mr6666

& then there's the rest of the WORLD...

251 posts in this topic

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Election-Violence-Rises-in-Brazil-PT-Gubernatorial-Candidate-Attacked-With-Explosive-Device-20180914-0007.html

Election Violence Rises in Brazil, PT Gubernatorial Candidate Attacked With 'Explosive Device'

 

Gubernatorial candidate for Parana, Dr. Rosinha, was handing out flyers in central Curitiba, Parana when a device exploded near him.

The gubernatorial candidate for the Brazilian state of Parana, Florisvaldo Fier, popularly known as Dr. Rosinha, was attacked with an "explosive device" while handing out flyers in central Curitiba Thursday.

Cellphone footage captured the moment the device exploded near the Workers' Party (PT) candidate as he walked to a political debate hosted at the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana.

"All of a sudden an unknown assailant tossed a bomb at me, which exploded at my legs," Dr. Rosinha said, according to Viomundo.

"I wasn't sure if it was a homemade bomb or one of those bombs used during Sao Joao (popular festivities celebrating the nativity of St. John the Baptist). All I know is that it was powerful and it exploded at my feet. Apart from the enormous shock, I couldn't hear anything."

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ICC opens Myanmar Rohingya crimes probe-

The International Criminal Court has opened a preliminary examination into Myanmar's alleged crimes against its Rohingya Muslim minority.

The move could pave the way to a full investigation into Myanmar's military crackdown that has seen thousands killed and over 700,000 displaced....

On Tuesday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she had decided "to carry out a full-fledged preliminary examination of the situation at hand".

Ms Bensouda said the initial probe, which could lead to a formal investigation by the ICC, could focus on a number of alleged "coercive acts" that possibly led to the "forced displacement" of Rohingya Muslims.

She said that these might include "deprivation of fundamental rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and looting".

She added that the Hague-based court would also consider whether persecution or "other inhumane acts" played a part in the plight of the Rohingya....

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45568946?ocid=socialflow_twitter

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-xinjiang/chinese-official-says-china-is-educating-not-mistreating-muslims-idUSKCN1LT1LV

Chinese official says China is educating, not mistreating, Muslims

GENEVA (Reuters) - China is not mistreating Muslims in Xinjiang province but is putting some people through training courses to avoid extremism spreading, unlike Europe, which had failed to deal with the problem, a Chinese official told reporters on Thursday.

 

Reports of mass detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other ethnic Muslims in China’s far western region have sparked a growing international outcry, prompting the Trump administration to consider sanctions against officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.

“It is not mistreatment,” said Li Xiaojun, director for publicity at the Bureau of Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office. “What China is doing is to establish professional training centers, educational centers.”

“If you do not say it’s the best way, maybe it’s the necessary way to deal with Islamic or religious extremism, because the West has failed in doing so, in dealing with religious Islamic extremism,” Li told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

“Look at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some other European countries. You have failed.”

 

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Guess we should take the word of a government controlled press.

Re education camps, what a crock! The only education is to submit.

52863e73eab8ea7f40ac94f5-750-563.jpg

 

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https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/islamic-state-senior-militant-egypts-sinai-killed-58250384

Islamic State says senior militant in Egypt's Sinai killed

Egypt said Wednesday that police have killed 15 suspected militants in a shootout in the northern Sinai Peninsula, where they are battling an Islamic State-led insurgency.

The Interior Ministry says the militants were killed during a raid on their hideout in the city of el-Arish, where they were planning attacks on security forces in the coming days. It says security forces dismantled two explosive devices and seized weapons.

The statement did not say when the raid took place or whether any security forces were killed or wounded.

It wasn't possible to independently confirm the report as access to the northern Sinai is heavily restricted.

Earlier this week, the Islamic State group said one of its leaders in Sinai has been killed. The group's Aamaq news agency announced the death of Abu Hamza al-Maqdisi late Monday, calling him a "martyr" without saying where or how he died.

A photo of a young, smiling, bearded man accompanied the report. IS says he was killed recently, without specifying the day.

Egypt has been battling militants for years, but the Sinai-based insurgency gained strength after the 2013 military overthrow of the country's first elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, whose brief rule was divisive.

In February, Egypt launched a nationwide operation against militants.

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https://theintercept.com/2018/10/02/lula-brazil-election-noam-chomsky/

I JUST VISITED LULA, THE WORLD’S MOST PROMINENT POLITICAL PRISONER. A “SOFT COUP” IN BRAZIL’S ELECTION WILL HAVE GLOBAL CONSEQUENCES.

Noam-Chomsky-c-Don-Usner-low-res-1538412654-440x440.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&q=90&h=60&w=60


October 2 2018, 6:00 a.m.

 

PRISONS ARE REMINISCENT of Tolstoy’s famous observation about unhappy families: Each “is unhappy in its own way,” though there are some common features — for prisons, the grim and stifling recognition that someone else has total authority over your life.

My wife Valeria and I have just visited a prison to see arguably the most prominent political prisoner of today, a person of unusual significance in contemporary global politics.

By the standards of U.S. prisons I’ve seen, the Federal Prison in Curitiba, Brazil, is not formidable or oppressive — though that is a rather low bar.  It is nothing like the few I’ve visited abroad — not remotely like Israel’s Khiyam torture chamber in southern Lebanon, later bombed to dust to efface the crime, and a very long way from the unspeakable horrors of Pinochet’s Villa Grimaldi, where the few who survived the exquisitely designed series of tortures were tossed into a tower to rot — one of the means to ensure that the first neoliberal experiment, under the supervision of leading Chicago economists, could proceed without disruptive voices.

Nonetheless, it is a prison.

The prisoner we visited, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – “Lula,” as he is universally known — has been sentenced to virtual life imprisonment, in solitary confinement, with no access to press or journals and with limited visits one day a week.

The day after our visit, one judge, citing press freedoms, granted the request of the nation’s largest newspaper, Folha of São Paulo, to interview Lula, but another judge quickly intervened and reversed that decision, notwithstanding the fact that the country’s most violent criminals — its militia leaders and drug traffickers — are routinely interviewed in prison.

To Brazil’s power structure, imprisoning Lula is not enough: They want to ensure that the population, as it prepares to vote, cannot hear from him at all, and are apparently willing to use any means to accomplish that goal.

The judge who reversed the permission wasn’t breaking any new ground. One predecessor was the prosecutor at the 1926 sentencing of Antonio Gramsci by Mussolini’s Fascist government, who declared, “We must stop his brain from working for 20 years.”

“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes,” as Mark Twain observed.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/world/asia/china-quiz-show-xi-jinping.html

In China, a Quiz Show Is an Ode to Xi Jinping

Image03xi-gameshow-1-articleLarge.jpg?quality

Contestants on “Studying Xi in the New Era” answer questions about the Chinese president’s life and ideology.CreditCreditHunan Television

 

HONG KONG — The Chinese game show begins like many others, with flashing lights, a heroic soundtrack and rapturous applause from a studio audience.

But on this show, one topic dominates: President Xi Jinping, the man, the leader, the Communist Party chief. Contestants face a daunting array of questions about his favorite books, the meaning of his speeches, and his formative years in a rural village.

The five-part show, “Studying Xi in the New Era,” airing on Chinese state television this week, aims to inspire interest in Mr. Xi’s life and ideas among a younger generation. It is the latest sign of the predominance of Mr. Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, in the daily life of citizens.

The show — which does not appear to offer cash or other prizes — poses a series of multiple-choice questions, many of them focused on Mr. Xi. There is also a smattering of questions about figures like Marx, Mao and Deng Xiaoping.

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Parts of the story from the Globe and Mail

U.S. not invited to Canada’s save-the-WTO summit of 13 'like-minded’ countries

 
MIKE BLANCHFIELD
OTTAWA
THE CANADIAN PRESS 
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 4, 2018UPDATED 7 HOURS AGO

Canada has not included the United States in an coming meeting aimed at saving the international trading system because it doesn’t share the views of the 13 invited countries, the new Canadian trade minister says.

Canada will play host to senior ministers from 13 “like-minded” countries for a two-day discussion in Ottawa later this month to brainstorm ways to reform the World Trade Organization, said Jim Carr, Canada’s newly appointed International Trade Diversification Minister.

Canada is inviting Australia, Brazil, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland to two days of talks on the WTO starting Oct. 24 in Ottawa.

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https://www.npr.org/2018/10/04/654474739/osaka-ends-ties-with-san-francisco-in-protest-of-comfort-women-statue

Osaka, Japan, Ends Ties With San Francisco In Protest Of 'Comfort Women' Statue

ap_18276644188516-233fe425116214a270c8a3

The mayor of Osaka, Japan, is ending its "sister city" relationship with San Francisco this week, following a dispute over a statue that honors women and girls who were sexually enslaved by Japan's Imperial Army during World War II.

The Column of Strength memorial consists of three women in bronze who are holding hands in a circle as they look into the distance. An older woman stands to the side.

The statue commemorates "comfort women," a euphemism for thousands who were forced, coerced and deceived into serving men at brothels near the front lines.

But the monument's inscriptions about the comfort women "present uncertain and one-sided claims as historical facts," Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura contended in a 10-page letter dated Tuesday to Mayor London Breed of San Francisco.

Yoshimura called the information an "interpretation" that has yet to be proved — adding that the number of women who were enslaved and how they were treated during their time in captivity were embellished.

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Brazil election: Jair Bolsonaro leads in early results

Early results in Brazil's presidential election suggest the far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, will win the first round.

However, he looks set to fall just short of the 50% of valid votes needed to win outright.

If he does not reach the 50%, he will face Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers' Party in the second round on 28 October.

With 86% of the votes counted, Mr Bolsonaro has 48% and Mr Haddad 27%.

Opinion polls conducted ahead of the election had given Mr Bolsonaro a wide lead over Mr Haddad and the early exit polls are consistent with that.

The same polls predicted that in a second round the two candidates would be neck and neck..........

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45780176?ocid=socialflow_twitter

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https://www.rt.com/news/440616-stoltenberg-serbia-nato-bombing/

‘We bombed you to save you’ – NATO head Stoltenberg speaks about 1999 bombings on visit to Serbia

Although many people in Serbia hold “painful” memories of NATO’s 1999 bombing of their country, it was, in fact, done precisely to protect them from their own government, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Belgrade.

He was answering questions about the bombing and about the NATO campaign against the government of the former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, during a meeting with the students of Belgrade University.

“I stressed that we did this to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime,” Stoltenberg said, as quoted by the local media, claiming locals have painful memories of the events.

So NATO wants the alliance and Belgrade to “look into the future.” Stoltenberg also boasted of an “excellent relationship”between NATO and Serbia, adding that the military bloc “respects” Belgrade’s decision not to join the alliance. Still, he maintained that NATO wants to be Serbia’s “partner.”

 

He also said that NATO supports “dialogue” between Serbia and its breakaway region-turned-self-proclaimed state Kosovo, not only diplomatically but also “in the form of KFOR” – the NATO-led international peacekeeping force deployed to Kosovo.

His words came about a week after a brief escalation of tensions between Belgrade and Pristina sparked by the visit of Kosovo’s leader to a northern part of the breakaway region, which is populated by Serbs who refuse to recognize Pristina’s authority. The KFOR stayed conspicuously inactive during the incident, according to some reports while others suggested that the NATO-led force had even accompanied the Kosovo representative on that trip.

In March 1999, NATO launched airstrikes in what was then Yugoslavia, without the backing of the UN Security Council, after it accused Belgrade of “excessive and disproportionate use of force” in a conflict with insurgent Muslim ethnic Albanians in the region of Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence nine years later, in 2008.

 

During the bombings, NATO dropped “between 10 and 15 tons of depleted uranium, which caused a major environmental disaster” and prompted Serbians to sue NATO over its actions, linking them to a rise in cancer-related illnesses across the region.

 

"In Serbia, 33,000 people fall sick because of this every year. That is one child every day," a member of the international legal team that was preparing the lawsuit told RT in 2017. Back in 2015, Stoltenberg himself expressed "regret" for the civilian casualties of NATO's 1999 bombing.

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The InterceptVerified account @theintercept 5h5 hours ago

 
 

Here’s the unpopular, right-wing agenda that Brazil’s president wants to ram through in a lame-duck session https://interc.pt/2CwGRBE  by @amandafaudi

"....The traditional center-right ruling parties were smashed while Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing Social Liberty party jumped from one to 52 seats. Come January, a very conservative Congress will be moving even further to the right.

Before those members are seated, though, comes the lame-duck session......

 

Temer’s agenda for the lame-duck session includes a bid to privatize some of the country’s power authorities, overhaul social security, loosen up restrictions on pesticides, allow Congress to decertify Indigenous lands, as well as revising a handful of other regulations and shifting the allotment of federal powers that the administration has stalled on in the past.

Using the lame-duck session as way to ram through unpopular agenda items is nothing new in Brazil.....

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/08/brazil-congressional-elections-michel-temer/

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro-Led Far Right Wins a Victory Far More Sweeping and Dangerous Than Anyone Predicted.

October 8 2018,

" For the past thirty years, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro was a fringe extremist in Brazilian politics, known mostly for outlandish, deliberately inflammatory quotes in which he paid homage to the most notorious torturers of the 1964-1985 military regime, constantly heralded the 1964 coup as a “defense of democracy,” told a female socialist colleague in Congress that she was too ugly to “deserve” his rape, announced that he’d rather learn that his son died in a car accident than was gay, and said he conceived a daughter after having four sons only due to a “moment of weakness.” ..........

His policy prescriptions were even more deranged. Western media has often referred to him as “Brazil’s Trump” but that is wildly inaccurate, understating the case by many magnitudes. In temperament, ideology, and personal history, Bolsonaro – a former Army Captain during Brazil’s notorious 21-year military dictatorship – is far closer to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte or Egyptian dictator General Abdel El-Sisi than Trump.

His primary solution to the nation’s crime epidemic is to unleash the military and police into the nation’s slums and give them what he calls “carte blanche” to indiscriminately murder anyone they suspect to be criminals,

....... Spiraling from multiple crises – suffocating economic inequality, an epidemic of violence worse than many war zones, and a corruption scandal so sweeping that it has infected the core of almost every faction of the ruling class – this is a country with little to no ability to impose limits on what Bolsonaro wants to do. .....

"

"Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, [establishment factions] are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.

Unfortunately for the 210 million people who live in Brazil, last night’s election was one of the most vivid and terrifying examples yet of this proposition.

But it will by no means be the last, or the worst. It’s all part of a global trend, undermining liberal democracies, fueled by their own failures, that has no end in sight....

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/08/brazils-bolsonaro-led-far-right-wins-a-victory-far-more-sweeping-and-dangerous-than-anyone-predicted-its-lessons-are-global/

 

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5 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

https://www.rt.com/news/440616-stoltenberg-serbia-nato-bombing/

‘We bombed you to save you’ – NATO head Stoltenberg speaks about 1999 bombings on visit to Serbia

Although many people in Serbia hold “painful” memories of NATO’s 1999 bombing of their country, it was, in fact, done precisely to protect them from their own government, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Belgrade.

He was answering questions about the bombing and about the NATO campaign against the government of the former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, during a meeting with the students of Belgrade University.

“I stressed that we did this to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime,” Stoltenberg said, as quoted by the local media, claiming locals have painful memories of the events.

So NATO wants the alliance and Belgrade to “look into the future.” Stoltenberg also boasted of an “excellent relationship”between NATO and Serbia, adding that the military bloc “respects” Belgrade’s decision not to join the alliance. Still, he maintained that NATO wants to be Serbia’s “partner.”

 

He also said that NATO supports “dialogue” between Serbia and its breakaway region-turned-self-proclaimed state Kosovo, not only diplomatically but also “in the form of KFOR” – the NATO-led international peacekeeping force deployed to Kosovo.

His words came about a week after a brief escalation of tensions between Belgrade and Pristina sparked by the visit of Kosovo’s leader to a northern part of the breakaway region, which is populated by Serbs who refuse to recognize Pristina’s authority. The KFOR stayed conspicuously inactive during the incident, according to some reports while others suggested that the NATO-led force had even accompanied the Kosovo representative on that trip.

In March 1999, NATO launched airstrikes in what was then Yugoslavia, without the backing of the UN Security Council, after it accused Belgrade of “excessive and disproportionate use of force” in a conflict with insurgent Muslim ethnic Albanians in the region of Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence nine years later, in 2008.

 

During the bombings, NATO dropped “between 10 and 15 tons of depleted uranium, which caused a major environmental disaster and prompted Serbians to sue NATO over its actions, linking them to a rise in cancer-related illnesses across the region.

 

"In Serbia, 33,000 people fall sick because of this every year. That is one child every day," a member of the international legal team that was preparing the lawsuit told RT in 2017. Back in 2015, Stoltenberg himself expressed "regret" for the civilian casualties of NATO's 1999 bombing.

 

DU isn't dropped, it's shot!

The A10's GAU-8 Avenger cannon can fire 3,000 of these 30mm DU rounds a minute! :o

main-qimg-701e54846d480820e65cbbaa30494f

B3B91544-A2F1-4158-9AFE-D9112A31B7A5_w10

 

The M1 Abrams fires DU Sabot rounds.

257_a312.jpg

 

Strong-Europe-Tank-Challenge_C1_Ariete_I

LuOoer0.gif

 

During the 1990's time period. toxic effects of it wasn't well known.  This material should be completely banned!

The photos of birth defects are too graphic and disturbing to post.

du_montana.jpg

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKOuEDKUlitTPazJa2ulM

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On 10/9/2018 at 12:13 AM, mr6666 said:

Brazil’s Bolsonaro-Led Far Right Wins a Victory Far More Sweeping and Dangerous Than Anyone Predicted.

October 8 2018,

" For the past thirty years, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro was a fringe extremist in Brazilian politics, known mostly for outlandish, deliberately inflammatory quotes in which he paid homage to the most notorious torturers of the 1964-1985 military regime, constantly heralded the 1964 coup as a “defense of democracy,” told a female socialist colleague in Congress that she was too ugly to “deserve” his rape, announced that he’d rather learn that his son died in a car accident than was gay, and said he conceived a daughter after having four sons only due to a “moment of weakness.” ..........

His policy prescriptions were even more deranged. Western media has often referred to him as “Brazil’s Trump” but that is wildly inaccurate, understating the case by many magnitudes. In temperament, ideology, and personal history, Bolsonaro – a former Army Captain during Brazil’s notorious 21-year military dictatorship – is far closer to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte or Egyptian dictator General Abdel El-Sisi than Trump.

His primary solution to the nation’s crime epidemic is to unleash the military and police into the nation’s slums and give them what he calls “carte blanche” to indiscriminately murder anyone they suspect to be criminals,

....... Spiraling from multiple crises – suffocating economic inequality, an epidemic of violence worse than many war zones, and a corruption scandal so sweeping that it has infected the core of almost every faction of the ruling class – this is a country with little to no ability to impose limits on what Bolsonaro wants to do. .....

"

"Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, [establishment factions] are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.

Unfortunately for the 210 million people who live in Brazil, last night’s election was one of the most vivid and terrifying examples yet of this proposition.

But it will by no means be the last, or the worst. It’s all part of a global trend, undermining liberal democracies, fueled by their own failures, that has no end in sight....

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/08/brazils-bolsonaro-led-far-right-wins-a-victory-far-more-sweeping-and-dangerous-than-anyone-predicted-its-lessons-are-global/

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/bolsonaro-brazil-election-authority-not-authoritarianism-latest-comments

Brazil's far-right frontrunner Bolsonaro vows to rule with 'authority not authoritarianism'

After his first-round victory, Jair Bolsonaro tries to allay fears that Brazil could lurch back towards dictatorship under his command

Brazil needs to be ruled “with authority but without authoritarianism”, the far-right frontrunner to become its next president has declared in an apparent attempt to allay fears of the tyrannical tack many fear Latin America’s largest democracy could take under his command.

In his first television interview since his emphatic first-round victory on Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro, 63, vowed to “pacify and unite the Brazilian people under the green and yellow flag”.

As president, his priorities would be opening Brazil to the world and hitting crime hard “so Brazilian women feel protected”.

“This is how we intend to govern … and build the future of our marvellous country,” the former army captain told Brazil’s Globo network.

During his 27 years in politics, Bolsonaro has repeatedly praised Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, and dictators such as Chile’s Augusto Pinochet and Peru’s Alberto Fujimori. His vice-presidential candidate, Hamilton Mourão, is a retired general who last year hintedBrazil’s military leaders had pondered overthrowing the government.

Bolsonaro’s apparent affinity for authoritarians has fuelled fears Brazil could lurch back towards dictatorship under his leadership – something he denied on Monday.

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https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/09/marr-o09.html

Marriott hotel workers strike spreads to Hawaii

More than 2,700 hotel workers in Honolulu and Maui walked off the job on Monday, joining Marriott workers who began striking last week in the San Francisco area. Nationwide, 7,700 workers from 23 hotels are now on strike in eight cities.

Strikes are ongoing in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Detroit. Workers are demanding better pay and safer working conditions. While there is growing support for a nationwide strike, the UNITE HERE union has sought to limit and isolate the strikes, negotiating piecemeal with the bosses for separate deals with each hotel.

Workers picketed five Marriott hotels in Hawaii: Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Westin Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Maui. About 95 percent of the 3,500 workers in Local 5 authorized a strike last month. However, workers at Waikiki Beach Marriott and the Sheraton Kauai, who voted to strike, were still working on Monday morning.

The owners of the Hawaiian hotels, Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, issued a statement the same morning stating the company has “implemented contingency plans” to continue operating the five hotels on strike while adding “there have been some adjustments to staffing levels and services being offered at our properties.”

The strike in Hawaii comes after months of negotiations over job security, improved wages and work overloads. Workers also want a say in how new technological changes can improve working conditions rather than lead to the elimination of jobs.

Jenny Johnson, a dinner cook at Sheraton Waikiki for the last seven years, told Hawaii News Now, “We’re asking for one job to be enough,” adding, “We want a fair contract so that our members can work and afford to put food on their table and still be able to sit down and enjoy their dinner with their families.”

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https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/10/pers-o10.html

The far-right threat in Brazil and the role of the Workers Party

Last Sunday’s general election in Brazil was a political earthquake that reduced to rubble parties that had long dominated the political landscape. At the same time it exposed the complete rot of the bourgeois democratic order established in the wake of the 20-year military dictatorship imposed by the US-backed coup of 1964.

That Jair Bolsonaro, a fascistic and buffoonish former army captain and seven-term deputy in the Brazilian Congress, could win a stunning 46 percent of the vote, coming within a hair’s breadth of an outright victory, exposes the immense danger of a return of Latin America’s largest country, with a population of over 200 million people, to fascist-military rule.

His nearest challenger, Fernando Haddad, the candidate of the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores—PT) trailed Bolsonaro by nearly 17 points. The two will face off in a second-round election on October 28.

The regions where Bolsonaro beat Haddad by even wider margins than the national total included all of the cities of the so-called ABC industrial belt surrounding Sao Paulo, the center of the Brazilian auto and metalworking industries, birthplace of the Workers Party and scene of the mass strikes of 1978-1980 that forced an end to the military dictatorship. These cities, where the now-jailed former PT President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva got his start as a metalworkers’ union leader, gave Bolsonaro 50 percent of the vote, as compared to barely 20 percent for the PT’s Haddad.

Similarly, Bolsonaro won 45 percent of the vote, against 20 percent for Haddad, in Rio Grande do Sul, a PT stronghold in the period before Lula’s 2002 election and the place chosen for the founding of the World Social Forum in 2001.

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https://www.rt.com/op-ed/440974-zizek-bosnia-balkan-croatia/

Slavoj Zizek  Tragic deaths inspire a Bosnian miracle

The violent deaths of two young men have united Bosnians, crossing rigid ethnic lines. Could something finally be stirring in the divided Balkan country?

When we think of miracles and Bosnia, the first association that pops up is the appearance of the Virgin Mary a couple of decades ago in Medjugorje – an event that brought millions of pilgrims to the area.

However, a week ago, a much greater and more important miracle took place in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb part of Bosnia ("Republika Srpska"), and then also in other Bosnian cities across the ethnic divide.

The miracle is not the elections which took place this Sunday. As usual, Bosnian elections (with all the accompanying irregularities) were marked by apathy and indifference, and just confirmed the tripartite division of the state along ethnic lines. 
Today, the Serb part is more and more acting as a sovereign state, while in the Muslim Sarajevo, Islamization progresses, evidenced by how it's more and more difficult to get a beer in a restaurant or bar, among other things.

Meanwhile, a specific form of the much-publicized PPP (public-private partnership) is flourishing in all of Bosnia: local political elites intertwined with half-legal private businesses, their rule legitimized as protectors of ethnic entities (Bosnians, Serbs etc.) against the "enemy." In such a situation where poverty is everywhere and young people are migrating to Western Europe in search of jobs, nationalism thrives and defense of ethnic identity easily prevails over economic issues.      

 

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