Armed Gangs Attack Maternal and Child Hospital in Venezuela

teleSUR | 21 April, 2017

Mothers and children being evacuated from hospital attacked by the opposition.

Mothers and children being evacuated from hospital attacked by the opposition. | Photo: @madeleintlSUR

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced on her Twitter account that “armed bands hired by the opposition attacked a maternal and child hospital with 54 children (inside).”

She also said that President Nicolas Maduro ordered the evacuation of the hospital, adding, “We will defeat the coup attempt.” The Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias Maternal and Child Hospital is located in the El Valle neighborhood of Caracas.

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Africa in the 21st century: Legacy of imperialism and development prospects

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The Return of Commercial Prison Labour

by Christoph Scherrer and Anil Shah

Prisons are seldom mentioned under the rubric of labour market institutions such as temporary work contracts or collective bargaining agreements. Yet, prisons not only employ labour but also cast a shadow on the labour force in or out of work. The early labour movement considered the then prevalent use of prison labour for commercial purposes as unfair competition. By the 1930s, the US labour movement was strong enough to have work for commercial purposes prohibited in prisons. In the decades following, the number of prisoners decreased to a historic minimum. But with cutbacks in the welfare state, the prison population exploded from about 200 000 in 1975 to 2 300 000 in 2013 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 37) and prison labour for commercial purposes became legal again. Today, about 15% of the inmates in federal and state prisons perform work for companies such as Boeing, Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret. Migrants detained for violating immigration laws are one of the fastest growing segments of prison labour. Under the Trump administration, their numbers are most likely to increase.


Using the example of the US, we will discuss drivers of the return of commercial prison labour.

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Two-Thirds of Americans are losing sleep over their financial woes

A Journal of People report

A survey finds:

Two out of three Americans lose sleep at night thinking about their finances. Some 65% of those polled say they toss and turn in bed thanks to money worries, up from 62% the last two years and 56% from before the Financial Crisis 10 years ago.

The most common concern was the cost of health care and insurance, which kept 38% of participants awake into the night. Only 29% reported being worried about health care a year ago. The health care situation surrounding Obamacare and its Republican replacement seems have played a large role in shaping this unease.Read More »

Dow Chemical asks Trump officials to ignore pesticide reports

A Journal of People report

Dow Chemical asked three high-ranking Trump administration officials to ignore government scientists’ studies on the environmental risks posed by a major class of pesticides, said an Associated Press report.

The AP had seen the letters that Dow sent to the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior Wilbur Ross and Ryan Zinke, respectively, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt – a noted opponent of environmental regulations and climate change skeptic who has already moved to scrap Obama-era restrictions on certain pesticides.

Last month, Pruitt reversed his own agency’s proposal to ban chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to brain damage in children exposed to the pest-killer.Read More »

Should we resort to solar geoengineering to fight climate crisis?

A Journal of People report

Should we tinker with the environment? Scientists are investigating whether releasing tons of particulates into the atmosphere might be good for the planet. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

A report by Jon Gertner on April 18, 2017 in The New York Times Magazine said:

“For the past few years, the Harvard professor David Keith has been sketching this vision: Ten Gulfstream jets, outfitted with special engines that allow them to fly safely around the stratosphere at an altitude of 70,000 feet, take off from a runway near the Equator. Their cargo includes thousands of pounds of a chemical compound – liquid sulfur, let’s suppose – that can be sprayed as a gas from the aircraft. It is not a one-time event; the flights take place throughout the year, dispersing a load that amounts to 25,000 tons. If things go right, the gas converts to an aerosol of particles that remain aloft and scatter sunlight for two years. The payoff? A slowing of the earth’s warming – for as long as the Gulfstream flights continue.Read More »