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News Why World Change is Necessary

The Business of Mass Incarceration - by Chris Hedges

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The United States has spent $300 billion since 1980 to expand its prison system. We imprison 2.2 million people, 25 percent of the world’s prison population. For every 100,000 adults in this country there are 742 behind bars. Five million are on parole. Only 30 to 40 percent are white. The intrusion of corporations and private contractors into the prison system is a legacy of the Clinton administration. President Bill Clinton’s omnibus crime bill provided $30 billion to expand the prison system, including $10 billion to build prisons. The bill expanded from two to 58 the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty can be administered. It eliminated a ban on the execution of the mentally impaired. The bill gave us the “three-strikes” laws that mandate life sentences for anyone convicted of three “violent” felonies.

Backyard Shock Doctrine: Wall Street's Destruction Comes Home An American era of eviction and destruction

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The Equivalent of the Population of Michigan Foreclosed Since 2007, the foreclosure crisis has displaced at least 10 million people from more than four million homes across the country. Families have been evicted from colonials and bungalows, A-frames and two-family brownstones, trailers and ranches, apartment buildings and the prefabricated cookie-cutters that sprang up after World War II. The displaced are young and old, rich and poor, and of every race, ethnicity, and religion. They add up to approximately the entire population of Michigan.

Germany finally invades Britain: 70 years after the bloody collapse of the Third Reich, Europe's superpower commands more control over us than at any time since 1941

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Their cars were slicker, more modern and, crucially, more reliable. So what did they get right - and what did we get so badly wrong? The answer lay on the factory floor. In Germany, the management and the unions worked closely together in the interests of the common good. Indeed, by law all German firms still have Works Councils, where the bosses and the unions are required to work 'in a spirit of mutual trust'. In Britain, by contrast, car factories in the Sixties and Seventies became battlegrounds, where militant, posturing shop stewards and arrogant, complacent managers fought out an overt class war.

The chemical make-up of your body could indicate how wealthy you are: Rich and poor people's bodies 'contain different toxins'

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Dr Tyrrell said: ‘We’ve found that as people become better off, changes in their lifestyle alter the types of chemicals in their bodies, rather than reducing the overall amount. ‘This realisation has a profound impact on the way we treat chemical build-ups, suggesting we should move to dealing with groups based on lifestyle, rather than earnings.’ By comparing the results from six separate populations, the researchers have been able to show strong associations between 18 different chemicals and poverty ratings. Individuals with higher incomes had larger amounts of several toxicants, including urinary mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, with diet likely to play a key role in their accumulation.

Migrant Workers and America's Harvest of Shame

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It is a perversely inverted society when the people who do the backbreaking work to harvest one of the necessities of life are underpaid, underinsured, under-protected and under-respected while the Chicago commodity brokers – where the white collar gamblers sit in air-conditioned spaces and speculate on futures in foodstuffs’ prices – are quite well off, to put it modestly.It is a perversely inverted society when the people who do the backbreaking work to harvest one of the necessities of life are underpaid, underinsured, under-protected and under-respected while the Chicago commodity brokers – where the white collar gamblers sit in air-conditioned spaces and speculate on futures in foodstuffs’ prices – are quite well off, to put it modestly.

Manning Revealed Realities of War that Armchair Warriors Want Sanitized

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Over a decade ago, the US initiated two calamitous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with a terrible human cost that is still paid every single day. The then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan declared that the Iraq invasion was illegal; the country is today still awash with car bombings and gruesome sectarian bloodletting. It was always in the interests of the US elite to keep the consequences of their actions as far away from public consciousness as possible.

Massive Toxic Black Cloud, Brought To You by the Koch Bros, Blows Over Detroit

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Produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, the pet-coke piles have for months been producing "fugitive dust" - ie: thick black crud - that blankets the homes of outraged residents and lawmakers; analysis shows the dust contains elevated levels of lead, sulfur, zinc and the likely carcinogenic vanadium. Environmental officials say the Koch Brothers broke the law by not getting a permit for their toxic dump, and they can't guarantee there won't be another "dust event," but not to worry: The Kochs reportedly plan to move the mess to some other poor beleaguered place. So then they can worry.

£1 billion wind farm that's snubbed British workers: Jobs row erupts as Clegg opens offshore complex built and maintained by foreigners

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Because turbines for the Centrica scheme off Skegness are made in Denmark, Danish and Swedish workers are being drafted in daily to work on them. Scandinavian Airlines will even begin a six-days-a-week service between Copenhagen and Humberside Airport in October to keep up with demand. The whole construction of the wind farm was largely foreign, with a French company making the cabling in Germany and Norway and the foundations being manufactured in Holland.

Tagged by their bosses, zero-hour Amazon workers: Employees wear monitoring devices and are not guaranteed any income

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Martin Parton, who says he was employed on three different occasions, said: ‘I think they had it all mapped out. They just got rid of you when they felt like it.’ An investigation by Channel 4 News found that employees are tracked using GPS tags while inside the warehouse. If staff are found to breach any of the company’s rules, such as talking to colleagues or leaving work early, they can be dismissed on a ‘three strikes and you are out’ basis.

Middle-class women face unfair tuition fees burden: Squeezed graduates face paying more than highly-paid peers or low earners

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A ‘squeezed middle’ of graduates will end up paying far more for their student loans than highly paid peers or low earners, a study shows. And women face the heaviest burden because they earn less than men on average and will take longer to pay off their debt, exposing them to more interest payments. The ‘inequitable’ situation was discovered by an academic using the government repayment calculator

'All that will be left soon will be Tesco, Costa and charity shops': Chocolatier who was forced to close after making just £100 profit a week leaves desperate goodbye note in his window

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A chocolatier who has been forced to shut up shop has left a frank goodbye note in his store's front window detailing how the costs of running the business ate up all of his takings. Simon Dunn, whose clients included Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League footballers and Coronation Street actors, told his customers he was making just £100-a-week profit 'on a good week' and it was giving him sleepless nights. Mr Dunn, 52, listed the outgoings for his 'busy and popular' shop, which showed that his £208,000-a-year taking were being swallowed up by £52,000 in yearly rent and business rates, £41,600 in VAT and taxes, £41,600 in supplies and £67,600 on wages.

Revealed: Buckingham Palace uses controversial zero-hours contracts for summer staff to keep employment costs down

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Around 350 part-time workers drafted in to cover the opening of the Queen's London home this summer are denied usual rights like holiday and are not certain of a single hour's employment. Zero-hours contracts do not set a minimum number of hours that have to be worked, with staff on call all the time, not knowing whether they will have work from one week or month to the next. Today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed the law could be changed after a government review into the contracts, to prevent workers suffering from 'unacceptable uncertainty'.

Scandal-hit Stafford Hospital trust will be dissolved and lose its critical care, maternity and paediatric departments

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A scandal-hit hospital trust will be dissolved and critical care, maternity and pediatric services at Stafford Hospital cut under health administrators' proposals. The hospital will keep its current part-time accident and emergency department but will lose other services in a major shake-up. Stafford Hospital was the focus of a major public inquiry after it was found poor care may have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect. The Francis Inquiry highlighted 'appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people' under the trust's care, with some patients left lying in their own faeces for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication. The administrators said smaller trusts like Mid Staffordshire can neither hire or retain enough specialist doctors to give patients the proper standard of clinical care, while the NHS nationally is already moving towards a model providing larger specialist centres.

BP's $1billion battle on 'absurd' oil rig blast claims as total bill for disaster hits £27.7billion

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BP is to appeal $1billion of compensation payments for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, after lashing out at ‘absurd’ claims by US law firms cashing in on the disaster. The British oil giant yesterday increased its estimate of the total bill for the 2010 disaster to an eye-watering £27.7billion. Some £6.3billion of the total is made up of claims by people who say the accident cost them money, many of them fishermen, hoteliers and restaurant owners. But BP is set to battle ‘fictitious’ claims by ‘greedy’ lawyers looking to use the oil company as a cash machine.

One in four boys is labelled as having special educational needs as state schools rake in funds

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Nearly a fifth of all pupils are considered to have problems including learning difficulties, speech and language needs or a form of autism, the data shows, with twice as many boys as girls affected. However, the results were met with incredulity by some education experts yesterday. Two years ago a damning Ofsted report said 450,000 children had been labelled SEN to cover up poor teaching.

British Gas makes £23 A SECOND: Energy giant cashes in on winter freeze with 3.2% rise in profits to £356million after hiking energy prices

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British Gas made £23 every second from its customers in the first six months of 2013, it was revealed today. After raising its prices just before last year's record-breaking cold winter, the energy giant raked in a £356million profit from households during the first half of this year - up 3.2 per cent on 2012. As people cranked up the heating to deal with plunging temperatures, residential gas consumption alone soared by 18 per cent during the first four months of 2013. The news has led to consumer groups demanding they freeze the price of gas and electricity to ensure households can afford to keep warm this winter.

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