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Media

Media activism, media critiques.

Interview with Robert Jensen on Media Consumption Crisis

This interview features Dr. Robert Jensen with an in-depth look at current societal concerns nationally and on the global stage. University of Texas Professor Robert Jensen speaks on “Media Consumption Crises.” Jensen discusses the relationship of hyper-mediated culture and mass-marketed consumption to social and ecological crises. How do contemporary news and entertainment media shape our understanding of self and society? How does contemporary consumerism affect the larger living world? How should we understand the multiple, cascading crises of our time? Jensen, who teaches in the School of Journalism, is the author of Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully. Location: Austin Community College, Pinnacle Campus, 10th Floor Conference Room, 7748 Highway 290 West, Austin Filmed and Edited by Jeff Zavala and Grace Alfar Austin Indymedia http://austin.indymedia.org

Dobra książka dla dzieci

Rodzice nadal wierzą w to, że warto zachęcać dzieci do czytania. Jest to wydaje się coraz trudniejsze. Elektronika i technologie stają się coraz tańsze i bardziej dostępne.

A brief time line

My home page begun 15 years ago:

http://austin.indymedia.org/sites/default/files/thumb.sosbee%20site_2.jpg

My photo taken 15 years ago and appearing in my Hollywood Reporter ad:

http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/Resources/sosbee_mag_photo.jpg

A brief timeline, followed by statement of revent events:

World Leaders Challenge Predatory Hedge Funds in UN Development Agreement

At a United Nations development summit, world leaders, the International Monetary Fund and development organizations recommend the elimination of a type of hedge fund that preys on countries in financial crisis. So called “vulture funds” are featured in a global agreement to be signed this week at the Financing for Development Conference.

“These predatory funds undermine development and can destabilize a country’s economy,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “From Zambia to Peru, they target, litigate and collect aid monies that should be building schools and hospitals.”

When countries face economic hardship, "vulture funds" buy a country's debt cheaply and then sue for full repayment. After Zambia received international debt relief in 2006, a hedge fund called Donegal International sued Zambia to collect $55 million on a $15 million debt the fund purchased for $3.3 million on the secondary market. NML Capital sued Argentina over debt holdings and refused to participate in Argentina's debt restructuring. The Argentina case put a broader spotlight on this type of litigation.

Greece Reaches Financing Deal with Eurozone Religious Debt Relief Coalition Issues Statement

European negotiators agreed unanimously to a new financing deal with Greece. The deal includes up to $96 billion in new loans to Greece in exchange for economic reforms, including austerity measures. Greece can reschedule its debt under the deal but cannot receive debt relief. Greece's parliament and Eurozone parliaments must approve the deal. 

Greek Voters Reject Financing Plan

Greek voters rejected a financing plan that would have provided funds for the debt-ridden country in exchange for austerity measures such as pension cuts. Sixty-one percent voted against the plan while 38.7% voted yes.

"Austerity programs over the last five years pushed a third of the Greek population under the poverty line," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA. "The Greek people voted in large numbers for debt relief." 

Greece and its lenders will now need further negotiations to reach a financing agreement. European leaders meet this week to discuss next steps. Greece owes $300 billion in total debt. It missed a 1.5 billion euro payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 30. Approximately 7 billion euros in payments are due in July. The IMF stated in a report this week that any new agreement between Greece and its lenders should include debt relief.

Interview with Baltimore Activists- Houston Indymedia Radio- May 1st 015 show

Interview with Baltimore activists Marian (adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art), Micheal (queer/trans and racial justice activist)

Find what you want to hear fast:

update on letter to Houston Independant School District parents from Dan Gohl
1:50 - 2:55

May Day this year &
history of May Day
2:55 - 8:44

Interview with Baltimore activists
8:45 - 30:00

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Senate Budget Action Fails to Repeal Tax Transparency Law

Budget amendment SA 621, to repeal the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), failed to reach the the US Senate floor for a vote on Friday. FATCA was originally passed in 2010 to prevent corrupt activities and Americans from evading taxes abroad. The law requires foreign financial institutions to disclose financial information or face penalties.

"It's an unpopular idea to overturn existing tax transparency laws in the Senate," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the financial reform organization Jubilee USA Network, which generated thousands of phone calls into the Senate in support of FATCA. "The lack of support for repealing FATCA shows how important anti-corruption legislation is to Congress."

Countries and financial institutions that sign FATCA compliance agreements with the US government agree to automatically share certain tax information. To date, over 77,000 banks and 80 countries have signed such agreements. In 2013, G8 leaders pledged to crack down on tax avoidance and improve transparency by working toward a global version of FATCA. The G20 that year agreed to automatically exchange information by the end of 2015 and called such exchange "the new standard." In 2014, 47 countries agreed to a global standard of information exchange developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"FATCA is part of a global campaign for financial transparency," noted LeCompte.

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 400 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the 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

President Obama Introduces "Student Aid Bill of Rights":New Rules Protect Students from Predatory Behavior

President Obama signed by executive order a "Student Aid Bill of Rights." These reforms are meant to protect the average college student who graduates with $29,400 in student debt. The initiative includes new rules requiring third-party lenders to inform students of alternative repayment options and a new website where students can file complaints against lenders.

"These actions to protect students are a welcome step," said Eric LeCompte the executive director of the religious debt relief organization Jubilee USA Network. "Student debt in the United States surpasses $1 trillion."

Jubilee USA Network, founded by mainline Christian Churches and Jewish Synagogues, won over $130 billion in debt relief for poor economies since the late 1990s. The organization over the last 3 years has led successful campaigns with over 100 churches and synagogues to keep federal loan interest rates manageable.

"These new rules push back the predatory groups who seek to take advantage of our students," noted LeCompte. "The future of generations depends on responsible lending and borrowing."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 400 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the 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

 

 

IMF Plan Offers $170 Million in Debt Relief for Ebola-Impacted West Africa:IMF Debt Facility Can Aid World's Poorest Countries


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is providing $330 million of financing to aid Ebola-impacted countries. The plan includes $170 million of debt relief and grant-like aid for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The new plan also expands a debt relief facility previously used to cancel debt after Haiti's 2010 earthquake. The new expanded facility, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCR), is now a permanent debt relief facility for the world's poorest countries when they experience shocks such as epidemics or natural disasters.

"This aid is so vital for the countries affected by Ebola," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA Network. "Now we have a permanent debt relief vehicle for when the poorest countries face certain crises. Essentially, a global social safety net is now in place to protect the least developed countries when they experience disasters."

$100 million of debt relief will come through the IMF's new Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. Another $70 million in debt relief will come from other governments who hold debt in the three countries. Concessional loans of $160 million add up to a grand total of $330 million in new financing. The package also includes a new financing mechanism designed to deliver funds to disaster-impacted countries quickly without worsening debt burdens.

"This new fund is an important, permanent tool in the fight against poverty," noted LeCompte, who serves on United Nations expert groups on debt and global finance. "It means resources for countries that need them most at the time they need them most."

Jubilee USA moved the IMF to create the Post Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust (PCDR) after Haiti's 2010 earthquake and to finance the fund through windfall gold sales. Jubilee USA urged the US government to call on the IMF to use the fund for Ebola-impacted countries. In November, the White House asked the IMF to grant $100 million in debt relief through the fund and took its proposal to the G20. At the G20 summit, the IMF agreed to the $300 million package, which its board now approved.

The Fund's plan includes a new innovation: rapidly distributing loans to countries in need and then using debt relief to provide grant-like aid. The $100 million in debt relief - which represents roughly 20% of the countries' quotas at the Fund - is designed to offset any increased debt burden from emergency loans. Prior to the announcement, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea owed a combined $372 million to the IMF. The three countries have a combined total debt stock of over $3 billion; much of that debt comes from  dictatorships, civil wars and one-party rule. The three countries paid a total of $81 million in debt service in 2013. In 2012, Guinea, where the outbreak began, spent more money on debt than on public health.

"Tonight I'm toasting the IMF and the White House," said LeCompte. "Unfortunately the World Bank has remained silent in the face of this crisis. I pray they follow the IMF's lead."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 400 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the 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 

 

 

 

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