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Economic Justice

Declaring Syria Regime Illegitimate Sends Strong Human Rights Message and Exposes Lenders

Over the last year, a religious antipoverty organization has met with U.S. Treasury and White House officials to encourage them to declare the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad an illegitimate government. This action would impose restrictions on lending to Syria that supports its military or the needs of the Assad regime. When governments or financial institutions make this declaration it lets lenders know that if they lend to Syria they may not receive a return on their investment. Types of lending and financing that could be affected are arms contracts with Russia and oil investment from Iran.

 

Hedge Funds Win 2nd Circuit Court Ruling in NML Capital vs. Argentina; Global Poor Lose

 

A Man on a Limb: A Short Analysis of the Current Economic Crisis

 The current crisis of the global capitalist system is shaping up to be one of the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew by an anemic 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and only 0.4 the previous quarter. U.S. capitalists and their political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties have got themselves in a real mess, with no end in sight.

Groundbreaking Norwegian Audit Finds Loans to Developing Countries Don’t Follow New Responsible Lending Standards

Last week, Norway became the first lending country to audit the loans it made to developing countries. The consultant firm Deloitte assessed whether past Norwegian loans to governments, including repressive regimes in Egypt and Indonesia, were compliant with current principles of responsible lending and borrowing developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Shortwave Report 08/09/13 Listen Globally!

 Dear Radio Friend, 

            The latest Shortwave Report (August 9) is up at the website http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml  in 3 forms- (new) HIGHEST QUALITY (128kb)(27MB), broadcast quality (16MB), and quickdownload or streaming form (6MB) (28:59) Links at page bottom
   (If you have access to Audioport there is a highest quality version posted up there {35MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)
 
NEW PODCAST!!!- feed://www.outfarpress.com/podcast.xml  (128kb Highest Quality)
 
     This week's show features stories from Radio Deutsche-Welle, the Voice of Russia, Radio Havana Cuba, Spanish National Radio, and NHK World Radio Japan.
    From GERMANY- As of Thursday the Egyptian government is threatening to use the military to end protests against the military coup. A court in Turkey has begun sentencing citizens accused of plotting against the government last year. Iran's new President says he wants to begin serious negotiations with western nations over his country's nuclear program. Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi got his tax fraud conviction reduced to a year of house arrest. The Justice Minister of Germany has called for the EU to create strong data protection laws.
    From RUSSIA- An interview with Beatrice Edwards, Executive director of the Government Accountability Project, on Edward Snowden's situation under asylum in Russia.
    From CUBA- Argentinian President Christina Fernandez spoke to the UN Security Council about the Latin American experience in global matters and the protection of citizen privacy. UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon met with South American Foreign Ministers who voiced concerns about large scale surveillance of their citizens and the hijacking of Evo Morales's plane. In the US there was a second day of action against government surveillance, called 1984 day.
     From SPAIN-   Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy spoke to Parliament about corruption in his political party, while many legislators are calling for his resignation. Pakistan again demanded an end to illegal US drone attacks, while attacks continue in Pakistan and were rapidly increased in Yemen.
     From JAPAN- Fishermen have again postponed trial fishing off the coast of Fukushima, following new revelations that 300 tons of radioactive water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean every day, as it has for over 2 years. Researchers have determined very high levels of radioactivity in the seabed off the coast of Fukushima. August 6th was the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima- events, speeches, and ceremonies marked the day. Oliver Stone spoke about the film he has completed about America's use of the atomic bomb.
 
There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line -

 

I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 
 
  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
NEW TIME SLOT on KZYX! This program will be aired on Sunday afternoon at 4pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org > 
 
I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
links for this week's edition- 
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr130809.mp3  > (27 MB) HIGHEST QUALITY
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_08_09_13.mp3  > (16MB) Broadcast Quality
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_08_09_13_24.mp3 > (6MB) Slow Modem streaming
Website Page- 
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts
 
"Although September 11 was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do."
--Stephen Hawking
 
 
Dan Roberts
Shortwave Report-
YouthSpeaksOut!-

 

Supreme Court Considers Taking Hedge Fund/Argentina Case with Global Poverty Impacts

 The US Supreme Court is considering whether or not to accept an international debt case that will impact global poverty and poor country access to credit. The case of Argentina vs. NML Capital is currently awaiting an appeal ruling in front of the US 2nd Circuit Court. In June, Argentina preemptively filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court asking to overturn an earlier US 2nd Circuit Court ruling that ordered Argentina to pay holdout creditors. France filed an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in support of Argentina’s request. The International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde planned a similar US Supreme Court filing because of the case’s significant implications on poverty and country debt restructurings. Although Lagarde has maintained her concern about the hedge fund behavior, the IMF did not file with the US Supreme Court based on advice from the US Treasury last week.

Expected Hedge Fund vs. Argentina Ruling Will Impact Global Poverty

 

Any day, the US 2nd Circuit Court will rule between Argentina and hedge funds; the ruling will impact global poverty and poor country access to credit. Argentina preemptively filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court. Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, is requesting the Fund’s executive board file an amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court urging Argentina’s case be heard.

 

“The IMF understands the ruling will go well beyond Argentina - it will have serious repercussions on poverty around the globe. If these hedge funds win it will harm legitimate investors and poor people,” stated Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network’s Executive Director.

 

In the early 2000s Argentina defaulted on nearly $81 billion in debt.  NML Capital, a subsidiary of billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, purchased some of Argentina’s distressed credit. After the nation defaulted, ninety-two percent of the creditors restructured. Holdout creditors, led by NML Capital, rejected the proposal and sued Argentina for the full amount in NY courts where the original loans were contracted.

 

NML Capital is known as a “vulture fund.” Vulture funds are hedge funds that buy the debt of poor or financially-distressed countries for pennies on the dollar and then sue to make high profits. These funds often target monies allocated to benefit vulnerable populations in a poor country.

 

“The religious community is deeply concerned with any group that profits by taking from the poor,” noted LeCompte.

 

In addition to the concerns expressed by the IMF and World Bank, the US government filed an amicus or friend-of-the-court brief, during the 2nd Circuit Court proceedings, noting a ruling against Argentina could make it much harder for countries in financial recovery or stress to access credit swaps. Recently, German courts sided with Argentina and rejected similar hedge fund claims to Argentine assets in Germany.

 

In June 2012, Elliott Management supported legislation in the NY State Senate and Assembly that would have allowed hedge funds to continue to litigate a country even after a court had ruled. Jubilee USA and partners prevented the legislation from being voted on.

 

In late 2012, NML Capital persuaded a lower Ghanaian court to order the seizure of one of Argentina’s ships, the Libertad. Ghana seized the ship temporarily but later released it after the United Nations Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea noted that the seizure was illegal. Recently, Ghana’s Supreme Court condemned seizure of the Argentine ship.

 

At the end of 2012, Argentina was ordered to pay holdout creditors $1.3 billion due to the US District Court's interpretation of a pari passu, or parity clause. Argentina appealed and the 2nd Circuit Court suspended this ruling to hear new oral arguments in February. After arguments, Argentina was ordered to outline an alternate payment plan to holdout creditors. Holdout creditors rejected the proposal that was essentially the same deal that 92 percent of creditors previously took. In June, Argentina filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court, known as a writ of certiorari, asking the court to overturn the US Circuit Court ruling ordering Argentina to pay holdout creditors.

 

“The faith community would like to see this kind of hedge fund behavior end,” said LeCompte. “It’s one thing to make a fair profit; it’s another thing to make an extraordinary profit off the backs of the poor.”

 

 

Jennifer Tong is the Communications Director for Jubilee USA Network.  Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 250 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners working. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world’s poorest people.  www.jubileeusa.org

 

 

The Shortwave Report 07/19/13 Listen Globally!

 Dear Radio Friend, 

            The latest Shortwave Report (July 19) is up at the website http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml  in 3 forms- (new) HIGHEST QUALITY (128kb)(27MB), broadcast quality (16MB), and quickdownload or streaming form (6MB) (28:59) Links at page bottom

   (If you have access to Audioport there is a highest quality version posted up there {35MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)

 

     This week's show features stories from NHK World Radio Japan, Radio Havana Cuba, Radio Deutsche-Welle, and Spanish National Radio.

    From GERMANY- A report on the opening of the US/EU Free Trade talks- if agreements are reached, this will be the largest trading bloc ever achieved, it will encompass half of the world economy. Germany is investigating what its government, especially Chancellor Angela Merkel, knew about the NSA spy program called Prism. Glenn Greenwald says that Snowden could in one minute reveal the most damaging information about the US ever made public. As protests continue in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood claims that the US planned and directed Morsi's ouster. Israel has condemned an EU decision to ban funding of projects in territories illegally occupied since the 1967 Middle East War.

    From CUBA- An Israeli plan to expel Bedouins from Palestine is being called "nothing short of ethnic cleansing." The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement about the North Korean Ship seized in the Panama Canal- it said that the military equipment was defensive and obsolete equipment being sent to North Korea for repairs, and is therefore legal. Brazil's Foreign Minister said that Latin American countries will reduce their reliance on foreign technology, so as to prevent US spying on their telecommunications.

    From SPAIN- French police arrested 29 Greenpeace activists who broke into a French nuclear power plant during ongoing protests. The Irish Parliament approved abortions when a woman's life is in danger. Tens of thousands of Greek workers walked off their jobs to protest government plans to fire public sector workers to satisfy foreign lenders. US investment bank Goldman Sachs reported doubling its earnings, while Citigroup reported a 42% rise in its earnings- all this while Eurozone unemployment continues to soar. Edward Snowden formally presented his request for temporary asylum in Russia. Spain apologized to Bolivia for its involvement in the hijacking of the plane carrying President Morales.

     From JAPAN-  Heat waves are occurring widely across the northern hemisphere- more than 13,000 Japanese were taken to hospital for heat stroke in the first 2 weeks of this month. Tepco officials want to restart two of their shutdown nuclear power plants, without first briefing the local communities. India has started its first test run of a new nuclear power plant, despite large local opposition- it is the first of 20 new nuclear plants that the government has approved.

 

There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line -

http://www.campusprogress.org/soundvision/780/big-stories-shortwaves 

 

I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 

 

  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 

NEW TIME SLOT on KZYX! This program will be aired on Sunday afternoon at 4pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org > 

 

NEW PODCAST!!!- feed://www.outfarpress.com/podcast.xml  (128kb Highest Quality)

 

I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 

links for this week's edition- 

<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr130719.mp3  > (27 MB) HIGHEST QUALITY

<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_07_19_13.mp3  > (16MB) Broadcast Quality

<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_07_19_13_24.mp3 > (6MB) Slow Modem streaming

Website Page- 

http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml >

       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts

 

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."

--Mary Catherine Bateson

 

 

Dan Roberts

Shortwave Report-

 www.outfarpress.com

YouthSpeaksOut!-

 www.youthspeaksout.net

 

The Shortwave Report 06/28/13 Listen Globally!

 Dear Radio Friend, 

            The latest Shortwave Report (June 28) is up at the website http://www.outfarpress.com/shortwave.shtml  in 3 forms- (new) HIGHEST QUALITY (128kb)(27MB), broadcast quality (16MB), and quickdownload or streaming form (6MB) (28:59) Links at page bottom
   (If you have access to Audioport there is a highest quality version posted up there {35MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)
 
     This week's show features stories from Radio Deutsche-Welle, Spanish National Radio, the Voice of Russia, Radio Havana Cuba, and NHK World Radio Japan.
    From GERMANY- European finance ministers agreed on rules to protect taxpayers from bailing out bad banks. After the G-8 Summit President Obama gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate- here is a report on how the German perception of the man has changed recently. The German Parliament is investigating foreign wiretapping, both by the US and Britain.
    From SPAIN- Spanish Human Rights investigator Baltasar Garcon has received a request for legal help from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Russian president Putin confirmed that Snowden was in the transit area of the Moscow airport and dismissed American criticism as "ravings and rubbish."
    From RUSSIA- The US government's threats to Russia and China for not extraditing Edward Snowden are harming the American reputation of freedom of information and protection of whistleblowers. The US government is also pressuring Ecuador to not grant Snowden asylum.
     From CUBA- Ecuador approved a communications act that bans private media monopoly and reverting them to community and public agencies. At the Netroots Conference, California Congressperson Pelosi was challenged for her criticism of Edward Snowden and defending NSA surveillance. Unions and social movements staged a general strike in Costa Rica, causing a shutdown of much of the country. The Brazilian government will hold a voter referendum on political changes following massive demonstrations.
     From JAPAN-  The Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Agency is urging the operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant to address to address the steep rise in tritium levels in nearby waters. It has become known that Fukushima residents were not told the truth about their radiation exposure level in 2011. In a UN court Australia has demanded that Japan immediately stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has resigned, leaving the position to the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
 
There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line -

 

I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 
 
  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
NEW TIME SLOT on KZYX! This program will be aired on Sunday afternoon at 4pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org > 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/series-podcast-outfarpress/id602376726
 
 
I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
links for this week's edition- 
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_06_28_13_128.mp3  > (27 MB) HIGHEST QUALITY
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_06_28_13.mp3  > (16MB) Broadcast Quality
<  http://www.outfarpress.com/swr_06_28_13_24.mp3 > (6MB) Slow Modem streaming
Website Page- 
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts
 
"And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
--Edward Snowden
 
 
Dan Roberts
Shortwave Report-
YouthSpeaksOut!-

 

Austin in Solidarity with Occupy Gezi and the Protest Movement in Turkey

 

Austinites Rallied in Solidarity with the protesters in Turkey rising against their government.

As peaceful protestors occupying public land were brutally beaten down by police with teargas and water cannons, we heard the calls for international solidarity. We show our support for the Turkish people to shine a light on the crimes against humanity committed by the state and police of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Thousands have rallied worldwide in solidarity with protesters in Istanbul and Ankara, and thousands more will rally still. The whole world is watching.

An Austin Indymedia Production.
Produced/Edited by Jeff Zavala.
Filmed by Grace Alfar
http://austin.indymedia.org

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