By Warda Malik and Connor Pearce
In a Sept. 14 town hall on labor issues, NYU Abu Dhabi students were given the clearest statement yet on the university’s response to strike actions during the construction of Saadiyat Campus
Vice Chancellor Al Bloom stated that since striking is illegal in the UAE, NYU will not be required to reimburse or compensate employees who took industrial action, whether or not those employees are found to have been exempted from NYU’s labor standards.
The Statement of Labor Values, the governing document regarding NYU’s rights and obligations towards its employees, states that “the right of workers to seek resolution of labor disputes shall be recognized and respected. No worker shall be subject to harassment, intimidation or retaliation in their efforts to resolve work disputes.”
By Robert Scheer
Bernie blew it. By embracing rather than confronting Hillary Clinton, Sen. Sanders fell into the trap of sellout mainstream politics, improving his personal brand as an appealing but ultimately non-threatening advocate for the downtrodden while studiously avoiding any suggestion that the smiley-faced woman standing next to him is deeply complicit in Wall Street’s rape of the nation.
In Tuesday’s debate he pointedly ignored the Clinton family’s role in deregulating Wall Street, and in doing so he allowed Hillary Clinton to cast gun regulation as the key issue that divides her from him. Forgotten was Bill Clinton’s selection of Goldman Sachs honcho Robert Rubin to be his treasury secretary, an appointee who with President Clinton’s complicity presided over the dismantling of New Deal limits on financial greed.
By Sophie Jamieson
Victims of alleged child sex abuse who submitted accounts through the Government’s inquiry website were told their testimonies had been deleted because of a technical blunder.
Following a change in the inquiry’s website address, any submissions through an online form between 14 September and October 2 were “instantly and permanently deleted” before reaching staff.
By Nadia Prupis
The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret slides that provides a window into the inner workings of the U.S. military’s kill/capture operations at a key time in the evolution of the drone wars — between 2011 and 2013. (Image: The Intercept)
A stunning new exposé by The Intercept, which includes the publication of classified documents leaked by an intelligence source, provides an unprecedented look at the U.S. military’s secretive global assassination program.
The series of articles, titled The Drone Papers, follows months of investigation and uses rare primary source documents and slides to reveal to the public, for the first time, the flaws and consequences of the U.S. military’s 14-year aerial campaign being conducted in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan—one that has consistently used faulty information, killed an untold number of civilians, and stymied intelligence-gathering through its “kill/capture” program that too often relies on killing rather than capturing.
By Nick Gutteridge
The Islamist fanatics are abandoning key positions in Syria as Russian jets continue to pound the beleaguered group’s arms depots, suicide bomb factories and heavy weaponry.
Mr Putin’s bombers blasted a further 33 ISIS targets today, including a deadly surface-to-air missile launcher the desperate terrorists could have used to down commercial airliners.
There is a saying: If you’re going to attack the king, make sure you kill him.
In the case of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, five U.S. presidents—from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush—had a potentially lethal weapon to use against him but never unleashed it. That is until last week, when the State Department released documents showing convincing evidence from as early as 1978 that Pinochet gave the order to commit an act of terrorism in Washington, D.C., and murder Orlando Letelier and an American woman.
Pundits Thought Clinton Beat Sanders–but Did Viewers?
A New York Times article (10/14/15) by Alan Rappeport about who won last night’s Democratic presidential debate reported today that “Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear victor, according to the opinion shapers in the political world (even conservative commentators).”
The Times quoted National Journal columnist Ron Fournier (“Hillary Clinton won,”10/13/15), Slate writer Fred Kaplan (“She crushed it,” 10/14/15), New Yorker staffer Ryan Lizza (“Hillary Clinton won because all of her opponents are terrible,” Twitter, 10/13/15),Red State blogger Leon Wolf (“Hillary was (astonishingly) much more likable and personable than everyone’s favorite crazy socialist uncle,” 10/13/15), pollster John Zogby (“Mrs. Clinton was just commanding tonight,” Forbes, 10/13/15) and conservative radio host Erick Erickson (“I’m still amazed the other four candidates made Hillary Clinton come off as the likable, reasonable, responsible Democrat,” Twitter, 10/13/15). If these so-called “opinion shapers in the political world” declare Hillary the winner, then Hillary must be the winner, according to the Times.
What the Times and these pundits failed to mention is the fact that every online poll we could find asking web visitors who won the debate cast Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the winner—and not just by a small margins, but by rather enormous ones.
Seventy-one percent of participants in Slate’s online poll, for example, favored Sanders, while only 16 percent preferred Clinton. Time’s web poll of nearly 235,000 had Sanders at 56 percent and Clinton at 11 percent (Webb: 31 percent).
At Daily Kos, which caters to hardcore partisan Dems, 56 percent of nearly 22,000 participants said that Sanders won, vs. 38 percent for Clinton. MSNBC’s poll of 18,000 had Sanders at 69 percent and Clinton at 12 percent.
Sanders also showed appeal among the visitors to right-leaning sites: The conservativeDrudge Report found that of more than 315,000 people, Sanders polled at 54 percent and Clinton at 9 percent (former Sen. Jim Webb got 25 percent). A poll by KSWB-TV,Fox’s San Diego affiliate, found that 78 percent of 45,000 respondents thought that Sanders won, as opposed to 15 percent who favored Clinton. The Street, a financial news website, found that 80 percent of 13,000 respondents dubbed Sanders the winner, while only 15 percent thought Clinton won.
Although these polls only represent the views of these sites’ visitors who volunteered to participate, the consistently high share saying that Sanders prevailed in the debate, across a range of websites with wildly varying audiences, is striking.
Adam Johnson, associate editor at AlterNet and frequent FAIR.org contributor, pointed out (AlterNet, 10/14/15) that not only had Sanders won every online poll “by at least an 18-point margin,” he also was picked as the winner by various media-convened focus groups: “Sanders won the CNN focus group, the Fusion focus group and the Fox Newsfocus group; in the latter, he even converted several Hillary supporters.”
Another, more rigorous gauge of Sanders’ debate performance came from an analysis of Google searches. According to Google, Sanders was the most-searched candidate for almost the entire debate. After the debate was over, he was the most-searched candidate in all 50 states.
There is one outlier in the data about the Democratic debate, but it’s one that should carry some weight, given that it’s the only poll so far ask a random sample of respondents about debate performance. This poll, conducted via automated telephone calls by research firm Gravis Marketing (One America Network, 10/14/15), found that 62 percent thought Clinton won, while 30 percent gave it to Sanders.
The poll, however, is described as a “random survey of 760 registered Democratic voters across the US”—not as a survey of people who actually watched the debate. Given that there are some 43 million registered Democrats in the country and 15 million people who watched the debate, not all of whom are Democrats, it’s highly likely that a large majority of the poll’s respondents got their impressions of who won the debate secondhand.
If they relied on corporate media to tell them about the debate, as no doubt many of them did, it’s no wonder that most of them thought Clinton won.
Gunar Olsen is an editorial intern at FAIR and a student at Fordham University. Follow him on Twitter at @GunarOlsen.
Read the original post here.
Wikileaks release of TPP deal text stokes ‘freedom of expression’
The Trade Creature Walks Among Us!
A few weeks ago, talks in Maui collapsed and the massive trade deal, affecting some 40 percent of the world’s economy, seemed close to death. But no amount of stakes through the heart or flaming torches or even witch-dissolving buckets of water can seem to keep this behemoth down. There they all were at the Westin hotel in Atlanta on Monday, the trade representatives of a dozen Pacific Rim countries, grinning ear-to-ear at a press conference announcing that after eight years and several days of extra, non-stop finagling, the fix was in.
So now, as we head toward the climax of this horror story, it’s going to take all of us villagers storming the monster’s lair with our pitchforks to bring TPP down.
Like all manmade, fantastical creatures, this TPP thing has been conceived in secret. Top secret. You could even go to jail for divulging its contents. Few have been able to see the actual text — all 30 chapters of it — except for some 600 “cleared advisors,” the majority of whom are from big business, and even they have been restricted in what they’re allowed to examine.
In May, one of the non-business cleared advisors, Michael Wessel, wrote in Politicothat he and his colleagues were also “prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific… What I can tell you is that the administration is being unfair to those who are raising proper questions about the harms the TPP would do.”
In fact, political scientists Michael Colaresi and Nathan Jensen polled fellow political scientists for The Washington Post and found that their comments “suggest that secrecy has little impact on helping the U.S. get a better deal. Instead, it helps insulate the government from interest-group pressure, whether from business on the left or environmental and labor groups on the left.”
Most of all we know so far has been the result of Wikileaks and a twelve-page summary issued by the US Trade Representative when the deal was announced on Monday. The American Prospect‘s David Dayen said, “There appears to be improvements around the edges: preventing tobacco companies from using the investor-state dispute resolution process, a lower exclusivity period for high-cost biologic drugs. But these are pretty small. The main structure of the agreement was already in place, one designed to protect incumbent profits and sacrifice U.S. jobs, with very dubious claims about labor and environmental standards that have simply never been enforced in other trade agreements, including by this administration.”
So, if upheld and obeyed, there are bans on child workers and pledges to allow collective bargaining in countries that have brutally oppressed organized labor. Conservation groups are happy about measures to fight wildlife poaching and overfishing. But there are also patent and market exclusivity rules that restrain competition, worries about food safety, a snare of complications for intellectual property and internet freedom, rules that could allow multinational corporations to run roughshod over the regulations of allegedly sovereign nations and much more. “For us, any TPP is making things worse,” Peter Maybarduk, director of the the access-to-medicines program at the public interest group Public Citizen, told The New York Times. The pharmaceutical industry in particular “will have many more tools with which to defend its monopoly business model.”
The good news is, there’s still time. Many, many details still need to be worked out before the entire TPP text must finally be revealed. Weeks and months will pass before a harshly divided Congress confronts the monster — it may not be until April of 2016, amidst our presidential election year. What’s more, as we all know, “The public is demonstrating a lot of dissatisfaction with the traditional ways of doing things in Washington.” So former diplomat Clyde Prestowitz told The American Prospect. “This deal is not going to reduce economic inequality in the U.S. Rather it is going to add to it. If some of the presidential candidates pound away at that fact, it is possible to foresee a wave of public frustration and anger leading to defeat of the TPP in the Congress.”
TPP Treaty: Intellectual Property Rights Chapter – 5 October 2015
Today, 9 October, 2015 WikiLeaks releases the final negotiated text for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP encompasses 12 nations representing more than 40 per cent of global GDP. Despite a final agreement, the text is still being withheld from the public, notably until after the Canadian election onOctober 19.
The document is dated four days ago, October 5th, or last Monday, the same day it was announced in Atlanta, Georgia that the 12 member states to the treaty had reached an accord after five and a half years of negotiations.
The IP Chapter of the TPP has perhaps been the most controversial chapter due to its wide-ranging effects on internet services, medicines, publishers, civil liberties and biological patents. “If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.”
Hundreds of representatives from large corporations had direct access to the negotiations whereas elected officials had limited or no access. Political opposition to the TPP in the United States, the dominant member of the 12 negotiating nations, has increased over time as details have emerged through previous WikiLeaks disclosures. Notably, the Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton, came out against the TPP on Wednesday saying: “Based on what I know so far, I can´t support this agreement.” This is a populist reversal by Hillary Clinton as earlier she has hailed the TPP as “the gold standard in trade agreements”.
In June the House of Representatives of the US Congress narrowly approved to “fast-track” the TPP, preventing the Congressmen from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty, only vote for or against it. 218 voted for the “fast-track” measure and 208 against. Only 28 House Democrats backed it. TPP is the first of a trinity of US backed economic treaties, the “Three Big T’s”, to be finalized. The other two being Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) which covers 52 countries and TTIP, the EU-US version of TPP.
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