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2010 November 24 | Activist News
Disobey

The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

greed3

U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

jeff olsen

Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

freedom-of-the-press

The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: November 24, 2010

At UN, groups cite gains against land mine deaths

Associated Press
November 24, 2010
By JOHN HEILPRIN

GENEVA — At least 3,956 people died last year because they stepped on a land mine or other unexploded devices left behind in war, the lowest number since counting began nearly a dozen years ago, advocacy groups said Wednesday.

The report, issued at the United Nations by Mines Action Canada, Human Rights Watch and other groups, cited the casualty rate and the record amount of contaminated land cleared of mines as major progress toward a land mine-free world.

It said an area of about 76 square miles (198 square kilometers) was cleared of land mines in 2009 in a nearly $500 million effort, and 138 square miles (359 square kilometers) of former war zones were cleared of other unexploded devices.


Eighty percent of the cleared areas were in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

India, Myanmar and Pakistan are believed to be the only three nations still making anti-personnel mines, and military-ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, was the only government confirmed as using them, the report said. But “non-state armed groups” in six countries – Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Yemen – also use land mines, it said.

This was the first time that Russia was not listed as a government that is a land mine user since the groups’ Landmine Monitor was created in June 1998 by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The report was issued in advance of a meeting starting next week to discuss the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
“The record progress made in the past year toward eliminating anti-personnel mines shows that the Mine Ban Treaty is working,” said Mark Hiznay of Human Rights Watch.

The treaty has been signed by 80 percent of the world’s nations. China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the U.S. are among 39 nations that have not yet joined it, though the Obama administration is reviewing that stance.

Full Article Here – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/24/AR2010112400957.html

Millions Will Be Homeless for the Holidays

PBS
November 23, 2010

As families gather this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, the homeless, including an estimated 1.5 million young people, will struggle to find a meal and a place to stay. The economic downturn has increased the number of homeless people and families nationwide, and children whose families are frequently on the move also often have trouble staying in school.

Each year when the temperature drops, cities across the country implement plans to get homeless people off the streets. Hypothermia — prolonged exposure to extreme cold — is a major concern in many locales. Many cities provide “warming shelters” where homeless people can come for temporary shelter. But, increasingly, those shelters don’t have space for everyone who needs it, let alone entire families who can’t afford housing.


“It’s overcrowded,” David, a homeless Vietnam veteran, told Seattle’s KING5 News about a shelter he frequents. “And you can see the mass amount of people around here that don’t have any place to go.”

 

Tent cities flourish in downturn

After the Wall Street crash and economic downturn started in 2008, many Americans lost their jobs and could no longer afford to pay for their homes. Some lost their houses through foreclosure, while others couldn’t keep up with monthly rent payments.

For some, a temporary answer comes in the form of a tent, and numerous “tent cities” have sprung up across the country. One of the largest, just outside Sacramento, Calif., was home to some 200 homeless people until the city forced them to relocate. Many tent city residents never thought they’d end up that way.

“My parents always taught me to work hard in school, graduate high school, go to college, get a degree and you’ll do fine,” Jim Marshall, who lost his home to foreclosure and recently lived in a tent city, told USA Today. “I did all those things. For a while, I did have that good life, but nowadays that’s not the reality.”

 

School is a challenge for homeless teens

 

Full Article Here - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec10/homeless_11-23.html

Britain Students Protest Plan to Raise Fees

New York Times
November 24, 2010
By SARAH LYALL

LONDON — Thousands of students in cities across Britain walked out of classes on Wednesday and marched in protest of the government’s plans to cut education spending and steeply increase university tuition. It was the second such protest this month.

As of early afternoon here, the demonstrations had been mostly peaceful. In central London, though, a crowd surrounded and vandalized a police van, breaking its windows, scrawling graffiti on it and trying to tip it over.
A group of protesters repeatedly tried to break through a police cordon in front of Whitehall, which houses many government buildings, even as officers held them back with night sticks.


In other cities, including Nottingham, Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield, Warwick and Manchester, university students — in some cases joined by students from secondary schools who also walked out of class — marched through town centers or tried to occupy university buildings.

The demonstrators were angry at government proposals to help reduce the country’s budget deficit by giving less money in direct grants to universities, and allowing the universities in turn to charge tuition of up to $14,400, a year, from the current cap of $5,624.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/world/europe/25britain.html

If proven, Countrywide’s mortgage fraud could threaten Bank of America

Raw Story
November 23, 2010
By Eric W. Dolan

Problems with mortgage documents Bank of American acquired when it purchased the mortgage provider Countrywide Financial in 2008 could cost the bank billions, if a testimony in a New Jersey foreclosure case proves accurate.

During the foreclosure trial, an operational team leader for Bank of America, Linda DiMartini, said it was “customary for Countrywide to maintain possession of the original note and related documents.”

If her testimony is proven, Countrywide may have not properly transferred the necessary mortgage documents when it sold loans to other banks who then used the loans to create residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS).


“There’s been talk on the street for years that banks didn’t send the notes up the line when they did securitizations,” Max Gardner, a consumer bankruptcy attorney, told Daily Finance. “But this is the first time
I’ve seen someone under oath admit there was a policy not to deliver the notes. I had to read it twice to make sure that’s really what she said, but she did: It was customary.”

If the mortgage notes were not properly distributed to the different parties involved, the foreclosure process could be stopped by anyone who asked where the mortgage note is or who holds it.

That would mean anyone whose home is being foreclosed upon can legitimately refuse to leave by demanding their creditors produce the note.

Full Article Here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/mortgage-document-errors-bank-america/

Holiday cheer: Congress set to let jobless benefits expire

McClatchy

November  23, 2010
By David Lightman
WASHINGTON — Voters clearly want lawmakers to ease the nation’s unemployment pain, but a sharply divided Congress is still balking at extending jobless benefits for those out of work a long time.
Unless Congress acts by Nov. 30, an estimated 2 million people slated to receive extended benefits will not get them on time, if ever. And Congress is taking this week (Nov. 22-26) off for a Thanksgiving recess. Congress reconvenes on Nov. 29.
If lawmakers don’t extend the benefits, it will be the third time this year that they will have missed a deadline to do so, even though the nation’s unemployment rate, at 9.6 percent, hasn’t budged since May. Earlier this year, after Congress failed to extend benefits before deadlines, jobless workers got retroactive benefits once legislation was passed.

The average family receives about $290 a week from the benefits, which can last up to 99 weeks, depending on a state’s jobless rate. State employer taxes pay for the first 26 weeks. In weeks 27 to 99, a federal program funds most of the benefits; that’s what could be affected if Congress doesn’t act.

The new drama has two new wrinkles: Without congressional action, the jobless workers would be without the extra money during the holiday season — which would make the political stakes even higher.
Countering that sentiment, though, is that Republicans paid no political price for leading the effort to delay benefits earlier this year. Then, as now, they insisted that the benefits’ costs must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. And voters rewarded their party on Nov. 2.
When the 112th Congress convenes in January, the GOP will take control of the House of Representatives after gaining 63 seats; they also added to their ranks in the Senate by gaining six seats, for a total of 47.
Polls leave no doubt that Americans’ top priority is job growth, yet last week, the first time Congress convened since the election, the House fell short on a vote to extend benefits, and the Senate didn’t try.
“Those who are spewing the hot air have a job, the security of a job and the security of health care,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. “So they don’t really understand what real people are living through.”
Others insist that the nation can’t wait any longer to make tough budget choices. That’s why Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who’s sided with Democrats in the past on this issue, was more circumspect this time.
“The pending expiration of unemployment benefits should be a signal and a wakeup call for Congress to finally focus like a laser,” she said, on developing “an environment that will provide certainty and stability with respect to tax and regulatory policies in order to foster economic growth and spur job creation.”
The House last week got a 258-154 majority for a $12.5 billion jobless-benefits extension through Feb. 28, but the measure failed because it was brought up under a special rule that required a two-thirds majority of those voting, or 275 votes, for passage.
Many Republicans saw the vote as a cynical Democratic ploy.
“Are you listening to the American people?” asked Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., R-La., whom he said had sent a message in the elections that they want more fiscal responsibility.
“The fact is that we can both provide this help and pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending,” he said, citing one GOP plan to pay for the jobless aid.
Democrats countered that the nation is experiencing a true emergency, and this was no time to quibble over spending offsets.
“Any family receiving unemployment insurance would tell you that these benefits do not provide for a luxurious lifestyle without financial worries,” said Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. “These same families would tell you that without these benefits, they would lose their home, lose their car and lose the ability to feed their children.”