G7 countries ‘fuel global inequality’ more than they fight to reduce it – Oxfam to RT

g7-countries-‘fuel-global-inequality’-more-than-they-fight-to-reduce-it-–-oxfam-to-rt

22-08-19 12:54:00,

The Group of Seven, comprising some of the world’s richest nations, has pledged to fight global inequality but, often times does the opposite, only exacerbating the problem, international charity Oxfam told RT.

The leaders of the so-called G7 states – the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – are set to meet over the weekend in the French city of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast. The gathering’s host, President Emmanuel Macron, warned about the “crisis of inequality” plaguing the world.

However, the Group of Seven has in some cases made the problem worse, Jon Date, the head of government relations at Oxfam, a global poverty-fighting charity, told RT.

We found that actually, in a number of areas, the [G7] countries are fueling rather than reducing inequality.

The governments in these countries are “promoting a ‘shareholder first’ business model that does not suit the needs of workers and many people in developing countries on a low income,” Date said. The G7 leaders also exacerbate the situation by failing to adopt a wealth tax and tackle climate change, he noted.

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Oxfam’s recent study shows that, despite the G7 states promising in 2017 to alleviate global inequality, “no real actions, commitments or plans to deliver true change” have followed. Date added that some of the world’s richest economies have even made certain steps back from the agenda.

We’re seeing regressive tax systems in countries like the US. Also, in the UK we can see the headline rate of corporate tax fall further, which exacerbates inequality.

In 2017, Macron scrapped the wealth tax introduced by his predecessor. The move then became one of the drivers behind the massive Yellow Vest anti-government protests that have been sweeping the country for the last 10 months.

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Western countries’ attempts to send toxic waste to Indonesia foiled by Jakarta

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02-07-19 08:02:00,

Several Western countries attempted to send toxic waste to Indonesia in containers, according to local media. Indonesia’s Customs Office has announced that it will be sending the waste back to its countries of origin.

The country’s Environment and Forestry Ministry advised the Customs Office in a letter on Monday that the containers of disallowed material had been shipped from countries including the US, Australia and Germany. Inspectors had earlier found items including wood, fabrics and shoes in containers that were meant to only contain clean paper scraps. As a result, Indonesian officials decided to tighten their inspection procedures and search more containers.

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Subsequent laboratory tests on the contents of 65 containers showed that 38 had contained toxic or hazardous materials, while 11 contained regular trash that was not meant for recycling, according to a report in the Jakarta Post. Officials say that they will be sent back to their countries of origin.

The containers were sent Indonesia in order for plastic scraps to be recycled into new products, which would then be exported. Indonesia became a major hub for plastic recycling following China’s decision to ban the importation of plastic waste in January 2018, which India also banned a year later.

The case is a textbook example of the abuse of recycling programs by Western countries. The phenomenon of off-loading unwanted refuse to poorer countries is termed “environmental dumping” by economists.

Under Indonesian law, containers found to contain trash or other contaminants must be sent back to their country of origin. Other southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia have passed similar laws to help reduce the problem.

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Sovereignists of all countries – unite! | The Vineyard of the Saker

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07-06-19 07:01:00,

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

We all know that the Neocons are by far the largest and most influential group of sponsors of US wars of aggression. They are the ones who lobbied the hardest for the invasion of Iraq, and they are the ones which for decades have tried every possible dirty trick to lure the US into acts of aggression against Iran. In fact, in terms of international law, the Neocons could be seen as a gang of international war criminals. Why? Because, as I have already pointed out several times, according to the fundamental positions of the Nuremberg Tribunal, the worst crime possible is not genocide or any other crime against humanity. The worst possible crime is the crime of *aggression* because, according to the experts who set up the Nuremberg Tribunal, the crime of aggression “contains” all the other crimes (by the way, the International Criminal Court takes the same position). In the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, “to initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” By that definition, every single US President would be a war criminal (at least as far as I know; if you can think of a US President who did not commit the crime of aggression – including against Native Americans! – please let me know). As for the Neocons, they could be fairly characterized as a “criminal conspiracy to commit the crime of aggression.” In a sane world, that would make them international pariahs on par with the al-Qaeda crazies (who, whether they realize it or not, were federated by the US Neocons and are still their hired guns not so much against the West but mostly against all the other (non-Takfiri) forms of Islam, primarily Hezbollah and Iran). In fact, while most are still afraid to say so publicly, I believe that there is a growing realization amongst political analysts that the Neocons are a dangerous international gang of warmongering thugs.

What is,

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What diplomacy? Here are 36 countries the US has bullied this week

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31-05-19 02:03:00,

It’s been a busy few days for American diplomacy, with three dozen nations ending up at the receiving end of threats, ultimatums and sanctions this week alone. And it’s only Friday.

Mexico is the latest target, slapped with 5 percent tariffs on each and every export, gradually increasing to 25 percent until it stops the flow of Latin American migrants into the US, thus fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s election promises. Most of those migrants aren’t even from Mexico.

On the other side of the world, India is reportedly about to be forced to face a choice: ditch the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems or face sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA, Washington’s go-to cooperation enforcement instrument).

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Turkey is facing a similar ultimatum: abandon S-400s (something Ankara has repeatedly refused to do) or lose access to the F-35 fighter jet program. This threat was repeated on Thursday by Kathryn Wheelbarger, US acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Ankara has already invested some $1.25 billion into the super-expensive American fighter, but with a lot of its parts being made in Turkey, it’s still an open question who would be the bigger loser.

The entire European Union could be facing punishment if it tries to trade with Iran using its non-dollar humanitarian mechanism to bypass the American embargo. Having worked hard on the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which has repeatedly been confirmed to be working, EU member states are not ready to ditch trade at Trump’s whim – and US Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook on Thursday reaffirmed the threat of CAATSA sanctions.

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Cuba, the rediscovered scapegoat of the Trump administration’s newfound anti-socialist drive, is being called out for supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. On his Thursday visit to Canada, US Vice President Mike Pence said Ottawa must stop Havana’s “malign influence” on Caracas’ affairs – despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meek objections that it could play a “positive role” in settling the crisis there.

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What 50 Countries are Backing Guaidó? Who Knows? Who Cares? If the Media Say It Enough It Must Be True

what-50-countries-are-backing-guaido?-who-knows?-who-cares?-if-the-media-say-it-enough-it-must-be-true

16-05-19 05:22:00,

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

American media still refer to Juan Guaidó, America’s hand-picked “legitimate leader” or “legitimate president” of Venezuela, as having an “administration.”

The truth is that his “administration” — consisting of advisors and other opposition leaders — are all either arrested and being held by the government, hiding, seeking asylum in various foreign embassies (Spanish, Italian, Brazilian and Argentinian) in the capital of Caracas, or have fled to other countries like Brazil and Colombia.

Guaidó, apparently a government of one, has so far avoided arrest probably because the elected Venezuelan President Maduro doesn’t want to give the US an excuse to try and rescue him, or to launch military actions of some kind against Venezuela as the White House keeps threatening to do.

Clearly, in calling for US military intervention, Guaidó has both demonstrated almost his total lack of backing among the masses of Venezuelan people, as well as his desperation, given most Latin Americans’ visceral resentment of US interventions in their country, all of which have been designed to put autocrats or even military juntas in power, and many of which have openly overthrown popularly elected governments, as in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.

None of this gets reported in the US. Only recently has the New York Times, always a reliable backer of US imperial policy in Latin America, at least hinted at the possibility that the reason Maduro remains president and that Guaidó’s efforts to oust him are failing for abysmally could be that the Venezuelan people want him to stay president, and do not want a US-backed coup or a US military intervention to replace him.

At this point the huffing and puffing coming from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and especially from the White House National Security Advisor and chief militarist blowhard John Bolton, are looking pretty pathetic, with Bolton trying to sow dissension and distrust by hinting that Maduro “better not trust” his own generals’ loyalty, and by offering rewards to those generals willing to abandon Maduro.

It is an indication of the United States’ declining power and influence in Latin America that few outside the US with its insular mass media believe that the US would or even could successfully invade Venezuela and impose a government on that country of 32 million (a number that keeps declining as the upper middle class and rich flee).

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‘All countries welcome to join, but don’t obstruct’ – China’s top diplomat on Belt and Road project

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20-04-19 01:56:00,

Beijing has rejected “debt trap” criticisms of its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), calling for skeptics not to impede other countries from participating in the global trade infrastructure project.

While 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China on the initiative, it is open to other players, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on Friday.

“All countries have the freedom to participate, but they don’t have the right to prevent other countries from taking part,” Wang said. “We hope that more countries, including the United States, can actively participate in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’”

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Meanwhile, the United States, a staunch critic of the project, has shrugged off the meeting, and its State Department said it will not send a high-level delegation to this year’s forum.

Speaking at a news conference, China’s top diplomat addressed some of the concerns voiced by BRI opponents, and rejected allegations that the program is forcing states into debt. He stated that the project is a platform for cooperation, but not a “geopolitical tool,” urging skeptics to base their evaluation of it on facts.

The initiative has already received international support, including from the World Bank and the UN, according to Wang. Trade turnover between China and the BRI participants has exceeded $6 trillion, while the project has created 300,000 jobs in the countries.

Beijing’s multi-billion-dollar plan has recently expanded further into Europe, as Switzerland became the latest country preparing to sign a deal under the new Silk Road project. It came shortly after Italy officially joined the initiative, while other EU states, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, have their own a memoranda of understanding with China on the BRI.

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Ten countries of the Lima Group recognize the manipulation orchestrated by the US against Venezuela

ten-countries-of-the-lima-group-recognize-the-manipulation-orchestrated-by-the-us-against-venezuela

17-01-19 09:08:00,

Confronted by the evidence revealed by the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, about the maritime incident provoked by the US transnational ExxonMobil [1], 10 out of the 12 member states of the Lima Group have withdrawn article 9 of the joint communiqué. Under this article, the Group had denounced an alleged Venezuelan provocation, which placed in danger security in the region.‎

Only two countries – Canada and Paraguay – did not make the necessary correction. For the governments of Canada and Paraguay, the version of events given by ExxonMobil and the US State Department continues to be valid… even though there is evidence that negates it; evidence that does not leave space for any doubt. ‎

So what’s the US version? Venezuela expelled a ship (see photo) carrying out prospecting works in waters, title over which is disputed with both Venezuela and Guyana claiming to title to it. ‎

The reality is quite different. President Nicolas Maduro has made public the recordings (video and audio) in which the crew of the boat in question transmits its precise position to the ‎Venezuela coastguards. This makes clear that the ship was located at the opening of River Orinoco. In other words the ship was in the territorial waters that are internationally recognized to belong to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. ‎

The incident took place on the day after a motion of no confidence had been adopted in the Guyanese Parliament that took power away – by just one vote – the government of Guyana. The motion of no confidence was adopted because Charrandas Persaud, a Member of Parliament of the governing party, inexplicably decided to vote against his own party. Afterwards, he suddenly left his country to seek a safe haven in Canada. ‎

This whole drama demonstrates unequivocally that ExxonMobil and the US State Department are turning to manipulation and lies to fuel a war between the countries that make up “la madre America”.

On the other hand, although the Lima Group had decided not to recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential mandate of Nicolas Maduro, 2 member states of this Group –Guyana and ‎Santa Lucía – have just accepted the letters of accreditation of the new ambassadors,

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The European Countries Home To The Most Migrants

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26-12-18 10:16:00,

The latest figures on migrant populations from the United Nations reveal a lot about the movement of people around the world and how this has evolved over the years.

This infographic focuses on the share of the population accounted for by migrants in European countries in 2017.

As Statista’s Martin Armstrong notes, when looking at nations with a population of over 500,000, Luxembourg is top of the list with 45.3 percent.

Infographic: The European countries home to the most migrants | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The UK, currently negotiating its exit from the EU based in large part on the public’s dissatisfaction with the perceived levels of immigration, has 13.4 percent of its people classed as ‘foreign-born’.

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Why It’s So Hard for Most Countries to be Economically Independent from the West | naked capitalism

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14-12-18 09:21:00,

By Justin Podur, a Toronto-based writer who teaches at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. His site is podur.org. Follow him on Twitter: @justinpodur. Produced by by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Why is it so difficult even for huge countries with large, diversified economies to maintain independence from the West?

If anyone could have done it, it was Brazil. In the 19th century it was imagined that Brazil could be a Colossus of the South to match the U.S., the Colossus of the North. It never panned out that way.

And 100 years later, it still hasn’t happened. With a $2 trillion GDP (a respectable $9,800 per capita), nearly 200 million people, and a strong manufacturing base (the second largest in the Americas and 28.5 percent of its GDP), Brazil is far from a tiny, weak island or peninsula dependent on a patron state to keep it afloat.

When Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva won a historic election to become president of Brazil in 2003, it seemed like an irreversible change in the country’s politics. Even though Lula’s Workers’ Party was accused of being communists who wanted to redistribute all of the country’s concentrated wealth, the party’s redistributive politics were in fact modest—a program to eradicate hunger in Brazil called Zero Hunger, a family-based welfare program called the Family Allowance, and an infrastructure spending program to try to create jobs. But its politics of national sovereignty were ambitious.

It was under Workers’ Party rule (under Lula and his successor, president Dilma Rousseff, who won the 2010 election to become president at the beginning of 2011) that the idea surged of a powerful BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) alliance that could challenge the ambitions of the U.S.-led West. Brazil took steps to strengthen its manufacturing, and held its ground on preventing pharmaceutical patent monopolies. Lula’s Brazil accused Western countries of hypocrisy for insisting both on “free trade” with poor countries and farm subsidies for themselves. Brazil even moved in the direction of building an independent arms industry.

Contradictions remained: The Workers’ Party government sent Brazilian troops to command the UN force that enacted the U.S.-impelled occupation of Haiti—treating the world to the spectacle of the biggest,

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230,000 “Jihadists” in 70 Countries: Since 9/11 the Number of Al Qaeda Affiliated Terrorists Has Quadrupled. Study – Global Research

230000-8220jihadists8221-in-70-countries-since-911-the-number-of-al-qaeda-affiliated-terrorists-has-quadrupled.-study-8211-global-research

25-11-18 04:00:00,

230,000 “Jihadists” in 70 Countries: Since 9/11 the Number of Al Qaeda Affiliated Terrorists Has Quadrupled. Study

Despite Washington’s extremely costly worldwide ‘War on Terror’, nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on September 11, 2001, a new study has found.

As many as 230,000 jihadists are spread across 70 countries, with the largest concentrations of terrorists located in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington DC think tank.

The shocking reported spike in the number of Sunni jihadists worldwide raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the US-led Global War on Terrorism, which was launched in the wake of the deadly attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

US taxpayers have already forked over a mind-melting $5.9 trillion to fund the massive and increasingly secretive war – but the noble pursuit of eradicating terrorism has apparently had the opposite effect. Ironically, the think tank has called for the US to double-down, arguing that withdrawing forces from Africa and the Middle East would only embolden terrorist groups.

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EU To Pay Countries €6,000 For Every Migrant They Accept

EU To Pay Countries €6,000 For Every Migrant They Accept

24-07-18 04:32:00,

After a number of European governments refused to ratify a controversial and notoriously ambiguous EU migrant deal struck behind close doors in late June which Deutsche Welle referred to as a “heavily-coded text, in which each phrase has a specific meaning for the individual parties,” the European Commission on Tuesday announced a surprise proposal to pay European governments €6,000 (or about $7,000) for each migrant they take in. 

The proposal also comes as the migrant crisis has hit a peak for Europe’s Mediterranean nations, and has become politically disastrous for others like Germany, causing Italy’s new government to make the dire move in June of closing the country’s ports to rescue vessels. 

Image via Human Rights Watch

Reuters reports the drastic EU initiative as follows

Under the proposal, the Union’s common budget would pay out 6,000 euros ($7,000) for each migrant taken in, as well as funding the cost of hundreds of expert personnel to help process mostly African migrants seeking asylum in Europe.

The Commission’s plan, which is aimed at EU governments that set up so-called controlled centers on their soil, follows a June leaders’ summit that claimed success in reaching a hard-fought agreement to control immigration but left many details undecided.

The “claimed success” after the June “agreement” was met with appropriate skepticism bordering on mockery in European press, with some notable European newspapers in the aftermath going so far as to say Europe is being “torn apart over the migrants” — with the true nature of the crisis being more political than actual, as center-left Le Monde’s Brussels bureau writing the June migrant deal was “rather surreal, given that the migration crisis barely exists – the flow of migrants has fallen by 95% since October 2015” — a sentiment echoed in other corners of Europe

Migrant flow into Europe up through 2015. Via the EU’s Espon program

Reuters also concludes in its report on Tuesday, “Irregular migration has fallen steeply since 2015, when more than a million people entered the EU, but polls show it is still a top concern for many of the EU’s 500 million citizens.”

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