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Sat, 22 Jan 2022
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Sexist French politicians 'in trouble' over treatment of women

© AFP/Getty Images
Chantal Jouanno, the sports minister and a former French Karate champion, said she can no longer turn up to parliament in a skirt without a volley of cat calls.
France's male politicians are becoming increasingly anxious about their futures after one female minister warned half of the country's male MPs were potentially "in trouble" due to their treatment of women.

Still reeling from the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief, on sexual assault charges, France's political class was struck by a fresh sex scandal on Sunday with the resignation of Georges Tron, the public works minister accused of molesting two former female staff members.

The massage enthusiast's "foot fetish", which two ex-town hall employees in their thirties claim morphed into full-blown abuse, has sparked a backlash from France's embattled female politicians. They are calling for an end to the "French exception" of "everyday machismo" among male peers often bordering on harassment.

Che Guevara

Spain M-15 revolt spills into Greece

© Unknown
Protesters attend a rally in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek Parliament.
Thousands of people have once again flocked the streets in Athens, protesting for a fifth day against their government's austerity policies, inspired by the M-15 movement in Spain.

Police estimated some 30,000 protesters to have gathered at the central Syntagma Square in the Greek capital of Athens, in the largest set of anti-government demonstrations since Wednesday.

Sunday's demonstration however, was inspired by an online campaign on various social network sites, which called for anti-government demonstrations across all of Europe, modeled by the Spanish M-15 movement, AFP reported.

Further, the online campaign called on the demonstrators to demand "real democracy."

Banners that read "poverty is the greatest abuse" were used in the demonstrations in front of the parliament building in Athens.

Other groups of protesters were beating empty pots while chanting "thieves".

Che Guevara

Spaniards force French Embassy closure

© Unknown
Demonstrators in Madrid shout slogans outside the French Embassy during a protest in support of rallies in Paris.
The French consulate in Barcelona has been forced to close its doors after about 20 protesters of the M-15 movement prevented the staff from entering the building.

The protesters said on Monday they were acting in solidarity with the French protesters people who called for an end to corruption and unemployment, and were dispersed by police from Place de la Bastille in Paris over the weekend.

Spanish protesters have been demonstrating against the government's austerity measures and growing unemployment rate since mid-May.

They have vowed to stay at Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square until the demands of the people are acknowledged.

Che Guevara

Protesters vow to continue Madrid sit-in

© Unknown
Demonstrators showing their empty palms march past Spanish riot police at the French Embassy in Madrid, during a protest in support of demonstrators in Paris, May 30, 2011.
Spain's anti-government protesters have promised to remain in Madrid's main square in protest at the country's political establishment.

Thousands of angry protesters against the government's austerity measures and growing unemployment rate raised hands on Sunday to vote for staying in the Puerta del Sol square.

"We have started something in Sol, we have started to spread to the rest of the world, so this is not the time to stop it," a protest spokesman in the encampment said on Monday.

Spain's M-15 movement has inspired other European countries as well.

Hundreds of Parisians on Sunday took part in a protest rally at the Bastille Square, calling for a popular democratic uprising among Europeans, while some 20,000 Greek protesters gathered near the parliament building in Athens with the same call.

Che Guevara

French protesters urge Paris to 'wake up'

© Unknown
French police forces face protesters during a demonstration in front of the Bastille opera in Paris on May 29, 2011.
French protesters gathered in Paris and rallied against their government, as they modeled Spain's M-15 movement, with banners calling for Paris to wake up!

About 1,000 protesters gathered on Sunday in Bastille square in Paris according to the French police and demonstrated against the country's rising unemployment level and corruption, AFP reported.

The demonstration was modeled after the M-15 movement in Spain that has witnessed 2 weeks of violent clashes between security forces and protesters.

The protesters, unfolded giant banners that read; "Real democracy now" and "Paris, wake up", on the steps of the Opera House in Bastille square.

The Bastille square is known as the place where the French Revolution began.

"There has to be a change in the economic structures to improve the sharing of world resources, because if we continue like this, in unfairness and misery, it could end up badly," said protester Chantal Piganau.


German Nuclear Shutdown Sets Global Example: Merkel

nuke caption
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Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany could serve as a global trailblazer with its decision Monday to phase out nuclear power by 2022 in favour of renewable energy sources.

Merkel said the "fundamental" rethink of energy policy in the world's number four economy, which was prompted by the disaster in March at Japan's Fukushima plant, opened up new opportunities for business as well as climate protection.

"We believe we as a country can be a trailblazer for a new age of renewable energy sources," she told reporters.

"We can be the first major industrialised country that achieves the transition to renewable energy with all the opportunities -- for exports, development, technology, jobs -- it carries with it."


Pharma Fearmongering?: Hospitals hunt substitutes as drug shortages rise

© Unknown
Washington - A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses - from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest - has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.

"It's just a matter of time now before we call for a drug that we need to save a patient's life and we find out there isn't any," says Dr. Eric Lavonas of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The problem of scarce supplies or even completely unavailable medications isn't a new one but it's getting markedly worse. The number listed in short supply has tripled over the past five years, to a record 211 medications last year. While some of those have been resolved, another 89 drug shortages have occurred in the first three months of this year, according to the University of Utah's Drug Information Service. It tracks shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

The vast majority involve injectable medications used mostly by medical centers - in emergency rooms, ICUs and cancer wards. Particular shortages can last for weeks or for many months, and there aren't always good alternatives. Nor is it just a U.S. problem, as other countries report some of the same supply disruptions.

Comment: Seems as an appropriate time to remind/share information about nutrition as any:

Please, take care of yourselves. The "get sick" industry is certainly not going to, though they'll be glad to lighten your wallet.


Police State Porn: US police release video of SWAT raid on Iraq War vet shot 70 times

A U.S. Marine who was killed when he was gunned down in his home near Tucson, Arizona, never fired on the SWAT team that stormed his house firing 70 times in a hail of bullets, a report has revealed.

The revelation came as dramatic footage of the shooting was released, showing the armed team pounding down the door of Jose Guerena's home and opening fire.

The father-of-two, who had served twice in Iraq, died on May 5 after the SWAT team descended on his home believing it was one of four houses associated with a drug smuggling operation.

The Tucson SWAT team responsible for the May 5 house shooting defended its actions, saying the team was conducting a multi-house drug investigation based on a search warrant when they saw Mr Guerena aiming an assault rifle at them.

At first, the SWAT team had said Mr Guerena fired first, but then they retracted that statement, saying he had left the safety on.

SWAT team lawyer Mike Storie claimed weapons and body armour were found in the home, as well as a photo of Jesus Malverde, who Mr Storie called a 'patron saint drug runner'.

In a statement, the sheriff's office criticised those questioning the team, saying, 'It is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a cover up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge'.

On the night of the raid, Ms Guerena said her husband was asleep, after having worked a night shift at the Asarco copper mine. She said she then saw the armed SWAT team outside her youngest son's bedroom window.


Food Inflation to Quicken as Nestle, McDonald's Lift Prices

© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural-goods grocer, said vendors have increased food prices this year.
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government's forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices.

Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.

Groceries and restaurant meals rose 2.4 percent in the four months through April, the most to start a year since 1990, government data show. During the period, rice, wheat and milk futures touched the highest levels since 2008, and retail beef reached a record. Yesterday, J.M. Smucker Co. announced an 11 percent price increase for Folgers coffee, the best-selling U.S. brand, after the cost of beans almost doubled in a year.

"It's going to be a tough year" for U.S. shoppers, said Lapp, who is president of Advanced Economic Solutions, an agriculture consultant in Omaha, Nebraska. "You're looking at an economy where a lot of consumers are under some serious pressure from food and fuel costs."

Even after a drop in commodities this month, seven of eight tracked by the Standard & Poor's GSCI Agriculture Index are higher than a year earlier as adverse weather damages crops, rising demand erodes inventories and a weak dollar boosts demand for U.S. exports. Corn futures are up 98 percent, wheat gained 67 percent, raw sugar advanced 44 percent, and rice jumped 25 percent.


US: Starbucks Raising Packaged-Coffee Prices 17 Percent

Starbucks will raise the price of packaged coffee by 17 percent in its U.S. and Canadian stores on July 12.

It is responding to escalating coffee prices, which have almost doubled over the past year and are trading at 30-year highs. On Tuesday, J.M. Smucker Co. said it will raise the price of Folgers coffee by 11 percent - the latest of four price increases over the past year.

Although Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said repeatedly that he believes speculators are driving the price of coffee and other commodities beyond what they are worth, the chain decided it could not wait any longer to pass the higher costs along to customers.

In March, it raised the price of packaged coffee sold in grocery stores by an average of 12 percent, and last fall it hiked prices on some drinks in some cafés. Prices on some drinks also fell.

"We held off as long as we could," Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said of the latest increase. "We want to provide value to our customers, so we only do it when we really have to to effectively run the business."