military must “accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality," according to the Washington Blade.

Gulf Oil Sheen At BP's Deepwater Horizon Rig Disaster Site Remains A Mystery

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Underwater inspections at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig disaster have failed to identify the source of a persistent sheen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, officials said Tuesday.

The Coast Guard and BP both said the recent inspections confirmed that the company's Macondo well, which blew out in April 2010 and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill, remains secure and isn't leaking oil. Relief wells that were drilled in 2010 to stop the gusher also were found to be secure during the four-day survey, BP said.

Student Veterans Struggle To Get In-State Tuition At Public Colleges In North Carolina

NEW YORK -- After serving in the military, Andrew Sammons returned to home to the house where he lived with his wife in North Carolina and decided to apply to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington to get his master's degree in accounting. He then spent the better part of three months trying to prove he was a resident of North Carolina to avoid a huge tuition bill.

Even though Sammons had owned his house in North Carolina for more than a year, had been paying taxes on it, had a driver's license and vehicles registered in the state and was an active-duty member of the Army, UNC-Wilmington considered him a nonresident for tuition purposes. Which meant that instead of paying the in-state tuition rate of $7,694, his annual bill would be $28,446 (not including books and other fees).

NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision Mysteriously Stripped From Bill

WASHINGTON -- Congress stripped a provision Tuesday from a defense bill that aimed to shield Americans from the possibility of being imprisoned indefinitely without trial by the military. The provision was replaced with a passage that appears to give citizens little protection from indefinite detention.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 was added by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), but there was no similar language in the version of the bill that passed the House, and it was dumped from the final bill released Tuesday after a conference committee from both chambers worked out a unified measure.

State Benghazi Report Is Harshly Critical Of Department, Busts Many Right-Wing Myths

WASHINGTON -- An investigation into the State Department's preparations for and management of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has concluded that "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" within the department played a major role in the devastation that took place there last September.

Four Americans were killed in the overnight raid on the compound, including U.S. Ambassador Chistopher Stevens. The ensuing controversy over the incident, and the administration's handling of it, threatened to derail President Barack Obama's reelection campaign through the fall.

Why Democrats Must Break With Obama on Social Security Cuts

There are a lot of complicated ways in which to describe the schemes being floated by President Obama and congressional Republicans to abandon the traditional Consumer Price Index in favor of the so-called “chained-CPI” scheme. But there is nothing complicated about the reality that changing the calculations on which cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients are based has the potential to dramatically reduce the buying power of Americans who rely on this successful and stable federal program.

So the word for what is being proposed is “cut”—as in: President Obama and congressional Republicans are proposing to cut Social Security.

TSA Finally Investigating Cancer Risk of X-Ray Body Scanners

Following months of congressional pressure, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to study the health effects of the agency's X-ray body scanners. But it is unclear if the academy will conduct its own tests of the scanners or merely review previous studies.

The machines, known as backscatters, were installed in airports nationwide after the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009 to screen passengers for explosives and other nonmetallic weapons. But they have been criticized by some prominent scientists because they expose the public to a small amount of ionizing radiation, a form of energy that can cause cancer.

Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No

In the wake of the unthinkable massacre in Connecticut, pro-gun ideologues are once again calling for ordinary citizens to arm themselves as a solution to mass shootings. If only the principal at Sandy Hook elementary had possessed a M-4 assault rifle she could've stopped the killer, they say. This latest twist on a long-running argument isn't just absurd on its face; there is no evidence to support it. As I reported recently in our in-depth investigation, not one of the 62 mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years has been stopped this way. More broadly, attempts by armed civilians to intervene in shooting rampages are rare—and are successful even more rarely. (Two people who tried it in recent years were gravely wounded or killed.) And law enforcement overwhelmingly hates the idea.

Chief Theresa Spence Hunger Strike: Opposition Calls On Harper To End It

OTTAWA - The federal opposition parties and the head of the Assembly of First Nations are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take steps to end a prominent aboriginal leader's hunger strike before it's too late.

The call came as an aboriginal elder in northern Manitoba embarked Tuesday on a hunger strike of his own.

UBS Admits Fraud, Agrees To Pay $1.5 Billion To Settle Libor Rigging Charges

ZURICH Dec 19 (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS was hit with a $1.5 billion bill and admitted to fraud on Wednesday in order to settle charges of manipulating global benchmark interest rates.

The penalty agreed with U.S., UK and Swiss regulators is more than three times the $450 million fine levied on Britain's Barclays in June for rigging the Libor benchmark rate used to price financial contracts around the globe.

Why Are Prices Higher In Canada Than In The U.S.? E-Book Retailers Bet You're Willing To Pay

It’s the holiday season, that magical time of year when Canadians come together to ask: Why are we still paying more for everything than Americans?

Amazon launched its Canadian Kindle store a few weeks ago, and it took little time before consumers began to notice, much to their chagrin, that e-book prices in the Canadian store were consistently higher than they were in the U.S. online store.

Exclusive: Leonard Peltier Speaks Out From Prison on Denial of Medical Care, Bid for Clemency

Leonard Peltier, one of the nation’s most well-known and longest incarcerated prisoners, speaks out from the U.S. Penitentiary at Coleman, Florida, where he is currently held. Peltier is the Native American activist and former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of aiding in the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Sentenced to prison in 1977, Peltier is now 68-years old. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman spoke with Peltier on Saturday when he called into a press conference organized by his supporters.

Source: Democracy Now!
Author: --

Michael Moore’s Poetic Plea to Obama: "Dear Mr. President, Please Let Leonard Peltier Come Home"

Singers Harry Belafonte and Pete Seeger hosted the "Bring Leonard Peltier Home In 2012 Concert" at the Beacon Theater in New York City on Friday to raise awareness of Peltier’s 37-year ordeal and plea for executive clemency from President Obama. Peltier is the Native American activist and former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of aiding in the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Among those who spoke was Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, who read a poem he wrote urging Peltier’s release.

Source: Democracy Now!
Author: --

Canada Immigration: Foreign Skilled Workers Struggle To Find Jobs In Their Professions

William Yin sits on a stool behind the counter reading about hope. It's early Saturday evening in April 2011, and he has printed out a copy of Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration speech. The white papers with alternating paragraphs of English words and Chinese characters are splayed in front of him, between a container of 10-cent caramels and box of pepperoni sticks at his Toronto shop named Best Convenience. Yin's store is quiet around dinnertime, save for the fridges in the back that buzz like an empty stomach. He reads under the fluorescent light through wire-framed glasses atop his freckled nose:

Documents detail ‘recruitment fees’ paid under Temporary Foreign Workers program

OTTAWA — Jiajun “Jarvis” Wu, 22, was in Vancouver on a student visa earlier this year when he seized on what appeared to be a golden opportunity to get a job — and eventual permanent residency status — in Canada.

But he says his experience with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program — currently under federal review in the wake of controversy over the hiring of Chinese nationals to work in northeastern B.C. coal mines — left him traumatized.

Security expert: Canada should keep eye out for 'Islamist' immigrants

OTTAWA -- A security expert says Canada needs to go beyond screening for terrorists landing on our shores and consider the religious beliefs of some prospective immigrants.

Scott Newark says Canada should be concerned about "Islamist" immigrants.

Newark served as executive officer of the Canadian Police Association and also worked as a security and policy advisor to both the Ontario and federal Ministers of Public Safety.

Canadians want Stephen Harper to block foreign investment: poll

OTTAWA — Most Canadians want the Harper government to stop the sale of Canadian companies to foreign investors, particularly if the buyer is a state-owned enterprise, a new poll has found.

The Ipsos Reid survey, conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global TV, found that 68 per cent of Canadians believe the Conservative government should block the sale of Canadian firms to “all foreign investors.”

Public service unions not entitled to $28B pension repayment, says Supreme Court

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada says several major public unions are not entitled to a $28-billion pension surplus that the government hived off to help pay down the deficit.

The unanimous high court ruled 9-0 that the government is not obliged to return funds to the public sector unions.

"The government was not under a fiduciary obligation to the plan members, nor was it unjustly enriched by the amortization and removal of the pension surpluses," Justice Marshall Rothstein writes for the court.

Harper takes responsibility for naming auditor general who doesn't speak French

OTTAWA - Canada's auditor general ought to be able to speak both English and French, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.

Naming the otherwise qualified, English-only Michael Ferguson to the post last year was — while unavoidable — less than ideal, the prime minister acknowledged in a year-end interview with French broadcaster TVA.

"There was a process, and at the end of that process, I had one name really qualified for the position: I decided to name Mr. Ferguson with his commitment under the circumstances," Harper said.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the origin of equality

"The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had someone pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: 'Do not listen to this impostor. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!'"

- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Injured workers falling deeper into poverty

He can’t collect employment insurance or workers’ compensation benefits.

He’s on the verge of selling his house. Spent $60,000 on his line of credit. $7,000 on his credit cards. And he owes a friend $3,000.

“Because the time since they cut me off and now, this eat up all my savings and my credit,” said Rene Pineta, an injured worker.

Critics slam feds’ decision to scrap records of rifle, shotgun sales in wake of Newtown shootings in U.S.

PARLIAMENT HILL—The widening U.S. debate over tighter gun laws in the wake of a massacre of 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school on Dec. 14 has focused critics of the government’s decision last June eliminating a requirement for gun dealers in Canada to keep records of rifle and shotgun sales.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) government passed a secret Cabinet order on June 28, which it later made public, that imposed new regulations preventing police and provincial firearms officers from requiring records of rifle and shotgun sales, including names of owners, after the Conservative majority government pushed legislation through Parliament to scrap the federal registry for rifles and shotguns in April.

First Nations force their way onto Stephen Harper’s 2013 agenda

OTTAWA—The movement is known as Idle No More.

In the next couple of days we will learn whether this is the latest venting of aboriginal frustration in this country or whether it grows to become a sleeper issue in 2013.

Aboriginal discontent could muscle its way onto Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s agenda very early in the new year.

Commentary: TDSB, not me, told my 6-year-old son about Newtown

On the way to school Monday my son Benson, who turns 7 on Saturday, was upset, asking me over and over: “Why do people litter?”

A few hours later, his sprightly, sensitive little brain was processing another level of horror, that a man had stormed a U.S. school and shot 20 little kids — kids like him — to death.

My wife and I had chosen to not tell Ben about the Connecticut massacre. Newspapers were flipped, radios hushed.

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

For Canada’s international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis.

This year three UN expert committees rated the country’s performance on meeting rights commitments — and returned a failing grade.

“These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three,” said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. “It’s a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.”

Canadian Gun Laws: Weapons Used In Mass Shootings Still Not Prohibited

OTTAWA - Just as the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle has become a grim household name in the U.S. after the Sandy Hook massacre, a pair of semi-automatic firearms evoke similar memories — and debate — in Canada.

In the 1989 massacre of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 rifle, at the time equipped with a substantial magazine.

Chief Theresa Spence Hunger Strike: Opposition Calls On Harper To End It

OTTAWA - The federal opposition parties and the head of the Assembly of First Nations are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take steps to end a prominent aboriginal leader's hunger strike before it's too late.

The call came as an aboriginal elder in northern Manitoba embarked Tuesday on a hunger strike of his own.

In his letter to Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called on the prime minister and the Governor General to meet with aboriginal leaders to end the protests.

Sudbury Catholics plan protests calling for cancellation of Trudeau talk

SUDBURY, Ontario, Dec. 18, 2012 ( - A campaign stop at a Sudbury Catholic high school by Liberal leadership hopeful, Justin Trudeau, has stoked outrage amongst local Catholic ratepayers as well as Catholics across the country who are calling it a “grave scandal.”

Local Catholics, along with Campaign Life Catholics, are planning protests this week to call on trustees to cancel Trudeau’s talk, which is set for Friday, December 21 at St. Charles College.

U.S. must approve sale of Nexen to Chinese

Now that the Canadian government has cleared the $15.1-billion Nexen deal, the focus shifts to the United States, where regulators must do the same.

While only a fraction of Calgary-based Nexen’s holdings are in the United States, if the sale to a Chinese state-owned company gets the green light from U.S. government regulators, the People’s Republic of China will have a firm stake in oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Committee on Foreign Investment has two months to examine the megadeal, searching to see if the foreign acquisition is a threat to U.S. national security.

The Stephen Harper model for Wildrose power: Promise free votes and deliver the Borg Hive

Alberta's Wildrose Party blossomed at the edges of the same muddy spring whence sprang the federal Reform Party of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper.

As is well known, the Reform Party went on to engineer the hostile takeover in 2003 of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, after renaming but not successfully re-branding itself as the Canadian Alliance.

Killing the Competition -- How the new monopolies are destroying open markets

Fear, in any real market, is a natural emotion. There is the fear of not making a sale, not landing a job, not winning a client. Such fear is healthy, even constructive. It prods us to polish our wares, to refine our skills, and to conjure up—every so often—a wonder.

But these days, we see a different kind of fear in the eyes of America’s entrepreneurs and professionals. It’s a fear of the arbitrary edict, of the brute exercise of power. And the origins of this fear lie precisely in the fact that many if not most Americans can no longer count on open markets for their ideas and their work. Because of the overthrow of our antimonopoly laws a generation ago, we instead find ourselves subject to the ever more autocratic whims of the individuals who run our giant business corporations.

Robots and Robber Barons

The American economy is still, by most measures, deeply depressed. But corporate profits are at a record high. How is that possible? It’s simple: profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down. The pie isn’t growing the way it should — but capital is doing fine by grabbing an ever-larger slice, at labor’s expense.

 Wait — are we really back to talking about capital versus labor? Isn’t that an old-fashioned, almost Marxist sort of discussion, out of date in our modern information economy? Well, that’s what many people thought; for the past generation discussions of inequality have focused overwhelmingly not on capital versus labor but on distributional issues between workers, either on the gap between more- and less-educated workers or on the soaring incomes of a handful of superstars in finance and other fields. But that may be yesterday’s story.

The death of innocents: Murder and guns in the USA

Handgun deaths
In the wake of the death of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, inevitable calls have surfaced for a re-examination of American gun laws. In a departure from the customary platitudes of American leaders, normally homeopathically watered down to complete emptiness in deference to the gun lobby, United States President Barack Obama said something that sounded like it might actually portend action on this issue:

"We can't tolerate this any more. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We cannot accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say we are powerless in the face of such carnage? That the violence visited on our children year after year is the price of our freedom?"

Teacher protest: Broten not budging on Bill 115, heading for showdown with teachers

Teachers and the minority Liberal government are headed for a showdown in the New Year, with Education Minister Laurel Broten refusing to back down on Bill 115 despite ongoing teacher protests and pleas to find a solution before kids return to school after the holidays.

“We’re going to give an opportunity for (local) negotiations to take place,” Broten said in an interview on “Super Tuesday,” the largest one-day strike so far by public elementary teachers at eight school boards around the province.

Oil industry faced with ‘serious challenge’ as pipelines fill up, TD warns

CALGARY — Two major banks are warning that increased pipeline capacity is badly needed to bring Canadian oil to market.

In a report released Monday, TD Economics calls pipeline expansion a “national priority.”

“Canada’s oil industry is facing a serious challenge to its long-term growth,” says the report.

“Current oil production in Western Canada coupled with significant gains in U.S. domestic production have led the industry to bump up against capacity constraints in existing pipelines and refineries.”

Brothers’ Keepers

Mysteries have surrounded the Muslim Brotherhood since its founding, in 1928. Nobody knows how many members there are, or how much money the organization receives, or where it all comes from. The chain of command is murky; the goals and the guiding philosophy are not clearly stated. The Egyptian revolution, which has rolled and lurched and staggered along for nearly two years, and which included Brothers among its original protesters, has failed to answer these basic questions. But the past year has solved one mystery: we now know how the Muslim Brotherhood behaves when it gets a taste of power.

Foxconn Workers Unhappy Labor Laws Now Implemented: Report

Labor conditions may have improved at factories owned by China's Foxconn, the manufacturer responsible for assembling tech products for Apple and Samsung, among other major companies, but workers there still aren't happy.

After a rash of suicides, Foxconn responded to widespread criticism of working conditions at its factories by reducing the amount of time employees could work overtime, among other measures. The problem is that the new policy, which adheres to Chinese labor laws, is making it hard for employees to earn a living because they are working fewer hours at the higher overtime rates, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Original Article
Source: huffington post
Author: The Huffington Post

Sacred Headwaters: Shell Withdraws From Oil And Gas Development

VICTORIA - The remote alpine birthplace of three majestic, salmon-rich rivers has been saved from potentially harmful oil-and-gas development in a remote area of northwestern British Columbia.

The B.C. government announced a deal Tuesday with Shell Canada Ltd., and the Tahltan Central Council that will see Shell withdraw its plans to explore and drill for coalbed methane gas in a 4,000-square-kilometre region known as the Klappan at the confluence of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers.