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Arrow Up

Brazil, India and China taking steps to reduce income inequality, tackle poverty

india poverty
© AP Photo/ Altaf Qadri
An Indian squatter smokes as others sleep on rented cots at a public park near Jama Masjid, or the Grand Mosque, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.
There are still too many people living in poverty, but the world is making progress in tackling the problem, largely thanks to such countries as Brazil, India and China, Professor David Hulme, Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute, told RIA Novosti Friday.

"There are still too many people living in poverty, but one good thing to note is that things are getting better, the world is making steps to address extreme poverty, and this is largely due to the work of countries like Brazil, India and China tackling poverty and reducing inequality in their countries," Hulme said.

Comment: At least these countries recognize their problems and are attempting to do something to alleviate suffering, while the US is so busy fomenting rebellions and expanding the global war of terror, that income inequality and poverty have been growing exponentially.

80% US population face near-poverty, no work
Why we should be seething with anger over income inequality
Money to kill: Pentagon has requested $58.6 billion for wars in 2015
U.S. Congress to cut food stamps by $9 billion.

Red Flag

Canada's Revenue Agency bullies birdwatchers for political activity

Canada Revenue Agency issues warning letter to wildlife club to curb any political activities

Canadian Bird Watchers being watched by CRA
A small group of nature lovers in southern Ontario enjoy spending weekends watching birds and other wildlife, but lately they're the ones under watch - by the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, a registered charity, is apparently at risk of breaking tax agency rules that limit so-called political or partisan activities.

Earlier this year, tax auditors sent a letter to the 300-member group, warning about political material on the group's website.

The stern missive says the group must take appropriate action as necessary "including refraining from undertaking any partisan activities," with the ominous warning that "this letter does not preclude any future audits."
Sheriff

Alabama jail targeted with lawsuits after inmates die of gangrene, broken bones, and constipation

Deundrez Woods

Deundrez Woods
Three times last year Madison County jailers watched small-time criminals die before their eyes, according to a series of three lawsuits filed in federal court.

Each argues that Madison County withholds the most basic medical care in order to save money, banking on the insurance of the medical contractor to cover any resulting lawsuits.

The lawsuits are filled with maladies long ago conquered by modern medicine. Death by gangrene, from broken bones, from constipation.

Deundrez Woods, a 19-year-old from Huntsville, was arrested for shoplifting Star Wars DVDs at Wal-Mart in June of 2013 and then for passing a phony $100 bill in July. He was sent to jail, the suit asserts, where a wound in his foot became infected and he died.

Comment: See also:

Mississippi sued over 'hellish' conditions in for-profit prison

Pittsburgh woman loses arm after alleged police brutality and jail neglect

Cut

Clothing waste a growing problem because most millennials lack basic clothing care skills

Clothing Waste
© Thinkstock
Due to budget cuts and other concerns, some school districts have been cutting back on home economics classes and the loss of these classes could be causing a significant drop-off in clothing maintenance skills among millennials.

According to a new study published in the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, a University of Missouri researcher has found baby boomers possess significantly more basic sewing and button repair skills than young adults between the ages of 18 and 33 years old, a generation commonly referred to as millennials.

Study author Pamela Norum, a professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management at MU, said her findings are somewhat concerning - considering the quantity of clothing waste that is produced in the US annually.

"In 2012, Americans created more than 14.3 million tons of textile waste," Norum said. "Much of this waste is due to clothes being discarded due to minor tears or stains - easily repairable damages if the owners have the skills and knowledge to fix them."

"If we, as a nation, want to move toward more sustainable practices in all aspects, we need to evaluate not only how we take care of our clothes, but how we educate younger generations to do so as well," she added.

In the study, Norum interviewed over 500 American baby boomers and millennials on their clothing usage practices. While baby boomers commonly had much more expertise in fixing clothes and laundry than millennials, millennials who said they had taken sewing classes or who had been shown how to sew by a member of the family had more total clothes repair skills than those who did not have training on the subject.
Pistol

Video shows Texas police officer coaxing friendly pets closer with kissing noises before opening fire

Pet Shot
© Screen Capture
A Cleburne Texas officer makes kissing noises to attract a loose family dog, only to shoot it on video.
Cleburne - Body-cam video shows how an officer coaxed a family dog toward him with friendly kissing sounds before raising his weapon and firing.

The incident took place on August 10, 2014, when dogs belonging to Quinton Tatum and Amanda Henderson escaped from their fenced-in yard while the married couple was not at home. Some neighbors called the government to complain that the dogs were loose and interfering with them walking from their car to their house.

When a Cleburne police officer arrived at the scene, one of the pit bulls happily approached him, wagging its tail, and licked his face. This was included in the police report and can be seen on video from the officer's body cam.

After the friendly interaction with the first dog took place in the front of the house, the officer then attempted to locate the other two dogs. They turned out to be playing in a nearby irrigation ditch between the homes, in a more obscured area.
Attention

Caged bear bites off 9-year-old boy's arm in China

© Reuters
A 9-year-old boy's arm was bitten off in a bear attack.
Bear savaged the Chinese boy's arm after he tried to feed the animal through its cage on Sunday

A bear savaged the arm of a boy who tried to feed the animal through its cage in central China on Sunday.

The accident happened when the nine-year-old attempted to give it food through the bars of its cage, said a doctor and state media.

The boy was pushing his arm into the bear enclosure at Pingdingshan Hebin Park in Henan province, when the animal caught hold of him.

Medical staff at Pingdingshan Number 152 treated the child and a doctor said that the boy had lost his entire right arm, which needed to be amputated.
Black Cat

3-year-old 'stable' after mauling in jaguar pit at Arkansas Zoo

© KTHV-TV
The jaguar exhibit at Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas after a 3-year-old fell Oct. 10, 2014, into the enclosure.
A 3-year-old who was critically injured after falling into a Little Rock Zoo exhibit and being bitten by jaguars was improving Saturday, hospital officials said.

"The child's condition has been upgraded to stable and is expected to improve," Arkansas Children's Hospital spokesman Dan McFadden said in a statement.

The child's guardian has asked that the name and other information about the child not be released, McFadden said. The hospital statement didn't identify how the guardian is related to the child.

A Little Rock police report says the child's father told officers he was taking a photograph of the jaguar exhibit Friday morning when he saw the child's feet go over the railing. The report says the child's grandfather also only saw the child's feet disappear over the railing.

Megaphone

OSCE inspector speaks of atrocities and warcrimes committed in Ukraine by volunteer battalions

OSCE observer
© Youtube Screenprint

Comment: The following is a youtube of an Serbian human rights observer, who speaks about the atrocities committed by the retreating Ukrainian army and especially the volunteer battalions, based on witnessing the aftermath and interviews with survivors.


Dollar Gold

Wealth inequality is not a problem, it's a symptom

© National Photo Company Collection
"Dedication, George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia." In a year that was probably the zenith of Freemasonry in the United States, and saw a giant national Masonic gathering in the capital, President Coolidge on this day used a silver trowel to spread mortar for the laying of the cornerstone of what is today one of metro Washington's best known traffic landmarks. Nov 1 1923
A comment on an article that comments on a book. I don't think either provides, for the topic they deal with, the depth it needs and deserves. Not so much a criticism, more a 'look further, keep digging, and ye shall find more'. And since the topic in question is perhaps the most defining one of our day and age, it seems worth it to me to try and explain.

The article in question is Charles Hugh Smith's Why Nations (and organizations) Fail: Self-Serving Elites, and the book he references is Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

Charles starts off by saying:
The book neatly summarizes why nations fail in a few lines:
(A nation) is poor precisely because it has been ruled by a narrow elite that has organized society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people. Political power has been narrowly concentrated, and has been used to create great wealth for those who possess it.

Comment: For a better understanding on how this 'power elite' think and control power, read this seminal book Political Ponerology.

Moon

Saudi Arabia: Death sentence to Al-Nimr, a Shia cleric

© Unknown
Saudis demonstrate in solidarity with detained Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
The sentencing to death this week of Saudi pro-democracy leader Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr illustrates at least two things.

The utter barbaric nature of Saudi Arabia under the rule of the House of Saud's absolute monarchy; and, secondly, the utter fraudulence of the US-backed military coalition bombing Syria and Iraq in the name of eradicating extremism.


Comment: The whole U.S. led coalition is a lie. They suppress freedom in their own countries while pretending to be fighting terrorist of their own creation abroad to restore democracy.


Within hours of US President Barack Obama hosting military leaders from 21 countries, including favoured client state Saudi Arabia, allegedly to improve bombing tactics to defeat the IS terror network, a Saudi court announced the death penalty on Sheikh al-Nimr.

Saudi prosecutors have called for al-Nimr to be "crucified" - which means death by public beheading.

His crime? Al-Nimr is one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent and respected Shia clerics, who for the past 10 years has been an ardent critic of the kingdom's autocratic rulers. He has consistently championed the democratic rights of ordinary Saudis, defended the thousands of political prisoners rotting away in Saudi dungeons, and has called for the end of absolute rule under the self-styled House of Saud monarchy.

In particular, Sheikh al-Nimr has highlighted the chronic injustice against the Saudi Shia population, who form a majority in the country's oil-rich Eastern Province but who have endured decades of poverty and oppression under the Wahhabi House of Saud.

At no time in his years of campaigning for justice has Sheikh Al-Nimr advocated violence. He is on record for explicitly condemning violence and has urged followers to use the "roar of the word" to challenge Saudi despotism.

In other words, his only "crime" is that Sheikh al-Nimr has eloquently exposed the oppression and corruption of Saudi rule under a dynastic, backward family.
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