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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
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What is the Actual Hidden Agenda of the Radical Right?

Former Argentine President Cristina Kirchner launches Senate bid under United Citizens banner

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced her candidacy today for a seat in the Argentine Senate representing Buenos Aires Province, the nation's largest.

Mrs. Kirchner, 64, will not run on an official Justicialist Party (JP) ticket but instead on a Citizens United ticket representing her own Front for Victory (FpV) and a number of smaller, progressive parties as well as numerous JP figures.

The move would allow an ally of Mrs. Kirchner's, former Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo, to run in the August primaries without having to step aside for the final round of voting in October.

Recent polling shows Mrs. Kirchner ahead with 43%, with the centrist Renewal Front (led by Congressman Sergio Massa, who represents the Peronist right) at 20%, the right-wing 'Let's Change' coalition (led by President Mauricio Macri's education minister, Esteban Bullrich) at 20%, Randazzo at 6%, and the FIT Leftist Front (led by its 2015 presidential candidate Nicolás del Caño) at 4%.

·Peronist divisions·

Randazzo, 53, served during the entirety of Mrs. Kirchner's 2007-15 presidency as interior minister until 2012 and transport minister until 2015. He's best remembered for his effective management of the renationalization and refurbishment of Argentina's formerly privatized and dilapidated commuter rail network.

Both Kirchner and Randazzo represent the JP's left wing, which rose to prominence during the 2003-07 presidency of Cristina Kirchner's late husband and predecessor Néstor Kirchner - a period marked by a strong recovery from the 2001 collapse and rising living standards.

The Justicialist Party was originally founded as the Labor Party in 1945 by the late populist leader Juan Perón and his wife, Evita. While broadly populist and social democratic, Peronism has, even since before Perón's death in 1974, suffered deep divisions between its socialist-leaning left and more nationalist right.

·Voter disillusionment·

Voters in Buenos Aires Province, home to 16 million people (38% of the nation's total), have been trending away from candidates tied to the Argentina's increasingly unpopular president, Mauricio Macri.

Narrowly elected in 2015 with staunch support from Argentina's corporate media, his support has eroded amid the worst recession since 2002 with real wages down 11% and unemployment rising from 5.9% in 2015 to 9.2% currently.

Macri's ties to corruption scandals such as Brazil's Lava Jato and Odebrecht bribery cases, his family's Postal Service debt write-off and Panama Papers scandals, as well as reports of judicial harassment against opponents, have further eroded his credibility among all but right-wing voters.

The president's allies have attempted to preclude Mrs. Kirchner from returning to politics by launching a series of investigations against her - most of which, like the $4 billion dollar futures case and those related to jailed public contractor Lázaro Báez, backfired after evidence showed the Macri family were the chief beneficiaries.

His bid to impose electronic voting nationwide, moreover, failed last November after cybersecurity experts proved to Congress that the system made voters' private information easy to access and was vulnerable to tampering.

"After the deception and the electoral fraud, now a second phase of austerity," Mrs. Kirchner told supporters in Buenos Aires after presenting her 15-point pro-labor, pro-industry program. "Citizens must unite if we are to have a future again."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infonews.com%2Fnota%2F308367%2Felecciones-legislativas-cristina-kirchner&edit-text=

Club for Hollywood Republicans locked in dispute caused in part by Trump

Source: The Guardian

Hollywood conservatives used to cherish the Friends of Abe as a secretive club where they could meet and vent rightwing views safe from liberal backlash.

It boasted Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer as members, and hosted top Republicans, including Donald Trump, at events in Los Angeles. Last year it announced its dissolution amid fractures caused in part by Trump’s run for the White House.

Now there are two rival Friends of Abe clubs. One is accused of being a usurper and the other is allegedly wilting, fuelling confusion and recrimination.

The dispute appears linked in part to internal conservative divisions over Trump – one of the challenges facing the so-called “resistance to the resistance” in deep-blue California.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/13/hollywood-republicans-friends-of-abe-club-trump

Are Trump's U.S. economy boasts correct?

Those boasts are like "his" buildings: others, far more competent, built them; he just slaps his name on them.

Arrabal: New American Repertory Theater show explores legacy of Argentina's brutal military regime

John Weidman never imagined that his knowledge of modern Japan would prep him for Broadway.

Even with his broad background as a noted television and theater writer, Weidman's “Arrabal” - onstage at the A.R.T. through June 18 - brings its own challenges, including deeply serious source material.

The musical follows a woman’s search for information about her father, one of the thousands of “the disappeared” who were abducted by death squads in Argentina during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Up to 30,000 disappeared; many were tortured, and others were never seen again.

“I got the call for ‘Arrabal’ because I was the guy who had written the book for ‘Contact,’” said Weidman, acknowledging the plays’ similar storytelling-through-movement design. “There’s a very short list of people who have done that — I am not even sure there is anybody else on it.”

In “Arrabal” - an Argentine term referring to working-class neighborhoods, which suffered the brunt of the Dirty War - almost every element of the story is generated by the movement onstage, with the exception of an occasional video or projection.

Fortunately, Weidman can rely on the show’s dancers, a talented team from Buenos Aires steeped in the tango tradition, as well as the five-member band Orquestra Bajofonderos, led by Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla.

Blending tango, milonga, rock, hip-hop, electronic music, jazz, and classical into a unique sound, Santaolalla's score “sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before,” according to Weidman. “It sounded inherently theatrical.”

“My job was to try to be sensitive to what their story was,” said Weidman, who struggled with the historical brutality he encountered while researching the project. Still, the suffering, he acknowledges, is central to the show’s story line.

“It seemed to me that if we were going to touch this material, deal with it at all, there was an obligation, in a stylized way, to be direct about the events within which this girl’s story takes place.”

“Not to put some version of torture on stage — you couldn’t do that.”

At: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/05/arrabal-explores-legacy-of-argentinas-brutal-military-regime/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=05.18.2017.b+%281%29

‘Arrabal’ writer John Weidman: “My job was to try to be sensitive - to be direct about the events.”

Labour rounds off remarkable election with narrow win in Kensington

Labour has staged a major upset by taking one of the wealthiest constituencies in London, from the incumbent Conservative candidate Victoria Borwick, in a dramatic result 24 hours after polling closed.

Emma Dent Coad, the Labour candidate and local councillor, overturned Borwick’s 7,000 majority by just 20 votes. She took 16,333 (42.23%) of the vote compared with Borwick’s 16,313 (42.18%), representing a swing of 11.11% to Labour.

The results gave Labour a net gain of 32 MPs, and the Conservatives a net loss of 13.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/labour-rounds-off-remarkable-election-with-narrow-win-in-kensington

Mays abusive top staff removed as recriminations grow over poll failure

Theresa May was forced to sacrifice her two closest advisers – Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy – on Saturday, as Tory recriminations grew over the party’s catastrophic general election performance.

The two aides, who were joint chiefs of staff, have been widely blamed for both strategic and policy failings during the campaign and had become increasingly unpopular among ministers and MPs for their abrasive styles and refusal to listen to advice even from cabinet ministers.

Gavin Barwell, a former minister ousted in the election, was named as their replacement on Saturday night. May said Barwell, who lost his Croydon Central seat on Thursday, would bring “considerable experience” to the job.

The removal of Hill and Timothy from Downing Street is a stark demonstration of May’s weakness in the aftermath of an election that has left the prime minister clinging to power after losing 13 seats, stripped of an outright majority, and lacking the mandate for Brexit that she sought.

She is now deprived of the two people she had trusted most and who were with her during her transition from the Home Office to N° 10.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/10/theresa-may-top-advisers-quit-nick-timothy-fiona-hill-tory-recriminations-grow

General election 2017: DUP 'in positive talks' with Tories

The Democratic Unionist Party says it has had "positive talks" over a "confidence and supply" deal to support a Conservative government.

Theresa May was left eight seats short of an overall majority in the general election, while the DUP won 10 seats.

Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson went to Belfast on Saturday for talks with the Northern Irish party.

The DUP said talks would continue next week to "work on the details" and "reach agreement."

At: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40236152

Argentine presidential offices raided by investigators for first time in history

Argentine Federal Judge Sergio Torres ordered a massive raid on Wednesday at thirteen Buenos Aires offices belonging to President Mauricio Macri, his family conglomerate, and numerous officials in his administration.

The raid, pursuant to conflict of interest investigations over Macri's decision last year to open more domestic air routes, included three offices in the presidential office building known as the Casa Rosada - among them those of Chief of Staff Fernando de Andreis (a Macri relative) and Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich.

This was the first such incident in the Casa Rosada's 131-year history.

Approved by Judge Torres in March, the investigation was triggered by a series of decrees signed by Macri beginning June 2016 that granted Colombian airline Avianca broad access to Argentina's air routes at expense of its own national airline, Aerolíneas Argentinas, and its domestic subsidiary, Austral.

Avianca was given access to Argentina's domestic air market two months after the Macri family's SOCMA conglomerate sold its small charter airline, MacAir, to Avianca Holdings.

The raid, which took place Wednesday, was kept secret; it was reported this Friday by the conservative Buenos Aires news daily La Nación.

The nation's largest daily, Clarín, and its cable news outlet, TN - whose support helped elect the right-wing Macri administration 18 months ago - has made no mention of the raids.

Members of Macri's administration and his family have also come under scrutiny over a bribery scandal involving Brazil's largest builder Odebrecht, which has admitted to paying nearly $800 million in bribes across Latin America - including at least $20 million to secure a lucrative Buenos Aires rail tunnel contract in partnership with the Macri family's contractor IECSA.

IECSA's offices were themselves raided for evidence on June 5.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fpolitica%2Fescandalo-avianca--allanaron-las-oficinas-de-la-casa-rosada_a593aa7f9d669e67b19cf680e&edit-text=

The Casa Rosada

The 81-year-old woman inspiring a nation to recycle

An 81-year-old who set up an all-woman rubbish collection team in her village in Lebanon now has a stream of visitors asking how she did it. For nine months in 2015 and 2016 rubbish piled up on the streets of the capital, Beirut, and even now a lack of landfill sites means some of the city's waste is being thrown in the sea.

Zeinab Mokalled has shown that when government fails, do-it-yourself local initiatives can work. "There used to be dirt everywhere and the kids were filthy," Mokalled says.

She is remembering the 1980s and '90s, when Israel occupied part of the south of the country for 15 years, and waste collection came to a halt in her village, Arabsalim. As the years went by, it piled up, and Mokalled went to the regional governor to ask for help.

Mokalled called on the women of the village to help, not the men - partly because she wanted to empower them, and partly because she thought they would do a better job.

They had no equipment, and no infrastructure. So how to begin?

Mokalled's friend Khadija Farhat bought a lorry out of her own pocket. Mokalled herself turned her back garden into a storage area for recyclable waste.

It didn't seem likely that the 10,000 villagers would pay to have their rubbish collected, so the volunteers paid for it themselves. Nineteen years later they still do, each of 46 members putting in about $40 each year.
"Household recycling was the best way forward," says Mokalled, who named the organisation Call of the Earth.

At: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-40191270

Zeinab Mokalled
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