There was Armenian genocide in 1915, says German parliament

A Journal of People report

03 June, 2016


Withstanding a barrage of pressure from the Turkish government, the German parliament has approved a resolution declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Sultanat was ‘genocide’. The Turkish government reacted angrily to the resolution adopted by the German parliament. Turkey has protested by recalling its ambassador to Germany. At the same time, a group of Turks and Kurds has launched a campaign in Britain to boycott one of Turkey’s main sources of income – tourism.

Last year, Austria passed similar resolution recognizing the killings of Armenians as genocide. The Austrian resolution irked Turkey that also led it to recall its ambassador from Vienna. Turkey also warned Austria of “permanent negative effects” on relations.Read More »

OECD is Latest Economic Bigwig to Question Austerity’s “Loop of Doom”

by Deirdre Fulton

Common Dreams | 03 June, 2016


“Governments…should stop obsessing about cutting their way back to financial health and consider growing their way out of the red instead,” wrote the Guardian‘s economics editor Larry Elliot on Wednesday. (Photo: Michael K. Donnelly/flickr/cc)

Less than a week after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed reservations about neoliberal policies like austerity, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is urging governments to increase spending in order to “make good on promises to current and future generations.”

Not doing so, OECD chief economist Catherine Mann told Reuters, deprives youths of job opportunities and means the elderly will not get the healthcare and pension benefits they expect. “We are breaking promises to young people and old people,” she said.Read More »

2015 Saw Renewable Energy Boom, Led by Developing Nations

by Deirdre Fulton

Common Dreams | 01 June, 2016


Last year, the solar PV market was up 25 percent over 2014 to a record 50 gigawatts, lifting the global total to 227 gigawatts. (Photo:minoru karamatsu/flickr/cc)


Renewable energy boomed in 2015, a year that saw fossil fuel prices plummet and ended with a historic climate agreement hammered out in Paris.

In fact, investments in renewables such as wind and solar were more than double the amount spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants in 2015, according to the Renewables Global Status Report (pdf) from REN21, an international non-profit association based at the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, France.Read More »

Thanks to Activism And Sanders, Obama Changes Course on Social Security

by Nadia Prupis

Common Dreams | 02 June, 2016


Sanders and other Senate Democrats strategize about Social Security and other benefits in 2015. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc)

Progressive groups welcomed President Barack Obama’s call to expand Social Security by increasing taxes on the wealthy, praising the effort and crediting it in part to “relentless grassroots activism” and Bernie Sanders’ political efforts.

During a speech on economic policy in Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday, Obama announced, “We can’t afford to weaken Social Security. We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement they’ve earned.”Read More »

‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Shows Path is Clear: It’s Time to Ditch Industrial Agriculture for Good

by Andrea Germanos

Common Dreams | 02 June, 2016


If you can count as successes increased greenhouse gases, ecosystem degradation, rises in hunger and obesity, and unbalanced power in food systems, then industrial agriculture has done one heck of a job.

That’s according to a panel of experts, whose new report, From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems (pdf), calls for breaking the chains that lock monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots to the dominant farming systems in order to unleash truly sustainable approaches—ones that use holistic strategies, eschew chemical inputs, foster biodiversity, and ensure farmer livelihoods.Read More »

Coup Acts to Repress Brazil Landless Movement

by Clifford Andrew Welch

MRZine | 01 June, 2016


On May 31, Valdir Misnerovicz, an important and effective organizer of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil, was arrested while teaching a class on agricultural coops in Veranópolis, a city in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.  The arrest did not stem from his lectures, but from his activism.  To organize the poor to occupy land in the name of fulfilling Brazil’s constitutional mandate to ensure the “social function” of land through its appropriation and distribution among peasants is considered illegal gang activity by the government of Michel Temer, which came to power last month in what many consider to be a coup d’état.Read More »