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TRUTHOUT:’Obama Wants to Finish the Job in Libya, and More …’

News in Brief: Obama Wants to Finish the Job in Libya, and More …

Thursday 26 May 2011
by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout

Obama Wants to Finish the Job in Libya

The United States and NATO are preparing for the long haul in Libya, where Western forces have engaged in military operations for two months to help rebels in their fight against Muammar Qaddafi’s Army. President Obama told the British Parliament yesterday that Western forces will not let up in Libya “until tyranny is lifted,” according to the International Business Times. A United Nations resolution on the conflict in Libya allows all member states to take any necessary action to prevent attacks on civilians, suggesting that Western forces could be in Libya until Qaddafi steps down or is killed. This vague timeline has some members of Congress questioning the Obama administration’s plan for Libya, where US forces are playing a supporting role, according to US News and World Report.

Lui Requests to Withdraw Nomination

Berkeley Law Professor Goodwin Lui requested that President Obama withdraw his nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday after Senate Republicans successfully blocked the nomination with a filibuster last week. The filibuster was the first used by Republicans to block a nominee. Republicans have accused Lui of being a left-wing ideologue, but liberal Democrats saw him as one of Obama’s most promising nominees. “Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP decided to use Goodwin Liu to make a political point – they smeared the reputation of this respected legal mind while ignoring many of their own vows to never filibuster a judicial nominee,” said Marge Baker of People For the American Way. Democrats failed to overcome the filibuster with a vote of 52 to 43, with only one moderate Republican, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, opposed to ending the debate on the nomination, according to The Washington Post.G-8 Protesters Detained in Paris, Bigger Actions Planned

About 50 protesters in Paris have been detained after staging an action against the G-8 meeting that began in France today, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Larger protests are planned in Paris, but the G-8 meeting, which features leaders from the world’s wealthiest countries, is being held in a remote resort town in northern France. G-8 protests organized by factions of the anti-globalization movement have turned violent in recent years. Last summer at the G-8 in Toronto, police arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters, while rioters smashed windows and burned police cars in the city’s financial and shopping districts.

Jobless Claims Rise, Dashing Hopes for the Job Market

The Labor Department reports that the number of Americans filing unemployment claims rose last week to 424,000 from a revised 414,000 in the prior week, raising doubts about the optimistic predictions for the job market, according to Reuters. Economists had expected unemployment claims to drop to about 400,000.

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Human rights, Internationally significant information, TRUTHOUT | Leave a comment

WORLD WATER WARRIORS: ‘Canada a major exporter of virtual water, says new Council of Canadians report’

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2011

Canada a major exporter of virtual water, says new Council of Canadians report

Ottawa – The Council of Canadians is releasing a new report today called Leaky Exports: A portrait of the virtual water trade in Canada. This report highlights the daily loss of massive amounts of the country’s fresh water used to produce commodities, minerals and energy for export. Virtual, or embedded, water is the sum of water used in the production of a good or service. Virtual water trade refers to the embedded water transferred across borders when these goods and services are internationally traded.

One of several major findings in the report is that Canada is the second net virtual water exporter in the world. Canada’s net annual virtual water exports (exports minus imports) amount to just under 60 Bm3 (billion cubic metres), which is enough to fill the Rogers Centre in Toronto 37,500 times.

“Because Canada has more abundant water supplies than some other countries, successive provincial and federal governments have built their economies on the ‘myth of abundance’ and the assumption that these supplies are unlimited,” says Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, one of the authors of the report. “Most of our provincial and federal governments depend to this day on exports that may endanger Canada’s fresh water legacy.”

The virtual water trade is now coming under close scrutiny as some impoverished and water-poor countries are depleting their water supplies in order to maintain export markets, while other, more wealthy countries import most of their “water footprint” (the total volume of water needed to produce the goods and services for their citizens) in order to protect their own limited water resources.

“While Canada is often touted as having 20 per cent of the world’s water supplies, in fact it has 6.5 per cent of the world’s renewable water,” cautions Barlow. “Many parts of Canada are facing some form of water crisis and nowhere is our groundwater properly mapped. Yet the practice of allowing almost unlimited access to our rivers, lakes and aquifers for commodity, energy and mineral production and export continues without public debate or oversight.”

Other major findings in the report include:

  • The increase in virtual water exports to the U.S. is closely related to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA, due to the post–trade agreements’ increase in water-intensive exports to the U.S. and the integration of key parts of the North American agriculture and energy sectors.
  • Agriculture consumes 70 per cent of Canada’s fresh water.

“It is our hope that the findings of this report will spark the debate and research so long overdue in Canada,” adds Barlow.

The report is available here.


For More Information:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians,             613-795-8685      ,, Twitter: @CouncilofCDNs


Emma Lui

National Water Campaigner

Council of Canadians

Tel: 613-233-4487 Ext. 234

Fax: 613-233-6776


May 26, 2011 Posted by | Human rights, Internationally significant information, WORLD WATER WARRIORS | Leave a comment

CENTRE FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: In setback for corporate lobbyists, whistleblowers can take tips first to government investigators

U.S. and its banks called “biggest tax haven” in world
Watchdog calls SEC “irresponsible” in leasing new office for $556.8 million
Your guide to Dodd-Frank law deadlines, hearing and events for the week of May 23

In setback for corporate lobbyists, whistleblowers can take tips first to government investigators

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, an independent, was joined by the agency’s two Democratic commissioners in a 3-2 vote finalizing rules to protect and reward whistleblowers, as required by the Dodd-Frank reform law.     Charles Dharapak/The Associated Press

SEC rules offer generous bounties to tipsters

By Michael Hudson

15 hours, 12 minutes ago

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Centre for Public Integrity, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

URGENT REMINDER! MARCH/RALLY: Budget 2011 United Against Asset Sales/Cuts. SAT. 28 May 12 noon Auckland! DON’T CUT OUR FUTURE!

MARCH/RALLY: Budget 2011
United Against Asset Sales/Cuts.
12 noon, Sat 28th May, QE2 Square, Bottom of Queen St, Opposite Britomart.
please distribute to your email lists,newsletters facebook, twitter, txt and talk to your friends, groups and neighbours.

From Asset sales(electricity and more), food prices to Govt cuts.Student loans and Low wages.Civilised society is under threat.
“When good people lay idle, evil prospers”.
Stand up NZ before it’s to late!
Coalition for Social Justice.
(members of community groups, churches, unions et al)
ph:09 8366389, 021 2106720,
Meredydd Barrar (spokesperson)
A new group has been formed called the Coalition for Social Justice. Its aim is to organise concerns within local communities around the governments Budget proposals and their implications for ordinary New Zealanders
Spokesperson Meredydd Barrar says, “Asset sales  cuts to working for families, Kiwi Saver, student loans and general austerity measures are not working in the interests of the majority of kiwis who are struggling to make ends meet.
“The Coalition is made up of members of community groups, people from religious organisations and unions. Our aim is to promote social justice.
We are organising a MOBILISATION of ordinary Kiwis on SATURDAY 28TH MAY 12pm QE2 Square, bottom of Queen st, Auckland City (see attachment). Also more action as the election campaign develops.
New Zealanders are angry about GST, milk prices and secret Trade deals, cuts to Early Childhood education and privatisation of electricity…Aswell as PPP’s for shcools and other public services.. l
Meredydd Barrar, spokesperson says, “Enough is enough. Recent government announcements about cuts and a Budget that will certainly condemn the majority of New Zealanders to relative poverty is not acceptable. Children and struggling families as well as students looking to further their higher education will be penalised”.
There is a latent anger in New Zealand at the moment. We aim to translate it into action.
Policies of cut backs and austerity measures will increase the gap between rich and poor which is already the 6th highest in the OECD. We believe this is unacceptable and uncivilised.
New Zealanders deserve better than an economic philosophy that only seems to make bankers, corporates and speculators richer.
Meredydd Barrar

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment