Society's ChildS

Bad Guys

US: More than 20,000 People Turned Down by FEMA in Alabama

Birmingham - The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday it has provided grants to about 15 percent of the more than 72,000 people who sought assistance after tornadoes killed hundreds across Alabama last month, but twice as many were turned down for aid after an initial review.

The agency, which released the statistics in response to a request from The Associated Press, said many of the more than 20,000 applicants who received letters saying they were ineligible for assistance still could receive money or other aid after submitting additional information, like insurance documentation.

But Gov. Robert Bentley said he was worried that the letters FEMA is sending people are too full of government jargon and would discourage many people from pursuing assistance.

"The first line should not say, 'You have been turned down by FEMA.' That's my concern," Bentley said. He asked to personally review a rewritten version of the letters before more go out in the state.


Anxiety keeps the super-rich safe from middle-class rage

Why aren't we more angry? Why isn't blood running, metaphorically at least, in the streets? Evidence of how the rich prosper while everyone else struggles with inflation, public spending cuts and static wages arrives almost daily. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that last year incomes among the top 1% grew at the fastest rate in a decade. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, the top 1,000 are £60.2bn better off this year than in 2010, bringing their collective wealth close to the record pre-recession levels.

Now comes a report this week from the High Pay Commission, set up by the Labour pressure group Compass. It reveals that FTSE 100 chief executives are on average paid £4.2m annually, or 145 times the median wage - and on current trends will be paid £8m, or 214 times the median, by 2020. In the financial sector, even the CEO can seem modestly rewarded: this year, the top-paid banker at Barclays will get £14m, nearly four times the chief executive's earnings and 1,128 times more than the lowest-paid employee receives.


US: Public Programs Keep Millions Out of Poverty, New Study Shows

public spending
With anti-poverty programs under serious attack in Washington, here's something to keep in mind: a major new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finds that public programs keep one in six Americans out of poverty - primarily the elderly, disabled, and working poor - and that the poverty rate would double without these programs.

Without the cash and non-cash income provided by programs such as Social Security, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and the Earned Income Tax Credit:
* The share of Americans below the poverty line in 2004 ($19,307 for a family of four) would have more than doubled, from 13.5 percent to 29 percent. That is, 45 million more Americans would have been poor.
* The share of Americans in "deep poverty," with incomes below half the poverty line, would have more than tripled, to 21 percent.
* The share of Americans who are poor or near-poor, with incomes below one-and-a-half-times the poverty line, would have risen to about 40 percent.

Che Guevara

Scenes of Revolution in Spain


France: Thousands Join Protest Ahead of G8 Summit

France G8 Protest
© AP Photo/VINCENT MICHELAnti G8 demonstrators parade in the streets of Le Havre, western France Saturday May 21, 2011.
Thousands of anti-globalization activists protested in the French city of Le Havre Saturday against a G8 summit of rich nations to be held in the north coastal region next week.

"G8 get lost, people first, not finance," declared the main banner of the gathering that organizers said drew 7,000 protesters, while local officials said the turnout was about 4,000 at the demonstration which ended without serious incident.


Chile: Valparaiso protesters in clashes with police

Chile demonstration
© AFPPolice dispersed demonstrators with a water cannon
Police in Valparaiso, in Chile, have clashed with demonstrators protesting against government policies.

A protest march was timed to coincide with President Sebastian Pinera's annual state of the nation address.

Demonstrators held up signs opposing the government's environmental, education and labour policies.

Red Flag

Chile: Santiago Protest Against Dam Plan Ends in Violence

Police chile dam protest
© AP Photo/Luis HidalgoPolice detain another dam protester
Tens of thousands of people massed in the center of Chile's capital Friday night for new protests against the government's plan to dam two wild rivers in the country's southern Patagonia region.

Most demonstrators were peaceful, but bands of hooded protesters attacked police and smashed shop windows and damaged other property along a 10-block stretch of Santiago's main avenue.


The "Push for Peace": Israel approves nearly 300 new illegal settlements

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the construction of 294 new illegal Jewish settler units in the occupied Palestinian land.

The settlements are to go up in the Beitar Ilit settlement in the occupied West Bank, AFP reported on Sunday.

The Israeli regime occupied the West Bank alongside the other Palestinian territory of East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967 and later annexed both. The international community has refused to recognize neither the capture nor the annexation.


Turkey Opposition Politicians Quit in Sex Video Scandal

Turkey sex scadal
Six senior Turkish politicians from the country's opposition Nationalist Action Party (MHP) have resigned from parliament over a sex video scandal.
Six senior politicans in Turkey's opposition Nationalist Action Party (MHP) have resigned amid a sex scandal, shortly before national elections.

Turkish media say the six, including four vice-presidents, quit following threats to publish compromising videos.

Four other senior MHP leaders resigned earlier this month after secretly filmed images were posted online.


Saudis Show Solidarity with Bahrainis in Street Protest

Saudi protesters in Qatif
Protesters in Qatif demand the release of political prisoners.
Saudi protesters have poured into the streets in the eastern city of Qatif, condemning Manama's brutal crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators.

Expressing solidarity with Bahraini protesters, Saudi demonstrators on Friday urged the government to stop helping Manama in suppressing the uprising in the neighboring country and immediately withdraw its troops.