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News Why World Change is Necessary

MoD spends £40million rehiring army of civil servants... just months after making thousands redundant

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Defence chiefs have been forced to spend more than £40 million rehiring an army of civil servants only months after making thousands of staff redundant. Many of those being taken on are the same civil servants who recently received redundancy payoffs of more than £30,000. The Ministry of Defence spent more than £70 million making 2,300 staff redundant at its Defence Equipment and Supply site at Abbey Wood in Bristol.

U.S. government fights to stop a gem-encrusted glove worn by Michael Jackson from falling into the hands of the playboy son of an African dictator

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Assets worth about $71 million were seized in April 2011 from Obiang, who owns a fleet of Rolls-Royces, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, as well as $38 million private jet and $30 million Malibu mansion. France has also moved to seize assets from the dictator's son, including a $68 million Paris mansion he bought, along with his $2 million wine collection, according to the New York Times. The Paris mansion had 101 rooms, including a Turkish bath, hair salon, nightclub and movie theater. Bathrooms were described as dripping in gold and jewel-encrusted fixtures and French police also found and seized 11 supercars, including two Bugatti Veyrons which are among the most powerful and expensive cars in the world. More than 70 per cent of Equatorial Guinea’s population lives in poverty, but President Obiang and those closely associated with him have amassed huge fortunes through corruption, the U.S. claims.

L.A. Restaurant Has New 45-Page Water Menu, and We Are Doomed

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Ray's and Stark Bar, a restaurant and bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, today unveiled the city's most extensive water menu, offering twenty varietials of water listed by their ten countries in a 45-page menu - complete with tasting notes, mineral content, bottle price, and photos, including a page for water sommelier Martin Riese's 9OH2O, retailing for $14 "in limited editions of 10,000 individually numbered glass bottles" - from which staff suggest water pairings to complement the executive chef's thoughtful, Mediterranean-inspired menu. In case you missed it, almost 800 miillion people across the world lack access to clean water, Africans spend 40 billion hours a year carrying water from its source to their homes, and 3.4 million people, roughly the population of L.A., die each year from water-related causes. Here is even more evidence that rich people have way too much money. Criminal.

The “Bankization” of America

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This stock market story illustrates the gulf between a stock-market economy increasingly driven by the banking industry – an economy which has been booming, today’s news notwithstanding – and a human economy wracked by consumer fears, falling wages, joblessness, and low-level jobs for a growing number of people who are working. The gulf between these two economies drove this morning’s stock market story. It’s also driving the long-term depression-like misery which holds millions of Americans in its grip. This is not the playing out of some divinely-decreed order. The financialization of the US economy is the result of very deliberate governmental choices. Unless different choices are made going forward, we will continue to become a “Bankistan” whose wealth and economic fate is increasingly hijacked by Wall Street.

Big Meat Imitates Big Tobacco in Fighting the Public’s Right to Know

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Big Meat’s argument? The law violates their right to free speech, by compelling them to provide information that they would not provide voluntarily. This is the same argument a coalition of tobacco companies used when they sued to block enhanced warning label requirements on cigarette packages. The Supreme Court has traditionally made a distinction between political speech, which is strictly protected by the Constitution, and commercial speech, (intended to “propose a commercial transaction”) but as the Court has become more and more friendly to their interests, corporations are getting increasingly aggressive in asserting their new-found rights. And the right to keep us in the dark is among them.

£800million bill for hiring consultants to replace government staff made redundant with £300million in pay-offs

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The government has spent £800million calling in consultants to do the work of staff made redundant with pay-offs worth almost £300million. The revelation sparked claims Whitehall departments have ‘let good people go’ before rehiring former civil servants on expensive, temporary contracts. The spending also flies in the face of a ban on the use of external consultants as part of the government’s austerity programme.

Npower triggers fears of job losses after it reveals plan to shrink 26 UK sites down to 10

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Unions are calling on energy giant npower to explain how its plans to 'consolidate' 26 UK sites into 10 over the next five years will affect jobs. The announcement by German owner RWE yesterday of a cost-cutting drive in the business has prompted fears of redundancies. Its latest results showed Npower cashed in on the UK's coldest spring in decades, with revenues rising after steep tariff hikes that saw many families spend extra money to keep their homes warm.

Families pushed into debt by cost of going back to school as some uniforms hit £600

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Family Action said the average annual cost of sending one child to primary school, including uniforms, coats, bags and stationery, was now £156 - and £285 for secondary school. It added that families on the poverty line were expecting to spend up to two fifths of their income this month on back-to-school costs. According to the report, the majority of secondary schools expect parents to spend between £200 and £300, on school uniforms. But in some extreme cases parents are expected to fork out up to £600 per child.

Luxembourg’s teachers make twice as much as America’s

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The highest paid teachers are found in Luxembourg at $125,962 annually. Meanwhile, Switzerland pays an average $94,038 a year for the most experienced teachers. In the millionaire tutor’s home of Korea, secondary teachers earn a top wage of $76,423, the fourth highest on the OECD list. In the US, they earn $56,303, just above the average for all OECD countries of $50,119. Elementary school teachers earn less and some schools in high cost areas pay much more, or offer housing assistance. By some accounts, Long Island, NY, has the highest average salaries for US high school teachers at $82,500, and some math and science teachers there earn far more.

Ruling the waves: The £390m, 590ft super-yacht that has knocked Roman Abramovich's Eclipse off the top spot

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The Emirati royal family now rule the waves after it was revealed they own the world's biggest mega-yacht, knocking Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's off the top spot. The Chelsea owner's vessel Eclipse had been the world's biggest yacht for the past three years, but it has now been usurped by Azzam which is 54ft (16.5m) longer - the length of a football field penalty area. The 590ft (180 metre) super-yacht is set to launch a new round of one-upmanship among the world's super-rich.

The £170bn secret raid on your savings: How keeping rates at a record low is a government ploy to pay off its debt

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A stealth raid by the Bank of England has stripped savers of more than £170billion, a Money Mail investigation can reveal. By slashing the base rate to a record low of 0.5 per cent and allowing the cost of living to soar for more than four years, the Bank has whittled away the value of cash sitting in High Street accounts through a ‘secret tax’. And it is not just savers who have effectively had their money pinched. Anyone who has a fixed monthly income, such as pensioners, or has had a tiny pay rise, has also lost out.

Commuters will spend ONE HOUR every day paying off the cost of their journey to work thanks to inflation-busting fare hikes

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Commuters will have to spend the first hour of every working day paying off the cost of their train journey to work if expected inflation-busting fare hikes are introduced next year. Fares are expected to rise by an average of 4.3 per cent from January because companies are allowed to increase prices by one point above the official July inflation figure, expected to be 3.3 per cent when it is released tomorrow. The worst affected routes could see fares rise as much as 9.3 per cent. The hikes would see the average season ticket rocket to £2,285 and thousands more will join the ranks of those paying more than £5,000 a year just to get to work.

Aloha from Space! NASA spends $1 million on sending astronauts to HAWAII for four months to test food preparation strategies

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A $1 million NASA research mission is nearing completion as six crew members prepare to come back down to Earth - from the slope of a Hawaiian volcano. HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) aims to address problems that may be encountered in future space missions by simulating exploration in areas of the world similar to space environments. The aim of this first mission, funded by NASA’s Human Research Program, the University of Hawaii and Cornell University, was to learn about living and cooking in Mars.

75 arrested over human trafficking gang which charged Chinese people £40,000 to smuggle them into Europe

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Spain's Interior Ministry said today that 51 people were arrested in Spain and 24 in France as part of a two-year investigation. The gang is accused of offering false passports for £40,000 to Chinese nationals who were then transported to the U.S., Britain, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Some of the people trafficked ended up in the sex trade.The trafficking ring was based in China and the gang's main European hub was Barcelona airport. It allegedly used the northeastern city as a stopping-off point for Chinese citizens while false documents were prepared.

Toxic crop caused by Britain's hot summer: Heatwave is blamed for outbreak of algae marring beauty spots across the country

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Waterways from Wales to Norfolk have turned an unsightly shade of green as a result of toxic algae blooms. The soaring temperatures, combined with sharp downpours washing fertiliser into ponds and lakes, has led to a larger than usual explosion of algae. The green slime, which has been sighted along the Welsh coast, the Norfolk Broads, and Shropshire's glacial meres, starves fresh water of oxygen - threatening fish living in canals or lakes. It can cause neurological and digestive problems if ingested by livestock, while in humans it can prompt convulsions or liver failure. The lake in London's St James's Park is among the bodies of water coated in green scum.

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