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Syriza Party Poised to Win Greek Elections on Platform of Canceling Austerity and Renegotiating Debt

The anti-austerity Syriza party leads in polls heading into Greece's national elections Sunday. Syriza says if elected it will renegotiate some of Greece's debt and halt austerity policies. Syriza also calls for a European debt conference similar to the 1953 London Conference that relieved German debt and allowed the country to extend debt payments. The 1953 accord led to such incredible economic growth for post World War II Germany that the period is referred to as the "Wirtschaftswunder" or the "economic miracle." 

"It's interesting that Syriza calls for a debt conference," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the debt relief organization Jubilee USA. "It certainly worked for Germany in 1953 and can be a model for heavily indebted countries today."

Greece is the third most heavily indebted country in the world and the most heavily indebted country in Europe. It owes more than $360 billion in total debt. Current polls give Syriza a 4 to 6 percentage point lead over current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' New Democracy Party.

1 - 9 - 015 show- HoustonIndyMedia on Pacifica Houston 90.1 FM

 

Lisa Kudrow sings about Smelly Kurt Nimmo

 

Haiti Marks Deadly Earthquake's Five-Year Anniversary; Mechanism That Cancelled Haitian Debt Could Help Ebola-Affected Countries

January 12 marks the five-year anniversary of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. The 7.0 quake killed an estimated 230,000 people, injured 300,000 more and displaced 1.5 million Haitians. The earthquake also took an enormous toll on Haiti's economy. The year before the disaster, Haiti's economy grew 3.5 percent - the year after the quake, its growth was negative 5 percent. Even before the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

"Too many people died during the earthquake because they lived in unsafe conditions," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA. "This anniversary reminds us that poverty makes natural disasters even more deadly."

In the quake's aftermath, Jubilee USA called on the international community to cancel Haiti's debt. At the time, Haiti owed nearly $1 billion in external debt.

34 countries, 17 states represented "100,000 Tweets for Oscar" Campaign Reaches over 500,000 people

Over 500,000 people were reached on January 6, 2015, Oscar's 72nd birthday, as the National Boricua Human Rights Network and La Respuesta coordinated the "Social Media Campaign for Oscar López." Using various hashtags (e.g. #freeoscarlopez, #gift4oscar, #regalopaoscar) on Twitter primarily, but also Facebook and Instagram, the campaign publicly brought together a broad spectrum of supporters, from Calle 13's René Pérez to actor Luis Guzmán; from NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito to Congress members Nydia Velázquez and Luis Gutiérrez, from blogs like Latino Rebels to newspapers like El Nuevo Día.

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Elected city and state elected officials from three different states also supported the social media campaign: State Representative Leslie Acosta and Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Quiñonez in Pennsylvania; Chicago Alderman Roberto Maldonado, and State Representative Cynthia Soto in Illinois. Organized labor contributed: 1199 and Labor Council For Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)'s Facebook page also carried the message.

 In Puerto Rico, the campaign was tweeted and posted on Twitter and sometimes Facebook by former governor Aníbal Acevedo Vila; the Puerto Rico Department of Labor; pro-independence organizations, including the Movimiento Pro-Independencia Nacional Hostosiano; and the committees working for Oscar's freedom: the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico and 32x0scar.

 Popular blogs/newspapers also mentioned the campaign in the days leading up to January 6. Thanks go out to Latino Rebels, 80Grados, El Nuevo Día online, Telesur, and Primera Hora, as well as the German online blog "Derstandard," the Japanese "AppleDaily," and Mexico's APIAvirtual.net.

 Activist and movement-based organizations such as Jericho Network, Leonard Peltier Support Committee, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Committee, and Irish and Palestine support committees also posted to Facebook and Twitter.

 Community-based and educational organizations that also contributed are: El Puente in Brooklyn, Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School. Tweets came from IN, NY, CA, HI, OH, FL, CT, TN, MD, MN, GA, WDC, MI, MA, RI, PA, and IL.

 The international community was present with Tweets from 34 countries: Malaysia, Austria, Romania, Peru, Panama, Sri Lanka, Australia, Turkey, Portugal, Kosovo, Uruguay, Lebanon, Ghana, Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, Guatemala, Algeria, Spain, Venezuela, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Romania, Morocco, Mexico, Chile, India, France, Ecuador, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

 Many people also participated in creative by highlighting their talents such as writing songs, sewing puppets, baking cakes, and producing original artwork as their 'gift' for Oscar.

 La Respuesta and the Network would like to thank everyone for this amazing act of solidarity and faith, a small step on the long road to Oscar's freedom.

 

Audio from after the HB2 hearing in NOLA.

 Audio from after the HB2 hearing at the 5th circuit court of appeal in New Orleans. People showed up from all over : Donna, McAllen, Brownsville, Austin, Houston, Jackson MI.

 

For video visit youtube.com/houstonindymedia

For audio of the hearing go to http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/OralArgRecordings/14/14-50928_1-7-2015.mp3

Argentina Debt Resolution Possible As Contract Clauses Expire; Concerns Continue Over Global Impacts of Debt Dispute

An Argentina bond contract clause expires on December 31 raising the possibility that hold-out hedge funds and Argentina could settle a long running debt dispute. After defaulting in 2001, Argentina restructured its debt with 92% of its bondholders and put in place the Rights Upon Future Offers or RUFO clause.

Countries Affected by Ebola Lose $1.4 Billion Annually to Debt, Corruption and Tax Evasion; Outflows Dwarf Money in Health Care

New reports show that the Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone lose an average of $1.4 billion each year to corruption, debt payments and tax evasion. Global Financial Integrity (GFI) calculates the three countries lost about $1.3 billion per year to corruption and tax evasion in the decade leading up to the Ebola outbreak.

Texas Soon May Detain 3,500 Immigrant Family Members at Private Prisons with Sexual Assault Histories

 

United Nations Votes for Process to Create Global Bankruptcy Framework

UN Process Could Limit Default and Stop Predatory Funds

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