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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

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Michigan: School Districts Closed As Teachers Skip Work To Attend 'Right to Work' Protests

TAYLOR (WWJ) - School has been canceled in two Michigan school districts as dozens, perhaps hundreds, of teachers are expected to call in sick Tuesday to join right-to-work protests in Lansing.

Taylor Public Schools will be closed down because of the high number of staff that have already called in, apparently to attend the demonstrations. Superintendent Diane Allen told WDIV-TV there won’t be enough teachers to cover classrooms. She said she had heard from a principal about where the teachers were going.

Warren Consolidated Schools will also be closed Tuesday, due to number of teacher absences for the same reason.

“The entire district will be closed just like when we have a snow day,” said Warren Consolidated Superintendent Robert Livernois, in a statement. “Will I understand this is somewhat unusual, my number one priority is student safety and without and adequate number of staff members, we cannot hold school.”



Obama Says Michigan Labor Battle About 'The Right To Work For Less Money'

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama weighed in on the contentious labor battle playing out in Michigan, condemning the Republican push to make Michigan a so-called "right-to-work" state as nothing more than a partisan maneuver that will hurt the working class.

"We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families," Obama said Monday in a speech at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant.

"And by the way, what we shouldn't do -- I've just got to say this -- what we shouldn't be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions," he added to loud applause from the audience. "We shouldn't be doing that. The so-called 'right-to-work' laws -- they don't have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

Michigan is set to become the 24th right-to-work state, with Gov. Rick Snyder (R) poised to sign the controversial bill after it was fast-tracked by the GOP-controlled legislature. Thousands of union supporters protested at the state capitol in Lansing last week, and more protests are planned for Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/obama-michigan-right-to-work_n_2272408.html

Intelligence Community: U.S. Out As Sole Superpower By 2030

By BYRON TAU | 12/10/12 9:54 AM EST
A new report by the intelligence community projects that the United States will no longer be the world's only superpower by 2030.

"In terms of the indices of overall power – GDP, population size, military spending and technological investment – Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined," the report concludes.

“Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds" — prepared by the office of the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — projects that the "unipolar" world that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union will not continue.

"With the rapid rise of other countries, the 'unipolar moment' is over and no country – whether the U.S., China, or any other country – will be a hegemonic power," the report argues.



Krugman: DeMint ‘Took The Think Out Of The Think Tank’

By David Edwards
Sunday, December 9, 2012 13:20 EST

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is taking “the think out of the think tank” and turning the Heritage Foundation into a “purely political institution” by accepting a job as its president.

The tea party-backed lawmaker announced last week that he would be resigning from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation because “the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas.”

During a Sunday panel discussion on ABC, Republican strategist Mary Matalin sarcastically noted that her “hero,” British economist John Maynard Keynes, had said that “ideas drive history, ideas drive progress and Heritage has long been the fount of so many great ideas.”

“As a conservative, as a constitutionalist, that was a brilliant move — a good move for us, a brilliant move for him,” she insisted.



Oil Giant Says August Cyber Attack Targeted Whole Saudi Kingdom

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, December 10, 2012 3:44 EST

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that an August cyber attack on its computer network targeted not just the company but the kingdom’s economy as a whole.

The interior ministry, which joined Aramco’s investigation into the attack that affected some 30,000 of the firm’s computers, said it was carried out by organised hackers from several different foreign countries.

“The attack targeted the whole economy of the country, not just Aramco as an entity,” said Abdullah al-Saadan, who headed the company’s inquiry team.

“The aim was to stop pumping oil and gas to domestic and international markets,” he told reporters.



Perhaps I've missed it but has anyone heard of 'defense cuts' or curtailing our military adventures

in all the budget crisis debate?

Foreign aid? Nary a mention from what I can tell...

Moscow Accuses US of Blocking Mideast Quartet Efforts

Source: RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) – The United States is blocking a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East mediators, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“We are seeking the convocation of the Quartet of international mediators. We are supported by the European Union and the UN while the United States, the fourth participant in this mechanism, does not want this. We are talking about this publicly,” Lavrov said.

Russia also advocates convening an international conference on a nuclear-free area in the Middle East but this initiative is also being blocked by the United States, Lavrov said.

“It was decided to hold this conference by late 2012. We are bearing the brunt of work with the Arabs, Israel and Iran. As a result, we have prepared a package quite acceptable for all but the Americans refused to support it,” Lavrov said.

Read more: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121209/178023415.html

Russia Rules Out Libyan Scenario in Syria

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not allow a repetition of the Libyan scenario in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria. Unfortunately our Western partners have departed from the Geneva accords and are seeking the departure of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” Lavrov said, adding Russia was not clinging to any individual leaders in Syria.

Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria on July 19 over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country.

The resolution was tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have provided for the use of force to put an end to the rapidly escalating conflict.



Palestinian Prisoners' Rights Activist Detained, Tortured In Israeli prison

Nasser, 42, was arrested on October 15 in a nighttime raid by armed soldiers and attack dogs on his house in the village of Saffa in the Ramallah district. According to Physicians for Human Rights, Nasser was taken into custody after a prolonged search in his house and a brief interrogation, during which his wife and four children were held at gunpoint in a different room.

His interrogation by Shin Bet agents went on for 39 days, with sessions lasting up to 20 hours a day, all through which Nasser had his hands tied to the back of the chair and his legs tied to the legs of the chair. Nasser later reported to his lawyers that throughout this period he was held in isolation, he did not receive sufficient medical care for his pain nor for the lapses of disorientation from which he suffered. PHR has so far not been allowed to send an independent doctor to examine Nasser.

About a week ago, the military prosecution filed an indictment with fairly mild accusations against Nasser. The main charge was his alleged membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered an illegal organization by Israel. Evidence for this membership is derived from the other four charges, which state that Nasser allegedly assisted in organizing and participating in two “illegal” PFLP rallies in Ramallah, one in support of Palestinian prisoners, and the other in memory of former PFLP leader, Abu-Ali Mustafa, assassinated by Israel in 2001.

Nasser, who works as a researcher for Addameer, rejects accusations of membership in the PFLP, stating that he had no part in the Mustafa rally. He confirmed his participation in the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day rally – which was not a PFLP event but rather a national day of protest and solidarity and has been for quite some time. This year’s rally took place in the midst of a prolonged hunger strike of administrative detainees in Israeli prisons, and marked the start of a new collective hunger strike of...



Iran Condemns US Nuclear Test

AFP - Iran condemned arch foe the United States on Saturday for conducting a limited nuclear test, saying it showed Washington's "inattention to full disarmament," the state television website reported.

The US Energy Department said it conducted a "subcritical" test at an underground site in Nevada on Wednesday to study the behaviour of nuclear materials without triggering an atomic explosion. It was its first since February last year.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast "condemned the recent US nuclear test," saying it displayed "inattention to full disarmament which is a deep-seated demand of international public opinion."

Iran "as one of the victims of weapons of mass destruction (during its 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq), will pursue the supreme leader's fatwa regarding the prohibition of production, storage or use of such weapons until it has been fully realised," Mehmanparast added.


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